Sunday, May 10, 2009

A little poem...


What an akward word are you...
Do you even exist...
It seems man may have made you up...
Just to get us pissed.

Life goes on and goes so fast...
Never stopping to breathe...
We turn around and soon realize that...
We're better off to leave.

Happiness is hard to grasp...
And love seems farther still...
What once was hidden by our clouds...
Is often times revealed.

Is life worth the pain and tears...
that fall and wash the truth...
Lingering, hanging, clasping on...
To something we'll soon lose.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Roots. ZCCN

ZCCN. Does it mean anything to you? Do you know what it means?? NO? Well...

Zion Community Church of the Nazarene.
Used to be my life. For real.

I spent almost every waking moment in this church. I loved the people, my co-workers (well...), my Bible Study group, & my Pastor.

The point here is that I kinda miss it. I do. We were always laughing, joking, and having a great time --- but it was all in good fun. I could be myself around them always. My personality was bubbly almost. I loved Jesus with all of my heart and I loved to praise him. Loved it!

I've had people try to tell me that because it is considered a "trinity," then that means that we believe in 3 Gods. Nope. That isn't true. I was raised that there was ONE God!! ONE!! That he has the roles of the father, son, & the holy spirt, but he is a single deity!!!

I learned some essentials from that church:

1) Norma's class. Yeah, we had homework. Yeah, it was Sunday School. Yeah, it was due each week. Yeah, I had to wear a name tag, because she wouldn't stop calling me Amy. Yeah, I remember her class so well.

*The Lord himself goes before you. He will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. - Deut. 31:8

*I cast all of my cares upon you... I lay all of my burdens down at your feet... and anytime that I don't know... what to do... I will cast all of my cares upon you.- song we had to sing weekly

2)It's okay to argue on a soapbox. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time. It's okay, though.

3)If an old person has their eyes closed in Church- they are NOT asleep. They are just resting their eyes.

4)Junior High boys will wear make-up to cover up zits.

5)Pastor's kids, no matter the age, will still try to grow pot.

6)Humor can cure almost any situation.

5)It's okay to play basketball in the sanctuary.

6)Do not shake up pop cans and throw them out the windows at semis speeding down the interstate (unless the phone number isn't on the side of the van).

7)It isn't nice to make fun of girls whose moms make them wear big hair bows, but it is really fun!!

8)Playing the trumpet during offering can be forced on you by a mean mother. Thanks.

9)Ryan Payton doesn't like jelly donuts.

10)Amy isn't an actress.

11)Church boys aren't always "nice" boys. Okay, they rarely are.

12)If you try to stay awake for 48 hours, then you will begin to hallucinate.

13)Really short ladies are good at gardening.

14)High School boys think they're a lot smarter than their Sunday School teachers.

15)Old men can play basketball.

16)There are actually Kentucky Basketball fans out there.

17)You really can fit a ton of people in a little concession stand booth without killing anyone yelling "hotdog" in your ear.

18)Pastor Keith Ross is a crazy Chicago driver.

19)Pastor Andy Hughes is just crazy.

20)You really can love people that aren't related to you as much as the ones who are!

Well... that all being said. I miss ZCCN. I can't go back there now, because my life won't allow it at this time. I do love them sooooo much, though!!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That one girl...


The other day I posted a blog about my sisters. When I read it to my mom she said, "What about Courtney?" Of course, my adopted sister. How could I forget!

When I was in the 8th grade, getting cozy at the Valentine's Day Dance with someone I'll call Kyle, up skips my sister Amy. In tote she has a girl with her and in her shrill voice says, "April, this is my friend Courtney." I glared at her as I slow danced and said, "Ok. Can we talk about this later??" That was the beginning of the end!

From that point on this girl was constantly at our house. The weird thing is that she wasn't one of those annoying friends that you keep thinking "when are they going to leave." No, she was actually fun- most of the time. She would go out of her way to get a ride to our house whenever there was a big snow or flood prediction so that she could "accidentally" get stuck with us. Once she promised Amy that she'd ride roller coasters with her just to be able to go to Six Flags with us. Once there, though, she backed out. Amy said, "I'm not your friend no more" and ran away. I laughed and laughed and laughed. Mamaw Hatley rode roller coasters with Amy on that day. That was really funny!! Courtney seemed to be at every holiday and family dinner that we had. At Christmas her pile of gifts was just as big as ours from my mom and dad. She still comes over on Christmas eve to go through the tradition of opening gifts with us and still gets her pickles and sometimes beef jerky.

We have done LOTS of crazy things. Once her and I were riding in a car- me driving and her passenger. She told me to hold still because there was a bee on my neck. I went ballistic!! I started shaking my head, but still held on to the wheel. I didn't brake, but kept on ahead as she screamed "STOP." I just sped up going through yards and near misses with trees. When I finally stopped we laughed so hard that we almost peed our pants!! It was hilarious! So hilarious!!

We made an exclusive club called the "Pick and Run" Club. To get into it you had to jump out at someones house and pick flowers out of their flower bed. We destroyed some pretty flowers and probably made lots of old ladies mad! Ha ha. It was sooo fun, though.

Courtney is a little gullible. Okay. A lot gullible. My favorite hobby was to make up stuff and get her to believe it. Here are a few:

*That my car windows were voice activated to my voice only. The window controls were in between the two front seats and I would say window up and then hit the button. When she said it, then it didn't budge. She believed it!

*I told her that the movie "Bridges of Madison County" was a documentary about all the bridges in Madison County, Indiana. Yep, she bought it.

*The movie "Interview with a Vampire" is another documentary that is loaded with interviews with actual vampires. Uh huh. She bit on that one, too. Ha ha.

She stared in our homemade episodes of Starnes Ridge News and even had her own music video: Lovely Day. She was on a neon pink bean bag and was wearing a camo shirt. Oh, my goodness! It is so funny. She was the host of the Courtney Pond show with the title "My cousin Dresses like a Slut." She was the hands of Gertrude Lanes. She did so much!!

One night she spent the night and I was for sure that we were going to have a snow day the next day. We kept staying up later and later. My mom said, "You guys are going to be dragging your asses in the morning." I said, "The only thing I'll be dragging is a bag of chips and the remote to the couch." Yeah, we didn't even get a 2-hr delay!! I think mom was pretty happy about that. Nice.

Her and Amy once were driving and passed a car that was on fire. Amy said "Courtney, call 911." Courtney whips out her cell phone and seems to be calling the police. Amy hears her say, "Debbie, what's the number for 911?" She had called my mom!! This is a true story. I couldn't tell a lie!

We were addicted to bug pops. If you don't know what they are, then I feel very sorry for you. They are popsicles that have gummy bugs in them. Delicious. Actually, we bought a box of those once when she taught me to, well... nevermind. It is her specialty, though. HA HA HA

She went to church with us and was along for the ride when the brakes went out on my mom's van. We thought we were going to die when we were pulling into the parking lot. She went to church camp and was around for lots of excitement there!

Everytime that I've ever been drunk it has involved her. Huh. Once I was walking behind the couch and I said, "I feel fine," then I was down. I disappeared. I think it was my shoes that made me fall though, not the alcohol! She thinks otherwise, but I am smarter, so...

She lived with me and we had our share of arguments. She didn't even know how to pull the shower curtain the "right" way. She got mad about my organized chore chart that I made her initial. She invited Mexicans (and their laundry) over constantly. She lived there until she got pregnant by one of them. Then... it wasn't long before my baby, Cameron, came along. She would bring him to Village Video and we would play with him and try to get him to sit up and do things that he definitely wasn't ready for. If he fell and bumped his head, then we'd look around and make sure no one saw, then laugh. We were horrible!! Cameron and I would race around the racks and chase each other and he would squeal and laugh. Oh, my baby. If she hit him, then I'd hit her!! Ha. I seriously did. If she told him no if he wanted something then I gave it to him anyway. No one is mean to my little boy! No one!!

These memories could go on and on and on. I love this girl, even though she can be a bia sometimes!

** HOLLA**

Monday, May 4, 2009

Faith Rocker??

Faith is a funny thing.

I remember taking a "Good & Evil" class in high school that dissected literature and art that depicted good and evil or both. We studied lots of art, movies, great works of literature, and poetry. I can remember sitting in class with a guy named Luke who was a very strong Christian. He carried his Bible with him always and could argue with any non-believer for hours. His mother was even the DJ for the local Christian radio station. Even though he was like this he was still "cool." He wore all black and was almost gothic. He was very intelligent and could write essays that left the rest of us with our mouths hanging open. Anyway... while in this class we studied the Bible. We tore Genesis apart and were thrown questions about whether or not it was real or just a bunch of fables to morally guide us. We were kids. I was only 15 when I was in this class and I found myself questioning things that I had always been taught. I watched Luke, because he was the strongest Christian that I had ever met, and it wasn't long before he too was questioning his beliefs. When that semester ended he was an agnostic at least if not an atheist altogether. How could this be?? I have often wondered about this. How does more knowledge and studying often leave us with even more questions?? I have had this happen lots of times in my life. After reading "The DaVinci Code" I was almost certain that Jesus was married and had a child. Why? I was taught different, but my mind seems to be easily swayed when new information, whether factual or not, is thrown at me. I find myself so eager to learn that sometimes I am learning the wrong things or maybe false things altogether.

