Gift or Gurney

So recently, I had an article published in my church’s magazine, The Covenant Companion.

Y’all. God is so totally hilarious.

Why? you ask? Well, I would now like to describe for you how my brain works. Stay with me because this might get a bit complicated.

Momsie’s brain: Huh! I had an article accepted for The Covenant Companion! That’s awesome! It’s a great magazine with like, thousands of readers. So cool!

Wait for it…

Momsie’s Brain: I am just gonna flip through the pages here… Can’t wait to see the article! Ima writer! Ina magazine! This is wonderful and amazi- WHOA WAIT A MINUTE. HOLD UP. JUST WOW. WOW.

And lo, here was the article:

Screenshot 2015-05-28 10.01.51HOLY HUGE FACE, BATMAN.

Screenshot 2015-05-28 10.11.28help.

Screenshot 2015-05-28 10.13.59

So, allow me for a minute to plonk down my neuroses right smack into the middle of this post, and try to explain the tangled muddle that is known as:

How Momsie Thinks

Or:

Hop on Board the Crazy Train

As some of you know… I am an alcoholic. Yep. This realization came to me about some four years ago, and I’ve been on the lovely and freaking hard journey ever since, climbing the big, fat mountain of recovery.

Don’t get me wrong, the mountain is great. It’s got good views. Nice clear skies. Lotsa fluffy clouds. Intense discussions with Jesus. It’s awesome.

But some days it still just really kicks me in the ass.

So. While alllll this was happening, I, for some weird reason, was writing a lot. Yes, I KNOW you therapists out there are probably able to give me lots of deep and psychological reasons why my creative synapses started shooting sparks when all this went down, but I just like to chalk it up to the fact that when I wrote I didn’t feel so miserable and nutty, and thank you, Jesus, for that. Nobody needs to be nutty, like ALL the time. Unless you’re a Kardashian, I guess.

Well, all the people I kept writing for kept saying this:

“Oh, you want to write about parenting? Or, knitting? Or how to teach your cat to fetch? Interesting. But really, we’d like you to write about your big number, your show stopper, you know, the one where you drank a lot and now don’t? Please write about that!”

And then. The Covenant Companion said, “Yes! Write about that drinking thing! It’s important and you will be helping people!”

Let me now interject again with Momsie’s brain.

Momsie’s Brain: Well, sure. I’ll do that. And somehow, no one will REALLY know it’s me that wrote the article, and so therefore… my church friends won’t, uh, KNOW know. I mean, they might kinda know… but not REALLY really know. That I’m. you know.

I know. My brain works in mysterious ways. Sometimes I just have to stop and take a breath and thank the good Lord I don’t have to operate heavy machinery on a daily basis.

The article was about how people in the church who are dealing with addiction need to be able to talk bout it, in the open, all honest and healthy and stuff.

And I do get the irony, y’all. I’m a writer. We do irony.

Sigh.

So, on that fateful morning, when I found my magazine in my post office, I pawed throught it, and:

WHAMMO. BIG FAT DANA FACE HOLY COW.

And that’s when God said, “I love you girl. But this is a wee bit funny, don’t you think?”

Good one, God.¬† Sometimes our best gifts can be a gurney, if we’re not careful.

And now, I’m gonna go give myself a facial. My pores need work.

Screenshot 2015-05-28 10.30.44

STOPPIT.

This post was brought to you by:

humility

And also this:

funny-Robert-Downey-humility-smiling1

This post is about sex! And friendship! Which sounds really weird! Stay with me!

137So recently my friend Rae had the audacity to move away.

Her hubs got a job in sunny California and she just LEFT me. LEFT, I tell you. I ask you, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS WORLD WHEN FRIENDS MOVE AWAY BECAUSE  MARRIAGE?

I know. Marriage is a holy union and all that but now… WHO will I send snarky posts about husbands?

(Backstory: Rae also has a husband who is adorable and wonderful, like mine, but at times we like to laugh at them via text. Because we can. Also, because it’s a fallen world and oh don’t send me an email, I’m working on it. Admitting it is half the battle, y’all.)

Anyhow. The lawyer is sighing heavily and reminding me rather tersely: We can STILL text each other.¬† California does have texting, I’m pretty sure.

BUT STILL SHE LEFT ME. SHE JUST LEFT ME WHYYYYYY.

I had tried everything to get them to stay. Whining. Random sniveling. Prayer group sabotage. That one didn’t work at all, even thought I thought for sure it would. We were all gathered around Rae, praying over her trip and her move and all the stressers and other nonsense she was going through, and I entered in with this epic invocation:

“Dear Lord, I pray also that she just STAYS HERE THIS IS CRAZY. Could you, like, smite their U-Haul? Nicely?

But, okay, Thy will be done and all. I guess. Not really in this situation, but OK. Maybe.”

