Sunday, December 30, 2012

MOG 123012

Anxiety: 7

Not sure why, but there's an angry swarm of bees in my belly.

Add a pinch of pessimism and a dollop of dysthymia.

That's not a nice recipe.

Friday, December 28, 2012

exactly where we were

Sitting here, exactly where we were sitting six years and five days ago, in the same twinkling light of the Christmas tree, and just about this exact same hour of night.Thats when the phone rang and we got that call that Marva was murdered.

Strangled to death. By him. Her boyfriend. Her son's father. My friend.

And here, now, at this exact place and exact time, we sit watching a Channel 13 News' segment featuring Marva's story as an example of how convicts incarcerated for violent crimes can be released early from their sentence for "good time" and participating in different programs offered to them in prison.

The segment was originally aired in October, but fate's irony wasn't lost that this should be the exact place and exact time we should first watch it.

Her killer was originally sentenced twenty years for manslaughter but immediately "earned" ten years off.

In some states, like Indiana, a convict chips away one extra day from his sentence for every one day he serves on "good behavior." Its kinda like a 2-for-1 deal. But the math doesn't quite come out right. He never served the first ten years in order to shave away the other ten years.

And then...

He shaved off two more years for obtaining a business degree and one more year for obtaining another degree in applied sciences. He lost six months for participating in a character development program and another six months for completing a substance abuse treatment group. He also managed to get out of an additional six months of his sentence for agreeing to a work-release program.

A twenty year sentence, a lost life, all wiped away in about five and a half years.

From time to time, it overwhelms me. All these thoughts... these raw emotions... and again I find myself sitting...

exactly where we were...

"... For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants... for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries..." Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 43

Monday, December 24, 2012

Snapshot: 122412 PST

Noggin' it up with Kimmy, Mommacita, and Pop.

The tree is lit and we're watching Home Alone 2.

Home. Family. Holiday cheer.

And lots of peanut butter fudge!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Unearned

Individualism and westernized thinking are not compatible with the teachings of Christ. Take His birth, for example. Jesus exemplified downward mobility by stepping out of splendor into suffering and servitude for the benefit of all mankind, even up to the point of His own torture and death. The 'American dream' to work hard and achieve greatness contradicts our calling to humbly serve one another and bring glory to God's name by sharing the joys of our salvation in Him. This grace is unearned, undeserved, yet freely given.

Snapshot: 122212 1200 PST

Done Christmas shopping! I think...

incarnate native

MOG 122212

Well... the world didn't end yesterday as the Mayans predicted it would. The jury is out as to whether or not thats a good or bad thing.

Today... or is it yesterday? Geesh, with working overnight shifts, my days are hard to define... Anyhow, its been rough. I just can't catch a break. Its been one of those days where every little mistake I've made seems to be under a microscope. With all the strange happenings of last night (see previous post), I didn't quite get to everything on my to-do list for work. Normally, this type of thing isn't too much of an issue, but apparently today it was.

My laptop crashed last night. Took it into the Apple store in the mall this morning (MAD HOUSE!) and found out the hard drive is junk :-/ Boo! I've been working on my 2012 wrap-up video and some other creative projects, a few church designs, and preparing for some online courses I'm about to take, so basically I'm up a crazy creek without a stinkin' paddle until the issue is remedied. Suckage.

I've kinda got a cold, my car is being weird, my body is super sore from a ridiculous alligator-role restraint I had to do at work last Wednesday, I keep thinking of things to do that I can't do without my laptop,  I'm feeling some holiday stress...

¡Aye de mi!

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Just one of those days where all I can do is continually sigh. Seriously. I'm developing a compulsion.

Oh, and my neighbors have a little kid who screamed for over two hours today. Like, really really screamed. I could hear them taunting the poor kiddo. I ended up calling it in, most likely creating some crazy feud amongst residents of the building, but I couldn't help but be concerned... Seriously, at this point in the world you can't be overly worried about the welfare of kids.

Which brings me back to work drama.

Blah.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snapshot: 122112 0500 PST

This has been one weird shift at work! Around 1am, one of my kids woke up to see what time it was and never went back to sleep. He's leaving for a ten day Christmas break with his family tomorrow and is too excited to fall back to sleep. Its been a job just keeping him quiet so he doesn't wake the others.

Around 2am, another one of my kids woke up to get a snack and realized all his belongings had been packed up. It didn't take long for him to put together that he's being transported to a higher level facility tomorrow. Not an awesome conversation to have with a kid who's been shipped around his whole life. That's another post though... Fortunately he went back to sleep after about an hour.

And yet another kid... well, he's just stinky. He wets the bed and his urine has the strangest odor. Its potent and fills the entire house, making me nauseous. I don't know why it smells so awful! I want to wake him to shower and change his bedding, but if I do I'll be alone with two kids wide awake and one light-sleeper who might potentially AWOL if he's woken up since he's being taken to juvie later anyways.

That leaves one more kiddo who's slept peacefully all through the night, and as far as I know, he's not especially stinky. God bless him!

So here I am, watching a low-grade Christian movie about high school football with a very excited kiddo, obsessively checking to make sure I don't have any AWOLers, and breathing through the sleeve of my hoodie.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Giveaway: Christmas in a Cup Winner

$10 Starbucks giftcard giveaway. Fifteen entries. Each name written down nice and neat on little slips of paper, waded all up into tiny balls, dropped into a hat and given a good shake or two. Drew one, eyes closed. No peeking. Drum roll please... Grant Cox!

Next giveaway? I'm thinking iTunes.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Branches' Christmas 2012

Branches' Christmas '12. A wonderful evening with wonderful people, celebrating the birth of our wonderful Savior! Yes, I am wonderfully blessed :-)

Monday, December 17, 2012

treason

"Murdering a human being is an assault on God. He made us in his own image. Destroying an image usually means you hate the imaged. Murdering God’s human image-bearer is not just murder. It’s treason — treason against the creator of the world. It is a capital crime — and more."

-John Piper

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. (Genesis 9:6).

