Every relationship is as unique as the people in it, who each bring, amongst other things, a collection of experiences, wisdom, and personality to it. No matter what, only the two people in an intimate liaison can know fully what it looks and feels like. Like a child’s DNA, something unique to only two people in the world springs up into existence.
I have to admit that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my brain for as long as I can remember. Our relationship began to have trouble when I was in the third grade. Evidently, I was unable to keep up with the class when it came to math, and I was dispatched, to my utter dismay and humiliation, to a mobile classroom on the outskirts of the school for an hour each day. While the rest of my class stayed put, I would have to scoop up my flagrantly different math text-book, exit the class with my cheeks burning, walk the long distance to the Special Ed building, all the while feeling stupid, and meet a sugary sweet teacher who would talk to me like I was not only mathematically challenged, but also having trouble understanding the English language. The whole experience was completely appalling to me, and I decided that I’d work extra hard on my own so I could get out of the Special Education Math Class.
To me, my circumstances have always been something that I felt I could change, if I could just figure out a plan of action.
Evidently, I have always been a control freak.. :-)
My plan was to get better at math immediately. Back then, though, there were no home computers, much less the World Wide Web, so I was a tiny bit unsure about how to go about becoming a mathematical genius overnight. Luckily, my mother had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica‘s, and I began my quest right there. Everyday after school, I would begin my research into a quick, sure way to improve my brain’s performance. Often, I would get distracted from my mission, running across something entirely unhelpful, but way more interesting.
And in time, I found a little excerpt from an old research study that stated how the brain worked in general, and had come to the conclusion that people who write with their left hands tended to have better mathematical abilities. Ah Ha! I thought. All I needed to do, in my own estimation, was to teach myself to write with my left hand. This, I surmised, would “wake up” the right side of my brain, and I’d be a mathematical wiz…Good-bye, Special Ed Math. Hello, Popularity and Wealth. Actually, I didn’t really care about the popularity and wealth thing so much..just getting out of that humiliating class.
I had this gut feeling that I’d just stumbled on to a little known cure, and that soon, I’d leave my classmates in my mathematical dust…
So, I did exactly that. I practiced writing with my left hand for weeks, then months, and then years. To this day, I will occasionally write with it just to make sure I still can. I have so blended my left hand/right hand capabilities that I made myself somewhat ambidextrous. :-)
But did it help my math abilities? I did catch up in math during my fourth grade year, and then later, in high school, I was able to hold my own, and to get good grades. I scored higher than average in math on my SAT’s, though I always find English grammar, literature, and the like easier to learn and understand, and those scores were higher than my math scores. I ended up working most of my life in accounting.
I have no idea if my little quest tricked my brain or not. Maybe, because I believed that it would make me smarter in math, it did. All I know is that I’ve learned that the brain is exceedingly magnificent and complicated, and we can train it to do what we want. Too cool!
One teacher that I admired and respected once told me that I was unusually logical, always breaking everything down to its simplest forms, which was actually a mathematical skill, and he thought it was unlikely that I was ever behind in math, but instead just wasn’t being taught in a method that I could learn from. Back then, in the 1970′s, the multiplication tables were taught by memorization, and he theorized that this method would not have been something I could have kept up with. A bunch of numbers memorized for reasons I couldn’t explain would not have been easy for me to retain. Instead, had the teachers shown me what exactly was actually being done when you multiply 2 by 2, I would have kept up just fine.
I remember thinking that I liked that teacher’s theory about my brain, but a tiny part of me wants to believe that in elementary school, I figured out a way to trick my brain into being smarter in math. :-)
So, I was strolling through the internet this evening, really rather bored, but trying to keep my hyper-vigilant brain from worrying to death over the fact that my husband has been on his motorcycle for 5 hours on a trip, and hasn’t called me even once to let me know he’s alive, and I came across this little nugget of delight:
And it got me thinking about dreams. I may be mistaken, but I think it is safe to say that everyone in the world has had at least one dream while growing up. Of course, depending on where you come from, the dreams would vary drastically. I imagine if you are starving in a hut in a third world country, getting enough food to live to puberty would be a common dream. However, in America, the dreams are probably a little bigger and less life-sustaining. For me, when I was little, I dreamed of being an architect. My favorite uncle, The Master Debater and All Around Most Awesome Uncle Ever, my Uncle John, gave me some of the tools an architect would use, and I spent endless hours designing fantastic mansions. Then, after a relatively small amount of time, I realized that I just kept designing the same mansion over and over again, and the luster wore off the dream. Well, that and the amount of math involved…So, I moved on to other dreams (tap dancer, stand-up comedian, Comparative Religion Professor), but the only other one that ever stuck was to be a writer.
