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Five years later... [Feb. 11th, 2014|09:30 am]
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I don't 'officially' have Aspergers Syndrome. By that, I mean that I was never diagnosed, and now that it's been removed from the DSM, I never will be. Some people believe that means that I have no right to 'claim' the label, that I have no right to use the term to help explain who I am to those different from me, and especially that I have no right to speak for others who may be like me. While I may not agree - if you don't need a diagnosis to know that you're 'normal,' why should I need one to know who I am? - in the interest of precision and clarity, my formal, public self-definition is 'not quite normal.' I use that expression to refer to those who, like me, would almost certainly have been given a diagnosis 'on the spectrum,' but for one reason or another have never sought one. Informally, however, I will still use the term 'Aspie' to refer to myself and others like me.

I live in a perpetual present, and have since I was thirteen. On reflection, I suspect that's a side-effect of the intensity of focus that comes with 'not quite normal.' Unless I choose to, I have no attention to spare for past or future - while I may HAVE multiple 'tracks,' the default setting is for all of them to be tuned to the same 'channel,' whatever it may be. Since I can't tune any of them out, they HAVE to harmonize, or everything rapidly becomes chaos in my mind. My mom can multi-task like you wouldn't believe. A side-effect, I'm fairly sure, of her 'dyslexia.' She can have each of her 'tracks' pointing in a different direction, and just listen to each of them in turn - each one is recording so she never misses anything. A few years ago her thyroid 'crashed' due to treatment for Graves disease, and for a while she could only focus on two things at a time. I suspect that for most people, that's about normal. For her, it was as disorienting as if she'd suddenly gone almost completely blind and deaf.

Me, I'm the opposite - every 'track' I have is stuck on the same channel. It's as if even the cue channel and the channels for the headsets worn by the crew at a major even were all run through the same soundboard - the only way they're not blaring through to everyone at the event is if those channels are turned down or off. So I really can't get a lot of different things done at the same time. So I pretty much stick to what would be the equivalent of the 'studio mics' (I'm using the example from my days at TBN, since most of those of you who DID read this will know what I'm talking about - though I know that no one's updated here in four or five years so it's not likely anyone I know will read this at all). On the other hand, since all of my 'mics,' as well as my cameras, are all pointed at the same place, I get a lot more coverage than I would if I only had one or two tracks, and the rest scattered among other things. Then too, since it's really a pain to shift all those tracks and mics and cameras once they're set, I usually stick with one focus for a pretty long period of time.

I may go six weeks where I do nothing but lie in bed, covers over my head to block out everything else, putting myself in an imaginary world where I (or a character much like me who uses my first-person perception, just about all my personality and much of my own background) have 'adventures' with a bunch of made-up people I pretend are my friends. I used to do that every night, and stay in bed as late as I could get away with - then I'd start my normal day. As I get older, it's harder to 'reset the mics,' so when I do it, I might get up for twenty minutes a couple times, to eat, drink, go to the bathroom, and feed the kids. Since I have more responsibilities than I used to (but no day job I always have to get to), I can only give myself that luxury once or twice a year. It doesn't sound productive, but last year it yielded me the basis for two screenplays - one of which is now fully complete and I'm hoping to film this summer, the other would be, but I want to expand it to make a feature-length, instead of the short film I'll direct myself.

They say it takes three weeks of doing something every day to form a habit - and that once a habit is actually formed, it'll become automatic, and you won't have to choose to do it. Well, if a 'habit' is defined as something you always do, every day, then I really don't have any, and probably never will. I mean, I breathe every day. But that's about it. I don't really have any channels dedicated to 'auto-pilot activities.' I forget to eat sometimes, and I know that more than once I've realized that it's about nine at night, and I haven't had anything to drink all day. Knowing myself, and reading the Arthur Conan Doyle 'corpus' of Shelock Holmes literature, I'm almost positive that those who Sherlock Holmes was based on could almost certainly have been diagnosed with Aspergers, had they had the opportunity to be tested.