Strangely enough, the Lord didn’t follow through on this. I will talk more with Him about this later. The cute little hipsters, Rae and Sean, and their cute little kids, packed up and left me.

And so, I did the next best thing:

I decided to be selfless and wonderful and clean their house!

Actually, the lawyer is AGAIN asking me to clarify: I didn’t come up with the idea. My legitimately selfless and wonderful friend, Alissa, suggested we do it, and I just kinda horned on to it, and told everyone it was my idea.

I know. I have not, EVER, tried to establish that I am anywhere near perfect in this blog. But this post really accentuates all that, doesn’t it? Does this blog make me look fat, too?

Hope not.

So, I cleaned. Alissa watched our umpteen million small children. I think I got the better end of the deal.

And, while I was scrubbing away… I found… THIS (small flourish, and audible gasp!):

IMG_3798

*Bad selfie.

* Yes, I know this picture kinda looks like I am cleaning without any clothes on. Or maybe, that’s just me thinking that, and you didn’t really go there at all. Shows you how my brain works, doesn’t it? It’s a bit wonky. I guess, the whole “My heavens! Is she topless?” question is kinda fitting because of the subject matter. But, you know, it’s not that kinda blog.

Actually, I think sweet Rae left them for me. It’s a deck of cards. About Sex. Aptly named: “Sex!” The marketing team really went all out on this one.

It is the kind of thing you get when you get married and your hokey friends like to give you wildly embarrassing gifts all har dee har har, nudge nudge, wink wink, etc. And then, you put them in a drawer and forget alllll about ’em.

Until you move to California and you decide, “Hmmm, maybe I’ll leave these here. I have two kids under the age of 5 and I think I’m good on the whole nookie thing. I know! I’ll leave ’em for my friend! She’ll LOVE them!”

So, now they are at my house, shoved waaaaaaaay in the back of MY drawer.

For my children to find.**

Thank you, sweet Rae. My impossibly wonderful, tiny, fit friend. I will miss you. So very, very much.

Screenshot 2015-05-19 11.03.16

Group selfie. Dressed. Alissa on left. Rae on right. Notice picture of Jesus in background. We are super spiritual. And, I never seem to know where to look.

** As every married couple seems to get at least one of these goofy types of presents, you can be sure that:

1. We did. It was something with feathers and edible glitter and my gosh that just seems like a lot of work.

2. I didn’t toss the gift. Even though the likelihood of me using a feather during nookie is very slim. Unless I wanted to dust something. I know.

3. Red found it. And wanted to talk about it. A lot.

4. I scheduled an appointment with my therapist that afternoon.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Mother’s Day

Gonna blog for #NetflixStreamTeam today. And also, be a bit mushy. You’ve been warned.

 

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It's a great gig.

As a Netflix Streamteam blogger, Netflix asks me to watch their fabulousness and them chatter about it. It’s a great gig.

Y’all. I don’t much care for Mother’s Day.

There. I said it.

I know. It sounds all wicked stepmothery of me, doesn’t it? Well, maybe I should embrace this role. The wicked stepmother should get props, I think, for at least being practical. She has a household to run and two daughters who have terrible social skills. She is on survival mode, people.

And then she has the sweetie pie, Cinderella, who has befriended vermin and always has good hair. It’s WEIRD.

It’s also possible I am reading a bit too much into this whole story, but you know, I never promised you a neurotic-free post.

Well, and then, there’s also this:

Mother’s Day Expectations:

family breakfast in bed boy reading newspaper
Really, small blonde? How’s that stocks section? And, don’t you think that’s enough carbs, mommah?

Mother’s Day Reality:

I’m gonna find a sock with macaroni and cheese in it under the bunk bed. And I’m gonna have to clean it.

Because, crazy does not wait.

Even on Mother’s Day.

Ok, so this Mother’s Day, my beloved decided to take me dress shopping. I have an actual book signing coming up, in which I will be rubbing shoulders with REAL AUTHORS OH MY WORD (Pun? See it? I’m good) and I need to look legit. And smart. And bookish. And, like I know what I’m doing, and also thin.

Here’s how it all went down:

Hubs: Let’s go Dress Shopping for Mother’s Day!

Small boys: US TOO US TOO US TOOOOOOO

Momsie: Lord. Give me strength.

I know, right? Mother’s Day is not for the faint at heart.

So, there I am, at a changing room with mirrors all up in my business and fluorescent lighting and my heavens, why don’t we just shine a spotlight on me while we’re at it, right? And I am actually trying to discuss dress sizes with the hubster, which is demoralizing, and I kinda just want to collapse and ask for a sack cloth and ashes and call it done.

And then, Red suggests this purple number because he loves da purples. And I eye it. (I am out of the changing room at this point and dressed – I know I changed locations and didn’t want you to get confused and visualize me in my underwear. Me, IN my underwear underneath all those lights with the mirrors crowding around me was enough visuals for me – you don’t need to go there with me. Poor dears.)