*some continued thoughts on the Connecticut massacre. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

no words











God bless these poor babies. Essentially, that's what they are, just babies. So young. Exposed to such horrific carnage. The governor of Connecticut was quoted saying, "Evil has visited this community." Yes, evil was inarguably present at the Sandy Hook Elementary School as young Adam Lanza mercilessly gunned down twenty children in seemingly safe Newtown, Connecticut. But I don't believe it was a "visit." Evil takes residence. It's everywhere, all the time. It doesn't come and go. It may lie dormant for a time, but it's never gone. I couldn't help but weep tonight as I read about the massacre online. The last few moments of those childrens' lives must have been inexplicable. And the surviving children? What will the future hold for them? How does anyone process experiencing such an awful thing, especially as a young child? As babies? I'm sure, as some time passes, I'll have more thoughts on this. But for now, I have no words. Only prayers.

wrapped up mashup

I just wrapped up and exported my first ever magamix mashup song!  Perhaps a new hobby?

Every January I post a picture montage to reflect on the previous year. Scraping up the pictures is the easy part, considering I take so many. But the challenge? Coming up with a song that's just right!

I've always wanted to write and record my own song to accompany this project, but I haven't quite made it that far yet.

But I did download the free software from online and took some YouTube tutorials to come up with my own mashup of some 2012 hits. Sure, lots of mashups already exist, but I wanted the creative challenge. Plus, most mashups tend to blend together all the foulest, most sexual lyrics into one song, and I'm just not interested in pairing up that kind of nasty with pictures of all my beloved friends and family.

So, I'm extra pumped for 2012's yearend wrap-up video!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Giveaway: Christmas in a Cup

I'm feeling generous! Who wants a $10 Starbucks gift card? Just leave a comment below!

It's easy! Click on the "comments" link and a window will open to type your message in. It's simplest to just comment anonymously by selecting that option.

Be sure to leave your name so I can track you down in case you're the lucky winner! If we're not Facebook friends and I don't know how to contact you personally, leave an email address in your comment!

December 20th I will select the winner and contact them to get a mailing address. Then I'll send it out! Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Adios Sorensens! Bendiciones!


'Tis the Season of Evangelism

Welp, it's that time of year again, my churchy friends... that time of year when faces appear in the back rows of our sanctuaries, faces we probably haven't seen there since last Easter.

Being the dedicated little Christians we are, we're all gonna see beyond these faces to souls that will spend eternity somewhere. And with the best intentions, our preparations begin.

So... busy busy busy. We're all getting ready to play hype-man for the one and only J.C.

But what will this all entail? What's our plan of attack? I have a suggestion. I know, I know... I'm no theologian, that's for sure. I didn't go to seminary, I don't have a pastoral degree, and I've never experienced any formal training on evangelism...

And I really like to curse.
I've been working on it...

But I am a counselor. I've been gifted to understand how the mind and heart interact with one another. I have some applicable insight of my own, too. We did occasionally attend church services growing up, but I certainly wasn't a Sunday school kid. I didn't memorize weekly bible verses for smiley-face stickers or watch felt puppets follow the Star of Bethlehem. My mom taught me most of what I knew about Jesus, and she did a good job of it.

But when I got a little older... I wasn't quite so sure about this Jesus guy. I wanted to believe in Him, I just didn't know how to. I reached what some therapists refer to as stuck-points in my way of thinking about Christianity, things I just couldn't quite accept. Things I couldn't move beyond.

But at twenty-three years old, it all started to come together. I didn't solve all my stuck-points, but I did learn to move beyond them through my relationship with Christ.

How? Well, as an adult, the couple churches I did give a shot left me feeling downtrodden. The messages they laid out were heavier than I could hold. I was not only weighed down but also felt like an outsider from all the "seasoned" attenders who seemed to "just get it."

Then God led me to a place where I'd be presented to His truth just as I needed to hear it.

Please, don't get me wrong here. It's important to grow our believers, to challenge them and walk alongside them as they advance in their journey and own ministries. But if you're looking to evangelize, if you're looking to draw in new faces, or perhaps the faces you haven't seen since Easter, keep it simple.

During Jesus' ministry, He met people where they were. He didn't set up camp in a fancy temple and wait for people to swing on by. He met them. He stepped into their world.

Literally, straight from Heaven and down into a manger.

So, amidst my rambles, my suggestion is this; don't just teach about Jesus, teach like Jesus. Meet people where they are. Step into their world. Toss out the Christianeese lingo; its just a waste of breath to the unchurched.

Keep it simple. Jesus did. And it seemed to work out pretty well for Paul, too.

"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power." 1 Corinthians 4:20
"... I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom.." 1 Corinthians 2:1
"My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power." 1 Corinthians 2:4

Friday, December 7, 2012

career vs. calling

"A calling, which is something I do for God, is replaced by a career, which threatens to become my god. A career is something I choose for myself; a calling is what I receive. A career is something I do for God. A career promises status, money, or power; a calling generally promises difficulty and even some suffering- and the opportunity to be used by God. A career is about upward mobility; a calling generally leads to downward mobility." -John Ortberg

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Snapshot: 120612 1300 PST

Sitting and sipping,
peppermint tea.

Served in a mug,
my mother gave me.

Adorned in snowmen,
and wintery cheer.

'Tis the season,
Christmas comes near!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Psych 101: Amnestic Disorders

Amnestic disorders are characterized by memory impairment resulting from drug abuse, a side-effect of medication, or from exposure to a toxin, although cases of amnesia exist without specific etiology.

A person with an amnestic disorder always experiences levels of impairment in their ability to learn and retain new information. Some people with amnestic disorders might be unable to recall information previously learned, but this is more variant than the ability to retain new information and depends on the location and severity of brain damage.

The severity of memory disturbance impairs the person socially and/or occupationally, and marks decline in level of functions. The memory impairment should not occur exclusively during the course of delirium or dementia in order to be diagnosed as an amnestic disorder. In some cases, the person may vividly recall experiences of the distant past with no recollection of more current occurrences.

