Tuesday, March 31, 2009


its the rear view mirror that used to get me. drawing me closer and closer in, checking frequently to see all that was behind me. turns in the road, pot holes, pit stops, blind spots. all of it. constantly causing me to look back and wonder. to wonder what if. what if i had made better choices, different choices. what if id taken fewer detours and made less wrong turns. what if i could look back and never see the lines of regret carefully lining all the lanes behind me. what if i had spent less time lost?

im great at second guessing. fabulous really. i can spend so much time wondering and thinking about the past that i am left paralyzed in my present and oblivious to my future. i can over analyze, daydream and rewind at a moments notice, drawing myself into thoughts that are carefully hidden, lying just beneath the surface of me. i can retrace the map of my life with intense detail and am quick to recognize where the slightest turn in my past could have forever altered my future. and there was a time when journeying down these roads of my past would leave me full of questions about my present.

there was a moment, when i had been looking so intensely in my rear view mirror, i almost ran off the road. i slammed on the brakes and pulled over. i stopped in my tracks and was scared to death of where i had ended up, mindlessly driving ahead while only focusing on what was behind. i was in disbelief when i finally looked up and scarcely recognized the landscape of my life around me. i caught my breath and prayed the clumsiest of prayers...something like 'take this from me. the second guessing and the regret. the what ifs and the wondering. the pain. the curiosity. the blame. all of it. please. amen.' i spent moments on my knees, waiting and hoping, tears streaming and heart pounding knowing that He who had kept me on the road moments before would hear me. i waited. and waited. and waited.

i soon began to feel something changing within me and around me. a palpable feeling of being released. i spent some time getting used to that feeling, the weight of it, the smell of it, the feeling of being free. it was awkward (as you can only imagine if youve carried something for so long to be absent from it) and different. wonderfully and beautifully different. there was an ease within me i had been without for so long. i couldnt find a part of me to store up anymore contentment. this amazing God, with His amazing grace had reached down and changed me. He took the map and lovingly showed me in flashes of my past and moments in my future where i had missed Him. where i was completely oblivious to His divine presence in all my journeys, even ones riddled with wrong turns and backtracking. when i looked again, this time closer with a clarity i had never known i could easily recognize the course He had laid out before me. there were no roads without purpose and no turns without reason. no need for regrets and second guessing. i was precisely where He intended for me to be at this moment, resting securely in His plan.

when the relief turned to joy and the joy turned to peace and the peace turned to a quiet calm, i realized my heart was no longer racing and i was ready to get back on the road. i started driving again, this time with purpose and gratitude and when i felt the urge to check my past out of habit and curiosity, i saw nothing for the mirror had so graciously been removed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


this happened in my house, in my kitchen to be exact yesterday while georgia and i were 'discussing' her beverage choices. she is the ONLY person in the world i have met thus far that leaves me speechless, recklessly grabbing for words that are simply not there. im dumbfounded and frustrated at best. and a little pissed and fed up at worst. the dialogue went like this:

gk: mommy, may i have some milk please?
me: no, sweetie, your tummy was upset this morning, so we are going to stick with water for the afternoon.
gk: but why?? i really want my milk. just a little glass, please...
me: no. not today. your choice is water or nothing. milk is not good for an upset tummy.
gk: YES it is...it will make me STRONG...you said that, remember?
me: yes, i remember, but we are not going to discuss this any further. water or nothing. please stop arguing with mommy.
gk: im not arguing.
me: yes you are.
gk: no im not.
me: yes, georgia, you are and its disrespectful.
gk: no im not being disrespectful.
me: STOP it right now. (i typically change my tone, but rarely my volume. with the sudden change in volume...i got results...just not the ones i was hoping for)
gk: (real tears...and a look of horror on her face) mommy...you, you just yelled at me.
me: georgia, im sorry i yelled. its not okay to yell like that in our home. honey, please forgive me and lets try really hard to be respectful and not argue with mommy. okay?
gk: its okay mama. we'll try harder....and im only just a little disappointed in you.

