Leaves of Fire

I love fall. I love everything about it; I love the apple cider, pumpkin everything, the color of the leaves, the smell of the wind. It’s almost always the perfect temperature outside. Jeans and hoodies make a fashion comeback, what’s not to love?

It’s also the most abrupt change of seasons. One day, everything is green and lush, and the next all the trees have turned to beautiful colors of fire. Blink and you’ve missed your opportunity to hike through the nature trails to enjoy the colors. Even with winter, the cold temperatures ease into the eventual snow, and it eases out. I realize that doesn’t always hold true in the midwest, but that is typically the norm.

We all go through seasons; some are hard and unyielding like winter during the polar vortex. Some seasons bring a relief, a beckoning to return to the outside like spring does. Some seasons are full of busyness that overtakes us like those summer vacation months. Then there are the seasons that see you preparing for something, trying to savor the last bits of something you’re not sure of, like fall.

Continue reading “Leaves of Fire”

Good things exist, even without coffee.

Today was a good day. It was nothing like yesterday. Yesterday was a hard parenting day. There was screaming, spankings, fighting and no coffee. When my husband came home he found three emotionally spent girls, even though one of us had a three hour nap. I thought, “Three hour nap? Yes please!” That was before bedtime; before the constant need of something or other well into the night.

The good thing about being seconds away from emotional breakdown is the understanding from my husband that I needed to go out alone for an hour. That’s all I needed to reign in those feelings. Continue reading “Good things exist, even without coffee.”

The real image of parenting.

Too often I talk about the hardships and frustrations parents face, but parenthood is filled with as many moments of joy and frivolity as anything else; I want a written remembrance of this. I want my kids to know I told the world of the blessing they are. In those frequent moments of self doubt I want something tangible to prove myself wrong. I’m a paradox. Because I’m a paradox, I find it easier to draw parallels. I also really enjoy the letter P. Continue reading “The real image of parenting.”

You might be a parent if…..

1.   Someone asks you if you know the name to that song, but all of your guesses involve Daniel Tiger or the ABCs.  Remember when you used to know the title of every song and artist on the radio?  Luckily you still know those songs.  Unluckily, they are no longer in vogue.  I get a lot of, “Who is that?  Never heard of them.”  The only new songs you know are sung by children and/or animals.  Fake animals.  You aren’t that far removed.  I hope. Continue reading “You might be a parent if…..”

It didn’t take long to become a failure.

At this point in my life I’m a pretty sarcastic person. I think I’m hilarious. Hysterical, even. A riot. See what I did there? I’m can also be seen as a cocky person, but it’s always sarcastically cocky. There are a few who think I’m sincerely cocky. A few who think I feel I’m better than most. There are a few who think I’m judgmental, probably because my sarcasm as viewed as something truthful instead of the joke it was intended to be.  Or maybe I do something else to offend them.  I really don’t know.

No matter what people are saying or thinking about me, it’s got nothing on what I feel for myself. We’re the hardest on ourselves, aren’t we?  If you’ve read my last post, you know how I’ve struggled with hatred toward myself.  I may not have said it explicitly, but the hatred was usually for me.  Even now, I find a lot of things about myself that I associate with failure. Like it’s just part of who I am – a failure. Continue reading “It didn’t take long to become a failure.”

Who I was is not who I am.

I want you to have an idea of where I come from mentally, so I’ll give you a (hopefully quick-ish) background on me.

Once Upon a Time……

JUST KIDDING. When I was younger I was pretty depressed.  I don’t know that it started off with a reason.  I was mad about my parents getting divorced, but really, so many people have divorced parents, and they didn’t all make the decisions I did.  I’m not saying it didn’t affect me, but I had a choice to make in it.  I chose to hate (for a while) my step-dad.  I don’t know that I’d call it easier (do you have any idea how much energy goes into actively hating or even despising someone??  A hint: a lot.), but it sure did give me an excuse to do and say the things I did.  I felt about the same for my step-mom.  I can’t even remember being mad at anything or anyone else that affected me except for guys.

