Thursday, March 31, 2011

How Does God Speak?

I know that blogging twice a day breaks some sort of blogging protocol. I know there are all sorts of blogging rules I break if you want to get noticed. Let's be honest part of you (and me) does. I would love it if someone happened upon my blog and randomly offered me a book deal. I would love it a lot. Of course it would probably involve deadlines, which if you read my last post you know I really suck at. I also think I am a little late in the game for have a blog and get a book a deal, then a movie deal. Then a following. It isn't happening now. Publishing has moved past that.

So I am not concerned. Here it is my second blog post for the day. In all it's protocol breaking, sloppy blogging, misspelled and grammatical nightmare glory!

I have been reading.

A Lot.

I finished 3 books in just under 10 days.

This is not normal for me.

It took me a year to read Anna Karenina.

I renew my library books several times. Usually because I take out 3 at a time.

I am a slow reader.

In my defense I usually read some heady stuff. I rarely pick up fiction although I do like it. I just usually find myself more interested in something else.

All that being said. I find myself once again resonating with the ideas in these books. I like how they are presented. However there is a part of me that feels like for me there is still something missing somewhere. Not in the books but in me. Like I still haven't quite found my niche in the Christian community. I really don't have much more to say about that, other than I take comfort in knowing that God is in it. I suspect that all this praying I have been doing for clarity in call may have lead to God telling me something in this reading. I am just not sure what yet.



It's March 31st. Today was my personal deadline for getting the blasted Documentary done. It didn't happen. There is no way it will be done by the end of the day. Hopefully sometime soon-ish though. There is not one person in this world that wants this crap done more than I do. I want to put it to bed. I want to say here it is. I am done. I will never ever under any circumstance agree to do something like this again. The idea of being a one woman production crew was a stupid one in the first place. While I do have Paul who does what he can, I am the one who needs to get shit done. I wanted to make a documentary for a long time, it's just that when you are producing for someone else, the ideas, the stories aren't yours. You have to try to translate it into something on the screen. This is where someone who has been editing for other people would have been handy. I have only edited my own projects. It's hard to translate someone's ideas into something on the screen, with no guide other than a few conversations. It's like writing the biography of a person you have never met and lived a pretty normal life. There isn't much information to go on if there is no historical record of the person. Add to that trying a few times to make shorter versions and they are disappointing. It's like trying to meet a standard but you don't know what the standard is. At the end of the day you can't be in someone's head. You can't see their vision. All you have is your own and the hope that when it is finally complete it is good enough.

Rant Complete.

Today I am grateful for... it's hard to say... maybe the ability to feel even if it is frustration.
May you be blessed today by the lack of deadlines.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Extreme Couponing

So lately there is this phenomenon of extreme couponing sweeping the nation. It is gaining a lot of public attention now, but it started awhile ago. At least a few years ago. There is a show coming out on TLC about it. I am interested in this because I like to save a buck where I can. I used coupons a lot in stores that e-mail or mail them to you.

Last week I was behind such a person in Target. She warned me that she had a ton of coupons and I might want to switch lines. I did not however, I couldn't let my inner sociologist miss this chance to learn. I also didn't think she meant she had a coupon or two for every single item she was buying. So we struck up a conversation. I learned about where to get the coupons, how she keeps organized, matching a coupon up with a sales flyer or gets them doubled. It wasn't a ton of new information for me.

I have never gotten into the coupon thing. I use some here and there. However I always say you aren't saving anything if you are buying stuff you wouldn't have bought with out the coupon.

Then it hit me why this strategy doesn't work for me. It is predominately a grocery thing. People save money on name brand things like Cheerios and Oreos. The thing is the way I prepare our meals I used mostly whole foods. I buy very little that comes in a package. How often do you get a coupon for fresh broccoli or chicken or cheese? I do buy some prepared foods but not many. Maybe that is why super couponing hasn't worked for me. I know you can save a bundle on things like toiletries and household cleaning products. I haven't been able to find those coupons.

If you are a super coupon mom... good for you. I don't think it's for me. I saw an interview that said someone could spend as many as 6 hours getting ready for a shopping trip. I barely have the hour free to shop let alone do that much prep work.

May you be blessed today with making healthy choices for your family.
I am grateful for my little lady today.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happily Ever After

So nothing has changed, I am still stressed out. Tonight there is a realtor coming to look at the house. I know I am going to hear it after that. Bracing. I am cleaning out my entire life. The house isn't going to look good.

I think lately what I really need to do is pray. I need prayer. However I can't seem to find the words. I also lack the desire, motivation or something to pray. This should probably be my blog topic of choice today but it isn't.

This morning I took a solo shopping trip with La Bebe. I know that moms do this all the time with children much younger than mine. However, I just recently mastered this skill. I really think it was the purchase of a new shopping cart cover which actually fits the carts. Before that I always put her in the stroller.

Disney's Tangled released on DVD today. I had a coupon for it and it was on sale so I picked it up. Of course she only took a ten minute nap on the way to the store so she was out of her mind when we got home. After lunch I gave up on getting things done and popped our new video in the dvd player. I haven't watched a new Disney movie in a long time. We watched half of it together before she finally gave in and took a nap. I watched the end on my own. I really enjoyed it. I forgot how much I like Disney movies.

Now I get they aren't realistic, I am after all grown up and married and all that. I haven't discovered that I am a lost Princess, that the Beast I am in love with is actually a handsome Prince, I have not ridden a magic carpet, bitten a poison apple, fallen in love with a prince. Not one story from a Disney movie has ever come true in my life. Some people will insist that happily ever after is a farce. I generally agree, there is no way you are going to be happy every single day the rest of your life. However, I am inclined to say that I think you make the choice. You decide how happy you are. If you sit around waiting on Prince Charming, you might be pretty miserable. If you have found Prince Charming, he won't always be well, Charming. He will probably fart way too much and leave his smelly laundry next to the bed until you empty the hamper and then refill it with his personal stash of secret laundry. He will likely disappoint you at some point. Chances are he won't ride up to you at sunset on a horse. That's all OK though, because that is life, real life.

