Sunday, 31 August 2014

In case you were wondering what's got the Tomlins all "weird" lately....

So, those of you who are with me on Facebook are probably wondering what in the world is going on with those Tomlin people. You're probably wondering where all this talk about G-d came from, and why in the world does she always put that hyphen in the middle of G-d when she types it? Why is she using all these alternate names for G-d? What's all this Shabbat and Challah stuff about?

Imma tell ya..

Don and I have always had faith in G-d. [Hereafter, in this post, referred to as HaShem (“the name” in Hebrew)].  We just didn't talk about it much because we knew that we weren't in the right place and, because we felt alienated from other Christians who lean more towards spewing judgmental bigotry regarding other's splinters while feigning ignorance regarding the beams in their own eyes.

About ten years ago a family moved in behind us. The first few years I pretty much ignored them. Somewhere along the way Jack was playing in the yard and met their three boys and they began to play together on a regular basis. This is when I noticed there was something different about them. That’s when I started putting the pieces together.

Initially I thought they were Jewish. The boys wore four tassels and Jack would come home after eating dinner with them saying things about Kosher, and Shabbat, and started calling them his “Hebrew” friends. I thought, “OK, cool. No problem with him learning about the roots of our Christian Messiah.”

It wasn’t until a few more years passed that I really had an opportunity to talk, in more than just passing regarding the kiddos, to the mom of the family. She explained to me that they were Christian, not Jewish, and chose to follow the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament). This got my attention. She and I established a rapport, I expressed an interest in their dairy goats and chickens, and Erica’s goat milking days commenced. Ya’ll remember those days, right? The goat I called Lucy(fer)?

I went on about my business, letting them be them, and me be me – but always looking across the back yards and thinking, “Something is right over there.” I became more disconnected from mainstream Christianity and abandoned the evangelical church I was attending. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that the Old Testament was somehow a taboo subject. That we would be given that part of the bible and then be told that it didn’t apply to us. Christianity no longer made sense. And, then I realized it had never made sense. That I’d always felt like something was missing, that somehow I had lost part of what HaShem desired for us. Somewhere in the back of my mind was a voice shouting, “Jesus was a Jew!” and I realized that, as Christians, we are all in denial about what that really means, what the New Testament was telling us all the times it said “As was His (Jesus’) custom” when He did “Jewish” things.

Then, one night as we were going to bed, Don says to me that he feels like we need to find a church and reconnect with our faith, that he had a need to strengthen that relationship with HaShem. He had been spending some time with Mr. Backyard Neighbor and I think this was the catalyst for his “awakening”, if you will. Then he tells me he’s fairly certain the Backyard Neighbors got it right. Inside, I jumped for joy!

The next day, we were putting up corn in the deep freeze and realized we didn’t have enough room for all of it and I asked him if we could take it to the Backyard Neighbors, and if it looked like a good time, could we have a conversation with them about where we were in our thoughts. And, that’s just what we did.

I won’t give you all the details about why we’ve chosen this path, why we think it’s right, and what we are learning. You see, the most important thing I learned from Mr. and Mrs. Backyard Neighbor is that being a witness to others on behalf of HaShem doesn’t require a bunch of shouting, browbeating, and condemnation. The best witness for Christ is a silent witness; the one you learn to watch, to take notice of their example, and to crave the peace they have.

So, if you have specific questions, ask away. If you want to just sit back and watch the change happen, that’s ok too. Just know, I will not debate or argue with you. We know what’s right for us and are comfortable with that and ask that you let that be enough.

Shalom! (Peace!)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Got things to say and I ain't saying nothin'.....

I wonder sometimes if I shouldn't start a differnt blog-- One that is anonymous, one that allows me to say all the things I can't say on this one, one that I would feel free to use more often.  There are so many stories I have to tell and I don't tell them.

I suppose I could use the quote by Anne Lamott to justify writing what I want here. She says, "You own everything that happened to you. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better."

But, I can't help but think that this would just serve to further alienate me from relationships that are already on shaky ground. Kind of like antagonizing an already rabid dog.

So, I just keep to myself how so and so hurt my feelings, or what's his name is an idiot, or such and such is an ass. Just packing it all in piece by piece, all the while concerned that eventually nothing more will fit and will have to explode out of its neatly filed container. Careful, you don't want to get hit by word shrapnel when it happens. I've been told I use words like daggers -- skillfully slashing my way through those around me in an attempt to lay bare those things you don't want anyone to know about you.

I should be ashamed of this, and I suppose in some ways I am --- because sometimes it isn't well thought out and I say things I can't take back. 

and now I'm done... because someone interrupted my train of thought and I've forgotten where I was going with this. Insert random string of expletives here ----> _____________

I seriously need a quiet hidey hole for writing.... with a big 'ole door.....and a big 'ole sign that says "Keep Out!!"

