May 062017
 

The papers have sat blank while my thoughts have raced in ways that make no sense. Ink hovering above the page but never do they meet.

I feel utterly destroyed. Maybe I am destroyed.

The soul-holes making up the mass of who I am, if holes can have mass; they definitely take up space.

My heart beats heavily and with each pump it throbs and bleeds love and loss. Grief can only exist where love has been. To love is to lose.

I wonder if opening up and being vulnerable is worth it at all? Can I afford this pain again? Can I bear its unbearable weight? Even if I could, would I want to?

Would I want to feel the hollow place within me where many hearts have ceased to no longer beat? Where I don’t even know gender or name?

Will my heart be satisfied in its shattered state by trusting that God knew the name? I try to take solace in that, yet have no comfort. And I wonder, maybe there is no comfort to be had.

Holding you in my heart like a hidden treasure that I am unwilling to share.

Goodnight my sweet angels. I’ll see you when I rise…

Mar 182017
 

I sat there at the table in the rec center with a pencil borrowed from my child and the back of my grocery list, jotting down two poems in about 10 minutes while dealing with people inquiring about what we were doing there. I was just the chaperone as this was the kids gig, but I answered questions and handed out free things just the same.

The nausea is still plaguing me whenever it feels like it and the exhaustion and fatigue are definitely assaulting me. Vivid dreams in full colour are sticking with me through the days and laughing until I am crying or crying until I am laughing are also becoming a new normal.

But, today, the words flowed from me in a poetic prose that I had missed. The pain and sadness that lives deep within my soul, was eager to hit the slip of paper and is currently tucked inside my wallet. As I read the words aloud to the child who loves to listen to rap and lyrics full of suffering and pain I heard the words “that’s deep and really good. If I didn’t know you, it would almost be scary, almost.”

You see, I have a dark side, a side riddled with past pains, abuse, rape, physical and emotional neglect and loss. My dark side often finds its way out when its pen on paper, never rehearsed or even edited, just the need to hold a pen to paper and write the words that flow, whatever they may be.

I often wonder to myself, how do people who don’t write deal with their dark side? Surely, I am not the only one who has this. Certainly, I am not the only one with a tumultuous past.

I believe in God. I believe I am redeemed. I believe that Christ has already bore my sins and that I am saved. I believe that my faith is more than sufficient and yet I am human and the darkness still lives within the broken cracks of my once shattered soul. You see, you can glue a mirror back together, no matter how many pieces, but the reflection will never be the same. While Christ is the glue that strengthens me, and has rescued me from the past, it doesn’t mean the past never happened.

I love deeply and wholly with all that I am. I don’t trust easily. I break often. I hide the pain behind a smile. I am content in just ‘being’ and in knowing that the present doesn’t last forever and that what comes tomorrow will be history the following day. I’ve learned that I have to be my own best friend so that I can live the life God would have me lead.

Mar 052017
 

I’m all alone, when the sun, goes down
What I wouldn’t give, to have someone around
The nights are endless, and dreams, are few
But when they come, well they never come true
And so it goes
No one even knows, the pain behind the smile
How all the while I’m cryin’
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
‘CAUSE I’VE BEEN SAVIN’ MYSELF FOR HER TOO LONG’
IT’S TIME I’M MOVIN’ ON
Won’t you save me?
Too many memories in this, old town
My face turned up to meet the rain..the rain that’s fallin’ down
Let it come
And so it goes
That no one even knows, the pain behind the smile
How all the while I’m dyin’
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
‘CAUSE I’VE BEEN SAVIN’ MYSELF FOR HER TOO LONG’
IT’S TIME I’M MOVIN’ ON
Won’t you save me?
Are you gonna be the one to make it right, or am I only dreamin’
Baby am I dreamin’?……Am I dreamin’?
No one even knows, the pain behind the smile
Whoooooh…baby, baby, baby, baby-they don’t know
They don’t know…that I’m cryin’ all the while
All the while
Somebody save me….save me
Save me……somebody save me (Mm Mm)
Save me…..save me
Save me…….someone save me
‘Cause I’ve been saving myself for her too long
It’s time I’m movin’ on
Won’t you save me….save me
Can’t you see…..that I’ve been lonely?

