Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
This is a day we celebrate...in my family, within my faith, and always with my children. We've built certain traditions. We make Easter Baskets and give them to them Easter morning, we hide eggs and they love to "hunt" for them around the house, and we talk about how Jesus is ALIVE and what that means to us. It's a very big day - second to Christmas for us.
But this year, I won't see my kids on Easter.
Since we're still in the "thick" of it all, and we don't YET have anything stipulated from the judge on how we'll handle holidays - since it's her custodial weekend, she has said NO! - All of my requests - whatever time of day, trying to work out any arrangement that would work for her, etc....NO! if she has the opportunity to exercise some form of control over me; she WILL use it.
Little T and I always went shopping together to pick out her new dress....they look forward to the traditions - many that involved me or were initiated by me.
But this year, there will be silence where there should be laughter.
Absence rather than togetherness.
On the day we celebrate the Resurrection Life - I pray that it somehow spills over to my children.
Lord, keep your hand firmly, gently - but always upon them!
And God...I need some help....I am feeling discouraged....I will pray...but please, help me....help them., my little ones who deserve so much more.....and please if possible Help HER to see the error in her ways and to want to do what's best for the children. ~ Amen
Friday, April 1, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Real love brings along with it ALL these OTHER things you didn't necessarily plan for, or sign up for, well honestly...that's cuz you didn't know how badly you needed them. Here are just a few examples: (Don't worry, I'll ease you in slowly)
* Unconditional Love
I mean, who knew that you could actually be loved without expectations on the other side in order to somehow "earn" said love, or to prove that you are somehow "worthy" of said love, right? Who knew? And that it could truly be freely given; without internal resentment harbouring ...just waiting for the right moment to let out all the "conditions" that truly were present when the "presentation" was that it was unconditional...crazy, right?
I mean again...who knew you didn't have to play the "bartering" game and create some sort of deal system in order to receive some sort of love or kindness in a real time of need - You know the kind....you take care of the kids while I'm throwing up every 30 minutes for 12 hours straight and then of course once I'm better, you can have a weekend away. I mean didn't you always have to make some sort of trade that really benefited the other person in order to receive any kind of love or kindness... c'mon,.....it's not just me here....right?
*Truly wanting the other's best interest - I mean truly, like over your own.
WOW! Really? Who knew this was even a remote possibility within a relationship - I mean really??? Where have I been...doesn't everyone put their own needs above everyone else's; especially those they are in a relationship with, even to the emotional detriment of the other? I mean how does this foreign concept even work? I think I need some continued major demonstration on this one...for real!
Ok...so those are just a few...I didn't want to bombard you with all this new conceptual thinking about REAL LOVE and how that manifests itself...it's a huge deal dude, and I think I am really trying to take it all in.
To Be Continued........
Monday, March 14, 2011
there was such damage done
the destruction leftover causes such discomfort
it left me wounded
and the daily reminders are too much these days
so tomorrow will come
and I'll enter that hospital and allow the wounds to be bound
and I'll forever be different, forever be changed
but the question is, can I leave the damage and destruction there...
on that table...
as I allow them to cut me and slice me...
can I imagine they are cutting the pain right out of my core?
can I leave it there?
I want to...
But I'm not sure that's enough.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Many in the crowd tried to shush Bartimaeus. But instead the suffering man, no doubt swallowing his own pride, shouted all the more. Jesus stopped in His tracks and instructed the crowd to bring the blind man to Him. Jesus granted Bartimaeus healing in response to his faith.
Sadly, the crowd lacked Jesus' compassion. I think of all the "crowds" we encounter that lack the compassion of Jesus...especially those "crowds" that are doing things and proclaiming they are doing them in the name of Jesus.
I think about our "old" crowds - for some of us that have come along way on our journey...
I think about the "crowd" of old church groups that were (and still are) uncomfortable with honest, desperate people who cry out for help...like Bartimaeus did.
What I love about Bartimaeus is that he IGNORED THE CROWD, AND SOUGHT OUT THE CHRIST!