I used to have a friend. He was the male version of the hopeless romantic. He might have even fancied himself to be prince charming a time or two. We used to banter for hours about movies like Tangled. What they were about if they were realistic. He would call me out on my closet hopeless romantic. I would call him out on how he wasn't royalty. It was great fun. I have kind of run the gamut on the princess movies. I have loved them and I have hated them. I have hated them because I felt like they set you up for disappointment in real life. I have loved them because for the hour or two you are watching them, you are lost in a fairy tale where true love falls out of a tree in the form of prince charming. It helps you escape reality for a few minutes.

I came to the conclusion today, that I am going to let my baby girl love these movies. I will let her get the princess make over in Disney World. I won't however let her believe she is actually a princess past the age of 10 anyway. That will set her up for sheer failure. I am sure at that point she will think she is the lost princess! Balance, I think that is what it's all about.

Today I am so grateful I have a little girl to watch princess movies with. It is one of my most hidden and girlie-est parts.

May you be blessed in sharing something hidden about yourself, with someone you love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Melt Down

It is nearly two in the afternoon. Baby Girl has been sleeping for a little over an hour. This means I have an hour if I am lucky to get a whole lot of crap done. Then there is the stuff that I can't get done until she wakes up, like food shopping and dog walking. I have been going nonstop since I woke up this morning. I want to settle into the chair and just relax. While I am currently in a chair, I am working from it. I wanted to take a few minutes to get some writing in, since I try to daily write something of purpose.

I am so stressed out lately. There is just a lot going on and a lot of deadlines. The two biggest tasks at hand are prepping for the move and getting this blasted documentary done. We have to work on these things after Lilia is in bed. Usually by the time she gets to bed we are so freaking tired we have no energy left. This week though we have some serious tasks ahead so we will be staying up late and getting up early and trying to survive.

Add to my plate that tomorrow my mother has a realtor coming to asses the house. So I have to have it some what decent at 5pm tomorrow. It is decent now, but that is over 24 hours away and with a toddler impossible to maintain. I spent the morning cleaning up all of yesterday's messes. Every time I see the house is a disaster again my breath catches in my throat and I feel the tears coming. I feel like I clean up messes for no less than 18 hours a day. I have so much other stuff to get done. When I am not cleaning up a mess I am spending time cleaning up a half mess. Let me define, this is when Paul helps with something. So let's say he fed the baby. She is clean and fed but the high chair tray is a wreck, there is dried up cheese in the high chair and somewhere there is a bib thrown and a wipe.

I also took on planning a party for someone else to bring in a little extra cash. We need every penny of extra cash we can get to make this move work so neither of us is in a position to turn down work.

I have cried twice in the past two weeks. This is totally abnormal for me.

My left index finger is messed up. It hurts no matter what I do for the past week. I am also starting to physically feel the stress. The tension in my back, the random sweating and the heart palpitations.

So all of this to say, I am going to have a major melt down soon. I am not sure when but I can tell you I will probably be somewhere awkward like church or Target.

The good news is however, that we may have found a way for Paul to work and I to be in school and avoid childcare cost all together for the first 6 months to a year. This is an incredible relief.

Today I am grateful for the little things that keep me going.
May you be blessed by some small happy thing today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Morning

I couldn't sleep last night. I was up from 4-6:30. I woke up again at about 8:15, I was supposed to be somewhere at 8:30. So I didn't go. There was no way I could have showered and dressed and got there even with soaking wet hair.

So I am officially failing miserably at all those Lenten goals. I am behind on my blogs and devotionals. I missed both weekend activities because I over slept. I drank soda all day yesterday while gutting our back porch.

I also learned that we have considerably less money in our bank account than I thought. This massively complicates my life. It was a simple misunderstanding but shocking and unnerving. I need to change some serious plans.

My house looks like a tornado went through it, save the back porch which we polished nicely yesterday.

Only the back porch though mind you, we did not get to part of the garage or the office.

I had crazier than average dreams last night, which probably explains most of my sleeping issues.

I need to go buy three gifts with my less than stellar bank account today.

I think I am skipping church all together.

In much happier news, our dear friend gave birth to a lovely little boy this morning. That is worth a smile!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Pregnancy Brain Lie

If you are like me, when you found out you were expecting your first child, you were mildly euphoric amid all the other emotions that come with the positive pregnancy test. What you didn't know that while those same hormones that were making you so very happy, sad, sleepy, sick, and anything else pregnancy brings; they were also eating away at your brain slowly liquifying it and sending it straight to your placenta.

Let's use the analogy of an egg. The shell is a precious membrane that holds all your brains in and together in a way that functions. Those hormones crack open the egg and the liquid inside comes out and then your body uses an electric egg beater on the whip setting to mix them all up and send them down into you placenta. Leaving you a very small bit just to run your body enough to keep you and the baby alive. You start to loose things and forget things and get clumsy and then you read about pregnancy or placenta brain. You read about how afterwards your brain will come back to normal because full blood flow will return to your brain.

I am here to tell you it is all lies. It doesn't return. It makes sense though. All those liquified brains going back into a shell that was broken into pieces and glued back together. Of course it isn't going to work right. Not to mention I think the kid gets some of the original brain matter.

What brings this rant on you ask? Well last night I was watching the local news when I tease for World News Tonight came one. I saw something and said oh I need to see that. So I sat here and watched the whole show not remembering what it was that I was waiting to see in the first place. Needless to say nothing caught my attention in the full 30 minutes enough to justify delaying the making of dinner further. I got incredibly frustrated because I couldn't remember what I was waiting to see.

