4 Minutes

I mapped it.
You were 4 minutes away.
The closest in almost a decade.

I drove blindly and sat terror stricken. Waiting and hoping for her to show up so I wouldn't be so afraid of you.
But she never came.

I was tempted to look for you. To go out publically in the place I suppose you consider home. To incite you into my path, to pull you towards a conflict I didn't want to have.

Instead, I was propelled back.
Back to the soft patch of carpet behind the davenport.
Back to the scratchy green carpet in the dining room under the table.
Back to the top of the straight set of stairs.
Back to the floor by the door of the only room I felt safe in listening and watching silently through the cold registers.

I was flung back to the smells of your hatred and the decay of the love that was dying on your breath.
I was reminded that I am simply a tool in your destruction and I was no more than the little value you ever gave me.

I tried to be strong. I tried to remember it wasn't true, that it had never been true.
I tried to remember that these lies were simply the rantings of a person so ugly and unhappy.
I tried to fight it, I tried to focus on the happy couple and I tried to remember that I wasn't going to be alone much longer.

But I was. Alone.
For hours.

Someone else came. Someone else drove farther than 7 minutes and came and sat and didn't make me talk. Someone came and distracted me and reminded me that it wasn't true. But I was already doubting. I was already crumbling. I was already shattered.

I thought it would be easy. I never expected it to affect me this way.
Now it is unleashed in me again and I have no idea how to stop it, how to stamp it down and down and down again back to the simmering ambivalence I've cultivated all these years.

Because you were only 4 minutes away.



It's days like this that my need to please people comes in handy.
Because I if I didn't feel the need to please or at least perform at the base of my skill level I would still be in bed.

As it is I've pulled the shutters on my heart and have retreated inside.
It's just to much for me lately and I don't know how to get out from under this heaviness and honestly I don't know that I even want to, it's more comfortable here than raw and bleeding outside.

I've been re-reading the Harry Potter series so I've re-read all of them when the 1st part of the last movie comes out in the fall. I'm on book 5 now and it was one of my least favorite books when I read through the series the first time. I thought Harry was pouty and off putting. I wanted him to just get over it and realize that people were looking out for him and trying to protect him.
Because you see I was reading it from an all knowing observing point of view. I could remove myself emotionally from the fear and anxiety that he was feeling and I could know that things were better if he would just stop being so damn pouty.

But this time around, I'm enjoying it more. The dark layers suiting my current mental state. The short thrills of hope Harry feels before they are tempered by the little voice warning him that he shouldn't count on people he's really all on his own.

Yet even with all this perspective on Harry I can't pull my head or heart of the mire it's been stuck in recently. I feel like I'm losing the battle.

Once again I read on Alece's blog a post that even though our struggles stem from different fissures speaks so close to my heart.
She said:
There are so many areas of my life that are undone right now. My heart

I can feel short thrills of hope like Harry, and remember that I'm not alone. But so often lately, more often than I care to really admit, I believe the slithering voice that tells me I can't really count on people, that I'm really all on my own.


It's Like I Can't Breathe

Sometimes I hold my breath because it makes me feel more in control.
Over a year has passed since I've started trying to learn to breath correctly.
But I'm gasping for air right now.
I feel like I can't even breathe. I'm overwhelmed by the smallest tasks including swinging my feet out of bed every morning.

Right now it's like every ounce of my strength is being used to just remember to breathe in and out and keep moving my feet one in front of the other.
So I'm sorry that I can't explain what happened to you, I'm sorry that you're upset and that you're hurt but there isn't really anything I can do about it now.
Because I'm busy just trying to breathe.

I have to remind myself to blink.
I have to remind myself to move.
I have to remind myself that this pit isn't the only thing in the world and that there is good and hope and peace somewhere outside the rim of this hole.

But first I have to remember to inhale. To exhale. To inhale.
I have to remember to keep the breaths steady so I don't burst into tears at odd moments.
Breathe in and out, but not to quickly.

I ache. Every piece of me aches with this hurt and I still don't know how to process it or make it better for you.
Because I don't even want to make it better for me. I could live in this pit, I've done it before.
I want things to stop being awkward between us and I want you to stop being pissed at my inability to just be my "normal perky self"

But I can't. The effort is daunting and far more than I'm able to accomplish right now.
So right now I just breathe. Trying to overcome this panic and blackness without inconveniencing anyone to much.



