Five Minutes: Dresses

Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.
I've been on a dress buying kick lately. Specifically maxi dresses. The jersey material that is usually long and flowy with an empire waist.
I even bought heels to go with the dresses (ok, so they're like stacked heely things...there's a specific work but I don't know it...I want to say ramp, but I know that's not right)

Then when I wear them I feel all pretty and girly and frilly. People compliment me and tell me I look cute...or they balk at the shock of seeing my legs.

I also have been on a clothes buying spree. Soft fabrics and layers of color, different necklines and even some fancy pants jewelry.

I've been wearing makeup (ok, foundation and mascara at least) every day and touching up with powder throughout the day.

But the truth is, I still feel mostly like a fraud.
People tell me I look pretty and I'm fairly certain they're just telling me that because they don't know what else to say.
I see myself in the mirror or my reflection in a mirror and I pause wondering what they saw that was even remotely beautiful.

It's terrible.
But I also am recognizing the patterns and trying to push through them. Believing people despite my every instinct screaming that they are just being nice or that they are buttering me up for something they need or want.

Either way, I'm looking distinctly more feminine than I have in a long time.

And scene.



Conflict and I are not getting along lately.
I'm trying to retire from being the peacekeeper and involving myself in conflict that isn't mine to be involved in but it's really hard. It's really hard.

It makes me scared to be around conflict that I can't help resolve in some way, but I know it will also make me anxious and super stressed to insert myself into conflict I shouldn't be in.

It's a catch 22 really.

Mostly I'm just trying to find a balance so I can still have human interaction without always being a grumpy wench about things.

It's hard, and I'm really tired a lot with all the hard stuff that's happening.



The mysteries you live with, as a child. Never solved, never resolved. Utterly trivial, petty. Like a tiny pebble in your shoe, that causes you to walk crookedly.
- 'Little Bird of Heaven' Joyce Carol Oates



Therapy was really hard last week.
I had been agitated since my previous session because of things being stirred up and talked about that I had learned to not speak about for decades and there were also technical issues that ate up the first 15 minutes of my session (although the therapist did stay 15 minutes over because she said it was the office staff's issue and she wasn't going to take my time away from me because of their communication issues)

I talked a bit about the first few times I allowed myself to share with people things that were said and things that happened around me as a kid. The first time I shared them seriously and not in a joking around sarcastic kind of way.
I talked about how the people were angry that I never told them. How the conversation turned into me reassuring them that it was ok and it was fine and no big deal. How the conversation turned into how we could protect this other person from finding out because they were to fragile to bear the brunt of this information.

As I talked about it I became very upset and essentially whimpered, "I just wish I was chosen"
Because I understand through my adult eyes what these grown ups meant when they got mad that I didn't tell them. I see their baggage and brokenness and can sympathize with their thought process. But even though I was mostly an adult when these conversations happened I was still seeing things through the lens of this abuse and the kid brain I experienced it through, so I just felt....un-chosen.

Back in September when I returned to that town and broke again from the weight of the words layered on my kid heart I also felt un-chosen. I had a handful of interactions in the same period of time where things, events and other people (however appropriate or inappropriate) were ranked higher than I and I wondered if I would ever be the one chosen.

Because I just want to be chosen. I want to feel prioritized and cared for and that I might come in at least 2nd or 3rd for somethings.
I want to not feel like that's a ridiculously petulant thing to want.

Even before I could finish this thought process and even louder as I drove home I heard a whisper that I was chosen.
That I was chosen before I was even born, before my parents, their parents and their parents were born. Before the very sands of time.
I was chosen as the daughter of a King that sent his Son to die on a Cross for me. That even if it was just me He would have Saved He would have done it.

Because I'm a damaged and broken person sometimes that doesn't feel like enough. Sometimes I forget that it's true even if it doesn't feel like enough.
Cries in the desert, my child I hear them
Tears in the valley, my lovely I count them
You're so precious, you were on my mind as I died

Here I am so close to you
Know my voice, I'll never leave you
For I have loved you since before
The sands of time were made

I love you still and always will
You're chosen as mine
-Hillsong "Chosen as Mine"


Back Room

I hated going there.
Nothing ever really happened, in the really happened sense.

