Category Archives: Letting Go

Time to face the music

messIt’s reckoning time boys and girls.

My office is a nightmare.

No really.

I’m not exaggerating.

It is so jam-packed with stuff that I can barely walk in the room.

I’ve resorted to using my lap top on my back porch just to avoid the mess. Only problem is, it’s winter and baby it’s cold outside.

I have an excuse.

I’ve had a broken leg for 14 months and so I’ve spent the last 14 months just throwing things in my office and thinking, “I’ll deal with it later.”

That is a LONG time to stock pile crap.

Bills to be filed.

Boxes of I-don’t-have-a-place for-junk that I probably really don’t need.

Crafts that I thought I’d work on while convalescing and didn’t.

Books I never got around to reading but want to someday.

I even let other people store things they didn’t have room for in there like an old turn table, huge inflatable balls, stuffed animals, and broken things.

There are only two things that are motivating me right now.

  1. PAIN: It’s too cold to use my laptop outside.
  2. CHANGE AND THE CHANCE TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW. My oldest son moved out a couple of weeks ago and my youngest wants his room. That frees up his old room which is larger and nicer than my office. I now have the opportunity to clean out my office and move it to another room and create a guest bedroom in the smaller space.

 

If I’m being honest it turns out my office isn’t the only area of my life I’ve been putting off to deal with later. I’ve stock piled a lot of things in the last 14 months, anger, hurt feelings, insecurity, fear, you name it, I loaded it up. I’ve even gained 21 pounds since I broke my leg.

My physical weight is always a good indicator that I’m stuffing things. I stuffed a lot.

While my son and I removed over seven bags of physical trash from all three rooms, I thought it would be a good time to let go of the emotional garbage as well.

Touch it once, deal with it and move on. Make that phone call. Write that letter. Say that prayer. Let it go.

I want to end 2014 on a clean slate and start 2015 fresh.

How about you?

What things have you stock piled this year to deal with later?

Why not start today?

Wow, what a ride…

wow what a ride

There is a saying in my circles that drives me absolutely crazy some times.

“This Too Shall Pass.”

Honestly, when I’m in the middle of THIS, whatever it is, I’m not all that keen on seeing the temporary of my situation. All I can see is the now and the now stinketh much sometimes.

Take my right now for instance. I am 30 weeks into what started as a simple ankle replacement. I am still in part one of that. My tibia is still broken and we haven’t even gotten to the ankle part. People have commented about my positive attitude and I want to tell you, there are days where my prayers sound like King David’s “How long Oh Lord?”

Now I do know that my leg is going to heal and that life will pick up again and that like the saying goes this will pass. I know this because 10 years ago, it was my heart that was broken instead of my leg.

10-years ago, I didn’t believe this would pass. I felt stuck in a never-ending cycle of hurt and disappointment.

While I was still depressed over my circumstances, I chose to trust God with a single step. Nothing major, just make my bed. Then it was get dressed. Then take a walk. Quit my job. And then the scariest of all – make a new friend. And another. And another.

Over time things changed. I started doing things that scared me to death for a moment and produced wonderful results. (I failed at a lot of things as well, but you know… I kept going anyway)

tbt2

So beloved – where ever you are, whatever season you are in, know that things do pass, life does change, and if you take one small step of faith and courage great things will happen.

Be Brave
Be Bold
Dare to Live

Walking each other home: Book review of Stitches by Anne Lamott

IMG_2539970996080 “My time is limited. I’m dyingyou know. Not that anybody cares.”

Sigh.

It is one of those conversations where I catch myself with one hand on the receiver and one hand on the ground so that the Earth’s trajectory – and her self pity – doesn’t send me hurling into space.

“Are you going to die today?”

“Well, no.”

“Good. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

It’s been almost four years since I first met Anne Lamott in Traveling Mercies. A lot has happened in those four years and in that time, I have read every non-fiction book she has written. I find that how I receive her books is very much contingent on where I am at when I read them. What jumps out at me today, might be entirely different tomorrow.

ultimately, we are just walking each other home. – Ram Dass

The main alcoholic in my life is dying Not today, or tomorrow, but soon. They have a year maybe two at the most left.I think they need to live with me so that I can help and they think they need to stay exactly where they are (over 1, 000 miles away.) They want to die the same way they live: On their terms.

I think that stinks, but nobody asked me.

I can either spend what is left of their life arguing with them, or I can see them for who they are, a child of God, and allow them the dignity of making their own choices.

Stitches is full of Anne’s trademark dry humor, subtle wisdom, and gentle heart. It’s almost poetic in its writing style and it’s soft-spoken much like Anne’s actual speaking voice. Rather than hammer at you, she almost whispers. Stitches is like a sacred conversation between old friends.

Anne writes and speaks with gentle authority and with the wisdom of a woman who has been there, done that, and lived to tell about it. Whether it’s as the overly sensitive child who learned the freedom that comes from choosing to see what is really going on, the woman who is walking her husband home after 40 years, the best friend who grieves, the mother with a mentally ill son, or the teacher who doesn’t give up – Anne teaches us that life is a miracle, the sun continues to rise with or without our permission, that we are not rags, and that if we hold hands, we can stand against the wind.

I don’t know what season you are in. For me, I’m in the thick of chapter two – The Overly Sensitive Child. Perhaps you are facing life without your mate, a sick or wayward child, the loss of a best friend or a community tragedy much like what hit Moore Oklahoma this year. And maybe you are wondering how to stitch your life back together.

Maybe, like me you need to hear that it’s okay to let other people in , that beauty has meaning, we can take our own turn and that we are not rags. Whatever season you are in, or what you may need to hear, Stitches is a book that has something for everyone. I give it 5 stars.

You can get your copy at Amazon.com

DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT: While I do at times receive free copies of books in exchange for honest reviews, no goods or services were received in exchange for this review. I purchased the book myself via Amazon and enjoyed it so much that I wanted to tell my readers about it.

Chasing Feathers

lady-blowing-feathers-300x300They really need to fix that whole REPLY ALL function in email by adding some kind of warning like “you are about to copy the universe with your opinion, are you sure you wish to do this?” type feature or something.

That would simplify my life a whole heck of a lot.

Granted, so would self-control.

But I digress.

I heard a story one time about a man seeking the wisdom of the Shaman at the top of the mountain. The shaman took a feather pillow, tore it open and released the feathers. “Go and gather every feather.” He said.

The man raced around the mountain trying to catch every feather that fell and returned dejected.

“I tried my best, but I cannot catch every feather that you released. The wind is too strong.” he said.

The Shaman smiled. “And so it is with our words. Choose them wisely because once released, we cannot get them all back.”

I tend to be that man (or woman rather) running the mountain side trying to catch back every feather, every lie, every word, spoken and released at the top of the mountain by well-meaning, and perhaps not so well-meaning, Christians and atheists alike.

I want to snatch it away before it lands on someone’s head and they believe it.

So many responses have come out in light of the events of December 14th. My mail box and Facebook pages are full of what if this and what if that — I get it, we want answers. Lying about God isn’t the answer. Much better blogs have been written on this subject than I can write.

I snapped today — someone sent me yet another “Where was God” post. This one a Mike Huckabee video. I watched the video and immediately responded with “This Crap! This isn’t my God.” — without checking who was on the original list, I started chasing feathers — my response was rather lengthy and I’ll spare you the details. It seems I replied to everyone in this poor man’s mail box. Our church, our district and several national directors of Christian Education.

I’ll be apologizing to the man the next time I see him. I wasn’t trying to discount his motive, just Mike’s Message. Sometimes I wind up chasing my own feathers and that is never fun. Self control would have been prudent. It’s not my place to defend God. I’m learning however, it is my place and my call — to tell the truth about God.

But that is a story for another day.

Be well you guys. and Behave!

We are all hypocrites and drama queens

There is a difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. While some of us are happy that President Obama won a second term, many are unhappy and are reacting as though this were an earth shattering catastrophe.  Let me make myself clear here — Hurricane Sandy and the destruction to lower Manhattan and other parts of the East coast is a catastrophe – Mitt Romney losing the election is an inconvenience at best. Some  of us need to get a grip.

No matter who you voted for yesterday, today we breathe in, we put one foot in front of the other and we live. Hopefully we live for something outside of ourselves. I voted, and those who know me best know who I voted for and why. Granted if you follow me on Twitter, you already know who I voted for and if you are still reading my blog you either agree with me or came to see if God struck me dead with lightning yet.

So for all of my Christian readers who believe I’m in a hand basket headed straight for hell, sorry. I’m still here. And being black-listed for either being a Christian or being a Democrat does not hurt my feelings. I needed time off anyway and now that my entire month of November is free, I can write my book.

I say that a little tongue in cheek in all honesty. Are we really that petty? Hollywood black lists Christians and Christians black list each other over trivial things. Drama queens abound on either side and yet somewhere in the middle is our tribe.

I’ll admit trying to give up anger during an election year has not been easy. I might as well as tried to give up chocolate while working in a candy store. So many things can make my skull split in half, the word “Koolaid” being the most recent thing that brings out my alter-ego “home-girl.” I try to placate her with cookies, but sometimes she comes out and she is U-G-L-Y.

I have an IQ of over 145, I don’t drink koolaid and neither does anyone else I know. I hear that word on both sides of the spectrum. Not only does the far right use it to describe Democrats, I have several atheist friends do the same thing to describe anyone who dares believe in a God.  My writers group is loaded with atheists and progressive Christians. I fall somewhere in the middle I’m sure.

I love my friends dearly, and I know I am a bit of a conundrum to them. I’m a Christian female who gave up my career to raise my family. No regrets. I choose to submit to my husband out of love and respect (not fear or koolaid brainwashing), and yet I am a Democrat. I believe in helping those less fortunate. I believe that women have equal value to men. I believe in a lot of things actually. If I’ve learned nothing from this election season, I’ve learned this: In the final analysis, be us believers of God or not, we’re all hypocrites and drama queens.   

That’s good news to me. Knowing we are all hypocrites means we can let go of our masks and just be ourselves and hopefully learn to love each other.

Now let us put one foot in front of the other, breathe in and out, stop awefullizing everything, quit being a victim and LIVE.