So I was seeing someone. A therapist of sorts because a few months back I was spiraling a little emotionally off the edge.
Three sessions I talked to her. Told her about relationships and other things and she pointed out and said we would work on my fear of being abandoned. That it was ok for me to want relationships with people.
I told her about several that ended abruptly and about the months and years of lies that had preceded and how I felt like everyone lied all the time.
I told her about how I was so afraid of all relationships, friendships, family, men everything. Because it wouldn't last and if it did they were probably just placating me until something better came along. (What, I said I was spiraling close to the edge didn't I?)

So the ironic thing is that she has done it too. I called her to reschedule an appointment and she said she would need to check her calendar and get back to me.
That was almost a month ago.
No call.
No email.

Could I call her? Sure. But I don't trust her now.
Plus I am afraid of being a petulant dramatic little girl that just keeps whining about how everyone leaves her or lies to her.

I used to trust people fully.
Then I didn't trust people at all.
Slowly I've let them back in and every few years I get a little panic stricken that they're getting tired of me. I try (and mostly succeed) to work through it and then move on.

But you know. After a few weeks of arguments where being right seemed more important than the relationships and being told in as many words that I am clearly not as important as things or events far removed from my relationship with people it's just getting harder to realize that it's worth it.
I don't want to be a bitter girl and I'm trying really hard not to be. But tonight it's really hard. When I have a list of people I could call in my phone and I'm not sure I want to talk to any of them for fear they will reject me swiftly because I've called at an inconvenient time or they'll change the subject to something more comfortable than my angry and ugly tears and decades old scars that crop up from time to time.

I'm sorry if that hurts you.
But I'm pretty hurt too and I just have no idea how to process it right now.



I feel so scooped out and empty right now. I have cried more in the last 48 hours than in the last 48 weeks. (The time being the time I wrote this, which is not the same time as it has been posted but thank you for your phone calls and emails anyway)

I feel raw.
All of my emotions are on the surface.
I feel unwound and exposed. I feel unsafe.
I have been trying to not be angry. Because it's so much easier for me to be an angry snarky girl than a girl that feels the hurt.
But I'm hurt. I'm so hurt.

I have no idea what to do, if there is anything to be done.
I have no idea how to process this new turn of events, as if I'm able to change anything anyway.

I don't know how to stop crying about it and I dread returning to work where the kind people in my office will ask how it was and demand pictures and I have nothing to offer them but tears I don't want to share with them.

I wish I didn't know better. I wish I didn't know that anger and sarcasm weren't appropriate and that I could easily slip into that dead feeling of being aloof and removed from it all.
I wish I hadn't seen that there are better ways, that there is a greater power to all of this chaos. I wish I still thought it was ok to be bitter and so angry I can't see straight.

I wish I could talk while I cried without being all blotchy and snot riddled.

I thought a lot today, while crying and trying not to drive into semi's that I wished I could just break up with everyone.
I thought how much easier it would be to be alone.

Because I can do alone. I can do angry and snarky.
Does it hurt? Sure.
But the hurt of alone is so much more familiar to me than this.
I don't know how to be hurt without being melodramatic. But I think that probably all of my hurt seems melodramatic to you sometimes.

I don't know how to keep going with this forgiveness. How the moment I crossed into the county of your residence I shook and shook wondering what corner you would spring from as vile as ever before.
Sitting alone, desperately dabbing at the rivers of mascara and eye liner running down my cheeks I worried that you would somehow walk in then and rejoice in your victory of my still being so damn broken.
I HATE you and I don't want to hate you. I want to feel nothing for you.
Casually I mentioned that the best I can feel for you is nothing, but that's only on a really good day.

On bad days. On bad weekends I loathe you with a red hot passion that I am embarrassed by. Because you are a HATEFUL woman and I want no part of you in me and yet the same hate burns inside of me.
I want to be done with you. I want you out of my head.

I'm just so raw. Scooped and cleaned out and nothing remains in me. I can only pray that I am filled back up with the grace I so desperately need tonight.



I dog sat this dog a few weeks ago. It was the 2nd time I'd sat for him and the first time he was a little stubborn but this time he was RIDICULOUS. I mean, I love dogs, I love dog sitting but this was like shaken baby serious.
When Sharen gave birth to Matthew they gave her all this "So you just had a kid" stuff and on all of it was plastered the warning to never ever shake your baby. I had gone to the child birth classes with her so I knew they remind you because a baby crying and crying can cause a parents brain to misfire and they try to "shake some sense" into the baby and it will damage their brain and often kill them if shaken hard enough. I say all this to say, I never really understood why people would shake babies or kick puppies but walking this damn dog was driving me to heights of blinding killing rage that I literally had to sit down on the curb and remind myself that it wasn't ok to drag a dog by his leash or hit him because I'm angry.

