C'est La Vie

What a beautiful piece of heartache this has all turned out to be. Lord knows we've learned the hard way all about healthy apathy. And I use these words pretty loosely. There's so much more to life than words..
I really think I'll be ok. They've taken their toll these latter days.
-- Over the Rhine, Latter Days


2001.04 2001.05 2001.06 2001.07 2001.08 2001.09 2001.10 2001.11 2001.12 2002.01 2002.02 2002.03 2002.04 2002.05 2002.06 2002.07 2002.08 2002.09 2002.10 2002.11 2002.12 2003.01 2003.02 2003.04 2003.05 2003.06 2003.07 2003.08 2003.09 2003.10 2003.11 2003.12 2004.01 2004.02 2004.03 2004.04 2004.05 2004.06 2004.07 2004.08 2004.09 2004.10 2004.11 2004.12 2005.01 2005.02 2005.03 2005.04 2005.05 2005.07 2005.10 2005.11 2006.02 2006.03 2006.04 2006.05 2006.07 2006.08 2006.09 2006.10 2006.11 2006.12 2007.01 2007.02 2007.03 2007.04 2007.05 2007.06 2007.07 2007.08 2007.09 2007.10 2007.11 2007.12 2008.01 2008.02 2008.03 2008.04 2008.05 2008.06 2008.07 2008.08 2008.09 2008.10 2008.11 2008.12 2009.01 2009.02 2009.03 2009.05 2009.07

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Contact Me

by email
change to proper format: pattyt81 at hotmail dot com
(I hate Spam)

By mail
(contact me for my new address)

Other Weblogs I enjoy
(In no particular order)

Katy Raymond


Recommended Readings

A Grief Observed

Wishful Thinking
Frederick Buechner

Divine Conspiracy
Dallas Willard (may never finish)

Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven
James Bryan Smith

Recommended Listening
(from my collection)

The Hymnal, Arkadelphia
Randall Goodgame

Land of the Living
Eric Peters

Laryngitis, Longing
Katy Bowser

Walk [EP], Carried Along, Clear to Venus, Love and Thunder, and live bootlegs
Andrew Peterson

In the Company of Angels
Caedmon's Call

Delusions of Grandeur
Fleming and John

The entire CD catalog
Eddie From Ohio

Bootlegs including Eddie From Ohio, Rich Mullins, David Wilcox, and Andrew Peterson

Things I love
(AKA: Ways to win my heart)
Music, gift certificates, ice cream, music, chocolate, meatballs, music, books, knowledge, music, good movies, music, animals, art supplies, music, cotton candy, fajitas, music, safety, music....

Things I wish I owned and could listen to or read
found at Relevantmagazine.com,
and at pastemusic.com, too

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I forgot one of the best parts of the Gracie post the other day:

Since she became able to hold pens and markers herself (and you know how babies can be very sneaky about such things), Gracie has tended to write on herself a great deal. Just scribbles, of course, but the longer she has the pen, the more scripples appear and the more of her body is covered. Once, at her grandmother's house, she got ahold of a sharpie marker while she was supposed to be taking a nap, and she colored all over her stomach, feet, arms, legs, face, AND the computer screen and keyboard in the office where she was napping. Needless to say, she's very much not allowed to hold pens or markers often anymore, and is watched closely when she does.

The other day, I had given her a pen and a piece of paper to color on, and she kept scribbling on the palm of her hand. At least it wasn't the nice coffeetable, but I still reminded her about how she isn't supposed to write on herself. Then she looked at me and said, "That's a no-no" in her adorable little voice, and I said, "that's right, Gracie. Writing on your skin is a no-no."

She then went on scribbling on her paper, and I put my left hand down to hold it steady. She paused a moment, pointed at where I had written my day's to-do list on the back of my hand (as I often do), and said "that's a no-no."

Spoo. She sure caught me on that one. :)

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So the overall leaders have apparently STILL not said anything to the jr. highers about my sudden absence, because the students are still coming up and asking me if I'm coming (to Bible study) tonight or why I wasn't there (in the jr. high room) on Sunday or that sorta thing. It breaks my heart every single time. However, I am at least then able to tell them what's up and they're not wondering anymore, and I'd rather tell them individually than have some mistruth told to the whole group, I suppose. Perhaps on Sunday I'll be given a chance to go back and talk with them a little.

It's still an incredibly frustrating situation that I hope meets a kinder end soon.

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This is from an email I wrote to a friend today:

So now that I've been saying that I'm GOING to move, all these folks are telling me that they think I shouldn't.. some that they don't want to, and some that they've really felt it impressed upon their heart, from God, to tell me so. And the latter is from folks that don't normally say or "feel" such things, so I know it's not just Christian jabber.

How in the world do I tell if what *I* have been thinking, feeling, etc.. that is, what all went into my decision -- was really from God, both in origin and in perception? How do I know what I'm supposed to do?

Cowboy Junkies have a song that has something about this -- with a line about, well, since I finally found the lyrics online, let me just include them all. This is from Miles From Our Home (which is the only album of theirs I have) and the song Good Friday.

Sat at my window watched the world
Wake up this morning
Purple sky slowly turning golden,
Distant elms so orange
You'd swear they're burning

All this flowing water
Has got my mind wandering.
Do you ever finally reach
A point of knowing
Or do you just wake up one day
And say, I am going?

What will I tell you
When you ask me why I'm crying
Will I point above
At the Red Tail gracefully soaring
Or down below where it's prey
Is quietly trembling?

