August 31, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about some things that I don't understand but can't change.  When I don't understand, I can only go on what I know.  Well, that's a little confusing isn't it!  What I mean is that I tend to believe things people tell me about themselves.  So when they do something or say something that contradicts what they've already told me, I need to know how they can rationalize both.  That comes off as antagonistic to some folks.  Explain it to me.  Yes, I'm calling you on the carpet.  But really, you can't have it both ways.  Either what you told me at first was true or it wasn't.  So if it wasn't, why did you say it?  And if it was, then how do you explain the contradictory action?  Do you have something to hide?  Don't you trust me?  Do you ever mean what you say?  Really...I need to know which side of you I can believe...which side of you I can trust...and just exactly why are there two sides in the first place?  How do I know which side of you I am safe with?  Or, since there are two sides, am I ever safe with you? 

Now where's a worm when you need one?


Yesterday was an especially tough day.  If you'd asked me why I couldn't have put my finger on it.  But all day it kept building until I had a few minutes by myself and it all hit me. A cascade of regrets that washed over me and held me captive for a little while.  Things I wish I had done.  Things I wish hadn't changed.  Things I would do over if I could.  Things I had that I miss.  So, yeah...that lasted most of the day but I hid it as well as I could.  I only cracked a little and I don't think anyone noticed.  Not that anyone would.  Today is better, I think.
I know life is full of changes and regrets and fond memories of happier times.  Sometimes I get lost in the past and stop looking ahead.  Sometimes I turn my focus inward...on me.  Letting go of the hand that supports me, I stumble and sink into my little melt down pot where I sit in the dark all by myself.  Eating worms.  But eating worms is boring and it really doesn't make me feel any better.  Besides, they really don't taste all that good.  Kinda bitter.
Life is full of all kinds of things and most of them are things to look forward to, not hide from.  So I get a grip and look up toward the light that my help comes from...again.  Sheepishly reaching up for a hand and wondering why I ever let go in the first place.
We talked about fear in our ladies' Sunday School Class this week.  One point that was made was that we don't know what's going to end up in our cup of life.  But one thing we do know is that Jesus drank that cup for us on the cross and our name is safe in His mouth.  And no matter what happens, we know how the story ends.

August 30, 2010


One of the books I'm working through with my daughter is called, "The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier."  We read the introduction today and learned the following:
"You wonder how your favorite writer succeeds in making you want to read more.  Likewise, you're unsure exactly why a dull writer makes you want to shelve the book...after just a paragraph.  Writers you like probably use clear subjects, active verbs and concise phrasing.  They limit the length of their sentences and take advantage of colorful vocabulary.  Chances are, writers you dislike bog you down with vague, wordy sentences that run on too long.  Or maybe they're pompous.  Even if their grammar and punctuation are correct, their writing can still be confusing or dry."

And later, she wrote:
"Poor writing has many roots.  To start with, we tend to write the way we speak.  When we talk, our hand gestures and intonation help listeners understand our meaning, so it doesn't matter if we ramble on a bit.  When we write, though, readers see just our words, so we need to state clearly what we're trying to get across.  Readers don't want to work hard to figure it out.
We don't intend to baffle our readers, but sometimes we do because we don't know how to spot and correct lapses in clarity.  Sometimes what's in our minds doesn't translate to the page.  Other times we fall into bad habits, such as using vague phrasing or passive sentence structure.  Whatever the reason, awkward phrasing and outright errors can damage a writer's credibility and make readers lose interest."

Makes sense, right?

August 29, 2010

So, yeah...

Why is it that some folks can tell you how you should act but when the time comes, they don't act the way they thought you should?  So,'s always easier to be on the telling side than the doing side.  A little saying that sums it up..."Practice what you preach."

Changes are brewing but won't be here as quickly as I had originally thought.  Which is a good thing but after not wanting a change to take place and knowing it's coming; getting yourself prepared for it and then having to put it off is just a little disconcerting.  I wonder if it's just God, laughing at me for being so silly. 

It's all up in the air...what to think about things and how to face the future.  Or is it?  Courage is the only way to face what's ahead because it's mostly unknown to us.  I don't really have the courage I need sometimes.  It's because I try to go it on my own.  I may do alright for a while but then it becomes too heavy for me and I either give up, have a melt down or get crushed under the load.  Not so good.  I should never try to go along on my own strength because it's not really worth being waylaid by having to stop and fix my mistakes and then go on with God's help anyway.  Why not just start with the help in the first place?  If I'm going to rest on God's help do I still need courage?  You'd better believe it.  The unknowns that lie ahead may take all the courage we can muster but we never have to face those unknowns alone.  I think if we really try...I mean REALLY try, not just think about trying, God will help us or maybe even reward us by giving us the blessings we asked  for.  I may not have said that correctly but it all goes back to my whole God is in control but He won't force us to live for Him thing.

Courage is when we want something and we aren't afraid to work for it.  Or when the plans we have don't work anymore and we need to reevaluate what we really want...maybe sacrificing one dream to realize another.  When we lose something or someone and have to go on.  When it's our own silly selves that we need to overcome so we can step outside our comfort zone to do what has to be done.  Courage is thinking about others before ourselves.  Or opening up our hearts to be vulnerable to hurt so that we can experience love...or allow someone love us.  Standing between those we love and danger.  Giving up things we want so we can make others happy.  (This one always comes with strings. We need to make sure we'll be happy with our decision in the future because regrets can create lots of problems of their own. That's the nature of true courage; making a decision and standing behind it.)  We have to have courage to do these things or else we'll just curl up inside a bubble all alone...protected, or so we think, from all the "bad" things that can happen to us.  In a bubble, we can't reach out to others, we can't allow God to use us and we can't accept the gifts He has in store for us, we can't be hurt and we can't be found.  But, can we really love from inside a bubble?  Only ourselves.

August 28, 2010


I feel like I'm waiting for something...but I don't know what.  Sort of an apprehensive feeling like something hovering over looking at one shoe (or circumstance) and waiting for the other one, metaphorically, to fall.  I feel like I need to duck or hide from whatever it is.  I'm not good at waiting for things; good or bad.  This waiting is not a good kind of waiting; like I think something good is coming.  It's dread.  I hate it.

August 26, 2010

The adventure

I've been reliving the adventure that my family had been on since my girls have discovered theater.  There have been so many skills gained or polished; friends that have become like family; experiences - the memories of which will last them a lifetime that I can't begin to understand how great and how far the influence will carry.  I know some folks view theater, and the arts as a whole, as a waste of time but I have to say that I wholeheartedly disagree.  The poise, confidence, public presence and ease of presentation are tools that will benefit them for the rest of their lives no matter what they decide to do.  The theater brings them in contact with a vast array of people and worldviews that strengthens their ability to defend what they believe.  It teaches understanding and tolerance...not to condone conduct or beliefs that they don't agree with but to be loving, examples of the lifestyle they've chosen.
It's been so much fun watching them grow like "Little Women" with their costume closet and repertoire of dialogue and songs that may be launched at any given moment.  It keeps me young and allows me to share in their adventures, be it sword fighting or ballroom dancing, wearing a beaver costume or military fatigues, talking like a gopher, singing and dancing with fairytale characters, living in a shoe or wiping barroom tables in period clothing while a lonely woman sings the blues.  So, yeah, it's been fun.  And I never would have had the chance to be a part of all of this if it hadn't been for my love of literature, of classic tales that piqued my imagination and drew me into other worlds.  Because I think I passed that love down to my girls and as I shared those stories with them it brought their imaginations to life in a way that has given them a much greater appreciation than I alone ever could have.  I'm still a sucker for a happy ending...especially when it comes to romantic fairytales but I can also appreciate some of the deeper, touching stories as well.  Even Poe.  Well, maybe a little.

Slightly tarnished

Morning mists spread slowly along the valley as the cooler night air makes a last effort to push the sun's warmth from the ground.  Misty tendrils of this foggy blanket wrap the landscape in an ethereal, dream like covering where images seem to wander in and out of view.  It's that time of early morning before the sun has broken over the trees; all are shades of gray.  Golden petals of Brown-eyed Susans glow with the only color visible in this early light.  Softly the white cat stalks across the dewy grass to seek some unsuspecting prey.  Birds call noisily to one another and pass, unseen, overhead.  Droplets of moisture hang precariously from the tips of the grass, falling like great exploding bombs on a little mouse as he brushes by on his morning run.  He stops to capture one in his paws but, alas it collapses and is lost on the ground.  The glow in the east grows stronger and slowly turns the grays to hints of color...pinks and purples in nests of green.    Now the bright yellow of the many squash blossoms luring bees into their throaty blooms with promise of nectar and pollen.  The greens of the forest are slightly tarnished as autumn begins to show it's colors on the tips of the leaves.  The garden hangs heavy with the night's cool carress bringing much needed moisture to nourish it's harvest.  A warm golden glow begins to steal across the yard as the sun makes it way into view slowly burning the blanket of mist into a memory.  A new day's begun.   

