Thursday, August 31, 2006

someone let the air out

i feel like someone has let the air out me. i am exhausted.

two days of long drives and day trips. pooped me out.

i have lots i want to blog on - but i don't have the energy for it today.

kids have play dates and i'm taking a nap.

Monday, August 28, 2006

p!nk - conversations with my 13 year old self

darren at alternative hymnal has a great post on a song i wasn't familiar with by p!nk called 'conversations with my 13 year old self' - i know that i and some other blogging women i've spoken to have a real struggle with embracing that child within - that scared little girl or teen we were.

i think by doing so we heal somehow. p!nk does that here so beautifully:

Conversations with my thirteen year old self
Conversations with my thirteen year old self

You’re angry
I know this
The world couldn’t care less
You’re lonely
I feel this
And you wish you were the best
No teachers
Or guidance
And you always walk alone
You’re crying
At night when
Nobody else is home

Come over here and let me hold your hand and hug you darling
I promise you that it won’t always feel this bad
There are so many things I want to say to you
You’re the girl I used to be
You little heartbroken thirteen year old me

You’re laughing
But you’re hiding
God I know that trick too well
You forget
That I’ve been you
And now I’m just the shell
I promise
I love you and
Everything will work out fine
Don’t try to
Grow up yet
Oh just give it some time

The pain you feel is real you’re not asleep but it’s a nightmare
But you can wake up anytime
Oh don’t lose your passion or the fighter that’s inside of you
You’re the girl I used to be
The pissed off complicated thirteen year old me

Conversations with my thirteen year old self
Conversations with my thirteen year old self

Until we meet again
Oh I wish you well oh
I wish you well
Little girl
Until we meet again
I wish you well
Little girl
I wish you well
Until we meet again
My little thirteen year old me

darren also has a brilliant idea for youth pastors or parents of teens to create media interviews of what they would tell their 13 year old self to show to the teens at their churches. i think this would be incredibly powerful - he says it brilliantly here:

The Alternative Hymnal » Pink - Conversations With My 13 Year Old Self

the higher road

i have found in most of my life that i rarely take the higher road. even when i'm right i burn myself by my emotional reactions to incidents rather than keeping my mouth shut and allowing the other person to look the fool, or to be shown for their bad reactions.

'respond, don't react' is one of my favorite recovery principles. i try to remember it... and when i do i find that i am better for it.

one of the only ways to engage my father in community is to play cards. so we have a family game that i have grown up playing that is quite involved (6 decks) and it's usually a full evenings entertainment playing together. it beats sitting in the living room with the tv blaring to sports night or some other dumb sport show (sorry...)

last night we again started to shuffle the cards and play. it was an amazing weekend. we had a picnic over the river at a friend's home. so much of our community was there and it was a real time of interaction and blessing. yesterday my two kiddos were baptized (i'll blog about this later) and it was one of the most amazing days of a mom's life.

when it was all over i realized how exhausted i really was. it was like someone let the air out of me. i had nothing left to give. buck's little friend was there for dinner and if liam hadn't bbq'd burgers i think we would have starved. i could hardly put thoughts together to think of all that needed to be done.

i shouldn't have agreed to play cards. i really shouldn't have. but i knew that not playing meant everyone else would be left with nothing to do. i had a new good book to read and sleep was calling me - but i figured sleep can come after tuesday.

it's always men vs. women. and we were winning. i had the cards in the second hand to go out and asked my partner if i could - it was a quick hand and i was going to 'set' the guys with negative points. my father is one of the most competitive people i know. i have relinquished everything competitive in my life because i can see the same nature in me and i loathe it. i really wasn't goading him, i just had the cards and really just wanted the game to be over. i didn't realize that we didn't have one of the requirements for going out and he finally caught it and came after me. his reaction was way over the top and i sat there dazed.

he was like a school yard bully. competition brings out the worst of my father. it has my whole life. normally i have the resources to take it. normally i just internalize whatever he says and does and count it as my bad. i had learned in the 5 years we lived together learned to begin to stand up for myself, but what that usually meant was me over-reacting to his reaction and me looking like the over-emotional idiot and hurting my cause. definitely taking the low road.

last night i was just able to see his reaction for what it was, kind of outside my body. say 'whoa, that was a huge over-reaction, if you had just pointed out that i missed this kindly i would have just passed.' but as i sat there i became so sad, so very, very sad. i could feel my lip starting to quiver and my emotions were starting to kick in. for me it's way easier to funnel sad emotions into anger as it's empowering, sadness leaves me feeling out of control. so i sat there fighting between an all-out weep and wanting to tell him off.

i battled myself for a couple of minutes and then realized that neither was a good option for me. so i said 'i'm done. i've got a good book to read and i'm done.' and walked away. they were all stunned and argued with me and i said 'i have worked so hard these past couple of weeks to make things as nice as possible for your vacation. i'm too tired to do this now and i don't want to say things i would regret or that would hurt you.'

he argued with me again and i was so tempted to lay into him. my arm raised, my finger pointed and the words were forming in my mouth. again, i saw 'me' from outside of myself and said outloud 'no, i'm not going to do this, i'm going away so i don't say anything i will regret'. i grabbed 'the princess and the goblin' and went to read to my kids.

it was the right move. i felt so good about setting that boundary and saying 'i will not be treated like this'. i was tempted to get angry and fight back and put him in his place. everything i would have said would have been the truth - but it would not have been spoken in love.

by taking the higher road i was able to leave him there looking like a bully instead of hiding his actions in my over-reactions.

he came into pink's room to apologize, but i said 'not now'. i really wanted it to be more than just a hug - i wanted him to be forced to talk to me and really clear this up. he was really offended, but i knew dealing with this in front of my kids would be unfair to them. after i tucked the kids in i went into the living room and said 'i'm heading to bed, if you'd like to talk about this i'll be in my room'.

he came in and sat at the edge of my bed and i didn't say a word. it forced him to talk. he started to say 'my reaction really wasn't that bad...' i responded at the tone and level of the words he said to me and it made him literally jump. i think he finally understood how intense he is. he finally got it. i have endured his vented, inappropriate anger my whole life and he has excused himself because he never realized how over-the-top he really was. by startling him i think i finally got through.

i wasted five years of standing up for myself instead of using his own actions to teach him how damaging he was to me. i felt so heard by him. something that i don't think has happened over a dozen times in our 40 years together.

it felt so good. i was able to explain how hard i worked this week. how it wasn't a 'vacation' for me. how i wanted it to be nice for him and my aunt, but that i was just plain tired out. that i didn't have the brains to play cards and i really didn't have the resources to argue with him.

he apologized to me and asked if i wanted to have a meal together today. he hugged me a couple of times and told me he loved me. it was nice. he never said the magic 'i'm proud of you' words - but it was more than i could have hoped for. and i know that it helped him too to really have a full-circle interaction with someone. we all screw up and step in it. but by denying it in our shame, pretending it didn't happen or coating it over in future kind gestures to compensate we are never allowed the full-circle of redemption.

owning our junk, apologizing for it and looking that wounded person in the eyes while you do it allows for it to build a bridge between your souls. gaining forgiveness and nurturing the relationship is what we all long for. all of the other options are just shellac and varnish that crust over and harden our hearts and make us in the end farther away from each other and denying what we truly want and desire.

confess your sins one to another, pray for each other and you will be healed.

james 5:16
it really works!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

strike two

well, after high hopes after blogging yesterday i was unable to connect with my dad. it's sad. i have to stop with the expectations. i build myself up and get so disappointed.

oh well - at least today we'll be out and about being tourists.

my aunt and i are having a ball though - she is so much fun. i told hope last night that if being with said miserable dad was payment to get my aunt here it is worth it. i don't think she would have travelled without him.

pray for whale sightings today please!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


i have said for quite some time that i do not have the gift of hospitality. that is truly being put to the test this summer. i have found that our little flat (and boy does it feel little right now!) has become a safe place for loved ones on extended stays.

david at post protestant
this morning started my mind down this path and i remembered a post by bob carlton on hospitality that i had earmarked in my bloglines months ago.

i truly believe that hospitality is mis-defined in most of our churches today. it's become somehow commercialized and slicked up, even in our own homes - so the pressure to be perfect and shine-y is overwhelming to those of us who aren't.

i wrote earlier this month that when i found out that my father and favorite aunt wanted to stay with me for a full two weeks i decided to take that as a compliment instead of allowing it to totally freak me out. yesterday was hard. my father is different - very different. he doesn't have the crutches of his own apartment in our home to run to here and his desire to disengage is far more evident this past week. it makes me feel rejected, inadequate and very sad. because my aunt and i are getting on so very well it is far more obvious that he is choosing this, most likely out of great fear of inadequacy or rejection? i can't imagine either because i love him so much - and just would love to connect with him - but we just can't seem to find that thread to pull us closer together.

re-reading bob's post this morning made me cry - he emphasizes that in the bible it tells us to welcome 'stranger, alien, widow and orphan' into our midst. my father qualifies for each of those. i so long to welcome him. i so long to connect. he is walking into the living room as i type. i'll leave you with bob's words as i try.