Two thousand years ago Jesus is left there hanging.
Purple sky slowly turning golden.
Cowards at his feet loudly laughing.
Loved ones stumbling homeward
Their words reeling.
Red Tail above my head quietly soaring.
Waters turn from ice, creak is roaring.
He says, enough of all this shit I am going.

The line about ever reaching a point of knowing or just wake up one day and say I'm going.. that line always catches me whenever I'm listening to the tape (which is quite often) and I absolutely love it.

So that's where I am right now. And I don't want to miss what God says because of my own interpretations and perceptions, nor anyone else's. Let me know what you think.

(blog readers: if you'd like to let me know what you think, please email me: patty t 81 at hotmail dot com .. 'cept change at and dot to the right symbols and take out all the spaces. My passionate dislike of spam makes me not wanna post my email address more easily. 'sides, lots of people apparently miss the t after patty in this address.)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003

"Sing with me, Patty! Sing with me!"

Gracie apparently hasn't yet developed whatever it is that makes people's ears hurt when I start singing, because I am terribly off-key.

At almost two and a half, Gracie is one month younger than my niece, which helps since I haven't seen my niece in a year and a half. Since I can't watch Sloane grow up, it's nice to see Gracie at least twice a week (and usually more than that) and see all the new developments in her life. Apart from that factor, though, Gracie is a joy to be around in and of herself, even when I have to be there at 8:30 a.m.

Her mother takes Pilates two times a week, which is when it's an early morning for me, and her parents also attend the house church for which I babysit most Sundays. This past Sunday, I got to watch Gracie, Leah, Eva, and Abby-Jannea during the meeting time, and then we always have dinner together afterwards (we being all the families and myself). We had decided to go outside, since it was a beautiful day, and that meant going out the back door, then down the stairs from the back porch to the backyard. It's a sorta steep staircase, about 12 or 15 steps high, wooden with a railing on each side.

The older girls (Gracie, Eva -- nearly three, and Leah -- three and a half), had walked out the back door ahead of me. I was holding it open for Abby-Jannae (who is one) and her father, when I noticed that Gracie was starting to walk down the stairs. I told her to wait and hold my hand, since these were just steep enough to make me nervous about her tackling them herself.

Meanwhile, Gracie's parents had also brought their dog, Marley, who is a very excited golden retriever. She had run up the stairs when she heard us coming, and was running back down once she figured out that's where we were headed. In typical golden-retriever-trip-everyone-you-can-every-time-you-move style, she tucked herself in between Gracie and the railing, in a space that was much too small for her, which thus pushed Gracie over.

By the time she began falling, I was already racing to her, since I had seen it about to happen. She fell faster than I could run down, though, and tumbled over and over and over before I could reach her.

I saw her legs flip over her body flip over her head. And then hit the ground. And then I was scooping her up into my arms and running back up the stairs to her parents. Her father took her and her mother gave her an aptly-named pacifier, and she was calmly sniffling in a few minutes.

Shortly after, she was laughing and playing with everyone else, with only a tiny scrape on her elbow to show for the nightmarish event. May have taken me longer to recover than her, perhaps. As Suzie (her mother) said, though, there were a lot of angels with her during the fall.

Babysat her again this morning, and she's doing just fine and then some. She does everything she can to keep away from Marley, though, which may also have something to do with Marley's new habit of snipping at her whenever she walks by.

Today, we played Miss Mary Mac a lot, though she really hasn't gotten down the concept of holding her hands up for the clapping part. She can sing along with it already, though tempo is lost on her so far.

Aah, that kid.

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Windows media is on my Grr list right now. Opened it just a moment ago, and it automatically took over my browser window to load an ad, which the world could do without anyway.. and in so doing, destroyed the long blog entry I had been writing.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2003

At my office, there are two bathrooms. One is marked Public, and the other is marked Staff. From the outside, they look like the typical one-person office bathrooms, but inside there are actually two stalls. I think the confusion lies in the fact that there is a normal handle, which locks, on each door, as opposed to the swinging doors and such usually found on multiple-stall bathrooms.

Almost everyone that works in my office is a female, with the occasional exception of some male counselors that come in a day each per month or so and the men that come for the meetings we host. The latter men usually use the public bathroom if any at all during their time here, but the counselors use the staff one. However, as I said, it's normally only females in the office.

Thus, when I go to the restroom, I usually shut the door but don't lock it, because I figure that if there are gonna be two stalls, we may as well have both available at any given moment. My boss locks it, as do some of the other folks, but I don't happen to be in that habit.

There have only been a few times when I've been in the bathroom at the same time as anyone else, but that's never been too terribly awkward, so I've continued not locking the door. Today, when I went to the restroom, I did not lock the door. And while I was in there, someone else came in and made use of the other stall, after having locked the door. I figured that it was my boss, because she even locks the door when she sees my feet (or someone else's) under the stall wall. So I finished up and was washing my hands, when a man came around the corner to the sink, and said "Well, that was my first co-ed bathroom experience."

"Mine, too," I replied, chuckling internally. I had no idea who this man was, though he looked vaguely familiar as some of the men that only come in once a month do.

"Kinda like being at home, I guess," he continued, while reaching for some paper towels from our wall-dispenser, which is somewhat jammed much of the time and thus difficult to get a towel out of, and also which is not often found in many home bathrooms, of course.

So, grinning and preparing to leave, because this experience WAS a somewhat awkward one, I responded with, "Right, except for the whole two-toilet thing."

