Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday Meme

Good one this week from Curious as a Cat!

1) If you were to become a prostitute, how much money could you expect to charge per hour? Hmmm, well seeing as I'd be giving up what little dignity I have...LOL. I'd say a hundred an hour. Then again, maybe Mr. P. could fork out more ;)

2) With whom do you like to talk on the phone the most? The IRS! Just kidding. Seriously though, I don't talk on the phone much, so I'd say maybe those random times every now and again when an old friend will call out of the blue. Hey it could happen!

3) If tomorrow you lost the person you love the most, how would your life change? I don't know how I would cope without Mr. P. or our kids. See, it's a 3 way tie between them for my love. I know that if I lost one of my kids, I'd just check myself into a mental hospital for awhile. And if I lost Mr. P., well, I'd have to be strong for our sons, but it'd be a hard road to travel. My life would be so different. I'd have to go back to work, and mostly give up on all the dreams I have for my future because when I dream them, he is right by my side.

4) For what would you most easily be driven to kill? My family. No questions asked. Someone hurts my kids, they are dead. Not very Christian of me but it's the mama instinct.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
(funky plant) Feed me Seymour FEED ME!!!

Til next squeak,

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pardon me ma'am, your atheism is showing.

Some of you may know that I was raised atheist. No, I don't mean just a casual kinda atheism either. My father was pretty ruthless in ensuring that faith did not enter into the lives of his children. Especially not the Christian faith that I believe to be Truth today.

The problem with having spent about 19 or so years of my life as an atheist is that it has created viewpoints that are completely incompatible with the faith I now proclaim. Quite frankly, it sucks.
For the most part, it does not even cross my mind unless I am in conversation (or worse, debate) with fellow Christians and I find myself either unable to get fired up like they do about the topic at hand, or else I wind up running defense for the other side. After one of those *lovely* chats, I find myself here, wandering the Maze of my spirit, searching out God and asking Him why am I so different from the rest.

Just as an example, I am pro-choice. I do not see that stance ever really changing. I simply have too much compassion and understanding for the women and girls who face sexual assault with a resulting pregnancy to say that abortion is always wrong and should be illegal. I cannot do it. Now, I know that as a Christian, I am wrong in feeling this way. My God tells me through His word that all life is known to Him from conception, yes, even before then. And yet...

Maybe it's because I was an unwanted child. Maybe it's because I'm a sexual assault survivor. Maybe it's because I am just a flawed human being who can't see the reasoning behind forcing my flawed thinking on others. But for whatever reason, I am stuck in this here conundrum. I know what's in my heart of hearts, and I know what I want to believe to be true. So what next?
It all comes back to the Bible. I have heard countless times that if you do not believe all of it, then by default, you believe none of it. I find that hard to swallow. Getting back on track, this verse often comes to mind:

Romans 12:2-

2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God will transform and renew our minds, so long as we are not conforming to the patterns of this world. It is hard to be a non-conformist! It is hard to realize that a changed, renewed mind will come from God, and not of my own volition. If realizing is half the battle, then praise God, I'm halfway there! I somehow doubt that though.

Renewal takes removal...removal of oneself from the things of the daily grind that keep us from hearing His still, small voice. And I'll be the first to admit that I am lousy at that. My time is just that. *My* time. I find it hard, if not impossible to give even a fraction of it up to anyone, even God. I suppose that right there is part of the "pattern of this world". Time to start recognizing the pattern so that I might avoid it, methinks.

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday "Ifs"

This one is from Tuesday "Ifs":

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I think I'd head to Ireland with Mr. P.

If you could tell one person how you feel, who would it be and what would you tell them? Urgh. I would tell my mom how I really feel about how I was raised and how I feel about her opinions on my life choices.

If you could have one thing in this world without paying for it, what would it be? A full-to-the-brim bank vault in my basement. Heheheh.

If you could do one thing you love and only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Just what I am doing now. Being a wife and mother.

Til next squeak,

A note about Tetris

Since I couldn't figure it out, I thought I'd leave this note for anyone else who struggled with getting Tetris to work. It's down by the bottom of the Maze, past the cat parade.
To get the pieces to turn, you have to use the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Happy old school gaming!!

Til next squeak,

Hubby bloggin'

So Mr. P. started a blog of his vewy own. I think he saw how addicted I've become lately to bloggin'. I get a kick out of having a little slice of web all to myself. So time to shamelessly plug his new spot.
Mr. P.'s Wild Ride
There you can see how vastly different we really are. It truly is an act of God that we are the mostly smooth working couple that we are. His blog, much like mine, will probably seem pretty random due to our ADD, but if you like that sort of thing, have at! Unlike mine, his will probably be "R" rated and not very family friendly. So a word of warning if you are the sensitive type.

Love ya babe. Welcome to the blogosphere!

Til next squeak,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Monday Meme

More from Curious as a Cat for my Monday meme amusement:

1) What hour of the day goes the slowest for you? That'd be the hour before my husband come home from work. It just drags on and on unless I'm passed out on the couch.

2) What is the difference between boys and girls? Now do I really have to explain that? Innies and outties. LOL.

3) Write your own epitaph. Here lies Mrs. P. She tried real hard, and died well. May God forgive her for this bad epitaph.

4) What is the worst habit you've ever had? I'd say picking my nose, but Mr. P. would probably say scratching at my head til it bleeds. So take your pick really.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one. (pic of a cross shaped head stone)
Mostly it reminds me of my Lord and the empty tomb. Hey c'mon folks, it's the day after Easter!

Til next squeak,

Trying my hand at another newbie hobby

Now I think I have figured out what a meme is, and it looks like fun. So here goes!
From Curious as a Cat
1) If you spoke English with an accent other than the one you currently have, how would you chose to sound?
I'd go back to my original one. I was born in Mississippi and I miss the sign of my heritage. Dorky I know but true.

2) Be honest: how do you feel about people who smoke?
It really doesn't bother me unless they get uppity about putting it out around sick people. I guess that's because I used to smoke.

3) Whose death touched your own sense of mortality the most?
My maternal grandmother. She died when my mom was just 6 so I never met her but her loss has had a profound effect on my family. I look at my own kids differently, knowing I have already had more time with my oldest than she had with Mom. I also take things Mom says with a grain of salt now that I know more of how losing her mother wounded her.

4) What has been the most difficult promise you have ever kept? Why?
Breaking the cycle of abuse and addiction in my family. I have always promised myself, "It ends with me." but never really realized how easy it is to just "do what you know" once you have your own kids. I think 4+ years of therapy, Jesus, and Mr. P. are the only things that have enabled me to keep my promise.

5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
(it's a pic of a tree with cicadas in it)
Hmmm, bug spray?

BTW, this one was for last week but I loved the questions. I have a feeling I'll be doing this more often. Thanks Cat!

Til next squeak,

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bah bah black sheep

In thinking about how growth brings change, and that in turn can bring isolation, I've been thinking about how most of my life has been spent on the fringes. That sounds pretty over dramatic, but for the most part, I do not mean it in a bad way. Usually, it just means that I never quite fit in. That's alright. I wonder how often people truly fit in with their chosen groups anyway. I get the feeling that people are often more than they seem. Or maybe less, depending on how you look at things.
In my case, I was always unpopular in school. Now as an adult, I find I am too religious for the secular crowd, yet too secular for the religious crowd. Combine that with the fact that I regularly choose isolation to conversation, and my mental health problems, well, I'm just askin' for it huh?
Writing about not quite knowing how to relate to others different from you is a topic I'm very familiar with. It's my daily life. The only people I can really relate to are Mr. P. and the kiddos. When it comes to people outside my little family circle, I just can't predict how they are thinking or how they will react. That brings out a tendency in me to either clam up, or spill the beans about every single little aspect of my life. Talk about awkward all around. Relating to others is critical in life though. Even if you do not work outside the home like myself, it's still a skill that must be honed. On any given day, I must interact with my kids' teachers, my husband's boss, my neighbors, our doctors, people at the grocery store or Walmart. And then there's church! LOL!
There's times I long for Mr. P.'s gift of gab. I am so thankful that both our kids got that from him. They will succeed despite my failings in this area. So when you never know what to say or how to do it, what do you do? When you are terrified of the phone, even when it comes to old friends, what then?
One other thing that comes to mind is that as a Christian, I am supposed to tell people about my Lord. I can't picture myself ever being a street preacher, that's for sure. I'm still kinda stunned that I have got my kids praying over meals when I myself do not pray aloud. I guess that is why I am a first-generation Christian. Plenty of unsaved folk in my own family to work on. :D
Well, this black sheep has bleated enough for today. Just sharing some thoughts on why I am the way I am. Thank God He's not done with me yet!!

