We shout crucify…

Reading the passion

You realize

We continue to fashion

Ways to crucify

Jesus

Over and over again

In our history there

Isn’t one point when

We stopped hurting

The poorest among we,

We elect power grabbing

Leaders who continue

To hurt thee,

Jesus

In children with poisonous water

Chemicals, bombs, refusal

To feed and serve those we deem

Do not deserve

We kill you again and again

Oh God

We never stop our

Evil actions

Oppressing black family

Drawing factions

Stealing and poisoning land

Belonging to first nations

We let money drive us

Greed rule us

Satan enters us

We kiss our Lord with worship

And tonight he breathes no more…

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Not a woman…

Guess I’m not a woman.

It’s not news to me.

When I try to fit in the box

I bust out you see.

I never worried about all the rules

but I learned I was wrong early in school.

TOO LOUD

TOO WILD

TOO OPINIONATED

my manners

my dress

were always abated

The feminist ideal must have gone away

because it feels I’m alone in my quasi-masculine way

 

So sure I was girls could do what they wanted

now I spend my time arguing not all women are daunted

 

I’m not a woman
don’t want to be man
Just being me the best that I can

To hard to argue not all are the same
So don’t call me a gender, just call me by name.

 

 

© Stefanie K Fauth, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stefanie Fauth with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

You mad?

Feels like I’m drowning

whenever you’re mad

I gasp and I struggle

to make you feel glad

Don’t know why my world stops

you’re allowed your feelings

but soon as your temper pops

my heart goes reeling

You won’t let me fix it

I feel crushed under emotional water

I can’t swim out of it

if I try too much, your anger grows hotter

 

Says more about me than it does about you

I can’t fix your feelings, so what should I do?

 

Why does deep love

come with so much pain

feeling with my heart

instead of using my brain

Must learn to let go

of what I can’t control

and hope you forgive me

and peace finds my soul.

 

© Stefanie K Fauth, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stefanie Fauth with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Anxiety – what if?

What if someone doesn’t like what I’ve done?

What if I’m not perfect?

What if I try this and fail?

 

It’s thoughts like these that can keep me up at night.  What if I could just let go of my anxiety, wouldn’t life be grand?

But I am afraid these thoughts have plagued a good part of my youth…

Thanks to therapy, I’ve mostly gone through these thoughts fairly quickly – I’ve grown to accept the idea that nothing will change the past, and the choices made, even if they weren’t the best, have shaped who I am – and who I am is actually pretty cool.

This has taken a lot of therapy.

And the what ifs of the future – they still get me.

What if my sons aren’t able to care for themselves when they get older?

What if they find life mates I don’t get along with?

What if they don’t want to spend as much time with me as I do with them?

What if I lose one of them or my spouse?

And to all these thoughts, all I can say is they are an argument to live fully presently.

Live with my family as they are now – enjoy them, even when they drive me crazy – and appreciate all the times we have.

And, as my daily life is to teal with my clinical anxiety and depression – those what if’s will always be around.  But, so long as I continue to work through them and maintain therapy, I’m hopeful they will not cripple me as they once did!

Thoughts on Anxiety…

anxiety-talk-bigstI’ve decided to blog my struggle with anxiety and depression.

Because too often, I feel alone…and if I do, I’m sure others do.

We are NOT alone.

And it CAN get better – connecting with others is one way to do it!

My anxious thought for today:

Why is it that I can think any hateful thing said about another person is something that should not define them – but when I hear hurtful things, I feel very much defined by them?  If the same thing was said in the same circumstances to someone else, my reaction would be reassurance, messages of peace and love.  For myself, I go immediately to anxiety – what I have done to deserve whatever words have hurt me.

I not only wish I could be stronger for myself, I happen to judge myself for my inability to let things roll off me.  A thing I will need to work on.  With prayer, with journaling, with a professional therapist.  I will always be insecure and sensitive, my work will be to love myself through it.

Does this resonate?  What is your anxious thought for today?  How are you helping yourself cope?

To be a Nomad

I’m not sure I was ever a homebody…but I know I always dreamed of living somewhere exciting or fun when I was growing up.

I remember visiting Uptown Minneapolis every year, visiting my aunt and uncle and cousins – their house was beautiful, and the neighborhood was glamorous – everything I felt that my home in small-town, eastern South Dakota was not.

