Part 2–The Roller Coaster of Emotions and Cheesy solutions

 

babycrying

Pat answers are nothing more than the lame sound bites politicians deliver in hopes of impressing voters. 

We spout them to the emotional messes around us and wait for the tears to disappear.

I’m one of those emotional messes. And, I’ve got news for you.

Sometimes life just sucks.

We cry. We rage. That’s normal.

But, we cross the line when we lose ourselves in food, sex or some kind of fantasy world. That’s when the crazy roller coaster ride of emotions begins.

Not a good idea.

Emotions at best are unpredictable. They need to be handled with wisdom, courage and patience.

Why? Because we DO feel things for a reason. But, our feelings are not always reasonable.

It takes wisdom to figure out what triggers our turmoil. It takes courage to face what’s behind the triggers. And, it takes patience to change the  thoughts that defeat us day after day after day.

Maybe you’re thinking “Hey, I know my Bible. It says to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ. Easy Peasy.  Simple Dimple”.

Think again. And, this time, leave out the cheesy idioms.

Capturing anything is a tough gig. It takes aggression and determination. A emotionally mature wannabe will not do so unless he or she is grounded in God’s truth.   

So, I challenge you, fellow sniveler.

Get up off your snot-crusted bed of sorrow and join me in the fight. We can take back the joy of living one nasty little thought at a time. 

Getting off the roller-coaster of emotions and grabbing the hand of truth.

 

roller coaster of emotionsIt was the year 1977. I stood in a brick building the width and length of an oversized surfboard. Every day from 1 in the afternoon until 8 at night cars pulled up. Trucks. Volkswagen vans.

They all wanted money.

No, I was not some kind of a genie in a supersized bottle. I was a bank teller in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Dallas, Texas. If that was not scary enough I could barely add and subtract.

But, hey, I was in college and flat broke.  

This was before personal computers and ATM machines. I had to use an adding machine. Balance the cash at night.

There were some exciting moments.

I remember laying flat on the floor of the teller booth for over an hour.  It happened when someone called in to say they were going to rob the place. Note: it was a false alarm. I mean who calls in a robbery ahead of time?

A few nights I tracked down total strangers after I gave out too much money. And, yes, I got the money back. That’s when I learned about the unflinching  integrity of little old ladies on fixed income. 

This job also gave me my first exposure to rock music.  Yes, at nineteen years old. Until then, I’d survived on a diet of gospel quartet tunes and good ole hymns. Like I’ve said in other blogs, I grew up believing that the entire rock music scene was the devil’s workshop. Here I was in His shop soaking in tunes like

  • Stop in the Name of Love,
  • You’ve Blown It All Sky High,
  • and Emotions by the Bee Gees

as they blasted through the bank speakers.

Emotions by the Bee Gees became my favorite. Maybe it was because that’s the way I lived. Every emotion got my full attention.

Why not?

I figured it I felt something it had to be true. If I felt ugly, I was ugly. If I felt like life was hopeless, it had to be.

I never considered that emotions could be wrong.

I guess I never really listened to the chorus close enough.

The Bee Gees were right.

“…it’s just emotion
that’s taking me over
tied up in sorrow
lost in my soul…”

When I let my emotions take over, I end up nothing more than a

  1. blubbering knot of sorrow.
  2. lost puppy of a soul.

Not the way I want to spend my days.

I’d rather hold the hand of truth. It’s the foundation for healthy relationships. It’s the road map that leads to spiritual wholeness.

Not exactly the thrill a roller coaster. But, exactly what I need.

The Naked Soul-what to do when needy people interrupt your life.

 

lonly

The naked soul.

I’ve seen more than one or two. Wearing all their hurts on the outside. Their disappointments waving in the wind.

It makes people uncomfortable. After a while folks just look the other way.

Can’t really blame them.  I mean, enough is enough. We all have our own lives to live. Jobs to do. Kids to raise. Ministries to grow.

We don’t need to be running around saving the whole entire world.

