Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Small things

The moment my life ended and the world continued without a pause, I was stunned.  To have something so valuable taken and no one to take note makes for troubling thoughts.  How many times have I walked by someone whose world was just taken from them and not taken note.  Our lives are comprised of small things that somehow come together to form an image beyond ourselves, with the fragrance of heaven on our minds.  Something so small tied to emotions so big.  Someone so small whose life meant so much.  An action so small that brings about monumental things.  We dream big, and imagine ours lives played on a large screen for all to see.  But we are small and big things must be prefaced with small things done well, small moments of trust, small hearts and hands that we allow to move in our lives.  We are not so big, yet can be everything to some small person.  Smallness is easily felt in these disjointed times as humanity crushes in setting standards of beauty that cannot be met and pace of life that will not sustain.  And we shrink as no one sees our world being taken away, the loss of something or someone valuable.  So we fight to be seen, to be heard and appear large in someone else's eyes, but it does not satisfy the desire to be seen.  To be known in our inmost parts, seen for who we are, for our pain to be noticed, and for our hearts to mend.  1 of 7 billion, yet known by one who knows.  Yielding slowly step by step, striving to see the unseen, grasping to truth and trusting that on that day there was one who paused with me and saw. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

2 am

I have become well acquainted with this time of night as of late.  Sleep has never been easy, and has been growing increasingly more difficult.  It occupies my thoughts throughout the day but when my head hits the pillow I find my mind wandering.  Tonight is especially hard, it has been 6 years since Levi left us, and my sleepless mind drifts to him.  The last week was one of pouring out spiritually, emotionally and physically to an amazing group of teenagers.  By the end of the week sleep deprivation was hitting a new high and Friday night after I lay down I did not rise until 1 pm on Saturday.   I have moments of rest here and there, this weekend at a friends lake home was a much needed pause from humanity, finally by this evening I felt myself enjoying the moment, restful, peaceful, content.  Tonight my thoughts have been of how I wish I could linger a day or two more, breath deeply, pause and recalibrate my thoughts.  I remember after Leif was born going through a time where I was being touched and needed so much by my little men that come evening all I wanted was to sit alone with no one on me.  I had been touched out.  The break this weekend and lightness of my shoulders at being out of the city makes me wonder.  Am I touched out?  Living a life as we choose to live involves much humanity, our family, our housemates, our neighbors, our church, the youth group, mothers fellowship, our neighborhood.  Could it be that this extrovert has reached her population max?  There are many things that I have been debating as of late, one of which is taking a break from ministry.  Hitting pause and finding my emotional health again.  Things have been better as of late, but I find that disappointments seem to hit me harder.  When I used to brush off a no show Wednesday now I feel defeated.  When doing a VBS that is primarily our kids I wonder why this is and if my ministry will ever be more then being faithful in the little things?  Then something like camp happens where it is amazing, I feel respected and appreciated.  But this year instead of it reviving me I found myself angry.  Like a carrot was being dangled in front of my nose to motivate me for one more lap, one more year.  One thing is for certain I will not reach any kind of a conclusion tonight, and I am tired.  Please pray for me that I would seek wisdom in the next few weeks.  Good night.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Deep Breath

Swimming is quickly becoming part of my rhythm.  Wrapped in the cool quiet.  No sound, just water, breathing and thoughts.  Swimming is of course a loose term here, as I more float and glide then plow through the waters with a destination in mind.  The time passes quickly and I am sure that there is someone waiting for my lane.  As a child I was not a strong swimmer, I could get by but was spent by the time I reached the raft.  First times are always full of trepidation.  Can my body do it?  Will it hold me?  Can I hold it?  Stepping out on the water with nothing but trust and hope.  I watched Leif jump off the diving board last week at swimming lessons, the goal to come back up on his own and tred water.  Needless to say I could barely watch, even though there were two swimming instructors in the water waiting for him to jump.  He was perfectly safe and in good, well trained hands.  My heart hit the back of my throat as he splashed in and the few moments that it took felt like an eternity, soon he broke back up through and the instructors cheered him and guided him back to the edge of the pool.  I breathed, realizing that I had been holding my breath with him as he hit the water.  He was breathless when he came to me at the end of the lesson.  Pride swelled from every fiber of his being, the feeling of accomplishment and bravery evident.  I realized that I had almost robbed him of this moment, wanting to protect even though he was safe.  I could have asked him not to do it, but then he would not have known what he was capable of.   My protecting him could ultimately hurt him.  One day he will jump in when there are no swimming instructors to cheer him and guide him.  One day he dive into a life of his own.  Will I have protected him too much?  Or shall I let him step out on the waters while it is still safe to see what he can do.  If it will hold.  Tomorrow I jump into something new.  Organization has never been something that drives me, but leadership and family do.  This VBS is a stepping out on the waters for me.  My only prayer is that as a dive in there will be someone cheering and guiding me along.  Deep breath.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Folding the fitted sheets.

The children are playing in the laundry, so far they have showed enough restraint to stay away from my folded piles and are currently rolling in the pile of fitted sheets that I always put off till last.  Meticulous work that is not creative bothers me, and fitted sheets seem to embody that kind of work for me.  They don't take long and once they are done the laundry pile shrinks impressively, but it always takes a while to get to it.  Perhaps that is a good analogy for what is happening within.  I am finally touching the parts of me that I have been constantly setting aside, avoiding, preferring other things over.  It interesting how people respond when you start doing the deep work, those responses trigger emotions and memories that seemed long forgotten.  I I am trying to journal more to work through these thoughts, this blog in an extension of that, no more.  I don't do it for likes or comments, but rather for myself.  Sifting through thoughts and emotions, I have been tempted to stop this public sifting, but I believe that there is something to transparency.  That perhaps one of the personal things that I share might resonate with someone else and let them know that are not alone in their journey.  There is an ungaurdedness in this, which for me is big.  Those of you who truly know me know how infrequently I share my emotions, it is protective response to things long past, but something I have not been able to shake.  I see danger in emotion that left unchecked, to open myself wide is to leave unguarded the tender spots.  This is why I must be transparent, to open wide and not fear.  Sideways glances have always gotten to me, I am a straight talker, and the idea of muffled tones bothers me.    I watch my children as they play, they have not learned that skill yet.  They are honest and sweet.  Zeke is gone this week and I miss him, but I think that Leif misses him more.  Everyday he asks when Zeke will be home.  Theirs is not the love/hate relationship that some siblings have, just love.  I am grateful for this, and pray that it continues to be this way.  Please remember:  "This blog is merely a creative outlet for my soul. A journal posted to the public. This may not meet your expectations, but I do hope that you can go on this journey with me as I attempt to give light to the inner dialog of my mind and share openly the state of my heart. Be gentle."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

If only....................

I got what I wanted.  This is it, the life I pined for in my early twenties, overtaken with romanticism and optimism.  I wanted a husband, children, to be a stay at home mom and to live in community.  But the romantic in me never saw the details, the day to day reality, the tole of events.  But perhaps every young person is fraught with the "If only" delusion.  If only I were married.....  If only I graduate college..........  If only I have kids......  If only I were a home owner.....  If only, if only, if only...........  Sorry to say honey but if you are jacked up before the "If onlys" no amount of these things will make it better, as a matter of fact they might make it worse.  Got body issues?  Try pushing out a few babies and then see how you feel.  Have a hard time keeping a budget, a house is a dream.  Look to relationships to fill the void?  What an unfair burden to place on a spouse.  You see I got what I wanted and whole lot more.  I got the muffin top (and while I love muffins, not this kind), I got the house full of life (and cheese wrappers, applesauce pouches, laundry and dishes), I am a homeowner (pain in the butt), I live in community (death by consensus), I got a great husband (who is human) and I stay home with the kids (I live in pajamas).  It doesn't look the way I imagined it, it doesn't feel like I have arrived or that I am suddenly fulfilled.  On the contrary I still deal with the same issues that I always have, only now I have a husband, 3 kids, and 7 housemates to reflect them back at me.  So why do I say all this?  I got what I wanted and still need something more, something that no "If onlys" will fix.  I am working on my stuff, but it is harder with the demands of life, family and community.  Only God can help me sort through the junk drawers of my life, but I do think that it may have been simpler if I had cleaned house before moving all these lives into mine.   I love my life, and I got what I wanted, but the work is not done.  So for those of you who are constantly looking to the "If onlys" in life to find meaning, please consider getting your crap in order before inviting other human beings into your mess. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Remembering Joi

I remember you.  I remember your Joy, your love, your compassion.  I will continue to remember you.  Not all is rose colored, least of all your life, but oh how the tone suited you.  You taught my children about Jesus, you loved without reserve.  Oh that you would have saved some of that love for yourself.  I hope that now you are well loved, whole and complete, that the wounds have finally been healed.  We balance between darkness and light, and even though the darkness got the last moment, light dominated your existence.  Things have not been the same since you have left us sweet friend, as well they shouldn't be, you have left your fingerprints on our hearts, and I hope to never erase them.  Rest sweet Joi, we will see you soon.