Thursday, December 24, 2009
Its not fancy and its not even very cheery.
I'm trying my best, but its just not happening...the Christmas spirit, I mean. This year is a different story than years past. I haven't posted since Thanksgiving for a reason. I'm wallowing. I know I'm a little old for pouting, but that's exactly what I've been doing. Christmas has always been a glorious time of year for me. My mom was a Christmas nut and always had the best things planned and the most cheer of anyone I'd ever met. Her house was filled with Christmas carols, almost year-round, and more decorations than the fire code allowed. There was no end to how tacky my mom could get at Christmas. My favorite "Mom" story involves a Christmas Tree sweatshirt that had real lights that really lit-up. Need I say more? I say that she "was" a Christmas nut because she's not with me anymore. I lost her 3 1/2 yrs ago (I lost my dad 5 yrs ago) and to make matters worse, her birthday was
Tuesday. So it's Christmas Eve and I have no parents, no one in my family cares enough to call and check in with me on her birthday-not even my sister, I haven't gotten more than 10 Christmas cards (and one of those is from a business we used this year) even though I sent out 35 of my own , I have three of my own children who are relying on me to create their Christmas memories, I have a Red Velvet cake to bake today for my Husband's family Christmas tonight and no desire to do so, I miss my mom so much I can't breathe and its warm and rainy in Alabama today. Oh, and did I mention that I'm unemployed? Yeah, I got laid off after Thanksgiving. I think wallowing is a teensy bit of a fallacy...I think I have slipped into full out depression. I know that Christmas is supposed to be focused on Jesus and his plan of salvation; I know that I'm supposed to focus on my own family; I don't want
my kids to remember this as the year that Mom didn't care. I know all of these things...I just can't make myself "feel" anything. I think that's the best description-numbness. How am I going to beat it this year? The only way I know how is to cry. I mean it. I need a good cry. I haven't cried about losing my job, missing my mom, feeling forgotten by my family, or anything else in a long time. I just can't muster a good cry. I sat and looked at photo albums, read old letters from Mom, reminisced with the kids, talked to my husband, talked to my best friend about it.....nothing. I really think I'd feel better if I just had a good cry, but it won't come. My brain is too busy telling me about all the things I should be doing instead of being numb and it won't let me just feel. As I am blogging this, a friend from high school posted something on my Facebook. Nothing fancy, just a little
"Hey! You're fabulous and I love you!". I thought I was going to cry, but yet nothing happened. Have I turned into the Grinch? Remember that animation of his little shriveled up, black heart? I think that's me. Maybe not, but it kinda feels that way. I want Christmas cheer and carols and food and cookies for Santa and candy canes in my hot cocoa! I want peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men! I want to be excited about opening presents with my children tomorrow morning! I want.... I want my mom. I feel so selfish for that. I feel like all I can focus on right now is me and what I want, what I'm missing, how I'm feeling when I should be focused on my family. My husband, who has made a huge effort to make me feel okay about being unemployed at Christmas, my children who only have one childhood, my In-Laws who are coming to share Christmas Eve with us in 8 hours, my Best Friend who is
sharing Christmas dinner with us tomorrow and my God, who bent down to Earth to become flesh and blood with the express purpose of dying for my sins. Please, God, forgive my selfishness. Help me. Help me feel love. Help me feel joy. Help me feel anything! I promise to hide the bitterness and pain from my family so as not to ruin their holiday but I'd rather not have it at all. Please release me. Please. Amen. For anyone reading this....I hope I didn't ruin your holiday.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
We had his party last Saturday because we are leaving this weekend for the holidays. I just wanted to introduce him officially today and wish him a Very Happy Birthday! I can hardly believe that its been 8 years since we met for the first time. I remember every little detail about his puffy little face that night. I also remember the story...our story. I wasn't supposed to have him. He wasn't supposed to make it. I went for my 1st doctor's visit with his pregnancy expecting good news, what I got was not exactly good. To accurately pinpoint a due date, an ultrasound was done. The problem was that they couldn't find a baby. In fact, quite honestly they couldn't find my uterus. After lots of tries and some equipment changes, it was determined that my uterus had fallen backwards. The doctor came in afterwards and as gently as he could explained that this was not good. It made for poor
