Sunday, December 03, 2006

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

It's been snowing off and on the last couple days and I'm loving it. As soon as December arrived, the snow came and now it feels more like the holiday season. Today for the first time I'm not feeling so exhausted. I'm still feeling nauseous every now and then but I'm getting more energy back. It's a good feeling. I should only have a few more weeks til 2nd trimester! It still feels like it's going so slow. I feel like I've been stuck at 9 weeks for the past month! I know that's not true but I'm just so excited to start showing and to find out if we're having a boy or a girl and to feel the baby's movement inside of me. But I'm reminding myself what an amazing gift this time is - time to prepare and dream and anticipate and hope. This has been a spiritual time for me. I feel so utterly dependent on God for the health and protection of our baby. So much of my prayer time lately has felt like begging with God. Please don't let me miscarry; please keep this baby safe and healthy; please let me be able to deliver this baby naturally and not have to get a C-section, etc. I wonder how He will be changing my heart (and my prayers) through these remaining 7 months. My husband said something the other day that I really liked - he said that having a baby can bring us more in touch with our hearts and more in touch with our God. I like that and want that to be true. May that be the prayer of my heart no matter what is around the corner these next 7 months. When you want something so bad, it's scary to feel so vulnerable and dependent on God. I pray for peace and trust in my heart. I pray that I will truly believe that He is GOOD, no matter what. That's been a struggle in my heart for many years now.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Food all day? It's a pregnant woman's dream! Frankie & Oliver had fun too!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Boy or Girl?

Another week has passed & I'm so grateful to still be pregnant. I keep having miscarriage dreams! They're awful & I'm sobbing in my dreams & wake afraid I really did have a miscarriage. But then I'm so relieved to realize it was only a dream. I guess I'm getting out my fears through those dreams. They're going to come out one way or another. So this week I am 7 weeks along and still very tired and my morning sickness has gotten a bit worse. 4 1/2 weeks left of internship; 6 more weeks of first trimester. I can't wait to be finished both! I'm hoping when 2nd trimester rolls around I'll be less fearful of losing baby boo and feeling less sick. That's what I hear happens for most so I'm looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to finding out if baby boo is a girl or a boy. I guess we'll be able to find that out around week 20. So, my faithful blog-reading friends & family, we'd love to hear some name suggestions. What should we name our baby boo?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Baby boo

We are having a baby! I am so excited. I can't believe this is actually real. I'm 6 weeks & things are going along good. I am tired & nauseous and that is good! Everything is as it should be. I haven't been very emotional although I'm more anxious than usual - I'm worried I'm going to lose this precious baby who at this point is only as big as a pinto bean. I can't feel you, I can't see you, I can't hear you but I know you're there & I'm already attached to you. I didn't know how much I wanted this (how much I wanted you, little boo) until you were in my tummy. It's amazing how a little pinto bean changes everything.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

cooking spree

I went on a bit of a cooking spree this afternoon. I'm not much for cooking. I usually enjoy it once I get going but I don't "get going" very often. I don't feel like I'm very good at it and those things I'm not good at, I tend to shy away from. (Yes, I can be a bit of a perfectionist.) But come Fall, I'm more in the mood to cook and especially bake. Maybe because it's cooler outside so I like to be in the warm kitchen with the smells of breads and casseroles wafting through the whole house. There's something comforting about those baking smells.

Today was fun. I baked two loaves of chocolate chip zucchini bread, an apple-strawberry crisp, and a chicken zucchini casserole. Plus I have an 8-hour chili cooking in the crock pot. Yum Yum! But I saved the best for last: While I've been enjoying myself in the kitchen, my husband has been enjoying himself curled up on the sofa watching the Chicago Bears have a great game. But soon, very soon, my wonderful husband will be in the kitchen for cleanup and dishes duty (that he volunteered to do!) and I'll be curled up on the sofa with a good book! Actually, I think what my husband is trying to do is to get me cooking more often. It just might work.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The end of summer

