I am baking bread and thinking.

Truth is what sets us free. It defines our reality. It is our OS. What truth we know governs our actions and guides our lives, our morals, and our principles. 

Truth seeker. That sounds so good. And truth IS good, so good. And yet.. when it hurts... it's so tempting to walk away from it. But denial is what's gotten me in the mess I'm in. There is no healing in denial. There can be no growth in willful ignorance. If I ever want to help people in the future, I have to face the reality of who I am, like it or not.

Who I am now. God is intent on healing the broken parts, and strengthening the whole parts. This newly discovered weakness is not for all time, and I must remember that.

I had thought that, in seeking to discover who I really am, that I would find relief and release, freedom from expectations and baggage. It certainly does not FEEL as though this is taking place!

But I guess this is another part of the transformation. The caterpillar dissolves before it ever turns into a butterfly. I am dissolving... yet, below it all, beats a little heart, still protected.

"A caterpillar spends most of its life crawling on -- and devouring -- its food source. But when it's time to become an adult, most caterpillars start to wander away from what they've been eating. They find a sheltered, safe spot in which to pupate, or transform into an adult. In all caterpillars, this happens inside a protective shell known as a chrysalis, but the specifics differ from species to species.

It's easy to think of a chrysalis as something a caterpillar makes, like a cocoon, but this isn't really true. The body that the caterpillar reveals when it sheds its skin for the last time is the chrysalis. Along with the ability to occasionally twitch in response to threats, this shell is what protects the caterpillar while it transforms.

The transformation itself is amazing. Think of it as recycling -- if you drop a plastic bottle off in the recycling bin, it can be melted down into an entirely different shape. This is what happens inside the chrysalis. Much of the body breaks itself down into imaginal cells, which are undifferentiated -- likestem cells, they can become any type of cell. The imaginal cells put themselves back together into a new shape. A few parts of the body, such as the legs, are more or less unchanged during this process.
This process of complete transformation is known as holometabolism. The amount of time required to transform completely varies from one species to another, but in general it takes about two weeks. For species that survive the winter by staying in the chrysalis, it can take months.
According to research at Georgetown University, the caterpillars and butterflies that emerge from the chrysalises may remember some of their lives as caterpillars [source: Blackiston]. When caterpillars in the study were conditioned to avoid specific smells, they remembered to keep away from those scents as adults -- but only if the conditioning happened in the last instars of the caterpillars' lives. If you want to learn more what happens once the chrysalis opens, read How Butterflies Work."
Gaaah! I don't like who I thought I wasn't! But it IS me! I can see it clearly. And the best/worst part is, it's not because anyone told me so, it's because I'm seeking truuuuuuuuuth.
 I will not walk away from this. I will own it, acknowledge it, and God, you're going to have to help me walk through this. I'm through running away from life.

What would be said about me, I wonder, if I were to die today? What adjectives applied, what photos unearthed, what stories dredged up from the banks of memory? Not that I expect to die, of course, but I know that, really, it's a possibility at any time. And I just wonder... what is my mark in the world?
...that can knock you flat on your back. If I can't (or won't) trust in this small thing... how can I ever expect to be able to trust in the big things? Oh, exercise of trust and faith... How... gruelingly necessary. I so don't appreciate this. I feel almost betrayed. You made a mistake (you being a collective, generic term and not referring to any individual specifically... yet sort of referring to one individual specifically), and now I must pay? "Unfair! unfair!" cries my heart.


 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High

         Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
         My God, in Him I will trust.” 
 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
         And from the perilous pestilence.
 He shall cover you with His feathers,
         And under His wings you shall take refuge; 
         His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
         Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
         Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. 
 A thousand may fall at your side,
         And ten thousand at your right hand; 
         But it shall not come near you.
 Only with your eyes shall you look,
         And see the reward of the wicked. 
 Because you have made the LORDwho is my refuge,
         Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 No evil shall befall you,
         Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
         To keep you in all your ways.
 In their hands they shall bear you up,
         Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
         The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. 
 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
         I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
         I will be with him in trouble; 
         I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him,
         And show him My salvation."

{Psalm 91}

Our strawberries have quite a bit of bird damage... holey strawberries, indeed. But we got 10 pounds for market today. Both dogs found their original homes. Curly hair. Whistling. Clouds and chill and color changing leaves... all is right with the world today. (So far.)

