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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