Saturday, December 31, 2005

Blog Assesment, Cont...

So, it's 6 months later and I'm assessing the purpose and motivation for continuing to blog. It's not that it takes an outrageous amount of time, as in, I'm not neglecting my family or job because of does take enough time that it's not something I should continue doing if it serves no purpose.

I mentioned yesterday that I didn't tell Tdub about my blog at first. It was a good decision. I think if he'd known about it from the start he'd have been worried each day about what I might say...or concerned that something he said or did would end up as some sort of "rant" plastered all over the internet. STRUGGLING HOMOSEXUAL HAS THE NERVE TO PISS OFF HIS WIFE...DOWNLOAD FULL DETAILS HERE. Like I said, he was one of the very first, if not THE first person (he feels certain this was all his idea!!) to suggest I start blogging. I liken his suggesting it to the 4th of July when we buy the boys one of those humongous artillery-type fireworks that looks like we might be ready to take out an entire village and has a fuse cord thick enough to support swinging bridges. We light that sucker, run like heck as far away as we can get, then crouch down and hope that something awesome and beautiful happens as opposed to something that comes after you, leaving you squealing in anguish or blinded and maimed for the rest of your life. It's a risk.

I'd been blogging for about a month and a half when I got an email from this guy I'll call "Joe". (not his real name) Joe was a single Christian guy who was enjoying my blog and wanted to correspond a little and ask me a few questions. Specifically, he wanted a woman's perspective on some questions he had about his own struggle with unwanted same sex attraction. This was where things began to get tricky. I'd felt like I needed to tell Tdub about the blog just a few days before I got this email from Joe. After a few emails back and forth with Joe...there was no DOUBT in my mind that Tdub HAD to know. The blog had suddenly taken on a sort of life of it's own and in forming an actual real life friendship because of it, I was close to crossing into territory no one should venture into when you are married. I'm not talking about anything sexual. I'm speaking of giving time, effort, energy and emotional support to something outside the marriage. I believe anything of that nature becomes adultery if you allow it to. And so....I told Tdub about the blog. I FWDed all the corrspondence I'd had with Joe to him and caught him up completely on the entire process. He (Tdub) was in awe, inspired, supportive, and completely happy about it. He loved having a body of work to read so that he could get a feel for what sort of blog it was and the sort of things I wrote about. No rants about my homosexual husband...*whew*!!

We ended up meeting "Joe" in person about a month ago. It was awesome and we now consider him to be one of our dearest friends. When you share struggles of this nature and God brings you together and blesses your's amazing how quickly you can become bonded in Him. That's what we have with "Joe", a brotherhood in Christ brought about by common pain. And together, we have common JOY.

And that's why I started blogging in the first place. Because I felt I'd lost or hadn't been able to find the JOY that I knew God had for me.

I asked Tdub what his perceptions of my blogging did he percieve it had been of help or not to me? He said that he believed the blog had opened lines of communications between us that had not existed before. It has become easier for him to trust that he can talk with me about some difficult subjects because of the things he's read in my blog. Trust is difficult for all of us. Just imagine the issues of difficulty that would exist if you were a married male who struggled with unwanted same sex attractions.

The assesment of the blog is that it has been a very good thing for me and it's something I should continue for the time being. I love being part of the community of bloggers in the little circle of friends I've made since I started blogging. And some, like Ben, who I've been interacting with long before I had my own blog.

I do not blog because I think someone will be changed or convinced of anything because of what I say. I blog for me. It helps me. I do love interacting with people who comment, don't get me wrong. Sometimes I wish more people would comment because as much as I hate that it works this way, it is rather affirming to know that someone heard you and had something to say about it, even if they don't necessarily agree with you. So, if you've thought about commenting and you haven't, please do! :) But if you don't, that's fine too. :)

in Him,

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Blog Assessment

I don't make New Year's resolutions....I do well just to continue in my resolve to the commitments I already have going. But the New Year is a good time to reflect and assess the value of things. I've been blogging since last July and it's a good time to assess the progression of my "blog life" so that I maintain right motives and purposes.

I began last July during a bit of an emotional depression. Things were fine as far as our marriage...but...we were having major battles between Tdub and #4 at that time...butting heads to the point of "something's gotta give" and it was beginning to take it's toll on every member of the family. I'd spend huge amounts of time thinking about all the different relationships in our family and the way they played off each other, affected me and my outlook, and ultimately determined the overall "climate" of the house. So much to think about; same-sex-attracted husband, four boys, absent first-wife/"mother", ex-husband, son leaving for college in CA, estranged relationship with my parents.....and on and on it seemed to go.

Tdub had been suggesting to me for a long time (months, possibly a year) that I do more writing and that a blog would be good for me. He knew I frequented some blogs and enjoyed a certain sense of "community" in that format. My own blog had also been suggested to me numerous times within the community of bloggers I'd come to associate with. And day back in July, during a week when all the boys were busy with camps and out of my hair for long days on end, I started my own blog.

I didn't tell Tdub about it. I decided up front that I certainly WOULD tell him, but that I wanted to build up a body of "work" before sharing it with him so that he would be able to get a sense of what blogging looked like for me and then be able to tell me honestly whether or not he was still comfortable with my doing it. That was a good decision as it turned out but did become a bit "tricky" right before I actually revealed it to him. I'll get to that. :)

About a week after I'd begun the blog, I made a visit to our therapist. I'd taken #4 to see him the week before and Tdub had been in to discuss the issues he and #4 were having. I went in to talk with him (the therapist) about how things were going with #4 and to basically "catch up" with him in general. He finally stopped me in the middle of my relating and asked, "What do YOU need? How can I help YOU?" I sort of broke down a little and told him that I just felt like I was missing the JOY I'd had in the past. I had no doubts that God was at work and completely in charge of our lives and our marriage, but that I just didn't feel like I was JOYFUL. I knew that JOY has nothing to do with circumstance and I believed I'd found contentment but still lacked JOY. His assessment of the situation, after a bit more discussion of my thought patterns and habits, was that I was thinking too much. Not really worrying, just thinking. He asked me if I'd ever thought about writing down my thoughts in something like a blog? I answered, "yes, I've thought about it." Not revealing to him that I'd thought about it to the point of beginning to do it just 10 days prior. He continued, "I think you should start your own blog and write about your thoughts and feelings. You need to get things OUT and this would be a good format for you." He also suggested that I do more out loud praying (like in the car when I'm alone) and begin praying more with my voice than with my mind.
I agreed and assured him that I'd try all these things.

That was almost 6 months ago. And here I am. I have more to write, obviously, but, Tdub is on his way home from the gym right now and we are going on a DATE/SHOPPING trip! woo hoo! We have Christmas money and a P.F.Chang gift card just burning holes in our pockets. I asked him earlier to give me his perceptions of the effects the blog has had on me/our relationship and I have some of my own things to relate about that as well. I'll continue with that tomorrow.

Blogging as therapy. Go figure. :)


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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Number Four

#4 is not doing so well as an only child this week. It's odd, because he's usually the most self-centered of the four. You'd think he'd be reveling in the individual attention he's able to get at this time. Actually, I think he did....for the first 2 days or so. But after the freedom of having all the milk he wants subsided a bit, things began to go downhill. What at first glance appeared to be a heyday of milk-ful, rivalry-free, not-being-interrupted-when-talking bliss, has turned into a lonely what-good-are-these-new-football-pads-when-there's-no-one-to-hit nightmare. It's probably one of the best things that could ever happen to him. As the most reflective of the bunch I feel pretty sure he'll appreciate the brothers much more when they return. College boy is rarely seen. Oh yeah...he did show up for a bit last night...needing gas money. He's supposed to take #4 to a friend's house today to experience the new XBox360. I don't hassle #1 much about anything but if he lets his little brother down on that I'm going to give him "what for".

For now, it's back to cleaning the explosion that appears to have happened throughout the house as I'm a little over half-way done with the Christmas clean-up. It turned into a bit more extensive a project because I decided to re-organize (wait, organize because the former implies there was some sort of organization in the first place) the little shed where all the Christmas stuff is stored.

Back to it.


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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Back Home

*big sigh*

This is one of those times when I'm MOST grateful for the 2-week break we get as teachers. I can't imagine those poor mothers back at work right now...having to leave the chaotic remainders of decorations, gift exchanges, and travel mess that's left behind. While it's a bit overwhelming, at least I know that I have the rest of this week to either take care of it myself or go into complete drill-sergeant mode and rally what's left of the troops here to help me put it all away. I'll do it all myself just because it's easier and I hate yelling. Tdub will be very offended by my compassion only for mothers in this post. That's because he's one of the rare men who will actually help and take care to help with all of this mess. I know good and well that's not the case in most homes.

