Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ignorant Bliss

I often wonder lately why I can't just live in what I call "ignorant bliss". Or maybe it's called denial, but denial means that you're aware of something, but choose not to face it. Ignorant bliss is more of the "what you don't know can't hurt you" mind set.

As I look around at people, I realize that most of us have some sort of dysfunction in our lives. And most of the people I observe are able to just go on living in it without even acknowledging that they have issues. I wish I could put on the denial lenses and get on with my life. But if I do that, I am only living partially up to my potential, and well, dysfunction is exhausting! I've tried that route before, and when the scales are tilted and unbalanced, it can be exhausting for the person carrying the heavier load. It comes down to each individual taking responsibility for themselves, and expecting it from each other.

That's what grown ups do..... "A mature, complete adult not only takes responsibility for himself, but also requires the same from the people he loves" ~Henry Cloud.

It can be painful to hear the truth from someone you love. It can be painful to hold the person you love accountable. At times it's not easy to take responsibility for ourselves, and sometimes it's even harder to set the limits needed to help someone we love take responsibility for themselves.

Growth is never without some pain.

Wounds from a sincere friend
are better than many kisses from an enemy. Proverbs 27:6

Monday, January 25, 2010


Just a thought.....

So many people make resolutions to change at the beginning of the year and as the earth warms up and the promise of spring is seen in small glimpses on warm January days. But what we fail to ask ourselves is why are we changing?

The true litmus test of change is this.... are you changing for yourself or for other people?

"If your wife and kids were no longer in your life, would you go back to using drugs?"

"If your boyfriend breaks up with you, do you keep going to counseling?"

"If your wife divorces you anyway, do you click back on that porn site?"

"If your.....(you fill in the blank)."

Yes, accountability is good, and sometimes it takes circumstances brought on by events in our lives to get us moving.

But when the dust settles, what do you do?

Are you really trying to be more like Jesus, or are you just saving face,
appeasing the world and those around you?

Friday, January 22, 2010


Last night I sat down to relax for a little while before going to bed. My definition of relax is probably a little different than yours since I typically "relax" in the midst of a chaotic household of 6 people.

Last night was different, just me and the 2 year old, watching TV, and he wasn't watching, just me. He was totally engrossed in my laptop which was on the "Thomas and Friends" website... "Watch Thomas on puter Momma?" he asked me.

I ended up watching "The Real Housewives of Orange County" (not Orange County, Virginia!). I got to thinking about TV these days, all of the reality shows. How did we get to this place? We thrive on other peoples real life drama. We're watching these people to see how they handle life's dramas. I know some of you are saying that it's entertaining to watch, and you're not getting pointers on life. I used to think that too:
  • I watched "Tori and Dean" because I like her and we had babies together.
  • I watched the "Girls Next Door" because I think deep down inside Heff is just a big teddy bear with very twisted values that have been skewed by his wealth.
  • I watched "Family Jewels" because I felt sorry for Shannon and I liked Gene's sarcasm.
  • I watched "Jon and Kate Plus 8" because I'm a mom and a nurse, and I liked Kate, most of the time.
  • I watched "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" because Kim has a big butt and so do I, and if she's beautiful, well..... you get the picture.
  • "18 Kids and Counting" the only reality people that actually appear to have good values, they claim to be Christ followers. But once again, they add the "Freak" factor to what it means to be a Christ follower (I don't like the label "Christian").
  • "Cake Boss", now that show is reality, if you were raised in a big Italian Family (and I was)!
I could go on and on. I'd like to be in a reality show myself....
  • "The Real Housewives of Powhatan, Virginia" or
  • "No One Lives Next Door" or
  • "Me Plus 5 Dependents" (Oops, I just heard the little voice of Alec in my head saying "Mom, I thought we don't do sarcasm anymore?").
As I watched last night, I saw things in a different light. I put on my God Glasses. I felt sorry for them. For the first time I could see clearly how short sighted they are, so focused on the here and now, so hopeless. It made me feel a little nauseous, in a nervous scared kind of way. I saw them searching for something, expecting their money or husband or boyfriend of the week to provide that. And when this human being or worldly object couldn't come through, there was tragedy. It sounds like a movie, and in the end they get what they want and live happily ever after! But this is real life........

How many of us live our lives expecting, praying , hoping, wishing for someone to come along and take the pain away, or a large sum of money to alleviate all of the problems??
"Why can't my wife love me more?"
"Why can't my husband make more money?"
"She's not affectionate, she doesn't care."
"He doesn't want to spend time with me, he doesn't care."
"If we only had more money, it would be ok."
"Why does bad stuff always happen to me?"
"It's all your fault!"

When I put on my God Glasses, I see what He must see. We flounder, grasping at what ever we can to make the bad stuff go away. God doesn't want that.............

"It's gonna be ok, my beloved child. Grab hold of me. I'm right here. I know it hurts, things are bad for you right now, but we're gonna get through this. I have plans for you... if you trust me. Trust me. Stop looking at them, stop comparing me to them. I'm not like them. Let me love you. Why are you running from me? I'm not the enemy, my child, it's not me. He wants you to think it is. You don't need to prove yourself to me, you don't have to earn my love, you don't have to be worthy of my love. I don't care about what you did in the past. Let it go. I have never rejected you, I was there, even when the bad stuff happened. It's ok, it doesn't change my love for you. I knew you before you were conceived, and I have had a plan for you since the beginning of time. Stop trying to figure out what's gonna happen, let it go and hold on to me. I promise, you won't be sorry. I am for you, my child, my love. "

Friday, January 15, 2010

43 Years Ago

It's my Birthday. What is it about birthdays that make you ponder life. I woke up, like any other morning, basically crawling to the coffee maker (I have a Keurig one cup coffee maker). I was wondering, like every morning, why I am the only one in the world who has to get up before the sun rises to either get kids off to school or go to work.

Made my first cup, turned to get milk from the fridge, and saw the flowers my husband had left on the counter. Something clicked in my brain, "Oh yeah, it's my birthday". I don't feel like I just turned 32 today (that's if 29 is 40). I think I should do something different this year. I never make New Year's resolutions, I think they're stupid. They always focus on what we shouldn't do, or a list of 20 things that I need to do to be happy in addition to the 20 million things I already do.

So, as I was driving the kids to school, after we saw Officer Jackson hiding with his radar on and Samantha said "Mom, how many tickets has he given you anyway?", I started to think about the next year of my life. And it's only 2 tickets.... from him. I'm not a fast driver, I'm just ADD, and my mind tends to wander when I'm driving and before I know it, I'm going 75 in a 55!

I made a decision that 2010 is going to be different! This is the year of "doing",the year of "more God, less me", the year of "rise above the BS", the year of "no more wasted potential", the year of "strengthening my friends". No, I'm not starting a ministry or small group. I'm not teaching a class about it. I'm going to live it, one day at a time.

I believe creative people have interesting backgrounds, kind of like nurses. I think that your past directly influences your creativity. I think that if creative people fully understood the gifts that God gave us, we would have less wasted potential. But creativity threatens the enemy, and so many creative types are under the influence of oppression and don't even no it! Because we are tortured by our past, or are caught up in the crap of a bad relationship, or are overwhelmed because we over commit ourselves, even when we are doing it for good reasons! We make bad choices that consume us. It's all a distraction from the life God wants us to live. See, God made us for HIM, for HIS purposes, he gifted us with unique talents and personalities so HE could use them through us. God's not meant to fit into MY schedule somewhere, when I have time, when I'm not consumed by arguing with my husband and yelling at my children, or gossiping at work and feeling important because I'm involved in a multitude of activities at church. Those are all the distractions of the enemy, when I become so consumed with them that God has to take a ticket to stand in line... "Number 38, I'll take you over here Sir"

It's a small shift in thinking. God made me, for him. On my birthday in 1967, he rejoiced when I was born, he already knew that I would be sitting here today writing this story. Hopefully provoking people to exam themselves and ask him for guidance, looking at things a little differently, or calling me out because you disagree.

All because I was born 43 years ago.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Their Story

Ok, I am sometimes frightened by the way ideas come to my mind. I feel like I'm always tuned in to what's about to happen. I might listen to a song, and then that Sunday, we will sing it at church. I often know who's calling before I look at the phone, and occasionally know it's going to ring before it does. I'm weird, I know.

I spent the better part of December out of touch with my usual reading of books and blogs and keeping up with what's going on. I like to take a break during December to really look back on the year and then focus on what I can do different in the coming year, how I can tweak, simplify, refine, improve or do away with.

Although much of the month was consumed by emotional stress and the backlash of poor choices, both mine and someone else's, I decided to start writing my book. I have clear direction. It came to me as I was talking to a friend at work several weeks ago. I know her mom died of breast cancer when she was young, but one day when it was slow at work, she shared her story with me. Her story made me cry and her story made me see the vulnerable, hurting little girl that is still inside of her. I saw her through God's eyes, and how sad he must be when we hurt. And then I thought about the way God made her, her bubbly personality, her boldness, her compassion for others, all of the things that make her a nurse. And I feel that for some reason she was compelled to tell me her story. It made me think of other nurses and their stories. And why God made us nurses... it's not just a job choice, to be a nurse, it's a compelling passion that you can't deny.

I always know people who are compassionate and merciful by whether or not they cry when someone else cries. People who are able to deeply feel what others are feeling, are more than compassionate, they are empathetic. Nurses are like that.

On the flip side, nurses can also be too compassionate, caring too much, taking on too much, taking too much responsibility for other peoples feelings. The place where are stories come from, our past, has made us who we are today.

So my book is about nurses (and maybe others), it's about "Their Stories............."

Oh, yeah, so back to my weirdness... or what I call confirmation. At the leadership training I attended today, there was talk, not just once, but twice, about people telling their stories....hmmmmm.