25 October 2009


I recently had an epiphany about relationships and expectations (that I can thank Vicki for).  I guess I never really thought I held expectations of the people in my life, but I do.  So lately I've been thinking about what kinds of expectations I impose on the people I love (without even realizing it). 

Here's some that I've been able to recognize:

  • Spending time with me
  • Sharing life experiences - happy and sad
  • Responsiveness/acknowledgment
  • Touching base with me (if we've been out of touch)
Where did these expectations come from?  Did I grow up with them?  Do I impose them on others even more so now, that I'm not busy (employed) and I have so much time on my hands?  Am I substituting my need to be linked with others, so much so, that I'm ignoring the most important relationship I should be focusing on... the one with God?  I would love to say that I put God before my friends, but through introspection and God's revelation to me, I realize the opposite is true!  Why do I listen to the ultimate Deceiver, because it is he that wants to destroy my relationship with God?  He wants me to believe God isn't enough for me and I think I fall into the trap that people aren't enough, therefore God can't be either!  I have so much to learn and then apply about my relationship with people vs. God. (I feel like I've gone a little off topic...)

So, my current goal is to learn how to love the people I care about (and everybody else too) without expectations!   What does that mean?  I want to be able to love others without expecting anything in return... no return phone calls, texts, facebook posts, or emails.  No return notes or cards.  If I can learn to be content in knowing that I'm loving someone to the best of my abilities and expect nothing in return, my relationships will change!  That "love" that I'm speaking about can only be done with the love that God has given me and that He shows me.

16 June 2009

Looking back at my words...

The past few days I've been looking at some poetry that I've written.  Some of it was dark, some of it was hopeful, but what they all have in common are they were once a form of release for me.  I can barely remember what was going on when I wrote these poems; why I decided to put my thoughts down on paper I just don't know (maybe I was meant to share them with someone sometime down the road).  

Here is one poem that I thought I would share with you all.

  The shoes we try to fill were never meant to fit,
though a stride in His direction allows us to take comfort in it.
Walk away and lose direction they begin to rub and pinch.

Feelings of conviction?  We've not yet lost Hope's sight.
His grace is sufficient for all our indiscretions.
Choose to believe Him and forgiveness will come;
not only from above, but out of our own love.
Mercy is upon us, yet we do not know the extreme.
He chooses instead to love us for we really know nothing.
Our eyes can be opened to the beauty that is He,
filling us with knowledge -- Creator of all things.
The footsteps are a guide to a road that leads to Him.
Our steps are supported, because He once took them first.  
So choose to live in them and in doing so rejoice.

Until very recently, I've been choosing not to rejoice, forgetting all that He's ever done, given, and breathed into me.  It's been a difficult and lonely time for me. That has been my biggest mistake...  I read that Jesus has been referred to as the Paraclete.  Para means "alongside" and kaleo means "to call".  He is "the One called alongside".  He is right there even when I don't feel Him.  He made a promise to His friends - not to leave them (us) alone and that He will help us through our afflictions.  He is always available and sometimes I forget that He has gone through every emotion, every suffering, everything I would ever go through and more!  He knows me better than I know myself.  So who better to call upon than the One who is there alongside us, never to leave our side?

03 June 2009

A reminder that God is not far away (regardless of our circumstances)

I must continually remind myself of this fact...
(have a look at these lyrics to the song below)

By Jimmy Robeson

When I don't have the words to say,
You are, You are there.

When I don't have the faith to believe,
You are, You are there.
You are, You are there.

You're my hope for tomorrow,
The peace for today.
You're the joy in my sorrow,
The truth and the way.
On this long road I've traveled is one thing I could say,
You are, You are there.

When I can't see the first from the last,
You are, You are there.
When my heart is broken and weak,
You are, You are there.
You are, You are there.

You're my hope for tomorrow,
The peace for today.
You're the joy in my sorrow,
The truth and the way.
On this long road I travel is one thing I could say,
You are, You are there.

