Monday, July 22, 2013


In the last few months the landscape of my life has completely changed. My life is almost unrecognizable. That's a huge deal for someone who makes changes very slowly.

Three or four months ago I found out that I would be losing my job somewhere around the end of May. That news alone was completely unsettling. A company called the store totally out of the blue and made my uncle an offer, well, that he couldn't refuse. So papers were signed, lots of money exchanged hands, and soon enough a date for closing was set. To be clear, that's closing the business.

I decided not to freak out. I looked at the numbers, considered my position, and decided that I would try to collect my unemployment for the summer. I could take the two classes needed to fulfill my educational requirement to sit for the CPA exam. I could spend lots of time with my children. I could breathe. Sounds like a good and reasonable plan.

Have you heard that quote about how we make plans and God laughs?

The last week that the store was open my uncle (my boss) was admitted to the hospital. He had been sick with a mysterious illness for more than a year but the two weeks leading up to his admittance his health took a sharp downward spiral. He needed assistance to walk just a few feet. He could not manage a simple sentence. He barely ate. He stayed in Vanderbilt for a little more than two weeks. He was discharged on a Sunday. Tuesday night he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital here. He died on Friday afternoon.

I still cannot believe that he is gone. We certainly had our disagreements as any family members are want to do, still the last 8 years he was like a father to me. I could seek advice and knowledge. I also found a level of understanding that comes from a shared gene pool. He is certainly missed by me, missed a great deal more than I could have imagined.

The day after the store closed, in the midst of my uncle's health crisis, I was hanging out in the emergency room with Farmie. It seems we are required to spend our visits with one another in medical facilities. By the end of the afternoon I was diagnosed with a detached retina in my right eye. I was sent to a specialist who at first believed he could fix my eye without a surgical procedure. This was not the case. I had surgery to correct the detachment two days after my uncle's funeral. It's been about three weeks since the surgery and my sight has mostly returned. My eye doesn't scare children away anymore but its far from normal looking.

I wish that was the end of the sadness but only 16 days after the death of my Uncle Boss, his older brother died. My family that once seemed so large seems to be shrinking in front of my eyes. I cannot believe that these two men are gone and yet they are. Truth is harsh, so is death.

All of these events have left me feeling a bit light headed. I feel untethered to the ground like I might disappear from this world altogether. I have felt sad. I've felt lost. I've felt angry. I've gone around in circles with myself, one moment full of a hateful entitlement and the next awash with humble thankfulness. I have felt a bit crazy too. I have craved some sense of direction, something familiar, something steady.

Sunday at church the message was about revival, about change. The pastor spoke of how we say we want it but cower away from real change because of the work and the mess involved. We want change if its what we have only better, if it's clean, if it's easy. Real change can get ugly. It's messy. It's not easy but it can lead to places we cannot even imagine.

The words of the pastor really hit home with me and I started to really make peace with my situation. I don't want to be right here forever, doing the same things over and over. I want to be better, be more. I want to change.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Remember the Sabbath

  1. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
    Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!
  2. Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
    Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
    Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
    Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.
  3. Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
    Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
    Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
    Perfect in pow’r, in love, and purity.
  4. Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
    All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
    Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
    God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Legally Blind

I'm not sure when, sometime between preteen and early teen, my eye doctor announced to me that I was legally blind. If the fact that I had bifocals in junior high didn't completely make me feel like an old lady and totally awkward, that revelation did it. Wow. Years later after moving across the state with my then husband, I visited a new eye doctor who actually laughed out loud at my prescription. He had never had a patient so young with such bad vision. Thanks man, you're making me feel awesome!!

As you might imagine the phrase "blind as a bat" has been a constant through out my life. I haven't ever given it much thought not even bothering to be offended because, well, I am blind. Lately though my thoughts have turned towards my vision. What do I see when I look at people, both those that I know and love and those that I just meet? The things I notice are not usually the most apparent. In fact, I am really good at overlooking the obvious things in life. That could explain why I'm not so good at games, way too much concentration for me.

