"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
First, it's important to differentiate 'confessions' from 'random stuff'. Confessions are things that maybe not a lot of people know... maybe even just one or two know, or maybe no one at all knows. That sometimes makes confessions hard to disclose. Whereas, random stuff is just that. And that's easy.
1. I don't always sleep well at night.
2. I think that's because of all the coffee I drink all day.
3. But sometimes I think it's more.
4. I still love double-stuffed oreos. And consume them shamelessly.
5. I find it hard to like disrespectful children, even when it's not me they're being disrespectful to.
6. (Not only do I daydream, but I like it.)
7. I find that embarrassing.
8. Like my son, I can always tell when I'm lieing.
9. I laugh easily.
10. In fact, I'm prone to uncontrollable fits of hysteria. The contagious type.
11. In the middle of the night.
12. I find that fun, not embarrassing.
13. And really? I don't lie. Because everyone could tell. And because it's just not nice.
14. I can understand both sides of an argument. We've called this being "gray". Some might see me as wishy-washy, but because I'm actually strong, that doesn't bother me because giving credence to both sides of an argument is just being fair.
15. I forgive too easily. "Too" easily because I think it sets me up for being taken advantage of. But I do it anyway because in any successful relationship, forgiveness is necessary. It also requires too much energy to hang on to grudges.
16. I forgive, but I don't forget much. (Is that the same as holding a grudge?) I might never ever bring it back up, so you might think I've forgotten, but I haven't. I don't bring it back up, and I won't hold it against you because I've truly forgiven. (So, no, then. I don't hold grudges. I just remember well.)
17. I love the book The Little Prince, and the movie Finding Nemo, both because they are really stories with meanings meant for adults hidden under the guise of being fairytales.
18. I am almost compulsive (ok, ok... I AM compulsive) about how to load the dishwasher and how to fold clothes. This is a huge cog in my wheel of house-keeping because these things just HAVE to be done a certain way. Which means, others can't do it. Sorry.
19. I put on my favorite perfume before I go to bed.
This is the church I attended as I was growing up. It is "the first church" of Monticello, and this July, it will be 200 years old.
I remember when this stained glass piece was put in. It lights from behind, and it's beautiful.
This is my sister with my children and our nephews, sitting at the foot of the alter where I was married...
And from where I received communion. And in front of which I celebrated Christmas and Easter and Christ's life. And this July, this church will be closing it's doors. It's congregation has dwindled; it's tithing not enough to support it's existence.
While this is sad, tragically sad, it's important to remember where Christ's work really takes place. The literal church is a building, created by man -in which wonderful things happen-but still, created by man. A place to celebrate, to remember, to meditate, to share fellowship; to repent, to forgive, to receive, to promise, to praise, to grow, to share. All these things are nurtured here. They are expected to be nurtured here. But they can (and should) also be nurtured in our homes. And in our yards, and in our cars, and in our schools, and in our families, and in our friendships. And within ourselves. Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16
(I blog-lifted this song from Kimba... thanks for sharing, girl.)
I seem to have lost my voice. I know it's here somewhere... there's just so much chaos right now cluttering my thoughts, that I can't seem to find her.
May is always rough... end of the school year, preparing for summer break. Top that with snakes and car accidents, funerals and 70th birthday parties, graduation and good-byes... and well, chaos. I know these little 'prickly' days challenge me in growth, and I should appreciate their beauty as I do the easy daisies... (pun totally intended!)
But that is sometimes a challenge in and of itself.
So, I will remember to breathe,
in and out,
and learn to love the prickly days, too.
Breathe In Breath Out
Do you ever wanna run away? Feel like every day is not your day Do you ever find yourself out in the cold no were to go If the world has ever cut you deep If the scars never seem to heal If the emptiness is way to much for you all you can do
Just breathe in breathe out that's a moment in your life Breathe in breathe out it’s a wonderful night
No matter where the seasons fall No matter how the dice will roll In the end the here and now is all we have don’t look back
Just breathe in breathe out that's a moment in your life Breathe in breathe out it’s a wonderful night
A hundred million times x2
Just breathe in breathe out that's a moment in your life Breathe in breathe out it’s a wonderful night x2
Ya know, it actually didn't start out so bad. It was raining again, but I've been having fun lately taking pictures in the rain.They are so much more dramatic...
..so I didn't mind that. Enjoyed it, actually. I stopped along the way and took these...
And yes, I really live here.
In the country.
It wasn't really until I picked up the kids... but, then, isn't that always when it starts to happen??
She was late, which knocked the bottom card out of our house-of-cards-schedule... So I was a bit late getting J-man to his batting cages. But we got there, and I went on to my errands... I had 15 minutes before I needed to pick him up, and decided that that wasn't enough time to go to the collision center (another story) for their estimate, but I could probably get to the post office. So off I went.
I pulled out the late birthdays presents and closed my hatch, and started towards the post office, when I heard it. CRUNCH. My heart sank, 'cause I just knew what it was. Yup. 'Bless her heart' as they say here, but she had backed right into my front end. Can I just tell you, this is the third (THIRD) time I've been hit in the last two (TWO) months?! Being the expert that I now am, I had the necessary info within minutes, and was on my way to pick-up my son. When we got to the collision center, the guy there asked me my name, and I said, "YOU can call me 'Lucky'!"
So, with 3 of my 4 sides scratched, smashed, crunched and now fixed or about to be fixed... I breathe a sigh of relief, and headed home. I knew something was funny when I pulled into the driveway and saw my husband's pick-up NOT in the garage and my other two little ones sitting on the edged of the bed... feet up... looking down in....
Oh.yes.he.did. Austin, AKA the Crocodile Hunter in these here parts, has taught us all the value of life. All life. Even reptilian life. Dad rescued this critter from the sure fate of death by rubber, and brought him home "for the kids"!
Now, because of this experience... I insisted "NO.SNAKES.IN.THE.HOUSE."
... And went inside for one of these... even though I knew I was already cooking with Port tonight.
After dinner, I decided to finish the laundry I'd started earlier in the day... Ya know, the laundry all over the living room? And instead of finding folded and non-folded clothes on my couch....
... looky what I found... all coiled up and hissin'....
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Okay, so, this might age me... but I remember my mother making me sit down and watch the news when I was a very young girl (like, very young-a baby, even!). A man had just stepped foot on the moon. A man on the moon! How impossible... and so science-fiction-ish to my parents.
So started my fascination with our space program. If you think about it, 40 years later, it still inspires awe... what else can we say does that? We took an idea, and without limitations, asked a group of people to make something happen. These men and women problem-solved every aspect, they jumped every hurdle, climbed every mountain, bridged every gap and found. a. solution. That alone is inspiring.
Today, it seems, we think inside boxes. And far too often, we teach our children in this manner. In business and in science, there are limitations always.... maybe it's money, maybe politics... maybe something else. The solutions to problems are difficult to find... How long have we been trying to find a cure for cancer? Diabetes? Spinal Cord injuries? Hunger? The solutions to these problems are there... we just have to think outside the box. Think of the possibilities, rather than the impossibilities. If we can find a way to push human life off the earth, set it on a specific path, and bring it home alive, what can't we do?
And I think, how incredible it would be if I could teach my children this thing: think without limits... live without limits... love without limits... dream without limits... What could they do? What problems would they solve? What diseases could they cure? What mountains could they conquer? What dreams would they accomplish? How happy could they be?
This I know: to truly live to the fullest, we must abandon the idea of limits.
Ever have one of those moments where you are stretched?
Not molded, which is to be pushed and shaped and formed by something... an experience... a person... This is different. This is from within.
I've placed myself in a position that is forcing me to stretch. I could step out of it (it would be so much easier), but I won't. I will stay put and reach to become the person who can handle this. I'm not really comfortable, but that's okay, because I am reaching and changing and in the end, I know it will make me better.
I will continue to bend toward the light, reaching forth to make the right choices, no matter how hard, so that my petals might open and drink in the warmth of knowing that I've done right. Stretching is hard... it's uncomfortable and sometimes hurts.
You get to a point where you just want to stop, to recoil, to nurture the pain.
But growth doesn't occur with recoil; it happens with stretch. So I will gladly stay here, and reach for my toes, or reach for the sun, or both.
I'm not really sure what it is. My husband is lovingly calling it MLC (affectionately, mid-life crisis). It's been a rough year, as the school calendar runs. I'm not really comfortable in my own skin anymore. I'm wanting more in everything.
My body is showing signs of age, but my heart is still blossoming, still growing, still beating like a young school-girl's. And so, it only makes sense, that when I saw this post, I felt a little jolt - my heart skipped a little beat. I wasn't sure what it was, so I went back repeatedly, just looking at the picture and the title: Girl Power. Girl Power!
Remember the joys you felt as a child? A thought crossed your mind, you felt an impulse - and you just did it. You didn't contemplate it; you didn't weigh it out and wonder how it would fit in your life. You didn't "wait and see". You didn't consult anybody. You certainly didn't do it because there was laundry to do, or dinner to make, or a house to clean. You didn't even consider IF you could do it ... you just did it...
... and so I did.
And even though it was humbling to advertise my age on my calves, it was empowering, too. Yeah, I'm old. I'm even older than my calves say because the young chickies asked how old I was by last December. And I've had a birthday since then. Still, I was out there, with my 'tri-ing moms' friends, in the rain, and for the first time, attemping a sprint triathlon. I didn't train. I didn't hesitate because I was afraid. I didn't weigh how I would fit it all in. I didn't consider that I might not finish. I just did it. And I'm glad for it. I'm glad for how strong it made me feel.
So, when the 11 year old girl skipped past me, I cheered her on, "You Go, Girl!"
And then when I skipped past the 34 year old buff guy, I silently cheered me on, "You Go, Girl! ...
"Is there supposed to be a snake loose in the house?"
"No... why would you ask that?"
"Ummm... because there is?"
So we tramp up the stairs to meet Mr. Snake at the top, all coiled up and hissin'... I was sssstill very much in control. After all, this is Mr. Friendly ssssnake, the one Austin has caught twice now and we've fostered for a few days, and who apparently, got hisssself loose. But then, Sweet Playful Dog finds her way upstairs, all jumping and happy and seemingly assssking, "What's going on? What's going on? Can I play? Can I play?" The ssssnake freaks out and takes off all sliding and gross YUCK, and slithering DOWN my stairs! It moved ssssoooo quickly. J-man, laughing hisssssssterically, is saying, "I've got it, mom!" when clearly, he. did. not. Eventually, he did catch it by it'ssss tail, and let the little thing wrap itssssself around his arm. Ssssssilly boy, putting it up to my face and ssssaying,
"Moooom, " (ya know, like he'ssss all annoyed at moi), "it's just the ssssnake that's been missssing for four days."
In MY HOUSsssE?!"
"We didn't want to tell you because we thought you might freak out."
I was so completely stressed out because it is Wordless Wednesday and, well, I seem to have a lot I want to say! There's all sorts of sTuFf, like tHis and ThAt, but because it was a wonderful weekend, and I have all these random thoughts running through what's left of my brain cells, I thought I would just spew here. And so, I decided it doesn't have to be wordless Wednesday if I don't want it to be. Hope you don't mind. Actually, it could be fun.
First, of course, it was Easter, so we needed to prepare. Poor sweet thing, she was the only one interested. (Even if the "big boys" had agreed to help dye eggs, do you think they'd let me show you pictures here?)
So we boiled 18 eggs, 6 for each of them to decorate. She did all 18. Her creativity was impressive, and her images, telling... I think, even at 10, she's still a believer.
Then, Saturday, I became a mom of two teenagers... as if being mom to one wasn't hurting my self-esteem enough.
He's really oh-so handsome, and his hair is beautiful but maybe a little too long and easy to hide behind, and someone that handsome shouldn't hide behind his hair. Even if he is 13.
He chose Texas Roadhouse for his birthday dinner, one of my personal favorites for some attachment reasons (really, we'll save that for another post), and I was so excited because we could have some of this...
... and I could have some of this...
and we all could have some peanuts.
But, being a Saturday night, even at 5:30, there was a long line.
So we walked to WalMart. (I've told you how much I love -gag- WalMart?)
She played with this...
... and this.
He played with this.
And he tried that, too.
And because I saw this post, entitled "Girl Power" (and just who wouldn't read a post with that title?), and because I actually told him that I was contemplating competing in a triathlon (we'll save that for another post, too), he bought me a bike helmet. Ya know, to protect my pretty little head. I guess that commits me to the triathlon, right? (Did I ever tell you about the time I said to him that I might like to go to medical school and he went out and bought me all this first year equipment, like a stethescope, and that ear-flashlight thingy? He's supportive like that.)
And then our flashing pager thing went off, so we made our way back to the restaurant,
where we loved on each other a little.
Because we're like that.
And while I sipped on mine (see above), they sipped on theirs.
And my newly 13 year old let his dad take our picture. This was the best he could do, but I am patient with him, and you get the idea, right?
The newly 13 year old also tolerated being sung to by all the servers in the restaurant, I think just so he could get this...
Even though he knew he had this waiting at home, because we always have the expected surprise ice cream birthday cake on birthdays in our family.
"Then the rainstorm came over me, and I felt my spirit break. I had lost, all of my belief you see, and realized my mistake. But time threw a prayer to me. And all around me became still.
I need love; love's divine. Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind. Give me love; love is what I need to help me know my name.
Through the rainstorm came sanctuary, and I felt my spirit climb. I have found all of my reality; I realize what it takes.
I need love; love's divine. Please forgive me, now I see that I've been blind. Don't bend; don't break. Show me how to live and I promise I won't forsake. Well I've tried to say that nothing's wrong... The message is plain to see... "believe me"."