Tuesday, October 21, 2014

To Say I Love You Right Out Loud

Maybe it's my fever. Maybe it's 'cause I can't stop sneezing and my nose keeps running.....

But yeah like Joni, I really don't know life at all.

I look at pictures of my daughters (while Both Sides Now) strumming in the background and I am sentimental and cry.

I really don't know how it got to this.

Sidenote: I also shoved a huge piece of coffee cake even though I couldn't taste it...down my throat.

I miss them. So much. I want it to be like it was before....illusions...I really don't know life at all.

There are tears and fears and feeling proud. Only I don't feel proud. I feel fears and tears.  

I read the old cards they sent me and like the song....I want to say I LOVE YOU right out loud.

So many things I would've done.  Done differently. 

Illusions. Don't give yourself away. 

I really don't know love at all. 

The pictures of my daughters are so beautiful. Each one has her own distinctive beauty. I look in wonder and think how did these beautiful women come out of my belly?

And now they are out of my belly, long gone, disconnected totally....

Thanks Joni, even in 1969 you nailed it for me. Who knew when I was 9 your song was to become my anthem.

Like you, I really don't know life at all. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lost in the Sauce (without a ladle)

This is really a rough time for me. A transitional time. I'm lost in the sauce without a ladle....that's it.

It is Well with my Soul. I keep listening to Chris Rice's version of this hymn. I have to or I am gonna lose it. 

Ahem, yeah I know, like I haven't lost it plenty of times. Of course I have. I've been through some serious storms and felt like I was stretched to my breaking point.. 

My job is stressing me out. My relationships are stressing me out. My life is stressing me out.

It is well with my soul. My new mantra. Have to keep listening to this song. Knowing that God is looking out for me. He knows what I am going through. He knows my sin. He knows my goodness.

He gives me Grace.

I am not the type of person that keeps themselves busy just to pretend things are fine. I can't.

I dwell in self pity. I over-think everything. I let my emotions drain me. 

Then there's that moment when I first awake in the morning and for a split second, I forgot about the pit I have in my stomach...then I remember. Oh jeez, that's the worst.

Even so, it is well with my soul. 
I don't have a choice. Choose God or lose it.

I choose Him and if I lose it, well.......... it will still be well with my soul. 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Compassion, it's what's for dinner.

What is compassion? Is it some virtue that comes naturally, genetically-built in, or a learned behavior?

I wish I knew.

Why are some people very compassionate to everyone but the ones closest to them? I have seen this behavior throughout my life. They say you always hurt the ones you love.  

But why do we? God loves us. He is kind and compassionate always. Not just sometimes when it's convenient, when He feels like it, or when He wants others to think He's a great God and well look at Him, isn't He sweet??

Nope. Not at all. He is compassion. He is the very definition of what compassion looks like, is, and always will be, forever and ever Amen.

So we (myself included) go about our lives dispensing compassion on a moment to moment basis. 

When we feel like it. When we want others to see us acting compassionately and therefore portraying ourselves like the Christians we claim that we are...

Instead of being Christians, how about being Christlike? How about just being compassionate, always, to everyone, even the people we don't like, we don't love, even our own families?

How about not strutting your compassion in public, so that your persona is laced with admiration. 

Try tonight.

Compassion, it's what's for dinner.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chinese menus, Tests and Trust

I keep listening to the Paul Simon song, Mother and Child Reunion, and although I know he came up with the title from a Chinese restaurant dish, and it was probably about the death of his dog....etc...

It doesn't matter. I can relate to the lyrics.

I adore my children. I am also pretty sure I made them my idols. I am absolutely sure I am not their idol. And I know they love me....but.

I am estranged from my children. Geographically, emotionally. We may never see eye to eye on specific events.

We may never see other eye to eye again. Period.

False hope. I seem to have alot of false hope. Did you ever have that feeling like, ummmmmm things are never gonna be the same. They're just not. Deal.

I was wrong. You were wrong. We were both wrong. And although we say we forgive each other, it still sits out there like a chemical cloud, hovering over us.

Or by us I mean me.

I know God never gives false hope. I know that. So why don't I trust it? Trust this test will be handled by Him, in His way so I better shut up and leave it to Him.