It's been a great summer. We had a fun trip to Maine with my inlaws over the 4th of July week. The above picture was taken in Maine and it's one of my favorites! Stay tuned for a link to the rest of our pictures...
I had my birthday several weeks ago and so far I enjoy being 30! There's something refreshing and hopeful about having my 20's behind me. It was a great decade but it was also a tough decade. In my 20's I struggled to let go of an eating disorder. In my 20's I pushed love away. In my 20's I let go of unhealthy relationships. In my 20's I moved from Maryland to Seattle for grad school. In my 20's I went through life-changing experiences at Mars Hill Grad School. In my 20's I met my husband. In my 20's my dad died. In my 20's my childhood home was sold. In my 20's I received my Masters in Counseling. In my 20's I got married. In my 20's I moved to Michigan and built a counseling practice. In my 20's my husband and I bought our first home. In my 20's, I fell in love with 2 kittens. And now, I'm ready to soar into my 30's and discover all it has to offer me.
I have my counseling internship all lined up and actually, today, I'm finishing up my first week. 16 more to go. In some ways I'm counting down but I'm also excited about this internship and know it's going to be a great experience. And, come January I'll be a licensed counselor in Michigan. That's going to feel really good. This fall will fly by I'm sure. But it's my favorite season and I'm happy to be entering into it. Bonfires, bundling up and walking on deserted beaches, hot drinks, pumpkins, drives up north to see the changing leaves... what are some of your favorites about the fall season?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The beach at night

Tonight is beautiful. It's cool, breezy, quiet. It's one of those nights I want to walk on the beach. But I'm a woman and therefore do not feel safe strolling the beach alone at 11:30 at night. So I write, and feel the breeze coming through my window. My kittens sit on the windowsill, staring out longingly into the night as well.

I don't spend enough time at the beach - day or night. When I lived in Maryland, I used to drive 3 hours to the Ocean City beaches. Sometimes I'd go out and back in one day. I'd often just get in my car and drive. Not only to Ocean City but wherever; most times with no destination other than into my heart. That's what those drives to OC were all about. That's what walking on the beach is all about. So I guess I'm feeling a nudge to enter my heart tonight.

When I think about the beach and enter my heart, so many snapshots flash through my mind. Snapshots of longing and hope, play and fear, pain and regret. I'm a little girl on the Michigan shore. I'm a teenager at Ocean City. I'm a young adult looking out at Seattle's waterfront. I'm a newlywed, on the sandy beaches of the turquoise Caribbean waters. I'm a woman about to turn 30 back on the Michigan shore. But the little girl on the shore is laughing and splashing in the water. The woman only gets her feet wet and there's a self-consciousness about her that keeps her from the playful, lightheartedness of the girl. The years between them are only heavy for the woman because she is still carrying them.

Friday, June 30, 2006


Oliver in all his manly glory

Our new kitty Frankie

My loving husband

Happy Anniversary to me!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

cinema therapy II

Movie # 2 for cinema therapy is shopgirl with Claire Danes & Steve Martin. It's a movie based on a novella written by Steve Martin. There were two lines in this movie that really struck a cord for me... Ray Porter (played by Steve Martin) says to Mirabelle Buttersfield (played by Claire Danes),

"I am sorry for how I treated you. I did love you."

Tears came to my eyes when I heard those words and I realized how much I have longed to hear those words from the "Ray Porters" in my life. It amazes me the power we have in something as simple as the words we can offer one another. And how healing they can be if we would just risk to say them.

Friday, June 23, 2006


So I've been finished with Barnes & Noble for 3 weeks now and I've already gained 3 new clients. Is that awesome confirmation or what? I'm so grateful for how God is blessing our counseling practice. It's taken us 2 years but now it's really taking off. There's always more networking and marketing to do but it's good to see that what we've been doing for the last 2 years is now starting to pay off.

My three-year wedding anniversary is coming up next week. 3 years! It has flown by. Our anniversaries are all about celebrating and reminiscing and dreaming about the future so I'm excited about having that time with my husband. We're also joining my inlaws in Maine the first week of July for a much anticipated vacation (and lots of lobster)! I've never been to Maine so I'm definitely looking forward to it.

