Monday, August 31, 2009

Darlene Ernesta, my Cabbage Patch Kid.

(Pre-Script: This post fills your hearts desires when read while the song, " Only Hope," #47 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Remember the time when you were 8, and you wanted something so badly you could taste, and the desire was like a hard candy you sucked on and savored and salivated over? Remember how you would pray for a miracle, pray that the object of your desire would suddenly appear, and be yours, all yours, because such a thing was too bizarre to ever hope it could ever be, so bizarre that you just yes, did let yourself hope for it against all hope. And then day after day it wasn't yours. And day after day, you believed, prayed, and waited, since that was all that you could do. Time did not diminish your resolve to acquire the thing you desired. It was like the everlasting Gobstopper who's flavor richened, deepened, and took on new notes the more you savored and sucked on it's sweetness.
And then, after a period of time of yearning, remember when you finally did receive such a wonderful thing? That initial shock of unbelief, then the flood of giddy, uncontainable delight?
I hope that after savoring that sweet juicy thing, after a period of time of wanting that thing, you received it. Because to receive something you have only dreamed of and yearned for for a period of time so very badly is one of the greatest pleasures one can experience in this lifetime.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the center of the Sea

(Pre-Script: This post keeps moving forward when paired with the song, " Closer to Love,"#54 on the playlist, so please go down to the playlist, click that song on, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

I think the scariest place is the middle of the Red Sea, the VERY middle of the Red Sea, just after it has been parted, you have seen that miracle of the Red Sea being parted, and you have run skipped right down the dry center of all of that water, whistling Dixie the whole time, until, UNTIL. YOU. REACH. THE. CENTER. AND. REALIZE. THAT. YOU. CAN. NO. LONGER. SEE. EITHER. SHORE. AND. THAT. YOU. ARE. TOO. FAR. IN. TO. SWIM. BACK. EVEN. IF. THE. WATER. COMES. CRASHING. BACK. DOWN. UPON. YOU.
Um, excuse me, but what exactly is holding the water back, anyway? God's hands, sure, but I cannot SEE GOD'S HANDS, they are the strongest thing, but I cannot SEE them. I need to trust them in this moment more than any other, and know, KNOW that as long as I am walking forward, there in the center of God's hands, even as the water rises all around, rises so high and so far out that all I can see is water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink*, even if my greatest fear is drowning, there in the center of God's hands, I am in the safest place I will ever be.

"Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left. Keep your foot from evil." -Proverbs 4:25-27


*Quote that I have in my head, but do not know who said it first, so I do not know to whom I should be crediting, only that it's not originally mine...I just borrowed it because it fit beautifully here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


We are scarred and confused hummingbirds

stunned midflight

unsure how to hover any longer

shivering in suspended vibrancy

which cannot maintain in stillness

but contains a world it's own-

nothing maintains in stillness

we do not maintain in stillness

only it sometimes looks like still

sounds like quiet

but even then is the constant buzz white noise of constancy,

even the seeming stillness is the orbit and the gentlest quiver,

even the softest things drape over the hard thing beneath us all

which holds us up,

which keeps us from falling out of thin air.


Friday, August 21, 2009

I have seen enough reality shows to know that I don't want to be living one.