I managed to make a quick-get-away after that and probably won't actually see him again today, but the other staff that are in the office today both enjoyed the story.

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Monday, May 19, 2003

Yesterday, after church, I had a very long talk with the wife in the couple that is over all the jr. high leaders. Two years ago when our youth pastor started working just with the high school group, this couple was put in place as the overall jr. high leaders. They'd been working with the group since long before me, and have had two sons go through the program so far, and a third will be in jr. high soon enough. The youth pastor still meets with them to head up the youth program in general, but is otherwise not particularly connected to the jr. high group or leaders.

So anyway, yesterday, I waited around after church 'till few others were left in the building, and then approached her. We talked about random other things, including my job and such for a while, and then I finally said, "Look, I'm not gonna argue with the decision that was made completely without me, and I'm not gonna say I should be a leader again. But I AM going to say that the kids should not just see me disappear as all the other female leaders have done, without any explanation. I would like a chance to just say goodbye or something."

So she asks me to sit down and talk about what I perceive as the message, as what happened.

We talked for an hour or two.. a very long time at any rate. I cried a few times. She didn't at all. She said a lot of very good things, and explained a little bit that wasn't directly stated to me about what their concerns were.. which was basically because I openly stated that I'm broken and screwed up, and they decided I needed to "not have jr. high as a distraction while pursuing help." (That's not a direct quote, btw.. paraphrase. Very much a paraphrase.)

But other things angered me even more. Like when she said "Did Erin ask you to leave her apartment?"

Oh, right, because it was an unwise financial decision to move from this place where I was only supposed to be for three months and had already been for ten, and where yes, she HAD asked me to move out, and where I was needing it anyway -- although Erin was one of the best roommates I've ever had, and I certainly have nothing against her either from our time as roommates (or, more accurately, housemates) nor in our parting of ways, which was very mutual and painless -- so moving FROM there into an apartment where I'd finally be living by myself, be completely responsible for my own life and health and food and everything .. and would only be paying $50 a more per month to live there, thanks to the kindness of my landlords.. yes, an unwise financial decision, apparently. I should have well-overstayed my welcome with Erin, given myself even more health complications because of certain aspects of such living, given her even more frustration because it was HER house and I was not keeping our agreement about duration of living there, plus payed almost just as much to live there, and only had half a room. Erin was one of my best roommates ever, and one of the neatest people I've ever known, to boot. But I ought not have stayed there, and there's one thing I'm absolutely certain of.

So meanwhile, the part about that that angered me is that their assumption that I had just moved out only because I wanted to live by myself and I'm such a stoopid little child and make all these unwise financial decisions.. that assumption was a huge part of their decision to ask me to step down as a leader, and probably also in the church's decision about not helping me financially.

What the snot??

What the friggin' snot??

I was so stinkin' RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM for the 9 and a half months now that I've been living in my apartment, or ten months since I found out about and planned to move into this apartment. They have never once bothered saying, "Gee, Patty, let's talk about what happened here. Since you didn't actively seek us out to inform us about things you couldn't possibly know we were assuming, we'll be kind enough to inform you that we aren't sure why you didn't stay at Erin's house."

Kinda like how when I had told them about living with Christy for a month, and sometimes being there (crashing on the couch because I never bothered setting my bed up in her room, which would have been big enough but would have been her room .. and now I praise God all the more that I didn't set it up there) when she had her boyfriend over for the weekend, and without a car and far from the walking distance of any of the whoppin' four places open past eleven in this town, and sometimes they even left the door open, and I stinkin' TOLD these leaders about it and other families, and they didn't say, "gee, Patty, how about if you give me a call when that happens so that we'll come pick you up and you don't have to be there for that anymore."

Don't get me wrong, some people did make such offers, and I gratefully accepted. But I think it's crap that these people that don't make offers, that don't ever show that they care in a way that doesn't make me feel like a big pile of maggot-infested rotting potato, that make assumptions about everything they see and that don't even have a clue not only why I make the decisions I do, but that my priorities are not all about saving up a millionbazillion dollars even if for a good cause.. these are the same people that are making decisions that affect my life greatly as well as the lives of others I care about. Why is that?

The people that helped are also the people that have nothing to do with the authority of this church. And those in authority that I know would have helped if they had known what was going on are also the people that were not part of this decision.

So later on, at the end of our conversation, I tell her again that I want to explain things to the jr. high.. and she wants to know what I plan on saying. And I say that I don't know, and I mostly said that because I figure I don't have a clue what would be acceptable to her and she isn't gonna let me talk to them as a group anyway and the bottom line is that I feel intimidated and devalidated and like a bigfat pile of maggot-infested rotting potatoes.. And so she says that she'll take care of it, and I asked what she will say, and she tells me she'll tell them that I am taking a break to focus on some other parts of my life right now.

And I told her that wasn't the truth. And they deserve the truth.

And she says no, they are jr. high students. They are not that deep. They are not old enough to understand some things, and I should not go and tell them more than that.

And I did not say bullshit, but I sure thought it. And I did tell her that they are deeper. And it isn't just about if they're going to miss me. It's about if they're going to feel like they matter to an adult that has no biological link to them which is supposed to force those adults to care. Are they going to feel like they can trust people, or are they going to think that just when they get close to those people, those people will leave them? Are they going to be ready for other jr. high and high school leaders in their lives? Especially these new ones who don't haven't really yet gotten entirely comfortable with this age group?

