Saturday, October 31, 2009

In My Life.....

It's been ten years. I would never have thought my life would change so much, never have believed that I'd be here, doing this and enjoying my life.

But I still miss him, even now.

Ten years is a long time. For a child, it's their whole life. But for me, it's both an immense distance and the blink of an eye. In this time, my children have gone from high school students to accomplished and polished young women, and my eldest has become the mother of a child of her own. I have gone from being a homemaker who cleaned houses on the side to make pocket money to a college student who is making plans for graduate school.

You could never have told me, ten years ago, that I would be standing here without him.

In September of 1999, my life was a very different one. My eldest daughter was a senior in high school, her little sister a junior. We had moved into a house in the woods, peaceful and pretty. My sweetheart and I were getting ready to celebrate our nineteenth wedding anniversary, not long after his fifty-first birthday, and we had already started talking about what we might do together once our girls had gone on to college. Life had settled into a happy routine.

Then, eight days before our anniversary, he suffered a massive heart attack. In a moment, he was gone.

Time passed, as it always does. Our daughters grew up, went to college, did very well for themselves. J married young, a good, kind man I am proud to call my son-in-law. C has a sweetheart as well, and I'm happy he is in her life. J went on to pursue her passion as a dancer after college, C went to work on her PhD.

And I went on as well. I grieved, struggled, strived to make a new life for myself. For a number of years, I cleaned houses to make a living, while searching for what God had for me. I went back to school part-time, and found that I had some real ability to write and speak.

And as time went on, as the years went by, I changed. I became more sure of myself. I learned to trust God more, and to believe that He wasn't going to abandon me. I learned to listen better, little by little, and found that He had plans for me. Much to my surprise, I found myself visiting graduate schools, and settling on Duke Divinity. And as I work to finish my senior year at State and get my applications ready, I pray for clarity. Even all these years aren't always enough to explain the call I now realize is on my life.

During rehearsal today, I was given this song to sing. And I think it says it all.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more.

("In My Life", Lennon/McCartney)

Thank you for being a part of my life, beloved. And I thank God that we had those years together.

Your (remembering) sis,


Friday, October 16, 2009


Dear Friends,
I will return to my Wednesday and Saturday posting schedule tomorrow, with a post on the incredible changes that have happened in my life in the last week. In the meantime, here's a bit of my life for me to think about....

Music is my native tongue, so to speak. I think in lyric lines, hear music in my head, harmonize constantly with almost anything I'm listening to. I honestly can't imagine it any other way. So, when my favorite band, Third Day, decided to return to the North Carolina State Fair, you know I had to get a ticket, right? I was online the minute the tickets went on sale, and managed to snag a third row, center seat. Wonderful! I could hardly wait to see them again!

In the meantime, life went on. My semester started going full-speed ahead, and I became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I had to deal with. Between the classes, church, and my music, there were days that I felt like I could barely keep my head above water. Some days were better than others, but some days I felt like going back to bed and pulling the covers over my head.

I know, I chose to do this. The path I'm called to is going to require this of me, this and sometimes even more. Knowing this didn't make me feel any less worried, however. And for the last couple of weeks, I felt like I was carrying more and more each day. I slipped into my old habit of obsessing over whether I really knew what I was doing. Did God really ask this of me, or was I just imagining it all? I had to know, somehow, whether this was for real.

So, forward to tonight, Dorton Arena, and five thousand fellow Third Day fans. I was sitting there, wishing I had a clue why I felt so lonely and tired, wondering if I had made a mistake coming there by myself. Surrounded by happy couples, families and groups, I felt tremendously alone. But I decided that, even though I was feeling down, I really wanted to hear Mac Powell sing, and I settled in for the beginning of the concert.

And God reached down, for a moment, to touch me.

I was drawn in, and started to sing along with Mac. Old favorites, like "Love Song", and "Blackbird". Worship songs, like "King of Glory" and "God of Wonders". I had finally relaxed, felt peaceful for the first time in days. I had my head thrown back, and was weaving harmony in with Mac's melody line as the lyrics touched my heart:

It’s been so long since you felt like you were loved
So what went wrong
But do you know there’s a place where you belong
Here in my arms

When you feel like you’re alone in your sadness
And it seems like no one in this whole world cares
And you want to get away from the madness
You just call my name and I’ll be there
You just call my name and I’ll be there....

I was crying. But not from sorrow. From relief, from a feeling of peace I had really missed.

My life has led me down the road that’s so uncertain
Now I am left alone and I am broken
Trying to find my way
Trying to find the faith that’s gone

This time I know that you are holding all the answers
I’m tired of losing hope and taking chances
On roads that never seem
To be the ones that bring me home

Give me a revelation
Show me what to do
‘Cause I’ve been trying to find my way
I haven’t got a clue
Tell me should I stay here
Or do I need to move
Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without you
I’ve got nothing without you

Once again, I'm reminded of all the things I've spent the last few years learning: how much I'm loved, that I am called for a purpose, and that He'll give me what I need to keep moving forward, one step at a time. I can't see into my future, I don't know what I'll be doing next year, next week, or even tomorrow, but it's alright. He knows, and I'm walking with Him.

Give me a revelation
I’ve got nothing without you.

Your (step by step) sis,


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's not what you do...

Singing isn't my life, but it has come very close sometimes.

The first time I can remember singing, I was all of four years old, and performing something simple in a church Christmas pageant. I liked it so much that I wanted to stay on stage longer, and my older brother had to come fetch me. I sang every chance I got, after that.

My first time in front of a church congregation, I was all of seven. I sang "How Great Thou Art" at the Seventh Day Adventist church that ran the school I was attending, and loved every minute of it. By the time I hit my teens, I was singing in a school choir and a member of my church's adult choir. I sang for school programs and some community events, and every chance I got at church, including plenty of solos. I was good, and I knew it, so I took every opportunity I could get to perform. Anywhere, any time, anyhow.

This had some good effects. I got plenty of attention for my abilities, and my voice continued to improve. I got plenty of chances to meet people and learn how to be comfortable in front of crowds.

But, this also had some bad effects as well. Since this was the only thing that I did that got me positive attention, when things went wrong I was devastated. I can remember being horribly depressed for days after forgetting the lyrics during a solo at a Christmas eve service. I felt that if I couldn't do this one thing right, that maybe there was nothing I could really do well at all. I put every last bit of my self-esteem on the line, every time I went forward to perform, and if I failed, I felt as if I was a failure. That if what I did wasn't good enough, that I wasn't good enough.