(Pre-Script: This post is the most freeing when read as the song, "Bring Me To Life," #35 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
I believe in impossible miracles. I believe in the Promised Land. I believe in living there. I don't know what it looks like. I think there's plenty of milk and honey there, which rocks because I have always said that Dairy is my favorite food group. I think that it has to be fought for and protected, tilled and fertilized, nurtured, planted, and built upon. I think it is attainable in this life, and in the one to come...but I'm not always sure what it looks like.
So why is it so hard to find people who have actual faith? REAL faith? Faith, Faith, testing, one two, testing, testing, WHERE THE BEEP ARE YOU?? A lot of people SAY they have faith. SAY they believe in miracles, clap when they hear a sweet story, but then you ask them to pray, you ask them to pray about their own lives, and they say things like, "We have to be realistic here, too."
Um, we do?
...Did everyone get this memo? Because I did not get this memo. To you who say we have to be realistic, I say,
I have seen enough reality shows to know that I do not want to be living one
Have you read the bible much?
Because as far as I can tell, a lot of the things happening in there are not very "realistic," yet they happen when God's people pray in faith and believe in the completely unrealistic. A lot of things happen when people remember the promise that,
"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."*
These are things that God has already determined will be loosened and bound, and He has determined that people can be set free from whatever enslaves them...which is a whole 'nother chapter in a whole 'nother book.
Think about the Israelites who stood in front of a Red Sea as their previous captors pursued them, relentless to bring them back to the land of their slavery? How easy would it be for the Israelites to have faced the "reality" of that situation; how easy it would be to let themselves be lulled back into slavery; sure they were slaves, but at least the language and customs were familiar; how easy it would be to slip back into the only life they had ever known. How comfortable, even. Their muscles already contained muscle memory for every task; no thought required; they sleepwalk through a half life, then die. How much harder it can be to walk forward on the other side of freedom, still facing ahead, still trusting the God they could not see or touch. That is the hardest thing of all...but for freedom** they had been set free, not necessarily for ease. And God chose to do something completely unrealistic. He parted the very Sea that was blocking their path. All they had to do was walk through it. Then he had that Sea drown the enemy hotly pursuing them. They just had to walk forward. They had a Promised Land to get to. (And then they still had battles to face, a whole slew of "-ites" to fight and conquer, because the "-ites" were taking over their land...but if I get into that it will take all night, and I am already tired.)
If we believe that this same God lives within us, WHY do we not believe that He will part the Sea for us when we are stuck between impossible seas and a fast approaching enemy army who wants to re enslave us? I think we don't see and understand how desperate we actually are. I want to never forget that I am always exactly that desperate, and I want the kind of faith that says "God, I am not turning back around, though it would be the easiest thing in the world to turn back and be lulled into sleepy half life slavery where the food is bland but familiar. I am facing forward, believing you can part the sea, I am taking a step, even if it means my toes get wet, even if my knees get wet, because I am that desperate, and you are my only hope, and I want to believe in what is completely not realistic. I want to believe in the miracles I have yet to experience."
But I don't see many people who seem to be living in their Promised Land. I don't even think that a lot of people believe in their Promised Land; I think that many people are content to be in the desert eating manna, just wandering and wandering from one class or workshop to another, in their pure non mixed fabrics. and really, who can blame them, manna is delicious, and 100% cotton clothing is comfortable and easily breathable in the the dry dusty desert. But I digress.
A lot of people are content to remain slaves to things they don't even realize they are enslaved by, and things they do realize they are enslaved by...because anything other would require them to wake up, and get up, and start thinking, and making choices. Freedom can be the most awkwardly uncomfortable transition of all... But once you go through it, oh man, once you go through it...
I'll tell you when I get there, but I'm pretty sure the food rocks.

*Matthew 16:19, then repeated in Matthew it must be important.
**Romans 8:21, just one of many.

Monday, August 17, 2009

MMmm, jelly donuts...

