Friday, February 29, 2008
I think the only thing that I want and need to remember about this week are the following things:
God is in control.
Waiting until the 11th hour to call your sponsor is stupid.
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted among the earth. ~ Psalm 46:10
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I was in the shower and for whatever reason I was thinking about a movie I had seen recently, and a woman in it who had four children. That made me think of a show I watched last night about a couple who had adopted more than 2 dozen children. Meandering along, I thought of my own family, with my three precious children. And as I have so frequently done since the Man and I made the final decision on the size of our family, I found myself feeling a bit of sadness that our 'babymaking' days are finished. I tried to steer my mind back on track, to think of how I needed to finish getting myself ready for church. But it was too late. I was already headed down that path that I am powerless to avoid. I thought about the size of my family, and the reality of how many children I 'should' have. And I cried. I cried because I am the mother of six, but I only get to kiss three of them every day. I cried because even though so many years have passed, time can never change a mother's heart that yearns for her children.
I am so thankful for how the Lord has healed so many of the black layers of my heart over the years, a healing which I never believed that I deserved. There are days that I cling to my grief like a petulant child in many ways, for it is all I have left of them and I choose to not give it up. But I am thankful that mornings like this are more fleeting than not.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ John 14:27
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Try this, write a scene using nothing but dialogue. Set it in a cafe, between two people whispering in a darkened cinema or maybe a couple in bed talking with the lights out. Above all, create conflict, discourse and resolution without describing the outside world or our heroes. Try it in 500 words, and see what they say.
I don't think I followed the directions exactly, but once I went in one direction I found it hard to go back without losing the overall feeling I was building. Writing a dialogue only, with nothing extra, I found extremely hard.
Audrey turned off the bathroom light and walked across the room, her feet leaving the wood floor one at a time and slipping under the covers quietly. It was no use, he was still awake. She could tell by his breathing and could feel the tenseness through the cold mattress.
She coughed a little, almost ready to speak and defend herself once more, but stopping herself. John made the sighing sound he always made when he was mentally worn out, and she imagined he must be rubbing his forehead in the dark.
"I want to forgive you but I need to understand why."
"Why?" she said a little too quickly, feigning innocence, knowing what his answer would be.
"Why it was ok for you to hide this from me. Why it was ok to make the decision without me."
"You know why I did it," she replied flatly, looking sideways at nothing in the dark.
"I don't, really. I know what your 'good intentions' were, but that isn't enough Audrey." His voice was accusing, and not tired anymore.
Audrey faltered, not sure how to answer her husband. It was so easy to justify oneself when you only had yourself to talk to about it. Having the conversation with another person was much more complicated. She pulled the sheet tight under her chin, hiding under it.
"I can't make you understand how it felt for me John, to be in the position I was in. I thought I could fix it."
John snorted and Audrey pulled her arms closer to her body.
"You don't 'fix' it Audrey. It's not 'fixable'. It's not like that."
"That's how you feel about it. That wasn't how I felt about it. I thought I could protect you, I thought -"
"Hide it from me, you thought you could hide it from me, that I would never know." John sat up in the bed, elbows on his knees. His voice was uneven; Audrey wondered if he were crying.
"It's easy for you to box it up that way John, but that's not how it was. It's not fair to make me the bad guy."
"What does fair have to do with it? And don't put the fair label into this equation unless you want me to put it right back on you Audrey. What you did wasn't fair to anyone."
"I wish that I could say that I would go back and change it for you, John. But for me, for us, I did what I thought was right at the time. I chose a future for us. I did what I could."
John sat silent. He muttered something she couldn't hear.
Audrey sat up too, touching his arm. He didn't move. She couldn't stand that he wouldn't respond to her touch, and she retreated.
"John," she said softly. "John, I didn't do it to hurt you. I know that it did, but I thought that ending it would help us. We weren't ready. We had plans. You said you didn't want to end up like your parents."
In the dim light of the room, Audrey tried to read her husband's downcast face.
"I don't know how to forgive you for this," he said quietly.
"I can't make you."
"I need you to though."
"I love you."