You're my hope for tomorrow,
The peace for today.
You're the joy in my sorrow,
The truth and the way.
On this long road I travel is one thing I could say,
You are, You are there.
You are, You are there.
You are, You are there.

When I choose to get down on my knees,
You will... still... be... there.

Have a listen (from a post on YouTube)-

Why then is it so hard to know that He is there when circumstances lead you to feel otherwise?

22 May 2009

Comatose (by Skillet)

I hate feeling like this
I'm so tired of trying to fight this
I'm asleep and all I dream of
Is waking to you

Tell me that you will listen
Your touch is what I'm missing
And the more I hide I realize
I'm slowly losing you

I'll never wake up without an overdose of you

I don't wanna live, I don't wanna breathe
'Less I feel you next to me
You take the pain I feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

I don't wanna sleep, I don't wanna dream
'Cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way you make me feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

I hate living without you
Dead wrong to ever doubt you
But my demons lay in waiting
Tempting me away

Oh, how I adore you
Oh, how I thirst for you
Oh, how I need you

I'll never wake up without an overdose of you

I don't wanna live, I don't wanna breathe
'Less I feel you next to me
You take the pain I feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

I don't wanna sleep, I don't wanna dream
'Cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way you make me feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

Breathing life, waking up
My eyes open up

I'll never wake up without an overdose of you

I don't wanna live, I don't wanna breathe
'Less I feel you next to me
You take the pain I feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

I don't wanna sleep, I don't wanna dream
'Cause my dreams don't comfort me
The way you make me feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

Oh, how I adore you
(Waking up to you never felt so real)
Oh, how I thirst for you
(Waking up to you never felt so real)
Oh, how I adore you
The way you make me feel
(Waking up to you never felt so real)

Songwriters: Howes, Brian; Cooper, John;

I've been thinking about this song lately...

11 May 2009

Working at Hume Lake

Last week I spent some time up at Hume Lake (in the Sequoia National Forest).  It is so beautiful up there.  It was my first time as a guest and worker.  I carpooled with a couple friends from my Women of the Word small group (Cheryal and Sammie).  We left early Sunday morning after grabbing a bite at McD's (about 7am).   Check-in time was 5pm.

No problems on the road so we got there plenty early.  We stopped by a famous landmark - General Grant's tree.  I guess it's the world's 3rd largest sequoia and lives in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.  It's height is 268.1 feet and it's base circumference is 107.6 feet
  I couldn't fathom it's size unless I saw it for myself!  And even then it's unbelievable!

Before we walked the trail we grabbed a few photo ops...

 (looking up in the park)

   (me hugging the base of a tree)

We pulled into camp with a few hours yet to kill before being able to settle in.  The lake was wondrous, surrounded by tall trees, colorful ducks (wish I had some close-ups), some fishermen, and folks all around breathing in the scenery.
  There were even snow-capped mountains in the distance.
 (morning view of the lake)
 (cheery multi-colored tulips)

We went up the road and found Sandy Cove...
   (Sammie & Cheryal on the bridge)

It's a quaint little beachy area - great for picnics with the family, along with a mild rapid flowing into the base.

The first work day there was filled with pine needle, lots and lots of pine needles.  It's a fire hazard and the camp grounds needed to be cleared and ready for the summer (the camp is crawling with kids in the summer).  Got through the first half of day two raking and found myself laid up for the remainder of the day - my back was going out if I continued any further.  Day three brought me a new outlook (and group), I joined group #13 (the "Do Or Die" group).  We were a group of maybe six - all with physical limitations, but we still wanted to serve, bring God glory anyway we can.  I found myself at a two-room schoolhouse that was in need of cleaning (nursery & first grade).   Day four brought me outdoors once again, but this time painting was needed.  An addition was added to an existing building and it needed to blend in (chocolate brown).  So I painted!  BTW - I don't have a love for painting, but I did it and didn't complain. 

Goal: give God honor & glory in what I can do!  

