Sunday, October 31, 2004

view from a dark place

this is something i wrote from a very dark place. a pastor friend of mine told me it was not complete because it lacked hope. i disagree. in its own way, it has hope. and, it is complete because it is complete. one person i spoke to said, if it had the happy, sappy brand of "hope" christians usually slap on their messages, it would not have reached her in the place of pain she found herself in. i agree.

this also happens to be an excerpt from my manuscript: from the abundance of my poverty. forgive the woeful justification of my poetry...


Genesis 3:9


I am lost
find me again
I have wandered
into the wilderness
I hear You calling
come find me
I see Your face
understanding
I am sorry
for everything
I need You
to find me again.


Adrift


"One does not discover new lands without consenting
to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." Andre-Gide

There are times, like now, when I feel adrift. Tethered to no thing, certain of nothing, headed for nowhere. These are the times I want to crawl into a hole and stay there. These are the times I want to run away and never look back. These are the times that have frequented my life and punctuated my story. These are the times I dread. It is not that God has forsaken me, it is just that He has not revealed anything more than a glimpse of the future. Each time I catch a glimpse of where I am headed, my heart swells with hope. Yet, it remains just a glimpse. My actual experience is more gritty and difficult. I have ceased weeping at the pain of my aimless drifting, but today the tears come unbidden. I am uncertain why they come today except to accompany my loneliness.

I have friends aplenty, more than any one person could need. But they do not, and cannot direct my course. They do not have the answers I need or the salve for my aching soul. So I drift. Apart from fellowship and community, I cannot find the shore. My service is requested and rendered more out of obedience than any commitment or feeling of belonging. So I drift.

Once I felt anchored to something, but it has given way. No thing has come to take its place. No certainty has come to quell the lingering doubt and dismay of my circumstance. I drift far from the reach of rescue and beyond the ability of human aid. My soul rises and falls upon the tide.

There are moments when the fog lifts and I can see the horizon—then I hope again. I hope the dawn has come and land is near. But no. Not yet. Never yet. It is always somewhere beyond me. So the day stretches out into a week, the week into months, and now, years later, still adrift, I have begun to find some routine to the rhythm of my exile. But there are days, like today, when the black cloud settles upon my soul and I merely drift. Unable to hope in tomorrow or see beyond the blinding uncertainty of today.

I need a glimpse today. That somewhere this voyage will end and my journey will take a new turn. I need to be recommissioned, for my original calling has faded into the yellow parchment clutched in my hand. I need to be redeemed, for I am adrift.

Friday, October 29, 2004

noncharismatic book reviewed

you know that saying, be nice, you never know who you'll run into later. well this author was particularly nice to me, simply out of the goodness of his heart. when i saw his books come up for review, i jumped at the chance to review them. never really thinking about the implications if i gave him a bad review (because honestly, i want to give EVERYONE a good review--unfortunately, i can't). so this author was kind to me and i emailed him and said, hey, i'm reviewing your book. he said, great. let me know what you think, i want to learn. humility is always a good thing. so here it is, my review, which was a pleasure to write, mostly because the author knows how to write and he knows how to treat people. hallelujah!

12 Lies You Hear About the Holy Spirit by Tim Riter

irreverent musings of a brilliant soul

this was written by a dear friend who made me laugh, we are bantering about with alliteration, he outshines me by far. had to share it, has the f*bomb in it, so beware:

Parent Teacher conferences

are painful pedantic pilings of pestilence. Fusilades of Forgone
conclusions, fair assesments and fakeries. The teacher and parents
circumnavigate the "course" of childrens souls.
Trailblazers and Gods that we are. Fie.....
let's wax philosophic on your child's poise or piss-ant-ics
I'm so fucking tired I could drown in the Atlantic
face down face planted fathoms deep in frigid waters
in a tripple gainer, two somersaulting flip legs tucked back a quarter
but I have a break for lunch, a temporary respite
I will finish this afternoon, like I did just last night
this repartee of parents, the teacher and student
then go home and sip beer or whatever vice is prudent


some writing, eh?

