Insecure (poem)

insecure

Insecure excels at being mediocre
A master of being plain
A talent for being talentless
Insecure is in it’s domain
A wallflower struggling to break free
A baby bird ready to fly
As risk looms forward dangerously
Pushing Insecure to hide
Stay where it’s safe
Stick to what is known
Tomorrow will be a brand new day
To again have your failure shown
Disappointment marks your life
Like neon signs on the Vegas strip
Brightly laughing over your life
In a recurring nightmare trip
Maybe one day Insecure can breathe
But today Insecure suffocates
Drowning where they always fall short
Never able to make it out of today

By: Carrie Leigh
09.26.15

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I can’t delete me

Recently there was a huge misunderstanding within my church.  A few people said somethings (myself included) about the leadership of the church.  I sided with some people without getting the entire story.  I wrote a post about the event while still in the heat of the moment, but the very next day was convicted by an unlikely person that maybe I needed to hear the other side of the story before taking any further action.

I met with the pastor of my church and heard the rest of the story.  Needless to say, I did not leave my church after all.  I apologized to my pastor, his wife, the leadership team, and many others that I hurt directly or indirectly.

Since then it has been suggested to me by a friend that I remove the offending post.  I have thought on it for several days and am opting to leave it right where it is.  It will serve as a physical reminder to me to always get the other side of the story.  Besides, I am not perfect.  Nobody is.  I am a collection of all of my experiences . . . good ones, bad ones, stupid ones, and not-so-stupid ones.  To remove that post would be to delete a small part of what has made me who I am.  I can’t delete any other experience, so why would I delete that one poorly thought out post?

I have learned from the experience, and am working to apply its lesson to my life even now.  That is what we do.  We learn from everything.

Until next time . . .

Introvert Insight

My pastor recently said that when searching for a way to serve in the church you naturally wouldn’t put an introvert on the host team.  I am an introvert and I am on the host team.  Being introverted doesn’t mean that we hide in a hole of shy loneliness all day.  We just don’t need to constantly feed off the attention of others to maintain our happiness.

Julia Shappert | Official Blog

It is no lie. I am an introvert. I don’t think there is anyone I know who wouldn’t consider me quiet, reserve, and introspective. In many cases, this is true but definitely not all the time. Sometimes, I feel like introverts are viewed in a less-than-positive way from the more outgoing crowd. It is a shame that we (on behalf of introverts) are easily misinterpreted as shy, antisocial, and even snotty. But, hopefully this article shows our side of the story. 🙂

1.) We over think things…a lot. It’s almost like we are living in a separate world where all of our thoughts just explode and evolve into millions of deep scenarios, which can lead to anxiety. We might be silent on the outside but our brains don’t seem to relax.

2.) We speak up when necessary. If we are passionate about something, there is no stopping us voicing our…

