Thursday, February 24, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
“We rarely do the suicide scene. It only works if we have an overly dramatic actress,” my brother in law said when I asked him which acting parts are available in our church drama. He wasn’t supportive of me auditioning for the play, but I knew this one was set up by a Heavenly Agent.
When I heard Reality Ministries was coming back to our church to put on the drama 'Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames' I trembled with excitement. I had always loved acting and was disappointed that my night shift job had kept me from being in the play the other times we did it. But this time I had a day job that would allow me to participate.
However less than a month before the production came to our church, I changed jobs and found myself back on the night shift with no promise of getting time off. So I prayed, “Lord, if You want me to do this as much as I want it, You’ll have to do something about the schedule.” Then I left it at that.
My first answer to prayer came when I ended up with a week of daytime orientation that happened to be during the exact week the drama was at our church. My evenings were free. So there I was reading lines for a part in the play. The directors took a lunch break and asked us to pray that they would cast the right people in the right parts. So we did.
After lunch they began handing out scripts, calling us by name. But each time they didn’t say my name, my heart sank a little deeper. “Lord, if all you want me to do is pray for the others I would be glad to do that. Sad, yes, but willing to…”
My second answer came as a voice broke through my silent prayer. “Pam, the suicide scene.” As the director handed me my script, I cringed, “Does that mean I am overly dramatic?”
I read the script to myself and threw it down. “Oh no, no way, I am NOT doing this scene,” I muttered. My heart pounded and my hands grew sweaty. The character was a lady who had become an alcoholic causing her husband to leave her for another woman. Desperate and broken, she rejected Jesus and pleaded for her husband to come back. When he wouldn’t she decided to let him live with the guilt of her suicide. This scene was much too familiar. It hit too close to home. I couldn’t do it.
Nearly eleven years ago I had been rejected and abandoned by my husband. I had tried hard to deal with the hurt and anger on my own. I thought maybe I was over it all, but as I read the lines, that hurt and anger resurfaced and I wept. Ready to quit, a silent tugging at my heart caused me to persist. I knew my Heavenly Agent had picked exactly the right part for me, I just wasn’t sure why.
I soon found out. When I went onstage to perform, I became the woman in the play. I wasn’t me anymore but a character in a play.
As I screamed, cried and delivered my lines, something miraculous happened. A warm, soothing balm flowed over my aching heart as I recited the words on my script: “I don’t want Jesus, I want Mike back.” I instantly realized I no longer felt that way. I didn’t want the man who had hurt me; I wanted Jesus! Amazing. My heart didn’t hurt as much.
How could it be that in the eight minutes it took to perform my small part in a church drama that God would instantly heal a broken heart I had tried for 11 years to fix myself?
Simple: I prayed. God answered.
instantly heal a broken heart
Monday, February 14, 2011
The cold misty November morning engulfed us as our pure joyful bliss warmed us to the core. I never even felt the cold around me or the moisture touching my skin as my heart pounded like a big bass drum pumping raw emotion through my body. “Remember your vows! Remember your vows! And for GOD’s sake whatever you do, do NOT be sick from nervousness. Not here, not now.” These thoughts played over and over in my head as the time got closer for us to bring this entire relationship to fruition. I heard the words coming from the minister as I held my bride’s hands tightly. She is a cool, calm and collected customer to most but I know her better than most. I could feel her nerves through her fingertips and could notice the rhythm of her heart beating intensely through her blouse. Yeah, I felt a little more at ease knowing she was just as excited and as nervous as I was; one more thing that we seemed to be in sync with. The perfect bride on a perfect day; what could possibly go wrong? Just then, it was time for me to recite my vows. I gathered my emotions and opened my mouth but I paused for what seemed to be an eternity. “Oh my GOD, I think I forgot what I am supposed to say!” As I thought of what to say, my entire time with this phenomenal woman replayed in my head at the speed of a hummingbird’s wings. It was almost like those stories you hear of people saying about their lives flashing before their eyes in split seconds but feeling like it lasted forever. Time paused for a moment as I saw, US.
We took our places and took a deep breath as we began our ceremony. I heard the words being said as if they were raining down upon me from the sky. I stared off in the distance at the Williams Tower and the sky as I tried to take in the moment hoping I would never forget what I am seeing and feeling at this moment as long as I shall live.
The love that we share knows no bounds. Saying “I love you” never will do our feelings true justice.
Together we will make history as our hearts beat as one. Living, laughing and enjoying our lives is our priority.
As we continue to love each other forever, our love is our “Infinity.”
Alton and Jeanne
November 13, 2010
happiness is ours to have
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I’ve played the role. Happy housewife. Got that one down pat. I played that role so well that the one person who taught next to me for six years swore I was having a mid life crisis when I finally got the nerve to leave my marriage. Oscar anyone? I learned really early to disconnect. That’s my safety net. Hurt me, and I disconnect. Easy enough. Disconnected I can survive anything. I wonder if I believed that in a previous life? (Hey, who really knows, right?) Maybe I grew up on a stage.
So, my story? What is MY story? Do I actually have a story to tell? Something someone could actually learn something from? My life has been relatively easy. Grew up in a house, two parents, two kids. Dad was military. Traveled a bit. Did the overseas thing. Parents separated when I was a junior, divorced officially my freshman year of college. So did it affect me? Not much.
