Moon Gazing

The clouds seem to overtake the moon.  Big thick gray clouds ripe with rain but I remain uncertain as to when it will fall.

The ocean is angry.  Waves are breaking over and over again until they finally reach the small bit of shore they have not overtaken.  But when the storm passes, the shore will resurface like we do after personal storms. 

The wind is non stop and powerful like struggles we sometimes face.  I have to steady myself against it although no sand scratches my skin because I am protected by the deck.

Its actually beautiful to watch from my perch on the deck.  I could sit here for hours and apply analogies to what I see. God is speaking to me. 

He reminds me that like his love for us, the moon is never truly taken by the clouds. Our doubts and pride my obscure His love, but it remains.

Our doubts and pride try to break us over and over like the waves.  But God will brace us against the wind, waves, and unpredictable rain in our lives if we will just trust Him.  He will give us peace if we come to him in humble prayer.  He will provide clarity in the storm.

Why must we be so impatient for God’s plan? Why must we allow doubt to make it difficult to stand like the strong winds during this storm?

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Ghosts

Loving you is like loving a ghost.

Its a romantic notion and makes my heart ache.  There were moments where we are together and the world disappeared. Like an apparition, these moments were brief and rarely on my terms.

Like a ghost, I never know when you will appear but Im always at your mercy for it.

Like a hopeless romantic,  I cling to what I thought we would have but its a dream.  You are a ghost and it matters not to you to come to me.  You see me, you love me, on your own terms and to hell with what I want.  I sleep alone.

I have no idea what is real.  I have no idea who is laying next to you as your phone ignores me because I dont matter enough.

As I come to you, you run from me.  I have simple needs, yet they matter not.  What a silly stupid game to play with my heart because I dont matter enough.

I have too much love to give to waste it.  I deserve someone who will put me first.   On these things, I wont compromise anymore.

I think of what it could be like if you changed, if you showed up here and loved me fiercely and deeply.  I think of a ghost who will will never appear.

Grateful

Today I am grateful for those moments of clarity that give you validation, serenity, or force you to quit denying what you know to be true. These moments are sometimes happy, sometimes sad, but necessary.

Reflecting on the Past

There is a parable in the Bible about a man named Lot (Genesis 19).  Most of you probably know it. His family was spared from the destruction of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah but there were conditions. When they fled, protected by angels, his wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. He was left with two daughters who later seduced him to keep the family name going.  It is quite a disturbing story but it got me to thinking.

The family was offered mercy under the conditions they would not hesitate to leave and would not look back.  They were told the city would be destroyed and God would not show mercy for those who stayed.  Yet, his wife could not resist looking back despite the mercy offered her, despite being protected by angels. She became useless as a result.  This reminds me of how we think on our past and dwell on regrets.

Perhaps there was joy and comfort in the past.  We may build up those memories and cling to them like fairy tales. We may want to retreat back to that place and relive those moments.  Fondly remembering the past is one thing, frequently yearning for a repeat of it is another.

All of us make mistakes.  Some of us have pasts that may seem like Sodom and Gomorrah.  We may have done terrible things, knowing they were unequivocally wrong or even illegal. Or we may have been self-centered and neglected those who needed us. We  may have hurt people – deliberately or otherwise.  We may have deceived people to protect our own interests. We may feel ashamed.  We may want to turn back the clock and change our behavior.  We may even blame our mistakes on the troubles we face today.

While we should learn from the past, regretting it serves no purpose.  We cannot change it.  We can offer apologies for our mistakes but we cannot control the way others feel about it.   We can only accept God’s mercy and use the lessons learned to become better people. Other people make mistakes too.  We must forgive them to know peace. Lot’s wife was protected by angels, offered mercy, and yet still turned back.  She became a useless pillar of salt and her family suffered as a result.

We must move forward without hesitation. There is a reason we are here, today, in this moment. If we reflect too heavily on our pasts, we steal time and joy away from the present.  We can make the present moments useless instead of productive and positive. We should not let the past steal our joy today.  Lately, this is a lesson I need to remember.

