Jeremiah 7:29

Nearly 10 years ago I was few months into my career when I hit a wall.  Due to some circumstances in my life at the time, I fell into a deep depression.  And unlike the other low points in life I had experienced, this was not something I could will into being; my hard work and effort were not going to change the situation or make it better. That was a hard pill to swallow.

As a person of action, I needed to do something.  Anything.  So I cut off my long hair to just below my ears. I had never had my wavy hair that short before. It was liberating.

It was also a bad decision.  My hair has a mind of it’s own; the right side does something completely different from the left side and without spending an hour on my hair every morning, it was a mess until it grew out.  Lesson learned.  Also, a boy I was with at the time said I looked best with long hair.  I’ve been growing out my hair ever since.

Right now, my hair is the longest it’s ever been: a few inches below my bra strap.  It’s beautiful, long, wavy, thick – which can also be fun when you live in a very humid place such as eastern North Carolina.  With all the trouble I’ve been facing as of late, I have decided to cut if off, so it falls just below my shoulders.

My original plan was to grow it out to my “terminal length” – where I am genetically programmed to stop.  I’m not going to make it.  My hair is constantly up in a very messy bun at work (I also lack the girl skills of doing my hair and making it look good).  I tried it 1/2 up, 1/2 down, but ended up putting it all up because it interfered with a common task I do that would involve getting biohazardous waste in my hair.  Not cool.  It’s getting harder to brush because it’s actually longer than the reach of my arms.  I’m ready for something different.

It’s a combination of lifestyle factors, the want of something new, and a physical way to lighten the yoke.

I have this feeling it’s right before dawn again my life: I just don’t know what’s next….morning or mourning.  Either way, I’m prepared.

Up

Without going into detail, suffice it to say, I had a bad morning.  Well, that was an understatement, but again, without detail, I had a bad morning.

I needed some time to collect my thoughts and let my eyes unpoof before heading into work to take care of people with bigger problems that what I was facing.

After a quick lunch, despite the fact hunger wasn’t registering, I went for a walk among the pines.  I found it hard to pray.  I was too numb to pray.  After I paced a park for awhile, I plopped down on a bench.  AlI wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position and cry….but that was neither the time nor the place for that to happen.  

So I layed back and looked up.  This was my view.

Image

A simple reminder that I live in a paradise under long leaf pines and the Lord was smiling at me, sitting with me, as he always does.  It brought a smile to my face.

My situation is not hopeless — there is 1 shard of hope — a long shot by the set standards, but that remains to be seen.  If I ever grow the intestinal fortitude to explain the vagueness, well, that too remains to be seen.

I do not know what’s next.  Or where this journey will lead.  But I know Him.

….and more prayers answered

Because changing jobs is not enough change in one’s life, The General and I have decided to change it up even more.

A friend of ours from one of the churches we’ve been visiting (whom we met before going to this church), is in need of a place to stay. She works a bunch of odd jobs and is on track to get a teaching degree so she can do mission work overseas full time.  She has a huge heart for the Middle East and is learning Arabic as I’m learning German — she’s already been over there, but had to come back because of visa issues (I think).  So in the interim, her current roommate is moving back to the other side of the world, and she doesn’t have the money to live in an apartment by herself.

The General and I bought our dream house. I’m not going to lie: it’s pretty big.  It’s bigger than what 2 professionals without kids need, I suppose. ~2100 square feet of living space.  3100 if you count the unfinished part (no AC/electricity/drywall/floor in some parts).  Ever since I saw this property on the MLS report, this address has been on my prayer list.  If we’re going to get this awesomely neat house, we need to steward it for God. It’s my prayer for the house: use it for the kingdom.

Our prospective roommate, let’s call her Pricilla — like the one who ran around the Middle East with Paul — posted on Facebook she was looking for anyone who might be able to help her out.  I saw it, briefly thought about having her here, and as soon as the thought came, it left.  A few days later, The General mentioned Pricilla’s post.  “Think we should offer her our spare room?” he asked.  “Yes,” I replied.  You’d think we were talking about putting a pizza in the oven.

