I just got a package from my mom. It contained a glass bottle for oil drizzling (whatever you call those things) with a teapot and teacup motif- because I LOVE tea, a beautiful homemade apron she picked up in Amish country, and a ruler with elephants that walk back and forth as you move it. I feel so loved :) It's funny, though, because, while I do feel loved, I still feel lonely... which leads me to wonder if quality time or physical touch isn't my more primary love language? Or maybe it's just that I'm out of balance right now... (The funny thing is, I was just wishing yesterday that I had a ruler. I was thinking of picking one up.)

I am having a hard time sorting through what's true and what's not right now. I'm discouraged as I face the summer, because of my health issues. Did I really think that it was all going to just work out okay? Now, as my stomach and intestines churn and cramp, I'm having second thoughts. And why this day of sickness? I didn't eat anything wrong... but it started yesterday, and is just getting worse. Is it stress? But I feel like I have a fever... I don't know. I just don't know. (I don't have a thermometer.) Did I really think that I could pull off being a counselor when I need 9 hours of sleep just to function well?

How did I ever think this was going to work?

Which leads me to question whether or not this is actually what God wanted me to do. I mean, sure, the job worked out and all, but did this happen because he saw that I wanted it so badly, and he let it happen? Or was this his plan?

And, honestly, I am feeling like an irresponsible Christian because I'm not doing ministry. Like, here I am complaining about all this free time (oh, what a horrible thing! yeah, right.), but I could be out doing something for other people instead of feeling sorry for myself.

But you want to know the truth? I'm scared of venturing outside by myself. I don't like the city. I don't like the possibilities. At first, it was all about survival- finding my way around, figuring out how to get to the store and back, trying to get my feet under me with work- I was too overwhelmed to be scared. Now, especially after my cop boss has regaled me with horror stories, I'm afraid to step foot outside. I'm even nervous when I don't have my door deadbolted. I don't want to go do stuff by myself... but myself is all I have right now. So I stay home. (Plus I don't want to spend the gas... I'm trying to save up money, here!)

And I resent the idea that I should be helping people because it's the good and right thing to do. No! If I want to stay home, I'll stay home, alright?! I don't care if it's selfish. I'll be selfish then. But you can't make me do something if I don't want to.

But I've been thinking... maybe I should call up that nice church that's close and see if there's anything I can volunteer to help with. I mean, I'm only here for like, two and a half more weeks, but I'm sure there's something I can do... I miss serving. I just am not the kind of person to go out and randomly try to find some need to fill. I like guidance... especially when I'm in a strange place, visiting. If I were home in my little town, that'd be different. (Maybe.)

Ugh, I don't know. I just don't know. Am I a bad person? Or am I merely suffering from delusions of inadequacy? Am I buying into lies? I don't even really want to talk to God right now... I'm afraid of what he'll say. I'm afraid that it's true and I'm a bad person and I need to stop my pity party and get out and do something for someone else because that's what makes you a good person. I'm afraid that I'm failing. Miserably. I'm afraid that this is some sort of test and I'm bombing it.

I'm afraid that the entire summer is going to be like this.

But, on the bright side... I'll have my school bill paid off. That's pretty much the only reason why I didn't start packing to go home today. That, and my desperate desire not to let people down.

(What the heck? I thought I got over all this stuff like, 6 months ago?)
What made me think that I could do this?

Here I am, under the weather again, and from what? A little bit of stress? Not enough sleep? Not eating on time?

You suffer from adrenal fatigue, woman. What makes you think you can handle working at summer camp?

Yeah, but... I survived leading Magabook programs...

...barely.

God, what have I gotten myself into?

I just want to go home.
A is married. What a strange thought. I mean, she's super amazing, and she totally deserves to be happy, but... it's almost like she's too amazing, you know? Like there can't really be a guy out there that can match her, that would be worthy of her... so I wonder. I had never actually met the groom before yesterday, but I and a thousand other people were insisting that "he must be awesome, because A's so awesome!" We know that she wouldn't settle for some lame-brain. (At least, we desperately hope so.)

Her wedding was beautiful, but a lot of work. I only helped an infinitesimal amount, but it was still a lot of work, and for something that was over so quickly... it really just reinforced the concept that a wedding is only one day, but a marriage is for a lifetime. So many couples spend their time focused on that one day, rather than preparing for all the days that are to follow. I pray that I do not make the same mistake...

I had a good conversation with D yesterday. He sent me the cutest text message! It was a picture of a beautiful sunset he saw the other day, with the caption "I miss u 2". Hee hee... Forgive my giggles, but I really am all... giggly. (Funny thing was, I couldn't recall saying to him "I miss you", but then after some thought, I realized he was probably referring to the text I sent him while he was on the ferry/out of cell service for like 5 days, which said "I hope you get cell service soon- I miss talking to you!")

He was kind enough to re-answer my questions, so that I could note his responses (although he was somewhat reluctant, since he hadn't written them down himself, so they were going to be somewhat different than the previous day, but I told him it was fine).

To the question, What is the point of dating/why are we dating, he had a slightly different interpretation of the question itself than I was thinking. He came at it from the viewpoint, What do we want out of this relationship? His thoughts are that he wants somebody he can talk to and get to know better, someone he can depend on, and eventually, more than that (i.e. marriage). As far as spiritual growth goes, he said that he has grown spiritually because we talk about a lot of spiritual, uplifting things, like our day to day occurrences and how we deal with them, how God is working in our lives, etc. Actually, he even said that he looks forward to talking to me, because it helps him sort of refocus. (That's a big, fat "Awwwww" in my book!)

Enough with this he said/she said, though.

It's interesting, because after that "fateful" conversation (it was really pivotal!), I feel like we've kind of moved up to some mysterious "next level" in our relationship. We spent the first month just getting to know facts about each other, hobbies, likes and dislikes, our pasts, etc... more of a friendship thing than romantic. I mean, we both knew that we liked each other, but it wasn't brought up hardly. It was like the establishing of a friendship. Now, we still have that friendship basis, but there's something more simmering under the surface... I don't know if it was the m-word that I had to bring up or what, but it's more emotional now than it was. I don't think that's a bad thing. As a matter of fact, I'm glad that it took that long... longer would even have been okay with me. But I know that I really enjoy him as a person, and as a friend... despite the butterflies (which have multiplied in number recently).

I'm just really enjoying myself. This is fun! And not as scary as I had thought... though it does have its moments. But it's a lot more fun than I had initially thought it would be. Best of all? No regrets, baby. I love it.

Know what else I love? Stir fry and brown rice. Mmmmm...
I need to be sleeping in 4 minutes. I'm timing myself.

So I've been helping H with work and stuff, it's been keeping me busy, which is good. Friday is always full, anyway, what with getting ready for Sabbath and all.

