Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Christmas Eve

It's Christmas Eve. Today there is a lump in my throat. I've been thinking back on where I was last Christmas, and how far I've come since then.

Last year I sat in a Christmas Eve service and wept while a pastor asked everyone to hug their spouses. I sat there abandoned and alone. This year there is someone my heart loves. Someone who loves my heart back.

Last year I had nothing to give my children. Some incredible saints from Riverside provided a nice Christmas for them. This year, though it wasn't much, I was able to play Santa myself.

Last year I was in a state of shock, reeling, and wondering what to do next. This year, I'm full of possibilities and new horizons, wondering what will happen next.

I'm reminded that I, all of us for that matter, are mere seconds, a devastating conversation, just one unwelcome revelation away from shattering grief. Last Christmas I was experiencing a shatter. This Christmas, I'm admiring the pieces that are coming back together.

But one thing remains the same. Last Christmas, even in my blinding grief, I celebrated the birth of the One who gives me hope. And this year is no different. I may be more whole, I may feel less pain, but I need Him no less, and cherish His coming just as intensely as ever.

Jesus is born! He was born for crazy, worthless, undeserving me. He never changes and that makes all the difference.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Still Me

I'm sitting alone in my home, in utter silence. Kids are at their dad's for the weekend, and I'm alone. Moving to Florida has bought me this alone time. I knew it would, and was afraid of it, too. But it's not so bad, actually. It's kind of wonderful.

Good news, I wrote today. Well, I'm writing now, obviously. But earlier today I wrote creatively out of something my heart is passionate over. It was a poem. A poem of love, actually, if you must know. I find the fact that I wrote extremely comforting.

So many things in my life are being redefined right now. I've stepped away from traditional church. I've stepped out of all extra curricular responsibilities. I've moved home, to a place of slow, quiet, easy life. (Slow, quiet, and easy are not my normal cup of tea in case you haven't noticed.) I've fallen in love with someone nobody expected me to love. I didn't expect it either, for the record, but it's so there. (dreamy sigh) I'm making choices and carving out a new life. I'm sorting out right and wrong and yes and no and I will and I won't. Taking some, leaving others. And in the midst of all that, I guess I'm just glad to feel the familiar old spark of something in my heart... a spark that gets hotter until it becomes a phrase, then a sentence, then a succession of ideas until it spills out through my tears into a completed work.

Hopefully the benefactor of this work will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed bringing it forth.

What only I will be able to enjoy, however, is the comfort of the fact that though I'm being me in different ways than I ever expected, and my life is taking on different characteristics than I planned, I'm still me. And Still me. (as in me being still) I'm still in here loving God, loving life, and there is still hope and joy and emotion stirring deep in me.

And enjoy it, I will. Right now, I believe. Along with a beverage of my choice.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Random Stuff

Here are some things I've found quite enjoyable:

I ordered a box of calendars as Christmas giveaways for work. My calendars came in, and on the outside of the box the words were printed: DATED MATERIAL INSIDE. HA HA HA!! Get it? It gave me a chuckle!!

Late last night my phone rang. It was a Certain Someone on the other end. He said "Just wanted to tell you I love you." That's all. I love phone calls like that.

Today I ate lunch at my kids' school. For now, and I know this time is SO fleeting, but for now I'm cool to my kids. They were proud to have me with them. I loved it.

Happy things abound in my life. Plus it's Christmas. So here are some more things I am CHOOSING to enjoy:

Christmas without the busy. This year, there are no musicals, no special events to play in, no parties, no craziness. Just me, the ones I love, and the absolute minimum of activity.

Bliss.... Bliss indeed.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Gettin' Tough

Listen to me and listen good...

Here's what you need to do. Get a punching bag and some boxing gloves. Get a 300 pound strong-man brother and a kicking pad. Get some weights and some foamy floor pads on which to do push-ups. Then let the 300 pound brother ruthlessly push you to your limit and beyond. (No he doesn't go easy on the baby sister.)

People. It is amazing! I now know endorphins are real, but beyond that, I'm pretty darn proud of myself. To tell you the amount of weight I can lift would detract too much from my femininity. So let's talk punching. It's AWESOME! And kicking!! Tonight I learned front kicks and roundhouse. Basically, if you try to attack me, you are totally GOIN' DOWN!!

I swear a couple of times I thought I might puke, but I worked hard and it felt great. Plus, it's amazing what I can do when someone is in my face saying "Come on! 5 more!" or "You're halfway there. Let's go!" Part encouragement, part kick in the butt.

I think life's that way. And God, of course, is the personal trainer. The most personal of all. I can picture Jesus in my face going "Come on! You can do this!" I think sometimes, some seasons of life, He does that kind of one-on-one personal training.

Anyway, leave it to me to get all philosophical about exercise. I just HAD to tell you how much I'm enjoying this. Here's the bottom line: Punching and kicking things is fun. Try it sometime. 'At'll cure what ails ya', Baby!

