Saturday, May 31, 2008


As Mindy Pfohl has blogged about her family's recent addition, I've been inspired to introduce you all to Kitty.

I won Kitty at a local fair for Kimberly.

Seven years ago


Kitty is probably about seven inches long now. An inch for each year!

No joke!

What's up With: WORD VERIFICATION ???

WORD VERIFICATION. Something us Bloggers probably use a lot, right?

Anyone else notice these random streams of colorful, squiggly letters seem to be getting longer?

Really! It's seems like they used to only be four or five letters long at a time. Now, they are usually around eight letters long.

Not that it's a big deal. Don't get me wrong! It's just that noticing this progression of change made me wonder what the purpose of word verification was in the first place. I thought I kinda knew it had something to do with spam, but wasn't sure.

So I did some looking!

On May 1, 2006, Blogger announced the following:

One of our most effective tools for preventing spam and automated abuse of Blogger is our word verification image. We require it to be solved to create a blog or post to blogs our automated spam classifier catches, and offer it as an option for you to include on the comment form on your blog. Word verification (sometimes called a CAPTCHA™) is designed to be a simple puzzle that a human can solve easily but a computer cannot.

So, there you have it! Or, there I have it, anyway. You probably already knew . . .

But I never did come up with an explanation for why the letter combos are growing . . . Are they just running out of four letter combos? Can they really only use the same combo once? Does the ever-changing color of the letters have anything to do with the mix? So many questions!!!!


Friday, May 30, 2008


    1. Being or occurring in fact or actuality; having verifiable existence.
    2. True and actual; not imaginary, alleged, or ideal.
    3. Of or founded on practical matters and concerns.
  1. Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious.
  2. Being no less than what is stated; worthy of the name.
  3. Free of pretense, falsehood, or affectation.
  4. Not to be taken lightly; serious.
What is real? Well, according to definition, real is a lot of things. But why are some things easier to deem real, compared to others? For example, I have some great memories. There are no pictures documenting these events, and because they are great memories from my perception, I might not have anyone else who can testify to them. But I never doubt these memories are real. I share love with people. I don't see that love. Not literally, anyway. And sometimes I have to remind myself about that love. But I never doubt it's real. I'm sure I could come up with a hundred unprovable things that I feel completely certain are real. We just know some things are real. So why is it so different when it comes to 'God stuff'? I can say things like, "Well, I just know because my gut is telling me!" and people are okay with it. But when I say, "Well, I just know because God has really laid this in my heart!" I get that "Uh huh. And you're crazy!" look! The only real thing my gut has ever told me is that I've ate too much or that I need to use the bathroom! But what God tells me, now that's REAL. And what's frustrating is, most of the "Whatever, weirdo!" looks tend to come from people who know God is real. Well, if God is real, why would you doubt He could speak to our hearts? But I am as equally guilty of this. "Oh, God. You want me to go to the alter? For real?" "Hmm, is this feeling of Him moving in my life real? Or my imagination?" "Yeah, that time His presence was so clear to me, when He came to me, was that real?" "God, I think you want me to do this. But is this real?" Why? There are several things I could imagine Kimberly would love for me to do. She's not asking. I just know. I don't doubt that that's real. I think I'm aware of how real God is. Perhaps I'm just not sure how real I am yet. But it shouldn't matter. If God is real, and His power is real, if He has been present in my life, laid something in my heart, or called me to do something, and it's all real, I must be real too. In Him. Not because I'm worthy. Because I'm chosen. And that's real.

I Need Help From My Fellow Christians ;o)

I understand that deeds are worthless when not done for the glory of God. I've been printing out scriptures on strips of colored paper and plastering them all over in my office.
On my computer monitor. By my phone. On my quark board.
I just want to be constantly mindful of why it is I do what I do. Inspired by our latest growth group meeting, my current scriptures are:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20) For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
I need more scriptures though. So, fine folks, I ask, "Any suggestions?"


I stayed up way too late last night, thinking about way too much. Which is followed by sleeping in a little late. In everything thought, every situation that ran through my mind last night, it all can be boiled down to one question, which is odd, because nothing I was thinking about really relating to anything else. But anyway, here it is:
Is it worth it? Is this worth that? Why? Why not?
If not, what needs to be different?What can be done differently?
Ask yourself. I have been. And it seems to apply to almost anything that comes up. For example: I'm running late, and instead of hurrying up to get ready, I'm blogging. Is it worth it? YES! Why? Because, well, I benefit from processing my thoughts, and today will be more productive because of that. That's my justification, anyway ;o)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random Things on My Mind Right Now

-State is in doing their inspection for our license at work. It's a week long process and way too stressful!

