Money is a worldly worry–our relationship

I think I should make a point to tell you that my relationship with God is pretty hilarious to me. Sometimes I think he looks down at me and giggles that he made such a wild thing, and that this wild thing is His. I bet He giggles at the hilarity that is my life, the silly decisions I make on a regular basis, the bravery I try to have even when I’m deathly afraid. 

Last night was proof enough, again, of our relationship and the intricate way He just gets me, regardless of the range of intense emotions I am feeling at the moment. He always does, and sometimes my breath catches when I realize this fact. When I remember that even when I don’t feel Him, He is always there. 

It was before bed. And I had been thinking about how, after my interview and job offer, I never asked what I would be making an hour. Moving here has put a serious dent in our savings–as we expected. We knew that we would have to pay for the moving truck, and for the new plates, and the different insurances, and so on and so forth. It’s life in a new place, on our own again. It’s going to be expensive, and we had prepared for it. 

But as I sat in my living room last week, overwhelmed by the fact that the monthly bills were piling up, that life here is simply more expensive than it was when we had 40 hour work weeks at a place we were miserable at, and when we were hardly seeing each other. The price of a good life is faith. And He’s been showing this to me–constantly. 

So last night, I had been thinking that I didn’t know how much I was going to be making, that I accepted this job offer because I knew, somewhere deep down that this is where I was supposed to be working. What if the hours and the money just didn’t add up and I couldn’t make enough for us? 

But then He said to me “What if I didn’t let you ask what you would be making because I knew you would be trying to add it all up in your head, trying to decide if you could make it work. But remember, you asked me to put you right where I needed you, to give you the right job. And I did. I want you there.” Then it hit me. Again. Money is a worldly thing. He’s been teaching me this slowly, off and on the past few years. But right now is the biggest test of this belief. I’ve always said that I would rather be homeless than do what He has for me in life. And coming out here, so far away from home, has really tested my belief in this statement. What if the money ran out before we could get jobs and we were forced to join the throngs of homeless people lining the streets of Portland? No, our God would take care of us. If we trusted Him enough to tell us where to go, He would open up the doors for us to have the right jobs, at just the right time. Like I have said before, He doesn’t do something early, He doesn’t do it late, He does it right on time. And getting this job, this is no mistake. I know this deep down. And if this wasn’t a mistake, if this was His plan, He will work out the money. We just have to be wise. 

I think it’s funny that He knew all this. He knew my type A mind, who wants to plan out every step, and to calculate and understand. But I don’t have to. If I really have faith. If I really trust that He has it all planned out, I’ll let it go. Money is a worldly worry. I’ll say it again, He is the accountant. I will be wise. Money is a worldly worry. 

And as much as there are so many unknowns here. As much as I am discovering people and places and trying to find my way, I have never felt more peaceful. Never been more peaceful. 

Struggles in a new city

Here, time flies by. I take each day as I can, swallowing the occasional sadness that comes from a deep homesickness. I do not know where this comes from. I know the memories I am about to make are probably far greater than the fistful of laughter I remember from my home city. And yet parts of me ache for things I never had, which is weird. I guess this feeling hasn’t exactly been foreign to me. Yet, I still believe I am clinging on to the imagined scenarios of myself I wish I had experienced. The acceptance, and the welcoming, mostly. In being different, I somehow always seemed to find myself feeling left out. Left out of the conversations and the understandings. Like I had never managed to grow up past the age of ten, and I was foolish for expecting that other adults would see that, I, too, had become one as well, and deserved to be told how they felt about me. It’s not like I wanted in on the gossip, but just the understanding and the knowledge that comes with being part of one unit, of an entity greater than myself. 

I’m still struggling to find a job. And it’s okay for now. I keep knowing that whatever is supposed to happen, will. And it’s not the fear that my God won’t come through at just the right moment (I know that He doesn’t show up a moment too late or a second too early in our struggles), but I fear that I myself might not be doing enough for Him to work with. I know that I believe that He does not help those who help themselves, but I believe that we have to do something for him to be able to develop. I can’t sit on my ass and hope that He magically creates some beautiful future for me. I have to fight through the fear, push into faith, and struggle through each aspect of my faith. He knows this. 

