Monday, February 28, 2011

Listen up grasshoppers....

Tonight is NOT a good night to blog. Trust me on this one. Let me rephrase. I did blog. But after careful consideration I have decided to refrain from posting just yet. I need time to think, and center, and regroup. I need time to let the anger and frustration leave and allow the calm and collected to enter.
And if sleeping it off doesn't work...then I will post the Declaration of War tomorrow.
Goodnight all.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I got nothing....

I love you all...really I do....and I want to blog....really I do...but tonight I just don't have anything for you. Really. My brain is completely useless...I've been staring at this sentence for 15 minutes. And since I just lectured on stupid blogging...I should be a good example leader teacher ultimate ruler and just say goodnight.
So...mwahaha...goodnight minions.


I have only one conscious priority: making it through the day. Seriously. This is a direct result of having been pulled and torn in a thousand different directions in any one twenty-four hour period for years. Acknowledging, recognizing, and reordering my priorities...and making them give purpose to my a deeply personal task that I must do if I am going to learn to live a happier, more fulfilled, authentic life. Things have got to change.
By it's very definition a priority is anything that is important. In redefining mine I realize what matters right now. Today I would tell you that providing for the future by starting a systematic plan of saving is a priority. Increasing my health (not to mention making myself smoking hot) by dieting and exercising is a priority. Achieving financial peace is a priority. Nurturing my family and sustaining a loving, happy, healthy relationship....both priorities. Not being a bitch...priority. Not killing anyone...yep. Priority.
Of course, all that could change tomorrow. Priorities aren't written in granite. They have to be flexible and change when I change. Probably the reason I procrastinate so much about even setting priorities is because it takes peace of mind and clarity to recognize and reorder meaningful, personal, achievable priorities. And clearly I have neither peace of mind or clarity. But the more my life...and my attention segmented by the child, the home, him, her, and my need for personal creative expression, the more I need to identify what is truly important to me. I have been under the assumption that I could continue to get along by "winging it" indefinitely. I can't. I need an antidote for the hurried, harried, chaotic, unruly life that threatens to tear me apart. I will keep you posted.

...Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like stars in the universe.

Tonight I pray for reordered and re-evaluated priorities. I pray for the strength to live without complaining or arguing. I pray for peace and clarity. I pray that I may make it through my days. I pray for those near and far. I pray for our hearts and souls. And I pray for courage.
Still no room on the prayer list for her. I realized that my praying for her has not diminished the ugly in her heart, it has not increased my patience for her, and it has not allowed healing to occur. Seems that if a person is unwilling to change, no amount of prayer will get through. Just my humble observations.
Goodnight and God bless.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Blogging 101...

Oh yes...there are rules. Important rules. Apply daily. Read and follow...your crash course is about to begin.

1. No drunk blogging. This should be pretty self explanatory...but just in case you need an example: if you can't speak in clear and concise words due to the amount of alcohol you have just ingested...then you should forgo trying to form blog sentences. I mean really.....and we all know that usually anything that you say when drunk is retarded anyway.
2. No revenge blogging. This isn't a battleground people.'s OK to occasionally use your own blog to air concerns or frustrations...but just because someone else says something mean on their blog is not an invitation to fight back on yours. Your readers will thank you for taking the higher ground. Besides...."they started it" doesn't work in blogland. Take your mother's advice here..."if you don't have anything nice to say, shut the fuck up." (I paraphrased for your convenience).
3. No boring blogging. Blogging just to blog is a waste of your time and your readers time. If you can't think of anything to say...then obviously nothing important and exciting is happening in your life and you are probably a loser. Plenty of non-eventful shit happens to me....I just don't share it with everyone. Because no one cares. Seriously, if you find yourself falling asleep while blogging....chances are your readers have already hung themselves from the ceiling fan.
4. No angry blogging. People are stupid. They are going to piss you off. This is fact. And yes...your blog is the perfect place to let loose your diatribe on why she's a bitch and why he's an idiot. I get it...your readers get it too. But if you are so angry that homicide seems a viable option....step away from the keyboard. The only thing that will happen is that you will tirade on for paragraphs and paragraphs....and the person that pissed you off probably isn't reading anyway. Because she is too busy fucking your husband. Here's the truth...angry blogging solves no problems. You will still be angry when you are done...and all 5 of your readers will have stopped reading. (And moved on to my blog...which is funnier and more insightful and well just better all around. So there.)
(Related but random fact) Angry blogging may lead to drunk blogging. And possibly revenge blogging. See? Vicious cycle. Just say no.