It just felt wrong.

A bird nose and magnifying glasses
Hands that lingered a little higher and longer than needed when helping me stamp in time.
Hugs that made me establish no touching days with people that gave appropriate length hugs with hands clasping and clutching my upper back instead of my upper ass

Pulling my hair back and moving a thumb down the back of my neck slowly
Resting an arm around a waist while discussing practice charts
Whispering, "You're so special" in a tone that made me wish and hope to be never be anything special at all

A little window and a waiting chair just outside the door may have kept the hands technically within bounds but they were out of bounds all the same.

You were trusted enough for a change of venue to your home
With no small window, no waiting chair

Jumpy and scared I hid behind insolence and refusal to sit anywhere near you until she returned
It was the last time
I got in trouble for being so rude
But it was worth every harsh word to never return to your side again


Five Minutes: Denise

Each year around this time my thoughts turn more and more towards Denise.
I think about her a lot on other days but this time is usually the most filled with her memory.

Easter is late again this year, just like it was 11 years ago.
Easter Sunday falls on the anniversary of her death.
It's a hard thing really, this juxtaposition of death with a holiday that represents resurrection and victory over death.

But this year I'm holding tight to that victory over death and the promise of the cross. That one day I'll see Denise again and she will be whole and complete in Christ.

Because really, what else can I do?


Justify, my love

Sometimes I have these memories.
I'm not entirely certain if they're actually true.
I could probably ask people that I seemingly share the memories with but I've done that before, and they don't remember it that way. For a girl that thinks she's always wrong that means I am remembering things wrong.
Sometimes the memories I have aren't of conversations but of feelings.
Feelings that things were off, that they just weren't right.

People have asked me lately what the cause of my distress is, they ask me what the traumatic situation was that I'm recovering from.
I feel like I have to justify it.
Like my hurt and my inability to move past things without professional help isn't valid because it's not (insert non-melodramatic suburban white girl problem here)

I'm trying not to justify it. I'm trying to simply own my share in the trauma and figure out how to healthily move past the experiences once and for all so I can get back to a fully functioning life.

I know that's not what people are trying to do, but they manage to do it anyway.
So I'm going to stop justifying and just respond to people when they say things like that and ask them to help, instead of retreating within my shame and believing I'm all wrong.


Somehow, Like A Tree

I have been rapidly and painfully peeling back layer after layer of hurt and baggage from my heart lately. Most days I wonder if I'll ever reach the bottom of all this scar tissue.

I don't talk about it a lot but when I do I feel all sweaty and shaky about it, because I'm always a little afraid that the people I talk to will secretly agree with those abusive words.

So I make a joke.

Because honestly when I speak these things out they sound so absolutely ridiculous.
It sounds so absolutely ridiculous to me that adults that are supposed to take care of kids and protect them are so cold and calloused.

Sometimes people joke back, sometimes they ask me why I just can't move on, sometimes they tell me I just need to not think about it.
I know they mean well because I can see relationships through mostly grown up eyes now.
I can even see these hateful women through mostly grown up eyes. I understand the concept of generational sin and abuse cycles and I understand that hurt people hurt people.

But I still feel it all through a kids heart.

When kids don't understand what's happening they don't ask for clarification, often they don't even know they can. So they fill in the blanks with what they think might be happening which is often much scarier than the truth. They come up with views of the world that are untrue and severely blurred by the interactions they have with adults they should be able to trust.

Sometimes when kids grow up they can change their minds (literally change their brains). Other times the lenses they built their view of world through adhere in what seems to be a permanent way and they continue to see the world as a scary and unsafe place filled with words that slice and dice.

It has taken a lot of work for me to realize that the way I see the world has been deeply affected by these adults, that the way I see myself has been molded by the words they cut me with.

Now it's taking even more work to rebuild the lens through which I view the world and myself. There are a lot of days I forget and lapse into the comfort of drive thru's and self-loathing.

