Where am I now?

I have moved to another blog site near you!

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Where am I now?

Technically, I am in Dallas helping my daughter adjust to her new surroundings.  No worries, I will not acquire BIG hair, or bedazzled jewelry on my flip-flops.

On another note, I am at a new blog location.  After the resignation of Yellow Brick Identity, I took a small hiatus to move into our new home, and tidied up details left undone.

I have also worked on book writing, but discovered my inspiration had packed up and moved to a shelf when the blog was shelved.

I discovered this rudimentary blog actually inspired me more than I realized.

So, I have moved onto another site, titled, Single Soul Initiative.

If you feel so inclined, I would love you to join me there!

singlesoulinitiative.com

The End.

Six years ago, I wrote my very first blog post.  It was shortly after my initial book attempt was halted by unwarranted theft.  The following was my first post–

I am so excited to be moving forward and getting out of the boat so to speak. I used to jump out and take a step or two on the water, and then quickly sink. Since being waterlogged for more times than I care to remember, I have began to fear the water.

The water…moving forward on this ministry and writing.

If you know me, you know that my book was stolen on July 17th, 2008.

Since that time, I have not risked much, but now is time to shake things up again. So, lets get ready and ride the waves together!

Initially, the site served as a supplement to a weekly bible study I led.  But, since then, the direction shifted to a source of cathartic release.

February, 2012, I actually cleared out all former posts and started the journey toward wellbeing.

My first post was on going ‘Into the Deep’–a discovery to figure out what is wrong with me.  (Still attempting to figure that one out :))

It has been a quite the ride–

Tears. Laughter. Healing.

This is my 223rd post.  For a gal who struggles with commitment, I must say this is quite an accomplishment.

All this to say, it is time to embark on another adventure.

I’ve felt, from the time I wrote my first words in 2008, the sole purpose has been to write books.  Somehow along the way, the book idea was shelved to blog.  And, six years later, I realize the book(s) have sat under layers of dust.

Strange, when I first started writing, I felt scared to share my words, now, I feel scared to let it all go.

But, in order to open a new door, you need to first release the grip of the one that is closing.

I hope these posts have helped you along the way.  They will remain here for who knows how long.

I have feeling some will make the pages of a book–or two.

Awestruck,

Josie

A Mother’s Undying Wish

I was awakened from a sound sleep by the sound of my cell phone.

In between awake and asleep, I answered the call with a muffled, “Hello.”  Little did I know, a nightmare would ensue which I could not escape.

On the other end I hear fear, which quickly propels my feet to exit the bed.

Her whereabouts are unknown.

She says she is at a certain place, but I do not know the place to which she refers.

Panic sets in.

I simultaneously tell my husband her condition, while asking random questions to discover her whereabouts–

“What do you see around you?”

“Do you know what parking lot you are in?”

We get in the car and keep the conversation going as we drive off in a vague direction.

I tell her to unlock her door, and roll down her window and breath in some fresh air.

“You need to stay awake,” I demand.

I continue with the cell-phone interrogation–

I ask her what she took.

How many.

I want to ask why, but now is not the time.

Instead, I instruct her to keep talking.

Finally, we figure out her location.

As we approach, I see her frame in the driver’s seat–so small in the backdrop of the vast, desolate, dimly-lit parking lot.

I felt such a deep despair overwhelm me at that sight, I still cannot fully articulate with words.

We frantically drive to the hospital and release her into their care.

II

This attempt to end her life was exactly one year ago today.

I have not allowed myself to feel the enormity of this moment.

Oh, I think of it often.  Usually late at night.  I sneak upstairs to make sure her heart still beats.

In relief, I make my way back to my bed.

I guess I am afraid to allow my heart to embrace the idea of her desiring to end her life before its time.

Maybe this is protection on my part.

Maybe because I know this was not her first attempt.

Maybe because I fear it will not be her last.

If there was something I could do, I would do it.

So, I pray.

My wish for her (and her sisters) is simple–that she would love Jesus more than I do.

I say this without a hint of arrogance. Everyone who knows me would attest to the fact that I am head over heals in love with Jesus.

My hope is this great love HE has for her will be reciprocated as a result.

And that this great love will fill the void within.

It is my undying plea I pray on an ongoing basis.

It is not a pollyanna prayer, because I have stood in the depth of depression, and have felt the desperate desire toward death.

