Saturday, September 29, 2007

Fat Acceptance Blogs

I honestly never really knew that Fat Acceptance (FA) blogs existed until recently.  Now,while I find the "embrace yourself at any size" mentality a nice thought, for many people, it is simply not a reality.

I have striven for years to accept this body.  Myself, I can accept; the person inside.  The way I look at things, approach most situations, my relatively open mind, those things I accept and even like for the most part.  But the vehicle that I have to function in is hindering to say the least. 

Then what happens when this body you are accepting starts to go wrong simply because of what it is?  Weight attributes to many things; cancers, heart problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, joint and back pain.  Do FA people just accept those things too with pride because of they believe in acceptance at any size?

Do not get me wrong.  I believe that all people should accept other people.  I do not think that people should be ridiculed for their weight, color or hairstyle.  But there is a limit to what people will accept for themselves and there should be.  People who have gained weight up to 700 or 800 pounds, who are bedridden should just accept themselves and not do anything and everything to change? 

If all FA people were just about accepting people that would be fine.  I'm all for it.  But what I have seen in doing some blog searching is that some of these FA folks will actually go to the blogs of other people who are pursuing WLS and comment on how they need to accept themselves and how they are endangering their lives, yada, yada, yada.  I take offense to that.  That is one person placing their extreme views on another person that they believe is going to the extreme.  What makes them right and the person pursuing WLS wrong? I think it's wonderful that FA people can accept themselves at any size but that isn't true of all people battling their weight.  It's like they are super heroes out to save the world against the evils of WLS.  But I have to wonder if an angel, a fairy, a gnome, Jiminy Cricket, Santa Claus, whoever, stood in front of one of these FA folks and said "I can make you a healthy weight.", would they really say "No, I like things just the way they are, thanks."

Could I die because of WLS?  Sure.  Could I die as a result of weight?  Absolutely.  If I have to "pick a poison" then I pick the one that is not a definite path to destruction or poor quality of life; surgery.  Also being a Christian, I have a belief that when it is my time to leave this earth, I'm going home to God and I am fine with that. 

Either way, surgery or death, this vehicle is not coming along for the ride.

Friday, September 28, 2007

For the love of Friday

This and That

So as it turns out, we are not going to do six months of Weight Watchers.  After some investigating on Bayview's website (the hospital where our surgeon operates) they offer a program that meets that insurance company need.  The only problem is that they had no space until December, so we are going to start WW next week and do three months of that and then three months at Bayview.  (We have the option of one 6 month structured diet or two 3 month structured diets).  The pros to going to Bayview are that the meetings are once a month instead of weekly and it is only $35 a month as opposed to $12 a week.  It saves us only $26 a month, but we also have the convenience of only going one time a month instead of four.  I'm not a fan of WW, so that makes me happy.  I guess saying that I am not a fan is not quite right; it is just one more program I did a few years ago that in the long run, did not work for me.

We have a weekend of work lying ahead. We just ordered blinds for the downstairs from Budget Blinds, so we are faced with finally having to paint the window sills.  They were painted but when we got new windows recently a while ago two years ago, the paint job got pretty banged up.  I don't mind painting at all, but hate the sanding/chipping etc that goes with making it smooth from the former paint being chipped.  So, that is on the agenda for the weekend.  The blinds will be ready in two weeks and then they come and install them for us and even cart away our old blinds.

Our oldest son is on another lying rampage.  He runs hot or cold and right now, he is red hot.  The lie of the day yesterday was that I got a call from the nurse's office at his school. She said Aaron was in the office and that his toe was pretty gross looking.  Aaron had told her one of our cats bit him.  Luckily, his mother knows him well, so I explained that a cat did not bite him but that he liked to pick at his toenails until they were so low that the bled.  He does the same things to his fingers.  She believed me, which was good as if she hadn't, she would have had to report things to the SPCA.  Not that it would have mattered, as everyone is up to date on their rabies vax, but it was still irritating.  I told him that had I been behind on the shots, as the cats never go outside, the SPCA could have come to take Jonah away to quarentine him to make sure he did not have rabies, while they would start Aaron on a series of injections against the disease.   He was apparently unimpressed, as this morning he lied to me about brushing his teeth and wearing deoderant.  You can't brush your teeth and have a dry toothbrush and the attractive scent of rotten onions that emanated from him when he came home from school sealed the deoderant lie.  I pity the kids who have to sit next to him.  I told him I was following up on him because I am looking for reasons to trust him.  For some reason, this kid just doesn't get it and I'm not always sure if he ever will.

Well, that is all the big news from here.  Hope everyone has a painless Friday and a glorious weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Gee, thanks, Mom

So, I told my mother last night about our plans to have the surgery and she was very supportive.  Which is a good thing, considering...

When I was probably in my late twenties, a little naive and before I had a computer, my mother made a comment to me.  It was "If you had diabetes, the weight would just fall off of you."

