Limited

There is an allure to the heroic. The little engine that “couldn’t” just doesn’t sound appealing. There’s a mindset of pushing ones limits; of attempting the impossible.

Somehow the mother who “just raised” her children is not as heroic as that women who conquered the corporate world. Funny thing is, that even when we say this doesn’t bother us, it may just put a bolder in our shoe that just makes for some funky walking.

I hit a wall…again. It surprised me, yet it didn’t. It discouraged me, yet it didn’t. Such mixture of emotions. Such a sense of failure. Such a reminder of being a limited being.

Ever since I can remember I’ve had to have “my back. Watching out for myself. And, kinda-sorta being there for everyone in need. After my daughter passed away I literally fell apart. My therapist reminded me that the passing of my daughter was NOT what undeed me. I almost fired her for the upteenth time. How dare she say that! But in the depth of my being I wondered…

She went on to say that I had kept “myself” together with all sorts of things. My daughter’s passing was simply the event that unraveled, even the duct tape.

Ah the reality of being a limited human being. Not something we like to admit. Just recently I heard a podcast that spoke about a “God-complex” wanting to be everyones savior, including me. They mentioned that it takes humility to accept that we need food, sleep, rest, etc. in order to keep functioning. That in our pride we don’t trust God to handle ‘fill in the blank’. Ouch!

Ya think I would have this lesson down packed, right? NOT!!! We are forgetful people that need to be reminded, time and again.

Watching my daughter ebb away with absolutely nothing I could do to stop this, I thought I had grasped my limited abilities. But, no, I still need to be reminded.

I’ve been meditating on the following:

Job 38:1-7, Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:  “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.  Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?  On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

I am limited! God is not!

Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Companion

“I thought you had left me for good”, was my thought. “But, oh, how I sense your tenacity”, the surrendered sigh echoed.

The companion I did not choose. The companion I did not invite, yet here you are as present as ever. Somehow, I don’t fear you anymore. Somehow, I “almost” see you coming, grab my hibernation attire and sink back for it’s duration. How long will you stay, is as unknown as the heaviness of your hand. That is still an area that frustrates this control freak.

How I wish I could control your arrival. Heck, you may never be welcomed, if I had my say. But, no, you are there just lurking around the corner, waiting to make your appearance known.

Your familiar presence can still rattle my routine.

Depression with all it’s intricate angles…

Depression is the name of my friend…

…a friend I never chose.

If you love me…

“If you loved me then ________.”

Depending on the source of that output this could be an extremely packed statement. It can also carry all kinds of implications and connotations. It’s an exhaustive list, for sure, one which I would do a disservice to attempt to look at every angle. I’ll simply explore a few of my own personal instances.

The time I said to my husband, “If you loved me you would buy me a diamond ring.” We were broker than broke. It was an absurd request (my thinking “now”, not back then).

Times I was asked to give up of my physical self in order to prove my love for the person.

Times as I parent I questioned my love for my children.

In our  lives trajectory we bring this same mentality to our relationship with a Holy God. We echo, “If God loved me then this _______, wouldn’t happen or would happen or wouldn’t be this way, etc.” We can take it as far as saying, “I can’t love a God that would allow _______.” And so it goes…

Our mind and thinking are skewed by life and its complications and limitations.

In the mystery of life, God in His mercy and grace, continues to transform my mind by His Living Word. There are a gazillion voices that bombard my mind. I need something that is “unchanging, and true”.

God tells me that He loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. This truth settles me and assures me.

Does the love of God place me in a protective cocoon where nothing ugly and bad will touch me? No! However, it gives me hope beyond the here and now. It settles my tortured soul. It brings me to a place of rest despite the turmoil. AND, one day, when I am but a shell in the dirt, my spirit will soar like the eagles and I will be with the One that loved me with an everlasting love.

That, my friends, is pure unadulterated LOVE ❤

In Process

“We are all in the process of dying.” The words came through the connection and settled into my soul. Turning them over and over. Unsettling the innermost part of my being. Dissecting each angle, as if to attempt to break the code.

Life and Deatha mystery beyond our reach

A short life snatched. A long life lived. Not enough time…BUT is there ever a “right time”? Yet, a question resounds, “Do I live as if I was in the process of dying?” And, many more follow:

  • What would I want my last words to be?
  • How would I want to be remembered?
  • How will I be remembered?
  • What will be said of me?

Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

Another April

Another April℘

I sit here, a few days short before another birth-day. LORD willing, fifty-four is in the horizon. Pondering that (age) for a moment…if I lived as long as my mother, then I have twenty-four more years to go. TWENTY-FOUR! Yup, that would mean I have less life to live than I’ve lived thus far. And, I have lived beyond my sister’s forty-one short years. And, way beyond my daughter’s thirty years. Now, I have a granddaughter, who I hope to enjoy for many many years.

Legacy. Women who share the same bloodline.

What lives on? What stays behind? What do we impart that creates ripples of joy and a sense of pride? What do we impart that brings guilt, shame…heartache and pain?

The intricacy of life is puzzling…mysterious. What I had said, “I’d never do”, that I have done. What I had said, “I’d never say”, I have said. How easy it is for me to look back an relentlessly dissect my mother’s mothering. Oh, how easy it is to cast a judgmental light upon all her “mistakes”, while I cry out for mercy and forgiveness for the insurmountable mistakes I have made and continue to make.

What is it about life that lessons are best learned while we are navigating it, rather than learning from others mistakes? Do we dare say, “we have arrived”, while not realizing that the next lesson is right around the corner?

