Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas, The Flu, and Emergen-C

Christmas morning.... everyone was struck down by the flu. I now have it. I wasn't feeling well since about 2pm yesterday, and them about 5ish I started throwing up. I was at work with the clients at the group home trying to help them celebrate Christmas. finally around 7 pm and after throwing up 3 or 4 times i called the manager and told her I needed to go home. so I did, and I suffered through the night, and now two of my roommates are sick.

I sincerely hope this is truly a 24 hour thing because it is miserable. I think I'm past the nausea and vomitting. oh, there was diarrhea, too... so bad that you sit on the toilet with a garbage can while it comes out both ends. I feel like I was hit by a truck. (not that I actually know what that feels like. its a graphic visual though, lol). I have no energy. My body aches. My tongue feels like cotton.

I have done absolutely nothing to keep myself hydrated. I know I'm supposed to, but at one point I rinsed my mouth out with water and decided to just have a small sip, like the size of a tea spoon to wet my tongue. it was a horrible idea. I started vomitting again right away. so I ditched that idea.

Apparently my body is trying to get rid of whatever attacked my body and its treating everything like the enemy germ. it honestly felt like I was helping my body to keep from putting anything in it.

I never dry heaved either. there was always bile, almost like the nausea only attacked me when something was in my stomach. so I puke up the bile and my body produces more and I feel nauseated again.

As foolish as it may sound, I let my body do its job and didn't try to keep hydrated. Im sure I won't dehydrate too much, and its really pointless to put my body through that agony because I honestly don't think much hydration is going on if I vomit as soon as I drink anyway.

so that being said. I am now in the process of slowly re-hydrating my body. I did not want plain water, and I know my body needs more than water anyway, but if feels foolish to try to put something solid in my body. it also feels foolish to load my body with sugars or caffiene. so what did I do? I pulled out some Emergen-C. Vitamins, antioxidants, electrolites.... that sounds like what my body needs.

But the only way I had ever been able to drink these things was to mix them with a sugary drink. since I can't do that to help with the flavor, I made it like a hot tea, and I can actually handle drinking it. infact, I think it kind of taste good heated up. amazing.

I am in awe of the human body. I know my symptoms were (and still are) quite miserable. but think about what its going on in your body.... it's a war to keep out or kill something that is trying to destroy you.

its not the virus and bacteria that cause your symptoms, the symptoms are your bodies defense against the insidious intruders. or so ive heard anyway.

I wonder what the flu virus would do to my body if my body didn't fight back.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Eternity?

Have you ever had your own mortality come back to slap you in the face?  I'm not saying it has slapped me in the face, but I was struck pretty hard with a realization.   Life feels like it's just going so incredibly fast.  I graduated high school almost 8 years ago!   It's not that I want to go back to high school, but I can't help but wonder where these past 8 years have gone. 

While I was still in college, I attended one of the musicals Bethel put on and I found myself sitting next to my voice teacher's wife and kids.  So of course, I said hello and had some fun talking with the kids, when one of them asked me how old I was.  So I told him, "I'm 21."  His response was "You're 21? !Wow, you're almost 100!"  It was really cute, and I still laugh about it, but today, this week, this month, this past year I have been so stuck on time and the time I have left.   I feel, now only 5 years later (5 years!?!?!, where does the time go?) like I am about to turn 100 years old.  

I don't mean that I feel old. I don't feel old. But time is so precious and short and I don't have the sense of immortality that most people feel growing up. I don't have the sense that I'm going to live forever and I do have the sense that time is going too fast.

And then I start thinking about it and I remember, God limited us to 120 years, but most people don't make it that long. It is a reason for celebration if a person makes it to 100 years, but the average life expectancy for a person in the United states is about 80 years (for males, a few years less).  Then factor in family health history... diabetes, heart disease, cancer... whatever and that number easily drops by another 10 to 15 years.

So now we are looking at living to be 65 years old when you die. But then factor in your current health to your families health history. Overweight?  Smoke or live with those who do?  Inactive lifestyle?  Dangerous lifestyle?  Overstressed?   Work a job that exposes you to disease, or could potentially harm you? If the other health risks weren't enough of a risk because of family health history, they are now multiplied.  By how much, I don't know. 

 But then let's look at this stuff and say that maybe none of it actually ends your life. How long will we live still feeling and being able bodied?  How long will we be able to take care of or provide for ourselves?  Will we always have function of our legs?  Our Bowels? Our minds? Will we be able to live a meaningful life? And if we don't, when do we start losing these abilities?

So what if I only have 50 active and healthy years?  I'm already half way through them.

Now these are only 'what if' and worse case scenarios. But it does paint a picture.   Before we know it we have reached the end of our days, whether they are 50 or 80 or 100 and beyond...

I don't want to spend the rest of my short time here simply waiting on eternity. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

the Missing Gospel

I watched the Passion of the Christ this afternoon. There was no particular reason other than I saw the movie sitting in a box and I felt like watching it.  I think it's an incredible portrayal of Jesus' last days.  It is a hard movie to watch. There comes a point when I start cringing and covering my eyes because it gets so graphic.  

While I was sitting here watching it, I realized that it has been a long time since I have read through the Gospels. I cant actually remember the last time I read through them. I might have been more recently, but the closest date I can give is sometime in 2008.  Isn't that sad? I've read plenty of other Scriptures besides the gospels, i've been through Proverbs numerous times, I'm working my way through Jeremiah, but other than that it has really been pretty scattered, and somewhat random.

While I've been finding wonderful truths in other parts of scripture, I feel like not going back to the gospels and reminding myself of the life of the man whom the whole of history is all about, is a fast way to lose perspective.

And isn't perspective so crucial?

I think I'm going to spend some time diving into the gospels again.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I wish Church wasn't so "tame".  Is that another word for boring?  Absolutely. But I mean so much more than church is boring, it has more to do with the heart of why church is boring to me. It's not that the speaker is boring or that the messages lack humor.  It's just that church is so safe, dull, unmoving, passive, lifeless, (here's a good one) impotent, uninspiring, dispassionate, and sadly... task oriented.

Why would I say such things about the church?   Just because that's how I feel about church right now with my current experiences and feelings.   But the truth is, the way I'm feeling about the church may not totally be how the church really is right now, and that what I'm percieving and putting on the church may simply be the state of my own spiritual being magnifying the issues concerning the church. 

Yes, I feel that way, too sometimes.

I'm restless and looking for adventure again.

In other news, a few weeks ago, my boss approached me and asked if I would be interested in trying out a one on one position that was opening up.  Even though I would have like the position, I think, I knew my PC co-worker, Victoria wanted the position, but wouldn't ask our boss for it because she didn't want to step on my toes since I'd been there longer.  So when my boss offered me the position, I told him Victoria was interested in it, and that if he was okay with her in the position, to let her have it instead, because I was interested in a line anyway, but I would be open if another one on one position opens up He gets an intrigued/thoughtful look on his face and says. "hmm, i'll wait for her to approach me."  So I went to Victoria and told her, "it's yours, go ask for it."

So then I was stuck doing PC by myself again. Ugh, it's miserable doing PC by myself.  But not too much later, my boss approaches me again and tells me another one on one position was opening up and to give thought to whether I was interested in it or not. I gave it thought, and more out of wanting to not do PC by myself than actually wanting the one on one position, I told him I was willing to give it a try.  So it was set up that I would be going to a one on one position and we were searching for two new PC people. 

Then on Friday, my boss asked me to come talk with him when I got a minute, so I finished up what I was doing and went and spoke with him. He told me that he had recieved an email from the one on one's staff who said for certain reasons they wanted this particular one on one to have male staff.  So my boss is looking now for male staff for that one on one, and I won't be taking the position.  But then my boss told me "you get your wish."   I was a little confused, but he explained that he was going to put me on a line because one of the line supervisors was getting burnt out and wanted to just do PC for a while.

I was shocked. I didn't really say much. My boss told me to say yay.  I did, but I think he was expecting me to be a little more enthusiastic than I was, lol.  I think I was just trying to register what was happening.  So, yeah.   I got my wish.  I'm going to be taking on a line. :-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Before Time Runs Out

It doesn't feel like that long ago that... fill in the blank.

Time flies.

Instead of waiting for something to happen in life that will make me happy. I'm going to find joy where I am. I'm not going to put my life on hold waiting for the right circumstances to think, feel, be or do something because I think that too soon my life will be over and I will look back an have too many regrets. Turning another year older never bothers me so much as when I'm not living purposefully, and this past year, I have not lived very purposefully. It's time to change that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

is it worth it?

There comes a point in your life when you have to ask if the good is worth the pain, and right now, its not. I beg God to make me a robot because I don't want to feel this way anymore.

Im tired of the drama.

God take away my emotion, my feeling, my expectations and my desires. Take the good with the bad, I don't want either one. Make me a robot!
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Eeny... Meeny... Miney... Moe!

Do you ever get the feeling that some invisible power (moral compass unknown) is trying to mess with you?  These past four weeks have been an exhausting, trying, and emotionally confusing.

I am so tired. I am fatigued. Not just my mind, but my body and my spirit. These past 4 weeks I have been working between 12 and 15 hours a day, six days a week.

I was at work this evening filling out the care tracker program, and I had to read each question three or four times because I could not get my mind to focus enough to either understand the question, or to give an answer.

But that aside, this emotional confusion.... It's crazy. Or perhaps the confusion is only a result of the exhaustion. I don't even know.  

I work two jobs, Opportunity Enterprise, and the Boys and Girls Club.  In September the Boys and Girls Club is going to go back to their fall schedule 2:30 to 8:30 (3:30 to 7:30 in the Art Room), and at OE, I work the 2-10 shifts.  Since both jobs will require the same hours, I cannot work 4 days a week at the Club and 40 hours a week at Opportunity Enterprise.   So the decision comes down to...balancing the two?  

I wanted to stay 40 hours at OE because I signed up for the benefits and I wanted to keep them. I wanted to stay with the Club, because my heart is there.   What to do?!!!!    I need to do what it takes to survive, and the Club can't offer me the hours or the benefits that OE can.  Gosh. It's like choosing love or money.

Well, what I did was to put in a letter of interest at OE to transfer to a day shift.  There were none available in the areas I tried to apply to, so HR contacted me and asked if I would like to submit my letter to Enriching Possibilities, the Lakeside section of OE. I said yes, and had an interview not too long afterward.  

I thought, maybe this is the way for me to eat my cake and have it too, (so to speak).  I wouldn't have to make the sacrifice on either end.  Unfortunately for me, nine other people were also applying for the position at Enriching Possibilities, and after a long wait, some worry, and pressing the matter, I spoke with the person I interviewed with and asked if he had a decision yet. The day I asked him, I was told that he just finished the last of the interviews and he probably wasn't going to offer me the position. I didn't know what to say, so I told him I couldn't accept that answer and that he should change his mind. He mumbled something I couldn't quite understand, and I continued doing transport with my co-workers.

I was heartbroken!!!  I wanted the position for several reasons, but the heartbreaking reason was that if I didn't get this position, that would mean I would have to quit my position in the art room.  (Like, seriously, rip my heart out of my chest). So on Tuesday, I spoke with my boss at the Boys and Girls Club and we agreed to have a discussion on Thursday morning before painting camp to see where things were at.

I started grasping at straws, trying to see if I really exhausted all of my options because the last thing I wanted to do was to give up a job that I feel like I was made for, because I can't survive on 16 hours a week (and don't even get me started on everything going on with the rest of my family right now).

Thursday morning came and I had my meeting with my boss at the Club, and I cried as I told him I had made my decision to leave the Boys and Girls Club. I told him I didn't want to tell the kids.  I told him the worst part of this for me is that I'm contributing to the instability that these kids are facing in their lives, and they need something stable, especially since I had only been in the art room 8 1/2 months and I would be the 3rd staff to leave this month.

He expected it.  I had earlier revealed to him how much I had been working in the past four months, let alone the past four weeks, and he was awestruck that I had managed to do it as long as I had.    And he  expressed that even if I had gotten the position I desired at OE and continued to work for the club, I would still be working 11 to 12 hours a day, five days a week, and he feared I would burn out.

He announced it to the kids on Thursday afternoon that today (Friday) would be my last day working for the Club (since the club is shutting down for training and cleaning until September) and he gave it a positive spin, telling them that I had an opportunity to work full time at another job, and they are hard to come by, and that the kids would understand when they were older. But in my mind  I heard an accusing voice crying "you chose them over us".  And I saw a vision of my hopes and plans for my future and career with the Club wash away with my tears.

I cried again.   And I found out later that most everyone thought my boss was playing a trick until they saw me standing there crying.  I had my loyal art room kids come into the room and hug me, tell me not to leave, or that they would miss me, and suddenly everyone's idea of a project was to make me a going away present. (such sweet kids, Lol).

But, you know what?  I chose to trust God with it. I put the job in his hands and asked his will be done, so if this was my lot then, this was my lot.  Even though I didn't like it, I accept that God gives and God takes away and it's all in His Sovereignty.

So. Today, on Friday, I came into work, feeling weight of my last day, the finality of it all, the short notice, since .   Painting Camp took a field trip to Painted Penguin.  And when we got back, shortly after 1pm, I checked my phone and noticed I had a missed call from OE.  I checked the message and it was the person I interviewed with telling me that they are creating another float position and he wanted to offer it to me.

Insert Tarzan yell.

I went and spoke with my boss at the club. He said it's my decision if I want to come back, but now that he knows how much I am/have been working, he is concerned. Can I really work 12 hours a day, five days a week and not ruin my mental or physical health?   So, now I am thinking about this. I want my art room position.  I had so many ideas and plans for all of it.  I was excited.

But I'm so tired. I am weary. My soul is heavy burdened. I miss my friends. I miss my church family and I miss being involved despite the fact that I requested Sundays off back in July.  (I see my parents and brothers almost every night, I don't miss them as much) I have no strength to stand on but the strength I have in Christ.

So, my decision that I'm thinking on this weekend is being a sub when needed for the club and kidstop.  That way, if I am weary from work, I can tell them no (yeah...we know how hard that is for me) but  still be involved and still see the kids I have built into and had positive relationships with.

I feel broken.  My heart is broken.  But you know... I also feel relieved.  

So, this has been my life for now. Right now we are exploring the tragedy and Drama genre's. I will be happy to get back to the comedy genre, or explore the romance one a bit, lol.

But more seriously,  Do all of life's decisions have to be this hard or heart breaking?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm feeling pretty good today. I had a strange and disturbing dream last night, though. And I think I had low blood sugar this afternoon but those are my biggest complaints.

I work another 12 hour shift tomorrow. I really hopeI am able to transfer to daily living skills so I can either have saturdays off or only work the short shifts.

Im officially "med certified" now. Bummer. I don't want to pass meds. The only good thing about being able to pass meds is that it gets me out of giving baths for an hour.

I'm so tired. Dleep might be a good option.
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Life will go on and tomorrow will come

I have had a rotten day. I was supposed to be to work at 9am this morning, but woke up 8:30 because my alarm didn't go off. I need at least 20 minutes to get to work on time. Ended up leaving at 8:45... Then I got stuck behind this street cleaner thing that wouldn't go over 20mph, and frequently dropped down to 15mph. When I am finally able to pass it, I get to hwy 6 to find that they are putting down new asphalt and won't let anyone drive over the road, and they told me I had to find a new route.

I started crying because by this time it was 8:55 and my destination, if I could only have crossed over 6 was just a few miles down the road and the only alternative route I knew of was to take hwy 49, and the only way I knew how to get to it was to go all the way back up to the area where I live and go from there. Well, I didn't do that. I turned around and went to the next possible turn and took my chances of being totally lost. It turned out okay, but I was about 10 minutes late for work.

So I get there and find out that my coworker the only other person who was supposed to be with me until 3pm, called off. Annette did find someone to come in for a few hours, and she was a huge help, but I was still by myself with the guys for the majority of the day.

So I worked my butt off to make sure we wouldn't end up being behind on anything at 4pm when my other co worker was supposed to be.

During this time when I bathed, cooked for, fed, changed undergarments for, washed clothes, changed bedding and cleaned house for 6 men, my brother came to get my car to take it to this place to find out why I have a check engine light on. I don't even remember what he said thee problem was, but it should cost about $50 for the part, and he is gracious enough to fix it when ever I can buy it.

So, at 3pm, I am supposed to have care tracker done (care tracker is... it shouldnt need explaining as its pretty self explanatory) so I start at 2:15 trying to get it done when I realize, the internet isn't working and we can't do care tracker with out it and we get write ups if care tracker doesn't get done. So in the must of e trying to figure out what I'm going to do there, one of the clients yells for me and when I walk into the room I see a second client leaning over the coffee table with his head in his hands sobbing hysterically.

I do my best to comfort him, make a failed attempt to call my manager and finally call another group home, ask them to sign in for me and do care tracker over the phone.

At 2:45, I throw dinner in the oven and then set about finishing getting the guys showered, cleaning up the house, do tube feedings, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Around 4 my other coworker showed up, and could not believe how much I accomplished by myself. The rest of the evening was okay until I finished my 12 hour shift and got in my car to find that the AC is not working and is in fact blowing out hot air.

I have been exhausted physically and emotionally and frustrated and I was incredibly tempted to run my car into a tree.

But obviously, I didnt. When I had that thought it startled me. I was like omg, its not the end of the world , frustrating, yes, inconvenient, absoultely, but where did that thought come from? I could take a wild guess.

So anyway, that was pretty much my day.
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What do you when you get a day off?

Well, if you are like me, and your day off is a Tuesday, the day after independence day, you will call some friends and go to the beach.

Sadly, I can not swim as I would desire. The MRSA is practically controlling my life. Ojay, not controlling, but it would be a bad decision to go into lake Michigan with two gaping holes on my torso. Reinfection, spreading the infection, and passing on the infection.... Not good things. But I can enjoy the sun and I can wade in the water, and I can sit in the sand and read the CS Lewis book or the commentary on 1 Corinthians that I got from the library. And that is exactly what I plan to do.
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Monday, July 4, 2011

A whole lot of... something.

I think I shouldn't wait until I have a ton of stuff to write about before I write. Everything just builds up and up and then it gets to the point of overwhelming to write about.  But is that going to stop me? Probably not.

1.  My staph infection has been confirmed as MRSA.  It is healing quite nicely. My skin is a little bit raw from the tape for my bandages, and it's starting to itch and peel (and get sores because Im scratching the raw area), but I'm doing what I can to prevent the infection from spreading. I'm slightly bothered that it is MRSA, and I'm extremely bothered by the response that I'm getting from Opportunity Enterprise.  One of my co-workers estimated that one in ten people at OE have MRSA, yet they insist that I probably got it from somewhere else.  Possible, I know, but I was directly exposed to it at OE on a daily basis and unless or until it can be proven otherwise, I believe I got it from OE.

2. Living in the apartment with my cousin went from being something I wanted to do, to something I have to do.  My parents got a letter in the mail addressed to our landlord or current resident stating that the property tax has not been paid. And I'm confused about everything inbetween, but the bottom line is that my family needs to move.  Even if the property tax were not an issue. Someone sent pictures to someone that show different parts of the house, and my parents got another letter addressed to our landlord or current resident about the condition of the roof that demands it be repaired or a fine will be imposed and the resident vacated from the property. There were even pictures with the second letter detailing the proof.  I personally think the neighbors on our left, the construction  restoration business is behind it. I've seen people looking at the house and talking and pointing at different parts of and then walk back over to the business. I went inside and told my mom about it the day it happened. But I am 99% convinced it was them.  So.... My family is being forced out.  My reaction?  Mixed.   Im thinking, finally, something to get them out, I'm upset that they MAYBE have until August to find something.  And if I'm right about the neighbors being behind it, I think that was a crappy thing to do. 

Oh, and by the way, my apartment has no water or electric because the bills were behind from the two months my cousin was unemployed and we are trying to get her caught up on the rent she was behind in just so we can stay in the apartment. We have to pay $90 for water and just over $300 for electric to get them back on... I'm sure it will get caught up because I'm helping her now, but until then... yeah.

3. Okay, so I was reading a Proverb the other day and in the Bible i'm borrowing there are these devotional-like things in a blue box in the margins, and I read through both of them. One talked about who you are trying to please and another one talked about the dangers of the love of money. Both of them were connected to the Proverb I read. But I thought about them and about the excuses I made for working at Opportunity Enterprise and not having a day off. I don't want to screw-over my co-workers, I don't want to make my manager angry, it gives me more hours and I could use the overtime anyway.... Well. I was forced to face my excuses for what they were, and that night I prayed for the strength to do what I felt I needed to do, which was to tell my manager that I can no longer work on Sundays.  I didn't pray for her reaction or anything like that, because I just expected the guilt trips and the manipulations, I just prayed for the strength to do what I knew was right despite the reaction I expected.  

So... Saturday I asked to talk with her privately in her office and when we were ready, we did.  I started out telling her that I appreciated the work she put in as manager, and I told her I noticed she gave me Tuesday off and that I'd been wanting a day off that I don't work for either Club or OE and that i really appreciated that I'd gotten one.   I then told her that I feel like I have been extremely generous with my schedule where I could be and that I have had to give up a lot things when I came to work for OE,the most important being the weekends that I spend with my friends, my Monday night group, and the church I attend on Sundays.  I told her about my involvement with Life Bridge and my desire to be a part of it again, because I don't really feel connected.   I also told her it was a difficult decision for me to come to, because I don't want to screw up anyone elses schedule, but I need my Sundays, and started next week (because the schedule was already made and I wanted to honor the committment) I would like to have Sundays off.  

My manager suprised me at this point. She didn't try to give me a guilt trip, she didn't try to talk me out of it or make me feel bad about it. She simply asked me if I needed my schedule to change anywhere else, I said no, everything else can stay the same, and she said, no problem and wrote down that i'm off on Sundays on sticky note and stuck it by her computer.

Then she suprised me again and thanked me for coming to her and telling her how I was feeling about my job and about my schedule and that she feels like I have come a long way from when I started working there two and a half months ago and that she appreciates what a help I have been to her and the house I work at.

We talked about a few other things regarding the house and I went back to work, but I walked away from that conversation feeling good about it and absolutely thrilled that she was so receptive about what I had to say, because I've walked away from many other conversations with her feeling the exact opposite.

Anyway.  That's where I am right now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Flesh eating bacteria?

RasIm getting excited to read my devotions each morning because it seems like everyday God gives me something to think about or confirms something I was already thinking about I find that exciting. I think about the devotions and I feel the desire to go deeper. But that's pretty much it. I have not been acting on it. I don't know why. I could blame it on a busy life I guess... I could just try harder... I could ... Do any number of things... But maybe I should pray through it. I will ask God to give me desire that compels me to action.

On the other hand, my boss has been a lot nicer to me, but she is still so unorganized. I should really start praying for her consistently. I did like twice, and i tried to not to ask God to make her a better person, I asked God to help her through stressful times, and to show me ways I can be helpful to her.

And... I may have MRSA. You know, the super bacteria that is now resistant to most antibiotics and has been the cause of several deaths in the U.S. ... Yeah.. That. It could be cellulitis, or any number of things, but I have this huge knot, like an abcess on my upper left side of my abdomen with a small hole in it. It started on monday as a really small pimple like bump, only it was clearly not a pimple, it was a small bump with pus, no bigger than the pointed part of a carpenters nail. I saw it, rubbed my hand over it and it popped, but it didnt ooze pus, it bled slighty. I tried to squeeze it a little... Just blood. So I thought nothing of it. The next day, suddenly it was turning red and a bump the side of a quarter had started under the skin. By the end of the night the bump was the size of a silver dollar. I showed it to my mom, and she said it could be an ingrown hair. So I was like okay and decided to just keep an eye on it. This morning it was even bigger and since noon it has nearly doubled in size. It is painful to do anything that puts pressure on it or moves it, so bending over, walking, sitting... All painful. I showed the lump to one of my coworkers and she said " oh f*** that looks like MRSA." I almost started crying right there because one of our clients does have MRSA in his urine and we have to handle his urine because he has a catheter. I always wear gloves and wash my hands, but is that enough?

So, im opting to get it checked out, especially since it is highly contagious if it is MRSA. But on the plus side, if it is MRSA, my employer should take care of the bill. On the down side, once you get it, you are a carrier for life, just like with the herpes virus.

I spent my first night in the new apartment last night. I slept so well! And I woke up so happy. I hope this works out.
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Monday, June 20, 2011


It's funny, you know... I've thought that maybe God was trying to teach me patience (among other things) with everything I've been in the waiting period for lately, and I laugh as I think about it because right now at this very moment, I am feeling quite impatient.  It's also funny because I can be and generally am a very patient person. But I'm feeling quite impatient right now.

I'm feeling impatient because I have stuff sitting outside my house that I need to bring to the apartment I'm moving into and I want to do it tonight. But in all fairness, the weather channel is calling for a chance of rain tonight, and I don't want the mattress to get wet.

I had found a bedroom set for $100 on that had a bed frame, 2 dressers and a night stand.  I emailed the people and they had already sold it.  So I was like okay and I figured maybe I should wait on the dressers bed frame and such and just sleep on a mattress on the floor until I could buy one from walmart. But then I thought, I will go see if anyone posted anything new on craigslist, and I found a listing for a dresser, bedframe, and a small 2 shelf bookshelf (about the size of a night stand) and I sent the people an email.  I got a call later that day and found out it was the same people who were selling the other bedroom furniture! 

The woman said they were selling her mom's stuff. (I don't know if her mom died or if something else happened.) But this set was only $60 and the woman gave me a mattress and a box spring for the bedframe, and she gave my dad(he was picking it up since I had to work today) 5 plants for me (on the phone we had talked about how we love to take care of plants).  It was pretty exciting because it was a surprise to me.

Anyway, all that aside, This morning I went to work, because we had a vacation with the clients and we had to leave early and I said I would go. I was working for an hour by myself so during that time (after I finished brushing teeth and other needs) I sat down at the kitchen table to read my devotion and one of the higher functioning clients came over and asked me to read them to him. So I did. I read the Scripture, then I read the thoughts that went with it. :-)  I don't know how much of it he understood, but I found it really exciting that he wanted to be involved. 

More another day. I'm tired.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving Day...

Im moving out of my parents house and in with my cousin Rebecca. She lives in Chesterton. I don't mind chesterton so much. It wil be no worse than driving to South haven for kidstop, only the area where she lives is closer. I mey with Rebecca tonight and told her I made my decision and I'm feeling good about moving in. I feel like I got some clarity on things when I went to Alabama. Not because I was specifically seeking those things at that moment, but I think the stress of life really puts me in as place where i don't listen to Gods leading... For whatever reason.

You know... I've had a daily time with God since I've been back. (woohooo, a whole 6 days!) I hope it lasts. I hope that I hunger for daily time with God, and that my few minutes everyday increase in length and quality. I hope I thirst for Good in such a way that spending time with him is like falling in love... So natural.

Anyway. I don't know when the actual moving day is yet... I moved some stuff today (like at midnight, lol) and I pulled a fairly decent box springs and mattress from someones garbage pile. They were put out today and they got wet from the rain today, so I have to figure out howe to dry them with out letting them mildew. Hmmmm....i also found a bed frame, 2 dressers, and a night stand (a set) in good condition, for a total of $100. I hope the people respond to me soon because I feel that its a great deal and it gives me just what I need. Everything else I think I can wait on, but I will probably search good will for some sheets for a double bed.

For now that is the plan. Im hoping to move in completely by Tuesday, that woll include getting my stuff my parents put in the storage...

It seems like forever until the day when I will actualt start sleeping there.
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Alabama... Indiana, what's the difference?

I had such a wonderful, incredible, spiritually rich, restful, refreshing, enjoyable time in Alabama with my friend Stephanie and her husband Chris.  I started my journey to Alabama just before 6 am (to beat rush hour) and got there just before 9pm (because I hit rush hour in Birmingham, lol).  When I arrived I was greeted with a great big hug from Stephanie and Chris.  They served me tea, and we talked for an hour or so, and then showed me where I would be sleeping, which happened to be a guest room all to myself!  Stephanie had left a gift for me on the pillow of the bed, a framed picture of her and I from her wedding, and a beatiful red box with one of the bible times oil lamps from the wedding (as a sort of gift with meaning since I was the one who lit the candles, lanterns, and oil lamps that represented different aspects of being the bride of Christ.)   

I went to bed that night feeling like I could start relaxing. And I did. And I slept really well. The next morning I awoke, dressed, brushed my teeth, pulled out my Bible and read. Shortly afterward, I left the guestroom and was greeted by Stephanie with a hug.  I helped Stephanie make breakfast for the two of us while she shared her morning devotions with me. (turns out, that day was pentecost((when they recieved the spirit))and the jewish calendar celebrates the first fruit harvests, and they had a tradition of tieing a red ribbon or string around the first of their fruits to bloom and dedicated them to the Lord), so after we ate, Stephanie showed me her garden and we tied red string around the first and best fruits. After this, we packed a picnic lunch and I went with Stephanie to run some quick errands for her mom, after the errands, we ate our picnic at a park, walked in a dry riverbed, took some pictures, got smoothies, then went to Bible Study (which served dinner in a small, poor community of dedicated Christ-followers).

After Bible Study Chris, Stephanie, and I went back to their house, looked at photo albums from Bethel, talked about the wedding and how people are doing, and ended up going to bed close to midnight. I went to bed and again, had a good nights rest (but a few strange dreams, lol). Thursday I slept a little late and Stephanie came into the room about 9:30 when I was getting dressed and gave me a huge hug. Then we ate breakfast and painted until Chris came home from his dentist appointment. We ate homemade pizza for lunch, and painted a little more, then went to see Pirates of the Carribean 4, had smoothies and then came back to their place, did some more painting, and they had a guest come over and we had dinner, relaxed, painted, shared about life with one another, and went to bed expressing that I did not want to leave and Stephanie did not want me to go and actually tried to convince me to stay another day.

Friday morning we got up, had breakfast, and went to a statepark, walked around, took pictures, and I left around 10am.   I got back home just before midnight.

It was such a good week!

So now I'm back home, and guess what. It's been less than a whole day and I'm already incredibly stressed out.

I had to work at 7am to 1pm so I could go to Josh and Kim's wedding, but I got off of work late and ended up being late to the wedding, and missed half of it. 
But to add to this, I left my manager a sheet of paper detailing my availability for the summer, and  it turns out that she must not have followed it because she scheduled me to work 2pm to 10pm on Thursday and Friday, when I am supposed to be working for the boys and girls club until 5pm on Thursday and Friday. Furthermore, she is probably going to be very upset when I tell her that I can't work until after 5pm because she is the only other person scheduled for 2pm-4pm on Thursday, and only one other person is scheduled on friday from 2pm-4pm.  I am anticipating a lecture or a guilt trip, neither of which I am prepared to deal with, despite the fact that I gave her my summer availability and she ignored it (apparently).  *Sigh*

Stephanie made mention of me moving to Alabama as a possibility for my future. I would seriously consider it.

I'm also seriously re-considering my position with Opportunity Enterprise.

Monday, May 9, 2011


When the simplicity of life is gone, so is it's innocence.

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (Matthew 6:24a)

The only thing I can say to that is Amen! Between my two employers (and three jobs) I feel like the harlot running between her lovers trying to please them both.

Pretty graphic image, huh? It sucks. Only, I do not love one and hate the other, and I'm not devoted to one while I despise the other. Actually... I kind of despise both of them (and I hate that I feel that way). Right now they are like crying babies, and they both want 100 percent of me, right now.

I turned down the Kindergarten Site Director position for kidstop because I said I waited a long time for the art room position and the two jobs overlapped. I have been filled with great sadness since I turned the position down. I told Mary when I first started working for Kidstop that I wanted a position in the kindergarten room if one ever became available. Now that it's available, I turned it down. If it weren't already too late, maybe I would reconsider, even though I love working in the art room. But I know that someone else has already talked to my boss about the job, so it's not an option and I shouldn't think about it anymore.

On the other hand, I love working with the clients for OE. They are fun, and hilarious, and I feel really good about what I'm doing.... but I don't think I can handle being degraded and critisized incessantly from one particular co-worker. I don't want to leave the BGC to work just for OE, but I especially don't want to do that if that's going to be my experience.

I feel like I'm running on Empty.
I haven't had a day off of work since I started working for OE.

Trying to reconcile and work out my schedules to accomodate both employers to the fullest extent of their expectations is stressing me out.

I'm feeling burdened by the needs of my household to continue to survive, hearing one person say this bill is due and they are X amount of dollars short, or that we don't have money for groceries, or that that bill needs to be paid by X date or it will get shut off, or that the hot water heater broke, or that the faucet in the sink broke, or that the roof in someone's room is leaking because of the rain. Call me selfish, but it bugs me that I live like a guest in this house, but because I have the money now to help get these things paid or fixed, I feel obligated to spend my earnings taking care of everyone elses problems rather than securing or preparing to better my own future.

I feel like the future is only going to get harder, and my life will never change.

I feel like I can't have the things I want in life.

But probably the worst of it all is that I feel completely and utterly alone in all of it. Where are my friends? I can't even talk to my family about my frustrations because they don't want to hear me "b*tching about how life sucks." I'm trying to be understanding because to them hearing me complain is like me hearing them talk about the needs of the household.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Overwhelming Sacrifice

Well, my boss for Kidstop, Mary,  offered me a job for the fall as the Kindergarten Site Director. I wanted this job and I had to turn it down because I also want to keep my position in the art room, and the two positions have the potential to overlap.    I am also working for Opportunity Enterprise. I forget how long I've been working there because I haven't had a day off since I've started working there. (I miss having days off from working).

Between the Boys and Girls Club and Opportunity Enterprise, I'm working about 57 hours a week. I'm getting a paycheck every week right now, but they are so small, that they hardly seem rewarding, even though I know that in the timespan of a month, I'm making more than double what I made before I started with OE.

I'm also giving up my morning position at South Haven when the school year ends because I can't handle starting work at 6:30am.  It breaks my heart.

I got my work Schedule for the OE Group Home today and I'm scheduled to work during the time that Im supposed to be at church.  That breaks my heart more.

I hope the sacrifices I am making now can help me to solve some of my problems and maybe in the future sacrifices like the ones I'm making now won't be necessary.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

To pledge Allegiance... or Not

Yes, This will be highly controversal.

Yesterday My grandma posted the pledge of allegiance status that has been going around on facebook. I commented on her status explaining why I wont repost it, and this is what I said:
Grandma, I would repost this if I believed in it. But I don't believe this anymore. I don't believe in the republic that the flag stands for. I definitely don't believe this nation stands under God. I don't believe we are indivisible, and... I certainly don't believe there is justice for all. I will not pledge allegiance to a country I don't believe in.

It's not that I'm worried about what others will think. It's that Im jaded about what this country has become and I cant repost something that I don't believe in.
I was attacked for this, of course (shame on you, you know who you are), I was told what I said was BS, and I care nothing for soldiers, and that 9-11 meant nothing to me, and that I'm not American, and it definitely held an undertone of self-righteous americanism... you know the kind of snide, sarcastic response where they are attacking you personally but trying to make it sound not so bad. Yeah, it was one of those.

So, because of that, I'm going to get it out in the open. No, I don't pledge allegiance to this country. This is not an attack on Soldiers. I support soldiers and have the highest respect for them. It's America that I take issue with.

Take a look at what is going on in this country and tell me that God is still a part of it. Or perhaps people are trying to get rid of God. That's why students are getting in trouble for even just having their Bibles at school. That's why preachers are being sued over what they preach about that's why a teacher in California got in trouble for having the pledge posted in his classroom because it said under God on it. That's why this pledge status is going around.... to confront people who are afraid of offending people because the words under God are in the pledge. Now look and tell me honestly, do you really believe this country wants God in it? I don't.

Then take a look at the government and tell me we are not divided. The government almost shut down this month because democrats and republicans couldn't come to an agreement. Yeah.... that doesn't sound very united to me. And let's not forget that the government DID shut down in 1995 and 1996, for a disagreement between political agenda's. Do I even need to mention other conflict and consequences of this nation being divided?

Then look at the injustice that happens every single day and tell me that there is justice for all. There is so much injustice that I am overwhelmed with the idea of even trying to pick a starting point! There may be a black man in office, but you go ask, not just black people, but any minority, if they feel like there is justice for all. Most of them are going to tell you no. Look at the evidence of it... Women and minority make less money. Minorities and low income people are still treated unfairly. By jobs, by police, by other americans... America is not quite the land of opportunity that everyone seems to believe it is. Maybe it was once, but it isn't now... not unless you have money, anyway. Oh, and for kickers to the person who made snide comments about me, let's take a look at what is happening to American Veterans. Why are so many of them homeless? Why are there soldiers who have not recieved the benefits promised to them or soldiers families who don't recieve the benefits when their loved ones are killed in war? Soldiers who have dedicated everything they have for America... is that Justice? Not to me.
'One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all' does not apply to the America I live in. What is there to hope for? What is there to believe in? What is there to pledge allegiance to? A broken economy?

This world is not my home, I hold no loyalty to it.
You want to know what I do pledge allegiance to? I pledge allegiance to God who loves us. ALL OF US. I pledge allegiance to the Christ who died on the cross in my place where I deserve to be. I pledge allegiance to him who was raised to life again and preparing a place for those who love Him. I pledge allegiance to Jesus whose life I am going to be celebrating this weekend. That is where my hope of life comes from, and He is who I take pride in.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

When the time is right...

So I did some self reflecting today and I realized something. Well, what happened was my cousin Brandy got stuck at home and needed a ride to work, so I came to her rescue. While driving her to work, she and I talked about different things, went to lunch at KFC, and then right before she went to work, we walked in front of an empty storefront and started making up a story about how we would rent the space and live there with our lives on display for the rest of the town to come and watch us live our lives like some sort of reality show and we would become rich and famous.
Then after I left she sent me a text message and our conversation went something like this:

Brandy: Come back and we'll just run away together
Me: Okay, I'm on my way
Brandy: LMAO hurry
Me: LOL, I wish
Brandy: ur really not coming?/
Me: No
Me: Sorry
Brandy: aww ur makin me sad
Me: Such is life
Brandy: i guess, when u dont love me no more
Me: Keep the dream alive, it will happen someday, the timing just isn't right now
Brandy: u should move to missouri with me
Me: when the time is right...

The conversation ended at that point and it kind of got me thinking.

First of all, I was happy that in the midst of everything going on in our lives, even if we are just dreaming of an escape, we are still dreaming and that is a good thing. I think it means that hope still exists in us. And I think it's when we lose hope that we really begin to lose something vital to our lives, so I am estactic that we still have hopes and dreams. The second thing I realized is that timing is so crucial and vital. I wonder, even if timing is everything (like the old saying goes). I've been trying to make a decision on what to do with having a second job now.  Do I live at home a little longer and pay off bills quickly or do I get an apartment of my own and be out of my families house now.   I've realized that either way, both are going to happen.  I'm going to pay off bills, and I'm going to move out someday.  It's just a matter of when... of when the timing is right.

I don't know when the time is right... I don't know what the right timing for anything is right now, but I gotta tell you, I feel more at peace with the decisions I have to make when I think about God's timing and how I want to follow His timing for my life.  I mean, this is more than just the moving out thing.  Between ideals of marriage, of finishing college, having children and starting a family, working a full time job that I enjoy and moving up in that same career... moving out of my parents house... All of these things and more are thing that I may want now or feel impatient about, but they will come.... All in time. All in God's time. I don't know how to explain it any further than that. I just feel better thinking about how the time has to be right.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A better future

Last night I had a dream. It's been quite a while since I woke up, so the dream is no longer fresh in my mind, infact, it's starting to get really fuzzy, but it seemed so profound to me when I woke up.
It started as a dream within a dream...  I was dreaming about dreaming of a battle with the enemy (Satan). The battle seemed to me somewhat like a Harry Potter wand duel or something, and I was losing. When I awoke in the dream I ran to this room, and I recruited some people with the utmost urgency to help me battle the enemy. They came, but they were not immediately with me in battle, I think perhaps they were praying. But the battle scene was the same as it was in the dream within a dream, and when it began this time I came in with a fierceness, declaring boldly something to the effect of 'the Power of Christ is in me' and other statements, and even quoting scripture.  I was winning the battle.
I woke up before the dream could conclude, but I spent a long time thinking about it.

Last night I also had a glimse of a future that seemed much brighter than the present.  I don't always love living at home with my parents. In fact, my sanity is often screaming for change, but I really think if I can stick it out for a little longer, I know I can get a lot of bills paid off... but last night I realized that I am now in a position where I will not only be able to pay off my smaller bills that I wanted to start with, but I can also pay off the rest of what I owe to Bethel College and pay for the credit hours to take one or two classes either online, or during the day or an internship or Saturday Seminar or something. I would even be able to afford the gas money to go back and forth once or twice a week (depending on how high gas prices get after summer)

I don't know what I will do yet. but the furture does not seem hopeless and that makes me pretty happy. I'm going to have options now that weren't available to me before. I'm going to have to work extremely hard from now on, but I'm willing to work hard.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dear emotions...

Dear Emotions,
Please stop screwing with me. He is a beautiful person with a beautiful soul, but I do not want to be developing a crush on him.  I have known him almost a year now and it really ticks me off that I could go so long and not have any feelings towards him and then suddenly I see him one day and I feel my heart flutter. There is really no reason for that. I was doing just fine not having a crush on anyone and I really want it to stay that way.  I hate the highs and lows and I hate the idea that the feelings I have will probably go unrequitted. Furthermore, there is a difference between a good man and a godly man, and I don't know where he stands in regard to God and I refuse to set myself up for failure anymore. This cannot happen again.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

So irritated about this...

I'm getting tired of getting comments from people I work with who make me feel bad about getting a second job (well, third if you count kidstop and the club art room as two separate jobs). But Seriously. I never thought anyone could make me feel bad about having two(or three) jobs until this week. 
When Opportunity Enterprises called me to let me know they were going to hire me, I was happy.  Was I excited?  To be honest, no, not really. The thought of having a second(or third) job did not exactly thrill me, but I didn't dread it either.
 But if you say that you are not excited, or that you think this might be the least excited you've ever been, everyone seems to assume that automatically means you dread it to the core of your soul.  So of course, the person who hears this is a huge gossip and the next thing I know, I'm hearing that people are talking about it.  But not only are they talking about it, they are talking very judgementally about it. 

So this week as I've gone to work, how many comments did I recieve about getting another job?  Too many.
I mean seriously, whose business is it that I have another job, and why make comments like "What kind of bills do you have that you need another job?"   or "Why get another job if you don't think you'll like it?"

Really? I mean really? First of all, I never said I wouldn't like it, I only said I wasn't excited about it. Second, even if I didn't think I would like the job, life is not a pleasant box of chocolates where all things unpleasant can be avoided at all times. Sometimes you have to do things in life that you may not want to do in order to simply get by.

I think I must live a life that people can not imagine or comprehend.  Just tonight my parents were joking with a friend of theirs that little house on the prairie's got nothing on their kids.

To me, this is life. Working hard is a part of my life and I accept it. Making sacrifices is a part of my life, and I accept it.

And I have to admit it really pisses me off when I feel like people are looking down on me because working hard and making sacrifices are a part of my life... like I'm less than other people because I haven't grown up with the same priveliges or that I'm making some sort of stupid decision.

I think the thing that bothers me in addition to the comments right now is the gossip. I haven't had a problem with gossip with the actual club, but in the Kidstop Unit, it's like being in high school again.  Ugh. Get a life people and stay out of mine.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Common Theme...Direction

In addition to working for both Kidstop and the Art Room at the Boys and Girls Club, I am now going to be employed by Opportunity Enterprises.

I am trying to figure out what to do with my employment.  I will hopefully be working, between the three positions, at least a 40 hour work week. I don't know if I should try to get an apartment by myself, live at home and pay off the car bill and some other expenses, or something completely different.

There have been some family tensions at home, and I could really use a space of my own. I know that money would still be tight, and I would like to live so that Im not completely broke two days after I get paid. 
However, if I can stick it out with my family for the few months to a year I can get a lot of bills paid off and be in a much better position to live on my own.

I don't know what to do, but I want to do what is best for me and will be most honoring to God.

I am waiting for direction.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Does God really never give us more than we can handle?

God never gives nor allows us more than we can handle. I don't know about you, but I don't believe it's true. There have been times in my life when I've gone through different things and moments, and I've felt very keenly that I could not handle whatever it was.
I also think if we never went through anything we couldn't handle, then someone has to explain depression, suicide, anxiety, breakdowns, etc.

Have you ever asked anyone to show you the Scripture where it says or alludes to God not allowing us more than we could handle?   The fact is that the Bible doesn't say or allude to that peice of misinformation.  In fact, I would even argue that the opposite is true. I mean, when you think about it... If we could handle everything that came our way, then we wouldn't need God.  Is God in the habit of making Himself irrelevant to us? 

On the other hand, there are plenty of Scripture references that are quite encouraging in the midst of trial.

For example:

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says that God comforts us in our trials

Nehemiah 8:10 says the Joy of the Lord is our strength

Hebrews 13:5 says he will never leave or forsake us

Deuteronomy 20:4 says he fights for us

Matthew 6:31-33 says he provides for our needs

And there is so much more that God has to say about how much He loves and cares for us. I think a lot of us get carried away in our own ideas of how God should care for us, not realizing that God doesnt necessarily do things our way or answer prayers in the way that we would want Him too.  And that's okay. Infact, maybe we should trust him more with that.  He sees things a lot better than we do.

I am a Dandelion

A rose is beautiful simply because she is a rose.
She is delicate and soft, and requires special care.
And most people don't mind a bit when she is there.
She brightens rooms, she's special enough.
You may gaze on her beauty, but dont you dare touch.
The rose is designed to protect her self even from those who love her.
That's why she has thorns.
I am a dandelion.
Most people don't see the beauty in me
because my beauty is deeper than what you see.
I'm hardy, resilient, strong, and alive.
I do what I can so I can survive
When most people would rather pluck me up and throw me away,
Or choke me out of existense.
But I am not a weed.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Money Money Money

Money is a source of frustration for me. It is virtually impossible to live without money, and sometimes it seems just as impossible to earn it!  I consider myself lucky to have a job, not to mention one that I enjoy.  But I look around me, and I see people with full time jobs making 15, 20, 30, 40+ thousands of dollars and I can't even imagine how one person can make that much money, let alone hundreds and thousands more.

It really blows my mind to observe their lifestyles.  I can't imagine it, the things that they have and do and the opportunities that seem to be available to them! I can't even list the things they have or do.

What I mean by that is that I can't imagine it for myself.  I can't even imagine or see myself ever being financially independent enough to survive this life without my parents, and that scares me.

I want these things.  You cannot comprehend my desire for these things.  And it's not that im coveting other people's things, it would be more accureate to say I desire so much not to be where I am, that I have this ideal of where I want to be, but I don't know what that looks like other than what I've seen other people have. 

And I know I don't want everything that everyone else have. In fact, what I desire most is to be independent, whatever that looks like. 

I have so much more I would like to express, but I'm becoming so distressed that I don't think that would be wise or productive.

The fact is, I'm feeling very lost again. I want to improve life, but I don't know how.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Face lost in the Crowd, Another soul too jaded to hang around....

Okay, let me be blunt.  After talking with a friend tonight about church, I realized that there are so many things about Life Bridge that I love, but relationally, I feel like I'm starving.

Let me be clear. This is not a new feeling. I don't have these feeling just because I spoke with my friend tonight who Pursued a Different Church Body for exactly that reason.   I spent the first few years at Life Bridge going back and forth to College. If there was a relational disconnect, I was not in a place that I would have been too concerned or noticed. But then... After I left Bethel and started going to church consistently, I was looking for those relationships and I didn't find a lot of them.

Then slowly, one by one people started being called to other churches, the few people I had relationships with, over this past few years started leaving.

So in 2009, I left to work for Camfel Productions and really felt the disconnect. I tried to stay connected to Life Bridge, sending post cards and letters... Tammy called me, and Becca wrote back to me, but I was otherwise unheeded. Out of site out of mind.

I've disconnected since then.   I've gone through incredible depression, loneliness, and junk that hasn't changed much, but I've been trying so hard to feel connected and right, and while things have  improved slighly in my own mind, and with my small group. I still feel terribly disconnected.

The thing that talking with my friend did do, was give me the mind to start praying about whether God wants me to stay at Life Bridge or seek fellowship (ultimitely relationships) somewhere else.

I will admit I have searched other churches online. The thing is that there is so much I love about LifeBridge that I don't want to give up. But I want more an idea of nurturing relationships, I want the practice of it and it's exhausting when you try to be relational and no one responds.

I wonder if this is the struggle my friend  Josh had/is having.

So I will continue to pray.

It Is Well With My Soul

I was browsing a friends blog just a little while ago and I came upon the instrumental version of the song It Is Well With My Soul, and the comment that this was his favorite hymn.  I had to go to youtube and listen to it with words.  The fact is, I love this song too. I adore this song.  The lyrics are beautiful, the prayerful, reverent, and worshipful style of delivery, mixed with a hint of an underlying joy I think really complete the song.   I have Selah's version here and I think they  do wonderful with it.  (I'm sorry, I'm not a fan of Jars of Clay's version, I think it is because the way they sing it seems so non-chalant), but my favorite version of this song was they way Shawn Holtgren arranged it for Chapel at Bethel College. But I think that's because when we sang it together in Chapel, the joy  in it wasn't an underlying joy. The joy was present and real and poweful. I could hear it! This song is just powerful.

What's more is that I feel like I am getting to the point where despite the troubles in my life, I can truly say again that it is indeed well with my soul.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thoughts, Decisions, Prayers

Well, the weekend before this Sunday I went to South Bend/Mishawaka to see Bethel College's musical production of Cinderella. (which was wonderful, by the way). Since Christine and Doug decided to have a night to themselves in a hotel I stayed with my friend Katie.

First I will say that I know Doug and Christine are getting to the point where they may be wanting to get married soon, but it's been getting a little frustrating that it seems like I ask them if they want to do something (like go see Cinderella) and they say sure, then make a romantic evening of it knowing full well that I'm going with.  I guess it's not such a big deal except for the fact that I invited them to go see the musical and then they made a night together that 1. excluded me, and 2. did not have to be planned for that night seeing that it was planned after the invitation was made.

But as long as I've known Christine she has consistently dropped pre-made plans with me because something better came along (and half the time she doesn't even call to let me know). But to her credit, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn't do this every time something better comes along (though I have no evidence to prove otherwise,)  But I let her treat me like a back up plan, so who's to blame, really?

That's all beside the point, just a bit of frustration I face every now and then, but I love my friend Christine and I want to support her as her friend.

Anyway, this time, though, I am glad for the experience I got when they found a place for me somewhere else because I stayed with my friend Katie.  Katie lives in an intentional community house and works with the Catholic Worker in South Bend. I stayed with her and we had the opportunity to catch up with one another and serve with one another on Sunday morning. 

On Sunday morning we went to the Catholic Worker and spent time there doing laundry for people, giving people a place to take a shower, and serving breakfast.

It was an incredibly humbling experience.  Doing anything that you're not familiar with is a humbling experience and I felt so lost on what to do. I was afraid I was going to offend someone, or severely piss them off. 

Being around people that were homeless or perhaps not homeless but simply poverty class did not bother me. I am right there with them. I have a roof over my head, but I live in poverty. I suspect my poverty is not as severe, but it is poverty none-the-less.  The point is I am not bothered by Society's poor and needy.

But I was stretched, and there were times when I did feel uncomfortable. I know, and it's unfortunate, that a large part of the homeless population are people who are... well, to put it bluntly... special needs. Whether they are special needs because they were born that way (or made that way through war, accident, or some other means beyong their control) and lack the care others recieve, or whether they are special needs because of drug induced problems, this is a reality, and they have grown to learn how to take care of themselves the only way society lets them.

I don't know how many of the people who came to the Catholic worker last week were special needs. I don't know if any of them were special needs or if they were simply on a high from drug use.  I don't know whether they were homeless, or if they were living in severe poverty conditions, or if they lived fairly decently but just lacked a washing machine and dryer.  I don't know anything about the people there, and I don't want to make assumptions about them. 

But I was stretched because I was fellowshipping with people who  had demeanors and attitudes that were so vastly different than anything I've experienced or expected.

There was an instance where an older man came in and was seeking someone to trim his hair and beard. A young woman with a small child said to him "I haven't seen you in a while, where have you been."  They guy replied that he had just gotten out of jail.  The woman said back to him: "At least you were in a safe place"

Jail is a safe place?  I guess if you really think about it from a different perspective, in jail you are protected from the elements (weather), you are garanteed a meal every day, you are given clothes to wear, you can even get your GED in jail. I guess that's fairly safe considering what the alternative is.

I think the most uncomfortable part of the day was not even seeing the differences in demeanor and attitude. It was one person, (I don't know what to call him, a client, I guess), who would yell at other clients, beat his chest, stomp his feet, and start fights. He expressed so much anger, like everything anyone did was a personal affront to him.

Katie wondered if he heard voices, whether due to mental illness, drugs, or spiritual stuff, we wouldn't know.

Overall, it was a good experience and I was glad for the opportunity to serve there.

Afterward I got to spend some more time with Katie and she asked me how she could pray for me, so I let my financial situation spill, I confessed the mistakes I've made in the past, I told her about how I have used money irresponsibly,the downward spiral in dealing with it, the unexpected expenses, the confusion with deferments, the things that were beyond my control.... everything.

In this past week I have been thinking about how to help myself financially.  One of the things I have splurged on was my phone. I have T-mobiles unlimitted talk(night and weekends only), text and web for $59.99/month not including tax.  plus I pay an extra $35/month because I'm buying a smart phone with a bunch of features I don't need for roughly $500, and I have it on a two year plan where I pay off a portion each month with my cell bill.

I've been thinking about how this is such a needless expense.  At first I planned to simply pay off the phone and have the extra $35/month.  But the more I think about it, the more I've been thinking about switching to the talk and text plan and forget the web altogether. It would take my bill down to about $39.99/month, not including taxes.  

I even though about doing talk only, but so much of my communication is done through text messaging that I don't think I can get away with it anymore.

But $40 a month plus whatever tax... I could handle that. I feel like that would be a financially responsible decision.  The problem... I believe my current phone requires a data plan (since it's the phone that rivals the iPhone).  So I called T-mobile tonight and I don't think I can get out of the contract I'm in with the phone and I may have to simply pay it off and suffer a loss.  Maybe donate the phone to someone seeking a phone... I don't know.

I've also thought about just keeping my plan the same and only paying offthe rest of what I owe.   I will keep praying.

Not just for wise financial decisions, but for the strength to put them into practice.

I am also seeking so desperately for God's guidance for my life.  I have no idea where I am supposed to be. 

Am I supposed to finish college?
Am I supposed to stay here?
Am I supposed to try for that Program in Tennisee?
Or in Colorado?
Or in some other program I found?
Will I marry?
Have Children?
Stay single?
Work at the Boys and Girls Club?
Return to Camfel?
Dedicate my life to a noble cause like Katie's ministry with the Catholic Worker?
Seek something entirely new?

I don't know where I belong. So I'm praying for God's leading and waiting. 


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Guilt... Over what? Eating!?!

I don't know how to say what I am feeling. I feel guilty. I have not weighted myself, but I have a sense of having gained weight. That could be because we're actually eating a few times a day rather than once a day and my mind interprets that as the right conditions to cause weight gain.

So lately I've been feeling guilty whenever I eat, regardless of how much I actually eat or how healthy it is. And I feel fearful that I'm gaining weight. Im having a hard time with body image today.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Obstacle

Well, I will admit I'm feeling a bit depressed again.  I have been trying to get ahold of my those who are holding my student loans so I can get yet another deferrment on them when I finally get ahold of one after dealing with being referred/transferred to people/phone numbers several different times, and going rounds with an automated service that wasn't answering my questions (but what it was saying was starting to really scare me)...

So when I finally spoke with soeone to find out what was going on, I learned that I have three different lenders and only one of them was covered under my deferment.

So apparently I have been in default with two of my loan providers and the one I was talking to today (Which was not, the perkins loan like I was hoping to contact someone about) is now in collections.

I feel extremely cheated with my student loans right now.  I owe almost $30,000 for what?  Certainly not a degree, I can tell you that much.  My hope of finishing that degree keeps looking slimmer and slimmer. The impossibility is that I can't get financial aid since two of my loans are in default. All my classes have to be paid up front. When the school charges $550 per credit hour that gets a bit tricky.

I'm very seriously considering trying to get my last PE Credit and just graduating liberal arts rather than trying to finish the degree in Youth Ministry and Adolescent Studies.

Im trying very hard not to feel angry, depressed, helpless and such but I don't know what to do. I want to be responsible, but everytime I make an effort to act responsibly (over things I didn't even know were an issue, remember) it seems like another little monster tries to rear his ugly head.

I have seriously considered bankruptcy (not for the student loans, but other things) and I can't bring myself to do it yet. I want to repay what I owe.

But what do I do to put myself in a place where I am financially able to make the payments?

I'm still trying to figure that out. I'm currently seeking another part time job that I don't really want just so I am doing something and making some sort of effort to better myself.

I'm still waiting on and trusting God. Instead of trying to get rid of my obligations when things get incredibly hard Im trying to be faithful. God please consider my insignificant  efforts to be faithful and show me some mercy.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Now this is truly introspective

For the past few years it seems as though I've had theme songs for seasons of my life. They were always the songs that touched me so deep I could not ignore the truth they revealed in my life. I would almost cling to the songs if that were possible, playing them over and over, taking in every word. Every one of them were a song crying out to God, pleeding, worshipiping...

I distinctly remember selahs song, you raise me up, stroking a cord in me, stand in the rain by superchick, never alone by barlow girl, praise you in the storm by casting crowns... there are so many more that the songs still swell up and stir within me.

This season in my life, the song I seem to find nudging my subconcious is Set me free by Casting Crowns.

Its somewhat scary, but these lrics stir me.

It hasn't always been this way
I remember brighter days
Before the dark ones came
Stole my mind
Wrapped my soul in chains
Now I live among the dead
Fighting voices in my head
Hoping someone hears me crying in the night
And carries me away
Set me free of the chains holding me
Is anybody out there hearing me?
Set me free

There is truth in these lrics that I cant deny, and a cry my lips are sometimes to weak to make.

I don't pretend to know exactly when things became so complicated. but I do know that a war is raging in my life. A great spiritual battle for my soul (and sometimes I think my sanity.)

Ive tried to recall a time in my life when ive felt this weak and helpless and I can think of none. I don't undetstand what happened, surely I've stared worse situations in the face.

Why now is beyond me. Maybe it had something to do with the responsiblity I try to carry away from my situations, but I truly don't know. All I know is that life is a battle for me right now.and I am fighting with every once of strength I still have to cling to hope in God.

Today I have peace that I will be okay, but not every day is like this. Maybe someday it will be though. Until then I will keep clinging.
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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Introspective Reflection?

It's that time again... That time when I start thinking about what life is to me, who I am, etcetera, etcetera.

One thing that has been really pressing me lately is my desire for adventure.  I might even go so far as to call it a need. Mixed with that desire for adventure is a reluctancy... a fear of being stuck in one place for too long.

I guess I kind of just like to be on the move.

Ive actually thought about this and I believe if I were given the choice between security and adventure, I would choose adventure hands down.

So of course when my work makes jokes about me never leaving my position in the Art Room (even though I have no desires or plans to do so in the near future) it makes me feel trapped.

I know I am not where I could be. I don't know that I am where I should be. I have had opportunities opportunities come up that I believe I may want to seriously consider, but I am so loyal to both the club and kidstop that, even if I would stay where I am for the next few years, the thought of ever leaving either position fills me with incredible and immense guilt.  And I still feel trapped.

I know I am not irreplaceable. Life will indeed go on if I left the position and they would find someone to replace me.  So why all the guilt?  I don't know.

I am currently pending a position with Opportunity Enterprises.  I should find out on Tuesday if they hire me or not.  But you know what?  I don't really want the position.  I mean, it's nothing about the work or type of work itself. It's the complications that would come with working two jobs that I don't know would work around eachother.

I know one would have to take priority over another.  I guess thats the thing about employment though...  Despite the type of company or the mission, I, as the employee, do not matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.   What I mean by that is that I have a purpose to complete. If I don't complete my purpose, it doesn't matter what is going on in my life or what struggles I may be having, I will be replaced.

There will be no tolerance, no helping me through the problem, no assistance to continue my education or anything. The company will do only what is legally required of them. Maybe I'm wrong, though.

I don't want there to be a tug of war between my employers.

On another side of things, I've been finding it increasingly difficult to take care of myself lately.  Personal heigene: unwashed clothes, showers not as frequent as I would like (both due to the guilt incited because of the resulting bill from showering every day and washing clothes every week), tooth brush needs replaced, lack of certain very personal heigene products. It bothers me.

I miss the purity of Bethel College, and since I've been living in this situation for so long, I feel trapped, like things are never going to change.

Ive had opportunities presented to me that I would be interested in doing, but don't know that I can for whatever reason.

I feel stuck.

But beyond circumstantial issues, what reason do I have to feel stuck?  Only the fact that I have no idea where I am going in this life. No idea what I really want to do.  And No idea what God has is calling me to do.

I've been trying hard to get out of the rut I'm in and seek what it is God has for me. I am still unclear.  I expect that God will lead me and I will do my best to follow Him and hear what he has to say to me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Art room

Next wednesdays craft project. I would like to try real basket weaving someday.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Something Old, something New....

I think I must have a dozen unposted blogs in draft mode right now. Ranting and raving, depressive and emotional.  It happens, but I think it's time to move on.

I think God is doing something in me. Whether it's me finally submitting to him or who even knows what. I have had this stirring in me for the past few weeks.  The first Sunday in January I heard a verse on the way to church, but I couldn't find it anywhere when I tried to look up the reference I thought I had remembered correctly. So after some searching, I let it be.

But then Anna sent me the same verse I had wanted to find through my email. Isaiah 43:18-19a

 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I looked to the text and I read through it one morning and I found myself struck by the different understanding I saw in it, as it applied to my life.  I would have imagined that I need to forget my sin, move on and be a better person. you know, the main interpretation. But that's not what struck my heart.

I thought about how much I dwell on the past, not that I relive my mistakes and fret over them, but that I remember the good times, and so often I long to go back to the day when.... fill in the blank, but I think mostly I was thinking about the days when my relationship with God seemed easier,when these doubts didn't invade my mind. When I wanted to worship God and it wasn't a sacrifice on my part. When I wanted to live radically. I was missing the person I used to be, and I was sad when I thought about going back to Bethel, about how it can never be the same again and I will never be who I was. I felt broken because I changed.

And it dawned on me when I read this verse that this was, plain and simply, me continuing to dwell on the past.  It doesn't have to be bad for me to dwell on it. And I need to let it go. I need to forget who I was so God can do something new in me, I need to forget the way things were so God can do something new in my life.

I don't know that what he is doing will be comfortable or that it will meet my still skewed expectations. God never promised me comfort. But what I do know is that my instistence upon the way things were, has been and is preventing me from living the life God has for me

I don't have to be the same or go back to what I used to be. God is doing something new in me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


It's Sunday morning. Its so quiet in the house right now. There's no tv, no talking, no animals running around and playing (knock on wood). It's so peaceful. I love mornings like this. When I wake up and can just lie here and continue to rest until I feel like I wasn't to get up. I don't always like it, because sometimes when I'm ready to actually get out of bed they're still sleeping. But today, this is nice.

Today, I'm going to go to church and I'm going to put effort into listening instead off allowing myself to be distracted and giving myself excuses.

Its probably time for me to start getting ready to go now.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

La di da...

.New years was okay. Pretty much ecactly as I expected it to be. Bourbon st in chicago is definitely not that great. I suspect it would have seemed better if I were drunk, but probably not even then. Besides, I have no desire to be drunk at any point in my life. I cant drink enough to let my self become drunk. Its like this reaction in me that after one or two drinks I simply don't desire to drink alcohol anymore and I'm done.

I wish my body responded that way with food. It seems like my mechanism to tell me to stop is broke.

So anyway, at bourbon st, I was stepped on, pushed around, squeezed, groped, bumped into so that my drink spilled all over me, practically dry humped (people dance sick!), followed, had a drink girl tell me her boyfriend loves her, be wished happy new year by someone guy who insisted on touching me to do so, had a drunk guy stumbl rd into me then his friend come btu and tell me the guu is good looking but he s an @$$ hole, had to rescue Dougs hay from some girl who stole it right off his head... And that was only in the first few hours.

The whole atmosphere just isn't me. I was made for something else.

So today we hung out with Dougs brother and then back at christines we played monopoly where I recieved raw deal after raw deal, and couldnt seem to cut a break. So I thought, wow, this is just like real life, and I played Donkey kong.

I'm staying with christine again tonight. I hope I don't wear out my welcome. I'm going home tomorrow sometime, and will probably wait for christine to decide she wants to hang out with me again. She needs a few weekends that are just for her or her and doug.


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