May 31, 2009

9:21 PM: ow

Been awhile. I never intended to abandon my blog, but my identity as Shannon is already being devoured by my identity as Eli's mom. It's rewarding, of course, but losing yourself in something good, even, can be a little discouraging at times. Maybe I need to come here more often and just be Shannon.
Pregnancy was hard and I hated it! I had all sorts of complications and now that it's over, not only do I have a baby with preemie digestive issues, I also have gall stones. My stomach started aching last night and we went to the ER. I figured a long time ago that I'd end up with this little benefit of pregnancy, too... it just seemed to fit right in. I have to call the doctor in the morning to schedule an appointment and then surgery. 
I know it's been a couple years, but maybe I'll have some new gross internal photos to show you soon. :)

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December 04, 2008

9:07 PM: poor Betsy. poor me.

I don't intend for this to become the cat blog or anything, but...

I'm so sad. Betsy went away tonight and I'm still crying. I started crying before they even left the house and I can't seem to stop.

I really didn't think it would be this hard. I'm so sad, though, and I feel guilty, too. She is so needy and loves me so much. She looked so scared when they left. She kept going in circles in the carrier.

Everything about it felt wrong. As soon as the lady walked in the door, Betsy freaked and she seemed to hate her. She just kept growling and hissing at her. I just hope she will bring her back here and not take her to a shelter or something if she doesn't warm up. Part of me hopes she will adjust, but there is part of me that hopes she'll come back, too. I just don't think I was really prepared for how hard it would be. Who will cuddle with me now while Josh is working night shift? I'll be so lonely tonight. I wish he was here now. :(

4 Comments

October 08, 2008

11:56 AM: a home for betsy [please]

Once upon a time, I had only one cat. One cat, Jonah, has gone through lots of life with me. College, marriage, moves, divorce, numerous boyfriends, remarriage. One cat, Betsy, became mine through a slightly rash decision and although I love her, man, I have for many years now wished I could go back to having a one-cat household. Up until recently, I wouldn't have considered rehoming her because she is pretty attached to me. But the idea of having two cats and two kids in our small place had me almost convinced, and then yesterday she tried to take Noah's eye out.

She's jealous, I get it... but still, Noah has nice eyes. And I don't think she's going to be any less jealous of a new baby in the house. Besides, Josh is always kicking her off the bed or the couch, and really she just needs a loving lap to sit in all the time.

She's a super affectionate cat--lap cat all the way. She always wants to be on me or beside me, she loves sleeping in the bed, she purrs loudly and sometimes gets so happy she slobbers. She's housebroken and not bull-headed at all. She's about three years old, cute except her eyes are a little wide, and she has claws I trim but she's never been outside.

Anyone want to help out a poor kitty? If you or anyone you know (without kids) is looking for a loving lap cat, please let me know. I can go the craigslist route, but I am really hoping I can find a friend or a friend of a friend who I know will give her the attention she needs.

2 Comments

October 04, 2008

12:46 PM: sleeping alone... sometimes

Josh got switched to the night shift on Monday. When he first told me on Friday night, I had an enormous meltdown. I was sure it was the end of the world, we'd never see each other, it would cause marital problems, and so on. Saturday night when he got home from work, I had another one. Sunday night... again. I work best under pressure, because by Monday I was doing my best to figure out how to make this work instead of feeling sorry for myself and crying over something I couldn't change.

He works 12-hour shifts, so three days one week and four days the next I'll go to bed with only Baby Burke and the cats. The rest of the week we'll pretend like life is normal. I changed my hours at work so I can get home a little bit earlier and have a little bit more time before he leaves for work at 5:30pm. It's not my favorite situation, but we're making it work.

Last night I decided since it was Friday night, I would stay up super late so that I could sleep late this morning after Josh got home. So I stayed awake as long as I could and at 7am, my phone rang. Still a zombie, I had to go rescue Josh and his dead car battery. I could say my plan sort of backfired on me, but I did get to climb back in bed when I got home and sleep for awhile, so I guess I got what I wanted... just a little time next to my husband.

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September 15, 2008

11:24 AM: power

You know, I find it kind of disturbing to realize how difficult it is for us to live without electricity. One day and I have already found myself extremely bored and suffering internet withdrawal, my phone and computer died since they couldn't be recharged, my car almost ran out of gas and there was not a gas station anywhere with power, the food in my refrigerator--including the milk I just bought yesterday--has spoiled, it's hot in my house, I'm tripping over stuff in the dark, and my allergies are a disaster from sleeping with the windows open.

I went to pick up Noah last night in the middle of the wind storm and I tried to go three different ways before I could find a road that wasn't blocked by emergency vehicles or giant now-dead trees. And by the time I got to Johnstown, I wasn't sure I'd make it back since my gas light was blinking and there wasn't a gas station anywhere that could actually give me some gas. We ate dinner in candlelight, which could've been romantic except that Josh spent most of the time complaining about my candle selection being scented and pretty rather than functional and light-producing.

I was sure work would be canceled today, but lo and behold, our building--which loses power at the slightest sneeze of the system--was standing and glowing amidst the darkness of the rest of Columbus.

I just keep thinking about how we would survive if a real crisis were to happen. I guess we should be better prepared.

3 Comments

September 12, 2008

5:11 PM: oh, baby

I guess this is the year for Burkeish announcements, because we have another one for you. We're pregnant!

We got a positive test back in August, so it's been a month of secret-keeping. We had our first ultrasound yesterday, though, at 8 weeks, and all is well. We saw and heard a heartbeat (160!) and wow, was it a beautiful sound. I've been pretty anxious waiting to hear that everything was okay, so it was a huge relief. I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the little flickering heart on the screen!

Baby measured yesterday at 8w2d, which is two days ahead of where we thought we were. The due date is April 23.

I set up a blog a few weeks ago and I guess now it's safe to make it public. So you can follow us at http://littlebabyburke.blogspot.com.

Love,
Shannon, Josh, Noah, and BB


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July 05, 2008

3:31 PM: birthday and stuff

I didn't do a birthday post, but it was nice. Josh was working, so that was lame, but my work friends took me out and then Josh and I took the next day off and spent the day together. He took me to lunch and that evening we took Noah to the Powell Festival, so it was a good day. I think you should see this video of Josh singing happy birthday to me after sucking the helium out of the balloon Noah got at the festival. He will likely kill me for posting this, but I think it's funny.
video


Oh, and I was thinking I never posted a link to the slideshow we showed at our party. Since some of you weren't there, I thought you might like to watch it, so I've uploaded it for your viewing pleasure.

Guess whether or not Josh had to work on 4th of July? Oh, you are getting so good at this! But we spent Thursday evening with some friends and then when he got home last night we went over to Westerville to see the fireworks. It was really nice to spend a couple hours just sitting outside talking with him... it seems like we don't get to do that very often, so I was loving it.

Anyway, it's been a good couple weeks. Next on my list of things to worry about is our trip to Maine at the end of the month...

4 Comments

June 21, 2008

12:35 PM: party and stuff

Did you know it's hot and humid? It's our neighborhood's community yard sale day, and having just merged households, we had tons of junk to get rid of. I'm a shy girl, so sitting out here on display while people paw through (and often reject) my stuff isn't my idea of fun. Plus, it's hot, I'm bored, and my butt hurts from sitting on the stoop because someone bought the lawn chair from under me.

I kept meaning to write about the party. In spite of the rain, it was a great time. After fretting for as long as the date showed up in the 10-day forecast (and even a couple days before, I'll admit), when we woke up, our Friday the 13th was a beautiful day. I decided not to even look at the forecast for the entire day. We had planned to get dressed and go early to take pictures at the location with the pretty stuff behind us, but when we heard thunder rumble through around noon, my sister suggested we take some in the backyard just in case. Good thing, because we never saw the sun again for the rest of the day. Regardless, the pictures turned out well enough, even though Josh was super cranky about being hot in his wool suit in the 90-degree weather (note: he was cranky about feeling hot, but I'm pretty sure he enjoyed looking hot). Noah was not a good sport and refused to pose and smile, but we weren't really expecting better.






















It was great that all my family was able to make it in and good to meet Josh's dad. We had exactly 50 people at the party, even though we almost lost one or two in the giant bonfire. The rain stopped about an hour in, so we were able to get outside eventually, but even so, the barn was great and the rain cooled things off enough that being inside was just fine.






















All in all, it was a success, but I am so glad it's over! Anyway, thanks, friends. We love you!

3 Comments

June 03, 2008

3:01 PM: on working hard

... because I'm not, and I'm trying to decide how I feel about that.

We're in a bit of an editorial slump at the moment--we're coming down from the hysteria of one crazy project and the next is in the planning stages. A lot of red pens are capped right now.

Down time, which can be fairly enjoyable for a season, has become excruciatingly boring. It is in this time that, at first, I enjoy the freedom to check the news once an hour and catch up on my blog reading; but it is in this same time that I eventually realize the news isn't changing fast enough to keep my interest and my blogging friends aren't as consistent as they should be (hint, hint). The privilege of at-work surfing is becoming about as tedious as a regular, work-related task would be--and probably worse, since it comes without the purpose that succeeding at my job might bring.

So with down time comes a little peace and some usually-frowned-upon goofing off... the peace is nice, but there is some element of guilt that tags along with the goofing off. I guess I could do something more work-related with my time... like, say, start memorizing the dictionary or diagramming sentences for fun. (Aside: I know I'm a geek because neither of those sounds that horrible to me.)

But really, if there's nothing to do, why does my laziness have guilt attached? It isn't my fault. Maybe it's a few Proverbs... e.g., "A lazy man hates work." "A lazy man loves sleep." And maybe a little Colossians (i.e., "whatever you do... do it for the Lord..."). I wonder if there's an exception to the rule. Besides, I'm pretty good at lazing around for the Lord. I do it every day when I don't make Him the first priority in my life. And when I choose to gossip instead of encourage. And when I ignore the opportunities He gives me to take the easy way out.

Anyway. In 8 minutes I'm going to get my things together and ditch this cubicle... only to return again in too-few hours to repeat the monotony of this day tomorrow. But maybe I can be a little less lazy about how I use my time... or maybe not.

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3 Comments

May 23, 2008

12:21 PM: been awhile

I put $50 worth of gas in my car and it didn't fill the tank. I'm not sure how to exist in this world!

I know it's been awhile. I've been trying to force myself to be in a bloggy mood lately, but it hasn't worked. I want to write, but I don't want to write. Why? I don't know.

Marriage has been good. We're enjoying ourselves at least 98.5% of the time. The other 1.5% is spent mostly at work or in an occasional snit. But we like being normal. Sometimes he leaves notes for me on the bathroom mirror, and last night he brought me flowers.

Here's a few of the things I love about being married:
> No matter how long the day is, no matter how many things we have to do, no matter what keeps us apart for the daytime hours, I always get to crawl into bed beside my husband. And even if he falls asleep while I'm talking to him about my day, he's usually holding my hand as he does it, so it's still some kind of perfect.
> Everything matters on a different level now. The choices we make every day now affect each other, and I love thinking about that and making decisions together. Praying together about decisions, big or little, is fulfilling even before we hear the answer.
> Having more silverware has been amazing. For years I have been living on six forks, six spoons, and six knives. Suddenly, having a meal doesn't necessarily require washing a fork before I can eat. Yes!

A couple things that have been hard:
> Our friends and our church are the price we're paying for our decision. Seems to me it's the job of the church to lift up and encourage its people, and who needs that more than a newly married couple learning how to have a Christ-centered, successful marriage? So we're looking for a new church who will support and encourage. The great church search is a challenge, but it's sort of exciting, too.
> My dishwasher is tired. I swear I run it every day now. I'm not sure how one extra person can make such a difference!

In other news, lately most of my stress has been poured into the planning for the party. Next time I say I want to host a party, remind me that I hate planning! I love parties, though.

Early release from work today! I love holiday weekends.

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7 Comments

April 20, 2008

2:12 PM: Mark 10:9

A lot has happened since my last post. Least importantly, but momentarily annoyingly, my T key keeps sticking. And in this opening paragraph alone, I have had to fuss with the T key 12 times. Oh, now 13.

I wonder, when little girls dream about their wedding days, if they ever picture themselves eloping and skipping the whole wedding hoopla. Of course, I've already had my big hoopla wedding, so maybe I don't count. But I think I always imagined that it would be a big deal and romantic. Little did I know I'd one day become an eloper--or that a small deal could be way more romantic.

This has been quite a ride... but that is what I've come to expect from my roller-coaster life. The good break, then the engagement, then the judgment/suggestion, then the wrong break, then the recommitment... and then a shot gun wedding.

I have one important thing to say at this point:
I am not pregnant. I promise. We were painfully abstinent!

I guess you get to a point where you are two grown, praying adults who have made a valid decision about what they want, with an assurance of a God who listens and speaks to them. And then when you're at that point and someone tells you that what you're hearing from God isn't real, you have to step back and look at what you have. We are not impulsive people. We don't take this lightly. We have prayed and prayed over our decisions. And we decided to stop asking the world their opinion and do what we felt called to do. And that is the end of my defense.

Being married in the courthouse was actually a thousand times more romantic than the big, showy wedding I had the first time. With all the details and stress, I think a little bit of the meaning disappears. When it's just the two of you in one big room, holding hands and looking each other in the eyes, without a roomful of people watching and taking pictures, without worrying about whether your mother pulled your veil off your head when she hugged you... when it's just the two of you and a man with the power vested in him by the State of Ohio... that is romantic and real and a perfect, private moment. And while the idea of it being secretive and impulsive felt somewhat edgy, there was also a real excitement in being in on something together... in knowing something no one else knew. I guess it's kind of like beginning a new life with even the teensiest bit of adventure. I like a little adventure.

We will have a party eventually. I ordered a non-refundable dress and I intend to use it! Besides, we need real pictures so we can tell this crazy story to our grandchildren.

Next comes the details... moving Josh out and in, budgeting, name changing, getting rings, learning to adjust to living together... But first, telling people. That's what we're working on at the moment.

Over and out--
the Mrs.

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11 Comments

April 08, 2008

4:46 PM: joy kill

What do you think about divorce and remarriage?

We're getting some resistance from the church about this marriage, and it's beyond what the word frustrating can portray. I'm still in some state of shock at the events that have occurred in the last 24 hours. It was just yesterday around 5pm when I talked to the pastor and he said there are some issues regarding the marriage because of Josh's divorce. In one rotation of the earth, I have been angry, frustrated, defeated, sad, depressed, and resolute. I finished with a more positive word, but that doesn't mean the negative ones aren't still hanging around.

I happen to be in love with a man who isn't all that resolute. He is a good, godly man, but his struggle with grace makes him a lousy decision maker. He is sure of something one minute, and the next he is all at sea. What? Being a bit of a control freak (yep, I have my own issues, I guess), this is not easy for me to handle. I just want to take every little thing and fix it, but that isn't my job. I can't repair every injustice in his life no matter how hard I try.

I am at a loss to understand how the church I have attended and loved for the last five years is suddenly letting me down. I've never claimed to agree with everything the Southern Baptists believe, but I thought they were more interested in grace and forgiveness than they were about the legalistic side of things. I am not saying that we should discard the law, but Jesus came to fulfill it and that is what he did. The law now is Love.

Clearly, God hates divorce. Every Christian knows this. I had to wrestle with it regarding my own divorce. But what God told me during that time was this: Shannon, I hate divorce. But I love you. And that's the same for any kind of sin. Sin is just sin... it doesn't come in levels of evil, specific ones don't have certain requirements for removal, and God doesn't see one differently than another. It's all just distance from him, and it all disappears under the blood of Christ. And at that point, none carries conditions.

Let me look at a few things here. Divorce and remarriage is called adultery under the law. And how did Christ deal with an adulterer? Consider the woman in John 8 who was caught in adultery. Jesus told her accusers that they had no right to punish her. He said "Neither do I condemn you... go and sin no more." (John 8:11)

There is a promise from the Lord that Christ is faithful and just to forgive us, including the sin of adultery, if there is genuine repentance. Jesus didn't condone the woman's sin, but he forgave her. He didn't put any conditions on her freedom--he just released her from her sin.

Hebrews 10:17 says "And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more." If the Lord has forgotten the sin, how can there be conditions attached to it? We have a new start in Christ. "Old things have passed away; all things are made new!"

I'm not sure what kind of point I am attempting to make. I guess I'm just frustrated and needed to vent.

Pray for us. Pray for me as I meet with the pastor tomorrow. Pray for Josh as he deals with feelings of defeat and wanting to quit. Pray that God would speak to him in a way that is undeniable and full of grace. Pray for us that we can make it through the first of a lifetime of crises together.

Ugh!

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7 Comments

March 27, 2008

4:09 PM: news

We're getting married. I don't know the exact date or many details yet, but it will be June.

You'll probably have to click to be able to read this, but...

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March 20, 2008

4:37 PM: empty


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com


Holy fire
burn away
my desire
for anything
that is not of you
and is of me
'cause i want more of you
and less of me

empty me
empty me
and fill
won't you fill me
with you
with you

Nothing wise to say lately. Struggling a little. Sometimes a lot.

I'm learning lately about what it really means to be emptied. Maybe I'm being emptied... a little, anyway. I want it... but I wish I wanted it more. But Josh wants it, and watching that has been humbling. Sometimes really amazing, but sometimes hard. Ultimately, I do want to come second. But I am sometimes selfish, and in the little moments, I can't help it. My flesh wants to come first.

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February 10, 2008

7:10 PM: catching up

Today I was sweeping cat hair off the floor and complaining about cat-owning, as usual. I love (as in "care about," not the gross, overly attached kind of love) my particular cats, but I'm not a cat lover in general. In fact, I'm not really into animals at all. I love children, though, so that makes me feel a little bit more like I have a heart. I am just not into little furry things that need attention and a portion of my salary to survive. Josh isn't into cats--even my particular ones. He keeps threatening to take off their collars and let them out. Sometimes I don't protest. Anyway. I was complaining and rolling my eyes and quietly wishing them away, and Josh said, "That's what I love most about you. You have cats, but you wish you didn't. Well, not most, but a lot." He was serious, and that made me laugh.

