[500 words on] Street Art

It started as a trip to meet a Self Publishing group at Austin Java…

I had a decided that I wanted to spend my dotage being a hack… I was not in the quest to become a “published author”; I did that- properly published by a traditional publisher, got paid, and everything- and that doesn’t interest me anymore. I don’t want to expand the breadth of knowledge and I want to create a work that has literary merit whatsoever…

I want to write the fun stuff- pulps, shoot em-ups, monster stories…and make a few bucks.

So I joined the Indie Writers/Self Publishing Community Meetup so I can find writers like myself that want to write because it’s fun, because they have crazy stories to tell and want to make a few bucks and are not at all worried about being called a ‘hack’. I was sitting at the table with them and I saw her.


She peeked over the guy clacky clacking on his laptop with her bright birds and found object / refrigerator art looks…. and I knew she needed to be on my wall.

I took the shot above, texted the Artist, Mike “Truth” Johnston, and agreed to meet for lunch…. over a burger and salad, he told me about the kids in his class as a Art Teacher as the inspiration for her and invited me to watch him and his brother paint.

And that’s how I ended up at Castle Hill.

Castle Hill is not a hill, persay… it’s more like an insanely huge flight of unfinished cement stairs filled with dirt and inclines on the outside of the structure that requires climbing gear or a total disregard for safety and the condition of your clothing. It takes up a city block on 11th and Baylor and is open to anyone who was the paint and the time.

This place is the very essence of art in the moment, a monument of the breath of life art adds to the inanimate object. You can hear Castle Hill’s inhales and exhales as she takes in the smell of paint, feel the ripples as she giggles as cold paint is applied, and with each completed piece, she stands a bit taller. After a while, she decides that she wants another look (doesn’t every girl?) and welcomes the next set of artists
and the next
and the next until she is a constantly changing, constantly moving beauty. If you are smart, you will snap a pic of the pieces of her couture that speak to you, lest she changes her mind while you are away. And I did…and the world stood still.
My mind wasn’t on what I was going to do next, or on what was hurting, or even the next pic. It was on that work, at that time. It was on her breaths and her jolts when met with the cold paint.
It was peace when I needed it.
I am so glad I met her.

a gift for a dear friend missed…


I swear to you that not even three days ago I was on my therapist’s couch, telling him that I felt I was being reshaped, I had no clue into what, that it was scaring the shit out of me, and that I was thrilled at the prospect…

…and now (after having a fantastic lunch with a kind, gentle, and loving woman of faith that prepared my heart for this) I was standing up looking at two authors, two missional ministry leaders, two women that found Christ (either for the first time or again) later in life (late 30’s and beyond) and asking them did they grieve for the time before they came to Christ.

They didn’t. They thought that it enhanced what they were doing and gave it a depth they wouldn’t have had otherwise.

After 2 years (?!!?) of worshiping and studying Reformed theology as a PCA presby, this evening listening to Progressive Christians as outside my comfort zone (!??!). Starting with a high church hymn in a beautiful building followed by well written and profanity laced wit struck a chord. Listening to Nadia Bols-Weber with her tats, her love for Christ, her desire minister to saints and sinners alike, her foul language and her seminary training and her ministry, I felt like a child hiding just out of site and listening to her parents watch something naughty on TV. Something that they sent you to bed so they could watch in peace, assuring you that you were too young and you would understand when you got older.

I still had that feeling when I went to the choir room to buy the book above and moved to the book signing line. A sweet woman with a stack of sticky notes asked me who I wanted the book signed to.

I tried to say my name and it wouldn’t come out.

Then I realized that this was not for me; this was a gift for someone in the future. This book was for someone that I had locked away, ignored and pretended didn’t exist. Someone I knew had time to grow, but I was uncertain if they had. Someone I knew would find it shocking, scandalous, and maybe unChristian… but would hold it close to their heart.

I took another moment to think (the sweet lady was also a patient one), and asked to write it myself.

“It’s a gift for a dear friend”

She smiled, placed the sticky in the book on the correct page and went on to the next person in line.

I didn’t look inside (frankly I couldn’t believe that I was going down this path again, either, but oh well…) and fixed my gaze on Nadia as she signed and smiled at my tats.

