This day. 

Today is about trying as hard as I can to shoot kindness with the precision of an arrow , straight to the heart. Never mind the fact that I’ve been agitated, tired, and generally surly. With each step , it’s getting easier. Even this, gray, rainy , regular day is shaping up to be …extraordinary . We’ve managed to get school done with minimal yelling by either of us. And best of all we have been inspired to do some projects! 

    I am not giving up on finding the perfect balance between education and adventure, imagination and intelligence … Love and discipline. There are days when I don’t get out of pjs , and Thomas makes the dinner. Today started out like that , but I refused to give in. We are going to be okay. Starting today. 

The beautiful mess.

We had another good day. I woke up sick, and still… It was a good day. Filled with beautiful messy things. Dishes , dogs , science, and math, attitudes, kisses, traffic jams, and projects . I wouldn’t trade a minute of the life I have been given, the hearts that I am stewarding ….are my treasures. Some days I don’t say that on this blog, or out loud. But I always know it, and I hold onto it. I’m right where I am supposed to be. Every morning is new ! And who knew that science used to be filled with GOD ? Isaiah and I have been learning that this week. How lucky am I to be 40 and still learning something new everyday? No, I haven’t taken some kind of happy pill today. I’m just remembering 9/11 , and my friends whose lives have ended too soon, and the ones still struggling today to keep their faith. Remembering all of that, and sitting peacefully and gratefully in my beautiful mess.

Love…the choice.

Summer is a party for the earth. A celebration for creation. When you are sad, or worried, or stressed out by the dailies…it’s hard to engage in everything that summer has to offer. I’ve been guilty of this, and I want OUT ! Out of my head, and into my heart. So, I write. I put my head down and I let words emerge without a thought of what the conclusion of my thoughts might be. Sometimes it’s me, and other times, it’s clearly Jesus. So here goes….my path out of my head, and into my heart.

                     Love bears all things, Love bears all things…..

                     Love doesn’t see the writing on the wall, Love doesn’t watch as you fall, but will pick you up if you call

                     Love just keeps on giving, Love bears all things

                    Love doesn’t forget your face, Love doesn’t try to put you in your place

                    Love just keeps on lifting. Love bears all things

                    Love doesn’t give you what you deserve, Love doesn’t care what dinner you serve

                    Love just keeps on coming back for more, keeps right on knocking on your door

                     Love bears all things…..

                     Love doesn’t kick you out, or leave when you shout

                    Love teaches, and tries. Love bears all things

                   Love lets you walk away, wakes up new each day, surrounds you, and holds you tight, never reminds you who won the fight

                   Love takes a beating, it’s worth repeating, again, and again.

                   Love breathes, and grows….Love breaks, and heals, Love is alive and bears all things

 

                    

               

Where my trust is without borders…..

 

 

 

 

 We all know the words to this song, it’s beautiful, and I sing it with a strong determination to do those things that are out of my comfort zone. For the past few days I’ve been praying for not so little lion boy. Actually , I should write a book titled just that…prayers for my little lion boy. It’s a subject that I know well, I am good at it, I have years of experience. But today there was something new. I asked for help from my spirit, help me pray, help me ask…show me how to move God’s heart with compassion for me and for my son. And then I heard that familiar song. And a new prayer started to fill up my spirit.

 You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown, where feet may fail

You made me this child’s mommy, an adventure that I could not have fore seen, or dreamed….I may not succeed, and I’m scared.

And there I find you in the mystery, in oceans deep , my faith will stand.

I get down as low as I can, on my face…questions, and pleas for this family, this little guy of mine. And its in those time that I find you, in those desperate, low as I can get…. moments, you give strength to look in the face of faith, and grab it even.

And I will call upon your name, and keep my eyes above the waves, when oceans rise…my soul will rest in your embrace, I am yours, and you are mine.

Just saying your name is the step forward that I need to take, and suddenly I can see beyond the hateful words, and the spitting in anger, the boy wrapped in the blanket under my desk is yours, the same as I am. Your arms are here for both us.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters, your sovereign hand will be my guide, where feet may fail, and fear surrounds me…You’ve never failed, and you won’t start now.

The gift of freedom is mine, and I find it when I am over my head, out of my own understanding. You always answer me, you guide me with wisdom that I can’t pretend to grasp…you speak directly to my spirit when I can’t see the promise of hope. I beat myself up, and you comfort. You have never forgotten, or forsaken me or my little lion boy. We are scared, but sure in the extravagance of your love for us. You are steadfast.

Lead me where my trust is without borders

Help me to see my way through, when love is hidden from sight, and anger and hurt are the headlights in the night….help me to speak kindness, when none is being spoken to me. Help me to trust even when the ground I’m standing on is crumbling. When my soul is being torn to shreds, help me to reach out beyond my borders to hold his hand. I am your daughter, and I am his mother….I am yours, and he is yours. We belong to you, treasures to be mended. I pray that you are moved to intercede for my family, and so many others. Lead us into the terrain, the deep waters, the magic woods, that are our children…and as we call you, show us which path to take.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Amen

 

Around the world…

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  It was a slow come back today. Spring break was wonderful, and tiring ! I told Isaiah last night that I wanted the two of us to snuggle our way into this Monday morning. And so we did. He got in bed with me, and we lounged, we rubbed feet, and talked about Spring break. We got up, we eased on into coffee and waffles, and started school. It was slow going but good. I had every intention of going to work in my office after I had done the instruction part of our day. I really did. But then, it was beautiful, and we took the dogs for a long walk….obviously, I needed a shower after that. As I came down ready to face the next part of my day, I heard the thump   thump   thump   that means my son is taking a break from his work to play basketball. Yeah, I had two choices …get mad that he was playing, or get holier and join him.  I walked outside, and he started explaining the game around the world. I watched for a minute, and then he said ” Wanna play? “…  Why yes, yes I do !! He was surprised, and tickled.  He encouraged me on the hardest shots, and gave me pointers, he made me feel better when I missed, he showed me great empathy, and then when I beat him, he cheered, and was so happy for me, went so far as to say maybe I should play women’s basketball. ( I am 5’3 on a good day) My son looked at me and said, you are awesome, I can’t think of another mom that would come outside and play basketball, not just one game but two. Then he hugged me, kissed me, and thanked me. That’s not everyday, but that was today. I never made it to work, I went around the world with Isaiah instead.

Truth and dirt.

ImageSometimes I have a piss poor attitude. Don’t get me wrong, it’s justified. That doesn’t make it right. I am giving ownership of the afore mentioned attitude to Jesus. I have to. It’s toxic. I have been so stressed out over every little decision that my kids are making lately, that I literally have an ulcer. That is not abundant life. That’s BULL. And now, I  have to give credit where credit is due…Erin had such a timely word this week ! She said that the Lord had showed her that she was no longer the blossoms on the tree, but that she was the root system now…growing deep underground. As she spoke, I envisioned what she was saying…my mind could see and even smell the dark, rich soil where the roots are growing, and spreading through. It was beautiful and revealing. There is a season of flowering, but it gives way to a time of maturing, of standing strong. I have given my kids all my attention, all my heart, and now I have to trust that the Father is holding them. I don’t want to squeeze the life out of them, I want to hold on loosely. Now is the time for me to enjoy, my root system is in place….the sweet fragrance of the deep is all around….aaahhh.

the story.

It had been going on for weeks….his flirting, his kindness, his deception.  He listened intently when I spoke, and stood up for me when some other silly high schooler  made a joke at my expense.  It is only now, as a 40 year old wife and mother that I recognize what my 14 year old self was feeling…safe.  His attention made me feel safe, and entirely different from my normally unsure, just on the outside of the popular crowd, girl that I actually was.  He was 17, and larger than life. A junior, a football player…Mr. Popular.  In my small country school everyone knew him, or feared him, or wanted to be known by him.  He had a girlfriend, one of the elite, a cheerleader. I was sure that she would be fine when he broke up with her, she would bounce right back…she had everything.  If only I could have seen around corners.

                                             I remember him saying – you need to invite me over sometime when your mama isn’t there, so we can work all this out.  I was so happy. He liked me. This was going to be the day that he chose me.  And so when my mom left that evening, I called him. Then he was there, in my driveway, in my living room….in my bedroom, that he just had to see.  In the space of a few minutes I realized that his plan, and my plan looked drastically different. Physically, he was bigger, and stronger, and suddenly pushy. Mentally, I was struggling, and strained to get back that feeling of safety that I had thought he offered me.  It was gone, and so was my innocence. And then …so was he.  I believe now, that I was in shock, I was shaking, and shaken.   I gave him time to get home, and then I called him, crying ” what have we done?”  He told me then that he was never going to break up with his girlfriend, and then he hung up on me. I cried myself to sleep, broken open. Surely, at school he would be different.

                                  Morning came, and I walked through the halls searching the faces for his. There he was, standing by the water fountain with a group of friends. I gathered all the courage that the 14 year old me had, and walked over. He grinned at his friends, then bent and filled his mouth with water. He raised his head from the fountain, and spit all over me, covering my shirt. He walked away laughing. I walked away a ghost, where a girl had been.

                       All of his friends knew, and then his girlfriend. And she laid out a battle plan to make me miserable. If she only could have known…I was already in misery. She had her friends call me names, spit on me, throw things at me…classic bullying. It got so bad that my 2 best friends told me that they could not be seen with me anymore, the ridicule was running off onto them, and they just couldn’t take it. I did not blame them.  I began to eat my lunch in the office, the cafeteria was too close to hell on earth. I was utterly alone. I wanted to die, but I remember thinking…I don’t know how. I don’t know how to die. I know now that I was being held by the most sacred love, but at the time I felt a nagging inside of me all the time. I changed schools several times before eventually dropping out. And for so many years that brought such shame, and sadness for what I could’ve been. The girl that was me was gone, and had to be grieved. I just found that out.

                                 I spent the next several years looking for someone to love me, and make me feel safe. At the ripe old age of 20, I started an affair with a married man, and then I became his second wife. The lies that I believed about myself were all being confirmed, I was never good enough to be first, I was dirty, shameful, unworthy.  My new husband did not know the Lord, but he was kind to me.  He saved my life. And when we had been married for a year and a half THE LORD SAVED HIM ! He was a new creation. We have been married 18 1/2 years now, and it is still growing and changing. As I realize where I am fractured, and where the lies that I have believed have caused decay…even in my beautiful marriage, even in my parenting of my beautiful children….I start to heal, and hear the truth about myself.  I believed that I was ugly, the Lord says I’m beautiful in an epic way (still trying to figure that one out), I believed that no one could ever really love me, the Lord says I am worth extravagant love ! My husband is the best example of this, but also my kids. I did tell my almost 14 year old this story. I was scared, and ashamed…but she cried and held me as if she knew the 14 year old me, we grieved together, and are stronger for it.

             I had to pull all of this up, and sort it out. I had been naïve, mislead, and bullied…the worst part was, that I was still letting it happen as a grown woman.  I am new, resurrected…a better wife, and a better mom. A better daughter.  I know it was long, I hope it brought light.

 

Pen to paper.

Before I can tell my story , I have to write it. I put pen to paper yesterday, and the memories came rushing back. Tiny details that might seem so unimportant ran down my cheeks while I wrote. I had no idea how hard it would be to dig my history up and pick it apart like a scavenger . But it’s worth it, I’m finding out just exactly who I am . The Lord has called me wholehearted, and that is what I’m becoming.

Yesterday morning I stopped running from my broken heart.

  Yesterday morning I stopped running from my broken heart. Yeah, that. The process got started at the women’s retreat last weekend, and I don’t know when it will be complete. But I am not running. My broken heart really started when I was 14 years old. My daughter will turn 14 in a couple of months, and it has been like a nightmare that causes me to twist and turn, and tear up my sheets at night.  What I know is that you won’t actually die from your broken heart, but the ways you find to cope with it on a daily basis, and the ground you lose in your battle to be your REAL you…could kill you. So, I woke up yesterday and I looked my husband in the eye and said – you saved my life. I might have thought it a time or two over the last 19 years, but I never said it. So …I opened my mouth, and let the words fall out. And then I cried for that 14 year old girl who was pressured, unsure, scared, pushed around, spit on…left to rot. I thanked God that I was never lost to him, he had marked me, and knew where I was at every turn. I held my daughter and I smelled her hair…she is covered, and I blessed her her spirit with the secrets it takes to be strong. I let my husband hold me while I stood still and felt my broken heart. It hurts. But it is better than pretending that it doesn’t, while you walk around in chains that other people can’t see. The chains were keeping me from doing so many things that I want to do ! My next big step will be to share my story, my broken heart with my daughter. It’s a day I have been dreading, and running from. I will be still with her, I will be who I am, and allow her to see the broken and how it is starting to heal. My story will indeed unlock the chains that have been around my heart holding it together.