In the body of Christ, Lent removes pieces of YOU!

For my second year of Lent, I decided to let go of a third of my belongings. I like my things and I knew going through all the memories and the way this thing or that makes me feel wanted or smart or shows how far I have come or proves how relevant or hip or fun or friendly I would be hard.
What I didn’t expect was that it nearly broke me.

And you know what the funny thing is? It isn’t a priceless family heirloom or an irreplaceable painting or book that the girls made for me that was so hard to get rid of.

It was the extra D&D 4E rulebooks, all of my notes from grad school and French graphic novels. I’m talking about books I read once, thought ‘meh’ and slide onto the bookshelf…3 years ago. I nearly cried when I put a copy of Carl Sagen’s ‘Cosmos’ in the sell bin (never mind that I had 3 copies).
I realized that it wasn’t items per se that I was throwing away, but the pieces of my finely engineered persona [Sique], the brave face that I showed t o the world (at least in my own mind). I love this brave face and it has served me well. And as I look over this stuff, trying to leave that persona [Sique] and that way of life behind, I ask myself ‘What if I the person that I am giving all of this up to be [that is, the person God has called me to be] is nothing like the person I have spent so many years building a life to be? What am I going to when the hard times hit?’
That’s the question I wrestle with.

Whenever I was worried, felt not-so-great about myself, or wondering what I was doing with my life, I would look at these things and think:

“See! You have education, you have passions, and you have thousands of books!! See how [insert wonderful adjective here] you are?”

And I feel better (I put this in present tense because it still works).

But then I think back to the times when I didn’t have these things. I think back to when I was a widowed ghetto girl with two girls that wanted to see the world. I remember days without food so my girls could eat. I remember when all we had was what we could carry in a couple of backpacks. I remember when I struggled to read all the assignments and raise my girls and watch as my marriage died.

I would later get married to a wonderful man that gets on my nerves regularly, have a bunch of travel stories, and get that degree. I even found reconnected with God again; but during the times when all I saw darkness, I would sit and pray:
“I know that I don’t deserve this from You, but please give me a small taste of the strength and love I had when You still loved me.”

And even though I didn’t fully believe it, there is no doubt in my mind in hindsight that He did carry me through all of those times. When I had nothing but hopes and studies and blind leaps into fate to define me, I leaned on Him…ish.

But what about now?

Now, as I look at all the things I have given away or sold, I admit that I still wonder if I should let this stuff go. It scares me to think about having to deal with pain and loss and disappointment without Sique and I spent many days crying and talking myself into and out of taking ‘just one or two things’ back.

But it is done.

I may not fully trust that He will be there to lean on, but He is there and he wants me lean on Him. He craves it. Removing these things and the labels that they bear leaves room for Him to define who I am.

I hope I like her.

Call me Patches!!

The holiday season ended properly for me at my sister-in-law’s New Year’s Eve party. It’s the one night of the year where I dedicate myself to getting drunk (which was successful) and meeting the New Year with an empty head (and stomach once I have recovered from the hangover).

 A good part of the Tribe was there as well as a few new faces. The same stories and the drama were there as well as Rock Band and Telephone Pictionary. The food was good. The laughs flowed and I slept well and made it home safe in the morning after crashing on the couch.

 But there was a sharp, vital difference this year. I looked around at all the folks several times over the night and one thought just would not leave my head.

 “You are not part of this anymore. This is no longer your Tribe” I nodded and I understood.

 And I drank to numb the matter of fact tone in my head and my absolute agreement to it. And I felt lighter as a chunk of my old worldview, my old personality, fell off my body. I tried to pick it up and slap it back on my body, tried to make it fit, but it wouldn’t stay.

I tried to be Sique (the load, rebel-rousing good time girl type intellectual type person) and it rang false. I acknowledged that and there went another chunk of the worldview. And for the most part, I was quite fine with that.

 It was the little itty-bitty part of my heart that freaked out.  That was the part that wanted to be numb. That was the part that wanted to slap the pieces of the past back on body which kinda felt like a raw meat suit like a FrankenChrishaun.

 That was the part that cried when I got home and had a weird, paranoid text exchange with my sister-in-law between trips to the bathroom.

 It was the part that was scared. It was scared because all the bitterness and anger was gone. All the drama that fed and defined me was conversation fodder and it was actually an effort to engage. Most times I was happier being silent. And still.

