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So I stayed home from school sick today, slept in until 1 pm (which was wonderful) and then I went upstairs and had a Beauty and the Beast marathon (the first season is on Netflix) for four hours and never once got out of my jammies.  <sigh of contentment>  I think everybody needs a day like that every once in a while – where you’re just sick enough to legitimately stay home but still enjoy the time off…

So what’s with my subject line?  It’s the “Beauty and the Beast” show.  There’s something about “impossible love” that is soooo romantic to me (I blame Hollywood) but the very thing that makes it romantic puts it firmly in the “never gonna happen” category and THAT plants seeds of discontent in my heart about my real life.

I want to be romanced.  I want to know he is always nearby and ready to jump into any situation and defend me.  I want to love and be loved so much that I feel like I can’t breathe when we are apart… and that he feels the same way about me.  I want passion for him and I want him to have passion for me, good Lord how I want passion in my life…

I don’t think wanting these things are wrong but wanting them when I don’t – and probably won’t ever have them – will either kill me or drive me to adultery and ultimately, divorce.

Both are bad.

God save me.

I’ve stayed away from romance novels since I was in high school and I’ve also tried to limit my watching of sappy “chic flicks” because I know they raise my “love” expectations to an unrealistic level and I’ve worked really hard to guard my heart.  Now, I’m 40 years old.  I’m not a super model and in spite of losing over 30 pounds in the last 18 months I still have lots of “cushion”.  I have two kids and a 19 year-long marriage.  Life has thrown me some real curve balls in this last two years in every area and I feel like I’m finally growing up and discovering myself – and I’m realizing that want more than I have settled for.  Damn my heart…

I feel like in order to survive the rest of my life I need to give up my desires.  I need to stop wanting to be “desperately loved” and I need to stop longing for passion.  I need to put my heart in a box, bury it and walk away.

I don’t want to.  I really, really don’t want to.

But I doubt my  marriage can survive me getting my way.

Now I see the wisdom in being Peter Pan and never growing up.  I wasn’t happy before I started my journey of self-discovery but I didn’t know how miserable I was either.  It’s probably a really good thing I’m changing my career and becoming a Nail Technician.  It’s fun, fun, fun and distracts me from the rest of my life.  Hopefully it will be a good enough adventure that I can forget about what I don’t have… as long as I stop reading and/or watching anything with romance in it eh?


This was the question of my small group leader yesterday morning.  Not specifically to me but to all of us – how do we pray?  Some ladies take Prayer Walks and talk to God while they’re walking.  Some ladies write their prayers down and call it Prayer Journaling.  Some ladies have lists of people they pray for and some ladies just talk to God all day long while they’re doing the dishes, folding the laundry and chasing their children all over the house.

Some ladies shared specific prayers like The Lord’s Prayer and The Tabernacle Prayer.  I know there’s also the Ripple Prayer, Arrow Prayers, Prayers you think, Praying the Word and several other prayer formats, most of them my church has taught from the pulpit or had classes on at one time or another and don’t get me wrong – sometimes good to have a format to follow just so you don’t sit there for three minutes thinking “Uh…I can’t think of anything to pray about so life must be OK and I’m done praying now”.

I didn’t actually share with the group yesterday about how I pray.  Throughout a normal week my prayers to God usually consist of conversations, me talking to Him about this or that, just whatever’s going on.  I know God already knows everything I tell Him but it helps me to speak out loud the things I generally bottle up inside.  But for the last six months or so  my basic prayer, the one I pray almost every day is “Save Me”.  I say it over and over again.  I think it over and over again.  “Save me, save me, save me…”.  When life just gets too overwhelming, too crazy and my brain looses it’s ability to think coherently all I can do to pray is say “Save me”.

And He does.

Not all at once, not like in fairy tales or movies where the hero comes swooping down and rescues the princess in one courageous battle and then they ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after.

The saving comes slowly and softly so I have time to adjust to each little step of the change that is Being Saved.  My thoughts begin to change.  My heart begins to soften.  My soul starts to thaw.  The chains that bind me grow lighter and are closer to becoming breakable.  My goals and dreams, once nothing more than ashes and dust, show teeny, tiny signs of life returning to the pots I have kept them in at the back of the closet in the furthest recesses of my heart.  With a little water and a lot of faith they will grow into a beautiful plant and bloom once more.  It will just take time, lots of time.  And I guess that’s fair, it’s taken almost 40 years to get to this craziness I call “Normal Life” so why shouldn’t it take a few years to be saved from it?  To find a new “Normal”?

I’m still working on putting together a women’s retreat.  That’s a goal I think I can accomplish within this next year.  I’m also working on making prints of my paintings to sell them – I need to do some more research as far as cost to get started.  My art makes me happy when I look at it and other people say it makes them happy too so maybe there will be a market for it, who knows?  And I want to have my own band although finding the right people and equipment might take a few years to really get it off the ground.  But these are all things I want to do as a part of defining who I am separate from anybody else.  These are things that make me happy when I do them and so I will pursue them – and pray about them, asking for the favor of God and man to be successful in them.

Please support the people around you who are trying to accomplish their dreams – and say a prayer yourself.  Pray that they would receive what they need and that your needs will be met as well.  God hears you and He loves you, every little thing is gonna be all right.

Am I the only one who loves the smell of fresh-ground coffee beans but can’t stand the taste of coffee?  OK, so don’t laugh but that is exactly my relationship with Organization.  I can enter an office supply store and the tension will start to drip away from me as soon as I cross the welcome mat.  I find my way to the aisle with all the different writing instruments and my shoulders unwind.  I could browse for hours in the calendars and personal organizer section because peace washes over me like I’m laying on a beach in Hawaii (although I still haven’t been there yet, I’m just imagining what it would be like).  Yes, I’ve always been a little strange…deal with it!

Like fresh-ground coffee beans I love, love, love, love the “aroma” of organization and if you show me a new gizmo or gadget that could possibly help organizes my life, well, I Want It.  And if it’s tiny, cute, navy blue and/or has butterflies on it then I Must Have It!  Basically I drool over just about anything with packaging that promises to put a framework around my crazy life and gives me and my possessions structure.  I want more shelves, bins, totes, notebooks, calendars, gidgets and gazmos… it can turn into an obsession, just like those people who bid waaaaay more than something is worth on Ebay just because they have to win.  Hmmm.  I guess there are worse fixations to have than being organized…

To be fair my office space at work is very organized to the point of impressing my managers… but of course it is, I have no children or husband at work to come behind me and mess things up just after I’ve cleaned them, eh?

However, just as I can’t stand the actual taste of coffee, having a plethora of Organizational things doesn’t mean the house – or my life outside of work – actually gets organized.  What it really means is that I now have a spare bedroom full of the cutest, tiny navy blue plastic crates imaginable; green totes I bought on clearance after Christmas; bookshelves that are full of spiral notebooks, 3 ring binders, assorted software; the closet is full of boxes, gift bags & wrapping paper, and oh yes, and I can’t forget the tote full of gifts to give for last-minute occasions…  <sigh>

Although I gave up on making “Being Organized” a New Year’s resolution quite some time ago I have several books on being organized that I read a couple times a year.  Emily Barnes and Elizabeth George are two of my favorite authors that write about organization of your time and possessions – and how to fit devotional time with God into your busy life as well.  I think it is Emily Barnes that inspired me with the quote “Something is better than nothing.  But always aim for more.”  Last year my dear little sister even bought and mailed me a book – the title is something like “Clutter’s Last Stand”. I think it’s on one of my bookshelves and I’m pretty sure I even read it.  I might have to go back and re-read that one again, hmmm.

Another excellent organizational program is The Fly Lady, an online program for people who need to learn how to clean their homes – and keep them clean.  The Fly Lady quote that has stuck with me is this:  “You can do anything for 15 minutes.”  (You have no idea how many situations I’ve applied that quote to that have nothing whatsoever to do with housework…)

But regardless of the condition of my house my heart is 100% in love with organization and someday I may get my act together enough to use all of the fabulous tools and skills I’ve gathered over my lifetime and actually have a neat and tidy home… but don’t hold your breath!

In their most recent effort to be more friendly and interactive Facebook is constantly asking me “How do you feel?”  Seriously?  A computer program wants to know how I feel?  Hey Devs, this isn’t the Matrix…  Does that mean I’m “unplugged” and living in the real world while all the people who are sucked into thinking that Facebook actually cares about how their feeling are still trapped in the system?  Lol.

But on a more serious note, to have emotions, to have stirrings… maybe even all the way up to “feelings” (to summarize Johnny Depp in the last Pirates movie) is something that I built a wall against a long time ago.  I used to have dreams and passions.  I wanted to:

Be the Worship Leader at church
Have a non-profit business and host regular retreats for women who need to relax and recharge
Become a music teacher
Start a home for crisis pregnancies and provide education in both life and job skills
Own my own business
Become a Certified Counselor and help people with their problems
Build myself a house on the Oregon Coast
Go to Hawaii
Be a professional event coordinator/party planner
Have my own band
Have a free soup kitchen for anybody – not just the homeless
Become an architect
Build a community of like-minded people and live off the grid in the middle of nowhere

And I’m sure there were more but those are the ones I can think of right now.

None of these things have happened and over the years my dreams have slowly died, withered, shriveled, crumbled, faded and blown away.  It was kind of hard to even remember most of these to write them down, wow.

The Bible says that “without a vision the people will perish”.  What do you do when you lose your passion for reaching the stars?  When you realize that you can’t help anybody because you’re simply existing and don’t have anything extra to give anymore.  You pack up your emotions, your feelings, dreams and desires into little, tiny boxes and hide them someplace no one will ever think to look.  And then you build a wall around your boxes and plant a thorny bush at the base of the walls.  Your boxes are safe there, nobody can touch them or hurt them.  After a while you forget where you put them and they become safe from you too.

How do I find my missing boxes of emotion?  How do I feel again?  How do I start dreaming once more?  God help me but some days I feel like I’m a Terminator – living flesh on the outside but nothing human on the inside, just a bunch of gadgets and gizmos that keep everything running.

This is depressing – I meant to write something happy today!  All right, here’s the happy part – I’m going to pick something on the list and do it!  Unfortunately Hawaii is not an option right now  😦   However, I think I can pull off a retreat for a dozen ladies and then if everything goes well maybe form a non-profit to continue it.  There’s several rental houses (with hot tubs!) in the mountains not far from here that would hold 12 – 14 ladies and I think the cost would be about $150 per lady for 2 nights and 3 days (that’s lodging, food, supplies, everything).  Is that unreasonable?  Oooohhh… I’m getting excited now, planning things makes me happy!  Now to find a dozen women who want to get away for a weekend with no husbands, no kids, just God and Girlfriends…  Wish me luck!