I was deeply saddened to hear of Robin Williams death. It is reported that he was deeply depressed and may have taken his own life. It’s hard for people to wrap their minds around the fact that a person who was so hilarious and brought so much laughter to others could not bear to live…I’ve known people like this, I’ve been this person. He was adored by millions and will be missed by just as many. I pray for the comfort of his friends and family.
People often think that suicidal people are going to look like some raving maniac, and sometimes they do but not usually.
There is the same misconception about drowning people-that they will be thrashing and screaming and crying for help-there will be no thrashing, no screaming just a paralyzingly fear that you’re not going to survive as you go under repeatedly, which is often mistaken as someone just playing- when you do break the surface there is no cry for help there is only the inhaling of the desperately needed breath.
The same is true with depression and other mental illnesses, it is a quiet slipping under the water, the paralyzingly fear that you won’t survive, and the inability to cry for help or to save yourself.
Drowning people do not save themselves. It is an ignorant and inexperienced viewpoint to believe that depression or any mental illness is a feeling, a strictly spiritual problem, or someone who feels sorry for themselves rather than a debilitating mental illness that will fight you for your very life.
100% of people will fall into one or more of these categories in their lifetime
1) They will experience a mental health problem.
2) They will be in a relationship with someone who is experiencing a mental health problem.
I’m an overachiever so I did both.
Most people easily accept that the heart, the kidneys, the appendix, the lungs regularly malfunction but act like it is some alien and unlikely event for the brain and chemical control centers of the body to malfunction-that is an ignorant and potentially devastating position to take.
We have a responsibility as human beings to guard life, to be life guards. Drowning people do not save themselves…tragically some will be too far from shore to be saved, or will have gone under without anyone noticing, with seemingly no warning.
Please don’t stand on the shore and scream swim as they go under-for goodness sake if they could don’t you know they would drowning people don’t save themselves because they can’t save themselves..
They don’t want to drown they just don’t know how to swim or have become too exhausted to keep their ahead above water, it’s not that they want to stop treading water it’s that they are physically and mentally incapable of continuing to do so.
As a child I was present at a drowning at a party hosted by my family where the hired lifeguards never showed up. As a teen I became a certified lifeguard.
As an adult I suffered a nightmarish 19 months when postpartum depression turned to clinical depression and bordered on psychosis.
Life has taught me drowning people do not save themselves.
When I meet someone adult or child who says they can’t swim I immediately say we have to remedy that right away- it’s too dangerous to not know how to swim, you can’t save yourself, a loved one, or a stranger.
It’s the same with mental illness, we must educate ourselves to be able to recognize when someone’s drowning, go in after them, bring them to shore, and get them the help they need that’s beyond what we can offer.
Tragically there will still be those who don’t make it. Like a body losing it’s battle to a cancer thats faster than the cure. Like Robin Williams whom the world perceived had everything he needed to keep swimming but could not.
But still we fight and still we must jump in to save others because… drowning people do not save themselves.
Thanks be to God himself who swam in to get me as I went under , thanks to my husband who nursed me in my brokenness, and thanks to the drowning experience itself for curing me of my ignorance and helping me to recognize drowning people don’t save themselves, we must go in after them-this is the good that comes out of the bad.
***No one in my family recognized I was drowning, they thought it would look different, they thought I would have the air to scream for help. If you have guilt because you failed to recognize that someone was drowning, I beg you to forgive yourself…I know they would forgive you, they know that you didn’t recognize they were drowning. They know you would have swam out to them, they forgive you, please forgive yourself.
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming with me my fellow lifeguards,
So what had happened was… I parked at the Memphis Walmart entrance and the doors were locked for the night on the side I parked on so I walked to the other door…a sure enough disco inferno storm blew in knocking out the power-when the emergency lights came on I was face to face with a night stocker and I was white knuckle clutching a display of windshield wiper fluid, because we all know how useful that is at a time like this!
Up until that point I had been browsing in the back of the store lugging around a hamper full of items, enjoying my time alone. Despite the fact that there were only about three people in the store with me I suddenly had a vision that I was in N.O. being trampled by looters who were running out of the store with produce-don’t ask me why it wasn’t flat screens-my panic attack involved pineapples specifically…because panic attacks are all logical and stuff I assumed that by the time I reached the generator powered self check out there would be broken glass and the smell of piña colada.