This false perception has taken years to change. I had to learn that I had more than one gift to use. I had to find out that if something went wrong, it didn't make me a failure. And most of all, that my gifts and talents were not what made me of worth to God. I am of worth to Him because He chose me, not because I have something He needs. That I can please Him by being myself, not by trying to be better than everyone else around me. Not an easy thing to learn, but something I'm still working on finding out.

I still spend a lot of time singing. I am behind a microphone almost every Sunday. And, honestly, I'm pretty good at it. Not the best in the world, not the worst, but pretty good at using the gift of music that has been my most visible talent all these years. Yet, finally, I know that God loves me no matter how my next performance turns out. I am loved, as is.

It's not what you do, it's what you are. God's child, as is.

Your (singing) sis,


Saturday, October 3, 2009

It's not what you have...

I love books. Actually, I love just about anything to read, be it blogs, magazines, or the backs of cereal boxes on a slow day, but especially books. Enormous unabridged dictionaries to look up unusual words, children's picture books to scan and tuck away for my future grandchildren, cookbooks with a thousand different recipes for chili. Gardening books that discuss heat-loving plants, tomes of British and American history, classic science fiction that I've read over and over again. Biographies of visionaries, rulers, and rebels. Fantasy, mystery, theology. I love them all.

And you can tell it the minute you enter my apartment. My little bitty studio apartment.

I have books all over the place. On shelves, in drawers, under the bed, on my desk, in my backpack and purse and truck. I have more books than I have time to read this semester, this year, maybe even a lifetime. And they just keep coming, from thrift shops, bookstores, friends, and Paperbackswap. And I even have books in storage with my personal effects at my friend's house. Just in case I don't have enough to read, sometime in the next century, right?

Really, it's not as bad as it could be, not as bad as it has been in the past. When I moved here, at the beginning of my time at NC State, I got rid of several hundred books. I gave them to friends, to the thrift shop, to fellow members of Paperbackswap, to my church! I knew I couldn't possibly fit them in this new home of mine, not even in boxes. I had to get them out. And with great reluctance, I did so.

For a good while, I felt free. There was plenty of space, and other people would have the time to read my hoarded volumes, while I concentrated on finishing my degree. But then, I started picking them up again. A few books here and there, what could it hurt? I could save them for later, for break, for summer, I'd get to them sooner or later, right?

But I've just realized that I'm working on getting too many books. Again. And it's time to stop, or at the very least, send out books as fast as they come in. I don't have the time to read them! And what is the reason for a book? To be read, that's what.

Okay, so I have a lot fewer than I used to, I still have more than I need. And that goes for a lot of things beside books. What do I really need, anyway? How many CDs can I listen to? How many shirts can I wear, how many pairs of jeans or shoes? And how many pairs of earrings does one woman actually need? The answer is, really, a lot less than I own. And I'm betting that a lot of us can say the same thing.

No matter how cool the ads look, I am not a better person for buying things I don't need. I'm not a nicer person, a better friend, mom, singer, or student. And if I am given a certain amount in life, God didn't just give it to me to please myself with. When I'm not constantly feeding my craving for the latest and greatest by my favorite authors, I have more to give to others who can use the help. People who probably don't have way more things than they need. And that's something that makes me feel better than even the best book.

Time to read what I have, and stop browsing over at Amazon, right?

It's not what you have, it's who you are. The person God made you to be.

Your (recovering book addict) sis,


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Get Lost.

Yeah, I admit it, I need to get some glasses. I should see an eye doctor and get something stronger than the dollar store reading specs that I use to read and use my computer. And I do tend to get turned around when I'm trying to find an unfamiliar place. But add up driving in the dark, not having a decent pair of glasses, and being late to a volunteer job early on a Saturday morning, and you have the perfect recipe for a real problem.

I've been to this location before, a few months ago. I was supposed to be there by 7:00 AM, and I got there a few minutes late because I got turned around. But I thought I remembered how to get there this time, and I had a printed set of directions from Map Quest. So, I wasn't in a hurry this morning, when I pulled out of the parking lot at 5:55 AM for what was supposed to be a 45 minute drive. You'd think I'd know better by now, considering my history, but once again I blithely set out on my way. Without pre-reading my printed directions. Big mistake.

So, I'm tooling along on I-40, and realize that I haven't made a mental note of my first exit number. So, I turn on my dome light (mistake #1), and pick up my directions to check the exit number (mistake #2). As usual, when the light is dim, small print is a bit of a blur, glasses or not. So, I'm driving, and trying to read my map, and of course, I misread the number. Is it 303? 306, 308? I thought it said 303, and made my exit, thinking I was making pretty good time. But several minutes later, I looked at the signs and started to see familiar road names. Wait a minute, what?

Much to my surprise, I had managed to get myself completely turned around! I was actually heading back toward the part of Raleigh I live in! And of course, time is ticking away, and I had to get turned around and try again. Which I did. And made the very same wrong exit.

By this time, I was thoroughly upset, and it was almost 6:30. Due at my volunteer work at 7. I was now driving very fast, though thankfully on a part of I-40 where the speed limit is 70 mph. When I turned around the second time, in a different place, I finally managed to find the proper exit, recognizing a landmark from my previous trip. And got to my work at 7:10.

Alrighty, boys and girls. What is the moral of the story here, other than the fact that I need to bite the bullet and buy new glasses?

Know, and plan for your flaws. I am a person that has a problem finding my way around without a map, or a guide. So, was I smart to try to make a 45 minute drive at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, without figuring out my route in advance? Nope. When all else fails, read the directions. Know what they say.

Let me repeat that last line again: READ THE DIRECTIONS. Whether it's a road map to a strange town, the steps on how to make a cake, or a manual on how to repair your car, reading the instructions tends to make your life easier. Read up. Ask others. Find out what you don't know from someone who does. Get a guide. A friend. A GPS. Why get lost if you don't have to?

And this applies to a lot of things in life. As a Christian, I know that I don't know everything about what I need to know in life. But God has supplied a lot of the information I need, if I'm willing to take the time to study, think, and ask for directions. I don't have to wander around the back roads, worried that I'm going to be late, and that I'm running low on gas, right?

And neither do you, believe me.