Originally, we were looking forward to a great deal of "alone" time during this week. We naively thought that with the two in FL, we'd send #4 to spend the entire week with his dad here in town, and we'd be free. That plan hasn't worked out quite to our advantage but it looks like we may get a bit of a reprieve for at least this one evening. The boys are all old enough to be here without us but no one wants to be alone in the house, least of all #4.

Right now there's plenty to do so I'll get to it. Tdub has all ready made a huge dent in the reorganization of his closet (he saves those huge men's shoe boxes, augh!) and if I sit here much longer typing the guilt will kill me! ;)


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Sunday, December 25, 2005


We're still here with my folks. It's incredible. It's been like a normal family who loves and cares for each other sort of Christmas! I feel really horrible right now for that cynical post from yesterday. Shame on me.

Thanks for the prayers. If there were some way I could convey in this space, with just the words I have in my brain, how it's been compared to how it used to be....well...I'd do it.

I guess the fact that we're here for an extra night says it all.

We've heard from the two guys in FL. They called us from an alligator farm today. I can't imagine a place like that being open on Christmas day but apparently it was. Odd, huh? They sounded great and we were both relieved to hear from them.

The only person not too thrilled about staying here the extra night is Mr.18-yr.-old who apparently has "pressing engagements" back home. Whatever. I'm half-inclined to "kidnap" him and hold him here for the ransom of getting that head of hair of his cut about 5 inches shorter! Yep, it's that long.

#4 has even been exceptionally bearable during this visit. As the master manipulator of the 4 he's been known to try and "work it" a bit when we're here with the grandparents.

Tdub is in media heaven and completely enjoying having full control of the remote as my dad tends to doze off in his recliner pretty early on. We get just enough TV during times like this to enjoy it and yet remind us of all the reasons we continue to resist signing up for it. I think I'll go have another dessert!


Saturday, December 24, 2005

Heading Out

We're leisurely getting ready this morning to make the 3-hr. trek to my parent's house straight north of here. Things have taken a surprising turn for the better as of late regarding them. Of course, after the history we have, it's difficult to trust that it will last...but hey...I'm convinced God can redeem ANY situation so I need to shut up and accept the goodness.

Basically, Tdub has had 2 very friendly email exchanges with MY MOTHER! Just feel free to load those capital letters in that last sentence with whatever amount of shock and awe you can muster. Who knew. There was actual eye contact and a bit of conversation at Thanksgiving....could an outright hug be far behind??? Oh the wonder of it all. Again, I feel compelled by my Christian humility to state that we certainly carry a bit of the fault regarding the demise of this relationship....but not that much. ;) We are human after all and in the beginning of the marriage, when it all "went to hell" pretty much, I said a few things to my mom and dad that I shouldn't have. But I've apologized for that....even though it was never accepted as an actual apology. Go figure. I think they were looking for something more in the line of an actual divorce from Tdub as an apology to them. I'm just speculating.

Oh the cynicism. Keep us in your prayers. HO. HO. HO. Here we go.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Day After Rambling

It's "the day after" for us and the two middle guys have safely arrived in FL. They're old enough that they'd call if things really started going downhill for some reason. But still, even at that, they're a long long way from home. The opportunities to trust God around this house just never stop! I'm sure that's true at every household...but geez...sometimes it does seem like we've been extra blessed with crap to place in God's hands. (yuck! that didn't sound good...but really...i think it's a pretty good analogy of how He cares for us...He's willing to take care of our crap) Not gonna whine (even though maybe I just did).

My heart is warmed for this reason. Yesterday's giftings included a (slightly used) Playstation2 for #3, new TV and XBOX football game for #4, and the illustrious Ipod Nano for #2. College boy got wakeskating stuff...some special handle thing, rope, shoes...junk like that. I'm so thankful that Tdub is such a shopping freak and enjoys surfing and searching until every last one of them has what they want for the absolute best deal he's able to find.

ANYWAY....I'm encouraged that at the end of the day....for at least 2 solid hours...the little guys played with nothing but their 97 cent Slinkys that were in their stockings. You have no idea how deafening the sound of 3 slinkys plopping down a 120-yr.-old wooden staircase can be. Not to mention the resulting woots and hollars as eventually they achieved the grand fete of causing a slinky to go from top to bottom without stopping. I think the trick is a combination of the release and the position of landing on the first stair.

This exchange occurred just a bit ago, after having fixed one of my outrageously wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches for Sons #1 and #4....

#4 (the baby/brat!) exhales great big and says: "Awwww Mom, I feel so free."
Me: Really?
#4: "Yep. (brother3) is gone and I can have all the milk I want."
Me: "I didn't realize we had a milk problem around here."
#4: "Yeah! He HOGS the milk ALL the time!"

I hope #3 is in FL feeling the free and simple pleasure of his own milk jug as well. Brothers.


Junk Email

Am I the only one whose junk email folder suddenly started overflowing as soon as it turned December??? And it's still going. AS IF I'm going to suddenly respond to one of those things now that it's Christmas.

Enlarge your p(rivates)...hmmm...that'd make the perfect gift for dear old dad. Gee, I'm glad that showed up in my email.



Thursday, December 22, 2005

Growing Up, Holding On, Being Redeemed

Having an "adult" child is cool. I love it. It's still quite odd-feeling but, mostly, it's great. He's still a teenager and, in actuality, has quite a ways to go before reaching REAL adulthood. But then, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".(ha)I'm at least wise enough to know that reminding him that he's still a child and dependent on me does little in the way of encouraging him toward complete independence and manhood. This, to me, seems to be one of the greatest differences between how things used to be and how they are now; he is allowed more freedom with which to completely screw up his life. Not that I think he will screw up but he can choose to make the most of his opportunities or squander them. It appears to me that he has absolutely NO notion of the influence he has on others or the ramifications of his specific choices. I think the difference between my attitude toward this and ALOT of other parents I know is that I, for some unknown reason, find this to be completely normal. Or at least WELL within the range of what IS normal for a young man his age. I also discovered a few years back that the easiest way to get him to make a good decision is to allow him the opportunity to work through the process of a bad decision by making decisions on his own. So, I've been preparing for this time.

Another thing I have going for me in the way of remaining calm and collected during this time with him is the life experience of the last 6 years with Tdub. I am absolutely positive that God does work and move on our behalf and that His plans for us are for good, not evil. I absolutely believe that even when things look desperate, God is in control. I know these things because I have lived them. Our marriage is a miracle. It was not an immediate miracle like the water-to-wine thing, but it IS a miracle nonetheless.

I have not spoken here of the desperate times we went through or the circumstances surrounding my discovery of Tdub's issues. I dare not even mention the "word" which gave me Biblical grounds for leaving the marriage. Maybe one day I'll write all that down, but not in a format like this and not unless I feel specifically moved by God to do so. Just know that it was heavy, dark, cold, and long.

The darkness lasted about 31/2 years. I felt that God was far from me, as if I cried out to Him in vain. As if I were destined for suffering and pain, always wanting just a little more from life than I'd ever be able to achieve. But I held on. For the first time in my life, I learned to hold on to God and I didn't let go. I learned to TRUST in Him when I could not see a clear way through. My now 18-yr.-old son watched me struggling, suffering, and holding on. He told me at one point that he didn't understand why I was staying THIS time when I'd left the first time. I was honest with him and told him that maybe if I'd been trusting God as I should have back then (with his dad) I'd have been able to hold on then as well. I apologized to him for leaving his dad and asked him to trust that I was doing the right thing this time. His reply was, "No Mom, I don't think you should be with Dad. That's not what I mean." Then I knew what he meant. He just wanted my hurt to stop. I asked him then to please just trust me and trust in God most of all. I told him that I knew that God had a plan and was working things for our good. And he said "okay". He didn't like it much, but he agreed. He was about 15 at that time.

I can't help but believe that these experiences, this testament to faith played out before his eyes has had to have had an impact on him. He, being the oldest, has probably had as close a perspective as anyone could outside the two of us, concerning the progression of this marriage. Believe me, there have been some ugly, ugly times. As many instigated by me and my poor choices in dealing with pain as by Tdub and his natural resistance to dealing with his. And yet, God was in every bit of it. I'm convinced.

I've shared this with Tdub before so I know it won't offend him. But I SO admire guys like Ben, Randy, and Rob. These guys are all single and struggling with same sex desires which are at odds with their desires for traditional families. And they have HOPE and a FUTURE because they are seeking God and determined to find those desires fulfilled in Him, at His leisure, in His time. They are not forcing themselves into lives they aren't quite ready for but stepping slowly, surely, and yet boldly forward in their quest for holiness and the fullness that awaits them.

I did not intend to write this sort of post. Goodness. But maybe someone needed to hear it or more likely I just needed to write it. *whew* OH...I feel I should mention, the "word" that gave me grounds for leaving is NOT homosexuality. Gayness or homosexuality are NOT my enemy any more than my gay friends are my enemies. In fact, while I am passionate about the things I speak of here regarding gay issues, etc., I don't consider our story a story about homosexuality at all. It's a story about redemption. About God's ability to redeem any and all situations for His good and His glory. Redeemed, redeemed, his child and forever I am.


