Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Just a simple sinner

Okay - so I was talking to a friend tonight about God's grace and I told him I'd post this here. I have posted it a couple times on another blog I have and some of you may have seen it on Steph's blog as well...

I posted this a while back, but I was reminded of it again so I figured I'd re-post. I get a lot of undeserved praise for the life that I live, but what everyone fails to realize is that they only see what I want them to see. They don't see my faults, my failures, my sins. They don't see me when I fall. I don't advertise my shortcomings, I just try to pick myself up again, dust off, bandage the wounds and keep walking, hoping no one was around to witness the fall. So many times, I stray from the straight and narrow path and get lost in the darkness and find that I'm living more for myself than for the God that I love. For those who do see some of my failures, I apologize for not being a better example and a stronger person. Forgive me for the times I have caused you to stumble or fall. And thank you for loving me in spite of my inadequacies.

When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost, now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say "I am a Christian" I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble and need CHRIST to be my guide.

When I say "I am a Christian" I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak and need HIS strength to carry on.

When I say "I am a Christian" I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say "I am a Christian" I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it.

When I say "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain,
I have my share of heartaches so I call upon His name.

When I say "I am a Christian" I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow.

~Maya Angelou~

Friday, November 3, 2006

Just sit with me and be my friend

Why is it that people are so uncomfortable with emotion? Everyone hurts. Everyone cries. Everyone experiences sadness. But the moment someone else is on the verge of tears, people start getting uncomfortable.

You've got those who just ignore it and hope it'll go away. Then there are those who try to "Dr. Phil" you, give you advice on what is really wrong and how to fix it. There are people who just make light of things and think that if they can get you to laugh then they've somehow magically made it all better. There are so many different responses and I'm sure most people have good intentions - they don't want to see someone they care about hurting. But why can't people just recognize that sadness is a part of life and some wounds take a lot longer to heal than others. Offer support and love and time. If they take it, great, if not, let it be. Some emotions simply can not be articulated or explained.

So, don't make me try to explain. Don't psycho-analyze me. Don't give me advice, tell me to get over it or CHOOSE to be happy. I recognize that I have the power to choose happiness, but sometimes emotions need to be explored. I need to be allowed to feel what I feel. I promise I wont stay in this dark place, but while I'm here, just sit with me and be my friend.

May we all learn to put aside judgement, get over our own discomfort with emotion and recognize that some things can not be fixed except by time, prayer and love.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I wrote both parts of this entry at different times this morning... just now posting here.

Part 1:

So the other day as I was walking out to my car to feed the meter, I noticed a man walking by on the sidewalk. It was apparent that he was homeless and looked as if he hadn't bathed in a month. His clothes were tattered and stained, his hair stringy and he walked slightly hunched over, head down. He glanced up when he saw me walking across the street and looked back down, then did a double take. He made eye contact, we both said "hi" and then he smiled. He told me I was beautiful, saw me smile and walked on. When he looked me in the eye, I noticed he was much younger than I originally thought - probably in his late twenties or early thirties. He had a tattoo down one side of his face, but he looked as if he probably used to be an attractive man. In his eyes - sadness.

This very brief encounter reminded me of something I recently read. A girl was ranting about some homeless man in her area who compliments/hits on her. She was disgusted that some toothless, smelly old man would even bother since she is clearly so far above him. Okay, so that's not exactly what she said, but it was certainly the tone of the blog. It grieved me. These men, homeless or not, are still human. They still recognize beauty when they see it. Why are some people actually offended to receive a compliment from someone on a "lower" level than them? A compliment is a compliment. A man is a man. I imagined this man as a young boy, playing with his classmates on the playground at recess. I imagined his mother holding him and wiping tears from his eyes. I imagined him playing little league baseball, being shy around his first crush, falling from a tree and scraping his knee, frolicking in the yard with his puppy. I imagined so many things that every young boy experiences. And then I wonder how he got to where he is today. Whatever the reason, be it an addiction or simply a string of poor choices, he is still a man, still human and still deserving of common human decency. He doesn't need to be judged (I'm sure he judges himself harshly enough), he doesn't need to be looked on with contempt or disgust, he doesn't need to be overlooked. What does it hurt us to actually meet their gaze, look them in the eye, smile at them and greet them with a "hello"?

