Posted in Church, God, Me

A Quiet Monday Morning

This Monday morning it’s 6:45. One hour ago I took Bennett to work (since he still doesn’t drive, but that’s another post). Laura is most likely still asleep at college, because she doesn’t have any early classes this semester. Ethan is just getting up because his bus comes in an hour. Catie might be asleep with both dogs on her bed, or she might be awake scrolling through Instagram or whatever teenage girls look at when it’s 6:45 in the morning. Jim is in the shower, so I should probably start his coffee because he’ll be leaving for work soon.

At 6:45 on this Monday morning, life is….unsettled, I guess is the best word. And that’s actually different from what it was 24 hours ago. 24 hours ago I was getting up on a Sunday morning, getting ready for church, and processing the evening before, which was “newcomer dinner” for the newer folks at our church (that being me and Laura). Yesterday at church, though, the pastor talked about ITM (Intentionality, Transformation and Missional), which are three Peak Priorities within the vision that our church is doing for three years (this being the 2nd year). Within the Missional part there is a leader, and a staff consultant, but there is an opening in “admin”. I felt a pinprick. For the first time in YEARS, I felt a pinprick–the Holy Spirit poking me and saying HEY, PAY ATTENTION.

But people, I’m scared. I’m not even a member of this church…yet. I pretty much made that decision to become a member, which is rather huge for me. So, yes pinprick, but I kind of shoved it aside.

Then yesterday evening I read a sobering, sickening and completely horrifying article on sex trafficking, the descriptions and stories within I will likely never forget. And I prayed that, while I often feel like one of the few things I have to give at this season of my life is only money, that God would use me within this need.  Because, O GOD, this world is horrific and dying and evil and there is so much need. And once your eyes are opened, how can you go back?

And hello pinprick, remember me? So I told God last night in the midst of agonized prayer that I would follow up with the admin in Missional. What was involved? Was it even something I COULD do? Etc. And I just this moment emailed the church to ask those questions.

So here I am on a Monday morning. Unsettled. Having “regular” life to deal with–always, always–but feeling a call to do more. To use my gifts, which was my “word for the year”. I thought it would be musically. We’ll see.

Posted in God, Me

A Crisp and Shiny New Year

Just waiting for all the possibilities to become realities.

For the first time in awhile, I find myself somewhat excited about the new year. It is a man-made institution and really no different from yesterday? Sure! But it’s still a kind of great excuse to “start fresh” if you want. And I want.

For the first time in a LONG time, God is exciting. My relationship with him feels like a marriage that was on the rocks for a long time, but then the couple decides to really work on it and things improve. Except that God didn’t really give up on me, did He? I gave up, moved away and wanted the separation. I wanted the dingy, smelly apartment with the bug-ridden kitchen and dim bulbs and orange shag carpet. Because it seemed so much better than working on my marriage. Stupid, stupid Tina. I’m back at home with my Lord, cuddling on the couch and planning our future again. And happy about the fact.

**Side note: my parents’ house really had orange carpets when I was growing up. Orange has been my least-favorite color for many, many years in honor of that.**

My sister used an app called My Fitness Pal and managed, using basic math of LESS IN to lose 35 lbs in 2014. I have downloaded the app and been fooling around with it. While it’s somewhat depressing to see just how few calories a 5′ 1″ woman who wants to lose weight gets to eat, it’s definitely eye-opening to realize that my morning cup of coffee (that sometimes makes its way to two cups), eats up 1/12th of my allotted daily needs. That’s a LOT of calories for a drink!

So while I’m not making any ridiculous New Year’s resolutions that I will break in two weeks, my word for 2015 is RECOMMITTED. To God. To my health and well-being. To our new church. To growth. Such a good place to be, don’t you think?!

Posted in Addiction, God, Me, Parenting

Pulling Up The Edges of the Sticker

Awhile back I posted about Being Stuck. Addiction. God. Parenting one of my children. Those three things had me mired in a place where I just couldn’t move. Not an inch. I couldn’t seem to get out of where i was but I HATED where I was.

So I started counseling.

And put a sort of block on my cellphone. Because, people, even 20 freaking years into this recovery I still cannot handle unaccountable time on the internet.I MUST have someone looking over my shoulder. Really. MUST. For September and October and even most of November I was what I’ll call unwillingly sober. Forced because of my accountability software. Somewhere in late November something switched. Whether my brain chemicals finally caught up with the fact that hey, you’re sober! Or I’m far enough on the path towards God that it cleared my brain, but I finally WANT to be sober. If thoughts come into my brain I shoo them away instead of lovingly caress them and call them my precious. If a plot from a book floats into my thoughts, I put my thoughts onto something else. It’s GOOD people! Really GOOD.

God and I are back on speaking terms. That, too, is GOOD. We’re going to church, somewhat regularly. I’d like to make some friends there, but hopefully that will come in time. I don’t automatically blow Him off when something crosses my mind that’s difficult (i.e. Connor’s passing away). It’s good. I LIKE being on better terms with God.

The parenting thing…well…2 out of 3 ain’t bad, right? Just kidding! I’m still going to her (although taking a short break for the holiday craziness) and am still working on the parenting thing. I’m really struggling with one particular child right now–which has happened in the past and has ultimately passed–but this time it’s lasting longer and seems to be more difficult. So I’ll keep working on it…and the sobriety and the God thing and….life is work, Highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something. Right?!

Posted in Addiction, Counseling, God, Me, Money, Parenting

State of the Blogger

We’re already almost done October. How the heck did THAT happen? I’ll be 46 in a few weeks (my children’s English teacher last year is young enough to have been my child. I’m getting OLD!).

Life has been very busy around here of late. The new school schedule, with driving to one or another child’s school each day has taken a toll on me and the house. I’m more snappy with both my husband and my children. I’m frequently overwhelmed. And shutting down because of it. My addiction, while not actively RAGING, has been on the front burner for almost this whole freaking year. And I’m sick of it. Not sick enough to stop, obviously, but sick of it nevertheless. *wry smile

I’ve been in counseling for about a month. I don’t know that I’ve seen any major changes, but it’s really nice to talk to someone about stuff that’s going on–parenting, addiction, God…all are difficulties now. She gives me homework (which Jim finds endlessly amusing). One of the things is to be more social with friends and family. Being that this is my birthday month I’ll have birthday money and am meeting with not only my mother and sister for lunch, but four other gals for lunch/dinner all on separate occasions! It’s a banner month for me, being that I can go literally months without seeing anyone outside of Jim and my next-door neighbor.  And I definitely need that adult-recharging time.

This past weekend was the annual Queen for a Day, which I love and look forward to all year. Worship time, brunch, visiting with other caregivers (moms/wives) of special needs individuals, spa things like massages, nails, foot rubs, satin hands, and a lovely tea room with a harpist and treats. I come away refreshed and feeling wonderful. And wanting more information for and about Ethan.

Financially we’re keeping our heads above water. Just. August stunk (triplet’s birthday!). September stunk (back to school). October stunk (Jim’s trip to Beaver Island, MI). November SHOULD be ok, and there will be that magical 3rd paycheck in December that will pay for Christmas. Thank goodness!

Have any of you “wandered away” from God and come back? I’ve done it before, but am not sure how to get back. Honestly. Any input from you would be welcome.

Posted in Addiction, Birth Story, Counseling, God, Kids

Stuck

Emotionally that’s how I’ve felt lately. Very, very STUCK. Whether it’s unwillingness or inability to get past these issues in my life, I don’t know. Hence counseling that starts tomorrow night.

1. 13 years and still having difficulty with my son Connor’s death. We had, I guess, miracles with the others. Why couldn’t God have made HIM a miracle too? And while I get, on some level at least, that our life here is fleeting and like the grass withers and dies and heaven is forever, I don’t think it’s wrong to want to know your son on earth instead of waiting until you die and actually go to heaven. I want him HERE. And that’s impossible. And I can’t get past it.

2. Pursuant to #1, my relationship with God is rather strained. As in, nonexistent. There is no church. There isn’t much praying. There isn’t any reading of the bible. There is some listening to Christian radio–both music and teaching. There is some willingness to talk to a friend. 

3. Pursuant to #2, Sex addiction. Yeah, that. If it wasn’t for the fact that both my PC and cell were completely monitored, I would most likely still be off in the deep end. I lost most of August to it. Not exaggerating. In a rare moment of sanity, I had Jim disable certain things on my iPhone and now I only have access to monitored internet and no book apps. And I cannot add apps. And I am not so far gone that I don’t care that Jim or my AP sees the filth that I was reading online. But it’s still there. And it still needs to be dealt with.

And I need to get UN-stuck.

Posted in God

God Is Good–All The Time

I’m writing here because I can’t put this on Facebook. A friend of mine–38, mother of three (including twins) just had a stroke this weekend. Much, MUCH prayer has followed. Which is right and proper. She is making a miraculous recovery, which is wonderful. But then come the “God is SOOO good!” posts.  Or, “Never underestimate the power of prayer! Constant prayer, with full conviction, without loss of hope, really does create miracles”.

My response is: God sometimes says NO. It’s still an answer. He’s still good. But yeah, NO was a big, huge answer to a lot of our (and many, many, MANY other peoples) prayers.

But I’m not posting that on Facebook because, well, I’m not going to be a downer.

Posted in Christian, God, Kids

Known By Love Not Judgement

Laura: Mom, is gay marriage in the Bible?

Me: No.

Laura: Then is it OK?

Me: No. I don’t think the writers of the Bible conceived of gay marriage. But there are a lot of things that aren’t in the Bible that aren’t OK. Abortion isn’t in the Bible, but it’s still wrong. But I’ll tell you what, Laura. It’s not my job–or your job–to tell people that what they are doing is wrong. It’s our job to love them.

Laura: …..

Me: I think too often we as Christians are known by what we are against and not what we are for. God has told us to love. Love people regardless of what we think of how they live. It’s not our job to judge them, it’s our job just to love them. It’s God’s job to tell them what they are doing is wrong. It’s my job to love them.