Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Am I Back Yet?

It is the day after Labor Day and my favorite time of year.  Like the leaves on the trees, I feel the season changing.  A new housemate, new test results, and a new air-rave box, I feel the solitary days of laying in bed are coming to an end.

I have missed blogging.  I've missed the sharing of blogging that journal writing doesn't provide and have realized when I couldn't bring myself to cancel this blog that I need this.  With school out, I need it even more as I'm still praying to God about His next step for me.

I've spent a lot of time alone this summer, a lot of time with God as my body has gone on hiatus from the abuse I've put it through over the last couple of years.  I've spent days in bed with weakness, fatigue, and pain being my constant companions.  No amount of eating raw has helped and as always, blood work and other tests I've been sent to do have come back negative (until recently).  The rheumatologist trying to fix me with meds and more meds, I stopped seeing her and went back to my PCP and am now on almost half the meds I was on a month or two ago.  I've also reached out to others for prayer and help and spent a lot of time reading the Word of God and journaling my thoughts and prayers to Him.

Am I healed?  Not yet, but I feel more focused and less pained.  I'm still fatigued, but not as weak.  I have a new housemate.  Her rent is free so long as she does the housekeeping for me and this is an answer to many months of prayer.  She is a blessing to me and in return, I'm able to be a blessing to her.

She moved in yesterday and Zeus doesn't know what to think.  Yes, Readers (if there are any of you left after my hiatus), I know the biggest question your inquiring minds have is wondering how Zeus has been these months.  Let's face it, he's a celebrity!  :0)

With so many aunties that come to Pittsburgh to visit us, he does not know her.  He knows Auntie Pam and Auntie Deb, he knows Auntie Dijah, he knows Auntie Des who will be staying with us later this month from Seattle, and of course, Auntie Jane, Auntie Leslie, Auntie Kelly, Aunt P...  the list goes on and on, but he doesn't know her and mom didn't run around like a crackhead scrubbing the house down like normal when we have guests so he's a little confused.  Too afraid to go to sleep because he might miss something, he sat dozing by the bedroom door instead of sleeping in his basket-bed.

I'm a little confused, too, as I keep wanting to run around and clean up after everyone. That Sicilian in me that sets the alarm off in my brain, "We have a guest!"  I had to stop myself from doing dishes this morning and praise God she was leaving as I got up because I really wanted to feed her breakfast... And even though I didn't scrub the house down, I did overdo it cleaning before she arrived... and, well, cleaning most of the weekend.  I mean, I had to scrub the toilets and you would've, too.  I couldn't let her move in with them dirty.  And I had to wash towels and blankets, change the sheets in the spare room, clean out the fridge... there are just some habits that never go away.  I pulled something or activated something and my back hurt so bad yesterday I had to pop muscle relaxers and pull out the lumbar machine again.  I hope I can get through a day of work before dying of pain.  As long as I sit at my desk without moving, I think I'll be okay.

Anyway, I think I'm back blogging, at least for now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I've Discovered My Platform

I'm reading Your Are A Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.  I've follow his writing blog for a little while now and LOVE it!  He's so simply - to the point.  Anyway, as a creative person, I love too many things and haven't been able to figure out my platform, my product. 

I love books, love reading and tried the book review blogging, but find that that just isn't my thing.  I discovered that after graduation when I noticed a pile of read books waiting to be written about.  The pleasure of finishing a good book was diminished as that pile waiting to be written about seemed too much like homework.  So no, not my thing.

Then there's this blog, my personal blog.  It, too, isn't my thing.  Some thoughts just aren't meant to be shared and I'm replacing this blog with Penzu.  I'm not cancelling this blog because I do want to focus on my writing and editing services, but there won't be much activity on here, at least not for awhile.  I'm trying to find a good domain name to begin offering my writing and editing services, but my name is taken so it's been a challenge.  I trust that it'll come to me, though, because I believe God gave me this gift and that He's got plans for me to use it.

The most prevalent of interests has been health and nutrition and how the Bible is filled with Scriptures about God's desire for us to be healthy.  The more I read and study, the more convinced I am that it is no consequence that I was asked to take over the health and nutrition blog writing for my church.  The more I read and study, the more convicted I am that Christians (myself included) need help to live healthier lives. 

