A thing or two about plants…

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”  e.e. cummings

Morning y’all!  Except by the time I finish this, it will no longer be morning.  Nothing is ever “quick” with this momma.

As I was watering our plants — mostly shammies on this intensely hot Iowa morn, I was hit with so.many.things.  Just a typical morning of crashing, free-flowing thoughts… (smile)

Maybe it’s an INFJ thing, a psych and English major thing, a spectrum-y thing, or just my kind of crazy — but I’m a girl who constantly and forever sees everything in metaphors.  The tiniest of things can hold the deepest meaning.  And it all just smacks me upside the head, delightfully, heavily, humorously — all the things — all.the.time.  Is there a metaphor filter somewhere?  Somedays I could really use one of those. (it makes a girl t-i-r-e-d)

Like when I was out watering our plants…

First, I do NOT have a green thumb, so let’s just say the fact that these blessed creations of God have survived is a straight up miracle to be rejoiced!  Holy hallelujah every day.  I mean really.  Praise God!  I tend to over water, over prune, and over love — which is also a huge metaphor for my OWN personality (and long list of shortcomings) in itself.  Getting to that…  #foreverhumbled

Our shams were from wedding favors my mother and my former step father brought back for the boys.  Just a few tiny, unassuming bulbs.  And G wanted to plant them SO badly.  So we did.  These things NEVER grew, you guys.  I mean like over a month of tending to a pot of dirt and nothing!  But G had SO much faith.  SO much.  “They will grow, Momma!!!”  And sure enough, one blessed morning, an infinitesimal little sprout.  Then a white flower (I didn’t even know shams created flowers 🙂 ) — and over three years and counting, they come back every year — two giant pots of green and beautiful delicate little white flowers later — they’ve increased in number about as much as Abraham’s descendants  — heh, heh…  Patience, hope, and faith, y’all.  It’s a beautiful thing.  And so is my kid’s heart.  He NEVER gives up!!!  On me, or the possibility of the AMAZING that could come of something small — when cared for and prayed for and loved on.  I think of this every.single.time I water these pots of green.  I’m not sure about this “good luck” business and shams, but that’s their gold at the end of the rainbow…  And that is priceless…

A lovely friend of mine, knowing G’s penchant for shamrocks, gave Griff some big purple shamrocks for his birthday this year.  Heaven on earth for my little man.  They have “heart-shaped petals” (his description) and he’s smitten.  Our friend and neighbor also gave him the bestest gift — knowing his heart and his love of nature, dirt, and planting — and took the time to take him on an adventure — over to her house.   She let him fill up a giant planter ‘all the way up to the top!’ of dirt — and then she let him pick what ever plants he desired.  Really, together these two spent time filling up his heart with happiness.  And G decided to put his purple shamrocks in there too — naturally, it matched the flowers he picked with his Judy.  Maybe it was part of his plan all along.  I had NO idea this planter would grow to the fullness and beauty that it has.  But I guarantee that Griff did.   Patience, faith, and hope, y’all.  This kid is magic.

And every time we water this planter, my heart literally fills all the way to the top too… cause just wow.  How blessed we are to have such love in our lives!  That we have friends that know and love our kids and care about them as much as we do.  That’s what I see in this mix of earth and God’s divine creation of beauty.

What else do I see?  The intricate and breathtaking captivity of diversity!  Purple shamrocks.  We “didn’t even know” there were any other kind until our Shawna.  Here we thought green was all the splendor that there was — and then look — there’s this whole other kind of awesome! All tall and big, yet a little more delicate — with lavender like flowers — perfectly accenting our strong stocks with the daintiest of flowers from our friend, Judy, who knows my child loves digging in the dirt and watching the miracles that can grow from it.  Kind of perfect.  Really.  There are so many different kinds of beauty.  And they all stem from, no pun was even intended there — the overflow of what is in our hearts.  Our guts.  Our insides.  I praise God and say thank you for those kind of hearts.  Just thank you.  Y’all are thanked for every day.  Know that.

And that we can love and appreciate all of that different, right?  SO amazing and awesome!  That we each bring something new and incredible to this big, gigantic and colorful mixing pot of life!  And that our beauty, our “thing” is unique to only us?  Kind of takes your breath away! And we must go out there and not be afraid of shining it and being it and growing it for the glory of God — sharing it — just like Shawna did — or no one will ever know or see our unique super power — our divine super power — our God-given purpose.  Don’t hide your you.  Don’t doubt it.  Don’t be afraid of it or EVER think it’s not good enough.  You’re always enough.  And different?  Wow.  Different is so beautiful.  Grow and be.  Just be.  And all of the insanely hard and wonderful that is…

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you.  Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision.  So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”  Neil Gaiman (one of Griff’s favorite people — the author of “Coraline” and many other fantastical books)

What else is in these planters?  Joy, ya’ll.  Straight up joy.  Kindness, sharing — begets joy does it not?  Plants just grow.  They just share and give.  They don’t really ask us for anything, do they?  They just are.  They just share their joy.  And I am blessed with so many friends who have hearts just like that — just sharing their joy out of the love and kindness of their hearts.  I want to be like them.  How awesome to have that inspiration!

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Joys like fresh veggies and time to play with Chance — my boys want a dog SO badly (we’re still working on Daddy).  Judy, we love you so much and appreciate your heart.  You are joy.  For friends that get that they are our family, and the immense joy they bring by just being and allowing us to just be.  Who become our safe places, our soft places.  That know us and our children so well, encourage us, brave the battlefront of life with us, and in so doing we can settle into the graces of who we are.  If that’s not joy, I don’t know what is…

Who drive all the way from Cedarburg and Carroll to spend the day with us, then understand that we need to get doctor’s appointments juggled — AND then take our kid with all of their kids — to the “water park” in Clive all day (even though we can’t go — cause doctors) — and then take us out to dinner to a fancy schmancy place that same night because — well, love.  And joy.  Who love our kids as much as we do.  Really.  Really know and love them.  And count them as joy in their lives.  Who take them driving.  Freaking driving.  Who deal with our obsessive love and crazy.  All of it.  And don’t put us down for it, but love us anyway.  Because they know just how much we love them and their amazing miracles of children too.  It’s all so incredibly amazing, isn’t it?  Yes, I LOVE the word amazing!

And push pops.  Who buy our kids push pops.  Heavens.  Letters and cards in the mail.  Books that feed my soul.  Just showing up on my doorstep.  The most amazing.  At all the right times!!!  And all the wrong times.  Birthdays, hard times, joyful times!  JOY in.my.mailbox.  These have MADE everything for me and my family!  I have a couple of particular girlfriends that are so inanely thoughtful at this!!!!  These little things are the BIGGEST things.  In fact, I’d happen to surmise that collectively the little things really are all the things.  They really are.  Joy.  All of it joy.

And this joy isn’t dependent on what we feel or what we’re going through.  THAT is also what ALL of these GORGEOUS people have taught me!  We can have joy together no.matter.what.  How freaking amazing is that?????????? There they are, just blooming, my friends, the loves they are, amidst any dirt we push through — we can do it together — JOY.  This builds my faith.  This points me to Jesus.  And praying together and for each other? Knowing someone is taking the time to take YOU to God? It is the greatest gift. JOY. Praying for all of you.  Thanks for helping me grow and bloom where I am planted.  #youaremyjoy ❤

And I’m often also reminded that I need to be patient.  In my pruning of these plants on our doorstep, I think of how God often prunes us — getting rid of the dead stuff, the stuff that’s weighing us down, rotting our hearts, not allowing us to grow, holding us back from the creation he intends for us.  The GOOD he wants for us.  He’s the master gardener, isn’t he?  Always FOR us.  Helping us to achieve our ultimate potential.  Wanting the BEST for us and in us.  Pretty awesome and amazing.  And it doesn’t always FEEL good, this pruning and plucking.  But I have faith in his timing — even if it isn’t mine.  Patience.  He makes all things beautiful in his time…  Growing is painful stuff sometimes.  And it takes time that we often don’t have time for (smile).  But little by little.  Faith and patience get us there, in the loving hands of a God that is ALWAYS good. 

Yet I tend to rush things sometimes.  In my haste accidentally pulling too hard, and while my intention was to remove a dead leaf or stem — I rip up a perfectly good one as well.  Slow down.  Look.  Listen.  Breathe.  Give room to grow. Be like Jesus.  Seek him, Ang.  This is not about you.  None of this is ever about you.  And when I feel anxiety creep in, I know that my faith is taking a step back — because the two cannot coexist.  And I’m relying on myself, not God.  And I have to put my ego in check.  It’s not up to me.  It’s not about me.  It’s all in God’s hands.  And I’d rather leave it in his.  I tend to make a mess of things.

Like having a tendency to over water.  If some is good, isn’t more better?  More love, more things, more attention, more time?  In my desire to fix, to care for, to love people, I can over do, over extend, over communicate, over everything.  Learning when and how to give love is a never-ending process for this girl.  Patience.  I’m so thankful that God NEVER runs out of it with me.

