Wednesday, December 30, 2020

TV Shows and Memories

 We have been talking about Santi/James.  We have started watching "Seinfeld."  This was his favorite show.  I love "Friends."  Man, we used to run home for Must See Thursday on NBC.  Every episode reminds me of his favorite parts.  He would talk in Seinfeld sometimes.  We had seen this show several times in our lives.  I remember going to college when this show first came out.  I missed most of the first season the first time around.  If they gave "Seinfeld" in reruns, we always chose to watch it.  

It seems like I lived a different life.  The music was different.  I remember waiting for the bus after coming out of rehearsals or a late class.  He would always pick me up from college or work.  It didn't matter if it was far from home.  Santi lived in Brooklyn and I lived almost at the end of the Bronx.  It would take him hours to get back home after making sure I got to my house.  He would get out of the train station and walk me the three blocks to my house and to my door.  He made sure I would go in.  Sometimes, we would sit out on the steps and just talk.  Sometimes, my dad would come out and hang out with us.  We used to live out the Beach Boys song.  

"Wouldn't it be nice if we were older, then we would have to wait so long.  And would it be nice to live together, in the kind of world where we belong. You know it's' going to make it that much better, when we can say goodnight and stay together.  Wouldn't it be nice."

We were so impossibly young.  I was only 22 years old when I met him.  I had just turned 22 years old.  He had just turned 22 years old.   We were two babies, so immature.  I went to school and had weird part time jobs.  He worked in the Village.  We would spend the days just wandering the city.  We would run to my house to watch Seinfeld in a home that didn't have cable.  There were no cell phones back then.  We had beepers.  It watch the show and it just brings back the time.  For a brief moment in time, I am back with him.  The children aren't even a gleam in our eyes.  I can't even fathom who I was then but when I stop watching, I wonder what I am doing in this house in Arizona with my two teenagers.  It would seem that just yesterday I was waiting for the bus on Bedford Avenue with Santi, waiting to go home and watch the show at 9pm.  

I'm laughing as I watch this show with Janet, my little girl.  This is a new incarnation of this show.  I'm thankful to have a window into the memories that are conjured up by this show.  It's better to have them than to not have them.  I wonder what would happen if we started watching "Little House on the Prairie."  Would I remember my mother and father?  Would I be able to remember fighting with Joanne to watch this show?  I don't know.  It's funny the things that conjure up memories.  God wouldn't have given us memories if He didn't mean to have us remember, right?  Thank you, God for these warm moments in this short life we have.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

My Soon-to-be Teenager

 I was hanging out with Geoff when he asked me how we were going to celebrate Janet's birthday.  JANET'S BIRTHDAY!!!  In about three weeks, Janet will be thirteen years old.  Never mind that there are some days she can pass for 24 years old.  She is tall and statuesque.  I don't make it any better when we play with make up.  She's a kid!  I played with make up when I was her age.  I would go to Diana and Debbie's house and play with their eye shadows and eyeliners. I loved the royal blue and pink.  Man, it seemed just like yesterday.  Back then, the only way to wear eyeliner was on the water line.  And now I'm singing Madonna's border line because water line and border line are enough alike for me to feel it.  

I digress.  It is almost painful thinking about Janet turning into a teenager.  I will not have any more children in the house.  Where did the time go?  I blinked and they grew up.  There is a fear in having them older.  Who will they become?  Will they love Jesus?  What have I done?  At the end of the questions is this thought: Have I been a good enough mother?  I had to stop there for a moment.  That last sentence was like a punch in the gut.  I pray for them fervently.  I tend to pray for those with requests and I have a consistent list of people that I have been praying for, but I end up usually praying for my dear sweet babies.  I pray that they never leave the path set out before them.  I pray that they always follow God.  

Yes, I will have two teenagers in the house and I look down the road to five very short years and already they will be adults.  I think to the things I have been putting off like braces and contacts.  It is about that time that their bedroom furniture needs to be changed to teen furniture, whatever that looks like.  I mentioned to Geoff just today that he hopped on this ride at the right time.  I meant it sarcastically.  He just smirked.  He's familiar with teenagers.  He has more of an idea than I have of what is to come.  I think it helps them to have him alongside of me.  They are not as worried about leaving mom behind in the dust by her lonesome.  He gets me out of my shell.  We don't feel as isolated about having to quarantine and I have been thankful to have another adult around sometimes.  

There are prayers for the upcoming year no matter what the year brings.  I tend to imagine the worst case scenarios then worry about the worst that is to come while still living in the present.  This is all wasted energy.  I just need to trust in God and His plan.  Praise God.  May He prepare my heart to raise my children.  May He help me in the ways that I need.  May God bless this coming year, for everyone, you included, Reader.  May God bless you this coming year.  And when you think of me, please say a quick prayer for this mama who is the mother of two teenagers, one of them a TEENAGE GIRL!!! 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Resolutions for 2021

 I have been reflecting on the last year.  I was watching a movie and was thinking about how strange it was that people were not wearing masks.  When it all began back in March, I really and truly thought that I would be back to work in a week.  I was getting ready for a change.  I had change on the brain.  Well... there was change alright!!!  I was reading back on post from the start of last year and I admit that I was in a fog that I hardly remembered.  This past year, I was just holding on for dear life.  This new upcoming year may be a year of change.  It is past due.  I know that it is coming.  Change is a little scary for me.  I'm hoping that this is the good kind of change, if I can wrap my mind around it and not overthink absolutely everything.  Yes, I'm an overthinker.

Last year, there were no resolutions.  I only resolved in holding on and not losing my mind.  This year, I have too many resolutions.  I think about the people who choose not to follow resolutions.  That is telling in itself.  I am resolving to be healthy.  I am resolving to make changes.  I am resolving to have an open mind and to try different things, like... waking up early. I'm laughing because it seems impossible.  I am a real night owl.  But I think it better use of my time to wake up early and get my workout out of the way.  I am literally planning on climbing mountains, so I better be more fit for the mountains that come.  My children and Geoff bought me hiking sticks and a back pack with a bladder so... I better come correct.  

Covid has touched my life.  I have lost friends, family and my immediate family has contracted covid.  I have had to wear a mask in my own home and in my car while driving.  I know that wearing a mask is uncomfortable.  I feel terrible telling my children that they can not attend something because we need to social distance.  We are being responsible.  We are trying to limit the spread of the virus and attempting to live on for the next year.  Yes, it has been hard.  Yes, I have been praying.  Yes, I don't always know what to do.  There are moments when all that can be done is to pray.  Prayer is not for God but for me.  So as the next year comes, I resolve to pray more and for more people.  I will pray.  Praise the Lord.  Thank you, Jesus..  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas Eve Eve 2020

 As you may already know, I love Eves.  I love the day before Friday.  I love the potential of what is to come.  I know that we are quarantining but I still love it.  Coping mechanisms: I tend to prepare for an emotion that may come once an event occurs.  I go for the worst case scenarios. But just because I suspect the worst does not mean that the worst will come.  I, the human that I am, eliminate God in my equation.  God changes everything.  Thousands of people but only a few fishes and loaves, just add God into the number and there will be extra fishes and loaves.  It doesn't make sense doesn't it?  Same here with my life.  It doesn't really make sense but... God.  

I woke up this morning and I made coffee.  Janet usually makes my coffee but it's best she stay in her room. Apparently, she has been putting too many grounds so, today I had a great cup of coffee, with chocolate gluten free cookies, right before I made fried eggs and french fries in the air fryer for David and me.  Such a Puerto-Rican thing to eat!!!  I discussed the menu for Christmas with David and I bought tickets for World of Illumination for New Year's Eve.  Nothing like a full belly and plans to change your perspective of things.  

In my head, I have to have a traditional Christmas with baking and cooking.  I look around and tell myself that I need to clean the house.  I do need to clean but I have spoken with the children and they say that they are good with staying at home and hanging out making our simple Christmas favorites.  They make it easy.  One day, heck, one moment I could kill them the next moment I want to hug them.  Either way though, I am blessed.  I am blessed beyond measure.

I am working, sort of, I have corny Christmas movies on.  I still have my full belly.  My nails are done.  My dog sits by my feet, sweet boy!  I have only one more present to wrap and the menu is set.  In my peace, I thank God.  He is the reason that I can celebrate so I will celebrate His birth.  Praying for you, readers.  May you have God's Spirit which is the real Spirit of Christmas.  Praise the Lord!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

It's a Covid Christmas

 So...  I last reported that I had a cold. I dragged my children and myself to the covid testing center.  I did it because a cold is enough like covid to get tested.  I got the results back yesterday as I was on the golf greens with my guy.  David came back negative.  Janet came back positive.  I was already feeling down.  My dear sweet cousin, David Vega passed away yesterday.  He was the dj for my wedding.  I can hear his deep voice.  I was close to at least one of his sons.  I would hang out with him on family holidays.  Already I miss him.  He had a stroke and then caught covid.  This virus has stolen a lot from me so far.  And just in case you were wondering, my results came back last... negative.  Poor Janet!!!

I think about the meager plans we had made for a pandemic holiday.  We had thought about going to Glendale Glitters.  We were going to go to church for Christmas Eve.  We were going to go to Geoff's for Christmas.  Now I wear a mask in the car and in my house.  Conditions are not ideal.  

Then to make the situation worse, I was driving home from getting tested... again and I went by Geoff's to pick up his air fryer.  I was thinking about finally making some gluten-free Doritos chicken (Doritos is the devil even when I'm just thinking about it!!!) when I saw the trooper behind me.  I was speeding.  Not cute enough to get off with a warning, he gave me the ticket and I felt myself start to descend into a spiral.  I'm usually okay for the children but dealing with teenagers is a challenge.  I mean, where the heck are my sweet compliant children?!!  I have been trying to show maturity and self-control but I want to snap at them and their attitudes.  They are full of ego.  I am lacking the patience to deal with them and I am processing my life.

There are plans and non-plans.  There are prayers going up for everyone.  This vaccine, this world, this virus is... a lot.  I think it is finally hitting me, this Christmas that we are in the middle of a pandemic and it is not fun.  I will not try to predict the future.  I am attempting to trust in God and do the right thing.

I made the gluten free panko chicken and french fries in the air fryer, along with Doritos chicken and barbeque pork rind chicken.  There were a lot of tenders.  It's a good thing I have two hungry teens to eat them all!  I ate a whole sleeve of chocolate gluten free cookies with warm milk.  At some point, I ate not one but two lemon pudding cups with raspberries because they are my favorite.  I am all full, finally.  I have "Love Actually" on and I'm writing.  God is alive and on His throne.  I will not despair.  I will pray.  I will pray for my family who have lost a husband, father, brother and uncle.  I will pray for friends who have lost loved ones.  I will pray for that one student who is struggling.  I will pray for God's will to be done as I try to make decisions and pay for speeding tickets.  Prayer works.  So I'll do it.  Praise the Lord!!  

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Cold

 I remember going home and feeling the slight tickle in the back of my throat.  Ugh!!!  I was hoping that I was just getting allergies but the next day, my face was swollen and I had a fever and a runny nose.  I knew.  I knew I had a cold.  I really wanted to go in but I knew I had to be responsible.  I taught from home and did my work but I could feel my body ache and I knew that I needed to drink liquids and take care of myself.  

I made the appointment to check for covid.  I have been praying that it is just a cold but already, ALREADY, it is disrupting my life.  I was supposed to go to a cookie exchange.  I even bought cookie mix!!!  (I'm not the best of bakers even in the best of times.  If you want something edible then trust me, a mix is great!!!)  I was supposed to serve at church this Sunday too.  The kid I am lucky enough to work with can't make it so to keep everyone safe and room to heal before Christmas, we will go to church virtually.  Monday I'll know what I'm dealing with, hopefully.

And the testing has changed.  The last time I went, they just stuck a cotton swab up my nose and twisted.  I made sure to not blow my nose too much.  I was ready with my boogies handy!!!  I want to be cooperative.  They didn't ask for boogies though.  They asked for half a plastic vial of saliva.  I knew I would be there a while.  My daughter was done in a minute.  I think I was working on it for 20 minutes.  Holy Dehydration, Batman!!!  My mouth was dry and then they said not to eat or drink anything.  I was thinking of mouth watering things to help.  Steak made just right with a loaded potato or pernil and arroz con gandules... Yum!!!  Oh great!!!  NOW my mouth waters!!!

I think it is in my head but looking at the social media pictures of the snowy places has me feeling more cold than I am used to.  I think I have a coat in my closet... I have to check.  Surely it is an old fashioned outer garment but I guess this is the winter where we use coats.  Let me get a cup of tea to warm myself up, or better yet, a hot chocolate bomb!!!  I saw one online and now I can't unsee it.  I think of all of the calories and all of the sugar but after having like five candy canes (surely an exaggeration).  I find that I don't care as much.  I am in a Holiday frame of mind and wild horses couldn't drag me out of it.  I am thankful.  I am thankful for healthy babies(my babies), a boy who graduated from high school and a man with warm hands and a warm sweet disposition, my man.

An Aside: I'm watching "The Little Mermaid."  Am I the only one who thinks Ursula is gorgeous and ahead of her time?  She may be my favorite villainess.  

I am thankful.  Praise the Lord for this quiet and somewhat careful and isolated Holiday Season.  Even in these times, we are reminded of God's love for us in coming to earth to become a Man who died for our sins.  Thank You, Jesus.  

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Christmas Movies

 Please note that I did not say any thing about my favorite prescribed, canned Christmas movies that can be found on a certain card company channel.  I love those.  Why?  Everyone wants to know why.  I will tell you why. 

They say that the plots are predictable and formulaic.  Yes!!!  Listen, I'm a teacher.  I get adventure and surprises every day.  I would love nothing more than to follow a predictable plot while I am doing 70 other things.  It is easier to follow when they are so predictable.  I don't get lost.  Yay!  Do you know how many times I have to rewind a regular movie?  More than once... in a scene!!!  

Let me tell you something about happy endings.  They all have happy endings.  It is a Christmas miracle!!!  Real life does not always end in happy endings.  It's good to see what happy ending look like sometimes.  It keeps in mind that eventual happy ending forever when Christ comes again.  Until then, we can see various wholesome happy endings ala Christmas channel corniness, which I love.

All of the heroines have flaws.  I love the flaws.  They are all different and all of them represent us.  It is a time to let down our hair, confront our faults and compare how we are like those women.  All of them represent something that we have and I'm good with that.  It's also good to know that even with their flaws, these women find love.  They are loved.  It reminds me that I am loved, so loved.  It's a warmth to remember this at Christmas.  

These are our grown up animation shows that we would see over and over again.  These movies are our Rudolph, and Frosty shows but different and grown up.  The small towns versus the big cities we actually live in.  The snow we remember as kids versus our sunny warm days living in warmer climates.  These days can be scary.  I can take a little predictable.

You can yum yuck the Christmas things but there is always something we love that other people don't like.  Some things we admit to and some we let go but I'm good with the corny Christmas movies that sometimes lend out a bit of the Christmas Spirit that can be hard to grasp on to.  Go ahead.  Be corny.  Listen to the Christmas songs and keep the tree lighted.  Frost the cookies and hang the stockings.  Life is short.  Remember the reason for the season and be grateful.  Praise the Lord. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020


 I had to look it up.  Advent means coming.  We take for granted when we hear Advent that it commemorates the coming of Jesus down to earth to save us from our brokenness.  Advent happens all the time.  Even now we wait.  We wait for the second coming promised to us, we wait even though it may not happen in our lifetimes.  I mean, we wait for a lot of things.  We wait for love, we wait for death, we 

I think a lot of us this year is waiting for the coming of the new year.  I think we hope that it will be a better year.  2020- I think that the hope was for it to be a better year.  The beginning of a decade.  Even the name held so much promise!!!  I was talking about it with my students.  They were talking about the issues that they had with this year.  I remember telling them that this year was not so bad.  There was a lot of things I didn't know how to do.  I had to learn to parent and teach in a different way.  I have to do my job differently and I had to be okay with just being okay and not being great or excellent.  HOWEVER, this year was still a lot better than 2018.  

I think about 2018.  I lost a lot that year.  I shudder to think of it.  This year in comparison, I learned to go with the flow.  I gained a boyfriend and new traditions.  I lost weight.   I gained steps and adventures in hiking.  There were times that I was stressed and felt lost it was okay because I was not alone in being stressed and lost.  And here is the thing that I am so grateful for: I was never lost and alone and I never will be. 

As I rethink this different Christmas season, as I reflect on Advent.  I want to spend some time thinking on what is coming in the next year.  There will be changes.  It may require adjusting and being flexible.  I hate moving so... already I'm dreading it.  I wonder.  I wonder what doors will open. I wonder what doors will close.  There is peace.   I have God who came to earth.  I have God who stands beside me, even in the storm, even in the shadow of the valley of death.  I am thankful. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Best Practices

 I am sitting down and feel the places where I have held tension.  We put our bodies through stress through a million different ways we hold ourselves, we brace ourselves.  I stretch even a little and I can feel it in my lower back.  I feel it in  my shoulders and the base of my neck.  I move my head from one side to another and I hear a crack.  I breathe in.  Here is the thing.  I know better.  I know that I should be stretching.  I know that I should be drinking more water.  I know that I should take deep cleansing breaths in and out.  In these winter months, I should take a walk now and again to stave off the lack of light during the day.  Lack of light makes people prone to depressive episodes.  Depressive episodes allow the devil, that snake, to come and whisper from his stockpile of lies to further defeat you.  Misery truly loves company. 

I push my shoulders back and take a breath.  "I love..."  I breathe out.  "You, Lord." I breathe in.  "A-lle..." I breathe out. "lu-jah"  I breathe in.  Why don't I do what I should do to keep myself well?  Why do I forget to take care of myself in these small ways?

When I was in high school, I wore a uniform.  Even with tights, I would feel the New York City cold.  I knew that if my legs would get dry then the skin would become itchy and uncomfortable.   I would forget to put the lotion on even though I had plenty.  Even now I forget and I have a plethora of lotions in my room.  I sit here thinking of all of the things that I should do but don't because I don't want to or I forget.  I don't follow best practices when it comes to me.  I realize I will not be able to do them all and there are some I have learned never to go without but I need to be better and do better at taking care of myself.

The same holds true for spiritual principles.  I have a devotional app that includes a Bible.  I am able to listen to the Bible and read the devotions in the morning and evening.  I don't always do this.  I will go a few days and then as I go over what I need to do, I will eventually remember and catch up.  I am always behind.  I sabotage myself and I don't really know why.  There is a selfishness in taking time to take care of yourself, but I will do it for a series, or a movie.  I will pick the empty and wasteful time over the more productive.  It is almost like picking empty calories over the good calories.  I did that for years and now I am counting calories and eliminating sugar and carbs.  If I had been doing it all along there is a possibility I would have to do it so rigorously now.  It is true, sooner or later you should take care of yourself before it becomes a need, both physically and spiritually.  

Take care of yourselves, Friends.  

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Silence and Waiting

There is a lot swirling around my head these days.  I have not been really active in any decision making. I know that transition is coming.  I had spoken about transitions last year.  I'm still in a holding pattern.  It takes me a while to process things and to make decisions.  I would even say that I have very poor decision making skills.  Me?  I like to wait.  

This brings me to "Hamilton" and some thoughts.  This musical/play/movie has obviously affected me.  I have seen it several times.  The song that affects me most has to do with the antagonist, Aaron Burr.  I think I appreciate Burr's story almost as much as I appreciate Hamilton's.  I am reminded of Salieri and Mozart when "Amadeus" came out.  "Wait For It" is the song that I keep thinking about.  Burr and I have something in common.  We wait.  I was taught that good things come to those who wait.  

When I was younger, a teenager, I was just starting puberty when I discovered my mouth.  James didn't lie in his Epistle when he talked about the tongue and how it can get you in trouble.  My mouth was always writing checks that I couldn't cash.  Afterwards, I would feel... bad.  I would think about the things I said and I knew that I couldn't take them back.  Was this the person that I wanted to be?  Did I want to be someone who had a big mouth?  My father would recite to me in Spanish, Proverbs 17:28 "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues." It took me a while but I had to learn how to control my mouth.

I heard this thing that said something like, "Is it kind?  Is it meaningful?  Is it worth it?"  Someone would say something and I would have the words burning in my mouth.  The words were burning.  I finally learned to be clever and quick with my quips only to leave the words in my brain.  I had to learn how to tell myself stop.  Then I had to ask, "Is it kind?"  I would argue with myself.  "This is too good to keep in my head!!!"  "No."  Was the response.  I want to think it was the Holy Spirit telling me no.  

I had this boyfriend when I was much younger.  I won't say his name but he was quiet.  I misinterpreted his silence for deep pensive thought.  I told myself that he was a smart thinker.  I filled in his narrative for him. It turned out that he was not a deep thinker.  He was a selfish man who didn't speak because he lacked the communication skills.  My father had been right, even a fool is thought wise if he keeps his mouth shut.  

These days, I am slow to speak.  I ask myself if this is a good thing.  Should I have a response?  Then another verse from James comes to me. "My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires."  James 1:19-20

There are times when I feel bad waiting.  I'm a teacher.  I have had better times waiting than being active or making a decision.  Of course, there are times when a decision needs to be had, but for the most part, waiting has served me well.  Having a teen screaming with tears and rage at me.  They curse me out.  My response is to rage back.  But then... I pause.  Stop.  I tell myself.  "Is it kind?"  I thank God for those times when I have kept silent instead of reacting.  My favorite, Psalm 37 teaches me to wait on God.  The only active thing to do is pray.

There have been days that I sit down and say, "I should be doing something."  Should I?  I think there is something there that makes me feel like I am not doing anything but then again, I pray and wait.  God is working in my waiting.  Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Gluten-Free Apple Pie

 Today I came home and opened the fridge to eat something for dinner.  It was there on the top shelf with just a crumbled aluminum foil over it.  I peeked in and saw a slice, the last slice.  It was the last slice of the gluten-free apple pie that he made me.  

You see, he made it for me like he made the gluten free three cheese mac and cheese for Thanksgiving.  Janet asked for the mac and cheese but he wanted to make sure that I got some.  This pie, this pie was just for me.  I told him that I didn't need a pie.  I told him that I hadn't had pie in over a decade.  He had no idea how to make it but he bought the all purpose gluten free flour anyway.  He took me with him to make sure none of the other ingredients had gluten either.  

On Thanksgiving, I had forgotten to buy the vanilla ice cream.  He went out and found the last carton of Breyers vanilla ice cream.  He made a crumble finish on top.  We had it after we ate and put ice cream on the warm apple pie.  It was delicious.  He didn't keep any of it.  He packed it up with the aluminum foil in the same pie tin he made it in and sent it home with us.  

Today I saw it there, the aluminum foil covered pie crust.  "This was made for me.  This is my pie."  I pulled it out and heated it up.  I made sure to get all the loose pieces of crumbles that had fallen.  There wasn't enough syrup so it was a little dry.  I didn't care.  I ate it with relish.  He called while I ate it.  "What are you eating?"  He didn't even judge me when I told him that I was having apple pie for dinner.  He reminded me how I protested the pie.  I thanked him for making me this pie that I thought I didn't want.  You know what he told me?  He told me next time he would roll out the crust and make sure there was a softer apple.  There would be a next time.  There would be another apple pie, another apple pie that he would make for me.  

I am thankful to God for family, gluten-free pies and the sweet man who made it for me.  Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2020


 I think that there are things about ourselves we don't like to admit to.  I know for a fact that I have had conversations that included people telling me that I am ________ (feel free to fill in the blank).  And then I have proceeded to deny that I am whatever the blank is.  Today I was taking my Sunday nap and I thought about the type of person that I am.  I used to deny that I love the color pink.  I LOVE pink.  I love pink, purple and orange.  Throw in some aqua and some lime and I'm happy.  I am an older woman who appreciates rainbows and unicorns.  Lisa Frank is my muse!!!  I am just embracing this about myself.  

There's more.  I love pop music.  80s music and boy bands are some of my favorites.  I like action movies and romantic comedies.  I like flavored lipstick and colored hair dye that smells like grapes.  I don't know if I dye my hair because I like the weird colors or because I like walking around smelling like grapes.  I no longer eat candy but if I did, I would love it.  I love candy.  My favorite fantasy land is candy land.  Is that bad?  

I guess you can say that I am immature.  It serves me well as an educator.  I guess you can say that I relate well with my children and my students.  I don't like to hear that I am immature but I don't really like the look of adulting so it is what it is.  I'm not a toy person but I do have issues with purses and with shoes.  I'm getting better.  I'm sure that my taste may change but at this rate, I will say what the problem is: I am mushy.  I'm not going to paint my room pink.  I'm not putting up any rainbow posters.  I drink my coffee each day with just milk and I make sure to drink my water and green tea.  You see, I can be an adult!!!

I am thinking about who I am because I think it is important to understand who you are and what you like, even if it is embarrassing sometimes.  Is it my fault that I love glitter eyeshadow?  These masks make me miss my love of lipstick.  I love lipstick but do you know how hard it is to take it off of the masks!!!  I like writing in journals and I have pen pals.  I like colorful pens and I buy stickers some times.  I like to paint my nails with color and rainbow glitter.  Have I always been this way?  Probably.  I am thankful for the weird things that I like.  I am thankful for my developing tastes.  And I am thankful that God made me the way that I am, some immature colorful woman who likes to write about all the crazy things she thinks about and her crazy life.  What makes you happy today?  Praise the Lord for the things that make you happy.  Praise God!!!

Friday, November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

 I have trouble sometimes remembering the last few years.  I remember that they were hard years.  I didn't feel them as hard at the time.  I am looking back and realizing that they were hard, probably the hardest years of my life.  I am thankful for the family and friends that took us in when I was on auto-pilot.  This year, due to the pandemic, we thought it safe to just keep it small.  

We woke up late, the kids and me.  That in itself was a blessing.  You should know that I am not the best of cooks in any situation.  My task was making the Spanish rice and the beans.  I made black beans.  I am upset that I was not able to find pigeon peas or gandules in Arizona.  My plan was to make arroz con gandules.  So who did the majority of the cooking?  Geoff, he did the majority.  I'm thankful he cooks better than me.  He made plenty of gluten-free sides so that I could eat like mac and cheese with bacon.  Yum!!!  There was turkey and even gluten-free gravy!!!  Can I just tell you what else he did?  He made me a gluten-free apple pie which we devoured with vanilla ice cream.  

We helped.  The day before we all went over and started prepping.  We love prepping.  You don't know this but my kids love to help.  I woke up early and started cooking then my babies woke up and started getting ready.  I got ready.  I think the plan was to keep it comfy but we brought it up to a casual and I broke out my make up.  We went for a walk and we were starving.  It was a beautiful day.  It was so lovely.  We had our meal.  We took a break and then played a board game.  We left happy and exhausted.  We had our first major holiday together.  That feels like a big sentence.  This year is not like the last two years that have past and I am thankful for that.  Keep us in prayer.  Thankful to God and Praise the Lord.   

Monday, November 23, 2020

Love is All Around

Man!!!  What is going on?  I don't ever recall so many people falling in love, getting engaged and getting married.  All of the time!!!  One week, there were three weddings flooding my social media feed.  They are beautiful and unique weddings.  There are no rules.  We are in the midst of a pandemic... still!!!  Of course, they are small affairs.  I feel like there is less offense because we are all thinking about social distancing.  

I am happy about this.  There are no complaints.  I want everyone to find love.  Love of God, love of self, love of neighbor, love of the impoverished, love of animals, love of children and then... romantic love.  Life is so short, Guys.  What are we doing with our time, what little time we have on this Earth?  I have seen "Hamilton."  What will our story be and who will tell it?  I am learning still, that God is love.  Love overcomes a multitude of sin.  So yes, love (a verb, active, a command).

I have a pen pal.  We talk about a lot of things.  In this last letter, she asked me about Geoff.  All of her questions seemed to be about him.  I can't tell you about a dinner that is still being made.  Let me tell you, there is care as the meal is prepared.  There are prayers and reflections on my part.  I am thankful.  Who am I to have this privilege?  I understand this grace that has been bestowed to me.  Every day is about grace.  I mean... have you met me?  No one of consequence is who I am.  I read about widows.  It is the saddest word in the world.  I am  single mother, a widow, a teacher.  I attempt to educate the disenfranchised.  Who am I to have earned this honor?  Don't look at me.  I'm a mess.  I'm a hot mess... on burnt toast.  I promise you that I am.  If God could look out for a spicy, crazy, unorganized mess like me, then what could He do for you?  Love is all around... you.  God is all around you.  Whatever you are thinking or doing?  Trust in God.  That's all.  Believe.  I did.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday, November 19, 2020


 I can't seem to stop thinking about gifts.  I guess it is the time of year to think about gifts.  Getting ready for the upcoming Christmas season and feeling thankful has a way of lending itself to gift giving.  I'm thinking of my growing children whose tastes have changed so much.  I used to buy dolls and sets and now I'm buying electronics, clothes and shoes.  I go back and forth on what to get Geoff, but I'm thinking about it.  Despite of all around us that is not quite right.  I am still thinking about the nature of gifting.

I got a gift recently.  The whole event had to do with gifts, funny enough.  We decided to take a day to go to Sedona and spend the day there.  We were supposed to look for some gifts in the little cute shops that they have there.  Janet had her eye on a sweatshirt.  I wanted to get David a t-shirt.  We decided to go earlier and hike.  

There were thoughts on where we were going to hike.  God and the GPS had different ideas.  We ended up going on a different route and it led us to Red Rock State Park.  "Why not?" We told ourselves.  We parked and got ready.  The leaves were changing.  I hadn't had an Autumn day in ages.  I don't even think the children remember a real Autumn.  I had found Janet looking for the crunchy leaves around where we live to step on them.  My children have been deprived of seasons.  I didn't think they minded until I found them running in the leaves as I put on my hiking boots.  We walked across the parking lot into a fairy land.  There was a creek with running water and the red rock canyon on the other side of us.  There were changing leaves everywhere.  It was just breezy enough.  It smelled like Fall.  

This beautiful day was a gift.  It was a brilliant gift with wonderful sights and great people.  I said more than once that I would bottle the smell in a jar if I could have.  I am thankful.  I was gifted a day.  I'm thankful to everyone involved.  I am thankful, so thankful for early gifts, considerate boyfriends who plan hikes.  I am thankful to God from whom all blessings flow.   Praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2020


 Hi Guys!!!

There has been a lot to write about and no time to write.  You don't know this but I have recently had a COVID scare. I get a call from my daughter at school.  I don't exactly know what happens when I get a call from one of my kids at school.  It's like the blood drains out of me and I go a little cold and auto-pilot goes on.  I mean, how was I able to drive over there.  

I don't really want to get into the great brouhaha that came out of trying to get tested.  We all got tested, all four of us (I'm leaving that right there).  I am currently awaiting for the kid's results.  I don't know why they didn't come at the same time as the adults but that's the way that it goes.  I'm praying for negative results.  We will wait it out till we get the results and then test again.  Wear your masks, people.  You wear your panties and underwear, right?  Well, all you have to do is wear your face underwear.  Save a life, wear your mask.  

I have discovered a few things about myself in the time that I have not been writing.  I miss writing.  I like road tripping.  Hiking is the only way to go.  It makes me want to go out and get stickers to put on my car.  Sugar is the devil.  I'm not kidding.  It's like I'm the worst version of myself when I have sugar.  Stay away from the stuff.  It is soul sucking.  

I'm still dating.  Yes, the same guy, he's cool.  I may have started menopause so when I have a hot flash I'm like, "Covid or menopause?"  Ugh!  I'm just managing my job and classes.  But Thanksgiving is coming soon and right after that is Christmas.  I still have to move.  I still need to try and eat healthy but I'm believing that through all of the politics, through a pandemic, through it all, God is with me and He has a plan.  I'm praying my way through these days and believing that God is with me as I walk this hot mess life.  Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, November 2, 2020


It is autumn.  I think of the seasons as a cycle.  As humans, we only go through this cycle once.  We start in the Spring.  Our youth is the Summer.  Middle age is Autumn and old age is Winter.  Am I the only one who thinks this?  Well, I love Autumn.  It really is one of the only things I miss about New York City.  I miss the feeling of Fall.  This post is not about Fall.  This post is about how I have been quiet.  What have I been doing that I have not been writing?  I have been teaching and learning.  I have been praying and adulting.  I have been pouting and worrying sometimes.  Transitions are hard!!!  I haven't wanted to sit down and look at the state of things.

Still working on grad school.  Still teaching high school.  Still trying to inspire.  I think of the term burn out and if it really does exist.  Who would I be if I changed something?   What would I be?  Isn't that the question?  Yes, I have been through a lot.  I have learned that life is short.  So...  how much time do you think I have left?  Maybe another 50 years.  Will I be able to do the things I can do now?  Doubtful, right?  I mean, I don't think I will have the mobility but I might.  What would I do?  Can I write books?  When will I do this?  What kind of legacy will I leave?  What message would I like to leave the world?  Robin Thicke has this one song called "Lonely World."  The words of the last verse goes like this: 
    "Beautiful mom can you smile? 
    Can you glow? 
    Can you sing me my favorite song? 
    Coffee for one, clothes are clean, kids are gone.  
    What to do?  She's a sleeping sun.  
    She sees birds fly out of windows.  
    She watches jealousy.  
    She says she's too old for new things.  
    But Mama you got wings."

I think as a society, we are so focused on the young.  No wonder that we feel a certain way once you get to be a certain way.  I haven't stopped learning.  I continue to grow.  I continue to adapt and adjust and dream.  Are there co-ops for middle aged people trying to re-evaluate and re-commence their passions?  Should we start forming support groups?  "Hi.  My name is Elle.  I'm middle-aged."  I don't know.  I think we are a pretty powerful demographic and maybe we should join forces and rule the world.  Maybe I will be the next president: The first ever Latina president!!!  LOL!!!  Maybe I know the next Latina president.  I tell students that skies are the limit, maybe I should start telling myself.  Because life is short and God is big.  Thank You, God for this abundant life.  Praise God!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Looking at My Defense Mechanisms

 I was talking to my students and I asked them if school was hard.  A good portion of them told me no.  They understood that if they show up every day, they do the work, they ask questions and be attentive, then, they would be able to pass all of their classes.  I asked, "But do you do this?"  I mean, why don't they come to school every day and listen and do the work and ask questions and pass their classes?  Clearly it's not that easy.  I don't know what they are thinking about to stop them from doing what they need to do.  So... we started talking about self-awareness and the lies that we tell ourselves.  I learned a lot.  Some students are understanding that they have coping skills that they have developed in order to survive.  They revert to these coping skills out of fear or anger in order to cope with the stressful situation that is Covid Education.  I get it.  So in looking at their defense mechanisms, I found some of my own.

Before I even begin, I understand that I write as a form of therapy that is healthy and I like it.  This is the primary reason I think I started this blog.  I also think that writing has helped other people understand or at least think about some of the issues that I have faced with.  That being said, in my humble experience, God and my belief in Him has helped heal me more than any other form of therapy out there.  He continues to heal me each day and I pray to have the ability to be healed more. 

I find that I rationalize.  I come up with a story to explain something away so that I can have control.  The story that I make up isn't even slanted positively!!!  I'm scared of the pain of disappointment.  So, I tell myself that I am the problem and work harder to try and fix myself.  I have to remind myself that I am in a broken world and it isn't even about me.  We are all broken people.  Making myself the problem means that I am unnecessarily harder on myself and I tend to overdo things as a way to prove to myself that I can be better.  I am who I am.  I do what I do.  God is in control.  I need to pray more when I don't have the answers and trust that God does have the answers and He cares about me.  If I'm upset about any probable outcome, then I should deal with being upset. 

I intellectualize and then repress.  This is rationalization that deals with something else that you can fix and them pushing those emotions down deep.  These coping strategies are helpful sometimes but you know and I know that they can sabotage you and lead you down very dark paths.  Jesus is the light of the world.  He can keep you healthy.  Maybe He is the only coping strategy I will ever need.  I feel that sometimes our minds are like that one closet that we need to clean out and get rid of stuff.  Sometimes, we put fresh fish in there and think that it will not rot and infect everything else in the closet.  Some things just need to be dealt with.  

I am scared.  I have been scared about everything and I didn't know it.  Well, I had an idea but I didn't understand the extent of this fear.  I have had a lot of trauma and have developed some pretty sophisticated defense mechanisms.  I think you would say that I am allowed a certain amount of grace in dealing with grief and life as a single mom.  I wouldn't allow myself that grace. And now?  Now I need to start cleaning out my closet so that I can go on.  I want change and change will happen but I have to deal with some of the fish that I have put in my closet.  I will read my Guide (The Bible) and talk to my Counselor (God).  And I will wait and trust in God.  Praise the Lord.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Being Healthy

 I haven't been writing as much.  I still have all of my thoughts brimming in my head.  There have been prayers as  I work through some of the psychological, emotional and/or spiritual stuff I have left on the back burner of my psyche.  There is this idea that anybody can do any job.  Well... this is the subconscious idea that I have left hanging out in my mind.  "I can do it."  I tell myself.  It is hard but with Christ, I can do anything.  I have no doubt whatsoever that with Christ I can do anything.  The question is should, should I do anything or should I do everything.  The verse is not, "With Christ I can do everything."  Uh... Not exactly true is it?  Or the everything that I do end up doing is not enough because I am attempting to do it all and make it look easy.  Reese Witherspoon's epic line as Elle Woods (not Miller) is: "What?  Like it's hard?"  Keep in mind I'm paraphrasing.  How am I showing that I am a hot mess in need of Jesus if I take it on myself to do it all?  Am I trying to reflect my good God?  Am I using God to boost my own ego?  Is that even a thing?

I assume I should know what I should do.  I wake up.  Get dressed.  Drive to work.  I teach.  I do my other duties.  I come home and I'm a mom.  I'm a student.  I'm not doing any of it superbly.  Would it be so wrong if I were one of those people who do a good job at some things but need time to do it?  I am not a multi-tasker and I admire people like that.  I have been asking myself, "Elle, what are you good at?"  It has taken a little bit but one thing I am good at is teaching small groups of people.  Another thing I am good at is talking to students (all kinds of students) and getting them to believe that they can pass a course, a semester, a year, a degree.  I find that I like talking to people about what really matters.  I used to think that I was a detail oriented person.  I am but I like to take what I understand about the details to make up a bigger picture.  I like to think in theoreticals.  I like to learn.  See how the language has changed.  What I do well to what I like to do?  I ask students all of the time what they like to do and they can't answer.  I was finding that was not able to answer either.  I have changed.  Who I was, I am no longer.  

I continue to change and I would guess you are changing too.  My prayer is to be moldable.  My prayer is to be of use.  My prayer is to have action as well as patience.  There is more change coming.  I am trying not to be fearful of the changes.  I tend to be fearful but act like I'm not and this is something that I must confront.  Just acknowledging this about me opens up the floodgates of self-awareness.  Isn't there even a term for it?   Reaction formation?  Maybe.  God is great for my mental health.  He takes all that is wrong and makes it right.  Praise the Lord.

Oh!!!  So do you want an update?  I'm praising God.  I'm raising my children.  I'm working and I'm still in school.  If my face or name cross your thoughts, say a little prayer for me.  May God's will be done.  Praise the Lord.

Friday, October 16, 2020


 I am a believer of signs.  I keep on thinking how Jesus said that the only sign to be had would be the sign of Jonah.  But there are reminders of what is to come and that God is with us.  It feels like I live my life with a foot in reality and a foot in some unseen magic kingdom.  Yes, you can think I'm crazy but then I think about Don Quijote who chose to live in his better dreamland than in his reality.  My husband would say that I have a touch of the poet.  This meant that there is something inside of me that flirts with art, the creative process and madness.  I believe I am too firmly rooted in reality to fall prey to insanity but there are days when I stand and feel something more in the place between what I think and what I feel.  On these days, I remember the song, "Rainbow Connection."  I am not the only one, there are the lovers, the dreamers and me.  I am among those.  Maybe this is why my fingers itch to write.  It is a blessing and a curse.

I stand still.  I can feel things changing.  It is so obvious that you should be able to feel it too.  There is a heaviness to this work that I do.  I am changing.  I feel that I have lost my luster and it shows.  It is not gone.  It's just missing.  In a moment, I will start to run around and do what needs to be done.  But I find myself looking for signs.  I find myself listening for the voice of God.  I whisper to Him that I am listening. 

You should know something else.  There is a smell that has been following me.  It is a smoky smell.  It is almost like toast, this scent that seems to follow me.  I understand that I am changing and I am releasing pheromones and different odors from this aging body but it appears to be on me.  It's not unpleasant but I am reminded of burning.  I think of the imagery of burning in the Bible.  God refines gold in the fire.  Maybe these hard times are for me a refining.  I think about how three men were in the fire but the king saw four.  Maybe it means that God is with me.  There was a cloud during the day and fire at night when the Israelites were led out of the desert.    

The other day I was watching a show that was discussing missing political signs and in return, they mentioned some signs that I have had in the past.  I find dimes.  This is a bigger story but yesterday, I found two, one after the other.  I parked and when I opened the door there was a dime on the floor.  I walked to the sidewalk and there was another one.  Yes, it is hard not to believe in signs.  I want to believe that the message is that God is with me, don't be scared.  I think this is true whether there are never any signs so it is a safe bet that it is true. I don't know. All I know is that things are changing and I am waiting and listening for what will be to come.

There are moments that I am fearful of this change.  There are moments that I remember that God is in control and that He has a plan..  So, other than listening and watching and waiting... I am praying.  I am praying that God stays with me and puts my feet on the wrong path.  I pray that I am smart enough to listen.  I'm not always that smart.  In any case, Praise the Lord.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Remembering Nellie

The news came suddenly.  I was in class.  I was teaching class and it felt like someone came and slapped me in the face.  It felt so real that I made an exclamation like someone physically slapped me.  My students looked at me as I told them that one of my favorite cousins died.  

I keep on thinking about how to tell the story.  I guess the best way is to say that she was one of my mother's bridesmaids.  She was there at the very beginning.  I remember going to family gatherings for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, Easter, among other things.  We would play games and remember stories.  Her children were in my wedding.  Her husband walked me down the aisle.  I saved my bouquet for her.  She threw my wedding shower in her house the same year just a few weeks after the towers fell.  She threw the baby shower for my first child.  Me and mine always had a place at her table. We were family.

She passed away.  Already I am missing her sweet spirit.  I pray for those who survive her, myself included.  I have a picture where she is hanging on to Santi.  I wonder if he is asking her to make her eggplant parmigiana just one last time for him.  She is reunited with the family that has gone on before us and we who are left upon this earth are left to feel their losses acutely.  

Later on in the day, I went to Esther and she let me cry it out in front of her like she usually does.  I went home and told my kids and I am so happy that they remember and I didn't need to retell anything.  They have a memory of her to hold on to.

Today is the day that she will be remembered.  Please send out love and prayers to my cousins who have lost their mom and Ricky who has lost his other half.  It may be rough today for them.  

Monday, October 5, 2020

Waiting, Passively

 Today, this morning, I found myself with too many words after spending so many days with not enough.  I have to wonder what it is about to day that is making me write when I have been so quiet for so long.  I have begged for words to help me process the myriad of emotions that I have been dealing with.  I find that I am tired today.   Words don't just come to me because I ask them to, they come when they need to and I guess I need to write about my life right about now.

I am a passive person. Some of you that know me dearly are thinking, "Definitely not passive, aggressive."  I am passive in that I have attempted to be aggressive in the past and it has bit me in the heiney so now, I try to let life happen.  There are days that I feel like life is happening at me.  I have tried for years to make decisions based on logic. I have looked at the evidence before me and have made rational conclusions.  However, in this season of my life, I find that I am reverting parts of myself to act and react with emotion.  I am deliberately attempting to choose happiness and I am leaning on God to be content in all of my circumstances.  It is much more difficult that you would think.  

You see... I want to complain. I want to lay in bed and sleep. I would like nothing more than to visit someone far away and be in a room with a stack of books and my glasses reading all day and drinking tea to break up the day.  I would love to bask in the sunlight and gaze out of a window to see vistas and scenes that I currently only dream about.  In my daydream, my children are in the next room, never far from me.  I can hear them playing.  In the evenings we all lay down together watching movies and eating popcorn until we naturally fall asleep.  

I'm awake now.  I am present where I am.  I have been standing as I dream.  I can feel my legs holding me up.  I look at the vibrant red of my short nails as I type.  There is a door a few feet away and the sun holds its promises to me just on the other side of the door.  As I check in with myself, there appears to be something that I am not dealing with. There are truths that I am hiding from myself.  I feel it. I may be scared.  What am I scared of?  I ask myself this like an adult would ask a child.  I have to remind myself to be gentle.  All of the answers to the questions start coming like pigeons with crumbs.  Instead of looking at each bird individually, I turn to the loaf of bread that is feeding them.  I am scared of pain.  I am scared of the pain of disappointment and loss. 

These thoughts have already caused me loss of peace. I recognize my heresy.  I am not trusting in God for my joy and I know that the joy of the Lord is my strength.   Instead, I am scared standing in a barren place.  I have been hearing news.  A friend has suffered a terrible miscarriage.  Another friend spent the weekend with a recovering addict.  They are not sure of her sobriety.  Someone else may be facing jail time.  A former student may be facing homelessness.  I am not enough.  God is enough.  God fills in the parts that are  left raw and insufficient.  I have forgotten and have wandered off like the proverbial sheep gone astray. If only the world were more literal.  I would be able to see the Shepherd coming.  I would lay there and know that He is on His way.  Instead, I am standing in a barren place scared like the sheep that I am.  I am waiting, passively.  Some how, peace has found me.  There is hope in knowing that my Savior is on His way.

Sunday, October 4, 2020

A Sense of Purpose

 Today in church, Andy preached on the importance of listening to the little voices that change our lives.  I'm paraphrasing a little.  Andy is Dr.  Andrew McClurg, one of our elders. He preached from II Kings about Naaman being healed and hearing about who to go to from a little girl.  And I would say that we need to consider our sphere of influence when we look at talking to people about Jesus or the people we model Jesus to.  

Yesterday, I was leaving the store after spending too much.  This man, looked at me and pointed at me.  I didn't recognize him at all.  He said, "I know you... from school."  Could it be that this man was one of my former students?  I looked at him closer.  Let's call him Richie.  I said his name and he looked shocked that I would remember.  He was one of my earlier babies. I did the math and he had to be in his late twenties, early thirties. Back then, he had a fuller face and he wasn't as tall.  I remember his fingers and his hands. They were best described as grubby.  He liked to work on things with his hands.  He lived with his grandmother who raised him.  He was prone to anger issues.  

There was an incident where a police officer had him in handcuffs after a display of aggressive behavior.  He was in the school and I was called in.  I remember asking the policeman to remove the cuffs.  This officer told me that he feared for my safety. I remember looking at Richie and telling this concerned man that my student would not hurt me.  I was left alone with this hurt boy and he listened to me as I talked him through exercises that would calm him.  He would come to me to work on some of those strategies.  I would tell him to stay in school.  I talked to him about a plan to finish school.  

Yesterday, he told me that he would be returning to prison. Janet was with me. I was like, "Oh no!"  He said, "I'm a grown man.  I made my choices but I should have listened to you.  I should have finished school."  I looked at this man and I could see the boy he once was.  I can't tell you the pain I felt.  It feels like I failed him.  I am reminded that I may make a difference in the lives of the children that I work with.  Their lives are in the balance and I am the one to love them with the love of Jesus.  I looked at him and I told him that I would pray for him.  I didn't know what else to say or do.  "I will pray for you, Richie."  These were the last words I said before Janet and I turned to find David. "Prison?" she asked.  I was on the verge of tears, "Pray for him."  I told her. 

I heard someone say, "God, break my heart for what breaks Yours."  I didn't pray this, but I feel it.  Tomorrow I will go into my job and look at my students just a little more differently.  I will look at my children differently.  These are the people that I work with within my sphere.  In turn, I will allow myself to be blessed by people.  Today, I held Beanie.  He's a 1 year old.  He leaned on me and then he laughed.  Have you ever had a happy beautiful toddler lean on you?  For a moment, you are his world.  Such a blessing!!!  Be blessed, Friends.  Be blessed and be a blessing. You won't find your sense of purpose looking in your own heart.  This is coming right from Dr. McClurg.  Thank you, Andy.  Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

How We Started... Sort of

 I think the conversation started with, "So... what time is church?"  Let me be clear. I'm probably not going to talk about everything.  I mean, he knows that I blog but I usually blog about my stuff.  I don't know how I feel about blogging about this.  What is this?  Who is this?  Let me start from the beginning.

I think I spoke about a few friends telling me about Ok Cupid, the dating app.  I had dated for a year and was done.  After hearing their stories (Shout out to Mallorie and Andy!!!) I decided to give a last ditch effort to date, ONE LAST TIME.  I went on the app and created a profile.  I might have told you about the worst date I have had ever in my life with Chris.  That should have cinched it but I said that I couldn't end it all on a sour note.  

Let it be said that I met amazing people while dating.  Great friends and some good guys in general I had the chance to meet and have conversations with.  I already talked about the one rotten apple that almost made me stop.  I thought about stopping but then... I didn't.  Then I met Geoff!

I said hi to him via chat.  He was in my Likes list. There was something about his face. We just started chatting. It was the end of June.  I was writing and working and stressed.  We met on a Thursday after chatting on a Monday.  We went to West Gate and walked around.  We had dinner.  We talked.  We agreed to meet again for a next date, and a next date, and a next date.  Then we just kept on hanging out.  I remember the day he came to the house to pick me up like a proper guy.  He met the children and we ended up going to my favorite coffee place.  One day, after driving around, he asked if he could take us all out to eat.  

He came to church for the first time on the weekend when the children went away to camp.  We went out to eat on Friday.  On Saturday we went hiking in Payson.  On Sunday we went to church and after, I posted the pictures of our hike on Saturday.  He kept me busy because he knew that I would be missing my babies.  I was missing my babies.  I cried while driving them to church.  They love making fun of their sappy mom.  

So... that's it, for now.  I covet your prayers for us.  My prayers have been for God's will to be done in our lives.  More to come... Praise the Lord!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

On Your 93rd, Birthday, Daddy

 Today would have been my father's 93rd birthday.  He died in 1999.  Two decades has passed since his death.  I talk of him often, my human hero.  I miss him acutely.

I am not one to dwell in grief.  My father wanted so desperately for me to live.  He told me when he died to feel free to wear red and be happy.  Sweet man!  He knew he was going to a better place.  I dressed him in a navy blue suit with a red tie.  I couldn't wear red even if you paid me.  It's true I was his only child but his lessons continue.  I talk to others about his sayings and perspectives on life.  I am thankful to him because of it.

I think about the many times he messed it up.  Man, he could make mistakes.  I think about his failings.  Like all of us, he had them.  He had strange ideas about status and appearances.  It wasn't that he was shallow.  It's that he didn't discount that appearances make impressions in this world.  Here I am fighting to be true and here he is trying to teach me how to play the game.  I wanted to live life like there was no game to play.  He agreed.  He taught me that serving God allowed freedom but the game existed whether I wanted to play or not.  Maybe I'm making things too simple in explaining.  Maybe I'm making him seem more materialistic than he was, but my intention is not to offend.  I just want to acknowledge that I don't have hero worship of my father.  I loved him and if ever there is someone to choose to admire in this world, I admire him.

I check myself.  How am I feeling?  This was my first week back in person.  Next week, there will be students to teach in my classroom.  I haven't really asked how I felt about anything.  I didn't want to think about it.  If I dont ask, then I won't have to deal with the answers.  This has been how I am surviving.  I am only dealing with what is in front of me.  I am respecting my boundaries.  But now that I am thinking of my father; I can honestly say that I miss him.  His loss is like a dull ache in my heart like the way a broken bone may hurt when it rains.  

I wonder what he would say if he were to see me now.  I would like to think that he would be forgiving and somewhat proud.  My father would lack words but his face was so expressive.  His usual response was, "Oh my God!"  He had a hundred different "Oh my God's"  He used them to convey every single emotion.  I could hear him now.  My mother would ask a hundred questions.  My father would only ask about my happiness.  Isn't that how father's are?  

I think of him and his parenting.  He continues to parent through me to my children.  He whispers to me, "Vive una vida buena."  Live a good life.  In thinking of him, I have opened something up and my missing him grows.  In a bit, I will read some Neruda to commemorate.  He loved poetry.  I'm thinking Poem 17.  It is fitting.  Happy Birthday, Papi.  You are missed.

Thursday, September 24, 2020


 I was walking around my empty classroom today as they measured out the desks 6 feet apart.  I looked through the protocols put in place for Monday when the students will come back.  I have been asked about how I feel about everything.  One dear friend showed such care, it was touching.  In my head I imagined how this Covid gets around.  I saw it as if were drops of paint.  Such small things, these viruses.  I heard an old song in my head that is so poignant for these days.  The strums and rhythm came to me as if on a wind.  Why did this song pop in?  Let me tell you about it.

I first heard this song as a young adult.  My choir director, Tony, was/is like a big brother to me.  He let me call him my brother and he would bring interesting music to me.  It was like developing a palate, he was helping me develop my ear.  Sting's "Fragile" was one of the songs that came to me through him.  

"On and on the rain will fall, like tears from a star.  Tears from a star.  On and on the rain will say, 'How fragile we are.  How fragile we are."  

We are fragile.  We are all like broken pieces walking around with our jagged pieces sticking out to avoid getting hurt any farther.  Sin breaks us the moment we breathe our first breath of air.  It is mixed in with our humanity.  We need an Eraser.  You know where I am going with this, right?  The more He erases, the more me I become.  I can afford to love, I know the Fountain where love comes from.  I break and I go to the One who fixes me.  He is a Rock and I am fragile, silly fragile short-living human.  

Guys, I don't know what I am doing.  I don't.  I am fragile.  But I serve, thankfully, a strong and mighty God.  Who knows what will end up happening to me?  Only God knows.  So... I'm not going to try and figure it all out.  I'm going to trust, like a child in my Good God's plan.  I advise you other fragile humans like me, to do the same.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Waiting for Things to Grow

 A friend of mine posted on social media a picture of her winter garden with a caption that indicated she was waiting for it to grow.  This post resonated with me.  I was wondering how to write about what is going on with me but the issue is that I am waiting for things to grow.

I have the brownest thumb, and I'm not talking about my skin color.  I love the idea of plants.  I remember going for my Master's and they made me learn how to grow a bean seed.  I brought to university my plastic bag with a wet napkin to show that I can germinate something.  I remember doing this activity in my class and having little beans sprout up from the plant and sending the plant home decorated for a Mother's Day activity.  The kids would be so excited to see this ordinary bean grow into a little plant right there in a Dixie cut filled with dirt.  They would watch every day to see if it had grown.  Sometimes we would collect data.  Sometimes we would draw what we saw.  It was fun.  My own seed, I would give away to the one that didn't wash his hands and for whatever reason didn't grow.  I had a few back ups.  

My friend has started collecting plants in her isolation.  She has named them, she is invested in these plants' welfare.  I understand this desire to see things grow.  She posts her plants and in seeing them decorate her home, they are beautiful and they make her so happy.  She tells me she is afraid that they will die.  I understand this fear well.  When the quarantine started, I brought the pothos plant Nancy gave me (Homeboy) home.  There were about 4 plants germinated from this one plant.  Homeboy, the plant, was social.  When I first brought him to school, he didn't seem to like it much just hanging on the dusty shelf of my office.  I moved him to the front office where he was touched and talked to and he thrived.  He was a very social plant.  At home, I fretted over these four plants.  I cut and was able to propagate  6 more plants.  But the ones that were already potted struggled in the areas I put them in.  One day, I put Homeboy and one of his sons outside.  The result was death.  I was able to save one stem from what I think is the original plant.  I watch as he tries to grow.  The truth is that the plant is not doing well but I continue to watch and wait.  