According to Henri Nouwen, hospitality is the "creation of a space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy." In his book Reaching Out, Nouwen reminds us that "hospitality" in the Bible reflects the conditions in the biblical world where motels and hotels were not available. In the Bible, God's people are taught to welcome the stranger, the alien, the widow, and the orphan into our midst, because God's people were once themselves strangers in a foreign land (referring especially to the Israelites' enslavement in Egypt). Nouwen says that such hospitality consists of these facets:

1. Free and friendly space - creating physical, emotional, and spiritual space for the newcomer to join us

2. Stranger becomes a guest - in that atmosphere of hospitality, the stranger is treated like a guest and potential friend

3. Guest protected - hospitality requires that we offer protection or "sanctuary" to the guest

4. Host gives gifts - the host welcomes the guest by providing the best gifts possible

5. Guest gives gifts - in that environment of hospitality, the guest often reciprocates and gives gifts to the host, too

6. Poverty of heart and mind - in order for us as hosts to receive the "gifts" that our guests bring, we need an attitude which Nouwen calls "poverty of heart and mind" - in other words, we have to believe that we don 't know it all and have not experienced it all, but we are receptive to learn from newcomers

7. All guests are important, gifted - in the environment of hospitality, we discover that all guests are important and gifts, even those we might least suspect

8. Acceptance, not hostility - Nouwen reminds us that hospitality is based upon acceptance, not hostility, especially the kinds of subtle hostility which makes fun of newcomers or puts the newcomer into embarrassing situations

9. Compassion - hospitality is basically a sense of compassion, a realization that we are more alike than we are different

10. Confrontation, honesty - hospitality is not being a doormat to the guest, it includes confronting one another in honesty, as well as with compassion.

11. God as the ultimate Host - hospitality reminds us that we are all guests of God who is the ultimate Host who welcomes us.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

the unexamined life

i realized a couple of weeks ago that the unexamined life just isn't nearly as interesting as the intentional one. i have found a counselor and see him this morning. it's been over 20 years now that i've been 'in counselling' most recently i've had female counselors. i'm looking forward to a new perspective.

i find that they help pick at the loose threads in this tapestry of my life. find the areas that are covering over wounds or confusion and unravel the knots to find out what really lies underneath. no big crisis - just a deep desire to go deeper.

i originally decided against seeing him because he was so very different than anyone i've seen before. his life experience and perspective are worlds apart than where i've come from - he's so calm, peaceful and methodical - i think i feared i'd freak him out with my stuff. i can be overwhelming at times... then i realized that i wanted some of what he had. he is a man of peace, passionate about justice, compassionate about helping the poor and the hurting. i figured out that many times i am the 'poor and the hurting'. if i could sense that in the few months we've been here i knew that i could trust him to have compassion toward me and my story.

so an appointment made weeks ago seems very well timed in the middle of this family visit. i look forward to pulling at the threads today.

Monday, August 21, 2006

aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh the walls are closing in!

okay - it's day 7 of 14 and we're starting to pick at each other... bossy dad, bossy aunt and i've got my period... pray for me!

it's raining here and my kids are bored silly and my dad doesn't want to do anything but take my husband (and my car) and go fishing... welcome to my childhood.

my aunt is insisting (god bless her) on getting all the curtains done. i had a vision for my living room and everyone ganged up on me telling me over and over that it wasn't going to look good, that i needed to change this or that... and i kept to my plan and held my guns - it looks stunning (and they all have had to eat their words! HA!)

she wants to frou-frou up everything and i want it minimal and clean - modern even. not country and fuffy and it's really pushing my buttons. i'm trying to be heard, trying to speak my truth and stay the course - but it almost seems easier to let her make what she wants and throw them away after she leaves... we have finally agreed on the kitchen curtains - clean, block valance over my blinds. it will work for both of us. i just can't imagine what my bedroom ones will look like... she wants to mix fabrics and it's making my skin crawl. i just had to get away for a bit to type this out so that i didn't vent on her - or my dad who for some odd reason feels the need to voice his opinion (of course taking her side) on my curtains... he lived with us for 5 years and couldn't have cared less. why now? ugh.