And if you're in the Lakeland area, by the way, the aforementioned brother will take you also to happy-training-and-becoming-so-freakin-tough land. I'll put you in touch.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Writin about some stuff

Whew! Had another whirlwind trip to New Orleans. A Certain Someone needed a date for a Christmas party and who was I not to save the day? Kids were with their dad for the weekend so off I went. FUN!

Fun ends there. Now fasten your seatbelt. I'm gonna write about some stuff.

I've spent my whole life in church. I was married to a minister, and considered that something really fancy that I did for God. (are you laughing yet?)I had an answer for everything. Then, my minister left me. Not before my marriage went through a few years of hell first, but he left. And I got a quick and effective introduction to real life. I went from nice little ministry wife with nice little life mapped out for her to being a single mom with a life of her very own. And though that status was thrust upon me, I can't say I'm sorry. I kinda like it. I'm enjoying the challenge and adventure of finding the answers... HONEST answers to life's questions. Even of getting to ask some questions I've never had the freedom to ask before.

Here's some stuff I'm figuring out:

- Lots of people don't like it when people get lives of their own. Especially when they choose to do unexpected stuff, to step outside the box they were supposed to be in. Hmmm...

- Lots of people jump to conclusions. I do too. It creates real problems in relationships.

- The most godly things I've ever done have had absolutely nothing to do with church OR with the prescribed rules and regs imposed by my churchy image. That's painfully honest, but it's true. I don't yet know what that means for my life or for who I am becoming. It's just a truth.

This is a wild journey, people. I hope you're up for the ride, cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna make some mistakes. I'll probably take some chances. I'll definitely try my wings and I might do some stuff you don't like. But along the way I'll be embracing life and love and enjoying every amazing minute. I'll be keeping my heart open to God, open to people. I'll be keeping my brain willing to learn, and my days full of laughter. It's been crazy so far and it could get crazier. And ya know what???

I LOVE IT!!! Let's go!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hair Infidelity

I did it. I cheated on my hair guy. My hair and I have been faithful to the same hair guy, our beloved Jimmy, for 5 years now. Moving to Florida wasn't even going to stop me from using Jimmy to keep my hair lookin good. Only while I was in New Orleans for Thanksgiving, the days were accomplished that I should have a haircut. Except Jimmy decided he wasn't going to be in town for Thanksgiving. AAAAAHHH!

My hair doesn't go 5 weeks without a cut. It just doesn't. Not if I want to maintain its attitude. And so I did it.

I went to Salon Salvatore. This place came highly recommended by friends from work. You can imagine my guilt as I walked in this place.




I walked in the door and as they checked me in, I was offered a drink. I took the Bud Light, of course. The shampoo was a MASSAGE. It took forever!!! The conversation was great. Not Jimmy, but still great. There were beautiful people and beautiful surroundings. I was pampered and relaxed and got a freakin' awesome haircut.


It was truly incredible. But still as I left the salon right after I made an appointment for my next indiscretion, I couldn't help feeling my heart break a little.

I missed Jimmy, and getting my haircut in my own kitchen since Katrina destroyed his shop. I missed big pots of chili, and my framily digging in while we take turns getting haircuts in the kitchen chair. I missed sweeping up 5 different colors of hair after we were all done.


Anyway, it was incredibly cool at Salon Salvatore. Yet another bittersweet moment in this transition. Life's give and take.

So... does this make me a... a hair whore?? I know, I know... time to get some rest before I digress any more.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Punchin Bag Profundity

I love life.

I love my life.

There is a big difference in those two statements. Both are profound. Obviously, it is important to love life. But it's another thing entirely to ask myself if I love MY life. And my answer to myself is YES.

I love the adventures I get to have. I love the people I get to love. I love the moments that come my way. Even the sad ones. Life isn't easy. Matter of fact, it is often downright miserable. Relationships are hard. Painful things happen. It's funny but no matter how nasty things get, something in me always bobs up to the surface of the mire, ready for more of life. I just can't quit.

This week my life is crazy. I had a great trip to New Orleans for Thanksgiving, and I spent the holiday with someone I love. I embraced a happy moment for all it was worth. I laughed with my kids. I punched a punching bag... HARD. My crazy life is precious, and it's mine.

Something wonderful happened to me this week. Perhaps more to come about that event later. For now, unfortunately, I feel some dust should settle first. Perhaps some feathers be allowed to unruffle themselves. If for no other reason than to avoid cheapening a blissful moment in my life by exposing it to the further scrutiny of public opinion.

So instead I'll tell ya this...

Though not the pinnacle of the last week of my life, the punching bag thing was TOTALLY awesome!! I'll be making a habit of that. I'll also be adding it to the list of remedies for the blues. Probably moving it up there toward the top of the list! Plus I look awesome in boxing gloves.