Friday, August 29, 2008

Why not?

How do things get so crazy?? There is a problem that I'm dealing with -- and I just don't want to.

Why now? Why when I'm just a few weeks from being completely removed from a situation that has been going on for nearly a year, why does it have to get so big that it can't be ignored?

Why not.

I want to sweep it under the rug. I want to pretend like it doesn't exist. And, yet it does. And, it's awful. And, I hate this kind of thing. I am the only one who can confront this head on. No one else can do it for me.

I suppose better now than a few months ago when I was financially and emotionally destitute.

I could walk away. But, I woke up about 6 weeks ago, and had a fleeting thought to recommit myself to "do the right thing" in light of the moral vacancy I interact with daily.

Well, here's my chance. I have the opportunity to act. And, I'm scared.


I just have to say that I couldn't be happier with McCain's choice of Sarah Palin. Who would've thought?! She IS the every "man" and an incredible leader to boot!

Congratulations to Senator McCain for having the courage and inspiration to rally his base -- and make the right decision for his party and this country!!!


Now, what do YOU think?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The center

Okay, so I know I am not perfect. I know that God knows that I can and will fail miserably. But, I do get frustrated with my inability to constantly be holy and perfect -- especially when He is just so good to me.

These past two weeks have been amazing! We've been running our big "friends and family" sale at Sears. Usually it's a great time to make money, because our prices are so low. However, sometimes the sale is a bust. Anyway, this last two weeks, I've sold 70% of my appointments. The average is 20%!! Unbelievable. God has absolutely been looking out for my every need.

I feel like my response to Him is not enough. And, of course, it never will be. So, again, I rest in His grace. God is soooo good. And, I don't deserve it.

I am so helplessly dependent on God for my physical needs. Like a teenager who can't wait to grow up, sometimes, I want to hurry past this financially dependent stage. But, it's right here -- in the center of his protection and care and grace -- that I come to know his personal attention to me. Who else knows exactly what I need and when I need it? How much more loved and cared for does it really get? What better reminder of his care for me could I possibly want?

It is now that He is resetting the foundation for His personal, direct care for me in the small things. When bigger issues come around, these touchstones will serve as a reminder that I am ALWAYS in the center of His love.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The wastefulness of grace

Some people need to get their lives under control -- I need to let go a little bit. I am so concerned that I might not become the person that I think I should be -- that I am too afraid to let my real self develop. That somehow my life will pass me by -- and that I'm already behind this self-imposed idea of "where I should be". I am constantly trying to control the direction of my life to my own detriment.

As my counselor says, "how is that working for you?"

Needless to say, not very well. There is this idea in my head that if I am not measured -- if I don't control every moment, I'll waste my time/life. And, yet, I am learning that when I allow God to control, He teaches me things in the moment -- and allows me to almost physically see real change taking place in my life.

I know that I am weak and wicked. Why is it so difficult to relax and release control to a perfect God?

I was at my counselor's the other day and she was telling me about this book called The Shack. Apparently, the writing is weak, but the story is profound. In his biography the author says he's living in the northwest in the "wastefulness of grace."

That, to me, is an oxymoron and a luxury. I hate wastefulness. I love grace. But, together they create a deep and important truth -- that God POURS out his love on us. He doesn't dole out grace in neat, measured sugary sweet packages. He recklessly, wildly, mercifully, unreservedly showers his love on us.

I live for those quiet, completely abandoned, precious moments when I am truly present enough to bathe in the luxury of His love.

O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne!

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, love of every love the best!
’Tis an ocean full of blessing, ’tis a haven giving rest!
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heaven of heavens to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

Monday, August 11, 2008


"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? if you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" -- Matthew 7:9-11

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beer and cheese

It's good to be back among the living. Without going into the gory details, I had a violent bout with the flu on Sunday night that I really thought was going to kill me. I know that I am loved, because I received an unusual number of phone calls on Monday from people who didn't know I was sick. I scared a few of them when I answered the phone -- I was really sick.

A good friend rescued me by insisting that a trip to the doctor Monday night -- and not Tuesday morning was the best remedy -- and the surest way to avoid dehydration. It was good advice. A simple trip to the urgent care -- complete with an IV drip and a nausea shot -- rescued me from my "death bed". A few bowls of chicken noodle soup later along with several ounces of Powerade and I'm almost ready to go back to work.

During that time, I also lost my cell phone -- my only connection with the rest of my world -- at the grocery store. Since I thought it was stolen, I also lost several hours of what would've been needed rest.

By the time I found my phone and called all my worried loved ones to tell them I was on the mend and had a connection to civilization, I was ready for another nap.

Fortunately, I only had one appointment today, so I had time to rest and get some things done. During that time, I talked to my sister, who asked a question I suppose many other people have asked themselves, "Why are you still in Wisconsin?"

Good question. There are days when I'm not sure I know the answer. On the other hand, I can come up with many good reasons why I'm not ready to leave.

At the time the divorce finalized and my house sold, I was not in any emotional condition to just move without purpose. I definitely didn't want the stress of a job change. I definitely didn't want to move to a completely foreign place where I only knew a few people. I felt completely overwhelmed at the idea of starting my life over. The truth is, as much as I haven't ever really felt at home in Wisconsin, I've been here longer than I've been anywhere -- short of my K-12 years in Columbus, Ind.

Wisconsin feels foreign to my friends and family, but I have as many friends here that I actually do things with that I would have anywhere I would move to. And, for that reason, it feels safe. I don't have to deal with having to heal in front of anyone -- it hasn't been pretty. I don't have to start a new job, develop new friendships or reestablish old friendships all at one time.

I also told myself that no matter where I "land" I want to leave my emotional baggage here. I want to lose the weight I gained while I have been here. I want to be free of the bad emotional habits I developed in my marriage. And, I want to rediscover who I really am.

Since the divorce, I have lost nearly half the weight I gained. I am working with my counselor on a regular basis to identify and reverse my bad habits. And, I am rediscovering what I like and don't like about myself -- and where I want to go.

This rediscovery phase is so important because my natural tendency is to be a chameleon -- to blend into the lives of the people I love and care about. While I am a strong leader, I also morph into a support role. This can be a strength -- but taken to an extreme, I lose my identity in the process. And, that is not healthy.

One my biggest weaknesses is that I always worry about what other people think. I don't trust myself to heal properly and honestly if I'm constantly wondering how other people are responding to the crazy cycle they call the "healing process" -- for me it's more like watch the crazy lady go through every emotion in an hour -- repeat and rinse.

This may be hard to understand, but I don't feel strong enough to live near my family or close friends without completely losing myself in them. If I have a second chance at figuring out who I am, then now is the time to do that. Do I need a support network, yes! But, the fact is, I get lots of support. I have lots of people who love me and care about me and look after me -- locally and nationally. Contrary to popular belief, Wisconsin is not a remote island, devoid of human care and concern. Quite the contrary. I am so blessed. And, yet, I know that no one can walk through this fire for me.

That doesn't mean that I can't or won't accept help. I need lots of it! But, it does mean that I pick and choose the help I can accept to continue to move forward in the healing process -- and identify the help that will only weaken that end. It does not mean that I always choose wisely. But, God is good and wise and strong. He restores me gently.