Sunday, February 26

In Black Water Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars of light
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon and fulfilment,

the long tapers of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders of the ponds,
and every pond, no matter what it's
name is, is nameless now.

Every year everything
I have ever learned in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side is salvation,
whose meaning none of us will ever know.

To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver

Holy crap!

I want to go to Denver! But, the midwest is where God
has me right now. I'm not really bitter or angry or even frustrated,
just saying. But I still think that I don't like the midwest as much
as I did before. We'll see what happens after I go back to Ohio for
awhile. I mean, right now I feel like that's not my home anymore.
That may change after being there again. It may not.

I am going to Ohio on Tuesday. My discipler/second mom, Judy, is
flying me to Florida for a week to hang out with her and God. Cause
I need some freaking down time! After Florida, I am flying back to
Columbus, with Judy, and staying for an inexact amount of time. I
may come back here to Indiana. I may stay in OH for awhile. (I need
to clear out my storage space and do my taxes.) I may move back to
Denver. I may do another school. I may get in a box and FedEx myself
to South Africa. I don't flippin' know what I am going to do.

Side Note: I did the whole crying about Safaland thing again. I was
at a Christian book store with my friendRuth today. Evidently, Israel and New Breed
put out a new album that was recorded live in Cape Town! I of course
had to listen to it. And I cried. In the middle of a store.
Surrounded by people. Then I played it for Ruth and started tearing
up again. I had to walk away. Is anyone else having this happen to
them about their outreach location?

Trying to keep track of my parentals is like, well, it's
like hell. My own personal Sucky McJank Hell. But believe it or not,
tired as I am, it's not really that bad. I mean, I'm in the center
of God's will. He's got my back. Regardless of what I am feeling
(like he's not even around.) Regardless of what I do (even though I
haven't been a perfect angel since I got here.) Regardless of what I
say (like I don't put my foot in my mouth on a normal day.) The
inanity (No, I didn't mean insanity. I meant inanity.) I feel from
day to day doesn't even matter right now. I know what God has
promised. And I haven't lost my cool. Even though I've had moments
of breaking down in tears, I haven't totally lost it.

I have been really emotionally needy lately, so I've been blogging a
lot. Maybe too much, but I don't care. I love it. I love getting out
onto "paper" what is going on in my head. It's sweet. Scary at
times, but vindicating at the same time.

It was good to hang out with a YWAMer. Good to hang out with someone
who knows exactly what I am going through right now. Ruth totally
understands what I am feeling right now. Pretty sweet.

Oh, yeah. How are my parents? Everyone wants to know. Well, they're
still crazy. Actually, I think my mom is crazy sometimes. My dad may actually
be somewhat normal. He hasn't had a drink or cigarette in like a month. And he is
healing from his surgery quite well. His surgeon is impressed. Thanks for all of
your prayers in that.

My mom's legs and hands are getting worse. She has so much trouble
walking. Some days she freaks out and cries and gets all crazy on
me. The next minute almost, she'll be normal. She freaked out in the
doctor's office the other day and I wanted to crawl into a hole and
die. She was freaking out at the nurse, saying that she wanted to be
admitted to the hospital because she doesn't have anyone to take
care of her. The nurse gave me this wierd look when I pushed mom out
of the office in her wheelchair. She's so flipping embarassing
sometimes. I felt like a total bad person, like I'm not doing enough
for her. But I'm doing what I can, and those feelings of guilt piss
me off! Stupid devil needs to get some new material.

Mom is really upset that I am going to FL, but I have prayed about
it and feel nothing but peace about going. If my ride to C-bus falls
through, then I know that God doesn't want me to go. Simple enough.
Mom also plays up her sickness because she wants me to move back
here and take care of her. Things aren't that dire, but they are.
Manipulation bugs me too. I hate it when she does that; it really

Speaking of Satan's ploy, I have had really crazy thoughts lately.
I've been battling fear a lot. Tonight, driving over the bridge to
Kentucky, I had this overwhelming fear that the bridge was going to
crack open and my car would sink into the river. The other day I was
going into my parents' apartment and I had this fear that they would
both be dead when I got in there. I also got upset the other day
because I had this feeling that my mom was going to commit suicide
while I am gone. I know it's the spirit of fear trying to get to me.
But I prayed the "God did not give us a spirit of fear" verse over

Just so you know, this is like real fear. Like I am shaking and I
feel nauseous fear. I start crying because I think my parents are
dead in the apartment fear. Fear. Fear. Fear. I hate fear, and I am
sick of it taking over my thoughts and my life. I am sick of unGodly
things taking over my life and thoughts. I've had enough.

