This is Marriage.

Long while back I had a friend who told me to read the book Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s a really sweet, sentimental book.

I know. I have really no idea why she suggested it for me.

Anyhow, the premise is this: If you spend time with someone, on a daily basis, you should really, you know, get to know them. Because people are generally awesome. They have stories to tell and lives that are lived, and we should realize how precious time is with them.

I know. It’s really sweet. And very true. And so, I was thinking just this morning how I have this other person who is like HERE like, A LOT and when, really, was the last time I sat down with him and just dug deep into his soul and got to “know” him?

It’s the husband. I’m talking about the husband. FYI. In case you were wondering if I had lost my mind and was talking about Steve the Cat. Or my sons. I do know my sons, but honestly? Deep conversation with my sons doesn’t happen too often because children.

So today! I am posting another installment in my series called:

THIS IS MARRIAGE.

So, here’s how we talk:

Exhibit One: We are persistent about calcium.

 

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Exhibit two: We do not freak out about scary stuff. In fact, we don’t freak out at all, we just blithely respond like it’s no big deal, leaving SOME OF US TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH KILLER EVIL STINGER THINGS.

There’s no resentment here. None at all.

 

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Exhibit Three: We go the extra mile.

 

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Exhibit Four: We get real. We even use saucy language.

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Exhibit Five: We quote scripture at each other. And by that I mean, HE sends me all these really uplifting, wonderful, LONGGGGGGG texts the bible all OVER the place. And I respond with my favorite verse. Because it’s short.

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Note how he completely ignores my snark and just keeps right on being SO HELPFUL AND SPIRITUAL. AWESOME.

 

Exhibit Six: We are very very honest. And we understand each other’s needs. Mine are usually about food.

 

 

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Exhibit seven: We are always willing to help out. Like when the husband needs to get a refill on a prescription we are more than happy to send pix.  And we are patient.

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And more pix…

 

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Exhibit Eight: We like to enjoy the little things. Like our kid. Dressed like a bat.

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Exhibit Eight:  We are straight up, no snark, here for each other. Even when autocorrect fails. We pray. Especially when we are far away, at Whole Women’s Weekend, dealing with a lot of stuff, and really really just needing an “I love you.”
I always get the “I love you.”

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This is marriage.

BOOM. 🙂

 

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A Favor

Tomorrow, I leave at 4 am for the airport, and then I fly to Maryland.

There, I will be speaking at this conference: W3-Video-Graphic

I have been working on my presentation for days. I keep waking up at around three a.m. with really brilliant ideas… and then I look back at those ideas in the morning light and go, “Wow. Really?” I am not kidding. Last night I had an idea involving my KU snuggie. Like, wearing it. I know. I don’t really know what I was going for on that.

Anyhow. I think I am a bit wonky about all this.

I mean, I have got to go in there, all Sobriety Ninja Woman! and SAVE THE DAY!

It’s not me. It’s God. He has this and He is the one that saves the day. Not me. So, prayerfully working on this workshop and realizing, too, that every time I do one of these things I learn a TON about myself, my teeny tiny faith, God’s huge, omnipotent power, and everything in between.

I ask a favor. If you are the praying sort, would you? Would you pray for this conference? For the broken ones (I am on that list) and the scared ones (yep, on that one too) and the ones in charge of all the details (thanking my lucky stars I am NOT on that one).

Would you pray? For peace and strength and courage. For courage. For all of us. To show up, to be real, to accept healing. To accept God’s love. Would you pray?

The conference is this Friday and Saturday. We (the workshoppers) want to give our presentations, but I know, what we really want? Is to get out of the WAY and let God take us where He wants us to go.

Amen?

Amen.

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Thank you. I love you, my readers. It is such a blessing to have you. You encourage me so much more than you know. And, also, I am pretty sure you would be kind enough to tell me NOT to do a presentation while wearing a Slanket. SO not a good idea.

But… what about my idea about telling my recovery story, using sock puppets? Do you think I should try that? Hmmm?

(Just kidding. This idea had me at hello at four am the night before last. Sanity returned in the morning. Well, as far as sanity can return to me, I guess.)

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I Got a lot of Questions.

This morning, I woke to two small boys in my bed. One was laying across the other one, like a small, mouth-breathing version of a Jenga game. The husband was long gone to work, and I have to say, he’s a smart one to have escaped. The bed was capsizing under sleepy squirming, and at one point I think the cat got into the game. “Jenga!” he meowed with a vengeance as he found his way up on the mountain of children. “Jenga!!!! Now, get up and get me some kibbles, Tall Owner. I’m hungry!”

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Obligatory shot of cat with underpants on head. Why? Because, that’s why.

So. This morning I read in my devotional about drawing close to God. He’s here, you know. Like, all the time. Or so the bible tells me. And who am I to argue with the bible?

Me. Me. I am one to argue with the bible.

I totally have God ensconced up in an office in the sky somewhere. Somewhere pleasant, with soft droning phones and lots of great art work on the walls. And really great coffee. He answers the phone with brisk ease and saves the day.

