Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The fragility of life...

As she was walking back with her class, a student slipped something through the chainlink fence to her sister who is one of my students. The little girl was very excited about her gift. She brought it over exclaiming proudly that it was a flower. In her chubby fingers was a delicate pink flower. The teacher in me saw the opportunity to explore the world around us.

I sat down on a bench so I would be at her level. We talked about the color of the flower and marveled at its intricacies and beauty. I slipped the flower into one of her pigtails and we talked about how pretty she was. My teaching partner took a picture with her phone so the 2 year old could see it. Of course, it did not stay there long before curious little fingers sought it out.

As she took it out of her hair for me to hold, a couple of the petals fell off. She took them in her tiny fingers and looked at them. I was about to discuss the silky texture with her when she ripped them to pieces and rolled up the scraps. She tossed them to the ground and ran off to play, the broken petals forgotten.

I was struck by how her wonder at creation had turned destructive. Without a second thought, she had obliterated a little piece of the world. But I suppose this is how young children learn. What happens if I tear this or cut this? Can I put it back together? My students are too young to understand the finality of death. But I wonder if by destroying things around them, they are unknowingly preparing themselves for the harsh reality of decay and loss.

As a Christian, death is not something I fear. I know what will happen to me when I die. I will see beloved family members and friends again. I will be with my Precious Lord and Savior. But my heart goes out to those people who do not have this eternal security. Are you one of them? If you are, please feel free to contact me. I would love to discuss it with you. Thanks for readi

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seeping into my bones...

I have been thinking a lot about the cold lately. Not the nasty virus that is the bane of existence to anyone who works with small children, but the temperature kind. I am a self-professed wimp when it comes to chilly weather, which we have had the last few nights here in Amarillo. It was 40 degrees when we went to the playground this morning and I had on a sweater, a coat, a pair of gloves and a beanie. Yes, I am a wimp. I DO NOT like being cold.

It occurred to me that I don't mind when a room is cold when it is hot outside and the AC is on. I wondered what the difference is. Cold is cold, right? After thinking about it, I came to a conclusion. There is a difference between natural cold and artificial cold.

Now I am no science aficionado. I am taking a biology class at the moment that is kicking my tail. But here is how I understand cold. It doesn't really exist. Cold is really just the absence of heat. It can be infinitely hot but once you hit absolute zero that's it. You can't get any colder. You have a total absence of heat. This is natural cold.

Artificial cold is different. In the summer when the AC is on, the room is still surrounded by heat. There is still heat outside. So it is not so much an absence of heat but a covering of heat. The room acts as an oasis in the midst of vast amounts of heat. The body knows it is really hot outside and the cold is just an illusion.

So here is the reason I can stand artificial cold but am terribly bothered by natural cold. Artificial cold is only skin-deep. Just step outside and the sun melts it away and warmth is quickly restored. Natural cold is all pervasive. It seeps into my bones and tissues. Even when I am in a well heated room. I can feel the cold licking at me from the windows and doorways. It causes discomfort on a cellular level that makes it almost impossible to remove. This is why I don't want any part of me to be cold. This is why I will be covered from head to toe if possible.

So here is my science of cold. Again let me stress, I am by no means a science expert. But then again, I always have an alternate explanation for everything. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Precious moments...

The last couple of posts have been kind of self-deprecating. I am not like that all the time, but I do have my days. Doesn't everybody? So I have decided to write a more upbeat and, I hope, entertaining post.

As you probably know, I work at a school. My students are toddlers so we have many adventures together. I love my students, each and every one. Even the ones that make me want to tear my hair out at times. Sometimes, these tiny little humans amaze me. So I have decided to share some of my favorite moments.

One of my students is an 18-month old boy. He is the cutest little thing. And I mean little. He is our youngest student and our smallest. On Thursdays, the school librarian hikes down to the basement from the top floor and reads to us. During one of these storytimes, this student climbed into my lap. Sitting next to me was one of the other 18-month olds. She put her tiny hand on my leg. The student sitting on my lap looked at her, forcefully shoved her hand away and said, quite proudly, "Mine!" I was laughing too much to get on to him for being hateful.

Another of our students is a blond-haired boy who is 2. He has beautiful curls and a light dusting of freckles on his nose. If you have ever listened to Five Iron Frenzy, they have a song called Dandelions. This boy reminds me of that song every time I see him. One day he said something to me and I just giggled and told him he was a cutie patootie. He grinned at me and said, "Yep. I'm cute."

Not all of my favorite memories are funny. Some of the ones I cherish the most are when a child crawls into my lap because they just want to be comforted. I love it when one of my students runs up and give me a hug just because. I also love it when they reach up and tenderly touch my cheek. I love it when they say my name though sometimes it is hard to understand.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to share part of my life with these children. They are so innocent and untainted by the world. They have such faith in the adults around them. I am honored to be one of their caregivers. It saddens me to think about leaving them.

I have thought a lot recently about finding another job. My roommate is now gone and I have the whole apartment to myself. I love it. I would really like to keep it that way. To do that, I need to make more money. A second job is out of the question. I already work extra at the school to help pay the bills which means I work about 10 hours everyday. Plus, I have classes and church activities. I am already so busy. Adding another job to the mix would probably push me over the edge.

But I hate the thought of leaving my students. I have been praying a lot about what I should do. I'll figure something out. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Slideshow woes...

Have you ever felt like you have missed out on something? That because of some mistake or inaction on your part you have altered the course of your life, but you have no idea what it was? Have you ever had reason to celebrate with a friend, but was having trouble doing so because of your own sadness?

I can say yes to all of these questions. In fact, I did just that on Saturday. My roommate got married a couple of weeks ago. Being that they are both from the Minnesota area, it was only natural they were married there. So in order not to snub all their Amarillo friends and family, they had a reception last Saturday. She was kind enough to invite myself and my mom.

I was ok until the slide show. As I watched the pictures of their 4-year relationship, I began to feel strange. There was picture after picture of them together. They looked so happy and so comfortable together. I realized towards the end of the show that what I was feeling was jealousy. Why it took me so long to realize this, I don't know. Unfortunately, I am familiar with this particular emotion.

After the slide show was over, I had this sinking feeling I was missing out on something wonderful and mysterious to me. I began to think about all the hearts I had broken. I began to think about all the people I had let myself drift apart from. As my heart caved in, I felt terrible dispair that I had missed my chance.

I know this is probably not true. I know many people who have gotten married for the first time who were older than 27. My roommate is one of them. It just seems that there are so many more who had been married for several years by the time they were 27. You are probably thinking the same thing I am right now. Maybe I dwell on this too much.

So tell me...how do I stop dwelling on it? I know most of you will say pray about it. I do that. Everyday. But surely there are other things I can do. Anyone have any suggestions?

I have had time to think about it since then. I don't feel jealous anymore. I now have a great apartment all to myself and I love every minute of it. But there are some days when I wish I had someone to share it with who was more than just a roommate. I have gotten to the point where I am satisfied in my singleness...most of the time. I still have my moments.

I know he is out there somewhere. I believe God would not give me such a strong desire for companionship if He wasn't preparing someone just for me. I ask all my readers who pray to pray I can be content in my situation until the time when God deems it needs to change.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fatty, fatty two by four...

There is nothing like school pictures to shatter your self-image. Now, I don't think I am ugly. There are even some days when I feel like I might even be pretty. But every time I see a picture of myself, I have trouble believing that for a while.

We got our school pictures to day. My individual ones aren't too bad, but the group pictures...ugh. Just thinking about them, I can feel my self-esteem drop another point. I look huge. In the faculty picture, I am standing next to a pregnant woman and I am bigger than she is!!! Every time I see a picture like this, I wonder if I really look like that to other people. I don't see myself as that big when I look in the mirror. Does the camera really add ten pounds?

I always try to explain it away. The lighting is bad. The angle is bad. I shouldn't have worn that particular outfit. Maybe I look so big because I am sitting next to 2 year olds. But deep down, I know that there is at least some truth in the image before me.

I have always struggled with my confidence. Ever since I hit puberty and lost my youthful thinness, I have be kind of sensitive about how I look. When someone tells me I look nice, I rationalize in my mind that they are just being nice or just like the shirt. When someone, especially a man, tells me I am beautiful, I blush and stammer out a thank you. Then I wonder if they really mean it or if they are just trying to get something from me.

The other night I was watching Biggest Loser. When the contestants weigh in, they are wearing very little clothes. You can see the rolls and imperfections of their bodies. I remember thinking, "I could never show myself on national television like that and I don't even weigh 200 pounds." I remember thinking how self-righteous of me. Maybe God is trying to remind that I am not perfect either. I'll admit, I could stand to lose a few pounds. I had a doctor tell me one time I needed to lose 40 pounds.

Well, I guess that is all the self-deprecating things I think of. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The ABCs of me...

I found this on a blog I try to read daily. www.traviserwin.blogspot.com. You should check it out. I have never done anything like this on my blog so this should be interesting.

Accent: Yes, I have one. When I was in Alabama, I was constantly picked on for the way I pronounce my long I.