So things are good. I'm letting that sink in.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

cinema therapy

Have you seen the movie Broken Flowers with Bill Murrey? It has stayed with me even though I saw it months ago. Bill's living the life of a bachelor in his 50's, living alone in a mansion, living off investments, living with one woman after another until the day his past catches up with him. He receives a letter in the mail,
with no return address, from an unnamed ex-girlfriend. She writes to tell him that after their relationship was over, she discovered she was pregnant. She had a son - his son. He is a teenager now, starting to ask questions and on a quest to find his father. There are four ex's from that time period in his past who could have sent the letter. So Bill goes on a road trip, tracking down the four women, searching for clues as to which woman sent the letter and who his son is.
I feel drawn to this movie because there was such potential for redemption of the past. He had the chance to go back, an older man now, and set things right. Not that he was a changed man but it was the process of revisiting his past that changed him. There's something about the opportunity to revisit the past that stirs me deeply.
We love whom we love not so much because of the future we hope to build but because of the past we hope to reclaim” - Lauren Slater Feb. '06 National Geographic This Thing Called Love
The most beautiful thing about love – and the most difficult – is that it makes us go back to our unfinished places and relationships, and maybe, finish them.” Stephen Levine

Saturday, May 27, 2006

summer lovin'

We've added another kitty to our Love Shack.

I put in my two weeks notice at Barnes and Noble.

My heart is more alive than it has been in a long time.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

3 months and counting...

My husband's 30th birthday was on Friday. It got me thinking about my upcoming 30th birthday. As it was during a January post I wrote, the upcoming end of my 20's continues to be a great motivation for me. I thought I would be more afraid to turn 30, but I'm not; I'm not wishing I could hold onto my 20's and I'm not dreading getting older. Rather, I'm very motivated to get moving on building the life I want and becoming more and more the person I want to be. There are several things I want to accomplish by my 30th birthday...

1) lose 15 pounds
2) gain at least 3 new ongoing clients for my counseling practice
3) send in at least one piece of my writing for the possibility of publication (hopefully!)
4) quit my BN job (to move into a counseling job or make enough income from our counseling practice that I don't need an outside job)
5) have an internship lined up for the fall
6) be able to run seven miles (at this point, I can run one mile... I have a ways to go, but, I do have 106 days to get there)

So, there you have it, my goals for the remainder of my days as a 20-something. I'm excited to turn 30 and begin a whole new decade, thinner, healthier, in better physical shape & growing professionally... as well as growing in family size too: hopefully in my early 30's, God will bless us with a baby... or two... or however many God wants to entrust to us.

Hello 30, bring it on!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What's in a name - Part 2

My sister-in-law left me a comment from my previous post but then deleted it because she wasn't sure how it would come across and was concerned about others reading it and thinking she was criticizing my words or that she would hurt me. Instead she emailed her comment to me and I wanted to share what she wrote because it was a good comment and it gave me a lot to think about. My SIL talked about the process of naming your child and how as a parent, the first gift you give your child is their name. She's been struggling with calling me "Jenna" rather than "Jen" out of respect to my parents who named me. This is part of the comment she left and then deleted...

"You know, I don't think I would change my name. For me, my name was the first gift my parents ever gave me. I know that they would be hurt if I said, "that is no longer my name" and I would feel as though I were dishonoring them. And as a mother I remember the exciting and serious process of selecting a name for each of my children, the prayerful consideration that went into each choice. To know that one day they would reject that precious first gift would be very painful. I would be sad if they decided to change their name. I would be more sad if they were deep inside unhappy with who they were regardless of whether they changed their name or not. Of course God gives us each a new name but we are his children too. And one day my daughters may get married and will exchange their last names for a new one as a symbol of honoring their husbands, but I hope they always love the names that we bestowed upon them. I knew a girl who grew up in an abusive past who changed her name too. And she was marking herself free from that heritage. My prayer is that my children so love their childhood, their parents and their good names that while none of those may be perfect, they wouldn't change the very things that shaped who they would become."

I love getting feedback and comments to my posts and really appreciated what she wrote. It gave me a lot to think about. I can see where she's coming from with "your name being a gift from your parents." Back in grad school when I was thinking about changing my name, I talked to my mom about it and asked her what she thought about me changing my name to "Jenna" and if she'd be hurt if I did that. She understood where I was coming from and wasn't hurt by it. If I had decided to change my name legally to Jenna, that would have bothered her more and I could see how that could be hurtful and rejecting of the name she and dad gave me. I don't know the name God will give me, but I do feel like when I was "renamed" Jenna, it was a God thing. My time in Seattle and at grad school was such a time of change and growth and healing. I wanted to mark that time somehow because I need to remember that season of my life. That experience is such a "set apart" time for me and I wanted to mark that. Some people get a major haircut to mark a change or they get a tattoo. For me, it was my name change. (A tattoo will come later).

