Pointless Rambling

All posts in the Pointless Rambling category

Happy Towel Day!

Published May 25, 2013 by sojournerkat

Towel Caturday SquareHappy Towel Day!

Wow…that means we’ve been blogging for a year now! Amazeboots.

OK, I have no idea what that means, but you get the idea.

Towel Day this year happened to fall on #Caturday on G+. This is one of my favorite pictures from today:

I have no idea why WordPress rotated it. It wasn’t that way when I uploaded it, I swear.

Today I kept my towel with me at all times. It even came in handy when the restroom at the movie theater ran out of paper towels. Maria and I went to see Star Trek: Into Darkness. It was fun, but definitely not my dad’s Star Trek. He gave me an earful on the phone about it.

 

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I’m in Love

Published January 2, 2013 by sojournerjulie

Siren WalmartI’m in love with a new author. Well, she’s been published for a couple of years now, but she’s new to me.

Her name is Tiffany Reisz.

I was in Barnes & Noble, and I walked by the table piled high with 50 Shades of Grey one too many times. I admit, I was curious, and the books were marked down fairly cheap. A lady, a stranger, put a copy of The Siren in my hands and said “Skip 50 Shades. This is much better.”

I still haven’t read 50 Shades, but I devoured The Siren and went on to read The Angel and The Prince. I can’t wait until the 4th book in the Original Sinners series comes out in August!

Today the author is interviewed on the Suicide Girls blog. Don’t let the name scare you (OK, the name scares me a little…) it just means they’re a community of Goth, Punk, and Metal-type pinup girls. I think they’re using the term “suicide” as empowering somehow.

One big aspect of Ms. Reisz’ writing is that her kinky characters are often devout Christians. One is even a Catholic priest. The point is not that these people are defying God by being sexual, but that they are fully human, sexual, religious people who love and worship God openly.

I’ve fallen madly in love with one of the characters. His name is Wesley, and when we meet him he’s a twenty-something virgin studying medicine and devoutly loving the Lord Our God. He is sweet and kind and handsome and loving and giving and…

~swoon!~

But there’s a different reason I love him so. I see in him someone I could have been. I see a life I wanted for myself that was taken away from me.

I’ve always been the quiet one. You might call it naturally submissive, but not in a BDSM kind of way. When Jesus said “The meek shall inherit the Earth” it was me He was talking about. I’d rather be blessed as the poor in spirit, and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven…

Doug? Help me here…

Confusing Customs

Published December 26, 2012 by sojournerkat

752px-Gerard_van_Honthorst_001This has been a confusing Christmas, but a wonderful one. Since my host family was going to get together at Maria’s parents’ house (If I forgot to mention it earlier, Maria’s grandparents are my hosts) Maria, Jordan and I all just crashed on Maria’s couch after the Christmas Eve marathon. Oh… I should also explain that Jordan’s parents are elsewhere for Christmas this year… I forget whether they’re visiting one of his siblings or on vacation or whatever…

Anywho… Every church has their own traditions and customs around the entire Christmas season. I missed some of the things I used to do with my own family. My mom was Catholic, and my grandparents kept up those traditions for my sake even after my mother died. There have been other churches I’ve explored, and there’s always something different. One church would put on an elaborate play, different each year, where the kids had to audition for parts and commit to rehearsals months in advance. Others put an emphasis on music, with either multiple groups performing, or paid guests, or one big cantata.

I missed Hanukkah this year. I was so caught up in everything, I just didn’t… well, I can’t say I didn’t remember. It’s just that there are no other Jews in my life right now. My father sent a present. My grandparents sent a gift certificate. I sent them stuff too… it just didn’t seem the same.

There is something very important about fellowship. Faithful Heart has it in spades. I’m not just talking about the schedule of worship services and other events. I’m talking about how the people there just really love to be together, whether it’s a pot luck dinner or a really boring committee meeting. It’s so hard to chase people out of the church after meeting are over. There are always more than a few stragglers, people who act like they haven’t seen each other in ages even though they see each other at least three or four times a week.