I would like to believe I'm good at seeing people, not really their appearance, but who they are. I notice things, little things, clues about their persons. I like piecing together what I believe are their motives, their interests, ultimately their personalities and true selves. I wonder about people constantly, people who come into the store, people who pass me in the halls at school, people who drive past me on the highway, people sitting near me at restaurants or the library. I am overwhelmed knowing they have a whole reality that exists simultaneously to mine and probably never intersects. Or maybe it does in really interesting ways and I am unaware. I don't know. I see things that show me that so many of these people would be good to know. They all, or mostly all, have unique and wonderful gifts to offer the world. I wonder if the people in their lives notice. I wonder if they are loved as they should be.

It always amazes me what goes unseen. There are so many dear, dear people that I love who are nearly invisible. Amazing people. Wondrous, magnificent, astounding individuals who are taken for granted and unknown to those closest to them. It breaks my heart. It is such a waste. People who should be celebrated and adored are looked over, trampled on by others who can't see past themselves, who would manipulate the truth at the cost of damaging such a precious individual.

We've probably all been that one misused at some time or another. I personally have spent years trying to figure out what I did wrong in different situations. I all too easily accept that I have been wrong but it has taken me all of those years to accept that I did not deserve to be thrown away, to be treated like nothing. Faults don't make us worthless or monsters. They make us human. They certainly don't negate our need to love and be loved. Love is the gift of the human experience. It has been bestowed upon us with mercy and grace and we have the ability to give it freely. Why do we choose to hurt? Why do we look upon each other in blindness?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Stuck In The Middle

As you may or may not know, I am the mother of three very wonderful children. I am daily, often many, many, many times daily, awed by the wonder that makes up these three little people. As often as I am reminded of their awesomeness, I am reminded of just how short I fall of being the parent they deserve. I freely admit to being overwhelmed by the great task that is before me. It's not enough to just provide food and shelter. I take very seriously the scripture's admonition to train up a child in the way he should go. I am to teach them, to ready them, to prepare them to leave me, to be husbands, wife, mother, fathers, uncles, aunt, friends, employee and boss. Beyond the physical needs, I am to look to their emotional well being. I will be honest, that part keeps me up at night.

It is very important to me that my children know, I mean know down to their bones, that I love them. I want that fact to never be doubted, never questioned. I want them to easily remember things that prove that very thing to them, not just me saying it or showing physical affection, but actions that scream it so loud it cannot be missed. When they think of me I don't care if they think I'm smart or pretty or cool or fun, I want them to think "she loves me". I thought they did.

Last night my middle child, my oldest son, my most tender hearted and considerate, told me he felt like I did not love him. He said it first in an emotional outburst, the like of which I have never witnessed in him. I could almost chalk that up to hormones. He is nearly thirteen and has been growing and changing a lot lately. I really don't want to use the word puberty with him. I'm just not ready. I could have written it off to a phase or a bad day but later when he was calm he asked if he could talk to me. (I have to note the tears in my eyes at this moment. His maturity in asking to speak to me privately just amazes me) We went into my room to talk. During the course of the conversation I asked him if he really felt like I felt less for him than his siblings. He could not look me in the eye or answer. He was unwilling at first to tell me yes because I suspect he would not want me to feel bad. That is just how my boy is, he always puts everyone else first. Last week he came to my room after dinner to thank me for cooking even though I felt so bad. He is such a beautiful person, so giving of love, I am heartsick to think he does not feel it in return.

I apologized to him, hugged him, told him how much I do love him, listed all the many things that he does that make my life not just easier but joyous. I tried to express to him what he means to me but I suspect that understanding will only come with time and a concentrated effort and perhaps the arrival of his own children one day. I am sad but he has told me what he needs. I am so thankful that he could tell me. Now its up to me, to find the actions that will define the words spoken last night, that will dispel the sad thought that he feels is his truth.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Yesterday I purchased some new eyeshadow in a fit of retail therapy. As I was applying the new shade this morning I thought to myself, "Why have I been scared of trying new makeup for so long?" This thought immediately gave way to another, that is "why have I been scared of so many things for so long?"