(Pre-Script: To consciously expand your mind while reading this post, please read it as the song, "Little Wonders," #55 on the playlist, plays in the background. Go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)
Are we always learning and growing, even when we don't think we are? Children grow even in their sleep, even as they play and giggle, whine and hide their broccoli in their napkins. You look at a baby, then blink twice, and the baby has become a 5 year old child. At some point, you try to stop blinking, but the kid keeps growing anyway. You can't really will yourself not to blink; it is one of those unconscious movements, like growth. But at some point, growth has to become conscious, or it leads to stagnation and mold. You are still growing, but the growth is now more like a growing weed or bacteria complete with stench. There are people who grew and grew until they were 900lbs. 900 lbs is not a healthy weight on anyone under about 15 feet tall or so. Beyond a healthy BMI, it is unhealthy growth. There was a point when the conscious act of growing needed to take over for the unconscious growth which led to a 900 lb person. "Gosh, if I keep eating only garbage and never exercise, I will become enormous, which means I need to make better choices, which means if I can't make better choices, I need to consciously grow in knowledge and emotional intelligence to figure out why I need to eat like this and not move like this, and I need to seek help and healing, and be healed from this emotional cause, otherwise, I will become a 900 lb bitter angry person."
This happens mentally, too. If I say to you, "What are you learning?" and you say, "Oh, lots of things, new things all the time!" but can't actually name one, it's possible that there isn't one, and you just think you are learning. Your mind is still growing, but it is just mind blubber, regurgitating and chewing it's own cud over and over, like a bovine, and growing 900 lbs of mental blubber, like a bovine...meaningless commercial jingles and break up song lyrics, and what's what on the Soap Opera.
All of these things have a place. Sappy love songs and commercials have a place. Even jelly donuts have a place. But it is a place, and you visit it, and you pass through it, it is not the place where you live, the home in which you reside, the bed in which you lay, the comforter beneath which you lull all 900lbs of your mental or physical mass to sleep.


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fairytale with no fairies (but there are angels)

(Pre-Script: Your sense of reality will shift 34% if you read this post while the song, " Closer To Love," #54 on the playlist, plays in the go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The Ultimate Fairytale is ultimately what we were created for, and it is more real than the reality that we see with our physical eyes.
So I've been thinking a lot these past few months about how much the Bible and Disney Fairytales have in common. Talking donkeys and having food brought to you by sweet birdies are only 2 examples. People love fairytales. When you read the Bible all the way through, it is no wonder that we do; the truest reality our hearts will ever know is very much like the happenings of a fairytale, with hope and salvation entering the picture at a time when all seems dark and hopeless. Evil puts up a strong fight, but Good ultimately conquers. Sword fights and Dragon slaying lead to the "happily ever after" ending...a king on his horse whisking his beautiful bride off into the sunset, where the sun never sets, to live in a perfect kingdom full of gold, jewels, palaces, fantastical creatures and constant singing? Somebody call Disney to tell them that their ideas were taken straight out of the Bible.
Talking donkeys are only one example.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Interview with a Cake

(Pre-Script: For the sugary sweetness of this post to fully saturate your bloodstream, please read it as the song, "Going the Distance," by Cake plays in the background. It's number 53 on the playlist. Please go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. Notice I said "please;" I am being sweet today. I'll wait.) (...still waiting...)

Yesterday I read a magazine article that said "Cake is not your friend." Since I had taken my "Duh" and "What's What" pills that morning, it was immediately clear to me that the magazine article was not my friend, and that whoever wrote it had been eating the wrong kind of cake.
Blink blink.
Obviously. Gosh.
Think about it.
Who else comforts me when I am sad about turning another year older on my birthday? I mean, let's face it, I have never been sad about the new number I am turning on my birthday, but I am being facetious here to make a point. Cake is my friend, my very dear friend, who comforts me in a time of need. Who makes my heart gladder by it's presence. Who understands me more than any other. Who sticks with me closer than a brother. I know this is true because I have 3 brothers, and none of them have ever gotten stuck to my thighs.
When I eat cake, I become what I have eaten, which is sweet, sweet, sweet, and hyper, too, but mostly just sweet, and light, and fluffy, and happy. Because cake is a happy food. It really is. If you could interview a cake, "Hey cake, how do you feel?" and get an actual answer, the cake would say "I am happy. Happy and sweet. So will you be if you eat me. Come on, eat me eat me eat me." This is what cakes say in their minds, it is a telepathy power that they have over humans. They do not speak in an audible language that a human ear can detect, but they probe deeper into your mind and there they speak their mantra over and over until you fulfill the words the cake has commanded you to fulfill. This cannot be helped. It is the law of cake telepathy*. No mortal man can escape it's power. Well, some men will say incomprehensible things, like, "No thanks, I'm full," as if fullness has anything to do with it. I say "Men" because in my extensive research I have found that 78% of cake rejectors do indeed tend to be men, who are lacking the sweetness they do not even realize they are so desperately in need of. The other 22% are dieting women. Neither are fun to be around during cake time at a party. I would much rather hang out with the cake.
'cause it is my true sweet friend after all. But now I see I am getting cyclical in my logic, (Hello, Duh and What's What pills!) so the only thing left to say is
Amen, let's eat.


*For more about the laws of nature and of physics, please read the previous post, "Spinning around in a miracle."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spinning around in a miracle.

(Pre-Script: This post spins and shapes you when read while listening to the song, "The End of the Innocence," #41 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

Have you ever had the realization that the world is still, and you are the one who has been spinning and spinning? This happens when you finally stop spinning and are still, and for a few seconds you can see the world spinning all around you. Have you ever spent so much time with your head upside down that only after having flipped back over you realized you had been right side up all along? Talk about a head trip. What a rush!
You may find this hard to believe, but I am not an Astro Physicist, nor even have I ever been a Physics Major in college. Yet I can toss around terms like "Centrifugal Force" with deftness of equal parts dexterity and defiance. Take that, Physics professor, with love, who may never realize that I didn't just read my Physics text, I studied it until the foreign sentences written therein sounded like the words of my unconscious dreams. I studied until I felt I had a workable grasp on the concepts being expressed therein. Then I would attend class, the one in which the professor would give us pop quizzes that were supposedly on the material we had been assigned to read that week.
But this was definitely not the same material. What I had been studying in the book the week before was like Spanish, but the test in front of me was like Portuguese or something. How's a girl to get ahead in that situation? She cannot. I spent hour after hour in the tutoring center, attended class and lab, and all I got for it was a D- from the prof, and a red rose and date offer from my lab partner.
(It never happened.)
Physics makes more sense to me in real life settings, where I can make up my own theorems and rules of...well, Physics. Like maybe I will never understand Astro Physics, but then my two year old mishears the word "merry go round" as "miracle" and says something like what she said yesterday, "We need to go spinning around in that miracle." and I completely understood that, right away.
So I said,"Yes, we do."
This is one of my new laws of Physics: to go spinning around inside whatever miracle in which I happen to find myself. There are 2.6 million a millisecond, yet I am lucky if I perceive of 5 in a week. So maybe I am too busy trying to spin my own circles that I need to just stop and in stillness see what has been spinning around me all along.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yo Dawg

(Pre-Script: This post wags tale when paired with the song, "Sweet Pea," #23 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

We found out the hard way that our neighbors don't like the sound of a barking dog. Oops. Did you know that there are a million and twelve ways to get your dog to stop barking? 47% of those are scientifically proven to work. We tried several. We even invented some of our own. But I just couldn't help thinking that sometimes, a dog needs to bark, and to force it not to must psychologically damage the dog. I do not want to be responsible for the psychological damage of my dog. I already have children, and anyway, I don't think dog psychology was covered in his puppy package. Oh yeah, they forget to tell you when they show you the cute snuggly pictures and tell you that fill in the bank breed of dog is the most family friendly, sweetest breed of dog around, that the dog will cost you far more than you ever knew you could pay for a stuffed animal with needs of it's own that often coincide and clash with yours, and actual working parts. They also do not tell you that there is a whole world of dog and animal specialities specifically tailored to any real or imaginary thing a pet could possibly ever conceivably need to experience. High Tech X rays after being hit by a car is just the tip of the very large iceberg. Also, when looking at the smooshy so cute you just want to cuddle and love on it forever pictures, you tend to forget that once you bring your adorable looking pet home, it has a tendency to ooze from both ends. Oh, did I say ooze? Yes, yes I did.
Babies also ooze, but it's different. Babies grow and turn into children, and eventually adults. Dogs are always dogs. You have to decide if this is worth it to you. In our case, it was not. The dog went the way of the baby accoutrement's...which, being interpreted, means that we gave it away. Dog who once was ours now lives with a nice woman and one other dog of the same breed. They frolick, often attend the dog park, eat the cushiest of dog foods available in this day and age, and are always up to date on their doggie vitamins and vet appointments. In other words, we did the best thing we could, as dog owners; we gave him a better life. Lest you fear we will ever forget him, though, you need not worry; we could never forget him; some of the furniture still has chew marks, and several of the neighbors still hate us.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bone Rattle