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

literary tirade

reading another book whose author shall remain nameless, but it is published under the bridge-logos imprint...

and i quote:

God is omnipotent. What that means is: If you need something He hasn't created yet, He has the potential to create it!


if you need something He hasn't created yet, then He isn't omnipotent. the very fact that you could need something that escaped His provision/plan tells me that He ain't too bright. and that just ain't true. think about it. a God who creates a universe and says, "it is good." then along comes His brilliant creation, uh, excuse me but you forgot... it just doesn't make any sense at all.

again, i quote:

If you're breathing, be assured that God's promise is still in you. Give your messed-up life to God. Who would have seen in this killer Moses the Ten Commandments--the civic, moral, and social laws of many nations? That potential was inside of a murderer.


while i appreciate the comfort of that word, i often need to be reminded that God's promise is still in me. it is the analogy drawn, inaccurately i believe, that causes me to shudder. the Ten Commandments weren't inside Moses, if i remember korektly they were penned by the FINGER OF GOD! they were inside God. we aren't creators here, we're just arms He uses to hold a few tablets. just people to pray a few prayers. not to diminish the validity or the place of the saints, i do think we consider ourselves more highly than we ought. in Christ, we are co-heirs and sons of God. but we are a bag of bolts, or a bucket of dust without Christ.

this is the kind of shoddy editing and woeful diction that makes me avoid christian books altogether. i hate to say it but this wouldn't have been printed in the ABA. someone would have caught it. i see a great breakdown in the christian editing profession when these books are published and sold. the fact that we gobble them up and keep going back for more is half the problem. only if there were some way to return bad books. could you imagine? we return bad food. we return bad products of all types, why do we have to keep bad books?

many pastors have this, put the cookies on the bottom shelf mentality. fine. but where they go amiss is when they strew the cookies on the floor. nobody wants a cookie trampled to crumbs. i have read one GEM in the 21 pages of this book so far. the rest of it is awkward and laborious, Lord God have mercy on me.

how do i review a book like this?

another quote:

The key to dying empty is showing up in life. Many people become the aspirations of their parents, their culture or their denomination. They fulfill other people's expectations of them. Ask yourself...


so many problems here i wonder where to begin as an editor and why to continue as a reader.

primero: "showing up in life" how awkward is that? everyone shows up in life, it's called being born. we are here. we show up because we have to. i think this author was trying to say, attend to life. be present. but showing up is unclear at best. (not to mention undeveloped). this is the umph of the book, the whole thrust of the author's point, but here it is lackluster at best.

segundo: Many people
***warning*** ***warning*** ***warning***
gross generalization to follow.

any sentence that starts out, many people, most people, or other such generalization is most likely going to be inaccurate at best and flat out wrong at worst...

tercero: diction

aspiration def: (1) the pronunciation or addition of an aspirate; also: the aspirate or its symbol. (2) a drawing of something in or out, up, or through by or as if by suction: as (a) the act of breathing and esp. of breathing in (b) the withdrawal of fluid from the body (c) the taking of foreign matter into the lungs with the respiratory current (3) a strong desire to achieve something high or great (b) an object of desire this author was probably refering to aspire: (1) to seek to attain or accomplish a particular goal. (2) ascend, soar

but that is still not quite the word. don't just settle for a word, keep at it until you find the right one. make your words count.

diction problems really dull your ethos as an author. (see what i mean?!)

if i were a grammar guru, which i am not, i could tell you how this word hybridized into aspirations, but in grammartalk i am not fluent, so i'll tell you in plain simple englash.

being a poet, i take words and make them my own, use them in irreverent and new ways. however, writers of prose, unless they coin a phrase and define it (or it is so clear it needeth not defining), do well sticking to words that bear a resemblance to what they are trying to say. how simple that sounds. but this seems as much an editorial failing as an authorial oops, but of course, the editor is nowhere listed, so the author gets the credit (or demerit as the case may be).