Now, at the time, I knew very little about diabetes, but I felt as if she had just given me some hope.  Diabetes?  How can I get it?  If the weight will just "fall off" sign me up!  I went out to have bloodwork done and was sorely disappointed that I was not diabetic, but I held out hope for several years that the magical diagnosis would happen for me.  I figured every fat person in the universe was probably praying for the same thing.

In 2002, my still un-diabetic self started working for a podiatrist and as it turns out, many of our patients were diabetic!  I was insanely jealous, until I started seeing a pattern.  Many of these patients were obese.  Were they not doing diabetes correctly?  Finally, with information and resources at hand, I started asking questions of the doctor and reading some books that were in the office.  It was there that I learned the truth about this disease and I was appalled that it had been wished on me years earlier, first by my mother and then by me.  Further horrors were revealed in seeing patients with horrible ulcers that could often lead to amputation.  Now, armed with information, this was no longer a desirable thing to have.

Ignorance is often a really bad way to go into wanting something, so when it comes to WLS, I am arming myself with knowledge, so that I know what nearly every possible scenario, complication and outcome could be.  Armed with the truth, I have been able to so far make informed decisions, even as I continue to explore my options. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Too bad there is no surgery to give me patience

I hate waiting for things. 

I've been reading other WLS blogs and find my own heart aching to be experiencing what those folks are experiencing.  But I have six months to get through first but still, in the meantime, I want to feel as if I am doing something.  I have my paperwork all ready to be mailed off but am giving the Brit one more night to finish his.  I feel like putting things off at this point is just a waste of time; I need to feel like this could possibly be a reality and in order to do that, something needs to be happening.  I need to be waiting to hear about a consultation with the surgeon or I need to be making a decision about what diet program we are doing.  Waiting when I am doing all I can is one thing; waiting when there are things I could be doing is another altogether.

The six months is going to be hard enough, but in that time, I can get certain required appointments out of  the way, which should help with time passing.  Add to that the fact that we are having lots of company in November and December and that will also help time to pass.  I'll also be figuring out how to sell on eBay because once weight starts falling off, there will be clothing that needs to be sold.

The six months will also be a little bit of a mourning time too, I suppose.  A last Thanksgiving and Christmas to eat crap I will no longer be able to eat much, if any of, once surgery happens.  I'm not even sure I'll really miss it.  I think that feeling healthy and having energy will taste so much better than chocolate blossom cookies or pumpkin pie.  I think a lot of the stuff I chose to snack on now, is partially out of an unhappiness with myself anyway.  I almost develops a "Who cares?" attitude.  I'm already fat, so what's another donut?

I don't want to feel that way or be that person any longer than I have to.  I wish I could lose weight by dieting, but for years that has proven to be fruitless.  I lose a little, put that plus more back on in a constant vicious cycle that has probably taken a toll on my body and my metabolism.  I have spent so much time, dreaming about being healthier and being able to do things that I want to do...I can't even describe to you how hopeless I have felt after another failed attempt. 

All my life, I have just wanted to be normal.  To not be the kid that people made fun of, or the teenager who was tormented by a few bullies or at times even close friends.  Isn't it sad, that even our friends when we are younger will use our weight to hurt us if they are angry?  And that hurts so much more than some bully saying something cruel. Even family is not exempt from making comments as if I am completely unaware of my weight problem.  

 I never really wanted people to pay attention to me for my body, but on the other hand, I never wanted to be ignored because my weight either and there is a difference.  I don't want to turn heads; I want to be comfortable in my own skin and I never have been.  41 years and I have never been comfortable with my body.  What a horrible place to be.  It's the one physical thing that goes through this life here with me, and I don't particularly like it.  Oh, there are parts I like; my eyes, my hair, my fingers and my heart and mind are pretty good emotionally.  But when it comes to traveling in it, it pretty much sucks. 

Does my entire happiness lie on my weight?  No, of course not.  I have found ways to be happy in this life with little effort, but I do think that part of that is because I often ignore what pains me.  Don't think about it, because you will be happier if you don't.  But now half my life is gone and here we are, still struggling to find a place where I can accept myself entirely.

Granted, it is difficult to accept myself when society as a whole doesn't accept weight issues as a real problem.  Fat people are lazy and just lie around eating bon bons all day.  Not all of us.   Society can be sympathetic to other problems, but not to weight. Some people are and some are starting to recognize it as a disease and how can it not be?  How can some people eat what they want and not gain a pound and other people eat like birds and manage to lose ten pounds?  There are things that are not right in our genetic makeup.  I didn't spend most of my life fat and not try to do a thing about it.  Much on the contrary; I tried almost everything. 

Six months to dream and hope and pray. 

