BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

goldfish jumping out of the water Its been in the works for a couple of weeks now, but there’s no point in holding back.

I’m changing the blog to a professional site!

I actually registered my domain name, and am working with the software, and it’s a HUGE investment in time. This is definitely MUCH more complicated than I ever would have imagined. I didn’t want to keep everyone in the dark for the MONTHS it might take me to get everything just where I want it to be in my perfect-blog-world. It’s just going to take time, and I ask you for your patience. You might show up and things will look the same, or they’ll be lime green, and I’ll be busily trying to figure out how to change the background color.

What this means for you, dear reader:

If you’re a reader who subscribes to my posts via email, this probably means nothing. WordPress assures me that they will transfer your subscription over to the new site (http://aftertheecstasythelaundry.com) with, allegedly, no action on your part. This will happen next Monday, 10 February 2014. I am making every attempt to post an article that very day, so you can see for yourself what happens. I’ll be watching too!

If you’re a reader who subscribes to my blog through the “Follow” button on the top of the WordPress site, this means that you will have to subscribe “for real.” Please, do this now. Go to the sidebar, where it says “Email subscription,” and do that. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure you won’t be seeing any updates. This change will begin next Monday, 10 February 2014. I’m posting that day, so you can see for yourself. If you don’t see a post here, this is exactly why. If you don’t make this change before Monday, you’ll be out of the loop all together. I’m expecting that I’ll lose some people. I hope it’s not too many. Please, subscribe.

For all my readers: I am really hoping to make this work. I’ve made an investment in real cash money to be able to take this blog to the next level. I hope and pray you’ll accompany me. I’ve relished your comments, and I’ve grown to expect them. I don’t want to lose you now.

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Bold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

Camel Caravan

“There!”
“Where?”
“Out there! See?”
“Oh, now I do. In the East.”
“Yes. That cloud of dust.”
“That’s a caravan, isn’t it, Aziz?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Tell Nathan to go into town, and tell them a caravan is coming. It looks large.”

*****

“There must be twenty camels.”
“And, look! They have horses!”
“Hmmm… that’s not something you see every day. Not around here.”

*****

Adoration of the Magi Gaspare Diziani 1718 Oil on Canvas Museum of Fine Arts Budapest

“We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” … and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:2b, 11 NABRE)

*****

That’s bold.

“Hi. You don’t know us. But…uh… we saw a star… Um… It’s been kind of a long trip…”
”Two years, really…”
”Yeah, two years.”
”Can we see him? Your son?”

That’s a vision, and a true belief, and a solid faith that what you’re doing is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

That’s the kind of bold I want. Magi bold. Keeping after the task at hand, not being dissuaded. Following the star. Even when it gets tiresome. And it does get tiresome.

Bold is what keeps you going.

*****

If there’s one thing I’m pretty dismal at, it’s being prepared for unexpected company. Oh, I’ll do the best I can, but it’s not like I’ve got an extra casserole in the freezer and can put fresh sheets on the bed in a twinkling. They’ll be lucky if I have a cold beverage.

But we never hear that Joseph was ill at ease around these pagan shamans. We don’t read that Mary was ambivalent about having foreign dignitaries dandle her boy on their knees.

And the gifts. Let’s not forget the gifts. Oh, they had probably seen the frankincense before, at the temple. We do know that Mary’s cousin Elizabeth was married to a priest, so it’s very likely that Mary and Joseph were frequent visitors to the temple (at least, as frequently as their schedule allowed). At that time, village women were accustomed to preparing the dead for burial, so maybe Mary had seen myrrh before. And yes, if they had been to the temple, they had obviously seen gold. But touched it? Even the little coffer of gold that we see in most paintings would’ve been enough gold to set them up for life. And then some.

But they remain unruffled. They don’t say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have.” Or, “Oh, this is too much.”

They are gracious, and welcoming, and take everything in stride.

That’s bold. Mary bold.

That’s the kind of “yes, life, I’m taking what you’re offering, even though it’s about the most outlandish thing possible” attitude that I want this year.

Ready to take on whatever wise men are coming.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll even have gifts!

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Shut up!

Shut Your Beak

I’m not her any more. I’m not.

I used to be her…

the one who blogged about being in a tar pit;
the one who wrote about how I was mad at God;
the one who got angry at my messy, sad excuse for a life;
the one who questioned if anyone was reading what I wrote,  let alone actually cared about it…or her;
the one who did a little of this and did a little of that and wrote when she felt like it;
the one who mostly ranted that she wasn’t getting her own way.

But I’m not her any more. I’m me. Oh, she is still in there somewhere, yammering from a mental trunk that  “This isn’t funny any more!” as she cries to be let back out.

But I’m driving the car now and I’m just going to keep her in there until she passes out from the lack of oxygen.

I’m not feeding her any more.
I’m not listening to her any more.
I’m not living with her any more.
I’m killing her off.

Why?

I’m not like that any more.

I’m no longer satisfied with the depressed life.
I’m no longer satisfied with the sad excuses, the lame, lackluster-ness.
I’m not letting her back out and she can’t make me. She can’t make me. She can’t make me.

I’m quitting that. All that.

That kind of melancholy.
That depression drama where a hangnail is enough to unhinge me.
That unrelenting gloom where even Wednesday Addams might be looking for the nearest exit.

I am unashamed of my past, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let her run my present or my future.

So, sad lady in the trunk, whining that you’re feeling a bit faint from dehydration and begging me to please not drive so fast because you’re hitting your head and it hurts so bad.

Shut the fuck up.

I’ve had enough of you.

I’m going to be happy now.

Five Minute Friday: Write

Letter writing girlIt sounds like a TV show, but it’s not. “So You Think You Can Write?”

It’s the sound of the voice in my head. The voice that tries to silence me, but and, more  that not, succeeds.

Shut up. Just shut up.

I’m writing now, as fast as I can. I’m writing like my hair is on fire. I’m writing for my life. I’m writing down the bones. I’m writing like it’s a sacred path, like it’s an act of worship, like I can’t stop,

And I don’t want to. It’s something in me, and it’s in you and it’s in everyone. I don’t want to silence it.

You can’t stop me, as much as you try. I’ve let you shut me up, but now it’s your turn, you nasty voice. You editorial nightmare. You bad thing. I’m not the bad thing, you are. You can’t stop me, you won’t stop me, and I’m not letting you stop me. Not any more. I’m going to write. I am writing. I am a writer.

I. Am. A. Writer.

It’s going to happen every day now. It’s going to happen. Every. Single. Day.

And you can’t stop me. No one can stop me. No one.

Especially not me. Because I’m really the only person who can stop my writing. Me. My own worst enemy.

But not any more.

*****5-minute-friday-1

What’s Five Minute Friday?

A blog-prompt project dreamt up by LisaJo Baker, which you can read about here. The basic idea is that you spend five minutes of writing, generally unedited (I correct typos, WAY too OCD not to do that), on a prompt that she provides just after ten p.m. via a tweet, then spread the word, and link up. Interested? Join up. Enjoy a delightful assortment by clicking on the picture to the right.

God-Sized Dreams: Wanting More

God-Sized-Button-150x150 I’m afraid to dream. I am.

This week’s assignment (being shared here) was:

Link-up your blog post sharing: What do you really want more of in your life? Will you dare to say it out loud? Hint: it probably means having less of something too {ex: more joy, less stress}.

So, for me, it’s pretty basic. I want more confidence that pursuing ANYTHING in the way of a future will not be constantly derailed by depression, OCD or ADHD.

Up to this point in my entire life, every single dream (Dreams? Let’s just ratchet that down to a vague idea.) I’ve ever entertained for more than a month has been yanked off the tracks by the mental illnesses I struggle with. (I’m not even getting treatment right now—not my choice–so that’s not helping.) I can’t bring myself to believe that all God wants for me is to make it through my days without killing myself. Puh-leeze…

I’m taking baby steps right now, just to fight the unrelenting numbness. It helps. This month, it’s getting out of bed every single day, without fail. (If you suffer from depression, or know anyone who does, you’ll realize how much of an accomplishment this is.) I’m helping my daughter with her homework. I’m trying to clean the house and keep up. I’m taking my prescriptions to fight the anemia and the high blood pressure.

I’m reading Holley’s book, You Are Made for a God-Sized Dream. It’s a great book—really, it is. I just have a hard time believing that I, too, can have a God-sized dream. I’ve already learned one super encouraging thing: that a God-sized dream isn’t necessarily a huge, Mother Teresa-like, documentary-movie-worthy dream you’re going to hear about on the news, or from the pulpit at church. Thank God, really, because that probably isn’t going to happen. Holley writes,

I believe everyone has God-sized dreams. It’s not about how big or small they are, because [God] creates each one to perfectly fit the size of your heart.

How hopeful is that? Pretty hopeful, if you ask me. So, I just keep plugging away. I just keep asking, “Okay, God, where are we going with this? What do You have for me? I know You have something for me, I do.”

***

I feel like a fake, but I’m linking up with Holley Gerth and other ladies pursuing God-sized dreams at her blog here.