Nature is so aesthetically calming and miraculous.  Tiny seed to this fantastic creation.  You can’t mess it up too badly — unless you kill it.  But even decay can lead to greater beauty.  I love that about plants, nature in general.  Planting doesn’t require too much skill, a master’s degree, or fanatic hours on Pinterest.  And plants are beautiful and complete all on their own.  You don’t need to study the “interior design of a planter” to get a lovely arrangement together.  It generally works out…

Unlike decorating homes.  Interior design is not my forte.  But this is where our little fam does our most growing.  Inside this little clay pot of our home.  It’s where all of us seeds get thrown in, the sun shines down, the rain beets down, a few bugs get in here and there… you get the idea…

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And I’m totally fine with the fact that our home will never, even after our kids our grown and gone — be a grown up house.  I’m not one of those people who can decorate.  Not a spacial person.  I love pretty things and I know what I like aesthetically — I’m just not really able to translate that into “real life”.  Our growing pot of family is a bit messy, and totally organic (smile).

But maybe that’s okay… because what I want for my kids is a space for them to feel — well, like them.  Safe, happy, loved.  Just them.  Because so much of this world — the all of it really — is telling them to be someone else.  I want that pressure off here.  So yeah, we have Legos in our living room. A butter box full of letters and cards (Karey, I miss your shop SO much!).  A thankful jar.  Even a mason jar full of rocks collected from a thousand fantastic adventures.  A bazillion and one books.  Various items from nature — pinecones and leaves can look like SO many incredible things!  Several blankets.  A few pillows (trying to cut back as this drives my husband crazy) .  All artwork is done by my incredibly talented friends and my kids (and my preschool loves).  And the most recent addition — a print by Grant Wood.  “American Gothic” is basically a self-portrait of Marty and I — ug. And a million photographs.  Some from a million years ago (smile)…

This is our nesting pot of us.  And it will never be ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ or ‘Traditional Home’ or anything fancy.  Cause that’s not us.  And I love us.  And home is where we get to be us — and grow the all of us.  We don’t have to pretend or keep it all together here.  So all of these pieces?  They’re pieces of us.  They mean something.  Gracious — our home is one GIANT metaphor.

Where faces of those we love smile back at us.  Where we are encouraged.  Where we struggle.  Where we fight.  Where we make up.  Some times days later.  But eventually.  Where we pray.  Where we constantly pray.  Where we put on the full armor of God.  Where we grow and learn and grow and learn some more.  Where we question.  Everything.  Where it’s a safe place to question.  Everything.  Where we love.  Everyone.  Even when it hurts.  Because sometimes love hurts the most.  Where we share our joys.  Every day.  Because there is joy in every day.  Where we give thanks, and where this girl reminds her boys that that thankful jar is really NOT full enough.  Where some days, Mom and Dad’s bed is the best place to be — watching movies and cuddling and snuggling.  You’re never too big.  We’ll just get a bigger bed.  Where we deal with tough things.  Because life is tough things.  But then we remember to laugh too, because life is also freaking beautiful.  And if you can’t see that, then we need to come back and pray together again — because God did not create us to simply hurt.  And if you can not get past hurt — what can we do now — like RIGHT NOW — to make some one else’s day better?  Because that’s why we’re here.  Really.  To be a blessing.  And if we haven’t been a blessing in someone else’s day today, we better get to it.  And if someone, anyone, could PLEASE help me with all.of.this.laundy — that would be really great too… ❤

Plants, flowers, they can’t do laundry — but they sure can teach us so much about life and even about God.  They’re an amazing reminder to me every single morning.  And I’m incredibly thankful for the blessings of reminders they bring me each day I water them —

and maybe — just maybe — even for this loud, meandering, full, and crazy mind.

Love y’all!  SO much!

Namaste.

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On triggers and matter seeds…

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?

 

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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.

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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

to be seen…

ImageWe’ve made it half way through this crazy week–this blurry of furry–this ‘just hold on with both hands for the ride’ week–and I’m so thankful for the rain–that has slowed our insane schedule down somewhat.  I dream of sleep.  It sounds so lovely.  I think I could do it for days.  Waking up today and thinking it was Friday didn’t help. And our weekends are just as packed as our weeks.  But summer is coming soon.  Exhale! School will be out, homework will be done (no more math questions for this mommy–yay!!! I can not begin to tell you how happy that makes me!). My kids will begin to get a reasonable amount of sleep once again and all will be less crazy and less insane for a few months.  I can tread water and hold my breath till then.  I can because I get to.  This is an incredible blessing.  I know this.  I SO know this.  I am very lucky.  My blessings require a lot of energy, none the less.  We’re all in the same boat. The American way of life, no less…

This world is in the business of busy.  I try to savor as much as I can from running here to there and back again–and being a quiet, enjoying and treasuring the little things kind of person–the sanctity of the simple–this is tough–because life is loud and NOW and so needy of our everything so quickly–often without thanks and without so much as a ‘how do you do’.  So we go about our days–rushing, running, being–but not really being.  And trying to be present in this? Well, it’s madness.  And that’s when I get a little crazy, sad, and crabby (which all comes from the lack of sleep too)–because I SO want this life for my boys, for myself, to be the authentic, beautiful, majestic, divine, creation it can be.  Not just a busy calendar or planner full of check lists–where we truly SEE each other–not just parallel exist. 

I got a beautiful message from a friend today.  It is SO incredibly uncanny because it’s like she inherently knows when I need these things.  She will call out of the blue when I am struggling and tell me she’s thinking of me.  Send me cards, gifts, just BE there in ways she always is at the times she always is with such adept timing — I wonder at times if she is more angel than human friend.  It’s just so amazing this beautiful soul’s timing.  And I so deeply love this girl.  My youngest, as it were, asked me last week–“Mommy, do you love me more than Summer?”.  And it brought such happy tears to my eyes–and a little giggle (as G often makes me giggle)–because I wish this kind of friendship for my boys.  And I am just blown away by the blessing of such friendship — completely.  And I started looking around at all the amazing people I have in my life–starting with my beautiful boys–and moving to my incredible friendships–and started wondering–what is it that I want for them, for me–in this mad rush of life? What is it that makes me stop, take pause, take a breath, a moment? What is it that we are often missing from each other? 

I look at my boys–and I know for them and many of my friends–and for myself too–it is to be seen.  How often do we truly feel seen?  As in my beautiful friend’s words and actions, she reminds me that I am here for a reason, valued, appreciated, and loved–and who doesn’t want that? But how many times do we receive that, feel that, connect with that in a human sense? I want to be seen, truly, for me.  Intrinsically for who I am.  The skin and bones, the nature of the individual–and who has time for that anymore, right? Stopping to tell Max that I love him for the amazing heart he has, the concern and love he shows for others, his thoughtfulness, his kindness, his respect, and his willingness to always do what is right–to tell him that, to show him that “I know this is who you are and I LOVE this about you.” That’s important to him.  That’s important to me.  To tell Griffyn that I love his endless hugs and kisses, how he makes me laugh–like every single day–that I love how he loves to read and could sit and read books with me for hours and hours and hours and how he loves to makes crafts, to run around with him outside because finding bugs is like finding gold treasure–to acknowledge his loves–acknowledges I know him–his authentic self–what makes him unique, special–to validate his individuality–I’m telling him, “I see you, I know you, I am AWARE of you, and I love you. Who you ARE is pretty amazing.  Your makeup, your being, all that stuff inside of you that makes you YOU.  I love it.  All of it.  Phenomenal stuff you’ve got going on.  I see it, kid.  And I love it.” How often do we do this in relationships? I would venture to say–not enough. 

I’ve never been a huge fan of sports.  My oldest LOVES baseball.  I love him.  You see where I’m going with this.  We play catch, I go to a million (okay, so it only feels like it) games.  The same with soccer, basketball, and football.  And I love it because I love my boys.  Every minute of it.  I kid you not.  I’m cheering and yelling with more passion than I’ve felt about my favorite Jane Austen novel.  It’s quite crazy really.  And my boys appreciate me being there, supporting them.  It all goes together.  A little digression, yes.  That’s something you’d see often about me if you saw me… (smile).

Seeing each other.  Really seeing each other.  Not just expecting or demanding things from one another.  Appreciating.  Valuing.  Seeing.  This takes time.  Ahhhh, but the BEST, and the most authentic relationships beget the seeing. 

And not all the seeing is pretty.  And that’s okay too.  Really.  Because perfect isn’t authentic either.  We’re not always pretty.  We don’t always talk nice.  Ugly stuff happens.  And sometimes things fall apart.  But when you’ve been seen, you know you’re allowed, and it’s okay, and you’ll be okay–and you’ll even be helped and you’ll even be safe and you’ll even be this thing called supported–maybe even before you know you need it.

When I was very little until I was not so very little–let’s just say for most of my life or for a very, very long time–I wasn’t seen.  Growing up was very hard for me and my childhood was more of a survival than a coming of age story.  I can finally, truly, say–I don’t regret it. I don’t understand it, and I don’t have to.  At some point, your life has to be lived and absolutely nothing you can do can change what has happened.  It’s very sad to me still.  I still can’t talk about it without crying.  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but I know it made me the person I am today and I am really proud of that person.  One small, yet very big thing I have always taken with me is that I never, ever want anyone–child or adult–to ever feel the way I felt in any of those moments–ever.  Ever.  And once again–ever.  This often starts, very simply, by allowing a person to be seen…

Here’s to seeing with open hearts and with kindness which is always possible.  Always. 

Much love to you all…