I actually do stay fairly well-rounded though. I have a lot of interests, of varying kinds. I sing, I sew, I crochet (I used to knit, but have discovered that I really don't like leaving unfinished knitting lying around, so if I can't do it in one sitting I don't do it anymore), I clean my house, I cook, I write, I paint, I draw, I design clothes, I make things, I study... It's just that I only do one thing at a time, instead of a little bit of several each day. I've fought fires, worked on an ambulance and in the E.R., run television cameras, directed short films, designed a small house, acted in a web series, watched every episode and read every transcript of Once Upon a Time, read the entire Harry Potter series about ten times (usually within the space of a week), read every transcript of Sherlock and The Big Bang Theory, biked around Los Angeles, recovered from abdominal surgery (c-section), given birth on the strength of four extra-strength tylenol... but whatever I'm doing right now is the only thing in the entire world. Nothings else exists at that moment. I live in the moment, because there's almost literally no other way I can live. My entire existence can be summed up, through no conscious choice of my own, in the words of the late Jim Elliot:
Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God.
I have no choice - but I'll take it. I wouldn't have it any other way - just as I am sure you wouldn't trade your own unique 'way of being' to be anyone else either.
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do we really believe? [Mar. 22nd, 2009|04:47 pm]
You know, sometimes I wonder what it would be like if someone actually lived like they believed what they profess. I don't mean they don't believe it - I believe with certainty that God loves me, and that what happens in my life is His hand at work for my good and his purpose. Because I believe with certainty that it is impossible for Him to lie and I believe that the Bible is His word and that what the Bible says is what He is saying - and there are so many promises in the Bible directed at those who come to him. And I come to him. [insert latin phrase I can't remember from logic class that means thus it is proved(at least, given those premises my conclusion is correct)]. Yet I don't live like it. Or at least, I believe it but so often at the exact same time I don't. If I'm painting and forget to open the doors to ventilate (I've got a bunch of allergies that in addition to physical symptoms trigger the emotional symptoms of my depression as well), I think about all the times we thought we were going to be missionaries, and I feel rejected. And then I feel like I must not be good enough and I... and it spirals down.

My pastor teaches, preaches and I know believes that God will provide, that the Bible teaches prayers will be answered, that God wants us to trust Him and not our wealth, and do what we believe He wants us to do, casting ourselves on Him for the result. And yet in private counseling, or in conversation, he has a tendency to give the opposite advice. Hedge your money, don't give me the twenty dollars to put in the offering plate when you're an elderly widow living on a fixed income. I know you want to give and give but you're on a minimum wage job, hold onto your money. I know the tithe is ten percent but you're not earning even enough to live on, you could just start with 2 percent - aren't you nervous about hiking the A.T. with Charlie's back. You really think you can live on just your husband-to-be's income? I know you believe that a wife should be at home (actually, I just believe that my own calling from God is to be a wife at home), but surely you'll admit that there are times where you just have to work and have two incomes...

oh God, help us to live and encourage others to live like we believe what we believe instead of sowing doubt in our own minds or sowing the doubt in our minds into the lives of others who have already decided in their hearts what to give You.
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Ben Entwistle went home to be with Christ [Jul. 15th, 2008|08:17 am]
From Roy and Judy:

Dear Family and Friends,

We just had a call from Dan in South Africa. He reported that Ben did really well for the first 3 1/2 hours of the flight. Then, his heart developed problems. The team on the plane did everything possible to revive Ben, but the pulse stopped and nothing could be done. The plane had been on the ground about 20 minutes when Dan called. He was still at the plane and trying to determine what to do. He really has no one in South Africa to turn to for help. He needs immediate prayer for wisdom and he desperately needs God’s presence and strength. Judy found this wonderful verse in Psalm 54:4. ”Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one that sustains me.” We are praying this for Dan and Lynda and for the dear children. We are also claiming it for our entire family.

At times like this it is so wonderful to have Jesus, whose eye is on the sparrow. We know He is grieving with us. He has not failed. Once again life has triumphed over death. We have total confidence that Ben is 100% well and we will see him again. God is good all the time and even Ben’s passing comes through His loving hand.

If any reading this message do not know the Lord or has wandered from Him, we plead with you to come to Him. At such times in life, there is nothing like knowing that one’s sins are forgiven and that Jesus is able to present us faultless before the Throne of Grace. That is what He has done for Ben. He has done it because He loves Ben, not because Ben deserved it. Oh what comfort we have despite the tears.

Our family wants to thank all of you who have prayed us through this time of pain. Your messages have brought solace and encouragement. We have felt the love of literally thousands and have thanked God over and over again that we are part of the family of God.

To God be the glory!

Much love to all,

Roy and Judy on behalf of our family
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(no subject) [Jul. 14th, 2008|07:06 pm]
There is now a blog set up with updated information about Ben Entwistle's situation. As of the latest update, he is flying med-evac from Kenya to South Africa for surgery.

For any more recent updates:
http://www. benentwistle. com/?p=13
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another update on Ben's condition [Jul. 14th, 2008|04:17 pm]
Quick summary if you don't want to read the whole thing:
Ben's condition is such that surgery is absolutely necessary to repair a vegitative valve in his heart. The facilities in Kenya are not good enough, not capable of handling it but he's not stable enough to make it to the states. They're airlifting him to South Africa - the distance being about the same as from Chattanooga to Seattle - so they can do his surgery there. He's in the air right now.

pray for healing, and for him to be able to remain stable during the flight, and for his family (his dad's flying with him, the rest are coming commercially).

More later as it comes available.

Jonathan Bonetti (Covenant) wrote
at 10:15am
Hey everyone, this is an email that my family just received on ben's condition. He really really really needs our prayers right now. Thank you all so much for your response to this. His family is forever gratefull. love you guys. -bonetti

"The last update I received this morning was from Dan's parents:

Following is a letter received from Dan this morning. In addition to this information, we have just talked to Dan. He confirms that Ben is breathing much faster and has been diagnosed with either pneumonia or Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The decision has been made to med-evac Ben as the last hope of saving him. Because no one feels he could make the trip to the States, they are taking him to South Africa. Dan is now trying to make all the arrangements necessary and to find a place to stay in South Africa. Lynda and the children will be flying out commercially, while Dan accompanies Ben. Dan's letter says it all. Thank you for praying. Love, Roy and Judy

Mychal Phillips (New York, NY) wrote
at 10:44am
Hey guys,
Meadowview Church is raising money for Ben...100% of money sent to Meadoview will be WIRED to Ben's family ASAP to help cover costs of medical expenses and the helicopter. PLEASE SEND WHATEVER YOU CAN! Every little bit helps!
Send a check or money with a note inside saying FOR BEN ENTWISTLE.
Meadowview Presbyterian Church
1 Graceway Drive
Lexington, NC 27295

KEEP PRAYING! God's gonna do a miracle!

Erica Dellinger (Appalachian State) wrote
at 11:25am
Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that I started a group called Ceaselessly Praying for Ben. Basically it is a page where people can commit to praying for Ben around the clock until we witness a miracle. Please, comment on the discussion board and commit to praying for Ben in 15 min. slots. If we join together, then Ben will be prayed for "Ceaselessly." Please join with me in commiting to praying for Ben unitl he is healed.

Ron Brown (Covenant) wrote
at 12:10pm
The latest information received here at Covenant regarding Ben is that they are prepping him for travel to South Africa for surgery since he is too sick to make the trip to the US. If this information is correct we ought to pray that he will be safe en route, that he would be kept safe through the surgery and that the surgery would be successful.

Lynne Yagel (Virginia Beach / Norfolk, VA) wrote
at 3:39pm
Pray fervently!! It is a LONG way from Kenya to S Africa -- kinda like flying a person from Chattanooga to Seattle because he was too sick to be cared for in the hospitals in Atlanta!!!!!

Rebekah Rineer wrote
at 3:59pm
Praying for Ben as he and his Dad are in the air from NBO to Jo-burg, SA! Praise the Lord for the same hospital and cardiologist from 4 years ago when Ben was in a similar situation with the rheumatic heart disease! Praying for Lynda and the other kids as they wrap some things up in Kenya and then fly down to SA to be with Dan and Ben.

Lord - Your will be done, but we are asking you to do a miracle in Ben's body - even as he is transported to South Africa! Please keep them safe! Please give each member of the family and each doctor peace as they attempt to stabalize Ben! Amen.
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update on Ben Entwistle [Jul. 14th, 2008|08:36 am]
once again, in the words of those who know what's going on...

Kr Davis (CGIAR) wrote
at 10:51pm yesterday
We were able to speak to Dan this afternoon. As a result of that conversation, I wish to correct one item included in the update I sent this morning. There is no firm evidence that "bacterial growth has spread to the kidneys." This information was passed to us in a round-about way and did not come directly from Dan and Lynda. It is true that evidence of the "showering" of debris is evident in Ben's body as small purple spots appear where the debris has lodged in capillaries.

Today, Dan confirmed that Ben seems a bit weaker. His blood pressure has been up and he has experienced nausea and vomiting today. He has taken in almost no food and is very restless. A good sign was that he was able to grip Dan's hand quite firmly, but still has no movement in his right arm or leg.

Tomorrow morning they expect to receive preliminary results from the blood culture. This will indicate if the strong antibiotics they are administering need to be adjusted. Dan, who is a doctor, is in consultation with other doctors in Kenya and in the US.

Serious consideration is being given to med-evacing (sp?) Ben to America, but it is fraught with danger as movement could dislodge more debris and it could travel in Ben's system. On the other hand, it appears that surgery is a critical next step and it is very desirable to have it done in the US, rather than in Kenya. This is a huge decision and your prayers for wisdom are so very much appreciated.

I am guessing that my descriptions of medical conditions could be less than 100% accurate, but I have tried to be careful in describing what we understand.

We are totally humbled when we receive so many messages from you dear folks and as we realize how far and wide this information has been disseminated.

Kr Davis (CGIAR) wrote
at 5:38am
Susie Entwistle Hampton asked me to post this messge from Ben's dad:

"Well it's Monday morning here in Kijabe. I spent the night with the kids here, though it wasn't a very restful night. Met with Peter Bird, a surgeon, and with Steve Letchford who is a sharp internist and also with Nate Smith who is an internist and I gather specialist in Infectious Diseases. From Nate's experience, he's saying it's not a matter of whether Ben will go to surgery (it is critical he has surgery on his heart as one of the valves is vegatative), just when. We are in contact with the people at CHOP (Children's Hosp of Philly) through Mike (brother in law), and we are waiting to hear what they say on it. If it's true, then we'll probably be trying to get Ben back there as soon as possible, while he is relatively stable. He could become very unstable very quickly, and I don't know if we are headed that way as I write.

Lynda called me a little less than an hour ago to say that poor Ben is breathing much faster today, in the 40's per minute. I had noticed a change yesterday, when he was breathing in the 30's/minute as opposed to the 20's/minute the day before. But I'm very worried with it now in the 40's, and his oxygen saturations have been lower to mid 90's (%). So he may be becoming unstable. Also, he has a low platelet count since he came in, and to everyone here last night that could be DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) which can happen in severe infections and is not good at all. Also, he is very, very agitated--ripping his oxygen off this morning and very restless. I think they will have to use sedation more frequently. Dear Ben man! Well, all that is to say we so value your prayers, family. God knows all things and can turn the tide or let it rumble on, and I am confident no matter what happens that He is both good and loving. We will keep you informed."

Kr Davis (CGIAR) wrote
at 5:42am
Susie says, In addition to the information I just send, my parents have just talked to Dan. He confirms that Ben is breathing much faster and has been diagnosed with either pneumonia or Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The decision has been made to med-evac Ben as the last hope of saving him.
Because no one feels he could make the trip to the States, they are taking him to South Africa. Dan is now trying to make all the arrangements necessary and to find a place to stay in South Africa. Lynda and the children will be flying out commercially, while Dan accompanies Ben. Thank you for praying. Love, Roy and Judy

Owen Leber (Covenant) wrote5 hours ago
So i've been in and out of the hospital with ben for the last few days since he was admitted. Ben essentially suffered a stroke after the valve he had repaired previously became infected. He has very little movement on the right side of his body and his speech is very slurred. Please keep him close in your prayers. He is still in good spirits though. Everyone who knows ben knows how positive he is and i want you all to know he hasn't lost that. In fact yesterday i told him that i tried to use his motorcycle helmet to go riding but that it didn't fit. he proceeded to tell me "it's because you have a fat head owen." so i just wanted to let you all know i've told him you're praying for him and and he sends his love and appreciation to all of you. if you have any specific messages for ben i'll be going to the hospital again tonight or tomoro so feel free to send them to me so i can print them out for him. Thanks again everyone and remember to never stop praying, even for his family.

Carolyn Coley Koning (Raleigh / Durham, NC) wrote
at 6:49am
I hear that Mozambique is having a day of prayer and fasting for Ben today. People in Kijabe will be meeting at 8:00 p.m. Kenya time (1:00 p.m. Eastern) to pray for Ben.
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URGENT prayer request [Jul. 13th, 2008|08:37 pm]
Dear friends,

I just learned a few minutes ago that Ben Entwistle (a friend, a Covenant student, and a former member of West Brow Fire and Rescue) became ill while visiting friends and family in Nairobi Kenya. Since I don't know anything but what I discovered on facebook, I'm going to enclose all the information available. Please pray - it seems like this is an urgent situation with life or death in the balance in the matter of hours. I don't know what time zone the time stamps are but this seems to be pretty urgent - please pray.

"Ben is over in Nairobi, Kenya (Africa). He was there for Alumni at RVA and to visit with friends and family. He became ill and has been in the hospital for a little while. They believe he has had a stroke and he can't move his right leg right now. Ben and his family really need prayer right now. Be praying for a full recovery and for peace for everyone who is with him. THIS GROUP IS TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT PRAYING FOR BEN AND HIS FAMILY. If you have any news, RELATING TO BEN, then please post information. Thank you all! " (yesterday)

Carolyn Coley Koning (Raleigh / Durham, NC) wrote
at 1:32pm
I don't know Ben personally, but I know his folks, Jesse, Lucy, and Seth as well as his grandparents, Roy and Judy; I'm on staff at RVA. Jonathan, thank you for creating this group. Everyone, thank you for your prayers. Here's the latest that we've heard on this side:
From Dr. Dudley Pate, "Apparently Ben has had an infection, and bacteria from this infection gathered around his damaged aortic valve. Several of these bacteria moved off to invade other parts of the body and some found their way into his brain, causing the stroke. Ben's right arm and leg appear paralyzed and his speech is slurred. His aortic valve appears to have suffered some further damage too."
From Dr. Peter Bird, "Ben's condition has not yet stabilized - the next 24-48 hrs will be critical. Dan and Lynda are getting understandably very tired ... Please continue in fervent prayer."

Carolyn Coley Koning (Raleigh / Durham, NC) wrote
at 3:26pm
From Steve (Ben's uncle) via Roy (Ben's grandfather): "The cardiologist in Nairobi has looked at the scan and other test results and the verdict is not good at all. The bacterial growth on the heart is so bad that it has spread to the kidneys and other places and might cause another stroke any time. The boy is in urgent need of heart surgery. Nairobi may not be equipped for what he needs but he is in no condition to be transported anywhere else either. Pray that through Gods interfering, with or without the antibiotics he has been given, Ben would recover at least well enough to get to where he can receive the treatment he needs. But God can even heal that boy completely. Dan, Lynda and the other kids are understandably very upset. Please pray for them all, the doctors, other hospital personnel that they would be diligent in what they need to do, the decisions that need to be made.... And Ben above all."

Carolyn Coley Koning (Raleigh / Durham, NC) wrote
at 3:27pm
From Roy (Ben's grandfather): "Despite the condition of Ben and the stress on the family, we continue to trust God. We know that God's eye is still on the sparrow and Ben is immensely more valuable to Him. Jesus is totally trustworthy and whatever the outcome, He will be there with grace and comfort. We continue to believe that in HIs perfect will Ben can be healed, but we also want what will bring Him glory and honor. We find that at such a time as this, there is tremendous comfort in knowing Ben is in the hands of His loving and all-powerful God."

