Tired after a long day at work? Solution: carbs and simple sugars.

Juice and pasta for supper!! :-D
"Stop judging and evaluating yourself, for this is not your role. Above all, stop comparing yourself with other people. This produces feelings of pride or inferiority; sometimes a mixture of both. I lead each of My children along a path that is uniquely tailor-made for him or her. Comparing is not only wrong; it is also meaningless.

Don't look for affirmation in the wrong places: your own evaluations, or those of other people. The only source of real affirmation is My unconditional Love. Many believers perceive me as an unpleasable Judge, angrily searching out their faults and failures. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I died for your sins, so that I might clothe you in My garments of salvation. This is how I see you: radiant in My robe of righteousness. When I discipline you, it is never in anger or disgust; it is to prepare you for face-to-Face fellowship with Me throughout all eternity. Immerse yourself in My loving Presence. Be receptive to My affirmation, which flows continually from the throne of grace."

Luke 6:37; John 3:16-7; Isaiah 61:10 (NASB); Proverbs 3:11-12

-Jesus Calling, pg. 61-
Had a meeting with E today. Her grant writer randomly showed up, so we weren't able to actually meet- we'll do that tomorrow. However, it was just enough time to sob my heart out onto her shoulder about C and the mess I've gotten myself into. In the brief discussion about C that followed, she encouraged me to pray for him, and I said I definitely have been and will continue to. She said that we should fast and pray for him, and that she'll join me ("even though I love food" lol). I think that's awesome. She even prayed for him and claimed him in the name of Jesus at the end. It was really neat.

She wants to talk about it more tomorrow, I think. But she did point out to me that God is a god of forgiveness, and that I am human, and, by extension, imperfect.

I've been thinking about that one today.

It is so hard for me to approach God (or even interact with other people) when I've messed up.

Like, seriously? Think about it, girl. We're sinners, right? Saved by grace? So what makes you any different now than you were when you accepted Christ? Still a sinner. Still saved by grace. One more mistake doesn't disqualify you from forgiveness-- as a matter of fact, it qualifies you. You have to have something to forgive. You never were perfect, as much as you like to think that you are.

Christianity is not just for the days that you've got it all together.

One of the things you appreciate so much about C is that he still loves you even though he's seen all your weaknesses and foibles and faults. How can you think that God would be any different?

So anyway, E wanted me to come over to the ladies' group for check in and share what I shared with her. I did. And afterward, this little girl (okay, she was a teen, but she was little) comes over to me and asks if I've read a certain book. I hadn't, so she began to explain it. Basically, it's about setting Biblical principles for dating and sticking to them. She also quoted me 2 Corinthians 6:14- "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?"

She said several times, "I don't want to judge you." I can't help but think, "You may not want to, but you probably are!" lol. But I told her that I appreciated it, and I did. I just find it funny, because, well... I know this stuff. She has no idea that I went to Bible college, or that I've read pretty much every Ludy book, and I've read Josh Harris's book, and Letters to Young Lovers, and...

Yeah. I know this stuff. But knowing it and applying it are two different things.

Right. Right. Set your standards and don't go for anyone who doesn't share your faith in God. Mmm-hmm. Outline the type of person that you want as a mate, and stick to it. Yep. Definitely.

And it's a great thing to do and I feel all warm and fuzzy inside about my firm devotion to truth and righteousness and the fact that I've been alone for years because I'm so committed to God and really I should probably just take the plunge and become a nun and then I could be single forever! A single literature evangelist! Perfect.

Don't mind me. I'm only cynical because I'm convicted. That and I'm pissed at myself for wanting so badly what I know I shouldn't want.

I want to be over there with him right now. Incredibly much.

I think it's something about the incredible relief that comes from the alleviation of sharp, intense loneliness. That and it helps to counteract self-hatred and depression when you are told that you are a good person, and beautiful, and funny, etc. It's like a non-prescription anti-depressant, being with him. I feel better about myself, even as I hate myself more for my actions. Weird? Definitely.

And I spent all these years working on getting over him... pushing away and quashing the feelings, because I shouldn't feel that way anymore. "Should" or "shouldn't", they're here, parading themselves around my heart in all their garish glory.

You know, if he was a jerk, this would be a lot easier. But nooooo, he's a good guy. Blast.

In many ways, he lives like a Christian. But he just doesn't feel a need for God. He's got it all under control. (Sounds like me!) Kinda reminds me of R...