I really do think I'm going to get my eyesight checked. And I'm going to read my directions before I find myself on I-40 going in the opposite direction than the one I planned. How about you?

Your (somewhat confused, but finally found) sis,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To-do list.

It's Wednesday, I survived my three exams in my classes yesterday, and it's time to get a few more things done. But which ones? And where do I start?

The apartment is looking a bit of a mess. I live in a studio apartment here in graduate student housing at NC State, (I'm an undergrad, but being 49 does occasionally have its good points!), and it's just a wee bit small. In one room, I have a mini kitchen, my enormous desk, a twin-size bed, a love seat and a reading chair. And there's stuff on every flat surface right now. I need to do the dishes, clean the bathroom, run a load of laundry, and clear my desk before an avalanche of books and papers slides onto the keyboard. I need to vacuum, and I need to wipe dust off the bookshelves. In other words, I need to totally clean this place before one of my classmates shows up on Friday morning to work on an assignment with me. Sigh......

Then there's the class stuff. I need to read chapters in four of my five textbooks, taking notes as I go. I need to type out an assignment to be posted on a class website, go to the library website and start researching treatment methods for borderline personality disorder, and write out flashcards for this coming week's vocabulary words in español. That's actually a shorter list than usual, but it's still going to eat up some time.

Add to this my work over at my church. I'm one of the people who are working as staff for our current Alpha series, and Wednesday is the day we run it. So, I need to head over there this afternoon and set up tables, get prepared for serving dinner, set up the book table, and make sure that the volunteers know what they need to know and do. There's the band rehearsal on Saturday, some cleaning of the building to get done, and some volunteer work I've signed up for in Smithfield this weekend.

Finally, and just as important as everything else, there are things that I need to do for myself. I need to take a walk so I can get some exercise and blow the cobwebs out of my brain. I need to spend some time in the scriptures and prayer every day, and a lot of days I don't get there. I need to work on my applications for grad school. I need to cook some healthy food and get it in the freezer for those many nights when I'm exhausted and don't want to cook. And I need to spend time with my friends before I start turning into a hermit that just comes out of my hole to work!

God help me. I know I can do it, I've done it before. But there are times I feel somewhat overwhelmed by my chosen life. I can end up feeling sorry for myself, if I'm not careful. I can get tired and worried, if I'm not careful to remember why I'm doing this. I'm doing this for a reason: I am called to be a person who serves God by serving others. And it's not an easy road! But with God's help and strength, I can do whatever He asks me to do.

So, time to write out today's to-do list. And choose not to let it get to me. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, after all.

Your (persevering) sis,


Monday, September 21, 2009

Ain't it grand?

There's a suitcase sitting open on a chair, slowly filling up with things for a certain baby girl. Pinks and greens and blues and yellows, blankets and onesies and bibs, with a yellow rubber ducky sitting on top of the stack. Soon, I'll make a quick trip to Denver to deliver them to my sweet J, eldest daughter and mother-to-be. Hey, did I mention I'm about to become a grandmother?

I started my family fairly young. I met my future husband when I was just nineteen, married right before my twenty-first birthday, and by the time I was twenty-three I was a mother twice over. It was a wonderful surprise, actually: I wasn't a girl who dreamed of getting married and having babies, but God had plans for me, and I'm happy with how it turned out. J and C are both now in their mid-twenties, through with their undergraduate work, and are beautiful, talented young women. If you've been around me for a while, you've probably heard me talking about them, and yes, I'm really proud of them both.

So, when I told my friends and family at my church about J becoming a mother, they decided to show how much they loved me (and my beloved J) by throwing a shower! And since J is in Denver and I'm in Raleigh, I got to be the proxy guest of honor. Cool! It's been a good number of years since I've been to a shower, and it was really fun to be inundated by beautiful and useful things for my future granddaughter. (Yes, it's a girl, name as yet to be revealed. I'll get back to you, I promise!)

Y'know what? I am very much loved. This is just another reminder of it.

It never ceases to amaze me, really. I grew up thinking that if I could work hard enough, be good enough, look pretty enough, be religious enough, that I could earn the love I needed. But no matter how hard I tried, it just didn't happen. There was always something I missed, something I didn't do well enough at, a standard beyond my reach. So, after a while, I pretty much gave up on the effort. I knew that I was a Christian, I knew that God had (for some strange reason) accepted me, but I felt like a second-class citizen. Never good enough.

It took Him years to get through to me that I was loved as-is. Not for what I might be someday, not for what I could do for Him, but just for being me. Quirks and all. Sometimes, I get angry, wondering what I did to deserve the bad things, the problems and stresses and griefs of life. But then I remember that I didn't do anything to deserve all the wonderful things I have, either. God is with me through all of it, and I am completely loved, no matter what. As the song says:

When we don't get what we deserve
it's a real good thing (real good thing)
When we get what we don't deserve

it's a real good thing (a real good thing)

Oh, yeah. We get love. Ain't it grand?

Your (well-loved) sis,


Friday, September 18, 2009


Y'know, there are days, and there are days. I don't think I need a new computer yet, but I'm starting to wonder....

I'm sure you know how it is. When you get a computer, you get the best you can afford, for what you need it for. I'm a student, so I need to be able to create papers and Powerpoint presentations, and I need to be able to search the internet for information for those very things. I spend time online talking to my friends, so I need to be able to load pages fast enough to keep up with conversations, and run my (everlasting) Scrabble games. I love books and music, so I shop for them online. I have an enormous external hard drive just for my music collection, so I need to be able to run iTunes while doing other things. In other words, I don't need a top-of-the-line rig, but it needs to move fast enough to keep up. And lately, well, I'm seeing that wonderful little icon that we Mac users jokingly call "the spinning beach ball of death". She's running slower and slower, and even though I've ran software on her that is supposed to do things like clean out my caches, she's still creeping on me. ARGH!

When my little Mac Mini was new, she ran like the wind. But I've had her for what, four years now? And web content takes more and more from a computer to run. Think of it like this: You want to fill up a jug with water, but it's coming out of a fire hydrant. So, you either need a big-mouthed jug, or something that will help you channel that water into your jug, like a funnel. Right now, the poor lil' mini is having trouble keeping up with the data flow! So, it's time to consider something important: do I take the Mini over to the Apple store to see if they can do what my software couldn't, and make it run faster again, or do I get another computer?

