Friday, January 27, 2012

A Dream Fulfilled!

This week we pulled up to the mailbox after a long day and I had no idea that one of my life long dreams (I would say fantasy but that seems like a sticky descriptive word for this) was about to be fulfilled.  Ben looked over the pieces of mail and handed me a mustard yellow envelope.  Well, it looked mustard yellow before I opened it, then suddenly before my eyes it turned golden!  As I read over it I whispered the words I have always wanted to say... I have been summoned for Jury Duty.  This dear reader is how the rest of the conversation went (well... pretty much)...

"I am sure  you can get out of it" my misguided husband said.

"WHAT? Why would I do that?" I gasped in horror.

"Well for one thing what about the gas... do you know how long a drive it is to the courthouse (not long enough as it turns out but we'll get to that) everyday?" he said.

"They will be paying me $40 per day. I replied. They are going to pay me to be judgmental! Can you believe it... you are so looking at a future jury foreman right now!" I cried.  "I have been preparing for this practically my entire life. I wouldn't be surprised if after the two weeks they ask me to be a special liaison for the court  or an  honorary assistant DA or something"

"What are you talking about?" my silly husband (who apparently was unaware of my qualifications) said.  "You think that because you are good at being judgmental they will offer you a job?"

"You did not just call me judgmental?" I  balked.  "I happen to have good judgment (significantly better than most clearly), that does not make me judgmental!  I meant because of all my experience in the court room and with the legal system in general"

"You have no experience in the legal system or the courtroom" he said.

"Besides being a student of human nature and an avid people watcher, I have seen every single episode of Matlock EVER made... several times!  (I can quote most of them)  I know what it takes to make a good foreman.  I know how to tell when a witness is being coy or lying. I even know how to commit the perfect murder (Matlock taught a college class about it as part of his pro bono work... I have seen that one like 15 times).  I have studied under what most people (meaning me, myself and I) consider to be the greatest legal mind of our time!  I did what practically counts as my undergraduate with the Judge Wapner, Judge Judy and watching Perry Mason (oh I hope the attorneys aren't like Mason... the droning on and on in near monotone could put a person to sleep which is why I haven't watched them all).  Add all that to my personal insight and experiences and I owe it to the good people of Washington State to do my duty and serve as a civil servent" was my impassioned plea.  "How far is it to the courthouse would you say?" I asked.

"Why?" he asked suspiciously.

"Because it says that if you live over 60 miles from the courthouse a hotel room will be provided for you as well" I replied (trying to keep the smile out of my hope filled voice).

"Maybe 30 miles... probably less" he said (giving no thought to the fact he was bursting my fun bubble).  "So, you're not going to try to get out of it?" he asked

We have been married for nearly 17 years and the man doesn't know me.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ode To Mom...

Dear Mom,

My mom... isn't she cute?
I am so sorry... I didn't know.  You made it look so easy... it's not.  I can honestly say that I have no memory of you missing a single practice, concert, performance or event (unless I didn't tell you about it... cause I was a schmuck like that) in all my years of school.  I remember countless  hours on sidelines and bleachers while you did the same for my four older brothers.  What is amazing is that you didn't stop there, at the public events.  Hours of spelling practice (sadly, that time was truly wasted and I bet you wish you could have it back), mindless drills for History and Science tests (not wasted... I totally use it... ok, I don't but I don't want you to regret everything), and that's to say nothing of the fevers, ear aches, fights with girls (so many, many fights with girls), and breakups with boys (lots of those too because I was irresistible what can I say?).  Every time one of  kids leaves their clothes on the floor I remember the time I told you that "When I move out I am not even going to buy hangers because I will just have a pile of clean and a pile of dirty and you will never come to visit me because I will live in a pigsty!" (gosh, I was the sweetest thing wasn't I?) and I want to go back and backhand my former self for you.  Thank you for  cleaning the bathrooms (I think of you when I do that too... 4 BOYS! Ewe) doing the laundry (that I purposely shoved under the bed),  doing the shopping (even though I never once gave that a thought while bringing home all my friends unannounced after school to the loaded pantry), for sitting in the car for hours everyday (I really had no idea that that wasn't fun... strange), forcing me to go to church (ok, I knew that wasn't fun for you... hehe), teaching me to swim, ride a bike, read, and count.  I know you think when I don't call for a couple days that I have forgotten all about you but the truth is those are the days that I think about you the most... as I cook, clean, drive, read to, discipline,  spout vocabulary, pray with and tuck in.  All the while hoping I make it look half as easy as you did. I love you mom.

Love, Amy

( HA... It's not even Mother's Day! Extra points coming my way! )

"Her children arise and call her blessed, her husband also, and praises her:  Many women do noble things but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31: 28-30

(Triple word score!... now I'm just showing off... LOL)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Drum Roll Please...

This is my 100th post... wow, that's a lot of pressure! I have been staring at the blank box for a bit now (not to mention all the mental plotting ever since I realized the last one was #99) trying to come up with something profound and amazing to increase the files of your cerebral cortex... but the harder I try to be clever the lamer I become.  So let's just get this over with...

I started all this (the blogging I mean) by saying that this would be my diary online and I think I have stuck to that.  I haven't scared you all away yet and to be honest, that surprises me.  Maybe I'm the only one (but I doubt it) that wants desperately to to be loved and liked despite my obvious drawbacks.  It means more to me to know that you are my friend even though you read my blog because here, I am (for better or worse) truly me.  The anonymity of it takes some of the fear out of saying what I think out loud and as a person who just needs to process things sometimes it has been such an amazing outlet.  I have worked very hard to learn to think before I speak (so imagine how bad it was before) and to be gracious and kind when dealing with others (again, just imagine... LOL) and it is nice to have a place to just calls em as I sees em.  So, thank you to all of you who have read what I have to say and not only still put up with me but keep coming back for more.  I know for some of you this is the only way you can watch "The Amy Show" as there are no live tapings near you at this time.  For those of you who appear regularly throughout the episodes these are like watching the directors cut or bonus scenes!  Perhaps some of you are even former cast members that were killed off mid season... but to all the members of my audience I give a rousing Cheers!

