love does thingsSo, here we are.  Another year.

Let’s do this.

I mean, let’s really DO this!

No tiara, fancy dress, or Champaign.  I nursed a migraine, did laundry, yoga, and meditated the new year in.  It was perfect and quiet.  It was exactly what I needed after this crazy year.

I love New Years.  I mean, I REALLY love it!  New beginnings.  Fresh starts.  A time to make promises, not resolutions, but promises — to myself, my family, my friends — and to God.  I break resolutions, but I don’t break promises.

I turn 40 this year.  40.  Dear God, 40.  That just seems, honestly, kind of old.  Really, it does.  And I’m not one of those women that really cares all that much about stuff like that.  I don’t spend that much time on me — maybe I should — but I don’t — because it just hasn’t mattered to me.  I have more pressing things, like my sanity, that have taken precedence over my physical extremities (or maybe it’s that I’ve realized they’re unfixable or maybe it’s that I don’t know how? ha!) — and loving the living guts out of the people I care about — and helping and fixing those people and this big old mess of a world– whether they want it or not — sorry, loves, and thanks for loving me anyway.  Except, of course, for the days when I can’t — and I won’t — and the covers are too heavy to even lift off of the bed and people are just too loud and too obtrusive to even THINK about venturing to that all too awful place called — you know — outside.  Except for those days.  Then I’ll just stick to my tea and my books and snuggles with my boys.  I am yin and I am yang.  There is no middle.  My constants are my God, my children, friends, family and my preschool littles.  My heart always beats and seems to function proficiently for them.  Smile.  And fixing myself?  Oh sweet sister, that was SO 2014…

This year was pretty tough, but it was fast learning — that kick in your face learning that sticks with you.  The “oh, I GET it now” stuff that focuses you and helps you breathe new air — the right kind.  Like, the kind you had before might have been slightly toxic, but not this stuff, THIS stuff — deep breaths, good breaths, in and out breaths — this is the stuff life is MADE of.  You get it now — not ALL of it — because we’re not supposed too — our minds aren’t made for perfect just yet — but I get it enough for peace.  And not just the ‘be calm and carry on’, zen of the moment stalk — no, the in your guts stuff — that even when things aren’t the grandest — I can breathe and know, really KNOW — and not just know, but TRUST, it really is going to be okay — even when it’s not.  And that, that has taken this girl an entire life time to learn.

They say God keeps putting people and events (and again people — smile) in your life to teach you things, give you wisdom you need to learn until you understand proficiently.  It’s a principle in Buddhism too.  In this regard, I have to be thankful that God keeps recycling these kind of people in my life (again, smile) and continue to ask ‘what can I learn’, and in some cases, ‘how far should I run?’.  Life isn’t just about surviving and ‘taking it’ — it’s also about living — and living beautifully and graciously– and God so wants us to have joy.  He really does.  And as Christians, as I profess to be one, we should be the most JOYFUL souls around — if we truly believe what we say we believe — no matter what our circumstances entail, joy should exude in our hearts. “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Because we have a mighty God, we have a mighty spirit — a piece of GOD — living in the temple of our souls — giving us the strength we need to fight any battle.  We are divine sons and daughters of Christ.  No weapon formed against us shall prosper and we have a God who is fighting our battles for us and — a big AND — we know the outcome of this battle.  We know our ending.  He’s got this.  “Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.” Hebrews 11:1 NLT 

I have never been so convicted to live what I believe.  I have never been so unafraid.  I have never been so moved beyond pleasing others.  I don’t have a thing to prove.  In all my years of trying to prove my worth and value to others, I’ve gained absolutely nothing.  It’s a spinning wheel that gets you nowhere but tired, overwhelmed, and depleted fast.  This question now repeats over and over and over again in my mind when I begin to step on that wheel of self doubt and unworthiness — “do I really believe what I profess to believe?” .  Then live it, Ang, LIVE IT!!! — out loud — all the way through — amen, and amen again.

God made us to be such courageous and powerful and INCREDIBLE beings!  In his likeness, fearfully and wonderfully made.  I had this verse tattooed on my body for a reason.  I’m not dishonoring him anymore by doubting this.  I believe what I say I believe.  Humility and self loathing are not synonymous.   It took me a long time to learn this.  But I finally got it.  We are holy temples of the divine.  And it’s okay to shine your light, sister — shine on, shine bright, and rock it — sparkles and all!  Glitter it up!  Shine, shine, and shine.  And be so very proud of that!  I got it, I SO finally got it.

And not everyone’s shine is the same — he made us all so uniquely and gorgeously different — some glitter is pink, some purple, some blue, some gold — but we’ve all got it — and it’s all so incredibly sparkly, isn’t it?  Shake it — all over the damn place!!!  And let’s ENCOURAGE one another to DO so!  Let’s be champions for one another!  Champions of the God light and love in us all!  So many of us are so afraid of our own good, our own MAGIC!  Yes, we truly are.  We’re afraid of our own incredible awesomeness more than we are of our failure at times.  We have it in us — all of us — but what if it’s just too bright and beautiful for this world to handle — and people make fun of us, or hate us, or laugh at us, or call us strange?  And this girl has so ceased to care–because I have been ALL of those places — those places of made fun of and laughed at and hated and strange — and I’m still strange — and that strange?  Well, I LOVE that strange, and God loves that strange and that’s good enough for me.  And all of those other places may not have felt so good, but the prison of not being who you were CREATED to BE is ever so much darker — and those people that do all that whispering — or are out right loud and in your face– will ALWAYS be talking about somebody.  Always.  And nothing, nothing you do will ever make them completely happy (and you aren’t responsible for making them happy) — remember those people who keep entering your life to teach you something that I was talking about? — yup — that’s one of the many things this girl learned.  Sparkle and glitter it up.  Shine through the madness.  Be beautiful you.  This world needs more of it, sweetheart.  SO much more of it!  That sparkle, that glitter, that shining light is TRUTH — and you are worth ALL of it.  “…shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-” Philippians 2:16

And don’t deny your struggle.  Ug, I spent so many years hiding this and being ashamed of this instead of embracing it.  This past year I was finally able to hold it in my hands, all of its ugliness and pain, accept it all for what it was, for what it made me, let it go — in as much as one can — and be at peace with it.  For so many voices will tell you that because of your struggle you are not whole, you will never be whole, and you will never understand ‘normal’.  And now I can completely laugh at all of that ignorant nonsense — because that is exactly what it is.  Who is whole, what is normal, and I’m so proud of my cracks.  As one of my sisters reminds me often, those cracks let more of the light shine through.  I’ve embraced my adversity and struggle, not shrank from it.  I won’t say it’s made me a better person — but it’s made me “me”.  And that is enough.  I am enough.  I am more than enough.

And the thing about struggle and adversity is this — it gives you so many sisters and brothers — it gives you a feeling of commonality with people at times, a feeling of closeness, that you often don’t understand till much later on.  It allows you to sit down and break bread at the table, instead of standing in judgment at the pulpit.  It challenges you without completely breaking you, crushing you until you feel broken, but never completely — because in all that crushing you find out who God really is.  Not who everyone tells you he is.  You find out who YOU really are — because you don’t allow tragedy to define you — you rise above — and even in complete blackness — you are able to catch glimpses of the good in humanity — and that there’s a spirit inside this body — and no one — make that NO ONE — can tell you different.  Because your body has been challenged, sister, and if that’s all you were, well, honey — you’d have long been dust. But something in you hung on, clung on, and just plain drug you through the madness.  Something that had nothing, and yet everything, to do with you.  Something that thought you were worth saving.  Something that was bigger than all the chaos.  Something that was brighter and lighter than your worst darkness.  Something that you didn’t understand, but was always there, and you could quietly fathom in the depths of your heart.  Something that made you feel safe, even when you never really were.  Something was holding you — only for the simple fact that you didn’t drown.  All this awfulness made for the really good things to shine their brightest — those intangible, unexplainable, “abnormal” things.  Every day I thank God I’m not normal.  Normal eyes miss out on so much.  There are so many other ways of seeing.  Struggle opens many doors in our souls.  God fills our broken with miracles.

So, adversity didn’t make me weaker or somehow ‘less informed’ regarding the ways of normalcy.  If anything, it made me far less susceptible to bullshit.  I can say that now.  It took me years to get here (I won’t go into my age again, smile) — because there are people that took advantage of this learning process and the girl climbing out of the mire.  And I can’t beat myself up over that.  I can’t wish I had been a stronger person when those lies were being whispered in my ear.  I was doing the best I could in the then of what was.  And God has honored that.  And I praise him for that.  And every day I start from now and what is.  And every day I say thank you…

And God is everything.  He is.  And I don’t care in what way you come to hear or know him or how or in what way his voice speaks to you.  I only pray and hope that at some point in your life you do.  And being the stubborn, hard headed person that I am, I don’t know that I ever would have without struggle.  So, maybe that’s what it took for me.  To be completely dependent on him, to be completely faithful, to be completely his — maybe I needed to be completely broken.  I don’t know.  I just trust his journey for me.  Every day, I wake up and trust.  That is one thing that has never changed.

2015 is going to rock.  It’s going to be awesome.  It’s the first year I can say “bring it” and not feel like the sky will fall.  And even if it does?  Who cares?  We got this life thing — God and I.  It’s all good — even when it’s not.  Because those streets in heaven are paved in gold.  And this little fam of mine?  Yeah, eternity is ours.  I’m blessed with the most amazing brothers and sisters down here on this spinning ball of green and blue and I get to spend forever with these peeps too.  Life is good.  And I get to spend the rest of it loving and living and serving and learning what that’s all about — with a thankful and grateful heart.  Always with a thankful heart.  And if it doesn’t go right, it’s still right.  And if it hurts, I’ll learn some more.  And I’ll likely love some of the wrong people still, and say and do a billion more stupid things — because that’s something I also rock at — but forgiveness, man, that’s awesome stuff too, isn’t it?  And, like my mother says — “the fact that you recognize your weaknesses is always a good thing.”  See?  Even the bad stuff, it’s good stuff (smile).

Enjoy the journey, appreciate it, value it, and value and love the mess that we all are.  Because life IS a mess.  A big one.  And that’s okay too.  We don’t have to fix it all.  But we do need to care enough to try our best to make it a little better.  And love.  Love, it does AMAZING things.  It really is the biggest miracle in this whole life thing we do here.  And we get to be a part of it all.  This big ole messy miracle.  We get to.  I get that now too.

Sparkle, glitter, shine, and love the crap out of each other while doing it.  It’s really all that simple and really all that hard too. 

Peace and Namaste, you beautiful, messy people. ❤

And happy, happy 2015.

“I am an expression of the divine.”

Alice Walker

One thought on “To beginnings…

  1. Happy New Year to my beautiful sister, brother-in-law and my incredible nephews! Thanks for all your sparkle, glitter and light!! Shine on sis and thanks for your words of wisdom!! Amen to all of the above and then some. 2015 is going to ROCK!! Bring it on!!!! LOVE you to the moon and beyond and beyond the great beyond!! YOU are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXO

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