i have a lovely friend who uses the word secret-ed (sans hyphen, for snuck away, my lowsy definition). i read the word secreted (as in oozing puss filled sore). the word you like or use as an author may not be the right word for some people, but others may have no problem with it. it is your call, but if someone gets stuck on it and mentions it, consider changing it for clarity's sake.

cuarto: pronoun issues

my intimate critique group hated me for dogging them on pronouns, but when theys unclear, theys unclear.

so here we go: typically referring to the last mentioned personal noun, the pronouns in this sentence could refer to anyone. they could be they the poor souls who are their parent's aspirations. or their parents. or their culture. or their denomination. do you see it? they could be any of these then. do you agree or is it just me, belaboring pronouns? clean it all up by saying: Are the expectations of others somehow your priority? Ask yourself... (see next point)

quinto: pronoun shift

if we didn't have enough to occupy our feeble minds with the they issue, they shifts to you within the same paragraph just one small space away. Ask yourself...

when an author addresses a reader jovially, or cordially, that is fine. but as a reader i don't like to be told what to do. i don't like to be bullied by an author. if that author has not established a friendly tone before they start youing me, then i hear an adversarial, bossy, justlikemyauntnena tone and don't like it one bit! (it's a fine line and what you write may read to you as jovial or friendly, but you can be a fickle friend--see what i mean!). another way of saying ask yourself without the pronoun shift (and in a more cordial way imho) is: Consider. i love that phrase, because it invites the reader to evaluate what the author is saying. no pushy reminder that i am the author here, (and you are the dullard who can't get published--er, i didn't just say that, did i?) just inviting the reader along for a mental stroll down my argument lane.

consider this, blah, blah, blah. is much better than, barking commands like a drill seargant.

ASK YOURSELF SOLDIER, how many push ups do i want to do?

No, try this gentler easyassundaymorning version:

Have the expectations of others somehow become your priority? Consider the following... (now author has become ally. helping the badgeredenoughinlife reader, to see from the author's perspective.)

my tirade is through. i wish all books were as excellent as the one i read just last week, one i'll blog on in the near future. what a lovely read that was.

peace!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

book review published

sometimes it is an honor to read and review a book. such was the case here:

Changing Church: How God is Leading His Church Into The Future by C. Peter Wagner

create

have you thought, as you hit that blog button "create" what a powerful word that is?

we create nothing that does not already exist, but we can rearrange the words to make them feel ours. we can tweak an idea to make it our own.

i listened to my dear brother playing with my daughter last night and i kept hearing him say, "it's not fair." to which i reply, "nothing is fair." i hate the f word.

just like i hate the s word. i heard a well known radio personality say, "shame on you if you don't vote." i told my girl to say after i said, "you can keep your shame, i don't receive it." i'm tired of people shaming on me, shoulding on me, and basically just passing off their garbage. i simply refuse to take it anymore, i don't receive it.

have i shared with you my thoughts on being offended?

the very way we use that word is telling. he "took" offense. hmm. so if we don't take it, then we don't get offended right? psalm 119:165 says, "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." sometimes i think we reinterpret nothing to me, only the things i choose. or just the things that really bug me in this verse.

but i LOVE Thy law, NOTHING shall offend me.

carl tuttle used to say, "you can't offend a dead man."

the true test of whether you are dead or no is how easily you offend. are you unflappable? or are you getting shocked and shaken by every fool thing others do around you?

there are some dear souls so easily offended that people don't speak honestly around them. i'd rather battle through my personal slight and refuse offense than have truth ground to a liquid so i don't have to learn to chew meat. growth is hard. it hurts. we don't understand it. often, i don't even want to grow. but atrophy is worse, more painful, and hope deferred, well, you know.

my camping trip looked much different than i thought it would and i was livid. my sister, wise soul that she is said, there must be a lesson here. my frustrated retort was, hope deferred, i get it! there was no getting through to me that day. but as time wore on and i began to see the plan of God unfold, my heart began to soften and i was able to praise God for altering my plans.

i hadn't known what i would "create" when i hit that button. hope it was worth your while to get here. have a blessed day!