Needless to say I was pretty mad.

The dog wanted to walk the way he wanted to walk when he wanted to walk that way. If I tried to take him another direction he would simply plant himself and lean his body weight in the direction he wanted to go. It got to the point that I literally couldn't move him unless I was willing to harm him physically (which I wasn't).
On Wednesday night I cursed and yelled and tugged and begged and bribed and the dog wouldn't move. He just wouldn't. I had to trick him and then pull him pretty sharply the rest of the way home because if he stopped moving we were back at the beginning.

I thought all day Thursday about how I was going to manage his walk Thursday night because I was still so angry about the walk Wednesday. It reminded me of another situation that happened a few days previously and how I thought that could have been handled better. Then, quite dramatically I also heard someone say "I have a dream" and it reminded me of MLKJr's peaceful resistance/protests.

So Thursday when we walked I let him go where he wanted and when I wanted to go a specific way that he didn't want and he planted himself and pulled I just planted myself and stood strong. I turned my back to him and pointed my feet the direction I wanted to go and waited for him to relent. It varied from only a moment to TEN MINUTES (ACK!) but he would always come around and with his head down he would sidle up next to me and we would calmly continue on our way.
On and on we went, including one brief period where he simply lay down and started eating dry grass while I stood there venting to Claire on the phone.
Eventually we made it home. But this dog pretty much made me want to die.
But good news or bad news I out stubborned a dog without raising my voice or harming him physically.

It occurred to me how that walk reminded me a lot of my walk with God. He let's me wander around on my own until there's a specific direction He wants me to go and then He'll try to send me that way. But I like my way. I'm used to my way. So I plant myself and I just lean with all my weight towards my way and glance stubbornly at God and ask, "So what are you going to do now huh?"
God just plants himself next to me, never abandoning, never leaving and he just consistently shows me His way, which is always better than mine even if I don't know it yet. I always give in. I always relent and find that it's easier to let God lead me, to let God show me the way instead of flitting about sniffing every little thing that interests me.

Living intentionally a life following God is less of a struggle really, if I just obediently follow His leading, His calling it's not the way I expected it to be, it's not the way I pictured it and it's not even always easy. But it's always worth it to follow my Master than my own blindly stubborn stumbling way.



I was watching Hoarders the other night. There was a guy who said he was Peter Pan. He wasn't this guy, for those of you that know who that guy is....But he was this guy in Florida that had fought in wars and was even knighted by Prince Charles because of his heroism towards some British soldiers.
He also called himself a modern day Liberace. But basically he had spent all of his savings and all of his retirement on shiny, pretty things. Because he wanted to fill his house with beautiful things. He was in danger of bankruptcy and agreed to allow Hoarders to come in and help him clean out his house and maybe sell some of his things so he could stay financially afloat.

It came to the point in the show when they opened the fridge and realized it was full of spoiled food and other gross things. The Hoarders counselor asked this man to clean it out. She wanted him to see what he had done. She wanted him to fix it so he would know what had occurred in his fridge. I mean, it's just a fridge, probably not a big deal. But he started to refuse. He said,

"It's ugly and I don't look or deal with anything ugly."

She forced his hand, and with quite a bit of attitude he finally cleared out the fridge.

Later in the show she was digging into why he had withdrawn so far into his pretty things. He talked a bit about his family history and then he said:

"I've seen what reality can do, and I don't want any part of it"

I was really struck at how long I lived like that.
Because I just want everything to be ok.
I want to be ok, I want you to be ok. I want our relationships to be ok. Because if it's ok, it's ok.

I don't like it when there is tensions, I don't like it when people hurt and I want to fix it. I don't like the ugly emotions, ugly relationships...I don't like ugly things.
For so long I would just withdrawal, bury my head in the sand and stick my fingers in my ears for good measure. Then, when I realized that wouldn't fix anything I went into fixer mode. I jumped into the fray and tried to talk through things, get people to understand each other and find a solution amenable to everyone.

But then they turned on me, because I was butting in where I didn't usually belong.
So here I am. Still not wanting to look at the ugliness, especially not ugliness that I created. I hide relationally partially because I've seen what reality is in some relationships and I don't want any part of it.
Sometimes I can't imagine why on earth I would pursue a relationship when I see so many falling apart, tearing each other down relationships around me.
Sometimes I completely withdrawal from all of my relationships (non-romantic) because it's just to much for me. It's to much reality, to much mucking it out and dredging through the ugly, through the disappointments through the gross. it's just to much and I don't know how to do it.