Breakfast or no Breakfast: Breakfast is my favorite meal, but I rarely eat it in the morning. I would rather have it as dinner.

Chore I hate: I absolutely abhor doing floors. Sweeping, mopping or vacuum. That would be the perfect punishment for me.

Dog or Cat: At the moment, my dog and cat are at my parents' house. Jigsaw is a beautiful doberman/lab mix. Callie is an obese, neurotic calico.

Essential Electronics: Laptop. That's how I do all my school work. And my stereo. I would go completely batty if I couldn't listen to my music.

Favorite Perfume: My favorite scent is Rainkissed Leaves from Bath and Body.

Gold or Silver: Silver. Definitely silver. I have issues with the color yellow. I just don't like it. I will wear white gold beause it isn't yellow.

Handbag I carry most often: The one I am carrying at the moment is a dark khaki green one that my cousin gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. It is huge and will carry all my junk.

Insomnia: I have trouble sleeping occasionally. Usually it is stress or caffeine related.

Job Title: Teaching Assistant.

Kids: If you have been a regular reader for a while, you know the answer to this. If not, let me tell you. I don't have any, but I am very ready to be a mom.

Living Arrangement: A great apartment in Wolflin with a huge kitchen. I have a roommate, but she is moving in the next couple of weeks. Anyone need a place to live?

Most admirable trait: I am really good at telling people they are wrong without making them mad. I guess you would call that tact.

Naughtiest childhood behavior: Probably picking on my little sister

Overnight Hospital Stays: Never

Phobias: I am terrified of spiders. Irrationally so. I would probably take a flying leap off a cliff if a spider was blocking all other means of exit.

Quote: "It is good to experience the bittersweet, to taste defeat and then brush my teeth." Relient K

Reason to smile: Chocolate, roses, puppies, babies, sunshine.

Siblings: One sister. Three years younger.

Time I wake up: Anytime between six and seven. Except on weekends. Then I get up between eight and ten.

Unusual Talent or skill: My elbows are double jointed so I can turn my hand completely around. Freaks people out when they see. I love it.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Celery. Cannot stand that stuff.

Worst Habit: I don't know...popping my knuckles, I guess.

X-rays: Never had one, but I have had an echo done on my heart. It was rather embarrassing.

Yummy Stuff: Chocolate. Chicken Scallopini from Johnny Carino's. My momma's brisket. My grannie's pickles. Cookies.

Zoo animal I like the most: I like the big cats. All of them. They are so majestic and feral.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Room for rent...

Why don't girls want to live with me? I have known for almost 3 months I was going to need a new roommate. I have been looking for one since the day I found out. I put an ad on roommates.com. That's where I found my current roommate.

So far I have been contacted four times. The first one was a 21 year old girl. 21 is still too close to 18 and I have no desire to leave with a 21 year old no matter how mature. The other 3 have been guys. One was 19 and didn't even tell me his name. He just gave me a number to call. Ain't happening.

The other two were actually potentials. Both of them were 25. One is being transferred to Amarillo. He works for DishNetwork. I could probably get free cable. He also works long hours so he would rarely be home. The second one seemed like a pretty decent guy, too.

I have no problem living with a guy if he is willing to live by the apartment rules and pay his share. There are perks to it, too. The added security of having a guy around. Most guys are hard workers and would probably be consistent in paying their part of the bills.

There are downsides too. My biggest concern about living with a guy is what it would do to my witness. Most of my neighbors know I am a Christian. They know I am a religion major and they know I attend church regularly. They also know that I am single. How would it look if, all of a sudden, I was living with a man I am not married too. Even if we weren't doing anything wrong, it would still look bad.

I asked my paster what he thought about this situation. His advice was to hold out for a female roommate. I am going to try and do that. God will take care of me. I just have to trust His timing. So if you know of a female between the ages of 24 and 30 who needs a cheap place to live, send her my way. Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Betsy's gone...

My first car was an '88 Buick Riviera. She had a huge engine, leather seats and a touch screen computer that controlled the radio and other things. Did I mention she was the Silver Anniversary edition? She had all kinds of bell and whistles. The front seats were reversible. They could go from leather to velour and back again.

(I was going to post a picture of the car, but I couldn't find one. I know one exists; it is just not revealing itself to me.)

The touch screen was the coolest part. It controlled the radio, heater and AC. It also had a diagnostic program. When she needed oil, she told you. When you left a door ajar, she told you. When there was anything wrong, she told you. She also told you things like RPMs. One of the coolest things was she had a speed alert. You could set it at a certain speed. If you went over that speed, she would tell you to slow down.

I bought her with a Pell grant. I used to get lots of money from the government to go to school. I only paid $2000 for her, but she was worth every penny. She was a great car. She was a beautiful deep maroon. I washed her almost everyday for the first month I owned her. I actually owned her before I started driving. Thinking about it, I realize she taught me how to drive.

When we moved south of town, my dad's car didn't make it with us. He started driving Betsy. (Did I mention the car's name was Betsy? Yes, I name things. Can't help it. Especially costly items like cars and guitars.) My dad is really hard on cars. In the 27 years I have been alive, I can think of at least 5 cars he has driven into the ground. Sadly, Betsy is one of these casualties.

After my dad started driving her, she developed a leak in her radiator. Instead of having her fixed, my dad just poured some gunk it her that was supposed to fix the leak. It didn't so he put more. Still didn't work. Never did. The finally straw was when he wrecked her.

My beautiful Betsy was no longer the beauty she had once been. Her paint was faded and peeling. The front passenger side fender was smashed in. Her hood was whopper-jawed and didn't shut all the way. Her leather was cracked and worn. Her windshield was cracked. She left ugly green puddles everywhere she parked.

Instead of giving her a proper retirement, I parked her in front of my parents' house and there she sat for over 4 years. Her tires went flat and her battery died. What had been left of her former glory was sapped by the sun and the weather. She sat there as a silent reminder of a part of my youth. She had become nothing more than a home for the little cotton tails on my parents' land. I moved on to a younger, better car and forgot all about Betsy.

Yesterday, my mom called me. She wanted to know if there was anything in Betsy I needed to get out. I told her to just check the glove box and the console. Her cousin was coming to haul her and my sister's old Mercury Cougar (which my dad also killed) away. He is a mechanic of sorts and also does welding. I agree with this decision. He will make her useful again. Even if it is just as parts for something else.

After Mom called me to tell me the deed had been done, it dawned on me that Betsy was gone. Next time, I go out to my parents' house, she will not be there to greet me with her bent antenna. She won't be there to remind me of the good times I had with that car. I mentioned to Mom how it kind of felt like a dear friend had died. She was outside at the time. After a slight pause she said, "It looks like two graves have taken the place of the cars." As silly as it may sound, I am actually tearing up thinking about that inanimate 2 ton lawn ornament.

I love the car I am drving now, but nothing will ever take the place of Betsy. She was the coolest car ever. She was my first car. I will miss her. She taught me independence. She taught me how to share. She taught me how to care for my things. She taught me never to forget those I care for. She will always be remembered. Farewell, Betsy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The new kid, the bloody tissue and the ugly shirt...

I was very angry this morning. Furious, in fact. We were given a new student today. That means we have eleven students. We were promised we would never have more than ten. I was very mad.

My teaching partner knows me really well. She came to the room and told me to go take a walk. She didn't ask or suggest; she told me to go take a walk. She's a smart lady. Of course, it helps that I am very much like her husband so she knows how to handle me when I am upset. Being the smart lady that she is, she knew a walk was what I needed.

I went out into the morning chill. The crisp wind evaporated quickly on my anger-heated skin. I breathed in the fresh air deep into my agitated lungs and just stood there for a minute. I was back under control so I went back to the class.

I felt the tickle of moisture in my nose so I went to blow my nose. When I brought the tissue away from my nose, it wasn't white. It was bright red. It didn't take long for me to realize my nose was bleeding. And bleeding alot. I had never had a nose bleed ever in all my 27 years. Not even when I got elbowed in the nose playing gutter ball in high school.

I went up to the restroom to clean up, but it wouldn't stop. I sat in a chair in the hallway trying to make it stop. It took eight tissues and ten minutes to staunch the flow. Then back to class I went after I had thoroughly washed my hands, of course.

We had a special event at school today. We were given t-shirts to wear. I had told them I wanted a large. When they brought the shirts, all they had were extra large. I went up to the restroom to change into my shirt. It was way too big. I looked like a little kid. That was it. Standing there, looking at myself in the mirror on the verge of tears, I made a decision. I was going to call my mother.

I made a quick call and told her I needed her to start praying for me. I was losing it. The broken promise, the bloody nose and the too-big shirt had used up my emotional reserve. I didn't mention to her the fact that the shirt is yellow and I hate yellow shirts. But knowing Mom was praying made me feel a little better so back to class again.

I am happy to say the day only got better from there. We still have an extra student. My nose still hurts terribly. I still have a yellow, extra large shirt. The difference is someone was praying for me at a time when I just didn't have the engery to pray for myself. I felt God's peace come over me. My patience for the children returned. My whole attitude changed.