Once that was completed, we got a personal tour of the camp grounds and saw how vast the camp truly is.  My last job of the trip (and that day) was scooping out cookie dough for the kitchen staff (for us to eat after dinner).

On Wednesday, I experienced paintball for the first time!  Surprisingly enough I didn't get hurt - I might have been extra cautious!  I was nailed in the face mask (out of nowhere) the first game and never saw anyone to even shoot at!  So I got more brave and moved forward from that moment on.  I have no idea if I ever hit anyone, but I aimed and fired my 100 rounds during the next three games!
 (great looking group, yeah?)

The following night we went on a night hike around the lake and came across the largest pile of poo I've ever seen.  (It must have been a bear and now I regret not snapping a picture of it!)

Every night at 7 we went to chapel and worshipped with songs and received a message from Pastor Tom Thies (EFCC's Senior Adult Minister).     

EFCC has been going up to Hume Lake for over a decade helping where needed.  I look forward to next year's trip - I hope I'm able to do it again!  That was my adventure!  My only regret: not making daily alone time with God.  

28 April 2009

Picturesque Balboa Park



I just wanted to share some pictures that I took (with my phone of course) while at Balboa Park (earlier today).

17 April 2009

New read...

I just started reading a new book, "Telling Yourself The Truth" by William Backus & Marie Chapman. I've only read five chapters so far but I am finding much Truth within it. Truth that needs to override the lies I tell myself. I just finished the chapter on Misbelief in Anger.  Although I consider myself no longer an "angry" person, I found many false principles that I used to tell myself- an automatic response to my anger.

This book reveals that "most of what happens in your life happens because of the way you think " and that this book can show you how "to identify your own misbeliefs and replace them with truth" (God's truth).  I know in my own life I have a hard time truly believing God's truth for myself. I can believe it for others, but have difficulty applying it personally.  For instance, "I am precious in God's sight".  My misbeliefs are quick to counter God's truth and often cripple my mind.  This negative self-talk creates a barrier between me and my Heavenly Father. 

"The constant repeating of misbeliefs is what sustains and perpetuates angry resentment.  Constant repeating of truth generates peace and health."
Jesus experienced anger and we can see from His example, the way you express it can be in a loving manner.  My own expressions of anger were not so loving... they didn't ever include yelling and throwing things, but they did have violent tendencies- I would punch holes in walls or hit a wall that I wouldn't be able to penetrate!  My knuckles are thankful that I don't do that anymore!  There are healthy ways to express anger.  I was fearful of telling people what hurt me or offended me because they always responded defensively toward me, but in doing so it will prevent me from becoming bitter or resentful and preserve rather than destroy the relationship.  Thankfully my communication skills have matured and so has my walk with God.  I think as difficult as it may be for some (like me) to go to the other person and admit your anger, it is what Jesus teaches us to do.  [In no way are we supposed to blow up at people, but share our hurts/anger with them.] 

This chapter has taught me: 
"There is no necessary connection between the  behavior of another person and your anger.  It doesn't matter how unfairly, unjustly or thoughtlessly someone has behaved toward you, you are angry because of your own self-talk.  I make myself angry.  Other people cannot force you to remain in a stew over their behavior.  This is something you do yourself.  To take it one step further, you make yourself angry by what you tell yourself."
By telling myself what "ought" to be (or how I "ought" to be treated) versus what actually "is" will only fuel my anger and I will continue to blame others for my feelings/thoughts and not take ownership of them, therefore I'm unable to correct the misbeliefs that I have conjured up in my head.  The book suggests that each time you find yourself in a situation where someone aggravates you or hurts you, pay attention to what's going on in your mind.  What are you telling yourself?

I'll be updating this blog as I read more chapters that touch me...



10 April 2009

End of The Journey

Tonight was the last night of The Journey- this semester's grief group at church.  It was touted as an evening of celebration.  Celebration of our loved one who's passed.  We were asked to bring a picture of our loved one to have it displayed on a table in front of the room for all the men and women, who are journeying in their own trials of grief, to share.