Except, in my head, he can only answer one call at a time.

And then there’s such sadness and pain – drums of war are pounding all around us. Truly horrific images of martyred believers fill my eyes and fill me with more pain than I even know what to do with.

Why didn’t He answer that call? All those men, marched to the beach? Wasn’t that call, you know, a really important one?

I am questioning so many things lately. I am adrift in an ocean of rather angry questions.

I decided to be brave and ask my husband about all this. He is an engineer, and his brain works in ways I can’t understand, but for some reason he is able to explain God to me. He’s not able to explain anything else. Just God stuff.

I asked him this rather silly question. “How does God answer all our prayers? All of them? All coming in at once? Billions and billions? Doesn’t this seem rather… ludicrous? How can He HEAR it all? It must be a noisy mess.”

He answered thus: “We don’t understand Him at all. We can’t. But we know He’s good and He’s powerful. And He loves us more than we can ever know.  And, as far as prayer goes? We can trust Him, with the wanting and the answers and what is right.”

Seems kinda loosey-goosey to me.

This from a man who wants to understand exactly how every gadget in our house operates and reads instruction manuals recreationally. He reads Popular Science for fun. And yet, he is all, “Trust and obey” on me?

So here I am.

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Adorableness.

 

I am watching two boys twist into the sheets of my bed (they both ended up here last night due to sickness and coughing, and oh I wish I could tell you we’re all better, but it’s a slow road) and I wondered at them. They were so perfect. All long lashes and soft hands. And a million prayers for them go floating up to God every day. How can He get to them? He’s really busy.

And how do I pray for this world when doing so just sort of… terrifies me?

So, here’s the kicker. I can just throw up my hands and not pray at all. Walk away. Quit. Give up on the supposition and sickening evidence from the television that all is lost.

Or, I can lean in and listen. Because I really do think, deep down, from my scared soul, that God is good. He is powerful. And he loves us more than we can ever know.

That small faith, paired with a good hot cup of coffee and some tangled groanings from psalms will keep me going today.

Just for today.

 

 

The Funny Thing About Depression

 

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My friend Bethany would ask: “Uh.. funny, ‘Ha, ha’? or funny, strange?”

Well, both. At times. Or neither. You know, just to be clear.

 

Since Christmas, I have had a slow fade back into depression. This is something I have struggled with, off and on, since my teens, so, if you know how old I am, that’s a very long time.

And, well, I woke up yesterday to that once again sinking feeling of dread that seems to wrap itself around my brain in a vice grip of fuzzy thinking and gloom. I just laid there, staring up at the ceiling fan.

“Please, Lord. I can’t do another day like this. I’m tired of trying to feel better.”

Later that day, after I had gone through all my usual list of go-tos for depression squelching:

Praying – but not too much because I get all super focused on meeeee, so:

Praying for others

Gratitude lists

Chocolate for breakfast

Yoga

Good Housekeeping. Netflix. Couch. Rinse. Repeat.

Knitting.

Lipstick. Bright red. Goes well with my eyes.

Hot tea, like every flavor, about forty cups, until I was sloshing

 

I just sloshed over to my computer and knew I needed to post, but darn, it was hard to be funny. It’s really hard to be funny when you’re doomed forever, did you know that?

But then I thought, “Well, you could write about it.”

Ok. So here’s the deal. I am going to write about depression. Yea! And it won’t be hilarious, but at least it will be truth. And, here’s the other part: I am writing about this topic NOT because I am hoping it will make me feel better.

That’s the deal with depression. You have to stop wanting to “fix” it with one easy step. So, posting this is not going to solve it. Just like drinking a small bath tub of soothing camomile tea and listening to Praise Baby Pandora (don’t judge, I like it), and eating chocolate muffin in a mug for breakfast won’t fix it.

Depression doesn’t just kick off one day and say, “Oh hey! My bad! I know I have totally worn out my welcome, or wasn’t really welcomed at all, so I’ll be off.  Thanks for the hospitality. I’m going to move in with the neighbor lady down the street for a few months and see what dread I can inflict on her there.”

Nope. Depression doesn’t follow basic rules of civility. It doesn’t play well with others. It has no set goals or mission statements or any sort of POINT, a lot of times. It couldn’t tell you at all how it sees itself a year from now. It doesn’t really care.

You can try to figure it out – is it hormones? Or bad memories? Or that I can’t drink anymore? Or that I am slowly going crazy?

No. And yes. And maybe all of these, combined, in different amounts. But sometimes. Sort of.

So, you see?

Depression is such a pain in the ass.

(I am SORRY. I know. I rarely use the potty words here. But this time? IT IS SO MERITED.)

Here’s what I DO know about depression (for me):

1. It makes me immobile.

2. It makes me want to cry a lot, which is kind of weird, like when you’re at Scott’s and they are out of your favorite hazelnut creamer and you tear up like one of those sad soap opera women but with less makeup.

