Row. Row. Row your boat….

I row. And row. And row.

I work three jobs. I have to make money.Sure, I paid off all my credit card debt, but I still owe someone, something. I must have insurance. I must have money to give if someone needs something. I want to travel to Denver. I need to buy a new bed. I need to buy a bicycle. I have to go to the doctors. I need. I want. I have to. I must.

So I row and I get up before 4am and work until almost 7 at night and am in bed by 10, sometimes 8, unless I am swept into another late night conversation. Somewhere in the in between I meet with friends for intentional accountability. I pour into the lives of young women. I try to be Christ to those “in the world”. I read. I write. I try to eat better. I try to work out more. I try to have “quiet time”.

I row. And row. And row. My oars seem to be attached to my calloused hands.

It’s not very “gently down the stream” either. There are relationships that have been neglected. I don’t answer all my calls or texts. I’m so busy. They have to understand. If they only knew what I was really going through. But I can’t tell them. They need to talk to me about them. I can’t talk to my mentor about it. I’ve avoided her for months. Plus I don’t have time for me. I emotionally shut down. I lash out and focus in. I analyze until I am paralyzed. I can’t take a day off for rest. I can’t take care of myself, that’s selfish.

I row. And row. And row.

Two or so years ago God gave me a big dream.

He must be talking to me about someone else. I’m too much. I’m not enough. I won’t handle success right. I’ll fall into lust again. I’ll mismanage my money. People will think I am crazy. I’ll be rejected. I can’t do this. I’m too broken. Too hurt.

But God, look at all I do now. Doesn’t it make you happy? I’m in ministry, I live beneath my means, even beneath my potential. Yes, I am tired. Yes, exhausted. Yes, I am only giving others my drips from an empty cup that should be filled and overflowing. Yes, I’m hiding out. But, God.

If I am going to move forward? How can I do it?

That’s it. Add MORE. Do more.Work more. Save more. Give more. Be more. More. More. More. Row more!!

So I row. And row. And row. Faster. More.

And as I start to feel a fresh old familiar wind at my back, it starts moving me forward.

But, I’m confused. Clutching my oars, I row more. Faster. More.

Gently and sweetly, He raises the sails and says, “Jules, put your oars down.”

What?

“Jules, put your oars down.”

But, God, can’t you see, I’m moving myself  forward. Gripping tighter.  I row more. Faster. More.

“Jules, put your oars down. Can’t you see? You’re on a sail boat.”

But God.

“Put them down…”

But I have to…

“Put them down…”

But I need to…

“Put them down….”

But…

“Jules… I’m moving you forward.”

What’s your name again…

We were in the kitchen at a friend’s birthday party. He was cute. I was doing dishes. The conversation flows. And ends…. Well, Almost ends. Should’ve ended.

He politely says “It was so nice to meet you, What’s your name again?”

I should’ve just said “Julie” but I didn’t.

I actually listed the five previous occasions that he had “met me”.

Listed them.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

I’m sure I wasn’t as rude as I remember it.  But I felt terrible.

I was on a mission to find him on any social networking site and he was nowhere to be found.

I had to ask forgiveness.

Danne said drop it. I couldn’t.

Months went by and Danne meets someone “who would be great” for me. She used two sentences to describe him. And I knew it was him.

I had to ask for forgiveness.

Danne said drop it. I didn’t.

Every time I saw him over the next few weeks, it was overkill.

“Hi Matt!”  “How are you doing,Matt!” “Hey, Matt!” and he looked like a deer in headlights.

Then I felt bad for doing that.

One day I mustered up the guts to ask forgiveness, like any good christian girl should do.

“Hey, Matt…. I really need to ask for your forgiveness”

“Oh. Really? What?”
“Yeah, this one time I saw you I was really ungracious”

“Oh. Really?”

“Yeah I felt really bad”

“What happened? I am a really easy-going guy, I don’t even remember.”

“Ohhh I don’t really want to bring it back up. I just wanted to ask forgiveness”

“Don’t worry about it……..  What’s your name again?”

” (nervous irate pride killing giggle) Julie, my name is Julie”

Online suicide…

Every so often I go through these phases where I just want to kill my MySpace, now facebook.

 

I was talking to my friend Jessica yesterday about her recent online semi-suicide, and it reminded me of a blog written ironically by someone I don’t even know in real life.. read it here

 

MySpace, Friendster, facebook, now twitter, What benefit do these sites offer? I find myself again caught up in the insecurities of middle school. People passive aggressively or flirtatiously moving another up and down on their top eight, based on a whim or an argument. (fyi, mine is, and has been in alphabetical order for almost 3 years now, same people, same spots) and the fact that I explained that – and have had to when asked in the past, is exactly what this blog is about.

 

Do these sites really encourage the community that we find ourselves longing for?
Unfortunately, I don’t think so. I think that they encourage laziness in nurturing relationships and frankly – they drive me crazy…

Sure, it “connects” us, about as much as window shopping “connects” me with that outfit at City Place. Walking by without making the commitment.

 

I have found myself wasting more time than I would care to admit, basically stalking people. Ok, stalking might sound creepy, and mightbe an exaggeration. But if you are reading this then most likely I have read your profile, and the conversations through comments you have had. I have thought about who commented what on what picture, and decided that they were flirting with you, and that you were buying their cheap flirtations when they comment on your site. I have judged profile pictures, and who tags who on what. I have found out about budding relationships, bitter break-ups, pregnancies, birthdays, you name it, I have read about it on a MySpace profile or blog, and then never having the conversations about it that community requires and my heart desires. 

I will spare you the details of the night that I found the profile of an old “friend” (“friend ” meaning totally dysfunctional nonrelationship that consumed my late teen-aged years and formed how I react to men, and helped solidify my fear of rejection) from almost ten years ago, and my reaction over reaction, to who he was dating.

 I have let myself get sick in my head over it…

 

Every part of me wants to be connected to a community. But then when I step back and realize that it is all smoke and mirrors. I realize it just sucks…

 

What would happen if I committed online suicide? What relationships would fail because when I stopping carrying them I would realize that it’s a one-sided relationship? Who would make an effort to find me? And how long would they take? I think I already know the answers…

 

A part of me would like to believe that I can “redeem” all of these issues, and make it about encouraging people and writing more, being more intentional, all the flowery and poetic bologna I could sell you… but to be honest, I haven’t and I won’t… it will start off that way, and shortly I will find myself link hopping, or seeking approval through affirmation in your comments… getting nothing done.

 

A larger part of me knows that I just need to pick up the phone, turn of the computer, and go outside to play… 

 

Getting a grip,

Julie