I was not raised in a "Christian" home, but I was dragged to church each week to make my grandma happy. I was taught all of the Bible stories that little ones are taught. I learned the songs, I painted the pictures, I did the hand motions, was in the plays, and quoted the verses, but was I really learning? I am not so sure. I find myself now, as an adult, soaking up things about the Bible that for some reason or another went right over my head. I believe it more than ever, but I want to know more about it. I want to study it, but am scared of being swayed again. What if I find things that don't "add up" for me?? What if I read things that I don't personally agree with? What if I find that I have been living in a world full of lies and false hope? What will I do? Will I be able to steer myself correctly? Will I be able to believe things that to a lot of people are unbelievable?

I haven't seen Luke for a few years, but the last time that I saw him he was still in that non-believing frame of mind. I remember how strong he was and it scares me to think that if Satan could shake him up, then what in the world could he do to me?

The other day a girl wanted a smiley face sticker from me. It read "God loves you." She quickly picked up a black marker and marked that out. I stared at her, but didn't say anything. She also saw some stickers shaped like fish and asked about them. I told her that it was the symbol for Jesus and she asked why and I tried to explain. She said, "Well, I don't believe in that stuff, so I don't know about it." How can you not believe in something that you don't know about? That is ridiculous. I want to be a fisherman for Christ, but I often find myself not knowing what to say. How can I help save souls when I am unsure about my own?

My grandparents are pretty sure that I am going straight to Hell based on the fact that I wear pants, cut my hair, wear make-up, and wasn't baptized in the NAME of Jesus. It would drive them to their grave if they knew I had a tattoo. It is in instances like this that I wonder what the point is of trying to save people if there are other people out there going behind us saying, "nope, that's not good enough." Who would want to be a bitter Christian who isn't allowed to do anything except eat?? Am I going to Hell, because I have some jeans? Will I be eternally damned for wearing lip gloss? Do we even believe in the same God? My God is a loving, forgiving God and their God appears as a sniper looking to shoot out anyone that doesn't fit in this perfect mold. What in the world????? Am I wrong?? Are they? Are we both right in some strange way? Or are we both wrong? It is so confusing.

So... the reason for all of this is that I want to learn more about Christianity, but am scared that I will find out things that will rock my faith in a way that it can't be put back together. Am I strong enough to search deeper in my beliefs? Or should I just continue to nod and pretend to know what is going on??

I love penguins, but am not so sure that I want to be one...

"Just smile and wave, boys. Just smile and wave."


Sunday, May 3, 2009

To my sisters...

My sisters.

I have to say that I feel sorry for only children. No, really, I do. There was a time in my life when I wished every night that I was an only child, but looking back I realize how boring things would have been.

We have so many memories and stories that we can re-hash and laugh for hours about. Little inside jokes that only us and our close friends understand make me smile at the oddest times. My sisters have such a special place in my heart that no one could ever get into.

Amy Ann.

She is only 16 months younger than me and we grew up fighting like crazy, because we were so close in age. Amy is the one who is fun to pick on. Yeah, there has to be one in the group. She's it. She is the one who's gullible thinking kept us in stitches lots of times. She is also the one who is the penny-pincher. She can budget and is financially better off than the rest of us. She's a hard worker, never has a hair out of place, and is beautiful. I would have beat the crap out of anyone who ever did anything to her in school even though I constantly picked on her myself. She is the clean one. She and I couldn't share a room, because I was "too messy," according to her. To get back at her for this I wrote an essay at school about how messy she was and how gross her room was and read it to the entire class even though it pretty much described my room- ha ha. She was so mad at me. It was her fault that I had my first wreck- she wanted to wave at some guys. Long story, but it was her fault. She claimed that I ran over her foot once. That one is a lie. She once hit me in the face with a 2x4 and bloodied my nose over some baby sitting money. I beat her up too many times to list. We played softball together and had the same group of friends. We went on youth group trips together and have a lot of memories. I don't get to see her much, but I do love her!

