Sunday, December 31, 2006

Heart-Shaped Rocks

This is my little collection of heart-shaped rocks.
It's pretty cool. I've been collecting these for many years. It's not something I'm fanatical about, as you can see by the small number of them. I started out with two (I found the big one first and that's what got me started) that I found during a picnic the boys and I were on back when Drew was barely walking. Since then, I find one just every now and then. Daniel and Drew have each stumbled onto one and brought it to me over the years, which makes those really special. There's not many things that could get any sweeter than having your son bring you a heart-shaped rock. I recommend heart-shaped rock collections to all mothers and fathers.

love and grace,

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Boys

Everyone wants to know how the boys are doing. So do I.

It's not Daniel and Drew that we're as concerned about as the other two. I won't reveal their names. They do not belong to me legally and I'm relatively certain Tdub would not approve.

Tdub has always been a great parent. He was KNOWN all over this community as "the dad" before we married. I'm not exaggerating. I have documentation. (i hope this isn't reading with a sarcastic tone...i'm being totally and utterly sincere here) I remain certain that he is taking good care of their physical and emotional needs to the best of his ability.

However, there is no way that processing all they've had to process in the amount of time they've had to process it, is healthy for them. And yet, here we are. They are two of the most resilient young men I've ever met or ever will meet. I'm convinced of that.

From all that I can see, they are fine. Number three (13 yrs. old) spends at least one night a week here with us, sometimes more. We used to call he and Drew "the twins" because they are so close in age, and they both miss all the "playtime" they used to have together. Number two (getting close to 16 yrs. old) is busier with friends and activities of his own. He's at the age where being at either of our homes is not his first choice or even possible much of the time. I did see him tonight for the first time this holiday and he looked great. We had a nice visit and "caught up" on what's been going on since school let out. He'll probably be over tomorrow to spend the night here.

So, there's the update on the guys. I know for a fact that many of you wonder about them.

Daniel and Drew are very upset with me right now because they know that I'm considering relocating after this school year is over. There's just SO much here in our still-small-in-many-ways community that has transpired during the 21 years I've been here. It may be time for a fresh start in a new place. We'll see. The boys are LIVID that I'm considering such a thing. But, we'll get through it, whatever happens.

I'll get some more pictures out with the next post.

love and grace,

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006


No Dear.....THIS is SCARY! No eyeliner needed.
I hope you're using some sort of mask every know it's an essential component of your skin care regime! heehee! I love you Jay!
*this post is a response to jay's comment on my last post...
i'm so gonna LOVE having this camera!!

Unsmudged Grace


Now, dear readers, you can put an unsmudged face to my name/s.

The digital camera is GRRRRRREEEAAAT! It does do short video clips as out! (once I figure it all out, that is) I'll try not to go too insane with the puppy pics....but....goodness, he's only young once!

Introducing....SPARKY! The best therapy I've had in a loooooong time! :)

And finally, Grace/Pam, Daniel(19), Drew(12), Sparky(3mos.)

We had a lovely Christmas. We'll get to spend some time with the other two boys during the remainder of this week. All is well.

love and grace,

Friday, December 22, 2006

Humbling Exchange

You know, I consider myself to be a reasonable "hip" sort of mom. I can keep up at least seventy-five percent of the time in a teenage conversation without having to "fake" that I know what the heck they're talking about. Furthermore, I choose to spend a good deal of my "leisure" time attending youth group functions as a sponsor and I spend all day working with 7th graders. I'm relatively "in the know" with that crowd for a 43-year-old woman.

Still, there's nothing more humbling than the fact that my own children think I'm an idiot. It's a sort of "term of endearment" idiocy that they ascribe to me. Oh, don't get me wrong, they'd never come right out and say "Mom, you're an idiot." It's much more subtle. Here is a sample:

Drew: (sitting at the computer) "Mom, come over here, I want you to see this cool video."

I walk over to the computer....and then....just before he clicks on the big black triangle to play it....he turns, looks at me, and says...

"It's Michael Jordan, you know who that is.....right?"

I wanted to say, "No Drew, remember, I've been living in a giant mom-cave for the past 19 years emerging only occasionally and just long enough to make the next batch of grilled cheese sandwiches." But, I didn't. I did have to pause though. And then I replied calmly that yes, I indeed know who Michael Jordan is.

We're heading to Oklahoma in just a bit. I hope my tiny pea-sized brain can remember how to work the controls in the car. ;)

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Getting Through Christmas

This scripture just keeps popping out to me share it. Maybe it will encourage someone else as well. The holidays, overall, are going well. I'm staying busy and I'll leave here and spend some time with my parents tomorrow. I just don't think about past holidays, it's not a very healthy thing right now. Just gotta stay in the moment and enjoy the fact that I'm alive and growing (hopefully) for yet another Christmas. I'm also REALLY looking forward to that digital camera my parents are going to give me! (I'm so bad!)

2 Corinthians 4:8,9

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."

My hope remains that through all of this, and even in my sarcastic nature of a wit, I will continue to reveal the life of Jesus in my body. Even though I can't do it perfectly, like He did, I can keep trying.

Merry Christmas!

love and grace,

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Education and Sexuality

One of the perks to gaining significant and life-altering experiences is that you begin to amass this sort of catalogue of reference material. Or at least you do if you're like me. Things just all start to connect after a while in various and sundry ways. One connection I've made lately, actually about 30 minutes ago when I woke UP thinking about it, is the similarity between the way people speak about subjects like education and sexuality.

My first 14 years of teaching were spent in first and second grades. Those are the tender years when parents hold many beliefs about their offspring very similar to that very same child's belief in Santa. Somehow what looked like "genius" sort of behavior in those early years begins to swiftly deduct I.Q. points around 7th or 8th grade. I speak from experience here. When you teach first and second graders, every parent is an expert. Their credentials are nothing more than the fact that they've managed to produce said offspring and that they themselves once attended a public school of learning. And many of these parents will speak with great authority. Much of the time it was profoundly stupid authority, and yet they were certain beyond any doubt, of their knowledge of education in general. Their opinions would run the gamut from "kids need to sit down, be quiet, and read and write all day long" to "children need to be free to express themselves, move about freely, and be always and forever active in their learning." There's some wisdom somewhere in-between all that, yet many first grade teachers have to spend as much time educating parents as they do children. By the time the kid gets to middle school, most parents seem to throw their hands in the air then get down on their knees and thank God there's a place to send that little darling every day where other adults are willing to spend some time with them.

I'm finding that folks speak with a similar sort of self-appointed authority about the subject of sexuality. Now that I'm going through this ordeal, it seems everyone and their pet canary has an opinion about "the gays". Unfortunately, most of the canaries only know the words "queer" and "faggot"....but still, that says something. (i'm being outrageously sarcastic's very therapeutic for me) It does amaze me though, how people with nothing more than sexual body parts and the blessing of never having had to deal with any of this crap in any really meaningful sort of fashion, speak as if they've got it all figured out. Heck, I've practically read a library on it, spent countless hours ruminating, reflecting, and discussing it with all SORTS of people, attempted to literally LOVE someone through it, and I still don't have it much figured out. Oh to be so wise.

And here I find myself at yet another point of compassion for gays, ex-gays, or anyone considering anything remotely like any of the above. Goodness gracious me.

love and grace,

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Velvet Elvis

I'm reading this book called Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell. I bought it late yesterday afternoon and if I hadn't been so tired last night and then had church this morning, I'd be done with it by now. In fact, I'm almost done.

I love it.

I'm convinced by what I've read so far that Rob Bell is describing very much the sort of thing that's been going on here at this blog and with my friends like Peterson (and basically everyone else in my links).

At the beginning of the book he compares the Christian journey to his jumping up and down on the trampoline with his children. The springs are like the "doctrine" but they are not static. They make us bounce and fly on the mat and particularly so when we jump together and our different leverages at one point or another shoot one of us to a height or "revelation" that perhaps we've never achieved or imagined before. Being Christians together is about questions, discussions, and the endless search for the mysteries inherent in our very creation. It's not about arguing who is right or wrong, in or out. In fact, it's not about arguing at all. It is about living in "the way" of Christ.

I'll probably write more about it after I finish it. Of course, I highly recommend it. I'm pretty sure it's not going to mention anything at all about being gay, and yet, it sounds like it might contain the sort of wisdom easily applied to those who may be struggling with the idea of Christians who are also gay.

I think if you'll follow that link and read the pages that they allow on the Amazon site, you'll be intrigued.

love and grace,

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dang! It's Been a While

*a very wise friend advised me that I should "ammend" this post a bit...which I've done. I'm reading a new book and I'll have a brand spanking new post up about something completely different later this afternoon* Thanks for your prayers. I'm doing great....vacation started Friday! :) (wise friend, yeah, you...the one who NEVER comments on my blog anymore....could you email me again and let me know how this is?;)

Good gravy. I'm such a blogging slob. Not a good thing. If I'm not's bad.
*note that*

Here's the low-down. I'm an extremely creative RIGHT-BRAINED....(totally) person... I'm right-brained to the point of deficiency as it pertains to left-brained sorts of activities. For real.


