Posted in Gifts, Insane in the Brain, Living Water, mental-health, Movies, Thanks for the memories

a Date

Personing is hard.  At any given moment an infinite variation of life is coming at you.

Mothering is hard.  It’s complicated.  Consuming.  4 people’s perfect souls are in my care.  They are all 4 so vastly unique.  They each need something different from the others.  And possibly even different than what they needed 3 hours ago.

Being a wife is beautiful.  Amazing.  Rewarding.  And hard.  It demands that your ever evolving humanity hyphenates wholeheartedly with another person’s ever evolving humanity.

PTSD is hard.  Actually, it sucks balls.  It is vicious.  Unpredictable.  Parasitic.  It is about 5 full-time jobs rolled into one that you can’t clock out of.  Your body is constantly picking up the slack for your brain.  Your brain is all, “Bye, Felicia” when you need it most and your body is left to pick up the fragments.  Flashbacks are always at the most inconvenient times and inappropriate situations.  Scratch that.  When is it ever a convenient time for your brain to unload out-of-context horror?

My soul is tired.  My body is exhausted.  My mind is weary.

Yesterday, I threw an adventure/pirate party for my 7-year-old daughter.  Including my 3 oldest, there were 14 kids here.  I think. Lucky for me, my 2-year-old was napping.  A few parents stayed.  A friend and her husband came to help.  My husband’s participation was on fleek.  My house was full.

I love my children fiercely.  So I asked my anxiety to hold it together while I facilitated the fun.

But I am tired.

I’m getting better at knowing when I’m going to need to recharge.  I’m more mindful of how decimated an interaction is going to leave me.  I’m learning to plan self-care into my life.

A few years ago I read The Shack.  My heart wept with recognition.  When the movie was announced, my heart exploded with anticipation.  As soon as I was able, I purchased a ticket to see it.  For a showing immediately following church.  The day after my daughter’s birthday party.

I need to tell you about church and me.  A majority of the abuse I endured as a child was religious in nature.  Clarification: it wore a Jesus hat.  “Christianity” was the tool that 2 broken and hurting people used on their offspring to make themselves feel less out of control.  They discharged their anguish onto their children in the name of God.

I struggle with church.  I struggle with the Bible.  Hear me out before you burn me at the stake.  The words, the phrases, the settings… Triggers.  A lot of the concepts, though far removed from how I grew up knowing them, look very similar outwardly to their rightful essence.  This is the danger.  While I am rewriting the real version in my heart and mind, there is an incredible amount of scar tissue there.  My mind is rejecting the transplant as it looks eerily familiar.  I’m constantly looking for new versions of the Bible.  Versions that I can read and hear God’s healing love pour over my soul like a soothing balm.  As of now, my all time favorite is The Jesus Storybook Bible.  I am not embarrassed to say that I own it in hardcover and audio forms.  And that when the crazy gets heavy, I hide in my minivan and listen.

So I stayed home by myself this morning.  While the rest of my heart drove away in my van.  They went to church without me because my soul needs some rest.  Church is hard for me.  Church is work.  I pray it is not always this way.  I hope some day to be edified without the complication of very conscious mindfulness exercises throughout the duration.   I long for the day when I can join in with the worship and the teaching without fighting a panic attack.  Someday maybe I will be able to hang after church to fellowship without being acutely aware of the crowd and scanning for exits.

Today is not that day.  Today I am where I am.  Jesus loves this me.  Jesus is fully invested in this me.

So I am going on a date with Jesus to see a movie.  That is my church today.  I am so looking forward to it.

But first I have to find a box of tissues.

Posted in Gifts, indigo inspiration, Insane in the Brain, Living Water, mental-health, Thanks for the memories, The Future

Ashes, ashes. We all fall down.

Photo credit: me…

I am a phoenix.

I regularly burst into flame.  And am reborn.

Hurts like hell to burn but I come back fiercer, stronger, more loving every time.  I will burn this mother down as many times as it takes to come out the person that I am, under all of the shit that obscures the beauty of who I was meant to be.

I will burn.  With the fierce passion of knowing that I was made for Love.  I will die a little every time that I may come forth in new and new and new life.  And all of the me that isn’t truly me will burn up little by little as I become.

