Monday, June 25, 2012


This blog is very cathartic for me. I use it to empty my head of all the thoughts that tumble round in it day after day. So I hope you'll excuse the constant working out of my soul with so many words. It occurs to me today that my life is not beautiful... that I am not beautiful. This plagues me at times in a culture where beauty is everything and I feel like I come up lacking.

I have so much. I've been given so much. I have this job where I am always challenged and the majority of the people are lovely. I have a very nice home. Not a mansion or a showplace, but in truth, I would never be happy trying to maintain a place of perfection or grandeur. I have a running car... barely running, the tags are expired cause it wont pass emissions and I drive in fear of cops pulling up behind me, but it has air-conditioning and so far, when I turn the key, it starts and it gets me to work and home again. I live with the father of my children and we are good friends. We are going through a period of trying to figure out if we should divorce and if not, we are open to exploring the possibilities of working things out, but at times things look grim.

I have the most wonderful kids. I adore them all. But drama arises now and then, and at times I feel like I am going to drown. We have food and clothes, and enough extras to feel fortunate. I love my church. I'm not close to anyone and I miss that. I'm greatly in need of female friends, but like a wound that hasn't healed, I am not quick to expose myself to relationships again. I'm still hiding, but at least I'm out there.

I just went through paper work that has been mounting for three years. Mostly old bills that we owed and now they are taken care of. Life is such a series of ups and downs. I guess something that is different about me is my lack of goals or dreams. It's more a time of endurance... not a lot of joy in an endurance race until it's over. It would be great if I had a birds eye view of my life. Something that whispered hope into my ear of a new day coming. I think that's where trusting God comes in. Giving Him my burdens and believing He will work them out for my good as He promised in His word. Believing that He will bring beauty... believing that He finds me beautiful. Believing that there is an end to the sadness and that joy will come in the morning... through the mourning...

I wrote this song about the toughest trial I've ever faced. It ends with these words:

"Jesus, tell her she's beautiful, tell her she's wonderful, tell her you love her so.
Oh, Jesus, tell her that in your eyes, she is a perfect prize,
just help her realize how much you love her... how much you love her... how much you love her...
and help her... believe."

It's one thing to say you have value, it's another thing to believe it... especially when the world is telling you the opposite. We are, each and every one of us, beautiful to our Maker... we have indescribable value to Him... whether or not we believe.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Angry Birds

I'm feeling very grouchy all of the sudden. Must be hormonal. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Actually, I woke up feeling fine, but then someone on FB said something that irritated me and now everything's irritating me. Here's my list:

My computer's too slow.
There's something in my eye.
I ran out of Advil.
Why do I keep buying new plants? Now I have to water them all.
The birds keep pooping on my deck.
This one person at work is making every day so hard.
I didn't get enough sleep.
Why is Purple Rain on the radio? I'm not in the mood.
I have to paint the walls, but I'm so tired.
I'm lonely and I want every one to leave me alone.
Why is that thing still in my eye?!

Oh I don't know, there's a million of them and they're all rolling through my head. Not a very impressive list, but they sure are making me angry... gotta be the hormone thing. All I have to do is remind myself of all the positives in my life, but that silly list of negatives seems to be taking up a lot of space. I've been to Africa, China, Mexico... I've seen poverty... I've seen children dying in their mothers arms cause they didn't have 79 cents to buy medicine. I've been sick myself, so sick I practically lived in the ER and now I'm doing so much better, so with all that to be grateful for, why is that one person at work taking up such a huge space in my brain? Ugh!

So I tell someone how I feel, and they concur, and just for a moment, I feel better. "Ok," I tell myself. "It's not just me... this person is making a miserable work environment." But then I feel bad. I did one of the things I hate most... I gossiped. A lot of people think gossip is just sharing personal info about someone, but I know better. It's saying something about them that you probably wouldn't say to their face. I heard a song on the radio yesterday talking about how we cut people down with a sword we were never intended to pick up. I felt convicted. I just want to not feel stressed and anxious, but this person is standing in the way of my peace... or at least that's what I tell myself, but what is factual? The actuality is, I am standing in the way of my peace. How do I live at peace? Same as always. I love, I forgive... each day... each and every new offense.

