Dear new car owner

Yes I'm talking to you in the brand new bright yellow hummer that you bought on Tuesday June 24th. I drove behind you for a few miles today and I wondered something.

How can you, in 2008, with all the information we have been given about carbon footprints and environmental responsibility justify the purchase of a hummer to drive in urban Cincinnati. Is it just me, or is there not a lot of mountainous or desert terrain to conquer..so why?
Is it because you want to let people know that your penis is super duper large? Because I'm pretty sure that might not be true....
Not to mention, with gas flip flopping across the $4 per gallon mark it would probably be cheaper and a better management of your resources for you to create some sort of sandwich board that announces your girth. Also, you can buy a pack of tube socks for like $2 maybe (it's been awhile since I've bought tube socks, so that may have gone up)

So dear new yellow hummer owner, I just want to know....WHY?

A concerned earth dweller


If you're everything you say you are, come close and hold my heart

I'm afraid a lot.
I'm afraid people won't like me, I'm afraid people will think I'm stupid. I measure things that I say to make sure they fit, to make sure my freak flag isn't showing to much.
I'm afraid that all of it is a lie and the bottom is about to fall out from underneath me. I'm afraid that I disappoint him, and you, and God, and her, and that person leaning against the wall over there. I'm afraid of losing myself so I try to jam as much in to a day as possible, in case I don't get another one. But I'm afraid that by jamming so much into a day I'm losing myself by not just being.
I used to be afraid of the dark. I'm not talking used to be like 20 years ago when my age was still a single digit. I'm talking, I was afraid of the dark last month. It is only recently that I've been able to sleep with the TV off, which makes my house dark. It is only last week in fact that I've been able to enter my apartment in the dark and walk to my bedroom without turning on every light along the way to scare away the murderers that I sometimes think lurk in the shadows.

I'm afraid to be bold. I'm afraid to not be bold. I'm afraid to speak the truth out loud, and I'm afraid to keep quiet. I'm afraid of being thin, I'm afraid of getting fatter. I'm afraid no one will ever love me thoroughly enough to keep me from wondering if all the trouble is worth it. I'm afraid of not fighting the fight hard enough to make it worth it.
I'm afraid that I'm to afraid of thing, but I'm afraid of not being afraid because of all the danger that could befall me.
I'm afraid I'm not praying correctly so my prayers aren't really processed. I'm afraid that's a stupid thing to think because isn't praying just a conversation? I'm afraid that when I try to have a conversation with God I have nothing to say, but everything to say at the exact same time. Sometimes I'm afraid that even though you love me, you don't really like me. I'm afraid that's my fault.
I'm afraid that I've gone so long feeling afraid that it has become enmeshed in the very definition of who I am.

I'm afraid a lot.
There is some statistic about the number of times fear not is mentioned in the bible. Maybe Justin can help me with that information because I don't know. (Because I'm afraid I don't know much about the bible, but I'm afraid to learn because of the dark places it will shine a light into)
I'm afraid that isn't a coincidence.

So what do I do now? How do I begin to live fearlessly and recklessly while at the same time being careful and deliberate? How do I balance the long term goal and the pressure I feel to be financially secure with the irrational and panic inducing longing that is floating up in my heart and whispering to my soul?
I'm afraid I just don't know.
I'm afraid of the tears that come to my eyes uninvited during these silent evenings at home, and sometimes during the loud raucous music in the car. I'm afraid of the way my heart is being broken every day, I'm afraid of a lifetime of a breaking heart because sometimes the sorrow and grief I see in life is just to much for me to bear. I'm afraid that my breaking heart is just as overwhelmed by the goodness, compassion and love that I see tangibly shown in life too. I'm afraid I don't know how to keep my heart from breaking when the light and the dark both break it.
I'm afraid that everything I know is wrong. I'm afraid that my King is calling me out and the consequences will shatter everything I thought was true and right.

One life that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If you're everything you say you are, won't you come close, and hold my heart


I want to be beautiful

Some days like today, when I am tired and worn down, when I am busy and frustrated, I can feel him slithering around in my head.
Whispering things to me that I don't want to believe, but things that I have been told so long that I can hardly believe they are false.
Who do you think you are?
They couldn't really love you?
They couldn't possibly be interested?
No one cares about you
No one will ever think you're beautiful
No one will ever believe in you

All of these things hissed quietly in my ear, for no one else to hear but me.
How then to tell people of a voice in my head they can not hear without it coming across like I'm actually just crazy.
The flicker of his tongue in my mind, searching for a heart he so desperately wants to conquer. A heart that I am trying so desperately to keep whole and safe in the light.
The softer I live my life, the louder the voice is. The voice is hissing his way through the very core of my being, he is hoping that he is louder then the still small voice.

