Friday, September 28, 2012

A New Job!!!!

Okay, now I am really starting to feel guilty.  I have been wanting to explore the whole immortality concept in more depth, but life is conspiring to distract me.  I will get to it, because God never trails off a lesson before it's finished, but I just had to share some neat things that are happening for me, and explain why I most likely won't be writing here much this week-end..or maybe even next week.

First, the good news.  Yesterday, I had a job interview with an organization in Valleyfield, (Quebec) called Respit Zephyr, and after two hours of what had to be the most fun job interview in the history of job interviews, I was hired.  It was crazy.  I was interviewed by the director of the organization and another woman, and we laughed so much, my friend Sandy, who was waiting in the hallway for me, said that we sounded like we were having a party.  These are amazing ladies, so humble and kind and relaxed...and funny!  They made me feel very much at home.  In fact, they seemed as thrilled to have me working for them as I was to be working for them.  Which amazed me.

Okay, the job.  Respit Zephyr provides respite care for parents and caregivers of children and adults with various disabilities or challenges.  So my job would be to go into homes and offer support, help and encouragment as well as to spend time with the clients so that caregivers can have some time on their own.  I am only working with one family now, because of my Cegep schedule, but will be able to take on more in January, hopefully a full-time load.

I sent Respit Zephyr my resume last Spring, and was discouraged to not hear from them, but I think the timing of their job offer email was perfect.  It would have been difficult to take on several families and then have to pull out of working with them to go back to school.  I love God's timing, even as I am learning more and more to trust it!

I am just so grateful and happy to have a job that suits me so well.  This is basically what I have tried to spend my life doing, and to be paid for it just seems like an added bonus. 

On another note, next week I have a paper due, and 3 tests.  One of them is an macroeconomics test that just may slay me.  So this week-end, aside from hopefully meeting with my first family for Respit Zephyr, I will be studying and writing about economics, geography and world history.  And yoga. 

I also was given "Practicing the Presence of God" by Brother Lawrence yesterday (yaaaaaay!) so I'll be buried in that as well. 

I have so much more to say, but the textbooks are calling...

Peace out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Bridge Over Troubled Water

I just read through my last blog post, and had to laugh at how abruptly I signed off. It was, like, "Blah blah blah blah, blah later, bye!"  Yeah. I was THAT uncomfortable.  But, as predicted, it didn't last long.  Light and momentary. 

Today, I am catching up on schoolwork.  Which, if you think about it, is pretty sad considering I've been back in school less than a month. How can I already be behind? 

In any case, I just wanted to stop by because I have a song that has been going through my head and I wanted to share it.  I wanted to share it, in particular, because I know that I have a few friends who are hurting right now, and my heart is with them.  Such a helpless place to be, heart-connected to a friend who is hurting. It's a privileged place to be as well.  The song that I have been hearing in my heart today is Simon & Garfunkle's Bridge Over Troubled Water.  There is a line in it that expresses so clearly how and when pain can wash over us.  The line is, "When evening falls, so hard, I will comfort you."

I can identify with the picture of evening falling hard.  I know that many of you do, too.  We can be fine all day, but when evening falls, be it with a crash, a thud, a crumple or a slow slide into sadness, it falls hard.  Morning feels very far away. And we feel alone.

I have felt the shuddering collapse of the falling evening.  After Mum died, I used to wear a scarf to bed, the one that she gave me for my birthday, just before she died.  I'd fall asleep crying, wrapped in the soft colours of the scarf, clutching her piece of black coral that I wore around my neck. 

Please know that every evening you are in my thoughts and prayers.  Whatever is happening, and I don't need to know because God does, I wrap you in prayer and love.  Of course I long to do more, but what I can do is leave you in the hands of the One who can do everything. 

You are precious in ways you cannot yet imagine. None of us can.  There is great wonder in that. Joy does come in the morning, no matter how hard evening falls.  You are in my heart and prayers.

Paul Simon & Art Garfunkle, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert,
Madison Square Gardens, NYC
October, 2009

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Troubles - Light & Momentary? Really?

Yesterday after church I was talking to my pastor, Barbara, about the IC pain that I have been having and some of the struggles that I have been going through.  I told her that I have been thinking a lot about living an eternal life now, and how being conscious of my immortality might change the way I think and feel about my life, and the things that I go through.  I added that this has been an especially powerful concept when it comes to the problem of pain.  She was understanding, and very sympathetic, and I told her, "Well, you know, I seem to always have to live through what I am writing about..."

