Thursday, November 17, 2016

Uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh …

Uuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhh …

That’s me being uber overtired.

With precious little opportunity for recovery.

I’m a huge proponent of prioritizing self-care. Looks like it’s time to prioritize again. And set expectations again.

I don’t like to complain, but when I do, it might as well be in my own world on my own web site here.


I spent way too much of my day dealing with a shipping issue that never should have been a thing. FedEx and I were left to be the detectives … when the supplier could have communicated and addressed the problem nearly a week ago. Sigh.

My Wednesdays have been busy just lately – so I’m posting here on Thursdays sometimes instead – and Thursday has been turning into a sleep-in Sabbath day when possible. The degree to which I’ve been able to sleep in is a testament to how much rest I’m needing.

Or haven’t been getting.

In the name of self-care I did finally escape the minutiae today and used my forty percent off Hobby Lobby coupon on a tube of paint. And I’m listening to instrumental Christmas piano music a Twitter connection posted. Pretty sure I’m going to have to buy it because it’s bringing me peace.

Speaking of Hobby Lobby – and this is interesting to me since I downsized my life this year – did you know there’s an entire aisle of mini Christmas trees (about eighteen inches tall) and all the decorations you could possibly think of to put on them? Because if you have downsized to a small space, certainly you should spend a lot of money on temporary decorations of the proper scale.

And speaking of instrumental piano music, I kind of have a piece brewing. A title and a vibe anyway. I’ll get right on that and my art-art as soon as I can shove some life and insanity out of the way.

I have a love-hate relationship with the holiday season. The modern day woman is expected to do it all, have it all, be it all. Which requires so much time and effort that one wakes up cranky, resentful, and empty at the end of it all. It gets complicated fighting perfectionism and mediocrity at the same time.

What I really want for Christmas is to hide under a blanket and wake up on a secluded beach. Santa, can you make that happen? Stat?

Okay well maybe next year.

I feel a strong pull to reprioritize a few commitments. And today I felt a strong pull away from one in particular. I have to question, though … are those Satan’s flaming arrows trying to keep me from something good … or the nudge (or indeed dropkick) of the Holy Spirit pushing me to something better?

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

It's all relative.

I’ve had some really good conversations over the last week. I found new boots on a budget. Life is good. But there’s something stirring in the air.

One of the drawbacks of being an overachieving capable of doing pretty much anything type … and maybe more importantly being perceived as an overachieving capable of doing pretty much anything type … is that too much ends up on one’s plate. This is especially true as a self-employed person with a flexible schedule. I have a tendency to take on a few extra things because I can, and then more requests are made and a lot of expectations are set because I “have time” or I “don’t have a job”.

Without getting into the gory details, it takes a lot of adequate sleep, healthy lifestyle most of the time, and at home physical therapy to keep me going. I am not the Energizer Bunny. I mean, I am indeed equally fabulous, but it takes regular hibernation to recharge the batteries.

So if you’re the praying type, please pray for my energy level, wisdom, and discernment.

I need to make at least one decision here pretty quick-like.

Keep looking up.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Can’t We All Just Get Along

Dang, I’m not so sure anymore.

What a long, strange trip it’s been this week, and it’s only Wednesday!

Insert primal scream here.

It’s the day after General Election 2016 … and many are shocked by the result of the presidential race. What surprises and saddens me is both the hatred and fear being spewed on social media. Still. Today.

I tried to avoid as much of the media as possible this election season. Whether you prefer the coverage that leans to varying degrees of left or right, it’s all sensationalistic and skewed. What they choose to cover, how much time they devote to which stories, the tone and words they use – it all goes to promote their particular agenda. Which may just be ratings and money, but the surprise of the media last night was quite telling.

Yeah, I’ve tried to avoid the media. Living in the great state of Ohio, however, one pretty much needs to avoid all television and radio to avoid the political commercials. Oh. My. Gosh. People believe these? From any of the candidates? Seriously?

My version of burying my head in the sand this week has been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat. I had heard it before but finally got it downloaded to my phone over the weekend. Family sharing and “oh, you click on that over there, lol?” … it’s a good thing. Ah yes, let’s contemplate the founding fathers via showtunes. The birth of this nation was messy, passionate, ugly and beautiful at the same time, profound and profane, and full of both sinners and saints.

When’s the last time you found someone who was one hundred percent sinner or one hundred percent saint?


Individual results and opinions may vary.

I also spent a couple days this week with one of my favorite two-year-olds. Toddlers really don’t care to discuss the election. It’s refreshing.

So if you’re feeling sad, anxious, angry, afraid, or distraught over the results (I’ve seen all those emotions expressed multiple times) … understand you are loved not hated. I don’t want to dismiss your feelings and tell you to just get over it (like I’ve also seen on the social media). Take a deep breath and work through it.

If you’re feeling like gloating over the results, I also urge you to take a deep breath and just don’t. Understand that half the country thinks differently from you, and that’s okay, and it’s not a war, it’s the democratic process.

And maybe all y’all should step back and listen to some showtunes.

I read a post this afternoon that said the election could be explained by … non-haters … who were tired of being told they are haters … turning out in large numbers to vote against the candidate of those who constantly call them haters.

Be careful with your generalizations.

People of faith (and those yet to come to faith) … God loves you, God loves them, God loves us all. Act like it please.

Tuesday evening while submitting myself to media coverage of the returns, I dared to make a non-partisan comment on a non-partisan post regarding the stock market futures. It was early on with no call anywhere close on a winner, so of course the market was responding negatively. My friend expressed concern over the drop and quoted some of the news coverage comparing the current drop to the September 2001 drop – the points were similar. Being a math nerd and knowing how the fearmongering news guys like to talk about stocks, I did some quick googling. The 2001 drop amounted to 7.1% and the futures drop last night was 4.1%. Yeah, a decent drop still. But the market hates uncertainty – something I’ve learned from long term investing and from an awesome financial advisor. It’ll recover. It’ll be fine. So I tried to ease my friend’s fears. A mutual friend chimed in later with a partisan comment something to the effect of it wasn’t about the stock market but about Christians ruining everything.

Okay then. Wow.

And no, I haven’t checked the Dow Jones today. That’s what I pay Jim the big bucks for.

I sometimes wonder if this latest election cycle, coupled with the prevalence of social media, has regressed our ability to communicate. The other day, after a looong day of toddler time, catching up on some reading, a networking event, and a stupid errand I had to run … I arrived completely and totally exhausted at home. It would have been after dark even if daylight savings time hadn’t just ended. I scrounged some food, hopped on the friend book, and an innocent comment brought on World War III or something. Um, oooookay, not sure where that came from, but I’m not anyone’s personal verbal punching bag.

Boundaries are a healthy thing. They’ve been put in place. Hopefully reason and lucidity will return soon. I long for a civil conversation.

Not so sure about this wifi code. Is it trying to communicate something to me?

Last week the phrase “God is in control” was an ongoing theme.

I participated in a Wednesday night study on the book of Revelation last year for several months. Some describe Revelation as “we win”. Indeed. But it’s a weird book. There’s a lot of strange imagery and symbolism. But the overarching theme I took away from that study is …

God is waiting as long as possible
for as many people as possible to accept him.

Do you think he should have rained down fire and brimstone and smited a bunch of people by now? Do you rejoice when “bad people” die? Or when “bad people” lose an election?

Jesus died for them as much as he died for you and "people like you".

God is in control.

Keep looking up.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

What If

After an October hiatus … I’m baaaaack.

And God is still in control.

As a type A girl-who-gets-things-done … I got some things done last month.

I coordinated a Mitch McVicker concert at my church and then … just a few hours later … on about four hours of sleep … the adventures began. A 4am wake up and then … a 6am “why did I think you said 10?”


There are a lot of perfectly valid answers to that question … starting with that’s when we’re trying to get there, ish. We’ll get there when we get there. Let’s finish packing. Pit stop 1, 2, 3 … okay just sleep.

And it was all fine.

And it was good.

And I still kind of can’t believe we made it there and through and back.