The ability to access sequential strings of information is typically not effected, such as counting and reciting the alphabet. Amnestic disorders are often associated with features such as confusion and disorientation. Confabulation, imaginative information developed to fill in the gaps of memory, is not uncommon in the initial stages of treatment, but does tend to wane with time. Because confabulation is a factor to be mindful of during the treatment process, its important to collaborate with the client's family and other informants to collect accurate data about the individual and his or her life.

Those with severe amnestic disorders often have lack of insight into their deficiencies, which can result in agitation upon confrontation. 

(DSM-IV-TR)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Home for Christmas

"I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me

Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the lovelight gleams

I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams"
-Kim Gannon

Nineteen days and counting! Kimberly and I will be flying to IN to spend Christmas with our family! Really! No dream!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Snapshot: 112812 1500 PST

Rocking out the lion's feet.
Sipping green tea.

Diagnosing and treating the Little Mermaid with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Watching the Munsters in the background. 

Yep, I'm a nerd.

300.7 Body Dysmorphic Disorder

A) preoccupation with imagined defect in appearance. If physical anomaly is present, the person's concern is markedly excessive.

B) preoccupation causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C) preoccupation is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.
 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

offensive

A sad, but true, commentary of modern mainstream culture.

Freely do and say all things.

Except speak the name of Jesus in a non-blasphemous way.

That's just offensive.

"I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart; I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation..."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

all in the name


Snapshot: 112112 1200 PST

*Ah. May. Zing.

This is why I'm going back to school.

I've spent the greater part of the last decade working in residential treatment with at-risk and troubled youth.

On most days, I count it as a blessing.

It didn't really ever occur to me I might end up doing something different. In fact, I used to be insulted when people suggested I move on to something else because I, and I quote, "deserved more."

So when I decided I was going back to school to get a Master's degree, maybe even a doctorate eventually, I had a difficult time conceptualizing the reason why. I could hardly explain it to myself, much less others.

Of course, there's always the go-to reason. Money.

But why else? There's gotta be more, right? To leave the job I love.
To abondon this calling and move to another...

I work with an older gentleman. He's a great staff, and he can throw-down like a champ when a restraint is in order. At sixty(?), he's in far better shape than I am now at twentynine. Based on this information alone, I'm guessing I'd break a hip doing a floor restraint by the time I'm his age. So, the longevity of this career is a reality. How can I maintain a presence in this field after I'm unable to chase children out of traffic and snatch shivs from their hands like a ninja?

Be a therapist.

There's a ministry component to it as well. Providing unconditional care for these kiddos, even after getting kicked in the jimmy, is a gift. There's no better way I can think of to demonstrate Christ's love. But I want to network within churches and offer support to hurting believers. How?

Be a therapist.

So there are those reasons. But there's more. That something I've had such a hard time putting my thumb on. It finally hit just this past Sunday morning. The perfect example smacked me right in the face. More specifically, the nose.

Crap. Lots of crap.

He overflowed the toilet. Again. He's notorious for it.
The bathroom flooded. Twice. Maybe three times.

Tongs were involved. Yeah, it was that bad.

Two hours. It took two hours to remedy the issue and finish getting everything cleaned up and sanitized. Two hours.

Have a melt down. Cry. Scream. Break something...
I'll gladly ride the ride with you and see you safely through.

But plunging toilets, making breakfast bagels, and folding laundry admist the crisis counseling?

Crap. Lots of crap.

So, as I stood ankle deep in toilet water, power struggling with a reluctant teen to fish out his own dookie from under the sink, it all came together and made perfect sense.

This is why I'm going back to school.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Snapshot: 112012 1800 PST

Chillaxing with my crew.
Jude E. Pie and Zayah Boy.

Rollin' deep in Legos and jammin' to the mad beats of Dragon Tales.

Hardcore, yo. Hardcore.

supernatural

"Brothers, the Ministry is Supernatural," by John Piper.

I love this quote, and this post. When we try to breakdown God into logic and fact, we diminish the power of His majesty, which is far beyond anything we can conceive.

Walking in faith is just that: walking. In faith. Not always knowing what to expect, but taking the next step anyway. It's a journey. Unexpected and unexplainable things happen on any journey worth taking.

Those chills you feel down your neck on Sunday service? They're not just from the ceiling fans cranked up a little too high by the chubby media guy who'd probably not be so hot all the time if he'd drop a few pounds.

That gut feeling you get when someone is hurting or in need? That's not just a combo of a bad burrito and logical deduction. Let's face it, you're not that smart.

That's the Spirit whispering in your ear.

Open your mind to God. And your heart. The heart excepts things the mind cannot.

Snapshot: 1119 0249 PST

My body is confused.

I've not really slept much to speak of for about 30 hours now, but after working my usual three overnight shifts for the week, it just feels wrong to sleep during "normal people" sleeping hours.

Completely exhausted.
Yet totally wide awake.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

freedom

"... Sin speaks a dead language... God speaks your mother tongue... hang on (to) every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That's what Jesus did... (do) not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives... remember, you've been raised from the dead into God's way of doing things. Sin can't tell you how to live... So, in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly... Offer yourselves to sin, and it's your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God... to live openly in his freedom!"

Romans 6:11-18 (MSG)

MOG 111712

Confused.
Conflicted.
Frustrated.

Wishing I could shut my mind off.
And my heart.

Impulsive.

Trying, and failing, to just reel myself in a little.
To feel in control.

Friday, November 16, 2012

"Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I'm proof - Public Sinner Number One - of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off - evidence of his endless patience - to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time - One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always."

- 1 Timothy 1:15 (MSG)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Snapshot: 0111412 2300 PST

Giant fuzzy bear-foot slippers

+ Steaming hot, ginger spice tea

+ Walking Dead, season 2

+ Purring kitties happy to have momma and daddy home

+ My love wife right next me

= AWESOMENESS

*Now that's my kind of math!

courageous faith

Sure, he kinda looks like a schmuck in this picture... but that's just 'cuz I was the schmuck on the other side of the camera taking it. This guy here, he's not really a schmuck at all. In fact, I've heard him called a lot of things, and "Schmuck," is never one of them.

I could lay out a whole list of words and names used to describe him; father, friend, worship leader. BUT blah, blah, blah... BORING!

Let me tell you what else he's been called.
Actually... I probably shouldn't. Not appropriate, I guess.

You see, this man is not only my dear friend and brother in Christ, he's also been a co-worker of mine for over a year now.

Henceforth the inappropriate names. You see, the kids we work with... nah, I'll get to that later.

Back to Nate. He's one of those weirdo people that moved from IN all the way here to SoCal as a missionary and church-planter. One of many Branches.

No job. No home. Just faith. Courageous faith.

And, unbeknown to him, that courageous faith would lead him to an under-funded, ill-equipped group home in the barrio, where he'd serve *crazy children, earning about one third of the pay he'd get if he were actually doing what he went to college to do.

*crazy children. I know, it's sounds harsh. Just keep in mind, this home we work in houses the sickest kids in San Diego, literally just one step away from hospitalization. They are the youngest, and most mentally-ill and aggressive kids within the entire organization. I love them, but they CRAY-CRAY, and running through their actual diagnoses would be another post all of it's own.

These kids. They go for the jugular. Literally.
But Nate remains unshaken. He stands firm.

By far the most stable man I've met.

Today he was recognized at work with an award for his achievement. HR and the CEO make clever ties between core values of the organization and the awards they give their staff. Appropriately, Nate was recognized for his courage.

Standing firm on his foundation of Christ, I've yet to see Nate shaken. And, let's be honest, if a person were to be shaken anywhere, it'd be a place where children take orders from the devil, eat glass, paint walls with pooh, and stow away shivs to shank you with when you least expect it.

Yep. That's the place. That's his mission field. That's where he serves the Kingdom, and with courageous faith.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snapshot: 111012

Today was a great day at work; the best kind of work day there is, in fact!

A few crisis here and there.

Just enough to bust out the 'ol mojo.
Make me feel all important.
Make the time go by past.

But not enough to make me stressed.
A perfect balance.

Plus, a kid wrote out my name for me all spiffy :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

we have not been satisfied with His greatness

All of us have failed to glorify God as we should

"All of us have failed to glorify God as we should. What does it mean to "fall short of the glory of God?" It means that none of us has trusted and treasured God the way we should. We have not been satisfied with his greatness and walked in his ways."

"We have sought our satisfaction in other things, and treated them as more valuable than God, which is the essence of idolatry... "

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. - Romans 1:21-23

"Since sin came into the world we have all been deeply resistant to having God as our all-satisfying treasure..."

All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. - Ephesians 2:3

"This is an appalling offense to the greatness of God... "
  
"Be appalled at this, you heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." - Jeremiah 2:12-13

Quest for Joy: Six Biblical Truths- Day3
- John Piper

 *** Now, if you're reading this and are new to the faith, I want to encourage you. This is just one day in a series of a bible study I'm doing. Undoubtedly, it will be followed up by messages of His love, grace, and mercy. You can and will achieve satisfaction  in Him.

Yes, we fail to glorify God, but He will continue giving you chance after chance to honor Him. Seek forgiveness and repent (turn away from sin and towards God) and don't become discouraged. He redeems all things for His glory.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Thursday, November 8, 2012

watch this. pray for him. maybe throw down some $$$

We've really only had one real face to face interaction, ever, but through a mutual passion for God and songwriting, and amongst lengthy emails and blog-stalking, I consider him a dear friend and brother in Christ. This young follower has ministered to me in ways he'll never know, and I'm so blessed to see where God is leading him!

satisfied with all He is

Every human should live for God's glory

"If God made us for his glory, it is clear that we should live for his glory. Our duty comes from his design. So our first obligation is to show God's value by being satisfied with all that he is for us."

"This is the essence of loving God..."
And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." - Matthew 22:37

"Trusting him..."
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. - 1 John 5:3-4

"Being thankful to him..."

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! - Psalm 100:2-4

"It is the root of all true obedience, especially loving others..."
 

Because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people - the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel... - Colossians 1:4-5 

Quest for Joy: Six Biblical Truths- Day 2
- John Piper

no greater honor

Rise up! Stand with godly confidence and conviction! Engage with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Call upon the Spirit of God to empower you! March onto the battlefield with one goal in mind; to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. Speak His name and demonstrate His love! Do so with humility, yet know this: there is no greater honor.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pitch Perfect

Yes, I did it. I watched Pitch Perfect.
And yes, I'll admit it. I liked it. I liked it a lot.

Very funny. Quarky. Some good vocals.

Did you know Anna Kendrick could sing?  I didn't! But dang she sure 'nuff do!

When I was first accepted into Ball State University allllllll those years ago, it was originally as a vocal performance major. Of course, the furthest I ever got through the program was the application, audition, and acceptance process.... then reality and self-consciousness settled in.

I changed majors about four times... I guess the weight of reality didn't get all that heavy 'til later in life, lol... But alas, this cheese-tastic movie hit a chord in me (heheh, chord- get it?).

It was reminiscent of some hopeful ambitions I once had. It made me laugh a lot. The soundtrack was rad. And I watched it with my Love, which makes everything enjoyable :-)

And Anna Kendrick did this cool cup song thingy.
Here she is doing it again on Letterman.



a worthy challenge


Christian nation vs. Mission field


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

MOG 110612

Almost five good days in a row!
I'm so grateful!

I've felt in control; able to steer my thoughts away from negativity.
Strong enough to harness my emotions.

Aware of God's presence.
Closer to Him in prayer.

priceless...

...are the moments I learn someone has been touched by something I've written.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

pants on fire


mask-free and fearful

I love this image. It's the perfect portrayal of life for many people with bipolar I and II, as well as other mood disorders.

