Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Niecelings, Groceries, and Loshon Hora

First and most certainly foremost, I have a nieceling. Adorable baby girl, Ella Clarice, my heart is glad to know you, to see you, to hold you. Pictures soon to come, but I will tell you she is a dark beauty with a sweet little coo and deep soulful black eyes. She is more than the mischievously pampered princess I was. At least at 12 hours old, she seems that way to me.

Groceries are hard to buy. I want to do it. I want to be good at it. I love to cook, I love to shop, and so it would make sense that I would love Groceries. Oh but the chore they are, with my limited and too quickly filled time. I want to make Groceries an adventure. I want to make Groceries fun. I want to be able to say that I accomplished Grocery shopping. Not online.

The very real topic of today’s blog is this: Loshon Hora. For those of you who do not know Hebrew, Loshon Hora means “Evil Tongue”, and is a prohibition of gossip in Jewish Law. Gossip is like an illness in my office. It happens. Every. Single. Day. I try to do the disinterested blank stare, I try to sway the person on to other topics, I try to remind them of all of the good things about the person they are currently trash-talking… but the moment inevitably comes when my boundaries fail me and I fall into the trap. I join in, I gossip. Then I hear the ringing voice of the ever-humble coworker, “LOSHON HORA!” and I shut my mouth, I cringe inside, and I know I will never be good at this. I am determined not to give up. I will, I will, I will, not gossip. It wasn’t a problem before I came to this office. It was a problem until I began to work just inches from another female coworker. Now it eats away at my soul.

*Note, this is the blog I started and did not finish on Tuesday, April 21st. Before the death of my uncle. I thought I should finish it and post it, and then write another on the aftermath of such an event. That post is soon to come.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A woman must come of age herself..."

"... She must find her true center alone". - Anne Marrow Lindbergh (A Gift from the Sea)

Coming into this life alone is a difficult task. These past couple of weeks have been difficult in a new way. Differentiation (as my counselor would call it) has given me the freedom to take responsibility for my life, and the responsibility to take freedom for my life.

I started this blog four days ago and am only now posting it. Is that not ridiculous? I wanted to write about the book I quoted at the beginning, in full detail, give a book review. But I can't. I keep going back and looking for those quotes that moved me, that moment when it all made sense. I can't put it down in a blog. I would have to retype the book, and I'm not sure blogspot would allow me a blog that long. Also, honestly, some of that is gone at the moment. Isaiah 54, the meaning, the words, they hold true as they did two weeks ago at the ocean, but that rush is gone.

Today I read Hosea. again. I startled myself when I went for a stroll post-read. This thought came to me, "I am waiting for a man to prove how much God loves me" Now let me explain:
I know and have no ability to doubt the presence of God in my life in the world.
I know Christ and that He is love
I know that my faith requires none of that love. That God is God and I am Becca and that alone is enough of a reason for me to be obedient to his every command. Even if he turns out to be an evil and vindictive jerk.
I know that God loves. lots of people. and me.
I know that I do not feel that love regularly. consistently. or with much of my being.
I know that I have been waiting to see what kind of man God gives me and that that alone would be the measure for me to know how much He loves me. just this little me.

This moment when all of that swept over me made two reactions simultaneously.
1. I feel to my knees and began to weep
2. I looked back on my years and wondered how this had happened. I remembered words from Sara Borden two or three years ago, "it's not about the husband".

I was crushed that I was this person. I have felt secure in one thing lately: My faith. I know God has been throwing curve balls like crazy, I know that my life has not included as much "God/Community/Church" time as it once did, I know all of the etc.'s included here... but my faith is stronger than ever. My faith that I am a sinner and that Christ is Christ, and that all of the other stuff will work itself out.

Now I feel rocked. Shaken. Shuddered. I know that I desperately want God to bring me a man that shouldn't love me, but does anyway. I want to be so immensely surprised by this love that I can not explain how it happened to anyone. I want a love like Christ's only flawed and human.
I want my perfectly flawed one. I want Jesus to prove to me that he is willing to give me one amazing and lasting and truly good thing. However. I do not want that to be my measure of God's love. I do want to truly be righteously okay with lifelong celibacy, and I want to know that the reason I am okay with this is because I am okay with it and not because I think that is what it will take to get me a man.

