17 December 2012


I try to be healthy. I run. I eat (mostly) right. And I do my best to take care of myself.

My insurance company sent me a packet on asthma, and begged me to spend their* money and get vaccines. So I obliged.

In November, I was vaccinated against whatever flu strain has been predicted for this season and pneumonia.**

Friday, I was vaccinated for whooping cough, which comes with a side of tetanus booster. Awesome. I knew my arm would hurt, since tetanus is notorious for pain. So all weekend I ignore the pain in my arm, and I ignored the swelling. I thought my arm looked a bit red, it was a tad tender to the touch, and seemed hot. I wrote it all off as just side effects.



That's right. I have a mild skin infection thanks to my penchant for trying to take care of myself. It hurts, I'm on medication and I still have problems moving my arm.

Ultimately, I blame my mom. She wants me vaccinated because I'm an "at-risk group" so really my being sick is her fault. I hope she's happy. :-P

*Ultimately, my money. However, the $90/month I pay is more than made up with my monthly prescriptions...so their money.

**This shot hurts like a bitch, f.y.i. In fact, it hurts more than my tetanus shot even with the cellulitis. So...stay away, unless necessary.

16 December 2012


Today was rough.

It started at Mass. I felt my grandmother's presence as I sat in the pew waiting for Mass to start. The day's readings were truly meant for me.*

Zephaniah 3:14-18**
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heartO daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed the judgment against you he has turned away your enemies; the King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fearOn that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem: Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst,a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.
The italic bits are the things that jumped out at me. Note also, all the female-gendered language. This is common when Christ talks to His people. He is the bridegroom, after all. But today, it made my heart lift a little thinking that He was talking directly to the sister's as we banded together and wore our pants. Pants that were meant to help us heal our hearts so we could "be glad and exult[ant] with all [our] hearts." I think Christ was "sing[ing] joyfully because of [us]."

Next, we had a reading from Philippians 4:4-7
Brothers and sisters: Rejoice in the Lord always.I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
That, my friends, was a perfect thing to read on a day when so many stepped outside their comfort zones and said "I'm here, and I matter!"

The final reading was from Luke 3:10-18. I think it shows that God has a sense of humor. I mean, granted, John the Baptist was saying it...but I'm pretty sure we can agree that as a mouthpiece for God, his being snarky is a reflection of a slightly snarky God...below is just an excerpt that shows what I found amusing:
The crowds asked John the Baptist,"What should we do?" He said to them in reply, "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He answered them, "Stop collecting more than what is prescribed."
See? That last sentence. It's funny, right? Just me? Hmmmmm...

I like going to Mass. I like seeing things from a new perspective. But on days when my heart is broken and my spirit weak, I look around and think "why not just stay here, why go back?" There is so much I love about Catholic worship. The symbolisms alone are enough to make this girl swoon. And I see the beautiful similarities in the faiths. When the congregation turns to each other and says "Peace be with you." I think it's a beautiful moment of unity in the body of Christ. I wish we did something similar.

I feel peace. I feel my grandma. She is with me there. She is proud of me and she loves me. So I left Mass tired and confused, but also lifted up a bit more than I have been in days.

Sacrament was fine. I was thinking too many thoughts and I wasn't at rest. I was the only one in pants, but there was a purple tie. I think it was unintentional, but it would have been cool if it had been on purpose.

And then I signed on to Facebook. I saw the photos, I read the accounts. And my soul lifted. My sisters were happy and they were smiling. No, they were beaming with the love of Christ. Their testimonies glowed, and I was touched.

So I say, I am healed. I see my slacks hanging in my closet, and I know they will be seeing more Sunday use.

"...the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

Peace be with you, dear readers.

* Proof that where 2 are gathered in Christ's name, there is His spirit. Someone knew I needed those.

** I am using the New American Bible for the scriptures today, since that is how they were read at Mass.

14 December 2012

Updated: Broken

Today I am both happy and sad to be part of my faith. This week I have seen its best side and its worst side.

And I don't like what I saw.

My Church is founded on Christ's life and teachings, we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ,...that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins" (2 Nephi 25:25). Yet, this week some of the members of a Christ-centered Church told others that they were not righteous enough, their testimonies weren't valid, or they should just leave and never come back.

We are supposed to be "willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things" (Mosiah 18:9). 

Instead, we got accusations and fear. 

And so today, my spirit remains broken. I believe so much in the true Gospel, the one my parents worked so hard to instill in me, not through sermons, but through their actions. I believe it, I feel it's presence and power in my life, every day. But when your own fellow members look on you with derision and hate, how do you find the strength to face it again? How do you walk through the door and feel safe and home?

And that is the question I am struggling with still. 
---Update: Then there was this. 

12 December 2012


I've been having a lot of thoughts lately. A lot of thoughts indeed.

Baltimore is being kind to me. I have an amazing roommate. I am in a good program. My ward is pretty top-notch.

But is it enough?

Let me rephrase that, and give some background.

For two years, I lived in the greater Salt Lake City area. I attended a single's ward, and I hated it. I tried to make friends. I tried to be involved. I tried to feel a part.

But most Sundays, I left in tears.

I did find a few friends. But sometimes they even made me feel like I didn't belong, and that I didn't fit into the ward family. I'm not sure it was intentional, but it often felt that way. I hadn't grown up in the area, and I didn't seem to live in the right neighborhood to be invited to hang out.

Now, I know what you're thinking, and I can say that I did try to invite people over to do things at my place. It didn't matter how many people I invited the same few showed up and no one else.

So for two years, I lived in silent agony. Feeling rejected in the one place I sought refuge. Thankfully, I knew that my Heavenly Parents didn't reject me, or  I would have walked away. My faith in their love for me, their knowledge of who I am and what I am carried me back to church each week.

I've never really expressed to anyone how hard those two years were for me. I'm trying to recover, and each week in my new ward makes it a little bit better. But I find it hard to trust. I don't believe that the Bishop and co. are really on my side. I want to believe they are, they've been nothing but kind to me. I just need time to heal and time to trust. I'll get there.

So when a group of women gets together and says "let's do something so no one feels marginalized and unnecessary" I want to join. I want to be part of something that can help those, like me, who struggle with knowing they belong.

Because we ALL belong.
All are alike unto God: male and female, black and white, gay and straight.
God is a Mother and a Father.
Mormon women matter.*

I matter. Everyone matters.

But some still point fingers, and call us names. They tell us that we are near apostate because we want to wear nice slacks to church as a sign of solidarity. And it hurts a little bit, and all that progress flies out the window, and once again I'm that woman who felt like she didn't belong in her faith.

And once again, I have to remember that my Heavenly Parents love me. They want me there. And so I go.

*Brooks, Joanna. (2012). The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith. pg. 193

26 July 2012

Defy Gravity

"Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith."
—Thomas S. Monson, "Living the Abundant Life", Liahona and Ensign, January 2012

And that's all I have to say about that.

Americans Are Such Badasses

Even when we don't know why.

Flags are such funny things anyway. I mean, all the rules and regulations that go with them. If an American flag touches the ground, don't wash it! Burn it! And the ceremony that goes with a proper flag burning retirement. No state flags can fly higher than the American flag, except Texas can be parallel.

And the ever important rule -- some would say the most important rule -- "No flag, no country.*"

*And I *will* back that up with my gun, from the NRA.

17 July 2012

Probably Going to Lose the Hand

Yesterday, I was baking me up some sourdough bread (because I'm a domestic diva), and my pot holder slipped. (Not so diva.)

My hand came into contact with my dutch oven. Which was about 450 degrees hot at the time. (That was the oven temperature, and we all know how awesome dutch ovens are at conducting heat. If you don't, ask me -- I have first hand experience.*)

Needless to say, I swore. A lot.

Thankfully, it happened when I was pulling the loaf out of the oven; unfortunately, I had one more loaf to bake. During which my thumb decided it would be a good idea to find a hole in the knitted potholder so that my thumb could find its way to the metal rack in the oven.

I swore a lot, again. (Did I mention the oven was blazing hot?!)

Spent the rest of the day with a cool compress on my right hand. I'm probably going to lose it.

*Pun intended, you're welcome.

11 June 2012

I Have Issues

If there is one thing I wish certain people would understand, it's this:

I don't have problems, I have issues. Problems can be fixed, issues you just deal with.

I'm not capable of being fixed. I will always
  • be Obsessive Compulsive
  • be a Perfectionist
  • have Control Issues
  • have Social Anxiety
There is no pill, no solution to these issues. They are permanent. However, they are manageable. With time, I will learn to live with them. They will not control me, nor will they define me. Some day, I may find I need to have medication to control them; again, this is not a solution. It is simply a way to help me learn to handle them.

Telling me that if I just do x, that I will feel all better does not help me. I have many friends who simply can't grasp that their suggestions on how I can fix my problem, hurt. Because they want to fix me, and I've tried to explain that it doesn't work that way.

One friend has told me that if I just go to more social activities, I'll be able to get over my social anxiety. Or that if I just tried harder to make more friends, Church wouldn't be so hard for me.

I'm sorry. I've tried. I've gone to the social activities. I've tried to talk to more people at Church. I've tried. I still cry most Sundays because I feel so out of place and on display. I had to give up a calling (playing the organ) because the Sundays I was up to play, I would shake and want to run and hide. Sitting on the stand, I *knew* that everyone was watching me. Not the speakers, me. I felt like their eyes were on me, seeing all my flaws, seeing everything that was wrong with me. Each mistake I made on the organ convinced me that they would see me for what I was, a failure. An impostor. Someone that shouldn't be there.

I couldn't handle it anymore, so I gave up the calling.

Some days, I can fake it. I can pretend that I'm not shaking on the inside. I can pretend that I'm normal. But pretending that I'm okay takes so much effort, that I'm left exhausted. One day, I hope to have all my issues managed. Until that day, take what you get. I'm trying. I don't want to feel so broken.

22 March 2012

Sad-Sounding Love Songs

In my grand collection of love songs that sound sad, I have finally found the one song to trump all others. Behold! I give you Leonard Cohen's Dance Me to the End of Love, as performed by The Civil Wars:

Now, I know what you're thinking. Why not just use good o'l Leonard's version...well, that was a little too 80s, if you know what I mean.

What makes this such a tragic love song is that it is based on the string quartets who were forced to play at the death camps while their fellow prisoners were marched into the crematoria. According to Cohen the line

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
where 'beauty' means "the consummation of life, the end of this existence and of the passionate element in that consummation." Further, "it is the same language that we use for surrender to the beloved."

He believed that it is unnecessary for anyone to know the origin story of the song, because "if the language comes from that passionate resource, it will be able to embrace all passionate activity."

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_Me_to_the_End_of_Love

23 January 2012

The One Where I Don't Hate God

A while ago, I made a comment to several people:
If x happens again, I'm going to be pissed at God.
Well, it appears that x may, in fact, happen. And I am not mad at God. At all. Of course, we all knew that He was the one place I would turn when x did happen, if x happened.

At the end of the day, He's the only one who will get it, and the only one who will understand. And as much as I want to be mad at Him, I'm not. I'm mad at myself and others, but not Him. Ha. Lucky Him.

Update: But God, don't think I don't notice all the similarities.You are on notice. Haha. Good thing this doesn't seem to be able to happen again. So, that "being on notice" thing means absolutely nothing, right?

(I know I'm being vague, it's on purpose.)