Friday, July 31, 2009
one thing i will say is that god definitely was looking out for me. one of my sisters was over because i've been ill (her son was mowing my lawn for me)...otherwise, i would have been alone. pheww! all i could do was disagree with the lies (rejection, lack of worth), and that definitely wasn't what the person wanted.
my role now??...definitely prayer. i'm sure the individual will not want to be around me, and i get that. it's hard to have others saying "no, you are valuable." when you don't want to hear it. boy, it's interesting how, on occasion, love feels like it cuts like a knife...we'd sometimes rather live in pain and anger to avoid it.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
one cool thing that i'm totally getting all giddy over is phyllo dough. oh my gosh, it's the thinnest stuff i've ever worked with. much fun.
ahh, the life of the easily amused! ;)
(oh...and for those that need to have the 'paper' update...yes, i'm working on that too.)
UPDATE!!!...it turned out GREAT!!!! i'm thinking 'death by baklava' isn't a bad way to go...hehe.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
i HATE puking! hate, loath, despise, and all other synonyms. it majorly freaks me out. everything feels out of control...makes me momentarily fearful. ish.
when i was younger, my mom used to hold my hair while i hurled like there was no tomorrow. it was always so comforting. i almost called her the other night...but realized that nowadays a call at 3am for a puke rally might royally challenge our relationship.
i, of course, would not call my dad. no offense! he would have been the hair holder when i was little too, but also being a man of "action", i have to part ways with his approach. there was one time when i was so sick...nothing would come up. i was actually begging for it to up-chuck. dad came in and...prayed. :) he asked jesus to help me throw-up. literally moments later, i was catapulting down the hallway with the projectile sort. that's the ONLY time i was "for" vomit. hence, why i will not ask him over mid-flu. his prayers...get answered and tend to not agree with gravity! ;)
oh well...hopefully it has all passed and won't EVER happen again.
i've been doing a unique prayer lately when my heart gets all upset. i'm more of a visual prayer, so i should maybe call it more of a visualization. while i definitely have areas that trust the heart of god, the places that i become of aware of that don't have been getting a special treatment. i've been picturing myself pounding a stake into the ground. the stake has "god is good" written on it. i guess i'm pounding it in as a declaration that this area will know that to be true regardless of the outcomes. i'm claiming the territory in a way. i still have the incredible freedom to ask my questions, but i'm declaring who god says he is at the same time.
being consistent with that stops the swirl of negativity, and the spiraling is becoming replaced with peace.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
why can't eddie...heck, why can't some guys...just be nice to us girls??? hmmm...
well, in the time since that blog it's been quite interesting. some positives for sure, but i've been having to practice patience...not an easy thing for me. i'm assuming that the maintenance of good boundaries will be tested, which will be a difficult thing. however, when i think about it, the pain of having to bump into a boundary is momentary compared to the pain that's allowed to oppress a sad soul. in reality, having no boundaries only adds to that deeper pain, and i'm not ok with standing by while that happens. so i have to keep chosing to be the "bad guy of boundaries" rather than a co-dependent contributor to more illness.
the major obstacle???...which is not unique to a mental illness...how much someone needs a lie to be true. the degree to which we need that lie to be true is reflected in how much we are willing to take any and all situations and interpret them in a way that validates that lie. in other words, we'll take any situation and make it somehow say that our lie is true. once we decide that someone has validated our lie, we feel incredible permission to hate, gossip, throw fits...it can go on and on and on...
example: if i need to believe the lie that 'i'm worth rejecting', i'll take even a glance from a complete stranger as proof that "yep! they are rejecting me". i will then spiral into whatever behaviors and thoughts work to comfort myself.
the bummer is...no one can trump that lie until the individual is willing to consider that it might NOT be true... it's our disagreement with it that begins our journey to freedom...and that's a terribly difficult thing to do. misery at least feels familiar...and familiar feels safe sometimes. i definitely know this to be true in my own life.
compound that lie business, though, with the affliction of chemical imbalances or anything else contributing to a mental illness and it becomes almost impossible to rise up in someone's life and say "that lie is NOT true!!".
frustrating...enter my patience problem. hehe.
so...all that to say...my major role has to be one of prayer. i'll continue the boundaries, which may end the interaction entirely because they may want to keep on validating their own lies, but i'll keep praying a good counsellor or doctor will enter the scene regardless to help clear some of the fog that makes things worse...
