Saturday, July 30, 2016

No Phone Saturday...

Guess what?  Today I didn't use my cell phone.  I didn't call or text anyone.  I didn't use it to take a photo, or check the weather.  I didn't scroll through emails with it.  I actually left it in my bag all day.  I will look at it tomorrow.  I should also note that I didn't look at either of my phones because, yes, I have more than one due to work.  Neither of them came out to play today because I just didn't feel like I wanted to connect with anyone in that way. 

I wanted to see today, all of it and not through the lens of a phone.  I wanted to talk to people face to face, not through a text or hurried phone conversation.  I wanted to look directly at who ever I  talking to and not bother to look down to check for a text message or other notification.  I wanted to be present in the moment.  It was nice to not dig through my bag or once say "where is my phone?"  Surprisingly, I didn't miss it.  Maybe it was just another step in my drawing my world smaller...part of the culling

This afternoon my youngest son and I were walking through a park and walked by the amphitheater area and both of us noticed the strangest thing...there were lots of people sitting there in the shade of the hot afternoon but it was eerily silent...everyone was literally looking at their phones.  I think it says something about how far this phenomenon has gone when a 14 year old notices it and says something about how sad it was.  He also spent several hours last night with friends and none of them used their phones and he came home excited about what great conversations they had.  Wow...telling, isn't it? 

I am going to make some phone changes because real life truly is better and people deserve your presence and not just virtually. I want to hear your voice and your laughter but lets do it face to face whenever possible.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

I blew it today....again.

photo credit unknown
I blew it today...Again.  I blew it as a Mom.  I failed to bridge a connection and scale a wall that I can't see or don't even know where it starts. I failed to teach respect or honor.  It weighs heavily on me, always.  I think all Mothers feel that when they aren't connecting with their children, no matter how old that child might be.  There is a saying, that you are only as happy as your most unhappy child, and I know for me that has always held true.  I want to be a good Mom and I think being a single Mom, I multiply that pressure  tenfold.  The reality is, I stink at being a Dad, so when I fail at being a good Mom I beat myself up doubly.  Of course, everyone will say don't do that...I just haven't quite figured out how not to yet. 

I am trying so hard to be the Mom I should be, it is literally the top priority in my life as my calling from God. My relationship with my children is only second to my relationship with God.  It is very discouraging when I drop the ball and watch it roll down an endless hill, with little hope of recovery.  I say things I shouldn't, I don't say things I should.  More than anything I want to be a pathway to Christ for my children and when I mess up, like today, I know I am so far off the mark it isn't funny.  Rather than lighting a path...I am building a roadblock.

My greatest earthly blessings are my children.  I know that there is nothing that they will ever do that will stop my love for them.  My greatest desire is for them to grow into Godly men and a Godly woman...much more than I ever have been.  I want them to avoid the pains I have walked through because I wasn't walking with God or putting Him first but sometimes words aren't enough.  I am grateful that God forgives, unfortunately, humans (even our children) aren't so quick to do so no matter how many times we ask.  We are the closest things to God our children often see, they see our failures and humanness and assign it to what they think God is.  That is why it hurts so badly when I fail one of them, because I know I may very well be pushing them further from their Heavenly Father.

So, I get up from my epic fall, wipe off my knees, and hopefully, I will get another day to try again.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Be the Change...

It is the time of year; when the stores are filled to the brim with school supplies.  Today my youngest son and I picked up his school supplies and I couldn't pass up this notebook when I saw it. 
 
My life theme has become "Be the Change," which is a cliché, but it truly has become the driving force behind the person I want to be.  I would like to say "the person I am," but I think to truly be the change one has to continually evolve and reach deep within and rethink who and how you approach life. It is a daily, maybe even hourly, recommitment to being the best you can be.   It takes loving, even when you aren't loved and loving the unlovable.  
 
It feels like the world has gone crazy.  Sometimes, I feel  that way when I walk through my own house, which has driven me to want to make a change in how I live and how I see people.  I am only one person, but I am responsible for my little spot on this planet and how I cultivate it for others. I have made mistakes and will again, but I have to start somewhere.
 
Our Church has also been doing a lot on similar topics.  We are being led to take personal responsibility in how we live out our faith and how we love others.  Many things have aligned in my life lately to bring me to this "Be the Change" attitude.  So many heart breaking events in our world, both far and near, in my life, and the lives of those I love.  There are so many people in pain and I can't get away from it...what do I do other than try to move the needle at least in my little corner of the world?  
 
I want to see some of this pain, hurting, depression and sense of anger in our world go away, even if it isn't noticeable to anyone else.  My heart knows  time is short and there is so much to do. What if each one of us decided to "Be the Change" is some small way, everyday?   


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lonely

Tonight has been a hard night, not because anything happened it just has been.  Today was actually a good day at work and reminded me of all the good things about my job.  But, tonight, it is hard.  I am sure it is just a bit of tiredness, along with  upcoming particularly stressful days, but tonight I am feeling lonely.  It is rare that I admit feeling lonely or face it because I usually push it aside and just get on with things but tonight...it is here, sitting at the foot of my bed.  The house is quiet as one boy  is at camp and my young man is out doing what ever 19 year olds do.  The dogs are here, asleep... my house is dark and quiet and loneliness has fallen upon it.  I am missing many things but none of them real.  I guess I didn't think it would be like this.  I don't know what I thought it would be like but not this. 

Something else is weighing on me as well.  Earlier this week, I was having my quiet time with God and I felt something was revealed to me (don't think I am a nut!) and I am rolling that around, knowing I must accept it, but it is hard.  It is deeply personal and a little bit frightening.  If you have ever felt God was leading you to something that you didn't necessarily want you will understand.  I am not asking why, as He revealed the why...but I guess I never thought it would be like that.  Isn't that life?

In a few minutes I will open up my work computer and try to get lost in that for a while until sleep comes.  Good night all.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Culling

The definition of Culling: (verb) 1. to choose; select; pick. 2. to gather the choice things or parts. 3. to collect; gather.

Culling is a word I don't think I ever really used until the last few months.  Now it is a daily thought, at the very least.  I am literally in a season of culling within my own self and my own life.  I was underwater (not in a literal sense) for a couple of years until about 4 months ago.  I was living, functioning and feeling but always on the verge of drowning in something.  It was like my fight or flight mechanism was stuck on high alert - all the time.  Fear was my constant companion and I had no sense of purpose.  It seems, looking back over the last couple of years, anytime I thought I had a grip on something that was going to pull me from the black water I was trapped under, I was actually pushed further down.  I sank, sank and sank until I hit bottom.  My bottom came in the form of a perfect storm of events that aligned to draw me to the point of knowing something had to change.  It literally was break the surface for air or die.  Thankfully, God, led me up and out of the dark for that first breath of air.  At first everything looked foreign and faded, then as my mind, heart and soul began to clear it was like wiping water out of my eyes and colors started to return.  Laughing found a place in my world again, sleep returned, and fear lessened.  I finally felt strong enough to walk again.  My heart finally wants to feel and dance again.

Culling enters this picture because it became apparent to me one day that I had to begin to 1. choose; select; pick what I wanted for MY life.  It was also very clear I had to have the strength and fortitude to 2. gather the choice things or parts that were supposed to be in my life. I had to figure out what things, and more difficult, what people I needed to continue to have in my life.  Sometimes people are in your life for a season and when that season passes  they pass out of your life.  I am trying to draw near to the people God has for me and my life (the choice things or parts!) and I have not allowed anything less to remain. It hasn't been easy, as we get stuck with people and relationships. Our hearts get stuck with people even long after they have left your life.  I have had to work on my heart and teaching it to cull as well.  This process has brought me to number  3. to collect; gather:  and this isn't as easy as it seems.  I want to collect and gather only what makes me into the woman God created me to be.  I want to gather friends and relationships that are the best and only draw me near to God.  I need to be in a season of culling so that I can hear what God is calling me to do/be and that I can focus on being the Mother that I have struggled  (and failed often) with being.  My children deserve nothing less than a whole Mother who can love them fully and I can say I only want God's best for my life.

This culling isn't all deep emotional excavating, it also is moving through my life on all levels, from my closet to the car and everything in between.  I am emptying my life of things that don't "move the needle."  I am paring down on all levels...it makes it easier to breath. This life culling is a slow process and includes things that may seem silly from the outside.  I am seeking something and it is a long path, but I am committed to this culling, as painful as it may be at times, so that the regrouping and refocusing can happen. It seems that only through this process will I find peace and acceptance of the season ahead.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Reading...

One of my greatest loves, from as long as I can remember, is reading.  I was a voracious reader growing up and loved the every 2 week stop of the bookmobile at my house (yes, we really had a bookmobile!)  I  have been schooled, stretched and molded by the books that were my friends through life. 

Sadly, though, as I entered into a prolonged dark season I lost my ability to read for pleasure.  The one thing that was a guaranteed escape for me emotionally and physically seemed to disappear. Although, I still loved books, I was lucky to get through a magazine article.  I read, for work, but hadn't read anything for pure pleasure in a very long time...until this week.

Tonight I finished my first pleasure read in probably almost 3 years.  It was a strange feeling to come to the end of my book and realize how much I had missed losing myself in the pages of a novel.  So, maybe the bookmobile won't be around anytime soon but I can't wait to dig into the pages of something new!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Beach was Calling...

All week I have heard my name being whispered on the hot breezes blowing through the trees.  Today, I could ignore it no more.  I packed the cooler and beach chairs and my youngest and I headed to sand and the surf.  It has actually been a long time since we have been to this particular beach, as it held memories that I wasn't sure either of us would enjoy revisiting but all we found was freedom.  It was wonderful. 

We played in the waves and I only nearly drowned once (but managed to save my sunglasses from doom!) We ate Peanut Butter M&Ms and Sour Patch kids and we sat, sunned and watched the tide roll in with our feet in the water.  It was a good day...a very good day.  It was a day for counting blessings and smiling at the memories we made.  I am very blessed!


Monday, July 4, 2016