Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Born Again: A Journey from Daughter of the Kingdom to Sacred Feminine Goddess, Part 6

Read Part 5 here.

Was it true? Was God REALLY telling me I was not supposed to go back to that place? The place where I had made lame attempts to worship him. The place where I  had studied to show myself approved unto him. The place where I was buried with Christ in baptism.

Was this message really telling me that I was NOT supposed to fight for change within that group of believers?

Some have suggested I was very stressed and dreading interactions with those who had chastised me. They indicated that maybe I had “manifested” the emotion and the migraine symptoms due to the trauma of the meeting with Mr. Elder. I guess that’s the way lots of outsiders see one person’s personal encounter with Divinity. Maybe I did manifest the episode. However, it is hard for me to believe I could be determined to stay as an agent of change in one breath and with the next breath make a leap to expecting cherubim with flaming swords to greet any future attempts to enter the place.

I don’t believe I manifested it.

I believe a message was delivered to me…a very clear, painful, emotional message intended to shake me enough to sever the tap root. My faith was rooted in soil that no longer fed my soul. I likely would not have been able to transplant myself out of that environment, so God did it for me.

In hindsight, I realize that hug was my farewell hug. The emotion was the letting-go of something that had been a part of me since before birth. If tears are truly a release of toxins, then I expelled a ton of poison that morning. A ton. The freaky vision? Maybe it was God’s way of letting me know that what I had always seen and expected to see weren’t real. Or maybe it was God’s wisdom knowing that it was the least it would take to get the message across. Whatever it was, it worked on me.

That evening, I sat on the porch in the cool shadows with my sweet man. We talked about what had happened that day. He was supportive of my thoughts, and when I suggested that maybe it had been a sign to experience some different types of worship, he agreed. We visited with my oldest who was 15 at the time. She was the one most likely to be affected by being pulled from the only church environment she had ever known. She was active in the youth group. She was (is) also a very intuitive person.

Her response was one of anticipation and excitement. She craved a taste of something different.

It was decided that we would check into some other groups in the area and experience their worship and their beliefs. I was looking for something more. Something mystical. Something miraculous. I wanted that first century church. I wanted a Jesus experience.

There was a church in a nearby town where my daughter’s best friend attended. I was good friends with her mom, so I didn’t feel like a total stranger walking in alone. We spent several months driving those 30 miles one way to experience whatever it was they were offering. I owe a good part of my spiritual growth to that experience. It was there that I discovered the works of John and Lisa Bevere. It was there that my oldest encountered high school kids speaking in tongues. When I asked her if she believed it was real, she replied, “You can’t fake what I witnessed tonight.”

It was late one night on the way home from that church that I realized the source of a deep hurt within me….a pain that I had repressed and ignored like a soldier ignores the human tragedy witnessed in war. It came to me with sudden clarity, and overwhelming emotion. I cried most of the way home driving alone in the dark.

It was that night I realized that for the first time in my life, my dad had not rescued me. He sat in silence watching me dual for my faith as Goliath dealt blow after blow. My dad had always been there to rescue me, if I needed him. That day, when he did not, when the code of the brotherhood overpowered the code of the father-daughter relationship, when he stayed in that room instead of immediately coming after me to  hold and hug me and tell me he was proud of me,  I knew I was on my own. Scared. Angry. Hurting.

In hindsight, I can clearly see several things. He did not abandon me. He allowed me the courtesy and the space to fight a battle that was mine and not his. He gave me space to work through my tears and grief. He stayed in that room and fought a private battle of his own after I left. He did come to check on me, but I was not where he expected to find me. I had run not to the arms of my father, but to the arms of a sacred feminine goddess…a mother.

By sitting in silence and allowing me to stand on my own, he permitted the severing of my faith from his. He allowed me to stand for my beliefs while not interfering by inserting his own. It was most certainly a precious gift from father to daughter, yet not without the pain of a knife wound in both my heart and his as that severance occurred.

I clearly see now how horribly unfair I was to put him in the position of having to be both elder and dad. I wanted him there to be my protector, because I was afraid of what I was about to experience. He came because I asked him. He came knowing that his heart would likely be ripped apart as he made his choices moment by moment. He came just in case his baby needed rescuing.

I thought I did, but I did not. Whether he knew it or not, he knew it.

He did the best he could do in that moment.


Part 7

Perspective of a Goddess in Training

I can’t resist posting a link to my eldest daughter’s blog. The title alone was intriguing. Her story relates to the battle that exists between conforming and telling her truth. In this case she conforms in person and tells her truth to the world. Kind of ironic.

