Monday, December 29, 2008


I went to see "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" last night. It's a pretty good movie, with great acting, interesting scenes, and incredible effects. But the most note worthy thing about the movie is how incredibly thought provoking it is. It's a great story of the fragility of life and how every moment is precious.

Without giving up too much about the movie, I will say that there is a point in the plot where the main characters, Benjamin and Daisy, are left with a lot of "what ifs." It was at this point in the film that a giant knot formed in my throat and I fought back tears for the remainder of the movie. The characters went on to play out their romance, some questions were answered, and others lingered on in their lives.

I went home wondering what the giant knot in my throat was all about, and have come to the conclusion that it's a matter of unfinished business. There are so many people and situations that have made their presence known in my life. Some of these, though they should have a period on the end of them, feel more like they are punctuated with a comma. And in some instances, the comma is more painful than the period would be.

I spent a lot of tears last night on the what ifs. It wasn't so much an experience of regret as it was a place of respect. It isn't that I want the situations back to do over again, or to urge to completion. It's just that there are situations that I have never taken the time to look back on with true appreciation for what they were.

And I realized that I can no longer ponder the "what ifs," and the unrealized dreams, and the longing for a different kind of punctuation. The way to look at life that is often the easiest and the hardest in the same breath, is simply to find peace in knowing "it is what it is."

The baby I thought of names for, but never had. The marriage that ended both way too soon and not nearly soon enough. The new friend that crept into my life with fireworks, but went away without warning. The grandmother that will never get to watch E play ball or blow out his candles, yet the blanket she made wraps him each night. The life I would have led if only I had found myself sooner.

What do you do when you look back at something and realize that in the middle of taking a breath, things changed? And moving forward means carrying the what ifs and the commas with you?

There's a lot to be said for "it is what it is."

But true peace comes with the realization, not of "it is what it is"...but that "God is who he said he would be."


Saturday, December 27, 2008


My grandfather is dating. I think it is safely the strangest concept that I have ever been faced with. It's weird to think about your grandparent dating anyway....I mean, when people get into their late 70's and their spouses die, aren't they just supposed to drink coffee and sit around doing old people things?

Not my grandfather. He's actually dating.....and it gets better. Now....he has a girlfriend. She's 80. She's old, and wrinkly, and gray haired....and did I mention that she's really, really old?!?!

My grandfather, in my opinion, is not a good catch. He's the most emotionally unavailable man I've ever met. He is self-centered, set in his ways, and the only thing I've ever heard him express an interest in is guns, guns, and more guns.

But now that he's met this woman the conversation flows from guns to Dottie and back to guns again. It's really disturbing.

But it got worse yesterday at our family Christmas dinner. Mom told me that he had mentioned that he had been to Dottie's house the other day and they had watched movies. Shocked that my grandfather had actually sat through a movie that wasn't about the civil war, she couldn't resist asking for details. I seriously wish she had refrained.

Apparently, with his new chick by his side, my grandfather watched "Pretty Woman" and "Bridges of Madison County." EWWWWW. My grandfather sat by a woman and watched Richard Gere do Julia Roberts right there on top of a baby grand!

And it gets better. Then Dottie turned to my grandfather and told him that he looks like Kevin Costner. Seriously.

My grandfather unarguably DOES NOT look like Kevin Costner. He's old, fat, balding, wears glasses, and has man boobs! Dottie is clearly either senile or trying really hard to get laid. (Oh god...what if she already has?!?!?!?!)

The really disturbing thing about this whole situation isn't so much that she said that to my grandfather. It's that he actually had the audacity to repeat it.....out another human being.

I feel safe in saying that somewhere in Heaven, Jesus and my Nana are STILL laughing about it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top Secret Christmas Confessions

In light of the Christmas season and the joy of Christ's birth, I feel the need to make some Christmas confessions. Take a deep it comes:

1. I made a pie for Christmas. I didn't follow the recipe and was horribly afraid that it would turn out awful. So to avoid the embarrassment of everyone at my house eating putrid pie, I spooned out a chunk in the middle and tasted it. When I realized it was delicious, I replaced the missing chunk with whipped topping and put it back in the fridge.