As Grace and I walked on to the car, it occurred to me, "Huh. If that's true, maybe it's time to start writing about monkeys.  Or rainbows and skittles.  And puppies."

Anything but pain.

Alas, that is not to be.  The problem of pain is such a relevant one, and it is universal.  We all suffer.  This is an issue that has been tackled by some of Christianity's greatest minds, and at least two of my favorite authors, in The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis and Where Is God When It Hurts? by Philip Yancey.  I have read both of these books, and they have been an important part of my journey into acceptance, if not understanding, of the pain that I live with. 

All I know is what I live and how God works in my life.  I have written before that I have not known a day without physical pain for many years.  I think the same may apply to emotional pain.  Recently, one reader suggested that God may be punishing me. This was presented in vague anonymity, as such messages tend to be.  I heard what they were saying, and respectfully had to disagree, but not because I don't think I deserve punishment.  I wrote about the idea of God's justice and punishment for sin here , in a post called Following Jesus.  In fact, the few posts before this one talk about how I became a follow of Jesus, for anyone who is interested.

But I digress.  No, I do not believe that God is punishing me, although I do acknowledge that He has cause.  Punishment is about hurting someone for hurting us. An eye for an eye.  Discipline, on the other hand, is redemptive, which is just a churchy way of saying that it is meant to teach us, and bring us closer to God. 

When Grace was little, and even now, the thing that usually brings her to me with a confession if she has done something wrong is the feeling that by disobeying me or doing something that might hurt me, she has distanced herself from me, and that feeling is very painful for her.  It's no picnic for me either.  It's the same when we argue and say rude things to each other.  We are divided, separated, and it hurts.  So, we confess, apologize, reach out to each other and make it better.  I rarely used to implement a "punishment" for Grace if, as a child, she came to me and willingly confessed something. After all, the point of discipline is to get us to the place of knowing what we have done and being sorry about it.  That's, in a sense, redemptive. It's about saving the relationship.  And that is what God does with us.  His goal is to establish, or restore our relationships to Him.  I welcome God's discipline.  I certainly need it.  I treasure my relationship with Him and don't want anything to mess with that.

So...back to pain.  And immortality. 

2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18 says this:

"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Light and momentary troubles.  Eternal glory.

Think about it.

It just so happens that I am having bladder spasms right now.  Imagine a charley horse in your pelvic area.  I don't know why it happens, but I have theories, most of which would take us into the realm of "too much information", so we'll skip that. It doesn't matter anyway.  All that matters is that until things calm down, I am almost doubled over with pain.  Light? Momentary? It certainly doesn't feel that way. It won't go on for long, but the pain is so extreme that even the hour or two that it will take to stop it will feel like years.

As my daughter so eloquently puts it, our feelings may be real, but they are not always a true representation of reality.  And from where I am sitting (very uncomfortably, I might add), the only way this trouble is is ever going to seem light and momentary is in the view of one thing...eternity. 

More later.... 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Matter of Perspective

Grace and I have a little slogan that we share with each other at times, to help keep ourselves and each other aware of the bigger picture.  If Grace hears me commenting or complaining about something, like the newest wrinkle in my face or cat hair on my sofa, she'll remind me, "That's a first world problem, Mom."   I do the same for her.  We don't do it all the time, because that would just be irritating and pretentious. Still, it's a reminder that we both need on a regular basis.

The point is this - we are aware that even if we live on the low end of the income scale in Canada, our needs and many of our wants are taken care of.  There are parts of the world where the majority of people lack the basics, and our problems would seem ridiculous to them.  Many of things that we struggle with are problems that come from our excess, or our desire for excess.  In our part of the world, we complain when our restaurant food isn't hot enough when it is delivered.  In the third world, just having food of any sort is a blessing.  Concerns about our appearances, our entertainment choices, our physical comforts, our fitness levels...we want to be able to see all of these in the light of reality for the world, not just our small corner of it.

What this does for us is create gratitude in situations where we are tempted to be ungratefully grumbly.  I can afford to feed the cats that leave hair on my sofa.  Women who have to toil for hours in the hot sun to feed their families can ill afford to worry about wrinkles.  We remind each other of these things because we want to live grateful lives, and because we want to see our existence here on this earth in relation to the experiences and lives of all her inhabitants, not just those around us, those that we relate easily to.

Another equally important benefit to this practice is that it restores us to a more appropriate perspective, even in relation to our own lives.  It shifts our problems into the places that they deserve.  When problems are given a significance that is too high, it can lead to volatile emotions. So, the laptop has died.  Is that the end of the world as we know it, or merely an inconvenience, as we still have access to computers and the internet at school and at the local library?  So, we have to walk to the library. How does that compare to walking five miles a day to get clean water?  It's a matter of perspective.

It is important to remember that we are not trying to demean or shame each other into denying how real our problems feel.  We are gentle with each other, because we understand that sometimes, our first world problems feel large, not in themselves but because of other issues lurking in the background.  My concern about another wrinkle may be linked to a fear of growing old or being rejected (I should add, I don't really worry about wrinkles. This is just an example. Besides, I'm so near-sighted, I couldn't see them unless I was nose-pressed to the mirror, and who has the energy for that?)  The point is that we offer each other a kind reminder of perspective, and we hope that by seeing our lives from a broader place, we might worry less and thank God more.

That is what the idea of our immortality does for us as well.  It offers a very real perspective on our lives, one that we often over-look. Next time, I'll write about this perspective in relation to my illness and the pain that I live with.  These are very encouraging things to think about, and to discuss.  There is no doubt that life, even here, can be hard.  Because of this, I think that it is important to know where our small troubles fit in, so that we are better equipped to deal with the big stuff. 

Just a thought.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Apology, and Very Mild Superpowers...

I feel the need to apologize to those dear, faithful and exceedingly kind souls who read my blog on a regular basis, because I haven't written for a while.  I felt a bit like I was on a roll, then posted about being immortal and disappeared.  I am sure there is some irony in that. 

But anyway, as to what has been going on, this has been my first full week of school, and I have been IC flaring majorly since sometime last week.  So, I have been trying to adjust to three hour lectures, homework, the growing piles of books, papers, pens, and other assorted academic accessories that are now littering my kitchen/living room, and the pain from the IC flare.  Plus we were helping a friend move, which has actually been a blessing, because I have a tendency to get quite self-focused when I am in pain, and turning my attention and efforts outwards always helps with that. Plus, Grace did all the real work, I just drove. So, yeah. Yay, Gracie!!! 

I remember ending my last post by wondering how my life might be different if I truly viewed it from the view of eternity.  I was given a chance to think about that even more, to spend time in prayer and meditation, and to apply what God has been teaching me to the real world where real me lives a real life...sometimes in real pain.  So, what does an IC flare look like from eternity's perspective?  It's a good question. 

I'm putting it off until later, though, because I am not sure I am finished thinking about it, and besides, I just did an hour of Macroeconomics homework, answering practice questions on, a web site that we use for studying.  My brain is tired.  And my fingers are itchy from too much practice test taking.  Because let's be honest here...I need all the help I can get!

So, for your amusement and because I find this utter hilarious, I am posting a video of a comedy act by David O'Doherty.  What are YOUR very mild superpowers? 

Peace out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Am I living as an immortal?

"Immortality is really a destiny pressed on us by Christ in us.  Our immortality lies on us with that kindling weight, that weight of glory, that weight of wings. Weight but not pressure.  The wings that add to our weight, yet lift us from the ground. Ask - am I living as an immortal - not as one who will be immortal?"
P. T. Forsyth

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
1 Corinthians 15:54

Am I living as a immortal?  What a question!  What a thought!  While the majority of Christians understand and believe that they will live forever in Heaven after the death of their earthly bodies, the idea of living an immortal life within these earthly bodies often escapes us.  What does that even mean?

And yet, if it is true, and if we could figure out what it means, at least partially, imagine what that belief would do to the way we live our lives!  To the things that we worry about.  To the fact that we even worry at all.

I know that my spirit is alive, in a way that it wasn't before I met Jesus.  I feel His life coursing through my veins on a daily basis, I see His strength emanating from my hands and heart, I feel his hope and joy bubbling in me when there is no earthly sense in it.  I believe that this life, the Spirit of Jesus that lives within me, can only be experienced in part because of the limitations of my human body and mind, but once released from those things...e-gad!

And in the meantime, if my spiritual mortality has been clothed with immortality by Jesus's forgiveness and Presence within me, then that should make a huge difference in the way I see and think and feel and live my life. 

Wow.  Talk about having something to think about!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Just Breathe...

"Breathe" (2 AM)

Anna Nalick

...2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to

And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to

But you can't jump the track, we're like cars on a cable,
And life's like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button now
Sing it if you understand.
and breathe, just breathe
woah breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe,
Oh breathe, just breathe.

Something a little lighter...

Things have been a bit heavy, lately, and I think that has been reflected in my blog. So, I thought today, I might trip on over to the silly side of life.  Or at least try.

So, here are some things that I have been discovering, as of late:

In a competition between cat gas and an automatic air freshener, cat gas wins.  Every time.

*from my first yoga class at school* Getting the giggles during one's first ever downward dog can be hazardous to one's health.  I know this because at one point, while we were downward-dogging, the teacher said, "You guys know where your biceps and triceps are, right?  At this, I looked balefully at my right upper arm, trembling just inches from my face and muttered, "Well, I know where they used to be..."  Which may (or may not) have caused Grace, who was downward-dogging beside me, to snort and almost collapse onto the ground face first.  Bad mommy, bad, bad mommy.

During a downward dog, pretty much anything can give me the giggles.

My body does not know how to breath right.  I know this, because when my yoga teacher was instructing me on proper breathing techniques, I got muscle spasms in places where I didn't know I had muscles.  Which caused my body to protest loudly, "What the heck are you doing??!!  Me: I'm breathing correctly! My body: Well, fercryin'outloud, stop it!  You're killing me!!

There is a freakishly gigantic spider lurking outside my bedroom window.  I mean, crazy big.  Like, rain forest big.  Which is acceptable, as long as he is lurking OUTSIDE my bedroom window.  If a time comes when I notice that he is NOT there anymore...Body: What are you doing now? Me; Hyperventilating in fear! Body: *happy sigh* Ahhhh...THIS, I'm used to...

I love birthday cake.

Mycroft's wandering range in our neighbourhood is directly related to how much time Kitten spends sitting on his head, chewing on his neck and flicking him in the face with his tail. 

There is a toad that shows up on our steps some evenings, and I have noticed that when I rub his little head, where I imagine his ears might be, he leans into my hand as if he likes it. Which is proof that no matter how many critters I have in my life, there is always time to say hello to one more.

That's it for now.

Peace out.


Saturday, September 8, 2012


"Faith is the vulnerability that flows between the shores of certainty." - Brené Brown (from TED Talks, "The Price of Invulnerability")

I posted a video to this particular TED talks a couple of days ago.  I wrote that I cried as I watched it.  Yesterday, I listened to it again with some close friends, and cried again.  In fact, I am near tears now and may be a sobbling mess before this post is finished.  And that's okay.  

Vulnerability.  When I listened to Brené Brown speak with eloquence, honesty and gentleness about the high price of not allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, I didn't feel as if I was being pointed in a new direction. I felt like a light was being shone on the path that I have been walking for the past four or five years, maybe even longer.  The message for me wasn't, "This is where you need to go."  It was, "This is where you have been going, and must continue to go."   

I wept when I heard this message, for a few different reasons.  One reason was that I was relieved to hear that I am not crazy.  Up until several years ago, I have spent my life numbing, repressing and denying my emotions.  I had gotten so good at it, in fact, that I was unable to feel my emotions fully, even when I wanted to.  And as Brené says in her talk, it is not possible to numb emotions selectively.  We do lose control.  Joy disappears, along with the pain.  And the pain doesn't really disappear. It lurks, hides, festers.  

I found freedom from my unhealthy compulsion for invulnerability when I realized that I was robbing myself, my friends and family and my God, keeping the fullness of myself from them.  I began to pray that God would release me.  I had to admit that I had lost control, and I had to be willing to welcome the return of  my emotions, in whatever form they came, whether they were positive or negative.   God was faithful, and I began to feel my emotions.  And yes, there has been a lot of pain ever since.  it has occurred to me that my timing for this request was a bit...okay, a  I've written about my journey over the past few years, so I don't need to go into detail.  It's enough to say that my new-found vulnerability opened the door to some extreme pain and brokenness.  But I wouldn't give it up for anything.  Because somewhere in the brokeness, there is life.  Strength.  Hope.  I am alive.  I may be weeping, I may be in pain, but I also laugh more freely than ever, even as I weep at the drop of a hat.  I am grateful.  

The anniversary of my mum's death is approaching.  I think often of where we were this time last year, in regards to her illness.  What was happening, how much we knew about what was coming.  My birthday is approaching, and Thanksgiving, events that we celebrated with Mum in the hospital.  Ten days after my birthday, Mum died.  My heart feels soft and broken and sad.  I am vulnerable.  This semester so far, we have had two history classes, and I have cried during both of them. I have friends who are mourning the loss of their mum, and my heart breaks for them.  I feel their pain, and that's okay, too.  I wrote in a post just a few weeks after Mum died, about the Paths of Sorrow - "We keep walking, because we must, because as far away as it seems, there is a place on this path where the pain melts into compassion, where emptiness invites unity, where tears becomes less for our pain and more for the pain of others."
Vulnerability is scary, but that is why it requires so much strength.  And God is the mighty Strength-Giver.  God gives us the courage to look out on the world, to look into the eyes of a loved one, and to acknowledge that yes, there is potential for great pain here.  But there is also potential for great joy, and love and beauty.  And somehow, in the great mysteriousness that is God, when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, and the great pain comes, when it is placed in the hands of God, that pain actually nurtures and enriches the potential for joy and love and beauty.
I don't understand it, but I believe it.  For now, that has to be enough.
Peace out.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

TED Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

This is a TED Talk video, entitled, "The Price of Invulnerability".  It touched me profoundly when I watched it yesterday. In fact, I just put my head down on the table and cried.  There is something powerful about vulnerability, something profound and life-giving...and terrifying.  Please watch this, and take a moment to ask God if there is anything that you need to hear for yourself.  Ask for courage.  And know that He who hears you, loves you beyond your wildest imagination. 

I will be writing more about this in the coming days. 
Peace out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

So...we've got a PQ government. What now?

I was going to start this post off with a caveat, maintaining that I am not a "political" person, and so this politically oriented post might just end up being a bucket full of ridiculous.  But I really am beginning to think that we are all political people, in that we have hopes and desires, a vision of how we want our country, our province, our town to look like, be like.  The fact is, I am a small picture person, and understanding politics seems to require the ability to see the broader view.  So, when an election is coming up, I read a few articles, consult a few knowledgable people, think about it for a bit and then, when it is time, vote.

And then I, like all of Quebec last night, wait.  For the results.  Across the province last night, there were the sights and sounds of election night. Facebook and Twitter lit up like the first of July.  The air rang out with cheers, jeers, moans, praise, curses...and then, tragically, gun fire. 

Election campains are full of the big picture rhetoric.  Long range plans, big ideas and promises, visions of the future that require years of work to achieve.  Last night's gunshots brought it all down to earth.  A gunman showed up at the Metropolis Theatre where Pauline Marois was giving a victory speech, and shot two men, one fatally.  Forget issues.  Forget promises, or threats depending on your particular point of view.  This is about people.  People who make choices.  People who can deeply affect the world around them.  And when it comes to the question, "what now?" the tragic events of last night make the answer very clear.

Now, we make a choice.  Now, we choose to be what we want for our province, whether or not the new government agrees.  I don't mean anarchy.  We all know those pithy little sayings that are so popular with the Facebook/Twitter crowd.  The "I'm just glad I got to wake up to a new day/Just keep smiling" kind of stuff that gets posted in amidst the raunchy rap lyrics and whiney hate messages about the latest person who looked at the poster the wrong way at the Gap.  While most of these messages make my skin crawl, there are some that are surprisingly valid.  Like, be the change that you want to see in the world.  Or you may not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference in one person's world.

Many people are deeply concerned about some of Marois' policies, in that they seem racist, xenophobic, exclusionistic.  What can we do about this?  Maybe there are political things that can be done. I'll let the big picture people deal with that.  What can I do?  I can be as open and welcoming as possible.  I can choose to celebrate the diversity of our province, to be interested in the different experiences and ideas of people from other countries and traditions.  If others are denied the right to display their religious symbols in public, I can join them by leaving my cross at home, allowing my faith and the love behind the cross to be alive and burning in my heart rather than in a trinket I wear around my neck.  I can speak words of peace, of hope, of inclusion, of love into the world around me.  And, I can choose to love others, including those who would have Quebec separate from my beloved Canada. 

This is not a time for hate.  Words of hate may not be as loud as last night's gunshots were.  They may not pierce flesh and blood, or drain life from another human being.  But they wound, and devastate, and grow. And they can kill.  Hate reproduces at a terrifying rate.  It is up to us to shut it down, in us.

And that's the tough part.  It is so much easier when our government  sets the stage for peace, harmony and comfort.  Oh, that someone else would do it for us. Or at least pretend to do it.  Policies to fight racism and bullying.  Policies to help newcomers to feel included.  Policies to make everything okay again.

And when the government doesn't provide all of this?  It comes down to us.  And yes, it is harder to pour love on our PQ governed world when we have lost the election.  It's so much easier when the government leads the way, isn't it?

But if it doesn't, then we must.  If our worst fears are true, (and really, many of them may not be, especially with Marois only having a minority government) we will have to stand up and be what we want our world to look like.  Which means, we need to hold off on the weeping and wailing for a bit, and start reaching out.  Yes, even to "THEM". 

Oh, it won't be comfortable.  I remember being introduced to a practicing Muslim, and it was only once I had extended my hand for a customary Canadian handshake greeting and felt his hand, warm and limp in mine, that I remembered that his faith does not allow him to have physical contact with women other than his family.  It was awkward, I felt like an idiot, he was gracious, we never mentioned it and when we parted, I hugged his wife and waved at him and life goes on.  We live and we learn. 

Where does it start? For me, it starts with my faith, with a God that loves everyone completely.  We do not have a portion of His love.  Each one of us has His love in it's entirety.  It is a love that is big enough to relax in.  A love that banishes fear. A love that makes room for others. 

It is a love that is telling me, this morning, "Alright Child, take a deep breath,, just go and be."

Sounds like a plan.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A note about comments...

Today I received two comments on two different blog posts.  They were very negative, and not surprisingly, anonymous.  I deleted them both.  They were obviously posted by someone who knows me...okay, someone who knows my husband and THINKS that they know me.  I hesitated about deleting them, because I dislike censorship in any form and want people to have a voice, even if I don't agree with it, or it is combative towards me. 

Unfortunately, there were sentiments expressed in the comments that really required that the commenter have the courage to identify themselves.  Also, there were issues raised that I could not have responded to, without sharing information about my husband that I do not believe is in his best interests to share. 

For most of the history of this blog, my comments have been open.  I decided to start checking them out before allowing them to be posted when I began the blog series on grief and mourning.  I had received two confrontational phone calls from my husband around the time of my mother's death, one only two days after she died.  I realized that as much as I had hoped for a moritorium on the aggression during this time of mourning, it wasn't going to happen.  If I was going to be able to share openly about my feelings, let alone invite others to do the same, I would have to make sure that my blog was a safe place to do so. 

Because I have not allowed the comments to be posted, I won't respond to them.  Not even here.  Trust me, though, I am tempted.  To be honest, posting those comments was actually a compliment to me.  This is my forum, my world, and words are my tools.  It has been said that the pen is mightier than the sword.  It would be easy to accept the invitation to respond to the anonymous comments with pages and pages of accounts of experiences that would prove me innocent of the accusations.  I could spend the next two months posting stories of things I went through during the past years, in detail.  My husband used to say about me that I remember everything, while he couldn't remember any of the details of the difficult events in our home.  He was right. I do remember.  And here, I could put it all out there.

But I won't.  And I never would even consider it.  My commenters know this.  No matter how much they poke and goad and taunt, I won't do it.  Even though they would never admit it, they do know this much about me.  I am safe enough to poke at, even though I am carrying the equivalent of a nuclear weapon in my arsenal.  So, yeah, thanks.  I appreciate the vote of confidence.

If you really want your voice heard, especially in the sensitive subjects of domestic abuse and bullying, you are going to have to buck up and take responsibility for your beliefs.  Be brave enough to identify yourself, or be quiet.  I put myself on the line all the time here, sharing my failures and weaknesses along side the victories and hope.  Don't tell me you can't own your own thoughts, or stand up to a discussion, a debate, the opinions of others.  So you can hide behind a tree and shout stuff at people.  Can you stand up in public and defend your views?  Next time, try.

