10 Things My Relevant Roomie Should Know About Me

Don’t forget my Conference Survival Guide!

Confession: I don’t like having a roommate unless I know them beforehand.

Confession:  I have a Relevant Roomie. I don’t really know her. What I know is one of my good friends Re-tweeted her request for a Relevant Roomie and I thought they knew each other. Turns out, it was random. My friend just re-tweeted without knowing Brooke.  However, by the time I’d found out they didn’t know each other, Brooke and I had bonded over country music.

Go ahead. Laugh. 🙂  We did.

We’ve been having fun on Twitter describing our current mood with country music lyrics. Like, today, this is how I feel:

And I was listenin’ to the Opry
When all of my friends
were diggin’ Rock ‘n Roll and Rhythm & Blues
I was Country, when Country wasn’t cool

And if you’re so inclined, here’s the whole song:

Then God decided to throw a curve ball. I wasn’t having the best of days and the lyrics I posted were from a song played at my mom’s funeral in June.

@brookelmcg When I get where I’m going & I see my Maker’s face-I’ll stand forever in the light of His amazing grace.http://bit.ly/aX0AD6

The link is to the post Amazing Grace.  It’s the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. And guess who God put in my life at that moment in time?  Yep. My Relevant Roomie.  She tweeted back:

@michpendergrass “And I’ll leave my heart wide open. I will love & have no fear…” I understand sister. http://bit.ly/c7E5rZ

God constantly speaks to me in numbers and dates. Here’s one example, my post 12:26. I know God was up there giggling like a schoolgirl when I found out my Relevant Roomie and share the same birthday.


What are the odds?

God’s odds are so much different.

Brooke and I have decided that God’s up to something. We don’t know what. We can’t wait to find out. He’s got our full attention. And we know He’s bigger than we can imagine and we’re willing to bet that He’s got something in store for you, too. So we wanted everyone to post their own lists!

10 Things My Relevant Rommie Should Know About Me.

1. I snore. Especially when I need to see the chiropractor. I stop snoring after I see her. Chiropractor? Pedicure? Chiropractor? Pedicure?

2. I might be pure Yankee and bleed blue, but my heart belongs to the south. God misplaced me near Chicago but made it up to me by giving me a country boy with a southern drawl (and southern charm!)

3. I’m exactly 50% left brain and 50% right brain. That means I know it all. 😉

4. I write and read horror, Stephen King is my favorite author and no one will convince me that I can’t combine my love of Jesus with my ability to write horror.

5. I can’t remember how old I am unless I do the math. 2010 minus 1972…I’m 38. And I’m a grandma.  Don’t judge.

6. One of our kids is married with our beautiful grandson, one of the kids is a senior in college, and the other is in sixth grade and homeshooled by yours truly.

7. I love Jesus but I drink a little.  (If you’ve never heard that, try Google.)

8. I’m also exactly 50% introvert and 50% extrovert. I can turn it on and be extrovert, but when the conference is done and over, I hide in my house for days on end and I don’t leave.

9. I love my life. I love my husband. I love my kids and grandkids. I don’t know anyone quite as content and happy as we are.

10. I was thin, then my thyroid went kaput. Now I’m fat and happy. I’m grateful that I’m no longer sleeping 19 of 24 hours a day and will choose this fat body over losing my ability to function any day.

Bonus: 11. I wanted to be Barbara Mandrell when I was little and there was nothing more exciting for me than waiting for the next Mandrell Sisters show to come on.  (Ok, maybe waiting for the next Quincy, M.E. show.)

* * *

Your turn! Link up!

Edit to add this great news!! Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy is giving away a gorgeous covered notebook to one of you just for linking up!

the pleated poppy blog

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Thanks to Feld Entertainment, my sponsor for Relevant10!

Feeble Prayers

Scattered words and empty thoughts

Seem to pour from my heart

Even when people I love commit suicide

I Still Believe.

I’ve never felt so torn before
Seems i dont know where to start

Even when best friends die of breast cancer
I Still Believe.

But its now I feel your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip washing away my pain

When grandmas find their youngest sons, dead by their own hand…when those grandmas slip into dementia and mini-strokes overtake them, even when special grandmas die
I Still Believe.

Though the questions still fog up my mind

With promises I still seem to bear

When moms have brain tumors and lymphoma and when prognosis looks good and things are hopeful hopeful. Even then, when she dies anyway
I Still Believe.

Even when answers slowly unwind

It’s my heart I see you prepare

When friends…people who call themselves friends, kick me while I’m down and knowingly inflict unbearable pain
I Still Believe.

But its now that I feel your grace fall like rain

From every fingertip washing away my pain

When I run away from home because I’m too pissed off to be around “friends”
I Still Believe.

The only place I can go is into your arms

Where I throw to you my feeble prayers

When You say in no uncertain terms, “Go back to your friend. Put up with her abuse.” I understand you are Jehovah Roi, the God Who Sees Me
I Still Believe.

