For today... Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Outside my window... It's dark, but I know that there's a slight, chill wind. The colorful leaves have dropped from the trees, and winter is making a charcoal sketch of the landscape.

I am thinking... of what all I need and want to accomplish in the next few days, before work strikes again. I'm also thinking of how good our Adventurer meeting was today, and how worth it it is... inconvenient or no.

I am thankful... for today. For responsibilities (they're a sign I can be trusted, no?). For friends. For cell phones. For scented wax warmers.

From the learning room... I know what to do in case of a downed power line on my car now, even if the car catches fire. There's an upside to teaching kids about safety-- you learn about it, too!

I am wearing... wool socks, grey capris, large hunter green shirt, larger red flannel shirt over top, and headphones.

I am going... nowhere in particular. (Wow. Haven't said that in a while!)

I am reading...  about the origins of holidays, esp. Christmas. It basically has nothing to do with Jesus. At all. And everything to do with the pagan gods of yore. Bummer.

I am hoping... that D will find it within himself to allow a modicum of communication to pass from himself to me once more. Hoping that my paycheck is sufficient to cover my needs and yet be able to save some money for gas to get down South.

I am looking forward to... getting this whole Christmas concert OVER with.

I am hearing... Nothing. I've got my headphones in, but I stopped listening to music, for some reason. I guess I'll turn the Brothers Frantzich back on.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Clean my car. Thin out my belongings (again). Begin calling churches around the area of my school to see if anyone's willing to put me up for a few months. Working on scholarships/financial aid stuff for school. Visiting a friend. Working on Christmas concert plans. Planning for the next Adventurer meeting (again). Work. Possibly a dr's appointment. Racquetball. Work on Christmas presents. That's probably about it.

Here is a "picture for thought" I am sharing:

I had a good chat with my friend J today. She's on the verge of a relationship, and I'm very happy for her. He seems like a really solid, nice guy, and she deserves that. She's pretty amazing. She needs someone good. Anything less and, well... I just can't see her with someone not totally awesome. Her standards are too high.

I shared with her about the confusing text from D, and we talked about him a little bit. What she told me made sense, and having those thoughts bouncing around in my head helped to crystallize some thought processes that were in the works, so as I continued thinking while at work, I came to some realizations.

One thing J said was, "A bird can love a fish, but where will they live?" And she knows this from experience, having been in a similar situation not too long ago. She loved this guy, more or less, but realized that it was not "right". They would not make a good match in the long run, so she ended it.

Another thing she said was that she thinks that I need to do better. Then she rephrased it--"not necessarily a better person, but a better match".

That helped sort of bump me over a mental block I'd been having. A few people have told me, "You can do better," but I think, how? He's such a great person! But we definitely do have clashes in values. It's not that he's not a good person, it's that we're not necessarily a great match.

As I talked with his mom some time ago, I realized, Whoa! I am really not the girl for him! I mean, I could try to be what I think he wants, but how lame is that? Who wants to spend their life pretending?

So, this bird loves a fish, but truly, where would we live?

Anyway, I realized later on in the day... it dawned upon me... I can say no. Just because he says he needs me doesn't mean that I am automatically tied to him. I can say no, and I'll be okay, and he'll be okay. His world will not end, and neither will mine.

You see, growing up in dysfunction and abuse, "No" didn't mean much. In fact, if I said "No", I might lose love. The desire for love is a driving factor in a lot of my choices, or at least, it has been. And deep down I'm fearful that if I say "No", then I will be losing my chance, forever. If I don't seize the opportunity of someone who likes me, I'll be alone forever. So, even though it's not ideal, it's better than nothing, right?

Fortunately, that's not actually true.

I thought to myself earlier today, Why did he have to text me?! If only I could just say "no" and move on with my life!...

Later I realized... I can. Yes, I can. Just because he's longing or lonely or whatever in no way means that I am obligated to reciprocate.

Wow! Does anyone else realize how earth-shattering these realizations are?! I am not obligated to reciprocate!

And I thought to myself, Boy, it sure is flattering to be needed... but don't let yourself be flattered and beguiled into the wrong decision. That's how Eve went down.

 It's just exciting to me to see how God's bringing me along. Used to be that I could not walk away from a potential relationship.

Don't get me wrong-- I'd love to date him again. I mean, I really like him. But I don't think that, at this point, it's best for either of us.

Ah, well, people change their minds all the time. My actions may switch around, BUT these realizations stand!
Today was significant.

I spent more money than I'm comfortable with, but it was all on necessities (vet bills, car repairs... those can sure add up!). Got my poor epileptic kitty on meds, which is good, and got de-worming meds and ear mite meds for cats across the board. (That's what was so expensive! Five cats on two different types of medicines?! Gee whilliker!)

I got a lot accomplished at work, and I'm feeling good about the rest of the week. I was daunted by the amount of work my boss seems to think I can accomplish, but I'm beginning to think she might be right. Also, these longer hours are translating to a good paycheck for me later, which I can definitely use.

We had our first practice for the Christmas Concert. I see some bugs that need to be worked out, but I think it will go okay. Our group of kids is so spastic and hyperactive, it's unreal! But, hey, that's what happens when you work with kids, eh? Fortunately, all the parents are on board behind me, so I don't feel quite exactly like I'm drowning. But the thought of trying to iron out any more details is, well... overwhelming. *sigh*

Upon arriving home, I checked my email to find that I'm accepted into the school in California! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! I made it! :)

That means I'll really and truly be heading down south in just a few short weeks. Eight, to be exact. That's two months. And I know I've been itching to be on my own and independent lately, but today I realized... I need to slow down and enjoy this time here. It's all I've got left. Once it's over, it's over. I'm not coming back, at least not in this same way. I won't be living with the S's anymore. Hmm. What an odd thought. I'm leaving home, for good. (Ahhh!)

Fly free, little birdie.

On another note of craziness... got a text from D last night. Totally unexpected, and the content was more than unexpected. The first thing I see is a gorgeous picture of the sun reflecting off of completely snow-covered mountains rising above a road and a stretch of snow and bare trees. Then, as I scroll down, I read this message:

Working in Valdez, ak. its strange but i have been thinking about u. i know u r what i need. but i cant stop chasing what i want. i think about u a lot and that scares me. u r in my prayers.

Needless to say, I freaked out and ran to C's room so she could pray with me. That helped me re-focus, and I went to bed... but I thought about it throughout the day today. Basically, the conclusion I came to is this: I need to leave him right where I found him-- in the hands of God. I can't do anything about this situation, nor is it my place to. This is something he has to work out between himself, God, and his own heart. So I'm praying for him, but I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing... just being a friend. Praying for him. Going forward with what I feel God is calling me to.

I've learned quite a bit since our breakup, but I know I still have a long way to go.

It's just hard, because... I thought we were done. And now my heart is aching a little again.

Like, seriously... what does that even mean?!

I did reply, though. I didn't just leave him hanging. That would be cruel! I recognize that it took a lot of guts for him to send that. I wrote back:

I thank you for your honesty. i have no idea how to respond to that... i thought we were done, so it's confusing to me. you're in my prayers too.

*sigh* Boys...
For today... Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Outside my window... It's dark... as it always is when internet is on these days.

I am thinking... of school, of the many projects which I find myself ensconced in, of how life is comprised of the daily struggles and toils and is yet somehow more than that...

I am thankful... for our country. For religious freedom. For plenty of food, shelter, and love. For a job.

From the learning room... Colossians 2 doesn't mean what I was always taught it meant. It's amazing what you learn when you actually stop and look at things.

I am wearing... a red sweater (actually, it's on the floor beside me, but it'll be on again before I get up and walk out of the room), black undershirt, denim skirt, leggings, navy blue long socks, wool socks.

I am going... to the vet tomorrow!

I am reading... poetry. Lots and lots of poetry.

I am hoping... that the Christmas concert will go well... and won't flop.

I am looking forward to... independence. Moving. Why? Just because.

I am hearing... Cat grooming himself, the typing of the rest of the familia on their computers, J chuckling to herself, the fire crackling in the stove.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work. Take cats to vet. Finish up Adventurer details. Christmas Concert practice. Work on parting gifts. Thanksgiving dinner with the neighbors, then Thanksgiving dinner with the fam on a different day.

