a little bit of extra-crazy.

would y’all mind if today’s post is just a stream-of-consciousness flow with no real point in the end? i have no plan for this – i just need to get some thoughts out that i’ve been having this week. you probably won’t be encouraged. maybe you will. maybe i will. i don’t know. i’ve just had a flurry of craziness in my brain this week that i need to just sort of vomit. ew. um…let’s just say i need to get it all out. but none of it is extremely meaningful or important. i just need to dump my brain is all. haven’t had a chance to process very much or decompress from the weekend.

still with me? this is more for me than for you today. feel free to stay or go. hopefully you’ll stay.

wednesday, my birthday, was a really hard day for me. i wasn’t expecting it to be, but it was. you probably won’t be surprised that it was hard because it was my first birthday without my dad. i was expecting his phone call that morning. i haven’t said anything this week to you about it because, honestly, do you get tired of hearing me lament over my dad being gone? i sort of do. but i had a sad morning and the sweet 12-year old receptionist who i get to look at from my office and spend my days with said i could cry with her because it’s just me and her. she is so precious. i cried a little bit but then i went about my day and smiled and said thank you and was gracious because, really…? who wants to see the birthday girl cry? not me. i was listening to my messages that day when i ran errands for work and before i got to the post office (shout-out, j-dub!) i unintentionally landed on the last saved message i have from my dad…which was my birthday message from last year. he sent me a card that i never received and when it came back to his house torn up with an apology from the post office, he mailed it back to me so i would have it and so i would know that he really had sent me a card. i just remembered that part just now.

when i got home that afternoon, the new man in my life had just gotten to town and instead of being excited to see him, i just had to have a good cry. he never knew my dad and was trying to say the right things but i couldn’t be consoled. poor guy. i’ve been so disconnected. he said that i have. i know that i have.

last weekend i went on a much-needed women’s retreat with my best girls at windy gap, which is the young life campgrounds in the beautiful mountains of north carolina. paula rinehart was our speaker and drew & ellie holcomb led the worship there. and when you go to their website, you will hear the song when I LOST IT BECAUSE I MISS MY DAD, even though it was written for his niece and nephew and so i immediately thought of hg but then at the end it turned into a song about my dad and i know everyone around me was worried about the girl who was heaving and had the ugly cryface and don’t you know my dad?

there are people talking around me right now and i just need to be quiet. just be quiet. please. i just need a quiet place. but i know that has nothing to do with the people talking around me.

i just haven’t had a quiet place or a quiet moment this week and maybe that’s all i need. it doesn’t count when i’m at work because, well, i’m at work. i just. need. my quiet. place.

or maybe i need to call karen.

i think a quiet place would do me.

okay, so, paula. and ellie. ellie is my bff caroline’s new girl-crush, and for good reason. she is super-cute, has great style and such a unique voice and is an incredible songwriter. plus, girls with guitars just look hot, which is why i ever wanted to play the guitar in the first place – because of jennifer nettles, whom you now know from sugarland, but she used to be in a little band called soul miner’s daughter and my friend annya and i would follow them around when we were in college. and she played guitar and was hot. and, by the way, ellie’s dad is brown bannister, who is the number one christian music producer since the days of amy grant and michael w. smith. as soon as she said her dad’s first name, i knew exactly who he was.

but, so, ellie’s husband, drew, was there playing back-up. they travel with their band, though, as ‘drew holcomb and the neighbors’.

do you ever just need to not be needed?

anyway, at one point – and i know i will butcher this story but i’m going to try and tell it the best i can – ellie told us a story that goes a little something like this. she and drew were bff’s for, like, four years in college. they didn’t start dating until after college. on their second date, he said to her, ‘i want to love you well. but i am a man. and i am going to hurt and disappoint you. and so i need for you to run after jesus with your whole heart. because he will not hurt or disappoint you.’ i mean, really…? really? swoon. sigh. love. thank you, drew holcomb. {by the way, guys – drew was quick to remind us that they had had a long friendship and if you were to say this on a real second date, it would just be weird.}