I found out the extra student was an accident. Our boss apologized and explained it was a mistake on her part. My teaching partner thinks I busted a vessel in my nose because I was so angry. I think it was because of allergies. Maybe we are both right.

The whole point of this post is to stress how important it is for Christians to pray for each other. I know I would still be in a sour, grumpy mood had I not called on a sister in Christ to intercede for me. My day may have even gotten worse. Ever since my church started having Wednesday night Bible study, I have been attacked almost mercilessly on Wednesdays. I have even joked that Wednesdays are my Mondays.

So now I am sitting here during naptime thankful God is looking out for me. He is always there for me. I do not deserve the blessings He gives me but because He is a loving, kind Father, He takes care of me. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Falling leaves...

The last few days have been cool and rainy here in A-town. It has been rather fall-like and very pleasant. I was actually able to wear my new hoodie I bought back in the spring. The weather has put me in the mood for hashbrown soup and spiced tea. For some reason, I keep smelling apple spice.

Someone asked me the other day what my favorite season was. I always laugh when this happens. I don't have one. What I love is the changing of seasons. I love the time between the seasons when the world transitions to new appareal. I love the cool evening at the beginning of fall, the warm afternoon of early spring, the crisp mornings at the cusp of winter and the bright day of the young summer.

Alright. Enough of the poetic stuff.

My roommate told me last night she is planning on being completely moved out by October 10th. This gives me about a month to find another roommate. I know the perfect one is out there. I am just waiting on God's direction. I have to remind myself daily that He will take care of me. I have nothing to fear.

I am still loving the apartment. I enjoy being in town again. I enjoy being only 5 minutes from work and less than a minute from church. My roommate being out by the 10th works really well for me. My classes are over on that day and I will have a week before the next session starts. This means I will have extra time to move more of my things from my parents' house and work on arranging my apartment the way I want it. I have all this stuff I have collected over the years and most of it I have never been able to use. I am very excited about it.

I still love my job for the most part. There are those days when the end of the day can't come soon enough, but there will be those days anywhere I work. Our class is now full. We have 10 students ranging from age 18 months to 2 and half years. The biggest challenge is only one of them is potty trained. We spend alot of time in the potty. And I mean, alot.

Today was the first time we had all 10 of our students at once. I think the morning went really well, even if we weren't able to outside this morning because of the rain. Instead, we watched an episode of "Blue's Clues" (because we are studying the color blue) and then we danced ourselves silly. No, we didn't shake out sillies out or wiggle our waggles away, but we hokey-pokeyed and jumped around like chickens. It was great fun.

I guess that is all I can think of for now. Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 25, 2008

As the sun sets...

I was noticing the sunlight this evening as I was driving to Hastings to listen to some lectures for my Church Ministries class. It was about 8:30 in the evening and there were a few fluffy clouds in the sky. The light was a dull yellow color and it seemed as if everything was in state of suspension. As if time had stopped.

If I hadn't been surrounded by timepieces, I still would have known the day was coming to an end. If I have been asleep for a long period of time and woken up at that moment, I would have known I had awakened at the used up end of a day.

I wonder what life would be like if we didn't have schedules and time trackers. How would life be different if we just woke up when our body was ready and started our day at whatever time it was. (Of course, if we didn't keep track of the time, it wouldn't matter. I know, my brain hurts too.)

It is a bit mind boggling to think about. We live our lives around our watches or cell phone clocks. We arrive at work at a certain time; we eat at certain times. We leave at certain times. What if we just gave up timepieces all together? What if we woke up when our body was adequately rested or ate when we were hungry? Would mass chaos ensue? Would society as we know it fall apart?

I think it would be so freeing to be able to just live by the sun. Have you ever noticed how the sunlight changes throughout the day? How morning sunlight is crisp and fresh or how evening sunlight is worn out and tired? Maybe I am just a dreamer. Maybe I just see the world so differently that these are mere ramblings of an eccentric mind.

Or maybe I am suffering from sleep depreivation and I need to go home and go to bed. Yes, that must be it. Thanks for reading. (If inquiring minds want to know, the picture is one I took of a sunset at the top of a mountain in Taiwan.)

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee....

Well, here it is the second day of school and I am worn out. The kids are taking a nap right now so I am taking advantage of the quiet to sit and rest. So far, our school days have been great. We were concerned about lots of crying since we have some new students this year, but for the most part, there have been very few tears.

I was telling my teaching partner yesterday how I am always drawn to jobs which involve children. My very first job was in the nursery at my church. I worked there until I graduated from high school. At that time, I swore I would never work with children again. Especially after I spent one day at a different day care with eleven 18 month olds by myself.

And I didn't until after college when I served as a summer missionary at a children's camp. It wasn't really a job, but it was definitely hard work. I loved it. It had to do with children, but I loved the children and I loved the work. I even went back and worked another summer a few years later.

After I returned from Alabama the first time, I worked at the Disney Store. It was a lot of fun. I was able to interact with children and play with them. Again I loved it and again I swore I would never work with children.

And then I took the job at the library. My position wasn't directly related to children, but I was often times called upon to cover the youth desk or do a storytime. I loved it, but I still held to my position. I was never going to work with children again. After I quit that job, worked another summer at camp and moved to Alabama, I was once again in a position where I needed employment.

I became a photographer for Sears in Mobile,AL. Most of my subjects were children and most of the time I enjoyed the work. And apparently I was good at it too. When I was forced to move back to Texas, I transferred to the Sears in Amarillo. I can't say I loved this job, but there were days when I reveled in the privilege of capturing precious moments for loving parents.

The photographer stint was only a seasonal job so at the end of December I was again in need of money. I was also slightly depressed at this time. My mother, being the wise woman that she is, knew I would feel better about myself if I had a job and suggested I do some subbing at the school she worked at. I was not really thrilled at this idea because, well, it had to do with children. But because I knew I needed to get out of the house and make some money, I did it. And I loved it.

So here I am. A teaching assistant in the preschool at the same school. And guess what? I love it. My first degree in college was in English. When I would tell people this, they always asked if I was planning on teaching. I always answered with an emphatic NO. Maybe they knew something I didn't. I have no plans of going back to school to become a teacher, but I think I will work with children for a long time.

I made the comment to my teaching partner yesterday that sometimes I feel like God brings me back to children to torture me. I don't really believe God would do that, but there are some days when I am with these little angels and my heart breaks. I am so ready to be a mother and I am still unwed. But there is a reason for that. I just have to learn to be patient with God's timing. It is perfect. He has a plan for my life and I hope it includes children.

Maybe He keeps bringing me back because there is so much to be learned from children. Maybe He wants to show me something. My prayer is I am receptive to His lessons and that I am not too blinded by my desires. So until the school bell rings again on Monday...thanks for reading.

(If you are wondering, that is a picture of me at about the age of my students. Wasn't I cute?)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

As time swings by...

I was swinging on the swings yesterday morning on the playground. Occasionally, I like to have a good swing. It clears the mind and freshens the blood. At least until I get nauseous. But there is always one point in my pendulum when panic sets in. It is almost a terror.

I realized as the fear gripped my belly that it happens when I stop controlling the swing. It is the moment when I have decided I have swung enough and it is time to stop. It is the moment when I stop willfully making the swing go. It is the moment when gravity takes over and I am at its mercy. At this point in my free fall, it came to me that I like to be in control. That is why there is always that terror that sets in. I am no longer in control.

Maybe that is part of my problem. Maybe I am too controlling. I don’t let God just take over. I am always thinking of ways I can help God. What a laugh! Me helping God? He doesn’t need my help. He is the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing Creator of everything we know. How can I, a mere human of little worth, think of a better way to do things?

I didn’t start driving until I was almost 19. I was always scared of driving. I was always afraid the car was going hit a curb or run into another car. It wasn’t until I started driving that I realized it was because I was not in control of the vehicle when someone else was driving. My life and safety were in the hands of someone else. I had no control over where my body was being carried.

I think being scared is also part of my problem. I have been scared almost all my life. Scared of being hurt, scared of being betrayed, scared of feeling anything in case the person didn’t return my feelings, scared of failing. The risk involved seemed to be outweighed by the desire to maintain control. My timidity has left me lonely and companionless. I am working on this. But pain has never been easy for me.

There have been times in my life when I have handed over the reigns and let God do His thing. When I moved to Alabama on a whim, for example. There were a lot of things out of my control then. I was never sure I was going to have everything I needed from one day to the next. I had to rely on Him for everything, even the will to get out of bed some days.

I believe with all my heart I was supposed to go to Alabama. Getting me there was too easy for it not to have been a God thing. I am still not entirely sure why He sent me there. I thought at the time I was going to be there for a very long time. Maybe it was just to teach me that I can make it on my own if I truly rely on Him. Maybe it was just to get me out of Amarillo during that specific time. Maybe it was just to place me in someone’s life for a brief moment before moving on. Whatever the reason, I am thankful for the short time I was allowed to be there.

