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. : )