Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I want so much to say
Its you who inspires me.
But that would be a lie
And at this point in my life
I just haven't got the time--
To pretend
To envy
To strain to feel
What I don't.

Its the empty and the lonely times
Its the anger and the rage
Its the cold and hot and ups and downs
That make me want to create.

I want so much to say
That I feel you deep inside
That I speak to you every day
That its you who keeps me alive
But that would be a lie
And at this point in my life
I just haven't got the time
To pretend
To envy
To strain to feel
What I used to hide. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ever wonder why

I've felt this way for a while now--
 Cold and empty inside.
 No words to write
Because there's no life to describe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My hand reaching

Since I'm the one with the pencil....I penciled in some nails (since in reality I bit them all the way down)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

If I sit and stare long enough....

things like this happen

If I'm in the car, I start doodling what I see--most of the times, it's sketches of my feet.

If I'm in church, I start doodling on the weekly newsletter or writing all over my hands.

Then I take my doodles and throw them in the trash.

Maybe I'll start taking little pics of them and then throw them in the trash--just like I did with this banana on my desk.  I ate the banana, then threw the scarp paper away.  But now it's here for you to enjoy :)


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Gradient--unfinished draft

I never publish works-in-progress. I usually go through a long self-editing process.

But then my changes are lost, and there's no way to retrieve those original words I'd chosen.

I remember studying classic literature in college, and being able to read the rough-drafts of poems and plays--as they were transforming into the masterpieces we all know today.

Now none of my work is a masterpiece. But I thought it would be cool to save a rough draft for once. Keep it logged. That way when I change a word or delete a line or put a comma in and then take it out. I'd remember.

Monday, February 16, 2015

love IS

Yesterday at church the sermon was about Love. Very appropriate considering it was (St.)Valentine's weekend.

We spent time in 1Cr13--in the passages where Love is described... Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not envious or boastful...

And our pastor spoke about what it looks like to be patient, what it means to be kind, or not envious etc...

But one thing struck me, as an aside really, and it revolved around "love IS," or to be more specific it revolved about what it meant to BE kind, to BE patient, etc. 

See there's a difference between being kind and acting kind. When you look up kind in the dictionary it is defined as a good and benevolent nature. It means the very essence of what someone is is good and benevolent. 

Sometimes as Christians we pat ourselves on the back when we exhibit self-control. What I mean is that we see someone or are put in a situation where we can be rude, impatient, judgmental, etc... And on the inside we are thinking so many things: little insults or wise cracks, inside we're boiling with impatience, inside we're furious. But we rein it all in, and then congratulate ourselves for BEING so Kind. 

When in fact, people who ARE kind, whose natures are truly kind, whose natures are truly patient, aren't thinking of wisecracks and insults. They aren't actually frustrated but holding it in. 

They really are waiting patiently. They really only have soft and kind thoughts about people. They are gracious. 

Don't get me wrong, it is a tremendous feat to hold one's tongue and to exhibit self-control, but that's only the first step. We've got to pray for a transformation of our nature. We need God to help transform us into GENUINELY kind and patient persons. 

Because otherwise we are just ACTING kind and ACTING patiently. We ARE not genuinely that way. 

See Jesus clarified the law for us in Matthew 5. He went further than simply condemning acting upon our sinful nature, but he went so far as to condemn even our sinful thoughts.  Jesus realized that our thoughts reveal a lot about our natures.

I have the perfect example of living kindness in my husband--a man who is truly kind. 

A number of years back while we were in marriage counseling, we did an exercise. It took us hours, but we sat down and dug into our natures. We searched for who we are at our cores. To better understand each other, it was important to try to pin down that one quality that permeates almost every action and thought. 

Mine was Passion.
Lee's was Kindness.

At the very core of who Lee IS is kind. It explains why he only sees the good in people, to the point of it harming him in relationships and friendships. It explains why he's hurt when people take advantage of his niceness. He has often spoken to me about how people in his life have mistaken his kindness for weakness. And after yesterday's sermon, it explains why he would say this, 

I mean the sermon today was all common sense...Just be genuine!

 Of course being genuine to him would mean being patient and kind--it's who he genuinely is! But that is not the case for most of us, especially me.

I know that I'm not as naturally kind as my husband, but I pray to God to transform me into a kinder and more loving person. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

One Word: Achieve

I was once very ambitious
And competitive to the point of vicious. 
Each challenge was met as an affront--
Stalking my opponent and preparing to hunt.

Till one day my confidence was broken
And I was no longer brave and outgoing
In my place was someone guarded and scared
Dreams left to die because I refused to dare.

And here I am older and irrelevant
trying to start over--to write a new testament.
My one dream is to find something to achieve
And yet I'm so scared to even believe.

Friday, January 02, 2015


I skim my fingertips across your smooth skin--
Feeling and pinching you.
You are delicate but resilient,
As my zealous hands explore you further.

You feel so familiar to me, but in every way that matters
You're completely new.
And while, I feel like I can predict where this is going--
How this is going to end,

I need you to bring me there.

I always get like this toward the end.
You're irresistible to me.

