Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012



Not really fabulous adjectives. Particularly when it comes to one's soul.  But, I admit that is where I spent part of last week.  I know C.S. Lewis had eloquent thoughts on the intent and value of these spaces where the God I know is there is so hard to sense, but I prefer Brother Lawrence's approach of a constant closeness.  

Of late, I confess there have been more days when I felt the Sahara in my chest than when love and awareness of God rushed forth.

Yesterday I went to a small diverse church I've begun visiting.  We sang some songs that were uncomfortably close to the top of my range, including In Christ Alone, which always stirs me. Then we had communion. 

I love this.  I love the idea of ingesting Christ. I want to breathe him in, and exhale myself. I want to absorb him like the sun's rays on my skin.  And, I want to take him as bread and wine if it will bring me even a little closer to him.  And it always does.

When I had been unable to sense him in less tangible ways, I was fully able to grasp this sacrament. Literally, I held the little piece of bread, prayed with my brothers and sisters in Christ as the pastor blessed it, and then took part, joined through time to all believers clear back to the twelve who lounged around the table eating Passover when Jesus reached out, picked up a flat piece of bread, and then rent it as he said, "This is my body, broken for you."  

I think its pretty well established by the rest of that evening's events that the disciples didn't know what He meant.  They probably figured it was Jesus getting all deep again and they should just go with it. Maybe they were glad no one else was there to hear it and think he was weird.  

But I bet a few days later, when all hell had literally broken loose and their leader had seemingly lost the war, that simple act came back to them. Cowering together in a shuttered room, eating the simplest of food, if they could eat at all, someone reached out and tore a piece of bread....and remembered.

Jesus had known. He was not surprised by death. He had planned ahead, an act so simple that it would be part of life, so poignant that the symbolism could never be lost.  It was a reminder at every meal that their Lord was with them.  Death had not beaten him, as they would soon find out, and nothing could truly separate Jesus from those who loved him. Nothing. Ever.

As I dragged my weary soul to church on Sunday and saw the elements on the table, so simple and so rich, I smiled.  I remembered.  And I was refreshed. No matter how vague, how silent, how dry my soul, it will not wither. It is cupped in the loving hands of Jesus.

Thank you, Oh Lord, for your faithfulness. Thank you that emotions are just that. Thank you for the incredible blessing of belonging to you. And thank you for communion, for knowing we would need a tangible reminder of what you've done for us.  All my love!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I've been called many things in my life. Some good, some I'd like to forget, and some that I'm not sure what to do with. For example, intimidating.  Occasionally used in conjunction with independent, or strong, this title is given with some feeling, but I'm never sure what kind. I mean, it's not like someone called me a booger, but its also not the same as, say, brilliant.

I don't try to be intimidating, and I used to try to figure out what to do about it, but I've given up. The thing is, I just do what needs to be done. As a single gal, if the trash needs to be taken out, I do it. If the lease needs to be negotiated, I do it. If a mini-van plows into the side of Dirk the Blue Impala, it is I who must exchange information with the perp and wait for the cops. I'm not complaining, there are definitely a lot of great things about being the sole decision maker, like eating pizza five days in a row, or buying the good shampoo that costs a lot more, or watching a corny movie featuring The Rock. It's just that I am used to taking care of myself.

Which is why it is so refreshing in those rare times when someone does stuff--be it difficult or routine--for me.  Pops was in town this weekend to visit.  He visits all us kids on his way to and from a big meeting each fall, and this year he scheduled his stop in Little Rock to coincide with my move from one apartment to another.  The movers had just finished hauling the last of my furniture up three flights when I left to pick up Pops at the airport.

After a brief froyo stop, we went straight to work, and didn't really stop all weekend.  We unpacked my kitchen, my books, and cleaned up the old place so I will get my deposit back.  He even did the vacuuming which is my least favorite chore!  And as the pile of full boxes in the new place became a pile of empty boxes, he hauled them downstairs to the trash bin. Over. And over.

To get this kind of help, I would gladly buy meals and entertainment.  But, Pops sprang for dinners and  groceries and even some household goods. I'm thinking of putting a plaque by the guest bathroom trash can in his honor.

I don't know if this sounds like a big deal or not, but to me it was. For once, I could let go of the responsibility. I didn't have to be strong, or independent. I could lean on my dad and, as always, he took good care of me.

This independence thing seeps into my relationship with God, too. And like my loverly earthly Pops, God says, "Don't worry about it, I got this."  He's willing to do the heavy lifting, willing to provide, and even to treat me. I don't need to be strong enough or work hard enough for him to love me or even to like me. He just does.

I was reminded of this truth over the weekend. And I will try to let go. Over. And over.

Thank you, Lord, for Pops and what a wonderful example of you he is.  Thank you for the family you've blessed me with!  Thank you for being strong for me, that I needn't be independent because you are always dependable.  All my love.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Blueberry versus the Kroger

About three weeks ago Dirk the Blue Impala and I were turning left, when a gray minivan didn't notice the red light in front of them.  It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.  I escaped injury free, however, Dirk's left rear door was kind of mangled.  Well, I called my insurance and two weeks after that, they finally said I could take Dirk in for repairs.

On the way to the Enterprise for my temporary ride, I'll admit I prayed for another Charger. Those things are so fine.  Instead, I got a Taurus.  Not just any Taurus, a tricked out Taurus in an electric shade of blue.  It's like driving a blueberry with a cockpit.  I love it while I'm inside, but every time I climb out I feel the need to explain to those nearby that I didn't buy a car that bright.