 I Didn’t Get Dumped and Nobody Died

My Guys in Action

As you may have figured out from other posts, the male species is a bit sparse around our place. So in addition to the claim I’ve staked in Hunky Farmer Boy, there’s a wee bit of a claim staked in another middle-aged male. I should probably introduce him to you. Actually, you met him a couple of weeks ago, but no photos accompanied the introduction, so that one doesn’t really count.

I referred to him as the red-headed uncle. I actually think there’s more gray and white than there is red. He’s the one I blame for sucking us into the money pit of all hobbies known as showing horses. He would be my brother.

Oh, and he wears starched Wranglers.

That seems to be of some significant importance out here on the big ol’ Internet.

HFB is just glad his Wranglers get washed occasionally.

Red-Headed Uncle gets starch. I don’t do his jeans, in case you were wondering.

As fate would have it, this Texas A&M animal science lovin’ former county extension agent aggie has in recent years acquired a position with a local rural electric utility. HFB has been working for an electric utility for what is creeping up on 30 years.

Coincidence? I think not.

It must be my addicting electrifying personality that draws them into the business. Oh wait….HFB was in the business before I showed up on the radar, so never mind that last epiphany.

Neither one of them are licensed to teach in the state of Texas, which is too bad, because by all accounts, these two yahoos are pretty good at it.

Every year, several organizations work together to put on the Progressive Farmer Farm Safety Day. They bring in all kinds of experts and demonstrations and presentations and cool t-shirts and fire trucks and…and…and….

My kids have always loved it.

And every year one of these good lookin’ men gets suckered into taking their fire-shooting, weinnie-zapping (as in Oscar Meyer in case you were wondering), wah-wah-sounding electrical toys to wow and terrify helpless little elementary children. Of course I am sure it is just pure torture for a couple of little boys grown men to have to put on a zappo-powwie show for a captive audience of munchkin flavored ooo’s and aaahhh’s.

Pure torture. No fun at all. <wink-nudge>

This year the little boogers are in a heap o’ trouble. Both of my boys men got suckered into standing up in front of a class of munchkins. Both ends of the school building are subject to electrificution. (Is that a word? It is now!)

And as expected, HFB gets rave reviews. Red-Headed-Uncle had to sit through one of HFB’s performances. Apparently HFB is so dang good, he’s inspiring the competition. I can see it now…new reality TV series called “Family Power Line Wars”.

Hmm…maybe we’ll work on that title a bit more.

And since my boys men need to have their images splattered on my now world famous blog, I had to get a shot or two.

Red Headed Uncle is showing off what happens when lightning zaps one of the utility company poles….and what might happen to a munchkin that decides to play out in the middle of a storm. Check out his little power line village on the right side of the picture. Isn’t it cute?

Women, notice the shiny cowboy boots.  All together now…..”Ooooooo…..Aaaaaahhhhh!”

Wait a minute! Is that a bare spot I see on that back of that boy’s head? Nah. Couldn’t be. Must just be a weird reflection of some kind.

Hunky Farmer Boy has a long standing reputation as a pyromaniac electrical entertainer. Nothing like a few thousand volts to captivate munchkin attention. Hey maybe that’s what all our teachers need to help maintain classroom focus on learning!

Geez, he’s hot! (I’m pathetic. I know. Deal with it.)

Isn’t his little village just so cute, too? Isn’t HFB just so cute? Mmmmm….think I’ll stare at these pictures for awhile. Lucious ‘Lectric Lips.

Hmm…shirt’s a little big on him. Maybe I should feed him a bit more often.

Weinnie roast anyone?

Intuition: It's Been Here All Along

Of the many changes that have staked their claim over me in recent years, the one that I am delighting in most is the realization that

I am an intuitive person.

Apparently I have been all along.

I just didn’t know it until now. I owe a debt of gratitude to some extremely beautiful women and one incredible man who have helped me to realize this important bit of knowledge.

There simply had to be something inside of me that was aware of where my life has been headed, and it was present in me from a very early age. Time and again, I would rebel against that which was rational, seemingly intelligent, and made the most sense on the surface in favor of the passions of my heart.

Case in point: Boys and Men

Nothing I have ever done in my pursuit of male affection has EVER made sense or aligned with the ideals of my religious heritage.

THANK GOD!!!!! (Literally.)

Otherwise, not only would my spiritual life be a bit scrambled, my marriage could have been, too.

