Friday, October 29, 2010

I Don't Like Church

Ya.  I said it.

I don't like church.

I don't like the kind of people that "go" to church.
I don't like listening to (and watching other people idolize) pastors, and preachers, and evangelist....  especially the ones that have their own TV show.

No worries... I'm not hell bound-  I'm a born-again, Jesus loving- Holy Spirit filled Christian.
I wonder if we can find a new name for ourselves?

I don't like "Christians", either.....

 Truth be told- the above 'facts' are not whole.
It's overall, but not completely true.
Matter-of-Fact.... most of my close friends are Christians.  And they go to church....
Wait. A. Minute?!   I go to church!!!!  
Oh dear, me.  I don't like myself!!!

Generally speaking- what I mean to say is... OK.... it's hard to explain, but.......
Church people are just SUCKY!  

To the outside world, to the general public, we are just:
 back-stabbing, morbidly judgmental, gossiping hypocrites.

We do a lotta talking' about "the love of Christ", but show VERY LITTLE love.
We do a whole-lotta actin', because we seem to carry a mindset that we need to be perfect, so we tend to act perfect... and dude... if it was possible to be perfect, really?... would God have sent Jesus to die?  UmmmmNO!

So? In acting all perfect, we're basically liars.  
And folks that don't know or wanna know Jesus... they SHO' don't wanna be gettin' any advice or information from a LIAR.

Let me break it down- I'm probably wrong here, but I'll use myself as an example. 
 (Lot o folk are gonna get offended.  Sorry in advance for the offense.  Not sorry for the facts, though).

Scenario A: 
At home with my husband.  We invite a few friends over.  Our friends are casual drinkers. 
(Glass of wine here, a beer or two there...whatever... etc. etc. etc.)
We got no problem throwing back a couple o' buds with them.  
No guilt.  No convictions.  No hail Mary's or salt to the back throwing in the morning.

Scenario B: 
At home with my husband. We invite a few friends over.  Our friends do NOT drink.  
We ain't buyin' no wine to serve with dinner.....   

Are we hypocrites?  
Are we respectful to the comfort levels of other people?
Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.

A long time ago- I had a mindset that we should NOT drink at ALL if we were gonna be "Christian" folk.  
(I wasn't carrying my own convictions- I was using somebody else's say so)
"So and so says that drinking- AT ALL- is totally and completely WRONG and sinful......"
(After a bit of growing up, I came to realize that "so and so" wasn't my Savior, and "so and so" didn't know my heart, and "so and so" was just being religious in the fact that "so and so" had those personal convictions themselves, thus pushing those among their peers and fellow 'church goin friends'.)

Moving on.

I've discovered that what is "OK" for the goose may/may not be OK for the other goose.  
It's a matter of personal conviction.

My basic understanding (and if you're reading this and you don't have a personal intimate relationship with Jesus- DO NOT quote me or go by 'my' theology.  This is JUST ME thinking/writing out loud.... ) is that when the BIBLE is unclear one MUST use personal convictions to guide them.

 (Example- it's VERY CLEAR that we shouldn't be doin' the groove-thang before we're married....
 the groove-thang BEFORE marriage is a sin.  It's wrong.
 It will NEVER matter what you're convictions are- the Bible is clear... No groove-thang before marriage).

Some things are unclear:     Beer with a bud.  Wine with the wife.  Big unclarification.
Some things are clear:         No nookie with anyone else if you're ALREADY married.....
Some things are unclear:     Tattoos and Piercings- yay or nay?
Something are clear:            Killing someone- no can do- not allowed....bad-bad-bad
Somethings are unclear:        Secular music: (Bob Dylan? Nickelback? Yes? No? What?!?!)
Somethings are clear:           Liar Liar pants of fire.  Lying is wrong.  It's a sin. 

(Have I mentioned I am NOT a theologian?)

And I'll get to my point before I dig myself into a LAYMAN's hole of unknowledge-able things.

Christians have GOT to stop throwing out their judgment calls on other people!
We have GOT to quit pretending like we're perfect.
We have GOT to lay out a ground of love, and empathy for everyone around us.
Furthermore- we need to quit 'idolizing' our pastors, and worship leaders, and comparing ourselves to those around us that are 'HOLIER' than we are. (They aren't!)
Newsflash folks: All those people are MESSED up too!
They just can't let you in on all of their messed-up-ed-ness... cause if they did... YOU WOULD judge them.


I'm almost over my 'don't like church' thing now.

I don't go to a perfect church.
Even if I did, I wouldn't know it.
I have a mindset that NOBODY is perfect- and nobody's gonna change that.

I look at the pastor-dude that preaches and think nothing more of him other than the fact that he's
just an obedient messenger- willing to put himself out there in an effort to deliver the Word.

He's putting himself in the front line of the battle field- so he gets total respect- but no reverence.
None of this  "Oh perfect pastor of perfection- bestow upon me your ultimate perfectionism that I may be perfect like you......"
Thankfully- the Lord let me know a LONG time ago that I shouldn't look to anyone in search of perfection.

Because of that- when a dude falls- it totally removes the anger and disappointment that could have been there, and in it's place- there's love, and compassion, and empathy.
Cause we've all fallen.  All of us.

I hope that all of us "Christian Folk" can change the perception of the world, one by one, and prove ourselves to be NOTHING more than sinners that took the offering of salvation through Jesus' blood.

We aren't better.  We aren't perfect.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The pastor referenced a race horse.  "Secretariat".  I'm pausing to Google, before I continue with this blog..... cause I had never heard of this horse, nor had I heard of the movie....and I can't remember the info. the pastor used.

"The trainer of Secretariat foretold of him, before he had ever raced- that he would win the Triple Crown- something that had not been done in almost 25 years."

(Amazing what a person's faith can accomplish, isn't it?  More so- it's incredible that this trainer 'spoke'  victory into this horse, way before the horse was even old enough to  race.)

A key point that had a deep impact on me during the sermon was one that concerned 'the heart'.
The pastor pointed out the importance of 'having heart', using Secretariat's estimated heart weight as 22 pounds in comparison to that of a standard 8.5 pound horse heart.
The size of the horse's heart determined it's strength, and stamina, and ability to 'win the race'.

He said that the key to "not giving" up is in the heart.
Basic (layman's) terms- the heart needs to be free.  Not bound up.

I had an image of a heart, wrapped tightly in binding tape.
Bound up from strife, and struggle, and hardship upon hardship....
This heart wasn't able to run a race- much less FINISH the race. (2 Timothy 4:7)

 The pastor said something like 'the only way for the heart to be free... is through Jesus Christ'.