I suddenly regretted my aloneness, and started dating the first man I saw-I was sure I was not commiting adultery because back in the automotive section while the lights were off I thought a lot about my life and I became a polygamist and in my cool, calm collected state I was pretty sure there were probably no survivors outside of the few of us inside of Wal-mart-so I was also a widow. My betrothed took my hamper and placed it in his buggy without me asking proving that even in such dire circumstances I know how to pick em’ . He looked fit and able to fight off a pineapple mauling and he had deodorant in his buggy-what more could you ask for-maybe it was Memphis, maybe it was southern summer nights, maybe it was you maybe it was me but it sure felt right! Unfortunately , I have trust issues so we broke up right as we got to the checkout, I took the hamper told him it was me not him and headed to the self ck out.
I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of broken glass and pineapple juice, I guess all the people around me in pajamas didn’t like Piña Colada’s or getting caught in the rain, that they weren’t into health food and did I mention I had on yoga pants???
I managed to make it through the ck out and reach the foyer-lucky for me by this time the looters had taken all their hostages and gone. Unfortunately, my ex had gotten the buggy in the divorce and the only buggy left in the foyer didn’t have the blue plastic thing covering the handle and was now nothing more than a lightning rod. I tried explaining to my fellow refugees that my car was all the way across the parking lot, hoping they would offer me a ride…I told myself they couldn’t hear me over the crashes of thunder and pops of lightning because they kept sending their husbands to pull the car up to the door for them and getting in without a glance back-but I knew in my heart they didn’t offer me a ride because they were prejudice against polygamist. I had endured much since my conversion and I wasn’t turning back now. I attempted to flag down the security guard but the force was strong in this one he looked at me with longing eyes, cheeseburger in hand, lights flashing, he knew what he had to do, my charms were no match to his sense of duty so he continued circling the parking lot, stopping for no one. I waited, I prayed, I tried bribing the greeter in the scooter, a manager and a cashier to unlock the doors nearer my car, but by their response I gathered that it is an actual threat to national security to do so and just asking gets you on the terrorist watch list and the no fly list-so NSA if your reading this I’d just become a polygamist, went through a breakup, was possibly widowed, was trying to survive a pineapple looting and was just anxious to get home with my super slim hamper that would fit between my shower and toilet, my as seen on TV round, hanging shoe rack and weight watcher scale because we all know that my ex that took my buggy probably left me because my BMI wasn’t good enough for him.
I am happy to report that the parking lot was mostly deserted except for the flicker of the security guards lights as I ran carrying my hamper repeatedly screaming ”Jesus save me from a bacon like death”.
In more happy news my husband was alive and forgave me for my moment of weakness in Wal-mart, my hamper fits in the narrow space and my shoes are in their shoe go round!!!
Share this post with the world in celebration that all the pineapples are safe!
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming and Panic Attacking with me,
BrandieRead Me +
I’ve been trying to watch what I eat a little more closely in anticipation of a time when the winter that just won’t QUIT finally gives its two weeks notice! LONGEST WINTER EVER-SOUTHERN PEOPLE ARE HANGING BY AN ICY THREAD!
Anywhoo, how everybody above the Mason Dixon line doesn’t weigh 400 pounds is a mystery to me because I want to eat hot, creamy, cheesy, comfort food next to the fireplace while covered in a blanket 24-7.
I live by The Gulf of Mexico and am 37 and have never had a snow day in my life- my kids just finished three of them. My friend suggested snow days should be referred to as grow days because us Southerners just hunker down and eat!
So out of pure desperation to eat something sinfully soothing and hot yet not too fattening I came up with this scrumpdeliumptious
Queso Potato Soup!
8 potatoes unpeeled
6 fresh garlic cloves
6 slices of American cheese or melty cheese
3 slices of pepper jack (optional)
Salt, pepper to taste
Can of Rotel
Smoked turkey slices or ham chopped up (optional)
1 yellow onion chopped
Sautée Onion in 1 tablespoon of butter
Cut potatoes into large cubes
Fine chop or press garlic cloves
Throw all ingredients except cheese into the boiler with about 2-3 inches of water covering potatoes-bring to a boil and cook down until it thickens some-turn on low add cheese- allow it to melt and eat your heart out! FYI- I used a couple slices of smoked turkey but don’t really think it made a difference in taste- I don’t think the pepper jack made a big taste difference either.
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming with me,
I spent all day yesterday eagerly awaiting the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. I had been out running errands in my car when I began to hear how some snowflake didn’t open up properly at the ceremonies-you would have thought by the level of criticisms being hurled a part of the stadium had collapsed and crushed half of the words elite athletes rather than a snowflake malfunction.
Finally the moment arrived-I plopped down on my bean bag next to the fire, turned on the Olympics and sat mesmerized with my family as we watched the opening ceremonies. They were STUNNING!!! I can only imagine the pride the Russian people and their government felt as they offered their best for the world to see. The culmination of years of work and decades of dreaming of shrugging off the Cold War Communist Cloak and strutting their priceless new image.
