Plastic problems.


I just got a credit card in January, and I’ve been so disciplined with it…. until June.

Goodness, I got all plastic-happy.  Then I looked at my bill today to pay it, and BAM – reality slapped me in the face.  It slapped hard, folks.  And I think Reality wears rings and stuff, so the slap has a special sting to it.  We don’t need to talk specifics here, but let’s just say that it was low enough for me to pay it off in full (gotta keep that credit score good) and high enough to keep me from swiping for a while.

Yes, I think it would be good for me to use debit and cash a bit more.  Or maybe use it all a bit less. Maybe just curb my spending a bit.  Do you know how hard that is when you work in retail?  I really should have gotten a job at a men’s clothing store.  There’d be a big learning curve since I know just about squat about men’s clothing, but it’d keep me from spending my paychecks in my mind while I work.

I might have a small problem with liking clothes.  It’s not that I feel like I need to have more, it’s just that I get so attracted to them.  It’s like taking pictures: you see something beautiful, and you want to have it with you forever.

Then I remember all the better ways that my money could be used, and somehow, the clothes are a bit less attractive.  I think of how much clothing I already have and realize that I either need to severely downsize to welcome something new in or just love what’s already in my closet.

I may have ostracized any male readers today, but here’s the takeaway: Contentment is golden, credit cards are nasty tempters, and I could use my money better.  Maybe you can relate.

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My soapbox.


I know I use this platform to tell you about my eating habits and silly adventures sometimes.  It gets a bit frivolous, but that’s just real.  We all have days with deeper thoughts than others and days with less thought in general.

Today, however, I want to be heard.  I keep hearing so many arguments over the two hot button social issues of the week: abortion and DOMA, and it’s time to speak up.

I’m not a dogmatist.  I don’t hold my values close because I’m afraid that someone will snatch them with a well-versed argument.  I try to hold tightly to my most tested and true beliefs and to keep a looser rein on others, to keep an open mind but to have a filter.  So, understand that when I say these things, I have thought and read about them quite a bit.  They matter to me, as I’m sure they matter to you as well, even if we don’t agree.

Also, along that thread, if we don’t agree, I don’t hate you.  I may think you’re annoying, (depending on how respectfully and deferentially give your opinions) but I most certainly do not hate you. Hate is not a godly perspective, however radically we may disagree.    Love is the movement, and I think we could even live like it’s a verb (just in case you didn’t know, love is a verb).

Speaking of love and who can love who and all that, I believe that I am called to love people, and if I love people, how should I act towards them?  I should look out not only for my own interests but also for the interests of others.  I should have the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2).  I use the Bible as my moral compass, and I fall short of its expectations every day, but I’m journeying to a godly life where I live just a bit more like my Redeemer every step of the way.  (just in case you were under the delusion that I’m perfect or something… I’ll bake you cookies later)

With that in mind, the Bible teaches (though many would dispute this) that homosexuality was not God’s intention for the world, that it wasn’t a way that He wanted His children to behave.  From what I have read in the Bible, I’ve seen a God who points to homosexual relations and sees them as yet another way that we have fallen short. I don’t think the struggle is any worse or more offensive to God than my struggle with pride or jealousy.  And just as pride keeps me from being all that God wants me to be and is destructive in my walk with Him and my relationship with the world around me, so is any sin.

Now, I ask you this, having seen where I come from: if I believe that homosexuality is not what God wants for people and keeps them from knowing Him rightly, would it be loving for me to vote gay marriage into law?  Would it really be loving for me to stand for something that I think will harm someone else?  I don’t really think that marriage should be legislated at all, personally.  I’d rather just have my church declare that I (and whoever the lucky guy is) am married, because it’s a union in the sight of God and man.

That’s been churning around in my head for months now.  Now, no matter the response, it’s out there.

If you’ve made it to this point in this long post, thanks for being here.  I appreciate your audience and hope that you are trying to see my side of things (if, in fact, you are on another side), as I will try to see yours.

Can we talk about abortion now?  This is a dialogue that hurts me so much, because it’s even further proof that we live in a fallen world.  When the choice is between making a twelve year old girl who is pregnant because of incest keep her baby or kill it, I wonder if we can win.  I’m not anti-woman.  I’m not even anti-feminist.

I AM a woman.  I work for women.  I want a world where women have as many rights as men and are treated equally.  I think that’s part of God’s kingdom, so when we say, “your kingdom come,” that’s included.  I think that a world without cat-calls and nearly pornographic advertising and prostitution and devaluation of women would be ideal… paired with a world where we don’t abort our babies.

How can it be empowering to a woman to encourage her to kill?  When all the genetic information is present at conception and the heartbeat begins at week 6 (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/prenatal-care/PR00112), how can we doubt that human life is in the womb? I have read so many testimonies about women who regret their abortions, which is not something that most media will let you see, but it’s enough for me to understand that the choice is too much.

We were not meant to decide life and death.  I don’t know what the legislative solution is to abortion when taking it completely off the table could make unprofessionally performed abortions even more common.  I don’t know how to win, but it surely isn’t by building more Planned Parenthoods.  It certainly isn’t by referring to babies as “a blob of tissue.”  And I think that education about sex and pregnancy could definitely be helpful.

This is my soapbox.  Welcome.  I don’t have all the answers or solutions, and I don’t think that any one person does.  I think that the more questions we ask, the better.  I think that we need to stop yelling and start listening and discussing.  I think that we need to talk about the issues that are underneath, the ones that are closer to home and hard to talk about.

Really, I just think we need Jesus.

Dilution day.


Do you ever feel diluted? Like it’s the end of the day and you started out as a good, full version of you, but now you’re not all you. Like when you put ice in your lemonade and sit in the sun for an hour. It is a version of what it was, but it doesn’t taste as good. It’s an imitation of what it aimed to be.

Maybe that’s just the nature of a busy day, that it drains you a bit. Maybe it drains some of your energy and some of your better qualities. I suppose that’s why we sleep at night and start over again the next day, to refresh and refill. To be full and whole again.

Diluted. It’s different than empty. It’s just got something added that wasn’t originally there and a little bit less of the original stuff.

That’s me right now. Hence the short blog post and journey to the kitchen for sustenance.

Lullaby time.


I’m just wondering how you get into the business of singing lullabies.  And that’s not a euphemism for motherhood.  I mean, how do you get into the business of recording lullabies for other people’s children to fall asleep to?  I suppose it takes a love for sleeping children, a desire to play dreamy, sleep-inducing music, and some cheesy lyrics to want to do that.

I’m transferring all my cassette tapes to MP3 format just in case something happens to my cassettes.  Part of the process includes listening while the tape transfers onto the computer, so I’m fighting sleep as I type this.  I just finished reading Brave New World, so naturally I instantly think that’s my conditioned response.  

Either this tape has slightly warped, or this woman perpetually sings flat.  I think it’s the former.

I remember playing these tapes when I went to sleep.  They worked – I hardly ever heard the click that indicated the end of the tape.  Granted, that was a simpler time of life where there wasn’t much to think about when I went to bed other than my exciting day and the one to come when I woke the next morning.  Funny, I’m getting to the end of the tape, and though I’m pretty sure I’ve heard this song before, it isn’t as familiar as the other ones.  This must be past the point when I usually fell asleep.

I have a better lullaby tape than this.  Actually, two.  (Joel, if you’re reading this, Joel-a-bies are DEFINITELY included in that) The other one had James Taylor, the Carpenters, Emmylou Harris,Aretha Franklin, Hall & Oates, and other greats on it.  I feel so young, listening to this.  If we can’t ever successfully travel in time, this will be the next best thing to get back to my childhood.

It’s telling me to close my eyes and dream now.  Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Close your eyes and dream.  Like it’s a last-ditch effort at getting the kid to sleep.  It’s the last track, so if the rest of it hasn’t worked, this soothing admonition to go to sleep will do the trick.

Please excuse me while I obey.

Anniversary.


It’s my anniversary today. Thus, my blog and I have been going steady for two years.
This is the part where I give a teary speech about how much I love my partner, Journey To Who I Want To Be and recount all the good times. This is the part where I say, “you…..complete…..me.” and beam.
You could say it’s like a relationship, me plus this partial, public extension of my brain. We’ve had ups and downs, good days and days where I just sat and stared at my computer screen. Sometimes I fought with WordPress to make my posts look like I wanted them to, and it took me a few tries to find a theme that I like.
Have you been with us these two years? If you have, I have to extend my heartfelt thanks to you. I’ve received so much support and affirmation about my writing from you. You have confirmed my calling, over and over again. Jesus said, Write. And so did you.
I hope that your experience here has been as affirming. I hope that I’ve probed into your mind a bit, made you laugh, brought something new to light, or shown you beauty. The best thing about this blog is that it truly is a journey to who I was to be – which is the person that God wants me to be. I’m not pulling posts from my endless store of knowledge and insight, which you could probably tell since they often end in questions, and I’ve likely changed my perspectives over these two years. I’m journeying. Usually even a single post is a journey. I start with a sentence and a vague idea and end up somewhere I didn’t plan to be. Often I proofread and find that there’s a deeper meaning than I intended, which just shows that words have a life of their own.
I thank God for you today and for this blog. I can’t imagine a better group to have an anniversary with. Cheers.

Dreamy rain.


Yet another thunderstorm is headed our way tonight.  The last three (just in the past week) knocked over trees onto houses and power lines and left people without power for days.  And another storm comes our way now.  The clouds are rolling in, and in a few hours, we’ll have more rain and thunder and lightning.

Today I’ve been doing laundry, mostly, which is a typical activity for a day when I don’t work.  I went through my closet and pulled out about ten things I’d like to part with.  Eventually I’ll clear off my floor so that vacuuming can happen.  I’ve been half productive today, and the things on my to-do list yet to be crossed off loom above my head in a cloud of responsibility.  Emails, exercise, research, etc crowd together to slightly dampen the excitement about what I’ve already accomplished.

And in spite of the cloud of responsibility that seems to reside in my gut, prompting me to take care of my business, I just want to be sitting in a bay window somewhere, high above a city skyline, when the rain pours down.  I want to have a sketchpad and a pottery wheel and an easel with a full paint palette, a note book with at least three sharpened pencils, and something cushy to sit on.  Also, a cup of something chocolatey that would perpetually stay at the perfect degree of warmth for as long as I sat there.  And pizza.  Always pizza.

I want to sit and watch the rain pour down, observe people scurrying down the streets, watch the ones without umbrellas scurry a little faster than their umbrella-carrying counterparts.  I want to let my brain run wild and lock the door to this magical room (that doesn’t exist) so that creativity can rule.

But I’m in a room with hangers on the floor and a painting that I’ve been meaning to finish for weeks and my college life stacked in a corner (but sort of infringing on the rest of the room).  There are clothes that need to go to consignment and emails to be written.  One more load of laundry has got to be hung up.  This is where I am when the rain comes to town.  And this is real.  This is my life, completely devoid of bay window, pottery wheel, and sharpened pencils (I’ve lost the sharpener).  In it’s own way, it’s just as beautiful, less dreamy, but beautiful.  It’s productive, with hints of creative freedom here and there.

Newbie.


I’m a newbie.  Meaning that I walk around the store with things from the dressing room to put back with a lost look on my face.  And I process returns very slowly.  And when people ask me for something in a different size, I bring it back in a different color (right size, though).

Meaning that I process someone’s coupon wrong and almost cost them $20 more than it should have.  Thank goodness people check their receipts.

Meaning that as much as I love my job, I hate being a newbie. I hate not knowing things.  I hate having to ask someone every time I press a wrong button or can’t figure out why the computer’s acting this way.  Oh, I just had to click?  That’s all? Oh. I was just one button away?  Oh. I promise I’m intelligent.  I promise it wasn’t a mistake to hire me.  I promise that I won’t ask questions forever…. probably.

Meaning that I’m learning.  And learning is slightly humiliating, which is good.  Not necessarily fun at the time, but you learn so much more from being a newbie and making mistakes than just coasting through.  I’ll look back and laugh at this sometime soon, once I can do all the basic responsibilities of being a sales associate.  For now, it’s just another thing I don’t know, but it’s character building for tomorrow.

I won’t continue in error, but I won’t slap myself every time I don’t reach perfection either.  There’s a place for both.

Starry-Eyed Lucille Ball, and the Real Deal


This reflects my heart today, perhaps more than when I originally posted it two years ago.

Wading in Words

They say that you can’t really, truly star-gaze in the city (or the suburbs, for that matter), due to all the extra lights and smog, but I think I beg to differ.  Sure, it takes my eyes ages to adjust out here, but  I’ve already spotted the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia.

It’s beautiful.  Wondrous.  The constellations are easily seen, even by an untrained star aficionado like me, which makes me wonder why exactly God picked those shapes when he was setting them in place.  Why a ladle?  Why a “W”?  What’s up with Orion and his special belt?  Andromeda?

All I know is that out here, where the noise is limited to the distant traffic, the wind brushing up against the trees on its way to wherever it goes, and the occasional wind chime, peace overwhelms.  You know, the kind of peace that you can feel, as in physically?  Where…

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Housegirl.


That storm.

In case you don’t live in my house and weren’t watching out the back window in between Doctor Who episodes, there was some kind of thunderstorm craziness happening here.  It got dark, the wind whipped around viciously, the rain beat down, and I was amazed that my house just made some cracking sounds.

And by cracking sounds, I don’t mean that it cracked.  I mean, it just made sounds.  The storm looked like the kind that could rip things apart and blow my car off the road (if we didn’t hydroplane first… thankfully I wasn’t driving).  But my house stood firm.  The lights stayed on.  I watched through the window.

Unlike many things in my life, this house was built to last.  Sure, most clothes aren’t made of anything remotely sturdy nowadays, and any electronic you buy is sure to wear out or have a freakout within a couple of years.  But this house – the one that every time I ask my parents how old it is, they say the same number… or at least, I feel like they do, even though the year changes – stands strong when the winds howl and threaten destruction.  It acknowledges the storm, gives it a nod with a few creaks and groans, but it doesn’t bend.

I’m sure it’s nothing remarkable about my house in particular.  Your house is probably just as good.  This isn’t a competition by any means, but I’d surely like to be like my house.  I’d like to stand tall amid the storms of life.  I’d like to acknowledge winds and rain but to keep on keeping on without turning off the lights or breaking my windows.

I’d like to be stalwart, strong, a little bit wet and windblown but unshaken.  Like my house.

Spontaneous pizza.


Sometimes, while I’m writing copy for my internship, food comes up.  Actually, this is quite frequently since our business centers around feeding people.

Today I started eating lunch at 10:45 and tried to stretch it out until 12:30.  So by the time 3:00 rolled around, my body was running on fumes.  I was writing about pizza around 2:00, thinking about pizza, wishing I had pizza.  So I texted my sister, requesting a date night with her (who else would you go on a date with?).  I used lots of question marks so that she would know the urgency of my request for pizza.

It’s beautiful, this spontaneous pizza.

When you plan something three hours in advance, you barely have time to form expectations.  You just go, and when you get there, you’re happy with whatever comes out of it.  For Brooke and me, it was half Hawaiian, half half-Hawaiian pizza (aka, half with Canadian bacon AND pineapple, half with just the fruity goodness) and salad.  And water, because we’re those people who rarely get drinks at restaurants.

We talked about faith and life and my new friend and her work and my work and what we think about things and how good that pizza was… mmm, so good.

It hit the spot in more ways than one.  It filled our need for spending time together (funny how you can live in the same house but lead separate lives when you have different jobs and friends and churches), filled our tummies, filled our need for conversation with someone who gets you, and filled our lunch boxes for tomorrow.