Always changing, one extreme emotion to the next. I'm not talking about normal fluctuations. I'm talking about the kind that effect work, sleep, relationships, general well being and ability to function.

A lot of people change faces, but not their expression. A smile might become a frown, but you'd never guess what's really going on under that mask they feel that have to wear.

I've been on a soapbox lately about these masks.
I've been trying to live authentically; mask-free. It's a lot easier to do in writing. But face to face? That's where masks come in most handy.

The hardest part? The fear of stigma. I've been really struggling for about two months now. Again, it's easy in writing. Mood logging and blogging. That's comfortable for me. But face to face? Mask-free?

As soon as I reach a point I'm ready to remove the mask...
To show my I-am-not-okay-and-need-your-help face...

Something happens. Or happened recently, I should say.

Last week I had to send out a text to couple of trusted Godly men saying something along the lines of, "I'm sick. I kinda don't want to be alive right now..."

And as difficult as it was to get to that place of reaching out like that, I find it almost just as difficult to share the relief I feel today.  

I know. You read that correctly. Weird, right?
If I completely live mask-free, you're going to see my face.
My real face. The one that's always changing.

There are these people. I log into FaceBook and see them daily. Literally within one hour they post about being the happiest person in the world to being a devastated victim to a cruel world full of crueler people.

Unfairly so, I judge them. It's in my nature. "Drama," I think. "They're all drama."
Yet I don't want you to think or feel that way about me.
Which, this judgy thing, it really gives me something else to work on...

I say I want to live mask-free, but I'm fearful.
I have a lot of faces. They change a lot.
What does that say about me?
And what will that make you say about me?

But regardless, here goes...

I had a spiritual experience last night.
I feel close to God and to other people again.
Today has been good.
I feel joy and hope.

My face has changed. 
Literally, overnight.

This smile is not a mask. It's real.

I am fearful though. Fearful this rapid change ultimately means I'm crazy.
That I'm one of those people. Drama.
Fearful you will think I'm crazy and one of those people.

Fearful this is all just a fluke and I'll wake up tomorrow back in a pit of despair.

But for now? I've committed to just rolling with it.
I feel good. I'm throwing caution to the wind and running with it.

My face. Smiling. No mask. Honest smiling.

Friday, November 2, 2012

attention

"You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse..."

"Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering... fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it..." 

Philippians 4:8
Roman 12:2 (MSG) 

better

I don't necessarily try to be better than anyone in particular.
I just desperately want to be better in general.

Better than me.
Better than this.

Good enough to belong. To be. To have a place that's mine.
Good enough to be needed and wanted. Used. Not used.

Those thoughts and feelings are irrational, I know.
They just reflect where I'm right now.


But this quote. It's a great way of looking at myself. A great way to look at now and tomorrow.
Where was I yesterday? How can I be one step further today?

It's a step-by-step goal.
It's progressive. It's realistic.

And it's better than the direction my mind has been taking me lately.

Better.

my kids

I suppose I should consider it a blessing to work with all the teens I've encountered as a childcare counselor...

But if I were to say that's how I felt... I'd be lying.


Some kids are nightmares to work with. These are the kids who make you appreciate your days off. These are the kids who usually make for great stories after the smoke has cleared, figuratively or literally. These are the kids that make other people intrigued when you tell them what you do.

Then there's those kids. The one's that fade away with time. It's sad to think, but there are dozens of kids I've worked with whose names and faces all blend together into one blobby conglomerate of general chaos.

And then, there are my kids. I think every staff has them, or maybe it's just me. But every now and then, I meet a kid who I just know I'll impact in some way. The kid you'd take home and make part of your family. The kid whose name you'll never forget, and not because they climbed up on the roof or smeared their poop all over the bathroom... The kid you love and somehow know they love you back.

That kid. I'm pretty sure I've referenced this phenomenon before.

And now, here I am. I once offered them something they now offer me, years later. I had a wonderful phone conversation with one of them just a few weeks ago, and I found this awesome post in my FB timeline from another kid today.

Of course, they're not really kids anymore.
Twenty-somethings.

Making me almost a thirty-something. Gulp. Almost... I digress...

But they're still my kids.
And they still bless me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

2 step plan

1) Write. Send yourself a text. Email your own account. Blog. Something. Something about pen on paper is special, but so is hitting that send or publish button. Its gone. Its out there. Out of you and somewhere else. Whether you hide it away on paper or send it off to Electronic Land, it clarifies the craziness. Outlines it.

2) After you got all that crazy condensed into words, take 'em to God. I don't say 'pray' for a reason. Sometimes I start to pray and 'start' is as far as I get. Just that step of surrendering to His presence in the mess, turning to Him, its enough. I stand before Him and He offers relief. Just enough for the night. Just enough so I have to come back tomorrow.

If I just surrender to it.

Step 1)
Step 2)
Step 2)
Step 2)

MOG 102612

Not sleeping well. Not sleeping well at all.
Lots of unpleasant dreams. Nightmares.

Back in high school failing math with an a-hole teacher. Falling-outs with my mom, who I have a great relationship with in real life, and huge fights with my brother, who I don't really even talk to all that much. Abandoned and hated by friends. Alone. So alone. Revisiting places where I once thought I mattered to find I didn't ever matter at all.

Waking up feeling extra aware of gravity pulling my body into the mattress. Heavy and unable to move. I feel myself being torn from my body and it hurts. I strain my mind to stay inside and reassure myself it's not real and I'm suddenly left alone with just a rapid heartbeat as I'm shocked back into consciousness.

Anxiousness knotted in my stomach. Angry. Hurting. Scared. Lonely.
Most likely the aftermath of some sort of night-terror.
Or the residual effects of all the dreams.

Waiting for it to leave me. Waiting for calm to come.
Realizing God is a prayer away, yet I distance Him in this haze.

I'm going to wake my wife. Tell her I love her. Share with her this wretch. Just to feel. To connect. Then wake my soul to speak to its creator. Share with Him this wretch. Just to feel. To connect.

