Tuesday, August 31, 2010

i will be safe in his arms

i was thinking yesterday about how far i've come in the last couple of years. i've carried much baggage over the last decade, and it's not been easy lugging it around. so i decided something had to change. i had to deal with that baggage and begin to rid myself of it.

that's been so hard at times. i cried. i screamed. i ached. i cursed. i threw things. i walked. i wrote. i prayed. i got numb. i accepted. i forgave. i let go. i smiled. i laughed. i experienced peace...finally!

these past couple of weeks have been challenging, as once again, i faced rejection and pain. however, i noticed something different in myself. i didn't have past baggage weighing my present down. it was gone. the hurts from the past weren't around to influence my thinking and my emotional state of being. i didn't relive the past. instead, i dealt with my present. and now i can move on to a blessed and wonderful future.

my favorite song right now is "safe" by phil wickham (check out the link below). "the hands that hold the world are holding your heart." i cry every time i read or hear those lyrics. others don't always take care of our hearts. heck, we don't always take care of our hearts. but GOD, who holds the world, takes care of my heart. he won't betray it, smash it, break it, throw it away. he knows its worth. he knows its value. my heart is precious to him. and he loves me so much that he holds my heart and cares for it when i and others don't.

today, i will be safe in his arms. the hands that hold the world are holding my heart. what a beautiful thought. hmmmm...


Sunday, August 22, 2010

obstacles are my life

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. ~Fr. Alfred D'Souza

i was looking for a different quote when i came across this one. perfect. exactly what i've been thinking lately. i was feeling the same way...how life was about to begin, and then an obstacle appeared. but then i realized obstacles ARE life. and if life were free from obstacles how boring it would be. it's the wrinkles in life that give it character. it's the wrinkles in life that give US character.

now, drama, i can do without. but i'm learning that when life throws you a curve, you don't have to back out of the batter's box for fear you'll get hit. sometimes, you just need to stay in the box, face it and swing. sometimes, you strike out. sometimes, you hit the ball out of the park. it's all part of the game. it's all part of life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

motherly advice

i was blessed a number of years ago to get to know a state senator's wife. we attended church together, and i loved how friendly and down to earth she was. so when i got the opportunity to spend some time with her, i jumped at it. we spent a few hours together that day at the state capital for a right to life march, went by the university to say hello to her son, and went out for lunch.

we talked a lot about family that day. i was pregnant and very willing to hear whatever wisdom she offered. and years later, she still impacts me as a mom. my season of motherhood was just beginning. she was approaching the empty nest season. i soaked in everything she told me that day like a sponge.

she told me that life flies by way too quickly. enjoy each moment. enjoy my children.

and here's the best advice i got that day...something i kept tucked away for the right time. when her sons reached high school, she read everything she could on empty nest syndrome, so that when the time came, both she and her children were ready.

yes, she cried as they left her nest, but it was sweet. she didn't let it sneak up on her. in preparing, she learned to cherish the short time that was left. no regrets. her children were ready for the adventures that lay ahead, and she was prepared to let them fly.

and that's where i find myself. who knew those years would pass so quickly. one day, the labor and delivery nurse was handing me my firstborn all wrapped up snugly in a blanket. and now that baby is almost 17 years old and a junior in highschool. and he has 3 younger siblings that will leave the nest soon after he does.

i cherish our moments. i love my children and their friends, who feel like my own...like taylor fletcher and leyah brown (see, i wrote about you!!!) i'm grateful for the time i have with them all. i'm excited about their futures. they mean the world to me. this is such an exciting time for them, and i'm blessed to be able to share it with them...and that goes for taylor and leyah and all my kids at gca and gchs!

i consider that day with my friend to be one of those "GOD moments" in life. i had no idea how that bit of wisdom would impact me years later. i'm grateful for that yesterday, i'm even more grateful for my today, and i'm filled with anticipation for the future. life is good. =)

forgiving mistakes

trying to take some of my own advice today.
a couple of days ago, i heard a sermon on perspective, and i jotted down some notes and personal applications.
don't take everyone so personally, including myself. sometimes we say and do hurtful things to other people, and it's not because of anything they have done. it's because of what's wrong or what's missing in our own lives. people make mistakes. sometimes, they make them intentionally. but either way, mistakes are made.
i have worked really hard to forgive and heal this past year. it hasn't been easy. and i'm not "there" yet, but i have really come a long way.
when someone hurts us, it's easy to demonize them. but rather than do that, i've been trying to tell myself that hurting people hurt people. when someone attacks me personally, it's not always because i did something to deserve it. sometimes it's because they are hurting on the inside or they feel they are lacking something. we tend to lash out at others rather than deal with the junk in our lives. it seems easier at the time. in the long run, however, it just adds to our problems.

so today, i'm faced with a situation that requires forgiveness and understanding. i'd like to share a facebook status i read a few days ago. the young lady who wrote it has no idea how GOD has used her and her comment, but i do.

"i don't forgive people because i'm weak. i forgive people because i'm strong enough to know people make mistakes."

i hope i can follow through on that. i hope i'm being strong today.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

to move forward, you need to face your past

i've heard many times over to always look ahead and never look back, but sometimes in order to move forward, you need to face your past.

today, i revisited some difficult times from my own past. some memories brought tears to my eyes, but the visit resulted in some good, healthy emotions.

i'm ready to move forward with my life, and many of those experiences have prepared me for my future. if i hadn't gone through what i did, i'm not sure i would have ended up where i am now. as difficult as they were, i think i'm grateful...grateful for who i am as a result of those experiences. or at least grateful they are part of my past and not my present.

i have always tried to hold on to what was good in every bad situation, but now i have plans to turn what was bad into something good.

and today i am at peace with my past. i'm content to let it remain where it is. but i have to say that i am amazed to see where i was in comparison to where i am now. only by the grace of GOD, i s'pose i should say. yeah, only by the grace of GOD.

Friday, August 6, 2010

the year was 1974...how did 2010 get here so fast?

over-sized collars, polyester, harvest gold and avocado green, high inflation, datsun, watergate, oil crisis, the exorcist, abba, the six million dollar man, kung fu...

and then there's me. arguably one of the best things to come out of the 70's. lol! at least my husband thinks so...or rather he'd better!

i remember turning 6 years old and wishing i could hurry up and grow up.

i blinked, and i was a teenager in love not so patiently awaiting the day i could marry my sweetheart (btw, we will celebrate our wedding anniversary on august 10th...the best 19 years of david's life...for sure!).

then i couldn't wait to have a baby. all of a sudden, i had 4, and i longed for the day i would have all my children out of diapers. i had 3 of them in diapers at the same time, and i hadn't slept in years. oh, that my kids were older so they'd sleep through the night.

i blinked again, and all my kids were in school everyday.

and this morning, i woke up to find that my firstborn is a junior in highschool and is driving, and the baby of the family is playing jv volleyball. and my middle children are already making plans for college and career. and my hubby is talking retirement. whaaat?

where did the time go? why does it have to pass so quickly?

i'm 36 today, and in some ways, i feel i'm starting over. in a few weeks, i'll go back to school to finish up a bachelor of arts degree and embark on a new career. i've loved being at home with my kids and watching them grow up. i think this is the coolest time of my life. i love talking with my kids about their future plans and what we're going to do when i graduate and start making big bucks and what kind of wedding they want to have and all that good stuff.

life is good.

but i wish it would slow down...at least a little. i feel like i've spent most of my life wishing it away. and now that a good portion of it has passed by, i'm wishing i had some of it back.

it's taken some time, but i'm learning to be present. i read a quote years ago that said, "wherever you are, be there." and that's what i'm trying to do...enjoy the present and be attentive. no more wishing away life. i have my memories, and i have my moment right now.

even as i write, precious seconds tick away. i can't get a single one back.

my gift to myself this year...to live in the present. to be where i am. to enjoy everyday and make the most of it. to laugh more. to stress less. to encourage others more. to challenge myself. to hug my kids more. to have more dates with my hubby. to not take life too seriously.

life is good, and life is short. my first 36 years have been rough at times, but hopefully i've learned enough that i will be sure to enjoy and make the most of the next 36.

today's my birthday, and you know what i asked for? nothing out of the ordinary. just another day in the life...and perhaps a nice dessert because GOD knows as do my bathroom scales that i have a love affair with sugar... =)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

learning to trust again

it's hard to trust after you've been beaten up by organized religion. where it gets sticky is that you don't want to punish the new people in your life, but you don't want to let your guard down for fear your heart and spirit will get trampled...again. that hurts, and healing comes slowly. at some point, you think you're in a safe place, yet the whole time you're bracing yourself for the fall when the rug gets pulled out from under you. you want to serve and love unconditionally, but how do you know you can really trust? do you dare let down your guard, even just a little?

forgiveness is a key ingredient in learning to trust again...at least for me. even more basic is honesty, and i can say with great confidence that honesty can be very, very ugly. here's the thing...you can't forgive until you can be honest. honest about your real feelings. honest about your situation. honest with yourself. honest with GOD. it's always hard for me to begin my journey towards forgiveness, but i always remind myself that forgiveness doesn't make what happened ok; forgiveness makes me ok. forgiveness comes easy compared to trust. and just because i forgive, it doesn't mean i have to put myself back into a toxic situation. it's ok to love from a distance. the goal is restoration, but you must use wisdom. some relationships are for a season. some can be salvaged and can even thrive. just make sure that whatever you do, you have some nice, long talks with GOD about them.

allow yourself time to grieve. you lost something very important. more likely, you've lost a few things like relationships, confidence, a job, security, happiness in addition to trust. grieving isn't only reserved for the death of a loved one. we grieve when we experience loss. don't rush this, but don't get stuck here either.

talk to a friend or mentor you know you can trust. lean on them. let them help you. don't go through this alone. we need each other. or talk to a counselor. we all need to process life's events. needing others is not a sign of weakness. you make yourself available to others. keep in mind that others want to be there for you, too.

get back out there. after you've given yourself some time, ease on out again. you don't have to jump in all at once. take your time. get some good experiences under your belt. and start loosening the grip on your heart. i have found that when i try to guard my heart, i make it hard. but when i give my heart back to GOD, he guards it in such a way as to keep it soft and loving.