But I'm working on it, even when I feel mired in the bitter unfairness of it all.
 Sometimes I can't move my feet it seems
As if I'm stuck in the ground somehow like a tree
As if I can't even breathe
Oh, and my screams come whispering out

As if nobody can even see me
Like a ghost, sometimes I can't see myself
- "If I Had it All" DMB


Prompted Posts: Sunshine

Sometimes I just don't know what to write about, or I know what to write about I just don't know how to write about it because it feels to big and to raw.
So This Blog Post Has Been Brought To You By: Pete. Like Five Minute Fridays but ten minutes on a writing prompt of choice. I was going to have all the prompts be by Pete, but I'm sorry to say that Pete's prompt was Sunshine. This might be his first and last spotlight as a prompter.

Ok, GO

I don't know about you guys, but I get the winter blahs a lot. Couple that with my recent therapeutic foray and diagnosis and I have a very hard time getting motivated to do anything or even get out of bed.
Plus, that darn therapist keeps forcing me to "talk it through" and "work it out" and I feel pretty mired in darkness.

Now that it's April and the sun is shining on a regular basis I can feel a little better more often.
It's hard to remember in the midst of the winter, in the midst of the darkness that there will ever be light again.(insert dramatic back of the hand to the forehead gesture :here: )

I'm heading into a house remodel. This means hours wandering around home improvement places and sobbing into the buckets of spackle on aisle nine. A few days ago Pete and I were running around Ikea and working on cabinet and counter top estimates (my life is One Life to Live sexy. Please don't murder me and steal the awesomeness that is "the things I get excited about now"). We got turned around in the showroom and I sighed and turned to Pete saying, "We've reached the point in Ikea where we're to far in to turn back and yet I feel like we're never going to reach the checkout lane."

That's how I feel about sunshine sometimes. During the winter or in the midst of a deep period of darkness I feel so far in I can't see the light from where I came and I feel like I'm never going to get through it.
I think about this quite often, like tonight for example, and think to myself...self, REMEMBER this. Remember that there is sunshine and light and you just have to hang on long enough to get back to it.

But I never do. I always forget.
Maybe I should write it on a post it or paint it onto the new walls I'm putting up in the master bath.



God loves you and your Big Mac

I was listening to the radio this morning. A local morning show takes a random question each day and answers it themselves as well as taking calls from listeners who answer the question.
The question today was, "What is an act of kindness you have done that no one knows about?"

Lots of people called in and told stories about things they have done and several about receiving random acts of kindness from others.
The one lady said she was in line at McDonald's and it was taking forever. When she finally got up to the window the worker said the lady in front of her paid and wanted to tell her that God loves her.

The female on the show immediately said, "Oh yeah, she probably saw you getting annoyed with the wait and was sticking it to you with "God LOOOOOOVES you" right?"

The answer was no but all the same it made me really sad that there are so many people out there that think the only reason someone would do something nice and wrap it in God loves you is to spite and "stick it to" you.


Five Minutes: Fun Facts

Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.

The outfit that I am wearing to work today (Wednesday 5/13) is not working for me at all. The thin sweatery throw isn't sitting deep enough on my arms and my bra straps keep poking out. It's awkward.

I just finished listening to Bossypants by Tina Fey. She read it. Now I speak like her on the phone with customers. It is awesome.

Often when I drive places that are confusing to get to or have difficult parking situations I just turn around and go back. The exception to this rule is when I'm meeting people, which I am heading to do now. Then I feel bad but get all sorts of cranky pants about the parking situation and grump all the way up to the very minute I greet my friends. When I greet them I morph into the, "C'mon Bethany. Put on your game face and get along to get along already". I resent that face a lot but feel incapable of doing anything else without becoming a social pariah.
I have two monitors at work now. This means I am able to work in our system while also seeing what's happening on the Internet popping up in my work email so I can jump on it immediately. But seriously, it's pretty great. I was campaigning for it for a long time and now it's here. All my professional goals have now been reached. Thank you and good day.


Also, I am having work done at my house. Prepare yourself for the onslaught of updates and various "Bethany is freaking out and needs to "verbally" process the terror that is having men (even men I know haven't murdered anyone else) in my house without me there".

I mean, ALL killers weren't killers until they murdered someone right?

See also, the last sentence is not helping my fear of killers.
Have a good weekend!


"Crazy" doesn't mean "Always wrong"

"The thing is, I have every right to advocate for my safety and not be belittled for it"

That's what I actually said out loud to someone.
Apparently therapy is working, even if only in bits and pieces at a time.


She's Here

I read this post here. Especially true are the last parts (including verbal abuse from a boyfriend and biting words from those church members of my youth), which left me agitated in my cubicle trying to stuff my true self back down because she's too much of a cry baby.
i remember the anxious feeling – the earnestness of wanting to belong at all cost. i heard the girls giggling before walking over to me and i gripped my hands with fear. please don’t make fun of me, i thought. my heart that day was tender – heavy – needing comfort. i picked up a shoe and pretended to be fascinated with the laces.

“hey elora.” i looked up and queen bee stood before me, hair long and straight and perfect for tossing.

“hi,” my voice was barely above a whisper. i waited for the punch line when she’d comment on my clothes or my glasses or my crimped hair that stuck to itself at odd angles.

she smiled and tilted her head, “have you ever heard of those jeans that come with puff paint?”


before anyone else could say anything, i nodded my head. “oh…yeah. yeah! i know those. they seem cool.”

her friends started giggling then, and she looked at me with disdain. a sneer slowly crawled up her lips and she twirled a strand of hair with her finger.

“whatever elora. you have no idea what i’m talking about because it doesn’t exist. god. stop trying to be so cool. you’ll never be one of us.”

she turned away then, laughing with her friends. i didn’t know what hurt more – them knowing i’d be duped or the way i felt completely tossed aside.

i remember feeling confused. i’d known these girls for most of my life. they knew me. they knew the tendency to cry, the softness of my heart, the fear of others that built the charade of shyness. all of those girls, at one point, had come to me with tears – knowing i’d understand and listen.

and now they’d tricked me.

my heart beat wildly against my chest, derailing me yet again for deceiving her.

this happened repeatedly growing up – aching to be known but running to fit in at all costs.

the first time i sat on her couch, she told me we’d be working on my identity in Christ.  she told me it was normal for women like me to question who they really are and to pile mask on top of mask on top of mask in order to fit in with the world around them – in order to protect the true self from being seen.

i couldn’t help but think of the moment in the shoe store – where i sacrificed what i truly knew in order to be accepted. i knew those girls didn’t really care. i knew, even before they walked over, their goal was to belittle me. but my heart whispered perhaps not and i listened.

after that incident, i grew exceedingly inward. i was only in the third grade and already introspective, but from that point on, my heart settled in the corner with her arms crossed and her eyes closed.

i figured if i stayed hard, nothing would hurt me.

not the high school boys calling me garth from wayne’s world because of my blue-plastic glasses and badly permed hair.

not the 13-year old boy screaming white dog!!! across the courtyard and pointing at me, laughing.

not the hostile notes from other girls.

not the snide comments about my weight.

not the verbal abuse from a boyfriend.

not the shock of biting words from a fellow church member.

for each of these, i’d stare at the wounds with mock severity until i found myself alone. only then would i let the hurt hang out. only then would my real self crawl out of her hiding place and weep at the festering scars building along the ridges of my heart.

eventually, my heart couldn’t take it anymore. the masks stifled the creativity and freedom she longed for – so without me knowing, the masks simply didn’t work anymore.

and now i’m left with my true self hanging out – raw and achy from years of denial.

i still don’t know what to do with her.

but at least i know she’s here.


Paranoia: Part Duh

We've already established that I do completely ridiculous things when I'm paranoid.

I'm getting ready to do a crap ton of work on my house and I'm already mildly freaking out about several things.
The idea of making all the decisions that will need to be made
The chaotic state my house will be in when everything starts rolling
Whether I'll be able to keep my temper in check when I get overwhelmed and frustrated
The budget

But none of those things compares to what hit me this morning.
The paranoia. Moving forward doesn't feel safe, even though I know it will be fine.