Oh, and my new laptop is being shipped today. Big. Time.
This past weekend, we've found 2 dogs. (Really, J found them.) One is a beautiful collie-type, whom we've named Sheila. The other is a pitiful border collie we've named Zoe. She is grossly pregnant, and missing alot of fur, including most of her tail. I cried the first time I bathed her. Her sparse, brittle fur was coated with dirt and infested with burrs and seeds from living outdoors. Her teeth are few, and some are ground down to the gums. And yet, despite her deplorable condition, she is patient, kind, and obedient. What a sweet girl.

Sheila is a sweetheart, too, but an attention hog. When J found her wandering down the road, she was sopping wet and coated in mud. Now, after 2 baths and a trim, she is gorgeous. Her tail is an absolutely majestic plume of thick, soft fur.

I hope that we can find a good home for Sheila, and that we can help Zoe. I'm going to take her to the vet today. I'm praying that we don't have to put her down, but if it comes down to that and a prolonged suffering for my sweet girl, well, then... the choice is evident.
I pretty much don't want to blog again until I get my laptop. Just something about being able to unleash my madness within the privacy of my room appeals to me.

Until then, fare thee well.

Oh, one thing, though. I made kalachis (a GF version), and they turned out decent! I froze some of the filling, so next time the urge strikes, I just have to whip up a dough and go for it. Yay! I quite literally have not made a kalachi since I lived with C. Too long, my beloved pastry, too long...
Went to another wedding on Sunday. The weather was awful, which worried me, since it was an outdoor wedding, but God heard my (our?) prayers and parted the clouds during the time that the ceremony should have been taking place. I say should have, because it was 2 hours late, due to technical problems.

It was a beautiful wedding, but something about it made me uneasy. You see, I am contrasting in my mind the last wedding I went to, which was J and K's. In that service, it was plain to see that they were madly in love with each other, but there was something pure and noble about it. They were there for a bigger reason than themselves. It really was all about God and what He had done and was doing in their lives... so sweet and beautiful.

This last wedding was beautiful, to be sure, but it lacked that same depth and transcendent joy. They were there for each other, and that was all, it seemed. Sure, they talked about God, but it didn't seem to mean much. It was just about people.

I seemed to see that the theme behind the vows and the songs (especially those of the bride) was that of "our love is true and will last forever; our love will never end, and will carry us through". That is the same mentality I had in my relationship with C, especially as things turned towards marriage. That is the same message that we are inundated with through movies, television, music (especially country music!), books, and on, and on, and on, and... while it's true that you need that love and commitment to make it through, isn't there something more? Shouldn't there be something more than just two people trying to make life work?

I've been thinking about relationships again. They're so... weighty. At times, it seems so minor, so inconsequential, and yet, that decision carries much weight. Who you marry determines a great deal of your future. I just don't want to make the wrong choice. As usual.

So I'll probably never get married, because I realize how intensely and thoroughly a romantic relationship can affect my life, and I don't want to make a mistake, so I'll just never get near enough to make a mistake, because I'm afraid of the consequences. I already came so close to "ruining my life". And I know that I have so much baggage and damage to work through. And I know that my past is going to affect the rest of my life--I will always be walking through my issues, in some way or another. Do I really want to inflict that upon someone else? It's hard enough to deal with on my own.


And yet... I also have eyes. I see what a beautiful, special thing God created that marital relationship to be, how fully a union can reflect His image, and how wonderfully He can heal and grow hurt hearts in that nourishing soil... and I yearn for that, deep inside. I crave it. I do want that, someday. Will I ever be ready?

"Let not your longing slay the appetite of your living." {Jim Elliot}
The sky outside is a pale, pearlescent grey, shedding cold tears that soak the earth with sorrow. I love the rain, and the grey, yet the condition of my heart casts a sad explanation over the acts of nature.

Why? Why me? Of all people? On one hand, I'm grateful, because no one ever deserves to live through such prolonged, debilitating agony as that branded upon my psyche and soul. If it had been one of the kids and not me, why... I don't know. On the other hand, I'm... indignant? No, that's not sorrowful enough, and too pompous. I'm... grieved? Yes, but with a little more dismay and pessimism. Add a dash of determined denial, and that fairly well describes it.

Oh, C, how can I number you among those fiends? You were so good to me. You brought the first taste of unconditional love to my starving soul; you wooed my affections so... you brought me to life. And yet, it was tainted, tarnished, and underlyingly ugly later on. And then, after I left... How can you possibly fit the same  profile as that knave I am ashamed I ever called father?! He was no more a father to me than a murderer can be called friend. But you... I loved you with everything I had. How could you betray my innermost being in such a way?

And so the rain drizzles on morosely, echoing my heart's cry of anguish and disbelief. Yet, in the distance, the grey parts and a brilliant blue waltzes merrily about the sky. Perhaps there is hope for me, yet.