And once I've had you
Felt you
Consumed you
I place you among the countless others.

Physically forgotten
But eternally etched in my soul--
In the very stuff that makes me

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quotes of Late

Jillien: Bae, how do you feel about going to the store to pick up eggs and bacon for  breakfast?
Lee: I don't feel good about it.
Jillien: Ugh, my friend posted the nastiest shit i've ever seen in my life on Facebook today.
Lee: I hate when t hey do that
Jillien: i can't seem to get it out of my mind. I keep thinking about it and It literally makes me gag... What should I do?
Lee: Don't tell me about it...

[The sounds of Lee playing Fifa in the background....Cheers from the tv]


Maggie: knock knock
Lia and I: Who's there?
Maggie: Orange
L&J: Orange Who?
Maggie: Orange you gunna eat?

Maggie: knock knock
Lia and I: Who's there?
Maggie: Grape
L&J: Grape Who?
Maggie: Orange you gunna eat?

Maggie: knock knock
Lia and I: Who's there?
Maggie: Bee blop doobie da da blah
L&J: Bee blop doobie da da blah Who?
Maggie: Orange you gunna eat?

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Reader: 1968

You never got past page 115. I know because you never got around to lifting the dog-eared page you used to keep your place. Now 46 years later, the page is so precisely creased that I'm certain attempting to straighten it will only result in its tearing completely off.  You wrote a small prose In the back that I'm certain was Salinger induced, inspired, and impersonated. Although, I must admit that your small anecdote scribbled in the back empty pages of a long-forgotten, never read volume has been more successfully delivered than any such writing i've composed.

Douglas, May 1968. I also don't think I've ever seen a book so old yet so perfectly preserved – almost as if it's owner never fully opened any of the pages but gingerly manipulated open the book only as far as needed to uncomfortably read all the words.

One thing I know is that this book cost $.75 in 1968. I bought it for $.50 in 2014.  I probably would've paid $.75.

It's that good.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Yellow Wallpaper is a 47" Smart TV

Slowly consuming all of my attention
And my sanity.
The images that peer through its screen
Entrap me.
I had my reservations
My protests
My vehement opposition
But I resigned
And now it's got hold of me.


Long yet subtle--
Your glances show
A passion underneath,
Which no one knows.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Just a little bit

I've heard thousands sermons over the course of my life. Each one life-giving and spiritually fulfilling, but every now and again, a sermon will change my life--or at least my perspective on life, a behavior, or a mindset.  But in this particular instance, it took years for the message to fully saturate and for me to understand how truly wise it was.

Several years ago, probably over 5 years, I attended a sermon preached by Mike Haman of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. 

He was talking of his pre-teen daughter wanting to go to the movies with her girlfriends. The issue was not that she wanted to go to the movies but about the particular movie she wanted to see. When her father objected that the movie had foul language, violence, and racy material, her defense was that there was "only a little bit." There were only a few bad words, and a little bit of violence, and only a few racy scenes. Nothing to flip out about.

That's when Mike painted this picture:
Imagine I'm baking you cookies to enjoy when you get back from the movies. I spend a lot of time gathering the best ingredients: Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips, brown sugar, butter, flour, etc.. I'm stirring up my batter, but before I finish, I go to the backyard, scoop up a little bit of one our dog's turds, come back in, and mix it into the batter with the rest of the ingredients.
Now you and your girlfriends come back from the movies, and you smell the delicious, freshly baked cookies. Y'all are ready to eat, but before you dig in, I let you know all the care and delicious ingredients that went into making these cookies. I mention the chocolate chips, the sugar, and butter, and oh yea, a little bit of dog poo. 
You're disgusted. You refuse to eat these cookies. Even though they are made with choice ingredients, the dog poo has contaminated and ruined something that could have been so good. No matter how much I reassure you that I only put  A LITTLE TINY BIT of poo in them, you still refuse...
You see, this is how sin corrupts.  It only takes a little bit to contaminate the whole--in your marriage with lust or temptation, in your workspace with regard to ethics or honor, at your church with dissension and slander... Just a little bit, can ruin the whole.

Why did it take me so long to understand this message, I've no idea.

when I'm down

My biggest dream was to build you up
To be a pillar
To be a start
To something huge
And to be a guide
With all the wisdom
we gained through our lives.
That we could help you
And stand beside,
But through it all
We were wholly denied
Not a word was heeded
Not a request was granted
But instead the complete opposite happened.
We were pushed aside and overlooked
We were kept away while you chose a new look.
We were used for your service and taken for granted
And with each passing day of being unwanted
We saw more and more who you had become
And learned that we were no longer one
But divided and torn and fading and waning
And now you're history and our future is waiting

Monday, July 28, 2014


Looking back
And I like what I see.
A time of perfect anger and animosity
A time of perfect passion and never ending love
A time of perfect wondering and perfect giving-up.

Looking back
And I like what I see
Two people going somewhere together
But walking on different streets.

Looking back
And I like what I see
A young woman trying to find herself
With a cigarette, a beer, and short cut-off jeans.

Looking back
And I like what I see...

All Over

It's the gentle way you move your hands
The roughness of your beard
The strength in your back and arms
That keep my eyes glued here.