Here's my big news. I've decided to learn to cook. I have been resistant for many years now, but lately I've been feeling bad that I can never feed poor Josh anything when he comes over. He would be lucky if I even had any bread to make PB&J. So last week I made the big decision and I've been semi-functional in the kitchen since then. I sat down with cookbooks, picked things out, and went to the store. For the first time in my life, there's meat in my freezer. It's kind of exciting. There's a roast in my crockpot at this very moment. I hope it's okay, because I've been building up to this moment all week. It's the little things.

New project is finally starting at work this week. I can't wait. I've been counting down the days and I sort of feel like stopping before work at the party store for a hat and some noise-makers or something. The last year has been slow and my brain feels sort of mushy. I hope it can start sparking again.

On a shameful note, guess what started up this week? Paradise Hotel 2. Man!! I watched the first one way back in the day and I loved it. I didn't think they'd ever bring it back, but hello, PH Season 2! I feel so dirty!

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4 Comments

January 26, 2008

3:35 PM: moving on

I have two empty spaces in my heart. One space will always be there, and it belongs to my sister Susan. That space, I know, will never be filled by anything else; it will never close up. The other space belongs to a pretty little girl named Allie.

It was only six months of my life, and in the big picture of life, it seems like it shouldn't affect my heart in quite the way it has. But the time I spent holding her, hugging her, kissing her, playing with her, reading to her, changing her diaper, watching her potty-train, teaching her words and songs and games, and, well, loving her... it all seems so much bigger to me than it sounds when I put a time frame on it. "Six months," I say. It sounds like nothing. But it's been only a little more than six months, too, since I last held her, and that seems like an eternity.

Letting go of a child is hard. It's something about the innocent way that they love you... that you love them... there's no agenda. There aren't any games. It's nothing like the expectations and struggles in a relationship. So I loved her... simply and fully. And she loved me, too, and it was an innocent, special kind of love that made her see me as nothing more than love in action. She didn't notice that I was flabby or had thin hair or that I was insecure or that her dad couldn't talk to me about his feelings. She saw me and smiled and ran into my arms and her love was joy to me. Walking away from a child who loved you completely, with perfect innocence, is hard.

Time does heal wounds, though, and I thought I was doing pretty well. Until I realized how hard it would be to meet another child and find myself unsure of how--or whether, even--to give my love to this child, too. I will, I know, but it might be slow. I'm ready to move on--but I'll never discount the love and lessons I gained from this little ball of love I mothered for six months.

So this is for you, Little One. One last reminiscence of your bouncy curls and your big blue eyes and the songs you sang for me. One last time, I'll let myself recall the times you read to me because I skipped a page in the book you memorized. One last time, I'll remember building barnyards out of Legos. Coloring Easter eggs. Playing sick while you took my temperature. Rolling down the hill in the backyard. Singing in the car. Watching Dora while you fell asleep in my arms. Dressing your dolls. Hearing you say, "I love you, Sannon," with your sweet little smile. And then I'll let you go, Baby, because you aren't mine. But I was blessed that I was yours, even if it was just for a heartbeat.

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January 23, 2008

4:53 PM: boiling blood

I am in disbelief over this article about a "church" and their decision to picket Heath Ledger's funeral because of the homosexual role he played in Brokeback Mountain. How can these people believe in the same Christ of the Bible who loves his creation in the midst of our sin, who offers grace and mercy to all of his children? They have perverted the Word of God into hate when the message is supposed to be Love.

Sin's just separation, you know, and it's all the same.

Thanks a lot, Westboro Baptist "Church," for making true Bible-believing Christians look like hateful, disgusting, and miserable people with narrow minds and narrower hearts.

3 Comments

January 03, 2008

10:07 PM: newness

When I hear new, I get a positive feeling. It's usually a good thing. Other than, say, New Jersey. Because, well, ick. But generally, new is a nice concept. Like new babies, new clothes, new shoes, new love. And, of course, new years. I sort of wonder why it's really such a big deal to us to start a new year--it's not like there's some big shift in the universe that says it's time to start over. It's just that someone has taught us to get a new calendar, and we buy into it. But whether your calendar is The Office (like mine), or bichons (like Jen's every year for the rest of her life), or hot cowboys (like the one I bought last year that Erin wouldn't let me hang up at work) or whatever your mom put in your stocking... well, it works for us. Because everyone likes newness. It's an amazing feeling, really, to know it's possible to start over. For some reason, we hang up the new calendar and with it comes a whole bunch of resolve that we just couldn't scrape up all year long. What is it about the new year that makes it seem possible to get on the treadmill, put down the cigarette, be a better friend, or learn new things?

And then all of that reminds me of the newness that God gives us every day. Of course, that has nothing to do with our resolve. And how we take that for granted! Every day is January 1. Every day we get a new calendar! Just think. You could have The Office, bichons, sexy cowboys, and even Dilbert. And then 361 more! The calendar tangent is a little silly, but really. New mercies every morning. What an amazing gift that is.

With the rest of the resolute of Central Ohio, I have plans. I'm not telling you, though, because it will jinx me or something. I guess it will just make me feel like a dork if I don't follow through. So jinx or dork, I'm not telling you.

Anyway, 2007 was an okay year. Last year Mom said 2007 would be my year... well, I really hope that wasn't it. I had some hard times, but at least they were sandwiched by good ones. It started well and it ended well, in spite of a little heartache in the middle. I finished it happy. Instead of writing about the events of the year, I'm going to just do my recap in photos. They're not in order. I'm not resolute enough to do that.

Hello, 2008!







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3 Comments

December 23, 2007

3:38 PM: the way to go

I'm sitting on the floor in the airport. There's a plane on fire outside my window. No, really! There's lots of smoke and flashing lights, and we just found out there's a plane on fire in the hangar. And not just that, but the hangar's on fire, too. Here's hoping my plane is cool as a cucumber.

It doesn't feel like Christmas yet. I'm not sure what it's going to take--maybe once we get there and I'm in a house full of people I love and they start to drive me crazy--maybe then it will feel like the holidays.

I was remembering this morning how crazy last Christmas was for me with the surgery and all. I feel thankful this year for the simple things, like pain-free traveling (well, minus the one-hour delay we have so far), the ability to wear pants (oh, the little things!), and especially being able to go to the Christmas Eve service. It didn't feel like Christmas last year when I couldn't go to church. But I didn't think they'd appreciate my showing up in the old-lady nightgown I was living in at the time...

