the firm grip of anxiety

I feel smothered by anxiety lately.

An invisible python has coiled itself tightly around me, squeezing the life out of me, and I just stand there, paralyzed in fear.

Will it kill me?

Will I ever get out?

It’s snuffed out my confidence, my passion, my motivation.

Will I ever write with conviction again?

How does one write emphatically about a truth they haven’t embraced themselves?

I’ve noticed that lately, how I’m not sure of anything these days, a disconnect between the head and heart.

One can’t encourage unless they’ve been encouraged, inspire unless they’ve been inspired.

And I’m not.

I haven’t heard from God lately, and that bothers me. I find myself at a loss for words, my heart void of passion, and I don’t even know where to look for it.

I long to be connected, to move forward, to seek wisdom, to find confidence and speak boldly, but I’m stuck…

Self-doubt so heavy it’s exhausting. Standards so high they’re debilitating.

I know I just need to start somewhere, but where exactly would that be?

Dear Diary, Circa 1996

May 5, 1996

Dear Diary, 

It seemed like the perfect life…until now. It’s about to fall apart; hopefully not, however. Bad news.

Mom and dad will be separated as of tomorrow, Monday night. Dad is going to live in an apartment about 15 minutes away, for about two months. Maybe more, maybe less. This is to avoid divorce. Yes, you saw right, divorce.

They said that sometimes, grown-ups hurt each others feelings, but they don’t know it.

How? Don’t ask me.

They said it was complicated and no one really understood how it happens, or why, but it just does. It’s because of the differences in their personalities and how they view things, mom says. She also says she doesn’t expect me to understand, but I do. It’s like when dad doesn’t call her all day when he’s at work and doesn’t think it’s a big deal, but mom gets all mad.

Us kids don’t get enough credit for our ability to understand these days. If anything, I thing we understand the world more than anyone. We see it through the right eyes, the true, real ones. Personal opinion. If only our opinions stayed this way, as we grow, then the world wouldn’t be half as bad as it is now. When you’re kids, you think littering is bad, drugs are bad, smoking’s bad, polluting is bad; and when we grow up, those opinions disintegrate, and new ones are formed. All of a sudden, littering and smoking are okay. Freedom has something to do with this, too. 

I’m babbling, back to the subject.

The family doctor id the one who told mom and dad to separate. I hope he knows what he’s talking about. Well, I guess advice from anyone else but our stupid dentist is okay with me. Mom says we’ll still do family things, and dad will come to all our events and stuff, fix things around the house, take us places, etc., but just won’t be sleeping here. Like he’s out-of-town, but we can talk to him and call him. Divorce is the last thing they want to do; me, too.

It’s a pretty nice day out, about 60 degrees. The smell of freshly cut grass in the air, along with the cheeps and chirps of birds, is a great sign of spring. I hope the problem gets worked out okay, or the rest of the year will be wet, foggy, and stormy.



I was fifteen.

Twenty years have passed since then, but I can remember the events of that day as if it were yesterday.

I remember the solemn look on mom’s face as she gathered us in the family room.

I remember her nervously wringing her hands as we sat in a circle for a “family meeting,” the very sound of which was highly suspicious.

I remember, although they spoke to us as a united front, that there was a disconnect. A helplessness. A despair in the air.

I remember thinking that this couldn’t be happening to us. Everyone thought we were the perfect family.

But a lot can happen in twenty years.

Looking back, I can clearly see now that I processed life through writing. I’d tell myself not to stop, that you do some of your best thinking that way. Don’t get discouraged by life, by suffering, by circumstance, but instead set out your tools. Line them up and prep the ground. Excavate there. And as you dig through the dirt and the mess, let it propel you forward into your dreams and calling.

And I’d tell myself that it’s going to be okay.

…to be continued…

the distance between our souls


It feels like there’s an ocean between us

Even though you’re only a few feet away

Like the little, bright screen is way more interesting than I,

Or the kids, for that matter, could ever be

You’re too plugged in to talk

Too stuck in a habit to change

To look at me

To listen to me

Without calling you at least 5 times first

And I want to say something

To break the silence

It’s on the tip of my tongue


Suspended there

But I stop in fear.

I’m afraid that if I finally speak it aloud

If I call it for what it is

This autopilot existence

And we finally look at each other

And we finally really see

That there will be nothing left to talk about.