I walked to my car, placed the book in a safe place and drove home and when I got home took a look.

The irony is not lost on me and only a few will get it… don’t ask me why I did this. All I can tell you is that it made and still makes all the sense in the world to me.

only a few will get it...

only a few will get it…


I think that reaching 40 and thinking over the last year(s) has clarified not only who I am, but who I am no longer.

I am no longer a fiction writer… yeah, I write the words, but I have no desire to create in that way again. I created a universe that was distroyed by a man I loved and trusted and I know that I will never be able to recreate that world again. Allazar was a universe that I created to escape the pain of a life defined by abuse and the lies that were told to maintain it. It was a world without limits while my life growing up was defined by the strictest of boundaries laid by men in the name of a cruel and petty ‘god’.

I am no longer a pen and paper RPG’r. That was an essential part of my life before. D&D, Champions, White Wolf, ShadowRun, and Marvel helped me escape very dark parts of my life. They were essential in helping a shy and quiet girl connect to a community that was my life here in Austin. But things have changed; I’m not the same girl (I am a woman) and I have a full life that I don’t want to escape from. That, and I prefer video games…lol.

And once I realized that, I’m now responsible for clearing those things out of my life to give room for the woman I really am. So I started in the most logical place…

My office.

That was harder than I thought. Going through that space charged strong memories…most of the artifacts there I remember exactly where I was and how I got them. They bring a smile to my face… hard, breath-stealing laughter… and long jags of bitter tears.

One by one, I have removed the things that are no longer part of my life out and each time I can feel my focus sharpen.

I’m still flawed, but I am not stuck. I’ve stopped asking myself what I did wrong and what I could have done. What’s lost is lost. The life I have is so good… I’m highly educated with a career and a job that I love, happily and well married (with inlaws made of awesome), girls that have surprised and delighted me by becoming strong, capable, self-sufficient women. Morgan has been able to work, go to school, and live with a roommate under her own steam. Taylor is on her way… I will be an empty nester with disposable income and time to fill as I please.

My best days are not behind me… my failure to live up to the ideals and goals set in my youth sadden me, but it doesn’t stop me… and it most certainly mean that I can’t create new ideals and goals for my next 40 years.

I am not grasping for the gilded ‘glory’ of my past and I don’t want to relive it. I want to push out of what is comfortable, push out the ruts I have gotten myself into

I want to move onto better things and greater adventures, built on the foundation of lessons learned.

This is the story of my 40th year… Clearing out the old and the dead to nourish the new…

[church visit] Crosspointe (or God always does the wrong thing too late….)

I would love to say that I was following a call to visit CrossPointe on the first Sunday on 2013. In all honesty, I received a call from Holly to go to the movies with her, so I decided to make a church visit to one of the PCA churches that I drive by on the way to All Saints: CrossPointe Presbyterian.

The sermon I ended up learning from (because I *still* think I am a bit more clever that our Lord) was on the death of Lazarus. I was reminded that God is sovereign, He allows bad things to happen because “it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

This was needed a bit more that usual. The span between Sept and Jan has been marked with loss (past and present) and I am grieving pretty hard about it.

I spend a lot of time with “what if…”and “why didn’t I…” and “why didn’t he/she/they…” and “why would he/she/they…”

I spend a lot of wanting my old life back. I spend a bit more time knowing that I can’t go back. And I have been spending a lot of time lost.

I fight against putting faith in God because it will result in an outcome that I did not choose, a path that I cannot control. And right now I don’t want anything I can’t control.

This sermon and the passage highlights Mary and Martha during this time. They waited for Christ for 4 days as they watched Lazarus get sick, fail in health, and die. They knew that Christ didn’t need to be there to heal him. They knew that He was not all that far away and CHOSE to wait another two days before getting up and going to them, allowing Lazarus to die.

Many people (including more than one person that I tried to talk to about this) want to glaze over these points. But doing that in my view is missing the glorious, beautiful point of the passage.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

It’s the humanity of this passage. Martha and Mary suffered. And when Jesus finally saw fit to show up, they let Him know it. They let Him know about their pain and their disappointment in the outcome.

But they still believed.

They still had faith.

And Jesus performed a powerful miracle. When He was ready.