Update: As of 7:30pm, our forms for the surgeon  are in the mailbox at the end of the street.  Once they review them, they will set up a consult with us.  Now to just pin down what diet program we are going with...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Sleeping with Bread

I don't know if what I am going to write for tonight's SWB post really qualifies as sleeping with bread, but here goes.

Obviously, I have been all consumed with WLS once again and feeling much more confident thus far in the decision to pursue it.  I've always been the kind of person who gets an idea into her head and then can hardly think of anything else until the thought either comes to fruitation or something causes me to change my mind about it altogether.  I do worry a lot though about telling people and I don't think I'm going to tell many people.  Obviously, the friends who read here will know about it, but I would prefer for the majority of the folks at church to not know.  The main reason is simply that I firmly believe that many people do not have a real understanding of the surgery or why someone would get it.  I can say this honestly because I used to be one of those people, though I never viewed surgery as " the easy way out".  There is nothing "easy" about major surgery, possible complications and a complete change in eating for the rest of one's life.  The thing is, if you have never battled weight, you probably do have little understanding and I've been over that before on this blog so I won't rehash it now.  But I do fear people judging me for the decision who would have little to no understanding on what my life of one diet to the next has been for thirty-something years.  People who never battle weight take little things for granted that I simply cannot do, so that is what my SWB is about today.  It's a bit of a "Wish list" of things to be grateful for in the future that I can only dream about doing tonight.  What I am least grateful for is the fact that I cannot do these things now.


  1. Being able to get on and off the floor easily.

  2. Being able to breathe normally when going up a flight of stairs.

  3. Being able to fit comfortably in any chair, anyplace.

  4. Being able to bicycle again.

  5. Having energy

  6. Not having to use a CPAP in order to sleep.

  7. Not having to worry about being at increased risk for certain cancers

  8. Being able to feel confident

  9. Not feeling like my weight is keeping me from achieving things I want to achieve

  10. No longer having my ankles swell

  11. Crossing my legs or even sitting cross-legged

  12. Taking a bath instead of a shower

  13. Sitting in a booth

  14. Horseback riding

  15. Being able to ride amusement park rides with my kids

  16. No more knee pain

  17. No more back pain

  18. No more heel pain

  19. Garden

  20. Not feeling constantly self conscious

  21. Being able to exercise without feeling like I'm dying

  22. Being the person outside that I am on the inside

  23. Being able to live to the full potential God has planned for me

  24. Not being at increased risk for heart attacks or diabetes

  25. Being comfortable in my own skin

I know I'll think of more as time goes on, but for now, that is a start.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bring it on

In the course of the next week, I need to make a decision about which structured diet program I'm going to go with.  It's narrowed down to TOPS or Weight Watchers.  Both I have issues with, but I need to chose.

Weight Watchers cost, I think, like $10 a week, which is a negative.  On the plus side, however, I believe there are MANY meetings each week of which to chose one that would suit my schedule and/or the Brit's schedule.  We could even attend different meetings if need be. 

TOPS is cheaper, but meetings are much more restrictive.  There are only six possible meetings each week, most of them either early morning like 7:30 or later morning like 11:00.  The only evening one is the one my mother attends, and family, do not utter a word to her, but I cannot do the same meetings my mama does.  The stress of that would come close to killing me, but then I could take that near death experience that God does not want me to have this surgery.  All the others interfere with either getting a kid to school or work, but there is always the option of leaving work to attend once a week and making up the time.  Kind of a pain for me, but it could be done.

So that decision needs to be made next week so that we can begin in October, which would mean the earliest I would even be eligible for surgery would be March, but it would probably more realistically be April.  Then if the Brit and I are going to take this Alaskan cruise next summer, that should give adequate  healing time to be off of just liquids, I hope.  My plan would be to get this thing rolling next month and try to set up with the surgeon in December, which would be the halfway mark so I can see what he requires.

I think I have picked Dr. Michael Schweitzeras my surgeon.  He comes recommended from someone I know who has had the surgery, plus he is part of Johns Hopkins, which has an excellent reputation.  I haven't yet contacted the office at all, but may do that next week to schedule an initial appointment.

I'm not feeling the fear I felt last time I started pursuing this, but it could still come and go and come again.  I have been doing a lot of blog reading and people do really well with this surgery.  Does the entire way you eat change for the rest of your life?  Yes, but bring it on.  I am so tired of all this.  It seems I have constant pain that I have become pretty good about ignoring.  I have a right heel spur that has been killing me, my knees are in terrible shape, every morning I wake up to lower back pain that drives me from my bed often before I am ready to get up and start the day.  I have sleep apnea and have to wear one of those sexy masks to bed every night.  I get winded walking up stairs.  I can't do a lot of the things I want to do and I'm missing out because of this.

I have been on every diet known to man, including both Weight Watchers and TOPS.  When Oprah first lost all her weight on that liquid crap, my mother dragged me to Winchester to a hospital where they were giving an orientation to her program.  We couldn't afford it, but I was there to hear about it.  I have made a career out of yoyo dieting and if I got paid for it, I'd be a millionaire. 