Monday, July 27, 2009
so, this accountability group is a pretty good thing for me.
one of the group members talked about how much we are chosing to join in with god in his joy over us.
that can be a hard thing!!!
so...status report?...i met 2 of my 3 goals. :)
(and i massively love this song...it's a ton like what jesus would say...hehe...he's so hot!)
Sunday, July 26, 2009
deb, joy, grandma and i went to the grand canyon several years ago. we all needed a 'get away' and thought that a flight to vegas and a mini road trip was the way to get that 'gone' feeling. well, one day, after tromping all over the canyon sites, we were hot, sweaty, and exhausted. we naturally decided to find an ice cream cone to go along with our perfect summer day.
my choice??...a cone with a scoop of chocolate chip mint and a scoop of strawberry.
ta-da!!!...the birth of my 'taste of summer'.
i've been wanting one of those lately, and i'm on the look-out for some real, hard ice cream to satisfy my hankering. (down with soft serve!!!)
Smile by Uncle Kracker
the other thing i love about it is that ben and abby are not "newtons". hahahahaha. i just love it because i think some people get the impression that only "newtons" minister at my church. not true at all, but because there are a lot of us that go there, it can look like it. i think my family just likes to be together. :) and, if you know anything about being a "newton", the word "family" is quite broadly defined....heck, i probably consider you to be related...hehe. anyway, i love that ministry is a matter of the heart...not the bloodline. i'm so excited for ben and abby and all that god has for them.
this first one is from 'sewer pipe sunday'. :) we do ice cream sundae assembly races. much fun!
brandy's team won!!! (i got to be on that team too!!!) winning means getting cherries to top your sundae.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
BUT...i've been finding...that living with desire ain't no picnic either. it's agreeing to experience life head on...all the beauty (Yay!!)...and the pain.
so i've been begging god for some answers. i've been pissed off, been confused...but i've been real with him. (apologies to those that have noticed that in previous blogs...)
so i've been thinking up a blog about some things that i've been realizing and remembered that i'd already put some of my ponderings in an email to one of my pastors. i'll explain more about what i'm thinking when i can find better words. here goes...
hi, ryan! so it's no surprise that i've been doing a TON of pondering about desire and my frustrations with it (and God). ;) and i think i've been having some realizations...the first one was confirmed in bible study this morning on page 13 of the desire book. "we must listen to desire, look at it carefully, let it guide us through the false routes and dead ends."
i think i have been getting so riled up by the discomfort associated with desire...reacting to it...rather than listening to it. i'm guessing that each time the message could be different. sometimes it reveals a falsehood. maybe other times there are directions...encouragements to risk, move ahead, etc. this last one has been allowing a huge inaccuracy to be revealed as to how i view god in some of my places of desire. the ramifications of the 'if-then' god...my pride, strangely, gives me permission to then hold god to expectations...oh dear...but it also feeds an "i'm worth being used...and that's exactly what he's up to" message about god. yowza...but so eye-opening. heart-opening, actually. :)
so...learning to listen to the messages of the rumblings...rather than being so quick to satiate them, point blame, kill them...
i'm guessing that desire is actually one of the finest gifts aside from relationship (with god). it's a way that we can tap into him...the real him...if we will listen long enough. hmm...
what do you think?
Friday, July 24, 2009
so, a farewell to my tennie bumpers.
(don't tell...but my new ones have even MORE pink...hehe)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
today, jen and i tried some caches at the local state park. we walked all over the place, but it was a great time!
the other cool thing is that i'm slowly learning more about how to use my little gps unit. today, i learned about setting the navigation system. ohhhh yes, that little feature lets me do caching with "assistance". i turn this little button on, and it tells me where to turn and in how many seconds... some would say that using that option makes me a pansy...but...i do love being a pansy. hehe.
so today's results were 4 out of 5. not a perfect score, but pretty good!!
but hey!!!...another item off the list!!!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
sorry, i'm not in the camp that thinks tears are wussy.
when a heart-man cries, i get all braveheart-lovin'...and want to lunge with my "shoulder" to cry on and go wherever he's headed.