Here is a "picture for thought" I am sharing:

Actually, that's not true. I am just having a hard time adjusting to the "workaday world" after spending several months unemployed. And, for the past several years, I've been working several odd jobs/part time jobs at the same time, so I'm always doing something different. Now, I'm doing a bunch of volunteer stuff, but only one job, so... the job takes precedence. And they're milking it.

It's decorating season. I pulled an 11-hour shift yesterday, decorating the shop in the morning and then frantically trying to catch up on the day's dishes, and the dishes from the day before (as they somehow neglected to bring in a dishwasher?). On top of that, it was Tuesday, which is the delivery day for all the groceries for the next week.

I'm tired.

And I wonder... can I really pull off working part time and going to school?

I will, because I have to, it's just... I had no idea how well-rested I was when I was unemployed! lol

You know what, though? I praise God, because my body is able to handle what it could not have handled before. I'm tired, sure, but I'm not flat-out exhausted, wiped out, unable to function. I still have gumption left.

And, tomorrow, Youth Group is going backpacking, and I'm going with them.


Dodge 3500

The brain amazes me. Truly.

Today, I worked overtime. While I was moving Christmas decorations from the warehouse to the coffee shop, I had to use the owner's big, BIG Doge 3500 truck. It was a standard transmission. I haven't driven standard in... in... um... Yeah, well, it's been that long!

And I knew exactly what to do. My feet and hands didn't skip a beat, even when I had to press the clutch, step on the brake, shift into the next gear, and switch on the turn signal all at the same time!


It takes almost as much coordination as playing the piano. I thought I was just practicing special music for church, but no! I was practicing driving at the same time! LOL
For today... Sunday, November 13, 2011

Outside my window... The wind is moaning and crying.

I am thinking... of my very first canning adventure by myself, and hoping it goes well (an hour and a half!)... of the lunch I'm going to make to take with me to work tomorrow... of how happy I am that my potato curry turned out well... of how many applications I'm going to have to fill out before I'm finally in the school doors!... of my plans to switch my car for a truck, and how to achieve that...

I am thankful... for rice cakes, peanut butter, and fruit.

From the learning room... nothing much. Haven't gotten back to my neurochemicals. :(

I am wearing... a knitted grey beanie, a tie-dyed robe (blue, purple, and green), a grey shirt, blue "life is good" sweatpants, and white socks.

I am going... to can green tomato pickles... to finish this job application!... to be prepared for my early departure to work tomorrow, food-wise and sleep-wise... to get more food.

I am reading... I gave up on reading this week. Too much to do. Wait! I take that back! I read a piece or two of poetry.

I am hoping... to add more beautiful, wonderful classical music to my tape collection.

I am looking forward to... decorating the bakery with Christmas decorations! (and getting paid for it! hehe)

I am hearing... myself chewing grapes, the family discussing supper logistics ("K, you don't have a bowl yet, do you?" "No, I don't."), the lack of wind (surprisingly!).

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work a couple of long days. Finish Adventurer stuff. Hammer away at the Christmas Program. Backpack into the hot springs with the youth group. Sleep in the hot springs ;) Set and maintain my adult, thought-through boundary/decision to take time for myself and God this coming Sabbath and forego the door-knocking festivities planned. Do some more applications.

Here is a "picture for thought" I am sharing:
For today... Monday, November 7, 2011

Outside my window... It's dark. Night fell several hours ago.

I am thinking... of whether or not I ought to continue working at the Bakery... damaging my health... but I could use the money... and how my dopamine reward system is functioning well, rewarding me for the excitement and risk of taking steps toward independence.

I am thankful... for the life I live.

From the learning room... Reading "Hooked", and learning about neurochemicals and neurohormones. Fascinating, really.

I am wearing... a comfy, oversized shirt and my "life is good" sweatpants. They don't match. Oh, and wool socks.

I am going... to bed, sometime soon! I hope. And I am going to put on a pot of beans before I go.

I am reading... the Little House on the Prairie series. Again.

I am hoping... to be a good influence on my co-workers.

I am looking forward to... sleeeeeeeeep!