I had to leave one of my best Christmas blessings behind today, though, and that's a little sad. Since I couldn't stuff Josh in my carry-on bag (it was him or my laptop, and you can see who won), I had to kiss him goodbye last night and I'll be counting down the days--even though I'm sure they'll be good ones--until he picks us up on Friday evening.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

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December 20, 2007

10:42 AM: christmasing

It's Thursday, but it feels like Friday. It's party week at work and no one's getting much done. Folks have mentally checked out for Christmas vacation, so sitting here at my desk feels a little like a waste of time. We have our next party at 11:30, so in less than an hour, I'll be freed from my cubicle chains, eating good food, white elephanting, and taking lots of pictures, of course.

December tends to be party heavy, but I love it. So far, I've enjoyed the Walk Christmas Party:











The Ugly-Christmas-Sweater Party:














A secret Santa Party (I'll leave off the photo of my boss playing Santa);
A special S&S (photo-free--Amazing, I know!);

And our company party:










One party today. One party Friday. Then come the family festivities.

I love to party.

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December 12, 2007

9:59 PM:

Sick. Bored. Sick. Bored. Sick. Bored.

Arrrrgghhh!

I guess this makes two complainy posts in a row. I haven't been complaining constantly since Saturday, I promise! But I'm sick, and that makes me whiny. And I can't go to work tomorrow--doctor's orders--and being bored makes me whiny, too. I need something to do to kill the time. I'm trying to sleep as much as I can, but when I lie down, I cough too much to sleep. And my nose won't stop running, which means I have a tissue permanently lodged in one nostril. I can work on getting a picture of this if you really need the visual. I have no pride when it comes to my running nose.

I finished my book over the weekend... that's always exciting news. I started a new book today and I'm a couple chapters in. I read some good things I was considering quoting here. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow when I'm bored all over again.

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1 Comments

December 09, 2007

12:09 PM: new day

I'm much calmer today. You can put away the straight jacket.

Happy Sunday!

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December 08, 2007

4:34 PM: mad mad mad mad world


I'm sitting at Josh's, trying to talk myself down from the great frustration that has me on the top of Anger Mountain. I feel just a little bit insane right now.

Waiting is not one of my gifts. I hate to wait, but I agreed to sit here and anticipate the arrival of the cable guy at J's new place. Apparently, even when given a FOUR-HOUR WINDOW, Time Warner still cannot make it anywhere on time.

I've been here for five hours wasting away my Saturday. I called them at 4:05, already seething, and the lady on the phone gave me the run-around for not knowing the last four digits of J's social, the correct street address, or the account number. Listen, lady. All I know is that you are wasting my time, and if you were within strangling distance, my fingers would be sore right now. She said she'd have Mr. Late-Ass call me with an ETA, but that was 40 minutes ago and I'm still sitting here in great anticipation. Except now, I'm seething even more than I was before.

I don't generally get this angry, so it's sort of disturbing me. It shouldn't matter so much, but I guess the waiting, the incompetency, and my hormones are making a really bad cocktail today, and I've thrown back way too many.

Send calming thoughts my way, please.

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December 03, 2007

5:00 PM: grace

I've got grace on the brain today.

I get really impatient with people who just don't get it. I know it's a heavy subject, but it seems so simple to me. That doesn't make it less amazing, but it feels simple. We're screwy, God is good, and He forgets our bad stuff. So why can't we forget it, too?

I don't really struggle with the grace concept all that much, but I have friends who do. Sometimes it makes me want to take them by the shoulders and give them a good shaking. I wish there were a way to convey the simplicity of it that is in my mind. I know it doesn't come down to just experience. These are people who have definitely experienced and appreciated grace. I'm not sure why it's simple for me, but I'm glad it is. Watching someone struggle with guilt and shame is taking its toll on my own heart. It's a struggle to watch and not really understand without becoming very, very frustrated.

As far as the east is from the west! It's not so hard. The Lord took it from you and he threw it away. It never happened! Stop covering your face. Stop hiding. Stop being defeated. Be victorious! Because you are! You are free.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.

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November 23, 2007

2:47 PM: still thankful

We survived the holiday and the Black Friday sales!

I feel like there are so many more people/things to add to my thankful-for list, but I can't go listing everyone without forgetting someone. But at the moment, my heart feels like it wants to mention Mandy, my best internet friend, who listens patiently with love and gives amazing advice and never gets tired of being my counselor. And at the risk of sounding like a real sap, I'm going to admit that I'm thankful for Joshua. It's only been a month, but he has been a real blessing to me in a lot of ways, including a strengthened faith in the God who changes lives and a real desire to be more disciplined about the time I spend with the Lord.

I guess my week of public thankfulness is over, but I'm going to try to remember all the reasons I have to be thankful.

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November 22, 2007

4:25 PM: thanks, day 3

Giving Thanks, Day 3

Happy Thanksgiving Day! If you're reading this at all, you're probably my friend, so you should know I'm thankful for you in my life.

I'm sitting on the couch with too much food in my belly but just the right people around me. I'm even more content than yesterday, because Josh is here now and that just makes perfect even better. Is that possible? The kids are still loud and Daniel is still farting. But it's all a-ok.

+ The Walk
The Walk is my group of friends from church. We're like family and they have picked me up a million times when I've fallen. They are my community here and my closest friends. Through these people I've learned to feel and love and trust and know what it feels like to have friends you can really, truly count on.

+ Erin, Jen, and the Rest of My Work Friends
I've been so enormously blessed in the friends department. I remember when I was younger and had trouble making friends. I remember seeing groups of friends together doing stuff and wishing I had that. In the last few years, God has filled my friends cup to overflowing! When you see the same people eight hours a day, five days a week and you still like each other at the end of the day, you know they're special. Erin and Jen are a couple of my best listeners, and there are so many others who are always keeping me happy and positive and well-hugged. Sometimes, going to work is like a party every day.

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
-I Thessalonians 5:18

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November 21, 2007

5:56 PM: thanks, day 2

Giving Thanks, Day 2

I'm safely at my brother's and happily surrounded by my family. We've been lying around for hours now, accomplishing nothing but much rest, much eating, much laughter. I've whined a bit about feeling not so perfect today, but on the bright side, at least I have my mother here to pet my head. Dad's working on his Bible study at the kitchen table, which means we all have to listen to him read out loud one passage or another as he finds it interesting. Allison's playing really loud music, Daniel's farting everywhere, and the dogs are driving each other crazy. But everyone's happy.

So here's day 2. I'm going to go with...

+ Lisa and Jill
They're my two best friends--each of them so much like me and yet very little like each other. Jill helps me to be rational and make smart decisions, and Lisa listens to and knows my heart. I don't know what I'd do without either of them.

+ My job
I'm so blessed to have a job that I love in a great place with amazing friends. It's secure, it's rewarding, I enjoy it, and the people I work with are some of my closest friends.

Time to take the kids to Blockbuster. Back tomorrow.

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November 20, 2007

5:05 PM: thanks, day 1

Giving Thanks, Day 1

I'm done with work for the week, so the holiday has officially begun. And I'm thankful for that! So since it's Thanksgiving week, I'm going to do my best to really be truly thankful for all the blessings in my life. I'm going to come up with two things I'm thankful for each day for the rest of the week, and I'm starting today.

+ Jesus, of course.
Where would I be without my Lord? He has brought me through so much already in my life. I'd go through all my painful things again just to experience waking up on that day when he healed my heart. He always comes through, and he'll do it again. And again. And again.

+ My mother
I lived a lot of years before I realized what a blessing my mom is. I think I just assumed that all mothers were the same and they were all like mine. But then, a few years ago, people (yep, that's plural) started telling me how lucky I was to have a mother like mine, and I started to realize that everyone doesn't have the same blessings and all moms aren't as special as mine. Not all mothers care. They don't all listen and advise and trust and believe in and encourage and pray for their kids. They don't all make their children feel happy and loved even on their loneliest days. They're certainly not all funny, even though they might try to be. But mine does all these things and a lot more, so I could never be thankful for anything more than I am for my mom.

I want to keep going, but I want to spread out my thankfulness this week so I don't go forgetting about all my blessings. I'll be back.

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November 18, 2007

5:44 PM: depravity and joy

I just finished watching an exceptionally disturbing episode of SVU. After watching a bunch of little kids die in a cult setting, the end was only slightly redeeming. Then on the screen flashed an "in memory of" dedication that made the whole thing feel far too real.

I've been having a somewhat emotional day anyway, so this was probably the last thing I needed to see. It's one of my favorite shows, but it really brings to life the depravity of the world and that can be really depressing. Why are we always finding new ways to hurt each other?

In contrast to what I just saw, I watched as a handful of children met Jesus this morning in our church service. Just like I cried for the children on TV just now, I cried for the children this morning. But thankfully the dead ones aren't real and the real ones will live forever. It's Thanksgiving week, and I'm so thankful for the joy the Lord gives us even as we are surrounded by the darkness of this world.

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November 12, 2007

6:54 PM:

I don't feel like I have anything useful, funny, interesting, or edifying to say today, but it's been a long time since an update and I guess I'm feeling obligated.

The idea of feeling obligated to write makes me LQTM, since Erin was just writing about such blogging mysteries recently. I guess I don't exactly know my true blogging purpose. I think when I started (which was January of 2003, and for the record, long before the blogging generation began), I originally intended it to just be for me. But she's right--since I know I have readers, I will hesitate to write unless I feel I have something good to say. Maybe I should trust you all more than that.

Anyway, it's finally starting to feel like the right season outside. I love fall, but there's something satisfying about watching it pass into winter. There's something about chilly air and coats and hats and seeing my breath that makes me feel warm. Ironic, I guess. It's probably a result of knowing the holidays are approaching, bringing parties and food and friends and family and other happy things (like pumpkin roll) with them.

So the holidays are almost here, it's sweater-wearing time, I'm hanging with my Lisa tomorrow, and there's this guy... so I'm smiling lately. Plus, I just got my teeth cleaned today, so I may as well show them off.

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October 25, 2007

1:26 PM: one liner

I was about nine or ten, and Mom was driving me to town. We were driving along and singing with the radio, as we usually did, when she laughed at the lyrics I was singing that I had apparently made up. It was a Cathedrals song, and I can only remember one line--the wrong way and the right way. I was singing "a fire in the weather makes a little poor child come alive." She said the actual lyrics were "a fire in the winter," but I didn't believe her, and as a matter of fact, I'm still not sure I do.

For some reason, that one line kept running through my head this morning as I was waking up. I haven't heard the song in 15 years, probably, but that line has been stuck in my head all day. I tried Google, but I can't find it based on either the correct or incorrect lyrics. I'm starting to think we both made it up. It's driving me crazy that I can't find it anywhere, that I can't remember the title, and that I might never really know the actual lyrics. Besides, having one fuzzy line of a song stuck in my head is only adding to the fun of my bored-to-death-with-being-home-sick week.

And now I'm thinking maybe "little poor child" should be "little cold child." Then again, "little frozen child" would make the most sense, but it definitely doesn't fit the music (which you can't hear, because it apparently only exists in my head). And if I had a little cold child that was barely alive, I think I'd try a hot bathtub before I dumped him in a fire. I think this might be the beginning of lunacy.

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October 19, 2007

1:58 PM: whomever's name is Toby

Toby has always been my favorite character from The Office, and last night he proved himself to me in the whoever/whomever exchange.

Michael (to Ryan): It’s whoever, not whomever.
Ryan: No, it’s
whomever.
Michael: No,
whomever is never actually right.
Jim: Sometimes it’s right.
Creed: Michael is right. It’s a made-up word used to trick students.
Andy: Actually,
whomever is the formal version of the word.
Oscar: Obviously it’s a real word, but I don’t know when to use it correctly.
Michael: Not a native speaker.
Kevin: I know what’s right, but I’m not gonna say because you’re all jerks who didn’t come to see my band last night.
Michael: Do you really know which one is correct?
Kevin: I don’t know.
Pam: It’s
whom when it’s the object of the sentence and who when it is the subject.
Phyllis: That sounds right.
Michael: Well, it sounds right, but is it?
Stanley: How did Ryan use it? As an object?
Ryan: I used it as an object.
Kelly: Ryan used me as an object.
Pam: How did he use it again?
Toby: Ryan wanted Michael, the subject, to explain the computer system, the object, to whomever, meaning us, the indirect object, which is the correct usage of the word.
Michael: No one asks you anything ever, so whomever’s name is Toby, why don’t you take a letter opener and stick it in your skull.

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October 09, 2007

8:15 PM: lately

I finally finished reading the last chapter of the chemistry book that's been eating my brain away at work lately. There's actually a picture of Humpty Dumpty in that ridiculous book.

Emily's wedding is this weekend. I can't believe it's here! I've had a thousand things to do, but I'm starting to feel ready. In the spirit of timeliness, I burned myself with the curling iron on Sunday and have a nice hickey-looking mark on my neck.

Check out this right brain/left brain test. I can only see her spinning clockwise, but most of my friends think she's spinning counterclockwise. We were all looking at the same screen this morning trying to decide which of us were crazy.

Hey, I think fall might really be here!

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September 26, 2007

9:08 PM: who?


While I was watching ANTM tonight, I was surfing blindly with the Stumble button. For some reason, it showed me this image. I think it's a t-shirt, but when I saw it, it made me stop for a second and think about the answer to its question.

And after just a few moments of considering the idea, I feel enormously blessed. So, I thought I'd give you the same opportunity to feel warm and fuzzy. Who loves you?

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September 24, 2007

9:15 AM: celebrate!

It's National Punctuation Day!

That's all.

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September 23, 2007

10:08 AM: happy

This is going to be a good day. I can tell already. I'm ready for church and still have some time to sit here and read my hometown newspaper. Not that it's exciting, but it's home. I'm eating Frankenberry cereal, which means it's fall--and the best cereal season ever. Martin is singing for me. The Steelers will be on tv later, and that always makes me happy.

Mom's home from the beach, so that small and inexplicable annoyance in my life is fixed (inexplicable because, well, she doesn't live near me anyway. So, why should it matter?).

I found an article on commas that made me laugh. We are all the same.

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September 12, 2007

12:28 AM: sleep and such

Have you ever actually tried counting sheep? I've had a hard time falling asleep lately for some reason, and the only thing that really seems to work is Nyquil; however, it creates brain fuzz the next morning, regardless of the dosage. Last night when I couldn't sleep, I started wondering if anyone really counts sheep to fall asleep. Have you ever tried it? I decided to give it a shot, but I found that "watching" the sheep jump over the fence gave me a headache. I wasn't positive, but I guessed it was the counting that was the putter-to-sleep, so I switched to cats walking. I figured that would be easier on the eyes of my imagination. Thing is, neither the sheep nor the cats actually helped me fall asleep. Not sure if I'm just the single exception to the sheep-counting sleep success, but it didn't work for me.

I need to say this: way to go, Steelers... way to open the season by pulverizing the Browns. It doesn't get much better than that. At least not for a Steelers fan stuck here in the OH-IO.

I've decided it's time for another media fast. Time to get my focus back. Today I was driving home from the store and I was thinking about wanting to write. I always want to write, but I'm just too stinking distracted. I can't do anything I should do because I'm always distracted by stuff that's easier and more mindless. So, I'm going to do it. Wednesday to Saturday (um, the new shows start next week. ha!), I will be AWOL from the online community. Taking away my internet and television, I am then left with... what? Books... a pen and paper... chores... work... Jesus... all good things I don't seem to have enough time for because my Internet addiction gets in the way.

If you happen to need me, you can either call my cell or e-mail me at work. I have no choice whether to be online at work--it's kind of necessary. I have to watch my e-mail for my freelance work, too, so on the off-chance it's a life-or-death matter, I am reachable. Otherwise, I'll see you on Saturday.

much love!

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August 25, 2007

6:34 PM: update

I thought I should probably let you know that my AC is up and running again. Whew.

It died last Friday and with the heat wave came the rain. The heat wave made it nearly impossible for me to function exist; the rain made it completely impossible for the AC man to get the job done. He called each morning at 7am to cancel. Finally I got angry (read: mouthy) and he managed to make it Thursday. The world is right again.

I'm at my parents' in Pennsylvania this weekend, so the cats are at home enjoying the air conditioning. I was afraid to turn it off.

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August 22, 2007

5:28 PM:

How do people manage to live without air conditioning? I know some people do it on purpose, but I feel like I am living in a third-world country.

Oh, America.

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August 21, 2007

7:21 PM: miles and miles

I haven’t heard anything yet from the Beautiful Club. But since we’re on the topic of beautiful...

A couple days ago I heard a friend do a cover of a popular mainstream song--but before she did, she invited us to listen to the lyrics and hear God whispering to our hearts.

She talked about little girls in Asia who become prostitutes… maybe because they don’t have any choice… maybe because they don’t have any hope… maybe because it’s the only thing that makes them feel loved and useful. I’m glad we’re in America and girls aren’t reduced to selling their bodies. But even here, we sell ourselves out. Girls like you, girls like me. We’re born with a need to be held and loved and appreciated and once we’re too old to get that kind of affection from our parents, we start looking for it everywhere else. And when that need isn’t filled physically, we start to get emotionally needy, too. I need people to love me, and what will I do to get it? I don’t sell my body, but maybe sometimes I sell my soul. And for what? Things that are fleeting, always. All the while, God is waiting, and he’s patient, and he’s willing to stand in the rain on my corner… waiting for me to tap on his window and be loved.

I don’t mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved.
Tap on my window, knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful.

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August 19, 2007

8:35 PM: beautiful dot com

My beauty is being assessed by professionals.

The other day I was on the phone with Mom and she was watching an interview on Fox News with Derek Braun, founder of The Beautiful Club--an elite club for beautiful people. Self-described, they are "here to select the elite for you...." This "exclusive membership" is "pre-selected by a panel of judges."

How does one apply? Go to the club's myspace site, send a friend request, and wait. Once they receive your request, a discreet panel of judges will make their decision and only you will know the outcome.

The whole thing is amusing to me. The club, the membership procedure, the "panel of judges"... I'll be sure to update you on my acceptance or rejection as soon as I get word either way.

