Thursday, August 3, 2017

music hunts me

I don't really listen to music.  If I have a choice I prefer podcasts (which are my love see below for a list of my current faves) or some kind of teaching.  I love interviews about people I'm interested in.

So I have a different relationship with music than most people.
It kind of takes me over.  Not necessarily in a good way.

I watch the people around me listen to music while they work and I am completely incapable of such behavior.  If I'm listening to music, I'm listening to music.  It's hard for me to do other things at the same time.  Don't get me wrong.  I multitask.  I'm a girl and I have ADD... multitasking isnt really a choice for me.  Unless music is involved.  Then it's a one track mind.

Music sometimes hunts me.  It's like I'll hear a piece of a song and then that song is playing all the time and it won't leave me alone.  I know everyone gets a song stuck in their head, but it's so distracting for me.  It's like being interrupted by a child over and over while trying to do something.  It won't leave me a alone and I feel as though I have to exorcise the song from my mind.

And so I go back to not listening to music.  It's more peaceful in here without the soundtrack.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

encouragement & faith

Oh friend, how do I encourage you?  You are so downtrodden and disillusioned.  You know God is good and yet doubt His goodness because of circumstances.  It's so our humanity that stands in the way of understanding God.   

My heart is heavy for you.  

I see how our own attempts to control our lives can hinder our walk with God.  I see it with such clarity in my own life and still I choose my attempts at control or escape vs. allowing God to lead me down the path to His will.  I think of Daniel, who regardless of circumstances stood for God and refused to be burdened by the world around him.  Even to the point of being alone and plotted against... thrown in a lions den.  I want to be that brave in the face of all that the enemy throws at me, the world discourages me and my own failings frustrate me.  

I want that bravery--that faith --for you too.  I want you to choose this day whom you serve and trust Him for every provision.  Today, tomorrow and your future.  I encourage you to trust God.  You know He's big enough, but your own fear and thinking cloud your understanding of Him.  I'm praying that God will reach down and touch you.  That He will give you peace.  That you will loosen the hand clutched around your life and open it; giving it all to Him.  That if brokenness is the way through to the other side, you will lay before Him broken and free.  That would would claim the promises of God and hold tight to them knowing He is in control and that you can trust Him.

I always see myself in the future looking back on whatever my current difficult circumstance is and I think what I would like to be true of myself during this time.  I want to be the parent who trusts God for the future of their child -- even if he never turns his life around.  Even if he ends up dead at an early age.  

Even if.... 
I want my faith to be fully reliant on my Creator because He is I AM.  I look at all the destruction of lives that have come before me and desire to be a beacon to others that regardless of my circumstances God is good.  That's what I want to see.

I know our lives are different and our faith is different.  I pray that you would feel the boldness of Jesus and His resurrection power that He can and will conquer whatever lies in your life that stands between you  giving it all to Him.

Let go of your control.  Seek intimacy with Him and his people.  Do what you know to do and Trust God for the results.  Even if it takes another year.  Even if it takes 2 more years.  Be joyful in today and His provision and shout that it is enough, not because it's what you want, but because it is what God has provided.  Let your life be a celebration of the manna offered daily to you.

Lord, be with us.  Help us see you are enough.  Help us see Your provision.  Let us lift up our fear, our loneliness and our control to you sacrificially as an offering to You.  
Be with us Lord.

Monday, July 31, 2017

feeling blue

I'm generally a fairly happy person.  I may have mentioned this before.)  I'm in the middle of a blue period.  I don't care for it.  It's day 3 of unhappiness and it's a form of torture to be here.  I just want it to stop.

I think...  I need more coffee.  (because coffee is always the answer... oh wait, no that's Jesus.  Jesus is always the answer.)
Coffee doesnt help.
Chocolate?  No dice.
Yes, I am reaching out to Jesus.  I'm praying though not enough.  I'm so uncomfortable that I find myself playing the Netflix and Escape game more than the be still and wait on God responsible activity.

I know --I hope/I believe -- being still and letting God closer will make me feel better.  Why don't I do it?  What silliness or contention is stopping me from at least some kind of relief?  I do not understand myself.

The struggle is real my friends.  It is real.

So I think about how other people feel this way all the time.  I think, man, I'm so happy this isn't too constant in my life.  It's such a burden to bear.  My heart softens a little at this thought.  It is a burden to carry these emotions around.  To be kind to others when you're finding it difficult to be kind to yourself.  To share a smile or work hard at your job when you feel like there is something wrong inside to the point of distraction.

