Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter of the soul


There are days when my loneliness turns to liquid and runs down my face.
There are days when I think to myself...My God! How long must I bare this aloneness.

I'm not kidding you when I say that my cell phone does. not. ring.  Ever.
I feel like everybody else is getting together and having a good time and I'm not there.
Hell...I'm not even invited. There are no women friends to go out with.
There are no last minute texts saying "Hey we're getting together; you wanna come with?"
No coffee clatches...No parties...no book clubs...no ladies church guild...no play groups.
Remember those two ladies I tried to befriend at the end of the school year?
I gave them my phone number and address and asked if we could get the kids together to play sometime over the Summer. And they never called. And then at the beginning of this school year I ran into them again and they ignored me...twice. Pointedly. And it shames me.
They don't even acknowledge my presence. They look through me. And I don't know why.

It feels as if I live my life in a void...in a vacuum of space where no one knows I exist.

I've never been a bluesy in December kind of a gal. The dark days and the cold temps don't bother me. I'm just so mother fucking lonely I don't know what to do anymore.

People of the Christian faith call this a "Hard Season".
They say that God is asking me to wait.

( start at 52 seconds)

They say I should be still and revel in the silence of the waiting.
"Be still and know..." Ps 46:10
They say that God is preparing me for something; maybe something bigger, something better.

Can I tell ya something?
After a long season of silence and waiting ANYTHING is going to look like a gift from God.
And speaking of gifts...

I read this on FB today.
It sorta made me feel better. It made me think HEY! Wait a minute!
Maybe it's not me, maybe it's them! Maybe it's been them all along.
I don't know why I put the burden of that shame onto my shoulders.

Yes I do.
I did it because I'm lonely and introverted and I don't know how to make friends.
I thought it would be easy, ya know?
Get the kids together, make a little bit of small talk with the the moms, make a connection of sorts.
Only it didn't happen at all how I envisioned it would.
The phone calls never came. Then the shunning thing started. Now I am Invisa-Girl to them.
AND WHY DOES THIS BOTHER ME???

I think it's the loneliness that hurts. It's the wanting in thing that is haunting me.
It's the shame of not feeling good enough, or of somehow lacking something vital that they can see I don't posses, so let's ignore her and act like we are 12 year olds in junior high.

Did I tell you that one of these ladies is married to a pastor?
And the other one is the room mom at the school.
Huh. Go figure that one.

Anyway...I feel better now that I have typed this out.
Rant over. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly







Monday, December 4, 2017

Advent-tagious

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Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent.
Every year I look for a reading plan that has specific readings and Bible verses to attach to the words of   HOPE  PEACE  JOY  LOVE  that usher in the holiday season.
This one even includes songs to listen to along with the readings.

The first word of the advent season is HOPE.
This was part of the reading from our church sermon yesterday-

Isaiah 11:6-9

1.  No War,  just Peace
2.  No Sadness,  just Joy
3.  No Sickness,  just Health
4.  No Death,  just Life
5.  No Hatred,  just Love
6.  No Fear,  just Faith

Our Pastor preached that "the state of your heart reflects the amount of Jesus in your heart."
Meaning how you treat others (including yourself), how you see the world; maybe even how you treat the world, what you do or don't do for the least of these, reflects or should reflect your feelings about Jesus and his influence in your life.
I think this is true.

When I'm not anxious, it's because I have been in touch with Jesus...through reading scripture or praying or seeing evidence of him in the sky above me or the earth below me. When I'm feeling generous and loving and kind it's because I do feel Jesus in my heart and I want to spread this feeling to others. Not just at Christmastime but all through the year.

When I am anxious and filled with fear or feeling angry, I know it's because I've moved away from Jesus.

We fought before church, him and I.
I feel like he keeps correcting me on the things I observe or say or do.
Maybe contradicts is a better word.
Either way, I've been feeling especially aggravated whenever he "corrects" me.
I've kept my mouth shut for too long and let resentments build up.
15 minutes before church on Sunday I huffed loudly and left the room, sick unto death of him for correcting me (AGAIN!!) about the weather forecast on my phone.
He followed me out of the room to reiterate his point because he heard me huff in reply to him.
(Isn't this silly? These stupid little irritants the we let get under our skin??)

