He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.

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I think. At times I over think. When Mr. Sandman should be bringing me a dream, I lie awake thinking of fractions, equations, and how great it would be if M&M’s could cure cancer (I know, I give a lot of power to M&M’s, but they have provided me great joy during stressful times).

So why is that our minds cannot shut off? Why do we complicate things in decision-making and what goes on in the world? Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we could simply pick petals off of a flower to make important decisions or rationalize things??

He loves me. He loves me not.

-Photo credit – Northern Star Photography

Take for instant my last relationship. We both wanted different things. He chalked it up to us having different values. Trust me if the values were different, I would not have stayed around for 2 years.

  • I wanted to be married. He did not.

Let’s consider friendships and other non romantic relationships. You do your best to do right by someone, but let’s face it, we are not perfect. We have bad days and we make mistakes. But we complicate things with guilt, second guessing, and worrying what other people think.  The bottom line is I will do my best to do right by you or if I’m wrong, I will try to amend the situation.

  • Love me. Love me not.

I’m tired, mentally exhausted, and want my brain to shut off.  I no longer want to think about fractions or dwell on why certain relationships are complicated/don’t work out.  Life should be simple, but it is not, and I don’t have the option of putting the petals back on and rearranging them for a better outcome. So, in my effort to reduce and simplify things, I have decided to adopt a black and white philosophy when it comes to thinking and making sense of things.

  • It is what it is.
  • You will fail or you will succeed.
  • It will work out or it won’t.
  • 2+2=4 not 5
  • He loves me. He loves me not.

On a side note, the only grey I’ll consider entertaining is that which pertains to 50 Shades. 🙂

Picture of My Soul

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It is only to the individual that a soul is given. – Albert Einstein

Last night, I introduced my good friend to Mumford and Sons and Kings of Leon radio on Pandora or known to me as my “therapists”. We were cruising through my playlist (which was being streamed through my t.v.) and I felt a bit embarrassed, almost like I was exposed in some way.

There it was for everyone, ok just 1 person, to see. My love of Adele, Warren G, Kenny Chesney, and Chris Tomlin. I’m a lover of all genres and would never consider myself to be biased, but I have never let the whole world on this little secret either.

It got me thinking, like I always do. What would our lives be like if we lived the way we do behind closed doors? If we let people in and let them see what we are passionate about or what makes us tick? We let them see our “taboo” Ipod/Pandora playlist?

It’s like we opened the window to our souls.

So here are few things I often keep hidden (I have anxiety typing this…ugh)

  • I love to recycle. I made my own little recycle container while at the beach  because I could not stomach throwing away a plastic bottle (neurotic, I know).
  • I crank up the music and dance in my living room singing like it is my own song (often scaring my cats in the process).
  • The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy was very therapeutic for me (there I said it).
  • I’m notorious for scanning stations because I hate commercials.
  • I cry (a lot).
  • I pray for people and have been tempted to cuss them in the next breath.
  • I do stay up late (contrary to popular belief).
  • I laugh and even find myself to be hysterical at times.
  • I have been known to break rules. In fact, I sometimes drive in the HOV lane.

I am passionate about many things, and I do tend to live a freer life when I am alone. But when I am out of my comfort zone, you get the posed, controlled, uptight version of me and seldom do you see the footloose and reckless in my own capacity version. But if I am going to live up to my one word resolution for 2012, this has all got to change. For me to truly connect to the world, I need to draw the curtains, keep them open, so you can see the true picture of my soul.

And I hope you do the same 🙂

I’m on to you Jesus

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Without mysteries, life would be very dull indeed. What would be left to strive for if everything were known? – Charles de Lint

I’m picking up the scent of the trail that you’ve left…the trail to my future. I’ve studied with the best…Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Criminal Minds, and my all time favorite Unsolved Mysteries. It was bad enough that my Mom made me watch the real-time version yet alone all the reruns on Lifetime, yes I said it, Lifetime. Let’s not forgot the countless hours I played Clue. Why yes, Colonel Mustard, you did it, in the Library, with a candle stick.

All this preparation and experience has been very beneficial for how I earn my paycheck – I research, analyze, and more importantly, I solve problems.

In my many, many conference calls I find myself on throughout the day, normally I doze off dreaming of chips and guacamole or wait for what unrealistic word that my friend has submitted and unbeknownst to me has been accepted by the app “words with friends” (can’t you just feel the emotion rising in that major run on sentence ). Quats is not a word for crying out loud! (see even my spell checker did not recognize the word…hmm) I’m a teacher and I would like for you to use it in a sentence!

So back to the conference call. We were discussing the project and how we were going to work with teachers who had never written items before. One team member piped in and said, “None of us have experience with writing items so it will be a tough road ahead. How are we going to train teachers on how to write items when we have little experience ourselves?”

That caught my attention. That little butterfly feeling I get in pit of my stomach hit me. I knew that Jesus was talking to me.

During my time at being a “stay at home woman”, I spent time as an independent writer for the company I once again call my employer. I wrote items thinking I was just polishing my craft and keeping me at bay from the cuckoo’s nest, but little did I know that I preparing myself for the future.

That Jesus is a sly little devil 🙂

My insides were dying to click the “raise your hand” button (for those familiar with the webex world) and say, “Look at me, I have experience, I’ve written items!”


However, I refrained. Not nice maybe, but I sensed God telling me to be quiet. “Not now girl, this is not your moment” kind of talk.  So, I let my team hem and haw over how they were going to make this work. God had already lined this up. He knew I would find myself at this place one day at being the so-called expert on writing items.

He never ceases to amaze me.

So, before you ever think God has forgotten you, remember that He has not. Whether you are in the barren land or the land of plenty, He is always up to something. Planning, hemming and hawing, preparing us for the road ahead, solving the world’s problems, curing cancer all while quite possibly dreaming of chips and guacamole and playing words with friends 🙂

Gives a whole new meaning to “He’s got the whole world in His hands” 🙂

My Love Affair with Chips

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Don’t use a lot where a little will do. -Proverb

Remember in my last post how I said I just sat for 5 months? Well, I may have omitted a few important details. Not only did I sit for 5 months, I ate too. I fell head over heals in love with chips – sun chips, tortilla chips, and whatever kind of chip that was deemed healthy by my beloved Whole Foods.

Now, I didn’t eat chips all the time, just between my workouts, my hikes, and episodes of Live with Kelly or Young and the Restless. And yes, I am exaggerating a bit for the sake of this post 🙂 It didn’t help that Costco lured me with 40 oz bags of tortilla chips for $4.99. Oh you know the ones!

It was an unemployed girl’s dream!! Anyway, I was in love and you know what happens when you are in love…

fat and happy…fat and happy

Just how much “love” was received will remain unknown. But just know that I am not too entirely pleased with the outcome of this love affair. And, I have decided that I need some deliverance. This need for deliverance has landed me to the book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.

One reviewer on Amazon said,

Here’s what it’s about: Jen (the author) did an experiment in which each month for 7 months, she and sometimes her entire family fasted in an area she felt they were excessive in: media, stress, possessions, shopping, food, clothes, and waste. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that sounds all preachy and super-spiritual and hard and you don’t want to read it. Thankfully, it’s the complete opposite. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious, totally real-life, 100% empowering, and 0% guilt-inducing.

My PIC (partner in crime) and fellow lover of words, Kelly over at Praise You in the Storm and I have teamed up together to support one another in the “7” challenge to live with less.  Our first challenge is, you got it, food. You should see the dialogue flowing through random text messages about what we can eat and what we cannot.

Kelly: Is salsa considered Mexican food?

Me: Salsa: may refer to any type of sauce. In American English, it refers to spicy, often tomato based, hot sauces. So, technically, no!

Me: Is wine considered a fruit? Nevermind, Wikipedia (my trusted source for all information) confirmed that wine comes from grapes, well it said usually, but that is something I’m willing to overlook. 