Today was a good day, too... different than I expected. Much different... but it was still good. The sermon was super intense and spoke to my heart. It revealed to me an interesting fact- I am so much more comfortable with the "God" that doesn't really like me so I need to be good to get him to like me (most of the time that's how I see him) vs. the God of mercy and love that he really is. Why is it so easy for me to push him away? Why is it so hard for me to accept his love, to accept the fact that he's already reaching out to me and that I don't have to strain on my tippie-toes to try to get his attention?

Oh. It's been four minutes. Time for sleep! I'll have more time tomorrow, before my friend's wedding.

However, I do need to record for posterity (i.e. so I don't forget!) that I asked D a very important set of questions yesterday. I had been wanting to ask for quite some time now (pretty much since we started dating), but I never felt it was the right time. I was always worried. (I'm realizing that I probably worry more than is necessary...) Yesterday, though, the questions came back to mind, unbidden, and I had total peace about asking him. It was the right time.

 He was driving when he called me, and not certain of where he was going, so he was rather distracted. Maybe not the best time to bring up serious stuff, but I didn't realize the extent of his distraction until he said, "I want to focus on this conversation, but I can't right now, because I'm not sure where I'm going exactly... Just let me get through downtown, and I'll call you back! And it will give me time to think :)"

He called back just as I was heading down the road for Vespers, so I said I'd call him later... long story short, we finally connected this afternoon (for 14 minutes!) because he briefly got cell service. It cut out again, but fortunately after we had finished our important conversation. (I dearly hope that he will have reception for our once-a-week phone calls this summer... I'm going to be rather frustrated if he doesn't.)

The questions I asked were these: 1. What do you see as the purpose or point of dating? To rephrase, what is the point of our relationship? 2. Have you grown spiritually because of this relationship? Yes or no, why or why not?

I asked these questions, being prepared that this may very well have led to a parting of ways. In my mind, the purpose of dating is to see if you are compatible for marriage, but I'm not into recreational dating ("trying out the different flavors of ice cream" etc.). I told D that I wouldn't even enter a dating relationship unless I were certain that the Lord was leading me into it, as I was about our relationship. If he's just dating me to have fun, or because he's bored, or whatever, then it's time to call this quits. I didn't think that was the case (and it's not!), but I didn't want to assume and then find out I was mistaken.

More importantly, if the relationship is detrimental to the spiritual life of either one of us, then we need to seriously re-evaluate and heavily consider dissolving the relationship. That is not the case, however. He and I are both growing closer to God because of this, and I'm glad.

I'm going to ask him the next time I talk to him to please repeat his answers so I can write them down. I wasn't feeling too well today, and I was so focused on listening to what he had to say that I didn't focus on really remembering what he said. I don't want to misconstrue what he said, so it's best for me to have it jotted down.

Anyway, today is our "one month anniversary". It's weird... I just haven't dated in such a long time. But the things that used to be so important and all-consuming in my immaturity don't really mean much anymore. A one month anniversary used to be huge. Now it's like, "Huh. That's nice. Nothing to get too excited over, though... I mean, it's only one month. We still don't know each other that well..."

(But I did just buy a book called 101 Questions To Ask Before You Get Engaged. Not that I'm getting engaged anytime soon, but it has a lot of really good questions that I intend to ask D here and there. It will definitely help me get to know him better.)

Okay, I'm twelve minutes overdue for sleep.
I want a trim. I have a coupon for Fantastic Sam's. There's one near my house. But... most of the reviews on the internet are terrible.

I'm going to a wedding in a couple of days... and I already look like a lobster. Do I really want to risk it?

But it's getting so long*... it really needs a trim...

Or maybe I should shell out the bucks and go somewhere more upscale?

Then again... people don't really post reviews unless they have a grievance to air... right?

Right?!

*"Long" is a relative term

Because I can.

Yes. Just because I can.







...how often feelings change? Just another reason why I can't trust them to guide me safely through life... sure, they weigh in, but I'll not hang my destiny on them!

After 2 days in a row of work, I feel better. No, not with camp, but with H. She's coming up to the edge of the summer literature evangelism programs, and there is a ton of stuff to be done yet. I've done some jobs that would have been very time consuming so that she can focus on other things that no one else can do. It's been good. I feel good. I feel better about myself as a person now that I've done something constructive (outside the four walls of our apartment!).

Also, I got to Skype with my family a couple of nights ago. That was great. I missed their faces!! In person would be better, but thank God for technology.

H and I had a picnic and an afternoon of relaxation at the beach today. I am thoroughly sunburnt. No, of course I didn't wear any sunscreen! Why would I? I was only in the searing sun for three hours. (It was funny that we sandwiched our relaxation time in between work hours ^_^)

D called tonight. We only talked for about an hour, but it was sure good to hear his voice again. He'll be at the same campsite tomorrow night, so he'll still have reception and call me again. (It's weird how much I missed talking to him... and it was only, what, four or five days? Okay, I won't pretend like I don't know. It was four days, going on five. It would have been five, had he not called tonight.) It seems that the pattern we've established is that of talking every other night... so my routine was seriously thrown off. And he's always the one that calls me. I've only called him once or twice. I rather like it, though... I feel... pursued. :) Of course, one of the main reasons is logistics- he doesn't necessarily have cell reception, but I always do, and I'm pretty much free all the time. Thus, the one who is the least able to talk "whenever" makes the call when they're available. When summer camp starts, I'll be the one calling him, I'm sure.

Just thinking about my past relationships... and how this one measures against the others... 

We've been dating for a month, roughly. (It'll be a couple days before it's exactly a month. And yes, I keep track of this kind of stuff.) My first boyfriend and I didn't kiss until we'd been dating a month. (My first kiss! Didn't quite make it to sixteen, as I was hoping...) My second boyfriend and I only lasted a month, I think... both times we dated. (We got quite physical within that month, though. I realized later that he pretty much just wanted in my pants.) Then C and I... well, a kiss is what launched our relationship, so we were probably making out by this point. And GM? We didn't even make it to a month! We did hold hands, though. *gasp*

D?  I've shaken his hand. We hugged once, at his baptism. And.... that's pretty much it. Emotionally, we're not very involved, either. I mean, both of us know that we like each other. That's pretty clear. (Otherwise we wouldn't be bothering to date each other, now would we?) And we've been open about our pasts, but even when discussing current events in our lives, I don't tell him more than I tell anyone else. He's not the person I go to for emotional comfort, like I used to do in the past with my boyfriends. 

I'm glad. I still have no regrets about anything thus far... and I've never had that before with a relationship. It's new, and I like it.