I regret not doing more, talking to him longer or offering him something to eat, drink or just simply some of my time. I don't have much, but I am so blessed, so fortunate in my life and I could have passed just a little bit of that on to him. I certainly could have spared some time. Afterall, I was feeling very unattractive that day. I had spent the morning doing laundry, cleaning house. I hadn't showered yet or put on make-up. I was wearing grubby clothes and felt frumpy. I needed his compliment that day and I'm grateful that he wasn't too proud or too ashamed or too busy to tell me that he thought I was beautiful.

Part 2:


Interesting thing... Right after I wrote my entry this morning, I read something in the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff..." book I keep in the bathroom.

Develop Your Compassion

Nothing helps us build our perspective more than developing compassion for others. Compassion is a sympathetic feeling. It involves the willingness to put yourself in someone else's shoes, to take the focus off yourself and to imagine what it's like to be in someone else's predicament, and simultaneously, to feel love for that person. It's the recognition that other people's problems, their pain and frustrations, are every bit as real as our own - often far worse. In recognizing this fact and trying to offer some assistance, we open our own hearts and greatly enhance our sense of gratitude.

Compassion is something you can develop with practice. It involves two things: intention and action. Intention simply means you remember to open your heart to others; you expand what and who matters, from yourself to other people. Action is simply the "what you do about it." You might donate a little money or time (or both) on a regular basis to a cause near your heart. Or perhaps you'll offer a beautiful smile and genuine "hello" to the people you meet on the street. It's not so important what you do, just that you do something. As Mother Teresa reminds us, "We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do small things with great love."

Compassion develops your sense of gratitude by taking your attention off all the little things that most of us have learned to take too seriously. When you take time, often, to reflect on the miracle of life - the miracle that you are even able to read this book - the gift of sight, of love and all the rest, it can help to remind you that many of the things that you thing of as "big stuff" are really just "small stuff" that you are turning into big stuff.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why is it so difficult to learn?

"When people show you who they are, believe them!"

This is a quote that a friend of mine repeats to me pretty often - apparently I have a hard time learning that lesson. Today, I actually had the opportunity to pass on that wisdom... Hopefully we will both truly learn to do that.

I mean, how many chances am I going to give someone to prove to me that they are different than what they are showing me?

Tuesday, August 1, 2006


I just got back last night from my trip to Seattle to see my brother, Jacqelli and her grandma and my lovely niece Kiara. I met them in Seattle and we spent Friday night there. Saturday morning, we got a late start, but decided to drive down to Seaside and Cannon Beach, Oregon. One of my favorite places in the country. My little brother had never been there and Jacqelli and I both felt like we needed a visit to the beach. It was good to feel the sand between my toes, the cold water lapping at my ankles and the wind in my face... Tranquil. Healing. I felt like I could actually breathe. I don't feel like that here. Not usually anyway.

We spent Saturday afternoon and evening on the beach, went out to dinner and decided to stay the night in Seaside and drive back to Seattle on Sunday. Sunday morning, as we were walking into the Pig N Pancake for breakfast, I ran into a friend of mine from Coeur d'Alene. Its a small world! Or at least a small corner of the US here in the Northwest. We were talking about how much we both need some girl time so were planning a trip to Boise probably mid-August. Anyways, after breakfast and another walk on the beach and through town, we hit the road, but stopped to pick blackberries for a while. That stop and the traffic as we got closer to Seattle set me back a few hours. After we got to their hotel, I jumped in the car and drove another 4 ½ hours to Spokane.

On Saturday night, at Cannon Beach, there was a bride in a lovely gown and her new husband. They were doing the wedding pictures on the beach and while the photographer was rounding up family members for a shot, the groom wrapped his arm around his new bride, dipped her back as they shared the most incredibly passionate kiss. I'm usually not a big fan of weddings, but that moment deeply affected me. Maybe it was the memories of my own wedding on a beach in Mexico I dont know. It made me miss being a wife and loving someone so completely. It made me miss being wrapped up in strong arms and...

This weekend, there were moments like that one that made me feel lonely and sad and miss married life. But then, there were also moments that made me thankful for my freedom and independence. Thankful for the walls I've put up I have a couple of suitors, if you will, and I have been pushing them away lately. It's not easy, but I know its for the best in the long run. I don't expect others to understand that. In fact, a lot of people dont understand how I can possibly be happy until I have a man in my life. I believe that wholeness comes from a deep and personal relationship with Christ. And that is what I have to keep my focus on. Everything else will fall into place when it's supposed to. Im confident of that. Until then, I'll just keep on keepin' on and enjoying this freedom that I so cherish.

I wrote a long post, but lost it. Hopefully I got enough out that I'll be able to sleep though. Insomnia sucks!

And I'll leave you with a picture I took this weekend. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Emotional day. I have been hurt and betrayed. My trust broken. I've been crying most of the evening and my eyes are tired, my heart aches.

It's funny the different emotions we can go through in a single day. To go from being happy to being enraged, to just feeling hurt and sad, to being hopeful again.

I confronted the source of the betrayal and said my piece. I got it off my chest and heard them out. I know that there is genuine sorrow and regret on their end. How can I not forgive? "Hurt people, hurt people." Translation: People who are hurting often tend to lash out and hurt other people. I heard once that only the people you love can really hurt you emotionally. If it were someone I didn't love, I wouldn't care what they did or said or thought. Maybe that's true, but at any rate, I do love these people - very much.

Trust is lost, but the funny thing about trust is that it can always be earned back. I will tread carefully, but I am hopeful that this very unpleasant situation will provide an opportunity for growth - for everyone involved.

I forgive. It doesn't take away the pain of being betrayed, but that will subside with time. I am reminded of all that Christ has forgiven me for. Who am I to withhold forgiveness from someone else.

I've tried to do some damage control and speak the truth, but it's up to them if they will believe the incorrect information or the truth. There is nothing I can do about it. I guess it doesn't matter in the big scheme of things. The past is the past. Tomorrow is a new day.

Quick Update

I went to Juneau for my 10 year class reunion and just to be around family. I was able to see Toby's family briefly and am amazed at their attitudes in light of losing him. I know it's tough for them emotionally. They are sad because they miss him, but they take comfort in the knowledge that he is with the Lord and that he fulfilled his purpose on this earth. His life is a great testimony to all that knew him an example of how each of us should live. The reunion was okay. It was good to see some of the people there and get to know some of the others that I never really knew. I was also able to spend a lot of time with a long time friend and get to know him in a different light. Funny how you can know someone for over 10 years and not really ever KNOW them. Overall, it was a good trip back. Actually, it was the best trip back since my divorce. I was able to keep my emotions in check and even though there were lots of reminders of my former life that made me sad, those feelings werent as intense. I was able to push past them and just enjoy the time with my family. It also helped that I didnt see him while I was there.

I got a couple of job offers while I was there one that was actually very tempting. I miss the money I used to make and I miss a lot of the work but I dont miss Juneau and I dont miss the stress. If only my office had a seasonal position for 8 or 9 months a year I'd take a seasonal position in Juneau for the summers Well, maybe not, but it would be fun for at least a year.

Speaking of work, I finally had my review at work last week and it went well. They recognize that I am overqualified for my position (their words, not mine) and that they are not working me to my potential. Hopefully that will start to change. It's nice to know that hard work and experience mean something to someone in the company. All too often, gossip, negativity and ass-kissing are rewarded. It's not about what you know or what you can do, it's about sucking up to the right people even if you turn around and badmouth them as soon as you walk out of the office. I know that is the case in some work environments in fact, I've witnessed that in many offices I've worked in. I'm fortunate to work here though, especially in the department that I do because I'm the only female there is none of that cattiness, backbiting or drama in our section and I actually genuinely like the guys I work with.

So, I just got an email asking me if I would photograph my friends daughters wedding next month in Juneau if they bought my ticket up. Im flattered! But that is a lot of pressure. I've never done a wedding before and its not like you can just do it over if they arent happy with the pictures. I know they want to save money which is why they asked me instead of a professional, but they have a lot of confidence in my work. I'll have to check the dates and really think about it. I did mention it to a friend of mine who is a photographer up there and he said if I did it, hed shoot it with me for free and give me some tips and all. It would be a great learning experience for me and having his photos on top of mine that would be awesome for the family. Hmmm... What to do??

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I got the news yesterday that a very dear friend of mine from Juneau died last night in a fishing accident. We met in the 7th grade at Juneau Christian School. He quickly became a great friend. He was my first crush after moving to Juneau... He asked me to my junior prom and I turned him down to go with another friend of mine who ended up ditching me to go get drunk and stoned, so Toby hung out with me.... We went to the same church for many years... I know he is with the Lord right now, but I am devastated. He just got married less than 6 months ago. He was an avid outdoors-man, hunter, fisherman, etc. So full of life.....
Former Juneau resident perishes in Thorne River
A former Juneau resident died in a fishing accident on Prince of Wales Island Tuesday.

Greg Wilkinson of the Alaska State Troopers says they were notified at about 6 p.m. of a drowning in the Thorne River at Thorne Bay.

He says responding Troopers learned that 28 year old Toby Coate attempted to cross the river to stretch a net for subsistence fishing.

He became tired in the cold water and lost hold of the net. Wilkinson says he went under, came up once, but went under again and did not resurface.

People on the shore went in to the river, found him, and pulled him to shore.

Emergency medical technicians who were called to the scene attempted to resuscitate him without success.

He was pronounced deceased at about 6:45.

Coate is the son of Ken and Barbara Coate of Juneau. He has two sisters, Amanda and Katy, who also reside in Juneau.

He was married earlier this year.

Coate and his wife Emily decided to reside in Thorne Bay. They had partnered with a local mill to start a new company called Goose Creek Log Cabins.

Coate attended the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau and at one time was the student body president.

He studied Marine Biology.

Please keep his family in your prayers.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Heard! Thanks!

So, the ex and his wife just welcomed their child into the world a week ago today. The announcement was just posted in the Juneau Empire today and all of the sudden everyone is worried about me and asking if I've seen it.

Yes, I was informed. I have seen the announcement and I am okay with the news. After all, I've had 9 months to prepare myself for it. I'm sure Alan will be a great father. I am happy for his family as they could use a little bundle of joy to brighten their worlds in light of a recent tragedy in the family. For my friends who pray - please continue to keep that family in your prayers.

It's not like I have no emotion about it at all - of course I do - but I'm not devastated or anything like that. In fact, the only thing that hit a nerve was the baby's name - and that only because it was the name we always talked about... the name he always wanted if he ever had a kid, but it's his family's name so there you have it. We never had a child (thank God) and now he does and I'm glad he chose to honor his family by choosing that name.

Alright - so now that that is taken care of... I'm going to a Hank Williams III concert tonight. I think it's gonna be a great show - even if I do end up going alone. I have a potential date for the show (no - not a guy date - a friend date), but if she cancels last minute then alone I shall go. ;o)

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I have been having these crazy anxiety attacks lately - especially when I'm about to walk into a room that I know is full of people. I used to be a very shy person, but ever since my divorce, I've really been able to step out and be a lot more outgoing. In fact, most of the friends that I have here are people that I have met in the last 2 years. The ability to meet people and make friends is one of the things that I like about myself... So, why, all of a sudden, am I dealing with anxiety around people?! Frustrating. It's irrational.

I haven't written much lately, but reading back through a few of my most recent posts, I feel like I've come a long way. I'm frustrated with a few circumstances in my life, but I'm really doing okay...

Well, gotta get to church! Those of you who are praying for me - please continue to do so. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need it. Praise God!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Two Years

Today, March 23rd, 2006, I have been divorced for exactly 2 years. I have conflicting feelings about that right now. It's hard to believe it's been that long. I feel like I should be better, totally over him and healed by now. But it still hurts. Not as intensly and not as often, but the pain is still there. I still think about him every day. Many days I still miss him - miss my friend, my confidant, my lover, my cuddle-buddy, my travel partner...

Some days I am so grateful for my freedom and feel like I've accepted my losses. I know that there is life after divorce and I am LIVING it!!! I even sometimes feel sorry for my friends who are married and have kids because their lives are not their own. They have to answer to someone and their every move affects someone else. Not so with me...

I haven't cried today. I haven't had time to reflect or be sad because I've been so busy up until this moment. Off to Bible Study now. Hopefully I can keep my emotions under control tonight.

My Eyes Are Dry

My eyes are dry
My faith is old
My heart is hard
My prayers are cold
And I know how I ought to be
Alive to you and dead to me

But what can be done
For an old heart like mine
Soften it up
With oil and wine
The oil is you, your spirit of love
Please wash me anew
With the wine of your blood
~ ~Keith Green's Lyrics from "My Eyes Are Dry"

My sister posted this in her blog and it touched me deeply. I haven't heard this song in years, but it seems to accurately describe how I feel right now. I know it's gotta be because of sin in my life - it's the only thing that separates me from my Lord and I feel so far away from Him right now.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Great Weekend

Last week was not a good one. Okay, so coming back from Mexico is ALWAYS hard and it seems I have the worst weeks at work right after a vacation. But this was worse than normal. I get back to town and they tell me that they are moving my desk AGAIN! This is my 8th desk move in the 14 months that I've been at this job. I had 7 within the first 9 months so I guess I should be thankful that I have had the past 5 months in one spot. I swear, I feel like Milton on Office Space. Next thing I know, they are going to be putting me in the basement, expecting me to take care of the roach and rat problem and conveniently "forget" to tell me I've been let go - so I'll be working and not get a paycheck! I'll be darned if I let them get a hold of my stapler though!!!!! Seriously, I looked for a red Swingline stapler the other day and they are like $22! I may have to get one anyway. For those of you who haven't seen the movie - RENT IT!

On a happy note, I got to travel over the weekend! My friend, Natasha, in Vancouver, Washington turned 30 on Saturday so she was having a birthday cocktail party. I decided to drive over on Saturday morning (got there at 3:30) and had a wonderful time with her little baby and then got to meet lots of her friends. She knows so many quality people. It's always a little hard to visit her only because her and her husband were one of mine and Alan's good "couple friends." But they were my friends first and Alan doesn't speak to them anymore. They hate him anyway, so it doesn't hurt their feelings any. But anyways, I just really had a good time. I left there around 3:30 after a quick stop at Trader Joe's and decided to cross the Columbia and drive the Washington side. What fun! I had never taken that road back so I stopped a lot and took a ton of pictures and played tourist. Then, around 6:30, I decided to stop at this little bar and grill on the side of the road in this tiny town in the middle of no where. Roosevelt, Washington - population: 79. I walked in and ordered a beer and asked for a menu. After pointing to the wall, where their menu hung, all of the 7 people in the place came up and introduced themselves to me. 2 married couples, one in their 40's or early 50's, one in their 60's, a lesbian couple in their late 40's and a single guy in his mid to late 40's. They were the nicest people ever and just really made me feel welcome. Apparently, Tuesday night is the night to be there. They have $10 steaks that are supposedly amazing - and huge. I told them I'd have to make the drive down some Tuesday night for dinner. It's 3 hours away, but it's as good excuse as any to get outta town for a bit. I now have a new favorite sandwich. It's called the Pig-A-Fire. Picture this: start with a big piece of toast, then add a layer of mozzarella cheese and a layer of jalapenos. Then add another piece of toast and a layer of cheddar cheese, a layer of ham and a layer of bacon and top it off with a 3rd piece of toast. YUMMY!!!! OMG! It was so good. So, if any of you ever stop in Roosevelt, WA - you gotta stop by M&T's Bar and Grill! They'll treat you right! One of them bought me a beer and we all just sat around shootin' the breeze for a while. The owner gave me a t-shirt and a Sharpie so I could write on the t-shirt the date and the name of the establishment (since the shirts were misprinted). They even offered to take me out fishing on the Columbia when the weather gets warmer. I am SOOO taking them up on that offer! I'll probably head over there sometime in the next month or two on a Tuesday night. This is what I love about traveling - stopping in some old tavern in a small town in the middle of no where, making friends with the locals and forgetting about my life for just a moment - hearing about their lives, the town gossip and being accepted for who I am. They thought me a little crazy for doing all that travelin' alone, but they are good people - even tried to get me to move there. Yesterday was the first day in a long time that I truly LOVED my life. That's happiness right there.