Ragamuffin Camp 2016. The first time we’ve done a week instead of just a weekend. I highly recommend the week option. About the time we would have otherwise been packing up to leave … we were really just settling in. Ahh, peace.

Mostly peace anyway.

God is in control.

I can’t believe we did all that.

Well we showed up. God did the rest.

We kept all our little chickadees alive (hey, it’s an accomplishment) and, hopefully, inspired. I will never get tired of seeing those moments of inspiration, realization, and … freedom.

That thing that’s been weighing you down? You know it doesn’t define you, right? What you did, what you thought, what someone said … it doesn’t define you.

That thing holding you back? What is that? Is it really a thing?

That moment at camp may be just the start of the freeing … a process to be repeated and reinforced and refined … but the smiles and the peaceful faces – pure gold.

God is in control. There is freedom in that.

The connections made, the friendships started. Sitting in one of the sessions, it occurred to me I should make sure two particular people had some time together. Before I could even arrange it … I walked by to see it already happening.

God is in control.

In the weeks since, campers are starting to do some creative work together, with plans for lots more.

Some call it a ragamuffin thing. I sometimes grimace a little at that lingo, but I don’t know what else to call it. That recognition in a fellow soul of … maybe one part kindred soul … and three or four parts I see you, the real you, and your truth, and the fact that you get the truth … and we’re going to be in each other’s lives for a long time.

So everybody get used to each other. And beyond that, we’ll just say what happens at camp stays at camp.

After not nearly enough days of rest at home, I did it all over again. This time a weekend retreat as a participant … followed by making my way to the beach. By myself. I highly recommend solo vacations. A couple people I encountered considered it a completely foreign concept. I guess if your daily life is particularly quiet and peaceful, then maybe it’s not a big deal, but breaking away from noise and routines and expectations is generally a healthy thing.

Breaking away from noise and routines and expectations.

Like when you hadn't planned to road trip a couple hours to another Mitch concert after being home only a couple days, but the incoming texts make it seem like a good idea. (It was.) 

Breaking away from noise and routines and expectations.

I used to have a drama-free life. And then God said, “Here’s some drama. Enjoy.”

It keeps my life interesting, that’s for sure.

And he reminds me daily that he’s still in control.

Just when I think I’ve at least started to figure it out … nope. He is in control.

In between camps I had a conversation with a friend in which they said to me …

Don’t get sucked in.

We were talking about a specific small thing that is certainly wise to avoid, but that phrase really stuck with me. Were they warning against the larger situation that is my life? They very well may have been. Non-believers and semi-believers often don’t know what to make of me. Some believers think I’m off my rocker.

I’m pretty sure people’s opinions are waaaay down my list of priorities. You can’t discount them entirely -- community matters. Living off the land as a hermit isn’t really an option for me. My kneejerk response to the not getting sucked in thing was “too late”. What continues to run through my head, though, is …

What if God wants me to be sucked in???

What is the proper level of suck-ed-in-ed-ness?


What if?

Keep looking up.

For those days we felt like a mistake
Those times when love’s what you hate
we keep marchin on

For those nights when I couldn't be there,
I've made it harder to know that you know
That somehow
We'll keep movin' on

There's so many wars we fought
There's so many things we're not
But with what we have
I promise you that
We're marchin' on
We're marchin' on

So many hills we had to climb
almost without our strength
but we kept
slowly marchin on

time heals the wounds we couldn’t close
blood sweat and tears dried up
we're okay
we kept marching on

There's so many wars we fought
There's so many things we're not
But with what we have
I promise you that
We're marchin' on
We're marchin' on

get your legs and walk
cause we're not too far
a little more to go
but we're marchin on
we marchin on
we marchin on
we marchin on
we marchin

if we lose the sun we couldnt deny that
if we go the wind we gotta fight back
but we marchin on
we marchin on
we marchin on
we marchin

the bridges are gone
and we're almost home
the end is close

There's so many wars we fought
There's so many things we're not
But with what we have
I promise you that
We're marchin' on
We're marchin' on

~ Timbaland’s “Marching On”