I've had work done on my previous Mac, a second generation iMac, one of those candy colored rigs that looked like retro TVs. And I've learned to respect the ability of a good technician to know what makes my 'puter tick. Unlike yours truly, they know what a computer is supposed to be able to do, and what to do when it decides that it doesn't want to do it anymore. I've watched my previous tech guy work a keyboard like a virtuoso pianist, and in minutes have it acting like it just came out of the box. A good tech guy knows computers. And whether it means clearing out the junk that has collected over the last several years, updating software to the latest version, or opening up the case to add more memory, the right tech guy's expertise means the difference between a computer that works poorly and a system that operates just the way the designer meant it to.

Funny, but that makes me think of how my life goes sometimes. Sometimes, I'm a little bit like my Mac. When all goes the way it's supposed to, I run very well, thank you. I can handle my schoolwork, my relationships with other people, my work, my music, and make it all look easy. But sometimes, I start to bog down. Earlier programming, things that I learned years ago, start to make me move slower and slower. I hear "you can't do that", and "are you sure you're smart enough?", and "nobody else has the time to help you". I start to feel like my load is impossible to carry, and stagger under the weight of it all. I can't do it anymore.

But that's not how my Maker put me together. I was created, designed, made for incredible things. And sometimes, I need to have the old programming deleted, the new programming put in its place. When I've bogged down to the point that I can't go on, the things that slow me down need to be removed. When I feel like I'm not able to handle the load, I need to allow myself to be helped to carry it.

This can be tough, sometimes. I want to think I can do it all on my own. But that's not how I was designed. I need help, and I need to admit it to God, my friends, and myself. And with the help of God and my friends, I can do this. I can be what I was made to be.

And I can hardly wait to see how it's going to turn out.

Your (work in progress) sister,


Saturday, September 12, 2009

It doesn't take much...

Once, a friend of mine commented (after watching me crack up over something pretty juvenile) "It doesn't take much to amuse you, does it?" To be honest, actually, no. It doesn't take much to make me laugh, make me happy, make me smile. And it comes in pretty handy sometimes, know what I mean?

I have two days a week where I spend 10 hours on campus, either in class taking lecture notes, or between classes reading one of my five textbooks. One day out of the week, I have an evening Bible study at my church (currently we're doing the Alpha course, but more on that soon!), Saturday I have band rehearsal and my one and only cleaning job, and Sunday I'm at my church from 7:30 am till 12:30, either working in one of our services or helping set up/break down. So, what with that, studying, all the chores that a single person has, and anything else that just might come up and need doing, my time for fun can sometimes be somewhat limited.

Yet, I can, and do, find time for fun.

Example: I took Friday off this week, and spent the entire day reading. Not a textbook. Not something serious, but two unassigned books! Cover to cover! Utter joy! One was the third book in a fantasy trilogy, Toby Bishop's "Airs of Night and Sea", the other was Max Brooks' "World War Z". One, a somewhat "horse and her girl" young adult book, the other a fascinatingly gory look at a "zombie apocalypse". Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum, right? But, books are FUN! And I always have several books in progress, one tucked in my purse, one in my truck for odd moments of free time.

Sometimes, I go on day hikes. I put on my boots, pack a lunch and a couple of water bottles, and take one of our local trails for several hours, just to get away. Green trees, a rushing stream with a heron fishing in it, the sounds of birds and squirrels, and peace! Eventually, I hope to take another crack at a major route like the Appalachian Trail, but in the meantime there's always shorter alternatives like Company Creek just down the road from my apartment. Fun doesn't have to be loud or expensive, y'know?

Among the many things I do online, I play Scrabble with my friends at Facebook. Yes, I'm one of them, one of those middle-aged people that have invaded FB, and I not only use it to keep track of my friends, I use it to play. Of course, several of my opponents are incredibly good, and I get creamed on a regular basis, but it's still fun to me! I also spend time chatting with friends, reading blogs and interesting articles, and writing.

Finally, and best of all, my friends make me smile. Between my online buddies (and you know who you are!) and my North Carolina crew, I have the best friends I could ever hope for! I've known some of the online gang for many years now, and we've shared both hard times and good ones together. Some, like my friend Denny, have become face-to-face friends. And no matter how far apart we may be, whether it be England or Australia, we share our joys with each other, God bless 'em all!

My friends here, well, are one of my very best blessings, as well as my biggest source of fun. We chat about almost anything you can imagine, play everlasting games of Scrabble, sing together, go out for occasional dinners, and share all the amazing hopes and dreams that God has sent our way. They know my quirks (most of 'em, anyway!), and I know theirs. I can be me, and they can be who they are. I love it!

So, my friends, what makes you happy? What makes you laugh? What do you do for fun, and who do you love to be with? Today, look at all your joys, and thank God for 'em!

Your (easily amused) sister,


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Only you, kid, ONLY you...

The entrance is still a bit sticky, and my tiny studio apartment smells like laundry detergent. But I think I managed to get it all off the floor. I hope.

Yep, it's another "only you" moment. I had just finished two week's worth of laundry, after running short on socks. I was putting some cleaning rags into my little storage closet, accidentally nudged the bag with the Wisk in it, and it fell. Upside down. Shattering the top, shoving the remains into the inside of the bottle, and allowing it to pour all over my vacuum cleaner. I stood there for a moment, stunned, as the blue goo oozed all over the tile......then frantically took all of my freshly washed cleaning rags and mopped it up, while trying not to get stabbed by the fragments of plastic in the mess. I think I managed to keep from muttering anything I wouldn't want overheard.

This, ladies and gents, is my life in a nutshell. I am, for the most part, a reasonably happy woman. Lots of good things happen in my life, no doubt about it. But I attract moments like this like a dog attracts fleas. Never anything that would really get me hurt, never anything that would cause real problems, but I have had more than my share of moments that look like reruns of "I Love Lucy". And I've managed to provide my friends and relations with many a laugh over the years. (See, I knew there had to be a good reason for all this!)

When I drop something important, it goes in the one spot I can't reach without heavy equipment. (My one and only pancake turner is currently behind my immovable stove.) I have been sprayed by innumerable bottles and cans, mostly when I'm wearing white. If I'm carrying something heavy, stand back, you don't want it to be your foot. (Mine? I'm used to it at this point!) I attract poison ivy, fire ants, stray dogs, rolling shopping carts in parking lots, and an inebriated guy on Hillsborough Street that thought I needed a hug! And when I have problems with my truck, well, it's the interesting kind. My engine likes to rev up all by itself. I have windshield wipers that turn on and off on hot days. And I managed to freeze my TIRES to a parking spot on the day I needed to go see a foot doctor....twenty minute walk on an injured foot, anyone?