We sat down at tables and shared a meal and a variety of desserts together then listened to the co-leader of the group sing a song.  We were then asked to share a wonderful memory of our loved one while holding on to the picture we brought.  This was an awkward moment for me... I didn't have a photo of my loved one (my unborn baby), nor did I have any memories to share.

What was I supposed to say?  "I remember that drive home from work where I needed to pull over on the side of the road and take a nap, because I couldn't stay awake any longer!  I was less than 5 minutes away from my house, but couldn't keep my eyelids open."  That's my story about being pregnant--sheer exhaustion!
That would have been way too weird, but my evening doesn't end there! Another song is sung and then we're asked to stand in line, grab a flameless candle, then speak the name of our loved one into the mic, and go sit back down.  Seems harmless enough right?  Wrong!  I never named my unborn child... I didn't know whether it was a boy or a girl. So I opted to stay in my seat while this all took place.

The evening ended with one more song and a final prayer- followed by socialization.  I decided to skip out on the socialization for fear of explanation and uneasiness.  

06 April 2009

Carlsbad 5000

So yesterday was my first ever race (I've done olympic-type races, but never for any one thing in particular)!  Proceeds for this race went for Carlsbad education and for their athletics.  I never thought I would have had as much fun as I did!

 My number...                             The "photo" finish!

It was the Carlsbad 5000.  I participated in the 5K walk with Jeremy and Michelle, while the others actually ran (Eddie, Adam, Rachel R, Jennifer, Kelly D, Christy, Kelly M, Risa, and Katja).  The sun was brightly shining and an occasional wind was blowing.  After the walk we perused the many booths while we waited for the runners to cross the finish line.  There was some neat stuff there... free stuff too!

My spine was examined and I was told what I already knew... I'm misaligned, but the chiropractor did offer some encouraging words about the ringing I have in my ears (and have had my entire life).  Of course he wanted my business and wanted to "cure" me - but I'm not sure if I believe it...

My blood pressure was taken.  Healthy numbers: 107/61.  There was also a nifty gadget that measured your body composition (fat ratio).  I'm glad to hear I'm also within the healthy range for my height & weight.

There were many vendors that gave away free goodies as well.  Many wheels to spin for a chance of winning free food like Pat & Oscars.  There was a vendor that gave away free samples of supplements that give you your daily dose of fruits & vegetables all in pill form.  Anyone that knows me... would not be surprised that I grabbed a week's supply ;-).  Also they had free samples of energy/replenishment drinks.  A particularly tasty grape one looked just like water!  Man, I wish I paid closer attention to the name of it!

After our group (Runners of kin) finished racing we went to the field at church to go play some ultimate frisbee (typical Sunday afternoon)!  Two hours later, I was fried to a crisp and ready to eat dinner!  Some of us decided to go to Chipotle for a free burrito- thanks to them being a race sponsor.  We needed to take advantage of the freebie-same day as the race, or we would miss out!  After dinner the others went to go get cleaned up and go to a movie... I was so stinkin' (literally) tired and I needed to clean too.  I was in bed by 8 pm, but not alseep until 9!  I'm still feeling the affects of yesterday...

31 March 2009

A thought...

This morning a thought occurred to me... [Disclaimer] I don't know if this is truth or fiction, but here's the thought:

Mental Illness: Could it be, in part, due to our coping mechanisms that we have formed from our early years in life?

My coping skills weren't so great - ignorance & stuffing can't make for a mentally healthy life later down the road! Assuming I believe the above thought, I would say, from first hand experience, that I played a part in my own depression- it didn't just "happen".  Had I learned how to cope in healthy ways, not in ways that served me as a child, I might have learned to deal with events in my life and not stuff or ignore my pain inside, thus not letting my emotions get bottled up for so long before I snapped and didn't want to feel anymore!  

I know I'm a better person for having "snapped" and have learned how to communicate and expose my feelings in a healthy manner.  I joke now that the bottle I once had, where my emotions were stuffed, has been reduced to a saucer- not meant to hold very much!