I am the older woman. I am the gray haired shadow of that once cocky being. I am the one that feels that NOT being here – anymore – would alleviate all the sorrow and pain. I am, by God’s amazing grace, still here able to see a new life come into this world. My breath is a gift. How long? Only God knows, and He is worthy of all my trust.

Yup, another birthday is on the horizon. It will come and go. Life will continue. But may I never forget that I have been given much, much to be grateful for♥†

Kindled Gratitude

Fatigued and weary, I entered that room. Who knew “it” would become a place of worship? Who knew the God of all creation would flood me with His love. A midst the clamoring weights, a Presence that would break through the dark.

I was reminded of that ditch. How did I not die there? How did I crawl out? Why didn’t he kill me? What made him stop the brutality?

I was reminded of that barrel at my temple. What happened? Why didn’t he pull the trigger? What scared him away? How did I find the will to move?

And, so it went. Picture after picture…none scared me, none made me angry. I breathed, “Why me?” Not “why me”? as in why did such and such happen to me, but in “why am I still here?” “how did I survive, and others didn’t?”

Not everyone escapes

Not every suicide attempt is thwarted

I think of sitting at our dinner table speaking hard things, deep things…not the norm.

I think of sitting with my hubby…sometimes talking, sometimes silent.  Oh, the peace and tranquility…not the norm.

Even my daughter’s last days, last moments…final breath. In her room, on her bed. Me by her side as she took her final breath and her final heart beat still palpable on my palm. Yeah, NOT THE NORM. I think of My Grieving Friend who got “that call” and had to go identify pieces of her precious son. Of that Momma who got “that call” that her son had hung himself. Of that life that ended in a ditch with no one to say goodbye.

Psalm 106:7, “…They did not remember Your abundant kindness…” — Oh God, may I not take for granted Your abundant kindness. May I have a heart of gratitude as I recollect ALL that has been given to me; all that has been granted.

“…AMAZING GRACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME…”

May I continue to have eyes to see beyond the here and now. May I cultivate a heart of gratitude and NEVER, ever forget where I’ve been and where I’ve come from. Every tool has chiseled me into the person I am today. My story continues…

 

Expectant

To that new life that is being formed in your Mommie’s womb:

  • May I dream with you and believe in fairy-tale endings
  • May I believe that there is hope for the future
  • May I allow you to wear your rose colored glasses
  • May I laugh with you and cry with you
  • May I be silly and serious
  • May I jump in the puddles, bask in the sun or run in the rain…with YOU

Oh, that I may learn that you will have your own life journey. May I not taint it with my doom and gloom. But most importantly, may you know that you are LOVED no matter what♥

We anxiously await YOUR arrival🌺

Ragged Edges

Thinking it is a good idea to attempt something normal…familiar. Hey, they are safe. They love me and I love them. Venturing out of the home-made shelter to test the outside world, only to be thrown into spiraling thoughts that assault the mind with unending questions. How stupid of me to think it would be “ok”!

Everything has changed! It’s ludicrous to think otherwise. For sure, I am a totally different person. My ragged edges cut and hurt. Not an excuse, just a fact.

Walking on eggshells, I don’t do. My masks shattered by sorrow and pain…not apologizing for this! Filters annoy me. Primp and proper, I am not.

Being around me is incredibly difficult! The sharpness of my ragged edges cut and bruise. I think I’ll crawl back into my home-made shelter where everyone will be safe😢

Shame

“…I couldn’t imagine confessing the anxiety which whispered white noise in my ears. What would fellow Christians think about the black dog of depression often barking louder than the voice of God?…” ~ Steve Austin

I’m floundering. I don’t fit in anywhere. Too “holy” (haha!) for the world. Not “saintly” enough for the church. In God’s providence (yes, I still believe…) I came across Steve Austin on Twitter. No, no magical story, he “just” turned up on my feed. I’m not completely familiar with all that he proclaims, just this quote just hit me raw.

So, we don’t have a “home church”. Since we came to faith we have always “belonged” somewhere. Crazy how that high school mentality of belonging continues even as adults. Yeah, we don’t belong to the popular crowd…anymore. We are outsiders. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s tons of people that would love for me to be in their “group”. I’d be an amazing token to show off what God can do! Sexually abused as a child, raped, domestic violence, alcohol abuser AND now, the cherry on top, the death of her daughter to cancer. Can you read the BOLD letters on the billboard? But no, I’m just a used up, discarded “saint” that has disappointed the masses. No victory story here.

Just this Sunday we visited a church. It’s a small crowd of smiling welcoming people. Maybe this one? I thought. After service they were having lunch together. We were invited. I panicked. We rushed out. Once in the car, I felt “safe”. Where they mean and snotty? No! Far from that. But my brain went to all kinds of scenarios. Some, real and others, well, made up…I guess.

Back in my “corner” with thoughts of how messed up I am and wondering how in the world I got here. And, thinking this is how it’s going to be…sigh😔

I got this!

Hand me the gavel. Give me the whip. I got this! I’m an expert at wielding just the right blow. I know just where to hit. I got fifty plus years of practice. Don’t you know, practice makes perfect? My perfectionist self continues to wield the weapons until the perfect blow renders me “wilted and useless”.

It’s exhausting to be both the offender and the judge, but one word or phrase hits the brain and the onslaught unravels. How to stop the onslaught, is not an art I have mastered. On the other hand, laying it on hard and heavy, well, it’s so easy. I’m a natural.

”They must think…” “Yup, they are tired of dealing with me.” “Did they mean…?” And on and on it goes. You see, I not only got my own thoughts castigating me, I put words in your mouth as well. Cause I’m just talented like that.

I will isolate myself, AGAIN, cause this talent needs lots and lots of work. And, solitude, is the perfect environment for it.

Don’t worry…I got this!