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 you probably should know by now one of my favorite books is Tara Leigh Cobble’s “Here’s to Hindsight.” i’m not one to read (or watch, for that matter) anything twice. on the rare occasion that i do, that says something. and H2H is one that i think i will probably reread every couple of months, just because it speaks so loudly and directly to me. well, let the love continue; here’s something she just posted on her blog:

We all do it. We take a perfectly good wound — one intended to teach us something, to grow us closer to God — and we try to cover it up with an ill-fitting bandage. Sometimes we act in desperation, grabbing dirty napkins from the ground just to have something to put over the wound so we don’t have to see it, so we don’t have to be reminded that it’s still there.

We do it for our friends, too. We say and do the wrong things to help them move on from their own pain, we speak and act without thinking or praying first. Maybe we just want the pain to be over for them, or maybe we don’t want to look at their wounds because those wounds disturb us.

This past weekend, I was a leader and guest musician at a women’s conference for nearly 200 women of all ages. The women moved me with stories of their healing, their pain, their mistakes. They’ve wasted time (haven’t we all!?!) trying to cover up the pain through improper relationships, eating or drinking too much, looking at porn, and even having children. They’ve felt the pain of losing husbands who have tried to heal their own wounds in the wrong ways, as well.

It reminds me to ask myself what I’m doing to push past my own pain (or the pain of others), to create the illusion of healing without actually giving the wound time to breathe and heal. The more we apply the wrong bandages, the more we delay the process by refusing to put the pain in God’s capable hands.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3


I walked into barnes and noble thinking about how fitting it is that the words “sour” and “dour” are so alike—in both meaning and in spelling, but how unfair, almost blasphemous, it is when words sound so much alike but are polar opposites like “happy” and “crappy.” that’s the way my mind was acting and why I decided I needed to break free.

So, doing something I usually reserve for all other seasons, I decided to take a real lunch break and get away from the office, hopping in my car and wandering over to the bookstore for some R&R (and some sugary starbucks).

There are a few places that are able to snap me back into place and wipe away any “sourness” and “dourness” I may be feeling (or otherwise self-pity): the always awe-inspiring Anthropologie, sometimes Forever21, a pretty park on a clear day, and a bookstore. Today was a bookstore kind of day. And it made the perfect prescription.

I’d gotten bent out of shape over this and that and spent last night in a complainy whiny mood that did nothing but pull me down further because I don’t like to complain and whine but you do it because you think it will make you feel better but it just makes it worse. See how that sentence just turned around and around in a circle? That’s the logic behind complaining. It leads nowhere, even if logic tells you it ought to.

I started listening to this podcast by, which is affiliated with Focus on the Family, but is aimed (I presume) at young adults/singles. The people who host it are down-to-earth and funny but insightful (which if you ask me, is the best kind). Anyway one of the hosts was talking about a friend she has who really likes this guy and he leads her on (by way of not saying “no”) in a limbo-sort-of-relationship that is not serious but is not “friends-only.” one of those her-heart-is-on-the-line but he-gets-to-eat-his-cake-too kind of situations that I believe we’re all too familiar with. The hosts battled it out and one of the ladies offered advice that I thought was quite fitting (and which, not un-tangentially, goes along with my statement above): That the woman in the situation—who feels heavily invested and has no desire to leave the “relationship” she’s spent months “building”–needs to do exactly what she doesn’t want to do: Instead of giving more, give less.

We think that by giving more (of our hearts), we’re drawing someone closer. But in situations like this, it seems that you just end up giving away more of yourself—to someone who doesn’t appreciate it. The better way to salvage the situation is to give less, because if it jolts him into waking up, then great! But if he just lets it be, at least you didn’t keep trudging down that path.

So it often is, that the way we think we’re making progress and getting what we want, takes us the exact opposite, tangled way.