Someday, though, we're going to have to spend time physically together in one geographical location... and that's the part that I'm not sure how to work out. Money-wise... I dunno. I'm just praying about it. I'd like to either go up there a little after the summer, but perhaps it would be better if he were to come back to ID to visit? Because then I could see him in the context of his family and friends, and the family could get to know him, too. I'd like that. We'll see... when the time is right, the topic will be broached.

Anyway, with all the turns of events, and the understanding of what was bothering me, I feel one hundred percent better! (Except for this darn sunburn...)














You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Once I realized what the cause of this bout of depression was, I felt better. I mean, not necessarily emotionally, but it feels better intellectually to realize that I'm not helplessly spinning into a black hole of despair, I'm just unbalanced. It's like being hungry and thinking, What's wrong with me? Why do I have these feelings? I'm hungry, relationally. But that's not bad or wrong. God created me with these needs.  And, sure, God can fill that relational void too, but it's just not the same as another person, and God knows that. If he didn't intend for us to be fulfilled in relationship to other human beings, he never would have created Eve. Adam could have just chilled with God all by himself. But Adam realized he was alone, that something was missing...

I've realized that I'm alone. Something's missing. I'm lonely.

And now that I recognize and acknowledge that, I think it's easier to bear. Because odds are that nothing's going to change in the near future. I can look forward to several weeks of loneliness before summer camp starts. (I won't be lonely then!!)

And I'm going to accept this as from God's hand. There's got to be a blessing, a gift of some sort, in this somewhere. Stuff doesn't just happen.
So... I'm a pretty relational person. An introvert, sure, but I need a heavy dose of people before I withdraw into isolation.

And right now, that need is not being filled. Pretty much the only person I see during the week that I know is H, and she works crazy and/or long hours. (Then comes Sabbath... and I'm going to strange churches. Still don't know anyone.)

It reminds me of when I was living with C. Nothing to do all day. No purpose. Isolated. Cut off from my friends.

At least now I have a car... (no gas money at the moment, though... but I get paid on Thurs.)

That's probably why I was so disappointed when no one was there for CR. I was looking forward to some relational involvement... maybe some friends?

I have no friends here. My family hasn't had cell service all week. D's been on the ferry for the last couple of days. I'm talking to my Mom now more than ever! lol

But cell phone calls are a far cry from actually spending time with someone... it's not the same. It works, but it's not as fulfilling.

Oh, Lord... I have a whole month of this?

If I had known that this was part of the "job"... I would so have taken the camp in Idaho. No joke.
It's Tubular Tuesday, becauuuuuse.....


My feelings do not define my reality!!!!!


That, and I was able to go to the beach for a short time today.
Dear God...

I don't really know where to start.

I was so disappointed when no one was there. I wanted to cry. I guess... I guess I had just gotten excited about the fellowship I share with my group back home... I figured it would be the same. It would be a safe place... a little piece of home. Because I miss home. A lot.

I'm lonely, God. Or maybe just homesick. But I have this emptiness inside that I've been trying to fill all day... this restlessness that won't stop nagging me... and I suppose I thought that CR would fill that hole.

I know that I can expect to feel a little down, just because of traveling the past 2 days, and staying up waaaay late those 2 days... Naturally, I'll be a little lower than I would normally.

But having all this time on my hands is really driving me crazy. It's one thing to have nothing pressing to do. It's another thing entirely to have nothing pressing to do by yourself.

I can't settle down to any one thing. And having the internet here is leading to a lot of wasted time on my part... which makes me feel even worse. I hate how I feel when I've wasted a whole chunk of time on the internet. It's the soul equivalent of having eaten nothing but potato chips all day. Junk food. Empty calories. Empty minutes.

I miss my family. I really miss my family. It's going to be much harder than I thought to only have a cell phone one day a week... but at least I'll be busy inbetweentimes.

I'm going to go to the beach tomorrow. I know! Let's make it a date!! That'll be nice. I'm excited already.

I'm just so... frustrated with myself. God, I'm so afraid, all the time, and I hate it! I'm so sick of fear! I don't like how it feels, and I don't like how I can't just make a decision because I'm so afraid... and I don't like how I end up interacting with people because I'm afraid they'll _______. And I don't like how I end up avoiding you because I'm afraid that you're tired of me or whatever.

Joy and fear can't occupy the same space. I want to live a joyous life... but I feel as though I'm consumed by fear.

I don't understand what you mean when you say that perfect love casts out fear. I understand the part about fear involving torment... but I don't really understand how the perfect love casts out fear. Is this a trust thing again? It must be... for the basis of love is trust.

So... your love casts out my fear, then? But, like, how does that happen? I mean, am I just one day overwhelmed with your love and I'm never afraid again? Or is it a situation by situation thing? And what do I do about those situations where I have no Scriptures that speak to the issue? Like the song for D? I'm afraid, God. I'm afraid that I like him more than he likes me. I'm afraid that I might "smother" him. I'm afraid that he will be freaked out by the level of my investment in the relationship and leave. I'm afraid that he won't like it. I'm afraid he'll laugh at me. (Which is totally unlike him, but who said my fears had to be reasonable?) I'm afraid that he'll really like it, and I will have moved too fast, too soon. I'm afraid that the relationship will end and it will be my fault. I'm afraid of the potential for pain. I don't want to be hurt.

But I said that you are in charge of this relationship. If it ends, then that should be okay, because it only needs to keep going if it's what you've laid out for me.

I am grateful. I really am. I'm grateful that this is coming to my attention. I'm glad that I'm seeing the depth of fear's control over me, and glad that I want to change... because that's the beginning of change.

I'm still disappointed about CR... but I'm glad that I had this time to talk to you.

Please... cast out my fear. I mean it. I want it. God... I say this wincingly, but... do whatever it takes. You've got it in writing. I mean it. I'm done being controlled by fear. I want out.

Why am I still so controlled by fear?! How do I beat this?

I'm so FRUSTRATED!

I think this will be the focus for my next assault on dysfunction. Maybe H can help me untangle and unravel this... or maybe I'll pull out the big guns and give J a call.

(On the plus side... I found a church real close that has CR meetings! And it's my denomination that sponsors it! Even better. ^_^ That's what I'll be doing in... an hour. Or so.)

Sweet Adventure

I came up with the title before the song showed up, so... I may change it. It's still pliable at this point.

Fear had kept me in a prison for so long.
The scars of the past weighed heavy on my heart.
Paralyzed by the thought of choosing, and choosing wrong,
All I could do was pray, "Lord, give me a new start."

You are the beginning of a new adventure
You are the sound of cage doors swinging free
You are a gift to me from my heavenly Father
You are helping Him love me

Days stretch before me- who knows how they will end?
I know that God, He holds each one with eternity in view.
So unexpected are the blessings sent from His hand,
And I am so grateful He sent a friend in you.