Hmmmm....what an example....sometimes I get pulled into what the "crowd" thinks...how they might respond, what they would think if they only knew xyz...but you know, the more the crowd tried to hush Bartimaeus, the louder his cries became.
I want to cry out - unashamed, without abandon....and I want to ignore the crowd, even when I make "them" uncomfortable. I want to be like Bartimaeus.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
We will all face it in some way. Some of us have faced A LOT of it...some of us not as much. But I believe that grieving and walking through loss is essential to healing.
Today, I attended a funeral for a man that touched many, many lives. I did not know him, but through Missy and her family, I knew of his fun loving, dedicated heart; towards God, his family, sports and cars. Today, as we attended this funeral, many feelings came up - for both Missy and me. When you're gay, most often there is a lot of loss that occurs - whether it's friends who don't accept you, family members who reject you, churches who say God doesn't love you, mentors who no longer invest in you, pastors who try and "fix" you, ministries that try and "heal" you - and Missy and I both experienced all of the above in some form or fashion within the last decade as we sought out God's heart about our true selves and what HIS opinion was on the matter.
I am grateful to be on the other side. To be in a place where I have reconciled all issues related to my faith and being gay. I know many who have chosen one or the other...and don't believe they can be their true, authentic selves.
I don't debate theology with people - I simply live my life through the grace and goodness that God gives me each day. I believe and KNOW that He loves me, and that settles the issue for me. I've read all the scriptures, I've done all the research, I've read all the books and the different positions on the issue - from a fundamental Christian perspective. But then.....I went to God - directly. I availed myself to HIM - completely and fully and asked Him that IF it be HIS will to change me, heal me, deliver me, etc....than please, may HIS will be done in my life. He did not choose to do any of the above...and believe me, I spent many years asking Him to....instead, He encouraged me to seek out His character...to stop focusing on WHO I am loving....and to focus instead on HOW I am loving...others, my neighbor, my enemies, my partner, my friends, my family, the unlovable. As I began to seek out God - as a gay person, HE SHOWED UP BIG TIME in my life. That again, settled the issue for me.
Gay people at times find out that I am a Christian and think "eeewww, I don't want any part of that" and I don't blame them. In the name of my Jesus - hatred has been spewed in their faces.
Christians find out that I'm gay and they think "she can't really be a Christian and really be walking with God and have a personal relationship with Jesus - not living in that sin, in that lifestyle; being gay."
What I know to be true is this: I am a Christian. I love God with all that I am. I am gay. I love Missy with my whole being. God is the center of our relationship and it's evident to all who get to know us and actually "enter in" to our community. Our children love God and they know that we love God and that it's important that we love others - all people.
Someone at the funeral today said: GOD IS.....in the midst of whatever you're going through, whatever you're facing, etc....GOD IS!!!
Even with this whole gay/God issue - that brings so much heartache to some and loss that is so hard to greive...GOD IS....
And you know....I think that's enough!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Anyhow, many of us as gay people, trying to find ourselves do tell each girlfriend we have "Oh, you are the one, it'll be me and you forever" and the reality is that until we're old enough to know what it really takes to "BE" The One for someone else - and what that really means, how the hell can we claim and expect someone else to "BE" The One for us!
Recently, obviously as many of you know, I've been going through a horrible divorce. I really, truly, with all of my fiber and being thought my ex was "the one." She was the closest out of the other women I had dated to "being" the one (or so I thought). I am not going to slander her because she is the mother of my children, but I was lied to, betrayed....from the beginning really, with who she presented herself to be. I was also lied to and betrayed by her in the relationship. I think as gay people, we have enough heart ache and pain to deal with = wouldn't it be nice if we could all present our true selves to one another so that we could actually finally, truly find "the one" - if that is what you are seeking for your life?
I'm glad God actually brought her to me as a gift - I know beyond a shadow of any doubt, that Missy is "my lobster" - looking back, and with everything I've gone through, I could never say that about any of my ex girlfriends with certainty....did I say it....of course I did...and I believed it - at the time...but boy maturity, growth, realizing who YOU really are and what matters to YOU - what you can compromise on and what you can't, realizing that you can be picky and selective in the gay dating world....for so many of us back in the day we dated someone because they liked us.....I've asked so many friends "So why did you start dating her in the first place" and the answer was she liked me, asked me out.....I always respond with "Well, what about her interested you, why did you want to date her" - many times the response is "Oh, I didn't think about that...." and obviously after going out a few times they realized they had nothing in common and weren't even attracted to one another in the first place.
This leads me to think that if it were acceptable, socially for gay kids/teens/etc...to go through ALL of the natural things during puberty and during those years when you're bringing boys home, etc...going to prom, going to the movies, bringing someone home to meet the parents, etc...the stuff our straight siblings did during those years....we would have been able to go through all of that at the appropriate developmental stage in our lives.....vs being in our 20s, finally realizing we're gay, going out with people we don't even find attractive just because they like us, etc...I mean it just sounds junior high....and that's the point: we should have been able to do ALL of that while IN junior high....but for many of us we couldn't, or we hid it, or we felt it was dirty or shameful or wrong, or we led two lives, etc...or we just didn't know what was different about us and we dated boys and had really good "buddies" (as Missy and I fondly call the guys she dated during her high school and college years). It's interesting to think of what the world would be like if being gay was just like having different color hair - to everyone...in the entire world....how we would have been able to go through the stages of life when they were actually intended to happen. Interesting thought, huh.....
I'm just grateful that God intervened for Missy and I both - and brought us both back together. I am beyond blessed and my heart is forever hers! FOR SURE! No, really....honestly, I KNOW IT! LOL ;-)
Monday, February 7, 2011
Tonight, I picked up "Reaching Out" - The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life - by one of my favorite authors, Henry J.M. Nouwen. He breaks it down to these 3 movements:
1) Reaching out to our innermost self
2) Reaching out to our fellow human
3) Reaching our to our God
There was a part of the book under "Molding Interruptions" that really resonated with me tonight. He said " Don't we look at many events of our lives as big or small interruptions, interrupting many of plans, projects and life's schemes? Don't we feel an inner protest when a student interrupts our reading, bad weather our summer, illness our well-scheduled plans, the death of a dear friend our peaceful state of mind, a cruel war our ideas about goodness of man, and the many harsh realities of life our good dreams about it? And doesn't this unending row of interruptions build in our hearts feelings of anger, frustration and even revenge, so much so that at times we see the real possibility that growing old can become synonymous with growing bitter.
BUT, what if our interruptions are in fact our opportunities, if they are challenges to an inner response by which growth takes place and through which we come to the FULLNESS OF BEING? ...What if all the unexpected interruptions are in fact the invitations to give up old-fashioned and out-moded styles of living and are opening up new unexplored areas of experience?"
Interesting huh....a different perspective....I really like how Henry sees all the opportunities to better one self and within his books challenges us all to do the same!!
I also read through recovery type books quite often to remind me of the position I need to maintain in life. For me that is one of surrender, gratitude, letting go, taking it one day at a time, taking internal inventory to own what is mine and trying to keep my side of the street clean!
So I happen to turn to a certain page tonight that was speaking about forgiveness. It talked about how people can become addicted to their bitterness. Boy do I know some people like that...it's so familiar and it's all they know and so they choose, time and time again - to become and remain bitter.
The book says "A life characterized by bitterness, resentment, and anger will kill us emotionally and shrivel our souls. Such a life will most likely produce depression, despair and discouragement. An unforgiving heart will cause us more pain and destruction than it will EVER cause the person who has hurt us! Forgiveness BREAKS the negative cycle. It doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice, or fairness, but it does allow relationships to heal."
- Interruptions might just be an opportunity to experience something, and I want to become aware of this...and accept these invitations.
