Sunday, March 29, 2009

Then Sings My Soul: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz

This song makes me tap my toes and sing, "God, I'm Yours!"

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment babay sing with me
We're just one big family
And It's our God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won't hesitate no more, not yours
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

Scooch on over closer dear
And i will nibble your ear

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed
I guess what I'm be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find that the sky is yours
Please don't, please don't, please don't
There's no need to complicate
Cause our time is short
This oh this this is our fate, I'm yours!

This is a test

I'm delighted to occasionally hit on a technical solution that lends itself to improving my life or lifestyle. Being able to do word processing in a tool I'm familiar with (i.e. MS Word) and post posts with no muss, no fuss…well, that makes life better, doesn't it?

How about if I want a sentence centered?

if I want
to play with fonts?

Here goes…I'm about to hit "publish."

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maybe it doesn't seem so bold

But I did submit a proposal for another Guidepost article. Hurray! And I hope to get a 2nd proposal submitted by Monday. A trip to Yancey, Texas (BFE, TX) will either help or hinder that goal.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's all I'm asking....

Please keep me in your prayers while I take a bold step forward.

Thank you!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Half-formed plots. Glimpses of characters. Random dialogue. Opening sentences or paragraphs. My hands are busy in the garden, my back is breaking under the strain, my mind is wandering, flirting with ideas, picking them up and considering them like river rocks. On the surface, smooth and dull, but occasionally revealing buried pieces with sharp edges that sparkle in the sun.

Later, sitting at the keyboard, staring at the monitor...stalling.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Then Sings My Soul

I've been reflecting on my fear of failure. When we step away from an area of competence and confidence into an area where we lack competence and confidence, we have to confront our fears.

The song I've selected for today is Brave, by Nichole Nordeman. I'm ready to be free from my fears and free from the road that is paved in moderation.

The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been
'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?
So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Friday, March 20, 2009

World of Blogcraft

Last year around this time I was addicted to an on-line interactive game, World of Warcraft (aka World of Warcrack). This game is very fun and very addicting. Sometimes I miss it. In playing WoW, you create a character (mine was a dwarf gnome named Yekopog) who goes on quests and has great adventures. Your character can become a member of a Guild, a collective group of players who work collaboratively. You can go on adventures together, but the guilds are needed for "runs" when the team tackles the more complex and challenging areas loaded with loot. My guild-mates were very helpful. I always knew I could find someone to help me if I get into trouble on a solo-quest. They invited me on runs and were patient with me as I learned the game.

Now I play World of Blogcraft. I spend about as many hours per day sitting at the computer, and about as much time daydreaming about it when I'm away from the computer. My guild is made up of a few fellow-bloggers. As with WoW, I know that many of the other players enjoy the interactive aspects of the game, sharing and networking. I'm just as happy playing solo, but sometimes, admittedly, I'm envious of the people who are at a higher level, more powerful, better networked.... I have to remember the times when my guild-mates helped me level-up to a point where I was in over my head. I hadn't developed the skills I needed along the way. The quests have a purpose - beyond acquiring gear and "scoring points" they give you much needed training in doses that are easily swallowed.

Some of the players came to WoW from other, similar games. Their skills were already honed and leveling up was more of a chore. I wasn't there in WoW and I'm not there in WoB. I can't lose sight of the fact that I blog to practice writing. I'm working to overcome years of communicating in terse e-mails. I'm developing the skills required to extricate thoughts from my brain and to put those thoughts into sentences that flow and entice the reader to follow the train to the end of the track.

If I'm successful, there will be folks with me at the station, ready to board the next train.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Signs of Spring

Evidence a critter visited in the early morning. Al is soon on the trail.

Before/After - Confederate Rose.

I love spring! I love the first flowers. And apparently, so do the bees!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

What a difference a few days can make. While I've been busting bum trying to get the yard ready for Spring, Spring has been doing its thing.

These photos are just teasers, a bit of "green" to keep me from being pinched on St. Patty's day. I've been working hard prepping beds and cutting back winter's dormant remains.

So much to do! So little time!

For my friends in the colder climes, I will get more photos posted soon.

And, since these "green" teasers are hardly enough....Here's a picture of the humming Mountain Laurel in our front yard.

First Kill of the Season

Al was not done playing and the frog was not as dead as I initially thought. Just wishin' he was.

The poor little froggy is in the house somewhere. Based on Al's interest in getting behind my dresser this morning, I think I may know where.

Al was back at it later in the day, sitting by the pond, waiting for prey.

At the end of the day he came inside with one eye irritated and swollen shut. Something fought back. He's all better now. I expect him to be a threat to the yard denizens all summer. {sigh}

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Bit of Fluff

Last year, our precious, ferocious, thinks he's "alpha" cat became quite the yard-warrior. He brought home birds, bunnies, mice, frogs, snakes and lizards with reckless abandon. These critters came into the house dead or alive. I know we should have been grateful for his hard fought/won victories. I'm sure we should have greeted these treasures with praise.

But instead I tended to yell for hubby (or hubby was the sad discoverer) and we quickly cleaned up and eliminated all traces of the prizes that were delivered. I can imagine why poor Al (for Alabaster, as in white, not for "Alpha," as in dominant) kept going after bigger and better prey. We must seem ridiculously hard to please.

Now, I am suddenly understanding why Al insists on lurking around dark corners, pouncing on my ankles when I walk by, in an effort to bring me down. Clearly he has decided that if he can deliver me at the feet of the Master of the House, finally, finally he will get some respect around here.

My darling hubby is absolutely enamored with this theory.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pay no attention

I've been preparing a series of posts about Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence. Some of the information is personal. Some of the information is impersonal. The series has been thought-provoking .... for me, anyway. I've been thinking about the world today and considering our collective future.

The women who have posted their stories here have consistently demonstrated a tremendous amount of bravery. Not just for posting their stories, but in their stories. Me? I buried my story deep in my blog. But maybe not deep enough. So I buried the details deeper. A lot like we bury stories in our psyche. But the statistics say "the truth will out." History says "the truth will out." So...I'm dumping all of this onto the blog-o-sphere at one time, regardless of what the timestamp indicates. Maybe these will be read, maybe not. That's not why I'm posting these. These are posted as part of my own self-discovery. My truth is out. I have been a victim, but I don't feel like a victim.

The topic of SA/DV strikes a chord with me. The sound is harmonic and it resonates. I don't know why. I don't feel pain when I think about my past. I feel pain when I think about the people who are suffering today. I posted this prayer on behalf of the women and men who are suffering at the hands of someone they love. Someone they once trusted. Someone they let into their lives but who has become their enemy.

If you believe you are not affected by SA/DV, pay no attention. But know this. You're wrong.

Then Sings My Soul

This song taught me a new term - "Ebenezer." Ebenezer is from a Hebrew word meaning “stone of help.” God the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, my stone of help. I've started wearing polished stone pendants on a chain as a reminder for myself.

1. Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The statistics are grim

If you want to be brought down over your morning coffee, spend some time perusing the numbers.

~~One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk for intimate partner violence.
~~In 2005, 389,100 women and 78,180 men were victimized by an intimate partner. These crimes accounted for 9 percent of all violent crime.
~~The majority (73%) of family violence victims are females: 84% were spousal abuse victims and 86% were victims at the hands of a boyfriend.
~~A 2004 study found that women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods are more than twice as likely to be the victims of intimate partner violence than women in more affluent neighborhoods.
~~One study found that women who have experienced any type of personal violence (even when the last episode was 14 to 30 years ago) reported a greater number of chronic physical symptoms than those who have not been abused. The risk of suffering from six or more chronic physical symptoms increased with the number of forms of violence experienced.
~~In 2003, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, or transgender people experienced 6,523 incidents of domestic violence; 44% were men, 36% women and 2% transgender.

But what they don't tell me is the answer to the questions that come to mind when I consider the situation. What percentage of the population are large can be considered abusers. How many abusers are habitual? When I am in a room full of people there are victims, yes. But there are perpetrators as well, right?

I work in a male-dominated environment. Some percentage of the men I work with may have been abused. But...some of them may be abusers. Perpetrators of domestic violence. If statistics are an indicator, that is.

I don't, in general, trust statistics. I want to know more. The link behind the "if" (above) don't exactly match "the numbers" link, but they agree that about 1/4 of the women we know have probably been a victim of Domestic Violence. I used to not think about this. Now I do. Do you?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Righteous anger

I found myself having a flash of righteous anger last night. Since we can't really be righteous when we're angry, I had to internalize this a bit before I pinned down that I was insulted by something that happened at work. Insulted on two fronts, no less.

Am I critical to this operation or no? You tell me "yes" but then schedule a critical week of planning while I am OUT OF THE OFFICE!!! I can anticipate the follow-up and the expectation that I somehow "fix things" that would have been avoided if the meetings could have been postponed one week.

Oh, wait a minute...I don't even want to be considered critical. I have other things to do...other areas of interest that I am trying to develop. So, if I were to set aside my hurt feelings and my frustration with the way planning has worked out, maybe, just maybe I should be feeling righteous joy. I choose joy.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flowers from afar

From my recent trip to Taipei... the flowers are both familiar and foreign.

Monday, March 09, 2009

There but for the grace of God go I

We are all shaped by our first sexual encounter. Whether it is pleasant or not, I would argue it is a memory that sticks with us. At the forefront of our memories or buried deep within. My first sexual encounters were not ideal. An incident shaped me and affected the next series of encounters. I can see that in hindsight although I might not have appreciated it then. The incident qualified as statutory rape and so maybe I'm a statistic - one out of four women is a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence.

About a year and a half later I was dating someone else. Living somewhere else. My past far behind me already. During a fight, a dispute, an argument about something I can't even remember....he punched me in the stomach. Enough to wind me, leaving me gasping for air. As soon as I could stand up and breathe, I walked him to the door and ended the relationship. Since we worked at the same place, I can't say that I never saw him again. He actually was so low that he spread ugly rumors about me. But I counted my blessings because I knew that I'd escaped a fate worse than ugly rumors. I was a victim of domestic violence - even though it only occurred once. Maybe I'm a statistic. One out of four women is a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence.

I can't explain it. I know I am blessed. I know that I have escaped to a better life. I have been married 23+ years and I do not count myself as a victim of SA/DV. I don't know if the statistics are valid. I suspect they are conservative. The next time you are with a group of women, it is likely that at least one of them has been assaulted.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Then Sings My Soul

I love this song. I couldn't find the version of this song that I wanted (the way we sing it at my church), but I fell in love with this version. This scripture resonates for me.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I think back and smile

One of the high points of my recent trip to Taipei was the 15 minutes spent in the Green Relaxing Zone.

I stepped into this room, this zen-like respite along the airport corridor, and walked slowly around the suspended images.

I found the instructions intriguing. Especially the part about the FREE TOKEN.

I sought out the token, and returned for a few moments of relaxation before boarding the plane for the first, and longest leg, of my journey home.

The ambiance set the tone, but the chair, oh the chair, how I love the chair. The went on and on...on and on. At least 10-15 minutes. It was a beautiful thing.
Several locals came by and after several pass-by's went and got their own token. Clearly the American was on to something. Ah, the memories. I think back and smile.