So. I'm working for a SUPREMELY left-brained principal. And, every time he comes in my room he's blown AWAY and AMAZED at the sorts of things he sees 7th graders doing, saying, sharing, etc..... He's a wonderful man, actually. Personally and professionally.

Jay....hear this. Be prepared for this. Education can be very challenging for folks like us. And yet. I love it. I love kids. I love teaching. I love love love being in the classroom every day.

And I'm having a horrible time right now.


love and grace,

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blogging Funk

I apologize for the recent blogging funk. Please say you've noticed. ;)

Maybe if I write about it my creative juices will flow again....or maybe it's just my willingness to be transparent about some of the current happenings of my life. There's a "teaser" for anyone interested.

The puppy has captured my heart. He is absolutely a joy and a pleasure. I'm loving training him, and he's doing really well with it. He loves to run through the leaves in the our little back yard; his ears flapping behind him, tail wagging, and short stubby legs carrying him in short, swift leaps. I'm getting a digital camera for Christmas from my I PROMISE to start posting some pictures after Christmas. I'm looking forward to that.

The divorce proceedings are sort of at a standstill right now. There are a few things in the paperwork I'm unsure of, so I need to have it all looked over by a professional. For some reason, and it's not because I'm stalling about getting a divorce, I just keep dragging my feet on that. I just don't feel like dealing with it, and yet, I need to deal with it and get it all going. I wish there were a lawyer who read my blog who could come down here and help me with all this crap!!!! *big wink to my buddy Robert*

I live on a busy street with one long row of duplexes that ALL look exactly alike. Aside from the fact that one set is painted sherbert coral and another baby mint green...thank the LORD we got a regular offwhite one, it's very difficult to remember exactly which house you actually live in . But not anymore. I'm the winner of the Christmas lights and display contest that we didn't have on our street. :)

Hope all is well with you and yours.

love and grace,

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Short Update

We had a great Thanksgiving. It was a good visit with my mom and dad and I even decorated their house for Christmas before we came back home on Saturday. I've been working like a fiend ever since, getting all my things set up here. You may or may not recall, that Tdub and I were both EXTREME Christmas decorators. Neither one of us has room, at this point, for all the Christmas stuff we have, even when divided between us. We've passed things back and forth, very amicably, and, as far as I know, there's been nothing either of us "took" from the other without consent and certainly not in any sort of malcontented spirit. The division of property (*don't worry, Dr. T., I'm not going to talk specifics) has gone quite smoothly the entire time. I may be wrong in my estimation of the situation, but, it sort of seems to me that Tdub is so ready/longing for a "new" sort of life, that he has not been at all fussy about bickering over "things" that in his estimation seem to represent the "old" life. I could be totally off-base with that certainly appears that way. Which is fine....I mean, it has to be, right? It's just the way it is.

Gotta run for now. Just wanted to hit the high points here for a minute.

love and grace,

*note: i asked dr. T (months ago) to let me know if I'm getting "too specific" about divorce stuff on the blog....which everyone knows is an unwise thing to do even IF you are divorcing amicably.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Addendum to Reparative Therapy Post

I believe it's time to write an addendum to the "Reparative Therapy" post. Since it ends with the sentence "It worked." get the idea. I can't just leave that there after what's occurred.

This entire experience has given me a fuller understanding of many of the points my friends David, Timothy, and Peterson have made to me over the past year or so. And never, ever have any of our discussions, by email or phone, been anything but cordial and even enjoyable. They have all proven themselves to be real friends to me and hopefully me to them. Their big beef (or I think the biggest, if I'm not mistaken, closely followed by the political activism of groups like Exodus) is that orientation doesn't really change. I've never disagreed with my gay friends (and, as a further point of reference these three guys are openly Christian gay friends) about the fact that same sex attractions aren't likely to completely disappear. To me, it's like that scientific thing where you could keep splitting an atom infinitesimally and you're still going to end up with an itsy bitsy split atom.

Furthermore, when I said at the end of the Reparative Therapy post, that "it worked", I believe I can actually stand by that statement. At that time, it was working. As long as he (i hate to mention his name just because i'm afraid it makes him uncomfortable to keep talking about him and i'm trying to be sensitive to him) who will not be named was doing the things that guys do when they are in reparative therapy....our sex life was really awesome. It was. And I'm pretty certain he enjoyed it as well. Now, (my transparency is kicking in here big time) I can't tell you without a doubt that he wasn't secretly thinking of men or whatever he needed to think of during the time it was so great. But, nevertheless, it was. Call me crazy, but, it was really good to the point that I didn't care what he was thinking of. (sometimes i hate myself for being so transparent)

So, yeah, reparative therapy, done well, can work. Can it change people from gay to straight? Not so much. Can it provide hope, help, and healing (don't freak out on me for using that word) to a marriage....ABSOLUTELY. Can one person walk away from the whole thing and decide to be gay again. You bet.

Now, there may be those who have experienced complete and total freedom from unwanted attractions. I think that is incredible. I wish that would have been how our story played out. But it didn't.

And it's okay.

My biggest problem with he who will not be named has never been that he is gay or same sex attracted or whatever you want to call it. But, this blog has never been a forum for me to b*#ch about he who will not be named and I'm not about to start now. Well, I think I did do that just that once when it was 500 degrees and he needed to put the air conditioners in....but that sounds way more like something a straight guy would do, doesn't it??? haha!! :)

I feel better now. Been needing to get that out of my system.

love and grace,

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Blast from the Past

I am fortunate enough to have the ENTIRE week off for Thanksgiving break. So awesome.
This morning, while flipping through the channels I landed on a classic episode of "All in the Family" titled "The Little Atheist". The show was popular during my grade school and junior high years. I don't think I've seen an episode since that time. It totally cracked me up.

The most profound line came at the end of this particular episode, reminding me quite eerily of the "tactics" of the ultra-conservative right-wing, God-is-a-Republican element so active in our society today. Archie was in a heated Thanksgiving Day argument with his son-in-law Meathead(Mike) over their soon-to-be-born son/grandson. Archie was insisting the child be raised as a Christian (he's such a fine sample himself), and Meathead insists that the child be given the freedom to choose his own religion. Archie eventually slips aside with Edith and utters this profound bit of logic....

"We're going to raise that grandson of ours to be a Christian if we have to break every commandment to do it!"


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Friday, November 17, 2006

Odd Predicament

How is it that I can easily write this blog and share all this stuff....with tons of people, an indefinite number, actually....

and yet....

I could possibly meet someone that I'm scared to death of seeing it?

More details later.....

Any thoughts?

love and grace,

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Thursday, November 16, 2006


Due to a sort of anonymous donation....Drew and I are now the proud new owners of a puppy.

You may or may not recall me talking about our family dog, Reggie, a black pug. He was awesome. I loved him. Tdub wasn't so crazy about him and he did have justified reasons. However, I can't help it; I just happen to be a "dog person". Not, an "i-want-8-or-even-more-than-one dog" sort of person....but....I like having a family dog. It's just part of a full life in my way of thinking. ANYWAY....Drew and I brought Reggie with us to our new place and he was doing beautifully here. He was such a comfort to both of us. And fate (i guess) would have it, after we'd been here just two weeks, Reggie ran out the front door one evening after dark. I was still unpacking (it was rather late at night) and wearing pajamas at the time. I called for him, but he was too busy exploring the new neighborhood to listen or care. I quickly threw clothes over my pajamas and went out to search for him. It was dark, he is black, and we now live on a super busy street with identical duplexes lining this entire side. I wasn't able to find him. Unfortunately, the tag on his collar had an old phone number on it. It was a horrible feeling at the time, and I hoped and prayed that he'd find his way back by morning. He didn't. I try and comfort myself, and Drew, with the idea that he was such a good dog, obviously well-cared for and loved, that surely someone has him and is taking care of him. I probably should have put an ad in the newspaper or something, but I didn't.

Anyway, because of all that, and our generous and loving friends, we now have a 7-week-old puppy. He's a black dachshund with tan-colored feet, eyebrows, and nose. He's adorable. Drew named him Sparky immediately and it very much suits his personality. I SO wish I had a digital camera right now. Maybe I'll see if I can check one out at school for the weekend.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I've taken a bit of a downturn.

Nothing in particular has precipitated it. I'm just low.

I mean, what if it really is ME? What if I really am totally weird and not loveable? What if I really am going to be all alone......forever.

OH woe is me. This is what I get for being so proud of the fact that I'm not wallowing in self-pity. I need to go clean up my garage. It's a mess.

love and grace,

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Blog Renovation

Mostly done. Whatcha' think?

