On Reminiscing

Some nights revolve around the past…

It’s not that it started out that way but it ends in reminiscence of days gone by and memories you treasure.

Is it good or bad?

I don’t know the answer.

Enlighten me, people of Earth.

When reminiscence leads to wonder about what could have been it can lead down a rabbit trail of “bad”.

You know, a rabbit trail, when the bunnies roam in random directions and you chase them to find the meaning?!?

Or maybe it can lead to the realization of what was and is…

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m qualified to proffer an opinion.

But tonight, in the noise of my mind and the chaos of surrounding serenades, I’m happy to revel in what was and what could be.

Maybe I’ve missed the mark of greatness. Maybe time is not my biggest fan. Maybe I’ve suffered beyond the point where suffering should stop. But hope…

Hope lives in the dream!

Hope is in tomorrow!

Yesterday can remind me of what, not only was, but can be.

Isn’t that worth the struggle?

The “fight” can be in the hands of the unseen. The “fight” can be in the next breath.

Dare me to dream!

I will wake and go for broke.

It’s who I am and I’m not changing now. I’m not about to give up or give in.

Will me this moment to conquer the world.

I’ll see you on the other side!

Thunder

I was a human once.

I lived, I breathed, I knew who I was.

It was somewhere between where husband number one left me a puddle on the floor and husband number two decided I wasn’t enough.

Maybe I’m not.

Maybe they’re not.

I’m not qualified to say.

Tonight, I’m thinking I am beyond expectations and they are the fault.

Regardless, I’m here with the pieces.

Pieces are a funny thing. They fall in random intervals. They collide with ideals. They stick themselves in places you didn’t see coming.

But you hang on, groping for tomorrow because maybe it will be better and maybe peace can be found.

Maybe, instead of the ideal that someone will rescue me, I can find solace in me and my faith and the promise of tomorrow. I am tired.

I’m tired of picking up pieces and expecting gold.

Still, I am an optimist. I believe in tomorrow.

But today is real and I need to feel it to gather the gold.

So I struggle and rest in the same breath.

I am me and for tonight, that is enough. Tomorrow may be another story.

Shine when the darkness covers.

Shine when you can’t find light.

Today is a day gone…tomorrow is eternity, so live!!!!

Random thoughts from the lost and tired.

Be you!

Bring the thunder and the light will follow…at least that’s the hope.

Feminism, Covid, and Reality

I consider myself a strong woman. I do what needs to be done. If I don’t know how, I figure it out. If I can’t figure it out, I figure that out.

I’m in a mood tonight. I’m sure it’s primarily caused by the fact that I tested positive for Covid yesterday. I’m fine. It’s a mild case and will pass in no time, hopefully. Still, it is hard for me, as a mother, to sit in bed and rest and leave the heavy lifting to my husband.

I appreciate his willingness to help. I truly do. Still, one day in, and he seems frustrated. The kids and dinner, and lunch packing, and laundry, are apparently too much for him. He’s complaining and my house is a disaster. Yet, these things are my reality, after I work a full time job.

So I’m stuck between frustration that I can’t do all I do and annoyance that all of these things fall to me everyday and my husband can’t handle it for a day.

So where does my inner feminist stand on this issue? Is it okay with me that I do it all? Is it okay that it’s expected of me yet looked at with sympathy when he has to do it?

Is it okay that I, a strong woman, feel like crap, not because I literally feel like crap, but because, I can’t do it all? Why do I have to do it all? When did feminism become the ideal that women do everything? Why is it okay for me to feel bad because I feel bad?

I realize I may sound ungrateful and I don’t mean it that way. This isn’t even about my husband. It’s about me. I’ve become so ingrained in my role as mom and homemaker that despite the fact that I’m the primary breadwinner in my household, I still feel guilty if it isn’t all perfect.

This week, I cannot make it perfect. I’m isolated to my bedroom to keep from contaminating my family and I feel like my world will end because my kitchen is a mess and I can’t go clean it! It’s torture. Part of me would rather we all catch Covid than allow my kids’ bathroom to go without being cleaned and that is on me.

Or maybe society or whatever ridiculous norms are expected of us mothers and women trying to do it all. Feminism was made for equal rights yet it’s become unequivocal.

Why can’t a man work and scrub the dishes? Why can’t a man work and clean a toilet? Why do I feel so guilty because I’m sick?

I blame Covid for the mood but not entirely…it’s probably been brewing for awhile. Still, this week is testing my patience. But soon, I will feel better and take it all with grace.

Another day, another virus, another annoyance, another reason for me to question the system we’ve created.

It is what it is…

At the end of “us”

See me in “forever”. Don’t let the clock run out on us. Find me in this moment when the trust dissolves into dust.

If I am breathing let me feel. If I’m lost, find a light.

But you and I and forever may be gone without a fight. Because you’ve given up and I am rust searching for sandpaper.

Optimism

I don’t want to be here. This place, my soul hates, this void of existence….but here I am. People talk from the outside about who I should be, who I am, the next moves I should make in this existence that is my life. What do they know?

This place is a place of pain, of heartache and grief. No one else knows the ache. Similar stories are of no relevance here. This moment is mine and I am alone in it.

So a word of advice from the depths of a bleeding soul…don’t say you understand. Don’t say it’s okay. Don’t try to minimize or trivialize. Just be there. A person with skin on who actually cares is all that’s required.

Grief takes many forms and actualizes for many reasons. You probably can’t fully understand so be someone to lean on. Empathy takes many forms. At the end of the day, we’re all different. We’ve had different histories, different struggles. What feels one way to you may feel entirely different to me.

Embrace the difference. Hold in your hand the willingness to not understand but care anyway. Humanity brings its own version of struggle and wholeness. Don’t try to assess mine based on yours. Just be there.

Tomorrow will be better and even if it’s not, life goes on. We grow. We learn. We change. Tonight I’m not settling. Tomorrow I may be a pool of self loathing. The next day, I might be a warrior. We are human.

God sees. He knows. He heals. He helps us grow. Don’t shirk from the hard things. Don’t minimize them in others. Be kind. Bring truth. Love without abandon. And just like that the world is a better place.

Sincerely, a broken hearted optimist.

Good Math

In the span of time when today and tomorrow collide, I wait for you
Suddenly the dim is clear, the dawn no longer impending
The new day is a promise of hope and life
All in the space where you are mine
Where one is one the sum of two and we are us together
In this space between yesterday, now and morning.
And I breathe in this, precious gift revealing the endless love of God delivered in the simple yet complex blessing of this communion

Signs, Confusion and Forever

I confess, I’ve been known to take a shortcut or two. Time is a precious commodity in my life. Somehow, I’m convinced that I have less of it than most people, so occasionally, I improvise. Usually, it gets the job done so I don’t sweat the small stuff.

Still, there are suggested uses provided by manufacturers for a reason. This becomes apparent when I grab my favorite sweater out of the dryer only to realize it now needs to be passed down to an 8-year-old since it was intended to dry flat. Just like that, it’s gone.

Tag

I must also confess that I’ve never taken the time to figure those dumb laundry labels out. When I do take the time to read the label, I’m greeted with Pictionary instead of language. I know I could easily look up their meanings, but ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’. So I guess and just wing it. It’s usually just fine, but not always…

But maybe the world operates on symbols and not just words. I get it in some cases. Road signs could become very tedious if we clearly spelled out the meaning on everyone. How many accidents would be blamed on “I was trying to read the sign”? Some things you just have to make an effort to learn. sign

I haven’t decided which category marriage falls into yet. Sometimes I find myself trying to decode the symbols and I just know I’m shrinking a sweater. I wish we could just find a way to clearly spell it all out so there would never be any confusion. Yet, there’s a lot of wisdom in NOT saying everything that pops into your head in the heat of argument. 

So maybe it’s just part of the adventure. There’s an art to marital communication. It’s a blend of language and charades, verbal and non-verbal, argue and make up.

Sure, I’m going to mess up A LOT, but you better believe I’m going to keep trying. I may be far from perfect, but forever is always worth the effort.

Adoration

I’m sitting in a quiet room, baby in my arms. Soft and warm, nuzzled tightly to my chest breathing in. Tiny sighs and squeaks eek out occasionally as lips move to reflexive smile or the impulse to nurse though his mouth is empty. He sleeps and I adore him.

My husband lies across the room still, resting after a long day’s work. I watch him. Eyes closed, peaceful and strong and I am thankful. With strength and persistence he provides for us. So diligent, so faithful. Then loving, he comes home to me with smiles, a tender embrace and kind words. Now he sleeps and I adore him.

The sun is sitting low and casting light through the stained glass into my cozy little nest. the way it alters the hue and brings sparkle and shimmer to substance fills me with wonder. I don’t stop enough to admire the beauty.

Then he looks at me. Blue eyes lit with something deep and extraordinary. I become fully awake in the joy and love behind his eyes. I’m captivated. He is mine and I adore him.

 

Calm in the Midst of Chaos

 

Wedding  “See! The winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me” Song of Solomon 2:11-13

The past few weeks have been a bit chaotic. My husband and I have been running in a million different directions and juggling multiple projects and tasks until we hit the pillow each night in a state of soreness and exhaustion (the soreness from his being a carpenter and doing very physical work and from my being six months pregnant and achy). Most of the things we’ve been doing have been incredibly rewarding. Still some have just been requirements of life and business…I’d rather not spend my evenings pouring over bank statements and Quickbooks data, but it has to be done. Regardless, it’s been a whirlwind kind of month.

On February 4th, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. It was such a wonderful time of refreshing for us. The preceding weekend had been jam-packed. We both worked that Monday morning and then at an appointed time, we met, left the world behind and focused on us. It was magical. I even forgot my cell phone at home (honestly, I didn’t mean to but I was so glad I did). There we were, just the two of us…a fabulous dinner, then a night away in the exact room we stayed in on our wedding night. We have a wonderful marriage everyday but there’s something about taking that extra time for one another, away from the world, that can be so valuable.

Shortly after breakfast the next morning, his phone started blowing up with small work emergencies and the world caught up with us. But for one night, we found the calm in the midst of the chaos. We found the ability to forget everything except for the things that matter the most, the covenant we have with each other, the remarkable blessing it is to find the one who God created just for you, the family and the life we’ve built together and our mutual commitment to Christ.

Today, on Valentine’s Day, I’m feeling especially sentimental. I see so clearly how all of the awful parts of my life, the pain I’ve endured, the mistakes I’ve made and the successes and victories I’ve claimed have brought me here to this moment when I can truly say that “The winter is past, the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come”. I can put the world aside and come away with my beloved daily. Together, we can dive into the water of the word and be refreshed. Together, we can work to build a marriage others can see and know that true love and commitment still exists. Together, we can do anything. All of the doubts I once had have been washed away by the grace of God and the love of a man who loves me as Christ loves the church. Fairy tales do come true.

Most importantly, I believe that God desires that we would find such times with him. He, our beloved, invites us to come away with him daily…To find refuge in the peace and safety of his love. He calls to us in the midst of the chaos and reminds us that he is altogether lovely. He brings us to a season of singing where nothing from the past or present can begin to interfere with the way he loves us. He hides us in the palm of his hand, in the shadow of his wings, in the cleft of the rock and then whispers ““O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff, Let me see your face, Let me hear your voice; For your voice is sweet, And your face is lovely.” Song of Solomon 2:14.

I invite you to hear the call of your beloved today and come away with him to your secret place. Find time to love and be loved by the ultimate comforter, Jesus Christ.