Saturday, May 28, 2011


I'm trying to get back in the swing of blogging, but I need things to be organized JUST SO before I can break down the mental blocks in my way.
So it in that vain that I have just reorganized my Blogger. I imported blogs from another blogger page to this one. If you start at this point and read previous posts, things may seem out of order or confusing. That is why.
I'm doing this so I won't feel bad when I create YET another blogger page. Maybe one day they'll be all on one blog, but for now, I need to seperate my thoughts in order to really figure them out. Think of it as reorganizing a closet.

Friday, October 1, 2010


My dad was born 60 years ago this past Sunday.
Andrew's dad was born 50 years ago this past Tuesday.
My brother died 15 years ago this past Thursday.
I was baptized 10 years ago today.

I'm not usually one to be overly dramatic for the sake of emotional ploys, but please indulge me while I sink my teeth into these momentous anniversaries.

I started the week out celebrating life. Not just my dad's life, or Andrew's dad's life, and the milestones they have reached, but moreso the life they still have yet to lead. As I imagine life with my children growing up, I imagine both grandfathers (as well as Andrew's stepdad, for the record, who will turn 50 in December) being around teaching my sons and daughters new jokes, tricks and sports moves. I see the life the dads haven't even experienced yet, as grandparents.

So as the week kicked off, I was thinking very positively about life and the longevity of it. But Thursday came, without warning, and I did the math to realize it has been FIF-TEEN years since my brother passed away. I had to face the reality of how short and unpredictable life is all over again. But also, how tragicly unfair it is. I've been through more than half of my life without an older brother. I honestly can't even imagine life with him at this point, because it was such a short part of my memory (and getting even shorter). Author J.K. Rowling stated recently in an interview that she wished her mother was around to read the Harry Potter books, but they would not be what they were if she hadn't passed away. And I'm left feeling the same about my own life. It truly would not have been the same if I hadn't experienced this loss at such a young age, but I know Andy would have made life that much more vibrant.

and in the midst of my joy and grief, I almost completely overlooked the moment I celebrated new, abundant, life. The moment I decided to give all my hopes, joy, expecations, fear, grief, pain, stress, and false courage to the ultimate source of life. On October 1, 2000, I publicly declared through baptism that I had indeed found this new life, and identified myself with the Creator of life, by demonstrating my own death to my former life, acceptance of the new life given to me Jesus and receiving of eternal life by the one who defeated death.

So as I contemplate life and all that it entails - the little moments and the big occasions - I must stop and be grateful for the God who not only gave me this life, but gets me through it. Not only the God who helps me survive this life, but enables me to thrive (John 10:10) in it. All these momentous occasions really just serve as a reminder that there is a God who loves us and gave Himself up for us. So we can celebrate birthdays and babies and joy. But also so we can survive grief and heartache and pain with strength that seems supernatural (because it is). The giver of life, the source of life, the sustainer of life. He's the one I celebrate this week.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I found the cure. It is two parts prayer and one part sunshine.

So the first thing I'll pray for is sunshine.

Monday, February 15, 2010


I feel crappy about myself.
The worst part of feeling crappy is that it entitles me to treat myself crappy which just ultimately makes me feel even crappier.

It's a downward spiral that I just can't seem to get myself off of.

Here's a sample from the spiral:
Sunday - Go to church and see some friends. I see those friends talking to each other, and not to me. I feel excluded, rejected, alone. Still at church, the minister asks other leaders to be included in something special - which I have previously been excluded from - and I am not. Not only do I now feel excluded, rejected and alone, but now also unworthy, unappreciated and used. I mope around the rest of the day questioning my very involvement in that church. I turn to Facebook to take my mind off things, but I'm only further reminded by the homepage how much fun other people are having and go untagged and unwanted yet again (not to mention the FB changes are annoying and in and of themselves infuriate me). I go to sleep wrapped in the blanket of all these emotions.

Monday - Waking up feeling horrible, I start getting ready for work. Already full of bitterness and hurt feelings, I brood over the fact that I have to get dressed up and go out in the cold. Drivers cut me off, go too slow and forget to use their signal. I am now in a very foul mood when my students decide to talk instead of listen. I snap at Joe Goof-Off when he makes his smart comment. Now, I feel like a bad teacher. I go to a coworkers room hoping to escape my angst-filled room for lunch. The food I eat is greasy and fried, the drink is carbonated and full of sugar and I finish it with a carbohydrate-packed sugar-full dessert. The coworker seems annoyed at my presence (whether that's reality or not) by the end of lunch, so I go back to my room sulking and not-at-all satisfied. Later, an email full of ignorance comes to my inbox right as my stomach starts to yell at me for the pitiful lunch. I'm now mad at the world. Andrew doesn't meet my unspoken emotional needs when I get home and I keep dying on the video game I tried playing to take my mind off the world. I go to bed once again wrapped in a miserable blanket of self-pity.

Tuesday - Tired and cold from staying up wondering why I'm such a failure, I pull in late to work. Not having any time to calmly get ready for the school day, I go straight to a team meeting where a coworker complains my room's warmth is causing bacteria to grow that she never would, asserts that her methods of classroom management are better than mine ("Oh, I never have that problem in my class; I just don't let it happen.") and then spends half the time harping on all the students I think are wonderful. I not only doubt my abilities as a teacher but now am so full of contempt that I can't stand to be in the same room. I spend lunch alone where I think to myself how awful I am as a person. The cheeseballs I consume seem to agree.

Wednesday - Those last few minutes of sleep I took don't seem to make me feel any more rested. Not to mention, the waste of time I spent on my hair, seeing as it refuses to do anything worth showing in public. The cat refuses to cooperate with me making me run even more late than before. The student who decides to do something stupid for attention gets it from me in the form of a very embarrassing put-down that REALLY makes me question my ability as a teacher. I continue to eat lunch alone afraid that somebody will either make me mad or I will annoy them and further distance myself from everybody. I look at petfinder for the perfect puppy to take my cares away. Andrew tells me I can't have one cause I'm too stressed. I say that's exactly why I need one. He doesn't understand. Nobody understands. Self-pity drives me to class that night. I get a strong impression I talk too much in class, but still have the need to ask questions. I decide I'm going to ask the questions anyway, but now feel stronger than ever that I talk too much and go home that night telling myself what a horrible classmate I am. I take the bowl of popcorn from Saturday's matinee to bed with me as I stay up way too late watching TV.

Ok, you get it. You probably get it all too well. I'm sure (ok, I'm not sure, just REALLY hoping) that this is a common play-by-play for many out there. But I'm also sure most of you are not currently in it. There must be a way out.
So before I take my popcorn to bed one more night, please please help me break this.

What I really now is the sword of the spirit to encourage me. I need verses from God's Word to empower me to break through the spiral.

It can't be human encouragement - because then it feeds my self-pity and self-doubt ("They're just saying that cause they feel sorry for me...").

So please, warriors, help me out. Help me break this spiral before I further alienate myself or worse - finish the ice cream all by myself.
Help me, blogger world. You're my only hope.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


What if my genius only comes out at night?
But by letting it out at night, I compromise my ability to work during the day.

I have tried to be a responsible adult and get to bed a decent hour regularly. Andrew and I have, for the most part, established a routine that guarantees a good night's sleep.

And being well rested, I can get up and go about my day successfully. I am more alert and energetic at work, which is a job I love. I enjoy life more when I sleep well.

But there is a restlessness within me because I am not writing. I have often blogged about my love for writing (cause where else is it more appropriate to share such love?). As I go throughout my day, I often wonder why I haven't sat down and produced anything. Thoughts flow in and out of my head all day, but nothing gets written down.

Then at night, I lay in bed, and the words start flowing together in wonderful prose. I read the words to myself in my head and I enjoy the stories I tell. I am persuaded by my own essays and I am touched by own soliloquies. But yet, there is no pen to paper.

Every now and then, I've created a document that so desperately needs to be written down that the words even start editing themselves to better prepare it for paper.
But by this point in the night, I should be in dream land.

If I were to actually write it down, that would require, at the very least, sitting up in bed to write it in the journal I keep nearby. And at minimum, it would engage my mind so much that sleeping any time soon would certainly be compromised. If I take to typing, I can absolutely forget about sleeping that night, as words pour out despite hurting and tired shoulders.

And it gets me thinking, is it worth it? Is it worth the exhaustion to get the words out of my head? Even if the farthest place they go is simply on the journal next to me.