But I do it anyway. The redeeming parts of reality are there, even when I close my eyes to them in the midst of tantrums. I see it in the people around me that allow me peaks inside the "reality" of their relationships and while there is strife it's refining, it's edifying, it's supportive and encouraging even if it's saying things that the other person doesn't want to know. I see it in the friends that reach across the chasm I'm building between myself and reality and the words that stretch across the weeks of stubborn silence.

Reality is sometimes ugly. But to toss it all out means you have to toss out the beauty, the redemption, the love along with the ugly and so far, I'm just not able to do that. Are you?



I've been very hungry lately. But nothing sounds appetizing.
I hate when I get in food funks like that. You'd think it would be a good thing because I would eat less.
Yet I eat out of habit, because it's time to eat, not because I'm hungry.

My trainer yelled at me once because I wasn't eating enough. He said my body wouldn't burn the calories if it didn't have the energy to burn them.
I responded by telling him that I just wasn't hungry, so I wasn't eating.
He said that I should eat whether I'm hungry or not, which seems completely against everything I thought.

But he said that my body needs to re-learn how to use food as fuel. I eat to much of the wrong things and to little of the right things.

I've been hacking away at this melodramatic weightloss for over a year now and I still can't get it right.
It's still just such a reminder to me that all of these weight/food/body image things I'm working through are rooted in such deep emotional and physical cement.
I prune and prune back these branches and try to cleanse myself of these habits, thoughts and behaviors that got me to where I am now.

I need to spend more time hacking away at the roots, because the roots are just sprouting new branches as quickly as I'm hacking back the old.


I'm angry because....

I've talked before about issues with anger.
Pete (whose top secret blog I won't link to) wrote about anger the other day on his blog. He wrote about this underlying anger that seems to be seething just beneath the surface of his everyday demeanor. He talked about wanting it to go away.
I commented about my own struggles with rage and how I realized that I'm rarely angry because I'm mad. I usually fly into a rage because of so many other things.
I feel lied to, taken advantage of, betrayed. So I get angry because I don't want to give people the satisfaction that I feel those things, because I have in my mind that those things are weak whiny little girl things to feel.
I feel let down, disappointed and hurt. So I scream and yell and dig into a supply of words to wound people so they feel as hurt as I do. Because to tell them I'm hurt is to expose that I'm vulnerable, that I feel things deeply and that they have the power to wound me, a power I'm terrified they'll use to the fullest extent.
I feel scared and unsure. I want to be reassured or even protected but I don't want to ask people for help so I lash out because the rage makes me feel powerful and in control when really I'm anything but.

Rage and anger, for a long time and sometimes even still, is a blanket I pull over my head and hide beneath. I use it to stamp out a world that is overwhelming and terrifying to me almost every minute of some days.
I'm so scared of being rejected I've cultivate the ability to shut down my emotions and play dead relationally which I just don't want to do anymore. I don't want to be powerless. I don't want to feel like you can just manipulate and push me around as you please so I clutch rage to my chest and shove you away with my feet.

It wasn't until I realized that I was able to be strong and powerful without anger that I could let go even a little bit. It wasn't until I realized if I measured my words and leveraged the right kind of anger at the right time that I could have an even larger impact on those around.
Speak softly but carry a big stick as it were.

So now I can get mad for mostly the right reasons.
Old habits are hard to kick, and a lot of the time I have to kick the same ones over and over again for years.
But I'm a lot less angry now. I mean, I could throw down if needed, but mostly I try to compromise.
When I feel that seething anger building inside me I try to take a minute and finish the sentence: "I'm angry because....."

Most of the time, it ends with scared and I can work through that fear instead of lashing out at anyone close to me.


Her Fearful Symmetry

I'd been ogling Her Fearful Symmetry at the book stores for a few months. It's by the woman that wrote the Time Travelers Wife, which I didn't like all that much.
I really enjoyed this book much better, it was way less creepy in the grown man traveling through time to flirt with his wife as a child type of way.

Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old sisters with an intense attachment to each other. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. Their English aunt Elspeth Noblin has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There were two conditions for this inheritance; that they live in the flat for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the girls' aunt Elspeth and their mother, Edie.
The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Stella Gibbons, and other luminaries are buried. Julia and Valentina become involved with their living neighbors: Martin, a composer of crossword puzzles who suffers from crippling OCD, and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. They also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including - perhaps - their aunt.

It was interesting the dynamics of the twins in this book, the obsessive nature of their relationships and how they allowed or didn't allow people to enter into their relationships. It reminded me how destructive those obsessions can be. But it was intriguing, wondering what the twist was and when it was going to be revealed.