It’s human nature for many of us to want to do what we can to right the world, to fight for the future WE believe we deserve, and to put into works what we want. But sometimes we just plain don’t know what we want. We couldn’t know what we want because these truths have not been revealed to us. So we sit and wait and press our palms together hoping that we will be able to find the treasure hidden for us on the end of the path that has been carved into the forest just for us. A path that has our names on it. You see, we each were given a path. We all have a future mapped out, a destiny, per say. And gifts–things we are so very good at–that we are supposed to use to change the world in some way. It may be simple. Maybe our gift is our compassion and our need to help those around us. Our path may be slow steps to being a light in someone else’s life. But we would not be able to see this path without the help of some divine spirit. 

So I believe that I must do my part to find my path, to push through the forest for the trees, and to fight, to always fight, for the use of the gifts I have been given. That’s my duty. And I worry, that right now I’m not doing enough. I’m trying to apply for jobs when I can, but as far as resumes go, I don’t exactly know what I’m doing. Having worked entry level positions my whole life, it’s different for me to not simply fill out an application online, but to formulate a complicated process of words and letters to explain just what I learned and did at my old jobs. I had put down what I felt were challenges to me at my old jobs–what I had learned and fought through–because I thought that it would give others a good sense of the type of person I am. Until my husband told me that while he completely understood the point of view I had been trying to display, to others it might look like I was complaining about the challenges I had faced. I’ve decided to keep those to myself until I interview. I guess that might stay off any confusion on their part. 

The other challenge I have faced is not knowing exactly why I am here. I know I was sent here so I could use my gifts. Meet people. Start reaching towards my dreams. 

A few weeks ago I was lying in bed, honestly overwhelmed and scared for the future, and for the things that we ahead. Often, He talks to me in the quiet times, in the pauses when my heart beats fear and confused. Suddenly, I heard Him say, “Remember when you felt weak and hopeless? I will use you to speak to thousands. Be bold in the faithfulness of my promises.” And I smiled, because He has shown me this in a vision. Because I have held tight to this promise, this small glimpse into my future, and have remained strong in the face of all adversaries. 

I’m so tired of being weak. Of finding myself drowning beneath humanity and the expectations I have of my future. I don’t know what to expect. Who or where I am supposed to be meeting others. And this is why I feel like maybe I’m not doing enough for Him. That I’m not getting out enough. Maybe I’m not pushing myself when I feel exhausted from the newness of a different way of life. 

I don’t really know how else to explain it. To express the tumult of thoughts that threaten to assault me daily. I sometimes lie in the quiet and hear my heart beating a symphony of fears and expressions of unknowns I haven’t accounted for. I over-analyze everything. Feel myself sometimes gasping for air in an empty room, like the expectations I have placed around my neck are too tight, and all I need, all I fucking need is one moment to breathe. Just a moment to breathe. 

I find myself in a torrent. The teetering of finding myself on the brink of change and staring into the light that is my future, clouded by a myriad of questions. Of unknowns. How do I navigate? 

 

Life Lately–Adventures in the PNW

I’ve sat down and tried to write this post a million times. I don’t know where to begin. 

If you are wondering why I changed the title of my blog page, it’s because a chapter of my life has ended, and a new chapter has begun. Life has brought a new wave of changes, and I’m looking at them through the window of the past and the future. How I got here is complicated, and where I am going is also. I don’t know what is ahead, but I wanted to share with you, my readership, where I have been and what I am planning. Just know, that nothing is for certain these days with me. Everything is about to change. Everything has changed. Life won’t ever be the same. 

Here’s what I mean. In the past few months I have taken the 2,000 mile journey from my home state of Illinois to the state of Oregon. I have picked up every scrap of the life I had in Illinois and carried on the back of my worries. I gathered up all of my courage and my memories and drove and drove and drove. It took me four days, and I battled two blizzards in the mountains. I pushed through every doubt and fear, and have found myself here, in the suburbs of Portland, on a new adventure. 

