Posted in Lent, pics, relationships, Yahweh's fingerprints

KEYS

Lent is upon us again.

Last night I made pancakes for two friends and we enjoyed each others’ company and enjoyed a tradition of what many do the night before Lent. We celebrated Fat Tuesday, the last night for forty days to indulge before entering a season of reflection, prayer, and fasting.

After my friends left, I pondered what I might learn during this Lenten season… Many things entered my mind, but nothing concrete hit me as I fell asleep.

When I woke up, however, I was overwhelmed by a deep notion that there was more of me left to heal. The heart of a terrified, eight-year old girl that I’ve tried to protect all my life. The age when I recoiled slowly inside myself, when I truly believe I lost the road map to what it truly means to be a woman… losing the desire to be feminine, the “weaker” vessel, when I made myself tough and self-reliant.

Long story short, though the adult me has found healing, I’ve protected the child inside me from having to deal with the abuse. While I’ve known that deep down somewhere… I just never could acknowledge it.

I began to cry and tried to get on with the tasks at hand – getting up, eating breakfast, going to work. I kept crying. I was so overwhelmed.

I’ve done so much soul-searching lately and I blame/credit/acknowledge that’s because I have this new set of little brothers (which is odd to say because they’re both so dang tall) who help me more than they know. Both these guys approach challenges in different ways and both are wise beyond their years. They have each taught me more in such a short time than I could possibly teach them in a lifetime. Fun thing is they really don’t know it and I can picture both faces if I actually said all this to them. Above all, they make me laugh and smile, which are gifts I cherish in friends.

One brother has been a steadfast rudder in my life. He isn’t predictable by any means, but I know exactly what to expect from him. He speaks softly, but the weight of his words often hits me between the eyes with some force. He has such a peaceful soul, and has been so tolerant and understanding and willing to put up with me being all over the map sometimes. He gets excited about my dreams and discoveries. He is a gentle man who weighs his weighty words and finds something good to say about everybody and everything or he won’t say much at all. He’s someone I want to be like when I grow up.

The other brother, whom I only recently connected with, but feel like I’ve known forever… He’s the one who asks me all these soul-searching questions (and I’m like, do you even know me?!) that I’ve actually let myself think about and even dare to answer. When he commits to someone or some thing, he is ALL in. He ponders deeply, and is my complex, but transparent (to me) onion.

Oh, those walls, those shields… I know what they are. I’ve lived with them for 32 years. The extra weight of protection. The sarcasm. The toughness. The “at arm’s length.” The list is long. What I do know is that these walls keep me closed to love and keep me from truly pursuing my womanhood fully.

Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I do many feminine things, but I never have embraced my femininity. To embrace that part of myself, I have to let go of some fears and lies. I have to unfold and let that 8 year old girl, still innocent, who loved flowers and kittens and dolls and dresses grow up outside that room that I’ve protected her in and let her experience life out here, come what may.

The door creaked open and I can’t describe what I feel right now. Just know this is the scariest thing I’ve ever done because it’s from the scariest place I’ve ever been.

I’m still not certain what any of this means for the next forty days. Lest you think I will start wearing lace and hot pink… you would be mistaken. I don’t know that this is what that is about. What I do know is that as these walls fall down, I will know myself more intimately than I ever have before.

What I have discovered by re-examining the past few weeks, though, is that I find myself discovering more what it means to be a woman by being book-ended by two people who know how to treat someone who is vulnerable and in the midst of change.

As the walls fall down, the more I am able to freely give of myself in creative ways, and I look forward to that over the next forty days as well.

I go to sleep tonight so grateful, so encouraged and hopeful.

Buckle up, y’all. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

Posted in holidays, pics

FROHLICHE WEINACHTEN!




I hope you and yours are having a wonderful Christmas!

Last night, after a wonderful Christmas Eve service at my church, Ecclesia, I drove through some neighborhoods to take pictures of Christmas lights. Above are a few of many I took. Then I went uptown to take pictures of the poinsettia.

I used my monopod to hold the camera steady to get these great shots. Apparently, I looked like I knew what I was doing, because after I took a few pics of my own, several people asked me to take pictures for them so all members of their party could be in them. It was pretty fun.

Here’s the poinsettia and a few other shots.

Posted in pics, snow, weather

SNOW!

I was treated to this sight this weekend. The moon was bright, close and loomed large in the night sky!

Last Wednesday night, we were treated to a couple of inches of snow. Yes, Houston had snow. To the south and east, they received up to four inches in a short amount of time. I had enough on cars for a snowball fight. Sadly, by morning, it was all melted. It was fun while it lasted!

Posted in about shae, pics, relationships

WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS

Today would have been my brother Scott’s 43rd birthday. I think about him often and have many pictures that bring back happy memories.

Macho man reading The Little Ballerina to his sister.

My first band. Maybe Scott wanted to be Lawrence Welk?

We were always out in the snow!

Just after my first major, major haircut… after which my mother cried for days. The little twerp in front of me is my little brother, Danny.

On his birthday in 1994 with his daughter, Ashley.

Happy Birthday, Scott. You are missed, but never, ever forgotten.

Posted in hurricane, pics, weather

THE LIGHTS AREN’T ON, BUT SOMEBODY’S HOME

A cool breeze is wafting over Houston, which is a relief considering how many are without power. I am at a friend’s house uploading pics and charging my phone. I finally have full signal for my wireless card. If there’s any speed below dialup, that’s what I’ve had to this point.

The aftermath of Hurricane Ike is surreal. Towns along the coast are gone. Nothing is left. Galveston is still uninhabitable and who knows when it will return to “normal.” Thousands had to be rescued from homes deluged by storm surge. Windows were blown out of high rises in Houston and many places are still under water. Downed trees and power lines litter streets and yards. Traffic lights have yet to work.

All in all, I count myself blessed. I still don’t have power, and other than a little bit of water damage over my door, and a couple of scratches on my hood from where the fence landed on it, my biggest loss is a refrigerator full of groceries.

I was able to spend a couple nights at a friend’s house and I came home this morning. The hospitality I’m seeing and experiencing in Houston is a great encouragement and testament that when all is said and done Texans take care of Texans regardless of whether they were born or emigrated here.

I don’t know when I will go back to work. While the building I work at has power, it still cannot draw enough power to bring all the computer systems back up. So, it’s a day to day status of when we will be able to go back. I’m in no hurry. Since I have such limited vacation time as a first year newbie there, this is my first more than four days off in a row I’ve had since June of 2007.

Here are some pics of aftermath of Ike.


7:30 AM Saturday


A tree in my courtyard.


The leaves stuck to the windows until the next deluge of rain hit!


Sonic’s sign was one of many that was blown to bits by the wind. The flags were also shredded.


The only bit of water damage I had.


The reason we are still under a curfew through the weekend. Debris like this litters the streets everywhere.


Downed lines like this are everywhere, and this one is probably one of the reasons I don’t have power. The other reason might be the fact that the transformer behind the building blew when they tried to power it up yesterday.


I didn’t take this photo, but this is the park where my crazy friends play Frisbee, very close to downtown. I think we’ll be looking for a new location for a few weeks. The tree that stands alone usually sits just beyond the end zone.

That’s it for now. I am going to wait for my stuff to charge and hope beyond hope when I walk back across the street my hall light will be on, indicating I have power. I will update more as power allows.

Posted in pics

RAIN TURNS TO RAINBOWS


It’s been raining for days on end here in Houston. Rain, rain, and more rain. Today, however, I saw a full rainbow on the way home from work. It was much more vivid than this picture shows, but by the time I got home and ran up the stairs and grabbed my camera, it had faded a bit.

Apparently, rain is on the agenda tomorrow as well. Perhaps some sun will break through and give some soggy Houstonians a treat again.

Posted in pics, random

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY

The past couple of weeks have sped by. My friend Sharon visited me from California for a week, and while she was here, we made it to NASA and an extremely fun July 4th party, among other activities.

Here are some pics of our big week. I will try to post again tomorrow.


The PrezPhone at Mission Control?


And a reminder that NASA is definitely in Texas: