Paddling with One Oar

Something isn’t right with me.

I’ve been searching pretty hard lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what is going on with me. I’ve been feeling like there is something missing in my life. It isn’t my relationship with God. I have been reading my Bible and praying daily. I took an ecourse called #MakeOverYourMornings, because I thought that might help me. Instead, it has brought up more things I feel like I’m behind on in my life. It wasn’t until I read this blog post someone shared that I figured out what my deal was.

I’m paddling with one oar.

Several years ago, I heard a sermon that used the analogy of a Follower of Christ’s life being a canoe with two oars. One oar is spirituality – your relationship with God, your service, etc. The other oar is what you do – your career/gifting/whatever it is that God made you to do. If you only focus on one oar, you can’t move forward in your life. You’ll be going in circles.

I have been keeping up with my relationship with God, which is of utmost importance to me and my family and the world, really. When I do not spend time with God, when I have not taken the time to allow Him to satisfy me with His love, I am not the same person. I am snappy, become irritated easily, withdraw, get jealous easily, find fault (with myself) easily, and am generally just awful. However, I have found that I am still finding fault with myself, with my life, and becoming jealous of other people. I haven’t been writing, either.

The screenplay that was meant to have a first draft done by August still has no outline.


I’m going around in circles and I am ridiculously dizzy.

With homemaking, housekeeping (which I am lousy at), child rearing, being a wife, helping at the non-profit, family and friend relationships, and my other life responsibilities, I find it difficult to take time to pursue my passions and dreams. When my day is done, I’m exhausted and collapse on the couch next to Hunny until it is permissible to lay in bed. But I have to figure out a way to shake off my exhaustion.

The thing that isn’t right is the thing that hasn’t been written.


Thirsty Thursday: Fun With Psalms

I don’t always read the footnotes when I’m reading scripture. I mainly read the ESV translation and found that the numerical footnotes contain the most interesting information. I recently found that some of the psalms were acrostics, meaning the first letter of every line was intentional. In these acrostic psalms, each line represents a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. I was inspired to write an acrostic psalm with the English alphabet.

Here is my first attempt:

All praise and honor
Belong to You.
Come hear my meager song.
Done with humble hearts, give
Ear to our praise.
For You alone are our reason to
Get up from our beds and
Head out
Into the world:
Juggling responsibilities,
Keeping temptation far,
Loving the unlovable, and
Moving in Your grace.
No one can do this without You.
Others have tried and failed.
Prosperity comes only from You.
Quality of life given from Your Hand.
Righteousness and honor, You
Show us Your ways.
Teach us how to thrive
Under the weight of Your glory.
Vessels of earth carrying Your love
Watch for You,
Your love for the world and for

Why not take some time this week to create a psalm of your own? It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to rhyme. Just write words of praise to our fantastically awesome God. He would love to hear it!

Embarrassing Subliminal Crush

For most of my life, liking people has been disastrous. Not just with romantically liking people, either. I was the new kid in 5th grade and I scanned the room for a new friend. The girl I chose, Crystal, turned out to be mean and completely uninterested in being friends with me. At the end of the year, I consoled myself with the knowledge that she had no friends in the class, so it wasn’t all me. But still!

I totally and completely blame Hunny for my most recent embarrassing crush moment. His favorite basketball player, Steve Nash, retired last season and Hunny was on the hunt for a new orange ball handling hero.

As you know, Hunny is my best friend. We tell each other everything. In my quest to be Hunny’s dream wife, I actively listen and do my best to participate in all his interests. Even ones that are not particularly interesting to me. I know almost as much as Hunny knows about Steve Nash: he’s Canadian, plays basketball for his country in the Olympics, has a set of twin children, plays soccer in the off season, won NBA MVP or Player of the Year twice, was a spokesman for Vitamin Water, drafted to the Pheonix Suns, he was traded to the Mavericks, played for the Suns a second time, friends with my favorite former Duke player Grant Hill, and retired with the LA Lakers. Once he chose Kevin Love as his new basketball athlete to watch and revere, I was ready to memorize.

Hunny shared all the Instagram posts with me: training camp, visiting sick children in the hospital, charitable events, goofing around with teammates, pictures of him as a child, and being jersey “0” for the Cavaliers.

Love. 0. Like tennis. Cute.

Flash forward to the ’14-’15 NBA Playoffs. Kevin Love was injured in one of the first games. Hunny called me into my parent’s den to see the announcers of the game commenting on a picture of him giving the thumbs up from a hospital bed.

Sorry your guy is injured. Maybe he’ll get better and play in another game.

Hunny informed me he was out for the playoffs, and I felt sorry for him.