But, still.  I know HE is the HOPE that overcomes my momentary ill will.

II

Words exit her mouth the other day, which surprise me and make my heart nearly skip a beat–

She wonders if she can attend a conference called, ‘Passion’, in Houston, which begins on the 30th.

Well, H@#$ yes!

I know every one of the speakers.  I might even admit that they may love Jesus as much as me 🙂

So, my prayer for this weekend is a simple one–

I pray a passion for Jesus will ignite and create a fire for her life she has never known before.

Are We Simply Asking the Wrong Question?

Have we confused what with who?

I know all you grammar junkies out there are screaming, “it is not with who, but with whom!”

Yes, I know smarty pants.  Keep your pants on; this is not the point.

It seems like the same questions are being asked in a variety of ways–

What is my purpose?

What is my calling? 

What do you want me to do? 

What?  What?  What?  

What if we changed what, to who?

Remember that silly comedic thing from way, way back–so much so, it was in black and white…

Who’s on first?

What’s on second?

Maybe they were onto something, besides irritation.

Maybe we should answer the who first by focusing on whom we desire to do the what.

And, if our central focus is on HIM, the WHO, who put us here in the first place, then the what will naturally become secondary.

And, at times when we don’t know the answer to the what’s in life, we are not thrown off balance in confusion, because we will always have the WHO–being Jesus.

Just the rambling in my mind as I sit her pondering this thought…

Teetering on the Edge of Life

How does one tie a rope around his head, and escape from the world of living, by jumping from a chair?

I can’t wrap my mind around this.  Literally.

Whenever I hear of someone who decides to end his life in this matter, I envision myself in his place.

Standing on a chair, securing the rope…

Heaving, as a shaky chair underneath holds trembling legs that go back and forth in fear, a little farther each time, before jumping from a short ledge to its drop from life.

How does one like Robin Williams (and the many other unrecognizable ones) get to this place of desperation?

This is not an easy way out of life.

And, may I suggest, there is not an easy answer to all-encompass every individual.

Oh, we who are not on the chair can offer unsolicited advice on the problems and explanations of said individuals who are obviously without hope.

But, may I suggest our opinions, without our compassion, only create a tighter noose?

II

I went back and forth whether to write from the depths of my heart.  In the end, I thought, what do I have to lose?

My paper-doll image being crumbled?

Actually, what do I have to gain?

Maybe access into a life out there who is desperate.  And alone.

Let’s face it, majority of us are not ever going to be in the place of standing on a chair, teetering on the edge, leaning toward death.

Even so, what if we teeter on the edge and lean in toward transparency?

I’d say this lack of vulnerability has created a chokehold of its own on our freedom to be real when real life is crumbling apart.

Tied up in knots on how I should be, I clean off the debris so my attire is no longer disheveled.

 

Well, enough already.

Choking back tears creates a chokehold around our hearts.

Truth is, I have desired on occasion for the end to come.  While I have not stood on a chair, I have felt the grip of despair pull me in.

Surround me with suggestions of suicide.

And, in my momentary weakness, I have felt alone.  And entirely too close to the edge of desiring death.

Maybe this is where we get to the end of our rope.  When desperation takes hold in a difficult season, and we feel we have nowhere else to turn.

In the moment when we cannot see clearly it is just a momentary trial.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

We need to wrap our minds around Christ.  Literally.

And lean in closer and closer.

Until we free-fall into His embrace.

It is not an easy answer.  But, may I suggest, HE is the HOPE we need to take hold of when we are at the end of our rope.

Getting to the Root of the Problem

I’ve been avoiding hot foods for some time now.

I wait until the temperature drops before I eat, and/or drink.  Even my beloved coffee has to hit the lukewarm status, which then causes my tongue to coat over from the cream.

It all started about six months ago.  Apparently, I had an infection, which slowly ate away at my gum.  So much so, my dentist had to refer me to a specialist.  But, after a visit to the periodontist, who happened to resemble an Abercrombie model, I made it out fairly unharmed.

So what perplexes me is the randomness of the pain I continue to have.  When I least expect it, something triggers this intense discomfort that radiates through my entire jaw.

Yet, the displeasure is only temporary.  Within minutes, I am back to normal.

Until last night.

I had a soda (that’s pop for my Northern friends!) for the first time in who knows how long.  Since I prefer my beverages either aged in a bottle, or steamed from a machine, the carbonated drink is not my normal go to.

At first I was fine.

Until a pain arose from within that was immeasurably higher than all the other times before.  And, it stayed for a good 30 minutes, before it lessened.

You would think this would be a good time to revisit my adorable dentist?  Well, I am not sure.  It could be because as soon as the pain resides, I go back to normal status.

That, and I already went in for this problem. He mentioned that there was some slight nerve exposure.  He also said that it is quite possible the tooth was fractured even though it was not apparent on the x-ray.  And if this was the case, I would be in need of an implant.  The prescription he left me was with words:

“If the pain is ongoing, come back in.”

Great.  I just want someone to tell me what the problem is, and how to remedy it.  Isn’t that why he earns the big bucks anyway?

Before I know it, I’ll be fitted for dentures.

Okay, so where the heck am I going with all this trivial information that you are probably wondering by now why you are still reading…

Sometimes we need to get to the root of the problem.

The root of my tooth issue could be anything from an exposed nerve, to a broken tooth.

The root of my depression, for instance, could be anything from environmental, to hormonal, to spiritual, to situational.  Or, it could be a combination of the four that draws me down and off-kilter.

Or, the core of my commitment issues could be simply the fact that I am a ‘starter’, to as complex as a need to flee from responsibility due to insecurity, a fear of failure, or maybe a fear of success.  Who knows why the desire to ditch overwhelms me at times?

What I do know is this:

In order to heal, we need to get beyond the surface, and down to the root.  

To do so, can take time.  And discomfort.

Jesus asked a man, who laid on the ground, unable to move, a pivotal question which seemed overly obvious:

Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Well, duh.  Of course he did.  Why would he lay there in the first place?  But, oftentimes I wonder if we would rather ruminate in pain.

It could be we understand our pain.  We know how to maneuver around it, without it causing us to be entirely debilitated.

Or, it only rises up on occasion, so we tolerate it.

But, it is when it gets to the pivotal point where it has us down and out, we need to answer some questions ourselves.

Do I want to be well?  

Will I do what it takes to heal?  

Even if it requires me to experience pain?

Even if healing is not instantaneous?  

Even if…

Yes, I do.

How about you?

The Urge to Purge

When I run, at the end, when I am worn out and want to take yet another walk break, I envision a finish line up ahead. and me striving toward it as the crowd on either side chants in unison for my triumphal entry with uninhibited exhilaration.

Every foot step propels me by their jubilation, until I arrive with arms raised and knees bent just steps over the line at the effort expended…

If that were only the truth.

So far, every race I participate, the end is a collaboration of mishaps.

As the miles decrease, my worries increase.  

My mind chants, “I think I can,” as my body cramps in contradiction.  And I begin to slow down.  And my legs move about as one stuck in the mud.

As I round the corner of the final lap, not at the head of the pack, but more like the middle of the road with other sweat-profused individuals, I begin to develop a large lump in my throat , that quickly transitions into a desperate need to throw up right then and there.

So, with the goal within sight, I come to a complete stop to let the internal contents cool down and the desire to dissipate.

Apparently, adrenaline, combined with the challenge, is the perfect combination to propel my stomach, and not my feet.

I am tired of holding back.

What if I continue and see what comes about?

So what if I puke.  Is that really the end of the world?  I mean, really, if you smelled me at this point, my contents might be a sweet aroma to camouflage the sweat.  (Yes, gross!)

I find I stop short quite often out of a lump of fear.

Fear holds back the impulse to propel forward.

And, impulse is replaced with indecision and doubt and wonder.

I have a lot to say.  But, I stop short because I wonder…

Maybe my words will offend someone.

What if I don’t throw in a bible verse at the end of a post, will people will think I am no longer a christian writer?

I worry if I tell you my true heart condition on a continuous basis, you may wonder if I have went off the deep end, and am in dire need an intervention. Or an exorcism.

Does anyone want to really read these thoughts of mine anyway–maybe I should just keep them to myself.

What in the world?

So, I’ve made a decision.

I will not let fear reign when I feel the urge to purge.

Right now my impulsive “gut instinct” wants to send the letter I composed days ago to the hiring team who dismissed my application for employment–without even an interview.

Since they have not found a qualified candidate, after all these months, maybe I will.  Maybe I will not hold back with niceties, and speak the passionate, raw truth about why I believe I could be a true contender.

Maybe.