Thinking back, there are a lot of things about my life now that would be different had I not moved. I wouldn’t have moved out of my parents’ house. I wouldn’t have a job I love at the school. I would still be working at the library. Maybe not in the same position but still miserable, I’m sure. I wouldn’t have had the experiences and revelations of maturity. I am not even sure I would be the same person I am today.

It amazes me how the things we survive affect the way we grow. I think about the events in my life that have had a major impact on me. Some were good; some were bad. But they all had a part in making me the person I am today. In ten years, after all the experiences I haven’t had yet happen, I will be a different person than I am today. I wonder what my almost 37 year old self will be like.

Well, for now, I am trying to be happy with my almost 27 year old self and enjoying apartment life. I am trying to meet new people and do new things. I am trying to open myself to more experiences. One never knows when one of those life-change moments will happen. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I wanna talk about me...

Would you allow me to be selfish for a minute? For some reason, I have this great desire to talk about me. Therefore, this post will not contain anything about my job, my apartment or anything like that. So let's get started.

I like my tea sweet and strong whether it is hot or cold. I like my soft drinks without the carbonation. I will literally stir or shake my drinks to get the carbonation out. If they still offered it, I would drink Chantico from Starbucks every single day. That stuff is like liquid chocolate. Just set me up with an IV.

My favorite colors are purple and blue, any shade. I have never seen a shade I didn't like. They remind me of unicorns and fairies. I always wanted them to be real when I was a little girl. I would imagine I was really a fairy princess who had been spirited out of my crib and given to kindly human parents to raise. I would imagine a beautiful unicorn would come to take me back to reclaim my throne.

My favorite movie of all time is Evita. I still cry at the end. I love the music. I even own the 2 disc soundtrack. I can even sing the whole movie for you, if you want. I used to drive my sister crazy by singing it. She swore up and down she hated that movie but had never seen it. But now she loves it because of course I own it on VHS and DVD.

My favorite band is Relient K. I love the poetry in their lyrics. I love the guitar riffs. I love the silliness and seriousness snuggled up against each other on their albums. I can always trust them to make me feel better. I can think of a Relient K song to match any situation that life may throw at you. Seriously, I can.

When I am in a bad mood, I like to listen to the Comatose album from Skillet. I like to turn it up as loud as I can get away with and feel the bass boom through my body. It is kind of soul cleansing. This is especially effective in my car.

I am a closet techno and electronica fan. I absolutely love it. It makes me want to dance and lose myself in its whirling and twirling sounds. There is something about it that just makes me get lost in the fantastical. Maybe I am just crazy.

Speaking of crazy, I am in love with the song Crazy by Gnarls Barkley. It speaks to a part of me I don't understand. The first few beats of the song seem to stop my heart and I can't go on until I have heard the rest of the song. The video is really cool. It is a series of morphing ink blots. Every time I watch it, I see something I haven't seen before.

My favorite Beatles song is Paperback Writer. I think this is because, if I could make money doing it, I would be a writer. I love to write. That's why I have a blog. That's why I majored in English. That's why I love to read. That's why my favorite music may not have the best vocals, but they have killer lyrics.

I absolutely love apple pie. Especially if it has lots of buttery crust. I like to eat it piping hot with cream poured over it. When I can't afford whipping cream, French vanilla creamer is a suitable second choice.

I love the rain. I love the way it smells. I love the way it sounds. I love to walk in it and get soaked to the skin. I feel like I am soaking up part of the world around me to carry with me. Yeah, I know, that sounds incredibly weird but...well...that's how I am. The rain reminds me of my time in Alabama which will hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.

I love roses and orchids. They are so beautiful to me. It amazes me how intricate and delicate they are. My sister gave me a rose pendant that I wear everyday. I really just love flowers in general but these are my favorites.

I love to sleep in moonlight. It makes me feel exotic and beautiful. I think it goes back to the fey fantasies of my youth. I really would have loved to grow up and find out I was the heiress to a vast fairy kingdom. I think Legolas and I would have been very happy together.

Well, I suppose that is all. Thanks for reading my self-centered diatribe. I feel better now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Family stories...

Independence Day was a bit subdued for my family this year. There were fewer of us for various reasons. Because there were only four of us for most of the afternoon, we sat around telling stories. Now I have been in the family for almost 27 years and in my youthful ignorance, I thought I knew them all.

I was delighted and sad to find out that I don't. I also didn't take into account that new stories are being made everyday. I was delighted because I love to learn about my family history. I love learning about the failures and successes, triumphs and defeats. I was saddened because I learned things I never would have thought could happen to my family. Of course, I am not going to divulge the private happenings told to me in confidence in a public blog. That would be rude. But I was heartbroken by some of them.

As I sat there and listened to my aunt talk, I wondered if there are stories like these in everyone's family. I think we all assume tragedy doesn't affect our fanilies. We think our families are, if not perfect, then almost perfect. We remeber all the good things but when we find our perceptions of certain parts of our family are not how we had them pictured in our minds, we begin to view them differently. You look at people with new eyes. You understand certain behaviors better. You learn more about how that person thinks and how they really are.

We laughed together and we cried together that day. And I realized I have come to a new appreciation for the people who surround me. They are good people who love each other. I am blessed beyond belief. Next time you are at a family gathering, take time to listen to the people around you. You may learn something interesting. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When I was a little girl...

I have been thinking alot about childhood lately. I guess that is one of the hazards of working with children. At lunch yesterday, I watched two 5 year old girls whisper secrets to each other as they ate their sandwiches.

I miss the security of a good friend to confide my deepest secrets to. Like if I thought the dark headed boy in my class was cute or that I had a new unicorn with a blue mane to add to my collection.

Maybe it's not the being able to tell someone, but the innocence of the secrets I miss. My secrets are more serious and grown up now. Like how I fear I will be alone for the rest of my life.

I miss the days of princesses and unicorns. I miss the days of believing anything can happen and the days of knowing there will be someone to take care of me.

I miss my innocence. I still retain some to a degree, but I know things are not all they are cracked up to be.

But we must all grow up, move on, live life. My life is what it is. There will always be children to remind us of the things we've lost...and the things we've gained. Thanks for reading.


This is just a quick post to give my readers the latest news.

First, I absolutely love my new job. It is so much fun. Don't get me wrong, there are days when I want to run from the building screaming. For those who don't know, I am working at the St. Mary's Summer Care. It is like day care, but cooler.

Second, I have moved!! I found a roommate online and we are hitting it off. I love my new apartment. It has a HUGE kitchen which I love. It is only five minutes from work and less than a minute from my church.

Third, I am now the proud owner of a liter of Mexican vanilla. The really good stuff. It is like liquid gold, if you are a baker of any note.

Well, that is really all the news I can think of to tell you. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A mother's arms...

The terror of becoming a mother struck me today. I was overcome with doubts as I watched the children in Montessori playing this morning. Will I be a good mother? Will my children love me? Will I be capable of caring for them? Will I know what to do? I was seriously concerned. I could feel my fear in the pit of my stomach and taste it at the back of my tongue. I was plagued with it all morning.

On the playground, one of the little boys started crying for no apparent reason. I picked him up with the intention of talking to him to see if I could find out what wrong. But when I did, he snuggled into my chest and laid his head on my shoulder. He was just sleepy and wanted rest. He trusted me, someone who is not his mother, to keep him safe and warm as he slept in my arms. As I held him, I could feel his tiny heart beating against my chest. A rhythmic reminder of how precious he is. I was struck by the fragile miracle I held in my arms. I wondered that if he was my son, would his heart be beating in time with mine? The desire for my own children washed over me and cleansed me of my fear. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be a mother, fear and all.

I am ready to be a mom and a wife. I am ready to start a family with a man who loves me. I am tired of living for just me. I am ready for the responsibility of caring for a tiny human. It is still a tad scary, but I know I will have help. I have a wonderful family to help me. I have a gracious God who is always looking out for me. I know it won't be easy, but I can only imagine how wonderful it will be.

These may seem like odd thoughts for someone who doesn't even have a boyfriend. But this is something I think of quite often. I see the little ones who will be in my class next year. I watch my cousins as they care for their children. I am awed and amazed at what I see. I long for it. I pray daily for it. I know God knows my wants and desires. My responsibility is to live for Him as best I can. I need to refocus my life back to the Great Provider. He will supply my every need. It should be a comfort to me to know He is working in my life to lead me to what He has planned for me. I am excited to see where He may take me. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


It is raining. A good old slow soaker kind of rain. The air is just chilly enough to need a light sweater. The air smells clean, scrubbed of its pollutants. Every once and a while, I get a little chill. I am thinking about making a cuppa. Some hot tea would be a pleasant treat on such a day.

I subbed in the fourth grade today. At this school, the fourth and fifth grade classes go to a different teacher for different subjects. The teacher called me at 7:15 this morning. I was still in bed, but I was on the road by 7:35. It was an easy assignment. I watched the beginning of The Waterhorse four times. I still have no idea how it ends, but I am very familiar with how it starts.

I am subbing in Montessori tomorrow and Friday. I love subbing in this class which is good because it will be the class I am a teaching assistant for next year.

I should be writing a research exercise right now. My summer class started this Monday. It is the History of the Christian Church I. I have a paper to write every week. I apparently am the only worried about it. Everyone I tell this to says I will have no trouble writing. If I think about it, they are right. I love to write.

I have been thinking about old friends this week. I miss them and long for the camaraderie and fellowship they brought. I have thought about contacting one, but I am too much of a chicken to call him. I am not sure how my call would be received, nor what I might find at the other end of the line.

It is raining. The gray skies weigh heavy on my soul. The poet within me is restless and stirring. I can feel the words filling up my mind and fighting to get out. But they are vague and formless. They are merely sensations, feelings, grievances. I am tired and bored. I would like to call a friend to go grab a cup of coffee or see a movie. It is raining. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A quandary?!?

I have come to a conclusion. I am an attractive person. I have many attractive features and abilities. I can cook. I am intelligent. I am kind and generous. I genuinely care about people. In the last few months, I have had many complete strangers tell me I am beautiful.

So the question is: why doesn't anyone ask me out? I have posed this question to many friends and family members and I have been given many different answers. Some have said maybe guys are intimidated by my beauty. (For the sake of my vanity, I do not think this so. At the risk of sounding conceited, yes, I am attractive, but I am not a drop dead gorgeous supermodel.) Some have suggested I am not around eligible bachelors enough. (This one I agree with. Anybody know how to meet single Christian men without use of the Internet or church hopping?) In high school, my best friend told me I was too selective. I am beginning to see she may have been right. (Is it a crime to know what I want?) One person even told me I was too perfect. (Huh? Me, perfect? Far from it.)

So as you can see, I have quite a quandary on my hands. I have a lot to offer, but no takers. I have decided to try to give this over to God. I know He wants me to be happy. I know He has the perfect man waiting for me somewhere. Do I know him, yet? Maybe, maybe not. Am I ready to meet him? Yes. This is a daily struggle for me. I am not getting any younger and I can feel the press of time starting to suffocate me. I pray daily for God to guide and direct my thoughts and my actions so I may be a better Christian. I pray for the man who will someday be my husband so he may be strengthened. So while I am single, I will try to enjoy it. But I can't help but look forward to my wedding day. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The sun always comes out!!!

Yeah, I know. It has been a while since I wrote and even longer since I wrote anything good. But the good news is the situation with the friend has been remedied and I am over that; my uncle is on the mend and may go home by the end of the week; and I now have a really good shot of moving out this July. So no more depressing and dark posts. Yea!!

I am very excited about my new job. I will be a teacher's assistant in the 2 yr old class. I am very excited to be working with these kids. The teacher is about my age and we get along great. She was so relieved when she found out I would be the one working with her next year. This job doesn't start until August so I needed something to get me through the summer so I am going to work in the extended day program at the school. I will be on a break from classes after July 4th so I will start looking at apartments then. I am so excited. Hee hee!!

The weather today has been ominous. Amarillo has been surrounded by storms all day. The air has teased me with its elicit promises of moisture but it has failed miserably at keeping that promise. I miss the rains of Alabama. When it promised rain, it delivered with so much force, you almost felt as though you were drowning. I miss that. I miss precipitation. I miss green things, even.

They say it may rain tonight after midnight. I would love to stay up and see if it really does, but alas, I have to get up early to substitute. I miss listening to the rain on the roof. I miss smelling ozone as it wafts through the air and the gentle rumble of thunder. The Panhandle is infamous for severe thunderstorms but as of right now, we haven't had any. I love a good thunderstorm. *sigh*

Tomorrow evening, I am going to the drive-in with family. We are meeting at my aunt's house. We will then load up my cousin's truck with pillows and food and then head to the drive-in at dusk. We are watching Iron Man and Drillbit Taylor. I am very excited. I love going to the drive-in. Especially with my cousin and his truck. So fun!!!

Well, that is all I can think of to tell and it is time to watch "Big Bang Theory" so thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Man, I have a headache...

I was planning on writing a blog yesterday about how well my uncle was doing, but we found out yesterday afternoon he was going back into surgery today. He just got out and is doing fine. He will spend the night in ICU but the doctor is hopeful. Thank to all those who were praying for us.

In lighter news, I have a job lined up for next school year. I am going to be the teacher's assistant in the 2 yr old class at the school I sub for. It doesn't start until August so I am going to see if I can work in the extended day program this summer. I am very excited. It will be so much fun and I will get to work with a really great teacher.

So now I am sitting in the surgery waiting room. We are waiting to find out which room he will be in. Because he will be in ICU, we won't be able to visit him until 8pm. Of course, I don't think he will be very coherent this evening. If you had a part of your scull removed and then had your brain drained, you would be a little out of too. Wouldn't you?

So there you have it. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Update on my uncle

He got out of surgery fine. The medication they had given him made it possible to do a less invasive surgery. He is now back in his room and we are taking turns seeing him. Of course, he is still out of it but he is fine. Thank you to all those who were praying. Roderick, thank you so much for calling me. I can't tell you how much that meant to me. Thanks for reading.

So here I am...

So here I am sitting in a hospital waiting room. My uncle is having brain surgery today. He has swelling and bleeding on his brain. They are going to go in and try relieve it. They tried medication but it didn't work.

So here I am worrying but feeling like I don't have anyone to confide in. I can't talk to my best friend. My other friend is inaccessible. I feel numb. But that is not too surprising. I have felt numb for a while. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever feel anything again. That is not entirely true. I do feel things. I felt happy yesterday.

So here I am listening to Relient K. They are my favorite band. I love their lyrics and their guitar riffs. They are the band I turn to when I need comfort. I guess maybe that is what I need. I need comfort.

So here I am. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This is what it feels like...

I have been working on this post for two days now. There is so much going on in my life; I feel I am letting down all those who read. I really have no excuse for not writing. I am at a place in my life where I am having to deal with things and some days I have trouble with that. God is working on my heart and my resolve. So in light of all that, let me give you a bit of good news. I have been offered a job at the school I sub at. It wouldn't start until next school year and the pay is really bad but it would be more than I make now. I am really excited it about it. I haven't accepted yet, but more than likely I will.

I have found a song that is so perfect for the way I feel right now. Every time I listen to it, I feel as though God is speaking to me. He is telling me that He is here with me. He knows the pain I feel. He knows how my heart breaks almost daily. He knows my shame and He knows my worry. He knows I feel remorse for the pain I have caused to another. He knows my desires. He knows that with His help I will make it through this. I will feel human again someday.

The song is Losing Control by Audio Adrenaline. It is from their Until My Heart Caves In album. Audio A has been one of my favorite bands since I was in high school. They never sold out to the secular world and always kept the Gospel in their music. I was very sad to hear they were breaking up. I would have loved to have been at the last concert in Hawaii. Can you imagine?

There is only one line in the song I cannot relate to. It says. "This is what it feels like for a man to cry." I am not a man so therefore I would not know what it is like for one to cry. I have put the lyrics below. I really recommend you listen to the actual song because the lyrics have much more impact with the music and Mark Stuart's voice. I really wanted to put the song somewhere on here so readers could listen to it. Apparently, I am not computer savvy enough to do that. The only thing I could find was a Highlander montage on YouTube. It really doesn't do the song justice. You can go to imeem.com and search for it there. They have a complete version of it.

"Losing Control"

This is what it feels like
To lose control
This is what it feels like
To be left alone
This is what it feels like
To lose a friend
This is what it feels like
To reach the end

God came down
And walked beside me
God came down
He sent friends to guide me
God came down to remind me
This is what it feels like
To be loved

This is what it feels like
To face the truth
This is what it feels like
To know it's through
This is what it feels like
To say goodbye
This is what it feels like
For a man to cry

On a personal note: I would like to say something to a dear friend if he is even still reading my blog. To my dearest friend, you know who you are. I am so sorry for hurting you. I pray someday we will be friends again. Until that time, I miss you and pray you are well.

There is so much more I could write, but I need to finish making dinner. We are having meatloaf. And I am not sure I have all the words to say everything I want to anyway. I will try to write a more coherent and upbeat post next time. Until then, thanks for reading.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The rhythm of my soul...

I have been going through a particularly hard time recently. Please don’t ask for details because I am not ready to talk about it. To be honest, I am not sure I will ever be ready to talk about it, but I have made an interesting observation.

I was feeling very down on the way home from the evening service on Sunday. I was struck by the revelation I had lost a dear friend, possibly forever. I didn’t want to cry. I just kind of felt blank or numb. It was kind of like the feeling one gets after learning of the death of a loved one and after the first round of tears. I guess you could call it disbelief or resignation.

The CD in my stereo when I got in my car was an old Amy Grant. I really like it, but it has lots of sappy songs on it and I was just not in the mood. I traded it out for the Wake Up! Wake Up! album from Everyday Sunday. Now they are not a heavy metal band but they do have some amazing rock songs.

As I was driving home, I listened. At points, the guitars seemed to be beating themselves against my emotions. It was like they were trying to beat some feeling back into my soul. It was as if the music was feeling my pain and was trying to empathize with me. Trying to comfort me in some way. I realized this is why I love rock.

Since before I owned my own stereo, I have loved music. I own more than 400 CDs ranging from classical to dance to hip hop to country to rock. And as long as I can remember, I have listened to whatever suited my mood. If I feel hyper, I listen to Relient K or FM Static. If I feel mellow, I listen to Michael W. Smith or Casting Crowns. If I feel rebellious, I listen to MxPx. If I feel nostalgic, I listen to Three Dog Night or Tom Petty. If I feel sentimental, I listen to Toby Keith. Ask me any mood and I can name a band I would listen to.

I didn’t realize until that evening it is because they seem to speak to something inside of me I am unaware of. It almost seems as if the sound frequencies resonate with something inside me. Almost like an actual physical reaction to sound stimuli.

There have been times when I wanted to listen to music but I couldn’t find anything to suit my mood. Maybe it is because I don’t have that one album with that specific frequency I need. I may have to do more research on the subject. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Edward Cullen

I love to read. Anyone who has spent any time with me knows this. When I was in high school, it was not uncommon for me read four to six books in two weeks. But as I have grown older, my time has become more precious and I do not read as much as I would like.

But I still make time to do so. Reading, for me, is an escape. It is a way for me to forget all my problems and lose myself in a make believe world that is so real to me, even if it is only for a short time. Right now I am rereading my favorite book ever, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. It is actually a young adult book, but I love it anyway.

It is about vampires if you are unfamiliar with it. But they are not your normal vampires, but if you want to know more you will have to read it.

As I am reading this book again, it amazes me how it parallels my own life. I know what you are thinking, "She is in love with a vampire who wants nothing more than to devour her but restrains himself because of the immense love he feels for her?" If only. I don't know any vampires, but there are some striking similarities between the book and a certain situation in my life.

One of the main characters in the book is a vampire by the name of Edward Cullen. I LOVE this character. He is like the ultimate bad boy that every girl wants, but he also is debonair and chivalrous. He is the ultimate protector and epitomizes true love, in my humble opinion. I sometimes wonder and day dream about how I might have reacted if I had come across this inhumanly beautiful man. (Can he still be called a man if he is technically not human?)

I am also very psyched about the fact they are making a movie out of the book. Most people don't like it when a book is put on the big screen, but I have this uncanny knack for keeping the book and the movie separate. Except in the case of the Series of Unfortunate Events movie. There were some major character flaws in that one, but that is another post.

That is about all I can say about Edward. Actually, it isn't but my hand hurts from typing and I am about to leave. If you want to know more about the books or the movie check out the website: www.stepheniemeyer.com. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Every lament is a love song.~Switchfoot~

This is my lament.

I had to do one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to write a letter. It wasn't the writing that was hard, but the content of the letter broke my heart as, I am sure, it will break the heart of a very dear friend. I feel it was the right thing to do. I believe it is what God has been asking me to do for sometime now. I was just too selfish to obey.

With the help and prayers of a good friend I was finally able to accept the truth. He did not suggest I write the letter, but he encouraged me to pray. Through prayer, I wrote a letter. A letter I wish with all my heart never had to be written.

So it was with a broken heart and tender soul I went to work today. I subbed for a second grade class and one of the girls had a doctor's appointment. When she came back, she brought me a beautiful branch full of cherry blossoms (pictured above) and an almond chocolate bar. Her father told me she wanted to bring me gifts because she loves me. If I had not been in school, I may well have just burst into tears.

God knew I was going to need reassurance today. He used a beautiful young lady, His magnificent creation and His gift of sweets to brighten my dreary day. My heart sang with praise as she handed me her gifts. The flowers sat on the desk all day for all to see and to serve as a reminder to me that God is sovereign. He knows the plans He has for me, plans to benefit and not for evil. (Paraphrased from Jeremiah 29:11)

I cling to this promise today. There is a man out there who God has shaped especially for me. When the time is right, we will meet, fall in love and spend the rest of our lives together.

So today I am praising God in this storm as the Casting Crowns song says.

I pray both of us will find the peace that passes all understanding. The peace which doesn't make sense when the storms of life are battering us and all seems hopeless. I pray broken relationships are mended, cold loves rekindled and hearts restored.

I also ask for prayer for myself. A close friend told me God intends this to make me better, not bitter. I am not bitter, but I have a tendency to do so. My greatest desire is to glorify God. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring has sprung!!!

Happy Resurrection Day!!! I love this time of year. Springtime is my favorite because it is a time of renewal and rebirth. It seems as if the world resets itself and begins anew. I always get the feeling I can begin again. That all the mistakes I have made in the previous twelve months can be atoned for and rectified. It is a time to reflect on the awesome sacrifice my Lord Jesus made for me. It is a time to renew my faith and strengthen my brothers and sisters in Christ. I love spring!

March 20th was the official first day of spring. Here in the Panhandle, it was a beautiful day. I was taking my dog, Jigsaw, for a walk around our property. We have on our property some fruit trees. We have a couple of bruce plums (which were developed by someone I am related to) and a peach tree. Jig and I were walking past one of the plum trees when I noticed it was in bloom. It was so pretty I decided to get my camera and take a picture. One thing lead to another and I found myself looking for any sign of spring. So long story short, I took lots of pics I wanted to share. Unfortunately, I can't add them all to this blog but if you visit www.myspace.com/poet826, you can see the album. It's titled Spring.

Well, today is Easter and I am sick as a dog. I have a headache, upset stomach, sore throat, cough and dizziness. I missed church this morning which made me very sad. I had a really cute outfit I had gotten to wear today and I didn't get to. I did get up and eat dinner with my family, but I had to retire to my room almost immediately because I wear out quickly. I am hoping whatever is wrong with me will pass soon. I am supposed to sub on Wednesday and Friday.

Pray for me to recover soon. Also pray for my emotional well being. I have had a rough couple of days and have been staving off a depression. I am okay today but it seems to have become a day to day thing. I am praying for a resolution soon. That's it for now. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Addendum: The Gift

I remembered something I wanted to share. We found out today that one of my cousins is pregnant with their second child. We are very excited for her and her husband. It is wonderful to have new additions to the family.

The extraordinary thing about it, though, is my mom knew my cousin was pregnant 3 weeks ago. You may think she just knew because she could tell by looking at her, but what you may not know is my cousin lives 6 hours away so we don't see them very often. My mom seems to have an uncanny knack for knowing when family members are pregnant without any reason for knowing. Once or twice, she has known before the mother did! She has done this with all my cousins. It is an amazing gift. I look forward to the day when I am pregnant and she just knows! Thanks for reading...again.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jeans, gravity and leprechauns...

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! If you want to learn the history of this day in a fun and humorous way, check out the Veggietales DVD, Sumo of the Opera. There is a St. Paddie's Day story on it. I find it rather interesting and amusing.

A friend asked me the other day if I had a favorite pair of jeans. At that time, I did not. There is a pair I wear often, but that is because they fit and they are not too long. But that has changed. I have found my new favorite jeans. I got them on the clearance rack at Target. They are Mossimo vintage jeans. They have that I-have-worn-these-for-years look. They fit me perfectly and look good on me. So here is a picture of me in my new fav jeans.

If you are wondering, I am leaning on my dilapidated '88 Buick Riviera. It hasn't been driven in years because all the tires are flat, the transmission and the battery are shot, and the front passenger side fender is smashed. It was my first car and I loved it until my dad trashed it. It had a touchscreen and leather seats that you could flip over to velour. It was a 25th anniversary edition and had all kinds of bells and whistles. I miss that car. *sigh*

Well, enough reminiscing. I am really enjoying subbing. I just never know what will happen from day to day. I love walking down the hall and hearing children say "Hi!" as they wave at me. The downside is I am never guaranteed to have work and in the summer, they will not need me. I think I am going to sub until the summer and then begin seriously looking for something more permanent and that pays more. I really do want to move out and I can't do that as sub.

I received the Oh, Gravity! album by Switchfoot today. I have listened to it about 50 million times. There is one song in particular that I am in love with. It is called Yesterdays. It is sad, but it is a beautiful ballad about a friend who has died. I also really like the songs Amateur Lovers and Awakening. I would recommend this album to anyone.

Well, that is about all I have say today. Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A leap of randomness...

Today is February 29th. This day only comes around every four years. I decided I really needed to post something today just because I will not get this chance again until I am 30. So in honor of the weirdest day in four years, here is some randomness.

I have decided to stay in Amarillo. I am looking into getting an internship and today I added myself to the sub list at school so I will probably start getting more calls to sub. I also got my first sub check. I was surprised. I am making more than I thought I was so I am definitely going to try to get more calls.

My family eats alot of popcorn. So much so, Mom buys it in bulk at Sam's. I have one of these empty boxes in my room because my room is in various stages of being packed. I noticed the other day on the side of the box it says, "100% whole grain popcorn." Okay, now I don't grow popcorn and I wouldn't want to tell someone how to do their busines, but isn't it impossible to have less than 100% whole grain popcorn? Wouldn't that ruin the physics of how the popcorn pops? It struck me as rather absurd that they even put that on the box.

