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..
Things I love
Monday, May 19, 2003
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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Hippie: (after hearing Max wants to avoid the draft)You still have options man.
"So how do i do normal
"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.
"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!"
"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!"
"Only one more trip," said a gallant seaman,
"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."
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
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.
O little town of Bethlehem,
Walk humbly, son
Strings of lights above the bed
"In a little while I'll feel better
"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."
"Every once in a while, a bannerzen posts."
"7:30. What kind of people have to be at work at 7:30?"
have you seen my love
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.
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
"You had no alternative .. We must work in the world. The world is thus." --- "No .. Thus have we made the world."
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."
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!"
Ooh! 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."
"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."
"in time memories fade.
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.
"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."
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"
"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."
"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."
"No one wants to oil a snake these days!"
Her mom: "We're all safe."
-- Jamie Bevill and her mother during Christmas-Decorating dinner, December 20, 2002
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"
"The best way to have God's will for your life is to have no will of your own!"
"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."
"For a moment he just stared at her. Then, with an urf-urf-urf of laughter, he turned back to the controls."
"It's on the internet.. so, then, it must be true."
"Be at least as interested in what people can become as you are in what they have been."
Blessed be the rock stars!"
Get up for the shower.. wash and scrub and scour every part as if a cleaner man could better bear the shame..
"She was eating gnarly amounts of calcium."
Homeless man to girl trying to give him money: "No, thanks, ma'am. I never work on Sundays."
"Wow! I never thought I'd need a radar-guided spatula!"
"Isn't it great that I articulate? Isn't it grand that you can understand? ... I can talk, I can talk, I can talk!"
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.
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."
CCM: You've spoken a lot more about crying than I ever thought you would.
"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."
""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."
"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"
"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."
"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."
"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."
"find that which gives you breath and grants you more to give
"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."
"Open up your weepy eyes, everyone is dancing. Angels peer through sweet disguise, through a fire of cleansing.
"You may be bruised and torn and broken, but
"I don't deserve to speak, and they don't deserve
to hear it. It's makin' me believe that it's not
"Kickin' against these goads sure did cut up my
feet. Didn't your hands get bloody as you washed
"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"
"Computers will know everything in the 21st
century. They'll be like me in the 20th