Wednesday, October 31, 2007


one of the books we're reading for school is interior castle by teresa of avila. i brought a book i had picked up to work through devotionally to class one day last week, praying with teresa of avila, companions on the journey by rosemary broughton - and opened it in class between thoughts or when my mind was wandering. what i read made me gasp because it has so much to do with what i've been processing and working through on this blog these past couple of month.

the forward starts like this:

"Companions for the Journey - Just as food is required for human life, so are companions. Indeed, the word companions come from two Latin words: com, meaning "with," and panis, meaning "bread." (gasp) Companions nourish our heart, mind, soul, and body. They are also the people with whom we can celebrate the sharing of bread."

how is jesus like bread? it takes on a whole new meaning now doesn't it? thank you for being my "companions" here at emerging sideways. it means so much to me to know i'm not walking through this alone.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

bread, not a stone

thoughtful christian has an amazing post that ties into much of what i've been thinking about these past couple of months and i didn't want to loose the link:

bread, not a stone

Friday, October 26, 2007


well, we finished our final class for this module today and it feels so good to be done. the trauma of the death of my girlfriend's daughter on top of everything else just threw quite a bit into an already full cup. i think i went deeper in the times of silence and contemplation than i might have gone without it, but that too adds some intensity that depleted my supplies even further. i am happy to be done. it was amazing and i loved the process. i had a hard time engaging into a lot of the social aspects as so many times it required another sitter and i think the fact that people were coming in and out again made me not want to really have to say goodbye. it's different to be living in the place everyone comes to, instead of being transplanted myself.

it feels good to be home and know that all that is required of me is to top some home made pizzas and enjoy a movie with my family.

hope you all had a great couple of weeks, i'll post more soon, really.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


i was finally able to connect with my friend yesterday. it was like no time had passed, but we both knew so much had, and terrible time too. but our souls were still very close. i had prayed much for the words of life and light. so many things said at these times hurt and wound more deeply. i didn't want any of my words to be hurtful. i pray they weren't. i rest in the assurance of the love with which they were spoken.

details are still so sketchy and confusion and questions are large, but there is peace in the storm and clarity when needed. generosity is being offered on many fronts and they have a safe bubble for the time being.

i have been trying to tap some friends to work out a flight and travel arrangements so i could attend the funeral, but my own exhaustion, my daughter's sadness and just too many details in too short a time seem like this may not happen. she understands and knows her support will be full. i think a trip later might be better timed, and we'd like to bring them here to rest and get away when things get hard.

i'm not sleeping well at all. my brain just won't seem to shut down in the early morning hours. i really need a jammy day. i'm spent. there went the alarm. i guess it's time to start the day. thanks again for your prayers and support.

Monday, October 22, 2007

disjointed thoughts

the roller coaster of emotions that were this weekend have left me exhausted. i am mentally exhausted from school as i haven't had to think this hard and this much in 20 years. now i am emotionally exhausted too. it is also affecting my sleep, so physically i'm pretty tapped out.

somehow in the calendar of things i miscounted days between cycles and thought for sure that i was supposed to get my period last week (sorry guys) but have since realized (after i panicked at being 4 days LATE) that i jumped a week and it really isn't due until this week. it screws with your head at that point and not just with your body.

pink is the emotional barometer of our home and she is letting us all know that we're not functioning at our peek at the moment. there's a lot of changes taking place this past week, and this week to come and i am so glad that we don't have to pull this off 24-7-365 - we would crash very quickly.

hope reminded me on friday to maintain really good self care through all of this. so instead of getting organized yesterday for this week we went to the coast and beach combed. we all needed it, but we definately paid the price this a.m. for not taking the time to get our act together yesterday... oh well, it's just one more week.

back to the horror. i got an email from my friend yesterday and a facebook prayer update for a support group for her ministry. she is broken to her core. we did not talk, but i spoke with her mentor last night, the woman she is staying with, and she reassured me that she and her daughter are finding peace amidst the storm. i am praying for a big bubble to encompass them and that god will reveal himself to them in a brand new way. the theology of my youth meant that god ordained this to happen - and that sick twisted version of god will never get her through this. he was also a silent god - so i am praying that he breaks through that too.

there is a memorial service on saturday. it would allow me to finish this week at school and maybe get to toronto. i'm overwhelmed just thinking about this right now. the financial implications and family implications are great, but i'm leaning toward knowing it is important i am there. i'll know more soon.