When I decided to get up the courage to move – it was tough.  I left a job I’d known all through college for the romantic ideal of the “big city.”  I was fortunate to have the support of my sister, and my best friend from high school with me – and we adjusted rather well, even though I was ridiculously homesick for my parents – especially at first.

My parents both live within a two hour drive of their parents, and I saw my extended family on a regular basis.  It was hard – at first – to be SO FAR AWAY, and yet, we acclimated to the longer drive, and my parents came to visit on a fairly regular basis – especially once my children showed up.

And then the itch started again.  We had purchased a home in the suburbs – and I couldn’t believe I was going to live somewhere FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE – it felt so stifling, I couldn’t explain why.   Stability in a home is such a value ingrained into my being – and yet, I was ready to go.

Well, we tried to sell the house, and were a victim of the housing bubble of the time.  Our house was worth much less than we paid, and we ended up in forclosure.  A blow to my husband’s and my ego, but nonetheless, an opportunity to start over.

We lived on campus while I finished my classes for my seminary degree, and I loved it.  I loved that we were closer to my sister, I loved that I could walk everywhere I went, and I loved the community that campus housing offers.

The experience  was a bit jarring – I had a few night terrors at first, wondering if I had made the wrong move in giving up on the house – even though we did all we could to make right with the bank – but I adjusted with fairly little issue.  

We then spent the summer living between couches in our friends houses and my parents house in South Dakota – in preparation for our move to Denver, for my internship with a beautiful ELCA congregation out here.  I felt so delighted to be so nomadic – and I couldn’t wait for the next adventure to begin.

I had done so well, I stopped taking my anti-anxiety medication, and was feeling better about life than I ever had before!

Then we arrived in Denver.  The drive was excruciating, and the altitude almost killed my lungs.  I knew I would miss my friends and family, and I was instantly homesick.  Add to that a nagging pain and numbness in my dominant arm, and you can imagine, it was just a rough start.

It took a long time to adjust – thanks to surgery, and a merry-go-round of supervisors – but I eventually settled in. I still missed my family and my many friends back east, but I started to fall in love with my congregation, and find a few local comforts to make my new neighborhood feel like home.

  
And now, it’s almost time to go back.  I was reminded of the crazy feelings of homesickness in a recent visit from my home congregation, and now I’m in the weird position – ready to head home, and not ready to leave.

I’m not likely to struggle as much to adjust to be back in a familiar place, but in anticipation of leaving this place, my church family and friends, my actual family that’s out here, I’m feeling weepy – and I’m beginning to worry that adventure isn’t for me.  It’s painful to leave – but a Pastor’s job is to enter and love fully, and then remove oneself fully – even if we never move, this will be a reality for me.

If this is to be my future, luckily for me, so far I’ve been sent to places filled with wonderful and loving people – it’s better to miss people than the alternative – but it means I’ll have the occasionally tear-jearking dream that wakes me up to cry a little…and when I’m gone, I’ll be able to rest in the comfort that God will be with us all until we meet again!

Week after surgery

As you may have seen from my prior post, the first few days after surgery were not the easiest.  It’s still not easy, but I’m seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that gives me hope for the near future.  “All I want for Christmas is to not wear a neck brace…”

I’ve been in the office this week, mostly half days, but it’s been wonderful to be out of the house and seeing people – always gives me energy!  I’m still taking it very easy, and I’m lucky Marty is willing to do so much with the boys and around the house, because I’m not supposed to lift, and with the collar, I can’t even turn to look and see if a kid is safe with the right timing.  Argh!

I learned Wednesday that I had been misinformed in the hospital – I don’t need to wear the collar at night.  I had been wearing it 24/7 – stiff, uncomfortable, and very paranoid if it wasn’t just right, what could I be doing to negatively affect my healing.  The provider reassured me the collar is there to keep me from going wild, but that I was allowed to move my head slowly, and indeed do not have to sleep in it.  Last night was the first night I didn’t sleep in it, and let me tell you what, I haven’t felt better than this morning in a long time!  The pain I experience now is almost exclusively in my shoulders, and it’s from wearing the collar.  It’s goofy that the incision doesn’t hurt the most, but I suppose it’s not seeing too much action thanks to the collar.

I’ve allowed myself to take it off to eat my lunch and to talk in a meeting earlier.  I figure if I’m seated and stable, I won’t do anything “Crazy” as they mentioned in that phone call.