 

This weekend was a crazy one, lots of random things happened, and the one I least expected was seeing a message on Facebook saying that a girl I had talked to the night before was in ICU and wasn’t likely to make it, followed quickly by the announcement of her death.

I guess I was one of the last to talk to her as her brother reached out to me, which I am grateful for, unfortunately, I couldn’t tell him she was in a bad state the night before or that she seemed to be depressed or in a frame of mind that would make me think that our conversation was one that would be our last.

We spoke about how we were doing, mentally. She had done some amazing things in the past year, leaving her husband and other toxic relationships, delivering a healthy baby (her third child), getting a job and being the caregiver and breadwinner and even trying to reconnect with family while seemingly getting a hold of her own demons. She lost around 50lbs and looked amazing. Her frown had turned to a smile and her cynicism had for the most part became a sort of comic relief rather than what appeared to be a distress call.

So, what went wrong?

The pain behind the smile.

That’s what went wrong.

We had spoke about how being happy was a frightening thing because when you deal with mental health issues there is often a crash after a bout of happiness. She said “it’s like you’re jinxing yourself”. She was dead about 18 hours later.

After talking to me her posts on Facebook stopped. She was a chronic poster but I thought nothing of it since I don’t use Facebook that often for searching through posts. I only noticed this afterwards.

I have spent the last 30ish hours wondering if our chat was her being happy because she had made the decision to end her life and felt free for the first time. Did she talk to me that night because she was in her own way saying goodbye?

I’ve known far too many people who have committed suicide. I’ve attempted it many times myself, but I have never been among the last to speak to someone before their demise. I can’t honestly say how I feel, shaken is about the only word that comes to mind.

At first, I was worried about her three sweet babies, what will happen to them? Who has them? Did they find her? What did they see? Will the older two remember her?

Then I felt a sadness within myself, not because she was gone, but because I will be missing out on having someone around who often understood the darker side. Who was eager to seek the Lord and often confused by it during times of struggle.

A quote I have on my Facebook talks about how when one commits suicide it is really the first time that they have taken hold of control of their lives. After experiencing suicides through my whole life, I still believe that.

“If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will. ”
~Antonin Artaud~

Unfortunately, it’s a painful ending to those of us left to figure out the pieces, never mind pick them up. Then again, there never really is a good time to die, whether your 102 or 22… There really, never is “unfinished business.”

Sometimes, our stories become more powerful when we have a powerful departure from this earth into our heavenly realm. I believe that will be the truth for this dear lady. Because, “The dead are not lost to us. They speak to us everyday” -unknown

Feb 022017
 

He sat there absorbed in his video game and me in my book and as the hours ticked by I could see he was holding his breath more often, afraid to breathe but trying to ignore the silence of the phone. No news is good news, right?

Finally, we laid down and slept for a few hours -smack in the afternoon and into the early evening, and his breathing relaxed, his stress slipped away as I watched him before dozing off myself.

When the phone rang it’s awful ringtone he shot out of bed like a cat, straight into the air and answered it quickly.

He held his breath when it was his dad and not his mom who said she would call when her surgery was over.

When his dad passed the phone to his mom the audible sigh of relief that escaped his body caused tears to roll down my cheeks, quickly swiped away by the blanket.

She was okay. He was okay. I was okay. We could breathe knowing his mama survived the surgery.

The holding your breath and doing your best to focus on the good and handing it to God thing seemed to be working through the day, it was a nice day, but lingering in the back of our minds was a part of our souls that just needed the know what God’s plan for us that day actually was.

Breathing out the negative and breathing in the relief felt fresh, new, amazing.

Suddenly we both wanted to eat and found ourselves thirsty, realizing we hadn’t done either all day as we did our best to stir our minds from the what-ifs.

It was only 2 days before that I was the strong one, standing on the stairs into the night speaking to his mama about her faith and her journey through the church, through life, and her telling me that I was reminding her to just trust God.

Why is it so much easier to say than do? Preach but not be preached to?

I hold my hands in reverence to the One who is in control of it all, whose plans I will never know until I am walking through them. To Him I give praise, because praise is deserved even in the darkest of days. Gratitude in the middle of chaos. He triumphs as I stumble. Picks me up when I fall. When the air is knocked from my soul, He breathes life back into me. CPR for the soul. The Bible my personal First Aid Kit!