Or, do we?

Just when I’ve think I’ve had enough of needy people, I come face to face with a naked soul.

For just a second I see past the

  • litany of woes.
  • repetitions of who-done-me-wrong

and look into pain it takes my breath away.  

No doubt, we all go through hard times. But, some people grapple with situations we cannot begin to comprehend. Their cries for help sound needy but their desperation is real. 

God forbid that we would ignore them until it is too late.

Runny noses, beady little eyes and the promise of relationship

 

Fishpot_Lake_Resort (1)fishpot lake

I remember when my kids were just strange little creatures with runny noses and beady little eyes.  Our family income was not much bigger. Fancy summer vacations like going to Disneyland were out of the question.

Instead, we rented  a cabin in the Caribou region of British Columbia. There was

  • No plumbing.
  • No electricity.
  • No phone or cell service.

It took over ten hours to drive to the place. Then, we drove an hour and 1/2 drive off the last stretch of paved road.

For weeks we fished, swam and hiked.

At night we huddled on an overstuffed couch that sat on the front porch. My mother-in-law used to huddle with us.

Even though

  1. The nights were chilly,
  2. The couch was musty,
  3. The gnats terrifyingly hungry,

we didn’t mind. We were together. Giggling and making silly jokes. Telling scary stories.

Under the weight of a thousand old blankets we watched the moon shimmer on the lake. We listened to the loons call to each other in the darkness.

I knew it wasn’t forever. This time with my mother-in-law. Although she was barely sixty, a brain disease was rapidly devouring her quality of life. The ability to

  • walk,
  • write,
  • and eventually to speak.

But, when we huddled on the couch she changed. Relaxed. Gave into the call of the loons and the light of the moon.  For a while, the weariness of her struggles seemed to fall away.

When it’s all said and done, all we have are each other. To share joy, sorrow, pain and wonder.

Jesus didn’t promise each of us a million dollars or even the praise of men.

Instead, He promised relationship.

“…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus told His disciples. This promise stayed with those men through hunger, persecution and even death.

Jesus has promised to be with every believer. Huddled on the couch of His presence, we behold the majesty of God. The glory of His love. The precious gift of being together.

Forever.

Face it -it’s not so easy being green or blue or whatever you were ultimately created to be.

 

kermit

 

A famous frog once said, “It’s not easy being green”.

Bless his beady little eyes. Kermit was right.

It’s not easy being green or anything else that is different.  I grew up

  • avoiding movie theatres,
  • putting my hands over my ears when I heard music with the devil’s beat, 
  • shunning card games
  • and cringing at the mention of mixed bathing of any kind.

I even wore culottes for several years so that God would not mistake me for a man. Note: Culottes are extremely wide legged, elongated  shorts. This garment gives the flexibility of pants but the appearance of a very strange skirt. About as feminine as wearing an old sleeping bag for a wedding gown.

To put it mildly, my family walked out of step with the rest of the universe.  Partly because we had no money. Partly because my Dad was pastor of the most conservative church in town.

“What a bunch of weirdo’s,” I often muttered under my breath. This was usually while wedged on the front pew between siblings on Sunday mornings. I didn’t want to be different. I wanted to be cool. I wanted to belong to the rest of the world.

But, I stayed in the religious community. It may have been irritating at times but Church was the only life I knew.   I even married a man in the ministry.

“Are you crazy?” I sometimes wondered in the the middle of the night when church politics got me down,  “This whole business just doesn’t make sense. Why do I hang around?”

Good question.  Why do I hang around? Get up on Sunday? Go to church? Follow the teachings of a book that was written thousands of years ago?

Two words.

Radical Christianity.

I’m not talking about the clever teachings of some

  • mega pastor,
  • political candidate
  • or self-help guru.

  Under the dank remains of religiosity, truth smolders and burns.

God is real. His word is alive.

That’s why I have a vision beyond surviving an eight hour work day. A passion beyond owning a nice home, two cars and three kids.