To some this might seem like the everyday. To me it feels like early onset dementia. Before I had this love named Lilia, my head was different. I could go to the store and forget my shopping list, visualize it and get every single item on it. I always kept lists as references. Now they are like air itself. I am useless with out them. I also always kept a calendar merely for reference of when I was going to be places. This served more as a reminder for those I lived with to figure out where I was. Now I have no less than 4 calendars and I am lucky if all four of them together have every date and time I need to be somewhere on them. I could recall charts in my head when test taking. I could see bits of books I found interesting. I could remember a situation in my head with great detail like it was yesterday. Now I am lucky if I can remember what store I was just in and why I was there. Forget it if I saw something interesting that inspired an idea for later.

I guess I will take solace in the fact that at least my long term hasn't been affected yet. I am terrified to ever have another child and loose more of my head. This is why they tell you to finish your education before you have kids. Not because of the work load and time constraints. It's because you loose the ability to think and remember.

I used to be a super multitasker I could do up to 10 things at once. Now I am lucky if I can type and listen to a song with out starting to type the lyrics.

In the end I guess I just feel like my brain is clogged.

I am very frustrated.

I hope someone out there has had or is having this same experience. Other wise I am convinced it's dementia.

Today I am grateful for the few things I can remember.
May you be blessed with some memory making today.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I have no great reflection for you today. I have had two prominent thoughts today. The first is what do I do in my sleep to make my index finger hurt in the morning this week? The second is I have been following two blog series for lent. If I miss a day or two do I go back and make up lost time or do I just pick up on that day?

Now I bet you are sorry you came to read this!

May you be blessed today!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Was Always Mine

Lately I find myself wandering off in thought. What I think about is about as diverse as naturally occurring colors in the universe. I started reading Rob Bell's Love Wins. This book created so much "controversy" that Rob Bell was trending on twitter and even was interviewed on Good Morning America. I don't really see the controversy. I tend to agree with his view so far. The thing is though when people publish books that I don't believe in. I don't get all crazy and blog about it. I don't call the author names. I don't set the blog-o-sphere, twitter, facebook and the internet in general afire with slander and hate. I generally ignore it or if it catches my attention I read it. You never know what you might learn.

The thing that really catches me though is that people are so sure that Rob Bell is wrong and they are right! This is so incomprehensible for me. I think at least once a day I doubt something I believe. I think about sometimes, what if I am wrong, what if I missed the message? I think this is pretty normal and healthy. It kind of keeps my ego in check. It keeps me focused on the things that matter, like faith and not on individual beliefs.

I have for awhile now too been wondering why it was that I understood the emerging church movement but never really jumped in and joined the conversation. I used to think it was because I was insecure and was afraid to raise my voice. The truth is though, that I don't have anything to add. Not only that I would say 95% of the new thinking that is happening was already happening in my head before it became a movement. Not that I have any answers or that I have thought much about every single topic. Somethings are not of significance for me.

Then it hit me over the weekend why my journey has been so different and not disrupted by the shift in thinking: the bible has always been my own. I have always had my own interpretation of the bible as I read it. I wasn't taught the bible or Christian ideas and ideals. I just had a bible and I read it and as I got older I guessed at what it meant. Don't get me wrong it doesn't mean I just go around with my own interpretation. I have had many teachers along the way. I have read books that have helped to shape my opinions. I have had a few mentors. I have even had some folks in my life who tried to get me to believe the only truth which was believing in the bible the way they did. That was when my questions about Jesus and the bible started in the first place. I had been here reading these things on my own and all I could think was, really I didn't get that at all.

So I think my lack of Christian Education as a child has actually helped me! I learned early on to interpret what I read. It wasn't spoon fed to me. No one told me what I had to believe about it. S

While I fully support this movement in thinking and the continued movement in thinking. I think this is why I have always felt a little out of sync with it.

Now the question that remains is how and what do I teach my daughter? Is it possible to teach her about the bible and to still empower her to make it her own? To ask questions and reject the pat answers?

I sure hope so!

Today I am grateful that I wasn't taught anything about the bible until I went searching.
May you be blessed with some small gratitude of your own!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Time + Grace = Healing

In 2006 some really exciting things happened. I graduated college. I was accepted to Princeton Seminary. I started Princeton Seminary. I was an inquirer with my Presbytery. The only thing there that is still true is I still have my BA. It's odd because it I can remember the unwinding of all my plans as if it were yesterday, yet it has been 5 years. I will spare you the could-a would-a should-a's. They are insignificant to me at this point. In 2006 some really devastatingly disappointing things happened. I think that sums it up.

I was left with so many questions and no one had the answers for me. I think some people might have even become insanely frustrated with me and my NEED for answers. I was hurting so badly. Feeling rejected by the places I held most dear. I was lost. I didn't understand God's call any longer. I even thought for a while I was right, why would God pick me? I was silly to think that God would choose me. So off I went searching again. Where was the meaning in this life?

Tonight I can tell you that I am healed or maybe a better way of putting it is my healing has really come a long way. The things that happened then really hurt me at my core. I felt at times as if people were telling me I didn't know what God meant. I was insecure in a lot of ways. Tonight though I went to a Presbytery meeting, as an observer, no vote, yes I am aware that this is absolutely insane, at times like self torture. In my case though it helped me to see just how far I have come. I didn't have any bad feelings. I didn't feel jaded. Dare I say I might have even for a moment felt hopeful?

I noticed in myself a growth I hadn't seen before. Maybe it was because I was there willingly and not by sheer obligation. I feel like I have really healed from most of those hurts. The future is filled with hope. I sat there thinking if I seek ordination again, I will do it here, with my home church and in this Presbytery. I think ultimately that this will make it more difficult because people at least a few will know my history and won't want to let me forget it. History though isn't to be forgotten, it is to be learned from. My point though is enough time has passed that I feel like I could do this again, here. That was a huge block before.

