What To Do About Anger

Like I would know.

Very complex life experiences.

I need a mom to lean on, too.

God didn’t give me that mom.

In His beautiful, holy, grace; he made me that mom.

But I am helpless, hopeless, hurt and hobbling.

I have no good answers.

No timeline.

No authority to speak into the lives of people around me.

Who would listen anyway?

It’s only Maggie.

I can only get out half the thought.

Because I’m trying to condense, I cut out volume.  Miss meaning.

Only a few understand, yet it’s not their situation.

I am empty.

Falling.

Need a word, that isn’t forthcoming.

It’s said, that God trusts us in His silence.

He must be about to speak, because there isn’t anything left of me to go on.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Gonna Lie

I’m offended.

Those are really hard words to say.  I don’t know why, but I realized day before yesterday, that I had been trying to fight it out with myself.  Taking both sides (I don’t know the other person’s side).  I think it’s been so long, since I was able to admit I had been treated disrespectfully by someone I cared about, that I don’t know how to approach it.  Call it what it is.  Deal with it appropriately.

Move on.

I am a doofus.  Incredibly awkward.  Probably an acquired taste.  In my usual style, I thought, “This is not a big deal.  All I have to do is quick state my position. And be done.” In my haste, and because I wasn’t more judicious in my behavior, this person proceeded to shut me down.

Only I didn’t even realize it.

At first.

I could make a lot of excuses here.

There’s a 99.9% chance that I said something other than I meant.

But the other person said some things that were illogical to the most simple mind.  Some unbiblical things.  Some legalistic things.  Some shockingly insulting-by-implication things.

Pleasantly, to be sure.  Not like a friend.  Like a person who knows they are talking to someone with less understanding.

There are a lot of things I’d like to say back. But it wouldn’t do any good.

I mean, it might.  But based on the way it was handled, I don’t think I would be heard.

If I had waited on God before, it would have mattered.

But I went against the still, small voice and with an audible one.

So now, I am retreating.  Letting the wound wait.  Seeing if it will heal on its own.  Struggling with the idea that when you mess a beautiful thing up, rushing in to cover it may not be the best idea.  Maybe, you need to step back and see if it can become part of the work.  Intervening only in the least measure.  Using a delicate touch.

I get to do the hurting.  I hope the other party isn’t hurt.

!@#$%

I don’t have a right to be acknowledged.  I don’t have a right to be understood or to have my agenda be met.  Those are privileges.  Luxuries even.

I want to see great things from God.  And that always means to “seek peace and pursue it.”  To seek healthy relationships.

I have no idea what to do.  Letting go doesn’t always mean walking away.  Sometimes it means walking back into the line of fire.

 

 

Being Still

“Be still and know that I am God…”

Not really very easy in this age of distraction.

Be still…

Until you can smile at the mess.

Until you can say, “It’s beautiful.”

Until you can say, “I have no need.”

Until your mind is changed.

Until you are okay without the answer.

Until you let go of what you want in favor of what is given.

Until you let someone stronger lift the load, someone wiser solve the problem, someone more loving fill the cup.

Be still…

Be quiet.

Be satisfied.

Know.

And be known.

The dork.  The cowgirl.

The patient.  The impatient.

The loner.  The liar. The lover.

The mind. The body. The soul.

Be still.

Until you know.

 

 

 

 

 

Prescription for Trust

It’s frightening to be diagnosed with something real.  It’s more frightening to stop eating and sleeping and know you should both eat and sleep, but not feel the hunger or the exhaustion.  Still more terrifying, is to have felt a moment of sheer joy…

And lose it in a chemical cocktail…  The first prescription locked me out at the top of the range of emotion and focus and energy.  The second, has me locked out at the bottom.

I can’t think about myself.  I sat in a conversation the other day, and I couldn’t take the question: “What is God emptying you of and what is He filling you with?”; and apply it to myself.  I could understand the answers others gave, but I couldn’t answer it for myself.

I apologized to my sisters for sitting in silence in a very personal and vulnerable conversation(as I am typically a sharer, a feeder back and a verbal processor); because I didn’t want my silence to be attributed to anger or offense.  And I began to cry.  Well, now.  If I can’t complete a thought as it applies to my own heart, mind, and spirit.  What am I crying about?

