Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Does that make me cra-zy?

I've heard all kinds of stories about the crazy things people do when they are manic. They buy yachts, they end up in New York, they buy 3 houses in one day.

Yesterday I got a new car.

Now I wish I could say that I researched this for months on end, compared specs, test drove dozens of cars. But I didn't.

My lease had another year on it, so I was going to start looking, and my friends and I joked about me driving a Mini Cooper. And then I thought - wait. I don't want to be the trendy chick pastor who drives a Mini. But then I thought - wait - yes I do.

I looked at one online, and went yesterday to test drive one. And yes, it was just like the Italian Job. I took that baby flying around turns, and floored it on every straight-away just to see how she'd fly. I think I scared the salesman a little, but hey, if you're gonna test drive something, you shouldn't just give it a little quiz.

This is how I shop: I see it, I like it, I look at the numbers, and if it checks out, I take it home. Before I knew it I was haggling, sending those guys running around, and wham, I drove home in my new cute little black Mini with white racing stripes.

And some of my coworkers think I'm a little crazy, ending up with a new car in a matter of 3 1/2 hours. And then there was my mom's comment when I told her what I had done - "Now why would you do THAT?" Ah, thanks for the support.

Life's too short to worry about if everyone thinks you are crazy or not. Besides, you already know that you kind of already are, maybe a little.

Don't apologize for spending hours on end writing a novel for no reason. Give no justification for watching Discovery Health every night for 5 hours. Wear black every day, except for one day a week where you wear yellow just to confuse everyone. Research plankton in your spare time and write research papers just because you want to.

Let them say what they will say, think what they want to think, and more than likely be jealous of your knack for throwing caution to the wind.

Just don't buy 3 houses in one day, or anything dumb like that.

Monday, April 9, 2007

The Funk

I thought about erasing this blog last night. Because here's the deal - I'm not so sure that it's healthy for you. Healthy for me? Sure, but I don't want you to catch the "funk" while you're here. I realized last night these blogs are mainly rough and on the downside, and I don't want you to think I don't have any bright moments - because I do.

Just in case you don't believe me, here are a few I've had lately:

1) I've had an influx of new artists who want to volunteer in ministry. I can't wait to see what they come up with.

2) I've actually been productive this morning.

3) I'm receiving the most fabulous letters from an admirer, and while I am trying to figure out for sure if He is a believer or not, I am still enjoying the heck out of this while it lasts.

4) Distracted by possibilities of said admirer. STOP.

5) coffee.

6) Driving fast and listening to Chevelle.

7) it's cold here at the moment, which is totally out of the ordinary for April, and I am loving every second of it.

There. See?

Why is it that as artists, we tend to paint furiously when things are not so great, yet when things are flying high we drop the brush? Why do our internal musings gravitate toward emoting the dark, the sad, and the lonely?

I don't know. When you figure it out, let me in on it.

But then I looked at my page today and saw your lovely comments. All of them were well timed reminders that empathy - no matter how messy - is healing. And today I am equally reminded that some of the most beautiful art is born out of the darkest of hues.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

I'm trouble, yall.

I am a bit of a mess.

Gunning for trouble. Loose cannon. I can feel it, right beneath the surface. "Calm Like A Bomb" by Rage Against the Machine comes to mind. Starting 35 new things, and wanting to quit 40 of them. Fighting the urge to hurry God along in a few arenas, trying to force His hand, realizing it's ridiculous, trying anyway. Getting to letter R, getting bumped back to letter A. See step One. Back to start.

So, how are you?

I had the weekend off - I know that sounds weird, it being Easter weekend, but I work primarily with students and 20-somethings, and we don't have programming on Easter weekend so our students can attend main service with their family. I feel guilty that many of you out there slaved away all weekend, while I slept in until 9:30 for the past 3 days.

I didn't have therapy this past Friday since it was a holiday, and I can tell I haven't been. I feel the strange urge talk about myself..for at least an hour. Also see: wanting to scream, practice fighting off tears, say unsightly things, cross my arms only to be identified as angry, answer the question "so how do you deal with that" repeatedly.

Frustrated. Held together by grace. Well, today - mainly mercy. And most days I hope that mercy can keep up with the reckless speed I seem to gain in making mistake after mistake. Let's hope mercy is speedy and quick on it's feet, because these days I am in a mad dash to screw things up. Terribly.

Back to reading Anne Lamott's new book. Hoping one day I can take her out for a drink and talk about life.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Eat, Drink..Hope.

Well, I should have my meds all back tomorrow. There was a conflict with my doctor's office, and that combined with my procrastination means one more night without.

As cheezy as my title sounds, I have discovered something this week that has been a lovely counterbalance to my slightly unbalanced chemical state.

I am fascinated by hope and faith, especially in the scriptures. Anytime I preach, I am tempted to rest on those two topics. Hebrews 11:1 is my favorite verse, and I love the wonder of "hope that is seen is no hope at all."

Hope is wonderful enough in and of itself, but the hope of love is a double-fisted healing elixir. I am currently in a somewhat odd circumstance that presents itself with the possibility of romantic love, and it has been a somewhat divine distraction this past week.