I am hearing... K and C commenting on some fb pictures of friends of theirs, the dryer methodically tossing its load, and cats grooming themselves. (I've got one on the left, and one on the right, both doing the same thing, so I hear it in stereo! lol)

A few plans for the rest of the week: Work. Get my tires switched over. I want to can green tomato pickles!! Send in my completed application for school, and begin work on scholarship applications. Racquetball. Practice my special music.

Here is a "picture for thought" I am sharing:

(How much my life has changed! C and I had planned to marry on Nov. 11, 2008. Now, almost 3 years later... I'm preparing to go away to school. Single. And content. Amazing.)
Lately, I've been running in place.

You know... running away, without actually going anywhere.

This, from the girl who talked to a support group about how to break the cycle of "survival mode".

I'm still in survival mode.

Although C and I had that talk, it didn't do what maybe she thought it would do. I launched myself into full-scale defense mode-- shut down, withdraw, and survive.

And yet... I know there's been progress, because I can feel the difference. I know what's happening, although I don't know how to stop it... and God's been talking to me.

I realized that the conscious commitment I made to not be hurt anymore is the response of a fallen heart trying to deal with its pain. That's understandable, but not healthy or helpful.

But what do I do with my overwhelming, overpowering desire to be safe? I'm beginning to think that my definition of "safe" and God's definition of "safe" are fundamentally different. My way of being safe is to distance myself, put up walls, and subdue any longings or desires that might lead to an awakening of my heart. If those longings are aroused, and then unmet, or worse, purposely thwarted, well... that could and would be devastating. It's "safer" to not take the risk at all.

And I had decided that I wasn't going to take the risk anymore. No, sir. I can still be pleasant, I can still have friends, but there was a large, padlocked gate re-erected that said, "Hither, and no further" in large, red letters.

And God is trying to talk me out of it. I agree with him, on certain levels, but I'm still just so afraid... afraid of hurting, of pain, of... broken relationships. Of dashed hopes. Of being known, really known, and then abandoned. It's happened too much.

So... what's God's definition of safety?

All I know is that he said, "I'll always be there."

Is that enough? Can I trust that?

I want to.

Running in place... running against the wind.

I'm not getting anywhere... but it's better than not doing anything, right? ;)

I'm trying to be healthy, I really am.
Just got this message on fb from C:

"Update on D! D is recovery nicely! He is staying awake for longer periods. His is sitting up and walking 2 times a day. Still feels wiped out which is normal. They are looking at possible release date on Sabbath. Nurse Anesthetist came in yesterday and told us a little more of the surgery. Said is was a very big procedure, one of the biggest. The cancer was very extensive and they took a picture of the tumors. He wanted to do a case study on D because he said he would probably never see a surgery like this again in his whole career. I always knew D was a rare find."
...I enjoyed work yesterday. I awoke heavy with the dread of it, but found myself smiling, laughing, meeting and enjoying the challenges of the day, and, indeed, finishing well.

What a gift from God. I surely didn't expect that.

D's doing as well as can be expected. I don't really have any news other than that. Here's an excerpt from a letter I'm writing to a friend:

"I don't feel anything about the situation. Not scared or upset or relieved or pensive or... anything. Before they left, I did choke up at the thought of him not coming back, but since then... I guess I've realized that he's not my father. I'd be very, very grieved if he were to pass away, but... not in the same way that J or K would. I have R, but truly... I have no father but God. Maybe that's what it is? I dunno. It's just rather weird to be so apathetic in the midst of such a maelstrom of emotion.

Another thing that's weird is this juxtaposition of two very distinct seasons of life-- D's life may very well be drawing to a close. Yet, in the midst of this "Autumn", my plans for the future are coming together-- "Spring", as it were. It's like kicking through the fall leaves and uncovering a daffodil. The two are seemingly incongruous, yet the sheer impossibility of it lends a majesty, solemnity, and beauty that would not otherwise be there. A daffodil doesn't stop you in your tracks when they are all in bloom. And I feel that, because of the solemn circumstances that surround my plan-laying (a cocoon comes to mind), I am receiving a special gift. I don't know what it is yet, but I can feel that important pieces are being laid in place. Something big is coming, and with the passing of time, I will look back on my daffodil amongst the leaves with gratitude and awe. Yes, and reverence too, for I know that God is weaving himself into every little detail."

That's where I am right now.