I am aware of people being genetically pre-disposed to mental illness (as I was one of them), but you can't change your genes.  You can however learn to cope no matter what stage you're at in life.  New skills can be introduced at any time in your life (healthy & unhealthy).  How we internalize our thoughts and feelings can change the chemicals in our brains right?  If we can let something bother us, eat away at us (like worrying can) and it affects our physical bodies, i.e., tight muscles, ulcers, headaches why not the chemicals in our brains?

I like to hear your thoughts too... please post a comment.

26 March 2009

God's providential care

GOD IS AMAZING!  Need I say more?  Probably, huh?

I've been praying for someone and wondering how I was going to tell them, "God has put you on my heart!"  In prayer, I kept asking God what to do.  Do I call this person?  Do I drop them an email?  What?  I already knew I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to say when I saw this person... but God had to bring me to this person before I could even talk to them.

Leave it to God to set the date and time, an appointment if you will, without my knowledge!  After noticing a coffee joint (that I've never been to) that had free Wi-Fi up near the restaurant I had lunch with Jo Ann this past Tuesday, I thought I should give it a try sometime.  That sometime was today!  I finished my swim at the 24 Hr Fitness in Vista earlier today and had time to kill before my next appointment at 4 pm, so I made sure I packed up my laptop and decided to give this coffee place a chance.  The ambiance: nice and quiet, low traffic noise, and virtually empty.  I lugged my laptop, a book I've been reading, and my notebook and ordered a coffee (and cookie).  I rounded the corner and set all my goodies down on the table.  I looked up and outside sat this certain someone that's been on my mind and heart!

Amazing, I thought!  I tapped on the window to say, "Hi" and a few moments later they came inside.  Talk about God's providence!  I couldn't have planned it if I tried.  We began talking and I realized it was God's doing that brought us together!  My "not-so-coincidentally" being there was just what they needed.  That's always nice to hear...

Our talk was good (I won't go into topics or anything) and I'm glad they appreciated it as well.  God has a way of letting us know we're not forgotten about.  He brings us into contact with one another like no one else can.   His care is everlasting  and I appreciate (not always, but I should) His work in the bigger picture of my life.

Thank you God, for answering my concerns and making it happen!

17 March 2009

Where's God when you're hurting?

Suffering can be defined as "the bearing of pain, distress, and affliction".  I believe loneliness and loss fall into their own category under suffering.  Loss tends to make us feel like we are out of control; the circumstances and choices we make and endure are not what we would normally choose for ourselves.  Loss can not only cover people, but pets, relationships, jobs (or finances), and passions.  No one blatantly chooses these things!  Yet these losses affect our reasoning and future choices.  They affect our relationships.  They cut to the core of our very being.  They remind us of pain and times that we don't want to experience.  But God uses these losses for His greater purposes... to draw us closer to Him, to help others in times of need, and more importantly to reveal His love for us (if our eyes are open and willing to see Him).  

Why is there suffering and pain in our lives?
  • God does some of His greatest work in the dark 
Creation (Gen. 1:1-2)
  • Deliverance
    Exodus (Ex. 12:31)
  • Guidance (gives us His law)
   10 Commandments (Ex. 20:21)
  • Christ's death
   Crucifixion (Matt. 27:45)
  • Christ returns
 "...like a thief in the night" (1 Thes. 5:2)  

We are to be thanking God for our pain!  Doesn't that sound absurd?  God is shaping our hearts in this pain... it's His way of protecting us!  And as much as we might wish we were dead, this pain, very much tells us we are indeed alive!

If we look at David (1 Sam. 30), we see that a young David has just been anointed king and Saul (the former king) is trying to kill him (jealous?).  We learn these things listed below that David faced:

  1. David had just lost his previous job.
  2. He came back home to find out that his wife and children were kidnapped.
  3. He lost his home.
  4. His men (an army - 600) abandoned him.
  5. He was being hunted and about to lose his own life.
  6. He was greatly distressed.
But David persevered, he didn't give up.  He strengthened himself in the LORD.  We are called to do the same, to follow his lead.  How do we do this?  We do this through prayer, wait on His direction, recall the accomplishments of God's handiwork in our lives, we must seek counsel, and believe His promises to us! 

