Relateable Me

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13 June 14, 2010

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 4:17 am

I’ve completely neglected this blog, but for a good reason. I started another blog about my 60 journey to optimism in response to a pessimistic approach to life that seemed to be getting increasingly worse.  That behind me, I’m ready to tackle this one…at least for a bit until I determine what my next focused blog will be.

I’ve been so busy lately that I  compeltely forgot about the significance of June 13th in my life.  I come from a long line of 13-aholics. My paternal grandparents life together revolved around the number:

*they met on the 13th

*got engaged on the 13th

*married on the 13th

*my dad was born on the 13th

*my uncle was born on the 31st (which makes total sense if you know him)

The number carried into my life too. I remembered that today is the 10 year anniversary of our first miscarriage. Not a happy anniversary, but a moment I hold deep in my heart that I’m certain doesn’t bother me, until it’s mentioned. Today is also the 6 year anniversary of my father-in-law coming to live with us. So, that’s strike two right there. But, God gives beauty for ashes and 5 years ago today my son was born. God took away, but He gave again and I am blessed.

 

My Journey to Optimism April 15, 2010

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 12:02 am

I have been itching for something new to do – I always am. I have this deep-seeded need to be productive. If you have a background in psychotherapy, I invite your analysis. I have been frustrated at time with this blog, because it’s all over the map – there is no theme, but me. I think I can safely say that that particular subject is interesting to very few – my mom doesn’t even read my blog.  I love to write and think I will trim this one eventually and focus only on creative writing.

Also, I’ve found myself at a personal crossroads. I have always been a melancholy person, but I”m honestly becoming quite a cynic and it stinks. My husband has hinted at it a few times, yet I remain unmoved. I’ve been afraid that my writing would stop or be hampered in some respect, because my moodiness spawns my writing. I think though, enough is enough. I need to find another Muse.

So, in an effort to kill two bird with one stone, I started another blog devoted to a 60-day journey to optimism. I’m actually optimistic about it – I think that’s a good start.

 

Cedar Chests of Sentimentality April 8, 2010

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 4:36 am

I have always enjoyed my grandma, she really is a kick. She never backs down from anything and is a walking contradiction,  full of idiosyncrasies and fun. She is obsessed with her weight – this is truly bizarre since she will be 88 this year. She is always trying to get me to weigh myself – something I NEVER do. She likes to know how many pounds difference we are and then gloat that she is much taller. I have pictures of my grandma in a two-piece bathing suit a month after she gave birth to her second son; she is amazing. She will go days without eating very much and then tonight, she polished off a burger built for a truck driver and washed it down with a vanilla shake.

Today she commented on how crazy my hair is. I told her, “Grandma, I get lots of compliments on it.” She replied, without hesitation, “Mandy, they only compliment you because they don’t know what to say.” And then dropped it as though there was no point hearing any other option. I thought is was hilarious. I have been through enough in life to know when to laugh. So my 88-year-old grandma hates my spiky hair – it would be just plain weird if she didn’t!

I used to bring my friends down to my grandmother’s for visits – they all loved it, she lives in the Beverly Hills of San Diego, except this town has class. Today I brought my kids. We spent time this afternoon looking through my grandmother’s cedar chests, bulging with artifacts that no longer mean much of anything to her: original dresses from the 1920’s, my father’s Boy Scout uniforms and her wedding dress ( a grey velvet suit). I have never been able to fit into that damn dress.   Let me also add that she has a chest full of letter to and from her mother; from the day she married until her mother’s death, she wrote her mom every day – every day.  Mary, my daughter had a ball dressing up in everything from frilly frocks to fur hats. My son dressed in his grandpa’s uniforms. My grandmother even kept the top she wore on the night she met my grandfather: February 13, 1943, San Fransisco.

I’m not a sentimental person – at least not in the right ways. I used to be. I once had a shoebox full of things from my first boyfriend: the straw from the first 7/11 Icee he bought me, down to a picture of the wedding dress I was going to wear to our wedding. One day I threw it out, not because I wanted to, but because I married someone else.  I hold on to memories, but not for the right reasons; they plague me and remind me of what might have been and what could be if everything went according to my delusions.

I don’t keep things anymore. I think it’s because I want a fresh start: new memories. My grandma doesn’t want her things anymore. I asked her today what she wishes me to do with everything when she’s gone, “Oh Mandy. It doesn’t matter, whatever you want.” She has no hold on life now that my grandfather died. She hasn’t given up, she just doesn’t hold on. She has 62 years of memoires that mean more to her that cedar chests full of treasures.

 

Facebook vs. Imaginary Friends February 16, 2010

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 5:27 am
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About three months ago I stepped away from Facebook. I did so for a multitude of reasons. Anyway, I decided to take inventory and look back at what I was able to accomplish while not fiddling my time away commenting about every minuscule event of my life and that of others.

1. I learned to crochet

This is something I have never wanted to do. I have tried a number of times and find it extememly boring and frustrating. But a few weeks ago my daughter came home from one of her classes saying that she had learned to crochet and wanted help. So I got on YouTube and learned to crochet. I have made a number of scarves and have tried to make a hat/beanie a number of times without success. Today, in an attempt to make my husband a hat, I ended up with a long twisted chain. Obviously, crocheting is not a gift, but I am still determined to swallow my pride and overcome beanies that look like doilies.