It is terrifying to stand on a new truth, or a more refined truth.  What if I am wrong?  Well, chances are I am and will be wrong many times and many ways yet to come.  Hence the burning down.  And rising forth.  A baptism of fire.  A rebirth of anguish and glory.

I will burn this mother down.  I will burn this sister down.  This friend.  This wife.  This citizen.  I will be wrong.  And I will be new.

I said yes to life and health and all of the magic and pain that will bring me alive.  I will face the difficult.  I will trod forward in weariness.  I will triumph over the victories and so often weep for the failures.  Because all these things ignite me.  They consume the false and reveal the authentic.  The genuine.  The truly precious.  My soul.

I will burn this mother down.

I am a phoenix.

I feel the fire coming on.

Posted in Gifts, indigo inspiration, Living Water, Winter

Waking Up To Love

I had to hibernate for a while.

Winter came suddenly to my soul.  Not a death, per say, but a necessity to hide away in quiet in order to be reborn and transformed.  It was brutally cold and dark and the only way to survive was to withdraw and conserve my resources.  I didn’t know it was coming.  Rather, I may have known in a way, but didn’t yet have the instinct to nourish myself in preparation.  I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to survive the season.

In hibernation, I shed a skin, a former life, as a fresh me began to come together.  As the ground thaws and the stirrings of new life whisper in the breeze, I’m seeing a new world around me as I, myself, am changed.

I’m opening my heart to Love and health.  I’m opening my mind to pursue new branches of wisdom and inspiration.

It’s terrifying.  As hell.  But so brilliant.  Like beams of warm, healing light breaking through the forest canopy to kiss the needle covered ground below.

The shedding made room for new.  For beauty.  For depth.  For uncertainty.  For adventure.

In slowly, carefully, emerging from my cocoon, and reconnecting more fully with the loves in my life, I am coming to see a new facet of Love’s glorious wholeness.

Love is not linear.

It is a window into eternity.  It is the finest wisp of understanding of the Love of our Creator for us, outside of time.

When someone comes into your life, when you let them in, when you love them, you love all the someones they have ever been.  All the someones that have made them who they are today.  Love doesn’t simply begin at one point and move forward.  It is born in the center of a moment and expands to flow out in all directions.  To the past that made you who you are.  To the future and all the promise of who you can be.  To the depths of experience and the heights of emotion.

A friend told me that she loves who I was because that person birthed who I am now.  That awkward jean skirt wearing teen me is in her heart just as I am now.  It was a deeply healing moment.  Teen me smiled through crippling pain.  Teen me was not worthy.  She was, as Brené Brown so aptly words it in her speaking and writing, “hustling for her worthiness.”  In that moment, my friend gave now me, as well as teen me, an exquisitely perfect gift.  Love reached through time and gave unloved, awkward, unfriended teen me a friend.  A long-aching part of me felt healing.

It was eerily similar to a conversation I had with another friend the night before.  We discussed an exercise that my therapist sometimes asks me to do.

“What would 31-year-old you like to say the little girl you that feels in pain and terrified and uncared for?”

“What does 6-year-old you need from adult you?”

It is always an incredibly vulnerable moment.  The best moments are.

There is very little chance that I will ever have my childhood pain acknowledged by the ones who inflicted it.  But that doesn’t mean the wound has to remain open and weeping forever.  In learning the eternalness of Love, I have gained a new ability to give myself the acceptance that every child deserves.  The more I learn of Love, of connection, I can more readily acknowledge the trauma I lived through, the pain I carry, and the utter worthlessness that suffocates healing Love.

I am retroactively valued.  I can give myself acceptance.  All of my selves and evolutions.  All of the me’s that felt rejection.  Abuse.  Denial.  Worthlessness.  Because I still am and will always be me.  In the same way that Love is, has been, and will be.

And winter will come again.  That is the nature of life.

But this time I will take a layer of nourishment into the cold with me.  I’m feeding my soul with Love and beauty and acceptance.  I’m letting the nonlinear, wildly eternal, all-encompassing, divine nature of Love reach into the dark, sleeping parts of me and assure them, assure me, that I am Loved.  I am worth.  I am accepted.  All of me.

