Chasing My High

I remember learning in the parent group while my son was in rehab the first time that the addict is forever chasing that first high. Nothing can compare with the initial use, the chemistry is forever altered, it requires ever more of the substance to achieve any pleasurable results. Yet the user knows how amazing it feels, remembers the euphoria. So the chase continues. I think holiday gatherings are much like this for me.

I love thanksgiving, I love cooking and decorating and filling my table with friends and family. I chase the high of gratitude filling the air like the sweet smell of marijuana at an outdoor concert. I just know if I provide the setting, put all the pieces in place, grace will overflow like wine from a shakily poured brown bottle in an alley. I expect card games after the meal, laughter rising up, children running amok, a party worthy of the noise control. I am chasing a high long gone. I cook for two days, plan much longer. I scour Pinterest for table doo-dads, I write on chalkboards. Like the heroin user setting up the needle, spoon, the rope to tie around my arm, my high begins with the process. The anticipation of what is to come generates energy, I barely sleep. Excitement builds, I know my high is coming. But just like the addict who is stuck remembering that one great time, I am forever disappointed. I know I am expecting too much, I want to recreate that one event or a compilation of wonderful thanksgivings without telling everyone their part in my play. Still, it is thanksgiving dammit. Where is the gratitude? Where is the grace? Why aren’t we playing cards? Why did no one write on the board or fill out their little cards at the table? I was left feeling like a drive through, albeit one with couches and a tv for everyone to pass out on after the meal. Coming right in time for the meal, leaving immediately after or taking a nap, not contributing to my high. I was left wanting.

It has taken me days to realize the pressure I put on everyone else to fill me with gratitude. I wanted everyone else to get me high, to load me up on this one day. Just as an addict is looking externally for fulfillment, I forgot that I am in charge of my own joy. I forgot that grace was still at our table, that I had indeed provided the setting for each person to dine but also to rest. The rush of their lives doesn’t allow for that, just stopping for a while was a gift, something I know they are grateful for, something they treasure about our closeness. Because the day didn’t go as I planned I lost sight of my own gratitude. I missed out on the real high of the day.

The leftovers are gone, the fine china stored again. My own nap has restored me. I have resisted putting up the Christmas decorations, something I usually do the weekend after the big turkey fest. Instead, I am reflecting on my own lack of thanks, my own need for others to fill me up. The pumpkins and gourds, the oranges and yellows have stayed put around the house until I achieve my own sobriety, until I can write on my own chalkboard. Reviewing the 12 steps is enlightening, reminding me that the hole I was trying to fill is God-sized.

Here are the 12 Steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I’m not sure which step I’m on, I know holidays are rough, I may slide back as Christmas looms and our household is rocky right now. I may try to force others into my mental images of great family gatherings in order to achieve my jolly, my merry. One day at a time, though. For now, it is enough that I know my high comes from the Most High, that there will never be a perfect gathering here on earth, certainly not around my dining room table. I think my sanity is being restored, I am grateful for that. To all who gathered here, I apologize for not finding your very presence to be enough. I am sorry for wanting more from you, adding strings you couldn’t see. That is my defect, please consider joining me for coffee and cookies and a chat and a nap if you need. I am thankful for all of you, I really am.

 

Love Gifts Across Time

The turkey was in the oven, needing only broth and herbs added in 20 minutes, while Chef and I and our friend along with the beasts headed out for a quick 1 mile walk in the local edition of the turkey trot. I left explicit instructions for the woman who has cooked her whole life, I left the broth measured in a cup, the herbs in a bowl. I left knowing there was a good chance I would come back home to disaster. Upon returning I found she had turned the oven off, the broth from the noodles was in the roasting pan, almost overflowing, the herbs still sat on the counter.

My mother-in-law has alzheimer’s. It is still early in the disease, an ugly limbo where we aren’t sure how much intervention to take, how far to step in, how much to take away from her. Chef still wants to ask her, wants her to be his mother who tells him rather than be the one to parent her. It is an ugly transition, one I can’t say we are doing well. She has 3 boys, all who have benefitted from her active involvement in their lives. They are resisting the change. No one wants to step up, I understand their resistance and yet push, push my Chef. I pepper him with questions: “Did you check her medicine? Do you know when her next appointment is? Did you set up a meeting with all the brothers?” This is not helpful, my powerless matches his, we all are coping with the loss of all that is her differently. Thus, I was determined this Thanksgiving was going to be special, centered around her even if she wasn’t aware.