Now I’ve not been to Russia, I’m not a diplomat, a NY Times reporter, an Olympic athlete, a foreign correspondent, or a trust fund baby who jets over to be an Olympic spectator…HOWEVER LET ME TELL YOU WHAT ELSE I’M NOT
-I’m not so darn rude as to when someone spends 50 gazillion dollars and invites me for a visit and sets out the best they have to tweet pictures of their dirty laundry instead of the gourmet meal they fed me and the place they set for me at their table.
-I’m not such a darn 1st world twinkle toed princess that I freak out upon seeing stray animals and alert the media like I just saw a terrorist with a bomb.
-I’m not so darn insecure and envious as to not have the graciousness to celebrate in another’s accomplishments rather than pick them apart.
-I’m not so darn ignorant as to have relied on TV for my education on world matters or any matter- for that matter!
I AM HOWEVER
-A lifelong athlete who dreamed of being in the Olympics and of my children being in the Olympics who loves watching the magical moments when a head bows and a medal is slipped over it and a dream becomes a reality.
-An American who would hope for every country in the world and its people to know the freedom and blessings we have as Americans.
- A person who has seen a world outside of my own and realizes its made up of people who hope, dream, cry, celebrate and I am not better than them.
- And last but certainly not least I am someone who with great anticipation throws a celebration and hopes that the people I’ve invited will know that I think of them as my honored guests, that they will enjoy and appreciate what I have prepared for them and sacrificed of my time and resources for them and yes be impressed. I can only hope that generous gesture will fall on people with the character to FB Post a thank you of the good at my party and not my laundry room!
It’s the Olympics people, the whole world is watching- don’t be a loser!
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming with me of a world that passes out medals for character…ok I admit it and of being able to medal at age 40 in the uneven bars in the Olympics-obviously my blog is appropriately named,
I have several posts I have written and not published because they were not quite done. I am taking the time I have while cooped up in my posh hotel suite complete with lumpy pillows, enough secondhand smoke from the room next door to need a chest x-ray upon leaving, men that crank their diesels at 5am sharply and a shower head that would take thirty minutes to fully wet yourself with- that is if you were 3ft tall or could maintain a deep knee bend for that long. This is where my husbands work has them staying so this is where I’m spending thanksgiving- don’t I just ooze gratitude. I drove 5 hrs in the freezing rain in a car that was overheating, with a split tire tread I didn’t know about to get here so my offspring and I could visit their Daddy whose been working out of town for 5 months-did I mention we’re all sick! I had a good attitude for about 4.5 months about things in general- ok I’m a realist so “good” might be a slight overstatement but I was taking one for the team- unfortunately I completely ran out of team spirit right before thanksgiving which makes me look extra self absorbed because I have the audacity to be ungrateful during the peak of gratitude season I understand it could be worse, I could be living under a bridge but then again what if it was the Destin Bridge, that would not be worse that would be immensely better-ugh I could keep writing but I don’t think my attitude will improve so without further delay-I am “thankful” to be publishing a blog post and you can be “thankful” I stopped whining like a spoiled brat and read my unbelievable but true post- I am grateful your reading it, if you leave me a comment about how I should look for the good in the situation I’m going to knock myself out with one of these hideous lamps! I would probably feel better if I took a shower… trim.qjcLiM
Or a soak in the tub…
Nah, I think I will just kickback, relax and drift off to the sounds of rap blasting through blown sub-whoffers and 18 wheelers downshifting, I’m not completely ungrateful-I’m thankful for dead bolts and door chains…
So… If you have ever read my about me you will get the drift that I well- tend to drift-at least job wise-oh let’s face it my mind drifts, I’ve got body parts drifting, I am as the ole country saying goes “like a duck that wakes up in a new pond every morning”. It was nothing for my poor man in our first ten years of marriage to awake to me shaking him, exuberantly declaring in an entrepreneurial, adrenaline fueled state of euphoria “I’m going to be a photographer” or “I’m going to become a florist” or “I’m going to be a Coast Guard rescue swimmer” (true story) Anywhoo, where was I going with this??? Oh yes, I was going to share with you one of my more “colorful” job experiences. Although they are many, this one definitely takes the cake.
