Monday, July 27, 2015

Letters to God

Do you know why I write this blog?

Is it so anyone else can see what I have to "say"? No.

Is it so I can garner any level of attention? HAHAHAHA. No.

I write this blog because it is cathartic for me. Whenever I have thoughts, feelings, etc to work through or reflect upon, I find it therapeutic to write about them.

I love to talk. I'm not afraid to share stories about myself. Not even a little. But, I'm not the best at expressing my honest emotions in a verbal and constructive way. It is easier to diffuse situations with humor or snark. It it easier to be mad than sad or upset. When I write, though, I have time to choose my words carefully (and sometimes I do, others, well, not so much). I can think through how I'm feeling. I can make sense of it. I can back up, hit delete, undo things I've written. It feels different than talking it over.

I'm not afraid of public speaking, in fact sometimes the thought of facing a bigger group is less scary than the prospect of trying to not let there be uncomfortable silences with just one or two people. What can I say? I'm awkward. This isn't new information. Anyway, I sometimes stumble over what I want to say because my brain has a tendency to move faster than my tongue and leave it behind. My train of thought has a way of derailing and abandoning the natural course of a conversation. And when having a conversation out loud, it's really hard to back track and get back to the original thought, even when I know it would be better to do so.

So I write.

I was thinking just last night about how some people keep prayer journals. They write down their prayers, or at least the things they are praying about. Since I've never done that I wondered, why do they do that? Is it easier to organize their thoughts before talking to God if they write it all down? Does it make it less emotionally draining to try to sort through emotionally charged situations if they essentially write letters to God?

And then that thought really struck. Letters to God. All these years I've thought about prayer as this spoken conversation, or really, like a phone call. It should be a two-way communication, but let's be real, sometimes God doesn't answer immediately. Sometimes we have to wait and listen for what He is telling us. You know, little like waiting for a response to a letter. Maybe prayer has more in common with letter writing than I thought. Maybe it is sort of like a spoken letter. So why not write it down? Especially if that helps.

So maybe I should start giving that a shot. God knows my heart. He fills in the gaps that my awkwardness and strained silence creates because He knows what it is my very soul is crying out for, even when I'm not sure how to say it. I don't HAVE TO write it down and sort it out. But maybe I need to do it for me; to help my little, human, finite brain make sense of what my heart and my soul already know.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but that's never stopped me before so I'm going to follow my thought train. My heart knows what it feels. My soul knows what it needs. It's my brain that can't process or accept things. It's my brain that feels more comfortable with anger than sorrow. It's my brain that makes a joke of a situation rather than actually get caught in my emotions and ugly cry in front of people. And I do. I'm an ugly crier. Blotchy face, puffy eyes, swollen lips, heaving sobs that you can't even speak through. I don't like doing it. Unless it's during a movie that I know will end happily. And even then, I like to watch alone.

But when I write, I'm forced to consider why I react the way I do. Why am I angry? Oh, I'm not. I'm devastated. Why am I making a joke right now when I should be having a serious conversation? Because stuff just got real and I'm uncomfortable so let's change the tone. And maybe if I make myself examine my reactions, my real emotions about things, I'll better understand the answers God gives me. Because maybe I'll understand His answers better if I understand my own questions better. You know, the ones my heart is asking. The ones my soul cries out.

Huh. Maybe it's time I start writing a few letters to God.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Things I'm Thinking About Right Now

There wasn't really a better title for this post.

I haven't blogged for a while because I either didn't have anything of value to say, or I didn't have time to sit down and say (or, in this case, type) it.

I still don't have anything awesome or mind blowing to share.

I just feel like blogging.

So this is what you get.

1 - One of the ways you can tell that being a parent changes you? When you have dinner with your very intelligent friends from college (one of whom now gets to be called Doctor) and this group, who once upon a time spent ample time discussing religion, politics, and other super controversial topics, finds themselves having an in depth discussion about the character personalities of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. If you're not there yet, call me when you know all the words to the Hot Dog song. I'll help you ease into the transition of parenthood.