Took My Love

I keep you like pictures on a shelf and petals in a scrapbook, pressed between the pages of my memories.
A little petal dust here, some old fashioned photo negatives there and you swirl around mixing in with what remains.

I'm taking you down. My love, I'm taking you down and turning around leaving you in the cast aside.
My reflection so vivid to me recently reveals that it is time, time to let go of the ocean tides and seasons that have passed and passed and passed me by.

Because time is marching on and I am remaining like a child staring longingly through a glass darkly. Wondering what it is that is being held from me, wondering what it is I cannot see.

It, having just now occurred to me that what is being obscured has been obscured by someone far more knowing than I.

I'm getting bolder as I get older, Stevie says this and I am finding that it is true. I'm finding that I care less what you say and think and do. It's hard, this caring less. This wondering if I'm being selfish and aloof, bratty and unkind. It's the landslide of finding the unkindness is not in taking my love down and allowing it to blow like petal dust across my floors, the unkindness is remaining still as a child peering up through a glass darkly at you perched so loftily above all else in my heart.

So I'm taking this love of mine and I'm taking it down. Climbing to the top of the mountain and throwing it off into the wind so I cannot see where it scatters. Time has made me bolder, because even children have to get older.
Took my love and I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide brought me down

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes bolder, children get older
I'm getting older too, well

Well, I've been afraid of
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes bolder, children get older
I'm getting older too, well, I'm getting older too

So take this love and take it down
Yeah, and if you climb a mountain and you turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well, the landslide brought down

And if you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well maybe, well maybe, well maybe
The landslide will bring you down

Fleetwood Mac -Landslide


Catching Fire

Catching Fire is the 2nd book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I read it originally the day after Christmas 2009 in like 6 hours or something. It was amazing.
After scarfing down Mockingjay in 5 1/2 hours a few weeks back I decided to re-read the whole trilogy one after the other.

I just like them all equally. It would be lovely to say that I liked one better than the other but I just didn't. They were so similar and different at the same time.

From the inside flap:
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol--a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
As I read through this book I was talking through Mockingjay and the entire series with some friends and I think that the thing I like the most, which is most evident to me at least in the 2nd book, is that Katniss is just a girl. There are holes throughout the story and they are there because Katniss doesn't know everything about the situation, which kids don't. So to me it would seem odd if she was an all knowing protagonist because kids rarely know everything. Now, Katniss gets it wrong a lot and to me that's a true thing. Because when kids only know a little bit, they fill the rest in with their imagination and she did in a lot of places.

Have I mentioned I love this series? Go read it already so I don't have to keep telling you!



When I was a little girl I felt so powerless.
I felt in most of my relationships with adults and even other kids that I had no semblance of control or even consequence in the relationship.

Part of it was the relationship I had with Betty and Mae. The way they would speak to me and treat me. From an early age I was told I had little value by adults that should have taken care of me. Add into that normal kid relationships and the fact that I was a bit weird (was?) and you have kids at school telling me I was weird and girls befriending me only to tell me I was embarrassing them and to either stop and act only the way they told me to act or they would never talk to me again.
I first found power in my relationships with boys. Which hurts me still now. Because it wasn't power I wanted. I just wanted to feel wanted, cherished, needed.

I mean, I had people, (a mom, dad, sister, dad's mom and aunts and uncles on dad's side and a handful of friends) in my life that told me they loved me. That cared for me and worked hard to show me I was loved. But I just didn't believe them.

But I'm learning now to redefine my idea of true power. I'm learning my cravings for relational power really stem from a deep and painful desire to feel safe.

I was listening to a book the other day and the author wrote about heart surgery that she had. How the doctor told her after that her heart rate was better, but it would be improving steadily over the next year or so because her heart is a muscle and it had to re-learn how to work properly because it had been working incorrectly for so long.

That's where my heart is now. It's getting better, and it's steadily improving. Because the intentions of my heart, even the very desires of my heart for relational power were wrong. They were motivated by fear and anger.
But that's what getting healthy is about right? Letting my heart re-learn how to work properly because it has been working incorrectly for so long.


Depression & Sin

The other day my friend Belinda posted a status on FB that ended up being explained with:
She said that depression is just sin that hasn't been confessed. It really offended me. I shouldn't let it bother me. When I met her in college, she was super religious and she still is. I shouldn't be surprised that there has to be a religious reason for depression.
I replied with:
That person is crazy or at least feeding from a crazy tube without taking the time to understand something herself.
There is no actual (and I mean actual as in not twisted and interpreted to please someones opinion) biblical basis for that statement.
As someone that considers themselves religious/Christian/spiritual or whatever the kids are calling following Jesus these days and also someone that has struggled on and off with depression that shit is whack yo!
But I wanted to elaborate a little bit. (And also exhibit how ghettoriffic I am that I can say that shit is whack yo with a completely straight face)

Depression is a crazy thing, not rubber room crazy I mean crazy like unpredictable and barely controllable. I still completely stand by my statement above, that there is no biblical basis for saying depression is simply sin unconfessed.
Can it be? Yes.
Is it always? Absolutely not.

There have been times that I have struggled severely with depression. I've posted before about my struggles in the past about wanting to take my life and being so bogged down in the dark I couldn't see my way out.

The majority of the time that has been because of chemical and hormonal imbalances that required the care of a doctor to fix. Some of this is naturally just the way my brain works and some of it was my doing because of the state of decay I allowed my body to get into. The junk I shoveled into my mouth affects my weight, which affects the way hormones are distributed and how often they are cycled through.
Some of the time has been because of the sin of other people. Sin I took on my own shoulders because I was to young, to inexperienced to know that it wasn't my fault nor was it my responsibility to fix.
However there was some of it, some of it was from my own sin unconfessed.
Before I was saved I didn't pay attention to being outside of God's will, what was His will to me but some bossy list of rules I was restricted by. I'm not really talking about before my falling in love with Jesus here, because who was He to me?
But after I was saved I still sinned, I still struggled and I still withheld my confession from my fellow believers and pretended as if I could keep it from God Himself.

That's not to say that the times I've struggled with depression since I've been saved have all been unconfessed sin, but I remember specific times when I've struggled and knew why and knew what it was I needed to confess and when I did the depression lifted.
But there have also been times, most recently even this past year that I have struggled feeling so heavy, so listless and just.....blank. There have been times that I've been so deep in the dark old habits and thoughts from before that I couldn't see reason that when I adjust my diet, when I exercise, when I track hormone levels that I can level back out again.

I don't think it is or has to be an either or, I think it's both and I think that's ok.
What do you think?


Permission to Speak Freely

I was able to download the audio book of Permission to Speak Freely for right around $3 yesterday. I've been wanting to read it very much and this was the right price.
I downloaded it at 4pm and finished listening to it about 7pm. It was that good.

Anne Jackson is a blogger that I've been following for awhile on twitter and of course her blog. I love how transparent she is about her struggles with depression, bi-polar disorder and the way God is working through her past addictions and struggles.
She says on the inside flap of the book:
"There is redemption and freedom that occurs when darkness is forced into the light, sometimes disguised as awkwardly spoken words. Somebody is waiting on you to tell your story. To share how you're being rescued. To share how scary it is but how beautiful it is. So take a step. Confess the beautiful and broken. It happens one word at a time." -- Anne Jackson
I loved it. Every word. I started listening to it again today at work, there was so much to absorb. At some point I'm going to listen to it when I have a chance to write down some quotes that just struck me so deeply.
She talked about the gift of going second, which I love. I don't know if it's related to I Am Second but you should probably check that out too.
You can check out 7 excerpts from the book by clicking through the below links. But most of all this book just confirmed for me the power of not hiding, of sharing what God has done in you and what he IS doing in you.

Donald Miller (Essay #1 – The First Brick)
Jon Acuff (Essay #2 - The Final Brick)
Carlos Whittaker (Essay #3 – Losing Faith)
Pete Wilson (Essay #4 – Finding Love in All the Wrong Places)
XXXChurch.com (Essay #5 – Shattered Pixels)
Catalyst Conference (Essay #6 – Ghosts of Churches Past)
FlowerDust.net (Essay #7 – Listening)

If you ever wondered why you can't talk about certain things in church or with "churchy" people this is a book you HAVE to read.


In All Things

I was so sure of you.
Sure of your intentions, sure of your words and actions.
I find myself vacillating between wanting to believe you and not being wiling to believe you anymore.
I can't control anything but me and some days I feel like I can't even control that.

But I'm trying. Trying to not want it, trying to recognize that the price of wanting these things comes at far higher a price than I am willing to pay anymore.
I have longer and longer moments of realizing that I just can't want it anymore. It's expensive, this wanting and longing. It's just not worth the cost to me anymore.

It would be nice to have had a different experience. To have better memories to share. How I have longed to have been able to smile at the remembrance of stories and long slow days spent with you. But it's done. It's tainted and no amount of longing will change that.

I read somewhere a person asking what God is doing in people's lives now. That we're all so very good at talking and sharing about what God has done for them in the past. How God has delivered them from *insert deep pit of sin here*. But this person said, "I'd love to know what God is doing for you right now."

It's been cycling around my head for weeks now and I'm realizing that I'm better at telling you the prettied up end result version of God's deliverance but I have a hard time sharing the ugly, bruised and shattered versions of how He's delivering me even today, at this very moment.

I am confident in His work in my in the past and I anticipate with confidence how He will work in me in the future but often I get so bogged down in the wanting, in the longing that I can't see how He is delivering me this very moment from longing for memories that aren't true.
He's delivering me from the jealousy of a history that never existed for me, for us, for you.

He's showing me everyday that the ways He has worked in me in the past have led me directly to the way He is working in me, refining me and delivering me this very day.

The biggest way He is working in me now is to show me how wasteful it is to gaze longingly into the past and compare it to this ideal of an idea that I have of how I wished it was. How if only it could have been like *this* than I would *here* instead of where I am now.
It robs me of the beauty of the refining, the beauty of the brokenness that gives me eyes and a heart for the others unseen and broken wandering around beside me.

So I'm trying to not want it anymore. I'm trying to grieve the way I wished it could have been and embrace the way it was and all that God has done for the good of those who love him through the way it used to be.
But I don't want it -
No -
I can't want it

Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's
It comes at much too high a cost!

-'Defying Gravity' Wicked


A Moments Pause

The thing is the truth, when it is revealed, changes everything.
It could be a good thing. Sometimes. Although I'm loathe to believe that truth is concealed for good reasons, I hear that sometimes people confess their love and throw surprise parties that require concealment of the truth. People are awed, touched, surprised and sometimes elated.

My experiences have been a little different. Truth has been ugly, hurtful and twisted. Truth has been wielded like a weapon, as if it were a tool to be used to up the ante and increase the persons relational or positional power. People are in shock, they're disgusted, let down, ashamed and feel so betrayed.

I'm trying to retrain my mind to not be so suspicious, to not wonder what it is I'm missing in any given scenario. I'm trying to not have my first question be, "But what's the catch? Is this a set up?" and then wonder how whatever truth they are concealing will cause me to look a fool and be cowed again.
It's all very cynical, all very poor little girl. I hate it. I don't want to be this way and I'm trying not to be.

But I received an email, a very kind, thoughtful, followup email the other day. Someone who has never been unkind to me checking in, asking how they can help.
I wanted to reply and tell them everything was ok, it was cool. But I do need some help, some guidance and some encouragement about this specific thing.
So, I decided to reply and ask for it.

What if it wasn't genuine? What if it was just standard follow up? What if it was just a gesture with the hopes for the standard 'everything's ok' response?
I had been invited somewhere a few days before that as well. But I didn't go, because I wasn't sure if it was real, if it was the truth, if the truth was that it was a pity invite an invite to meet a sort of protocol.
The thing is, neither of the people behind either of those things have ever been anything but kind to me. They've never given me a moments pause or wonder about their intentions or their honesty.

But still I hesitate. I wonder, was there ever a moment that gave me pause about the others before the first one?
It's like I'm paranoid lookin' over my back
It's like a whirlwind inside of my head
It's like I can't stop what I'm hearing within
It's like the face inside is right beneath the skin
-'Papercut' Linkin Park


Where I Love You

This is from The Hunger Games. It's one of my favorite parts of the book and easily one of the most moving moments for me in the book.
Deep in the meadow, under the willow
A bed of grass, a soft green pillow
Lay down your head, and close your sleepy eyes
And when again they open, the sun will rise

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.

Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when again it's morning, they'll wash away.

Here it's safe, here it's warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm

Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.


The Hunger Games

I bought the first two books of this series for my niece Kirsten for Christmas last year. That night she went to her mom's house and everyone else scattered. So I picked up the book and thought I'd see what this book was about.

The Hunger Games is the first book in the series.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before--and survival, for her, is second nature. Wither really meaning to, she becomes a contender. Bit if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The first time I read it on Christmas Day eve I read it in 8 hours. Eight hours that included going to a movie and out to dinner with the family. The next day I read the 2nd book in the series, which you'll hear about later.
The 3rd and final book came out last week and after I raced through that one (details to come) in 5 1/2 hours I decided to re-read the whole series and read The Hunger Games again in a little under 10 hours over 2 days.

I couldn't put it down either time, I was wondering how it would turn out, I was gasping at every turn and cringing at others. It.was.amazing.
It is a young adult book but there are so many themes running through this book, it would be a great book club choice, from Big Brother, governmental control, the cost and value of one life when compared to another and so many more.