I'd like to add more of you to My Blogging Friends list, but these are the folks I felt okay about adding without specifically asking permission. If you're on the list and would rather not be, just let me know and I'll take care of it, no problem. :)

Going through the archives to rebuild my "Popular Posts" links was a positive experience. I smiled many times and only briefly shed a few tears of sadness over things of the past. That's good news, since it could have gone poorly. I'm hopting this speaks to my decent emotional health. Please say it does or I'm likely to have a complete meltdown!!! haha!!!

The most tearful place of reminiscing for me came as I began to read your comments and general outpouring of love and concern that occurred during the initial phase of my tragedy. I was bowled over by that. It was all such a blur at the time. It's good to look back with more clarity and see a piece of the reason I'm doing so well right now. Between my parents, my friends, my church family, and this blogging community, I have every reason to remain thankful and I can reason beyond doubt that I am an extremely blessed individual. There is no place for self-pity in this story.

On we go.....come what may.

love and grace,

p.s. does anyone else who uses blogger wonder why in the heck the blogger spell checker doesn't recognize the words blog, blogger, or blogging? Craziness.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Teaching 7th Graders

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE teaching 7th graders? I do. My students absolutely make my day, every time. Even if I'm in a really rotten mood, it never fails that at least one of them will say or do something that either makes me shake my head in wonder, smile, or outright crack up.

I love trying to find out what they really think of me. I'm a strict teacher. For instance, I have an expectation that the beginning of class is the moment I walk into the room after the tardy bell rings. That moment should be one of complete silence which will continue until after I've taken roll and officially started our classtime. There is to be no blurting out or no noise of any kind during that sort of "sacred" beginning time of the class period. I was (and still can be if necessary) somewhat of a tyrant about it at the beginning of the year as I was establishing routines and procedures.

However, after I've officially started the class, I am a very open-minded sort of teacher who will listen, help, and generally do whatever I need to do in order to help students learn. They know this. By this point in the year, the students understand and even value my expectations for classroom behavior. I do still comment occasionally, "this is not the Jerry Springer show, if you have something to add to the conversation, raise your hand!"

When I was out last Friday, part of the assignment I left with the substitute teacher was for each student to write 3 sentences describing Ms. Whitley. I've gotten such a kick out of reading these and I want to share some of them.

"Ms. Whitley is one of my favorite teachers because I can understand what she is saying. She will also help us if we need help."
"Ms. Whitley is a great teacher, in fact, she can teach well. She is the only teacher that will talk about anything."
"Ms. Whitley is going through a divorce and is seeming to hold up very well. I think she is an amazing teacher and the funniest one at our school."
"Ms. Whitley is a very strong and extreme woman."
"Ms. Whitley is controlling in a good way. She teaches us many things. She never gives up on us."
"Ms. Whitley is as nice as a bunny."
"Ms. Whitley is very full of energy and never a negative person."
"Ms. Whitley has alot of coffee just to stand our shenanigans."
"Ms. Whitley has many very common pet peeves."
"Ms. Whitley looks young for her age." (automatic A for this student)
"Ms. Whitley is the most wonderful teacher of all. She makes me feel good inside."
And here is my favorite....
"Ms. Whitley is a caring person who only has our interest in mind. Above all, she is such a great teacher, I actually want to come to school."

I love teaching.


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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sidebar Links and Blog Evolution

I'm feeling the need to update/overhaul the links in my sidebar. I'm evolving into a different sort of thing, blogwise, than what I've been in the past. I honestly would like some suggestions from you guys as to how to do it. I was thinking of just putting a big title called "my blog friends" and just lumping you all under it. I'm not going to limit it to just those whose same sex attractions are unwanted. Do you think I should categorize you? I'm actually opposed to that idea on principal...but....I can see that it might make it more apparent that I'm a bridge-building sort of person with friends I love and care for in all the varieties of "camps". If I do it that way it would look something like this:

Christian and gay
Christian and post-gay
(Dr. T came up with this label...i HATE the word exgay)
Christian and straight (if we're going to label according to sexuality it seems we should do it across the you think?)

I don't know. It seems silly when I think about it in this much detail...but I've done a bit of reading about making blogs more "user-friendly", particularly to those who might just stumble across it and are trying to figure out what the heck it going the categories would be good.

I'd very much appreciate some input from all of you. If you'd rather not do it in comments...just email me...

It's a pain to do all this in blogger. I hate all that mumble jumble you have to go through to change the template. But it's time.

Thanks in advance for your help!

love and grace,

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Friday, November 03, 2006


I mentioned a few days ago that the movies of M. Night Shymalan appeal to me. I find these movies to be somewhat allegorical in nature, at least in regards to how the "stories" of my life have tended to play out. It seems there is always something quite terrifying which, in the end, turns out to be merely a matter of those involved not seeing the "big picture" and living in some sort of fear because of it. The fear is always overcome or diffused by some greater understanding of what's really going on. There's always some resistance to risk-taking and someone willing to go outside their comfort zone in order to achieve enlightenment.

That's all I've got for right now. (sorry) I'm so tired, but in a good way. Three other teachers and I drove from our town just south of Fort Worth to San Antonio after school yesterday. We attended a College Board AP training all day today, walked the river walk, ate really great Mexican food. We're back in our hotel room now, just worn out! There's another half-day of classes tomorrow and then we'll head back home (about a 5 hour drive). We're having fun and learning MUCH. Good times.

Have a great weekend!

love and grace,

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trying Again

I would put this off and try and rewrite this thing this weekend...but....I'm on a personal mission to post 3 times in one day in a feeble attempt to pretend I could actually keep up with Peterson if I really really wanted to. (you're a madman peterson...lay OFF the multiple posts in one day, you're killin' me!!!!)

So....where was I. Let's see....God Talks to Me and that's somehow related to the movies of M. Night Shymalan.

NO, I'm not going all "Shirley MacClain" on you. (jay, you may be too young to get that reference) But, I do indeed believe wholeheartedly that I have heard personally from the big man upstairs.

Remember a few weeks back when I was posting about being really lonely and how I'd even gotten onto a Yahoo Chat thing out of a sheer sort of bored loneliness? Well.....Angie started it all with her comment about how God probably has a plan and a purpose for this time in my life. And so, rather than feel guilty about not reading something helpful during my "lonely" time I decided I should just begin praying about the situation.

I'm here to tell you. That feeling has been completely replaced by a complete sense of peace and contentment. I have no way of explaining from whence it came.....but indeed, it is here. I am certain that God is indeed using this time and I no longer feel "lonely" in the evenings like I did initially. Furthermore, I've "heard" from God. Through various conversations I've had, things I've read, and the experiences of the past few weeks, God has intentionally spoken to me individually. Many of you who will read this have had a part in it, unknowingly. It's almost like a "puzzle" that God has had me piece together over the last few weeks. Here's what He said....honestly....these are distinct messages I've received from Him via other people, readings, and experiences:

"Slow down. Enjoy this time. I am in this time and I do have a purpose for you right now. Enjoy your boys and listen carefully to them. Enjoy being you. I love you and I love what you have become. Your mistakes don't matter to me, your commitment to me is what matters."

I think now that I grew up asking the wrong questions of God. I was always wanting to know things like "why is this happening?" "what should i do?" "when are you going to tell me something, God?" "who am i supposed to listen to?" I believe now...that the question I'm supposed to keep asking is this....."HOW is God speaking to me?" I'm pretty convinced at this point that nothing is coincidence and that God is more frugal than we give Him credit for being. By that, I mean that He doesn't waste anything. It's all purposeful and meaninful. I just have to figure out HOW He meant it for me as a lesson....whatever it is.

HOW is God speaking to you? He is. That's a non-negotiable. But How? What is He saying?

love and grace,


oh rats....i didn't mention how those movies relate to all this...i'll save that for my next post!!! haha!

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i just finished writing my newest was ALL WRITTEN. And I clicked on something or did something....and it's GONE!!!!

wah wah wah!!!!!

back to the drawing board!!!


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God Talks to Me

One of my favorite movie lines is "I see dead people." I'm not sure why. I hate horror movies. I refuse to watch them. But, I do love anything by M.Night Shyamalan (yes, i had to look up how to spell that and it's correct). That line is from his movie, The Sixth Sense, about a little boy, played superbly by Hayley Joel Osment, who sees dead people. Turns out in the end that the dead people are not dangerous, but need help from the little boy. Night's movies are the closest to anything scary I'll watch. But what do his movies have to do with the fact that God talks to me?

I'll expound on that later. Just had to get this part down before heading off to school this morning. I'll finish after. Sorry. :)

Have a great day!

love and grace,

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Friday, October 27, 2006


Drew and I are about to head out to spend the weekend with my parents in OK. So much has happened in the past few months, but one of the greatest occurrences has been a complete reconciliation between me and my parents (mostly mother). They had their "troubles" with Tdub. And yet, after all this, they have become willing to listen and try to understand somewhat of the dynamic that was going on within the marriage and my profound commitment to "sticking it out".