Just for the heck of it, I searched the domain name healthyforchrist.com and discovered it was still available!  Say what?!  I really couldn't believe it was still available and only paused for about two seconds before I purchased it.  Several years ago, I had an idea for a health and nutrition website, but with school, I ended up letting it go.  I haven't kept my nutrition certification up to date and haven't maintained a healthy lifestyle myself, so that website idea was forgotten about... until recently.  Now, as the proud owner of http://www.healthyforchrist.com/, I have found my platform.  I hope to create a website that will help people to live healthy lives for Christ.  This will include mind, body, and spirit as 1 Thessalonians 5:23 reads.  For now, it's just a web page with links to my health and nutrition blogs, but keep checking back, and please follow along so that you, too, can be Healthy for Christ.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quote for Creatives

This blog started out as somewhat encouraging to those who read it.  It seems like I have since been using this as a forum to complain, which is so not what I want this to be.  I blame the Prednisone, haha!  Legal crack, remember?  It's as bad as drunk-dialing!

Anyway, I thought with school ending that I would write more.  That really hasn't been the case, so then I just post whatever craziness is in my head because I am clueless as to what I want to write about.  Totally clueless, but I came across this quote I just love.  Those of you who are writers (or creative for that matter) will love it, too:

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories - science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”
~ Ray Bradbury
Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Education System, Fat-Free Creamer & Crack

I've made my first pot of coffee in a long time this morning.  I'm somewhat perturbed as I sip my coffee with FAT-FREE creamer.  This stuff does not taste good.  It's almost as bad as buying fat-free cream cheese or fat-free salad dressing, but for the record, I made the mistake of going to Getto-Eagle here in the North Side instead of driving the hike up McKnight Road.  They are either out of everything or they've stocked their shelves different this week than they did last week.  I know better than to go there for anything more than bananas and as I sip this nasty coffee, I think I might remember in the future.

Up at about 4:15am, I popped some prednisone and lay in bed snuggling with the furry child until it worked it's magic (the prednisone, not the furry child).  For those of you who aren't familiar with prednisone, I call it "legal crack" and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  If you don't believe me, you should have seen me organizing my tupperware cabinets by 5:00am.  I'm sure I don't need coffee today, but it seemed like a good thing to do while I emptied the dishwasher and reorganized the pantry.  Haha, just kidding.  I didn't reorganize the whole pantry.  Just a couple of shelves.

So as I write this, I contemplate the Facebook thing.  No one understands why I cancelled my account on there (except my crazy Aunt P), and truly, I'm not sure what I should do.  Facebook under my writing pen name is no fun because I only have like, two friends on there.  Haha, kidding again.  I think I might be up to five or six people now...

(Sighing.)  So, the few people that even give a shit have text messaged me as to why they can't find me on Facebook anymore.  Then I have to explain the story (clearly, they aren't reading my blog - you know who you are).  In this day and age, the idea of cancelling your social media in any capacity is like "she must be on crack!"  (Hmmmm...)

I'm just still irritated about people running to my boss about stuff I post.  I mean, seriously, what are we, in junior high again?  I'm a thirty $#-year old woman who has a mind.  A damn good one if the 3.87 GPA I just graduated with has anything to say about it.  I live in the North Side, I mentor teen girls stuck in the foster care system, CLEARLY I'm going to have an opinion about the lack of life-education our children receive.  My dear friend, Loleda, has started an amazing program at our church for kids around about the junior high age.  These kids will receive the training and experience they need to one day go out in the real world and get a job without having to ask the HR person how to fill out the forms.  THAT is my point.  That is my point in posting a comment about someone asking me a stupid question.  Parents really need to do more for their children today if they are ever going to succeed in the real world.

Anyway, if I choose to reactivate my Facebook account, I'll probably get in trouble again (or "talked to" again) about this blog or some post, but do I even care anymore?  I believe our education system is lacking and it isn't always the teachers who should be blamed.  I believe as an HR person, I'm going to see where some of these holes are and I can more passionately promote programs such as the one my dear friend has started.

And to whomever has a problem with my posts or my blogs, please delete yourself off of my friends list, especially since you lack the courage to do what Matthew 18:15 tells us to in God's Word.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sigh, Whatever.

It has been a long, stressful week and I feel it.  Unable to sleep when inflammation rules it's ugly head, I'm awake but only halfway functioning.  Work has been so stressful this week and I see now how the effects of stress turn my body into a shaky, weak mess.  I've been so fatigued this week and angry about it.  Do you know I went to the grocery store and when I came out to my car afterwards, my car door was wide open.  I left my car door open!  My brain is so clouded with whatever disease my body is fighting and I am just angry about it!

I've been back on the prednisone (self-prescribed this time) because I can't stand not being able to function at a hundred percent.  When I'm on the prednisone is the only time I have enough energy to get through the work day, but I hate taking it.  I weened myself off it (yet again) like to doctors showed me, praying that this time would be for good.  But one week off of it, I am tired and weak and so sad about it. 

I've worked so hard to change my diet and get my rest and to think positive.  Touting "I'm not claiming whatever is going on with my body" and telling anyone who cares to listen that my goal is to be off at least four of the seven meds I take daily by Labor Day.  I'm studying Scripture, praying more not just for myself but mostly for others, gave up so many foods and drinks.  I've been back to church the last two weeks, taking the Treasures of Healthy Living bible study class (which I absolutely love and recommend).  I'm very strict with my time, staying home to rest so much more, yet I am tired today and the stress of work does not help.  Even as I type this, my arms and hands feel droopy and strained from the effort.  My mind, wide awake, my body still asleep.

Each day this week has been challenging, yet I say nothing at work because no longer do I want to voice those words.  But they are in my head and on my heart and I'm missing hours as it is because I've gotten up so late in the mornings.  Mornings just suck, my body dragging, my mind murky.  I contemplate missing work today, but my paid time off is already sparse and I paid $20 for a ticket to this evening's festivities.  I don't want to go, but I promised a friend we'd go together.  Okay, I practically begged her to be my date so I feel obligated, but I don't think I can do it.  I don't think I can do another evening in the heat (Tuesday, I had free tickets to the game and took one of my foster girls).

Anyway, I'm just done.  I'm just done. Whatever.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Hiatus from Thinking

It's been forever since I've posted.  My book review blog Beloved Books isn't any more active.  As much as I think about blogging and writing, I've been on hiatus from anything requiring me to actually use my brain.  I graduated on May 5th with a 3.87 GPA from Geneva College with a BS in Community Ministry.  For those of you non-Christians, it's kind of like Social Work for Christians.  :0)

Anyway, working full-time and taking classes part-time for the last 5 years took its toll on me and I have done a whole lot of nothing since graduation.  I've watched a ton of Netflix on my new Nook tablet, played tons of video games on my Android, and have managed to finish reading a couple of books (that I haven't blogged about because that requires thinking...).  Zeus is happy mom is home so much, although he has been caught giving the evil eye to my electronic devices.  When he isn't glaring at them, he's trying to lay on them or knock them out of my hand with his nose. 

It has all been perfect timing, however, because I've been up to my ears in summer staff hiring paperwork.  I think we've had about 50 new hires come on in the last month.  My title at work finally got changed from "Support Coordinator" which only managed to confuse people to "Human Resource Generalist."  I had to find a title that would include the many other projects passed on to me because HR is only a piece of my job (although a very large piece!).  So I have had to think since graduation, but anyone who works with me can probably tell I'm on this brain/thinking hiatus.  Normally the one who knows everything, follows up with everyone, and gets back to people right away, I am living in a fog.  People are actually having to follow up with me, which of course makes me feel like a big slacker.

I have kept up with my Healthy for Christ blog.  That also requires me to think because I'm usually researching whatever I write about for the week. 

Speaking of writing, I started attending a writing group that I'm SOOO excited about!  These people are
A.) Writers!  and
B.) Working writers! 
People that are actually published and continually working on getting published.  Like, some of them have even gotten paid and stuff (no joke)!  In Virginia, I wrote almost daily and hung out with writers, active writers, and it was really good for my flow, you know?  With school over, I needed something like that here.  I was apprehensive to find a writing group because let's face it: there are A LOT of weirdos out there that call themselves writers, but I am happy to say I love this group.  Making writing part of my daily life again is one of my goals for this summer. 