What happened next is a shocking blur of events. I don’t quite remember all the details.

One of the final games, possibly THE final game, I watched with Hunny at our house. I was watching while reading and every so often Hunny would yell out, “Look! It’s {fill in the blank with some athlete or celebrity or sports figure who no longer plays}!” and “Watch this replay!” I also looked  up once in a while so that if Hunny asked if I had seen “that play,” I could confirm I had seen whatever play. At one of these moments, I saw Kevin Love watching the game from the sidelines.

A 14 year old fangirl voice practically screamed, “LOOK! IT’S KEVIN LOVE!” I felt my face catch on fire at the realization that I was pointing to the TV. That voice came from me! I looked over at Hunny, who was looking at me, completely horrified and stunned simultaneously.

I didn’t know he was out of the hospital, I mumbled.

“What was that?!?!”

I don’t know!

Looking back, I think it was all the visiting sick children and charitable work with kids that got to me. I’m a sucker for a man who’s kind and caring to children (Hunny works with children and is kind and caring to them, by the way). I still don’t understand how I developed a crush on Kevin Love without my knowledge. How did that even happen?

He does look like he could be Hunny’s twin. And their moms have the same name. How weird is that?

Needless to say, Hunny is not a Kevin Love fan anymore. He likes a player for the Charlotte Hornets, Frank “The Tank.” I don’t remember his last name and I’m not going to learn it, either.

Emotional Roadblock

Yeeyum is turning three. Another mother would be happy about it. Another mother would be proud. I am neither. And I am torn.

When Cupcake turned three, she had a three month old baby to fuss over and love. If not for the Incident, Yeeyum would have an eleven or almost twelve month old shadow trying in vain to keep up with his older brother. But he doesn’t.

I cried myself to sleep last night. I’ve spent the day stifling my emotions and saving face, because I’ve been shopping with my mother for the birthday. I can’t explain that I’m sad about a baby who doesn’t exist in front of a child who does. It’s not right.

When I was sixteen, my mother and I shared a car. I would drop her off at work and head to school. When school was over, I’d pick her up. One day, as I approached the same road that my house was on, I thought, I should drop off my backpack. Then I thought, That’s silly. I’m going to drop off my backpack, get back in the car, and go get mom? I should just keep going. Even as I drove past the road, I felt like I should go, but I ignored it. I ended up getting hit by a car full of drug impaired people who had just bought drugs from someone. I was hit across three lanes of traffic. Two cars hit me before I ended up hitting a car in a parking lot. The wrecker who got my car gave my parents his condolences. When my parents told him I was alive, he could hardly believe it. The entire car was smashed. The back end of the car was occupying the back seat. I thought, God kept me alive for a reason.

Now I don’t know.

Am I making a difference? Have I helped anyone? I have no idea.

But that is not for me to know this side of heaven, is it?

All I know is the solitary thing keeping me from coming completely unglued is the knowledge that God loves me completely, deeply, unconditionally, and unfathomably. The love for me that led Jesus to die on the cross is still in effect. Even when I am fighting against the riptide of sadness.

Thirsty Thursday: Pink Roses

I am not a gardener. I am not all that great with indoor plants, either. I think my orchid is dead, but I can’t let it go. It was a gift from Hunny! When I saw rose bushes in the Aldi seasonal aisle, I really wanted to get one. But I wanted to be smart about it and wait until they went on sale.

Towards the end of the season, they still weren’t on sale. I love roses and even though I knew it was too late to plant them, I caved and bought two: a pink rose and a yellow rose. I’m not a yellow gal, but I thought it might be nice to try something different for a change.

The miniature rose bush my father gave me for Mother’s Day three years ago is thriving under my minimal care and attention. It had already produced a multitude of tiny velvety red roses. I had a feeling the rose blossoming season was over when I asked Hunny to plant the new additions, but I asked God if He would let the pink rose bush bloom just one flower before fall. Just because He loves me, the rose bush bloomed several pink flowers that filled the air with their perfume.

My dad happened to drop by when one of the flowers bloomed. I wanted him to see how well his present was doing, and I wanted him to see the pink rose. I didn’t want to tell him that I had prayed for God to make it bloom. It felt embarrassing. Shouldn’t I be praying about grander, loftier things? I can’t tell my dad that I asked God for a rose. It’s so stupid! In spite of my embarrassment, I added, “I prayed God would let this one bloom,” after showing him the roses. My dad didn’t laugh at me. He nodded his head and said, “Oh.” He’s a man of few words, in case you were wondering.

