Monday, August 31, 2020


I never really though of myself as superstitious but I realize that I have superstitious tendencies that I need to work on.  I own a black cat. I will walk under a ladder but it doesn't seem like a good idea.  I'm not necessarily scared of the number 13 but I do pay attention to numbers.  

There is this phrase that I grew up with, "Speaking of the devil."  You would say this phrase in a joking manner when someone you were talking about would show up.  It was funny.  I didn't think it would end in anything badly but there is this idea of jinxing something.  All of a sudden, I find that I start doubting my good God.  Or worse, I act like I serve a capricious ruler that will change his or her mind if I am not forever loyal and good in service.  I don't.  And yet... I act like it sometimes.

I find I want to knock on wood when I say something like good news because I don't want ruin the good thing.  I don't want to bring up the name of someone that I find challenging because I may see them.  I catch myself behaving superstitiously.  Superstition is a form of idolatry.  You lack trust in God for what you hope for.  And we all have idols: rabbits feet, a lucky coin, a ritual you have to do, money, a person that you rely on for what only God can do, our own abilities, our children,etc... We all have so many idols.  

I'm sure it started before then but when I was in my first pregnancy, excited and happy to be with child for the first time.  I had heard a heartbeat and was hopeful; only to lose the baby in a miscarriage a week later.  I was thankful that I didn't talk of the pregnancy ahead of time and instead fell into a bit of depression, isolating myself so that only my husband and I shared in our mutual grief.  When I was pregnant with David, I waited.  I waited till I was big enough to waddle before I told people of my pregnancy.  Don't believe me?  Ask Micky and Danielle, they will tell you how I worked till I was 7 months pregnant and still I didn't say a thing.  

I was quiet with my third pregnancy as well.   And when I started the spotting at 12 weeks, it was Santi, David and myself in the emergency room.  I needed surgery to remove the tiny body of what would have been my second living child. Again, I grieved in silence for the termination of my third pregnancy.  My beautiful little girl came after that pregnancy.  I didn't announce my pregnancies because I didn't want to "jinx" it.  Silly Elle, I'm sure that my friends would have loved to have sat with me, as they have sat with me in the last few years.  They would have liked to have lifted me and my little family in prayer.  

You see, I don't want to jinx it.  It may not be logical reasoning but it is for this reason that I tend to wait to announce things.  What would be so bad if I say something aloud?

I will slip this announcement here.  I am dating someone.  It's been two months. If you are worried about it at all, I would will tell you this, pray.  I welcome all prayer.  There will be no jinxing here today.  I am bringing everything to God in prayer just like the Bible states (Philippians 4:6).  And God is in control.  What will be will be.  I will pray and you will pray and I think everything will be okay.  Praise the Lord! 

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Make a Choice

 I have been thinking on things.  I mean, what else needs to be done when you are in transition?  You adapt to your most current situation understanding that you are changing and your perspective and attitudes need to change with it.  However, there needs to be a delving of deeper concepts.  I think of a cavern or a cave.  There I am standing at the opening of a stone structure.  I'm not sure what I will find when I get into the lower levels but I think it is clear that we need to confront what we leave in the dark and why.

I have been marinating on Jeremiah 17.  These are the passages that I have to write about:

"This is what the Lord says 

    'Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.  That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;; they will not see prosperity when it comes.  They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

    'But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him, they will be like a tree planted by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.

    The heart is deceitful above all  things and beyond cue.  Who can understand it? 

    'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.'" Jeremiah 17:5-11 NIV

There is clearly a choice to be had.  Trust in man (which includes yourself) or trust in God.  There are consequences for each choice.  What I am noticing is that God differentiates for each of his followers. God modifies the plan for each of us because He knows what is in our hearts more than what we think about the cavernous region of our own psyche.  God knows because He created the path.  Like a composer knows all of the nuances of the song that they have created, God knows the heart that we have.  He may be the only one Who can tell me about my own heart.  That being said, my prayer has been for God's will to be done in my our lives, not just my life but in the lives of my children.  God is awesome that way.  I'm not quite done marinating on Jeremiah 17 but I think that no matter what, I'm putting my money and my heart on on God.  I like the outcomes.  Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Middle of a Story

Many of you would expect me to write about the many things happening.  And let us not make any mistakes, there are a lot of things happening.  I'm not quite sure how to talk about it all.  Here's what you really do need to know.  I'm praying about it.  I'm talking to God about it all.  I'm listening and reading and waiting.  God's will is going to happen and this is what I am praying for, His will to be done.

I can see that I will have plenty to talk about in the future.  I know I am being vague.  I have stories that are developing that I will write about.  I'm not trying to evade anything.  I'm willing to answer questions.  I just don't really know how to say things sometimes.  Some of you are reading this and are asking, "Elle, what is going on?"  I'm good.  I'm fine.  I'm in transition.  Some of you are reading this and understand what is happening.  Be in prayer, Friends.  I suspect that I am in the middle of a story, one of those wonderful, crazy, God stories that happens.  How could I write a story or post about a story I'm in the middle of?  Let me just tell you that I am closer to God not farther.  Let me just tell you that I'm trusting and hoping when it is easy to be uncertain and scared.  I am trusting God to be content because I have God with me always.  And God's will, Friends, God's will will be done.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Humanity and Defenses

I have been thinking about kindness.  It's easy to become selfish when you are in a struggle.  In fact, it is in our human nature to develop a defense mechanism.  It isn't right, however, it is understandable to do this.  When we become vulnerable, we go into defense mode and then... Human nature with its complexity and nuances emerges and takes over in a situation.  Kindness, in part, has to do with repressing the human nature and understanding how people react with human nature to a situation.  I'm wondering how this affects relationships and the world we live in.  

I hate to talk about this but I will for the sake of the point.  My son just recently started high school.  He was in an orientation class and many of the students were making bad choices, horrible choices in fact.  I came in.  He did not participate verbally to contribute the bad situation, however, I learned later that he did participate in aggravating the situation through chat.  The data had been recorded.  He did not make a bad situation better.  When he was confronted, his humanity came out.  He was defensive on all fronts.  His argument started like this: "Yes, I didn't make the best choices BUT..." That "but" negates the first premise.  I understand it as attempting to be the exception and not the rule.  Regardless of how he followed through on the argument, he is not accepting his role in the matter.  This is humanity.  

I do the same things!!!  Maybe he learned it from me.  I was disappointed in my son's stance but I understood and he was sorry for his part in the matter but he kept on saying things like, "Did everyone else get a consequence or am I the only one?"  This is a refusal to take ownership.  "At least I didn't talk and yell like the others."  This is comparison.  My son is 14 years old.  I have 4 years yet to work on his character with God's help.  You see, God teaches kindness.  

If I were the daughter or the wife of a rich man, I could afford to be generous with money because we have enough and money is not an idol that I have to save up and serve (There are some rich people that have more than enough but could never afford to be generous because money is their god.).  Well, I can afford to love because I am the daughter of the God Who is Love so I don't have to worry about running out.  Because of this, I can afford to be kind.  My defenses lies with the God who fights my battles and the more that I trust Him, the more I can reflect Him because He provides for me.  

My humanity still gets in the way but I can see how my humanity is rooted in sin.  The conflict in this world is between choosing who we are over God and how He made us to be without the curse of sin upon us.  We chose this curse for ourselves and now we get to live with the consequences.  As stubborn children, we pretend that this choice was the right choice.  At this point in time, I will respectfully disagree.  God is good, Friends.  Believe in His goodness.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 16, 2020


There is a lot to tell you all.  There is too much to tell.  I have started this post more than once.  This is may be the fifth time I am writing it.  I start and I stop.  I delete and I start again. Words are failing me.  I am currently sitting here exhausted.  I have come to a conclusion: I AM NOT READY TO WRITE ABOUT MY CRAZY LIFE.