-Good thing: a kid at work is finally comfortable disclosing. Bad thing: he only wants to talk to me. So he's disclosing victims, but is only comfortable reporting one at a time. So for the past three days I've had to sit with this kid and listen to him talk about molesting small children. Yuck. I have a feeling this is going to take another week to get through them all. Did I say "yuck" yet?

-The gut feeling I've had for a while, well, God really gave me peace about the situation, and then quite a big break through occurred today. It's not over yet, but I really feel that it's in God's hands now, and only a matter of time before it's all resolved. YAY!!!

-Spent a lot of time with Bryan and Jaimie today. They are great people and fun to be around. Although, I should stay away from Kaden, as Kimberly and I are fighting off baby-fever with all our might, and he doesn't make it any easier!

-Chipotle steak fajitas are the best!

-I am excited because my car and my office are both looking better. Not quite finished, mind you. But much better.

-I am getting really pumped about the missions trip to New Orleans!

-My life is full of great people!!!

-Kimberly, -V-, and I need to watch Hocus Pocus ASAP! "Sistaaas! Did you hear what he called you?!?!"

-I really need to pray tonight. I want something kinda big to happen tomorrow, but it's definitely a God thing. But I'm not worried about it. He has really been blessing me and allowed me to see/experience several miracles lately.

-Today, one of my clients' mother hugged and kissed me. It was gross . . .

-I miss my mommy ;o( Yeah, I said it! Whatcha gonna do!?!?

-It's 1:18am. I should have been asleep like three hours ago! But blogging about randoms thoughts is so much more fun!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Growth Group

Our growth group is great. A group of good people, really supporting one another. I've learned so much that I would have never learned if God had not placed these people in my life. Today we didn't have a message prepared ahead of time, so Brent lead one, kinda improv. It was really a great message! But -B- can explain it far better than I could ;o)

Monday, May 26, 2008


I had an odd dream this morning. Very odd.

Just like satan himself, deception was whispering lies into my ear. Literally. The dream is vague now, but I clearly remember the feelings it invoked in me.

Helplessness. Hopelessness. Despair.

All followed by a glimpse, a shimmer of false hope. False promise.

I remember feeling so overwhelmed. Unable to think. Unable to speak. I was trapped.

And then I began chanting "Hosanna!" Suddenly. Unexpectedly. Uncontrollably.

Over and over again. "Hosanna!"

Even after I woke, I continued. "Hosanna!" Like a trance.

Then I realized.
Finally it occurred to me.

I was sitting up right, with my legs dangling off the edge of the bed, "

Needless to say, this was out of the ordinary morning routine for me.

Back to reality. Wisps of the dream returned and I began to understand what I was doing.
And Why

I think I understand, anyway.

I then thought to myself, "Psalms 3 and 20!"

I've never had this experience in my life, just knowing what God wanted me to read. I doubted myself. Doubted God. But decided to obey, and I'm so glad I did.

Psalms 3 was a morning prayer. What better way to begin a morning after literally waking saying "Hosanna!" ?

Psalms 20 was a prayer for victory. Very appropriate.

It was such a meaningful moment in my life. I'm not sure how to explain it, or even if it's explainable, but just thinking about that feeling I had when I began to cry out "Hosanna!", well, it truly makes me weep!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Today . . .