I was reading a blog today that gave two quotes I loved.  The first was "If there's magic in fighting battles beyond endurance, it's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you."
- Million Dollar Baby -

The second one was from the Bible: "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed."--Deuteronomy 31:8

I find both of these very profound and very comforting.

I hope ya'll have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

De javu

Since coming back from the alternate universe, I have not given WLS much thought again until lately.  Now, I am there again, considering, reading blogs, lurking on message boards, trying to make a decision. 

The fact is, I can only go so long without starting to wonder what it would be like to be a "normal" size and I honestly do not believe that I will ever experience that without undergoing surgery.  I waffle a lot about it for so many different reasons, the greatest probably being from a Christianity standpoint.  But I also have to surrender to the thought of "If God gets me to it, He will get me through it."  If He doesn't want this to happen for me, He can intervene anyway He so desires.

So, the fact remains that I have to chose a structured diet program because that is an insurance requirement, despite the fact that I don't want to do it at all.  I've had weight issues since I was six for goodness sake.  I know, I know; then what is six more months?  Well, based upon my two week turn around in July from "I want this surgery" to "I'm scared to death, what was I thinking?" six months will give me time to go back and forth approximately twelve more times.  Woot.

I'm going to talk to the Brit to see where he stands with things and then discuss with him the diet program I/we want to do.  Life's a journey; I'd just like to be relatively normal for at least part of it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Surrender

My kids are kicking my butt today.

It was only under two weeks ago that Aaron came home upset about a bullying problemat school.  That one was addressed and the problem seems to be under control but apparently the bullies tag team each other.  When one is temporarily put out of commission, he calls another one so that the next kid can pick up where he left off.  

So today, he came in the door with a look on his face that said there was a problem and that I was supposed to ask what the problem was.  I resisted the temptation to not ask at all and I asked and apparently some kid tried to grab Aaron's good behavior bucks (which are the worst idea schools have ever come up with IMHO.  Little pieces of paper that wind up everywhere from on the floor to in the laundry) and when Aaron stopped him the kid wrapped his arm around Aaron's neck and started "choking" him.  I'm not sure if it was actual choking but apparently it was enough to scare him and he started bawling during  the retelling of the story.

So, I again have emailed the school and am waiting for a response.

Once that crisis was averted for the moment, then JJ came home all tearful because he is apparently sucking in math.  Two test grades: a 50% and a 60%.  He has been doing just fine on the homework, so I don't know if the tests are freezing him up or what.  Then he tried to convince me that he put down the right answers and his teacher must have changed them (He is nothing if not creative).  When I made the attempt to help him by finding out how he does his counting (as he only has five real fingers) he elected just to cry and pout and stick to his story about the teacher sting operation that was going on in his classroom.  I've decided to leave that one for the Brit to deal with.

Since then, they have been outside and Aaron has been inside nothing short of five times with some complaint about a bicycle..."I can't get the nut on", "I lost a nut", "I don't know what to do about this front tire", "Maybe I should just sell the bike as what is the point of having two bikes when I can't ride either of them?" Then there has been the constant barrage of yelling and screaming at each other that has been taking place outside.  Add to all of this that Aunt Flo is visiting and stick a fork in me, I'm about done.  I still need to cook dinner for these little ungrateful urchins.  I love them, I do, but 9:00 get here already!  Mom needs it to be bedtime!

If I trade in two kids, how many cats do you think I can get for them?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

With every promise I would ever need

*The discussion below is based on the thoughts of the author and does not reflect the beliefs of the entire world.

One of the things we have been discussing of late is in regards to the Bible.  Now, I firmly believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God.  No doubt about it.  However, I do not believe that the Bible is inerrant.  My thoughts behind this are both simple and complicated.

What I know about the Bible, other than it being the inspired word of God, is that it was written by people and I haven't met a person yet that is inerrant.  I believe that the Bible is a wonderful collection of true stories about people's relationships with God, especially the Old Testament.  The OT combines history with how people related to God in that time.  Today, all believers could very well write a chapter in a book about our relationship with our Creator.  I have MANY stories I could tell about how God has worked in my life and I could and in some instances, have put them down on paper.  Would the writings be perfect?  No.  There are often some parts of a story that may be hearsay, or there could be a part of it where I believe I know exactly what God was trying to tell me, but it is my interpretation. 

A chief example of this can be found in asking the question "How did Judas die?"  The Bible gives two separate accounts:

Matthew 27:5-8 says, "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." The chief priests picked up the coins and said, "It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money." So they decided to use the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day." Acts 1:18-19 says, "With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood." Which is correct? Did Judas hang himself or did he fall? Did Judas buy the field or did the priests buy the field?