The thing is, when negative things are posted anonymously, they simply become ugly, dark words that mean less than nothing.  I wrote in my previous post about there not being room in my Limbo-land for the dark words from the past.  And then, there you were.  And you know what?  I was right.  There really just isn't any room.

Anyone want a postcard from Limbo-land?

I probably should apologize in advance, because I think this post might be a bit of a vent.  Or, at least a whine.  Or a grumble.  Oh, no, wait, Christians aren't supposed to grumble.

*Heh - I just pictured all my non-Christian friends frowning in confusion. Christians aren't supposed to grumble?  Has nobody let them know about this yet? Oh yeah, we know. That's why we call it "venting". Venting seems to pass under the radar.  Whew.*

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, venting.  I tried to put off posting in the hopes that I would find myself waking up full of good cheer and ready to write something uplifting, or motivational, or at least funny.  I have a kitten in the house.  Kittens are mewing, fuzzy, purring, big-eyed little bundles of funny.  I should be able to handle funny.

*Which reminds me, this morning I was in bed with my tea and a Star Trek book (don't judge me, or I WILL bite you!), and kitten came up and started sniffing around my teacup, purring invitingly.  I let him look into the cup, and was going to let him have a sip. (see previous warning about judging) Apparently he didn't expect it to be as hot as it was, because he took a sip, leapt 2 feet in the air, did a back-flip and landed on his feet by my leg, shaking his head and rubbing his muzzle with his front paw.  And not purring anymore. It took a considerable amount of love and kisses to get the purring going again, but I have since been forgiven, although teacups are on the newly minted "stay-the-heck-away-from" list.*

But, I digress.  The cheery/morning thing?  Isn't going to happen.  At least, not any time soon. 

I have been quiet lately, and very introspective.  As an introvert, I enjoy time spent in my own head.  Usually.  The hard thing about being an introvert, though, is that when there are painful things going on in my life, it is very difficult to get a break from the thoughts and emotions that accompany the difficulties.  I am tired.  I am tired of being in pain all of the time. And if that sounds extreme, it is.  I haven't known a day without some level of physical and emotional pain for years.  That is extreme.  This isn't the whining part either. I'm just stating facts.  I am tired. 

I am also discouraged.  And irritated by the fact that somehow, I keep thinking that I should be handling things better than this.  Forget that there are people who think that about me as well.  No, seriously, forget that.  They aren't even registering on my radar here.  I can't say that what other people think doesn't matter, because there are some people in my life whose opinions I deeply value.  These are people who have earned the right to speak into my life, with their love, loyalty and commitment to me.  Really, the only opinions that matter belong to God and me, and I am frustrated that as gracious and kind as God is to me always, I still keep feeling like I should be stronger, braver, better. 

I am in an awkward place, where I am well into the process of letting go of past events, pain, relationships and people, but the future that I am hungrily reaching for is not ready for me yet.  That's it!  Limbo!  I'm in limbo!  The words of the day? Patience.  Trust.  Hope.  God is asking me to trust that what He is preparing for my future is good, and made perfect for me.  And that His timing is right on schedule.  Jesus wants to be my patience as I wait in this lonely, sad place.  He wants to be my trust, as I choose to believe that He is busy preparing a future for me that is rich and glorious and full of love and meaning.  And He wants to be my hope, that my future is real, that my longings are from Him and being looked after, that the desires of my heart are ever in His heart and mind, and yes, in His plans for me.

Of course, there are the dark voices, that come in the middle of the night, when I am alone, and speak lies that are not worthy to mention here.  And, forgive me dear Lord, sometimes I believe them.  And then, there is pain.

But whatever this limbo place is, it's not big enough for us all, so the dark voices have to go.  This is crowded, and a bit dusty (is that the desert sun I feel on my face?), but I guess it is home for now.  Don't get me wrong, though.  I'm not settling in.  I don't belong here, in limbo.  I have felt my future, as it brushed the tips of my straining, reaching fingers.  I may not be ready for it yet, and it may not be ready for me, but one day we will be meet, and I want to be packed and ready to go.

And it is entirely possible that part of being ready for the life, love and challenges that lie ahead of me is being able to be open and honest about my feelings, even the bad ones.  To be able to say that I am tired and sick and discouraged, without feeling shame or guilt. 

After all, I've got to do something, here in Limbo-land.  Might as well use the time to get ready for...well, whatever is next!

Just a thought.
My Zimbio