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Okay, I admit it: I’ve registered on both eHarmony and okcupid in my quest for a life mate. Doing so was never on any imaginable to-do list, but neither was a divorce. I tried eHarmony for about three months. Though I requested matches within 50 miles of my hometown of Louisville, KY, by far the majority of my matches were from many states away. Since I am divorced and share custody of my daughter, moving is totally out of the question for my foreseeable future, so my eHarmony matches were pretty useless.

As is probably not unexpected, here’s some of what I found on okcupid, a free online matching service:

okcupid: The most private thing I’m willing to admit here
weirdo#1: I’m a closet exhibitionist. No, I don’t expose myself from a trench-coat, but I have this fantasy of being naked in public.

And this guy “woo-ed” me and sent me a photo of himself butt-naked with his hands to cover his private areas. Eeewwww!

I shouldn’t be surprised about any of this, of course. I know that. Even my 17-year-old niece knows there’s a better way. Her suggestion:

Do what God would have you do, keep your focus on and run towards Him. Pretty soon, you’ll look to your right or your left and find the person God meant for you, pursuing a similar goal. That’s when you’ll find your life mate.

Yes, she’s only 17. No, she doesn’t understand the challenges a divorced woman faces, especially when children are involved. But her advice is so much more manageable than freaks on online dating sites, and her method for finding your soul-mate is so much more palatable than the debauchery of the bar scene.

I think I’ll stick to volunteering at the local homeless shelter, co-managing my church’s web site, and taking writing and technology courses at the university I work for: all the things I think God is calling me to do.

What will you do?

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Recently, my friend Tiffany tagged me with a meme to write my memoir in six words. While you’re supposed to tag other bloggers once you’ve been tagged, I really don’t have that many co-bloggers at the moment to tag, or they’ve already been taken. Here are the rules:

1) Write your own six word memoir
2) Post it on your blog; include a visual illustration if you’d like
3) Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to the original post if possible
4) Tag at least five more blogs with links
5) Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

Here is the memoir I would leave today. I’m positive it will change tomorrow or the next day. But for now, here ya go:

Creative writer craves deliverance from evil.

I’m not always this serious or intense when describing myself, but recent events have left me feeling precisely as my memoir suggests.

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A few days ago, I would have been the last person to believe there was such a thing as spiritual warfare. However, after spending the last two days in an abyss akin to hell, I’m beginning to believe that it does, in fact, exist.

[rockyou id=109267686&w=250&h=187]

(more…)

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It’s Easter Sunday, arguable one of my favorite days of any calendar year, and I spent the evening watching SoutheastThree Crosses Christian Church’s Easter Pageant. (For images, go here.) Keep in mind, I can be a little biased about this drama, having been in the pageant twice before–once as a townsperson and once as an angel. Also, both my niece and my brother-in-law are in it this year. So you might think it’d be hard for me to be objective. However, balance that with the numerous bad reviews I got from several people who saw it before tonight, my 12-year-old daughter included. (more…)

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Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more.

The nearest book to me when I read this meme was Imaginative Writing by Janet Burroway. Unfortunately, I would be inserting the dialog of a play, which I’m afraid won’t tell you anything about me or my interests. (Although the book itself suggests my interest in creative writing.) The Center Cannot HoldInstead, I’ve chosen the next closest book: The Center Will Not Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks, an endowed professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law who has risen to the top of her game despite her “grave” diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Find page 123.
Page 123 is in Chapter 9, which I haven’t gotten to yet. At this point in the book, the author is in Yale Law School, rooming with someone named Emily, and missing her regular correspondence with someone else named Mrs. Jones. I don’t know anything about either of these people yet.

Find the first five sentences.
The first five complete sentences start in the second paragraph of page 123. Here, Ms. Saks is explaining how much she misses being able to vent with Mrs. Jones and how she’d be too embarrassed to call her now because her perfect little roomie, Emily, might think her weird.

Post the next three sentences.
The next three sentences read:

In addition, I wasn’t in any sort of treatment or therapy, or taking any kind of medication. There were plenty of indications that I should do something–talk to somebody, take some kind of pill. I knew that much; I was not, after all, stupid. But pills were bad, drugs were bad.

The interesting thing about these sentences is that they tell a story that many, many people with mental illness struggle with: the belief that they are somehow weak because of their illness. Many of us spend years trying to talk/pray/plead ourselves out of our illness, all along missing the evidence that God is trying to reach us via our medications and doctors. I’m reminded of the joke–which I’ll paraphrase very briefly–where a shipwrecked man ignores the offers of help by three boaters, claiming he’s waiting for God, only to find when he reaches heaven’s gate that God had sent these people to him. God works through people, medications, and countless other ways to help us in our battles with mental illness.

Tag five people.
Fortunately for you–or whomever–I don’t remember how to tag someone, so this post will just have to suffice as an interesting tidbit of information you’ve learned about me.

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Silence

I’m not afraid of silence any more.

I’ve never been one to watch television, so I don’t just fill up the house with t.v. noise. And I don’t own a stereo, so I don’t listen to a lot of music either. Instead, I live in a house that’s very quiet, save the whining of Sparkle Plenty, my “designer” bichon frise puppy. Many years ago, the quiet was not a problem. In fact, I could sit for hours in a comfortable chair and just, well, contemplate life. However, over the past many, many months, I’ve found I can’t sit still unless I’m actually asleep. To be still and awake meant I was alone, and that alone time translated to extreme loneliness for me. It was so bad that I often didn’t get out of bed until I’d worked myself into a migraine when day was fading into evening. This was problematic before my hospitalization, but in the days and weeks that followed it, being alone and quiet was downright unnerving. I had to fill up every waking hour with activity and other people. When my daughter was with her Daddy, I was scared to be at home alone, so I would fill the time with meaningless activity until I was dog-tired.

But I just started a class at my church that focuses on Advent. At yesterday’s gathering, the teacher instructed us on the spiritual practice of being silent with God. So we read meditations about our expectant waiting for Christ, and then we sit in silence and wait for God’s presence to be known. We don’t fill our heads with reflections about the lesson; we don’t re-read the text; we don’t even think. We just sit in silence and wait for God.

What is God saying to you in your silent times?

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Radical Change

For those of you who read my post entitled Tis the Season of Forgiveness and were interested in hearing the sermon I referenced, the audio is now posted on the church web site. Hear it yourself by going to http://middletownchristian.org/audio.asp, pressing the Month radio button, selecting November 2007 from the dropdown list, and then selecting David Emery – [November 25,2007] Kingdom Now! – Radical Change. You won’t regret it!

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