Sheryce Butkowski (Covenant) wrote
at 3:58pm
hey guys...a new update for ben...
things seem to get harder and harder. please please please keep the prayers coming. bacterial growth is so bad it has spread to kidneys and other places. He needs urgent heart surgury. However Nairobi is not equiped and can't be transported. Please pray for a correct antibiotic to be found so he can be transported. Pray that God will feel his friends around him, it's hard being so far away.

If you're on facebook: check http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18505191838&ref=nf for updates.
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a new class, a new world of potential friends [Jul. 13th, 2008|07:47 am]
"So you're a firefighter. Wow. And I don't mean that just because you're a woman, I just mean because I mean that's one hell of a job."

(slightly embarrassed) "Well, I mean, this shirt I'm just a volunteer"

"Well even more so - I mean, you don't even get paid to go save people"

I must admit, I'm not used to being around people who aren't around firemen all the time. I'm not used to being around people with just the public's perception of the emergency services. It's been what, three years since I've been around anyone who was impressed without knowing any of the distinctions involved.

Still, I'm not the only one in the class with a slightly incongruous job. There's a girl there who's an attorney. That seems to me even more surprising - she seems so young. But then, I guess most people don't think of firefighters as kids and I'm constantly around them. I say how the "general public has no idea" but I forget because I'm never around "the general public" anymore. Seems like all my friends either know me, so they've had their misconceptions corrected, or else they're firefighters too, or at least constantly around them. We're just people too, except like actors we live with our interactions a little closer to the surface. And we wear masks frequently at need.

But then, I was surprised in Gwinnett because no one there had ever had opportunity to volunteer, they were all hired either from the military or out of living with mom and dad. I guess it all depends on your background. And out here there's even fewer possibilities to volunteer. Which means the only people who get to be firefighters are those who want nothing else. At home most of them also do construction or medical work, everyone has some other life that pays.

I will say, it does seem like there might be a spark of interest on the part of mr T.A./classmate - at least an interest in being impressed and being friends. He was also really impressed at ability to follow him in the "mirror" acting exercise we did - he's in director's school, I guess he never did many acting exercises before. Not that I was all that flattered (Acting's another thing once you're used to doing it it's funny for anyone to be impressed), but I did enjoy the affirmation. I'd really like to make some good friends out of this class. It'll be good practice for interacting "in the moment" because always before when I found a spark of interest (which usually fanned my own) I over-reacted and killed any chance of a normal interaction. And any interest there might have been until the guy wants nothing more than to get away from me. Paul, Bennett... I guess my best bet is to be fully aware while at the same time not showing it, not reacting more than actual reaction. Just like if I don't know exactly where a camera is, then I might notice it later while it's on me as a part of the situation when a camera is supposed to be invisible - if it's reacted to then it ruins the authenticity of the moment.

Am I making any sense at all?

I'm sure it's just a period of interacting training where I have to be aware, until awareness will be instinctual. Right now I'm mostly amused by any interest - though also sometimes annoyed or concerned if it's too obvious. But my main emotional reaction is amusement because it's so new.
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(no subject) [Jul. 2nd, 2008|12:24 pm]
I've never really lived away from home before. I mean, I did spend around five months in Gwinnett County, but I came home every weekend, and since I was on the same time zone as everyone I knew, it was no problem to stay in contact with home. I really haven't left before.

I know - twnety-six is way too old for a first leaving home, and I should just shut up about it if I'm homesick. But just because I'm older than most people who leave home, doesn't mean it's not real. Even if it is odd, and not like what I'd really expected.

It's not really even that I want to go home. I don't have a life there right now. I have family, I have people, I have close friends, I have relationship - but it's empty when I know I have something God made me to do that I'm not ready to do, and the only way to be is to go away and learn. And there's nowhere better to learn how to be a film director than to move to Los Angeles.

And I like it here. Sometimes I even love it here - or I love large parts of where I am and what I'm doing.

But I'm not really here yet either. I mean, I am, obviously. I'm not in Chattanooga, I'm in Glendale. And almost everything is settled to say "I live in California." I don't have a PO box yet, but I have a local bank account, I've got a California EMT certificate, I've got an appointment for a California driver's license (and just in time too - my birthday is a week from Sunday and my appointment is a week from yesterday - and this is the year my GA license expires)... I've got a probable job in about two months if nothing else works out, and worst case scenario I scrape by on what I have saved until then (though I'm hoping for a different job because I want to be a filmmaker, not an EMT while I'm out here), plus I am registered for extra work so I can always do that.

