The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Photo Phunny

So Beka continues to provide merriment, delight, and nocturnal emissions.

And she confuses me. A lot.

In the above photo, she is indeed laying in one of her accustomed places, on my bed, right behind my legs. When we have arisen in the morning, I always spread the blanket back up on the bed, thus coming as close as I ever do to "making" my bed.

Always seemed like nonsense to me - in a few hours, you're just going to trash it again, so why go through all the poopy of making it "purty" when we all know it'll go bye-bye soon. Rubbish.

But I digress...

So after having laid by me, but on TOP of the blanket all night, little Miss Furface will sneak back into the bedroom whilst Herself and I are getting up, setting up my coffee I.V., etc. And when she sneaks back into the bedroom, this is what happens:

Yup. That blanket was up over the pillows. Really.

But, for some reason, the little hairball decides that she needs to neatly pull down the blanket, and make herself a little nest right here.

Like I said, she lays on the blanket all night. So why in the name of Fats Waller does she need to move it aside, that she might nap on the sheet below?

This is a mystery that will never be solved. Oh, I know - my peeps will chime in and tell me that it's to get closer to my scent or something. But if Homegirl's nose is so much more powerful than mine, (And, really, since my sense of smell ain't in da house anymore, just about anybody's nose is more powerful than mine...) why does she want to get closer to my scent?

The same scent that makes Herself run to the other end of the house, screaming, truth be told.

Anyway, the mystery will never be solved.

Thanks for smelling your way through another Photo Phunny. Tune in next time to hear BekaV say...

"Wow - you really don't get the whole 'I'm a DOG' thing, do you? I sniff butts, I bathe my nether regions, and I dig up unmentionable things in the backyard. Mystery solved. Now fetch me some doggie bacon strips, or I'll tell the peeps all about the REAL source of 'nocturnal emissions' around here..."

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Horrible Mercy

Recently, a "discussion" erupted in a friend's Facebook post. (And by "discussion," I of course mean, "all-out snarky putting forth of your correct intellectual beliefs, while refuting all others by the sneer under your upraised nose.") I really don't like FB "discussions." Anyway, in listing the standard "everything that's outdated in the Bible, so therefore this should be too" list, this person included, "sacrificing your own children."

Um... no. Many references where God declares that an abomination. 

But Abraham and Isaac...

No. Special case, specific context. 

Anyway, it reminded me of this post... So here comes da throwback.

This is Ezzie, who "left the building" in May of 2012. I still miss you, Baby Girl...
She hates this. Ok - hate might be a little strong.

She barely tolerates this. That's better.

She's pinned down, while having a metal blade scraped over her back and legs. She has no reference to understand what is being done or why. There is no language that can explain to her what this is, why it has to happen, or how it will make things better. Her head is being held down at one end, and any attempt to get up or move is put down quickly. At the other end, the relentless digging and scraping of the blade.

Ezri hates the stripper blade. And shedding season.

Overdramatic? Maybe a little. But accurate from her point of view? Pretty much. She's on her side, I'm by her head trying to comfort her, but really my job is to keep her on her side. So I gently put down any attempt to get up or get away. Vicki is wielding the stripper - the metal blade that pulls away all the loose fur from the undercoat that is matted and all clumped up.

And Ezzie is not into it.

So why put her through all this? If it was just to make her "purty," we'd find another way. But she's one of those breeds that have a double coat - the "hard" coat on the top, and a downy coat underneath for insulation. Our husky, Kira, also had this. When the weather turns warm, they "blow their coat" - the downy layer comes loose, it clumps to the top, and our black dog turns grey. And way ugly.

The efficient way to get rid of it is using a stripper of some sort - to rake through the hard coat, grab the clumps and pull them out. The end result? Enough extra fur to make three or four dogs. And a throw pillow.

So, the point?

I've been listening to the Daily Audio Bible every morning - establishing for the first time in my life a routine of being in God's word every day. And we've been going through 1 & 2 Kings - long, long lists of names and deeds. And yet they've been teaching me a lot.

Near the end of 2 Kings, a phrase came up a number of times that caught me off guard - "they even sacrificed their own children, giving their sons and daughters to the fire." Another note in the list of ways the Kings did evil in God's sight, but it made me think...

