To This Day

My last post was about how I was bullied as a kid.

Shane Koyczan and some amazing artists joined efforts and created a video about being bullied and I’ve been wanting to share it with everyone I see. It’s stunning and easily one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and heard.

From one once bullied kid to another…’Thank You, Shane.’

‘To This Day Project’ – Shane Koyczan

 

This is Day 21 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

The Cowgirl and the Indian

I was bullied as a kid.

Kids used would call me fat. Heck, fat kids would call me fat.

In 8th grade, there was a tall brunette named, Suzanne who awakened one day with the resolve of 20 grown men to make my life a living hell. She was perfectly tall and exotically beautiful with Pocahontas skin and flowy hair that should’ve been in a Pantene commercial. When I was 13, I was a french fry under 6’ tall, plumply plus-sized, introverted as a pocket watch and wore clothes that would initiate a knee-jerk, “Bless your heart, honey” in just about anyone. Anyone, that is, except Suzanne.

Whenever Suzanne would see me. She would say…’MOOOooooOO!”

You read that correctly. Whenever she saw me walk into a room, down a hallway or up the stairs, she would hit the brakes on her Cow Mooingconversations about sneaking a wine cooler, how hot Mr. Mason was or that she hated whats-his-face because of what-the-what. My throat would lump, stomach would knot and eyes would drop when I saw her. I knew it was coming. I knew I just had to walk by, pretend not to hear and bite my lip until it bled. Crying only made it worse. Have you ever heard the noise a cow makes when it cries? No? Ask Suzanne. She does a really good impression.

Looking back, I understand that Suzanne was broken and hurt.

As I was writing this post, I looked both ways and Googled her name to see if I could stalk her on facebook, point fingers at her wrinkles and giggle at her cankles. And I found her. I recognized her by her eyes. She always had these amazing, beautiful, charcoal eyes. It’s funny that I remember her eyes being so beautiful. After a year of torture and 24 years of living life later, I still don’t hate her. I never hated her. I just never understood why she berated me, why she targeted me and and what awful thing must have happened to her to make her so hurtful.

I caught myself staring at her photo.

images2She was posing for a camera that came with a side of fingerprinting and a bowl of regret with a flavor that lingers forever. Three letters changed her Google history forever. D.U.I. The luggage underneath her Pocahontas eyes was packed with years of despair and disappointment. I used to daydream about us seeing each other as adults and how she would feel such deep remorse for the way she treated me that she would plead forgiveness and tearfully admit I was no longer the cowgirl.

I didn’t feel that today.

I just felt sad. I felt sad for that 13 year old who found her only release in hurting others. I felt sad to think how she must’ve been bullied as a kid and what she’s possibly endured as an adult. I wish I could email her and tell her she isn’t alone in life. I want her to know that she’s more than just the number she was given. Write hope and send love. I pray she finds that.

What about you? Were you ever bullied?

This is Day 20 of my 100 Days of Blogger.
(OK…I missed posting yesterday. My dog ate my homework.)

Run, Brandon, Run

Once upon a time, I went across the country with an awesome beardy guy named, Brandon.

Now, he’s even beardier, still awesome and running the LA Marathon to raise money and awareness for Door of Hope.

He needs our help to help others in need. So, skip a latte so he can run a lot…tay. (C’mon, you saw that coming.) #DonateToday

This is Day 18 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

(OK…so, I missed 2 days. You still love me.)

MySpace is YourSpace Part 2 of 5: “Walk This Way”

This is post 2 of 5 in my series called, MySpace is YourSpace.

Awhile back, I asked for reader’s gritty responses to 5 deeply personal questions. I created an email account so folks could log in, answer questions and email the answers to that same email address. That way, I was able to create an anonymous space for open, honest answers.

walking_aloneThe second question I asked had two parts:
a. “Have you ever wanted to just walk away from your life, spouse, kids, job or ministry?”

b. “Did you walk away from any of the above? If yes, why. If not, what made you stay?”

Below are the 4 ANONYMOUS and UNEDITED responses I received. The 5th one is my own. (I’m the long-winded one.)

ANONYMOUS #1
Gender: Male
Age Range:
30-33
Relationship:
Married
“Sure, I think everyone goes through those moments. There are times where you want to point the finger at everything and everyone but yourself when you’re trying to address why your life isn’t going the way you had hoped.”

“No, I didn’t thankfully. Though there were times…I think you have to be honest with yourself. Again you HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF because you’re not a victim and these things aren’t just happening to you. You have a say and can affect them for better or worse. You have commitments, responsibility and if nothing else, you have to realize that we’re all imperfect people and we’re all going to have problems. I’m not saying there’s never going to be a reason to walk away from those things. I’m just saying you have to honestly assess them. Is your spouse abusive? Get away. Does your spouse not treat you the same as when you were dating or have your kids turned out in some unexpected way? Then you might want to talk to the husband and learn to adjust to the kids.”

ANONYMOUS #2
Gender: Female
Age Range: 26-29
Relationship:
in a relationship
“yes. At least three or four times a week i want to run away and start over, in a place no one knows me. ive even thought about leaving my family behind. my children. thought i know i couldnt do it, its crossed my mind. i wish for a different job daily. my ministry has already been abandoned with the exception of the bits here and there i say to my kids about God.”