In some of my previous posts, it may have come off that I don't like Amarillo. This is simply not true. Amarillo is my hometown and will always have a special place in my heart where ever I may live. So to make it up to the great city, I am going to list 10 things I love about Amarillo.

1. It is the largest city in the Panhandle.
2. It is mentioned in books, T.V. shows, movies and songs numerous time.
3. It is home of the free 72 oz. steak.
4. It is home to the Cadillac Ranch.
5. Most of my family lives here.
6. On the outskirts, you can see for miles in any direction on a clear day.
7. We have a professional hockey team, the Amarillo Gorillas.
8. We have random signs around town that are entertaining and thought provoking.
9. The name means "yellow."
10. We have more restaurants than anywhere else I have ever been and we are always building new ones.

So there is all the randomness I can think of today. Happy Leap Day and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

All I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten...

I subbed in a kindergarten class today. It was a lot of fun. Of course, the class I subbed in is team taught so I was really just there for crowd control and to get some things done that the teachers have fallen behind on. I made play dough and laminated things. I put together a book that the children had written and illustrated. I helped them make “fossils” and checked their math papers.

But my favorite thing was when I went to the other room and supervised free play time. I sat and watched the boys and girls as they played their various games. One little boy sat by himself and happily colored a paper crown. Most of them played house. They pretended they were in a restaurant for dogs. I saw more that one little girl pretend to have serious conversations on the play telephone.

As I sat and watched them play, I realized how much I really want children. I think I would be a good mom. I am so ready to get married and start a family. It is one of the prayers I pray the most. God knows my desires and I believe He wouldn’t give me such desires if He wasn’t planning on fulfilling them. All I have to do is have faith that God will provide and wait for Him to do so.

Tonight I am going to go to the youth group and see how I interact with the teens. The student minister is considering making me an intern. I will go tonight and Sunday morning to see how I like it. It doesn’t pay very well (what internship does?) so I wouldn’t be able to move out as quickly as I would like. I am going to see how tonight and Sunday go, but I am really leaning towards the “grown up” thing so I can move out.

I ask that you be praying for me as I decide whether to accept the internship (if things go well) or if I should try to find more gainful employment. I have tasted independence when I moved to Alabama and I really want that again, but again I want to do what God wants me to do. So say a little pray for me and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well, that was gross...

Every once and a while, I make an error in judgment. I think I do this to prove to myself that I am not as perfect as I think I am. What terrible thing have I done you ask? Wouldn’t you like to know! You probably really do so I will tell you.

I went and saw Sweeney Todd. Why, you ask? Two words: Johnny Depp. Of course, there were several things about the movie that should have thrown up red flags. The fact that the word “demon” appears in the title. Or maybe the R rating it was given. Combined with the fact that Tim Burton directed it and Johnny Depp starred in it should have had every warning sign in my head blaring my eardrums out. But how could I resist the chance to see Johnny Depp sing?

And sing he does as he slits the throats of innocent men who have only come to get a simple shave only to end up in Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies. If you were really planning on seeing the movie and hadn’t yet, then I just ruined it for you. Sorry. If you don’t want to know any more about the movie, quit reading, turn off your computer and come back for the next installment of my adventures.

Alright, if you are still reading, I assume you have either seen the movie or don’t want to see the movie and need ample evidence for not seeing it. It was a bloody movie. I don’t like bloody, gory movies. The blood in this movie, though, resembled temper paint which made it funny in a sadistic and creepy way. I will admit I did close my eyes a few times when I knew he was about to do something violent. Of course, that was probably all he and various other characters did for the last 45 minutes of a too long movie.

Another thing that bothered me was Johnny Depp dies. When I go to see a movie that has one my favorite actors in it, I expect them to make it to the end of the movie. I mean it is the least they could do for luring me to spend money on something I may not otherwise have spent it on. Of course, in this case it was only $1.50.

So there you have it, a case in point that I do have lapses in judgment. I would not recommend anyone go see this movie. Even if you really want to hear Johnny Depp sing. Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 22, 2008

And the beat goes on....

Today, I was a beatnik. I even read some of my poetry. The fourth and fifth grade classes at the school that I sub for invited me to take part in their Beatnik Poetry Café. I have read in their class before so I guess they like my work enough to want to hear more.

I got to dress up. I love to dress up. I was really sad when we stopped celebrating Halloween when I was in the third grade. I don’t often have a good excuse to dress up. But today I dressed up like a beatnik. There are pictures of me somewhere; I just have to wait until I receive them. I promise you will see me dressed up as a beatnik, Miah, but you may be disappointed.

It was really fun. They had put the desks together and put little table cloths on them. It looked like a little café. They even had bongos and a beat machine. They served cappuccino, hot chocolate, iced tea and cookies. (I had hot chocolate and a sugar cookie.) I think the kids liked the poem I had picked out for them. I actually felt kind of bad. I had started writing a poem specifically for them but it just wasn’t right so I couldn’t present it. Below is the poem I read to them. Anonymous, I think you will enjoy this one much better than the last one.

Without You, I Am Human

I am weak-minded and ignorant.
I have sought wisdom from my own resources.
Always, failing, I move ahead to the past left behind.
I reach for myself when faced with a choice.
There, I find nothing, yet drown in it.
God, you remind me of your strength.
Now, you allow me to comprehend the sights before me.
Revealing my love for you, the gossamer floors of my mind collapse.
Reminding me,
Without you, I am human.

I wrote this when I was a summer missionary in Memphis, TN. I wrote a lot of poems that summer. It was a life changing experience.

So everything else is going pretty well. I have applied for a youth internship at my church, but I haven’t heard anything about it yet. If that doesn’t work out, I will start looking for another job. I am so ready to have a place of my own. I am ready to move out again, maybe not quite as far as Alabama, though that would totally rock.

Subbing has made me nostalgic. I usually only sub in the afternoons so I get there about recess time. When it is really cold outside, like it has been the last couple of days, the kids play inside. So I would go to the room and watch them play. I remember the days when I could make up stories, play games and be a kid. Ah, those were the days. It also stirs the maternal instinct in me. That keeps getting stronger the older I get.

Well that is about all I can think of for now. I will post those pics as soon as I get them. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Scum between my toes...

That’s what I feel like: scum. I have hurt someone and I have never even met him. I was contacted on MySpace and asked to lunch. I accepted with the rationale I was never going to meet anybody if I never put myself out there. Because of various reasons, we were never able to actually go out. I prayed about it and decided I shouldn’t pursue it because it was not going to work out. I didn’t want to give him false hope because I knew it would not have worked out. I have certain standards I adhere to. Many have told me they are too high, but they are important enough to me that I will not compromise. I was just trying to make myself feel better. I am a horrible person, I know. So now I have hurt someone and I feel worse than pond scum.

Being a Christian, I am ashamed of my behavior. We should love all of God’s creatures. I was merely using someone because I knew he would give me attention I crave. But I would not have reciprocated. It would have been unfair to all involved. It would have ended badly. It hurts now, but it would have been far worse if I had let it continue. I know from personal experience. I would give the numbers of those I have hurt the same way in the past, but they no longer speak to me and I have no idea where they are now.

So here is my confession. I am ashamed and pray the person involved will forgive me and move on.

Friday, February 15, 2008

I will survive...

I survived Valentine’s Day. I always do, but there is still that linger doubt every year of whether I will make it through one more. I even got some chocolates from my father. Mom and I watched Music & Lyrics (Which is slowly becoming one of my favorites. In fact I am watching it again as I write this. Hugh Grant is hilariously sexy in this movie.) Then we found out my sister was going out with friends, so Mom and I went and got some Japanese take-out, went home and watched Chocolat.(Another of my favs. I watched it the first time because Johnny Depp *sigh* is in it. Of course, he is only in it for about 45 minutes, but it is still a great story.) Then we devoured some of the chocolate Mom got from her students. So really, all in all it was a good evening.

Well, they are forecasting lots of nasty cold precipitation in the morning. Just the thought of it makes me shiver and cringe. Have I ever mentioned the fact that I HATE the cold? I mean I HATE it. I don’t use that word very often. In fact, there is only two things on God’s green earth I can apply that word to without reserve: cold and spiders. I will probably spend the day cleaning and studying.

I have decided I need to grow up. I think I have said this before. I think it is time to quit chasing this dream of going back to Alabama. I am going to go ahead and send my application to the camp, but I am also going to start applying for jobs here in Amarillo. I am so ready to move out and start being independent. I came to the realization I have been trying to get back to Alabama so hard, I have missed the fact that I am here in Texas. Maybe the reason I hadn’t been getting any answers was because I already had them. I was just being too stubborn to see them. That is not to say that Alabama is totally out of the question; I just may not make it back any time soon.