Our Christmas Morning

We finished our Christmas morning here a little while ago. I'm stuffed from the huge breakfast casserole I made and the boys are all playing contentedly with their new video games and ipod Nano. (do you play with an ipod nano?)

We're waiting for Tdub's 77-yr.-old mother to arrive. She couldn't pull herself away from her morning hair appt. to get here for the actual event. She's 77. She does what she wants...which is fine with me....but you can imagine the disgust with which Tdub views her "stong-willed" behavior. I find it quite funny! I don't mean to make her out to be a careless person. Not at ALL. She's just one of those over-bearing Texas women (if you have any concept of that) who likes things her own way. She can never stand to be truly retired and 4 years ago opened a restaurant in a small town near here which consumes most of her time. It's only open Thursday-Saturday but she somehow has managed to tear herself away (only by closing it) for the Christmas holiday. However, this hair appointment was made before we let her know about our Christmas morning being today...and so....well...gotta get that hair fixed, ya know. Mind you, there will be no cutting involved in this effort...but much hair spray I assure you. She still calls it the "beauty shop".

We love her and will enjoy her visit. To me, the fact that she didn't rearrange her hair appointment and make it here for our Christmas unveiling means that she is flexible enough not to have rigid expectations for our own comings and goings on holidays. I like that. :) Tdub can give his own assessment in the comments if he wishes, but he sees it quite differently. And he, unlike me, is not at all "entertained" by the bit of squabbling the two of them do now and then over these sorts of instances. ho. ho. ho.

The middle guys leave for FL first thing in the morning. Yikes! Waiting anxiously to see how that whole visit plays out.

I have more to blog about but I don't like long blogs so I'm stopping for now.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Memory

Yesterday I morning I got up and went to run a few errands. When I came home the younger boys had, for some reason unbeknownst to me, trapped our black pug named Reggie in the kitchen. That's not a big deal. It just meant that they were possibly out riding bikes or down the street at the neighbors and wanted him contained instead of roaming freely about the house. As I removed the weight from the swinging butler's door and made my way, Reggie at my heels, into the family room, I heard them both yell in whispering voices from the front room, "Mom...get Reggie out of here!" I quickly turned and headed back toward the kitchen, resetting the large weight and trapping poor Reggie back in his prison.

I walked quietly into the front room to find them each laid out on a different sofa with their boxers on and blanket throws wrapped haphazardly around their bodies. They whispered intently, "There's a little bird in the Christmas tree and we've got him to come out to way up here. We've ALMOST touched him!" There was a little line of birdseed and bread crumbs on the floor where they'd been quietly luring him out from his warm perch in our 4000 light tree. It was so sweet to see them working so intently and purposefully on something that meant such a great deal to them. And particularly so in that it was something other than a video game or an internet search for the latest cheats for said video game.

Eventually they managed to lure the little fellow back outside and he went on his merry bird way. I'm thankful for the memory I have of them playing with him and the one I'm sure they'll carry into their adulthood and reminisce about.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Our Christmas

Christmas is going to be weird for us this year. Sons #2 and #3 (from Tdub's first marriage) are going to see their mom in FL for the first time in 4 years. Until a few months ago they hadn't actually spoken with her in 3 years. I have mixed emotions about them going and yet I'm the one who instigated the whole thing. I began an email conversation with her last summer. I did most of the "talking" and it seems she actually listened. She even thanked me over the phone for all I'd written. Basically, I gave her a heart-to-heart about the importance of her role as their mother and assured her that while there are many things I CAN do for them....I can never replace her. I told her that their identities and esteem were directly tied to her and when she doesn't let them know that she loves them and cares for them, it leaves an empty aching hole that NO ONE can fill during their chidhood except her. The hole eventually becomes a wound, and at that point, they'll only be able to overcome it with God's help. So now, arrangements have been made for their trip to FL. They leave this Friday morning and will be staying until New Year's Eve. I'm mostly happy for them because I know it's the very best thing that can happen for them. The apprehension I feel is not related to my relationship with them because I feel good about that. It's about their return trip home. I know it will be so difficult for them to leave her. I sense they have longed for her touch, her scent, her laugh. And they will be reminded of what they miss and be hurt to leave it. I hate to see them hurt...again....and yet, it's a bittersweet hurt if that makes sense.

We'll be having our family Christmas on Thursday (having made arrangements with Santa to have their gifts dropped off early). None of the boys actually believe in Santa anymore but they know how much fun Tdub and I have on Christmas Eve "playing" Santa. We love setting our their stuff in 4 distinct arrangements and watching them come down those rickety stairs with wide eyes and mouths agape. It's getting less and less that way, unfortunately, as they eventually become too cool to open their eyes very wide or give more than a little chuckle of affirmation when they see their "stash". The two little ones are still "unjaded" enough to carry on quite a bit. I miss the days of staying up until 2AM assembling plastic toys and figuring out where hundreds of tiny little stickers should be placed on tiny little figures, signs, roads, and such. But....not that much. :) Because I don't miss the REST of the year back then when I felt "trapped" with taking care of every meal, snack, playtime, bathroom moment, and nap.

Enough rambling. Hope your Christmas is merry and bright!


Saturday, December 17, 2005

On the Way Home

Son #1 is on his way home from California as I write. He and the roommate decided to make it a road trip which we were completely in favor of since it does not require as much depletion of the Christmas budget. They are in AZ right now having stayed the night with a Pepperdine buddy there. While I'm a bit disappointed that he didn't care for the Pepperdine experience, and probably even more disappointed in myself for not making him stick it out there for the entire year, I feel good about the experiences he's had and the fact that even a semester in a place VERY different from where he grew up will surely serve him well for the future. I even think this little road trip home will probably become one of his fondest memories as time goes by. He'll be going to school here in Texas next semester and is VERY MUCH looking forward to being back "home". I'm pretty sure at this point, that in years to come, I won't have to worry about THIS son taking my dear little grandchildren off to another state. I think he's convinced that Texas is the place to be! We shall see. Who knows what lies ahead for him? I'm enjoying watching and getting to be a part of guiding him along the way.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

We Did It!!

I just got the call this afternoon. We WON again! The Fort Worth Stock Show art contest! The stock show is not until January but the art competition is judged in advance and an awards luncheon will take place during the event. They will also display the over-all winning portfolio and selected other works in one of the halls during the stock show. I won't find out until late January if our school was chosen as the best in the elementary category or best over-all. Best elementary is a huge honor with the number of schools entering and best over-all almost always goes to a high school, usually ours. We are an "artsy" commumity with lots of support and encouragment for visual art and particularly western art. It's been through the encouragment and mentoring of our high school art teacher (over-all winner the last 16 of 17 years) that I've been able to become competitive in this show with my school. He's awesome. ANYWAY....I'm THRILLED to say the least! It's probably the most professionally affirming thing that can happen for me as an elementary art teacher.


Monday, December 12, 2005

Medium Ash Blonde

The musical was a great success last night. Tdub, being the only "straight male" character (as in not comical) in the play did his hair in a parted-to-the-side and combed-over doo. He had the whole Ward Cleaver thing workin'. It was the most hilarious thing you've ever seen. Even FOUR-year-olds were making remarks about how funny "Mr. T's" hair looked. It was great.

I do have a newfound appreciation for his vanity after seeing how he might look otherwise. A little vanity can be a very good thing! ; ) Everyone who knows Tdub very well at all loves to give him a hard time about his hair. Not only is it an ever-changing thing (thank goodness we're past the long phase) but we all find it comical that even all our boys know that Tdub's hair color is medium ash blond.
His eyes are hazel and his hair is medium ash blond and we love him just that way...bonk bonk. (a song we sing in children's worship).

Believe me, I get plenty of grief from Tdub and others for many of my
own "special" qualities. We've found it's best to accept our quirks and
be able to laugh about them together. It's part of what makes our
marriage joyful and at the same time bearable. After all, we do bear
one another's burdens and laughter can make those burdens lighter if
it's mutual. To me, humor is just another of those amazing attributes
that points me towards an intelligent and loving creator who is
interested in even the small pieces of my life. Otherwise, He'd not
have designed it this way. It's genius....what bit of it I can wrap my
mind around.


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Thursday, December 08, 2005


I'm completely disappointed that because of the flurry of activity in getting ready for our Christmas musical I'm not going to be able to see "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" tomorrow night. There's a slight possiblity of going Saturday, though, and I CAN'T WAIT!

As for the other movie that's getting alot of press lately, "Brokeback Mountain", it's doubtful I'll be seeing that one at all. Could it possibly be wise or anything but just totally depressing to someone with my background of experience? I mean, part of me actually wants to see it, if you can believe that. And yet, there's this other voice that says, "Don't do it." We are avid movie watchers/goers. Partly because we don't have television and partly because we just like movies. If we don't see something in the theatre we rent it and we end up seeing most of the box office hits as well as sleeper movies that get good reviews. I can just imagine Tdub's response to this part of this post...something along the lines of..."What in the heck are you thinking??? Of course we're not going to see that movie!"

Any thoughts?


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Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Things are awfully hectic around here. I'm thankful for internet shopping and the fact that Tdub enjoys taking care of all of it! He is so good at keeping up with what each boy wants/likes/prefers and is relentless about searching until he finds just the right things at the best possible prices.

Our children's Christmas musical is this weekend at church. We had a crew begin working on the set last Sunday evening and I'm the coordinator of the painting part of that effort. The setting is a Christmas tree lot which means the color imbedded under my fingernails is green.

This year we're doing a multi-generational play which means Tdub actually has a part. He's playing "straight man" (no pun intended! ha!) against a bunch of hokey, goofy, country type characters. It will be cute.

Son #1 is transferring to a school back in Texas for the Spring semester. He has only 2 more weeks in California. He says he's glad he gave it a shot out there but just can't stand being so far from home. I'm proud of him and don't have the heart to make him stick it out the full year even though that's what I'd originally intended to do.

School is fine. I almost killed myself last week getting close to 100 artworks mounted and tagged to enter in the Fort Worth Stock Show art contest. Hopefully, we'll get a call by the end of next week and know if we have any winners or if our school managed to win the team competition again. I'm hoping for the best and will try not to be too devastated if we don't win again. I liked winning way too much! :)

A quote worth thinking about from Oswald Chambers:

"I cannot save and sanctify myself; I cannot make atonement for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot right what is wrong, purify what is impure, or make holy what is unholy. That is all the sovereign work of God."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Internet

This blog is the 109th hit when searching for "cardboard faux fireplace". I'd apologize to the poor person who ended up here while searching for that but I can't imagine them coming back! :) Of course, now that I've typed it, yet again and actually all in that order, a person could hypothetically get here before having to scroll through 108 other sites. For some reason I find that just hilarious. I hope they figured out how to make one. For any of you wanting directions for a cardboard faux fireplace just email me and I'll be happy to share. :)


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Merry Holiday (you bunch of pagans!)

Yes....that title is written completely in jest. I'm responding here, in that title, and with this post, to the latest onslaught of "Christian" email forwards filling my inbox. Seems there's a giant Christian outcry going on about the use of the word HOLIDAY as opposed to CHRISTMAS.

I'm wondering....which of these things do you think God might be more concerned about?

The use of the word Holiday instead of Christmas....


The fact that most people in today's Christian culture think that the main
reason to believe in Jesus is so that you'll go to heaven when you die.

If it's all about relationship (and it IS) then what in the heck does using the word HOLIDAY really have to do with anything? Yes, I'll grant them, using HOLIDAY instead of CHRISTMAS is a direct reflection of our culture and the times in which we live. But, that's ALL it is. I wish we could put as much time, effort, and energy into things that might really make a difference, to ourselves as well as those around us. Things like studying God's word, praying, and taking time to THINK about how our choices and every response/reaction we have reflects Jesus to those around us.

Questions like...."Why am I here?" "What does God expect me to do?" "Am I doing all I can or am purposed to be doing to further the kingdom?" (and that does not mean I've invited a bunch of people to church, but rather, have I shown people what church looks like in the place where I find them outside that building) "How can I grow spiritually?" "What sort of things (not Bible facts) do my children need to know to become fruitful spiritually?" "Do I have joy and if not, why not?" "Are the fruits of the spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control evident in me?" (because we all know that the fruit of the spirit's not a kumquat....what? inside joke there for those who like tdub and I who sing with children on sunday mornings)

Just little stuff like that. I'm WAY more concerned about these sorts of things than whether or not the local hardware store or national retail chain uses Christmas or Holiday on their banner out front.


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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Lights, Camera, Christmas

The front porch with our family of 6 reindeer.


The tree through our front window.

The back porch.

The tree.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


After two ENTIRE days (with one break last night for a family dinner) of staying up until 2AM....the decorating is finished! I'll post pictures tomorrow night. :)

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Son#1 and even had an extremely pleasant visit at my parents' home where we stayed overnight on Wednesday.

Here's a quote from a new friend I've made (and now met!) because of this blog.
I stand in awe at the power of God to heal, change, and restore. I trust our new and dear friend will not mind my use of his words here.

"One of the key things of the Christian faith is responding to God in faithfulness even when our lives have been riddled with faithlessness over long periods of time. To see God turn lives right-side-up, change hearts, and perform miracles that are clearly not of man's doing is amazing."

I'm so blessed and thankful for the community and relationship we can share as brothers and sisters in Him.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Let the Madness Ensue

And.....we're off! The Holiday madness is fully upon us....again.

Tdub(i really hate that moniker for him...makes him sound somewhat redneck when, in actuality, he's the poster boy for metrosexual)is in earthly heaven right now. Has all three of the younger boys outside helping "light" the house. He manages to purchase at least one new thing each year it seems. I'm thinking we'll hit the peak of good taste this year with all this (crap) beautiful decorating. At some point, more becomes tasteless, don't you agree? I'm counting on Tdub's sense of good taste at this point. That, and hoping the 120 yr. old electrical wiring of our house can sustain the addition of a family of 6 mechanized, lighted deer. Those things have finally been out long enough for the price to drop, making it possible for us to afford the entire family. Nothing less would ever do, you see. I'd say that Tdub's heavenly home will surely be fully lit with Christmas lights, but then, that would rob him the joy of doing it himself. So, I'm just assuming God will provide Tdub a nice big ladder and an unlimited supply of lights.

Thanksgiving was really great. I'm going to write more about that later. For now, I really should get out there and enjoy the madness.


Monday, November 21, 2005


I received an email a few weeks ago from a guy who's thinking of starting a blog in response to the Ex-GayWatch blog. He's not sure what he'll call it and I wouldn't feel good about divulging any of his ideas here. He emailed me just wanting to start a dialogue, I think, to gain some insight, and to ultimately see if I might be interested in helping out with his efforts to start a blog. I'm not sure in what capacity I'd be of any help to him but as our dialouge continued and I uncovered what sounds like the nature of what he's wanting to do, this was my response to him:

I have to be honest with you here. I'm probably not interested in participating in a blog of the type you are describing. I rarely ever look at the ex-gay watch site. I know you've read my blog, or I assume you have. I have a real problem with all the fighting and politicizing that goes on surrounding not only this issue but other "hot" issues in our culture. I believe in individual responsibility. I also believe that we WILL be persecuted for our beliefs and we should expect that. Jesus promised it. The thing to do, as I see it, is not to join in and "persecute" the opposite side right back. The answer lies in loving one another and continuing (for the Christian) to seek Christ and His ways above all else.

That said, I can honestly say that I've never once felt "persecuted" on this blog by anyone who's taken the time to comment. I appreciate the gentleness with which those of you who are gay have commented about things I've said that I know must be difficult for you or at the very least stir up some defensive emotions. I trust that it's my gentleness of delivery and respect for you as individuals that causes this to occur.


Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Way of Love

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
ICorinthians 13:1-3 (the Message)

"I'm not sure God wants us to be happy. I think he wants us to love, and be loved." -- C.S. Lewis

Saturday, November 19, 2005

When To Speak

It seems obvious to me that Jesus didn't say everything that ran through his head out loud. There's so much wisdom in understanding that so much of the time we just need to let the words spoken TO us or ABOUT us just rest, lie there, and speak for themselves. Our human tendancy is to engage at all costs to save face, or make a point, or something, I'm not sure. Sometimes we just need to shut up, step back and consider the big picture, and let things go. So many of the things people spend time, effort, and energy arguing or engaging others about just don't amount to a hill a beans when it's all said and done.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Things need to slow down. This week has been a scheduling nightmare at our house and it appears this craziness will continue for at least the next month. Just TOO much going on.

I facilitated the completion of 6th grader's 5ft.X3ft. mural project depicting an Iroquois village.

I had to write and illustrate a companion paragraph to 5th grader's writing assignment this week about a chore for which you are thankful. What are those teachers thinking????!!! ;)

Just finished the 6th grade musical program last night for which I decorated the set with student Egyptian artwork to resemble the inside of a pyramid. Also managed the backstage student crew AND had a child IN the program. (had to miss all but the last quarter of freshman son's very first high school basketball game because of this! augh!)

The ladies in the office at school want me to help them complete a faux fireplace with mantle and chimney using cardboard, butcher paper, and paint. It will make the office festive and cozy for the holidays.

All three of the little guys are (as of this week) on different basketball teams with practices and games on different nights/days/times.

We have Children's Christmas Musical rehearsal every week and will begin planning/assembling costumes and sets for that post haste.