It began on Wednesday when I turned on Pandora to play while we were all tasking, I chose a 50’s classic station. Chef winked at me as she said over and over how each song was her favorite, asked how I found that song to play. She thrilled in the music, I delighted in her happiness. I snuck upstairs to let the tears flow, to thank God for the opportunity to bring joy to her. She followed me around, asking questions that I had answered only moments before. When is Plum’s birthday? (Last month, she made the cake.) Do you have just one cat? (remember, the other one is out on couch.) Where is Chef? (he just went into the garage, he will be right back) Where is Plum? (He will be back tomorrow) Do you need to get Plum off the bus? (He is with Mama, he will be back tomorrow) Is it time for Plum to come yet? (sigh).

I found tasks for her, simple things that ended up not so simple. Heart-breaking questions regarding which how to place the silverware next to the plates, complete inability to follow the pattern around the table. Dishes to wash, cats to feed. Still, I rejoiced that she was with us for this time. She asked what pies I was making, wondered about a butterscotch one. I have never made that, ever. Never considered it. I made it this year, a quick edition to the menu. She makes the cream pies, that has always been her thing. She asked, I found a way to deliver, scared I would ruin it, frightened it wouldn’t taste right. I forgot that it didn’t have to be perfect, it just had to be. I let her lick the spatula, she loved the pie.

She forgot to bring a necklace to match her outfit, she has hundreds at home. I found one to share with her. She forgot a sweater, I gave her one of mine. Each act of nurturing allowed me to say thanks for the years of her generosity, the years she showed up for every surgery, every party, every school event. I kept track of her drink, her phone, her book. I kept track of her. I ached when she came down for the meal on Thursday and her hair was a mess, she is a hairdresser by trade. Her collar was tucked under, she was a bit of a mess. I gently straightened her up as I passed by, tasking, running to complete the pre-meal prep.  “Lisa, what do you need me to do?” She never used to ask, she just knew. I asked her to set the table. I laid out placemats, plates, gave her the exact number of silverware. She asked how it was supposed to go, repeatedly. She just couldn’t remember. Fork next to knife, some places had 2 spoons, some not at all. We sorted it out as my heart ached.

During the meal, several times throughout the days, I found myself snapping at Chef. “Hey, stop teasing her.” “Don’t talk to her like that.” “Stop pestering her.” His mother who has always felt comfortable as the butt of any joke as long as it brought laughs, the woman who laughed with us all, I felt so overly protective I was battling with her son. Warning glances from him unheeded, I just couldn’t back off. Our views of her are no longer the same, maybe never really were. He has history, the childhood that carries both the joys and the hurts. I have mostly just deep appreciation for who she has been to me, the mom I didn’t have. Our early years were not so easy, I battled for my place next to Chef, thought I needed to claim my territory. I really just needed to open up more space. She wanted me too, not just him. I am one of the lucky wives who can tell mother-in-law stories that are both hilarious and tongue-in-cheek, no rancor or anger or hurt to be found. I was fighting with Chef over his mother, probably millions of wives were doing the in kitchens across the country. Ours was an uncommon battle maybe. I was claiming her, mine, back off.

I soaked up this holiday, one in which I knew it could be a last. We don’t always get that knowledge, that gift to really absorb and be present. I will rest easy knowing I won’t be consumed by “what-if’s” and “if only’s.” I realize we are moving into a time where she is child-like, fortunately I love children. I have unlimited patience for them, for answering questions and teaching how complete tasks. I may be facing unbearable heartache, but for this holiday, I gave her my attention, my all. Just as she has given to me. Thank God for the chance, one more time.

 

My Plum Sees

Plum participated in the greatest of Thanksgiving traditions, the kindergarten program replete with paper bag costumes and turkey hats. A roomful of parents with phones on video mode sitting in chairs designed for much tinier posteriors, children anxiously ruffled and rattled as they waited for the teacher’s cue to begin. Each child looked out into the sea of faces, searching for mom, dad, their special person. Chef and I were invited by Mama to attend, we got in first, parking was a mess. Plum insisted we sit in the front row, I’m not sure how those coveted seats were still open. I assured him when Mama got there I would move. He looked puzzled then agreed I could move one row back. The sound of paper crinkling filled the air. Finally it was time to begin.

First up was the standard alphabet on a feather skit, each child had a part in the play, memorizing the story of the first Thanksgiving based on a letter. As it neared Plum’s turn we noticed the child next to him, lip quivering and eyes filling with tears. This child had yet to spot his mother. Plum began to pat his back, his knee, assure this child his mom would be there. Plum almost missed his cue because he was too busy comforting the other child. When he was called, he stood up loud and confident, stated his lines with the assurance of a 6 year old. Next up was his classmate who made it through without the tears falling. He hurried back to his place on the floor next to Plum, turned sideways, facing Plum instead of the audience and accepted solace from his friend. Soon his mom appeared, all was right in kindergarten land.

More songs followed, Plum sang with the corresponding moves, a delight to watch. The finale was each child holding a laminated drawing with the writing describing what they were thankful for, Plum’s said his mom and dad. His new dad. My heart rejoiced. Chef and I were not on the poster. I hugged Mama who had snuck in next to me, Chef graciously had moved to the back of the room. Not too long ago, that paper would have said grandpa and grandma. It would have showed an imbalance in Plum’s life. It would have hurt Mama, it would have indicated that we took precedence. Now Plum is secure in his home, we are grandparents while not fully in the traditional sense but getting closer, ever closer.

I considered this play, I loved hearing the songs in little voices. I was proud of my Plum, remembered how timid he was last year in pre-school during that version of this play. He has grown in so many ways, his security at home and all the years of our sacrifices to ensure stability bearing fruit. More though, I was so deeply touched by his compassion. He noticed hurting, he saw pain and naturally began to soothe. His empathy is uncanny, highly developed for one so young. He is that child who cares. Last night as we read books, I selected one called “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig. It tells the story of a child ignored by the teacher and classmates, a child left behind, until a new boy joins the class. An act of caring by the invisible boy, reaching out to the new kid who is mocked by the class, creates a bridge that allows them both to be included. A beautiful story with haunting illustrations, this book never fails to elicit discussion.  But last night, I used it to praise my Plum, to point out that he was an “includer,”a child who has a heart so big it takes over the room. I told him my favorite part of the play was him comforting his sad friend. I didn’t tell him how much I liked his poster, that is for older Plum.

Thanksgiving brings many opportunities to include, to set an extra place, pull up an extra chair, open our home to those who might be feeling lost or alone.  I am thankful for teachers who put in the work, teaching songs that explore gratitude. I am thankful for opportunities to see children is paper bags. I am so very thankful for my Plum, who has survived and thrived and loves with his big heart. I pray I remember always the example set by my so very sweet Plum in kindergarten. If I miss my cue for the big show, I hope it is because I am patting someone’s back.

Winter Cats and Gideon

We are transitioning from summer cat to winter cat around here. Summer cats run wild and stop in only to eat, leaving me to wonder if they are alive. They rarely come when called, hide in the drainage ditch when storms come, wake me during the night when battling other summer cats with fierce declarations about territory.  They bring in treasures like moths, frogs, even a bat this year but forget to tell me, leaving the creatures as reassurance of their skills, reminding me I have no reason to worry about my summer cats. Unfortunate finds of baby birds and slower adult ones, moles and the occasional mouse have become so commonplace Plum no longer is sad, has bought into my “circle of life, just a part of nature” routine and merely hollers, “Gran, I found another one!”  Summer cats are not my favorite.

Winter cats run about the house at night, chasing each other and imaginary (I hope) creatures. They lay on anything warm, my lap and my laptop the preferred spots. Sluggish throughout the day, their skills go into hibernation, they get a bit fat. They sometimes look out windows, waiting for spring, dreaming of freedom. Mostly they sleep. I like winter cats, I always know where they are, I don’t check fur for scratches, I never step on frog bits. Winter cats share their warmth and their hair, a trade off on cold snowy days. They create marginal interruptions when I am writing, most often just a scoot to the left or a nudge to the right as one of them chooses the space between my arms and the keyboard as the best resting spot. Still, I enjoy the company.

Winter cats are returning, easing into our home on a more regular basis. Our beasts are still too young to understand the cats were here first, the cats believe they have dominance. I have worried about this transition for a while, wondering how beasts who insist on chasing everything that moves would accept winter cats. I worry about things like this, fret over the small things because there are too many big things that just squeeze the breath right out of me. Focusing on the cat situation has allowed me to for a time to ignore our loss of income, our broken relationship with our daughter, our lack of health care. I researched ways to integrate cats and dogs, I sought wisdom from others. I bought a squirt bottle to discourage overzealous beasts and treats to encourage them when they listened. I have never been great at dog training, mostly I taught them that the command “leave it” means a cat is close by, run, chase, fun is at hand. Still we are transitioning.

Yet for all my efforts and concern, the cats and beasts are working it out by themselves. They actually need very little intervention by me. Winter cats want in, beasts get tired eventually. The world keeps going. All of my fretting and hand-wringing created nothing but distraction for me.  Just as these small issues seem to resolve themselves, the big ones come and go and appear smaller in hindsight, counted as blessings with distance and perspective. I can see clearly how the huge upheavals in my life have created space for more, have prepared me for the greatness that was coming. Trusting that truth each time in the midst has been the seed of faith God has asked me to cultivate. Believing in Him, knowing that He loves me, ME, has not been a one-step process, rather a long transition. I am reminded of Gideon, that great leader who was visited by an angel, had a conversation WITH and angel and yet still needed confirmation from God. He tested God, asked for reassurance even AFTER the first test. God was patient, He had plans for His child and knew that much would be asked of him. God accepted Gideon’s need for proof, for hard evidence. He didn’t ask him to go only by faith, believing in the face of hard times, rising up against armies of those who worshiped idols without the affirmation of God. Gideon talked with an angel and still he needed more. I know God is patient with my testing, with my doubt, with my worries. I know also that in this really hard time, He is delighting in my faith.

I don’t know what is going to happen, what our future holds. The hurdles of the past have been my testing, God delivered. I feel a “peace that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7) and somedays I wonder if I am crazy to not be consumed with anxiety. Then I realize this is what faith feels like, a deep soul knowing. We are in a really big transition, one we didn’t anticipate. We know where we were but not where we are going. That usually freaks me out, to my very core. I like control, I like to drive, I like to KNOW. Yet I am okay this time, I just feel the goodness coming. I can feel it like child anticipating Christmas morning, getting cranky with the waiting but knowing the elves are watching so best behavior is required. I am still being good, I know God has greatness in store for us. I am waiting. This is so new it surprises me, surely delights God. Still old habits remain, I am freed up to brood about the little things, like whether my eyebrows will ever grow back in or why Chef must rearrange my cabinets. God has the big stuff and I am trusting Him. As for my winter cats, they are in and the beasts are adjusting. My home is full, my lap is rarely empty and my heart is joyful.

Of course, we haven’t put up any Christmas trees yet.

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving week is here, my favorite holiday of all. No gifts, just food, just enjoying who ever shows up at the table. I love the meal, I love the cooking and planning and setting the table. I love that every year I plan for those I know will be here and Chef says late in the game, “Would it be okay if I invited a couple more?” Every year. I know my Chef, he can’t bear to think anyone would spend the day alone. Our table always is big enough, there is always enough food for more. But more than the meal, I especially relish the spirit of gratitude that descends upon us.

Remembering years past, previous tables and guests who won’t join us this year, I can’t get lost in wishing. While it would be amazing to collect people and just keep adding more chairs, more plates, I know that memories will have to do. Saying grace together before our feast, captured in pictures and forever in my heart, these meals make each new one richer. Laughter and stories echo around the dining room, we still remember those who are dining elsewhere, their place at our table forever etched in our history. I pull out recipes, consider that this is the favorite of my daughter, I remember her licking spoons and sneaking tastes. Another recipe calls to mind my mother, the best cook ever, who instructed me on my first time cooking the meal over the phone, my notes are on the back of envelopes, still tucked away in my recipe box.  I think about my son who mostly likes the desserts, prefers to eat without all the fanfare, making huge plates of leftovers after everyone is gone.  We used to always celebrate with a neighboring family, they didn’t cook anything, loved everything we made. They always brought something from the store, a pie and a great bottle of wine. They stayed the longest, late into the evening, laughing, oh how we laughed.  Mama has been with us for most of the last 7 years now, she loves sweet potatoes, so much so that when she was breastfeeding Plum he turned orange!  A couple of years ago we served our meal to parents of each of our good friends, mothers who would soon pass away. These images of sweet women sitting at our table, everyone loving them with gentleness and care, will remain with me forever.

This year has brought many changes to our lives and yet we are moving forward with our meal, our celebration of thanks. We continue our tradition of cooking, cleaning, shopping, preparing a feast and gathering around a table. One day, for just a few hours, together to remember who we are to each other, in that moment. To create some new pictures, to build new memories.  The food is always delicious, the clean up a chore, yet I cannot abandon this one holiday and all it brings.

Our chairs will be filled out this year with our Korean friends, we celebrate with them often. Their son is the same age as Plum, only weeks apart. They are expecting a baby girl soon, just a few months after Mama’s new baby. They are as at home here with us as anyone, an extension of our family. Mama and her new husband will be here, with Plum. Mama expects my cooking on Thanksgiving.  She knows her place at the table, she is due in just a few weeks and we don’t argue with pregnant women. We have come to love her choice of spouse, he has grown comfortable here as well. Next up will be my favorite guest, my mother-in-law, J.

J stands barely 5 feet and could run the country. She has no idea what strangers are, she is the most generous person I know and is completely lacking in a filter for her thoughts. She  creates energy, she creates joy, she can sometimes drain mine as well. She has never missed a family gathering, a child’s event, a surgery, an illness. She shows up. This may be our last holiday with her when she really knows how much we love her, dementia is setting in. I plan to make it her best. We have always cooked together, she is an excellent baker. Those skills are going but she will be present in my kitchen regardless. I need this time with her, I need more pictures.

With each successive Thanksgiving, we come together, we remember, we count blessings, we share joys. Chef and I are always here, serving, loving, celebrating our friends and family.  Whatever else the year has brought, we always come around to that Thursday in November when our table is full and our hearts are bursting. We will be saying grace and thanking God for all of our blessings, near and far, old and new. May your day bring lasting memories, great food and extra chairs for those who show up unexpected. Remember to take some pictures.

Socks, Smokes, Showy God

The first round was over the socks. I grabbed the package of white ones for Plum, Chef wanted the black ones. I quipped that black socks are for old men not little boys. Bad quip. I did not realize I had entered the battle zone, that this was a thing, that my choosing the package of $4.99 cotton to put on my grandson’s feet was going to turn the tide for the entire day.

I shop alone when I have a list. I don’t peruse, I run in and conquer. It isn’t a social event. I am especially skilled at conquering Target, I have to be currently or I could fill my cart with all things wonderful and then empty it at the checkout when I remember I really can’t spend money on wonderful things. Thus it was a “stick to list grab-and-go” trip. For me. I didn’t realize Chef was looking for more. Not more stuff but more from me. He wanted to be included. He wanted to be needed in the decision making. I missed the warning signs until too late. All efforts to lighten the mood did little to unruffled feathers, the damage was done. Just as a sentence can hold too many cliches, a day can be filled with sunshine and yet not really the Son. The meaning of our day was lost in miscommunication, hurt feelings, silence and frustration. I ached to find our way back to clarity and closeness, to figure out how a pair of socks became so important and divisive.

I know some truths about my Chef because I love him and have loved him for a long time. I  also own that I am a fixer and I so wish I could heal his broken heart. Further, I am sure there is One who loves him even more and actually can heal his heart and his soul and is just waiting for my Chef to surrender. I know that this dark time is the before, that season Steve Wiens talks about in Beginnings. Steve so beautifully describes the emotions surrounding waiting: the hurting, the anger, the loss, the “fog that won’t burn off.” Unlike the outside of our home that shows the leaves turning to bright reds and yellows, clear evidence of autumn, Chef and I aren’t experiencing the same season within our souls. I am in a time of discovery, a time of finding those fresh new buds poking out in spring, seeing hope and possibility in the greening of the grass of my inner world. Like a long-distance relationship, being in different seasons is straining us. We are challenged by the need to be present with the other but not fully able to see the whole picture. We are stuck Skyping while in the in the same room, only getting a portion of the picture, the connection fuzzy, the possibility of a disconnection ever looming. We are unable to talk about the deep stuff so we talk about socks until socks become so big they force the communication. Target socks force us to get in the same room, find our best connection. Remembering that regardless of season, God is present in all, God works wonders in all, God blends one right into the next, centered my approach. God gives us spring after winter by design.