I can't even allow myself to think for a second that I want to give
up this fight I'm in while on this journey toward the Lord. I can't
even entertain those thoughts. I am not putting down my sword. I'm
just getting started swinging, so duck if you don't want cut. That's
right, this white girl's getting ghetto.

Don't make me slap the black off your track suit.

Friday, February 24

Gah! Bah! Fluh! Eck!

I just don't know what the point of all of this is. I feel so helpless when I am dealing with my parents. I don't know what to do to make them feel better. My mom is so hard to read. Sometimes I wonder what is really going through her head. She was in so much pain last night she said she only slept like an hour or two. She made an unnecessary doctor's appointment today. And as soon as we got out, she was fine. She wanted to go out to lunch, but then I told her that didn't make sense. If she's that bad, she needs to go home and rest. We compromised at getting take-out.

Besides that, I have a sore throat, I'm achey and I have a runny nose. I stayed away yesterday because I don't want to get mom and dad sick. That's the last thing they need. But today, I had to get out of bed and go over there. I had no choice.

Mom made a doctor's appointment with some vascular doctor for today. The guy can't really help her with her muscle or circulation problem. I tried to get her to go to a doctor that would be able to do more, but I can't control her. Her thought process kills me. The doc basically referred her to a circulatory doctor. He did order a blood test for her, but I don't think it will do much. They just took blood from her last week and tested it.

It was really wierd at the end. She asked the nurse if they would admit her to the hospital because she can't take care of herself. What?! I was so annoyed and frustrated. I have been for a few days anyway, but this just did not help. I didn't say anything though, because I can't control her. I don't know what to do. I can only do so much. I don't know how to handle things like this. I want my mom to be better, but then when she pulls these drama queen stunts, I just want to scream. I don't know what doctors to call or anything about what to do. I feel so stupid.

But I know that no matter how I feel, it's how my mom is feeling that is most important. I mean, I can't imagine how she feels right now, not being able to even change her clothes or anything. She has to have help for everything that entails a normal household day. And my dad is doing a lot when I'm not there. But he just had a laryngectomy. I am in the land of crazy!

I have begun to feel so far from God. I don't feel like praying, but I make myself. I haven't really had a quiet time in the past few days. I've just been escaping: tv, food, pretending nothing is wrong. I know. It's not good at all. I need out of here. I feel like I am drowning.

I don't even have a job. By all worldly accounts, I am officially a loser. Thank God I'm not living by worldly accounts. I have no idea where I am going to live or what I am going to do next. I just don't know. I think that is getting to me too. I mean, my parents have problems that I am trying to help with. However, I still have to deal with my own life on top of trying to keep track of theirs. Ugh.

Bleh. Bleh. Bleh.

I wonder what's on tv?

Do I still have ice cream left in the freezer?

Can Wednesday get here any sooner? I am ready to hang out with Judy.

Gah, I sound like Scarlet O'Hara. Drama Queen. Well, at least I know where I get it from.

Tuesday, February 21

Hello Safa Team! Outreach was an interesting dichotomy of events and emotions...
And I have Coldplay running through my head like nothing I've ever experienced. It hasn't stopped since we saw the Mexico Team perform at reportback a drama they wrote during their outreach. It was brilliant!

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears stream down your face and I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

This is my reality...

I woke up late. I didn't get dad to his appointment on time. Luckily, his ENT was running things behind in her office.

Lucky for me, I got to go into the appointment with him. Yes, I am being sarcastic. I just wanted to sit in the lobby and read Newsweek. He wants me to go to these things. I guess for moral support. I don't know. I'm kind of afraid to ask. It's just wierd sometimes. Being in there while a doc is putting tweezers into a hole in your dad's throat. It's wierd when he is talking and I have to translate what he is saying to the doctor or nurse because she cannot understand him.

I guess I should be happy that I am able to be with him at all.

I can tell I am feeling really needy and vulnerable because I am blogging a lot lately. I guess I could call someone, but what can they really say that is going to help? Not much support can be given over the phone. It's wierd; I find myself going throughout my day thinking of how I would explain the events that are happening around me on here.