have i ever told you that i’m a make-up artist? i’m a make-up artist. i used to work at a counter full-time, until i just couldn’t handle the retail end of it and wanted to have my life back, which is when i came back to an office. but i love the company i worked for and the products, and doing make-up is just so fun, so i stayed on as a make-up artist and work weekends at events and such at different locations. {shameless plug: i’m for hire.}

so, there’s an event this weekend in my own town at my old counter, where i still have wonderful relationships with the women i used to work with there. i haphazardly found out about the event last week. only, no one called me to work it. and then i get a call last night about it. i mean…? anyway, it was just a little bit annoying. okay, you know what…my feelings were hurt and i was somewhat offended. the backstory is that i’ve been asking for a schedule for the last several weeks, it hasn’t been ready, and i thought i answered to one person and now i’m told someone else has laid claim to me, which of course i appreciate but THEN YOU HAVE TO CALL ME IF YOU WANT ME TO WORK.

and the real issue is that i’m broke and am too old and have too much professional experience to be broke.

i know what happened in this situation. not because anyone has told me but because i just know what used to happen in those situations. it was not personal, even though it is hard not to take it personally. it just is what it is.

i think i’m going through an early-to-mid-thirties crisis. is that what happens when you reach the same age that jesus died and realize that you are still single and not moving in any particular direction and have a heart for ministry but wonder if and when and how and where you’ll ever get paid to do it?

i need to send off for seminary applications. can i tell you…there have been two times in my life when i heard an audible voice that did not belong to me that i could only take to be the lord. one of those times i heard ‘go to seminary’. specifically i heard, ‘go to duke’. this was in 2oo6. i turned in my application on the thursday before i got sober that sunday, which was the day before we officially changed hands over to the new owners of aqueduct.

i turned it in early because there are three acceptance periods and i needed all the help i could get. i didn’t get accepted the first go-round. i was wait-listed. which was sheer torture for me. and confusing. what do i do with being wait-listed? god, you said to go, didn’t you? did i miss it? and DON’T YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY WENT TO DIVINITY SCHOOL THERE? and oh, crap…everyone in my family went to divinity school there…and who cares that everyone in my family went to divinity school there…and, fine then. i’ll just make my own plans because hrmph.

and then i went from being wait-listed to being accepted and so now what do i do?

i said ‘okay, i’ll come.’

and then i deferred, which means i would have been a student in the fall of 2008.

only then i said ‘no.’

i hate what i’m wearing today, mostly it’s the shoes, and my hair is just too long for my too big body but i don’t have an appointment until a month from tomorrow. ugh.

i tried again for seminary last year, so i would have been a student this fall. as in, right now. i applied to asbury. they said ‘yes’. i said ‘yes’.

and then i said, ‘no’. and so here i am.

and i just need to commit and quit trying to figure out my resistance and what i’m afraid of because i have justified and rationalized and made excuses and, the truth is, i just need to get the education and be done with it because i am only prolonging the inevitable.

are you disappointed that i’m not as spiritual as i pretend to be?

i feel like i’m unsatisfactory these days. like a disappointment. do you ever feel that way? like i can’t make anyone happy WHEN I KNOW THAT’S NOT MY JOB. and, as i’m thinking of it…no one has expressed their dis-

oh, wait. yes. my mom. ugh. my mom. she has the power. why is that? our relationship will ever be my greatest…i don’t know what. i adore my mom. she is so precious. but we do not have an easy relationship. we had made plans to go out to dinner the day after my birthday. but then she called the morning of my birthday and wanted to come to town that afternoon to bring me presents, but he was coming in to town and the girls want to take me out to dinner before bible study and i’ll be in a meeting all day long until probably after 5:00 and, ‘that’s fine, darling.’ and we were going to try to make it work but it just didn’t work and i should have just said, ‘it’s just not going to work.’ and so we were going to have dinner last night at her house instead of going out and she wasn’t feeling well but i already have plans tonight so we can’t switch our night and so i’m living with the guilt-trip that i’ve let my mom down and that she’s a little bit sad now and THAT IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY.

please, please stop talking to me. won’t you just be quiet?