A month or so later, a friend came over to visit with her children and a tag-along. After Cupcake took them to see the chickens, I felt like I should say something about the roses, even though I really didn’t want to say anything! I wanted them to see how lovely they were, but I didn’t want to admit to yet another person that my prayers were so goofy. But I did it anyway. “I asked God to make this rose bush bloom, and He did. See how great they look?” My words were bolder than my feelings inside. “Cool!” My friend didn’t laugh at me, either.


My rose bush is still blooming! This picture is from today!

Mini Roses from My Dad

Today’s picture of the roses from my dad.

Don’t be ashamed to share the small victories in your life. Any and every prayer answered is a beacon of Light. It is additional proof of God’s Love, Existence, and Mercy. We don’t know what other people are praying for and about. They may be praying for healing or salvation for a loved one or transportation or that the clothes they need will go on sale so they can afford them. God really does care about us. He cares about our big and small worries. He wants us to come to Him with everything. Even the things that may seem like nothing to others that may mean everything to us.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you; casting all your anxieties upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7, emphasis mine

Love & Mercy (A Review of Sorts)

Oh my word, you guys. Hunny took me on a date June 29th, over a month ago. My plan was to share our movie experience with you the following week. It is somewhat terrifying to me that I let 33 days slip through my fingers. Does that frighten you to your very core? If not, it should!

33 days ago, the plan was to see Love & Mercy and then watch I’ll See You in My Dreams, a Doris Day / Danny Thomas movie. I can’t even explain how excited I was to see a biopic followed by a movie made in 1951. Two types of films I love with the man I love?! Life does not get any better than that.

When we arrive at the film house, we do not see a Danny Thomas movie poster. Doris Day’s enormous smile is nowhere to be found. Hunny asks the girl behind the concessions stand about the movie. She tells us I’ll See You in My Dreams is an old person movie about old people and we did not want to see that. Undaunted, we went on to watch Love & Mercy.

I went into this movie looking forward to peeking behind the scenes at the Beach Boys and completely uninterested in Brian Wilson. You see, growing up I believed I would be involved in music. I would be a singer/songwriter for some band or just myself and that would be my life and livelihood. I watched Behind the Music incessantly. It did not matter if the bands were ones I didn’t know full of people I had never heard about, I watched to learn about the ins and outs of the music business and how they found inspiration for music. Unfortunately, the show was mainly how their lives were a train wreck: affairs, drugs, thieving managers, tragic diseases, and tragic accidents involving planes or trains. I vividly remember watching the one on Wilson Phillips where Carnie Wilson talked about what a horrible father she had and how mean he was to her. I don’t know why this burned into my brain, but I felt so sorry for her. And it made me not like her dad. I couldn’t stop loving the Beach Boys, but I knew that guy was a bad dude.

When the film ended and I emerged from the emotional roller coaster, I felt terrible for Brain Wilson. Again, great writing paired with amazing acting can change a person. For the record, I still am not a Brian Wilson fan and I will always be a Beach Boys fan. I didn’t care that Paul Dano and John Cusack look nothing alike, because their mannerisms and speech patterns were similar. They were both heartbreaking and completely genuine in expressing the pain they were independently experiencing. Paul Giamatte is legitimately horrifying as the psychotic psychiatrist Eugene. This is not a movie you want to see when you’re feeling overly emotional. It is definitely worth seeing.

Thirsty Thursday: Beyond Death

This is my second year reading through the Bible. I’m not reading it for the second time. I’m not even halfway through the Bible. I’m slowly but surely reading through the Bible while still getting the most out of my reading.

The past several days I’ve been meditating on a phrase from the final verse of Psalm 48:

that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever. Psalm 48:14 emphasis mine

He will guide us forever.

Isn’t that beautiful?

Forever is such an interesting word. For me and my finite human brain, the word forever is ethereal and poetic. It is almost like a pretend, made up word. What does forever really mean? What does forever feel like?

There was a reference beside the word forever in the text, so I had to look at what was written about this beautiful phrase. The footnote read: Septuagint; another reading is (compare Jerome, Syriac) He will guide us beyond death

Beyond death!

Now that really resonates with me. I am no stranger to death. I have had numerous loved ones die. I see death in the changing of the seasons. I also see death in more banal ways such as light bulbs going out and the blackening of my phone’s screen.

God will guide us beyond death! That is exciting. That gives more meaning to our life after this one. It also gives us reassurance that our trust exercises in this life on earth will help us in the next. God will be guiding us through it. No matter what we’re going through in this life or the circumstances we meet in the next, God is leading us. Jesus told us He would always be with us even to the end of the age, and it is even more comforting to know that God is guiding us from this life into the next.

I Broke

It was bound to happen. And I kind of knew it was coming.

