Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Man Oh Man!

Easily "affected" today. The smell of a co-worker's aftershave or cologne as he passes by. The firmness and strength in a man's hand as it envelopes mine in a handshake greeting. The look in the eyes of a man sitting at the opposite end of the conference room table. The smile and wink from a friend across the room. The approving look, followed by compliment on my outfit from an older gentleman. The deep, powerful voice of someone I talk to almost every day. The feel of being wrapped up in an uninhibited bear hug from a friend. The broad chest and strong arms of a man applying for a labor job. I've noticed it all today - eyes, voice, lips, muscles, hands, strength, height, scent, hair, baldness, laughter... all of it.
I must be ovulating.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I am amazed, totally in awe of the goodness of my Lord. No word in any language will ever be sufficient... No person will ever come close to representing Him accurately...

His love is the greatest gift of all - completely undeserved - and FREE to all. I am completely overwhelmed.

"How refreshing to know You don’t need me,
How amazing to find that you want me..."

New Beginnings

It’s spring, but you wouldn’t know it with the recent snowfalls and chill in the air.

Today, I’m not feeling well. I’ve got a nasty cough with head and chest congestion. In addition to that, my back has been in so much pain, I’ve had to take vicodin and sleeping meds. Usually I have a pretty high pain threshold so if I’m taking any meds at all, trust me, it’s BAD. I wish my chiropractor was open on the weekends.

All that aside, I’m feeling very grateful today, yet very raw. Today is significant for me for two reasons. First, and most importantly, today is Easter Sunday. The day that Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. A perfect man, the Son of God, who lived a blameless life, paid the price for every one of our sins. How many of us struggle with guilt every time we fall? I know I do. How many of us try to pay penance or make up for our short comings by doing a good deed or two? It’s pointless. We can’t undo what we’ve done. No amount of guilt or good deeds will get us into Heaven. We are saved, not by our works, but simply by the grace of God. In His amazing love, He sacrificed his life to pay a debt He did not owe, because we owed a debt we could never pay. Accept it. Simple as that.

On a far lesser scale of importance, today I have been divorced for 4 years. That’s almost as long as I was married. I remember the day being much like today. It could have been sunny and warm, but for all I remember, it was dreary, gray - a fog. I remember sitting in the courthouse next to the love of my life, pleading with him to walk out of there with me and just start over. I remember the judge’s cold harsh tone as he announced our divorce final effective immediately. I remember walking out into the lobby trying to muster up every ounce of strength still hiding somewhere inside me as my "ex-husband" embraced me and cried. All he could do was say, "I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Are you going to be alright?" He begged my forgiveness, but was not interested in coming back to me. I remember walking back to my office trying to focus on the meeting I was required to attend. I remember going home that night and locking myself in my room with a bottle of wine - sobbing uncontrollably. I felt that my life was over.

Not long later, I decided to view it as a fresh start, a clean slate. I took 9 months off work and traveled the country alone. I made friends, had great experiences and saw so many things in a new light. I agreed with the old adage that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. In fact, I’ve even loved and lost again. I have claimed to have put that whole chapter behind me, moved on and celebrated my freedom. However, in the last 4 years, I’ve allowed my emotional baggage to drag me down as I’ve constructed walls around my heart to protect me from ever feeling that strongly again. I’ve dated here and there and have met some pretty amazing men, but almost always cut ties with them before I would allow myself to feel. They have paid for hurts they did not cause and I have missed out on so much love. I guess it wasn’t really a clean slate after all.

It’s spring... It’s Easter... It’s been 4 years. Time to start trusting God, accepting the gifts that He so generously pours out on me... Easier said than done, but I’m trying. Just the simple fact that I didn’t run away this weekend shows signs of new growth.

So here’s to growth... fresh starts... a new chapter... Cheers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


You know that feeling you get when you are sick and you know your body just wants to purge everything - good and bad - from your system? If you are like me, you fight it and just think if you can keep it in, you will be able to digest it and absorb the nutrients that your body needs and whatever is left over that you don't need will be disposed of.

That's kind of how I feel in my head right now. I have so much going on inside that it's making me sick and I feel like it just all needs to come out. But at the same time, maybe if I just keep it in and digest it...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Am I really?

Incomplete: I was compared today to a circle that is only about a quarter drawn. I asked if that meant I was incomplete. The response, was not only that I was, but that it wasn't "barely or partially incomplete, but significantly incomplete."

Faithless: "Look at all this stuff on your walls, Sandra." I look and see a picture with a chinese symbol for Faith and on another wall, a scripture about trusting God, etc. He then tells me basically that I'm a hypocrite, that I claim to trust God and have faith, but my actions and self made defenses paint a different picture.

Transparent: They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. It's true for me. My eyes betray me - they never lie. Three people yesterday asked me why I was sad - all three of them never saw anything on my face but a smile and never heard anything but laughter and cheer. Good, bad or indifferent, my eyes are always exposing the truth, shouting it from the rooftops for all to hear.

Approachable: A lot of people confide in me at work. They ask for advice on dealing with coworkers or supervisors or how to handle HR related issues. Some have me proof read emails that may be taken the wrong way or ask for suggestions on what to say or do in various situations. I was told recently it's because of my reputation of being approachable, confidential and compassionate, yet straight forward and honest.

Stunning: I think that is one of my favorite compliments on my physical appearance. Pretty, cute, even gorgeous and beautiful are great, but overused in general. I've only been called "stunning" a handful of times, but it gives me a boost that few other compliments can. Thursday was one of those times.

Fighting: Now this one is both good and bad. I'm in constant battle - against myself, against injustice, against God, against men who want to be let in, against my will, against the mold, against what is expected, against my convictions, against shades of gray... It's exhausting.

Contradictory: I'm a free spirit, yet trapped. I'm optimistic, cheerful, always laughing and the life of the party, yet there is a deep, unyielding sadness in my soul. I am an adventurer, fearless, striving to live life to the fullest, yet I am afraid. I'm a Christian, compassionate, loving, forgiving, a good person, yet I am evil, sinful, unfaithful. I am outgoing, yet shy. Confident, yet self-conscious. Strong, yet weak. Giving, yet selfish... The list goes on...

Holding On

A few years ago, I took a road trip to Canada. On the way back, I stopped at this incredible view point to take pictures and just enjoy the magnificence and beauty of nature. I was standing on this rock overlooking the fog-filled valley. Just below the rock was at least a 100 foot drop. As I stood there feeling safe, my foot slipped and I fell and barely caught myself. Legs dangling over the edge, I held on with all my strength.

That moment is how I feel in my spiritual life. Once strong, stable, secure, I got cocky. One mis-step and I slipped. Only, no one noticed. Now here I am, barely holding on, but quickly losing my foothold. Every move I make seems to weaken my grasp and pull me further over the edge. At times I feel like giving up, letting go and falling into the abyss. I don't feel I have the strength to keep trying, but I know the fall would be the death of me.

How many of us are in a place in life where we are barely holding on, thinking that if we just hold on long enough,we'll be healed, restored, rescued? I can't tell you how often people come to me for prayer, encouragement, a Bible verse or something - anything to alleviate the pain or give them a glimmer of hope. They are reaching out for a hand to pull them out of despair or a boost to get back on solid ground.

They don't see that I'm dangling over the edge, in need of rescuing myself. I keep the smile on my face, ever the picture of strength and confidence, afraid to let my weakness show. Why is it so difficult to ask for help? Do I really think I can do this on my own? Is it the fear of being judged? Isn't it better to ask for help, admit I am weak and see the disappointment in a few human faces, than to fall and see the disappointment in the eyes of my Father - simply because I was too prideful, or too ashamed (or both) to ask for help?

We are so quick to pass judgement on others. We lack compassion for the liars, cheaters, thiefs or even the negative coworker that we have to "deal with" every day. We judge the drunks on the street, the homeless, panhandlers, prostitutes and druggies. We look down our noses at them and tell ourselves "God helps those who help themselves." We wonder why they don't just clean up their act, get a job and contribute to society or why they are more concerned about their next high than about those who are affected by their actions. I wonder sometimes, if it is our own fear or realization that each of us is only a few bad choices away from being in their shoes - lost, desperate and just looking for anything to numb the pain for the remainder of this miserable existence. They are broken, but they are still alive - barely holding on. There is still hope.

Dangling from that rock, all I could say was "Oh Jesus!" In His name, I found hope, strength, meaning. No one else was around and my own physical strength had nothing to do with my salvation. It is by the grace of God, alone, that I am still here.


I'm falling apart
I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart
That's still beating
In the pain
There is healing
In your name
I find meaning
So I'm holding on.
I'm holdin on.
I'm holding on
I'm barely holding on to you
("Broken" chorus - Lifehouse)