Judas hung himself in the potters field (Matthew 27:5) and then after his body decayed and bloated, evidently the rope broke and he burst into pieces on the land of the potters field (Acts 1:18-19). Acts 1:18-19 presumes Judas' a man falling down in a field does not result in his body bursting open. Only decomposition and a fall from a height could cause a body to burst open. When Judas threw the thirty pieces of silver down, the priests took the money and used it to buy the potter's field (Matthew 27:7), not knowing that Judas was going to hang himself there. Judas may not have purchased the field himself, but it was the money Judas received for betraying Jesus that purchased the field.

There are a lot of assumptions here.  Maybe he did hang himself, the rope broke and he burst into pieces on a rock, but we don't know for certain.  Quite possibly two authors had different information about it.  Maybe one actually witnessed something and the other heard the gossip from someone else and wrote it down as he heard it.  We have no way of knowing.  What I do believe is that Judas was overcome with guilt for betraying his Lord and took his own life.  Basically, that is the most important part, but the example shows that those who wrote the Bible could be fallible.  God is perfect.  People are not.

The other thing we've been talking about is when in reading the Bible there are people who take every single word literally.  Now, they may be right, but my thoughts on this are that we are limiting ourselves if that is the only way we chose to read it.

The writers in Biblical times could not have imagined the state the world is in today nor how far we've come (some of it to our own detriment).  They could not have imagined fast cars and highways and airplanes because they did not yet exist.  But there were certain things that did exist in that time that no longer exist today (again, folks, my opinions).  Women were treated at a much lower standard than men were.  It was acceptable to have slaves.  These are only two examples, but both show a sign of the times.  It's the way things were back then and the authors knew of nothing else and even if God had described to them some of the things that would one day be in existence, do you really think they could have truly imagined it?  Probably not. 

So if I were to read the Bible and take everything at absolute literal value, then I should never talk to people about God in church.  I should be silent.  But here is where my relationship with God comes into play.  The God I know and love I truly don't think would mind one iota if I were to introduce someone to Him.  God would have to do the calling, but I am capable of an introduction, or of answering questions a visitor might have about God. 

There are female ministers out there who have a wonderful spiritual gift of being able to preach the Gospel.  I believe that is a gift that only God could give and in many cases, He chose to give it to a woman and she would be doing a disservice to Him to not use it to further God's kingdom.  There is also a common sense element for me.  Do I really think God would care whether or not a man or a woman preaches the Gospel to bring more people to Him?  Wouldn't God find it much more important that people are brought to Him?

My other problem with taking every word literally is that it limits us in using God's word for today's world.  I believe that there are hundreds of things in the Bible that are relevant for my life today, despite the fact that the words were written hundreds of years ago.  I think that in many ways if we read every word the way it was literally meant by an author who lived in a different place in time, we are just reading a story.  But if we read those words and ask God to give us what He wants to give us from those words, it opens up endless possibilities.  Maybe Joseph being thrown into a pit by those he loves is today me, who has been thrown into a pit by a situation that I have gotten myself into.  Or Thomas doubting Jesus is a friend who is struggling with trusting in God for her life?  I would just so much rather read the Bible with an open heart instead of with a narrow view. 

Many people may not agree with me, but that's okay.  If I believe that the Bible is timeless, then isn't it a valid thought that God could show one hundred people the same verse and each person would get something different out of it, depending on where they are in their lives and what they are going through in that moment? 

I vote yes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sleeping with Bread

I've spent a bit of time taking a good, hard look at my blogging life and I realize that since April, I have been doing myself a bit of a disservice.  Some of you may recall that April was when this blog came under attack by some folks whose opinions differ from mine and though I am not going to rehash that particular episode, the fact remains that I erred on the side of caution since then and I now regret it.

I have always had this insane need for people for like me as I have mentioned once before and in addition to that, I have had this irrational fear of un-invited confrontation.  So when this whole thing blew up, it made me not only angry, but shocked me enough that I began to measure nearly every word I typed just in case someone was reading.  The bottom line was that I was no longer comfortable in my own home, metaphorically speaking.  I felt like I was under scrutiny, especially when some folks elected to draw my blog to the attention of people who would have never known it existed in the first place.

I'm not going to be measuring what I say anymore, especially when it comes down to faith and my relationship with God.  I'm not going to let anyone else decide that what I feel, believe, or think is "wrong" just because we have a difference in opinion. 

Part of the reason this came about is that we have been discussing some things in staff meetings or in Sunday School that have been thought provoking on their own, yet I was worried about discussing them because they also, unfortunately, indirectly relate to events that happened in our church two years ago.  Is that the reason I find these things so thought provoking?  Maybe.  It's hard to say how I would relate to these things had events not happened as they did, but the fact remains that those things did happen and because they did happen, going forward there will always be some topics that will trip my curiousity.  We are forever changed by our life experiences and the exodus is one of the things that shaped who I am today.  And believe it or not, I'm thankful for that on this Sleeping with Bread Monday. 

