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This too shall pass…it may pass like a kidney stone…but it will pass

Published April 23, 2017 by Malia

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks

“I don’t think you can take anymore bad news.” the boy informed me when he got home on Thursday night.

“You’re probably right, but you can’t say something like that and not tell me what happened.”

Turned out that he’d blown a tire that afternoon.  As I sat there, taking in the latest bit of bad news in our life, there was this little voice in the back of my head that muttered something about, “One day you’ll look back on this and laugh.”  However, laughter wasn’t exactly forthcoming in that moment.  Instead, I sat there doing math and trying not to cry.

We’d barely been scraping by this month, but I knew that with the paychecks being deposited on Friday, we’d finally be able to pay the mortgage, and have just a little left over to finally be ahead instead of facing the red.  Now, that little was going to cover replacing tires.

Now, before I continue, I feel I should make an interjection here.  I realize that over that over the last several months, the few times I have blogged, it’s been stressed, depressed writing.  I’ve just been stuck.  Completely overwhelmed and terrified of what bad news each day is going to bring.  The thing is, I know that the more I focus on feeling crapped on, the more crapped on I’m going to feel.  So, I’m making a point to try to not focus on the bad, and I’m going to try to find the good and the funny/absurd.

And back to the story…

Thankfully, we did have just enough to cover the mortgage and the tires.  However, I am trying very hard not to freak out right now, because I have zero idea of how we’re going to pay our electric bill that’s also due this week.  I dream of a day when we can pay all of our bills on time every month.  I know that we’re nearing that day, because we’ve already made great progress since the end of last year when we couldn’t pay anything.  So, that’s a happy thought.

And despite the stress, and the fear, we’re okay.  The boy and I are together, holding on tight to each other and to Jesus.

And if we do end up living down by the river, at least we’ve got a van.

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This Is The Stuff News Reports Are Made Of

Published June 22, 2014 by Malia

So, last night (Friday) we had a bit of a gully washer here in Omaha.  I was at work, and as my shift progressed, I noticed the sky getting darker and darker until it was pitch black.  That’s about when the torrential downpour began.  By time time my shift had ended, the rain hadn’t let up, and the basement at my work had flooded.  I didn’t think much about this because it’s prone to flooding, as is our parking lot.  Before I left work, I checked the weather warnings, and all I found was that there was a flash flood warning for a county in Iowa.  Thinking I was safe, I decided to head home.

Now, have you ever seen those new videos where they show people, stranded in their cars, while the roads swell with flood waters?   I’ve always watched those videos kind of judgmentally.  I’m usually wondering what kind of idiot would go out in that weather in the first place.  Now I know, because it turns out I’m that kind of idiot.

Honestly, things weren’t going well from the minute I left work.  Like I said, the parking lot at work was flooded, but I’m so used to that I didn’t think anything of it.  However, when I got out on the road, I noticed that the water seemed to be a little higher than was comforting.  Plus, I kept having water go up the tailpipe and the van would fill with gas fumes.  Which, is apparently a not so good thing, and probably should have been a big sign to me that I was probably in trouble.

And at this point you’re thinking, “You did the smart thing, pulled over, and waited it out.  Right?”

Didn’t I mention before that I’m an idiot?

I did almost pull off at Village Inn near my work.  My thought was that I could just wait out the storm there, but then I began wondering what I would do if the storm didn’t let up anytime soon.  So, I pushed on for home.  Such a huge mistake.

Most of L Street was under some water.  There were actually multiple times that I found that the appearance of a road had completely disappeared.  When I saw cars stranded I went from worried to really scared.  I just began praying, “Jesus, just get me home.  Please just get me home.”  I didn’t make deal any deals with God, or anything like that.  I just asked to get home safely.  As soon as I could, I got off of L, and headed for Q Street, thinking that would be a better option.

Headed down hill on Q Street towards the intersection with 96th Street, I saw something I wasn’t at all prepared for.  The entire intersection was completely underwater.  Cars were stalled, and the rushing water was coming up to the hoods of large pickup trucks.  Fortunately, there was a parking lot on the hill that I could pull in to.  Sitting there, I felt trapped.  I knew I couldn’t go back to L Street, and clearly I couldn’t get through the intersection at the bottom of the hill.  It was late and dark and I was terrified and I was alone.  Because I’m a drama queen, I had a brief moment where my mind seriously darted to the thought of, “What if this is it?  What if I die here?”  I briefly considered contacting those people in my life that are most important and telling them how important they are to me, and how much I love and appreciate them.  Fortunately for them, no one received a phone call from a unnerved, terrified me, because as I sat there I decided to head back and try going a more roundabout way to get home, one that was likely to be less flooded.