- I certainly have a lot to work on with regard to forgiving my ex. It's a journey....one day at a time. I love how in the book it says..."it doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice or fairness..." because I think that's where a lot of us get caught - we were wronged and we want justice...I know that's where I get stuck.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
So here I am, post hearing...awake and it's 2:30am.....I slept earlier when I finally sat down after the kids went to bed...couldn't keep my eyes open actually and fell asleep while watching a movie for an hour or so. There is something quiet and still about the middle of the night - when most of the people around us have all stopped to rest and replenish themselves.
I don't sit and ponder all the what if's that used to captivate me in my head. I do have great peace and comfort knowing that God is in control, always has been, and still is...He showed me that BIG TIME this past Monday. I know the truth and I will continue to stand firmly within it, knowing that in always making the choice to honor the lessons and the journey, I will come through this a better person than before I began.
However, my body....my little body....is still trying to work things out...so I leave the following message for you Body....take this in, and receive.
Body: It's ok to rest now....it's ok to let go....you are safe....and your beautiful children are sleeping just beyond the other side of the wall. It's ok to recover...it's ok to repair...it's time to allow yourself (dear body) the opportunity...or rather, give yourself permission to not stand guard over this threat you felt so deeply coming against you and your family...you can stand down now. It's ok to let it all out...it's ok to feel it all. It's ok to NOT be ok. So go....rest.....allow yourself to be wrapped up in all the love and support that so many people are surrounding you with each and every day. You are safe. You are loved and you are protected.
This has been one of the hardest journeys of my life...yet I am present. I will continue to take it one moment at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time...and receive that which God has for me and also learn and grow as I face each new challenge.
Body: You can lie down now and be renewed.
Now is the time.
It is ok.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
- Every Monday & Tuesday - Every week - kids are with my ex Tracy
- Every Wednesday & Thursday - Every week - kids are with me & Missy
- We alternate weekends
Monday, January 24, 2011
For any of you who have ever attended any sort of 12-step recovery type of class, meeting, workshop, seminar or has lived with someone who has, you may have heard some of the following statements:
- Easy Does it
- Live Life on LIFE'S terms
- One day at a time, sometimes one hour, sometimes one minute
- If you're in a funk - go be of service to someone else
- We will make it through this day
Well, there is a philosphy within a 12 step process (step 4) which involves "admitting" our faults to another person. It's this process of "coming clean." There are three great benefits to admiting our faults to another -
1.) Our secrets have kepts us in chains - bound, frozen, unable to move forward in any of our relationships - be it with our higher power or with others. Admitting our faults SNAPS those chains and in doing so, healing power begins to be released.
2.) When we keep silent about these "faults" - whether you call them sins, unconfessed issues of our past, demons that we fight, old ways we used to be, character defects, imperfections, etc....when we keep them silent, and hide them deep inside - we continue to give them power. In addition, the constant energy and "duty" of keeping them silent or secret has a great affect; a spiritual, mental and physical affect. I believe this to be true. Resentment, unforgiveness, bittnerness...all of these things cooped up deep inside our core being and left unresolved will eventually permeate through us and I believe they begin to seep out somehow...whether in our interactions with others that are negative as we project onto them all the "crap" that resides within us, whether we panic, whether we puke, whether we eat and keep stuffing it all down, whether we live in complete denial, or whether we become physically ill with chronic disease...our soul's inner cry is to release all of this "stuff" and if we don't - well, it can eventually eat us up - from the inside out.
3.) The third benefit is to be truly "known" and to receive support. I believe that deep within all of us is the innate desire to be truly known by another...to be validated for who we are, what we've experienced and what we have to contribute to our world. I also love this comment: "Openness is to wholeness, as secrets are to sickness" I strongly belive in being transparent, real, genuine and in the power of sharing our stories with others.
Although you (my cyber space friend) are not a real, face to face person - I am going to practice principle 4 and admit to you a character defect of mine that I am currently working on as I want to BREAK the chains that seem to still bind me up at times. So, I appreciate all of your support, grace and compassion.