Began a bit earlier than most Sundays. We got up and headed to church about an hour early to help set up tables for a church lunch after service. The service was great, and the lunch was fun too! Afterwards, we headed to the Black's. We chatted and had a great time. Kimberly cut Audrey and Aaron's hair and we play cornhole. Cornhole! Who knew? It was a lot of fun. Then we headed back to the church for Youth, which was awesome. Pink had a good message for the kids and we took like three car loads of stuff to a needy family in town. It was a great feeling and really amazing to see the kids being such a big part of it. I also got to know a couple kids a little better and found out some things I never knew! I'm still getting used to interacting with normal kids. And they're still getting used to me and my 50 questions. After youth, we returned to the apartment. Alyssa is staying again, which is a lot of fun. I needed to stop by the office and Kimberly had never seen it, so she went with me. And of course, it didn't go as planned. As soon as I walked in, a kid began screaming and bawling in pain, with a terrible headache. He was also coughing up blood. Good times. So I did a little work. A few calls. And got the situation taken care of. We returned to the apartment around 11:50pm. And guess what! Locked out!!! Yep! Emergency maintenence had to let us in. For a $15 fee, of course. But now I'm back inside and tired. Despite all the blood and the being locked out, today was awesome!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Good Day! Good Movie! Good Times!

Today was good. It was a nice, laid back kind of day. We took some of the youth group to see Prince Caspian. Much like Lion, Witch, and The Wardrobe, it was completely chill-worthy!

The car ride back and forth was interesting too. Three teenage girls in the car. We sang Jordan Sparks' Tattoo 3 times and wore Hanna Montana band-aids on our faces. There was even some syncopated choreography involved.

Don't ask.

We returned to the apartment afterwards with our younger cousin Alyssa, and played the Wii.

I also was notified that one of my staff at work has been totally kicking butt and got tons of stuff done for me since I left Friday evening. Totally alieviating some of the pressure from upcoming deadlines. I am so blessed!

What a good day!

Good Morning!

Good Morning! I just had the best night's rest that I've had in a while. It was great! I was asleep by 1:30am, and didn't wake up until 11:15am. And guess what! I still haven't even left the bed yet!!! But I have to use the bathroom, so I should be getting up soon ;o)

Today is going to be great day!

Friday, May 23, 2008

To Keep You Informed . . .

Yes! This fantastic image, first used in my third post ever, is back! I love it!

I just wanted to keep you all informed about my situation, because I know you're all just dying to know. Right? (Sense the sarcasm, please.)

I've been praying about it a lot. I've fasted. And still strongly feel my gut instinct is correct.

So I'm sticking to my guns.

The only problem is knowing when and how to fire away. When and how to be a "gunslinger." Wow! Nothing like when it all comes full circle!

I really wish I could be more detailed about this whole thing, because I'd love to get the opinions and advice of others. But at this point, I probably shouldn't.
So until whenever, I'm Mr. Vague.

I appreciate everyone's prayers!
Thank you!

Time Crunch

Check out this sculpture. I love it! It is appropriately called "Time Crunch." And it pretty much looks like life right now. Going every which direction. Ultra focused on the minute-hand. And a key that hangs there. Just the fact that it is a key alone indicates it is important. But there is no indication to what exactly the key goes to.

So if you haven't caught on to my to my subtle dramatics, I live by a schedule. A crazy one at that. A couple peer's flipped through my planner to see if they could come up with a way to help me free some time during my work day. The verdict was: no way. Just the nature of working with this particular population.

Not long ago, I blogged about just doing my best to get as much done as possible. But with some upcoming deadlines, there is no choice. This just isn't an option. I might pop in the office over the weekend. Maybe not. I am definitely going to work Memorial Day, which is not awesome at all.

But with a few answered prayers and the help of some very awesome people, I just might survive the time crunch ;o)

Too Funny!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

One of Those Days. The GOOD Kind.

Today was one of those days. You know. Where it's just hectic and some things come up. But it the end, it all just seems okay. One of those days. One of my clients had a father pass away last weekend. It's looking like suicide at this point. He was just released from a long stint in prison, and this kid was so happy he was out. And then he died. The kid's mom was hysterical. Even though she had been having an affair for the past two years. And she was drunk. I think. Anyway, I had to help her pull herself together over the phone enough to drive all the way to where her son is, in placement. Then me and the counselor coached her on how to tell her son. How to not make this harder on him than what it's going to be anyway. How to be a parent in the situation. It was a frustrating, heart wrenching process. But it went extremely well. THANK GOD! So many things could have gone wrong. But they didn't. One of those days.
I also have a client who will be transitioning home soon. I was dragging my feet, as I feel he is a terrible threat to the community, but have no choice in the matter, so I've prayed about it, vented in small group a little, and have committed myself to making this the most effective transition process possible. So today I held a safety plan meeting. We wrote a very thorough safety plan and create an awesome time line for a gradual transition home. I am beginning to feel a little better about it. For now.
I also began the process of cleaning my office and car. YAY! At home, Kimberly made tacos and we took a nice walk after eating. I made a card for the kid whose dad died, and then made one for him to fill out tomorrow to take to the funeral to leave in his father's casket. He was upset because he had no money for flowers, so I thought I'd help him out with something to bring.
All in all, it was a good day. One of those days. The good kind.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Do I Have Multiple Personality Disorder?

