cat's pajamas

Super Grr...

I get in these horrible self-loathing, girly cycles and I cannot seem to get out of them. I feel like I've been a hah-yuge downer on my husband over the last few days and cannot figure out what's wrong. And when I screw up like that, I make distance, 'cause I frankly feel too crazy and he should just NOT need to put up with my girly-ness.

I find myself apologizing profusely, to which he responds something like, "It's ok, all's forgiven", or "Well, we take the good with the bad". Which makes me SUPER mad because what I really want him to say is, "It's ok, you didn't do as much wrong as you think, you're not as crazy as you think." And that is SO girly that I get mad at myself for getting mad at him for being... forgiving of me...?!

Did you ever see "What the Bleep Do We Know"? It's a very interesting movie about quantum physics and human existence and power and all sorts of deep things. It talks a little big about being "addicted" to emotions, and that when we experience bad emotions long-term our bodies actually start to crave the neurotransmitters associated with them, leading to a cycle of misery.

Even though I know the right thing to do is pray to God right now to take this off of me, I'm a little addicted to this. I'm perfectly happy being miserable. That is, until I'm not.

Ugh! Men, how do you put up with women? Women, how do you not feel like a crazy mess, or how do you get God to help when you do?

This seems fitting right now...

Free to Be Me, Francesca Battistelli
(The actual song starts about 1 minute in)

How do I feel free to be me?
cat's pajamas

Money again

I hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day.

Last week, I was completely freaking out about money. More so than usual. I really thought that my inner feeling meant that something big was happening, that if me and my husband Scott didn't do something fast, that something bad would happen.

Then last week, I got a raise. This was completely out of the blue. I've been working there for over a year, but it's a little private practice psychology office, and I knew they appreciated me, but it was still unexpected and flattering. Then I got my student loan refund check (I'm still in graduate school heading for my Ph.D. in psychology). THEN, my husband FINALLY got a full time job yesterday through someone we know at church. He'd been out of full-time work since July.

::sigh:: God really challenges me. When I got all those bad feelings, I wish I'd prayed for more discernment. I think it was more like my human anxiety, or even Satan leading me into doubt.

Sanctus Real, Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)
cat's pajamas

How I knew to Marry My Husband

One day at church, Pastor was giving a sermon that was meant to hit my (soon-to-be) husband more than me. I can't even remember what it was about. I can't explain it, but while sitting there holding his hand, felt what he felt. It wasn't that what was being said affected me; it was that I knew that I was feeling what Scott was feeling. That's how I knew this was the guy I was meant to marry. Something between us was more special and more powerful than anything we could be on our own..

Ok, I"m not longer the only one in this community, which is God's blessing :-) I'm gonna need some introductions. Who are you? What's the hardest thing about being a Christian in your world? What things have you experienced that tell you that God and Jesus are real?

Give Me Your Eyes, by Brandon Heath

miracles and such

I've had a lot of things happen in my life that I can't explain by natural causes. Sure, I guess coincidence could cover them, but there seems to be an awful lot of them. And yet, despite all this proof I've had that God exists and that Jesus is furiously chasing me down to show me how much He loves me, I still doubt. Go figure.

I had been really religious in high school, and then went through a rebellious faze when I turned against the church completely. After a series of epic mess-ups, ultimate sin, and self-loathing, I realized I had no where to turn except back to Him. When I met my soon-to-be husband, he further encouraged me down the path and helped me find prayer and read the Bible.

One evening, I found myself praying. One of my biggest struggles then (and still now, to some extent) is just remembering God throughout the day. I think about Him a little in the morning, and a bit before meals, but the rest of the day I run a one-man-show, which is just not the way to go. So as I sat down to pray this particular evening, I realized how little God had to do with my day. For the first time, I prayed, "God, I'm so sorry. I'm so weak."

I can't really clearly explained what happened next. My eyes had been closed, and suddenly I felt a tremendous heat on my face, which seriously contrasted how cold my hands were. I felt some flickering like flames on my cheek, but it didn't hurt. I heard things in a different way, almost like I was hypersensitive to sounds and experiences around me. I was terrified. I tried to keep my eyes closed and trust that God had me, but the sensations were so much bigger than me. I heard a large thud outside of me, and it jolted my eyes open. All the sensations went away. I immediately began, just, weeping. I think I knew that was the Holy Spirit welcoming me home.

At the time, I was living in a dorm at school for graduate school at the Illinois Institute of Technology. I love this school in part because I got to meet people from all over the world. Soon after this experience, I met a bunch of students from Korea. They were so sweet and anxious to practice their English with me, so I talked with them often. One guy spoke to me often, and one day in my room the topic of religion came up. I don't even remember the context. But he suddenly said, in his broken English, something to the effect of, "God talked to me. I feel him. Flames on my face."


This guy from the other side of the world had the same experience that I did. I was awestruck.