I hope none of my other Christian friends start preaching at me. I already know. Trust me. I know.
Just ignore my foolishness, alright? LOL


I'm laughing even as I'm kicking my own rear.

I just went back and read my "Caveat" from a few posts ago, about how I'm not romantically interested in C anymore...

What a joke. I know I was in denial. I didn't want to be interested in C anymore, is the truth of it.

So there.

Be truthful, woman.

Oh, well. We discover much about ourselves in the process of time. What I believe to be true about myself and my motives today may not be accurate, and time reveals those things.
Dear God, why does this hurt so much? Why can't I not care anymore? Why do I still love him so much, even after all these years? I don't want to!

I'm struggling with the weight of my sorrow, and with a violated conscience... and with the knowledge that it was a willing, flagrant transgression that I enjoyed, that I wanted... does that mean I'm lost?

I just... I don't know.

Why are we so different? If only he were a Christian, this wouldn't be so hard... because then we could be together... and that is something that I want almost more than anything else in the world.

A bird can love a fish, but where would they live? C says the beach. lol

So, basically, what happened was that we went to the Ren Fest this weekend. I was so excited, and it was awesome. Truly cool. I had no spending money, but C got me a few things out of the kindness of his heart :) One thing is a replica of a tea I got from an apothecary shop my first time at the Fest. The shop is still there, and I made the same mix. Maybe this one will last me 5 years again? Doubtful. I'm not going to be nursing it like the last batch.

Then, he had me ride an elephant! I wasn't sure, but he insisted, so I did, and it was a neat experience :) Unfortunately, my camera was dead (though I had checked it that morning, grr!), so I didn't get any photo documentation. We walked around and looked at all the shops, he bought me a rose from a wandering flower girl, and got an axe for himself. We caught a Tartanic show, hung out with our old friend B briefly (he was occupied with his wife, his kid, and his wife's friends). It was a great day. Really great.

We headed up Sat pm and stayed in a motel we had reserved, which was all fine and dandy, except that when I called, I found out that they do not, in fact, have rollaway beds like Expedia told me they did. Hmph. So, I brought an air mattress.

I don't know if I really want to talk about what happened that night, or last night, for that matter. Nothing really happened, but I didn't spend the night on my air mattress. It was so nice to just be held again... but I knew, I knew that we were setting ourselves up to be burned. We talked about it. We know we're not together, we can't be together, but we still... we still... love each other. Immensely. Several breakups, years of no contact whatsoever, years of friendship, and still... it's there, simmering underneath every interaction.

I thought I was over him... and then I saw him.

I realized on the drive up to Phoenix that I still love him.

I loved D, to be sure. That's true. But this... this is something far more tenacious and far-reaching.

And it hurts like hell.

Because we're so different... there's no way we can be together, not at this juncture. The premises and values that we're building our lives upon are too different. He's not even Christian. He plays D+D for fun.

So many people have told me I'd be settling.

I've worked through some issues from our relationship. But, just as I've changed and grown, so has he. And we talked about some of the stuff I had issues with in our relationship, and I realize that much of what I thought was C controlling me or feeding me these false ideas was... me. My brokenness taking what he said, twisting it, and applying it as gospel truth. He's got issues too, I'm sure. And he did then. But some of it wasn't what I thought it was, which was startling.

And he's grown.

He still a good old Mr. Steady, though. He has a good job, he's going to buy a house, and he wants to settle down, raise a family, and live a good, respectable life. That's not wrong, but it sure is different from what I want.

He expresses amused bemusement at my nomadic lifestyle. He says he could never do it. He needs to have a steady source of income and a solid place to come home to.

Why are we so different?

We agreed that we could write a book about our story. It's a multi-book series. lol

He is happy that I'm independent. He's glad that I'm taking care of myself. He's proud of me. He wants me to keep going and do better and, yes, travel the world if that's what I have to do. We both realize that, were it not for the way things went, I wouldn't have grown up in a lot of ways that I needed to. I've needed the last few years and what they've brought. He has no regrets. He's okay with the way things have turned out, and he's accepted the fact that what he feels for me is not going away. It's going to be there, in one little spot that he confines it to, and it's just... there.

I'm having a more difficult time. All those "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts", you know.

Anyway, we spent the night in the motel, and the next day at the Ren Fest was just like old times. We walked hand in hand, sometimes his arm was around my shoulders, and it was so nice. I'm so tired of being alone... and I miss him so much. But through it all, a little voice in the back of my head kept warning me, Don't get attached. Yeah, it's great now, but it's going to hurt a thousand times more than it warms and comforts you.