Regardless, after 45 minutes trolling around Barnes and Noble and sipping my way and paging my way through various book jackets and magazine covers, I came back uplifted and encouraged, with the self pity and poor mood from yesterday having melted away with last drops of a white chocolate mocha.

this weekend, we’re taking the youth group to Gatlinburg for a teen convention (otherwise known as TCTC) and i have to say, i cannot wait. i like having these things to look forward to because they function as breaks in my reality, cracks i can crawl into that will take my mind off myself (which, sadly, is what most of my reality revolves around). and nothing out of the ordinary has happened to point to for that; in fact, nothing has really happened at all. and perhaps that’s it–that nothing has really happened so i spend that extra, ample time busying myself with Me, which of course make me anxious and want to jump out and into things that actually matter.

hence, my looking forward to TCTC. because, unlike all the “nothing”ness currently spinning round, this seems to offer me the immersive opportunity to get away from all of the Me, Me, Me and onto things that really matter. because–when everything else in my life is foggy and cumulous–this whole idea of loving God is the one thing that I know I can’t go wrong with and that does offer grounding. grounding that i feel like i desperately need, of late.

so here’s to that. and to someday feeling settled. although i expect that’s quite a lofty goal.

long-lasting vs. early detection
you know what. i look around and see couples who have been together a year, two years, and i wonder: how? how do people end up staying together for so long–particularly when they’re together for a year or two and then call it quits. how do they stick it out that long? since college, the longest relationship i’ve been in has been about 4 months. i’ve had quite a few of these relationships that last almost a whole season, but not beyond that. something about that time span gives way to finales and closing doors, rather than standing ovations and encores.

and part of me wonders about that, if that isn’t some kind of sign that i ought to nail on my bedroom door or something: You’re Doing It Wrong. but i don’t think so. because i look around and am encouraged by everything else in my life that I’ve chosen wisely and made work and last and endure. the friends i have are amazing and so my judge in character has yet to let me down in that area–why should i doubt it in this? i like to think that these stop-and-go relationships are merely a reflection of me not being willing to settle and knowing what i want. and of course it’s going to take some testing and tasting; that’s what makes you so appreciative. if you get the cake perfect on the first time, where’s the fun in licking the batter or adding some more vanilla or trying some peppermint into the mix? and so i look forward to what’s to come, and am actually encouraged that God has someone/thing even better in store for me.

i was listening to one of my favorite relient k songs, trademark move, and for the first time noticed one line in it: “it’s my trademark move to turn my back on you… and sometime soon after that you’ll see me come crawling back… withdraw from everything that’s hurting me until you can finish your work in me.” and i’m doubting this whole friends-post-break up thing, how healthy it really is for me to try to have both. the reality is my heart’s still connected and to ignore that is self-destructive. i think that by sticking around and–still–trying to make things work is not giving me room to heal. holly said something about treating a hurt heart like you would a wound; don’t pick at it but put a bandaid on it and nurse it until it heals over. i think the whole friends thing is the equivalent of picking, and not giving ample time to let Time work its magic. plus, i’ve realized that i’m still embittered by things and the way he treats me and so i need Time to get over that and forgive him for those things.

i was convinced of this last night when he (yet again) decided to inform me of girls who like him or who are interested in him. i’m not jealous; i’m really not. particularly because i know without a doubt that i’m interested in him romantically at all anymore. and plus i’m confident that i’m not that easily replaceable. but i think it’s disrespectful to talk about those things to me; i think it’s evidence that he isn’t thinking about mishandling my emotions or being sensitive to that. and so why even make the attempt of friends when there’s not a mutual trust or care grounded there?

oh, the things i’ve been thinking.

and on top of all of that, i’ve been the sickest i’ve been all year. as exemplified by the fact that i’ll i’ve been eating is jello, toast and soup. and that i’m wearing 4 pairs of pants and 3 shirts because i can hardly keep warm. i went to the doctor and it’s bronchitis. but i was really scared because on sunday night my heart was racing and i was really anxious and really wondered if i needed to go to the emergency room. needless to say i barely got any sleep. but my mom said that that’s a symptom of bronchitis, an infection of the lungs, because it ends up causing your heart to have to work extra hard, a la the heart-racing and anxiety feelings. my throat still hurts and i used a whole box of tissues yesterday. i’m hoping that i’ll be up for going back to work tomorrow though–definitely threw a wrench into all my plans! but i’m feeling better. once again, i think it all just comes back to Time.

