Friday, May 29, 2009

Beauty in the everyday

I gave it up.  Spent months following a plan.  Never allowing it to be fully realized, the potential it could have held for me.  Feeling sorry for myself, wanting desperately to be able to rely on processed foods, the ease of picking something up to eat.  Hungry all the time, fearing I would start to resemble a nut.  I don't know when it happened.  Slowly, other foods crept in.  I gave myself permission to "just this time" eat something forbidden.  Here I am again.  Back to a place I didn't want to find myself.  Eating to my hearts content.  No self control.  Filling up til I'm beyond full.  I like feeling full.  Even though it makes me sick.  Back to thinking that it's just too hard to live otherwise.  And then my thoughts are drawn to a friend who laid his 46 year old son to rest last week.  

For 46 years my friend and his wife cared for a child that couldn't care for himself.  Year after year he was asked when they would be putting their son into a home.  List after list they placed their needy child on.  Time after time this child's name would rise to the top.  The answer given was always the same, the parents would say "not now".  Looking in from the outside it seemed an insurmountable burden to bear.  Caregivers needed round the clock for this child turned grown man.  

My friend now weeps daily for the loss of the presence of his child.  His one child that never left home.   I thought it would be a burden he would be able to give up willingly when the time came.  Freedom to not have to make plans around caregivers schedules.  Yet my friend so misses his son who could light up a room with his smile, though he comprehended little he gave much life to those around him.  My friend valued his son.  My friend rose each morning and did what he had to do because he understood the value of one life.  He woke up and did what he had to do in order to keep that one life living to his fullest potential. 

When I put my life in perspective my daily struggles seem so minor.  The inconveniences so small that challenge me.  I often think what if I didn't have a choice as to how I lived?  I don't have to rely on others for my everyday care.  I have limbs that work.  I am not confined by a wheelchair.  I can choose when to eat, what to eat.  Foods that will give me life or contribute to my mediocre state.  I need to give up my idealistic thinking that I will eventually get to a place where living is easy, pain-free, where it doesn't take work to exist.  I am blessed.  I am blessed when I wake up in the morning and I can lift my legs out of bed.  I am blessed when I am able to put a spoon to my mouth and chew.  I am blessed.  My friend was beyond blessed for seeing beauty in the everyday mundane tasks.  

We come with beautiful secrets
We come with purposes written on our hearts, written on our souls
We come to every new morning
With possibilities only we can hold, that only we can hold

Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

It comes in small inspirations
It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth...

~Add to the Beauty by Sara Groves


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

$40,000 should cover it

Anyone, anyone, $40,000 to spare
The house across town is up for sale.
Covet, Lord, I can't pretend not to
though I'd have to give up my dream of a basement-
at least the kind that has no spiders
dropping their spun webs down from the beams surrounding your head
threatening to choke you as you power along your treadmill walk... 

There is a dining room with space big enough
to feed those who just might wander in,
stairs that lead to rooms where you can stand up tall,
gathering spots that give you room to breathe-

did I mention the kitchen?  
It's open and airy
and I'm certain something that resembles a dishwasher 
(that isn't named Andy, Caleb, Lily or Moriah).

With each passing day as the kids grow a head taller
I have to reign in my frustrations of how smaller
our house appears with each minute and hour.
The master bedroom that can't be off limits 
as it leads to the attic which houses our son
along with boxes of stuff I can't seem to part with.

7 years ago this house seemed so perfect,
now awaiting a miracle to beam me up out of here!
Venting, yes I am venting before I implode, 
before the memories assault me and my willpower gives out
and stuck here forever we will be,
in our tiny little house
filled to the brim with love-
though peering inside you will see a wife, who is also a mother
brewing over what might have been
with your simple investment of $40,000. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Learning to breathe amidst the clutter

