My Sister's Getting Married: The World Spins Madly On

In one week my twin sister will be married. Of my 14 previous bridesmaid gigs, this is my most important venue yet. Normally its easy to fulfill your bridesmaid duties of looking one step less than the bride, but since I look like the bride, she would look bad if I looked bad, so I have to look good and not bad but also look different not the same.  It is very complicated.

My sister getting married to her awesome fiancee, brings up a lot of emotions.  I think it would be unwise to give all of my emotions to a blog, although blogging is therapeutic. (This particular post did minister to my soul:  In place of an emotion, I shall give you my favorite description.

Imagine opening scene to one of those hip indie movies. There I am laying on the floor with my arms and legs stretched out. Clothing wise I am wearing a super sweet pair of jeans, something that fits with the Indie scene you are already imagining. The 70's style room is spinning around me in a swirl of browns and burnt oranges, chill music is playing, probably the Weepies.  You'd get dizzy if you weren't focusing on my face, which stands still despite the spinning around it.

I am so excited that my sweet sister is starting a new amazing chapter of her life and choosing a new partner, but as I lay still... the world spins madly on. 

That Time We Almost Killed Our Grandma...

Philly (my great Grandma), arrived in the US from Italy, when she was 16 years old. She came to the US in the days when you taught your kids to be A'murican!  Anyway, that's what I blame for knowing little to no Italian. Growing up she spoke rusty English in a thick aggressive Italian accent.  From as early a time as I can remember she'd "offer" me wine. It was an offer I couldn't refuse.  Philly may have been a short stalky woman, but she was definitely not to be messed with.

When I was in college, I could tell Philly was getting older, I mean she was like 98 at that point. One day, when Philly was 99.5, my grandparents left mia sorella gemalla and I to grandma sit (babysit sounds condescending). Anyway, we were sitting around the kitchen table trying to keep Philly entertained. She kept moaning while tears were forming in her eyes. We were scared, but looking back, I think she was just saying... I am old.  We tried to get her to eat to no avail.  Mia gemalla was reading to her from the Bible, but all the terrible stuff... Woe to him... surely be put to death, etc... etc... Obviously Hell, Fire and Brimstone was not helping, since the moaning only increased. In an act of desperation, we started using every Italian word we knew... "Bella" "Grazie" "Statta Zit e Mang"

The moaning and tears only increased. As we reached our point of hopelessness, Philly locked her body in a straight line and started to slide out of her wheel chair. We sprinted over to pull up her lead like body,  while still speaking every Italian word we knew. We tried to push her back in her chair, but she wasn't having it. In an act of desperation, we decided to attempt to move her to her bed so she could watch the rosary, an exciting option for a 99.5 year old. Mia gemalla pulled the chair from the front while holding on to Philly's feet that were dragging on the ground, and I pushed from the back holding up her shoulders. Gemalla pulled while I pushed through the doorway to the dining room. As I pushed, the chair got caught on the floor leading into the dining room and started to lean forward. Mia gemalla lost her footing and fell to the ground. Philly, body still locked, flew out of the chair and landed on mia gemalla like a moaning brick..

There I stood, on the other side of the doorway, with a chair in between and no way around. My 99.5 year old great grandmother was laid on top of my sister who was trying to form whole sentences yelling "Bella" "Bella" with different inflections.  It was at that exact moment that I heard my grandparents car pull up. I ran outside leaving my sister laying under our 99.5 year old grandmother. I wanted to be the first to tell my grandparents that we had managed to kill Philly in just 2 hours of babysitting. My grandpa went into the house, picked her up, moved her to bed, turned on the rosary and said... "Ah she's fine, that's normal."

In conclusion, "what is normal, anyway," and yeh, we didn't kill our grandma.

Sorry boo, I don't trust you!

Do you Trust Me?

Whenever a guy asks me if I trust him, I always think of Aladdin holding out his hand to Jasmine. I am glad that line worked out for Jasmine, but unfortunately it has yet to work out for me. Time and time again some sweet young man asks, "Do you trust me?" Despite a lifetime of rejection, I say, yes, yes, of course I trust you. You are my friend. I know you would never willingly hurt me.  And though I am scared, I wouldn't mind singing a duet to A Whole New World as we look at the stars from our magic carpet.  Admit it, we all want the fairy tale. So yes, yes of course I trust you.