Despite in the past, having feelings of anger, bitterness and hurt, I would not change who I am right now because of it as that time has allowed amazing things to happen in my faith walk.  Amazing things.  Would it have been better had I gotten to where I am today without the negative connotations that happened almost two years ago?  Absolutely, but that is not how the chips fell.  We are all individuals with free will and no one always uses it positively, no matter how good their intentions.  But we all muddle through, doing the best we can and there but for the grace of God go I. 

It was recently discussed that many people use the phrase "God loves me despite myself."  No.  That isn't right.  God loves me.  Period.  He created me and has continued to shape and mold me to who He wants me to be today and He uses the means to mold me that He sees fit to use and the experiences that God brings me to are sometimes of positive impact and sometimes of negative impact.  Who am I to question how He does it?  All I really know is that I am closer to Him now than I was two years ago.

It's a relationship that is always growing and evolving and for that I am so glad to be baking today in His honor. 

I've got some stuff I want to talk about; some views I want to express.  I'm sorry I've been holding back on them, but I guess I've been a little busy as in this case, I was not the clay for the Potter, but maybe the bread for the Baker.

Friday, September 14, 2007


It's been a week.

Last weekend, the Brit was pretty sick or at least, pretty sick for a man.  Bad enough that he didn't go into work on Monday and left early on Tuesday before resuming his normal activities on Wednesday.  My week started with incredible foot pain stemming from a heel spur that flares up from time to time and Monday, I could hardly walk on it.  I made an appointment for my favorite podiatrist, but she was booked up until October, and though I am tough, I'm not sure I could have stomached trying to walk on nails for a month.  The receptionist kindly offered to set me up with a relatively new doctor to the practice and desperate means calls for desperate measures.

The new doc, did all the stuff the normal doc did, but not quite as well, at least in my opinion, but it could have just been me.  The injection in my heel hurt way more than I ever remember it hurting before and the low dye strapping was so loose it was relatively pointless and I left the office $40 poorer and in just as much pain as before, though Tylenol seems to keep it under control.  The flare up probably comes from my summer rebellion of never wearing anything but sandals and by fall, I am paying the price.

The rest of the week was a mad rush of meetings, arguing with my oldest child, dealing with tantrums of my youngest child over his refusal to want to do homework and by
Wednesday, I could feel it happening.  The rough cough and the constant tickle in my throat and I knew I'd be sick just in time for the weekend.  So this morning, sure enough, I felt like the living dead and in getting ready for work, happened to notice that Alex's right paw looked like a kitty catcher's mit, so I had to work a vet trip into the morning as well.  They think she got bitten by something and we are giving her kitty drugs and an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling.  If it doesn't improve she is back next week for radiographs.

So, it's Friday, I'm sick, ordering dinner tonight and don't plan on letting anything interfere with my lying around time.   Hope ya'll have a good one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Never Forget

Six years ago today, the sun was shining.  Today, it rained and it seems appropriate somehow.  Six years ago today, I was unemployed as I had been downsized from my job of 12 years in corporate America hell and the Brit and I were still living in our very cool, historical apartment.  I was still asleep, when the phone rang.

It was the Brit, telling me to turn on the television as one of the guys at work had heard something about a plane accident involving the World Trade Center.  I stumbled from the bed and switched on the tv in the bedroom and images of the north tower of the Trade Center flood the screen.  My eyes, still bleary from sleep, try to take it all in as I stammer to the Brit what it is I am seeing.  Smoke, more than anything.  I ask him again what happened and he tells me it has something to do with a plane. 

Why on earth was a plane flying so low, I wondered and probably even voiced aloud to him.  I think my mind came to the conclusion that the unfortunate pilot must have lost control of the aircraft or something went wrong.  I turned up the volume so the Brit could hear it as well.  The media just kept repeating what I had already known; a plane had hit the tower.

Minutes later, I was certain my eyes were deceiving me film footage showed another plane flying into the south tower. 

"Oh my God!"

The Brit asked what it was and I stammered out that another plane had hit the second tower.  For the first time in the ten or so minutes I had been watching, a coldness settled on my heart and seemed to flow through my body.  Two planes was no accident. 

I can't remember now if I stayed on the phone with the Brit or if we kept calling each other as new information rolled in.  The Pentagon was hit as well.  We were under attack and I was terrified, along with everyone else in America.  I know I was on the phone with him when the first tower collapsed.  I can almost remember my words, as my mind continued to reel with shock.

"The tower just folded in on itself!"

"What do you mean?"

"That's what it looked just collapsed on itself!"

A forth plane in Pennsylvania and the country is in a panic.  But even in the early moments, heroes began to emerge.  That plane was not supposed to go down in a field.  Something had gone wrong with the plan of whoever was behind this.