Anyway, one of the many cool features of the Blueberry is one of those back up cams that lets you see what your taillights do, and beeps if it thinks you're being a bit optimistic about the turning radius.  I have a hard time trusting this technology. It just seems too...I don't know, easy.  So when I was about to back out of my Kroger spot and the little bell started dinging away--even though I could see nary a car or shopper from the window-- I almost ignored it. I had to fight the urge to gun the engine a bit and show the bell who's boss.  But instead, I put it in park and climbed out into the heat to check.

And lo and behold, a cart had snuck behind the Blueberry and positioned itself in a prime spot to claim injury and file a lawsuit.  I was so relieved because, what with an unusual rash of accidents (only a few of which are my fault,) I've been branded a high risk driver by my company. The nerve! And if I'd taken out a shopping cart, as wily as it may be, my track record would be further tarnished.

Then tonight, I was again at Kroger, again pulling out of my spot, when the bell went nuts.  I stopped, looked over my shoulder and this time it was no cart. It was an actual car.  A regular size car that had slithered into my blind spot when I wasn't looking.  Needless to say, I no longer curse the bell and camera system.  In fact, it's a huge blessing.  Neither of the Chargers I have had the pleasure of renting had back-up cams.  If I'd gotten my first pick, I would have felt very cool until I made impact.

If it had been Dirk and I in those parking lot situations, its safe to say that at least one incident would have resulted in a scratch.  But the Blueberry is the kind of safety I've needed this week. Too bright to hit, and too smart to let me hit other things.  Timing is everything, they say, and I am so grateful to be blessed with a rental this week, when I needed it. And not any rental, but one that is very very smart.

Thank you, Jesus, for protection!  For safety even in car accidents, and also for stopping me from having them to begin with.  Thank you for the Blueberry and the fun it is to sit in a black leather seat that cools your tush.  Thank you for a company car at all.  Please, let me see you in my days. Let me hear your warnings fervently.  Be too bright blue for me to miss.

All my love.

Monday, August 13, 2012

I will not be boxed.

Of all the things to buy, one of the worst is gift bags.  Really? Four bucks for a bag that will get used once and then trashed? I don't care how much glitter you put on it. It's still a bag.

And just below buying gift bags is buying boxes.  I like to buy things in boxes, but the cardboard itself should come free.  Unless, of course you're trying to move. Then you must shell out serious dough for a temporary product whose whole point is to transport the things you care about.

You write fragile on all the boxes so the corrugation won't get smashed. After all you spent on them, they're gonna get willed to someone some day.

I've been packing tonight.  On Friday I will swap my address for another, a whopping five miles away. But still, everything I own has to be  evaluated, and the stuff that makes the cut must be boxed and labeled clearly with the items and destination room. You never really realize how much STUFF you can cram into a measly apartment until you try and get it all out again. This girl, as simply as she may think she lives, needs a lot of boxes.

Which makes me grateful for The Ridge liquor store. Besides purveying fine wine, they also get a lot of cases they unpack and no longer need.  So while my living room looks like the lair of a very wealthy person with a problem, I have yet to spend any money on boxes.

Thank you, Jesus, for the fruit of the vine and the wonderful things time will do to it. Thank you, too, that fermented drink always comes in heavy glass bottles that require a sturdy cardboard box to ship, and for the friendly people at The Ridge who happily have given me stacks and stacks of these. Thank you for taking care on the days I have fragile written on me, and while I wouldn't say you've made my outsides of cardboard, you definitely treasure what is within the most.  All my love.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Tonight I'm grateful I live alone, so I don't have to feel guilty for the stack of laundry that has been on the living room chair for, well, a long time.

And also so there is no one to laugh at me for tearing up at those P&G commercials they show every three minutes during the Olympics.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Minnie Me

The queen of the night cactus flower blooms only one night per year. There will be two solar eclipses in North America this year, and only one next year. Halley's comet passes once every 76 years or so.
All these are rare events which makes the experience so special. But there's another one. An experience so rare that it is considered a myth, or wishful thinking by many.
Today, ladies and gents, I had that experience.  I had....(drumroll)....a skinny day.  Yes, you read that right.

I'm not talking about non-fat days. We all have those. I'm talking about an, "I ate breakfast and got dressed and suffered through the funhouse effect of the elevator at work, and I still feel thin" day.  I felt so good I think I was two points nicer on a ten point scale. I had to do a self-evaluation for work, and no I didn't put "thin" as one of my achievements, but typing it up wasn't as painful as normal because sister was looking good doing it.

I've blogged before about the inconsistency of perception, and how often, even if a day should start off with you working your stuff, all of a sudden you look at the mirror and its like the magic blub fairies came and deposited pounds on your hips while their cousins, the oily nymphs, were shining your face.
On days like that I cling to the knowledge that peeing can not physically make me gain weight, and that the wild swings are more a mental than physical reality.

But today, I felt awesome all day.  And, while I know tomorrow my psyche might try and make up for lost times by pinning an invisible Wide Load sign to my butt, today we walked--nay, we sashayed-- around feeling mighty fine, if I do say so myself.

I'm still glad perception is not reality and that I'm not really smaller today than I was yesterday. But, I'm grateful for the great day anyway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Today I'm just glad God is with me.  I'm faced with decisions, not life or death, but ones that matter to me. I'm glad I don't have to make them alone or bear the consequences on only my shoulders.  I'm up against some obstacles that, while not all bad things, would probably gang up and swamp me if they could. But, aw snap, I've got the Almighty Lord with me. What a lovely, lovely truth.

I'm also glad that Danell Leyva got a bronze, you could tell how badly he wanted it.