Checking In

Had a wonderfully refreshing time at the Women of Faith conference. God swooped down in His inimitable style and made the sessions speak directly to my heart. Dr. Henry Cloud was awesome. He is so gentle, but his truths were like little explosions going off in my head. I found myself saying over and over, "Yes, that's me!" I bought his books about dreams, which he taught from for the conference and the DVDs, which I never do. Can't wait to delve back into what he said.

Had to postpone PA for a day. My medicine didn't come in so I have to wait til Tuesday to leave. Probably not a bad thing. I was very sick Sunday to Tuesday, travelled all day Wednesday and Thursday, came home late Saturday night so I probably needed a little rest.

My brother sounded weary on the phone last night even though he's only had Daddy since Wednesday. He told me I needed to come for him Friday which means I'll be cutting my trip to PA short and ensures that I really do have to come back home and not runaway for good.

Gotta go. Just wanted to take a minute to say, "Hi." Off to wash clothes and re-pack. Thanks for all the love and support. I can use all you can spare!


Where Are You?

Sorry! I've been so immersed in book editing and Daddy sitting I haven't been doing much else. I'm home now, but next Wednesday the whirlwind begins again. I leave for Richmond Wednesday, mid-morning. Thursday I head to Charlotte. Come home Saturday. Leave for Pennsylvania Monday and I really don't know when I'll be home. Daddy will be with my brother all that time.

My personal life--I don't know what's happening to me. I'm changing. I can't keep up with who I am and what I'm becoming. I just know my personality is changing like it should have during puberty and never did. I'm irritable and I have never been that way. I have extreme highs and lows--worse than what is normal for me. My sensitivity is off the scale.

I've fallen in love with the most wonderful man and I seem to sabotage the relationship at every turn, almost like I'm trying to make him see reasons NOT to love me. I do things I know are going to make him get mad at me. Then we have to be apart for a few weeks so we can regroup and that is utter misery. I get lonely, depressed and even more sensitive and irritable.

I've started having panic attacks. I break out in massive sweats, my heart pounds, and I feel like I'm suffocating. I've al;ways been strong and in control. This is not like me. I miss my Mom worse now than I did when she first died. I cry more, too. Daddy misses her, too. he's becoming more and more wound into his own world. The pressure of explaining to him for the fortieth time who I am is beginning to wear thin. I want him to know me. I want him to recognize me. I want him to eat the food I prepare for him instread of telling me he'd rather have a cheeseburger from McDonalds.

The two years I have to prepare for my life as a single woman are slipping away quickly. I have no job. My book is not finished, much less published and my brother told me the other day I wouldn't be able to live on the inheritance from Daddy so I may have to consider staying in this awful marriage and moving from this city I love. I think I'll explode if I have to do that!

My dear siesta, Kathy asked, "Where are you?" Frankly, I don't know and I'm not sure I care. God's keeping up with me because I am incapable--more so than ever before. That's a good thing.


The Son Shines Through

So excited! Headed for The Cove for my bi-annual rest-and-relaxation-in-the-mountains-retreat. I'm off to hear Joe Stowell, a wonderful speaker and writer. PLUS, I'll be staying some extra days to work on the editing of the book and just be by myself.

Daddy will be with my brother. Last night he said he wanted to stay at home and wait for me. O course, that's out of the question. He said, "What if you don't come back? How will I get back here?" I didn't have the heart to tell him if the Lord decided to take me home, he would have to live with my brother. I said, "Daddy, you know as well as I do the Lord is going to take care of me." He was satisfied with that--I think.

When I come home, I'll have dinner with my best friend and the next day I'm off to the State Fair and the Mercy Me concert. I'm looking forward to that, as well. I've seen them in concert several times. They are awesome. If you're not familiar with their music, you should get a CD. Your life will never be the same.

Our church is still without a pastor and young folks are leaving by the droves. Those of us left have to fill in the gaps. I'm now on the Preschool committee (not my real love in life) and chairman of the publicity committee and I've been asked to be narrator of our Christmas production (again, out of my comfort zone)--these are new positions added to the ones I'm already on. God has something in store for our church. I have no idea what, but we're all being worked very hard.