Ashley Renee.

Ashley is 4 years younger than me and we have been really close. She was my maid-of-honor in both of my weddings- ha ha. She and I shared a room after Amy split and went to dino-world with Alicia. Ashley and I concocted a lot of things. We started a news program called "Starnes Ridge News" that we would all tape together. Ashley was the newscaster, though. I only remember fighting with her physically once and she did say "bring it," so, I did. When she'd get mad at me she'd try to take it out on my bear-Teddy. And when I was mad at her I'd get her monkey- Montgomery. We saw ghosts together, had near misses with trains, worked almost every job together, and have talked for endless hours. Ashley is the Princess. She even has it on the back of her car window. She loves pink, big purses, and is girly as girly can be. She has listened to me cry a hundred times (probably more than that) and I've always tried to be there for her. She is so funny and can crack one liners as quick as you can blink. She is a May and has my dad's humor. She is always late where ever she goes and gets mad if you point it out. She is beautiful and her and Amy are often "mixed up." We have toooooo many memories that they wouldn't all fit here if I wrote all day. So, anyway, I love her, too.

Alicia Gail.

I was 6 when Alicia was born and I cried. I wanted a brother so bad. I already had 2 sisters and didn't really see the need for another one of those. She is quick-witted like Ashley. She also tells you what she thinks. She can be "mean" and we often accuse her of being bi-polar. She is gorgeous and looks a lot like my dad. People say that we look alike, but trust me, she is much prettier!! Anyway, Alicia tries to be a BAMF, but is really soft-hearted. When my first husband left she was right there beside me all of the way. She took pills out of my hand and moved in with me to keep me company. I have always made fun of her and told her that she was adopted and that her true parents were lesbian African women. She used to cry when I'd say this. Mom would get soooo mad at me for it! She was terrified of everything, but that was probably because I was constantly scaring her. She slept on the couch most of her life to avoid windows. Trolls were to blame for this- don't ask. I once threatened to drop a hair dryer in the bathtub with her dangling it above her- she screamed- dad yelled "what's going on in there"- I said "She won't use the white rain shampoo"- he said "use it and get outta there." He would have killed me if he'd known the truth. I would have killed her if she'd told. I tied her to the porch with pantyhose and put "for sale" signs on her. I locked her in a room and made her listen to a Roger Miller CD for hours trying to guess the titles of all the songs for punishment. I think she still loves "Chug-a-lug, Chug-a-lug." I was mean to her and that is probably why she is so mean now, but that's what sisters are for!! I love this "little kid" who is actually 21 now.

My sisters have always been there when I've needed them and I will always be there for them. We have done crazy things, fun things, and been through some not-so-fun things together. When we come together it's like we've never been apart. When mom had her heart attack and we all met at the hospital it was like my whole world was in that little space. I can't imagine living without them and am glad that I am the oldest, because there is a better chance of me going first!! I know that I have drove them nuts with my "big sister" advice over the years and bossiness and just plain hatefulness at times. I'm sure they've wanted to kill me as many times as I've wanted to kill them. The thing is, though, that I never could hurt them- really hurt them. I love them too much... way too much!!! They will always be my best friends and I will always trust them more than anyone. We have the same DNA... well, except Alicia - her's is African lesbian-LOL.

I love you guys!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Has it been 10 years? Yep.

Well, 10 years ago to this date, I was faced with a huge decision. I had to choose whether to start dating a guy that I thought was cute in English class or my bestest friend in the world who traveled hundreds of miles to be my prom date. Well, I chose wrong on that day. Boy, did I ever. Let's just say that flowers, special little songs, opening car doors, and all that jazz don't compare with someone who will still be your friend after all of these years. Someone who will still call on your birthday and visits you at least once every year-- no matter how many states away. Someone who will never forget you, even though you may have hurt them in the past. So... that being said... for all you young-uns out there. Maybe the guy isn't the most charming. Maybe he only knows about working on cars and wouldn't be caught dead in anything but jeans. Maybe his way of saying he cares is teaching you how to drive a stick-shift, but maybe he could be the right one.

The problem with a charmer is that he'll charm everyone and in the end you just end up being a fool that was snake charmed.

Please choose wisely, because a lifetime of regret could be your destiny.

Melissa is a lucky lady ;-)