Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ladies and Gents: My Dad


(Song to apply as reading...I couldn't get it to link... "Keep breathing" by Ingrid Michaelson)

My dad.

where to begin...

It's very complicated, he and I. Our relationship is the best it's been in probably 11 or 12 years. I am soooo greatful for that. He's drawn the short straw many times...chosen the short straw a few times too. There have been many consequences he has suffered because of some of those choices.
Some he still suffers today.
Some he's turned into things of beauty.
I love my Dad.

I remember thinking when I was a kid he was the strongest man on the earth. I remember telling him he should run for president... lol what a terrible idea...
I remember him playing guitar while my brother, mom and I danced on our front porch while it rained outside.
I remember how proud he's always been of my brothers. Especially when they joined the marines.
HaHa and how after he'd taken my brother for his first tattoo and me to get my belly button pierced saying "my dad takes me for all our body modifications :)" we laughed a lot.
I remember when he asked me to forgive him for all his mistakes. all the short straws he chose that affected my life.
I remember going to an AA meeting with him and never being more proud of him.

Yesterday I bought a ticket to Maryland. It started out because I needed to get away. I really want to see my sister play soccer. she's beautiful. You'll meet her soon. I talked with my brother and her and found an amazing ticket for only $99! so I booked a flight. Going September 6th. We weren't going to tell my dad, it was a surprise. A good surprise.

then today. today I get a surprise.

Today I talked to my dad and he told me Tuesday he's having surgery. he's getting a heart catheter and possibly stints, they will decide during surgery.

My dad is a big man. He's been through a lot. He can handle a lot. Even talking to him online, I could tell he wasn't ok. He's worried. I decided to tell him about my plan... which killleedd me because I sooo wanted to surprise him... I changed my ticket and am flying out Monday morning to be there for the surgery Tuesday and to take care of my father through the week.

God I just pray for...well, me. There are times I just DON'T want to be a grown up and right now is one.
I lift my dad up to you Father. keep him safe. give him peace that this ain't no thang. He's a big boy and can take whatever is sent his way.
Bless the time I have with my family. My dad, gram, brothers and sister. I love them all so much. Other wounds we have-heal us. and God, please give me time to rest.


Monday, August 16, 2010

trying to write chapter 1

So now that I've been shaken and flipped upside down and inside out, I've kind of got my barrings on reality and where my feet are, but where do I go from here?

I don't want to loose momentum and get stuck in the quick sand again. I need help. I need ideas, I need a nudge push or to be tossed in the right direction.

pause while i grab a glass of wine and a rice crispy treat
mmmmm

ok, so what do I do? How is it I go about creating a better story? I guess I need to get involved in something? where to begin? Is it going to be expensive? I don't have a lot of money...er, any money really.

I think about running a marathon, but 1. I'm very very out of shape. 2. what kind of story is that? That I can prove that I can survive exercising in San Antonio without A/C? I'm not doing anything except... running? Don't get me wrong, that would be an AMAZING accomplishment if I could run a marathon in my life...even another 5k. But what would that do? Who would I be helping? How is that a bigger story than myself? That story would still be about me and I need to be involved in something bigger than me.
Something that matters.

I'm not looking to end world peace here, just something to shake me up. get me going. a reason to...I don't know just a reason; meaning.

Don wrote about a few things...one was a bike ride across country for hunger or something like that...now my first reaction was "Heck yes!!!!!!" but then I think, 'would I ever really do that?'
He wrote about doing a hike in Peru and his new mentoring program.

I think of a lot of things and they are all romantic ideas, however what's the reality of any of them? I don't want to just talk about a change in my life, I want to get up and go make a change in my life. I don't want to keep sitting here and typing about other peoples adventures, I need to be a part of my own.

I'm taking ideas. Let me know of a cause. A challenge. no matter how big or small, I have to start somwhere. I figure the more people that know the less the chance I'll bail and become myself again.
Challenge me. Stretch me. Support me. I invite you all to get up and go. DO something.

So email me ideas and challenges. rhondaknunez@gmail.com

I'm very excited/terrified of the future. I have no idea where I'll be in a week, a year a month or even 3 years. But I'm anxious to see where this life takes me.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ladies and Gents: Donald, freakin', Miller

So i think i have a love affair going with an author...not really. please don't freak out and no need to pray for me. I just thoroughly enjoy the way this author, speaker, theologian, teacher and seemingly normal man's way of thinking.
I will quote him often and refer to all of his books at one point or another. I'd like you to meet him.
Friend(s??) and reader(s??) of mine I'd like you to meet Donald, freaking, Miller. I usually refer to him as Don...as if i know him. I promise I'm not creepy.

He has a few books:
Blue Like Jazz, Through Painted Deserts, To Own a Dragon, Searching for God knows What, and most recently A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.

I've heard him speak once live. I've downloaded a few of his lectures from a few different colleges and churches...and yes I read his blog, I know, I know... kinda creepy....

donaldmilleris.com

He will stretch your mind. Make you think outside of the box yet in the same breath or stroke of a key he makes faith and Christianity seem SO simple.

Sorry Don, but, here are a few quotes from him and his books:

Blue Like Jazz:
" I believe the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the evil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious."

"If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn't want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him."

" When we worship God we worship a being our life experience does not give us the tools with which to understand. If we could, God would not inspire awe."

"I need to be somewhere else after I die, somewhere with God, somewhere that wouldn't make any sense if it were explained to me right now."

referring to love thy neighbor as yourself
"He was saying I would never talk to my neighbor the way I talked to myself, and that somehow I had come to believe it was wrong to kick other people around, but it was okay to do it to myself."

this one is long, but so so good
"...Jesus didn't just love me out of principle; he didn't just love me because it was the right thing to do. rather, there was something inside me that caused Him to love me. I think i realized that if i walked up to His campfire, he would ask me to sit down, and He would ask me my story. he would take the time to listen to my ramblings or my anger until i could calm down, and then he would look me directly in the eye, and He would speak to me; he would tell me the truth and I would sense in his voice and in the lines on His face that he liked me. He would rebuke me, too, and he would tell me i have prejudices against very religious people and that i need to deal with that; he would tell me that here are poor people in the world and i need to feed them and that somehow this will make me more happy. I think he would tell me what my gifts are and why I have them, and he would give me ideas on how to use them. I think He would explain to me why my father left, and he would point out very clearly all the ways God has taken care of me through he years, all the stuff God protected me from."


Through Painted Deserts
"but all in all, there's got to be some sort of soul mate thing going on. That's gonna take work, i think. There are some people in this world who love their spouse because they provide them with the life they want, and there are others who love their spouse just because they've chosen to, or because love has chosen them or whatever."

"...one is confronted with the notion that life may be much easier than the rest of us believe it is, that most of the things we worry about are not worth worrying about, that a low bank account or unfashionable clothes won't give you cancer. And this is precisely how it sometimes feels to me, that a low bank account or low social status will give me cancer"

"If you can't climb up out of a canyon real quick, just do it slow."

"...as if to say the story is not about you, but for you, as if to remind us we are not gods."


To Own a Dragon (written mostly for boys, but me too)
"I thought we should all be willing to make complete idiots of ourselves for God, and how even if our voices sound like a chicken in a cage with a ferret, we should be willing to praise God with the pipes God gave us."

"realizing we are broken is the beginning of healing. And for me, some of the healing began that night."

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, Jesus says. And i don't think Jesus was saying God was a control freak, trying to make Himself feel powerful. he could to that my smashing a few atoms together if He wanted..."

"...it reaffirmed that our fathers aren't God. They can help us understand who God is and how good He is, but they can also do a lot of damage. But God is God regardless, and if we take the Bible as true, it's good to think He is fathering us perfectly"

"The truth is we aren't always going to win. Life throws stuff at us we can't beat. It happens to everyone. The hardest lesson is learning how to lose."

"a person who believes he is stupid is worse than a person who is stupid"


Searching for God Knows What
" if you happened to be a person who thought they knew everything about God, Jesus would have been completely annoying."

"...there are two essential problems with believing God is somebody he isn't. The first problem is that it wrecks your life, and the second is that it makes God look like an idiot."

"...it is a powerful occurrence to have somebody look you in the eye and say you are worth something."

"He went around looking people in the eye to tell them they were beautiful, that He stood as a rock for them. A being who, for the rest of their lives, they could look back to hear in their minds, and envision in their memories, God saying to them the world had been lying, and you are indeed beautiful."


A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
"somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is just unjust, rather than a master storyteller."

"One of the things that gives me hope is that, even with all the tragedy that happens in the world, the Bible says that when we get to heaven, there will be a wedding and there will be drinking and there will be dancing."

"No girl who plays the role of a hero dates a guy who uses her. She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while"

"the most often repeated commandment in the Bible is "Do not fear" It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are gong to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around."

