Sunday, June 29, 2008

OK, here it is. Right here in black and white... and pink.

I'm scared.

I am scared out of my ever-lovin' mind.

What is going to happen to me? How can I raise these kids by myself? What about my writing? What about speaking? What about me? What if I can't do this? What if I lose my mind? What if I make wrong choices? This is too big for me! I can't handle being alone. I can't keep running wounded. I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't do this!!!!

Just a little glimpse into what my insides scream at me while





Yup. Scared outta my mind. And doing this thing anyway.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

One Giant Leap

Guess what I did today?

Drum roll, please.....

I mowed my own yard. For the first time. Ever. In my whole life. (Quit laughing)

My mom and dad are old school, which meant yard work was for boys and kitchen work was for girls. This rendered me, I'm sure, WAY more helpless in the outdoors than my father intended. He did his best at the hunting camp, but with my nose in a book, I'm afraid I didn't even learn to shoot.

But today. Today, I put on my lucky camouflage baseball cap that says "dixie darlin's" on it. The benevolent group of saints I hang around with has been taking care of my yard for eight months now. It was time for me to get going and learn to do this for myself. The one next door with the especially large halo gave me a lesson on how to start the mower, and then left me to it. And I did it.

Note to self: Don't do that again on an empty stomach. And don't let three weeks go by before I do that again.

All in all, a success. I mowed my way to a little more wholeness. World domination can't be far away now.

P.S. THANK YOU, whoever sprayed Roundup along my fence and the sides of the house. An ANGEL, you are.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Hmmm... I haven't forgotten you, blogger world. I've just... Well, I've just been feeling too crappy to really muster up anything good.

Had some fun, made some secrets. Started having some anxiety attacks. Which, of course, makes me angry to no end, because my body should be coping with this better than it is. My mind should be coping better. Then again, maybe this IS coping.

Dragged myself up to church Wednesday night and choked through LIVEChat. Nothing like a few understanding girlfriends to bring out the emotion in ya. So I came home and had a good cry. A REALLY good one. Loud. And the attacks have subsided quite a bit.

Good news, I've lost 4 pounds this week!

And I've made a decision. It's time. Time to own it. Me, all by myself, can be fun and feminine and fabulous. Time to see what that's like. Time to laugh and enjoy being me. Time to make some more discoveries along this road. Discoveries that perhaps, without heartache, I would never have made.

My counselor told me something. She said I'm doing great, progressing along very well. Only thing is, this is just plain going to be really painful. It's going to take a while and it's going to be bad. That's it. Time to accept it, buckle down, and trudge on through. It's going to be a long way. But I've decided if I'm stuck making an ominous journey, well... I'm leaving my fairy dust all over the place. I'm going to find sparkle and fun if I have to create it from nothing, and there will be colorful graffiti all along this dark path. I won't leave it unmarked. The next poor soul that journeys along this way will look around at the colors I left behind and read:

Rebecca Jeffries WUZ HERE!

Now where was that spray paint can?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have only achieved answer to one of my questions.

It's yes. Absolutely, unequivocally, lock stock and barrel, YES I am going crazy.

See ya'll when you get there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


It's late again. Or early. But blogging is fun, and it helps me relax. So as much for my benefit as your own, here are some questions I've been pondering. Perhaps every female ponders more than she should, but I've always got a regular cyclone of questions swirling in my brain.

Am I going crazy?
What's my next move?
Perhaps I should contemplate staying still for a while?
Am I really doing this? Am I really?
Why is it hard for people to accept that God would choose suffering for them?
Am I going crazy?
Will affection starvation produce emotional malnutrition?
Why are relationships and disappointment next door neighbors?
Why haven't I appreciated solitude for the bliss that it is?
Why havent' I appreciated companionship for the bliss that it is?
Why is the right way usually the hardest way?
Am I going crazy?
Where is the line between single-and-don't-you-wish-you-could-be-me and single-and-overdoing-it-to-try-to-convince-myself-I'm-still-lovable?
Can I be fulfilled and still keenly feel what's missing?
Can anyone be more blessed than me? Is it possible?
Am I going crazy?

I'm pretty sure I AM going crazy. But I don't mind. And as for the other questions, I suppose God'll tell me when I'm ready to know. Though, if He happens to tell you, please forward the information immediately via comment.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Today's Blessings

Savoring these moments:

Girl talk. Uncensored.
Blueberry wine
Laughing til it hurt
Fresh mozzarella
Lunch with a friend
Creole Grape Tomatoes
Neighbors who are family
Holding a tiny baby
Tiny baby sleeping smiles
My son's voice on the phone
Making an old lady giggle
Listening to someone's pain
Telling someone a secret
Laughing some more til it hurt
Happy voices in my house
Cookie dough. Raw.