My other goal is to just focus on getting healthy again.  I really need to eat better and take better care of my body.  I am being treated for rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but I claim neither of these diseases.  I'm in week two of a class called "Treasures of Healthy Living" and I couldn't be more excited about it.  This class is taking us through Scripture to show you how God wants us to be healthy.  He designed us to be healthy, He calls us to be healthy, and He has given us all the tools we need on this earth to be healthy.  The Bible is our instruction manual for being healthy, but as Christians, we never look at it that way.  So, I know I will learn a lot through this course and think I want to teach it next semester.  We'll see how it goes.  By Labor Day, I want to be off of at least 4 of the 7 prescriptions I take on a daily basis.  I want to get healthy again, and as I slowly come out of my brain/thinking hiatus, I hope to be writing about my health in the months to come.  :0)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wait for His Signal

I have been up since shortly after 3am, both yesterday and today.  My doctor tells me it is the inflammation and this week, I believe it.  My hands hurt worse this week than they ever have.  They hurt and the discomfort has spread to my arms, and I know the reason my sleeping pills aren't working this week is because I am having a "flare-up."  My house has many, many stairs (NOTE TO SELF: next time, buy a ranch), and my body, legs especially, hurts each time I have to go up and down.

I have to have more blood work, this time to check my muscles.  I should have had it done after my appointment on Monday, but had left my wallet on my kitchen counter and didn't have my ID with me.  I haven't been racing to get round 5 or 6 (I've lost count) of the blood work done.  It'll just be more time away from work and I've already gone through half my personal and vacation days just for doctor appointments and days when all I could do was sleep.

All I want to think about is finishing tonight, my last day of undergrad, but really I'm thinking, "How will I write that essay question?"  My hands hurt, but typing isn't as painful as writing.  Typing I can do with three fingers (tap, tap), but writing will require me to hold a pencil and write an essay question or two as that is how our chemistry exams always end.  But I know I will get through it, pain and all, no matter how long it takes me to write that essay.  I know I will get through it because God has gotten me through the last five years.  What is one more day to Him?

As I ponder my future on this last day of undergrad, my devotion today was about following God's schedule.  I love how perfectly He does that through my devotions.  I've been asking Him about my future, my desire to continue and get a Masters, my desire to rest, my lack of desire in paying the massive student loan debt in 6 months time (debt that I cannot afford on my current salary).  Do I get a roommate I don't really want, a part-time job I don't think I can physically handle, a new full-time job when I'm quite happy where I'm at, defer it some more by adding more debt through a Masters program?  My In Touch devotion today is actually yesterday's devotion, but I didn't read it yesterday.  I read it today and it is fitting: "Submitting to God's timetable requires faith and courage.  Believe in the goodness of His heart and His plans - and determine to wait until He gives the signal to move forward."  And as I type this today, tap tap with pain in my hands, I am submitting to do just that.  To rest and unwind, and wait for His signal.

As Christians, we feel we must go, go, go in a constant flurry of ministry work.  Families, jobs, church, and who knows what, there comes a time that we need to cease "being fruitful" and rest in Him.  There comes a time that our fruit may look delicious on the outside, but is a little rotten and bug-infested on the inside.  Then we wonder why we can't hear God.  Where is God?  I have worked so hard growing this fruit for Him, why is He letting it rot?

Dear Readers, as I get through my last day of school, I begin tomorrow to rest in Him.  God has been pointing to this (like, with neon lights right in front of my face) all week.  Maybe even longer, but He knows it takes a bit of time for me to actually listen to Him (stubborn Sicilian).  Anyway, as I committ to taking a break from obligations this summer, I gladly look forward to spending time in the sun seeking Him and I pray that you will also know when He is telling you to rest and unwind, and wait for His signal.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

In My Weakness...

I have been so drained these last couple of weeks.  Even taking a few days off from work did not refresh me as I worked hard to catch up on my life (taxes, laundry, vacuuming, homework).  I assume I had a "flare up" of this autoimmune disease and ended up taking work off on Tuesday.  My body just felt so weak that even holding a book was tiresome.  It is so frustrating to me, I can't tell you.  I dread getting in the shower because it literally exhausts me.  When I get out, my heart is beating like I ran a race and my breathing is labored. 

When I first got this diagnosis, I was so angry.  Actually, I was a lot of emotions and kept looking back over the past few years and feeling like it was so unfair.  All the doctor visits and tests and surgeries and medications... for approximately five years, I worked full-time, sometimes part-time, as well, and attended college.  At the community college, I was VP of Service for Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society and also a college ambassador.  I had times that I would get so wiped out I would spend my days off sleeping, but who wouldn't with that crazy load?! 

As time went on and I transferred to Geneva, I found myself doing less and less, only I didn't know why.  Why couldn't I do all the things I used to?  Why am I so worn out?  Why do I always feel like crap?  All I knew was that life became a struggle.

Then finally, a diagnosis, and while there was relief to finally know why I have struggled so much, I was angry at all I've been through.  How ironic, I thought, that the medicine won't start working until I graduate.  I was angry that I have pushed myself so hard over the years, struggling and struggling to maintain the pace I once did and having no one to help me.  I was angry at the stupid doctors that sent me for test after test after test with no relief.  I felt like they weren't listening to me.  I felt like they didn't believe me.  I constantly worried over work, missing it or not performing well.  Why did I have to go through all of this?  How many days have I laid in bed crying because I was exhausted and overwhelmed, not knowing I was sick.  I felt as though something inside me died only I didn't know what died or why it died.

This morning, I was praying, not about this, but thanking God for helping me write a paper this morning, one I didn't think I would get done.  He woke me up at 4:30am and I stayed up and wrote this paper when I had no intention to.  I had made my pot of African tea and sat down to read Scripture but this paper came to my head and I wrote it.  So I was thanking Him because I know it was God helping me and then it occurred to me:  He has always been helping me.  Through the agony of the last few years, I thought I was alone, but I wasn't.  God was with me, sustaining me.  I graduate in 16 days and 8 hours and 52 minutes (but who's counting?!) and it is because of HIM.  I will be graduating with somewhere around a 3.8 GPA and it is all because of HIM.  God got me through.  On days I couldn't do anymore, He gave me what I needed to accomplish what I needed to.  God in His unfailing love and grace sustained me.  In my weakness, I was strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).

I just really wanted to share that with you today and hope it encourages you.  God is with you always, dear friend, and He will sustain you always, even when you don't realize it.  Thank You, Jesus!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Circle of Friends

I've been thinking of this for some time now, thinking of writing about the friends in my life.  If I were to die tomorrow, would people know how much they truly meant to me?  So many of my dearest friends are scattered throughout the states making it difficult to keep in touch with them.  Facebook is an avenue to use when none other is available, but who really has time to follow the lives of all their friends on Facebook?  Besides, it's so impersonal.  In my ideal world, I'd have time to send cards and letters to those I miss and love so dearly, but who am I kidding?  I barely have time to send my monthly check to the utility companies who lack online payment capabilities...

So today I write my first "Circle of Friends" blog.  In no order of significance (as who can possibly rank their friends in order of importance), I start with my oldest and dearest friend, Valerie.  Now, a crazy woman named Martha may object as I met the two of them at the same time, but as Valerie has taken my place in Utah in putting up with my two older sisters, she certainly (and understandably) trumps Martha...

I don't remember when I first gave Valerie the nickname "Old Faithful" but she would be able to tell you.  Valerie has the memory of an elephant and it is guaranteed that the memories you have purposely forgotten, she will bring up in a random conversations.  The only good thing about Valerie being able to recall all of the details of our friendship is that I have a photo of her wearing tight black leather pants and sporting them like the hootchie-mamas we once were!

So, yes, my Old Faithful friend is the kind of friend that will always be there for you.  When no one else is around, Valerie will be there for you.  I remember having to move out of my apartment after a dirt-biking accident put me in a wheelchair, unable to work.  I was a young 20 years old and had no health insurance because at that age, you think you are invincible.  So, here is me in my wheelchair having to pack up and move ... somewhere.  I don't even remember where I moved to (I was on a lot of pain meds at the time), but I do remember Valerie being the only friend in my circle of friends that helped me pack up my apartment.

Years later after I had relocated with the company we (including Martha) worked for, Valerie and my sister, Deb, began hanging out.  Now, I don't remember when I brought the two of them together.  It could have been during all the going away events we had before I moved away or maybe on one of my holiday trips home when we ladies would hootchie it up at the clubs, but somewhere along the way, Val and Deb became good friends.

I have to stop to explain one thing about Valerie:  she has a very unique, dry and sarcastic sense of humor.  She CRACKS ME UP, but if you don't know her, she might offend you.  (I'm laughing as I write this!)  I vaguely recall a get together with my oldest sister and some of her friends... I learned about this via telephone since I was living in Virginia at the time, but something about "Valerie offended someone" causing a big blow-up of some sort.  Meanwhile, I'm on the phone laughing about it because I LOVE Valerie and find her to be one of the funniest people I've ever met, but I so know how her humor isn't for the light-hearted or easily offended.  It took a few more years for me to build a friendship between Valerie and my oldest sister (had to get the older sister over that blow-up, whatever it was), but Valerie is family now.  She is one of my sisters.  Family get-togethers in Utah aren't complete if Valerie isn't there.

Over the years, we don't talk as often.  Our conversations are always several hours long so it makes it hard when I'm two hours ahead and our schedules are busy and uncoordinated, but I hope in my heart that Valerie knows how much she means to me.  I know after months of not talking, I can call her (even in tears) and will laugh for the next two hours.  I'll get off the phone feeling loved and valued for who I am and know there is someone important in my life.  I know if my sister needs someone to be there, Valerie will be there for her because she really has become a part of our family (dysfunctional though it is).  I know that for all my flaws and imperfections, and my lack of keeping in touch, Valerie is here for me, a true friend.  Although we always joke about her nickname, my life is better because of Old Faithful.

So, I hope you've enjoyed getting to know about my oldest friend, Val, and I hope you've enjoyed reading my first installment of Circle of Friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Purposely Confused

I just got home from an adoption meeting at my church.  A bittersweet evening for me, I struggled with going yet couldn't have stayed away from it.  I don't know what God wants from me as I look at my life and the irony of it all.  I feel like the biggest hypocrite.  I write a health blog while being sick and unhealthy and I'm a twice certified foster parent who has never fostered a child.  I just don't know what He wants.  Did I not pray enough?  Did I not pray correctly?  Am I just not good enough?  I've spent two years training and reading and studying and networking and I am once again feeling so disconnected from my dream.  I look at all that God is doing in the lives of those around me and I just feel lost in the shuffle.  Once again, the paper-pushing workaholic machine with no meaning and no purpose.  The "go-to girl" with no place of her own to go to. 
I just don't know what He wants.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Deleted Comments

Ooops!  I just accidentally deleted all the comments ever made on  my blog.  

:0(

Sorry everyone!  I was trying to figure out how I could get notified when someone leaves a comment... still haven't figured that out yet...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Dutiful Daughter

My devotion today was in 2 Corinthians 2 where Paul is speaking to those in Corinth.  He spoke of him who has caused you sorrow (some versions read "grief" or "pain") and that you should forgive him and comfort him. 

Are you kidding me?!  Like, how does God do that??  I get the text from my sis that my dad relapsed last night and may have surgery today and then I read this devotion, about forgiving and comforting the one who has caused you grief...  unbelievable!  And it isn't even the forgiving part because I dealt with that a long time ago.  It's the comfort him part.  Does he really deserve any comfort from me?

I groaned out load to God and huffed "fine" with my lips in a childish pout.  So on my way to work, I called my dad like I always do when he is in the hospital, the good little daughter.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Horrible Daughter

I was facilitating at a seminar today.  When it was over, I received a text message from my father.  My father is the last man on earth who I would ever think I'd receive a text message from, but there it was.  I also had a voicemail from him.  He's in the hospital ... again.  He goes in practically yearly with bowel problems I'd rather not discuss.  Backtracking, he had a stroke about 23 years ago and the doctors gave him five years to live.  He's still kicking and still a horrible father.  To type that, I feel bad.  See, I forgave my father some time ago, but because it is not healthy for me to have him in my life, I don't speak to him.  I do call him every time he lands in the hospital because I just feel bad for the bastard.  He has never known love.  Not in his own childhood, and not now.  I picture him lying there in the hospital, all alone and confused, with a possibility of dying and I end up calling him (he lives in Utah).

I didn't call him today, though.  I cringed when I read that text.  If I reply to him via text, he will text me for the rest of my life (or his).  I'll never get away from him contacting me.  He is like that, and with my 13 year old little brother currently in the custody of my older sister, I can only imagine the text messages my father will send me every time he is cursing her out on the phone and she hangs up on him.

He will never learn and will never change.  Vicious, manipulative, emotionally and verbally abusive...  Even his voicemail was filled with him trying to make me feel bad so I would call him.  He told me that I am the only one that calls him, that I am the only one he can talk to because my older sister and younger brother will only text him.  Well, they did call once and my sister did stop by the hospital once, but I'm the only one he can talk to.  What in the world he's talking about is beyond me because I NEVER call him.  Not on his birthday, not on holidays, and when he calls me on my birthday, I don't answer the phone.  He is just the same man trying to make me feel bad, trying to manipulate me into calling him. 

I may have called him if he didn't leave such a ridiculous voicemail, but I just can't have that in my life anymore.  I refuse to let anyone treat me the way he has always treated my sisters, my mother, and my little brother.  There is no hatred in me.  The anger and bitterness is gone and for that I can only thank God (and the Beth Moore bible study "Breaking Free").  It was clearly the grace of God that freed me from the bondage I was in because of my father.  I saw him for the broken man he is and my heart changed, but today I am ambivalent.  I'm sooo very tired of having to play the good daughter and call him every stinking time he lands in the hospital just in case he dies and I end up regretting my decision not to call him.

I know these are horrible things to verbalize, especially in a public blog, but why blog or even write if we can't learn and grow from one another?  I've been through a lot in my life, but I've also come a long way to get here and I'm not afraid to share who I am, even if it's the ugly parts in me.  We all have ugly stuff and I don't have the energy or desire anymore to wear a happy mask and pretend I'm not struggling.  I did that for years and I was miserable (I feel pretty darn good about my life right now, I might add).  I want to be transparent enough to one day help someone else who goes through what I've gone through.  Everyday after breakthrough healings isn't going to be peachy and today is one of those days as I wonder if I should call my father and if that makes me a horrible daughter.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Politics or Jesus?

Here's me: when I think of donkeys and elephants, I think of my recent safari in Africa.  I don't think about politics.  I used to follow the political scene much more closely (I had a mad crush on Anderson Cooper, haha!), but it just wasn't me.  All the fighting and anger and hatred; all the slandering of people because of the party they subscribe to... I just don't have that in me.

So imagine my surprise when I attended this great seminar about the Affordable Care Act and posted about it on Facebook.  Lord have mercy!!  People I love were saying downright mean things about other people I love, and condescendingly emailing me on the side ("poor, sweet, stupid Kathy, I know how you just want to take care of the world, but sweety, you really better pray about this, do some research, speak to your pastor about the HORROR of your political ignorance... Love you! xoxo").

Seriously.

Yes, I did pray this morning, but NOT about elephants and donkeys.  However, I came across Luke 6:27 where Jesus tells the people to love your enemy.  Do good to those who hate you.  Pray for them.  Bless those who curse you.  Folks, Jesus loves everyone, Republicans and Democrats included.  Quite frankly, my church has done more to improve the North Side (inner city, urban) community than any political or governmental entity.  So thanks for all the political hugs and kisses, but I think I'm going to follow my heart.  I'm going to continue in my "ignorance" and love everyone and follow Jesus and His laws. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keep On Writing!

I have thought about this blog more times than I can count.  To actually write a blog (let alone go public with it) has been a great feat for me because although I love to write, I haven't really written in years.  When I left Virginia, a place I grew to love, a place I grew period, I became so disconnected with myself and life that words that once flowed ceased.  The things I did write were so forced, so redundant.  The stuff I was writing was just plain awful until I quit writing altogether.  I spent my time instead working, working, relocating, working, relocating again, working... There was nothing left in my heart to write about.

During those years, I often longed to write again.  I can't explain the pure joy of putting words on paper, especially when they just fly from my pen.  When I am in the flow of words, there's no place else I'd rather be.  Even today, I can read stuff I wrote ten years ago and get a happy feeling.  I believe it has something to do with releasing all the thoughts, feelings and emotions that verbally I cannot express.  Writing has transformed my life in so many ways.  It stirs me cognitively (is that a word?) and I can think clearer in all areas of my life.  It gives me energy to accomplish great things and mundane things.  I feel connected with not only who I am, but with the Holy Spirit who guides my pen.  My life is just more satisfying to me when I am writing.
So why in heavens have I not written on this blog in so long?!  Like I said, I think about it every day and wish I were writing something, anything.  In fairness, I am writing a nutrition and health blog for my church, but I hope in the future daily grind of my life, I remember what I just wrote above and choose to keep up with this more personal blog.  Stay tuned!!