I called to schedule an appointment to have my trees topped (which is not a euphemism). I immediately started thinking about these guys that would know where I live and would most likely be able to figure out which room is mine or at the very least a good entrance point.
I also called and left a message for the same guy that work on my seesters house to do the work during the renovation that roomie refuses to do (the big jerk, kidding!). So far he has done a great job, I've met him several times and the guy that works with him as well. He hasn't murdered them so it seems that all would be ok.
But it still just makes me so anxious. This idea of people coming into my house and learning the layout, having a key/access to come in and out.

Frankly I blame Dateline NBC and all their "single girl is stalked and murdered by a delivery person" specials.

I know it's more than that. As I unpack these steamer trucks of experiences and memories and asking an impartial party to get involved I'm learning just how pervasive and entwined this fear and paranoia is, how deeply it runs. So I'm working on it and through it because I realize that unless I want to be this crazy recluse that has 28 locks on every door and never leaves her house I have to figure out how to be functionally paranoid...as opposed to the paralyzing paranoid I am right now.


that I would be loved

I whispered it behind my hand
Just in case
Just in case it meant I wasn't allowed in anymore

It wasn't as big of a deal to anyone else, and if we're playing the comparison game I'm probably ahead of the pack.

But I still feel shame
Crushing and suffocating shame

So I don't say anything and I pretend one word means something else and I whisper behind my had between sips of bravery

It's interesting, this challenge that God whispered to me so many months ago. I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, I'm waiting to find out I'm only being tolerated.

I'm waiting
For the whispers of the dead to hiss out of the mouth of people that have never given me any indication I'm unwanted.

Plans were made, spontaneous and on the fly.
I agreed
I set my alarm
I got dressed
I drove

But I wondered

Would they really show up?
Was this really a trick?
Did I misunderstand the intention?

I run through the conversations and wonder, what did I say that could have been revolting, that could have gotten them to all agree to turn down the thermostat and freeze me out.

I pulled in, got out of my car and there was someone there. They showed up and giggling and silly conversations mingled with serious happened.

I know it's me. I know it's the mind games of bitter women and the experiences I'm working through from lifetimes ago churning in my heart.
I know it is.

But I still go places and wonder if it's just a trick. If it's all a cruel game and I'll be alone wondering what stupid nasty thing I have said or done to prove once again I'm a bad girl.

I'm so thankful for a God that keeps hacking away at my often hardened heart reminding me that HIS design for community, for relationships, for LOVE is not the what was taught to me by these women and others.
He's also showing me that even through people are broken and flawed, that He is not. That even when I am not good, that He is ALWAYS a good God.
that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy
-That I Would be Good, Alanis Morissette


Five Minutes: Harry Potter

Ok, the rule is to type for five minutes and post whatever vomits out of my fingertips. May God be with you all.
Part one of the 7th Harry Potter movie comes out in 7 days. I have already pre-ordered it.
Last week I went to Barnes & Noble with mom to look at Nook accessories for her new Nook and we wandered into the section with Harry Potter books.
I sighed.
She asked what.
I said, "I wish I could go back to before I ever read Harry Potter or knew anything about the books at all just so I could experience them again for the first time."
Then...not even kidding....I teared up.
I am nerdalicious.
I watched the most recent movie 3 times in the theater (and would have gone a 4th if it hadn't disappeared from the dollar theater before I could make it back). I plan to just look the movie on my tv for the next few months while I breathlessly anticipate the release of the 2nd part of the final movie.
I'm a little choked up just thinking about it now.
Last week the family also went to Great Wolf Lodge as part of a staycation. There is something called MagiQuest that involves a wand and unlocking clues throughout the lodge. I was ---><--- this close to buying a wand and talking Matthew into doing it with me because I wanted the wand.

I mean, in my 31 year old head I realize it's just  wand and a stick of some sort, but I NEEDED it.
I didn't end up buying it, I'm saving up for my trip to Universal Studios so I can have Olivander help me pick out my wand.

What? I said I was nerdalicious didn't I?


I'm either very paranoid, or right

I've had some friends staying with me for the last week or so and I also had my parents in town last weekend. One of the first nights we were all in the house at the same time my mom got to talking with one of my friends about family and jobs.
My moms brother worked for the government and she was talking about how he would disappear for a few weeks then resurface saying only that he'd been working or in Washington. The friend is working on a masters program that is intertwined with the government so she was asking different questions and ultimately asked, "Does your brother still work for them?"
My mom, lost in thought and not really paying attention at that point said "yes"

Uhhh, my uncle has been dead for almost 30 years.

So I remind my mom of this and she said, "Oh, I didn't hear the question."

Funny anecdote of my mom missing her brother? Probably.
But here's what happened in my head.

For a few seconds (minutes, ok, maybe days) after mom said yes I started to wonder if that wasn't the truth. If my uncle had merely faked his death and went into a deep cover mission that has lasted this long. The other option is that he faked his death for a deep cover mission and then was killed, but they (whoever they is) didn't tell us because he was already dead in our heads.

Now, maybe it's because I watch a lot of Alias but I also wonder where on earth these ideas come from. I mean, does that stuff even happen. I also felt hurt that I was excluded from this information (that isn't even TRUE, allegedly) and that everyone else knew but me.

Some days I feel crazier than I do on most days. But I thought I'd make note of this thought process just in case it is actually true.


Santa Claus and Thunderstorms

When I was a kid I began to suspect that Santa wasn't exactly who he said he was. I'd heard rumors of course, but I figured they were just rumors.
But one year I decided to test him.
I told my parents and Santa's helpers at the malls what I wanted but I omitted one gift that I really wanted. A My Buddy (or Kid Sister) Doll.
I wrote a letter to Santa and stuck it in a mailbox one Saturday when no one was looking.
On Christmas morning I opened all of my gifts and there was no doll.
And I knew.
I knew the truth.

On another note I was terrified (and still am) of thunderstorms. They seem very end times ominous and it just seems that bad things are more likely to happen when the skies are raging. As a kid my parents would try to soothe me and reassure me so I wasn't so scared.
They told me that thunderstorms were God having a bowling party in Heaven. That the thunder was when someone got a strike and lighting was everyone taking pictures at the party.
What a fun God right?
I was even more upset and freaked out.
Because I was TERRIFIED and God was having a PARTY!?!?! What was that about?!
Now I was going to die and probably go to hell because God was BOWLING?

These are mostly funny anecdotes that I tell people because they are the funny ramblings of a weird kid. But I was telling the Santa story the other night and it occurred to me that these were sneak peeks at how I view relationships (and in a lot of ways how I have viewed humanity as a whole).

Can't really count on them.
Will let you down.
Will forget you.
You don't matter.

It made me really sad.
It made me sad to realize that beneath the silliness of these stories there seemed to be this little girl that was pretty convinced she'd be forgotten or overlooked in some way. There was a little girl that didn't trust she could believe in people and she had to sneak around and "trick" people into revealing the truth about themselves (or the lack of themselves as it were).

It made me sad too to realize that underneath all of my funny stories and anecdotes on life today that there's still a little girl trying to figure out if she'll be forgotten, overlooked and left yet again. That little girl still struggles with the idea that she has to "trick" people into showing who they really are because she suspects they aren't real.

I'm struggling between two very different realities in my head lately. The truth I know in my head and what I believe to be true in my heart.
I know the world isn't black and white.
I know that people aren't either good or bad.
I know that there are nuances to relationships that always make it work to remain close.

But I believe that the world is black and white. That there is a clear right and wrong. I believe that people are either good or bad that that relationships are either on or off.
I'm trying to stitch my heart back together and get it in line with my head. But some days I wake up and I've run out of thread and my needle has dulled.

Storms rolled through earlier this week and I was reminded once again of my fear of being forgotten and my fear of the bad and scary. Tossing and turning through the night I dreamt of people long dead and those I wished would just die already (as if that would really solve anything, but I'm an adolescent child and terrible person sometimes, sorry to break the news to you).