growing conditions for the baby. He did not think the baby would be receiving adequate blood supply. The chances were very slim that the baby would grow enough to cause the uterus to right itself. He could tell that I wasn't really comprehending what he was saying. He leaned forward, put his hand on my hand and said, " Melanie, do not get used to the idea of being pregnant. I do not think this baby will survive." It knocked the wind out of me. I was numb. I went home and broke the news to my husband and parents. We were devastated. This was not a planned pregnancy by any means but that did not change the fact that from the moment we thought he existed, he did exist to us. Our faith tells us that life is present at conception....this was a tiny person fighting for his life. I felt helpless and lost. I lay on the couch for days and cried. I was completely useless to my husband and two
other children who were 5 and 18 months. I had visions of him in there suffocating for lack of oxygen and blood. A little tiny baby, gasping for air. It was horrible. After a week of being useless, I decided to do something. I went back to see the doctor. I explained that I was useless and needed a job. I needed him to tell me something useful I could do. I just could not sit around and wait for my baby to die. I wouldn't. He understood me. He told me that if I stayed on bedrest, laying on my right side, for the next several weeks there was a chance....a slight one....that the baby might had enough blood supply to grow larger. If it grew large enough the fluid that surrounded it might act like a balloon and right the womb. He stressed to me that the odds were that this was a waste of time, but that at least I could feel like I had done everything I could have. He did caution me that he
did not know how the lack of blood flow at the beginning, crucial time of pregnancy would affect the baby. There was a chance that the baby may be born with some sort of disability. Was I prepared for that? He also told me that he hadn't recommended this before because he thought it might be false hope and he knew I had other children to care for. I understood him but thanked him for humoring me. After 12 weeks of bedrest and three ultrasounds the doctor happily announced that my body was cooperating! We had a healthy baby on the way!! I only spent 3 months on my feet. By my 7th month the baby had grown so large that he was damaging nerves. My legs started going numb and I started falling. Back to bed I went. 10 weeks later, and three days overdue, Mr. Funny arrived in a whirlwind of chaos. After only a 3 hour labor I was holding my third son. The Doctor smiled when he looked at him
and told me, " He's a stubborn little cuss....gets that from you." And he is stubborn. Just like his Momma. He was born perfectly healthy, except for asthma. I pray for a long, healthy and happy life for him. I am blessed to have you, Mr. Funny!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
just love the warm moonlight and the reflection off of the water. Its very dark, but to me breathtaking. The detail in this one awes me everytime I look at it. If you look closely you can see people working on the dock and having a bonfire. The minute detail in this one is my favorite thing. It looks like a photograph. Well, these are a few of my favorite paintings but by no means is this all of them. Now that I have figured out how to post pictures, I look forward to sharing even more with you!
girl who looks like she might be in pain, might be looking at that house and wishing she could get away. That story is completely imagined however because the girl in truth was Mr. Wyeth's neighbor. She had Polio and was disabled. He chose her because of her strength and resilience. I looked at her and saw emotional pain, he looked at her and saw strength. This is so paramount to me, I can barely describe it. To know why, you have to know a little about me. You would have to know, for instance, that I grew up impossibly poor, emotional bankrupt, sexually abused and physically beaten. You also have to know that no one knew. I confided in no one, but when I looked at that painting I thought I could see someone who might understand my pain....someone who might have her own pain and secrets. Mr. Wyeth's "Christina" comforted me the way no one else could at that time in my life. Now, not
all art brings that level of emotional attachment for me, but all paintings evoke something out of me. For instance, I know that I prefer Realism to Impressionism and Impressionism to Abstraction. I actually don't like Abstract Art much at all.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
God, teach me lessons for living so that I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me- my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments; I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom, and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets, invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me-
Promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics- but what you say is always good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel; preserve my life through your righteous ways.
What I got out of it:
A bent for your words of wisdom.