All these blessings poured upon me in one day. What more could a girl want?

Midnight Musings

Can't sleep. It's really late, or early I guess. It's just me and the Brady Bunch up at this hour.

Lemme get this straight... The girls are hers, the boys are his, but the girls call him dad and the boys call her mom, and everyone's last name is Brady. Maybe I'm mistaken, but my research tells me step families aren't quite that simple. Though I suppose I should have immediately realized the fantastic nature of the show when Alice served all the kids plain oatmeal for breakfast and they all ate it, no questions asked, no sugar added. Not even any fruit.

Greg Brady hasn't changed a bit. Isn't he on some reality show? Or maybe that's Peter.

I have news. I got a pedicure. The best pedicure, ever, to be specific. It was awesome. I had a friend on either side of me, we laughed and had a fabulous time and behaved like regular queens of the world. There was coffee involved, hot towels and this tingly stuff. Amazing.

Mike Brady is a chauvinist. Get a life, Carol.

Oooo, Jay Leno is up too. He shouldn't have men with big hair and skinny jeans on his show. Or any show, for that matter. I thought he was retiring or something.

Oh, I learned something today. Or yesterday. Epoch:a significant event, time, or moment which is chosen as a new origin for time measurements. Epic is just the poem. Please consider this a retraction of past improper uses of the word epic where epoch clearly should have been.

Epoch. That's happening to me right now. A moment chosen as a new origin for time measurements. A new day, I suppose. That would mean that I've just completed an epoch battle with my grief. I won.

Alarm'll be going off soon. Perhaps I should attempt some shut-eye.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Road Out

Smell the smoke? I've made it out alive. I was carried most of the way, I have to admit.

The road out was beautiful. There was a majestic storm. The sky cracked open a few times and God yelled right along with me about my pain. Then he used a preacher to tell me some pretty amazing stuff. (Check out Romans 8) I cried and cried and cried. I tried to be quiet but it didn't work too good. I suppose when God of the Universe is making collossal adjustments inside you there should be some sound.

Then there were friends. Family, really. And the storm gave way to sun and breeze and food and laughter. Deep, shuddering breath. A corner has been rounded.

There will be aftershocks, I'm sure. But I've taken an honest look at the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I've listed every subsequent "ripple effect" that I now cope with. It's all out there. My counselor will be proud.

Healing is hard. The hike to hell was exhausting. But the scenery on the way back was unforgettable. I'm still here. And I'm still me. Only a little stronger, a little smarter, and a little closer to whole.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


This is hell. Pure and unadulterated (pun intended). I'm here alone. I wouldn't ask anyone to go here with me. Only One accompanies me here.

An exercise of counseling homework and several pages of journaling, plus one maddening phone call got me here. It was time anyway, I suppose. Pain must be faced and felt before it can be forgiven and freed. So I hope in the knowledge that this is the last time I will feel such things at this person's hand, and that every disgusting step through this mire is a step closer to healing.

I'm weary of fighting and have plopped down in the midst of sorrow I've been to busy surviving to pay much attention to. I know life goes on. I want it to, especially for you. And eventually for me. But not tonight.

Psalm 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Saturday, I spent a peaceful afternoon in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Once my mom and dad got on the road with the kids, I met two dear friends for lunch. Keith and Vicki Andrews. I wish I could tell you, or could have expressed to them, how much it helped to be with them a while. They're just... well... wonderful. And when I left them I felt peaceful and in my heart felt ready to tackle these two weeks alone. Their company and conversation just set an easy pace for my "vacation at home." Plus, while I was with them I enjoyed a fried green tomato sandwich. Why would anyone live anywhere but the south when we have such inexplicable pleasures as fried green tomato sandwiches?

Then I sat out over the springs for a while, in the gazebo. Taking deep breaths of fresh air and listening for God. As I was listening, I saw a duck. Not just any duck. A single mother. I suppose all ducks are single moms. I mean, I've never seen a daddy duck with a trail of little fuzzy peepers behind him. Then again, I'm no scientist, nor am I an animal lover, so what do I know? Still, I'm choosing to think she was single. She had five ducklings. I named her Daria.

Daria (don't you LOVE that name? It's not at all frumpy or overworked single mother sounding.) was working like nothing I've ever seen! Spring water, in case you haven't had the pleasure of seeing, is very clear and wonderful. So I could see with no problem Daria's webbed feet going nearly as fast as any boat propeller would, as she swam this way and that, trying to corral her brood. She worked and huffed (well, there wasn't actually audible huffing, but trust me...) her way out to the middle, and I must say she had an unruly bunch of ducklings. Finally, in exasperation, she put her beak in the air and swam away. As if to say "Fine, then." And what had once been a loosey-goosey (pardon the pun) group of kids was at once right behind her. Not in a little duckling line, but in a clump almost directly underneath her tail, almost as if they were an extension of her. Clearly, these kids knew they better swim to it, or else.

Poor Daria. No rest for the weary. As I watched her speedy little webbed feet swimming like nobody's business, and then her little ducklings clumped all up in her space, I felt her pain. Of course, I was listening this whole time for God. And He pointed out how much I was like my friend, Daria Duck. He pointed out all the paddling I'm doing, paddling double time it seems just to get through ordinary days. He pointed out the heavy weight of navigating life's pond for me and two ducklings all on our own, and how sometimes being needed so much feels like my ducklings are superglued to me. And He raised a question: "What do you think that duck would be doing if she had no ducklings to corral?" I tried to picture her kicking back, relaxing, hanging out at the water's edge trying to pick up a guy duck. I imagined she might preen her feathers or wander around on the land for a while. But in the end, I had to admit that I've no idea at all what mother ducks do when they aren't laying eggs and mothering baby ducks. I couldn't imagine her going from all that frenzied activity to some kind of laid back ducky schedule, with nothing to do but sit around and soak her webby feet in the warm end of the pond. She's just not supposed to do that.

I felt as unnatural as Daria would have felt, had she suddenly been offered a duck-sitter or something. I suppose God wanted to get me thinking about how the next days will be strange and unfamiliar territory. I suppose He wanted me to admit that I'd have to let Him show me a thing or two about being a mother duck on hiatus.

Kinda quacky, huh? I know. So far I'm not doing that great. At letting Him show me, I mean. I've had some fun. Had a wonderful afternoon Sunday acting like a regular Queen of Sheba with nowhere to be, just whiling away hours in conversation with a friend who wasn't willing to let me wallow. Monday after work, I went shopping, which yielded some super-cute stuff and I APPRECIATED the quiet way I strolled around the store unnoticed and uninterrupted by squabbling, or trips to the potty. I didn't hurry. And on the way home I rented some movies. Something I almost never do for myself alone. I walked in Blockbuster and picked up stuff I wanted, with no care for whether it was appropriate for little ears and eyes. But truth be told, inside I've been slipping.

It's like I'm in the movie Twister. I don't really remember much about that movie, except the way the freakish tornadoes would just pick up everything. I feel like I'm holding on for dear life, trying not to get swept away into the swirling blackness. Blackness that I fear might be depression. I'm not sure whether to keep holding on, or to let go and give in to the storm and see where it carries me. I'm fighting the urge to retreat from the world. I find myself sitting at my desk at work wishing I could crawl under. I guess I'm scared that if I let a person know what it feels like inside me, they might get sucked into the storm too. Or worse, they might think what a baby I am and wonder why I can't just move on. I wonder that myself lots of times.

So, I'm here. I'm struggling. God's with me. That's the most wonderful, wonderful thing. He hasn't left for a single second. He isn't scared of my pain. He isn't the least bit squeamish. And He isn't freaked out. He told me that by sending Daria Duck. Sure, I might feel like my life right now is all wrong, totally against what nature intended for me. I might not have the slightest clue what I am without all my mother duck duties. I might be terrified of a million things.

But He hasn't even flinched yet. And He isn't embarrassed to be seen with a needy, unsure, duck-out-of-water like me, even if He has to speak duck to get through to me.

So now, where does one go to get webbed feet pedicures? I was thinking Daria might want to come along.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So... My babies went to Florida this past weekend. No easy thing at all. They are having a blast, which is a profound comfort to me. Their absence also makes my situation much more real and tangible. So I'll be spending two weeks facing some giants on my own. It's Tuesday and I'm still not sure I've made it out of the exhaustion fog. But here are a couple of my first steps toward rested and relaxed.

I spent a couple of hours on this gazebo, out over Defuniak Springs.

Are we relaxed yet? Gettin' there...

And of course I went wadin' a little. What else is a girl to do when she has no one to be responsible for but herself?