I can't wait to be out of debt and actually be able to save up some money. I just don't get to travel as often as I would like.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Is this the way it's going to be?

So, I met this guy the other day. We have been talking A LOT since we met - on the phone, by text messages and even in person. I really started to be interested. So, today, I realized that we had briefly talked about my divorce, but had not touched on his situation. I asked if he had kids and he said he had 4. So I said, "so I assume that you have been married before..." He said, "you assume correctly." When I asked how long he'd been divorced he got really quiet... and then he said that he's still married!!!

I feel really let down and a whole bunch of other things. I'm really irritated. I finally let my guard down for an instant and think that there really are good guys out there - people who are genuine and kind who are actually interested in ME... and then this. I'm disappointed. More on that later...

I'm driving to Vancouver, WA today for my friend's 30th birthday party. Can't wait to see her

Monday, March 6, 2006


I'm back from Mexico. It was a good trip over all, but definitely dampened by sickness and injuries. The morning after I got there, I woke up with strep throat and couldn't swallow or talk very well. Lots of pain, fever, etc. NOT my idea of a relaxing vacation. The first few days I was simply miserable. I finally found a "doctor" who gave me some antibiotics and a couple days later, I was feeling a bit better. My older brother wrecked his rented motor scooter and had to go to the emergency room to get stitches. The closest hospital was a town or two away and they didn't speak English and the medical facilities are less than stellar. Not very sanitary.
At any rate, I did get some sun - maybe I'll post a picture or two soon - if I ever get around to it. It was nice to be away from work for a while. I got back Friday morning, but my computer has been in the shop. Finally have it back so I'll be around a little more often.
Now I'm on the apartment hunt. Feels like I just did this!!! Hopefully I'll be able to find somewhere decent that I can afford. I just hate signing leases because then I feel trapped. Yuck. Oh well, keep me in your prayers.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Struggling to Practice What I Preach

I contemplated making this a Private Post. Instead, I am asking those who read my journal and know Alan and Melanie personally, to keep this to yourselves. I needed to get this out, but I don't want it getting back to anyone. Thank you for the confidence.

I wrote the last entry earlier this afternoon, but just got a chance to post. Now, I'm having trouble taking my own advice. I struggle with forgiveness and I know it's a daily choice to forgive certain people who have wounded me deeply. Today, especially this evening, I am struggling. A couple days ago, I was talking to my friends mom (she lost her brother and her husband within 12 hours of each other, 2 days before Christmas). After we talked about how she was feeling, I could relate to some of it so she asked me about my ex husband and what happened in our relationship. After I gave her the story, she said that if her husband had ever been unfaithful to her, she would not be able to forgive him - she'd hate him and the girl he was with. I always try to speak kindly of my ex and his new wife (I do have my moments when I need to vent, but I won't drag their names through the mud) and apparently I had said something kind about them. She was astonished and made a comment that I must be a stronger woman than she if I could really forgive them and not harbor any ill will toward them. Don't worry, I didn't let her go on believing I was perfect. I told her it's a daily decision that I make - to forgive and to pray for them. Anyway, she had said that my ex was unlovable - so I thought it interesting that my calendar had that daily quote today. But the fact is, I do love him and forgive him and in all sincerity, I want only good things for him.

Today, my ex-in-laws (ex-laws?) called me. It was the first time I had talked to them since Thanksgiving. We never go more than a month without talking so I knew something was up. Well, it turns out they have been in communication with their son and his wife. More with Melanie than Alan, but that isn't really surprising. Anyways,they said they felt like maybe they should back off with me to allow their relationship with their new daughter-in-law to grow. They are walking on eggshells because Alan hasn't talked to them hardly at all in the last 2 years. The door to communicate is just starting to open and they are afraid that if A&M find out that they are still close to me, that will hinder their relationship and they won't talk to them. With a new grandson on the way, my ex-laws are excited, yet cautious and want more than anything to be a part of his life. First, I want to say that this is an answer to prayer. I am so glad that Alan is talking to his parents, at least a little bit and I respect Melanie for trying to bridge the gap and being willing to allow them into her life. I've been praying that for almost 2 years now. I understand that my ex-laws probably feel torn to some degree. They do still love me, but their loyalties should be with their son and his family.

I would be lying if I said that I was 100% happy about all of this. They are developing a relationship with someone that I still have to CHOOSE to forgive EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY. I am being replaced - again. I was replaced as a lover, a wife, a best friend and now as a daughter. I am jealous. I am sad. I am afraid that they will continue to distance themselves from me and I will lose a family that I love as my own. I would understand if they did, but I have gotten used to having them all to myself the last 2 years. They have supported me and loved me and prayed for me just as they always did when I was married to their son. I feel awkward now. I feel so sad. Maybe Brandon was right when he told me that it was unhealthy to keep them in my life for so long and to lean on them. Because now, I am experiencing feelings of loss and rejection all over again.

I am happy that they are communicating now - this truly is an answer to my prayers. But I hurt inside. I don't want to care. I want to feel numb.
"Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all;
Forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all –
And to Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all."
~G.K. Chesterton

My thoughts:

The first thing is to identify who is considered "unlovable." Is it the murderer rotting away in prison? The person who molested you or your little sister or daughter? The unfaithful spouse? The drunks and druggies sitting homeless on the street? A family member that hurt you? The manipulative, negative coworker sitting in the cubicle next to you? It's easy to say, "Oh, I love everyone, there is no one that I hate." Where is the proof? When I see a homeless man on the street, holding up his cardboard sign begging for money, or passed out drunk in his own urine on the sidewalk, it is easy to turn up my nose and judge him. I often catch myself thinking, "Why doesn't he get off his ass and get a job? McDonald's is always hiring." And maybe I'm right, maybe that person should do something, but I am not responsible for his actions. I am responsible for my own. How can I show him love? Love is not earned. It is a GIFT. When we love someone, we expect absolutely NOTHING in return. That being said, it is easy to love those who love us and are kind to us. Even the most evil people do that.

This reminds me of the scripture where the Lord is praising the righteous for seeing him hungry and feeding him, etc. "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' " Matthew 25:37-40

If you've done something to the least of these… you've done it to Christ. What a powerful concept. I need to remember that every moment of every day, in every dealings I have with people.

Forgiving: What is unpardonable? Infidelity? Molestation? Rape? Abuse? Murder? Is one sin greater than another? Are we not called to forgive 70 times 7? If all sins are equal and we are sinning in our unforgiveness, are we not just as bad as the person we refuse to forgive? In forgiving others, we find freedom. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew 7:2

I need to remember to take the plank out of my own eye - to deal with the sins in my own life before judging someone else for their choices.

Hope: When do things seem hopeless? Usually, when you are right in the middle of it. Given enough time, we are able to look back at a seemingly hopeless situation and see in hindsight that there was hope all along. Is your loved one dying of a terminal illness where there is no hope of recovery? Don't lose hope. Miracles still occur. When we hope for something and are disappointed, it seems to make us lose hope more easily in other situations.

Monday, February 6, 2006


Lamentations 3:19-26:
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.


I got this email the other day and it spoke to my heart. It is my desire to be a reflection of the image of Christ, my Father. Though the refining is painful, it's worth it.

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a Refiner and Purifier of silver." This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it" If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you. And, whatever you're going through, you'll be a better person in the end. Remember, if God brings you to it -- He will bring you through it.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

My Prayer

The song is my prayer. "I want to sign your name to the end of this day..." Wow! If I could live my life in such a way, that I could get God's signature, his stamp of approval on each day that I live, how amazing would that be?! Powerful! My life is meaningless - a chasing after the wind - such a small sacrifice... So why is it so hard for me to surrender it to Christ - to the one who created me and who knows what is best for me and has a purpose and plan for my future?

"Lifesong" (Casting Crowns)

Empty hands held high
Such small sacrifice
If not joined with my life
I sing in vain tonight

May the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You
Let my lifesong sing to You
I want to sign Your name to the end of this day
Knowing that my heart was true
Let my lifesong sing to You

Lord I give my life
A living sacrifice
To reach a world in need
To be Your hands and feet

So may the words I say
And the things I do
Make my lifesong sing
Bring a smile to You

Let my lifesong sing to You