Just reading through some past posts and checking out some pictures, and I'm starting to wonder Do I Have Multiple Personality Disorder?

Not the Same Street

I love this picture! I just think it's so funny! I found it on one of my searches for random yet fitting pictures for a blog, something I'm kinda obsessive about. Anyway, I found this picture and kept it on my desktop, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it.

So here is my random, unrelated, and yes, ever-so-dramatic thought conjured by this picture:

-Sometimes I feel like I am not on the same street as the rest of the world. Not that I'm on a back-road out in the boonies or anything. More like, I'm on a street parallel with other streets that other people are on. And we wave to one another from our respectful streets. But we never meet. Never intersect. Just wave.

With the occasional exception, of course.

-It's a weird feeling. Watching people pass by. Being a part of their lives. But not really.

Because a wave is just a wave, right?

-Or maybe a wave is never just a wave.

Maybe we're all on the same street and I'm too busy gawking at
myself in the review mirror to notice.

- Today was different though. I don't know if lanes are changing, or if I just tore myself away from the review mirror long enough to really see the rest of the traffic around me.

-But today I was definitely not on the same street I'm usually on. No waving by. Actual interaction. And it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Today I had a presentation due. The problem is, I knew nothing about it and had nothing prepared. It was bad. I had several prompts and reminders about the presentation over the past several weeks, but I must have blocked them all out. I was clueless!

I also woke up a little late this morning. "No problem!" I thought. I always spend well over 40 hours a week in the office, so I just figured staying over at least one hour almost each night I work would make up for being twenty minutes late one day. Wrong!

Today, I just happened to have had court at 9:00am, when I thought it was at 10:00am. Oops! It all worked out, as my client's lawyer was late as well, so I made it in just about 20 minutes before we were called into the court room. It also happened to be a great experience in court, considering the complicated case we were reviewing!

I got a chance to discuss my serious issue with some other people today. I'm still not satisfied. I'm just going to have to wait things out. To "let it marinate," as I was told.

But I feel in complete suspension.

Just hanging there.

And I hate it!

But I do have to admit, I do feel a little more at ease. I think . . .

Monday, May 19, 2008

Pray for Me, Please!

#1 I'm attempting to change some things about myself. But the problem is, I haven't really tried changing anything yet. So I guess I'm just wanting to change some things about myself. Oh, wait! I know! Most accurately put, I know I need to change some things about myself. There! That sounds about right. I want to glorify God, in ALL I do, which means a whole LOT needs to change. But I overwhelm easily when it comes to self-change. And honestly, I'm just pretty darn lazy! So, I guess I need a prayer for perseverance. Accountability. #2 A situation has come up. Or, at least, I think it has. I just have this terrible gut feeling and I'm really hoping it's wrong. But these kinds of feelings are usually dead-on. It's a complicated, serious situation, and I'm not quite sure how to intervene. But obviously, if God is bringing this to my attention, He wants me to intervene. Right? But it's "just speculation." I don't really have anyone I talk to frequently who I can talk to about this, but there are lots of great people I care about who would probably listen. Two in particular. One, I thought about calling because I just feel like they'd get the whole picture. Really understand. The other, I thought about calling just because of their passionate and comforting nature.
But I opted to call no one. I decided to pray about it first. Let it soak in. Not get anyone else involved.
So I guess I need prayer for wisdom. Truth. Guidance. And maybe the courage to seek help when I need it.
But then again, any prayer would be just fine ;o)

Happy Victoria's Day!

Today Kimberly and I saw this little girl while we were out and about. She was beautiful, but she had no hair and it was obvious she was very sick.

Like a flower with no petals.

She was proudly toting a Strawberry Shortcake balloon that bobbed around every time she moved. We heard bits of the family's conversation and a waitress wished her happy Victoria's day.

Finally we were able to piece together what was going on.