In the wind through my open windows, on the branches of trees I hear the gentle whisper of my King. He is telling me who I am because of his love for me, because of his spirit in me.
You are my daughter
You are loved
You are valued
You matter
You are worth it
You are smart
You are creative
I believe in you
I love you
I think you are a priceless woman

Which will I believe today? Which will strangers, customers on the phone, friends, family, neighbors, and kids tell me I am today? Do I have snakes in sheep's clothing around me? Who do I invest my heart in that calls me stupid, literally or figuratively? Why do I let them?
What truth will I stand on today?
What truth will you stand on?

Bethany Dillon "Beautiful"

I was so unique
Now I feel skin deep
I count on the make-up to cover it all
Crying myself to sleep cause I cannot keep their attention
I thought I could be strong
But it's killing me

Does someone hear my cry?
I'm dying for new life

I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart,
and be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful

Sometimes I wish I was someone other than me
Fighting to make the mirror happy
Trying to find whatever is missing
Won't you help me back to glory

You make me beautiful
You make me stand in awe
You step inside my heart, and I am amazed
I love to hear You say
Who I am is quite enough
You make me worthy of love and beautiful


If you don't have anything nice to say don't say it at all

I'm a mocker. Those of you that know me know this is true. I'm honestly torn a lot of the time on if it is right or not.
One of my favorite past times of old is to just watch people and systematically mock them. Before I was saved I would routinely seek out the weaknesses in people and exploit them, I would intentionally wound people, just because I could..and mostly just because I was trying so desperately to hide my own hurt.
I mean, people are funny, they are down right odd most of the time, myself included. I can take it just as well as I can dish it out. But when is it to far? When does it cross the line from good old fashioned ribbing to mocking, in a cruel way? Does it make a difference if the person can hear you or not? Does it matter if you know them personally or not?
Frederick Buechner says:

We also know that words spoken in deep love or deep hate set things in motion within the human heart that can never be reversed.

When I read that the first time I of course understood the ramifications of speaking things hatefully, callously to those that we love, those that we directly communicate with. But surely it doesn't matter when I mock those that I don't talk to...when I do it in the shadows with other people that also don't know those that are being mocked.
In that case, I don't think the motion happens in the heart of the people I'm mocking, I think it happens in mine. When I mock people I don't know, I set things into motion in my heart that can never be reversed. When I speak things that are cruel, and mocking I change my heart a little. I blacken it and push God out of it a little. That grieves me.
When I lift people up with my speech, when I am the person that goes against the norm of conversation and give them the benefit of the doubt for their behavior, when I don't pick apart what they're wearing, how they're acting, what they're doing with their day, or life even, I set into motion righteous things in my heart. I'm just happier I think.

A few years back I went dress shopping with my mom for a wedding I would be reading in. It was VERY important that I look nice at this wedding because John would be there with his new fiance and I couldn't look like some schlub. I'm in the dressing room and mom is telling me to shuck off my pants so I can get the skirt on....I start to freak out on her because I don't want people to know what I'm doing in the dressing room. It was a dressing room, what were people going to think I was doing! For so long, and sometimes still, I get this almost paralyzing social anxiety because I think going out into public that people will mock me, ridicule me, and just all around find everything that is lacking about me. On one hand, this is such an egocentric feeling, because honestly most people couldn't care less about me. But on the other hand, I feel this way because I know it happens. I know it happens because I have been that person, I have been in that group of people and I have mocked and picked someone apart until there was nothing left to mock. That is the motion my mocking has put into place in my heart.

I don't know where the line is, I can't figure out when it's just good natured ribbing and when it's mocking. But I really want to.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-3

Troubling Deaf Heaven

God is more often silent then chatty with me. The last part of one of the quotes I just posted read:

I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.

I am occasionally troubled by a deaf God. More often then not it feels like the silent treatment, as if it is punishment for something that I've done, or am doing wrong....but I can't figure out what it is that I'm doing.
But I was thinking last night, about how for granted I take things. I take my friendships, my family, my church for granted. If I'm overexposed (for lack of a better word) I take these things and so much more for granted. I just expect that these things will be there forever, never going anywhere, never changing. When these things are absent from me, I notice they are gone and my heart is resolved to hold them closer and appreciate them more.

I'm that way with God too. It seems like when I look to directly at my faith, when I hear from God and am just immersed in the grandness of my King I get so...so...ambivalent.
I expect that he will just be there, speaking to me without me seeking him first, before anything else in my life. I just expect that when I say God, he will appear before my heart just waiting to hear what my bidding will be this time, what it is that I'm requesting from him.
I don't adore him, or thank him nearly enough...not nearly enough at all.
There is much more instant gratification in hashing it out and bitching with another person, I can much more quickly solve a problem or life crisis on my own then waiting for the ever elusive God's timing, right? Right?