For years we have felt the pull to move, the tug of an unsatisfied life. I have fought with the depression that closed in on me when I was living in my hometown. There was nothing there for me. I won’t deny the experiences I had, or the life I lived as being a part of me– a necessary part. I met some amazing people, and learned a lot of valuable lessons. There was a lot of good things that happened to me there, and through it all I became a new person. Sometimes when I look back, I don’t remember how I got to where I am, but I know that I am not who I used to be, not the person who used to look in the mirror and wish that she could be more lovable, could be more understanding, and not so full of bitterness and sadness. 

There have been a lot of challenges. Mostly money. We saved up for so many years to finally find this life, to feel that we were able to move to a place we had never visited, so far away from home and everything we ever knew. That’s the funny thing about this, and the great thing too, I guess, is that we don’t know anyone here. We have no family. And that’s what makes this such an adventure. A new  beginning. A start from scratch. 

We quit our jobs for this. We picked up everything we have and decided to throw it at the wind in an effort to find a new life. We know the things we have been promised. The light that is there, and the beauty that comes when you trust, when you have faith in the unknown. 

So here we are–jobless, in a new city. 

My core fears are being challenged. My type A personality is worried about the fact that I have applied to a dozen jobs and heard nothing. I have always gotten quick responses. But I think that this is a test. Do I trust Him enough? I hope I am passing. You may not believe in a god, and that’s okay, but I do. I believe that He has my best interest at heart, and here, here is where He guided me, so I’ll push through all of the doubt and into the light. I can’t be in the dark anymore. I can’t fight to feel something greater than myself. And here, somehow, I already feel at home. 

I may know no one. But there are people here who look at me, curious. 

I may not know what lies ahead. I may be a little afraid, but fear does not mean I lack faith. 

So I push forward, bright with the possibilities my future holds, and open to a world of new beginnings. A fistful of chapters.

I am so excited to share with all of you the adventures that lie ahead, and the things I will find here. Are you ready for the journey? Because I am. 

This could be someone you know

Has anyone ever told you
what it feels like 
to be two parts of one whole? 
To not be sure 
of which half you’ll wake up as
in the morning? 
to feel your heart
constantly wedged in your throat
for fear of saying
what’s on the mind 
of the sad half of you? 

There are some days
I never touch down to reality
some days I feel the clouds
of my ancestors
begging me to be brave
and stand strong
but it’s so hard 
when you’re weak 
from wanting 
to wear the paths 
of your prayers
like circles 
around your fingers
because then there’d be proof
that you’d been searching
for the map all along 
and people might stop thinking 
that maybe 
your just listening 
to the beating 
of your own 
misunderstandings. 

I’ve spent so much time 
becoming acquainted 
with the hole in my pillow 
my head leaves 
when I just want to be left alone.
I’m so afraid 
that if I share the riverbeds
beneath my eyes ,
reveal all the joy 
the darkness
has stolen from me 
that someone 
will start seeing false cracks
in my smile
the way the moon 
saw my tongue 
and tried to fill it with it 
with visions of the fields
so I could run
away with my depression
and build a home for us 
beneath the weeping willows. 

I find it’s better 
if I stay home 
beneath the covers
because then 
I don’t have to explain 
to broken faces
why I can’t find the beauty 
anymore. 

I can’t wake up 
another morning 
with lead in my bones. 

I guess this is my cry for help

 
 

The way grizzly bears are more like fire flies.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what love looks like. And how often that word carries with it the weight of a thousand definitions and reasons and complications. Too often we make love selfish, and wear it on our wrists like a fashion statement, when love is the most beautiful, astounding thing I have ever seen. Someone who is really attempting to live a life full of love–now that is truly a sight to behold, because once you really begin to try to love the way love should really happen, your heart becomes a wellspring. It’s indescribable. 