In my family, there are several excellent, published writers, and even more just as excellent, unpublished writers. What is really cool about this dream, though, is that we all write different genres, and none of us write with the same kind of “voice”. For instance, my brother writes about his church ministry and how he and some other financially strapped guys were able to build a church from scratch. Yes, he and I have the same sense of humor, but our interests couldn’t be further apart and our approaches to life are spectacularly different. My mother wrote many, many romance novels. They are actually really clever, well written, and juicy… but have you ever read a graphic love scene written by your mom? :( I can barely read a romance novel, much less one written by my mom, and to write one…I am not that gifted. Romantic I am not! I have an aunt who writes young adult books, including some kind of strange book that lets you make decisions throughout the whole thing, which then changes the ending. Witty and interesting, but beyond my abilities…..And another aunt that wrote science fiction back in the 60′s and 70′s. I was told that one of her books was made into a story for some drama series back then, but I’ve forgotten all the details. Strange that our interests never once seemed to cross over with the number of writers in this family, but so far, that is the way it has all turned out.
I blew off my dream to write most of my adult life. I’d written a couple of fiction books as a teenager, but I cringe to even speak of them. They were horrible. I just figured that my writing career would go the way of my architect career…no where. I just didn’t have the imagination one would need to create a believable story.
So, I lived my life, married, had a family (not in that order), and worked my little accounting jobs and all but forgot my childhood dream.
Then, I set up my blog, and I started writing about stuff I was interested in, or things I felt I wanted to share about myself, and boom! The dream came back to life like Snow White being kissed by Prince Charming! And you know what? It occurs to me that I am now in a better position to be a writer because I’ve lived a whole life. I’ve endured this circus show called life, and now I actually have something to say. I have something I can write about from the heart, and with real honesty and conviction. The dying embers of the flame of hope have been fanned into a roaring bonfire, and for the first time since I was a little girl, I have a real dream to work towards!
You are the wind beneath my wings… :)
I just think we never get too old to dream, and we should go for it!!! What is your dream??
Lately, I believe it would be fair to say that I've been on the horns of a dilemma when it comes to this blog thing. One thing that I've really come to value about writing here is the therapeutic nature of getting my bottled up thoughts out of my head and in front of my eyes, and the eyes of others.
It occurs to me that making friends on the internet is kind of an odd exercise when it comes to me. I spend a lot of time watching people...how they speak, what they say, body language, tone inflection, etc. Last night, I spent a good amount of time talking with Sara, and we talked for hours about subjects I've almost never discussed with anyone in my entire life, except maybe with
I know it has been a while since I posted here, but it isn’t because I’d forgotten about it or that I was blowing you guys off. In a nutshell, it has been because I’ve been struggling with a bout of depression, and getting just one article out for my main site was a really hard thing to do, and getting two out was near impossible.
Lots of Christians seem to find the subject of depression uncomfortable, largely due to the fact that they see it as merely an emotion that people have when they aren’t living by faith. Anyone struggling with it will tell you, the emotion part is just a symptom of the disease. The heart of it goes to the physical misfiring in the brain and can no more be controlled than a broken arm or having a heart attack.
I used to just go to bed for a few days, sleeping away the tears and sadness, and while I did stay in bed more than I usually do, I didn’t sleep. Damn insomnia.. :) But, I made myself write once a day, and I think because of that, the episode didn’t last as long as it usually does.
Anyways, sorry I neglected you guys. Hope you will forgive me.
Chef told me back a few months ago when I started my little blogging adventure that I was bound to offend someone,
and guess what?! Now I have. I actually blogged bout this on my site, but it occurs to me that the author of the email might have followed me from here, so I’m going to post it here too, just in case. Besides, the message holds.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been honored and humbled by an outpouring of personal emails that people have sent me asking for advice or saying how much a piece I wrote helped them. They always leave me in tears, plus it makes me feel useful in God’s kingdom when I can comfort someone and help them in a difficult time.
And now I’ve been scolded. For what, you may ask? I’m still trying to figure that out. This person doesn’t seem to be one of my followers, and it seems to be a dummy account because you can’t respond to it. Tsk, tsk. But, I’m not even going to use the name you used or publish the email. It really isn’t important to me to embarrass you, and in my opinion, you not even letting me respond via email back to you should embarrass you enough anyways.