I’ve never been one to desire the “good boys”. I used to call them the Bible Bangers at college, and I had absolutely NO interest in them whatsoever. They creeped me out. My one and only experience with an honest to goodness “nice Christian young man” (translate CofC gentle-guy from church camp) lasted through months of cards and letters, but all of one real date. Ugh….he was just……TOO nice.  That relationship cooled like ice plunged in a bucket almost immediately. Something was just….weird…about that deal. I didn’t pick up on it at camp, but it showed up on that date when no one was around but the two of us. Years later we learned that Mr. Gentleman robbed a bank so he could have enough money to go see his girlfriend.

Score one for intuition.

My first REAL BF was the bad boy of high school. Lineman on the varsity football team. He was a junior who had enjoyed an extra year of school and was a fall birthday. I was a freshman. That made him technically A LOT older than me. We met on the track bus one evening. We were sort of an item. Never regretted that deal. He respected my boundaries, yet still made the experience exciting for me. He certainly wasn’t the church going, Bible-carrying type. He also wasn’t exactly the potential son-in-law of my parents’ dreams. Fortunately they were smart enough to sit back and watch—and probably pray alot—knowing that it wouldn’t last. And it didn’t.

He eventually broke up with me after he graduated and moved on to other women. As fate would have it, the high school bad boy ended up back in our hometown serving his community as a police officer. I still get a smile on my face when I see him. It’s a smile of appreciation and respect. Appreciation for letting me know I was worth something to someone, and respect for the way he treated me even though he had the physical power to  do anything he wanted.  I didn’t get him in the end, yet I grew so much in the process.

Score two for intuition.

There was the younger guy. I was more like mom to him. It was kind of a weird deal, but with the older guys having graduated, and the guys my age interested in the younger girls, that pretty much left the younger guys. I don’t go back there very often. That one had to be released pretty quickly. Nice kid. Nice family. Just a bit on the weird side.

Score three for intuition.

One night in my junior year, I found a sweet bad boy on Dip Street, the main drag through town. Violating every principal of safe, intelligent interactions with strangers, I was drawn to him immediately. His kiss was passionate and tender. His demeanor one of a romantic. He was in town visiting family, and in less than two weeks he was headed to basic training for the Navy. I will always remember the beautiful cards he sent me from San Diego and later (for awhile) from his station in Florida.

I’d like to think I was his angel for awhile until he found one with whom to spend his life. His words always made me feel special and I trust that mine kept him going through the tough and lonely times. We had “our song” and I would play it over and over. To this day, I think of him and get a lump in my throat every time I hear REO Speedwagon hit the classic rock airwaves. He made his escape from this world a few years ago, way too soon. I’d like to think somewhere in another dimension, he still remembers what a gift he was to me at that point in my life.

Score again for intuition.

Then I met “the one”. EVERYTHING about the situation violated all the rules of “good girl” relationships. I was CofC. He was a Catholic. I was 17 and about to start my senior year in high school. He was 29, and a working man with a bucket truck and a tool belt. I didn’t drink, dance, smoke, or partake of any mind-altering substance. He was a bass guitar player in a well-known area dance band, smoked, played in bars, and graduated in 1974 (which automatically addresses the mind-altering part). My brain said this was stupid and dangerous. Everything else inside of me said, “I WANT HIM!”

For four and a half years, I battled my brain and my heart. Rules and boundaries were shot to hell where he was concerned. Other guys came in and out of the picture, but he was always somewhere in the painting. Like a haunting spirit, he never left the corners of my soul. I would sneak visits to this forbidden love, this bad-boy of a man, even in the midst of  budding college romances. I ached at the thought of leaving him. I hurt for him when I was away. I loathed the drive between him and college. He was everything I wasn’t supposed to have, be, or do.

And yet…..

He was exactly what I needed. He didn’t complete me. He allowed me. He accepted me. He endured me. He caught me when my world began shifting. His patient tolerance of my “growing up” has been nothing short of saintly. Had he been one of  those good boys that I SHOULD have married, he probably would have left me or driven me insane when my awakening began. Instead, he has welcomed me into that place so that now we share it together finally united as one after 20+ years.

The ultimate score for intuition.

The Clothes Line Murderer

This is my sweet man, Hunky Farmer Boy. He’s the lone source of testosterone amidst a sea of about five dozen females of various species. I think you’ve met previously.

This is Hunky Farmer Boy on his Tonka Toy. (This is where you hear the Tim the Toolman Taylor grunting sounds.)