Which brings connection.  And more Love.

Posted in indigo inspiration, Living Water, Thanks for the memories

Jesus was lost in the forest.

He knew where He was.  But I didn’t.

I would fault myself for that but I’m not doing that anymore.  What good comes of my present self disparaging my past self for not having grown to my current-ness?  I deserve to be treated better than that.  Especially from myself.  I am treasured by Divinity.

Growth is the desire.  Perfection is not.  The pursuit of perfection hunts down growth and locks it in a tower.  The need for perfection trapped me in its incomplete clutches.  I couldn’t see the forest through the trees.  I had to be perfect.  I had to win life.  I had to be enough for everyone and everything that perfection had required in my life.

But guess what?  That’s not sustainable.  That’s not real.  That’s not even good.

And since the trees were blocking Jesus in the forest, I was lost too.  He doesn’t want my perfection.  He wants my sidling up next to Him.  He wants the little children scrambling onto His lap.  Where’s the perfection in that?  It’s clumsy.  And awkward.  And ungraceful.

And exactly what it’s supposed to be.  Indescribably beautiful.  Real.  And unaffected.  Artlessly primed for organic growth.  For becoming less scaffolding and more architecture.  For shedding expectations in favor of substance.  Not a vague assumed substance dictated by some culture and my imperfect heart, but the unshakeable confidence that I am loved.  The strength of knowing that I am securely wanted.  That all my ungrown imperfection is on a discovery expedition.  Rather than taking a perpetual exam.  I proctored that test for years. The manual kept getting fatter and more unwieldy.  The requirements began to contradict each other.  I suffocated under the weight of the roles of both defendant and judge.

Meanwhile, Jesus is in the forest, among the trees, telling me to climb into His lap with my grubby fingers and tangled hair.  He is not lost in the Scriptures behind the verses.  We are playing Marco Polo these days.  The sunlight filters between the boughs and shadows dance on our faces.  The shadows scare me sometimes but He squeezes my hand, tells me I’m safe, and shows me the transient beauty of the moment.

And if I lose Him again in the trees, He has not lost me.

Posted in Living Water, Thanks for the memories

i found some love in a pile of shit.

It’s been dark in here.  In my heart.  I haven’t been able to see Jesus in all of His beautiful goodness.  I didn’t stop believing in Him but I didn’t know who He was anymore.  I didn’t think I’d ever known who God is.  I didn’t think I ever could.  I was scared and angry.  I believed that even if I could know Him, I would never be able to love Him the way He wanted because He had let my heart be crippled by the cruelties of life.  And did I even want to love a God who can’t preserve a precious soul who cannot shield itself?

I know Him a little better now than I ever have.  He doesn’t look like I thought He did.  He looks more like a moment I had when I was barely 6 years old, alone.  That little moment has been hidden inside me for so many years.  He did preserve me.  That moment was the promise.  A tiny glimpse that if I try to hard to remember, it slips away.  That moment, secreted away in the very depths of me, a tiny sliver of time when God and I connected, was the seed I would need 25 years later to regrow the faith I feared I’d lost forever.

It died, but it was born anew.  I found it again in a dark and terrifying place.  I stumbled into it in a place I least expected it.  I found Him in suffering friends.  I found Him in abject honesty.  He was waiting for me in the humanity of myself and others.  I can see His face in the things that look like God doesn’t belong there.  He could be found in the dirty places with the low-down, the despised and rejected, the sinners, the shunned, the blight upon society.  And He’s still hanging out with those of us who question it all and dare to say, “I think I’ve got it all wrong.”  He bucked tradition and flung the tables of established belief.  He was progressive and revolutionary.

And I have opened my heart to the revolution of His healing love.  I’m trying to, anyways.  The door is heavy and a large box of fear has been sitting in front of it for many years.  He is not afraid of my questions.  He is not threatened by my imperfection.  He is not a box that I am forced to fit into.  He uniquely made me.  My heart was built by Him and He would like to repair the damage.

He is angered by the destruction.  He weeps for the devastation.  He gave up glory to be marked and marred by it.  To know me and to walk back through the valley of the shadow of death with me.