Feb 022017
 

I go through the motions of the day like everyone else does while worrying about the everyday things like money and bills overdue and how I am going to find a way to pay them and then I place it all into God’s hands and do my best to continue, trusting that He has provisions for me and He will meet all my needs.

I am reminded of the Israelites wandering for forty years, given manna everyday and told never to take more than they need, or save any for later. Trust that the Lord will provide the next meal too.

A family that vlogs on YouTube who I began to follow over a year ago, because of a cleaning motivational video posted a life update today. The mom, Christy, was very upset as she sat in the car talking about her faith and her family and how their oldest son, 22 years old, passed away this week and that they have had to humble themselves before the Lord during this extremely difficult time, by having to start up a GoFundMe page just so they can pay for the funeral for their child that will be held this weekend.



And tears fall from my own eyes as I see how upset she is, how she knows to trust God but her heart is broken either way, how I have watched her shop thrift stores to care for her large family, how she has purposed to be more modest, shared her raw testimony and allows us in to her hectic homeschool life while working full time and still struggling to make ends meet.

My own anxieties and problems with money suddenly become trivial. Who cares about the credit card debt from years ago, at least I am not burying my child. My family is healthy. That could all change tonight or tomorrow or when the phone rings, but right now everyone is good and that is a blessing. That is todays manna. The sustenance that will sustain me, even if creditors are calling and threatening to ruin me, I cannot be ruined because Christ has me and he has my family and if/when something does happen, He will still stand firm and still give me exactly what I need as I need it.

Will Christy’s son be buried and have a lovely service? Yes! And, because of people who realize the need of this family who have put away a little bit here and there, Christy and her husband Jimmy SR will not have to worry about debt when they are mourning and looking for ways to be grateful and intentional.


We put so much value on “things” and “stuff” that when there is a tragedy like a young man, a child, passing away, our own lives are put into perspective and we strive to be more intentional and make the moments count. I don’t think anyone has ever lost someone and said they spent too much time with the person or have too many memories, rather people lose and then they feel guilt that they should have could have would have done more if only they knew.

In life, we rarely get to know any of these things ahead of time, but one thing is for certain, we are all on the same paths, regardless of time, and that is physical death. Our souls will rise and God will embrace. So, why don’t we live everyday like it is our last without having to be told we are dying?

My One Word for the year was “Intentional” and unfortunately it took someone passing away at a young age for my heart to shift to a place that reminds me to be more intentional with my children and family, and the ones I love.

God is absolutely amazing in allowing the negatives of our own lives, and the lives of others, to remind us of His Word and to live life to the fullest.

I ask that you pray for the Overlin family this coming week as they figure out what normal is as children of God and as parents to a son gone too soon. Placing their faith in Christ and knowing that their oldest boy is now sitting with the One Creator.

Live intentionally dear friends!

Jan 062017
 


I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.

I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.

The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.

I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.

I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD
Nov 262016
 

Like millions of people I have spent the better part of a year waiting on Gilmore Girls to be revived. I counted down days over the past month knowing that while all my friends south of the border would be doing Black Friday shopping that I would be sitting at home watching this show I have anticipated for YEARS. So, now that I have watched all four “seasons” – Winter, spring, summer and fall, I have some thoughts.


The first thing I noticed was they seemed to make Lauren Graham or Lorelai, look older than she is in real life or on the show at times which made me feel a bit sad, because she looks amazing and through all the seasons of this show even at her most disheveled she never looked so not-pulled together. Perhaps this was her getting back into the swing of a fast talking, fast moving show with so much crammed into each hour and twenty-minute episode?

The next was that they made Rory a relatable character and while she was never nonrelatable in the original series, she was gifted and as the show ended she had taken a position with the Obama campaign trail as he ran for his presidency and now she is a “30 something” without a job, money, or any real direction. I do appreciate that they took her to writing the story of her and her mother, but that’s a far cry from the New York Times or being a modern journalist. While I am sure they mentioned what types of work she had been doing over the last several years, I can’t recall, so maybe her dreams of being a NYT journalist did work for awhile?

gallery-1476795808-gilmoregirls-1sht-spring-ukPaul Anka, the dog, is still alive and well. I can’t recall how old he was off hand when Lorelai rescued him or in which season, but he wasn’t a puppy. With an 8-9-year hiatus, this dog must be ancient! I excepted from the previews that he would be Paul Anka the 3rd or 4th. I have no clue if this actor was the original or not since I don’t know his actual age when he first appeared on the show.