Til next squeak,

Friday, March 21, 2008

Under construction

Right now, I'm messing around with the maze. It's a lot of fun but things may look really wonky here from time to time. And I must give credit where credit is due!
Sallie, who squeaked earlier, sent me over to Split Decisionz to check out Amy's most awesome blog on how to get your own blog looking oh-so spiffy! Now I feel like a pro. OK well not really but at least I'm not so much a newbie anymore.
I never thought I would actually get a kick out of blogging. Now if I could only find just the right mousie pic....
Til next squeak,

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Growth or Hypocrisy? You be the judge!

In looking back over the last year or so, I have noticed what I perceive as big changes in myself. However, I recognize that some, if not most, would label those changes as hypocrisy. That got me to thinking. What exactly makes a hypocrite? And why is the label so often applied to Christians, even amongst ourselves?

n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
2. An act or instance of such falseness.

I admit, I am at times a hypocrite. I do not think there is a person alive who can say they are not, nor have ever been one. But one thing I notice from this definition is the phrase "the practice of professing"

v. pro·fessed, pro·fess·ing, pro·fess·es
1. To affirm openly; declare or claim

In my limited version of life, it seems that to truly be a hypocrite, one needs to make a regular habit out of public fakery. Now when I hear of Christians being accused of hypocrisy, I can't help but think that we do not know the state of their heart. That is where the deception lies. Then again, who am I but your friendly neighborhood hypocrite?
How does one figure out if they have really changed or if they are simply deeply mired in hypocrisy? Does it take someone outside yourself to point it out? Is one capable of noting their own hypocrisy? And if one is wanting, even striving towards personal growth and change, are they merely inviting the inevitable hypocrisy?
One example from my own murky thoughts:
Up until very recently, I was vehemently anti-Quiverfull specifically, anti-large family in general. For those not in the know, Quiverfull (here on out referred to as QF) is a movement amongst the more conservative Christians also known as Natalism or Providentialism. QF adherents believe that only God is in charge of "opening and closing the womb". They site Psalm 127:3-5 as the defining verse:

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

QF parents do nothing (outside of the obvious...heheheheh) to have more than the average 2 kids/family, nor do they do a darn thing to prevent any. Most QFers that I have met say that it is an issue of trust. If you can trust the Lord with your very soul, how can you not trust Him with every aspect of your life? Now there certainly are those on the fringe, as you will have in any group, be they religious folk, or video game-a-holics, or what have you. But by and large, most of these parents want nothing more than to be not harassed at the local grocery store.
Getting back to my point. I was of the mind that "these people" were complete screwballs. Who on earth would NOT want to have the joys and freedoms of birth control?! What nut actually really believes that rubbish about life begins at conception?! And who in their right mind would want more than 2 rugrats?!?! Oh wait, "these people" ain't in their right minds! I loved to read all the different sites bagging on QFers. And I really thought about the way I was raised, and figured although I am scarred from it, well, that's how most people view kids so my parents couldn't have been too evil. Right?
The more time I spent in my "research" of QF, the more I questioned God about why He had me raised the way I was. Why did He stick me with parents who hated kids, but specifically me, so much? And after being raised faithless, having so much to relearn, how did He expect me to change? I loved my sons, but could not look at them as anything other than mistakes. After all, no one welcomed them but Mr. P. and I. No one had a kind word for us when they were yet born. And they were not planned by us. After a lifetime of being told kids ruined adult lives, and how much my own birth was regretted, why this search of "the other side"?
For every new question, no answer came. What a miserable state to be in! It's not that I felt lost from God's sight, but more that I felt like He was waiting for me to ask the right questions. You know that sinking suspicion that the teacher is somehow leading you in the quiz? Yeah, that one. In some ways, I have found answers to my questions. The Lord has indeed shown that my trust in Him is justified, and can be multiplied. In my reminiscing, I can see how and where He answered my prayers. Yes, at times the answer may have been long in coming, and may not have been my answer, but it was always for my good and His glory. That has been a powerful lesson!
At this point now in my life, I am a changed woman. I look at my kids through God's eyes. The change not only in my treatment of them, but their behavior is proof positive. I look at my own childhood in a different light. As horrible as it is to me, I am allowing myself to feel the pain I have denied for so long, and am working on packing it up and plopping it at the foot of the Cross. It's quite cathartic in a sick sort of way. More than any of that (although words cannot express how grateful I am to God for bringing me down this long and dusty road), I tentatively feel quasi-Quiverfull. I do not think I can't ever rule out birth control, and yeah, I am still not sold on the "life at conception" belief, but I see children and family in a whole new light. I have repented of wrong attitudes towards my family, and also towards my fellow Christian. I hope one day, if God sees fit, He'll bless me with the vision of my family that is hidden in my heart. I think we are well on our way, all praise be to Him from Whom all true blessings flow.
So does this all make me a hypocrite? Maybe. I can think of a few dozen ladies who would probably give a resounding yes! Does it show how God can shape and mold any willing heart?

I think that's the moral of this story. ;)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

When time seems short

This is a c & p from my MySpace but still relevant. All this occurred starting on February 8, 2008.

Recently I had a near death experience. OK so not quite so dramatic, but enough for me to turn my life around. Last month, I went to the ER for crushing chest pain. After a lifetime of being told by docs that I won't live to see (insert next age bracket here) I was terrified. You see, my grandmother died when my mom was the same age as my oldest son. I don't know much about my grandmother, other than how badly her loss effected my mom. She won't talk about her. She never really knew how to be a mom because of that loss. And now I in turn am learning how to be a good mom because I never really had one either. One death just trickles down the generations.
In the days leading up to my ER visit (and yes, that means I sat on my butt while having this chest pain because I was unsure if I was making a mountain out of a molehill), I had to face in my heart this fear of death. What would dying really mean to me? Here's what I learned. I begged God to let me see my sons return home from school, just to kiss them one more time. I thought about what my marriage meant to me, truly meant to me now that we have really come back from the brink of divorce. I wept for what I could see as lost years with my husband. I needed to make sure that those whom I held dear knew for a fact that I loved them, and would never doubt that if I were not there to tell them. How would my sons be raised? Would they grow knowing their mother? Would they become godly young men as I dream for them? How would Mr. P. handle being a single father? Would he mourn me or would he jump back into the dating scene? Would he weep for those lost years too?
After I had been seen and cleared, I had a startling change at home. Over the course of just a few days, I gained almost 70 lbs. Off to the doctor I went, afraid once more. What on earth could be causing all these problems? Turns out, a not-so-common reaction to a medication I was on caused edema. Yeah, I'd say! A change in meds, a "water pill" and I have lost the weight just as swiftly. I have come to the conclusion though that if I am to avoid gastric bypass surgery, I need to do something. So Mr. P. and I are changing our lives. We are going to be joining a gym. I plan on a consult with a dietician. And my goal is to get off these medications, if not to loose weight, then to buy more time. Time with my men.
Oh, and I made a promise to God. If He granted me that one last "after-school" with my kids, I would live as He asked of me, whatever the cost. I would listen for His voice. I am striving to uphold that promise. I want to live without regrets. To me, that means living for the Lord. Just how He wants that implemented remains to be seen, but I'm keeping my ears out. I don't know where that will bring us but I know I can trust in our Guide.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

End of an Era

But in an oh so good way!

Last Thursday, DCF closed out our case. Yes, after 4.5 long years, and much heartache, we are finally finished with them.
I must say, it's strange to look at my calendar and not see an upcoming appointment for our worker's next visit. I don't think I am quite ready to take her number off speed dial yet either. She has said we are welcome to keep in touch and I think we just might. Knowing we don't have to is what makes all the difference.
I'll be the first to admit that with this trial of moving coming up, and various other things we are dealing with right now, I am nervous about my abilities when it comes to being the kind of mother and wife I need to be. That DCF has expected me to be. Then I remind myself that God does not give us more than we can bear with His help, and that of all the things in my life that He has brought me through, what's a little move? Amen?

Blog Design by Split Decisionz