I went to see Narnia: Prince Caspian tonight (for free whoop!), for those of you that don't know, the Chronicles of Narnia is a series of books written by CS Lewis as an allegorical tale of the journey of the world. Reepacheep makes his debut in Prince Caspian and he is by far one of my favorite characters in the series, but I digress. In the series, Aslan the Lion is a metaphorical character for God. Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are sons of adam and daughters of eve and well, they're humans...which is a metaphor for...humans. Anyway...
There were several moment in the movie when Susan and Peter would ask why they hadn't seen Aslan, why he didn't appear to them, because he appeared to Lucy. Later in the movie Lucy is talking to Aslan (oh the animals talk...and talk to me about Star Wars before you start telling me that this is a weird concept) and asking him why he hasn't bound in and saved them all, why hasn't he protected all of those that have perished. Aslan replied, why didn't you come looking for me sooner? Why haven't you been seeking me?
I don't think that is by any means saying that God couldn't bound in and save us all....but if we don't want him why would he?
If you have a friend that you are constantly pursuing but they never really seem interested in spending time with you...wouldn't you at least tone down your pursuit?
I wonder so often why the heavens are silent, why I feel that my petitions and supplications are bouncing off a deaf heaven...and when I really, honestly think about it...it's because I've wandered so far away from God.
Oh, he's right where he always is, and always has been, but I've wandered away and deafened myself. I've turned up the volume of my life, I've decided that I can run this show a mite better then God and he damn well better hand over the reigns.

Once I wake up and realize the absence, the deafness of heaven, I begin to look wildly about for God, like a lost child, which is exactly what I am.
He's always there, patiently waiting for me to return. Until the next time, when I am immersed in my faith and I grow once again ambivalent towards my King, until the next time I trouble deaf heaven.


Frederick Buechner

I'm reading Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons and they are moving me deeply. Here are a few quotes:

All of us, for instance, carry around inside ourselves, I believe, a certain emptiness- a sense that something is missing, a restlessness, the deep feeling that, somehow all is not right inside our skin. Psychologists sometimes call it anxiety, theologians sometimes call it estrangement, but whatever you call it, I doubt that there are many who do not recognize the experience itself, especially no one of our age, which has been variously termed the age of anxiety, the lost generation, the beat generation, the lonely crowd. Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this in itself is a word from God, that this is the sound that God's voice makes in a world that has explained him away. In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence so that we know him best through our missing him.

All the absurd little meetings, decisions, inner skirmishes that go to make up our days. It all adds up to very little, and yet it all adds up to very much. Our days are full of nonsense, and yet not, because it is precisely into that nonsense of our days that God speaks to us words of great significance- not words that are written in the stars but words that are written into the raw stuff and nonsense of our days, which are not nonsense just because God speaks into the midst of them. And the words that he says, to each of us different, are, "be brave...be merciful...feed my lambs...press in toward the goal"


Loud Living

I'm thinking about turning my TV off for the summer. I mean, I don't have cable and the only new stuff on is reality *puke* television anyway right.
I find that I turn the TV on and zone out, I do nothing and turn into a gigantic slug.

I have a ton of books on my shelf that I haven't read yet. I could read those. I could go to the library, the park, I could sit on my balcony and just read.
I could write more, here and off line.
I could pray more.

All the noise coming out of the TV just seems to drown out the voices in my head. For a long time that was a good thing, a necessary thing, because all the voices in my head were telling me to die, that I sucked at life and that no one truly would ever love me. But those voices have dimmed, they've been overtaken by the voices of all you lovely people that tell me kind things, encouraging things.
Now loud living has just become a way for me to hide from real, hard, true living.
We'll see how this goes...

On my way to work:

I saw a hot air balloon. It was in the west. I think the wizard of Oz was on it.
For a few miles I was filled with an intense longing to just be on that balloon drifting away.


I just noticed

That the actor who portrays Superman on Smallville doesn't appear to be aging. At. All.

It's freaking me out

Now, where is that pesky line?

I have such difficulty finding the line. You know the one...the one between letting something slide gracefully because you love someone and kicking their ass for being an insensitive jackass that insults you and dismisses your work and life as inconsequential because it isn't like theirs.
Ok, so maybe you don't know exactly what I'm talking about.

Yesterday was just a day, a ho hum doing some work and moving through life day. I left work and went to bible study, which was a.mazing. We're in a "learning to read the bible" study but there were only 4 of us there last night so the conversation meandered throughout the night. We ended up staying almost an hour past ending time just talking. I shared somethings that I'm pretty sensitive about last night and was sure that I would be met by criticism and condemnation. But I wasn't. Rebecca looked me directly in the eye and for several minutes spoke clearly and firmly directly to my heart. It was so nourishing and healing, especially after a year of feeling so raw and exposed. She told me who I was to her, to people at church, and to God himself. She told me that if anyone tried to tell me otherwise they were lying and I was not to listen to them for a minute because that is not of God.
As many of you may have picked up on I can vacillate between a truly loathing view of myself and at best an indifferent one. For so long it never occurred to me that people may be wrong when they looked me up and down and summarized that I was stupid and worthless (often verbally in those very words). A few months ago I blogged about if it was even true. That was a lot about if what I thought people thought were true, but what if the reality, what they actually think of me is wrong? What then?

I practically floated out of there, reveling in the kindness that was shown to me and the words that were spoken to the depth of me. I get in my car, I open my phone to turn the volume up and I have several missed calls and a text. All from the same person. I hurriedly call the person back (we'll call them Q) because I'm convinced that something is terribly wrong.
Q answers, and nothing is wrong. Q has been drinking, again.
I love Q. I have fun with Q. But Q has gone through some stuff lately, and Q drinks just a squide more then is maybe ok.
So Q and I chat and discuss when we're going to get together again. A topic comes up that I cannot discuss here, but a topic comes up and I prattle on thinking all is well and fine. Then the shoe drops.
"You're so stupid, why are you such a dumb ass?!"
I say excuse me?
"You're just so stupid and ate up, obsessed with this. Why are you so stupid? Maybe you should just plant your lips directly on *insert persons name here*'s ass"
I say, excuse me again, all the while I feel the blood draining from my toes and my heart starting to break a little...because my instinct tells me Q is correct.
Q goes on to tell me that I'm a sucker, a stupid dumb ass sucker for believing something about this thing we're discussing and how could I be such a stupid dumb ass sucker. I ask Q, "Why do I want to hang out with you again?"
Q replies, "I'm sorry, I'm being a jackass". I said, "I know, I was waiting for it to pass"

We then finalized plans to hang out and I hung up.

Pretty shitty huh? I was on Jesus cloud 9 as I walked out of bible study. Just thinking about how much God loved me...ME. I was replaying the things that Rebecca had said over and over again, hoping that I could memorize what she said before I was shit on by someone again.
That lasted about 5 minutes.

So Q was drunk. Q may or may not remember what Q said. This isn't the first time that Q has said these types of things, but this is the first time Q has come out so blatantly and said them so directly.
I have to say that I'm hurt, that it hurts my feelings to have someone say those things drunk or otherwise.
Tony used to call me drunk and say hurtful things, but never like this. It took me months to say anything to him...but he didn't call every week drunk like that either.
Where's that pesky line? How do I address it? How do I say that it's not ok for you to talk to me that way, and what if Q says Q doesn't remember saying it...thus successfully invalidating any point I have to make?
I know the answers I suppose. But I just hate cutting people off, or telling them if they talk to me that way I can't/won't talk to them...and I'm unsure that's truly the answer.

It makes me very sad that I even have to wonder these things....


If only the damage were visible

My sister called me this morning to tell me that a teen that just graduated high school in Clyde (my hometown) committed suicide this weekend. He was the best friend of a boy we used to babysit, and Tommy was in the house when he killed himself (not in the room, in the house). My dad is still close to Tommy's dad (we were neighbors on CR 175) and my mom and dad probably headed over there to be with the family today.
So much sadness. So much grief.
I have another friend that I spoke to end of last week who has a mom that has been a drug addict for most of my friends life. She (my friend) raised herself with the help of so many people that stepped up to love her. In the last (less then a) year her mom got sober. Her mom held a job for longer then a few weeks. This was after a particularly bad time in which my friend had no choice but to cut ties with her until the mom could communicate when she wasn't high. Her mom started getting high again a few weeks back, and it all blew up last week. My friend also had a terrible falling out with one of the only sisters she's ever known. She's cried for days, and just is at a loss how to help, or sometimes even deal with this situation that's so much bigger then anything any of us should need to handle.
So much sadness, so much grief.
I can list the names of a few families that are processing miscarriages or still born babies, they aren't sure how they'll move forward but they're moving forward.
I have friends that are struggling with truly debilitating depression and panic disorders. They have or are trying medication. They're mostly just trying to get through life to the best of their ability and sometimes, that's just so overwhelming.

I was talking to Nicole on the way to church this morning about Tommy's friend that killed himself. She "knew" him and his family from her job, they would come in there and she would speak to them in that casual retail way that happens. She was lamenting how terrible it was, how just awful for his family and we were talking about the reasons he could have felt this was the only option. I mean, he was 18, less then 2 weeks graduated from high school with a wide open future ahead of him. Nicole said, he always seemed so...OK.
I replied, wouldn't it be nice if the damage were more visible.
Wouldn't it?
Like the hello my name is stickers we wear when we're getting to know groups of people, wouldn't it be nice if our damage were visible? Wouldn't that level the playing field so to speak?
Hello, my name is Bethany and I'm insecure and socially awkward, that's what mine would say most of the time now.