You are the beginning of a new adventure
You are the sound of cage doors swinging free
You are a gift to me from my heavenly Father
And you are helping me to see
How much my Father loves me
So what, really is love?

What I mean is, how do you know when you love someone?

And by that, I mean how do you know you love someone beyond the principle of selfless love that we're supposed to have for all mankind?

Of course, by that I mean how do you know when you are in love with someone... romantically? (Enough to marry them?? 'Cause, really, you can love anyone, when you look at it from the standpoint of "love is a principle, not a feeling". You could marry anyone in the world and love them. But how do you know when you love them?)

I went to my friend's wedding shower. It was eye-opening, to say the least. I had a few revelations.

Firstly, this whole wedding thing is A LOT of work! Yikes!

Secondly, I realized that, though I daydream about being married sometimes, and I think about my wedding... the whole sex thing is scary! I'm not ready for this! Funnily enough, I've thought in the years since I left my fiance, Hmm. I miss sex. Boy, it'll be great to be married someday so I can do that again.

But with my poor, innocent eyes being barraged by a plethora of lingerie, I'm beginning to seriously reconsider my thoughts on the situation. I'm just not comfortable with the idea of anyone seeing my body but me. Even my husband. Especially my husband. I mean... what if he doesn't like it? What if he doesn't like me? I would feel so awkward parading around in basically nothing. I'm just not that confident. The thought is very, very scary. (Aaaaand cue fear of rejection.)

Thirdly... I don't really know how to process this, but the reason that my friend is getting married so quickly is that she has, as she puts it, a little sea-monkey on board. She assured me that they would have married anyway, and that they really do love each other.

I am not as devastated as I thought I might be, but I am disappointed. I mean... she was a spiritual mentor to me in the past, and I guess I had her on a pedestal. I realized that as I was thinking about this situation. I still love her, and dearly, but now, she's off the pedestal. We're shoulder to shoulder now. And that's probably healthier. I just wish it could have come about some other way.

I told her I was glad they were being responsible about it (because my biological dad ran away and wouldn't take responsibility for his procreative capabilities).

I'm not quite sure how I feel. I had confidently proclaimed to H, "If they're getting married this quickly, then I'm sure it's because the Lord is leading. I trust her relationship with God." It's not that one mistake makes me distrust her relationship with God, I'm just frustrated, I guess. Like, why would you even do that? You know it's a mistake! You knew when you were doing it! So why?

Well... I've been in that same place, so I guess I can't talk. I knew it was wrong, even while I was doing it... but I just wanted that comfort and solace so badly, and that's where I'd always found it before (at least temporarily). I was addicted, what can I say? Definitely a mistake... a series of mistakes, rather. But I never walked away with a sea monkey.

I've thought about it, and I'm actually grateful that D and I have a long distance relationship. It protects us from the physical desires that might spring up otherwise. We can focus on getting to know each other without that distraction. (Then again, my severe apprehension about the whole sex thing might really help keep me in check, too! lol)

I go through alternating bouts of security and apprehension/insecurity about the relationship. I know I love God, and I know he does, too... but is our relationship spiritual enough? Should we be, like, praying together or something? I mean, we have, but should it be a consistent thing? Are we supposed to talk about God in every conversation? Well, we kinda do, but... I mean... is it spiritual enough? Are we doing it right? I wish I had a blueprint right about now... *sigh*

I think I can say right now that, if things continue on as they are for a good length of time... I could see myself marrying him.

Scary, eh? Yeah. Big time scary. But that's what dating is about, after all... to see if you're compatible for marriage. God brought us together, so I'm just praying and trusting Him to lead the way. He knows. I am trying to focus on enjoying what we have now, and learning the lessons that God brings up. So far, I'm still stuck on fear.

I can't help but giggle a little inwardly when I think of our conversation yesterday. Not the whole conversation, but towards the end, he said, "Oh, I found a rock for you." I was, of course, happy- I love rocks and stones and sticks and feathers and so on, so forth. He went on to describe it- it's small, but it's a perfect heart. "It's even grey!" (My favorite color- he remembered :)  ) He said it might even be small enough to send in an envelope, which means I'll get it sometime during summer camp.

So, yes. My boyfriend found a perfectly heart shaped rock on the beach in my favorite color and saved it to give to me. If that isn't cute, I don't know what is! (I doubt he knows that gifts are my love language... I should probably inform him so he can be careful not to tap into that too much.)

I asked my mom that question about love that I started this post with. I asked it in the context of D, more specifically. "Mom, how do I know when I love him? 'Cause we've been dating three weeks, and I know I really like him... but how do you know when you cross that line?"

She told me, "You already love him."

"I beg your pardon?!"

"You already love him. You have a loving heart of compassion for people. You love him like God asks us to love others." She wasn't really able to answer my question fully, though, 'cause she knew I was talking about the romantic, I-wanna-marry-you love. She said she was the wrong person to ask. Lol. Yeah, maybe just a little... hehe. But I know I can be totally honest with her without fear of judgment or condemnation. Why are you asking that?! Too soon! You're thinking about this too soon! Go read some SOP and calm yourself down.

Juuuuust kidding. That's never actually happened to me. But that's the lingering fear that prevents me from freely seeking advice from some godly people. I'm afraid I'll get a lecture instead of genuine, compassionate counsel. I'm already slightly confused as it is. (I don't know what I'm doing, remember?) I'd rather not throw a whole bunch of "do it this way" voices in there and mix things up any further. I need to focus on God, on hearing HIS voice.

Oh, yeah. I wrote a song today. About D. This whole thing with my friend shook me up a little bit, so I was thinking, How do I really feel about this guy? So I wrote a song. But I'm not sure if I should give it to him or not. I really, really don't want to rush into anything, or push our relationship faster than it needs to go. It's not a mushy, romantic song. It's rather platonic, actually (at least I think it is). Uh, not that I feel platonic about D... Oh, my. This is getting confusing. I'll just post the lyrics and that can satisfy me for now. I'll pray about whether or not I ought to share with him.

I think I'm going to eat something and take a nap before I pick H up at the airport... at midnight.

I need to apologize to D. I've been adamantly insisting that I'm a night owl. I have realized that I am not, in fact, a night owl any longer.
We saw this in church today. I love it. Absolutely. It's, well... it's true.




"God, I've let you down so many times."
"No. You were never holding me up. I hold you up with my victorious, righteous right hand, and don't you forget that. In this relationship, I hold you up."
"...Okay."

Bam.
I had a weird dream last night... it had a lot to do with prayer, but it also had to do with witchcraft and weirdness. I was at an elementary school. As a matter of fact, I was an elementary schooler (sometimes). Other times, I was just myself. I kept falling asleep in class, but for some reason it was okay, because something drastic and devastating had just happened to K, my sister, so I was running on empty, basically.

And one time the teacher called on me to pray for the class as it ended. I stood and said, "Okay, let's pray to God." Some smart aleck in the back snorted and said, "Which god?" I replied, "Yahweh," and started praying. Simple prayers... like the ones I usually pray.

And then, at the end of the dream, my "partner" for something was, apparently, dabbling in witchcraft, and it somehow mysteriously rubbed off on me. (I know that's not how it works, but it did in the dream!) So I started getting this weird rash and sort of turning into a frog, but as I stumbled outside in horror, I saw my partner there. I ran over to her, but suddenly there were people everywhere- sitting in trees, walking towards us, etc. They were mostly kids our age. The weird thing was, they were chanting "Too old! Too old!" (Presumably, I was too old for... something.) She ran towards the swings, yelling and hollering about how they were coming for us, and the swings were our safety. When we finally made it to the swingset, she told me that they were usually good about leaving her alone when she was on the swings. By this time, I realized that they were, of course, "ghosts". (Yeah, I totally don't believe in ghosts. I know that they're basically demons in disguise.) But I was scared in the dream, so I kept swinging. Then, the unthinkable happened... I fell off of the swing. Hard. It hurt, too.

This blonde kid had been lurking around my swing, and now he walked over, presumably to attack me or somesuch. I kicked him, and all the other "ghosts" suddenly perked up, like "Whoa-ho-ho, we'll get her now!" He grabbed my arm, so I grabbed his leg, and I was desperately racking my brain for Scriptures to throw at him. I started praying aloud for God to do something, and finally a verse or two popped into my head, and I was basically rebuking the devil when I woke myself up.

Whew. What an adventure! It kind of scared me, though... I realized how limited my arsenal of Bible verses really is, if I were to find myself in some sort of crazy, devil-rebuking situation. Yeah. It's time to remedy that.

So, today, I'm going to my friend A's bridal shower. I've never been to one of these before, so it'll be neat, I'm sure. Plus I love A passionately, and I'm so excited to see her again! It's been... over a year. At least. Probably 2. And I'm so willing to drive 2 hours for this. Pah! What are 2 hours? Please. I'm so there.

And I got her a gift. I hope she likes it.
I've been reading Pilgrim's Progress through again lately. Since I haven't been feeling well for a day or two, I've made quite a bit of progress. (I'd say I'm about half through.)

I came to the part where Christian's burden is released- when he climbs to the top of Golgotha and views the Suffering One on the cross.

It occurred to me... I don't think I really get it. I've read the story of the crucifixion, and it has impacted me- don't get me wrong! But I don't think I truly, truly "get it".

I'm also reading another book, called "He Loves Me!", and I came across this series of quotes this morning.

"...it was not so incredible to Abraham when the God who had touched his life asked him to sacrifice his only son. All the other gods in Canaan did it, why not his? But this God was not a false god like the others deemed interested in human sacrifice. This was the true God. He was going to reveal himself to Abraham and wanted him to know this God had nothing in common with Molech, Baal, or Asherah."

"Abraham had faced the ultimate test in his growing trust in God. Even though he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, he discovered that God didn't really want or need the sacrifice." (The author means the act of a human sacrifice, not Abraham's willingness to sacrifice all for God.)

"In this one act, God drew a line that separated him from all the false gods men had ever created. The false gods demanded sacrifices for their own appeasement. This God provided the sacrifice we needed to finally cover our shame and allow us to know him as he really is."

That's when I knew that I didn't get it. I thought, Man, I'm so visual! If only there were some way that I could see it, I know it would impact me...


So I watched The Passion of the Christ, for the first time ever.

I'd been putting it off. I was scared. I knew that, once I watched it, those images would be seared into my brain forever...

And now I get it.

At least, more than I did before.

I cried. No, more than that- I sobbed, I screamed, I wept and I pleaded with the soldiers on the screen to just stop hurting him!! That's God! What are you doing?!

And as I watched Jesus being tortured, I thought about pain. I thought about the fact that I'm hurting today, and it's hard to walk. I compared my pain to his pain... yeah, right. Mine is but a wisp of a shadow, even when solely comparing the physical aspect. How could I ever claim that God does not understand pain??

I also thought about the marvelous machinery of the human body. I thought about how Jesus was there, creating Adam... tenderly and meticulously sculpting and arranging the various tissues, muscles and nerves. I thought a lot about nerve endings. I thought about how desperately, wickedly ironic it was that the very aspects of God's creation he formed with such delicate care were now being exploited and used against him. God made pain to protect... and now, he was subjected to the utmost limits of it.

I thought about my healing. I thought about how much hope I have found, how much happiness and joy... and I realized that this... this... unspeakably horrific and unutterably heroic moment in time is the underpinning and undergirding- the very backbone- of all the good things I have found. How can something so good come out of something so ghastly?

"By his stripes, we are healed."

As sobs racked my body, I realized with great clarity that this is the cost of healing. And he wanted to give that gift to me. He did it willingly... so that I might be free.

Amazing love... how can it be that you, my God, would die... for me?

What kind of God is this? What kind of person goes through that... willingly? What kind of a person is woven from the fibers of such pure LOVE that, after hours upon hours of unspeakable tortures, and in the midst of yet another brutal assault, they can crack open swollen, blood-drenched lips to rasp out, "Forgive them"?

If I never knew before, I know now... and I will serve this God for as long as I live.

Now I understand why the apostles were so fervent. They got it.
Weddings. They're on my mind.

Probably because so many friends of mine are "getting hitched", so to speak.

A favorite pastime of mine used to be planning my wedding... You know, colors, decorations, etc. I like to plan, and this is something fancy that is afar off in the future, so I don't have to stress about actually doing anything about it.

So last night, it hit me- planning fever. I literally could not sleep, because my mind was whirling with possibilities. I finally fell asleep... like, 45 minutes after I actually went to bed. (Which is a far cry from the usual 5-10 minutes it takes me to fall asleep.)

But, now I know what colors I'd have, what kind of bouquet, who my wedding coordinator will be, what food to have at the reception, what day of the week to have it, a vague notion of how I'd like to decorate the tables, who's going to play the music, what time of day to have the ceremony, the pastor that would marry me, a few possible places to have the wedding itself, and... oh, yes. I've got my dress, my hair, and my makeup down to a T. No shoes, though. I don't want to wear shoes.

Ugh. Wedding planning is like a candy... sweet at first, but too much makes you sick.

I think I'm done, for a loooong time.

I wander along the beach, refreshed by the stiff breeze and the salty tang that accompanies it. I can take my time, for there is no place I have to be just yet.

A glint of color catches my eye, and I stoop to pick up a fragment of a seashell. I'm sure it was a beautiful, harmonious whole once, but even now it is stunning.

I continue on, stopping frequently to pick up a piece of a shell here, a cracked sand dollar there, a colorful or interesting pebble, and my hands fill.

Smiling, I turn to my companion, showing him my brimming hands.

"Aren't they beautiful? I found them all myself! I don't know if I can make anything out of them, but they sure are pretty."

He smiles, and extends a large hand in my direction.

"May I have them?"

Hesitation grips me, and uncertainty churns within. Why does HE want them? What if he loses one? They're mine, after all. I don't have to share. Worse yet... what if he breaks them? No, I don't think I will...

Turning towards him once more, I steel myself to deliver the rejection, but when I catch sight of his face I remember that this is the one I trust. My heart melts, and I silently nod my approval.

He gently cups his hands around mine, swallowing them up, and I let my treasures tumble into his capable palms. Brushing errant grains of sand from my fingers, I step back to watch his response. After all, these are priceless and unique treasures- the epitome of beauty!

He smiles at me once more, an affectionate embrace from afar, and then... he flings my precious seashells far and wide. I am shocked. I cannot move. I cannot speak. I am, simply, outraged.

Before I can give vent to the seething emotions that have exploded within me, he takes my hand, and says, "Come with me."

Numbly, I follow, still trying to process this turn of events. I thought I could trust him. I thought he cared for me. Wasn't it obvious how highly I valued those little shell pieces? Why would he do something like that?

We round a graceful curve of beach, and before me lies an exquisite little cove, pristine and private. Its shimmering sands call an invitation, and on the sands lie... seashells. Beautiful, intact- each one is a work of art. They number in the thousands, a silent salute to lovers of beauty.

I turn to my companion, not understanding.

"Do I.... do I get to pick one?"

He throws his head back, laughter cascading into the cool ocean air. Pulling me closely to his side, he whispers into my ear, "I'm giving you the whole thing."

I went to go set the time on my Mac. The time zone setting has a box you can check, which says, "Set time zone automatically using current location". I checked the box, and it then popped up a notification saying, "Acquiring location". About 5 seconds later, my computer showed the name of the suburb I'm sitting in and set the time zone for me.

Am I the only one a little unnerved by this? I mean... my computer knows almost exactly where I'm at... after only a few seconds.

I'm no conspiracy theorist, but yikes. It's kind of freaky to realize that this kind of technology makes it very, very easy to keep tabs on a person, should they be the type of person that tabs need to be kept on.

Hello, end times.
Tomorrow is the last day that I visit schools. That went fast.

It was both easier and tougher than I thought it would be.

I had way more fun than I thought I would, but I really struggled with the initial appointment-setting.

Driving around LA wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be. I've only gotten lost once, and traffic can be avoided or tolerated.

Interestingly, I struggled with intimidation sometimes, usually with 6th, 7th, or 8th graders. It seems like, when talking to those grades, it can either be really good, or really awkward. I love that age group, and I think I connect with them better than with the smaller children. But when they're just not really responding, it's tempting to try to change myself to be what they want and what they expect (or what I think they want and expect!). However, I have not given into this temptation, or staggered under the weight of intimidation. I've decided to just be myself, and they can take it or leave it. I'm older than they are, after all. I've had more experience. I know who I am. They're the ones changing, not me.

It was good practice for the summer. Sure, it was just a smidge of interaction, but I'm sure that I'll feel the pressure to be "cool" in their eyes later on as well. Everyone wants to be wanted. But I'm not going to alter myself for them... especially when I don't really know what's going on in their heads! They may be thinking the total opposite of what I'm thinking they're thinking!

So it's been good. I'm looking forward to the summer itself, when I get to work more hands-on with the kids. But I definitely know now that God has given me the gift of connection- being able to connect with adults and kids alike. People just like me. I don't know why. Granted, not everyone does, but most people do. That will definitely be to my advantage in ministry. (I wonder what picture this puzzle piece will fit into?)

So, basically, time has flown, and I'm not sure where it all went! I'll be working at Camp on the weekends,  but I'll have the week free. I'll have to create a schedule for myself so I won't go absolutely bananas. Something like, Monday: Do 1 ch. classical guitar; Tuesday: Do one ch. Dave Ramsey book; Weds: Cel. Rec. and talk to H; Thurs: Go grocery shopping, make food for weekend; Fri: Clean apartment, head to camp; Sunday: head home, do laundry. (Or maybe I'll be going up on Thursday and coming back on Monday? I dunno.)

One of the blogs I follow, Single Dad Laughing, has just come out with a book. It's called "The Real Dad Rules". It's interesting, because this guy is not Christian, as far as I can tell. He believes in a lot of the Christian philosophies, but he's not a professing Christ-follower. However, he sees the need that a lot of us Christians (especially us girls at SOULS!) have seen as well- "Where are the men?" Our world needs men that will stand up and be real men! He notes the degeneration of the family unit, and talks pretty plainly about it... and it amazes me because we don't necessarily share the same point of view, but we both see the glaring need. I'm looking for godly men that will stand up and be the husbands and fathers that God has called them to be. He's looking for the same thing, but without God in the mix. It's just really neat to hear a man saying that, and calling other men to a higher standard. (Finally!)
I like talking to him. Really.

He's funny, but it's not a conversation filled with hollow laughter. He knows how to talk about real stuff, too.

He asks me how my day was, I'll give him a synopsis of a few words, and he'll say, "Tell me about it." I love that.

He's concerned for my safety. I'm supposed to go buy some pepper spray now.

He totally supports what I'm doing with the kids for Camp _____.

I like the lists of questions that we ask each other. It's fun to get to know him.

The more I get to know him, the happier I am about the man I find.

And he loves the Lord, too? Shoot. Wrap him up. I'll take him home. ;)
It's concluded for now, anyway. I'm going to uphold and maintain my boundaries, for sure. I'm just still not sure of what to think about B and where he's coming from. I want a friendship with him, but... not at the cost of my soul. (I'm not being dramatic, either. To refuse to stand up for myself on this matter would be a regression to fear-based silence, and the longer I do it, the harder it is to remember how to healthfully deal with conflict. And, as I think about it, it's funny how silence is really the wisest thing in some cases, but in others... you really have to say something. Same principle, different applications...)

The last few emails read this way:


C,  please totally disreguard my last letter, the one just befor this one.
I feel like I just need to tell you that I am very, very sorry for causing you the pain and anguish that you described.
You are fully justified in your accusations against me. I have no excuse  to offer. And I'm really feelling lousy about it.

B,

Thank you for your apology. I really appreciate it. I forgive you.
C



C,

Thankyou.
I spent Sabbath evening up in the mountains, stayed the night, then took a very long hike this morning. My heart was extremely, heavy over our recent correspondence; however the morning was extremely beautiful, the sun was shining, the air was warm, the signs of spring were every where. After two hours into my hike I came to a beautiful Cedar grove with beams of sunlight shining through, it was the perfect time and environment to talk to God. After sharing my burdens and shedding a few tears, I asked the Lord for some evidence that it will be okay. As I got up from my knees my burden was gone. I don't think I had ever experienced that in such a tangible way.
I had only been back at the shop for less than an hour, after putting my things away and making some toast, I sat down at the desk and read your e-mail. Thank you for being the answer to my prayer; thank you for bringing a beautiful day to a beautiful ending. Thank-you for you.
B

Well... at least he's not saying "I love you" anymore. That's progress.

But I still sense undertones of... whatever's been going on lately. "Thank you for you." 

Sigh. We'll get over this one way or another, I'm sure.
I have gotten A LOT done today! I went to work, went shopping for a friend's bridal shower gift, tidied the apartment, did the dishes, wrote and sent my thank-you cards for today and last Friday, e-mailed a large batch of GF recipes, and now... blogging. At last! :) All that's left to do today is wrap the present, make lunch for tomorrow, and talk to D. He said he was going to call last night, but, well, I went to the symphony, so he didn't.

I went to the symphony! For the first time ever! It was wonderful. We dressed up (even though we were all dog tired!) and caught the last symphony of the season. I was really impressed by how unified all the musicians were. I had never seen that many people playing in such perfect rhythm and harmony before. It was a beautiful sight... so complementary to the melodious strains that boldly flung themselves at our balcony seats.

(You're not supposed to take pictures... so I waited until there was a break to take one.)

Even the building was beautiful. The outside was brick and cement, beautifully styled, but the inside of the theater was even lovelier. The soft, muted colors really lent an elegance and luxury that I didn't expect.
So, basically, we had a grand time. But, oh, we were so exhausted when we got home!

H and I had worked the constituency meeting that day (which was a giant board meeting for about 900 people to decide who they wanted to be the leaders of this conference for the next 4 years), which meant that we had to be there at 6:45 a.m. Ugh, ugh, and again, ugh. I'm a morning person by cultivation, not inclination... meaning that I still have a long ways to go before I actually enjoy dragging my carcass out of bed before sunrise.

I didn't really have much to do in the way of work, though. We thought there would be far fewer volunteers than there were, so I got to sit in on most of the meeting. (Most of the work was at the end... cleaning up after a thousand people! Yikes.)

It was... interesting. Sure, sometimes it was boring, because I don't really care about bylaws, or the conference's interest rate on some of their debts. But I did get to witness a large range of human emotion. People watching was fascinating. I don't really know how to put it into words, but I feel like I learned something yesterday, something about people. I just can't put my finger on it.

I really, really want to go wrap that present now. Perhaps I'll get back to this later. We'll see.
"One can obey God and yet not trust him, and in doing so miss out on a relationship with him. One cannot, however, trust God and be disobedient to him. For we shall see that all disobedience flows out of mistrust in God's nature and of his intentions toward us.

Thus the experience in the Garden wasn't to demand their obedience but to incubate their trust. He knew that the first step toward him might well be a step away from him in disobedience. He knew the lesson would be painful and costly- for him most of all- but he chose it because he desired people who would relate to him in love rather than obey him in fear. It would have been far easier to accomplish the latter, but God knew that love could flourish only where trust does, and that real trust could emerge only where people were free to reject it."

It really is easier to obey God out of fear than to trust him, and, in effect, to love him. Easier, sure... but way, way less fulfilling.

I would not trade my life now (and the consequent relationship with God) for any of the previous years of my life... no matter how much I thought I had what I wanted.


Seriously. I've processed through some of this stuff, but I just haven't been able to blog it down. (The time I was going to- all raring to go!- blogger was down. Bummer.)

Also, received another letter from B. An apology. An actual apology.

And D and I have had several talks, many of which have been enlightening... and nice :)

Life. It flows so fast. How can I keep up?!?!?!
And so the drama continues...


C,
Your letter was written with a double edged sword.
 My response demands a level of honesty that can only be given by the help of God's Spirit. In an attitude of prayer I will be as honest and transparent as I possibly can be.
C, I hate with a bitter hatred what a sin sick man did to you, did to my x-wife, did to foster children we've taken into our home, and the thousands of other children who's lives have been violated; all for the perverted satisfaction of sexual desire. I have purposefully denied myself the gradification of that pleasure, in every way for the last ten years. If the lord has for me to live the remainder of my days celibate, I'm okay with that. 
You used the word "platonic",  that's not a word I use every day, if I understand it's meaning then I guess that is the discription of every female relation I've had since my devorce, including you. I'm telling you this just in case you misunderstood what I meant in the way I used the term “very warm affections”. Bad choice of words,  I'm sorry. After re-reading your discription of how you felt by what I said, I'm feeling offended by your not giving me the benifit of doubt.  I can not think of anything I ever said or did that was ever suggestive in any way. I just would not do that to you.
Although I more than qualify to be a father figure to you, I never thought of myself as that to you; thank you; I'm honored. I have considered it a privilege just to be your friend. Every time I catch myself entertaining thoughts or feelings beyond that, I do a reality check on myself by reminding myself that there is a wall between us that is 36 years thick.
My experience at the springs was VERY significant for me. Up untill that time I really was uncertant about my feelings for you, whether they were pure or selfish,  I was very satisfied to realize that my thoughts toward you were for your peace and safety; not desire.
God be with you.
love you


STOP SAYING YOU LOVE ME!

I don't WANT you to love me! I want you to leave me alone!

So, basically, this letter means that I did, in fact misconstrue everything, that I am crazy, and that I am still not over the nasty habit of romanticizing/sexualizing relationships.

I cried when I read it. Because it means that I'm crazy. It means that I can't trust my perception of reality. It means that I'm still irreparably damaged... that I'm still acting in dysfunctional ways, even when I thought I had healed so much. It means that I'm still screwed up.

It means that our friendship actually was okay, and I just killed it.

It means that I'm panicking about my relationship with D, because if I can do something so wacko to a simple friendship, what in the world will I do to him?

Am I just so unused to male relationships that I can't bear getting close? Am I overreacting?

Something inside me says that I'm justified in feeling the way I do. I don't know if it's truth inside me that's saying that, or dysfunction.

But seriously... looking at the last letter... you don't just talk about lonely hearts and painful days and whatnot... do you?

I DID give you the benefit of the doubt! For an entire year! Until you started getting all weird on me! Don't you understand that it doesn't have to be sexually suggestive to be freaking inappropriate?!

I don't know what to believe anymore.

God... how do I love him like you love him? Seriously. I don't want to hate him. I want to love him like you love him, because you love him. I guess it's good practice...

But I still feel like he's backpedaling... at least a little...
That's what my aol screen tells me. I did it. I really did it.

