Randomness and Birthdays

Today is Tate's SEVENTH birthday... Can you believe it?? Wow... Time really does fly. (Aside: does this mean I'm having fun?)

I also really miss singing... been thinking about that lately. Quite alot. Right now all I have are my CDs in my car. It has now officially been what feels like forever since I really sang.

And I'm sleepy. As in so-tired-I'm-dizzy sleepy.

Bleah I have a parent teacher conference tomorrow... sooo early...

I want to go back to school. There's so much to figure out in order to make that happen, but I just have to do it--I have to go. To not go back would be to turn my back on one of the things God made me for.

I guess I've got a lot to do. Better get some rest...




God, what am I supposed to do? Please help me... You know what I'm going through with Tate. Please show me what to do, show me how to love him--the way he needs to be loved. Show me how to teach him--the way he needs to learn.

I'm at my wit's end, God. I don't know what I'm missing, but I know I'm missing something somewhere--otherwise we wouldn't be going through this. I don't know how to bring him back, how to bring out the good that I know exists in him. Please give me patience, so that I don't end up making it worse in anger. I just don't know how to break through to him. One minute he's got his arms wrapped around me, telling me how much he loves me and how I'm the best mother a boy could ever have... the next, I'm finding candy wrappers in his bed, stolen fixtures from a store, outright lies pouring from his lips, lying about stealing even my own money, God--not once, but continually, with no sign of letting up... and on the surface none of it seems so bad independently, but when heaped upon one another again and again and again and again, and knowing that this has been a constant struggle literally FOR YEARS, and seeing it get worse instead of better... it's overwhelming me. It is daily---and all day, God... why is he not getting it?? What am I missing?

Show me what I'm doing wrong so that I can help him. I don't know how to handle this, how to get him to stop hiding and lying and deceiving... how to get him to start caring. Do I just need to be more vigilant? Hound over him every moment? If that's what it takes, of course I'll do it... but I can't help but get the feeling that's just being a warden to him, beating him down further... when what I need to do is help him to learn that it's not ok to be this way, get him to want to be different, to want to be honest, to want to make the right choices.

It's hard to believe I'm talking about a little boy who is about to turn 7... sounds like I'm talking about a 17 year old. Something's just not connecting with him, God... please help it connect.

- Jess




Hi, God. I know we've been talking, but not much here. It's been a while since I published anything. So I'm restarting.

Things are going ok, right now. I'm feeling a lot better, but still not entirely the way I want to feel, the way I used to feel. I'm trying to stay proactive, and make positive steps forward, steps toward You. I'm learning a lot about myself. A lot of really helpful stuff. Thank You for that.

One of the things I learned today related to how birth order affects personality. Just analyzing various personality traits, seeing how I identify very strongly with some of them... it helps me to see who I am, why I do some of the things I do, cope the way I cope, etc. And understanding myself and the reasons behind some of my fears and behaviors, helps me to be able to make corrections when I uncover those things negatively impact me and those in my life.

Hopefully I will get a chance to note some of the things I'm learning tomorrow. I have a lot to do in the next couple of days. Right now, it's late, and I have to get some sleep.

Thank You, God, for helping me with each step... G'nite.

- Jess



Pause for Posterity

I'm pausing the conversation to inject some things I want to remember... Some things I want to reference, some things I want to make sure I get down, so that I don't forget them... Most of it will be random and probably make sense to no one but me. Most of it will be things I have learned or found that are especially important to me.

- Fear is a completely normal reaction for anyone faced with an out of ordinary situation that threatens his/her important needs
- There is no way to tell how someone will react to fear. Fear usually depends entirely on the individual rather than on the situation at hand
- Fear could lead a person to panic or stimulate a greater effort to survive
- The worst feelings that magnify fear are hopelessness and helplessness
- You need to accept that fear is a natural reaction to a hazardous situation and try to make the best of your predicament
- Live with fear and understand how it can alter your effectiveness in survival situation
- Control fear, don't let it control you
- Survival more often depends on the individual's reactions to stress than upon the danger, terrain, or nature of the emergency. To adapt is to live
- Your brain is without doubt your best survival tool. It is your most valuable asset in a survival situation (my translation: don't do things that would diminish it's capacity---i.e. drinking)

In determining what types of situations to be prepared for and to develop a survival plan for, research what has happened to others and what you are most likely at greatest risk for.

Not nearly done, but I'll wrap this post up with one more thought: My body is a temple. But if I don't treat it that way, and give an impression with my behavior and treatment of my body that is contrary to that, then I cannot expect others to know that it is, and then further to respect that it is.


Stay with me

Please give me the strength to get through all this, God... and to do what I need to do. And to keep moving forward, and to keep reclaiming myself and who You made me to be. And to keep letting go, and to face all of this without flinching...