I am in need of prayer, not so much for guidance but for a break down of will. I need to be content with my situation as it is. When He sees fit, God will change it. This will be a daily struggle for me. I also ask for prayer in staying in the Word and in prayer. I also have an unspoken request. So I am signing of for now. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Emotional vomit

I had trouble getting out of bed today. I have had a massive headache that comes and goes since Sunday. It makes me dizzy and nauseous. Every so often my vision gets blurry. But that is not the only reason I couldn’t get out of bed today. I couldn’t get out of bed because I am tired emotionally. I am heading into a depression. I can always feel them coming on like some people feel a cold coming on. First there is the desire for things to be the way they were. Then comes the irritability where I snap for the littlest reasons. Then comes the feeling that no one in the world wants me and the cynicism directed at everything. This is followed by the feeling of being utterly alone even when I am surrounded by people. Sometimes I think if I don’t get out of bed, I can stave it off and I will not have to deal with it. I have learned to recognize the signs and most of the time, I can stop it before it gets out of hand.

But I did get out of bed this morning which is a good thing because staying in bed is really not the best answer. It would really only make things worse. I had to sub today. I felt better once I got to school. Children have a way of making an adult feel better with the smallest gestures. One little girl came up and told me she wanted to give me my Valentine present early. It was a big hug.

I usually have an episode of depression around Valentine’s Day. I have never had a Valentine to share the day with so consequently I am a little jaded about the day. I struggle with my singleness and this day only serves to further frustrate me. I am continually praying to God to send someone my way or give me a peace about being single. I am still working on it.

It also doesn’t help that my grandpa died on Valentine’s Day. He was my hero and even two years later I still miss him. He was a great man of God and always had a smile. He loved his family even though I don’t ever remember him actually telling me that he loved me. I just knew he did. I knew I could always turn to him when I needed to.

Over the years I have come to realize it is these episodes that push everyone away from me. Most people don’t understand me. I am an emotional person. I am also very passionate. I love people and sometimes I love them too strongly and it scares them. I have a tender heart and I am reluctant to share it with people because I bruise easily. Usually these episodes only last a couple of days, but sometimes they drag on. That is when I begin to say things and do things that push people away. So really it is my own fault I have very few friends. I have learned as an adult to deal with it, but it is still a struggle. One that I am tired of fighting alone.

Some of you may be wondering why I would write about such things. Writing has always been an out and an escape for me. I can pour my soul onto a piece of paper or computer screen, evaluate it and feel better about my conclusion. Words are the medium I use to paint the pictures of my life. It is therapy for me. Many have been the times when I have had a bad day and written an email to an understanding friend who knows that I just need to get something off my chest. I call it emotional vomit.

So with that lengthy intro, here is a piece I wrote during one of my episodes. Be warned: it is dark and unlike previous pieces, there is no mention of God. I think I was in college when I wrote it. Be aware this is not the condition of my soul all time. This is merely a window into a small part of my life. I really do have times when I am happy and convivial. I just also happen to have times of deep sadness and torment and these seem to be the ones people remember. Please do not judge me for something you may not understand. This may be the last piece I post for a while so enjoy. Thanks for reading.

I Cry Alone

I cry alone
In solitude.
Encased in my cotton peace,
I cry alone.
Each sob rends open my soul.
I am scorned and I am hated.
There is nothing left for me
But friendly betrayal.

I cry alone
In my dark expanse
Where no one can hear
My soul shatter into a million pieces.
Oh, yes, I cry alone.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Exhaustion and dancing...

I am tired. I subbed all week long and six year olds can really wear a girl out. It didn’t help that I was up at 6:30 this morning because I had a ton of school work to do. I got most of it done, but I still have another chapter to read and a midterm to take by midnight tomorrow.

I have been asked to post another poem so here it is. It is one of my mom’s favorites. This is a piece I wrote when I was serving as a summer missionary in Memphis, TN in the summer of 1999. I had just graduated from high school so I was only 17. The band that did our praise and worship introduced me to a praise song that has become one of my very favorites. In the chorus is the line “there is nowhere else that I’d rather be than dancing with you as you sing over me.” Dancing with God? Can you imagine? The thought had never occurred to me. Being raised in a Baptist home, you can imagine how much effort I had to exert trying to wrap my brain around that image. This poem is the result of that effort. Thanks for reading.

Dancing With God

I stand alone, broken and humble.
You take my hand, twirling me.
With perfect grace and time, you dance along.
I feel safe and secure as we dance toward morning.
Love sweeps us up, awesome love.
I stumble and fall, but you pick me up with ease.
I am carried along in your arms, ever rejoicing.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A little creative writing...

This piece was nibbling on my brain most of yesterday evening and wouldn’t let me go to sleep until I wrote it down. For some reason, I feel I need to share it so here it is. Take it or leave it. Love it or hate it.


The scars crisscross my heart like highways on a map. White and rigid. Coarse and ragged. The bands searing my flesh, sculpting their way into the red tissue. Each one a reminder of a broken relationship, a latent word. They constrict my heart as it tries to do its job, tries to send life it does not have to the limbs. Pain tears across my chest as the organ breaks a little more, assumes another scar. It tries one more time to be brave, one more time to be courageous but fails to impress even itself. With unbidden tears, it gives up. It ends its charade of life and surrenders. It no longer can survive on its own, the shackles squeezing until every drop is gone.

Thump, thump. New creation arises from the mutilated mass, beautiful, perfect. Thump, thump. Life flows in every direction spawning new sensations that can only be explained by the rapturous look of pure joy spanning across the millions. New life, new gifts. The heart is crystalline, washed in blood that is not its own. A pure blood, a sacrificial blood. Holy blood. God Almighty has taken the heart and carried away its pain, its scars, its corporeal mementos. Kissing them away until only hope and faith and love remain. Driving away the deadly thoughts, the scattering deeds. The heart is stronger, more alive in its death than it ever was in life. Breathing in the crisp air, the body feels the change, knows it will never be the same. Mind cannot comprehend the enormous gift it has received. It will never fully understand how tainted flesh became pure love.

Oh, it gasps. The rapture, the brilliant joy. How? How can this be? Life unending is now mine, traded only for belief in a Son whose torturous death was willingly taken. My eyes are humbled by the broken body now taking on the form of an abused heart, a dark thought, a dirty deed. Taken so I will not have to endure it any longer. Humbled, I retrieve the heart, now cleansed of sin and lay it ever so tenderly at His perfect feet. For now it is no longer mine to keep, it belongs to my Savior.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random thoughts of a 26 year old bum

I am sitting in Birmingham International Airport. I have driven 4 hours in a rental car to be here, and now I have a 2 and a half hour wait. But I don’t mind. I can catch up on my reading for my classes. I can call a couple of people to chat a bit. I can sit and think about what I am going to go next.

I am taking action. I am going to try my darnedest to move to Alabama. The way I see it, I can either try and fail or not try and always wonder. How will I know if I don’t try? I am going to start by looking for full time jobs that I can apply for online. The hospitals in Mobile have lots of openings. Some of the banks do online apps. If this is what God wants for me, He will open the door. All I can do is try.

I have been asked to work in the kitchen at the camp this summer. I am prayerfully considering this. I would do anything to be back at the camp. I love that camp. I love the ministry. I love the people. If I do not find a full time job in the next month, I will more than likely take it. But I also want to be sure that it is what God wants for me.

I am going to start going deeper into His Word. I am going to start scouring it for answers. I am going to turn back to God. I have become lazy in my studies of the Word. I am going to start writing in my prayer journal again. A quote I heard recently comes back to me often as I decide where to minister. "If they come here looking for Jesus and find only you, how disappointed are they going to be?" I need to refocus my life. I need to consider more of what God wants and less of what I want. I also need to learn to accept it when things do not go the way that I want them. I need to learn to be happy in all of my circumstances whether I am in Texas or Alabama or wherever I may end up.

Leaving Alabama gets harder and harder. I feel like I leave a little piece of my self there every time I go. I leave it with all the people I know down there. I love my camp brothers and sisters. I know I keep saying that, but it is so true. I feel like I have gained so much from them. Their perspective on life never ceases to amaze me. They are so refreshing to be around because of their zeal for life and their wild abandon. They are so carefree and funny. I laugh more when I am with them than with anyone else I know. I want so much to be the role model for them that I should be. I want them to be able to come to me when they have problems. It would break my heart, probably irrevocably, if I was never to see any of them again this side of Heaven.

I am really glad I decided to stay and go to church. This past Sunday was the last Sunday for my preacher in Alabama. He has decided that God has other work for him so he resigned and is taking a leap of faith. He is someone I hope to remain in contact with for the rest of my life. He is a good teacher and great friend. Shadow Lawn Baptist will never be the same.

I am a little confused. I will decide on a course of action and I will think it is what I am supposed to be doing. I will then start working at it and find another avenue or I will come against opposition. I am getting to the point where I cannot keep my head clear and keep everything straight. I feel like there are so many options coming at me. I am beginning to become overwhelmed. I never feel like I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing except for those rare occasions when I am.

I want to end with this final thought for all my friends in Alabama. I have gone to Alabama 5 times now. I think it is high time someone came to Texas. Think about it. We always have an extra bed waiting. Thanks for reading.