I don't know what the future holds. I don't know where God will lead next but I know that God is leading. I know that God is in it. I fear sometimes that my call in life will be back here in NJ in parish ministry. If it is, then I guess I will see that at some point in the future.

In the end I think I am leaning more towards seeking ordination, again. However I also think that maybe this time around I will do it on my own terms meaning I can wait to do it until I am ready. The same goes for Hebrew!

I am amazed how time, coupled with grace is this situation has proven to be so very healing for me. 3 years ago I didn't believe this day would come.

Which is it?

I was thinking about social networking sites like twitter and facebook yesterday as I cleared out my friends list on facebook. It was nothing personal but if we have no interaction we don't need to be friends. I shaved off nearly 75 people. There were more than could have gone but either they are related or they are a former student.

Anyhow if you think about it, how many times have you sat there reading someone's twitter feed or facebook and never really had any real interaction with them. I follow someone on twitter whose blog I read regularly. They encourage on their blog to connect with them via social media. I regularly see where they ate lunch, when they are vacationing and even clicked a link to a picture which contained their address. It pretty much puts you in a place where you could easily stalk someone or be stalked by someone. Fortunately in this situation, I the reader, has no desire to stalk this or any person.

That led me to two more thoughts.
1. Twitter and Facebook are like a voyeurs dream.
2. I wonder if on the other hand they serve to build egos?

Even this very blog could be serve as either. I write with the intention of my words being read. I assume that someone is caring enough to read them. On the other hand you could be some sort of creep who just likes to read about random peoples lives. I have no idea who my readership is. This is why I don't share overly personal details on here or any social networking for that matter.

I am not all anti social networking. I actually think it is an amazing tool IF used with care.

Think about it though do we really delude ourselves by thinking people care about every thought we have crammed into 140 characters? Can we even have a profound expression in that little space?

What do you think? Have you ever spent time creeping on twitter or facebook? Do you ever tweet or post status messages just to get a reply? Does this fuel our it's all about me culture?

Monday, March 21, 2011


Moving makes the people you are close to get all weird, when they aren't asking questions. I don't know what it is about moving that makes relationships awkward, but I have noticed recently that many, not all, relationships that used to be stable and enjoyable and comfortable are now very awkward. If I talk about the pending move, some folks just clam up on me. Other people can't make eye contact with me no matter what the conversation. Maybe I am just paranoid. Maybe the ones that can't make eye contact are sleeping with my husband or embezzling my millions, no thousands, no hundreds, no tens of dollars that's more like it?

I wish we could just have an awkward conversation about how the move has upset this person or that person so we can go on having a relationship as usually. I know that you might be asking why do you keep saying relationship, have you taken a lover? No not exactly unless school counts as a lover in that case I am whore. (Right, Tadd?) I am using that term because it describes many situations, family, friends, neighbors, church folk... you get the idea.

I just wish sometimes that rather than it being the elephant in the room, that someone would just say what they are thinking. I don't know why you are leaving. I am going to miss you. How could you leave me when you said you would always be there for me? As you can see things not being said puts my imagination into over drive! It would be much better for all involved to just say what they need to say. I seem a little cocky if I come over to you and say hey let's talk about me moving I know I am an important part of your life and you must be devastated.

I know for many people what I am doing is unimaginable. They couldn't imagine picking up and leaving. That's alright by me and just wish they would express the conflicting opinion so we can move forward. I wish they would just come out and ask any questions they have. I know some people want to ask other things. Not the things I blogged about last week.

The long and short of it is for some people, certainly not all, it seems my move is stirring up their junk. Dare I say making them ask where their lives are headed? Is that too vain? It is my wish that everyone I love would regularly ask where am I going anyway?

This has made many a social situation very awkward lately.

While it won't change my mind, I wish some one any one had the balls to stand up and say what they are thinking.

I get the feeling sometimes, I suppose this is likely just my own paranoia, that when I leave the room people are whispering can you believe what they are doing? That poor baby of theirs? She should give it up already! Paul doesn't have a job yet.

Either that or I have underwear static clung to my back again, like in the sixth grade, when no one told me until lunch. Although I doubt everything I wear has underwear stuck to it. I don't think I have that many pairs of underwear!

It's all good, I still love everyone just the same. I want to say that I would just tell it like it is, lest you should doubt if the tables were turned that I would hold back!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Moving Questions

It seems to me that when you are moving to some place relatively far away it opens you up for nearly as many questions and as much unsolicited advice as when you are pregnant! So you announce your pregnancy and it starts, you need to breastfeed, sleep now while you can, let your baby cry it out, the list goes on. If you have ever been pregnant or had a new little baby in your life you know exactly what I mean. I have found with moving to Louisville from New Jersey it is pretty much the same. So in an effort to laugh a little I have constructed a little list of common questions, what they mean and how I would like to answer them.

You are moving?

Where are you going?

Yes that would be the place. Sometimes Kentucky is followed by jokes about teeth, banjos, overalls and goats. Which sometimes are funny and at times annoying and generalizing. I must say New Jersey dwellers have way more of a superiority complex than I ever knew. Also I will take a moment to point out, that while visiting, we saw not one of the stereo types.

Have you ever been there?
Yes for three days. We are still taking the risk!

This one has many variations. Why Louisville? What the hell is in Louisville? Why the hell would you want to go there? Sorry it seems "why the hell" is just a standard part of NJ speak. Really Kentucky?

What they really mean here is have you thought this through? No one actually says that though. The answer to that question is yes, we have been thinking and PRAYING about this for nearly a year.

Well, I can finish my education there. Oh and I think we might want to learn to play the Banjo. Why the hell would you want to stay in overpriced, over crowded NJ?

More school?
Yes. If I just go to school my whole life I never have to grow up and it will fuel my Peter Pan complex. Isn't that amazing? I know for some older generations the idea that I am married AND have a child eliminates me from going to any more school. Good thing I am not part of that generation. If you really must know the truth, my BA was just a step along the way I need my Master's Degree to make it worth anything because of the nature of the study of religion. Also, and I know this is hard for a lot of people I really believe that this pursuit of higher education is a part of God's call on my life. I can't answer like that because you will freak out and think I am in a cult.

Aren't there schools here?
Meaning, are you sure you want to leave?
Yes there are. They are much more expensive and lack the specialization I need. Also we have wanted to leave NJ again for the past ten years. We will take the opportunity to get out now. We seriously can't afford to live here.

Where will you live?
Again the meaning here is, have you thought this through. We will live in a cardboard box a large one that will fit us. In bad weather we will live under a bridge for more shelter. Kentucky has some really nice bridges.

What will you do with the dog?
Really is this any of your business? Well she's getting old so I think we will skin her and make her into a rug. Listen now I know that for some people when they get tired of their pets they give them away. We have a marriage like commitment to our animals. We are in it for the long haul. We won't give them up. We call them our furry babies. The only animals we have ever given away were birds, twice I might add, so we won't have birds again. That being said Trinity has been with us for 10 years and moved with us every time. We will make room for her in our cardboard box!

Are you taking the cat?
Why do you care,do you secretly want my cat? I didn't go out looking for a cat. However, I have cared for, fed and loved DJ since 2007. He is a part of our family and we will make room for him in the box as well. I just want you to know how incredibly absurd it is to me that anyone thinks we wouldn't take our furry babies. There are places you can live with them and we will seek those places out.

What will you do with the baby?
I am not sure of the meaning under this one. I am hoping it isn't you crappy selfish mother. Maybe it is another have you thought this through. Well we have had her for almost 2 years now, I think we will give her up for adoption. We are tired of her anyway. No really, what does this question mean? Of course we will take her with us we made room in the box for everyone else! We may have to find some childcare to cover a few hours a week when we both need to be out. That's all. I can tell you what I won't do with the baby and that's put her in daycare. School yes, daycare is still a no.

Aren't you going to miss everyone? Your Family?
This really means how can you leave me. Again this isn't your business. However, yes I will miss lots of wonderful people. Especially but not limited to my nieces and nephews. I don't see my family all that much because we are all grown and busy and half of us live in other states. So not much is changing. I don't see my friends that often either as most of them live in other states. Think of all the new friends we have yet to make. I will miss my church family too. We have facebook and skype and a million other ways to keep in touch. Let's be honest we also have cars, buses, trains and planes. Travel in the US is doable, so we can visit and you can visit too.

Are Paul and the baby going with you?
Nope. I am leaving them all behind for the next three years and living like a single woman, while Paul works from home and raises the baby. Then when I am done I will come back and just warp right back into family mode and there will be no resentment at all.

What will Paul do for work? (Why does this matter to you? We already told you we are living in a box. Rent is cheap so are utilities.)
Well I guess we should come clean. Paul has been taking some side jobs already as a pole dancer and occasionally a male prostitute. It isn't glamorous work, he feels dirty and shameful. He thinks God might smote him at any minute. However the money is fantastic so he is going to open his own business, maybe he can pimp out his male friends.

What will your Mom do with the house?
Set it on fire she is tired of it and way too lazy to sell it. Why don't you ask my mother? It's her house!

What will you do with your furniture?
Um, I am tempted to ask here like with the cat, why do you want some of it? Well some of our furniture we are taking with us. Some of it we will sell before we go. Recently Paul mentioned that we weren't taking the couch or chairs we have. We would be taking just our futon. I should mention that when I say we have a couch and chairs, that we essentially garbage picked them off of family who was going to toss them and then artfully covered the mismatched patterns with large sheets from IKEA. So it's not like we have a high end living room set. When Paul said this the response was where will you sit? Um you can sit and actually lay and sleep on a futon. The box doesn't have a lot of room so we don't want to over stuff it.

Are you taking both cars?
Really seriously how is this your concern? I am going to say not likely. It would be more expensive to move them both out there. We will be placing our box on campus. I won't need a car as much since I can walk to what I need. If we find we need a second car we will buy a beater out there.

Believe it or not we have really thought this through. Yes we are nervous and scared. Yes we will miss people terribly. We might even miss some places. It's true that we don't really know anyone out there yet. I can tell you people have been coming up to me in church left and right because they have family near there. I also met a ton of staff when I visited last year. We have started a network to get us started. Like I said early we have prayed about this. God's call for me is very strong and doesn't let up. I can't ignore it any longer and let's be honest I have for a long time. That is all part one.

Part two is I (we) have to make decisions that are best for our family and no one else. Yes the transition will be hard. However we are teaching our daughter too, that being a mother doesn't mean your life stops, that it's never too late to seek out education and that sometimes even if scary you have to take some risks. I think this one is really important, your family will still love you and you can still love them even from far away. This decision will ultimately give her a better life. It will open the doors to many experiences. I am hoping it teaches her to be a well rounded woman too. It will also allow us to increase our income a little and make life more comfortable. We might even finally be able to give what we would like to many wonderful charitable causes in the end.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Me Me Me

Sometimes I just want to scream it's about me and what I want to do today. It seems that even when I have days off or social plans it ends up never being about what I needed or wanted. I find this highly frustrating.

I really can't go into the details here because the whole thought process encompasses nearly everyone I know.

I took a risk recently and it didn't turn out well. I was ok with that. Taking risks you have to be. It made a situation a little awkward but it was fine. I took said risk on behalf of someone else, to make them more comfortable. So afterward I find out it was completely unnecessary! I just want to scream it would have been nice if you told me that earlier.

Then on another note. I changed plans to accommodate someone else this weekend. It was fair. Now though I have an incredible opportunity to meet some people I really look up to and respect and it is going to have to be rushed. Granted I didn't know about this opportunity until I changed my plans.

So there I said it, sometimes I want it to be about me and what I want.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time Change

This time change is killing me. I keep looking at the clock going really it's that time already? I guess I didn't realize how much my perception of time comes from the light that comes in my windows! I feel like time is going by faster than I can handle. Maybe it is because all of the prep work that is going into the move. Which honestly I had a really good handle on and then it became I just made a whole lot of lists and found a whole bunch of information. I think I need to start packing boxes of the stuff I don't use. Maybe then I will feel better. Maybe I need to clear a spot in one of the garage bays for the yard sale pile that could work too. Anyway you look at it I feel like I am running out of time.

In better news we have set all of our pre-move travel dates. Woo Hoo!

It's going to be a great summer!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Broken and Blessed

Today as I sat in church and prayed for sweet Mirembe, I listened to other prayers (prayer requests). My heart broke also for Molly a little girl born with out a face who is having a face surgically made over the course of many surgeries. These were just a few that stood out. There were more obvious things too like the people of Japan.

I hope the day never comes where I take for granted the health of my baby girl. I hope I never stop thanking God for her. Even on my worst day so far I have been able to remember what a blessing she is. I hope that never changes. I hope a moment never goes by where somewhere in my soul I am not thanking God for her.

It seems to me that we are so broken as a people and yet so blessed. For every sick child we prayed for, there were 50 well ones we didn't pray for.

Would you be so kind as to pray for Mirembe and Molly? Or any other child who is fighting an illness? If you have healthy kids take minute to hold them closer tonight and count your blessings or lucky stars that your child is safe and well. If you are reading this and you are the parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, cousin, friend or any title you choose of a sick child. Know that you are on my heart. I don't have to tell you to hold your babies tight tonight because you already are.

Cancer is a scary word. Miracle is one that stirs up debate for many. I can tell you though first hand miracles happen. Healing does happen be it cancer or anything else. Never loose hope.

May you all know love and peace no matter what brings you here.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I stated early this week that my goal this Lent was to live the questions. So I should probably share some of that here. Mostly because writing is therapeutic for me but also because I invited you along on this journey and you can't take it with me if I don't let you in. In making it a point to spend more quiet moments with God, brief as they may be, it seems that certain parts of my call to serve are coming into clearer focus.

It seems that no matter how much I try to avoid it, no matter how many alternate routes I take, God has other plans, the plans I already knew and tried and left. I am called to serve God. Five years ago I would have told you exactly how I would have served God. I was going to Princeton Seminary, while seeking ordination and seeking a double degree, a M. Div and a MA in Youth Ministry. Aside from the prestige that comes with the school's name the MA was probably the biggest draw for me. While I needed the M.Div for ordination, I lived and breathed Youth Ministry. A series of events happened and I left the ordination process out of sheer frustration. Then I left seminary. I spent the past four years or so searching for what was next. All along though the answer was already there. I would dust myself off and start school again at a different school. I would be careful to ask better questions this time around. I would make sure a school was the right fit for me. This fall I did just that. I found the school that was the right fit for me. Since gaining admission in December our lives have pretty much focused on moving half way across the country in late summer. Things are slowly falling into place.

While I know that I am called to serve, I have no cut and dry plan as to where. I think this is a better posture for me, certainly a more difficult one. If I were to cling to one plan, I might see other opportunities. I might also self destruct if that plan didn't work out. See my past for reference. I have learned from those moments and days for which I am grateful. Even if at times I wish I saw it sooner. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am mighty nervous about starting school again. I am out of practice. I have been on hiatus for 4 years which I might add is the longest break in my education, even with all the school hopping and plans changing. I also know that the moment I get frustrated I will be tempted to quit and say I got it wrong again. Although I can't do that this time around.

As you can see this whole process brings a lot up for me. That's ok I have to deal with things as they come up and as I am ready. You might understand why I have been avoiding the last question that needs an answer, should I seek ordination? Again. This question is unnerving. As frustrating and disappointing as my Princeton experience was, my ordination process was worse. Here's the thing though, I think I need to seek ordination again. It just seems that it is a nagging part of my call. Even though I don't believe I need to be ordained to serve God. It also seems to be the more practical decision. It's more work, yes. It also in the end will open many doors. So it seems that I already know the answer right? Seek ordination. Deal with the grilling of why you left in the first place in a gracious way be sure not to use word combinations, like traditionalist ass, bitter soul etc etc etc. I could do that. I could start the process right now. I don't think I am ready. I am more ready than I was even a month ago. The thing is I want to do this on my terms. There is a part of me that wants to wait until after the first year of school. I want to be able to focus on my school work and not worry about exams and all that.

The flip side is if I start now, I get a church and a liaison that I have a strong relationship with. I know what to expect good and bad. I could start the process at another church when I move but that doesn't feel right. This church raised me. They should get the bragging rights to my call to ministry, because lets be honest when a church has a seminarian seeking ordination, it's a big deal. It is like a tangible way of showing that they have done their job. I don't know that I agree with that but I feel pretty confident in saying that's how it is. Of course until you screw up and leave school and stop seeking ordination. Then you are kind of like last years dress for awhile thrown to the side and forgotten about. I am happy to have been last years dress because it taught me a lot about life, relationships and even church politics. There is a small part of me that fears I will now be like the boy who cried wolf, yeah Becca we have heard this before. Yep mmmhmmm carry on. Dare I say that maybe all the pomp and circumstance I received as a send off the first time might have added pressure that I didn't see at the time. This time around I am keeping it quiet. People know I am leaving but I am not allowing it to be made into a big deal. Last time I did and my intentions were wrong in that. I liked the attention. This time though it's not going to happen. I want to leave quietly almost unnoticed.

I am not sure if any of this makes sense to you. I have this morning been able to say for the first time I know I should seek ordination. We are only a few days into Lent so maybe this is going to a very fruitful journey.

May you be Blessed today with a relaxing Saturday!

Friday, March 11, 2011


Today the events in Japan have reminded me how fragile life is. How little control we have over anything although we like to fool ourselves into thinking we are all powerful beings that can "control" nature.

Ash Wednesday's from dust you came and to dust you will return was a little to real for me on Wednesday as I wept for Mirembe. Today it is just too real, period. As death counts rise, there it is in my face, to dust you will return.

I pray today for the people of Japan. That they might find some moment of peace or comfort amidst this terrible tragedy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lenten Journey

Last year this blog started as part of my Lenten quest. To find gratitude in the every day. As part of that I gave up facebook for awhile. Which seems to be the in thing to do this year, I guess I was ahead of the curve, even if there are many resistors to this sort of thing out there. For me it was about facebook taking up too much of my time. It worked for me. I emerged with my heart a bit more open and my priorities revised.

This year I have taken on a different posture for Lent, it wasn't intentional at all, I just found myself longing yesterday for God. I found myself longing for a few quiet moments in which to write and pray and get my thoughts out of my head where they seem consuming. Something about putting them on paper helps me a lot. So I have spent a least a little while of the past few days having this what - am - I - going - to - give -up - for - Lent - in - order -to - make - space - for - God- to - fill - in - the - empty - spaces debate. I never really found anything other than using Lent to curb my soda addiction. Which I guess is an OK thing but I don't see how not drinking soda will bring me closer to God. I feel constantly lately like I am searching for something. I am not sure what it is I am searching for.

So today, a day late, I have decided that this Lent I am on a Journey to find what it is I am looking for. I plan on seeking out God and maybe ultimately that is what my soul is longing for but I am open to other possibilities. To do this I have kind of made my own plan of God focus for the next 39 days. It's a multi-part plan.

The first part is my personal journey. I have, through social networking, discovered both a blog series and a daily devotional on the web. So I will be taking a few moments each day to spend time in reading and reflection. Then it's on to find one song everyday that has some sort of God focus. I think I will try to find recommendations for this although I am not sure how. This will also involve blogging about the journey. So you my readers are coming with me on this journey. I am not sure what I will have to say but I will try to be as transparent as possible.

The second part of this journey is communal. I am not going to lie I was spending time yesterday debating which Lenten group/activity I would join in at church. One because I am searching and it is nice to have community. Two because I have been totally MIA at church lately for a variety of reasons. I have found something about myself though, when I struggle I step back away from church and community. That's stupid we are in it together aren't we? I don't want to live a repeat of my Princeton Days. I need to get it together before Louisville. So as I shared my grueling decision of Communal Centering Prayer or a Group Discussing "God Stuff" a dear friend said to me basically suck it up and drag your sorry butt to both, no it's too early excuses. Yep he was right. I was being whiny about the whole thing. So from this point forward my behind will be at church both weekend days by 8:30 am. It's only six weeks and it does give me two hours a week to focus on me (and God). So while I am full of questions, I am running to community not away from it. It's not comfortable for me. I suspect this means I will grow in the process.

The third part of this journey is like a little mini new year's resolution section. Basically going back to kicking my soda addiction, I need to make some better choices and now seems as good a time as any to start making them. Working out needs to get back into my regular schedule as after not being able to breathe I took a break and did that whole not starting it all back up again.

The last part of the journey is living the questions that are weighing me down. Some of them I can share here and others aren't appropriate for the blog so my journal will be my friend there. The looming question for which I need to live into the answer is whether or not I should seek ordination. Again. So you will probably be hearing a lot about that part of the questions. I seem to be in a constant state of questioning my call too. Then I get angry that I have ignored it for so long so maybe a little resolution there as well.

Maybe this is all too much but it really adds up to just a few hours a week.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Humble Broken Heart

If you follow me you know that this is Mirembe.

She was on my mind this morning because I haven't received an update in awhile. I guess my thoughts were prophetic in nature. I had told her story briefly in an e-mail. Minutes later I got an update in an e-mail that was totally unrelated. As I expected she isn't doing well. Her father tells us that she is weaker and weaker by the day. I of course am sitting in my comfortable American home sobbing quietly as to not disturb my beautiful healthy child. I want more than anything to hop a flight to Uganda and just hold her in my lap for a long time. Of course this isn't possible or practical. I hoped that one day my dear Lilia would meet my sweet Mirembe.

In case you are one of the three people I haven't told about Mirembe, let me tell you. In July of 2008 I traveled to Uganda where I met Mirembe. She had just been adopted by our friends with whom we were staying. Her biological parents abandoned her because of her Sickle Cell Anemia. Mirembe captured my heart the moment my eyes met hers. They held a wisdom and fear that was not common for a child of her age. I played with her a lot the week we spent together and on the last afternoon, she laughed as we played. Laughter that still echos in my head. She taught me how much love I was capable of. I came home from that trip knowing that I could love any child as my own, which was a huge personal milestone. Not a day goes by where I don't think of her. Her story has much more complexity but I don't have the energy to type it.

Days like today I wish I could hold her or grant some magic genie like miracle.

Mirembe has never been mine, but the love I feel tells a different story.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Rain

I am not a lover of the rain. I do like an occasional rainy day. Particularly when I can curl up under a blanket and chill out which is almost never, these days. Today isn't a rainy day. Neither was yesterday. However Sunday was. Sunday was a very busy day for me. Sunday night I found myself a bit over heated so I cracked the bedroom window before bed. I laid there listening to the rain for a really long time before I faded into dream land.

Last night I found myself for a moment wishing it was raining again so I could have the same.

May you be blessed by a little rain.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Yesterday I went to church for the first time in probably a month. It felt really good to be back. Probably for several reasons. The first of which I wasn't sick. I have found that for me there is something incredible comforting about church at times. Those few moments to disconnect from the world and rest your soul seem to be so life giving for me. If I were a manic depressive yesterday in church I would have been manic. I was happy, joyful and almost ready to have a Tom Cruise jump off the couch on Oprah moment. I was also quiet and open. It was just good.

