Friday, April 19, 2013

The YOU of my Life

Why do we make the hard things harder?

I am sure that we can come up with a million reasons and that they would be the same yet different for all of us.

It's weakness.

It's shame.

It's a history of hurt.

It's feelings of inadequacy.

It's embarrassment.

It's fear of failure.

It's that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that says you are no good, you are lazy, you are ridiculous, you are just plain dumb for feeling this way.

It's everything and nothing all at the same time.

And so today when I was feeling overcome........yet again........(((SIGH))) life and all the whos and whats of my life........I came to you...........

I had the beginnings of a headache, I was starting to feel nauseous, I was tired, I was irritable, I was pretty much being a horrible person and feeling every inch of that horribleness.



Until someone shared the post.

Until someone came with a Diet Vanilla Sonic.

Until someone else came and said I am here, what can I do?

Until someone texted that I was to breathe and that tonight was for adults so hold on.

Until someone hit like and then someone else did and then someone else, showing that no I wasn't the only one.

Until my husband was home and I was done and it was time to rest and get pretty for the night.



Thank you for being YOU.

My life without YOU is what is hard, is what makes the hard things harder.  With YOU there is no failure, there is no embarrassment, there is no weakness or shame or hurt or wondering.  For with YOU there is a resting place.  Thank always know who YOU are.

And so now the world is an easier place, and easier space...........the headache is gone, the nausea not there, the children and mama happy.........there has been an easing of tension, a feeling of solidarity in this world of parenting.

If you find yourself in need of a know where I am..........

I Know

Why is it always so surprising?  Why do these days sneak up on you and catch you unawares after seven short years filled with long days of motherhood?

Every two or three months I come to sit down, facing the computer screen, reaching out to you - the weary warriors of parenting.  For I know.  I do.  And I feel the need to remind us all that we all have days when the tears come easily, when you call a friend at 9:00 in the morning and say I am already tired of the day, when you shut yourself in your bedroom with children yelling, calling out your name and you think......I warned you, I have my limits too, my dear ones.  And so I come to you once again and tell you that I know.

I know what it's like to walk against the weight of a mighty, mighty child who's only wish for the day is to do the exact opposite of everything you are asking her to do that day.

 I know what it's like to hear the whines and screams and demands of what surely must be the most spoiled, privileged child in the world - DO THEY NOT KNOW HOW OTHER CHILDREN LIVE (well, of course not, because really do I WANT them to know the devastations of this world at the tender age of 5.......a bit of it but not all)!?!

 I know what it's like to have a child who is done, who is sensitive and hurt easily and has moments of crying easily and those moments can last the rest of the day due to weariness, due to this world just being too much and too filled, due to everything feeling like it's spiraling out of control.

So I know.

And I know that I, too, am that child.  I know the list that I have for today and everything in me is crying out NO, NO, NO.  Even the simplest things I just don't want to do.  I have activities to plan for Sunday, e-mails to send, laundry that needs to be folded, closets to organize, food to be cooked and I just don't want to, no good reason, really.

I know that I am SO spoiled and privileged.  I have a home.  I have a wonderful husband.  I have three healthy children.  If that was ALL I had then I would be SO BLESSED.  But I have MORE.  I have an abundance of family in the area.  We have no debt but our house.  We have amazing friends.  We have a church body that embraces and loves us.  We have freedom in every important way.  We have SO MUCH.  DO I NOT KNOW HOW LUCKY I AM?

And I know, oh my, what it feels like my own tiny world is spiraling out of control, when my feelings won't stay in the places I want them to - when my happy, calming thoughts quickly slide out of range and my overwrought ones replace them quickly and without warning.  I know what it feels like to have the very presence of people seem to be too much and I don't know why, all I know is that I must have a few minutes to breathe.

Oh, my dears, I know.  And when I say, my dears - I mean you and I mean my children.  We expect so much from our little ones, at times.  We expect them to be better than we are - to show the world what good parents we are, what good children they are.........all the while behind closed doors we are all just human, relying on the grace that God extends to us as His children, desperately hoping that others have known the same grace so that they may extend it to us at those times when our private persona leaks out into the public eye.