I was baptized in the fall of 2003 at Cedar Creek church in Perrysburg. Ben Snyder had us all type up our testimonies, he took our pictures, and then the night of the baptism he hung our testimonies on a giant cross. It was super powerful. I typed out for the first time for people to publicly read about how long I had wanted to die, or just disappear. Nicole was there that night too. She came over crying, asking me why I never told her any of that. I still don't know I suppose.
But for a long time I had this sense that all damage was to be kept invisible (if you were irresponsible enough to be damaged that is...)
But how nice would it be if we were able to walk around with our damage visible. I think that most of the time we'll be surprised by the number of people that will reassure us we're OK, and we're loved and cherished by them.
I overheard someone talking about me a few weeks ago, I can't remember if I wrote it on here... but I overheard him telling someone that I did a great job and that he was "so proud of me". That was salve to my insecure wounds.

A lot of the time when people don't apply salve to our wounds because they don't they exist. Imagine the healing that could happen if we aired our wounds out and let other people clean and comfort them...

I don't know this boy that killed himself, but I know what it's like to want to so badly and feel like not being able to even kill yourself is more proof of what a failure you are.
The future will be a new normal for everyone that love this boy, and for everyone that loves someone that loved him.
There is so much sadness and grief in this world, in our country, our states, cities, neighborhoods, homes, and sometimes in the other half of our beds. Maybe if we took a chance and made our damage just a little more visible we'll be surprised by how much love and support comes back at us.

For me, I will say that what helped me more then I can ever actually explain to anyone is the absolute saving grace of Jesus Christ. He saved me literally, figuratively, and eternally. It was not, by any stretch of the imagination, an overnight healing, it took a good 3 years for me to (at least thus far) permanently move past thoughts of harming myself. It has sucked and it has been hard, but it has been totally worth it.


Oh the adventures of Nicole's car

So my friend Nicole was coming down to hang out with me this weekend. She called me and we were chatting about the weekend and her drive when she said, "Oh shit! I just hit a deer"
Yup. She hit a deer, going 70ish on 75 south around exit 78 (Piqua area)

Off I head up 75 north to rescue the damsel in distress. I ended up meeting her about 4 miles off of exit 69 (Troy). Three hours later we're back in Cincinnati.
Terrible right? What is almost (almost) the worst part is that this is the third time in the last year that Nicole's car has been injured enough for it to be towed!

I'm beginning to think there's some sort of target on her car for these calamities!

Share your darkness

I read this on a blog I visit today, and they had quoted it from another blog of their friend (the link to the original is at the bottom of the quote)
I can tell you that over the last year what has helped me the most to heal parts of me hidden for years and years has been sharing the darkness in my head, letting people into the crazy both in person and on here. Opening my darkness to other people has allowed them to finally shine light into the wounds, and that made all the difference. So many of you have helped me see hope and love where I thought there was none. You have all helped me more then I can really articulate see me through the barbed wire pile of shit that I had piled on myself.
I can relate to this woman's entry in a way. I used to cut occasionally, not every day, or even every week...but at some point I would feel like I had to depressurize the hatred and pain that I felt seething just below my skin.
So please read and think about how you can help people that may not know how to ask or receive the help, or those you don't know how to help (cutting or otherwise). Sometimes helping is just sitting there holding on to them while the waves buffet their hearts.

To most the thought of harming yourself would be so outlandish that you
would look at me like i was crazy if i told you that it makes sense to me.
am choosing to write about this because there is such a need around this
generation to bring light and truth to the fact that a lot of this generation is
stuck in the rut of Self Injury. It is a painful place to be and takes a lot to
get past. It is a dark place to get stuck. And as statistics are showing there
are a lot of people stuck there.
So i want to share my story……
I started
“cutting” when i was 13. I don't fully remember how i was introduced to it, but
within a few days had taken root in my life. The pain that was so deep inside of
me was killing me. i was allowing myself to die emotionally. It was a fight that
i didn't want to take place but had no idea of how to stop it. It seemed
meaningless to fight to keep them alive when i viewed them as the things that
were causing me so much pain.
So my only solution to make sure that i was not
dying totally was to hurt myself. To feel the pain on the outside assured me
that i was still alive. That there was still hope. At least that it how it all
started. It started out of my desire for hope. For some feeling to let me know
that i was alive. That i could still feel something. That one day maybe i would
feel again.
Soon it became an addiction. I had my way of doing it. I had my
“ritual.” The when and how. within 2 months it had moved past the need for hope.
My body and mind were addicted to the feeling. To the release that it gave me.
My rage towards myself and other people had grown so much that i didn't know how
to release it. And i thought this was a good way.
As time went on whether i
had a bad day or not i had to cut. I had to do it each night before i went to
bed. It calmed me enough to rest and go to sleep. (and about addiction, still to
this day if i experience intense pain i get tired because my mind was trained to
go to sleep after pain.)
I share this because i know that there are people
who are in this rut. And honestly, it breaks my heart. because being on the
other side of this “journey” for hope i have found that the only hope that there
is is in Christ. I know, i sound super spiritual….but it is true.
The only
way that i could figure that out was to get to the darkest part of my life. I
was in such darkness. I had been cutting for 4 years and no one knew. I had a
secret. And it was a dark dark place to be in. full of pain and the desire to
get caught in hope that someone could help me. I was tired of the darkness. And
the only solution i knew was to come clean. To get someone in my head and share
the journey with.
This was key for me. To let someone in and know the pains
and the hurts. I knew that if i let this remain in the darkness it would grow
bigger and bigger. and the thing that once started in the search for hope was
driving me further and further away from it.
The person i went to had no
idea what to say. She often looked at me dumbfounded. the thought of doing that
to herself was so absurd that she couldn't understand. But she listened. She was
determined to help me in any ways she could, even though she didn't understand.
You cant wait until you understand to help someone. And this is what i see
happening. So many people know people who self injure and are trying to learn
why they do it. Each person has their story. And if you ask, i am sure they will
share. It is a very dangerous thing to get into. You may not realize the roots
that it can create in your life. But i would encourage you to share your story
with someone.
But without sounding like a public service announcement, if you
self injure or know someone who does please please please let someone in. Let
someone into your darkness. It will hurt at first. It will be uncomfortable. It
will be embarrassing. But if you live in the darkness alone your life will never
change. Let someone in and bring the light into your pain.
Find your


