What God Said

I read this at Brandy's blog. I LOVED it and it is the same conversation I've had a million times with God. LOVE.THIS.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the

Those were the words the serpent spoke. The slippery words he whispered in
Eve’s ear.

So she paused.





I don’t judge her. Because every day, Satan whispers those same words in my
ear. Sometimes, the words cause me to slip into sin against others.

But even more often, those slippery words encourage me to forget who I

“Did God really say He loves YOU?”

His words drip with contempt. I pause.

“Did God really say you are BEAUTIFUL?”

Scorn spills from his lips. I wonder.

“Did God really say you are his DAUGHTER?”

Laughter tinges his words. I doubt.

“Did God really say He FORGETS your sin?”

Words that remind me of my filth. I slip.

“Did God really say you can TRUST Him?”

His lies pull me under. I fall.

And I lay there. Holding the forbidden fruit in my shaking hands. Wondering
how I got here, to this place of unbelief and doubt.

But God, in His boundless mercy and grace, has never lost sight of me. And
He answers.

“I love you.”

His words sooth my wounded heart. I listen.

“You are beautiful.”

Honey spills from his lips. I look.

“You are my daughter.”

Joy tinges his words. I believe.

“I’ve removed your sin.”

Words that remind me of my purity. I reach out.

“You can trust me.”

His truth gives me life. I stand.

Did God really say…


He did.



So I had a thought today, I know...it's a rare occurrence.
I was thinking that it might be a "normal" thing for gay men to have relationships with women as part of their relationship history. (seeing as I am not a gay man it is just my thoughts and not based on any real life or fictional relationship that I know about. Also, in this story I am NOT the straight woman in question just to clarify)
Wouldn't then it be a normal occurrence for part of the serious relationship conversation that happens between 2 gay men to include references to their history with women? Not serious mention, just hey this happened sort of thing. From my very (very) brief survey of gay men I find that is probably pretty accurate and that it's no big deal, just part of their history.

Ok, tracking with me so far?

I would assume that most of the time when a straight girl (again I am a straight girl but not THIS straight girl) has a relationship with a man and part of their this is getting serious conversation reveals that the man has had relationships with men in their past it would probably be a deal breaker for a lot of women. Not ALL but a lot.

Now, I would also assume that it's a deal breaker for the straight girl because she might always be wondering if said man would decide to switch back to relationships with men or dabble on the side with men at some point in their future.
Do gay men wonder the same? I would guess not for many reasons not the least of which is societally based.

But why?

Also, lets change genders again and say a straight man and a straight girl are having the this is getting serious relationship conversation and she mentions that she's had relationships with women in the past. Chances are it would not be a deal breaker for the straight guy (well most straight guys I suppose seeing as I can't speak for straight men since I am not one....(Wow, there is a lot of information about my gender in this post...))

Just random things I was thinking about today.
Do you have any thoughts on this?



I didn't mean to say it out loud. But I did.
Climbing to the top of an icy and very slippery slope I made a joke so benign and funny. I'm trying not to jump head first down this slope. I'm trying not to say I'll just hang on and enjoy the ride. Because I know the spikes at the bottom are waiting to eviscerate me once again.
I've learned over and over that the thrill of the ride is never worth the spikes that cut through me.

It's out of my hands now. All I can do is ask. But my heart has already leapt and is simply waiting for the rest of me to follow.
I know better. I see the end. I'm hanging on to the edge of the cliff and bringing reinforcements to keep me on track.

We'll see how it ends. I could simply be borrowing trouble and it's all a non-issue. But only time will tell I suppose.


Call Me Out

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and
speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make
the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her
youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. ‘In that day,’ declares the
LORD,’you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.
(Hosea 2:14-16)
I am constantly amazed at how God hammers things home for me. I've been struggling through the relational baggage I've been trying to put down for good and realizing more and more that I put expiration dates on my relationships. But that's another post in and of itself.
I'm also doing a one on one bible study type thing with Claire
We read through Ruth, which I still want to write about, so many things to write about so little time! Then we read through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John. Both of those have touched on God's amazing love and desire for us. In the letters from John it talks about God in the beginning and it really reminded me the way God is who He is and always has been from the beginning, now and He will be the same all the way until the end. It's just amazing.

Next up is a read through Hosea. I got stuck in chapter 2, specifically the above verses. It reminded me of the song by Shane & Shane, especially the first few verses.
He will allure her
He will pursue her
And call her out
To wilderness with flowers in His hand
She is responding
Beat up and hurting
Deserving death
But offerings of life are found instead
Because as confused and ambivalent I am about being married or even in a dating relationship I still want to feel pursued. I can see past the baggage as I'm dragging around just long enough to realize that.

I'm working to realize that separate from the confusion and chaos of wondering if I want to date or get married or even think about those things that God is pursuing me and He's not leaving. Where I expect death, abandonment, rejection and betrayal I find life, a warm embrace, inclusion and faithfulness.
It's hard to wrap my head around it, this offering of life.
But I'm responding, trying to trust that God is who He has always been from the beginning.