Father, please have mercy on my sinner's nature. I ask for "a bent for your words of wisdom". Instead of having a thirst for attention, stuff or earthly security, instill in me a love of your wisdom, a knack for understanding your word, a deep-seated need to be intimately connected to you. Bring me Lord the peace that I know only time spent with you can bring. Amen.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Passage for the day:
I'm feeling terrible--I
couldn't feel worse!
Get me on my feet again. You
When I told you my story,
you responded; train me well
in your deep wisdom.
Help me understand these
things inside and out.
so I can ponder your
My sad life's dilapidated, a
falling-down barn; build
me up again by your Word.
Barricade the road that goes
Nowhere; grace me with your
I choose the true road to
Somewhere, I post your road
signs at every curve and
I grasp and cling to whatever
you tell me; God, don't let
I'll run the course you lay
out for me if you'll just
show me how.
What I got out of it:
The course you lay out for me
Dear Lord, help me find my way, my "course", that you have lain out for me. I know that you have a plan for me but I fail to see the big picture and I get bogged down in the everyday things and tend to dwell there. Help me, remind me, prod me to follow "the course you lay out for me". Amen.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
We had been planning this since last week, but money was too tight last weekend to allow it so we aimed for this weekend. Our aim was true, or more importantly, the check cleared the bank, so we decided to take the boys out on the town. The best part about this story is that we didn't tell them anything. I spent the whole day secretly texting Hubby and looking up movie times when there weren't busy-body boys looking over my shoulder. Finally, we settled on a plan and Hubby came home half an hour early to start the fun. We told The Ankle Biters to change clothes because we were going to town. They were somewhat incredulous about that one. The Mouth, my 10 year old son, decidedly announced that we must be doing something great because they were being made to dress up. To this I answered that being made to wear CLEAN clothes is not the same as dressing up. I do have to add that when he said "dress up" he means that I handed him a polo shirt and a pair of jeans, but he was however still wearing his sandals. Go figure. We got them all loaded up, after we shoo'd away a new FEMALE friend that came to visit my oldest (14 year old) son, who I will name The Sweet One. This female visitor is monumental in our house and I'm going to devote a whole post to her later. Trust me, Mom has things to say. So, we finally get them all in the Grocery-Getter and we head out. There is much speculation in the back seat about what our destination is. I hear all kinds of chatter going on but no one guesses correctly. We drive to the next town over and pull into the Walmart. Groaning happens in the back seat. The Mouth spouts off, "You made me wear a shirt with a collar to come to Walmart??". Hubby suppresses a snort, which he has to do a lot when The Mouth speaks. I tell him again that clean clothes are not the same as dress clothes and we head inside. Hubby's plan is to get them all new baseball gloves. He and The Sweet One are playing softball with the Church League and The Sweet One's glove fell apart at practice Thursday night. The Mouth isn't playing ball yet, but has shown a considerably amount if skill and will probably start playing city league ball in the Spring. My chest swells with pride! My 7 year old, Mr. Funny, isn't big enough to play, but we don't want to leave him out so he gets one too. We spend a little time looking and trying on gloves before we finally decide which ones to buy. Mr. Funny ends up with a new ball as well because he is cute and we are suckers. Any other excuse I give you would be a lie. So, we look around a little more and Mom decides on a new bread knife. (The back story on this is that there was only one. I complained about having to buy a cheap knife that probably wasn't sharp enough to slice bread, came home to try it out and promptly sliced my finger open. Lesson learned.) We FINALLY check out and Mr. Funny announces that he likes restaurants. This is his way of asking if we can go out to eat. Again suppressing a snort, Hubby tells him we'll think about it. By the time we make it to the van, Hubby tells the boys that we can eat out tonight, making it sound like a last minute decision when in fact we had planned for it. We drive to Wendy's, eat our food and load back up, to go home the boys think, but we had more in store for them. When we drove around the corner to the Theatre the back seat got VERY quiet. I think they were all holding their breath. Afraid that if anyone breathed it might blow away any chance they had of seeing a movie that night. Because we have just bought the house and had to save for a year prior to that to be able to afford the house, we have not been able to see many movies lately and further more the boys know not to ask. So absolutely no one asked to see a movie at all. Trying not to smile, I told the boys to come up with me to see what was playing. The smiles on those faces...that is what I was waiting for. To see pure joy on the faces of my Ankle Biters...that is worth the effort and saving that went into planning our night out. So, we spend the next 3 hrs watching movies we have each seen more than 100 times, but with the added bonus of 3D. Because we had seen them so much, the best part about the whole experience was saying the lines along with the characters and noticing things and sounds you only notice on the big screen with megawatt surround sound. It truly was one of the best theatre experiences of my life and I got to share it with my most favorite men on the planet. Watching them watch those movies, the smiles and laughter (like they'd never seen it before), the dancing and twitching, these are the reasons we save and plan and spend and stay out until midnight. These are the people that make my life worth living...they are my reason.