There is more.  I tried to write this past week and I didn't have any words.  I have pen pals and they are waiting for my letters and I have not been able to put pen to paper.  Maybe my writing was like Forrest Gump's running.  One day, he stopped and he was done running.  Maybe I am done writing.  I hope this is not true as I love writing but things are happening all over the place in my life.  Definitely transition stuff is occurring and I am stuck.  STUCK!!!

I'm going to blame a piece of it on Covid.  Covid has me in a stressed out place.  I am understanding my previous coping mechanisms.  I have had moments of clarity.  I have had moments of anxiety.  I have had moments of hope.  So...  I'm here telling you that I am stuck and that I will have to unravel it all like Christmas lights.  Maybe by the time Christmas comes, I will be able to find a way to tell it all.  It's like the dried garbanzo beans I have been eating.  They are all stuck in my throat and I need time to clear my throat.  

Until then, Friends, send a prayer my way.  God is good.  He is faithful and he is able.  Praise the Lord!!!

Monday, August 10, 2020


 It has not been a perfect day but I got the advice today to listen for God.  Okay.  I am numb right now. You see, Friends.  I learned that this lovely boy that went to the school I work in, passed away not too long ago.  I heard whispers about his death and causes.  It wasn't Covid-19.  Does it matter?  This lovely boy is gone.  I remembered how he would come in with his work clothes.  He had a sly smile.  I would see him in Mr. Clark's room where we would all struggle with math, myself included.  It is sad and I am sad.  May God bless his family.  

And then I heard of the death of this sweet smiling girl I once knew.  Her name I couldn't immediately place with the face but I knew the name.  I looked her up.  She was 22 years old.  I was 22 years old when I met my husband.  She was a baby.  In her pictures, she was so pretty, alive the way only 22 year olds are alive.  She would come up to me, back when that was allowed, and she would hug me.  She was sweet and stubborn.  Is she really gone?  

These are unfortunately not the only students I have lost.  They pain me, these deaths.  I am thinking back.  I can see their faces in my head as I remember them.  Some of them have been gone years.  I have seen the destruction these deaths create.  Now we have another killer in our midst.  Will I lose co-workers?  Are there more to be lost?  Death will come regardless.  It leaves you with a chill in your bones.  Unlike Dementors, there is no chocolate that will help you feel better.  Only God can give back hope. 

My son saw the expression on my face.  It was not the easiest day today.  Learning how to do my job in this new environment is uncomfortable.  I went to my son's school because his father is still listed as his primary contact.  It still stings telling the lady with the brilliant purple hair that David's father is deceased.  "Oh." she said, quietly.  Death requires reverence. I sat there remembering these babies that were gone without having lived and my dear boy took the dishes away from in front of me.  He asked quiet considerate questions about these students and then brought me a plum.  He is consoling me.  

The other day I was in my room and I remembered the chorus of an old song.  

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know, He holds the future.  And life is worth the living, just because He lives.

I would say that God knew I would need to remember remembering about this song.  I would need the words and sing it to myself to remind me that in the midst of despair, God grants us hope.

Romans 15:13

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."  

When I run out of hope, I go to God and get more.  But today I will allow myself to be empty.  Today I will remember and process.  Today I will grieve.  I will hold my own biological babies a little tighter tonight and I will pray over them.  I thank God for them, such treasures.  May they never let go of Jesus.  Death reminds you to live.  Live, Friends.  Live.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Bad Mood

 Man, ever have a bad mood?  I know this one lady that was in a bad mood for decades.  How do you do that?  Is it even necessary to be in a bad mood that long?  I was in a bad mood.  It happens from time to time.  I didn't stay in a bad mood.  I went to see my Bible Study Sisters and all of a sudden, bad mood gone.  They were a balm to my soul.  They reminded me of my mission here on earth through love and care.  We talked about what bothered us.  We laughed.  We were thankful about what God had given to us through our summer study of Nehemiah.  I got home and took a selfie and posted it.  Yes, there were bad moments throughout the day but some bad moments do not make for a bad day.  I looked at my selfie picture from last night and told myself that today would be better, and it was.  

