Cat Stevens, On the road to find out… For Chris.

She’s lost it.

Did you hear she’s a Democrat?

She left our church!

I bet she left God too.

Nope…

I didn’t lose it.

I didn’t run away from home like you think. Truth is, I ran away a lot. Just not like you think.

I ran away in my dreams and to the lake where I could learn banjo undisturbed. I ran away from the noise to find my voice. I ran away to Nashville and to the stage. I ran away from old lies that were holding me back. I ran away from things whispered in the dark, “you aren’t enough.”

I ran away from people who would dare tell me I wasn’t a real Christian because I wasn’t raised in the church like were.

I can’t leave God. My name is written in His hand and nothing can snatch me away.

I have been on a journey and it’s been glorious.

I found authors who dare tell the truth.

Friends who see and know ME.

I found my best friend, or she found me. Either way.

I’m still married by the way and we love each other now, more than ever.

In Search of Wings

Horses lend us the wings we lack. Pam Brown, 1928

I woke up with my shoulders in my ears this morning. My to do list is out of hand what with Christmas just around the corner and my oldest due home on Friday. I have too much on my mental plate and need to blow off some steam.

In light of that, I took time out to ride today. I usually ride Prince on Tuesdays. (See photo) This time Janell let me ride Cowboy. Cowboy jacks with me most days, but not today.  He’s not a bad horse, he just doesn’t like beginners. I’ve been riding for almost a year now and even though I cannot hold a steady gallop, I’m no longer a beginner. Something about my seat told him I could be trusted. He did everything I asked.

Horses need to be able to trust their riders as much as riders need to be able to trust their horses. It’s a two-way relationship. There is a life lesson in this I’m sure. Janell is teaching me how to race barrels as well as jump. Once I learn those, it’s on to roping cattle.  I’m becoming a real cowgirl. I’m 46. This is crazy. And oh so much fun.

J-man wants to know how I can “race barrels” if we aren’t really going at a full gallop yet. He’s an are we there yet kind of fellow.

That’s an easy question to answer. We just do it. It’s not about the speed. At least not yet.  It’s about form and it’s about trust. Once that foundation is set, the speed will come. Every hour I spend in the arena, I push myself to go a little bit faster for a little bit longer. I work my abs and my legs by holding them straight. My left leg keeps wanting to curl up underneath me for protection and that throws me off balance, holding it straight is a huge challenge. I work on keeping my eyes up and forward instead of on the ground. I sit as tall as I can and I let the horse go. Every day I ride, I borrow courage from the horse and make it my own.

Cowboy does not give an inch. Every step, every breath, every moment is earned with him. I rather like that.

I prefer to earn my own confidence than have it handed to me.

Cowboy will not let me lope one minute before I’m ready. His resistance is teaching about my own journey in life. So often we are in a hurry to arrive. Cowboy forces me to slow down, breathe deeply, check my seat, stay balanced and enjoy the ride.

In light of that, I’m taking the rest of the year off.

I hope you don’t mind it’s just that I’ve been in such a hurry to make Christmas arrive that I’m missing the journey.

No more twitter. (Ouchies.. I kinda like twitter)

No more Facebook. eh, they’ll live.

and No more Blog. At least not until 2012.

I hope you don’t mind.

I haven’t taken time to harvest the fruit from 2011 or to rest.

I need time to be.

To quote Anne Jackson, the internet will still be here in 2012. Have a blessed Hunakkah or Christmas or whichever you celebrate. I’ll see you in 2012.

Love and Laughter

Deana

My name is Deana and I am bulimic

Eating Cake on my second birthday.

There is a sentence I never thought I’d say or write, but it’s true. Looking back at my MIL’s photo album from the last 22 years, I can’t help but see it. My 5’4” frame has varied in weight from 127 – 210 pounds and back again since I was 13. Today, I am somewhere in the high end of the middle. My joints hurt, I tire easily, and my eating disorder has stolen more than I can even count right now.

 I read Anne Lamott’s Traveling Mercies while I was recovering from my hysterectomy this summer and while I cannot relate to her stories of alcoholism, I can relate to her chapter on bulimia. In that chapter she writes about learning how to feed herself. I read that and realized that I too do not know how to feed myself, physically, emotionally, or mentally. I can relate to her resentment over having anyone control her drinking because I feel the same way about my eating. I have refused groups like Overeaters Anonymous because I don’t want anyone telling me what to eat and when or where to exercise and how.  I’m like a two year old with a “Me do it” mentality. I have gone so far as to ask a friend in OA which “control freak” groups to stay away from so that I could stay in control of myself. I didn’t like his answer and I simply resolved to try harder. I’m failing at it miserably by the way – go figure.

 Seems I live that way a lot. Try harder and it’ll all work out. I’ve been a member of the Al-Anon Family Groups since 1977, you’d think I’d know better but apparently I don’t always.  God and I are working on that.

 Redemption’s Heart is still the main name of my blog.

 Isaiah 43  1 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;  I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

You may notice that I added the phrase “Confessions of a Spiritual Bulimic” to my title. I’ve done that because my bulimia has over time become a life mind set; it over flows into everything I do. I binge on whatever it is that feels good or fills me up at the moment only to find that it doesn’t sustain. Filled with shame and guilt, I purge my emotions, my calendar and sometimes my food and vow to do better next time. It simply fits my story.

 For those who’ve been with me since the beginning, you know that Redemption’s Heart does not follow a nice clean churchy path. It is one of starts and stops, highs and lows, mixed with moments of amazing clarity and foggy confusion. I have been rejected by more churches than accepted by; refused baptism by one priest and therefore baptized in a tradition I’ve never belonged to (Episcopal); I’ve met the Maharishi, offered unwitting prayers to Sova (transcendental meditation); met the King of Sweden; believed in the healing power of crystals; studied Wiccan; practiced Tai Chi; read tarot cards as if they were real; contemplated (and eventually rejected) the possibilities of reincarnation; prayed in tongues (yes, I have that gift and will write about it later); prayed with groans when nothing else sufficed; prayed scripture; prayed to saints, dead relatives, God and the Virgin Mary. I have even conversed with Mary in dreams and argued with the devil himself.

 Somewhere in there I married a Missouri Synod Lutheran.

My road has been well-traveled my friends, and I, like St Augustine, know that it is God who has called me by name. When I am tired of listening to my own voice, I remember to get still again and listen to his.

Most of my readers were Lutheran when I first started writing and as a result, mixed with a deep seeded desire to fit in and please, I try to keep my posts what I call “Lutheran Friendly.” Today my readership is mixed. Some of you are Catholic, Baptist, Buddhist, Charismatic, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan, and even Agnostic. We are an eclectic community in this little slice of cyber space and I am thankful for each and every one of you. I simply ask that in our conversations we stay polite and kind with each other.

 There will be posts and thoughts about God and life that you can resonate with and there will be posts that will probably violate all sensibilities and make you think. I think that is a good thing.

 I’m not here to discuss politics – in or out of church – nor am I here to convince you that I’m correct in my assessments of life or of God. I don’t know all of the million dollar words that makes Christians sound so well-educated.  I’m a traveler in this world, just like you. I’m really here because, well – I’m growing my voice and this seems to be the best way to do that. I’m humbled by the reality that many of you have chosen to join me in this journey.

 I will still review books, offer resource recommendations and talk about my daily life – perhaps ad nauseam some times and in that mix I will share with you my steps, my stumbles, my neuroses, and my prayers.

 Thank you for joining me.

This post written by Deana O’Hara for Redemption’s Heart. All rights reserved. August 12, 2010