Saturday, June 30, 2007

waking the dawn

Another night of little sleep just when I truly need it. (When do you ever not?) I have a full day of work ahead, life drawing in the evening and anything else I can manage to cram into this coming day. I can never get enough done. My younger daughter needs her room completely revamped and repainted to have a work space for her art projects. Her senior project for next year is a two-person show, and so this is critical ASAP. The elder called-she has to have some sort of emergency cash or credit, and is minus her computer and time to do anything but survive a rough spot in the life of a young person starting out, so worry plagues me. I can't see where in our schedule we'll have time to see our son, but it's already been two months. I need a body double!!

Even though I know everything will be fine, I'm blessed, all that, I worry incessantly. A friend is on my mind, someone I fear for greatly who does not have the best judgment where woman are concerned. Thus far, no complications but I can foresee the future. It may wind up like another male friend of mine, the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet...which is why he probably wound up with Cruella De Vil and the Wicked Witch of the West. Somehow I think I could talk until I'm blue in the face about being sure a woman's heart is good as the outside package and it would fall on deaf ears. Ears and brains aren't the active organs in either case. Sigh.

I wonder about my coming schedule this year. Where am I going to cram in school studies or get the money? How can I get my art off the ground when it is so difficult to find the hours to draw? I try to be faithful in everything I do but it makes me feel like such a useless speck of dust to think of how little that is. Maybe that's the point. Be anxious for nothing, pray about everything...the one thing I do far too little of.

to be or not to be..there

Last night my husband and I went to a wedding reception for the daughter of a dear friend of his. I'll admit, I did not want to go. I'm not a party-pooper and I enjoy people, but it felt like obligation and I was already tired from too much obligation and too many people. I'm afraid it doesn't take much for me. I worried, as well, how my hearing would react in a huge crowd, lots of incidental noise and then loud dance music. It can be so tiring not to hear.

At first I just did not want to be there. At the core of my surface friendly countenance is a deep streak of anti-social that is very critical of financial and social-status posturing. I couldn't really believe that this was the case with these folks as I know them and the husband at least is a very simple guy. My husband and I both agreed it would take years of working at the Gatorade plant to pay for the extravagance we witnessed around us. It was clearly one of the most opulent and expensive wedding receptions I'd ever been invited to. Yet still it crossed my mind that this was a statement to the world-we are important people who can and will give our daughter the best. I felt resentment rising knowing I never would and never could give either of my girls anything remotely close. My daughter in college had just called us and asked about resigning for a credit card in case of emergency, which in her situation meant being able to buy food and afford transportation at the moment. I would gladly have given her the piles of untouched plates I saw hurried back to the kitchen.

I more or less stewed in my juices, tired, bored and resentful as my husband and I sat alone at a table for probably an hour before anything really started. Then guests filled out the seating arrangement, the wedding party came in and it was less morose. The brother of the groom and sister of the bride gave toasts that were truly wonderful-the young man read woodenly off a paper in his nerves, but managed a touching punchline and it was perfect. Then the young lady, as to heighten the total difference between men and women, grabbed the mic and owned it with an expressive, unscripted and tear-filled but hilarious tribute to her sister. It also, was perfect. I felt redeemed and then chided myself as the master of ceremonies told the crowd to forget their own problems, bill and mortgages, the daily stuff, and have fun.

I had to choose to enjoy, to talk and to smile. And I did, for the bride, her sister, the brother of the groom and dad, who was instructed not to get sloshed by the mother, but came beaming to our table with a huge pitcher of beer that he certainly earned after the dance with his now-married daughter. The job was done. And we all commented, how time has gone by! I don't want to think about it, but this is my life, and it's winding down. Some days I'm not sure I want to the be there. But life provides no other options.

a moment in time

I'm afraid to ask the question "why" anymore, for the good or for the bad. The more I trust that all things work together for my good, the more I can fathom the incredible, the strange, the unbelievable in my life. Or maybe I'm just don't get out much ;-)! If I accept God's terms, these things happen. The caveat is, I can't make them happen or control them. I can only be thankful when they come and learn to see the invisible hand in it all. I have to stop being afraid-being afraid of when I don't understand, I'm overwhelmed by it all, I don't know what to do or how to react.

How do I react to suddenly knowing what another heart needs? If I would have tried to control the moment, I would have said take me home. But I didn't. This morning after prison ministry I rode out with my single partner to see her two churches, get hoagies and pet her cats. I knew she needed me. It was good to be needed. I was tired, but the tiredness left when I said yes to her. How do I react when something I was pleading for was answered suddenly and completely without doubt? Like a child asking for a cookie and receiving a birthday cake, I stood humbled and unsure how to receive the moment. But I did. The invisible became visible in my life in a way I could receive it and know it's really true.

A miracle is oftentimes a moment only we can see who are truly looking with open hands and hearts.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I tend to write very early, early in the morning. It is hot outside, and so 4:30 am feels really good, with the lights low, the fan on and that wee hour cool outside. I am reading a book on humility, given to my husband by newly released ex-prisoner, which says alot I suppose. My pride is never far from me, and I've always believed, as the book made mention, that pride is the source of all evil, sin and misery in the world, the kind that says I don't need God and I don't need people. All I know is, it is the thing that runs through the fabric of my being which keeps me from truly being the person I need to be, an imitator of Christ. So many of the things that I struggle with come from this tendency in my soul to say this life belongs to me and I can do what I want. The problem with that is, the more insistent I am and the harder I hang on, the less this life truly does belong to me. I see that I cannot control it.

If I could only grasp this. Everything I see and hear in this world tells me I deserve a break today, I'm worth it, it's about me, total comfort and security is my right as a what generation past was this ever true? We suffer more with discontent than any previous I believe. Somewhere in the back of my mind I hear a different does not live by bread alone, the love of money is the root all evil, where your treasure is there will your heart be, what does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their own soul, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains alone, He came into this world and His own received Him not...that sure doesn't jive with our modern philosphy of get all you can while you're here and screw everyone else.

I was lying awake this morning and am writing now because I was afraid to read an e-mail that I thought might chastise me for something I'm doing, and have tried to control because I think I know best. This often happens. I failed to honor the authority under which I serve and undercut it. I apologized but still did not resist the urge to use my language skills and intelligence to include a subtle dig at what I felt was poor leadership. As one tends to find out the longer she lives, intelligence, skills, resources, everything we humans strive after, tend to be really worthless without a humble heart to use and guide them. We all know nuclear power can be used to light the world or blow it up. The more power and strength a human being possesses, the more they need to have it directed by a force greater than themselves.

Then comes heartbreak and I realize, I'm not in control here after all. People die, they leave our lives, children grow up, tragedy stalks continually, goodbye never stops being the dirtiest word in my vocabulary, and I remember, oh God, how I need You to help me. I'm a poor traveller in this world, and without Him to guide me I just never find peace. I'm trying hard to understand Jesus' gentle instruction in the Gospel of Matthew, "Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul..." Rest. The thing I can never seem to find. I think it takes submitting to the yoke first, and that means I don't plow the field alone.

p.s. The e-mail I was so worried about and felt I didn't deserve, turned out to be totally positive, loving and full of encouragement, something I truly DIDN'T deserve.


I was on the sidewalks of New York Friday. Well, after a long bus ride with a piece of artwork resting against my knees. I guess I could back it up and say I was anticipating and worrying about being on the sidewalks of New York for days. So much so that I think my body told me too much stress is really not a good idea and shut down with flu symptoms today. The trip was not bad, and as always, stepping out of the Port Authority station right into Times Square never fails to be incredibly exciting. It is, after New York City! I just wish I could anticipate these things with open arms and that my excitement would be of the positive sort. It was to a degree and I suppose my nerves were normal.

So I was very glad to have my long-legged 16-year-old daughter with me to cart my portfolio the necessary 28 blocks from famous 42nd Street to 47 5th Avenue to the Salmagundi Club. We fought the crowds in midtown Manhattan on 7th Avenue to pretty much clear streets with outdoor cafes of every nationality and the sound of every language passing us by. It was great to be in the old brownstone again after an 8-year absence. Even better to be showing a piece that I feel defines my developed colored pencil style. The piece I entered all those years ago was beautiful, but was more a student exercise. It gave me such confidence to be accepted.

The day was a quick one. It took my daughter and I all the time we had before leaving on our 2 o'clock bus to get to deliver the art, walk all those blocks back, find the diner my daughter spied on the way in to eat-we didn't-get lost in the bus station and locate our gate. We were able to grab pizza and coffee before sitting the 3 1/2 hours it took to get home again. I mused as we road along-I have artwork in one of the most famous cities in the world. That is wonderful. What has been better is that I'm sitting here with my daughter planning HER first art show.

This morning as I was taking my morning walk I was thinking about my mother. I so wish she could have been here to share this joy with me, the success of my work, my daughter's similar ambitions, the graduation that just happened. I thought to myself, am I like her at all and would she be proud of me? Somehow the Spirit whispered to me, you have all the heart and talent she did, and she's very proud. You carry her life with you. That was the best part of the whole trip.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

white letter whine

Well, we got another letter from Brandon detailing his long-awaited court mandated drug and alcohol classes. He says it best himself:

"I've begun a new class, so I've been keeping relatively busy. It's the 43 session Outpatient Drug Therapy class everyone is afraid of. It's so damn long they can't tell you when it ends. I mean it, I was told by the Counselor it's too long for the call-out people to predict when it ends. At 43 sessions, 3 days per week, you can pretty much guess. The class is on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 1:00 to 2:30. One guy asked about skipping class for visits. The teacher (Mrs. Fiedor) says "you can miss 4 classes, so tell your people not to come on those days." That sucks. I just got done with some "homework" I have to turn in tomorrow, a seven page questionnaire about your drug/alcohol history. At one point you're given a selection of "thoughts" then asked which one best fits you. I wrote the one that says "I am here because I can't get recommended for parole if I don't do this." I explained by saying I already made up my mind to quit (too many other things I'd like to do) and that I thought therapy here was redundant. I was being honest. I 've made up my mind as to how I'll live the rest of my life, I'm only doing this because I was told I may not get out otherwise. Passively forced, in other words. A few months of this hell and I'll have one more mark to my merit. God save me from being a smartass."

I'm afraid, my dear boy, it runs in the family!

a goodbye

It's now Tuesday, June 19th, if this post does not date properly. I went to take my sister back to the airport yesterday after a wonderful five day visit. We just hung out yesterday and talked all day. My daughter wanted to tag along and keep me company on the drive home, an hour and a half, which was nice. However, things went wrong as the oftentimes will, according to the old familiar poem. Our little Honda Civic, the younger daughter's beater and learn to drive car, overheated up a steep mountain road to the turnpike. Very fortunately, we gave ourselves plenty of time.

So there we parked, at an Exxon station just before the turnpike, so close, yet so far. We looked very like the ignorant females we are about car matters, with the hood up and puzzled expressions on our faces. But put a cell phone in the hands of a woman, and action happens. Triple A was phoned, another car was located, the dad parental unit was messaged, and soon we were off again.

With pedal to the metal we zoomed South. I was minus my return trip company, but that was ok. We got to the airport right on shedule, as the British would say, and found out my sister's flight was delayed. We also had a comedian for an airport customer service rep, who had to yell out over the din at the ticket counted to a security office, where's Nanticoke??? The chances of finding a total stranger in an airport who knows the answer to that question is like being a lottery winner. So, after a litany of options and possibilites were run through, being she'd probably miss her connecting flight, my sister, who is not the best at deciding things, had to make a choice. After thoroughly hashing out ever conceivable outcome, she decided to go on and try to make the connection, having a back-up plan in place thanks to our rep.

Sigh...why do these things happen? I was exhausted when I got home, ready to be at the receiving end of a goodbye finally, yet missing her company already. As much as we talked about our OCD and co-dependent ways, it was a rather comical ending to a good story. Everyone likes a good goodbye.

good times

I think my ranting is done. The last post sounds whiny and ridiculous in comparison to the bigness and coolness of life that is happening around me. I had to put on my "grateful" this morning and realize the small stuff truly is small. I can change myself if I want to.

I watched the movie "The Painted Veil" last night, based on the story by Somerset Maugham. That also was one of those stories that truly brings you back around to what's important. The gist was a discontent and unhappy woman living in the 20's meets a doctor and they marry. She doesn't love him, but he does her, and he accepts a post in China to assist with a cholera epidemic in a town. (He's a microbiologist). She has an affair before they leave and does not want to go. He finds out and makes her an offer she can't refuse. She also finds out the lover does not want to marry her. The time in China is their painful redemption-learning how to accept each other as flawed human beings and love beyond the vows. She realizes she's pregnant after they reconcile and is not sure who the father is, but it doesn't matter to either of them. The doctor contracts cholera and dies, and the woman comes full circle to her husband's asking for her forgiveness and she insisting there is nothing to forgive before he takes his last breath. If we humans could only get what real love is, so much other stuff would seem unimportant.

I take my sister back to the airport today. I will miss her. It's been a great couple of days, reveling in the graduated status of the first daughter, having meals together, laughing and enjoying each other's company, sharing memories. Dena recounted how the family females loved to watch "Gilmore Girls" reruns, and how Brandon would always make comments about our addiction, until finally he began sitting down to watch, too! Funny stuff. I'm glad for my family and for the life I have. (It's now June 18th-for some reason my post dates won't change).

addendum to graduation

The downside of any lovely and very public event for me is seeing how large I am on video and in still pictures. The frustration not ever being able to have one piece of cake, let alone two, is so total I can hardly bear it. I'm short, I have a thyroid problem for which I have taken medication for years and I do not respond well to simple exercise and changes in diet. Seems they always have to be drastic. Add to this my age, which is not 16. Am I simply conditioned to hate myself if I'm not a size 2? If the video does not lie, and it does not, I am overweight. I am not that attractive.

This should not bother me, but it does. I've got qualities that other people envy. Well, some other people. But it seems like the counterweight of not being slim or what the world says is acceptable negates all of that. "Such a nice face". GRRRrrrrr!!!! How about being a good mom, a good friend, a faithful and loving servant of God-not enough. For whom? Firstly and maybe the worst for it, for myself. I can't stand it. I'm awake tonight because I can't. I'm so angry with my body, this struggle, which has been years and years long. I lost and gain the same damn 15 pounds repeatedly. I can't make peace no matter what I do.

What is the gain to me to have to work 4 times as hard as everyone else to have minimal results or none at all in the long run? It is so unfair. I don't want to be a size 2. I'd love to be a 10. But even that is incredibly hard work. I feel terrible guilt in a world where too many people don't have enough to eat, that every bite I put in my mouth appears on my person. I feel like a walking advertisement for gluttony when I am not a glutton. I have prayed to accept this, prayed to lose permanently, prayed to never worry about it again...and then come events in which I should be so proud and so happy this is a non-issue. But my negative and angry reaction to the tape tells me it is an issue. What do I do????


Yesterday my daughter graduated from college. It was our first graduation, being that she did not walk the stage for high school, my son got his GED and my youngest graduates high school next year. She is a fashion design major at the Art Institute in Philly. The graduation was held in the First Baptist Church downtown, a venerable old house of worship established in the 1600's with a massive pipe organ, balconies and a huge auditorium. And there was my daughter, marching down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance, in an altered graduation gown and cap as a backless halter dress with cut-out panels and plastic bats attached, and a veil on her cap. An art mom could not have been prouder!

