Hope

The afternoon latches and lunches

on my milky breasts.

My chest a shelf that weighty demons sit on.

Outside in the rocky yard Good Health and Old Age fight.

My eyesight is incredibly blue

and the world is incredibly pink,

so my life is biased toward purple.

I am as executable and cuddly as a queen.

The river is dry.

No baby boys float in baskets among the reeds.

My body floats off to sleep,

my mind sinks into self,

diving deeper and deeper to the mulberry core.

 

Bipolar Drugs

At night I cannot sleep.

At dawn I cannot wake.

My husband puts the frantic tv on

for our daughter.

It is always a little too happy to be of service.

The laundry shifts uneasily on its weight.

The bunny judges me.

and I am dreaming of past school days,

Wispy as smoke and elusive as rights.

The day is fine

like baby hair.

Every hour must be combed and tended.

It is time to rise,

entranced by the past,

entrenched in the present.


			

Inner Life

A brittle face,

Snowy eyes

Communicate carefully the

Minute details of the storm inside.

 

 

In the hall the elevator doors part,

And my tears gush out,

A salted homage to King.

 

My surface life is disturbed,

Alabaster marred by freckles and nodules and

Wednesdays.

 

My outer life is placid, perceivable, unpersonalized.

 

But inside this domestic box,

Lay the most anemic dreams,

Copulating,

Breeding hopeful runts.

Diet, Freedom, Clock

As of the Saturday before last, I have been on a serious diet! I lost six pounds in 8 or 9 days. I love my diet because it is based purely on the idea of calorie deficit. No going to the gym, which I hate. No taking long walks, which hurts horribly because of my bad foot, although if someone ever fixes my foot I’ll be taking five mile walks every day in no time. I don’t have to give up any foods that I really like. I just have to eat much less of them. I take in 1,000 calories a day most days, occasionally going up to 1200 or 1300 for a special meal out or just to keep my metabolism up. It’s great because I’m realizing I actually feel better and more awake when I eat less. And I’m not missing any foods or drinks. I can have a cup of juice or a Soda Stream soda. I just have to deduct it from my daily calorie count on the MyFitnessPal app. I love that app. The only function I really use is the calorie counter, but it is so useful. It has the calorie content of many foods in its database, so you can usually just search for something and the calories will pop right up, even for many restaurants. And even when they don’t have the specific brand or restaurant, you can find the general, approximate calorie count by searching for the generic name of the food.

I really hope the weight loss continues. I’m on a diet for several reasons. The first, and what inspired me to start last week,  is clothes. I ordered some beautiful dresses from a British company I love, and of the six that I bought only two fit. That lit a fire under my ass! Fundamentally, I don’t mind my weight. But I love clothes and when I can’t fit in clothes it is time to lose weight. Especially since these were not small clothes. They were size 18.

Another benefit is that losing weight makes me less likely to have a flare up of diverticulitis again and end up with another hole in my intestines and another major surgery. Not to mention the misery of wearing a colostomy bag. Doctors aren’t sure why extra weight contributes to diverticulitis, but studies have shown that it does.

Anyways, wish me luck. So far it is going really well. I hope it doesn’t stop.

FREEDOM! The outpatient program was a good, supportive program. Peak View, at least the outpatient side, is good. I finished last Friday. But when Monday morning rolled around and I realized my time was my own and I could stay home with Angelica I was thrilled. It is so nice to have my mornings and my days free. I’m free! I’m free!

Craig bought a grandmother clock at a local furniture store and it got delivered and assembled this morning. Craig loves it. I’ll admit it is a good looking clock, but that constant chiming is going to take some real getting used to. I hope it ends up feeling homey and serene, rather than being an annoyance.

Waiting on God, Trusting in God

I picked up this awesome devotional by Elizabeth George at the Exchange. “One Minute With the Women of the Bible” has tiny readings and thoughtful questions about what we can learn from various women in the Bible, including those who are not named. One of the entries (I like this book so much I can’t wait and just read it day by day!) is about when God changed Sarah’s name from Sarai to Sarah. When God changes someone’s name in the Bible it is like a promotion, like they have developed and changed to a new being.

She names five things Sarah did to grow and to “earn” her name change. And then she asks us readers to rate ourselves in those five categories. Today I am going to write about a couple of hard ones. Trusting in God and waiting on God. Both are difficult.

Do I trust God? Do I wait on His timing and accept it with thanksgiving? I’ve always been very strong willed, strong back boned, and determined to make things happen for myself wherever possible. And much of that is a good thing. Just because God provides doesn’t mean He wants us sitting on our butts, passively waiting for something to happen. So to a certain extent is good to be a go getter. Yet it is also vital to be willing to wait on God’s timing. For instance, I have been rather passionately looking at a worship arts program at a seminary in Dallas. Most of the program is online, but the last year of it, the year with the creative classes, are held in Dallas instead of online. I have wracked my brain trying to figure out how I could go, but after careful consideration and an honest look at the logistics, I concluded that there was no way I could go without splitting up the family. There is no way to guarantee that Craig’s deployment will run from August to May, and I’m not leaving my husband or separating him from his child during the time he does have at home. So unless something radically changes, I cannot do seminary. I will not abandon my family responsibilities. That is wrong. So I have to accept that if it is God’s will that I go to seminary, he will make a righteous path for me to go with my family. If He doesn’t, then His answer is no.

We have this common misconception in our culture that if we pray to God for something and we don’t get it, He didn’t answer our prayers. But the truth is, He did answer. He said no. We don’t get everything we want. God’s plans are greater than ours.

Sometimes even when we feel called and created for a specific purpose, we have to wait on God and trust in his timing. As pretty much everyone knows, I am a poet. But how and when my work reaches the world is up to the Lord. It is so hard to trust in His ways and His timing. I am so ambitious, so determined to have worldly success. My visions just pour out on the page and I polish them and then long to present them to the world like a gift. I really believe they are meant to be read, but whether or not that happens is up to God. My creativity and visions come from Him, and what they are used for and by whom is up to Him. If He intends for me to have 10 books published, I will be grateful and say “Praise God.” If He elects that my writing is meant for a small community only, I must say “Praise God. His works are good.”

Being strong willed all the time is not a good thing. I try to be less strong willed and more submissive to my husband, which is good and Biblical and right. (However, I am still not a doormat.) But with everyone and everything else I can be pretty strong willed. It is one of my strengths and one of my weaknesses. On one hand, I do not roll over for anyone. And Christ needs people in the kingdom who will stand up and proclaim his word without watering it down, without shame, and without apology. Besides, He wouldn’t have made me an independent thinker with a strong personality if He did not intend for me to be one. Everyone’s unique personality and gifts are needed in the body of Christ. On the other hand, sometimes we need to pray and trust God to bring us where we need to be. Not everything can be done through the sheer force of will power. I need to be better about praying for things I need and want. There is no such thing as praying too much, and if there was I’m sure I’m nowhere near that cap! And honestly, when I pray I usually thank God for things that I have, and pray for the needs of other people. That is great. We should give thanks to God and we should lift others up in prayer. But to really follow God, we need to take our own troubles and needs and wishes to Him. I have failed at this.

I am always willing to fight the good fight (and if I’m honest, to fight in general. I love to debate, especially a good, intelligent debate with logic, Scripture, science, or facts. And I always stand up for myself, even when maybe I should let things go). But sometimes we are supposed to let go and let God. Some fights we cannot win. Some fights we should not fight. I don’t think a good intellectual debate is wrong, but some people are incapable of those. They either are not intelligent and/or couldn’t form a cogent argument if their souls depended it.

And sometimes, when people do us wrong, it is best not to fight and to trust God to help us forgive and to deal with that person. All of us will be held accountable for our sins, including me, and those who have wronged me will be hearing about it from God. I have always had a passion for justice and righting of wrongs, but the truth is in many cases that is just out of our hands. So you trust God to make things right, if not in this life then in the next. You should pursue justice where you can, but also be willing to stand back and trust God.

Sometimes I worry about how we’ll do when Craig retires from the Navy, or how my Bipolar struggles will be in ten or twenty years and whether or not they will get worse. I worry about how degraded our culture will be by the time my daughter is grown and how will she find a good Christian man to settle down with and how will she have any friends. But I must trust that when I cannot take care of my daughter, that Jesus will. That somehow, he will make a way for her. That she will be able to find a community of believers and a good husband and have a good life, no matter how foul and degraded our culture gets.

I need to wait on God. I need to trust God.