I can't even manage to get mad properly! Once, when I was thoroughly annoyed with my family for not noticing something nice I had done, I was stomping through the snow. You guessed it, I hit a patch of ice with my left foot and down I went....feeling my ankle twist backwards and sideways at the same time! After a good six weeks with my sprained ankle in an air cast while trying to continue my housecleaning job, I came to the conclusion that it was a bad idea to get that mad.

But if this little talent of mine has a good side, it's that it has helped me to develop a sense of humor. Let me illustrate for you.

Last summer, I spent a week on my very first major hike: fifty miles on the Appalachian Trail. As an adult staffer for a youth group, yet. It was an incredible week, even though I am a tremendously slow hiker and was outdistanced every day by most of the group. I managed to get bug bitten, sunburned, exhausted, and lost five toenails. (No, not immediately, it took several months...oh, never mind, I'll explain some other time!) But the most interesting things was (you guessed it) falling off the trail. Yep.

I was on a narrow stretch of switchbacks with a young lady hiker, using a hiking staff to keep my balance, and making good time. Since we were in heavy tree cover, there were a lot of leaves on the ground, and sometimes it was hard to see what was firm trail and what was a pile of leaves. And yes, I didn't see it coming. I put the tip of my staff on the edge of the trail thinking it was firm ground.....and lost my balance. Down I went. (I can remember, as I fell, thinking something like "ooops.") I rolled, pack and all, about 15 feet till I hit a tree. With my pack, not my head, thank the dear Lord! Didn't even hurt, with all the leaves.

My hiking partner was a bit perturbed, of course. I managed to calm her down, then crawl back up the incline to the trail, all the while laughing at myself. All I got out of it was a small scratch on my left shoulder, and leaves in my hair. Oh, and another story to tell, of course

Y'know, God is good. I'm still in one piece after all these years. But I do tend to have days where one of my friends, after witnessing another of my little incidents, will roll their eyes and say "only you, Darcy, only you."

Anyone else have a story to tell? I'd love to hear it, if you'd like to share a laugh with me!

Your (bruised but amused) sis,


Friday, September 4, 2009

You know it just ain't easy...

¿Hablas español?

With those two words, you now know what my most difficult subject in school is. Right now, anyway. Spanish is a lot of hard, continuous work, and for some reason that bothers me.

Why, you might ask? After all, I'm taking four, count 'em, FOUR psychology courses, two of them 400 level (read "senior", all of you who haven't been here yet), and I'm not whining about them even though I'm reading and writing like mad to get through them with good grades. Yet, Spanish is the one subject that makes me start sweating at the very word "examen". Yep, yesterday was my first chapter exam, on chapter 10 of my brand-new book.

But why does Spanish worry me so? One simple reason: I have to really work hard at it.

I know some of you are laughing now. I'd be laughing too, it it was someone else. But here's the deal: when I first went back to school, several years ago, I was worried sick about being able to handle it. I didn't know how to write a paper, I didn't know how to use a lot of the functions on a computer, I hadn't taken a class since I had graduated from high school in 1977! And yet, once I got started, I learned how to handle it all. As a matter of fact, much to my surprise, I was actually pretty good at it! So, I got pretty decent grades, and held down a full-time job while going to school part-time. I found that I could write fairly well, understand the reading I was having to do, and really enjoy my classes. Wonderful!

Then I found out that I would have to pass the intermediate level of a foreign language to graduate from any university in the UNC system, so I chose Spanish. Easy, right? It's a language spoken by quite a number of people in this part of the country, and I didn't have to learn a new alphabet. Yeah, easy. Till the first day of my first class, when I realized that everyone else in my beginning class had taken at least one other class before that one. And I started to have to struggle to keep up.

So, here I am, in intermediate Spanish, a class I will have to pass to graduate, and I'm already working hard to keep up with my (half my age) classmates. And sweating it out. WHY? Because I'm having to WORK at it! Instead of having fun writing interesting papers and getting into cool discussions in my class (like the vast majority of my classes since I went back to school), I am writing notes as fast as I can, and trying to understand a textbook that might as well be in Greek. ¡Ay, Dios mio!

And yet, as much as I'd rather be in a class that I can have fun in, I need to do this one. This is part of my requirement to graduate, and I need to just go ahead on and study. Sometimes, I'm a bit spoiled by the fact that I can get decent grades in a lot of subjects without spending every spare moment curled up with a textbook. Sometimes, I have to remember that good things don't always come easy.

A couple of weeks ago, I was again reminded of that very fact. I received a note from someone I knew a long time ago, when I was a teenager.

I was a pretty awkward kid back then. I liked books better than I did people, but I hated school because I didn't fit in, and everybody knew it. Like a lot of kids, I endured a lot of bullying, a lot of pain. Without going into unnecessary details, I'll just say that it was the grace of God that brought me through those years, and into a happy life as an adult. It's not a time that I've spent a lot of time thinking about in the last couple of decades, by my own choice.

So when this note showed up, I was more than a little surprised at the fact that she wanted to say she was sorry for her part in those years. And even more surprised by the fact that I was feeling upset. In all those years, I had never honestly realized that I hadn't forgiven the kids who had made my life so unhappy, I had just managed to stuff it down and forget about it. But it was still there, deep inside me, waiting for a chance to reemerge over thirty years later.

So, it's time for me to do another hard thing: forgive people who wronged me, even though we have been separated by an entire continent and thirty years. Yeah, this is tough. It is hard work for me to let this pain go, to forgive, and to let the wounds heal that shaped a portion of what I became as an adult. But if I run away from it, as I have many times before and with many other people, I will only harm myself. When God commands that we forgive, it's for our own good, so that we can heal and grow towards what we have been created to be, and not be mired down by anger and grief over our past. I can't pretend that it doesn't need to be done, just because it's tough. It is necessary, that's all I really need to know.

So, folks, it's back to work. With the help of God, my friends and my family, I can do hard things. Whether they involve a textbook or not.

¡Gracias a Dios!