I sit with that for a bit.  It's been banging around inside my head all day actually.  As one of my favorite bloggers reminds us... DEPRESSION LIES!  I know it's not truth.  I wish so much that I could help others understand just how much depression lies and that we can be free of the spiral of self hatred and unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

So... tonight.  I will try to spend more time with God.  I will try to do something productive that I can at least have a few checkmarks on my day as accomplishments.  And tomorrow.  Tomorrow is another day.  (yeah, I just did that.)

Recipe for a better day:

  • good nights sleep
  • start with God
  • practice smiling
  • take a little extra time getting ready so I feel good about myself
  • try to stay busy at work
  • go on a walk at lunch
  • eat decent
  • B vitamins

We'll see how I do.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I'm so angry.

I'm angry with my prodigal boy and his seemingly determined decisions to NOT move forward in life.

I'm angry at his failure to launch.

I'm angry at my failure as his mother to better prepare him for launching.

I'm angry at my bulldozer personality that so often chose not to listen to his father, but was so set on my own way being the right way.

I'm angry at all the things I know I did wrong as a parent.

I'm angry at my prodigal for refusing to stay on medication and allow it to do him some good.

I'm angry at him for letting depression get a foothold constantly and thus making forward motion that much harder.

I'm angry that he refused to work more and have the money needed to take care of himself.

I'm angry at all the things that have transpired that make  our finances so difficult and scary.

I'm angry at our landlord for not fixing all the things we want fixed.

I'm angry that I  hate cleaning and see such evidence of that around me.

Did I mention I'm angry?

For the love of prodigals

My prodigal is my first born.

He has always been a spirited child.  He is high energy and curious and takes after his mother and my slightly contentious attitude.

He is charming.  He can light up a room and make someone feel good about themselves.

He is engaging.  He is passionate.  He gets involved in something and wants to take it on.  He wants to master something and be good at it, but sometimes gets discouraged at the difficulty.

I know all mothers think their children are attractive, but my son is attractive.  His big brown eyes and the puppy dog look he's mastered over the years can sway you.

He's articulate.  You often don't realize he's as young as he is when talking to him because he sounds older and more mature than he really is.

He can write beautifully.  There is a poet inside of him.  His stories and lyrics are beautiful.

I just wanted to write some beautiful things about my prodigal to remind myself they are there.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

conversation with my daughter

As I've mentioned, I have a daughter who's 17.
She's basically a decent kid and I'm super grateful that she is who she is.  I'll spare you the whole proud mamma stuff, but know there's a list of awesome regarding her. ♥

Having said that, we struggle a bit to have conversations about politics & such.  Totally normal but I want to get better at it.

Recently, she sent me this link.  
I replied with a link regarding a wasteful grant by NSF for a theater production about climate change.  She was confused.  So we agreed to talk about it later.
Since then, I've been thinking about how to actually reply.

Now I want to respond to it in several ways.  My first difficulty is my own passion on topics I'm, well, passionate about.  So I'm fleshing out my response here.

First, I totally laughed. (Which daughter did not understand.  She didn't think it was funny.)  It was well made and obviously meant to be funny and make a point. 

I was upset by the end comments eluding that the reason this happens is because Trump is cutting the budget of the NSF (National Science Foundation).  Come on!

Is it OK that field drug tests do such a poor job and are so unreliable that their results are basically a parody of justice?  (this is the part where you are supposed to open another tab and do some research to see if this statement is true or if Samantha Bee only used research that supported her opinion.)

I did some research and it would appear there is a problem with reliability and false positives.  It is still a really big jump that any field test = we should not remove funding from the NSF.  Seems to me we just need better field tests.  Wouldn't that resolve the problem?  Perhaps there should be a requirement for secondary lab testing before any conviction.  Or no approval for plea-bargains without secondary testing.  (Although I'm sure people can be held in jail for way too long due to lab back ups.  There has to be a way to work this out though.  We did send people to the moon.)   

So what do we actually learn from the video?
  • That drug field tests lack accuracy and can lead to false imprisonment and convictions.
  • That yes, racism is still alive and well.  (another whole issue)
  • I could easily conclude that there is someone making money on those tests that maybe should have some accountability on the efficacy of their product.  
  • I'd go so far as to say we need changes in policy regarding the use of field drug tests and where they stand in the course of a police stop for any reason.
I think on this particular issue, the science is fairly decent.  We can always improve, but that would be the responsibility of the labs that create the product.  If they want a product that works, shouldn't they work to improve it?  Why does it have to be a government grant that makes this possible?  This is a for profit company.  

