Saturday, October 22, 2011

My husband.

I took my children to the park yesterday.  We raced down slides, accosted every person with a dog, climbed too high on the monkey bars, and laughed in the brilliance of a carefree day.  As I pushed them higher and higher on the tire swing, singing happy birthday brilliantly off key, my husband came and slid his arm around me.  Soft and sweet, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me gently.  He'd been out of town for the past two days and finally caught up with us at the park.  I said hi, brushed him off, and refocused my attention on the kids.  Off and on through the night, he'd come close and I would push him away.  I knew I was being distant and I found myself frustrated with him, frustrated with myself and not really understanding why I had a wall built between us.

I could easily remember five years ago when we were living in Madison WI.  Running from the rain into old bookstores, reading on the same pier on which we would later promise forever.  Living, abandoned to our lives, joy, and passions, fully consumed with the other.  Our tiny apartment, where we would talk late into the night and wake too early to watch the people walking through the snow below, on their way to lives and jobs.  Fully catering to the other, eager to please, fascinated with the glee we found in our existence together.  

Fast forward to now, when dishes stack up, the weight of life, children, work, and constant giving out leave us empty and unable to stir up a wisp of desire for the other.  I went to bed last night, after pulling out of my funk.  Apologizing for my weirdness, we slept, our feet curled around each other and two children in between.  I felt heavy and sad.  It's easy to understand where the passion has gone, it's buried somewhere between familiarity and never enough time (alone).  It's easy to justify my pushing away when I feel constantly pressed upon to care for all the corners of our world and I've just finished doing it alone.  And it is easy to realize that if I allow this chasm between us to settle, uncrossed, unfilled, it will simply grow until the other side no longer becomes recognizable and we've buried ourselves in our separate islands of solitude.  Each caring for the family from their own retreat and the others sacrifice and effort becomes unrecognizable in the light of our own.

I could sigh and tell myself this is life.  It's what it's like with kids.  It's understandable, everyone goes through it.  Don't worry, don't press myself to change.  Eventually the kids will grow.  The season will shift and we'll find ourselves again.  But then, I have to think, that is when people look at their spouse and say 'who are you?  I don't know you anymore.'  And they turn and go their separate ways.
We are coming up on 5 years of marriage.  5 years, and for 4 1/2 of them we've been filled with the weight of pregnancy and kids.  We've moved 6 times and we have explored and journeyed through the far corners of this country.  We have crashed through waves.  Tag teamed in the middle of the night when colic and the flu kept us up through streaks of dawn.  We have chased through soaring redwoods.  Driven down endless stretches of winding highway.  We have climbed highest peaks.  We have shared each dream, each direction, each passion, each ambition.  We have lived fully, together.

I can say there is no one else I would rather spend my days.  There is no one else who causes my heart to drop when I see their face.  There is no one else who I love more completely, more desperately with all of my being.  And I never want there to be another.  This is it.  All of it.  This is my life and it is irrevocably connected to this man.  I would never change that. 

So, in this place I must shift.  I must transform.  I am challenging myself these 90 days to strengthen my health, to increase our finances, to promote awareness and I am going to add, to focus wholeheartedly on my marriage.  To not allow it to pass unnoticed, but to pour my affection, and attention into it.  To give of myself, without looking for repercussion.   To not allow the frustration of yesterdays, the why did you's or why nots or how comes, keep me from being free in the moment.  

Isn't that what new love is?  The dramatic fascination of another without the weight of broken promises, lack, or frustration hindering its rampant desire.  A blank slate.  The ability to love completely, without thought of the past.

Surprisingly enough I feel a curling of excitement.  Knowing that I am choosing to rewrite my thought process.  To do something new and not settle for the every day.  To live not out of reaction, but action.  

To each of you, may your days be filled with joy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

from rest

I took Judah on a bike ride today.  He peddled fast then would stop, look around, complain about not being able to peddle any longer and sit, until a push from me would give him the momentum to continue.  There were moments of frustration when I would tell him to get to the side of the road and ignoring me he would reach down to touch the paint on the center line, or not listen to my calls of 'stop! there are cars' until my hand grabbed the bike and halted it.  

By the time we made it home I felt discouraged.  It is a beautiful day and I had eagerly taken my children out to experience the perfect coolness of the air on their skin and to soak in the warmth of the sun.  When I returned I felt drained and exhausted.

And in this moment I can just imagine how I come across to the Lord.  Willful and headstrong.  Defiant.  Certain that I know which way is best and that he should just follow after me.  Let me lead, let me set the pace.

I wonder, what would life look like if I fully gave control of the reigns.  If I moved from a place of peace and rest rather than my typical take charge attitude.

It truly is a letting go.  Trusting that he who formed me, is holding me gently cradled in his arms.  That he has set the path before me and if I will just listen to the sweet guiding of his voice, I will reach my destination unscathed.  Whole.  Full of joy.  As he means it to be.

There is a verse that says 'why worry about tomorrow, what you will eat or what you will drink?  don't you know that he who clothes the lilies of the field will also clothe you?'  How awesome that God cares about what we wear.  That the things that are important to us are also to Him.  That he values the mundane, the every day.