So... why a bad mood?  I thought about it.  I go for a walk and I tend to feel better.  I am one with nature and I feel better.  I hang out with my children and I feel better... sometimes.  Damages are what creates bad moods.  Injustices can create bad moods.  Misunderstandings create bad moods.  Miscommunications, psychoses, manipulations, evil, the devil, the world can create a bad mood.  Here is what I am learning, I don't have to stay in a bad mood.  

I am developing strategies to get out of a bad mood.  Step 1.  Stop what I am doing.  Step 2.  Remember Jesus' master plan.  3. It isn't about me.  4.  What will help and not harm?  5.  Am I being a light in a dark place?  6.  Still need help?  7.  Pray.  8. Pray. 9. Read the Bible.  10.  Pray.  Then there are some other things that help.  Paint my nails.  Put on perfume.  Pet my dog/cats.  Laugh with my kids.  Life is short friends, so short.  I would rather spend my time in a good mood than in a bad mood.  

We are in a pandemic.  It is not a nice time but we need to let the joy of the Lord be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  Feel free to remind me of this when you see me pouting.  Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Happy Endings

I had a nightmarish thought last night that has been niggling at the back of my head (as such thoughts tend to do, hence, the reason I'm writing a blog to dispel them).  I saw the memes and posts indicating an exhaustion with the year 2020.  I find it ironic that 20/20 usually indicates vision, adequate vision, clear vision, of what is in front of us (after all, we don't have eyes in the back of our heads).  However, this year, we have been blind, not knowing about what will happen next week, never mind the end of the year or next year.  

There are some that have treated this year as a throw away year, stating that next year will be different.  Will it?  Is this just some anomalous year to be forgotten like the vintage of wine?  Hmmmm... Here is the thought: What if this is just the beginning of a new type of normal the kind which it will only get worse instead of better?  The naysayers are nodding at me right now.  The predictors of Armageddon have suspected that this was the case.  I mean, what if it doesn't get better?  

We are used to our happy endings.  We treat happy endings as if it were a right or an entitlement.  Oh how we love our Hollywood Endings or Disney Endings!!!  I love fairy tales.  Did you know?  I love the dark gruesome fairy tales like the real Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen.  The Little Match Girl's end didn't happen on this plane on Christmas.  They found her little body frozen in shoes too big with burnt matches all around her.  What have we learned from the elusive Happy Ending?  Are we to wait for the end for our happiness?  Can we be happy no matter what our circumstances?  Can we be happy in 2020 because we are choosing happiness?  Yes.  I look to God who is bigger than a year for my satisfaction.  

That being said, I would not nor do not want to let any feelings dictate my happiness.  I would love nothing more than to choose to be happy.  I'm not talking about suppressing my feelings.  I'm talking about reacting, processing, emoting and moving on to the next experience and hoping that it is a good one.  I am hoping and praying to be liquid.  Liquid is a term bandied about these days to indicate flexibility and easiness in reactive situations.  Leaders are calling for us to be liquid.  I don't mean to sacrifice our health but to be liquid, like water.  Water cools after it is heated.  Water fits into hard places and it nourishes.  Water is easily formed and is temporary, but we always need water.  

My prayer today is to be like water, necessary and nourishing to the environment I am in.  I hope to be churned to not become stale and infused with the newness of God to be fresh.  I pray that I don't let my own ego take part in my circumstances and that I can truly be a light in a dark place.  Because, Friends, it isn't really about the ending, is it?  It's about the journey.  Praise God that I have Him with me on the ride.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Splash Zone

There is something to be said for busy.  I'm usually anxious and stressed coming back.  It's only been the second day.  I remember working in retail or the restaurant industry and I found that my best days are days that I didn't have time to think about anything but the task at hand.  You start and you go, go, go, until the day is done.  Then you sit for a minute and just stare out into the void for a moment.  With teaching you only have a minute to do that before you have to prepare for the next day and start grading papers or cleaning up or writing reports and statements.  A minute before you make phone calls and figure out who you have to talk to about what.  Saturday mornings I take to lay there in my bed after sleeping in for a bit.  Then I get up to be a mom and concentrate on some other forms of business.