The greatest result of all this, for me, is that now I am able to communicate much more plainly and effectively with my parents about what's going on in my life. I'm 43 years old and I've remained in a distrustful state with them for many years. And now, because of healing on BOTH sides, I am able to speak to them plainly, and even disagree, and maintain the love, support, and encouragement I've longed for all along from them (her).

My parents were here in Texas the weekend we moved in. They left after Drew and I had gone to school, and when I got home my mom had left a little note on my kitchen table for me. In it, she said...IN WRITING...."I'm proud of you, you're doing a good job." OH. MY. GOSH.

God is faithful!

love and grace,

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bad Guy Vs. Good Guy

We all made it thru Aunt B's funeral yesterday.

I was the "good guy". And, of course, Tdub was the "bad guy".

At least that's how I'm sure he felt, overall.

I hate that for him, and yet, I relished in the love, concern, encouragement, and just sheer physical affection that was poured on me yesterday. I don't deserve it anymore than Tdub. I really don't. And yet, in this situation, I am the victim. I'm the one who's been hurt, forsaken, and betrayed. I don't feel like a victim, well, mostly I don't. I mostly feel like a person who is looking to God and saying "What next?" I know it involves people, whatever it is, and I am doing what I can to stay open and honest so that I can serve and do what I'm being called to do.

I would have wished something more for Tdub yesterday, though. I hope, I pray, that my purpose in all of this may result in different sorts of responses by "the church" toward folks like Tdub. WAS vitally important to me to feel LOVED, AFFIRMED, and ACCEPTED by the family. And truly, I was. I am. I am the great-niece of Becky Tilotta Holbrook and no one can ever change that fact.

And is Tdub. I would have liked to have seen more folks reaching out specifically to him. I did see one individual make an overt attempt toward affection. Mind you, I was not in the most observant state of mind and even at my best I tend to "zone out" in my own world. But, our preacher DID reach out specifically to Tdub. And I witnessed it. I noticed it and appreciated it even as if he'd reached out to me personally. I do love Tdub. I always will. Not in a romantic way....but in a sisterly, Christ-like way. He is precious to me. I want to see him reconciled to his family in Christ. I want to see his family in Christ reconciled to him. There is much work to be done. On BOTH sides. I certainly do not have all the answers. But, I hope for a time, when a funeral will take place like yesterday, and a "forsaken" son like Tdub will be embraced, loved, and encouraged just as I was at the service yesterday.

Aunt Becky would have done no less. Of this I am sure.

love and grace,

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Monday, October 23, 2006


If you happen to pop in and read today.....say a quick prayer for all the family, and particularly for me that God will grant peace, comfort, and a sense of completeness. Today is Aunt B's funeral. Not only did I have a special relationship with her, she was part of a shared history with Tdub that is no more. I know that these sorts of events will happen; many in his family are quite old since he was technically raised by his grandmother. But, this is the first piece of shared history that we are facing, and it comes so close on the heels of everything else. It's just tough.

But God is faithful. I know that.

love and grace,

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Aunt B

My Aunt Becky passed away yesterday at the age of 84. She will always be one of my heroes. Becky Tilotta Holbrook. A female legend within the CoC (Churches of Christ). She traveled to 73 countries as a missionary, worked tirelessly to produce Bible literature for African children, wrote this book, and was a fierce supporter of George W. Bush or any other Republican, for that matter. (if you knew her you'd never hold that against her...I certainly didn't!) Aunt B was QUITE a character.

I have a priceless story about Aunt B that I can't tell in it's entirety. But I'll attempt to give the "gist" of it here. If I ever meet you in person, and you know me very long, it IS one of the stories you'll hear me tell. It was the week before Tdub and I were to marry. Mind you, Tdub and I were each marrying for a 2nd time and each had children big enough to sit on a potty and reach the microwave. (not at the same time....but these are each major milestones for children in my opinion!)

Tdub and I were cleaning at the old house we were going to live in when a then 77 yr. old Aunt B pulled up in her brown Dodge Caravan. She was still driving at the time but had begun to be a bit "tottery" when getting around. I went out to meet her at her van. She had a leftover dish of some sort to give us (this woman would wash and reuse zip bags and aluminum foil). Nothing went to waste in her house. It was either used in her daily routine, given away, or became part of a craft, lesson, or other Bible story curriculum to be administered either here or shipped to Africa. She took her last mission trip to Africa at the ripe old age of 78.

After giving me the dish, she extended her arms and grasp me by the shoulders. She had something serious on her mind. This is the part I can't speak of plainly. But let me just say, that Dr. Ruth (remember her??? the sex therapist) had NOTHING on my Aunt B. She practically pleaded with me to come and spend some time with her during the next week before our wedding so that she could teach me some of the secrets of a happy sex life. I will quote one tiny piece of her little talk just because it's SO rich. She very earnestly said to me, "Honey, I'm 77 yrs. old and I still miss it." She also mentioned something about heaven on earth.

I thought I was going to explode before our conversation finally ended and I was able to dash back into the house, stomp my feet up and down on the floor, and squeal in disbelief at what I'd just heard from my dear old Aunt B. It was one of those times when you just wish you had a giant eraser for your brain or a rewind and erase feature for the memory lobe. Quite to the contrary, however, this remains and always will remain, one of the most vivid memories of my lifetime. And you know, I'm really happy about that now.

Aunt B was amazing. And I know beyond a doubt that she is now experiencing heaven in heaven, not on earth, and I rest assured that she no longer misses one thing about any of the things she longed for here.

I love you Aunt B.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

At This Point...

Since I'm vying for the crown of "QUEEN OF TRANSPARENCY", or, at the very least a decent looking tiara (no sash please), I thought I'd share today's amusement.

The latest "drama" that occurred last weekend between Tdub and I (sorry, no details much for transparency) partially culminated in some email exchanges today in which I stated something to the effect of....

At this point, pain is a relative thing.

I related this to a friend today who died laughing upon hearing it. Which is a good thing. If I can't find humor in a's BAAAaaaDD.

The other gem or a moral I stumbled inadvertantly upon while responding (or reacting) to email today was....

Rule of Thumb....Honesty, in the long run, brings less pain than deciept.

Maybe I'm supposed to turn all of this into animal story fables and write morals to go with them. Who knows. It's worth a try, I guess.

If I could so impose upon my commenters to share your own "morals".....please do. :)
It'll be fun.

love and grace,

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Sunday, October 15, 2006


A secondary sort of running theme that keeps coming up in my thinking and on this blog (other than the primary theme which is....uh....well, call it sexual attractions or gayness, or whatever) is RISK.

I was talking to a friend today during 2nd service (i went to first). He is probably the 2nd most betrayed adult individual due to the "falling away" of Tdub. We talked about several aspects of the happenings, and while we've never said this out loud, it's obvious that there's this indescribable need to reflect and try and figure out at just what point the betrayal occurred or at the very least, began to occur. At what point did the desires of the flesh overrule the good sense of the heart/mind? It's not just about figuring out how long we've been "played", that's how you feel when this occurs; it's more about trying to figure out, at least for me, how close I might be to doing something so incredibly stupid myself. When it looks like, to the casual observer and even to those very close to the situation, that some seemingly decently well-adjusted person just "up and left", you start to wonder just how close to sanity/common sense/reality any of us really are. (t.m., feel free to rebuke any of these sentiments in the comments, i speak only for myself but your input is valuable to me)

Let me just stop and confirm, for my gay readers/friends, that this has nothing to do with Tdub's sexuality and everything to do with commitments, covenants, and responding faithfully to those we love even in painful situations. There WAS a right way to go about this, or, at the very least a MUCH MUCH better way. If anyone had the support and love to do it correctly, it was Tdub.

And therein, lies the point I'm getting at as I ponder all of this. My friend and I came back to this; what are we willing to do in order to get what we REALLY want? Tdub was willing to RISK everything for this one thing. Some might say, "but you don't understand, this ONE thing is WHO he is, it is his identity as a person." I disagree. It should not be. There is NOTHING, no good gift, no part of myself, not ONE thing that is worth holding onto in this world. Nothing. I am called to lay it all down at the feet of Jesus. Come what may. If my "risk" results in sinful behaviors (again, talking covenant here, not sexuality), then my risk is nothing but selfishness. The only risk that is truly a risk is the one I take which draws me closer to Him. It's the only risk that matters because it's the ONLY risk that will follow me into eternity.

I promise I won't lament over this much longer. I feel it coming to a close. There are just a few more things I need to work through. Thanks for your continued patience and prayers. You're SO much cheaper than that guy with the soft comfy couch and all those pillows! ;)

love and grace,

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

"Christian" Chat

I'm ashamed to admit what I'm going to write about today, but, oh well.