I am looking forward to Florida. My friend from Ohio has a summer home in Florida and is flying me down to see her next Wednesday. I cannot wait to go and get her all to myself for a week. I just need to have some fun again. There hasn't been a lot of fun had over the past week or so. I've started being a bit complacent about talking to people or calling or emailing back. I'm starting to retreat. That's not good. Fortunately, this week in Florida will be a week of downtime and relaxation. I have no idea what Judy has planned for the week for us. We may just swim all week at her pool. I like swimming. I miss it. I swam a lot in South Africa.

I freaking miss South Africa. So much. I can't stand it. I want to go back.

I really miss my DTSMates. So much that I want to cry, but I have to move on with life. I miss Becca. She's out in Denver chillin'. I wear her sweater she gave me and I am so thankful for her giving spirit. It humbles me.

There are some pretty cool people out there who really care for me, and that is such a help right now when things can feel dark and alone if I entertain thoughts best left to die out.

I knew we should have put another computer on that ship

I have been completely exhausted since we got back form Safa. I barely slept the week we were at the base in Arvada. I have been running myself ragged here taking care of my parents. Store runs, doctor's appointment runs, food runs, lottery ticket runs. My mom called me frantic the other day because she wanted a lotto ticket. She whined for me to go get it for her and bring it to the apartment. (Powerball = $350 million!) Thank God neither of them smoke anymore, so I don't have to worry about that. And my dad hasn't had a drink in over three weeks. That's a Tom Perkins record. So, in some ways, things are good.

But they are both suffering. My mom is in constant pain. She fell yesterday, walking through her apartment. Her arms and legs have gone caput. She can't open a cottage cheese container. I have to do it for her. I make dinner, do laundry and run to the bank. I keep reminding God that I can't save the world. But he keeps me going. He keeps me here, facing the truth. Truth: my parents' health is quickly failing, and they are going through so much that sometimes I am overwhelmed. There is nothing I can do about it. Not a thing. I can pray, which will bring some results. But I cannot heal them or magically make it all better. And I want to.

I am facing so much adjustment right now that I can't even focus. I am so freaking tired all of the time. I had to resign myself the other day to not go wishing for DTS back, but to accept the fact that it is over. I may never talk to some of those people again. Harsh reality: I can't stay in contact with 22 people on top of all the other people I am already trying to stay in contact with in my life. I have friends in half of this country and now half of the world. The world is so small to me now. So little.

I hate having to be shown this big fat plate of options for my life, and just get a grip on the fact that there really is a big world out there that is really small that needs me to tell it about Jesus. As quickly as that realization came, it has to be put on hold to figure out what to do about my parents. Where will I live if I move here for a few months to help them out? I can't stay with Gina & Ryan for that whole time. Gina's getting ready to have a baby here soon. Again, God is having me put my dreams on hold while my nineteen year old friends do all the amazing things for him. I just don't understand.

I was really having a hard time today with being so out of sync with the way things were just a week ago. I love YWAM. I loved being in Denver. I feel sad now, and I've been battling condemnation a lot lately. I've been having dreams that I turn back to means of escape to ease the pain I am feeling. I had a dream the other night that I had sex with some guy I met around my parents' apartment complex. I've not met any guys around there; stupid satan. I wake up, every morning, and I feel guilty for having had those dreams. I feel guilty for being able to get out and around like I can when my parents are trapped in their own personal hell so to speak. My mom hasn't been able to leave the house since last Friday. I keep having to pray into that guilt and tell God about it so it doesn't steal my peace. Or my joy.

I was in the shower this afternoon, and I just started singing to the Lord.

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

...and I lost it. I broke down. I slid down the wall and crouched in the back of the tub. Sobbing. Weeping. Helpless. With soap in my eyes and hot water streaming down my legs. I got out, wrapped myself in a towel and sat down on the edge of the tub. Crying. And then the peace came. Slowly at first, but then something reminded me of the power of my God. He gave me my daily dose of hope. And I needed it so desperately.

I need Jesus so desperately.

Please don't leave me, Lord. Not now. Please stay close. Are you close? I need you now. Hold me. I want to smell your hair and feel your breath on my neck. Hold me tightly and tell me that everything is going to be okay. Let me cry on your shoulder and get your robe wet with tears. Be here with me. Cry with me. Share my pain. I cannot bear it alone. Inside it hurts and I need release. I will not turn back to my old ways of release. I release my pain to you. You won't leave me, Lord. Especially not now.