August 24, 2010

In the Still of the Night

It's so quiet.  The night air is chilly for an August evening.  Looks like the forecast is predicting sunny weather tomorrow. We've had rain for days...
In the quiet, I become more thoughtful...more, I don't know....Lots to think about and wonder about...and worry about.

My college girl had a strange experience the other day.  I'm sure I won't get it exactly right but basically, she saw a guy and a girl on the bus.  Then she ran into them at the theater.  The fellow approached her and apologized but said he couldn't help it...he needed to ask her something.  So he told her to say the first thing that popped into her head when he said a word. So reluctantly, she did this twice and both times he launched into a sermon.  After he'd finished he asked the girl if she had anything to add.  She told my daughter that all she had to say was that soon she would lose everything she had but it would be ok because it would bring her closer to God.  So, yeah...that was a little disconcerting.

There's a kind of hush that fills the space with a thickness that feels almost oppressive. Maybe it's because I'm so wide awake.  I wish I could turn the questions off until the morning but I don't think I can for a while.

I miss my sweet girl!  She had her voice audition today and her range is nearly 2 -1/2 octaves!  She just has a few details to work out with voice lessons and her theater credits but I think once she's in the swing of her schedule she'll be fine.  This Saturday, she's riding a bus from school to Washington D.C. for the Restoring Honor Rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  It should be a blast!  We're praying for a safe trip and a beautiful day.  I'm a little worried because she doesn't know if there are any other people on the trip that she knows.  What if she gets separated from the group?  I know, I know, I'm a worrying mom.  But hey, it's my job!!!

It's kinda lonely.  Everyone else has gone to bed and I'm still wandering around pondering my meanderings.  I think if I tried to read, I'd just drift off into my own thoughts.  Maybe a movie?  We'll see.
Wondering about how things are going and what's happening.  Kinda have a weight on my mind about a few things.  All stuff I can't change so I should just let it go but I can't.  So I'm praying.

Started working on upcycling some old wool sweaters but had to put it aside for awhile.  I should work on them again.  I have some ideas but I haven't figured the pattern out yet.  I'll post pictures once they're finished if they turn out.  I've seen some really interesting ideas and some really blah ones so I hope I can come up with a nice pattern.

Well, I could just ramble on and on about next to nothing because my mind is flying 90 mph.  Guess I'll try to get some rest.

Sweet dreams.

Starting Points

This year in our homeschool we're learning about forming our worldview.  One of the required reading assignments for this week includes excerpts from How to Read Slowly by James Sire.  Here's what he says about learning to analyse things we read:
"When writers write they do so from the perspective of their own world view.  What they presuppose about themselves, God, the good life and the validity of human knowledge governs both what they say and how they say it.  That is why reading with world views in mind (your own and that of the author) will help you understand not only what is written in the lines but what is written between the lines--that is, what is presupposed before the pen even reaches the page."

And later in chapter 1 he writes:
"It isn't just in prose that we need to be aware of world views.  There is a frequent misconception about poetry.  Poetry, we hear people say, is just for emotion and feeling.  Indeed, poetry does involve emotion and feeling, but at its best it reflects our whole character.  As Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, "No man was ever yet a great poet without at the same time being a profound philosopher.  For poetry is the blossom and the fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts, human passions, emotions and language."

August 22, 2010

The first day

Just heard from my oldest.  Tomorrow is the first day of classes for my college girl, too.  She's excited and I'm excited for her.  Auditions went well and she will be playing Martha in A Christmas Carol!  So proud of her!!!  MWF - GNED and Theology, TTH - Biology, Bible and Psychology.   Maybe voice and then theater.  Busy times!

My groove

Once I settle into a groove, I like to keep things that way.  It's easy to get comfortable in a situation and feel like it's always going to be that way.  But just about the time when I'm really settled in something changes.  New beginnings and endings.  I really don't like endings...especially sad ones.  Or when I just know the end is coming but I can't see it yet.  I can feel it in the air...the vibes generated by looming change.  Something hanging over me like a dark cloud.  The hardest part is letting go.  I tend to become very attached to things and especially to people. 
But all change isn't bad.  Some of it is good and right.  Those changes often come with new beginnings.  Beginnings are exciting and full of expectation!  I have to be careful when I start something new because I tend to jump in with both feet.  Sometimes I go in right over my head and flounder around trying to get back to the surface.  And sometimes I jump in only to find that it was all for naught.  Stumbling and making a mess of things all because I'm like an excited teenager when new things begin to happen.  I still love the magic, the intrigue, the fairy tale. 

And speaking of fairy tales, I haven't checked on old Gimbledorf since early this spring.  I'm sure he's having a grand time shepherding the wild straws.  In the dog days of summer, they tend to become restless and try to break away.  But he's onto them and keeps a fairly tight reign until the cooler days of autumn begin to filter through the treetops into the glades and thickets of their forest home.  The thing about wild straws is that they are so skinny that they can hide behind anything.  It's hard to imagine that they have such big teeth when they are so thin. 
It time to harvest some things from the woodlands so I'll probably run into Gimbledorf somewhere on the hill.  We've noticed a variety of fern that we've never seen before.  It must be one of the new ones he transplanted from his brother's home across the valley.  Maybe if I take him some tea, he'll trade with me.

Tomorrow is our first day of homeschool for the year.  We thought we'd start early so we can feel better about taking time off when we need it.  It's my youngest daughter's first year of high school.  Lot's of new things to learn and some independence to encourage.  It's going to be a fun year.

Hidden in the forest

there's a side of me that I keep hidden
it's there among the dreams
my thoughts and hopes i've bidden
to reveal myself to you

Is it fear that keeps me in the dark
or just mistaken feelings
things i thought i wanted from the start
but now i'm not so sure

i'd love to come out of hiding
to show you who i really am
but fast from you i'm riding
to escape the feelings i thought i had

who am i really hiding from
what could be worse than this
adding heartache to the hurtful sum
of emotions lost but for what

there is no gain in all of this
if i can't be myself
there is a deeply heartfelt wish
to sweep it all aside

to revel in what i'd hoped to find
in this forest of my dreams
to justify my roaming mind
looking for a certain sign

it seems almost like a fairytale
too good to really be true
to what will all this hiding avail
not much if i'm far from you

i'm hidden in the forest
trees blocking me from your view
is this just a painful test
to teach me a needed lesson

if only i could be true
faithful instead of roaming
i'm sure i could make things new
repair the damage that i've done

i'm hidden in a thicket here
of my own desires and wants
keeping me from drawing near
to you so what's the use

you looked deep in my heart
what you saw there wasn't right
i needed to do my part
instead of focusing inside

i'm nothing without you
can you find it in your heart
to think of me anew
forgive my foolish start

I'm hidden in the forest
trying hard to find my way
i'm not going to rest
until i'm with you once again

can you ever believe it
this promise i make to you
how will you receive it
do you think you can trust me

believe me when i tell you
i mean all that i say
it's hard to start anew
when i've made such a mess

i'm hidden in the forest
deep within my thicket green
am i doing my very best
to show myself to you

or am i merely content
to stay right here
to let the trees prevent
you from finding me

i'm hidden in the forest
wanting very much to come out
but i really must confess
i'm afraid of what you'll think of me

why have i strayed away
from the love you have for me
is this where i want to stay
or is it safe to step out

Can you believe it?!

Here's an example of how good God is to me/ occurred to me that she might need some sort of storage that she could lock; like a foot locker, pretty standard for college students, right?  Well, I called the school to see if they recommended having something like that or not and they said it was a good idea.  So we started looking for one...I went everywhere!  Walmart had them online but our store is little and they didn't carry anything remotely like that.  I spent a big part of the day looking and felt pretty miserable because I hadn't thought of it before the very last minute.  So we thought we'd look when we get to the university.  A dear friend stopped by to wish her farewell and we talked about what had happened.  He started to laugh and said that he'd picked up a box like that to put in the back of his truck to store things in but it didn't keep the water out so if it was what we were looking for, she could have it.  I couldn't believe my eyes!  There was a brand new plastic foot locker just like we'd been looking for...and it was even green to match all the other things she bought for her dorm!  Imagine!  Amazing!

What is Love?