The morning stretched on.  I got on the computer, desperately trying to make contact with friends.  My mind was telling me that it was possible that the end of the world had come, or that maybe there had been more attacks in more places we didn't know about yet.  I was desperate to make contact with friends who lived far away.  I chatted with Jo, who lived in NY, relief filling me to find out she was all right, but every bit as in shock as I was.  My phone kept ringing; friends, the Brit, family. 

I was afraid to be alone any longer.  I was just plain afraid.  Groceries were on my agenda for the day, so I set out for the store.  Now, I think about how odd that in the face of such a disaster that maybe I was searching for something that felt normal.  That and the fact that I wanted to be around other people.

Walmart was as deserted as I have ever seen it and even there, the televisions continued to broadcast coverage.  I felt numb.  On the way home, the radio station played "God Bless the USA" and I finally cried.

Those were my memories of that day six years ago.  In the days that followed, I couldn't sleep once the Brit left for work and he used to leave for work very early in the morning, like 5:30 or 6:00.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, certain that I was hearing planes flying overhead, certain that any minute, one of them would crash into our house.  I feared the Brit's office building might be a fears were endless.

I don't ever want to forget that day and I NEVER want to become blase about it.  It was the worst thing to ever happen in my lifetime and it forever changed who I was.  It changed my security.

I never want to forget and neither should you.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sleeping with Bread Monday

I figured that as I am now reading the actual Sleeping with Bread book, I should probably resurrect this for my blog!

For those of your still a bit confused about SWB, I can't give you too much else as I have just started the book but each Monday I do SWB, I'll try to give you a little bit of background as I read.  What I have learned so far is that SWB is a way to describe The Examen.  The Examen is basically this, as quoted from the book:

For many years we have ended each day the same way.  We light a candle, become aware of God's loving presence, and take about five minutes of quiet while we each ask ourselves two questions:

For what moment today am I most grateful?
For what moment today am I least grateful?

I'm still working on fully understanding it myself as I read the book, so stay tuned for more insight in the weeks to come.

But for today, for what moment am I most grateful?

Our prayer group had its second meeting today and I see myself growing to dearly love this group.  We share, we talk, we pray and in those prayers, I find myself not only growing more comfortable with praying aloud, but gathering strength for myself as well as being able to feel God's presence through the group and the prayers.   I am very thankful and grateful for that hour and a half tonight that was intimate, both with God and with the other participants.

For what moment today am I least grateful?

I don't like feeling helpless but there are times when we are just powerless to do anything other than pray.  A teenager is hurting because she has been hurt by a parent and she is rebelling in the best possible way; she wants to go to a different church from her family.  I guess I just feel that there are way worse ways she could be rebelling!  However, though I am privy to this information, I can do very little to offer her advice, simply because I am an adult and it would not look right for me to be in the midst of this.  So, though I am least grateful for the temporary feeling of helplessness and sadness on behalf of this young person, I  can still think of our prayer group, where we raised this person and her family up tonight before I was even aware of the latest struggles.  And because of that, I am simply prompted to keep standing in the gap for this young woman.

I want to end tonight with some song lyrics that speak of standing in the gap and this goes out to this teenager.

 heard that you were hurting
That you were suffering pain
But I didn't dare just turn my head
And look the other way
For when your heart is aching
My heart is aching too
Let me help you bear your burden
That's the least that I can do

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you

Right now you may be troubled
But everything will work out fine
For the Spirit knows before you speak
What is on your heart and mind
So I'll be interceding
Til your standing strong again
The peace that passes understanding
Is going to be yours, but until then

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you

So hang on my friend
It won't be long
And you have the strength
To carry on
For when two or three are walking together
It will be a much lighter load
For isn't that what a brother and a sister are for?

I'll be standing in the gap for you
Just remember someone, somewhere is praying for you
Calling out your name
Praying for your strength
I'll be standing in the gap for you

Saturday, September 8, 2007


So with less than two months to Nanowrimo, I've been making plans.  I know my novel will be in the Christian Fiction genre and my lead characters are slowly evolving.  One of the things that most intrigues me about Nanowrimo is that it is a fly by the seat of your pants approach to writing, which I have always preferred actually.  I've always liked having a rough plot and then allowing the story to lead, which in my past experience, that is precisely what happened. 

I also want my story to be a little bit edgier than most Christian fiction, which basically means that often I can tell with many CCF novels, what is going to happen before it ever happens and that certain situations are either not normally dealt with or are lightly touched upon.  I want something more than that.  I want it to deal with more touchy subject matter, while still keeping things clean with a focus on Christ. 

I waffled last year about doing Nanowrimo and instead opted for Nablopomo, but after successfully blogging everyday last year in the month of November, it is time for the true challenge of my heart; a novel.  Only fear has kept me from writing something for publication before, despite the fact that I have written some decent things in my life and have had teachers tell me I would one day be a writer.  But a combination of fear of rejection and just the magnitude of what it takes to write a book has kept me from trying. 