Most all of you know that I have lost about 130 pounds...yet, I find that when I am sad, angry or stressed, I want to eat. Food for so long has been the one comforter I could always count on...the one friend that was always there and we had a secret love affair. Many did not know that I would hide food and eat alone, binge, etc...and then carry the shame that crept in causing me to hide all of the evidence that anything took place at all....and sometimes I think I really believed my own reality. I didn't actually just eat that...it didn't happen at all. You can't prove it.
So, when I began this journey of losing weight in August 2009, I weighed 323 pounds and was a 26/28 in women's and a 46/48 in mens. Now, because I am 5'9" I could carry it better than most so many people had no idea I actually weighed that much. But when I began the journey "to health" it was also a decision to leave behind my best friend - or more so to abandon her for a while and then when ready, redefine the dynamic between us so that we could find a mutually beneficial exchange; fuel, balance, moderation, but still enjoy pleasure, etc...During the beginning of my journey I "white knuckled" it and I had this mantra: "This is my spiritual act of worship." And whenever I really wanted to eat, or just pig out on something, or eat a food my body was no longer willing to tolerate...I would say "this is my spiritual act of worship" AND IT WAS....I wanted to be healthy, to have energy, to give my body back to God and to reclaim the health, balance and moderation that I knew my body needed. I knew it was going to take some just flat out refusal and some hard re-training at times, and believe me those days came.
So, I had to lose 10% of my body weight before surgery; which was 33 pounds. I was able to lose that by February 2010 and then because of surgeon's being booked so far in advance, my surgery was scheduledfor June 9th. And now, almost 7 months out - I can actually say that I am FREE from the bondage that once ruled my life - my love affair with food that was killing me. I ate to stuff the pain, so now I have to feel the pain. I ate in times of stress, so now I have to find other ways of managing my stress (still working on this one), I ate to fill the void...to try and take away the empty, lonely feelings....and even though there was something temporary that I did feel for eating for those reasons, it was like I had band aids all over my entire body when what I really needed to do was to stop covering up the boo-boos and learn to do true wound care so healing could happen and repair could begin.
So, I ADMIT that I used to use and abuse food and use and abuse my body - to numb the feelings that were so painful to feel.....and now I ADMIT that I feel all of those feelings....and sometimes it is so overwhelming, that I don't think I'll make it....but then I remember one of those awesome quotes as mentioned above....one day at a time, we will make it through this day!
Today, I weigh 191 and I am a size 12/14 in womens, 36 in mens - and even though I am just beginning to work on the toning and exersice side of the house....I have energy, I am a new person and I am healing every day. IT IS NOT EASY, but whoever said it would be anyhow?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Mediation was this week - which did not go well, but yet went as expected. Nothing has changed and everything will be decided by a judge in court on 1/31. I guess there is some tiny bit of comfort in the fact that I can predict that she will continue to lie, deceive and present her own version of reality; which couldn't be further from the truth. I can expect this. I can know that this will not change...I feel like that should give me some ounce of feeling settled knowing what I can expect from her.
But it does not.
Every time I feel betrayed. Again.
Every time I feel deceived. Again.
Every time I feel shocked that she is doing all of the things that she is doing....Again.
As I left the court house this past week I was reminded of the last time we were in court. It was the day I was adopting the twins. February 10, 2007. I remember the judge asking her questions such as you agree that this person is to FOREVER be their parent and you understand that no matter what happens with regard to the relationship between the two of you - you will both forever be their parents. I remember him asking me, you understand you are taking responsibility for these children's lives, no matter what and you will always be there and support them, etc... I took this very seriously. I take being a parent very seriously. I take my role in their life, under God, as the most important "position" in my life.
So, that straw - that finally broke the camel's back....here I lie, crying, weeping, writing, being around friends that love me, being with my love (Missy) and being with my little angel face and my bubby boy - and in my "falling apart" I find my true strength in their free, unconditional love and support. And that....that is all that really matters!!!! PERIOD!
So yes, straw .......camel's broke back...........but we'll just get up again and keep on standing in the truth and filled with the love and comfort that our community provides to us. The fight will go on....just some days are battle days, and others are recovery days. Today is a day of recovery - lots of wounds, lots of scars...but I will rise again, out of the ashes, I will rise again.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
This was ONE YEAR AGO exactly.
