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New Blog

I have a new blog, so this one will be neglected from now on. I didn’t want to pay to change my template when I could just do it for free over at Blogger, which is where I started.

Find me here:
Drink This Blog

Just Shoot Me

It started on Saturday.
I worked a full day at the store and by mid-afternoon started to feel all-over body aches and pains. It was severe. I even took a nap on my lunch break. Pain pills didn’t do the trick. I came home after work and collapsed in bed, and fought back the pain for the remainder of the night.

The next day…diarrhea. Sorry, folks. Sorry to have to drag you all kicking and screaming into my digestive malfunctions. There’s something wrong about saying and writing “diarrhea.” It sounds so disgusting I almost feel like it would be less sinful to just tap out the F-word, but I won’t. Anyway, back to the subject. It was bad – the kind of bad where you don’t want to sneeze, cough, or laugh for fear that you’ll… we’ll, you know. And that’s the state I was in until just today, actually. I’m finally able to eat real food and I’m beginning to feel human again.

The thing is, this is the third time in 2 months I’ve had this. The only common denominator I can figure out is that it always happened after working a full 8-hour shift at the store – a rarity for me. I’m typically there in 4-5 hour increments. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the illness itself, and my doctor sorta looked at me like I was crazy when I told him about it, but that’s the only similarity I can find. I sort of wondered if the food on the hot bar might be making me sick, since I almost always get my lunch from there when I work full shifts, but I’ve been told that food poisoning only lasts for 24 hours.

Regardless, the episode totally threw me off this week, and I have a hard time keeping all the balls in the air as it is. I excitedly signed up for a Thursday morning Beth Moore Bible study at my old church, but I have had to miss the majority of the sessions thus far. I am finally going back to seriously working on my book, but I’m so out of sorts, all of notes and info look more like someone took a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and dumped it on my desk. It has been almost 4 years since my book came out. I feel like the cheerleader who breaks her leg, has to leave the squad, and when she comes back it’s all new girls. I’m out of the loop. And, yet, I’m really excited about getting back to work and making this thing a reality and not simply a topic of discussion.

I need an office. Not in this apartment complex.
I’m thinking that would help.

Off to the store I go. And I WON’T be hitting up the hot food bar!
typewriter

“Paul said preach the Gospel,” said Belew. “Talking about sex ain’t gonna get nobody to heaven.”

Please, oh PLEASE tell me someone else sees the irony in this!

Minimal Sympathy

SHOCKING! Soap star Deidre Hall may have to start living like a normal person!


(March 10) — According to court documents stemming from her divorce , former ‘Days of Our Lives’ actress Deidre Hall has seen her fortune dry up since being terminated from the show last year.

…RadarOnline, citing court documents, reports that Hall, who for more than two decades played Dr. Marlena Evans on the hit soap opera, has a shrinking bank account since her daytime TV departure. The reports cite her monthly income during that time as $28,000.

Deidre, honey, I feel you.
When I started working as a cashier my monthly income went from $30,000 to…um, well, slightly below that. It never did match the whopping salary I made during my lucrative career as a data entry clerk.

Can I make a suggestion? Cut back on the unnecessary luxuries you’ve come to know and love as a celebrity… like brand-name cola.

You’ll thank me for this one.

For all of you would-be moms and pops out there.

When It Rains

I started counseling today.
Again.
You know the old saying – thirteenth time’s a charm. No, I don’t actually know how many times I’ve gone through counseling, but I’ve done it several times. I see myself a lot like the 1989 Buick I drive – it keeps running as long as you do regular maintenance. I go through counseling, do really well on my own for a while, and then life comes along and boots me in the head, and I need help again.

It’s not the major stuff anymore. I don’t feel like I’m lamenting the sexual abuse or resenting my mother for drinking anymore. I feel like I’ve had all the “light bulb moments,” but there are things that rear their ugly heads from time to time, and I have to squash them before they become bonafide problems. I talk pretty openly about this, because I have a general disdain for people that pretend to have it all together, when in actuality they are struggling to keep their head above water. I’d rather be honest about who I am, flaws and all.

I’m also not planning to be in counseling for a long stretch of time, because I am finding that talking to God and staying in the Word on a regular basis does wonders for the soul. I suppose that’s why God tells us to do that, huh? I’ve lived most of my life viewing the Bible as a book of good suggestions. You know, like those ridiculous motivational posters you see in offices. But the Bible is a guidebook for living life. It tells you how to handle anger, disappointment, sadness, how to overcome the past. I’ve spent a lot of money on self-help books over the years, and some of them were very helpful, but they don’t compare to the Word of God.

So, my first session was today, and it was your typical first session – we went over the basics, where I come from, who I think I am (still working on that one), who I want to be, etc. With joy I talked about my dear husband and my good friends and how much they mean to me. This counseling is a good thing. Any time you get to strip away the scar tissue and reveal new flesh, it’s a good thing. God is really good at patchwork.

I made two coffee stops today – the first one at McDonald’s, where I also assaulted the dollar menu, as well as my arteries, the second one at Dunkin’ Donuts… my home away from home. By mid-afternoon, I was so caffeinated I could have pushed my car the rest of the way home. FYI – Dunkin’ has really good hash browns. Ya gotta try ’em.