In brokenness I can see that this is your will for me

Help me to know you are near

When I submit to Your authority and go back–and I hit a fawn still new with spots and it flies in the air and smashes down on the top of my car and I see it hit the road in the rearview mirror. Even when I see it’s mama right behind it. Even when the pain is too great to bear and I can’t see through my tears
I Still Believe.

I still believe in your faithfulness

I still believe in your truth

I still believe in Your Holy Word

Even when I don’t see

I Still Believe.

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Amazing Grace

In September of 2008, God allowed me to sing my grandma into eternity. She was a strong woman and fought to the very end, but went peacefully. A gift such as this would come along only once in a lifetime.

Not so much.

In the wee hours of Monday June 7, 2010, I was getting ready to sleep for a couple hours in the adjoining bed in mom’s hospital room. In these final days, we all knew her time was short, but only God knew the minute and hour he’d call her home. The nurse came in to take mom’s vitals. Asked me if I needed anything. I brushed my teeth. I leaned over mom and talked to her. Told her I was going to nap in the bed next to her, I wasn’t leaving the room, I’d be right there.

In that moment, her respirations dropped in half. I got closer, kissed her forehead, caressed her cheek, told her I love her. I said, “Ok mom. I’m not going to sleep. I’m just going to stay right here with you, ok?” And I did. More talking. More kissing. More breathing in her scent.

Without even knowing what was happening, I said, “Mom? I don’t know if you want me to sing to you like I did grandma, but I sure will.”

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me

Mom’s mouth moved for the first time in days, as if she was singing with me. I started over because I couldn’t remember any other words.

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound

And she breathed her last.

Twice in a lifetime I sang the two most important women in my life into eternity. There is no such thing as coincidence.

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Now What?

It was very hard for me to hit “publish” on this one.

* * *

In October of 1999, Zane was born. Phil was driving our semi over the road and he was home one day out of every thirty. That year, Jill and I spent New Year’s Eve together afraid for Y2K. We survived.

In 2000, we filed bankruptcy on that semi and moved back to Indiana and lived with my parents for a short time. Phil found a driving in job in Chicago and he was home two days out of every seven.

In 2001, 9/11 happened and I was scared for our lives. I’d never, ever heard it so quiet outside as when all planes were grounded. That month, we found a duplex to rent, Zane turned 2, potty-trained and I was still trying to decide if I was a good mom or not.

In 2002…Phil got a local job hauling fuel and was home EVERY night.

In 2003, Phil and I bought the Knox house. I started attending a church for the first time since I was let down by a different church back in 1992.

In 2004, doctors thought Phil had cancer. He didn’t. He did, however, punch a wall and break his hand and have to have pins put in.

In 2005, I was reading my Bible daily, active in Women’s ministry (and Phil in men’s ministry) and I was really getting to know God. Jill told me she had breast cancer and had already been battling it for a year. She’d already had a mastectomy and chemo and radiation. She made me get a breast exam. And I think they thought I had cancer. I then had an ultra sound. Then a mammogram (and platypus poop.) Then I had to see a surgeon. He told me I didn’t have breast cancer.

In 2006, I was called to write. “Write.” (I noticed I posted that on 12/02/06. Wonder if that has anything to do with 12:26?) That year, I also lost my Uncle Ed. I’m not sure there’s ever been a time when I felt as close to God. And that’s also the year my church gave me a wake up call–lying about me, accusing me of ridiculous things, and leaving me alone during a time of huge, monumental need. Phil thought he was having a heart attack. Our fridge broke. Phil lost his job. Phil had double hernia surgery. We almost lost our house. 2006 was probably the hardest year of my life. I felt so alone that year. And God taught me more about His love than I could’ve ever expected.

In 2007, my thyroid completely shut down and I’ve been trying to get my brain (and my body and my life) back ever since. It’s also the year I was asked to be on the editing team at The Midnight Diner.

In 2008, I lost my best friend, Jill in January. She might have survived Y2K, but she did not survive breast cancer. And then my grandma passed away in September. I was asked to be Editor-in-chief of The Midnight Diner.

In 2009, We were taken on a trip of a lifetime to Key West and Marco Island, Florida in March. Phil quit truck driving altogether! He started working as property manager for a local retreat center. We were blessed with a grandson in April. Around May, I finally started feeling like myself again with the help of some replacement thyroid hormone. We moved in June and I’ve been trying to figure out what life is now that Phil’s home all day, every day and now that everything has changed.

* * *

I started this post with the intention of talking about how I feel separated from God right now. I mean, I know He’s there, He just feels distant to me and I remember hearing people talk about feeling this way and I distinctly remember thinking, “I will NEVER feel that way. I will always feel as close to God as I do at this very moment.”

I was going to talk about this new Bible I got, The Books of the Bible–with no verse references–and how I was going to start reading that for the New Year.

But I got caught up in looking at the way things got so ugly during the time I was closest to God. I remember what I went through and the lessons I learned after I did Beth Moore’s Believing God study. Things I haven’t found the courage to write about.

And though God says, “Do not be afraid.”

I am afraid.

I’m afraid that if I get close to Him again, something worse will happen. And I don’t know how to let go of that fear.

I know I’m the one keeping the distance from God.

I said it.

Now what?

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