my journey with truth

Archive for August 2010

Dear Diary,

We have alot of catching up to do.  My birthday was okay, but ______ + ______ + ______ didn’t help to make it happy.  I had Kelly Bales, Lindsay Armstrong, Rachel Ramsey, Sarah Parmley, and Katie Roets.

New Year Christmas was pretty good.  Mom got me a Discman, 2 Disney Edition CDs, All4One (ATMS) CD, NBA Allstar for GameGear, and Legend of Illusions starring Mickey Mouse.

New Year’s Eve was spent in San Antonio.  We had supper at the Hard Rock Cafe.  Later we spent time at Laurel’s house for her birthday.  We start school on Monday.  Today Rachel went rollerblading and then to a movie with Ryan.

Your friend,

I’m not sure I have a lot to say about this entry, but it’s next in line.  First, at least let me observe that I’ve progressed to paragraph usage.  Not sure with that last paragraph, though, if I’ve truly grasped the whole one subject to a paragraph concept just yet.  Baby grammatical steps.

Also, yes, yes… I was excited my mom gave me CDs of Disney music.  Let’s be real though, if you know me in real life at all, you know how much The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty (but particularly The Lion King) changed my life.   Maybe ‘changed my life’ is an overstatement.  No, I stand by The Lion King as life-altering.  Anyway, I digress.  And if you don’t know what ATMS in parentheses means, I’m referencing the All-4-One album “And the Music Speaks” which naturally everyone would know well enough to know by acronym.  This is the album which includes “I Swear” and “I’m Sorry.”  These were songs I listened to on repeat with my Discman.

You should also know that my super cool Sega Gamegear was the 1st place prize for a putt-putt golf tournament I participated in during 4th grade with my best friend Melissa Hamner at Pear Apple County Fair in San Antonio.  We thought we’d lost, hadn’t won a thing at all, were walking away to go play arcade games when we just barely could hear our names were being called out over the loudspeakers.  We had to run back through a little bit of rain that had finally broken out.  It was actually a pretty exhilarating moment, and on top of winning I had a Sega GameGear.  This was a big deal because GameGears were in color as opposed to the oldschool greenish turdy color of the old GameBoys as well as because my parents didn’t allow game systems that hooked up to the TV.  I was allowed to buy a hand-held unit, and had saved up for a gameboy, but I thought it would be far out of my grasp to ever save up for the glamorous GameGear.  Winning one was a dream come true.  As for this entry, my mom buying me games for my GameGear was a real truce of sorts.

In regards to the blanks at the top.  Those are not actually written in my diary, they are omitted names.  While I’m journeying with truth, there’s no need to drudge up already-slung mud.  Though I remember that birthday party and those blanks were pretty rotten to me.


Dear Diary,

How are you?  I’m fine.  I turned 12 yesterday.  Today we got out of school for Winter Break.  I can’t wait to sleep in.  Christmas Day is only 5 days away (not including today or Christmas day).  I don’t have any presents for anyone yet!  Today at school we basically watched movies.  It was fun.  In choir I went through the halls caroling.  Right now I’m babysitting Joshua Allred at home.  This is the first time that I’ve been completely by myself with the kid.  Tomorrow I’m going to have a party.  So far Kelly, Sarah, Katie, and Lindsay are coming.  Rachel R. probably is.  Josh & I are watching Robin Hood (cartoon) and already have watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  We got the Christmas tree day before yesterday.  We only have lights on it.


Alright, alright.  I’ll confess: the reason I had to clarify that we were watching the Disney cartoon version of Robin Hood is that I have an unnatural affection for the Kevin Costner version – or, more importantly and it makes me feel justified, the Morgan Freeman, Alan Rickman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Geraldine McEwan (though I was kind of always scared of the witch scenes and she’s really above a role like that if you see any of her BBC stuff) version.  I also just generally seem to have an unnatural affection for the Robin Hood story in general because I not only know all the words to the cartoon version (we happened to watch it nearly every other day during quiet time at my favorite day care when I was little) and used to quote it all the time, but I secretly liked the new Scott/Crowe/Blanchett version, too.  And I read the big ol’ book from the classics for children series back in the day.  Maybe it explains my affinity for green and hats.  I’ve also thought it generated an early exercise in feminism and equality for me in that I was the only girl at day care who ever wanted to play pretend as Robin Hood and not Maid Marian.  Some would call it being a tomboy, I like to think I was progressive.

But besides what the part about Robin Hood reveals in this entry, the thing that stopped me cold while re-reading this entry was the mention of Josh Allred.  I used to watch Josh every week up at the church while his parents were in my parents’ Disciple Bible Study class.  He was pretty much my first kid in a long babysitting career.  I was 11 when I first watched him, and we were set up in a nursery room just one flight of stairs away from his parents’ class.  I was trusted, but I was also relieved to know that help wasn’t very far away if anything went wrong.  Josh was 3 when we first met and full of questions and cuteness.  It probably was a pretty big deal for me to be “completely by myself with the kid” at the ripe age of 12 and 1 day.

The reason my breath catches, though, even though I’ve reread this entry a couple times in the past week, is that Josh’s dad, Jim, died when I was 16.  When Jim was 54.  When Josh was 9.  When Cara, who wasn’t even born at the time of this diary entry, was 4.  And when Cheryl, Jim’s wife and Josh and Cara’s mom, was 34.  I have experienced many deaths in the Church.  I have experienced funerals for friends both very old and very young, and funerals for strangers (it comes with the territory of being two pastors’ kid).  I have grieved many times.  I had even grieved grandparents’ deaths at the point of Jim’s death.  But losing Jim so suddenly was an experience of irrational, egregious, foundation-shattering, deep-dark grief.

You have to understand – Jim was the nicest person in the whole wide world.  Warm.  Good to his core.  Worked so very hard.  Used his head and hands and strength.  LOVED his kids.  Cherished his wife.  He was a country-guy, a good ol’ boy in the real sense of being good and boy-like somehow even with gray hair.  He was a dear friend.  He was a brother to many people with whom he didn’t share blood.  He was a brother in Christ.  And he died of a heart attack one night.  It was very hard to reconcile that many of the men from his Sunday School class, the brothers he left behind, could possibly be gone just as quickly, with children just as young, with lives so full of love spent and love yet to give.  Jim was a first adult-grieving of sorts, and the beginning of a real fear of loss.  I stood at his graveside ceremony looking at the faces around and thinking, “How can I ever go through this again?”

If I’m honest, I’m still scared of the day my own father will die.  I’m scared of the grief that will mean.  I’m scared of having love yet to be given.  I miss Jim.  I miss babysitting Josh (who just left for his first year of college!).  I miss all those men from Jim’s Sunday School class who have been fatherly for me, too, but who I hardly ever get to see and likely still won’t even when I’m finally through with school and back in Texas for the long-term.  And if I’m really honest, I miss the good ol’ days of playing Robin Hood on the playground, too.

my college roommate, Meg McCarthy, was visiting last week.  we wasted time between meals one afternoon by looking through my high school yearbooks and reading aloud from my diaries.  (i knew i was ok with the diary part because i’d read through a bunch of entries while cleaning my room for meg.  super productive, i know.)

so welcome to another part of my journey with truth.  it’s incredibly interesting, saddening, and hilarious to read through some of these.  my plan is to slowly make my way through the whole thing – here goes:

December 18, 1996                       (actually it’s Dec. 19)
Dear Diary,

I just got you today for my birthday.  My name is Lizzie.  I’ll tell you a secret.  I ❤ Blake Cash.  He is nice, but I don’t think he likes me.  I wish he liked me.  No one has ever liked me.  Christmas is in 1 week.  I can’t wait!  I have to get in bed.  It’s 12:20 A.M.  Write to you later.


there’s something sweet about the way it’s written to someone, as though my diary will be uncomfortable with a stranger talking to it unless introduced and will be waiting anxiously for my next entry.  and then interesting that the immediate place i went next was SECRETS.  also, i’m not sure it was a secret that pretty much the whole 5th and 6th grade class liked Blake Cash.  he was one of about 7 guys everyone knew they were supposed to like.  then, the sad part.  although strange how one can flip from such frank honesty of feeling and low self-esteem to an informative statement.  i do like Christmas.

after a really difficult experience in telling the truth to a friend this past January, i decided to take on truth-telling for Lent.  people would ask what i was giving up (and in the end i also tried to sustain green habits through the awesome student organization Creation Matters), and they’d look at me like i was crazy when i said i was giving up lying in order to tell the truth.  but it was a pretty big deal for me – and not because usually i’m a big fat liar or pathological about it or anything.

see, i’m a people-pleaser, for one thing.  and thanks to my friend, heather, i have a better understanding of my ENFJ Myers-Briggs personality type.  it freaked me out to read (to confront) the truth about myself that “ENFJs have definite values and opinions,” but “when faced with a conflict between a strongly-held value and serving another person’s need, they are highly likely to value the other person’s needs.”  in other words, there are times ENFJs give in on things which are important to us because we want the other person to be happy.  and it’s a terribly conflicted way to live, ultimately.

so since the terrible fight with my good friend, which was a big lesson in needing to tell the truth even when it is scary and the other person might not like you or want to be your friend anymore, and since having a stranger online be able to reveal a truth about myself, i’ve been really trying to live into telling the truth.  instead of avoiding conflict with others, i’m finally trying to avoid the internal conflict i feel when i don’t quite say what i think or feel in order to make sure the other person is happy and still likes me.  crazy, right?

the more i’ve talked about it with friends and colleagues, the more i’ve realized how great my journey with truth has been so far and how much i like sharing about it truthfully with others.  so welcome to my journey with truth.


  • None
  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh