Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the moving files

the countdown is now in it's days stride. the excitement of the adventure at hand is all consuming, yet every now and then, without much notice or warning, i have a moment where the reality of what we're leaving behind strikes me and in that said moment i'm aware. conrad will tell you if prompted, straight up, "i'm not feeling all that great about it". of course, foremost, he is a child and he loves his playmates and the world as he knows it, but he, unlike most children his age or adults my age, has a real deal best friend and the thought of moving further than a few blocks away from this friend is a lot for him to process without displeasure. that, by far, is the most difficult part of this relocation to LA. i know we'll find a new church, find new ways to enjoy our weekends, find a cool neighborhood-a great home, and, surely sure, make new friends. i know this because i did it when i moved here to oregon. and while my experience here in oregon has been completely different on almost every imaginable level, i've adapted. jarringly, but assuredly.

Monday, December 19, 2011

any other way

i know the me who i think i am is not exactly accurate. i choose not to give too much validation to that perception-i choose instead to put my identity into who and how God sees me, and it's not some vague, broad brush of an assessment. it's specific. sometimes i forget, but He is also good to remind me, to restore me.

when i returned to church i wasn't just going to go, or to meet people, or to act out some christian expectation, no, i was retreating back to a heart that desired Him with everything, above everything. and as such i couldn't just sit there in worship all composed-i'm pretty sure for the first two years i lost it emotionally every time i opened my mouth to sing. we were together again, and He was reminding me: i was a worshipper. it's a very humbling thing to have the Creator gently admonish you of His design for you, to be brought back to a place you can't believe you ever walked away from.

i'm glad i have this identity to cling to and not my own because mine isn't kind to me, but in Him i am whole, i am purposed, i am beautiful, and He desires me.
i stayed up way too late last night talking with some friends, and i saw the gargantuan mess of pain that occurs when the descry of who we are is attained without His point of view. i wanted to shake the living daylights out of this person, i wanted to slap her across her face, but most of all i wanted to put some spectacles on her that would show her how He beholds her. but i realize to understand how God sees us it helps to know the nature of God; it helps to know that He doesn't grade our crapiness and gaffes on a scale from 1-10, or 1-infinite, that the redemption of the cross covers every imaginable sin. what an incredibly freeing thing it is! to walk in forgiveness because you know Christ really has covered your sins, that you are truly redeemed... i'm pretty sure nothing in this world can come close to compare.

i don't really care to give advice. it often comes across as presumptuous or haughty, but here, in this instance, i feel it must be put out there. we all need to remind ourselves, or if necessary, to redo the way we go about it. hence, define yourself not by what you are or by what you are not, by what you have done or by what you have not, by what you own or what you own not, but define yourself by Him and as such walk with your head held high. you are beautiful, and in Him redemption and design is found.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

most evenings, after the kids are in bed and the mess from the day has been tamed, i sit on the couch with the laptop perched where it's name suggests and browse all the wonders of the internet. i know i should be reading a book, or journaling, or knitting sweaters for the homeless, or learning an instrument, or baking bread, or brushing up on the romanian i never really learned, or writing 6 year late wedding thank-you cards, or re-arranging my sock drawer, but i don't. i veg out. i have my favorites, sites that check me out of reality and into a fantastical state of clean lines and the couture inspired : dwell studio, design public, wallpaper, modcloth, and fly london. then there is the allure of researching a random thing, or place, or an idea to no end, of which i thank craigslist and wikipedia and the google search engine. just this week i've garnered the most necessary of knowledge to include "which cars are the best for city driving", 12/12/12 (supposedly the world is going to end and the best place to be is up on a mountain in africa), work visas for australia and new zealand, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, and thyroid disorders...all of them.

i'm not proud of this, albeit i'm quite aware how deserved it is. i really do have the most rewarding and awesome job in the world, but it's also the hardest. still, i really should demand more of myself, at the very least, as it's occurring now, i could blog.

i went on a hike this morning, and if you were hearing me write this in my head then you would know i use that word "hike" very loosely. even as i'm about to type the following i'm hesitating because i realize most people live somewhere that even the jacksonville trails would sincerely be considered a hike. i don't, and i should: i'm from dallas. it's just i've been HIKING and while i absolutely love all the trails that make their way up and around our little town and that are less than a mile from my doorstep, it's definitely a far cry from being in the wilderness or attaining that pristine vista. but as i mentioned, it's less than a mile, maybe a mile, from my door step and so on a saturday morning when there are many other things to be accomplished it fits the bill.

and i do enjoy it-i love it. in fact, i'm always so glum when the trail meets it's dissolution and i find myself on a street or back at the trail head. i want it to go on forever and forever. it's the smell of the forest, the trees encompassing me, the quiet hush of solitude, a twig snapping, a bird in flight, my Creator and me. it's crack to my soul. as i was reaching the top of beekmans loop i could see the hills (in texas they would be classified as mammoth mountains) all adorned in autumns splendor, homes nestled in crevices, and the sky so blue. this spot has become a special spot for me, partly because it has a bench and by the time i make it up there i'm ready to sit and catch my breath, but mostly because it's a place God and I have all to ourselves. i had lots of these sort of places growing up-a field, or a nook under a bridge, and i would visit them regularly chatting away with God, mostly me doing all the talking, but during these visits He also taught me how to be quiet and how to not just hear Him but how to see Him.

and i see a Creator who is passionately in love with His creation; who puts songs on our hearts and wonder in our eyes; who is more compassionate than we give Him credit for; who whispers in the wind and in the absence of wind; who heals and restores; who inspires.

Friday, September 30, 2011

dallas had become stifling, a garrote for dreams-dreams of a life that would be about so much more than what that city had to offer-the endless pursuit of materialism, of popularity, and, as far as i could tell, nothingness. i was eager for an adventure, something that would and could catapult me into a hybrid of the dallas existence. there was also jon.

jon and i had been dating/not dating/interested in each other/not interested in each other for several years; shortly after the dismantle of hi-fi drowning and all the drama that surrounded the contentions that led to it, he hugged me farewell and set off in his truck for the great northwest. i remained in dallas for another year, completely unsure what and where the next step would be for me, the one thing i was most certain of was Change.

Change came in the form of love. the quandary that was our relationship, after nearly a year apart, had transformed itself into, for jon, intention about me- intention for devotion, and settled affection. i was more than receptive to this development, and after a harrowing act on jon's behalf to return to dallas to fetch me, i was off.

of course, the only thing one can expect is the unexpected, and that is exactly what oregon had in store for me. portland might have been an easier adjustment for someone (recently quasi-single and hip to the hipster scene) moving from a city like dallas, but with jon's no non-sense approach to EVERYTHING, we instead moved to a rural, small town in southern oregon where his sister lived and where we could rent a place for quite cheap which would provide us with the opportunity to finish up school and save some money. inject the unexpected. we arrived somewhere near the end of september and spent the following weeks turning a shit hole of an above garage apartment into something very livable. by mid-october i had a job cocktailing at a restaurant downtown and jon was back in the groove of the job he left when he came to save me from the humid throngs of dallas. our return to academia was planned for the coming spring. then in november the unexpected happened, and while it's been the most wonderful thing to have ever happened to me, it caught me by complete surprise: i was to become a Mommy.

since that moment the move to oregon became about something More than the More, it became about integrity, and that integrity has convoyed much wonderfulness and responsibility in mine and jons life. jon did finally make it back school a year and a half ago; i've yet to pursue anything past motherhood, i've made it a conscious effort to live this moment-the moment of my children being children.

and throughout the past six years i've learned a lot about myself-about my limits, like the fact i need to have sunshine by march-that nine months of rainy cold weather turns me into a very miserable being. i've discovered that music wasn't just something for my twenties-that i still crave the discovery and immersion of an orchestration of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre crafted in originality and done with great care, and that if i don't have it-if the need isn't meet-my disposition suffers greatly. i've realized i love the mountains, more than i ever could have anticipated-that the beauty of this place is magical, and that magic is like water for my soul. before living in oregon i didn't quite grasp how the magnitude of such a beautiful place can truly awe oneself about ones Creator-but i have learned with every new trail, each evening at the river, day at a mountain lake, and "sunday" drive we take, i steep in a regenerated level of astuteness about the greatness of the God i serve.

i left as a city girl fed up with the city, and six years later living in a small town in a valley surrounded by mountains, sure i'm still that city girl at heart, but i like to think i've embraced the northwest lifestyle and, if i had my way this weekend, i'd be backpacking in the Trinity Alps with not an extra change of clothes to my name, totally thrilled to be eating reconstituted freeze dried food later in the evening under a sky filled with stars, drinking treated water, and falling asleep curled up as tight as possible in my sleeping bag as tired and as happy as can be.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday, August 21, 2011

there is no such thing as a personal reality, just ones perception of reality. you can call a horse a cow all day long, but a horse is a horse and a cow is a cow regardless of ones perception. reality is not based on anything but itself; we, as humans in all our intellect, can not change it-however, we have the genuis ability of aligning our reason to it's constant, unbending truth.

"Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality." Thomas Aquinas

also, love trumps all.

Monday, March 07, 2011


i must be putting it out there, misrepresenting-because i keep hearing it, and it's not true, and truth be told, i want to be here. i left texas for more than a reason.

i miss it, sure.

pre-oregon: i wasn't one of those people who had this vision of their life's every detail planned out and thought through, especially the part about marriage and children. well, i guess i did but then something i'm intent on keeping vague happened and i was forced to hit the reset button, i just failed to hit the revise visually button. somewhere in that vacant void of a head of mine i figured it all would be exactly as i wanted it to be because i wanted exactly and whatever God wanted it to be. however, c.s. lewis wasn't kidding when he said, " We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." that last part is the post-oregon lesson.

i just always assumed that one day when i had a family, my family would be a part of it. of course, as mentioned, i wanted to move from texas. i moved, in part for a guy i was pretty sure i was going to want to spend the rest of my life with. and yet, i never put the one and one together. it never dawned on me that moving all the way to oregon, far from my family, to most likely start a new life with another person would mean my family would be...wait for it...far from it. that is the reality, but in this reality God is directing, and i like it best when He does the directing.

regrettably, when my kids have been sick for two weeks, it's incessantly dreary, jon is at work all day then three nights of the week playing music and fit in between all that his schooling, i crave and long for home. for texas. for family. for help. for days when my biggest stress was an unruly table of SMU douche bags. for margaritas on a warm patio with my friends.

i get it though. i get that-that longing and craving are a huge distraction from what the reality is all about, and that reality is loving God the way He deserves and loving others the way God does no matter what and no matter where i am.

let the record state:

missie misses her family and friends and bbq and tex-mex and live music and good times had in texas.
missie wants whatever God wants, and that seems to be oregon.
missie likes oregon.