Where are my notes?

 I wrote down something that put this truth into less 'standardized' terms.
Of course, we all know that the only way to be free from anything is through Jesus.
Something else came to my paper through my scraggly writing, though.  I can't remember what it said:
But it was a total NON cliche'.

It put this image into full animation:

A heart,
Bound up... with binding tape.
The heart doesn't know it's bound
until the binding begins to constrict the heart's ability to beat.
There is a loose piece of binding;
It can be pulled, and unwrapped....
But the heart has to allow it.
And only One Hand can pull off the binding.
The heart realizes the strain it's under; and it surrenders itself to The Hand
Gently, the hand comes down, and pulls the binding.
But the binding isn't removed all together-
It has to be a slow, steady release... lest the heart be overwhelmed.
The heart begins to feel freedom, though it knows it is still bound
(in this- I found a realization that my bound-up-heart is becoming free...
but The Lord in His sovereignty, is requiring my patience- lest I become overwhelmed).
When The Hand is certain the heart can handle it, It removes all of the binding
Setting the heart free.  Completely.
And the heart is now able to run the race.
As it grows into it's new found freedom- it will soon be strong enough to finish the race.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

He Speaks

He's speaking.  To me.

I know it for sure.

I can't understand all of it.... er..  most of it.  
He's using "sign language".
Not ASL.
I have an ASL dictionary on my iPhone.
I'd have already interpreted if that was the case

It's as though I'm deaf- and can not quite comprehend His voice.
And He's putting specific "signs"  around, as though He's saying,

 "I'm speaking, Amber.  Yes.  To you, my sweet daughter. 
Watch closely. I'm all around you.  
I want you're attention.  I'm seeking YOUR companionship.
 Get still so you can hear Me better.  You'll hear Me when you're still.  
You'll hear how crisp, and clear, and perfect My Voice is...... when you're still."   

I spent the majority of church Sunday crying humble tears.  The preacher preached- I don't remember much of what He said... something or other like..... "blah blah blah- Amber this is the Lord.  I'm using this dude to talk to you... to show you how Awesome I Am....."  

The sermon was titled "Don't Give Up".  
I choked on the lump that came into my throat when I heard him say that.  My hiney scooted a lil toward the edge of my seat.  "I'm listening, Lord".
The pastor talked about A Horse Race (rather, he spoke of the race horse ...)  
My hands reached up to my eyelids to wipe away tears that were already escaping....

I searched myself, wondering .....who  am  I ???  ..... that the Maker of Heaven and Earth.... that our HOLY God.... The Great I Am....  that He would put out His hand, as if caressing my cheek- just to say to me:
 "Dear Daughter- listen carefully....." 

(In this moment- I wish I was an artist. I'd love to sketch out the image I have in my head.  Do you have that image, too?  A daughter- eyes closed, face streaked with tears and covered in an indescribable peace, resting her cheek softly in the caress of her Father's hand.....)

That was me Sunday.  I couldn't get away from myself.  I was sitting, alone- in a church I'd only gone to a handful of times... knowing only a handful of people....and I began to feel as if the entire building was going to zoom in on my tears and think that I was some  'poor lost sinner'.... crying in shame for all the terrible things I've done in my life....   or something ree-deculous like that.  I came to my senses and thought: 
 "Well? I AM a poor lost sinner.  So?  Hmmm....  Can't worry bout that.  And good grief, Amber- You just got a 'word' not to be fearful or concerned about other folks opinions of're not going to be ashamed to bask in the presence of the Holy just chill....."  

And that's what I did.   I basked.  And I cried.  And basked.  And cried.

The Holy Spirit whispered "Listen..... listen....." And I cried, and I cried, and I cried.  And I listened.  And I waited.  And I prayed, and... (secretly hoped I wasn't going to be asked to run around the church building- cause I was LISTENING.... and if that's what I had to do to hear what He was trying to tell me- buddy- I'da gone a runnin')

But I heard nothing more than "I'm speaking to you....." 
That was it.....
And that was enough.  
I knew He wasn't going to be done speaking to me... cause I sure wasn't done listening.  
And I'm still listening.  And I've witnessed more and more 'signs'.   And I'm taking notes.  
And I'm waiting.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My marriage: In a (cracked up) nutshell.

Once upon a time- before we had kids (FINE! It was 10 years ago....) I bought a Beta fish.

I named him Beta.

It was the perfect pet for me at the time.  You only have to feed them every few days.... and, you can put a pretty little plant atop the fish bowl to oxygenate the water and make your kitchen counter look decorative.  Pet. Decor. Plant.  Win-Win-Win.

Every 2 or 3 days I'd put some food in Beta's bowl and watch him swim around like the shark he thought he was gobbling up all of his food- and then, I'd ignore him for a day or so.... feed him... talk 'fish' with him... and ignore him for a few days..... and that's how our relationship went.

Then one day- when I put the food in his bowl- Beta. Was. Not. THERE!!

My fish bowl was empty.

And like an IDIOT- I searched all over our kitchen counter and the floor and the sink....  thinking the stupid fish had 'jumped bowl'.  (How'd he jump through the plant!?!  Maybe he was trying to get a fly?)

When my husband came home from work, I was FREAKED out and said
"Beta disappeared! His bowl is empty....!!! OH. MY. GOSH! He's probably down in the vent... we're gonna have dead fish smell in our house now.... Do you think he went into the vent????"

Literally- his response was:

"OH? He died the other day.  I flushed him."

My mouth is gaped open.  I'm in shock.  Who was this person I married? What kind of man doesn't console his 19 year old bride after her one and only fish dies?  FISH FLUSHER!!!  I married a FISH FLuSHeR!!!!

"Ummmmm..... YOU didn't want to..... maybe...... TELL ME THAT MY PET FISH DIED!?!??!?!"

"Oh? I didn't tell you?  Hmmm.... sorry 'bout that....."

And so goes the next 10 years.  Important (to me) information doesn't typically reach me via Mr. Joshua Anderson.  Many (too many) times, I've had to figure it out myself (typically \feeling like I'm looking on the kitchen floor for a flopping fish).

I keep forgetting how casual the man I married is.  He's an 'out of sight, out of mind' kind of dude.

