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Category Archives: Reflection

This Is My Life

This is my life
Its not what it was before
All these feelings I’ve shared
And these are my dreams
That I’d never lived before
Somebody shake me
Cause I, I must be sleeping

Now that we’re here,
It’s so far away
All the struggle we thought was in vain
All the mistakes,
One life contained
They all finally start to go away
Now that we’re here its so far away
And I feel like I can face the day
I can forgive and I’m not ashamed to be the person that I am today.

– Staind, “So Far Away”

So it’s been a month.  And I’m wondering when I will stop comparing this life to the last, when I will stop saying, “It’s been ___ months now.”  I cannot deny that I’m so much happier, that pretty much everyone is so much happier.  It’s such an odd state of affairs.  Most people’s response to the news is, “I’m sorry.”  But I can’t respond the same.  And I’m not ashamed.  Of course, there are parts of me, corners of my heart that will always be sorry, that will most likely always be sad, but not really for the same reasons that other people are for us.

We’re making it through, and it’s not as tough as I thought it would be.  A month ago really does seem so far away and the change in my heart has happened quickly.  There are places in there that have been awakened that I never even knew existed, or perhaps forgot they existed. Most days that awakening overcomes all of the hurt, the pain and doubt.

There is still so much uncertainty, but that’s ok.  The uncertainty will strengthen my faith (hopefully soon) and keep my fire burning.  I’m learning to embrace the uncertainty, to accept that it’s ok to not know what the rest of my life looks like.  It’s totally fine to not know where I’m supposed to go from here.  It’s ok to know what I desire so desperately and to not know if that’s in God’s plans for my life.  It hurts some, and that’s ok too.  I have to accept that this is my life and while it is so vastly different from what I ever wanted, while it is not in any shape or form what it once was, it’s still mine…and it’s still life. It’s good.  It’s  blessed.  And there is so much more of it to live.

“Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself”

Miguel de Unamuno

 

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Peace Amidst the Chaos

I thought it was going to be a relief. I had gotten to such a point of being ready that when the event actually took place, somehow I wasn’t. It was turmoil. It was chaos. The night of the move, we didn’t get done until about 10p.m. Nothing had gone right. We didn’t get the moving truck until around 11 a.m., but I had been up since 7 packing and cleaning (The Husband did help)…to not much avail really. The cable guys spent 5 hours installing cable and somehow after they left, my internet worked, but my parents’ didn’t. The contractor we had doing lots of work in the space where the girls and I are was out to put in the heat. My bed got destroyed and we had to go buy a new one. It was ridiculous.

The moment I finally laid down on my new bed in my new space with the girls some 10 feet away finally snoozing after a long day, I felt the devastation, the heartbreak, the sadness, the loneliness. It wasn’t home. Even though I’d lived here for about 22 years of my life, it wasn’t home anymore. And there was no one beside me in that big bed. The sheets were new. The pillows were new. They didn’t have the same smell as my old ones. It was so dark in that room and so very quiet.  I remember the feeling.  It was the same feeling I had after we made the decision to let our baby boy go to heaven.  It was an inescapable pain…grief, crushing.  Something did die.  Maybe that is why I had those feelings.  After a while I did finally drift in and out of sleep.

I didn’t go back to the house until Sunday evening, just to pick up a few things.  There was so much we left behind and had yet to go clean up/pick up.  It was dark when I went.  When I walked through the door, I was taken aback.  As I walked through the house, cutting on all the lights, my breath got quicker and shorter.  My eyes watered until I couldn’t hold back the flood.  Our house that, what seemed like seconds ago, was a home was not a home anymore.  It was chaos.  It was empty.  My moaning cries echoed on empty walls and floors.  There was no laughter, no pitter patter of footsteps, no family.  Just trash piles, things left behind, and memories.  In my head, I could see the goings on from before, the girls running back and forth or dancing to music in the living room, The Husband planted in front of the tv.  I left.  I picked up what I needed and left.  I decided that I couldn’t go back there alone anymore.  After sitting on the steps to the patio for a few minutes, trying my best to pull myself together before I went to see the girls, I finally got in the car to go home…my new home, our new home, or what I had to accept as my new home.

Almost a week later, and the girls and I are adjusting.  It’s still chaotic, but we are all making it pretty well.  It will take time to settle in, find places for everything, and for the aftermath to pass.  And it is starting already to feel a bit like home.  I know it will still be hard when we go to finish cleaning out the house, but I will have someone with me to help keep me focused on the tasks at hand.  And when we close the door to that house for the last time, I will have to accept that I closed the door on that chapter of my life and that I made the decision to do so out of love, love of all of us.  And no matter what consequences come from that decision, I am prepared to face them, and I have wonderful friends and family to help me face them, to help us face them.  Most importantly, it doesn’t matter what we endure.  I know that God is with us wherever we go, whatever we do.  And I know that healing will happen…even though it may not seem like it right now.  And with that, I have peace.

My Norma Jean

“Look, mommy! Look! Look at my dress!”

My first thought is, How absolutely adorable! I must take a picture! My second thought?  Please, God, don’t let her turn out like Marilyn Monroe! I often think about them all grown up.  Who will they become?  What am I doing now that will make them who they will become?  And while the look of Baby Love standing in front of a vent with her chubby little legs posed perfectly in high heels and her dress flying up is the sight of innocence and life and all things wonderful, I worry where that innocence will go…and when.  And I pray.  I pray a lot.  And for a lot of things.  But I probably pray the most for my girls…especially now.

I used to think being a part of the beautiful people would make my life so much better.  There would be so much less that I’d have to worry about.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the beautiful people weren’t all that beautiful anyway and they had the same struggles and problems that I did.  In many ways they had even more.  I hope that my girls will be blessed by their beauty and that their “beautiful people” will be on the inside.  Surely, no other beauty really matters.