i love them both dearly - i just wish we could have about 12 hours apart to clear our heads...

it's hard to watch my dad lately - he's so disengaged. liam keeps saying "invite, invite, invite" - all we can do - but i want to "insist, insist, insist" - and it's not working. he came to church yesterday and it was it's usual wonderful-ness - and he said NOTHING about it. my aunt loved it and is excited for us - but he was silent and distant. i really hope it's all churning inside of him. i'm sure he'll vent about it to my aunt on the trip home. or not... he's such a closed book lately.

and he's ALWAYS got the t.v. on - right in the middle of everything. we're all trying to talk and communicate and he's watching espn LOUD - i'm about ready to move it up to the room he's sleeping in just to be rid of the noise. although then we'd never see him. who travels 1000's of miles to watch television??

pray for me!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

waffles and beachcombing

i made these this morning for my family and they were wonderful! we're headed to show my aunt and father the east side of the ocean! have a great day!

Buttermilk Pecan Waffles Recipe

Friday, August 18, 2006

today we remember to live and to love

i'm typing in my lap on the laptop my hubby has just been given by a friend, a dear, dear friend. he saw the need in liam to have a tool for his graphics and art and this is it. he switched to a mac a bit ago and this was just 'there'. he really wanted to sell it - but just felt burdened to give it to liam. what generosity and love.

so i'm in my bedroom typing - this feels so weird.

i awoke with the lyrics to the superchick song in my head:

we live, we love,
we forgive and never give up
cause days we are given are gifts from above
and today we remember to live and to love.

this is such a gift. having my dad and aunt here. god orchestrated this one.

my dad and i are traversing new territory. he can see and feel the changes in me. he isn't a very conversational man. if you get him talking about history or subjects he knows and loves (hunting, fishing, sports...) he will chat your ears off (minnesota language systems - garrison keillor) but to just sit and be present and engage in a conversation - very unheard of. he asks questions sometimes which shows he wants to engage but doesn't really know how.

he's been trying to 'define me' (or redefine??) and has been asking

(okay i'm back on my trusty old compy - there must have been a shortcut on the laptop keyboard because it kept publishing my blog... i only have a small window to blog in this a.m. so i want to get it all out)

he's been asking me if i'm going to get a job at a pharmacy, or as a secretary (like i always have)- i finally had to say 'i've decided dad that since they'll let me serve here at this church, and there is so much in this area that needs done, i'm going to be doing kingdom work every chance i get'

then later yesterday he said 'so, you're taking classes too, right? are you going to get a counseling degree?'

i said 'no dad, these people believe women can minister too and i will have a masters in ministry and be pastoring a church with liam when this is done.'

what happened inside of my body when i said those words was something that never happened before. blood rushed into my head, i felt dizzy and floaty and exhilarated and terrified. i never realized before that i have NEVER so clearly stated to my father my call, my gifts and my passion. my aunt was sitting there (orchestrated by god for moral support) and my dad didn't say much after that. it's not uncommon for him to leave responses to his questions lie. as i said above he's not much of a conversationalist. he just sat there for a minute and then went upstairs.

i told my aunt about what happened in my body when i said those words. how i had never spoken up for myself with him before. i honestly never realized it. i would have thought i had passed this ground before - but i hadn't. never. afterward i felt like i should go up and apologize to him. i told my aunt that and she said 'for what?' - i realized i spoke my truth in love, i didn't disrespect him, but i didn't cow-tow to his belief system either. this was a huge step for me.


he came down later just like nothing had transpired. which too is par for the course. but not my course. never my course again. i'm not playing that game ever again.

he can look at me and see how much healthier, happier and content i am here. he knows it. he can sense it in his bones. deep within him is calling to deep within me - i have found my deep (well some of it at least). and it feels so good. i have verbalized my call. i hope to be able to unwrap it a bit for him - but if i don't have the opportunity it will be because of his fear, and not my own.

i thought this morning about him bragging on his kids. he had just come from a family funeral, and a big fishing trip with people from the camp i grew up at - so he had lots of people to 'fill in' in the past month with how his kids are doing. he mentioned yesterday that he hadn't understood liam's job well and didn't explain it well to people. it made me think about what he's going to tell people about me. the circles he runs in are very conservative. i think he'd rather have me backslidden or even doing something as shameful as prostituting myself so he wouldn't have to say 'my daughter is a pastor'... oh the irony is so sweet i can taste it.