Wednesday, February 15

For the Love of Toast

Yeah, so I'm in my hometown and it's really wierd. This is not going to be easy. I'm taking care of my parents on top of everything else culture-shock-esque that I have been a part of lately. I love Jesus though, man, and he's the only one getting me through this stuff. Cause it sucks.

I went to four different stores today to fill the grocery list of things my parentals need, and it was wierd because I went to a store that I used to shop in when I was little. My grandmother used to take me to this store, and it was so funny being there. I thought about the fact that thousands of people have been in and out of its doors over the years. My grandmother used to shop there. It was... well... wierd.

I stopped to get gas today when I was driving my mom's car and I moved to four, count them, four different pumps because I couldn't figure out what side the tank was on and maneuver the car correctly. What the crap?! I feel like I am losing my mind. It's no good, man. But I did come up with a new phrase... "For the love of toast!"

I was at Big Lots today and I realized that a lot of stuff that is popular in South Africa is really freaking cheap here. Like clearance at Big Lots cheap. I found two kinds of Safa soap, Safa biscuits and Safa chocolate. And I almost started crying... over South African products. Over chocolate and soap. Over not being in South Africa right now.

Yep. God's the only thing holding me together.

Tuesday, February 14

Memories... all alone in the moonlight

Me sledding at Eagle Rock! I had so much fun that night. Me at Love Feast. That was a crazy night. I felt almost in shock. Like lecture phase wasn't really coming to an end.
The famous Hapa O-Roll and Multi O-Roll. The best freaking sushi I have ever had. I miss Boulder man. And it's only been like two days.
At a shop in Boulder. Posing for Ji Sook I think. Who would buy that ring anyway? I bought the glasses and then gave them away in Safa. I miss Safa.
Why did Ryan let us do this to him? He is the best little brother ever. I love that kid to death.

Just a few pics from the fun times. I need to compile pics from Safa and some other adventures we had in Colorado. I miss my DTSMates so freaking much. It feels so lonely without them and I feel so much like I am in a dream and it's not really over. How crazy is that?

I have to move on with life though and not keep pining for things past. It's hard though because Indiana is temporary. So it's hard to move on when the place I'm in is temporary. I really don't know how all of this is going to go. Part of me wants to get on a bus and run away to Ohio or Denver. Or anywhere but here, but I will obey what God has called me to do. Only he can help my heart be in it. Cause right now my heart's not in it. I finally got sleep last night and I am still tired.

Man. DTS. How crazy was that?

Saturday, February 11

The blunt truth is...

Turns out that my mom did not have a stroke. I am going back to Indiana to be with my family for awhile and to help my mom take care of my dad. I'm coming to terms with it all. I know that it may be hard to go back to my hometown, but God has done so much in me the past few years and months and I am excited to tell everyone about my trip.

I miss my friend Moranda. I barely get to talk to her anymore. We were really close back in the day. My prayer is that we can reconnect when I am back and not just have a surface friendship... Which means I need to let myself be vulnerable. I'm getting better at that these days.

I miss Gina & Ryan and I am so glad to get to see them. Gina is way preggo and should be having the baby in early April. I may be there for that! Woooohooooo!

Yeah, it's been hard the past couple of days saying goodbye to all of my DTSMates. I will miss our laughs and tears together. It's funny though, I really feel like I will see most of them again. Especially if I get my around the world ticket. That's right! I'll be travelling Aussie style. That's how they do it.

Anyway, I'm all graduated now and I am ready to take on this next step of life. I am keeping up with discipleship with a few people from the base here. My leaders love me too much to just let me go. I will not always be around a strong Christian influence in Indiana, but one of the staff members has a fiansce that I met a few months ago and she lives in Henderson, KY. So I am going to get together with her some while I am home.

I am sure that God is guiding all of this and setting things up for me, and for that I am glad. It's cool to have a daddy that cares and looks out for me. I am ready for this. It's going to be awesome too.

Thursday, February 9

Back to reality

My mom is in hospital with a stroke.

I'm going straight to Indiana to be with my family.

Dear God please... I need you now more than ever.

Tuesday, February 7

I'm baaaaaaaack!

I'm alive. In Denver at the base for graduation. I will be heading back to OH on Sunday or Monday and hopefully stopping in Indiana at some point if not hanging out there for awhile.

My Dad is in ICU right now because he has throat cancer and had to have his voice box removed.


See you guys soon. Jet lag kicking in...