It has been an incredibly long time since I blogged and honestly it’s not for lack of thoughts or happenings in my life but really more about time, not really feeling much like sharing and maybe just giving the whole blog thing a break when more important things need to be focused on. However, this week has been interesting. Full of inner turmoil and so many thoughts in my head. If you are reading this, I guess I did decide to share it but there is a small part of me that wants to keep it for myself because not everything has be shared publicly right and it’s an unfinished, unanswered part of my life journey?! But we share so we can learn, share so we can support each other, share so others may know they are not alone in how they feel, or share for the sake of making a difference.
I had this great moment of realization and reassurance awhile back.
My oldest was asked to babysit for a friend. Her boys are at just the right age for his first experiences babysitting for someone other than his siblings all on his own. I was impressed to see how enthusiastic he was in this adventure and her boys were happy to have a “boy babysitter”! The thing is that I recognize how rare of an opportunity this is. No matter how much of a natural instinct boys have for caring for children it is always going to be the girls that will get a call to babysit first. I get it…when Sam and Jake were still young enough that they needed a sitter and the girls were just little I didn’t feel quite comfortable having another young man in the house to make sure they got into their jammies, tucked them in and give them a snuggle if they needed it. Somehow that worked okay for a young woman to take care of those things with my boys but not the other way around. Having said that I have met a few guys over the last few years that I may have reconsidered for and my experience as a momma of older boys has given me some perspective on that as well.
Sometimes we look ahead and we realize we can’t actually keep our eyes on the prize. We have to keep our heads down and just put one foot in front of the other or take it one step at a time because that “prize” is just too far away. Continue reading
Living with the blur
We all know there are times when you just aren’t sure exactly what the plan is and you don’t even know where to start to figure it out. I feel a little like that these days. I have nothing to complain about in the big picture of things so I won’t do that, but I do often wonder what the bigger picture actually looks like. This week has already been amazingly interesting and it was only Tuesday night when I started this and it’s only gotten more intriguing, although, I guess in fairness there isn’t much in my life that’s just quiet and slow-paced. Most of my life is lived in a bit of a blur and while I know there is constant encouragement from various places to just slow down and live in the moment I literally feel like this stage of my life is somewhat out of my control when it comes to the pace. I know I can choose to add things or not but quite frankly there is little I can take away at this point.
Lately I’ve been thinking about why my life is what it is! Sounds like a deep question right, but honestly it’s not! The last few weeks, in particular the loss of my sweet nephew, the changes happening in my career and schooling, and some changes happening at James’ work, have got me thinking about how my perspective has shifted. It’s little things I notice here and there, nothing major or dramatic but little moments that 2 months ago may have put me over the edge that NOW just cause me to shrug my shoulders and keep plodding forward.
Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”! For those who do not believe in God or the bible and for those who are struggling in their faith right now those words probably feel like a slap-in-the-face. I acknowledge that because as a believer who feels growth in my relationship with God I too feel like this passage is immensely hard to grasp.
I have spent a great deal of time wondering, praying, hoping that sometime soon I’d have the opportunity to move forward with a desire that’s been on my heart for many, MANY years. The time has finally come to move into a new phase of life…change directions for awhile and refocus on a new stage in my life.
When I was younger, I’ll admit I thoroughly enjoyed bossing my younger brothers around. I vividly remember being told that I wasn’t the boss or to stop being a mother hen. But the truth was that I LOVED being in charge, showing them how to do things, telling them the right way. As I got older (okay not really older but once you hit grade 7 you finally start feeling older), I participated in peer counselling programs, started baby-sitting, helping in the nursery and other kids programs at church and just generally began feeling the groove of where my travels may eventually take me. I can’t really pinpoint the moment I realized my life calling became apparent to me but I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that all my life experience has led me to the inevitable conclusion that I was meant to be a teacher.
And so the debate continues….Really to my mind such a ridiculous discussion that we have allowed to taint the times we have of praise with scowls and sourpuss faces. Silly expressions, you say? What I find truly remarkable, and even silly, is the type of discord that we allow to filter into our places and times of worship! Hmmm, I guess my inside voice just snuck out:( It makes me sad watching different generations react to certain genres of music with distain and dislike. The thing is that we’re all guilty of it to some degree…if we’re really honest there have been times when we’ve sat in a service with our hands crossed like a small child, mad because we didn’t get our way. I’ve watched it…I’ve seen the older fellow across the aisle with his nose turned up at the overly repetitious chorus that “really doesn’t say anything at all”. In the same service I’ve looked on my other side to see the younger person standing with their arms folded and their eyes rolling at the completely “old-fashioned” lyrics to that hymn that “sounds like it dropped right out of the 1800’s”. Heck I’ve even closed my eyes and viciously fought the temptation to plug my ears when the strains of a southern gospel tune hits my eardrums. There is no denying that we all have various tastes in music and our minds process the beauty of notes threaded together in very different ways.
I will probably write this post multiple times in my life…in fact I found its sister on the pages of my blog from two and half years ago when the letting go was merely beginning. The fact of the matter is that life really is about letting go many times over. We find things, people, events, moments and we reach out to grasp them. We hold them close for a time and then realize it’s time to let go, then we repeat the cycle again with something new and fresh. I find myself in a season of letting go and it’s really not a bad thing, in fact in so many ways it’s been very freeing. If I were to spend time analyzing it I could say it may be the years of maturity or perhaps the realization that I can’t control everything anyway, or even better, things just being pried from my tight grip. Regardless of the circumstance I’m glad I am in a place to experience this immense burden being lifted.
The truth is, that part of my personality has always been to maintain, organize, control (if you will) the situation. My brothers liked to refer to me as the “mother hen” or “bossy pants”, both of which I’ll freely admit to being. My husband teasingly refers to me as his “little planner/organizer”, again both things that I can see as glaringly obvious tendencies. I do think that all of these qualities have their place, they’re all part of my talents and abilities and what makes me who I am, but they can also be part of my weakness. They cause me to hold on too tight, to forget that part of our life journey is to let things go and move ahead. Over the years, I think there are a few areas I’ve held on a little too tightly, my family, both immediate and extended, my friendships, money, reputation, just to name a few. But the last few months I’ve felt my perspective shift a bit. While you may be expecting an amazing experience that led to some great epiphany, the truth is that my eyes are just opening.
The reminder that things can be great and amazing without my firm grip has occurred daily. As I’ve stepped back and opened my hands I’ve seen the great joy that comes with acknowledging that I control little and that there is One who oversees all. Here’s a few, that over the last few weeks have brought me to a place of peace…
An evening with friends, that I could have spent stressing over the budget, or lack thereof. I could have agonized over appetizers or not, steak or salad, a glass of wine with my meal or abstain, dessert or just have something sweet at home but instead I turned to my dear husband and told him to pay the bill and keep it far from my sight. The reward of just enjoying myself was immense. No knot in my stomach wondering how on earth we were going to pay for this.
A dinner with family that I walked into with the soul purpose of enjoying what EVERYONE had to offer. No worries about what may or may not unfold, no apologies for how I handled my children, no desire or need to discuss dos and don’ts, just pure and simple being together.
A last minute dinner with my husband and a co-worker that resulted in leaving our oldest home to baby-sit and for the first time put his sisters to bed. Then to be rewarded by coming home at exactly bedtime, for said little girls, and find both of them peacefully sleeping in bed.
A work event, glitches here and there, but trusting those whom I’ve asked to help and releasing my expectation in exchange for knowledge that what will be, will be.
A spontaneous jaunt to the mall with all four of my kids. Usually a place I avoid, but their desperate plea to shop broke my barriers. A few well placed words and a “letting go” of my usual need to corral and ensure they appear to be the most well-behaved children in the entire universe left me with the amazing opportunity to watch them “grow up” right before my eyes. It was as if they physically sensed my grip loosening and with that realization came the ability for them to finally take that moment to show me just how incredibly great they CAN be.
So many opportunities to experience the peace and joy that comes from recognizing that my need to have it all together generally makes a situation chaotic. When I choose to let go, I give room to experience the bigger picture that my Creator has designed and the ability for others to journey alongside me in the most fulfilling, uplifting way.
It’s amazing how sometimes a GREAT morning just hits you! Unexpected blue skies greeted me yesterday morning and a feeling that it would be a day to remember. Continue reading