I'm a "teller"- a "detailed teller" to boot.
I call him when I'm making plans to go to the grocery store.
I call him while I'm at the grocery store to make sure there isn't anything he needs.
I call him on my way home from the grocery store..... just in case there's something he forgot to tell me that shoulda been on our list.
(And when I'm unpacking our groceries- he follows me into the kitchen and says stuff like:
"What? No ice cream?  Awwww....I was hoping you'd bring home some Ice Cream....." (insert pouty face).

It's maddening, I tell ya!

We have two completely different personalities.  God is HILARIOUS in His orchestration of whom should marry whom.  Sometimes- I think He saw Joshua and I and said:

"Oh Ya.  These are the one's I'm gonna use to prove that NOthing is possible (good) with out ME!"

And if that was His thought- He proved Himself (yet again) to be the MASTER artist.
'Cause it is an all out MIRACLE that my husband and I are still married despite our completely-different-from-each-other-way-OUT-there-opposites-attract-but-mostly-wanna-strangle-each-other personality differences.

No THING is possible (good) with out the Lord.


Especially marriage.

I was reminded of this fish story when a friend posted a blog about her sons' fish dying, and the fact that the eldest of the 2 was 'cool' with it when he realized that he got to flush his brother's fish down the camode. Out of sight.  Out of mind.  He was sad... and then... he moved on....

That's a man story.  Lessons learned in how the 'male brain' operates via  a 5 year old.

It's a shame I don't have a son.  I'd understand my husband REALLY well.
It's tough that we have 3 girls ...... this means my husband is WAY more confused about the female brain.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Don't Got No Time for That

It's a double negative.  I know.  It's improper and it's an inappropriate way to speak.


I don't got no time to worry about all that........

I recently spoke to a someone that didn't know me very well.  The person was doing a sort of "evaluation" with me, and I didn't want him to think he needed to pour out a few eggshells to walk on during the discussion.  I stopped him and said:

"Just know.... there is nothing that you should feel the need to sugar coat.  I am perfectly fine, actually- I prefer, Blunt Honesty.  Ok.... Go ahead.... I just wanted to make sure you knew that...."

He was appreciative for the clarification, though he admitted- (in a super eloquent way) that he didn't need my permission to be honest and straight forward.  He'd be bold either way.  In that- an immediate respect formed for this person.

Honesty.  Whether you like it or not.....

What is there NOT to respect about that??

A latter conversation with the other person that was in the room led me to realize why it is that
 "I don't got no time for all that sugar-coated-beat-bushing nonsense".  
She said to me: "It's cause your a busy MOM! You want to get to the point and move on."

Ahhhh.  What a profound perspective.  

And this leads me to the point of this blog.

I don't have time to make my life look perfectly sweet. I don't have time to think carefully and studiously as I write (though there are times I do).  I write.  I type.  I pour my (true)self onto these blog pages.
I write for myself.  It's therapy.  I paint pictures of the reality that is "my life".

I'm writing all of this out for the part of me that feels "inferior" when  I read bloggers post about the

(seemingly PERFECT)                                                                                                                                
lives they live.

For the part of me that feels a little like:

Brittany Spears with a Shaved Head when she Went Way off the Deep End 
when I compare myself to 
the Sunshiney Oh Happy Day Life is Perfectly Perfect
Blog. Mom. World.

I compare myself when I'm reading the dashboard post.  
Wait? I don't know how to make my blogger page pretty......

Wait? I need to invest in a way-out-of-my-price-range camera so I can put pretty pictures up
Wait? Why don't I think of creative fun things to do with my kids......

And on, and on, and on..........

So. Tired. Of. Comparing. Myself.

I'm me.  I can't and won't conform.  It's a totally foreign concept to the person God made me.  

The person God made  me   laughs at  the person I sometimes think I'm s'pose to be

Conform?  What? No.......  Seriously.... Wait? Are you really asking me that? 
To change WHO I am and WHAT I do, and HOW I live.... 
Just. To. Please. Your. Inner. Self. Consciousness?
 Bahhhhh HAhhhhh Hah!!!  Ya. Right.  


Friday, October 15, 2010



I woke up with the word in my head.  I walked downstairs into the kitchen, and heard myself thinking, "Trifecta".  "Trifecta? What does that mean?"

As I was cooking breakfast, recollections of last night's dream were floating around in my head.  Did my dream have anything to do with the word?

First up, I'm in a classroom- standing in front of my teacher, (who is actually my daughter's teacher) waiting to get my report card.  I looked at my scores, which were put on a standard sheet of paper, and the only thing I could read was something that looked like this:
  1     Excels: The Kings Debate

In my dream, I was excited.  I didn't know that I was the one that had WON the King's Debate.  I also didn't know that the debate was titled.  The report card surprised me, and excited me.  I remember being like "Wheee!!!  Yay!"

There were other pieces to the dream that seem irrelevant.  And if they were relevant, I guess I'd feel the need to write them down in detail.  But I'll bullet point the basics.
  • Somebody in my class stole a song I wrote, and it bothered me because they're purpose in stealing it was to get fame and glory.  I was mortified by the person's cut-throat attitude toward becoming "famous".  It was like nothing I'd ever experienced.  The person looked scary in describing how he was going to get "to the top".  

  • In another portion of the dream, as I'm walking into school-  I notice that I'm wearing Joshua's work boots, and dirty jeans, and his work jacket.  I looked down and thought "Oh, bummer- I'm wearing Joshua's work clothes.... Hmmm?  Oh well."  My (grown) classmates were making fun of me, and sort of taunting my grossed out attire, but I didn't care.  My persona was "flippant"....  unaffected.    The same attitude I felt when, in my dream, there were several people laughing at me for "being fat".  I was laughing, too.  But? Not at myself.  I thought it was HILARIOUS that grown people were acting so childish.  A girl beside me was just devastated that I was getting laughed at, and through a deep belly laugh, I remember saying "Oh my goodness.  I think it's so funny!!!  Don't worry about it hurting my feelings.  IT doesn't.  Not. At. All."
The significance in those points may be nothing.  They were just there.  

I will say, that deep down, typically- if a person is negative toward me, it affects me sincerely.  I'm a sensitive little thang.  I will cry like a little kid if I'm treated badly by my peers.  Seriously- it's RARE in our adult life that it occurs that I will be around a person or group that has obvious dislike toward me. But recently, I have been super upset by a certain few people, and I'm telling you- it bothers me more that I don't know what  I've done to cause the "dislike" than anything else.  If I just KNEW I think I'd be way cooler with the fact that somebody 'can't stand me'.  