And I say that when I was in jr. high, I cared about my leaders, and I wanted my leaders to care about me, and things that happened with the leadership when I was in jr. high or even elementary school is still very vivid in my mind. And that when I read my diary from when I was nine years old, I see how people up and disappearing with no valid reason given, or with something that rang of dishonesty.. that occurance was enough for my nine-year-old self to write a lot about and to cry and to never know the truth because apparently nine year olds and jr. highers and deep enough, don't wonder enough, aren't old enough to understand some things.

Or maybe just too young to accept bullshit.

Because *I* am not old enough to understand this. I am not old enough to just say "Oh, ok, you can completely leave me out of this decision, and I'll sit back and take it, and say 'Thank you sir, may I have another' and wait for you to slap me again."

Don't devalidate me, and my experiences from childhood, and don't underestimate those students. Perhaps the girls (since girls mature faster than boys) are deeper than the boys, and maybe the boys will rebound quickly and not really wonder a great deal as she stated, and perhaps the fact that she only has sons affects the way that she sees jr. high aged students, even though she works with the girls at jr. high functions. But I don't think even that explains it. I think that the boys will need to hear the truth, too, though maybe it wouldn't be AS traumatic as to the girls to just cover it up, sweep everything under the rug.

I don't want them to start distrusting these overall leaders, either (although part of me is afraid that they will hurt the students, too.. that if they didn't have either my best interest in mind or the students' in the way they went about this whole situation, perhaps they won't have the students' best interest in mind when it comes to, say, a very dramatic situation arising in the jr. high group. Or in the high school group. I've seen the most dramatic of dramatic situations in youth groups, and I don't think that this leadership team could cut it. The leadership of the groups I was involved in at the time sure struggled to handle those events.. and they weren't even that great of leaders. But at the very least, they did present the truth about what had happened. And these leaders won't. And that's not right.) I don't want the students to be caught up in politics, or families to pull their kids from jr. high, or these leaders to be brought down, or anything like that.

But I do want the students to know the truth. They deserve that. I have been nothing but honest with them about my own life and my own beliefs and everything, and now that my life is affecting theirs, I can't even tell them why this is happening. Not only that, but no one else can tell them the truth, either. That is, no one else WILL. Because those that would are under the authority of those that won't.

I know that God will use this for His glory, and He already has in many ways. But the way that this happened was still entirely inappropriate and extremely unloving, and that will be addressed before I leave. It will be addressed now so that there's time for the drama to unfold and then settle before I leave.

The good side is that I have become more intensely aware of who exactly in this church I really AM connected to, and who I could be. And I've become even more aware of who I'm not connected to that I thought I might have been. And there are other goods that have come from this.

But it was still handled poorly. Very poorly. I started a list about what was wrong in the handling on Sunday, and will be forming that into the bulk of my response letter (and will be including my very pissed-off post, too .. yes, word-for-word and in entirety) which I'll be giving to those involved at church this week.

Yes, God will use this for His glory. He will mop up after the mess that I have made and that has been made around me by others. And not just mop, but use the shards of glass for a beautiful mosaic.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

The post yesterday (the rather angry one) was directed towards only a few certain people, and I want to make that very clear. Although I do intend to show them a very similar version of my reaction to what happened, I am pretty certain that they do not read my blog, so I wanted to say blatantly that those of you that are reading are not the people it is directed towards. The first yous, in the very angry part of the post, were those specific people. The last you, in the calmer place, was specifically Madison.

So, now I'm gonna work a lot to earn my wages. Having gotten all of that other stuff off my chest, though, I think I'll feel much more free to blog more .. and more openly at that.

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Monday, May 12, 2003

I have been asking people a lot lately if it's still cynical if it's true.

Because I am cynical. I am jaded. And usually, I am right.

The hard part is that for the past four years, especially the past two, there have been a lot of things in my life that should have tipped people off to the fact that all is not well in the realm of Patty. That maybe they could step in and see what's going on, instead of making guesses from the outside judged by what they see flying over the barricades. It's like hearing a catfight, seeing a few chunks of fur flying over a fence, and trying to figure out exactly what the cats look like and which is winning.

One very interesting assumption that people make when I talk about the battle going on inside me -- or any such metaphor -- is that I'm still fighting. They assume not only that I'm on the good side, but that I'm on a side at all. In reality, most of the time, it's been me passed out from exhaustion in the middle of the battlefield, there for the taking of whichever side has enough of their medic crew left. Wouldn't really matter to me either way, 'cause lying on a stretcher is better than falling on a spear.

So, there have been these red flags (and white flags) going up all over my life, and no one took any interest. And then when I finally get to the point of actively pursuing help -- not just kinda poking and prodding to see what might be available and then cruising on by for fear of asking and not receiving -- I am penalized for admitting that my life is screwed up, that I am screwed up. I am told that others locally have been reaching out (and I don't want to discount those that have, but they have been few and far between, and it just hasn't worked that often) and I still don't feel connected, and that is a problem. Well, yes, it's a problem. And I would ask in return, since you're so sure people have been reaching out, how many times YOU invited me over for dinner, or just to hang out. How many times did your buddies, the families you approve of, ask me to join them for a movie or lunch? Who do YOU think has been reaching out to me? Because I can guarantee you that those you think have been are not the ones that have. They're just the ones that say they have so they can sleep better at night.

I have not been ANGRY.. and I mean angry... in a very long time. I have been through a lot of pretty messed up stuff, and I've been upset, but I haven't been ANGRY like this. I haven't had reason to be. I never use profanity, and yet I've been thinking with a lot of profanity about this particular situation for the past two days. These people that completely removed themselves from my life, completely distanced themselves, and then, whether intentionally or not, distanced others from me as well.. these same people are now removing me from EVERYTHING that matters to me, that really matters.

In January, I told him that I would step down as a jr. high leader if I needed to, if that's what he was saying he thought was best. And he said no, I didn't need to do that. I just needed to get better. And I have gotten INFINATELY better. But I think now that what he meant was that I needed to go back to being numb and apathetic about my own life instead of admitting that things are screwed up. Because once I really get better, and once I finally get up the nerve to ask for help again, to once again lay my entire heart and fear and vulnerability on the line, that is when they drop an anvil.. not just an axe, because an axe would sever painlessly and be done.. an anvil, so that it will sit there, cutting off circulation, slowly and painfully draining the life from my veins. They say "you've had too much trouble with paying your bills over the past four years, and you've not been connected to enough people, and you should not be a jr. high leader, and you are the one to blame for both the financial and social trouble, because we have tried to help you." And I say BULLSHIT!

I say you are liars, and that you have not tried to help when it meant stepping out of your comfort zone. You have stood watching and judging from a distance, not holding me accountable and not loving with justice and mercy.

To put it into the terms I know well because I have explained them over and over and over to dozens of jr. high students who have grown because of these terms:

We talk about life in the Kingdom. We talk about seeking our kingdom or the Kingdom of God, and about helping other people's kingdoms to grow. We talk about God invading our Kingdoms and how it's uncomfortable but it makes our kingdoms bigger and better and stronger.

You didn't just invade my kingdom. You burned it to the ground, pillaging as you went. You waited 'till I had given you the grand tour, 'till I had finally resolved that my secret stashes of treasure should be open for the taking, and you took it all, and you threw it into bogs where it would do no one good. And you tell me now that you will not dance on the ashes, but you will be back at midnight, scaring vultures and buzzards away so that you can make sure there is nothing left.

There is nothing left.

I have seen, again, why masks are so appealing in the first place. Because people can tolerate us, even think they love us, when we wear masks. Because we are comfortable with masks. And because when we start slipping them down so that we can peak over their brims instead of out between the miniscule eyeholes that cover our real eyes, the real mirrors to our souls.. when we slip them down, they are torn completely from our hands so that our faces, in all their hideous beauty, are exposed for all to see. And after all our protection is gone, people cannot be around us. People cannot be around me.

They didn't even give me some time to work my way out of the ministry, to explain what was going on to the kids, with whom I've become very close.

Every other single female leader that has been involved for more than a few weeks has disappeared without warning to the land of "I'm-dating-this-fantastic-guy-now-and-I-no-longer-have-time-for-you." I have been left to explain to these girls, because no explanation was given by the other leaders.

And now I'm not given the chance to explain for myself. I'm not leaving you for a guy, I'm not leaving you for school or work or anything. It is not my choice, and if it were my choice, I still would never have left so suddenly and harshly.

I can still remember so vividly the time when Morgan had just come into jr. high, and I was over at her house. I've been friends with her family for years, since I used to live right down the street from them and thus spent a lot of time with them. Her younger sister, Madison, was in third grade and was talking about how Morgan must have so much fun being in jr. high, being with me so often. I was amused by that thought in and of itself, because Morgan and I had actually spent some bit less time together since she had moved up into jr. high, but that was Madison's perspective, and I was glad to know it. So then Madison, who is not an emotional child, and who is very much a tomboy, started talking about how it wasn't fair that Morgan got to be in jr. high now and she had to wait so long and I prolly wasn't even going to be a leader there anymore by the time she was old enough. And I said that I would be a jr. high leader at this church untill God called me away. She misheard me, and replied "Who is this guy? I'm gonna kill him and he'll never take you away!" .. I didn't know she had misheard, so I laughed in a sad sort of way, and said "Madison, hunney, you can't kill God.. and .." I trailed off, not sure how to ask why she'd want to, and she burst out into laughter after realizing that I had said God, not guy, and we cried together a little. Yes, God has a right to call me away, even in Madison's mind, even when no guy can have that right.

And now, Madison, with one year left for you in elementary school, I am leaving. I have to go. And I would have gone even if I had not been told I was no longer a jr. high leader, but I would have gone after the next three months, after talking with the kids about their end-of-the-school-year excitement, after jr. high camp, after watching the eighth graders move up into the high school group and the new 6th graders join the middle school group. I would have gone after a great summer of time on the river and going to the movies, and birthdays. Summer has always been one of the best, closest times in the jr. high group, and now it is not mine to share with them.

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Well, I'm no longer torn between moving and staying here. I will be moving once my lease is up at the end of July. And I will move with the full knowledge that it is the only option. Where I'll be moving TO is still pretty up in the air, though the Raleigh-Durham area is the most likely option.

There has been a lot of drama lately, and I'm just relieved that if nothing else, at least it has made me sure that this is no longer my home, that my church is no longer my local church body and that my town is no longer my town. I've started telling people that it is indeed certain that I will be moving, instead of just saying I MAY be moving over the summer, and it feels great to be sure. The circumstances of the certainty do not feel so great, but that's not the issue at the moment. The point is that finally, I'm really sure of one thing in my life, if only one thing that I wasn't previously sure of.