It's the smirk and straight white teeth
It's the dark, full head of  wavy hair
It's the way you think and speak 
That's got me going nowhere.

I let it wash all over me
I let it flow inside
I listen it to it when it speaks
And let it blow my mind.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

My late night wandering

My heavy lids and frowning brow--
I'm still awake but don't know how,
Or better yet I don't know why.
Just a few more words and then I'll lie.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Jill Sweetie

You called me "Jill Sweetie"
Probably one of the only people in the world
Who has ever called me Jill.
It never sounded right when anyone said it.
But from you, it's pretty perfect.
Jill Sweetie...
After I said good bye
Because I knew you were drunk
And I couldn't take another minute of your rambling
I couldn't stand another second of thinking about
How stagnant you are.
It hurts me.
It pisses me off.
Remember when we were young?
Playing Marvel vs Capcom
Eating Mexican food
Driving around in that old beat up car of yours.
That was before your DUI's
Before your drug addictions
Before your suspended license
Before your suspended life
Jill Sweetie...
It made me smile
It really did
Reminded me of how important we were to each other
It made me wonder if I were still that important to you

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

On continuing the theme of thanksgiving

To my fellow story church'ers:

I stumbled this Sunday, but you held me aloft and prevented my fall.

Thank you.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Thank you Mr. Driver....

You waited for me to run across the intersection, before finally turning the corner behind me and driving off.

What you didn't know about the female runner pushing the jogging stroller with a sleeping 2 year old on this overcast morning was that I'm a quitter. Or I was gunna be a quitter. I had been planning on giving up once I reached that intersection and just turning back and going home. I had been thinking about quitting even before I started my run. I kept wondering how far I would go before I gave up.

See my intention when I set out today was to run all the way to Target. I needed to buy a helmet for my daughter, and since I don't have a car, I'm walking/running everywhere I go. But Target is about 2.5 miles away from home, and I knew once I ran all the way to Target, I'd eventually have to run all the way back home. It was too much for me to think about, and when my mind did settle on that daunting task it would imagine my inevitable failure.

I had run about a mile and half by the time I reached that intersection-- by the time you sat patiently waiting for me to cross, not knowing the battle within my mind. That small, simple, patient act inspired me to keep on running, which I did. I ran the 2.5 miles to Target. I bought the helmet, and then made the painful trek back home. Granted, the run back was like taking a ride on the pain train, and I again entertained thoughts of quitting and walking back  (which if you look at my pace, I'm sure you would think I had walked!) But I didn't. I kept my legs moving. I kept on pushing. I made it home and wrote this thank you note to you.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


My FWF prompt:
You find yourself in the lower level of an old ship. A calendar on the wall says  1682. There is a small window, and the view is nothing but open sea and a setting sun. There is a staircase and you can see daylight at the top…

Why am I so damn uncomfortable?
She thought as she woke from a fretful sleep--
As if she were being tossed side to side and back and forth while she dreamt.
Her eyes slowly adjusted to the unusual darkness in her room.
This isn't my room!! Where the hell am I???!
The smell of salt water and wet wood overwhelmed her.
She heard the loud creaking sound of boards under extreme pressure.
The sloshing of water against a large blunt object.
The shouts of men above her--
Orders, she didn't understand.
And suddenly the distinct shuffling of rats scurrying below her feet.
Panicked she flung herself around the room,
Flinging and breaking small bottles off a small table near her bed.
She stretched high enough to glimpse outside the small round window.
Nothing but water and bright sunlight.
She couldn't breathe.
She couldn't think straight.
And suddenly words started coursing through her mind.
A mantra. Almost a prayer. Like she'd done it a million times:
My name is Annie Hidalgo. I'm from Harvey, Louisiana. I was born on February 4th, 1985.
My name is Annie Hidalgo. I'm from Harvey, Louisiana. I was born on February 4th, 1985.
My name is Annie Hidalgo. I'm from Harvey, Louisiana. I was born on February 4th, 1985.
I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy. I'm not crazy.
She saw a staircase on the far end of the room.
She slowly made her way up and peaked ever so carefully at the scene before her.
Men pulling at ropes on sails, mopping the deck, keeping watch high on the ship's masts.
They noticed her at once-- even though her large, frightened eyes were level with the deck.
She overheard a man whispering. 
Der she be. Wee lass touched in the head, she is.
Affecting an air of confidence, she popped her head and shoulders out quickly.
Trying to control her breathing and straightening her shoulders, 
She called out to the man nearest her.
"Hey you! Is this real?"
He paused before answering with a simple "Aye."
"What day is it?"
"...not this again. It is the 21st of March."
"And the year?"
Just then a young handsome man came over to her.
"Ah Lady Elaine, you've awaken."
Lady Elaine? Does he think I'm Lady Elaine?
She responded quickly, but the tremble in her voice betrayed her terror,
"I think you must be mistaken, whoever you are. My name is Annie Hidal..."
"Yes, Yes of course you are." the man interrupted. 
"Have you had your syrups yet, m'lady?
You'll feel much better once you've taken your syrups."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Poor Financial Decision

We bought a tv. 47" tv. with money that I'd saved up. We paid cash. No debt. No hassle. No wondering how I'm gunna pay it off.... so why do i feel like throwing up?

Is it because I was proud of our little 25" tv? "we're not TV people I would say."

Six Hundred Dollars. gone.

Money I could have used to open an IRA for myself.

Or for 5 months membership at the YMCA

Or to pay for Lia to take piano lessons.

Or to buy sports equipment


Toward a new car.

Firestone called me today after checking on a "rubbing sound" Lee was concerned about.

$2000 to repair.

Two Thousand Dollars to repair a 2002 Nissan Altima.

A 2002 Nissan Altima that I spent $1200 in car maintenance last year.

Actually I've spent over $500 in repairs on that car every year that I've had it, if you can imagine that.

The catalytic converter. Alternator. Spark plugs. Breaks. Calipers. Tie Rods. Computer chips. yadda yadda yadda

We decided not to do the repairs.

We will be  a 1 car family.

A one car family with a 47" tv.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Stuck by the Woods on a Snowy Afternoon

The woods are but a narrow shield.
Concrete and metal and mess concealed
I look about me through the snow
Because I have been forced to yield

There's chaos on the streets today
The snow and ice kept most at bay
But we, on the road, thought better
And now we've learned there's no clear way

Cars and snow are all around.
But despite the crowd, I hear no sounds.
I stare out my car windows and see
Lone trees stoically standing ground

I sit and stare upon the wood
Still and Peaceful it all stood
Against the noise and fervent crowds
It bore the storm as only a tree could

The Walk

By that ancient river
Side by side
Me hiding and you pining
While the water flowed by.

Cannolis by the dozen
They were warm and I was frozen
I ate them just for you
And you bought them without knowin'.

I'm not one for sweets.
And being that close made me freak
I was sweatin' up a storm
And you were as cool as could be.

Remember the walk by the river?
Years ago and yet never clearer
Ages and lives have come and gone
And yet that memory still lives on.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Google is trying to take over my life

It's like I'm trapped in Orwell's 1984 and Google is big brother!
Everything I search
Everything I write
Is funneled through the all seeing eye that is google.

So when I started this blog a gazillion and a half years ago it was blogger. Just blogger. Then it was google's blogger. Then they forced me to join google+ through my gmail account. It got to the point where I couldn't opt out anymore. Then they linked my blogger to my google+ profile. Then they changed the commenting system so that people had to use their google+ profiles in order to comment. And that's all well and good, but I started noticing less people commenting and more people clicking the little check boxes by the comment section. So I just figured out how to turn off the google+ commenting, but then it freaking deleted all the comments that were posted through that system.

It's like the most frustrating thing in the universe. aaaAAAAARrRRRggggGGhhhHHh!

Here's the thing:
I'm a writer. 
I'm not famous.
No one knows me
Most people are accidentally reading this. 
For years #1 reason people were directed to this blog was because they googled "Is Ina Garten a Bitch?"
I just wanna share my writing.

When I was 19 this blog was like a journal chronicling every immature and retarded thing I wanted to do or say. Now at 28, it's the same thing, except that I've learned some self control and have become more guarded. I realize now more than ever that people can use my blog against me, professionally and personally. It makes me nervous and self-conscious.  So when I do post something, I don't want to feel like its a formal process. And I don't want my readers to have to jump through hoops to communicate with me. I also don't want them to feel like they need to register with Big Brother in order to do so.

I envy wordpressers. 


It pours on me
The skies open...
on purpose, I'm convinced.
And I'm gasping for a single breath
without choking on it all.
And the drops pelt every inch of me.
Until I can not bear another sensation
On my skin.
I feel like clawing at my body with the very
maddening nature of it all.
Then with an almost audible snap,
it shuts.
I dry slowly with time,
Then just to be cruel--
am not given a single drop more--
till my dryness is slightly uncomfortable.
Then nearly unbearable.
Where all my skin feels chapped.
And I imagine that all of it will chip away.
And I'm completely stagnant
Not wanting to move for fear of drying out further.
It's then that I think of you.

First published 11/20/2010

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Feeling

The later in the day
The stronger the feeling gets.
And my thoughts are filled with dancing girls
With sexy silhouettes.

And all at once I'm in the scene,
No longer in year two thousand fourteen,
But transported to a time long unseen
In New Orleans the summer I turned nineteen.

I see the bar through the haze of smoke
A group of friends laughing at some joke
And there I am so young and free--
'Smart and pretty,' like my momma taught me.

The night is hot, and the air hardly moves,
But we dance anyway in the crowded room.
We hug and we kiss and we drink and we play--
Confident that it would always be this way.

We were young, and we were dumb.
We played hard; we had fun.
We loved deeply and gave freely.
We slept long and studied measly.