“I walked away from church because of shame from my life style. my failures. my divorce. i could never walk away from my children, my life would have no meaning and id probably do something terrible.”

ANONYMOUS #3
Gender: Female
Age Range:
34-37
Relationship:
Single
“Yes.”

“I have quit some jobs because I didnt want to do them anymore. No regrets there. I left my life behind a couple times. If I talk specifics you will know who I am :)”

ANONYMOUS #4
Gender: Female
Age Range: 30-33
Relationship: Single
“Yes.”

“I walked once. I walked away from my family, my job and my ministry in one fell swoop. I did it because my heart was breaking. It was the kind of heartbreak that takes away every single thing you possess. The pain was so intense.. I was losing myself and I honestly thought the only choice I had was to leave. I begged God to make it better by the time I came back (yes, I came back) but it was not all better. I still had to live through the pain even after being gone and returning. If I had to do it again, I would not change a thing. If I had not walked away then I never would of returned and I learned so much about myself on the journey back.”

RESPONSE #5 – ME:
Gender: Female
Age Range: 34-37
Relationship: Single
Absolutely. I think it’s something most people think, dream or scheme about at one point of their life, especially those in the Over 30 Club.

I sometimes get overwhelmed by my sense of responsibility, leadership and morality. There are times when I just want to turn in my keys, pack up my car and head out of town. When those thoughts of pounding the concrete creep in, it’s because I feel a weightiness around my neck. I look at my duties like shackles and my moral guardrails like a prison.

I watch people do whatever they want, whenever they feel like it and my face turns shades of jade as their cheeks blush, shoulders drop and feet fly. I long for that itch to be scratched, that thirst to be quenched and that race to be run. This isn’t just about sex, mind you, despite the ring of double entendres in that last sentence.

It’s about life.

Yes. I’ve walked away from people, places and things in my life. I walked away from a job because of an unhealthy, immoral relationship that I helped cultivate. I walked away from friendships that I allowed to become gruesomely septic. I walked away from people who took pleasure in reminding me of my past. I walked away from a church that was more concerned with posturing than the poor.

I’d like to say that I ran from these things, but sometimes the walk was more like a slow dance with look backs, side steps and twirls.

Sadly, there have been moments where I also walked away from what I know to be Truth and from what I know to be Love. I lusted for the ‘freedom’ others had and stuck my fingers in my ears singing, “lalalalalalala….I can’t hear you!” like an obstinate child.

I’m thankful that all of my walking has brought me to where I stand today. I’m thankful that the weightiness that sometimes feels like a prison, is actually freedom. And I’m thankful for the Grace that covers my steps no matter which direction they go.”

 

What about you? Have you wanted to walk away from it all?
Remember, you are not alone in this.

 

Game On

If you play, know of anyone who plays or one time read a Wikipedia page about people who play video games, you should think this is funny.

If you don’t think this is funny, click here and don’t tell me about it.

The Lion’s Blaze by Olan Rogers

 

The Lion’s Blaze 2 by Olan Rogers

This is Day 15 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

Video: Be My Vlogentine

imagesSome might call this a ‘vlog,’ but people’s armpits get all itchy when they hear that word. So, I’ll call it by its formal name,  Video Log. Besides, it makes it sound way more Star Trekky and awesome than it really is!

Captain’s Log Stardate 021413…

Enjoy the rough editing, low audio and awkward glances to a door you can’t see.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

This is Day 14 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

The Nerve of This Woman

wood-ashes-00Today is Ash Wednesday.

As a part of our Ash Wednesday service at my church, I read Matthew 26:6-13.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.  But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.

 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.

It’s days before Jesus’ death. He knows he’s going to die. He knows that as he sits and eats his chips and sandwich, there are people plotting and scheming against him, twisting and manipulating his words. But, he takes some of his precious last hours on Earth and sits in a house in a town called Bethany. A place that actually means, ‘House of Misery’ or ‘House of the Poor.’ He’s eating with a social outcast named, Simon, who’s known all over town as Seeping Open Wound Guy.

And there’s Jesus, eating with Seepy Simon and a few others, relaxed enough to recline.

Then this woman comes in. She doesn’t knock. She doesn’t call ahead. She hadn’t sent out her Save the Date, ‘I’m coming to see you!’ card. She just shows up at Simon’s house, walks through the door and straight to Jesus. She has tunnel vision. She’s carrying an alabaster jar that contains expensive perfumed ointment and she’s walking towards Jesus.

The oil was worth about a year’s paychecks and everyone in the house knew it.

I bet some of the folks thought she was going to hand it to Jesus as a gift and they slapped their foreheads thinking they forgot Jesus’ birthday. But, the woman doesn’t hesitate. She doesn’t hear the whispers or clambering. She doesn’t worry about how incredibly improper it was for a woman to waltz into a room unannounced and uninvited.

jun-broken1She takes the jar and breaks it open.

