Friday, July 26, 2013

Andy's song

This morning Andy came to me with a piece of paper. He had written a poem on it and labeled it "Learox" (Lyrics). I'm not going to post it word for word, because it's actually quite beautiful and I wouldn't want anyone to steal it. But it made me want to cry.

He's been having a hard time with not seeing his father, and has cried a lot more in the past two months. He has also stopped talking about his dad. At the same time, his overall behavior has been much better.

The poem he wrote basically talked about how he had cried and cried for so long, and then he looked into my eyes and his heart finally "rised." He insisted on using that word even though I explained it's not actually a word. It was very sweet and reminded me again what an artistic soul he has.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Great news!

I am so excited! I spoke to my caseworker at the program through which I attend college, and she told me that due to a combination of factors that seem to include good grades and a lack of available jobs, I will not be required to exit the program and begin meeting minimum work requirements until I have completed the first two years! This means I will be able to stay in college full time next year and obtain my A.S. before starting work. That will greatly improve my job outlook, both from the education and the work perspective. I will have three semesters of work study and hopefully some volunteer time to show on my resume, instead of just one.

Of course, now that I'm ready to sign up for all my spring classes, the school website is down for maintenance. Hehe. Thorns....

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In Loving Memory

It would be remiss of me to let this week go by without recalling Joshua, and the impact his short life had on mine. I'm not going to post any more potentially upsetting hospital photos, but I miss you, little nephew. You are always in my heart.

Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, for whom he was named.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


I have finished two accelerated semesters so far and begun my third. I have all A's! Yaayyyyy! And although there were definite social drawbacks to being homeschooled the way I was, there are definite educational advantages from which I am now benefiting. Like, I don't know, the ability and motivation to complete assignments! I can't believe how rare that is in community college.

I decided to take Communications this semester. I took it in the classroom, because I knew it would be cowardly of me to take it online. I would have felt that I was cheating. I communicate just fine through writing. And over the internet. And any way that doesn't require me to be physically near the other person. So I figured I'd better push my comfort zone on this one.

Well, it's pushed alright. I really, really hate interacting with guys. Always have. I'm aware the problem is with me and not them, but it's a huge problem nonetheless. I'm very paranoid around men. And as with anything outside of our comfort zone, cultural/racial/what-have-you differences exaggerate that discomfort, because the unfamiliarity is increased.

So of course I walk into the classroom the first day to find it filled with men, two-thirds of whom are either African American or African. (There are a large number of African transfer students at this college. And believe me, you can tell the difference; they're not the same culture by any means.) I think one may be Egyptian, not sure. Over the next few minutes a couple of other women trickled in, so fortunately I'm not the ONLY female in the class. If that were the case, I might have withdrawn. I think we total five now, out of roughly 20 students.

The professor is hilarious though, so that helps. I find that I've overcome my social anxiety enough now to be able to speak voluntarily, but not enough to do so without my blood pressure skyrocketing and making me feel like I would pass out if I talked for more than 30 seconds. So I'm getting there. Hopefully by the end of this semester I will be far more comfortable. And honestly, I like the idea of having people from other cultures in the class. I always like meeting people women from other countries because you can get a new perspective on world issues and on your own society. I'm just not sure I want to spend that much time talking with men. Hehe.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Stillness and the Adoption Movement

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10.

I think of these words often lately. Probably because I have virtually no time for stillness. And when I read this article today about the rash of adoptions from Africa by the evangelical movement, and the ensuing flood of problems, I wondered what has happened to Christianity in America.

It's all fine and good to view your home as the first mission field. It is. But doesn't it occur to anyone to prove themselves a little while before expanding that field? Or that issues which arise in the home can be entrusted to God just like in the mission field? In the panicky rush to save as many lost souls as possible, people have forgotten that God is still omnipotent. He's not sending people to hell because you didn't adopt them.

And religious issues aside, I can't help but think that only in America are we so entirely disconnected from the realities of life without SUVs that we would adopt traumatized, malnourished children from the opposite side of the planet and expect them to immediately begin flourishing under our loving smiles. How stupid. How arrogant.

Christians today are fast becoming humanists with a religious facade. They have bought into the idea that as Christians, the weight of the world rests on them and the fate of the world is dependent on their prayers. What happened to God? Is there any room for Him in the world of Evangelical Christianity?

Obsession is selfish. Obsession with the best of intentions is still selfish. You cannot glorify God through selfishness.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I have very sensitive skin. Because of this, I have been buying natural soap ever since I discovered Ellen April at the West Chester Grower's Market. It's great stuff. You know something funny? In spite of my name and my love of roses, I'm allergic to rose oil. How ironic is that?

Anyway, we have had the wettest June on record since 1938 here in southeast PA. It's been absolutely horrid, I tell you. I hate humidity. I always break out with itchy, yucky rashes when it gets hot and humid. This year it's been unbearable, and rather obvious. In desperation I decided to spend some of my tightly guarded money on a soap with fungus-annihilating oils. I found just the thing at our local Whole Foods Market. They carry a variety of natural soaps that change now and then, and they had Biggs and Featherbelle Koala Soap. Amazing stuff! It has eucalyptus and tea tree oils in it, and I only had to use it once to get rid of the creepy itchies! I've continued to use it, and they haven't come back.

I'm going to keep this stuff around for a long time.

Hello Again!

So, here I am again. It's so embarrassing to be switching blogs again after all this time. Hopefully I have worked through all the emotions and grief and confusion of the past 10 years, and am ready to start a REAL blog. You know, the kind that doesn't air out all my laundry and make it obvious I don't have a counselor. Hehe.

Over the past year I have separated permanently and finally divorced from my drug-addicted husband, the father of my 3 children; gone through a career development course where I learned a lot about myself; discovered an interest in American Sign Language and working with the Deaf Community; begun college; and most recently, joined the Orthodox Christian church after many years of dissatisfaction with the fundamentalist form of Christianity I was raised in. This dissatisfaction eventually spread to the entire Protestant tradition, and I feel very happy going back to what I consider my roots by joining the earliest established Christian church.

I want this blog to be a blog about single motherhood, family connections, religion, and eventually my interactions with the Deaf Community. Maybe it will morph into some sort of an advocacy blog over time. I hope that people will feel inspired when they read it.