To us it will seem that God should do this or that when we think He should. And with our narrow view set our hearts on the so-called “right course of action” and the “right time”.

But to One with a larger view it is the right time with the right lesson.

I just have to hold on a little longer.

the lower case ‘him’ I love….

I’m writing this on a Sunday morning at about 6:30am, watching as my husband sleeps peacefully (and snore free at the moment) next to me.

I do this often. And it’s one of the highlights of my day.

Since I have started the Path of Discipleship, I have had to face the reality that my husband was not interested in being more than a self described “twice a year” Christian. And the thought of being on this path without him saddened me and angered me for a long time.

I wanted a Christian husband, dammit! I deserve this! This road is hard and the last thing I want to is to do this by myself!

And I would dream what it would be like to have a husband that was a Christian like I am becoming. And the more the thought about it, the more I prayed about it and the more I prayed about it, the more I woud find myself looking at him sleep.

And the same question always came up:

Who is this man I married?

This is a man that never (never) lied to me. He gave me the truth even when he knew it would hurt himself and his worldview. He gave me the truth even though I didn’t want to hear it because it bursted my ego into little pieces. Then we make a plan to change our perspective.

This is a man with a cool confidence; he knows his strengths and his weaknesses. Where change is needed, he addresses it and makes very. glacially. slow. moves. to. change. them.

This is a man that doesn’t need the constant stroking of his ego; as a matter of fact, he doesn’t want or need the company of people that won’t shoot straight. He was raised by wonderful people that believe that if you can’t handle the truth, you can’t handle their company (and I adore their company).

This is a man that is willing to face his faults. Does he like it? Hell no! (who does?) But he will explain his viewpoint and why he thinks it’s important and (the essential point here) will listen about how they are seen and what effect they have. He will argue, but he will listen. He will fight, but he will always (always) reinforce that we are still friends after everything has been said.

And I think, in the end is the central point.

We have sometimes been more roommates than husband and wife at times, but we have always (and always will be) friends.

He is my closest and dearest friend and I am his.

He has worked harder than I am willing to admit at times to keep and maintain this friendship and for that reason alone I will always be at his side and work to be the wife that he deserves…

and even if it means that I will travel this one Path alone, he is still with me. And a life without him as my dear friend and husband is a life that I don’t want (he points out that he has to die first for the same reason….lol).

Thanks be to God.




[500 words on] Looking to the Lows…

The past few weeks have been really low for me. Thinking about the son I lost, working hard and not sleeping enough, dealing with loss of a community during a time when I want community the most.

And this week was the worst, emotionally. I was tired, I still needed to work, and Bill wanted to me to cook instead of cooking as he promised. I was at the end and all I could think of was trying to find a way to escape. Trying to find some way to make myself feel better, to make myself feel valuable, like I was worth something. My mind went back to my traveling days, the best years of my life.

I remembered that when I was traveling I didn’t worry about that. I was more concerned with working when I could, saving money, streamlining my life to the point where all the things me and my children owned could be carried in three backpacks. It was good a good life….


Because I wasn’t trying to find a way to make myself feel like a queen. I wasn’t looking for someone to make me feel better about my self. I was simply living, searching for joy in what I had and in the lessons that I learned from using and being happy with what I had.

I had forgotten that craving attention and looking to people, or how you look, or what or who you know are temporary. Oh yes, it is sweet when get a taste, but you never really have it, it never lasts as long as you want it to, and you are willing to give up more and more of your life to get a another taste of that false glory.

The taste never gets bigger, but the cost always does until you have lost everything.

I had left the [cult]Church, where many women clawed and bit to gain a little bit of status, as we were considered less than by the [cult]Church leadership. They put on heirs, they belittled, they manipulated, they cried and whined, they put out, they felt entitled. And I didn’t want anything to do with them.

It took my dear friend Lucas to remind me:

They’re doing this because they have nothing; those little tastes of glory is all they have. They are too weak to look to the lows of their life, address the truth that they are nothing and find joy where they can in that. Promise me that you will never waste time feeling sorry for yourself. Face your weakness, your flaws, your bad choices and be glad that you had the good sense to learn a lesson instead of chasing a fantasy. Queens must have subjects and subjects choose who they will follow. You can show off as much as you like, but if you have to show out to get attention, you are nothing more than a brat in a pretty dress.

I forgot this. I won’t again.








[everyday worship] Crossfit 11-19-2012


This WOD is a benchmark…

This WOD has a name.

Her name is Helen, as you can see in the image.

Helen and I have met before. That time she made me cry and she made me puke a little.
We spent 15:09 minutes together and in that time we ran 400 meters (a hair under a quarter mile) did 21 kettlebell swings (using 18 pound kettlebells) and did 12 ring rows. Then we ran again, did the swings again and did the ring rows again… then we did all of that one last time.

No breaks. No air in my lungs (only fire) and there was some puking. I thought I saw Death coming… it turned out to be Justin to help me up off the ground.

Helen was harsh and I didn’t want to see her for a very long time.

So you can imagine how hard I prayed and cursed the white board when I saw that she was gracing me (I was the only one at the 7pm workout) with her presence.

Things were a bit different. No fire in the lungs (there was still not enough oxygen), and while I did puke, Death was not there (Tired and I Can use a Burger Right Now were there, however) and I shaved nearly a minute off my time.

And I did 3 sets of 5 Power Cleans at 75 pounds afterwards.

It is places like this that I find the encouragement to follow the path. It is hard and it will always be, I reckon, but with each time, it gets easier, or you know what to do or it doesn’t bother you as much, or you see more clearly than you did the last time… you get the idea.

And progress may not be HUGE, but the difference you see when you think that you are making no progress can make all the difference…

Not if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with Epson Salt.

[everyday worship] crossfit WOD 11-14-2012

The Workout Of the Day (WOD) for 14 Nov 2012… it hurt…

I wanted to worship today… so I decided to go to Crossfit.

It sounds silly on the surface, but when you think about it (or at least when I think about it) it actually makes sense (to me…)

You walk into the box and look at the board. You see the Workout of the Day, or WOD, and you know what’s involved. You know that it’s going to hurt. You know that you will run out of air before you run of workout.

But you do it anyway. You know that it will make you stronger. You know you will have to dig deep. You know that you are competing against your desire to stop and go to the closest Krispy Kreme.

And I know that those are the times that I pray the hardest.

And I do pray. And when I am done I praise Him because I know that it was only through Him that I survived.

This is the essence of worship. So I went to Crossfit.

[visual prayer] fiyah powah!!

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Thanks to Tate English, a former classmate and another great photog, for a fab pic of a robot that looks how I have been feeling lately!!

Tate English took this pic to test out a film magazine. He took quite a few pics, (check them out here…they’re fun!) and posted this one on Facebook and used it as a icon.

The moment I saw this pic, I thought about how I have been feeling the last few weeks. There have been some serious blows and some major triumphs…

I acknowledge that my heart has been broken and that I was healed beyond having to feed someone else’s need to be needed.

I realized that I was more sinful that I wanted to admit, but I am better than I was when I was called.

I finally walked away from a community, but am walking into a family.

But even in that, because all of that and in spite of that I feel strong…

There is joy here and that sounds crazy and yet it makes perfect sense.

Abba, I am in a great place!

Without You… without Your wisdom and Your Love, I would have found these last few weeks unbearable, as proof of my failure and that I can’t do anything right.

And that’s because without You, I can’t do anything right. Thanks for making me see how strong You are. Thank You for being there and thanks for understanding what I am trying to say here even though I think it’s coming across.


[church visit] …He remembered me…

…Imagine this…

Imagine that you are in love… and you tell them so.

Imagine the place where you told them and they return your love. They propose and you start to live your lives together.

Imagine that their family would rather that you were not there and let you know that and after many years, you leave.

Then, after many more years you run into them and they invite you to where ever they are now. They want to start over. You are doubtful, but they are persistent, so you go and you are happy.

But you have your doubts. And you tell them so.

So one day they call you and say “Meet me 2 and a half hours from where you currently live at a place you were at only once before and that was because you were lost on the way to the RenFaire”

I said ok…

I listened to His call. And I ended up here:

The door to the Brenham Education Building

Where is here? I’ll get to that… but first a story. That’s on the next page…