Sitting here paralyzed by a video I took last night.  Lily's dress rehearsal for her dance recital.  I can't stop rewinding.  I wasn't thinking and I ended up sitting on the wrong side to get the ending pose.  I can barely see the back of her head through the smiling happy faces of the other 3 ballerinas.  My heart aches to not have been able to share the vision of that moment.  Seeing that final expression on her face after months of practicing, living her dream.  I am currently contemplating breaking the rules by taping the ending during the real performance, from the other side!  Stuff like this sits like mold in my brain.  Causing the plumbing to back up.  Certain days I play over and over in my mind.  One incident that happened months ago still haunts me when I least expect it.  I chose to ignore a plea for help.  The plea was from someone that I was feeling wasn't worthy of my time, my help, my sacrifice.  I was dressed up, feeling pretty.  I didn't want to do anything that I thought would "dirty" me in any way.  How hypocritical of me.  To not help a fellow human being because I didn't want to get my hands dirty.  My home is currently in a state of utter chaos, dirty upon dirty.  I was asked for help and did nothing.  Instead I chose to watch from my high and mighty perch to see how it all played out.  That situation caused the person asking for help to feel shut out, unwanted by an entire community.  It caused my heart to feel more stained than I ever thought possible.  When did I become so cruel?  When did I stop caring?  When did I start believing that I am more valuable than someone else?  Is there forgiveness that can span the amount of dirt that I have shoveled upon my heart?   

I have recently begun reading a blog that sets my jealously all a flutter.  The words this particular blogger uses are like brushstrokes on a canvas.  Word pictures for the soul.  When you don't think that light could penetrate any further inside- it does.  It finds the parts that are dark, opens them up and heals them.  The words take you away to a place where pains are soothed- connects you back to the Savior.  I find myself gasping for breath when I read the entries.  Swallowing back the lump that has formed in my throat (partly because of my enlarged thyroid but mostly because of the process of tears forming).  I yearn for the wisdom that this writer has, the ability to affect, to find forgiveness.  Perhaps it's because my connection with my heavenly Father has been so short circuited recently on my part.  I yearn to have such faith.

How easy for me to somehow come up with a crazy system in my mind of how I measure up.  IF our home is clean and IF I make a meal, then I am worthy of my wife status.  IF I finish teaching my girls how to read, then I can claim my mom title.  Breathe, I tell myself.  In and out.  Keep at it.  Repeat.  Relish the moment.  The security I have in my Father.  My 8 year old ballerina has mastered the art of living in the moment.  Living to her is now.  Sure she looks forward to special days with anticipation but in the meantime it's all about what her hands are touching, her eyes are seeing.  A rock isn't just a rock to her.  It's a shape to be explored, maybe even painted or given away as a precious jewel.  A path is meant to be followed, a hill to be rolled down, a stream to be splashed in, a creeping crawling critter outfitted with a container for a home, sticks and all...  

Because it's mid afternoon and I haven't eaten a meal or done anything except write this entry, I need to leave you now but not until I type a few more words.  Words from another artist who inspires me.  

"There is Nothing" by Laura Story

Lord, I come before You to honor and adore You
For who You are and all that You have done.
Lord, I am not worthy; my heart is dark and dirty.
Still, somehow, You bid for me to come.

So clothe me, humility;
Remind me that I come before a King.

And there is nothing, there is nothing
More precious, more worthy.
May I gaze deeper; may I stay longer.
May I press onward to know You, Lord...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wake up only to find that you are still snoring

On May 4th my husband and I celebrated 13 years of marriage.  Pretty amazing he has stuck by my side all these years.  So thankful to have his steady, unwavering support.  He has only used kind and uplifting words when describing me.  My dear husband recently declared to me that I should try breathe right strips.  He said I have started snoring, again.  Or perhaps it is that I never stopped snoring and only now is he noticing it after all this time.  

There were times over the years that loving people with good intentions would comment on this "problem" that I had- college roommates, people I shared a room with during retreats, a family member who will remain nameless that chose to sleep on a sofa (while pregnant) just to get away from the offending snorer.  I never really viewed it as my problem seeing as I was sleeping through it just fine!  There never seemed to be anything that I should be doing to correct it.  

When Andy and I were first married he mentioned my snoring in passing a few times but that was it.  He is a very sound sleeper.  I assumed this "problem" had managed to resolve itself.  In light of this new revelation that Andy is hearing me snoring again for whatever reason, I may just have to give those strips a try.  It's a marriage after all.  After 13 years I still struggle with wanting to take more than I give.  It's a small thing, but it's a choice that I can make to show my husband that I value him and his advice.