Fear?  There is actually no middle ground between mania and misery. I can understand you, but I am a stranger to myself.  I can’t connect.

Anger?  This is the very reason I’ve avoided doctors and diagnosis for years.

So…

I go to the auditorium.  There, waiting for the good stuff to begin, is a new friend– the one  I just wanted to get to know because she’s raised such remarkable children.  She stopped me and asked me how I was doing.

I broke down.  I was so embarrassed.  I am still today, 4 days later.  So weak.  So out of control.  At this point, so ugly, as this was my second cry in an hour.

She understood.  She knew what I was going through.

She took me by both arms and stared me in the eyes and said, “God is with you.  He is with you.”  Over and over.

I locked on her eyes.

I’ve seen them all week, when I’ve heard her words.

I can see them now.

It was only this morning(or last night, I’m really not sure.  It was dark.), that I understood them.

I cannot feel anything.  I cannot do any higher order thinking.  I cannot connect on anything deeper than surface level (Hi, you are wearing a red shirt today.).

God is still here.

He hears my hunger for connection.  He knows I remember the spiritual moments I had when I could feel thankfulness, intimacy, and delight.  He knows that the memory is slipping away. Even though, I can’t even think or reason or decide or pray–He is still here and still actively protecting me and providing for me and the ones I am supposed to be caring for who shouldn’t be having to take so much care of me.

He is here.  He knows my thoughts and my lying down and my going out.

He is here with me, right now.

It turns out she understands better than I do myself.

She’s been through it and had to learn that the hard way, I guess.

So I stare back in those sparkling eyes.  And drop into her aching arms.

To wait until My Deliverer passes by.

 

 

 

Thirteen for ’13

I decided to limit my goals to 13.  I could list 100 and still not address all that needs overhauling in my life.  Little by little, I feel that I’ve let things get sloppy.  There is only one way to fix it.  Fix it.

GOALS

1) Silence.  No computer.  No people.  No kidding.  I’ve always had a value for silence.  Maybe because I am an only child, I “got it” from a very early age.  I don’t know.  Whatever’s the case, I haven’t been alone systematically for months.

Looks like: setting an alarm, no matter what time I go to bed.

Start: now.

Finish: none.  Death is the ultimate meditative silence.

2) Move in my strengths.  I actually know a thing or two, and in one or two areas, I am an expert.  A couple of months ago, I had a bit of a wake up call when my brain screamed,”You haven’t accomplished [thing I want] because you have no self-confidence to try.

Looks like: *sigh* making a list of my strengths and deciding in what ways to use those resources to encourage others.

Start: today.

Finish: the list, Feb 1.

3) Rock the kitchen.  The fact is, I avoid cooking food and feeding people.  It’s unloving.  It’s irresponsible.  It’s wasteful.

Looks like:  Keeping enough food in the house for people to eat. I am bad for getting home without enough snacks.  This drives my children to eat all the chips, pretzels, carrots, celery, crackers, cheese, lunch meat, green beans. Then, when meal time comes, there is no li’l side or something.  Planning dinners but also, *sigh* lunches.

Start: Today.

Finish: I can shop today.  Menu planning needs a longer finish date.  The best idea I’ve heard is to create a number of menus and rotate them.  Gimme….two weeks.

4) Get a choke hold on the family finances.  Choke. Hold.  I hope that’s not too harsh of imagery for my more delicate blog guest.  I checked us out on Global Rich List.  I have no excuse.

Looks like: Giving systematically to God’s Work (not always strictly to the local church). Saving like a mad woman.  Possibly refinancing.  Executing a will. Aggressive debt re-payment. It might be a service like Manilla.  I don’t love being here, but I know I am not alone in the world and this is my blog and I’m collecting on the accountability, real or imagined.

Start: Today

Finish: I need to set individual times on each one.  So, today’s action is that.  By night fall tonight, I will have estimated finish dates on these.

5) Get serious about writing. I could post a “knock-knock” joke a day on the blog for the rest of my life.  I could continue to analyze my navel lint for the next five years.  Am I writing or not?  Am I any good or not?

Looks like: submitting something for publication to a legitimate source like a magazine or newspaper or a nice website.

Start: yesterday, I bought The Writer’s Digest, Writer’s Yearbook 2013*.   It has a number of websites for writers.

Finish: Submit something by the end of February.

6) Love my blog.  It seems that when the adoption was final I lost my niche. I still believe in my blog’s name.  What-We-Can’t-Explain is a part of God’s Perfect Design for our lives.  That’s the best description of my life so far.  The greatest things that ever happened were because of what looked like a slip on a banana peel or a cosmic clothesline.

Looks like: a design, a blogging calendar, guest posting, and monetizing.  Creating my own or using others daily blog checklists.

Start: Dec 28–The design is underway. January 3 or something. I’ve been invited to guest post I have to accept.  I’m shy, see.

Finish: The design stuff I have no control over…could be in a week or two.  I will accept on the guest post today.

7) Hold out for quality.  My children have developed a general expectation of life that’s mediocre. I commented to someone the other day that kids will appreciate quality if that’s what they’re exposed to.  It was like I slapped my own face.

Looks like: Resisting the “I can do that later.”

Start: When I Dress for work this morning.

Finish: When they are educated and have found a husband or wife.

8) School. I am burnt out, but I’m not giving up. At least, public school kids are impelled. This is my gig. Only the ISP headmaster gets to tell me what to do.

Looks like: Getting all my paperwork prepared so when it’s due, there is less stress.  Planning the rest of the curriculum until graduation.  Looking at college degree plans so I know what they need.

Start: today.

Finish: Feb 1.

9) Take better care of myself.  (See #1)  I am a big girl.  No one is going to take care of my body and mind and spirit.  End of discussion.  Sure, I’d like to call this one exercise and eat right, but there might be one or two things I need before that.

Looks like: List of needs.  Plan to execute.

Start: When I started writing this post.

Deadline: one week.

10) Make a house that I’m not ashamed to have in the background of my photos.

Looks like: Fill the space in the attic that I gained access to when I was in there.  Give away junk.  Throw away trash.  Plan for Renovation work.

Start: this isn’t rocket science.  Tomorrow’s Saturday.

Finish:

11)  Stop waste in the house.  I think this is redundant, but, it is a mindset.  Instead of seeing my goals in terms of their worth in sacrifice, I get in the habit of medicating my feelings with a “pass”.  Well, $#!@’s out of hand.   Money, Time, Food, Utilities, Late Fees, Brain cells (we have watched some really stupid stuff).

Looks like: setting the example myself.  Shut up.  I hate my life.

Start: with shorter showers and not using the fixture with six bulbs unless I am putting on make-up.  List other areas and work on them.

Finish: When kids can run their own homes.

12)  The organization thing– create systems that make the obnoxious work easy.  Then USE THEM.  Even if it is a to-do list.  Making the list isn’t the objective.  It’s coming under the authority of the list that counts. Looks like: starting that list.

Start: in a minute.

Finish: when I no longer rely on a pile of paper to know what I need to do next.

13) Trust God– I’ve been mad at him over some things that happened really close together that we didn’t get a good outcome on.  But even before that, I was going on the feeling that He wasn’t really showing up for me.  I was having to do this all myself.  I know better.  I wouldn’t be even so much as alive without Him.  If He doesn’t have me now,  none of this really matters.

Looks like: Being joyful when I feel down and discouraged.  Not in a fake way, but acknowledging my feelings and listing what is still good or given in the midst.  There’s a blog challenge, but I think I might do it privately.

Start: ASAP

Finish: Every moment and start again.

 

*It’s a magazine… not Writer’s Market.  I couldn’t find a link.

 

 

 

Excuse Me, But Do You Have The Time?

To do something fun and friendly?

My friend Sam is in his last year of vet school.

He is the oldest of five children.

He has spent the last six years anyway, busily working away at becoming not just a vet, but a man.

He was on the team that went to India the year Mickey went.

He helped me figure out what was wrong with Low Self-Esteem Dog’s eye, when she tried to take it out herself.

He is seemingly unaware of his eligibility as a bachelor.

He is trying to win a weird prize.

An portable ultrasound for large animal use.

Glamorous, right?

Well, here’s the deal.

It’s a video entry and will be decided by votes.

He is the only student in the competition and most of the people I know, know him.

Except here.

If you wouldn’t mind stopping by and casting your vote, he would be so very thankful.

His is the last entry and it’s awesome as Sam is.

By all means, if you need to watch all the videos, feel free, because I want you to vote your conscience.

Because loving your friends is loving your friends IRL and Blog.  Right?

Thanks!

 

That Summer We Lived with Grandma

She lived 25 miles from where my mom worked, and gasoline was up to $.60.

Shut up.

It was the Bi-centennial.

Grandpa had retired from the oil field and they’d expanded the garden.  Because there were more people there to help work it.

They had these two old apricot trees.  They’d been there for twenty years. Never blossomed.  Never put on fruit.  Until this year. They made up for all the years of disappointment.

For their anniversary, grandpa had made Grandma a swing.  Like a porch swing, only it sat out in the back under the mimosa tree.

The days were long and hot. In Oklahoma, the wind blows continually, not in gusts, but relentlessly.  My hair was continually blowing everywhere.  So mom kept it short.

She would leave for work early in the morning.  And I would take all Grandma’s berry baskets (collected since the great depression) and go drop on the ground beneath the apricot trees.  I would fill the baskets and take them in.  Grandma washed the apricots and returned the baskets to me.  At the peak of the crop, I could fill them up to six times per day.  Grandma added this to her full time work with the garden.

They also grew zucchini bigger than my leg from the knee down.  And green beans.  There were, of course, tomatoes and peppers.  These grandparents didn’t grow corn(the others fought the good fight for ‘roasting ears’.).  But that’s about all they didn’t grow.  I was never thorough enough to suit anybody as a green bean harvester.  Which was just as well, as my work made it possible to add apricots to the harvest.

It was not without a good deal of noise, that I did my work.  I cried at the injustice and mistreatment. And my wishing for rain gave me the opportunity to wish for the sun to come out.  It was more pleasant to pick up the apricots from the dry ground than to kneel in the mud.

Grandma didn’t love to turn the air conditioner on.  She saw it as needless waste.  Not one living person supported her in this.  Oh, in April, we all agreed.  You shouldn’t need it in April.  But in mid-July?  There were no prizes for being the last one to close the windows and turn it on.

She had her swing.  She worked like a maniac in the blazing sun or the stifling kitchen all day.  When the dinner dishes were back in the cabinet, she’d get a cold drink and her cigarettes, and go outside and sit in the swing with the sun at her back. Under the mimosas, she’d smoke and watch the hummingbirds come to the mimosa blossoms.  Mom would sit with her, too.  She’d put in a day at the medical office, come home and change and join Grandma in harvesting and canning the green beans.

By the time the weather cooled in the fall, I couldn’t eat apricots anymore.  I wasn’t filing it in the ‘great moments of my life’ file. But now, I think about my equal role in the work.  I didn’t sit around nagging about the two activities I was willing to think of as fun.  A lot of hard work made me grateful as a Pilgrim for time to read or write or play or watch tv.

I think I’ll move that summer from the “Argh” file to the “Good stuff” file.

 

 

 

Monday Morning

This is the extent to which I am even speaking to the blog.  I am taking it back to the basics of the invention.  A journal.  No one is reading, and I have lost my soul, as it were.  I wrote because I loved it.  I read because I loved finding out there were people who were thinking about the same things I do.

I got all confused with writing to please a reader.  So they would come back.  Then I thought  I’d monetize.  But before I got to that I thought I’d participate with sponsors.  I am not good.  I am bad at it.  I freeze.

I guest posted.  I guess I did that wrong,too.  I think I was supposed to bust it out on social media more than I did. I didn’t hear back from them.

At this point, it’s hard to remember why I’m blogging. My delight went somewhere.  The blog is going back to basics.

THIS IS WHO I AM AND THIS IS WHAT’S GOING ON:

After a big weekend, we are “at the school table”.  Inexplicably, I have known the answer to the questions, today.  The questions are seldom content based, but rather, a distraction from getting down to business(Touchdown “*Bleep*ville Twist-offs!).

There is only one orthodontist appointment, this week.  Only three scheduled in the next month; including surgery.

One child has decided what she wants to study for life!!!  Victory!  The week before, she was planning to live off mom and dad until a pop star or Small British Olympian swept her off her feet.  (Hard to do when they’re propped up on the couch.)  She wants to be a foreign language translator and is planning to study French, Spanish, and Chinese.  Which is awesome.

Over the weekend, we still had peaches from our trip to the roadside stand and needed to use them before they spoiled.  We made a cobbler and some preserves.

Future foreign language interpreter peeling peaches.