I agree that what we're named by our parents is a gift. When I got married, I really struggled with giving up my maiden name because that was tied to my dad and with him gone, I wanted to hold onto that. But I also wanted to take on husband's last name because I wanted to become one with him through that. Taking on his last name was a "leaving and cleaving" for me. So I decided to legally keep my maiden initial as a way to remember and honor my dad and I kept my legal name "Jennifer". I wonder though if there comes a time when as a daughter or son you separate from your parents, taking with you all they have taught you, in order to become and grow into who you're meant to become. For me, that included my name change - something symbolic to mark that passage. Perhaps the passage of leaving mom and dad to prepare to marry. For me, taking on "Jenna" is not a rejecting of what mom and dad named me but a moving forward to become who I'm meant to become. It's not meant to disrespect or reject Mom and Dad's gift and I know they knew that.

I don't know when my husband and I will be blessed with a baby but we're already starting to think of names we want to give our children. (So far we've come up with 3 possibilities of names we really like so that means we have to have at least 3 kids). I probably would be hurt if my child wanted to change their name but knowing the context would be important and what it means to them, why they want to change it, etc.

My SIL's comment made me think about why my mom and dad decided to name me Jennifer and I remembered that I was named after a neighbor girl who had died when she was 9. She had been born with heart problems. Her heart wasn't growing along with her body and she actually wasn't supposed to live for as long as she did but because she was very small-framed, she was able to live until she was 9. My mom had several names she liked and wasn't sure which one she ws going to choose. "Jennifer" was one of those names. She had been nervous about naming me after the neighbor girl for fear of hurting the girl's family but according to my mom, once I was born and they saw my face, they knew I was "Jennifer". I looked like a Jennifer so Jennifer it was. (That reminds me of one day when my Father in Heaven will look at my face and call me by His name for me. That's so cool to think about...)

All my life, I have believed that I was named after a girl who died as a child. And I have felt like with where my name came from, perhaps there was a part of my calling, a part of who I am that carries a weight to it. Perhaps there is a sense of sadness and loss due to being named after a girl who died at a young age. I am sensitive and intuitive and have deep emotions and carry the weight of who I am. But recently, I was talking to my mom about her naming process for me and it turns out, I wasn't named after this neighbor girl as a way to honor her life or carry on her torch or anything like that. Rather, "Jennifer" was the name my parents chose for me and (as a side note) there was also a neighbor girl who had died who's name was "Jennifer". I wonder if unconsciously my renaming myself Jenna was a running away from the burden of what I believed to be the story behind my name - this sense of sadness and loss and heaviness and deep emotion. And yet, talking more about it to my mom, while I wasn't named after this girl, she was a very spunky girl. While she was alive, she was full of life. And that, if anything, is what I should hold onto.

I feel like the meaning that the name "Jenna" has for me, God wants for me. I know He wants me to live in freedom, to trust Him and live beyond my fears. I know He wants me to open my heart and be authentic and love and live with passion. From death comes new life. I'm trying to move beyond the shadow of death that holds me back and keeps me stuck in so many different areas of my life. Knowing the true story behind my name is a good step in that direction. May I continue to grow more and more into my name. And add "spunky" to the list.

Monday, March 20, 2006

What's in a name?

So some of you long-timers in my life might be wondering, who's this Jenna chick people keep talking about? Jenna who? You have forever known me as Jenny or Jen or Jennifer. It's one thing to get used to a name change when you get married but then you come along and say your name is Jenna now and call me Jenna now and I can't hear you unless you call me Jenna...

Well, here's the story behind my name change...

In grad school, I had a friend named Heather. She had decided she wanted to legally change her name as a way to make a new start and separate from the unhealthy family she had come from. So with a friend, she searched for a name she liked and came up with Hadley Maris. She went to court and got her name changed legally. Of course it was a bit of an adjustment at first for her friends and classmates and professors at school. And we'd slip every now and then and call her Heather. But soon it was like she had always been Hadley and sometimes I'd have to think real hard to remember what she had originally been named. And now, years later, it's like she's always been Hadley. So, I was talking to my friend Hadley around the time she had changed her name, and we got thinking about what I could change my name to... not legally and not just as a nickname but a name that would meaningfully and symbolically define who it was I wanted to be from that point on... a casting off of the old, a shedding of dead skin, a turning my face towards the future. She named me "Jenna" and I liked it instantly.