August 21, 2010

I honestly don't know

You gotta wonder where things come from in our minds.  Sometimes things just spring up without me even realizing it until an entire idea is just...there.  Pondering life's questions can be an overwhelming process.  It's times like these when I have to turn it over to God and let it go.  That's not to say that I won't pick it right back up again and try to handle it on my own.  Especially things I don't understand. 
Because I'm an engineer, I tend to think more analytically  about life.  I need answers and solutions.  However, I also need to wait on God.  So when I think something is supposed to happen and it doesn't, I need to know why.  Can I fix it?  Can I analyze the cause and effect to figure out a way to make things work?  That approach really only works in the mechanical world.  Most of our lives are not mechanical.  Sure we use machines and tools but not in the reality of personal relationships.  The "tools" involved there are our hearts and our minds.  Our physical, spiritual and intellectual selves.
Do we know who that is?  Maybe not.  Even folks who have years and years of experience may not know.  Which brings me back to the "Why?" questions that haunt me with their unanswered meanings.  What does it all mean?  I honestly don't know.

When do we face our problems and when do we run the other way?  As I mentioned I like to fix things if I can but if I'm dealing with other people, there are always unknowns.  I can only fix things if they are willing to work at it from their side, too.  Sometimes they're not.  Or they say they are but when it comes right down to it, they won't even try.  So try as I will, things are not going to change.  We can stare down an issue but there's only so much we can do until we decide to run away rather than deal with the same old things again and again.  But at least we tried.  Other things pull at people leading them in directions that contradict what they say they want.  So how do we know if they are sincere?  I honestly don't know.

Running away is often a means to protect ourselves and sometimes a way to avoid facing up to things that happen.  When we're responsible for the"things" that we're running from, we're not taking responsibility...we're cowards.  It's a weakness.  So, how do we learn to stand up and face the "things" that we run from?  Some of it is maturity.  Running is often done in the name of protecting others because we've hurt them but there are better ways than running to correct our mistakes.  Like dealing with the things that hurt.  Why is that so hard to understand?   Maybe because we don't really want to.  Maybe we really don't care as much as we thought we did.  Maybe we're just looking for a way out.  An escape?  Or maybe it's one of those "all about me things" that keep us from seeing the big picture.  We want what we want and so we run away from the things that get in the way.  But what happens if the things we run from turn out to be better than the dreams we chase?  I honestly don't know.

In the world of "me" there is no responsibility, no ownership, no leadership because if things go sour, we just back off and blame it on the Lord.  No perseverance, no concern, no determination...because it apparently wasn't meant to be. 
Well, I'm not a fatalist, I believe God has a plan.  And I believe that I have a part to play in it.  I'm not just part of the set or one of the props.  I'm a part of the story...a player...and in the story of me, I'm the star.  The stage is set...I'm given a world to live in with some parameters and guidelines to operate within; but the story isn't written line by line with every thought, word and deed in place.  I have the responsibility of developing my character...bringing it to life.  It's like a writing assignment where I'm given a scene and a set of circumstances but how the story goes is up to me.  Will my character save the day?  Lead to victory...or defeat?  Go off on a quest...follow a dream?  Run away...leave everything behind?  Is it just about me or are there other people in my story?  How do I treat them...?  Am I strong or weak?  Do I shine with a light that others can see?  Am I caring and kind...or selfish and hurtful?  Can I lead others or am I a follower?  Who am I supposed to be?  When I've developed my charater, I can play out my part.  In the story of me, do I make people happy?  Do they want to be a part of my story?  Will they feel loved, cared for, like they mean something to me or will they ask, "Why?"  I honestly don't know.

But what I do know is that who I become is all up to me not my circumstances.  Can I overcome the trials or will I allow them to turn me into something I wasn't supposed to be?  Will I look at life in a positive way or will I let it get me down...steal my joy?  Choices, decisions,, hope love?  I only get one chance to play this part so I better do my best.

Valor or languor?

My head is abuzz with thoughts and feelings and hopes.  It's hard to know how to get a handle on all of them.  I'd love to say, "Ok, here's what's going to happen and so we need to do ________."  but as I"ve proven to myself over and over again, in spite of what my gut instinct is or what I think I can see in the future, I am not a fortune teller.  Hah! Who knew?!  So, yeah...  My spiritual gift is not prophesy.  I'm not really sure what it is but that is not it.  I can site several situations in which I thought I could see what was going to happen but, Wow!, was I wrong!  How is it possible to see something that isn't there?  Imagination?  Wishful thinking?  God's sense of humor?   Or is He just preparing me for something else?  I don't know.

Just had some great news from my daughter but I don't want to say anything until I know more.  Prayers!!!!

When I presume to know the direction God is heading with something, I think He sets me straight by letting me know that He is in control.  He is but maybe meddling is my gift!  Helping people see things from a different perspective.  'Cuz you know that sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees.  But, here we go back to the question I've asked soooo many times!  Where is the line between accepting God's will as it falls out and reaching out, actually taking things into our own hands (with His guidance), toward the goals He has set before us by opening doors that lead us toward Him?  Maybe I've just answered my own question.  Just because a door opens, are we to go through?  I mean, is there a possibility that He could allow us to chose from more than one course of action or more than one prize to reach for?  Or are we adrift in the sea of life or floating on the breeze and if it happens to blow us through a door then we were meant to go through it.  Do we just play it by ear; fly by the seat of our pants?  Or are we given opportunities that we need to go after?  Reach for the prize and hold on tight even if there are little bumps in the road or even road blocks?  We have to and regularly do make decisions.  If we're just floating through life waiting on God to lay it all out for us so we can walk through, there wouldn't be any decisions to make.  Do we get discouraged?  Lose hope?  Have the courage to step out in His name and fight for what we want if it's a worthy goal?  Valor or languor?  One points toward God and one does not.  Or should we allow ourselves to float past the door and leave it behind us because we're waiting on God to hand everything to us on a silver platter that we never have to work for?  If we pursue a godly goal, are all roads open to us?  By that, I mean as long as we are not going against the teachings of the Bible, can we pick and choose the direction we go?  Since God cannot be tempted and He doesn't tempt us, will He ever open a door that doesn't lead us closer to Himself?  Is life a test or an opportunity to use the gifts He's given us to glorify Him...or not? 

Then who would try to lead us astray?  Maybe blow us past the door if we are allowing ourselves to be at the mercy of the breeze?  Maybe someone who doesn't want us to reach for the prize because attaining it would make God look good.  God is all powerful but He has also given others the chance to try to distract allow discouragement and even apathy to enter our a effort to draw us away from Him.  That's where the action, the decision making comes in.  Courage, bravery and willingness to serve others with discernment are all required.  We can't be passive about our faith or our walk.  Me first, then others, then God?  No...God first, then others and me last.  We have decisions to make...Choices to fight for the good, to love others more than ourselves, to serve.  Call it our worldview.

"Stand up and be strong, another victory's in store.  It's time to be courageous in the power of the Lord"  ~The Martins  

"So, if you think you are giving something your all but your all is all about you, then you haven't given anything." ~Me   How's that for a different perspective?

"Write that down!  It's the most important piece of evidence yet!" ~King of Hearts.
Ummm..I don't like growing old.  It's scary.  And I don't like not having the control that I had before.  I'm talking about over my memory, my body, my whole being.  Well, not my whole being but large parts of it.  I think it would be lovely to feel young again.  Or should I say that it would be nice if my body could stay as young as my mind...let's just forget the forgetful part...haha that should be easy enough to do!
So how do I accomplish that?  Obviously, I haven't figured that out. 
Maybe it should be noted here that I'm not in any hurry for the MRS. degree.  And that I don't think she has to make it a priority to find her mate in college.  Who knows where she'll meet him and maybe she already has.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Talk about old sayings!  The big thing is that she will be discerning and allow God to work.  Sometimes it's easy to think you know where He's pointing but you might be wrong or the timing isn't His timing.  My prayers would be that whomever she feels led toward will be a strong, godly young man who shares her worldview and who will take good care of her and lead her in a relationship that honors the Lord.  One with room for her to do the things she loves to do while raising a family together.  Maybe not a career but God knows just what she needs. 
Every girl dreams of her prince riding up on a white horse and carrying her away.  Does that happen?  I suppose, sometimes, but more often than not it's a process that is often complicated by lots of silly, immature ideas that won't really matter when it comes right down to it but just might cause unnecessary problems.
I think love is more about the time when you are ready to think about some one else and serve them than it is about your feelings. 

OK, tear time again...I don't think I like this.