She came over the other night – she’s a ball of joy.  Seriously.  She can light up a room with her spirit.  She’s one of the most unshakable REAL Christians I’ve met.  Girl is on fire.  Even upon meeting her for the 1st time, I thought, “Wow, this one’s the real deal.”  We gave her a tour of the house and she was in awe.  “Can I think and pray about this?” she asked.   We haven’t heard back from her yet, but hopefully soon.

We’re doing this to help her out: while she’ll help pay the utility bills, obviously, she’s not going to help pay our mortgage.  We’re doing this to help someone along the way.  It was done for us.  And on top of that, we are so incredibly blessed, I want to share that.  I believe this will be a symbiotic relationship: we’ll help take care of her physical needs while she can help us with our spiritual ones.  Since both of us have not ever had a good example of a true Christian marriage, I believe having someone of that spiritual caliber in our home can help facilitate a better relationship with Jesus. Everybody wins.  And God gets the glory.  Can I get an amen?

I will admit a part of me is a bit apprehensive: new job, new roommate — it’s a lot of change all at once.  I love my privacy.  I love walking around naked (there, I said it).  But if I can help someone achieve their dream?  It’s so worth it.  We’ve decided to do this for a couple of months and see how it goes on both ends.  Playing it by ear.

My life motto is the same as Monty Python’s: and now for something completely different.

This verse has often rung in my head.  Isaiah 54:1 is well known among those woman of my station.  But the rest is a bit telling, and we do have a big tent.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;
Do not spare;
Lengthen your cords,
And strengthen your stakes.
For you shall expand to the right and to the left,
And your descendants will inherit the nations,
And make the desolate cities inhabited.
(Isaiah 54:2-3) 

Lines in the sand

It’s official: I’m going to have a grand niece.

David and Sheba are having a girl!  Crazy.  I learned this when David posted the news on Facebook and told The General when I came home.  “I was kinda hoping for a boy, ” I said.  “Why?” asked The General.  “Keep the line going, even though it skipped a generation (David is the son of The General’s sister), although it’s not “pure” our last name, it’s still a line.”  “And that’s important to you?” he retorted.  “Of course!  I’m a genealogist!” I exclaimed.  I walked out of the room before we could get into a discussion – The General’s name dies with him on his branch.  “It’s archaic!” came his voice from the next room.

But it got me to thinking:  My family name is dying out on my mother’s side.  My father’s side is alive and well and will continue on and on.  The maternal line I was tracing, I realized, dead ends with all the relatives I’ve found thus far.  And by dead ends, I mean daughters.  Sure, my alleles are in a good portion of the white population of Detroit, but they’re lost by name.  It’s not anyone’s fault.  It’s a 50/50 chance and my line just wasn’t to be.  But with 5 sons who reached sexual maturity, there’s got to be a pure line.  I’ve got 3 more leads, I hope I find something.  A direct decedent of Grandpa August on my line!

It’s too bad we’re not Jewish: their lines are traced by mom.  Why?  Cuz you can prove yo mamma easier than you can prove yo papa.

Speaking of lines – tan lines to be exact – I bought a surfing bikini online.  I found an ad for it on Facebook.  I never click on ads, but this one called.  I’m bringing back the LBB this year!  I got the glam top (one word: hotttttt) and the hipster bottoms, an internet search assured me hipster bottoms are great for pear shapes like myself.  After a horrendous night at that coal mine that pays my mortgage, it was a welcomed surprise.  A surfing bikini is an athletic tight fitting suit: with my huge butt and non-existent boobs, I’m a target for ocean-induced flashing with regular suits.  The top fits perfect, as if it was custom made for me.  The bottoms?  Well, I got the largest size they offer.   I thought it fit okay, but The General thought otherwise.  “You need the next size up,” he said.  “You’re falling out of it.”  “There is no next size up, ” I sighed.  Apparently, surfers are jockeys of the sea and quite small compared to my 5’7 medium frame/large ass.”  So needless to say, I’m returning it.  I’m not sure if I’ll get a different style – like the one that ties, so I can adjust the butt:suit ratio – or if I’ll take The General’s advice and wear board shorts for the rest of my born days.  This is totally counterproductive to getting my bikini line lazered.  I’m keeping the top.  I look like I have boobs.  And it won’t roll up or move.  Maybe, just maybe, this will be my year where I won’t break any public decency laws at the beach (well………………maybe not, heheheh).

Lines in the sand for sure.

Mother trucker

Happy freakin’ mother’s day.  Sorry about that episiotomy, Mom.

I got a little jaded about this whole holiday and it really doesn’t mean that much to me (well, except for my Mom).  I sent her and my MIL a card – and we called them on Sunday.  That was all well and good.

The problem I had was at church.  As I was walking (I arrived way early) to the class room, a child’s father saw me and said, “Happy mother’s day.”  My face went completely blank.  I’m not a mom.  How do I respond? “Thank you” to be polite?  “Nope, sorry, I am reproductively inept, I have a better chance of winning the lottery than having children and oh yeah — I’ve never bought a lottery ticket.  But I practice a lot!” no, that sounds way too….disenchanted.  So instead I said the 1st thing that popped into my head: “I have cats.”

I pride myself on thinking fast on my feet, but it just wasn’t happening that morning.  “Oh,” he replied.

I was willing to let that go.  Really, it rolled off my back and I kinda giggled about it.  I got to my classroom and the lady from the previous service was still there, so I just stood nearby.  She gave me the weirdest look, as I was off in outer space. “Well, are you going to pick up your child?” she finally asks.  I saw there were 3 stragglers left.  “Oh, no, I’m here for the door for the next service!” I said quickly.  “Oh,” she replied.

Really?

So I got through my volunteer gig without any more people thinking I was a mom.  Whew.

And then I left to attend the service and made the mistake of going through the door where the parents leave.  The gentleman at the door tried to give me a reminder note they give to all parents and almost started to say, “Happy mother’s day” when I said, “No thanks, I work here.”  “Oh.”

At this point I was a little bothered.  I’ve kinda sorta not really questioned myself lately on if not having children was a good decision.  Could we have children?  Probably, with the help of modern day science, some prayer, and some luck.  There’s the age thing (The General is…..old….in terms of fatherhood), the money thing, the I have the next 10 years of European travel planned out thing, the simple fact that every man I’ve been close to says I shouldn’t have children because I’m….well…..crazy.  Okay, so I can’t drive a car effectively, make something from a recipe card without it catching on fire or being otherwise inedible, navigate through a grocery store, or change a diaper – I more or less march to the beat of my own drum and find a hard time fitting in.  Not to mention, I have the maternal instinct of a sea turtle (take the kids to the beach!).

The life I am living now is more than I could have ever hoped for in my wildest dreams.  I never expected to live in paradise, marry such a wonderfully awesome man, or be as content as this in the moment.  It’s a catch 22.  Would I regret having kids when my husband seems miles away and I’m running to and fro trying to be frugal, caught up in the stress of family life?  Would I regret not having kids and traveling, and just being a wandering spirit?  I don’t have the answers to these questions and as far as I’m concerned, it’s up to the Lord.  His will for me is all I desire.  And if I meant to have children, HE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN.

A fellow non-mom at work and I discussed the craziness of mother’s day on women.  She had the same problem at work: they were giving out flowers to moms.  No flower for us.  We likened it to being single on Valentine’s Day – it just sucks – you feel out of place and ostracized.  Although I suggested that I should get a flower because I made someone a Mom (my Mom – I’m the 1st born).  “You donated eggs?” she asked.  I cracked up.  Heavens no.

But today is a new day and it’s absolutely beautiful outside.  It’s too bad I have to spend it at work.

Lesson of the day: Much like V Day, please do not wish a random stranger a happy mother’s day unless they are >6 months pregnant or toting a child.  Thank you.