Or maybe I disconnected so it wouldn’t? I found myself a college graduate in a town that I’d gone to school in so I was relatively comfortable. I had a decent job, lived with good friends, and just enjoyed life. Met people here and there but nothing really connected. Had more than one or two dates that probably should have never been. But we learn and move on. Right? Another disconnect?
23 years old, 24, 25, 26……..working hard, teaching…… nothing happening on the romantic front. Had a friend from high school. We’d dated one summer. It was fun that summer, but yeah, it was a summer. We’d had fun. We spent a weekend Summer of 25 yrs but nothing clicked. Summer of 27 comes around and still nothing.
Getting a little nervous here. I thought to myself wow, am I not going to find anyone? I don’t want to play the single sex and the city girl. This college town definitely wasn’t New York.
So, I decided let’s call summer guy. I called, we hooked up, within a year we were married. It was a whirlwind courtship. That’s for sure. Looking back there were a lot of warning indicators. Why didn’t it bother me that he wouldn’t spend time with MY friends? Why didn’t it bother me that he’d disappear for a weekend? Why didn’t the temper bother me? I learned quickly what role I had to play to become that person to make him happy. After all, I’d get to be married, finally have my children that I wanted. Sad, I know.
Married life? Oh yeah, I played that role well. Happy housewife. Everyone believed it. Dinner every night, house reasonably clean (lol) crafts and creative ideas here and there. Did we have a torrid love affair? No, but we had a working relationship. I took care of the house and he did the work thing. Yeah, I had a job as well that I went to every day, but it was clear that his was the more important job since his job made three times as much as mine. We were comfortable. My paycheck was for me to use. I paid for the children’s purchases and here and there whims. I had it easy. I admit it. I knew I had it good. Maybe that’s why I stayed for so long? I could play the happy role in exchange for comfort?
But then, things started to change and I realized I’d made some major sacrifices. And the biggest thing I’d sacrificed was my happiness. It’s sad when you look forward to your spouse being away because then you can relax and not have to worry about whether or not the kids are too loud or dinner is ready on time or whether he’ll be irritated by something. I knew I had to do something.
It took me three years of really deciding if I could do it or not. I had one of those apartment locator books in my car for a quite a while. Finally, I started the process. Vocalized to a friend how I felt and that I wasn’t happy. Apparently I played the role so well that one of my best friends accused me of having a mid life crisis! Why would I want to leave a home with money, security, everything that reasonable person would ask for? I mean, he doesn’t hit you does he? She asked. Well, this just wasn’t me. This wasn’t love. I knew it. He knew it. We were at the point where it wasn’t even working as a roommate situation. Sad that I could have settled for that but even that wasn’t working. Yeah, it took me a long time to realize it but it just wasn’t me.
So, now, I’m doing me. The divorce is almost finalized and yeah it’s scary. Here I am, alone responsible for the welfare of myself and children who didn’t ask for this, but recognize that life is better. Yes, dad’s still in the picture and yes, they see him regularly. I get reminded regularly that they are HIS children. I wonder why he tells me that….none of this is about them. We all know they are his. And they will always be his. But, I’m not anymore. I’m me. I’m my own self.
And now I'm playing my hardest role. Me.
PS. Funny how things work. Get out of a marriage and randomly meet the true love of my life. Someone who inspires me, protects me, loves me unconditionally, brags of me, consumes my every thought……someone who still takes my breath away every time he kisses me. Yeah, this is what I have been waiting for the last 40 years. For the first time in my life I really feel like it’s me. No script, no make up, no costumes. I’m ready for my close up.
play YOUR role
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I manage and play bass in a rock band. It's my first, and we're in Austin, TX. We've been together for a little over four years and have little product to show for it. Well, when compared to other bands, we have very little at all. From our own devices and meanderings, we have scraped together enough to record a thirteen track full length and release it on our own terms. It's professionally done, inside and out, and our online image is top tier with a few rough spots.
I really can't complain too much. After all, I did get myself into this situation by taking the reigns and pulling us forward. There wouldn't have been any forward momentum if I didn't step up and start overseeing everything myself. Delegation is a learned skill that I've acquiring through trial and error. It's not just who you give the task to, but that you follow up and make sure that they're not killing time getting high, spending time with the girlfriend, or that they didn't forget in general. Having musicians as your surrogate workforce isn't the toughest thing in the world, but it's not the easiest either.
Presently, I'm connecting with you on the precipice of everything we've accomplished in the past four..five years. The CD will be released tomorrow, and there will be a crazy party to celebrate. We will all be broke again, but this time, we'll have a variety of merch under our belt and a new group of people who enjoy listening...at least I hope so.
I also think that I'll be writing about my circumstance a bit more.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I found it strange that so many of my high school friends and classmates thought they knew so much about my Mormon faith, but clearly didn't. So much of what they thought they knew was nothing more than rumors, or something confused with another religion. So when the same questions came, the same answers followed.
“I wear makeup everyday-- can't you tell? There's nothing in my faith that says we can't wear makeup.”
“Who told you we can't dance? Our youth group has a dance every single month!”
“There's nothing in my faith that says women can't wear pants. We wear dresses to church, but other than that, we wear whatever we want as long as it's modest.''