my aunt's confirmation of my words was just as sweet - sweeter even. she is so proud of me. she gets it. she knew my mom like her own sister. she knew she was strangled by those beliefs as much as i was. she sees the redemption here even if he can't.

so today i will love my father, appreciate him for all he is and celebrate what i have of our relationship and if given the chance try to blow a bit more air into the balloon of his belief system so he would be more able to appreciate my own.

today we remember to live and to love.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

safe, sound and settling in

well they're here and it's so good to see them. i didn't realize how much i missed my dad. my aunt and i have been having such wonderful talks and comiserating about women in the church. she attends an lutheran church with a female pastor and just loves it. she's so supportive of me and my desire for ministry - it's so nice to have her on my 'side'.

we've spent today measuring my living room windows and cutting the fabric for the drapes. i had put it off until she got here because i have no confidence in my own abilities to manage such a big job. and while my fabric only cost $1/yard i still really like it (and it's a lot of fabric) and i was so afraid i'd screw something up and waste all of it. nice to have her experienced hands and mind here.

both my aunt and father have voiced how much our apartment feels so cozy, homey and warm. my aunt called it a great big hug. my in-laws felt the same when they were here - so i guess we have created a nice little nest here. it's wonderful for me to have that validated as it's been what i've spent so much of my time on since we moved in. i know we love it here - but it's so nice to hear it from others. my dad told me today he liked this space even more than our home in pennsylvania. yay! getting compliments from him can be few and far between sometimes.

i spoke with hope last week about wanting my father to tell me he was proud of me while he was here. somehow that is something that i have longed for forever. his validation means so much to me. hope reminded me that people tell us those things with different words sometimes - she encouraged me to listen carefully to what he did say instead of hoping for 'magic words' that would make it all better. i love that perspective, it's so much more graceful and removes the expectations i can build up for myself, and him - and allows us both to just enjoy our time together more fully.

pray all is well in your world!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Save :: Add Your Voice

charlie at travels with blood:water mission blog says this:
When President Bush became president 6 years ago, he mentioned the Rwandan Genocide and remarked, "Not on my watch!". I visited a website recently, and sent a digital post card to the White House reminding them of this, and encouraging them to do what they can to bring an end to the merciless killing of innocents in Sudan. It literally only takes half a minute, and I believe, is a great way to use our voice. Please check out this site, and consider sending an e-card. There's not always a lot we can do in these situations, but we have the information, and this is something simple that shows we care, and encourages our leaders to do the same. After all, they represent us. Thanks for considering this, my friends!

Save :: Add Your Voice

readying for company

well we're less than 24 hours away from picking up my dad and aunt at the airport tomorrow. i think we're ready.

i've spent the last couple of days adding finishing touches and settling into the next layer of nesting here. more art hung, clutter that has accumulated in the past month swept away and the place is looking better than ever. company always has a great affect on that for me. no longer do we do it 'for company' though like we used to.

i grew up with a very sick mother - so we only really cleaned (which was really not cleaning, more like hiding) when someone was coming over. since i've started recovery i've learned that i am enough of a reason to have a tidy, ordered home. i like it that way, and i always want to teach my own children that by modelling it for them. they are so much farther ahead of the game than liam and i ever were.

so posting might be light(er... as i haven't been posting much - or it might be heavy, heavy, heavy if i'm needing to vent!) HA!

have a great day - i'm so looking forward to getting to go to the 'big city' (which on a scale of all of the major metropolitan areas i've lived by is a joke - but it feels big compared to what we've been exposed to lately) tomorrow. ttfn!