so there i was speechless. stupid. without words or a comeback. seriously, at that moment i was just thankful i use words like 'disappointed' and not 'failure' because that would have really left me feeling like junk. i dont know what to do about my 3 year old trying to parent me. im at a loss as usual with this one and would love any suggestions.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


so i know raising a son will be much different and dirtier than raising a daughter (ive been peed on enough times to have at least a basic understanding of the 'messier than chicks' factor by now) . ive seen it with all of my friends with boys and truth be told i really cant wait for the dirt, bugs and countless injuries that seem to inevitably accompany the role of 'boy'. but what im far more concerned about is raising a man. i am consumed with thoughts of 'what kind of man will my sweet boy become?' thats it for me. the challenge of raising a son is that one day he will be a man raising his own family and while i dont want to get too far ahead of myself (too late i hear you saying...) i am trying to see the big picture here. or at least the most important part of a small one. i didnt marry a sissy. i didnt pick a big baby to father my kids and lead our family and i dont expect anyone else to want to either. so here it is in size 12 font...i want to raise a boy who will one day be a man of courage and integrity, compassion and conviction, with a strong sense of gratitude and generosity. who unabashadly chases hard after his goals and is not intimidated by failure. i dont have any idea how to instill these attributes in him other than to take comfort and hope in knowing he will see all of these in his father. i feel like ive already done the best that i can do for jack simply by picking the right man for him to emulate.

i heard a friend the other night pull his two year old son aside for a teaching moment after he had hit georgia. amid the nuggets of wisdom he passed on was a simple order to 'never ever hit a girl'. the boys mama (a dear friend of mine) rolled her eyes and said to me he should never hit anyone. and while i love that she is steadfast in teaching him some basic manners for functioning in life, i love the fact that his dad is already laying the foundation for one of the many man laws that govern a boys life. you never hit a girl. and while bullying is off limits and picking a fight is wrong, there are certain times when standing up for or protecting what is sacred to you may be worth a fight. and perhaps this truth in all its complexity may be best understood later in life (after the tender and impressionable age of 2), but i commend him for speaking his truth to his sweet boy now. we are all only teaching and learning one moment at a time anyway and im confident the opportunity will arise to impart additional details of the 'no hit' rule in the future.

its just one of the many things that is different in parenting a son. we are created differently on purpose by a Creator who had a pretty perfect plan and while it may be a source of debates on equality and fairness and a source of contention with all the feminazis of the world, we should not be trying to raise a generation of boys to be the same as a generation of girls. there are certain truths and differences that are undeniable and shouldnt be hampered or discouraged under the guise of equality but rather nurtured and encouraged as Divine inspired unique qualities to be celebrated and strengthened. i want jack to be able to throw a football and change a tire. he doesnt have to love football (or fulfill a dream of being a left handed pitcher...his dream i swear) nor should he feel pressure to have a love of cars, but at some point those two skills will be useful. i want him to instinctively open a door for a woman or a stranger out of a desire to be polite and kind. he does not need to sing coom by ya at the nursing home on sundays to be a good man and i could care less if he wants to be a boy scout, but basic kindness and a willingness to serve others is a sign of compassion and a cornerstone of a strong character.

a few other important skills...movie lines and sound effects. he needs to have a basic database for both. (again, thank God we have patrick around...) i dont care if he loves that stupid movie blazing saddles, but almost every other boy/man in the world has an inexplicable knowledge and affection for it...i dont get it, but hopefully this can be one of the many things that just he and his dad understand about one another. and star wars. please dont get me started. lets just say he will be exposed in some grand fashion at an age too young for my liking but i will simply shut up and color and watch the bonding occur...and then be on call for a week to soothe the nightmares that follow. sound effects are critical (and im not being over dramatic here either) to the development of a boys mind...i refuse to buy any toys that make all the noises for him...im telling you they are robbing him of a God given skill that he may never tap into if playschool and mattel have their way with him. have you met a guy in his twenties, thirties or forties who cant make the sound of an explosion or car?? tragic im telling you. borderline pathetic, really.

alas, i dont have all the answers (or even a few if im being honest) about how to go about raising a man when i only have him for a few brief years as a boy, but my hope is that the One who so generously gave him to me will partner with patrick and i as we try. and inevitably fail at this awesome and exciting opportunity that we have been given to hopefully raise up the kind of man that will one day be used by Him to do many things great and small for His purpose. and if he can quote happy gilmore or tommy boy word for word and throw a fast pitch, all the better.

Monday, March 16, 2009

road words

i was out shopping today and came across a few interesting things...

1. shiny black mazda miata with one large bumper sticker on the back that read in caps:: BACK OFF-I'M A GODDESS. i laughed a bit and couldnt wait to pass this goddess in my lane and see her in all her splendor. she turned out to be pushing 85 years old with a head full of white hair, chandelier earrings and rings on every finger she had gripping the wheel. i almost wrecked and thought for a moment maybe she was some sort of goddess.

2. p.o.s. car with a license plate that said 'LV KABUL'. i still dont know if he loves kabul, wants to leave kabul or simply lives kabul. i wish he would have been clearer.

3. big arse 18 wheeler (purple no less) honking and waving at me as i drove by. initially i thought my car was on fire. until he sped up and did it again with a semi toothless smile. wow. let me cross 4 lanes of traffic, have you follow me and offer you my number. has this EVER worked for you in the history of your trucking career?? im a little insecure these days with my appearance, im even a little desperate for an upgrade, but seriously...even i, in my fragile state, find this pathetic and funny.

4. went to the childrens place looking for shoes for the peach. i just want to make it clear right now...STOP trying to dress my little girl like a hooker. she has no business wearing heels. for that matter, no little girl does. i have a lot of gray areas but there is never an excuse for dressing my 3 year old like a 23 year old just trying to make money for college....dancing.

5. i have lived a lot of different places and ive seen a lot of crazy drivers...(you fellow amerikoreanites, yes this the technical term for having lived over there) we barely survived the streets of asia, but living here is comparable. less people per car, nicer make and model but clearly the drugs are being trafficked over here, too. d.c. drivers drive around with the greatest sense of entitlement i have ever seen, as if i should be grateful to have their beamer cutting me off in traffic or i should feel relieved that they decided to let me merge while traffic is at a standstill. its called common courtesy people, not an overly generous act.

6. if the crossing bar is down over the h.o.v. lane, are three barrels really necessary? or is this just novas way of giving everyone a jobby job?

7. bumper sticker with the obama circle...hOnk if youre paying my mortgage.

8. sign on the back of a mini van that read: CAUTION: SHOW DOGS. as if this isnt absurd enough, there was a picture of dachsunds under it. wth?? i could understand the sign if it said: CAUTION: BADNEWZ KENNELS or CAUTION: VICKS SHOW DOGS. but, why should i be any more cautious around your van of dachshunds than any other car on the road? really, you think i would swerve to miss your van a wee bit more because of your lovely warning? i can see it now us cruising down the interstate at 75 mph when all of the sudden dachshund van rolls up...quick! everyone SLOW DOWN...BE CAUTIOUS...thats a van full of SHOW DACHSHUNDS!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

good talk

we are not human beings going through a
temporary spiritual experience.
we are spiritual beings going through a
temporary human experience.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

the end of the day

at the end of the day i am hopelessly flawed, unbelievably exhausted, surprisingly content and overwhelmed with gratitude. at the end of the day i still believe coffee is magical and better than any drug i can imagine, that margaritas with chips and salsa is a perfectly balanced meal and that laundry can always wait. at the end of the day i am the luckiest woman i know to have my best friend beside me and my two most treasured gifts just a few steps away. at the end of the day, im discovering who i am in the quiet moments where my mind is still carrying on the craziness of the day even while my body battles for it to rest. i lie awake asking God a barrage of questions, some silly and small, some great and complex all the while waiting and expecting brilliant and loving answers. i throw concerns and thanks His way, unloading them from my already heavy baggage and let Him do the unpacking. at the end of the day, i know who i have been, who i am becoming and most of all who i long to be. i know i love being a mother and have never looked back at the work of my past, but have instead grabbed a hold of my present in the grip of tiny hands and begun molding my future one teaching and loving moment at a time. at the end of the day, i know i have been given a tremendous gift and opportunity to be the one wiping noses, attending spontaneous tea parties and capturing all of their firsts firsthand. at the end of the day, i am profoundly grateful for the people in my life and the realization that material possessions hold such an insignificant place in my days...and im sorry it took me too many years to crack that now ridiculously easy code. at the end of the day i have my health, such a tremendous blessing in itself, to be used chasing and nurturing the hearts and minds of little people who will one day be big people entirely too soon...and i will be left longing for more time with them. at the end of the day, i can be uneasy and conflicted about so many things, but completely at peace with others...like answering the call of motherhood with all of me and trusting His provisions and plans are never flawed like my own. at the end of the day i rest under a thick blanket of grace, keeping me humble and ready for the next day. at the end of the day i am consumed with curiosity and eager for the revealation of gifts and surprises of tomorrow. and at the end of the day i have more than i could have ever imagined and am living the best days of my life, imperfections and all.

Monday, March 09, 2009

i should know better

im not quite sure what my issue is as of late. perhaps its the daily struggle to shower or more accurately disguise the fact i havent..thank goodness for hats, pony tails and bronzer...they go a long way in times of hygiene drought. but im realizing after the liquid liner ordeal, the threading fiasco and now my most recent attempt at upgrading my blah self that i may have a problem.

all i had to do was pick up a prescription for the peach. thats it. there was nothing else in that entire cvs that needed my time or attention. however, i could not resist the magnetic pull to the cosmetic aisle. why?? i have no idea. i have already confessed i rotate my wardrobe between 4 exciting colors...black, grey, white and brown. i avoid prints and patterns and havent changed my limited cosmetic routine since 8th grade when i did, in a moment of fleeting adolescent clarity, finally quit wearing electric blue eyeliner (there was an audible collective sigh by my parents). but in spite of my unwillingness to change anything permanently, i am more than willing to throw money away on countless possibilities...like the silver mac eyeshadow that looks awesome if your rocking wings down a victorias secret runway or the shimmerific bronzer that looks like i rolled my nose in georgias glitter. and then theres the smudge liner intended to give you a smoky eye, which leaves me looking more like a strung out heroin addict without the waif like frame.

but here i was again, dangerously sampling every product under the sun imagining all of the possible scenarios in which they wouldnt leave me looking like a clown. i walked up and down each aisle until something shiny caught my eye. hmmm. lip inflation. sounds fun. i noticed it was very glossy and looked fabulous on the model...as if theyd really try and sell their product with an eye catching ugly chic. it was even packaged in gold. must be nice. i tossed it in my basket along with some butterscotch chapstick (i know its completely pathetic that i cant even resist desserts when i cant eat them) and some water proof funky brush mascara.

once home i retreated to the bathroom to begin sampling my new treasures. first, the butterscotch chapstick. yum. it smelled so wonderful i added cookies to my mental shopping list. then i applied the water proof mascara which had a brush that looked like a sea creature...wth? is this seriously supposed to work? trusting the experts in cosmetic land, i applied a quick coat. too quick. it ended up on no less than 3 places other than my eyes. hmm. i began the tried and true quick dab method at which time it smudged and became permanently affixed to my fingers as well. no biggie. i began vigorously rinsing my hands under the sink only to realize this mascara was staying firmly put. after rubbing the spots on my face, the only evidence that it was working were the red marks that now surrounded the sharpie like mascara spots. nice. without the patience to mix up the turpentine to remove my mascara i moved onto the gold lip inflation. i applied one coat, then two. it smelled like cinnamon and was super shiny. how nice. for a brief moment i was able to avert my eyes from the sharpie spots and see the shiny gloss. i was happily thinking 2 out of 3 is better than my usual odds when i began to feel the burn. super fire hot burn. my lips were on fire. i wanted to stop drop and roll in the sink. i grabbed a towel and wiped my mouth, hoping that the blistering sensation would end.

and it did after scrubbing the top layer of skin off of my lips. what began as an enthusiastic attempt at subtle change ended with me looking like a victim of an attack by a drunk monkey with a sharpie and piece of sandpaper. mark my words...i am DONE with change. done. keep me accountable to that statement if you happen to hear me discussing any of the latest and greatest in cosmetics. ive decided they are all lies aimed at inflicting mass torture on already tired and hopelessly insecure women. or is that just me??