Out on the ocean yesterday. The fall makes everything look different even though it was 90 degrees yesterday. You could see the humidty because of the sun's angle. Same with our lives. The Son's angle reveals the particles of our lives that make it hard to breathe and live. They're always there, we just can't see them unless the Light shines just right--and we're willing to look.

Then, the sun shone on the water and it was like millions of diamonds sparkling and shimmering in the fall light. Again, the Son can make the most simple of people, nothing seems to be special about them, and turn them into sparkling diamonds, bringing beauty to the mundane. Awesome!

It's so good to hear from you all again. I love each of you and I cannot wait to meet face-to-face someday. Gotta go get ready for this next adventure. Pray for me as I go today. I know you will.


Not Alright, but Headed in that Direction

Sorry I've neglected to post. What a crazy summer which is really a microcosm of my crazy life.

My Gramma died two weeks ago yesterday. As I had mentioned in earlier posts she was 102 9/12. She lived a long life, I'm not sure it qualified as a good life. I don't think she would have either. The man of her "dreams," aka my grandfather, was an alcoholic. Need I elaborate? She's in Heaven now so all is well in her world.

Saw my younger brother at the funeral. He did not speak to me or my other brother, but it's okay. I spoke, but I can't make him like me. Relatives aren't always friend material. My sister said three words, "You brought daddy." Well, of course I brought Daddy. He was only married to Gramma's daughter 61 years.

Harvest House, who was the publisher looking at my book, took way too long to give me a refusal. I'm disappointed, but life goes on. I've sent a query to another publisher and when I'm through with the editing, I'm going to throw myself into finding someone or something to publish this baby! Finishing the book was awesome! I cannot explain how I felt, but it was an emotional experience to say the least.

Please continue to pray that God will see fit to get this thing published, readers' lives will be changed as they see the danger in "playng" Christian, and will be more vigilent when their churches need to choose a man for their leader/pastor.

The woman I was trying to help out this summer bowed out of doing the Beth Moore study (boo/hiss), but I am still trying to counsel her about life in general. I don't think she ever really got the whole "relate to people" thing, but she's catching on.

My husband and I separated--which is a good thing. We still talk, in fact, more than we ever did as a married couple, but the burden on my shoulders feels a ton lighter since that whole thing took place. He'll be moving about eight hours away from here.

My Daddy? Well, he declines a bit everday. He's getting a little more demanding as he gets comfortable with living here, and his mind is not completely mush, but it is like soggy Corn Flakes. He doesn't get up from his chair except to go to the bathroom--which he is now completely and utterly obssessed with--and I think he prays everyday for the Lord to take him to Momma. He might have better results if he asked for Him to come get him so he could be with Jesus--just a thought.

Got several trips planned for this upcoming October--I get wanderlust in the fall--including the Women of Faith conference, a seminar to hear Joeseph Stowell and a trip to Pennsylvania to see some dear friends. Daddy will be staying with my brother in Richmond. It'll be good for us to be apart for awhile.

People have been asking me if I'm alright. The answer is, "No," but I will be. My uncle died March 20, Momma died March 23, I sold, gave away or threw away everything she ever owned in about a six week span of time, sold Momma and Daddy's house, got bills paid, hired workmen to get the house ready to sell, moved Daddy in with me, my husband and I parted ways, my Gramma died September 15 and I got my first ever credit card--NO! I'm not okay--but I will be. I'm a child of the King. I will be all right.


The Time Is Now

Praise the Lord! A well timed Sunday message and some time together, proved fruitful. Yesterday my friend and I worked out our differences and reconciled! Whew! I'm a sap, I admit it. I love happy endings.

Time marches on. It's amazing when you stop to think about it. No matter how happy the day or how tragic. No matter what happens in our lives, no matter who comes or who goes, who lives, who dies, what diagnosis we are given, what pains are thrown into our laps,we may change, but Time never does.

Time doesn't stop to wait for us to catch up. It never turns around to see if we're keeping up. It doesn't change its course for the rich or poor. It doesn't stop for us even when we beg it to. Time waits for no man. We cannot turn it back. We cannot take back the seconds that slip away, imperceptible when ticking away one at a Time, but accumulated they become a lifetime.