Long, long story shorter, I did make it home.  It took me an hour, compared to the normal 15 minutes.  I did not make any embarrassing phone calls, or send any embarrassing texts.  Not that telling people you love them is embarrassing.  However I do believe you shouldn’t have to be wondering if you’re going to die in order to be prompted to let people know you truly care about them.

Also, I’m thankful that my stupidity didn’t actually end up on the news.

Let’s All Sing The Doom Song!

Published May 17, 2014 by Malia

So, last Sunday was Mother’s Day.  As I get older, I find the day is a cornucopia of mixed emotions for me.  On the one hand, I’ve been very blessed to have some incredible ladies in my life.  Mom, aunts, grandmas, friends.  These ladies deserve to be honored and celebrated.

On the other hand, I want to be a mom, and the older I get, the more I understand the sadness childless women feel on Mother’s Day.    Until I was twenty-two, I firmly did not want kids.  Absolutely not.  Kids terrified me, and I didn’t think I’d stand a chance of being a good mom.  However, something started changing in my heart, and the next four years I found myself in the mode of, “I do want kids, maybe not this instant, but I’m thinking I’d like to be a mom.”  Then, my brain moved to the point of, “We live in a psycho world, it’s an absolutely insane idea to want to bring children into this world, but I don’t care.  I want to be a mama.”  It’s true.  I don’t have the vaguest idea of how to be a mom, but women have been moms since the beginning of time; so there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be the worst mother ever.  And yes, I know you don’t have to actually go through pregnancy and labor to have kids and be a mom, but I find myself praying that one of these days I’ll get to go through that experience as well.

And, while I usually pep talk myself that should a miracle happen and God gives me a little rugrat, there are some days, like today, where I worry I’ll emotionally scar the future rugrat for life.

I’m an internalizer.  When something upsets me, I lock it inside, and let it fester.  It’s a totally “healthy” way to deal with things.  Unfortunately, when things fester, they tend to eventually explode.  Like I did.  Tonight.  The situation isn’t really that important.  Yes, something needed to be done.  Yes, I was just as good a candidate to deal with it as anyone.  However, I handled it wrong.  I fully accept the responsibility for handling it wrong.  I’m still not sure how I should have handled it, but I definitely should not have done so in anger.

Later, after I started to calm down, I got really sad.  Here I am, wanting to be a mom, and when a mothering situation came along I totally screwed up.  I found myself berating myself for asking God to let me have a go at being a mom when I struggle so much to handle even basic confrontation situations.  (As you can tell, I’m clearly emotionally mature.)  In the midst of this inner fight/pity party, I suddenly had the first verse of What a Friend We Have In Jesus pop into my head.

“What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”

Joseph M. Scriven

I’m not trying to get all preachy here.  In fact, I’m not one hundred percent sure why I feel compelled to share this sad little tale of my lack of emotional maturity.  I do know, though, that the more I thought about those words, the calmer I got.  It also occurred to me that I talk a good line about loving Jesus and believing in God, but I rarely take anything to Him because I don’t want to bother Him with my measly little problems.  After the disaster of today, though, it occurs to me that I really do need His help.  As long as I try to handle things without help, doom is inevitable.

Pillow Talk

Published January 24, 2013 by Malia

My bed is cold.  Every.  Single.  Night.  My bed is lonely.  Every.  Single.  Night.  I’m surrounded by pillows, but you know what the problem with pillows is?  Pillows never ask you how your day was.  Pillows just lay there in various forms of flatness, and are silent.  In fact, if my pillows start talking, I’m pretty sure I have bigger problems than just having a cold, lonely bed.  My point is, on some levels being in my late 20’s and single truly has it’s downsides.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, I greatly enjoy some parts of being single.  I love that if I want to go hang with friends, I have no worries about if I have plans already, or if my friends will accept my boyfriend into our group.  I love that I can be pretty selfish when it comes to my money.  If I want to buy a book or movie or video game (although, I’m pretty sure most guys don’t care if their girls buy video games) and I have the money, it’s no big deal.

Overall, though, as the years pass and I remain single it tends to get more wearing.  I just want someone to share in this adventure of life with.

To this end I was having a conversation with two really close friends a few weeks ago, and one friend asked me if I had a list of what I was looking for.  I had a mental list, but afterwards, I realized that I’ve never written down that list before.  Then earlier this week, as I was praying that God would bring that special someone into a friend’s life, I realized that I’ve never actually prayed that God would bring someone into my life.  So, I immediately texted one of my 3 very bestest friends and asked her if she would pray with me about this.  I really don’t believe I was created to be alone.  I believe that I am alone right now, because there are lessons I am in the process of learning.  However, the desire to be married has yet to be removed (and crazy as it sounds, I’ve prayed it would be), so I’m changing up how I pray.  I rarely ask for help from anyone (even God), which is pretty wrong.  It’s not that I’m too proud, I’m kind of backwards. I don’t want to bug people or God with my needs or wants, because I feel they’re so paltry compared to people with real needs.

Anyway, since I’m not desiring my pillows to develop voices, and I’m not wanting to be known to my “niece” as the crazy cat lady, here’s my list of what I’m looking for:

1.  Not just a fan, but completely on fire for Jesus.

2.  Loves pets; sans bugs, snakes, and spiders.

3.  I don’t care if he’s a sports fan, but he needs to be okay with the fact that I am not, nor will I probably ever be a sports fan.  Also, if I do watch sports, I rarely cheer wildly.  However, I totally love the Olympics, and he will have no problem getting me to sit and watch those games.

4.  Enjoys musicals.

5.  Loves movies.  Going to the movies is something I really love doing, and I would hope that I’d be able to be with someone who not only enjoys the whole going to the theater experience, but is willing to make entertaining comments throughout.

6.  Loves British t.v. shows, especially all things “Who.”  I have always had a soft spot for things produced by the BBC.  Generally, they’re quite a bit better than most things on American television.

7.  Loves books.  Hmmm…maybe this should be a bit higher on my list.  Yeah, it probably belongs up there as number 3.

8.  Family relationships should be important.  I’m pretty much it when it comes to parent care on my side of the family, so he’s going to have to be okay with this, and willing to help me.  Also, it’s super important to me, despite my age, that he ask for my father’s permission to date/court/marry me.

9.  Wants to travel, visit museums, go to the zoo, see the world, and take pictures of all of it.  I admit I’m not a great photographer, but I really love to take pictures.  I want to be with someone who enjoys travel and photography as much as I do.

10.  Be okay with the kid thing.

Let me explain number 10.  (And yes, I’ve kind of talked about this before, and yes, it may be slightly graphic and uncomfortable to read.)

Last fall, when everything went really south, health-wise, I found myself sitting, facing a doctor who was trying to figure out how to deliver unpleasant news.  She had to tell me that it was highly unlikely that I would ever be able to have children.  To this day, I don’t envy doctors who have to tell women this.  Fortunately, for her, I didn’t go into hysterics or any of that sort of reaction.  In fact, I pretty much had already guessed.  I’d known for a long time that certain parts didn’t work right.  Parts that are required to carry a baby through a pregnancy.  Her telling me, just confirmed what I already suspected.  Now, I’ve never been wild about having kids, but I certainly thought having one might not be too bad.  I’m okay (mostly, but believe me there have been some intense discussions with mom and with God regarding the fact that there are 15 year old’s who sleep with everything and get knocked up, and yet I try to be a good kid, and not only do I have this whole nightmare weight situation, but I also have a body that doesn’t understand the basics of how to work right) with all of this, but recently I’ve found myself wondering if this will be a huge check-mark against me for guys.  It seems that a lot of guys, even good guys, are obsessed with the idea of producing babies.  I guess they need to know that their sperm can swim in order to feel like a “real” man.  I figure that if I there’s someone out there who can love me, knowing that I can’t have babies (unless a miracle takes place), then they truly love me, and don’t just view me as breeding stock.

11. Doesn’t take himself too seriously, or say mean-spirited things, thinking he’s being funny.

12.   Loves, respects, and treats me as a partner, not just someone who’s supposed to clean and cook.  In return, I guarantee that I will love, respect, honor, and be loyal.  I’m looking for a best friend.

And there you have it.  I know that we can’t always have what we want, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to be specific.