Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I guess I needed that.

I've been working so hard to mostly keep it all together lately, but I'm sitting here sobbing and it just feels great.  I needed it. 

Today has been a little heavy.  Just difficult with my rib pain, so I couldn't work out- but I did go to the chiropractor & I'll go back tomorrow.  And something could have happened today with the baby situation, but it has been put off for a month, which just stretches life thinner, in a way.  And we had our foster care class, where we talked about problem behaviors, including those related to fetal alcohol syndrome.  Just argh.  I was just thinking of my sisters the whole time and just broken for them. 

I bought a ticket to go to Michigan for three weeks in November/December, which I'm not exactly jumping up and down about, because it's just going to be really hard. 

I really want our new life to start.  So many things have to change for it to happen, and I know that God is doing his thing.  I KNOW THIS.  It's just that all this longing is so new, and as I try to move out in these directions of my own power, I keep being thwarted.  I am really having a difficult time finding a place for us to move.  We just can't afford the things we want, and so many people don't want dogs.  I believe that God has a place for us, but it is still disappointing when everywhere I turn thinking, "maybe" turns out to be a "NO."  Thinning the herd.  Narrowing the field.  It's okay. 

I got a great message on FB tonight, though.  One of my amazing high school students wrote to ask me about the court date so she could pray for me.  I'm going to miss being with them every Wednesday so much. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

info for noobs

Today is the first day of the fall quarter, so I spent a decent amount of time reading introductory messages from classmates, reading about my professor, and looking over the syllabus.  What's (possibly) neat is that we don't have lectures to watch/listen to for this class.  We're just supposed to read a bunch of stuff and write about it.  It could be good.  I didn't end up having time to start reading officially for class, but I *did* print up the list of things I'm supposed to read, so I'm halfway there, right? 

I also read a sign that I hadn't noticed my previous 2 times at yoga.  It was just a few guidelines for new attenders, and thankfully I hadn't broken any rules.  Phew!

As a noob teacher, I also read e-mails from people telling me how I should be doing everything differently.  Awesome.  I know that this is a part of life, and it gives me a lot more compassion for preachers. 

The best part of today, though, was that I had the inaugural session of my Bible study with college girls.  Tonight it was just me & one student, but we got to have a really good conversation.  I really don't care how many show up.  I'm going to make myself available & be there consistently, and they can show or not show.  Tonight we started reading Ephesians, and being that predestination is mentioned, we got to go off on a great tangent on things we find difficult & how to look at them.  It was a good night.

Other than that, I looked at insurance listings to see if a certain chiropractor I want to go to is covered.  I actually had 3 in mind: one that I found doing a search for "sports chiropractor" and 2 recommended by the local running store.  The one I found searching is covered, so I'm going to try to get into him tomorrow.  In addition to my usual back issues, my knee has really been acting up, and now I pulled a muscle in my ribs or something.  Yesterday I checked to make sure it wasn't breast cancer, today I checked symptoms of a cracked rib.  It's not cancer, fear not, and even if it is a cracked rib, there's nothing to be done about it.  I sure as heck ain't resting for long.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Magazines in the bathroom

We went to a wedding today, so I read the wedding program, but not as attentively as I have others, and I read the order of events at the reception.  After noticing that the reception was behind schedule, I was exhausted, and the dogs had been alone for 6 hours already, we ducked out of there. 

It was almost a 2 hour drive, and I wanted to drive so as to not be bored, but I needed coffee, I tell you.  The city of Ukiah was my nemesis tonight.  I got off at one exit, where there was an alleged "Coffee Critic," but I did not find it.  Have I mentioned to you that strip malls without coffee places in them should be illegal?  Also taquerías.  Anyway, no coffee at that exit, so we got back on & went down farther.  Get off there- all sorts of stores- no coffee.  I finally was able to get a passable latte from the grocery store, but it was just not the same.  GAH. 