So, I grab the purple dress even though it isn’t really anything I would ever wear, because Red is now cheeping like a small bird, “Dis one! Dis one mommah! It’s der purples! PURPLE!!!!!!” and I fear all the women in the store will start to think he’s special.

And then I try it on. (We’re back in the changing room.) And I blink. And come out of the changing room.

And all three boys (hubs included) smile. Blonde says, “Whoa. Dude. That’s NICE. You’re so pretty, momma!”

And I look in the mirrors, and tell them (the mirrors, not the boys), “Back OFF shiny ones! And behold. I AM pretty! No. Not that. I am HOT.”

It’s possible I embellished this with a quick hair toss. The boys all gasped and applauded.

And that’s how I now love Mother’s Day.

Now, how, you ask, does Netflix tie in to all of this? Well, because. Cinderella. Duh.

I know. It’s mushy. Stay with me. This is not normally my thing, the mush, but it has to be said.

Moms get lost under a layer of snot, whining, and malaise. We find sweatpants by the bed as we jump up to get the six-year-old to school on time, and we wear them with pride because our uniform merits comfort and stretch. We don’t mind, really, that we have a coffee stain on our t-shirt right smack where one should not be looking at our t-shirt. We embrace the coffee stain. “I love you, coffee stain,” we say, as we sashay down the drive way. “You are my piece of flair for the day.” We do all this for the most part. But lately, me with my coffee stains and my flair? I had been feeling a little bit… invisible.

Anyhow. When I stood under all those lights with the mirrors snickering, I put on that dress, and for a moment the darn mirrors got all misty. Or it was my eyes. And I pushed back my hair and tilted my head, and I felt VISIBLE. And gorgeous. And it wasn’t just the dress. The dress was just a… portal. It helped me see Me.

We all love Cinderella stories, because we know they are our own stories too. We love them because our wrinkled hearts need ironing out too every once in a while. And, Netflix has a slew of these movies that lift and tuck the tired soul. Movies like:

Screenshot 2015-05-13 12.35.14

 

 

 

 

 

 

and…

Screenshot 2015-05-13 12.35.21

 

 

 

 

 

 

and…

Screenshot 2015-05-13 12.35.37

 

 

 

 

 

 

But, my favorite, hands down, all time bestest Cinderella movie, besides the one with Gus Gus? Well, this one:

Everafterposter

It’s the real deal. Watch it some night when you have found yourself surrounded by toddlers and chaos for just a little bit too long for your liking. Once the cherubs are asleep, fix yourself a chocolate malted, some popcorn, and put your feet up. We all have a bit of Cinderella inside of us, because, after all, we all have days where we have to clean macaroni and cheese out of places no one should ever have to.

And we all have a fairy godmother. It’s the friend who takes us to get a pedicure and listens while we explain that we can’t, we just can’t do another day of laundry and crazy and strange stains in the bathroom. Or, it’s our sister who sends us texts that make us laugh when we have, once again, managed to make dinner a mediocre mess. Or, it’s even our husband who rubs our feet while we watch Netflix, and we renew and recharge for another day of Momhood.

Rock on, mommas. Be brave. Find your inner Cinderella. And:

Drew-Barrymore-in-Ever-After-just-breathe-GIF

I’d Like to Schedule a Meeting. Click Reply.

Linking up with Kate Motaung over at Five Minute Fridays today!

The theme:Screenshot 2015-05-08 10.29.48

I’m sitting on the floor on my bathroom. I have two boys, and one husband. Therefore, the floor is not the best place to be. The bathroom has a door, however, and for the most part it is shoved shut.

Except my cat, somehow, manages to get in here now. And he is staring at me, as cats do, all up in my face. Like somehow this staring business is going to make me get up and get him a smelly kitty treat.

I am not. I am going to stay right here.

CDsMGc7UMAAcq1b

I am crying a little. I am also wondering where my waist went. It got, um, disappeared. I had just returned from a shopping trip where I had bludgeoned myself with changing room! bright lights! mirrors all over! dresses that seemed right and then when I put them on they turned into impossible cloth torture devices! a horrible feeling of “who are you kidding” malaise!

I was tired out by all that. So, the bathroom.

Also this: my children. The sweet little babies were whining so much this afternoon that I thought maybe they were, like, training for some sort of whining tournament later.

This was PULITZER whining. This was whining that could get you into the FRACKITY-FRACK WHINING OLYMPICS.

As I sat on that bathroom floor, with my cat all mouth breathing on me, and the linoleum screamed “Ebola! Plague! Disgusting! Clean me, now!!’ at me, I kinda hated my life.