What would bring a parent to the point where offering their beloved child as a sacrifice seemed to be a reasonable act? What desperation, what obligation, what influence is sufficient to make a parent take that step?

Now, while I let that thought roll around your noodle for a bit, allow me to execute a very sharp left turn into this...

The Bible talks about the process God uses to remake us into the image of Christ, with one of those pictures being the refiner's fire. Metal being placed in the furnace, the waste and impurities being burned away, the pure metal remaining. Having watched some episodes of "Dirty Jobs" with Mike Rowe, I've seen metal in a furnace being heated to thousands of degrees. I've seen glass being melted and shaped into new forms.

And none of it looked like a lot of fun. Except where Mike holds something hot or gets his face shield melted. That's pretty funny, right there.

What would bring a parent to the point where putting their beloved child into the fire would seem a reasonable act?

God's horrible mercy.

When we're in the fire, when the wrecking ball has shattered everything we hold dear, when we seem to be so lost and alone, when everything we love or even recognize is swept away, all we seem to see is loss and pain. We see the agony of everything that has been torn away.

I know I did. When the wrecking ball swung in 2006, I went insane for a few months. The loss, the pain, the confusion - that was all I could see.

But what I've never once considered is what my Father went through. He threw his son into the fire. He swung the wrecking ball. He held me down on the floor while the stripper blade dug into my body, taking away the clumps, the matted dirt, the things I didn't need anymore.

We sometimes think of God as this impersonal all-knowing being, executing His will because He knows what is needed and He works all things together for good for those who love Him, as it says in Romans 8:28.

What we don't think of, or at least I didn't, is God our FATHER.

A Father who daily makes the choice to throw His children into the flames. Yeah, He knows it's needed - He wouldn't do this if it wasn't. And He knows what will result, the good that comes from this terrible act.

But He's still a daddy. He watches as His kids writhe and cry and scream and hurt and burn. Could any parent just stand back, arms crossed, wrapped in the knowledge that this is for the best so it's just got to go this way, and not hurt for their child? Could you or I just watch and not want to intervene, to take it away, or to take their place?

I turn into a puddle just having to hold Ezri down while we're stripping her coat. I can't even imagine what a parent goes through.

This Father considered it a reasonable act to offer His Son as a sacrifice for all of us. This Father watched His one and only beloved Son cry and suffer and scream and hurt and die that horrible death. He knew that it would result in life, for His beloved One and for the whole world, but His daddy's heart must have ached with the pain.

And this Father has to endure the suffering of His children over and over again, to allow it to happen, to cause it to be.

The horrible mercy.

Father, when the fire burns, allow me to see some of Your tears. When the wrecking ball leaves all wasted, allow me to see some of Your heart. When I am ruined and alone and screaming and confused, allow me to see that I am not alone - my Daddy weeps with me.

Help me to trust, just like Ezri trusts me when I hold her down. It doesn't make it easier, it doesn't make it hurt less, but it does help. I'm not suffering alone, I'm going through what is necessary, and my Father is standing near, hearing my cries and longing to make it all better at just the right time - not a moment before, but not a second longer than necessary.

Keep my eyes on the joy we'll both feel when the fire is past and I'm closer to what You have in mind for me. Thank you, Daddy.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Creative 1: The Creativectomy

One of those typical scenarios that tend to play themselves through the churning sea of fluffy goodness that is my brain. Oi to da Vey...

*Man waiting in exam room... Doctor enters, stage whatever-the-heck-direction-it-is-since-I'm-a-tuba-player-not-a-theatre-geek-like-my-niecelet...*

"How can I help you today?"

"I'd like a creativectomy."

"Pardon me?"

"A creativectomy." Ok - I don't know if it's actually called that... I tried looking on those medical website thingies (Doctor tested, hypochondriac approved!) and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I tried describing it in medical-y terms."

"Try describing it in non-medical-y terms, then."

"Alright, but if I do, I think you'll send me right to a psychiatrist, and I'm already seeing one of those."

"I bet you are."

"Anyway, I want you to go in brainpan systems settings or something (but definitely NOT control panel, although Windows 8 would explain a LOT about my mental condition), and tweak a few things."

"Such as?"

"Oh, dial down the creativity drive. Don't turn it off - just dial it down a bit. Maybe up the common sense a bit too, to try and offset the sucking void that creativity has been... um... creating."


"Let me try again... I still want to be able to create, but I'd like a little more control over when. And I'd like to not be driven crazy when an idea hits - you know, like when I "hear" some music at 8pm, and proceed to drive myself nutz for the next four hours trying to get it into the computer, to end up with something that sounds like an infinite number of cats on an infinite number of pianos trying to produce the works of Bach."


"Or when I think of something random like, 'I wonder what would have happened if Lucy had met a warthog instead of a faun when she first stepped into the clearing, and if she was totally turned off by the little critter, so she turned back in disgust, ran back through the wardrobe, and swore never to eat double anchovy pizza right before bed again.' I mean, how is Aslan going to get her attention without that extra little anchovy boost?"

"I... Uh..."

"Anyway, the thing I want you to tweak is the need that comes over me right after one of these random thoughts, that makes me HAVE to get up and chase down that thought to see what happens, or to see what the rest of the piece sounds like, or to find out what the rest of the picture looks like. I want to be able to say, 'Well, that's an interesting notion... Now, back to channel surfing.' I want to be able to slide back into the grey fog of life, free from the compulsion to try and chase these evil bunny trails, find the evil bunny, and bring him back for all the world to see. I want to be able to say, "Well, there he goes again - have fun in Narnia, fuzzbucket. You're not sucking me into the crazy train this time. BWAAA HAAAH HAAAH!!!"


"It's not so much the weird ideas - they're kind of entertaining, actually. It's the compulsion that I have to catch them, wrangle them, and get them into some sort of thing to be able to show them to everybody else. I'd like to be able to just let them float by, an interesting interlude in a grey world, peaceful and mundane. Instead, I have to go chasing these bits of weird, trying to bring what I see or hear into the physical world. Frankly, I'm amazed that I'm not already occupying a padded room."

"Me too. Mr. Calbert - I don't think there's anything..."

"I know that this probably isn't your specialty - so if you need to refer me to an IT person who knows how to get to my brainpan system settings, well that's totally okey dokey. Just as long as this stuff gets adjusted."

"Let me refer you to Dr. Shrinkola... She's a psych... Um, a brainpan settings tweaking doctor. In fact, I have a feeling she'll want to see you as soon as possible."


To be continued... in a less-whimsical-but-yet-still-sort-of-comical-manner...

Tune in next time to hear BekaV say...

"The crazy? You want the crazy? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE CRAZY!!!"

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Phabulous Photo Phunny: Sleepin' With Da Humanpersons

Herself is not the only humanperson in da house that Homegirl occupies... Yeah - that lump by her paws is in fact... me.

Now, the majority of pictures we have of The Beka lounging on a sleeping humanperson are, in fact, of Herself.

But, as with so much in this world, there are exceptions. The "Occupy Dad's Feet" movement is alive and well in das BekaHome.

See? There's the actual feet in question. And the occupier at her warm, fuzzy post.

Um... hold on. No need to widen the shot. We get the idea. Just hold it right there...


(Insert emergency pic of Beka sleeping on her upside down doggie bed...)

*shudder* I've really got to start hiding the cameras when taking a nap. Yikes...

Thanks for joining us for a Phabulous-yet-slightly-disturbing-Photo Phunny. Tune in next time to hear BekaV say...

"That was fun, Momma - when are we going to embarrass Dad on his own blog again?..."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: So Much Death - Lent 2012

In my daily (semi-daily, weekly, etc.) sojourn with the Daily Audio Bible, around this time of the year we've made it through Leviticus and Numbers, having been awash in sacrifices, ordinances, and "emissions" for so long that it's easy to get sick of it all. But that would be missing the point - the endless sacrifices and offerings all to be able to come to God. And the great weight of what it really means that Christ died as the perfect sacrifice for all sins, for all time.

Welcome to Lent, my peeps - see you at Easter...

If you've read my series on dreams, (and if you haven't, well you're in good company with the rest of the known universe) you might know that one of them is to live a much smaller life, perhaps on a bit of land, having room to raise some of our own food and make at least part of our lives self-sustaining.

There's a problem with that.

Reading magazines on urban farming or homesteading, often the subject of raising animals on the small farm comes up. Critters to provide a renewable stream of food (milk, eggs, etc.), to provide "output" to make for a greener garden, and to provide... um...


** My vegetarian friends are already loading their siege engines, calling for my head on a pike. I ask for restraint - this is not a philosophical or ethical discussion on one's eating habits, but heading another direction. What you choose to eat - be it animals or the output of the silent screams of vegetables, that's your gig. **

I'm notoriously tender-hearted when it comes to critters, especially dogs. If a movie includes a scene where the dog gets lost, displaced, harmed or killed, I simply can't watch it. I've had commercials bring me to tears.

Insects, on the other hand, are fair game, at least in the house. I won't go out of my way to stomp a spider outside, but when the multi-legged demon comes inside, it's on... "Not on my turf, Charlotte!"

("It's on," for Vicki, that is. I just sit mumbling in terror until she dispatches the arachnid. I'm a true card-carrying GirlyMan.)

So, although I like the idea of having chickens, and would enjoy a stream of fresh eggs, the idea that sooner or later the girls would need to be turned into tenders or nuggets kind of kills the notion. Same with a family cow - good with the idea of the milk, not so much if I'm the one who has to tell Bossie that it's time for her to move on to the entrée portion of her existence.

** HYPOCRITE!! I hear them scream... Go tour a meat packing plant! Really understand the inhumanity of how meat gets to your table, and you'll apply for that PETA membership before you get out the door!

I'll admit - I couldn't be a butcher - at least not one who has to dispatch the critter. But I'll munch their tasty bits after they're gone, understand the sacrifice of the animal and those that raised it, and appreciate what their life and death gave me. I hope the deed was done humanely, and I hope that they were cared for in a kind way before they became lunch, but most if not all of that is out of my control. Yes, I know I ought to be more concerned and proactive about where I get my meat and how it gets to me, but again, this isn't an ethical discussion. So just roll with me, ok kids? **

So, in a recent issue of Mother Earth News...


Yes, I do read Mother Earth News. I even read it in electronic form on my iPad so that I save a tree in the process.

Quit snickering at me - I never claimed to be consistent.

Anyway, in a recent issue of Mother Earth News, there was an article about the pros and cons of raising rabbits.

Awww! Cute fluffy bunnies!

And if you get the right kind, their fur can be spun into yarn and made into all sorts of great things.

(*page turn*)

Oh, and bunnies... are... a great source... of protein... and one humane way... to dispatch them... is...


The Rabbit Wringer.

"I've got a bad feeling about this."

Billed as a quick and humane way to dispatch... um... harvest... um... cause to shuffle off this mortal coil... um... kill... rabbits.

(I am SO fighting the urge right here to break into a chorus of "Kill the waa-bit! Kill the waa-bit!")

(Hmmm... didn't fight quite hard enough.)

There's even a picture. How helpful. *gulp*

Put bunny's neck into the wringer, give a forceful downward tug, snap the neck and the rabbit is humanely dispatched, ready to become meat and pelt.

I'm SO gonna have nightmares.

I don't care how many times I see Gollum drop the "brace of coneys" into Frodo's lap, tear into one with his bare teeth, and have them snatched away by Sam, telling him that there's only one proper way to eat a brace of coneys, I'm not buying a Rabbit Wringer. *shudder*

Ok, let's get off this rabbit trail and back on to the main path. (Ba-dum-DUMP!)

The reason these things are rolling around Steve's hamster wheel today is in Exodus, where we happen to be reading in the Daily Audio Bible. God is establishing the culture of His chosen people, teaching them His law and how to come to Him. Also giving instruction for the construction and plan of the Tabernacle (the tent of meeting), and the consecration of Aaron and his sons as priests.

And oh my goodness, all the laws and rules and sacrifices. A whole bunch of 'em just to consecrate Aaron and his sons, one morning and evening just as daily routine, others for special feasts, and so on. (And we're just getting started - Leviticus is coming...) It was a tough time to be a cow. Or a sheep. Or other critters. PETA wouldn't have been able to keep up with it all - so many protests, so little time...