Breathe, Beth, breathe. There are 24 hours in a day. Your thoughts are going to be spinning for about 18 hours of that. Choose what you are going to dwell on.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peace in/Peace out.

Is there something, concerning peoples personalities, that really irks you? There are a few things that just make me bristle. One is controlling people. I have a hard time dealing with someone who wants to control a situation, the people around them... or even the conversation. Something inside of me just wants to tell them to relax... to let people breathe... but then I wonder if I'm trying to control things by wanting a more comfortable environment. I bite my tongue and stuff it down in order to maintain civility. I try to remember biblical teachings about forgiveness and love, but that sinful nature just wants to climb out and do some damage.

Prideful people. That's another one. Oh my wicked side comes out here more often than not. I like to get cheeky and take them down a peg or two. I don't love debating, but I love a good verbal sparring. Sure, women like confident men, but that guy who looks in the mirror more than we do... that guy who says, "enough about me, what do you like about me?" He's not scoring any points with anybody. And the sad thing is, it's almost always based in insecurity. A man who comes in and takes over the situation, oozing self confidence... that's the guy who gets the job, the girl, whatever he wants right? Some might see him as strong, but I'm seldom impressed. My interest is usually captured by that quiet, confident, spirit who knows all the answers, but doesn't raise his hand. Not because he's shy, but because he doesn't need the accolades to sustain him.

There are a few women at my work who are trying their level best to "get ahead." I see them talking down to the teenagers. Distrusting and backbiting their co-workers at every opportunity. Manipulating situations in order to make themselves look better. Just generally clawing at the air... and it makes me sad. Well, to be honest, it makes me mad first. I mean, I want to do well... I want to please my employers and make a difference, but I want to feel good about myself and my fellow employees when I lay my head down at night. It takes a lot of effort to be that intense. They must be exhausted.

From talking to one of these women, I've come to realize that her need to succeed came from her mom's constant criticism of her. I have to try to remember that when she's knocking down everyone in her path. And the other woman, I'm learning how to get along with her. As soon as she says something nasty about someone else, I change the subject. "Oh, you sound hoarse, are you sick?" My nature is to deal with things directly. "Do you realize how b*&*#y you are?" This is what I want to say. But the Bible gives incredible advice when it says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." Rom 12:18. I do my best at this weakened state I am in, to live this out... but I need to give myself this gift of peace too by not re-living these frustrating moments over and over again in my head. It's too bad we can't just turn up the volume in our minds and listen to Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World," but maybe we're better off listening to what's behind what the other person is saying. It's usually the voice of their inner child asking for approval, needing to be loved. I think we all can identify with that.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Red Thread

I often allude to a time of trial in my life that began about 5 years ago, profoundly overwhelming me about 3 years ago and as a result, I found ways to try and cope with what could have easily destroyed me. I am still baffled that I didn't run to God, but in truth, I couldn't comprehend what was happening so reality became an unsafe place for me. I hid. One of the faulty tools I used, as I've mentioned in the past, was alcohol. I am a very high-functioning alcoholic. I could be full on drunk and no one even knew. This is not a strength as you can imagine because what saves many alcoholics is that they eventually reach a bottom and then seek help. High-functioning alcoholics don't really reach a bottom until their liver gives out and then they are motivated.

I could feel God during this time. I didn't actively seek Him out, but I could feel His presence. He didn't reject me ("I will never leave you or forsake you." Heb 13:5), though I gave Him every reason to. He was so patient. After two years of daily drinking, I came to a place where I felt the strength to stand again. April 2012 marked my one year sobriety point. Unfortunately, I'm still smoking, but I believe God will free me of this vice too. Rome wasn't built in a day.

The internet was another place I learned to hide. I was fine while on-line, but take me off for too many hours in a row and I began to feel insecure. Real life was more than I could bear and had to find my safe place again.  For about 2 years I slept approximately 3 hours a night. I did the things I had to do in order for my family to carry on, but it was sad and strange how people adjusted for my lack. I'm doing much better in that department now too. I spend less than half the time on-line than I used to, and it doesn't have the grip on me it used to have. I'm so grateful for my job and co-workers.

During this addictive time on-line I met a lot of interesting people. Many of whom were professing Atheists. I didn't really want to talk about God at that time... I was kind of avoiding Him, but they did. Oh how they wanted to talk about God. So I did my best to tell them what I knew, all while trying to be honest about the fact that I wasn't, at that moment, living a life that pleased God. But you know... even if you run away from home, your dad's still your dad. I knew He still loved me and I believed He would come to my rescue when I was ready to surrender, I just couldn't quit numbing up.

It's difficult though, trying to explain God to someone who hasn't experienced Him. Some of them knew the Bible, or at least had been in some sort of church setting as a child, but they really had yet to experience God for themselves. It's like telling them to look at one red thread in a giant tapestry and follow it throughout the extent of the piece. It would be impossible. It winds and weaves it's way throughout the entire work... you couldn't possibly describe the point where it loops and where it crosses the other threads... but without it, the whole thing would fall apart.

I shared with them my personal experiences with God. I told them about the miracles He had done in my life and in the lives of those around me... but until they know that they are truly loved by someone as real as you and me... the void in their hearts is unavoidable. My heart goes out to them, as do my prayers. I grew to care deeply for many of those once strangers, but my hope is that one day, they will be a part of my family.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Being human

I need to be crushed under the weight of someones love, and I need so much space.

I'm coming out of my skin, and I'm holding it together.

I need to run and never stop. I need to sit still.

I need to lose my breath and I need to catch it.

I want all my dreams to be fulfilled. I want to be content.

I need to be seen and I need to disappear.

I need to laugh. I need to cry.

I want to live and I want to die.

You may need to be a woman to understand this, or you may only need to be human.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I'm sitting outside now. I felt a sting on my leg. I looked down and there was a strange little bug on me. I knocked him off... not that I know if it was a him, but I'm suspecting. I looked on the ground for fear of a re-sting and saw him again. I stepped on him. He's gone... forever. He can't hurt me again. "HA HA little bug!" I think triumphantly. "That's what you get for messing with someone 9 million times your size!" I begin to contemplate that it's probably a very good thing I'm not God. I'm thinking a lot of people I've met would also be gone, never to be heard from again were I in control of such things.

Forgiveness is a complicated thing for an idea so simple. I think I have the kindness thing down. I can be kind to someone who's hurt me. I can grant them mercy in word and deed. I can even chance the re-sting. It's the forgetting the sting that perplexes me. The Bible says God has thrown my sins as far as the east is from the west... the east and west never touch. Never. Touch. That's so deep! The Bible's deep... as deep as the ocean... which is also where God says He has thrown my sins... straight to the bottom. I don't know anyone who's been to the bottom of the ocean, but I'm guessing I wont be meeting them in this lifetime.

The Bible also says that I will be forgiven with the same measure I forgive. This more than perplexes me, it haunts me. I want forgiveness. I've done a lot of bad things. I've never murdered anyone, but if I'm just comparing myself to the worst of society, then I've left myself an awful lot of room for some ugly living. So I know I must forgive, but to forgive as God forgives is beyond me. I guess that's why Romans 7:18 says "And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can't." I'm not capable of such an act, but there is something inside me that is. That's why I need more of God and a whole lot less of me inside. I know how to get there... prayer, communion, and dwelling on His Word. So why do I fight it? 'Cause there's that old nature in me that rises up and strives against His Spirit. I'll never get where I need to be while allowing both to exist in me.

That bug bite hurts less each minute, but I already have two mosquito bites on my other leg. I live in a world where I have been and will be bitten again and again... time after time. I can't change that, I can only move forward. "No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead..."