could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!


confessions of a vocabulary snob...

Today I would like to invite you into my world. Not my outside world, my brain world. My inside world where I form thoughts that may or may not make sense. It is a scary place.

The following is a record of a faux paux. My faux paux. Not my finest hour.
Read it all in one breath (or out loud) as if I were telling it to you face to face. It might actually make sense that way...
why did I say it?
you feel like it is a safe want to contribute to the
conversation...hey, you want people to think you actually know something.
You bypass the fact that you are sitting in a room with a teacher, a
lawyer, and an engineer...
you do get credit for first saying "forgive my ignorance" but after
that you just blurt out what you discover later could be the stupidest
thing ever said.
at least it wasn't world politics or anything like that...then again
maybe world politics would have been a better venue because you could
have taken refuge in the dream that maybe YOU are the ever-elusive
undiscovered political genius of the current age...ahh, that would
have been leave them guessing...wondering at your wit.
Now you know that they are wondering all right...wondering at how you
go about your day with only half of one. (wit that is...)
Again I will state that it wasn't or at least shouldn't have been a big
deal. But it is...a big deal...
because I am kicking myself...because I am sitting a soon to
be puddle of tears...agonizing..."why oh why God? why did it have to
me...revealed....unveiled....uncut...LIVE and in full view...
maybe I thought it was a word from the Lord.
maybe it was...and he is giggling when your kid says
HEY LOOK AT THAT BIG F*** when you have been trying and trying to
teach him to say Big Truck but he just cant seem to say that TR sound.
and you giggle...because he is young and precious and cute...and you
are horrified that he will say it really really loud in public.
Or you giggle secretly when your same precious offspring says....and
this time IN PUBLIC...
"hey mommy look at the kids with the chocolate heads" (meaning of
course the African-American people just down the isle from you in Target)
you want to die...but you giggle inside because again...he is so young
and cute and innocent.
So I am going to claim that for myself...last night I was fully
operating as my young, cute, innocent self when we were talking about
glass blowing and I said...
"pardon my ignorance (which I really didn't mean exactly but was trying
to cover my behind JUST IN CASE but I was thinking I really did have a
word from the Lord or better yet my own personal genius...yes I admit
it, I thought I had pulled it out of oblivion, or out of the vast
resources of my fertile intellect)
I said..."I think the word for that is fromage. "
yes so highly esteemed to be learned and intelligent...
fromage. go look it up if you must but I think that EVERYONE here
knows that fromage means
cheese! good grief!!!! not a fancy french word for shoe, or donkey, or
and a common word to boot.
I feel so pitiful, so low, so humiliated.
I just needed to share with you all... to find comfort and solace in
your love and understanding. To be here with you where I can count on
you to help me find the pieces of my shattered bleeding heart.
Help me....
I am confessing my arrogance...and revealing the pale white underbelly
of my will lead to my downfall...
can you restore me...
is there any hope?

I love you all...

In case none of that made sense here is the short of it...
I was sitting in a room with some very intelligent (as in book learned) people. We were talking (these highly intelligent people and I) about glass blowing, specifically when they make these little glass animals. And the word fromage came to my I said it.
Why it came to my head is a complete mystery to me. It just popped in. I said I wasn't sure about it....
one almost unrecoverable tragical thing about this whole thing...
the smarty smart lawyer man to whom the fromogenous comment was directed tried to save me. He looked me smack in the eye and said "well, if it doesn't mean that (glass-blowing) it could mean cheese." and I nodded me head and said "sure, ok"...and I didn't pick up on it. Not for a second. But the word just bounced around my head...fromage...fromage....fromage....until finally hours later it exploded into a drippy splat of fromogarious goo as my brain woke up from soundest sleep and uttered "CHEESE". Oh sweet potato soup...what had I DONE?????!!!!!
the next day I searched and searched on the internet...trying in vain to cover my large and unfortunately exposed luck. Google could not come up with one single way that fromage could mean glass.... it means cheese...ever. single. time. ugh...
I have yet to recover.
And that, is my sad sad story.


it is good to be content

Today I am content.
I can't say that every day. Some days pile up so discontentedly that it feels smothering. Other days feel whiny and at odds in a "I am so bored" kind of way. Still other days feel like they might want to be contented but are hesitant to own it.

Today, I am content. And I just want to say it out loud.

You is good to share contentment. In these days of wanting to be real we can almost be afraid to admit (even to ourselves) the times where the mundane is truly satisfying.
I think those sighs of peaceful nothingness and everythingness are truly gifts from God.
When our eyes are open to the fact that it doesn't really take a fantasmic day of uber fun to make a heart feel glad....we can find that regular is nice. And it is so much easier to get to.

So what is contentment?
Contentment is looking at your situation and deciding? declaring? realizing? recognizing...that's it...recognizing that it is ok.
Your situation is ok.
Satisfying even.

I am gonna say that contentment comes easier when the situation is easy.
( I am a genius. You have been suspecting this haven't you?)

But what about when things are hard?

It is nice and easy to feel content when the bills are paid and the kids are healthy and dinner is on the stove.
But what about feeling content when you don't know where the paycheck is coming from? What about when your husband has a debilitating illness? How about when everyone is whining and you haven't a clue about what to fix for supper or even if you have food to fix it with?
Yeah. That stinks.
I do not know how to be content in those situations.
I think that only Jesus has an answer for that. I have seen some pretty contented people with some dire circumstances looming over them. Doesn't make sense at all. Yet it is there.
How is that?
How can some types of people find satisfaction and contentment in things that other people would find torturous at best?

I want to tell you a little bit about my mom and what she taught me about living content.

My mama was one of those types that could be content even if she was to find herself without her dentures in a gum chewin contest.
She spent the last 10 yrs of her sweet life here on earth completely consumed with contentment. And this in the face of literally bone crushing illness.
Now, I am not saying that she didn't ever complain. She did. But not much. She would let you know she was hurting. Times were when she couldn't help but holler. But she never had a "woe is me" mentality.

And if you asked her, she would lead you to believe that her life was good.

Ok. not to be cruel but you need to know some of what she faced in order to make that last sentence fully carry the sarcastic weight with which it was intended.
(she said it seriously...I wrote it sarcastically)
She was diabetic, and that progressed to bone degeneration in both feet, gangrene, firey nerve pains in her feet and legs, kidney failure leading to dialysis, congestive heart failure, blindness, random hallucinations, frequent blood sugar flatlines...on and on and on.
It wasn't good. It was anything but good.

But all she would admit to was that God continued to provide everything she needed.
Gosh that is irritating. I mean inspiring.
(I would say that right to her if she were here. And she would smile. Except I wouldn't say gosh. Cuz that would be cussing.)

Ok now I am all misty.

I think...that part of her contentment came from her ability to find the happiness inside of her situation. So many times I want to look beyond my situation to a better situation which leads to an insipid longing for something that is beyond my grasp. I don't think she did that.
She faced much hardship in her life and she didn't let it crush her. She didn't let it mould her in a way that openly displayed her diploma from the school of hard knocks. She took her hardships and learned how to find life among the knocks. Good life even.
I think that she really believed it when she said that complaining didn't help anything. (I heard her say that...believe me.)

I know...that she found her center in my daddy's love. He is a lover. He loves her every day of her life here and beyond. She knew that. Maybe it is more accurate to say that she found her place in the center of his love. Either way...she was blessed.
I know...that her children loving Jesus brought her a contentment that all the pain on earth could not take down. We are gonna all be together again soon. That kept her very content.
I know...that she really and truly trusted God with her happiness. She believed with everything in her that He had her best interest at the core of His heart and she could live on that knowledge and understanding. She understood things I did not get at all.

So knowing what I know I go back to what I think. My mom found contentment IN her circumstance. Where have I heard that before?
She didn't look beyond or through her life here to glimpse something waiting for her in Heaven.
She absolutely trained herself to be content with what had been given her here. She had learned to base her contentment on the reality of the unchangeable things like love and life. Real life. Her present circumstances did not affect her contentment because she knew that those circumstances would soon change.

And you know what is really sweet about her contentment?
It wasn't dependent on her living here, or her dying here. She was happy with the prospect of either one. Where have I heard that before?

I know this...
At the end of her stay here I was given the blessing of asking her if she was ready to go home.
My sister and I had talked to her about our love and about taking care of our daddy. She couldn't really talk but she was listening and I got to ask her...

"mom, are you ready to go? Are you ready to go home?"
Her last words to me ...
"Beckie, do you mean Heaven?"
"Yes, mama, are you ready to go home to Heaven?"
"Oh YES!" she said.

and I know she found contentment in those words too.

So today I am content. I say I learned it from my mama yet I hesitate to belittle her accomplishment with my puny life of ease and finding satisfaction in my bliss. I hope that I can honor her by remembering her lessons when my own tough times come along.( I ain't foolin myself into thinking I am exempt. )
Right now all I can claim is that I whine much too much. I get afraid to admit my contentment like it will jinx me for something worse. I also get lazy and malcontent enough to dismiss my ease as complacency and forget to be thankful for the everyday. Neither or these attitudes are glorious.
I want to remember her and be happy where I am. Content.

She taught me that it is possible to live and love through anything. She taught me that circumstances do not have to define your happiness and that satisfaction can be found even in moments of turmoil. She taught me that your regular life whatever that looks like is worthy of thanks. She taught way more than I actually learned.

Just let me leave this as a testament to her wisdom. If I get really quiet I can hear her say the words.

Be content in your circumstances...whatever they may be.

It is good to be content.



what I know is this
when I can't hear or see or touch...
when my life is too big or too small...
when I know without a doubt that I am a faker in all respects...
I sit with Papa and I listen.
And sometimes it takes a while to hear.
But when I do the answer is always.
A steady presence that never wavers.
And tho I try to deny it.
I rage against it.
I holler at the injustice of it all.
Or weep at the insanity.
There may be other words added.
Sometimes redirection.
Sometimes refocus on the same path.
But to find that I am never...ever....alone
stills my heart.
And I can say "I trust you"
when I can't do anything else at all.


jumping ship

I wrote this in response to a very sincere question about why the "faithful" are leaving the church. I posted it anonymously...cuz I am a chicken. I post it here now because I am trying to be braver.

Read it fast because I may take it off in a moment of sanity.


Dear Concerned Pastor,

I am going wayyy out on a limb here to answer you because you said you really want to know.You said it in a way that seemed sweet and honest and I just felt compelled to answer. So here goes.
I am one of the faithful that has chosen not to attend church.

(wait right there…I could put in so many quotation marks it would make your head spin so I am going to try to write this without “…”. )

I am not going to blast you. I think you have a right to your belief and opinion. I just want to tell you briefly (or not) why I no longer go to that place on Sunday that people have taken to calling church. I simply do not believe that the things that happen within that organization are the things that the Lord intended when He spoke of the body and our need for it. I believe that the church exists. I believe that it is the body of Christ. I believe that I am a member of it. I love getting together with believers and talking about God. I also love getting together with unbelievers and talking about God. I love talking to God. I love talking with God. I love it. Every day. Every way. I do not buy any talk about wearing certain clothes…acting with certain reverence…or setting aside special time to be my Lord. (whew…that was really hard to type without quote marks) He is with me. I am with Him. Constantly. He does not care what I am wearing or how I am physically positioned: ie kneeling, standing, bowing, or waving. He does not care what day of the week it is or if I am dedicated enough to be with him before a sturdy breakfast or long-suffering enough to stick with Him even if it means cutting into an even sturdier lunch.
I see the need to be with my family. My church family. I really see the need for that. I want to build relationships. I want to know people on a heart level. What I get in Sunday-go-to-meeting is back of the head relationships. I want to help people in a real way that sees to their daily needs. What I get by giving to the organized church is a real time face lift to the big building fund. I get tired of funding the marble sink ministry. Wow. That even shocks me to see that typed out. Harsh.
I want real fresh bread. The Word given from a heart that has been asking for and rolling around in a current love affair with the Father of creation. What I get are sermons that tell me a million ways that I do not measure up to the God that loves me enough to change me into something better than the way I am. Yet He is the one who made me? ! I know, sin, blah blah blah….I totally get that. Separation…yeah. No. I don’t buy it. I do not go to the thing we like to call church because I found that I would come home every Sunday and spend the afternoon de-toxing my children from the garbage they had stuffed into them about God and how unreachable He really is if we are honest with ourselves about how despicable we really are. Yes I said garbage.
Just to be perfectly clear here…I believe in Jesus. The one and only Son of God. He is the only way. Truth. He is the only way. I cannot get to Heaven on my own. Only by claiming the Truth, His truth, am I set free from the power of sin. Whew! I looove that. Freedom. I breathe it in deep. And I reject the things that “church” as we know it has come to stand for. Namely, pulling yourself together enough to gather once or more a week with other of the self proclaimed worthless faithful to be shepherded by a strict code of pseudo scriptural ethics into a legalistic highway of superiority and right. All this…I reject.
I could write so so so much more. Any little topic here could be batted around for hours. Do I think you are going to hell and leading others there? Probably not. I don’t know you. Who am I to say anyway. Am I going to hell for not being in church every time the doors are open (I used to believe that was the only way to fly.) Am I? Not if Jesus has anything to say about it. Breathe it in. Freedom.

I know this was harsh. I sincerely mean it when I say that I could look you in the eyes and say this to you with love. (even tho I don’t know you) I come from a family of pastors and church-loving-go-every-time-the-doors-open-folks…I love them all. I think they need to do what they think is right. No slamming. They get freedom too.

Aren’t you glad you asked?


Here is a little part two…(don’t be scared)
You point blank asked…so I point blank answered. I realize that because we have no relationship you do not have the benefit of knowing my lifelong history of going to church and my lifelong process of searching for the truth.
I do not have the benefit of knowing you and where you are coming from. I just have a blog entry. And I responded in anonymity. That is not fair to you or your readers.
Ultimately…I stand by my words. But I stand by them in love and acceptance of you and I being in different places. I think the church organization is in a bad place. I think that it needs to be addressed. But it should not necessarily be taken on without the love relationship that comes from walking beside one another. Bless you in your journey for truth.


gotcha where I wantcha...

I want to demonstrate my trust in your open heart.
Not that you need that.
Just that I want to say that so you can know that I am sharing something that has really hit my heart heavily. Ready?

I HATE this statement.
"Satan will give us everything in this world in order to gain our souls, Jesus will take everything away from us in order to gain our souls."

(before I go further...I do not know the full context of this statement. In a second I am going to rant about the words and other places this sentence has been used. I am not ranting about this one person saying this one thing in love...that is their business)

Ok, back to ranting.

This statement is bouncing around on my friend list. You may have seen it.
You don't have to hate it but I do and I have to say it to someone or I will pop. So I chose you.


Once, when I was a bout 10 yrs old I sat at bible camp and listened to a man speak during evening "worship" service. He talked about his terrible car wreck that ended up with the death of his fiance. He went on to tell us that he had previously prayed "please Lord, remove everything from my life that is standing between me and a closer relationship with you" Then she was "taken" from him... His big careful what you pray for, you just might get it.

I will say that that talk did anything BUT draw me closer to God.
I was terrified of a God that was so selfish that He would strip me of everything to get closer to me.