Growing Vineyards Up Ahead

He will allure her
He will pursue her
And call her out
To wilderness with flowers in His hand
She is responding
Beat up and hurting
Deserving death
But offerings of life are found instead

She will sing
She will sing
Oh, to You
She will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead her away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope

Here in the valley
Walk close beside me
Don’t look back
For love is growing vineyards up ahead
You have called me master
And though you’re in the dark here
Call me friend
And call me lover and marry me for good

She will sing
She will sing
Oh, to You
She will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead her away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope

How the story ends is
Love and tenderness in Him
Not safe, but worth it
So the valley’s up ahead
Or the ones we live
We’ll sing together
We’ll sing together

We will sing
We will sing
Oh, to You
We will sing as in the days of youth
As You lead us away
To valleys low
To acres of hope
Acres of hope
-Shane & Shane "Acres of Hope"

Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and
speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make
the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her
youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. ‘In that day,’ declares the
LORD,’you will call me 'my husband'; you will no longer call me 'my master.
(Hosea 2:14-16)


Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban

I just can't put Harry down.
I want to integrate other books in but I just can't.
I've finished Year 3 which is the year Harry finds out all sorts of things about his parents deaths and their friends. Prisoner of Azkaban is one I really like a lot.
I like that Harry hears more about his parents and how they protected him. I like seeing Harry struggle through his insecurities and latching on to adults around him in a way he hadn't really done before.

It's interesting re-reading it after watching the movies so much because there are so many things I've forgotten in the books. I'm glad I've bought them this go round so I can go back and read them again. They might turn into a once a year read for me.
Now I'm reading Year 4, The Goblet of Fire. It's leading into a really dark time and I'm getting a little anxious about it, but trying to still stay in the moment and pay attention to all the details I've forgotten in the last year.


All Within Me Feels Dry

It seems I'm coming out of a season where I felt really very dry. I just couldn't muster up the energy. I couldn't find my way, I couldn't see the other end. But I knew it was there.
I just kept holding on to the fact that God is God now the same way He was in the beginning, now, and who He will be in the end.

This is how I know God is real. Because the desert and I are old friends. The edge of the cliff, wanting to jump and not knowing how to turn from the chasm slip on and off my heart like a broken in pair of jeans.
It's only in the last 7 years that God has been there with me. In the last few years that I realize I'm in the desert, I realize I'm flirting with the edges again but I just hold on knowing that My God will find a way for me, He'll make a way for me because He is the God who provides.

I love the places in the bible where they talk about God in the beginning. I read on a blog once, where the woman had carried a baby to term and delivered her knowing the baby was only going to live a few hours. Through the blog and her subsequent book she would say that she believe God was the same before during and after her journey with her baby girl.
So in the desert I just hold on that though circumstances may change, though the world may be in chaos and your life seems to be spiraling that God is still God and He provides.
This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

All of my life in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship
---Desert Song Brooke Fraser


Prayer in the Desert

They sang this at church recently and man alive it was good.

This is my prayer in the desert
When all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

This is my prayer in the fire
In weakness, or trial, or pain
There is a faith proved of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flame

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

All of my life in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

This is my prayer in the harvest
Where favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've received I will sow


Right Foot

In October 1998, a little over 6 months after I broke my left foot I was back in school in Youngstown and friends with a girl who lived across the hall my freshman year named Megan.
Megan had moved out the year before and was living in an apartment on top of a funeral home across the street from our dorms.

One night she had a party. There were adult beverages. There was a wheelchair she stole from a K-Mart. Heck, K-Marts still existed in most towns!
I was joyriding back and forth in the wheelchair and curbed it pretty hard, breaking it. Whoops.
A few hours and several drinks later I walked upstairs through the main area of the funeral home and into the apartment to get more jello shots out of the fridge. In the apartment I ran into a girl I sort of knew, but you know...I'd had a few drinks and everyone was my best friend.
She just got into nursing school and was super excited. Around 1130pm I grabbed 6 jello shots, grape and cherry, and started walking down the stairs with her asking her about school.

Then, when I was two steps from the bottom I thought I was really only one step from the bottom and I skipped a step. Down I fell jello shots flung in what seemed like slow motion through the air and my right foot twisted and I landed on the inside of it crunching the outside.
It might have been the pain, it was probably the alcohol but I immediately began to dry heave and felt wetness all over my bottom.
Nursing School girl ran for a trash can and Megan came up the stairs to see what happened. After ralphing into the trash can a few times I asked someone to go get Alaina from our room across the hall and to have her bring my car keys.

I stood up and told nursing school girl I thought I pee'd my pants. She looked at my bottom and burst out laughing. What?!! What!?!??? I asked. She said, you didn't pee, you landed on the jello shots.
Apparently I had purple and red splats all over my tan pants covered bottom.
I hobbled down the stairs and onto the porch where everyone else at the party was regaled with the tale of my clumsiness. We lamented the broken wheelchair that would have been best suited to take me to the parking lot where my car was parked.

Alaina came, laughed and then we got in my car and went to the nearest hospital. The nearest hospital being the one in the middle of the ghetto since our university was on the edge of the bad part of town. I was busy trying to sober up, seeing as I wasn't actually permitted to consume adult beverages legally....
Alaina dropped me at the ER door, I hobbled in, checked in and crawled into a wheel chair to prop my foot up. In the mean time Alaina left the hospital and went to a store to buy me some saltine crackers (I think, people at the party might have sent them with us, I can't quite remember).