In spite of all of this, I know I don't have the energy to dwell on men at the moment. I don't want to. I feel sick with it all. It is so three months ago... hehe. The point is that I thought I was over the man vs god thing in college. I thought I was over it when I broke up with Andrew knowing whole-heartedly that I may be giving up my one chance at marriage... and doing it anyways because I thought I was choosing God over him (oh how naive I was... or maybe just stupid).

I am sitting here now, shaking my head at myself. and I don't know what to do about it.

PS. I did Now I feel like a prostitute. a lot.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Happily Ever After (Once upon a time finale!)

The saga of our young heroine has finally come to a close. She travelled to that far disant land, Ocean Shores, and rested her weary soul. She read, she figured some things out, and now she is here to tell you all about it, by herself!

My weekend began with a three hour drive, rocking out to 80's #1 hits!

It was a very thoughtful and happy drive. I decided to take a break and advice from a friend and grab a beer at the Galloway Bay on my way to Moclips

Two beers, one pasty, and much irish music by cute irish boys later, I left for my hotel. Upon arrival in my room, I drew a hot bath, got in, and promptly fell asleep in the tub. I woke up to myself talking in my sleep, got up and went to bed.

I was surprised to wake up at 7:30 the next morning, having had every intention of sleeping in, but I got up and went to breakfast:
This continental breakfast came free with my room, and was served at a table in their fine dining restaurant, waiter and all. Lovely. The view out the window to the right was of the crashing waves. While dining, a young family came in and was seated at the table adjacent to mine. I listened while the young lady (no more than 6) carefully explained to her upper class parents English pronunciation rules, "When 'i' or 'e' comes after 'c' it makes an 's' sound," she announced with much distinction. Soon after this, her father pulled out Prince Caspian and began to read in one of the best voices I have ever heard, while her mother took out a brush and went to work on her tangled bedhead.

After breakfast it was time for the beach.
a very bright day!
I had a lot of time to think...
I may not be rich, but at the ocean, I am a millionare!
I was very happy in my ocean bubble...a self explanatory proclamation

My 2 hour walk was wonderful, and as much as I wish I could say I used the time to solve all the world's problems (or even just my own) I didn't seem to even have the capacity to think properly. I just walked, consumed by the silence, and the crashing waves. I did greet my lovely old man in the sea, and I did shed my customary tears. I sang the doxology and I had the general sense that the beach knew the shape of my feet, the tones of my voice, and the taste of my tears.

After the walk, I was happily surprised to find myself all aglow with the pleasure of being alone...

So I lounged upon my bed and watched a very cheesy movie (Rookie of the Year) and cried over the way the mother turned out to be the son's hero. Post movie I decided it was time to read one of the 20 books I had brought with me. I chose this one...
It seemed a fitting choice

The book was given to me by Mr. Mark Carter. It was a graduation gift and inscribed with the prayer that I would learn patience. Patience was not the only lesson I learned from this book, and I plan to post on this book alone very soon, but I will leave you with this one quote, "A woman must come of age alone."

The book was read in my room, on a cliff above the sea, in the sauna (not a great idea, the binding began to melt after about 5 minutes... also not a great idea to wear metal earrings in the Sauna... they will burn you. However going in the Sauna is a good idea, especially when Adonis himself opens the door, sweating and gorgeous, as you are headed in...), then in the jacuzzi, and finally on the beach. I finished the book in three or four hours.

Post book, I walked and journaled on the beach (journaling in the wind= extreme difficulty).

As the sun began to descend in the sky, I knew it was time to go get ready for dinner

And ready I did
Dinner was served (with wine!)

Funny story from dinner: The fabulous gay men at the table next to mine (it's amazing what you hear when you aren't talking), and the wonderful moment when I showed off my wine tasting skills to their wine specialist!

After dinner it was time for my starlight stroll, for which I dressed warmly
After the walk, I watched Braveheart and again went to bed early. The morning was the best I've had in a long time. Jesus found me and we read Isaiah 54 together. Then it was time for another breakfast (this morning was The Dawn Treader) and another walk.
He reached out to me. I stood with him
we played tag. I lost.
I stared at his beauty...
...and he at mine.
and I at his...

On this walk I sang hymns (it was Palm Sunday after all!) and I loved and everything. I thought that I would take one last glance and just go back to the room, pack and leave. But after all of that, I had to drive back to the beach for one final thing.

I need to figure out my life before I left. I had done much of that on an emotional level, a spiritual level, and a personal level. I had not done that on a practical level. I took out my day planner and I planned my me time for the next week (it's taking a lot of energy to stick to my schedule btw) and to figure out how I was going to make this "taking care of myself" thing work practically in my life. When done, I took one last long loving look before I left...

Yes that is a crucifix, and yes I skipped Mass.
but then I needed one more backward glance, because, well, I am in love.
Overall, It was beautiful. Later, maybe much much later, someday, I will write about how it changed me. I want to be sure these changes stick. And right now I want to go to bed.

Bon night,

Our Heroine.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Once upon a time continued...

Our young heroine returns. She is satiated by her day. Full to the brim, and curious about what tomorrow will bring. The morrow's dawn brings a day of promise. Tomorrow she leaves to fulfill her dreams. She is nervous that she will be lonely, but she knows that her old friend, the sea, will greet her fondly and with much emotion. She knows she will have time to process the pain she saw today, in ways she has not yet begun to imagine. While is satisfied by today's events, she knows the pain has not set in... from this point I no longer have the objectivity to pretend that I am not that heroine. So I must continue in the first person.

The doctor's appointment with my father was today. 90% chance he has chronic (as opposed to acute) Hep. C. Of that 90%- there is a 75% chance it is already cirrhosis of the liver. 20% chance it is cancer of liver. 5% chance it is asymptomatic. Chances are a new and long and winding and terrifying road stretches before me. I feel ready, only because I know that I cannot choose away from this road. My choice lies only in how I will walk it. My hope is that Christ will meet me this weekend, and show me how to walk it well.

In this life I have seen terrifying things, done terrifying things, been terrifying things. None of that prepared me for this day. It may seem to many that my father is rarely in control of a situation, but I would argue that he is seldom not in control. He makes his choices knowingly. He is not afraid of the life he lives. He is bold, proud, courageous, even as he makes choices we all consider stupid. Today, my father was more honest with me than he has ever been. Today, my father was terrified.

Never in my life have I seen him as I saw him today. Even when my four year old body lay bleeding on a table, my father was calm and collected. Even when his body lay bleeding in the street, drunk, and uncontrollable, he knew what he was doing. Today he looked death and sobriety in the face and his whole being shuddered. I have never seen a soul shudder. It is not normal. It is not easy. It is terrifying.

I know that my heart is broken and that I have not begun to feel it. This terrifies me. I want to dream to hope that this is nothing, that we will get the results back and find that this was all a false positive. A part of me knows that that is not true. A part of me knows this is the beginning of the end.

My biggest fear as a child was that my father would not be there to walk me down the aisle. Now I do not know that fear. Not only do I not know if I will even walk down the aisle, I also know that if I do, I will do so alone. Mardy Phillipian gave me that permission two years ago. I want it. I will not give myself away, but I will face marriage, walk up to it, as myself, and myself alone. But I am sad. I hate that it is death that brings me to people. Death which forces me to know them. Death which forces me to understand the depths (and shallows) of my love for them.

Tomorrow I will greet the ocean. Tomorrow I will feel my pain. Tomorrow I will find myself. Tomorrow I will rest. Tomorrow, but not today.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Happy List

Isn't it amazing what a couple of days can do for one's outlook on life?

At the end of the day (there is a story behind that phrase.... see below for story), I have no control. So why not be happy and let it all go? Happy Happy Joy Joy. I am committing to being happy. Let's play a game. I will list my happiness, then you send me yours.

Happy List:
1. I have very nicely painted red nails.
2. I have a very cute boy who calls and visits me very often.
3. I have a job. (work drama sucks, but I am glad that I work at all)
4. I am alive and kicking.
5. I can blog until my fingers bleed.
6. I have mental health insurance, which means I can go vent to someone who provides me with actionable steps to bettering my life.
7. I am learning that being open about who I am can be wretched, because it worries people, but then at least I know who I am. I find when I am not open with people, I begin to believe I am the person they think I am, rather than the woman I really am. Woot.
8. I love the word Woot.
9. It's raining. And I just don't care if my hair curls.
10. Nieces and nephews are the best.

Now the story:
Dr. Jean Kachiga, a professor of mine from Simpson, used this phrase (at the end of the day) rather excessively. I loved it every time. Granted Kachiga is by far the most attractive educator on the face of my planet (by my planet, I mean the part of the world thus far opened to me), however, he is also remarkably intelligent and a mad scientist of international theory. If I could marry him (or just be like him) I would. My crush is a little ridiculous, I know. But man oh man. I sure know to pick them.