It's so easy to isolate ourselves; try to work through the pain on our own!  But this is the time we need Him the most!  We aren't called to be alone!  We are made to be relational!  We need Him and His people in our lives to pray for us, to encourage us, to get us to the "next" thing.  Sometimes we wait and the answers don't come.  What then?

"Be still and know that I am God." - Psalm 46:10

I know it's in my very nature to want to control things, but do I really have any control?  I need to drop the mentality that I have to control things.  I also need to realize that I'm not asked to carry my own burdens but to give them over to God.  Easier said than done, I realize!  Something that I need to ask God to help me do...

I take joy in knowing Jeremiah 29:11 is relevant in my life and the lives of everyone, everywhere! 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future".
My pain is not meant to hurt me, not that it doesn't hurt me (because it definitely does), but it's meant for a greater purpose in my life (the same is true for you)!

12 March 2009

The Family System

The way the family interacts is called The Family System... It can be a Nuclear or Extended Family of Origin (the family you were born or adopted into).
  • Nuclear includes the caretaker (parents) and children.
  • Extended includes grandparents, grandchildren, uncles/aunts, and cousins  
Within the Family System the child/children instinctively have roles.  There are six distinctive roles within the family.  You can be multiple roles as well.  The larger your family (number of siblings you have) the more unique and defined your role is.  For instance,
  • Crowned Prince - often the first born male, can do no wrong, often spoiled/pampered, gets own way, and runs the family.
  • Enchanted Princess - female version of the Crowned Prince.
  • Mascot - the compliant child, usually middle child, seeks approval/acceptance by "getting along" in the family system.  Parents are often "proud" of this child.
  • Lost Child - is the least invested in the family system.  Often a middle child and easily "lost" between older and younger siblings.
  • Clown - is the child who jokes and makes everyone laugh in the family, to protect themselves from feeling real pain and dysfunction within the family.  They try to "cover up" the true identity of the family (which is often painfully dysfunctional).
  • Identified Patient - may cause the most problems in the family, but are the most "loyal" member.  They act out in order to draw attention to the family system's dysfunction in order to get help.
I find myself taking on the Mascot & Lost Child roles within my own family.  I was always easy going - didn't like to rock the boat.  I did well in school and sports and I remember my mom telling me she was proud of me.  Because my older sister is the Identified Patient - screaming out for help in various ways she sought the attention of my parents through her antics.  (I would also agree that she is the most loyal member of the family!)  It was easy for me to be solitary/independent and left alone, basically lost.

As the Lost Child, what the outside world doesn't see (and I can't either)-
  • Unimportant
  • Not allowed to have feelings
  • Loneliness
  • Hurt and abandoned
  • Defeated
As the Mascot - 
  • Low self-esteem
  • Terror
  • Lonely
  • Inadequate
  • Unimportant
I realize now as I'm digging up my past, just how true the above statements are/were in my life.

What I represented in the family system was relief; at least one kid that no one worries about.  I pretty much could be left alone/trusted without any problems.

As an adult, if I don't seek help this is what could happen-
  • Indecisive
  • No zest
  • Little fun
  • Stays the same
  • Alone
  • Dies early
  • Can't say NO
  • Can't handle stress
  • Marry a "hero"
Some of these things are present in my life and I don't want them for my future!  Change is possible, with help.  Instead my life can show traits of-
  • Independence
  • Talent
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Assertiveness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Helpfulness
  • Good company  
Only 3% of family systems are considered healthy, the rest unhealthy = dysfunctional!  It's amazing how high of a number that is.  I grew up in that 97th percentile!  Parents divorced when I was 6 and I lived with my mom the whole year through, occasionally visiting my dad in the summer.