Now I sit here, not really feeling ready for teaching tomorrow night, but being scheduled to teach tomorrow morning, then church, then an event, then a meeting, then the group at which I'm teaching.  And I'm skipping a good friends bachelorette party right now and tomorrow. 

Perhaps a bubble bath will solve anything.  Calgon makes it seem true.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My apologies

Friends, I am sorry I have been remiss in my blogging duties.  I mean, I know that you really don't care, well, other than Sommer, but I care.  I really want to have the exercise of writing every day, but I'm just so scatterbrained lately.  And tired.  And did I mention distracted? 

Some days are good, like the one I mentioned in an earlier post.  The domestic days are good.  And I've started doing some intense yoga, and that's good.  But nothing is catching my attention with reading.  I can't concentrate on the studying I'm supposed to be doing for my teaching, and I start school next week!  ACK!! 

Dear Jesus, help me to FOCUS. 

So, I'm going to ditch the vampyre book because I just don't care, and I gave it way longer than I should have.  I'm not going to read World Without End right now because it's just too big to even look at.  I did plow through an issue of Entertainment Weekly yesterday, though.  Oh, and I read the adoption information that we got in the mail and sobbed.  About the pressure, about how almost everything about our life has to change, about wanting it NOW, about all the things that need to happen beforehand, about the kids we can't adopt.  It's a lot. 

So, keep praying for us.  We really need a different place to live.  That's the first priority.  Then a different job for Seth &/or a job for me, 2 new cars.  *sigh*

Jeremiah 29:11. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

numb....limbs....and....tongue...can't barely type

I have indulged in the drink tonight & therefore cannot blog tonight.  But I really did have stuff to talk about last night.

But, alas, I'm too silly. Hasta luego.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I told you I'd be back today.

Today has been a fantabulous day, I tell you.  After getting the book from my friend, I decided to have a quiet day of cleaning and reading.  It was great.  I've read both the new book and the vampyre book, and I packed a few boxes, cleaned the kitchen & bathroom AND mopped.  AND went running with a friend AND made dinner- including a side salad.  Look at me go! 

This book, bittersweet, is really good.  It's very small chapters describing tiny pieces of her year/year and a half of brokenness.  She sees the times when she focused on the wrong thing and, like Lewis's house of cards, she realizes that her faith was never really there.  All she ever wanted was to get what she wanted, not to be molded by God. 

As I go through this tumultuous time in my life, I'm pleased to see that I'm not quite in the same place she was.  I do trust God and want to float on his waves more than I want to fight them.  This book is speaking to my heart, but it's also helping me to stand up and claim that vibrant faith I've been praying about.  I know that everything in my life right now is very good, so I need to stop moping. 

One of the most powerful chapters so far is one in which she addresses the poisonous command she once gave herself:  DO EVERYTHING BETTER.  She took each word apart and realized how she was (and many of us do) beating herself down with them.  I was happy when I realized that this was my own book and I could write in it.  I starred this section:
There is work that is only mine to do:  a child that is ours to raise, stories that are mine to tell, friends that are mine to walk with.  The grandest seduction of all is the myth that DOING EVERYTHING BETTER gets us where we want to be.  It gets us somewhere, certainly, but not anywhere worth being.
 I really love what she says are her jobs.  I love it.  I love the idea of fully inhabiting your life and seeing all parts of it as a unique vocation- not comparing yourself to others because they cannot do what you are supposed to do.  

A non-reading weekend

That's really what I had.  I just haven't been reading a lot lately, which is kind of sad.  That one vampire, pardon me, vampyre, book I'm reading has been sitting on my dresser and I hardly even read it before bed.  I've been busy and exhausted- partially from eating like crap. 

Today, though, I'm going to read.  I got a book in the mail today from a friend and I'm going to make time for it.  The book is Bittersweet by Shana Niequist, and I heard her speak briefly at the leadership summit last month.  I've been meaning to read this book, and my sweet friend knew after reading it that she was supposed to give it to someone, and she thought I could use it right now.  She's probably right.

So I'll start reading that in a few, and I'll report back later!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Verily.

I didn't get any reading done again today.  Today just flew by in a blur of tears, stress, ups and downs. 

I'm pleased that I did read my Bible, though.  That was good. 
I also read a recipe.  We made gluten-free peanut butter cookies to take to dinner at a friend's house, and they were delicious. 
As usual, I also read ads for houses & apartments on craigslist.  We're going to look at a possibility on Saturday, but other than that, nothing to fantastic yet. 

That, my friends, is Thursday's exciting blog post.  It's an exercise, y'all.  It's just stinkier sometimes than other times.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gah! I got nuthin'!

I almost forgot to blog, but here I am, and boy-o, are you glad!

Let me think if I read anything today other than twitter & facebook....hmmm...well...no...mmm...OOOH!  I did!  I actually read a little devotional book.  I was feeling down & like I needed some good, old-fashioned, health & wealth kind of faith talk, so read my devotional book by Kenneth & Gloria Copeland.  It's in Spanish, so I also get to work my skills while spending time with God.  Double-duty.

Anyway, it was really good!  It was about the parable of the sower, specifically the soil that is fertile but the rocks & weeds & the cares of this world come up and choke out the word.  This immediately gave me a new energy and a better attitude. 
a) I need to read my Bible or have intentional time with God much more often than I have been.  It's just ridiculous.
b) I need to figure out if the weeds & rocks are just my thoughts and I need to remember the word, or if I have too much stuff crowding in on me, which makes it hard to remember the word. 

It reminded me of the idea of having defensible space around your house if you live in a fire-prone area.  I need a defensible space around my life, my health, and my relationship with God. 

I may have just made a decision.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You know, we've talked about trashy books in the past

So I don't have to justify myself to you.

I'm reading Mr. Darcy, Vampyre.  Yes.  It's "vampyre" with a 'y.'  About Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth.  I know. 

Hey, I got it at the used bookstore  yesterday (see?  you already knew about it.) and started it today while I was donating blood.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA  I didn't even realize that I was reading a vampyre book while donating blood.  I'm certain it's not the first time.

So far it's okay.  He hasn't told Elizabeth yet, and in a strange way, it goes along with how weird he was being & all that Lady Catherine DeBurgh nonsense.  Since our society doesn't really get the whole class thing, him hiding being undead plays better. 

I'll keep reading this tonight, and try to do some more serious reading tomorrow. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sucked in!!!

I've been sucked in, friends.  I know there is no bottom to this pit.  I know that I will get more stress than answers.  I know that I could spend bazillions of dollars, but I've taken the first step down that dark road.  I bought 2 parenting books today. 

At least it was at the used bookstore.  What did I get?  I got What to Expect the Toddler Years and The Girlfriend's Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood.
I'm not going to start reading them yet, mostly because I have other things to read.  And why stress myself out so early?  Once I know more about when/if (more like "when") we'll be adopting, I'll look into them a bit more. 

Who am I kidding?  You and me both know that I'll be up late, thinking about everything, and I'll start looking through the Girlfriend one. 

In other reading news, I believe I am done with C.S. Lewis for a while.  I had to stop in the middle of That Hideous Strength because I just didn't care one whit and couldn't handle reading one more page.  What I'll likely read is one of the trashier books I bought today when I got the parenting books.

And you know what else?  This whole teaching/working/ministry thing is a little unfair.  I'm supposed to be on break from school & able to read whatever I want, but I feel like I have homework & need to read things for my teaching series coming up.  And I already have it planned!  But noooooooo, I want it to be good and helpful and..and robust.  Gah.  I should just return these highly overdue books to the library at school & then I won't be able to stress myself about it. 

Napping more than reading

I had intended to read this afternoon, but I napped instead.  As you know, I've been napping as escape from stress, and today was no exception, though I will add that I often doze on Sunday afternoons. 

I did read a bit, though.  I'm working on That Hideous Strength and I'm not engrossed yet.  There is a building menace that draws my attention, but at the same time, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be rolling my eyes a bit. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Apartment ads

Today I've done a little bit of what I'm calling "homework," which is fleshing out my project so that I can actually teach it in a couple weeks.  So I'm skimming through real sex by Lauren Winner & making my 1st powerpoint.  I got my grade back on the project, and I got an A-, which is good.  I didn't know if I had enough detail in it.  My professor gave me a few notes, and I've integrated some of them into the outline already. 

Other than that, Seth & I looked at ads for apartments and houses and drove around a bit.  We talked to people at 2 different complexes, neither of which will work for us.  We looked again at the apartment our landlord has, and we still don't think it will work.  We did write to one person who had a very nice-looking ad on craigslist, so we'll see if we hear from them. 

It's hard for me not to get frustrated & just want to quit life & take a long nap to avoid everything.  I know we've just started looking, and I can't expect everything to fall into place already. 

It's mustard seed time!

Vague is how I roll. Feel free to not read this entry.

Apparently, being up past my bedtime makes me a bit maudlin.  Perhaps I should finish the wine in the fridge to truly make it a banner evening.

Big changes are afoot, but what is difficult is that the catalyst for the afoot-ing isn't definite.  But we still need to invest in it quite seriously.  One day, I decide that life can go on, at least semi-normally, for the time being, then the next I get information leading me to believe that all must be turned upside-down ASAP.  And I feel like God is sending mixed messages.  Like he's thrown open a bunch of doors at once, and I'm supposed to go through all of them.  Or I've gotten a fair way down a certain path that I believe he's directing, and then there's this fork.  It's an important fork.  Maybe I need to go that way.  But leave all the other stuff? 

Maybe they'll meet up again.  Maybe I don't have to give up anything. 

I don't want to let go.  But I can only handle so many pressures.  I'm not real good at it.  Were I to let go of one commitment, it would both break my heart and not make a lot of sense to me.  But I don't see what else I can change. 

2011 is going to be the most different year ever. 

See? It happened again.

I start reading one of the ministry books, and I get about 1 page in before my mind starts whirring.  I stop to ponder; I create scenarios in my mind; I come up with ideas. 
So, as I tried to read more of College Ministry 101, I had to stop after a couple pages.  Too many ideas.  Too many thoughts about specific people. 

I love them too much.  And I know one of them is reading this- Hi, girly.  I love you and I want your faith to be strong and I want to encourage you to fight through the hard times and figure out what you should hold on to and what you need to let go of. 

I want others to figure out who the heck they are and stop wandering sooner than later.  I don't want to force anyone.  I don't want to guilt.  I want to walk with people.  I want to be an example.  Sometimes I just don't know what to do.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A different brand of book funk than the usual

I realize I've been a bit of a reading spaz lately, but it's not the usual book funk where nothing appeals to me.  I actually have a lot of books I want to read and I'm working on them, but none of them are completely engrossing me. 

I think the real issue is that a few of them are spiritual/theological/ministry-related, and I don't want to just read them quickly.  I want to digest, think, integrate.  So I'll read a chapter or so, then I have to put it down for a while, because I don't want to just pile a lot of other thoughts on top of those ones. 

I do wish I had some fiction I was really dying to read, though.  I have some things that are meh, but nothing that really excites me.  I do think I'll give That Hideous Strength a go, though, even though Perelandra was a bit heavy-handed, and I think that THS is even more in that vein. 

I think I'm in a bit of a medieval mood, so I have World Without End on hold for me at the library, which is the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, which was right up my alley.  We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I am much older today than I was last Sunday.

Sorry for the short, melodramatic post earlier, friends.  I was going to post a real post, but I was just feeling overwhelmed & had a headache, and I just wanted to tell/ask someone to pray for me. 

So today, I finished up Perelandra and started on College Ministry 101.  Both hurt my head a little bit.  