Your hardworking sister,


Thursday, August 27, 2009


Strange to say, I really don't like change. You might find that amusing, considering that in the last several years I've gone from cleaning houses full-time to being a senior at a major university. And you'd be right, it is pretty funny. Yet, I don't find most change a whole lot of fun. I really prefer to stick with what I've always done, even when it's obviously time to move on. And my clothes are a pretty good example of that. Let me elaborate here for you...

Since I've left the cleaning business, it's time to change my wardrobe. I can get rid of a number of t-shirts and pants that have tears, bleach marks, and permanent stains in them from my work. I can wear my nicer clothes to class if I want to, and I can start looking to expand my wardrobe so that I can go to church or interviews and look like the person I want to be: positive, self-assured, and intelligent.

This isn't all that easy on a student budget, I can assure you. I'm a constant visitor to thrift shops and consignment stores, looking for items that will
A. Look good on me.
B. Go well with the rest of my wardrobe
C. Not cost so much that I have to skip groceries for the week.

I can find myself spending a whole hour just going through the racks of shirts, jeans, and skirts, looking for just the right item, piling each find over my arm until I have a load to take to the dressing room for that most important moment: the mirror test. Stacking my finds in the dressing room, I try on each item and stare in the mirror, trying to see how each piece makes me look. And it can be interesting, really! The color that looked good out in the store now makes me look a bit washed out. The trendy top hits me at the wrong spot in my midsection, and emphasizes, well, that I'm bigger than I want to be! (Ooops, better not have that burger for lunch after all, hmmmm?) The jeans are too long, too short, too baggy or too snug. Back in the pile they go. And yet, I fooled myself into thinking they looked good, because they look just like what I usually wear, just in better shape. Good thing I tried them on before I got to the check-out.

Then, it happens. I put on a blouse that is a different shade than I normally wear, a slightly different cut, and there it is. It makes my eyes more blue, my hair more silvery. It fits just right across the bust and my midriff. And it goes with a skirt and a pair of pants I already own! Perfect! We have a winner! I take my much smaller pile of goodies to the checkout, and head for home. And I have a change to my personal style that I can live with.

It's the same with my internal changes. I'm not comfortable making changes in how I look at things, in how I live my day-to-day life. And yet, looking at it, I can tell that my old habits and thoughts just don't fit me anymore! They bind or chafe, don't match what I've come to know over the last few years, don't cover the right spots. They're unsuitable for everyday use, and yet I stick with them because they're old comfortable friends, like my bleach-stained work shirts.

But like my old shirts, it may be time to let them go. Take a look at things in my life, hold them up to the mirror and see if they're really what I should be wearing, or whether they're due to be replaced with the new things that I'm learning and being shown. I'm learning, little by little, to see myself as who I really am in Christ, and it's time to look and act like that person I was created to be. Time to take off the old me, and put on the new, the one that I'm finally getting to know something about.

So, next to the front door of my apartment, there are several bags of clothes waiting to go to the thrift shop. Time to move out the old and make way for the new.

Got anything old you need to get rid of?

Your better-dressed sister,


Friday, August 21, 2009


It's TIME! School has started at last!

Of course, it's not like it used to be. When I was a kid, school was new notebooks, crayons, and that perfect outfit for the first day. It was also wondering who my new teacher was going to be like, if I was going to have friends in my class, and if lunch was going to be any good. Pretty simple stuff here. Now, it's paying for my parking permit, purchasing my textbooks, getting ink for my printer, and using my student funds to pay for as many things as I can in advance, so I don't have to worry about them later. Oh, yeah, and so I don't accidentally spend that money on something less important. Been there, done that.

But it's still a bit of a thrill, packing my backpack with some of the enormous stack of books required by five different professors. Picking my outfit out for the first day. Packing my lunch so that I'm not sucked into the Atrium, home of our campus Chic-fil-A. Printing a class schedule so that I can remember the room numbers. And leaving my apartment early so that I can catch the bus up to main campus. Later on in the semester, it will seem a bit ho-hum, but right now, there's still a thrill to pulling up in front of the main library and joining the throng of students on their way to class. Especially since just a few years ago, I never would have thought I'd be here!

Now that I'm in my second year here, I've managed to learn a thing or two about how to get everything (mostly) done. And unlike some of my friends, I've got to have a routine, structure, to make it all work out. (I'd love to be one of those people who never stress and still seem to get good grades, but I'm not from that planet!)

I have to get up and go to bed around the same time each day. With rare exceptions, I'm up around six and in bed between ten and eleven. Why? Because if I don't, I start getting cranky, tired, and majorly dependent on caffeine. Yeah, those of you who know me well remember times that I was sucking down major amounts of diet Pepsi just to keep my eyes open. Not going to happen this year, if I can help it.

I have to spread out my work. When you just have one or two classes, you might be able to get away with throwing together your projects and papers at the last minute, and you might even manage to get decent grades doing it, if you're a good enough writer. But when you're looking at five different classes, professors, expectations, you had better plan to be working consistantly. Or, you're going to be pulling some major all-nighters, and you still might not get decent grades! See the last paragraph: might work for some people, doesn't work for me. At all.

I've got to take care of my body. When I'm under stress, I tend to overeat and under-exercise. Constantly. And anyone who doesn't think that being a full-time student is stressful has probably managed to forget what it's like. So, instead of going through the drive-thru at Wendy's for the third time this week, I need to take advantage of the tiny kitchen in my apartment and cook something that's half-way good for me. And instead of always taking the bus up to campus, I need to take the 30 minute walk from King Village to Poe, where the majority of my classes are. I've done it many times before, I just need to work to make it a habit.

I need to rest regularly. When everything cranks up, my classes, my church, my obligations, I tend to schedule things seven days a week, in a frantic effort to keep up. This time, I need to remember that it doesn't work. If I have too many obligations, I need to trim them back. And I have to have a rest day, weekly. This summer, for the first time, I chose a day for nothing but rest: no homework, paid jobs, or chores. Period. And I was still able to handle the load. This fall, I need to do the same thing, and make sure I don't slip back into my old habit of being constantly on the run. Friday may not work, this semester, but I need to choose a day and make it stick. Having a sabbath rest day just seems to make the rest of it work better.