Time is eternal. It is forever. It knows every man, woman and child ever born. It counts the tides, it numbers the sunsets. Time is important--what we do with our Time, how we throw our Time away, how we give our Time to God--or not. For every one born, once the Time clock begins there is never any turning back. You are an eternal being because Time has placed its mark on you.

Time becomes most important in eternity after your last earthly breath is taken. How will your Time be spent? Time has become forever. Will you be with God for all of Time or in hell begging for a drop of water to sooth your thirsty soul. Begging for all of Time, but you see, even in eternity, Time never looks back. Once the threshold has been crossed and you have stepped over the timeline into eternal Time, Time does not hand out seconds--no second chances, no extra seconds to make the right decision. So you see, there really is no Time like the present to make the Time to give Jesus your heart. The Time is now.


Perceptions of a Lab Puppy

I realized this morning that our experinces in life skew our perception of reality. That's why we are all so different. That's why things we are say or do are so grossly misinterpreted sometimes. I have a friend who has so twisted my intentions and things I have said that I can't be myself around this person. That's sad.

If I had to compare my personality to something, I would guess I'm closest to a Labrador Retriever puppy. I have a zest and exuberance for life, I love to play and I love praise from my Master. I get along with everybody and I rarely growl--I never bite. I show what I'm feeling with a good strong "wag of my tail." I like to be petted and I pet back. I show affection easily and readily and sometimes I run too hard in the house, bumping into things, occasionally breaking something.

This friend thinks I'm a conniver and needy. Those are two words I would never in a million years ascribe to myself. I am going through a rough time right now and have asked for some moral support, but I don't really consider that needy. I consider that good friendship. Perceptions.

Lately I have detected a huge change in the person's attitude. I am extremely sensitive to people's feelings. I can usually tell what people are thinking when they themselves might not know. People are always asking me, "How did you know what I was thinking?" A gift? Maybe. Sometimes I'd rather not know. Like now. I knew I had said something wrong. My friend went from calling me everyday to ignoring me when I would call. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out there's something wrong. I called more than usual and left messages more than usual to try and talk things through. Finally, we talked and what my friend perceived I had done and what I had done were not even close. It's all about perceptions. Then because I had called so much, she got mad that I had called so much. Well, if one would answer the phone the first time one is called then one other wouldn't have to leave so many messages. Makes sense to me. Perceptions.

I have a tendency to give people gifts, do things for them, wear colors and things they like--I kinda thought that's what relationships were built on. I try to do things that please and I have no ulterior motive. I like to say things that build people up and make them feel good about themselves. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Edify people? This friend has totally misconstrued my attempts to please as being clingy and weak! Oh for heaven's sake when did doing things for people become a crime? If someone tells me blue looks good on me, then I'll wear blue around that person more often than not. I don't consider it clingy to try to please someone you care about. Perceptions.

I hate to see our friendship come to an end, but I'm Easy Like Sunday Morning. I don't like messy, complicated, friendships where each word has to be carefully weighed and I'm always worried about offending. I like to be able to show my exuberance for you without misinterpretation. I like to give you things and have my gifts accepted without your thinking there is an ulterior motive behind the act. I like to be accepted for who I am, warts and all with the understanding that I will do the same for you. I like for love to flow freely and naturally and if it bubbles to the surface of my mouth, let me say it without any obligation on your part to say it back. I like to show my excitement when I'm with you. Perceptions.

The lab puppy in me is fiercely loyal, desiring to please, not easily offended, but when offended I put my tail between my legs for awhile, then later try to poke your hand with my nose to get you to pet me once again, will chase sticks and bring them back to you all day to gain your approval and love the water.

The motivation to manipulate, connive and deceive are foreign to me. They involve complicated thought processes and the desire to hurt people because you want them to do and act as you want them to, not as they are. I'm honest, transparent and simple.

I think because of my friends' past experiences, she can't accept my love and friendship without believing every thing I do and say has an ulterior motive. Perceptions skewed by past experience gives everyone a different perspective on reality. Life is full of what is perceived to be. Accepting people is part of your perception of who they are.

If you perceive that someone is gruff, then you might avoid them. But if you let the reality come to you just at face value, you may find out that person has been hurt and walls have been put up, but they are really dying for love and affection. Their perception of your intent has been skewed by their own reality.

Every relationship comes with different perceptions and a different reality. Relationships work best when no one is trying to force their reality onto you. It doesn't work, because your experiences haven't been the same and that makes what you perceive so very different than me.

Empathy, understanding, insight, wisdom, the ability to see more than one perspective, placing value in differences, gaining knowledge when you allow yourself to enter another's reality, if only for a short while, learning from another 's opinion while being confident enough in your own to not be swayed when it's important, though not stubbornly refusing to change, because, you never know, your reality of what doesn't need to be changed may be off-centered because of your past experience. Perceptions.



I'm up early this morning. I can't sleep during these final chapters of the book. I don't know about other writers, but for me, this is the hardest place in a book's life to see to fruition. The beginning is easy. I get an idea and start putting the words on paper. The middle is basically a fleshing out of the original idea, but the end. The end is the culmination of all the months, and in my case years, of working on a story. The end has to tie all the ideas together and make the reader sigh with contentment. It's a tragedy, indeed, to read a book and think, "What an awful ending." I'm now on page 295--not that pages are that important, but again, too long and the book begins to drag, readers become bored and don't finish the book and then they don't want to read anymore books by the boring author!

The Bible study went well on Monday. Unlike me, some people just don't show emotion. I'm one of those people who dance and sing when I'm happy, I tell people what I think when I love them, I'm extremely transparent. I think my friend has a bit of a problem showing her emotions, but we're working on it. She smiles some now, which is a very good thing. I asked her if she liked the study and Beth Moore and she just sadi, "Yeah." Of course, if you're new to Bible study with Ms. Moore, and she is, Beth can be overwhelming. She speaks my language of excitement and raw energy, though, so for me, I was in my element the first time I heard her.

Gramma is still hanging on to life. I find it incredible. No food to speak of. Pain medicine and no other, yet she refuses to stop breathing. What a constitution! I hope those genes have been passed on to moi.

I got a call from my Daddy's brother yesterday. My aunt is going to have surgery tomorrow and they give her a 50/50 chance of surviving. This is not an extremely good time to be one of my relatives.

Daddy seems to be slipping some physically. He sleeps sound during the day. I can walk in and he doesn't even stir. It's a little disconcerting. My heart stops while I check to make sure he's breathing. He's more breathless when he stirs. He's eating okay. He eats the same exact thing for breakfast, corn flakes with milk and Mtn Dew. Then during the day he snacks on chocolate-covered graham crackers. For supper he has one of three things: A double cheese burger, plain, from MickeyD's, a roast beef from Arby's or a hot dog from Chez Ma Casa. His taste buds must have gone into permanent hibernation.

He's not wandering around so much anymore. Thank You, Dear Jesus. He complains about the noise we make in the morning in the kitchen. Now, you have to realize, his bedroom is right off the kitchen and he sleeps til 10:30 and 11:00 in the morning. I try to be quiet, but...well, let's just say I try.

A friend of my mothers sent me a memorandum from a national bridge players book yesterday. I had another good cry. They are becoming less frequent now, but the last few days the hole in my heart left from her departure is huge. Just when I think it's closing, I look down and see fresh blood oozing from the wound. Death is a painful reminder that we are a long way from home, aliens in this land with a job to do until we are united once and for all with our Christ.

Sometimes I'm reminded of salmon. There are a lot of us swimming the same way on a journey for the good of the species and yet we are so all alone in the direction our one path takes. Only one fish can occupy one space at any given time. His ultimate goal, nay, responsibility? To lay down his one life for the survival of the many. It's all about sacrifice. Jesus paid it all so should we.

Gotta go. Gotta get back to the grindstone.

Peace be to you all who happen across this path during your ramblings here on earth. Welcome. Enjoy the journey. I pray your stay freshened you, encouraged you and you maybe had a chance to take a detour to get a bite of Bread. So now you leave energized and ready for the next adventure. Godspeed, Mon Amis!