the ickiest part of all of this is that it has raked up my own story and my own anger and rage. i have spent the weekend with a face to loathe, with a person to hate and it has brought me to a very ugly place. hope's reminder helped so much because i realized as i was tempted, more tempted to give in to my addictions that i think i have been in years that choosing that path could wind me up into exactly what he had become. there but for the grace of god go i. the shame and rage i feel toward myself in the middle of my addiction could so easily turn me violent. 8 years ago it could have been me.

so the muck of it all brings me back to today. just for today. god save me from myself. i am powerless to do it on my own. just for today.

thank you for your prayers.

Friday, October 19, 2007

senseless violence

i can hardly type because my hands are shaking so badly and i can hardly see because the tears just won't stop. my best friend from college is facing the most horrific thing a mother could ever face. her husband turned himself into the police for the murder of their youngest daughter.

i hated this man long before this. i begged her not to marry him. i stood up as matron of honor at their wedding only because of my great love for her and her insistence that he wasn't who i thought he was.

i am so angry. i am so confused. i hate the theology that keeps a woman with a bastard of a husband who threatened her and i have always believed was sexually abusing her daughters.

it's splashed all over the front pages of the news. the home i sat in with her. helped her hang her curtains in is cordoned off by police tape because their beautiful, angelic daughter lie dead inside. if i could i would kill him myself. why didn't he kill himself? he threated to kill her once before. she swore the counseling worked. oh god why? they were involved in their church, he worked for a huge christian retailer in their city and all of "their" best friends knew him from childhood. how could no one stop this?

i can't get in touch with anyone so the only information i have is off of the news websites. i'm so broken. i begged her not to marry him. damn it all. bastard. i can't understand why he didn't kill himself. their girls have played with my kids every time we were in the city. how do i tell them? what do i tell them?

i had already left for school this a.m. and liam got a phone call from one of the youth we worked with decades ago. he came to tell me before class. we didn't have very good information and i thought originally it was the older daughter. she has struggled with emotional problems her whole life. i was positive it was because he was abusing her. i thought when it was her that at least she didn't have to live with this her whole life. now to find out she does and worse makes me sick within my very soul. how do you recover from this? how can this be redeemed?

i called her house number thinking it was her cell and the answering machine had the young daughters voice on it. i could hardly leave a message. that is all she has left of her now. that small voice on a recording, so happy and cheerful. oh god, please, please help in ways i can't even imagine. please pray. pray for wholeness to be brought from these horrible pieces. and for a bubble to surround them so they can't be injured any more through this ugliness. and that it wouldn't kill their hearts. the god they serve is still that hard, cold god from my past. pray that he becomes more real to her through this and that the ugly theology we were raised with can't make more of a mess of this than it has already.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

i am so loving this

sarah louise asked if i took a picture in front of the house for my first day of school. i was actually thinking about it - but knew that i couldn't post it here anyway, so i didn't (and i was a bit distracted getting the kids to where they needed to be so that we could walk to class). we live 1/2 way between our church and the university so we can walk to everything. it's so cool. some of our classes are at the church because our group is bigger than it's been before so the rooms there are better for most of them.

one of the best things about this program is that they specifically build spiritual formation into the schedule. one of our four classes is ignatian prayer. we had our first time with that today and it was incredible. our spiritual director is such a gentle, lovely woman. i just adore her.

i am also just so tickled that 1/2 the class is women like me and that this community isn't at all threatened by our voices. there is no jockeying for a place at the table, no preference given to the males in the room and such an openness to hearing our story, even our difficult ones. i can tell some of the men in the group aren't this used to women fully participating. it's wonderful that the profs love this too and that god can use their uncomfortableness to crack their hearts open.

gotta go liam made dinner - god bless him. i have no energy to hardly even type. the mental exhaustion is overwhelming. i'm journalling tons, so i'll have lots to share later.

love and miss you all!