I've been flinching a lot lately.

Keep me real, God. And just stay with me... please.




That's what I feel right now, God. And on top of it, the nausea has set in again, out of nowhere. I think that might be my fear and uncertainty. I notice it, but I will not be ruled by it. I'm afraid, God. I'm sad and afraid... part of that fear rises from hearing him rehash things he has forgiven me for but can't let go of---because he hasn't forgiven me for lying to him, deceiving him... for hiding something vital from him. He hasn't forgiven me, but neither have I asked.

I think that's because I haven't forgiven myself... or maybe I'm afraid of his answer. Probably both. I've been thinking about that all morning and afternoon---that I haven't asked him to forgive me for my dishonesty. I think it's the first time that that has occurred to me, that I haven't actually asked him to. How can I forgive myself if he can't? He can't even see who I am through his anger and hurt----and the cold hard wall he has put up to try to heal it, to try to block the pain. All he's doing is trapping it in with himself, surrounded by it, unable to let it out, let it heal, let it go... but how can I blame him for that? Would I do the same in his place?

I might have, if I wasn't where I am now---where You have brought me. To a place where I can't escape the truth. To a place where I can't do anything to fix the mess I've made with my mistakes. Yes, I would probably do the same in his place, if not for what I know and can't escape. I would probably try to hurt him for all the hurt he caused me. I would probably try to build a wall around myself to shield myself from further hurt.

I'm so sorry, God... I'm so sorry I hurt him... I'm so sorry...

I just want to fall at his feet and beg his forgiveness, but how can I??

I'm not worthy of anything, I'm not worthy of You, or him, or even of living... how could I do this to someone I love so much? How could I lie to him? How could I deceive him? How could I do such a horrible thing? How could I be so selfish and afraid that I would cause him so much pain? Did I love myself so much?? Not anymore... I can't love myself at all, let alone more than him.

I guess that's how You made sure I could love him more than myself now... Make me undeserving of love...



Please wait...

Hi, God... So I met my new counselor today. I know You already know that, but... Anyway. First, I want to thank You. Thank You for giving me that hint today. It was more than a hint, it was an eye-opener. Thank You for giving me greater understanding of what You had me do last night, and helping me see that part of it was for me. Thanks for being awesome like that, for keeping me on my toes and surprising me with how You completely You can handle anything.

But God, I need to ask You for something. It just doesn't sit right with me, God. You are showing me so much, and restoring me and helping me see the truth, and that its not what it seemed--even to me... But, God, what about him? How can I be restored if You aren't doing the same for him? I know that You want to, that You are waiting on him... but I can't simply leave him here to suffer, to hurt, to grieve... I cannot accept restoration without him... I can't leave him here. You know that. You know me, You made me, and You didn't make me like that, God----like one who could just leave him.

I know he's not listening for You right now. I will be his ears. I know he doesn't see You in this. I will be his eyes. God, You know I will trade my own place for his. I will take on all the hurt, both of ours. I can't just leave him here... I won't. Please, God, stand in the gap and show him Your love, Your healing... Please, just give him at least that much so that he can be happy. Give him the kind of peace that comes from truth... that comes from You.


Frustration, ignorance, and crumbs...

WHAT are You doing?? Seriously!!

Can I just be frank for a minute, God? I did what You told me to do. Exactly what You told me to do. Exactly the way You told me to do it. I told Him everything You showed me. I focused on what You told me to focus on, and I said it over and over.

Thank You for finally unblocking the rest of it, by the way. I don't know if that was me blocking it or You blocking it... Yeah, it was probably me, now that I think about it. It's how You work. You don't generally DO this stuff, but You allow it... So that lines up.

I have no problem anymore admitting what I've done wrong, seeing the truth of it. I just realized that. And it's because of what You helped me to do tonight, what You told me to do. I hit rock bottom and You made sure I knew exactly where that is, no higher, no lower. Precise. But You showed me what it feels like to be even lower--and that actually helped. I know where I am. You saw to that. And I'm not upset about that part--it's what he's doing with it, it's what You didn't warn me about--why doesn't he know where I am?? How can You let him take my acceptance of the things I did wrong and let him turn into into 'everything I did was wrong'? I did what You told me to do and I trusted You, I still do, right this very moment... Is that why You told me to do it that way? So that he would see me as worse? So that he could twist everything into lies? I am trying, God... I'm still surrendering to You...

But SERIOUSLY, God... why? A hint at least? I thought I understood, I thought You showed me... Was it another trick? Or are they both for something? It's frustrating, God. Really frustrating. I know, I'm still learning... and I know half of this is just an imperfect creature expressing it's imperfection... But I keep going over what You told me to do, replaying it in my head, wondering if I missed something...