I see all the faces when I close my eyes
And hearing them all singing makes me wanna cry
Just remembering and feeling it all over again
Me not knowing so not caring that this was the end

Monday, February 10, 2014

Early Christianity--Letters of Paul; Done

So for the last month I have been consumed with the letters of Paul. I signed up for Early Christinity course through HarvardX for free! It was definitely a unique learning experience for me, as I was taught by watching videos and annotating texts on rap and participating in discussions as part of my assignments.  I learned so much about Paul and of the time in which he was writing, but the most unexpected part of this class was how many ancient/ historical and contemporary texts outside of the NT writings we had to read. It was incredible! (I even shared some excerpts of those texts here and here). It enabled me to gain an understanding of the new testament that I probably would not have gained on my own study.

I mean I read 1 Corinthians at least 5 times in a 10 day span. Talk about delving deep. I read it searching for meaning for freedom and slavery. I reread it searching for the role of women. I read it yet again to gain an understanding of the value for wisdom in the 1st and 2nd century. I read its prescript. I read to evaluate Paul's use of rhetoric. I'm telling ya, I have read it in NIV, NABRV, NAB, and NRSV translations.

I would devote 6-8 hours of reading for a single class. Knowing that in 2 days, another 8 hours of reading would be assigned to me. I read from the deuterocanon. I read from disputed texts. I read from heretical texts. I read from Jewish histories. I read from Aristotle, Polybius, MLK Jr., and Josephus. I read and read and read.

And what did I gain from all this endless reading?

A deeper understanding of life in the 1st and 2nd centuries CE.
A respect for Paul and at the same time a disillusionment, in his teachings and in his message.

But most of all, I developed a yearning for the Word.

I'm telling ya, when the course started, I was overwhelmed with reading of all these letters. I was pushing through them-- carelessly annotating them with generalities and obvious observations from the texts. But as the weeks went on, I became used to the reading of these difficult ancient and biblical texts. Then toward the end, I couldn't wait for my next assignment. It was as if I were left empty until the next wave of readings were announced.

Now that the class is done, I'm searching my shelves for what to read next, but nothing jumps out at me. I know I want to read something spiritual, but I miss the community, and the discussions, and the forums, and the debates. I miss gaining knowledge not just from the professor but from the teaching fellows, from my peers, and from the research i did outside the class.

I want more.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Real Strong Women

Real strong women,
Value Life. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Polybius Histories--Insight to the darkness within

Spendius and his men then led out from the camp Gesco and the other prisoners, in all about seven hundred. Taking them a short distance away, they first of all cut off their hands, 12 beginning with Gesco, that very Gesco whom a short time previously they had selected from all the Carthaginians, proclaiming him their benefactor and referring the points in dispute to him. 13 After cutting off the hands they cut off the wretched men's other extremities too, and after thus mutilating them and breaking their legs, threw them still alive into a trench.
81 1 The Carthaginians, when news came of this unhappy event, could take no action, but their indignation was extreme, and in the heat of it they sent messengers to Hamilcar and their other general Hanno imploring them to come and avenge the unfortunate victims. 2 To the assassins they sent heralds begging that the bodies might be given up to them. 3 Not only was this request refused but the messengers were told to send neither herald nor envoy again, as any who came would meet with the same punishment that had just befallen Gesco. 4 With regard to treatment of prisoners in the future, the mutineers passed a resolution and engaged each other to torture and kill every Carthaginian and send back to the capital with his hands cut off every ally of Carthage, and this practice they continued to observe carefully. 5 No one looking at this would have any hesitation in saying that not only do men's bodies and certain of the ulcers and tumours afflicting them become so to speak savage and brutalized and quite incurable, but that this is true in a much higher degree of their souls. 6 In the case of ulcers, if we treat them, they are sometimes inflamed by the treatment itself and spread more rapidly, while again if we neglect them they continue, in virtue of their own nature, to eat into the flesh and never rest until they have utterly destroyed the tissues beneath. 7 Similarly such malignant lividities and putrid ulcers often grow in the human soul, that no beast becomes at the end more wicked or cruel than man. 8 In the case of men in such a state, if we treat the disease by pardon and kindness, they think we are scheming to betray them or deceive them, and become more mistrustful and hostile to their would‑be benefactors, 9 but if, on the contrary, we attempt to cure the evil by retaliation they work up their passions to outrival ours, until there is nothing so abominable or so atrocious that they will not consent to do it, imagining all the while that they are displaying a fine courage.10 Thus at the end they are utterly brutalized and no longer can be called human beings. Of such a condition the origin and most potent cause lies in bad manners and customs and wrong training from childhood, but there are several contributory ones, the chief of which is habitual violence and unscrupulousness on the part of those in authority over them. 11 All these conditions were present in this mercenary force as a whole and especially in their chiefs.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Eucharist-- at the very heart of the Catholic Faith

"Many ecclesiastics want to make me known through sophisticated arguments and complex reasonings,  forgetting the Eucharist, which is my very substance, and the sublime simplicity of the Gospels, which I proclaim. This is like throwing mud at simple people." (Cf. Message to Julia Kim, September 22, 1995)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest."

I've been reading the Martin Luther King's letter from Birmingham jail for the course on Early Christianity.

The exercise was to compare Paul's letters from the 1st century with that of MLK in the 20th.

But so many profound statements were made during MLK's letter that I found myself crying many times before I finished my reading, which took me two days to complete.

I have been feeling in my heart that God has more in store for me--that he made me capable of more than what I've done thus far. I have been so unsettled recently with just the need to make something happen.

So coming across this quote of an older black women during a very dark period of civil unrest in the south, "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." I was instantly inspired. 

My God!  I want to feel that. I want my soul to be at rest with the peace of knowing that I worked tirelessly for the Lord.

Get Motivated! 

St. Catherine of Sienna said, "We we become who were are called to be, we will set the world ABLAZE!"

I've written it before, but I write it again!

Be Motivated!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

where am i

I've a few friends who have posted what they read in 2013.But for the life of me I can't figure out which books I read last year or didn't read last year. It's like every book I've read is so fresh in my mind it feels like just yesterday that I last laid it down. 

Anyway I feel inclined to at least mention what I'm doing now and why I'm doing it. 

I'm currently reading: 
David Copperfield 
Stiff--the curious life of human cadavers
The Peacemaker--a biblical guide to resolving personal conflict

I'm reading david Copperfield because it's a classic and every so often I like to sharpen my classic reading skills. It's slower and sadder than books today , and I love it for that. 

Stiff, because it's interesting and morbid. I find it irresistible. 

The peacemaker, I'm reading because I have to figure out what I want more--respect or peace. 

I'm also taking a course online. It's called Early Christianity: letters of Paul. I'm doing this because I want to get my master's degree or a graduate certificate and I feel like I need to start getting used to academia. This is a certificate course not one for credit, but it's only to get me going. 

I can't just keep reading for no reason and storing knowledge with no outlet and no respect. Who cares if you're smart? It's all about what your stupid linked in profile says you are. 

Friday, December 13, 2013


I've moved on.
Well, sort of...
It's just that your memory and your impact-- lingers.
It festers really.
Like old bones that hurt in the cold or
Like an old wound that shoots searing pain at random moments
Or like a ghost limb that itches regardless of its amputation.
I've written this a million times.
I've thought of it a billion times.
Why did you do it?
Was it a game to you?
Did I hurt you so badly that you wanted to make me pay?
Did I mean so little to you that you didn't even care how your actions would hurt me?
Destroy me?
Destroy my family?
How was it going to end?
I left because of you… did you know that?
And I'm glad I did--most of the time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My friends.

It's the "I'm calling just to chat"
The "wanna go to Barnes with me?"
The "Oh My Goodness, let me tell you what happened..."
That makes a friend.

The back and forth,
You come to my place and I'll come to yours.
The "have you seen this movie?"
The "watchu doing after church?"

Thank God for friends who think you're funny
And who can crack you up.
Thank God for people who WANT to spend time with you.
Thank you Jesus for my friends.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

I needed my mommy

I called my mom after church today. 

The events of this morning probably would have stayed with me all day. Maybe even all week, but what my mom had to say helped me break free of the insecurity and embarrassment that immediately follow a mess up on stage. Not even my husband can lift me up from the depths that I fall when something like that happens to me. 

I have to find a lesson in these types of situations. This will not be my last Sunday when I mess up on stage. I have to find a way to understand that it really is no big deal. 

It's just at the moment it doesn't feel that way. It feels mortifying. I feel compelled to flee. Just run away. Crawl under a rock. And cry. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Reminiscences of the Exodus

Inhale deeply
The sweet smoke
The cinnamon and myrrh
The cassia, calamus, and oil--
Of the finest pressed olives.
Yes! I remember this.
It's been so long since I've smelled
An aroma pleasing to God.

Friday, November 29, 2013


"Little Girl," the old bear growled,
"Come quickly!
Tie your shoes!
Close your mouth when you chew!
What was that sound?!!?
Did you wipe!?
Hurry up!
You're acting like such a brat!
What did I SAY?!?!..."
On and on it went--
With the young girl and the bear.
Each day she heard the rumblings of the Old Bear
Each day she prepared herself for the attack
Each day she defended herself against the claws
Each day she waited patiently
And each day
The Little Girl grew an untraceable amount.
Then one day the Little Girl,
Now strong and smart and quick,
And the Old Bear cried.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mommy Lesson #1: Do not trust your 1st grader to tell you the correct time

Today, Lia arrived at school 15 mins after the tardy bell sounded.

And it was all due to a grave error in judgment on my part.

Drowsily hearing Lia thumping around downstairs, I get up to ask her, "Lia baby!?!??"

"Yea" she replied

"What time is it?"

"Um let me check……it's 6:40"

"Ok baby thanks!"

I stayed in bed for a while after that, wondering why we were having such an early start to our day. Grabbed Maggie out of her crib when she cried and brought her to lay with me. We read books. Lia joined us. We chatted. Hung out. Then lazily I grab by phone from the charger and FINALLY notice the true time.

It was 9:15 in the morning!!!!!

NO way in the world did HOURS go by. It was more like 8:40 when she checked the time. Talk about 0 to 60! We were out of bed, dressed, packed and at school by 15 mins later. Did I mention that school is 10 mins away?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Bhagavad-Gita (Ch. 2 v 47-49)

You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness, either. Perform every action with your heart fixed on the Supreme Lord. Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure; for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahman. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.
-As quoted in Franny and Zooey

Friday, November 15, 2013

FWF--my first attempt

Death and Rebirth:

I was feeling dead. Or so close to dead that that awful, desperate struggle-phase was in full swing. Basically, I was desperate for rescue.

Funny how my death and rebirth all revolve around words. They are my center. It was words that tried (perhaps unwittingly) to slay me, and words that rejuvenated me.

What do you do when your muse has died?
Not an elegant, whimsical, fantastical death
Of a beautiful, fair, faerie-type creature
Gracefully limp upon her chaise--
Hair in bright auburn waves
Still vibrantly flowing upon her brow.
I mean a dried and shriveled body
Laying stiffly upon a dusted floor
Neglected and almost obscenely deceased.
What do you do then?

Why am I posting so much rubbish?

I've been told that I read a lot, but I'm starting to think that I read a normal amount for a person who loves to read. I'm not particularly fast at reading. I just devote a lot of time toward it.

Franny and Zooey--one of the greatest things I've read.

"I'll tell you one thing, Franny. One thing I know. And don't get upset. It isn't anything bad. But if it's the religious life you want, you ought to know right now that you're missing out on every single goddam religious action that's going on around this house. You don't even have sense enough to drink when somebody brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup- which is the only kind of chicken soup Bessie ever brings to anybody around this madhouse. So you just tell me, just tell me, buddy. Even if you went out and searched the whole world for a master- some guru, some holy man- to tell you how to say your Jesus Prayer properly, what good would it do you? How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don't even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it's right in front of your nose? Can you tell me that?" --Zooey

I'm telling you this book is an English major's dream

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is it ever enough?

I once read  a quote somewhere that said "The devil is too smart to tell us not to pray. Oh no. Instead he tells us to pray later."

Isn't that the story of our lives?! (of MY life, I tells ya)
"I'll pray later. I'll give later. I'll care later. I'll improve later.
or better yet as Christians we sometimes feel that just by being a christian that I'm good enough. I've done enough. I've given enough.

Although, more often than not I have a very different feeling. I know with every fiber in my being that I'm never really giving him enough. So I keep striving, thirsting, yearning to do so.

Isn't that something?! I try desperately to be more like Christ, to understand God and his word, while knowing that I'll never achieve my goal. But does that mean I should just quit trying? Or just quit trying desperately.

I mean, God doesn't say "give enough to me;" he says, "Give your ALL to me."
He wants every breath--not just the ones we remember to give.

I've recently been told (very lovingly and with much concern) that I run a mile a minute. Asked whether I ever just stop and rest. Told I have too much guilt. Warned against being too legalistic, and it had me thinking, "Is it possible that I'm working too hard to be something I can never truly be?"

I've been thinking so long and so hard about it that I've not actually been able to sleep for the last 2 days--just turning that question over and over in my mind. (So I guess they were pretty astute in their characterization of me :D)

Then tonight as I was searching for new christmas song arrangements for worship in December, I came across a video depicting children who were impacted by war--missing limbs, bodies prostrated in the streets, rags and nakedness and famine and pain. And in my inbox I have the prayer requests of a pro-life ministry I support whose numbers are failing and is trying desperately to understand why. And in my life, I'm never silent enough to pray! So not only are my country and my world ravaged by sin, but my life is void of intentional prayer and peace.

Is it enough to say at the end of the day, "well, God today I didn't do much; didn't do much to advance your kingdom. Wasn't overly generous or kind. Didn't really think about praying or praising you. Kind of did the complete opposite all day, but that should be enough for you, right?!"

Is it TOO much to say, "Father God, give me strength and send your Spirit so that I can do MORE than I'm capable of doing on my own."

That's a pretty scary and intimidating prayer, and I'm debating whether I can pray that and genuinely mean it.

I've just bought Mother Theresa's book, "A Simple Path."
If you want to talk about a woman who was devoted to Christ. In love with Christ. Dedicated to Christ's work, then Mother Teresa is your subject.

If you've ever read one of her books or listened to her speak (just youtube her), I'm sure you'll be struck by her calmness. Blessed Mother Teresa had a peace and joyfulness about her that was astounding--even in the slums of Calcutta with an overwhelming amount of misery, suffering, and poverty surrounding her, she was able to rejoice in the goodness of God.

Mother Teresa reminds me that regardless of the sin and suffering of the world, there is still goodness. There is still reason to rejoice. There is still hope.

And it is this hope and peace that I wish to learn from her so that this desire to be the hands and feet of God can be done efficiently, even-temperedly, joyfully, submissively, un-egotistically...and silently.

This is the day that the LORD has made. We will REJOICE and BE GLAD in it!! (Ps 118:24)

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. (The Jesus Prayer)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What is with me and this terrible restlessness?!

I'm exhausted, but I fight any and all sleep or rest or peace.

I just keep on the alert. Like a blanket of urgency has fallen upon every aspect of Me, and I'm thinking, feeling, searching, and seeing everything all at once.

well at least I'm reading a great book:

All In

I'm at a place now
Where I'm one foot in
And one foot out.
Not convinced
This is where my life's supposed to play out

Not entirely sure
You're the one for me.
Not feeling bought in to the vision you see.
Not feeling like I'm part of the team.
Not seeing the future that you and yours dream.

Because Because Because...

I will follow you
Because you're worth my submission.

I will listen to you
Because I respect your opinion.

I will support you
Because I believe you to be genuine

And I will change for you
Because you force me to espy my sin.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

At least I've got my health....


I bet that's what all my English major friends would call this morning. Blue skies. Chirping birds. Yet the air had a crisp coldness to it that edged on the wrong side of comfortable.

It didn't stop me from sitting out there, though. About 40 pages in to Franny and Zooey and wondering how Salinger came up with this stuff. All the while listening to
Look how green that grass is! That costs $ too.
the beeep beeep beeep of a reversing tow truck as it picked up my bojankity, p.o.s., hooptie mobile to bring it to the shop for the 3rd time this month.

Money. Loads of it. I spend Loads of Money. It never ends. It makes my teeth hurt just thinking about the exorbitant amounts of money that I spend. Makes me think things like "man I wish we would have never bought this house. It's too expensive." or "Man, I wish I were a freakin' millionaire." You know stuff like that.

But at least you've got your health! Isn't that what all the old folks say when everything's going to crap, but on the bright side you're not dead!

Truth be told, I've got it good. That's why I'm sitting out here with my book. Kid sleeping in the car. Big ole house. With two cars (that just need a little bit of work and the occasional tow). I've got it all. I've just got to spend a load of money to have it.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Monday, November 04, 2013


It's very rare that I feel self-conscious about my writing or the idea of someone reading my writing. For years the only passers-by on this site were people who ventured so deep into the internet that stumbling upon this blog was just another back-space click without a single word read.
That's still my audience. So if you're actually reading this...I'm genuinely surprised :D

Warning: this poem contains strong language

Saturday, November 02, 2013


I must learn to listen.
To be patient
To accept
To follow

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Recently during a connection group meeting, one of my church friends hit me with such an incredibly uplifting and freeing truth that it staggered everything I once believed about serving.

Sometimes it is the most basic concepts that create the most impactful change. Here's what happened...

I serve in different areas in our church, and in doing so, I invest a lot of my time performing many different duties. I do this because I love my church family. I also do it because I like to feel like a contributor, and finally, I serve because it makes me happy.

But there are some areas where I serve that make me happier than others. And it is here where my paradigm shift occurred.

I always felt that when I was serving in the area I LOVED that it really wasn't serving because it didn't feel like a sacrifice. For some reason I was under the impression that to truly serve the kingdom there had to be some pain involved--an overcoming my reluctance and a grit-and-bear-it moment. If that feeling didn't happen, then there was no real sacrifice, and I wasn't trying hard enough.

It was the same with generosity. For me giving money is easy. There's no pain involved. Lee, on the other hand, cringes when we hand in the checks. To Lee it feels like I'm handing away our security--that at any moment we could face financial crisis and we won't be able to pay our way out because I've gone and given all our money away. But he does it anyway. He gives even when it hurts. Lee feels the sacrifice.

But when it comes to investing in people, Lee is MUCH more generous than I am. He really connects. He listens. He cares. He prays. He texts. He calls. I don't. And when I do, it takes a great effort. I am definitely not as generous with giving of myself as I am with my money. I'd rather pay you than invest in you. (Man that sounds awful!)

This is when the super incredible words of holy Spirit wisdom come in. My friend explained that God gave us different strengths so that the church could have a balance. If we were all generous in the same ways there would be a deficiency or neglect in other critical areas. Lee is a generous investor in people because God knew there was a need for people to be connected to a strong and gentle man who listens and guides without judgment or ridicule. And God made me generous with my money because He knows that there are true financial needs that must be addressed, and together Lee and I are powerful in that respect.

Through the years, Lee has become so much more trusting that God will take care of us financially. He has come to learn that all of our money is God's money, and that when we honor the Lord with our finances that He is always faithful and provides for us in ways we could never have imagined.

Likewise, by following and learning from Lee's example, along with my other friends who are amazing investors in people, I have become more open with myself--allowing myself to share my story with others and to try to help by walking along side them in their struggles.

So back to serving... The church has so many needs, and because of these needs there are so many areas to serve. It doesn't have to be painful. God gave me certain strengths so that I can fulfill a need in the church to fullest and with the most joy. Because the joy of the Lord IS my strength! SEE WHAT I DID THERE!?!? I find Joy in serving within the Strengths that the Lord has given me.

Find what gives you the most joy! Then serve, serve, serve. I'm telling you, I can never get enough, when I'm serving in my joyful place :D

Truth Be Told

There's an arrogance there, I think.
A sinful feeling deep within 
That your time is more valuable than mine,
That you owe no one any more or less time than you see fit, and
That you'll get to me when you get to me.

Let me share some truth--
Are real and from the Lord, and
That regardless of how you Feel
You do owe others some of your time,
And finally the very basic truth
That my time is valuable, and I dislike being ignored.