Characteristics of a dysfunctional family system-
  • Unable to identify feelings
  • Difficulty in expressing positive feelings
  • Difficulty in forming lasting relationships
  • Struggle with perfectionism
  • Demonstrate rigidity
  • Trouble adjusting to change
  • Feel overly responsible for one another
  • Constant need of approval
  • Members feel powerless to change
  • Marked by low self-esteem
  • Members don't know how to have fun!
I can recall struggling with many of the above characteristics and to this day some still affect me.  The last bullet is one of the many things I currently struggle with.  For example, there are things that are fun to do, but I either turn competitive or I can't seem to let go (lose my inhibition).  I maintain a sense of self-control and have a difficulty being wacky or silly.  I also think my inability to get "excited" about things stems from this same topic.

I write all this out because I want to recognize my past and heal, move forward and grow closer to God.  If I can gain some understanding and know there's help, then I can heal; I can not repeat the past; I can let go and let God!

Any comments would greatly be appreciated!  Thanks.

27 February 2009

Do you have anger?

Below is a checklist for hidden anger.  As I came across this in The Journey last week, I noticed some of these things apply to me...


1. Procrastination in the completion of imposed tasks.
2. Perpetual or habitual lateness.
3. A liking for sarcastic or ironic humor.
4. Sarcasm, cynicism or flippancy in conversation.
5. Over-politeness, constant cheerfulness, attitude of "grin-n-bear-it".
6. Frequent sighing.
7. Smiling while hurting.
8. Over-controlled monotone speaking voice.
9. Frequent disturbing or frightening dreams.
10. Difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping through the night.
11. Boredom, apathy, loss of interest in things you are usually enthusiastic about.
12. Slowing down of movements.
13. Getting tired more easily than usual.
14. Excessive irritability over trifles.
15. Getting drowsy at inappropriate times.
16. Sleeping more than usual.
17. Waking up tired rather than rested and refreshed.
18. Clenched jaws --- especially while sleeping.
19. Facial tics, spasmodic foot movements, habitual fist clenching and similar repeated physical acts done unintentionally or unconsciously.
20. Grinding of the teeth --- especially while sleeping.
21. Chronically stiff or sore neck.
22. Chronic depression --- extended periods of feeling down for no reason.

I can recall the days when I didn't like going to work... I absolutely DID NOT want to be there!  This is where procrastination came into play!  Without fail, I would be 5-7 minutes late everyday to work!  I was rebelling, this was my way to "stick it to the man" so to speak!  I was angry that my superiors were treating me disrespectfully and had little to no concern about me and all the junk that was going on in my life.  I needed to work to pay for my medications for depression, I was being harassed by my estranged husband (he'd call daily - to the point I couldn't even answer the phones at work), and  I needed to be able to pay for therapy & doctor sessions.   

I was very surprised to see sarcasm on this list!  *I'm not being sarcastic* 

As I begin to peel away the layers of memories in my past, I noticed I've always been sarcastic.  I thought it was in my blood.  I would joke that "Sarcasm" was my middle name. I've come to the realization that I have plenty of anger stored up from my parents divorce ( I was only 6 years old when they divorced); from the abandonment I felt when they split.  I only saw my father during the summers and it was hard for me to comprehend why they were apart?  I'm also upset that my ex-husband had (early on in our marriage) emotionally abandoned me - because I trusted him to be there like we promised in our marriage vows.  It was hard to be around someone that claimed to love you, but wasn't ever there for you.  I was angry at God for saving my life and it's taken a year or two for me to realize that He had a bigger plan for me.  I'm actively living my faith and trusting God for it all.  I'm not sure what all He has in store, but I'm at a better place in life with Him, than without Him - jobless and all! 

22 February 2009

A poem written on the bus ride to Mammoth...