Monday, October 15, 2007

first day of school

i feel like i'm twelve. anxious and excited, dreading and ready to quit. oh well, here i go.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

birthday reload

i felt so much better after i blogged yesterday. i was able to let go of the expectations and just be. liam and i sanded the drywall in the office - it's so close to being ready for primer - very exciting. the angled walls have been so hard to get the corners right on and good enough and that'll do just isn't for me any more. it doesn't have to be perfect, but it does need to be our best. out of all of the things i could think of to spend my time on yesterday that gave me the most joy. well, it was a pain, but the thought of getting that room finished gave me joy.

so today we are really celebrating. there is a renaissance worship in one of the cities close by and it kicks off the shakespeare festival - it's in a historic old church and i have wanted to participate since i heard about it a couple of months ago. so we decided to skip church today and head up there. if the rain lets off we're going to find another lighthouse we haven't seen yet and say hallo to the ocean and then we're heading to a matinée of the seeker - i am so excited. i have read the susan cooper dark is rising series so many times i just love it. i know this is a far more modern version of the story, but i can't wait to enjoy it again.

it should be a wonderful day filled with fun and relaxation. we're really looking forward to being together "out and about". thank you for your well wishes and supportive comments. they mean so much to me!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

it's my birthday and i'll cry if i want to...

no party here. i wanted a low key weekend before we start school on monday. just not nearly this low key. i am not the kind of person who needs presents and gush, i just like to be remembered. we have a family tradition in our home for the choice of a big breakfast. it's something that we always do. liam had a discussion with the kids on thursday night while i was at my OA meeting and they decided that greek food would be a great thing to make for my birthday too. i don't do cake, so a real meal is a nice surprise for me. i wouldn't have thought of it or asked for it, but when it was suggested i was grateful.

it happened last night, but with begrudging resentment and passive aggressive attitudes on the part of my husband. he realized too late that the mess he made last night would follow him into this mornings breakfast without the clean up fairy in between. liam is a full participant in family chores and cleaning. nothing is below him and he models this beautifully to our children. i am very blessed. but he makes a huge mess in the kitchen when he cooks and hadn't considered that he was going to have to follow this up this morning with the crepes i requested for my birthday breakfast. he realized at about 10:30 last night that this was going to happen. he's had a long week at work and i knew he was spent. he just didn't realize the emotional impact it would have on me when he asked if the birthday breakfast could be bumped to sunday.

i guess i didn't either. i have spent most of the morning in tears, hating celebrations because they are usually a disappointment to me. somehow i think that maybe this year i will be understood and somehow remembered and honored as i hoped to be. again, even the conversations i had with myself this past week didn't prepare me enough for the disappointment i felt deep within that my father didn't call or send a card. that my mom was gone and that our family tradition was being bumped a day. i've never been good at holding things back. never. if i feel it i can't hide it. curse or gift, i'm not sure most of the time, but i wear my emotions on my outsides most of the time. so everyone knew i was sad and a bit hurt.

feeling the emotions and processing them with liam, my sister on the phone when she called, and even here are really the best gift i can give myself today. such clues into that child of my early years. i told liam about those birthdays that play so deeply in my story. those hurtful times i remember so vividly. i don't know why they are the ones imprinted on my memory, but they are clues to how i feel about myself today. i hate myself sometimes because i'm just not able to muscle through things and suck it up. but for today i need to be okay with that. it is my birthday and i have cried. feeling my feelings and owning them is the gift i give myself today. happy 42nd birthday self.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

brain too full... can't fit any more in...

okay, it's official. i am overwhelmed. too much reading. too much to fit together. too much unknown. i'd love to have the posts i wrote in my head on the way to and from the dentist the other day. they were beautiful. now? zip. nothing... nadda.

maybe just typing will clear away some of the haze. maybe not...

classes begin on monday. monday. it's real. really, really real. of course i just found out on sunday that my two kids have PD days on monday and tuesday. so instead of having some gallivanting time with my kiddos i have classes and they have NOTHING. getting childcare lined up is one of the things i loathe about parenting. it's probably why i didn't re-enter the work world. i hate asking people for help. my kids are 9 & 11 and other than a week in the year i or liam look after them. sure there are baby sitters from time to time, or they spend a weekend with friends occasionally - but really this is pathetic. it's not that i don't trust other people with my kids, it's just because i hate asking for help. it feels like i'm shirking my duties as a mom. i know that's not true and this is important and finally i am doing something for me - but dang i hate asking.

i have called the after school club and found out it's just $6.00/day/per kid and $18.00 for the full day. they make all meals and give the kids snacks so it's a very reasonable alternative (and saves me from having to do the dreaded ask). but of course this is the least popular alternative with pink and buck. i've told them a couple of times to just suck it up, but that isn't seeming to help. (well, not in those exact words...)