But it's not just one thing. I've reaffirmed my commitment to remain single. There was a bigfat battle over that one for a while, and I'd even switched my ring to my right hand instead, but it's back on my left-ring-finger, where it should be. And I'm even more certain of God's love, and the fallability of humans, than I ever have been. After many, many dark hours and gory wars, I have come out beaming with the assurance that God really is love and that all of these things that I've been going through will be used for the best, even if not intended so by humans. I am even more convinced that my Father did not arrange for these things to happen, but that He will make them work out for my good and for His glory. Because there are many choices that I made that I ought not have made and I KNEW at the time I ought not be making, and I made the bad decision, and yet He used them for radiant glory all the same. And if He can do that with a screwed-up weirdo such as myself, He can certainly do that with the decisions made by others, even those that affect my life.

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Ah, yes, I did in fact blog about getting a job. And mentioned it in the following entry, over a week later. There were people that said I hadn't blogged about it yet. Yes, I did. Good.. I didn't think I was THAT confused or uncharacteristic.

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Friday, May 02, 2003

This weekend, I'm going to DC to see some great concerts. As per usual, I'll be working at the concerts so that the ticket will be free, and some ride-along friends will even out the gas money. I'll be seeing Brooks Williams, Robbie Schaefer (of Eddie From Ohio), and the Violet Burning, consecutively this weekend, all at my very favorite venue, Jammin' Java in Vienna, VA (near DC). Then, on Wednesday, I'll be seeing Pedro the Lion at another venue in DC. For that one, a friend is buying a ticket and helping to pay for gas. On that note, I get to see several friends this weekend, and spend time in one of America's neatest cities.

There are a bunch of other fun and exciting things coming up within the next couple of weeks, too. And lots more throughout the summer. And today, I'm FINALLY gonna get this past fall/winter's pictures developed from the single-use camera I finished up back in January. VERY much looking forward to that.

So, time to go make shortbread and pack.

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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
Max: Yeah, jail or Canada and they both suck. I mean I could never come home, so what is it, it's a choice of a 6x4 cell or an endless wasteland of frozen tundra.
Hippie: Montreal is cool.
Max:Man, they speak French there.
Groupie: So learn French. Learn French or die.
-- Across the Universe

"So how do i do normal
The smile i fake the permanent way
Cue cards and fix it kits
Can't you tell - I'm not myself
-- Frou Frou, Hear Me Out

"It's been known for a train to jump its track. It's ok, so you'll know, most times they come back. It's ok to lose your life, when you finally see your birth. It's ok to say, "I love you," and figure sometimes it's gonna hurt.
Don't forget to bring kindness, don't forget to say thanks. Don't forgot to spend your love, no it will break the bank. Don't forget to bring some empathy, for the saints and the sinners. Don't forget to bring encouragement. Yeah, we're all just beginners."
-- Bill Mallonee, Bank

"As a comedian, you have to start the show strong and you have end the show strong. Those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes, all exciting at first, but then by the end you're sick of 'em!"
-- (The late) Mitch Hedburg

"Hey, this is weird! I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?" "I love it!" "You're kidding! What a crazy random happenstance!"
-- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
As he kissed his weeping wife,
Only one more bag of the golden treasure
And 'twill last us all through life.
Then I'll spend my days in my cosy cottage
And enjoy the rest I've earned;
But alas! poor man! For he sail'd commander
Of the ship that never returned.
Did she never return? She never returned,
Her fate, it is yet unlearned,
Though for years and years there were fond ones watching
Yet the ship she never returned.
--The Ship that Never Returned, Henry Clay Work

"It was Flannery O'Connor who said that 'grace must wound before it heals.' Her words help me to separate what is most true about life from the things we want to be true. We want life to be painless. True grace is a hard sell because in order for the human heart to understand forgiveness and love, it must first experience darkness and isolation. A life lived under the rule of grace is a life of need which allows us to receive an appreciate the gift of the giver of grace. This is why we will always have the poor with us; this is why God will not allow us to ignore injustice; this is why we are called to a life we cannot handle alone, which can and will break us in the effort to live it -- because grace must wound before it heals."
-- Justin McRoberts

Regarding 2007:
"the year has gone quick, but most of the days haven't"

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pou’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.
--Robert Burns, "Auld Lang Syne"

I thought Christmas Day would never come. But it's here at last, so Mom and Dad, the waiting's finally done. And you gotta get up, you gotta get up, you gotta get up, it's Christmas morning.

Did my sister get a baby doll? Did my brother get his bike? Did I get that red wagon, the kind that makes you fly? Oh, I hope there'll be peace on Earth, and I know there's goodwill towards men, on account o' that baby born in Bethlehem.
--Rich Mullins, You Gotta Get Up (Christmas Song)

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie,
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray,
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.
--L.H.Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, now
And cherish every step
For a life well spent
On this earth we're lent
Will be marked by the void you have left

May you conquer (not curse) challenges
May you hold back the dark like a dam
May you lead your life with lion's roar
May you leave it like a lamb

Don't await rewards for your good deeds
A reward won't make them good
Don't await judgment of any foes
They'll receive just what they should

When you find the axis of this world
Don't tread too far inside
Run away as far as you think you can
Be well and enjoy the ride

Walk humbly, son
And store your pride
When you need strength later on
For your life's work will be judged if earth
Is saddened when you have gone

Walk humbly, son
Walk humbly, how
And forget not where you are from
May you go further than those before
And provide for those to come

Will you walk humbly, Son?
--Eddie From Ohio, Walk Humbly, Son

Strings of lights above the bed
Curtains drawn and a glass of red
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

Saxaphone on the radio
Recorded 40 years ago
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

When you play my song
Play it slowly
play it like I'm sad and lonely....

Weatherman says it's miserable
But the snow is so beautiful
All I ever get for Christmas is blue

It would take a miracle
To get me out to a shopping mall
All I really want for Christmas is you
--Over the Rhine, from Snow Angels

"In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna travel around the world
Gonna see it all

Gonna go to Paris, maybe Rome
But I'll feel better miles away from home,
Gotta figure some things out

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here

In a little while I'll feel better
Gonna spill my heart to every stranger in every town
I'll visit castles in Ireland, have some fella play the violin and play a song for me

So sell all my things, I'm not coming home
There's nothing there to keep me there
Just heartache and panic and worries and things that'll bring me down
My head feels much clearer being here
--Rosie Thomas, Sell All My Things, from Only With Laughter Can You Win

"Please tell me once again that You love me. That You love me. Please tell me once again that I matter to You and You really care. Please tell me once again that You're with me, forever. It's not that I could ever doubt you, I just love the way it sounds. I just love the way it sounds."
--This Train, I think it's from a song on Emperor's New Band.

"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
--Me, during the 2002 Boredeys at Cornerstone Festival

"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
--Mr. Holland's Opus

have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
whose face lights up my day
i won't let one boy steal a kiss
or call me his instead i'll wait
for his voice to call out to mine
and carry these daydreams away
have you seen my love
is he far away
have you seen the one for me
who won't let me get away
please tell him that i'm
waiting for him praying for him
night and day for now i'll be a
lonely girl just longing for his sweet embrace
--Rosie Thomas, Have You Seen My Love, from When We Were Small

Traveling is significant because it takes so much effort. Either you're going to some place you love, or you're leaving some place you love. Usually it's both.
--Friend of a friend of a friend

I think I have Bond's ability to get into trouble but not his ability to get out of it. Someday I'll be in some foreign country with 5 thugs with automatic rifles pointed at me, and I'll just.... fart
--Peter, my twin brother, while we were talking about bicycle accidents.

"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
-- The Mission (a movie)

The summer ends and we wonder where we are And there you go, my friends, with your boxes in your car And you both look so young And last night was hard, you said You packed up every room And then you cried and went to bed But today you closed the door and said "We have to get a move on. It's just that time of year when we push ourselves ahead, We push ourselves ahead."
And it was cloudy in the morning And it rained as you drove away And the same things looked different It's the end of the summer It's the end of the summer, When you move to another place
--Dar Williams, End of the Summer

Looking out the bedroom at this snowy TV.. ever since commencement, no one's asking 'bout me. But I bet before the night falls, I could catch the late bus.. take small provisions and this Beethoven bust. I could find work in the outskirts of the city, eat some fish on the way.. befriend an old dog for a roadside pal, find a nice couch to stay -- a pull-out sofa, if you please!"
--Eddie From Ohio, Fifth of July.

Ooh! Get me away from here I'm dying
Play me a song to set me free
Nobody writes them like they used to
So it may as well be me
Here on my own now after hours
Here on my own now on a bus
Think of it this way
You could either be successful or be us --belle and sebastian, Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

"The trouble with folks like Brownie is they hold their life in like a bakebean fart at a Baptist cookout and only let it slip out sideways a little at a time when they think there's nobody noticing. Now that's the last thing on earth the Almighty intended. He intended all the life a man's got inside him, he should live it out just as free and strong and natural as a bird."
--Leo Bebb in Frederick Buechner's "Treasure Hunt"

"Life is a phantasmagoria .. It is a pell-mell of confused and tumultuous scenes. We try in vain to find a purpose - to bring an order, a unity to life. I suppose that is the appeal of art. Art is the blending of the real and the unreal, the conquering of nature. It is real enough for it to reflect life, but has the unity that life lacks."
--D., in a recent email.

"in time memories fade.
senses numb.
one forgets how it feels to have loved completely."
--Pedro the Lion, The Longest Winter

I've always had this feeling about Patty that she's complex and intriguing...I like Patty alot. She's got a good heart and tells terrible squirrel jokes.
--Julie, from her blog on 4/8, after a large group of friends from all over gathered at my house for the weekend.

"Try to remember that world-weariness isn't necessarily a bad thing. In the book of Mark, I think its Mark, Jesus looks at a blind man and sighs. Jesus sighed before even telling the man he would be healed. He sighed, and I'm not sure that there's a much more human expression of frustration than this. Faced with the horrid picture of a cursed earth and looking into the white eyes of a man blind from the day he was born, He sighed. The Creator of the universe in human form was sad "of the evils of this world," the world He created. Your Creator sighed for you in the same way before He healed you and made you His."
-- Jesse, in response to my Weltschmerz blog entry

"After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love

-- Andrew Peterson, After the Last Tear Falls

"when you most need people, you don't need perfection - just to know someone gives a damn"
--Jamie, during a recent IM conversation

How will you answer when, years from now, your child asks you: 'Mom or Dad, what did you do to combat the evil of squirrel hazing?'"
--From Dave Barry's Blog

"My brother's always [telling me], 'You should be more mysterious--boys like that.' But I'm not good at that. It would just make me more uncomfortable."
--Rosie Thomas, in an interview with Kathleen Wilson

"Loners want to kill you, but not for any particular reason, and they'd probably like you if they weren't being guided by the violent voices in their head."
--The non-box result from a random quiz I took today. (No, I frankly can't recommend this quiz site, but if you're really bored and you're not seeking to remain pure, go right ahead..)