Tossed aside my brace for lunch in my office.  Admire the smiley faces in the background...:)

Tossed aside my brace for lunch in my office. Admire the smiley faces in the background…:)

If I get out of a chair, it’s back on – I am dedicated to keeping my new neck hardware stable in case of impact, but I must say it’s relieving to know it’s stable enough to hold my head up without the brace.  Maybe I was naive or stupid, but I was convinced my head being upright was based on that thing…terrifying.  Incidentally, it will always be on when the boys are around – at 2 and 4, they just aren’t able to remember that mom’s neck is hurt, and hitting her or bumping her might be catastrophic…too much pressure, best to just wear at all times around them.  And I’m willing, thanks to the break I get when I sleep.

My voice sounds mostly normal in regular speech -but my upper register is still missing, as well as any kind of volume – I notice that the most with my children or if I try to sing.  I’m hopeful this will be better, too, soon enough, but for now I’m relegated to hearing music sung for me, and doing my best to wait for quiet moments to speak, so I can be heard.

I’ve been grateful for the care and kindness I have received from everyone – near and far – during this time of recovery, and I hope it continues to trend upward in these coming weeks and to be back to normal, and caring for others.  I’m also amazed at what the medical field is capable of, and immensely grateful that my arms are starting to feel their age again!  It has been worth the pain and frustration if only for that improvement.

Thanks for your care, words of comfort and actions of love.  I feel more blessed than I can say.

Post surgical thoughts…(Warning, vomit is mentioned.)

I just had surgery on a herniated disc in my neck (Between c5 and c6 for those of you who know what it means) and I’m home, healing, with strict instructions not to move my neck at all.  That’s hard, considering a few things happening at my house…

1. I don’t have an adjustable hospital bed, or a tv at the right height that keeps me from needing to bend my head to see it.

2.  Pain meds make me vomit, apparently.  I’m guessing I didn’t hold my head still during that escapade.  PS, when the last thing you have eaten was tomato sauce, it’s scary to throw up, because, you know, it’s red – OH MY GOSH is that BLOOD?  Nothing like examining your own puke a little closer…

3.  Am I wearing this brace right?  I mean, I’m holding my neck still as much as I can, but is this the right way?  I don’t want to heal with my neck crooked – and I really don’t want more surgery to fix something I didn’t realize was wrong… STRESS!

4.  In this house, bouncing children exist.  Sometimes they climb on the couch behind me, and extremities fly in directions that even they can’t control…telling them to get away form mommy seems mean, so she hasn’t done it yet…

5. A neck brace for the shower doesn’t mean it will be easier to clean yourself with it.  In fact, it will be harder.  I’m not sure I’ll have fully clean hair or neck for the four weeks I’m required to wear this thing.  Good thing my job requires me to hide in an office and never see people…oh wait.

6.  This neck brace is itchy.  Apparently my neck skin is used to breathing and would like to continue to do so.  My doctor said it’s not a rash, so I’m stuck being itchy.

7.  This neck brace looks terrible.  I can’t talk well in it, and when people see me – EVEN strangers – they automatically put on a pity face and ask if I’m ok, and sometimes a slough of personal medical questions – “How long do you have to wear that thing?”  I have wanted to offer caring to strangers in my past.  I’m done.

8.  They pushed my esophagus and throat aside to operate.  It hurts to swallow and cough, things that happen without thought…boo.  Makes me wish I was a biological scientist and was able to find a way to get this procedure done without needing to make any incisions or moving anything aside…yargh.

9.  My arms are no longer numb.  It’s insane.  I’m not sure how well they are doing as I’m not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds, but still!  It’s amazing – they could  go into my neck while monitoring nerves in all my extremeties, and remove a herniated disk – it’s got a job, but they can just take it out, and upon finding additional disk apart from the original piece, realize it was indeed serious enough to get rid of this way, and put in some titanium, that was sized in the OR WHILE I was open, and then SCREW it into my bones, sew me back up, and all I have to do for four weeks is wear a brace.  Kind of amazing, even though I’m sore and salty – this will be over soon enough, and I’ll have a fairly functional neck and fully functional arms.  Amazing!

