My sister is turning 25

My little sister Rebecca is turning 25 this Saturday. She has been giving herself gifts all month long and as I was thinking about things I got really emotional so this is an emotional outpouring for my little sister on this her birthday weekend.

The things I LOVE about Rebecca
(1) ❤ She has a heart of gold. She does get injured by the people she loves but that is only because she loves them so much
(2) ❤ She is strong. She doesn't think she is but she is. To live through what she has lived through and to be so strong is amazing. Sometimes I look at the woman that she is and I wish I was like her.
(3) ❤ She is beautiful and she knows it but not in an arrogant kind of way. It is more like she carries her beauty well.
(4) ❤ She is fearless. She has already been to more countries than I will probably see in a lifetime and she tries all the food wherever she goes. She has peed in holes and lived to talk about it. I could never go anywhere without a flushable toilet and toilet paper :). Even when we were kids she was fearless. In hotels we would be at the pool and she would walk right up to kids that were in there and ask if they wanted to play. Where did she get that? Both of our parents are shy!
(5) ❤ She lives life to the fullest. Now matter how busy she is or how many tasks are on her plate she is always doing something. She is going somewhere and doing something. Its great. I wish I had that kind of energy.
(6) ❤ In many ways she has taken care of me when I could not care for her. When we were kids there were times I should have been taking care of her and it pains me to my very core that I did not keep her from some of the pain that we have both gone through. (Yes I'm crying now but I told you it was going to be emotional.)
(7) ❤ I love the way she goes after things. If she sees something she should have or wants to have she goes after it. She is so self-assured. 🙂
(8) ❤ She is the person that everyone wants to hangout with. Now there are times I have hated this quality in her but that is only because I am extremely jealous of it. Her bosses love her and give her promotions, the countries that she goes to the factories actually want to show her around town and now she has friends and people she knows in those countries. I'm sure not everyone gets that treatment. Not everyone is as loved as my little sister is 🙂

The things I regret about our relationship
1. 😦 I regret that we are not closer.
2 😦 I regret the way I treated her when we were younger. I had a lot of anger and she got the brunt of it and for that I am sorry.
3. 😦 I regret that she and I are not as close as she is to our older sister Jessica. She and Jessica just have a special bond and I wish that we had that too.

The things I want to do help make this Birthday/year better than it has been in the past
1. 🙂 I want to spend a whole day with my sister. I know we have busy schedules and it can be difficult to get together but we haven't spent a whole day just her and me in a long time (if ever). I just want to spend time with her and get to know her. As I wrote this list I found that all the things I love about her or regret about our relationship are about things I have seen from afar or things that happened a long time ago.
2. 🙂 I want to get her a present. I am poor. Let's face it I live paycheck to paycheck and can't afford gas. I haven't given my sister a present for her birthday in a long time. Now granted its not an amazing gift but I think it is special and fun and I can't wait to give it to her.
3. 🙂 I want to make an effort to see her more often. All of my friends are surprised to find out that we live so close. Granted my life is complicated and she is rarely in the country but those are just excuses. I don't want our relationship to be built upon excuses I want to be built upon a foundation of something more substantial. I want to know the beautiful person my sister has become.

I tried to make the list add up to 25 but it just didn't work. Maybe if I didn't choose to do this at night after a long day. Oh well.



Lament of Pain

For my Writings class we had to write a lament this week. I feel like I have been doing this for weeks. I thought I would post it here.

Lament of Pain
Lord, my God how great is your majesty
How joyous your love abounds
You are mighty and loving
Your contradictions are boundless

Today the pain is unbearable
The shooting bursts of fire
Make it difficult to see you, to hear you
All I feel is pain, all I see is tears

You God are great
You God are mighty
Mighty to save

Why God don’t you save me?
Why don’t you save me from this pain?
Why do you let it linger, day after day?

I pray to you
I get prayers of healing
I believe that you God can heal me from this ailment
I believe that only you have this power

But prayer after prayer
Person after person
Nothing happens
I awake with this pain
I sleep with this pain

The fear is building
The fear of not dancing again
The fear of not walking long distances again
The fear of worshipping in pain always

You God could take away this pain
But you don’t
You make a choice not to
I am haunted by this choice

Every time someone prays they say
“Do you feel anything?”
Every time this happens I lose my trust

I believe you are the creator
You are the God that can bring healing
You are the God that can mend broken bones
You are the God who can settle broken hearts
But yet you choose not to heal me
You choose not to mend my bones
You choose not to straighten my spine

Why me?
Why my back?
Why leave me in this pain?
What is the lesson?
What haven’t I learned yet?
Where is your message?

I have been dealt bad hands before
But this
This wound
It hurts the most

Just when I felt good about myself
Just when I felt like I could stand tall
Just when things were going my way
My dreams were dashed
My hopes were broken
The vase has been shattered

You are a good God
I believe you are good
You can bring about healing
You can make this happen
Why, in this case, don’t you want to bring healing?