One person even used this statement in reference to the people in Joplin after the tornado. Talking about how lucky they are that God has their best interest at heart.

Do you find that completely obtuse? Can you hear my rage at this??

I have been reading a few blogs and community forums around the Joplin tornado and what I see is that non-believers are not drawn to God by trite comments of believers relating to the goodness of God in the face of their losing everything.
For instance, there is a picture that shows total devastation on every side and focuses on a church building in the midst of all that with a cross intact on it's roof.
Church people on the forum were praising God and talking about the fabulous testimony to God that the cross was left standing.
Other people were not necessarily in favor of those churchy comments.
From what I have seen...the Christians are really praising God for all sorts of stuff about how this devastation is a perfect way for God to come in and rescue people, blah, blah, blah....and the non-believers are really wishing the Christians would just shut the hell up. (yes I said hell.)

That said...I am a firm believer that your soul is more important to God than any possession you may have. If it isn't good for you He might see the need to remove it.
Just like I would forcibly remove my child from dancing freely on the edge of a matter if she were kicking and screaming on exit.
But I do not go around wielding a hook and a gong to remove everything from them if I find that they are not toeing the line.

Why do Christians think...or rather, not think....that they can say churchy stuff and make everyone feel better? Why do Christians believe that Bible verses quoted in or out of context is a cure all for hurting? Why do Christians go around bashing my lovely Friend with their made up crap about justice and righteous living and tragedy bringing redemption?
I am just fed up.

Yet I say nothing. Ain't my business. (or is it?)
I believe that God is big enough to take care of Himself and His own reputation. I don't even think a sullied reputation matters to Him in the slightest.

Should I just let it go then? Is a sigh enough?

I can't force relationship. He doesn't even force that. Which is kinda ironic since the whole premise of this ire is based on people talking about how God forces you into relationship like a cow into a chute.
"I will let you think you have a choice but in reality I will close all the gates ahead of you leaving you only one way to go...slaughter. Walk towards the light........."

None of this is very loving. It is a tirade. Me banging my finger determinedly on your chest bone in an attempt to make you stop staying what you are saying.
Step. Off.

I wish you could quit looking at my Father with the eyes of a cowed puppy.
I want you to stop looking at my Lover through the eyes of self righteous religion.

Please, believe me when I say you have got Him all wrong. You were taught wrong. You have learned wrong. He doesn't operate like you think.

Think about it. If you provide comfort by saying that your lack is God's mercy then every blessing becomes a curse.
If you look at a death-bed as God's providence for your soul then how can you pray for restoration?
If you credit Satan with giving you everything then how can you account for the scripture that says "every good and perfect gift comes from above"?!
Maybe we don't get where we want to get evangalistically because we insist on telling the lost and hurting that God has them exactly where He wants them. Sometimes, injust so many words.

And yet...the words of God are not always pleasant promises. I get that. There is lots of hard stuff in there.
But then, they are! Green pastures, easy yokes, you know...good stuff.

How do you get it if you don't get it? Holy Spirit is the only one who can make it clear.
I am so tired of thinking these thoughts and banging my head on these brick walls.
Sigh again.
I feel so very offensive writing this stuff down. Yet, I also feel so very offended to let it go without a word.
I want to say what I think and since this is my page I guess this is the place to say it. So I am.
I can't even begin to go into all I think about because it overwhelms me. The magnitude of it all.

Even after I have said all of the above I still stand by this...
our personal protection is not God's number one priority.

I firmly believe in a loving God and I can say that without blinking an eye.
But I think going around and saying that to hurting people...especially those without a firm relationship with a mistake.
Complicated little sucker ain't I?

If you read this and are deeply offended...maybe it is because this topic is offensive. Maybe we all need to rethink the things that we say and the thoughts that we think.
I am just gonna have to let it go at that.
I don't want to blast peoples' personal beliefs. But that uptight, upright, church belief...Yeah, I wanna blast that a while. Wanna join me?