And there was also the, I hope God doesn't hate me now line that kept spinning through my head.

I love God so much, and I want to do what's right. But I don't know how to explain this... It's like my love for God is rivaled by my love for C. I love C almost as much as I love God, but the problem is that C is flesh and blood, and can stroke my face and hold my hand and tell me how much he's missed me, and how beautiful I am, and how happy he is that I'm living the life that I want, and God is a more nebulous being that speaks to me through books and the sunshine and the wind, but he doesn't hold my hand or stroke my face or alleviate my loneliness.

And C is so easy to talk to... he even listens patiently to my explanations of God and Christianity and such. I just keep thinking... God has brought people out of a lifetime of rebellion... and C is still young. God, I know you can reach him. I just know it! I mean, Sabbath was a whole testimony of a guy who was a gangster in New Jersey when God got ahold of him. There's hope, isn't there?!

I wish I had a cut and dried life. You know... "Girl grows up, girl meets God. Girl loves God, serves him, meets charming young man and marries young man. Couple loves God and serves Him. Difficulties and hardships come, but couple remains faithful and are rewarded for their devotion and service." Like the missionary stories. My life has been so much more infinitely complex. I spent two years of my life at a Christian bible college, for crying out loud. Where's my charming, godly young man?! Instead, I'm wracked with impossible affection for an "infidel".

I think the only way out would be the no contact route again.

It's like cutting off my arm.

What a bittersweet weekend...
Fighting the depression battle, still... and I'd like to think I'm winning :)

I'm coming to grips with the fact that my emotions roller coaster... and that's okay. That's okay.

Had a good past few days. First day of the new job went well. I'm absorbing a lot, and I was even able to answer some questions from customers. I go back in tomorrow, and I'm half dreading it, half anticipating it. I have to constantly tell myself, You can do this. You are capable. You are mature. You are smart. You CAN do this!

It's like a never-ending pep talk lol.

Group went well. (I'm even getting partially paid now! How about that ^_^) We ended early, and I got to sit in on the women's SA group. I gave E a ride home, we talked a bit, and we've got a lunch/therapy date on Monday, which I'm looking forward to. Seems like it might become a weekly thing, which would be nice. I want to start going through this book about healing from sexual assault, but I don't want to do it alone. I learned my lesson with The Wounded Heart.

Next day, headed up to P with Gramma after work. The hotel room was really nice, and I got good sleep- finally. That crazy cat of mine wakes me up about 3 or 4 a.m. and I have a difficult time getting back to sleep. (I decided to do the motel room thing this wkend, rather than the truck, so I think I'll be getting some decent sleep then, too. Hopefully.)

I got this natural anti-depressant/stress-support stuff at the herb store, and my mood has improved over the last couple of days. I wonder if it's really doing anything, or is that just coincidence? R called me when I texted him to let him know what I'd purchased (I like to keep him apprised of how I'm spending his money), and almost the first words out of his mouth were, "Why are you depressed??" LOL We had a great talk. He's so supportive and wonderful. I know that he really loves me and wants to see me succeeding and happy. He was actually able to relate a LOT to what I'm going through, and he gently counseled me to just be patient, to give myself time and not freak out over where I'm not... because, as he put it, I don't have to be anywhere. Just enjoy the journey. It's okay. Plans change, and it's okay. It's not like I'm a bad person for being where I'm at. But I need to learn to be okay with myself, and, unfortunately, that does take time. Apparently, the older I get, the easier it will get. All I know right now is that I love my parents. They are the BEST. I could not wish for more supportive family. What a  blessing.

Yesterday, while Gramma was in her meetings, I went grocery shopping, and spent an obscene amount of money (to me). It's really not unrealistic for groceries, but I felt sick to my stomach when I hit the cash register. Ugh. Never again. I'll live on rice and beans. Although... I am looking forward to homemade granola...

Then J and I got to hang out for a couple of hours. He took me out to brunch. When the hostess was showing us to our table, I realized that we look like a couple. I mean, a guy and a girl out to breakfast, who wouldn't naturally assume that we're on a date? But NO! So I think of it as the anti-date. :)

We've been friends for many a year- since summer '06 canvassing together. He's actually the one that confronted me about my engagement to C and brought up the idea of my going to SOULS. We both agreed that SOULS was the best and worst experience of our lives. Had we known what we were getting ourselves into... and there is no way we'd go back! But it was good, and God used it. It was wonderful in its own way.