The other night I went into a "Christian" chat room in Yahoo. Why would I do such a thing? I'm trying to figure that out, particularly AFTER the fact. Nothing horrible happened, but I did experience a bit of a rude awakening of sorts. I mean, I didn't expect or even desire a Christian chat room to be full of folks chanting psalms or debating Calvinist vs. Arminian theology. But I also didn't expect a "Christian" chat room to be filled with folks who might very well take the phrase "laying on of hands" to more literal and somewhat less than appropriate, virtual meanings.


I am lonely sometimes. (although not THAT lonely!) This way of life is an adjustment. I come home every afternoon to my own expectations, my own needs to be met, and my own decisions to make about how to spend the evening. I'm more accustomed to running boys here and there, preparing dinner, making sure homework is done, cleaning up after dinner, then trying to relax for at least a few hours before falling asleep at the computer or with a book. In the midst of all that Tdub and I would usually spend a certain amount of time talking about our day, either on his drive home or after dinner. This is just WAY different than all that.

Drew, while a high-maintenance child in many ways, is 12-years-old and extremely independent. He often fixes his own healthy dinner, just because he ENJOYS cooking. Even when he doesn't cook, he's just ONE boy. He's also very conscientious, for the most part, about keeping up with his schoolwork and either doing his homework on his own or making darn sure I'm helping him get it done. It's just not that difficult with only one.

I guess I say all that in an attempt to figure out why I went on that Yahoo chat thing in the first place. I was just bored, I guess.

Next time, I'll read a book!

love and grace,


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Saturday, October 07, 2006

My Personal Theology Regarding Gayness

This is in answer to some questions asked in the comments to a recent post. Rather than type a lengthy response to what are some great questions, things worth rethinking and reevaluating from time to time, I decided to take a moment, or several, to address it right out front here.

I am still confused on the "Ex-gay" "post Gay" thing. Do you not believe someone can be set free from Homosexuality as people like Exodus do? I thought I read that you feel humans were not designed by God for homosexuality, is that correct? So you can see my confusion, if humans are not designed for it, how do you help someone who wants to be "as God designed" without offering freedom from it?

The best way, for me, to reconcile these questions is to put them in the context of any other behavior/attitude/spirit that I would consider sinful. Let's take greed. This, in my opinion, is a MAJOR problem. The sin of greed brings pain to millions. It has reeked havoc with nations, societies, families, and individuals. It continues. Many struggle with it at levels much greater than others. It is not part of God's original design for humanity and when His kingdom is fully restored it will no longer be an issue for any of us. It is not an "icky-poo" sort of sin in "church" society and can rule with reckless abandon in a person's life, even as they attempt to live faithfully as a Christian. It's easily hidden, for most. Would I be able to offer someone a program or course of action which could completely free them from greed? No. Can God grant someone complete freedom from greed? Of course. Does it appear that He often does that? Not so much. It looks more like folks can become very close to freedom from greed and yet must constantly manage their natural desires by living faithfully and walking as wholly as possible in the Spirit and with Christ.

The next, most obvious question, is; how do I respond to persons who struggle with greed and how does the church body respond to those who struggle with greed? My answer guessed it....with GRACE and LOVE. What if there were people who struggled with greed and either didn't know they did or didn't recognize their greed as sinfulness? How would I respond to that? Hmmm.....this, is the 64 million dollar question for those of us in mainline churches, is it not? Do we "put them out"? If they desire leadership roles or teaching positions within our body, in which they would be unabashedly practicing greed amongst us and teaching that greed is acceptable....then yeah....I gotta're gonna have to go find a body that believes like you do and be a leader and a teacher over there. But, if you want to come and fellowship, commune, worship, and live amongst your fellow strugglers of various and sundry other sins....come on! If they are struggling with greed, and working towards wholeness from greed, believing that greed is not God's design for them and attempting to live faithfully within that greed.....then lead, teach, it all. I'll be here to lift you up, support you, listen to you when you fail miserably, forgive you, and LOVE you. And I expect and need the same from you as I journey and struggle.

This is all my personal take on the matter. It's based only on a bunch of experiences and my own reading, study, and prayer. It doesn't attempt to decide and sees no reason or need to decide, who's IN or OUT when it comes to eternity. I'm pretty sure that's why we have the whole sheep and goats story in Matthew 25.

I hope that's helpful.
love and grace,
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Thursday, October 05, 2006


One of the most enjoyable things, or maybe it's just entertaining, about blogging is looking at the search topics that bring folks to the blog. This didn't start to be a factor until after I'd accumulated quite a body of work here. Now, I get all sorts of hits from folks looking for all kinds of things.

You'd be surprised, probably, at the number of people who've visited my blog while looking for a recipe for Buttermilk Delight Pie. I am Google hit #8 for Buttermilk Delight Pie. Apparently, this is a huge favorite for Labor Day weekend because my hits went crazy with searches for such a recipe during the days just before and even during that holiday weekend.

The other unexpectedly popular search items which bring curious minds to Willful Grace are the Googles for "baby possums" and "medium ash blonde". Just random stuff I've written about that these poor folks go looking for and end up reading, if they do, the ramblings of some chick married to a struggling and now out gay guy.

To the person who came just this evening, wanting to find out if having gay friends is a sin...........uh..........NO. :) Glad you came here for the answer to that burning question, and I'm sorry you've been exposed to whatever it is that makes you think you're sinning by befriending gay folk.

The search item that got me thinking on all this, and really jumped out at me just today, was this; Gay deliverance ministry failures. Hmmmm....there's one to ponder. I get alot of the "how can i tell if my husband is gay" and "my husband is not attracted to me" or even, "my husband doesn't want to have sex". I want you wives who come here for those reasons to know that I feel your pain and I pray for you....whoever you are.

Rob Bell says, "You'll find what you're looking for." Yep. And you may find a whole lot more.

love and grace,

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Just Crazy

Is it not just CRAZY that only 2 months ago I was writing about Tdub riding on the Goatneck bike race, reviewing a book I'd read, and relating the guilty sort of enjoyment that Tdub and I were experiencing as we watched DVDs of the first season of LOST?

This is what gets to me the most; the absolute speed with which all of this has occurred. It's just CRAZINESS. Maybe I AM a saint!!!!! (please hear me laughing very loudly as you read that!) :)

Honestly, I look back, as one does when things like this occur. I try and find clues, hints, just anything, that should have tipped me off to this coming. In my usual transparent fashion I'm going to share a list with all of you of what I can come up it is:

1) before we went on our FABULOUS vacation in Florida at the beginning of June I remember Tdub remarking that he hoped that we'd be able to "reconnect" during our time there. My response was, "really? what's wrong? how do you feel we're not connected? I don't feel that way...what are you talking about?" I didn't get a really clear answer....I do remember him saying....."i just think we are in different places right now." We did talk at that time about the blog and how I was willing/ready to be transparent in a way that he was not....and I I did many times, to stop blogging. I would have deleted this entire thing and walked away if I'd believed it was an issue that was keeping us from being connected. I'd really hoped and wanted to go to the therapist together to discuss this stuff. I got dangerously close to deleting it at that time but Tdub literally TOOK my laptop from me and prevented it. He assured me that the blog was NOT to be deleted or discontinued. It was a good and necessary thing, according to him.

2) Sex was in less in less than completely satisfying, by the indicators we all know of, for Tdub. 'nough said. I, on the other hand, have been extremely satisfied and fulfilled by our sex life for some time. I've said to much....but...this IS, after all, a SEXUAL struggle. We can't just ignore that and leave those parts out when speaking of it.

3) Tdub started getting more offended about little things that I would do than he typically had been in the past over the very same sorts of things. For instance, I had this little conversation started with a friend I'd made from Ex-Gay Watch about possibly collaborating on a book idea I had regarding the relationship between gays and ex-gays (or post-gay, which I'm working towards along with Dr. T). Anyway, I'd exchanged an email and had happened to be on the phone with a fellow post-gay friend of ours and was sharing with him about it...and Tdub walked in and overheard. I told Tdub about it immediately after, and it was really a "timing" sort of issue. But....Tdub got REALLY offended that I'd shared this thing (which may never ever even be a "thing" but was just an idea) with someone else before I shared it with him. He was way more offended about it than would have been typical for him. It was just sort of "odd" but not in an "i'm jealous because i love you" way but more of an "well, here's more proof of the disconnectedness thing" sort of way.

All those things were just odd and weird to me at the time. I had no idea it was all magnified for HIM because of the tremendous struggle he was having over having made his own inappropriate "connection" with another person online.

Tdub may be really ticked off that I've shared all this. I'm not really even sure that he reads this blog. I may know after this! ha! Anyway....these are my thoughts and feelings....the stuff I've been working through. Take it for what it's worth. The words of a traumatized person, basically.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

love and grace,

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Settling In


Tdub has been wondering how I've managed so long without internet. Honestly, I've wondered myself since I innately love searching, discovery, reading, and learning. The internet, for me, is like DisneyWorld for the mind. Internet time can be just as purposeful or just as frivolous in every way. But....I'm not writing about that right now....I'm just back and I'm thrilled! :) I think I have learned to "temper" myself a bit more as far as time spent surfing. I've signed up for cable so I'm going to watch TV! hahahahaha!!!