"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
-- Emmett Otter, Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Found under the Specials section of the TV section of the Henson website.)

Jamie: "I am one of the greatest criminal masterminds in the world."
Her mom: "We're all safe."

-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002

"and if i were a jetson
i'd throw out all my shoes
i'd set up cans for friends
to dump their shoes senseless shoes
a pioneer of callouses
lordy-be and bless my soul
i'd be a barefoot spaceman
the first you'd ever know"
-- Eddie From Ohio, If I were a Flinstone

"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
-- Charlene Potterbaum, Thanks Lord, I Needed That!

"Generations circle and each one atones. The sins of the father are seperate from my own. In Pilgrim's Progress, it's forgiveness that makes whole, and as time levels and consoles, I place the daisies in your bowl."
--Jan Krist, Daisies in Your Bowl

"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"They made good time, despite the lingering tenderness of Mara's ankle and the distractions inherent in a faceful of itch."
-- Timothy Zahn, Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
-- Five Iron Frenzy, The Untimely Death of Brad

"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
-- Steve Griffin

Blessed be the rock stars!"
--Justin Dillon Stevens

Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
--The Waiting, Look At Me

"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
--Samuel Hernandez

Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
-- Amilie, the movie.

"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
-- Larryboy, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows

"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
-- Wilbur, Charlotte's Web (the movie)

I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know... I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
(and in another entry)
When we close our eyes to the deep needs of other people whether they live on the streets or under our own roof -- and when we close our eyes to our own deep need to reach out to them -- we can never be fully at home anywhere.
(and in another entry)
Maybe at the heart of all our travelling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home.
(and in another entry)
The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. -- Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

When I lay these questions before God I get no answer. But a rather special sort of "No answer." It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, "Peace, child; you don't understand."
-- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
JK: Oh, I've cried a lot. Truthfully, I've cried a lot more this past year than I've probably cried in five years.
CCM: Why?
JK: It's fun to feel.
-- An Interview with Jennifer Knapp in the January Issue of CCM Magazine

"Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man doesn't grow old because he has lived a certain number of years. A man grows old when he deserts his ideal. The years may wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccuptaions, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are open to what is beautiful, good, and great; receptive to the messages of other men and women, of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter, pessimistic, and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul."
-- General Douglas MacArthur

""Don't go matchmaking for me, Ilse," said Emily wit a faint smile... "I feel in my bones that I shall achieve old-maidenhood, which is an entirely different thing from having old-maidenhood thrust upon you."
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"I wish Aunt Elizabeth would let me go to Shrewsbury, but I fear she never will. She feels she can't trust me out of her sight because my mother eloped. But she need not be afraid I will ever elope. I have made up my mind that I will never marry. I shall be wedded to my art"
-- Emily, from the Emily books by L. M. Montgomery

"Tomorrow seems like a long ways away. But it will come, just like any other day... Deep inside, where the wounded creatures hide, I am afraid. Maybe I got lost somewhere along the way somehow. Please rescue me... Yea, though I walk through the valley of the dark shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For you are with me... Though I fear, though I am afraid, You are with me. Though I'm angry, tired, broken down and confused, You are with me. Though I sin like I've never sinned before, lose myself right out an open door, You are with me."
-- Waterdeep, You Are With Me

"The invisible people agreed about everything. Indeed most of their remarks were the sort it would not be easy to disagree with: "What I always say is, when a chap's hungry, he likes some victuals," or "Getting dark now; always does at night," or even "Ah, you've come over the water. Powerful wet stuff, ain't it?"" -- C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

"When People object... that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water should refuse a rope thrown to him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying, "Oh but you had an unfair advantage." It is because of His advantage that He can help."
-- C. S. Lewis

"But, you know, as a Christian, one of the big questions you always ask yourself is, "So we believe in Jesus, we believe in the teachings of the church, but what does that look like when it's lived out?" Because surely, one of the things that Jesus said that I think we often overlook is, "The person who hears my words and does them is like the wise man who built his house on the rock." He didn't say "the person who hears my words and thinks about 'em" or "whoever hears my words and agrees with it." But he said, "Whoever hears it and does it."
-- Rich Mullins, during a radio interview, as quoted in An Arrow Pointing to Heaven

"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
because life ends not in death but with what dies inside while we live"
--Christopher Williams, Breathe

"I have packed all my belongings. I don't belong here anymore. This pair of sandles, one pack to carry, this old guitar and this tattered old Bible. And I know I won't be afraid. 'cause I know, I know Home is where You are."
--Dog Named David, Heavenly Rain

"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
--My Brother's Mother, Finest Hour

"Long hair, no hair; Everybody, everywhere: Breathe Deep, breathe deep the Breath of God!"
-- Lost Dogs, Breathe Deep

"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but you're Mine!"
-- Asiam, Relentless Love

"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not about me."
-- Justin McRoberts, The Story Stands Alone

"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed them clean?"
-- Caedmon's Call, Here I am Again

"They say God blessed us with plenty. I say you?re blessed with poverty. ?Cause you never stop to wonder whether earth is just a little better than the Land of the Free"
-- Andrew Peterson, Land of the Free

"Computers will know everything in the 21st century. They'll be like me in the 20th century."
-- Crabby Road