Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finding Autumn in the Midst of Winter Park

There’s something about familiarity...

In our fast-paced society, there lives a constant drive for the latest fad, newest adventure, and greater thrill; though, ironically, the sweetest emotional fulfillment often provided almost always come from those things deemed “Old Hat.”

Ah, but how I love the smell of that dusty, old brim. There's a security in its touch and a comfort in its fit. Yes, it is actually the presences of our FAMILIAR - I think - that gives us fuel for adventure - the boldness to jump into unknown values and uncharted waters - confident that our jump will fly from the well-grounded footing.

Today, I have been reminded of such reality and the incomparable amount of joy and inspiration such settings bring.

Wind-blown trees, live music, sunshine on my face...dogs on leashes boutique stores and the smells of changing seasons...

Though I have roamed from land to land, I never tire of those things which make me feel “at home.”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stick it to the Mon...

Are monopolies legal? Last time I checked they weren't - and not that kitchen basics are of real concern in the grand scheme of an economy with a national deficit numbering BILLIONS - but I made an observation today that I'd like to share...

In trying to stock our kitchen and remain budget conscious, my spouse and I have opted to purchase needed "staples" a couple items at a time, tagging them onto our weekly list of groceries. It allows us to build up our storehouse without exhausting our bank account.

This week's addition: Cocoa Powder. Now, I'm almost positive that when I lived in Columbus, Ohio, I was able to buy a generic brand of Cocoa. However, in the last few weeks, I've had trouble finding anything but a name brand. Finally making my bi-monthly run to Wal-Mart, I felt confident that I would be able to feast my eyes on a Great Value version of cocoa. Yet, to my shock and amazement, there was none to be found. Literally, Nestle and Hershey's are the ONLY options available on the shelf. It was the same madness I had found in every other Florida store.

Upon perusal of online grocery stores and after multiple Google searches, I have come to the conclusion - be it true or false - that the less-than-satisfactory chocolate companies in our nation have played a dirty trick on us. Honestly, if their products aren't really even going to taste like something worth spending more on, couldn't they at least provide an opportunity for cheaper brands to have a little competition???

And yet, when all is said and done - because we are TRUE CONSUMERS and therefore respond to Supply and Demand principles - the end of my story is ironically contrary to my opinion:



Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Back in 2000, I had the privilege of fulfilling a childhood dream of visiting Disney World Orlando, with my entire immediate family (Father, Mother, Sister). We spent nearly a week in all four parks and saw EVERYTHING, even the rides that most would label as "lame." Among those experiences most-remembered was the famous "Spaceship Earth," at Epcot.

Originally opened in 1982, this "people-mover" ride - complete with narration and animatronics - is enclosed inside the large, ball that identifies the park itself. When first ridden, I was underwhelmed by the experience, valuing it as merely a walk through time and a legitimizing of the overall DISNEY EXPERIENCE. It's concepts were dates, as well as its technology and I remember wondering how long it would survive, in light of so many other new attractions.

Well, my curiosity was quenched yesterday, as I revisted this historic site, this time with my new husband. Disney recently re-invented the ride, installing personal, interactive computer screen into each moving pod. Dame Judy Dench now narrates and the storyline has been altered from that of technology's progress to the evolution of the world's modes of communication.

At the very end of the ride, while being slowly moved down the far wall of the globe's interior, each computer screen asks its pilots to answer a series of questions, while inputting personal information. The result - after the addition of a quick digital photo snap - is a personalized FUTURE. Though I could express my feelings about our outcome, I think I will let the image speak for itself and leave you with this:

Should my spouse grow a ponytail and take up Tai Kwon Do?


Friday, September 12, 2008


here i am once more, not as i was formerly known - however - as i am now presently addressed under a new surname.

still, my mind functions relatively similarly, as does my heart, though both are now taken up by the other half of myself: my dearest husband:)

in other news: elections, tropical storms, and examination of purpose.

let's begin with the one that is ironically the easiest for me to explore...ELECTIONS. at present, we have 53 days until american citizens are able to cast their vote toward the next leader of the free world. with too many topics up for grabs when considering this extremely passionate subject, let me to this alone: we HAVE to begin educating ourselves on the issues most important in this life. it is not about getting hung-up or distracted by those "platforms" to which we've so long bent a knee. would it be easier with more choices for parties? certainly. but, at present, that is not an option. so, bottom line? we must all do our best to weed through the absurdly biased opinions and BS to which we are numb to subjugation and seek the heart of G-d for a decision that will best serve our families, our nation, and our world for the next four years. it's muddy and no one is PERFECT for the job, but someone's gotta do it and it's better to just pick and be confident for yourself. let's stop arguing about the in between.

TROPICAL STORMS. huh. never thought i'd see the day when i would even pay attention to these guys, unless they hit Andrew or Katrina-like power, being that i'm shamelessly a Northern Girl. yet, as i now find myself a Floridian, or at least married to one and here until further notice, i'm waking up to realities that are no longer a distant story in the news. these puppies affect my weather now...crazy how we so frequently remain blind until we're affected. it's kinda sick, really, but we're only human and we come by this ignorance honestly. i am aware this year of exactly how many storms have occurred, thus far, what they're named, and what path they've travelled. i think i may reconsider my life calling and contemplate meteorology. nah...

though, that does bring me to today's final point: PURPOSE. what is mine, or more specifically in this present season: what is ours, meaning the husband and me??? this is the question we've all asked ourselves multiple times, but whenever we enter new realms of life and understanding, it is not uncommon to re-ask, trying to grasp how it is supposed to look, feel, and breathe inside new dimensions and circumstances. hence, we're asking again in order to clarify our NEXT STEP. we're not interested in wasting time or energy on the wrong thing. so, we wait. a good place to be at, whenever i recall the leaders that have gone before us. it is the great ones that were willing to intentionally pursue, without concern for time or opinion. so, we lean on the ONE TO WHOM WE CLING and trust HIS VOICE ALONE for answering these questions that sometimes seem clear and sometimes carry fog. what will the response be this time, O GREAT KING?

we are ever changing...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Three beeps to the wind

my phone died.

i have another, but all of my phone numbers are not yet uploaded.

shame on me.

i left a friend in the lurch.

i am home now and charging for future calls.

my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

take four?

G-d must really love me.


i understand that He loves me all of the time, but this week has held unprecedented blessing. my lovely fiance works part-time at the Ritz Carlton Spa, which takes up "a lot" of time, in light of the fact that we spend most mornings in the gym/studio. so, in any given week, we spend quality time together "after hours" (during which time, he is often sleepy), or on his two days off.

this week, work has been slow and he has gotten ready for work, only to find out that he's been called off! obviously, work is a blessing and money a gift - especially during this season of savings and preparation. however, as one who lives by the love language of QUALITY TIME, i nearly ALWAYS desire more time with him, whether talking, accomplishing tasks, or simply breathing the same space.

today, he had not only prepared for work, but ARRIVED, before being told that he had no clients booked. hence, i had already begun my day, fully expecting not to see him until later in the evening. delighted i was to discover that he could join me for all of these tasks AND be present to do fun/unexpected things!!!

i was overjoyed to say the least.

we have been talking about getting ice cream forever, as well as continuing our work on registries and furniture searches. so, after getting showered and ready, we headed out for a bit of all three. we looked around for bedroom sets at some stores that had not yet been explored, after which i introduced him to the wonder that is Old Time Pottery (side note: for those that LOVE to get lost in a sea of warehouse-priced home-good items, this is the store for a search for a location near won't be disappointed!). before finishing our outing with a stop by Target, he treated me to a Cold Stone Creamery experience. ah, how i love that place. it is deserving of a blog of its own...perhaps i shall indulge that in another venture.

we didn't get home until after nine, but even amidst fatigue and hunger, i was so thankful for the opportunity to once again have his unexpected presence in my day. the Lord knew that my tank needed some extra filling right now.

i am grateful.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the craze

i began to realize, years ago, that my mind is capable of moving far too quickly, in far too many directions, simultaneously. a few years back, i birthed exploration of how i may aim to deal with this reality that could prove to be a strength or a weakness, in any given moment, depending on how i channel its energy.

so, how is my hamster wheel functioning these days?

well, today was such that felt slightly rusty, not in its inability to function, but in the rocky way it seemed to guide me from thought to thought. in the end, i wonder that my mind is not less of a hamster wheel and more of a variable information highway. in the former, the same path is taken, leading one down a monotonous road, that though fast-paced, never adds or gains perspective or pursuit. in the latter, one has opportunity to continually change lanes, change modes of transporation, or choose - in any given moment - to stop or alter one's path of direction, by maneuvering through exits and on ramps. this is why my internal processes can feel so overwhelming! there are simply too many choices. in attempting to quiet one voice, another begs my attention on the other side of the median and i am whipped in an instant U-turn, wondering when and how i can recover from this sudden change in direction.

todays' challenge felt like the road rage scene from The Matrix Reloaded, in which Trinity attempts to safely transfer her passenger. agents begin shape-shifting and materializing in variation when their initial attempts at desolation are unsuccessful.
and this is where i feel myself relating.

so many times, a negative thought tries to bombard my mind, playing the role of the agent that slams vehicles with bullet, in the scene. i dodge to miss the flying shrapnel, but the thoughts continue to pursue, even entering into my personal space to distract me from the actions in which i am desperately trying to participate. on and on, until finally the battle is over and though i come out unharmed, i am weakened and aware of possible future attack.

i only have on ANSWER for how to cope and it's the ONE to which i've turned every time i experience these waves of cranial warfare. each time, i manage to escape more quickly. my hope and my trust is that with each passing day, i will more successfully quiet the ENEMY of my mind, until the only sound left is the voice of The One To Whom I Cling.

Search me, O God, and know my heart. Test me, God, and know my every thought. See if in me there is any offensive way, and lead me in the Eternal Way.

the present definition

you can't know what it's like until you live it.

i have observed the process - the transformation from desire to fulfillment - in the lives of many friends, throughout the past few years. yet, each time, i assumed my own experience would somehow pan out in a more balanced manner.

silly me. balanced? if there's one word i'd choose to describe myself, it certainly wouldn't be that one! still, my personal aspirations tend to dictate my view of myself, as i am continually desiring to improve upon my present state of being. hence, unable to anticipate my own reactions, i laid claim to a calm, cool, and collected matter of opinion.

now the tables have turned. it is my draw on the deck of life and instead of playing with convincing poker face, i am resigned surrender to the power of the trump! and, frankly, it's a defeat well worth admitting.

when my best friend fell in love with her now husband, she would cry to the mellow tune of Daniel Bedingfield's "If You're Not the One."

when my dearest dancer friend found her match, she cried whenever she couldn't arrange to see her love, by the hour, adjusting any and all schedule conflicts to ensure time by his side, even if it meant watching him while he worked.

when my sister fixed her gaze, she lost interest in our sister time and chose to prioritize according to the new soul mate in her life.

each and every time, i recognized their need for such commitment, but couldn't quite grasp the depth of devotion, though i desired to share in the knowledge for myself. it simply wasn't clear, because it wasn't translated into my own experience yet.

yet now? well, just look at me!

i cry at EVERY song that connects our lives. i will do ANYTHING to spend time in his presence. i will sacrifice ALL relational circumstances to allow him the priority of my time and energy.


because i love him more than my own life.

because he's EXACTLY the one that i've waited my whole life to love.

because he opens and unlocks a part of me that never existed before.

i am crazy in love and a sucker for his time, weakened by the mere thought of his presence in my space. the longing for him in my life is a craving, unquenchable, and i realize that since i have experienced this type of love, through my relationship with him, i am now ruined for this world, in relation to knowing otherwise. i will NEVER be able to return to a mindset that doesn't require him for EVERY major and minor part of my life. he is my home, my safety, my joy, my delight! i am his. he is mine. and for every tear cried by the eyes of my friends for the love of their mates, i have cried thousands.

even tonight, after a perfect day together, i was aching for more that wasn't to be had. and i recalled, once again, that old statement G-d made to Eve in Genesis 3. After the fall of man into sin, He says to her: "your desire shall be for your husband." and from that moment on, our makeup changed, as women. we would now live for that connection. and once it's found, their is no way to erase our awareness of its presence. we are altered. we depend on their place in our space, for our very lives.

so, friends, were right. i had NO IDEA.

ah, but a fool i am for that man.

i am undone.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Goya on the Roof...

it wasn't quite the blind leading the blind.

in fact: i think things went rather well...better than i could have hoped for.

i am in the midst of making many changes - as is evident in other bits that that have been recently written. these changes have called on my ability to acclimate to new circumstances and take on new roles to which i have not previously been accustomed. though seemingly familiar, their "real time" experience can often leave me feeling inadequate.

last night could have been one of those experiences, but by the grace of G-d, it all worked out according to design, according to "order," a Jewish "seder" to be exact.

so here i was, in my in-laws-to-be's home, hosting a Passover Seder, leading the family in the traditional blessing and customs of what we lovingly refer to as "our people," though none of us have proper documentation to prove such a fact. it couldn't have gotten less traditional:

a goya (non-Jewish, FEMALE) leading a group of Puerto Rican Believers through a passover seder, that included recognition of the Feast's fulfillment through Yeshua HaMashiach. We were joined, not by Elijah, but by a cousin, half-way through our evening. We had to imagine the shankbone, because i neglected to collect something similar in my preparations for the meal...the list probably could go on.

yet, in the end: I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! everyone, including myself, learned something new. we told and recounted the faithfulness of God to not only deliver His People from the bondage of Egypt, but to deliver US from the bondage of sin. we laughed and exchanged stories and anecdotes. and, we did all in a spirit of celebration. meaning: we captured the purpose of the night. we reminisced as FREE MEN, because that's what we are.

i was able to overcome my fear to lead in that which i've only formerly participated and i was even able to answer random questions as they arose. i love teaching and this was, thankfully, one more wonderful opportunity to operate in that capacity for which i was designed.

Baruch HaShem!

HaShanah Ha'Ba'ah B'Yerushalayim!

Thursday, April 17, 2008 living everyday...

it is not that perfection is the goal. no matter how much i may expect from myself, i am well aware that i will never attain such an aim, by my own efforts. it is only BY HIS GRACE that i may hope to know this reality in eternity to come...

since i cannot justify perfection in myself, i certainly cannot expect it of others. no one can be held to an impossible standard. it is only BY HIS GRACE that all around - whom i cherish - may hope to know this reality in eternity to come...

as we live and breathe, we move and bump into others who do likewise. and through our exchanges, we grow in character, in knowledge of the world around us, and in perspective of THE ONE TO WHOM WE CLING. and the closer the relationship, the finer the friction -- within each additional step toward intimacy lies greater propensity to find oneself "undone," exposing our desperate need for HIS GRACE.

i have found my match, in every respect. in light of his identity, i am complete and find freedom to be myself. he siphons, from me, the choicest morsels of my soul, that the world may see their display. yet he also stimulates the surfacing of my weakness, revealing the want of perfection. i have become increasingly disgusted with myself, in recent days, as repeated awareness of character filth has rendered me nauseous. yet...if i add together the mathematics of imperfection and the need for grace - a gift well-discovered through intentional relationship - i begin to see what a privilege it is to recognize these weaknesses by means of this companionship. after all, that is precisely what it is REALLY about: the ultimate picture of LOVE's power to overcome and bring about redemption...

Patient Lover of my soul, thank YOU for providing an earthly lover with capacity to show me your TRUE LOVE. Thank you for the gift of his presence in my life, ever challenging me to BECOME, even as YOU have destined. Thank you for his strength of character - reflecting YOUR own - that allows me to work through my weakness, amidst an unconditional calm, while pointing the way to YOU! I accept YOUR GRACE through his love.

and my cup overflows...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

to and fro


the shift from one thing to another. as certain motions of alteration occur in our lives, it is easy to feel their result - no matter their subtlety - as readily as the slight rock of a boat would affect the path of a marble on its deck.

there are some changes that tilt our lives more extremely and set us into a spiral that can oft times make us feel suddenly "out of control." these are not always negative process, but they are processes: elements in our life that require time and patience to play out.

i remember my freshman year of highschool, i found myself overwhelmed with emotion by the time i reached Christmas. frustrated at the fact that at 14 years of age, i could experience such intense emotional upheaval, i turned to my parents for advice. they pointed to a list of "life changes" that are rated by psychologists to help diagnose the weight of some people's life state. having begun a new school and lost a grandfather, in the course of just three months, i already racked up many points on the scale of weighted reality.

i am once again in a season of change. as a nomad, and one in a life-season that is often dictated by shifts, i have found myself in a consistent state of limbo for nearly 18 months. most days, this reality is well within my realm of control to handle. however, as many drastic changes have occurred over the past six months, my resistance to feelings of "overwhelm" have not been as high. i am crying more. not negatively...i am simply crying out the's how i work through is how i process those details about which there are no words to explain. many, if not most, are wonderful transitions, moments i have waited my entire life to experience. still, they require change, and as humans, our propensity for resiliency is simply limited.

returning to the scale to which my parents once directed me, i note that i have racked up a whopping 296 points on the LIFE CHANGE SCALE, in the past 6 months alone. according to psychological research, persons who total 200 points or more on the following scale within a 12-month period are more prone to physical and psychological stress-related illness than those who score less. To see where you stand, simply total the number of stress points you have accumulated in the last year. Note that both pleasant and unpleasant "life events" can cause stress. THAT is a pretty sobering reality. most of us live out our days desiring to be "okay" all of the time, and sometimes feeling inadequate if we're not as "up to par" as we expect ourselves to be. but the reality? our world is changing at a pace beyond any other time in history and our individual lives are VERY affected by the changes that occur on a nearly daily frequency. so, it's perfectly acceptable to have a teary moment or two. they keep us healthy and remind us that we can not do life alone...we NEED ONE ANOTHER DESPERATELY.

care to see how you score on the scale? if it's high, try letting yourself off the hook a bit and remember to lean on those around you. it's not weakness. it is the strength of awareness!

(Life Change Scale)

Death of spouse 100
Divorce 73
Marital separation 65
Jail term 63
Death of close family member 63
Personal injury or illness 53
Marriage 50
Fired at work 47
Marital reconciliation 45
Retirement 45
Change of health in family member 44
Pregnancy 40
Sex difficulties 39
Gain of new family member (birth, adoption, older adult moving in) 39
Business readjustment 39
Change in financial state (much worse or much better) 39
Death of close friend 37
Change to different line of work 36
Change in number of arguments with spouse (more or less) 35
Loan of over $10,000 31
Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
Change in responsibilities at work (promotion, demotion, transfer) 29
Child leaving home (marriage, attending college) 29
Trouble with in-laws 29
Outstanding personal achievement 28
Spouse begins or stops work 26
Begin or end of school 26
Change in living conditions (remodeling, deterioration of neighborhood) 25
Revision of habits (dress, manners, associations) 24
Trouble with boss 23
Change in work conditions 20
Change in residence 20
Change in schools 20
Change in church activities 19
Change in recreation 19
Change in social activities 18
Loan less than $10,000 17
Change in sleeping habits 16
Change in number of family get-togethers 15
Change in eating habits 15
Vacation 13
Christmas 12
Minor violations of the law (eg traffic ticket) 11

Monday, April 14, 2008

Finding the Balance

I haven't figured it all out yet.

Hey...who has?

Still, while the percentages are not fully calculated and the timing is being daily fine tuned, there is something I know about the order of things and the priority we must uphold, no matter the cost:





Tuesday, April 8, 2008

caverns of untapped treasure

i have never known love like this.

in you, i am finding the definition of the phrase "I Love You," as though it has never before had meaning.

you are love to me and to love you is life.

you unearth the deepest parts of me, sometimes with intention...other times, simply through breathing. for you are my counterpart, my other half, the one chosen - since the beginning of time - to COMPLETE me. completion speaks of perfection. thus, when i speak of you in such a manner, i acknowledge that you are PERFECT, the one to bring me to my greatest potential, to stir within me all that i was created to be, to accomplish.

i said to you, tonight that i was MADE to support you. as the words left my mouth, i realized their truth. i was made FOR that understanding lies my life purpose and be lived out ALONGSIDE you and WITH YOU, through each and every turn and step.

i have found him whom my soul loves...

Sunday, April 6, 2008


patient, kind, not envious, not boasting, not proud, not rude, not self-seeking.

not easily angered.

no record of wrong.

no delight in that which is evil.


all of these traits define LOVE in its purest, truest, INTENDED form, and though many of us encounter moments of understanding its reality, it is not until we feel LOVE in the fullest capacity that we are able to fully grasp just how high, how wide, how deep, how strong is this phenomenon that gives all of us breath.

i have found that i know love more in its giving away than in its reception.

i have found the one my heart longs for and in knowing him and serving him, in seeking his best interests, i am complete, i am satisfied, i am content. yet, if even ONE thing in his life falls into imbalance, my personal sense of contentedness becomes altered. and it is in these moments that i know i have truly found REAL LOVE, because it is in my focus on him that i find delight. and my joy comes in knowing that HIS NEEDS are met, HIS DESIRES are fulfilled, HIS DREAMS are realized.

a funny thing love...the greatest joy and the deepest pain, for it requires ALL OF US...

Like Rain On A Lake

There are times when I just sense that all's right with the world...

Not necessarily unique, these pockets of life often carry significance in my perspective and course. They provide time for contemplation - a breath in the unending cycle of life's oft "crazy" schedule.

Today, I found myself in the midst of one such oasis in time. And for a brief lapse, I stood on the border 'twixt eternity past and eternity present: aware of myself, aware of G-d and aware of the great things He's writ that are yet to unfold...

I paused to reflect His goodness -- how the order of His perfect time and intentional space directly relate to my destiny.

I was frozen - silent in the sounds of nature, carrying on just within reach, yet far beyond my grasp of control.

And in my contemplation, I knew...