More blessed. More blessed than I believe.
I know but don't perceived.
Its all there but out of reach.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

GA/TN Bound

Finishing up packing and hitting the sack.
Tomorrow we are flying out to the GA/TN area!

Can't wait to see my brothers-and-sister-in-law!
And fall leaves ;-)

I need this time away. Too bad I have to write two research papers for school while I'm gone... But I'm off work for a whole week, so I'm not complaining!

Surrounding myself with fresh vibes might be just what I need to get out of this weirdo funk I'm in! Bring on the vacay!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I might be getting old and crotchety...

... and I think I'm okay with that. Been seeing some nasty stuff lately. Normal people keep that trash to themselves! Social networking has blurred the boundaries and good 'ol fashion shame just ain't what she used to be...










 


Friday, October 19, 2012

hold fast


Love regardless...

... as you have been loved by Love, Himself.

MOG 101912

Down. Then up.
Then a little too up.

Somethings gotta give. Right?

The meds that were prescribed to me to get me out of the slumps did just that. They lifted me up. And up. And up.

I started feeling great.
Really great.

And then?

After a wonderful week, I'm falling face first in another mucky mess. This time around its anxiety. Ironically I just wrote a research paper on how antidepressants can cause mania and high levels of anxiety in bipolar people and those who have both anxiety and depression.

Depression is treated by uppers. Anxiety is treated by downers. Its complicated when you're caught between the two. It all just makes me feel downright crazy.

Do meds help? Do meds make things worse? Are these problems real? Are they just in my head? Is it possible I should just be able to snap myself out of this? These are some of the thoughts triggered by this roller coaster.

And my anxieties? The usual.

Yay mental health.
Or drama I should just snap out of.
Or whatever the hell this is...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

MOG 101312: HUMPTY, REVISED

The King and His horses, and all the King's men...
Managed to put me together again.

I guess that makes me Humpty.
I could list several of the King's men in my life.
But who are the horses? Hm... heheh

God always sees me through the dark times. Always.

The way my brain is wired, the way those chemical and electric signals are fired off somewhere in my gourd, it's like I'm standing on a wall. That's my life. Standing on a wall.

One side is all balloons and streamers.
The other side, no bueno.

But whether I'm balancing somewhere in the middle or fallen to one side or the other, God always sees me through.

Friends, family, my wife. His word. Pharmaceuticals.
Some extra sleep. Some beautiful weather.
Blessings that keep me tethered to Hope.

And with some time, all the pieces of my shell have been put back together like a puzzle.
Yolk intact.

Scale: One! I have these fleeting thoughts of worthlessness that are easily swept away with a quick prayer and a healthy reality check. Then, presto! Gone.

And maybe those thoughts are what is keeping me dependent on Him.
And if that's the case... I'll count them as blessings. I think? heheh...

Thank you, my King, and to all of His men.
And, yes, even to His horses, whoever they may be.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, October 11, 2012

identity in Him.

Your value before God is unconditional and constant. His love for you is based on His own unchanging grace and mercy, therefore it does not diminish.

Jesus was driven to the cross by the love of His father.
The love of His father was His people.

You. Me. Us.

You were wonderfully made, and you are remade daily in Christ as He transforms you into who He's destined you to be.

That is, if you've accepted His promises as Truth.

This is who you are.
This is your value.
You are God's best.

Knowing you are God's best, you now must be who you are...
Ever changing towards His likeness.

How will you know? How can you tell if you've truly accepted this identity?
Your choices; they will reflect that you belong to Him.

Not to yourself. Not the world. Not your job or even your family.
You belong to Him. So do I.

Intentional, Christ-centered choice making.
This is my most current conviction.

Accepting my identity in Him.
And choosing accordingly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Safari Serene

*Babbling brooks, bonsai trees, botanical gardens, fall festivities. Two chapters into a new book. Bible, prayer, meditation. Cool breeze. Hot tea. Deep breathing. Two hours of Safari Serene. 

we ARE and we DO

Ever since Adam and Eve nibbled on the naughty fruit, man has sought to sooth his own self-doubt and erect himself as god. Even as followers of Christ, we struggle to find our own identity. We long to know our significance and purpose.

Do you find yourself ever pondering these things?
If not, email me and share your secret to success!

In the Book of Ephesians, Paul writes, “For we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.-Ephesians 2:10

In this single verse we find answers to some of the most puzzling questions that have troubled man’s mind since the beginning of time.

WHO AM I?…the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus.

The Greek word for ‘workmanship’ used in this verse is more directly translated to ‘masterpiece,’ and that’s exactly what we are in the eyes of our maker. We have been redeemed and forgiven of sin because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. In American culture, inflated egos are ‘a must’ if you want to succeed by worldly means, so a lot of people would agree that they’re a masterpiece. Unfortunately, a majority of these people believe they are a self-made masterpiece and fail to recognize that all that’s good within them is actually God.

WHY AM I HERE?… to do good works which God has prepared in advance…

These words encompass both our purpose and our potential. God has a plan for each of us; a plan involving good works that draw glory to Him. Are you willing to set aside the pursuit of your own glory for the pursuit of His? The greatest honor we could ever hope to achieve is calling ourselves an obedient servant of God.

We are not self-made. In fact, we were not only made by God, but are remade daily in Jesus Christ. We are here to honor Him in all we do, whether cashing in sizeable salaries or sweeping sidewalks for mere cents.

We ARE and we DO for HIM alone.

Discovering what this means will answer the infinite questions:  Who am I? Why am I here?

We ARE and we DO for HIM alone.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MOG 100712

God is faithful.

I am desperate for Him.
And He is dependable.

Always.

The light at the end of the tunnel? I'm not exactly dancing in it yet, but I'm definitely seeing it.

Maybe even stepping out into it a little...
Thank you, Lord.

          *somewhere around a 1 or 2 now

Friday, October 5, 2012

MOG 100512

Although its requiring a lot of effort to redirect my thoughts, overall, I'm feeling a little better today. Probably from, like... maybe a seven or eight down to a four or five... I hate numeric scales and assessments, but its a big part of cognitive behavior therapy and, as a budding clinician, I will have to accommodate to them eventually anyways. Might as well get some practice with my own mood tracking...

autumn blues

When you can just barely see your breathe in the cool night air.