John said nothing else. Audrey despaired, the magnitude of what she had done so long ago pressing down on her head. She didn't want to admit that she was sorry. She didn't want to tell him how much she hurt, how much she had regretted it. She needed him to tell her it was ok, that he could forgive her, that they could move on. She had to remain cold about it or she knew she would come apart.
John laid back down and the silence was more than Audrey could bear.
Audrey is a character I've had for many years. John is a substitute character I made up because the usual husband I've used for Audrey was too easy going for this dialogue.
My middle name anagram thinger:
L: LOST - My favorite show and I'm insanely obsessed with it. I don't want to show all of my crazy, but I have a whole lot of links in my Lost favorites folder.
Y: I'm gettin hosed here, because there aren't a ton of Y words to use. All I can think of is YAMS, hahahaaa. No really, I can make this work. When we were TTC our first year of marriage, I was reading all I could about how to get pregnant. I read somewhere that something in yams could be helpful. So one night my little sister and I were in the grocery store at like one in the morning buying yams and toaster strudel and snickering like hyenas. It's one of our favorite memories.
N: Nerdy. I really am. Beyond all of the crazy wild past that I have, past all the cowgirl and tattoo exterior, I really am a big fat nerd. Example: The Man and I got our taxes done and are not so patiently waiting for our refund to arrive next week. And you know what I'm excited that I get to buy? Microsoft Word. Fa real ya'll. I think I even blogged about it yesterday too, which proves my nerdiness. It's even more exciting than when I bought my Mr. Clean broom, which was a banner day to say the least.
N: News. I'm kind of a news junkie. I read the news online a lot, and if I have the tv on while I'm doing stuff, it's always on a news channel.
Friday, February 22, 2008
I was thinking about my book and wondering where it is. That's even sadder yet. I have it on disk someplace, but I don't know where. Since we got the two most recent computers, neither of which have floppy drives, I can't easily access the book, since it's on one of those ancient square disks someplace. So I need to dig that out TODAY and use the old dinosaur up in the Princess' room so I can burn it onto a disk actually made in this decade. I think if I can work on it on the laptop I will putter with it more frequently, and grease my gears so to speak.
And let's be perfectly honest here, the book is maybe only 3 chapters at this point? If that? I need to move beyond the cocktail napkin stage and get on with it.
Oh, and I just thought of something marvelous! *but wait, hold that thought, as I see the Barnacle wandering the living room with the toilet plunger.... oh wait, the Boy stole it and put it back.... well that was fun to watch play out* Ok, so the marvelous thing - we just had our taxes done this past week and will have our moolah a week from today! And it's higher than we expected, squee! I have plans to finally get Microsoft Word put on the laptop! (I could blog a whole separate post on how I think it's crap that I paid big bucks for a computer with an operating system that I hate that didn't even come with Word.) I definitely need Word on the laptop so I can open documents for the church newsletter that I edit, and then I could also use it to work on the book.
Stream of consciousness blogs are a bit hairy, arent' they?
I shoveled earlier and then helped the Boy work on a snow fort. The snow had already turned into a light misting rain, so who knows how long it will last. Hopefully long enough for me to take the older ones out sledding once the Man gets home. We have a soggy pile of wet mittens and boots in the breakfast room now so I should probably get out the drying rack. The Bickersons have been separated into their own rooms, the Barnacle is down for a nap, and I'm relaxing with hot cocoa. I'm watching Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin and wondering if I might be better suited for Alaska instead of Maine. All that salmon is pretty tempting.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I had assumed given our budget as of late that we would be dining at MickeyD's, but the Man had done some 'creative financing' and we instead went for Chinese. We went to a little place that I had actually never been to, but have decided it must forever be our date night location. We sat in a little 'bambooth', where we were closed in on 3 sides by bamboo, creating a romantic little nook just for us. The chandelier above our heads was an inflated puffer fish with a light bulb inside. I loved it! I ordered a ridiculously expensive seafood meal and moaned over each perfect bite. Real food that I didn't have to share. Bliss.