We had confusing customs when I was growing up. Not confusing=bad, just confusing=complicated. Although my mother made sure the Catholic traditions were front and center, and those traditions are dear to me, we made room for the Jewish traditions as well.

I’m just not sure how to do that all by myself.

Hugging and Not Letting Go

Published December 15, 2012 by sojournerjulie
Security by David Bowman

Security by David Bowman

Ford is sick of being hugged.

Various relatives have told me “Enough with the hugging already! Let the boy go.”

But I’m not going to stop. After what happened yesterday, I just can’t imagine how I would go on without my son. I know it’s a cliche, but he really is my whole world. Everything I do, I do for him.

I didn’t really realize it until now. I thought my decisions… to be a Sojourner, to create a new life for us as a family away from the family where I was raised…I often felt selfish. But the horrors of yesterday’s events have been echoing in my brain. I try not to dwell, but I find my mind drifting to what my life would be like without Ford.

I can’t even contemplate. It’s too terrible.

I became a Sojourner because I needed… we needed to live our own life. I am and always will be grateful to the family members who did everything for us while I finished High School. Although some of our family looked the other way while I went through certain life changes, at least they never actively opposed me. And when I decided that Ford and I needed to move away, although they tsk-tsk’d and said it was a bad idea, they didn’t try to make it difficult for us.

Ford and I are “home” for the holidays. We have been since Thanksgiving. I was extra careful to have all my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed on the paperwork for Ford’s homeschooling so we could come back to see grandparents and everybody for a whole month. For more than a month…we’ll be here through New Year’s.

I have a permanent scar on my lip, I’ve had to bite it so many times. But it’s par for the course with my family. Everyone has opinions, and they’re not afraid to express them. There are certain rules I’ve stood my ground on, and others I’ve let relax. There are some rules that I don’t like but we’ve had to accept while we’re here. My parents think Ford should be limited to a half hour of computer use each day. They seem to think it’s just a brain-washing video game. They don’t understand what kind of a tool it is. I’ve bought him a tablet, and we’ve shown the elders how it’s a great way to read books. We don’t mention how he can also use it to access the web and a thousand aps. (Don’t worry. They won’t read this blog, not in a million years. It’s “new-fangled unnecessariness!”)

We still have a few weeks before we go back to Colorado. Rev. Mark said he might have a couple of short-term placements for me. We’re still hoping for a post where we can stay for a whole year. Ford’s good at making friends, but it’s hard for a kid to have to move around so much.

Whatever may come, I lay it in God’s hands.

A Chance to Be Private

Published December 8, 2012 by sojournerkat

800px-US_Navy_020712-N-5471P-010_EOD_teams_detonate_expired_ordnance_in_the_Kuwaiti_desertDon’t get me wrong. I absolutely adore my host family! I have the entire upstairs to myself, and they respect my privacy. The entire church has been so welcoming and wonderful…I have no complaints!

Well maybe I do. They’re just not the kind of thing that I’d ever say out loud. They’re petty little things, like people talking with food in their mouths and parents who don’t teach their kids to say “please” and “thank you.” These are the kinds of things I only mention around people I trust can listen to me spill my guts without taking those guts and eviscerating me publicly.

Jordan and Maria do this for me. Jordan’s the Youth Pastor, and we spend enough time together to be thoroughly sick of each other by the end of the day. And yet somehow we almost always end up having dinner together, often with Maria (my host’s grand-daughter) and laughing into the evening.

There’s a young woman in the church who works in telephone customer service for a large company. She has to “keep a smile in her voice” no matter what the customer says. It’s emotionally exhausting! If a supervisor overhears her and her co-workers venting to each other about customers, even when they’re in the company cafeteria far away from the phones, in a secure building where the only people who can hear them are their fellow workers, the supervisor chastises them.

This is counter productive. Everybody needs to vent somewhere, and the best possible place these people can vent is at work to each other! I think all the employees would be so much happier and better able to “keep a smile in their voice” if they could just spend twenty minutes of their day venting with each other.

One of the college guys just came home for Christmas. He’s a Resident Assistant in his dormitory, and they have meetings twice a week. Once with just their building, and another large meeting with all the Residential Life staff on campus. They are not only permitted, but encouraged to vent during these times, which are behind closed doors and far away from prying ears. They get to hear the truth behind incidents that came up during the week, instead of hearing through the whispered grapevine things that may or may not be true. The staff makes it very clear that everything they talk about is confidential, and should not be talked about outside where there is even the slightest chance to be overheard.

One of the moms in the church is a writer. She was telling me how frustrating it is to have to maintain a positive and upbeat persona in public, whether it’s online or at a book signing or convention. Some people like to throw rocks at anyone in the spotlight, even if it’s a tiny spotlight on a little known, mildly successful romance author. There are several sites where people can leave reviews of books, and although this writer hasn’t had a problem, her friends who write erotica or GLBTQ or other so-called non-traditional, or at least non-mainstream romances are plagued with people who put up negative reviews before the book is even available to the public! On Goodreads, people can name their bookshelves things like “Authors Who Stink” and they can pick a book they hate and put it on this shelf. Everyone who looks at that book’s page can see that someone labeled it “Authors Who Stink.” There is no vetting or moderation of comments. People can say anything.

This writer was venting to me mostly because we were sitting alone, waiting for the kids to do something (I forget what) and she knew I wouldn’t take her spilled guts and eviscerate her. The only time she interacts with other authors is online, which is the worst possible place to vent when you’re trying to maintain a mature and professional demeanor. She does see others at conventions, but with so many people around you can never be sure when an innocent comment might be taken the wrong way. Sadly, she has to be careful about what she says around both her GLBTQ writer friends and her Inspirational writer friends. There isn’t much crossover there, which is sad.

I’m a big proponent of “Why can’t we all just get along?”  However people will always have differences, and opinions and times when they just need to vent. Instead of trying to smother these feelings, we should help people let it out in a safe way.

Isaac

Published August 30, 2012 by sojournerkat

Hurricane Isaac

Wow.

I spent last summer in New Orleans, where the aftermath of hurricane Katrina is still keenly felt, even seven years later. Now they’re getting pounded again, this time by hurricane Isaac. Watching the footage, my heart is breaking for these people who have already been through so much, and worked so hard to rebuild. It is so frustrating to feel like you’re finally getting somewhere, just to be smacked down again.

I can think of lots of analogies. Bicycling up a hill, seeing the top, but once you reach it you discover that it isn’t the top after all. It’s just not as steep anymore. This is why I don’t like cycling. Another analogy: A babysitter I once had was a neighbor lady with two kids a little younger than me. By the end of the day, I could tell she was getting tired, but she was always sweet and loving and wonderful. I knew she was counting down the hours until her husband got home from work, because the kids always ran to him and she could finally have a moment of peace. Every once in a while, he’d call and say that something came up and he was going to be late. Even then, she was a sweet lady, but those were the times she was more likely to let us all just watch cartoons or something. I didn’t fully understand until I was an adult just how she must have felt, anticipating relief and then having it yanked away.

I tried thinking up a biblical analogy for hurricane Isaac, but I just can’t. Isaac was the middle of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God made the promise to Abraham that he’d be the father of nations, but it was Jacob who had twelve sons who founded the twelve tribes. Isaac’s main claim to fame was that his father was willing to sacrifice him if that was what the Lord wanted him to do.

If you’re trying to make an analogy between that story and a hurricane hitting the gulf coast, you’re really stretching it.

Lord, watch over my friends in New Orleans as they deal with this devastating hurricane.

Give them comfort and hope as they struggle to rebuild.

The Lord is My Shepherd

Published August 19, 2012 by sojournerjorgenssen

This is for Julie, who gave me crap about my profile picture.

Yes, I look like a shepherd.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 23, King James version

Yes, my avatar looks like a shepherd. It’s a scene from Shakespeare’s As You Like It . The scene is The Mock Marriage of Orlando and Rosalind by artist Walter Deverell. I love the term “Pastor” because it comes from the Latin for herdsman. One who feeds. One who watches over. The pastoral aspect was what attracted me to the clergy in the first place. I am called to serve.