i just saw one on hulu.com and about broke my laptop. after i came to (blackout after diving at screen), i realized the man was in my computer and not my living room.
dang it. ;)
so...i'm practicing the art of setting good goals.
i have my larger, more lofty ones...but i'm setting more workable mini-goals...all in the move to get closer towards my larger ones.
one of the people in my group was able to identify that he's more able to move towards his larger goal of losing weight if he achieves these two mini-goals during the week: 1) drink 8 glasses of water each day and 2) eat 5 servings of fruit. he's noticed that if he is able to do those things, the other healthier decisions tend to just follow. i thought that was pretty awesome.
so, i'm making some mini-goals this week. :) since my thesis is the major road block to my larger goals, the "mini's" are in her direction. (yes, my thesis is a "girl".)
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
but here's the other kicker...
i'm not an especially mercy-motivated person. (thank god for mental health workers that are!!) i'm usually more concerned about the others that are affected by the unbounded illness. maybe that's the other side of the mercy coin.
so...how should i respond to a person with a mental affliction?
i can put in friendship/assistance/help for a time...but then i notice a lack of patience building. thinking about it more...i guess i'm mostly referring to the mentally ill person that isn't pursuing healing and/or meds. it's a spiralling that i just can't take. my dad and the other experienced people in my life say to continue to have clear boundaries...which i'm doing...but it always feels mean. the thing is...in my experience...to not have some boundaries actually invites more spiralling, so i guess it's the way to go.
it's just frustrating...
Friday, July 17, 2009
i'm madly in love with a neckline.
so here's austin tofte in 'swimming with dolphins'. if you 'youtube' him, it's actually pretty awesome how they use computers and such to create their sound.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
anyhoo...back to topic.
i'm always so interested by the christians that want to be "different". they usually want to be a part of a new move, a revolution, something "radical". at least, those are the words they use...and the passion usually comes from a pretty genuine place.
then they begin to build a sort of linguistic collage...word pictures...to define what the "new" new should look like.
they commit to taking care of the homeless, feeding orphans, living off the land, ending poverty, creating new/better ways of doing 'church' and/or 'community', withdrawing from the 'churchies' all together, obliterating hiv from the map, eliminating the sex trade, etc.
but in my mind...those things are sub-points...details...not remotely the defining points for 'radical', 'revolution', the 'new' new...regardless of how 'good' the cause is.
here's how i know that those things were never meant to be the core driving point for any movement...people make those passions into the standards...the dividing lines...the judging stick...the pat on the back for self...the thing that convinces them that they are moving in god's will.
i hate to say it, but those things aren't radical at all. there is no revolution in any of those.
here's what is mind-blowingly "rad, dude"...
living in active acceptance of god's love...not just standing in the flow of it, but letting it permeate our hearts (even the secret things)...plunking ourselves right in the center of god's heart...letting him be 'abba' (daddy)...and then moving in sway with his rhythm.
allowing a real relationship...
THAT'S a revolutionary way to live. ironically, it's the ancient way that can never get old. it's only 'new' because we settled for less and accepted 'boring' and 'impotent' as synonyms for 'normal'.
that way of life...well, it creates genuine freedom and becoming in the most internal places of the heart...actually produces a natural and powerful outflow of love for the world...a transforming, saving love as seen in mercy and supply for the poor, the homeless, the sick, the lost; as seen in powerful stewardship of possessions, gifts, people; as seen in a heart for fellowship and community across barriers, generations, races, etc. BUT...instead of being born out of an attempt to define or better self, to create or glean identity, to have a measurable behavioral standard for 'good christian', and whatever other more external motivations, they just flow out of god's heart right to ours...secondary to just being his.