I'd ask- but it's situational to the degree that I know the person(s) well enough to know that the response would be "What? I don't know what you mean????   I don't have a problem with you....."

You know folks like that?  Confrontation is NOT-an-OPTION kind of folk.....  They'll retreat- anything to avoid handling an issue.

 So? For somebody like me, with a strong SENSITIVE discerning spirit, it would only fuel my frustrations to hear the person claim they didn't have an "issue" with me when I am most certain they do.

Blah blah blah.  Did any of that make sense?

And we're back to the original question.  WHAT does Trifecta have to do with me?  Or my dream?  And why don't I know anyone that can interpret dreams? 

(My sister is a dreamer- so much so that she has a journal full of  dreams, which I believe to be prophetic.  When she dreams a vivid dream, that she can recall verbatim when she wakes up- she journals it.  She has spent many, many sleepless nights dreaming- until finally she moves toward delivering the dreams content to the person she thinks she needs to tell the dream to- and then her dreams stop.

Anyway- I asked her if she 'knew' anyone that could interpret dreams: 

What a dork...........
She said, "Ya.  Um?!  Daniel."  (from the BIBLE).  

"Hey- you know anyone that's not dead?"

She didn't.  

Friday, October 8, 2010

Nostalgia.... Punk'd out Rock n' a lil' bit a R&B

I have a tendency to grab up a "SO WHAT" attitude.

"Whatever.  I don't care. (Suck IT!)"

(What??  I'm just saying...)

P!nk can ROCK her "so what" song in my ear buds while I'm sweating my flubber off at the gym, and the music motivates me to work a little harder.
Song ends. I feel great. Next in queue.... "Stupid Girls".
Ohhhh Yeee-UH!    I turn up the speed a few notches and kick it a bit harder.
 I.  Love. This.  Song.
(and really miss working out!)

Miss Alecia is obviously taunting the Paris Hilton's and Jessica Simpson's  of the world...

'Cause for REAL- what is up with this 'show off the junk in your trunk, your lady lumps and materialize your lifestyle' attitude that chicks take so seriously.  What do you get out of it?  Horn-dog men drooling over you?  Surfacey friendships and relationships?  I mean? Who wouldn't want that, right?!  (Ummm.  NO)

Pink isn't necessarily the role model I wanna expose my girls to.  I don't wanna jam out to Stupid Girls in my mini van, if ya know what I'm sayin'?


She brings a good point to a few of the songs she writes.
She's a great artist.

Back in the day... way back when.... When I was 'straight up in the WORLD',  and I was gettin' my CLUB on way more than I should have been;  I had an 'attitude' about me that was certainly not instilled by my peers (or, my parents). 

This is hilarious.  I hesitate to admit it, even.  But- hey- it's part of this nostalgic list that I can't avoid, so I'm putting it out there.

TLC ($5 to the person that can breakdown the abbreviation without Google...) put out this song that DEFINED (embarrassingly, but thankfully) my 'I don't play' attitude.


I'll wait while you finish your snickering.....

Seriously.  In case you have NO IDEA what this song is- I'll break down the important parts.

"A scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly..... also knows as a BUSTA... always talking bout what he wants... but sits on his broke _$$"

"No.. I don't want yo number, NO.. I don't wanna give you mine.... and NO.... I don't wanna meet you nowhere... NO.. don't want none of yo time."

If you could see me now- you're staring at my red cheeks and "SHUT UP, stop laughing" face.
Gah.  I was 16 and 17, OK!?!  Leave me alone.....

So, this was one of the songs that (somehow) aided me in avoiding the "hoochie-mama" status.  I didn't waste my time trying to please anybody; much less some horny young guy that had nothing more on his mind than "gettin' some bootie" in his efforts of pursuing me.

Of course, being that I was hormonally geared- as most teenagers are.... yup..... part of me wanted to just go along with whatever I "felt" like doing.

 Most of me, however,  knew that it wasn't worth the high price that 'free love' had to offer.  This is where my "I'll do what I WANT to do" stubbornness met up with my "do what you SHOULD do" attitude, and saved me a lot of grief.  Nobody was gonna pressure me, or persuade me to do anything- not even my hormones! 

Technically, I wasn't s'pose to be clubbin at 16 and 17.  
Obviously- we didn't mess around with technicalities, did we? 
(what teenager does?)

It was fun.  Can't deny it.  Dressing up, having dudes buy us drinks, dancing to the 90's, walking around Athens at 2 AM....  meeting the locals, and befriending them- thus giving us a 'hangout-sober-up' place before we had to drive through Arcade to get back to our podunk home-town.

That was a bit dangerous for us- 
I have to stop there and touch on that.  
We were smart, but... really... 
It's Athens.  IT's where the 'freaks' live.
  Not a good idea.  

While I was playing video games with a guy at this dude's Athens loft,  so  me and my girlfriend could sober up;  my girlfriend was... um... NOT playing video games with the other dude, in the other room.  I need not elaborate.
My club-buddy knew he wasn't gettin' any- so we chilled out on his couch, and played B-Ball via his Nintendo for several hours....
I'd  press pause to excuse myself and go BARFup the sex-on-the-beach cocktails I had too many of... come back to the NBA graphics, chat about college ambitions, and parental annoyances.... etc.
We ended up snoozing on opposite sides of the couch til morning. No big deal.

Times like these... aside for my desperate need of a toothbrush..... there were no regrets on my part.  Donning nothing more than a headache on my conscience worked out well for me when morning came.
 My girlfriend, on the other hand,  got "hushed" when her 'man' got a call from his girlfriend early the next morning.... and the drive back home proved to be a sad one.

Good. (not so) Clean. Fun.

Other times, dancing in the dim-lit room of an old Athens building, listening to Christina Aguilera sing about "rubbing her the right way" cause she was a Jeanie in a Bottle....while  scantily dressed, and more than a little bit buzzed- dudes getting a little grabby didn't bug me so much.  I had my limits, but they got a bit thwarted when the liquor worked it's magic.   I didn't mind 'playing' the game, but when it got serious- I sobered up REAL fast.

(Remember kids.... inhibitions can quickly get lost when alcohol comes into the picture)

I sure wasn't innocent, though.  Sometimes I think the mistakes I made in those short few years may have trumped  the 'casual sex' no-not-gonna-happen' stance I took.  

It shows how devious the Enemy is.  He knew how to "get me".  Casualness wasn't it.  He threw out an entirely different deck when he realized that.
Stupid, naive me... I sho' didn't put my guard up against 'relationship'.  TLC wasn't putting out any songs about how to NOT get sucked into a humiliating, life-changing relationship.... or TWO.

And thankfully.... NONE of those mistakes are on my nostalgic list.
I've moved on.  Forgiven, and been FORgivin'.....
The goodness of being able to 'look back' on STUPIDITY, learn from it, and move ON.

The mistakes we make- can, if we let them, be GREAT life lessons.  I have an understanding on the importance of fidelity.  I can see past the enemy's attempt at placing 'provoking' thoughts in my head where my marriage vows would take a hit.

Many of us women get tempted to let our minds wander.  At the times in our lives when being married totally SUCKS, there's nothing like a smooth-talking guy to challenge our moral compass.

It's times like these that I can look back at my past mistakes, and take note of the deep EMPTINESS that an immoral relationship can bring.  As often as I've even-a-little-tiny-bit entertained the idea of challenging the boundaries I've set in my marriage, it's more often that I'm reminded of how, really, nobody compares to the perfection that God created when He ordained the holy-matrimony I'm apart of.

 (So thankful for the admission of close girl friends on this subject, 
so that I don't feel alone in the fact that minds do... have a tendency... to wander)

Sometimes we want to FORGET the screw-ups we were apart of in our past.  I'm glad I haven't forgotten.  I never want to forget.  I want to stay on guard.  I want to remember everything.  Not dwell on- not regret- but remember.  

History plays an enormous part in ALL of our future.  

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blissful Saturday Afternoon.

It was one of those Saturday's that worked out to be about as good as it possibly could have gotten.  

The kids were behaving.
The husband and wife were super sweet to one another.
The weather was perfectly sunny, yet cool, and breezy, and crisp.
We had nothing to do, and nowhere we had to be,
but plenty we could do, and a few places we got to be.
Hell. Was. Freezing. Over.

It wasn't...
Was it?!?!

No.  Ok.  Good.  I wasn't just dreaming.  That really was our Saturday.
That's nice.

Something in all of us must have supernaturally clicked; requiring a drastic movement to just CHILL-our-crazy bootie-hiney's out.  It was good stuff.  I liked it.  I liked it uh-lot.

We had a play day outside, for ultimately, THE ENTIRE DAY.

The morning and on into the afternoon brought on free-clothe-getting (thus encouraging big-pride-swallowing), amazing yard sale find-ing, tree-rope-swinging, picnic table snacking, and
vitamin-D sunshine soaking.         Mmmmm!  I LOVE Vitamin D!!

The late afternoon and onto the late-later evening brought us to a Rock On outdoor concert at Faith Fest via the somewhat historic town of Winder.  There were (FREE!!!) jumpy-jump-jumping playhouse things for the kids to play on, aromatic vendors teasing us with Jamaican cuisine, hugenormous soft pretzels, and the unavoidable funnel cake.  (Who can resist a funnel cake?!  Not. My. Husband!)

Bestest of all..... we got to mingle among an easy going crowd (people like, TOTALLY smiled back at me when I smiled at them.... ya...mmm-hmmm....I know.  It's crazy!).

We  basked on cool dry grass inside a sunshined breeze, and watched our children run wild and tightly leashed as we listened to talented artist and musicians bring incredible a-LIVE music to the stage.  Aside for the guy we decided to nick name " bald snoop dog", everyone was definitely talented inside the genre/style of music they chose to create.  Of course, we were only there for the last leg of the event- so I certainly can't testify to ALL of the talent, but you get me, right?

My seriously awesome 7 year old took over the photography for the night.

John Waller walked on stage, started singing some straight-up WORD, and Kyla got mesmerized.  I'm loving this artist even more than I did already!  My big-baby girl was starting to get an "annoyed-moody" attitude before J.W. broke out into "As for me and my house.... We will serve the Lord"  sangin'.

Kyla must have thought dude somehow had a magical power, because she looked at me and said
"MOMMY!!! He is singing about what is written on-our-wall!!!  It's. On. Our. Wall! Those words that he's singing!!!!    Remember? It's on our wall... right when you walk down stairs....before you walk in the kitchen. YOU wrote it on there... you know?  you know?  you know?"
(Yes, baby.  I know....)

This guy, WHOA!,  we're not talking about how good the vocals were (they were solid!), and we don't need to discuss the music (perfectly composed)... we're gonna talk about the lyrics, and we're gonna talk about... I mean....  I AM gonna talk about the ministry.  Dude is like- ALL kinds of anointed.   He's signing from the Word- bringing prophetic song and prayer into his talent, and ministering to our hearts (whether we like it, want it, receive it, or NOT.)

One point of the song/prayer, he said something about "Make our house like Leah's" and my (almost) 3 year old, LEAH asked "Me!?!  That's ME!!! ?"   Precious.

Mr. Waller and his cute wife finished up the set, and then intermission, and another band came on.

My mom and dad came around this point, or bit later- which in and of itself- made the night ALL the better.  Kyla and Zoe got to walk around with Grandma and Grandpa, while Joshua and I sat on the blanket with Leah (who was on the verge of passing out).

My bud JP, whom I had the great pleasure of meeting while I was trying to 'get my fitness on' at a local gym, is in a STINKIN'-AWESOME band; and they were to play at Faith Fest that night as well.
Love the band (obviously) but had YET to see them live.  I was exceptionally stoked.
From the sporadic times that Jon and I have chatted, most of which were in between my super-stanky eliptical work out sessions and my half-hearted attempts at weight resistance on the muscle machines- he's shared tidbits of clusters of information on the bands process.  It's a sweet testimony to the ministry of Echoing Angels; knowing that the band members have all been patiently (and maybe sometimes NOT so patiently) waiting on the Lord to release them to put out another record.

AnyWHO, the band (have I mentioned? SMOKIN' hot awesome!) proved that endurance is a worthy cause- and they're gonna be sportin' a whole-new-album this spring!
"Looook.  It's your friend!" my 3 girls like to say (back) when we are either arriving or leaving the gym, and one of them gets JP in sight.  For them, it was So-FUN to watch "our-friend-from-the-why-em-c-A" play the drums.  My oldest decided it was something she wanted to learn to do as well.
(Nuh-uh.  Not happenin' baby girl!)

Joshua and I ooohed and ahhhed at how well behaved our children were.  Leah fell asleep, eventually- in the middle of the EA set.  So? We parked her in a chair behind us and continued on with our head banging and crowd surfing... um.... hand clapping and sing-along-singing.  It brought back memories of when our Kyla (7) was a little baby in her little infant car seat- and she slept through a LOUD Jeremy Camp concert.  Twice.