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Toilet paper trivia

Have you ever used toilet paper to get to know a person?
No, I am not kidding.  No, I don’t mean, “you can tell a lot about a person by the kind of toilet paper they buy.”  I think the fact that they are buying toilet paper tells us more than enough about some people.  They are regular.  They do some pooping that necessitates the purchase of bum-cleansing paper products.  Let’s all be honest and admit that aside from that fact that we all know everybody poops, there are just some people that we do not want to know anymore about.
Last night at my bible study group we used toilet paper to get to know more about each other.  I know what you’re thinking . . . “Gross,” but stick with me here.  Each Sunday evening I go to a bible study group.  We eat.  We talk.  We delve further into the sermon from that morning.  Last night after we finished eating but before we got into the discussion my pastor lead the group of us, about 10 people, in an icebreaker.  It’s a different question every week, and it serves a couple of purposes.  It helps the group get to know each other a bit better, and it helps everyone loosen up and get into chatty mode.  Nobody noticed the two rolls of toilet paper that appeared in the room until our pastor started passing them around with instructions to take off as many squares as we thought we would need.  What he didn’t tell us was what we would need them for.  We are all giggling like little kids as the rolls make their way around the room.  Some people only took a few squares.  Some people took many, many, many squares.  Nobody noticed that our pastor and his wife each only took one square each.  That is until . . .
“For our icebreaker tonight you have to tell the group something about yourself for each square you have,” says my pastor.  That is when everybody noticed that he and his wife each had only one square.  The people who had many, many, many squares groaned.  The others giggled.
“Who’s going to start us off,” he asked.  I raised my hand.
Six squares.  Six things about me.  I realized then just how difficult it is to come up with things about yourself on the spot.  I resorted to the standby facts.
1.  My favorite color is purple.
2.  My husband and I got engaged on our 2nd date.
3.  I knew when I was 14 that I wanted to be in radio.
4.  My husband and I got married in Elvis’ birthday.
5.  My favorite artist is Elvis.
6.  My favorite band is Aerosmith.
As we made our way around the room I thought of other things I could have said, but in the moment it was much like writing the “about me” page for this blog.  “What do I say?  What would people like to hear about me that makes me sound fun and interesting and not like the geek that I am?”  Then much later you think of ten-thousand other things you could have said.  It never fails.
In honor of all the great things I could have said, (picking up where my toilet paper left off) here goes . . .
7.  My husband and I got married twice.  Legally on October 29th, and before friends and family on Elvis’ birthday.
8.  My second favorite color is silver.
9.  I was a band geek in school.  I played the B-Flat Clarinet from the time I was 9 until I was 22, and E-Flat Clarinet and Alto Saxophone my Sophomore and Senior years.  I tried playing the Flute and Oboe, but I had a hard time making that transition.
10.  I adore The Who as much as Aerosmith.
11.  I was the product of an abusive, alcoholic stepfather.
12.  I own, and sometimes wear in public for no reason other than every girl should do it, a tiara.  It’s amazing how much confidence a cheap, plastic tiara with shiny, plastic rhinestones can give you.  No woman is too old to want to feel like a princess.
13.  At 37 years old I can still do a crazy good little girl voice.  I use it for commercials at the station.  That voice even has a name. She is a 5 year old named Tiffany who loves chicken mcnugget happy meals with orange drink, and gets pissed because her mom won’t let her have the happy meal toy until her food is gone.
14.  John Cusack is one of my all-time favorite actors.
15.  I adore classic black-and-white movies.  Movies these days are crap.
16.  When I was 20 years old an ex boyfriend tried raped me.  Later he and his mother guilted me into not saying or doing anything.  I kept it a secret for years.  By doing that the only one who suffered was me.  Never keep something like that a secret.  Never let somebody else steal your voice.
17.  My first (and still favorite to this day) vehicle was a 1986 Toyota pickup truck.  She was blue with silver stripes and her name was Baby.
18.  I am a Dr. Pepper junkie.  Must. Have. Caffeine!
19.  I think everything is better with more color and sparkle.
20.  I believe there is something good inside everybody, even the people that everyone else has given up on.
21.  I can’t use utensils that are bent or have textured handles.
22.  I published a 250-plus-page book on Amazon.
23.  I handwrote the entire rough draft in purple, 3-subject, spiral notebooks.
24.  I love kitties.
25.  I believe in ghosts.
26.  I was born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
27.  I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri.  Go Cards!
28.  The biggest thing holding me back from doing anything is myself.
29.  I rarely cut my hair (like once ever two years, maybe) because I am afraid the stylist will cut too much off and make me look like Mrs. Potatohead.
30.  I am TERRIFIED of spiders.
31.  I am a child of God.
32.  I don’t have grey hair.  I have naturally grown hair glitter.
33.  I always get the best writing ideas when I am in the shower or just about to fell asleep.

I know there is a lot more, but well save that for another roll of toilet paper.  What I want to know is what would your toilet paper say about you?

Until next time . . .

Hiding from my best friend

Almost a year ago A Tale of A T-Rex was born.  I wanted a place to work on my writing in a public forum, and also a place to be open and honest about my life.  At the time there were things going on in my life that I could not talk to anybody about.  I needed a place to get that stuff out.  I write under a fake name so that people I know can’t find me, because there are times when I speak far less than highly about some people I know . . . more specifically, my son’s babysitter and a certain co-worker.  I don’t use the real names of people, if I use names at all (the drummer has always been “the drummer”).  All of that is so that I can open up and still maintain a certain level of anonymity.

Last week my best friend came to me and asked where he could start a blog without being found.  He knows about A Tale . . . though he doesn’t know its name or the name I write under.  The next day he started his own blog.  I had no fear of him finding me since he doesn’t read other posts.  He just writes to write.  I didn’t ask him the name of his blog or anything.  I didn’t want to know.  It wasn’t from a lack of interest.  It was because I knew he would be writing about very personal things that he might not be ready to share with those that know him.  There is safety is sending thoughts out into the great big void, but it’s terrifying to share those same thoughts with people you know.  It’s the same reason I started posting almost a year ago.

Then a few days ago he told me the name of his blog.  He wanted me to read it.  I asked him if he wanted me to follow it.  He said he didn’t care.  I am a bit torn as to what to do.  If I read his blog then I will be climbing into his head and encounter things about him or his troubled past that he has fought for so long to hide from me.  If I follow his blog than he will have access to mine and thus anonymity goes out the window.  I have written about him . . . several times.  I have also written things that I have not told him.

I know this all sounds rather trivial but I feel like the mask I have spent almost a year wearing is in his hands and he’s about to pull it off.  How can I hide behind “Carrie Leigh” if he reads my posts and sees not just some random person but friend and co-worker?  How can I continue to be as honest as I want to be if I’m worried that he’ll see my post?