I began to be sure that my people would be better off without me.  I saw myself as a black hole that would collapse and take all I loved with me.  I was the blight upon their lives and the darkness of my existence would extinguish their light.  And I told God I could not search after Him any longer.  I am too tired to look for You.  I am exhausted.  My heart is too weary to pursue Your light.  The tunnel is so long that I’m not sure You are even at the end of it. I know You Are.  I know that You are bigger than my exponentially compounding weakness.  You know exactly where I am. Come find me.  I cannot seek, but You can.

And He found me.  Is finding me.  A little at a time.  Chance encounters.  Old friends.  New books.  Passing glances.  Others who are stumbling forward in their own broken humanity.  Some who are feebly reaching into the light.  Some who have been where I am, have collapsed in despair, and have been found by His limitless abundance.

I can never love Him wholly.  I was sure that was required of me.  But as His warmth and light heal bit by bit, I have yet another cubic inch to give back to Him.  And He is singing over the centimeters, the inches, the fragments of broken me that I am letting Him have as He finds them.  His joy over me is wild and dangerous and life-giving.  I’m terrified at how I am changing.  But I am exhilarated.  Because a reality of being loved by Supreme Love itself is safer than living in a box of being afraid to get it wrong.

There is so much ground I have not yet seen in my battered heart.  So much yet to demolish and renovate.  But He keeps putting Himself in my way.

Posted in Living Water, of yore, Poemesque

Resurrection Is

The resurrection is hope.
Hope that the broken can be whole.
Hope that decimation is not the final chapter.

The resurrection is confidence.
My mind knows He can, but my heart doesn’t always know He will.
The resurrection is my assurance that the promises He has made to me bear the weight of His love – His active, working, persistent love.

I hold onto the guarantees that the resurrection has made to me.
That the ashes will bring forth beauty.
That my mourning will turn to joy.
That He will not leave well enough alone.
That He will not rest till I have been fully embraced by Love.

The resurrection whispers in the deathly quiet moments that I cannot, will not be left alone.
The resurrection screams above the fiercest battle that this is not forever.
This is not the end.

The resurrection is mine.
It is personal.
The power that raised Jesus holds me together.
It is for me.
I am not lost in the faceless masses.
I am not one of the many.
I did not accidentally get swept up in the flow.
I did not slip through the cracks.

He loves me on purpose.
He loves me without condition.
He loves me with a power big enough to conquer death.
He loves me more than I am unable to love Him.

Posted in Insane in the Brain, Living Water, of yore, Thanks for the memories, The Donor Chronicles

Honey… where’s my pants?

Sometimes it’s hard for me to put on pants.  I’m clumsy and I struggle to maintain balance on one leg while inserting the other into my clothing.  Also my yoga pants are a little too small…  I blame my 1 year old.

It doesn’t often occur to me.  Most mornings, in regards to pants anyway, I’m a “normal” all-American mom who wakes up and downs just enough coffee to allow for basic human function.  I don’t even think about pants.  Here’s hoping my autopilot remembers to put some on.

And then there’s the days that I’m both Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.  This morning, I went into my closet and pulled out Old Navy fitted athletic pants.  And then I remembered that I’m not allowed to wear pants.  That pants means I am on the broad road to destruction.  That I have willingly allowed myself to fall for the lies of the enemy and am being carried away by apostacy.  I allowed the gateway drug of pants to lead me towards Jezebel paint and shearing off my glory, as well as defacing myself bodily.  In the time it took me to walk across my room, I played my mantra back to myself.  I am 2015 me.  I am an autonomous adult.  My eternal life is not attached to the fact that the clothing on the bottom half of my body has a separate compartment for each leg.  The woman who birthed me into this world is not my conscience, the Holy Spirit, my salvation.

It wanted to trip me up today.  I had a strong moment.  I chose to believe what I know and trust what I question to a God who I am learning loves my heart so much more than what I put on my earthly body.

I’m learning how to remind myself when I forget.  Or rather when I remember.  Rewriting, re-wiring, replaying.  And hoping that one day I’ll wake up and remember what I know and forget what I should never have been taught.

And I trust in the bigness of God to be bigger than me.