I’ve been begging for a break from helping with the non-profit since the Incident. I haven’t had any such break and, at times, have been given more work. I requested July off, but there’s an event in August and I know I’m going to have to help in July. I just KNOW.

Hunny gives a weekly lecture for the non-profit. He was and still is sick, so I prepared to give a lecture in his place. As I was preparing, I received a message from the volunteer who watches small children during the lecture for attendees. She’s quitting. She’s giving no notice. In her message, she asked a couple questions that threw me:

Have you ever thought about getting more than one person, so there can be a rotation of volunteers?


Have you contacted such and such person to aid in finding volunteers?

Multiple times. 

And that’s when I broke.

I cried. I couldn’t explain what was wrong when Hunny asked. I finally choked out syllables with the semblance of the news. Informed that she was getting paid, I became angry. She wasn’t even really volunteering.

Hunny pondered if we should leave the non-profit. Can we keep doing this? Does God want us to keep doing this? He was expecting a two way conversation. I was physically unable to talk. I was a mess. All I could do was sob.

I need to walk and pray. 

Terrified of leaving me alone in such emotional duress, Hunny hobbled behind me, dragging his sick self outside to monitor me. I knew I had to get myself together. Maybe talking to someone would help.

The only fellow staff member I trust sat in the corner with me in a room full of people.

I’m wearing makeup to hide that I’ve been crying for a couple hours. 

“That’s not good,” he cautiously deadpanned.

I told him I broke. The tears immediately resumed. As I was unloading the ridiculous demands of our immediate supervisor, the pain of being ignored by fellow staff, and how underwhelming the support for our department is, Cupcake and Yeeyum have an argument. A high decibel level argument. Fine. They were yelling and screaming.

And I deal with this at home.

After 30 minutes of crying, it was time to go. All my poor friend could do was give me a hug and the assurance of his prayers.

As I was erasing the board to start the lecture, I heard a voice ask, “Are you ok? You look like you’re gonna cry.” I’m ok, I forced. Another voice asked, “Are you ok?” I broke yet again. No. I’m not.

Tears flowed as I walked out of the room and into the bathroom. The second voice took over for me. I composed myself in the bathroom only to find the Loser waiting for me in the hallway. I was taken aback because he hasn’t been around in months. I honestly do not remember the last time I saw him.

I purposefully lied when he asked me if I was ok. He went in for a hug. I gave him my side, but he wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. As he kept squeezing, I pulled my forearms over my chest and turned my face away. In the movie version of this scene, I would have punched him in the stomach. In the real life version, I thought, How much longer is this going to be?

When he finally let go, he prattled on about his problems: his ex-wife, the impending failure of her second marriage, his doomed relationship with his kids, and his inability to find a job that “fit him.” I stood there, stunned and slightly amused at his crazy train. At some point, my expressive face gave way to tedium (Dang my expressive face!).

“You’re the one upset and here I am telling you all my problems. It’s just that you’re the only girl in my life, I mean woman, who I can talk to. Who listens and understands.” (P.S. Again, I haven’t seen or heard from him in months. When I do see him, Hunny is present. Sometimes he catches me off guard. It’s always in a hallway…) “I’m here for you. I mean, I’m here now, but I’m also here for you. I know I’m just a guy, but I’m here whenever you need me.”

In the movie version of this scene, I would have said something like, “NO, THANKS!” or “BACK OFF!” or “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU IDIOT! I’M MARRIED!” In real life, I excused myself to talk to someone else. Hunny has teased me before about the Loser having a crush on me, “It’s all fun and games until he tries to kiss you. Then I’ll have to beat him.”

Do you know anyone else to get hit on by a struggling addict after breaking down in tears in front of a crowd? No? Just me then? Ok.

A Long Hard Look

I’m sick, you guys. As in, can’t do anything but lay there, can’t concentrate on anything, and just feeling horrendous. There’s nothing like being unable to function to make you reevaluate your life. I don’t like what I see.

I’m wasting my life.

Let me clarify: being Hunny’s wife and being mother/care giver to the Littles is not a waste. It is an honor and a privilege. All the screaming and crying I’ve heard from my sick bed confirms that they cannot function without me, so I’m kind of important to their overall well being and quite possibly their existence. However, I am wasting the precious vapor that is my life.

Aside from the 40+ hours a week I spend taking care of my home and family, I spend all my extra time, energy, and effort helping Hunny with his duties at his second job working for a nonprofit organization. Helping my husband is part of being a wife, but I have nothing left over for myself. I spend zero time and energy following my passions or chasing my dreams. If I don’t change this, I will resent my Hunny. Nobody wants that.

I am going to prayerfully consider what I can do to change this and make time for me.