In the summer, I hear too much.  I feel too much.  I bask but there are moments when I need to be tired from working and I'm not.  There are moments that the silences are too loud and I end up thinking too much about my circumstances and why they aren't perfect.  Yes, I know perfect does not exist on this plane.  I think I have too much time to think about what I would want if I had my say of what I would want.  You see this here?  This is feeding the ego.  This is feeding my ego.  You should know that the ego is never satisfied.  It wants more always.  Feeding the ego leads to just more insecurity.  You become more of who you are but it will cost you, eventually.  Why?  Because you are not God.  At the end of it all, we can not save ourselves.

I see mankind's main conflict as God's way vs. Our way.  We live for how long?  What happens then?  We die.  Morbid, I know.  But hear me out, please.  Do something good for someone else and how do you feel when you are not the center of your own attention?  There was an episode of Friends where Phoebe was trying to prove Joey wrong about being selfless.  In the end, selfless acts leave us with a good feeling for the most part.  I buy Birthday presents and the real present is my kids opening up the present and receiving their gift.  It's all grace isn't it?  

It's funny because when I remove my ego from the conflict, I can see the other person more clearly.  Is it really about me?  Sometimes it is but most of the time, it is people coping and emoting and you are in the splash zone.  We all can have some not so great coping strategies, if you didn't know, me included.  I'm hoping to get out of the splash zone someday.  Sometimes I am my own splash zone but right now, I'm praying for all of the teachers and caregivers; I'm praying for all of the students and parents to be aware that we are all people, humans, in need of other humans, to understand that we are but humans.  That's when having and knowing a Savior comes in handy.  He will gladly weather our splash zones to hold us in the storm.  To this I say, "Thank you, Jesus.  Praise the Lord!!!"

Monday, August 3, 2020


I admire greatly those people who see and seize opportunities.  These people are the movers and shakers of the world.  I'm more of a plopper.  I plop as I see the need, one step in front of the other. I like to stand there and just look ahead. I don't see what is just in front of me.  I turn and I see something else.  I turn again.  I can keep on turning and all I see are different directions.  A move forward is a commitment.  Who am I if I move?  Who am I if I change something?  

You don't know this but I used to love change.  Every school year brought with it something different that I used to love when I went to school.  I loved the newness of a new year.  I looked forward to change.  When I changed jobs, I used to love not knowing the different systems and I looked forward to learning new things and having new experiences.  What has changed?  Maybe I miss New York.  Maybe this all deals with my experiences during Covid?  I don't know.  I'm not sure.

I think of the word, "opportunities."  It's beautiful.  I smell green trees and grass.  I think of places I have never been before. I can not overlook this big beautiful sky that is in front of me.  I am happy.  This is my word.  In my head there is a refrain from Beauty and the Beast.  
"I want adventure in the great wide somewhere.  I want it more than I can tell..."  

I think of the vastness of God.  I think about how big He is and His paths.  I will take all of these hopes and wants and bring it to Him.  I wonder what He will tell me.  I'm not going to pretend that I know what He has planned.  However, in this moment, I pray for opportunities that will make me feel like a mover or a shaker instead of a plopper.  Maybe my commitment would be to my health.  Maybe my commitment would be to God.  Maybe I should be committed to finding ways that make me happy that doesn't have to do anything at all with the life that I'm living.  Should I take up painting?  Should I wear more make up or paint my nails on a regular basis?  I stopped wearing lipstick because of the mask that I wear.  Is eyeshadow a fix?  Perfume?  Reading?  Walking?  Opportunity...  again I smell the green smell of something new.  I will log off to pray in a bit but I guess you could say that I am praying for not just survival, but opportunity.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 2, 2020