The day was truly beautiful, as my sister from Oklahoma was with us, and the boyfriend and his family. Only Brandon was missing. He called this morning, and my sister took video, so I told him he has something to look forward to when he gets out. It was bittersweet from that aspect, but really, over barbeque the next day we all recounted old, hilarious stories of the kids growing up, and it seemed he was there with us.

These passages of life happen no matter what else is going on, and are there to be enjoyed and embraced. It was great. I look forward to the future.

where you lead

I have the privilege of working with pastors and leaders of many types, but I do observe, pastors and chaplains, who basically have a similar calling and job description, have widely varying ways of carrying that calling out. There is the issue of control. When dealing with humans, that is necessary. When being in charge of them, that is really necessary. There's always the threat of things getting massively out of control in the sanctuary and out, or wherever. If you've been in a church or meeting that allows personal testimony, we've all been treated to the way-too-long and we-need-a-song (right now!!) ramblings of folks, or the incredibly weird or really personal, personal experiences. Sigh. Being on the other side of this as a congregation member an underling in ministry, I never quite know what to do.

It gets complicated when two leaders are involved, and are supposedly equally hitched to the same yoke. It's funny sending out mail and getting two incredibly distinct replies, when you really need a uniform and specific answer. I'm not sure how to handle this. One is massively laid back, and the other is by-the-book anal. So, ok. In comes someone who would really like to get things done, and by the time the information and suggestions go through this twisted network, the results are impossible to implement. Yet they are wonderful people, great leaders, do good work and are led of God. Double sigh.

I would go so far as to suggest most pastors are control freaks in their own ways, and still this is perhaps too harsh and understood almost as part of the job description. I'm grateful for those who allow us under them some trust and confidence in what we can do. It's just getting to that point. God bless us all, being human, trying to lead and trying to follow.

back to life!

I've started up a life drawing group again. I did it for several years and then more or less quit due to lack of artists' interest and the hassle of trying to find reliable models, collect money, scheduling and all the fun stuff that goes along with it. But I sure missed drawing. Turns out lots of other people did, too, so we've got a great group, and they met last night. We had one beautiful forty-something model with great curves and a very tradition oevre of poses. When that happens you do not have to worry about making a terrific drawing or painting. It happens naturally.

I was also glad to see new faces, and one I simply could not ignore. She was a real Helga type, as in Wyeth's famous series, a Nordic ash blonde with lovely cheekbones and watercolor blue eyes. As soon as she walked in I knew I wanted to ask her if she'd be a portrait model, but I waited as this was her first time with the group. Well, while I was collecting money I popped the question and got a very surprised but affirmative response. As the evening drew (ha, pun intended) to a close, she approached me again to get my phone number. I quickly scanned dates so as not to lose this opportunity, and then I told her not to stress over it, her face is so good it doesn't matter what she wears. She then asked me, "Oh, I can wear clothes?" It was impossible not to double over with uncontrollable guffaws, and then I thought, this was her first time-I guess she automatically presumed I was asking her to pose nude. I told her I would never, ever ask a total stranger to do that! (Well, depends on the stranger I guess ;-)

And so a good night was had by all. My drawing was acceptably put together, which it should have been after 5 previous years of this. There is nothing like it. The group dynamic when a pose is happening is palpable, and the human form is unmatched in it's expressive power. I love it so much. I forgotten how much.

ceiling fan blues

I sit here waiting. Well, fidgeting, writing, half-leafing through a book I'm reading, drumming my fingers...I guess that counts. The ceiling fan guy is supposed to be here-was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago. It's so ridiculous, one of those things you put off. My dear handy husband put up a ceiling fan in our middle room years ago, and the wall switch was never wired right. Therefore the globe light in the fan could never be lit with a wall switch. And the cap of the fan, which should rest flush with the ceiling, never did. That just bugs me more than the light. That sagging cap that exposes the wrong wiring and hacked-out hole into which it feeds.

There should be a lesson in all of this, but for now, I'm annoyed, waiting for that truck, waiting for this silly job to be done. I have to go to the doctor in about 45 minutes to be checked again and potentially fitted for a hearing aid. I'm nervous I guess, and that makes the annoyance even worse. Where is that guy and his truck? I simply want it fixed. As with everything.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

the ins and outs

One of my favorite Saturday ladies is scheduled to walk out of prison doors tomorrow. We had an emotional and discussion-filled session, ending with her in tears, saying goodbye. The tears seemed so perfectly normal in a place most people would be overjoyed to leave. Friendships are best fanned in the fires of hardship, and it was apparent this morning. I asked this young woman if she was ready and she had a place to go. All she said was that her mother was picking her up and she was pretty sure mom wouldn't drop her off on the town square and drive away. I so wish I had a way to know what was on the other side of these women's lives. Would I be as sympathetic? I guess I do. And I'll let Brandon weigh in with a comically frustrating recounting of events in one of his recent weeks. Here's Bran:

"This week has a been a little rough, albeit interesting, with today being the culmination. The fun began several days ago when being reckless in the yard we jettisoned our new hacky sack into no-man's-land (an area that would be considered an escape attempt to enter). It ended up in the white rock, nestled comfortably again the inner perimeter. For what must have been 15 minutes, we plotted as to how to get it back without anyone realizing we had been there. That is, to elude an escape charge. First, we decided the person who has the least to lose should go for it; we needed a lifer. Well, Nick couldn't be found so we had to "gird up our loins" and ask a Sarge or Lt. for help (AAHAHHHHHH! I just walked into one of my cellie's death traps: a half-full cup of water precariously located on the edge of the desk. That's the last thing I need right now). We found one each, doing the job they do best: holding up the walls of the field house. After their pre-rehearsed spiel, they told us to con one of the other officers into fetching it. "But who?" we asked. "Why, that guy!" (Sarge points dramatically toward the opposite end of the yard. Camera zoom in on a lone CO rounding the track 450 feet away). Then the running began. It was about halfway through the football field when I realized my shoes were laced way too loose for this kind of pace. My pants were falling down and I can't breathe because I smoke rolled up garbage in a piece of glued paper. This must be what it's like to be a gang-banger running from the cops. The irony being I'm running toward one. In the end we caught the guy and he agreed to get the hack, declining our offers of commissary goodies. Nice guy...

Bran continued with several hilariously maddening accounts of stupid stuff that could only happen in prison. One of these was a cell shake-down which most inmates simply dread. All possessions are gone through and either tossed, sent home or kept, in no particular order of importance or logic. He was made to send home precisely six books (which we received this week) and scolded for having too many. His comment was, "They then complained about my cellie having too many shirts and me having too many books (when I relayed this to Liebel, my associate from the law library, he said, "so they punished you for being literate?") Well, yes.

So that is life from both sides of the bars this week. It's always interesting.

Monday, June 04, 2007

to sleep, perchance to dream

I slept last night! I mean, after days of prednisone in my system and feeling like I'm jacked to the max with a pot of Columbian gold (coffee, you degenerates), it was so good to get a sort of decent sleep. And go to bed feeling peaceful. I'm reading an oldie but a goodie, "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" by Jean-Pierre De Caussade. I like even typing that name-makes me feel so cosmopolitan, spiritual and smart. Chuckle. Actually, it's a very humble tome by a very humble French priest who is addressing the sisters in his charge, talking about seeing God in every thing and every moment of the day. The chapter I read last night talked about the three graces, faith, hope and charity. Charity is a beautiful and old-fashioned term for love. I like charity better. It has more of a kind and selfless connotation. But Caussades' point with this-it's really hard to screw up when agape is your motivation, God-love, the unselfish brand.