I leave you with a little from Steven Curtis Chapman. He has inspired me so much this year. He has several teenage biological children, and he and his wife adopted several little girls from China over the last few years. Tragically, his teenage son accidentally hit his 5-year-old adopted daughter with the family car, and she passed away. I can't imagine a worse tragedy for a family to go through, but he has continued on and praises God with his music. This song inspires me so much. I urge you to listen to it all the way through. I mean man, if he can get through this with the help of God, I know He can help me through my little trials.

Steven Curtis Chapman, Yours

i h8 money

I have been LAME. I'm no good at remembering to post.

I really want to, and then I think I get overwhelmed and decide I don't know what to write anyway.

Well, things on my end have been pretty good. My new/old challenge lately has been trying NOT to freak out. I am a natural worrier, and a chronic overachiever. The result? Subclinical anxiety.

A whiles back, I saw a sign outside a church that said, "You can't worry and worship God at the same time." I thought that was about the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I cognitively know that worrying is stupid. I know that God's taking care of me. I know I'm worth more than many sparrows. I just don't always feel it yet.

Money has been super tight. I'm in grad school, and my husband is only working part-time right now. The economy blows, bills are high, and we spend more than we earn. So that gives me ample opportunity for freak out.

Scott and I haven't had medical insurance since he quit his job last July. This came up in a casual conversation with my boss recently (I work in a psychologists' office doing neuropsychological testing on kids). My bosses, Jeff and Sharon, are wonderful. They gave me so much great support during my internship drama, and they've become great mentors. Well upon hearing about my insurance-less status, Jeff offered to loan me over a grand so I can get my husband on my school insurance plan.

By the time we worked it out, I had to register him online on the day I got the check from him. This means I had to go to a Chase bank, cash it, drive to a WaMu, deposit the cash (so it would be immediately available), and get home quick and register. I wound up leaving work late and freaking out that I wouldn't make it to the bank on time.

And suddently, I don't know why, I chose not to worry. One mantra I've been trying to instill in myself is this: essentially, worrying is thinking, "Oh mah gosh something bad might happen." Instead, I try to think, "Oh mah gosh... something bad might not happen. In fact, things might work out fine." So I tried that, and decided to see what God would do with the situation, and that's when I get more amazed. I narrowly avoided an accident (the guy in front of me rear-ended the woman in front of him, and I stopped short enough to avoid it), lights changed like magic, traffic seemed to clear up, and I swear, I got to WaMu 4 minutes before it closed.

God Is Good All The Time.

Casting Crowns, East to West

A Mother-In-Law Miracle

I completely lucked out in the mother-in-law department.

My husband (Scott)'s mother, Dawn, is the sweetest lady. She's got a heart the size of Texas, and she's informally known to me as my "This Time Zone Ma" (as my mom's in NY). She will do anything for you (even to a fault),, never complains, and always smiles.

A few years ago, Scott and I found and joined Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, IL. We completely fell in love with. I started singing in a Praise Choir, and invited Dawn to sing with me. She really enjoyed singing the songs, and especially fell in love with the song, "Love the Lord Your God". She hadn't had a church to go to in a long while, so Scott and I encouraged her to take the new member classes and give it a shot.

She called me one day all frantic. She said that she had been praying the previous night about whether Trinity was really the right fit for her to worship. The next morning, she got into her car and turned on the radio. To her surprise, it was playing "Love the Lord Your God". The station had somehow changed to K-LOVE, which was odd because she never, never changed it from the local rock station.

God is good all the time.

Lincoln Brewster, Love the Lord


Hi. I'm Carolyn.

I've never made a community before. I 'd been looking for a good, active Christian community and couldn't find one that struck my fancy. The idea of this one just hit me this morning, and I figured it must be God working through me, so here I am.

I guess a formal introduction is in order. I'm a 26-year-old, married eternal graduate student. I'm originally from New York (Long Island, to be exact) and now am outside Chicago finishing up graduate school in psychology. When I grow up, if that ever happens, I want to be a child neuropsychologist. I want to do testing to evaluate for learning disorders. I especially want to help kids on Medicaid and those with no insurance, because they have a crazy impossible time getting the evaluations they need.

I won't lie, I had a tough 2008. I was challenged to the limit, and I've somehow made it through. I'm realizing that God's plan for me is wa-aa-aay better than the one I ever had for myself. When things have not gone my way, I've had a really difficult time remembering that. I'm only recently finding my way back to a thankful heart.

I hope to leave little tid bits here and there, along with some of my favorite music out now. I just got into contemporary Christian music like a year ago. I've found God working through those songs a lot, like when songs strategically get caught in my head at the most opportune times.

I hope you find this a good place to share your stories, get support, and find inspiration when it's needed most. I leave you with one of my favorite songs recently. It's a good sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-after-a-crappy-day song.

God bless you always. For real.

Natalie Grant, I Will Not Be Moved