Friday, June 30, 2006

rdiva made me cry again

ragamuffin diva: Dead Monkey Babies and Butterflies

wartime prayers

Prayers offered in times of peace are silent conversations,
Appeals for love or love's release
In private invocations
But all that is changed now,
Gone like a memory from the day before the fires.
People hungry for the voice of God
Hear lunatics and liars
Wartime prayers, wartime prayers
In every language spoken,
For every family scattered and broken.

Because you cannot walk with the holy,
If you're just a halfway decent man.
I don't pretend that I'm a mastermind
With a genius marketing plan.
I'm trying to tap into some wisdom,
Even a little drop will do.
I want to rid my heart of envy
And cleanse my soul of rage
Before I'm through.

Times are hard, it's a hard time
But everybody knows all about hard times.
The thing is, what are you gonna do?
Well, you cry and try to muscle through
Try to rearrange your stuff
But when the wounds are deep enough,
It's all that we can bear,
We wrap ourselves in prayer.

Because you cannot walk with the holy,
If you're just a halfway decent man.
I don't pretend that I'm a mastermind
With a genius marketing plan.
I'm trying to tap into some wisdom,
Even a little drop willdo.
I want to rid my heart of envy
And cleanse my soul of rage
Before I'm through.
A mother murmurs in twilight sleep
And draws her babies closer.
With hush-a-byes for sleepy eyes,
And kisses on the shoulder.
To drive away despair

Paul Simon, Surprise

natural disasters

we have found out in the past 36 hours that two of our loved ones have been affected by catastrophes of epic proportions. our compassion son in indonesia, yeremiah and his family lived through the last earthquake in jakarta, but their family has lost it's roof. we're hoping to be of help in getting that replaced. the relief to know they are safe and sound is huge. that part of the world has been so rocked by every health crisis and problem lately. i have no idea of the affect it would have on one so very young.

the other issue is that my sister lives on the tippy top of a mountain in the center of the mess that is happening in the NY/PA flooding. Their home is safe, but their roads and bridges are out. i got an email yesterday that they were down to their last 2 cans of formula and debating using milk. yuck. big sister tried to discourage that experiment as i remember how my own two responded to milk months past where my neice is now.

as she got down to her last can she began to pray. 15 minutes later the fire department called and within a couple of hours they had 2 more cans of formula, 2 packs of pampers and 2 dozen bottles of water. thank you god, thank you fire department - i just love that the needs of my family were met so dramatically in the middle of what so many are enduring in those floods.

any prayers would be appreciated!

Monday, June 26, 2006

did ya really mean it?

liam and i sat at our renovated kitchen table this morning, in our newly settled flat and were both amazed at how peaceful and content we were. it was beautiful. we were blessed to be involved in a neighbor's crisis last night (not blessed that she had to go through it, but that she came to us to help her) and we awoke this morning after a peaceful nights sleep with our children playing quietly and all seemed right with the world.

soon after buck got an invitation to a new family's house across the river. they seem like a wonderful family, people we could really be friends with. i said yes joyfully and headed off to drop him at their home... sigh.

all too soon my little flat looked measly and small. our achievements dwarfed and our belongings shabby. they moved in the same weekend we did (but from vancouver) and are renovating a great east coast rambler. 4 bathrooms, tin ceilings, sweeping staircases and rooms upon rooms, upon rooms... my contentment was quickly shattered. i found it difficult as pink and i shopped for groceries afterward to be present with her. not to be rehearsing my shame in my head.

how can what someone else has make mine less so quickly? we are debt free, have more than we need, centered in rich community and pursuing the education we always dreamed of - and yet... i could cry in my anger at myself for allowing my serenity to be stolen. we are heading there tonight for dinner - they are gracious, funny and fun - but so very far ahead of us materially. and i was just feeling really proud of the home we had created here. how fragile is that contentment? how weak are my words? how frustrated i am with myself because i have picked out the flaws in their lives already to soothe my ravaged calm.

their little boy picks his nose during church... the kitchen did smell a bit like cat pee... they've got to be in mountains of debt............... on and on i go only making myself feel worse instead of better.

i am processing here because of my deep need to be okay at dinner tonight. i want to be friends. i don't want to be that jealous 11 year old who looked at mary's life and never saw her, just all of the things she had. i want to truly be content, truly be sincere and rejoice in the life we have made here. it is just so very hard.

my pies are baking in the oven, i will wipe my tears and take my family in our broken down volvo to their lovely home and rejoice with those who rejoice. please pray that i will be sincere.

UPDATE: dinner was lovely, writing helped a lot. the edges of my pies burned - it was almost was enough to put me out - but i ate a piece and said 'we're bringing ice cream' - i didn't have any - (already had a piece of splenda pie!)

once there i realized they are just normal people with big dreams (a lot of debt) and struggling to make it like us. we had a really nice evening and he taught us how to make pizza - yummy! they also love sushi - so we're going to learn how to make it together. » HOW TO USE A CELLPHONE WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE AN ASSHOLE

great (funny) and very practical reminder on how your cell phone use is affecting the world around you - GO WAITER, GO WAITER!


Friday, June 23, 2006

living your glory

oh he is a wiz of a wiz...

Tea with McNair: "Glory!"

school's out for summer!

yes, we just finished - they go a couple weeks later in the season that the US schools.

when they got home i called everybody into the living room - we all joined hands and then liam and i did the crazy-leg, spastic dance yelling "SCHOOL'S OUT, SCHOOL'S OUT, YIPEE!!!" the kids were so shocked it took them a sec to start dancing too. buck said 'oh, i thought we were going to pray!' :) nice to know we can still surprise them!

so things change once again here... i know i didn't accomplish nearly enough personally in this past season, but i must cut myself some slack because we accomplished so very much on the relocation front. so WELCOME SUMMER!! i will try to embrace you, embrace my full-house, the humidity and heat and find quiet, pockets of cool and solitude along the way.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

light a candle, say a prayer

margaret at just let me know that they have updated and improved the 'light a candle website' - very cool way to join the global prayers being lifted up world-wide.

Light A Candle - Birthday candles, Virtual candles, Votive candles, Memorial candles, Cyber candles - Light candles online

random update

it's been so long since i've written, or at least so much has happened since i wrote last. i hardly know where to start. bronchitis seems to be gone - but lungs still aren't normal. maybe it's just allergies, but i fear i've done something dumb. with all of the renovations of pink's room i had a really cool antiqque mirror in an awesome wooden frame... i sanded it without a mask, not even thinking about old paint - and i am wondering if it was lead paint, and then wondering what lead paint does... i have heard it used to make hatters mad (lead linings in hats)...

i was supposed to see the doctor on tuesday but had to cancel to pick up the owner of our last home - and oh did we have an amazing time together. she is kindred and never before have i met someone who understood so fully what it was like to be a silenced woman in the pb church. she has very similar giftings and callings - and we have shared deeply and bonded already.

her husband is driving their car up, so i got to pick her up alone at the airport. i dropper her off at her home after a tour and said i'd come back to pick her up for supper at our place. she ended up with a horrible migrane and spent the night in pink's bed too ill to move. we spent all of yesterday continuing our 'getting to know you' conversation and had a wonderful time.

at one point she got serious and said 'i never imagined moving away from the best community i've ever had to come to a new place with friends and family already waiting for me.' isn't that sweet? to know that she needed/wants my friendship as much as i need and want hers. it means so much to me. and this woman dreams really BIG!! i can't wait to see what god is doing here!

oh, and i think i'm going to start marketing a new diet... it's called the move twice in four months diet... you gain the weight back in the four months because of the stress, but with the next move it drops right off again... it's an expensive one though - costs about $1000 per pound... but it's nice to be on this side of the 10 lbs instead of the other!

we are also debt free again. we just couldn't stand the debt. we become different people with debt - we wanted to be who we were before the unemployment so we cashed out one of our 'major' (ha) investments stateside and paid off everything. after that happened we even got 3 suprises from uncle sam. i guess the pastor who had been doing our taxes didn't take some child tax benefit for the past 4 years and we got 3 nice little bonuses. i call them 'god's savings accounts' - they would have been negligible to us back then, but now we get to enjoy this manna from above. one went to installing a dishwasher in the apartment - thank you jesus! i call it the 'magic box' - dirty dishes in, sparkling dishes out - ta da! i feel like a magician every time i open it! it's really the difference of being on top of my housework or spending far too much time in the kitchen.

one of the good things about being without it for a season was that pink and buck learned that filling and emptying a dishwasher isn't really as bad as they used to think it was! HA! it is fun though to sit in the living room after dinner and listen to them wash the dishes together. pink washes and buck dries and puts away - they have quite the little system going. very cute.

when we first moved in pink said 'oh yah, i don't have to load/unload the dishwasher anymore!' i said 'yah, but now you have to wash dishes.' she said 'oh yay - i love to wash dishes' me 'well pink, unfortunately you'll find that there is a difference between i 'get' to wash dishes and i 'have' to wash dishes.' they both cheered when we picked up the dishwasher! :)

well, the family is stirring - thanks for your prayers and concern about my health - it's meant a lot to me, and i don't think we would have gotten through this past month without it! ttfn!

Monday, June 19, 2006

why didn't i ever have these guys for science class?

this is a great way to spend 3 minutes of your life watching this - so creative! - Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment

psa - muscle cramps and chills

just a friendly public service announcement for anyone trying to google answers to their muscle cramps and chills - MAGNESIUM!

anyone who has read my blog for awhile knows that i struggled with intense cold chills. it could be the middle of summer and i could still be wracked with debilitating cold chills. also my muscles had started to cramp so badly i couldn't kneel, i was getting shooting cramps up my ribcage and foot and leg cramps would wake me out of deep sleep.

i was at church the other day trying to clear past liam in the chairs and i got a muscle cramp in my leg. the woman we were talking to said 'magnesium' - pardon? magnesium is what you need to deal with muscle cramps. i said i thought it was potassium, she said 'nope, magnesium'.

so here i am a couple weeks past that and i've been taking 3 magnesium tablets a day every day and i am cramp and chill free. it is a good thing!

such a good thing i can't believe that my doctor of five years (who i complained to every time i saw her...) never ONCE did the calcium/magnesium test or just recommended it. maybe this is a deep, dark secret?? don't know - but i have found an answer and just wanted to pass it on to you.

(i also have a sneaking suspicion it will help with migranes as i haven't had even the hint of a headache or tension in my neck or scalp - worth giving it a try???)

UPDATE: i'm also sleeping better and dreaming again, go figure???

Sunday, June 18, 2006

when i grow up i want to write like jo(e)

i have been reading jo(e)'s blog for a couple of months now as a lurker. i have been so impressed by her ability to name her circle of life and those who dwell there.

she writes of 'boy in black' and 'generous hyper woman' - i have always longed to be a namer. one who calls forth something within those i love. i wonder what i would be called? what about you?

jo(e)'s page

Friday, June 16, 2006

the haters have found me!

the haters have found me! somehow i've gotten a link from lighthouse trails (i won't do them the favor of linking back - you'll have to do the search yourself) on their rob bell page. they've used my blog as a link for one of their quotes - which i have no idea how i got chosen for it. i have posted about rob, but i don't know where that quote was from???

so, if you've gotten to me from lighthouse trails - hi, welcome - you'll find grace here. i know it pains you that the kingdom is far bigger than you can control or imagine - but we're all gonna be in heaven so you might as well welcome us now! peace on your journey!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

how appropriate!

Your Inner European is Swedish!

Relaxed and peaceful.
You like to kick back and enjoy life.

see, i told you i need an ikea store! : The skinny on trans fats in fast food

as a child i was raised on trans fats - my binge food of choice was filled with it that horrible white cream filling. liam and i have banned it from our home for almost a year now and it gives me a lot of peace knowing that i won't be doing to my kids what was done to us.

we need to put pressure on fast food and grocery stores here in canada to clean up their acts. raising children in this fast paced culture sometimes necessitates quick meals - our options are very limited at times. even the loblaws chain of grocery stores still has tons of trans fats in their bakery section of the store.

here is a great article from the globe & mail regarding kids quick meals at the big chains: : The skinny on trans fats in fast food

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the most incredible bird ever!


antibiotic #3

okay, i'm getting really sick of this bronchitis not clearing up. the dr. put me on z-pac today and the mass dose has wiped me out - hopefully the germs feel the same way.

hope you're all enjoying health and wholeness today!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

settling in

well we're in and it feels SOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!

to know that we don't have to move for a decent amount of time has all of us breathing a sigh of relief. thanks for your prayers!

now i just have to go back and clean the other house before the owners move in next week... sigh.

we JUST got online and while i have missed catching up on all of your lives (and blogging mine - why is it you can think of so many things to blog about when you have NO access to the internet??) i have gotten so much done. the kitchen is all set up and it's so wonderful to have my blue & white dishes out again! i kept them in storage for this last move, and it was like christmas opening the boxes and unwrapping each precious item. they are a mix and match hodge podge of dishes mostly collected by my mother-in-law and she passed them on to me. i have added a lot of unique pieces and tea pots - and i even have a china cabinet (left by the owners) to display it all in. it looks really pretty.

it was so fun to hear people's comments as they helped us move (over 20 people showed up in the pouring rain on saturday to help us move - this is an amazing community!). most of my decorations were up on the walls already and it really felt like home. most of all my refitted chandelier was installed by my blessed husband in the foyer and it looks so very grand! i'll make sure to include a picture as it was also in storage and i had forgotten what a beautiful piece it is. it was a couple of bucks at a garage sale, painted gun metal grey - dull as ashes - but i saw it's potential and took it all apart, painted it and liam re-wired it for me.

once i had put it all back together i realized it wasn't the kind that had the place for the cute little lampshades, all of the bulbs were upside down - pointing at the floor. we brainstormed for weeks trying to figure out what to do. we tried to re-fit ceiling fan shades and all sorts of glass. nothing worked. we then set upon the idea of having to craft beaded shades for each of the five bulbs. we knew that was going to be tons of work - and then we saw the pre-made ribbon with the bead fringe and a couple yards later we had a glorious lamp.

people actually gasp when they see it. it's so pretty that i feel unworthy of it - isn't that weird? something i made myself - but it's so pretty that i feel it's almost past me... says far too much about my self esteem doesn't it?

oh well - we're in and back online and i can't wait to catch up on all of your lives again! missed you!

Friday, June 09, 2006

please be an organ donor

Orange County Weekly:

"Jim Gilliam can sound like the slickest Hollywood producer when he seamlessly slides into a sales pitch for organ donations. Simply filling out the DMV form when you renew your driver’s license and affixing the donor sticker to your license is apparently not enough. Gilliam urges potential donors to visit, join the national registry and make your loved ones aware of your intentions."

“Any donor can save eight lives,” he says in a way that makes you think of eight total strangers and not the man you’re looking at, the man in desperate need of two lungs.

Share Your Life

still praying jim!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

almost there

almost everything has been done at the new apartment (why is it so hard for me to admit we're moving into an apartment - it's the top 2 floors of a huge home - but it's not all our's, and somehow it feels a bit like going backwards... i know it's exactly where we need to be right now - it's affordable, and buying here until we know if we're staying would be dumb - but 'renting' just seems so transient somehow... it's not, but i have had such trouble admitting it... weird.)

i'm on my second batch of antibiotics for the bronchitis and would really like it to clear up SOON! trying to move in the middle of this is exhausting - but i'm getting tons done and my sleepless times are spent packing boxes - so i guess it's the way it's supposed to be...

i'm feeling much less fragile lately - which is a great thing. i don't know if it was admitting it here, going to the meeting, or just this massive deadline that has foreshadowed everything else in my life - but i'm feeling much stronger emotionally - thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!

found out that the landlords will be here a whole week earlier - and i might go and pick them up at the airport - i figure it will be a good time for them to get to know me, and me to be able to show my gratitude to them for their generosity.

well, off to finish the last touches at the apartment today and to start to unpack my kitchen. (moving tip - if you are moving locally open topped boxes and laundry baskets work great if you have access to your new home early - that way things can be unpacked quickly and put in place so that your new place isn't filled with stacked up boxes when you arrive, that is if you can't get access to shopping carts! HA!)

