Category Archives: Jesus Knows Me

Cat Stevens, On the road to find out… For Chris.

She’s lost it.

Did you hear she’s a Democrat?

She left our church!

I bet she left God too.


I didn’t lose it.

I didn’t run away from home like you think. Truth is, I ran away a lot. Just not like you think.

I ran away in my dreams and to the lake where I could learn banjo undisturbed. I ran away from the noise to find my voice. I ran away to Nashville and to the stage. I ran away from old lies that were holding me back. I ran away from things whispered in the dark, “you aren’t enough.”

I ran away from people who would dare tell me I wasn’t a real Christian because I wasn’t raised in the church like were.

I can’t leave God. My name is written in His hand and nothing can snatch me away.

I have been on a journey and it’s been glorious.

I found authors who dare tell the truth.

Friends who see and know ME.

I found my best friend, or she found me. Either way.

I’m still married by the way and we love each other now, more than ever.

I Am Indeed Homeward Bound

storyI have a new writing coach and together we are exploring voice. If you recall, I had a coach for poetry a couple of years back and shared my assignments. I did the same thing when I was working through my Women’s Issues classes last year. This is not that much different. We all have stories. We find connection in those stories. Through owning our stories we learn to own ourselves and we show up to live authentic lives. In sharing our stories, we find out that we are not alone. I’ll be adding these writing assignments here from time to time.


“You will always be welcome here.”

Fat chance,  I thought. Just wait till you get to know me. You’ll regret those words. Even as I thought that, I giggled like a little girl. Does he really mean that? I have no idea. I mean he meant it innocently enough – nothing weird or anything like that. They just aren’t in my life at the present moment because I can’t drive. And yet, those words still ring in the back of my mind.

I had to travel once and told him that I would be gone for a while.

“I’ll still be here.” he said.

I hang onto that, now that I have a broken leg and life has kept me away. It doesn’t matter if he’s ever back in my life. Those words were a healing balm to a very hungry soul. I hang on to them when I’m feeling adrift. They anchor me, if that makes sense. The timing melted my soul a little. My cold, angry, shaking, and fearful heart saw light. I smiled, put on my sunglasses so he wouldn’t see the tear and left the store.

Welcome is not a word I heard a lot.  I’m still in awe of it some days really. I used to hunger for it. I looked for it in all the wrong places when I was younger and settled for far less. I am careful of it so as not to over stay my welcome. I’m learning as well that for the right people, there is no such thing. I just didn’t know that.

I learned that at a very young age I’m sure. Truth is I wore out my welcome at home when I was 12.

“Fine, if you want to see your father so badly, how about I pack your bags and you can stay there! Not that he’ll take you either.”

She tried to kill herself while I was gone, and wound up in treatment for alcoholism.

She never did pack my bags either, and it’s just as well. He only wanted me on his terms and only when it was convenient. I was his inconvenient truth most days.

I didn’t visit him again until I was 19.

The poets Simon and Garfunkel sing about being homeward bound. Musicians on the road, wishing they were home. Lovely song really. Sweet sentiment anyway.

I’ve lived in over 20 different cities and two countries. Home is an elusive term to me. I used to travel for business but back then home was an empty apartment in Hoffman Estates IL. There was no love waiting silently for me. Or was there?

What if, you were that lover waiting silently? Not for me, that would be weird. And awkward since I’m married and all.

But what if… you were that lover waiting for your truest self to return? Possible? We journey far from home some times. We try on personalities, beliefs, careers, relationships in season and out of season. That’s not necessarily a bad thing mind you.

But sooner or later, that small secret place inside all of us beacons us back.

dont let goMy friend David went “home” this week. That’s Christian code for heaven. He passed rather unexpectedly due to multiple embolisms. Poor guy didn’t stand a chance. He was young too. A writer, a husband, a father, a son, a friend. A great guy really. He always wrote of adventure and about finding out who he is and what he is made of.  He’s the reason I want to climb Pikes Peak and why I dared take my boys swimming with sharks. I’m going to miss him. I wonder if he ever found his truest self this side of heaven? I’d like to think so. Now that he is there, I’m guessing he knows even more so how dearly loved he is.

I bet he heard the words “welcome home.” And “You are always welcome here.”

I have lots of thoughts on the word “home.”

  • We can be running away from home.
  • Heading home.
  • Be at home in our own skin
  • Hit a home run.
  • or even “Walking each other home” as Rumi says.

But what is home? I have ideas on what it should be.

Home should be a safe place.

Some place in our lives where we are welcomed with open arms.


At Peace.

A place where you are filled up with great things and released back into the world, happy and whole.

I try very hard to create such a place for my boys and my husband.

I’m only now learning how to create such a place for myself. I deserve a home as well. A place where I am happy and whole. A place where I am still enough to be loved. 

But that definition of home isn’t true for everyone. Home is sometimes filled with strife, and disappointment. Abuse. Anger. Silence. Home for many people (yours truly included at times) is a place of judgment, anger, unmet expectations and needs. A dumping ground for other people’s baggage.

Not the home I live in mind you, just the one I go back to sometimes. The one I feel obligated to visit.

“She is your mother after all. You need to treat her with respect. She raised you. She deserves that much.”

And I do. I have learned how to give her what she is incapable of giving me. The one thing, she’s never been able to receive. I love her completely, unconditionally, and with as much grace as possible. I stink at it some days. But I still try.

I’ve returned from those trips at times, broken, hurting, questioning my value in the universe.  But I still go back. Why? I believe in making choices I can live with. That is one of those choices.

The chance to love my mother – for fun and for free, no strings attached. I do it every chance I get.  Not because I have to really, but because I want to. This broken alcoholic who hates Christians, who told me if abortions were legal, she’d have had one in 1965 is in as much need of love as the next person. Maybe more. I don’t know. Took me years to land there. Who knows, once she’s gone I may believe something different. Just not today.

No. I won’t believe differently. She doesn’t know what love looks like, therefore receiving it is painful for her. She doesn’t trust it. And that’s okay. It’s not my job to make her trust it. It’s just my hope to love her no matter what.

Do you know she told me once told me that I should never wear long skirts because I am short and chubby and they make me look like a hobbit? She did. Then she called me a few months later to give me the great news. Doc has her on steroids and now she’s just as fat as I am. Isn’t that a hoot?

My mom is mentally ill if you haven’t caught that. Home is something I’ve had to create for myself outside of my birth family. Some people write off homes like that. I choose not to.

Home is some place I was never allowed to return to once I married a Christian and moved to Oklahoma. There were no family gatherings. No Christmas with the grandparents or Easter either. Only annual visits on her schedule when she chose to visit and always for her birthday. My boys grew up without cousins, or aunts or uncles. They did however have a grandmother who came to see them. Who made them cards from scratch and loved them completely. She does Grandma very well. I do love that about her.

Even so, we’ve had to create a second family for them. I have had to create a new home for myself. Home is now my husband, my two boys, my new church, my friends, my life in Oklahoma.

Home is my swing on the hill overlooking the water at the cove.

Home is that place of peace inside of me that nothing can touch. White velvet. The hand of God. Unblemished by abuse.

Everyone has that by the way, we just don’t always see it, neither in ourselves nor always in others.

I think the person who told me I was always welcome, he saw it. He chose to show it to me over time through his kindness and his gentle caring.

When I tell people I am going home, meaning the other home – I’m braced. I’m ready for the insults. The anger, and the disappointment.  I am covered in prayer, released of expectation and take with me the only traveling companions I have, the God who loves me and the prayers of my husband.

I have absolutely no idea what it feels like to be loved unconditionally by a parent. That has never been part of my reality.

My mother was my abuser. That’s probably why I have such a hard time getting along with women and why I sometimes prefer the company of men. Less drama really  – and I have daddy issues on top of that, so wow that’s a mouthful. And yet, she is my mother. No less a child of the universe than I.

My best friend from grade school is back in my life – (cyber wave). She is the one who gave me this writing challenge and while it took me forever to write it out, I appreciate her. She is part of my “home.” The truest self of who I was and who I’ve yet to become. Having her back in my life give me roots. I think I understand their song now – I wasn’t born broken. I was born beautiful. Whole. Innocent.

Then life happened and now I journey. I think. I get lost. And yet, I don’t have to wish anymore.

I am finding my way home.

Where the music plays.

And my lover (me) waits I am indeed

Homeward Bound.

And it is glorious!

(excerpt from a writing assignment: What does it mean to be homeward bound?)

Proof that Banjo Is Cool: Neil Young

“There is music you never hear unless you play it yourself.”
― Marty Rubin

banjo neil youngIf I could sum up the feel that I go for when playing banjo, this picture would be it. It’s Neil Young, circa 1970’s playing sitting quietly under a tree.

People usually make fun of banjo. My thoughts are if Neil Young plays, it must be cool.

Having a broken leg has it’s advantages. I was so busy last year that practicing my banjo was usually an after thought.  My teacher can probably attest to that. I’m pretty sure I annoyed the snot out of him many times by showing up without the songs memorized.

I’m presently on week 30 of my “12 week vacation” and I’ve found a lot of time to practice.

Go figure.

Today, I spend a whole lot of my day sitting and picking and learning and I love it.

I especially love the fact that I can pick up my banjo and create something that didn’t exist five minutes ago.

That is too cool.


Ya Got Trouble – or do you? A glimpse into the wilderness

Unless we know how to be alone on purpose, not in a runaway alone, but an intentional pilgrimage, we’ll never learn how to be with people.

That’s why I wrote yesterday’s post. Not everyone knows how to be alone. I thought I did. I used to look forward to my days at the lake – until they spread out to over 200 of them. That’s when I discovered that I have a limit for alone.

That’s okay. We are created for relationship. We aren’t created to stand alone. One aides the other, but one should never exclude the other.

I admitted something yesterday that is really taboo in my circles. I admitted that I don’t always like myself. Everyone goes through seasons like that, but not everyone admits it really. We’d rather hide behind an all’s well mask.

I’m not much for hiding really.

Unless I want to, and then I’m killer at it.

I’ve shared many things over the years with you guys. We’ve talked about fear, about courage, about death, about being tired. I’ve even shared stories about things I’d just as soon forget, like the *real reason I hate being called “darlin'” (see bottom of post) and about my past experience with depression.

I do want to clarify, I am not using soul-tired and depressed interchangeably. They mean two different things to me.

I’ve been depressed, I know that black night of the soul. It sucks.

Thankfully, I’m not there today. But if I’m not careful, soul-tired can become soul-sick very easily. It’s a slippery slope really.

What I honestly didn’t realize, before heading on this adventure is how tired I really was last fall. I slept the first three weeks I was here and blamed it on the surgery.

That wasn’t the problem.

I had some big emotional items on my plate. Things I don’t share here because it would harm others. But trust me, just because I don’t share them does not mean they aren’t real. They are very real and they weighed on me because I confused myself with Atlas and thought it was my job to carry it all on my shoulders.

I’m kind of egotistical like that.

I had pushed myself beyond my limits and did not do the things I know to do to stay above water.

Now it’s true, life is not without it’s problems and we can’t always escape them. We do however have choices and can take right action to help ourselves.

The first thing we need to do is not be victim of this guy:

They didn’t even know they had trouble until he came along. And the truth is they didn’t have trouble – he just wanted to sell some musical instruments. He had a motive, and an agenda to create a FEAR BASED need. The town bought it, hook line sinker and tackle box.

That happens today – just look at Facebook or Twitter, MSNBC or Fox News — Town Criers everyone proclaiming trouble. Turn it off once in a while. Use discernment.

If you’ll recall, I posted a bit of an emancipation proclamation a few days ago – the whole Best Friend or worst enemy thing. I’ve had to consciously remove myself from manipulative circumstances for my own sanity — that’s a sign of health. I’m no longer willing to blindly follow fear based leaders.

Charisma is a turn off to me today.

As are threats of abandonment — do this or I’ll leave. Okay. Leave.

Cold? Maybe, but not really. It’s the most loving thing I can do for both of us today. Took me years to learn that.

I have HUGE attachment/abandonment issues. I’ve spent the past 200 or so days facing them. You know what I learned? They aren’t that hairy after all.

Other things I didn’t do during my Let’s go out and conquer 2013:

1. I didn’t exercise. Oh sure, I planned for it, wrote about it, bought things and signed up for clubs, but I never pulled the trigger. Exercise is important. It released endorphins and gives oxygen to the brain.  Yes, I got injured, but I spent so much time staring at closed doors (Cycling) that I didn’t look for new doors.

2. I didn’t face my problems head on. That’s not like me. I’m a deal with it now and get over it kind of woman. I value my relationships. The trouble is, fear kicked in. I’d done such a great job (tongue in cheek) cleaning house in 2012, I found myself not wanting to rock the boat in 2013. That made me dishonest. I hate dishonesty. That hurt some very important, to me, relationships. Rather than honestly deal with issues, I internalized them and created a wedge with more than one person.

3. I cut off my spiritual arm to spite my face. I had my mentoring group and we studied scripture and whatnot, but that is not the same as being in fellowship with other Christians. I wasn’t even reading my bible if it didn’t pertain to my classes. I let my well run dry. That made me thirsty.

4. I caught myself wanting things that I didn’t have instead of being thankful for the things I did.  I started filling up a spiritual void with junk food. Wrong relationships, wrong motives, wrong everything really. Wishful thinking replaced right action mostly,

While it is true that I didn’t necessarily do something permanently stupid just because I was temporarily upset, I did hurt myself with my own unrealistic expectations of how it was supposed to be.

I refused to own my feelings. Or my thoughts. Every time something unpleasant bubbled up in my life – whether a relational conflict, or a fear, or hurt, or anger, I stuffed it and got busy doing more. The conflicts went unresolved.

I was alone long before I came out here because I’d already gone inward and withdrawn into myself.

The one thing I’ve wanted most in this life after kids is to live an authentic life.

Authentic lives are messy. They involve people. And before I can fully introduce myself to that equation, I have to deal with me first. And that is why I’m here.

*There are people in my life today who are allowed to call me Darlin’. They’ve earned that right. They are what Henry Townsend calls Safe People. They know that trust is earned and are gentle in the earning process. They tell the truth in love. (they call me on my bull) While they don’t always like me, they do express a kind of love that is endearing. They have boundaries and they respect mine. They give me a chance to make amends when needed and they own their own side of the sidewalk. Always a good sign.

So, dear readers — have you ever gone into the wilderness of alone, whether on purpose or out of necessity? Would you like to share something you learned?






The Cove at Rock Creek

I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of digging this slower life-style that I’ve had to become accustomed to while I get my leg fixed. No more crazy deadlines, being out half the night at the club, driving people places, rushing to the store or lessons. Just being me.

Last Fall I got the chance to watch the season come and go as winter arrived and this time, I get to watch Spring arrive in all of her glory and might. I miss working in the dirt. I haven’t figured out how to do that and not put weight on my leg and that’s okay. If I don’t have my garden this year, there is always the Farmer’s Market.

For now, I get to read, play my banjo, write to my heart’s content, spend time with friends, talk on the phone, love my family, and when opportunity strikes – take pictures.

All in all. It’s really not a bad life.

This slowing down thing.

You can click on the photos if you want to see them better. If you choose to share them that is fine, so long as you link back here. Thanks for reading.

rainbow at rock creek

woodpecker 2014 cove

to have faith