3. It makes me feel like having very basic conversations like this: “Hi! How are you? Isn’t it a pretty day?” is about as impossible as if you were in one of those bad dreams where you had to speak Swahili, while naked, in front of an audience of angry people.

4. It is really good at convincing you that you will never, ever feel better.

 

Here’s what I don’t know about depression:

1. Why?

2. When?

3. What the what?

4. HOW?

 

I have tried. I have read books, gone to counselors, researched, asked questions, got my hormones read, got my palm read (not really but I considered it), and basically busted my hiney trying to lick this thing.

And here is what I have deduced, after all these years:

Sometimes it’s hormonal. It helps me a lot to keep track of my monthly, you know, visits from Auntie Flo (so trying to be delicate here, right? Because calling it Aunt Flo is sooooo cute too). I put a cute little  Satan emoji on my google calendar whenever that fabulousness hits my uterus.

Sometimes it’s attached to bad stuff. When my brother died, I kinda walked into a pit of despair for some months. Of course. Eventually, I escaped. And for that I am sure Chris would be happy.

Sometimes it is attached to my recovery. If I haven’t been to a meeting in ages, or I am triggered, or I see one of those beer commercials on tv during a Chiefs game and then, “Lookit! All THOSE people are drinking a lot and they are all so HAPPY! And cutely DRESSED. And they keep high-fiving each other!  I wanna wear sparkly tops and high-five people in a bar too!”

Anyhow.

And sometimes? I have no idea. I have no freaking clue. It’s like the weather in Kansas. We can try to predict, but sometimes? Our weather just be nutball, ya’ll.

No, I am not saying I am nutball. (The lawyer just rolled his eyes.)

For those of you who are going to worry:

Yes, I have counseling in place and yes doctors and yes even a serotonin med, and yes, my sweet Lord has helped me with this all my life – He’s not going to stop. And neither am I.

I’m not going to stop trying to feel better. But on the days when I feel like crap, I at least pray:
Dear Jesus. Lord with me. If I have to feel lousy today, fine. I will put my tools in place. I’ll do the next best thing. But I am so glad, even in my sadness, that You are here to be sad with me. You get sadness, I know.”

And, the funny thing is? Depression has taught me more about happiness and contentment than I ever thought possible.

 

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Whisper Louder, Please?

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Linking up with Kate over at Heading Home today for Five Minute Friday.

Today’s word:  WHISPER

 

 

IMG_2630      Red likes, very often, to whisper in my ear.  There does not need to be any sort of secretive attempt.  His     whispers can be about a daily commentary on the weather or his underpants or the fact that his eggs are too hot.  He just really likes my ear, it seems.

It all goes something like this:

Red: Mom, MOM, mom mom MOMMA MoTHER MOMMMM commere I gotta whisper sumthin in your ear.

Momsie:  Ok, go for it.

Red: warms up to the intel by breathing heavily into my ear for a few seconds.  This is strangely pleasant but weird.  It reminds me of when my hubs and I were dating and he was trying to be cute and seductive and all I really wanted to do was wipe my ear off and tell him to stick to kisses.

But again, weird.  Because, you know, it’s my son and he’s four and Ok,we’re moving on here because he has started the dialogue.

Red:  shesiwhissiisppesishiommicharliiesand ? Hisspppshehhriirr stevieandhwhenscanwegopweeasssssshhhh? OK?

Momsie:  Um.  Ok?

 

Yep.  That’s about it.

Red has the concept of the whole “this is just between you and me” thing down, it’s just the delivery that needs work.

And by delivery, I mean: I can never understand a darn thing he says during all this hot whispery breathing cuteness.

But I still love it.

 

I think sometimes this is how we talk to God.  We have intentions, and a whole lotta desires, but our delivery is… muddled.  I get shy sometimes with God. I feel fearful or even ashamed to ask, to cry, or to pry at Him.

Not all prayers should be whispery laments or trembled attempts at putting together our thoughts, I know.  But when they are? Pray them, anyway.  And have confidence that He hears and understands when we tug on him and want to share our long, tangled stories.

He loves to lean down and listen to us whisper in His ear.

 

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Friday Funny

It’s 8:57 am.  I am attempting to type while Red leans his sad little sick self against me.  We are watching our PBS.  We are drinking our juice.

We are, truly, and deeply, down in the dumps.

Red has clearance.  He has a bad cold and had very little sleep last night.  He is wrapped up in his Spiderman blankie and seems to be facing the day with acceptance.  More juice.  More PBS.  More coughing.  It will get better.

Momsie doesn’t really have the same excuse.  I’m tired, yes, but I’m just… blue.

It makes sense, really.  I have been surrounded by dirty tissues, germs, and a general sense of sickie ennui for days now.  What is a Momsie to do?

1.  Read my bible and make a LARGE pot of coffee.

2.  I pray.  Prayers like:  “Help.  Tired. Please? Thanks.  Love You, too.”

3.  Watch Bob Newhart.

Of course.