Anyway, we had a great time at brunch, then back at his office drinking tea and hanging out with his student aide. I gave him one of my cd's as a birthday present, and he was totally stoked, because he said he LOVES the DSH cd.

The weird thing was... we connected on all these funny little things that I'd never noticed before. Like, he wants to do the truck and trailer thing, too! And take a summer and just backpack to see how far he gets (or better yet, horsepacking). Just... funny little things. Our thoughts on the lifestyles we'd like to live are fairly identical. At one point during the conversation, he started asking me what type of food I like, but as I was answering, I kinda got this "I'm being interviewed" vibe, which was startling. We also talked about how we each struggle with depression at times, but we know that God is good. I had also given him a copy of my last sermon, so I hope that helps him. I had to re-listen to it myself the other day.

When it was time for me to leave and he walked me back to my car, he suggested that we pray for each other, and we did. It was nice. Then we hugged, and he said, "I love you." I responded, "I love you, too," and we parted ways with a promise to get together again next time I'm up that way. I'm so grateful for that guy. His friendship has been priceless, and he's such a genuine, godly man. I'm proud to be his friend.

So I thought and prayed about it yesterday afternoon on the way home and during my walk in the desert, and I've come to the conclusion that, though I'm not "interested" in the sense of having a crush on him, if he had prayed about it and asked if I wanted to get to know each other better (like dating or something), I'd say "yes" at this point. It's funny that that would even come to mind, since I've never been attracted to him, per se. I mean, it's just J. He's my buddy. But after we connected so well yesterday, and I realized that I really do love him in a wonderful, platonic way, I would be willing to give it a shot. Before yesterday, I would have said, "No." Anyway, regardless of whatever happens, I told God that I am giving that potential up to Him. It doesn't need to be anything more than what it is, and I'm very grateful and blessed to have a guy friend like J. He'll make someone a fine husband some day.

And that was my anti-date. It was, honestly, really fun!
Feelings can be a pain.

Like, you know those days when your hair just won't do anything that remotely resembles cute, no matter how many different styles you try?

Sometimes my feelings are like that. They're just... there. Blah. And no amount of mental gymnastics changes them.

What makes it worse is that both my hair and my feelings are like that today.

And it's not that I'm being crippled by my emotions, that I'm not capable of performing my daily, necessary tasks, because, really... I don't have anything going on today. Tomorrow's the day I have to pack and cook and whatnot. I'll do some of that today, but mostly I'll just be babysitting my friend's house. I've already done what I needed to today, and I've got the rest of the day to kick it, go grocery shopping, and watch funny movies. Oh, and de-lump the cat.

So why am I down about that?

Seriously, brain, what is so wrong with not filling every single hour with activity, with having to feel like you've earned the right to not be actively busy?

And when I don't feel social... I chastise myself for that. But I can be alone if I want to. I don't have to go to every single church function. I don't. I can stay home and watch movies and still be an okay person.

And then there's C. We're carpooling to the Ren Fair together... and I'm looking forward to it. Not because there's anything romantic between us, but I still like his personality, I still enjoy spending time with him... but I feel guilty about that. Like I shouldn't, somehow, be involving him in my life. Like it's bad for me to be friends with him. Like I'm bad for spending time with him, and especially for enjoying it. And especially because I don't have some legit excuse, like getting my crockpot back. (That was last time. lol) Nope.

What makes it even more condemning is that we're going up Sat night and we have to stay the night somewhere. For the sake of finances, we've agreed that "roughing it" in the truck overnight is cool with both of us, since neither of us know a place outside of a motel that we could stay up there. So, I'm spending the night in a truck with my ex-fiance. How about that.

*cue guilt, shame, and self-condemnation, mixed with a little rebellion and self-protective protest*

Sigh... But, I mean, it's the Ren Fair. I'll endure just about anything to get there... even self-induced psychological warfare.

So, what I need to know now is... how do I trust God in the middle of this? What does it mean to "be still and know that I am God" right now? How do I rest in the arms of God when it's all emotional?

Jesus, what do I do? How do I trust you? Only show me the way...

*Caveat: I'm not romantically interested in C anymore, by the way. I've realized that our lives are based on totally different principles, and as a result... I'm not interested. Still like him, but not like "that". Just so we're clear on that.*
For today... Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Outside my window... Gramma and grampa's sporty red car, desert sand and weeds.

I am thinking... about the week ahead. About feelings... about what's right and what's wrong when it comes to feelings.

I am thankful... for work. For time to goof off and read. For my guitar. For dogs.

From the learning room... Piano lessons!

I am wearing... Wool socks (I use them quite frequently here, to my shock and surprise!), blue jeans, black tank, blue checked overshirt.

I am going... back to the house I'm house sitting, going to watch a movie, and possibly going to a church social. I don't feel like being social, but I just may go.

I am reading...  the Hall of Faith series; Rough Trail to the Pulpit; Prayer by M. L. Andreason.

I am hoping... to regain my balance, hit my stride... or something. To even out.

I am looking forward to... going to P this week... twice. Going to the Ren Fair! Hanging out with C on the way up and back from the Ren Fair. (Right or wrong? I still enjoy his company...) Seeing J in P. Seeing B and J at the Ren Fair. Starting a steady job this week. Getting a haircut. Starting on another cd. Getting my package from Mom. Getting paid so I can send Mom a package.

I am hearing... the TV in the other room.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Pack, cook, work, travel. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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

That's right. The depression abates, and life moves forward, as I knew it would.

On the bright side, I got my state and federal taxes done because I didn't feel like leaving the house. And my FAFSA filled out.

And then I did leave the house and I got a job interview and I bought bread mix and made bread and got sick again. (I can't seem to knock this thing... or maybe it's just stress?)

So, yeah. Life moves on. God still works. He's not dependent upon my moods, thank goodness.

A couple of nice, long walks in the desert helped to cure me, as I knew they would.

There is a range of mountains not too far distant that I intend to spend at least one weekend in come this summer. I think I'll hike over, camp out, and hike back. It should only take me a couple of hours to reach them.

I'm so proud of my mom and how she's moving forward in her healing journey, and so proud of R as he supports her. God is really healing my family... it's an answer to prayer. Even if it's painful.
...with depression. Again.

I thought I was over this beast.

My enthusiasm and optimism at making the move kept me afloat for a few days, but after leading my first group meeting last week, it's been a constant battle.

No motivation. Sleeping... a lot. My desire for a relationship with God is going downhill, and fast. Restless. Diminished appetite. Desire for isolation.

And the longer I go without a job, the more my anxiety mounts, despite my efforts to trust God.

Because that's what this is about, really. It still stuns me how much my sense of self-worth is tied in to my productivity, my activities. It's not enough that I'm volunteering running peer support groups for abused girls, and working with the youth at church, and preaching, and doing music gigs (all pro-bono, of course lol), and working on setting up an e-business, and beginning piano lessons. Oh, no. I have to have a "real" job. (I got a job last night, but it's an odd-job, sporadic thing.)

Because Gramma and Grampa are taking up the slack. They're paying for my food. They're helping me with tires. They're essentially supporting me right now, and that bugs me. I'm supposed to be paying my way, not letting them buy stuff for me.

It's like I can't bear to let myself be too dependent on anyone. My grandparents... my parents... friends... adopted families... God... No. I have to do it myself.

And then when I can't, I'm a failure. I hear myself telling myself, "If you were really independent, you'd have a job by now. If you were really an adult, you wouldn't be mooching off of your grandparents. If you were really capable of taking care of yourself, you wouldn't be here. You're worthless. I can't believe you need someone to take care of you."

Dear God, I'm so abusive. I say things to myself that I would never say to another person in a million years... but somehow it's okay when I'm talking to myself?!

"If you were really an adult, you'd have a job by now. You're not supporting yourself because you don't want to. You're as bad as G was... sucking the life out of anyone who will support you. Black widow."

And here I am... paralyzed by my own venom... moving more and more sluggishly... until eventually I stop even trying to twitch in protest.

Why am I so mean to myself?

And how do I snap out of it?

A friend sent me a text today that sent me bawling... because I just feel so worthless and empty.
"PS you are wonderful and thanks for the rescue yesterday. it meant a lot to k. 'Before they call I will answer.' you were sent from God. Love you" (I accompanied a vocal number last minute for K's mom's funeral, because the accompaniment cd was AWOL.)

I know that the answer will come, the revelation will heal, and I'll be okay. But right now... it just hurts.

And unless I can learn to stop this cycle of self-abuse, it's going to keep coming around whenever circumstances don't go the way that I think they ought to to prove that I am a valuable, productive member of society and my family.

God... help me. Please.

I don't want to be this way anymore.

"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Psalm 16:10
...CRACK me up! Like this exchange from a few minutes ago...

Me: Is John Bradshaw on tonight?

Grampa: Yep! Eight o'clock. But we have to go over to that other place to watch it.

Me: Oh, yeah. That's right. *wanders away*

Gramma: Oh, I'll tell you where to go!

LOL. All in jest, of course. They love each other, or so I'm told.
It's good to be home. Lots of memories- pleasant ones.

Hiking with friends is most enjoyable.

I do still very much want a dog... especially to have as a hiking buddy.

Now is not a good time for me to have a dog.

I was not nervous at all being up front tonight! Amazing.

I took the initiative in my desire to get to know an older couple in my church better. The husband reminds me of D- tall, bearded, and quiet, but very nice. (Or rather, D reminded me of him...)

I really have not been self-motivated AT ALL to work on my sermon for next week. *sigh*

Grandparents are amazing. Gramma's taking me to P with her, and buying me specialty food, 'cause I can't afford to buy it myself.

I put my resume in at the health food store near our house on a whim. It seems positive- they'll be calling soon.

My friend thinks that it's time I start looking around for a spouse. (Because I'm hitting the ripe old age of 24 soon, after all.) I halfheartedly agree. (She suggests my friend from TAA and SOULS, E! LOL)

There's a lot about Idaho that I miss. Especially the people.

It's such a comfort to be in church and hear the prayer anthem, knowing that my friends hundreds of miles away are singing the same song in church this morning. I can see them in my mind. :)

The roads here can be just as washboarded as the roads up there.

Apparently, I look really healthy now!

I'm a darn good cook. And if that's not entirely true, at least I'm happy with what I cook. (Pancakes for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch. Bam.)

The more I talk to my mom and gramma, the more I realize that... my family is really messed up! We're talking generations of dysfunction here... and I think I'm, like, the only grandchild that really knows about any of this stuff.

I'm glad they're open with me.

A text to my mom tonight: "We played the appreciation game tonight at Vespers. I appreciate that you never give up, that you keep fighting no matter what. You inspire me to do hard things."

A text from my mom tonight: "I'm not sure what the appreciation game is, but I appreciate EXACTLY the same things in you. Plus I appreciate that no matter what, you can find God in the answer, and see Him and share His love in a personal way that touches everyone who meets you."

I pulled a bald spot on my head tonight. Everyone kept saying I'd make myself bald, but I didn't believe them... It's mostly because it's a scar left over from the accident-- the hair is loose in that section.

I found a good place to train for Mt. Whitney.

Thought about giving Holly to the pet shelter, but I don't think they have no-kill shelters around here... and killing her because she annoys me would kinda make me like Hitler, right?
I got the flu. It was pretty awful the first night, got somewhat better the next day, and today I'm doing even better. Still not "better" better, but better... if that makes sense. :)

I spent yesterday lying in bed, watching movies on my computer. They're all those "Feature Family Films" movies, because my gramma collects them, and it seems that they were all set back in the 50's for some reason.

They're all about love, and faith, and family. It was neat. Kinda like how country music used to be.

And you know what? I had to come face to face with this notion in my head that somehow I don't deserve love like everyone else. I mean, I was pretty out of it yesterday, so I didn't delve into the subject too deeply, but I challenged the idea.

And I wonder, I really wonder, if that's what I'm so afraid about with romantic relationships. I'm really scared of meeting someone amazing, because I don't feel that I'm worth someone amazing. J tells me that I am amazing, and deserve someone awesome (better than D, she says lol), but the thought scares me. Not to mention the transiency of all we experience in this world.... I mean, truly, life, love, youth-- they can all be snatched away in an instant, in the time it takes to draw a breath. And that is scary, too. Because what if I let down my guard and become truly, deeply committed to and in love with someone and then they're taken away?

I do wonder, which hurts worse-- unrequited love, or love lost? I've been through both, I guess, so it seems to me that love lost hurts worse, and lingers longer.

But I do deserve to be loved. I do. Just as much as anyone else. I don't deserve to be ignored. I don't deserve to be hurt. I deserve to be respected and valued and cherished, just like any woman. I'm through poking around trash heaps for treasure. I'm done settling because I'm afraid. I'm done hoping that any old guy will take me, because I don't feel like I have anything to offer.

No way. I have potential. I have strength. I have talents and skills and intelligence. I have a love for God that will carry me through tough times.

I am a valuable asset.

Now... I just hope someone else will agree with me! I don't want to end up a haughty old maid.

For today... Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Outside my window... Two cars, mine and my grandparent's. Some stray cats, probably. Sand. Lots and lots of sand.

I am thinking... about food. I'm hungry. And the evangelistic series I'm going to watch tonight. And my meeting for work tomorrow morning- the beginning of my next "phase".

I am thankful... for Jesus, and his understanding. For getting the internet figured out BY MYSELF! (Well, with an article on the internet...) For my grandparents and their hospitality. For their new blender.

From the learning room... Flexor carpi radialus tendon.

I am wearing... Track pants, green t-shirt, a band-aid.

I am going... to fix supper. To text E about our meeting. To watch the 2nd half of Dances With Wolves.

I am reading...  Reuben's Portion- Josephine Cunnington Edwards. I read it at least once every time I visit my grandparents, along with "Johnny, Come Home" and "Faded Love".

I am hoping... to earn money.

I am looking forward to... working with the groups. Getting my snow tires off.

I am hearing... the TV in the other room, Grampa playing solitaire on the computer.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Figure out work, go hiking at least 3 times, get snow tires off, begin working on sermon, plan out song service and work on special music for vesper's next week.

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

God challenged me to trust him, even in the whirl of my darkened emotions.

I decided to do just that.

And as I prayed and thought this morning, it occurred to me... Jesus understands just what I'm feeling.

He knows what it's like to have that empty, aching void where parental love should be.

What was one of the last things he said?

"Father, why have you forsaken me?"

He knows what it's like to be father-less, and not by your own wrong-doing.

That gave me courage for the day. Just to know that someone else understands and still loves... is enough for now.
Guess who voluntarily went to sing at the retirement home today? And guess who actually enjoyed herself? AND, guess who went around and shook all the old people's hands? That's right! I guess I'm just shocked to hear myself saying, "I'll see you next time!" and actually meaning it.

There was a guy there that reminded me of D. Ouch, my poor heart. Just when I thought I was over him... It's been almost a year since... all of that. My, how time flies.

Went to a Single's Ministry hangout thing tonight. I was kinda nervous, and a little skittish, because really? Single's Ministry? Like, can't we hang out without awkwardly branding this as a gettogether for single people ONLY? Oh, well.

It was significantly less awkward than I had anticipated, largely due to the fact that most everyone there had grey hair.

Anyway, we watched the movie Courageous, which was, as predicted, excellent. It's a far cry from the forced dialogue and stiff facial expressions of Flywheel. Sherwood Church has really come a long way, and I'm proud of them.

It brought up some pain for me, though.

I really, really, really wish I had a godly daddy.

Why do J and K get that, but not me? And why was it such a trial and tribulation to share a part of that? Of course, I can't blame them... if I had something like that, I probably wouldn't want to share it, either.

I just... I dunno. I'm just really sad that my dad knows who I am, but has never made an effort to see me... or even talk to me anymore. I'm really sad that the guy who married my mom, knowing that he was taking on the responsibility of two and a half children (he'd already gotten mom pregnant) chose not to love me, cherish me, and encourage me, but to destroy and humiliate me. I'm really sad that pretty much every guy I've ever consciously or unconsciously looked to for guidance and direction and fatherly wisdom has turned out to be a creep, a liar, a druggie, a drunk, a molester, or a combination of all those.

R is a good father. Don't get me wrong. But there's still somewhat of a gap there, because he isn't basing his fathering off of God's model. He loves me, and he provides for me, and he gives me good advice,  but he never saw fatherhood modeled either. But do I dare ask for more? What is it I'm looking for? R's a good man, and a good dad to me. How can I want more than that?

Maybe I'm just looking for God. God's my father, right?

Maybe it's too late for me to have a daddy.

Maybe it's why I'm so attracted to older men.

God's brought me spiritual sisters, brothers, and mothers... but where is my father?

...where is my father?
...what have I gotten myself into?

I'm not really sure how to handle this. Mom's having repressed memories surfacing now, and talking to her siblings about them... they created a sort of timeline of certain events, which triggered the memories to come forth from their murky grave. And on one hand I'm honored that Mom feels she's able to talk with me about this, but on the other hand, I'm horrified to hear what happened to her as a child. She describes the bruises that were commonplace, all the way from her armpits to her knees, the skin splitting and scabbing because of repeated beatings that layered welts over welts... my uncle being locked in a sewing closet for six weeks because of the errors in his schoolwork. (Come to find out, he's dyslexic. That's why he had such trouble with school. The beatings, the isolation... none of that helped any. Did they think it would?) I thought I went through hell. Yeah, right. My childhood was a walk in the park compared to my mom's.

My mom's dad, who was the main abuser, is dead. My gramma, who was the enabler and sometimes abusive herself (still not sure where she was on the spectrum of things) is still alive and well. When she came down with cancer, she went through chemo, and apparently lost a lot of her memory. Mom says that gramma doesn't remember any of what she was telling me this morning. She's lost it, or repressed it herself. And even Mom says that Gramma is a different person now, not who she used to be.

But that doesn't change the fact that I'm living with... that.

I've never experienced her to be abusive at all. Passive agressive, yeah. But abusive? No way! I mean, just this morning, she told me I was doing "a bang up job around the place" (i.e. keeping the place nice and clean-- we're both neat-nicks).

It's just weird.

But I got to pray with my mom. And I got to empathize with her. I didn't have all these memories crashing in on me at once like she did, and it's no wonder she's having a hard time handling it. I get that. I've been through the darkness that's so thick and deep you think it's going to eat you alive. So I shared some of my experiences with her... but I also shared the hope of God's healing. It's hard now, but it's worth it. She's seeing her counselor on Monday.

And THAT in and of itself is a miracle of God's timing. They didn't even have a counselor until last week, and that started because I had been doing counseling myself, and was able to share with R how inexpensive our insurance made it, which he didn't know.

So after I prayed with Mom, I went for a walk. I have a lot of feelings swirling inside me right now, too. Anger. Disgust. Sadness. Grief. Righteous rage. (Can I call it that? It's WAY more than indignation!) Uncertainty.

This should never, EVER happen to a child!! Dear God, why is my family so sick? Why this generational sweep of pain and hurt and dysfunction? What does this mean for me? Is there some sort of inherent flaw in our genetic code? I tell you this much-- it stops here. No child will ever, ever experience those things from me. No child, and no person. It stops here.

Sweet Jesus, please come soon. We're falling apart...
WOW, has life calmed down.

I'm fighting that nasty flu thingy that's sweeping the nation, the one that I battled off semi-successfully back in W. Gramma and Grampa are still recovering, but if there are comparisons to how badly we were all affected, let's just say that I got a squeeze on the hand and Gramma and Grampa got a piledriver from Stone Cold Steve Austin. Or Hulk Hogan. Or maybe they were tag-teaming and somehow got mixed up and both of them did a flying leap from the side of the ring at the same time and basically just flattened my grandparents. In any case, they got it bad, and it still comes back in waves. Dr.s say it takes about 3 months to fully work through it, and it's only been 1.

I only have intestinal stuff to work through, and some fatigue-- I've been sleeping a LOT-- but, really... what's new? LOL There are upsides to having a chronic illness that involves your intestines. No flu can beat you, 'cause you know how to cope!!

It's just weird, being settled down again. I'm all unpacked, except for my craft stuff. I still haven't gone through and organized my clothes closet by color spectrum yet, but I intend to do it tomorrow, as well as fully spread out my keepsakes and bring in some of my books. Right now the bin's outside, so I think I'll bring it into the covered porch so cats don't spray on it.

I went for a hike today in the mountains east of our home. It was nice, about 2 1/2 hours. I felt great afterward, and I realize just how much I've missed the desert southwest. Oh, yes, the woods and mountains of the northwest have captured my heart, but this is where I was raised. The mica, shale, and granite are my bones, the cleanly scented wind is the blood that courses through my veins, and the bright shafts of cholla and saguaro are the laughter bursting from my throat. I love this country.

I really think that I might be happy anywhere I settle. There's always some beauty to find that does something to me... I know that because, even though the mountain fortresses are my delight, the gentle, sweeping rise and fall of the prairie sings out a song to me like a siren. They make me itch to ride those dusty, endless roads over the horizon, just to see what's next.

Every place has some kind of magic to it, if you'll just pay attention.

(So long as it's not a city. Heh.)

And this Monday, I'm meeting with the director of the agency that I'll be working with. Enough lazing around-- we've got work to do! I feel strange not being "useful"... just going off on hikes. Like I'm on vacation or something. But no, it's time to be productive.

I just need to make sure I get hiking in at least 2-3 times a week. Gotta get in shape for Mt. Whitney.