Appointments and Self-Loathing


We had dentist appointments today, the kids and I.

The last time we went, about 6 months ago, it was a wonderful experience. Instead of laughing and carrying on, they were pleasantly well-behaved, minus some joking, which came out of That Kid’s mouth. He seems unable to see the imaginary line that borders socially appropriate interaction and steps over it on a regular basis.

Before, instead of being a nuisance, the kids were loved on by office staff, who seemed to be milling about in greater abundance. The staff walked them trough the halls, assisted in choosing prizes, and even went as far as to paint the girl’s nails after their cleanings. Today, however, the kids were always underfoot and in the way. There was too many of us in too tight a space, and it didn’t help that the kids kept trying to throw balls and tip each others chairs over for sport.


And as I was decompressing this afternoon, attempting to shake away the stress from the morning, I realized one of the reasons that I hate appointments so much. They seem like a hassle and an inconvenience, because I either have to find someone to watch the kids in the middle of a workday, or I have to drag their ornery butts along with me. The latter is definitely worse.

But even more then that, and with the dentist in particular, I find that I often leave feeling like a failure.

My teeth were okay this time, minus the cavities I neglected to fill after the last appointment, and I even got a “teeth look good, mom!” I had six months to get those cavities filled, and I guess that wasn’t quite enough time. My daughter has ones that need filled, too.

And then there’s That Kid. His mouth is always the worst, which, sadly, is no surprise. It’s part of the whole persona he has going on. Pretty much every time, he needs a new cavity filled, and today, they mentioned baby root canals and temporary crowns. Like somehow we are made of money and have extra just lying around to shove in his mouth. For baby teeth.

Hours later, it’s not only my gums that are still throbbing from the aggressive flossing but my bruised ego, as well.

My siblings and I never had cavities growing up, and my son has had close to 10. His sister isn’t far behind. Inside my anxious mind, things like cavities can become a method by which I measure my effectiveness in motherhood.

Maybe I should’ve helped him brush more, I think.

Maybe I should’ve at least watched him each night.

Maybe I should’ve taken dental floss more seriously.

Maybe I should’ve demonstrated how to properly brush one’s teeth. Again.

Maybe I should’ve just done it myself (which sounds torturous, by the way).

Maybe then this appointment would’ve been better.

And I wouldn’t feel so crappy now.

Cavities are decay, and they will eventually bring death if left untreated. But death in the mouth is contained there, and it needn’t permeate the entirety of motherhood. It needn’t define it.

I’m going to try to remember that today, especially while I make the damn appointment to get those cavities filled.

Photo source:

Being the Parent of “That Kid”


You know the one. That kid the other kids in class go home and tell their parents about. That kid who subscribes to the “Every-other-day Plan” for office visits. That kid who’s accustomed to being on a sad color for behavior and struggles to make friends. The kid who single-handedly has the teacher counting down the days until the end of school.

Starting in December.

“That Kid.”

Well, he’s mine.

Being the parent of that kid is a sense of panic each time the phone rings during the school day.

Being the parent of that kid is a flood of relief when 2 o’clock finally arrives and you haven’t heard from the school office yet, because that means you probably won’t. Today.

Being the parent of that kid is introducing yourself cautiously at birthday parties, for fear that the knowledge that you’re his mom might provoke an awkward conversation like:

“You’re that kid’s mom? My kid talks about your kid all the time,” the other parent replies.

“Oh really?” you say with a big smile, hoping this may be a little BFF you somehow never heard about.

“Yeah,” they respond with a smile, only theirs is obviously forced, possibly to cover up the contempt that soon bubbles over. “She says that he bullies her. And everyone else in the class.”

“Oh…” You stammer with a slight wince. “I’m so sorry.”

There are no other words to excuse or explain that.

Being the parent of that kid means sitting by yourself, with that kid, at birthday parties.

Being the parent of that kid is refereeing black-belt anger issues and worrying about the fact that he’s getting bigger and stronger.

Being the parent of that kid means enduring a tantrum about doing homework that is longer then the actual time it would take to just sit down and complete said homework.

Being the parent of that kid is rough days at school and even rougher nights at home, where he finally feels safe enough to let out all the anger he caged up during the day.

Being the parent of that kid is having to figure out how to somehow teach the social skills that every other child seems to have come naturally pre-programmed with.