I woke hungover from the fears and paranoia surging through my heart. I looked out the window and I saw blue skies and was reminded.
I remembered that I am no longer a little girl that must submit herself to others authority just because they are bigger than me.
I remembered that even though Santa didn't come through for me I had parents that heard me telling the funny story and came through for me in the silliest and smallest way more than a decade later.
I remembered that God is a big God and he doesn't really throw bowling parties and forget about scared little girls.
I remembered that I have help with all the stitching back together that is being done in my life right now and that I'm the one that gets to let people in or usher them out of my life and that just because people say something with authority doesn't mean it's true.

I remembered that right before a thunderstorm there is high tension in the air. It prickles your skin and you feel the electricity surging through the air. The tension increases to a point that it's almost unbearable until the skies open and rain falls down, thunder claps and lighting flashes. I remembered that the atmosphere purges itself of all of this and after there are skies of brilliant blue filled with cool breezes and new life.

I'm in the middle of an overwhelming thunderstorm right now. Far enough in that it's too late to stop, but still so far from the end you wonder if you'll ever see blue skies again.
But I know there will be blue skies again, I know there will be new life and cool breezes and some days I can even believe it.



One of the most singularly female things about me is my adoration of cute purses. They don't have to be expensive, just cute and (often) colorful and BIG. Usually the bigger the better.
I typically carry the following in my purse almost always:

checkbook, wallet, tissues, several colors of lip gloss/stick, girly products, pens and pens and pens, gum/mints, hairbrush, book(s), phone, ipod, earbuds, full size bottle of lotion, keys to several homes (dogsitting) and to several cars (dogsitting, church), hairties, sunglasses.

That's what's ALWAYS in there. I also toss in food, jewelry, scarves, glasses, contacts, medicine etc.

I vary from super slouchy and baggy purses to super compartmentalized and structured purses.  There is no rhyme or reason why I love the ones I do, I just do.

But I noticed when I bought a new purse last week that they also reflect the state of my mind/heart. I was carrying a recently purchased purse that was big and slouchy and dark. I went back to the site of my most recent purse addiction and knew I was buying another purse (because honestly, why not!).
I was feeling really chaotic and out of control that day (and most of the days before). There was a lot going on, a lot of people swirling around me and there was a lot of "go with the flow" being required of me and others.
If you've known me for more than like 5 seconds in real life you will know that I'm not a super huge fan of going with the flow. I need a plan, I crave a plan. When there isn't a plan I make one, which is why I almost always become the planner and corraller of groups because I feel so comfortable there.

So you can clearly see why this slouchy purse wasn't working for me. I needed control. I needed structure, I needed....a new structured purse.
Because I know I can't control all these people and how they interat and how I interact with them. But I can control where I put my wallet in this super cute (bright blue) new purse and I can control that my keys go in this pocket and my phone in that one and that I have the final say and no one else.

Gosh. Sometimes the ridiculous methods to my madness come clearly into view and I find myself thinking, "What kind of C to the RAZY person thinks like this?!"
Then I realize, I do. Harumph.

I'm trying to set healthier boundaries in life. Part of that for me is retiring from a few roles I've assigned myself over the years. I've felt the need to be the planner because I crave control and structure. But I'm forcing myself to not plan things so tightly because there is so much beauty with just going with the flow sometimes (to be completely transparent I'm shaking when I type that because I don't really REALLY believe that right now)

But I'm trying. Because even though I crave a plan and control I also am totally stressed out by it, shamefully sometimes. When the plan goes awry and things run late I will (and have) often sacrifice(d) others under the steamroller of my planning zeal.
As hurt as I've been by things and events being more important than people I certainly don't want to be a person that is more concerned with being on time then with my relationship with others.

I don't know what the answer is, but I'm trying (and I'm fairly certain the bright blue super fab purse is totally helping).