B,
I appreciate your honesty. It helps me to understand your side of the scenario, and where you are coming from. You’ve been clear about your feelings, the “very warm affections”. That, however, is part of the problem.
I’ll get into the reasoning behind it in a moment, but you need to know that the knowledge of your affections towards me is extremely troubling. That is the reason why I  am uncomfortable working with you in the shop, and why I won’t be coming back as your employee. If we are going to continue working together in a ministry capacity, I need you to stifle those feelings. I don’t want to know. You told me previously that you gained a victory in that regards the night you spent in the hot springs- please follow through on that.
I don’t know if you understand the depth of turbulence I have experienced because of this situation, but it has been, well, traumatic. Why?
When I first met you, it was in the capacity of church elder to Bible worker. That’s been the basis of my thoughts toward you- someone I can look to for spiritual guidance. Then, we became ministry partners, and I also became your employee. In the midst of all that, a friendship was formed. As you know, I’ve had a dearth of solid male role models in my life, and without realizing it, I was looking to you as such. Our friendship was treasured to me, because I could trust you. I looked to you as a father figure, and thought that you saw me as a daughter, nothing more.
Then, when I figured out that you had developed an interest in me that was more than platonic, I was shattered. Actually, shattered is not quite the right word... there are a series of words that would be more accurate: devastated, angry, shocked, guilty, grieving, and even violated. You know my history, at least some. My “father” was the very one who perpetrated such evils against me, and it seemed as though I was re-living the same scenario all over again. I was angry, because I thought that you, of all people, would have understood this. I was also angry (and grieving, and shocked, and devastated) because, to me, our friendship is tainted and soiled. My trust in you was broken. Our friendship can never go back to the way it was, and I am saddened. 
You’re right- we had a great time together. But now... your displays of affection make me uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. As I said before, if we’re going to work together in a ministry capacity, I need to know that you will be able to keep things at a very strictly platonic level, or I will not be able to continue.
I’m sorry that our friendship had to take this turn, but I’m grateful for the fact that I can be honest with you.
Sincerely,
C
I'm setting them, and I'm enforcing them.

With B, of course.

I'm still trying to sort through all this... but I do know that, given the fact that I was clear that there will be nothing between us in the future romantically, it's inappropriate for him to continue talking the way he is, and especially saying he loves me. He may not see anything wrong with it, but it makes me uncomfortable, and it dredges up the hurt of the past. I want him to stop.

So I'm setting boundaries.

Oh, Lord... here we go...
(Okay, that one WAS intentional, K!)

B replied to my email of yesterday. Apparently, he still doesn't see the error of his ways... at least, that's the sense I'm getting. It's like he thinks that everything is hunky dory, but, oh, C is a little uncomfortable for reasons unknown. Here's his response.


Hey, Howdy to you!
Now I need to be really honest with you. When you left, that was a very painful day for me.
I accidently drilled though my fingernail with the paper drill, oh how that hurt! For two weeks I had to keep my finger taped up to prevent the nail from coming off.

On a more serious note, I have to disagree with you about the awkward thing, I thought the time we were spending together was great. 
Okay, maybe for me alittle too great; and now that your at a safe distance I'll admit that I was allowing myself to develope very warm affections for you. So much so it was becoming increasingly more difficult to stay focused on my work.... "Oh where were my thoughts as I stared at the razor sharp edge of the drill baring down on the end of my finger?........ Was it the smell of burning flesh and nail or the sight of crimson blood flinging around the drill that finally convinced me that the pain I was feeling was not from a lonely heart".

I'll try again to be serious. C, I apologize if I ever did or said anything to made you feel  uncomfortable. I realized that too many times we were in situations that were compromised, I'll take the blame for that. However you might take some of the blame for being such a kick to be with.

One more apology. D might have told you that the last two nights of R-ball we talked. I know you asked me not to, but I have to say that I felt impressed. I even prayed, "Lord if you want me to have a talk with D, provide the opportunity." He did; in a very obvious way. I truly hope that whatever may have come after,  is in perfect harmony with His will for the both of you. I was not surprised to learn that he felt every bit the same about you, as you told me, you did for him.  (I won't mettle any further). I think D can be a strength for you, and you him, as long as your commitment to God comes first.

Did you know that California grows on people like facial hair?

I hope your experience there is a strength to your faith, if it's not, bail out and come home.

love you,
B


Really? Really?! Ugh... the bilious, awkward feelings are puddling in my solar plexus again...

Yes. It's my fault for being such a kick to be with.

Not.

Whatever. I don't have sufficient sarcasm reserves to deal with this right now. I'm going for a walk!!
Triumphant Tales
- I am doing my job, and doing it well.
- I've been consistently achieving my goal of having morning quiet time.
- I've been eating healthfully and well.
- I've been getting (more) consistent exercise- mostly walking.
- I finally got my thyroid prescription! (After trying to get it filled for a week and a half...)

Thankfuls
- A super awesome roommate and a really nice apartment
- Cell phones
- Answered prayers
- Family
- D
- ID friends
- Sunshine
- Gas in my tank
- Safe food!
- A friend's upcoming wedding
- A super amazing sister and her words of encouragement

Thoughts to Ponder
- Worth is subjective. If God thinks I'm worth it, then...
- My response is my responsibility. Your response is your responsibility. (Not mine.)
- I can survive all of my feelings, even if the experience is very uncomfortable. (Thanks, Chrysalis!)
Yeah, I did it. I wrote him an email.

I needed to let him know that I'm not coming back to work in the shop after the summer.

I prayed over it... I hope it came out okay.

"Hey B!
Greetings from California. (You know, it’s actually not as bad as I thought it’d be. It’s starting to grow on me.) I hear that you all have been having awfully cold weather up there, so I’m pretty glad I took off when I did!
How is racquetball going? It hasn’t died out yet, I trust... since I’ve been talking to people who still go. (I HOPE it doesn’t die out! I’m gonna need to get back into the swing of things when I get back. Get it? Swing? lol.) And did you guys ever actually go to the hot springs down by the G’s place? I know the group was pretty stoked about that.
I do need to let you know that you should put out a “help wanted” sign for after K leaves. I’m going to be honest with you- the situation that developed before I left for CA was really awkward, and I don’t feel comfortable working in the shop anymore. That doesn’t mean that youth group is out, but I think we were just spending too much time together. Sorry to change plans on you like that.
I hope all is going well in Idaho. I miss the scenery quite a bit, and the church, too! Can you pass on my greetings to the church family? Thanks.
Have a great day!
C"

Yeah... I just hope that I wasn't seriously, totally reading something into his words and actions that wasn't there. (When there's not an explicit admission of interest, you just never really know, I guess...)

Btw...

I'm excited.

I get to talk to D tonight.

Whoo!

Okay. I'm done.