Now, I’ve made it pretty clear that you shouldn’t fire off verbal grenades and not have the fortitude to identify yourself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a different opinion than someone else. But when you hide, you are invalidating said opinion, and I don’t know about other people, but I can’t respect that. So, since I know you read my site, I’ll share something with you and hopefully this will put the matter to rest.
The outlaw motorcycle club seems to be a concern in this person’s thoughts. Let me tell you exactly what I think about my husband being in an outlaw motorcycle club.
Many, many years ago, before Chef was involved with this club, he was actually part of what is called a Mom and Pop club. This is mainly a riding club where motorcycle enthusiasts join up each week and ride together to different locations. It is a lot of fun, and is a good way to get to know each other. And for the most part, this group of people were just wonderful. This is the club we belonged to when I was involved in the motorcycle accident, and they were there for my whole family when we needed help. I have nothing negative to say about them.
After the accident though, mainly because of the accident, at least in my mind, I wanted some distance from the reminders, and that kind of killed the joy for me in the club. And with that death came Chef’s, because if the wife ain’t happy, neither is the husband. There was some disagreement, and the club split in half, and our half took to creating a new club.
Now, without getting in specifics, I will say that the one thing that was lacking in this “new” club was honor. Men were hitting on me behind my husband’s back, and it caused a real stir in my marriage. One thing that you have to understand about motorcycle clubs, or any clubs for that matter, is that trust has to be a central point.
It didn’t take long for that “new” club to completely implode, and poor Chef, who desires the camaraderie he once experienced in the military, was left without that important part of his life. And along came The Motorcycle Club. I’m a big one on first impressions, but I’ve learned over the course of many years that I need to gather more information before deciding yay or nay on something, and so I sat back, running my little bar, and watching these men and their women who came calling on Chef. And after some very kind and open conversations with one — Yes, that’s you Brooks– I decided that I kind of liked the structure of their honor system. I’d been told we women should never ask them questions, and in one fell swoop, Brooks invalidated that theory and let me ask the questions that I’m sure others would be offended by, and then he gently answered every single one of them honestly and openly. I’ve had less experience with honesty with pastors than I did with him. Thank you, Brooks!! Turns out, they have more honor than most Christian churches I’ve been in.
Now, let me be clear. Unless you’ve held in your arms a girl who has had her innocence stolen by an adult just so that he can get some sexual gratification, you don’t get to have an opinion about how we perceive the world. The minute that happens to a little girl…and I imagine it is even worse for a little boy…the world suddenly becomes dark, dangerous, perverted, evil. And with that perception comes an innate distrust for people…You tend to assume that everyone is selfish and that you will be annihilated if you are vulnerable. Compounded with that hurt, is having a pastor that your respect, even if you never really liked, tell you that your rape was your own fault. There is nothing you are going to tell me about only looking to Christians for the answers. I’ve learned a ton from non-Christians.
I’d read books on biker culture, scoped the internet, watched television…I definitely had a preconceived notion about who these people were and what they were about.
Then, I got to see up close and personal just how protective these people were with their young, and anyone else’s children as well. I laugh because for all the jokes about them being dumb, I find this lot of people pretty damn smart. And I watched a convicted child molester try to join. Guess what? He didn’t get very far. They have this uncanny ability to sniff out the people who hurt the innocent, and he was sent packing. I’ve watched serial adulterers join, thinking the women would be easier to lay, and those guys are gone too. I’ve watched liars join, and be escorted away from the family. In fact, I have to say that I know a ton of bikers that are professed Christians on varying levels of their walks with God. So much for judging books by their covers.
I also have watched over the years this code they live by. No lying. If you get caught lying, you’re on your way out. No stealing from a brother…You steal, you’re out. Need some help..they are givers, even if it is just their talents they have to give. My home is nice, neat, and well-maintained because of this family we are in. In turn, I take a lot of wedding pictures and Chef cooks a lot food to help out this family. No cheating with other brother’s wives…You get caught, it isn’t allowed and you won’t be staying in the family. And child molesters….just move out of town now. They don’t condone it and will handle their business. In other words, this motorcycle club taught me the meaning of honor and holding themselves to a higher standard than some Christians I know. So, please. Spare me. Unless you are in it, don’t preach to me about who I should be hanging around with. I am not gifted at leading Christians to the Lord, they are already there…. What do they need me for? I will say that I feel safer surrounded by these men in colors than I do sitting in a pew at church. And for those of you who are childhood sexual abuse survivors, you know just how hard it is to make us feel perfectly safe surrounded by people. Am I right?