Celebrating Friendships

Today a friend of mine turns 50 years old.  We have literally known each other for 36 years.  For some of this time, we were inseparable.  We watched the very first MTV video together to put time in perspective here.  For some of this time, we went months, even years, without speaking.  Yet, when I see her it is as if no time has passed at all. People use this vernacular all the time, but it is literally true in our case. She knew me in what I call my before and after life.

My before life was defined prior to 1982 when my mother passed away unexpectedly.  I was only 15 years old.  I’m sorry I didn’t consider how my loss affected her because she loved my mother too.  When she lost her father, I wasn’t there for her and I regret that.  Their relationship was special; he touched her heart and she is so fortunate to have known a love like that. I admire that she watches out for her mother’s interests despite her own responsibilities.

My after life is post 1982.  I changed schools, lived with guardians and changed my circle of friends.  She was there then too, even though she may not always have felt comfortable with my new crowd or the decisions I made.

We moved on, went to college, got married, raised children, pursued careers and overcame obstacles in between.  We did much of this without each other.  Yet, there is no bitterness or awkwardness – only support.  This is a perfect example of how women can lift each other up.  She does this not only for me but also for others, quietly through volunteer work and teaching Zumba.  God knows how she got to Zumba as we can barely laugh without peeing our pants but more power to her!

Recently life events have brought us close again.  I appreciate her strength and confidence.  This is a woman who takes on a challenge and seems unafraid to fail. From what I’ve observed, she rarely does fail.  She is confident, direct, and will tell you when something is “not appropriate,” which is our inside joke.  She inspires me to be confident and for that I’ll always be appreciative.

I know few people who have the privilege of a friendship that has spanned this amount of time.  Today I celebrate her and all of the silly things we did when we were 14 and even over the last few weeks.  I pray she has the bright and happy future she deserves; bright like her new lovely tattoo.

The Little Voices

 

Everyone has overcome obstacles, financial, physical, emotional, or otherwise.  When you consider what you have overcome, remind yourself of how short life is and appreciate it.

Nurture relationships by by setting clear, fair, and reasonable boundaries; it is a good investment in your future. Your boss is not going to love you past your job tenure; other relationships are important.  Your children will not be young forever; trust that time does fly and you will miss the crazy messy days. Drive the cheap, reliable car; you will appreciate the new one all the more when it arrives. Find time to nurture and love yourself and you will find that you are loved in return.

We all have value and deserve love and serenity.  Please don’t listen to the negative voice in your head about what was lost, mistakes made, or what you don’t have.  Listen to the positive voice that encourages you, celebrates your successes, and recognizes how far you have come.  Listen to the voice that tells you that you will get what you want and deserve in all things.  Pray, breathe, and believe in the blessings.

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Fall Colors and My Future

Yesterday I went on a five mile hike. This is quite an achievement for me and only the second time I have done it. This time I was alone. It was on the dismal swamp bike trail in North Carolina. The trail is easy to walk because it is paved but I kept up a good clip and worked up a good sweat. It was nice to be outside in the midst of all the changing fall colors.

As I looked ahead at the path opening up before me, there were trees of various heights, with various colored leaves, reaching for the sky. It had rained and the path was covered with wet colorful fallen leaves of all shapes and sizes. This picture was reminiscent of my state of mind. My thoughts could be described the same way. On the one hand, I have strong thoughts and convictions that guide me through life. These thoughts keep me strong regardless of the severity of the storm. Other thoughts feel real and positive, but are truly lifeless. I cling to things that I should release because I want to believe they serve a purpose but they are ambiguous.