(whew... I did it... now I have 99 pressure free posts before I face this again)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So here's the thing...

Here I am... again... late at night in front of the glowing screen thinking "I just want to talk it all out with someone" but there is no one here who wants to talk... well, except for you my little captive and willing audience.  I am struggling.  I have so many dreams, visions and goals (and so little belief in myself) that it is hard.  It seems like each time I find my voice on some situation I am thrust before several different opinions about the same subject very soon after.  How do you cope with feeling like your opinion is correct when others are not? How do you know if you are leading... or leading astray?

This all feels a little... beige and vague.  Let me give an example and perhaps that will help.

I bring you to our little church last week with a visiting pastor (a man I have a history with and know well but perhaps had no idea I was in the room) as he did an amazing job of fire and brimstone (the likes of which I have not seen since I was a child) at our pastor's bequest.  Then I came home to find a poet/prophet on (of all things) Facebook and was forced to look at the contrasts.  One preached shame, guilt and damnation, while one preached forgiveness and redemption despite our obvious unworthiness.  To be honest I am much more comfortable with damnation.  I know full well that I am not worthy.  I know that the one true living God gave all that I might live.  When I hear all the reasons that I am unworthy... they do not surprise me.  In fact, my unworthiness is my second skin.  However,  something happens in my heart and in my head when I hear that I am damned.  There is a pilot light that will not go out.  I feel a hope, that seems to spring eternal in my heart, whisper to me that in my weakness I will find strength and in my failure lies my only hope of success, because I was willing to call out for redemption and a Savior.

I will never be the shining example of how to behave or what to say but let me be an example in this...

Lord God, I was created by you in your image.  I know that my reflection of you is shallow.  I only pray that as you watch that image you can see how much I want to please you.  I want other people to love you more because of how I speak about you.  I want other people to trust you because they have heard the stories of your faithfulness from me.  I may not do chain letters or idle threats about you being ashamed of me because I didn't forward someones junk mail but I do desperately want to thank you and please you. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012


So a facebook friend posted this the other day as her status:

Cycling is so hard, the suffering is so intense, that it's absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain...once; someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. "pleasure??? I said" "I don't understand the question." I didn't do it for pleasure I did it for the pain. Lance Armstrong

I took some heat the other day for a statement I made about the obsession and self worship aspect of some people's views about their physical selves especially around January.  I must admit as I read this quote, that the first thing that came to mind was "that is exactly how a cutter describes cutting".  Perhaps it is because I have had the opportunity to work with people who are in Olympic training and have been able to see first hand some of the incredibly unhealthy things that become part of their everyday to win or even just qualify to compete and have also spent time with addicts and people in recovery, that I see so many similarities.  They are both entrenched in compulsive behavior.  It is simply that one is far more socially acceptable and so they are rarely encouraged to stop and are many times held up as an example for others to pattern after.  I believe that my friend posted this as she finds it encouraging and inspiring but to me I just see warning signs and red flags.

Then I was privileged to read a blog post written by a women I have never met but must come from the same cloth from which I was cut as we could be sisters of the heart. This is an excerpt from the letter that she writes to her daughters that was part of that post.

*see below
And so I will sing a song of wonder and beauty about womanhood for you to learn from my lips.

I will lead the resistance of these lies in our home by living out a better truth.

I will not criticize my sisters for how they look or live, casting uncharitable words like stones, because my words of criticism or judgement have a strange way of being more boomerang than missile, swinging around to lodge in your own hearts.

I'll wear a bathing suit and I won't tug on it self-consciously. I will get my hair wet.

I will easily change my clothes in front of your Dad, proud of my stretch marks that gave us a family, of breasts that nourished his babies.

I will prove to you that you can be a size 12 and still be sexier than hell.

I will prove to you that you don't have to be all angles and corners, that there is room for some softness because you all love to hug on my soft bits, burrowing into my arms and my breasts to rest for a while.

I will eat dessert and raise my glass and laugh my way to deeper smile lines.

I will celebrate your own beauty, my tall girls, but I will do my best to praise your mind, your heart, your motives as much as I praise your beauty.

I will not let the words "I'm fat" cross my lips - especially in front of you, my beautiful girls.

I will celebrate beauty where I find it, in a million faces uniquely handcrafted by a generous God with a big tent of glorious womanhood.

I will tell stories of women and surround you with a community of women who are smart and strong, crazy and hot-headed, gentle and kind, women who love and you will see that this is what is beautiful, that a generous love is the most gorgeous thing you could ever put on.

 And so I find myself looking for the balance between my own struggles with image and my desire for my children to not share them.  I find that I must curtail my rage toward those who push this crazy obsession before the eyes of my daughters at every turn and fight with the tools I have in the arenas I am given.  I ask you to help me by not posting what you eat for dinner of facebook and calling it "accountability". I ask you to not constantly talk about how you need to loose weight and how fat you feel and please stop using pathetic phrases like "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".    If you want to give me a compliment in front of my children, compliment me, not my image.  Don't look all excited and say "wow, you look great, have you lost weight?" JUST STOP.

*My daughter and I were selecting photos for  group frame and she said she loved this one "because we look so happy... those are our real smiles" and she didn't think they looked posed enough for the group frame... screw posed.