Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola



The Further Journey

I cannot find my lipstick. I cannot find it in my purse, my bag or any of the pockets in my coat. I forgo showering trying to find it and spend the next hour trying remember when the last time was that I used it.

I rack my brain. Where is it?

It drives me crazy. I wish I knew where it was so I could resume regular living but instead, I’m stuck, consumed with trivial things.

It’s just a tube of lipstick, “Bombshell” I believe is it’s name and it’s part of the system I’ve put in place that helps me feel safe, protected and such. Just knowing where it’s at, HAVING it, tricks my brain into believing I am enough IF I have enough lipsticks.

And sweaters, shoes, shampoos. Bracelets and books.

Books on how to break free from bracelets and books.

And all they do is suffocate me and make me feel like I am drowning under a heavy and thick layer of ooze, of shoes. I can’t find it. I’ll go buy another. Because I must have it.

Obsessive Compulsion much?

A process I have run from my entire life is before me and I believe deep within myself despite how it looks or feels, it is a gift.

I resolve this time to go all the way through, to the very end and beyond, to the further side. It would be wasteful of me not to.

Seriously, this is a gift horse and I know it.

Only time will tell if I see it to the end.

The last several weeks have been just about the worst. The Holidays came and went, our son was Home and is now gone again and during that period of time, problems were placed neatly on the shelf. The Holiday hiatus is now over and it is time to keep moving forward.

Yet part of the problem is I feel at a standstill.

I don’t want to remain shelved.

Roni, a very wise friend of mine, encouraged me the other day to stay focused on the solution rather than the problem. Easier said than done and I know those who have walked through life and the joys and sufferings of it, will agree.

It is difficult to not get consumed by life’s “problems”, hence washed away by some giant wave that often feels and looks like a Tsunami and has the potential to take out the entire planet, or at least my own private island and right now, my kingdom is in jeopardy.

I’m not sleeping well or eating much. My thoughts are consumed with the bigger picture, of what may happen, but as washed by the waves as I am, I drown myself in worship and  in prayer and resolve to continually place my thoughts on the solution.

What is the solution?

I am. I need to make different choices.

I know the power to overcome lives within me. Any answer that I am seeking dwells there because I believe Jesus is who He says He is and if He is, so am I.

I also know there is a process in each of us that needs to be fulfilled to completion and until it is, it will chase us down as a predator hunts its prey. It is inevitable. We may play hide and seek the entirety of our lives trying to avoid it or disillusion ourselves thinking we are done when maybe we were only half way through. We may tell ourselves that halfway is good enough and that our bandages will stick but in reality, they eventually fall worn to the ground and we get used to our limp.

Maybe our process will not end.

Maybe the end is not ever the end.

I do know that in order to move forward, there is always something that has to be let go of, moved beyond from, given up or forgiven. Baggage is heavy and to continue to make progress, we have to be made light. Maybe that’s why so often we cut the process short. We grow attached to our stuff, even the heavy and hard. Even unhealthy attachments are attachments nonetheless.

And I have a lot to let go of.

The price may seem higher for the addict who prostitutes for a fix than it is for the addict who merely spends their entire paycheck on a new wardrobe, but ultimately both pay with their lives.

And I am tired of paying with mine when Jesus loved me enough to pay with His.

Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results – Albert Einstein

I know we may all have our vices, our little fixes we gravitate towards when the sky feels like it is falling on our heads and our lungs get so tight we can’t breathe. I’m sure we may have all been drawn toward something to help, something to fill our empty places.







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The ante keeps escalating and I can’t keep up. My fix is no longer fixing…I don’t know if it ever did except to lull the real me to sleep and numb me from the noise.

So today I made a call, this week I’ll take a step. I am going to attend my first Celebrate Recovery meeting which is similar to AA and is a Christ centered approach to recovery. I’ve thought about going for years but as things like this go, things got better, things got worse. It wasn’t the right time. I thought I was at a good place. It’s just shopping. Everyone likes shopping and I had a hold of the reigns real tight. I was in control and in charge.

Turns out the reigns have had their hold on me.


To those whose minds consume them whole till they begin and then finish, you may understand.

Binge and Purge. It’s what those of us who create systems do. We are wildly all in or all out. There is no middle ground. We erect tiny safe havens within ourselves that we go, that we hide, like the Mall to feel safe. We buy new sweaters to feel pretty.

Sometimes I wish I sat a bar.

But no. Instead I am lost in my house for over an hour looking for my latest lipstick.

I tell myself it doesn’t matter.


It doesn’t matter what it is that I DO, it doesn’t matter one bit. What matters most is that I desire to be free, completely.

And this baggage cannot go with me where I am heading. I am scared but I am unashamed.

I need to be made light in order to journey there.




The Fray

I woke up this morning and came down the stairs. Same ole, same ole. Get the coffee brewing, load the dishwasher and get the kitchen in order for the morning. It’s my morning routine for almost ever. I made my way to the living room and opened the front door to take the dogs out and that’s when I saw it. Carpet shreds were all over the floor. I hadn’t even had my first cup of coffee yet here I was, standing in my living room needing SOMETHING to make sense out of all that I saw. A lump formed quickly in the pit of my stomach and I no longer needed to make sense, I knew. The dog had dug a small little hole in the carpet right at the edge of where the hard wood from the dining room connects with the carpet from the living at some point in the middle of the night. I looked at her as she looked at me.

This was not how I wanted to start my day.

This has happened before. Same dog. Same carpet, different tiny edge and that time I blamed it on the kids for their lack of caring for her while we were away but here I was, caring for her and still.

I could not cover this up with a rug. I tried. Believe me I tried. “Maybe no one will notice.” This is my thinking because if my husband sees yet another small area of our carpet missing, our new carpet, our installed-less-than-a-year-ago carpet, he will dislike dogs even more so than he does now. Then I think to myself that maybe no one will notice, maybe I am the only one that walks with their head down in their home looking for dirt or socks and shoes or pieces of frayed and dug up carpet. Maybe.

Then the idea hits me. I will try hot gluing my carpet back together. Yes, that may work. I will plug in the hot glue gun and lay on my stomach just so and piece by piece I will put my carpet back together again. I resolve that this is what I’ll do and I say not a word. My family wakes up and one by one they come downstairs and I was right, no one but me looks down. No one cares quite like I do.

This is what I tell myself.

And so I begin. Piece by piece my carpet is put back together, made whole, and I wonder how long this will last. Maybe if we step delicately around it, it will stick. I realize this is what I do. I fix. I mend and I patch. I step delicately. I get scared that someone is going to see the empty places, that even having empty and barren patches is bad. It’s not right. No one else around me seems to be secretly struggling yet here I am, on my stomach fixing wondering why Jesus hasn’t yet fixed me.

I am still broken and I feel it.

“Jesus take this hot glue gun and make my frays stick so my edges are straight again.”

I realize that most if not all the struggle is within myself. There are large parts of my life that have been boxed up and put away in some room of my house. Boxed up out of shame. Boxed up out of guilt. Boxed up because unboxing would most likely make others feel bad or would implicate them negatively in some way. But that is me, always thinking  about how me being me would make others feel and how can I protect them from my truth and all of sudden, that thought makes me feel so sad and I feel as naked as the carpet patch I am trying so hard to repair.

I realize that it’s just not certain areas of my life that are boxed up but that I am. I wrote about abuse last week on my FB wall and encouraged men and woman to SCREAM, to speak up if they are being abused in any way and it was the first time I’ve given myself permission to speak publicly because I’ve denied it for so long except to a small circle of family and friends. I had no idea what suffering through 23 years of abuse and another 21 years of silence would do and how it would erode away my very identity and cloak me in layers of lies that are not so easily dispelled but here I am, still afraid but no longer silent.

I need to make friends with my enemy and I know it. If I do not, my enemy is going to drown me and I feel it. The water is far past the point of lapping around my feet.


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