Well unless you've seen a fairy tale where Prince Charming breaks up with his princess because he doesn't feel emotionally ready, or where he says I only slept with "X" number of girls, than my life has never ended in a fairy tale.  Though Red, Yellow, Black and White are precious in His sight; they have each been d-bags in my sight.  And so, I have decided the fairy tale doesn't exist. If you ask me, "Do I trust You?" the answer will be no. I don't trust you, because quite frankly Jesus didn't trust you (John 2:24).  Jesus loved fearlessly, even though he knew he would be betrayed by those who pledged their undying faithfulness. He did not entrust himself to the accolades of man, because he knew what was in man. He chose me while I was still a sinner, an open enemy of God. He didn't trust me, he trusted his Father.

So, in case you are unaware, you are not trustworthy, at least not completely. You are a sinner saved by grace, and on this earth you are still wrestling with your sin. There are moments where you will cry like Paul that although you desire to do good, you keep on doing the evil you do not wish to do. You will kick yourself every time you let down a sweet brother or sister in the faith. Their tears and heartache will haunt you. You will hate the words you didn't mean to say, because you know how they turned to swords stabbing hearts that you pledged to protect.  So, sweet brother or sister, you are not any more trustworthy than myself. We will continue to hurt each other, no matter  how good our intentions, but He will continue to redeem, no matter how big our error. God is trustworthy, you and I, are not.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8

Your Woe is Me Guilt Free Pity Party I'm all Alone Valentine's Play List:

There are 3 Ways to Approach Valentine's Day!
1. Excited, because you are madly in love and cannot wait to spend this special day sending sappy love messages & telling the person you madly love how much you love them.
2. Indifferent, not because you are cynical, but because it is, in fact, just another day.
3. Openly Bitter, because Valentine's is the perfect day to have your guilt free woe is me pity party.

For those of you choosing option 3 for this Valentine's, I would like to offer you an awesome mix. Why? Because mixes are awesome, and people should make more mixes. Also, because I have already created this awesome mix and feel this the most opportune time to share it with the world.

Your Woe is Me Guilt Free Pity Party I'm all Alone Play List: 

1. Tired of Being Alone- Al Green
2. All by Myself- Celine Dion
3. Mr. Lonely- Bobby Vinton (Also try the Akon remix)
4. Much too Young- Garth Brooks
5. Ridin Solo- Jason Derulo
6. Private Party- India Arie 
7. Heaven Forbid- The Fray
8. All Alone- Fun
9. Another Saturday Night- Sam Cooke 
10. Everybody's Got Somebody But Me- Hunter Hayes
11. Here I go Again- White Snake
12. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry- Hank Williams
13. Breakup Song- Wale (Watch Video)

It seems right to end on 13. I hope this list aids in you feeling as bad as you feel like you should feel on Valentine's Day. For those of you choosing healthier options, good job!

An Ode to My Friends Who Understand this One:

Many of my friends are currently anxious, confused and some, like me, wrestling with bitterness. We all know we should not be anxious about anything. I am sure that was the comment you were about to say, so I said it for you. But that's the thing about anxiety, bitterness and confusion they just sneak up on you.  One second you are breathing fine, the next second you are on the brink of a panic attack, looking for the inhaler that you don't actually own. Why? Because you don't know where you will live next year or where you will work? Because you don't know if he's the one, or if this other guy is the one or if Shemar Moore is the one and you just haven't met him yet? (Note to self- figure out how to meet Shemar Moore to see if he's "the one"). Because you are 30 and no closer to understanding how anyone knows "the one"?

