Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One more...

Oooo, I had one more thing to add to my list of happy things:

KICKING OFF YOUR HIGH HEELS AND PULLING ON JEANS AFTER WORK. Is there anything better than a pair of jeans after you've spent the day dressing the part of sophisticated businesswoman? I think, not.

A good pair of jeans is like the solace of a friend, it knows the secrets you are hiding, and yet still manages to make you feel ok about the size of your butt.

OH I ALMOST FORGOT!! A STROKE OF GENIUS HAPPENED IN LIVECHAT TONIGHT. We were discussing unconditional love. We were talking about why so many of us strive for perfection in attempt to be worthy of love or to earn love. Then the question came up... If perfection doesn't exist, and can't be attained by a human, then isn't the very idea of striving for perfection imperfect in and of itself? Hmmmmm.... Did you feel the ground breaking?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How To Cure What Ails Ya

Sorrow has a way of teaching us things. Right now I'm learning a lot in the school of sorrow. One thing I'm learning is that deep grief can enhance one's enjoyment of life's little blessings. And so, I'm about to publish a list of said blessings that go a surprisingly long way in making a sorrowing person smile... even if for just a moment.

How To Cure What Ails Ya:

Go to a Mardi Gras parade. With a five year old boy.
Paint your nails. With a ten year old girl.
Buy a car... all by yourself.
Make your bed.
Make sweet tea.
Hold an old man's hand.
Call your mom.
Shave your legs.
Drink hot chocolate.
Get reacquainted with your rocking chair.
Wear eyeliner.
Let an old lady pinch your cheeks.
Call your sister.
Wax your eyebrows. (Technically, have them waxed. This isn't something one should attempt to do to herself.)
Wear matching underwear. (Double points if there are rhinestones anywhere on them)
Look at hydrangeas.
Smell coffee brewing.
Eat brownies.
Look at your kids in their beautiful eyes.
Get some Zapps Cajun Dill Gator Taters potato chips, and eat them with respect.
Sleep with your Bible.
Sing loud in your car. The song "Neon Moon" works great. So does Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire." You will have to laugh at yourself.
Light a candle.
Make your brain do something smart.
Let your brain do nothing at all. Just for a while.

And so, friends, there you have just a few ways to cure what ails ya. I'm tellin ya, these work. Oh, it won't take away your problems, but this list will help you keep your joy alive when pain threatens to consume you entirely. This is hard-won knowledge I'm dispensing here... you might want to print this list and keep it in your pocket just in case you ever have the need.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Real Deal

In case anyone ever thought that the life of an author is in some way different or more glamorous, let me set the record straight.

Today, I did a radio interview to promote my book! Sounds wonderful and glamorous and important, right? Right.

Wonder if the people listening could tell that I'd been up most of last night with two sick kids. Wonder if something in my voice gave away the fact that I had gotten up this morning, left my kids with a sitter (thank God for you, Mary Beth!) and went to work, called the doctor's office as soon as it opened and wouldn't ya know, the appointment opening they had was a mere 45 minutes prior to the LIVE radio interview I had scheduled for today? Could they hear that I'd squeaked by with an extra half hour break, made a run for it to the doc with my kids, rushed through the appointment, and then placed my kids back in my sitter's capable hands just in time for the interview to start? Did it pass over the airwaves that I was talking to the listening audience from the front seat of my Dad's truck, parked in front of a pediatrician's office and behind a McDonald's?

I bet it didn't. I bet no one who heard me pictured me interviewing from the driver's seat of a pickup. Maybe they pictured me in some sleek office or even in a studio of some kind. Maybe they pictured me beautiful and confident and totally together. Certainly, none of them imagined that as soon as the show was over, I hot footed it back to work and got on with my very ordinary day as if nothing had ever happened.

Fooled them, huh? But not you, reader. You know. You know that the life of any of God's girls who get out on the edge and do what He wants them to do is a no-holds-barred kind of crazy. You know that I'm taking each day and trusting God for my very life and hoping desperately He can somehow use me. You know that before that interview I breathed a prayer for help, because I was completely desperate for God's help at that moment.

Now you know the real deal!! I'm just out here on my edge, tryin' to do what's in God's heart for me. Ain't nothin special about me... only about HIM. THAT is, indeed, the realest deal there is.

OH! And today's bliss: Mackenzie lost another tooth, WHILE SHE WAS WITH THE SITTER, thankya Jesus!! Those of you who regularly read this blog know that I'd rather give birth than pull out a tooth. I literally cannot deal with it. And whadya know, but God takes care of ALL the details, even loose teeth!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wonder Woman Day

I still love Monday. It's still my favorite day of the week. What did I do today, you ask? I'll tell you.