Being the parent of that kid is understanding how people get to the point of physically harming their children and having to restrain yourself from doing the same.

Being the parent of that kid is wondering what you did wrong with him when all your other children are kind, respectful, and get along with others, for the most part. That somehow it must be your fault.

Being the parent of that kid is that everything is your fault in his eyes.

Being the parent of that kid is choosing to make due with a sparse pantry for days instead of risking a trip to the store with that kid, who is certain to be more ornery than the toddler.

Being the parent of that kid is being neck-deep in lies, manipulation, and stealing, and living with the heartbreak that you can never give him the benefit of the doubt. Not anymore.

Being the parent of that kid is making him confess to the store manager.

Being the parent of that kid is patting him down before he leaves for school because he feels the rules don’t apply to him.

Being the parent of that kid is loud public tantrums, complete with screaming, stomping, accusations and other charades, well beyond the terrible 2’s.

Being the parent of that kid is knowing that everyone watching is judging your “pathetic parenting skills” or gathering fodder for their petition for a government-enforced, selective procreation plan for the betterment of mankind, for which you would certainly NOT qualify.

Being the parent of that kid means attending many behavior-planning meetings at school and always bringing tissues.

Being the parent of that kid is having the phrases “keep your hands to yourself” and “use your words” on Repeat All.

Being the parent of that kid is an underlying feeling of helplessness and discouragement, knowing that at the end of the day you can only do so much, and it ultimately boils down to the choices they make.

Being the parent of that kid is wiping away his siblings’ tears when they ask why he’s so mean to them and wiping away his tears when he says he doesn’t know.

Being the parent of that kid is relief when he’s not home.

Being the parent of that kid is dreading the summer for the same reason that all the other moms seem to be looking forward to it: he will be home with you all the time.

Being the parent of that kid is getting kicked out of the local library, park, and Sunday School class at church.

Being the parent of that kid is a lack of willing babysitters, family dinners out at restaurants, and invitations to friend’s houses. Because of him.

Being the parent of that kid is wanting to shout to everyone who would listen that you worked as a social worker, for crying out loud (I know, I know…I used to roll my eyes at parents like me when I worked in the field), that you love God and go to church, that you are doing everything you can think of to help this child. But you refrain. Because, perhaps, that would make you look even more desperate then you already are.

Being the parent of that kid is having every worst-case-behavioral-scenario planned out in your head before stopping by the local summer festival, and instead of it being crazy over-thinking, one of them materializes before your very eyes.

Being the parent of that kid is learning the hard way that it’s just easier to stay home.

Being the parent of that kid is knowing that next year’s teacher has already heard all about him and that he’s screwed before he even walks in the door.

Being the parent of that kid is living a Catch 22–you feel terrible that you’re frustrated with him most of the time, but most of the time he gives you good reason to be.

Being the parent of that kid is an unwavering hope that one day he’ll “get it” and mature, coupled with a feeling of despair when you realize, once again, today is not that day.

Being the parent of that kid is the fear he may grow up to be a delinquent and the realization that your behavior in light of those fears may become the self-fufilling prophecy that puts him there.

Being the parent of that kid is your broken heart wandering around in this tough world, because you can see in his eyes how hard it is to be him. How lonely, how discouraged, how crummy he must feel inside.

Being the parent of that kid is loving him no matter what and never giving up.

I was inspired to write this post after I read one about Being Poor, because it was an eye-opening look into the life of another–into their hardships, thoughts, and worries. It was a rare gift of perspective, as I hope this was.

Things I Say vs. Things I Mean #2

What I said:

Me to my Husband on Memorial Day: I think the kids would really like it if we had a fondue party for dinner tonight.

Husband: No.

Me: Why not??

Husband: Well, I guess that’s fine as long as the fondue set is washed and put away tonight and not sitting on the counter forever.

Me: Okay, no problem.

What I meant:

The pot will most certainly still be sitting on the counter over a week from now, and I love you for going along with the whole fondue thing even though you know my track record for getting around to the “extra” dishes that don’t fit in the dishwasher…



For most of my life I’ve loathed talking on the phone, and I have a special hatred for any type of phone call that involves making an appointment. I don’t know why—the only explanation I can offer is it must be some sort of introvert thing.

I can type all day long from behind a computer screen. In fact, if I could type everything in life, I would, because my handwriting borders illegible chicken scratch at times. And, it’s so much faster.

I don’t mind texting either, because I don’t have to talk to you. I can get back to you when it’s convenient and keep my answers short and to the point, and I can edit if need be. And also: emojis. Who doesn’t love those.

But conversing on the phone…

I remember standing by the kitchen counter in the house where I grew up, and I was probably about 13 at the time. Fingers drumming on the light blue checkered countertop, foot propped on a stool, agonizing about a phone call. My mother had informed me, as she stood there chopping cucumbers on the other side of the counter, that I was old enough to schedule my own appointments, and she wanted me to call the dentist. All by myself.

I’m not sure how long it took me, but I remember just staring at that phone, like it might come to life and stab me were I to pick it up. I kept thinking if I waited long enough, my mother would relent and do it herself. But no, she was black-belt stubborn and more then willing to wait me out. I think she rather enjoyed it, actually. The anxiety I felt in the pit of my stomach that day over the mere thought of the phone call, well, that has never fully gone away.

I always have a mental stack of appointments waiting for me to pick up the phone. It’s a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of relationship we have, where every once in a while I will taste the victory of physically dialing and getting one of them out of the way, but there’s a handful more that need addressed.

My daughter and I both have cavities that need filled and eye doctor appointments that need scheduled. Glasses need ordered and I need to fit in a well-check from April. I also have a tooth in the back of my mouth that needs a crown. It has for years. But I had another crown done, and it was one of the most traumatic dental experiences of my life, so I’ve avoided not only the phone call but the procedure itself like a McDonald’s Playland during flu season.

There’s nothing quite like looking at yourself in the mirror, after enduring what seemed like ceaseless drilling, to see all that’s left of your front tooth is a little bloody stump. Talk about self-image issues. Now, that said, I know the dead tooth in the back of my mouth can crack in half at any time and I may very much regret not making that dreaded phone call…

Kind of like the vasectomy appointment I was supposed to make for my husband, you know, anytime over the last two and a half years. I had the number from my OB, then we moved and I lost the number. I’ve been meaning to call and get the number for over a year, and now… Well, now it’s too late.

Because I found out a couple days ago that I’m pregnant. To say it was a shock is an understatement. We’ve been careful, although with anything short of a permanent solution, I know there’s always a chance.

I could just kick myself for not making that phone call, but I guess I have at least another nine months to get the appointment in now.

What bothers me the most, though, is the sad reality this baby was unwanted.

We were done.

I gave away my maternity clothes. I gave the baby clothes with baseballs and “I’m Handsome” embroidery to my sister and the baby clothes with flowers, frills and lace to a friend at church. We garage-saled our high chair and strollers, passed on our baby swing and toys and knick-knacks. I changed a diaper in the nursery at church this weekend and thought, thank God we are past that stage…

I started exercising this year, for the first time in a decade, doing my best to curb the “get pregnant – get huge – have the baby – breastfeed and loose the weight – stop breastfeeding but still eat like you are – get chubby – get pregnant again to hide the fact that you’re getting chubby – repeat,” cycle. And although I sufficiently curbed the “get chubby” part this time, I still managed to get myself pregnant again.

The sex was worth it. Oh my, was it worth it. It was some of the best in a long time, and I certainly wanted it. But I didn’t want the next nine months, although, clearly, I was not thinking about that at the time.

I find myself now, however, ashamed of how I feel. Because even though a fantastic act of love brought this baby into existence, its presence feels like a burden. And I feel immense guilt for that. The two minutes spent waiting for pregnancy test results when the baby is unwanted feels like an agonizing two years. And then, instead of joy, the aftermath is panic.

And I’m afraid. That’s the crux of the matter—I’m afraid and doing a terrible job of trusting God right now. I’m afraid that my bladder is going to fall out because I already pee my pants a little when I try to run. Jumping jacks and burpees are fine, but running… And that in and of itself makes me so sad, because I used to love to run. I used to be able to run.

I’ve been doing Kegels like a mad woman recently, but I’m afraid it’s not going to be enough and I’m going to have to be all propped up in there and wear Depends like an 80 year old woman by the time I’m 40. The thought of it terrifies me.

I’m afraid that while I’m mad at that little baby in there for “messing up” the rest of my year and turning my world upside down, for making me sick and huge and tired, that it will die, and I will have been mad for the short while it was with me. That I will spend the rest of my life regretting that.

I’m afraid of the pain, not only having to endure the pain of childbirth, again, but the pain of the unknown. The pain of your heart being multiplied again, of it being so small and vulnerable. The pain of possibly not developing correctly, the pain of complications, the pain of being ripped open and sewn back up, the pain of recovery, and the pain of sacrifice—sleep, sanity, and my very life. The pain of another life-long labor of love that is motherhood.

I’m afraid of losing my mind. Full-blown straight jacket crazy. I already feel like I’m going to lose it now, with four kids, and we are adding another one. I said that to my husband the other night as we sat on the couch, our kids running circles around the house and screaming as they darted past us with pieces of the train track in hand, probably about to chuck them at each other. He just pursed his lips and nodded slowly, methodically, and then he finally said, “well, if you do, we can’t afford to put you anywhere nice…”

So the county psych ward it is. Lock me up and call me Clementine.

Anne Lamott says, “when a child comes out of your body, it arrives with about a fifth of your brain clutched in its little hand, like those babies born clutching IUDs.” So basically, seeing as how this is baby number 5, I’m officially screwed. There will be nothing left. If you should need anything from me that requires my mental faculties being intact, ask quick. Your time is limited.

Then there’s the family reactions. The fact that most of them thought four was plenty… The comments that will surely come, like “haven’t you guys figured out how this works yet?” Well, yes, we have. Quite well, as a matter of fact, and that’s part of the problem. I can’t keep him off of me. That’s what I’m going to start saying to people, anyhow. Maybe that will shut them up.

What it comes down to is I want to find the joy in all this, because I really don’t have a choice anymore. I’m officially stuck, like it or not, so I might as well like it. Right?

I have a friend who is on the “however many children you want to give us is fine, God” birth control plan (i.e. no birth control). Six kids later I believe they are beginning to rethink this stance, but she’s always said to me, whenever they found out they were expecting, again, that “God chose to give us another gift, so what can we really say but thank you?”

I want to feel that way, and I know I will once I gaze upon that tiny little babe face-to-face. I know I will think it was all worth it, like I always have, but I don’t want to take nine months to get there. Because right now I just feel sad and scared. I feel overwhelmed and I want to cry all the time.

And nobody knows, so I feel alone. Alone and unprepared. Maybe that’s why I’m telling you.

Things I Say vs. Things I Mean


What I said to my husband: “I’ll work on getting the house picked up for tomorrow [because your mother is coming over.]”

What I meant (judging by how I spent the afternoon): I’m going to sit on the couch and eat pizza and catch up on the latest episode of Chicago P.D., while I glare at the pile of laundry across the room and yell at the kids upstairs to lay back down and take a nap.

Do you think he’ll notice the difference come 5pm?


The Art of Not Making Disciples

I had the privilege of leading two ladies to Christ this past weekend.

But Father, I have sinned.

It’s been 10 years since I last led someone to a saving relationship with Christ.

10 years.

It was on a Friday night, which my friends and I planned to enjoy from our barstools. The room was dimly lit and the music blaring, probably something to the tune of Gold Digger (God I loved that song), and we huddled close, drinks in hand. I listened as drama from past relationships began to spill out all over the black countertop right along with the peanut shells.

I listened as they spoke of their first intimate encounter with someone they thought they loved, how it just happened, and how it hurt. That the guy didn’t end up being who they thought he was—in fact, he was a total jerk who just wanted their virginity—and how they moved onto another guy they thought they loved. How it didn’t really matter to them that they’d had sex with half a dozen people to date.

I had been praying for an opportunity. A chance to speak some truth into their broken hearts, to remind them that they are loved and worth so much more than the choices they’ve made. And so I sat with them. I drank with them. I listened to their pain.

Pain was sitting there with us that night, and they were talking to it, too. They were trying to convince it that it didn’t really matter to them, those intimate encounters gone awry. That pain had no place here in their lives, for they’ve moved onto another, and this one, for sure, must be the one. And they were happy. Couldn’t pain see that they were happy? But pain doesn’t take no for an answer, and I could see it in their eyes.

And so I called out the fourth party at the table by saying something like, “You both say it doesn’t matter, these past relationships, these past intimate experiences. But that can’t be true. You can’t sit here and tell me that you haven’t been deeply affected by all those broken relationships, all that broken trust. You can’t tell me that it doesn’t hurt.”

Their eyes began to well with tears and pain could no longer hide among us. It began to creep out and run down their faces.

Just as pain was ousted, Jesus had an in. There was room now. For Jesus can speak truth even in a dank bar over mixed drinks and beer, and I took advantage of that opportunity, unconventional as it were. I pulled out my Bible and told them of a better way. Of a God who loved them and cared about their pain, who saw their broken hearts and desired to make them whole.

And we sat there and read the Bible, verse by life-giving verse, until something of truth resonated with their inmost being. Until the light in their dark souls began to flicker a little with a glimmer of hope. And I asked if they wanted to ask Jesus to save them.

One did, and we prayed right there next to the spilled peanuts, hand in hand. The other didn’t, for her pain was still too great, and she couldn’t see past it. She was stuck in the muck of loss couldn’t yet reach out for hope. But maybe someday.

Fast forward ten years, through a new marriage with struggles, the birth of multiple children, the subsequent loss of my sanity as a result of said children, and the business of life, and here I find myself, not a disciple in sight for quite some time.

Matthew 28:17-20 (NIV)

17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This is supposed to be our mode of operation. Making disciples. That’s our jam.

But 10 years….

The past Sunday, however, was different. I was perched on a pew in the lobby at the back of the sanctuary, listening to the sermon from afar. Seating in the lobby is typically reserved for parents with toddlers, nursing mothers, hall monitors, or the homeless who wander in from the streets and don’t want to get too close. Or maybe it’s because they haven’t had a good shower in a year.

As lax as my personal hygiene is at times, I don’t fall into any of those categories, but I sit there a lot of the time anyways.

Mostly because I’m always late.

But also partly because I like to people watch, greet latecomers like myself (solidarity, you know), and keep an eye on things. And so there I sit this past Sunday, when a mother and daughter pair wander in at the tail end of service, right before communion. They sit down right beside me on the outsider’s pew. A hush falls over the crowd as the pastor sums up his message and prays for the congregation.

We’re dismissed for communion, but I stay seated, as it will take a while for the entire body in front of me to file in line. The mother next to me blurts out, not at all in a church whisper, “can anyone take communion?”

“Absolutely!” I reply. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a member or another denomination or anything—that’s not important—the only thing that matters is that you have a personal relationship with Jesus. If you do, you’re free to take communion.”

“Oh, okay. Thanks.” She stammers. And then silence.

I risk the awkwardness and blurt out myself, “Have you guys ever prayed a prayer asking Jesus to come into your heart and life?”

“Well,” the woman offers, shifting around on the pew a little, “we’ve been to this church before and would like to keep coming….”

“That’s great!” I respond, leaning in a little closer, “and we’re so glad you came, but that’s not the same thing.”

I proceed to explain the problem of sin and why a relationship with Christ is so important. How either we need to pay for the wrong we’ve done, or we allow Jesus to do that, and it can all be done with a simple prayer if they were willing. They were, and we held hands and bowed our heads right then and there.

The communion procession continued behind us, although I’d forgotten all about it at that point. Because Jesus promises that whenever two or three are gathered in His name that He’s there in the midst, and that was much more enthralling than the processional.

We finally straightened up, wiping away the tears, and were the last ones to walk down the isle that day. But I’ve never walked that narrow stretch of navy carpet more proud and grateful that God would use a slacker like me to further His Kingdom.

The same thing I learned that night at the bar was reaffirmed in that holy moment on the wooden pew: I just need to be willing to look past myself to see Him at work.

Too often I’m pissed off at my children and dwelling on the crappy morning we had (Sunday mornings are by far the most stressful of any morning) or embarrassed by the fact that we were late, again. Or I’ve gone through three outfit changes and still wonder if I look appropriate or what people will think of me based on my clothing choice.

But it’s hard to see, let alone love, anyone else if all I focus on is my own problems and neuroses. I need to be willing to get over myself and how I look and what I think and simply turn my attention to another. For a moment.

I need to ask the right questions. And then I need to listen. Listen as pain provides an opportunity for Him to enter in. And He promises to do the rest, even when we are full of doubt and ten years out of practice.