Sunday, November 1, 2009


This post is a bit of a departure from my normal writings on here. I am starting a journey in a way that I'm a little nervous about. Almost 6 years ago I was diagnosed with 3 autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis.

It's not something I've ever written about - actually I don't think I've ever even journaled about it. It's one of those things I've wanted to keep to myself as long as humanly possible. It's one of the reasons I was so happy to move to Cali - much less humidity than Houston = less pain and misery for me.

However, it's on my mind more and more these days, so...I've decided that for my 2nd piece in my magazine class, I'm going to tackle it as my topic. Life with RA & other autoimmune diseases.

I was working on this tonight and I have to admit reading, researching, all of it makes a knot in my tummy. I don't like the possibilities of this illness. It's one reason I haven't written about it. It makes it real. I prefer it to just be someting I deal with - but I realize that it will affect more areas of my life than I could ever deal with on my own.

So maybe writing about it will help in the long run. I never thought about looking for people who have the same issues I do. But it could be cool. And writing has always been a good way for me to work through things - why not this?

Just what's on my mind tonight.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Hello :o)

It's October. YAY! I love October. I love fall. However at the moment, I am mostly happy that September is over. It was a long month...a frustrating month in many ways. Maybe it was just getting back in the swing of things.

Anyone have fun plans for October?

My main thing will of course be Halloween. :o) I think (hope) one of my cousins will be coming to visit. Should be a fun, kinda traditional Halloween of costumes and junk food and scaring the daylights out of ourselves followed up by silly comedies for recovery.

It will be a busy month leading up to that, but hopefully one that contains a little peace & quiet and a healthy dose of creativity.

Happy October!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

On a Quiet Sunday Morning

I was having quiet time this morning, going back over some verses I'd highlighted in my Bible some time back. One of these, Psalm 5 - vs. 1-3 in particular - "Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my sighing; Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

There was a time in my life when I read this passage every morning before I prayed - it was a time when I was very, very unhappy with a lot in my life & someone dear to me recommended that I read Psalm 5 daily.

At some time, I presume the beginning of 2008, I made a note near the top of that chapter in my Bible that says "2008 - expectation is the goal for this year." Have I learned to expect?
I think heart still feels what you might call "gun shy" about it on occasion, but yes I think I have learned a lot about expecting when it comes to God - to His love & to the way He cares for us.

So what's next?

We had a guest speaker at the church I go to a few weeks ago & her message focused on this verse in Ephesians that I must have read before because I know I've read the book of Ephesians, but I somehow missed it - or missed the point of it because as she spoke about was like a "wait...what? that's in there? that's not just something everyone tells you because it sounds nice???"

The verse is Ephesians 3:20-21 - "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (emphasis added by me - obviously)

This morning as I was re-reading these verses I couldn't help but think really? Beyond what I could ask? Beyond what I could imagine? At first I thought the issues I'd had with expecting were circling overhead planning to come back to bother me. So I started to pray about this verse specifically.

I've never lacked ability in the imagining department - ask any of my relatives who had to listen to the elaborate stories I would make up and tell them. I consider imagination to be one of our most valuable resources as humans. So as I began to pray all I could say at first was God I can imagine an awful lot. And it was as if I heard a voice say "would you have ever imagined being back in school?"

No. Not in a million years. Ever. School was at the bottom of the pile as far as plans - I went a long time feeling that I'd done my time (so to speak), I had a BA - what more could I possibly need.

And truth be told, while I'd wanted to be in California for quite a few years before moving, I would have never imagined being in Los Angeles. I liked northern California (as I happily told anyone who would listen to me for a good 3 or 4 years).

But I cannot imagine being anywhere else. I am happier than I've been in a very long time. I can quite honestly say that I love it here. That I love my life, for the most part, love where I am & even love school (most days). ;o) He is quite able to work beyond the all-too-human limits of my imagination...

If expectation was the goal for 2008 & granted it spilled right over into 2009, what is the goal for the rest of 2009 / 2010? Believe far beyond what I can imagine? Expect what is beyond my own expectations? Or perhaps simply just come to a peaceful place of belief.

Just a thought.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I had a thought earlier today, which I wrote down in my journal:

Truth is often best found in the desires God whispers into our hearts.

The older I get, the easier it gets for me to doubt that quiet voice. More often than not these days I feel like God has to shout things into my life. And sometimes I believe this is simply part of being an adult. However, at the same time I believe that it is crucial, the older we get, to still ourselves long enough to hear God's whisperings.

I was talking to a friend when I was back in Texas for a visit. We were discussing how at home I feel in California, in a way that I've never felt in my life. She was asking me why I think I would have been born and lived in a place so long if I didn't belong there (more or less).

As a Christian, I believe God has a plan, but I also believe within that we each have to take our own journey into learning to listen to & trust Him. For me, leaving Texas and moving to California was a huge step on that journey & a scary one leaving my family & friends - my Mom even though I'm her only child (and I cannot tell you how many people I've had ask me how I could do that to her since I moved).

All that said, moving here has been the best thing ever and I'm so grateful to live in a place I feel I belong. And also has helped me learn to trust more and grow and to listen to His whisperings.

Truth is often best found in the desires God whispers into our hearts.

Just a thought.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6. Okay I guess that's technically verses, but still...

I was looking at this passage this morning and it struck me - I probably should have known I had a few trust issues to work through when I used to shy away from verse 5. For years I said my favorite verse was Proverbs 3:6 only, which is "Acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."

I first discovered this verse the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I liked it - basically it said to me that through praying and keeping the line of conversation open with God (so to speak) He would give guidance. Made sense to me - was fairly simple as far as my side of things - and I liked it. However, particularly in the last few years, I've begun to see that you can't really have verse 6 without the preceding verse.

Don't get me wrong, prayer is never a bad thing and I do believe that God will guide us, sometimes gently & sometimes not. But all of that requires trust.

For some time I actually did not like verse 5, which says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart & lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways..." Everything that came before the word "but" was hard for me to understand...especially the not leaning on your own understanding. I was fine with God's guidance as long as I felt in the loop so to speak. Basically, if I felt like what was going on made sense, I figured it must be right.

The older I get the more I wonder if in fact it is the opposite & the less sense it makes to me, the better off I'll be.

Many things in recent years in my own life have made very little sense, but (at least in hindsight) I can see that the good and the bad were necessary for me to get me to the place I am today. And sure, I made some bad choices along the way, but I'm human - that's what humans do, often when we're doing what makes the most sense.

Just a thought.

Listening to: Bjork - Vespertine

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I've been thinking a bit about gratitude today. One of my favorite organizations, the Joyful Heart Foundation (it's amazing - check it out!), uses each Thursday as "Things We're Thankful for Thursday" on their Facebook site.

As I was sitting here on my couch returning emails earlier, I started thinking about the things I'm thankful for. Family, friends, pets, what you might consider the usual stuff.

Since I moved to California I find that I'll be driving around to the grocery store or school or wherever and my mind will wander to a feeling of just being incredibly grateful for living here in this place. Granted, I have a number of friends and relatives who think I'm insane for liking L.A. as much as I do, but that's okay.

I'm sad to say that this is the first time I've ever felt just grateful to be in one place in this way. It's something that on one hand seems very small, but on the other hand being happy where you live is an amazing thing in itself.

It's a beautiful day here & wherever you are, perhaps it's a good time to think about the things you're thankful for.

Just a thought.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer of Love Pt. 1

This summer (so far) has been an interesting journey for me. Mostly spiritual & emotional at this point. And it's all revolved around love in one way or another.

Actually, I can't seem to get away from the topic. When the summer started I wanted to use part of it as a sort of spiritual retreat to (as I told one friend) re-ground myself spiritually. For me this meant getting back into the habit of daily quiet time and prayer...and beginning to do some work on my heart that's needed to be done for a long time.

Allowing God to work on your heart is a wonderful and terribly frightening journey. It involves facing issues like trust and belief and Not to mention going over things from your past you thought were buried years ago. Nope! If you begin to open up your heart for healing when it's been wounded you'll find the mending process to involve its own amount of pain. But, it's worth it.

At the start of summer I began this journey by reading (a.k.a. crying my way through) two books. Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge and Do You Think I'm Beautiful by Angela Thomas. They are both incredible and worth the reading. (And I'm not sure that everyone cries their way through the way I did - I'm fairly certain the journey is different for each person).

In reading these books, I had some major revelations about myself and things in my life that I thought I'd dealt with quite well. I realized something kind of interesting that I thought of again this morning as I sat in church.

Today was the start of a new sermon series at the church I go to (Oasis Christian Center) called Roommates, Bad Dates, & Great Mates (I told you, I can't escape the subject of love). Anyway, as Pastor Phillip was talking about how God loves us; how God never leaves us; and how in those moments when we think He's disappeared, all we have to do is turn around a look and He's there, I started thinking.

When I was young, and attending a private Lutheran school, we were told similar things - like that Jesus was always with us. My school life was not the happiest thing - that's actually putting it quite mildly - and I can remember in first or second grade sitting at my desk and picturing Jesus being beside me, because if he was beside me, then I wasn't really alone. Somewhere along the path to life that image got lost in the weight of feeling all alone for a long time.

But what actually strikes me about it is I had no problem imagining Jesus always being with me. He was cool, amazing, and very clearly (from what I was learning at school and in church - and later on my own) loving. He epitomized selfless love.

In rather sharp contrast to that, the idea of God, the Father, always being there...that I had a harder time with, but I didn't know how to express that. I just knew from the time I was very young until adulthood whenever someone would try to encourage me to not be sad about my lack of an "earthly" father in my life because I had such a wonderful "heavenly" Father, I would get very angry. It became like an instantaneous button for me. Angry and then sad and kinda hurt.

It wasn't until high school that I began to look at God like a "parent". I had a parent - a wonderful mother - so I could handle that label. And I liked it. And it allowed me to grow closer to Him and to be open to that. But somewhere in the midst of early adulthood, all those issues with "father" came creeping back.

As an adult, I realized what caused such terrible feelings in me when very well-meaning people tried to explain the idea of God as a father to me. The word "father" didn't mean anything to me. And when I say that, I mean it was really and truly devoid of meaning; empty. I had nothing - no expectations - to attach to that word, so I had never learned how to view God as a Father who loves & provides for His children because I had no reality to put with that.

This is something I've been working out over the last couple of years actually. Slowly learning to trust. Learning to let go. Learning to believe I do know His voice (and no I don't mean that in a little voices in your head kind of way / call the men in the white coats kind of way). Some things are very difficult to express in writing actually...

I still have a lot to learn. But I know an awfully large number of girls, like me, who had their hearts broken by either an absent father or one who showed them nothing resembling love. And who, also like me, haven't found peace with letting God father them. It really is a great thing I gotta tell ya. Seriously. But it's a process. A huge process. One that involves letting go of a lot. And trusting. Trusting is a whole other blog. Oy.

Tonight however I have two things I'm pondering. The first is 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 which is "...If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."

The second is (shorter!) Romans 8:38-39 "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord."

Think about that. Love as described in 1 Corinthians is (I believe) described in its perfect state - in the way that God loves us and how we should strive to love one another. It's an amazing, powerful love. And then the idea that nothing can separate us from God's love - His perfect love. Nothing we do. Not the way other people see us or have treated us or made us feel. He loves us. Period.

And granted that is why He shows us both grace and mercy. And within His grace we are called to belong to Him, to be His children. No matter how we got here, or how either of our parents treated us (either - if you have mom issues or dad issues or neither), or how friends, boy/girlfriends, lovers, husbands, wives, exes, family, etc. have made us feel - He loves us just the way we are.

Just a thought.


Currently Listening to the Soundtrack to Memoirs of a Geisha

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Hi, & Happy 4th of July to you!

I wanted to write a quick introduction to explain the type of blog I plan to have here.

This will be a place where I'll write about whatever strikes me that day (and I will tell you upfront it may or may not be a daily thing). I will probably write quite a bit about God and faith, but not so much in a sermon-type way, as that is not my department.

I like to share some of the things I think and the way my faith impacts the rest of my life.

I will also (probably) blog about artsy stuff because the arts in general were & are kind of like my first love. They are something I've run from on occasion (for "practical" purposes) and yet I always find myself back in their midst - and that is a place where I am happy, so much for practical.

This is not supposed to be a place of professional expression, a.k.a. work / journalism. It is a place for the expression of thought. Therefore it is in no way meant to be unbiased. I will happily be expressing my own thoughts, opinions, feelings, etc. here. So feel free to leave me comments with your own thoughts.

I hope that, if you're reading this, you'll enjoy what you find here & check back often.