Boys and Their Tonka Toys

My Hunky Farmer Boy with His Big Tonka Toy

For reasons never fully understood by me, HFB likes to use his Tonka Toy to pull things out of the ground. You’d think he’d get enough of that working as an electric lineman, but apparently not. Apparently, they put more poles in the ground than they get to pull out of the ground, leaving him somewhat unbalanced. So he has to spend his leisure time on the farm pulling stuff out of the ground. Big stuff. Or at least sorta big stuff. Most of the time, I’m okay with that, because as his director of operations (aka bossy britches wife), I am usually giving my approval to what he removes and often times I’m assisting in the process. Most of the time.

Sidenote: Men should never be allowed to function without a woman telling them what to do. It just isn’t natural, and truth be known, it’s dangerous. Someone could get hurt. Or worse. Get pee-ode. Like me.

This is the back yard of my wellness center/vacation home. It’s six blocks from the four bedroom mansion where we sleep.

Backyard Lake with Clothesline Pole

Notice the bright yellow clothes line pole amidst the lake of our recent rains. Sorta hard to miss, isn’t it? I did that on purpose. I like clotheslines. I haven’t used one since I was…oh…say….10 years old, but I like clotheslines. It’s a strange obsession.

Did I mention I like clotheslines?

I’m not sure why I like clotheslines. Since the incident last night, I’ve been trying to analyze why I like clotheslines. I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s representative of a piece of my childhood. Maybe it’s part of my obsession with wanting to be self sufficient. Maybe I get some sort of sick humor out of watching a sexy 6’4″ hunk of man hang himself or bip his noggin’ on it.

Whatever it is, it is serious. I like my clothesline. I’ve begged for one at the mansion for years. Never got one. My wellness center/vacation house came with one pre-installed. Someone loves me.

Back to Tonka Toys.

Did I mention that HFB does not share my obsession with clotheslines?

It’s a detail relevant to our story here.

HFB has mentioned pulling it up a couple of times. The first time, it was because you couldn’t see it. So I painted it John Deere Yellow. As evidence by the photo above, you can see it now.

He’s hinted that the edges of the cross pieces are dangerously sharp and it needed to go. I diverted that conversation with a discussion of options for padding the ends of the poles.

Then I did something really dumb. I left him alone with his Tonka Toy on a beautiful spring afternoon while I went to relax my mind in the peaceful tranquility of yoga class.

Note to self: Bad idea.

We all arrived back at the mansion at about the same time. Conversation initiated. I had purchased some books at Barnes and Noble after my date with strength and peace. He had tilled, and mowed, and hammered, and pulled the clothes line up.

Hunky Farmer Boy with the Big Tonka Toy say what?

“You did WHAT??????????”

Now realize, that I don’t get mad at him. I just don’t. It just doesn’t happen. I pout occasionally when things don’t go my way (okay I pout every time things don’t go my way), but there just isn’t much in this world worth getting truly mad about.

Except extricated clotheslines. Apparently. Yeah.

He might as well have ripped my heart out of my chest, sacrificed my first born, and sold the horses.

“I thought we agreed to pull them up.”

“No. YOU agreed to pull them up.”

“We can set them up farther back out of the way.”

To myself: There’s a guy for ya. Who in their right mind wants the clothes line on the east forty, three hundred miles from the house?

To make matters worse, my girls were witness to this rare, almost unheard of episode of psychosis towards my sweet, hard working man. (I say those things to remind myself that I really do love him, murdered clothes line and all.)

And to make things worse still, #3 daughter, to whom I had preached just hours earlier about getting over her “mad” with her sister, a mad she had nursed for well over 24 hours, began to preach to me about how I needed to get over it like I told her to do.

Child, I birthed you. I can snuff you out. Better choose sides wisely. Besides, this is different. This is my precious CLOTHESLINE!!!!

Don’t you have a horse to ride or something?

And so the evening wore on. I grieved over my poor un-anesthetized clothesline being ripped from its ancient roots. I grieved over being mad at my sweet husband for something so…..<gulp>…trivial. I psycho-analyzed what kind of sick human could overlook a thousand other reasons to be angry in over 20 years, yet let Mr. Helpful rip out her precious clothesline and she blows an aneurysm.

I thought about his offer to “replant” it elsewhere in the yard. That made my chest tighten up with resentment. It doesn’t belong elsewhere in the yard. It belongs where it was. Where it’s been forever. It belongs right smack dab in the middle of the yard where every 6’4″ hunk that walks through can be tatooed with a divot in his forehead.

No. Just forget it. It’s gone. My precious yellow poles are gone. Send flowers. Memorials to the Murdered Clothes Line Association are also appreciated.

And then……

Finally…….

A moment of sanity.

Simple solution.

Mr. Tonka Toy could just put them back exactly like he found them.

EXACTLY.

In concrete.

That’ll teach him to pull up my baby with is big Tonka Toy.

And in a few years when I decide I want that danged clothesline somewhere else because I’m tired of strangling myself on the way to pick tomatoes, I’ll be more than happy to acknowledge that he tried to move the thing years earlier, but had to put it back IN CONCRETE no less because the nutcase he married had some weird survivalist obsession with a stupid clothesline.

Because if Mama ain’t happy, no one gets to be happy!

Oh, and Hunky Farmer Boy is grounded from his big Tonka Toy.

That’s all I have to say ’bout that.

This Woman Knows Her Business

After spending the better part of two months dreading the upcoming horse show season, it arrived kicking and screaming early Saturday morning.

It was preceded by an insanely expensive shopping spree at Cavender’s where every last penny of Daughter #3’s stock show money (plus plenty of mine) was surrendered to their cash register.

And at that moment….the moment when this kid of mine put on the clothes, I was on fire and ready to go. The dread was gone. The proud mama kicked in. This kid totally rocks when it comes to horses. I haven’t quite figured out where she got it, but she definitely got it.

And she rocks the look. Time to clean my shotgun. Boys, back away from the Rodeo Princess.

Ignore the messy room. We have priorities at our place, and keeping bedrooms spic and span doesn’t happen to be one of them. Looking like a million bucks in the show arena is much higher on the list of most important priorities.

And while my cell phone photography skills leave much to be desired, you will most likely get the picture as to her talents. This kid is absolutely fearless…..at least when it comes to horses. That doesn’t mean she isn’t careful. She just isn’t afraid. Of anything. Except failure. She hates failure. More on that in a minute. Oh, and hats. She’s not a fan of the hat requirement.

Dang, she looks good on a horse.

Readers, meet Shorty. Shorty…our readers. Shorty is a roping horse. Fourteen years he spent roping, working cattle, chasing down the little boogers, and taking care of his cowboy. Then he came to our barn. Never saw a show ring before he met Amber, but she needed his speed, and I needed his lack of insane price tag. The combination meant that someone had to teach him a thing or two, and it wasn’t going to be me. That pretty much left one person to take on the challenge–a then ten year old kid who’d only been riding about year. Did I mention, she’s still only eleven? Five feet eight inches of eleven year old determined to teach a horse named Shorty how this gig works.

And have mercy, has this kid taught Shorty a thing or two! She has taught him how to setup and stand for showmanship.

She and Shorty totally rock the grade gelding class. Of course Shorty was once registered. Some poor sap made his ex really mad and she burned the papers. As a result, we have a rockin’ grade gelding. At 15, he’s still impressing judges every time he enters the arena. That gorgeous tail and mane? My beauty shop skills. Conditioner by Aussie. You should be very impressed.

She taught him how to swerve around barrels and poles and stakes. (Those pics are just too blurry to even post.)

And she is desperately working to convince Shorty of the value of giving her the correct lead when loping in Western Pleasure and Horsemanship. He’s beginning to catch on, but it’s been slow and frustrating to get there.

This is the “Mom, why do you make me show him in Western Pleasure when you know we suck at it?” posture. What can I say? The kid HATES failure. Especially when she knows she’s doomed to lose before she ever enters the arena. I told her it isn’t about winning this event. It’s about showing her mama, her uncle, and the other local dads who know of this horse’s (lack of) previous experiences that while those other kids can ride the one with power steering and an automatic transmission and win, she’s capable of driving the standard with no power steering and making it all work in spite of a stiff clutch. Yes, the starts and stops and turns are a bit rough, but they get better everytime she takes him in that ring, because she’s got what it takes. No, she doesn’t get the ribbon, yet who’s the better driver?

“Mom, you’re weird.”

Ideals are nice, but losing still sucks.

Then, the speed events roll around late in the evening. Barrels, poles, and stakes. And now that she’s the oldest in her division instead of one of the “babies”, she’s proving herself to be a force with which to be reckoned. There must be some sort of adrenaline rush when riding a horse that fast. All I can think of is the pain rush. Not this kid. The faster, the better, except when going around something like a barrel, then we prefer to slow things down just a bit. It keeps her inside the arena rather than in the stands with the crowd as almost happened last year when she started sliding off and that “roping” horse just stopped dead in his tracks. That’s what roping horses do, you know…stop when the cowboy starts to jump off????? That was a valuable lesson in centrifugal force. Or centripital….or some kind of Newton thing.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhKH2vE-oUU]

And now she wants a youngster. She thinks she’s got what it takes to takes train a futurity horse. I think she does, too. Please click the Paypal button now to donate to our Feed Amber’s Horses fund.

