Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Dad Says She's a Lady, but I'm Sure She Wants to Eat Me

I'm a dreamer... In more ways than one. I always have these incredibly vivid, strange dreams that leave me wondering, "What in the world was that about?" Last night, I dreamt I was at a picnic with friends, family and co-workers. Everyone who is a part of my life was at this picnic.

Dave approached me and said, "Honey, you have to go on in about 30 minutes. Are you ready?"

I looked at him quizzically and replied, "Ready for what?"

He proceeded to explain that I was supposed to have written a song to perform and play on the guitar as entertainment at this picnic. Well, I started to stammer at him that first of all, I don't know how to play guitar and secondly I hadn't written a song. He just looked at me and said, "I'm sorry. You are on in 30 minutes. I hope you're ready. You can do it. It's no big deal."

Throughout the rest of the dream, I am fretfully trying to write a song. All the while, fabulous music that my friends and family have created is playing in the background. The first song I came up with was about seafood. As I got up to perform it, I completely forgot all the words I had thought of... So, the crowd gave me a few extra minutes to come up with something else. This is when the brilliant idea came to me that perhaps I should write it down. Finally, I began writing a song about 'Lady' the pitbull that used to live behind me before Katrina. The title was, "My Dad Says She's a 'Lady', but I'm Sure She Wants to Eat Me". It was to the tune of "The Chicken Dance".

I ended up performing the song acapella, with me singing a line and the crowd repeating it... It was fun and lively and everyone participated. So, somehow, after stressing and toiling, it was O.K. We all sang the song together.

This dream illustrates my life these days. Struggle alone or succeed together. The rebuilding process is all about togetherness. People are helping in ways that humble and astound me. Alone, I do nothing except fret and struggle. Fortunately, my friends and family have become a more inclusive group. Everyone is eager to help in whatever way they can.

Well, everyone except Pablo. He never came. But, my uncle Ricky, who I haven't seen in several years, showed up to save the day. He is going to relocate the stove for us. Unfortunately, we have to cut a gaping hole in the kitchen ceiling, but that will just be one less area where I have to scrape off popcorn. All will be happy to know that Ricky checked out my outside electrical box and said that for the time being, it will not burn the entire house down. Eventually, it will need to be replaced and rewired, but it won't hinder us from getting back into the house.

The kitchen and diningroom tile is complete. A couple, Randy and Jenny, did an absolutely beautiful job. They are going to return to lay the carpet and wood when we are ready. We have to wait until the walls are finished before we get the carpet put in. (Unless I want to vacuum an awful lot of drywall dust continuously.)

And, speaking of drywall dust, I would be remiss if I didn't mention "My Fabulous Husband and the Amazing Closet". Dave and two of his coaching friends, Marc and Pete, raised the slab in our garage to expand my master bedroom walk-in closet. Dave framed the closet up, with a little help from me, and wired two extra electrical outlets and a light switch! I'm am so proud of him, I could burst. My husband is a wonderful man, but he was previously an officer in the Navy. He attended the Naval Academy and served for 10 years. Now, he is a high school Math teacher and coach, but he still has many "officer tendencies" he works hard to overcome. Before he married me, my dear husband hired out all work that needed to be done. His mode of operation was to put his laundry by the door and have it reappear clean and ready. He was unaware that most people undergo a whole process to have things cleaned and pressed. Dave has not been what you might exactly call "handy". He tries hard, but he usually breaks whatever tool he happens to be using and blames it on "being poorly made". "American craftsmanship isn't what it used to be," according to Dave. His friend, Marc, described him the other day as a "bull in a telephone booth". I had to laugh because that is a very accurate description. He really doesn't know his own strength. But, somehow, with the help of friends and family, Dave has managed to build me a fabulous dressing room. When the process is complete and the house is back together, I will have a 12 x 12 dressing room in which to prepare myself for each delightful day.

My Christmas experience has been about rebuilding this year. Rather than stressing out about a tree and presents and all the other trappings of the holiday, we just opted out. Unity Church friends from Oregon and representatives from AstraZeneca made certain the girls had plenty to open on Christmas morning. We were further blessed to share the girls with their grandparents, Dad and Step-Mom on Christmas Day. Dan and Sarah are enjoying themselves in Birmingham and will return in the next couple of days. It has been nice to focus on recreating our home. Isn't that what Jesus came to teach us anyway? By honoring the Christ within, "home" is what we create within ourselves. The most wonderful lesson has been that every person who enters my home to help rebuild, nurtures my soul, helping to build a greater Christ consciousness within me. We have never had a year that has looked less like Christmas. But, I know in my heart, Christmas has been our experience each day since Katrina came, because of the people who have offered us hope and love, with no thought of compensation. We are blessed.