I'll get back into blogging mode by giving a go at describing my day; Saturday, September 30, 2006.

After retiring at the early hour of 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning (i still have major sorting and decorating to do here at the new place), I arose at 6:15 this morning to head over to the house for a yard sale thrown by Tdub and me. It's pathetic how much sheer crap a family of six can acquire in seven years. I don't even hesitate to call it sinful.

Tdub laid a big plastic tarp in the yard and we semi-sorted clothing by type into piles then began setting out the leftovers from what neither of us wanted or had room for in our new places. The yard looked It's all been extremely amicable, which is a testament to BOTH of us, not just me. I somehow find a sort of twisted comfort in the fact that even though the four boys will grow up without an example of what life-long marriage/commitment looks like, at least we'll have shown them what it looks like to allow love and compassion to rule over pain, disappointment, and the accompanying anger and resentment.

I believe my sense of calm and peace in the situation is the result of divine intervention; the presence of God's Holy Spirit. I'm not talking about some hand-waving, Bible-wielding, finger-pointing, holier-than-thou sort of attitude/psuedo peace where I basically "rise above it", do whatever I want, and call it God's plan. I grew up around that sort of thing, not my parents, just the "church-folk" in general. I'm not playing the "you're a gay sinner so you don't count" card. That card isn't in my deck. I'm operating from the standpoint that Tdub is my brother. I may not agree with his current decisions, and yeah, I'm still hurting.....but I can't explain the sense of peace that was over the day today. It truly does surpass understanding. Don't get me wrong, my compassion doesn't extend so far as to consider, under any circumstances, a reconciliation of the marriage. I'm certain that won't ever be an option in the first place, besides the fact that I'm just "done", if that makes sense.

The day began with a crisp little breeze in the air and a cool temperature of about 68 degrees. For some odd reason, the hotter it got, the more folks seemed to show up to take our stuff. Tdub and I agreed that the best strategy was "cheap" so they'd take MORE. A little cash in hand was secondary to getting RID of stuff. For the most part, it worked. Fortunately, we were able to get rid of almost every bit of the big bulky stuff; the sort of things you have to pay to have hauled away if you don't get rid of them. We had a shed full of things like a broken dryer, a broken stove, and large gas heaters. In the house, we had a weight bench, and six of my beloved "winder units" (hehe!), and several other rickety old pieces of furniture. We were successful in unloading ALL of those things, agreeing on pricing, and ending the day with a decent chunk of cash in hand.
In other news of the day, I got my car back from the body shop ($4,000 worth of damage! yikes!), we now have our little black pug dog here at the new place (it's amazing how much comfort and hominess just having our pet here provides), and I've finished the 2nd season of LOST on DVD and am pumped about being able to see the first show of season three this week. I'm a bit disappointed in myself for giving in on the TV thing since we've been so long without it. But.....uh.....not that much! ha!

I'll catch up on reading everyone's blogs tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it!

love and grace,


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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Being Intimate with the Whole World

Drew and I are moving into our own place this weekend. We are both very relieved and excited about this. We haven't been able to do any of it on our own, but I believe God prefers for us to rely on one another, humble ourselves, and accept help in certain situations. We are all blessed as we do this.

I visited with the therapist last Saturday. It was a good visit. Between my talk with him, and the last talk I had with Tdub on Sunday, I think I'm ready to write some thoughts and begin clarifying this whole mess in my mind.

There's one basic conclusion that all three of us (therapist, me, tdub) come to and are in agreement about. This is the fact that I was more willing (and then became more equipped and capable) than Tdub to embrace the path/journey/struggle set before us in our marriage. Tdub never completely bought into or participated in behaviors and actions which required transparency of the sort that begets intimacy. I'm not talking about sex here. Intimacy. I, on the other hand, have become "intimate", or at least willing to be, with the entire world. I am NOT stating, in any way, shape, or form, that I was close to perfection as a wife or partner to Tdub. It's just that, in regards to intimacy, I was ready for it and Tdub was not. And this, became the breaking point, ultimately, for him.

The blog was not an issue for Tdub and yet, it was. He was always "proud" of me for blogging and as most of you know, even participated many times by commenting or allowing me to post his thoughts. Some of the best writing on this blog is his, and he hasn't written that much here. However, this sort of commitment to intimacy is risky and scary. I took a huge risk in sharing our lives and struggles this way. I know it must be awfully discouraging to read of the demise of our marriage, particularly for those who've read and been encouraged in their own similar path because of our story. It's still an encouraging story, as long as we figure out what was really going on here and respond appropriately. There's much to be learned from our journey, be you gay, straight, post-gay and married, post-gay married wannabe, or just plain can't figure out where the heck you fit into any of those boxes.

Hopefully, within the next few weeks, I'll be in my own place and life will be settled down enough that I can begin to REALLY process this stuff. I miss reading other people's blogs and keeping up with what's going on with Dr. T. , Jay, Randy,Inheritor(not interior:), Peterson, Christine, and my friends at Ex-Gay Watch.

Que sera' sera'!

love and grace,

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Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Adventure Continues

Adventure sounds so much more romantic than saga or tragedy. The last two weeks have been eventful, to say the very least.

I hadn't mentioned last week that I bought a new car in the midst of all this. There's no need to detail everything, but, in the giant shuffle of "stuff" it ended up best for Tdub to take the cars and for me to take the house. So, I bought a brand new car, a Kia Spectra, with a warranty so huge that I'm only responsible for changing oil, tires, and I think those little rubber windshield wiper thingies.

The lovely guest house we've been staying in, part of a much larger sort of horse-ranch type property, had been put on the market the day before Drew (that's #4's name) and I had moved in but the owner's were certain it wouldn't sell anytime soon since they'd over-priced it considerably.

The 1888-built house that Tdub and I had lived in with our four boys since the day we married was put on the market last Monday.

And here, this little adventure-within-the-adventure begins.

Monday: The realtor officially placed the sign in our front yard. My realtor is a story unto herself, by the way. Her exact words when referring to her own feelings about buying and fixing up an old house were, "I'd rather be nibbled to death by ducks." She's a peice of work. But I knew, if anyone could sell it, she could.

Tuesday: The realtor called me with the news that there was a contract on the house. I was thrilled and went by to sign some papers. I found out there's a 5-day opt out which means the person, who gave a tiny little check of earnest money, can back out any time before 5 p.m. this Sunday evening.

Wednesday: I'd gone home after school to relax a bit before Wednesday night bible class and there was a knock at my little guest house door. It was my hostess. The contract that had been put on their property had gone through and we all had eight days to vacate the property. I'd known this might happen but had been waiting and half-hoping the deal wouldn't go through. The owners doubted from the start that the contract would stick, but, lo and behold, it did. Oh goody. ;) I left shortly after our conversation to pick up Drew his friend's house and head on to church. On the way, in my brand new, one-week-and-one-day-old Spectra, I crashed into the back of a Texas-sized farm truck with a LARGE steel bumper. My Kia folded up like a Coke can and I'm pretty sure I saw the big steel bumper yawn, stretch, and go back to protecting the truck to which it's still attached. Oh woe is me. When will the madness end?

And yet, God, I'm absolutely convinced beyond all doubt, is IN this madness. The guy I'd hit was a great friend and fellow youth-parent from church. Our boys are all friends and one of them was with him. How many times do you ram into the back of someone and have them get out of their vehicle and come and give you a big hug to console you? He was apologizing to me! And I'd hit HIM! This all makes it sound like the town we live in must be very small, but it's not. The car was still barely driveable and he, along with some other friends we called, helped me get it back to the guest house. I went back to the car I'd been borrowing for the two weeks before I bought the Kia and managed, somehow, to get my wits about me that evening well enough to get a decent night's sleep.

Thursday: Drew and I got up for school the next day and walked out to see our newly crashed car in the gleaming morning sun. It overwhelmed me. By the time we arrived at school I was in tears, thinking about what all needed to be done and all that had happened. Just complete mental and emotional overload. My assistant principal was awesome and amazing and a substitute was called in so that I could take the day, catch my breath, get insurance/repair things started on the car, and begin moving our things to our next place of residence. Thursday turned out to be a wonderfully refreshing day. I actually felt I had the TIME to deal with the STUFF going on. I also spent a good amount of time visiting with our the new benevolence/counseling minister at our church. Thanks, Grandpa Sancho! ;)

Friday: Back to school and back to "normal", whatever that is. Drew and I moved all our things to our new place on Thursday night and came here (where we are now) after school yesterday. Drew and our new hostess played a few rounds of Skipbo last night while I read a magazine, dozed off and on, and just basically CHILLED OUT. It was great.

Today/Saturday: I'm going to visit with our therapist in a little bit. Looking forward to processing through some questions I have about sex and intimacy with him.

Continue to pray that God's will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

love and grace to you,


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Sunday, September 10, 2006

Moving On

This has been my first "normal" weekend since the madness began. I don't like being alone, even though I have many friends and folks to call on, day or night. It's still not the same as being married to the person you believed was your best friend. I miss being able to call, text, or email him at a moment's notice when even something random or funny happened. This past week, as I was reviewing records on my students, I discovered that one of my students, Stevie, is legally named Stevie Ray Vaughn (last name). I found that to be just utterly hilarious and I caught myself wanting to text or email Tdub right away. *sigh*

But, as much as I really loved having a partner to share life with, the thought of marrying again makes me nauseous. I know it's way too soon to even consider such a thing....but the reality of living alone and being alone has certainly hit me like a ton of bricks this weekend.

I've talked with Tdub on the phone a few times and we've had some good email conversations. I believe things will go smoothly and it's our goal to remain friends. So far, we've agreed on the "i'll take this, you take that" sort of stuff. Divorce just sucks.

I can't imagine hating Tdub. I don't think I have the capacity for it. I do and will get cynical at times. It's one of my favorite coping mechanisms. But still, I tend to save that for my very closest friends and even then, I have more sadness for him than anything. I'm sad for me as well. It's very difficult to have poured your heart and soul completely into something and to have it all crumble apart so swiftly. Honestly, it feels like a giant wave came in and washed everything we had away. The trouble is, I didn't even realized we lived near the beach. I mean, yeah, I was aware of the risk involved when I discovered all these things about Tdub in the first place. I told him (tdub) then that I would understand if he wanted to end the marriage. He assured me, time and again, that he wanted to be married; he wanted what we had and what God had for us together, as a couple. And at that time, I knowingly and willingly committed my life first and foremost to God, and then to Tdub and our marriage.

And now this.

Again...I appreciate your comments and encouragement...and mostly your prayers. I'm sorry I can't comment back like I used to. I just don't get much time on here anymore. But thank you...all of you.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006


Tdub has been out of town on business for the last 13 days. He returns tomorrow and we've talked off and on while he's been gone. The timing of the trip couldn't possibly have been worse, but I've come to the point where ranking the severity of good vs. bad scenarios is just pointless.

I made the big move yesterday. All my things, or at least the things I'm taking, save some hang-up clothes, are in storage. It's a 10ft. X 20ft. unit and it's packed from floor to ceiling. And God remains faithful.

I'm not sure exactly how it was organized; I'd just been told that there would be people to help and they were going to show up at the house at 9 AM Saturday morning. Around 9:15, there were 2 pick-ups, 2 SUVs, a car, and 8 people loading furniture and boxes into the vehicles. I decided that I'd better run to the hardware store and buy a lock before we were ready to transport the first load. So, I left and drove a mile or so to the store, bought a lock and returned. As I turned at the corner of our street my eyes widened, one hand left the wheel and went to my mouth, then I took in a deep breath and let it out with a quietly astonished, "oh my goodness."

The street, which is a full block long, was lined with pick-ups, trailers, and SUVs, more than half-way down the length of it and on BOTH sides! There were now 14 men and 7 women loading furniture and boxes into truck beds, flatbed trailers, and a covered trailer that looked almost as large as my entire storage unit. It took us only 2 hours and we resembled a small funeral procession as we were able to transport everything in one trip to storage.

I held it together emotionally, for the most part, until they started putting things in the storage unit. At that point, the tremendous sense of loss and the absolute heartbreak of it all, overwhelmed me and I began to sob. I started thinking about how I hated leaving things in chaos for Tdub's return. I'd had to empty his things out of drawers and put them in trash bags, and then, there was all the yuckiness that you uncover when you move things. I wanted to go back and clean all that up. Again, God was faithful and I had a trusted and admired brother/father figure to nurture me and talk me through that very difficult moment followed by prayers and hugs from my two best "soul" sisters. Afterwards, a few of us did go back, to sweep up and bring at least a bit of physical order to the place.

Having emptied all the car trunks, trailers, cargo areas, and truckbeds, one of our ministers (there were 3 ministers, 1 elder, and several deacons present) called for us to circle up and pray. Twenty-two adults and 4 children circled up and held hands in prayer. We prayed for me, the boys, and for Tdub. I'd say it was a moving experience but that would be just silly. ;)

Tdub returns tomorrow evening. I know the boys will be happy to see him. I'm still on the "one day at a time" plan and probably will be for quite some time.

We've been together, all 4 of the boys and I, this weekend in yet another house with a pool and hottub that was offered to us while the owners are out of town for the holiday. It's been great to have this time together and I've so enjoyed watching #3 and #4 going from hottub to pool and back again, chatting like little magpies the entire time. #4 and I will be back at the guest house tomorrow evening, moving forward with trying to reestablish our new sense of order and routine in our topsy-turvy world. We'll get there.

God is faithful.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

*whew* long time no internet!

I can't access anything from school....blogger, hotmail, yahoomail....nothing. Which, as I've said before is probably for the best! :)

#4 and I have been absolutely SHOWERED with nothing but love, compassion,'s just been incredible. I hate it that I haven't had time to properly (and I won't ever be able to) thank everyone. So....I thank God from whom all blessings flow. (and Christine and Sis please know that my angel of hope is with me and so encouraging to me!)

We are currently staying in a guest house of which I can't begin to describe it's incredibleness. Although....I can't help but take this opportunity to play the "one of these things doesn't belong here" that we all used to watch on Sesame Street back in the day. (remember that part??? they would show things like an apple, a pear, a banana, and then a screwdriver and ask which didn't belong?) Here's my current version:

immaculate garden areas and pathways.....beautiful and customly decorated main house with MUCHO amenities.....fully-loaded guest house with attached horse stall in which horse can actually stick his head through a door-type hatch thingy if you open it(this is where we are currently living)......acres of land full of trees and horses.....dial-up internet

DIAL-UP INTERNET????? Who knew such a thing still existed???? I checked my email ONCE this week (at the main house) and decided that if dial-up is all there is....forget it, I just can't take it. I waited for at least 2 minutes (seemed like 2 weeks) to log onto blogger and post something.....then decided slitting my wrists was just NOT the thing to be doing right now. And so, I just walked away. I figure if I can give everything else in my life over to hard could internet access really be?

It's been fine.

I did (finally) get my wireless laptop (with brand new keyboard) back today so at the very least I can drive around and latch onto someone's connection like my friend Em does ALL THE TIME even though he, unlike ME, can actually AFFORD his own service! (hahahaha!!!) Sorry Em!

I've got lots to say, as you can imagine, and no time to say it. But I'm good. I'll be better. And God is faithful. One of the reasons I know this, is because of the other folks around me here and out there (in the virtual world) who continue to hold me/us up with prayer, kindness, and physical (as in monetary) support. Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him. (Job 13:15)


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Saturday, August 26, 2006


I know I don't have to update everyone, and you guys have been so sweet to remind me of that. :) But, right now, it's more about processing things and for me, writing is a great tool for the task. The fact that I'm (potentially) sharing the processing with the entire world puts a bit of a twist on it. But, I'm inclined to believe that one of the reasons our culture has (overall) failed so miserably at functioning as the body of Christ in the Kingdom of God is that we refuse to humble ourselves and become transparent with one another. Because of that, we cripple our ability to function as a body and truly minister to one another. We are sinful, and yet God loves us, adores us, seeks us, and chases after us. But, we can't get past our own pride and share our struggles with one another. We think we are failures, or not worthy if we struggle with sin or even difficulties of the sort I'm experiencing now. This is a lie. We convince ourselves that the body of Christ will look down on us, shun us, and ultimately judge us. I'm pretty convinced now that the folks who are the most unwilling to share for fear of condemnation are themselves the most judgmental of the lot. They fear that others will treat them with the same sort of judgment that lies in their own hearts. This, is what "remove the blog from your own eye"
means. (at least to me) On the other hand, those who are the most outwardly judgmental are the ones who feel the most shamed by their own sin. They serve a God that only loves and accepts them when they are "good". How sad for them.

I say all that to say, I will keep processing here. Not for any other reason than it helps me and it may help others. And I feel the spirit leading me to process it this way. I'm not actually that crazy about doing it. It's so much easier when I was processing the journey as it looks when it's going well. We have so much to learn from one another and so much of God's love, grace, and commitment to us as His children to share. We (I) have got to stop running and hiding from the process and allow God to work in and through us as a body.

sermon over. this wasn't what i sat down to just came out.


p.s. i just did a spell check on this and i'd misspelled one of the spelling words i'd given my students last week! :)
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Friday, August 25, 2006

The Good News

The good news is that being a middle school English/Writing teacher rocks! I don't know why I didn't start this gig YEARS ago. It's awesome! I love the kids, I love having ONE...yes...ONE...prep a day, and my school is full of wonderful, caring folks along with a principal who is far and away the best administrator I've ever worked for or probably ever could. So, in the midst of all this madness, there is this. And I thank God for it.

Have a great weekend! #4 and I are staying with friends who have a pool this weekend. He's pretty pumped! :)


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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Boys

My biggest concern right now is the boys. When this all "broke" in our family last weekend, there was an immediate sort of solidarity that formed between them; different from the one they've always had where no one ever tells how windows get broken, who took the DVD player upstairs, or why and how there's a little mess of burned matches and a wax mess on the table in the family room. This was different. This was a "we want to remain brothers" sort of solidarity. Fortunately, #1 has been home a lot lately and he was there to listen to their initial concerns and provide them with some hope and comfort concerning the future of the family. #1 called me shortly after #2 and #3 had been given the news by Tdub. The conversation I had with him went like this:

#1: Mom.
Me: Yeah?
#1: I just told #2 and #3 that we would always be brothers and that I knew you would always be their mom.
Me: So, they told you? What did they say?
#1: They were just worried that they wouldn't see us anymore, that you wouldn't be able to be their mom and we wouldn't all be together anymore.
Me: What did you say to them?
#1: I told them that I KNOW my mom, and that you will get them on weekends or any other time they want to come over and we could still be together.
Me: Thanks for saying that. You're right. I'll talk to them about it too.

#2 is 15. He's the one I'm most concerned about. It's such a volatile age anyway, and then, to have such a major life-change coupled with this revelation about his dad. We are getting counseling for both of them. And Tdub has verbally committed to continuing his own counseling as he navigates this new path.

The sweetest memory occurred last Friday afternoon. I stopped at the house to talk with #2 alone. Tdub had shared with me in a late night conversation on Thursday that it was, indeed, over. It was important for me to talk with the boys separately and make sure they heard from me that I was in NO way abandoning them or have any intention of leaving them. I had the talk with #2 and it went really well. We both teared up a bit, but it went well in that I felt certain he heard and understood how much I love and care for him/them.

I went to our bedroom to pick up a few more things (#4 and I are staying with friends.....the house is too painful for screams "US") As I came back out and was passing through the family room #2 stood up. He looked me right in the eye, and, with a bit of a crack in his voice said, "Mom, if you ever need anything, you know you can just call me." I have never been more proud to be his mother than at that moment.


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Monday, August 21, 2006


I talked with Tdub tonight, in person. It was good. (at least that was my perception of tend to doubt all your perceptions when something like this happens)
He'd been telling me that he'd written something he'd like to read to me and we had that opportunity tonight. I'm going to make an effort to express where he's coming from based on what he read to me tonight. It's important for me to process it, and I think it's an important peice of the giant puzzle that is gay, ex-gay, wanted vs. unwanted attractions.

I want to emphasize, first, that when I look at Tdub I don't feel anything but love. I consciously choose to look at him as I believe Jesus would. I WILL myself to extend grace to him even if he deserves judgement. I can't help but love and ache for him when I see him this way. He doubts God's love. He loathes himself. Hurting me and hurting our family is, in his mind, a matter of self-preservation at this point. I don't agree with his reasoning, and yet, I understand that it's the best he is able to do at this given moment.

In listening to his "treatise" as he called it, I heard one thing very plainly. He believed that marriage to me was part of the answer to his dilemma. He went into the marriage hoping that by marrying the "embodiment of God in a female" (or something like that, as he put it) healing would find him or he would find "it".

This never works. NEVER. If you are a same sex attracted guy who wants to get married and have a family....please KNOW this. NO WOMAN, no matter how wonderful she may be (heck, look at me!! hahahaha!!!) can help you.

This really is a journey one must make alone.....even if you're married. It can be done. I still don't doubt that. I see and know of specific things that were not acted upon. I know of more that could have been done had the heart been in the right place to do it. And yet, I understand and I'm sympathetic towards Tdub in that he is weary. I'm not going to stand in judgement of him. God will take care of that, in His time, in His way. And I pray for mercy for Tdub. I really do.


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Sunday, August 20, 2006


I didn't go to church this morning. Didn't go last week either. This thing all started last Friday night with an all night conversation. There's been no fighting, no yelling, stomping, screaming.....and no begging and pleading either. I'm pretty sure that sort of thing doesn't work. ;)

I'm going to write about it as I can.....and just so you know, your comments are a great comfort to me. I didn't respond to any of them in the last post as I normally do, and I may not for a while. But please know that I need that and it's one thing you can do that directly blesses me and reminds me, in a very tangible way, that God loves me and cares for me. God's love resides in the skin of real people who minister that love to one another tangibly. So, I'm thanking you all right now for doing that.

God loves Tdub as well. I recognize that a HUGE part of my heartbreak is the very heart of God breaking for him. In fact, I can testify to anyone reading here....God absolutely adores you and cherishes you and wants nothing more than to be in relationship with you. Most of you know this.....but I'm telling you, I don't think any of us truly understand or comprehend the depth and breadth of His great love. It is over-whelming, to put it midly.

That's all I've got for right now.

I'll write more as I can.


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Friday, August 18, 2006

It's Over

Tdub is leaving. He's giving up the struggle with unwanted attractions and coming out as gay. The most difficult thing to observe is the crisis of faith he's experiencing. It's very sad to me.

I will always love and care about Tdub. I love Him with the love of the Lord....and one day, it won't hurt like it does right now. I'm convinced that God is in the bad things as well as the good. And so, come what may, I carry on.

I'm not sure what direction the blog will go since I'm unsure of my direction at the moment. I hope you'll keep reading and praying for me as I work my way through it.


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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Woeful Tale

I've had a suggestion from Tin Man (a friend of mine) to blog about my laptop being on the fritz. I'd mentioned this briefly in a post a few days ago. So, in an effort to inject some lightheartedness into my world, I will do just that. Now, for your reading pleasure, is the tale of extreme stupidity....and it's all true.

The Laptop
(a tragedy)

Once upon a time, fair maiden Grace sat down at her computer, as she was oft apt to do. Upon supplying her maidenly password in an effort to check her maidenly email, she discovered that the maidenly "z" key was quite sticky. "Alas," she said to herself, "my z key seems to be sticking." Undaunted and determined, fair Grace proceeded to investigate the stickiness of the key. After much fiddling and fumbling with said key, fair Grace became more and more disturbed and challenged until the very existence of said "z" key was almost more than one as fair as she could bear. In what can only be described as the sort of determination generally attributed to triatheletes, Civil War heroes, or vacuum cleaner salespersons, our perky little heroin popped the "z" key completely free of it's once secure position on the keyboard. "Oopsy," Grace exclaimed. And then, gasping at the sight, "Ewwww!" For there, atop and around the soft rubbery nodule protruding now in the place where the "z" key once was, appeared a pea-sized dust bunny. Being a maiden as fair as she, Grace was quite appalled at the width and breadth of the dust bunny. She could quite easily grasp it between finger and thumb, remove it, and dispose of it. And that she did, quite to her pleasure. Cleanliness is, after all, next to Godliness; or so it's been said. Having never expected such a sight upon removal of the key, fair Grace was naturally curious as to what might lie beneath the other keys. And so, with wreckless abandonment, like a tornado in a trailer park, Grace proceeded to pop other keys from their positions. Finding and disposing of one dust bunny after another. Grace was approximately 14 keys into her cleaning frenzy when suddenly, and without warning, her sense of reason and sanity returned as clearly as if a voice had spoken aloud, "what about putting the keys back ON?" Grace immediately changed her course of action from popping off to popping on, finding the latter to be somewhat trickier than the former. When all was said and done, our poor defeated Grace had rightfully returned 4 keys to their proper positions, 1 key to an improper position, and had 9 keys left homeless; the tiny metal pieces they should clip to having been snapped completely away in her foiled attempts at returning them to their home. And, the "z" key, or rather, the rubber nub that was once a "z" key, was STILL sticking!
The moral of the story: Don't ever take the keys off your laptop, no matter how big, fat, furry, and disgusting the dust bunnies may seem!
Hopefully, my laptop will return soon. It's at technology and I'm pretty sure they're in no hurry to return it to me. *big sigh*
Keep praying for me!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I Hurt

Deep, intense, and prolonged pain has placed me in a state that I can only describe as surreal. I wake up to each day, not really in it. My first thoughts are, "this is really happening, I'm living this, or is it living me?" I can't tell.

I'm certain of God. I'm certain of all the things I've always been certain of. I am not afraid of the future because God has redeemed my past.

And yet, I hurt.


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Sunday, August 13, 2006


I had my best 4-year old friend with me in the car for a bit yesterday. I'm going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment and it was obvious to her. As we drove along, her lilting voice peeped up from the back seat said, "Ms. P, God can see right through your skin."
Psalm 34
I will extol the Lord at all times,
his praise will always be on my lips.
My soul will boast in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
God is so awesome. And He can see right through my skin.

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