On that note.....
You're welcome.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fevered thinking...

While I am still feeling under the weather, I want to share just a few thoughts with you, my lovely and adoring readers. Since the beginning of the year you have been following me on my path to inner peace, increased knowledge, and living an authentic life. You have seen my successes and failures, my triumphs and defeats, my feasts and famines. You have seen me through the shining light and the dark passages. You have followed as I accepted...and stayed when I denied. I thank you for that.
I recognize the demons I am fighting...jealousy, anger, distrust, heartbreak. I not only recognize them for what they are...but I recognize the cause. And I accept the responsibility for what is mine. I may carry these demons in my heart indefinitely...but I am learning how to control them and the chaos they bring. But don't let all my fancy writing and my poise and restraint fool you. I started this blog because I am a bitch...little did I know then that I would actually become something else entirely. A wiser, happier woman.
That is my way of apologizing and thanking you all for making this journey with me. Bumps and all. I hope to keep trudging along, with you, to the far corners of my soul....
And a thought that keeps occurring within my brain (sick gives alot of time to think of such nonsense)..perhaps you've started your own process of gratitude and enlightenment? Maybe you are finally finding the amazing in the ordinary, realizing that all you have is all you need, welcoming creative choices, and savoring life's small moments.
Then again...maybe you haven't. If you wonder why I suspect this, it's because I am right there with you. I know. I know how days, weeks, months, even years can escape your grasp. I know what it's like to put everyone else's needs before your that you don't have a moments peace to yourself. I know how easy it is to find heartfelt excuses for why you can't begin something new..even if you desperately want to. I know how the word "tomorrow" slips out easily and unconsciously. Tomorrow you will begin. Tomorrow. All this I know.
But what I also know is that thinking about taking a journey is not the same thing as being on one. I promise that each day from now on, I am going to use the daily grind of my real life as a cause for celebration. That's right, celebration. This isn't the fever talking....I have learned alot of things lately. Most importantly I have learned that the details of my days make a difference in my life. That no experience is ever just for show, that everything can be a starting point to inspiration if we are willing to be open to it. I have learned that change is happening today...not tomorrow.
Take another look at your life. Give thanks. Accept your circumstances. Give thanks. Count your blessings. Give thanks. Show up each day ready to learn and choose. Have faith in yourself. "One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." (Andre Gide) Set the sails. Pull anchor. Cast away. Feel the wind at your back. Keep your eyes on the horizon. Or stay on shore. Your choice.
I am sailing and discovering.

...Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Tonight I pray for smooth sailing. I pray for creativity, beauty, and knowledge. I pray for those of you beginning your own journeys...and for those of you continuing on with me. I pray for safety, security, and strength. I pray for those I love...and those who need guidance.
Goodnight and God bless.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Out sick...

Tonight's blog is postponed due to illness. You can feel free to check out the Eos Photography Facebook page for updated pictures to hold you over until I return. So sorry for the minor inconvenience.
Now move along...nothing more to see here, people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The archaeology of the soul...

Before I begin, let me just tell you that evidently I learned nothing from my last road-trip. I know I promised that I would get some work done on my most recent adventure..900 pictures later I am still editing. So, check the Eos blog and Facebook page later in the week for those! OK? OK! Now...on with the blog...
Christina Baldwin tells us that "How we remember, and what we remember, and why we remember form the most personal map of our individuality." I want to become willing to remember. I realize that I have lived many lives, and each one has left an indelible mark on my soul. I'm not talking about reincarnation. I am referring to the episodic way in which our lives evolve...childhood, adolescence, college years, early marriage (followed by early divorce), careers, motherhood, onward and upward. At each stage in my life I have had both laughter and tears. I have seen successes and failures. I have kept and let go. Each life experience leaves a layer of memory like a deposit of soil: things that I have loved and moments of contentment that not only developed my personal preferences but when recalled, reveal glimmers of my true self. I am hesitant to recall my past only because I am afraid of dredging up my long quieted pains.
So my challenge to myself is to find the patience to bring forth these memories. But memory is fickle. She must be wooed and courted. Sometimes she surprises me with her generosity and I recall moments with astonishing clarity. Most of the time, however, my memories are fragmented and broken. It's like digging and brushing away the many layers of soil. Joan Baez reminds me that "as long as one keeps searching, the answers come."
This is important because the more I learn about myself and my preferences..the easier it is to make necessary choices. And creative choice is at the heart of living peacefully and authentically. Choice confers freedom....the freedom to embrace the new because it speaks to my soul. And I am willing to listen. Today I consider the choices I have made in the past. Have they always been the right ones? (Usually, no.) Do I make choices with my mind, my heart, or my gut? (I listen to all three but we all know that my heart always wins.) Am I comfortable with this or is it time to try a different approach? (I vote different). There are long buried dreams calling me from roads I chose not to take. I have to stop telling myself it is too late. I have to start making new choices. Perhaps I now have the wisdom to make better choices. I need to dig deep into my soul to find the answers that lie buried there.

