Friday, June 26, 2009

My worst enemy.

Life sucks, end post.
LOL, oh dear now I've gone and cracked myself up. (Not really.) I've been sharing since I first started this blog that I have had a deep and painful problem... of course, being human, I have many... but the one that's giving me the most trouble is my marriage. You might wonder why on earth anyone would want to share such personal information in a public forum. I am such a firm believer though that if we would only open up and share our problems, we would not only see that others are hurting too, but we would find the help we need.

Paul and I have been married greater than half my life. I love no one on earth more than him... but that doesn't mean things can't crumble! Not only does life, family, kids, work, relational... and weather issues tear it down... Satan is there daily with a chisel and a hammer chipping away at it! Paul and I are so weary. He has more on him than I do on me and yet his burden to save this thing is greater... he is the hero that must rise up to save us... nice to be a girl right now, though I will do my part. I believe most marriages go through this at some point. It's the point in the marathon where you hit the wall... only this is worse, cause the wall hits back. It's emotional. Your heart, mind, body and soul are tied up in it. People don't tell their kids when this happens but guess what... when their kids struggle in their marriages they think there's something wrong with them. "Mom and Dad were so solid, even with all their faults..." Guess what kids... mankind is the same from age to age. There's nothing new under the sun.

If I could begin to tell you the problems wrapped up in a troubled marriage (assuming you don't know) you would flip. How do we survive this crap??? Something so cool happened for us. It was a total God thing. A few months back, when I still knew who I was... I saw an old friend on FB. I was worried that he and his wife might have walked away from the Lord so I inquired... We never knew each other well so it was interesting, but I am always kinda bold and luckily he wasn't offended so we had some good talks about it and that was that. Then a few months later he makes a smart remark on my wall and I call him on it. Over the day, my entire dissolving life is poured out to him... he totally relates and gives Paul and I both advice that is totally pointing us in the right direction... Do you see how incredibly important it is to be open with someone... anyone? God will bring the right person... but you gotta get it out there!!! You might tell 5 wrong people before you get to the right one, but who cares? Could things get any worse than they are now? That's what holds you back from healing... pride and fear!

So can't give you much info right now on the marriage thing other than to say that God is greater than your problems... no matter what they are. I again wonder what you have to hold onto... or to look forward to if you don't have a Savior. He saves us from so many things... but best of all... He saves us from ourselves!

Friday, June 19, 2009

There's no swimming in a wash.

Man... I first started writing this stupid blog like 3 months ago... over 50 blogs logged. I didn't even know if I was gonna write a second one. The funny thing is, I am writing this blog at a really icky time in my life. I mean I started exactly when things started going down hill... either God thought somebody could identify... or He wanted me to work some stuff out... (both, I know). So here I am, and if you're still there, here we are. Just the two of us... making our way through.

In AZ. where I spent the majority of my life so far... we have these things called "washes" (giant gully's.) Maybe they have em all over, what do I know? But there are mountains surrounding Tucson, Mt. Lemon being the closest and when the snow melts or a big storm hits, the water comes rushing down the mountain into these washes. Now, we are all told as kids not to play in these things, which means, we all played in those things. People rode their ATV's in there cause it was a perfect, private roadway. But a flash flood could hit at any time of the year and there was no warning whatsoever! I mean, it was dry as a dead stump, then it was engorged with water that had just made its way down from the mountain top... people die every year in these floods.

I am wondering which valley is more difficult. There is the valley in life where we are struck unaware by a flash flood, then there are the valleys where we just wade through the garbage... (oh!!!) trudging along. As we look around, we can see a lot of the debris is our own. On one had, the flash flood is swift! It comes, we find a strong root, hang on for dear life, we overcome and we are stronger for it. No fault of our own, unless we were hanging out like a fool in the wash. But the dump... now that's a different story. It takes endurance, it takes support, it takes a certain amount of faithfulness... mmm... it takes hope that Someone is watching over us and is gonna make something useful out of all our crap.