I need to remember my friends. When I'm busy and stressed, I tell people I'm FINE. (One of these days, ask me what that really means, it's funny!) I might be struggling with a paper, lonely, wishing I was elsewhere, but I still tend to say that I'm fine. But I need to spend time with people who care about me, who can ask the right questions and not think that fine means much of anything, and who make me laugh and forget my stresses. I love my friends, and they love me. The last thing I need to do is stay away from them when I need them the most!

Finally, and most important, I need to remember God, and why I'm here. I need to spend quiet time in prayer, in studying scripture, in just being in His presence. When I do, I am reminded that there is a reason that I am doing what I am doing, and it's not just to get a degree. I'm here because God has called me here. And when I'm stressing the most, that is what I need to remember. Where God guides, He will provide. He's done so all along, and I know He's faithful.

So, I'm off to do some reading for class. One of 'em, anyway.


Your running sister,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can you hear me NOW?

I like loud. Yeah, I understand, I'm not supposed to, it's not good for me, but I like it anyway.

For the last several years, I've been a singer in a band called "Third Watch". We are the worship band for Evergreen United Methodist Church, but we are also a kickin' cover band, specializing in music from the sixties, seventies and eighties. In other words, just about anything that our Fearless Leader, Barry, is interested in. May I say, in all modesty (or lack thereof), WE ROCK. (The picture is of our band in an earlier incarnation, but I'm the chick on the microphone, of course!)

I spend several hours a week in rehearsal and performance with my band mates. And this week, we needed a lot of rehearsal time to pull off FL's plan: a performance of Huey Lewis' "Power of Love". Our keyboard guy and our horn player both had a lot of hard work to pull off the eighties sound that the piece needed, and FL worked up a cool guitar solo to go with it. But it took a good three hours of rehearsal time on Saturday to put all of the disparate pieces together so that we sounded like a band, not just five people making random loud noises.

After a while, the sound came together, in spite of various and sundry problems with the sound system. Time after time, the monitors (the set of speakers aimed at the musicians, not the audience, to give them an idea how they sound) would cut in and out. We'd stop and work on the board, the monitors, the amps, just about anything we could think of, trying to get everything to sound right consistently. And we thought we had it nailed down.

Move to this morning's service. We opened the service with "Power of Love", and it went pretty well, as well as the rest of the praise set. Yet, the sound system continued to cause us intermittent problems. And the sound levels needed to be constantly tweaked from the board. Yikes! It's a very good thing that we have excellent people doing the sound, because once the band cranks it up, it is no longer able to deal with the glitches, it's all in the hands of the sound guy. We were able to concentrate on doing what we came there to do, lead the congregation in singing to God, and leading into Pastor D's message for the morning.

Thinking about this, I've come to two conclusions about this morning:

First, sometimes your best efforts aren't going to be quite good enough. We're a good band, no doubt about it. But sometimes, in spite of the group's talent and our best efforts, it's not going to turn out the way we want it to. This morning, we were LOUD. When you have a trumpet, double keyboards, and a bass going, plus singers, (in a small sanctuary!) your sound levels can sometimes be somewhere in the neighborhood of overwhelming!
Even when we are doing the best we can, and using the gifts and talents that God gave us, it's not always going to be the way we want it to be. That's part of being human, and it can be humbling from time to time.

Second, and more importantly, accepting help is necessary! Sometimes, we need help from our sound guy, who is up there working on the board to even out the sound, and bring the volume down to a level where it isn't painful to the audience. Sometimes, it's other people with suggestions on what they liked and didn't like. Sometimes, it's volunteers who want to work with us, so that we can do even more interesting music.
In day-to-day life, it's the same for all of us. Accepting help and advice may sometimes be annoying or painful, I know. It is for me, that's for sure. But, since none of us know everything, it's good to listen to the people that God sends into our lives, and accept their help when we need it. Take it from a fairly loud person, sometimes I need to hear that I should tone it down!

So, another Sunday ended, another week begins. I hope I can manage to remember this long enough to use it as my fall semester gets started this week.

Let's make some music together!

Your (no microphone necessary) sis,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In the planning stages.

One week till classes start: a phrase that scares and excites me at the same time. Next week, I start my senior year at NC State University, something that I never would have thought I'd be doing, and it makes me incredibly nervous. I have one week, just one week, to get all my plans together, make sure my class schedule is straight, figure out my budget, wrap up my old job and say goodbye to several clients who have become friends over many years. I need to finish getting my books online, see about getting my truck inspected, get to Fayetteville somehow to update my military family ID, and get my eyes checked in preparation for getting a new set of reading glasses. Oh, and get my apartment cleaned up. My desk, as usual, is covered with small piles of books and papers, some of which should be recycled and others that need to be filed.

Did I MENTION I have just one week left?

I need to see about getting my summer credits from Wake Tech transferred here to NC State, review my español from previous classes, work on writing for my graduate school applications, and look over my review books for the GRE. I should be getting some cooking done and in the freezer, so that on the nights I come home from class tired and hungry I can stick something in the microwave and have something healthy to eat. And I need to take at least one day, ONE day, to rest. Last year, I took a day out of the area with my cell phone off, reading and writing in my journal and praying. Am I going to have time to do that as well?

In one week. Yeah, I do believe that's going to work. Uh-huh.

As usual, my plans and expectations for my schedule are meeting the cold, hard wall of reality. I am capable of a lot, and in the last few years I've come to realize that I'm able to do more than I had realized. Yet, I am not Superwoman. Nor should I start thinking I can be her.

But I can't throw up both hands and decide that because I can't do everything I want to do, that I should give up and not do anything. I've done that in the past, and believe me, it doesn't work. My job, should I choose to accept it, is to do the best I am capable of doing, and trust that God will be with me to give me the strength and wisdom I need to get it done. That's doable.

So, time to pick the most important things off the list for the day, and get started on them. I think I have enough time to get some writing done while the laundry runs, and before I have to leave for this afternoon's appointment. ¡Vamanos!

Your busy sister,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dig deep!

I like to garden. Sometimes, it can be difficult, since I live in a studio apartment in the middle of downtown Raleigh, but I manage. My church is in rural northern Chatham county, so, being on the unofficial landscaping committee, I get to play in the dirt on a regular basis. There's plenty of space to experiment with flowers and shrubs, and nobody seems to care what you do as long as it's not invasive. (Uh, well, let's not mention the St. John's Wort that almost took over an entire bed and was eyeing the lawn. I won't, if you won't, okay?) Since I don't live near the property, I have to be careful not to plant anything that needs major amounts of water or attention. We're not in the desert here, but there's long enough between rain storms that you want to plant drought resistant greenery any time you can.