And so this is my space, the place where I pull back the curtain, the place where our private selves become a bit more public so that you can know, too.  You can know that grace is for everyone.  That grace comes from a perfect place but is not reserved for only the perfect, rather it is given freely to ALL who come and say I know.  I know the hard days.  I know the good days.  I know that I need more than I have, more than I can do, more than I can muster myself.

I love you all.

Please call or write or come over if you know, too.

Thank you for being on the other side of this screen, on the receiving end of my words.  It helps.  I love hearing your stories, your hearts.

So on this dreary, weary Friday................what is it that YOU know?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Another Year, Another Season

And so it begins......once again........the planting season is here.

The weather is getting warmer, the ground more pliant..............

There are workers that are reluctant, some are eager but all are stronger and older than they were the last year, the last season....

And so they watching, by doing, by imitating the one they love, the one they respect, the one who patiently teaches them how............

They shovel and dig.......................

They plant the seeds that will turn into food...................

They learn the skills that were taught long before they were conceived, even thought of..........

It is a new generation of planters and sowers and growers, workers harvesting the fields found in their own backyard........

And as it happens every year, I am reminded...........

I am reminded we are all workers - sometimes reluctant, sometimes eager - looking to the Father.  Watching to see how it's done, what to do, how to go about the planting and sowing and harvesting of the Kingdom - we are all children.

And so in this year, in this season........I am reminded.  I am reminded to look to the Father.  I am reminded to be patient when awaiting the first signs of life, the first glance of a sprout popping out of the ground.   I am reminded there is much work to be done.  I am reminded of the joy in working together.  I am reminded of the beauty of getting your hands dirty and bowing low.

What does this season mean to you?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Letting Go

There is a moment in every day where I get a bit choked up, I feel amazement and wonder and awe.  And I know that sometimes my thoughts and who I am is a bit much, a bit tedious because of all thoughts that fill my head in the most ordinary of moments.  But so often I find it to be such a gift to witness beauty in the ordinary things of life, the many moments that pass through our days.

And so every day at the school drop off there is a moment where a lump forms in my throat because I am a witness to the extraordinary act of letting go.

And I think...........look at these brave parents.  I see those who are on their way to work, dressed in the clothes of the working world - sprayed, polished and pressed.  Sometimes they are rushing in, rushing up - hurrying to get their little ones in the door so they may go in their own door, many miles away.

I see moms still in sweats, occasionally even pajamas, hair piled on top of their heads or behind.  There is little polish or shine to these women as they pull up but we've all been there and I am the last to judge on this front.  Many times the siblings are talking or crying or laughing or sleeping in the minivans as these moms rush in and up.

I see dads give hugs and high fives, looking long after the child has started to walk off.  Anyone who thinks dads are more apt to let go easily has not been witness to a morning drop-off.  They are not immune to the sight of big backpacks overtaking young children as they skip or trudge off to start their day.

I see so much love.  I see hope.  I see fear.  I see anger and frustration.  I see laughter.  I see trust.  I see gentle touches and lingering good-byes.

And I hard this is - this every day letting go.

Every day is a day gone by, a day of growing up, growing out, growing away.

I always wait and look.

My eyes following the backpack cradled on the back of the one I love.

My gaze lingers as I watch her walk up the school sidewalk and into the doors.

I try never to leave the school parking lot without taking one last look.

I am so proud of her.

I see how brave she is.

I see how beautiful she is.

I see how she will change her world because of her kindness, her gentle ways.

I see how much she is not mine.

She is not mine to cradle and keep.

She is not mine to protect from every little hurt.

She is not mine to cling to.

She is not mine.

She belongs to Him.

And I know that I am her home and her safe place and her place of love and her place of trust but she is not mine to keep forever.

And so every day there is a moment.........the moment where I acknowledge the letting go, the moment where I acknowledge that she is not mine, the daily evidence of her growing up, growing out and growing away.

And so every day at the school drop off there is that moment where a lump forms in my throat because I am witnessing the extraordinary act of all those parents letting go and the extraordinary children that are learning to walk on their own in this world.

How blessed I am to be a witness to something so extraordinary every single day of the week.

How I love to watch those brave parents and those brave children in the act of letting go.