Thursday, 6 March 2014

When I was 17...

When I was seventeen I had a step mom. There was nothing in the world I couldn't tell her. She took me in and treated me equally as one of her own and equally as the adult I so desperately wanted to be.

She taught me that being an adult didn't mean you couldn't still have fun.
She taught me what it meant to be a free spirit.
She taught me what it meant to work hard for what you wanted.
She taught me to make the perfect fried egg.
She taught me how to pinch pennies.
She taught me what it meant to be dependable.
She taught me that just because you were mad at someone you didn't stop loving them.

She taught me all of this and so much more.

Of all the things I remember, I remember most how infectious her laugh was. But I also remember...

Listening to her sing "Bobby McGee" at the VFW and being a little jealous that I couldn't pull off a Janis Joplin cover the way she did.
Sitting up late while my dad was in Saudi with the bag of Oreos we hid from the kids and a full gallon of milk. We'd read his letters and gorge ourselves on cookies and milk.
Staying close after her and my dad split and he was seeing someone else.
We'd go to the bar on the weekends and get smashed, go back to my house, and piss off dad's new girlfriend (who I couldn't stand) by making the noisiest breakfast two drunk women could make.
Shopping at flea markets and yard sales and marveling at how she could find the most awesome things and make them into something new and beautiful. If you ever wondered who first thought of repurposing someone else's old junk...I'm pretty sure it was her.

I've known she was sick for quite some time. She sent me an email and told me. F-ing cancer.

 I've been internally kicking myself for months because I wanted to see her and knew there was no way right now. Fibromyalgia and diabetes wouldn't allow it. I've been kicking myself for months because I didn't just ask for her number to talk to her on the phone. But I'd let her know in other ways I still loved her. But now, in retrospect, a damn Facebook message seems so inadequate.

And now I'm filled with regrets, and I'm beating myself up, and I'm dying to kick and scream and throw things.

Because I just found out she's gone.  She lost her battle with F-ing cancer and I won't get to hear her laugh one more time because I didn't ask for her number so I could call her. And I don't even know why I didn't ask.

And I don't want to write about this anymore. And I don't want to talk about it. I know which thoughts are rational and I know which ones aren't.  I just needed to regurgitate what was going through my mind.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

I don't know who I am, but I'm trying...

I'm changing. Or, is it evolving? Maybe growing as a human?

Something... something I don't recognize.

Don and I have been talking about gardens, living off the grid, the world going mad and how we'd survive. Knowing that I wouldn't survive. I'm an insulin dependent diabetic. Once that insulin runs out, so do I.

I find myself interested in things that never interested me before... like an insane, yellow-eyed, black cat named Ninja. I always hated cats...but this cat...well, you'd just have to meet her to get it. She's the exception to all things I hate about cats.

Despite what I believe to be a completely rational fear of pressure cookers, I'm going to learn to can the garden spoils. That is, can what can't be frozen. Better safe than sorry, right?

Don has collected some 1500 or so beer, wine, and liquor bottles. They will be used to build a wall to terrace the yard. If you're wondering how this works, click here. He's also working out how to convert our home into an earthship type structure.  Self sustainable, meaning we will produce our own water, food, and electricity. He will be building a chicken coop soon and we've been discussing dairy goats.

It's been nearly 7 months since I stopped working. I haven't written a single word. Two novels, two beautiful stories to be told, and I've not written one single word. I'm somewhat ashamed of myself.

Instead, I've been sewing. I've been sewing blindly. No patterns...grabbing things out of my closet that I know I'll never wear again and making them into something else entirely. Right now my passion is skirts. Flowy bohemian skirts. My practical solution to scorching Arkansas summers. That, and now that I'm not working I can't afford to run to the store every time I feel like having something new to hang in my closet.

I haven't cut my hair in almost a year. It hasn't been this long since I was in Jr. High. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. If you see me out and about, you can be assured that my hair will either be in a bun or a braid. I have long hair that I never wear down because I can't stand for it to touch me. I will also be in thick rimmed glasses, most likely perched towards the end of my nose, and I will not be wearing makeup.

I spend more time now picking out things I can only find in the "hippie foods" section at the grocery store. We're trying new things like kale, red lentils, and more vegetarian options. This happens much to the dismay of my dad. He's a meat and taters kind of guy -- country cookin' drowned in bacon fat, it ain't a meal if you don't have at least three carb choices and something mooing on your plate. That kind of guy. However, to his credit, I have convinced him that Morning Star and Boca products are, indeed, acceptable meat replacements.

All of this, and then I realize that I'm becoming what I call a hippie. And, if it means more socially aware, if it means comfortable with me rather than society's norm, I'm ok with that. To me it means freedom. Maybe you should try it, too.