The Tree Stood
Strong and Firm
Rooted in Life's lessons and provisions
The Seasons changed
The Storms blew through
but the Tree did not waver
As the leaves fell
the Tree appeared barren and empty
as all outer signs of beauty faded away
Rooted deeply, Her strength held firm
Her faith, solid
For as the Tree shed her outer garments
She knew that the cleansing, healing process of transformation
would once again produce the most beautiful fruit
Fruit to be taken and shared, to feed others and to bring strength & provision to them
And so She stood
In perfect peace
Allowing the cycle to strip her of all that was not producing life
Knowing that as She let it all go- the true beauty of all of life's wonder was waiting
to once again revel itself.
Monday, January 17, 2011
(This is the full, entire serenity prayer - most have only heard the first few lines. I surrender to you Jesus and ask for your arms of grace to hold my children close and for you to continue to give me wisdom in all that lies ahead over the next few weeks.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Reaching, Longing, Waiting
Available, Encouraged, Baiting
for how this country is falling apart
The vengeance and justice
People seeking it, oh the lust is
this masked stranger we've invited into our bed
Seducing us, and with each stroke of violence, we're becoming the undead
"she" said re-lock - reload
and now body bags fill the road
How will we find an end to this backwards mentality
That if you don't think like me, you are my enemy
Monday, January 10, 2011
I'm already a member! https://www.goldstar.com/join?p=F115393RB"
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Are you talking like living "commune style" and although there are many things about the old fashioned version of commune style living that I think Missy and I would both totally dig....for us, living in community means intentionally building & maintaining relationships and openly sharing your lives with others around you - in your "chosen" community. This could include family members and/or close friends. It means being real - just being - and being together with others to connect, engage, be present, laugh, love, give and receive. It means being with one another & dealing with real life stuff, as it comes up - supporting each other, showing love and kindness to one another, contributing and bringing whatever gifts/talents each has to bless the others.
We know people that truly live in community - aka Gaga's commune (my mom's house - another story for another post) we also have our friends in Iowa from "the blue house."
Living in community is very much to me like the new testament church from the bible. They got together, broke bread, shared stories, blessed one another, they all had a part - contributed, they grew, encouraged each other in their faith, etc.
What Missy and I have realized is that when we leave times of "being in community" with others - we usually feel any or all of the following: inspired, blessed, hopeful, encouraged, full and at peace.
Thank you to all of you (You know who you are) who are part of our intentional community. We love you.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
When will the deceit end? When will the manipulation stop? When will she begin to do what's best for the children? When will justice prevail? When will the righteous be rewarded? When will truth be revealed?
I am trusting in you. There is a lesson here for me - a stretching of my faith...but I really need you to show up and show off on my behalf later this month when we go to court. Please...isn't it time? Please...I don't know how much more I can take...
So....again, I reach the end of myself....and again, I am on my knees. I know this is the plan...if things weren't hard, I wouldn't need you...but please God....I am ready for a little break here....a sabbatical....just a little time to breathe....new mercies every morning - may I ask for double tomorrow?
Oh and God, can you please heal my little children who came back from MN with bronchitis and who said and I quote "I missed you mommy and I'm so glad to be HOME" (little T) and C said "Missy, I cried for you. I missed you."
They know we are their family....they know this is their home. They also have mama's house - a very different experience for them though...and they know and feel it. They need a healing touch from you God - please bring them peace and let them rest all through the night.
Thank you for Missy who cares so sweetly for them and for GaGa who pours the love out freely. I am grateful and no matter what, I will maintain my peace...I will NOT let her take that away from me anymore. I will remain - present and feeling this, even though painful...I will not let her deplete my spirit. I will rise up in the strength of all the love that surrounds us - Missy, my children, our families, our friends, our fellow warriors along this journey - I will rise up and allow them all to help carry me.
We will make it through this day. One day at a time...one hour at a time...one minute at a time....but we WILL make it through!