Crisp mornings when the grass crunches with frost.

The sweet smell of Autumn leaves swirling with the smoky scent of countryside fires.

Salted peanuts, candy corn, and red-hots, all mixed together and sealed in a jar. Festive and delicious. Try it!

Apple cider. Parched corn. Baked butternut squash filled to the brim with brown sugar and butter.


Trees ignited in brilliant hues of yellow, orange, and red. 
An extra blanket or two on the bed. 

Hoodies and chilly noses. Tingling fingers after a loooong walk.
Cider pressed from apples right out of my parents' backyard.

And that smell... Did I mention that smell?

It's October. And I guess you could say I'm just a smidgen homesick.

*Thanks for posting this beautiful picture, Alyssa!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

MOG 100412

Sometimes I seek reassurance and find myself fulfilled. Other times I end up sorely disappointed. Maybe today I'll be uplifted by loving words; perhaps tomorrow I will feel inferior after any given interaction.

Its all in my perception.
Cognitive distortions.

Then again, could it be that I interpret these social exchanges exactly as God wills me to? Maybe I need to feel uplifted today and inferior tomorrow. Maybe this is His plan for me.

Or maybe these are not distortions; maybe this is reality.

Attempting to push through is exhausting. It's as though my mind operates solely to ruminate over every word said or left unsaid, evaluating my worth and ability to be loved or valued wholly as a person, with or without any convenience or inconvenience I might be in other's lives.

It's effecting my life more than I'd ever care to admit. Despite picking up a ridiculous number of hours, my work ethic has slipped and school hasn't been the priority it was a few weeks ago. After months of dedicated dieting and weight-loss I have managed to pack ten pounds back on in the past three weeks, and under stress and depression I have had significant hairloss. I'm questioning myself and relationships, and worst of all, I have failed to rely on God for strength.

It does seem I've found some relief the past couple days, and am praying the light progressively overwhelms the dark. I am able to apply things I'm learning in school to my own struggles and know that God is always close to the brokenhearted.

Hope shimmers.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

today or everyday?


living hope

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

1 Peter 1:3-9

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"The God who made you is mightier than any desease that attacks you."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Snapshot 093012

That mirror? It's from my car. Notice, it's not actually on my car in this first picture. A kid in the program next door went on a rampage all across campus and my poor little car somehow ended up in the wake of destruction. Right before leaving, one of my own boys decided it was unsafe for me to drive home without it, so he taped it back on for me. 

This made me smile. But the smile quickly faded as I drove home.

S. o. o. o. o. o. . .
S. l. e. e. p. y . . .

Somehow through the drudge of sleepiness, my brain runs (as though in mud) through the scenarios of the day. Processing...

A new(ish) boy, who we'll refer to as Mississippi, well... he's just very sick. He's lucked out and basically been handed nearly every bad card there is in the deck: abuse history galore, abandoned and unwanted, low-functioning, funny looking, traumatized by Hurricane Katrina... the whole gambit.

At this very moment, he's sitting in the back of a big van between a therapist and a large Samoan man, being driven to a mental hospital. And he has no clue where they're going. He thinks they're just out for a nice Sunday drive...

But it's better that way. Or, at least, I think it is.
No sense in giving him a reason to freak out.
He's not really able to 'prepare himself' like many of us...

Seventeen hour shift. Behaviors. Property damage. AWOL's. Fights. Restraints. Protective Seclusion. Creative weaponry. Crisis de-escalation. Hospitalization.

And all those thoughts waft away as I devote my mind to one important question...

Who do I miss more?
My wife or my pillow?

At this point, it's hard to say...
Sorry, Sweet Pea...

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

I heard it through the grapevine...
I'm too nice. 

I'm never quite sure what to think when I hear that, but it's reasonable to interpret it as a micro-insult.

There are a lot of different camps of thinking in this field of group-home childcare. Although I'm not exactly the militant type, I know the world's problems cannot be hugged away.

Grape A told Grape B that a coworker and I are just too nice to the kids. And apparently that's a problem.

Grape B told me she explained to Grape A that we are good men and are Christian.

She then went on to say we all have strengths and weaknesses. She agreed we might need to grow in the area of firmness, but that our close rapport with the kids prove to be effective tools in behavior management.

Grape B basically said the same thing as Grape A, but with a couple major exceptions: 1) she actually said it to ME and 2) she didn't just tear me down. She was constructive, encouraging, and helpful.

My methods and motivation to work with the kids vary greatly. On one hand, I want to beat them into submission, quickly and sufficiently snuffing out all their nasty behaviors so I can look like a bad-ass life changer.

On the other hand, I know I need to just stand back and allow The Vine, the numero uno Bad-Ass Life Changer, to... well, change lives. And if I'm lucky, He'll do it through me.

Granted, that's not to say I couldn't toughen up a bit.
Although I already feel a little like rawhide sometimes...
Yep, that's a little self-defensiveness seeping through :-)

So now that we're all thinking about grapes (and you all know you got that awesome Marvin Gaye song stuck in you head), let's talk about fruit real quick.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." Galations 5:22

This is not me. But this is what I aspire to be. And with that in mind, I do actually need to toughen up. A lot. Toughen up enough to pay no mind to Grapes like A, thank God and surround myself with more Grapes like B, and always look to The Vine for guidance.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

well worth the 4min it takes to read

*by Jay K. Payleitner

sunday school and sweat shops

"A Sunday school is an institution designed to teach people, usually children, about Christianity, named such because most Christian churches meet on Sunday.

Sunday schools were first set up in the 1780s to provide education to working children on their one day off from the factory. It was proposed by Robert Raikes, editor of the Gloucester Journal in an article in his Journal and supported by many clergymen. It aimed to teach the youngsters reading, writing and cyphering and a knowledge of the Bible.[2] It was a full 90 years in 1870 before children could attend schools during the week." -Per the eternally dependable Wikipedia.

Who knew!? What an origin...
Thank you for prompting this interesting research!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Snapshot 092823 1700 PST

Mmm... Starbucks...

Pumpkin spice latte.
With an extra shot of espresso.

Please and thank you!

I know, I know... so rugged and manly I should probably be drinking it from the skull of a bear I killed with my very own hands...

MOG 092812

More drugs. More and more drugs. Do they alleviate or exacerbate this mess? I'm sitting in the pharmacy waiting for a prescription of mood stabilizers and anti-depressants to be filled.

Same drugs.
Higher dose.

I met with my psychiatrist today. He's taken good care of me so far, so I'm just going to go with it and pray harder.

I've slept less than four hours within the past two days. I feel fragile, like the slightest impact could shatter me. I'm sure some of that is simply a result of the vulnerability of this whole process of appointments, etc., but it's unpleasant. I just want to skip school and call off work so I can crawl into bed, regardless of whether or not I will actually sleep.

But alas, forward ho! Grabbing some coffee then off to class.

from the mouth of babes

"Hey, Natey Pooh! Will you fold my socks?"
"No. You're thirteen. You can do it."
"Well, $#@% you then! Lazy son of a %$&!#!"
"You're such a sweetheart."

Feedjit's Return

Four months and six days ago I deleted the Feedjit widget from my blog. In case you're not familiar with what I'm referring to, it's this nifty little thing near the bottom of my sidebar that accounts for every visitor I get on this site.

Yep, you. 

I learn what city and country you're from, what internet browser you're using such as Safari or Firefox, and it even tells me how you stumbled across my blog such as a direct link, Google search, a referring website such as Facebook, etc.

Basically, it offers me somewhat of a limited demographic of my audience. It's not always dead-on, but it's usually pretty accurate.

So why did I delete it? Well, remember that word 'audience' I used two sentences back?
I don't like it.

Don't get me wrong here.
Read me. Please read me.

But accruing readers was not my original interest when beginning this blog. I wanted to create a space of catharsis. A place for authenticity. A way to express creativity. To vent. To rejoice. To praise.

A place to accurately and honestly document the journey of a Christian, stripped of the stereotypes of continual cheer and optimism. A snippet of my song. With hopes to encourage other believers who just can't seem to wear a smile 24/7. With hopes to bring honor and glory to God.

But tracking the numbers of visits became a little too much distraction from this mission and clouded my mind while writing.

"That was an awesome post! MORE people should read it C'mon folks!" or "Ugh! I can't believe I actually wrote that in a public forum. TMI. And ALL those people read it :-/"

So I took some space to realign myself. And just out of pure curiosity, I'm giving it another shot. Welcome back, Feedjit!

even ink under my skin: whorehouses to holiness

Him: Your last name is Harris? Like the big whorehouse?
Me: Um?
Him: You don't know? Yeah, man. It was nice! Hundred bucks a girl, but they were clean, you know? They were clean! That makes it worth a hundred bucks, you know, dude?
Me: Hm...
Him: They shut it down though, dude. It was nice, man. Real nice.
Me: Oh.

Several minutes later he asked me what my tattoo's mean. I explained that one is the Greek word originally used in the Book of Ephesians to describe man as God's masterpiece, created for a purpose in Him. My other tattoo is Hebrew for hosanna, or "I worship you, God! I need You to save me!"

Him: Oh, you go to church, man? That's good, dude. Real good.

All within a ten minute time span, our conversation ranged from whorehouses to holiness.
Prostitutes to the Prince of Peace. Sexual favors to One True Savior.

Sorry. I get a little carried away with alliterations sometimes...

Anyway, whether you think tattoo's are sinful and senseless or beautiful body art, it's undeniable that, today, God used mine to draw focus to Himself.

From the darkness of the world and flesh to the eternal light of Him and His Kingdom...

God uses everything. Even me.
And even ink under my skin.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

MOG 092712

Feeling just a little disappointed. I had a difficult time falling asleep after work today. When I woke up after finally dozing off, I just felt kinda crummy. Last night I thought that maybe I was on the mend, and perhaps I still am. I may be feeling crummy because of lack of sleep today. Either way, I do have a psychiatry appointment tomorrow and just knowing that offers some comfort. God is good and He continues to amaze me with His timing.

Prompt: Special Request

We all do it. Well... a lot of us do it. You scan the menu until you find it, and there it is; the perfect dish. Perfect except... Maybe you'd rather hold off on the ketchup. Maybe you wanna supplement beef for chicken, for an upcharge, of course. Maybe you'd... whatev. You get it. So what's your special request?

Chips. Those damn chips.
Crunchy, salty goodness.

Kimberly and I love Mexican food. Nine out of ten times, if we're eating out, it's Mexican. But those chips...

They don't even let you get seated before they throw a basket of chips on the table with a side of salsa. And sometimes... oh, those glorious moments, sometimes the chips are fresh out of the frier, all hot and greasy.

Mmm...

But, as delightful as they are, at 600 calories in a 4oz serving, they're not exactly helpful on the battlefield against the bulge. So, as painful as it is for me to say... take these chips away from me.

Take them now. Quickly.
No, really. Now. Fast.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

MOG 092612

I've written. Lots. Some posted, some not. All cathartic. Sunday service at the Branches was great. Fellowship with my church family. Date night with my lovely wife. A great not-so-epic but still sweat-inducing-hike with my best friend. A lovely text message from my momma. 

I've slept. I've ate. I've laughed. I talked. I've sweat. I've prayed. I've read the bible.

I feel good this morning. I've felt good since yesterday. Almost normal. Maybe I'm coming to the end of a mood cycle, or maybe this is just some of those random throw-back days. 

Either way, I'm grateful.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Just because...

I came home to a gift bag on the dining room table with my name on it. A beautiful card. The CD I've been wanting. An awesome hoodie I've been eyeballing for a few weeks now. All just because. She is amazing. I am blessed.