Detritus is waste  I like how this word sounds and is spelled.  I find it an attractive word for a not so attractive subject.  I don't know if you know this or if I have written about this before, but I am very adaptable.  In fact, I think that I will acclimate too much sometimes to my environment.  My personal space, the space that I keep my own is colorful and messy.  I have sat on my messy bed with too many pillows and covers.  I still have my queen sized bed so I find that I fill the place that I don't sleep on with books and sweaters, weird strange things I tend to lose and then end up looking for.  I have to ask myself, why do I like this environment?  

There was a study done in Minnesota regarding intelligence linked to night owls, people who curse and messiness.  I suppose that I like the potential of organization.  It is almost like a puzzle.  My favorite part of a puzzle is being stymied.  There is a point where I have an idea of where the next couple of steps are coming and I know that I have solved it and the rest becomes tedious.  I like things with color and rhinestones.  My favorite thing is costume jewelry and hair jewelry.  I love nothing more than to buy clips with pretty colors and plenty of fake stones.  I dye my hair crazy colors and I throw stuff up there willy nilly feeling like a cheap version of a queen.  On my bookshelf, I have little figurines that I have been given and colorful things that I keep about.  I have little piles of clothes that I don't tend to wear around my colorful room despite its white walls.  There are purses and shoes everywhere.  In my bathroom, there is make up, plenty of eyeshadows and blushes.  I like seeing it all messy.  I can see more of what is there.  

I am getting rid of stuff: Less stuff more space.  I like this look.  I don't like to have things that won't contribute to the messy look I like.  I suppose that to me, messy indicates lived in.  I organize them in my mind.  However, you should also know that I have an all or nothing type personality where it is going to be perfect or I don't care.  I'm trying to figure out how this works into my own personal style.  I don't think that this is a good attitude and perfection is far from me so I don't know why I stress so much over perfect when good is good enough.  

There is more that I could say about everything but I just can't write anymore.  Have a great week and Praise the Lord!

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Deep Breathing

I'm sitting here a little anxious, just a little anxious.  On Monday, I start teaching a new school year and the unknown of this year has me frantic.  There are a lot of things and there continues to be a lot of things up in the air.  There are some things I am sure about. So... as I sit here with my heart racing, I take a deep breath.  I am closing my eyes.  I breathe again making sure that the air goes all the way down to the bottom of my belly.   I flex my lower back and I feel that I have been keeping stress there.  I am relaxing.

Today I thought of August two years ago, the year my husband died.   I was holding on by a thread and praying constantly for strength.  I had been devastated.  You see, I had an ideal, maybe it was an idol that I held on to; this idea of what should have happened.  I am thankful now that I am not the One who plans my life.  I leave that to God.  I do!!  Yes, I try to intervene but at the end of the day God orders my path.  I am looking back.  It was such a steep climb.  The thing is that we don't go through the same places on this journey.  We move forward and we don't pass by again so that things are never the same as they once were.  All experiences are new.  You can try and compare them but such is the nature of the journey.  I knew that this idol was... not practical but I want what I want when I want it.  I felt sure of what I needed then.  I understand now that all I need is God.  

God calls us to remember when He came to rescue us.  He saved the Israelites from being slaves in Egypt.  He was with His people.  He is with me.  I have to tell myself to remember that God has already saved me from a lot. He will be with me during this time too.  

I stop.  I take a deep breath.  I close my eyes.  "God is with me. God saves me.  Alleluia."  This is the prayer that I tell myself while my eyes are closed.  I feel the breath go down to the bottom of my belly.  I feel the places in my back where I am holding the stress.  I am trying not to be afraid of what tomorrow will bring.  I am attempting to trust in God and I'm praying.  I'm telling you right now, it is a good strategy.  Praise the Lord!