Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . April 22, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is gray, cloudy, and 65*. We got some rain last night. Currently a squirrel is sitting on my porch eating up the birdseed I spilled the other day.

I am thinking . . . the today is Earth Day. Everything in my yard is GREEN and birds are singing to each other. The earth is amazing!

I am thankful . . . for a day of accomplishments yesterday.

In the kitchen . . . last night I was just too tired to cook. Tonight I'm thinking about grilling sausages, steaming broccoli and cauliflower, and making a pasta salad.

I am wearing . . . I wonder if you can guess (since it's essentially the same thing every Tuesday)?

I am creating . . . still trying to get that sewing mojo going. I've got several in process projects that I'd like to create/finish, and several more new projects I'd like to get started on.

I am going . . . to run a few errands, take a walk with dd, and continue on the constant path of order around my house.

I am wondering . . . about how to continue my Lenten fast on a permanent basis --

fast from feeling guilty and angry at yourself 
for things you have done wrong,
instead remember God's great love for you

I am reading . . . The Dark Monk: A Hangman's Daughter Tale by Oliver Potzsch. I read the first one in the series and almost gave up on it, but I powered through to the end and was rewarded. Here I am on number 2 so we shall see.

I am looking forward to . . . the (in)RL Conference this weekend. There will be webcast and I found a meet-up close to me that I plan to attend on Saturday.

I am hearing . . . traffic and birds. It's that nice blend of morning sounds that seem to represent the beginning of a new day.

Around the house . . . bestie and I did some sorting and a little organizing yesterday. We worked on a better schedule for me with the changing season. Still trying to honor April as take care of me month.

I am praying . . . my bestie who is interviewing for a job today that would make it possible for her daughter to go to the college of her choice. Bestie would be great at this job, so I am praying that the interveiwers see that if this is God's will.

One of my favorite things . . . is learning. Last Friday dh invited me to a lecture he was attending on a new treatment method for post traumatic stress disorder. It was focused on combat veterans, but it was quite interesting. The whole experience reminded me how much I enjoy stretching my mind.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . therapy and errands today, tomorrow is my day at home and I plan to sew. Thursday is Precept Bible Study, and Friday is another day at home as well the beginning of the (in)RL Conference. Saturday is the meet-up for the conference and then back to church on Sunday.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
my Easter dinner table




Glue

A verb or a noun. To glue -- the act of attaching two items to one another using adhesion. Glue -- the adhesive used to attach two items to each other. My own definitions, but that's what it means to me.



A covenant is spiritual glue. I am glued to God through the covenant of baptism, and I'm glued to my husband through the covenant of marriage. Being glued to someone doesn't mean I'm happy all the time. It means I'm sticking with this person because I sealed myself to the relationship.

And sometimes that's what keeps me going. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love God. But all of them irritate and frustrate me sometimes, so if it weren't for that glue I might just throw up my hands and walk away. In the tough times that can seem like a pretty good plan. So the glue saves me from myself. My selfish longings and ambitions. My fear or unwillingness to see through the tough times and remember the good ones. The glue serves a larger purpose. 

Glue keeps me attached when I don't think I can hold on any longer. And that's a really good thing, because otherwise I'd miss some really amazing stuff.

linking up with Five Minute Friday


Monday, April 21, 2014

loving myself -- then and now

What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?

He sees all of them. All the time. I can pretend to hide them from Him, but I'm only hiding them from myself.

The dark places in my heart. Fear that I am not good enough. Shame at my deepest desires. Judgment of my self. Judgment of others. Lack of compassion. Envy.

The places that bog me down when I let myself recognize their existence. That drag me farther away from Him. That make it impossible to hear His voice calling me back to Him. His voice saying, "I knew that about you already. Come back. It's okay. I'll help you. I love you in spite of yourself."

Saturday I sat on a blanket on the floor of a sanctuary I'd never entered before. I sat with my head bowed, my beads in my hands, my shawl over my lap. And I listened. I told Him I was opening my heart to Him. I told Him my deepest desires. I cried -- not long aching sobs, just simple tears sliding down my face and landing on my hands. No choking or gasping. And I don't know if they were tears of sadness, hurt, gratitude, or joy, but I don't think it matters. I cracked the shell open a little more, and let Him come in deeper. I trusted Him to not take advantage of my vulnerability.

There was no epiphany. There is no sudden change in my life. I don't know if it will happen again (I hope it will), but I do know that something shifted. I acknowledged all those dark places, and I'm still here. He didn't strike me dead. 

A man cannot be comfortable 
without his own approval.
-- Mark Twain

I'm trusting in Him to show me how to learn to approve of myself. To see who I really am. Warts and all. To love myself despite my dark places. And maybe by acknowledging those dark places, I can spread some light in them while sweeping out the dust and cobwebs. Creating more space for Him.

*****

Since writing this piece last year I've gone on several more silent journeys of meditation, both guided and unguided. I am continuing to open myself up to God. To trust Him to remain constant and loving. I'm definitely clearing dust and cobwebs and replacing them with love and light. It is not an easy journey, and it is one that I must make on my own. I'm glad I stepped out in longing and fear. It was worth the leap of faith.

linking up with Writer's Workshop


Saturday, April 19, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roses and Fasting

Claire is sitting on the sofa with Yaya listening to music. Squeaker is resting on her rug in my corner of the house. And I am finishing my first cup of tea this morning. With temperatures still in the 30s there will be more to come I am sure. 

The roses I bought for myself yesterday sit on the corner of my desk and their scent is intoxicating. I woke up with a smile on my face this morning, and I was surprised by it.

A couple of bad days that included the recurring questions, "What do I do now?" and "What did I do wrong?" are behind me. Things aren't all fixed, but I'm feeling better with some answers I can live with. That first one is the hardest, because the answer is "Just wait". There are no immediate fixes. Only time and talking and learning and loving. That's it. No magic reset button.

The second answer seems to be "It doesn't matter". Hindsight is 20/20. There are always things we'd do differently. And I realize it's all one more lesson He is teaching me, and one more reminder to let go of coping mechanisms developed during abuse that just don't work in real life. 

It's Holy Week. The last of Lent is before me. I look at that piece of paper taped to the window in front of my desk. My Lenten fast.


fast from feeling guilty and angry at yourself for things
you have done wrong,
instead remember God's great love for you

I've let this fast happen. I haven't really worked at it. I've just read that daily and tried to care for myself without worrying about motives or what other people might think. I've done what seemed best for me as much as possible. The world hasn't crumbled and my family has barely noticed the difference, but I have. I'm breathing easier. Sitting and waiting instead of rushing in to fix everything for everyone.

I think that smile may be God telling me I've done okay.

linking up with Imperfect Prose and Just Write




Dreaming of Spring



linking up with Wordless Wednesday