On the way home, all 3 girls fell asleep- and Joshua and I were able to conversate.  Like? A real conversation. No interruptions.  For. A. Whole. HOUR!

And we had fun.  And it was awesome.  And I am so thankful.



Early Intermission: Nostalgia be Whack.

 I'm not singing 
so there's no need in taking a 'break' to rest my vocal chords.  
I have been doing a LOT of thinking, however;  
and already, 2 blogs in, I'm in need of an intermission from my putting down my thoughts.

Nostalgic:          1. longing for things/persons/ or situations of the past
2. The condition of being homesick. 

Nostalgia brings a whole BUNCH of crud to the surface.  There's your freebie.  
Hold on tight to that tidbit of information before you take the plunge down "memory lane".  
You'll thank me later.  I promise.

I've just barely scraped the surface atop the well of memories that have been flooding my thought-life in these past few "musically nostalgic" themed blogs.

Honestly, what I've written so far doesn't even begin the surface breaking on what's to come.
 (If I can continue- did I mention this was way tougher than I thought'd it'd be)

I've been wondering:
What if the Lord has been planting these "memory" seeds in me, as an effort to help me reconcile some buried issues? 

I have to flip that coin over, and ask another question:
What if the enemy is planting these seeds so that I can focus on the past instead of the future?

For the past several weeks I have been a complete wreck.   I described it as a Nostalgic FOG at first; but it's thicker now, so more accurately, I should call it a Nostalgic Smog.  And it's under ALERT due to the high doses of pollution being emitted into my psyche.  It's a shame that I'm not even close to my period, so that I could at least blame some of the ridiculousness on my TOM.

Feeling the way I do about my past, alongside the handful of life issues I have going on now, and it seems like I may be closer to "shutting off" than I've ever been before.

Am I the only one that gets these kind of 'cave' and 'wilderness'  moments?  Dearly hoping for a dark place to hide out, where nobody can see me, and nobody knows me, and certainly where nobody will have any expectations of me?
(please pass the bottle of antidepressants- and grab me a beer while you're up.)

I am wondering if depression has snuck up on me?  Hoping for a dark place to hide out.....  eh... I don't know that I could define that as "healthy" thinking.

Then again- Jesus retreated into the wilderness for 40 days.....

I have these questions to ponder now:
Is it the Lord?   OR  Is it Satan?

On one hand- as I'm thinking out loud (typing as I think) The Lord would certainly want me to reconcile past issues that may be directly related to some of the 'shut-in' tendencies that I have.

On the other hand- wouldn't He want me to lay them all down at the cross and be done with it? Thus not actually having a reason to search out a cave to inhabit.

Both are true.  Which one is relevant for me right now?

I dunno.

I'll just continue until the memories go on strike, and stop interrupting my life.

Nostalgia.... Marriage and such.

Simple Man
Lynyrd Skynyrd

Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison

{Simple} Man marries a {Brown Eyed} Girl.

These are the songs that can make a good day better, and a bad day, worse.  In marriage, we all meet bumps in the road don't we? My husband and I? We've come to places where the road has just disappeared all together. We've been "distant" with each other more times than we've been "close", we've planned for a divorce once...... or maybe three times..... ?


What a horribly sad admission.

What's the point in sugar coating it, though?  Why make up a happy story with happy-happy-happy BULL-honkey?  I'd rather be real, thankyouverymuch.  Hey, now.  Don't get me wrong- we may  not have a fairy tale love story in the traditional sense; but a love story is STILL a love story.  Happiness exist among the life stress' and personality clashes- but it's not all rainbows and extravagant floral arrangements, either.

This isn't to say that we don't love one another.  And it isn't to say that I would trade ANY of it.  And it certainly doesn't mean that we haven't experienced plenty of those nauseatingly-giddy seasons in our marriage, either.  With as much passion as we've put into not getting along, that passion has been doubly present in the times that we just couldn't get enough of one other. 

Dancing in the Mindfields
Andrew Peterson

"We're dancing in the minefields; we're sailing in the storms....."

The amazing "story" that a song can tell is- possibly -one of the most relevant explanations to why it is I am so drawn to music.  It can be relational; a song.  It can offer empathy in a world when folks just don't want to admit that they deal with JUNK like we do.  Put it, (the junk) into a catchy lyrical parade, coupled with pleasant acoustics and a few sound system spins... and it doesn't cause us discomfort to 'hear' that somebody else went through a season of HELL, too.  Rather, it inspires us.  Some of us sing along not giving a rip about the lyrical connotations, others hone in on what the author is trying to represent, and relate the lyrics to their own personal journey.  Poe-tae-toe, Poe-tah-toe.  To each his own.

In Christian music- it's a bit different.  Andrew Peterson is singing about a marriage; listen to the lyrics.  Whether he wrote the song based on the marriage he and his wife experienced, or based on what he witnessed from somebody else- whether he even wrote the song or not.... it doesn't matter.
He's talking about a future rather than a failure!!!  He's not gettin' all country-pop whiney about how his wife stole his dog when she left him in his truck for his best friend......

There's hope attached to the hardship- the same way we have hope in the fact that we have a Jesus Savior who promised to walk beside us in each and everyone of our obstacles.  "It was harder than we dreamed... but I believe that's what the promise is for."  
An acknowledgement.  IT WAS HARD.
A hope: THAT's WHY we made a PROMISE.

Love me some Christian music.  Love. IT.

Another great artist and song pertaining to  marriage.
Sarah Groves
"It's Me"

Dear Sara Groves,
You put yourself "out there".  I love you and respect you for it.
Appreciatively Yours,
Amber K. Anderson

I stumbled upon this song, and immediately went to iTunes to download the entire album.  I heard an interviewer ask Sara what had inspired her put herself 'out there'; her open honest answer moved me in a way that made me feel deeply connected to this artist.   She admitted that this song, as well as much of the album, is a confessional.   So now- not only does her music inspire me, but her purpose in performing and writing does as well.  She said "Anytime I'm confessional, people seem to follow suit."   Whooo!!!  I can't tell you how important that statement is to me.  It's true! It's real!  It's uncommon.

We hide our insecurities and we put our secret struggles in the deepest darkest parts of our pockets; pulling them out when we are certain that we're "safe" from the judgement we are sure to get from others.

