Wednesday, May 23, 2012


May 22, 2012

I am so comforted in the presence of the Lord.  I woke up this morning, made coffee, my grandma called, we had our usual hour-long conversation, and started quilting.  Periodically I stop and just know something would make me happier and I hear the Lord's voice tell me it's time for us to be together and I am so grateful for somewhere to go.  So I just crawl into the corner of the couch and start reading.
     I want to enter into a season where I am giving to people and to the Lord.  It's been 5 months into this beautiful and life-giving journey and I feel love coming out of me now, and it's so much that I want to give my selfish desires to the Lord so I don't have them in the way.  The particular desires I am giving are intrusive and I don't need them anyway.  I want to be focused, i want to work, I want to love, and I want to be useful.  And there is no rush or anxiety associated with these wants, there is only the comfort and assurance that I will have those things, with time.
     Really in the meantime I couldn't be happier.  I wish my sister would leave her husband, I wish my grandmother didn't worry so much and work so hard, I wish my parents would stop everything and start looking out for me and Julie and Matthew more instead of drinking and being selfish and depressed, and I wish I had a way to get around better.
     But I mean my life is finally belonging to the Lord.  I have no idea what my carer life is supposed to look like, but I believe when the Lord wants to help me get paid to do something, he will.  Basically I want to get paid to work for the Kingdom, in some kind of way.  I have just enough money to eat, pay rent and pay for my telephone.  I can't pay any debt down, or have insurance or save up for a car.  But the Lord will help me pay for those things.  It's hard because I don't know what to do about having a second job, which would help with the other things I need to pay.  And I agree that it's probably time to start praying about what direction to take in that area, which is why I'm so grateful for comfort in the presence of the Lord.
     This time last year, in contrast, I was drunk as can be almost every night, hungover every morning, convinced that I could stop whatever I was doing at anytime and that I was a lot closer than I actually was to "doing the best I can."  I don't really even think about that phrase anymore.  I'm either thinking about my life intentionally and listening for the Lord's voice or I'm simply not.  I'm not sure if that's how it's supposed to work for everybody.  It's for sure how it's become for me, it's how my life has become.  I think it became that way after I just kept thinking I was doing my best but then every time I fell I would wonder what happened.  What happened is my ears and heart chose to stop listening.  So I'm listening more, which has completely eliminated this part of the process where I depend on any of my "best" efforts and are often subsequently let down by them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 19, 2012

     I have this lady I trust and love at my church and she was talking to me about the women's group and all and she was asking me how I was getting along.
     Basically, I Love a seamless transition, and I like them to happen when I think they are supposed to happen, and I just wonder if anybody can get there with me right now.  I really thought I was okay with a process meaning I would roll along and be introduced to community again and that by me "obviously working" very hard one "me" that all the people I love would naturally go there with me and all my relationships would instantly be rejuvenated and that all these new relationships would effortlessly appear and begin to flourish on my own good merit and most sincere and earnest of intentions.
     How fortunate I am that this process has been so humbling! Because when you are the only one living your life and you ask God to bring you into the life he intends for you to have, he wants you to live in community for certain.  But.  When you are really THE ONLY ONE LIVING YOUR LIFE you have to really decide what that means, and it's hard for me to explain but it can get lonely getting it together.  At some point real personal life-giving recovery comes down to listening to God.  I've started converting my constant pattern of "help me" prayers to "stop and listen" prayers.  I have to do this myself in so many ways, because I really believe God wants me to have some strength as an individual in Him.  There has been a not-quite-seamless transition from "we're all here for you" and the security that came along with that for me to "it's me and the Lord that can do this and really no one else."  That community is still there, and getting stronger every day.  But I am listening to God a lot more than I ever have before, otherwise I'm very needy and dependent on a community hat would love to hit a button and make al my addictions go away and "everything to be ok"  but just can't and praise God for that.
     They can't take my shame away and forgive me when I mess up and they can't take the scales off my eyes and they can't hold my hand constantly, especially when I don't feel I deserve it.  They can love me and because that love is finite and fragile compared to Christ's love, it is so precious and priceless.  they can give their time and guidance and because that time is so short and fleeting and because guidance is coming from also broken but contrite hearts, that time and guidance is precious as well.  They are precious because basically one day we're all gonna die.  And somehow we need it because we're definitely all here together, what are you gonna do.
     And there's so much more to it than just "might as well love each other."  I know we've been commanded to.  I'm just saying I'm moving out of dependence into gratefulness, which has been honestly huge.  My time alone has a lot less "Where are my real friends" emotions swirling around.  I feel less alone, basically, which feels really good, because it's less to medicate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beth Moore

