Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two years and Twenty Pounds Ago.....

Well, I had lost twenty pounds, but then my fat cells, being both co-dependent AND quite social, left, made friends, and came back home. I stopped writing creatively for quite a while in order to pursue other interests. To be more precise, other PINterests. I am a Pinterest junkie. I steal creativity and motivation from others and feed my own sense of self worth and accomplishment with pirated Inspirational Wooden Signs and bread machine recipes. Another reason I quit writing was that I just didn't want to risk being vulnerable for a while. I'm typically a pretty open book, but just hit a patch where I didn't want to articulate the truth about things I had been feeling. That, and I had a crap DELL that kept shutting down spontaneously and losing half of what I had just written and I was frustrated as ALL HECK. My words are meticulously custom crafted to each individual writing. The DELL would dump me, erase half of my genius genius work brilliantly smithed into profound sentences, and I couldn't remember what the heck I had written. Besides, I now have a cat and a Keurig. No writer is worth their cloud-space in Google Docs without a feline and a significant caffeine addiction.
However, I return to this media NOT to entertain the masses with my wit and enlightening perspective, but as safe, low level accountability for a smoothie cleanse. I'm starting Monday, so I'm revving up to it. TODAYS BREAKFAST 12 oz Energizing Arabica Bean Antioxidant 12%fat Calcium Protein Boost sweetened with Stevia Extract. This is also what is known as "Coffee with Half and Half". We shall see how the rest of the week goes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What if.......?

It's almost SCARY how social media pics up on interests. It almost seems like I just think something and I'm getting it recommended to me on Google, facbook, Amazon, Goodreads, or Netflix! With the exception of the "sponsored links", a lot of these are spookily spot on. I was thinking today with all the voting and politics around me, -(though some people, whom I do love but are admittedly clueless, sporting an "I Voted" sticker in their status updates, quite honestly, frightened me)- and I thought how the world would go round if our VOTE was not based on our status, or religious affiliation, or social circle, but on the way we ACTUALLY LIVE? If our choice of party, candidate or measure was selected by what we actually consume...what we buy, read, google, watch, or listen to- NOT on what we say? What would our representative Government look like? Something to think about......

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hey....I'm entitled to MY 2 Cents (or 1.5 after taxes)

I love Jesus. I am so grateful to Him. I am grateful for His sacrifice that allows me to be in communion with the Creator of the Universe. I am grateful for those He allowed into my life...for the blessing of my husband...children...my community. I Love my Family. I love all the best things about the country in which I was blessed to be born, America. I love people, but I love imperfectly. I am consistently incapable of loving without filtering that love through my own pride and selfishness. The only instances when I can are when I submit fully to Christ and allow HIM to love through me, which is sadly not nearly often enough. I believe in our right to Bear Arms, but because we live in a country of frightened people, where fear-mongering happens Right and Left, by our media, political, and religious organizations, I believe it is prudent that some restrictions be placed on the liberty to sustain it. I believe that gay people ARE PEOPLE, and should be afforded rights and liberties as all law abiding citizens of this country. A gay couple being granted the basic human right of a legal partnership in marriage DOES NOT DIMINISH THE VALIDITY OF MY HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE. I am grateful to the gay community for loving and being Jesus to hurting people when much of the Church would not. I believe the Roe V. Wade decision was allowed to wake up followers of Christ, NOT to wake us politically, but to wake our hearts and let us know that there are people so confused and hurting in ways they don't know how to talk about or where to turn. Abortion is a horrifying reality and a Pandora's Box that will be changed only by love, not legislation- By Loving ONE Person at a time in that Christ submitted way. I believe in welfare reform that involves Christ's people helping the sick and needy, but sadly most Evangelical Churches are in debt up to their eyeballs servicing Conservitive Social/Entertainment Clubs instead of their communities. I believe that much of the "Body of Christ" has had a Coronary Bypass, and is relying on the feet and hands and mouth to sustain life INSTEAD of Christ- our VERY HEART. That's my 1.5 cents.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I so suck at this....