Anyway, he doesn't fight fair...never has.
He has a little bit of a passive/aggressive nature. (and I'm being kind here)
The first thing he does after I try to defend my point is swear at me, loudly, then he yells-
"WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!"
Then he shouts "I'm not going to church because it doesn't work. It's not real. There's nothing there!"
And I stand there stunned.
Doesn't work?? Nothing there? What's he talking about???
"Are YOU still going to church? I don't see how you can!" he says
What's church got to do with this? I ask him. And Yes! I'm still going to church.
"We've been doing this for 34 years and church is NOT the place to be when we're fighting."

He couldn't be more wrong. Church is exactly where we need to be.
He has this strange idea that imperfect people don't belong in church.
He doesn't like the people that he believes are hypocrites to be going to church.
And a fighting married couple certainly don't belong there among the rest of the congregation.

I wonder if he realizes that 3/4 of the married people sitting in those church pews are fighting with each other this morning.
Or that the parents have yelled at their kids to hurry the F up! We are gonna be late! Get in the car!!
Or maybe those hypocrites that he doesn't approve are there because they ARE hypocrites!
I'm wondering if he remembers who Jesus hung around with.
I'm wondering if he knows that church isn't supposed to be for those who are perfect.
Church is a hospital for the rest of us... the so called normal people.
The liars and sinners,  the fighters and the hypocrites.
The moms and dads who are about to lose their shit if they have to tell the kids to put their shoes on ONE MORE TIME!
The hypocrites and the Pharisees who spout all sorts of nonsense and feel holier than thou.
The husbands and wives who can't even stand to be in the same room with each other at the moment will all have to sit next to each other for an hour and listen to a sermon that will be spot on in regards to where their hearts are at, at that exact moment in time.
And they will be asked to pass the Peace to each other with a handshake or a hug.
And the hug will feel warm & reassuring and last a fraction of a second too long.
See?? Healing, like a hospital.

I like the Bible verse at the top of the page. It gives me a measure of hope.
I want to believe that there will be no war or sadness or sickness or death or hatred or fear anymore.

Wouldn't that be a glorious thing?
One can only hope.
I'm looking forward to what next Sunday brings. That advent word is PEACE.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly




Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Paying Attention


Glennon Doyle Melton was once asked:
Why do you cry so often?
And her answer was this:
For the same reason I laugh so often.
Because I'm paying attention.
Truer words were never said.

The older I get the more easily I find myself laughing uproariously at a comedy show on TV. Everybody Loves Raymond is my favorite show and honestly I laugh out loud, even when I'm watching it all by myself.
Or I find myself laughing uncontrollably at something my sister, who has a wicked sense of humor, just said or maybe giggling at one of the grandchildrens silly antics.
Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting and outdoor

I also find myself reduced to tears more often by the slightest little thing.
Our cat caught a mouse and as only cats can do, slowly took it's life.
I felt so badly for that injured mouse. I saw it escape from the cats clutches just once, dragging its injured and unusable hind quarters behind it, across the floor and then underneath my desk.
Five minutes later it was all over but in my minds eye I still saw the look on that poor frightened little mouse face as it tried to make its escape.
It made me feel sad knowing it's last hour on this earth was filled with terror and pain and I cried for it's terrified little self, even as I praised the cat for being a good boy.
Such is the life of an empath.
I feel emotions for a vermin filled; injured mouse that had been running loose through my house.
Image may contain: cat

Our 84 year old neighbor Joann is a Snow Bird.
She lives across the street from us 6 months out of the year.
The other 6 months she lives in Arizona .
This morning she left to go back to her desert, later than her usual October departure.
Her daughter wanted her to spend Thanksgiving here, in Illinois, with their family.
I stood on the front step and watched as they left for the airport.
She waved and hollered Bye! out the open car window.
I found myself choking back tears; I could only wave at her.
But in my head I was shouting "Bye Joann!"
Because for some reason it felt final to me, like I won't be seeing her again.
And it makes me incredibly sad. And so I stood there and I cried.
Bye Joann.......Good-bye.