I have a call to follow Jesus. The one who destroyed my airbrushed images of perfection and exposed my messy heart.

He forgives. He heals. I follow. 

Go ahead, Kermit. Say it again.

It’s not easy being green.

But, it’s the only way to live. To be what I was created to be. A child of God.

A follower of Christ. 

THE MONDAY BLOG – This Monday, think of home

 

Mondays. bus

Makes me think of thin rubber wipers sliding back and forth across the windshield. Even though it’s almost 8 in the morning the sky is dark. Headlights glare back at me as I stare out the school bus window.

It’s the early sixties. I’m on my way to no man’s land. A place where I don’t belong to anyone and no one belongs to me.

That’s where I live from 8:30 to 3:00- five days a week. I

  • sit for hours at my desk,
  • slip through the hallways  on break
  • and eat my tuna sandwich for lunch.

If someone does say “hi” to me, my face blazes with shame. I’m socially awkward, you see. Shy. Made mute by the fact that no coherent thoughts can survive in my head if someone even looks at me.

How do I make it through each day?

The thought of home.

It’s a rental. My home. Rusty old. Full of garage sell furniture and hand-me-down clothes. But, it’s where I’m really, truly known.

There are no remarks like

  1. “hey, there’s the shy kid.”
  2. or “Renee who? Never heard of her.”

At home, I’m funny and crazy and loud all at the same time.

And, I am loved.

Even though I’m now in my fifties, I dream of going back home. Not to the exact house. It doesn’t exist.

It’s a warmth and a completeness that I yearn for. The welcoming arms of acceptance that encompass the real me.

But, I’m still on the bus. And, it still rains. Sometimes I make connections. Other times it feels like life is just a noisy classroom full of strangers.  Endless homework. Bullies and disappointments.

The bus keeps moving. There’s still a lot of living left to do. Difficult times. Good times, too.

But, the best is yet to come.

  • A celebration like we’ve never seen.
  • A wholeness of spirit and fullness of love like we’ve never known.

Until then, dream of home.

It’s not Monday yet but I just couldn’t wait to share the marvelous advancement of urine samples

I said I was only going to blog on Mondays. And, I mean it. You know, blog. Philosophize about all sorts of crazy things.

But, dang it, I can’t let you miss the wonders of the universe waiting for a weekly dose of my half-baked wisdom.

And is one of the wonders. I gazed upon it’s glory on Friday. During a Doctor’s visit. Not just any doctor. A Urologist. Not that this began to explain the wonder of what I beheld. But, it sure added to the meaning.

“I need to use the washroom,” I said to the receptionist after she checked me in, “Do I need to…you know…give a sample…”

“No,” the receptionist said and waved her hand toward the place wither the washroom keys were hanging, “Not today.”

And that’s when I saw it. The greatest example of recycling on the face of the earth.

bathroom keys

 

You fill it.

They test it.

Who rinses it out for the next guy?

Go figure.

The glory and wonder of MONDAYS-The shame and the agony. What’s so special about this day?

 

2012-10-03 23 23 12 (2)

The time has come.

I’ve whined and pouted about every little boo-b00 life gave me. I nagged you about turning your life around. I even revealed those crazy moments of my life to see if I could make you laugh. Even snort.

By the way, nothing in the blog was made up.

It’s a blog, for heaven’s sake. Not some kind of peep show for those who like to view the delusions of a stress-out middle aged woman.

Everything happened just like I said it did.

And, more stuff will happen. just as sure as I’m sitting on the couch with the TV on pause so I can write this thing. More living. More material.

So, when do I get to make things up? Write down the frantic ranting of an out-of-control imagination?

Just about…now. Yes, right now. This month. I’m gonna grab me a short story and wrestle it to the ground.

Yeah, I know. Might need to work on my metaphors. But, hey, I am going to write some fiction. Put it on my blog.

First, I got to write it. This month.

So…No more Tuesday blog. No more Wednesday, Thursday and Friday blog.  

But, MONDAY is still our day.

We will get together. Every single Monday. 

Which reminds me…have you ever seen The Green Mile? I did. Last week. It rocked my world. The raw purity of good and the simple cruelty of evil. greed of evil. And, what about kids and the decisions their parents make when they are little? I’ve got a humdinger of a dilemma for that one.

Did I say humdinger? 

Come back. Monday. Let’s talk.

I”ll be here.

Crazy Teens and Awkward Oldies–why they’re much the same.

 

bear family

I got a little freaked out last weekend when I visited a recreational resort. That’s Where I met

  1. Bonnie,
  2. Boob
  3. and George.

Three life-sized wooden bears standing in front of a cutesy woosty recreational lot.

Honestly, it scared me. This example of old age out of control.

Then, I remembered the lion king. Elton John and his Cycle of Life lament. That’s what the bears were all about. It’s the cycle of life  swinging back around.

It’s starts with kids. They do weird things to rattle their parents.

  • Get tattoos
  • Wear funky clothes
  • Blast loud music

I grew up in the sixties and the seventies. No tattoos. My clothes were only considered funky because they were so conservative they were practically artifacts from another era.

As for music, I don’t think I heard the sound of drums until I was out of high school.

Then, I got a job at a bank.

That’s where I learned to belt out “You’ve blown it all sky high” by the Jigsaws and “Emotions” by the BeeJees over the loud speaker. In no time I was singing along while I counted out change.

That was me. Raising hell.

Now, the closest to raising hell is looking like it before I cover my wrinkles with make-up and poof up my thinning hair.

Until this weekend, I figured that window of opportunity had closed. This portal of self expression. The chance to shock another generation with the audacity of awkwardness.

That was before this weekend. Before I saw the three bears. So cute in an in-your-face crafty way. So adorable and yet so disturbing.

Congratulations, Bonnie, Boob and George. That’s living on the edge.

The Connecting Point–A small church with bold mission. To reach people in their greatest hour of need.

 

Stand-Firm-Grad-Photo-1first graduating class of  2012 Stand Firm on Higher Ground Life Skills classes.

 

The guy stands at the side of the road. You read his cardboard sign as you drive by. 

“Homeless. Lost job. Can you spare some change?”

“I don’t think so,” you’d like to yell, “You probably make more money a day then me.”

But, you’ve heard the stories. Street people getting agitated. Fighting back. So you just look the other way. Maybe it is true. That they make more money than you. 

There’s the scantily dressed women strolling down the sidewalk. You see them every time you drive down King George boulevard. A car slows to a stop. one of the women climbs in.

“Why doesn’t she just get off the street. Start a new life?” you wonder as you try to divert your children’s attention.  No way do you explain that life style on the way home.  

And, there’s the woman pushing a stroller. Kids hanging on each side.  It’s food bank day. The only day the family gets to eat a decent meal.

“Should have thought of that before you got pregnant,”is what some folks say.

But, she didn’t. And, now there are other people involved. Small human beings.

So, what’s it to you and me?

Well, in another time, other circumstances we would very likely struggle, too.

Instead, we are lavished with blessings. The mercies of God. His grace.

Why?

So that we can give to others. Share. Reach out with compassion.

If we don’t, we are worse than just selfish. We are a curse to those in need.

The Foursquare Connecting Point, a very small church in Port Coquitlam British Columbia is doing it’s best to reach out. 

They have a program called STAND FIRM ON HIGHER GROUND. Through weeks of practical teaching they are help “remove barriers that can keep people in the cycle of addiction, and other types of brokenness, and prevent them from becoming effective members of their community”. 

Thing is, it’s working. People who struggle emotionally, physically and socially are getting a second chance to succeed.

Let’s face it. Most of us want to care. We just don’t know how.

Here’s a place to start.

Connecting Point has a chance to obtain needed funds to include more people in their program. They just need your vote.  Go to ttp://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf13562 and give them a hand.

Just a few seconds of your time can make a big difference.