Sunday, December 31, 2006

kindred hearts for a new year

thank you all for your excitement and wishes for our time with erin. she is as lovely in person as she is in words.

i feel so blessed to have her here. she fits in like she's been here forever (and should be forever!!)

stories intertwining, questions asked and answered. there have been lots of words shared at our table.

i think we all should have this opportunity, those of us who's hearts have been entwined together here online, we need to meet face to face and be reminded that we are not alone. this is real.

i have also learned that there are some lurkers out there on my blog who have questions about me. you don't know how much it would mean to me to know you too. please, ask away, i am truly an open book. if you regularly read my words and take the time to come back here again and again you are a friend. please even let me know if you blog so that i can have the honor of reading your words. it would touch me greatly.

i pray this year, as mike said on his blog is filled with something BIG. there is something viral happening, something BIG. i can't wait to be a part of it somehow.

happy new year dear friends!

Friday, December 29, 2006

she's safe!

i don't know how she made the 13 hours all by herself, but erin has made it here safe and sound - yipee!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

my best christmas present is almost here!

our dear blogger friend, she of the twice-baked thoughts, will be here, visiting for a lovely long weekend starting tomorrow. i am so excited!

one of the best things about the internet was showing me that although i am different than most people i live around, i am not alone. i am unique, just not 'one of a kind'. the kindred spirits i have found in the blogworld have allowed me to 'fit in' for one of the first times in my life.

erin is definitely a kindred spirit and I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HER!

it is so strange to speak of one of your best friends coming to visit to those in your community, and then you realize how strange it sounds to them that we've never met face to face. there are some of you who know me better than my own sister now. i consider you sisters of a sort.

having the opportunity to welcome erin into our home is just such a gift for me. to show her around our area (and persuade her to relocate! ha!) is going to be a lot of fun. and just hanging out and connecting face to face will be the best thing ever!

safe travels erin!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

self-care christmas

this was the first christmas since the kids were born (pink is soon to be 11) that we haven't been in ministry, traveling or moving for the christmas season. it seemed so indulgent. almost selfish. when i look at reality it truly wasn't. but we have gone so long for 'others' that we had forgotten what caring for ourselves looked like.

we had intentions of announcing an open invitation to anyone at church who didn't have plans, but one second before i stood up another woman stood to invite all to their home. we considered going but there weren't any children out kids ages and knew that taking them away from their just opened presents to sit with adults and babies would be a long journey of "is it time to go home yets".

so, we decided that our turkey dinner would be just for us. on christmas morning liam blessed us all with crepes and a lovely cheese filling, topped with a three berry compote. it was incredible. for dinner i baked two pies, splenda pumpkin and splenda apple/pear. there was one packet of yeast left from the st. lucy buns, so i decided that i wasn't going to be afraid of it and made clover buns to go with our turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, ginger sweet potatoes, broccoli salad, and local cranberries.

the whole time i was preparing i kept getting the impulse that this was too indulgent for "just us" - we rarely cooked a roast, or actually went to the trouble of preparing a real meal in my home growing up unless company was coming.

i serve my family real meals and cook regularly, but somehow putting this much work into a meal that "no one else was going to see" just seemed almost silly. i had to keep reminding myself that we were worth it, and that modeling that for my children was so important.

it was the most enjoyable meal, no pressure, no stress, just us and an abundant meal, prepared with love for those i cherish most. it was truly a lesson in self-care. we learned that we are worth it, this pace of life honors us and our personalities and we figured out those things that give us life, put us in touch with the sacred things we long for and reminded us of what is truly important.

it was a truly, merry christmas.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

emerging sideways - top 5, give 5, fav 5

corner bob puts together the "top 5" blog every year and this year he's added a great twist. he's calling it "top 5, give 5, fav 5" - and everybody gets to play, not just bloggers - but blog readers too!

i you are a blog reader, and don't blog yourself you can submit your 5 favorite posts you have read this year too!

to participate we're all donating $5.00 each to the tipitina's foundation, a new orleans, post-katrina, effort to restore the music to that amazing city.

here are my top 5 for 2006:
  1. mary and martha
  2. the higher road
  3. the thumb in my back
  4. dirty little secrets - porn and the church
  5. youth ministry - the next 50 years - part 1 and youth ministry - the next 50 years - part 2

more than meets the eye..

definitely not your children's cartoon...

transformers in theaters july

Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry chrismtas!

christmas power post

good christmas eve morning!

no, i am not in a puddle in the corner of the room, honest. sorry, life has just gotten full and i am truly enjoying the holiday season and emotions. even the melancholy ones.

i am way behind in my correspondence, book reviews and blogging. please know that i am not ignoring you, but my computer has decided to crash and i have wanted to wait until after the holidays to bug our good friend here who might be able to fix it for us. i don't think it's fatal, just more than we can manage on our own.

my christmas present is on it's way - a new screen. i will take a picture and post of the ANCIENT screen i have been using - it is HUGE and cumbersome, and my new flat screen will give me lots of space on my desk to do art now too!! and i won't have to play the "oooh, let's guess what the capture is on the typepad blogs 15 times so i can post a comment..." (that has been going on for almost a year now...)

we have had fun this season using our surprise baby bonus check from the government and are putting it to good use. i think it might be a bit of coping going on, but we're not going into any debt, so i'm not going to feel guilty, well, i'm not going to let the guilty feelings stay. we're being generous with it too and have got to help out some other families in our community have a christmas too.

pink and i celebrated our first 'santa lucia day' - she did so well and was a shining light in her white gown and wreathe (we need to get a 'real one' next winter). i've included a picture of the saffron/current buns we made together. we have also decided to embrace st. nicholas day next winter as buck felt very left out of the preparations, so we are doing research and finding traditions we can embrace that will allow buck to have 'his day' like pink has her's now with st. lucy day.

i am just loving the rhythm and flow of this first christmas without ministry or moving in the way. it is simple and beautiful and we are finding the things that truly matter to us. i do miss family, even liam's family, but i think our choice to stay close to home this season has been a good one.

i promise i'll write more soon. i've put together my top 5 post and will get that up as soon as bob launches the blog. you're invited to join - and this year blog readers can join too - find the top 5 posts (from any blogger) that you've read this year and send it to bob at the corner blog and he'll add it to the list!

have a wonderful next couple of days - please know that you have made this year more rich and far more interesting for me! merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

5 things you don't know about me

my favorite irishman across the pond tagged me for the 5 things you don't know about me meme.

and on this blog where you all know so very much about me i think it might be difficult to find 5 whole things you don't know.... hmmmmm...

1. it is my deepest dream and aspiration to feed the hungry. i fantasize about a ministry that begins with a soup kitchen (gosh i hate that term) and a food bank (another limiting term) here in our community that is run so well that it can be duplicated in small towns and cities across north america (and elsewhere if they want it). i pitched my idea to tony campolo 3 years ago and he liked it so much he invited me to eastern to study and begin my project. i have furnaced this idea for over 5 years and it ties together every job i've ever had, every financial struggle we've gone through and redeems all of it. it is the desire of my heart and i just can't figure out how to get from here to there...

2. following si's lead (who wants a sinus transplant) - i want a skin transplant. i have severe rosacia and adult acne that scars far too easily, it can be masked by cosmetics, but i loathe them and miss the days (pre-baby) of my peaches and cream (what my mother used to call it) complexion. i dream about contacting someone like oprah who wants to do a show on REALLY BAD SKIN and get some new dermatological wonder treatment i could never afford.

3. i have visions. not all of the time, but about 3-5 times a year i am given intense images that usually explain something very important in my life or community. liam is the only person i've really ever told about it. i am in a community now that would be open to them, but it is so strange to me that i still doubt them. the most important one i've ever had was last year at this time when i saw a long, back lit hallway, and there was this person walking down it very slowly. the closer the person got the more i could see why they were walking so slowly. they were dragging their left leg, and their left shoulder was dropping and as they came closer to me i realized that their left arm was deformed and twisted.

as they got closer still i could see it was a man, the light started to hit his face and somehow i knew it was jesus. he had a stroke and the whole left side of his body was paralyzed. he kept walking toward me and got about a foot away from me, the dropping face deformed, spittle running off the side of the mis-shapen lips and i looked into his eyes and a tear ran down the right side of his face.

when i looked into his eyes i knew that this was a picture of the body of christ. the church, that one half of it is paralyzed from fulfilling it's full potential and it broke his heart. it moved me so deeply i cried for days.

see, that's why i don't tell anyone.

4. wow, this has gotten really heavy... so i need to think of something more light-hearted... i love to sing, and have a pretty big range, but i have no ability to harmonize. i am a follow. when someone stands next to me i follow every lilt and note they sing instead of what i'm supposed to sing myself...

5. i am a dumpster diver. my hubby calls it 'shopping at curby's' and i just plain old call it garbage picking. my house is literally FILLED with unique finds that i re-purpose and reuse and they are mine (and the ones i get most compliments on) and i love them. my favorite piece is a cool old dresser that the paint is all chipped off of (i've sanded it) and we've removed 2 of the drawers and it holds our t.v. everyone who sees it wants one. i guess it's part of that redemption process that thrills my heart.

so there - those are my five things... i can't believe i told you that stuff, i just couldn't figure out what else you didn't know... :) thank you si - it was fun to play!

i tag hope, claudia mair, erin, deb and connie

Sunday, December 17, 2006

mad tv pig potty blooper

i don't like the mean rosie jokes, but this blooper from mad tv last night is very funny. CAUTION - not for the faint at heart:

Mad TV Pig Potty Blooper

Saturday, December 16, 2006

you don't just have a body, you ARE a body

awoke early to a quiet, christmas light filled home. so i lit my candles and sat in silence, waiting. it was a beautiful way to start the day.

after my knees gave out i sat on the stool, bemoaning the creaks i felt from the fall i took the other day. still so thankful nothing broke, but feeling every one of my 41 years.

i moved over to the computer and opened my email. each day i start with the storypeople. today's message said that he gets along much better with his relatives now that most of them are dead. it made me smile.

then i moved on to the newsletter from CBE - christians for biblical equality. they are a voice crying in the wilderness for me. i clicked on their newsletter and saw that this one focused on eating disorders and the church, body image and raising ourselves and our daughters to be engaged with their appetites, both sexual and regarding food. those two always go hand in hand.

i will link to all of the rich and wonderful articles here so you don't miss any, but i want to highlight the largest ah-ha i had this morning (many more will follow) that said "you don't just have a body, you are a body". obvious, eh? not for me.

the dualism that we, especially in the church, view our bodies with nears gnostic heretical proportions. did you know that rates for eating disorders are higher at christian colleges than others? something is drastically wrong with our theology and the way we are raising our girls.

i am a body. it's supposed to be that way. god made me that way. light bulb.

shocking that at 41 it had never occurred to me that it was not just a necessary evil, but that it's where i am, and the holy spirit is to dwell. it's always felt like two separate things. my body was (is, if i am really honest with myself) a curse. something that traps the real me inside who so longs to be free. lots of maintenance and much shame is associated with it. like i said in a post months ago, in my world women were either cooking meat or a piece of meat. there was no in between in my childhood.

i am a body.

i think i started to understand this a bit when i was pregnant with my kids. it was the first, and really, again, if i'm honest, the only times i have ever felt present in my body for extended periods of time. reading that back i realize how very lame (and sad) that is. i know much of what these articles explain is so necessary for me to understand. remedial, basic principles are necessary to re-wire the messed up circuitry in my head.

realizing things like this re-ignites the anger and betrayal i feel toward those in power in the church. i want them to have to answer for the mess they've made. disengaging generations of women from their bodies, the bodies god intended for them to inhabit and indwell, animate and engage the universe in. now you're reaping what you have sown. brokenness, confusion, inability to engage, addiction and even death. i hope it tastes like dust, cobweb filled dust.

i am a body. you can't take that away from me now. i will teach it to every woman, girl, boy and man i am able to. you are a body too. god meant it that way.

here are the articles from the newsletter:

all artwork is done by eric nykamp of eyekons - read his story here:

about the artist

Friday, December 15, 2006

merry christmas from sufjan!

don't forget to call your grandma!!

christmas alone

christmas can be hard even when life is good, rich and full. scott williams blogs here on his rememberances of being alone and single for the holidays. it's very moving:

christmas alone

Thursday, December 14, 2006

flashback christmas

my favorite transplanted maritimer, kyran at notes to self has made my day with this walk down christmas memory lane:

santa you bastard

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

flat on my face

upon returning from picking up the last gift on my list this afternoon (the store called to inform me that it was in, and they'd hold it today only...) i noticed how muddy the driveway was and decided to keep to the snow patches. bad idea. it was really an ice patch and before i knew it i was BAM, flat on my face. literally, nose touching the dirt, shocked as all get out and thankful that i don't have osteoporosis or brittle bones.

i think my knee broke my fall, but it's just scuffed, but my pride and my shame were in full force as i stumbled into the house with all of my US mail in hand, scattered like leaves in the wind when i fell.

i think my pride was bruised most of all, but i am sure i might be feeling it a bit tomorrow. so much for silence and serenity, eh?

please pray for me as this afternoon i have been invited to an intervention for a dear friend here who's daughter is fading quickly from anorexia. i have never been involved in anything like this, and will probably just be there for emotional support. i know if it was my own daughter i would appreciate this greatly. thank you for your prayers.

slow slide

i have beens struggling lately. there i've said it.

i am sad. i knew it was coming. whenever i have great highs i have great lows. i am low.

low always makes me scared. will this be the final descent into the big black hole, or is this just a rebalancing of the scales because of last month? i never know. so to embrace it seems silly. to sit with it and be present to it makes me a bit panicky and so i push it away until my arms are so tired i can do it no longer.

so today i sit, with tired arms wondering what it will look like to embrace the emotions. face those things i have been holding at arms length.

my counselor asked me yesterday "you have unlocked a lot of big issues lately. do you ever take a break, or get tired?" crap. that opened up a great big hole. i acknowledged that i can be as compulsive about 'getting healthy' as i can about other things in my life. he asked what sabbath looked like for me. my life is pretty laid back. little is required of me (and i can't seem to even manage that well since we got back from cincy) so taking a break, allowing myself to just be? i feel like i'm "being" a whole lot more than the others around me. but he's right.

i need a break. carnes calls them 'gentleness breaks' - and i haven't had one in quite some time. i told my counselor that fear is running a lot of my life right now. that i fear if i'm not moving forward in my recovery that i'm sliding backward. that black hole is like a thumb in my back. i miss serenity. i've been white knuckling my recovery for far too long. how i wish there was a group that fit my issues around here. i am in great need of some 12 step people.

so maybe today i will sit and create. make that collage i have been pondering for months now. or draw with my new pastels that my dear sweet friend sent me. gentleness. mothering myself for a change. even though the apartment is in shambles, i will try to stop shaming myself and just be.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

renee's story made miami ink

i was watching miami ink with liam tonight and the lead singer, mr. j from the procussions was on getting his tattoo 'forgive us' and he went on to tell the story of reading renee altson's 'stumbling toward faith' and how much it impacted him.

it was really beautiful.

see, our stories are where redemption is found.

love you renee. thank you for being so brave.

she's been holding out on us!

our dear friend wilsonian, she of the twice baked thoughts, has been keeping a beautiful gift for fiction tightly wrapped away from our eyes.

how do i know this you ask?

she has entered into the mind and the heart of the 'wise men' as they journey from the east to meet our savior.

you can read her lovely ponderings here:

advent::blog - do you feel wise now magi?

Monday, December 11, 2006

new way to help out (red)emption

while looking up a recipe at the simply recipes blog for carnitas and i saw an ad for 'the' and clicked on it because they said they'd donate $1.00 per person who searches for something RED on their site.

always one to want to help out (especially if it's for a great cause - doctors without borders) i clicked and searched. now you can too: - red search donates $1.00 to doctors without borders

and don't forget - if you haven't donated your $10.00 CDN to (red)emption you can do so today!! you've got only 20 more days until it closes up shop!



ah 2006, it hardly seems like you were really 12 months long, and yet so very much has happened i can hardly believe it's only been 12 months.

i spoke with my good friend, the worship pastor's wife, from our old church this morning and i can hardly believe that this time last year we were still there. not at the church, but in that community. it hardly seems possible.

hearing how bad things are there now makes me even more grateful that we have moved on. whoa. we definitely got out of there in the nick of time. i feel so badly for her, still trapped, with her husband killing himself for ungrateful people. it surely isn't what god meant ministry to look like. how did the church get so off track?

so today, i am grateful. to be gone, to be free, to be settled in and living life at a pace that allows for life to be enjoyed. even though this past year was filled with packing and moving (twice) i know that we are placing down roots into fertile soil. god is calling us to minister in new ways here and it is good.

i am looking forward to what 2007 holds. it seems to be a year of vast opportunity, farewell 2006, you served us well. i'm glad this transition time is over and the settling in has begun.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

the smells of christmas

clementines and pine needles - ah the smell of christmas! mmmmmmmmm!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

now all i need are some square pants!

said blogging friend below followed up in an email this a.m. - jokingly she told me that i can now call myself 'sponge-bobbie' :)

that made me laugh out loud!

hope you're enjoying your weekend, trying to get the flat back in order here. too much time away throws everything off for me. life is beginning to return to normal, and getting on top of the house, getting the decorations put up and the boxes/totes put back in the attic until it's time to re-pack will be very helpful.

it's hard to believe that this time last year we were packing up pennsylvania to move here. what a difference a year makes.

Friday, December 08, 2006

this just in - hsp #2

a blogging friend just wrote me this in an email:

The "word verification" part of the comments isn't showing, so it's not possible to post a comment (i removed it for the time being). Anyhow, I took the test and guess what? 27 out of 27. But I figured that before I even took it.

I saw this paragraph while reading about HSP and it reminded me of you:
As we have come to know, Highly Sensitive People's systems are very porous, meaning that external stimuli seems to be more directly absorbed into their bodies. (It has been said that it is as if HSP "have no skin" to protect them from these outside stimuli.) Non-HSP generally are less porous and have natural defenses which defuse external stimuli thereby not directly impacting and overloading their nervous systems.
Sounds a bit like a sponge, yes? God is showing you things and helping others along the way. Thanks for blazing the trail.

you're welcome! i love that the light is turning on for other too - it makes such a difference to know and begin to understand this. long ago i told liam it felt like my nerves were on the outside of my body instead of the inside. is it any wonder a church of 1,500 and a foyer the size of rhode island made me physically sick each week before church? we are in a much better place for me now.

i spoke with pink when she got home from school today. this will be huge for her - she'll be so much gentler on herself than i was.

just last month i said to liam "okay, i'm 41 years old now and i'm giving myself permission not to like parties." i hate them. i am so uncomfortable there, and i can FEEL other people's discomfort too. watching them self-medicate with alcohol or food too bridge that just makes me so sad. malls do the same thing to me. i can feel people's loneliness there, really feel it. i hate them. i hate parties and malls for other reasons too - but that is the biggest reason.

i have shamed myself for far too long because of this. so nice to know i'm not alone and that i have very good reason not to. yay!

the highly sensitive person

oh my goodness.

i feel like a light has turned on.

yesterday blair left a comment on this post describing herself as a 'highly sensitive person' - i read that and thought 'oh, interesting term' and kept reading.

today i got an email from anj, who was having difficulty leaving comments and again used the term 'highly sensitive person' and told me of a book i could read entitled the same. at first i thought "oh you can't mean me? i'm not sensitive, i'm blustery, i'm "out there", i'm not your typical introvert-type person." or would those who know me (i think) think of me as 'highly sensitive'. i took that term to mean kind-hearted, gift of mercy, nurse-like type people. not me.

i thought, "well, there must be something to this to hear this term twice in 24 hours" - so i typed "highly sensitive person" into google and got their website:

The Highly Sensitive Person

they have a little test you can take, because, skeptic that i am, i thought, "well, we can rule this out quickly". there are 27 little questions - if you score 14 or higher you are probably a "HSP" - i scored 22. gasp!

it feels like a light has turned on. thank you blair and anj!

my pink has to leave the room when the vacuum cleaner is on - she cried and plugged her ears when we took her to fire works as a toddler. pink is a 'highly sensitive person' - oh my goodness. BIG FAT KEYS TO BIG FAT DOORS!!! yippee!!

this makes SO MUCH SENSE now. i can't wait to read the books. i'm just in awe of all of this new information that will help me unlock so much of my own and my daughters life. thank you, thank you, thank you!

off to read more of the website.

are you a highly sensitive person? take the self-test here: self-test

Thursday, December 07, 2006

christmas carol meme

patchouli tagged anyone who wants to play in the 'favorite christmas songs' meme, so i thought i'd bear my soul and confess my greatest shame... i have a dolly parton christmas cd that i listen to every christmas. (hangs head in shame)...

the thing about it is that i hate country music. it's just not my thing. at all. zilch.... maybe the dixie chicks latest album - but other than that none. never. except this crazy christmas cd - and it makes it feel like christmas, i don't know why.

so i have 2 lists - the cool list, and the dorky list...

here's my cool list...

1. sufjan stevens - o come of come emmaunuel
2. bruce cockburn - his whole christmas cd
3. plankeye - jesu bambino (it's beautiful)
4. jars of clay - little drummer boy
5. lost & found - joy to the world

dork list:
1. amy grant - (yes, i know, but it's christmas) - breath of heaven (mary's song)
2. bing crosby - would it be christmas without adeste fideles (or mele kalikimaka??)
3. dolly parton - o little town of bethlehem
4. sandy patty - bethlehem morning
5. wayne watson - (okay, now you know all of my christmas secrets...) - one christmas eve (such a wonderful song about keeping the little sparrows out of the snow)

shameful, eh? now you know ALL of my secrets!

i tag ya'll!

study help from zefrank

this makes me want to go back to school (oh yeah, i am...)

study then sleep

healing metaphors

i wrote yesterday about sponges and mirrors and used them to identify a problem. this morning i awoke to a comment from erin on that post that said this:
This thought just occurred to me, and perhaps it is really off-base, but... a sponge can only absorb more when it is not already full. I'm wondering if in practicing being fully present, one can be more "full", not have the same capacity to absorb from other sources?
that's it. the key. the metaphors don't only identify the problem, they also help with the healing here. sponges and mirrors.

soak in the good, be full and whole within myself and the need to absorb others emotions co-dependently won't be so easy for me to do.

reading that helped me unlock the mirror too. using the mirror metaphor can help me to reflect my loved ones emotions back to them instead of absorbing them myself. hearing their pain, allow them to feel their emotions, and reflect what i am hearing and seeing back to them instead of absorbing them myself.

THANK YOU ERIN!! these are big keys to those big doors!

kristen also mentioned ritual. as a borderline o/c/d i find great healing in ritual. so much of my healing has come in this form. i am also beginning to ponder what this one will look like.

thank you for your feedback friends, for reading my words and interacting with them. this journey is richer with you along side!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

this is why i am a friend of emergent

scot mcknight has written

A Letter to an Emerging Christian

this explains my hopes and dreams for what is to come. the only two things i would add is to give voice to those who the modern church has silenced or sidelined, and to bring together not only the various denominations, but to break down the racial and societal divides the modern church has ensconced for far too long.

Friend of Emergent Village

emotional osmosis

osmosis - noun - a gradual, often unconscious process of assimilation or absorption

i am a sponge. not the kind that takes from people and never gives, but the kind that soaks things around me up without discretion... i have known this about myself for a few years now, but i've not really known what to do with or about it.

this week i saw it in my daughter so clearly that i learned something, actually a lot of things about myself.

one of those things is that i need to learn what to do about it quickly. seeing those things we hate about ourselves in our children is great motivation to begin to find tools for making better choices.

the metaphor of a sponge doesn't describe exactly what happens though. maybe a mirror is a good additional metaphor.

i thought writing about it might be a good place to start to untangle this knot, to try to explain the process so that i (and anyone else who shares this tendency) can understand it and put a stop to it.

i know i've been this way all of my life. i take on others emotions, especially negative ones without thinking. i guess it was my role as first born in the family to watch the winds and carry much of what was not mine to carry. seeing pink mirror my emotions back to me the other day showed me in technicolor the dynamic that existed decades ago with my own mother and me.

i snapped at pink because we were running late (and that is one of the 10 commandments of our family growing up - never be late, only lazy, disorganized people are late - not us... sigh) and all of my shame kicked in and i vented it at her.

immediately she went from carefree, young, willow-girl to fire-eyed, stiff backed pre-teen. i became livid. 'oh no you don't,' i thought as i stormed out of her room. 'you will not take that tone with me young lady'... upon entering the living room i realized what had transpired there. it was like i was outside of myself watching what had just happened.

she internalized all of my negative emotions and was so overwhelmed by them that they spilled back at me through her own eyes and demeanor. she wasn't feeling that way before i entered her room. i was so excessive in my own emotions that i poisoned her and she mirrored that poison back to me. i did not like this, not one little bit.

you know those places in the movie when the back story is being played out and no time is elapsing in the present - that is what happened as i stood in my living room. i remembered all of the times my own mother would overwhelm me with the depth of her emotion and i would mirror it back to her. i would get in trouble and she'd be scott free. she was not responsible for one minute for poisoning me, overwhelming me and like a sponge i soaked it all in and assumed it was me.

everyone assumed that i was the over-emotional one. the one out of control. the rebellious teenager. no one could understand why i was so angry, so upset, so confused, so very confused. i realize today that it was because they weren't my emotions in the first place.

this all took place in a split second. it was like the penny dropped and so much made sense. in my childhood, in my marriage, and in my parenting. it was why buck and i have such a calm relationship, and why pink and i were beginning to have a tumultuous one. why my mother and i struggled violently to find a bridge to each other and my sister and she were so able to have calm interactions.

i was/am an emotional sponge.

my mother was an emotional sponge.

pink is an emotional sponge.

somehow we absorb the negative emotions for our family and mirror it back to them. it is some kind of sick, twisted osmosis and bad boundaries that cause us to feel responsible, overwhelmed and so very confused when we are in the middle of the storm.

i do this with liam too.

it's why no one in our home growing up was allowed to be angry except my mother. the only way she knew to put up boundaries was by manipulating all of us into not having any negative emotions around her - instead of figuring this out for herself we all had to walk on eggshells... yuck.

bigger yuck... i think i'm doing this to my family too.

god forgive me and help me figure out a way through this. give me better tools.

i think this is a big key to understanding my overblown need for control. i feel so powerless in the face of others grand, expansive negative emotions. it's so scary to inherit some one else's pain and not understand why i am feeling so crushed myself.

i tried to explain it a bit to liam like being an empath. that diana character on star trek who could feel others emotions. she got to use it as a tool - i just get to be bashed around by it.

i'm sitting here weeping as i look back at my past and all of the counseling and depression and wondering if some of it that seemed so unexplainable was really because there was no explanation - it wasn't my emotion to begin with. had i inherited the negative emotion of a boyfriend, my mother, my husband or the other people i was co-dependent with? what if much of that had nothing to do with me at all?


where does one learn boundaries for something like this? i have never heard this talked about before. i'm sure i didn't invent it, or discover it - so why hasn't this been covered in my past 25 years of counseling? does anyone have experience with this, know what it's called or have tools or books to suggest that i could read?

is this something every woman or eldest child inherits? or is it just as sporadic as being left handed?

i'm also wondering if this is why liam doesn't seem to be able to work through the negative emotions that have him stalled? is it because i haven't allowed him to feel them because i don't want to have to share the trauma too? shit. this feels big. like a big, fat key to unlock a big, fat door. damn. i feel like i've opened pandora's box somehow. i know it's not bad, it's actually good - but the ah-ha's keep growing exponentially and i'm not sure i can get my head around it all.

any feedback here would be really appreciated. i know this is where i'll be heading in my counseling now it makes so much sense, but i have so very many questions. thanks for listening, i think i really needed to get this out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

postively trying

i am having such a difficult time putting the past month into words. i don't know why, but i have been wondering if it is more difficult for me to talk about positive things and success than it is for me to write about my trials and tribulations... i am not really sure, but i know that i have started many different posts that end up in the virtual, crinkled up waste bin. i think i'll just say that it was amazing and i enjoyed it fully and it's good to be home.

life is back to "normal" and it feels great.

Monday, December 04, 2006

to write love on her arms

at the nywc this year we were provided with a teen girl mag called 'niNe' - i hoped that it would be appropriate to give to my pre-teen pink, so i've been reading it to see. it's way above her right now as it talks about relationships and is far above her head space on navigating things like that (thank god).

i came across a very provocative ad in the magazine that used the "f" word and it shocked me so much i had to follow it down. if you've read this blog long enough you'll know that i'm not offended by swear words and use them rather frequently (much to liam's frustration) myself. this just seemed so incredibly out of place. i had to know more.

what i found is the new face of the church. 20 somethings ministering right smack dab in the center of their world. it touches me deeply. so deeply that i wanted to share it with you. hear renee's story, see the amazing good these young people are doing.

my space
website -
renee's story
where the title came from

i am moved. this is love.

Friday, December 01, 2006

world aids day 2006

in case you've missed it, today is world aids day. That used to be something that made me roll my eyes, sit in judgment and assume i'm better than the rest of the world. i'm so glad that isn't true of me today. it's about the only thing to be glad of in regard to aids though. there is some good news on the horizon, but too much is depressing and disheartening. the commitments made by countries, while not being large enough to begin with aren't even being fulfilled as promised.

who will hold them to their promises? fiddling while rome burns. so, instead of focusing on the things that aren't happening i want to draw your attention to the things that are.

as i type saddleback church is holding a global aids summit
. incredible what a little pillow talk can do. thank you kay!

the other amazing news is that bill clinton has been working tirelessly with drug companies in india to create meds that are less expensive and easier to take and will prolong life of those who have access to it.

so, not all bad news today - but we can make it better next year. really - WE ARE THE PEOPLE WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

agree? help. please - just $10.00 CDN - donate here:



artist - ben bell