2. I coveted my sister's Christmas pajamas that we get every year from our mother. I know...I know...."thou shalt not covet." But they were all red and funky and mine were all light blue and...maternal. So I did it, right there on Christmas....I coveted. God forgive me.

3. I couldn't find E's Christmas stocking. I thought I had it, and then realized that the Ex got custody of said stocking in the divorce. By the time I came to the conclusion that his Christmas stocking was nowhere to be found, I could practically hear Santa and the reindeer prancing on the roof I grabbed his $.88 zoo animals and shoved them into an oven mitt. Seriously.

4. I watched Superbad. And laughed. (I realize this has nothing to do with Christmas...but I still feel strangely compelled to confess it.)

5. I recycled a gift that someone gave me for use in a Dirty Santa game. (Actually...this isn't so much a confession as it is a suggestion for all of you that have to throw away a mandatory $10 on a gift that no one wants or needs just for the sake of gift giving. In these tough economic times, it just makes sense.)

6. When my grandfather asked what time we were having dinner at my house on Christmas Eve...I fibbed and told him I wasn't sure. I was afraid he might come. More than that, I was afraid he might bring his really old girlfriend....and that's just plain weird. And a little bit gross.

7. I'm too cheap to buy Christmas decorations. Apparently my neighbor felt sorry for my house since it was the only one around with no obvious outpouring of Christmas spirit. So she came over one day when I wasn't looking and hammered Christmas wreaths to all of my windows, and strapped holly to my mailbox. At first I was embarrassed. Then I secretly started to wish she would also hang icicle lights from my front porch. She didn't.

8. The other day, when a customer was mad about her church's Christmas ad printing incorrectly (and was very rude to me about it) my reply email was laced with things like "I understand your frustration, but the Christmas service times were correct and the community will still receive the invitation to worship with you at Christmas" and "I hope that the joy of this holiday season will be felt at your Christmas Eve service"....not because I was feeling the Christmas spirit, but because I wanted her to feel guilty for being such a rude Christian at the holidays....and I didn't want to give her a free ad. I know....I'm horrible. But honest.

9. I got two Christmas cards this year. (Thanks, Jen!) And one of them was from the Palmetto Inn and Suites in Panama City Beach Florida, thanking me for my business this year. I'm a horrible friend. I didn't send them anything.

10. Money was a little tight this year, and I felt like E was going to have a lousy Christmas (even though he's still a little too young to care). So whenever anyone gave me a gift for E, it got stored at the back of the Christmas tree and on Christmas morning I laid out all of the presents like Santa brought them.

Wow...I feel better. : )

Friday, December 19, 2008

Shoo fly

Something's bugging me like a fly that won't quit buzzing around my wet underwear in your a piece of food stuck in your teeth that you can't seem to dislodge with your finger or the end of your drinking when people say "pacifically" instead of "specifically." Something's really bugging me.

Without going into detail...because let's face's just more fun this way...I decided to be all bloggy about it. There has been some confusion introduced into my life that is extremely unwelcome. I keep reminding myself exactly who the sly author of confusion is, and really that in and of itself should be enough to clear up some of my troubles.

So this begs the question..."If I know Satan is the author of confusion, why am I having such a hard time snuffing out the factor in my life that is causing confusion in the first place?"

There are a lot of plausible answers to this question, and the easiest cop out of course is "I'm only human." There seems to be some sort of finality in that statement that makes it ok to wallow around in your stinky stinky sin for a little longer than would be considered spiritually healthy.

But the honest truth is....are you ready for this......

I just don't trust God. Sometimes it's just easier than others. It amazes me that there are areas of my life that I can toss over to Him so effortlessly like a piping hot potato....and others that I cling to with white knuckles. This particular confusion causing area....I have a death grip on.

So here it is.

Lord, I don't know what you have for me in this area. I don't know what your plan is and I don't know what your timeline is. I KNOW you know what you're doing. I KNOW your way is better than mine. I KNOW you have everything under I'm letting.....I mean....I'm giving it......what I'm trying to say Lord is I want you to......I really would love to surren.....

Satan, get behind me....and take the dang fly with you.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spun Sugar Dreams

I used to have this dream about being mom of the year with a house full of babies. My babies. From the time I was a little girl, that was pretty much all I wanted. I just knew that I would grow up, get married, reproduce, and live happily ever after.

I have realized that, for me, this was a "spun sugar dream." It was a sweet dream, and it sure looked pretty appealing. But the hard core truth about it was, like spun sugar, it goes away too quickly, and it isn't very fulfilling.

I'm not saying that I don't love being a mother. I do! It's honestly the greatest thing that God has ever done in my life! I have an amazing child who has taught me the meaning of "unconditional." And besides being the reason I want to live better, he eats well, sleeps well, and behaves better than any 2 year old I've ever come across! Being a mother to my sweet E has taught me more about life than I would have ever been able to learn on my own.

And I really thought I wanted more babies. Obviously I make fabulous ones! Why wouldn't I want a house full of them?!? But shortly after E was born, I began to realize that God's calling for my life went beyond a house full of babies. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like, but in the midst of the chaos of being a new mom, I realized that I wanted something different than the dream I had always settled on.

Last year, my "happily ever after" turned into a spun sugar dream as well. The dream I had for my marriage melted away as quickly as pink cotton candy in the hands of a child. Suddenly, I was in a position to question all of the dreams I had for myself. And I realized without much hesitation that the life I had decided I should lead wasn't at all the life that God had planned for me.

So I'm starting to open myself up to the vision that God has for my life. I started school and feel like God might have some big plans in the works for me to work with women. I don't really know what this might look like...but I know now that I don't have to have it figured out. I'm just supposed to keep walking.

I'm also open to the possibility that E might be my only child. I don't know this for sure, but I do know that God is slowly giving me peace about this path. Never before would I have been ok with this scenario. Never before would I have looked at it as a blessing in the making. But my attitude about having more children is shifting. This is something that has been the topic of conversation much more recently since Mr. Right has had a vasectomy. Could I really settle down with a man who can't have any more children? Could E and his kids be a fulfilling family unit for me? It never actually occurred to me when I started dating again that I would fall in love with a man that was older and done having kids. Of course, it also never seemed possible that I would fall in love again period.

It's a strange thing to look at your life and realize that all of the things you thought you wanted were apparitions. And it's stranger to look at the future, full of wild and organic possibilities, as things you never knew you wanted quickly become the things that drive you toward the goal.

The spun sugar dreams were sweet while they lasted.

But I'm wiping my hands, and ready for the real thing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I bought a house. This transaction actually occurred back in August...but hasn't seemed quite blog worthy until just recently.
Before buying the house, I was living in a teeny tiny apartment in White House Tennessee. It wasn't where I wanted to be. It was merely the result of my divorce. I knew it was only temporary, and I repeated that mantra to myself over and over as I signed the lease.

I work in Gallatin, and on a whim started looking up houses for sale in the area. I was shocked at how low some of the prices were, but quickly realized the reasons for this as I drove through some VERY scary neighborhoods to take a look at what was on the market. I quickly decided that I did not want to live in the ghetto and would just have to stay in my shoebox sized apartment with only 1/2 of a kitchen drawer....literally.

Then my dad called and said he had found a place for me to move to in White House. It was a house for rent, tucked away in the woods. To get to it, you had to go through a gated storage facility and wind your way back to "the cabin." It seemed like a good idea at the time, so I broke my lease and began thinking about packing.

Then, I started to really resent how alone I felt. I didn't have any friends in the area, and when I went home at night I had nothing to do. I couldn't even really decorate my apartment....because it wasn't mine. So I hopped on the internet again and checked out a few more houses in Gallatin. A couple of new ones popped up in my price range and I decided to check them out on my lunch break. I just knew because of the low prices, that they would surely be in bad areas, so I really wasn't expecting much. But as I turned onto the street that I now call home, I could feel my eyes widening as I realized I was in a good area of town. I crossed my fingers and pulled into the driveway of a red brick house in need of TLC. I stepped out of the car. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. There were kids playing down the street. And the neighbor was working in her yard.

I was home.

I put an offer on the house that day, consulting only God and praying silently that if I was acting crazy that He would let me know it. The offer was countered and I quickly accepted. Not only was the house more than enough room for me and E, my house payment would be less than my rent. So what if the house was hideous on the inside. So what if the tub was moldy. So what if the plumbing, wiring, and heating and air unit were all older than Jesus' grandfather? It was home.

I felt good about it until I told my parents what I had done. They quickly answered the question of "Am I crazy" with a resounding Yes. They yelled. They called me irresponsible. They said they were tired of cleaning up my messes. They said I had already committed to living in the cabin they had found and I would loose credibility if I didn't follow through. In essence...they huffed and puffed and blew my dreams down.

But God spoke louder. For the first time in my life I didn't listen to anyone but Him. And he told me to go home. So I continued on with my plan to buy the house. And by the end of August I was paying a handyman to fix my bathroom, and I was on my hands and knees polishing 70 year old wood floors with my little boy riding around on my back.

After moving into my new home, I was quickly adopted by my next door neighbors. They brought me furniture they found at yard sales, and they mowed my yard for me. They even climbed up on a ladder to fix my gutters for me.

Then my neighbor lady said the words that ever newly divorced girl hears often...."my son's single." For the next two months she talked about him and told me ALL of his history. I dated other people, worked through my issues, and continued with housing projects, never thinking much of the opportunity to date her son, who would undoubtedly be another "Mr. Wrong."

And just when I was fed up with dating, and ready to call it quits, he pulled up in her driveway and she knocked on my door to introduce us. Was it love at first sight....No. But he asked me to have dinner with him when he was back in town two weeks later, so I agreed. Why not? I'm a single mom and a free dinner is always appreciated!

So we went to dinner...and I got the worst food poisoning I've ever had in my life. But he was we went out again. And again after that.

We've been dating for almost 2 months...and I've never been happier. Thank God for good Real Estate. : )

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Gray hair and a bad economy

I have a lot of gray hair. I especially have a lot of gray hair for a 27 year old. It has sprung up on the crown of my head this past year with vigor. And I'm a little upset about it.

I'm also a little unnerved by the current state of our economy. I understand that the economy experiences ups and downs every few years. It's just that this is the first "down" that has hit while I was solely responsible for my household income and thus, my total well-being. I was doing ok with everything, until they announced that 10% of our company will be laid off by December 1st. And they were gracious enough to make this announcement and follow it with "but keep your chin up. We won't be letting anyone know if they are affected until at least Thanksgiving week."


So I'm off to dye my hair. I understand that to most people this might be seen as a strange solution to the whole lay off dilemma.

But by God...if my head ends up on the chopping block, at least my hair will be pretty.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


My toddler just handed me a wad of poop. A big one.

Just thought you should know....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where are still waters when you need them???

I'm tired.

In the past year I have experienced more transitions and adjustments than some people experience in a decade. I have lived in 4 different places, worked in two different towns, held 3 different positions within this company, and switched banks twice.

And now...suddenly....the movement has kind of stopped. Somewhat. Transition has quickly settled into routine, and I find myself aching for the wind of change to blow in my direction again. However, routine in my life does not at all equal relaxation, and for the past couple of weeks I have been wandering around in a fog of exhaustion. Between working Monday through Friday, going to class on Saturdays, chasing my toddler around 4 nights a week, working out, trying to find a new church, and attempting to have some semblence of a social life, there hasn't been a whole lot of time to just breathe in and breathe out. And I'm REALLY TIRED.

So I'm about to blomit (blog + vomit) all of my frustrations...(If you don't want to hear me someone else's blog)
*I'm frustrated that I am the only person putting money in my bank account. There's never enough there...and now I don't have anyone else to blame it on.
*I'm frustrated that there's no one around to kill that big hairy spider that has set up residence in the cabinet where I keep my canned goods. Since he doesn't look to be going anywhere anytime soon, I have named him Sam... I'm considering charging him rent.
*I'm frustrated that my cat thinks my bathmat and my kitchen rug are ideal places to pee.
*I'm further frustrated that when I washed said bathmat and kitchen rug I severely faded one and turned the other one a hideous shade of purple that now matches absolutely nothing.
*I'm frustrated that when I put on a great dress this morning there was no one in the house tall enough to zip it up for I drove from Gallatin to White House with the dress unzipped and a stout breeze blowing down my back.
*I'm frustrated with dating. I hate dating. I would rather God send me Mr. Right and us just curl up on the couch in our pajama pants with a good movie and a mutually agreed upon flavor of Ben and Jerry's. here's what I'm thankful for.......
*I'm thankful to have a job that pays me well and regularly. Even though it never seems to be enough...somehow it always is.
*I'm thankful that my baby boy is healthy and amazing. Just having him in the room makes everything so much brighter. If I could bottle and sell his cuteness I would make an absolute fortune. But I can' I'll just soak up every ounce of him that I can.
*I'm thankful that God has blessed me with girlfriends, new and old, to go to movies, have shopping dates, eat sushi, talk about men, and laugh with. I am forever blessed by their friendship and HIS faithfulness.
*I'm thankful that I'm now going on 2 full weeks of all of my plumbing fixtures and electrical appliances working properly and not melting anything. Praise God!
*I'm thankful that God has given me direction in my life and the means to get there. School has been very rewarding so far, and I'm enjoying it more than I ever thought I would!

And finally....
I'm thankful that God knew I would get tired and knows just how to uplift me...

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul."

In the midst of my crazy life, I am reminded that God wants to rejuvenate my spirit. He doesn't make me lie down in dry fields or lands of despair. His rest comes in a lush valley with an air of prosperity and a hope for rebirth. He doesn't lead me beside rushing waters, running tirelessly through the twists and turns of the earth. He leads me to still that in this stillness I can see the reflection of how my maker sees me...and knows me...and loves me.

It isn't in the hustle and bustle and ebb and flow of the journey that my rest will come.

Rest comes in knowing the One who brings hope for tomorrow and peace in the stillness.

I'm frustrated with how tired I get....and thankful that HE restores my soul.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Toddler Translations

There are many roles that I have taken on since becoming a mother. Some of these were expected and welcome as a source of newfound joy in my life. Others...well....they just come with the territory. When daydreaming of being a mother, most women visualize something along the lines of rocking their precious baby to sleep at night and cuddling in bed reading stories. This is, of course, the better part of the deal! The less appealing roles of "Wiper of all things that ooze" and "Person to throw up on" aren't usually what people envision when they are preparing for the leap into parenthood. But like I's all part of the package.

My new favorite role that I never really thought much about until recently is "Translator for the Toddler." Evan has started to fling new words from his little mouth quite rapidly, a scenario that has caused a ton of laughter...and a fair amount of embarrassment on my part. Below...some of his favorite new phrases...and of course, my translations....

"Mama...Tuck Tuck Tuck Tuck!!!!!!!"
TRANSLATION: "Mama, my car is stuck under the dresser...again. Could you please get that hanger back out and help?"

"Piss, Piss Piss" (Done with wild hand gestures in the direction of the cat)
TRANSLATION: "Cat, get away from my hot dog!" (I'm still not really sure what word he's actually saying...but this is DEFINITELY what he means.)

"Daaawg" (while yanking on the door to the fridge)
TRANSLATION: "Yo about a frankfurter?"

"Er Titty?"
TRANSLATION: "Mother, have you seen the cat?"

"Cock Cock"
TRANSLATION: "For any of you who may have been curious, this is the sound a duck makes."

Not to be confused with...

TRANSLATION: "I would love to have a cup with something liquid in it. Any old liquid will do."

TRANSLATION: "Mommy, when you have a minute, I would like some cheese."

And the one that he likes to holler out wildly in the toy section at Target....

" *uck!" (think "fudge" with a u-c-k on the end.)
TRANSLATION: "Mom....get a load of the size of that truck!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

Averting Disaster....

So yesterday I'm at my former in-laws house picking up my little boy. I do this every Thursday. I'm still very close to Brandon's dad and step mom and consider his step mom a very good friend. We talk about EVERYTHING, and she hasn't let the divorce get in the way of our relationship at all. So when I pick Evan up from her, I usually sit around and talk for a good while. Last night was no exception.