Friday, October 22, 2004

overtired

i'm so tired right now i want to cry, or scream, like an overstimulated baby.

remember those days?

he's overtired we'd say. and rock and hug until the screaming child finally relaxed and fell asleep.

only, there is no one to hold me and rock me to sleep anymore. the last time i felt something holding me like a baby was when i was in one of those big red tonguelike swings for disabled children at the park. my hubby was off playing and attending to our girl (he is very good with her, better than me many times). and i was being held in the big tongue and the very structure of it holds you in a reclining position so you look up at the sky while you gently rock back and forth. i stayed in that swing the whole time we were there. i need to sojourn back there and let the tongue hold me again, because i am overtired and want to cry and scream.

maybe it is because i am both introvert and extrovert (every test i take breaks evenly on that line, strange isn't it?). with an unemployed hubby, i've not had time alone in a great while, and it is wearing me out. even being around friends is taxing to me. but being home, my God that is the worst.

we were supposed to be camping tonight, and my poetic soul needed to sleep under stars and be out of doors. my heart and mind really needed that break, but here i am indoors, the glow of the computer screen upon my face. i am simply overtired and want to cry and scream.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

cakelove not war

it is hard to recall the show i was watching, dateline i think, and i saw a piece about a beautiful black man named warren brown who started cakelove.

the thing he said that caught my attention was, he earned a law degree from Brown and was on the career fast track, but would moonlight for co-workers. one morning at 1 am he was baking a cake and thought, this is what i should be doing with my life.

so i ask you this, what do you do at 1 am?

(provided it is legal and biblically sound) it could be what you were created to do.

me, i read books, write and blog. of course these things have not made me rich, but this guy, he is thinking of opening cakelove and his love cafe all over the country. what a grand idea.

what would you do if failure were impossible?

that is a question culled from the motivational books i've read (and paraphrased) through the years. the answer for me is always the same, write a book. and written a book, i have--a couple of them actually.

but word has it (from a very "reliable" source, that i am unpublishable). the market wouldn't know what to do with me. especially the christian market.

is that considered failing?

not necessarily. i know somewhere there is a place for me and my works in God's plan. He just hasn't seen fit to let me know where that place is just yet. so i wait. and learn patience.

the christian publishing industry is content with rhyming poetry (the very scant amount it does publish) and stuff that is grammatically correct (not that either of those things are bad, they simply are not me).

so tell me, what would you do if you could not fail? what are you waiting for?

gratitude

i wrote this to a friend and thought it might mean something to someone out there...

i've learned that this is life. play the hand you're dealt. you can either enjoy it, or be miserable. being miserable isn't fun. so, may as well enjoy it. i keep thinking, if we lose everything, oh well. we'll move on. it will work out. just enjoy TODAY jules, don't think about tomorrow. one thing that has gotten me through this LONG season, is to ceremoniously cross the day off the calendar and say, thank you Lord we made it through another day. my gratitude journal has entries like: we are still breathing. there is always something to be grateful for. it may not seem like much, but if you look you can find it. i'll stop preaching now.

this lesson struck me when i was playing solitaire (it is what i do while waiting for my dialup to dialup). there is no way to change the cards, to reorder them (though i try), to "cheat" and reshuffle them (i confess, when playing in 3d it is hard not to reshuffle and keep going). computer solitaire is a lot like life that way, what you are dealt is what you play and sometimes, many times you lose (or at least i do).