2. I read a biography

When I was a kid I was a voracious reader, mostly because I was a fat dork, but I really loved to read. I loved Library Day in Elementary school when we could go and peruse the musty isles of the school library. I loved auto/biographies. I read about everyone. At some point though in my education, I convinced myself that I hated history. I actually enjoy history, but hate memorizing dates. While this is important to history (and a rather impressive gift that my husband has) rattling of the dates and exact events that lead to the Boston Tea Party are not essential to life – at least my life. Anyway, I randomly picked up a book on Archie Astor and Amelie Rives and delved into the Gilded Age. Interesting and aweful, but interesting enough for me to pick up another biography as I visit the library with my kids this week.

3. I created an imaginary friend

This is obviously the most questionable of my feats. Honestly, my mind is a rather confusing and lonely place and I need someone to bounce my ideas/fears/questions/feelings off of. Before you consider having me committed, most of our conversations are done in written form – more of a journal, but I see it more as a conversation than pen and paper. It’s actually very therapeutic.

 

Two of Us January 23, 2010

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 5:48 am
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This last year has been a complete roller coaster for my husband and me – not to mention our kids. we went from being unemployed to moving to still unemployed to ministry to fulltime work and ministry and now we’re entering a new adventure. My husband and I have been asked to lead a local church’s couples’ ministry. Rod Collins, pastor of Sanctuary in Calimesa, Ca was Mondo’ mentor since he was in high school. He has been a constant fixture in Mondo’s life and a blessing to our family. About three years ago, he stepped away from a local church where he held a weekly study and started something new a little east of here.

Long story short, he asked us to come on board and take over the couples’ ministry. It’s a really exciting and humbling opportunity for us, first because it’s the first time we’ve been able to minister together since we lived in Hungary, before we had kids. And even more so, because we are actually going to minister side-by-side. It is humbling because our marriage is not perfect and we can’t even (and don’t want to)  pretend that it is. We have always believed that one of the greatest ways to minister is to do so from the perspective of journeying with others, not watching them “arrive” to where we are; our failures are just as useful as our victories.

Our wish is to start a bi-weekly study taking couples through the video series Love and Respect. This series has been such a blessing in our marriage and believe it’s a basic, but excellent tool to healing and growing every marriage. To follow our progress, visit our ministry blog Two of Us @ twoofusatsanctuary.wordpress.com

 

The Kingdom of God without Him in it December 16, 2009

Filed under: Life chapters — relateableme @ 5:23 am

I’ve been thinking lately about the paths we take and how they affect our views of the Divine. What is amazing to me is how much our ideas about God change, when ironically enough, He remains completely unchanged. unfortunately it is always far easier to see this journey (or downward spiral) in someone else and rarely in ourselves.

I have a friend who has always been outspoken and very adamant about what she believes.  But, what she believes continues to morph in a way that I find more and more disturbing. It’s not really what she believes (although disturbing) but why she believes these things that saddens me. I know that her beliefs are not as much convictions any longer, but reactions. She is reacting to her disappointments. She is disappointed with God.

When we suffer disappointments and hurts, we become confused and don’t want to attribute them to the loving God we have been taught to trust in, because that seems contrary, but we don’t want to take the blame either, so instead of simply trusting and surrendering our need to understand, we allow our understanding to deteriorate. We are disappointed with God as He is or as we think He is and therefore attempt to recreate Him in our own image. We change Him and alter Him and update Him so much, that after a while He retains none of His former glory and we’re so disgusted with Him, that we un-create Him. He no longer exists, He is extinct.

I don’t want to get there. It’s a battle though, sometimes more than others. I am faced with disappointments and I want to recreate Him, redefine Him and decompose Him so He resembles the things I want, instead of the things I need. I want the path, but not the outcome.  As Bono eludes to, I want the Kingdom of God, without God in it.

The path of disappointment is faulty, but appears as a lush mirage only to slay you with spiritual thirst and death. While I want to react to my disappointments, I also want more, God is all His glory, not mine.

 

Off Facebook

Filed under: Life chapters,Uncategorized — relateableme @ 4:59 am
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I decided, through a series of unfortunate events, that I need a break from Facebook. It’s so sad how we get sucked into things. They are not bad things, just things that we find our identity in. We as humans, go from one thing to the next trying to find our niche. When you step away from something, you begin wondering how you ever survived without it; how did you fill that time before? How did you keep in contact with all those lost members of your life before Facebook? No, how did I do all these things? Well, I’ve been off of FB for 24 hours and it’s amazing to me how many times during the day I wanted to define myself with a “status” report; a sentence, maybe two or simply a few words to project myself to a captive audience. The chance to shout my “barbaric yalp” to the cyber world.

I didn’t though. I don’t have a very addictive personality, so it was fairly easy to stop, I just felt lonely. But  I want to spend more time writing (other than status updates and comments) and stretch my brain in ways I keep saying I want to, but never do. I want to let out all I have inside and place in typed ramblings.