 And that was the scariest part of the whole thing.


I am actually accepting that my worldview changed and the things that mattered, the people that mattered, the pastimes that mattered don’t really matter as much as they once did.

 They are important. They make me happy. But they are not my happiness. They are not my everything (everything? EV-ER-RY-THANG!)They don’t define me. I can live without them if I needed to and would miss them dearly. That is crystal clear. What isn’t as clear is what replaces it. Or does it even get replaced. Will I be in another group? Does that matter? What the worst that could happen? Could I handle it?

By the time I could verbalize these questions, I had already cried a patch in my therapist’s couch. I got up off of my side, looked dead at him and asked:

 “Is Grace going to be enough if I never gain back anything to make up for what I have lost?”

 He smiled softly. We had had the talk about not giving trite answers and I could see him measuring his answer, which was the other extreme. I didn’t want to feel better; I wanted the truth.

 He leveled his gaze at me.

 “In time. It’s like when I asked if you were ok… what did you say?”

 It was my turn to smile. “I will be”

 “And you will…”

 And once I calmed down I realized that … I am ok.

 NYE was that last push out of the skin I had been in for years. I knew that I would change and I liked where my life was headed. But on many levels, I wanted my old life back, but it was always empty (the benefit of hindsight) and to keep on that path is to do the same thing I accuse other folks of doing.

Fighting to be the Queen Bee of Nothing. Fighting to lead a group that does not want growth or grace or to progress in any beneficial way. They just want things to be the same as it has always been; a world of denial. A world where there is no tactic too underhanded, no lie too boldfaced and no depth to deep to prevent the truth to reach the light of day. A world where pity and the guilt trip rule.

 I’ve done my fair share and now I’m just done.

 I don’t want pity. I want God’s grace and His love. I want my husband and children to be core of my life like they used to be.

I want this new path and all the fear and joy and labor and promise it carries.

I wanted the New Year to be fresh and filled with the people with the lifes I aspire to.

The ones who the very embodiment of kindness, faith, trust in spite of, and sometimes because of, all of their faults. Those who soldier on the path of discipleship.

Just soos you know… since I started on this article, I have gone to both Holly’s B-Day and The Regifting Party, the first parties of the New Year for me. I still felt really wobbly and unsure and kinda shy, but I didn’t have to drink to get through them, either.

happy new year…








38 random, small, and quite silly things that I am thankful for this holiday season (in no particular order)

After a year of very deep and marginally depressing semi regular posts, I’m gonna lighten things up a bit. What follows are the little things in my life that bring me joy and I am glad to have in my life (in no particular order):

  1. 306 1.5ohm atomizers and drip tips
  2. Hamburger style sliced and hot and sweet pickles
  3. Medium sized woolly cats and little black kittens
  4. Adoring Hello Kitty late in the game (and driving my children crazy as a result)
  5. The ability to make my own booze (mead, wine, beer, and moonshine)
  6. The warm feeling I get when I see my husband’s car in the garage
  7. Attack hugs (given and received)
  8. the “pew-pew” sound
  9. Very small cupcakes
  10. Google Voice
  11. The joy of going barefoot… at work
  12. The company of such great artists
  13. The ability to make bread and cheese…
  14. … and jellies, jams, and fruit butters
  15. The bar height  tables and chairs at my new church
  16. …and the fact that my daughter and I can agree on a church
  17. Glass blowing
  18. That the vast majority of the men I know are HOT (and I assume that this is a fact their spouses are thankful for as well :D)
  19. Very small bowls
  20. Expedit bookshelves
  21. Ranch dressing
  22. My Snuggies (I would not have admitted that a year ago)
  23. Pillows (and the fact that I have a metric shite tonne of them)
  24. Lush
  25. Telephone Pictionary
  26. The smell of real books
  27. Gel polish
  28. Black toenail polish
  29. Tiffany blue
  30. Knowing how to juggle
  31. Hot and fresh Krispie Cream donuts
  32. That Law and Order UK has a bunch of Dr. Who cast members on it
  33. Google Doodles
  34. Rock Band sing-alongs
  35. The existence of 10 pound Hershey Bars and 1 pounds Reese’s Cups (at WalMart)
  36. Deviled eggs
  37. Glass tiles