I have not written on this blog in so long, and they've changed the format so much, that I had to re-educate myself on how to make new post. I have done some guest posts for MessyMarriage.com in the past months, but that's no excuse for being a slacker. I have been reading a good deal lately, and as I like to air my opinion in whichever format I can, as opposed to posting nothing, I will link my Goodreads reviews here also. This is not really a review, but some feedback for a book called Trufaced;Trusting God and Others with Who I Really Am by Bill Thrall. True Faced: Trust God and Others with Who You Really AreTrue Faced: Trust God and Others with Who You Really Are by William Thrall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Truly LOVED the concept of this book. It was personally challenging. When you have been brought up in Anglo-American Christian culture, we are so conditioned to believe Busy-ness is next to Godliness. When I took off the "masks" I had been working so hard to nurture and maintain, I was kind of left with "Now What? If I'm not this person who is busy working to please God, then who am I?" Many of us have been spiritually manipulated by people who claim to be "authorities" into believing that if we are given the opportunity to do any and every good thing and we don't we "make Jesus sad", even to the point of sacrificing Family on the altar of ministry. And all of this working and performing has fed our pride and arrogance. We can never Please God until we truly begin to trust Him, and casting our cares on Him and accepting the Grace He offers is not a desprt act of weakness but a willful act of humility We have been misled by a culture who has preached Grace, but doesn't really have a clue what Grace truly is. But trusting God with who I really am, isn't really the tough part, but the "trusting others". While I agree we should not have to perform or pretend we are someone we are not, and even when surrounded by posers we should maintain authenticity and we should't live a Guarded exsistance, I didn't read anything in the book that really helped the reader understand how to build your community of Grace with trustworthy people. If we don't learn to create and maintain healthy boundaries, we will get sucked back on the Hamster Wheel in the Room of Good Intentions. But the message of the book to look at the true meaning and offering of Grace and step into it is a VERY liberating one.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mom Fail

Why is it that I fully understand that it is the difficulties in life that contribute to all the best things that make up who I am, yet, when faced with the thought of my children encountering difficulties, my first reaction is to rescue and shield them. Maybe I believe that until I came through and learned from my struggles, I was not a valuable person. My children are already valuable and wonderful and I am of the opinion that since they are already wonderful, God should spare them difficulties.
My teenage daughter is beginning to experience some of those hard facts about people and relationships that don't seem right or fair. Can't she just learn what she needs to from some ABC Family movie of the week? There are so many more academic and future success preparation pressures for kids than there used to be. When you add all the teen angst crap into the mix, things often seem overwhelming and unmanuverable. I can identify somewhat with those struggles, having navigated being fourteen myself (though, far less successfully), but I don't know what it's like to walk in her shoes. I just know a lot of what she has to deal with is lame.
My son is something else entirely. Being a ten-year-old boy is something I can never remotely begin to identify with, and he being an individual with autism makes the chasm even wider. I ask him ridiculous questions about his behavior like he was a three year old: "Now, Son, do we crumple up our paper and throw it at our teacher?" He's not an idiot! He knows he's not supposed to do stuff like that, but his frustration overrides his ability to communicate and throwing the assignment is the best way he knows how to communicate what he is feeling. Since he was two years old, we have made sure he's had therapies and gone through exercises to get him to use language to express his wants needs and feelings, and now half the time it seems everyone is telling him what he is saying and how he is saying it is disrespectful and inappropriate.
"Come on, use your words. (gasp)YOU CAN'T speak to me that way! I'm your mother!!!" How frustrating! It's no wonder the characters he identifies most with is Calvin and Charlie Brown. We encourage him to be himself then bombard him with messages that he needs to change.
I feel so caught between what I think is best for , for my children, what They think is best for them, and what the rest of the world thinks is best for them. I tend to have these big aspirations for my children and tell them how special they are, then turn around and tell them not to make waves and keep their heads down because it's safer.
I not only love my kids, I genuinely LIKE them and want them to be themselves, but how to do that in those times when who they are seems to conflict with life in general? And if they do conform to one thing, something else comes along and requires them to conform to another. It's a big, confusing, insecure mess!
But then, it sort of hit me. What truly is BEST for them, isn't to simply fall in line with the pack. It may be the most comfortable and the easiest option. Romans 12:2 says "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Who knows those children better than their Creator, who wired them and gifted them specifically for His purpose? My job as their mom isn't to try to figure out which road they should be on, but give them tools to navigate the road God has already placed them on. That road can be expected to have many obstacles, and in shepherding them to make decisions consistent with who they are, which is compassionate, loving, creative and resourceful people, and what God instructs and demonstrates for us in His word, those obstacles are manageable.
I give myself pretty good advice sometimes. I just hope I have the courage to follow some of it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Grandad