Remember when you didn’t have children? The children that took your waist? Remember that? You used to read the freaking newspaper, woman. On a Saturday morning. With coffee. In BED.

I realize that I kinda hate everything.

And then, the cat came a little closer. Always one for barging through social boundaries, he leaned on me. And something kinda happened.

I leaned on him.

He purred. And I put my hand on his warm little head and I remembered something:

I am supposed to pray when I get like this.

And then, Jesus, who is always here with me, even in my bathroom of despair, said:

“I really think it’s time we get together. I’ve been trying to call you into a meeting all morning! Will you please reply?”

I sniffled.

“We can’t meet here. It’s like, gross. And I’m a mess.”

Jesus, always one for barging through all social boundaries, sat right down next to me, amidst the fur and germs, and said,

“I can do mess. Let’s meet. Right now. Before you switch over to doom and gloom forever. And then, let’s just keep meeting, like this, all day. Ok?”

He reminds me of this every day. The cat is sometimes His messenger. I know, it’s a cat. But for right now? He’s a Messenger from God. With fur on.

Why yes, I am wearing a tutu. It compliments my eyes. And yes, that is a furball photobomb in the background.
Why yes, I am wearing a tutu. It compliments my eyes. And yes, that is a furball photobomb in the background. She’s such a diva.

Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:7

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.

Ay. There’s the rub.

Last night I dreamt I saved my brother.

You know how it is when your best friend comes up to you and says, “Dude, I had the WEIRDEST dream last night. Let me tell you about it?” And you kinda wilt inside and go all:

Oh really?

Oh really? Well, can’t wait to hear it.

Yep, that’s exactly how you might be looking at the screen right now. But, not to state the obvious… it’s a SCREEN, so I can’t see it, so therefore, I WON’T KNOW.

Sigh. Just keep reading. Please.

In my dream, as dreams do, things were a bit wonky.

First of all, we were in some seedy, downtown, scary part of town that totally would not be a place I would EVER hang out.

Secondly, I was dressed as a super hero. Of course. Read whatever psychoanalysis you want into it.

Thirdly, I had people with me. I don’t remember all of them. It was a group. A group, it seems, of well meaning people that also wanted to help my brother.

It’s possible a young Brad Pitt was one of them. I am not exactly sure. But, Brad Pitt does seem like a genuine enough kind of guy, so I believe it.

We were gonna ambush my brother as he left one of the scarier buildings – I don’t know why I knew he was in there, but I am sure you are telling the computer screen right now: BECAUSE IT’S A DREAM, SILLY. STOP TRYING TO WORK OUT THE DETAILS.

And so, we waited, in the dark and cold. I do remember it was cold. Probs because I was dressed like Wonder Woman. Chilly.

And then, there he was.

He looked young. Very young. And he looked… saveable.

And I swooped in and said this:

“Look. Here’s how it’s all gonna go down. You’re coming with me. You’re not gonna stay here anymore. And, you are going to QUIT drinking. RIGHT. NOW.”

And he looked at me and said,

“Okay.”

And that is the dream about how I saved my brother.

keep-pressing

When God Shuts a Door, Somewhere He Opens a Window. Or Not.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today.

The theme:

Screenshot 2015-05-01 13.12.26

When He shuts a door for you, He doesn’t always open a window.

Sometimes He opens the door… but later.

Or the window is cracked open, but you have to push and shove and fuss with it.

Or there’s no door and no window and just you being still and sitting with it for days. Or months. Or more.

Or sometimes another door swings to wide open but you don’t like that door. It’s purple. And you don’t like purple. Why would God give you a purple door?

Or He asks you to go through the window, and it swings shut and wacks you on the arse as you squirm through.

Fat_Not_PetDoorCat2

A bit over three years ago, I was drowning. I had a horrible addiction to wine, you see, and any other sort of lovely numbing alcohol, and I couldn’t quit.

I just couldn’t quit.

There were doors all around me. Doors to hospitals, and rehabs, and AA meetings, and churches… And even a door to my father’s house – he is an alcoholic in recovery, over fifty years of recovery, and his door was wide open.

I was surrounded by doors, wide open, bedecked by flowers, well swept walks, outstretched hands…

Prayers.

But I wouldn’t walk through any of them. Too terrified. Too stuck. Curtains drawn.

God didn’t shut the door. He simply showed me all the others. And then He helped me to get up and walk out of my own.

Into meetings. Into churches. Into words. Into prayers.

And yes, into my father’s house, where I told him who I was.

And he hugged me and reminded me who he was.

And in it all, God kept telling me, “I am. I AM.”

“I am bigger than all of this. I am bigger than addiction. And fear. And pain. Keep walking.”

So, every morning, I choose to stay sober for another twenty-four hours. Every day, I pray, “Lord, please keep me sober for another day. Just today.”

And then I grip His hand tightly, and we walk through the door.

Together.

door