I knew that my ex was going to be coming over to watch a movie with his dad. This wasn't really a big deal for me. I see him usually at least once a week, and we're on extremely good terms. We are actually still the best of friends. However, I haven't seen his girlfriend since before we seperated. This is the girl who he had a very inappropriate relationship with during our marriage and who he is now dating. There is still a lot of pain attached to the two of them in my past, and while I'm happy now, it's still hard to accept the lack of respect that occurred over the last few years.

I was standing in the kitchen talking to Beth when I saw Brandon's truck pull in the driveway. It immediately hit me like a ton of bricks that she was with him. I don't know how I knew...I didn't see her in the car, and no one knew she was coming...but there they were. I'm guessing as soon as they saw my car in the driveway they freaked out in the driveway much like I was freaking out in the kitchen. Could I run out the front door? Could I hide upstairs? How was I going to slip away, collect my child, and get the heck out of dodge without having to face "THE FIRST MEETING." I just wasn't prepared or ready to see her. I didn't know how I would react or what I might say. I'd love to say I'd act perfectly's no big deal. We've both moved on. But in all honesty, I'm not sure I have that kind of strength.

Just as I was about to have a panic attack over what to do, I saw Brandon's truck pull out of the driveway and head off into the distance. Apparently they weren't ready for "THE FIRST MEETING" either! So I went outside and took Evan from a panic strickin father in law. He tried to pretend like she wasn't with him and Brandon just had to run home....but the sweat on his brow told the truth...and he finally cracked and admitted how nervous he was! I got in the car, drove down the driveway and called my ex....

"It's can turn around."

"No, wasn't about that."

"Yeah, nice try. Turn around and go back....have a good night."


Disaster averted.

Dear Lord,
Prepare my heart for "THE FIRST MEETING." Help me to see this woman as you see her...with love and acceptance and forgiveness. Give me strength to handle this situation with grace, and give me a willing spirit to bring peace to the table.

And Lord....if at all possible....make "THE FIRST MEETING" happen in a place where there are no blunt objects or sharp pointy sticks...just to be on the safe side.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Every girl wants the fairytale...Prince Charming to take her by the hand and say, "I will love you forever, I will never leave you. No matter what life throws at us, we'll handle it together. We're a's me and you." Every girl wants that.

When I got married over 4 years ago, I thought I married someone who wanted that with me. But I am quickly approaching the anniversary of the day that he walked away...the day he said he didn't want to do life with me anymore...the day he gave up on our family and left me sitting in the living room floor amid piles of folded laundry and broken dreams.

I have been dreading this day all year. For some reason I have been afraid that this day is going to hurt....hurt almost as bad as it did a year ago. But after a recent inventory of my life, the anniversary isn't so scary. It's not only the anniversary of the day he's the anniversary of my rebirth.

A year ago, I looked in the mirror and realized that I had some semblence of control over the reflection staring back at me. I realized that not only did I barely recognize the woman I had become, I didn't really love her. A year ago, I began the journey of discovering the potential that God planted in my spirit, and I unlocked enthusiasm for life that had been held captive beneath an emotionally abusive marriage.

Before that day I had very few friends, no direction, and nothing to call my own. My only hobbies were taking care of my husband and son and fitting into their lives and their schedules. If someone asked me what I liked to do, I didn't know the answer.

Since that day I have learned to pick myself up, brush myself off, and stand firmly on my own feet. I have taken charge of my finances, lost over 20 pounds, rediscovered my skinny jeans, bought my own house, started school, paid for school (somewhat painfully), learned how to fix a toilet, painted MY walls, made my own curtains, run a mile in the rain, started taking pole dancing classes (which I LOVE!), and fallen in love with the joy of being a mom.

When he walked away and the slam of the door echoed behind him, I thought my life was over. But in that moment I got my fairytale. God met me on that living room floor, took me by the hand, and said, "I will love you forever, I will never leave you. No matter what life throws at us, we'll handle it together. We're a's me and you."

That's the amazing thing about being a child of God...

...when the going gets tough, the Grace gets greater.

Bring on the anniversary...the best is yet to come.

I haven't given up (written April 2008)

The last few months have proven to be the most uncomfortable leg of my journey thus far. Circumstances have been less than ideal, and my life has slowly been stripped down to a place of uncertainty and longing. I have seen my family unit snuffed out. I have walked away from the home that I had stored my dreams in. I have found myself at the beginning of a path that I didn’t willingly choose. There have been days when I handled this curve ball like a true champ, but honestly, they have been few and far between. Most of the time, I feel like I must have packed my joy away with the rest of my belongings, deep in the back of a cold storage unit. I know it’s in there somewhere, but the effort that it would seemingly take to dig it out at this point requires more energy than I’m currently equipped with.

However, every now and then there is a glimpse of light at the end of this long tunnel. Today, that light came from a dear friend of mine who knew I could use some inspiration. This sweet friend, who spends her days in the office two doors down, sent me an email with a link. The subject line read “Powerful.” Within a minute of receiving the email, she was standing in my office saying, “I figured you would get this.” As she walked out of my office, gently shutting the door behind her, I clicked on the link that would ultimately revitalize my spirit.
It was a segment from “Oprah.” The speaker was Randy Pausch, who is a college professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Randy is dying from pancreatic cancer, and while he is still undergoing treatments, the doctors have given him mere months to live. But Randy hasn’t let this prognosis diminish his spirit. Instead, he combined inspirational thoughts on how to live and offered them to his students in what is now known as “The Last Lecture.” The speech in its entirety is incredibly thought provoking and wise, but it was one sentence in particular that struck me like a bolt of lightening. Randy was speaking about his football days, when a coach “rode him very hard for long hours” in practice. He was miserable after this, feeling as if he had been beat against a rock. But another coach standing by saw the tenacity that his co-worker had used on Randy. He told him that if the coach didn’t care, he wouldn’t have pushed him. He knew that you didn’t keep working someone who you’ve given up on.

In these last few months, I have attempted several times to make sense of the turmoil that my spirit has been caught in with little to no avail. There have been questions upon endless questions that fly through my mind like missiles. I long to curl up on God’s knee and ask them, if only to find a shred of comfort residing there. But the answers, while laced with love, have been short.

“God, why didn’t you save my marriage?”
“Because I didn’t.”
“God, why am I stuck in this place?”
“Because this is where I have you.”
“God, what’s next?”
“You’ll see.”

Quite frankly, this has been a little more mystery than I typically prefer from my Deity.

However, I have learned through this process that God isn’t in the business of making me comfortable. When life is packaged all neat and tidy, it’s easy to forget the One who gave you the gift in the first place, and I feel that God is calling me to a place of gratitude for what He is ultimately building in my life. I realize that this journey has put me on a path to make new choices, better choices, choices that glorify God regardless of what comfort level I might be walking through.

As a result of this journey, God is changing the tape playing in my mind. In the past, (the past being as recent as this morning!) it has been easy to get caught in questions like “God, if I go through this pain, will you reward me for it down the road?” and “Lord, I know you know what you’re doing, but could you just make something go my way?!?!” I realize now that these are dangerous questions, because they place the focus on my earthly comfort instead of the divine plan that God is working in my life. I wholeheartedly believe that God wants me to be happy. He wants me to be fulfilled, and ultimately I believe He wants me to be comfortable. But it has become obvious through these past months that He will not sacrifice an opportunity to stretch my faith and allow me to experience His grace in increasing abundance just so I can live a lounge pants kind of life. In times of trial, whether you allow your heart to believe it or not, it’s easy to feel as though God is farther away than you’d like. It is with this feeling of apparent abandonment that the questions come.

But today, God has whispered to me through the stillness. I know that His goal is for me to be fully revitalized while in this place of discontentment. His desire is for me to live up to my full potential, and to see his bountiful plans for me unfold with glorious magnitude. I know this, because, like Randy’s football coach, He is pushing me to limits that I didn’t know I had, pressing me to examine aspects of my character that until now have been collecting dust in the corner. He is working me to a new level of discomfort so that my eyes see only Him.
Today I asked Him, “God…why?”

And today He answered,

“Because I haven’t given up on you.”