Grace

Utterly gutted
My brain is flooded
Drowning in blood and emotions
Liquid chemicals straining
Against solid flesh remaining
Doused in prayers and devotions

I won’t come to this again
Back from then to when and been
I am not my past
I am sufficiently stronger
Able to convincingly conjure
Armor to withstand this blast

Strength does not lie in hate
Patience does not lie in wait
Peace lies in the discipline of love
Resolve comes from compromise
Insight from understanding eyes
Grace feathers down like a dove

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From 2015: So You Got a Little Damp

BB–before blog 🙂


so, i’m standing outside in the rain this morning, waiting for the bus with Lil. we only have one umbrella. so i give it to her. i can get wet, but if she got soaked, she’d be miserable all day. at least i can come in and dry off. it’s cold and a little breezy, but not too bad. it was chilly, but if just a tad warmer, not at all terrible. it made me think of when i was somewhere between the age of 5-8. for the life of me, i can’t remember how old i was. but it was an experience i would never forget.

it’s raining outside and my sister and i come up with a great idea. let’s put on our bathing suits and go stand in the rain on the porch. what would mom say? OMG! she said yes. what?? so we put on our bathing suits and we go outside. all i can see is about 3 feet in front of me. it’s raining hard. no lightning and it’s quite warm. a warm summer soaker. it’s so hard to see. so we start pretending that we are waterskiers on the back of a boat and hold on for dear life. i think we even had a rope that we tied around the railing of the deck and that was our tow rope. we leaned back and ski’d like pros. i even had the sensation of bobbing up and down on the water, making jumps and doing tricks. what a powerful experience. my sister and i squealed and frolicked in the downpour and literally danced in the rain. i didn’t worry about getting hurt, i just enjoyed the rare delight of getting completely wet on purpose.

well, as adults we lose that ability to enjoy the storm. we think about our things that get wet, our basements, our stuff, our cars. we think about that leaky roof that we want to hold for one more storm. we think about how the storm might damage our flowers and plants. we wonder if the wind and rain will claim our possessions, houses, lives even, if it gets really bad. we wonder if the power will go out and if we will be left in darkness. we fear the thunder and lightning because we don’t know what will come. i can’t think of a time as an adult that i enjoyed the actual storm. maybe if i was inside, under a blanket and the rain was light. but i would never willingly stand in the rain.

i did get caught in the rain with my husband on the huzzah (pronounced hoo-za) river one year, in a canoe. it hailed on us and lightning all around. hail. and we were in a metal canoe. with lightning. i was scared to death and all i could think was to paddle like hell. we made great time after the hail started. never paddled so hard in my life. Guy was humming “Ride of the Valkyries” from the back. for a minute, even while paddling, i thought, “maybe we should stop.” but where was there to go to escape the rain? the banks were small, no trees really, no shelter. the people on the sides of the river were being rained/hailed on just the same. might as well keep going. just keep paddling. we’ll make it through or die trying. i’d rather be struck by lightning trying to get to where i need to go instead of waiting around on the side of a river and be struck by lightning. we were the very last team among our friends to make it to the end. worst experience canoeing ever. ever. many mishaps on the river that year. but we made it through and i can laugh about it now. at least we had a boat to float it out! and a dry ride back to camp.

but this morning i stood in the rain. and it wasn’t so bad. i can get wet and it’ll be okay. this is life. with God. he’s my umbrella. and while i may not dance around like i did when i was a child, i can still smile through the storm and know, it’ll be over soon and He’s got this. I don’t have to worry or be afraid. there will always be storms. there will always be rain. it makes things grow. like me. be thankful for the rain and don’t worry.

James 1:2-3
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

boy, does it.


If you’re going through hell, keep going.
Winston Churchill

Girl Bye

You think I’m quiet
Powerless and weak
There is technically a difference
Between shy and meek

Meek is power
Under control
I choose to be this way
Restraint is my goal

Don’t mistake my silence
As consent to your little show
I’m also choosing to love you
Having patience before I go

And go I will.

eternal

i am thrown on the fire
i am the crackle in the night
i am the spark that pops
with firecracker light

i am scattered to the wind
start from scratch again

fall through cracks
down to seed and root
spread my desire
until you see my shoots

i will rise to the sky
stretched high and wide

you pause in my shadow
you linger in my shade
i offer you protection
shelter where you’ve laid

i was born in this ground
cut down where i’m found

i am thrown on the fire
i am the crackle in the night
i will always burn
but not without a fight

 

When I think as Ma

Photo credit: Sean Priest


Any scene that I do lately, when I’m playing Ma Joad, I think of the long line of strong women in my family before me.

The way I stand. The way I stare. The way I clench my jaw in contemplation. Tired, somewhat relaxed, but chewing on tomorrow.