I complained to her red-headed uncle (who I blame for starting us in this expensive hobby and who says his hair isn’t red) about how slow this kid is when I want her to hurry up and do something. He proceded to inform me that this annoying behavior of not getting wound up or in a hurry about anything is precisely what makes her so amazing with animals. I’m thinking it’s the same behavior that makes her avoid housework in favor of getting grit in her ears mowing six acres on a John Deere LA175 mower. Ride, Forest, Ride!

Plus, she wants to learn to work cattle on a ranch. Enough of this pretend junk at a kid horse show. She wants the real deal. Ridin’ and ropin’ and stuff. And did I mention that she’s brought up the “C” word? Yeah..cutting. Red-headed uncle says I don’t have the denero to fly with that crowd.

Anyone want to adopt her for the summer? You won’t be sorry.

Truth Telling and Confused German Shephards

I admit it. Telling the truth is hard for me. No, no. It’s not that I am a pathological liar. Although I think I probably was….when I was five. But I grew out of that by the time I was about….uh…..married? And I only used it to get what I wanted……and keep my tail out of trouble. I usually got what I wanted, but I was lousy at that second part.

While lying isn’t a problem for me anymore, telling the truth, my truth, is painfully difficult. And apparently I am not alone.

Last night, I enjoyed a very nice teleconference with Ronna Detrick on Truth Telling in Extravagant Ways. She told the Bible story of the woman who annointed Jesus feet with expensive perfume and washed them with her hair. I’ve never before felt a kinship with this woman. I mean, according to everyone else who tells the story (everyone I’ve ever listened to anyway) she was the town prostitute: a very very naughty woman who had to be forgiven of MUCH sin. Hence all the theatrics. MUCH sin requires much drama and emotion and displays of affection.

Ronna told the story of a woman who was perceived by the community in a certain way, but who went to Jesus and told her truth extravagantly. She went to him and allowed her emotion to shine through…extravagantly. She revealed what was most true for her…extravagantly. She acknowledged her own feelings and reveled in the feeling at the feet of the most loving and kind teacher…extravagantly.

And for the first time, I had a reason to relate to this woman. She didn’t swallow up her emotions. She didn’t tell herself that he wouldn’t have time for her or that he wouldn’t be interested in her. She just went for it. She let him know exactly how she felt. She made her needs known. She told her truth, and she did it extravagantly.

I’ve raised (am raising) four of the most beautiful, courageous, and strong women. Power oozes from their veins. And yet, in some ways, I feel as though I am failing them. That strength, that determination, that “push through no matter what it takes” feminism has left them almost powerless to tell their truth. I can’t take all the credit for this. I assign plenty of blame to the expectations of middle class society.

Drama and hysterics are unwelcome around here. Rational, thoughtful conversation is prized. Not questioning the system is highly valued. Don’t be a trouble-maker is the undercurrent.

Truth-telling is rarely neat and tidy and free of drama. In our clan, there is a family gene for crying. Too often, truth-telling equals buckets of tears, and we all despise those tears. It means throats that seize up and swollen mascara-smeared eyes, and since men tend to look at a woman in tears with the confused German shephard look, it’s just better off avoided.

Unfortunately it also means passion pushed down, dreams set aside, stress bottled up, and unfairness allowed to go unchecked. It means resentment that boils and bubbles inside and eats away at our bodies. It means conflicted emotion and a feeling of being powerless. And it means walls get built around our hearts. Impenetrable walls. It sucks.

But why do we do it? Why do we squash our truth so completely in order to keep the peace, get along with everyone, and avoid conflict? Is it just not worth it? Is there some horrible fate that awaits our truth-telling?

Yes, and my girls have seen it happen to me over and over and over. They have watched as I have spoken my true passion only to spend the next several days, weeks, and months trying to pick up the pieces. They have seen the consequences of a world that does not value truth-telling. They know well the persecution and the childish back-stabbing that adults are capable of inflicting on non-conformers. And it sucks.

So how do I communicate to them that is is worth it to speak their truth? How do I model the benefits of owning and making known the “know-that-you-know-what-you-know” that’s inside? How can I show them that the tears are a part of the process and it’s okay to let them spill? How can I let them see that opening up and being who they really are is not only respectful, but admirable? How can I help them accept the fact that the disapproval of others towards our truth is not our problem, but that of the other person?