i had a great post written for today after having some thoughts from reading lynde’s post about her new adventure. it was all about how i love gay people. and i had permission from my gay cousins to reference them if need be but i didn’t publish it because i thought it just wasn’t necessary…like it would perpetuate scandal and why do i need to do that? so i didn’t publish it. it was nonetheless helpful for me, though, to realize where i stand with it all. maybe i’ll still post it. maybe i won’t. why won’t i? fear? or just don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable? that’s not fair to anyone.

so, we’re having dinner on sunday night at my mom’s.

and i’m tired of the seminary dance.

but i’m not even going to church right now and so what seminary will accept the girl who doesn’t like church?

and i realize i sound crazy.

and i will probably wish i hadn’t published this.

but there will probably be more days like this when i just need to unload and, honestly, that’s fine with me.

and maybe i’ll post the post about gayness after all.

and, drew & ellie holcomb, will you marry me? but first marry caroline.

do you ever have days like this? please tell me you do. days when you just need to decompress and process? or days when you just feel a little bit extra-crazy?

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lacey
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:09:46

    I don’t know you, but you are not crazy! Actually, I had to do just about the same thing and get all the stuff in my head out. I am very close to my Pastor’s wife, so I e-mailed her all my junk. I made the subject, “I just have to pour out so please excuse me”. She is great! She doesn’t judge me at all, but knows how it is and brought encouragement. Girl, let it out. It is totally okay. It is funny b/c I wrote the same to her at some part in my e-mail about “I will probably regret sending this.” I thought that was funny b/c it is probably what most people think when they put it out there like that. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 13:11:46

      haaaa…thank you SO much, lacey. i so totally needed to know that. sometimes it just feels better knowing i’m not the only one. thank you so much, friend.


  2. Douglas
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:25:16

    are you disappointed that i’m not as spiritual as i pretend to be? no.

    Mary Kathryn, I am encouraged because I have these type of days, sometimes two or three in a row.

    so what seminary will accept the girl who doesn’t like church? one that cares about reaching people with the love of Christ.

    keep dreaming God dreams and be Mary Kathryn, and don’t worry about it. it’s ok to be Mary Kathryn.

  3. katie i
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:29:35

    i call days like that my ‘stunt double days’. i wish i could send in my stunt double to be me, make decisions, carry on the conversation/argument that i’m having with myself and God in my head so i can just be still and quiet and drink fancy coffee and get a pedicure and escape from being me for a bit. unfortuntely i’m no angelina so i can’t afford a stunt double. i am sorry your bday was hard and i’m sorry you miss your dad and i’m super sorry if my facebook message made your sadder or madder. my mom just lost her mom and was really sad on her birthday and she couldn’t figure it out but then realized it is the first time in 65 years her mom hasn’t called to say happy birthday. i think it’s ok for the birthday girl to cry a bit. hey it’s your party…

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 13:18:24

      katie, NO! did i not email you back!? i totally thought i did. ugh.

      katie. that was one of the most encouraging emails i have ever received. it blessed me beyond words. i can’t even believe the opportunity you were given, and it means so much to me that you were so sensitive to the situation because of things i’ve said. i actually was in almost an identical situation with my dad like the one you described – so angry and embarassed – and would have loved to have had a nurse speak truth in love and be kind. on her behalf, thank you. i know you made a difference.

      i love the ‘stunt double’! that is awesome! yes, i totally wish i had a stunt double. ha! or that i looked like angelina. either/or, tit for tat. you know. whatevs. :)


  4. Cathy THompson
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 11:41:40

    You bet, I have days like this, and I’ve had them a lot longer than you cause I’m older :) Actually I am going through stuff with my family right now that makes me crazy and I have to let go and let God work it out, cause I can’t.

    I love your blogs, please never quit. I think you should write a book. Your honesty and willingness to share are so refreshing….

    God bless, love ya

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 13:13:50

      don’t you love those seasons? the ones that, if only they would just listen to you, then everything would work out? :)

      thank you for your encouragement, cathy!