2 - I once said that I prefer honest to goodness books, you know, the kind you hold in your hand and have actual pages to turn. The kind that have spines that make cracking sounds and smell of ink. I still do, but wow, I got a Kindle (this is not a paid endorsement, but if Amazon would LIKE for it to be, contact me and we'll totally talk) for my birthday (months ago). I. LOVE. IT. Between the Amazon bookstore and my local library app, holy moly have I gotten to read a lot lately.

Finish a book and want to read the next one in the series? No need to find time while running errands to stop by Books-A-Million (still a great place) or the library (ditto), just click a button.

Proceed with caution, though. I started off just reading a little to have some me time while my son napped. Then I read a little at bedtime to relax. Then I started getting book recommendations based on what else I read and I got sucked into more than one series that had me staying up through the night to find out what happened next. I would look at the clock, turn (or swipe) the page, and whisper to myself "I have no self control."

I spent the better part of a week surviving on caffeine and hope until I finished one particular series. And then? I felt bereft. I suffered emotional trauma at the hands of a work of fiction and I loved it. I miss the characters.

3 - Since I have been reading so much lately, I have discovered that I think about the author almost as much as the characters. I will read a passage and laugh at the dialogue and say things like "I love (insert author's name here)'s imagination!" Is that not normal? Because I get weird looks when I say these things.

4 - I'm pretty sure they lace Diet Snapple Half 'n' Half with something RIDICULOUSLY addictive. That is the only explanation for my reaction to it. I don't even like tea. Yes, I might be the ONLY SOUTHERNER IN THE HISTORY OF TIME to not like tea, but I don't. This stuff? I don't know about the best stuff on earth, but it might be the most addictive. And much like Amazon, this is not a paid endorsement, but, hey Snapple, call me and we'll talk.

5 - Luckily, something else I have learned lately is that my body can really only handle so many addictions at a time, so since reading on my Kindle and drinking Snapple have taken the lead, overeating has taken a back seat. And between my severely diminished appetite (those of you who don't know me, I LOVE food, so to be able to walk away from food I like before it's gone, or refuse it all together is a BIG DEAL) and my recently (within the last month or so) started workout routine with a friend, I have actually started to lose some weight. I still have a long way to go, but I'm excited.

I especially like when I go shopping and have to ask for the next size down more than once because my body has started changing.

6 - My son got his first haircut yesterday. His hair isn't super thick, but it had gotten a little long in the back and needed trimming. He handled better than I thought, though there was some squirming and bit of complaining. I took pictures. I'm that mom. I'm not even sorry.

7 - I feel like in preparation for seeing my son grow up enough to need a haircut and all of the other things he does that make me think time is moving too fast, the Lord gave me a little something to smile about yesterday. Over the weekend, my family ordered pizza. There were many leftovers. MANY. So yesterday, when I went to get something for breakfast, I indulged myself and had a slice. And we were out of my customary caffeine source (Coke Zero - again, not getting paid, but wouldn't say no), and I don't drink coffee, so I drank one of my husband's Cokes.

Judge all you want people. I wasn't hungry the REST OF THE DAY so I stand by my breakfast choice.

Anyway, sitting at the breakfast table I looked down at my slice of leftover pizza and my Coca-Cola and smiled. I couldn't help it. My biological mother passed away when I was still pretty young, but one of my most vivid memories of her that I have been able to hang onto in the more than two decades since she's been gone is her eating leftover pizza and drinking Coke at the breakfast table.

I guess for some of us, no matter what happens, we still become our mothers.

8 - My son now says "Uh-Oh" whenever he does something that he knows he shouldn't do, or when he does something that causes him to need help from a grown-up. That means when you think he is playing rather peacefully and all of the sudden he says "Uh-Oh" out of the blue, it is generally cause for concern. Especially when you can't tell exactly what he did to make him say it.

Also, when he wakes up first thing in the morning and you hear him say "Uh-Oh" over the monitor before you ever get to him to get him out of bed, it's also unnerving. In fact, it causes a mild flash of panic. There are still some unsolved mysteries as to the cause of the "Uh-Oh". Maybe it's better not to know.

I have more, but honestly, it's getting late and I want to go to bed...and read. So, hopefully, it won't be months and months before I return to my little slice of the internet, but I promise to be the same old random me when I come back.