I just think of the inside of a person who is learning to fight is a nighttime in summer. Within lies all the potential and greatness, floating around as lightening bugs, waiting for the moment they can pour out of their mouth and shine. 

Last night I learned a powerful lesson. It was a difficult lesson, but I knew something was changing inside of me the moment I chose to find peace instead of anger at the position I had been placed in. Let me explain. I was working my job in retail and a woman that has been known to cause trouble in our store came in last night. Generally speaking, she’s downright mean and bitter. Nothing you say will calm her down or make her compliment you. She just gets a rise out of her harshness. I am definitely not one for confrontations. Especially from people I don’t know. Last night, she unloaded on me, big time. Her ranting and raving lasted for quite some time. But something inside of me screamed louder than anger and told me to bite my tongue, stand up for myself a little in a kind manner, and let it go. 

After she left I was kind of overwhelmed. As the minutes ticked on, however, I wasn’t angry, I felt sorry for her. I had seen her in our store before. She looks lonely and miserable. And honestly, as I began to ponder the circumstances for her arrival last night, I began feeling regrettably empathetic towards her plight. 

I have been addicted to watching the show Hoarders for quite a while. I quite enjoy psychology, and comprehending the reasons behind the way people behave when they have had difficult challenges in their life. One of the things that is a common theme in the reason why I have observed people hoarding is their desire to keep people out. They have been repetitively wounded in various ways for so long, that in their desperate attempt to deal with the pain, they hoard stuff that is useless to build barriers between themselves and other people. That at least the objects would love them always, that it would be there when they cried. That happiness could be found in another sack of papers or useless shirts. But no matter what they could somehow manage to find peace in something that couldn’t hurt them. It’s not that they didn’t want people in their life, because honestly most of the time the stars of these shows are so lonely you can see their breaking heart worn in the crooked way they smile. They are just so damn afraid of letting anyone in that could hurt them, that they feel keeping then out is the only way. 

And this is exactly what I felt about this woman last night. It was like she had been wearing the weight of generations of pain and all of these traumatic things that had happened to her in the direction of her step, in the cut of her words, in the bite of her anger. There is one thing I have really learned these past few months, and it is that most of the time, that anger is all a front. It keeps the people out. Anger does a good job of scaring others to stay away. It’s a defense mechanism. It happens when we are afraid to see or deal with what we are capable of inside, when we don’t comprehend that healing can happen. 

When I started thinking about the incident after, all I could do was be humbled by the prospect that she is still in the darkness with a blindfold, feeling around the cave. Something settled on my heart and made me feel stunningly aware that anger was not the appropriate response. Love will bring light. Pray for your enemies. Smile when it’s hard. And for goodness sakes, be brave. Love is never easy, but it’s worth it. I will probably not change her, but she changed me. Even if it was just because she was angry for the millionth time. 

Like I say, there really is beauty in everything you see. 

Until next time,

Rosie

Gathering my walking stick–the continuation of a heartbreaking journey.

I want to take a moment to apologize for my hiatus. Life has been a whirlwind lately. A good one, but a little insane nonetheless. I recently picked up a second job, got promoted there, and am working on working as often as I can to save up money for the next part of my life. 

I’ve had a revelation. One that’s extremely good. For so long my bones have been aching for adventure. My heart has nearly ruptured beneath the weight of dreams that have had the inability to come to fruition. Of childhood desires that have been unable to grow beneath the stunt of life. And now the hand of God has reached out and written “soon” on my soul. I can feel the tension rising as I know the answer to his promises. He does not falter. He does not joke. He is not a liar. I see the next step. 

You see, he promises that He will be a “light unto our path”. Always. What some people fail to realize, however, is that that light only illuminates our next step in life. It does not bring forth the entirety of our life trajectory. We may be propelled to action with that one step. If we knew the complete future of our lives maybe we would be compelled to act differently. And He knows that.