ALL OF CHAPTER 29..everyone needs to read this chapter, just go right now...SO hard to pick a small part to share...ugh...it's just all so good! actually, stop reading my dumb blog where currently I'm just copyrighting anyway and go, right now, and read it!!

enjoy a coffee while you're there...a triple grande nonfat white mocha...maybe?

ok, wasn't it really good!? i mean the crucifying the wrong person part, and the marriage part, and the sex drugs and rock and roll?


Ok Don, I'm done. Just consider it a little free advertising...or copyrighting...call it what you may.... but just going through and rereading some of that brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Don, you've been a huge influence on my life. I hope you will be as big a blessing in my reader's life as you've been in mine.
i can't wait for your movie
-r
ps. i swear i'm not creepy.

friday nights these days

I'm old. well, definatly not old, but i'm no young bird anymore.



It's friday night. I'm actually not working and i'm sitting at home...typing in a blog? so super cool. I was chattin with my very good friend and telling her my new found epiphany... ya know, that i'm old.

she agreed.

At least she threw herself on the boat with me telling me her inner battle to drink a glass of wine or not.


it's 10:30pm. did i mention its friday night?


then i explained it was practically WWIII in my head debating on eating ice cream.






I'm pretty happy with my decision.

Coffee, cookies and cream & chocolate my 3 best friends at the moment.

And my lovely friend too for helping me make this decision in my life.

she enjoyed her wine.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

preface, maybe Intro, but not quite chapter 1

So i don't know when He actually placed his hands on my shoulders...but I know I remember the shaking and the waking up, and the tears and the pain and the fear and the peace I felt all at the same time. I've never been so shaken in my life. where I feel it in my gut, and my heart and my bones and everywhere I looked. My eyes have never been so sore, my throat so dry, my heart so empty. I was sleeping. I was wondering in absolutly nothingness. He placed his hands on each of my shoulders and shook me so hard I didn't know if the earth was moving or just my world. I didn't know where my feet were. I couldn't catch my breath. He shook me, and I woke up.

My creater woke me.

I'm starting on a journey. I need to be a part of a story. Something bigger than myself. I read a book by Donald Miller and that's all he talked about, being a part of something bigger than me. A challenge. I'm a charcter in a story... and right now, my story is meaningless. What am I doing? I wake up around 11, piddle around the house, get ready and go to work. Come home, sleep then repeat. Until recently, I wasn't even allowing the creater of me be a part of my story. I've learned a lot from Don (i like to pretend i know him).

God woke me up. he said "LOOK AT ME! INVITE ME INTO YOUR STORY! LET ME BE YOUR STORY! I CREATED YOUR STORY AND EVERY PLACE AND CHARACTER IN IT!"

Then I felt bad for a while.

But now, I'm trying to get up off my ass and want to start a new greater story.

Creator is one of my main characters this time. And I see Him everywhere.
I see him in this coffee shop I go to almost everyday. I saw him there today in a hug between two people. I don't know them, and I wasn't being creepy, but I saw Him in that hug. It was a good hug. I wish I could have taken a picture and given it to them.
I see Him in my dogs, Maximus and Mayer, when they make me laugh at least once a day. And how they love. Oh they have so much love.
I see Him in my husband.
I see Him in my friend at work when he is BEEMING, grinning from ear to ear when he talks about his 9 children...yes 9. He is so in love.
He's a part of my daily life and He's stretching me to become more.

I belive all the way down, deep in my bones that God created me on purpose. And you too. I think He wrote us into this BIG story yet gave us a pen and is allowing us to write it as we want. I know I have sloppy handwritting, just ask my boss... but I was allowing that sloppyness into my life. I was taking advantage of having control over that pen. I think I just set it down and let the paper get a little old and yellow-y. I wasn't doing anything. Ive been stagnant and wayy too comfortable.

Don wrote:
"If i have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story and put is in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you....
...We don't want to be characters in a story becasue characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable then we dont have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants."

Now, I'm reading a book by Steven James, conviniently, titled "Story." I read this a few years ago but it had no affect on my life, but this time it's shoving me around like trying to fit crayons in their box.
He wrote:
"the text of my life is in need of editing.
enter between the lines,
pick up the pen of your love,
let your majesty engulf my heart,
rewrite me.

reveal yourself to me
even if it means that
i must disappear
into you.

inversion."

OK! OK! OK! I get it!

So here's where I am. I'm going to write a new, better story...I'm going to try anyway. I still have awful handwriting, I'm just going to try not to let it affect how I write this time... at least keeping the pen in my hand. After all, the more I write the better it will get...right?
now that's a freakin' loaded statement...