This is where I think differently.  I don't want the government responsible for everything.  I want people to be responsible for their own lives and decisions and for government to only be involved when absolutely necessary.  I would much prefer our communities come together to handle much of what government does poorly.  Yet, we live in a world where personal responsibility is lacking and many hands remain outstretched & waiting.

So I guess that's my response.  I applaud investigative journalism that uncovers such injustice.  I do not applaud the leaps in thought that people use to make their own points seem more credible.  But that's another post.

Since I wrote this I've had a discussion with my daughter.  The poke at Trump at the end barely registered with her.  She was upset by the racism and classism evident in the stories told.  That if you're white and can afford an attorney, you are set free.  If you are black and can only afford the court appointed defense attorney... you're probably going to jail.

I'm pleased my daughter is upset by these things.  She should be.  I should be.

Friday, June 16, 2017

conversations with millenials

I have 2 kids.
Son, 19 
Daughter, 17

Both my kids have grown up in a Christian, fairly conservative home.
Things that have been important to me as a parent:
ability to think for yourself

I don't allow parroting of opinions.  You need to be able to back up what you say with facts and reason.  this is not always a fun environment for a kid, I admit; but I find it so terribly important to raise adults who can think for themselves.

My son had a bunch of friends over prior to our last Presidential election.  One of his friends made a comment about how he was voting for Bernie Sanders.  So.. I asked why.

Friend:  I think he'll make a really good President.

Me:  Why do you think he'll be a good President?

Friend:  Because he's the only one who really cares.

Me:  I don't know much about Bernie.  What does he do that makes you think he cares?  (honestly, this was totally conversational, not interrogating)

Friend:  I don't know.  I just think he does.  

Me:  I'd love to hear more.

Friend:  [stares blankly.  leaves room]

Me: [commenting to my son] He didn't grow up in this house, did he?

Son:  nope.

Before that friend left, I challenged him to do a little reading on why Bernie was so great and that I'd love to hear about why he likes Bernie next time he comes over.

A girl can try.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Note:  my daughter is 17 and we have very different political views.  

I was talking with my lovely daughter last night and we came upon the term "snowflake."  

Me:  Do you know why millenials are called "snowflakes?"

Daughter:  Because we're all "unique & special?"

Me:  No, because snowflakes are delicate and easily destroyed. They require safe space while away at college where nobody can challenge their views or disagree with them.

Daughter  That's stupid.


And yes, I know I'm not supposed to use caps in my # but I can't help it.  They are so much easier to read.  I really want spaces, but I'm trying to honor the format at least partially. :) 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

why I'm good at constructive criticism

So I was the girl who cried whenever anybody told me something about myself that I didn't like. It hurt so much.  Definitely struggled with all or nothing thinking (if you say 1 thing bad about me, I must be all bad -- silly really).

I was a walking contradiction: certain I was right and horrified when I was wrong; always worried people didn't like me, yet I was unwilling to change.  Sounds like the perfect recipe to becoming a crazy cat lady on welfare without friends (although cats can count as friends).  While I have crazy cat lady tendencies (I have previously had up to 9 cats, but am down to only 2 now), I have come far on this journey of understanding.  A journey I owe in part to an "argument" a friend of mine had with her husband.

Maddy & Matt wanted a new bed.  Well, Matt wanted a new bed, but he wasn't quite ready to fork out the cash for a new bed so he was kind of stalling.  Maddy wanted the new bed and was pushing.  Typical marital discussion.  Maddy is a typical chick, battling the ever encroaching pounds on a regular basis so Matt figures (well, I'm assuming he thought about it, but one could easily argue he didn't think at all) he has the perfect way to put off the discussion of a new bed.  

"I don't want to buy a new bed until you've lost your weight.  We don't want to ruin it."

(This is where you take a breath and calm down -- unlike my reaction honestly.  
Better?  OK, read on before you seek to hurt Matt.)

My response to this discussion was OUTRAGE!
Maddy's response was laughter.
Then, she explained and began a change in my life that I will be forever grateful for.

Maddy:  I laugh because it's not true.  I'm not so overweight that I'm going to hurt a bed. Matt just doesn't know how to articulate not wanting to buy a bed right now.  He doesn't think I'm overweight to that degree and even if he did think that, it's not true.  If it's not true, I don't need to worry about it.  I just talk to God about the truth and allow Him to guide me and focus on His plans.