Guess I’d better model telling my own truth with confidence and emotion so they can see me grow stronger in the process.

Ronna, how big’s the couch in your office? Got space for five?

Natural-ly, Powerful-ly, Amazingly Smiley

Several months ago, I worked through a book by Danielle LaPorte called Style Statement: Live by Your Own Design. I rock when I am living 80% Natural, 20% Powerful. You’ll have to read it understand what that means. Trust me, it’s cool mojo.

This time of year really makes me want to step up to the plate and be authentically natural and supremely powerful. The new life, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and yes, even the wind. I thought it would be a fabulous time to share some things that make my world Natural-ly, Powerful-ly Amazingly Smiley.

Just think about the raw power it takes for one of these to push through the soil, stretching, climbing, digging, and POP! No makeup, no skin care routine. Just plenty of raw natural beauty.


Times 20 (-ish)


Can tulips shave? These beauties have a five o’clock shadow that’s just a bit obnoxious!

And then there are these tulips……

Nothing says natural powerful like flying pony tails, tiger socks, and being a foot taller than every other nine year old.

And if that doesn’t suffice……..

Smoking everyone down the court and banking it off the glass right through the net is pretty powerful. So is being a foot off the floor AND a foot taller than anyone else this side of the Amazon. See a pattern taking shape?

And what could be more naturally powerful than a beautiful day of sun……..

And raw feminine power smacking a tennis ball. I pity the poor dudes on the other side of that net!

If that’s not enough natural power, how ’bout some man-made power laced with some hunky man power?

Yeah….I know. I’ve used this shot before. What can I say? This man on this tractor, says natural powerful on a level that sends me into orbit….with no rocket boosters necessary.

I think I hear a tractor. Better head to the farm. Somebody needs me. <wink-nudge-wink-grin>


Elephants are Stalking Me, but They Aren't Pink So I'm Still Sane

A few days ago, I mentioned some Wound-Licking, Truth-Telling, and Under-the-Bed-Clearing that I felt like needed my attention.

That began a series of dialogs with some close friends about how best to gently but effectively lance and lick those wounds without causing major collateral damage. Two important facts here: 1) I’m good at generating collateral damage, and 2) I suck at cleaning up collateral damage.

What can I say? It’s a gift. Call it like I see it. State the obvious, even when not politically or socially correct. I’m working on it. Have been since about second grade. Middle school wasn’t pretty.

Anyway, I made a conscious decision to publicly lick my wounds with gentle humor. Everyone needs to laugh. Laughter is good medicine as long as it isn’t directed at someone. Humor is just what the doctor ordered.

Then I began referring to these wounds as my elephant. I mentioned to others my need to exercise the elephant, maybe by airlifting it to Zimbabwe (do they have elephants in Zimbabwe? I wouldn’t want mine to be lonely.) I started thinking about the humor in seeing my situation as an elephant.

As my tired body headed to bed last night, I noticed my hubby had the TV on (as always) and he was watching some nature show….on elephants.

Ironic, doncha think?

Then this morning, I glance down and see my Animal Spirit Guides book laying there beckoning me to read from it. And being as to how my elephant was born in part because of my obsessions with supernatural possibilities and communication with the Divine, I glanced up and said, “So, ya got somethin’ ya wanna tell me, eh?”

And I opened the book to the page on elephants. That many elephants in that short a time span said to me that there was something I needed to hear, and since they weren’t pink, I figured I hadn’t lost my mind completely yet.

If ELEPHANT shows up, it means:

Do not let anything stand in the way of attaining this goal that is so integral to your purpose.

Neither rain, snow, sleet, hail, elephants, or credit card debt shall stand in my way.

You have the determination and persistence required to overcome the current challenges you’re faced with.

Yes, Ma’am. Dem things on my head would be bull horns. Git outta my way.

Trust your senses, and if something in your life “smells” bad, take the necessary action to do away with it.

That would be referring to the elephant poo under my bed. Anybody got a big shovel?

Remain loyal to those closest to you in spite of anyone questioning their integrity.

Well, that would fit any number of situations, past or present.

It’s a good time to renew your sense of connectedness to the divine.

Uhm…yeah…that’s part of what birthed this elephant in the first place, but hey, anyone wanna take me to the mountains? Or maybe I’ll just enjoy a bit of farm worship.

Call on ELEPHANT when:

There are mental, emotional, or physical obstacles in your path that seem to block you from achieving your goals or following your mission.

Okay, Mr. Suffleupagus. (I had to look that one up!) I dialed your number already. That’s why we are here. (Is he an elephant or a mammoth? Close enough.)

You’re feeling tired, weak, or depressed and want more energy and vitality.

Hunky Farmer Boy might appreciate this.

You want to feel more confident.

Darn tootin’. (oooo…those smell like elephant poo!)

You want to increase your libido and encourage romantic feelings.

Hunky Farmer Boy might appreciate this even more!

You find yourself in a position of power and responsibility, one that requires you to be a strong and effective leader.

I think self-employed (aka jobless) qualifies me on this one.

If ELEPHANT is your power animal:

You have an insatiable hunger for knowledge and continually seek to understand things.

Check. See my transcripts if in doubt.

You’re at your best doing some kind of political or social work or otherwise being in a responsible position of public service.

EWWWWW. Got that dirty, nasty, smelly t-shirt. Took me 13 years to bust outta that jail. I’m layin’ low for a while…..like ’til death.

You have an innate capacity for drawing on ancient wisdom and communicating this whenever appropriate.

I’m getting this out of an animal spirit guide book, aren’t I? And that innate capacity for drawing on ancient wisdom and communicating is the sperm donor of this elephant I birthed.

You’re a passionate and uninhibited lover who’s quite able to please and satisfy your partner.

Sounds like a good question for Hunky Farmer Boy. Oops! He’s snoring. Guess that means I’m REAL good.

Once you set your mind to something, there’s nothing that will stop you from obtaining it.

Mom? Dad? Anyone wanna weigh in on this one? Stop laughing and shaking your head. Determination is a good thing. Bulldozing through concrete walls with my noggin’ is a noteworthy talent, don’t you think? Never mind the blood and concussions. That’d be some of my infamous collateral damage.

Okay….yeah….Definitely thinking the Big Power is telling me something.

Wound-Licking, Truth-Telling, and Under-the-Bed-Clearing

Four years ago, my spiritual life changed radically. Four years ago, much of what had always been constant, solid, and unchanging changed. Four years ago, feelings were hurt, heads were butted, and backs were turned. Four years ago, I had to step away from something rather than try to fix it. Apparently it wasn’t mine to fix.

For four years, I have told myself and others that all was for the best. I insisted that I had forgiven and that in fact, there really was nothing to forgive because all the players were part of a necessary series of events to bring about some very important changes in my life. For four years, I have insisted that I am doing fine and all is well. For four years, I have chosen to be somewhat cautious about what I say or write because it isn’t worth re-feeling and re-inflicting the inevitable pain that surrounds a series of events that HAD to happen in order for me to grow and be free.

Yet, if all is rocking along  just peachy, if all is forgiven and forgotten, if all is exactly as it is intended to be, if I AM in fact now free, why after four years did Ronna’s Detrick’s Renegade Conversation on Compliance and/or Exile leave my throat swollen shut and my eyes puffy and wet? Why did Trey Morgan‘s simple question find me tapping at my keyboard with intense vengeance and accusatory resentment? Why did Trey’s dream cause my mind to chatter as if on speed? Why did a sincere comment in response to my Easter Sunday post trigger emotion that isn’t supposed to exist at this point in the journey? Why can I be positive and upbeat about most everything else, but anything that even remotely relates to this elephant activates my claws and fangs (and pitchfork and pointy tail)?

Obviously I am still licking some wounds that I wanted to believe had healed.

Could it be that my wounds won’t heal until my truth is told? Is it possible to tell my truth without generating pain for others? Is it okay to sacrifice feelings and relationships in order to free myself from the festering wounds of my past?

Ronna sums things up quite well:

“This does not mean that the choice is easy. To reveal ourselves, to tell the truth, to live out loud, is difficult, painful, and sometimes downright excruciating. But so is the alternative: to remain hidden, silent, small. Even exile seems better than that!”

Stuffing everything under the bed has worked well to hide some emotional and spiritual baggage, but it hasn’t made it go away. In my experience with four girls and my own childhood bedroom, that pile under the bed just keeps growing and getting smelly…gross, yucky smelly. I think my current “under-the-bed-monster” has grown to the point it has begun grabbing for and attacking my ankles each time I am ready to crawl into a safe a cozy space to relax and feel at peace.

I don’t like feeling as if my ankles are being yanked out from under me and sucked into the muck as old wounds are being picked at and reopened.

I think it is time for me to clean out from under the bed, to extract the poison that has infected the wounds on my heart, and to wash it all clean and pure….. repent, for those who love that word….but not from what you might think. I’m going to repent for my silence.

I think it is time to tell my truth.

Can someone please get my island ready? …and make sure it’s well equipped.

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