Strong & secure.
Beautiful & functional.
You strengthen the weak
and solidly support the broken.
Eternally indestructible,
capable of miracles.
My life, a rooftop,
exposed to worldly dangers -
detrimental winds and waters,
where muck and mire cloud 
my effectiveness because I let it,
but you wash me clean and use it 
for growth and goodness.
You keep me intact and off the ground.
My materials alone are inferior and simple,
yet You overflow my eaves with blessings.
As Your tools promote change within me, 
I, too, am strengthened -
increasing in trust and faith for You, 
not relying on my own components to do the work.
Your ways are just and never wrong -
structurally sound & holy founded.
To You, my Pillar, 
it is only You that lifts me up!

19 February 2009


Today begins a new journey, which ironically has me dealing with my past.  For the next 7 weeks instead of attending The Gathering at church I'll be attending The Journey.  I really enjoy The Gathering and I look forward to returning soon, but since these two groups meet on the same night at the same time, I've decided to take a deeper look into my heart and I've come to realize that I haven't dealt with many issues in my past.  My goal is to grow closer to God by learning how to grieve.

It seems strange to think about grieving = growing, but I've ignored some things in my past and I need to sort through them.  I look back now and I don't know where to begin or how to begin the grieving process!  Voila!  Here's an opportunity designed to help me do just that!  God's working in me and I want to obey.

Some of the topics of grieving include:
  • Depression
  • Job loss
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Anger
Looks like I've got a lot to learn.  Each of the above listed topics have affected me personally and I want to deal with them individually.  I think this will help me learn from my mistakes (or the choices I've made), introduce positive coping skills in my life, and more importantly I will learn how to lay these things at Jesus' feet through grieving.  I think this is NOT going to be easy.  I feel many different emotions as I type this blog, but I know God's way does not equal the easy way.  So this journey begins tonight and I'm going to miss my friends at The Gathering, but I know I'll be a better person for having done this.

24 January 2009

It's been a while...

I know it's been a while since I have 
blogged and to be honest, I really haven't
been in the mood to pour out my thoughts.
Hey, today's a good day as any right?  
My days have been consumed with 
sleeping and facebook-ing, and by 
facebook-ing I mean looking for former
friends from high school and grade school.  
I really need to stop because it's 
depressing me as I take a look back at the 
trials I've faced and the new trials that I am 
currently facing compared to where my 
former classmates are in life. Many are married and have children
and that's not where I'm at. But these are the choices that I've made
for myself.

I know I'm not supposed to compare myself to others, yet in my 
sinfulness and selfishness I'm not captivating my own thoughts... 
they are running away at a high rate of speed! My intentions 
were not to compare myself to others in this pursuit of reconnecting 
but I let it go there. How is it that I can turn it around? I think I have 
to resolve some things in my past... things that keep me from moving
forward toward God's will and purpose for my life. There are pieces 
of my life that I have ignored and tried to sweep under my heart's rug.  
I know that if I want to learn from my mistakes I need to confront my 
mistakes and seek not only God's forgiveness, but my own forgive-
ness.  These choices were made with purely selfish motives, never 
once looking to God for His advice. Now I'm looking at the "end" 
results and I only have myself to thank!  *sarcasm* As I look back,
there are many choices that I wouldn't approve of making - and if they
came at me again today things would be different! I don't think I 
would have given up so easily!  

What I recognize now as absolute truths are important to me and so 
is God's direction for my life (wherever that is). I find myself not 
knowing where that is and to be honest it's quite frustrating (can 
anyone relate?) !  God's waiting room is where I'm lounging... and at 
times I'm comfortable there, but not right now!


I've never really thought of me as being the kind of person who 
reflects on my past nor really the "intellectual" (now, I'm not saying 
I'm stupid by any means, I'm just not a deep thinker), but as I've 
made that statement (out loud) just recently I've find myself 
reflecting.  I think God wants me to look back and learn so as to not 
repeat, but more importantly I think He wants me to come to Him with
all things (big and small, past and present) looking to Him for 
guidance - to realign myself with His focus and not my own.  I know 
He can heal me from my past, showing me where my unresolved
hurts lie deep within my heart and bringing me through them.