Yet in the back of my head I hear this song, and I know it's only a moment away.    

oh, little darling of mine.

I just can't believe it's so,
and though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hey Jealousy!!

Songs to listen to after a bad break-up and/or divorce....

I needed these songs...they got me through gritty, tough times. Divorce, break-ups with after divorce boyfriends. Even the one I eventually married. Maybe they can help you too.

If you're looking to cry your eyes out: 

Hoobastank--The Reason. Yeah by the way the reason may not be you, but you'll still cry your eyes out 'cause you'll still think it's you.

No Doubt---Don't Speak. Well really, don't speak, 'cause you know just what he's saying. Just cry.

Eve 6--Inside Out. Still cry to that one. Break-up or no break-up. It's powerful, just as powerful as sick like ginger ale. Prophetic.

Vince Vance and the Valiants--All I want for Christmas is You. Not the Mariah Carey version, this version is sooo bluesy and country while being 80's I can't get enough of it. The video is ridiculous. But you'll cry anyway.

Gin Blossoms--Found out about You. I sure did. Dangit.

If you're looking to move on, but you're still shaken:

Puddle of Mudd--She Hates Me. Replace the she with he, queen with king, and you're in business.

ELO--Hold on Tight to Your Dream. Ok, part of this is in French, but who cares? You're holding on tight and that's all that matters.

The Clash--Train in Vain. Damn you, you didn't stand by me. No not at all. No way.

Incubus--Drive. Yup, I am taking that wheel and I am driving right through that fear. Haunting lyrics.

Joan Jett--I Hate Myself for Loving You. I really do. Enough said. 

Gin Blossoms--Hey Jealousy. This is definitely one of my favorites. I identity with this song so much, I know it verbatim, blare it regularly and yeah you may have been the best I've ever had..but HEY I am moving on and the beginning riff is bangin'. I've often wondered the story behind this song as the songwriter unfortunately committed suicide. Makes me love it all the more. 

So there they are. Just a few suggestions I came up with on what songs to blare during your storm. Crying it out is good. Banging it out and moving forward is much better. Take it from me. 

I've done both.


Friday, April 11, 2014


It's amazing how many incredibly kind people I meet. And as I have stated before, I am always taken aback by kindness. Don't know why, maybe I was innately programmed to distrust most people, and I was usually suspect of any kindness people show toward me or others. I used to think in the back of my mind, what's in it for them?

But then I met the Incredibles.

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes. The people I never expect to be genuinely kind..they are superheroes.

The people I work with, the caseworkers, the underdogs of government, working under the most stressful conditions, dealing with impossible deadlines, confronted with a litany of problems. They serve the most vulnerable people of our county. They serve me as well. With grace. With dignity. With kindness. With aplomb. With love. Incredible.

Working with me. Me working with them. 

The people I continually meet through Blue Route Vineyard (my church), my small group, the YoungLife committee members, all who welcome me in their homes, their lives. With grace. With kindness. With love. Incredible. 

Praying for me. Me praying for them. 

Friends. The people I have been lucky enough to call friend. Ever present for me, always; through the fun times, the tough times, the ugliest of times. Listening to my rants, holding my heart through my tears.

Rooting for me. Me rooting for them. 

Daughters. Loving me with all their hearts. Me loving them with every ounce I can muster. Incredible.

Husband. Pounding the pavement, going above and beyond my expectations in every way throughout this painful time. Him loving me, me loving him. 

Family. The generosity and love from my mother and family is truly INCREDIBLE.

The emotional help I have received throughout this difficult time in my life blows my mind. While my husband continues to look for work, the prayers, the encouragement, the love I have consumed is incredible.

I am surrounded by Superheroes. I am grateful.

God has given me THE INCREDIBLES. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Game Plans

I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rinds
But the lack thereof would leave me empty inside
Swallow my doubt turn it inside out
Find nothin' but faith in nothin'
Want to put my tender, heart in a blender
Watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion 
Rendezvous then I'm through with you 

My mind is spinning. The dreaded words no one ever wants to hear from their spouse, I got laid off, were said to me last Tuesday. The same day my daughter won an amazing fellowship for her graduate degree.

God giveth and God taketh away.

So I say ok, calm down, rest in Jesus. Rest in God. We will weather this storm. But this song from Eve 6 (Inside Out) comes into my head...over and over. Don't even know why. 

Friends, family, coworkers are so nice, sympathetic, they tell me; don't worry Maria, he'll find something quickly, he's a hard worker, he's young (my husband is only 42...which is young compared to me...53)...but still why do I hear:

I burn, burn like a wicker cabinet, chalk white and oh so frail
I see our time has gotten stale
The tick tock of the clock is painful
All sane and logical, I want to tear it off the wall
I hear words and clips and phrases
I think sick like ginger ale
My stomach turns and I exhale

Feeling immobilized. Just sit and think and smoke cigarettes. And I am not a smoker. Or I wasn't.  

Game plans spinning. Panic sets in. Up my meds. Oh yeah, get some meds. Stop smoking. Cut cable. Do an inventory on everything we don't really need. Ok, so that was done in about 10 minutes. Now what?

Network, resume, unemployment, severance, get husband to do those house projects he never seemed to have time for...... Game plans.

Change cell phone plan. Done. Turn off lights in empty rooms. Done. Don't buy any more cookie butter. Ummmmm. Ok. Done. Game plans.

Keep planning daughter's wedding. Don't panic. Pray. Ok, done. 

Then why does that song keep spinning in my head?

Game plans. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Breakfast Club (otherwise known as my preaching class)

My love letter to my preaching workshop.

Dear Mr. Tindall, 

We have accepted the fact that we had to sacrifice every Saturday morning for 10 weeks for your preaching workshop. We don't think you're crazy for making us preach in 2 minutes or less about the Bible, or using the word pericope, or knowing literary style, historical facts, or the use of great storytelling all while keeping Jesus the focus and using ourselves as the vessel, interjecting our own lives without overshadowing the message. You saw us how God sees us, in the simplest terms, in the most amazing definitions. 

But what we found out, is that each of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basketcase, a sweet loving princess, a devoted mom, a revered grandfather, a funny klutz, and yeah maybe even a criminal. 

All loved by God. 

Thanks for answering our questions.

Sincerely yours, 

The Breakfast Club.

Theme to this post

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

RIOT!------------remedy for your midlife morning

Ohhhhhhhhhh I never meant to brag. It was never my intention to brag!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

God, it just feels sooooooooooooooooo good.

While driving to work this morning, jacked up on coffee, prepping to interview 14 or 15 clients, mentally preparing for the next 8 hours I started fumbling around in the middle console of my car. Need music. Need music. Calm down, just put on something soothing. Usually it's Chris Tomlin, or Frank, or West Side Story Soundtrack or ELO, even Susan Boyle...whatever.

But without looking I pulled out and plopped in this : Paramore: Riot! My girls' CD. They must've played it while borrowing my car when they were home on Christmas vaca... 'cause normally it's Bing, or The Beatles or The Gin Blossoms, that pop up for air from that deep, dark console.

Ok then; I am in the business of misery, track 4, so let's take it from the top. Now what? I'll tell you what. That song is banging.

I gotta be real. I always, ALWAYS wanted to be Joan Jett. Enough said. My generation.

Anyway, I am now flying down MacDade Blvd, weaving in and out of lanes, literally singing...uhh no, not singing, screaming this song. This angry, kick-ass female empowerment chick-flik without the sensitivity song. I subconsciously knew the lyrics from all those times long before the girls got their own cars...when I was the chauffeur shuttling them from one door to another.

Let me say this again: that song is banging.

It's just what I needed, I didn't care that I was using my mascara as a microphone. I do my makeup at red lights on the way to work....I didn't care if anybody saw me.....I was just flashbackin' to being 21 or 22 and driving fast and singing loud to Joan, Blondie, and Chrissie Hynde. Doesn't everybody do this? Yes, you all do it.

Hey, when Chris Tomlin is singing Indescribable *Amazing God*.....I don't care if people see me raising my right hand in praise!! I am in my car, my cocoon, and no one's really looking anyway. 

I got to work in like 14 minutes, fully prepared, fully ready for the day ahead. Stoked.

Sometimes you just need a lot of coffee and a good riot. 

My baby girl singing my morning rush!