I am so grateful for that time spent with fellow sojourners.
May you be blessed by some moment of truth today.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Official

This week we sent in our housing deposits along with all the housing paperwork. Next week I will be able to complete my financial aid paper work. It was starting to sink in just a little. Then while out running errands yesterday I passed a display of seeds. Something I would normally start growing in my kitchen window very soon. I started to look at them and then remembered I am not planting a garden this year because I won't be living here when it's time to harvest. Oh boy!

This has gone beyond sinking in. This is happening. This is official. This is REAL.

Those are some scary thoughts. They are also exciting. It is just a matter of when you catch me. Usually it's a mix. This week I have felt a lot of anxiety thinking about how much I have to do and second guessing my decision to go back to school at all. There is fear in those thoughts. Actually they are likely driven by the fear. However some of it is just plain overwhelming when I think of all that needs to get done.

It hasn't helped that our sweet Lilia is in a place where she can't be left alone for even a minute because she does crazy things. Our productivity level is cut in half.

Well here we are on this crazy adventure. I think this blog will be taking a turn towards many thoughts on moving and then probably settling in. I am glad you all are on the journey with me. Until we leave, even with all the hullabaloo of packing and prepping, I'm trying to live life pretty normally.

Today I am grateful for being able to honestly feel these feelings.
May you be blessed with some freedom of your own.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tired and Unmotivated

Good Morning World.

It's early in the morning here. I am watching the sun come up through the curtains. I went to bed last night at 7. I know that seems really early but I have been getting up at 5 which makes it just a little better. Anyhow, I was really beat. My baby love gave me such a hard time yesterday. I am a prisoner in my own home. I have to stay with her because she has reached an age where she thinks it is grand fun to climb up on the furniture and start jumping. While it is admittedly adorable it is also rather dangerous. So where I used to be able to gate her in and run around the house and get a few things done. Now after 8 am when Paul is working I am stuck in what ever room she is in. This makes it incredibly difficult to get anything done around the house. I think last night it just got to me. I was dealing with that all day while stressing about getting other stuff done, and my to do list keeps growing. I can't help it if every three days we have some sort of illness that slows me down.

I just want to catch up. So I have started getting out of bed at 5:30 to get my "morning work" done. A good portion of that is some quiet time for myself. Hence my writing at the moment. I need these quiet moments when no one is up. The problem I have run into though is now she sleeps so lightly if I try to do anything that is house work related I wake her up and there goes productivity.

Today I am going to have to tackle my building list of errands with her and it will not be fun. All those trips in and out of the car.

I think I am burned out already and she isn't even two. I desperately need some sort of break... well after I get caught up.

I know this post is straying from my overall topic on this blog, but sometimes I need writing that isn't my journal. I know this is whiny and I know moms all over the world are stressed about one thing or another.

I just need to get it out there.

I am in this frustrating circle of funk.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Weekend

Here is how I planned on spending the weekend:

1. Friday Night, impromptu date night with my Mr. Man. Plan B... running errands on my own.
2. Saturday, Lunch with friends followed by a little girl time, shopping. Night time editing.
3. Sunday, Liturgist in the morning. Family time in the afternoon. Maybe a few errands. Editing while watching the Oscars. The overly indulgent awards show that spends all sorts of money for no good reason, that I simply can not miss because my small dying inner film geek L-O-V-E-S them.

Here is how I actually spent my weekend after spending all week scrubbing the house to get rid of our germs from the cold that wouldn't quit.
1. Friday morning, Lilia slept an abnormally long time, followed by a less the pleasant diaper full of... well you know. Phone call to the Dr. who tells us to bring her in. Then pretty much yells at us for being there. She has a virus let it run it's course. She isn't lethargic, she was by any standard definition, my only that there was that maybe in medicine it has a different one. I did by the way look up the meaning to make sure we were using it appropriately.
2. Date Canceled. Baby needs her Momma. Order in. Paul departs to pick it up saying my stomach is bugging me I think I'm just really hungry.
3. Dinner starts. Half way through Paul runs to the bathroom. Emerges saying I feel better now, finishes dinner.
4. More nasty nasty baby diapers. Paul is laying down feels really sick. Gets up to help, starts the bath for poo covered baby. As I clean up said baby, I hear a thud, Paul is blacked out on the bathroom floor. I have a poop COVERED baby I can't leave her or put her anywhere. I yell are you ok, nothing. Talk to me Paul Talk to me. "I think I passed out." Paul starts puking. Baby is in bath I run to get Paul a clean shirt. I find cat puke in the clean laundry. By 11:30 I have everyone in bed. I clean up the house until 1 am. I stay up checking on the sick ones until 2:30 when I am sure no one else is going to puke, poop or black out.
5. 7 am wake up call from baby. She's happy few. Paul barely awake but feeling better could use more sleep.
6. 7:05 am I throw the baby at Paul and run to the bathroom. That wasn't good.
7. 8 am rocking on the bathroom floor praying to puke so I feel better.
9 am answered prayers.
10 am more answered prayers.
11 am some more.
11:15 pass out cold in bed until 4 pm. Get up check on everyone.
6pm in bed for the night.
8. 4 am wake up. Feel ok. Drink Ginger Ale . Keep in on the inside. Bonus.
9. Baby gets up. Daddy is pooped. She comes to play with me around 5:30. She falls asleep in her chair, falls out, makes one cry and falls asleep on the floor.
10. 6 am move her to her bed. Start re cleaning the ENTIRE house.

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning and resting. Eating a piece of dry toast here and there.
I did get to see the Oscars.

We had an amazing weekend. How was yours?

Needless to say I am incredibly behind schedule on everything now.

I am grateful for a healthy stomach today.
May you be blessed by one as well!