But I'm not really here yet. I'm just in an in-between period. Like I've spent too much time at home. I hate the in-between periods, I wonder why God puts them in my life so very often. Obviously He's got some sort of lesson in leaning on Him instead of my own schedules and... It scares me, sometimes as much asfull-blown depression does, to feel aimless is the first step. I'm afraid to get sucked in by inertia before I've got my life planned out.

But where I'm at isn't because of anything wrong I'm doing - it's just part of the life I've been called to right now. It's hard but I knew it when I decided to move out here.

Paul said "I have learned to be content in all circumstances" - well, I want to, but I still haven't learned how to be content in the limbo, in the aimlessness. I can accept it, I can know it's God's plan and that it's good, I can know it's not permanent - but I stay restless. I can pretend it's homesickness, but it's not. It's limbo. I guess that's why God keeps bringing me back here again and again - not constantly because I do need to work, I need to serve and do - but a lot more frequently than He does for a lot of people. Because I am not content here - I have to lean on Him, I have to learn to depend more on Him because I can't depend on myself or anything else while I'm here.

I don't like it. I never like it. But I'm also afraid of it, because I'm afraid I like it more than I like pushing to change - and maybe it's not Him, it's just me having inertia is why I'm always here.

Just like I frequently find myself facing my depression again and again - because it's part of my inertia. I don't like it, but I don't like to fight it and sometimes I give in. And I'm very much afraid of giving in. Of giving up control because it's too much effort.

But God's in control, I don't have to be. Maybe that's why He keeps bringing me back - maybe this is my thorn in the flesh.

If I were really homesick, I'd actually call people. Or ask them to call me. And I don't. I read. Until I run out of books I want to read. Borders is too small.
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"were you trying to help me?" [Jun. 26th, 2008|01:47 pm]
I was over at one of those outdoor mall things - really early in the morning actually. I have read every book I own (which is now down to about seven) twice in the last week and a half (some of them three or four times) so I was hungering to go find a bookstore and read the day away. I had an exhausting day yesterday so I thought maybe I would treat myself (I'd still be there if I hadn't decided I would come home for meals - it's out again after I eat lunch).

Only they weren't open yet (my body still hasn't quite adjusted to California time so six am is about the latest I can sleep in, maybe seven - it was 8:30 and the bookstore didn't open until 9:00). So I was journaling outside, catching up on some stuff that happened yesterday that I didn't write about (like the car wreck I saw, and I haven't yet written anything about finding a dead sea-slug and so getting into the aquarium for free to pet a live one).

But finally the bookstore opened and I headed over there. But as I did I saw an extension cord, plugged in outside but caught up around a bush. I hate when that happens, so I thought I could slide it up and over so the guy vacuuming whatever he was cleaning up out of the trolley tracks could have a couple extra feet of space.

It unplugged. The vacuum or blower (whatever it was) stopped, and I could see the guy looking my way immediately. I plugged it back in but he'd seen me. And so did two security guards. Darn. I didn't want anyone to notice. Even if I wasn't doing anything exactly wrong, no one likes customers interfering with maintenance work - even if the customer has done a fair share of it themselves. And I saw the two security guards go over to the maintenance guy, and they were looking over at me too.

So I figured I'd better explain and apologize. The guy set down his blower and came over towards me as I wandered in that direction. I guess the security guards figured he could have it under control, they didn't follow.

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to unplug it."

"Were you trying to help me?"

"Yeah, I was trying to get it up over the bushes but I just unplugged it instead. I'm so sorry."

The funny thing was the tone of voice. I've done that sort of work before. I know if someone interferes, no matter how well-meaning, it's really irritating. I didn't want to mess it up but I'd managed to anyway. But he sounded grateful and puzzled. I wasn't expecting that. Especially since the effect was the opposite of help.

Still, at least the guards didn't arrest me :)
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