When I think about the name "Jenna" I think of a woman who is free-spirited. She is light-hearted and frivolous. She is fearless and confident. She loves and lives wildly from her heart. And I long to be that Jenna. I'm not there yet. But everytime someone calls me by my name, I am reminded who it is I truly am, beneath my fears, and who it is I'm hopefully becoming more and more every day. My dear friend Hadley, really and truly saw me that day, five years ago, when she said, "How about the name Jenna?" She saw who it is I'm meant to be; who I long to be. She saw a name I could grow into and become more and more as I grow and heal and trust and let go. It makes me eager and excited to hear what God's name will be for me. What will He call me?

How about you? What would you like to be renamed? What's a symbollic name you'd like to grow into? Or maybe you like your name. If so, what does your name say about you?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I had a medical massage on Tuesday. "Your back is in a state of trauma," she told me.
My back, I thought, how about my whole body!
She worked me over something fierce and I've been sick ever since. That's actually a good thing - the toxins are leaving my body. I'm trying to drink lots of water & stretch every day. That's helping me feel better. I know I'm going to feel worse before I will feel better. That's true for any recovery and healing process.

I am told to rest and I've been trying to. But I've been resisting it as well. I'm afraid I'll like it too much. I could get used to watching movies and reading all day. And I feel myself sliding down a slope of sadness. Maybe that's from the bodywork - God knows there's sadness trapped in my body and massage can stir that up for me. I'm trying to release it and not hold onto it. I get pretty greedy with my sadness and don't want to let go of it.

Sometimes I wonder, what has happened to me? I'm so far away from who I used to be. Is this because my dad died? I'm striving to get back parts of who I used to be and maybe, when I can let go of that, I can become more who I'm meant to be. Is this what life is - always wanting to be more or different or better? What about who I am right now - the good, the bad, and the ugly. What's so difficult about me facing "me" right now - not who I've been or who I one day hope to become but today, right now, me. Am I scared of her? Do I not like her? Am I holding her back?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Jessica Simpson

So last night, I was watching E! True Hollywood Story on Jessica Simpson & her family. (I know, I know, I got sucked in.) It was quite fascinating actually. I look at where Jessica is now & her dreams and visions when she started and I wonder, what happened? I don't have to look much further than her Pimp Daddy manager. Maybe I'm being too harsh but in my opinion, Daddy Simpson is not a good man. I can't blame it all on him, I'm sure Hollywood played a big part in it but the man who is supposed to be protecting his daughters, seems way more invested in cashing in on his daughters no matter what the cost. Before Daddy Simpson realized his daughters were talented and beautiful & how much money they could make him, he was a Baptist youth minister. I guess the first clue as to what makes him tick is his marrying Mommy Simpson – who was one of the high schoolers in the youth group he was pastor over. I'm trying not to judge, I'm just letting the facts speak for themselves.

Okay so Mommy & Daddy Simpson realize early on that daughter Jessica has been given a gift from God – an amazing voice. And Jess wants to use this voice to sing gospel and bring people to Christ and be a role model to young girls about faith and abstinence. But as she's growing up and becomes 14 years old, the Christian artist community shames her. You can't be a Christian artist, they say, you're too sexy, your breasts are too big. Sorry sweetie, your body is getting in the way of people being able to worship. You're just too sexy for God... Today we look at Jessica Simpson and see the way she dresses, and I certainly wonder about how far she must have come with the choices she makes about her image, but let's not forget, at this point in her story, she's 14 years old! What does that say to a young girl about her body, about her beauty? I wonder how much that played a part in the woman she presents to the world today.

So Daddy Simpson has a grand idea; the Christian community won't accept my daughter so let's go to Hollywood! Now Jess is competing with Brittney Spears and Christina Aguiler, teen pop stars who take their dance moves from porn. And what I heard from Jessica on E! was that she didn't want people focused on her body, she wanted them paying attention to her voice. She was modest and uncomfortable being “sexy”. She was told she needed to lose weight and sex-up her look if she wanted to get anywhere in this business. And we hear this kind of story all the time – with models and actresses and singers thrown into the Hollywood scene. Doesn't that just go with the territory? “Hey, if you want to be famous you have to expect to give up a few things – your privacy, your love for fried chicken and donuts, your control over how the media represents you. But what you get in return – fame and worship and money and all the material things you could ever want equals happiness & makes all the other slight disadvantages worth it. We promise.” That's not my problem, even though I could write a whole other post about my beef with Hollywood. No, my problem is, where is Daddy Manager through all this? Why is this not only okay with him but encouraged by him? Jess did not want to be another Brittney Spears or Christina Aguiler. She didn't want to sell her body to sell a record. That was not who she was. But Daddy knows best I guess... if you can't beat them, join them. After all, “My daughter's got Double D's! You can't cover them up!” (I'm not making this up – this is what Pimp Daddy Simpson said in an interview in GQ). I'm sorry, is that the father speaking or the manager? How does that even make a difference? He is her father. And what father says that about his daughter?