I am not going to apologize to you or anyone else for being completely honest about the things that I struggle with, or the people who I have a loyalty to. This club had never done a single thing to me that they should apologize for. Are they perfect? No! But they are humans, and they deal with the same failings that Christians in the church pews deal with. Difference is, from what I can tell, they’re more honest about it to themselves and others. I find that sharing what sins I struggle with makes me human, and it doesn’t give this image that once you are saved everything is Noodle Salad and Church Picnics. Life is hard, and it remains hard. The difference is that I feel like I have a purpose. I have a healing direction, and I have an empathy to help others head down the same healing path. I usually feel like I’m in big trouble when I die, because I do make a lot of stupid mistakes even though I know better. But, for whatever reason, God always deals really mercifully with me, and in turn, I intend to do that right back to my fellow human beings, Christian, motorcycle bikers, strippers, prostitutes, drug fiends, whatever. I love them all. I’m a firm believer and preacher of grace…Without it, you wouldn’t be getting in either!! I will continue to try to become more like Jesus, but let’s be real….I’m never going to resemble Him much…He was too perfect and very much God Reincarnated…
Hope this sets things straight. You don’t have to agree with me, and maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think so, but what do I really know anyways? And seriously, stop sending dummy stuff…that is just too weak! I have mad respect for the atheists and agnostics that disagree with me on my site (respectfully) than I do someone who shoots off fiery arrows and then hides in the trees….Seriously???? For all of you, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m standing behind my opinions and beliefs.
Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox for now. :)
In order to clearly show my heart on the matter of homosexuality, I would like to write this post specifically to pinkagendist, Daniel Postlewaite, and John the Aussie. It is my hope that you will see that I don't rank any sins that people grapple with above others...sin is sin, yet that isn't what God is interested in. Yes, sin is evil.
I watched the first half of an episode of Freakonomics last night. In my altered state of mind, much of it was vague, just some sad facts with funny faces. However, one thing did stick out. They talked about people attempting to...well, I guess attempting to "genius-ize" their kids. Playing Mozart, or teaching them different languages, enrolling them in various classes.
Yesterday evening, I swore offf watching the news. Forever. But, as my world often does, I was thrown a curve ball. My husband won't jump on the anti-news bandwagon with me. I guess the upside of this latest little battle is that I would have missed the breaking news that is happening right here in Tulsa. A rogue exterminator has been caught rifling through a woman's bra and panty drawer.
Chef is from a very, very large Hispanic family. His mother is the eldest child of 13 kids. How incredibly awesome is that?? Basically, her parents gave birth to their own football team, with alternates. I love that...Anyways, Chef's white father left his family pretty early on in Chef's life, and left his mom and her very large, close-knit family, to raise their four kids.
I just love WordPress‘s dashboard. It is fun to see the little map light up with color, or to see how many times someone looks up my gravatar. I love the breakdown of which of my many bizarre stories people have continually looked up…they are never the ones I think were my best! But best of all, is the search terms that people typed into Bing or Google that led them to my site. I have wonderful ones.
Without doubt, Disclaimer: I’m God’s Worst Child Ever is my popular article of all time. So, approximately 180 people have typed in “God’s worst child” and they’ve been directed to me. Out of curiosity, I’ve been asking random friends to type that in and see what comes up. Guess what! My article..no wonder it is doing well. My son typed the phrase in to Google Images, and my picture pulls up. I guess I’m seriously God’s Worst Child!!
Number two article is trailing behind the first one at 169 searches, and it is How My Own Brain Humiliated Me. The phrase internet explorers keep using to find this one, you ask?
Three boobs. :-)
I typed that one in, and thankfully, while it pulls up my article, I’m not number one, nor does my picture pull up under Google Images. I can live with being God’s Worst Child, but if everyone who has never seen me thinks I have Three Boobs, I’ll just die…
- Three Boobs (birdmartin.wordpress.com)
In my quest to catch up with the blogs that I follow, I have found some interesting things to ponder..as usual, And one thing that really leaped out at me today was about a woman who had adopted a child from another country, and was concerned about the fact that the child was adamantly refusing to embrace Christianity at the…
I know this is going to be a shocker, but I occasionally choke on the foot I stick in my mouth at times. I thought I’d share one of those bright, shining moments in my life.
When my son DJ was born, he was very, very premature, and due to a loss of a lot of blood, I was unconscious the entire delivery. Because it was a little country hospital, DJ had to be helicoptered to a larger hospital in Dallas, some two hours away. So, when I woke up, my son was not there. Very distressing for a new mother, to say the least.
To transfer hospitals, a child has to have a name on his birth certificate, and normally, the mother is the one that fills this form in. However, because I was clearly out of it, my then-husband, Dennis, had to fill out the form. And being Dennis, he decided to trash the name we’d agreed on — Michael Anthony — for a name that embodied his own family — William Harold. :-(
Now, in fairness to Dennis, he insists that I told him this was okay sometime that drugged night, and I am going to even say that they may have been possible. But I was heavily sedated, so I would have named the kid Daffy Duck or Mickey Mouse at that point. He should have stuck to the name that we agreed on.
It took me a month to heal from the birth of my son, and all along, as I’m talking to my family and friends, I’m calling my baby Michael. Dennis, obviously nervous, says nothing to me, until I’ve finally been released from the hospital and am headed to Dallas to meet my new baby. That is when I find out that my son has been named William Harold Bell. And that Den’s family is calling him Billy Bell. O.M.G. I was pissed. Billy Bell???
Sure enough, there was my absolutely beautiful little boy with a placard on his crib with the horrifying name Billy Bell. Immediately, I made the nurse take it down and put up a placard that said William Bell. I needed some time to fix this, but now wasn’t the time. In the end, I changed his nickname to DJ. It doesn’t stand for anything. I just didn’t want him to be called Billy. Being poor, we were stuck with the name.
Flash forward to a couple of years ago, I was telling this story to some new biker friends of Chef’s (my present husband). In the biker culture, almost everyone uses biker names, so you almost never really know what the people around you’s real names are, and such was the case with the guy I was talking to. His reaction was odd when I finished my story. Slowly, he pulled out his wallet and showed me his identification. William Harrold.
I’d just insulted this man’s name. I totally suck.
For the past 20 years, my husband has worked in the restaurant business. Recently, he and my daughter, who also works in the industry, have been telling me about a phenomena that makes me feel sad, and quite honestly, angry. Like anywhere in our lives, we are going to run into all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. We are all familiar with people cutting us off in traffic, the occasional obscene finger gestures thrown our way from a passing window, the rude comments from people in stores, the callous service we get from restaurant servers…the list goes on and on…
This new thing, though, is particularly disheartening. My husband and daughter hate it when the “Christians” come in to their restaurant. Armed with Bibles under their arms, they gather at the restaurant for Bible Study. They throw about God Bless You’s at the same time they complain about prices. They boldly ask for things for free, or act surprised that there would be a charge for the extras they have asked for. They loudly preach to their audience about Jesus’s love, and yet they steal…that’s right…steal sweeteners and napkins, and whatever else that isn’t nailed down. Their orders are never right, not that it could possibly be their fault, and the employees are treated like second-class citizens. After taking up tables for extremely large periods of time, they leave nothing in way of compensation for their servers, but leave their tables totally thrashed, as if it is their right to have others clean up after them. The employees hate to see them coming.
Sometimes I want so badly to go in on the nights these “holy” people come in and ask them what exactly their goal is. If the goal is to have some sort of exclusive country-club membership to a God club, then kudos…well done. No one wants to be in your God Gang. Maybe you could spread your elitist, self-serving agenda at some other restaurant. Evidently, the spirit of the Pharisees and the Sadducee‘s is alive and well in America today.
The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How do you propose to show Jesus to those around you when your actions are so demeaning, rude, arrogant, and self-serving? What is your purpose in the Kingdom of God? Are you a representative of Jesus, or are you using Christianity to further your own goals?
We should always assume people will be watching us when we least expect it. And it is of no consequence to God whether or not we think someone is worthy to be in our “club”. The girl taking your order at a drive-thru or the homeless man begging on the corner…both were created in God’s image, no more and no less than you or me. … This isn’t about club membership. It is about life and death, heaven and hell. It is war-time, with satan leading a very skilled attack on every aspect of our lives every single day. You’re a tool — we all are. But you should know who’s wielding you.
I completely understand that as Christians, we all have to start somewhere. And I emphatically agree with Bible studies. But my question is aimed at the leaders of these Bible studies. It would seem to me that if you are ready to teach other Christians, you’d be more sensitive to how your behaviors will reflect on your God. We are known by our fruits, are we not? We aren’t going to be perfect, but we should remember who we are representing….
What good is all of these theological discussions on Adam’s belly button if just eating a meal at a restaurant drives people away from God??
If you aren’t helping us, then you’re hurting us. If saving souls isn’t your goal, there are some serious questions you should be asking yourself.