Wednesday, June 11, 2014

We All Fall Apart

We all fall apart sometime. Or rather, the reality of it strikes us. Sometimes it's a myriad of tiny reality pin pricks and other times, it's a blow.

My friend posted this photo to Facebook last night.  That's me on the left.

Insert:  CRINGE, SWEAR, & GRIMACE

I've been trying to un-see it for the hours that have passed since. It was taken the morning after a super fun triple family camp out.  

I don't always look angry, bloated, and exhausted. I usually don't wear my pajama shorts with the top half of my outfit, either. But, that's how things were when I got called outside for a group photo with a couple of ladies (and a baby) whom I absolutely adore.

Neither do I consider myself a particularly vain person, although I'm at least moderately vain-I think most women (and men) are to some extent. So, my inner reaction surprised me with its intensity.

I complain that Facebook is a place where people cultivate an online representation of their ideal self. Then, when a less than ideal version of myself is made public on Facebook, I'm thoroughly uncomfortable with it. Obviously, I'm as guilty as anyone else is of wanting to be seen only on my terms.

Seeing myself like this-it holds a mirror up to me that no ordinary mirror can hold up. I'm flawed. I'm a year away from 40 and I have to work harder and harder to keep things the way they've always been because I don't know what else to do. I feel like I can really, re-he-healllllly identify with Goldie and Meryl in Death Becomes Her.

Yes, I want to, need to, UN-SEE it.

What to do when the seams unravel? The outer seams, (wrinkles, bulges, gravity's pull) and the inner seams (anxiety, negative self-talk, fear)?

What brings the pieces together?  What silences the negativity and fear?   What reveals the beauty at the heart center?  

It's not a what, it's a whom...

Jesus.   It's that simple and that complicated. 

It's a daily, every hour, every minute, every second struggle to tune in to Him and tune out from the lies. Lies that say my value can be found in the most vulnerable and fleeting of places.

It's time for some Proverbs 31:30, my friends.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

I pray-for peace-acceptance that this is the way of time. 
I pray for gratitude-much of the reason I lose sleep and feel trapped in another person's body is because I have 2 little human beings I'd never trade for a wrinkle-free complexion or bump-less silhouette. 
I pray for Love-His Love, for me-that I would allow myself to receive it, that I would love myself enough to release unrealistic expectations and be joyful.  JOYFUL, I tell you! 
I pray for freedom-freedom from the desire to prove something, the endless striving for what's out of reach, from finding self value from anywhere I ought not be seeking, and from any other ideas that bind me and prevent me from being near to Him.

Does that mean I quit taking care of myself? Of course it doesn't-being healthy makes life more...just, more! And, putting an effort into one's appearance is rewarding-but, I do this for my own reasons. 

I'm sure one day a much worse image of me will be made public. That's okay. 

It's much less attractive to be held down in chains.



Friday, December 20, 2013

example

tiny fingers
linger

just a blink

kitty dishes
on
chubby knuckles

will find themselves
in a sink

will find themselves
building, comforting

reaching

for what we show
is
worth the reach

Thursday, October 31, 2013

If You Have

If you have children near-
and the air is soft with the possibility of rain,
the leaves are being lifted and twirled with the force of autumn's breath,
and ladybugs circle in busy preparation
...then,
the most exquisite way to blend these ingredients
is to get out a bubble wand
and take in the children as they go giddy
chasing bubbles in soft air,
surrounded by leaves orange, red, and gold,
ladybugs finding a spot on your sleeve for rest.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Take a Breath

Hold on mama,
Take a breath-

Search my eyes,
Into their depths-

Realize...
How soon I'll grow-
 
Then exhale
    and
Take it slow.

--Composed while nursing JuJu Bean

Thursday, October 13, 2011

St. Francis, the Butterfly

Arriving home from the groceries just before lunch, I came up to the front door to see a monarch circling around the entry area to our home...I took it to be a beautiful blessing and decided to let that little encounter plan our lunch time.  Although it was very damp (misting) outside, I fixed us a quesadilla picnic and a few minutes later Ever and I were sitting outside munching.  Ever spent the greater part of half an hour studying a slug make its way down from mid-tree to the ground, completely in awe.

I stood quietly nearby, breathed many deep breaths, and unfocused my eyes so I could take in the soft gray atmosphere above lit up by pockets of amber beginning to poke out of the surrounding green...and then I began to see tiny water drops swirling through the air all around (which are invisible when the eye is focused).  I was still me, but another version of me...almost free of my physical self and yet, embraced by so much physical beauty that I felt as though I had been plucked out of almost reality and inserted into this luscious moment of pure life and energy literally emanating from every living thing around me.

Perhaps this is what St. Francis of Assisi experienced when he came to have such potent experiences with God through nature...it is a gift that I pray I would be a worthy steward of.  Thank you, lovely little Franciscan butterfly for catching my attention, shifting my day entirely, and bringing me into such a state of contented gratitude.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No, I'm not pregnant-just a planner...

Staring at an overturned laundry basket as I breathe deeply and consider what....to....write...

Thinking of my little one seated on it so sweetly waiting for me to hurry up and take her to the beach this morning. 

Am I ready for another even littler one?  Will I miss many of her very special moments if I have a newborn taking over my life again?

I see other moms with more than one child under the age of four, and many of them make it seem totally natural-they seem to embrace the ensuing whirlwind of personalities, needs, and laughter (and other expressions of the not so happy type).  I also remember being the second child...and then the middle child.  Often happy to be left alone, sometimes made to feel as an afterthought (by my very loving but very busy mama). 

I also think about all of the moments of fear and doubt seated in the fact that I had never had a child before during Ever's first year of life...how will that play out if I've done it already?  Maybe it won't be so hard...but, then factor in that there are two small (and one big brother here with us part time) and maybe it will be. 

I suppose I still have time to think on it.  I do think on this-whatever juncture we have found ourselves at during Ever's last 2+ years, I have used equal measures of planning and spontaneity tempered with pure instinct (and a good deal of divine intervention).  I appreciate advice (about 30% of the time), but ultimately I am her mama and I do know best without a doubt. 

I look to that when I wonder what to do with another child.  I will love, I will listen (God does need us to meet halfway), and my heart will grow even bigger than I could ever expect. 

(And that laundry basket is going to be used even more than it already is.)

  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sugar and Spice

Somewhere in the last couple of weeks a very subtle transition occurred.  Bit by bit, my baby has become an almost big little girl. 
We went on a family road trip-I was nerve wracked about her routine and how she (and we) would do without it.  She did fabulously-slept in beds (with foam or rolled towel bumpers), napped whenever (or almost not at all), and ate her food ( a miracle, actually-the last few months of medical attention warranted by her small stature can attest to that).
Now that we're home-she is still eating, has transitioned into her toddler bed, and is having conversations with me.  "Let's go, Ever-let's get in the car."  "I'm coming, Mommy."
Amazing, that's what it is.  As much as I dreaded this time in her development, because it would mean that I'm losing her babyhood, I'm so filled with joy seeing her moments of shining pride in her new abilities that any dread is eclipsed in that light.  I love that she is finally able to communicate with me all the thoughts that are floating around in that amazing mind of hers.  I've become closer with her-more like we're hanging out with each other.  Of course, this is accompanied by disagreements and moments of fierce love-but I am basking in it. 
Thinking about her yesterday, I became aware that in her case, the spice that makes her girly sugar and spiciness is definitely cayenne...but, then-what should I have expected after years of putting crushed red pepper on practically anything edible!  She is a fierce little sprite-may I always give her enough room to cultivate the independence glimmering on the surface of her developing sense of self.