Perelandra, the 2nd in Lewis's space trilogy, is not as engrossing a story as Out of the Silent Planet is, but, at least for me, had many more spiritual ideas to think about.  As in OOTSP, Lewis's descriptions can be a bit heavy-handed and long-winded, so much so that I ended up skipping most of the last 12 pages or so.  The book is very short, and I think that it would have been better served to not put the ending at the front of it.  It isn't really all that dramatic, and then, at the end, it just is kind of over. 

One of the things I'm trying to embrace is the Lady's view of going with the flow of what God brings to you, and not holding on to the idea of the Good you wanted or had, but enjoying the Good he's brought to you.  I'm going to try to look at most things I have and most situations I'm in as Good things that I can be thankful for and embrace, not longing for the past or a concept I had of what I thought I wanted. 

The college ministry book stresses me out.  It has lots of amazing concepts, but I feel like I'm just learning all the things we (as a church) have done wrong and that it all needs to change.  *sigh*  At least I'm not alone at all in this task.  I'm just afraid that we're going to have to do a major gear change or dismantle the scaffolding we've put up.  But maybe not.  We'll see.  I'm just trying to assimilate all of these ideas and figure out how to filter them down in a way that can be passed on to my teammates. 

Other than that, I'm still on an emotional roller coaster, which I'll tell you more about tomorrow, perhaps.  In the meantime, I'm excited about being home from the relatives and being out of school.   Tomorrow I plan on a run and CLEANING!  It will be quite, quite, very, mucho exciting.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Kickin' back, reading for fun, yo.

Hi, friends.  This is the first I've blogged since Thursday since I haven't been in a house with an internet connection.  So sorry.

I'm still adjusting to being out of school, so I'm still doing that thing where I feel a twinge of guilt & think that there must be something I should be doing, and then I remember FREEDOM and I sit back down.  Aaaaaahhhhhh.   It's lovely. 

Right now, I'd say I'm in the midst of 2 books, kind of 3, ignoring a 4th that is the one I meant to read this weekend.  Hmmmm....I should pick that one up. 
I'm currently focusing on Perelandra, which is a short read and I may finish tomorrow.  I haven't had a lot of reading time this weekend before this evening, though.  What I need to get on is College Ministry 101.  I tell you, friends, I'm hoping for some real gems there.  Knowledge.  Downloaded into my brain.  Revelations.  But my expectations aren't too high or anything. 

Tomorrow is Labor Day, and we will grill a tri-tip somewhere, preferably with a few family members.  Sleeping in is also on the agenda, and I want to go for a run at the high school track. 

What else have I been reading?  Ads for apartments and lots of websites about family law.  It's a glorious time.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I know, I missed 2 days.

I know.  Friends, you have no idea...well, some of you have some idea.  Anyway, big stuff is going on in my family and I just have been too stressed, distracted, and nervous that I haven't been able to concentrate.

I have my sexuality project due tomorrow and I've barely been able to work on it with much thought.  Thankfully, I have most of it done, with a few spaces where it says things like, "And then I'll be talking about THIS REALLY GREAT THING FROM THAT AUTHOR" or "And then I'll go through THE BIBLE VERSES THAT ARE RELEVANT TO THIS POINT."  So, you know, I just have to flesh it out a bit.  And I only checked out, oh, 10 books or so from the library.  I will be skimming, I say.  But I really do plan on teaching this series, so I need to actually do the work.

On top of the family stuff, I've been really flustered by the college students this week, so, on Tuesday, I freaked out & ordered 4 books on college ministry from Amazon.  They came today, and I went up to church to show them to one of my co-leaders &  we're splitting them up to read, for now.  One of them, Ask Me Anything, I started reading for my project, and I'm really loving it.  It's one of those ones that I want to either be able to download right into my brain or hand out to every student and sit them down & make them read it immediately, quizzing them for comprehension.  So, um, it's useful.

I hope to get my project done & turned in on time, though I've let my professors know that I may be a couple days late.  Pray for me, Seth, & my family, will you?  Thanks.