(ya, that's my collage for the radical way...being his girl...or boy...) ;)
and regardless of whether my heart then moves for the homeless man or the pregnant girl or the christian youth or the overwhelmed mom or the rotary club or all the trees that need huggin'...it doesn't matter. we are joined in the primary, defining point...our 'radical' relationship with the divine.
i'd like to see a revolution of that these days...
i'm just sayin'...hehe.
i had one of those today when i met up with a friend that i don't get to see all that often. in the course of conversation, we both switched into uber-real mode and found that we are both on very similar messy, scribbly pages...and that feels so great.
it means that i'm not completely insane...or that my lack of sanity has company. i think god wanted me to know that for some reason.
you know what i've decided???...active wrestling (the kind that doesn't always look pretty) is its own move towards surrender...and the life that comes out of it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
along the lines of 'field of dreams', our friend created an entire field devoted to tapeball in his yard. an infield and outfield, fencing, a scoreboard, a bleecher section.
and totally fun!...aside from my anger problem related to competition...;)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
don't get me wrong...it's not that i don't want kids...not true at all! i would love that and totally don't care how they come. it's just that kids' hearts are also important, and i want to be very careful about doing anything that would cause unnecessary pain. granted, change is a tough thing for anyone, and i'm sure there's always some measure of discomfort in any transition. but the weight of wanting to do the right thing by them causes me to tread carefully. always has.
i wonder, though, how that personal imperative looks to others. sometimes, i think it seems like i'm distant and/or disinterested. bummer. so how does that work? how should it? should it at all?
see what it's like in my head???
Saturday, July 11, 2009
but you know what else he has?...praises.
his "get real" also affords him the opportunity to see miracles.
he gets to see god trace his finger across the eternal lifeline.
here's one that i stumbled across the other morning. it helped me to remember to keep my perspective wide and open when it's tempting to get narrow. why?...because squinting in the times of questioning can make us forget all to quickly the array of god-moments where he whispers, "i'm here. i've got you. i'll never let go."
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and every day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;
4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him,"
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
for he has been good to me.
Friday, July 10, 2009
another one is to go to sitka, alaska. i've also wanted to do this but remembered it only recently. when i was in junior high, my dad and i would read louis lamour books together on camping trips. the first one we read was called 'sitka'. i decided then that i'd go visit that town. i didn't remember that until i saw a movie about it. so...on the list again!
ahhhh, lists. :)
tons of hiking with debbie and a variety of others depending on who wanted to come. this is me "conquering" a rocky hill. ohhhh ya, i'm sure i was pretty intimidating. :)
my lovely hiking partners!!...AND, a piece of heaven for me. i LOVE forests that are FULL of ferns. it totally meets some of my "tactile" needs. walking and feeling the fern fronds...pure heaven. :)
dave and bonnie came too, so we tried out some geocaching! here's dave using his gps to find one.
the kids going through the cache. cool stuff!mommy and i at another cache. one of the girls that came along discovered it on accident!! she lifted up a rock at a look-out and there it was. very cool!
had a great ride back with my nephew too! what a fab guy! :)
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
well, when i was in school, i played basketball. if it weren't for the tiny problem of hating to run, it would have been a blast. for some reason, though, playing in 9th grade was fun. we had a larger pool to pull from, and it was fun to be on a "team". we worked hard that year (at least i think so..hehe) and ended up winning consolation in the end-of-season tournament which felt like a huge accomplishment compared to the past years of "last place".
and then we found out that we were losing our trophy. alcohol issues with a team captain.
oh my gosh...i was PISSED!! i was in "loathe" mode.
and then i felt guilty for hating her as a good p.k. would, so i worked and worked and worked at feeling a bit of forgiveness.
you know what?...turns out that everyone has a story...and very few people are genuinely evil. in fact, most of us...well, we just get lost sometimes...and in that "lost-ness", we hurt people. the crazy thing is that it's possible to be a person that gets hurt sometimes who, along with the feelings, can exercise grace. hmm, who would have thunk it...oh ya...god! hehe.
well, i had the good fortune of running into her today. haven't seen her since 9th grade!!! and you know what???...she actually looked good...healthy!!! for my fellow highschoolers, you'll know how fantastic that is. :)
and i was really happy for her. :)
as it turns out...life ain't about trophies. it's about hearts...and that's very good news.
i have to be honest...i'm not a big fan.
i definitely enjoy aspects of it. i don't even mind sleeping in a tent. i love the hiking, and especially enjoy the times with my nieces and nephews (they are the ones that also don't go to bed at an early hour anymore).
it definitely pushes on buttons though, and i'm usually so glad when i can duck out a little early (not in a mean way...you'll see...).
the one that's being pushed lately is the "3rd wheel" one. if you are single, you know exactly what i'm talking about. not always, but in moments, it's hard to be the "individual" family unit...especially when the others are congregating in theirs. always switching seats so they can all sit together. being caught in the middle of their dynamics. frustrating.