Oh how he loves us

MT posted this on the forum this morning. I'm not sure I've cried that hard at work for a long time (if ever). Please watch it, it's 8 minutes but totally worth it.


I emailed it to some people this morning and Bobbie (who never updates her blog anymore) hit it on the head when she said that it reminded her of the power of Jesus Christ to restore our individual lives. That's so what made me cry, the honest testimony that was given in two short snippets. I can tell you my story, I'm good at doing it in detail, but what about in short snippets? What would mine be?

Suicidal liar transformed into a life chasing truth seeker

If you've been transformed by Jesus Christ, what would yours be?

(and yes bobbie and justin, I'm talking to you too. you can post anonymously you know....)



Have I mentioned before that I love my church? Well I do.
Ben and his family are on vacation so Greg got a chance to speak on Sunday. I love it when Greg speaks. It seems that everytime I laugh so hard I cry, and then I cry from the transparency that he brings to sharing his personal stories with us from the stage.
He talked on Sunday about a story from I think Luke. It was the one where Jesus was preaching in a house and some friends carried their paralyzed friend on a mat up on the roof, they ripped a hole in the roof and lowered him to the feet of Jesus to be healed. Jesus forgave him of his sins and he was healed. He talked about so many things and of course my mind wandered off as if on a tangent on several things.
But I got to thinking about all those times in the bible that Jesus asks people to follow him. How they dropped everything, left families, wealth, employment and followed him. I thought about how often I can feel the pull and call of Jesus on my life, and I thought about how many times I stood by the side of that road to paralyzed to do anything about it.
A lot of what has paralyzed me has been my weight. Am I in shape enough to go, do I have the stamina to run this marathon, and so many other questions. I've been paralyzed by lack of security in my finances, my debt (that has since been paid off hallelujah), the social stigma and outright craziness of running full force towards something I feel so strongly about. I've been paralyzed by my own mind, by the what ifs and the grudges that I've nurtured.

I decided about this time last year that I was done. To steal some Tony language, I decided that it was going to a "year of Bethany". Now, his is a more relational approach, and mine is more internal I suppose. But I'd been carrying around these wounds, this drama and pain for so long. Now, a year later my heart feels lighter. I'm able to think more clearly. Now, the paralysis is merely physical, no longer mental (or at least not nearly as much). But I'm still here, paralyzed by the side of the road.

I want to be the person sitting on the side of the road, and when Jesus stops and asks me to follow him I get up and go.


Oh the irony....

I'm not sure that this actually IS ironic...but here is the diagnosis. Prepare yourself. Hold on, it's something awful, terrible and completely unexpected....are you ready?

I'm fat.

So the good news is that I don't have PCOS, that I'm not diabetic/pre-diabetic, I don't have a thyroid issue, my cholesterol and all that junk is ok. I also am free of all STDs (unsurprisingly to me, but it was....awkward...when she threw that info out there) The good news is that so far as my blood and lady tests show there is nothing chemically or genetically wrong with me (is that the same, I just don't know)
The bad news is, there isn't anything wrong with me. It's all my fault. I'm fat. I have fat disease.
Boy, I'm so glad we cleared that up! Now, if only I could pay the dr $60 more for her to tell me I'm a woman. (wo man!)
The dr delicately said that since there is "more of me to love" my estrogen is out of whack and my brain just doesn't prompt me to ovulate. So there you go. I'm going on the pill to force me to coughhaveaperiodcough.

I went to dinner with Tony tonight. (He actually asked if he is called Tony still and if Daryl mentions him on his blog, I said no and that I don't really talk about him anymore since we never hang out and that Daryl would just call him by his real name)......but I digress. We had a nice conversation and I literally blathered on and on about this whole weight thing. He had some helpful things to say. The funniest thing was when he told me about the last time he ate at a Panera he had a bread bowl of soup, a sandwich on bread, with a side of bread....I don't know why it was so funny, but I'm still giggling.

Then on the way home I was thinking about my day, and my fat disease, so I went home and got changed and went to work out for an hour. It felt good. Then I weighed myself at the gym....blech. But I'm going to weigh again next week and see where I'm at. Eat less move more...no fast food, working on no soda...I just keep repeating it over and over again.

Then I came home and cut up lettuce, celery, carrots, cucumbers, and honey dew and made myself a salad for dinner tomorrow (I'm eating early at work so I can go work out before bible study) and packed a lunch for tomorrow too.

So here goes nothing. I think an unfat Bethany will be weird, it's been so damn long.


I'm a loser baby

Don't worry, I won't be doing this every day. But I'm pretty proud of my day today.
First of all I went to Meijer last night and had the healthiest shopping spree of all time. I bought nothing that was "bad" for me. Now, I mean bad like the box of swiss cake rolls I ate in one sitting last week....
I bought snap peas, plums, nectarines, bananas, lettuce, celery, carrots, broccoli, lean turkey cutlets, sliced turkey and chicken breast to go in my whole wheat wraps, provolone, and a honeydew melon. I also got pretzels instead of the doritos I wanted. I bought 100 calorie packs of chocolate chip bits mixed with some cookie puffs so I don't cave and bury my head in a pack of double stuff oreos.
Oh, I also bought a stir fry skillet. Mom said I could probably just use a regular skillet, but I looked at this one and it's deeper then my other ones, and I imagine I'll be flipping veggies in the air in no time. I'm going to stir fry up the turkey cutlets and veggies to put in my wraps or just eat plain. I got yogurt too, I'm not really feeling that, but I'm choking it down as a healthy alternative to my mid afternoon binge. hmmmmmm what else.....oh, and Tupperware. My goal is to intentionally set aside time on Sunday's to make most of my meals for the week so I can just grab and go instead of going to a fast food joint.

Hello my name is Bethany and it has been almost three days since I've eaten at a fast food restaurant. (well I had 1 Wendy's fry that I stole from Matthew tonight). I keep it on the DL, but that is about 3 times as long as I've gone in the last I don't even know how long. Tonight before Sharen and the kids came over to swim she called and said they were going through Wendy's did I want anything...I wavered for a moment but I ended up just eating my leftover Pappadeaux like I was planning. (not the best for me, but there were steamed veggies and some chicken instead of red meat so....)
I also worked out today for almost an hour. I rode 7 miles on the bike and walk/jogged for about 5 minutes after that. Then I did some upper body weights.
I felt like an urban nomad with my 3 outfits today...(1 for CGM this morning, 1 for work, and 1 for working out..and shoes for each!) But all in all it was a wonderful day. I even got to go swimming in a freeeeezing cold pool.

Tomorrow is the wretched doctors appointment where I find out I have some terminal illness (or PCOS whatever). I'm fairly certain it will be PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), and all the literature says that even the slightest weight loss can help reduce or eradicate the need for medication...while I'm ok with slight weight loss I have a slightly loftier goal in mind. The other thing about PCOS is that it can make it difficult to lose weight, and maintain weight loss.

So I hope that I can be a loser.


I miss you...where have you been

Someone ended an email to me like this tonight. I stared at it for awhile. I think it was one of the loveliest endings to an email I had gotten in a long time.
As I replied and tried to recant what it is that I've been up to I found myself thinking about how we prioritize our time. I mean, I could tell you what I've been doing, and who I was hanging out with and why it was that was important. But it really sparked this really random rabbit hole of thoughts.

What do we spend out time doing? Who do we spend that time with? Does it matter? Are we showing people that we love that we love them with our time, with our actions and not just with our words?
People give me flack sometimes because I have only 1 class to go for my associates and I haven't committed or really decided when or where I'm going to finish a 4 year degree and what it will be in. While I know it's important, do you know how much time I would spend on that? How many hours I would be gone that I currently spend leading outreach, having dinners with friends, spending time with family? A lot.
What's important to me now is spending time with the people I love, doing what I love. Sure, I think about doing these other things, but when I think about spending 2 hours in class that I could spend just loving other people..it's not even a contest.
So when I heard I miss you...where have you been I think about the time I spend with others that I love. But I think of something else too.

