Friday, September 16, 2005


Well, as you can tell from my last blog title - this hasn't been the best of weeks (lots of frustration - esp when the actual blog did not post, only the title). But - things are much better now thanks to some awesome friends. Tuesday evening I hashed it out with a good friend from college and lets just say that our conversation really hit home. This week has been so long, busy and frustrating that everything just boiled up and spilled over and since I am slightly emotionally handicapped (I'm working on it folks) I just didn't know what to do with all of the emotion! But like I said - the conversation helped immensely. Of course, to top it off, I was having self-esteem issues which are all too common in everyone's life, so I started reading this book called Captivating by John and Stasi Edwards (John is the guy who wrote Wild At Heart). My friends Nicole and Lindsie had been talking about it for a while and when Nic came to visit Wed night I read the first 2 chapters - I couldn't put it down! It is so revealing! And I really feel like this will help me really discover and understand myself, hopefully resulting in a better Christian, a non-emotionally handicapped Christian. So I want to share what this book is teaching me...

Chapter one discussed the self-doubt that most women have and it was insanely correct because after almost every sentence I said "yes" or "that is so true." Chapter 2 discussed the role of Eve - or at least the role she was supposed to play before the crap hit the fan. And Chapter 3 is the one I will discuss today, entitled "Haunted by a Question"

"We [women] struggle to know if we matter at all....If we have a career, we feel as though we are missing out on more important matters like marriage and children....most women doub very much that they have any genuine beauty to unveil....[so we say] Oh, forget it. Who cares anyway? Put up a shield and get on with life. Hide....We are more keenly aware of our own shortcomings that anyone else."
Sound familiar? It sure did to me! But hold on it gets better
"Are you comfortable trusting your well-being to someone else? [no]....Most women hate vulnerability [right on!]. We are not inviting--we are guarded. Most of our energy is spent trying to hide our true selves, and control our worlds to have some sense of security."
I hate being vulnerable - to ANYONE! That was the problem Tuesday night. I hate it so much that I struggle to be truly vulnerable and broken before God. Though I can't say that I try to hide myself, I am afraid of being seen - of people realizing who I am and rejecting me. Then the book goes on to describe the 2 types of women that have resulted from the fall from grace and this need for protection: the dominante and the desolate. I am a combination of the two.
The dominant woman "doesn't need anyone--especially a man." How many times have I said this, in passing, when referring to my love life? (or lack thereof). The desolate woman hides behind clothing and work because "seh does not believe she is worth paying attention to....[she] dismisses every compliment....[she] hides behind [her] humor....[she] will not risk rejectino or looking like a fool." Finally, "to hide means to remain safe, to hurt hiding, we take matters into our own hands. We don't return to our God with our broke and desperate hearts."
wow. For all of the self-loathing that I am guilty of, I never once realized that I wasn't returning to God, that I should present him with my broken spirit instead of trying to hide behind a facade of strength. You would think that would be enough to learn for a chapter...but no. Then they went on to talk about indulging - something I NEVER thought I was guilty of!
"The deep longings in our hearts just won't go away. And so we indulge. We buy ourselves something nice when we aren't feeling appreciated. We 'allow' ourselves ... something when we are lonely....we give our hearts away ... instead of giving them to the heart of God....We imagine meaningful conversations or difficult ones where we speak brilliantly....too many movies [ouch - I had just bought Pretty Woman earlier this week to "make myself feel better"]When we camp our hearts in self-doubt, condemning thoughts, or even shame because those emotions have become familiar and comfortable, we are faithlessly indulging rather than allowing our deep ache to draw us to God....Though we seek them out for a little relief from the sorrows of life, addictions turn on us and imprison us inchains that separate us from the heart of God and others as well. It is a lonely prison of our own making, each chain forged in the fire of our indulgent choice....We need not be ashamed that our hearts ache; that we need and thirst and hunger for much more. All of our hearts ache. It is our insatiable need for more that drives us to our God....[woman fears] that she will be abandonded....We do not first bring our heart's Question (am I lovely? do you see me? do you want to see me? are you captivated by what you find in me?)to God, and too often, before we can, we are given answers in a very painful way. We are wounded into believing horrid things about ourselves. And so everyone woman comes into the world set up for a terrible heartbreak."
Wow! That is all I can say. At least now I know that I am not crazy nor am I alone. That is comforting. So now I need to work on some stuff - and I will have to read more to figure out how and what to do. But basically, everything boils down to trusting God - accepting our feelings and desires and fears and presenting them to Him as an offering. But boy is that hard!
Well, Im gonna head home and sleep before the Rangers game tonight - have fun everyone!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

I'm Back! ... kind of

Well I dont know when I last wrote on this but I can say that a lot has happened since then. On August 1st I finally moved out of my parents house into my very own apartment. I love it! Especially since the decorator did such an awesome job! Oh wait ... that was me! I have been collecting artwork for years now with no walls to hang it on - but finally those pieces have a chance to be seen. Though my wall space is limited, I just ordered another photograph from an old college accquaintance (whose photos already adorn my walls). Check out this site you can purchase 8x12 photos for $25 and all of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief fund.

Speaking of, I feel like a postor child for that organization. As many of you know I decided to take on the job of Student Council Sponsor this year (I think I was drugged) and boy has it been busy! Normally this time of year would be hectic for StuCo with Homecoming steadily approaching (Oct 1st - it was changed from Oct 21st to raise my blood pressure) but these past two weeks have been doubly busy because of Hurricane Katrina. I hate watching newsbriefs of disasters on television because I normally feel so helpless. For those of you that know me well - I cant stand not to be involved. If it is within my power to help then I want to do so. But normally I dont know how. Well, after the hurricane I was flooded with e-mails from the other staff members - all with the same question in mind: What was student council going to do to help? And then it dawned on me - this is our backyard and now I have the resources available to me to actually make a smidge of a difference. So on top of Homecoming preparations (which I am sorrowfully neglecting) I am in charge of a major part of our school's effort to help our new displaced students and those who are occupying much of our downtown area. We are raising money for the Red Cross everyday - when I get the grand total I will let you know but I can say that just one hallway donated over $100 in one class period. A fellow teacher and I (Mary Shelton) started a "Ranger Tree"(instead of angel tree - we are the Naaman Forest Rangers). We call ourselves the "Rescue Rangers" (dont laugh - alliterations are hard to come by) and the whole staff is contributing to providing the items that the families of our new students need. Its amazing to see the generosity. One man at school got a truck and filled it with 20 pallates of water (well maybe only 12 - he was asking orgainzations to donate but I dont think he received 20 offers) and he drove that down to New Orleans last night. Anyhow - the point is - it is amazing to see the efforts that are going on down here. And boy does it feel good to be able to help.

Well, I am going to go and hang out with my mom so I will leave you with another top 10 list...
10. I dont have to shut the door when I use the bathroom
9. I can listen to whatever music I like
8. I can listen as loud as I like (unless the neighbors complain)
7. I can take as many naps as I want and not have to answer for them
6. I dont HAVE to answer the phone
5. It's tiny and doesnt take long to clean
4. No one tells me when to clean
3. One word - solitude
2. I can lay around in whatever I want and NOT wear makeup
and the number one reason is...
1. I dont have to shut the door when I use the bathroom (yeah - i REALLY like that one)