The inner city ER was fascinating. There was one very very drunk and alternately belligerent and slap happy man wandering about. He wandered over to me and said, "Whassamatterwitchu?" I told him I think I broke my foot. He pointed to my right foot and said, "Thissun?" I replied yes. So naturally, he grabbed my newly broken foot and said, "When chu get betta, you runna one for da gipper!"
I had no idea who or what the gipper was, and I didn't ask for fear he would start shaking and squeezing my foot again. (Someone later told me the gipper is apparently Ronald Reagan)
About two in the morning I was taken back and put in a room.
About five after two in the morning I was taken out of the room and pushed (literally pushed then let go to roll freely) across the hall where I came to rest by a hazardous material waste bin because a drive by had rolled in and they had more critical patients.
But all that was ok with me, because it gave the saltines time to kick in.

Finally about 430 in the morning we were released and I had a partial cast running up my whole calf with an ace bandage wrapped around it and crutches to walk on. It was the exact same break as the left foot, just on the other foot. But the hospital was all out of air casts and I needed to go to my family doctor for one of those.
Since my parents are early risers I called them when I got back to our dorm room about 6am. I told them what happened and that I needed an air cast boot thing just like before but they can be used on either foot.
My dad said, "Shit! I JUST threw the boot away"
So he bought another one, for another $400.

To this day, that man still has the boot in his attic and he's fairly certain that's why I haven't broken a foot since.


Left Foot

In February of 1998 I had a boyfriend, my dad was in India and it was the day before Valentine's Day.
Some friends came over to hang out since I was home from college for the weekend and we decided to go out to shop and buy my boyfriend a gift.
As we were leaving my mom came to the door and asked me a question. I can't remember what it was, but I paused on the threshold talking to her.
For absolutely no reason my left foot turned out from under me and fell off the doorstep onto the front porch. I lost my balance and fell with my bottom landing on the inside of my foot and crunching the outside.

I just sat there shocked and slightly nauseous because my foot hurt.
But my mom said it was probably just a sprain and to shake it off. I had never broken anything before and it wasn't terrible so I figured she was probably right. I did still need a gift for boyfriend so I hobbled to the car, got in and drove to the neighboring town with my friends.

Three hours and many many shops and food places later we were in Dairy Queen and I was feeling really nauseous and in a lot more pain. I told them I needed to go home because my sprained foot really hurt.
Home I went. To sleep I went.
When I woke up the next morning I went into the kitchen and told my mom about my foot. I sat down, she called our neighbor who was (and is) a physical therapist. He said to soak it in ice ice ice cold water. I removed my sock, we both gasped at my now black foot that swelled to twice its size in front of our eyes.

After an hour of water torture, I mean I was fairly certain I was going to pass out, the neighbor said it might be broken and I should go to the hospital.
My mom was anxious, because my dad was scheduled to come home that day and he had been gone for nearly a month. I'm fairly certain it was the longest they'd been separated the whole time they'd been married.
But off the the ER we go. We had to wait for the x-ray, then we got the x-ray. We weren't getting it read there, we were going to some dudes house (the one with the hot son) so he could read it later.
However, it was getting late and my mom needed to go get ready to pick my dad up from the airport. So she left me at the hospital popping wheelies in a deserted hallway.
Ok, not exactly. She called my Gma and told her I would be waiting in the ER waiting room for her to pick me up and take me home.

Home I went and when mom was done getting ready she ran me to the doctors house who said, yep, it's broken and either wrote me a prescription for an air cast or just told us to go to a local pharmacy/medical supply store and buy one.
An hour later I was home and mom was jetting off to the airport.

It took my foot almost 5 months to heal because what was probably just a hairline fracture became a complete break thanks to my walking around on it (and maybe going to boyfriends junior (yes junior, I liked em young) prom in heals without my air cast). But finally, FINALLY after 5 long months I was able to be completely free of the air cast and walk around like a normal person.
For at least another month or so......


Just Say No

Just say no to crazy ladies that open bank accounts for you and ask you to just real quick run across town to buy their kids division cards.
I'm looking at YOU Peter James Mohring.

So Pete comes home from work last night and we're sitting on the sofas talking about drama llamas and how we deal with them and he tells me this little gem which I have considerately decided to pass on to all of you.

Pete goes to a local bank to open an account this morning. First, he couldn't figure out how to get in the doors because we have metal detectors down here in the big city to keep the robbers from stealing our money.
He walks in, sits down and the woman who he estimates to be in her mid to late 30s starts telling him all about her kids and their back to school shopping. He asked her to lay down on his portable therapy sofa that he carries around in his back pocket and told her to tell him how that made her feel.

Well it made her feel bad. Very very bad. See she needed division flash cards and she needed them bad.
After Pete told her where he worked, all part of the alleged new account paperwork she was filling out, and when he told her she freaked out.
"OH PETER!" she cried, "I saw the PERFECT division cards on their website. But," (here she put on her very best sad sad mommy face) "but they just don't carry them at the local stores which are still so very very far away and I couldn't possibly order them on the big bad scary internet because how will they arrive?! By MAGIC?!"

Suddenly, the bank was filled with a triumphant call to action. Pete sprung from his chair (knocking it over in his fervor) and stood hands on his hips and declared, "I! I will travel across the endless roads fighting the evil traffic lords and secure you division cards! AS GOD IS MY WITNESS your children shall learn to divide if it is the LAST THING I DO IN MY LIFE!"

"Oh Peter. Oh, your kindness will be described to the generations to come in my family whose ability to divide is a direct result of your kindness. Here. Here is $10. Please travel the long roads to your job and bring me back the division cards."

Pete sat as she finished his paperwork reveling in the wonder of showing kindness to strangers. He joked, "I promise to come back, but...if by chance I don't make it you can take your $10 back out of my account."

Horrified the woman recoiled. "NO! NO! Peter I would NEVER EVER DO THAT!"

**This has been a dramatic reenactment of an actual event that occurred in the life of Peter James Mohring, all around nice guy. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, but details may have been embellished.


Your Love

I've been wrestling with the idea of love failing me. People that have let me down and how I struggle with not placing that baggage on the shoulders of those in my life that won't (I wanted to write probably won't because I still go back and forth wanting to trust...) abandon me and reveal a friendship or relationship based on a complete lie.
Even worse is how I push that on God. Because I believe that He is who He says He is yesterday today and tomorrow but sometimes I bump up against a wall I've put up that says I don't believe I can trust Him with this.
I'm working on it.

But this song sang on Sunday really tore me up. So amazing. And I know that even if I ran away His love won't fail, because I run and run all the time and He's still right there beside me holding me up.

Nothing can separate
Even if I ran away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
But You have new mercies for me everyday
Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There maybe pain in the night but joy comes in the morning

And when the oceans rage
I don't have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

Verse 2:
The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good


Happy Birthday Jake!

I'm trying to post everyday but on the weekend. But I decided to break my only recent ideal and say Happy Birthday to Jake.
Love you man, you and Cody need to come celebrate Pete's triumphant arrival in Cincinnati soon. It's been to long.
Hope you have a great day and you know how love you are by people near and far.

Here's Jake's post from my 30 People series last year:

In the beginning I worked with Jake at Steinbauers Market. It was my first job and he and his mother and brother worked there. I remember him "threatening" one of my first boyfriends (If you hurt her I'll kick your ass sort of thing) when I was in 7th grade, hmmm 1991 maybe.

Because of that and so many other moments I always feel protected when I think of Jake.
I don't think there has ever been a time that I haven't fiercely loved him, even if I loved him all wrong.
I went to Jake's junior prom with him, and that was the beginning of he and I becoming an "us".

Shortly after that I went on a school trip to France. There was another guy on that trip and I pushed thoughts of Jake thousands of miles away in Ohio aside. This guy would turn into other guy and he would be a real ass. But at the time I was just a 15 year old girl acting like I had everything under control. Upon returning from France (1995) I broke it off with other guy and Jake and I picked right back up. We laughed all the time, until our stomachs cramped from the effort. We would snort while laughing and we spent as much time together as we were able to.

Months passed, things happened and I broke it off with Jake to go back to other guy just in time for my junior prom, Jake's senior (1996). Jake and I didn't really have anything to say to each other again for a very long time.
We would run into each other on and off again because we still had mutual friends. But my callous throwing away of our friendship, which was inevitably thrown out with our dating relationship, kept a very tall, wide, and firm brick wall planted between us. Things happened to us both during that time, as it always will. There were so many times that I thought, "I should tell Jake about this" or I would pick up the phone to call. I never did.

A casual friend and mutual acquaintance got bored one summer and decided to weave a web of serious deception.
Jake and I were caught in the middle.
Many ugly emails flew back and forth, Jake and I were no longer in the same universe as friendly.

My life felt less because I didn't have his friendship, I had lost the other side of all of our inside jokes (achoo! Bless you! being only the tip of our inside joke repertoire).
It wasn't until 2005 that it began to change. My sister called me one night and said that she found Jake on MySpace (I'll pause for some of you to roll your eyes).
Alaina happened to be at my apartment (and she and Jake had dated and been friends as well) and so we looked him up and messaged him. I found out later it was with great reluctance that he accepted my friend request.

Through a series of inane surveys and postings Jake and I slowly rebuilt a friendship. In January of 2006 I went home to Clyde for our friend Leroy's surprise 30th birthday party (wait, was it 30? I didn't think Leroy was that much older than me...). I was shaking I was so nervous, you would have thought we were going on a date. Jake would be there. I walked in the fire house, I saw him. I received the most thorough hug I had ever had. Just like that, we were laughing until our stomachs cramped and snorting again.

Since then Jake and I have not only reconnected our friendship, we've deepened it exponentially. He lives in northern Ohio and I'm in Cincinnati, but email and Facebook are keeping us connected. I just got back from seeing him this past weekend actually. We could only have dinner before Alaina and I went to see No Doubt at Blossom, but what a dinner it was.

Jake has taught me just how dangerous and harmful it is to be so callous and casual with the hearts people have entrusted to you. I acted cruelly and swiftly with no regard to how my decisions and actions would impact other people. When confronted with my own behavior I went into attack mode and made it about him and did not accept responsibility for my role in things. I've learned that things aren't as black and white as I would want them to be.