I guess in the back of my mind I immediately thought of punishment when my ear went south. What did I do? I must deserve this. Well, you get taught for years that outcomes are directly connected to what you do, so I felt, what sin, what lack, brought this on that I need to be brought up to snuff and made aware of the horror of my shortcomings? You know what never occurred to me-love. Really. Over the course of two weeks, I went from bald-faced fear, as though I could really bring something so horrible onto myself, to, there must be a reason, to, God is in this somewhere, to, He love me so. How do you connect deafness with He loves me? I guess I saw this as an invitation. In my limitation, He reaches down closer. I saw more clearly than ever a Savior who took on the ultimate limitation for a God-becoming flesh-to help me.

It was a wow moment having such a truth uncovered in my heart. My immediate instinct was to grab the hand that was reaching without hestitation. No fear. Somewhere fear fell off the wagon and I stopped worrying. About myself. About what I can do to fix this. About what it may mean. Charity. If this makes me look to the Lord more, to understand more completely what He sacrificed for me, then yes, it is love. I know in my heart one thing-I want to be a better lover. I want to be motivated and moved by love, not fear, not what may happen, could happen, measuring every step, being Love move in abandon of self. The dream of love is to be entirely self-forgetting.

children of a lesser...

Well, it seems official...I'm now part of the society of the handicapped. My hearing did not respond to prednisone, though the doctor is bravely pushing forward one more week. You never know. My only question was, if this week's meds don't work, and my hearing loss appears to be permanent, can anything else be done? The only thing that could restore partial hearing is a hearing aid. That's fine with me.

I have been wrangling the past two weeks with the question, where is God in all of this? While trying to be pragmatic and unemotional...yes, those things in the question, too. The only conclusion I can draw is, He is where He belongs. In charge. Period. There is not a thing I can do. I can be angry. I can be frustrated. I can stop doing the things I'm doing. But I can't force Him to do a thing. So the responsive question then becomes, where am I in all of this as a result? Still doing what I do. A little more fearfully. A little less efficiently. With more awareness I take huge amounts of my liberty and ability for granted. I push on.

I also look up more. Sure I doubt. Yes, I cried. Yes, I was also really afraid, and still am to a certain extent. I think of Jesus on the earth, who looked to His Father with tears and strong pleading, so the scripture says-looking to the One who could save Him from death. He had alot to be afraid of on this earth. I don't. Not that way, anyway. People aren't looking to kill me, even though I'm sure I irritate enough of them. The one promise that we are sure to have, those who trust in Christ, is this: I am always with you, even to the end of the age. Boy, that is a long time. As long as I'm not alone, I think things will be ok.

new day

It's Monday, June 4th, and things are getting better. At least in my attitude. I did get to church yesterday and sing out. I did go to the four-hour membership class and survive. I had a full weekend. My sister called last night for one of our marathon phone conversations, and I could hear it fine. I made it through an MRI on Saturday, hung shelves, hung out with my youngest-life goes on.

I guess it's all in perspective. Some of my Celebrate Recovery buddies were going through the church classes, too, and when we all broke for a pizza dinner in the middle of it, I was talking to one fella-big guy, rough and tough, with a criminal record. He lost his leg after a wreckless motorcycle accident, and having been a mechanic, he was struggling to put his life back together. He's taking classes in a distant city to learn dental technician skills, which I know a little about! But at the school where he's taking the classes, they offer jewelry repair as well. So he says jokingly, there I am in this jewelry repair class, an ex-con, and the teacher's giving me sterling silver to make a pendant. Who is going to hire me if I become a jeweler? We laughed over that, and there was something so healing about being in a church setting with my one-legged, ex-con friend, realizing no matter what happens in life we can go on. It was a sublime moment, and I felt thankful in it to realize how far I've come in my attitudes and acceptance of God's will in my life and the people He's brought into it.

So I don't know what's on the plate for today. I have two more doses of prednisone to take before the doc checks me out. My hearing still isn't right and I still have constant static. Well, I need to get back to my drawing board for one thing. I need to think about my daughter's graduation in a week and a half (the first ceremony in our family!!!) and my sister coming. There's so much to prepare for! Well, gotta go!