this has helped me immensely of late because i want different circumstances in my life, i want my husband to be employed, i want to have a clean house, i want to have friends and the ability to mutually express my love and affection for them, not being a charity case any longer! but those are not the cards in my hand at this moment. i am holding lot of nines and fives, and there are nothing but jacks and queens coming up in the wrong order. so many possibilities, so few that actually workout. this is the sad tale of my times. but God is faithful. if i just hold that wretched hand up to Him, He gives me grace to get through it. He looks down in favor upon me and breathes His assurance and peace.

life sucks sometimes. but that is just the way it is. find something to be grateful for, as brennan manning says, gratitude begets trust (my paraphrase). even if it is only, i am still breathing today Lord, for that i am grateful.

i will be posting some excerpts from my Abundance of my Poverty manuscript. what the heck! perhaps they will bless you.

my press

i shared this with my dear friends, but had to post it here so i could get those warm fuzzies when i reread it.

Hi Suz,

What an awesome editor you are! Honestly, and far more critical (in the very best sense) than the outsourced editor Cook used. If you ever consider becoming an editor and want a recommendation, please let me know. I would be very glad to give a glowing one.

I really do like the way you examine the book, consider it in its context, and see how it can be improved. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

another final note from the same gracious author:
I've been honored to have you both review and critique the book, thank you, my friend and partner in ministry! Keep serving him with words.

me again: who thinks of a reviewer as a partner in ministry? someone not hoarding the spotlight, that's for sure! i am infinately blessed and much encouraged by this kind exhortation.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

scaryonettes

went to the state fair of texas a few weeks ago, and my daughter and i attended a marionette show (i should have known better than to go to something called "world on a string"). while sitting there watching the ill-proportioned, ugly puppets whose movements are awkward at best, i began to wonder, why are these things still around? who grows up saying, i want to be a puppetmaster (alright metallica fans, name that song!) apparently somebody does, because those dang puppets ain't going away. it's tragic really.

not only are the puppets ugly, their heads separate from their bodies, and if that is supposed to be cute, it isn't. one puppeteer came out with a skeleton all dressed up in those big sleeves with maracas, dancing to some song that i no longer recall. the puppeteers, all dressed in black look like floating heads and hands themselves (they must do that so they don't distract from the puppet) but something so ugly is in need of a distraction. at the very end, there were some cute line dancing french marionettes, that were all connected, so two puppeteers could operate six dancers, but they only did a few kicks then the show ended. the puppeteers don't even do ventriloquism (is that even a word?)they just move their mouths and they are right there hovering over the puppet, how is that supposed to be interesting? if you have an ugly puppet, the least you can do is learn to make it look like it is talking for/by itself (why, i don't know! i don't make the rules)

marionettes are just plain hideous. however that hasn't seemed to impede their progress (if you can call it that). went to the movies and saw a trailer for team america: world police. my friend laughed through the whole thing and i just sat there, unable to overcome my aversion to these strange thesbians (remember that ventriloquist movie from the 80s, before scary movies became truly horrifying?).

granted, seeing them on the movie screen without the legs and floating hands and heads of their puppetmasters mouthing their lines is a tad less disconcerting, but not much. they remind me of my growing aversion for clowns. there are very few clowns out there that aren't ghastly. i wish they would just go away and take the marionettes with them.

apparently the creators of south park made this film, so hopefully it will be funny if nothing else. it doesn't look like marionettes will go away after this run if it is funny though. it's tragic really.

in trying to find something visual for you visual learners, i found this site which had this tragic, but hilarious (to me) note:
On January 1, 1999, at 12:22 p.m., a fire totally destroyed the New England Marionette Opera. Consumed by the fire were more than 200 handcrafted marionettes, all sets from nine complete operatic productions, all sound, and light and office devices. Only the two large travelling bridges survived the six-hour inferno.

On November 4, 1999, the decision was made to not try to reopen the theatre.

On December 31, 1999, at 11:59 p.m., the New England Marionette Opera was officially closed.


could you imagine actually paying and going to sit through an opera done by marionettes? maybe someone in the community burned it down. (now that's just mean!)

coined

okay two words that shot out of my peabrain today, that i thought were noteworthy were:

artslut: prostituting one's art for the market

hallelujahween: the christian alternative to oct 31.

they may go nowhere, but i'm saying here and now, i said 'em first!

Friday, October 15, 2004

the freedom of simplicity

i pick up any richard foster book i can get my hands on. i stumbled across this one at a new library i now frequent, unsure if i'd read it or not, i brought it home and as is typical for foster, every page is laden with spiritual gems. when i read his books, i spend most of my time transcribing passages into my journals (him, brennan manning, and john eldredge are very slow reads for me because of this).

here is a passage from the first chapter. it describes that elusive "feeling" i have been trying to describe but as yet had no words for:

Perhaps one more paradoxical tension will be sufficient to emphasize the fact that our journey into simplicity will be as intricate, varied, and rich as human personality itself. I refer to the attractive ability to be single-hearted and at the same time sensitive to the tough, complex issues of life. It is a strange combination and quite difficult to explain, though quite easy to recognize. There is focus without dogmatism, obedience without over-simplification, profundity without self-consciousness. It means being cognizant of many issues while having only one issue at the center--holy obedience.

Jesus spoke to the heart of the matter when he taught us that if the eye were single, the whole body would be full of light (Matt. 6:22). Dietrich Bonhoffer, before he died at the hands of the Nazis, said, "To be simple is to fix one's eye solely on the simple truthof God at a time when all concepts are being confused, distorted, and turned upside down." Such focus makes one decisive and able to cut through Gordian knots of life.

But we must never confuse the clear decisiveness of the propagandist. While propagandists have a singleness of purpose that is often quite amazing (and baffling), they do not enter it by the same path as the single-hearted. In joyful abandon they pontificate on politics, religion, and philosophy, without the slightest awareness or concern for the intricacies involved. At times they may even come to the conclusions as the single-hearted, and may even express it in the same words and with the same conviction. But they came to the conclusion too quickly, too easily. It is hollow because it lacks the integrity of painful struggle.

Have you ever experienced this situation? One person speaks, and even though what he is saying may well be true you draw back, sensing the lack of authenticity. Then someone else shares, perhaps even the same truth in the same words, but now you sense an inward resonance, the presence of integrity. What is the difference? One is providing simplistic answers, the other is living in simplicity.


that says a lot to me especially during this electoral season when all seems to be shades of grey. vote for who you will, but listen to your heart. i think we can be fooled by a great many things, a great many people, but in your knower you get a read on someone and whatever that read is, go with it.

there are propagandists in the christian camp as well as the secular camp. i would rather not listen to either. it is so hard to find a man or woman who has paid the price for this complex simplicity. it is so rare to meet someone who speaks with the crystalline clarity of an unsullied stream. i find so many are playing verbal dodge ball, trying not to get hit while trying to take out the opponent that it is very rare indeed to settle down with someone for a real heart to heart conversation. but those are the moments that matter. those are the conversations that change lives.

in planning at our church, i was relaying a story of when i was in college. i was so alone on the planet then, i had a church, i was even a part of the "ministry," i was volunteering at a food bank, serving in the nursery. by all accounts i was "plugged in." but i was alone. no one could reach me. no one could penetrate that vast wall of loneliness and emptiness which seemed to surround me. i was approached one day in the lunch room by a group from some cult or church (sometimes the difference is negligible, sadly). they asked if i wanted to go to their church. i said no. they asked the wrong question. the offered the wrong spiritual food. if they had offered me a word of friendship and kindness, i would have been on board. i did show up at their church, but found myself outside looking in. it is no surprize my best friend in those days was (and probably still is) a staunch athiest. i love him dearly, but failed to offer him the words of life i so needed to hear myself.

i certainly hope the church figures out that a prosperity gospel is a delusion. the rich and pure treasures of Christ are what we need. the offer of love and kindness, ministry to the needs of real people. acknowledging the presence of the hurting and ignored--that is what the church needs to offer more than anything. but it requires her to take the time, and time is a commodity is short supply these days. it is easier to throw a few coins and a loaf of bread at the hungry or needy. but time, that is something altogether different. america is starving for acknowledgement and the investment of time. (boy what a tangent, hope it was worthwhile!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

death

a lady at church said this on sunday,
God does not let a thing die. He may shut it down for a while, but He won't kill it.


i could not hold my peace at this, i piped in, what about lazarus? to which i received no response.

so i ask you, what about Jesus? as brennan manning writes,
The most common form of presumption is the expectation that God will directly and secretly intervene in human affairs. We presume that by saying, "Lord, Lord," the cancer, or bankruptcy, or infidelity will disappear. We presume that God answers all prayers by assuring good outcomes, that food for the widows and orphans will fall from heaven, that the Holy One infallibly guarantees a baby's safe delivery, and that God will certainly sell our houses at the desired price if we plant a statue of Joseph upside down in the backyard. The theological arguments that support an interventionary God are many and varied. Frequently, people report that they have experienced a physical cure or an inner healing. And they have.
"Yet," as John Shea writes, "one brutal historical fact remains--Jesus is mercilessly nailed to the cross and despite the Matthean boast, twelve legions of angels did not save him that hour. No cop-out redemption theories that say God wanted it that way explain the lonely and unvisited death of God's son. This side of the grave Jesus is left totally invalidated by the Lord of heaven and earth. Trust in God does not presume that God will intervene."
Often trust begins at the far side of despair. When all human resources are exhausted, when the craving for reassurances is stifled, when we forgo control, when we cease trying to manipulate God and demystify Mystery, then--at our wits' end--trust happens within us, and the untainted cry, "Abba, into your hands I commend my spirit," surges from the heart.


why does the church today think she is exempt from hebrews ll? i don't understand. pretribulation is a wonderful idea, and in my heart i hope we go before the going gets rough, but as i survey the bible and the trials and the persecution of saints past, why do we get a get out of jail free card and they don't? i think it is hugely naive and will leave the bride woefully unprepared to face the days of trial ahead. get your oil now, you may not need it, but at least you'll have it ready if the bridegroom tarries.

(lost formatting on the following poem, if you'd like to see how it is supposed to look eme and i'll send it to you. i hate to see my work butchered thus, but thought the point worth it.)

Colossians 3:3


He keeps trying
_____to slay me
yet I refuse
_____to die
instead cling
_____half-alive
to this body of decay
_____and stench.

He keeps trying
_____to change me
yet I refuse
_____to surrender
my will, my ways
_____my ignorance.

He keeps trying
_____to love me
yet I refuse
_____to accept
His unreserved love
_____pure and unparalleled
I simply cannot
_____believe it.


He keeps trying
_____to slay me
yet I refuse
_____to die.


here is an unimpressive poem of mine which i wrote, or wrote me many, many years ago. it speaks of the loneliness unto death that i have experienced.


John 12:24

The feeling of loneliness
Overwhelms me
Like white ocean waves
_____Crashing
Never allowing me
To catch my breath.

(i figgerd if i could just put in underscores where the spaces are to be, at least you'd see my formatting represented--albeit imperfect, but at least you get the idea).