Besides, the benefit to our not knowing the whole plan of our future allows us to remain entirely dependent on Him. There are two types of people–those who see an obstacle and spend the next year crying and worrying about it, attempting to find the right tools to chip away at the obstacle until we are able to tackle it; and those who see the same struggle and rely on the only one who can take that mountain and completely shatter it. I am not saying that always relying on Him is easy. Heck, I’ve had a hell of a time these past few years attempting to understand the direction in which he was leading me. It felt like for so long that he was leading me into the wilderness with nowhere to turn but the quicksand. At some points it has even felt like my ankles have been dragged into that pitfall, and I am slowly being suffocated by a swelling desire to find something to accomplish. I have just felt so damn useless. 

And that’s the truth. 

Useless doesn’t even begin to cover it. 

I just see this whole, vast world with a belly full of aching people and I feel as though my efforts to make a difference are being overlooked. I remind myself daily that we may never know the footprints we leave on someone’s heart when we attempt to continue down the rugged path and inspire others. But yet there is still a longing so deep and so unfulfilled it can only be from my Heavenly Father. 

And that’s when I remind myself that only He can know the desires of my heart–because He placed them there. He formed them deep in my soul the day he formed me in that secret place in my mother’s womb. They say that in heaven a day is like a thousand years. I sometimes wonder how long He had with me to form every facet of my being before He nestled me deep inside my mother and made her life a little better when she discovered she was pregnant. 

So why is it so hard to trust when we know He formed the roadmap eons before we met Him? Because trusting often implies that we know we do not have the answers. We have made trust to look as though it makes us weak. It’s the same reason that strong-willed people sometimes struggle in relationships. If I’m admitting anything here, it’s that sometimes my will gets in the way in life, and it can be hard to combat, especially when I know that the compass is right in front of me, in the form of clasped hands and a mouth full of jumbled prayer words. 

I know this blog entry is long. But tonight, I’m feeling passionate. i’m feeling vibrantly loved. My heart is overflowing with the biggest sense of joy because I know I have been doing the right thing. And my Father is happy for my patience. It feels like it has been centuries. But sometimes He likes to take the forty-year route instead of the week-route because he knows you need the exposure to trials, and he is trying to build your heart up for something bigger than you could know. Patience cannot  be obtained from immediate gratification. The lesson to be learned is through those trials. And sometimes the journey is hard. Mine has been beyond difficult these past few years. 

The other night, however, I felt him tap me on the shoulder and say “It’s your time, you have been patient. You have trusted me.” 

So, I gather my walking stick, because this journey isn’t over yet. A revelation is not the end of the trials I will seek. There will be a lot of uphill climbing from here. Good thing He has hydrated me–refreshed my soul from the weary desert land He knew He needed to guide me through to encounter a spiritual break through. 

I am not perfect, but the longer I remain exposed to the fire, the less it burns, and the more refined I become. 

 

Finding peace in a world full of hate.