Should I sacrifice my rest for my creativity? Or rather, should I sacrifice my creativity for my rest?


It makes me think of John Nash and his brilliance. The scene of his life that is most heart-breaking is him sitting on a rocking chair with a comatose expression, unable to access the genius inside of him. But it's for his good, right?

Not that I think I'm anywhere close to being a brilliant writer, but is sleep my anti-psychosis drug? Is it suppressing my genius? If it is, is it worth it??
If I am going to be restless even with a full night's sleep, am I doing something wrong? How can it be made right? Writing blogs certainly isn't going to pay the bills, and it isn't going to help fulfill my desire to teach students...

Thursday, September 24, 2009


the smell of a bonfire
the rush of cool air
the comfort of an old hooded sweatshirt
the sound of the band playing at a football game

drinking hot apple cider
shopping for halloween costumes
pulling out the scarves and sweaters
taking pictures before the homecoming dance

the color of the sky in the early evening
the start of new shows and returning favorites
the fun of celebrating birthdays
the race to the World Series

taking walks in the cool of the evening
watching the trees slowly change to red and orange
kicking off new programs at church
re-establishing the routine of school

what's your favorite part?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

fat cat

I have conflicting thoughts about my cat's weight.

You see, when we rescued her, she was so undernourished that we thought she was only 6 weeks old when she was actually 3 months old. And I didn't know anything about feeding a cat so I accidentally underfed her for the first few days. In my guilt and pity, I decided to always make sure she had more than enough food. We "free fed" her by overloading her bowl with food and leaving it out for her. When we saw it was getting low, we'd load it up again and let her have at it.

Flash forward a year. I notice how much she has grown and that she is an actual CAT now. So we switch from kitty food to adult cat food. But because of all the vacations and traveling (which I know I still haven't blogged about... sorry), it was just easier to have somebody stop by every few days and load up her bowl, so we kept up the free feeding habit. But I noticed she kept growing and I could no longer easily feel her ribs...

When our traveling was done, just before school started, we took her to the vet. He weighed her and then, as polite as possible, suggested a feeding plan. I wasn't surprised, but I did feel the conviction of being a bad mommy. We have since put her on the regulated food plan, which is still more than enough to eat, but just in small portions so she can't just eat when she's bored (which proves eating habits are LEARNED and not just genetic!).

She has been on the plan for a month and in that month, the conflicted feelings have overcome me. Am I a bad mother? Should I lessen her food more? Have I allowed her to become lazy?
Those are the predominant feelings.

But then, I thought "Isn't she beautiful no matter her weight?" "Should I really be concerned as long as she is happy" and all the other thoughts on self-image and confidence that we are forced to consider in our culture.

And I realized that self-image concerns can only go so far. For instance, they really shouldn't apply to a cat. I could be wrong, but I doubt she really cares that I call her fat cat. But also, I realized that they shouldn't get in the way of the overall health. Yes, I should love her no matter what and I will always think she's beautiful. But the fact is, she would feel a lot better if she lost some weight. She can't even enjoy playing anymore. She stops after just a few minutes and just lays down.

I wonder if we realize our concerns about self-image go too far.

I believe it's essential that everybody learns to love their inner-self. I believe that we should be looking at the qualities that make a person unique - their personality, sense of humor, intelligence, problem-solving skills, etc. I believe that people that are within a healthy weight range should absolutely believe they are healthy and beautiful. I believe growing boys and girls should be encouraged to keep growing. I believe anorexic models should not be promoted as ideal but instead fed a hamburger. I believe we should never call somebody ugly or insult them.

But I also believe that when we tell somebody they are perfect just the way they are when they are overweight (or underweight), we are denying them a better life. They are not their healthiest.

I am not my healthiest. I am denying myself a better life. I can't play too long without getting tired. I sit out way too much. I just need a doctor at a check up to politely suggest a diet plan. To simply suggest "these are good foods and good portions." I need to make more of an effort to push myself to play just a few minutes longer. Because I'm really not perfect just the way I am, physically speaking. If I lost some fat, gained some muscle, worked on endurance and ate the right kinds of food, I could actually experience health in a way my self-image could never give me.

And I bet I'd feel a lot better about the way I looked in the mirror if I wasn't sweating and panting from walking up the 2 flights of stairs to get to it.