I read today's reading in the One Year Bible.
I got two kids up and ready and to school on time.
I also got myself up and ready, complete with sophisticated businesswoman costume.
Then I came back home, turned around, went back to school and delivered the lunch and notebook they forgot.
I went to work and did my job. Well.
I wrote thank you notes and made some necessary but difficult phone calls on my lunch break.
I went to counseling and did some working and learning.
On the way home, I returned phone calls.
I went to supper with my friend who took care of my kids during counseling.
I came home and bathed two kids, signed all their permission slips and report cards, and helped with last bits of homework.
I put said kids to bed and did all the running involved in that process such as water, medicine, night lights, blanket adjustment, you get my drift.
I packed tomorrows lunches
I took out the garbage.
I unloaded the dishwasher.
I did a load of laundry, all the way from hamper to drawer.
I returned a BUNCH of emails.
I confirmed a speaking engagement.
I cleaned my bathroom mirror and counter top.
I remembered to use my MaryKay Timewise face wash.
I remembered to get my mail.
I remembered to mail off a rebate.
I located a missing charger for a cell phone.
I made a grocery list.
I looked my daughter in the eye.
I held my son for a while.
I wrote the blog you are reading now.

I did it. I functioned today.

Now hopefully my golden belt and my red cape and my starry underwear-looking things and my white boots will be sent to me. It's standard issue for a Wonder Woman, right? And Mondays make me feel like Wonder Woman. I love Monday.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ugly...and beautiful

Last night I had a good cry. Not my first in this whole ordeal, but certainly the best one so far. My eyes are still showing the effects.

I was at Celebrate Recovery, a totally awesome place for such processing to be done. My kids are cared for, I'm surrounded by people who don't care about the snot or the sobs, and I can just grieve. Celebrate Recovery is kinda like church, only without pretending. People at regular churches have problems, but they put on their Sunday best, and pretend that they don't struggle or have faults. The people at Celebrate Recovery are over that.

And so I cried. For a few hours, I didn't have to be brave or make myself hold up. I just cried. It was ugly... and beautiful.

My counselor gave me a book called The Healing Path. There is a profound statement in the first chapter I love. "Suffering changes the human heart--sometimes for good and often for ill. We are faced with the challenge of learning how to wrestle with sorrow so it can bring about the greatest good. If we want to become more like God wants us to be, we must consider what it means to live well in a fallen world rather than scramble to escape the veil of sorrow."

I will learn to live well in this fallen world. I'm not going to run from this or choose cynicism, or anger, or false bravado. I won't skip over the hard parts. I will walk the healing path, even if it means a steep climb here and there, or a good hard cry every now and then. Me and God, we are walking this together. He is squeezing my heart with His very own hand to produce the next beat and I am learning to trust Him even more. Living well in a fallen world. It's ugly... and beautiful.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lest my whole blog be overtaken with a shroud of blackness, today I write about nothing much. No delving into the depths of my heart this day. How about I share with you some things I've enjoyed lately:

I like to work. I've always liked to work. Granted, my heart's dream is to be speaking and writing full-time, but right now I must work at a secular job. The one God has provided for me (Marketing Director for an assisted living facility) is worthwhile, enjoyable, challenging and meaningful. I like the tap of big-girl shoes on the floor, I like being a professional woman. I like engaging my brain and interacting with people. I completely enjoyed the days when all my clothes had breast milk all over them and I had a baby attached to me or near me somewhere at all times. And I also enjoy stepping into the work world, which is where God has me now.

I like chocolate. In most any way, shape or form, except tootsie rolls. Tootsie rolls are a poor excuse for chocolate flavor and a complete waste of time in my opinion. This evening I'm enjoying it in its Chunky Chips Ahoy form.

I like cherry pie. I just do. It's my favorite pie and I like it. Simple, sweet, yet bold and bright. Cherry pie is good.

I like Psalm chapter 71 and Isaiah chapter 40. I'm also fond of Philippians 4, Galatians 6, Ephesians... well ALL of Ephesians, Ecclesiastes 3, Romans 8, BOTH of the Corinthians, Isaiah 6, especially the first 8 verses, Psalm 100, oh and 23. I also chose to have 2 Corinthians 5:17 tatooed on me, though I think all of the above scriptures are tatoo worthy. Were I to get started, I could easily cover my whole self with His words. Oh yeah! Psalm 46 too.

I like my laptop. She works for me.

I like my phone/pda thing. She works for me too.

I like pedicures. Might have to avail myself of one in the very near future.

I like peaceful, restful sleep, which is what I'm hoping to have in the next few moments.

OH! And I also REALLY like people who read this blog! That'd be YOU. (cheesy smile)

Monday, January 07, 2008


Today is a swirl of emotion. The good and the bad have train-wrecked into a big pile of joy and sorrow. Today is my 13th wedding anniversary. Except how do you celebrate an anniversary when a marriage is ending? That wound hurts so much today.

But guess what else today is? Today is one year to the day that I survived pulmonary embolisms!! I wondered last year why God asked me to spend my anniversary in the emergency room, and now I'm so glad He did. He gave me something to celebrate this year on what He knew would be a sad day.

So on an anniversary that is reminding me that life is hard and often full of pain, another anniversary occurs that reminds me that for some reason, last year, God WANTED me to live. He made sure I survived something that kills most people who encounter it. He wanted me to keep on going, keep on living.

And I will. In the hope of the life He bought for me, I will live. In spite of how I hurt today, I will live.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

What I Love About Sunday

Sunday has always held significance in my life. In my family when I was growing up, unless you were seriously ill, church attendance was mandatory. And in my adult life, all I've ever been is a ministry wife, so again with the mandatory church attendance. There are traditions and precious things about Sunday that are pivotal parts of my life.

All that is changing now. Sitting in the pew alone is a new experience. It's hard to feel right, since I don't really know what I am. I mean, I'm not a staff wife anymore, but I don't feel like a regular church member either. Where do I fit now? I'm not exactly sure, but I do know that in the piece of God's family that is Riverside Church, I fit. I fit before, and somehow I still do. This says amazing things about the Christ following that is happening at this church. Most others would have rid themselves of me, and yet my Riverside fam is holding me still.

Today I cried through church. That isn't unusual, since interaction with God often causes my eyes to leak, but today I cried out of pain, sorrow and loneliness. We sang a song about bringing an offering of worship to God. And I brought mine, broken and pitiful as it is, I brought it. I sat there telling God that I am all His. I told Him that whatever He is doing with my life, I will follow. That's all the offering I have now. So I suppose some of my tears were ones of joy too, knowing that my God and my brothers and sisters didn't care that all I brought today was pain.

So I guess more than all the traditions and hugging and kissing (it's a New Orleans thing, the kissing) and smiling and connecting, and all the stuff I love about Sunday, what I love most of all is that moment of deeply intimate connection with God that is somehow made meaningful because it happens alongside the rest of the family, whether they are aware of it or not. It's a mystery. I can't quite give it words, but that something about Sunday is still there. I sure am glad it is.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


I started a new job today. This job is a blessing. The pay is good, the hours are perfect, the environment is friendly, and it's not a hard job. This job is a blessing. It really is. Are you convinced yet? I'm trying to be.

See, this job for me is one more unwelcome change in a few weeks that have been full of unwelcome changes. It represents a new reality that I must live with. Single moms have to work. They have to do more than my fledgling speaking and writing income is able to provide. I guess today, my first day at work, made me feel more officially alone. It was one more step out of shock and into reality.

It's not that God has even asked me to set Woman on the Edge aside. I'll still be keeping my speaking engagements, and writing, and accepting more as they are provided. God has provided a job that allows that. It also allows me to keep my children as close as possible to their normal daily schedule. It was one more gift of love from my Father whose provision has sustained me thus far and will continue to sustain me.

So today was bittersweet. Sweet in the peace that God is taking good care of me and my children, and sorrowfully bitter in that I desperately wish not to be in need of this provision... and today is tangible proof that I am in need of it whether I want to be or not.

I am grateful. For a God who will never reject me. Great is His faithfulness. For a job that I can do while I still keep my heart's passion alive. For two amazing kids. For freezing weather... in New Orleans of all places. And for the hilarious writing that I'm certain will come out of this church girl's first encounter in a long time with the day to day business world. I'm on an unplanned adventure, but an adventure, no less.

(Deep breath.) A blessing indeed.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

As I enter 2008, leaving behind a year that ended in sadness, I'm reminded by this passage of something I think God is really teaching me right now. HE IS IN CONTROL, and furthermore, I AM NOT. All my trying and struggling and working didn't stop grief and loss from entering my life. All my hard work and all the brainpower in my head isn't enough to accomplish everything I feel the need to accomplish.

The end of 2007 and the beginning of 08 find me weary indeed. Weary, and bewildered, with questions and fears and frustrations and loneliness.

The opening words of this passage spoke right to me. You see, I DO know, and I HAVE heard about God's unfathomable understanding, and His amazing power and His unending love. I know very well that He is the source of strength, and that hoping in Him will enable me to soar, to run, and to walk without weariness taking over. Isn't it interesting how we can know something so incredible and yet forget to walk in it? Isn't it strange, this tendency to settle for weary when wonderful is right in front of me. See, in the fog of sorrow I've been trying to medicate my hurt. I guess everyone does that. TV going way too late because I can't sleep, keeping my pj's on all day because I can't bring myself to get out of bed, cleaning house so that at least one thing in my life is under control. When I read these words in Isaiah, they immediately fell over my heart as the soothing medicine I really needed. The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of Heaven and Earth doesn't get tired. His understanding is unsearchable. And girls like me who dare to put their hope in Him can let it all go, and leave it up to Him.

It's time to soar, my friends. What do I have to lose? Here goes!!

Happy 2008 to you and yours!!