There were some minor slip ups in the script. Perhaps this goes to me having watched so many darned mystery type shows where details matter, but let’s face it details really matter! At one point, they say that the fire hydrants will remain red until they can get approval for colorful ones but the fire hydrants in the town are yellow. Again, a very small detail but one that I noticed just the same!

It seemed like there were a lot of filler moments during this reboot. From elaborate town plays to Rory babysitting, and the awkward poolside moments with boys holding parasols over Lorelai and Rory, and of course while Emily is grieving her role really seemed to be there just for the sake of her being there, which was unfortunate because she wasn’t the Emily Gilmore we had all known and loved/hated.

Coffee, there really wasn’t enough coffee, it was joked about a lot and seemed to be ordered but there was more alcohol then there was coffee drinking and for many of us coffee was something we could relate to!

I really appreciated the voice overs and images of Richard. That was a beautiful homage to a man who died too young and wasn’t able to return to a show that helped raise so many of us!

Rory being Logan’s mistress while he was engaged and then living with his fiancé seemed so out of character for this good girl and the beautiful young lady she was when the show ended. Yes, I know years change a person, but she was 16 when the show started and that good girl who was career and education focused surely couldn’t have vanished after all those years? This reboot in a lot of ways felt like the rut she had when she quit Yale and Lorelai had to perform her own version of tough love.

Finally, and I think the saddest part of the entire reboot is Lorelai’s relationship with Luke. They still weren’t married and after YEARS upon YEARS of torturing us we finally see them get married. Only, the fanciful gown that Rory would have worn was replaced with what looked like Lula Roe leggings and a tunic, and Lorelai said “I do” in a simple black dress. The entire wedding from proposal to finished took about a half hour and I can’t help but feel let down, especially with how big of a fuss was being made when Lorelai and Luke had planned their wedding in the past. I don’t even think Emily showed up, even after the HUGE show she had put on about Lorelai and Christopher getting married in Paris in the original series. This was a storyline generations of us have been asking and wondering about since the series ended and we were given such a lackluster finale where the bride and groom didn’t even really leave together.

Overall, it was worth watching and I will likely watch again. However, I really wish the show would have put more emphasis on the relationships that its focus was on all those years before.

It was nice to see so much of the original cast and sets that really made the show feel like home. I am excited and hopeful that they will do another year in the life in the (near) future so we can get caught up and hopefully see our beloved characters more often.

And then, the last four words are said…

Rory: “Mom?”
Lorelai: “Yeah.”
Rory: “I’m pregnant.”

Questions I would love to see answered in the future:

Do Lorelai and Luke pursue another child now that they are married? Did they honeymoon?

How does Rory’s book go? Does she land a job being a journalist or maybe start a successful lifestyle blog?

Does Emily remarry and does she decide Nantucket is where she really wants to be?

Does Logan marry that girl or come to his senses and realize he and Rory are end-game?

Who is Rory’s babies father? Logan, Wookie, Paul?

I am sure I missed a ton of things in my little recap, but I didn’t take notes and I’m working off memory. Please feel free to correct me if I am wrong on something and to let me know how you feel about this reboot! I would love to know your favorite moments and what you think will happen next!

Check out this devotional by Mary Carver inspired by her love for Gilmore Girls!

Gilmore Girls was a TV show known (and loved) for its fast-talking, pop culture-referencing, coffee-chugging characters, but it was also a show devoted to love of family and community. These themes – as well as topics like forgiveness, kindness, and gratitude – partner well with lessons from the Bible. Christians who loved this show will be encouraged and inspired to follow this “season” of daily devotions, reminiscing about their favorite Gilmore Girls scenes and perhaps seeing them from a whole new perspective. When life makes you say, “Oy with the poodles already!” grab your mug of coffee and settle in for a conversation that will warm your heart and feed your soul.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

And, don’t miss out on Lauren Graham’s autobiography!

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

$28.00 USD
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