Monday, October 11, 2004

best friendz

i've been richly blessed with friends in my life. from the earliest age, i remember my best friend jennifer bonilla, she moved away in fourth grade and i lamented her loss. her return, some two years later, found me strangely indifferent to her presence. we were never the kind of friends we were before she moved away. i come across her picture from time to time, i can't bring myself to throw it away. i have loved my friends, many of them now gone (not dead, just moved on in their lives) and even the memory of their friendship is sweet to me.

i am the one who moves away now and i understand i cannot cut ties with those i leave and expect to make it once transplanted into foreign soil. friends help keep me sane.

one friend i sat with yesterday, who drove all the way out to the country, took me to lunch, then a movie, then drove me home said, you're too important to me not to make time for us to get together.

i am humbled by such love. she is a tree in my life. i knew that long ago. but the words of her mouth echo the sentiment in my heart, and i am grateful for friends who love me in return.

when a friend attains best friend status in my life, they never lose it. i realized, after being transplanted from schools where my cousins and sister paved the way before, to an all white high school (of beverly hills 90210 fame--torrance high), that friends were indeed too precious to let something as minor as distance get in the way.

so just as a senator once retired is called mr. senator until he dies, so my friends who have left the office of bestfriendship in my life, remain my best friends until they choose to end the relationship.

my best friend from high school, jennifer is my oldest and dearest friend. we talk on occasion.

my best friend from after high school, anne, still keeps in touch calling to update me on her managerial corporate position and since she is a musician, updates me on the status of her cds and such.

those are the only two i don't see regularly. the others live in texas, i have four of them currently in my life. those friends who can tangibly support me. and whom i love dearly.

this blog was to be about reviewing friends, but i'll do that some other time. as i am only now beginning to face that dilemma. i am reviewing acquaintances currently, and hoping to treat them no different than those i've reviewed without knowing them personally. it is quite a wonderful opportunity to speak with an author about a book. such a conversation took place recently and i hope i never become the kind of person who uses my friends' names, their association with unknown me as leverage or influence. if their association is genuine and the Lord uses it to further us both, praise God. if not, i must remember to remain silent and not name the names of friends however influential they may be and trust the great Influencer to be my endorsement.

Friday, October 08, 2004

one?

last night i was asked the question,
you homeschool one?


this didn't bother me at the time. i smiled and said, yes.

but since. ah, since, it has gnawed at the gray matter of my mind like a little rat that has found a nice piece of pungent cheese.

it was not something that stopped me in my tracks last night, but since. ah, since, i've had many a retort (too late, curse the costanza in me).

the implied judgment of one? the weight of that question, the stress on that word, has made me wonder, is it any less beneficial to homeschool one than five? am i any less a mother because i have only one, not three, like the lady who asked me that question last night?

it hurts me now and she hasn't given it a second thought. so i should just let it go, and i will. with blogger as my ally, i will. blogger sits, the silent priest listening to my confession.

i want to tell that woman how grossly insensitive her comments were. does she know or even care that i long to have more than one, but as yet have not? i get asked that question all the time, like i haven't ever thought of having a second child. (some even go so far as to suggest "options," listen, chances are if we just met and you are offering me fertility information i'm not going to take it. neither will anyone else, so unless you are committing to love and support someone through your damned options, zip it!).

let me share this with you, if there is someone who only has one child, chances are they desperately want more, but for reasons God only knows, it has not happened. don't ask that person, questions about it (because you really don't care why they don't have more, you are probably only making asinine conversation which will be forgotten by you the moment it leaves your lips and the person offers a satisfactory--or any--answer)

but the askee cannot avoid being asked or answering so easily. have you tried to NOT answer the obvious question? i am getting quite good at not answering the questions people are asking, only replying with what i am comfortable with. but people still ask, Lord bless 'em. they still ask. and the next day, the askee is wondering, why do people keep asking me these questions? like there is no benefit to homeschooling only one!

i'll try to get over it now, as you can see, i am not very good at just "not thinking about it." as men are inclined to do. but this is a question, an issue that strikes so deep to my core, that i can't just ignore it or bat it away like some meaningless white fly.

if the Lord has blessed you with many children, praise God. i am happy for you. but don't, please don't ask those of us with only one loaded questions for which we have no answers, for which there are no answers. you see, they hurt.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004