I look at Jessica now & I feel sad. I look at her sexed-up videos, I look at the way she dresses, I look at her first movie role as Daisy Duke in the movie Dukes of Hazzard; I look at her in lingerie, jumping out of a cake for her husband's birthday bash. And I think, well, Hollywood stole another one. Another woman looking to Hollywood to tell them what a woman is and what she is worth. I wonder when she's gonna wake up from Hollywood's laughing gas. When's she going to fight back? Or, has she given up and given in? Is this all she feels she's worth, this body she has? That this is what's important, not her voice. Her voice has taken backstage to her body – the very thing she didn't want. Does she remember her original dreams? It's like she got sucked into Hollywood and her passion and heart and values got lost along the way.

Jessica was given the gift of uncommon beauty and an even more gorgeous singing voice. Why didn't the Christian community protect this rather than shame her? But I'm even more angry at her father for not protecting his daughter from being so sexualized. How dangerous the Hollywood bubble is. How easy it is for all of us to get sucked in to the lies.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Seven months and counting...

As I've been getting older, I've been struggling with not looking my age. I feel like I have to try extra hard to prove myself because I look so young. I haven't had a lot of confidence in my gifts because I feel like people get this first impression of me looking so young & they discount me (or I discount myself before they get a chance to). But I woke up yesterday morning and it hit me, I'm turning 30 in seven months. Something about that number 30 woke me up and I thought, What the hell am I doing with my life? I'm turning 30! 30 years old is not the little girl I so often feel like I am inside. 30 is so... adult. Goodbye 20's, goodbye "young adult", hello menopausal years... I'm not kidding... there's a story that goes with this... Yesterday I was working at the bookstore (yes, I am almost 30 and have the same job I had in college six years ago, yes, the $7/hour job I have with my Masters degree, yes, that does depress me...) anyway, so I'm at the bookstore, still stunned by the fact that I'm turning the big 3-0 in seven months. On my break, I start looking for books about turning 30. I find a few... "The complete guide to pregnancy after 30" (like that's too old to have a baby?), "Mid-life crisis at 30", and my favorite: "Swim naked, defy gravity, and other essential things you must do before you turn 30" (Why because after 30 you'll never get a chance to do any of those things, because your life goes downhill from there, because your life is pretty much over??). Then I found it: "The new menopausal years: ages 30-90."

The truth is, I know it's still seven months away but I'm excited to turn 30 (and a little scared). My little wake-up scare yesterday morning has been good for me. It's made me see myself more as I truly am - a fully grown woman. It has been a good motivation for me to create the life I want to be living by the time I'm 30 & if not to have "arrived" by the time I'm 30, to certainly be heading more in that direction than I have been.

Today was supposedly the most depressing day of the year - the day where there's been enough distance away from Christmas that we're now receiving all of our holiday bills & still midwinter where the weather is dreary, cold, & sunless for days on end. I'm not sure I exactly understand why it's supposed to be the worst day of the year today but I'm not going to let anyone tell me what kind of day I'm supposed to have. I actually had a really good day today. I'm excited about what the next 7 months could bring for me. Come on 30, bring it on. I'm not scared of you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Can you hear me?

I have been so irritable these last few days. I don't know what's going on with me. I actually yelled at my mom & my brother today. For anyone who knows me, this should come as a huge surprise... The crazy thing is, I didn't feel all that surprised afterwards. I opened my mouth & words came screaming out & then I was done. I didn't really have much of a response, which feels really strange for me since it was something SO out of the ordinary. I am not a yeller; I'm barely a talker. Though I'm very emotional, I rarely express those emotions. So to just open my mouth & scream is bizarre. I think I yelled something like, "You're not listening!!" I can't remember exactly. My mom & brother were both talking at the same time while I was in the middle of sharing a story and so, no, they weren't listening.