" Tell him everything, and stay open to Me, stay broken, for I will show you even more and you will tell him that too. Unedited. You will not defend yourself--you will do the opposite. Stay broken. Vilify yourself for him so that he can't do it anymore, take that burden from him, bear the full weight of it on yourself. Take the angry wind out of his sails with the starkness of your words. Take that wind out of his sails, so that I can fill it with Mine. Stay broken, Jessica."  

Father, where is Your wind? Where is Your truth? Where is Your breath and Your hand and Your comfort? What are You doing? All he did was turn his sails and catch another wind, even further from the truth---how can he not even see that? Why didn't he turn to You? I thought that's what this was for. How is that wind going to take him anywhere?? How can he think it possible to take what has already been established and build any kind of wall over top of it as though it wasn't there?

Where are You in this?

Well. At least I have comfort in knowing the truth, even if You aren't showing anyone else... So I suppose I just found another breadcrumb and will keep going.



Darkness and Guilt

I've felt a darkness of sorts pressing in on me today, God. It seems attached to the guilt... which is attached to the new awareness I have... I think back over the last couple of years and I know that the dark, the bad, the wrong is not all there is... but it's all I see right now. It's where my mind instantly goes. And it makes me nauseous.

So much guilt wells up in me right now over what I've done... over how I've conducted myself. I used to keep my body safe, my mind strong, my heart protected and pure... and in such a short time I've traded it, without even really knowing it. I think I somehow thought that I could just "add" a few things to who I am. But every bit I did myself took a little more away from You.

Or maybe it's like a seasoning I tried to add myself, and ruined the flavor of the whole thing...

I don't know. I see, right now in my mind, recent events and not-so-recent events and I feel like they are converging somehow, into this thing, this beast, this one massive sin, the mother-load of all short comings... not just "a (large) number of times I have failed" but The Failure, proper noun, so enormous it spans years... Why is that? Why are they doing that in my heart? Is it because they are linked/related? Ah, it is, isn't it. I remember when mom told me... "Jessica, don't you see? It's your heart. The condition of your heart. That's why. Big or small, it's all falling short, it's all symptoms of the condition."

Then I feel the urge to face off with it and do battle, to conquer it---that rush of adrenaline and hope, like "Hey, now that I am seeing so much more clearly, I see I'm the good guy and God is on my side, so I'm going to war with this sucker." ...but then I realize how small that "my side"-that-God's-on really is right now... and how big I let that monster get. And then to make matters worse, I see that the monster is actually a growth on that little bitty me... It's attached to me... Because I let it in... I let it grow... I nurtured it and let it become what it became... it... it's a part of me...

And there is an enormous weight of guilt that accompanies that knowledge... and it began haunting me today. Not sure exactly what to do about it. Not sure exactly how to proceed from here... I know I am just to keep moving forward, "just do the next right thing..." I know that it will take time to feel the weight of that guilt lifted off of me. And I don't know how it will even happen. Do I resolve it moment by moment, mess-up by mess-up?

Oh... I don't resolve anything, do I? You do that, don't You? If I am to be restored, only You can do it. If I have value, it is because of You inside me. If I have anything, it is because You give it to me.

This will take practice for me, this surrendering of control until I relearn it so well that I do it better than breathing. It's mental more than anything...

Relearning, retraining... On the way home from work today, I was thinking about how You have made my body a temple. My body is a temple, my body is a temple... And I saw this pristine temple, well-kept and clean and maybe not the biggest or best or shiniest or most full of treasure, but the best it could be--and that was pretty good, considering. And then I saw the same temple a few years later and it was a completely different place...

God, not only did I stop tending to the temple... but I damaged it as well... and then I didn't repair it... and then I did it some more... and then, I let security slack in my lazy and preoccupied management of the temple and I let others in, outsiders, and they robbed it...

And I didn't even know what was going on... I didn't even know I'd been robbed... I was too busy partying upstairs in the banquet room...

Oh, wow... I think I'm going to be sick.

I can't believe You still want this temple... I can't believe You still have me taking care of it. If I were You, I'd have fired me. If I were You, I'd have beaten me within an inch of my life and then fired me... It's what I deserve...

I'm so sorry, God. I'm so sorry...

Yes, I hear Your voice, I hear what You are saying, but I don't even know where to start or if I have the strength. I know, I know! Sitting down in the middle of the temple and crying about the mess won't make it go away, it won't undo any of it. But what about this mess---and what about the integrity of the temple? God, it is compromised, it is defiled. I can't clean that up, I can't put that back, I can't undo that. I am horrified and riddled with guilt--what have I done? How do I undo this?

This weight on my chest is so heavy...