A new reality

Well...I'm now the mother of a resident college student living 6-1/2 hours from home.  I don't think I like it.  I'm not sure which part was the hardest...pulling out of the drive or trying to while the girls ran to the swing for one last summer memory...or leaving her at college...or hearing her tearful voice on the phone and knowing that I'm so far away.  All in all, I don't think I like it. 
I'm praying for her to find her nitch and make some godly friends in her classes and dorm so she'll begin to feel like she's a part of a group.  I know she'll be fine but it's my job to fret about it and worry that she won't ask for help when she needs it or that she won't remember to do something on time.  That's what moms do...right? 
The parents' meeting was helpful by letting me know that I'm not the only mom who feels this way.  I guess the first 2-3 weeks are the worst for both family and student.  But the prayer support groups are awesome and I love the fact that so many people will be covering her with prayer every day.  The school offers loads of help to keep the students on track and make sure they succeed.  I thought it was kinda funny that one of their goals is to encourage guys and gals to find suitable spouses before they graduate.  I've heard lots of jokes about girls going to college to get their MRS. degree!  It's nice to have the security of a relationship in college.  Of course, that's just my opinion.  I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me.  Some pretty strong bonds can be made by spending time sharing mutual interests.  The potential is there for everyone to find the guy or girl of their dreams in college.  That's why it seems really silly for folks who have relationships to go their separate ways during those years.   Makes me think of the Eagles' song Girl from Yesterday. 
It will be interesting to hear what she learns about theology and the bible this semester.  She has some very interesting books on theology and doctrine that I can't wait to read when she's finished.  Should be the basis for some great conversations.  I know some folks think that taking classes that don't pertain to your major is a waste of time and that may be true of some courses but some of the classes she'll be taking this semester will further form her worldview.  Which will influence how she looks at all the choices she needs to make whether related to her future job or her future family.  That's why it's important for doctrinal issues to be clarified and sure to make a firm foundation.  But you can't build a firm foundation if all the stones aren't aligned.  And that foundation can't support a marriage if both builders aren't working from the same set of plans.
Anyway, it's going to be awesome for her and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.  Both in the theater and the MRS. department! I know He has them all planned out for her so I hope she makes wise choices so He can show her how to use her talents and gifts for His glory.
And exciting as all this sounds...I don't think I like it.  Give me a few weeks to get used to the idea.  God gave me the opportunity to homeschool her and nurture her.  There are things we didn't get to do but we have lots of good memories from those days and I feel confident that she has a good grip on her faith so I know she'll be fine and so will I but...I don't think I like it!

August 17, 2010

Tomorrow's the day

Tomorrow's the day I've been secretly and not so secretly dreading for a while.  We take my oldest daughter to college for the first time.  I'm sure she's going to be fine and we're blessed to have lots of other students from our church and town attending the same college.   We also have folks from the area who've settled near the college after graduation and some are working on campus. 
I'm going to cry...there's just no getting around it.  I love her so much that right now, I can't bear the thoughts of taking her 6+ hours away and leaving her there!  What if she needs me?!  Needs a hug?  I know I've raised her well and she needs to take this step and it's time for me to let go...a she starts this new adventure as an adult...yeah, I know all those things but I don't really want to hear logic at the moment.  I'm not ready...are mothers ever ready?  One of my dear friends told me that it's ok to cry.  As a mom, who's raised and homeschooled for the past 8 years, there's no way I'm going to be able to hold it together.  But, I'll be fine and she'll be fine.  I'm sure we'll both have our moments and I don't mean to leave out my youngest daughter and husband.  They will miss her terribly too.  But since this is my blog, I'm just thinking/writing about myself!  How very selfish of me! 
There are two ways to look at it.  She's going off to a new, exciting world with new people to meet and experiences to be had...bittersweet, but a wonderful opportunity.  I'm glad she won't be all alone.  That sounds silly...being alone in the middle of a campus with 11,000 students!  But if you don't make connections right away, I'm sure you could feel very alone.  At least there are folks from home that could help if she lets them know she needs something or just wants a taste of home.  One of the gals from here and her boyfriend will be attending college together.  He graduated last year but has been studying online until she was ready to go to college.  It's sweet; they have a great relationship and are planning their college and life together.  I'm sure it will be a comfort to her to have him there.
Anyway, focus...the other way to look at it is that we'll be staying here at home with all things familiar and secure, with established friends and relationships.  And we have each other.  I'll be homeschooling my youngest for 4 more years, Lord willing and it will be a chance for us to spend one on one time together. 
But, it's just a bittersweet time all around to go through these changes.  I've had a couple meltdowns so far and I expect I'll have more but you know what?  It's ok.  My kids have been my life for 19 years and I'd be a real piece of work if I didn't miss having things the way they've been.  But we've had lots of good times together.  And of course there are things I regret not doing with her.  That song from Mama Mia could be my theme song!  There are lots of memories and fun and learning that we've done together.  Things we started but didn't complete, plans that haven't come to pass...yet.  It's not the end, it's a new beginning!
So, yeah, I keep telling myself that and I know once all of us settle into our new reality, it's going to be good.  We'll be able to skype with her and talk via cellphone and facebook.  There will be road trips for plays and breaks and maybe some in between. 
Truth be told in some ways I really do envy a good way.  What an exciting time for her.  It's an opportunity I didn't have as a teen/young adult.  I attended college here.  Fun but not the same.  And there are so many things going on all the time that you couldn't possibly be without choices.  Christian concerts, ice skating, athletic events, convocation, and of course, her major is in theater so she'll be busy with all that, too.  Auditions for the fall semester are this weekend.  I'm praying that she'll do well and get a part in one of plays planned for the fall season.  For a shy, little girl, she has a lot to bring to the theater.  I can't wait to see her in a play on that big stage!
Well, we still have last minute things to pick up and final packing to do so I should get busy.  We could all use some prayers this week and in the weeks to come.  I'm asking for safety, good health, ease getting settled into classes, dorm, diet, friendships and whatever else she needs.  Safe travel and I don't even know how to pray for the rest but He knows what I/we/she needs so I guess I'll just leave it there.
Gotta remember to pack the tissues!!!!

August 16, 2010

I can only imagine

I can only imagine...
'Cuz I don't really know.
I can only imagine...
my emotions start to show.

What can be the meaning,
of the words so lightly spoken?
Is there something there,
or simply thoughts, broken?

Courage seems to fail me
as I face the task alone.
Faith feels so far from me
trying to fathom the unknown.

It's like a guessing game,
a teasing, taunting maze.
How will I know the truth,
hidden behind all this haze?

I could ask for help,
but I've done that in the past.
Changes often haunt me,
but they never seem to last.

Is it so much more exciting
to be constantly unsure
of how the words are meant
rather than hearing meaning, pure?

I guess I'll have to accept it,
and take it for what it's worth.
'cuz I'll drive myself crazy
trying to draw the meaning forth.

Too much meddling on my part,
can only add to my disillusion.
Merely spurring my bad habit,
of jumping to conclusions.

It really doesn't matter
if I truly understand.
I'd better leave the entire thing
in the Lord's capable hand.

August 13, 2010

Softly, softly

Tendrils of mist float dreamily by,
softly brushing the darkening sky.
Diamonds sparkle in the twilight,
winking and blinking through the night.

Dew slowly rises to kiss each blade,
while sweetly, quiet dreams are made.
As darkness fills my sleepy eyes,
a glimpse of light shoots 'cross the skies!

I quickly turn to look afar,
hoping to wish upon a shooting star.
But, alas, the clouds of gentle rain,
have covered the star studded plain.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be blessed,
to see the sky with light caressed,
Once more as bits of dust ignite,
to bring the spectacle in sight.

Meteors streaking across my view,
hopefully watching for just a few.
I wonder if you'll see them too,
sparkling, twinkling just for you.

Wishes float like dandelion fluff,
to see a few is not enough.
I've wishes far more plentiful,
than the one or two I've sent up full,

Of hope and dreams I've kept inside,
sometimes filled with foolish pride.
Only pondering deep within my heart ,
and knowing I must do my part,

To make the dreams my reality,
by striving for the dear quality,
Of life that only faith can bring,
is the thought to which I cling.

You see, its the things I admire,
toward which I strive to aspire,
when I pursue them with a drive,
that makes me glad to be alive.

Spurred by peace that passes,
all understanding and blesses,
Me with many wishes fulfilled.
My heart's desires gently milled,

To match the goodness in store.
Silly me, to wish for more,
When all that I could ever need,
should be enough to slake my greed.

The early glow of dawn brushes the sky.
Sweet songs of morning make me sigh,
Birds a-twitter with early chores,
Animals scurry outside their doors.