This job came at a desperate time in my life. I was single, young and fresh out of school. I needed a job and a place to stay quickly-as in if I didn’t find one I would be doomed to return to the nest and since the last time I had been there I barely kept all my feathers that was not an option. So I did what any girl did before internet, I looked in the paper. Lo and behold, the ad read “Needed, Innkeeper for bed and breakfast room and board included” So I got in my Ford Bronco II and cruised on over to the B&B-which shall remain nameless because I still live near it and I’m not sure the old bat I worked for is dead and she had a real habit of successfully suing people and chopping off body parts-ugh yeah more on that later. I drove up to a beautiful house with towering oaks, tall windows, a sweeping front porch and wide, welcoming stairs. I knocked, once, twice, three times…I really needed this job, I checked the door it was unlocked, I slowly opened it and shouted hello…hello-no answer…did I mention I needed this job? I walked in and shouted hello one more time, then I heard the quick steps headed my direction.
To say I wish I had a picture to insert right here is an understatement because I am not sure Nicholas Sparks himself could paint the picture vividly enough with words, but let me try to describe to you the sight that greeted me. She burst out from the dining room into the foyer in a manner liken to when someone trips over a threshold, she came to a stop with a wave of her hand and a in a voice that was some combination of chain smoker, and old Hollywood starlet she said “hello darling”. Her silk cheetah moo-moo glistened as the sun from the windows hit it, her sandals sparkled like the Vegas strip, she was smoking a cigarette with a long filter on it like an evil cartoon siren, her hair was teased in three distinct balls one on top, one on each side it was if Bozo himself was her hairdresser, her fire engine red lip liner extended the fullness of her natural lips but at least a quarter mile which was not helping the Bozo the clown association in my mind, her skin was creased from years of hard living, and hard liquor and it hung on her small frame. Her attempts to “paint the ole barn” well they were much too little much too late.
I thought about leaving, heck I thought about screaming, but the gypsy part of me thought oh my gosh welcome to the freak show I just have to see what’s behind door number three!!! I stated that I was there to apply for the position she invited me to the kitchen. We sat down and chatted a while, I could tell she wanted me to work there, there was just one little problem, she had already hired someone else and they were going to move there in three days. I was just about to thank her for her time when she said, I’m going to tell the other girl she’s fired when can you start? She then said get in the car I need to run an errand we can work out the details on the way and so we did. On the way to the car I complimented her on her shoes, that’s when she proudly proclaimed “look, look at my foot look how wonderful it is”-ummm, ugh, ok so I looked closer, I didn’t really know what to say…thankfully she piped in with this phrase which haunts me to this day “I didn’t like my pinky toe so I had the Dr. cut it off, didn’t he do a great job”! I can’t even write it without laughing and it is the gospel truth! I declared the Dr. a miracle worker- after all it was by far the finest foot with four toes I had ever had the horror of beholding!
Thus I began my career at the B&B. It had best I can remember five guest rooms in the main house, a pool and a guesthouse. My room which was a remodeled attic which had no door was directly up a flight of stairs off the kitchen. Of all the wild things that went on at that place when I look back the thing that still scares me the most was sleeping in that room with no door in a house full of strangers and people with whacked off body parts. I went eight weeks straight without a day off. Why you ask? Because although I may easily become bored I am a very hard worker whilst the job has my attention-well that and turns out ole four toe was a stone cold alcoholic and used that to wash down her lithium and I found her optimal waking hour was around 1:30 p.m. I personally am a late sleeper myself and a devoutly nocturnal creature but there was this little problem-yeah where we lived it was called a Bed and BREAKFAST and while ole four toe had the bed down to a science the breakfast -well not so much. I found it just a wee bit too awkward to have to live in a house with guests who had paid for breakfast to not get breakfast- thus I got up every morning made breakfast, then spent the rest of the day running the entire B&B from cleaning all the rooms, laundry, pool chemicals, shopping and booking rooms. This worked out splendid for ole four toe, I am sure in her lucid moments she thought she had never made a better hire, I on the other hand began to ask myself the simple question what fresh hell was this.
Now it was not all bad, some days we had no guest and ole four toe would go to one of the casino buffets and offer to bring me back some food. Later when she returned I would have the best food money didn’t buy-as in it was stolen off the buffet and stuffed into Ziploc baggies in her purse. I was not the only permanent boarder there, there was a professional gambler whom I actually liked very much an older man with a gentle way about him, a professional hockey player from Canada, born with a silver spoon in his mouth somehow hiding there in an attempt to give as little as possible of that silver to his wife whom he was divorcing. There was also the occasional visit from ole four toes daughter, hopefully as I write this she is still in prison for having come to the B&B long after I was gone and try to smother her mother to death with a pillow-yep, I slept there without a door.
I can’t actually remember how long I worked there it was not more than a few months but I do vividly remember why I stopped working there, or rather should I say the reason out of four hundred reasons I decided to longer work there. A poor, unsuspecting bride came out and in a twist of fate much like purchasing a ticket for the Titanic decided it was the perfect place for her reception and booked the whole place. We all worked very hard and by we I mean me and the gambler. I prepared most of the food for the 100 plus guests and made sure the grounds were immaculate. Ole four toe really got into the spirit and decided to paint all the wedding chairs with a fresh coat of paint which ended up looking awesome on all the guests clothes, and bringing out a wishing jar into which you placed a rock and a wish for the bride and groom (they would later use this to try and stone her). The day finally arrived and me and the gambler were pretty proud of ourselves. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, the bride and groom, their 10 yr old daughter and her friend. Everything was chugging along just fine with the exception of four toe, her daughter and son in law who were doing some chugging of their own. Everything was going splendidly right up until the son in law cussed out the bride, groom and their ten year old daughter. Meanwhile I was inside slaving away, the gambler had long drifted off to sleep a luxury I didn’t have with a room without a door, and Ole four toe was inside taking a break and by break I mean taking no telling what. I was cleaning up the kitchen when the bride and groom burst in, four toe’s drunk son and daughter in law trailing behind and what happened next… well I would give my pinky toe to have a video of it because I would have a viral sensation on my hands. The bride and groom begin to tell ole four toe what happened, the daughter and son in law attempt to defend themselves, guest began to circle us in the massive kitchen. My heart is pounding, I am praying for the rapture to occur, I’m hoping to wake up from this dream in my doorless room, I’m gulping like Shaggy off of Scooby Do. Then in what can only be described as some cat like reflex, all nine of those toes left the floor, ole four toes flight seemed to last for an eternity, her cheetah moo-moo flowed behind her like some warped super hero cape, when she finally landed she commenced to giving her daughter and son in law a beating they would not soon forget while screaming how could you treat my guests like this. Meanwhile back at the sink, eyes wide in disbelief I did what anyone one would do who had witnessed all I had up until that point. I began to laugh, I don’t mean a small nervous laugh I mean a OMG this is not my life, OMG an old lady with nine toes is beating the mess out of two grown people, OMG this poor peoples wedding is ruined and we worked like dogs on it. I doubled over, I lost my breath, I ran out of the kitchen into the hallway where I spied a fresh pile of laundry on top of the dryer, I buried my face in it and I laughed until I cried. I was probably having some sort of nervous breakdown. I decided to wake up the gambler who exclaimed “well everything was fine when I went to sleep” I explained a lot had happened since then. As I exited the kitchen I spyed of all people the groom dragging four toes off her daughter. The next hour is a blur. I remember standing at the door as all the guest left saying “goodnight, I’m really sorry about this and I am NOT RELATED TO ANYONE HERE!
I later went on to work at a wonderful, well run bed and breakfast in a different city, so that redeemed my ability to ever consider staying at a bed and breakfast. I thank God for sites like Trip Advisor, where you can get the real deal scoop on places- and trust me you want the scoop! In the case of my current hotel- it is what it is- its free unless you count the cost of the x- rays and antibiotics were going to need from the Marlboro factory. Have you worked at a place that made you reconsider whether aliens really were real, or did in fact your boss escape from a government mind control experiment, or are you in a fever induced dream and bound to wake up any minute etc??? I would love to hear about it- it would make me feel better about not having the sense to split right when the four toes got flashed
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming with me ( and listening to me whine)
BrandieRead Me +
I recently completed the interior design of a home in a neighborhood called Traditions. It is a lovely neighborhood with its own YMCA, a little cafe and grocery. The owner like so many of us had many wonderful things they had collected and been handed down over the years but was at a loss of where to begin. I was able to help her sort out her style, pick a color palette, and move confidently in the direction of her design goals. She decided to do the foyer and dining area first. I labeled her style as vintage eclectic. She had a real love of red and aqua, time worn elements, pottery, great taste in art and all things Mississippi- whenever spelling the name of my state I still say in my head “M- I – crooked letter crooked letter- I- crooked letter crooked letter-I-humpback humpback- I” it’s a way you learn to spell it as a kid that I still enjoy to this day . Anywhoo, I was very pleased with how everything came together- the rooms went from empty with the exception a dining room table- to vintage eclectic loveliness if I do say so myself- and yeah I’m going to say so! Haha As a designer like any artist you pour your heart and soul into your creations and walk away only when you have nothing left to pour. I often feel sad when what may have been months of work comes to an end and I know I am walking out of the space to never return. It’s almost like a not too bad break up- you can’t be together but it’s not so bad you can’t love again- so you do what most people do and comfort yourself by finding another space to fall in love with weird analogy- probably so I’m known for some whack job analogies.
Let’s face it most artist worth their salt are whack jobs themselves- and I mean that in the nicest way possible because I am one. Many people just think of artists as people who draw or paint- oh contraire my dear… Hairdressers, nail techs, designers, florists, cake decorators, some brick masons and tile layers etc- all ARTISTS!!! Think about it how many hairdressers do you know with remotely normal hair- if I picked my hairdressers based on what their hair looked like it would be slim pickings- my last hair dresser was a master of color and she idolized Cyndi Lauper, Madonna and Lady Gaga and made them look tame-( It takes one to know one-(and that painting that hung in her salon with her in knee high converse naked with an octopus was a pretty good clue too) I wouldn’t have it any other way- you want a good color and cut you better have an artist doing your hair. And of course at the heart of your designer/event planner/furniture painter you must have an artist to truly make your space its own work of art.
Anywhoo, without further delay I present to you the foyer and dining room- I wish you could see the original rather than a print but typically bringing my blog followers and several hundred FB Fans to the actual home is frowned upon by the owners- the type -A non artsy types- whom artist love and appreciate because they make the money that feeds us .
Here’s the beforehand of the dining room…
Well, I can still lay out in a bathing suit here in fabulous South Mississippi and have my A/C running 24-7 but nonetheless it’s fall y’all!
Every year we have a big family thanksgiving dinner with my husbands family and it’s my job to bring the paper products, banana pudding, spiral ham, and pewter turkey platter-when I remember it It’s one of my favorite parts of fall!
Another great part of fall is that Twenty Five of my fellow bloggers are letting you inside their home to tour their Fall decor and it is one fabulous tour! I was impressed and hope to be included in a tour one day. So click on this link and right from your seat go on a fabulous fall tour!!! Oh and there is a fabulous giveaway from Somerset Bay please let the bloggers know I I invited you to their house when commenting
I’m Dreaming and Scheming of turning off the A/C,
Today as I came out of the dressing room from trying on clothes I heard someone call my name. They had a distinct voice that I knew instantly from childhood. It was the now grown version of a little girl who was a family friend and whom I had sometimes babysat while her single parent mom worked.
I knew her face at once, her beautiful skin like coffee with a heavy dose of creamer, the most perfect set of full lips, and twinkly almond eyes. What I also saw was layer upon layer of pain and destruction. This did not come as a surprise to me as I knew some of her story and now standing in front of me the parts I had missed lay open before me like an abused book-pages bent, missing, torn, jacket and hard cover long gone and spine struggling to hold together what pages remained.
The book that was her life started like every other, carefully and wonderfully bound together by God in her mothers womb. Pages brimming with potential for everyday that was to come.
13 For You made the parts inside me. You put me together inside my mother. 14 I will give thanks to You, for the greatness of the way I was made brings fear. Your works are great and my soul knows it very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret and put together with care in the deep part of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all the days of my life were written in Your book before any of them came to be. Psalms 139
But like books lives are not created to sit on shelves, but rather for their story to be told. In a world that was not fallen and laboring under the curse that is sin every book would be a delightful page turner- full of light, love and all things beautiful. There would be no tragedies, no murder mysteries, no horror stories. Everyone that handled the books would handle them with great care and respect in awe knowing there was only one book in the whole world like the one they had the privilege of holding in their hands. The librarians entrusted with their care would take that responsibility seriously and see to it that the books and those allowed to read them would be treated with respect and that any book that was damaged would be sent to the author to be repaired and those who damaged it be fined or banned from the library if necessary.
That’s not to say the book was expected to appear as if it had never been read. In fact the author had just the opposite desire for both the book and those who encountered it. Everyone knows the wear signs of a well loved book- it’s pages have been written in, favorite parts highlighted and read over and over, dedicated by the author as a gift to others, the cover shows signs of having been carried on journeys, the pages no longer crisp and unopened now swell more open allowing you to turn the pages with less resistance.
But as I was saying, we live in a fallen world an imperfect library, with imperfect books, imperfect librarians, and imperfect readers. Today
the book standing before me that had once been intact with every chance in the world ( even a fallen world) of being a best seller could now barely be navigated. Chapter 1 her childhood had abruptly ended and her chapter on innocence had been completely ripped out when her mother the librarian in charge of her allowed her stepdad to systematically molest her. The chapter concerning faith and God’s love for her were all blurry and smeared because her mother and stepdad who had helped to write some of these pages had spilled the bile of their selfishness on them and tried to wipe it off with their own filthy rags. When she tried to refer to these pages all she felt was pain and confusion.
Others came along and ripped out parts and rewrote them to fit their own desires. This left an ugly mar in her book and when others would see it they would either shun the book and give it a bad review, pretend it wasn’t there, or see the book as invaluable and abuse it and show disregard for it as if there was another one like it then discard the little book and move along to the next book. Others who meant well tried to dust the book off or tape it up, but they did not understand what other readers had done and how the librarian had turned her head, even waited for the stepdad to get out of prison and welcoming him back with open arms into the library, despite what he had done to the book and what he might do to other books.
How the little book wished her story would stop taking such horrid twists and turns, how she had longed to know what had been written on the rest of the pages of her childhood before they were stolen from her, she wondered what her original story carefully laid out by her author had looked like before others had made so many revisions. How she longed to be treated and handled with care like she saw happening to other books. She felt inferior to the other books she saw in the library, sometimes they aided this by their treatment of her, they would move over when she was re-shelved by them, snicker with the other books while she sat alone on the shelf. Mostly the only books left around her where ones in similar condition to her, there was some sort of comfort there, they were all damaged, they had an unspoken understanding of how they came to be that way.
No one saw her value anymore. The abuse and disregard continued despite the fact she was a one of a kind book. The book became more and more damaged now only consistently checked out by those who were looking for something to abuse. They wrote vulgar words on her pages, empty promises, deceitful lies, manipulative twists, and used her however they saw fit.
She had tried fixing her cover herself, writing some chapters that she thought would make her more appealing but her damage was so extensive and her story so baffling to even her they usually ended up making no sense and leading to more heartache and a sense of hopelessness.
The saddest part of the story may be that the little book now saw herself as no more valuable than those that handled her with such disregard- thus she began to treat herself with the same contempt. Instead of people taking her pages she began to just give them away. The memory of what her author had originally written seemingly would never be known.
So there I stood in the store, hard bound, pages worn from being loved on, repairs so seamlessly made you would barely know there had been any prior damage, looking at the little cover less book, spine exposed, gaps of pages gone… why had she called out to me from her hellish little shelf in the library? What did she stand to gain? Had the pages in her book of our childhood memories together somehow survived? I don’t know why she called out to me but I’m thankful that she did. Why? Because I love books, and I know the author of hers, He also wrote mine and yours too for that matter. I know Him well enough to know that with every page ripped out of her story he wept for the little book. He knows everything that goes on in the library of life and by His just nature and according to His author agreement concerning the book He will make all things right in the light of eternity. Everything that happened to the little book, and everyone who was responsible for its care- every librarian, every reader, even the little book herself will have to give account to the author for what they did with the little book.
On that day when He reaches the page where I ran into the little book in the store, I hope it will read something like this…
The well loved, hard bound book rejoiced at seeing the little book after such a long time. She embraced her tattered pages and listened as the little book told how she came to be in such bad shape. The Hard Bound book also read the pages that lay open that the little book did not want to talk about. She was not repulsed in anyway by the little book but she couldn’t help but see her not as she was but as she could be, as one day she believed she would be, as she had known her in the brief moment that was their childhood. After she listened to the little book, she reached out in compassion and gently caressed her pages, the hardbound book seemed more like a paperback as her eyes filled with tears as she told the little book how sorry she was for the injustice and abuse she had known. She then reminded the little book that her story had been written in her authors heart and despite the fact that she had been all but destroyed in the library, her story still existed in His heart and that He could re-write it
if she would allow Him to. The hard bound book encouraged the little book to no longer give away her pages, to hide herself from those that would use and abuse her-she reminded her she was still valuable as she was one of a kind. Finally the hard bound book gave the little book one more hug and her phone number and told her she would help her in anyway possible and promised to contact the author constantly concerning the little book and her condition. The hard bound book knows in her heart of hearts the author will make sure to repair the little book, to re-write her story and make all things right in the light of eternity. I know for a fact he did not write her story to be a tragedy…
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I know that He can repair her…
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
Are you missing some pages? Did others attempt to re-write your story? Did you give away pages you wished you hadn’t? Do you wish your book could be made whole again? Did your librarian fail to protect you? Have you contacted your author about the damage- He is the only one that can make the necessary repairs. It is my prayer that you will be made whole, that when your book comes to a close and they all do, that despite the library, the librarians, and the readers that your story will be everything the author intended it to be.
Finally, Little Book if your reading this, when I looked at you today with the eyes of my heart, my spirit, I didn’t see a stripper, a prostitute, an addict, an unfit mother, I saw page after page of potential- may God the author of your life reach down and rewrite your story.
2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
If this post has made you feel like an open wounded book and you need someone to talk to I encourage you to cry out to God, those who you can trust and to speak with a professional who can help you gain perspective on where to go from here. If you don’t know of any resources I recommend Focus on the Family
Today I am Dreaming and Scheming of your book being made whole,
Today was my second day back in the gym I got busy and missed 827 days straight-but it’s all good I’m back and I brought my cellulite with me. Yesterday I worked out with two friends one of whom was 24 weeks pregnant. Right now make yourself a mental note to never, ever work out with a pregnant woman who is in shape and can bench press the combined weight of the six kids she already birthed-especially when you look like your about to drop a set of triplets and you’re not even pregnant. There is no wiggle room, no excuse that seems legit enough when the pregnant woman says ”will 100 pounds be O.K. on this machine” after she just whipped out about twenty reps at twice that weight while talking about feeding her children organic farm raised livestock meanwhile, you’re just trying not to throw up the sausage egg biscuit you ate at Waffle House-don’t judge me or Waffle House! The point I’m trying to make is this-I am now crippled. Despite this I am committed to strip the mushy, dimply layers of poofiness away to reveal the beast of an athlete underneath or at least look half as good as the avatar of me created by Natalie at Savoir Faire Media which you can see here. Clearly, my Avatar has been faithfully attending the gym.
Anywhoo, like I was saying I can barely walk so I went where all the other people who can barely walk who attend the gym go to-water aerobics. Not just any water aerobics, Zumba water aerobics! Now let me explain something to you right up front-I don’t dance-at all-as in it would take an entire semester to teach me the electric slide, as in my sister was a choreographer and kicked me out of her dance class (I forgive you and I’m also really glad I never had to frolic around with those hoops with streamers coming from them). Now, in all honesty I like water aerobics, some see it as the sport of the elderly but I see it as the class I can go to and without a doubt be the fittest, youngest, hottest, looking thing in a skirted bathing suit for miles- so yeah I’ll be back. Plus a little known fact about me is elderly people are my absolute favorite people group and I actually served two years as a nursing home chaplain.
Today however, wasn’t just my second day back at the gym, or just Wednesday today was a special day as it marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech. I am a lover of inspired words of truth and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s heart was full of them and they flowed out of his mouth like a life giving stream. What does this have to do with my trip to the gym? Well let me tell you. I arrived early and was one of the first few people in the pool. There was nothing to do but swim around, observe my surroundings and chat with the few senior citizens in the pool who clearly were the best of buds. The one man in the pool at the time seemed especially happy to see me-I was working that one piece! ha-ha A few more trickled in all of them 60-80 years old at best. Then I noticed a very elderly white man, large in stature, we’ll call him Mr. “Bill” slow and painfully making his way down the pool steps, so painfully in fact I wanted to offer help but I dare not insult his manhood. I smiled, he smiled back and I continued to wait for class. Then I caught a glimpse of it. You can always see it if you’re looking. You can see it even when the media tries to drown it out, you can see it even when experience tries to taint it, you can see it even when poverty pimps and racial pot stirrers try to distort the view, you can always catch a glimpse of it if you’re looking, a glimpse of THE DREAM reflected in the shadow of today. I glimpsed it when 80 year old Mrs. “Jewel” who was moving tentatively, painfully, down the stairs, they were her nemesis, at least they were until Mr. ”Bill” hobbled over, lifted her into his arms like a man carrying his bride over a threshold she wrapped her arms around his neck and he carried her to the spot she selected in the pool and set her down ever so gently. Only moments later I glimpsed it again in the hot tub directly across from the pool I noticed a middle age physically handicapped white woman with extreme difficulty in walking and a young black man with perfectly polished pectorals and wash board abs (hey I’m a designer I have a keenly observant eye). As the woman went to exit the hot tub he chivalrously extended his hand and guided her safely out.
“Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today as in many times before I saw a glimpse, a shadow, of what was and is Dr. MLK’S Dream, it doesn’t mean we live in a world free of injustice but it does mean that the work he and many others did long before I was born affords us all a glimpse of THE DREAM today. You can always see it if you’re looking.
Speaking of Dreams- this is my first ever blog post! You will see others preceding this one but that’s because my awesome graphic designer posted them for me to give me a little jump start!
Thanks for Dreaming and Scheming with me,
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We are on our way to our second Haven Blog Conference, held August 1 – 3rd. We can’t wait to learn all about blogging, DIY, SEO, and will post pics and more as soon as I return! Haven Bound Baby!!! See you in Atlanta!Read Me +