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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Guys: How to Win Me or Lose Me

So I'm pretty damn good looking. I'm a young, educated, well rounded (and I'm not just talking about my curves), beautiful woman. I've got everything a guy could ever want or need. I'd make a great girlfriend and a damn good wife and mother one day. But like so many other of my extremely eligible friends- I am single.

There may be a lot of fish in the sea, but somebody put something in the water cause there's something wrong with all the fish I'm seeing. So guys, I'm gonna help you out. I'm gonna tell you what will make it or break it for me and probably a lot of other women my age.

MAKES:

1. Beard. You could be bald. You could be hairy. You could be a 2 on the scale of attractiveness, but if you have a beard you instantly jump to the top of my list and I won't be able to take my eyes off you or your beard (which inevitably will lead to your face and eyes and all that good eye contact stuff).

2. Nice shoes. I'm talking about a good pair of dapper shoes. And if you don't know what dapper means, just forget it. We wouldn't have worked out anyway.

3. Smell good. Now most guys are pretty good about this, but when you're not...it's depressing. I will follow a guy around the mall just to trail his scent for a little while longer. Creepy? A little, but wouldn't you want a girl like me following you? Yes. Ok. Moving on.

4. Make me laugh. Pretty self explanatory.

5. Don't be a cocky, self-righteous, ass-hole.

BREAKS:

1. VIDEO GAMES!!!!!!! I am very generous. (One of my many great winning qualities) So I, unlike many women, will allow you ONE Nerd-Card. If you want to dress up like a warlock on the weekends and play dungeons and dragons- Fine. But you cannot do that and have Star Wars shit. But, if when I talk to you and I'm getting to know you and you feel the need to bring up your love of video games in the summary of your identity, I just want you to know that all the warning signs in my head are flashing like a bomb alert.

2. Dirty. Good hygene guys. I'm not talking about you coming home to me all covered in mud from working on the tractor all day. THAT DOES NOT OFFEND ME. But, I'm talking good, everyday hygene. The stuff your momma tried to teach you.

3. Don't take forever to ask me out. The longer you take, the more I lose interest. It comes across as you not having the balls to go after what you want. Sorry. It is what it is.

4. You're a cocky, self-righteous ass-hole.

 

And that's pretty much it. See, I'm not that hard to win over. I'm not that picky. Just get your shit together and call me already. Okay? Thanks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Stranger I Know

I've been journeying as a broken fragmented version of myself. When He first invited me, rather lured me, off the paved manicured way and into the wild wood where the path curves and bends in unpredictable and mysterious ways, I did not realize that I entered that way divided. There was a part of me that I did not allow to journey with me, a part of me that I exiled to stay on the paved way while I journeyed further up and further into this Wonderland called the strait and narrow. That part of me was who I used to be, my past self- the parts I was embarrassed of and unreconciled with.

Further up and further into the wild wood I found peace and freedom and I rediscovered lost and distant parts of myself long estranged. I found God in the woods. I found grace in the woods. I found my feet in the woods. But this curved and winding path brought me round the bend and laid me within eye and earshot of the paved manicured way from whence I wandered off.

I'm watching these people walk the ways I used to walk, talking the ways I used to talk- using that despicable Christianese, language drenched in works and trying harder. I'm watching as these people march in soldierly fashion and I'm angry. I'm watching these people scowel at those leaving their road and I'm enraged. I'm watching these people like they are zoo animals behind an enclosed captivity, tamed and duped into thinking those walls envelop life and freedom and safety. But I see into their eyes and I remember what it was like to be on that side of the fence. I remember thinking I was free. I remember judging all those who were "lost" on the other side, wishing they would just cross over into true "freedom." And it's that memory that makes me the angriest of all. I'm embarrassed. "Can everyone tell that I came from there?"

I'm trying to hide it. I'm trying to run from it. I want to look away. I want to avoid it. I don't want to look at the paved way. I want to leave it behind and forget it, pretend it never happened. I don't want to accept them as part of my household, part of my family, but I don't know why. I resent that road, that way, and the people on it. Mostly I hate the contrast it brings up. I don't like who I was there and I don't like being faced with who I was there. But my journey through the woods has brought me here to memory lane and I don't know why. I'm faced with a stranger I know all too well and I have nothing but hate and resentment for her. I'm ashamed of who I was. I'm afraid to get to close to even the memory of her for fear that she might pollute and destroy everything I've come to know and love.

"Whatever is denied cannot be healed."- Abba's Child by Brennan Manning

"I myself am the enemy who must be loved."- Carl Jung

The thing is that I didn't make the connection that it was the stranger I left behind the edge of wood that I hated, I was too busy blaming everyone else I saw walking by saying, "I can't stand the way YOU talk. I can't stand the way YOU treat people. I can't stand the way YOU live." All the while what I was really saying was, "I can't stand the way you used to talk. I can't stand the way you treated people. I can't stand the way you lived." All directed and aimed and the lonely stranger I exiled to remain on that way. But I see her now. And I see that I rejected what has already been redeemed. I rejected who I used to be and did not allow her to journey with me out of shame and fear and anger. That past self, that stranger I know, was not something that needed to be redeemed but something that had already been redeemed, I just hadn't accepted it yet. I hadn't welcomed her into the woods.

How could I not be at war with those who walk on the paved manicured way when I am at war with the very memories of who I was when I walked it?

"If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If am estranged from myself I am likewise a stranger to others."- Abba's Child by Brennan Manning

I hated her and He loved her. I cut her off and He redeemed her. I tried to forget her, so He brought me back to her because, in order to be whole, I need her. In order to be truly myself I need who I was, NOT as I was, but as He has made her new.

So I wrote them a letter:

Lord forgive me for not loving what You love, for hating things You have redeemed. I forgive the girl I was, the ways I tried, the holes I dug for myself, the lies I believed, the pain I put myself through, the many long routes I took simply because I knew no other way. I forgive the girl I was for the grace, the love, and the freedom she so long rejected. And I ask her to forgive me for not loving her as she was, but instead imposing who she should have been on her. I ask her to forgive me for casting her out, for not welcoming her home as the Father did; for rejecting her and hating her; for not accepting her for who she has become, for being an unfair accuser of who she was. Come home to me old friend, let us be one. Join me on this hill. Let us be mended and joined in the grace that freed and healed us both. I need you. Without you I am not whole. I want to love you.

"Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. You are precious in My eyes, because you are honored and I love you...the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken, but my love for you will never leave you and My covenant of peace with you will never be shaken." - Isaiah 43:1, 4; 54:10

Welcome home. Let us wander the woods together as one, no longer as strangers but as one. Maybe as I journey toward wholeness I'll learn how to love everyone else I left behind on the paved and manicured way. Maybe my journey will bend again and again to lure others into the woods or maybe have me step out of the trees to love them for a mile or two. I don't know. I don't know what's around this bend. But I'm better now that I have her again and I feel that I will continue to get better as we go further up and further in.