We have a really nice landscape going this year. The rudbeckia (black eyed susans) have self-seeded into several beds other than the one they were originally planted, but seem to be happy. Likewise, several purple coneflowers, some lambs ears, and two surprisingly big crepe myrtles. After trying to dig one of them out and having it resprout, I've decided to live with it in its current bed and enjoy the shocking pink blooms. The flower in the picture is lantana, which is in two of the beds and doesn't seem to mind heat and humidity. Oh, and the deer don't eat it. Did I mention the herd that occasionally grazes the flower beds? Oh, my.

You can learn a lot from being a gardener, and some of it I've even managed to apply in other parts of my life.....

1. Watch what you're doing.
The property here has more than its share of things you don't want to accidentally touch. In thirteen years, I have rarely managed to go through a gardening season without being thorned (jerusalem cherry, holly bushes), bitten (fire ants, yellow jackets), or touched by poison ivy.

In the same way, there's stuff in my day to day life I need to watch out for. If I know there are situations where I tend to slip up, or things that tempt me, then I need to avoid them. Some things I've gotten into over the years have had consequences worse than poison ivy, so learning to watch out for them is important!

2. Weed regularly.
Most of us hate to weed. It's a lot more fun putting in flowers and dreaming of how good everything is going to look when we're finished. But when you don't weed very often, it can get ahead of you. WAY ahead of you. There's an old gardener's saying: "one year of seeding is worth seven years of weeding". Pull weeds while they're small and few, and you'll save yourself many hours trying to save your overwhelmed petunias from the crabgrass, believe me!

Habits can be the same, in some ways. There are times when my habit of spending a lot of time online, or drinking a lot of diet Pepsi, or not paying attention to my finances has come back to bite me! So, I need to pay attention to my habits while they're minor, before they have a major affect on my study time, my waistline or my finances. If I don't, they can get bigger than I can handle without help.

3. Don't forget to water!
When you put a plant in a bed, it's under stress. It needs plenty of water to start establishing a new root system and to be healthy and happy in the location you've chosen for it. If you get distracted and forget to give it regular drinks, especially when it is getting settled in, you can find yourself with a dead plant, or at least one that you'll be lucky to manage to nurse back to health.

We need water, too. We need to be aware of what we need, both physically and spiritually. When I neglect to eat healthy, to get enough water to drink, to exercise, I feel it. I get tired and sluggish, and it makes it harder for me to get everything done. When I neglect to spend time in the scriptures, in prayer, or in worship with my church family, I feel it too. It becomes more difficult to handle my everyday stresses, and I feel more distant from God and my friends. Seek out water, don't wait till you start feeling wilted.

4. Live and learn.
No matter how long you've gardened, you can always learn something new. Over the years, I've managed to plant things in wrong places, forgot to water, had my plants frozen, had my plants eaten by deer, dug up by squirrels, or in some cases just decide they didn't like where they were and die on me. I have managed to hurt myself in various and sundry ways, and on occasion managed to find myself in a doctor's office trying to explain just how I managed to get hurt!

If I was easy to discourage, I'd think this was an awful hobby. But I've learned so much in the meantime. I know more about what will grow here, what will thrive on heat and (some) neglect. I've found out what the deer won't eat, and where to plant what the deer like so that they don't immediately graze it to the ground. I've learned to ask my friends for help, so that someone can come in and water plants from time to time, or so that someone can cover the plantings when there's going to be a late frost. And I've learned to identify and avoid (most of the time!) the poison ivy, fire ants, and jerusalem cherry so that I don't end up back at the doctor's office. I've also learned about patience, endurance, persistence, and having a sense of humor. I've learned that being transplanted won't kill you, whether it is from one bed to another or one city to another. And in spite of weeds, drought, and hungry deer, (or whatever circumstances I'm thrown into in my life), it's possible to thrive.

So, if you're up this way, come garden with me. I'll share my tools and my water bottle. Oh, and I'll show you what a fire ant nest looks like, before you pull up a clump of crabgrass and disturb them. It'll be fun, really! And think of all the things we can learn.

Your sunburned sis,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hit refresh, already!

For years, I blogged. Two different times, two different sites, two points in my life that I really wanted to have my say, but both times I ran out of time and energy. I am now a full-time student at North Carolina State University, and between work, school, and more church jobs than I'd care to admit to, I was a bit overwhelmed, y'know?

But now, I'm back. It's a point in my life where I've left behind a number of things that made my life somewhat "normal". Yeah, normal is a relative term here, I know. But I've given notice on my job, dropped some of the multitude of things I thought that I was responsible for, and decided to aim at the few things that I knew I was supposed to do.

For example?

The beginning of my senior year. I will be taking a fairly heavy course load this year, aiming at graduating from State in the spring of '10, and as a psychology major, my classes won't be easy, to say the least. Hence the "leaving my job" thing. I've worked as a housecleaner for twelve years, and though I found it a bit boring sometimes, it was still what I was used to. Now, I've been spending a large portion of my tiny income on the gas it takes to drive TO my job, and it's time for it to change. So, I'm taking my student aid, and living on a tight budget so I can have more time to study.

Graduate school lies ahead. I am aiming at having my first application in by the first of November, and I will admit it's making me a bundle of nerves. Just a few years ago, I would never have considered applying at schools like Duke and the University of North Carolina, but I feel a definite pull in that direction. So, a good portion of time in the next several months will be spent trying to explain to two elite schools why they should accept me into their student body. Hooray?

And finally, the call on my life. I know, it sounds strange to me, too. But over the last two years, I have felt a pull that I can't deny. I've finally realized that listening to that call means that I will be applying to Duke Divinity School, and seeking ordination as a deacon eventually. I am being drawn (some days with my cooperation, some days kicking and screaming) toward being a counselor. I spent months going through the "who, me?" stage, followed by "you've got to be kidding!", finally segueing into "alright, alright, I'll do it, but You've got to help me explain this thing!"

For those of you who know me, none of this is probably news. But I'm grateful for your support, nonetheless. And for those of you who will get to know me through this season of my life, and through this blog, I hope that you'll decide to hang out with me as I walk down this road that I didn't even know existed. I've hit the refresh button on my life, one more time, and hit the road again. Let's do it together.

Your hopeful sister,