I read  a lot of Christian Fiction and some of it is wonderful and some of it, I only find mediocre.  I recently read a few books by a very successful CCF author who bases stories on the Amish and where I found the history and the Amish way of life portrayal fascinating, the actual plot left me cold and at times really wrestling with understanding the main character and her motives.  I read many CCF books and know that I can tell a story at least that well.

So, for November (I know it is still two months away) I don't know how much blogging I'll be doing, what with needing to write 50,000 words in thirty days and all.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Isn't it interesting how we can get a reminder the day before we actually need it?

Tonight at dinner, the Brit and I had to pry out of Aaron the reason he suddenly wanted to ride his bike to school (which we immediately decided against, but we knew he had to have a reason other than "Because I want to.").  There is apparently this kid, who has caused numerous bus issues even last year resulting in suspension from the bus off and on, who has been picking on him...both from a personal level and by saying things about us, his parents.  As my stomach twisted into knots at the dinner table, already certain of what was to come, the Brit started talking to Aaron assuming that the kid had said we weren't Aaron's real parents.  No, I knew that wasn't it.

The truth finally came out that the kid had made comments about our weight, which is a little bit interesting as we have never set eyes on this child before and the kid doesn't even use the same bus stop as Aaron. 

It made me angry though and not because the comments were partially about me, but because I dislike bullies so much.  My opinion is that most bullies are simply kids who are bullied themselves either at home or at school and in turn have to bully someone else to feel like a big shot.  I hate it.

So we had the talk about ignoring a bully 100% of the time and if the kid made any threats or did anything physical, then Aaron was to tell the nearest adult and I also emailed the school because the bully was also throwing things at him in one of his classes.  Sorry, that way doesn't work for me.

A week ago, knowing some smart alec kid was making comments about my weight would probably have bothered me if for no other reason because it would drudge up my own not so fond memories of being teased in school by occasional bullies.  But see, yesterday in our staff meeting, one of the things that came up was Psalm 139 where it says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."  Wonderfully made.  I am wonderfully made because God created me.  He knit me together in my mother's womb and even the hairs on my head are numbered.  I'm not a mistake.  God loves me, just as I am because I was made in his image.   How incredible is that?

Oh sure, I need to lose weight for health reasons; I'm not denying that.  But ya know, what God loves me for who I am, what do I care what some mean spirited 7th grader thinks?  I only pray that one day this kid will understand the love and acceptance of God.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Music and Lyrics

I have a new favorite song.  Actually, I always have several new favorite songs and some of the songs may not even be new, simply new to me.

I've always had an incredible passion for music.  I am not a gifted singer and I can't play an instrument, but music has always touched me deeply and has made me feel things that spoken words sometimes cannot.  There are just often times songs that remind me of things or make me think about things in a way I had not thought of them before.  There is nothing like a song to bring tears to my eyes or make me smile or just allow a feeling of deep peace and contentment to come over me. 

The song that is currently striking where I am in my life is one Paula introduced to me when I was making the movie for our graduates at church.  The song is called "Time (Wait for me) by Chantal Kreviazuk and I'm going to share the lyrics with you (the tune is very catchy if you can find it as well).

Time, where did you go?
Why did you leave me here alone?
Wait, don’t go so fast
I’m missing the moments as they pass
Now I’ve looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
So wait for me this time
I’m down I’m down on my knees I’m begging for all your sympathy
But you (I’m just an illusion) you don’t seem to care (I wish that I could)
You humble people everywhere (I don’t mean to hurt you)
Now I’ve looked in the mirror and the worlds getting clearer
I’ll take what you give me. please know that I’m learning
So wait for me this time
I should’ve know better
I shouldn’t have wasted those days
And afternoons and mornings
I threw them all away
Now this is my time
I’m going to make this moment mine.
(I shouldn’t have wasted those days)
I’ll take what you give me. please know that I’m learning
I’ve looked in the mirror
My world’s getting clearer
So wait for me this time

The song just reminds me that all we really have is today and that if we are constantly looking for something to change or become better before we can truly start living then we are going to lose so much time.  We're only here on an errand, remember, even though so many of the gifts we are given while here are incredible.  I don't want to miss the moments because I am too consumed with tomorrow.  I want to enjoy each moment shared with a friend or my family. I want to be able to make small differences in lives right now and to not always keep dreaming about the "big thing" I'm going to do one day.  Today, right now, this moment is the only one that matters.

So, there you go.  Just in case you are interested, my other favorites of the moment are:

"Walking her Home" Mark Schultz (it makes me cry but in a beautiful, happy way)
"How to Save a Life" The Fray
"When You Come Back Down" Nickel Creek