I'm reading a book called Breaking Free and right in the middle she tells us that the dreams we had when we were little girls about being beautiful and about being a bride were valid dreams and that we are indeed beautiful to Christ and brides to him.  And I'm grateful for that, don't get me wrong.  And I know you can't pick who thinks you are on Earth and certainly you can't go around all bitter to everyone about everything.

But dang.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3, 2012

     I'm finally at rest from the self-loathing I really put myself through the past week and a half and I'm starting to see again that it's just me and the Lord living my life and I'm okay with that again.  I mean who knew that so many emotional issues are brought up and dealt with just because you're trying to stop a life of self-destruction.  I mean I thought I was just going to stop drinking and learn how to be a good friend and a good sister and a good granddaughter and daughter and aunt and just do it a little at a time and then reach what Jay calls some quantitative, measurable reward for all my hard work, and I knew it wouldn't really happen that way, but I didn't know what it would look like when it really never does happen that way.
     Really, when you're trying desperately to learn new ways to live your life, you learn that it's going much slower than you thought it would and what you were medicating all this time was this intense lonesomeness where it feels like every social force is against you, choking you and keeping you from having love or friends because there's something wrong with you and you deserve to be alone.  Surely your deserve it, it's happening, you're alone and nobody wants to be your friend, there's the proof right there.  Medicate THAT.  Numb that, it's too much to deal with, and these people don't want to be your friend now, anyway, you may as well not deal with it.  When the morning comes, whether or not you got drunk, you'll still be alone.  May as well do whatever you can to make yourself happy, because you don't have anyone to help.
     That is the sick voice I heard and continue to hear, that is what tempts me every day, that is the voice that can be told to go away if I remember to tell it to, in the name of Jesus, every single day, while our good Lord comes in and fills in the pieces and holes that are remaining.  That is the actual process and I think if there's a goal, it's that it only gets easier with time, and it gets easier if I don't feed the wrong dog, as that old YoungLife sermon analogy goes.
     There are good things, actual new things cropping up, like all the rosebuds outside.  I am remembering scripture.  Forever it was so hard, I would forget it the minute i read it but now it's starting to have a place on my heart, because now I'm starting to see just how specifically God can meet me, and he is crazy.  Last night we talked about stopping the secret sins before they become public and I learned a new way to read Hebrews 12:5-7 where it says:  "And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:  'My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.'  Endure hardship as discipline.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?"  And it tells me and reminds me that I am a friend and a beloved to Jesus; I must be, he must think of me that way, and this all must be discipline, what else would it be?  What else could I be?  I am absolutely in love with that idea, and it becoming my identity in Christ.  Jesus' friend who, make no mistake, WILL be disciplined but has a place that also will not be compromised. And if that is the case, I don't really care what happens.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012

Deut 23:5 However, the Lord your God would not listen to Balaam but turned the curse into a blessing, because the Lord your God loves you.

Phil 1:18b-19 Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

John 16:20-22 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

I do believe Beth Moore is correct when she says anguish is meant to lead to a birth. I was right when I told Jane I have so much hope and my heart is so full that I'm afraid I won't be able to do everything I want to do. I want to be a good, a better, friend by being honest with them and more confident about my feelings about what they're saying to me. I want to listen better to them. I want to study the word of the Lord my God the way I never have so that I can remember it and keep it as a tool instead of reading it all the time and remembering it for a short time just because I think it sounds beautiful. I believe there is a birth coming. And I've even loved Lent so much it doesn't need to happen extra soon, but I know it will anyway.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 3, 2012

Indiana is beautiful and restorative for me. Every conversation and interaction with Jay and Jenny is exactly the same as 9 years ago this time, they're still together, it's still the sweet mutually appreciative thing where we love each other and now they have 3 children and the children are smart and wild boys and one baby who loves me and Jenny calls me her BFF. We drink tea and catch up and cook meals and today we went to Amish country and ate fried chicken and now we're home and Jenny's working on her dissertation and Jay's playing words with friends and I'm journaling. This used to be my life. It seems as though at least one thing I thought was gone had never disappeared.
I feel as though I'm entering into a place of rest. I mean, maybe I am. Who knows. I always feel like I want to declare some place I'm 'entering into' because I'm so excited about living. There's growth, where I want to grow things and be diligent about some outside of myself hobby and so I am growing roses. There's the part that wants to share my gifts and so I am teaching. But because the Lord wants so badly to teach me to let him intervene, I opened myself up to whatever and now I am playing an integral art in the life of a friend and I'm teaching her how to cook, along with teaching someone new how to play the piano. I'm going to be a 'satellite' teacher for Holly Evans, I can't wait. I feel so much more normal than I thought I would, getting things taken care of. It's both beautiful and gratifying.

March 12, 2012

So sweet. I felt in the beauty and sanctity of mass today the presence of God's promise that we are indeed together and that the desires for my life, all of them, and the goals and loves of my life, all of them, are safe within his recesses and that my path is safe and carved out for the two of us and that I've been given the Word and the wisdom to follow its guidance and that there is so much that is being figured out right now. Jenny and I walked around the Basilica and I took pictures and at the Grotto which commemorates the sighting of the Virgin Mary in France somewhere I lit a candle to bless the Lord and help me remember this sweet time between us, and tive me a physical action to be a reminder of God's promise to me on Earth. And Jenny and I talked about relics in the House of the Lord and them being necessary for reminding us of the physical coming of the Kingdom of Heaven. And I'm watching my friends love their sweet brilliant children more than life. And I'm letting God bless me amidst my sin and my attempts at goodness and my regrets and my gratefulness.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

I have to write because I'm going to fall asleep. I am so exhausted in nearly every way. I went to counseling today and it was not the usual light and happiness it has become. I just had too much on my heart. I feel like what joy I had at the beginning of last week has been stolen and now instead of gaining it back and being shown mercy I'm being called into a place where I have to reconcile a lot of things. For instance, I have always hated the type of person who uses their anger and other emotions to manipulate and control the emotions and actions of others. I hate that person so much that I have an automated response system that quickly shoots up a wall that separates me and keeps me safe from that person and their manipulative emotions and actions. Then just yesterday I had to own, not even just owning, that's one whole other thing. I had to come into a place where I confronted the possibility that I was that person sometimes. Now I'm owning it and it really hurts. I don't want to be that person and now I have to, or I get to be, "not" that. Use my words and control my response and ask questions I guess.

I just came into knowing about this woman named LaRae Quy who was an FBI agent for 25 years or something and she has a blog and she loves the Lord and she makes all these bullet points and has a plan to help you be more positive and proactive and therefore successful in whatever it is you choose to do, which hopefully for you is to "live your life on purpose" or something. She says you can't control what happens to you sometimes but you can control your response by moving toward the challenge and "leaning into it," and there are these other bullet points but the idea is that you can learn mastery of the unknown and that's supposed to help you overcome your fear. You can predict how you're going to respond. I imagine that advice would work for me, for undercover intelligence agents, for snipers, and really anyone who leaves their house for any reason and so I've decided I like this LeRae Quy and her blog, which is called Your Best Adventure, a title I also like.
Today just doesn't feel right. I feel like I'm indeed living in a tension. It's funny to think that what I keep hearing about Lent not being a comfortable time and how it's dark and how God wants us to be revealed as people might be actually happening. And it's actually uncomfortable. god isn't completely silent right now and I'm moving towards my challenges and observing my disciplines but that definitely does not necessarily bring comfortability like it usually does. It turns out life is hard even when you're doing everything you can to turn your face toward the light. I'm a little fearful of how God plans on making me realize I'm going to die someday.