All those animals, all that death, all that blood sprinkled here, there and everywhere. And for what?

For God, Himself - dwelling in the tent, right there, where they could see His glory, hear His thunder, and know His presence. All that death, for their new lives as God's own people, His dearly loved chosen people.

I'd imagine that they would have told you and me that it was worth it. The sacrifice pales in comparison with having God in their midst, being His people, guided and protected by Him, led in to the land promised to them, to be His people and a witness of Him to all nations.

Yet, these are the folks that in just a few pages, are going to do that whole golden calf thing, who are going to grumble so loud that they'll get put on hold for 40 years in the fabulous tour of the wilderness, and are going to have prophets write over and over again about their unfaithfulness to the Lord. God will lament over them, "You were to be my people, I would be Your God, but you turned away from me to gods made of wood and stone. You prostituted yourself in the arms of others right in front of me."

God DWELT with them. The blood of countless animals ran to allow them to come to God, and for what? So they could throw it all over for a gold cow. Or a wood thingie. Or a stone thingie. Or some other thingie. So they could kill animals and offer them to a thingie. Or even kill their own children and offer them to a thingie.

This makes no sense to me.

But I am no different.

You see, the blood of the Lamb was shed. He was killed - not in a humane, kind way, but in one of the most horrific deaths twisted human minds could devise at that time. His blood flowed, His life ebbed, He died.

And here I am, getting a little creeped out over a Rabbit Wringer. Alright, a LOT creeped out over a Rabbit Wringer.

God Himself poured out His life as a sacrifice. My consecration cost His blood. What the death of innumerable animals could never secure was accomplished in His death. By His stripes, I am healed.

And just like a stupid sheep, I turn away and go wherever I want. I throw over His sacrifice for thingies. I take my thoughts, my passions, my time, my resources and I hand them over to thingies of wood, to thingies of precious stones or metal, to thingies that go buzz and whirr and have bright lights, to images on a screen, to words on a page, to tunes on a device.

And I feel the weight of a poor animal dying that I might have a burger more than the death of the most beautiful One who ever lived that I might have life.

In the same podcast, as we were reading about the construction of the Tabernacle, we also were in Matthew, hearing our Savior pray, "If it's possible, let this cup pass from me. But if this cup can't pass, and I must drink it, Thy will be done."

The One who accepted His Father's will is the One I will turn my back on...

for a thingie.

If the death of so many animals shocks and disturbs me, shouldn't the death of God Himself plant me on my face in tears? Instead of being creeped out by how many creatures died as sacrifices, I should be shocked and disturbed at how little I think of His sacrifice. For by my unfaithful life, I show to all the world how little I care that He died for me.

Father, forgive me for my unfaithful heart. I am so easily snared and distracted by things, by images, by words and by anything that comes across my path. But Your blood was shed so that I could come to You. You made the way for me to be free. Remind me of the proper perspective - You died that I might have life, and You willingly paid that price to redeem me.

Thank you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Brokenness Always Wins

It's almost 4am... I've been awake since 1:15. 

This isn't a pretty page in my journal, and not a lot of fun to read. If you scroll down, you'll probably come across some pictures of Beka - they're a lot nicer to look at than this dark page. But there are dark pages in the Psalms too, so there we are. Rest assured, I'm alright. Things will go on. But sometimes a lament has to come out to make room for other stuff...

I'm feeling the brokenness.

I feel it in our home... The clutter, the way things are slowly (and quickly) decaying, the general dirtiness, the sink full of dishes after being so proud that the sink was empty for a few brief days. The windows that are cracked and wearing, the few improvements we've made but never quite finished, leaving unpainted trim and unfinished walls in their wake, the run-down, the shabby, the mind-numbing clutter, the way it forces us into little paths from this room to that, from my chair to the kitchen to the bedroom but no further.

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in my mind... Looking back on some years of journaling...

(I can't really call it "blogging" or "writing," since, as someone whose blog I read regularly quoted someone else, and as usual I make a habit of mangling source AND quoted material, anyway, they said "If you're writing and nobody is reading it, you're journaling." So yep - this is my electronic diary, not all that much advanced from the pathos and drama of a teenager pouring out the convolutions of their twisted soul to a blank, uncaring page...) 

Anyway, looking back at the entries of my  "journal," it saddens me to see that some of the things I would "whine" about when I started this thing, struggling with my weight and a whole host of issues underlaying it, are the very same things I "ponder" about these many years later, still struggling with my weight and a whole host of issues underlaying it...

And now I'm older, with new issues adding their lovely siren songs to the pile, which gets higher day by day.

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in lost joys of movement and freedom...

My beloved trike has seen little to no action this last year. Tai Chi, my new love, my friend, the thing that brought balance and strength to me, has fallen in a dusty heap, along with the exercise balls, the strength bands, the walking shoes, the disc golf discs, the bocce balls, and a multitude of other "toys" to entice me to get out and move.

I sit. I lay in bed, eating supper and watching videos on YouTube. I crochet in a dark house, instead of riding in the sunshine.

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

I feel it in my life direction...

Again, looking through my e-diary journal thingie, I can see the path... From getting laid off from my "calling" in radio, to a brief stint in post-production at CBH, trying to sell jewelry, making and selling CDs, a brief stint at WaY FM, loom knitting and crocheting, playing gigs at retirement communities or coffeehouses, trying to have a "real" part-time job in retail, looking at writing a book or being a real, honest-to-goodness "writer," well, guess what?

Nothing has changed. I'm still wandering, still lost, still looking for something, anything to provide purpose or direction to this random pile of poopy I call my life. 

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

And I don't know if I can keep doing this... keep trying to hold the brokenness at bay. It was easier to do when it was just months or even a year after the surgery - it was all shiny and new, excitement and momentum were doing their thing, and the new life was a bright path in front of me. Anything seemed possible.

The remodeling was done, everything was pretty and new...

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

Four years later, the path is dull grey. The excitement has worn off, the mundane has set in, there are cracks and wear where things really should be painted or fixed or maintained, and I just don't know if I can keep up with it.

There is stuff to be gotten rid of, there are walls to fix and paint, there are floors to be scrubbed, there is filth and decay and habits and bad choices, and they are choking me. 

There are taxes to be paid, there are idols to try and destroy, there are dreams to kill, there are dishes to do, there are lies of the mind to be denied, there are trikes to be ridden, there are things to be made, and I can't see which one to pick up and which one to throw down.

Be a writer - write. But ALSO find your "tribe," build your readership, and keep up your presence on social media. Don't forget to get your stuff out there - lots of submissions. You'll get a lot of rejections, but that's what it takes. 

You're a musician too? Well, practice! And work on your next project. Oh, and build your fanbase, call everyplace to find gigs, keep after places you've played so that they know you're still out there to come back and play, get your music out there in every possible outlet, go after new fans, and keep your stuff in front of the public.

By the way... none of this is really going to bring in some income, and help fill that hole in the pit of your heart - that guilty pit where you see your Beloved bringing in the income, then struggling to make it stretch to fit all the bills. Remember (like you could ever forget...) that you led the charge into that bottomless cavern she's trying to dig you out of, and realize that for all your running around, writing here, doing part-time stuff there, or engaging in "creative pursuits," you really aren't contributing anything significant to ease the load.

I realize that I've never really learned to work hard, to keep working hard, and to not give up. And I'm in my mid-fifties... old, tired, and probably not going to learn that blessed truth anytime soon.

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

In a new way, I think I have a little more insight into those who take their own lives. I think their hands have gotten so full, the weight so heavy, that they simply can't take up the fight one more day. They don't realize the pain and emptiness they will leave behind - they only see that their hands are too full and they can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

How do you pick and choose? How do you empty your hands? How do you decide the "must-do's," the "should-do's," and the "might-do's," when they all look the same? How do you keep them all appeased, to try and hold the brokenness off for one more day? And where do you find the strength to wake up tomorrow to do it all again?

I don't know. Truth be told, I've never known, my whole life long. I don't know how to pick something up, deal with it, put it down, pick up something else, take care of it, keep going on... And NOT forget the first thing sitting back there, which now needs to be dealt with again, before I get to the other thing on the list. 

How do you empty your hands? How do you get rid of the stuff that's choking you and killing the things that truly matter? How do you keep the essentials from getting forgotten?

And is there ever any space to breathe, to rest, to dream, to love, to feel?...

My hands are too full, and I can't hold on to everything.

The brokenness always wins.

Abba Daddy, I'm confused. I'm hurting. And my hands are tired. 

I could throw a pithy phrase in here like, "So I place everything into Your hands," but we both know that's a lie - I'll still see the clutter, hear the cries of the urgent, and feel the weight of all the "things" waiting to overpower me as soon as I turn off this screen.

I'm confused. I don't know what to keep and what to throw away - I'm not even strong enough to reach down and throw things away... I'll just keep piling the trash around my feet, as the tears roll down my face.

I'm afraid that the brokenness will win again. And I don't want that. But I don't know how to sort things out, how to get back to just those very VERY few things that You want me to take care of. I can't recognize those few things anymore - they're lost in the static of everything.

I'm sorry that I'm carrying around idols. I'm sorry that I turn to this screen for comfort and joy far more than I ever turn to You. I've gotten so numbed by the glare of the screen that I didn't see all the horrors in the shadows. I didn't see just how close and how dark the brokenness is.

I'm sorry that I've been wasting my new life. And I'm sorry that I haven't been taking care of it like I should. I forgot how many chains You've shattered, and been trying to re-make them from the broken links. I'm trotting off to Egypt, when You're waiting for me in the new land.

I'm scared, Daddy. I don't know what to do next. I don't know how to sort out this mess. And I don't know how to begin to try.

My hands are tired, and I can't hold on to everything. 

Help me Father... please. 

Only You can break the brokenness.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

When I Grow Up, Again... ad infinitum...

Here's another installment of "When I Grow Up", which was begun back here in When I Grow Up Again...which then explains the whole "another installment" thing.

I'm learning to move - to test the waters, to try the doors and see if they're open, to find my course, and to do so without any sort of "Deus ex Machina." I'm on the wire, without a net OR a little pink umbrella.

And I think I may have stumbled over something important. (Or as the old saying goes, "What are toes for? To find furniture in the dark." Owwwwww...)

To clarify, it's something semi-sort-of-potentially-possibly-maybe important to my limited but learning view of the world. Truth be told, what I stumble over is usually something the rest of the adult world has known and practiced for years. In fact, my dear mom would be rolling her eyes a bit, since such things are "common sense," and she always wondered why I have so little of that particular commodity...

"Meesa too," said Jar-Jar Calbert.

Anyway, it's comforting to know that I do stumble over something once in a while in what seems like an everlasting pool of ponder. I think it's kind of like having spent $500 in the casino, then finally winning $5, which convinces you to spend another $300 to see if you'll win another $5. 

(Truthfully, the whole gambling thing makes no sense to me whatsoever. I think actually holding on to some money and using it correctly is much more exciting than watching it flow away faster than the output of one of those new-fangled power flush toilets - This from a guy that used to frustrate his beloved on a weekly if not every-other-daily basis from the influx of eBay acquisitions. Life 2.0 - better for the bod, WAY better for the budget...)

(However, I HAVE been ogling some ocarinas...)

The Dwarf Ocarina from STL Ocarina!  It'd be amazing to have this little puppy sitting in its stand on my whistle table, getting weird stares from folks, and THEN pick it up and play it! Woo hoo!!

So anyway, in the midst of all my pondering, eventually sometimes I do find a nugget of goodness... After all, even a broken clock is right twice a day. (Which in this day of digital clocks doesn't mean diddly, but it did when I was way younger than I am now.


Anyway, let's get past the outside fluffy and into the nugget-y goodness...

What if charting my course isn't about dropping interests and pursuits so I can "grow up," "settle down," and "act my age, not my shoe size?" 

(Because if it includes any of those, I am SO hosed...)

What if it's taking the things I truly love, and focusing (or limiting) the RANGE of what I do with them? Making space to improve and perfect the pursuits I'm after, rather than trying to do everything all the time with them?

In other words, try to become better at what I already love.


- Instead of trying to make such a huge variety of wire wrapped jewelry, or trying every cool technique I come across, I focus on a few things that I do well, make them a lot, so that I work toward perfecting how I make them, and use that to improve my skill?

- Instead of trying every crochet project that my eyes come upon, I figure out which projects I like, that I think are beautiful or useful, and I work in that area, honing my skills and improving them?

- Instead of trying to keep up on all styles of music and all instruments, I really focus on a few instruments that I truly love, and what type of music really fits with my "voice," and make those the projects I work hard at, to perfect my craft and become better?

- I keep after my vision of writing my book and posting on my blog, focusing on that and not caring about numbers or popularity? Simply writing the things the Lord puts in front of me and trusting that He will put them where they need to go, to encourage or challenge the people He intended them for? (Even if that "people" is only me...)

Interesting ponderables, eh wot?

As I "mature" in life 2.0, and try to "act my age" after being ReBorn, what's still fair game? What stuff is alright, desirable, or permissible to be written on this "blank slate?" (Tabula Rasa

And in this process, am I losing the absolute joy of getting to create "stuff," as I try to "chart the course?" Am I missing the point? To try, explore, and find wonder?

Does our Father help us narrow our vision, so that the pursuits we truly love remain, and others fall, leaving us free to chase after the ones that are really important?

Am I so right-brained that I live in a fantasy world of yarn, gold or silver wire, and typing on a little keyboard while I should be doing something  "real" with my time and energy?

Is there any bacon in the house?

(Sometimes, it's safer for me to write at a coffeehouse than approximately 10 feet from the kitchen. Ah well...)

(Mmmm... Bacon.)

I have no answers for this exhaustive (and exhausting) list of questions. But I think I've found something to hang on to - focus the pursuits you want to continue, narrow the scope, and find the joy and wonder of getting to create, remembering how much our Father loves to watch His kids do stuff, and make stuff, and learn stuff.

As I said in part 1, I think it's time for more doing, trying, and moving, and less pondering, thinking, and considering. So I'm going to take this little nugget, trot it around the track instead of setting it on the shelf and looking at it, and see what droppings fall. 

(Man - my "bad analogy lock" must be stuck on this little keyboard thingie. Sorry about that... )

Anyway, I'm guessing that there are other gentlebeings around that might be feeling like "The party's over, and I'm really depressed." If so, let us ponder together, move from ponder to pursue, and try to smack some of these nuggets outta the park.

Let's move away from, "I'm too old; Too many of my days are gone; It's far too late to dream; What you got, you got."

"It's too late baby, oh it's too late, though we really did try to make it." 

(Yup - that's a song quote. I'll admit it - "I can't hide it, I just can't fake it.")

(And no, I don't "probably think that song is about me.")

Who wants to "grow up" and "become an adult," if all that means is you give up all the good stuff? Instead, maybe "growing up" is just defining the spaces and boundaries we get to explore in our ongoing adventure with our Father. 

Move, try, explore, consider, focus, refine. And along the way, find joy, wonder, and lots of smiles as I make refrigerator art for my Father. 

He loves it when I do that.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Phabulous Photo Phriday: Quality Time with Da Girlz

So there's this little thing that happens at our home...

Wherein a certain member of our little family...

Seems to crave a lot of "up close and personal" contact with other family members...

Finding ways to be near her packmates...

Even if they're unconscious. (Actually, she kind of prefers it that way.)

A conscious packmate can be a resistant packmate. But an unconscious packmate is putty in the paws.

See? Putty. And a darn fine headrest when the big guy is napping in his chair...

To everything there is a season... There is a time for direct action...

(Especially when waffles are involved...)

And a time for covert action...

Because there is ONE and only ONE chair where a proper nap can be taken...

And if occupying the one and only nap chair has to involve some "creative covert occupying," well, so be it.

Homegirl loves her packmates.

It's good to be The Beka.

Thanks for joining us for another Phabulous Photo Phriday... Tune next time to hear BekaV SING,

"I got the WHOLE chair, to MYself! 
I got the whole dang chair, to MYself!"

(From her soon-to-be-released single, 
"She's Got The Whole House In Her Paws.")