There are 10,000 emotions running through your brain at one time and all you want to do is go run until you can't feel it any more, but all you have the energy to do is lay on your couch.  While you are laying lifeless on your couch, you replay every past decision looking for mistakes, analyzing decisions made decades before. It's a terrible life season, the not knowing. It's also great. God's word becomes real to you in ways it hasn't been real in a long time. As emotions race you say "you promised wisdom, and I'm cashing that promise in. I need it". You pray for peace and wait for it to transcend your understanding.  You connect with the bitterness of King Hezekiah, the prophet Elijah and sweet Naomi. Call me Mara. But you also cling to the moment when God hears and sees Hezekiah's bitter tears, feeds and strengthens defeated Elijah and redeems Naomi's broken past.  It is in these moments of anxiety and confusion that we get to anxiously await God's redemption, which always comes. It is where bitterness turns to hope, confusion turns to order, and anxiety is once again filled with peace.
Shemar Moore isn't exactly related, but I figured it would save you a google search :)!

Why Bruno Mars Makes Me Long for Heaven?

I can't connect with most Christian music. I try, I really do, but most contemporary Christian music does little for me. My soul does, however, connect with the heart break of Otis Redding, the bitterness of Carrie Underwood, and of course the love ballads of my Boys II Men (and a select few less shady R. Kelly). There have been numerous occasions where I have read my Bible while jamming to what most people would consider sacrilegious music. I refrain from lifting up my praise hands in agreement  when Mary J. is confessing how Me and Mr. Wrong have a good thing going on, and when Otis is cry-singing about how images are burned in his eyes and mind.  Soul music reminds me of the fallenness of humanity, our heart break and deep longing, well and I just like it. What can I say, it connects and sometimes makes me long for my Savior a little more.

So it is with that prequel that I connect a Pop song to the gospel. Yes I am that girl.  As I was reading this week, my boy Bruno came on. I had to stop. His voice deserves full attention, amen? Playing was one of my favorites, a very short love ballad, If I knew. He repeats the lyric, "I wish I was 17 so I can give you all the innocence that you can give to me.  I wouldn't have done all the things I have done, if I knew one day you'd come." Obviously, Bruno is talking about his new love interest, and how his life would have been different, his decisions would have been different, if he had only known, only believed, that one day this special person would come. So judge if you want, but when I was jamming, holding back my praise hands, I thought, but that is true of me. I do forget my Savior is returning, but when I remember, it makes me want to live differently and reflect on so many of the dumb decisions I have made because I forgot. 

Just another Saturday Night in America: According to me and Coke

It's was just another Saturday night, and my sweet North African friend wanted me to come to his birthday party early to keep him company. I got there late, which was still early. When I got there it was just my sweet friend and his friend, a guy from Syria. Shortly after, two other Arabic men arrived (they had the same name so we will call them Hmad). At this point my sweet North African friend left to pick up food. I was left with Syria, Hmad and Hmad (names have been changed- obviously).  Since my sweet North African friend did not  have furniture at the time, the guys sat on one side of the wall and I sat across. I decided to break the ice by taking turns asking the guys questions like one of those dating shows. English was definitely all of their second language.  Within 20 minutes 3 more Arabic men showed up. The new additions were from Morocco.  Being slightly outnumbered I felt a bit odd at this point, but, you know, day in my life. Then another one of my friends arrived, he is half Nigerian and half English.  Only problem was his wife did not show up with him.  So at this point it was me and 7 international men.  I'm not gonna lie, kinda loved it. Eventually another Nigerian showed up and he brought an American couple. In case you are losing count: there were 2 American girls, one American/Puerto Rican Guy, 3 Moroccan men, 2 Saudi men, 1 Syrian man, and 2 Nigerian men. It was the start of a beautiful night.  I wish I could describe to you in full detail but since that is always impossible I'll just tell you to imagine lots of cigarettes, cursing in funny accents, hookah and Allah talk.

Later that night we decide to keep up our little United Nations, and we went salsa dancing.  I danced with 8 different men, each from a different country. With each, I did my ethical duty, and  explained to that I can not dance. My favorite, a short Hispanic guy would count (1 & 2) the whole time. As soon as he stopped I'd mess up and he would laugh and go (1 & 2).  At the end of the night another Hispanic guy asked me to dance. I could tell he wasn't getting my "I can't dance". In fact he didn't' understand me at all. He may have put his hand on my butt and tried to dance a little too close for comfort. So... I of course laughed, tried to speak in English and then danced awkwardly "not cute" without touching him at all.  Overall I danced with the nations.