Why am I talking about plants and why are plants resonating with me?  Relationships don't happen on their own, much like plants.  I am in a relationship.  I get questions.  I want to address the questions.  I want to write about it.  I do.  But the fact of the matter is that I'm waiting for things to grow.  It's going well.  Plants need water and light.  Relationships need what they need, communication, trust and honesty.  I'm happy and excited.  I'm praying about it.  I'm hopeful.  I'm smiling as I write that one word, HOPEFUL.  It's a big word.  But really, my hope is in God who knows so much more than I do about growing plants, humans and relationships.  Be worried for my little succulents. They aren't looking so well though. 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

My Evening With Bean

 I was asked last week if I was free this Wednesday.  I said that I was. The request had to do with The Bean.  I was to hang out with a friend to watch this guy.  I'm up for hanging out with a friend.  The guy I was watching is called The Bean for all intents and purposes.  Well, as soon as I saw him, he smiled at me.  He has this smile that has a way that puts me in the best of moods.  He smiled when he saw me.  Today I must look wonderful because this other "babe" comes running to me.  They are killing me with these smiles.  

Let me tell you about this Bean.  He has curly brown hair and melty brown eyes.  He has a dimple.  There is definitely a way about him.  He is quick to smile and he's friendly.  He is a tiny little human bean, hence The Bean and he is about 10 pounds.  My friend, Jena and I were watching babies today for the Bible Study.  The other "babe" that came running to me is Jay, a toddler that I have lovingly watched grow up since he was a little bean himself.  

I pick up The Bean and he is light.  He loves music in a way that is amazing.  You put on a song and he listens to the voices and the music.  We sang songs and raised our hands.  There was this one song where someone hit a high note and he was singing the high note in his baby garble.  He was lifting his hands in praise.  He was!!!  Ask Jena!!!  He likes to dance and he likes percussion.  He has great rhythm and he is learning how to walk.  He likes to hang out with me on the floor.  He's very independent.  This wonderful little human bean makes me smile.  Watching him is a gift.  

I don't know if I'll be asked to hang out with him again, but it's a blessing watching the babies of the church grow into the people we are praying to the Lord that they become.  I may start looking forward to Wednesdays.  Praise the Lord!!!  Thanks Rye and Britt for lending Beanie to me.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Driving with Daddy

I continue to struggle putting thoughts and events into words.  It feels like I'm on a car ride.  I get car sick so there is no multi-tasking on car rides.  I remember sitting in the front with my Dad.  You should know that I miss my father all of the time.  I am totally a Daddy's girl.  He was definitely my hero.  

In any case, he was big on driving and on days that were a bit much for me, he would tell me in Spanish, "Let's go for a ride."  He would let me listen to any music I wanted.  There were days that I would hear a song and the tears would flow from my eyes and he would just let me sit there as the scenic views would pass by, just listening to my music and letting the tears flow.  

In the high school where I work, we are celebrating Spirit Week.  Yesterday was pajama day and today is jersey day.  The only jersey that I have are from my sorority days.  As I put on the shirt, I felt as if I was slipping on a memory.  All of a sudden, I was in my early twenties and in college.  The parties, the events, my sisters... we had so much fun!!!  It hardly seems like I am the same person as then.  Who was that girl?  I took a picture with the jersey on and it seemed like I was still the same girl that I was back then.  Has it really been almost 3 decades?

After Pace University, where I pledged, I took a year off to be a waitress.  I learned that I didn't want to be a waitress.  I went back to Pace University for a semester and then I took a semester off to figure out where to go.  I transferred to Borough of Manhattan Community College for one semester then I transferred to Lehman College where I went for two years to finish up my Bachelor's in English.  

When I went to Lehman, already I had changed so much from the party girl I once was (not too much).  This school was about 3 or 4 miles away from where I lived so my dad would drive me.  He knew I liked going through Pelham Parkway because I liked to look at the tree lined sidewalks.  Riding with Daddy was my favorite part of the day as I listened to the 90s alt favorites and New Jack swing.  Red lipstick and red flannel were the look of the day.  My look was not complete without lace up boots and either leggings or loose jeans, so loose I needed a belt to keep them up.  Driving with Daddy, I would listen to the likes of Alanis Morrisette, Nirvana, Gin Blossoms; even now I can hear the strums of Blind Melon's "No Rain."  I am stuck in a moment and it's bliss.

I can confess this now.  Everyone knows that I have a thing for Justin Timberlake. He released Justified in 2002.  On this album is this song, "Let's Take a Ride."  Man, it was like he knew me.  There were days after 9/11 when I needed to take a ride.  My father passed away in 1999 and it comforted me to hear a song like this one.

I have recently found that I still love being a passenger riding around on road trips.  Arizona is a great place to look out of windows.  I'm thankful to God always.  I am thankful for the friends and experiences I have had along the way.  With God driving, it's always a great ride.  Praise the Lord!

Friday, September 11, 2020

The In-Betweens

I have always had strong feelings about my crazy curly hair.  Right now I have it long but I have had it super short, medium length, with bangs, only using a ponytail, frizzy, straight, layers, etc...  You get the idea. I mention it because it is the best way to illustrate an in-between phase.  If you really want to know about my hair right now, it is long but I have about 5 good inches of rough ends because I dyed my hair last year and my hair didn't appreciate it one bit.  I had wanted it past my waist and healthy but even though it is close, it is still not where I want it to be.  Have you ever cut bangs?  Have you ever waited for your bangs to grow out?  Uncomfortable?  Yeah.  

There are a lot of things in my life right now that feel (not are) "in-between."  I have a tween, a teen living with me.  I am finishing up a degree (hopefully).  I sit here now on a break from work.  I think people are expecting a response. I don't really have one.  I'm just treading water or jogging to try and get to the next phase.  I want to stand here and be upset.  I want to sit here and complain.  I do!!!  Let me try it. 
"This sucks."  
"I don't like this in-betweeness." 
"I don't always know what to do."  
"I may not be comfortable."  
"I don't know how to start things sometimes."
"I don't know if I know how to finish things either."  
Okay.  That didn't really help at all.  I still have all the things I have to do and now I'm a complainer.  That's not good.

Let me try something else...

Dear God,
Dear God,
Dear God,
I don't really know how to pray right now.  I'm not sure I should pray this prayer in such a public forum.  I believe in You, God.  I believe that You have a plan, that you have a plan for my life.  God, I'm not really sure how to be a good teacher.  I don't know if talking to kids is effective.  I don't know if I'm a good mom or even a good human.  In fact, I'm sure that I am mediocre and there are definitely somethings that I am failing at.  Me, by myself is not very impressive, but I am not by myself, am I?  You are with me.  Your rod and staff comfort me (Psalm 23).  Even if I never leave this in-between.  I look to You as the source of my hope and my joy.  You are with me, God.  Thank You.


I'm smiling now.  It's that easy.  I may log off and have to pray again.  I can do that.  I may have to say a mini prayer every minute of every day.  I'm okay with that.  Honestly it's not so bad.  I can't wait to see what God has in store.  Praise the Lord!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Call Me Irresponsible

 I have a lot of things on my plate these days.  I have them surrounding me like projects we do to keep us busy.  I ask myself, "What do I have to do?  How do I have to do it?  When is it due?"  Then I start worry creep in.  Can I do this all?  Why have I set myself up like this?  Oh no!!!  I think I do it to myself like we all tend to do it to ourselves.

We also create rules for ourselves.  I think they were initially meant to help.  We tell ourselves, "I can't go out until I clean my room but my room never seems to be clean and I would love to go out."  So you sit trying to cleaning a room knowing that what you really need is to go out and get some fresh air and enjoy the wonderful day God gave you.  We tell ourselves things that may not be true too.  "If I don't clean up this room then my adult card will be taken away because only real adults have clean rooms."

There were days that I felt this acutely.  I would wake up and even before I would open my eyes, I would hear a voice say, "You're a mess. You don't count as a grown up.  You will never get your life together."  Man!!!  Satan is such a liar!!!  I think he sits around trying to drag us down.  He sits there and tells us, "You have to...  You should...  You could...  Why don't you..."  And then when it gets hard he sits there and says, "I knew you couldn't.  Can't do it can you?  LOL!!!  That's what you get!  You are nothing but a failure.  You will never be anything!  You are not worth the blood of Christ dying for you on the cross."  You see, a pristine Savior didn't come to earth and degradate Himself by becoming human for the likes of Satan.  Jesus did not endure death on the cross for the likes of ole Lucifer.  I would say that the devil is the greatest hater that ever existed.  

So... what do I do?  You see when you don't know what to do, worrying seems to be the grown up thing to do.  God tells us not to worry about a thing. (Be anxious for nothing... Philippians 4:6).  He tells us to be like children. (I tell you the truth, you must become like this little child... Matthew 18:4).  God is in control and He has got this.  I am left like someone who takes a project over.  

It makes me feel a little irresponsible sitting there just twiddling my fingers while God handles my life.  This is what gets me into trouble.  I ask, "Should I be just sitting here?  Shouldn't I be doing something else?"  Maybe... I think of the story of Martha and Mary.  Man, I'm Martha.  There she is running around getting everything ready because Jesus has come around and He has people with Him.  You start looking around through other people's eyes and all of a sudden, you realize that you should have dusted and mopped.  She starts cooking and getting some food ready because what will people think.  She goes up to Jesus and her sister is sitting there listening.  "Jesus, look at my lazy sister!!!  Tell her to help!!"  