Oh yeah. She gets one of her favorite books on cd and listens to that book as she meanders home WITHOUT getting on an interstate. She shuts off her phone. She cries and laughs out loud. At the same time.

And slowly, she works up the courage to face God about her worst pain. Still workin on that one.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Poem

Ok, so I know I just posted, but I got carried away with the idea of God's secrets. I started reflecting on the secret moments I've had with Him and well... a poem came out. This is strange, and I thought it post-worthy because I haven't written a poem in a long time. A really long time. So, in keeping with what I've already told you about my commitment to transparency, here's the most transparent thing I can show you about what goes on between me and God. Beyond this.... well...
It's a secret. :)


God, You place secrets in me.
And there they remain, though I am ablaze with the fire they fuel in my bones.
They are holy mysteries.
Silent, searing truths.
Though I ache to express them, they are locked away.
The volume of loudest shout or eloquence of most historical oration cannot free them.
I abandon my attempts, and know...
These secrets are mine alone.

They are the cords that entwine my heart with Yours.
They are the one and only place in all time and space that You and I converge,
Making moments that have never been before and will never be again.
They are pieces of Your Infinite Self stored inside me.
These secrets will be kept because they cannot be told.

Shine, wordless secrets!
Glisten and gleam and cause me to run again and again
To your Teller.

Colossians 1:27b "...And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Got Secrets?

"A woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets." -a quote by Old Rose in the movie Titanic.

I'm a difficult person to embarrass. My trademark is being transparent and real and unafraid to acknowledge the truth about how I feel. I've pretty much always thought anything worth knowing is worth announcing to whomever would listen to me. Which works fine since my entire adult life has been spent in ministry where ever'body is in my bidness. Just the way I like it. So secrets aren't something I've thought a lot about. Until now.

I was raised to be "clean-livin'." And clean livin' just don't go well with secrets, honey. The word secret brings to mind sordid, embarrassing, or passionate moments that happen in the dark. Until now.

They say that major crises have a way of forcing us to reevaluate everything in our lives. Such is true for me. A major piece of my life's bedrock has been removed and so everything else's place is changing and rearranging. My priorities, my values, my reality... everything is shifting. And so, as my new life's picture is coming into focus, I'm getting to take a second look at lots of things I thought I had already formed an opinion about. Secrets happen to be included on the list of those things. How true that a woman's heart is a deep ocean of secrets. Even mine, miss blab-it-all-out-to-the-world. Even my heart holds layer after deep layer of soft, whispering secrets. Secrets even I hadn't known. Until now.

I once thought secrets synonymous with skeletons in the closet. And in a way, they are. Only a small way, though. The real stuff of secrets are the deep, precious, holy, sacred moments of life. Moments too valuable to be described in words. Truths too priceless to be cheapened by language. Experiences I love too much to share with someone who might not appreciate or grasp their profundity.

I didn't know it, but God has been sharing secrets with me for a long time. As I look back, He and I have built quite a history of inexpressible secrets. Moments of profound life-change or truth-revealing are tucked away inside my heart. They are secrets He has told me. Then there are the secrets I've created. Some of them written on pages I've burned, some of them lived out on beaches at night, some of them whispered in tearful or breathless moments. They are the things that turn up the corners of my mouth in a Mona Lisa smile when I think of them. And then there are those skeleton secrets. Those things that make me shake my head or want to smack myself. And yet, even in the secrets of the dark, scary, mistake variety, I find truths that are precious, lessons that are invaluable, and a depth of relationship with the God who knows ALL the secrets and is still crazy about me.

Perhaps I've been too busy, perhaps I've been afraid, or perhaps the idea that there are secrets inside me that no one may want to share is too painful. Whatever the reason, I've ignored quite a treasure of precious, holy secrets that exist in the deep ocean of my own heart. Until now.

I'm beginning to realize that a foundational part of a woman's mystique, my mystique, is secrets. Joyous, hopeful, deep, passionate, dark, intimate, profound, inexpressible secrets swirl inside me, inside every woman. They are the glimmer you catch, the sparkle that passes so quickly you wonder if you really saw it. They are the quiet smile, the peaceful knowing, the motivational reason. And they've had too little a place in my life. Until now.

I can see your own Mona Lisa smile. You're thinking of your secrets, aren't you? I hope so. For me, and maybe for you, too, now is the time. Time to treasure, appreciate, reflect, and enjoy the gifts that need not be shared with anyone. The moments that are yours alone to cherish, or yours to reveal.

The secret, my friend, is SECRETS! I had it all along and didn't know.

Until now.