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August 14, 2007

9:20 AM:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

I'm generally ISFJ, but my E and I are usually pretty close. I must be feeling in a social mood this morning. I still think I'm more of an ISFJ.

ESFJs are social butterflies that value relationships, supporting and nurturing others. Never one to shy away from social events, they are often the host. ESFJs are responsible, dutiful, observe traditions and follow rules. ESFJs have a deep concern for others and often end up as caretakers. They are sensitive to criticism and have a need to be appreciated for the good they do for others. ESFJs are understanding, generous, have a quick wit and a knack for composition and beautification.

ISFJs are traditional, loyal, quiet and kind. They are very sensitive to other people's needs because they are very observant. They have rich inner thoughts and emotions. They value stability and cultural norms. They are very adept at giving attention to detail. They do not seek positions of authority.

love,
your protector

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August 08, 2007

7:30 PM: fluff

So I was thinking it's about time for a light-and-fluffy post. So here's a random list of ten things that have made me happy lately.

1. Seeing so much of Teresa and Libby
2. Feeling like myself again and having people notice
3. A first date that didn't suck!
4. Doing something meaningful at work
5. Talking to Mom every day
6. Reruns of ANTM
7. Finishing the crossword puzzle
8. Making new friends at the office
9. Hitting my hug quota
10. Nighttime chats with Mandy

the best, though: Jill's moving back!

What makes you happy?

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July 30, 2007

11:45 AM: finally

I keep thinking it's time to write something, but I've struggled with finding the gumption to sit down and do it. Not that I didn't have anything to say--it was just the act of forming it into something coherent that daunted me.

And it still does. I have all these topics running around in my head and I don't know where to start. It seems like God has been showing me things lately and every time he does, I'll try to store that little thing away and remember to write about it later. Now I have this giant pile of stuff over in one corner of my brain, but it's getting all dusty and I'm not sure I can retrieve it.

I guess I'll start with an update on my emotional status. I'm doing okay--at least for now. It seems like every time I announce to anyone that it's getting better, things start crashing down around me and I find myself back in the pit of despair. I do not want to keep finding myself in that pit, so I'm trying to keep a good distance. I think I have mostly myself to blame for my depressed funks--when I get into one, I can't get out because I can't convince myself to take a step. I get under the covers and hide my soul away and it's cold and dark and lonely, but it feels safer than anything outside the four walls of my bedroom. When I finally walk myself out of my hidey-hole, I'm certain it's better on the outside; yet my heart sometimes feels safer there. Anyway, for now, I'm doing pretty well.

Last week was VBS and I started that week in what was perhaps the deepest depressive state of my life--I spent four days in self-pity, ending on Monday morning when I woke up and got back to my normal routine after a week of vacation. The routine helped enormously, but it was the kids--well, the serving--that really uplifted my downtrodden heart (head?). I'm working on my focus and getting my heart (head too) right again.

When I started being rational again, it felt good and right. My anger at God for not coming through with MY plans was completely ridiculous, and I knew that. But being in an irrational state of mind, I couldn't wrap my mind around Truth. I know Truth. We're good friends. But it evaded me; I could see evidence that it had been nearby, but when I tried to hold onto it, it kept slipping through my fingers. It was so buried in all my momentous crap. The hurts of the moment made me blind to Truth, and although I did want it, there was a part of me that didn't want it, too. And that is the part of me that was new and foreign and frightening. I think I've sent it home now, and I hope it doesn't come back.

One time at a prayer group, a bunch of us were all sitting around a friend's living room and we were discussing the topics we wanted to pray for and then keep in mind throughout the week. When we were ready to pray, I closed my eyes and was listening to the prayers coming from around the room. These people were (well, are) my good, close friends. My family. We were comfortable together. Some sat on furniture, some sat on the floor. I was on the floor. In our little pseudo-circle, there was an empty spot on the floor and in that moment with my eyes closed for prayer, I saw my God sitting there with us. I can still see it when I close my eyes. He was sitting there on the floor, legs crossed Indian-style. His hands sat on his knees, and he looked as comfortable with us as we were with each other. We all had our eyes closed, but his were open, and as he watched and listened, he was smiling. I mean, really smiling. He was listening and nodding and smiling and in that moment, I began to cry and I felt like I knew God in the most real way I have ever known him. He wasn't just this glowing light or happy feeling or even "just" Creator or Father but he was my real, personal God, who sat in on my prayer time and smiled at our obedience. He listened, he knew, he cared, he heard, and he changed me.

I remember that a lot. In the last two months when I've been sad, I've tried to conjure up that picture of God sitting there with his legs crossed and listening and nodding. I would get close and then shut down. Why? I don't know. Too much self-interest, I suppose. Too obsessed with myself and not keeping my eyes on God. But lately as I've been working at spending time with him and keeping myself focused, I've started to feel like Zaccheus. Not because I'm in a tree watching for Jesus--I wish I could say I've been that faithful. No. I'm still pretty much consumed with myself. But because he knows my name. Regardless of who I am or what I do or why I struggle, he comes and he says, "Shannon, I need to come to your house." And I think, "wow. That great, important man just called me by name. And he needs me!" I'm not worthy of either of those things, but I'm so thankful for his grace.

He's so much more faithful than I will ever be.

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July 08, 2007

6:42 PM: just us

For being 93 degrees, yesterday sure was refreshing. Spending time solely with my married-or-at-least-engaged friends has been difficult lately. I love them all, but being surrounded by couples only intensifies the feeling of being very alone. Yesterday was a full (and very hot) day, and I was wiped out when I finally got in my bed, but it was so nice to spend the day with a big group of single friends who aren't talking about weddings or honeymoons or who's moving in where and who aren't kissing or hugging every ten minutes. When I got home last night, I realized that I didn't feel lonely at all that day--not even once. I need more days like that. Plus, there were lots of soccer boys to check out...

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July 03, 2007

9:44 AM: perspective

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


I love this.

Suggested editorial change to the last frame per Erin:
"Are you all right? A piece got by, but it’s something I allowed in my sovereignty and goodness because I love you and want to change your character so that you can comfort others when they suffer."

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About Me

    Name: Shannon
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Editor
    Identity: Child of God
    Location: Ohio
    Yahoo: shann_79

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