Fallow: To plow, harrow and break up as land without seeding for the purpose of destroying weeds and insects and rendering it mellow

The word fallow has been running through my head a lot lately. It was used in a rather innocuous conversation but it keeps coming back to me. 
I feel very fallow right now. 
I feel as if my heart has been broken up, plowed through lately. I'm digging through a lot of pushed down and locked away memories and feelings and trying to re-process them appropriately and grieve that which has been left ungrieved. I'm being left fallow for the specific purpose of destroying the weeds and insects, the lies, the fall out of my own sin and that of those around me is being dealt with and I'm working to move forward.

I'm setting new boundaries and struggling to remember myself where I've set them. Old habits die very hard and right now I'm having to outright murder some of the deepest running habits. 

But I know that in the end, the plowing and breaking up of all this will render it mellow. It will render my heart more whole then it's been since I can remember. It will improve the relationships that will remain (and they will remain because they are healthy and uplifting and not abusive and oppressive) and it will allow me to create new relationships in a way I'm still terrified to do now. 

I have no idea what that will look like, only that what it will look like will me more uniquely who God created me to be then I've ever been open to being. It's terrifying, exciting and overwhelming. 
You know, just the average Monday for this 31 year old girl.


Good Things: March

March 1 Fun meeting learning about Washington Project partnering with 50 area churches to serve the city of Cincinnati

March 2 Hanging with Sharen, Matthew and Pete at home. Much Mario was played and giggling was done

March 3 Good therapy session and good review of therapy sessions with Pete and Nicole

March 4 Mystery Science Theater 3000 and going to sleep without setting an alarm

March 5 Impromptu afternoon and evening of fun with roomie at the Home & Garden show and Newport Kentucky

March 6 I finally painted the closet doors

March 7 Stayed home sick today and ate a ridiculous amount of taco dip to try to clear my sinuses. Also, rallied for the Washington Project leadership meeting

March 8 Found out I could go on a last minute trip to a leadership conference for almost free!

March 9 Roadtrip to Anderson, South Carolina with some church folk. Had some goooooooood bbq on the way

March 10 Unleash conference with a bunch of friends, great great stuff followed by giggling and candy cigarettes on the way home

March 11 Scheduled the first FREE family portrait for our Washington Project 3/27. So excited to tell that mom "No, really. It's completely free. We just want to serve your family this way for free." SO AWESOME

March 12 My So Called Life on Netflix, I felt all angsty and wanted to color my hair red

March 13 I am officially in love with the sofa at this dog sitting house. Deep and cushy and soooooo snuggly

March 14 I love Bethenny Frankel (and Bethenny Ever After) I just do ok.

March 15 Dinner and hanging out on the BEST.SOFA.EVER with roomie

March 16 Lunch with Mandy from :insertfreightcompanynamehere:! She's my favorite!

March 17 Great meeing with Ben about things to come with outreach and great therapy session. Then I went home and went to bed at 830pm

March 18 Hellllllooooooo tax refund!

March 19 Spent a healthy chunk of my tax refund on clothes (which was desperately needed) and yummy dinner at Fuji House with the fam

March 20 Wonderful morning with Washington Project and yummy lunch with Pete after at Smashburger

March 21 Hectic day at work and early bedtime

March 22 Ate lunch outside with sunglasses on, it made me very very happy!

March 23 Only 2 more sleeps until I can sleep in my own bed without 3 smelly farting dogs again!

March 24 Had a hilariously awkward conersation with a married friend about why it's not appropriate for me to go to his house when his wife (and no one else) is there. Poor fella was clueless.

March 25 Jake and Cody are here!

March 26 Yummmmmmy milkshake and a cute owl necklace

March 27 My closets doors are hung and my super cute doorknobs installed. They look great despite being two different doors (even though the boxes said they were the same, ugh!)

March 28 I am seriously so excited to have slept in my own bed for the last few nights, it makes such a difference.

March 29 Today was Tuesday, but it was also my Friday for the week. Huzzah!

March 30 Great Wolf Lodge for a family staycation. I LOVE being in water (but not so much the bathing suit)

March 31 Happy Birthday Mom! I'm so excited about your birthday gift!