I'll bet Sara didn't get met with wide-open-arms from everyone when her confessional album was released.  I'd assume there were plenty of naysayers regarding her willingness to confess the fight sequences her husband and her went through.  Whatever.  Power to the vocal chords, woman!  You. Rock.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Battle Ready... or Not

Check it out.  I am NOT theologically educated.  Ok.  Fine.  I'm not ANY kind of educated.  I graduated high school with a GED.  Yup, that's right, I didn't even get a real diploma.
This chick thought she was beyond the controlled environment of high school, and with only 4 credits away from 'real graduation', I said adios to North Hall High School and Hola! to being a total IDIOT.

As I sit here now, I'm pretty thankful that I didn't, actually, turn out to be a complete idiot.  Somehow or another, a bit of intelligence kept me, I attained my General Education Diploma, and moved on with life. And life, as it does, happened super-duper fast! Before I could get the gung-ho's blazing inside of me, and pursue college- something else started BLAZING inside of me, and I found myself married a month after I turned 19.   Sometimes I wonder if saying I 'got pregnant, and then I got married' would have been an easier reason to explain my crazed young-person's attempt at marriage.....

Preggo status did not inspire holy matrimony to take place inside my (still) teen-aged years. Another form of  HORMONES, coupled with a lack of self control,  and  mixed in with (newly found) personal conviction prodded my man and I to hightail it to Chattanooga and say our "I Do's".

Ya.  Whatever.  I've written about this before.  I'm just  "filling-in-the-blanks".

AnyWHO- what a long way around explaining the fact that I, seriously, have NO way of theologically and intelligently detailing the how's and why's and what about's that are sure to come up with this blog.

The same with the faith and trust I have in a Creator, and a Savior, anything that I explain is accounted for through my very own personal experience, and maybe- if we're lucky,  a few paraphrased verses from the bible, and references to the ACTUAL educated authors that I've gleened from over the years.

I'm thankful to know the Truth.  I'm glad it's not just a watered down version of what is perceived to be true; but the Truth that, quite literally, has the power to set me free.

Historically, to attain freedom from bondage, war would typically need to take place.  I'm no history buff; I could spend a few minutes (or hours) researching all of the wars that were fought for the sake of freedom.  Let's just go with what we know, shall we?  The Civil War- slavery, and the fight for the removal of it.... there's a good one to start with.  War to get freedom.

Alright.  We have a broad perspective, then, don't we?

Up until a few years ago, I hadn't a CLUE about the realities of spiritual warfare.
Here's what I knew; there IS a Devil, he wants us to be "bad" (sin) so we will go to hell and suffer with him.  We choose to follow Jesus, cause He died on a cross for our sins, and shah-BAM... The Devil Loses! Ultimately, he's still gonna try to mess with us.... but- even still... he's a LOOO-SER!!!!!

Had I heard it any other way, I wouldn't have been able to comprehend the simplicity of salvation.  So, getting the very basics was ideal for my immature little heart.  The importance of an elaboration on all things spiritual wasn't emphasized.  Not really.

God must've been preparing my heart for a long time;  in order for me to receive the knowledge, and apply the wisdom pertaining to Spiritual War.  Had all the information been dumped in my lap in one fail swoop, I'd have written it off as "whacko" and moved along.  I'd have closed my heart and my mind to future references, and I'd be in pretty junky shape today for it.  (Not to say I don't encounter far too many hard-to-handle, straight up confusing situations, now).

I've heard the preacher say "The devil is here to steal, kill, and destroy!", and I've noted that the hardships in my Christian walk  were a direct relation to the enemy's lurking.  Somehow, I had all these little seeds perfectly planted in my spirit, (in my heart and in my mind) just waiting for the perfect fertilizers, i.e.... the right teacher, the right book(s), etc.

Every man is susceptible to falling; Just getting that out there real quick......

A fallen man, anointed to preach the Word, and reach the lost,  said "What you don't know is what's hurting you the most."   Right on, man.  Right. ON!

Let's get into the point of this blog.  Just a heads up: You may wanna add me on your "whacko" list afterward; and believe me, I'm so-totally-cool with it.  Jesus was thought to be 'whacko', too; walkin' around saying He was God, and all that jazz.... It was totally weird back in the day- to hear some long-haired-hippy-lookin' Jew claim He was "The way, the truth, and the light."and to be told that "NOBODY got to the Father (Abba God) except through Him"- yup- it was OUT THERE, but it was also all the way true.

The bible says the enemy, Satan, is like a LION.... prowling around in search of someone to devour (Peter 5:8).

I broke out this book "The Battle" (Trask & Goodall) after an extreme encounter last night with some harsh (understatement!!!) spiritual attack.  In the book, the author(s) put out a really good perspective on the LION-like example of Satan:

      "The lion is territorial- it doesn't follow a migrating herd.  Rather, it waits for the herd to enter into it's region, not caring whether or not the herd is aware of it's presence.  The lion will run into the herd; not so that it can chase, but so that it can watch.  It's sharp senses are aware to which one of the animals are tired, injured, or old....  The lions focus is to frighten the herd, so that he can wisely choose his prey."  p. 15 

Last night- with complete unawareness of the stalking sharp eyes that were focused on my weakness, I blindly stumbled into the enemy's territory.  At first, it seemed I was having an intense nightmare; but somehow, within the nightmare, I had a realization that it wasn't, actually, a nightmare.

Typically, when we find ourselves in an unpleasant dream, we can sort of "shake" ourselves awake once the nightmare becomes too intense, right?  Sort of like the dream where we're falling- and just before we hit the ground, we JUMP awake; (scaring the PEE out of the spouse that had been snoring peacefully seconds before.)
If we, for some reason- don't "wake up on our own", we may very well find ourselves wakened by the KER-THUMP from our limp bodies hitting the floor beside our bed.  If that's never happened to you- by all means, feel free to enjoy the mental image of my grown-behind falling out of bed.  I can count far too many times that I was too far gone to stop myself from "hitting the pavement".  Actually, I read somewhere that many people believe that NOT waking up before hitting the ground in a dream would actually KILL a person in their sleep.  Obviously; I don't believe that to be true.  Ahem...  I'm not dead.

I assume, though, that something in our mind realizes when we don't have the capacity to maintain within the nightmare.  I think what happens is, when the intensity maxes out, our subconscience goes "to an early lunch", requiring our consciencsness to take over.

This was not the case last night.  Sadly.