This little girl, maybe 8 years old, had been reading about Victoria's Day, a holiday in Canada, and her name was Victoria too. Since she was learning about this holiday in school, and because it's also her name, she asked her parent's if she could celebrate, and they agreed. How awesome!

She was so happy to celebrate Victoria's Day. So happy to have a balloon. Just so happy.

Even though.

And that really got me thinking.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weird Drawing Mannequin Thingy and an Ugly Angel

Yesterday I was able to finally take the time to draw an image I've had in my mind for a while now. While on vacation, I bought one of those weird drawing mannequin thingys. We needed to go to the laundry-mat to do our laundry, so I packed up all my paint and drawing stuff, and this picture I took of the mannequin positioned just the way I wanted it.

This is how it turned out!
I still had lots of the colors left that I had mixed for the mannequin picture, and hated to just rinse them down the sink. So I scrolled through over a thousand pictures on my laptop to sketch and paint. I ended up deciding to draw an angel we got at one of out friend's funeral. The clothes were in the dryer at this point, and only had like ten minutes left. And some rather questionable people began to hang out front. Needless to say, I was not taking my time. I did a quick, sloppy sketch, and an even quicker, sloppier paint.

The end result was, well, one ugly angel!

So I got to do something creative, get some laundry done, and escape from questionable people to live and tell all about it! What a great experience at the laundry mat! Perhaps next time, I'll draw the questionable people. A detailed sketch would be a great additive to a police report statement ;o)

Saturday, May 17, 2008


con·sid·er·a·tion 1. careful thought or deliberation (formal) 2. thoughtful concern for or sensitivity toward the feelings of others 3. a payment or fee in return for a service (formal) 4. high regard or esteem (formal)
I'm a nice guy. Really! So if you want something, just ask. But ask. Every time. I don't accept any kindness from others as a longterm commitment. This is just rude and presumptious. If you tell me I can use your phone to make a quick call, great! Thanks! But if I need to make a second call, I'm gonna ask all over again! Know why? Because that's courtesy. This is how I was raised to be. This is what I offer others and what I expect in return. Please. No matter who you are. You should still be respectful. If you're the pope and you stop by my office and need my stapler, great! Use it! But you better ask first! And ask again each time you need it. Please. And put it back when your done. Right where it was before you used it. Please. Otherwise, I just feel crazy! I'm disorganized. But my mess makes sense to me! Thank you for your consideration.

My New Look

Eetza Me! Ah Mario!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Perfectly Wrong

Check out this poor dog! Have you ever had a day like this? So perfectly wrong? I mean, just see how he's hanging there. Obvious something went wrong. But he had to have jumped just so. And the trees had to have been spaced out just so. Everything had to be just so for things to go so wrong. So perfectly wrong. I've had days like this. Days where things went so wrong, but in a manner that it all just lined up and created some perfectly wrong situation. And it's almost comical. Sitcom material. All I can do is laugh! Today was like that. A series of events occurred at work which completely affected my day's schedule. And believe it or not, unlike my desk or car, my schedule is organized down to the very last minute. So needless to say, a lot of things had to be shifted around and I ended up staying an hour later than expected. Kimberly and I were supposed to be meeting a couple of awesome kids from the youth group at the mall around 6:15pm. I wanted to call and apologize for running behind, as I was only leaving work around this time, but I realized my phone was dead. "No biggy!" I thought. So I went to our apartment to plug my phone in and call Kimmy and the youth group members and realized I had no door key! Oops! So I headed down to the mall to try and find them. I walked and looked and looked and walked. No Kimmy! No youth! And I thought, "Great!" I had no change for a pay phone, and no store would let me use their phone for a 15 second local call. So began to wonder if I was just going to have to wait outside our apartment until Kimmy got home. But then a light bulb went off in my head! I went back to work and used my office phone. Found out where everyone was. And had a great time! We played Putt-Putt and ate ice-cream! So, it all worked out and we all had a good laugh at how perfectly wrong my phone dying, me running late, and me losing my door key, all at the same time was. Ha!Ha! Funny! Thank GOD I work in town!!!

I'm It!

Okay! Looks like I've been Tagged, so prepare yourselves! Here's how the tagging works:(1) Each player answers questions about themselves.(2) At the end of the post, tag 5 people by posting their names.(3) Go to their site/blog and leave a comment telling them that they have been Tagged. Invite them to your site/blog so they can read the Tagged post.(4) Let the person who tagged you know when you have completed your Tagged post. 1. What were you doing 10 years ago? Finishing middle school and miserably dreading high school. Losing a seemingly endless battle with acne. Being the most awesome trombone player ever. Hating life, like every other normal 15 year old. 2. What are 5 things on your to do list? 1. Do you read my blog? Cleaning out my car! 2. Blowing up my office desk and starting all over again! 3. Painting a picture I've been visualizing for the past week! 4. Writing bullet point expectations for the use of live-feed security monitors in a residential treatment environment 5. Disinfecting my toothbrush. 3. What are 5 snacks you enjoy? nerds, marshmellow egg things you get at Easter, M&M's, icee's, smartee's (anything sickeningly sweet!) 4. Name some things you would do if you were a millionaire? Pay some really awesome tithes!!! Buy a home. Fund a Christian based treatment facility for abused children. Build Dad a barn and buy him a new truck. Take Mom to Australia (I think that's where she wants to go.) Take Kimberly on a fantastic vacation and buy her a salon. Go bankrupt because I have no concept of what it means to be a millionaire (I'm pretty sure this list alone would put me in the hole;o) 5. Name some places you have lived? Winchester for 21 years, Muncie for 4 years off and on. Aren't I just the jet setter! 6. Name some bad habits you have? Not putting things away. Never hanging my keys up. Leaving lights on. Procrastinating. Overeating. Singing at inappropriate times. Talking to myself/inanimate objects. 7. Name some jobs you've had. McDonalds. In-home assistance to handicap child. In-home respite care. Waiver-home staff worker. Care taker of emotionally disturbed teens. Supervisor of a residential treatment program for juvenile sex offenders. 8. Name those you are tagging. Kimberly ;o) Bryan, Lori I am a loser and only tagging three people!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


No. The wicked witch isn't dead.

But she's been run out of Oz.

And the mayor of Munchkin City just can't stop singing!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monsters and People

So, yesterday I adopted a new view of a person I thought I had pegged. You see, there's this parent who just seems . . . high. All time. High. She never really gives the impression of caring, or being fully awake, and often attends, (when she does attend, that is) family counseling sessions wearing T-shirts with drug paraphanalia air-brushed on them. Yeah! She really does! Promise!

Anyway, I am pretty disgusted with this woman. Her son has manged to sexually abuse well over 15 victims right under her nose, and has over 40 offenses. She displaces blame, so her son has never learned to take responsibility for what he's done, because "mommy" keeps telling him that it's not his fault.

Honestly, I've just seen this woman as . . . a monster. I mean, her child has hurt so many people, and her only concern is making sure that he receives no consequence for his behavior.

No concept of the pain her son's victims have endured.
No concept of community safety.
Just her baby. Her monstrous baby.
Born to a monstrous mother.

Terrible way to think, huh?
That's okay. I see the error in my thinking.
I'll admit it.

Any way, we were all at some meeting, right? And this monstrous mother starts to look a little more like a person to me.

She opened up, and, well, made me think a little.

She talked about how isolated she was. Alone.

Her son had been sexually abusive to every child in her family. Every single one. So her whole family is just done with her. Done. Brothers. Sisters. Aunts. Uncles. Parents. All just done.

Her son had been sexually abusive to all of her friends' children as well. Every single one. So all her friends are just done with her. Done.

And at this point, just watching her express this deep loneliness, this pain, I saw . . . a person.

I actually related to her. For one split second. And I thought, "Dear God, how could I have been so blind? She's a person too!"

I think it was the vulnerability.


This is in all of us. The inability to do it on our own. This is the one thing that connects everyone.

We all need God, we all need Grace. Just the same as anyone else.

Because we're all just people.

And so I sat across from this monster, and I watched her morph before me into a person. Not a good person. But a person.

And God gave me a glimpse into her heart. It was ugly. And it was wounded. But in these wounds, that's where the hope is. In her pain. Because there is only one way to truly heal. Her pain will lead her to God.

Eventually. I know it will.

Her loneliness will lead her to the one source of love that will never turn away.