 

 

 

I Know A Girl (or Two)

I know a girl.  She puts the color inside of my world.

But she’s just like a maze, where all of the walls all continually change.

And I’ve done all I can to stand on the steps with my heart in my hand.

Now I”m starting to see, maybe it’s got nothin’ to do with me.

– John Mayer, “Daughters”

 

It’s no secret that I absolutely 100% adore my girls.  I am head-over-heels in love with them both.  They make me a better person, a better woman, a better mother.  They hold so much wisdom, intuition, and strength in their sweet little hearts that it brings tears to my eyes.  They’ve endured a lot…both of them.  They may not have had to deal with illness or starvation or homelessness, but they were each born more mature than their years.  Their perception of their lives is almost frightening.  I am so blessed.  I am so fortunate that they were given to me.  Each of them have provided nurturing in my times of need, wisdom in my times of distress, joy in my times of sadness.  It is hard to believe that creatures so small, so  young and inexperienced can give so much more to me than I give to them…without ever knowing it.

They are amazing.  They are beautiful.  They are life.

 

 

 

Peace

O, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.

– “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid. There is Someone who knows how to turn on the lights.

– Unkown

The last post I did should have been posted last week, the Advent week of Hope.  This past Sunday began the Advent week of Peace.  I can’t remember the last time I was peaceful.  Noise.  Tension.  Busyness.  Stress. Strife. Torment.  Unrest.  All words that have pervaded my life for months and months.  There have been many times, many seasons, where I have not had peace, but this season has been one of the most unpeaceful of them all.  This Christmas will be unlike any other.  I suppose each Christmas season is different in some ways, but generally they are the same.  For our family, this Christmas will bring joy and sadness.  It will be markedly different.  It will be a time of unrest.

I think we often make decisions based on the guidance of the outside world, and while the people in our lives often give good guidance and advice, decisions are ultimately ours to make.  And sometimes that is hard…more than hard.  Often they are not decisions we are peaceful about.  I have been in the midst of one such decision for months now.  But I have had to remember that God is a God of Peace, and so I finally laid my decision in His hands.  So whether my decision is good or bad, I know that I can still have peace.  Most days are not peaceful, but I have peaceful moments, and for now…in this moment, I can say with this decision, my heart is at rest.  My heart is at rest because I do not have to be afraid.  Despite whatever darkness I experience when the moments of peace pass, I believe that God is faithful…and He will turn on the lights.

 

Hope Floats

“She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will… ”

-“Hope Floats”

It’s been a long time since I’ve had time to write a personal post.  In many ways I am so thankful, but it has been an eventful few months.

There has been a recurring theme of hope in my life.  When I feel like the bottom has dropped out and the sky is crashing down upon me, hope seems to reappear.  One of God’s greatest gifts I believe.  And as this year comes to a close, and there is a season’s end approaching and a new beginning awaits, I am filled with hope for my life.  This ending will most definitely be sad and the beginning, certainly scary.  The hope is what’s in the middle, and it’s sure to make all the scary, uncertain, sad parts worth it.

 

Time in a Bottle

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Benjamin Franklin

“I want to be a grown up like you,” she said in the dark.

“No you don’t. You want to be a kid forever and ever,” I told her quietly.

“How many years are you, mommy?”

“29.”

“Wow, I definitely want to be that number,” she whispered softly and yawning, almost as if it were this dreamy number where the girl turns into a princess and gets whisked away by the prince.  She rubbed her eyes, and I wished her sweet dreams.

And so it has begun, I thought.

It saddens me now, my eagerness to be so grown.  I understand now what was so important about my childhood.  And I am saddened by this whole process of growing older, not because I don’t want to look older, but because I can’t be younger.  Sure, I can still act young and do young things, but I still have to act older.  I have responsibilities.  Duties.  Bills.  We spend 15-20 years of our lives trying to be adults.  And then we spend at least 40 trying to relive our childhood in any way we can (that is if we had a good one I suppose).

I have been somewhat taken aback recently as I look at myself in the mirror.  My face, while fairly wrinkleless, still shows signs of age.  I look different from how I picture myself in my head.  The other day Baby Love and I found ourselves in the midst of a bunch of high school kids coming to our local college to visit representatives from other colleges.  As we both watched them pass, laughing and talking amongst themselves, I found myself desiring to walk amongst them, for in my head, I am still one of them and I on some levels view them on the same playing field of life as me, or vice versa maybe.  Yet, they look at me so differently.  As they walked, and watched Baby Love play on the bricks, they looked at me like an adult, a mother, perhaps a wife, but most importantly older and not in the same stage of life as them.  And honestly, I was not happy with their looking, with what I saw on their faces.  It wasn’t mean or hostile.  It wasn’t mockery or rudeness.  It was simply how I looked at someone my age when I was in high school.  And I was sad.  And I am sad.

I know my children will do exactly as all children do and have done for centuries.  They will play mommy and doctor and teacher.  They will desire to do all the things the older children do.  They, too, will not be able to see with their eyes open until they are older and it is too late to go back.  They will want to grow up.

The thing about childhood is it is the period when we spend our time the best, not squandering it at a computer or in front of a tv, at work or paying bills.  It’s the time when we’re freest, the time when we’re best able to explore and learn.  It’s a few short years of really enjoying life in its simplest and purest state.  And unfortunately, there is absolutely no getting that back.  I will always encourage my children to remain children for as long as they can.  I refuse to allow our home and our lives to be conducive to inappropriate aging.  I know they will grow up, but they don’t need to do it too soon.

A little different today.  I couldn’t have a post without a picture!  This is actually a collage that I did while at North Carolina School for the Arts in 1996.  As you may can see, I had issues with time then too.