With anticipation for another day,
filled with love and work and play.
I've more blessings than I deserve,
from my course I'll not swerve.

As I think of all that belongs to me,
it becomes much easier to see,
Counting the blessings that are mine,
I have nothing for which to pine.

Again I'll watch with wide-eyed glee,
as searching through the skies I'll see,
The split-second flare of distant light,
as another meteor comes in sight.

The, "Ooo's" and "Awww's" of childlike faith,
for awhile, keep the vigilant awake,
while younger heads begin to nod,
in drooping, peaceful, quiet applaud.

I'll leave the wishing for tonight,
knowing slumber will win the fight.
And drifting slowly off to sleep,
softly, softly my dreams I'll keep.

August 11, 2010

'Til you're blue in the face.

A metaphor illustrating the amount of talking a person has to do when dealing with someone they care about who will not hear or apply your advice but continues to suffer the consequences of their own foolishness.

The Heart of Man

Dark, dark the heart of man,
dismal abyss of despair.
Gobbling up the joy they might have
if only their hearts would repair.

Distant, distant the heart of man,
disdainful and morose.
Filling every possible crack
with thoughts of pity gross.

Fearful, fearful the heart of man
courage lacking even still.
Drawing further from the truth
by his own self focused will.

Hurtful, hurtful the heart of man,
whose despondent sorrow,
builds a wall around their lives
from which no one can borrow.

Painful, painful the heart of man
Words, deep, dark mysterious flow.
Goading all their faithful friends,
with misery and woe.

Healing, healing the heart of man.
if only they could see,
the mercy given unto all men
by one whose love is free.

Loving, loving the heart of man.
Not such an easy task,
While hidden from those who care
the empty spaces need only ask.

Memories, memories from the heart of man
regrets and thoughts of love,
filling all the empty cracks
so none can enter from above.

Lonely, lonely the heart of man.
who will not reach for the light.
But lingers in the hollow,
a prisoner of his own sorry plight.

Trapped, trapped the heart of man.
within his own cell there. 
Bondage holding onto his dreams
because he does not care.

What doth this dark man seeketh,
A bandage for his wound?
Or is the true desire there,
only waiting to be found?

Are the thoughts he held,
so dear to him merely dust?
Or is there hope there
in which he can place his trust?

Daring, courageous the heart of man,
to battle the will of his soul.
In a fight for freedom,
giving all to make himself whole.

Wonder of wonders, this heart of man,
asleep to the passion of love.
Awakened to become the son
blessed by your Father above.


One week from today we will take our daughter to college for the first time.  It's a 6 hour trip.  Much too far to run over for an afternoon or a quick hug and chat.  It's going to be a huge adjustment period for all of us.  There will be so many new things for her to learn and be a part of now.  It's so exciting to see your firstborn reach this level of maturity and strike out on their own to fulfill their dreams.  Bittersweet!  That word just sums it all up.  All the warmth and the love; the sadness and melancholy that comes with letting go.  The fear and worry of a mother's heart and the pride and joy, too.
She's grown into a wonderful, godly young woman who seems to have a light inside that glows even in the dark.  It's all about other people for her.  Interacting with them, ministering to them, loving them, hugging (a language all it's own for her), serving and entertaining them.  A Mary in a Martha's world.  Her major is Theater Arts with a focus on musical theater.  If you met her, you'd see that she is fun loving and light hearted.  She's been singing since she first found her voice.  Disney princesses were the inspiration for song whether in the bathtub or playing or mowing the lawn.  As her voice matured, Julie Andrews' style of speking and singing have become one of her favorites.  Music just springs from her soul.  In her early teen years she discovered theater.  As shy as she's always been I thought she might back out.  But to my surprise and everyone else's, she came alive on the stage.  Not in a "look at me" sort of way but in a way that brings life to the stage and joy to those watching.  She has a knack with character voices and timing.  Although she is quiet, she can be quite funny, catching all the nuances that have made characters so memorable.  During a community theater performance of "The King and I" she got to put her Julie Andrews style to the test as Anna. The reviews were tremendous. Her voice is like a little sparrow's; surprisingly big and strong for such a little girl.  A friend once referred to her as a renaissance woman and at the time I didn't understand what they meant.  But now I can see the strength and fierce loyalty that often sets her apart from those around her.  Not above, just apart.  (I have to say that last part because I'm her mother!)  Besides that, swordplay and knights and their ladies made Arthurian tales a favorite of both my girls.  Robin Hood and Lady Marion, too.  At a second's notice our home could be transformed into another world where figures from stories and myths come alive.  Tales from Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Anthony Hope, Baroness Orczy, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Howard Pyle and Mark Twain were reenacted in costume with precision, much in the style of Louisa May Alcott's attic scene in Little Women.  Quite naturally bursts of song, dance, swordplay and parody counteracted by a sister's answering character played out in front of our eyes with honesty and truth portraying their favorite folks from all walks of life and periods of history.  I'll miss that and I'm afraid that as much as I enjoy those stories, I'm going to have a hard time filling her shoes as far as her little sister is concerned. singing voice lacks a little of the range and clarity she's used to and my agility with a bow and arrow or cudgel is a little rusty.  But, who knows, maybe we'll uncover new qualities in both of us.

As much of a little lady as my college bound daughter can be, she's just as comfortable with a bow and arrow or rifle, in her evening gown or her camo, in the woods or on the stage. 

Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell have also been favorites over the years.  The sweet figure of Molly Gibson, affectionately nicknamed "Goosie" by her father, combined with the mild, yet strong willed character of Margaret Hale in Gaskell's novels and the smart, free spirited Elizabeth Bennett and the sensible, calm but full hearted Elinor Dashwood in Austen's works give a few good examples of the type of capable, talented, loving woman she's become.  She has a lot to offer and in my opinion, anyone would be a fool not to see it and appreciate it because she's so unpretentious and meek, yet so full of life and love. Her heart is so big and yet so fierce.  Conflict makes her draw back but don't you dare force her to come out because she'll take a stand if she has to.  All this wrapped up in a neat, lovely little package with eyes that sparkle with love and turn black with anger.  Even though her expression remains the same, all her emotions shine out through those eyes with a light that looks deep into your heart discerning feelings even you may not realize. And I don't mean to say that in a mystical way, only that she has a keen insight into most peoples' personalities.  She understands them and can talk most people through feelings they are having by showing them a side of the story they may not have seen before.  She has people skills that allow her to discern feelings, diffuse arguements and calm the spirits of conflict around her.  Seeing and thinking the best of everyone she meets comes naturally.  She's eager to give her all to being friends but if you hurt her, you'll have to prove to her that she can trust you before she'll give her all again.  Unfortunately,  that doesn't work with everyone.
I know that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to and the limitations of theater go far beyond merely becoming an actress.  She can use whatever interests her to share and minister to others so easily, especially bonding with children.  But where ever the Lord takes her, I know she'll be a blessing to a lot of people because all that she is comes from Him.  I'm so proud of our "Goosie" and will miss her sweet spirit and lilting song terribly.
Goosie, give your all to His honor and glory for all the blessings He's already bestowed on you.  I'm so proud of you and look forward to seeing the doors that open in your future.

So to my sweet little songbird, all the love I have to give and prayers for all the best God has in store for you!
Live from the depths of my pondering mind in the wee hours of the morning.
It's interesting to hear the perspective of onlookers who aren't entwined with all the words.  Or folks who read the words from outside the familiarity and draw conclusions that, when shared, are more to the point than those of folks who are involved.  A non-personal interest can read the words and say, "Who does this person think they are?" or "They obviously have an elevated opinion of themselves."  While those who are personally vested might say, "Hmmm...I wonder what they meant by that?" or "I wonder what I did to cause them to write that?"  People who are looking in from the outside with such clarity remind me of the old saying, "Can't see the forest for the trees."  When you are close to a subject, it's often hard to look at things clearly.  All the ideas and thoughts that are close to us block our view of the bigger picture.  Some of these "trees" are like false ideas and mistaken values.  And then one day, one of the trees starts to lean and a rushing wind comes along and blows it over creating a new view that we couldn't see before.  Or maybe we reach out and push it over so we can get a little more light and spread our branches and roots.  But all in all, we might see a new tree that's in a spot close to us but we couldn't see it before because of the trees in the way.  We can see that it's about the same size and reaching for the same light.  Those two trees might grow together toward the light, branches entwined, roots growing in amongst each other, each strong and sure on their own.  So what happens when the strong winds blow again?   Both trees survive because their strength is combined and they can support each other.
Anyway, I am amazed by the clarity that my friend, "The Closet Blogger", has about situations they've been following in the life of my family.  Watching from the sidelines has given them an interesting perspective that I couldn't possibly have seen from the crowded forest our lives have become.  Many of the trees surrounding us are strong and secure but there are some who have grown into the light too quickly and are tall but have weak root structures.  These weaklings are the ones that will be blown over by the wind.  Haha! Which will you be?  Get your prioities straight!