These ambiguous things can be whisked away with little effort like the wind will blow away the beautiful yet dead dry leaves. This fall vision caused me to pause and honestly consider my future. I must have faith that I will find what I need and release what is not serving a purpose today. I’ve made this type of transition before, but it is more painful this time because I am losing my best friend. The fact is some relationships are meant to serve a purpose for a short period of time and I have held on too long. Fall Walk and My Future

Finding Peace within the Pain

Thought for the Day: There is no need for me to accept blame for another person’s irrational actions. I will deal only with my short comings which are within my control. I will pray with love that God opens all of our eyes so we recognize our true needs.

Two and a half years ago I made a life altering decision to choose happiness. Life as I knew it stopped; a new one began.  I tried to re-wire my brain to stop obsessing over the needs and behaviors of others. This decision was not made out of narcissism but out of desperation to become healthy and happy. For the most part, it worked. I am stronger, healthier, and more self-sufficient than ever before.  I am a better example for my children and other loved ones.

However, over the last six months I have struggled. I have learned that love is rarely reciprocated in the manner that you wish. This is true because no one has walked in your shoes or lived your life to understand your basic needs – no matter how much you open your heart. This is also true because we tend to romanticize situations in the hopes our wishes will come true. We tolerate behavior and ignore suspicion for the sake of “trust.” We accept less than we deserve; perhaps because what we have is more than we have known before. We question if our expectations are realistic and our confidence erodes.

The fact is everyone has their own wishes, their own sets of needs, and their own sets of coping tools. What seems illogical to me is perfectly right to someone else. What seems moral and just to me is overly conservative to someone else. People make choices to leave us. A friend just buried his wife, the love of his life. And while none of us will ever understand the logic behind the choices that hurt us or the death of a beloved, we must believe in the blessings. We must give the hurt up to God. We must find peace and let go of what we cannot control. This mindset will open our hearts to the happiness that awaits us.

A Mom with a Mom on Mother’s Day

Today I miss her so badly I can hardly stop the tears. My mother who never knew my children has been gone 33 years and yet every Mother’s Day, my heart breaks.

My heart breaks because her life was not easy. As an adult, I understand that even more. I lost the opportunity to help her find peace and serenity. I lost the opportunity to know her, to share her strength, wisdom, and humor woman to woman. She was not there to share life’s milestones – graduations, proms, weddings, birthdays, the birth of my children, the 3 am feedings with them, their milestones. These moments went on without her. They were never whole as a result.

I lost the opportunity for her to cuddle, tickle, and even correct my children. They will never know her amazing embrace which was always strong, but gentle, warm and inviting. I was never denied a hug or a cuddle from her; and she was the absolute best at it. Even as a teenager, I would crawl up next to her for hours and just feel my spirit calm.

I lost biggest fan and advocate. Many times over the years I have considered how she would address those who hurt me, used me or abandoned me. I do share her wrath against those who hurt my children and I learned from watching her. I sometimes wish my children would know her wrath when they have misbehaved or been inconsiderate.  She had a bit of wrath against my eye rolling and such from time to time.

I lost the opportunity to take vacations with her and to hear stories about her childhood and family. I know only a few stories. The aunts who could share them in her place live 500 miles away and most have passed away now. They channeled her to give me a surprise baby shower 20 years ago. To this day, I think this is one of the kindest things ever done for me. It is a bitter sweet memory because I felt so much love and my Mom has not been here to give me more moments like that.

Today is hard; virtually unbearable. Tomorrow I will find my strength. For I know that I am so truly blessed for the type of Mom I had. She attracted people like hummingbirds to nectar. Her personality was magnetic, joyful and generous even though she had little to give but her time and words of strength and kindness. She made people laugh and smile easily. It was her gift.

I am blessed to have a Mom who instilled in me faith that is virtually unwavering. This faith has gotten me not only through bad times but good ones because I know all things serve a purpose. Put another way, karma is real. People reap what they sow, although it make take years to come to fruition. Or, as Mom would say facetiously in her Tennessee drawl, “If you act ugly, things will happen to you.”  Wise & funny!

Tomorrow I will focus on my blessings, not my losses but today I am missing my Mom

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