Have I done something wrong?
Have I committed a sin?
Have I broken our covenant?
Am I not chosen?

What can I do to make this right?
I believe we have a relationship
One built upon faith, understanding, and authenticity

I come to you, humbled before you
Asking you to grant me this one wish
Yet you keep saying no
You have answered my prayer

Your answer is
I don’t like this answer
I don’t understand this answer
Why God?
Why have you turned you back on me?
Why have you left your daughter?

Am I no longer in your favor?
Am I no longer worthy of your grace?
Have I done something to offend you?

I don’t believe this is how it works
I don’t believe you are punishing me
But I feel punished
My feelings are a jumble of misinterpretation

You are a mystery
I love your mysterious ways
But just this once
I was hoping for healing
Just this once I wanted something more

I hear your no, I respect that no
But I want you to know I am not happy about it
Right now
In this moment
I am not happy with you

But I believe in you
I am not walking away from my faith
I am not leaving you because I know that you never leave me

You have been upset with me before
And you have never left
So now it is my turn
It is my turn to be upset with you

I will give you thanks for the moments
The moments when the pain is less
The moments when there is joy in my heart
The moments when I see beauty
The moments when your creation meets me
The moments when I seek you out and you are there

I will be angry for a spell
But this is part of relationship
I do not understand your plan
But I believe you have one
I do not understand what the big idea is
But I believe that you have my best interests at heart

Oh God, my God
You have not left me
I will not leave you
But please if you can
See to it that this pain does not last forever
Please see to it that the pain does end

I believe you can heal me
I will continue to ask
I will continue to believe that you will do it this time
I will continue to seek prayer

The only thing I ask, beyond healing
Is that you help me to keep my faith
That you don’t allow your not healing me to end our relationship
That you keep me strong
Help me to hold on

Thank you Lord
For my life
For my friends
You are the creator, the healer, and my friend.

Oh Internet Dating How I Loathe You!

Oh internet dating How I loathe you!
Let me count the ways!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning had the original “How I love thee? Let me count the ways!” It was not Shakespeare as we all assume (I made this assumption so I am assume that you made it too). She might be disappointed by my bastardization of her original but internet dating is annoying me again so Elizabeth Barret Browning will just have excuse me on this one occasion.

Oh Internet Dating
How I loathe you!
Let me count the ways!

The men out there are weird
They post their turn-ons
They actually say things like,
“I love a woman’s calves.”

The men out there are cruel
They say things like,
“You need to lose weight before I will ever date you”
Is that all there is?

The men out there are lazy
They only want you when they are bored
They say things like,
“I’m bored at work, wanna chat?”
Really!?!? Seriously!!!

Is it too much to ask that a man
Talk in complete sentences without things like
4sho, np, or other shorthand nonsense
I want a real man

See the thing is I have been shown what real men are like
Any time I am chatting with some guy online and it gets creepy….
Because believe you me it does…
I can think of them

I can think of a guy I know
A guy who is moving up North
Just for the girl he loves

I can think of a guy I know
That buys me breakfast once a week
Because he knows I can’t afford it
And he still wants to spend time with me

I can think of a guy I know
That respects his wife
That asks for dates
Even if they are just going to go watch Mad Men on DVD

I can think of a guy I know
That opens doors
That asks me how I am doing
And stays to listen to my answer

I can think of a guy I know
That really knows what’s going on
Who asks me how I am doing
And who I never lie to

I can think of a guy I know
Who is real silly
Who makes me laugh
And who is caring

I can think of many guys I know
That are real men
Who have shown me what real men are like
Who have shown me that there are genuine, awesome dudes out there
And that I don’t have to settle

I don’t have to settle for the Atheist who didn’t bother to read my profile
I don’t have to settle for the guy who is 38 and still living at home
I don’t have to settle for the guy that only texts me when he is bored
I don’t have to settle for the guy that has a fetish for “calves” but spells them “calfs”
I don’t have to settle for the guy that gives me an anxiety attack
I don’t have to settle

These men have taught me that there are good men in the world
Every time I get down about internet dating I remember them
I remember
My friend Jason who is married to Yoko who likes to watch Justified and Sons of Anarchy, and occasionally takes me out to Cocos for breakfast and a chat.
I remember
My friend Bino whose faith in God is awe-inspiring, who reminds me of a Rainbow Carebear because light shoots out of him from within and who is moving to Seattle to be closer to his girlfriend.
I remember
My friend Nathan who doesn’t mind talking about my dating woes, who is an awesome man and my pastor and who is married to one of my closest friends Anna.
I remember
My friend TJ who is a huge Chick-fil-a fan, who loves to play games and waits for me to walk through a door first.
I remember
My friend Josh who is the ultimate California boy: he drives a scooter, he is blond, and he works at a coffee shop. He is also someone I have real conversations with.
I remember
My friend Matt who is the center of attention in a room, who has amazing wit and an awesome story and he is the guy who makes me laugh.
I remember
All the other men in my life who are who they are.
Who are married to some of my closest friends
Who are honest and sweet and caring and all around awesome dudes
I remember these guys

These men teach me that there are real men out there
That settling for someone less than would make me less than
That settling would be a disservice to me.
These are the men I think about when some creep is creeping in
These are the men that keep me grounded
These are the men I let in 🙂

Thanks guys for turning my loathing into a celebration of who you are 🙂

All this pain is messing with my sanity

I look at my mother and my aunts and my friends that are all in constant pain and I ask myself how do they do it.
They are all strong people. Maybe they are stronger than me.
I work through the pain but then there is just more pain.
I awake every morning thinking this day, this day there will be no more pain.
Then as the day goes on or I roll over I realize that this is not the day where there will be no more pain.
I have meds to take but they just make me sleepy.
I have too much to do.
The world keeps spinning, the work keeps building and I keep laying in bed praying that the pain will dissipate.
I’m not even praying that the pain will disappear.
I am just praying that the pain won’t get in my way.
Sure yesterday I walked to the Library, the public Library. From campus mind you. Just a few blocks away.
And I have been paying for it all day.
I took the stairs yesterday instead of taking the elevator and today I am paying for it.
I grieve for the days when I used to be able to walk all over Pasadena without thinking about how it would effect the following day.
I grieve for a time when I didn’t have to think about how long I need to sit up.
I grieve for times when sitting in class or going to church wasn’t excruciating pain.
I miss the days of watching tv, or sitting and talking with a friend without needing to shift position every few minutes.

I’m going insane. So mom, aunts, cousins, friends: How do you get through the day? How do you stand all this pain? How do you do it?

I know, I know I need to go see my doctor again.
I have emailed her in hopes of not having to pay a co-pay again.
If she has no ideas i have at least 3 people who have given me their chiropractor’s name and number 😉

I have good friends and they keep me sane but in the in-between times, the times of day when I am sitting alone at home with this pain, its hard to keep a level head.

I just got a rush of sadness

So I am sitting here trying read Ezra and Nehemiah for my online class and I just got this wave of sadness. Yesterday Laura, one of my closest friends, who feels like a sister to me got married. And I had the honor being a bridesmaid (for the first time) and it was great. I loved being a part of all of that even though it was a little stressful.
My back is killing me today and it has me a bit worried. To be absolutely honest it has me a lot worried. I have scoliosis and back when I was in high school I had full body x-rays to see how bad it was. Today in church when my back was killing me I was thinking about that. I was thinking about how before this year, my 29th year of life, I have never felt the difference. I have never noticed that one hip is higher than the other or that one shoulder is higher than the other. But this year I have started to notice that. Some times of the month I notice it more often than others. So I’m sitting in church, trying desperately to listen but all I can think about is how much my back is killing me. So I reach under my shirt in the back and see if I can feel where my spine is and see if I can feel how it curves. But of course I couldn’t. I don’t remember where it curves anyway. I mean it feels weird to touch my lower back but I cannot tell where it curves or where your spine is supposed to be. As I am feeling my back the pain is getting worse and when I touch my spine in the middle of my back all sorts of pains erupt and things get numb. Anyway I am sitting in church, trying desperately to pay attention to the words that are being spoken but find it awfully difficult to hear anything. All of the sudden I get this urge to lay down on the floor. God is telling me to lay down. I do not want to lay down because the floor is gross. We meet in the Icehouse a famous comedy club in Pasadena and the floor is disgusting. But I keep hearing God telling me to lay down on the floor. So when it comes time for the prayer time I go up to Brian and I ask him to pray over me as I lay down on the floor. As he is praying J.D. joins us and I feel a peace enter my body as Brian is praying. Now I didn’t feel any heat and I had no healing but when I got up I was a bit more relaxed and there was definite tingling in my feet. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what is going on with my back but I did feel more peace when I got up off that floor. Maybe I am freaking out about nothing or maybe it is something but there was a peacefulness that came over me and as I was retelling that story to you I got a rush of peace.

When I began this blog it was going to be about my rush of sadness. My rush of frustration that my back hurts so much that I cannot focus on my homework for my online course. That my back hurts so much that I am exhausted and I won’t be able to get everything done that I meant to today. That my back is killing me.

Sadness that yet another of my friends is married and I am still not. For this online class you have to introduce yourself to the other people in the class and in almost everyone’s introduction they wrote about how long they have been married or how long they have been with their significant other and I was saddened by that.

Last week I began dating God which just sounds silly to me but it does help with some of the loneliness I have been feeling. The other physical stuff that God cannot do, like physical hugs, I will have to get from my friends. Even though I am dating God I am still sad that I am not dating an actual physical man. But I think I have to love myself a little more before I can begin to love a man.

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