These two women saw the 20th century in color.

gmas
Both of my grandmothers at my mother’s wedding in 1954.

They saw the blood. And the babies. And the dust.
They saw the first car in their town.
The first TV.
The first washing machine.
They watched tears roll down their children’s faces.
Wiped those tears.
Watched rivers rise and fall.
Husbands come and go.

I think of them as I play Ma. How they would hold themselves? Carry themselves? Present themselves to the world? What did they have to do for their families during the Depression?

I know that deep down, they were both scared for their families, wanted the best for their kids. Loved God. Wanted all the things good people want for their descendants. And they just went on. Did what they needed. Hoped they made the right decisions. Cried their own tears.

They are Ma.
I am Ma.
All women are Ma.

Exorcism

I’ve got many demons.

Food addiction. PTSD. Depression. Self-esteem issues. Trust issues. Pride. Over-blown sense of fairness. Fear of people. Fear of intimacy.

These are all residuals from abuse, triggers or coping mechanisms. Haunting ghosts. My demons were born of circumstance and pain. Called upon before the age of 5. Schooled in my weakness. Summoned as experts of how to tempt, specifically, me. These are the things that will cause me to stumble and hold me back from fulfilling my purpose and destiny.

I imagine each demon:
black, faceless, with their name written across their chest, written across my existence, swirling, whispering, flowing around my body.

Floating me down some river of negativity. Holding me under from God’s intention for my life. Drowning me in doubt.

Or will they drive me to my purpose? Will I kick and spit and fight until I fly?


To my demons: Yes. I will overcome you. And in doing so, fulfill prophecy and promise. You have no idea who you’re dealing with–God.

Blenderbuss

blunderbuss (blun·der·buss)-noun
1. historical, a short-barreled large-bored gun with a flared muzzle, used at short range.
(NOT THIS!)
2. an action or way of doing something regarded as lacking in subtlety and precision.
Yeah, the second. That is me on a diet.

This morning I was in a heap of sobs.

After I fixed breakfast for my daughter, I went back to bed. Couldn’t stand up any more or even sit down. I had a gripping headache, all-over muscle soreness and I felt really weak. Plus, I wanted to get as far away from the smell of Pop-Tarts as possible.

As I was laying down, my husband came in at some point and started rubbing my back. As soon as he touched my back I just broke. Idk why. It was either his kindness or the proximity of a human being who loves me. I just shook and whined and gushed. I started speaking all the things I was feeling so that he could understand.

I’m tired.
I’m so hungry.
I don’t wanna feel this way any more.

As I said the last one, my mind shifted.

I don’t wanna feel this way any more.

I immediately thought–
You’re right! You don’t wanna feel this way any more. You don’t wanna be fat. You don’t wanna have heart disease. You don’t want arthritis. You don’t want chronic stomach pain. You don’t want sleep apnea. You don’t want to be out of breath after walking down the hall. And that’s why you are suffering this tiny amount before you can get better. I am, basically, detoxing.

I didn’t say these things out loud though. Just thoughts.

Then my husband shared a story he had heard on NPR. It was about marathon runners hitting “the wall”. I’d heard this before. Somewhere after Mile 20, a runner can hit the proverbial wall. They reach the limit. They can’t go on. Or don’t want to. They’ve pushed their body past the limit of human endurance and the body just wants to stop. But they go past that feeling. He said, “You’re so close! Almost there.”

He’s right. This has been a marathon. After 2012-heart failure and after 2014-heart failure and after 2015-thyroidectomy, I was really trying to exercise and eat right. Before, during and after each bout. Really. Truly. I had started going to the gym before I was diagnosed with heart failure. That probably highlighted my condition, actually. My husband and I would go the YMCA at least 3 nights a week, usually 5 times a week, and never missed a week unless we were sick. 2 years of working out, eating right and really watching sodium.

Lost 100 lbs. in total before thyroid surgery. Then with cancer, my health plunged down into a hole that I just couldn’t dig myself out of. Again.

Marathon. Right. And I’m so close. I am stronger than deprivation. I am stronger than headaches and soreness. I am stronger than cancer, heart failure, arthritis, hypothyroidism and sleep apnea. My will is stronger than illness. I can push past. I can finish this race.

So. After my family left for the day. I launched myself off the bed. Broke out the new blender. (Toastmaster Personal Blender, no I’m not being paid. $15) Buzzed up a footy protein shake and started over. I gotta say, I felt alot like that shake in the blender. Chopped up and a mix of emotions. A blenderbuss. But as imprecise about dieting and as loud about feelings and struggles as I am, I come out just like that shake. Ready to drink! lol

No.

I come out feeling like I can put all the parts together, good and bad, rough and fine, and have something that I don’t mind feeding myself with.

UPDATE: weight this morning is 432. 😀

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way,
consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
James 1:2-3, NLT