  5. Lynde Ross
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 12:09:43

    extended days of this, actually. sometimes just reading someone else’s vent can do the trick–turn that sucker around. thank you. for the turn around this morning–i feel better already.

  6. Angie Morey
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 13:58:33

    I love you, Mary Kathryn. I also have days and feelings like yours – of worrying about disappointing people, wondering where my life is going (am I really going to be 32 next month!?@#$%^&*). Thank you for your gift of honest articulation, non-superficial sharing and simply bringing to the surface the thoughts and sentiments we all have buried in there somewhere. Way to help us all shed some life-giving light into our shadows… you have a real gift of refreshing real-ness. I’m proud to know you – and no doubt Jesus is, too.

    Speaking of which, I’ve got the first line down (you know, ‘O Lord, you have searched me and you know me’.) Pretty good, eh? :)

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 17, 2010 @ 14:31:55

      angie morey tyson! i adore you! you just made my day! thanks for accepting the challenge! :)

      thank you for relating and for being so sweet and encouraging. ‘life-giving light into our shadows’ – so beautiful.

      want to hear how things are with your dad.


  7. Leigh
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 18:15:51

    Reading this just made me want to pick up the phone or share a cup of tea (or coffee if that’s more your preference) with you. We all have days like this! I think it’s a measure of your faith that you share your vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and imperfections. Imagine what the church could be like if no one wore an “I’m fine” mask all the time. Getting real with each other will inevitably lead to growth and healing. And as far as seminary goes, why not see what happens? You’ll figure out the church thing or you’ll be the change you want to see in the church. Either way, if you feel like seminary is a part of your future then it’s worth taking steps towards it.

    Speaking as a bereavement counselor, I think it’s totally normal that you would feel sad on your birthday without your dad. It’s another step in the New Normal process. All the things you take for granted or didn’t realize how much they meant to you are heightened in the first couple of years without a loved one. Sometimes the second year of grief is harder because people are less understanding if they’ve never gone through it themselves, thinking you should “move on by now.” So if everything goes back to missing your dad right now, my only response is Why wouldn’t it?

    I hope that you can find a quiet space soon and that the questions swirling around in your head would settle for awhile. Just a few moments of peace. Everything will come together one way or another.

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 19, 2010 @ 10:50:34

      leigh, thank you for taking time to write such a thoughtful message. i would LOVE to have coffee with you, sweet friend! thank you for permission to be real. :) my mentor was the first to tell me about the new normal. thank for that reminder, too. everyone says that year two and three are even worse than year one. my little sister and i were talking yesterday about that – how the pain only goes deeper. thank you for the permission to feel that, too. i’m taking a few minutes for myself this morning. thanks for that, too. :)

      looking forward to the time we can curl up on a comfy couch and drink coffee and talk all afternoon!


  8. Steph
    Sep 17, 2010 @ 21:32:06

    You just go right ahead and vent. Oh, and here’s a *hug*. :)


  9. Sharon O
    Sep 18, 2010 @ 12:47:07

    I love the fact that your blog is always refreshingly honest. And I love the fact that you are real and you just say what you are dealing with and let ‘us’ pray with you as you work on what you are working on.
    Please be encouraged. You are doing good.
    take care.

  10. Jojari
    Sep 18, 2010 @ 23:44:50

    Yes – I have many days where I feel crazy… my FB posts are PC because I just have too many coworkers, managers, and others on my list that I can’t say it quite the way I want to always… I also relate to the first birthday after (and the second and the third) it’s just not as happy anymore… and it’s painful as people try really hard to make it better – but they can’t, though it’s really sweet that they try. You aren’t alone and those who love you don’t judge you.

  11. Katie Hall
    Sep 20, 2010 @ 17:03:11

    MK, after all that rambling and swirling you just did, and even though I am three days late, I have one thing to say that I think is the answer to all of your questions and confusion from above.

    Change your shoes.

    • mary kathryn tyson
      Sep 20, 2010 @ 17:46:04


      thank you!

      you know what…my counselor and i are always able to point to my shoes during really significant moments in my life. sounds like this may be another one.

      i love you katie-g! you are awesome!


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