Shaunti is coming to town next week to do a book event in a nearby town, and she’s bringing my dear friend/coworker Linda with her. I have to say I’m pretty overwhelmed with excitement. I don’t get to see them very often. It is amazing to me how 3 people can have such a close friendship (and can work together) from hundreds of miles away. God is definitely in the mix. And in 6 years of knowing Shaunti and 2 years of working for her, this will be the first time I’ve ever heard her speak in person. I’ll be oozing pride from every orifice of my body. And, as always, I’ll be taking zillions of pictures. 🙂

Divorce

There are few things married people can say to shock me. My husband and I have dealt with everything short of physical abuse – anger, resentment, bitterness, sexual problems, communication problems, and financial problems. We’ve been brought back from the brink of marital death more times than I care to count, and what it has taught me is that there is nothing a marriage can’t overcome with the help of a loving Father, and some old-fashion elbow grease. I know it may sound like I’m oversimplifying the problem, which is not my intent. I guess you could say I’ve made so many excuses in my life that it bugs the daylights out of me when I hear other people making them. I know how desperate people can get when they want to escape pain, because I’ve experienced it for myself.

I once saw divorce as a (sometimes) necessary evil. Marriage is about sacrifice and commitment and not about being happy all the time… but it’s not about being miserable, either, right? When your marriage is teetering on the edge of disaster and you’re so miserable you can barely live with yourself, then it’s OK to leave, isn’t it? I mean, God has to understand. God just wants us all to be happy, after all.

Here is what I’ve learned, the hard way.
1. Divorce is like putting a little bandaid on an enormous, gaping wound. Why? The assumption is that you will get divorced, leave the situation, and either live alone in peace, or (usually) find someone else to share your life with. Does it happen? Yes. All the time? Not hardly. You’ve heard the saying, “you can run, but you can’t hide,” right? What do we expect to accomplish by divorcing, other than doing simply that – running? If you leave a broken marriage behind you in a heap of dust, you’ve resolved nothing. You haven’t solved any problems, you haven’t learned how to deal with the relational issues involved, and apart from blatant abuse, you can never honestly blame the breakup on your spouse. It doesn’t work that way. It takes two to tango – even if you tango yourselves into a tree.

2. “God has given me peace about it.” Are you sure? Now, look, I’m not entirely refuting this and saying it never happens. There are legit reasons for divorcing…unfortunately, most people don’t get divorced for those reasons. They get divorced because a struggling marriage is painful and it’s easier to walk away. Before you declare that God has given you peace about a divorce, get real honest with yourself and think, OK, do I truly have biblical grounds for this divorce? Am I truly feeling God’s peace, or am I simply feeling relieved that the end is in sight? Get together with other people that are grounded in the Truth, and be honest with them. Get their godly perspective. You might be surprised what you find.

3. “For the sake of my kids, I have to get a divorce.” Don’t base your decision on something Oprah said, or even the short-term impact divorce will have on your children. Seek God’s counsel, not a TV shrink’s. And do some real research. Children of broken homes have far more issues than children from traditional families…even ones that have to fight hard to stay that way. What message do you want to send your kids? If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again? Or, give up and run away from things that are too hard?

4. “My husband/wife refuses to do the things he/she needs to do in order to make this marriage work.” Over a year ago, I blogged about a Christian singer who had chosen divorce, and stated my (hopefully compassionate) disagreement with her choice. She read what I had written and responded to me, and we had a not-so-pleasant volley of e-mails between us. Anyway, she blamed most of the problems on her husband’s unwillingness to change. This, however, is a very basic tenet of faith. If we walk by faith, not by sight, then that means we live according to Truth and not according to what feels best. The Bible is very specific about telling us how to treat our spouse, and what kind of mate we are supposed to be. The fact that our mate does not follow the same guidelines does not give us the right to stop trying. Feelings follow actions. Did you catch that? FEELINGS FOLLOW ACTIONS. Our culture tries to convince us it’s the other way around, but it’s not. You act, then the feelings come. You respect, love, and encourage your mate, and deliberately focus on the positive vs. negative aspects of your spouse, and you see if it doesn’t bring forth positive change and renewed effort in your spouse.
Husbands, the Bible instructs you to love your wife as Christ loved the church. Christ’s love was unconditional, and it was not just an emotion – it was an action. Many times, the church did not deserve unconditional love, mercy, forgiveness, grace, or a second chance… but that was what Christ gave us. That is how we ought to be loving our husband/wife.

5. It’s not about being happy. Marriage isn’t always romantic, or fun. It’s hard work. Life gets in the way. You won’t always a feel burning passion for your mate. It’s a drag sometimes, but guess what? It’s for your own good. God is not as concerned about your happiness as He is about the state of your heart. If it takes rough seas to knock you out of the boat, expect a violent storm. If allowing a division between you and your mate is what it takes to make you focus on God first and foremost in your life and in your marriage, expect to be unpleasantly redirected. If you’re not walking with God, if God is not the center of your marriage, GOD WILL ALLOW UNHAPPINESS TO INFILTRATE YOUR LIFE IN AN EFFORT TO MOVE YOU FORWARD IN A RIGHT AND HOLY DIRECTION. IF YOUR MARRIAGE IS IN A SHAMBLES, IT’S BECAUSE THE ENEMY HAS MADE IT THAT WAY, AND THE ENEMY HAS MADE IT THAT WAY BECAUSE YOU LEFT THE DOOR OPEN AND UNGUARDED. IF GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT PERIOD IN YOUR MARRIAGE HOLDS THE POTENTIAL TO DRAW YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE CLOSER TO THE LORD, THEN DON’T BE SURPRISED IF IT HURTS FOR A WHILE! If you can learn a valuable lesson from pain, God will allow you to ENDURE pain!

We live in an “anything goes” culture. If it feels good, do it. If it doesn’t feel good, can it.
What kind of marriage are you in? One that runs on feeling and emotion instead of hard work and perseverance? Or are you willing to go all the way – regardless of how painful or how difficult – to have a marriage that is consecrated unto God, and set apart from the rest of the world?

Sometimes being an example for Christ means allowing people to watch you hurt, and being willing to accept inconvenient, godly instruction along the way.