The Chaos

How can life be wildly loud and lonely, at the same time?

How can there be so much movement, but no action?

How can one be lost, but surrounded by people?

How do you survive the chaos, when it fells like it is eating you alive?

… I do not have the answers. I just have the observations.

Seasons like this remind me of a ride at the fair. The type of ride that spins you around and upside down, at the same time. The type of ride that looks so fun, until you are stuck on it – waiting for it to be over. Barely even enduring it; just doing what you can to not loose your lunch. There is so much overstimulation of the senses. It is NOT my favorite.

I know that there is a God who sees. I have faith that plan B has a redemptive ending. I choose to hold on one more day, waiting with my eyes shut tight for His tangible hand to be extended in grace.

I choose the chaos… this is my life.

 

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Keeper of the Treasure

The rocks. Seashells. Princess rings. Dead bugs.

That’s how it starts.

But us Mommsas know it’s so much more.

Life has been especially challenging in our household the last couple of months. The joy of motherhood is, needless to say, not present on a daily basis. I noticed this summer that when I was handed the rocks, and rings, and bugs – my eyes would roll and almost immediately look for a place to re-home the “treasure”. On our visit to Vashon Island a few weeks ago, I could hear the wisdom of God. It was sobering. Here was my realization: I am the keeper of the treasure.

Often I take it for grated that my small people entrust me with their most valuable finds. Some days it is exhausting to be handed pocketfuls of gray gold (aka rocks). But when God helps you to see that those rocks represent the most precious pieces of your babies day – it shifts your perspective. Or at least it did for me.

The rocks and bugs and flowers are my babes saying “I trust you with what is important to me. Will you watch over it? Will you be the keeper of my treasure” Yes! I will watch over them. I will watch over you. You are safe with me.

Lord, my prayer, help me be the momma they can always trust. The one they always want to bring their treasures too. The reflector of You and Your protection. The safe harbor when lifes winds blow hard. The loving watcher of magic moments. The believer of all things impossible. The cheerleader of tree climbing. The one who champions the difficult with them. Thank you for reminding me that joy is not a feeling. Thank you that You meet me when I am empty in every way. Thank you for the great honor of getting to be their advocate, their hero, their treasure keeper.

The Rescue

You know the part in the story of Snow White, where the witch tricks Snow White into eating a poisoned apple and she falls into a spell only to be broken by True Love’s kiss, or some nonsense? I think I ate of that bad apple somewhere along the way.  I think something in me waits to be rescued by some mystical prince.

But, something in me is waking up.  I don’t have to be bound to those who meant evil for me.

And, I don’t have to wait for someone else to rescue me.

I am going to make a decision.  One that affects me.  One that effects the little dwarfs I live among.  I can get up off the platform laid for me and rewrite the end to this story.

What does that look like?  Beats the heck out of me.

As I lay in an almost awake state, I’m deciding what it’s going to look like.  I’m figuring out what I want and who will get to share it with me.  But I know this for sure, I don’t have to be bound to an evil spell any longer. I get to rescue myself.

The best part of this story – there might still be a prince, but my future doesn’t have to revolve around him.  There will still be those that conspire evil, but I don’t have to give credence to it.  I get to show up powerfully.  And I get to walk away from the cabin in the woods.

I get to walk away!

So, that is exactly what I am going to do.  I’m going to open my eyes, stand up tall and walk away from that which meant to destroy me.

in the quiet

in the quiet, i am scared.

in the quiet, i don’t what i’m doing or which way to go.

in the quiet, I want to retreat.  i want to give up and go home.  i want to throw in the towel  – and walk away.

in the quiet, i don’t want to be fettered to something bigger than me.

it is lonely and cold on the outside of a plan.  when life chews me up and spits me out, it is incredibly uncomfortable.  God, what will you ever do with my broken heart and shattered dreams?

God, be with me.

 

 

 

Birds

You know how after a really long cold winter, when you hear birds for the first time, how your whole body melts a little bit?  Maybe I am the only one.  But that sound of pure bliss does something for my weary soul.  It’s the long-awaited sound that I long for from October to March.  It reminds me that I did not despair in the middle of winter, but I survived another frigid, tense, nearly impossible 6 months.  The ground didn’t open up and swallow me whole, though it beckoned.

Birds.  Their sound is almost as good as golden sunlight hitting my face.  Their gentle chips reminding me that it’s safe outside and life is in bloom.  It’s the sound of bliss to me. I would gladly bottle it and hold it a prized possession.  But I don’t want to own it, because their freedom is part of what makes their song so beautiful.

Oh Lord, sing a freedom song over me.  Hasn’t it been long enough?  Bring me more fully our of my winter and into glorious spring.  Shine Your warm love on my face.  Sing sweet melodies over me.  God, rejoice over me once again.  Let Your delight rest on me.  Let me be the apple of Your eye.  Rewrite the story of my life to read “I am not alone”.  I don’t want to be alone anymore.  I don’t want to be unloved.  What I want is to be held.  I long for the comfort and the shelter of someone’s strength buffering me from the harsh winds.  God, I don’t want to be alone anymore.  Let the seasons change once more, but this time in my favor.

Go be Awesome!

“Go be awesome!”  Undoubtedly, that is what they would say.  And, go and be awesome, I will.  But first, I’m learning to breathe again.

Sometimes life pulls the rug right out from underneath you.

One minute you are fine and full of life and the next you can barely breathe.

2 times now I have experienced that kind of unimaginable loss.  The horrendously painful kind of loss when the sacred is torn from your life and you can barely breathe.

You know those big heavy feather beds?  Not the comforter, but the mattress topper.  The first time the sacred was torn from my life I had to sleep underneath one of those.  I needed the weight of it to hold me to the earth when I couldn’t stand the pain of my world unraveling.  It somehow stopped my mind from racing and the fears that swirled to slow just enough that I could pass out.

I remember still hearing the words spoken, “it’s over”.  All of time stopped.  My body hardened like cement.  I was paralyzed in panic and grief and shock.  My heart cried out, “God, NO!  Don’t let this be happening.”  Everything I loved, everything I planned, my whole future was evaporating right in front of my eyes.

Last month, that kind of news came, and once again my earth stopped.  This time it was about a man I loved like a dad.  And not just him, 2 of my mentors.  Real world changers.  3 men that taught me to dream big God dreams.  Men that showed me how to have great courage.  Men that lived the word of God, not just theorized it.  Men that said nothing was impossible with the God we serve.  Men I loved.  Men that believed deeply in me and saw beyond my reality to what could be.

Time stood still.  The sacred was torn from my life.

Here is the thing – there are 3 widows.  There are 19 fatherless children.  This isn’t my story, but my heart is still so broken.  I don’t know how to process this pain.  My heart grieves for my friends.  Their heartache, their absolute gut wrenching pain.  I understand their wanting to celebrate the lives of the men they loved, but anguish floods you with every happy memory knowing life will be forever changed.

I know 2 things.  God never leaves us or forsakes us.  And God is faithful.  It is not easy.  It is not pretty.  It is not fun.  But it is truth.  God is faithful and He is with us.  It is not a magic wand that makes it all better, but it is a healing balm.  God’s word covers us and heals us.  Somehow it binds up what is broken and soothes the pain…the overwhelming pain.

I wish none of us had to know this truth to the depth we will have to know it.  I wish there was another way.  But I have to choose to trust my God.  So I take His hand and fix my gaze on Him.  I pray strength over the children and widows whose loss is indescribable.

And..I learn to breathe again.

In my learning to breathe again, I hear their voice.  I feel their encouragement.  I tearfully remember them a hundred times a day and I know exactly what they would say.  They would tell me their work continues on in me.

“Go be awesome”, that is what they would say.

New Normal

Oh, friends.  Who can identify?  Has anyone else found themselves in a season of life where nothing is “wrong”, but nothing feels right?  I keep waiting for the clouds to part and the skies of life to be blue and “happy” once again… but what if they never do?  What if this is my new normal?

New normal.  I want to fight it.  I don’t want it.  I want what was – but do I?

What I do wish is that “sound” itself was not so intrusive as to make me want to wear noise blocking earmuffs all the time.  I wish I enjoyed my name being called a thousand times a day, instead of wanting a mute button that fostered sanity.  I wish my head was clear and thoughts could formulate like they once did.

It is not that my life is bad.  I am so blessed!  I am.  I have nothing to complain about – and I am not complaining.  But why do I not love my life if I am so blessed and nothing is wrong?  Why am I constantly aware that something is just a little off and I am not the ‘me’ I once was? I don’t light up life, let alone a room.

This is where I do find a need to revisit a monumental transition in my life that changed everything.  I hadn’t realized until recently that when my marriage dissolved, somehow a piece of me unraveled with it.

Dang it.  Man, I want to kick and bite and argue for that piece of me back.  I want to stomp my feet and shout it’s not fair – because it is not fair!  I want to be mad and hateful, but I can’t.  I simply don’t hate that I once loved a man and built a life with him, had 4 beautiful children and then bam… it was over.  I still shake me head at the non-explanation of my counterpart choosing to walk away. He just walked away from it all. And I can’t hate that God intervened and set the 5 of us free from an abusive relationship.  I guess I just wish that my magic wand had worked and I could’ve changed other people.

I’ve spent lots and lots of time trying to “fix” me and I am well aware it takes two people… but it takes TWO people.  (You did hear the part where I am not sad to not be in an abusive relationship anymore, right?)  Somehow, it doesn’t make it any easier to that there was an abusive relationship and that now there is no relationship anymore.  I don’t miss the toxic, but I still mourn the promise.  The promise that I made.  The commitment that I cemented myself in.  The tomb that I buried me so that he could be bigger and better than me.

The tomb, hmmm.  I thought I had resurrected her, but maybe she’s still in the process of being resurrected.  And maybe she can never be resurrected?  What if this is just how it is always going to be?