Is that being empathetic or psychotic?
I don't know.
What I DO know is that I find myself paying attention to a lot of little details that others miss. And I also know that these little details have the ability to control my day or brighten my mood or rend me in half depending on what it is I am seeing and in turn how what I see makes me feel.
Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, plant, outdoor and nature The way the clouds cause a particular color to form during the sunrise out my front window, or the glorious peach and rose alpine glow of the sunset as seen through the trees behind our house.

Image may contain: sky, tree, twilight, outdoor and nature Or when it gets frigid outside and the birds seem to want to play more often, chasing each other and flying higher and faster, over and over and over again.
(Do you suppose they're doing that just to keep warm?)


Or being with family at Thanksgiving and "feeling" the unhappiness of a certain person in the room and how it affected everybody else in the room.
(It wasn't me!😃)

Or that him and I are walking on eggshells around each other lately, both of us knowing that we are a little off but not knowing what it is or how to fix it.

Or seeing with our own eyes our three year old grandson being mean to his one year old sister ON PURPOSE by scratching her or pushing her down or squeezing her too hard or taking away any toy she has. It is maddening how often he makes her cry.

The world itself feels off kilter, I see it, I feel it, I know it, and yet I am powerless to do anything about it.
And so I guess that's where Let Go and Let God comes in to play.

Because if I truly believe in God like I say I do, then what do I have to worry or stress about?
If God is in the details, then what am I doing in there mucking things up with my incessant anxiety and worry?
How does my anxiety serve me? What can I learn from it? What is it trying to show me?

Is my empathy a hindrance or a help?

Maybe it's time I started paying better attention to what my mind is trying to tell me.
Stop thinking about what could go wrong and start seeing what is already going right!

I see beauty all around me in nature- birds, squirrels, sunrises and sunsets. I can smell pine trees and oranges and clean sheets. I can taste coffee and mashed potatoes and gravy and chocolate. I can hear birds chirping and my ipod music and my husband snoring. I have four grand kids who amaze me with their wonder of the world and also make me crazy with their meanness to each other on more than one occasion.

I am a work in progress.
I am learning to let go.
I am starting to rise.
I am ok with today.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly



Friday, November 17, 2017

Prose for the seasons



When morning comes, I long for bedtime.
Flannel sheets, our dog tucked between us, all of us drowsy and cozy.
The sweet oblivion of a solid nights sleep with help from my little yellow friend.

When evening comes, I long for morning.
The house still hushed, a lit candle to dispel the gloom and darkness,
reading my morning devotionals and praying to God.
Getting ready for the day, that first sip of coffee,
the grandkids running towards me down the front sidewalk.

When we go on vacation, I long for the comfort of my own home.
When vacation is a distant memory, I long for rest and relaxation in a condo,
on the beach, listening to the waves pound the shore...
the gentle whisper of YAHWEH coming with each crest.

In the heat and humidity of a long and hot Summer,
I long for the cold, crisp days of  Autumn.
In the Autumn, after the leaves are gone and daylight is replaced
by gray clouds for days on end,
I long for bright Summer sunshine and green trees and grass.
That humidity can go fuck itself tho.

I love Winter and the cold air. I love when it snows a lot.
I love living in that marshmallow world thingy. (hate the song)
I feel energized. I want to cook fabulous meals. And redecorate the house.
I wish we had a fireplace to gaze into during dark and snowy nights.

In late Winter, I long for Spring to get here.
The snow has now turned into a blackish/gray slush
and the cold at this point in time has grown tiresome.
I find myself scanning the trees looking for buds.
On the ground I see a smidge of green. Is that a Crocus?  LOOK! IT'S A Crocus!!!

My gardens look terrible except in my minds eye,
where I can just imagine what the perennials I planted last year might look like in a few weeks with a lot of annuals thrown in.
Birds start singing at dawn; happy to be alive and so am I.