And just in reflecting on this experience, just in writing this, I think that's why God put me where He has. Why he allows me to see into the hearts of others, and feel their pain. So I can help them. Help them so that they can see that they are people. Because sometimes they need reminded too. And when they realize they are people and not monsters, that this is not how they should feel, or who they should be . . . they will know they need to be healed. Changed somehow.

I've not proven myself to be good at leading people to Christ. I'm just not. Hopefully one day I will be. But God has used me to help people see that they shouldn't settle for being a monster. That they're people. And that healing needs to happen so they can be people.

And hopefully their realization will inspire a quest. And hopefully that quest will lead to salvation.

One day.

I know it's never as simple as it should be.

But then again, monsters who are really people realizing they're people and that they just feel or act like monsters and knowing they need help to not be monsters, to be the people God intended them to be . . .

(deep breath)

really doesn't sound too simple after all, does it? ;o)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Tomorrow is my FRIDAY!!!! I am so super excited! You see, I'm taking this Thursday and Friday off. Kimberly and I are taking a long weekend together, and spending the first two nights in Chicago to see the musical Wicked. I've always loved Chicago, ever since visiting there with my parents, like, 12 years ago. I'm pretty hyped about the musical too! I am a big Gregory McGuire fan, who wrote the book Wicked, so I'm hoping the musical is just as twisted and entertaining.

I've been trying hard at work to compensate for only being around three days this week. It's been overwhelming, so I think my new tactic will be to just get as much done as possible.

I've also decided to warn my staff ahead of time that I will not be reachable again until Sunday evening. (I think if I wouldn't have requested this, I would have ended up busting my phone!) I was anxious about this at first, as I've been on-call around the clock since mid January. But I need the space and a little break from all the calls. Not to mention, some uninterrupted time with Kimberly.

I can't wait!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Price is Right

So, I have a little game I play at work called Price is Right. Now, I've been playing this game for a while, and I'm pretty good at it, so don't be too hard on yourself the first couple times you give it a shot.

You see, Price is Right is a tactic I like to use to get kids to disclose things they don't really feel comfortable talking about. You simply ask a question, and continue repeating it until you get a numerical answer. It goes a little like this:

"So, how many times have you watched pornography while on home passes?"

"I don't do that stuff. It's perverted."

"Okay. So, maybe four or five times each weekend then?"

"No, not that much! I mean I don't at all, but four or fives, that's a whole bunch."

"Oh, okay. So, what? Like, maybe three times each home pass?"

"No, I mean, I don't look at that stuff. That's nasty."

"Well, I know you probably are expecting that to be the answer I want to hear. I'm more interested in the truth though. Okay? So, we know you've been looking at some stuff that you're not comfortable talking about. Right?"

(Look of defeat, followed by a solemn nod)

"So, you're here, locked up. And when you go home, there's just so much temptation. Right? And you're not real proud of it, but sometimes you look up some stuff that might not be very helpful with your treatment in this program, right?

(Continued look of defeat, followed by another solemn nod)

"Okay. Well, we just need to know, so we can help you. So, how many times? Two or three times each home pass?"

"I looked at, you know, that stuff, and I shouldn't have, but I looked at it all alone with my door closed and it wasn't anything illegal. Promise."

"Okay, well, thanks for being honest. I appreciate it. I'm glad you see you shouldn't have looked at pornography, but let's make sure you're not minimizing. Even if it's nothing illegal, you have some complicated treatment issues, right? So how often? How many times? Five times a weekend?"

"Just once."

"Okay. So just once. Every home pass, right?"

(Awkward pause) "Yeah."

And this is the point they just begin to word vomit about everything. For some reason, pinning some one down enough to commit to a specific number of times they've done, or do something seems to be the key to really get them to open up. Price is Right. I think it's the fact that actually declaring a number is quite a feat of ownership, which eventually makes them feel comfortable taking ownership for other behaviors as well.

This is pretty much the exact conversation I had with a resident today. You see, child protection services took his siblings from his mother's home, and determined life was pretty much completely unsupervised for them. My resident, being the oldest of his siblings, was most likely the best source of info for this family's home life, as he spends almost each weekend home and has, scarily enough, the most advance cognitive functioning of the whole clan .

So we played Price is Right. First about drinking with this mother (each day of each home pass, but only at the rate of one beer at a time. So it's okay?) Then about smoking with his mother (about four or five cigarettes each day of each home pass. I don't smoke, so, is that a lot?) Then about crushing pills and snorting them (about three times in the last four months. Ouch! My nasal compassages hurt!!!) Then how many times he sees step-dad beat mom (at least once each home pass.) And then about the pornography (once per home pass.)

Price is Right. But oh so wrong.


But at least this kid is no longer the walking, talking question mark he has always been, and will be able to get more tailored treatment now.
Oddly enough, cracking kids, playing this Price is Right game, it's my favorite part of my job. It always has been, ever since first beginning to work with wayward youth.

Just learning their stories. The stories they've never been able to tell. Afterwards, letting them know I still care even though. And then passing on the info to others who are able help the kids process and make sense of their stories. It's such an adrenaline rush! I am so thankful God had led me where He has. Even though.

Price is Right. But oh so wrong.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Just Pieces

I've thought about some of the children at work lately, mostly some of the ones I worked with directly for a while, and how they are just so broken. Just pieces of people, scattered. And they're trying to find enough pieces just to know who they are. But in the process of all that, they're doing things, picking up pieces that aren't really theirs, and becoming someone God never intended for them to be. And I've been thinking, so many pieces. So many pieces that only God could possibly put them back together. I wanted to write a song, a prayer about it, but the more I got into it, the more I realized this wasn't just a song about these children. It was a song about all of us. We're all just pieces. Only God can make us whole.


Lori, for your Master's level graduation with honors!!! Aren't you just a smart little cookie!?!?

Wild Pink

Name: James Pinkerton

Alias: Wild Pink

Bio: James lived the life of a normal person until his late teenage years, when his mutation took affect. At the age of nineteen, James awoke to find that he had transformed into a large, pink beast. He had grown from an average height to an alarming 8’2’’ and was covered in a thick, shaggy, pink fur, all over the course of one night. James was quickly excommunicated from all social ties, due to his frightening appearance. However, after years of loneliness, James discovered he had the ability to again transfer back into his original form at will. James attempted to continue his old life as an ordinary man, but quickly realized that his mutation was a gift, and that with such a gift comes responsibility. James assumed an alias called Wild Pink and now spends his days as a youth pastor and a family man, and his nights as Wild Pink, protecting the metropolis of Farmland with the limitless strength and heightened senses he possesses in his beast-like form. James also has developed the ability, both in his original and mutated form, to project a psycho-sionic wavelength using his voice. This gives him the power to induce a calming sensation in others, and when focused, can be used to manipulate their choice making, an ability he refers to as “power persuasion.” He typically uses this ability to disable his competitors while playing video games. At this point in time, James’ only known weakness as the Wild Pink is chicken tacos. James has been known to become so distracted to the temptation of a chicken taco that he has stood by and ate one while a pack of vicious circus monkeys mauled a kitten nearby, all without even noticing the kitten's cries of agony and pleas for help. After finishing his chicken taco and coming to his senses, Wild Pink realized what was happening and sprung into action just in time to save the kitten's life. However, Wild Pink's distraction was at the expense of the kitten's mobility, as it has been crippled for life. Wild Pink has been emotionally scarred by this near-failure, and has since become even more dedicated to protecting the community from evil-doers. Fortunately, James’ weakness is a little known fact to the majority of the super villains of Farmland. James might be just an ordinary man, but as Wild Pink, he is a dark and tragic, pink and hairy hero.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Block

I have a block. It's multipurpose.

Writer's block. Blogger's block. Artist's block.

I just want to do something creative, but can't find my mojo.

Just a block.

So I'm frustrated.

I started to write a song, but because our apartment isn't exactly spacious, I'm keeping my keyboard elsewhere, so the song writing process can only be so fulfilling at the moment.

I have a guitar that I've recently brought into the apartment. It might as well be a coat rack. I'm thinking about taking lessons though . . .

But in the mean time, until I learn a few cords on the guitar, get my keyboard, figure out something to draw/paint, or think of something to write, I have a block.


Guess this means I should be spending my spare time doing something . . . productive.


Another Fun, Random Quote

"Are you eating again?"

"NO . . . still."

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I've been wanting to mix charcoal and watercolors, but haven't found any subject that seems to fit the medium. I was online just looking for inspiration and stumbled across this picture. I thought it was pretty cool. Still don't have anything to draw though ;o)