Be generous with me and I'll live a full life;
Not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your
I'm a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry,
ravenous! - insatiable
for your nourishing
And those who think they know
so much, ignoring everything
you tell them - let them
Don't let them mock and
I've been careful to do just
what you said.
While bad neighbors
maliciously gossip about me,
I'm absorbed in pondering
your wise counsel.
Yes, your sayings on life are
what give me delight;
I listen to them as to
What I got out of it:
• Absorbed (in your wise
Lord, the word "absorbed" jumps out at me today. In a way, similar to "single-minded" brings up the idea of not being distracted. Again you bring me to confess my distraction when praying to you and reading your Word. Forgive me Father for not giving you my full attention and using my time with you as a way to check a box off of my mental To-Do list.
Please forgive me again for not seeking yoy with my heart, but only with my mind.
Thank you, God, for bringing these words to my attention. I do want to know you intimately and I welcome correction and reminders to help me achieve that intimacy with you Lord. I do love you so much. Thank you for loving me too!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Because the first and last stanzas of this chapter were read aloud in church, the challenge starts with verses 9-16. Also, even though there is some argument about which version of the Bible is "correct", I prefer to use "The Message" when I am searching more for understanding than inspiration. For me personally, it feels more like my heart-language, more like God is sitting with me and we are talking like friends. The assignment is merely to read the passage and then ask God what word or phrase is yours for the day. Here I have copied the text and then outlined what I've gleaned from it and then write down my prayer for the day. Remember that this is my personal devotion though, so it should go without saying that I will be sharing intensely personal thoughts. I do not know why God is pressing me to publish this in my blog, but I trust that there must be some reason.
How can a young person live a clean life?
By carefully reading the map of your Word.
I'm single-minded in pursuit of you; don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.
I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart
so I won't sin myself bankrupt.
Be blessed, God;
train me in your ways of. wise living.
I'll transfer to my lips
all the counsel that comes. from your mouth;
I delight far more in what you tell me about living
than in gathering a pile of riches.
I ponder every morsel of
wisdom from you,
I attentively watch how you've done it.
I relish everything you've told me of life,
I won't forget a word of it.
What God pointed out to me:
Thank you God that you have drawn my attention to this phrase. I confess my sin is "multi-tasking" while seeking you. I ask forgiveness for not clearing my mind and not giving you my full attention. Please strengthen my resolve that I might seek you more earnestly and "single-mindedly". This phrase brings to mind a feeling like someone wooing a lover-that you want my pursuit of you to be like that of an intimate love instead of the unequal love of a Father/Daughter relationship. Lord, am I ready to move away from you as authority and move into intimate love and relationship with you? Why does that scare me so God? Please calm my heart Lord, as I fear that I am placing my father's identity on you. I wish to seek you single-mindedly, without holding back out of fear. Strengthen me Lord. I love you.
For the last week I have been taking part in a 20 day challenge. This past Sunday my friend Dave gave the message at church, an awesome message I might add, about the history of the Bible and the importance of "actually" reading the Bible. It seems that the majority of Christians don't actually sit down and read the Bible. Shocking it wasn't because I am one of those Christians. I might read the Bible if the mood struck me, or if I am taking a class or study that required it, or more commonly I would pick it up when I was wrestling with something and felt the need for comfort or guidance, but just not as an everyday ritual. I am not in the habit of reading my Bible. Its deeply shameful for me to admit that. So Dave challenged us. He gave us the assignment to take part in a 20 day reading plan on Psalm 119. He even went through the trouble of making up little reading plan work sheets, like school children get for making book reports, which I love because it let's me know that I'm not the only Christian who needs a course of "Bible Reading for Dummies". I decided to take the challenge. Since I have embarked on the "challenge" I have absolutely had the hardest time spiritually. Attack? Maybe. But, maybe its just that this way of thinking (with an ear towards what God wants instead of what I want) is so radically different that I almost don't even know how to function under it. My last post is Prima Facia evidence. Yesterday was the worst day I've experienced so far in the challenge. Yesterday I was so bowed up with despair that I couldn't even stand myself. I labored to even breathe, the despair was so thick. The air in the house was so tainted with it, my poor children tiptoed around me like I was terminally ill. Today, I didn't want to relive that feeling so I approached my reading with a different fervor, a different angle than before. I approached this assignment like a writer. I asked myself, "What am I getting from this that I can share? Can this help someone else? What if this is not all about me?" Shocking idea isn't it? That life is not just about me? I know ... revolutionary. So, this is what I've decided to do. I'm going to blog my personal thoughts and prayers for the next several days. I'm already five days into it, but since I journaled those days on paper I will just post them all at once and from then on I will continue one day at a time. Take this journey with me. We'll both be changed people from it.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
*Inside your eyes...*
Inside your eyes,
I see many things.
I can see a caged bird,
who wants to spread her wings.
I can see the depths
of the oceans in your eyes.
I can see lost dreams
fading as they die.
The extent to which your pain goes really knows no bounds.
The sound of anguish echos
as it crashes and it pounds.
Your face continues smiling - as you turn to face the world.
But inside your shrinking slowly...
the fire inside you cooled.
The demise of the true you, all but missed by those you hold dear,
has caused you to become
jaded and locked inside by fear.
I wonder how this happened, how you came to be so far away.
Will someone finally notice it?
Will there ever be a day?
As I watch your face with pity,
your heart as dense as stone,
I realize with great sadness that the face I look upon
is my own.
To see you is like
waking to a glorious sunrise and realizing that God
has given you vision,
to see this very thing.
To be near you is like witnessing a miracle.
You are fairly certain
you will remember this
for as long as you live.
To know you is like being exposed to the secrets
of the heavens.
The sheer wonderfulness of it all is awe-inspiring.
To touch you is like unadulterated bliss.
Nirvana that comes from the nucleus of every cell in my body.
To love you is like
being touched by God.
This presence, this calming presence, stays with me and roots me to the earth. Encouraging me to be a better woman.
Mommy will you stay?
Will you hold me through the night?
I am so small that I get scared-
especially at night.
Mommy do you love me?
Am I what you asked God for??
I did not mean to spill my drink on the kitchen floor.
Somtimes I get excited and just cannot be still.
I am silly with a funny face-that's part of my appeal!
Please do not forget, Mommy,that I learn these things from you.
When you frown and shout so loud,I use that as a tool.
I learn to lash out in anger,at things that make me mad. I never learn to compromise,or let my temper cool.
One day you will need me, Father Time can be cruel.
One day you will spill your drink then I'll be lashing out at you.
Please remember Mommy,
that I love you with all my heart.
All I want is for you to smile at me,
that's the easy part :)
*Lover of Words*
A blank sheet of paper...
the most intimidating thing I've ever seen.
Lying in wait,
with expectancies that
far outreach my own.
You could create something brilliant and flowing,
or witty and emotional,
or you could just write out your grocery list.
How do you know
what that paper's destiny is?
The very first step
is laying your pencil to it, and speaking to it with your heart.
Poetry is a love affair that your heart has with a notebook.
What kind of lover are you?
Playful, conservative, passionate, quiet,
So too, are the types of words that you write.
Close your eyes and let your heart imagine
the type of lover you are
or could be if you tried.
These are the types of poems in your heart.
Let them out.
Darkness falls -
black as the long raven hair of a gypsy girl.
Loose waves of blue-black, twisting and tangling...
as is frames that beautiful young face.
Darkness creeps -
Silent as a panther in the jungle, stalking prey, unsuspecting...
ready to pounce.
Darkness lingers -
Like the red hot feeling
of a lover's breath
on the base of your neck
or the electric shock
as his fingertips dance across your skin.
Darkness grieves -
A mother for her child,
a daughter for her father.
Darkness comforts - Empowering you to relax,
and slip unencumbered
Darkness disappears -
A lover that held you all night yet you wake to
find him gone...
with no trace left behind
and leaves you wanting more.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The website profiles that they have for themselves are covered with metal band ads, tattoo pictures and graffiti art. I have been brave enough to talk to some old friends and they are doing fabulous. They have done and seen some awesome things. They have really made a life for themselves. Yet, they retain the rebellion and hard core tastes of their youth. "Why?", I ask myself. How can they be normal sounding, well-adjusted and successful when they still flout the rebellious and hard core images from high school? I am baffled. For me, some things had to go the moment I became a mother. Other habits and preferences just faded away with time, and I assumed, maturity. I believed that the transition I made from Hard core to Betty Crocker was a natural progression that came with age, wisdom and responsibility. What if it isn't? What if I became what I thought I should look like to the outside world? Did I sell out? We used to use this word to describe someone who gave up their individuality for the acceptance of others. I feel like a sell out. Why? Because I still think that all the stuff I see on their websites is cool. So, I ask myself, "If you like tattoos and hard music and wild hair styles and funky clothes so much why don't you have any of them?" If I had to be honest, every answer boils down to someone else's opinion either expressed to me or assumed. My husband once told me years ago that tattoos were trashy. Years have passed since then and he even has a tattoo now. Do I think he would tell me no if I wanted one bad enough? No, I don't think so, but just knowing that he used to feel this way stops me cold in my tracks from wanting one. I secretly listen to heavy metal when my kids and husband aren't in the car. Why? Because as a Christian I worry that the references in the lyrics are too strong for my children and my husband might disapprove of it. I even worry that the fact that I still like it means in some way that I'm not a good enough Christian. I admire edgy haircuts, hair colors and funky clothes but I don't have the nerve to indulge in them myself. Why? Because I'm afraid that someone will look at me and say "isn't she too old for that?", or just the opposite, "How could someone that young have a teenager?" The last one has been something I have faced discrimination over for 15 years. I have a severe complex about the fact that I was only 15 when I gave birth to my oldest son. I have spent years trying to appear older so as not to be judged. Also, I'm afraid if I act too much like I feel inside - which is very young - or dress in things I admire that I will embarrass my son. Now that I've made it into my 30's I sort of, well, really miss those young days. So my basic question is this: Did I change because I wanted the changes or did I sell out? Another question is this: Would it be a step backwards to my faith to admit these things? How do I dig through the years and find me...the real me...the me that is authentic. Most of the "hard core" me was wrapped up in pain and bondage that I've since been released from, and most of the Suzy Homemaker me is wrapped up in wanting to please other people...so where is the real me? Is there a middle ground between Goth Tramp and Homeschool Mother of Three with a Mortgage? All I want is to know that when I say "I like that" that its based on truth, not a desire to belong to one group of people or another. How? How am I going to be able to do this? I think the only thing I can do at this point is to ask myself a series of questions when I make decisions from now on. Like that haircut? What is it that makes you not want it? Like this song? Why wouldn't you listen to it in front of the kids? Are these invalid excuses or intelligent points? My thought process is going to have to slow down but maybe in time I will have the confidence in myself to make decisions based on what I truly want. I am notorious for not being able to make up my mind...maybe once I have one I can make decisions with it. I hope that this doesn't take too long though, I've got paint colors and interior design to decide on and Lord knows I'm going to need all the help I can get!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Ps. If I have an aneurysm and die before I close on this house its probably because at some point a mass email went out alerting the congregation of the need for prayer over our "house" situation! If you hear of my demise check your inbox...you've got mail from the church.