see? home by 10:30. refreshing.

this has been week no. 1 in my attempt to recalibrate. it has been good. although really it’s worked out less because of my attempts and more because everyone (meaning the lovelies and paul) have been busy. so i haven’t really had to try to take things slow and take time for myself. it’s nice to be eased into things.

yesterday, after having what was officially titled “my no good, very bad day” (don’t ask), i left work 15 minutes early and took the time to do something i haven’t done in over a month: run. in high school i was a really good runner. i played soccer and could almost always be the first player to finish all our laps around the practice complex. halfway through the season my junior year, though, i got really bad shin splints and couldn’t run without shooting pains. so i stopped running and was afraid to for years. this past summer i decided to try again. and, surprisingly, i wasn’t half bad. although i guess i’m not sure what i’m measuring it against, but i’m not disappointed in where i’ve picked up.

so it was, that i ran for an hour yesterday and was quite heartened by it. it did help clear the bumbling air that was gathering in my head.

today i went over to my parents’ house and visited my grandma who was actually much herself, which typically isn’t the case. that was such a good feeling. she was laughing and cracking jokes. she had a hard time hearing and many times misinterpreted what i was saying (i guess i have a hard time speaking up), but that made it more entertaining. she slipped a few times into her own little world, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it has been. that was a good feeling. we ordered pizza and i made tasty pumpkin cupcakes for sir paul and then i worked a new project of mine.

right now i have this crappy piece of cardboard that i made holes in with a hole punch and have strung my necklaces through. although i’ve received compliments on it, i think it’s pretty shoddy. so my new effort is to take a medium-sized branch and cut it down and then pop nails into it and spray paint it white. all i have left is the spray paint and mounting. cross your fingers. i can’t have my necklaces get tangled and this is the best idea i’ve come up with yet. (plus i just like nature-y stuff. i’m also working a poster to blow up for over my bed. more on that later.)

and i think the best part of my day was at work i decided to start working on my lesson plan for this sunday. if you don’t know, i teach sunday school for the teen girls at church. well every once and a while i like to do “Fireside Chats” with the girls–basically a chance for them to tap into what’s going on in their life and apply it to God and look at it through that lens, and get the support of the rest of the group. so, considering what’s been going on lately in my life, i decided to hone in this week on struggles. so i spent some time looking up verses and came across a bunch that just heartened me. it was pretty cool to go from, one moment being self-pitying and ‘woe is me’ to, the next, being content and satisfied despite the circumstances or ‘what if’s.

here’s an example, 2 cor. 4:16-18 (MSG): Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye.

one of the things i did was type up all the verses so that the girls can cut the various ones up and keep them with them, in their purse or put them on their mirror or in their locker–just so that they have them nearby when they need them for reassurance. i do that at work; have a little “inspiration/reassurance wall.” it’s mostly made of encouragements i received when i went to haiti this winter. and i look to it often, so i know it’s worthwhile. so i’m amped for it–for both my sake and for the girls’. i haven’t felt like i’ve really given them the time and effort they deserve lately, so i’d like to work on that.

although i did get an email today about the OTR efforts and that they might be acquiring a n old church down there and attempting “betterment” efforts like helping the homeless neighbors find jobs or learn to read or to write. that’s totally the kind of thing i want to be involved in. so we’ll see. i’m excited about the opportunity, although i’m already wondering how i would be able to fit yet another commitment into my schedule. but i think it’s a good thing. so i guess i just have trust that the pieces will all fall into their place. i have faith that they will… one way or another, they alway do, right?

when people cannot do their jobs.

it really irks me. i’ve currently been on hold with our cable/internet company for almost an hour. and all i’m trying to do is find out what our wireless password is. seriously, it is totally getting under my skin. i am paying for this service. why does it have to be so difficult to get something that i’m paying for? why didn’t they provide us with this information to begin with?

time warner: you are not my friend!!!