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FOR LONGING

John O’Donohue

Blessed be the longing that brought you here 

And quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire

That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease

To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –

Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

May the one you long for long for you.

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

May a secret Providence guide your though and nurture your feeling.

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.

May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

A few key lines jump out at me this morning as I read this, most, lovely book.  They point to a fork in the road I have ended up at more than a few times as I have journeyed this life.  In the past I would stopped at this fork….stood there paralyzed…. and then would have turned around to go back from the way I came.  I was too afraid to choose…..or even ask….”Which way Lord, right or left?”  I was, also, more afraid of the answer He would give me….smile!

The line,

“May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease…to discover the new direction your longing wants to take.”

 I confess, I loathe change.  Even more so, unease, in the process of change.  This past year has been about the unease in the deepest part of my soul.  Making decisions for my life that are very different from what other people are doing.  I long for the days, at times, of not caring…being nominal….sitting on the bench with everyone else….but I am not called to this.  Actually, I have never been like everybody else.  It cost to be different.  It is very lonely at times.  I continue to push on…even though I am tired and do not want to, knowing that where I am headed is who God has destined me to be.  Even if I do not understand it or if people question it.  The unease to be different….but the greater ache to be like everyone else….keeps me pursuing that still small voice that begs me to, “Come on”….”Don’t stop now.”

The line,

“May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.”

I am damaged.  This is a fact.  Digging up the past, in order to move forward is beyond unpleasant.  Every part of me wants to run and hide.  I do not want to change. It costs too much. It is so painful.  But, when it is more painful to stay the same, you know you are almost to the top.  You know in your gut that victory is close.  I tell myself this….because every ounce of me wants to give up and remain the same damaged person I always have been.  How scandalous is that?  When there is freedom from this if I will just die to self….press into God and hold on as He strips away all the “crap” that must go….in order for Him to make me whole….free….how can I say no to Him?

Today is a new day.

I pray for courage to be honest with myself.

To stay put in this process and not run and hide.

I do long to be all that He created me to be when He first thought of me,

before time began.

I celebrate what God sees that I can’t.

Today.

When we cannot bear to be alone,

it means we do not properly value

the only companion we will have

from birth to death ~ourselves.  

~Eda LeShan~

I love this quote because it is TRUTH!

When things are not going good…..when the panic button is pressed due to my frayed emotional interior…..and I do my familiar “run and hide”…..no matter where I try to flee….I take me.

The flip side

Learning to care for me

To value who I am

What I have to offer

Give

Choosing to believe who God says I am.

Carving out time….alone…..to get to know me.

Not the girl that wears all the hats….

spins all the plates…..runs herself into the ground.

But,

The girl I am finally getting to know…..after all these years.

Why?

Because she’s worth getting to know.

I used to feel so sad when I would notice people sitting alone….all by themselves.  I wondered how they did it.  Did they not have friends.  Did they go home to an empty house.  What was their story.

Solitude is not the scary discipline, I once thought.

Reshaping my life to include this time with and for myself….listening to God…..enjoying nature….a walk….rest….I find, takes a ruthless act of my will.  Real and lasting change can only come from allowing myself the time to listen, ask questions, reflect, and contemplate in the loving care of my time alone with “The One” who waits for me.  When I neglect myself….this precious time….I become lost….unfocused…..wayword…..purposeless.

I can no longer afford to not be vigilant and fight for this much needed time alone…..can you?


It is good to have an end to journey toward;

but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

~Ursula K. Le Guin~


When I started out as a young adult…..I never looked at life as being a journey.  I remember thinking that when I was 39 I would be married 20 years….and be SO, SO, OLD.  Tragically old.  Well, that marriage ended at 14 years….and here I am …in my head feeling 25….my face saying something completely different.

Tomorrow my Davis turns 18.

 How did that happen?

 I still remember, clearly, cleaning the house from top to bottom on May 13th, knowing this little person was to be born the next day. When he finally arrived early the next morning I held him close….kissed all his fingers and toes….the top of his little head….his precious sweet face and couldn’t even imagine him, one day, being taller than me.

That journey is ending,

A new one beginning.

What will it look like for Davis as an adult.

What will I pray him through.

Walk with him through.

Cheer him on to.

What will I have to keep my mouth shut about,

Knowing he has to make his own choices

Some I won’t like or approve of.

Nevertheless,

I will be there for him….like I always have….and always will be.

Reminder to self:

I will make many more mistakes.

This transition from boy to man will be painful for me.

So here I go,

Taking a running leap and jumping off the cliff into adulthood with him.

I think he would like that,

Maybe even be proud of me.

Here’s to a new journey!

Basketball practice, for Daeden this afternoon, was the first chance I’ve had to myself today….minus Deke and a gym full of little boys yelling and screaming at each other while shooting hoops.  On the bench we sat, Deke with his crackers, playing Fruit Ninja on my phone, as I cracked open a magazine I have been dragging around with me for moments such as these.  I read a lot….I just do not have time for magazines.  So as I am flipping through the pages I see this article,

“THINK LIKE A MAN”,

by Beth Levine.

Since I live with two little boys and five men, naturally, this grabs my attention.  She states, “If you want to boost your well-being, take a cue from the guys.”

I’m thinkin, “I live with guys….please explain yourself.”  

Her reasoning is that even though men and women obviously are different, if we can move beyond the stereotypical Mars Vs Venus views, we find that the sexes, actually, have quite a bit we can teach each other, and women don’t necessarily have the upper hand.

I know girls.

I know exactly what you are thinking!

So here we go.

The five things men can teach us.

DRUMROLL PLEASE

MEN DON’T WORRY OBSESSIVELY

MEN DON’T FEAR WORKPLACE CLASHES

MEN AREN’T PERFECTIONISTS

MEN DON’T NITPICK ABOUT THEIR LOOKS

MEN ASK FOR WHAT THEY WANT

You have to read the whole article, but, I think she’s on to something here.

I can say without a doubt that all five are true in some way, shape or form with the guys I live with.  They are obsessive about power tools, who can fart or burp the loudest and longest, and how the grass is cut…but that is about it.  Some of my guys are not real confrontational….but when it comes to work…..they don’t have time for petty clashes like woman do.  I wish they were perfectionists about SOMETHING.  Although hair is a big deal in my house….big hair….that’s about it.  Last but not least….they have no problem telling me what they want or what I did not do.  They have never beat around the bush about ANYTHING…..they tell it like it is.

So thanks Beth for a quick, concise, afternoon read!

What do you think?

Laughter….

IF EVERY WORD I SAID COULD MAKE YOU LAUGH,

I’D TALK FOREVER….

These two make me believe even more in the sovereignty of God.

That His plans do not always line up with mine….

But are SO WAY better.

Eight and five

Does it get any better than that!

We spend days reading books, laughing, hunting for lizards,

watching Phineas and Ferb.

We scooter and bike ride, chase butterflies,

bird watch, have endless conversations about Master Yoda and Luke,

Thor, and Classic Batman.

Hiking the last couple of days….smile.

ENDLESS

questions about Jesus and how big His cross was that He died on,

God and why He made armadillos

the sun so bright

Dinosaurs

What happens to animals when they die

Where do they go

are they happy

How can God listen to EVERYBODY at the same time

Will I be their mommy in heaven

Sometimes I just have no answers.

Some evenings we make daddy drive us downtown to go skunk hunting

after we buy Dairy Queen, of course.

I might add….

burping, farting, and other noises that only little

boys can make.

The occasional yelling, screaming and not wanting to share that can happen

on any given day.

But their laughter and smiles I live for!

Life with boys

FABULOUS

Do Overs….

“If I had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later. I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.  I’d do more hugging and less tugging.

~Diane Loomans~

The last year has been spent really looking at my interior life.  Feeling.  Being honest with myself.  Owning what is mine to own and letting go of what isn’t.  Grieving past mistakes.  Allowing God to reshape me.  Being pruned back to nothing.  Painful, yet freeing.

I’ve spent some time rethinking the way I parented my older four and realize I have made monumental mistakes in how I related to them….reacted at times…..disciplined…..and communicated truth and love to them.

I cannot change what I did and did not do.  This has brought me many times to tears.  I was very young when I had my first child.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I just knew I loved him with all of my being.  I had four in six years.  And they were ALL BOYS!!  Even though I adored them immensely, they were loud, messy and life was crazy….and still is on most days.  I had to get things under control…..sad smile.  I ran a tight ship.  I had to.  Or I thought I did, at the time.  Then their dad left and pieces of me went with him.  Alone, tired, being dad and mom, provider, educator, protector, cheerleader…..just way too many hats for one woman.  Mistakes were made.  How could they not.

No excuses.

In four days, my youngest of the first four will turn 18.  He believes this will change everything for him…smile.  He, in some ways, is right.  I will, technically, have four adult sons.  This moves me slightly, I have to admit.  I remember thinking this day would take FOREVER to get here…..I would have time……and now I am at the door….and it’s being opened for me….

even if I don’t want it to.

As I was praying the other day after reading this poem….I cried…..really cried…..hard.  Cried for all I missed…..made a big deal about….got mad about….for the days I was cranky…..unloving….didn’t listen…..said unkind words…..was consumed with myself…..and a host of other things.

I cried out,

“It’s too late, Father God, to fly kites and take hikes.

It’s over…..this time is screeching to a halt and I can’t make it stop.

And then I heard this still small voice say to me….

“Who said it’s over.”  

“Go buy the kite.”

BEFORE SLEEP

John O’Donohue

As I lay down to sleep,

May the guardian angel watch over me,

Coaxing all my cares to unravel into peace.

As darkness within

Is wed to darkness without, freed from the weight of light,

Let my eyes sleep, relieved from all intensities.

Let my imagination

Trawl the compressed seas, to bless the dawn

With a generous catch, of luminous dream.

May this new night of rest

Repair the wear of time and restore youth of heart

For the adventure that awaits tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Monday Morning Prayer didn’t happen….

After a long fabulous Mother’s day and night

I was up way too early…

First, to a dead little bird

that Dustin and I were trying to save.

Then

Breakfast muffins and cereal made.

Watching two more little boys, for the day, for a friend….

with more laundry than any one woman should ever have to do

…..bill paying with not enough money…..

a call from Dylan stuck on the 91 freeway

car broken again.

Sent Davis to rescue him, 

But ended up having to

meet them and wait for AAA to come and tow the car to mechanics.

Dumped a few bucks in the bank and made a

quick run to grocery store to pick up lunch.

Macaroni and cheese with hot dogs,

chocolate chip cookies.

Made a card for my neighbor

and took her flowers from the wedding yesterday

hoping to put a smile on her face

since she found out last week her cancer has spread.

Cleaned out the aviary

without getting pooped on.

Major accomplishment!

All this before 2:00 pm

My heart is heavy today

….And I’m not even close to being done….

I need rest

solitude

So that when I get up and do it all over again tomorrow

I can do it with a smile!

Blessings on your evening!