Inside my dream, I fought hard to wake myself up.  When nothing worked to get me into reality, I said "Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus." over and over.  Like most dreams, this one was a cluster of many different situations; all connected, yet disconnected- making the recount completely impossible to put into words.
After praying (in my dream), I believed that I had woken up.  I looked around my room- and noticed that there was a distant flashing light that darkened and dimmed our bedroom.  I felt paralyzed and completely "out of it" mentally.  I kept trying to NOT do something, and I kept trying to DO something- neither working out very well for me.  I couldn't talk, although I tried SO HARD to scream so that Joshua would wake up and rescue me.

This was the point that I realized that I had to have been dealing with something far less trivial than your basic "scary person chasing me" nightmare.

I knew it was spiritual.  I didn't understand it- I wasn't sure how to break free from it at that point, since I had already "called on the name of Jesus- making hell tremble".  My mouth was bound (not literally) so I couldn't scream.   My body was trapped/paralyzed, so I couldn't jump up, or roll myself off the bed.  I assume- that since I was in a sort of (remember the movie Inception?) dream inside a dream state- that my words didn't reach the distance they need to reach.

GOSH!  I don't know.  I wish I could explain this with more clarity.

Anyway- I really need to just shorten the rest of this up....  I KNEW I was under spiritual attack.  I came to my breaking point when inside my dream, I had encountered far too many spirits to battle.  They were all "ganging up" on me; and I had no weapon.  Everything I knew to use, was.... essentially... bound  up.
It's like having  a burglar walk into your house, and your gun is locked away in a back closet or something.
No. Beuno'.

I jerked around and tried with everything in me to scream out "JESUS!!!!'  The bible says that all we have to do is call His name.  I knew that to be true from past experience.  Geesh.  I tried so hard.  Everything in me was horrified.  I was scared.

Finally- I got to open my mouth.  Sort of.  I started trying to say "JOSHUA!"  in my mind, as odd as it sounds if we're still referencing this little incident as a straight-up-nightmare, I knew that Joshua was Hebrew for "The Lord is my Salvation."

"Joshua" worked.  When I new I was finally awake, I panicked a little bit, and then composed myself a tad, and began to say "Jesus.  Jesus.  Help me.  Help me.  Jesus make them go away."

Joshua woke up after this.  I was so distracted from fear, that I couldn't do explain to him everything.  I just said "Please.  Pray for them to go away.  In Jesus name, pray to make them go away."

Good thing my hubs knows me.  He knew exactly what I meant.  And bless his heart- he got a bit trapped himself.  I repeatedly asked him to pray, but he stayed silent.  I couldn't understand what was stopping him; but he finally confessed "I just don't think I have the right to pray that.  I'm not where I should be....."

I KNEW for certain- it was JOSHUA that needed to pray the removal of the enemy out.
"You're the one with the authority!!!!"

He grabbed up his authority, told the junk to GO, in the name of Jesus... and back on to snoozer-ville I went.

(continued at another time)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nostalgia Part Deux- The Compilation Begins-

The Artist(s) and The Song(s):

The memory

I was 10 or 11.... geesh- maybe even possibly 12??  I'm playing pool with my Daddy, my older brother and his friend J.N., and my younger sister at  "AL's Pool Haul" in the big city of Talmo, Ga.

My dad- who is the source of at least half of my nostalgic list- took us kids down to Al's every weekend (while Al was in business).  We all played pool- after we straightened out our learning curve- alongside my dad;  and the rough-neck, blue collar guys/gals that my family seemed to fit into far too well.

 My dad was cool like that, though; He was blue collar- but by no means "red neck" or rough.  He was just real- and friendly, and maybe slightly hermit-like?  He brought us along side whatever it was he was interested in doing.  He didn't ask us (often) to sit on the sidelines- bored and whiney- instead, he taught us how to do whatever it was that he was interested in doing.   

From Pool, to Yahtzee. To Spades and Rummy,  Badminton,  Fishing, Swimming, Flea Market shopping (helping Daddy dig through the $1 boxes filled with hundreds and hundreds of old records.) and Crystal Hunting (in the lush back woods, through the cow pastures and barb wired fences,  and finally- down into flowing creek beds to search out our treasures.)

Back to AL's:
I knew how to find 'the right' pool stick, and put the chalk on the end, and I knew how to lean on the table and angle the pool stick down just right to make the ball pop up and jump over the ball that happened to be in my way.  Ya, man!!!  I thought I was AWESOME.
At this point (a few weeks/months of playing)- I feel like I'm a pro.  Like- I really think I am the STUFF.   I knew how to play.... so I mean... it was obvious to me that I surpassed the standard of a 'plain' 11 year old.

I wasn't. I didn't. Nope.  Not even close.  

My big brother... he was sure to bring me straight back down to earth- out of my dream land- and tell me how ANNOYING I was- and how STUPID I acted... and blah blah blah.  What-Ev.  I had my happy cloud moments in my imagination.  (Alright fine- I was pretty annoying- I can't deny it.)

This was probably one of the few (seasonal) attempts I made in trying to 'fit in' with  my brother, who at the time (and for most of our childhood) HATED me.

One  perk to a Dad that likes to have a little bit (a lot) of beer with his pool table experience, is that you kinda get to do what you want, when you want to- with out a whole bunch of frustration from the parental figure.

I wandered over to my dad often- asking for 50 cents here, and dollars there- buying cokes and chips, and snicker bars, and playing music on the old-school jukebox.  

This go-round, when my Daddy gave me the crumpled up $1 bill out of his welder-ripped blue jeans, I remember the part of me that was hoping to impress my brother; I was going to try to make him think I was "cool"- by playing all of the 'new rock' songs on the jukebox {instead of choosing the 'girly country songs I really wanted to hear}.  

Ya---- you know that pool haul had some Metallica and AC/DC hanging out.  I played it.  And I looked at my brother when Enter Sandman started it's ever-popular guitar rifts.....and

He wasn't impressed.... I did NOT gain "you're cool now" status.

Thinking back- I'm pretty sure he made fun of me for it.  
(Gosh. What a turd. Big brothers are seriously lame.) 

Despite myself, and my brother's hideous taunting, I kind of found myself enjoying the loud angry guitar, and the melodious-rants in "Enter Sandman";  This  "heck YA, I can totally kick your tail"  UMPH connected itself to me from AC/DC in "Back in Black".     And thus,  the birth of a new genre interest was created in a clumsy, confused, tweeny-bopper 11 year old girl. 

I wasn't "cool" enough, though- to make these guys a part of my everyday listening. They were, however,  this gateway of sorts- into the introduction of similar music.  

But? That's another blog- for another day....