...Proverbs 14:33 Wisdom reposes in the heart of the discerning and even among fools she lets herself be known.

Tonight I am thankful for another safe return home and for the joys my travels have brought me. I am thankful for time spent with those I love. I am thankful for the beauty He has created and the ability He has provided. I pray for warmer weather, flowers and sunshine. I pray for health. I pray for those I cherish. I pray for those making choices. I pray for backward reflection and forward thinking.
And while I have promised to pray for her...again tonight I cannot. I refuse to allow myself the hypocrisy of offering her thoughts and prayers while my heart remains hardened. Forgiveness must be consuming and for her it is not.
Goodnight and God bless.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slaying dragons...

I want to start tonight by letting you know that I will, once again, be out of town this weekend. I know, I know....I just had a vacation. I'm taking another one. Deal with it. My life of leisure is hard. Seriously. I do promise though that I will get some work done amidst all the pleasure. Now...we resume our evening blog.
In trying to live my life more authentically, I have discovered my true place in the world for the first time. But this self knowledge has not been easily acquired. It has taken tenacity and daring to travel to the darkest interior of my soul and fetch whatever is lurking there. It's a scary place. J. R. R. Tolkien advises that "It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him." What happens when the dragon lives inside you? My dragon is my fears: my daily stalkers, my night sweats. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing. Fear of starting something new and not finishing. Again. Or the real fear...the one that sends shivers up my spine...the fear of actually succeeding, of becoming my authentic self, the person I am truly meant to be, and facing the changes that will inevitably bring. I might not be happy with the way I am living now, or the mistakes I am making, or the dreams I am forgoing...but at least my life is safely familiar.
I don't know where I am heading. Or what I am doing. Or who I am. And I'm scared. Old dreams are resurrecting, unfamiliar hopes are wooing me, unclaimed desires are resurfacing. Instead of clarity, I feel confused. I have always known how to deal with dragons hiding under the bed or lurking in the closet. I turn on the lights and reassure the worried souls with kindness and love. I guess I need to learn how to slay the dragons in my heart and soul...and especially the ones that reside in my head....the same way.
Perhaps I need to cling to T. S. Eliot's belief that there really is nothing to fear from self-awareness because at the end of all my personal inner exploration...I will arrive back where I started and know in my heart that's where I belong. Because I will be stronger for having faced the dragons...and won. Besides, it's really not an adventure tale worth telling if there aren't any dragons. Or a damsel in distress. (That would be me...) And as the best old tales promise the end of all my exploring...I will live happily ever after.

...Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Tonight I pray for the necessary weapons to slay my, peace, and strength. I pray for the ability to continue my inner exploration in order to find my authentic self. I pray for healing and forgiveness. I pray for those I love.
And while I should pray for I have promised to do...tonight I cannot. I cannot give genuine heartfelt concern and precious healing and forgiveness to a person who so callously works to destroy other people. I cannot find faith in a person who has none of her own. I cannot condone behavior that is hurtful...hurts that are so willingly inflicted by her hand. I cannot waste valuable creativity on a person who fails to possess her own. And I cannot hope for peace in a heart that offers none to others. Sorry are on your own for awhile. My prayer list is full.
Goodnight and God bless.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm having a baby...

Do I have your attention? I am...middle of the night. Epidural is working well...haven't felt a single one of the contractions. And there have been many. I have even managed to get a little sleep...after yelling at one not very nice nurse that checking on me did not require turning on the flood lights and alerting the media. Oh..and she better not, ever again, walk into my room smelling of french fries. Unless she wants to die...horribly and painfully. Because at this point she is numero uno on the list...wait...make that number two. I didn't get myself pregnant you know.
Moving on...we have had some sleep. Things are finally progressing. Doctor has come in and advised (prior to heading out to some golf game/dinner date/doctor schmoozefest...while I am fat, hungry, bored and imprisoned...bastard.) that he will be back at six (a.m. for those of you wondering) to check on me...and possibly to break my water. Yay! I Fast forward to six o' the morning....on day 5....
Hello Mr. Dr. Lifesaver.....please can I have a baby today? Because I am not leaving this hospital without one....even if I have to buy it in the gift shop downstairs (which all the nurses tell me is a very nice one...whatever). "Sure you can have a baby. Are you ready?" Is he kidding? I want to kick him in the face. First I want him to remove the foreign object cramming an elbow into my kidney. Then I want to kick him in the face...I want to scream at him..."I was ready 4 days ago asshole..." but since he is the only thing standing between me and obstetric suicide....I mumble..."yes please."
Breaking of the water: basically a crochet hook. Really? I could have done that myself 3 days ago. Of course, then I would have missed out on epidural euphoria. You know what they don't tell you? That after this step, it all happens pretty quickly. And by quickly I mean....ok..push...stop...push...stop..head is stuck...dammit...are you ok?...suction (this is a giant hoover vac..seriously...the sucked the baby out. Gross I know.) about 1 more push?....shoulders.....and....done. I want to say it was about 11 o'clock at this point...but I am pretty sure I passed out.
Congratulations you have a sweet little baby girl. 6 pounds 7.5 ounces. Perfect. Cute. Soft. 10 fingers, 10 toes, 2 ears, 2 eyes, one nose. (I checked) What's her name? Damn.....I knew I was forgetting something. I have no idea what to name small baby. (I know this seems strange...I was in the hospital with nothing to do for 4 days..not to mention the 8ish months that I was preggo....and had she been born a he...I would have been all set. Get my drift? Not really planning on a pink bundle of joy.) I made some calls...I got some opinions. I wavered...I waffled...I wondered. Poor little thing remained mystery baby for a few days...not that it seems to have affected her at all. She seems to like what I picked out...which I guess is good. At least it's normal. No Hippiestar Sunbeam Fairypixiedust.....although I kind of like the effect. Besides...I rarely call her by the actual name anyway...nicknames are way funner. we are. 10 years later. And not that I am partial or anything...but she is an amazing kid. She is smart and funny. She cares deeply about others and about the world that she lives in. She does not see color, or disability, or income, or religion. She is everything wonderful in the world. She saved me...of that I am sure.
And as much as I love her...I know it is only matched by how much she loves me in return. We are a team....protecting each other, nurturing each other, supporting each other. No longer do I live...she teaches me how to be alive.
Happy Birthday Small. 5 days was a small sacrifice for the wonderment that is you.

Testing One Two...

This is a test of the emergency blogspot system. This is only a test.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seems like just yesterday...

Alright...maybe not so much. The actual facts are a little fuzzy...I have slept since then. I mean I have trouble remembering last week. But this part I do know....a mere 10 years ago...I was preparing for an event that would change my very core. I was preparing to offer my heart to another soul. I was preparing...for baby.
Egads! I was so...unprepared. I mean...I expected to love this little person. I expected that my world was about to drastically change. I expected to never sleep again, never be thin again, never...well...lets just leave it at that. we are, February 15th. My birthday is over (guess I was wrong about that flu bug...7 centimeters dilated gets you a one way ticket to the nearest hospital...oh, and you might as well skip dessert), Valentines Day has come and gone...and I am still in the hospital...waiting. Of course, right about now I was getting a little pissy irritated difficult moody uncomfortable. Let me just remind everyone that I was three weeks ahead of schedule at this point...and little person was having difficulty deciding whether to play along. The IV preventing me from NOT having the baby had long since given here we are...plugging along. That's when the nurse offers me sweet redemption in the form of a big ass needle to the spine. Oh yes, I took the epidural. Because, let's face it..I am a pussy. It had been 4 days. I was done being pregnant. I was done being in labor. I was done. You try pushing a huge headed alien out of..well...we all know the biology of this procedure. Anywho.....
So now what? we wait. Should have known then that little person was going to have those stubborn Norwegian genes. Dammit. Not much has changed there in the last few years. And you know what happens after the doctor has deemed you worthy of child labor? You get to stop eating and drinking. Who, I ask you, thought this was a good idea? Let's make the pregnant, miserable, hungry woman starve. Brilliant. It's a wonder more people don't die in hospital obstetrics departments. I mean, ice chips can only do so's frozen freaking water. Maybe some sleep? No..they don't let you do that either. They check on you every 10 effing minutes. I mean really? Am I gonna go somewhere? Oh..and let's not even discuss that despite the fact that you have had excruciatingly little to have to piss. Every. 5. Seconds. THAT they let you do....IV, needle in your back, malnutrition and all. And hospital floors are cold. Not helping.
I know! Since I'm awake anyway...let's walk the halls. Yeah, not so much. Epidural good...walking bad. OK..let's read. Double vision. Ummm...let's knit a blanket. Or stab someone in the eye with a crochet hook. Maybe just a little television then? Election year...fabulous. Birthing a spawn is boring.
Sorry.....Epidural...check. Yay! Let's do this. Or not. Maybe tomorrow...but check back in 10 minutes. Please.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog..... Valentines Day is over. So what? What's the harm in sharing the love for a few more days? Why the hell not...right? This blog is dedicated to those wiser than me....Enjoy!

"I do not want a husband who honors me as a queen, if he does not love me as a woman." Queen Elizabeth I (said to the French Ambassador who urged her to marry into French royalty. She remained single and died with no heirs to the throne. True story.)
The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom. Bell Hooks
A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. Thomas Carlyle
All love shifts and changes. I don't know if you can be wholeheartedly in love all the time. Julie Andrews
All you need is love.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney
All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Leo Tolstoy
Do all things with love. Og Mandino
Do you love me because I am beautiful, or am I beautiful because you love me? Oscar Hammerstein II (Cinderella)
Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell. Joan Crawford
Love is being stupid together. Paul Valery
Love is the same as like except you feel sexier. Judith Viorst
Some people care too much. I think it's called love. Winnie the Pooh
It's useless to hold a person to anything he says while he's in love, drunk, or running for office. Shirley MacLaine
The Eskimos had fifty two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love. Margaret Atwood
You really shouldn't say "I love you" unless you mean it. But if you mean it you should say it a lot. People forget. Attributed to 8 year old Jessica
What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork. Pearl Bailey
We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. Author Unknown
Being loved gives you strength. Loving someone gives you courage. Lao Tzu
Falling in love is so hard on the knees. Aerosmith
Love hurts. Nazareth (funny...I just heard that song the other day.)

A little history, a touch of seriousness and a scoach of humor. Always enlightening and entertaining...this little blog of mine.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Enduring love...

Seeing as it's Valentines seems only appropriate, if not somewhat predictable, to blog about love. I know, I know. I am the absolutely last person who should have anything to say on the matter. Nor should I be offering advice. I'm not. But I have a heart just like everyone else..and my heart is one opinionated fickle little entity. And since she usually wins the heart-brain we are. This might get bloody.
Of all the things love dares to do, enduring is the ultimate. Though threatened, it keeps pursuing. Though challenged, it keeps moving forward. Though mistreated and rejected, it refuses to give up. (I know some people just like that.) But love never fails. Many times we try to make things work by promising. Declaring in no uncertain terms that no matter what is happening, we are committed. And usually we are met with resistance. After laying our heart on the line, rejection is a sharp sword. So we withdraw our promises and commitments "Fine! If that's the way you want it, that's the way it will be."
But if love is really love, it doesn't waiver when it's not received the way we want it to be. If love can be told to quit loving, then it's not really love. Love is unending and unstoppable. It keeps giving...even if there is no object of affection to receive it. Because love never fails.
It's the difference between a contract and a covenant. The two words sound similar in meaning and intent but are really much different. A contract is a written agreement based on distrust, outlining the conditions and consequences if broken. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life. A contract is self serving and comes with limited liability. It establishes a time frame for certain deliverables to be met and accomplished. A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has no expiration date. A contract can be broken with mutual consent. A covenant is intended to be unbreakable. Love is not a contract with escape clauses and exception wordings. Love is a covenant intended to cut off all avenues of retreat and withdrawal. A wedding is a contract. A marriage is a covenant.
Love never fails. Of the nine "fruits of the Spirit" listed in Galatians 5, the first of all is love. And because the unchanging Holy Spirit is its source, then the love He creates in you is unchanging as well. It is based on the will of God, the calling of God, and the word of God...all unchanging things. Therefore, your love bears the same unchanging characteristics. Be love. Show love. Give love. Because love never fails.
'Where there is great love there are always miracles.' Willa Cather. Look for the miracles.

...1 Corinthians 13:8 Love never fails.
...Hebrews 13:8 He and His love are the same yesterday and today and forever.