Jesus tells Martha that she is worried about many things when there is only one thing to worry about and her sister not doing work is not it.  He then says that Mary picked the right thing to do.  (Luke 10:38-42).  Instead of freaking out, do yourself a favor and pray.  Just because it may feel irresponsible does not mean that it is irresponsible.  Trust in God and Praise the Lord!!!! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Being Pulled Out

 It took a lot to get me out of whatever funk had happened.  I looked back on the past week and I have been carrying a lot of stress about the unknown future.  I can tie all of that stress in with some exhaustion, worry about work and school, mom guilt, a budding relationship and not fully trusting God on upcoming issues like the election and my future.  I started working out in a challenge and as I relax and took it easy,  I could feel the strain on my muscles and my bones.  I got a blister which indicates that I somehow ate something with gluten and this just adds to whatever I am going through. Oh!!!  And hormones!!!  Let's not forget them.  

I'm afraid of pain.  I'm afraid of failing.  Well...  I'm afraid of the uncertainty of pain and the uncertainty of failing.  It's the not knowing that gets you.  There I was just feeling raw.  It seemed to have come out of the blue.  I knew it would not last long.  There are some feelings you know will be with you for a while and some you have an idea will just take a moment.  I was tempted to eat my feelings away.  I was tempted to have a glass of wine to "relax."  I laid down and played one of my phone games.  I drank water.  I did eat a piece of fruit and then I took a little nap.  I woke up and some of the effects of my bad mood had dissipated.  

The other thing is that I prayed.  I prayed verbally small prayers to God.  I took time out and wrote out in my journal a prayer to my Lord.  I read a portion of Scripture.  Today, I can still feel the emotions.  They were like a black cloud or an itch that hovered and niggled at me.  I woke up from that nap refreshed.  I spent time with my daughter and yesterday, I barely remembered that I had been in a bad mood.  Bad moods need patience to wait them out.  Like all moments, they don't tend to last very long and we can choose to forget them and remember better ones.  

I am thankful.  I praise God from Whom all blessings flow; even the blessing of coming out of a bad mood kicking and screaming.  I am thankful for being pulled out off my bad mood, even allowing a nap and some good food for a stressed out Mama like me.  Thank you, Lord.  

Sunday, September 6, 2020

A Bad Mood

 I'm in a strange mood.  It borders on a bad mood.  I want to trace this emotion which is a combination of restlessness, exhaustion and anxiety.  I am pondering the future and I am coming up with unknowns.  I look around at all I need to be doing.  I think about how fleeting time is.  I am sitting here at my desk thinking and making lists on all I need to do or should be doing.  I have grading to do.  I have lessons to prepare.  I have academic writing to catch up with.  

I put on my mom hat.  I have spent several minutes attempting to log on to the grade system for my son's school to no avail.  I have assignments to check and I have mom guilt that I have to deal with.  Should I work with the children right now on what they have to do for school?  Yes, there are chores to do.  I am still in transition.  I am currently attempting to declutter my life and my room.  Honestly I don't need any of it.  I have worked so very hard on building a wardrobe that can be flexible.  Now I see clothes and I am like, "Is this me?"  I have talked about how I am rebuilding an identity and now I am asking what do I want to say with my choices.

No one ever said that a bad mood would not be promised.  I feel that I am snapping more.  I don't want to be like this.  I ask myself what I need and I don't know.  I'm sharing this with you because I think it is important to talk about these things.  How do you deal with a bad mood?  I'm not hungry.  I'm not sleepy.  I would like to go outside but it is too hot right now.  I am praying.  I have my journal out and I am praying.  I don't have words.  No words come out but I still pray.  I may have to pray the whole day.  Unknown things that make you feel anxious requires lots of prayers.  I'm not even sure what I am anxious about.  I know it will go away later.  I'm dealing with it now.  I'm praising God anyway.  I'll let you know what happens.  In the meantime, praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Stress Is a Killer

 I have always been under the understanding that stress is a killer.  I don't know where I heard it but as a young person, I believed this to be true and now that I am sitting here, pondering my day and the situations that arise around me. I continue to think that stress is a killer. 

I know that I have written about worry.  I may have even written about stress before.  I have written about techniques and things that I think about that help alleviate the overwhelming emotions that come up when issues that cause stress come up.  I don't think that God would want us to worry.  I think that God would want us to believe and trust that He is sufficient enough for our problems and issues.

"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Matthew 6:27

"Let not your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me." John 14:1

"And he said to them, 'Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?" Luke 24:38

"Say to those who have an anxious heart, 'Be strong; fear not!  Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God.  He will come and save you.'" Isaiah 35:4

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27

I could go on and on writing verses that assures us that God doesn't want us to worry.  I'm the same way with my children..  When I see my children stressed out, it stresses me out.  I sit them down.  I tell  them not to worry and I do what I do when I am worried.  I pray.  

In high school, one of my science teachers told me that every thought causes a chemical reaction.  I could not get this thought out of my head and it is still there, marinating.  If every thought causes a chemical reaction, what are my thoughts doing to my body?  How powerful is the mind?  Would I have enough thoughts that I can endanger myself?  The mind is incredibly powerful.  Proverbs 4:23 states, "Be careful what you think, your thoughts run your life." (NCV)  So this leads me to believe that I have been right, stress is a killer.  The answer is not to be stressed.  

I confess that I am easily stressed.  I recognize my triggers.  I like that word, "trigger."  It gives you the option to pull or not pull.  There it is: I don't have to pull the trigger just because something presents itself.  I have a choice.  Yesterday, with a combination of sugar, hormones and some situations; I found myself stressing.  I sat down.  I read the Bible.  I wrote down my prayer to God and I prayed.  Still I felt stressed.  I feel its effects on me.  I hold it in my neck and in my shoulders.  I tense up and I hold it in my arms.  My scalp is affected and as I fun my fingers through my hair, I am reminded of how powerful my mind is and how it affects my body.  Even my scalp tightens as I appear to tighten my bodies for an enemy that does not attack physically but we are affected physically by it.  

I breathe in and out.  I take deep breaths and stretch out my back.  I am thinking about the goodness of God.  God is bigger.  I stress out the most when I don't believe this.  I stress out when I forget how great and how big God is.  I need to read His Word, to remind myself that He is in control.  I forget how the Word has power.  God is bigger than my stress and He is control.  Keep this in mind.  Praise the Lord. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Thoughts on Anger

 Anger-  I have been hearing it bandied about by students, friends, co-workers; even my children have been talking to me about anger.  Honestly, just thinking about anger gets me angry.  In my head I picture the red, fiery guy from Inside Out.  In my head I think, "You think you have a right to get angry!!!  Well, listen to my story!"  Because anger is a lot like a fire that wants to be caught on and grow.  Angriest wins, right?

I don't think that this is the first time I write about anger.  I have had major anger issues growing up.  I have had to deal with people who have anger issues.  Nowadays when people tell me that they have anger issues I'm like, "Eh.  Join the club."  Because it really isn't about anger, it's about sin.  It's about ego.  It can be a lot of other things but anger may just be the vehicle for dealing with deeper stuff.

I was leaving work one day after not having the best day.  I was in my car and I was trying to make a left hand turn to the turning lane.  I was mid road with oncoming traffic when this one genius decides to make a left hand turn into the turning lane and just drive in it leaving me with a wall of cars coming toward me like a bad dream.  My response was to scream and yell.  What kind of idiot does this!!!  It wasn't a question.  I cursed bloody murder on this guy.  Suffice it to say that I was not thinking logically.  I made my turn and then started following this guy.  I just wanted to punch him in his smug face.  At some point, I felt a voice tell me, "What are you going to do?  Are you going to follow him to hit him?  Attack his car?  It's assault.  Can your children afford for you to be arrested and go to jail?"  Man, if I got arrested and went to jail, it would be like this guy had won.  Instead I prayed.  

"God, do you see this?"  I wailed with tears of anger pouring down my red face.  I switched lanes.  When the man turned, I went straight.  I remembered Hagar, in Genesis 16:13, she called God "El-Roi."  This means, the God who sees me.  Hagar was done wrong in Genesis and she too called on God, the One who saw her and what she was going through.  He also sees me when I am in the wrong.  

As I drove off I remembered the snippet of a verse, "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord."  It is from Romans 12:19.  The verse says to not avenge that the wrath of God will take care of it.  So God sees what is happening and He will pay back.  Chances are that He won't get arrested either.  

I thought about anger for a while.  I thought about my anger.  My anger issues had to do with envy and an idea that I deserved better.  It was an underlying theme in my every day life.  The pastor had preached about how Jesus took the wrath of God for our sins for us when He died on the cross.  The pastor said  that we all deserved death on the cross.  I deserve death on the cross.  I started thinking about this every time a thought that smelled like entitlement crept in.  Nothing works on ego more than understanding what you actually deserve.  Everything becomes an opportunity for thanksgiving.  

I hear people say that anger is good.  They tell me, "Jesus got angry."  Ephesians 4:26 says to be angry but not to let your anger cause you to sin and not to let the anger carry over into the next day.  I have been angry for years and yes, I have let my anger cause me to sin.  I think about the chaos of anger and the trouble it has gotten people.  I believe that anger feeds the ego that we should kill.  That's not good.

James 1:20 says  "the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."  Read it again.  Our anger does not help us in our righteousness.  Self-righteousness is not good anyway.  When God makes a thing right, it's a beautiful thing.  Man, I long for God's way of right.  My anger is not going that route.  And who wants to be around angry people?  I understand the angry.  They are my people.  But I am attempting to put my anger down, with my ego, to follow Jesus.  Maybe I can get a few people to do it with me.  Praise God.