It always brings the demons back.  Sometimes I can hear the memories in the floorboard, slipping along the sunsets like a burnt out cigarette end. I can feel the pulse of the restless creaking, for it does not lull me to sleep any longer. It only signals the rising unrest felt between the sheets at night. Been this way for a while now—life has been all too frequently resembling something like poison-laced heroin. Oh god, it feels so good going in, rushing around the stem of my brain like the most beautiful sludge of ungodliness, until time settles in.  Until I remember that I don’t know what I’m aiming for, all I know is the vision of the future and I don’t know how to get there. And my toes curl at the joy I feel until I remember the choke of depression, tight on my vocal cords, shutting out the desire to speak. At all. To anyone. It has always been this way.  It’s like a rhythmic pulse of the underlying current in my life. For a while I can hold my head above the wreckage, until my bones become dry from not being plunged beneath the water. Sometimes I play around with my sanity, listen to it clanking boldly against the inner workings of my brain and realize deep down that, thankfully, at least I am not much like this world. I don’t need to breathe in the pollution to know what fresh air looks like, but maybe I’ve just been trying this whole time, too hard, to not feel senseless. So I fill myself up with all these memories of happiness, try to hallucinate on images of star filled skies and childhood laughter to make up for the deep sea of bad flashbacks I sometimes find myself consumed with.  I remember when my mom used to tell me that some suitcases were too heavy for me to carry as a child. Would shut me out when all I wanted was the truth, and she used to explain to me that sometimes children aren’t meant to know everything, we just have to wait until we are older to understand those burdens we carry around with us like boulders. Then a wildfire consumes my soul and I am reminded that she gave me the greatest burden of all to carry, and I wonder if she even saw the luggage she kept piling on my heart in the darkness. The irony life sometimes tosses our direction. It’s like an iron being pressed on your heart to smooth out all the wrinkles, but finding wretchedness in every corner, and you are left to wonder why it takes so much starch to make things right in your life. The realization that sometimes it takes a lot of heat and pain and suffering to make something beautiful again. To find the masterpiece that is found beyond the imperfections. Such a wilderness we find sometimes in the crevices of our brain when we delve into why we feel such wreckage at a sound. Curious things we find behind closed doors, or traps we thought we closed a long time ago. And then I remember that last week, God told me that he never meant for me to carry those burdens, but they were given to me, and He was sorry. And I wept, deep into my lungs I felt the heavings, the mending I have attempted a million times with friendships, late nights kissing necks in the dark, and desperate failed realizations that the bottom of a barrel of vodka isn’t a healing agent. The tears on my cheeks felt like rain in a desert, a well that needed escaping from the confines of life to burst forth and be free. I laid that baggage down at the cross, my last desperate attempt to be removed from captivity as a slave to the mind.

 

I can’t say that healing has been found completely. Or that I don’t look down at the insides of my heart and don’t see a little super glue still oozing from the stuck-together shards of my recently formed being. I still wake up a lot of mornings and try to pick up that familiar luggage again, hoping to breathe in the scent of pain again so I have an excuse to hold close when life is too hard for me to handle. So I can lean back on these past wars deep in my veins to explain to others why I sometimes struggle, as if struggling isn’t somehow innately human. I guess that somewhere along the search for healing I began the quest for everlasting perfection. I’m not the only one who has done so. The more people I meet along the way who have a checklist of pain sprawled in their sock drawer, the more I come face to face with the understanding that perfection is often looked at as a substitute that might suddenly be the beginning of an immaculate, beautiful existence. Suddenly. Why do we try to find such wholeness in attempting to complete ourselves with a mixture of insanity and impossible, unattainable goals? It’s just one more thing my mind haunts me with at night when I squeeze my eyes tight and try to rid my spinal cord of the weight of a million pressures I waged against this afternoon. Another scream flinging itself at my ear drums violently, hoping to make me aware of the hundreds of ways I fell short again. Today.. Somehow, our humanly feeble attempts at finding flawlessness in a world oriented in hate, only makes us more desperately cognitive of how far we fall short. I have to believe somewhere inside of me that God knew we would try to find healing in the way we run our lives. That we would try to find grace in the way we handled ourselves in public and that deep down we would hope it would fix those charred remains of our forests just before the fire. And He knew he had to make us imperfect, or we wouldn’t need help living our lives to the fullest of it’s capabilities. We would think that because we could win the war, we didn’t need people or relationships or to feel connected to anything else in the world that wasn’t neat and orderly and perfect puzzle pieces of sanity to tie in with the beautiful white floor in the kitchen. Maybe when we all stop trying to attain these unnatural expectations of beauty and health and imagination and just start being something other than insignificant, is when we actually begin to be memorable. And maybe at that exact moment when we allow ourselves to be set free from all of the unnatural expectations placed upon us from the moment we shot out of our mother’s womb, we are able to find ourselves amidst the rubble, we are able to expand our minds to accept the necessary connectedness each one of us is made for. There is music in your voice and the only way it can be heard is by unlocking the shackles around your feet and dancing amidst the tribes. Joining in the call of nature to love and to end the hate we see all around us like a virus.  And there is beauty in admitting our inadequacies, slamming our fists along the pavement, and finding life in the revolt. I dare you, to live walking against the current, even if that means coming close to being run over by traffic. Because at least, honey, you dared to live a little.