We are taking communion this Sunday night, and today I see it in a different light. Taking the bread and the wine says that we truly believe in the incarnation of the glory of God. What an amazingly beautiful symbol of hope. Do we truly believe in the incarnation of the Spirit of the Living God? Do we hope that His glory will put on skin and show up in the form of a city being liberated, a sex slave being set free, or a mouth being fed? Do we hope that His glory will put on skin and show up in the form of a kind word, a merciful act, or a romantically amazing letter?

Do we really believe that He would do that..for us? The bread and the wine reminds us - He did. And He continues to do so, as His Kingdom comes - here and now, and unto eternity.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

maybe not the brightest thing to do.

I'm not sure this was a good idea. In fact, I'm sure that it's not smart.

I've been putting off picking up my medication. I am currently enjoying the adrenaline rush of being a little manic, torqued person. I know that sounds weird, but the rush of cycling mood swings, even though it could potentially be destructive, feels good. Or at least that's the delusion. It is a high - I can't even explain it. It also feels scary. That's the downside. Not to mention the fact that it all rages beneath the surface, and no one on the outside really knows what's going on.

But I know how this ends all too well, which is why I am going to pick up my medication tomorrow. I promise - in fact, hold me accountable.

I want to blog more, but if I did it would look like this: I am currently feeling paranoid, unsettled, ready to start a new country, ready to run down the block, about to clean out my closet, rocking back and forth as I type, wanting to scream, not wanting to spend another night staring at this computer, tired of everything, and angry at this whole situation.

Well, let's try praying.

God I'm frustrated. It seems like I can't win. Can I be honest? I think the meds take off the edge of me that I miss. I don't want to be on meds, and I don't want to be off of them because of how I feel right now. Which means I'm screwed.

Well, wasn't that cheery?

Monday, March 26, 2007


That's an old Night Ranger song. Wait, no it's not - that was "4 In The Morning." Oh well, so much for my snazzy pop culture reference. And I just showed my age. Crap.

I can't sleep. I woke up starving, raiding my kitchen only to find cereal and marshmallows. I haven't been to the store in forever. They would have to do. Right now I'm watching Kill Bill 2, one of the greatest movies ever.

So the worship set was great last night, despite the fact that I did, however, turn into the Great Pumpkin. I could certainly tell yesterday afternoon that I was starting to lose grip without one of my meds. I was extremely torqued, resisting the urge to lop off volunteers' heads, and wanting to punch walls. At dinner I thought about taking my wine glass and smashing it on the ground, and on the way home I kept seeing visions of me driving my cute little black race car into an embankment.

Don't let that scare you. The meds usually help that, and I'm too smart to do something dumb like that (besides, I love my car.) Before this particular med, It was very common for me to have manic states where I would be so torqued that I would see visions in my head of me doing very angry, violent things. Mainly involving myself, or breaking stuff. They play on viscious repeat over and over and over, and it's inescapable and awful. I hate it, and I thank God that this medication stops that.

Sometimes I think it's good for people on meds just to experience what it's like to go without, if at all possible, without risking any danger to yourself or others of course. Makes you appreciate them, and thankful beyond belief that God gave someone the wisdom to create something so complex and incredible. Something angelic to make the visions go away.

I don't want to be on meds, but right now that is how God is healing me. And if there's ever a day when He chooses to heal me without meds, then that's just wonderful.

Hopefully I'll be back on that little blue pill by the end of the day. I've got meetings all day today, and it would be pretty funny if during a management meeting I stood up, turned the table over, and walked out of the room (smirk)... although at the moment that's what I'm feeling. maybe watching Kill Bill right now isn't such a great idea ....(smirk number 2)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

That'll keep you going through the show, come on it's time to go...

Getting ready to go to the lab. AKA, my office at the church.

So day 1 without one of my meds..I think I'm okay so far. I woke up with a rager of a headache, and I definitely feel really chilled out. Have a great sense of clarity right now that is nice. But it's only a few hours into the day - who knows - I could turn into the Great Pumpkin later, which will work out great since I'm leading worship tonight.

It's days like today where I wonder if I should have a microphone in front of me. I am amazed at the high level of responsibility that comes with having a microphone in front of you, and people listening. I think there's a huge veil of the Spirit that keeps my mouth shut from time to time, and it's a good thing.

We've all had our moments - said goofy things to our congregations, had bloopers, said things in a moment of passion that maybe should've been kept at bay, leashed out in less-than-righteous anger at things, etc.

But then there are those beautiful moments where the Spirit leads, and you're reading the crowd, and in a millisecond you know exactly what to say. And you didn't plan it. But it was right in the pocket, and it was God-given, designed and crafted for those people at that moment.

I love those moments. You can't predict them, and you can't plan them in the order of worship.

The amazing thing is that I seem to be most receptive to those moments when I'm on stage broken, vulnerable, and busted. I don't know why that is the case, but it seems to be. I think somehow when we're rattled and frayed at the seams, it allows more of the annointing to be released in a way that could only be explained by grace.