Are you ever just weary of the bone rattle space
do you know that place where the water kisses the shore shyly
or with a fierce and sudden passion
lifeguards warn, "Do not go in the water" "Strong undertow"
(it will sweep the small and unsuspecting out to sea)
do you know that place between your skull where sound bounces
where you can hear the rush of air like a seashell
far from the sea but always you can hear the rush,
you can feel the rush, it flows through your bloodstream,
is carried like cell memory
there it bursts like a sweaty tidal wave
out of defective tear ducts, no longer dammed shut
the pipes no longer clogged with regretful grime
the water and salt wash, purify and preserve
(the sweat, the tears, the sea,)
even acid rain can cleanse the ground beneath it.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gummy in spots

(Pre-Script: This post cleans up if you read it while listening to the song, "Landslide," #19 on the playlist, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come backa nd resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

It's been a week and you still haven't called but today I am mopping the floor. You still haven't called, and mopping is not a difficult chore, and you still haven't called, but on a paricularly gummy spot, I stop and scrub longer than the rest of the floor, I even bend over to get into it, because I really want that spot on the floor to be clean already, to be free of the gummy substance that got stuck there. I mop in barefooted feet, barefooted feet are better at feeling where they are in the world, on the floor in my kitchen where you are not and where you are not calling me, either, but oh what, another grimy spot, and isn't it funny all the gunk you can step in or step over day after day and never notice until you are trying to scrub it, trying to scrub it away and having a difficult time of it. It is not a crime to mop the grunge away, to work the sponge with my hands and arms and put my back into it, and every muscle I can feel, until my heart is pounding and my floor is shining. When I am finished mopping, I rinse out the mop; you may never call again, but I put the mop just outside the back door to dry out in the sun, and when it is dry, I will bring it back in and put it away.


Monday, August 3, 2009

The order of things

(Pre-Script: The most loving way to read this post is while the song, "She Will Be Loved," #12 on the playlist, plays in the background, so go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

The opposite of fear is love.
The first thing is to love God.
But we can't love God until He loves us first. He loves us, we have to receive it, we have to know that we are constantly being saturated in it, it causes us to grow and be healed. Then we can love Him back.
The second thing is to love our neighbor (aka "anyone who is not self") as ourselves. In other words, it is already assumed that we love ourselves, because we have received and reciprocated the unconditional love that God has for us. In other words,we will only be able to love other people to the degree that we already love ourselves. In other words we can only love ourselves to the degree of the love we have received from God. God wants to lavish it on. I believe this. When we receive it, we are complete and whole, and wholly effective. It's not possible to love without having received the unconditional lavish love of God, loving Him back, and loving ourselves fiercely, since He loves us so much, and we are just agreeing with His assessment of our own worth and lovableness, not because of anything we have done, but because God made us that way and decided it was so. If I have not received this from God, then Anything else I do that looks like love is really just an attempt on my own part to receive and fill my own empty void where I am lacking. These actions may look or feel loving to someone else for a time, but soon they will start to rub the person wrong, and make him or her feel drained. They will start to make ME feel drained, then bitter that I am still so empty, then more desperate than ever. Real love is freeing.

What do I fear? Whatever it is, it represents an area of my heart where I am not free.
And I want to be free.

What do I do as a result of my fear or insecurity, for any action I do out of fear or insecurity is not done out of love. so any action I do that is fear or insecurity based is not freeing or healing to myself or anyone else, it is instead harmful to myself or anyone else.

Insecurity is pride.

It is saying that my bad opinion of myself is more true than God's opinion of me. True humility is in agreeing with what God says is true of me.
So what am I afraid of, and why am I not letting God's love be the antidote to it, and how do I do that, and what does that look like?
"There is no fear in love, But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us."
I John 4:18-19

"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the law and prophets hang on these two commands."
Matthew 22:37-40


Sunday, August 2, 2009

You are where you are

(Pre-Script: This post looks greener and bigger when paired with the song,"Sweet Pea," #23 on the playlist, so before proceeding any further, go down to the playlist, click on that song, then come back and resume reading. I'll wait...) (...still waiting...)

There is a sensation currently sweeping the nation that you may have heard of, you may even have gotten caught up in it. It's called Basements and Brick Buildings. Actually these are two different sensations, and you can indeed get caught up in both if a tornado happens to be occurring. But both of them are foreign to me, because I live in California, where Basements and Brick Buildings are illegal. Actually, so are tornados. Earthquakes are totally legal here though, and this is why Basements and Brick buildings are illegal.
As far as brick goes, if you like the look of it, you can totally go faux. Hooray for faux. Or you can contain your brick love in a real brick fireplace; your probably-unnecessary-but-cute looking fireplace with some stacked up wood in a cute little wood holder that sits next to the fireplace to give visitors a sense that you have just emerged from the forest where you felled a tree and neatly chopped these cute wood pieces, so they think you are much more rugged than you actually are. Never mind that the wood was purchased at the Home Depot and will never actually be used. But it will now look like if you were to light the precious hard won (imaginably) wood that you could cook a hearty stew over the fire you lit there and hovered over, lovingly.
A basement is not as easy to "Faux." It is much harder to "faux" a basement. But in California, garages are not always necessary for their intended purpose of being a home for vehicles, since our weather is practically perfect in every way, so a garage space can be used in the same way that people in the basement parts of the country use their basement space. But the Basement and Brick Building set have garages,too, so it's totally not fair.
Except for maybe if you consider that the land locked basement tornado watching set really do need a garage home for their vehicles due to more extreme weather conditions such as snow and things like 'sleet" that I have only heard rumors of. I know what snow is because we drive there to go skiing for the day, but sleet? I have to look that up. Hold on...
So the saying goes, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I say the grass is always greener on the other side of the state line. And from where I stand, this is true, possibly because on that side of the country, besides the snow and sleet, there is a major thing called humidity which I think helps them keep their lawns green. I never said that green grass was my ultimate highest life calling. Just that it's greener over there. I have seen pictures.
But even without the greenest of grass, brick buildings, basements, people pay an arm and a leg more to live here than they do for five houses with basements in another state. You pay 2x as much for half the property. This is where the term "Less is more" comes from.
WHY would someone do this, you ask?
(For I can hear you, you may not be asking it out loud, but you are asking it in your mind.)
It's simple.
Because our houses are in California,
and when you step outside your door, guess what,
you are in California.
'nuf said.
Amen, let's eat.
"...but Michelle,"
I hear my imaginary reader now,
"Michelle, you are forgetting that many of those land loving land locked state dwellers are afraid of California"
Afraid, gentle reader?
"Yes, Michelle, afraid."
How so, Gentle Reader?
"Well, Michelle, they are afraid that an earthquake will occur and that the entirety of California will fall off into the Pacific Ocean."
Well, Gentle Reader, then let's just let them have and enjoy their reasonably priced homes and tornado warnings in peace, shall we?
"Michelle, I am so with you on that."
Well, Gentle Reader, that is such a relief, since you are only imaginary, anyway.