Ok, I’ll be fine.  I will continue to bored blog, 1108141021be warned…

Not speaking well…

I’ve long been worried about Royce’s speech – or lack, thereof.  He’s an intelligent boy – he can take most things apart and put them back together like no one his age should be able to muster, but if you put him in a room with a group of kids his age, it’s clear, he doesn’t sound the same.

The first day I picked Royce up, he didn’t have many words to say – even though his emotions and non-verbal communications were clear to me.  Other children asked me about a million questions about the wrist brace I wore, “Why do you have that?” and weren’t satisfied with a pat answer, “Well what does it do?” they continued to ask, in a conversational tone I am just not used to at my house.

While I know Royce is smart – very smart – I know his verbal skills need help.  We had a check-up today, in which a doctor was FINALLY willing to admit he needs help, and recommend us a place to go.  I’m hopeful this screening gives us answers as to what is going on in his brain, and how we can best help him communicate with us and with others.  I look forward to the journey, even if it’s not a “traditional,” or “Normal” road.  Royce is a beautiful soul with many gifts and I look forward to helping him excel!

I was discouraged to hear that the doctor also thought my two-year-old, Arthur, is also behind in speech.  Comparatively, Arthur has many more words than Royce did at his age, and I wasn’t even worried about it.  Now, I wonder if I’ve been missing something, some warning sign – and it feels terrible.

It’s hard to be a parent.  There’s the agony and pain of pregnancy and childbirth, the sleepless nights of infancy, the mess and craziness of toddler years, and now, for us anyways, the pain of cognitive development not matching the “national standards”.  I’m hopeful our boys won’t spend too much time struggling, and we can help them thrive.  I’m hopeful I can focus on the beauty and joy both boys bring to our lives, rather than the struggles I  know most parents go through.

One thing I know for certain is I love them and I will do whatever I can to make sure they have happy and fulfilling lives.  They are beautiful children, created by God in his image, and I’m grateful for the gift they are in my life!

Where did Stef go?

It’s been quite some time since I posted last – those who know me personally know why!  Since my last post, my younger sister was married, my family and I packed up and moved to Colorado, and I started my internship at a wonderful church in Denver.

It was a tough transition – not the sister getting married part – I knew Charles was “the one” for Tracie since before I met him – the move to Denver is what I’m referring to.  Transition has always been tough for me, and it started in elementary school.  We moved to a new town for an awesome job opportunity for my dad, and it took me years to be fully adjusted.  I never felt like I fit at the new school, and though I had a few friends, my first few years there were spent being chanted at about what a dog I was, how dorky I was, you name it.  I’ve used the word tortured to describe some of the experience, a word which some have jumped upon.  I was nine when we moved, and this place wasn’t the kind of place that was used to new faces and new, loudmouthed young women.  It made an impression on me – change is bad, and somehow, my personality is offensive.  It’s a couple of damaging messages that I’ve spent years trying to overcome.  I’ll let you know when I’m done…:)

Anyways, I spent the first week at home with some family members that helped us move in.  I was grateful for the support but really feeling poorly about the separation from a life and a home I knew and loved.  The move from my college town to the Twin Cities was easy – I knew the place, I had my friends and family there, and I’d always felt like it was home.  Denver was different.  I didn’t know anything about anything, and though I have family and a few friends that just moved here, I felt incredibly lonely and forlorn.

Luckily for me, the church I’m interning at is large, busy, and filled with wonderful people who are very supportive.  This place KNOWS how to do an internship – they know how to welcome and support, and I’m grateful to have this crowd with me!  However, this place is also going through some major transitions – in the past six months, they’ve had several retirements as well as pastoral staff taking new calls – we currently have an interim pastor, and our associate will be gone in exactly one month from today.  It’s tough on them, and it’s tough on me.  I started with one supervisor, found out after I got the news I was going to Bethany I’d get a different supervisor, and a month in have news that I’ll have yet another supervisor.  This new one is the interim, and he’s promised that I’ll have a new supervisor again, since he hopes we have the permanent senior pastor starting sooner rather than later.  Talk about transition for a girl who struggles with it!  ACK!

I feel fairly confident God has a plan in what is being laid before me – and I know I will learn and grow through out it all.  I know this congregation is prepared to care for my learning, and I will be supported as these transitions take place. This system is set up in such a way that one person does not carry it through – there is a team of staff, ministers and lay leaders that are capable and I have high hope for what the future holds for this congregation.