My Grandparents have never qualified as what you would call “Empty Nesters”. They helped raise five sets of children. With grandchildren from age six to forty-something, each set of us came in a different decade. There were lessons each of us gleaned from their example that would serve us our whole lives.
Grandma taught me how to make a bed and that brown and serve rolls were every bit as good as any made from scratch. Grandad taught me how to cheat at tic tac toe and how to run a log splitter. He was a successful businessman, in spite of his terrible memory for numbers (he never could keep count of all of my ribs; he would always lose his place and have to start over).
Spending the night at Grandma’s was never as fun as Friday night when Grandad came home from "the woods" where he worked. When he came through the door in his green coveralls, he would give us each a hug and rub our faces with his whiskers. We could always count on Dr Pepper with Rocky Road Ice Cream before bed. On Saturday mornings, he would cook Bugs Bunny Pancakes and the most perfectly cooked bacon you’ve ever tasted- not too bendy, not too crispy. And he always made sure I had a black fork. After breakfast, he would let us drive the riding mower or tag along after him doing some other chore outside.
But, their biggest legacy is one of great love and deep faith.
I would sit between them during church and Grandad would keep me supplied with a steady stream of tic tacs to keep me quiet. One precious gift he gave me was his passion and joyous expression in his singing. I loved watching him lead the congregation on Sunday nights. I can still see him conducting a chorus “Heavenly Sunlight” with my Uncle Mark on piano and mother playing organ. He infused such joy into each song. As I got older, I never understood it when people would comment how boring the old hymns were.
When I was nineteen years old, I was visiting Grandma and Grandad at the Santa Ana house one afternoon. We sat and visited at the kitchen table. Grandad was playfully aggravating Grandma, as usual, while she stood at the sink to wash dishes. He stood in the doorway, his face full of mischief, when she gasped in frustration and rounded on him with an exasperating, “Dad!”
He then looked at her with such intensity, as though he had never beheld anything as beautiful or amazing as she was right in that moment. His smile spoke a language only she could understand. Her expression softened as she first furrowed her brow, then returned a bashful grin reminiscent of her seventeen-year-old self. No one else existed.
I knew right then and there what true love looked like. No book or movie could ever duplicate it. I could never give it a just description. I also knew, that was how I wanted to be looked at one day, for the rest of my life.
Over a year later, I had met and struck up a special friendship with a certain guitar player. We were working at Jenness Park in the Sierras for the summer. We were crowded in a car full of students on the way to Lodi to see a Continentals concert. We were all laughing and having a good time, when my guitar player friend looked down at me with a look similar to one I had only ever seen once. This look didn't have the weight that comes with 70 years, but the same look with a freshness and limitless possibilities. It was surreal. I felt my heart beat in my throat. He then kissed me on the forehead, as though I were a precious treasure. I could only gawk at him. I had to remind myself to breathe. He was doomed from that moment. We were married thirteen months later.
My husband would later tell me that he knew the moment he saw me I was the one for him, but any doubts he may have had were eradicated the first time he saw me run a log splitter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I recently saw a cartoon by autistic people depicting themselves as Owls forced to function in the daytime. How the light was bright in large eyes and the hustle and bustle of the day was confusing and scary and so loud to acute hearing. The environment was such that it was impossible to function as they were designed. They could not simply be Owls.
We, as adults, often forget what it was like to be kids. We get so preoccupied with how things are “supposed” to operate that we often go into “fix it” mode, rather than “understand it” mode. Perhaps if we took some of the time we spend worrying about things and applied it to getting in someone else's shoes thinks would “operate” much more smoothly, because our perspective on “supposed to” would change.
We fail to recognize that the lonely, overwhelmed, “small” feeling we dismiss as anxiety is our body reminding us how it was to be a kid- insecure and trying to find where we fit in this crazy world. In the years I have been a parent and those spent working with small children, I have made a conscious effort to remember this perspective. But I have no capacity to fully understand the perspective of my son who lives on the autism spectrum. Though the “small, where do I fit?” feeling is probably universal, no matter our age or wiring. But recognizing how to hear and communicate that feeling with my son is difficult.
My son is a “ranter” and a “raver”. He hates to “cry”. He does not like the sensation of tears coming from his eyes. I think it embarrasses him on some level when he can't make them stop. But He will holler and yell and pretend cry if he falls down or isn't getting his way. It's a learned response that he believes is an appropriate way of communicating “I am sad” or “I am hurt”. He will also speak up when he is trying to control something he does not understand and is trying to make it fit into his world. But Sometimes he simply acts out and he doesn't understand why. And he doesn't act out because he LIKES it, but because He simply does not know what else he's supposed to do.
The other day he came home from school and told me, “ I got in trouble today again Mom. I grabbed [my teacher] and got sent to the office.” I went through the whole, “Do we grab our teacher when we are angry?”, and “Do you like being sent to the office?”. In retrospect, those are incredibly stupid questions. The answers are both “NO” and “NO”. Do I really think he doesn't KNOW that? When I ask “Why did you feel like you had to grab your teacher?” the answer is “I don't know”. I have come to understand that “I don't know” means “I don't know how to answer your question”.
Later, after sitting quietly and reading for a time, he said, “Mom. I don't like getting in trouble.” He tried to look at me, but the tears came. He quickly looked away and rubbed his eyes.
I can't know what it's like to be him and feel how he feels and navigate this world with his challenges. But I totally know how it is to feel completely misunderstood; to not be able to explain what is going on inside me; to look at the place I think I might fit and not like it. I can identify with that. And It Sucks. It's a little bit like an owl, trying to function in the daytime.