Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wilde Wisdom

Oscar Wilde said, "One can always be kind to people whom one cares nothing about."

Usually I agree with the smart-arse things that Oscar Wilde is recorded as saying, but after the events of last night, I can't say I agree with this one.

There is a woman who has recently come to live in our house. She's the girlfriend of the man who lives in our basement. Word on the street is that before she came to live with us, she was a nice sober Catholic girl who still lived with her parents into her forties. All I know of her is that she seems to be a very small, constantly drunk woman. Her and her boyfriend always...and I mean always...come home drunk. I'm usually trying to watch a little TV after work on the couch, which has the ill-fortune of being right by the front door. They seriously cannot take the most blatant hint, because no matter how much I turn up the volume or try not to listen to them, they will continue to talk to me about inane things, breath through their mouths on me, and generally act like idiots.

So last night, the woman corners me while I'm loading dishes into the dishwasher and she starts talking to me about how afraid she is of me. "I'm really, really shy," she insists. I realize that's probably why she only talks to me, in very large quantities, while she's drunk. Unfortunately for her, the main reason I would NOT want to talk to her is that she always tries to have conversations while she's drunk!! We are at an impasse. So here's this forty-something woman trying to ask me to teach her to knit so that we can watch movies and knit together.

I'm thinking, The last thing I need is to befriend another one of these psychos that live in the basement. They always turn out to be insane, and then they move out six months later or something. I don't want to knit and watch movies with you. I can barely stand the sight of you. I want to slap you whenever you come near me and slur your words and cry at me. I feel guilty because I don't really think this is the ideal Christian response to this situation. Even last night, while she was drunkenly trying to discuss which church she should start attending, it was all I could do not to scream.

Last night kind of devolved from there, ending in her screaming at her boyfriend in the basement at 12:30am, and my Dad coming out of his room to tell them to Shut...the f@&*... up! Oh, it was gloriously reminiscent of my childhood. Could we please have adventures like this every night?! (She said, every word dripping with sarcasm...)

Is it unChristian of me to launch a campaign to get them out of our house? I feel I will soon be driven mad.

Take THAT Oscar Wilde.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


As of last night, I have stopped drinking. It's not because I was leaning over a toilet all night (I wasn't) or because I have a killer hangover (I don't). I just finally realized that in most situations, I cannot seem to handle myself in a mature and temperant fashion. In bars or clubs, I almost always drink too much and behave in a way that I wouldn't normally.
I vow not to be a complete tee-totaller. If there is a champagne toast, I will take it. If there is wine with dinner, I might consider it. But otherwise, I'm staying dry. I'm sure I won't even really miss it. I'm sure my body and brain cells will thank me. I know my guilt reflex will get a bit of a break, at least!
That's all, really. I prayed last night that I am able to stick with my decision. Perhaps one day I will be able to move up in the world, and control myself like a normal human. Until then...

Monday, January 15, 2007


I feel I am being catapulted into a new phase of rife with responsibility, the likes of which I haven't felt the pressures of since being Student Council President of my college. Back then, I was not just a figure head to a giant mass of people...I was on a first name basis with probably 60% of the Student Body, and the personal friend of many of the professors, whom we called by their first names. It was a Christian college, and there were certain things I didn't do that year that I might have done any other time (get a tattoo, be a photographer's model, etc...) because I considered my responsibility to these people important. I wanted to be above reproach, no matter how silly or trivial that reproach may have seemed to me then.

Now, a leader in our church is proposing a Sunday night young adult service (college age, if you must put a further label on it!). The leadership positions for this service are up for grabs, as it were, and being one who has her degree in Music Ministry, I was approached as a choice to lead worship. Basically I was told that I would be handed the reins, that I could do what I felt led to do; what I was trained for three intense years to do well. More than flattery, this was huge for me. I haven't as yet done anything in the vein related to the degree I hold. I have thus far felt I wasn't prepared for more leadership positions, that my life was not right on track where a leader's should be.

This feeling was exacerbated when I saw the papers yesterday that we are to sign when we are to be considered for these positions. They were pretty general, stating commitment lengths and job descriptions and the like. But of course, there were those words, echoing those in the Bible, about being a Christian in good standing, who leads the kind of life that could uphold scrutiny, one that would be above reproach. I say without compunction that this is probably not the life I have been leading in Colorado up to this point. When you think about leading a life that everyone looks at and thinks, "Yup, they're doing everything right!"...the thought is quite daunting! How do these people do it?

I like to have a drink or two. I like to get loud when I play pool. I'm sarcastic and say ridiculous things for a laugh. I've stated before that I don't really follow all the rules of being a "lady": no one's looking to me for etiquette and gracefulness. I know this perhaps has little to do with being a good Christian woman, but sometimes I can get caught up in thinking that living a life above reproach is living a life that is perfect and well, more than a little fake. Yes, I love God with all my being. Yes, I want to be always smack dab in the middle of His will for my life. Yes, I have held leadership positions in the past. Why am I so gun-shy now?

My insecurities aside, through thought and prayer I have discerned that this position is probably the direction that my life is heading in. Just before all this business of the new Sunday service came along, I was putting things in motion to become a member of Bear Valley Church. Since they are associated with the Baptist church, this means I would have to be baptized again, because I was not immersed the first time. At first I chafed against this idea. Was one baptism not good enough for these people? I've been a Christian for ten years! Then I let humility and reason take over. Immersion perhaps is a slightly better symbol of what baptism means. I will be getting baptized on February 11th, 2007, and when I emerge from the waters a cleansed woman of God, I will consider this yet another stepping stone into my new life.

Whether all this new service stuff comes to be or not, I know that God has not called me to lead a quiet life. My whole existence up to now points to leadership, points to being perhaps more accountable than the average person. I have many a spiritual story to back this up! So, all future implications aside, yesterday will be marked as a turning point in my life. I need to change my attitudes, my habits, my outlook on Christianity and where I fit into the big picture of grace and redemption. I need to accept mercy with humility, and grasp opportunity with both hands and a grateful and solemn heart.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jellyfish. Whale.

I hate New Year's resolutions. I can't really articulate why, which is bad for someone who professes to be a writer...but I hate the idea of them. I guess I hate the idea of waiting until a whole year is up to decide to change all your bad habits...or at least say you will.

But, with all my hating, I will admit that I have submitted somewhat and changed my habits ever so slightly to try to improve my quality of life. I'm trying to be more healthy, spiritually and emotionally and perhaps even physically, from this day forth.

When I get up in the morning, I no longer set my alarm for exactly thirty minutes before I must get out the door. I allow myself time to stretch, read my Bible, pray, actually eat know, all the little luxuries. I actually have decided that making my bed every day might be a good change of pace. It will teach me a small amount of discipline. I also like to read the words of John Wesley or Charles Spurgeon right before I pray and go to bed, just to have good things to meditate on in the night. For a return to normalcy, I will also try to eat at least three meals a day, if not six small ones.

I'm trying to be more disciplined about my writing, my work, my habits. I'm trying to live a more intentional life, instead of just drifting along like some aimless jellyfish, with no point and no spine, blindly hurting anyone unfortunate enough to run into me. I'd rather be like a whale: beloved, purposeful and intelligent, going with the current but with a destination in mind, loving those in the pod that God has given me.

OK, enough sea creature metaphors, but you see my point.

Oh, and happy new year my friends.