Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wish I had a River. . .

My apologies for being a very bad blogger.

But, these days, dating is the furthest thing from my mind.

Because . . .

 A few days before Thanksgiving, I lost my job.

I got through Thanksgiving okay, but now it's coming on Christmas. And I can't seem to drive away the refrain from Joni Mitchell's song, "River."

It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on . . .

 . . .I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly
Oh I wish I had a river . . .
The other day, I waited and waited in line at a department store and tried not to cry. 

I stood behind 15 people with only 2 cashiers assisting customers. While that's a good enough reason to cry, it's not why I wanted to. One women and her young daughter were pushing strollers, filled, not with babies, but overflowing with stuff. Another woman, who was already at the check-out, had about 50 items (Christmas plates, cups, candles, and on and on). 

Oh I wish I had a river . . .

I kept waiting, not to buy presents, but to buy a pair of socks. I went to the store only to return something purchased before the job loss. I've been trying to stay out of the stores as I am in no position to buy Christmas presents this year. Not for my daughters. Not for my parents. No one. 

Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on . . .

But I needed socks and when I finally got to the checkout, they rang up 3/$13., instead of what I thought the package read, 3/$3! Must have been wishful thinking when I misread the small print. Embarrassed that $13.00 was too much, I softened my voice, asked if cashier would put them back, and quickly left the store.  

. . .I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly . . .

Yesterday, I went to the unemployment offices to see what was taking so long to receive a check. Finally, they figured out that while I had reported my work search on-line, it didn't show up where it was supposed to be. Now I might not get the benefits because I didn't call (even though the phones were busy and it was an option to do it online). An investigation would have to be opened and it may be mid-January 2011, or later, before a check would arrive. That may be too late.

They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on . . .

My dating profile would need to be updated. Now it would read: Divorced, probably 2old4U, "needs to lose a few" (lbs.), unemployed, broke, but filled with joy.

Completely broken.

Wanting to skate away from it all. . .  while at the same time being filled with joy!

                                           the kind
                                     of manufactured
                                joy found in cutting down
                              trees and putting up reindeer.
                          This kind of joy is beyond measure.
                      Because Jesus is meeting me in my pain.
                I am experiencing the wonder of Christ's coming.
           I'm seeing the body of Christ come together to function
                                        as the body,  
                                        reaching out
                                        in my greatest
                                        time of need.

Like now.

I just went to get my laundry out of the dryer (I live in an apartment complex) and there was a gift bag hanging from the handle of my door. No name, but if it's from the woman in the complex I'm thinking it is, she barely knows me. Inside the bag, there are 3 round specialty chocolates, (all favorites), along with one European "latte," hazelnut, chocolate bar (yum, hazelnut and chocolate) and a small lavender candle (another favorite). So, I brewed a fresh pot of coffee, lit the candle, and will savor these chocolates while I finish writing.

God cares about the tiniest details in my life enough to provide this specific treat. Crazy details. Amazing love. In my poorness, blessings, like this, have been abundant. Moments like this make me feel rich.

In my poorness, I get to actually experience the kingdom of God!

Luke 6:20-22 says:

20: “Blessed are you who are poor,
   for yours is the kingdom of God.
21: Blessed are you who hunger now,
   for you will be satisfied.
22: Blessed are you who weep now,
   for you will laugh. 

Because I am poor, because I am hungry, because I weep, there may be times I need a river to skate away on . . .

. . .right into my heavenly father's wide embrace.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Than a Medium

So , now you're probably dying to see my picture. . . right?  I don't blame you. Who wouldn't be curious about my looks after reading that response from my "dear friend in Christ."

I've decided not to make you wait any longer.

Maybe it's true that we see ourselves better than we are because this turned out better than I really look. 

Ta-da . . .  my self-portrait. 

But, you wanted a photo?  Lo siento, ¿No Comprende?

Oh, I forgot to mention the email from the second guy!

When I logged into the second Christian dating site, which is a site where you ask each other questions before chatting, that mailbox was also flashing, "You got mail!" But this guy saw my photo before I had a chance to delete it the next morning. So, I cautiously opened his first set of questions and, here's what he wanted to know. How soon I would have sex?

 I'm confused!
Yes, men confuse me at times, but there's one thing I'm sure about. The first guy was right, I am more than a medium. 

I am a child of the living God . . . made in His image . . . loved with an everlasting love.

1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People (even Believers/my commentary) look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Love Train Gets Held Up

Last week, I decided to jump aboard the Love Train. And it seemed like an adventure . . . until the hold-up. 

My friends were encouraging me to jump aboard, take the trip. "You've been divorced for about a year. . . you never go out!" 

True. I feel the way about giving up singleness as I do about giving up chocolate.

But I softened. I listened. A date now and then might be nice. Finding my best friend might be even better. I could feel myself getting sucked in, just as I do when I watch a romantic comedy.

Eventually, I mustered up the courage to create a profile, actually 3 profiles, on 3 Christian internet dating sites. I'm also a sucker for free trial offers. 

And since everyone wants a photo, I set up my camera, turned on the self-timer to take a photo of myself while the beep . . .beep . . .beep . . .beep . . .beep . . .beep-beep-beepbeepbeepbeep gave me time to pose. 

This was me. Today. Not waiting for everything to be perfect. Being honest. But honestly, what was I thinking? Who in the world would ever want me like this? The weight I'd gained during my unhappy marriage was still there. 

Still, a picture is worth a thousand words. Or, in my case 213 words.

The following morning, I logged onto the first dating site. YOU GOT MAIL, was flashing already! Excitedly, I opened the mail.

But the Love Train's engine screeched and the train slowed to a dead stop. Jesse James had arrived.

Dear Friend in Christ,

Okay ... can you imagine how super sharp you will look when you get to a better God-honoring playing weight? Really ... were you once the homecoming queen, the sweet cute high school bombshell?

I normally never choose to interact with a woman who is more than "medium." When a man/woman is large, it suggests to me that at this stage in adult life that he/she still lacks the internal discipline to be the best he/she can be ... for God, for potential spouse.

So, dear lady ... get crankin' and take one consistent step ,after another to become that smash hit lovely woman you can be. Clearly the Lord has given you plenty of natural beauty ... why not enjoy it.

Take the necessary steps to make create and preserve time in your daily agenda to walk/exercise/reduce consumption volumes/reduce times per day that you eat and ... humble yourself and pray for God's grace and strength. Make yourself strictly accountable to a true friend who will lovingly, relentlessly hold your feet to the fire ... as you get in the fast lane toward beautiful you.

Yes ... so much more to add ... but no doubt already more than you wanted.

Godspeed, dear lady ... now, "go for it!!"
Signed, (His name)

After reading this "dear friend in Christ's" note, I was thankful. Thankful that my picture prompted a mere 213 words, and not a 1,000.

As quickly as possible, I logged into "My Account" on each of the 3 Christian dating websites. I located "Upload/Delete a Photo," then pressed the "delete" button and watched while my photos disappeared.

Then, I fought the urge to hit reply. I fought the urge to tell him how he was wrong.

 . . . I never was the homecoming queen.