Kelly: You do know that you can change definitions on Wikipedia, not that I am suggesting anything.

Me: Don’t ruin this for me 🙂

That God for unlimited texts and a sense of humor! This is only day one 🙂

You may or may not find us comical, but I do suggest you seriously give this book a chance.  You will laugh hysterically and be moved at the same time. It will shed some light on just how excess in any form can “weigh” you down.

By the way, I miss chips 😦

The Capacity to Receive

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Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it. – Rabindranath Tagore

Space is defined by a continuous area or expanse that is free, available, or unoccupied. There is always something waiting to be occupied; whether it be a ditch, a vessel, or a container; space was created to be filled.

But how can you fill something, if no space has been created?

For some strange reason, my mind thinks of a cantaloupe. The inside of the melon is composed of a hollow cavity containing seeds encased in a web of netting. Before you can consume the melon, the “insides” must be scraped away and removed.

It’s kind of like the heart. If the heart is calloused, then there is little room for love to consume it. Before the space can be filled, the “insides” need to be scraped away and removed.

For some strange reason, (I don’t expect anyone to understand), I have found healing from reading the 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy. I have never been more captivated and moved by such a dark story yet filled with love, redemption, and more importantly, letting it all go.

In some bizarre way, I was sent soaring back into my own dark, unwelcomed past and given a first hand view of how the past can choke the life out of you. It robs you, it calls all the shots, it’s the one who is in control. It builds walls to high to climb and too thick to bust through. It leaves no space in your heart to love or be loved.

As I poured myself into the pages, the story of the two lovers became the story of my own. Processing my own buried feelings as the words on the page came to life. The feelings I have of myself…

I’ve seen the weighty evidence of his goodness – his charity work, his business ethics, his generosity – and yet he doesn’t see it in himself. He doesn’t feel deserving of love. Given his history and his predilections, I have an inkling of his self-loathing – that’s why he’s never let anyone in.

…and finally deciding to let it all go and move on.

He’s an angry, frightened, brilliant young man, who was dealt a shit hand of cards when he was born. We can all beat our breasts about it, and analyze the who, the how, and the why to death – or Christian can move on and decide how he wants to live.

Move on…they key word here.  He can spin his wheels beating to death all the questions that remain unanswered or he can move forward into something new, yet terrifying and truly begin to live.

With every word that is absorbed, I feel just like the cantaloupe with the “insides” of my heart and the web of netting, protection, I’ve created being scraped away creating the capacity to receive.

The Place In Between

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It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s the place in between that we fear…It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to. – Marilyn Ferguson

Much to my surprise, I found an offer letter for employment in my inbox. Currently, I am a temp and had thought that is how it was going to remain for a few short months. Moving through my feelings of disbelief, I read the contract and it said I would be working through the end of 2013. First, I thought it was a typo. 2013?? How could this be? At the end of 2011, I was released stating there was no additional work and no need for me.

And for 5 long agonizing months, I sat, unable to fix anything.

Today, in my personal inbox I found this devotion titled Preparation for Greatness by Oz Hillman. The devotion talked about the training ground that God took David through and how it could have been perceived as cruel and unusual punishment.

But it was necessary for what David was to become.

God was David’s source for everything. God gave him the ability to achieve the many extraordinary things in his life. It was a lifelong training ground that moved him from one plateau to another, often dropping into a ravine of despair and hopelessness from time to time. These are God’s ways. They drive us deeper and deeper into the heart of Him who has prepared a way for us. Let God take you to the heights or depths He desires for you. He never promised smooth sailing during the trip, but He did promise to be the captain and companion along the way. 

And as I stand on the plateau after leaving the ravine of despair and hopelessness, I admire the view and it is incredible. It is a place that I have never been before.  Something changed internally during that place in between. Somehow my heart made another connection to my head and another piece of the puzzle was locked into place.

At times, these “places” felt cruel and undeserved, but as the tears stream down my face, I am overcome with joy and peace. And I think to myself, I’ll gladly go through the depths again to get to the place I am standing today.