Though he has taken a big step and invited me further into his head that he ever has by inviting me to read his blog I think it’s best if I just stay away.  It’s best for him and for me.  I don’t want to have to sacrifice the one place I have to really open up for the sake of someone else’s feelings (as horribly selfish as that sounds).  I spend my whole life censoring myself so that others don’t get hurt or offended.  Right here, right now is the only place I have to strip off facade and let it out.

I love my best friend, but letting him in here is the only thing I can not do for him.  I’m just not ready for that yet.

Until next time . . .

A New Page (poem)

You were an addiction
You were a phase
You were a detour
In my life’s race
We shared a laugh
And a common interest in you
But when I needed you to step up
You were too afraid to move
I gave you almost all of me
To you I was an open book
But your selfishness kept you blinded
Beyond your world you couldn’t look
You used me to build you up
On my foundation of sand
But when my foundation washed away
You never offered a helping hand
You turned your back and walked away
I was no longer of any use
Our one-sided friendship thrown back in my face
As I was cast away from you
I tried to open your door
That you keep shut so tight
But your selfish anger keeps it locked
As you hide behind your fright
You were an addiction
A weakness, a phase
You were a chapter
But I’ve turned a new page
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
04.09.14

The Last Next (poem)

Until you look for the next
You’ll never realize last was last
Moments are fleeting
Time flies by too fast
What we hold onto so hard
What we give our all
Can disappear so quickly
Like summer flowers in the fall
What we think we can’t live without
Means nothing when it’s gone
Our heart keeps beating, we wake, we sleep
Life continues on
Assuming tomorrow will be a next
Only to discover yesterday was last
Burn bright, fade from life
Hold tight, let go fast
Look back tomorrow
See what has gone
Know sometimes there is no next
And the last will stand alone
The last will hold the memory
The unspoken, unknown goodbye
The last will keep its secret quiet
Of a next it forever denies
 
By:  Carrie Leigh
04.09.14

Finding your passion in life

What are you passionate about? Have you ever really given it any thought? What is the one think in this great big world that makes your heart race, that gives you peace and happiness, that makes you tick, that completes you, that makes you who you are? What is the one thing in the world that if you were to lose it would be like a part of you died?

Now don’t say that you are passionate about your friends and family. Those are things that we are all passionate about. But everyone has at least one thing that really defines who we are . . . that one thing that we are ceaselessly passionate about. I will use a few of my friends as examples . . .

My male best friend . . . radio d.j. . . . comics and superheroes
My female best friend . . . business manager . . . law enforcement and helping church
Former co-worker . . . radio station engineer . . . making music
Former co-worker . . . organizer of beauty supply shows . . . animal rescue

What we do for our career does not define who we are. Our career is merely what we do to pay the bills. What defines who we really are is what we are passionate about.

Me . . . radio d.j. . . . writing

I saw a post on Facebook recently that said “find your passion and let it consume you.” Take a moment to think about that. When was the last time you fell in love with something so much that you let it consume you?

There are unfortunately too many people walking around the world right now that have no idea what they are passionate about. They are so worried about having the right job, fitting into the right social circles, and always being perfect that they never take a chance at finding what really makes them happy. To find your passion is to find what makes your heart happy.

Rescuing abused and neglected animals and finding them furr-ever homes makes my beauty show organizer friend happy. That is what fulfills her heart. Overcoming the demons of his very ugly childhood via the comic superheroes he loves is what makes my best friend happy. Writing poetry, short stories, even the posts on this blog are what makes me happy.

Many people are lucky enough to discover what they are passionate about. For those people it could even become their purpose in life. My beauty show friend would love to be able to give up her job and devote herself day and night to rescuing animals. But with the free time that she gets from work she has done amazing, life changing things for so many animals. She has found her passion and she has let it consume her.

What are you passionate about? Do you even know? If you could drop everything right now to do the one thing that makes you happy what would it be?

So, what are you waiting for?  Find your passion and let it consume you.

Until next time . . .

Being taught

It’s glorious and oh-so-amazing to take a moment, look back and see all the little ways God has worked in your life. Whether it is something small or something to turned out to be huge God is always there working on you and working for you.

I have always been under the belief that we should always keep learning. There is always something new to learn about and to help us broaden our view our view of the world . . . how to make beaded jewelry, the history of your hometown, the names of and stories behind the constellations in the sky . . . anything. We should never pass up an opportunity to learn. As long as we wake up to another day we have a fresh opportunity to be taught more about the world that God created for us.

Lately I’ve been thinking about going back to school. The thought has been floating around in my head for several months. I didn’t know if I wanted to take anything specific like a writing class to improve what I already know and love, or if I wanted to try something completely new like archaeology or automotive repair. In my indecisiveness God gave me my answer. I believe he is the one who implanted the desire to go back to school. But where I have found myself recently is not your average school setting. There are no desks, no chalkboard, no lunchtime or recess. But I am definitely back in school, and I couldn’t be happier with the setting that God led me to.

God led me to the greatest school I could ask for. God led me to church.

My eyes and heart have been awakened to the wonderful creation that is God’s world around us. In the past several weeks I have learned more through Sunday morning services, study guides, and even posts right here on WordPress from other followers of Christ than I have in my entire life. I have truly been sent back to school. God knew that I was open to be taught. He knew I was ready to find him. He directed every aspect of my life so that everything led me to him.

Do I still have questions? Absolutely. Will I someday know all there is to know about God’s work in us and in this world, about the work that Jesus did on earth before he was sacrificed for us? I hope not. I pray that God keeps my mind open, my thirst for knowledge about him unquenched.

To wake up to another day in this world is a blessing. To be given another day to continue to learn about my creator and the son he sacrificed so that you and I could have eternity with him is beyond a blessing.

Until next time . . .

Blessings

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the way God acts in our own lives. Between the rush to get to work in the morning, the boss who can be a total jerk, long lines at the grocery store, getting housework done and dinner on the table, and helping the kids with their homework it’s very easy to lose sight of the way God blesses our day-to-day lives.

Rushing to get to work and the jerk boss = you have a job when so many others do not.

Long grocery store lines = you have money to put food on your table when too many others don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Housework = you have a home when too many in this world are sleeping on the streets.

Helping the kids with their homework = quality time with your family when so many are alone in this world.

God’s blessings surround every aspect of our lives everyday whether you realize it or not.

Sunday morning in church the Spirit of God was so strong that everybody could feel him. Voices were raised in musical worship as we sang to him. Arms were uplifted. Smiles adorned lifted faces and tears rolled from eyes as God acted in each of our hearts. It was a beautiful moment. God was in the hearts of everyone there. It was truly a moment of praise and worship. At the end of the service five people made their fresh start and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Seeing that happen will never get old to me. I joked with a friend that I am going to have to quit wearing mascara to church because I can’t make it through a service without being moved to tears. The sight of a new believer coming to Christ . . . there are no words for the way the joy fills my heart.

That moment on Sunday morning was a tangible moment of God acting in our lives. We could feel him there. But those moments when you are harried and rushed to get out the door, when you a fighting traffic and your jerk boss, when you impatiently waiting in line at the grocery store, or on hold for a customer service representative . . . take a moment to think of the way God has blessed you and your life.

On Friday nights I go to bed hoping that my son will sleep past 7a.m. on Saturday and thus let me sleep past 7a.m. Every Saturday morning at 7a.m. there he is on my side of the bed asking if he can play with my phone and letting me know that he is going downstairs to watch Spongebob in the living room. Every once in a while he will climb in bed between me and my husband and let us cuddle him (he’s generally not a cuddly kid, he likes his space). I love those moments when he lets me wrap my arms around him, lean my head against his, and enjoy the few moments of cuddly time. I love to kiss his cheeks and smell his hair. I look at him and say, “I like Nathan cuddles.” His response, “I like mommy cuddles.” Then I say, “They make me happy.” He responds with, “They make me happy.” That is our cuddly routine. It never lasts more than a few minutes but in those few minutes I know that I am blessed. God saw fit to give that beautiful little boy to me and my husband. He trusted us to raise Nathan to be not our son but the son of God.

An early morning whisper of “mommy” from Nathan, a giggle from the living room as he watches Spongebob, a random hug, to see him come running down the steps to welcome me home after work, late night milkshakes, him helping me cook dinner . . . it’s the little things . . . God has blessed me.

My family is not a rich family. As a matter of fact, there are some months when we struggle to meet all the bills. But somehow we always make it through. What my family has plenty of though has far more value than money. It’s something that we were losing before I made my fresh start, before I opened my heart and life to Jesus Christ . . . we have love, we have quality time together, we are rebuilding our bond as a family. That is something that a price can never be put on.

I could buy all the Happy Meals in the world for Nathan and send my husband to all the wrestling events that he could ever want to go to, but nothing will mean more than the time we get to spend together.

I used to take the little moments for granted. I am a workaholic. From the moment that I got my first job at seventeen years old I started putting work before family and everything else. I was unhappy in my own home, unhappy with my husband, and with my family. I used work to try escape what was making me unhappy. I didn’t realize thought that what was making me unhappy was me. I was trying to escape from what I thought was making me unhappy, but you can never escape from yourself. That was a lesson that I learned and could not deny when God held a mirror up to my face. I was tearing apart my family. I was throwing away the blessing that God gave me.

No more!

On those days when I think God has it out for me (you know we all have those days sometimes) I remember that God has blessed and those rough days are making me stronger. Those rough days make me appreciate all the wonderful things in my life that much more.

How has God blessed you?

Until next time . . .