Wow. Turns out I had alot more to say than I thought. Tonight I pray for love. For those who have it, those who lost it, and those who seek it. I pray for my heart. I pray for strength. I pray that I may remember the difference between a contract and covenant. And I pray that the love I give is greater than the love I take. And, as always, I pray for her.
Happy Valentines Day.

P.S. Shameless promotion...check out the newest addition to the family...the photography blog!! You can find it here..under Eos Photography. Pretty please...with sugar on top?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lessons from a 10 year old...

My birthday came and went. It was a flourish of activities and celebrations. A whirlwind of jubilation. And some serious reflection. I just want to say...Thank God I am not who I was last year. Thank God I am not where I was last year. Thank God. It has been a hard road back from the brink...but I occasionally see glimmers of light. And I am not only growing older...but wiser.
Weird that I stumbled upon a picture of myself when I was about 10 (while digging through the hope chest looking for a birth certificate...a whole different series of unfortunate events revolving around the dreaded Virginia DMV....). I was smiling. I was having fun. I was invincible. All of a sudden I remembered the smell of Play-Doh, the thrill of riding my bike too fast with the wind in my hair, the joys of playing outside until dusk. This is important because I also realized that this was probably the last time that I trusted my instincts. I didn't listen to the opinions of my mother, my teachers, or even my friends....because I had my own. I was going places. I was going to change the world.
And as I was sitting on my daughters bed traipsing down memory lane...I realized...she is right now the same age. She is creative and charming and authentic. She is crazy. (as my dear friend says 'not restraining order crazy..just entertaining crazy.' Right.) Watching her get ready for school in the morning is a revelation..."I'm not colorful enough" she will frequently say. With an assurance I envy, she leaves for school dressed in bright purple leggings, a jean skirt, and a neon green shirt. Later that evening she announces with satisfaction that being colorful and weird is just who she is...and she is more than OK with that. I remind myself that once upon a time, I trusted myself that way too. Once upon a time there weren't second and third guesses. Once upon a time I knew who I was and I knew how to live.
I'm all grown up now. But I am still beautiful and accomplished and creative and extraordinary. Each day that I love, honor, and respect my own unique point of view I am one step closer to reclaiming what I have lost. And I need only look at my weird spawn girl child to see that. Thank you Small for reminding me.
"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

...Micah 7:18 He delights in unchanging love.

Tonight I am thankful for celebrations of the heart with people I love. I am thankful for another year of revelation, strength, and passage. I am thankful for wisdom and I am humbled by what I have not yet learned. Please Lord, help me to follow the path you have put me on. Teach me to know the signs. Guide me when I falter. Tonight I pray for the ones I hold, I pray for those near and far, and I pray for those that are lost. And I pray for her.
Goodnight and God bless.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A successful birthday....

I really wanted to share my gifts with all of you...and I am even throwing in a few partygoers and friends.

The new (old) picture taker.


Hoodie Footies...

One Indiana Favorite, One Homemade Brew, and one for "those type of days"

Bless you Amaretto Gods.

Wallet and planner.



Headgear befitting my status.

Willow tree love.

Sunflower starfish. Very. Cool.

My girls.

My boy.

My band.

Maybe something a little serious this time?


As you can clearly see...a successful birthday all around. So much fun...I should celebrate more than once a year.

Woo Hoo...A Birthday!

My very dearest friend told me this drunk blogging. So friends, my blog will need to wait until tomorrow. It has been a wonderful day...and if you ask nicely..I might post some pictures.
Happy Birthday to me. I love you all.
Goodnight and God bless.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I spend alot of time focusing on what I want, what I need, what I desire. I try to figure out what I love, what I crave, and what I dream about. But you know what question I never ask? What would he really, really love? I know that I complain alot that all I do is give...give give give. And in reality I probably do. But maybe I am giving the wrong things?
Common sense tells me I cannot give everything he would like. My budget and account balances tell me I couldn't afford it anyway. And even if I might not be good for us. Or him. This I recognize. But perhaps I have let "no" become too quick a response. Perhaps I have let this negative default setting become too reasoned and rational, too automatic. What if instead of dismissing his thoughts, I did my best to honor them? What might happen if the one thing he said I would never do for him became the next thing I did? Would it build trust? Would it replace what has been lost? Would it repair the foundation? I guess I feel that with things as they are right now, wouldn't it be less than genuine to indulge his heart if my heart isn't in it?
Maybe I need to put my heart in it. Maybe I need to adopt a new level of love. Love sometimes needs to be extravagant. To go all out. It sometimes needs to set aside the technicalities and just bless because it wants to.
Hasn't God's love met needs in my heart that once seemed out of the question? I was living under such a load of sin and regret that I thought I would never recover. I thought life was over when a certain setback took all the wind out of my sails. I broke down...I cried until I could no longer cry. I prayed like I have never prayed before. And though it wasn't easy getting back up and walking on, I somehow survived. God met me with His promised peace (which according to Philippians 4:7 surpasses all comprehension.) and kept me on my feet. He told me that He would love and forgive me...and I knew that my dreams would be met and fulfilled. How can I hold myself to a higher standard than that?
Dreams and desires come in all shapes and sizes...and do not always require a hefty price tag. But love takes careful notice of each one. Maybe the dreams are as simple as honesty and respect. Time and attention. Listening and communicating. Love calls me to give when it would be a lot more convenient to wait. Love calls me to give when I want to withhold. Love calls me to give even if I never get.
My challenge to myself is to surprise him by exceeding all of his expectations with my kindness. It may not be a financial sacrifice, but it will reflect a heart that is willing to express itself with extravagance. And right's all I have.

...2 Corinthians 9:8 God is able to make all grace abound to you.

So, tonight I pray for the questions, the answers, and the path. I pray for understanding. I pray for honest communication. I pray for forgiving hearts. I pray for love. I pray for those I care about. I pray for upcoming celebrations. And I pray for her.
Goodnight and God bless.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting out there...

My recent road trip has inspired me. I have met my inner self...the funny, random, creative, adventurous being that resides within my broke down body. I want to get to know this person. I want a relationship with her. I want to start taking her on creative excursions. What is a creative excursion you ask? is a regular solo is an investment of my time (doing something I enjoy) is a celebration of myself. I am aware that this sounds absurd...but I think that I need to find pastimes that will make my heart light and force my spirit to fly. I have been cooped up inside myself for too long...I am breaking free!
This is not to say that I have the first idea of how to accomplish this. In fact, I fear that it will be much harder than I anticipate. I am simply not used to having fun by myself. It seems frivolous and self-indulgent. I am preparing for strong emotional resistance. I foresee all the excuses: I am too broke, I am too busy, who will watch the child, maybe next week when I am not so frazzled, excursion requires leaving the house....blah blah blah. I will refuse to give in! I am not too busy for this (if I am then I need to seriously reconsider my priorities!). I need to remember that I have dedicated this year to asking questions: the most essential one I can ask myself is "what is it that I truly love?" I recognize that I am not going to overhaul my life, my home, or even my wardrobe just by taking a few excursions...but it is the beginning of fulfilling the void.
Occasionally I get glimmers of this 'better me'. On a good hair day. When I have had 12 full hours of sleep. When I fit into last years jeans. When I am funny and entertaining. When moments like this happen, I tend to think that all is right with the world. Everything has fallen into place. What I am learning is that it means that all is right with me. I am in the flow of life and loving it. I am in place. I need to learn how to access this flow more frequently. How do I learn to live at full throttle without a burnout?
Meditation helps. So does a long walk. A bubble bath. Being more gentle with myself. Playing with the dog or the girl. But mostly it is being open to change. Welcoming it. Watching. Waiting. It is learning that while I am waiting I must remain conscious. I must think and grow. I must rejoice and dream...but not be afraid to kneel and pray. I must begin by opening the door and letting go.
"You can live a lifetime and, at the end of it, know more about other people than you know about yourself." Beryl Markham. I want to know what other people know about me. I want to start now.

...Romans 14:12 Each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

Yikes. This appointment is unbreakable. I want my account to be beautifully poetic. So tonight I am praying for the strength to live at full throttle. To welcome creative excursions. To seek what defines who I am and what I love. I pray for humor, humility, and honor. I pray for those I love and cherish. I pray for her.
Goodnight and God bless.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's all in the wording....

I have words and I know how to use them. Good words. Funny words. Swear words....I have alot of those. All those words just floating around in my grey matter...and I stumble with "but..but...but...ummm." Really?
Way off sorry. I actually intended to title this post 'Delight' brain just couldn't quite keep up this evening. Let's get going on the correct train of thought shall we? Please?
I have learned alot recently. One of the great payoffs to this "journey toward contentment" is that I have started to recognize peace and comfort in small joys. Little things have begun to mean alot to me. Joyful simplicity nourishes my body and soul by engaging my senses. I am discovering how to live in the present moment.
We all have days in our lives that are marked by great moments of rejoicing and celebration: we marry, the baby is born, the promotion goes through. But life is not an endless round of cake and champagne. There's alot of drudgery to most of our days: dry cleaning to pick up, garbage to put out, bills to pay. To keep my daily grind from being all grind, I have learned to savor the art of the small delights that bring me peace and pleasure.
As I gather these things together I am also learning how to restore my sense of rhythm. Small is not the only one who requires regular bedtime, mealtime and quiet time. I need it too. I am reminded of the steady, reassuring rhythm of the natural world-the ebb and flow of the tides, the recurring cycle of the four seasons, the monthly phases of the moon, and the daily progression from day into night. Rhythm needs to be the cornerstone of my personal world. While everyone leads a busy, frantic, frazzled life...I need to learn where to draw the line and say no.
It seems as if...knowing what brings me peace presents easily. My heart will always tell me what's working and what isn't. I need to start treating my life like a work in progress. Works in progress are never perfect. But changes can be made to the rough draft. Another color can be added to the canvas. The imperfections can be edited. Art evolves. So does life. Art is never stagnant. Neither is life. I am creating not only more peace within my heart...but a more peaceful life for my heart to endure.

...Psalm 101:2 I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.

Tonight I pray for restorative rhythm. I pray for the integrity of my heart. I pray for the peace of simple pleasures. I pray for blessings. I pray for release. I pray for healing. I pray for the people I love and cherish. And I pray for her.
Goodnight and God bless.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Roadtripping 101...

After having just completed a successful roadtrip with my best friend..I decided to dedicate tonight's "Welcome Back" blog to the rules of the road. Get your pencils and paper ready for some serious note-taking. Feel free to apply these rules to your work space, your home space, and your personal space...
Rule 1. Do not let them screw you at the rental counter. You do not have to drive the Cube. Demand an NEED a sweet ride. Oh...and if you are traveling to any state that invites you to are going to want the butt warmers heated seats. Trust me on this one.
Rule 2. Bring enough snacks. You know you are going to need rations...stock the car with caffeine and sugar. Use the extra room from the upgrade to assuade your guilt. It's a long will get hungry.
Rule 3. Pictures are important. But while taking 2000 photos seems like a good have to edit and upload them all when you get home. You don't have time for this. And in reality...all that random and obsessive camera wielding makes for pissed off companions. They don't enjoy it as much as you do...I promise.
Rule 4. Friends can spend multiple days and excessive stretches of time with you and still like you. But that doesn't mean that you can have smelly feet or snore like a mule. (Not that this applies at all to my recent adventure.) And apologize for everything. Even if you don't really know why you are apologizing. want this person to call you when you get home. And they know where you live.
Rule 5. Laughter makes everything better. So it's 14 degrees outside and your car is covered with 4 feet of ice and snow? One frozen little donkey can remedy that. If it makes you cry, snort, or threaten to pee your pants...that's just a bonus. If you have a terrible memory, don't be surprised if you spend 2 days trying to recall what you were laughing so hysterically about though. Added experience points if you are travelling with someone who finds the same shit funny that you do.
Rule 6. Stay with family. Yes they drive you crazy. Yes they are weird and dysfunctional. But free is free. And if you are really lucky, the "laundry fairy" will keep your clothes clean. Plus, your momma never wants to see you starve, broke, or bored. She will cover all those bases. *Rule 6.5: Adopt the family you stay with if you are the passenger. Leave with extra bottles of wine. Wine is good.
Rule 7. Relax. This is a vacation...let it go. There are no rules on vacation. Sleep in if you want, get drunk every night if you want (although know that road trips and hangovers really are not compatible.), lose the map and plot a new course. Lay some ground rules before you leave home...but don't sweat the small stuff. Remember...the ultimate goal is to get away, recharge, and renew. Do that.
Go. Now. "Not all who wander are lost." J. R. R. Tolkien

I don't have a good verse to share with you tonight....feel free to add your own. But I will let you in on my prayer list. I am thankful for safe travels, a warm bed, and rest. I pray for those I love, those I have recently come to know and like, and those I have not yet met. I pray for those who lack creativity..imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. I pray for those who dwell on drama and strive to create it in all aspects of their lives. I pray that they find peace. I pray for a quick week (I have much to celebrate!). And even though I resist and dislike...I pray for her. May she be willing to receive it.
Goodnight and God bless.