When I talk to Jake about things, I feel once again so protected by him. He and I share a unique history of deep love and deep anger/distrust. That isn't a combination I have with anyone else. He has some of my secrets and I have some of his. Jake has taught me to tread carefully on the hearts of others and that everyday the words we say, the secrets we keep or reveal, the actions we take are creating a history with people we're in a relationship with and that history makes us who we are.



Urban Dictionary has a lot of disturbing definitions of spinster.
Dictionary.com defines it as the following:

a woman still unmarried beyond the usual age of marrying.
Chiefly Law . a woman who has never married.
a woman whose occupation is spinning.

I am clearly not earning a living spinning. Besides, the word spinster to define one whose occupation is spinning makes me think she's pretty ghetto fabulous. Also, can men not be spinsters if their occupation is spinning? But I digress...

I have a Great Aunt, Ellen, who is where ellenjane came from (my former internet alias if you will). She never married, moved to be near her sister and their three kids, 2 girls and a boy. She never learned to drive, never held a job outside of holding down the household of my mother's mother.
Whenever my mom talks about her she calls her my spinster aunt. I don't know why the word spinster is necessary. When years and years and some more years have passed and I have never married will my mom introduce me or refer to me as her spinster daughter?

What would the harm be in simply referring to Ellen as her Aunt. I should think that now many people would wonder what spinster meant, perhaps they think my Aunt was a ghetto fabulous spinner way ahead of her time, rapping and spinning while occasionally doing some break dancing.
These are just thoughts wandering around in my head because of another conversation I've had recently that is closely related to the idea of a spinster.


Wanting what I don't Want

I overhear things as a recovering eavesdropper. I don't mean to, old habits dying hard.
I see things and know about things because of relationships I have. Mostly they're things I need to know because of positions I'm in.

But sometimes I find myself wanting to be included in friendships and relationships that I don't even want to be in.
I find myself jealous of friendships that if nothing was happening I wouldn't even be interested in pursuing otherwise.

I wonder when I'll get over this melodramatic craving of mine.
I wonder when I'll stop wanting things I don't even want.
Then the crazy side of me starts wondering if I do want them I just don't want to want them so I say I don't want them.

But I step back, and on any given day I don't want to be involved, because I know the friendships will be too much. That the people, while they have their times of loveliness, will simply pull me away from a life I truly desire to live.
I feel like I have to defend myself in not really wanting to be more friendly with some people because you'll think I'm a bitch. But I also understand that I need to guard my heart and guard the influence on me carefully.
How to I balance this?
How do I balance that with the already overwhelming urges I feel to pull away, withdrawal and isolate?

It's just awkward. Noticing this pull to want things I don't even want just because they're there for the wanting.
But I'm probably the only one that's ever done that right?



"Chocolate's a fun word, no ones feelings were ever hurt by the word chocolate"

That's what she said when I was in her office.
I knew I had been bothering my co-workers. Part of it was my hyper talkative, lonely and obnoxious self. But part of it was because I asked one of my coworkers to stop talking to me about the affair she was having and the other about the pot she was smoking.
I knew I bothered my boss because she was an angry woman that wore the same shirt in different colors every day and wasn't being promoted any higher than she already was and somehow this was my fault.

But, I just couldn't believe that she just said that.
I had been pulled into her office and told that I annoyed my coworkers and they would prefer that I just not speak at work anymore. Even about work things they could barely stand to hear the sound of my voice I was so annoying. So they all got together and decided it would be best if I just didn't speak anymore.
My boss said that probably wasn't possible seeing as I needed to speak on the phone for a living. She came up with this brilliant plan. They all agreed on a code word.
When I got to be to much, when I was to annoying and when one of my coworkers would feel like I should just shut up already they would sing song out the word chocolate. That would be my cue to not speak for the rest of the day unless I had to answer my phone.
Because chocolate is a fun word, no one's feelings were ever hurt by the word chocolate.
Furthermore, she felt it would only be appropriate for me to write letters of apology to my coworkers for the trials I put them through by being so annoying. I would be required to apologize specifically to the two aforementioned coworkers because I had made them feel terribly about their life choices.

We would begin as soon as I left her office. I sat there gaping at this woman with nails the color of nicotine and struggled to find my voice.
How do you respond to this?
Somehow, I found the courage to say, "Well let me take this to the HR Rep and if she's ok with it then we can put it in my file"
My boss said, "Oh, well it was just a suggestion you don't have to do it. Go back to your desk and get back to work"

Two years I worked in that environment.
About 6 months in I got saved and immediately began to beg and plead with God to remove me from that situation. I applied at other jobs, I knew I had heard God tell me I would be moving to Cincinnati but He didn't tell me when. I would cry on my way to work some days because I just couldn't take listening to my coworkers talk around me and act like I was invisible sometimes.

But I learned to start finding my voice in that time.
I learned it was needed for me to start learning how to stand up for myself and that just because someone has the balls to say something to me doesn't mean it's true.

Thankfully this experience didn't ruin chocolate for me, because that would have been a real travesty.


White Out Tape

I've told you before about the first date where I told the fella turtles could breathe out of their butt.
But here's how we flirted.

We worked for the same bank and I would talk to him in my "boy voice" (see high pitched and breathy with a lot of unnecessary giggling) and my co-workers would make fun of me.
Well, one day he was talking about how his white out tape was broken and he was trying to fix it.
What is white out tape? I couldn't figure it out. I would ask him and he would describe it but I couldn't figure it out.

I would usually bring it up when I didn't know what else to say and it would keep the conversation going (I'm a nerd, I get it.)

Then one day I received an inter-office envelope. This wasn't unusual I got them a lot as part of my job. But I opened it and out fell 4 packs of white out tape.

There was also a lovely note about white out tape and all sorts of other things. I of course had to reply and agonized over it for a ridiculously long time before I could sent the reply email.

I mean, a relationship based on a mutual admiration of white out tape...how could it have gone so horribly wrong?
So even though I talked about poop and tutles butts on our date I still think of him and smile when I see white out tape...which is often, I work in an office.


A Car Like That

When I first moved to Cincinnati I transferred within the bank I was working at. I split my time between two banking centers and was a regular old teller with a connection to the area manager.
Before I was a teller I worked in teller corrections and fixed/researched teller errors. So as a teller it was difficult for me to not try to be helpful when I saw other tellers making mistakes (which I would also inevitably make).
But because of my connection to the area manager they decided I was a tattle tale.

During the summer 4 people were fired. I had nothing to do with it, I promise. I didn't "tell" I didn't even know this stuff was happening. But the other tellers decided it was so.
The one banking center decided to call a meeting after the manager was fired for nefarious activity and the team leader was on vacation, so there was no one in charge. Just the other tellers the private bankers and me in a meeting in a dark banking center after close.
One by one they lined up and took turns telling me what was wrong with me. They told me I was ugly, fat, stupid, mean. They wondered why I thought I was so much better than them, they asked me why I was such a f**king b**ch and thought I could play with peoples lives.

I protested. I tried to tell them that it wasn't me, that I didn't know what the manager was doing and I certainly didn't turn her in. I tried to tell them I was just trying to make it through the summer. But they wouldn't relent, they wouldn't stop telling me why I was so awful.
I tried to gather my purse and leave, but they circled around me and just kept taunting me.
Finally I relented. I told them I agreed that I was terrible and didn't deserve to live. I told them I would quit and never come back.
But I didn't cry. Because crying is weak and I was terrified to show them they were affecting me.
They let me out. I called the area manager on my way home and told her I didn't want to go back to that banking center for the rest of the summer, which thankfully was only about another 2 weeks. She asked me why, I told her it was the commute. She agreed.

The other morning I was driving to work and I got behind a car that the banking center manager drove. The whole time I just kept wondering, if she really took all that money why was she driving a car like that? I thought about her driving this car that wasn't that nice and I thought about all those tellers in that dark banking center.
Only this time, I didn't believe them completely.



I really enjoy social media. I like to send things out into the atmosphere and not dwell on the fact that other people might read it. I like to see into what other people are thinking/saying/doing at the time.
I'm startled when people comment on things I say online in real life because I almost always forget it's not just me and this little computer screen chatting. Almost, because I remember enough to not give away all the juicy gossipy details.

The other day I read something on someones twitter. It was about something they were doing, something I did last year but didn't know about this year.
I was jealous. Because I wanted to be there too.
I realize logically that I could have obtained the information myself, I could have gone it wasn't an invite only thing. But illogically, which is where I struggle to not live constantly, I was upset that I wasn't invited.
I was jealous.

Oh I hate being jealous. It feels so weak and useless.
When I get jealous it starts my head down a path of wondering why I wasn't invited, have I done something to upset? Have I stepped out of line and I'm no longer welcome in this circle of people? I panic and wonder if I'm finally being cast aside for something more....someone more than I am.
Knowledge is power to me and when I discover information I didn't have I feel hurt and left out. When it's not even appropriate that I feel that way.

Just a thought, between this small little computer screen and I this morning. I don't have a pink bow for this post, and I do struggle to try to not always need them. I'm just trying to not be jealous today.


In Praise, Rejoice

It is a mark of the regular state of my mind that I can most see God when it hurts. The glorious desperation of a heart crying out. Oh the dramatic anguish of a dark night of the soul.
But I'm realizing there are certain songs I can't listen to anymore because they encourage me to be sad or angry. I feel more creative when I'm hurting, I have a tendency to milk memories and wounds for more than they are worth for the juices that run out of them (I feel like that analogy went way wrong)
I generally try to be a positive person, and I do well at it when other people are around. Because I want to be ok for them.
But I need to learn to be ok because I'm ok, not because it's what other people want, not because I have this idea of what ok looks like....but because I'm really safe.

Because I want to praise God and rejoice in Him even when things are fine.

I've got scouring the bible in the middle of the night because I can't sleep for hearing the voices of ages ago in my head down pat.
I'm pretty awesome at remembering that God is who is He was before during and after a crisis.
I'm great in the middle of the drama ocean.
It's the fine that keeps my heart distant. It's the fine that keeps me coasting through at the bare minimum level without seeing the joy and majesty of a life well lived in obedience.

I look for the dramatic, the awe inspiring, the double rainbow (I don't even really know what that means but I hear there are federal requirements that state bloggers have to reference it) instead of the every day rejoicing, the every day majesty of a God that is worthy of our praise in everything.

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Alleluia! Alleluia!