Monday, June 05, 2006

i made it

well, i went to the evening meeting last night. it was so hard to make myself go, but i did.

people were very friendly and there were 2 leads given. they were both wonderful stories of recovery. i found it difficult though to connect with the stories emotionally. i know i could be an alcoholic if i started drinking - i can use varied and sundry substances and behaviors to avoid emotions and soothe my ravaged soul - but i couldn't connect. if they were talking about drinking cake mix from the bowl while crouched down next to your fridge on the floor so your children don't see you it would have moved me deeply, but stories of fighting in bars and waking up hung over, while intense, weren't similar to mine.

i also realized that one of the biggest parts of recovery for me is being able to share my story. i have no idea if it would even be allowed as i don't have a lot of alcohol related stories. i scared myself pretty badly in high school and knew i'd be dead if i kept drinking - so it's been a lot of years since i was in the middle of that risky behavior. anyone with aa experience ever been at a meeting where someone shared about a different addiction?

the closest oa meeting is 2 1/2 hours away... i'm going to call the contact number i have found for the aa meetings to find out how to navigate this. i know it is better than nothing, but i didn't feel that instant bond of 'kindred spirits' like i have in other recovery groups... any e/s/h on this one?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

a fiercer lonliness


It's not because I'm now too old,
More wizened than you guess..

If I say no, it's only
Because I fear that yes
Would bring me nothing, in the end,
But a fiercer loneliness.

by Lady Ki No Washika


Saturday, June 03, 2006

12-Step as Coded Gospel

i woke up to this in my inbox - thought it was appropriate as i head to my meeting this morning:

God seems to be the one obvious and essential person in attendance at most AA meetings I have ever attended, yet there are no icons, candlesticks, vestments, stained-glass windows, or pipe organs in sight. How can this be? Is this perhaps what Dietrich Bonhoeffer meant by the "religionless Christianity" that he saw as the future?

Richard Rohr

Continue reading at inward/outward

Friday, June 02, 2006

breakfast club

deb at abiding posted today about honest maintenance of her program and i realized in reading her post how very far i have slipped in my own. hope and i speak often and both rail at our inability to get our butts to a meeting. i asked deb if she could kick me to one, she reached out and sent me the website of meetings in my area.

i've never been to an AA meeting before. my most active addiction is compulsive overeating. i am also a recovering sexual addict. i have not had a drink for so long that i can hardly remember, but it's been at least 15 years if not longer. this week i have started fantasizing about the social aspect of drinking. pretending in my new community like i could be the kind of woman who could call up a friend and go and have a drink. they wouldn't know. how comfortable the lubricated life looks to me. i realized that i am dancing on a razor's edge right now.

i am binging to maintain my sexual abstinence. i haven't broken my 'no chocolate, no sugar' abstinence, but my portions are out of control and i am finding comfort in things like cheese and bread. i'm just so edgy that the fear of becoming out of control with pornography or masterbation again terrifies me and i stuff myself with food to medicate away the stress that i'm not dealing with.

deb taking the time to send me that email showed me that tomorrow morning at 9:30 there is a meeting one block behind my house. i'm intimidated. i probably wouldn't classify to most as an alcoholic - but i know that could change with one drink. so i need to be there. more than i need just about anything right now. there's also another meeting 3 blocks down the street from me on sunday night. i want to be there too. they don't interfere with liam's work schedule or the kids - this i need to do for me. would you please pray that i'll get there? i really need this.

UPDATE: well, i grabbed my umbrella, walked in the rain and no one was there. the lights were out, no cars, door locked... oh well. i showed up. so don't stop praying - i need to go tomorrow night, k? went to the women's ministry at church instead. it was important i was there.

cool thing happened though on my walk from the non-existent meeting to the church. as i was walking in the quiet of the rain i hear 'applause', like a roaring crowd. i looked to my right and there was a poplar tree and with the wind blowing through the leaves is sounded like clapping. it felt like god was cheering my showing up.