I imagine a fog of silence in the place, with the exception of some heavy breathers as she brashly takes the jar and breaks it against the table where Jesus is sitting, never losing eye contact. Pieces of jar drop to the floor, echoing in the room breaking everyone to a hush. She takes the broken jar, lifts it above Jesus’ head and without permission or apology pours its contents over his head.

The ointment drips down his hair, onto his face and nestles into his beard.

I imagine his crinkled eyes shut, his face drawn upwards, soaking in this moment and his mouth closed and curved into a smile. He understood this moment. He loved this moment. He lived for this moment and he was going to die for this moment.

Pouring oil over someone’s head wasn’t a new concept to this crowd. This was something familiar to their customs,  their culture and their history. To us, brad-pitt-chanel-no-5-campaign-01today, this seems crazy. Can you imagine having a few friends over for lunch and someone comes into your house unannounced and without saying a word, walks over to you and dumps a bottle of Chanel No. 5 over your head?

The only thing weirder than that, is watching Brad Pitt in one those awful commercials. 

Kings were anointed with oil by a prophet or priest as a part of their coronation ceremony declaring them as a king. The Greek word, ‘Christos’ (Christ), is a translation of the Hebrew word for Messiah, which means, ‘the anointed one.‘ Then in walks this woman, who is #1. A woman, #2. Not a priest, #3. Not a prophet, #4. Did I mention she was a woman? And she’s the one who anoints Jesus.

She declares in this moment that Jesus is not just the Messiah, but he’s HER Messiah.

This becomes a public display of an extremely personal act of worship and adoration. She comes unabashedly to Christ without reservation, without regard to the naysayers, without care for the cost and gives him her all.

As Christians, this is how we’re to live.

We’re called to pour out. We’re called to give all and we’re called to leave the aroma of Christ wherever we go.

 

This is Day 13 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

(NOTE: I missed 3 days, but I’ll make it up to you with chocolates and cat videos.)

 

National What the What Day

There’s a group of people and their job is to sit around a table and name every day as a “national” holiday.

“Good morning, Nation. TODAY is National Blah, Blah, Blah Day!”

I imagine the girls in this group to have long, wavy tangles they pull up in buns held up by #2 pencils and they snack on tidbits of chipped, blue nail polish and dried organic mangoes.

The guys, I imagine, have mussed up hair, but of the unintentional genre, and say things like, “Good one, bro” and tell stories that start with, “Please tell me you have seen (insert movie title that only 6 people have ever seen)…” and end with, “That’s for reals, man.”

They order soy mocha lattes with non-dairy whipped topping on Thursdays, but mostly drink hot tea, green smoothies and triple purified, double oxygenated water.

xvj_how-to-draw-a-zombie-for-kids-tutorial-drawingI’m sure they’re a nice bunch of folks and I probably should send them a hand-made coffee cup cozy with, “Eat Local for Change.” Except, knowing me, I would’ve accidentally (on purpose) added an ‘s’ to the end of local and that superfluous flaunt would’ve had these National Namers chomping on neighbors for a couple of nickels inciting ‘National Zombie Day’. (Author’s Note: I don’t expect it to last more than a day because they live in a small town and frankly don’t go outside all that much.)

All that to say, Today is National Read in the Bathtub Day. bathtub_reader

Thanks National Name Callers. I’m almost 6′ tall and for me to read in a bathtub requires me to perform the far from enjoyable act of teeter tottering between warm knees and a frozen treasure chest. Then you ask me to read while creating my minor teeter totter tsunami?

Do you think I’m some sort of soothsayer?

Reading in a bathtub sounds relaxing and super sexy, but it really boils down to me sitting in a tub I just remembered I hadn’t cleaned in weeks, filled with lukewarm water mixed with soap, dirt and regret while I think about the water I have to sop up off the floor and how weird my knees look and how I wish I had one of those bath pillows, but how if I had one I’d probably fall asleep, slide down into the water and drown. Then, of course, the aromatic candles I lit to create the perfect ambiance would somehow skirt over to the shower curtain and there I’d be drowning and engulfed in flames all at the same time.

Tomorrow is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day.
Let’s just skip the bath and eat a batch of brownies today.

 If you could make up a National Something Day, what would it be?

 

This is Day 9 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

Don Juan (me over)

I feel blue. In fact, I’ve felt all sorts of cyan today. I can’t seem to shake it.
So, in honor of my blue (wo)man groove today, I invited Donald Miller over.

I’ve read Blue Like Jazz a couple of times and recently found I had the audio version just lying around collecting cyber dust.

I listened to it today and it was like hearing from an old friend. Thanks, Don.

BlueLike-Jazz-PB

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is Day 8 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

I Need a Cat Pack

I.Love.Olan.Rogers. He’s got about 362 billion videos on YouTube and about that same amount of girls on the internet saying, “I.Love.Olan.Rogers.”

I watched this video today about 14 times. My 4 year old niece came over and then I made her watch it. She and I laughed and laughed together. Hearing her yell, “Let’s watch it again! This is so hilarious. Where did the cat get all those candy canes?” made me laugh even more.

So, now it’s your turn to watch. Let’s laugh like 4 year olds together.

 
This is Day 7 of my 100 Days of Blogger.

  • Hi! This is me.