Add sugar and pectin.

Let sit 12-18 hours.  Cook down.  Pour boiling mixture into prepared jars. Cook in hot water bath boiling 15 minutes.

Caution: the recipe said it yielded 7 half pints. Try 11 and a half.

Again, a lot easier than I would have thought.

We had more peaches even than that, so the sister, who didn’t work on the preserves because she was mowing the whole yard* by herself for the first time, showered and made a peach cobbler that we shared with our small group yesterday.  It didn’t get a photo.  Sorry, but it just would have made your mouth water.  So, it’s probably for the best.

 

 

* Mickey is in a boot, so someone was going to have to step up and she did.

 

 

 

Let’s Salsa!

Thursday, last week, we had to be across town and our route took us past the roadside stand where I like to get peaches as often as possible.  Yay.

In addition to peaches, she had a basket of “salsa tomatoes”, meaning tomatoes that were a little too ripe for slicing or salads.

We picked up some of each and on Saturday, while Mickey was at his volleyball tournament, we waded into a totally new experience.  We canned our own homemade salsa.  I used this recipe. And used the links in the post to get the canning information.

First, I threw dinner in the slow cooker. Swiss Chicken.

This photo is a nosehole bad friend and won’t stay right side up.

Then I made some sun tea with a raspberry herbal bag thrown in.

As if I do anything all natural anymore.

To peel, dip tomato in boiling water for 15 seconds.

Then into ice water.

The skin will pull right off. This is fun.

Everyone wants to help.

We chopped onions and green & jalapeno peppers.

Mixed spices.

This child feels that, if she stirred; she is is the one who claims the glory.

Looks like a fiesta already.

And she stirs…. cook for 20 minutes after it reaches a boil.

2 quarts, 4 pints.

 

We’ve never canned before, but we used only jars, rings and lids we had around the house.  That’s why it was economical for Grandma.

It came out good, but spicier than I was expecting.  About half the tomatoes were orange, causing the color to be exactly the color of a tomato sauce stain on your new white Ann Taylor t-shirt.  I substituted lime juice for the vinegar in the recipe and added cilantro.

There are no pics of the canning portion because my help clocked out.  There was porch-sitting to be attended to.

Have you ever canned?  I was surprised how easy it was.  What are your favorite things to save for winter by canning, freezing or drying?

I am linking this post to Wordful Wednesday at Parenting by Dummies.

Flying Surrender

In previous posts, I’ve alluded to my opposition to using medicine to numb an unspecified pain to the neutralization of pleasure.

Week before last I gave up.  In a haze of pain, a clouded mind, I  got the appointment.  By the time the appointment came around, I delivered myself bawling to the doc.  She shares my faith and respects my feelings about drugs.

Mid-week they called me with results and asked it I just wanted to go ahead and start the anti-depressants.

I said, give me until the follow-up appointment next week to decide.

Thursday, I read this post by Diana.  I asked a question.  Got a couple of answers.

Yesterday, I felt better than I have in years. I’ve slept all night every night since Wednesday last week.  My focus is 100% better.  I have a high powered anti-inflammatory and am not yet pain free. Three visits into PT (One of the girls has a crush on the PT’s intern. suh-pri-ize.).

I’m ready to stop being smarter than the meds, the doctors, science and God.  I wrote all that the other day about coffee, sugar and exercise, and the deal is– part of the reason I feel bad is that when things are falling apart I add to the plates I want to keep spinning.

The achilles heel of the good girl.

It’s been nearly a quarter century since I took the medicine.  Science has had time to work on it.  Science, like it or not, produces things that God uses to care for his kingdom.

Friday morning,looking at logistics for next week, I realize it’s not going to happen without moving things around.  So I call and explain my situation and ask if I can have my follow-up visit TO-day.  They said, yes.

I determined to ask all my questions.  And go with what the doc said.

Bend my neck. Humble myself.

Surrender.

The doctor said that based on the results so far, I don’t need them at this time.

(She said she couldn’t believe the difference between the person she saw in office 9 days ago.)

It seems it’s never the insomnia or fear or stressful events.

Maybe it’s only ever opening my hand.

Letting go of what I’m holding onto that I think is keeping me safe.

Handrails, steering wheels, reins, joysticks.  The control.

I used to call it letting go.  Now, I call it surrender.

Surrender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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