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.