My brother actually said a pretty profound thing after I yelled. He said that I yelled because I must not feel heard. He was so right on. And I realized how much I haven't felt heard all my life. There's a “funny” family story about me from when I was a baby. I am the youngest in my family – by quite a bit. My sister is 6 years older than me, followed my two brothers who are 10 & 12 years older than me. My cousin also came to live with us for 5 years while I was growing up. She is also six years older than me. So growing up, with 5 of us kids around, it was a busy, noisy house. And I was usually in the center of it all, taking everything in.
So, as the story goes, when it all got too much around the dinner table and everyone was talking all at once, and no one was paying any attention to me (the baby in the high chair), I'd belt out a good long yell. Everyone stopped their conversations & directed their attention to me. Shortly after, I was satisfied and everyone went back to their conversations.

I've struggled with being heard all my life. A big part of it is my personality... I am quiet & introverted. I need to be drawn out. I enjoy a good conversation & I have a few people in my life who I share my true self with. But I also know I can be hidden and private. People say I'm a hard person to read. That surprises me. I feel like I'm always giving myself away – that people can see right through me. But I guess after years of trying to control & stuff my emotions (for fear that I'm “too much” or that I won't be handled well), along with a fear of letting others know how they affect me, well, I guess that could result in becoming a hard person for others to read.

So I've become comfortable in the distance, in the silence. I don't require, request, demand enough to be heard. Instead, I remain mute. I tend to talk quiet & so am usually spoken over. I want more areas in my life where I am heard. I need to make the space & the time for that.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This year, I want to...

1. Drink more water
2. Get on a better sleep schedule
3. Listen to music more often during the day
4. Write every day
5. Exercise every/other day
6. Be a more committed/available/accessible friend to others
7. Face my fears of swimming (there's a mermaid inside of me just screaming to get out!)
8. Complete my counseling internship
9. Quit Barnes & Noble and work full time as a counselor
10. Live more from my desires than from my fears

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


I'm driving along Highway 31. It's lunchtime & I'm hungry. I take the exit to my favorite restaurant & park, dreaming of what I will order inside. But something is holding me back & I can't get out of my car. A belt holds me to the seat. The doors are locked & won't let me out. I struggle a bit. Maybe someone will see me & come to my rescue. The smells beckon me. People sitting inside, laughing and talking and eating mock my struggle. All around me, people exit their cars with ease & stroll inside. What's their secret? Why is it so easy for them to get inside? I begin to worry, how long will I be trapped in this car? How will I get out? Won't someone open my door for me & unbuckle this belt holding me down? I'm locked in; I'm stuck; I'll be here forever & never get inside that restaurant. Hours go by & I do nothing but watch the people coming & going. Perhaps I fall asleep for awhile. Before I know it, night has fallen. The restaurant has emptied out. Where did the time go? I'm no longer hungry but sad and tired. Logic tells me, just reach over & unbuckle your seatbelt. Unlock the door & step out. But something stops me. Am I not hungry enough? Do I not genuinely want to eat? Do I not want to eat at this restaurant? But this is my favorite restaurant & my growling tummy tells me I'm hungry. And still, I sit in the parking lot, all day.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year!

I enter into 2006 hopeful about the coming year. I enter in with dreams and goals - for our counseling practice, for losing weight & exercising consistently, for getting on a better sleep schedule, for writing more, for completing an internship so I can pursue licensure, for permanantly moving on from Barnes & Noble & getting a counseling job, for growing in relationship with my husband, with family & friends, with God.

You are not safe, God, but You are Good. Help me to trust You for this coming year. Please protect & bless my loved ones with Your presence. I think of that scene in the Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe movie where the lion is walking down the beach, away from the party. And I'm little Lucy watching him leave & tears are streaming down my face because I feel abandoned & I don't understand why He can't stay, why He won't stay. I just want to be with Him. And I realize, those times I rebel against Him, those times I fight Him & turn my back on Him & doubt Him, it's because of all those times, I've had to watch Him (or others) walk away from me.

Most endings aren't safe - full of pain, sadness, regret, longing, loss, lack of closure. But in the midst of it all, He is good. I hold onto that. I want to understand more what that means this year.

May this be a year of creativity, growth & healing.