life shrinks or expands

So I’ve been procrastinating.  Doing every thing I possibly can to escape doing THIS — this writing thing.  Because I’m throwing a temper tantrum, a fit, I’m just kind of mad.  Because thoughts never come to me when it’s convenient.  They always come to me in the shower when I’m getting ready for work, and I jot down a few notes in my writing journal.  They come to me in the late, abysmally brutal hours of the evening — when most people’s minds have long since been asleep — and I jot a few notes in my writing journal.  They come to me when my house is loud, and I have a billion things to do — which is never conducive to anything — not even jotting a few notes down in my writing journal.  Never at acceptable hours of thought intervention.  Never, ever, never (insert foot stomping and moping about).  I mean, really.  What IS it like to be able to write when thoughts are lucid and they are just coming naturally and making sense.  Because, to this girl, that doesn’t come often.  Maybe I should just be thankful I have thoughts at all.  Ha!

So, I’m looking at these notes in my journal of REALLY important things that I just REALLY wanted to say — that were pressing on my heart, squeezing and squishing it to ouchiness and say-ing-ness — and it’s all Greek — it’s all pick any language you want.  Because the most awesome thing I always tell myself that I know isn’t true — but I just FEEL these things so strongly so MAYBE THIS TIME IT WILL BE is — I’ll remember that…

I think up some AMAZING blog posts.  They just never get written…  Do I get credit for that somewhere?  Heh, heh…

But for some of us, this writing thing isn’t a choice and we must–but for you, thank the Lord, the reading of it is…

 

So these past few weeks…

Wow…

Total brain craziness… (my husband is free to laugh and think all the things he may think here–I’ll even allow a few lines  of blank space in honor of all of those free-floating thoughts he must be having — just for him…)

 

 

So, it was career day at school.  And who ever would have thunk that this would have been a trigger for this chicka.  Not this girl.  But it was.  We had an all staff activity in which we were instructed to fill out a sheet of paper that would tell the kids where we graduated from college, what we wanted to be when we grew up when we were little, and then give a little inspirational saying of some kind directed toward their furtherment of education and aspiring dreams.  We could also include graduation pics of us from college and from when we were small-ish.  We then posted these outside our classrooms.  I am making myself continue.  This just stinks…

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Kindergarten
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Simpson College Graduation 1998 – The to be husband and I

 

I loved school.  All of it.  From preschool to college, and I did it all with my all of all — stressing over every minute detail of everything.  Because I loved it.  Because knowledge was something concrete to me.  It was something I could prove I had.  It was a way I could be good.  A way I could show I was good.  It was something I was really good at — and I was going to go big places.  I was getting out of all this awfulness — with brains in my head and the most incessant work ethic– it was happening.  Despite MEQ and Calculus, it was happening.  I took all the AP classes.  School was always more important than anything else to me.  I say that like I had anything else.  Because I had to get out.  I had to go somewhere.  I had everything to prove to everyone who wasn’t looking or paying attention.  To no one who cared.  Because no one really did.  But this was for me.  This was for my siblings.  This was for us.  Because, by God, I was going to save them too.  I was getting the biggest house and coming back for them.  All.of.them.  And if you would have told me that graduating from Simpson in the top ten percent of my class with honors would have landed me a preschool para position somewhere in my distant future, I probably would have laughed — and probably been really discouraged.  God had other plans for this girl that had her entire life so meticulously planned.  He knew where I belonged.  He had my dream job all worked out for me.  Because nothing worked out as I had planned.  Things, for all intents and purposes, all fell apart.  They all fell apart before they fit perfectly back together again.  I couldn’t fix my family.  I couldn’t fix me.  I couldn’t fix a damn thing.  I wouldn’t even realize I was a “fixer” until my thirties.  And none of it would matter.  And ALL of it would matter.  And yet, it would — miraculously — all work out.  And I would have laughed in your face if you would have told me that too.

I have one picture from graduating from college.  One.  My parents were very late.  I’m not sure they even took any pictures.  A professor friend took it of Marty and I.  After being frustrated at what she perceived to be my parent’s complete apathy towards my accomplishments, she told them they should be very proud.  They didn’t say those words to me that day.  It wasn’t enough.  None of it was ever enough.  They didn’t come to honors convocation.  When I called to invite them, I didn’t know what I was being honored for.  We weren’t told.  We were simply asked to come.  Since I couldn’t tell my father specifically what the honor was for, he didn’t believe me and didn’t think it was worth their time.  I was given two honors for my graduating class.  I was stunned.  Part of me also wondered if there was a mix up of some kind.  And they didn’t care to be there.  Twenty minutes away.  I called to let them know I had gotten honors in English and the Humanities for my class.  I was called a liar.  I was called a whore — I mean, someone as dumb as me MUST have slept with half of the professors to get honors in anything, right (despite the fact that the professors may have been women — so I must have been bisexual as well)?  All this crazy was so normal.  So, it was okay.  This was the pattern.  I changed out of my dress immediately following the ceremony and ran for two and half hours.  Because that’s what girls whose parents don’t come to honors convocation and get called liars and whores by their fathers do after they win awards.  They run their brains off.  And I would run my brain off until my body could physically run no more — who knew that would be at the age of 38.

Graduation was supposed to be a prove it to them time.  It obviously wasn’t.  I was still what they said I always had been — despite the four years I had managed and struggled to prove them wrong.  Because, as my father said, it was just an arbitrary measure of the intelligence of man anyway.  Still stupid.  Would always BE stupid.  You would think I would have learned at this point to just accept myself for who I really was and move on (it seems so simple to people on the outside of things) — but I had many more “maybe this time” moments with my parents.  It took me such a long time to realize that I just had to walk the hell away.  It took me a long time to realize that all of this crazy was abuse.  It took me a long time to realize that all the things, all the big things and all the little things — all of the all of the things — that had happened to me from birth to forever — were NOT my fault, were NOT because I was stupid, were NOT because of anything I had done at all or anything that I was lacking…  It’s taken a very long time for all of the things…  There will always be things.   We’re all still working on things.  And that’s okay…

One piece of golden rod paper.  One all staff assignment.  Tremendous trigger.  One awful night.  Just sitting there.  Looking at that graduation picture.  Realizing what that one photo was to me.  IS to me.  Because sometimes, even to this very day — what was still seems so very unreal.

But the flipping fantastic hallelujah glory of it all is this.  It’s not all gloom and doom and sadness.  I think the amazing thing about love and faith and life is this — more often than not, you do not find your dreams, but your dreams find you.  And life just kind of works out just as it should — imperfectly perfect — beautiful in its time.  And that’s the insane miracle of it all.  Breathe, let go, and know someone bigger than you has got this, sister.  And all that crap you went through?  It’ll be used for something.  Something beautiful, and something good.  And you don’t have to have that all figured out or know that either.  He’ll make that known — and he’ll make that THE MOST beautiful — in its time.  I promise.

All the crushing — it’s not to break you — it’s to make you the most incredible and precious and shiny person.  And you’re going to shine for him, and for so many others.  And after walking through all that fire — you’re really not going to care — maybe at first — maybe A LOT at first — but as you grow and as you push through all that concrete — you’re not going to give a damn what any shine snuffer is going to think.  You’re going to shine regardless.  Because there is something SO freaking amazing about knowing exactly who you are and who made you and what your purpose is.  There is something so innately strong in that.  You will be brave.  You won’t always FEEL brave — but you will be brave regardless.  Know this.

I found an old picture of this little blond girl from kindergarten.  I still feel like that scared little have to be perfect and living in fear girl some days.  She’s deep down inside there from time to time.  That really yucky feeling comes with triggers like golden rod employee wide assignments.  I looked at that picture and was sad for her.  I was so sad for the carefree little girl she was never able to be.  But I was also able to smile.  Because the little girl in that picture had NO IDEA what AMAZING and HUGE things God had in store for her.  Tears dried and assignment over.  Please do NOT ask me to do it again.  At least for another year.

Speaking of AMAZING and HUGE…

Anyone who knows this crazy girl knows how much I love my G.  Not my six-year-old G who I love with all my everything, my OTHER G (smile).  Glennon Doyle Melton.  And I got to hear her speak (oh my goodness she is THE MOST INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and meet her and like HUG HER FOR REAL this past week.  Yes, my everything is still reeling!  Still trying to process how this all actually happened.  I mean, I KNOW how it did, I just can’t even really believe it did…

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Shaking. Like, I might not be able to breathe, but can you sign my book of yours that I’ve read only like eleven times?

 

Glennon day edits April 29 2015 016
I told her I loved her. Actually I said, “would it be weird to tell you that I love you.” cause I am the biggest DORK like that — oh goodness!!!

 

And I have to thank my friend, Kerry.  Who is THE MOST amazing.  Seriously.  Incredible warrior momma.  Love you.  This momma turned the pain of losing her baby girl into the miracle of saving babies all over the nation by starting the organization “Count The Kicks” with other grieving mommies.  They are all the.most.amazing.  It was a day that changed my life.  I was in a room of struggle, encouragement, love, laughter, and light that was blown all the more open with fabulous hope.  Holy hell, I did not want to leave!  I wanted to live in that room forever!

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She is so beautiful. She is so brave. She is so everything.

 

And I was able to share this day with a forever friend.  I don’t have many of those.  As much as I have been moved around this little cosmos of a world, I don’t have a plethora of life long sisters.  And this sister, well, she means the world to me.  So, it was just a freaking day full of special.  I didn’t want it to end.  Ever.  So I keep reliving it in my heart.  HUGE treasure.  Still a bit surreal.  Bucket completely overflowing.  So.much.joy.

Glennon day edits April 29 2015 031
Kari, Glennon, and I. Heart overflowing.

 

And before this amazing G day, friend day, revel in imperfection and how we can serve and love each other day– I spent a great deal of time meditating (cause I was going to meet G — dear God, I was going to meet G!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).  I meditate to lose the heaviness of my bones.  To lose the heaviness of what it feels like to be me.  It’s like praying, but you’re not asking God for anything.  You’re just super, duper affirming that he’s there.  It’s like being face to face with him — no skin, no bones.  Just that you that is really you.  Your soul — saying, hey God, it’s me, Ang.  And I’m taking this moment, this day — for what ever it has to offer, what ever it has to teach me — the good, the bad, the ALL that it is for EXACTLY what it is — and I PRAISE you for it — I truly THANK YOU for ALL of it — and I accept it JUST AS IT IS — and I accept me just as I am — and I will find the good of both — just as they are — for all that they are.  And I breathe.  Through my soul.  Because bones and skin are such heavy things.  They are such heavy things because they have to be — they are holding back souls that know they do not belong caged.  Meditation lets me out.  It allows me to be closer to God.  It’s one big long prayer where you’re not sitting next to the receiver–you’re holding hands.  And I meditate also on those I love, for those I love, and on all that I am thankful.  And that is one precious way to start the day, my friends, one precious way… ❤

The thing about life is, no matter what we try to tell our children–  you really do not have to have it all figured out.  As my Glennon says, just do the next right thing.  One step at a time, we do the next right thing — and then we’ll get there.  Where ever that there is — we’ll get there — to that perfectly thought out place that God has destined for us.  The trick is to do our best enjoying that bumpy journey.  For taking it for what it is.  For taking US for who WE are.  And not to be scared to try because we’ve had a rough beginning — because our entry to this life hasn’t been so perfect.  Here’s my take.  Sometimes we know HOW to do things because we have been so aggressively shown the best way NOT to.  Read me?  Find the good, sister.  Find the good.  You always can.  Even if it’s a hard lesson.  You always can.

And hey — you’ve got this.  Even when you don’t.  In fact, it’s all working out better when it’s falling apart.  Because then you don’t have expectations.  And you’re not relying solely on yourself and your own strength.  You’re just hoping to make it to tomorrow.  And hope is a mighty thing, isn’t it?  And we should all just be really thankful and blessed by our tomorrows.  Really.  For that sun that comes up.  For the smiles of the freaking amazing people who love our guts no.matter.what — or hell, even because of what.

You can do it.  Expect good things.  Even when bad things come.  Because they will.  They most certainly will.  But you can handle it all.  Always.  Even when you can’t.  Because you are you.  And you know who you are.  And you know who he created you to be.  And even if you don’t know the ALL of that yet (because who does — we are such infinite creatures) — you’re good with that mystery.  Mystery is good too.  In fact, mystery is pretty fabulous.  It is its own miracle.

And the coolest thing ever is that we have this seed, a seed of the divine, ever-growing and living inside of us.  And nothing can snuff that out.  That power is real.  And too often we are afraid of that power.  Don’t be afraid of your light.  Shine on.  Please be brave and shine on.  You’ve got so much magic.  It’s real.  Smile.  The fact that your heart is beating, that you are breathing — purpose, friend.  What are you going to do with that? You matter.  Every circumstance and situation that you go through in this life — it all matters.  It all waters that seed.

they didn't know we were seeds

Those triggers.  Even those triggers can water that seed and be used for good.  Pain.  Sunshine.  It all waters the seed.

Love you all to pieces. ❤

For all your pieces.

Shine on.

Just keep shining.

One day at a time.

Namaste.

breaking your heart

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