I developed quicker than most girls in my grade, and boys picked up on that.  There were 3 instances that I can count were I was….violently pressured, sexually, with guys my age. That was in junior high. Continue reading “Who I was is not who I am.”

We don’t need to settle, so why have we?

*Editor’s note: This piece was written 4 years ago (2015), and while I still believe these things, I don’t feel they were represented or stated clearly. To be clear: We serve a sovereign God, a God who is capable of complete control, but who does not TAKE that complete control. He has given us free will, and we can (and detrimentally often do) choose to not allow Him in. When we become born again Christians, we give ourselves over to Him; we give Him the reigns and He will steer us. Without doing that, we aren’t allowing Him to move in us or through us. We cannot blame Him for every death, disease, hurt that comes our way when we won’t allow Him in. The death, disease, and hurt that are rampant in the world are because we live in a broken and dark world; a world that the devil roams and devours. Things happen because we either are or are not following His plans for us. In short, if we are not for God, walking with God and following after Him, we are going the opposite direction. If we aren’t for Him, it counts as against Him and we do not have His protection. At anytime, Christian or not, we can cry out and say, “God, I can’t do this anymore, I need you,” and He will come. But don’t demand separation and be surprised that He gives it. He waits for you. 

There is that devastating moment in life when someone close to you dies, or someone close to someone you’re close to dies.  It’s sad and it’s hard.  You know what doesn’t make it better?  Saying that it was God’s plan.  Saying that God ordained that death or that He needed another angel.  Saying that we can never understand God’s plan until we get to Heaven.  God does allow death, obviously. God does have a plan and it is perfect, obviously. God’s plan will always be better than any plan we come up with, obviously. We are not meant to understand His plans until Heaven, obviously.  However, knowing the obvious as truth doesn’t make those statements truth. Continue reading “We don’t need to settle, so why have we?”

Marriage is a work in progress.

Marriage is beautiful.  It’s rainbows and sunshine.  It’s simple.  It’s very cut and dry.  Getting married  automatically instills open communication in the two people getting married.  It causes the two people to be so changed as to become perfection in the relationship.  It’s angels singing and endless smiles.

I’m sorry.

Give me a minute.

Gotta control the laughter and catch my breath.

If these are lines anyone has every fed you, they are so very misguided.  Sure, those are all partial truths, but not complete truths.  Marriage is beautiful, but not for the reasons listed above.  Parts of it are simple (and cut and dry) but we are complex in nature, joining with another person is bound to be complex as well.  The open communication comes with hard work – a lot of hard work.  Marriage changes us, yes, but not always in the way that we think.  There are moments – so many moments – when it seems like everything is perfect and you swear you can hear angels singing, but those are moments to look for and try to attain.  They aren’t constant and they aren’t necessarily the norm. Continue reading “Marriage is a work in progress.”

Shades of something.

I’m sure that it wouldn’t take much for you to figure out what this post is about.  I mean, everyone and their brother has written about it; their brother, their brother’s friend, the friend’s cousin, the cousin’s sister, the sister’s mom – you get the picture.

In the interest of full disclosure I need to preface this by saying that I didn’t do any sort of in-depth research on the subject.  I have watched interviews with the author and cast of the movie.  I’ve read excerpts from the book and clips from the movie.  I’ve read articles for and against the books and movie(s).  I’ve talked to friends who both like and dislike the series.

What I see a lot of is people saying that it’s a love story.  A tale of two people who meet and fall so madly in love that it hurts to be apart.  How romantic it is to have these consensual relations that gratify a person (yes, that was meant to be singular).  An instance of a woman allowing this man to have a relationship in his brokenness – how brave, how courageous of her. Continue reading “Shades of something.”

Let’s talk about sex.

That’s probably going to be the most popular tag line I’ve ever come up with; that can be both good and bad.  Obviously I can’t get that stupid, horrible song out of my head now, which is bad.  The bad could also be that you saw the tag line and clicked on it for all the wrong reasons.  Of course, the good is that no matter the reason for clicking on it, you will actually read what I have to say (hopefully – I don’t just write to hear myself……..write…?). Continue reading “Let’s talk about sex.”