it can cause a little lonliness. that's not constant though...and i totally get that life is full of moments like that no matter what someone's circumstances are...and those moments don't need to rule us or mean a thing. however, it's also that i end up with a lot of time on my hands, and i get reallllly bored.
so...here's to another trip. i'm trying to think of things i can be doing to stay more occupied when people are fishing and reading and sleeping...well, and to live up my singlehood a bit too. ;) all things can...and should...be enjoyed...hehe.
the funny thing about it is that i usually drive "to" work on the back roads just because i like the peace of nature in the mornings. but not having the option for an entire month???...wow, it really bugged me. the way i would normally have taken anyway was a huge pill simply because i couldn't have my "choice".
the good news is that the road is re-opened, and there is a TON of new tar to be enjoyed.
interesting lesson in "options" though. ya, i'm a brat. hehe.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
The question lodged deep in our hearts, hidden from our conscious minds, is: “Do you care for me, God?”
What’s under that question?
Blaise Pascal, in his Pensées, says, “The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.” What’s under that question is our personal stories, often punctuated by the Message of the Arrows: parents who were emotionally absent; bedtimes without words or hugs; ears that were too big and noses that were too small; others chosen for playground games while we were not; and prayers about all these things seemingly met with silence. And embedded in our stories, deep down in our heart, in a place so well guarded that they have rarely if ever been exposed to the light of day, are other grief-laden and often angry questions: “God, why did you allow this to happen to me? Why did you make me like this? What will you allow to happen next?” In the secret places of our heart, we believe God is the One who did not protect us from these things or even the One who perpetrated them upon us. Our questions about him make us begin to live with a deep apprehension that clings anxiously to the depths of our hearts . . . “Do you really care for me, God?”
This is the question that has shipwrecked many of our hearts, leaving them grounded on reefs of pain and doubt, no longer free to accompany us on spiritual pilgrimage. We might be able to rationalize away that question by telling ourselves that we need to be more careful, or that sometimes others are just bad. We can even breathe a sigh of relief when we realize that trouble has come from our own sin. But even the careful, legalistic, and constricted lifestyle that arises out of thinking we can avoid trouble through our own devices shipwrecks when the Arrows seem to strike us out of nowhere. What are we to make of God’s wildness in allowing these things to happen?
so...god died for me this week. in actuality i murdered him with an anger from years and years of stuffed judgments. it's funny how we stumble upon areas that still believe old lies. we don't always know they are there because we are focused on our areas of new life...or we don't want to release those ones just yet. but they are there..areas that need to drudged up...areas that need a claim-stake for a deeper reality of loving truth.
and as i sat in church this morning, i realized that this death was a very good thing...
i'm just in the first steps of this movement, but the god that just "uses" me now has a gravestone. the one that would, above all things, pursue and love me fully so that i can love him back has entered the scene. there is a lot of unbelief that i'm slogging through...particulary related to a certain desire...but i sense a new wind is blowing and i believe he is on the move.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
i can't decide if i should be grateful that i don't have a relationship situation like that or sad for a woman that's trapped in one that's so domineering...or both??
oh my gosh...i'm just...shocked.
it causes me to pause...and think...that...the only way a woman can stay in something like that is to lose her sense of self. hopefully, the thought of that is enough of a threat that she snaps out of it and at minimum asks for things to change. my gosh, to not??? the consequences for her are undeniably tragic...
no man was ever meant to need a woman to lose herself in order for him to feel like a man... if anything, he'd be walking in more of his true masculinity to help release her more and more into her true femininity...whatever that looks like.
the first one is "loving your kids on purpose: making a heart-to-heart connection'. i've heard soooo many great reviews about this one. i've also heard two interviews with the author. it seems absolutely wonderful. also, it's not just for the parent. i think there could be many parallels to how god parents us. :)
the second one is "sex god: exploring the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality". it's a book by rob bell (of nooma fame), and i've also heard so many good things about it. seems right up my alley...hehe.
the third??? a new "halley's bible handbook". it's a guide full of historical and archeological facts to go along with my studying. oh my gosh, it's like candy. :)
so, this girl is off for another episode...'sea patrol', here i come!!