I'll be honest, it took a long time for that to fully sink in.  Years later, I've fully embraced this truth and it's amazing!!  

News flash, we aren't perfect!  I'm not perfect, I mess up stuff on a daily basis!  If someone needs to call me on that (and they often do), that's OK.  I can work on the things I need to change and talk with God regularly about what is on the agenda.  It's powerful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I suck at...

You remember that joke, "I can't be out of money I still have checks left?"?  Totally me.  

OK, so it's not that I think I still have money left if I still have checks -- by the way, does anybody still write checks?  It's been so long since I've written a check!  I always feel like writing a check means I'm trying to get away with something because it's so antiquated.  Oh and because of "Catch Me If You Can"  -- it's more than I never think about how much money I have.  OR, I totally underestimate how much money I've spent.  Put those two things together and it will quickly take a second job to manage your overdraft charges.  I used to be able to get them reversed (I don't suck at talking, which I might have mentioned before), but now a days, they take one look at my account and probably think I am a terrible person.

Fortunately, there is a husband in all of this.  A husband who is the opposite of me in almost every way possible.  The plus side of this is he is great with finances.  Frugal and responsible!  After 26 years, he knows how much rope to give me and while I know I often make him a little nuts, he really doesn't complain much.  (I should really do something nice for him.)

Time management.
It shames me to say this.  I see the value and importance of this trait.  It frustrates me in my boss.  I see the irritation in others in meetings etc.  I work on it.  I really do.
I've read the articles (no doubt written by people who are always 10 minutes early to everything) about how people who are late are just too self focused or don't have respect for others.  Honestly, that's not it.  I'm... gosh.  My mind is in 100 places at once.  I so rarely focus on just one thing I'm not even sure how to do it.  (For instance, I've been writing this for an hour and have done 10 other things, stopping and know how it is.)
My husband tells me I underestimate how long things are going to take.  I think my drive home will be 15 mins (but it takes 30).  I think I can get up, get ready, go to the store, get gas and get to work in 45 mins (it takes 90 minutes).  I think a trip to the craft store involves time stopping from the time I walk IN until the time I walk OUT.  Not true.  I try to do too much and I'm apparently awful at judging time.    

Did I mention I'm working on this?  I have to say, smart hones in many ways are huge helpers on this.  Now I'm setting a new goal of trying to be 10 mins early to everything.  Then, if I have a few minutes left, I can go on facebook or something.  It actually works pretty well.

Putting Things Away.
I don't mind cleaning as long as it involves water.  I'll get in the shower and scrub, I'll clean toilets, I'll wash dishes... no problem.  Don't ask me to clear the table or put my clothes away.  I've always wondered why this is... I don't know but it makes even me crazy.  Something about the process really stresses me out.  It's like all I can think about is getting it over with -- or more accurately, getting away from the task.  

OK, that's enough self loathing for today.  :)

Actually, I don't loath myself. 
My outlook is different.
Failure is how we learn.
It's how we grow.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Struggle is Real

So, new year.  I, like many others, was very ready for 2016 to be over.  It was a very hard year.  I'm not really a "new year" type of person in that I don't make new year resolutions or think of it as a special time for things to be made new.  I honestly see every day that way.  (That and there is a rebel inside of me that refuses to be like other people.)  Anyway.... new year.  I've been working on some changes for the past 8 months or so.  
Career change that didn't go quite as I planned.  So... another career change with more start up and learning.  I won't lie, I'm overwhelmed.  I'm a little bit discouraged, but I refuse to stop trying.

Sat down to work on my Passion Planner today (love this book) and thought... it's a little slow right now, I'll work on the Passion Plan Roadmap.  Goal is to take 5 mins and write out a wish list for Lifetime / 3 years / 1 year / 3 months.  Write any/everything that comes to mind.

Mine is so small.  I have somewhat small goals.  We've been in this grinder for several years now and I realize through this task how much it impacts hope and future and goals.  It's not like I need to have a plan for world domination or world peace, but my goals feel fairly average.

  • Clean home.
  • Home I can entertain in.
  • Financial Freedom
  • Attaining the job I'm now studying for.
  • Kids working.
  • 1 of my business ideas to start making money.
I'm OK with this list.  These are actually great goals for today.  For the next 3 months.  For the next year.  These are things that need to happen and working towards them -- and accomplishing them -- will lift the pressure in our life.  It will make room for bigger goals.

We have to start somewhere.

I am adding an appointment to my calendar to review my goals in 3 months and see where I am.  Go through this process again.  We'll see where we end up.