We are called to live quiet lives of peace.  Not boring lives of lack.  I think that somewhere along the line I began to believe that God wanted less for me, when in reality he wants more.  He wants my good, more desperately than I do myself.

Just as I long for my children to trust me.  To heed my voice.  To respond eagerly and with diligence.  Because I value their lives and their welfare.  I want them to enjoy their days, not suffer through.  I am heart heavy for their good and eager to protect them from evil.  Yet they have to allow me to guide them, they have to listen when I call.  Or we retire back, to spend the rest of the day in the house, practicing responding to my voice.

Let my heart, oh God!  leap at the sound of your words.  Let it turn eager and ready at the faintest breath of your call.  Let me be a life that brings you joy and peace, as I exist in the joy and peace you have prepared for me.  Let me live fully dependent on you.  Always desperate to bend at the slightest hint of your hand.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

denying fear.


It has crippled me.  Mocked me.  And left me desperately empty, longing for a life of freedom.  But, each step I take has me questioning, what if I fail??

What if. I. Fail.

And I live afraid of ever trying because I could fail.  I may not be as good as I want to be.  I could turn everyone against me, in a desperate quest to live fully and to live successfully.

My heart desperately wants to live a life of freedom.  To live my dreams.

But to reach that, I must be willing to fail.  To be honest, I never have been.  Failure is just not something that I am okay with.  Therefore I don't try.  I hide, desperate and discouraged, because daily, I hold myself back.

There are so many movies out there, where you watch as people living a normal life begin to self sabotage, until they have created this Hollywood drama type chaos in every single area of their lives.  Only to suddenly become self aware, make a decision, take a leap of faith, TRANSFORM themselves and their lives and then all of a sudden everything is perfect.  They now have their dream job, husband, friends, everything and all because they chose to move forward.

Sadly the Hollywood portrayal is not true to life.  For most of us when we reach the place of deciding to step out and risk failure, risk ridicule, risk.  We are ridiculed and we do fail.  It is in this place that the true test exists.  Will we run back to our safety net, curl up in our familiar chair and never move forward, because failure hurts?  Or will we push forward, step up and keep going until we have the lives that for MOST will only be lived in dreams?

I find myself in that place right now.  A place of choosing.  To risk failure, to risk myself.  To better my existence.  But in the doing I have to continually live outside of myself.  To remember that the best success stories come from the best failures.  I am moving forward.  I am taking hold of the reins of my life, because I am DONE letting everyone else lead me along.

I am joining the challenge to transform my life.

I hope that you will join me.  Because the status quo just wont work for me, any longer.

To life!!

Friday, October 7, 2011

To this, my love.

There is something in the air.  The magic of a fall day.  The crisp, clean air that swells with mystery and promise.  It has been more than a while, since I have felt the click of keys under my fingers.  Since my heart has felt the weight of something to share.  A sliver of life to reveal with you.  Perhaps more it has been the overwhelming sense of a need to work through the cacophony of life, to find the sweet harmony of peace.

For the last year I have desperately sought to better myself, the sting of failure more often my fate than any sense of success.  I have strived desperate to break through this wall.  To be worthy of this life.  To be accepted.  Loved.  To not only know my value, but for it to be know.   Day after day I melted, lost, broken, discouraged.

Only to land in this place of peace, where I stand face to face with myself and realize that I am exactly the me I was created to be.  To find my life is worthy, not for any other reason then that it was handed to me.  I was created for purpose.  While that purpose may not always connect in my mind, it is in no way diminished.  My lack is never from reality, but because my eyes have not yet been opened to the abundance surrounding me.   I have chosen to live desperate for others to value me, because I did not value myself.  I was hungry for love because I could not see the one who embodies love and I would not receive the love he so desperately longs to pour out.

I was invited into the throne room and rather than enter in my rags, I first sought to better myself.  To clean off the dirt, to prove my worth.  That when I entered I would not be shunned or ashamed.  Only to be brought in, with dirt on my face.  To bite into the apple of grace and as the pure juice of life dripped down my chin, watch as my being transformed.  The clothing I once spurned as rags, change to white and the dirt, to gold.  Eyes to see and ears to hear.

I have come to realize that the reality in which I have lived, was not to what I was born.  I was called to destiny and purpose and yet I could only see it as servitude and lack.  My eyes were blind to the true gift of which I am blessed to live.  The joy that I can find in every day.  As I see clearly for the first time.

How desperate I am to fill my lungs with the purity of air.  To see the value of my life.  To pour out my blessing and worth upon my children.  To teach them to live, perfectly pleasing their Creator who is so eager for their joy.

I live each moment, each day, eagerly gulping the extravagant good to which I have been birthed.  Free of fear and worry.  To not desperately seek the pleasure of those around me, but that of the one who formed me.  Who has known me and who calls me, from deep to deep.

Walk soft on your way, drink deep of cream and spice, live with wild abandon.  Whisper gentle, laugh loud and dance in the falling of leaves.  Herald the season of change.