I don't think that I strike many people as someone who is scared. Perhaps I am good at faking it. I don't know. I must confess though, that so many things frighten me to the core. I've gotten pretty good at taking a deep breath and continuing to put one foot in front of the other because there are things that just have to be done and often I am the only one to do them. It takes effort and the fear and the awkwardness remain. I'm tired of being scared.

I have always heard that fear will steal the joy of life. However, I do not believe that fear is a thief. It can't really take anything that is not given to it freely. It's just an excuse, one that I do not want to make for myself anymore. I am nearing the end of a long journey of hard work and self examination. I am scared to death of the next several steps. There is a life ahead of me that is full of so many things that I have wanted and not had. I don't want to close my eyes ever concentrating on breathing and just getting through and miss out. I'm tired of being pushed along by fear, my companion for so long. I want to step proudly ahead, reaching out just because I want to and I can.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


For at least the last 25 years I have been eagerly anticipating the beginning of my life. Yes, I'm 36 years old with three children, the oldest of which is a freshman in high school. It's a bit ridiculous to still find myself asking, "When does my real life begin?" I keep waiting for this big, life changing moment and BOOM, my dreams come true and I am living out the life I always imagined. I keep believing happiness will flood in and every day from start to finish will drip with awesome and amazing.  I keep thinking there is more than this.

I think I'm mistaken.

I was reminded again today that this is real life. It started a long time ago AND it is indescribably beautiful. That beauty is found in moments. Single, solitary moments that contain all the awesome I could ever imagine. Moments that are remembered. Moments that color my existence. Moments that are pieced together over time and deepen my person, defining ever more clearly what it means to be me. Moments that open my eyes to the joy that surrounds me, that is mine to enjoy, to treasure. Moments that cut through all the stress and hurt and ignite my entire being with such a happiness I can barely breathe.

In those moments, it really is enough to just be alive and to feel, to marvel at this wonder called life, and to be thankful, ever so thankful, that I'm here.

It's crazy I'm thinking
Just knowing that the world is round
Here I'm dancing on the ground
Am I right side up or upside down?

 Is this real or am I dreaming?

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Bring Out Your Dead

I know it's incredibly cliche to talk about the previous year and all it's trials as the new year begins. Normally it's a little like moving to me, or redecorating. I pack up all the old crap. Throw some away. Reevaluate the place and usefulness of the things in my life. I empty out space for the new. I spend time gazing upon the freshly cleared space and contemplate just what might make a home in those vacant areas. I get a little excited, daring to plan just a wee bit, that is until the good ole cynic in me starts screaming "Shut up" and sets things aright.That's the normal routine. This year I feel like I have been through a bout with the plague.

I don't want to rearrange anything. I don't want to sift through anything. I don't want to just throw those useless things out. I want to burn them like bodies full of disease that can't even be buried. I feel contaminated.  I want to burn it all up and start over. 

 There's been some rough patches, though honestly I have faced worse in the past. I cannot understand where this feeling is coming from. My life, i.e. my emotional self, is chaotic right now. Why it is more chaotic than normal, who knows. However, I am learning that my education, growing, changing, and journey to really be me will never end. I like that. I could do without some of the lessons but I know the end result would change and I'm really, really starting to like being me.

All the loneliness, readiness, and longing have created an appetite for real freedom. I have sold myself short for a really long time and I am done with that. Last year did have a major accomplishment in whetting my sense of self. Who I am and what I am doing is getting clearer all the time. I made some tough decisions last year but have seen them validated. There are more ahead of me and I am wide eyed and ready to face them. Ready to let go of the baggage of the past. Ready to watch it burn.

This girl is on fire.