Are you guys getting what I'm saying? It was AMAZING. READ.THIS.SERIES.
Stop what you're doing, put down the computer (ok, finish this post first....) go get it at the library, at the book store, download it to your reader whatever. But READ THIS SERIES.

Also, go team Peeta.


Good Things: August

August 1st- Awesome serve with Washington Project and yummy dinner at Acapulco with Mom, Pete and Matthew

August 2nd- Cleaned my house with Mom and Pete's help, it's so clean now!

August 3rd- Fun time playing trivia out at dinner with Sharen, Jeff, Matthew, Pete and Mom. Not so fun, the service.

August 4th- Free lunch at work then dogsitting for 6 days. Ahh, that means Saturday I can sleep in, can my good thing be looking forward to sleeping in?

August 5th- Pete came over to the dogsitting house and we had some Chipotle for dinner. While watching Shark Week he made a ridiculously hilarious comment about a Great White shark that I'm still laughing about. I can't tell you though, because the joke just wasn't right (but still funny!)

August 6th- Grocery shopping with Sharen and more movies at the dogsitting house.

August 7th- Well, I was supposed to get up and do zumba, but I set my alarm for pm instead of am and the doggies let me sleep, so I slept in...then got up, fed the dogs, let them out and took a nap. I love this kind of day. Oh, and new throw pillows from Ikea (that I can't see on my sofa until Monday night)

August 8th- Awesome message at church and heard God speak about healing in a way that I really needed. Great music, Five Guys after church and a mid afternoon nap. Plus, last sleep until I can go home to my own bed!

August 9th- Cut throat Mario competition on old school NES after a brave conversation filled with shaking voices and hands.

August 10th- Went back to the trainer after a long and slothful summer off. It was and wasn't good at the same time....

August 11th- Yummy yummy dinner at Sharen's house followed by crawling into bed and falling asleep by 10pm. So amazing.

August 12th- Straight home from work! Had a Mario 3 tournament with Pete again and made chocolate chip cookie dough for Mr. Jake's birthday (didn't bake them though, to darn hot!)

August 13th- Lunch with a friend, good conversation where I shook while saying scary things. Also, I love the moment in my days now when I realize that this is going to be my good thing for the day.

August 14th- Special day with my niece Shelby, pedicures, Fuji House, Cold Stone and movies on a sofa. Good times!

August 15th- Watching the 1st season of Alias on the sofa while storms bluster outside, good times.

August 16th-Washington Project meeting. We started sharing how we were connecting with God as leaders and what He was showing us. It was awesome to hear how God is moving in our leaders. Also, creating prayer list for our serve next week. So heavy but hopeful at the same time. God is good.

August 17th- What I thought was going to be a giant parade of drama llamas actually turned out to be quite peaceful and calm. Love that!

August 18th- Dinner with Justin & Bobbie, love getting to spend time with them!

August 19th- Made some yummy chicken salad (but not for me, another family). But I'm pretty sure I'm making it for myself in the near future. Also, "wink"

August 20th- Held a 5 day old baby girl, so adorable! Also, wine with friends.

August 21st- Special day with my niece Kirsten, we painted pottery for 2 hours in the morning, I might be addicted and already plotting times to go back.

August 22nd- Prayer serve with Washington Project, great talk by Ben and baptisms. Awesome morning followed by an awesome 2 hour nap!

August 23rd- Hanging out watching Alias with Pete, I love just being at my house.

August 24th- Spontaneous fun night hanging out with Claire. Barnes & Noble, Panera and a random run in with Justin

August 25th- MOCKINGJAY!

August 26th- Started a complete re-read of The Hunger Games, I will probably be done by the 28th. No...seriously.

August 27th- Spontaneous lunch with Pete at Chipotle that involved the phrase, "He's been in and out of the closet so much they had to take the door off" and "I mean she's slept with like 35 boys in the last few months, one of them HAS to be the baby daddy" One of those was overheard and both of them were hilarious.

August 28th- Free Chick-Fil-A sammy with Sharen & Matthew then the rest of the day on the sofa

August 29th- Great read through of Hosea with Claire, homemade pizza and Emmy watching with Pete

August 30th- Didn't feel great today, came home and napped but then roomie made me brownies and bought be dinner, which helped

August 31st- Crawled into bed and pulled the covers over my head as soon as I got home. I should have done laundry, I should have cleaned, I should have done a lot of things. But I decided to just check out and it was so lovely.