~Namaste'~ Christy

The picture is me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Waiting for Pablo

God speaks to me in two word commands. A couple of months ago, I remember being especially upset about something and I took my problem into meditation. Very clearly I received the message, "Seek me." So, I began a campaign of "wooing God" for 30 days. I was talking to God all the time.... In the grocery store, in the car, in the middle of class, in the bathroom... Just everywhere I go. More than that, though, I made a conscious decision to commit to meditating each day. In the simplest of terms, praying means talking to God and meditating means listening to God. But, alas, after that first earth-shattering "Seek me" message, all was quiet. Don't get me wrong. The meditation was nice and I believe it connected me to spirit, but I didn't receive any more crystal-clear, two-by-four type messages.

However, yesterday I did my normal routine of meditating, but like before, I brought a problem to God. We have had a terrible time finding an electrician. Everyone is absolutely swamped with work right now and most people I have called have either put me off or told me "No" outright. Even my regular electrician, Hacy, who has saved my house from the destiny of the ash pile on many occasions, is too busy to come right now. The other day, I got a card in my mailbox of a man, "Pablo", who according to his card, does everything. Well, I tossed the card aside and didn't think anything further of it. After all, isn't it important to give the work to local people? Pablo didn't even have a local number! But, I guess God doesn't care about telephone area codes because during my meditation, I clearly got the message, "Call Pablo".

Now, I must admit that initially, (gulp ~ head hung in shame) I ignored the message. I called the electrician that I had been chasing initially. I mean, after all, he is a bright and shiny, local electrician. But, that "fine young man" (as my mom calls him) is too busy to help me right now. So, on the way to Wal-Mart, kids in the car, I called Pablo. He didn't answer and I had to leave him a message, but he called me back post-haste and said he would be there right away. I had to beg forgiveness and ask for a later time since I had to make the journey to Wal-Mart and he agreed to meet me an hour later. I'm telling you, with great certainty what Pablo and I agreed upon, but I should explain that Pablo's English isn't the best, while my Spanish is non-existent. Thus, I'm not truly certain about the content of the entire conversation. Still, I was excited that I had finally reached someone who was willing to come and check out my wires!

The day rolled on. We returned from Wal-Mart. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that through a Divine Coincidence the tile people had a cancellation and will be able to lay my tile the day after Christmas! I am so thrilled! For the first time, I will have tile in my kitchen and dining room. It is going to be so awesome! Still, amidst the excitement of the tile, I waited for Pablo. I called Pablo two or three more times. Each time, I was assured he was coming. I'm sure by now you have guessed... He never showed up!

This morning in meditation, I gleened a thought... It wasn't a clear message, like before, but it was just a little idea. God told me to call Pablo. He never said he would come that day. Don't get me wrong, I haven't lost hope. I believe that Pablo, or some other Divine Electrician is going to show up for me. And, in the meantime, I have lots of very important stuff to do to fill the time.

I'm left wondering if I am only spiritually ready to receive a two word command from God. I think I am ready for a full dialogue, but maybe I would end up like one of those people wandering around Central Park in New York City. Ms. Lanham is a wonderful 3rd grade teacher at our school. To get the children's attention, she always says, "Are you listening? I hope you are listening." Well, God, just so you know... I'm listening.

~ Namaste'~ Christy

By the way, the picture is our kitchen before Katrina. I spent a lot of time painting the symbol of OM on the floor. I thought it would look neat if I smeared the OMs a little... Kind of abstract art. Dave and my brother, Tom, are convinced that smearing the OMs was bad kharma!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Recharging Energy and Metrosexuality

The picture is my husband, Dave, and his coaching friend, Marc. They were ripping out sheetrock sometime after the storm.

Sometimes I think my main job in life is to follow a saying of Mom's: "Don't just do something, stand there." It is incredibly difficult for me to "stand there" when I am uncomfortable. Much of my life is in a disarray right now. Often, that leads me to make changes when things might have been O.K. if I had just left everything alone. Now, don't get me wrong... I still have footwork to do.

Today, the footwork will involve hanging insulation and sheetrock, updating my checkbook and taking care of medical billing, and taking Sarah to the mall for a dance recital. It's easy for me to feel overwhelmed. Life is uncomfortable. I would rather be doing something else. But, it occurred to me yesterday that I wouldn't want to be anyone else. For the most part today, I am comfortable in my own skin. That hasn't always been the case with me.

The lesson I'm learning at work is that if I am truly comfortable with me, believe in what I'm doing, and stay true to the principles of Divine Truth, I need to be O.K. with everything else. Lately, I feel like some people are "displeased with me"... I'm working to remember that it is none of my business what others think of me. I know psychobabble... I speak it fluently. It's called people-pleasing. But, let me be clear... I don't believe that I am a people pleaser. I do things all day long that aren't necessarily pleasing to others. I suppose I am just weary from feeling under seige.

The other morning I was feeling particularly down-trodden when the thought came to me that I hadn't spent my quiet time in meditation. It is an absolute necessity that I spend time in prayer and meditation each day. I have been blessed to get that message from more than one source lately. (I have a rule that if I hear something 3 times, it is God talking...) I'm reading a book that addresses recharging my energy. And, yesterday, I stayed afterwork to talk to a friend. She mentioned the absolute necessity of having spiritual energy to draw from. It would be much easier if I had a charger like my cell phone. (But, I would be ashamed to admit how many times I let that thing run down!)

I do know that people emit certain energies and that attracts us to one another... My family teases me that I emit a "SpEd Vibe". But, truthfully, it does seem that those with special needs approach me readily out in public, when they don't approach my family or another person I might be with... I have gotten used to it. Strangers talk to me wherever I go.

The other night I was shopping while waiting for Sarah to finish dance class. This very southern gentleman trotted down the aisle after me calling, "Mam... Mam..."

I turned around and he was donning a lovely pair of black leather gloves. He held out his hands and asked, "Do you think these look girly?"

I replied, "No, I think they are very nice. They are too large to be ladies gloves." He responded by launching into a story about working at the shipyard, and that he can't wear anything that might look feminine because the guys would have a field day.

Remember, this is a very southern gentleman... But, I looked at him and said, "Now, you just go to that shipyard and tell those guys that you are a 'metrosexual'. You aren't effeminate, but you take care of yourself and you like nice, classy things."

He laughed; I wished him luck and walked away. I saw him later in another area of the store. He didn't have the gloves. When he saw me he said, "I can't say a word like 'metrosexual' at work."

Life is so fun when I am able to look at it and laugh about it.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Living on Light

I was prompted to look up information about a phenomena I really didn't know existed... There are people, called "breatharians", who live without taking in physical nourishment. They live on "light"... God's light, to be specific. For more information: or
It is so wonderful to live in a world where I can't possibly know all that exists. There is always something new and exciting for mental and spiritual fodder. Weight gain is always a struggle for Danielle and Sarah. Sarah, in particular, is very thin at present. Perhaps rather than worrying and fretting I can just trust God and send her light. Parenting seems to be a fine balance of leading them in the right direction and respecting their own path. Most of the time, I'm never certain I'm doing it correctly! I read the article about "Buddha Boy". If I was Buddha Boy's mom, he wouldn't be in the woods meditating. I would have to tell him, "Get your butt in this house and eat some dinner." The God that I know is more practical in his relationship with me.

Sarah is still on I.V. meds. The picture of the little girl on the tire swing is Sarah. This was taken on Thanksgiving Day. I absolutely love this picture because it captures the essence of Sarah completely. As of last Monday, she is doing much better and will have her I.V. removed this coming Monday. Danielle has begun having problems again too. The doctor gave us one week to see if oral antibiotics, increased vest therapy, and more breathing treatments help her to get well. If her lung functions aren't back up by Monday, she will need to be hospitalized again. She seems better now, so we are hoping for a good report on Monday. Surely if God's light can make a body run with no food, It can make lungs function as they are supposed to!

The picture of the teen-aged girl and boy is Danielle with her boyfriend, Garrett. We have moved into the realm of "teenagerhood" and I'm not sure when this happened. Dan is constantly on the phone, instant-messaging, or text-messaging. I'm learning the being a teen-ager triggers some innate need for heightened communication.

Drywall was delivered on Thursday. This drywall was donated to us by a wonderful church group. Dave established this connection through someone he works with at school. It is so humbling to be the recipient of God's grace in such a real, material way. I was watching a special news program last night about Hurricane Katrina. One of the groups helping is called, "Christ in Action"... I thought, "That is an appropriate name for each of the volunteers who have come." Without a doubt I have experienced first-hand the Love of God through so many people. I have a wonderful vision of how my new rebuilt home will look and I have absolute faith that it will manifest. I haven't had time to make phone calls like I need to, and yet, we continue to receive miraculous blessings each week.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

That Illusive Something

My daughters, Danielle and Sarah, both have cystic fibrosis (CF). Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects primarily the respiratory and digestive systems. Please visit for more information. Last month, Danielle was hospitalized. She received two weeks of I.V. antibiotic therapy. This month, Sarah had to go. In fact, we were just released the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The girls usually stay in the hospital for a couple of days and return home to finish I.V. therapy for 2 or 3 weeks at home. So, right now, we are doing home I.V. therapy for Sarah. We just finished Dan's not long ago. The stress of hospitalization always leaves me feeling overwhelmed and tired. It is in these times that I know I am powered by a Greater Source. People always ask, "How do you do it?" Well, I rely on God, and take little baby-steps and the rest seems to work out.

My greatest hope is that my children will embrace faith for their own lives. For so many years I searched and searched for that illusive something in places that it simply couldn't be found. I know now I was searching for God. I have settled into a comfortable relationship with spirit... This God that I know is all loving, all kind, and all forgiving. And, most of the time, if I can get out of the way, that relationship drives everything I do... The trick is to get out of the way.

This year has been all about surrender for me... We implemented an inclusive special education program at the elementary school where I teach last year. (Yes, I am aware that the majority of the country has been doing it for ages, but remember, I am in Mississippi.) I am primarily responsible for scheduling the special needs students and support staff. I also provide inclusion services to students. Last year, the program was a wonderful success. This year, we have experienced many growing pains. However, I know at a spiritual level that we are doing the right thing for children. I also believe that we are doing a better job providing support staff to regular educators than many programs in other parts of the country. Not everyone shares my vision. This year, I am weary from having to defend the program. But, I should also add that many teachers support the program and work their rear ends off to insure it is successful. They are as dedicated as I am... Sometimes more. The thing that I know is that the opposite of inclusion is exclusion. Exclusionary programming is far easier. I have often felt like I should "take my kids, run away and teach them myself". That isn't life, though. We all have to be a part of the world. And, we have a spiritual responsibility to be a part of the world. We all come here with whatever challenges we were given... Learning disabilities, behavior challenges, mental retardation, physical limitations, health care needs... I believe these challenges work in some way I can't possibly begin to understand for God to create a better world. Just because I can't see it right away, doesn't mean it isn't happening. So, when faced with yet another problem with inclusion this year, I am trying to hold on to that vision. I also recognize that I don't have to do it alone.

That brings me to the house... Yesterday, drywall was supposed to be delivered, but it never happened. Even in the midst of that, I just said, "Thank you, God" because all things seem to be working out better than I could imagine. I am certain everything is happening exactly as it should. Hopefully this week the electrician will come out, the cabinet maker will begin work, and we will order the tile. I scraped a little more of the ugly linoleum up out of the dining room. I have decided it is my job to erradicate that hateful pattern from the world! I'm attaching a picture of my friend, Kenna, scraping the disgusting linoleum shortly after the hurricane. She had the wonderful odor of hurricane swamp water in the air when she came to help!

Love and Light to all who read this! Namaste'!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Snow Globe Effect

This is my first attempt at "blogging"... But, because I am often consumed with my own self importance, I thought it would be interesting to share my recent experiences with others. Life is an interesting process right now and recovering from Hurricane Katrina has proven to be quite an adventure. Things seem to be falling into place, however, and I have a deep and abiding sense that things are going to work out exactly as they are supposed to... People have been absolutely incredible in helping our efforts to rebuild. Some materials have been donated like drywall, insulation and electrical outlets. We are eternally grateful. It is amazing to see that just when the financial need seems overwhelming, some extra help comes through for us. I can only attribute this to Divine Grace. A wonderful group of church members from Savannah, GA came to help us clean out our home. Another friend helped us have our home air quality tested... My ex-in-laws had friends that held a silent auction on our behalf. I am humbled in the midst of the genuine compassion and goodness that we have experienced. Here is a photo of the kitchen we returned home to after Katrina. We got over five feet of water in the house. My husband Dave described it as the "snow globe effect". I will post more photos as I get the hang of this and throughout the rebuilding process. Love and Light to all who read this... Namaste'. ~Christy