I love that when God began this whole thing... He began with a garden. It makes so much sense... (obviously, right?) Everything in life can be compared to the Master Gardener and His creation. He made us out of dirt!!! Truly worthless in every way... until the seed is planted in our hearts... there is the seed of death in every man... but when we allow that ground to be tilled and softened, a new seed is planted. Which seed will thrive and which will die away? We are dung and that's ok. We should be ok with our dungness... in the enemy's hand, we sit... we steam in the sun, we are swarmed by the flies of life until we decompose and come to not in the ground... one spot, never moved... then gone. But in the Gardener's hand we become a useful tool... we have value and worth... we are still dirt and manure, but now with that seed of life, something beautiful will come out of our lack. I want to be out of the valley soon... back on a mountain top... loving life... if I could just stop making myself untouchable... my Gardener would use this pile of _____ (fill in the blank) to make something extraordinary. He will reach us... it's not like He can't... He just gives us our space. I think if we hang out in the valley of darkness too long, He will bring that flash flood to float us to the top of the wash... and onto something new. Man, it is so time to get out of the wash.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bucket List

1) Make an album of my songs.
2) Sing those songs to a large crowd (scared of small ones.)
3) Run a marathon.
4) Put all kids thru college, own home, and be debt free.
5) Travel: Alaskan cruise, Mediterranian cruise, Greece, Ireland, Paris, Israel and beyond.
6) Spend 3 months on a private beach.
7) Be in best health possible.
8) Surf and snorkel, sail on our own boat... without being scared of sharks.
9) Publish a good book.
10) Succeed at the things God intends for me to succeed at.

Here are 10... they are the just the fun ones mainly... and they're not in order :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


So... what a weird weak... uh... week. Banished from commenting on facebook, then the computer breaks and forced to fall back into real life again (btw, yuck... I SO hate folding socks!!!) Just forced to do a lot of things I didn't want to do. About a dozen "hee-lar-i-us" people all said it was God's will for me to be forced into retirement. Sad thing is... I KNOW THAT, THANK YOU!!! (Like you're all so perfect ;)

So here I am at the public library for the 2nd time today...waiting for the fire, flood, tornado or whatever is gonna hit to make me have to go back home again. So here's the facts... besides a few side jobs here and there, I've spent way too much time at home over a 23 year span. It wasn't in vain, mind you. I raised two awesome kids, I'm incredibly proud of and I don't think I would have done it differently. I think the thing is... I feel through... like I should be done and I have two to go. I adore these little ones though... I mean... I love them so much I want to breath them in :) But I lost myself along the way. I don't tell you this cause I want you to feel like I'm all pathetic (which I am.) I say it cause it is SO common and if it could happen to me, it could happen to you.

I want... I need change. I love that I am changing shape literally and figuratively, but what does that mean for my brain and my heart? It is a slow process at times and my emotions can barely keep up. I do know one thing... that isolation which I crave outside of facebook... the one I keep saying is a bad thing... is a bad thing! Ha! I mean... there is nothing to be gained from it. So if I can encourage you in anything at all, it would be to reach out... even to unlikely sources.

I reached out to a very unlikely source and it has turned out to be a blessing to Paul and I both. I think one of the things that has to go first before you can reach out... is pride. If I had been a prideful person, I would continue on in isolation headed for a cliff, but you would be surprised how un-unique you are :) Not to sound unkind... in God's eyes there is no one like you... never has been, never will be. But situationally, you are not special and that is a good thing as Martha Stewart would say. So find a soul to reach out to today. Trust that the Lord will bring it around full circle till you're headed down a right path, but find a person who's been on your path and has found their way back out again. It's a bit foggy where I am right now... but I have a few hands to hold. I hope you do too.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fiona awaits...

My friend was telling me yesterday that I focus too much on my weaknesses in my blog. Hmmm... I'on know, but I have a lot of them, and I am going to list them below.... hahaha. When I got so sick a few years back, I spent a lot of time researching illnesses. When you go to the doctor, sometimes it's good to have some "legwork" done for them or it can take twice as long. I noticed something in all the diseases... there is pretty much a set amount of symptoms that goes with every sickness. Yeah, there's a few weird ones like purple rashes and stuff, but for the most part they just all go in different orders depending on the disease.

How many times can I say, I think we are all the same? We have the same sins... no extra ones made for any one person. Yes, you have your "purple rashes" like Jeffery Dahmer and ick like him.. but for the most part, we have the same failings... What makes us unique is our successes. Look at Michael Phelps... when someone has great success... we put them on a pedestal. For the most part, we human beings like to see people rise above the mire. Funny thing is a few months after his incredible high... turns out he still wanted a high. The dude smokes a marijuana bong at a party and quickly falls off his pedestal. We don't want people who we have set up high, to be on the same level as the rest of us. It's as if we are searching for something super human... hmmm.

You've heard it said, most likely, that there is a God shaped hole in our hearts, waiting to be filled. I have tried to fill it with alcohol, smoking, lust, greed, food, temporary joys, sin.... oh my word, the list should not get too specific... The reason I am sort of comfortable telling you that is that I know you have too. (Maybe not my Grandma... but the rest of you for sure!) I need the Creator of my soul and I need Him the way a princess locked in a castle needs a rescuer. I need Him the way a prisoner needs a reprieve. I need Him the way a virgin needs a lover. I need a hero (song ensues.) A knight on a white steed coming back for his fallen brethren.

We all lay in the mud, beat up by the enemy... beat down by storms, tired, weary, broken. I know you are like me cause I see you laying next to me wounded. Some days I can help you, and some days I fail to... same goes for you. Either way, here we are... waiting for our Savior... come Jesus... come for your bride, clean her off, bind her wounds, dress her in finery, and carry her away. You make her so beautiful and how we thank you for that hope! Fill that hole in our hearts... hear us calling.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A little R&R talk.

I've had something I've been thinking about lately which is the difference between relationship and ritual. It's something that those of us in the church have heard about 1,ooo times and I doubt I have anything new to offer, but here goes.

Some churches offer something people have grown to expect... they may not enjoy it... doing the same thing over and over again... but it sort of comforts them. Our black lab enjoys tearing around the back yard free and untethered. Yet every morning when I go out to feed her and say good morning, she stands there and allows me... no, wants me to attach that zip line leash to her collar. Then she runs off happy, to spend her day getting tangled and ensnared in anything she possibly can. People are like that. They want to recite things that they have heard their parents recite... they want to kneel, (or jump, depending on the church) at all the appropriate times. It's a comfort. Then after they feel they have been appropriately attached to something, they run off to spend their days getting entangled.

I have a friend who believes church is a good habit... which makes a lot of sense. I mean, if you are going to do something repetitively, why not something as positive as an event focused on God, right? You get dressed up, you try to make it on time, you get the kids settled into their class, you visit with like minded people (for the most part), you then talk about and sing about Who? The Creator of your soul. How could this be anything but good? But it's not that it's not good... it's is it enough?! When is enough, enough with God?

When I was a kid, I was always cutting up and my family would say the same thing to me, over and over. "Beth, you never know when enough is enough." (Can someone say therapy!) :) The thing that always struck me was that they did. How did they know? Cause they were making the rules. They decided when enough was enough and they let me know when I reached that point... that's how I knew. It's like that in church... a lot of us let our parents or our mentors, pastors, peers... tell us when enough is enough with God. "Go this far, but go no further." "Know Him this much, but no more." "Love Him this deeply, but don't go overboard." When does sitting, rising, reciting and just showing up... become enough for us when it comes to knowing the almighty GOD?!

I owe Him so much. If He never did anything for me, after He died for my sins... would He be less to me? I can be so ungrateful at times. We have a friend who believed if God loved him, he would have wealth. He couldn't stick with a job for more than a year, but he expected wealth all the same. He was so affected by this belief that he eventually left his wife and kids and took off to chase dreams. He never realized his wealth lied in his hands all along... he threw it away. His relationship with God consisted of putting in the time at church that he felt was his part in his "relationship" with God and waiting for his ever elusive idea of success. As he sipped from the toilet tank, he never realized there was a river of running water to drink deeply from. I do that too. I settle for the least at times when God would give me the strength I needed to be victorious in every area of my life. We so often throw away the meat and gnaw on the bone.

May I encourage you not to go to church alone... but this Sunday as you make your way to where ever it is you go, go to God instead. Ask Him, "Who are You, and Who are You to me? Who am I to You? What do You have for me and how can I lay hold of this? Somewhere within those questions, lie the relationship over the ritual. Those who seek will find, those who repeat actions, will always end up with the same results. You always hear that Albert Einstein only used 7% of his brain... what a smidgen and look at all he accomplished! Don't be afraid to try something new with God... to go deeper... chances are you haven't come close to tapping into the wealth that lies within!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A day of peace, joy and love.

So yesterday I decided I had to get out of the house... I have been cooped up here too long, but my 18 y/o (who is the babysitter in this story) had plans for the day and it looked like there was no hope for my escape. All of the sudden I realized (boing!) that I didn't have to go anywhere... in the car anyway. I was like... "I am leaving this house if I have to go through a window, but I am out of here!" So my sweet child # 2 told me to go for it and I went on a walk. Now of course I can go on a walk anytime, but during the middle of the day when everyone has events going on... it just hadn't occurred to me. I think of it as more of an evening thing and there's always the stinkers in tow making it impossible to do anything briskly. But out I went alone and it just happened to be my favorite weather in the whole world!

I love wind!!! Wind is one of God's most awesome creations! I could stand in it for hours... and if it's a little cold and the suns not burning my eyes... Heaven on earth and that was yesterday... so I started walking... briskly. Freedom! (William Wallace impression.) I was just me... with my own thoughts in my own special place... awesome. I was practically dancing by the time I got home. I shared earlier that when I was in high school joy was driving in the Tuscon foothills with my windows down and the radio on... singing and feeling that wind on my face. Loved it! But when we get older, we start wanting all things opposite from out youth. We want out of that car... we want out of the crowds... we want our naps back!!! I am coming out of a cocoon that I have been in for a few years now and I feel alive again.

Nothing is new under the sun. We all go through the appropriate highs and lows as we live each decade. We are young and want to be grown, we are teens and we want to be free, we are in our 20's and we want to be tethered, in our 30's we want to get it right, 40's we want to make it through... and you will have to fill in the blanks for me from there... but we are never new under the sun. Never. There is no trial you are experiencing that hasn't been lived through by a million others (no matter what fashion that is.) There is no circumstance that hasn't been foreseen. That really gets to me... God knew I was going to be going through this ... now?! Crazy. I think something snapped in me a few months ago. There was a lot of pressure and problems keeping me from staying afloat and it just seems like I snapped... ha! Kinda funny... but I don't feel like the same person I was... and God knew that!!! Fortunately, HE stays the same.

The answers to all the questions are in His hand and he wont forsake me... or you. No matter what changes life may bring... He foreknew and a He will never forsake. If I can wrap my mind around those two things... I just might make it through. He foreknew and He will never forsake. Every success and every failure I might have, He saw the day He created me and the day He died on the cross for my sins... and He still chose to do both. We are not mistakes... we are loved... we must grasp this to live life fully. Life is good... walk briskly!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wrong lever!

I've told you how much I loved the music artist Rich Mullins. I was watching one of his concerts on Youtube ( ) and he said something that struck me. If you remember God spoke once through someones donkey... can you imagine? Maybe that's where they got the idea for Mr. Ed. So Rich referenced this O.T. story and said that God had been speaking through asses for years. He said if you find yourself being a mouthpiece for God, that you shouldn't feel too lofty. That's how I feel when I write this blog... if there is any truth in it... anything positive to glean... it is not from me... I am an ass. :)

Have you noticed that we always think life is situational. If we are struggling financially it is because... if our relationships suffer it is because... if our health falls to pieces it must be... We (I) often forget the big picture... that life isn't supposed to be situational. God doesn't allow things (good or bad) to come our way on accident. When satan hurls his worst at us and God throws that lever that shifts the track, and that cart comes barreling toward us on our track... it's no accident. When I succeed I tend to think it is because of my character and when I fail, it is due to the situation. I.E. if such and such hadn't happened (or had) I would have had success.

There is a verse in the Bible that talks about not being surprised when situations come flying at you like a brick in the head (my own translation.) There are always going to be trials and tests. I have felt lately like if such and such were different, I would be successful. But that just means I failed before the test made its way to me. My mindset is off. I am to remain the same person, with the same character that I was when I was thriving. That is where the success lies... in the mindset which results in the action/reaction. It always goes back to Bible, prayer, and fellowship. You must be in fellowship and I don't mean sitting in a pew, shaking a few hands and going home. There must be accountability, encouragement... the Bible calls this iron sharpening iron. In that respect I am a dull sword... if you combine those I am a dullard :)

I hope that you are in a church that inspires and spurs you on to good works. I hope that you have relationships that cause you to be your most successful. I hope that you are full of encouragement for others. This truly is a battle... can you imagine facing an army alone? Not even possible. You must have all the weapons and tools your Commander has offered you. If you have fallen... stand up. If you need a hand, pray for one and it will most likely come... but grab it when it gets there or you will remain fallen. What is your mindset now? Where is your mindset now? Shield up, head down, lock arms... here we go.