Friday, August 11, 2006

i need pictures

i my last post 'i need words' i was finding it hard to put into words why i'm struggling so lately. i've been coasting and feeling guilty about it. many of you reminded me that it's okay to coast sometimes, but i knew in my soul i was treading into a danger zone and my serenity was busted.

what i didn't realize was that i didn't need words as much as i needed pictures. this morning in the wee hours while laying in bed i was given two images/visions/metaphors that have helped me put how i'm feeling into a bigger picture.

the first one was a large teeter-totter (it had to be large because liam and i were on it!) he at one end and i at the other. in between us there was this gigantic, cumbersome ball - not smooth or sleek - this ball was knotted, twisted and put together from lots of different bits. it almost looked like a huge rubberband ball, but with bits of floss, string and knots added in.

liam was rising to the top and that huge ball started to head toward me as i crashed to the bottom of the "totter". not only did i have to deal with the one being 'down' i had this massive ball rolling toward me.

i don't know if this is true in any other marriages (co-dependency?) but there is this large mass of psychic energy (not like 'psychic-network psychic - but all of the unsaid, unwound, undealt with gunk that floats in our lives) that swirls in our relationship. somehow only one of us can be healthy (emotionally and physically, maybe even spiritually) at a time. it is very, very rare that we are actually BOTH working our programs and not having to shoulder this massive ball of mixed up, unwound junk.

i don't know if this is at all clear - but it helped me loads... i confronted liam a couple of weeks ago (since he preached...) that things were off kilter again. he was finding too much of himself 'out there' instead of the centered man i had come to know in the past couple of months. he heard me (gosh he is so gracious) and did a u-turn. he started doing his pages again and got organized at work and really has restored what had started slipping away. (yes, i know it was extremely co-dependent of me to feel it was my responsibility to do so, and that is part of the core of the problem...)

i am now the one who isn't writing, who is slipping in her program, who isn't 'THE HEALTHY ONE'... i am shouldering the 'ball' and feeling the weight of the unexamined life. HA! it feels like i've been given a key, or at least motivation! balance is so crucial in my/our life. i have been pouting this week because i haven't been able to participate in much of the festivities this week here in town (cocoa - don't want to blog the name here because it's too easy to find...). feeling left out and alone while everyone else gets to go play with 'the devil'. it just triggered far too much.

so instead of being sad today while they do all of the 'fun stuff' i am going to enjoy my re-arranged altar, light some candles and spend some much needed time alone with god, my journal and the guide i've been using (so very slowly...). it might not restore all of the balance, but it will give me some centering time.

the second image i was given was of a piece of bread floating on the water. it was so calm, so peaceful - and then fish started coming up and picking at it, ducks and gulls flew in and started to peck at it - and parts of it were disappearing and holes were starting to appear.

a soggy, floating, picked apart piece of bread... that's how i feel. i've said 'yes' to too many things that are nebulous and undefined lately. all good things, but i have no clear understanding of what i'm supposed to be doing to help. assisting a friend launch a huge new program at the university, taking a casual job as a personal assistant to a computer/blogging whiz here in town, editing a book of a good friend, committing to the south africa trip and all of it's fund-raising necessities - all very undefined parameters. there just isn't enough of 'me' to go around.

then there are the realities of life. my roles as a woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, niece are all coming into play:
  • as i ready my kids (and myself & husband) for school in 25 days (YAY!!)
  • the unbalanced role i play helping liam with his job
  • my children have morphed into tweens before my eyes this summer and i am rejoicing/grieving the changes without the time to truly do so
  • my sister and her husband were in the horrible mess of the flooding, he is jobless, his unemployment checks have just ended and now he has injured himself on his 4-wheeler so he is unable to work - she is as physically unhealthy as she's ever been and they are now considering going on welfare to get through this (while living on the tippy top of a mountain with their 10 mo. old daughter (off the grid... how do you haul water and wood to prepare for winter when you have crushed a vertebrae in your back???)
  • my father and favorite aunt will be here in 6 days for TWO WEEKS in our lovely efficient apartment - which for the four of us works well - but for SIX of us it will need to be an orchestration of grace and energy.
  • all during my favorite TIME OF THE MONTH... sigh.
well - i guess i needed to list all of that out more than you probably had to read it - but it has helped me to see why i'm feeling so pecked at and pulled apart. i take on far too much responsibility (even without being asked to do so) than i should for each and every one of these things, but they just creep up on me, pecking away at my energy and soul. i guess i have let my boundaries get really soggy in all of this somehow... why is it that we can't see this happen? wouldn't it be amazing if we had flags that popped up to remind us that we are allowing these things to happen? i guess that is why we (I) need serenity and the clarity that recovery brings to see those psychic red flags that are there, but i'm just too clouded to see them...

thanks for reading, i really needed to get these word pictures out of my head and process them a bit 'on paper'. blessings on your day!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

please join the ceasefire campaign

feeling as helpless as i have been about all that is happening in the middle east? go here:

Ceasefire Campaign

The world cannot allow the bloodshed in the Middle East to continue. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed and wounded, almost 1 million made homeless, and a catastrophic larger conflict is possible. We call on US President Bush, UK Prime Minister Blair and the UN Security Council to support UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for an immediate ceasefire and an international force to stabilize the situation.


thanks mike for the head's up on this!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

i need words

i am finding it far too easy to be distracted from writing lately. kids home, reading all of your words, tv on, music on, good books, housework, sunshine, etc. unfortunately most of those are really good things - but i think it's more than that. i think i'm chickening out.

i need to do some deep soul work and i've gotten lazy. distractions are so much easier. liam took the kids to the festival tonight. chocolate dipping lessons - i knew that would be too much for me, so here i am in the silence - no distractions - but just fingers away... talking on the phone, listening to a podcast, reading other's blogs, even cleaning looks more attractive than admitting that i'm afraid right now.

afraid of what? i'm so out of touch with my own thoughts i don't really know. i've gotten so good at helping liam process out his own thoughts they have become a smoke screen. for years he rode the coat-tails of my recovery and soul-work... now i'm riding his.

the counsellor friend who moved to town isn't taking clients - so i emailed the counsellor who is on staff at the church and the university. he is such a kind, soft-spoken man. i have gotten to know him a bit better since i judged him too soft to help me. i determined early that he would be put off by my personality. i have since found out more about his sense of humor, his passion for justice, his heart for the down-trodden and the underdog. i just emailed him asking to begin living 'the examined life' again.

it's my heart's cry. my deep need. hopefully it will begin soon. it's just far too easy to get distracted. it's more fun to get distracted. live like i have no problems, no worries, no fears. i guess i have found some words, but now that i have i want to run to those distractions - uncovering the fear makes me want to flee. being present to the emotions without distraction isn't something i feel up to right now.

well, i guess burying myself in a good book isn't such a bad thing, right?

Monday, August 07, 2006

the cat came back...

here's a classic to share with your kids:

Play films - Focus on Animation - ONF

It's inconsistency, Stupid!

oh my goodness - sister joan has one of her best articles to date. now this is a consistent ethic of life!

And the problem is ... | National Catholic Reporter Conversation Cafe: "It's inconsistency, Stupid"

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

healthy, unwealthy & hopefully wise

just returned from the doctor today. everything looks good. yipee! i had let the test results sit for a bit at the office before i scheduled my appointment. i'm not sure why - i think i was a bit afraid. my cholesterol and blood sugar probably had me a bit freaked out - i'm not the most 'in shape' woman - so it would follow that those two areas could be problem areas for me. my numbers for both were VERY GOOD according to my doctor. it was a very encouraging visit. i really like her. it's a good thing because she's the only dr. taking patients in our area. her manner is so good for me, unlike the doctor i put up with for the past five years in pennsylvania. i'm angry at myself for having done that. she was insulting and lacked so much initiative. going to see her was like going to see that 'debbie downer' character off of SNL.

and now to the 'unwealthy' part... things got complicated financially for us - too many bank accounts open and just too much information. i got overwhelmed about a month ago and i shut down. i am ashamed to admit it -i just set it all aside and pretended. one of our old PA accounts needed attention, and i didn't give it, and i also didn't think to alert liam, because my denial was so big. i kept saying 'we really need to take a day and look at our finances' - and when he would suggest beach combing, or working around the house i readily agreed, again, avoiding the finances. well, yesterday we cleaned up the mess i (we) made - i say "i" because it has always been part of my 'portfolio' previously - i really resented that. liam didn't have to think or concern himself with any of our bills or accounts. i handled it. and up before it got complicated i did a REALLY good job. when it got overwhelming i just shut down.

i can't put words to how less full my head and conscience feels today with all of that handled. i blogged here about how keeping on top of our finances was a big indicator of my recovery well-being. i hadn't realized how much it affects my mental health and well being too. it literally was a monkey on my back. i am sad that i had forgotten the power being on top of our finances gives me - and how debilitating having our finances 'on top' of me is. lesson learned... now hopefully it can also be remembered.

i head tomorrow for my mammogram - it will also feel amazing to have that behind me too!

maybe clear heads and consciences will make way for much more serenity and wholeness.

here's a good quote from bonhoeffer i stumbled across regarding wisdom:
To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom.
may we all be wise in the significant depth of things and reality!