As much as I want to hurry Chef out of his own hurting season, I know he has to grieve and wait. I don’t have answers about what is next but I know what is now. He doesn’t wait alone, he isn’t sitting in his despair alone. I am not able to join him as deeply as he wishes maybe but God is waiting for Chef to recognize His Presence, to trust that a way better Friend needs him right now. My Chef needs to feel needed, he is searching for his purpose. He feels lost and unsure. There is no way around that just being a sucky place to be.  So I asked him to go get me cigarettes.

I needed him to run up to the store because it was already dark out and I don’t drive in the dark and I was out and frankly hours of talking had warped my nerves. He was not so interested in being needed this way for all the obvious reasons but complied. And then God just laughed and laughed, the angels were dancing and the choir couldn’t help but sing loudly. Chef went to the little store just 2 miles away but had to stop on the way home to change a flat tire for a woman stuck on the road, a teacher at Plum’s school.  He left our home grumbling and came back smirking, knowing I would delight in our Show-Off God. I am confident that God is not pleased with my smoking but He will use what we give Him, an opportunity to remind His child that he has purpose, that he is needed, that God will use him for good if he just keeps showing up.

Just in case you were wondering,  we got the white socks, Target didn’t have the black ones in Plum’s size. I got more smokes, Chef realized God is active in His life. All around a pretty successful day.

 

 

God is Pursuing Me

“Sit with it.” Not something I practice, not something that ever comes out of my mouth. I swing from frenzied activity to paralyzed avoidance, rarely taking time to consider and ponder. Being in the moment has always been a chore for me, I don’t often like the moment until it has passed and I can reflect on it from a safe distance. Yet I have heard this phrase repeatedly from trusted friends near and far several times this week and I think beyond all their other wise words, this message is coming from the Holy Spirit. I can see God saying, “Well, she won’t listen to me, how about if we bombard her from all directions.  I know, let’s have each friend whisper, write, chant, sing, mention this phrase to her. Surely to Me, she will pick up on it.”  That is how God talks in my mind.  My friends all do a better job listening to God so they snuck the words in and I have indeed heard them, all week. Well done, everyone. But I still don’t really want to sit. Like a petulant child, I resist.

When I think about sitting, I get anxious. Activity means I don’t have to go too deeply into my thoughts, I can focus on what is right in front of me. In fact there is so much in front of me I can avoid all that is deep inside of me for great periods of time. Yet God seems to want me to allow some space for those inside things, He is working overtime to get my attention and ask that I give attention to SOMETHING. This is scary, I avoid those things for a reason, for many reasons. I have many compartments where I store yucky things, neatly labeled and out of reach. I like my system. God apparently is challenging my organization of all things icky and uncomfortable and not suitable for company. He is telling me to sit with somethings, get calm with some uncomfortableness, quiet down in the midst of the noise. I can certainly identify a great deal of distractions and noise, getting to the underlying gunk is harder. I don’t want to wander into those areas alone.  A trust fall in to the arms of God, while sounding amazing, plays out more like a doubt tumble under the covers while I binge watch Gilmore Girls and eat pop tarts.  Still, God is pursuing me and I can’t ignore Him anymore. To do so would be rude to my friends. Unacceptable.

I am committing to intentionally sitting with ‘it” for about 20 minutes each day, I don’t think I can handle longer. I will not touch my phone, read a book, complete any chores. I am going to sit somewhere and just be. This could produce disastrous results, I may go absolutely crazy. Conversely, I may find light shines into places I have spent entirely too much energy hiding. I may just doze off. Stay tuned for amazing insights and incredible spiritual growth, or another report on how I tried to control how God works in me. Sigh. This being open thing is tough. I’m going to sit with that.