I think of how absolutely unloving I am towards myself. I will extend a boundless amount of grace and compassion to other people, but to myself I am merciless. It has only been through this excavation process I've undertaken in the last almost year that I've begun to see myself as worth anything...and I mean anything. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago for the first time in 7 years. I had to get blood tests and now find myself terrified of the results. I have an appointment for Tuesday to talk to the doctor, because apparently there's to much going on with my body to talk about over the phone. (I've decided that means I have a terminal illness and the doctors are letting me have one last peaceful weekend, and no that is not even a little bit crazy).
I've decided to take back this body that I don't even really recognize anymore. I'm terrified to tell you all that because it's pretty likely that I'll fail and still be this uncomfortably fat person.

I got so lost being someone else, being this other version of myself. A version that somehow has managed to live 28 years and not actually understand anything about nutrition. I mean I get the basics I suppose, but it's all so overwhelming sometimes. I've become someone else that is so unhealthy and slovenly and unkempt. For so long I've kept up this persona as a shield and defense against having to trust anyone, as a defense against having to actually extend my heart to someone at the risk of them saying no thanks. But I miss me and I'm beginning to wonder where I have been. This excavation of my heart has uncovered more of who I am then I've seen in at least a decade. It's time that I give that person the reigns and grow up. I can't wait for someone to come along and hold my hand through life. I can't keep thinking it will all work out. Because it won't just work out unless I do it. I've spent almost a year excavating, maybe it's time I worked on the body for awhile (not to mention losing weight can only help the terminal illness right?).


New Routine

So I've been trying to get into a new routine...among other healthy life changes.
So for the last week I've been in bed at 10om (I know)
I haven't turned on actual TV at all, although I have been watching an episode or two of Six Feet Under (LOVE!)
Then I'll read in bed for awhile and fall asleep to music (Chopin!) or some NT audio bible.

I've been so tired lately, so I thought maybe getting into a routine would help. But for this week at least, it seems like I'm more tired then ever.
I'm going to stick with it for awhile and see if it helps, I guess we'll see.
Interesting stuff huh....


Milk: How I don't trust

I have about 1/3 of a gallon of skim milk in my fridge. The expiration date is today, 6/2. I've been nervously drinking it, but I'm not to sure it hasn't turned.
I have no proof of that, no basis for that theory.
But I don't trust that the milk doesn't really expire a few days before it says it does on the carton. Oh, and don't even get me started on people that drink milk past the expiration date, blech!

I think I can be the same way with people. I don't trust what they show me, the label they give themselves. I pull back from believing that it can really be true, I pull back from trusting.
Today, I'm drinking milk on the expiration date, yesterday I trusted more....shared more.

One step forward a giant leap back, inching forward slipping back....further up and further in.


If all goes according to plan:

I'm going to Ghana November 17th-28th!
The mission trip to the Lake Bosumtwi region of Ghana through church has been scheduled! I'm waiting on approval from work for 2 unpaid days off and I'll be on my way to getting things in order to go!
I'm so stoked, I mean I can't really explain why. But I've known that one way or another I would be going to Africa, I've known it since before I even moved to Cincinnati. I especially knew it after I went to Mexico almost 2 years ago.

Here is some information about Ghana:

Accra; 1,847,000
238,537 square kilometers
(92,100 square miles)
English, Akan, Moshi-Dagomba, Ewe, Ga
Christian, indigenous beliefs, Muslim
Life Expectancy
GDP per Capita
U.S. $2,000

So if you pray, please pray that all goes well, even if not according to plan. I can't wait to go.

What I've been up to: some houses, a limo ride and a lot of sex in the city

Thursday Night at The Lodge Bar

Apparently it <--was windy Apparently I am trying -->

to get Alaina drunk

Wednesday I started looking at houses! I didn't really like the two I saw, but I liked parts of them which is helping my realtor (YES I have a realtor, it's like I'm getting serious about buying a house!) understand more of what I want. Which is interesting because I have no idea what I want.
Thursday I went out with Alaina and Heather, and a few of their friends. I'm not really sure how, but Heather won some limo package so we all rode in a stretch SUV limo to The Lodge Bar downtown. We ended up closing it down and drinking $2 martini's all night. There were so many older guys there that just really didn't know how to dance and really shouldn't have been.
It was a lot of fun, I ended going to sleep about 3am, and up around 630am to get to work on time (I stayed at Alaina and Heather's). So I was pretty much tuckered out by Friday evening. I went to bed at 6pm and with the exception of 2 hours around 930 I was out until the next morning!

Saturday I had a special niece/aunt day with Kirsten. We went to Best Buy, she got a mani, I got a pedi, we rented videos and ate A LOT of food. Then we went put put golfing, I whooped her butt too!
After I took her home Sharen and I went to a 10pm showing of Sex and the City. Which was A.MAZING. I mean it was so good, and there were so many moments in the movie where the emotion was just so visceral, almost hard to look directly at. I have some things I want to say about that, but I don't know what yet. But the movie was great, if you have even a slight interest in the TV show and the whole shebang go see it now!

I think that's about it, it's been a busy few days and I'm tuckered out. A new week is starting tomorrow so let it begin again!