After early Spring when that initial high of planting and pruning and mowing and gardening has worn off, and those birds need to shut the hell up...
It starts to feel a little bit warmer.
Sunlight lasts a little bit longer and so do the days.

Pretty soon the heat starts to creep back in and it brings with it
that hateful friend of his called humidity.
Let's be honest...The words Humidity and Miserable Bastard are interchangeable, right?

Winter-Spring-Summer-Fall
What's your favorite season of all?

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Thursday, November 16, 2017

What's in a name?


Ruska [Finnish] ~ (n.) the process of tree leaves turning various shades of red, yellow, purple, and brown in the autumn; the time of fall foliage.
psithurism (Greek)
No one ever has much trouble describing their kid’s latest tantrum, the terrible movie they watched last night or why we should


Word of the Day: Psithurism. The sound of the wind through trees. #inspiration #wordoftheday #graphicdesign






















Old English FEER-ye-brak


Ahhhh....
I love these words and images.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly


Monday, November 13, 2017

Cheese!

I've not been able to think of a post for a few days.
I guess that's a good thing.
While I wait for my thoughts to process, I thought I'd leave you with this image-















The grown girls and the young man on the far right are my kids.
The other two young men are my son-in-laws.
The littlest humans are my grand kids-Patrick, Fiona, Charlie and Delaney.
And him and I are sort of off center.

This was a good day.
This picture makes my heart happy.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Whining is whining, tell your story or move on

Birdie writes a blog post and it reads like a prayer.
I'm not comparing myself to her, just making an observation.
She writes about the minutia of her life...
Like making soup, her kids, doing laundry, going to work, even going to bed.
She talks of her gardens, of it raining or snowing and it makes me sigh with relief and also it makes me want to move to the PNW.

What she writes about is all so normal and yet her people, her followers
respond and agree and give advice and support her.
She's got a good group of people who respond with a "Me too!" type of mentality.

Seems like there is a lot of us who are living our lives the best we can
and always hoping for a better tomorrow.

When I write, it always feels like I am whining.
I always seem to be pissed off at someone or aggravated.
I mentioned this to another blogger once and she reprimanded me with-
"Whining is whining, tell your story or move on."

Uh, ok.

Yesterday my sister pissed me off with unsolicited advice about my son who, for those of you who don't know,  is still grieving the loss of his girlfriend.
(And by loss I mean she broke up with him without any kind of warning that she was unhappy in the relationship. The aftermath, for him, was/is devastating.)
He lost his girlfriend, his home, his dog, his social life and friends.
And he moved back in to his boyhood bedroom at the top of our stairs.

He is seeing a therapist and she has given him some anxiety reducing medicine for the short term.
He is writing in a journal doing what is called a Brain Dump.
Every time the sadness starts to overwhelm him he writes it out for as long as he needs to. He's better but is still feeling down at times.

My sisters advice was for him to stop seeing himself as the victim, since according to her, my son always falls in love too hard, and causes his own anguish; that he brings this pain upon himself .
In my head I thought to myself- What do you know about that sort of advice?
For that matter what advice could you possibly give regarding grown kids and their relationships?

Cuz here's the thing...she has 3 grown kids who all still live at home.
They are 32, 28 and 22. And all of them are single.
And none of them have ever dated or had a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
Not in high school. Not in college. Not now.

Did I tell my sister off or argue with her? No, I did not.
I dropped the conversation, changed the subject, and ended the phone call sooner than I planned.
This sister is a bully and very bossy and opinionated.
She never believes herself to be in the wrong, and she never apologizes...ever.
Why I call her is anybody's guess.
Guess I love her too hard, because she causes me anguish.
(two can play this game)

Today it feels better to whine about my jerky, know-it-all, bully of a sister.
Whining IS whining! That blogger was right.

So...regarding the rest of her advice...tell your story or move on?
I'm working on it...the storytelling part anyway.
I still feel myself rising up out of these ashes.
Just not ready to do battle over something my sister knows nothing about.
She would or could cut me to ribbons with her razor sharp tongue and self-righteous talk and know-it-all attitude.
And I feel like it was a win for me to disengage first. I saved myself.
And I'm moving on.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly