Monday, July 5, 2010

Annie and Mom's Famous Carrot Cake

She eyes the cake...
Permission to taste...
She looks ill...

Auf Weidersehen good-bye

I hate goodbye's. Well, mostly. I hate and loathe the goodbye's that end early. Painfully. Without reason. Whether a break up , or a friendship, a job, life as we once knew it. We cling to what we know. Because we know it. It is altogether quite familiar and safe. Even if it's not healthy. Even if it's painful. It's our pain. It's our relationship. It's our job. There are some things we will never know the reason to - why's plague our soul and cause us to take Ambien at night. To somehow quiet our minds to the how come's, the what if's, and the maybe's. These are all dangerous. They seem to imply that we know how life ought to be. We are the Director and the cast is terribly out of whack and run amuck. They are not following our Script so eloquently designed to We are the lead in our own show. But isn't this just terrible? For we have no more reason to think we can direct life than we have reason to think we created this world we tread each day! It is nonsensical and don't we pride ourselves in our reasoning? Ought it be only fair that we take the lead and when one of our players is not acting accordingly fall apart and declare justice! Well, perhaps not. Perhaps?
Goodbye my lover
Goodbye my friend
You have been the one
You have been the one for me
-James Blunt
I fear losing control. Of my life. It is all so accomodating. My , my, my. Did I ever have control? Of my relationships, my finances, my home? It's an illusion the enemy banks on to keep us in utter bondage. Suffice it to say we gladly take the reigns. And when the unthinkable (you're breaking up with ME?! You're firing ME?!) happens, we resign to the fact that it's their's God's fault. Curtain call.
Act Two. We try yet again!
How simpler our lives should be if we surrendered and waved our white flags. Surrender is strength. God, give me strength.
We balk, we throw temper tantrums at any uncertainty in our lives. We do not know what tomorrow holds (see Mattew). Isn't it best and wise to entrust it to the One who wrote the Script? Who laid out the stage we see before us? Who knows the pain of goodbye's and what if's? He is surely there! His right hand is sure to save! So, little sheep, rest in Your Shepherd. Be guided by His rod. Be disciplined by it. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding shall guard your little, precious heart.
- Nat

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Three Ohhhhhh!

So, in a day and a half I shall be turning thirty. Thirty. Thirty. i see it, but can't quite believe it. I recall the days where highschool seniors were old, college seniors.....I try to take comfort and tell myself things like "Jennifer Aniston is forty", and list the people I know who are thirty something or older...
Is it thirty or is it where I am in life that is bothering me? I suppose it's both. I should be , or so I unkindly tell myself , in a much different place. My own house, husband, you know the "All American go to church Sunday kind of girl". But woah is me,;), I am most certainly not. So what can I do? I can compare. I have perfected the art of comparing. I am darn good at it. So much infact that a wise man that mentors me spiritually declared "Stop it! Do you know what comparing is? It's wearing God's eyeglasses which you don't have". It was quite unfortunate to hear this, yet quite true. Who am I to say what's going on in someone's life? Who am I to declare "Well, God i do declare (I'm very Texan when I speak to God;) I deserve this and that and...." Who am I to look at another life and ask "but what about them..." Just as Peter did (Was it Peter) where Christ basically said it is none of your business (although a lot more gentle). So thirty. To an eighteen year old, I'm old. To a fifty year old I'm young. But it doesn't matter ultimately. Age. "Youth is wasted on the young" Would I go back? No. My twenties had some trials I would opt not to be apart of again. So I figure (yes, I'm rather logical;), I can embrace this or wear black all day and shed the tears of a widower. So I hope to embrace it. As a new chapter. As a clean slate. As a woman. And I hope what "they say" that thirties are a woman's best years, that "they" prove to be correct, for why not embrace our present? We have no other choice no matter how much Oil of Olay we use. I can pump my face full of Botox, but I think I will hopefully learn to love the lines that will one day form for all of us women - lines from laughter, tears, learning, aging, wisdom.
And so the dreaded Thirty - or not. It's my descision. So instead of shouting as Joey on a Friends episode where they all turn thirty "Why God, why are you doing this to us?!", perhaps I'll blow out my (many;) candles - shall probably take me three puffs;) and thank Him for where I am.
Now when I'm forty....well, we might then get out the black dress;)!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Over The Rainbow

My friends know.
My family knows.
God knows.
How Annie came to be. I had grown up in a church where "True Love Waits", and I believed it. It was something I held onto. It was apart of me. It was "who" I was. The one that was twenty seven...
My first kiss, 26.
Oh, no, far from perfect.
But I said no and long story short recieved the shock of my life when, not knowing I had even lost my virginity, two lines showed up...yep, two pink lines.
No. No. It cannot be. I said no. Nothing happened. Another test this time a "plus" sign as in "plus one" is residing in your womb. To the hospital. No. I need a blood test. Confirmation. I was pregnant. I remember what I was wearing. It's funny the details one remembers. Now what exactly happened is another story. I remember being in the hospital and the word "baby' seemed to be everwhere, on the screen behind me on the news....babies crying in the waiting room. I was eight weeks pregnant and still felt like a virgin. Did I think of an abortion? Yes. I think anyone does in a moment of panick, just wanting the unthinkable to disappear. Somehow when I would I would force myself to watch graphic videos on abortion severing the ties of any thoughts that that would be my child. And somehow amidst all of this, I loved the little heartbeat I first heard in my dr.'s office "thump, thump, thump" it echoed in the room, in my ears, in my soul. Tears streamed from my eyes as often they would the next nine months. What will people think? Of all the people I knew that "slept around" why was it that I bore, what I felt, was the Scarlett Letter? I remember the morning I awoke to The Bump. It was there. It was coming. There was no turning back. I lay there and stared at it and wanted to see my stomach flat the way it was. It was evidence of my sin. It was evidence that I wasn't perfect. "But I said no, I said no" I wanted to declare to everyone that saw me. I would go into Starbucks and hide my hand without the ring that validated The Bump. Babies were everywhere all of the sudden, on t.v. shows, on the streets, in the stores. I would often lay in bed for days in tears wondering why I couldn't be like every other 27 year old as my roommates went to get pedicures, hopped flights to Cobo, I was throwing up morning and night. My baby shower I felt was a "We Are So Proud Of You" smash - and while all of my friends and family gathered around me in utter support, it never took away the shame I felt. The anger towards her father - the injustice of it all. I was definately not the "cute pregnant" person. I think it was my lack of movement from the shock, the "Oh God let the days pass, December is forever away", the "how big am I going to get?!"
Looking at my daughter now I consider her a miracle. Every event that had to happen in order for her to be convieved by her Father had to happen. I feel like she looks nothing like me. With her blonde hair and blue eyes I tell her she's an angel, hence why she didn't inherit mom's green eyes and red hair.
If I had known during the ten months what was to come......and there was a small whisper "Just hang on. Just hang on." My sweet brother pulled me aside once "Why do you walk around embarassed? Be proud of yourself, carry your head high".
We went to the park today with "Nana" and her cousins and she ran through the field full of laughter and life. Thank God for that night. In the seemingly "no"s He gave me the best gift ever. Sometimes I feel so unworthy that she's mine ( not to mention terrified). She's growing so fast and she will be two. Two! Sometimes I miss her smallness and her sweet little cry "wha, wha" when she was weeks old. I miss her lying on my chest, this new to the world baby with an I.V. in her arm all swaddled. I wish I had savored it, been more brave at the time and not held her with tears straming down my eyes wondering how we will make it.
It is good to love someone more than yourself. Gone are the days where I am more important (though Oh God I wish I were still less selfish.) The thought of her never coming makes me cringe to think of life without her - work - dinner - movies. That was life. Bible studies. Now it's stories, watching the world through her eyes, the joy I find each morning waking up to her. The new words she says, the "Mama" that all mothers know is the best word ever.
Her spirit, ever so sensitive, ever so sweet. So pure, so untainted by the world, so carefree and child like, something we all should be more of.
It is good.
It is well.
It was a miracle in disguise. If there are storms in your life, know that behind them there just might be that rainbow that hasn't quite come. And not only a rainbow but a map that will lead you to a pot of gold. And the winds will pass, the storm subside, and a gift may be revealed....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Confessions of a Confused Christian

Here was a man who I knew knew the love of God. He showered it upon me with his time, grace, and acceptance. He wasn't just my therapist. Though he saw me for free three times a week and knew my deepest, darkest secrets, my fears, my was in Seattle that Michele called and told me he had hung himself from a ceiling. I recall crying a lot in the little quaint doll house like hotel I was staying in by the luxurious waters of the Seattle port. I remember thinking I will read the Psalms, if anyone knew despair it was David. And so I turned my pages furiously trying to find something to soothe my heart....."God saves the righteous man in trouble". I slammed down my Bible and thought to myself "No He doesn't." Instead I tiptoed my way into the lobby where they served shots of whiskey and I drank and drank, went back to my room and sobbed. It was in our times in his office where I would share my despair about the illness (pain in my body) we couldn't figure out - the date rape in which Annie came to be - my thoughts that I, myself, wanted to die. Mark had wrestled with suicide before. Until one day when he was in the Northpark shopping lot and he decided that if God created him "crazy" he would glorify God crazy. That's when he said his healing began. There was always hope he told me. So how could this man drive six hours to his lake house tie a rope......
Is this God's fault? Did God abandon him? No.
So then what? Can I spend my life serving others, loving others and end up as he did? It's terrifying.
All the Christian "just do this, that, don't do this" as though it is salvation from the pain of this world have ended up to be just that "cliche"s. For throughout my trials, I have yet to find a "formula" that "works".
I expressed my anger towards God to my chiropractor, a kind, godly man who somehow musters up the ears to listen to my words. Often through tears. How can God be good? Is God good because He gives us a husband, a new house, our health? No. God is Good because He is Good, the antithesis of Evil. God is good because of Love. He is Love. And if it weren't for my friends, my family, Annie, where I gain glimpses of His Love, I would surely be lost by now. But He never let's me go too far. I've dabbled in the "world" thinking maybe.....
And perhaps in His grace it has made me more miserable. So how do I turn to Him with that child like faith I long to have, despising all of my "but's, my how come's, my Exhibit A as to why He isn't good?" I suppose it's by looking around - my friends who exhibit His love esp. as of late where they forgave me the unforgiveable. I know humanly they would not be able to. I see it when I wake up to my sweet little girl that God brought to me through a quote "terrible" circumstance. Through my parents unfailing love. For chance after chance. For not leaving me when I leave Him. I used to read theology a lot, every Christian book I could get my hands on thinking if I "understood" I would love Him and experience His love. He is Good. He was good to Mark and no doubt provided him a way of escape. He is Good, by taking such pain and bringing sweet Annie (Hebrew meaning God's grace, mercy). He is Good because He went through grief, abandonment, abuse, and a painful death to show me His love beyond just telling me. When I was little I would watch Billy Graham conferences and I would see crowds of people closing their eyes, worshipping, and it would scare me, because I'd think "does He hear my voice?" Yes. He does. He sees a sparrow, He hears His children. How I long for more faith! To know the answers to the questions the enemy throw at me. But I suppose I must trust the One who is Good and knows the answers. Just as I step on a plane and don't know how a plane flies, but I trust the pilot that does know. He is my Pilot. He is good. And on this plane called life we must sit back and trust for a safe landing. Lord, I desire to love You.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Weather's Changing Just Like Me

Today the weather is beginning to give me a hint that fall is around the corner. That soon the leaves will change into a glorious gold, that the cool wind will blow on my face, that family and friends will come together for another Thanksgiving. It's true what "they" say, and "they" are always correct, that time really does fly. My baby girl is walking, uttering words "Gracie", "Mama", "Pops", giving high fives. She stares at planes in wonder and awe as they fly overhead in our backyard. I want to freeze time with her, savor her little hands, her tiny face before she is grown up, doing homework, going to the mall....kindergarten. I want to protect her from all pain in this world and as she grows older I know it is certain that she will come home in tears, struggle with the vanity of this world around her, not knowing about her dad. I suppose God's grace will be suffucient for that time....the day when she asks me about her father. Perhaps I will be married and another man will love her as her own. I look at how she sits with my dad, rather, "Pops", and eats ice cream with him and it makes me so glad. That this precious little angel is so loved and adored by everyone....and by her Heavenly Father. Today, and lately, I am trying to see life through simpler eyes. I tend to complicate, analyze, worry, doubt. But when I tell myself today is all we have, yesterdays are forever gone, tomorrows are not guarunteed and in His hands anyways, I am free to be in the moment of today.
This last week I have realized how sick I am - my sin, my selfishness, my pride, my insecurities, my need for people to love me. And as a dear wise friend wrote it is only what God thinks of me that matters. And while yes, so terribly "cliche", I fear, so terribly true. When I beg for affirmation in order to be "okay" with myself, I neglect the Father's love. I've lost some things this last week - things that so matter to me - I've dealt with shame and anger. "If only they knew...." Well, He knows and He stamped me "okay, a princess, a daughter" with His hands spread out on a Cross. I am often shocked at my sinful soul, but He is not. It's why He came, it's the essence of the gospel, and perhaps growing up I thought it was a little 50/50 as far as "who" I
I did this, and that so phew, I'm okay...ya, God did this/ that but I...I...I...
It's about me. My futile attempts to be holy, "good", "loved" - and my pathetic desire to be seen for this. The outward accelades I selfishly attempt to recieve. Jesus, thank You for loving me. That nothing I do can / will change that. Thank You for not giving up on me. Thank You that my righteousness is as filthy rags and that You allow me to wear Your garment. Jesus, I want to know You and love You with my whole heart. And all of my sickness, trials, fears, circumstances, Jesus at Your feet may they be. And may you take what Satan tries to destroy me with and turn it into a chisel to etch me more into Your likeness. Thank You for accepting little me, and not just accepting, for passionately loving me. You are to be trusted. Oh Jesus change me. Give me the abundant life here on earth while we wait to be with You forever.
I pray for Annie - God protect her always, guide her, be with her. Be her daddy now and if it's Your will bring an earthly dad into her life. Thank You for Nana and Pops.
This is a bit of a random post I realize.....