I joke around a lot about killers.
In the brightness of day I'll reassure you that it's all a joke and while I'm cautious it's a normal cautious, not a "You should consider checking yourself into a mental hospital" paranoid.
But I just don't feel safe.
I don't feel safe physically, mentally or emotionally.

I was talking to some friends when I realized just how unsafe I feel. I don't feel safe because I know that things can happen at anytime. I know there are crazy people doing crazy things walking around beside us right now. I know there are perfectly sane but broken and damaged people walking around that will hurt you without trying, there are people that will just one day walk away with no warning and be gone from your life.

But I don't want to be fearful. I try to be cautious but not paralyzed by fear and most days it all works out.

I hide behind my anger, my sarcasm and my staunch independence because when I arm myself with those I feel safer. I feel protected and powerful.
But I don't want to be that kind of powerful. Because I am not powerful because of those things.

I want be safe and rest in the arms of my Savior. I want to turn to Him instead of anger when I'm feeling unsafe. I want to seek His counsel instead of the counsel of generations of grudge holders and decades passive aggressive rage.
I want to know that I am safe because He is my God and that is enough to overcome any fear that comes my way.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the
full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full
armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your
ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with
the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of
righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that
comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of
faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and
requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the

Ephesians 6:10-18


Dreams I Dared to Dream

So I've started seeing someone.
Someone to talk to and have listen and someone to help me sing a new song .
Two weeks ago was the first meeting and I'm going again tonight. I have homework. I have to write down the deepest desires of my heart and pray about them. I'm supposed to tell God what they are and ask Him to confirm the ones that are also His deepest desires for me and to ask Him to rid me of the ones that are not His plan for me.
So clearly, I have not done the homework yet.

I mean, I've tried to do the homework. I've thought about it and tried to journal about it. I've spoke out loud about it and I just keep coming up blank. I mean, I say something that I think is the deepest desire of my heart and then I think, nah, I can live without that.
I say, oooh what about...that would be nice but I don't need to have it.
Tentatively I'll wonder, wouldn't this be nice?
Then I reply, nice yes.....but so is what I have now and the way things are.

Because I'm so used to making excuses and not wanting things I'm finding it next to impossible to tell God what I want.

I've practiced ambivalence so long I forgot what it's like to really really want something.
I get so worried wondering what it is you want for me and my life that I've been erasing the line between what you want and what I want and making your wants my own.
It's not your fault. The fault is my own.
Even now I can't let you accept the burden. It's mine, completely mine.

Even the examples I was given I've talked myself into and out of a hundred times:
I want to have a husband one day.

But I'm ok on my own, in fact I love the freedom and independence.

I want to have kids one day.

I still can't take care of myself how am I taking care of a kid? I like giving kids back to their parents the best.

It bothers me that the examples I was given were about a husband and kid. Because if I've learned anything from my married with and without kids friends it's that having a husband and babies doesn't solve all your issues, it only magnifies them.

Then I start making up desires that are a smidge ridiculous.
I want to invent something like Silly Bandz and retired at 32.

To shallow. I can't have shallow desires because then I would be shallow and the last thing I want is to be shallow. I don't want people to think I'm not deep.
So I deepen.
I want to spend a life serving other people completely.
Well, that's deeper, but it's a bit vague....how would I serve people. Also, God desires that I serve yes but He also desires that I am able to receive people serving me and that I am loved and cared for.
Damn. Back to the drawing board.

Hopefully I come up with something in the next few hours or else I'll have to read this out loud. Which now that I think of it might be Gods biggest desire for me right now.
To get all this junk out of my head so I can move forward and see what girl Jesus loves.

Because I think the deepest desire of my heart is to be loved. Which I already am. But I want to really know it, to be confident in it, to believe it. Sometimes I think if I can get that deepest desire fulfilled then more desires then I know what to do with will pour fourth like a flood.


Like forgetting the words to your favorite song

I love song lyrics. I post them a lot and several posts are inspired by lyrics I hear randomly during the day, and also lyrics that I hear in my head from days gone by.

My parents used to get frustrated with me because I would know and quote or sing along to all these songs but I couldn't figure out how to memorize the information I needed for my history exam.
I've had a million favorite songs throughout the years. I've held multiple favorites at the same time. I've learned when I can listen to certain types of music because sad music on a sad day is not a good combination for me. I can't listen to Limp Bizkit and NIN hardly anymore because I've have a history of being a sad angry girl and those songs just encourage me along the path of being filled with killing rage.

So I'm trying to forget the words to the songs I don't need to sing anymore. I don't need to be so angry because I'm leaving the things and people I've fought to intensely with behind. I don't need to be the sad girl because I look around and see so much joy in my life.
But it's hard. This forgetting of my favorite song lyrics.
Because they come into my head like old friends dropping in for a visit. Reminiscing and sighing over how we've all changed but are still exactly the same.

But even more so, I'm finding that you are like the words to my favorite song. I sang it every moment of every day for so damn long. I can conjure it up to keep me warm and I linger on the memories of way back when.
Then one day, I stumble over a line or two. Another day the chorus comes to me a little bit harder, it takes me a little longer to remember how to hum the tune of you and me.
It's taking a lot of work. It's taking a lot of new songs and a lot of time intentionally not singing the song of loving you, but I'm learning to forget the words to my favorite song and see the beauty in these new lyrics.
It's like forgetting the words to your favorite song
You can't believe it
You were always singing along
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can't remember
You try to move your feet
It was so easy and the words so sweet
You can't remember, you try to feel the beat


Good Things: July

July 1st- Coastal Oregon! Saw the Goonies house and Haystack Rock. Also marveled at how amazingly beautiful Oregon is

July 2nd- Bought a new purse that's super cute and had the most delicious chicken parmesan for dinner at a local place in Portland

July 3rd- Played by the Sandy River (the main way ice and snow melts down off of Mt. Hood). Made funny videos with Katy about the inappropriate public displays of affection happening around us

July 4th- Saw DM at church, giggled ridiculously. Also, great sermon and the music was awesome. If I lived in Portland I would be all over that church.

July 5th- Home again, at least for 24 hours. My kitties snuggled with me all day until they saw me repacking ANOTHER suitcase.

July 6th- First day in my new job (same company) Free bagels for lunch and general merriment ensued.

July 7th- Dogsitting means never having to say you're sorry for not being productive around the house, because you're not at your house. Spent the evening watching movies and reading.

July 8th- Free lunch from Jersey Mike's at work!

July 9th- I really miss my own bed and my own house. Only 1 more sleep after tonight until I get to go home for at least 3 weeks straight

July 10th- The best thing about dog sitting is the excuse to sit around watching movies all day and not feeling guilty about not doing anything around your house because you can't do anything around the house.

July 11th- Back home at church for the first time in a few weeks. I really miss these guys (and Washington Project) when I'm gone. Also, sleeping in my bed for the first time in what feels like forever.

July 12th- You know what I love? That I woke up in my own bed this morning knowing I will also be sleeping in it tonight. Also, cuddly kitties that tried to hold me hostage by purring and asking for love this morning.

July 13th- Yummy dinner at my seesters and watching the finale of the Golden Girls. I teared up at Dorothy's good-bye monologue

July 14th- I sprayed a wasps nest in my bedroom window and lived to tell the tale

July 15th- I met Jacob Patrick Wombold! So adorable.

July 16th- Dinner and a movie with a co-worker. We saw Cyrus, it was amazingly dark and hilarious. I love me some John C Reilly and Jonah Hill. (It was the staring, the staring was so creepy!)

July 17th- Sharen came over and we cleaned out the bedrooms of my house. The 3rd bedroom has been cleaned and has a bed in it now! Amazing how much useless garbage was just collecting in there.

July 18th- Great message at church about sowing and reaping and lots of people telling me they wanted to sign up for Washington Project. Cleaning at Sharen's which included brownies and several episodes of Bethenny Getting Married

July 19th- Great Washington Project meeting with Ben. I told him about an outreach idea I saw at church in Portland and we're inching forward to see if it will work!

July 20th- I was brave today and said brave things to someone about scary things. Also, STEPHANIE JUDITH TANNER, no wait...Stephanie Elizabeth Harms, also known as Mint Julep, conspired with my sister to surprise me for dinner. She was in town helping her sister shop for a wedding dress and we all met at Chipotle followed by conversations filled with the strangest sentences ever at my house for an hour or so. "You just sat your butt hole on my hand" (That was Stephanie to Gertrude, lest you think something disgusting happened)

July 21st- Dinner with Alaina one last time before she moves to DC. It was a laugh riot and we read through a few Gay Street Urinals from High School.

July 22nd- Was told, "If you see a big black arm reaching around you it's just because I'm putting you in a sleeper hold, you'll wake up again eventually and not in jail" because I told my trainer, while waiting 45 minutes to cancel my training contract (!!) that I was going to effing kill someone. He said that and I laughed so hard I snorted.
See also, eating some freakin delicious new pasta dish at Sharen't house later that night.

July 23rd- Straight home from work for the first time in almost 2 weeks. Halle-freakin-lujah

July 24th- Suuuuper productive day thanks to the help of my seester and the house is really almost ready for another person to move into it, almost. Not so good, but hilarious enough to post? The fact that we saw a 50ish jogger stop running and squat behind a not so private tree and shit then wipe his ass with leaves. I STILL can't believe that happened.

July 25th- I had a super good day today. I love my church, great afternoon chatting and discussing the book of Ruth with Claire and then seeing Ben lead well in the evening. Unfortunately it ended with me mowing the grass in 90 degree weather at 830pm, but whatevs :)

July 26th- Awesome meeting with WP team as usual. Yummy dinner and I left with my heart full and my face hurting from smiling so much.

July 27th- I'm 31 today. Which means I'm officially in my 30s. Meh, I still feel 13. But silly giggly lunch at Five Guys with Dan and Katie, we were sort of meat drunk after we were done with our burgers...

July 28th- PETE MOVED IN! Finally! My friend Pete moved into my basement after over a year of trying to make it happen! First time I've had a roommate in.....4 years?

July 29th- Day off work to help Pete settle in. Sweaty day unloading a trailer and moving things around, ended with free dinner at Red Robin and a swim in a brisk hotel pool. Also, sending Pete into the basement to investigate scary noises is awesome.

July 30th- Ice Cream Sundaes at work!

July 31st-Got a new area rug for the living room from mom and dad for my birthday and just a general day of merriment and good food.