speaking of buck. i just got a phone call from the principle. seems my non-violent son who rarely gives us a minute of trouble picked a book off of a girl's desk today at school and it was apparently a bad idea. she grabbed his ear and took him to the floor. in retaliation he grabbed hers back and eventually kicked her (he said probably to get her to let go). the principle said buck admitted it and apologized but he'll still be spending the whole day in the resource room... i explained that there is no greater way to punish buck than to deprive him of people. it will be a torturous day for him being alone. i can imagine he will never make this choice again. poor kid.

so i'm doing all i can to avoid all of the reading i have to do. there is no possible way i can have it all done in time for classes as we signed up very late in the game. this is fine with all of the faculty, they know us well and we have a whole year before our next actual module because the spring module is a travel one. we won't be traveling until spring 2010, so we'll have lots of time to catch up, but i definitely would get much more out of the classes if i put my nose back into a book. i just hate the deadline. there are so many things i am loving reading - but have to skim because i can't read and relish the thoughts because i have to actually move on to the next thing. and then there are those dinosaurs that i loathe reading and am trying to plow through just to get them done.

and then of course i can't even enjoy the lovely fiction i can't live without because i feel so guilty reading it instead of assigned reading that it's screwing with everything. and then i think... dang. i'm paying for this. shut up, stop whinging and suck it up.

speaking of paying for this... the financial aid director advised us to apply because she felt we were good candidates for grants. the provincial office said that we should have figures tomorrow. it would be amazing if there were funds available to us that weren't loans. if you are a praying sort any lifted for governmental generosity would be amazing. back to the books... oh and i don't mean facebook...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

because they know his voice

one of the greatest hurdles i have had to overcome in the theology of my past is the silent god theology. looking back i can see how it caused so much devastation in my soul. it is insane to think that this teaching can survive the test of the very scriptures they claim to take so literally. "my sheep hear my voice and they know me" - i can remember feeling deep within my heart that i longed to live in a time when god wasn't silent and that he must have loved those in bible times more deeply and dearly than this time because he talked with them.

it was also the time when i began to feel crazy. there were times when i knew i heard god's voice. times i fought the fears of the voice in my head and the diametrically opposed experience i was having to "the truth". many would chuck the teaching they received in church and follow the truth of the voice. i was so trained not to trust myself that i just couldn't. i blamed myself. i was the broken one. i was crazy.

psalm 23 and john 10 are working deeply in my soul right now, weaving together to replace the lies with the truth. i have blogged, journaled and written about this before - but it feels like a second pass, that my theology is being re-formed (gosh i hate that calvin got to co-opt that word!) and allowing the division i have always felt between my spiritual life and my physical life to rejoin and find healing together.

i have searched my blog for the psalm 23 i re-wrote for me personally years ago that idelette encouraged us all to write. mine was violent, angry and jagged. but so honest and expressive of where i was at that time. i am going to search again for it, through my journals so that i can see how far i've come. i think that one of the reasons that psalm 23 never resonated with me before was because i truly never felt like one of those beloved sheep. the voice and the sheep are intricately tied together. only those who can hear the shepherd's voice are those who feel like a part of the fold. i think i deeply resented that others (in biblical times, i brushed off any contemporary christians who "heard god's voice" as being delusional and skitzo and far too big for their britches, because really, who did they think they were that god would talk to them? sigh...) got to hear god's voice and i didn't.

i have been free from that ugly theology for years now, but i still hadn't allowed it to infiltrate into my reading of the bible. for too many years the bible was all i had, and it left me cold most of the time. i spent 4 years of my life devoted to learning how to rightly divide the word of truth, but all that did was make me a self-righteous know it all. i have spent the past couple of years in the gospels and finally the two are coming together - and both are healing the dry, broken places those heresies left behind.

the sacredness of many of the parts of the bible are returning to me. it has been a long, slow journey and at it's start i couldn't even imagine that it would bring it back to me. i am surprised and pleased. it's not all there and i don't know if it ever will return. i still have deep difficulties with so many parts of scripture (i even despise that word, it sounds so fundamental to my ears) - but those red letters are coming back to life for me. breathing new life into these parched places.

i am finding that my soul, my mind and my body can be friends again. it's slow, sometimes painful work, but so worth it. especially when i take a glance over my shoulder and see how very far i've come.