Someday, my friend will come out of the closet and instead of writing musings, etc. on paper napkins and saving them for me in a brown bag so I can write about them, a new blog will appear and you won't have any trouble knowing what's being said because words are commodities that need to be used responsibly to convey our thoughts and ideas in ways that positively influence the folks who read them. On that point, we both agree, heartily.  Why cloud the issue with random words that have little or no meaning?  Isn't life hard enough? Maybe you can relate to what you're reading or understand where I'm going with all this.  Or maybe not.

So, yeah...that was random.

And that reminds me of the old adage, "You don't have a leg to stand on."  Now that could get tricky! ;)

August 10, 2010

A simple thought

You're out there somewhere,
I can feel it.
But I can't seem to reach you.
Are you hiding?

I see signs of you
in the world around me
But I can't touch you.
Where have you gone?

In my heart I know
your promises hold true
But I forget to change
Do you still love me?

My heart is heavy
with thoughts of you.
But I wish for more
Can you feel it too?

I see the veil
I'm hidden from your sight.
But I step out of its shadow.
Can you see me too?

The promises I've made
seem grey in all this light
But I meant them just the same
Do you believe me?

I'm in the sunlight now
It's brighter than I thought.
But you're here to welcome me.
Can I love you back?

It's been a long time
since we've spent time together.
But I've missed our heart-to-hearts
Can you forgive me?

The light has never faded,
nor kept me from your love.
But I who hid from you.
Could you hold me in your arms?

Alas, I feel I'm slipping,
from your presence once again.
But I call out to you to save me.
Can you reach me?

Safe in the hollow of your hand,
I'll seek to linger ever more.
But sometimes I might fall
Will you pick me up again?


Hey, guess what time it is!!!  It's 2:51AM!!

Thinking about those pesky words again.  I wonder if folks have a hard time understanding things I try to relate through various means like stories or posts...or even conversations.  I know that some folks like to be mysterious and off the wall when they say things so they keep everyone guessing.  And sometimes we like to be vague to keep from giving out too much information.  So, yeah...I'm not very mysterious and would like to think that I say exactly what I mean but I'm not a very good judge of whether that's the way things really happen.  
When I read something, it's nice to be able to interpret what they're writing instead of being left guessing.  You know me and my "Whys"...I need to know.  And it's not like you can ask the author, at least not all the time.  So why do movies end the way they do?  Like "Ghost Writer", I'm left pondering and hungering for more.  Ever seen that movie?  Was he a part of the plot?  A double agent?  Since the ending was only sound from a scene we were set up for but couldn't see, we're left wondering...,"What!?"
Maybe it's all about needing closure.  When I read a book or see a movie I like to come away with a feeling of satisfaction.  Completeness.  Yes, I'm a lover of happy endings but even if it's not happy, it's disconcerting to come away from either a finished novel or a movie with bothersome questions.  A feeling like you've been drawn into the person's world but then a wall has been put up so you can only see a little portion of the logic behind the plot.  In my mind, that's an incomplete closure.  I mean it might not end the way I would have liked but if I can understand why things happened the way they did, at least I'm not haunted by questions that I'll never know the answers to.
Maybe that comes down to the responsible use of words that I think folks ought to use.  Every story influences other people in some way.  At least I think they do.  Maybe other folks walk away from a story or movie and think, "Well, that was mind blowing!" and promptly forget all about it.  It's not that I have a problem differentiating between reality and fiction, at least not in most cases, unless it's a story that's too close to home and makes me relive a part of my life that I'd hoped to forget. It's just that I try to figure out what would cause the author to write what they did.  I mean, they are in control so why did they tell the story the way they did? 
Sometimes I think authors often feel like drama or intrigue means sadness, misery or a series of unfortunate events but to me, drama means something is happening.  Something to draw me to the character...make me connect with them.  Whether its events unfolding in daily life or adventures filled with excitement or in between.  Not always something terrible or depressing or placing too much drama on every little unfortunate thing that happens. Just something to keep me following along with a special emotional grabber on occasion.  By that, I still don't mean some tragedy.  With too many of those in a story, the reader becomes desensitized to the plight of the character.  They just stop caring.  And if the person continually shows self deprecating judgement and self pity, I just label them as self absorbed...not interesting.
In a world where things don't always have a happy ending, why, if you have a choice, would you make a story end mysteriously or sadly or leaving viewers/readers feeling cheated?  I guess I'm just a hopeless romantic.

August 6, 2010

War of Words

It's 3:45AM  AHHH!!!

Word...Webster gives several definitions (condensed by me):
1. something that is said; a brief conversation
2. a combination of characters that represent a spoken word
3. command
4. Gospel
5. news; information
6. act of speaking or making verbal communication
7. a saying or proverb
8. Promise or declaration
9. quarrelsome conversation
10. verbal signal

Words can convey love, interest, comfort, support, respect, desire; hate, agitation, anger, doubt, hurt and tons of other feelings or ideas.  Combined with body language or actions, they can become something altogether deeper and expressive.  Sometimes we understand actions more clearly than words because there are so many words that can mean different things and many words to express the same thing.  Plus actions seem to be more direct about showing what's in our heart.  If we say one thing but act in a way that is contradictory to those words, I'd say that the actions are more reliable; more "true", if you will.
Sometimes words are so wonderful; beautiful tools we use to tell about something that is important to us or describe what we're feeling or something we're seeing.  Tools to relate to others and express our ideas or feelings; to comfort and assure; to encourage and love; to flirt or entice.  These are words that have been chosen with care and words that come from our hearts but many times should only be used with certain people. 
But other times, words flow but make no sense at all.  Statements are written or spoken but we don't know what they mean.  When we don't exercise discernment in the words that we use or the statements we make, they can cause misunderstandings and pain.  They can sound one way when we really meant them in another way.   Words can become weapons used to deceive.  A two edged sword that cuts and wounds leaving scars and building walls.  Breaking hearts whether we meant them to or not. When our meaning is misunderstood (or our intentions) the quickest and best way to correct the misunderstanding is not by making excuses or denial but immediately setting the record straight.  What did I mean to say?  What were the circumstances that led me to say it?  Misunderstandings can be cleared up and hard feelings left behind if we are quick to take responsibility for our words.  We have to be able to back up what we say.
We can use words carelessly but the results are nearly always misunderstood.  The more we learn about words, the better we should become at sharing what we're trying to get across.  But too often, we use words because they sound impressive or show how large our vocabulary has become but in reality they might merely create vague, empty statements that leave folks more confused.  When we use words to put down a thought but we don't really know what that thought is saying, we're leaving ourselves wide open to misinterpretation.
Sometimes words are no good at all.  What is needed are actions to back them up or to express what they are saying in a visual model.  You've heard to old addage, "Actions speak louder than words." It's true.  Here's another one, "Think before you speak."

August 5, 2010

Migraine is history. Thank you Jesus!

Since the rain cooled things down a little I was able to sleep off my migraine before it became too big of an issue.  It's a little discouraging to realize that apparently for some time your vision has been slowly becoming distorted and tunnel vision developing and then...there it is...jagged lightening and points of light in front of your eyes blocking what you're looking at so you have to tip your head to the side to see.  Closing your eyes doesn't help at all...the flashing lights are still there.  So,'s a little scary.

But, thankfully today is a new day and migraine free!  Praise the Lord!  It's a little overcast with showers off and on.  Of course the humidity has not really improved and I'm sure as the temps rise things are going to be quite sticky again today. 


Well, here I am again at 1:20AM searching for much needed rest but finding the humidity too oppressive to allow my busy mind to shut down.  So I'm rambling around half talking to myself and half talking to others trying to make sense of unanswered questions.  If I try to read, I find myself drifting from the text to dreams and back to consciousness forgetting what I was reading or dreaming but feeling a little disgruntled by waking again.  Maybe I'd make better progress if I sat at the table to read.  It's strange... in the still of the night I can think so clearly about a lot of things.  But during the day I find myself being too overwhelmed with other things to think through my night's meanderings with the same clarity.

Today will be a busy day with my oldest working and a friend coming to visit.  Then an appointment, theater, and Zumba tonight.  Praying for another friend as she faces semi-emergency surgery today.  Sometimes I feel so useless to my friends, like they think I'm too busy or not capable or they're afraid to ask for my help.  But what they don't realize is that if I can help them out, it makes me feel like I'm truly their friend, like they trust me enough to let me be a part of their life.  It's a blessing to me. So I was happy to be available for her yesterday even though it turned out that her husband was able to come home quicker than he thought and her mom was already on the way to take the kids.

Things have been a little melancholy around here over the past week or two.  Our time with our oldest before she leaves for college is winding down much too quickly.  And there are loose ends and unanswered questions that hang in the air sapping precious last moments of some of their enjoyment.  You know, all those "whys?" that don't make sense and so you tend to believe that you must have done something wrong or you didn't try hard enough or there must be something wrong with you because things didn't happen the way you wanted them to.  It can be a vicious cycle.  I guess if things didn't matter so much it would be easier to forget about all the bumps in life and look ahead at what's coming up.  But then if there wasn't a little apprehension about the future that part might be easier.  She'll be spending some time with the children she's been working with over the past year and earning a little more money for school.  Wrapping up some scholarships things, taking a computer test, learning her way around her laptop because she's not used to MAC and spending some time with her little sister who is going to miss her very much.  We all will miss her so much but I think it will be harder for her sister to fill the gap.  They are very close and have always been each other's best friend so it's not surprising that little sister is really protective of her big sister and only wants the best for her. 
But this next year will give us a chance to experience something we've never really had for more than a week or two; one on one time for her and I.  I'm probably going to be working some of the time but then we'll be homeschooling and learning other things together. It will be fun.  Plus there will be several trips to visit college.  I'm so anxious to see how auditions go and what parts my daughter might have in the productions.

Oh, well, I'm really meandering tonight so I guess I'll close.. It hard to recognise very far in advance but now I can tell that a migrain si coming on as my view of the screen is shrinking and becomeing distorted.  Time for osme peppermint oil. and attempt ing to sleep again.

August 4, 2010

♪♫♪ "Dreeeeaaam, Dream, Dream Dreeam" ♪♫♪

After a few hours sleep it seems the ideas and words just keep coming... Questions that I don't have answers for haunt me and run through my mind over and over as I try to find reason in things that happen.  It all goes back to my bad habit of asking, "Why?"  It's so easy to accept "good" things that happen.  Not because I think I deserve them but because they are pleasant to experience. And mostly easy to understand.  Maybe not how or why they happened but how they can fill a void rather than creating another hole. we're onto something.  That's what makes me ask "Why?"...wondering how to fill the hole that's left over after not so good things happen in our lives.

"I have a dream.
A song to sing,
to help me cope,
with anything..."

Everybody has a dream, right?  Not the kind that haunts our sleeping moments and are mostly forgotten in the light of day.  I mean the kind that give life meaning, a goal to aim for at some time in the future.  I've been pondering the idea that some folks get so caught up in the dream, they forget to live right now.  There are so many thoughts about the grand things they want to do that reality slowly passes them by and the dreams that really do last a lifetime are lost to plans for the future that may never be fulfilled.  Maybe that's a part of growing up too.  Realizing what's important and focusing on reaching that goal instead of lofty plans that exclude meaningful things in our lives that will really stand the test of time.  Perhaps it's a sort of searching for something that's missing.  Most of the time those somethings are not external experiences but internal ones.  A hole in our lives that needs to be filled with just the right thing to make our hearts feel secure.  A cure for the wanderlust that seems to pick at our minds but never fills the void.
But it's also important to have a dream that you can keep on living so you aren't disappointed with your future when you get there.  It's nice to know that after 27 years of marriage, we're still going. The dream may not have played out the way we thought it would and the road hasn't always been smooth but those things make us stronger.  So now my dream is a reality I can take comfort in; a blessing that I build on as time goes by.  If I had focused on other things a long time ago, I may not have been wrong but I certainly would have missed out.  As a result I have two lovely daughters that bless me on a daily basis.
Sometimes I'm sorry it took us so long to start our family but I think that's a part of the dream that I couldn't really control so I'm sure it turned out just as it should have.  And what would I do without them?!
I guess all this stemmed from some things I've been thinking about that revolve around dreams.  How much of reality do we push aside to reach our dreams?  How much responsibility do we have for planning and taking an active part in making our dreams come true?  You can't live a dream from the outside.  It just can't be done.  Fulfilling dreams are like living a story from the inside.  A fairytale if you will.  One that's all about you and probably involves at least one other person.  If we try to write the story from the outside, as if we're watching from a safe distance while a shadowy version of ourselves actually lives in the dream, we may find satisfaction in creating the tale but sadness because we don't feel any passion.  It's just a pale immitation of what we want to happen.  We may think we're being a part of it because we're the author, at least in part, but in reality, we're weaving a tale about someone else, someone we can't fully relate to.  So the dream is there but empty of the joy we thought it would bring to ourselves and anyone else who's involved.  It's a good story to read and a way to escape the life we're living but it's not really a story about us.  In a sense, rather than being trapped inside, we've effectively protected ourselves so much that we've actually been locked out by our own foolishness.  For dreams to come true, we have to take action, we have to be a part of the story instead of sitting on the sidelines.  Otherwise it's like watching an event unfold that we can cheer for and agonize with but we can't be a part of unless we stop being a spectator and get into the action.  If we don't, we'll miss out but not because dreams don't come true but because the dream we're watching belongs to someone else.

Jenny Matlock

August 3, 2010

Quiet of the night

It's 3:15 AM as I start to write.  Seems like I've had more than my share of words for the past 24 hours but most needed to be written because my family thought I was especially quiet last evening.  I guess when that happens it stands out in deep contrast to the norm. 
It's so quiet!  Everything seems so still and peaceful.  Except my mind which is abuzz with one thought after another.  Why this?  Why that?  What were they thinking?  What can I do?  It's like chaos in here and I don't know how to shut it off.  It's amazing to think about the clarity of thoughts in the still of the night.  I know that God is in control and that despite me or anyone else, He can do what ever He wants and has had things planned since before time was set in motion.  He doesn't need me to accomplish His plan but He loves me and wants me to be a part of it.  If I could just calm down all these thoughts that are running wild.  Pondering but no meandering going on right now.  Not to say that there's any sense or form to what's in here; just one fast, worried thought after another like bumper cars in a small arena. Speeding toward another car and then swerving quickly to face another, bouncing off with a jerking force that makes me fly forward and then back again.  Seemingly unrelated but each one clear and important.  My body is tired but my mind is NOT!  Praying for reason to find this battlefield and calm things down enough to call some peacetalks.  Yes, that might help...peacetalks.  Okay, everyone, listen up! 
Yeah, like they're going to listen to me.  Now that would be something to think about!  Two cents, ten cents, even fifteen cents will never add up if you don't hang on to it.  Invested in the future it might make a difference. 
I'm so tired...guess I'll try to sleep again.  My insides are rumbling but I'm not hungry...I think it's all this crazy hodgepodge of thoughts and unrest.  You know what?  Sometimes you just have to plant the seed and allow God to do the rest.  I might not see the results for whatever reason but maybe planting the seed is all I can do.  I like to see things grow.  But maybe my seed will not grow.  Maybe it will fall on the rocks of stubborn pride and be forgotten. lets add sadness to the mix and the chaos becomes so much louder.  All these thoughts couldn't be put  into words if I tried so I guess I'll give it up for now.  Let the peacetalks begin  but I'm not going to be the mediator right now.  I'm too tired.

August 2, 2010

County Fair

This week is our annual Clearfield County Fair at our county seat about 40 minutes from here.  Tom took us to the festivities for a while tonight so we could look around and eat fair food!  We hit the exhibits and wondered why we don't take some of our crafts, artwork or herbs over for the judging.  Seems like we'd have a shot at some of the prizes money.  It's always fun to see what's new and how things have changed.  And of course we look at the silly chickens and the cute little bunnies, the horses and sheep are always favorites.  My family looks for John the Greek so they can have gyros!  I like so many foods at the fair but unfortunately they don't like me so I have to go easy.  I had cactus fries and they were yummy!  I would have tried a blooming onion but I know someone who makes the absolute best blooming onions ever and she wasn't there so I figured I'd wait a few weeks for a little ag fair about 5 minutes from home.  She's usually there and I'll have my last blooming onion of the season.  The other one was at our local Community Days back in June. 
Some things at the fair never change and others seem to follow trends, ebbing and flowing like waves as their popularity fluctuates.  The midway is always interesting because of all the "colorful" folks who work the rides and game booths.  It's funny to hear them call out to my pretty girls, trying to get them to come to their booth to play.  Ahhh...I live vicariously though them sometimes thinking about the old days when I was just a girl!  There's something comforting in going to the fair but its also a reminder of how our culture has changed.  In some ways things are more safe and yet more worldly at the same time but I remember from my childhood days that there were some pretty risque things to be seen on the midway at our little county fair.  I can see it all now...families walking down the midway...respectable moms and dads with children in tow and then, there it was for all the world to see.  Scantily clad ladies trying to entice the fellows to come inside for the "show."  The fellows in their jackets and fadoras would be gawking, knowing very well that they'd never set foot inside that tent but unabashedly taking in as much as they could from their familial position in the crowd while the ladies, wearing modest dresses with cardigans, were trying to hurry them along and cover the children's eyes at the same time!  Haha, my, how times have changed!  Now, some of the folks in the crowd are nearly as scantily clad as those dancers were and the "show" is free.  Yep, the memories of our youth!

Bear with me....

The reason I started writing the last post was to clarify a few thoughts from the first one.  But I missed one point that I feel is important.  So, to belabor this subject just a little more, bear with me as I write some explanations about my whole spin on this.
If I ask questions but can't get a clear answer, I am guilty of again jumping to conclusions based on less than the whole story because I can't stop myself from forming some sort of conclusion when I'm looking for answers.  Sometimes people don't know the answer or can't put in into words.  Sometimes they might feel that it's really none of my business but I think I've already been clear on that point!!!  Maybe they don't want to talk about it and that's ok.  Just say so rather than try to come up with some lame answer that doesn't even come close to what you're all about.  Honesty really is the best policy.  And sometimes they are afraid to answer because they might be judged by what they say.  When I ask questions, it's not with the intention to judge the person...maybe in some way their ideas...but not the person.  I can agree to disagree...sometimes.  I just want the truth. That's how I get to know people and make connections with them that are built on who they really are with a depth that will last a lifetime.  It goes way beyond exchanging pleasantries, at least for me.  Their vulnerabilities are what make them easier for me to relate to.  And after all, if you have no vulnerabilities or problems what need would you have for someone like me who's looking to mother/suffocate/befriend?  Besides, I have lots of things that I'd like to talk about and it's much easier to share them with someone who can relate.  But I can't share my thoughts or problems with someone who keeps their character under wraps and only allows folks to see their facade from the perfection of an impression they've created for themselves.  I need people to be real.  Maybe that's what all this comes down to.  I want to know the real you whether your family or friend.  I don't want to live a lie.  It makes me feel betrayed.
Well, thankfully, I think that's all I have to say about conclusions; jumped to or drawn from facts and "personal research" so once again I'll say that my intentions are good and come from a loving heart because if I didn't care, I wouldn't ask.

conclusions cont.

I've been doing a lot of soul searching lately.  There's been a lot going on.  As I thought back over what I wrote earlier today about jumping to conclusions, I'd like to say that is the reason I ask so many questions; sometimes questions that may be personal.  I like to know what makes people they think...what their worldview is like.  If they look at something differently than I do, I want to know why.  Are they right, am I...wrong?  Should I reconsider my position on the issue at hand?  If it's an important idea, can I convince them that they need to rethink their stand?  Not because they have to think like I do (at least not all the time), but because it's something that I think is important to be clear about.  And most of the time, when I take the time to ask questions, I'm much more accurate in the conclusions I reach.  I guess that's the issue right there.  Jumping blindly or forming a conclusion based on knowledge.  Conclusions drawn from getting more information to understand the situation are not ones that I've jumped to but ones that have been reached through what I'll call "personal research" of another individual. Does that mean I'm slow to assess a situation on my own?  Well, maybe but "on my own" means based on my own understanding which can be completely wrong.  Not to pat my own back here but, there have been a good number of times when I have been fairly accurate in discerning what's going on in certain cases.  But other times when I couldn't have been farther from the truth.  Maybe the real issue here is whether or not I'm just a busy body!
But then there comes the faith issue.  Faith not only in God but in other people.  Yeah, sometimes I'm not very good at that.  I'm a fixer. If something is not "right" for someone I care about, I want to fix it if I can.  Not that I'm not willing to let them fix it on their own but if they're not making any attempt to do that then I'm guilty of stepping in.  It may be a twisted way to look at it but in my own mind, if I can fix it for them, I've been blessed by ministering to their needs.  I'm mothering, even to people outside my family, whether they want it or not!  Hey, that may be another faulty conclusion but that's the way I see it and for all intents and purposes, I'm doing it out of love.  Or is it a control issue?  No, I don't think so.  I've been around enough of that to recognise that sort of behavior and trust me, there's no love in it.  But what happens when I'm not around to fix things?  I've cheated them out of the learning experience needed to work it out the next time.  Regardless of how clear the solution might be to me, some people don't learn from advice or from personal experiences of others.  They have to learn things the hard way, through trial and error and pain.  That is hard to sit back and watch if you think you know the answer.  However, it's not my goals they are working toward but hopefully, God's plan for their life.  Unfortunately, those plans are not revealed to busy bodies like me!  But all the two cents worth of advice that I give might add up to a small fortune if you play your cards right.  And lets get something straight right here; If you are someone I care about, your problems are my business, like it or not!   It comes with the package. 
But I do what I can with the very best intentions for those I love. I hope they can look close enough to draw the right conclusions about that!

Jumping to...false conclusions

I'm ashamed to admit that one huge issue that I deal with occasionally is jumping to conclusions.  Sometimes, eventually, it turns out I was right but every now and then, because I'm still just a sinner saved by grace, I'm...wrong.  They say that women have an intuition about things and I think its true in most cases.  But sometimes we're way off base.  Not that I have any excuse to do it but I guess in trying to pin down what's happening I just have trouble believing in the good side of things, especially when I've seen a pattern developing.  Of course, that is completely unfair because I don't have an exclusive track to God's grace so that my life is the only one He works in.  I've seen the bad side so many times that I am suspicious and distrustful...sometimes with good reason but others unjustly.  One reason might be that I've always felt so undeserving of good things that I see no reason why they would happen to me.  Silly for a child of God, I know.  When I step back and take a good look at what I'm thinking, I can see that some of it comes from jealousy, some from past hurts, some from feeling inadequate and some of it from not waiting on Gods timing.  I allow frustration to take control of me and that lets the sinful side running the show.  There are always two sides to an issue and not understanding what the motives or background is can make for a lot of mistakes and faulty thinking.  You know, the whole shoulder angel thing. 
And not only do I jump to false conclusions, I share my conclusions with others infecting them with the poison of the mistake I've made by making my deductions based on the part of the story I know rather than the whole tale. 
I'm putting these things at the foot of the throne in an effort to keep them out of my life.  But, as with most sins and worries, in my weakness I'll probably go back and pick them up again in a moment of misunderstanding or confusion.  Trouble with all this is that when I jump to a false conclusion it often involves someone else and my ignorance hurts them for which I am truly sorry. Truly.

August 1, 2010

Something is missing

We're really out of touch.  We live in houses that keep out the wind and the rain and the cold.  They protect us from the heat and maybe even cool us so we forget the warming of the sun that gives us life.  We leave our homes to go out in the world but we travel inside a box on wheels with a climate controlled interior that gives an artificial feeling of comfort.  We arrive at our destination and maybe walk a short distance to another building and go inside to the same conditions.  All the life is filtered out of the air we breath...synthetic aromas permeate our surroundings and our lives are sanitized with chemicals.  The food we eat has been sprayed and modified and processed so far from its natural state that the label lists few ingredients that are easily recognizable.  When our bodies tire of the nutrient poor substitutes added to this paltry fare and they can't filter out the toxins well enough to keep us healthy, disease takes hold.  So we go to the doctor with our symptoms and they prescribe more chemicals and processed medications that have been created in a laboratory to mimic substances that have been known to mask these symptoms so we don't realize how bad they are until the disease has done irrepairable damage to our bodies which often leads to death.  Sound a little wacky?  When is the last time you went for a walk in the woods or drank water from a stream?  Have you ever used a folk remedy or learned to identify plants?  How long has it been since you picked berries far from the influence of exhaust or pesticides?  When was the last time you went outside to smell the flowers or sit in the sun?  Do you know what it's like to sweat or feel the need to put on a sweater in the house?  Or sleep outside?  How long has it been since you grew your own produce or cooked a meal without opening a package?  Climbed a hill?  Killed your own meat?  Have you ever peed in the woods?  No wonder we've forgotten what it's like to appreciate this wonderful world in which we live.

Popular Meanderings