The best part of the evening though, was just the time that the Man and I had to spend together, uninterrupted. We have shamefully let too much time go by where we pay little attention to one another beyond basic pleasantries. But our date night worked out so well that we're planning to shoot for doing it every month before couple's group. It's odd how we just never get around to doing things, but now we're suddenly doing them. The bigger examples of this of course being that we have been praying together and doing family devotions as well. Why we didn't do this sooner escapes me, and truthfully, why we are somehow able to do it now escapes me as well. It's clearly a GOD thing because we're a couple of loons who can't get our acts together on our own. I feel so so blessed with our family life, now more than ever.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Poem in it's entirety:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr (Friedrich Oetinger?)
I have the above picture hanging in my bedroom, a treasured gift from a dear internet friend. This beautiful poem is the foundation for recovery in AA. If we can grasp those first three lines, and live them fully, we have a chance at a meaningful recovery. Interestingly enough, this poem may or may not have been written by Reinhold Niebuhr, though he is always credited for it. He himself gave credit to Friedrich Oetinger, an 18th century theologian. The story goes that a member of AA brought the poem to our founder, Bill Wilson, and it went from there as they had it printed on cards. Perhaps the member was actually Niebuhr, and somehow the finder became the author in AA lore. Since Niebuhr denied authorship, I think it's likely that he was a true devotee of the steps, going along with the need for rigorous honesty, rather than claiming the praise for it himself. This would be a admirable example for us all.
I could also be some sort of animal wrangler I think. Or observer. Or annoyee. (is that a word?) I am an expert at being woken up at all hours by the neighbor's lobotomized mutt who barks at Every. Living. Thing. It's barking RIGHT NOW in fact. I confess that I am not a dog person by nature and I mostly just find them dirty and hairy and slobbery, and I get enough of these qualities from my children. But the sad reality is that dogs are a lesser evil in comparison to dog people. Dog people who think nothing of leaving their dog outside to bark at 11pm and 7am. Dog people who think nothing of letting their dog leave a large steaming deposit on my front yard and then scooping it up with a plastic grocery bag, as if somehow that makes it ok for your canine to defecate on my lawn. I'd like to see how they'd react if I sent my 5 year old over with his own fertilizer. Note to dog people - it's disgusting and offensive even if you clean it up with your baggie. Nothing will make it ok for you to allow your animal to POOP IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE. (I'm not yelling, somehow the capital letters are meant to convey my utter disgust.)
I do like some dogs though, lest anyone brand me a hater or PETA come with their torches. The Man's aunt has a spaniel that is an absolute gem and so very sweet. If all dogs were like her, and all dog owner's like the Man's aunt, my worldview of doggies would certainly improve. I think my overall frustration is the lack of concern in the universe for how one's actions affect the people around you. Put yourself in someone else's shoes the next time you walk your dog, or honk your horn, or grouse at a cashier. It's not so hard to be considerate and HUMAN.
*NOTE* The author is familiar with plenty of lovely and considerate dog people (including her own husband who is a mystery to her and who will live dog-less until the kids are grown) and this rant is mostly focused on two families in her neighborhood that do not comply with the normal standards adopted by humanity. It is by no means meant to be a slam at the dog community at large.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I took the Boy to the doctor the other day because his eyes were all red and itchy. He's on drops which are way fun to apply. He's nearly 6 though, so he tolerates this much better than the Barnacle does. His eyes are already clear however, so we think it's just an allergic reaction to too much time around a friend's dog over the weekend. The Barnacle however, woke this morning with nasty green crusty eyes, so I took him in. (I think we're headed for a new record in co-pays this week, as I also have a sinus plague.) Anyhow, the Barnacle has the dreaded pink eye, and he does not handle the drops anywhere near as well as the Boy does. He's quite offended with me now, and is harumphing around the living room with blankey and binky to console himself. (I wonder why blankey gets an 'e' but binky doesn't.)
So it's Single Awareness Day, errr, Valentine's Day, and the Princess woke me with candy and cards this morning. I'm happy to confirm that chocolate and toffee were made for each other. The Man left me a box of chocolate and a very sweet card that made me all weepy. How did I get so blessed?
Sunday, February 10, 2008
At this point I had to do the mom-smother, which is where we cover our mouths to keep from busting out laughing when our kids say something really funny but totally inappropriate. I then gave my best mom-speech about how some words are a bit vulgar and crass and we don't use these words. He agreed, and then informed me that sometimes, "Princess* uses that word. Then she giggles."
*not her real name :P
There was a young man in my home group the other night who has been in and out five times. Another young girl said she can't seem to get out of the cycle, that she keeps coming through the revolving door of AA.
The truth is though, that there is no revolving door of AA. It doesn't exist. What does exist, and what they are actually spinning, is the barrel of a gun, a gun with one bullet that they continue to play Russian Roulette with. There is no guarantee when you go back out that you will be able to get back in. I am blessed to be a first-timer. Earlier in my recovery when I heard people talk about going out and coming back, I would wonder what that was like, and my crazy brain would wonder if I could pull it off. But I know now that I never want to do that, that there isn't enough alcohol to satisfy me anyway, and it would never be as good as I imagine it to be.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The Princess is not a pleasant patient. She is ornery when she's not feeling good, so she's been a GEM today. We sent her to bed to read after she refused to eat any dinner.
The Boy is easier to deal with when sick. He just wants to lay around and watch tv and snuggle, all of which is doable.
The Barnacle isn't sick, he's just ONE and has discovered the unbridled joy in THROWING THINGS. At us. A lot. It's a precious phase.
You know what's good though? Today will be over soon.
Other good things:
I'm learning to drive stick shift! I'm practically a grownup!
my hideous green quilt that my Gram made - so cozy
The Man and the Boy in the recliner together, watching car restoration shows
insouciance - a word I had actually never heard before until this week
God's provision - somehow He always manages to surprise us
good health insurance - Barnacle's surgery only cost us 25 bucks
a husband who comes home to me every night
Hey, whaddya know? I'm enjoying Saturday after all.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
c. 2001, AAWS, Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 316 With permission, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
I've been slowly working my way through the list of people that I need to make amends to. I admit I have been dragging my feet on some people. I mean really, overall, I've been sober for nearly 7 years, so I'm way overdue to be DONE with this already, but I also know that God has timed things specifically for certain reasons. I have been extremely blessed this past week, as I was able to make amends to three men that I went to college with. The first one found and contacted me on Facebook and I was thrilled. I wrote back to him, and felt a bit braver about making amends since he obviously didn't hate me or he wouldn't have contacted me. From there I found two others on his friend list that I then wrote to as well. Of the three of them, the first two were incredibly gracious and fully offered acceptance of my words, while also saying that they weren't even needed. And the third.... the third overwhelmed me by not only accepting my amend, but by telling me of his own recovery from alcoholism.I have been so blessed as I have made amends, as one by one people have accepted me and loved me and encouraged me in my journey. But I also know that I have not had to make the hardest amends yet. I have done the easy ones so far and I am not naive enough to think that I won't get rejected at some point in this process. And I'm afraid. I know that I have to do this. I must. I cannot skip out on my step work. If I want to stay sober, I have to do this. I pray that God will give me strength to do it, to face people that may not accept my apologies. I know that He will be with me, and that even if the worst happens, I will make it through with His help. I keep singing the Casting Crowns song in my head, East to West... It reminds me of where I have come from, the depths that I sank to in my alcoholism, the woman that I allowed myself to become. I don't ever want to end up again where He found me.
East To West
Here I am, Lord, and I'm drowning in your sea of forgetfulness
The chains of yesterday surround me
I yearn for peace and rest
I don't want to end up where You found me
And it echoes in my mind, keeps me awake tonight
I know You've cast my sin as far as the east is from the west
And I stand before You now as though I've never sinned
But today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way
Jesus, can You show me just how far the east is from the west
'cause I can't bear to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
I start the day, the war begins, endless reminding of my sin
Time and time again Your truth is drowned out by the storm I'm in
Today I feel like I'm just one mistake away from You leaving me this way
I know You've washed me white, turned my darkness into light
I need Your peace to get me through, to get me through this night
I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth Your word reveals
I'm not holding on to You, but You're holding on to me
You're holding on to me
Jesus, You know just how far the east is from the west
I don't have to see the man I've been come rising up in me again
In the arms of Your mercy I find rest
'cause You know just how far the east is from the west
From one scarred hand to the other
One scarred hand to the other
From one scarred hand to the other