School is chaotic as my students are working on artwork for the Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest. The deadline is fast approaching (Dec.3) and we have the entire week off next week! Our school won a BIG BLUE RIBBON (and a check) in the show last year so I'm feeling pressure to repeat....and of course I WANT to win!! :)

Son #1 is definitely coming back to Texas for the Spring semester. He's survived academically but socially is just not settling in and doesn't really care to. I want him to get to know his freshman class so I've agreed to let him transfer at semester. This all requires extra coorespondence and coordination back and forth to get the whole moving/transfer of credit thing accomplished.

I truly am thankful for all of the above because each hectic peice of my life is a reminder of God's blessings. I'm so blessed I can hardly stand it!


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Apocalyptic Scripture, Teenagers, and Flat Irons

The retreat was awesome just as expected. Didn't even get the chance to crack open "Blue Like Jazz" which is a good thing because it means I spent every waking moment interacting and not isolating. Sometimes I do that.

The lessons on apocalyptic scripture were challenging and enlightening. A very strong case was made for the fact that the "Left Behind" scenario is way off base. I'd been coming to that conclusion for a while now. To sum it up, the basic premise of the teaching is that we are not waiting to escape to heaven but that heaven is coming to us. The concept of escaping earth to go to heaven was not a part of Jewish writing or teaching. God will set things right and establish his kingdom on earth. Jehovah will be our king and we will all be set free from the bondage and oppression of this present age just as He's done time and time again throughout scripture for His people. Only this time, it will be final. He also did a great job of helping the kids understand that this present state we are in is "less real" than the physical newness that we'll experience in the age to come. He brought to our attention the way Jesus kept appearing after his resurrection and seemed to walk through walls. His point was that Jesus was able to do that not because he was "ghost-like" but because this world was "ghost-like" to him. He had become "more real" than anything here on this earth.

The teenagers were awesome. Here's the thing about teenagers. They do live in their own worlds and are, for the most part, incredibly self-centered. But, if you take the time to relate to them, understand them, take them seriously and care about them, they not only teach you things, but they, without even trying, will affirm you as well. They are also fun to be around and hilarious. Their energy is contagious. My favorite activity of the weekend was this...groups of 4 to 6 were handed lyrics to songs from the 80's. Things like, "Total Eclipse of the Heart", "West End Girls", and "Down Under" to name a few. The groups had to make up a tune and perform the songs. So many of them turned 80's pop tunes into Gangsta Rap. Then we'd play the real thing and they'd perform again, lip-syncing. I can't remember when I've laughed harder.

I also made an important personal discovery this weekend. Curling irons are OUT, flatirons are IN. Not one girl there had a curling iron but every one of them had a flatiron. I gotta get one.


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Thursday, November 10, 2005


We're going on the annual Fall High School Retreat this weekend. This will be our thrid year running to be the parents in attendance. I love it! The boys camp outside in tents and "us girls" take the extra house that's on the church member's property we stay on. The land backs up to a river. My main purpose is preparing the meals for the weekend. I love hanging out with the kids and I usually get to spend quite a bit of time reading. I fully intend to start and finish "Blue Like Jazz" this weekend.

Our youth minister (who is an AMAZING teacher) will present lessons on apocolyptic scriptures. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, November 05, 2005

The House of Sexual Struggle

From my experience I've found it seems to be a bit offputting to gays that those of us who deal with same sex attraction use the term "struggler" when referring to those like my husband, Ben, Rob, and Randy to name a few. Thinking along that line, I was struck by a thought this morning. My household currently is, at the very least, half full of persons involved in sexual struggle. I'm able to say this quite confidently because of the sheer fact that it's a house full of males.

We all know about Tdub's issues, which, while not at a level of impairment to the marriage (we have an awesome and fullfilling sex life...which IS a postitive change and a testament to the God's healing) still exist at some level. I am not of the opinion, as it seems some are, that in order to say one has changed orientation one needs to be completely free of any battles with attraction to the same sex. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that a certain level of the battle is a healthy reminder of healing, God's grace, and the constant need to rely on Him above all else. In fact, I believe that any married woman who is foolish enough to believe that her husband does not struggle with sexual attractions of SOME kind at some level, is just in denial. I happen to have the "benefit" of being more aware of my husband's struggle than most women.

The other strugglers in our house are the 18 yr. old and the 14 yr. old. I don't doubt for one moment that they struggle with heterosexuality or opposite sex attraction. I know it is a battle for them to resist sexual impurity. How do I know this? Because they are physically healthy males.

My point is two-fold. First, sexual desire is part of the way God designed us. Any sex outside of marriage is sin. Which, yes, I understand makes a point for gay marriage. But, in all honesty, do we really believe that marriage is going to make gay people more chaste? It hasn't worked with heterosexuals. Truthfully, I've almost convinced myself that we indeed should go ahead and allow gay marriage in the off chance that maybe it would motivate gays to be more chaste.

Secondly, I tend to believe that the reason the gay lifestyle (and I include closeted married men) is "typically" more promiscuous than the heterosexual lifestyle is because being gay involves men only. And men typically have less self-control and stronger drives when it comes to sex in general.

I know that sexual struggle is a problem with women as well. But, not at the same level as with men. As rampant as heterosexual sex outside of marriage is, I think the one factor that keeps it more in check than with gays has to do with women who, as a general rule, aren't as promiscuous as men.

I don't know. Maybe I'm just totally nutso with this line of thinking. I guess I'm just trying to be realistic about what it means to be Christian. For me, it means we struggle, all of us. But not only does Christ make us whole, over time, but most importantly He makes us presentable to a God who is to sin as lightness is to dark.

I'll end with a quote.

"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in." C.S. Lewis

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Monday, October 31, 2005

God Hates....

Ok...I'm going to go out on a limb here theologically speaking. This is something I've not studied nearly enough but I'm in the process of studying it, and need/want to make some comment on it in the meantime.

Tdub and I were talking about Robert's comments to my "Love the Sinner" post.

Robert said:
"It seems to me that if God is love, as so many say that he is, then perhaps God does not hate at all. God may reject behavior that is unwholesome, but that is not necessarily hate. It seems to me that if Satan exists, or some other personification of evil, that he harms himself without having God or his angels intervening. The same can be said for all of us who sin."

I think Robert is on to something here. And I can't help but make note of the fact that Robert clearly states he's not a Christian in the paragraph just before he says all this. I just point that out as proof that we ALL have things to learn from one another, and furthermore, is NO THREAT in being friends, having dialogue and seeking truth. In fact, it can be helpful. I'm certainly not going to reject Robert's thoughts/ideas/opinions just because he's not a Christian. He, in fact, may be operating in a Christ-like spirit at times moreso than many who claim to be Christians. Not that I'm judging others, just sayin'. :)

ANYWAY....what Robert says goes along pretty well with the discussion Tdub and I had about God and hate. Basically, we came to the conclusion that HATE is one of those terms that is used in some instances in the Bible because it's the closest word to describing something that we basically have no comprehension for. It's a God thing. So, saying God hates sin is analogous to saying light hates darkness. It's not actually hate, it's that one will not exist in the presence of the other. Sin is opposite Godliness and where God is sin must leave. God LOVES people who sin and He demonstrated this fact by sending His Son to reconcile us back to Himself even though we are sinful. Because He won't/can't tolerate the presence of sin, the way light dispells darkness, He provided a way to tolerate us in spite of our sinfulness.

Again, I haven't done an in depth Biblical study of this. But, another thing I'm struck by is the fact that there are entire books and chapters in the Bible that talk about God's love. About the fact that God IS love. And while I know that God does not tolerate sin or "hates" it, so to speak, I don't see entire books focusing on it. I'm not trying to "water down" the gospel and brush sinfulness under the rug. Not at all. I'm pretty straightforward about sin being sin. It's just that it seems like we (Christians) spend alot of our time being the "sin police" as if that's God's primary role for us. I don't think it is. I'm inclined to believe that for the most part, God can handle sin. If our lives, words, actions, and testimonies don't reflect Christ and God's love then what do we really have to offer? Cleaning the sin out of my life has been a process. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it's still going on. I'm not there yet. I still screw up. I'm a recovering sinner and always will be.

I think I'll stop this ramble for now. I don't feel like it's all that coherent but I feel better to have gotten at least this much thinking down "out loud".

Please comment if you have any verses or insight to share to help me with this.

in Him,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Is this just not the most over-used cop-out any of us have EVER heard??? And yet, it's part of our internal vocabulary. I've even had it slip out of my mouth a time or two even though I've absolutely come to despise it's use.

Here's the trouble, as I see it. If we say we "love the sinner, hate the sin", we are saying that we are able to do something that in actuality only God can do sucessfully 100% of the time.

We are human. We rank things. We line things up. For instance, as an art teacher I display an enormous amount of work in the halls of our school. Usually, the works are somewhat similar in that they are a response to a specific lesson. And yet, they are each unique and different. I can guarantee you that a given person, walking down the halls, stopping long enough to really look at all the artwork, will start comparing them. They will find one or two that stand out as better, in their opinion, than the others. It's part of how we are made. It's what we do. People might disagree about which artwork is their favorite. In fact, they will. Nevertheless, they will rank and choose among the works.

We do the same thing with our sins. Some sins carry more of the "yuk factor" than others for a broader range of people. Unfortunately, homosexual acts carry a high "yuk factor" for the general "Christian" population at large. This is a problem. We (Christians) need to get past this. And not just as it pertains to homosexual acts, but other things as well.

I'm trying to think of a sin that carries a high "yuk factor" for me. Homosexuality (which implies homosexual acts) certainly does not. I hug and kiss and goo and gah with my gay friends. I absolutely LOVE them and don't think diddly about what they do when I'm not around and they are in the privacy of their bedrooms. Heck, I don't even get grossed out when they embrace or kiss each other in front of me.

BUT....let's see....I do have a real problem dealing with people who are prideful or arrogant. I'd just as soon not be around such people. They turn me completely off and I have no use for them. There's no credibility, no authenticity to me, with people who blatantly act as if they are better than others. And yet, I'm supposed to love these people but hate their sin of pride and arrogance. I have a hard time with that...because to me...that sin ranks higher than the others. I rank sins. I can't help it. Someone could be as pure as the driven snow morally and yet be prideful and I'd have a very hard time "loving" them.

I say all of that to say THIS....
Love the sinner needs to stop RIGHT THERE. Just LOVE the SINNER. The sins are very rarely against us personally. I, for one, have been personally hurt by the sin of homosexual acts. And yet, this is the very sin that God has called me, even designed me, to be most compassionate towards. God is so funny that way, huh?

LOVE THE SINNER. Sins are ultimately against God. Not us. Yes, we are the voice of God crying in the wilderness. But, you know, what good does it really do to continue to proclaim that I believe homosexual acts to be sin? At some point, I've just got to get on with the business of loving people no matter what. And so, I'll let God hate the sin and I'll concentrate on loving the sinner.

Works for me. I wish that formula could work for ALOT of other people.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Letters to Brother

Here's the latest...from the youngest. The 12-yr. old's letter got mailed before I could see it, darn it!

Hey Brother,
I miss you a lot but can’t wate until you come back on Thanksgiving. I have been getting along with (brother3) and (brother2). I am being nice to mom by doing what she sais. I hope you are doing good in school and finding friends. I haven’t got a girl yet but 5 like me. There is only one kindah hot girl but I don’t know.
I love you and miss you a lot.
Love you,!

We are sending one per day all week and ending up with a huge box of Halloween candy.
Not to be outdone by the parent's of the many children there who have given them platinum Mastercards!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Woman At the Well

God keeps bringing this story to my attention and prompting me about different things concerning it. I've had a very strong sense that I should write it down so here goes.

This is the NIV version if you want to see it.

Jesus goes to this well while the disciples go into town to get food. It's an odd thing for a man to do since this is "woman turf" and the whole thing is even more culturally out of whack because the woman who shows up is a Samaritan. This is clearly evidenced when the disciples return and are somewhat taken aback that Jesus has been talking to her.

The conversation he has with the woman is intersting to me for a few reasons. It seems to me that Jesus is in complete control of and leading the entire thing. First, he asks her for a drink. She comments on how peculiar it is for him to be asking her because of the Jews' revulsion of Samaritans. Then, he turns right around and tells her about the living water he has to offer and how it is really she who should be asking him for a drink. He goes on to mention her husband in what sounds like a very leading way. Apparently, just so he can hear her answer that she has no husband, so that he can reveal to her that he knows all about her and the fact that she's living with a guy and has had 5 husbands previous. He ends up telling her that he's the Messiah and the disciples come back. She runs off to town, forgetting her water pot, and seems to be happy to tell other people about a man who knew about all her sins.

This story seems particularly relevant to those who struggle with sexual sin. This woman was obviously sexually broken. She was lookin' for love in all the wrong places, so to speak. Jesus knew that. He related her brokenness to a thirst. The woman must have had other sins in her life, but it was this sexual brokenness that Jesus focused on. He understood that she was thirsty for something and trying to get that thirst filled in inappropriate ways. His manner of speaking to her about it didn't put her off or make her mad. She could easily have taken the attitude of "screw you" and walked away, but she didn't. The dialogue almost sounds playful if you read it just right. It certainly doesn't come across as judgemental or condemning, he was just speaking truth. Somehow he communicated understanding and empathy for her, offered hope for quenching her thirst, and at the very least left her wanting to know more. We don't get to hear the rest of her story, only his.

I'm definitely hearing loudly and clearly from Jesus in this exchange that there is a thirst in all of us. In this instance, the woman was attempting to quench it with sex.

We've discussed this off and on over at Ben's blog but for me this story illustrates perfectly the fact that the heart of the matter, when it comes to anything we struggle with, is not the actual sin of choice at all. It's about quenching your thirst with Jesus. It's about seeking Him above all else, come what may. Maybe it will mean you won't ever have a romantic relationship, sexual relationship, be married, or have children(be you gay or straight). Maybe it will mean you will be at odds with people in your family, have to give up "creature comforts", or be ridiculed for making decisions that go against the culture at large. Maybe you will be asked or feel compelled to drop everything you are currently doing and run into town like the woman at the well and start telling everyone you know about this guy named Jesus.

The point is, if there is anything at all in front of your relationship with him, or if you don't really have a relationship with him, you remain thirsty. Unquenchably thirsty. Nothing else will do. No counterfeit will suffice. And you never even know it until you begin to get a taste of that living water. I believe that woman at the well got a taste of the living water Jesus spoke of that day. And I believe she started falling in love with the man she had been searching for all along in those 6 other fellas. I'd love to write the rest of her story.

Maybe I will.

Maybe I am.

Maybe we all are.


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Thursday, October 20, 2005


Ok...I want to know something. Or at least know the thoughts of those of you who read this now and then. This is NOT a trick question. I don't intend and REFUSE to start any arguments. I'd just like to know something, that's all.

In your experience is sexual addiction the norm (70%) in the gay community? My definition of sexual addiction is pretty broad and runs the gamut from having sexual relations anonymously and with multiple partners to serial monogamy which I would define as having sexual relations with one person at a time but frequently changing partners.

I'm not out to prove how horrible gay people are. Anyone who reads this knows I don't feel that way at all. I'm just thinking about some things and I'd like to compare our experiences as I reflect on all this.

Thanks in advance to you if you are brave enough to comment. If it turns into a fight I'll shut it down. I'm not about that sort of thing at all.

in Him,

Student Teacher

I got a student teacher on Monday and it's KILLIN' me! She's really sweet, very helpful, eager to learn, and I think she's going to do a fine job, it's not that. But having someone constantly in my room with NO down time between classes or even during my conference just doesn't go with my personality type. I NEED some reflection/alone time. As it is now, every spare minute there's SOMEONE THERE...asking questions or needing advice. I'm not mean to her. Don't worry. :) That's part of the problem as well...I'm so accommodating to helping her and trying to do a good job as her mentor, that I'm just wearing myself down with it.

There's gotta be a balance. I've had student teachers many times before and each time I swear I won't do it again. I've had some great ones. But I'm so selfish with my time. Of course, I always somehow end up taking on another one so I don't know what I'm talking about.

I don't blog from school, can't and wouldn't even if I could, but not having reflection time is affecting my ability to synthesize thoughts and write them down. I hate it.

Oh well.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

I've been waiting on a friend to pass this book on to me. I can't wait to read it. "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. Here's a little of the author's note at the beginning.

"Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because He didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

I'm really looking forward to reading this book.


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Saturday, October 15, 2005


We are making a 3 hr. drive to my last Granny's funeral today. She was 93. The youngest son, when told of her death commented, "wow, she was 93...then she lived a long and happy life, didn't she?" For the most part, I think her life was happy...and yes, it certainly was long. She was never a strong believer, it was my other Granny who died several years ago who left her legacy of faith with me.

We'll see lots of cousins I rarely see and of course my parents. It's never easy seeing my parents. The relationship has been strained to say the least ever since I married Tdub. Particularly with my mother. They don't know about his struggle. They pretty much just think he's gay. So here we go. Lovely. A funeral AND time with family members who are homophobic.

Pray for our safety.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Prayer Request

He came home too soon. Pepperdine son is missing his friends from back home horribly and it was made worse by the trip home last weekend. He's ready to ditch California and move to Austin next year. He knows he has to finish the year there AND do well before we'll even consider a move like that.

Please pray with me that he will connect with friends there and find his niche. That's really all he needs to do. I know he's made friends there, and I did worry a little originally that it would be discouraging to be a regular middle class kid with no money in the middle of so many spoiled rich children. I can't tell that he's having difficulty with that aspect. He's pretty laid back. It's just the yearning for his close friends that he's not getting past at this point.
So please pray for him with me. I'd really appreciate it.

And I don't care what you call yourself sexually...I'm asking you to pray with me.

in Him,
p.s. i won't tell you his name but it's in the bible and it was a guy who spent the night with a bunch of lions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Coming Soon...

Watch this space for a post that's brewing and will spew forth in a day or so. I truly believe I've been tougher on "traditional Christians" in the bulk of this blog than I have been on "Gay Folk"(be they Christian or not). I'm going to post about what I believe to be a major obstacle in the whole gay-liberal vs.straight-christian fundamentalist dividing line. Don't worry, I won't be horribly mean or's just not in me...well...usually...Tdub might argue on occasion. But I will be honest.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

About This Baby Possum

Our house was built in 1888. We actually have copies of land deeds for the piece of land we’re on that were signed my Sam Houston. It’s old. It’s in need of major renovations which would cost mucho dollars that we don’t have right now and won’t have any time in the near future. But, we find it charming and have been willing to put up with plumbing problems, heating and cooling issues, electrical circuit overloads, and a foundation so rundown in places that the boys can conduct soapbox type races using Hot Wheels from the middle of the floor to the wall. We’re also pretty sure the place is haunted because window panes turn up mysteriously broken on a continuous basis and no one ever knows who did it. That's yet another blog.

I’ve often remarked that living in our house is just one step up from camping. That said, it’s not really a big surprise to find a baby possum inside. The big surprise is that I actually caught the little thing. I’d heard him the night before. I was up late by myself and the house was quiet. From the family room I could hear a little crunching sound. I stealthily made my way to the kitchen doorway and waited oh so quietly. After about 2 full minutes of waiting I heard another crunch and spotted just his little possum face from around the corner of a big basket container. He was eating at our dog’s bowl. He noticed me right away and scuttled off. After looking online and confirming that it was indeed the face of a possum I’d seen, I went on to bed deciding to deal with him the following night.

Yesterday afternoon, dinner was in the oven, husband was on his commute home from work, and the boys were outside riding bikes. I sat down in the family room again with my computer. Just a few minutes passed and the now-familiar crunching noise began. I tiptoed my way to the kitchen door. He must have heard me coming because he was not at the dog’s bowl. Just then, I heard a scuffling and quickly spotted him in the corner just to my right. He was under a little decorative shelving unit. I moved a little toward him and he skittered about a foot forward along the wall and behind a medium-sized basket in the floor. I gently pressed against the basket with my foot, trapping him, and then, (this is the shocking part) I actually grabbed him by the tail. With my hand. Believe me, even a baby possum has a rather large and ratty looking tail. I mustered all the courage I had in me and just grabbed him. It was the mother in me that did it. I REALLY wanted the boys to see this thing and I LOVE impressing them. The looks of admiration I got from them last night were priceless. They have a mom who caught a possum! Fortunately, I had a nice deep box handy to put him in and my only regret is that we didn’t take any pictures before releasing him.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Dare Ya

Yes, husband...I AM going to blog about finding a baby possum in our kitchen. So there. I'll do it tomorrow. It's been a long day and I'm tired. And, before anyone sends the game warden to my house to fine me for harboring wild animals without a rehabilitator's license (that's yet ANOTHER blog)....the little guy has been set free.

I assume the little guy was a guy since I seem to be the only female thing that ever gets near this place.


The Marriage Thing

I have an opinion, or maybe it's just a "stance", on the gay marriage issue that will probably make everyone mad. By everyone I mean those on both sides.

There's going to be a vote on an amendment in November here to ban gay marriage. I'm abstaining. I can't believe I'm doing that and I've never done it before. I always vote.

I just don't get it. For one thing, we don't even recognize gay marriage in the first place in this state, so how can we ban it?

Secondly, as a scriptural thing I liken it to divorce laws. Our divorce laws are not scriptural, and yes, it has been to the detriment of the family because it is much too easy for people to divorce. And so, families are split up and it ultimately hurts children. Even though there are cases when some children are better off. But, ideally, the best scenario for any child is to be raised in the loving home of the biological father and mother. End of story. God's design is that it takes a male and female to produce a child and ideally, a male and female together should raise that child. And yet, in our fallen, sinful state, no matter how you have sex we've managed to screw up families. My own children are being raised in a broken home and have experienced unnecessary pain and discouragement because of the sinful actions of their parents. ALL of us. I guess my point in all that is that our laws all ready do not reflect scriptural principals. And so, banning gay marriage on the basis of the fact that I think homosexual acts are sinful doesn't hold up for me. Banning it on the basis that it destroys the family doesn't hold up either because heterosexuals have done a bang up job of that already as well.

Thirdly, I know of gays who have not spoken to anyone in their family for years because of coming out as gay. Should a scenario happen where they were in a life-threatening situation or unable to make decisions for themselves, it would be up to people who haven't had any sort of relationship with them in years. It doesn't seem right to me that their "loved" ones relationally wouldn't be able to visit them or care for them in a drastic situation like that. If they at least had some sort of civil contract then those closest to them relationally would have rights concerning them. I obviously don't agree with gay couples raising children. But that's happening all ready in spite of what I believe about it.

I don't know.

These are just my thoughts and I'm sure it's infuriating to most people that I could think this way. Or maybe not. I just don't know. So, I'm abstaining.


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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Buttermilk Pie

I'm making a big dinner for the family and some friends tonight. One of my son's favorite desserts (they all love it) is buttermilk pie. The boys all call it cream pie, even though I've told them it's actually buttermilk pie. I think they just can't get past the word buttermilk. ANYWAY, if you've never had or made buttermilk pie it's GREAT! A true Southern delight. And simple to make.

Cream (1/2C.) 1 stick room temperature butter into 2C.of sugar. Add 3 eggs and beat well.(use a mixer and cream it really well till it's sort of almost fluffy) Add 1T. flour and mix again. Add 1C. buttermilk and mix again. Add 1t. vanilla and give it one last stir.

Pour it in a pie crust (i use the pre-rolled kind and they are great) and bake it at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.

You will not regret it!


Thursday, October 06, 2005

In Other News

Let's digress from the whole "notgay-comingout-anonymous" thing...*whew*...

Life goes on here at the home of Tdub and Grace as the oldest son has made his first reappearance from having been away at college in Malibu; where all the boys and girls carry Razor phones, the professors actually smile at you, and the temperature stays a breezy 70 degrees year round.

The verdict is still out over whether or not he's bonded to life at Pepperdine. He says he's going to give it a full year before he decides. He's not too keen on the fact that it's so far away from home. In my opinion, it's not that he would actually come home all that much if he were closer, it's just that he'd have the option. I think he feels "stuck" there. He drives a jeep, which is controlled by his dad. Dad is waiting on the first report card before allowing the jeep to go to Malibu. I think that's smart (we actually AGREE on something...mark that down!!). That said, I'm hoping that after he (hopefully) earns a good grade card and is allowed to take the jeep, he'll feel more inclined to stay out there for school. He's still talking about doing the overseas program and has to commit by October 10. He's 18. What can I say?

Things are going really well here with him home. Everyone is happy to see him. He spent 2 hours playing with the little guys on the trampoline this afternoon and has had lunch with them at school. He's totally filling the role of the cool big brother home from college and Tdub and I are thrilled to death with how attentive he's been to them. We've been reminded by his words and actions of how much he really cares for the family and appreciates what we're all about. That's so awesome for us as parents.

God is good. Life is good.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Our Gay Friends (his story)

We've been talking about the comments/questions people naturally have about these gay friends of ours I've written about. My husband was gracious enough (yet again) to share his thoughts on the matter and has allowed me to post them here.

i should also like to address how i am able to function in this circle of friends that includes very "out" gay men.

as grace has mentioned before, it’s not too frequent that we’re among these friends, but when we are, i am somewhat put off by a lot of the goings- and carryings-on … mainly bcz it reminds me of the hurt that i inflicted on grace … but also—and i certainly do not want to offend anyone—bcz of the sadness that i perceive through a veneer of happiness and pride with that lifestyle that i could have all too easily been in myself. a lifestyle that i believe to be unfulfilling, empty, and unsatisfying.

this attitude/feeling of compassion i have is not unlike the feeling i have for anyone in such a situation who finds him-/herself bereft of love and acceptance. as one redeemed, i, as much as anyone, have a responsibility to show the reason for the hope i have to those around me: straight, gay, or whatever.

i know through grace i am blessed with something valuable; something i almost lost; something i perceive they are looking for that goes beyond intercourse: that same 100% unconditional love and acceptance that our God promises us and allows me to experience through someone like grace. through our sons. through healthy relationships with other men who struggle with life just like me.

but can i with any conscience hide from it all? can i isolate myself in straights-ville and pretend my struggle doesn't exist--even though someone’s gaydar may be going off or some redneck homophobe gives me a dirty look?

Yes, that is exactly what i do. especially among my friends in straights-ville and at the straights-ville church we attend [hence grace’s gracious acquiescence to remain anonymous for the time being] but that’s ALSO another post for another time.

but we cannot turn down an opportunity to go and be among these folks. not to preach or condemn them but to love and laugh and create relationship.

who knows the moment one can be used to show the miracle of hope.

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My Blog

I blog anonymously. This past weekend a few of my very closest friends, who know all my secrets anyway, found out about it. Which is fine. I've shared so much that if anyone even aquainted with us or our family stumbled onto my blog they'd know immediately who I was. So, should I remain an "anonymous" blogger or not? What's the point? That's what I'm thinking about lately.


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Friday, September 30, 2005

My Husband

I posted this comment over at Ben's blog in response to his post titled Changing Attraction...

I'm 99% sure that my husband is still not physically attracted to women in general. And while I don't want or need to know his daily level of struggle (which he's described as basically just a mind game) in his attractions to men...I CAN tell you with certainty this fact. He IS attracted to ME physically. And I'm a woman. :) So...what this says to me in regards to you is...the woman God has for you, who will love you and embrace all that it means to be married to a man who struggles as you do...may not stir physical eros in you initially. It may be a process. You may never be attracted to women, per se, but you may very well be attracted to just ONE woman. Hope that makes sense.

I asked my husband to read and respond to me about what I'd written to Ben because I wanted to be sure I hadn't spoken out of turn in the way I perceived things related to his change and our marriage. With his permission, I've posted what he wrote to me. It's beautiful, special, and private to me, hence, my desire to share it with everyone. :) It really is all those things, and yet, I believe it gives an added perception to many things I've written here and is valuable in gaining a clearer picture of the way our marriage, by God's infinite grace, continues to thrive against all worldly odds.

Yeah, you really crystallized the issue … I mean, hell if I would write this stuff down,
(which i'm just still just afraid of--you know how i feel about the power of words) I think what might’ve come out of it is something like that … at least that’s how I would want you to perceive I was reasoning about myself and our marriage… which it seems you have although I say very little. … If that makes any sense at all.

Yeah, I have to admit that I don’t “get off” looking at opposite sex, boobs, etc….. so women in general, yeah, you’re right, although I appreciate their beauty and characteristics and nature.

And about you, yeah, I get that.
I do feel that way—bcz I’m in love with YOU and attracted to all the components OF you that MAKE YOU a woman, including the physical meldings of our male and female forms….

I mean, maybe some day I’ll start wanting to buy t***y mags…hahaa....

….but I’m content to be en eros with regard to ONE woman, my earthly companion. The one I was destined for all along. [Lucky you. :D]

And for me, the battle is such a head game. To appreciate and observe strength and beauty (male or female) vs. obsessing over personal inadequacies, feeling isolated, needing affirmation/touch, …. All of those things comprise my struggle each day.

Keeping that struggle in perspective; meeting needs in healthy ways—not by sexualizing or contextualizing or settling for “oh this is how I am”; recognizing my purpose in life (including struggle); and aye, even…dare I suggest…thanking God for where he’s grown me from…and to….

These are NOT mere mental posturings in response to the battle, rather they are viable weapons I can use in the fight for my masculinity, manhood, role as husband, father, and friend. As the whole man God intended.

You’re far more perceptive than I would have ever imagined; far more at peace and clear-thinking than I could ever have hoped; and provide much enc o u r a g ement for me to face this; deal with it; and perhaps come to embrace it fully. I mean, my gosh, to be able to even talk about this.

You’re truly amazing.


I thank my dear husband for allowing me to share that. And I thank God continuously for blessing me with a man who challenges me to continue to grow in grace and wisdom. I thank God for the blessing this struggle has become to us and our marriage. I stand in awe of His faithfulness, goodness, mercy, compassion, and absolute power to change, heal, and reconcile.


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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Coming Home

He's coming home! Pepperdine boy will be here next weekend! I'm excited, even though I think it's a bit stupid the way it's worked out for him to get to do this. He's getting this flight practically free.

It seems there's this girl. I hate the sound of that. But....anyway.....he swears she's just a friend but admits that he knows she has a crush on him. She's still in high school and her daddy is a pilot. She's convinced dad to let him(our son) use one of their free airline passes and he's getting it on the condition that he take the girl to the homecoming football game. Is that not just ridiculous?

Of course he doesn't care. He just wants the free pass home. He's really missing his friends and looking forward to having a big tall glass of sweet tea which apparently you can't get in California. I'm feeling confident that he's been gone long enough that he's "hooked" on being in college out there. I wouldn't have wanted him to come home too soon.

I can't wait to see him. I'm all ready scheming as to how I can get him to go and get his hair cut while he's here. :) Hey, a mom can dream.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Happy Anniversary

How awesome is this?

Last weekend was our 6-year anniversary and my husband made this card for me. He's just the best! He attended a design conference in Boston a few weeks ago and they made these at one of the sessions he went to. It's a little "over the top" from what they did there, what with the velveteen theatre curtain and the glitzy backdrop, but very typical of the sorts of things he does. He's one of the most (if not THE most) sentimental people I know or have ever met. He has every note I've ever scratched to him and saves movie ticket stubs....even from BAD movies. It's pathetic. But of course I love him and I LOVE being treated to things like this card! It made my evening and it still makes me smile when I look at it. My motto is (jokingly, of course) "It's all gonna' burn." It makes me feel good to "purge" stuff occasionally. I can quickly clean any closet or cabinet as long as I have enough trash bags handy. I have to make sure he's not home, of course. It's one of the ways we complement each other with our differences.

Six years. We've literally packed a lifetime of experiences and growth into these six years. So much so that six years sounds way to short a length of time for us. Our six years needs some formula put to it like they do with dog years. Add an extra two years for every major stress life experience you've weathered. That would mean we've actually been married more like 12 or 14 years. That sounds better. My husband would agree. He's weathered through me every bit as much as I've weathered through him! I imagine we will continue to weather one another for as long as we keep Christ at the center of our individual lives and our marriage. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you." We are a living, breathing testament to that truth.


Saturday, September 24, 2005


Following Christ is risky business. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that if I never have to leave my comfort zone(s) or do things that somehow pain or distress me, I may not be wholly committed at that time. And I do go through times of rebellion (like a teenager) when I just don't feel like doing what He's asking. My point is, it's never easy and the stakes get higher and higher as I mature in Him.

C.S. Lewis explains it really well for me by comparing it to going to the dentist, of all things.

"When I was a child I often had toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother - at least, not till the pain became very bad. And the reason I did not go was this. I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin; but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from pain; but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists: I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache. They would not let sleeping dogs lie, if you gave them an inch they took an ell.

Now, if I may put it that way, Our Lord is like the dentists. If you give Him an inch, He will take an ell. Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of (like masturbation or physical cowardice) or which is obviously spoiling daily life (like bad temper or drunkenness). Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there. That may be all you asked; but if once you call Him in, He will give you the full treatment. That is why he warned people to 'count the cost' before becoming Christians. 'Make no mistake,' He says, 'if you let me, I will make you perfect. The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for. Nothing less, or other than that. You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through. Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect-until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with me. This I can do and will do. But I will not do anything less.'"

What I don't understand is why we in the church are always wanting to pass judgement on others based on where they are in this process. I guess I'm particularly sensitive about Christians with sexual struggles.

More Lewis...

"And yet - this is the other and equally important side of it - this Helper who will, in the long run, be satisfied with nothing less than absolute perfection, will also be delighted with the first feeble, stumbling effort you make tomorrow to do the simplest duty. The practical upshot is this. On the one hand, God's demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your present failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And He knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. On the other hand, you must realise from the outset that the goal towards which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal This is what you are in for. "

God has been dealing with me about some things lately. Pressing me to come in closer. It's risky and difficult. But onward I go.


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Friday, September 23, 2005


Yesterday son#3 was eating his dinner. He puts Ranch Dressing on everything but hey, at least he's eating. He says, "Mom, did they not have Ranch when you were a little girl? Did you have to make it yourself and use buttermilk?" I answered, "Yes, as a matter of fact we did, and it only came in those little packets not in bottles. How did you know that?" He replied, "Because it says here on the bottle, made the old-fashioned way, with buttermilk."

Old-fashioned. Huh.


Thursday, September 22, 2005


I'm attempting to keep my mind in prayer, and praying out loud as I'm cooking and what-not for those about to be hit with this latest hurricane. Since I have no TV I only know what I've read on the internet and heard from others. This is one of the few times I wish I could watch television. It's difficult to continue to praise God and give him glory when things go badly. But that's what we are called to do. He is sovereign. I'm reminded of this song,

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shinning down on me
When the world's all that it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name


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