Saturday, October 15, 2011
"Oh, I-I-I-I remember you. You're the girl who struggles with self-doubts, who questions every action, every feeling under a microscope, who places heavy scrutinization on every thought and word...yes, I remember you. Remember how bad it made you feel because you couldn't be perfect or, gulp, "normal?" Didn't that make you feel closed-in, isolated, almost to the point of distancing yourself from the ones you loved the most?? C'mon, now, snap out of it. Get back to that peaceful center you once found. Remember how good it made you feel to let all that baggage go? Remember how wonderful it was to accept yourself for who you are and accept your flaws, your mistakes, your life for what it was???"
Putting the mirror down, I closed my eyes and drew a deep breath. Then I prayed. A short prayer. A simple, "God, here I am. Let me hear Your voice. Reach down to me again, pull me free from the mucky mire and lift me up, once again. In Your sweet name..."
It's such human nature to wrestle with yourself. It's easy to fall back into the same old habits, even the self-destructive ones, that will drain the energy from you. You would think that after miserably failing, trying to do it all on your own, you would learn, after awhile. Why is it that we keep re-trying what doesn't work and not use that energy to find a better solution? My solution, as of late, has been God. He has continued to draw me closer each hour, each day, each week...then I started not feeling well again. I have felt drained, to the point of total exhaustion, nauseated, weak...and then I decided to shelter myself. I decided to pull away, to wither within and try to "tough it out." Then the downhill slide began.
BUT!! I recognized it for what it was. Human nature. I can't feel bad for being human and having self-doubts but I have to recognize it for what it is and do something about it. Improve. Call out to my heavenly Father and ask for His assistance, then simply wait for His loving voice, His loving arms to encircle me. And guess what?? They were there. HE was there. Smiling, arms outstretched, ready for me to fall into them and rest, to lay my burdens at His feet as He enveloped me into His loving embrace.
"As your will is bent and broken
And every vision has been cast into the wind,
As your courage crashes down before your eyes,
Don't lay down and die.
(Because) I see in you
More than you'll ever know.
And I ask you "Why you question
The strength inside?"
'Cause You need to know how it feels
To be alive.
When every wound has been re-opened,
And in this world of give and take you must have FAITH,
And the distance to your dreams stretch beyond your reach,
Don't lay down and die...
Because I see in you more than you will ever know..."
God sees in us more than we will ever know. He sees we are insecure at times, that we are just HUMAN, that we struggle with our inner voice. He knows us better than we know ourselves. So if that is the case, then shouldn't we believe that He will never give us more than we can handle, that we do possess the inner strength to rise up past our conflicts, our weaknesses? We have to change the way we think. We have to see our worth for what it is. And our worth is priceless in the eyes of our God. He has saved me because I'm worth it. I have to remember that He loved me enough, thought me worthy enough to sacrifice His only Son for me. AND YOU.
Okay, trying to do it all on my own equals fatigue, doubts, insecurity. Doing it GOD'S way equals love, patience, acceptance. Duh.
It didn't take me long to realize it this time.
Perhaps I'll stick with what works now? God bless....love you all.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
The last few days have been challenging, mentally and physically, for me during work. Sometimes this body doesn't want to give up the goods like it used to and if I don't feel the miles on my legs that day, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will feel them the next. (I once wore a pedometer during one of my shifts just to see how many miles I put in on an average day and it registered 10.7. JUST DURING MY SHIFT.) I have to say that in some aspects I'm pretty proud of this...I think my body is in better shape now than it used to be. I remember when I wasn't working and I was trying to find a regimen right for me. I tried running. I tried bonking. I tried weight lifting. Each time I would fall miserably flat on my face due to the limitations on my health. But just this simple act of walking, albeit at a frenzied pace at times during work, has seemed to help stabilize my weight.
But these last few days have been very challenging for me. With the change of weather my joints ache more. I've been experiencing more headaches. But I keep trudging ahead...and I have something very good to come home to for a few more days. My beautiful grandgirls, two twins and a new one that just makes my heart absolutely SING are moving from Arizona to Kansas. (They kinda took a wide detour to see us before heading out there...)
When I look into two month old Jaycee's gorgeous deep blue eyes, that are as blue as the sky above me, as blue as the ocean that was once before me, I get lost. I get lost in the innocence and serenity of a something that is bigger than me, bigger than my aches and pains, larger than any problem that has been placed before me. When she smiles at my peek-a-boos and grabs my fingers in her tiny little grasp, I truly feel like I'm holding onto something so precious, fragile and I cannot breathe. I FORGET to breathe. I also get transported back 19 years ago when my daughter was this small and I was amazed at the beauty, the wondrous perfection of a new little life that was placed in my arms by the hands of my loving and trusting God...
Again, He has given me a gift. He has once again allowed my arms to encircle the most precious thing this life can offer. How can I NOT feel so special? How can I NOT feel loved when this little baby girl looks up into my eyes and smiles? I rocked her to sleep last night and I felt her little body curl into my own, as she grasped my finger and drifted off to the place that is only for little angels to explore...I could not tear my eyes, my heart, or soul away. Her soft breathes, gentle coos and little tiny hiccups captivated me, mesmerized me, lulled me into a deep place of serenity and peace.
I can't put my finger on it but this is different than being a mother. As a grandmother, you look at your grandchildren...then look at your children taking care of them. Such irony to see yourself in them, loving their own children, doing everything you did while they were growing up. But I'm going with it. And it pleases me to know that one day they will have this moment with THEIR grandchildren...I wish I could be here to witness that....
Aches and pains I have in this weary body.
But joy, love and peace in a heart that feels forever young.
I have my beautiful grandangels to thank for that.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
When I opened my eyes this morning, I heard the gentle pitter-patter of the rain on the windows. The house, in its morning solitude, allowed me to lie there and lazily dream in, dream out, to relish the meditative song of the falling water, lulling me into peace and solitude. It wasn't but a few years ago that I woke to the voices of my children, excitedly getting ready for their day, maybe even quarreling over their rights to the bathrooms or laughing at each other's jokes....
But this is good.
This is very good. As much as I miss them and the fact that I wouldn't trade those years for ANYTHING, I find myself enjoying this time of peace. Lazily, I stretch my arms over my head and push my feet from beneath the covers. Or I will roll over and bury my face into the pillow and smile. I didn't know that empty-nest syndrome would hold such little gifts for me to enjoy. I didn't know that having the last serving of ice cream could taste so good. Or that taking a few extra minutes to soak in a hot bubble bath could rejuvenate my spirit.
But it has.
I miss my kids, and their friends, tearing through the living room at break-neck speed, sharing the day's events with me. But I also like watching my favorite program uninterrupted. I love taking as much time as I want in my woods, quietly reflecting on nature, the beauty of it as it surrounds me in it's raw, gorgeous embrace. I miss having them with me during these times, but there are new things I've discovered in my own backyard that I haven't seen before. Nor heard before. I miss having my phone calls to and from my friends interrupted with a fact they needed to share at THAT VERY MOMENT. But everyone knows not to interrupt me when I'm on the phone with my kids. It seems so odd to converse with them this way now. But for some reason, the conversations are more meaningful, more special because they are not every day. They are mature, deeper conversations about what they are searching for in life, not who stuck whose tongue out at who....
I like my new relationship with them. My oldest has taken a job at GE in Kansas City. The second oldest is raising my grandson, working and going to school. Bre is at OU, volunteering, making the Dean's List and finding new things about herself every day. Paul is on the road to self-discovery...it's a difficult road for him but I know deep down he has the strength to overcome his adversities and will come back to us when he is ready, settled, and strong in his ability to believe the wonderful things about himself. I trust them. I trust them all.
Now, it's my turn. To lie in bed for as long as I wish. To listen to MY music in the car and to dance in the living room to the beat of my own drum. It's my turn to indulge in going to lunch with my friends and to see a movie JUST BECAUSE. Because I can. Because I WANT TO.
This is good.
This is very very good....
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Ahh, such a nice change of pace....
Letting go and accepting the events in your life. It doesn't have to be perfect. Life doesn't. You can still find peace and contentment in the disorder around you, especially when you learn to accept that nothing is ever neat and clean, very seldom is it 100% as you wish it to be. But the thing that you can always count on is the loving hand of God caressing your weary shoulders and whispering, "Just lean on me, I am ALWAYS here..." It's taken me a loooong time to get to this place. It's taken many stumbles that have left me on my face, bruised and bleeding, shaken, for me to realize that there was always a hand to help me stand once again. And in that stance, gathering my strength once again, was a love as warm as the rising summer sun. I may have given up on me at times, but He didn't. Never once. It was never His option....
I am the type of person who would rather retreat into a cubby hole and lick my wounds, alone, from the eyes of others. I find myself at times pulling away from the people whom I love the most, especially when I need them the most. I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve for awhile then distance myself, either out of shame or weariness...not fair to them, I know. But I also did that with God. Or tried to. I THOUGHT I was hiding from Him, but it seemed He always found me. Even when I didn't want to be found. He doesn't give up so easily. He doesn't give up AT ALL.
My life isn't perfect. Far from it. I am far from perfect. But, my GOSH, it feels so good to just let that "goal" go. I am imperfect. My life is, gulp, imperfect. And IT IS IN GOD'S HANDS, not my own. What will be, will be. I am where I am supposed to be RIGHT NOW. My life is as it should be RIGHT NOW. And even though I am imperfect, my God still loves me for who I am. He has forgiven me for my sins. He has looked past my faults and seen His child, hugged His child and accepted His child for who she is. My God loves me. He loves me for who I am, who I will be and, most importantly, what I will be NOT.
I am set in stone. My life and what it is supposed to be is painted on God's canvas, lovingly created by His brushstrokes. He didn't promise me or anyone else that it was going to be easy. I wouldn't WANT it to be! I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't go through the heartaches and turbulence that I have suffered in my life. I would be spoiled, ungrateful and selfish. I wouldn't have empathy or sympathy for those around me.
I wouldn't be here.
No, my life isn't perfect. It never was nor will it ever be.
But my God is.......and He loves me. That's ALL I need.
God bless you all...
Thursday, September 15, 2011
I was walking under the pier this morning in search of more awesome pics, trying to avoid the jelly fish that had washed up onto the shore. They were deceased but I didn't know if they could still sting you (or possibly eat your face off) so I was vigilant about where I placed my sandaled feet. Every-so-often another person would pass and we would exchange a few pleasantries, such as a "How are YOU today?" or a nod and I would smile, basking in the realization that no matter where a person is from, there is a bond that connects all human beings. We all strive to be pleasant or friendly, even when one has sand in their teeth and hair...
I wasn't exactly thrilled to walk on the pier that stretched out into the ocean. Again, the rolling waves have a dizzying effect on my senses and a few days ago, my face bit a thrashing wave rolling to shore. (It was a good thing my sister Marie was there to drag my limp and fear-paralyzed body to the seaside. Amidst the screeches and laughter, my bathing suit top had decided to disconnect itself from my upper torso and she threw herself on top of me to shield me from the gazes of fellow vacationers who were peeing themselves from laughter...) I timidly stepped onto the entrance of the pier, one eye closed, the other slightly squinty, and was immediately confronted by a blue heron who wanted my Fritos. He was a friendly little fellow until I tried to get a picture. I became so enthralled with the birds and the fisherman, that I forgot where I was until I reached the end of the pier. When I looked out onto the ocean, I was mesmerized. Utterly and completely mesmerized.
Leaning over the railing JUST A TAD, I looked down into the clear bluish-green waters and felt something click. Yes, I'm a person who does not do well on boats and who possesses a slight fear of water (okay, maybe A LOT) but once I focused on something else, the fear was not noticeable. It wasn't the first thing that was on my mind. Hmmmm. I wonder if I can do that in other areas of my life that are uncomfortable or frightful for me, I asked myself. I think taking that first step onto the pier was my strength...and that strength carried me through to the end of it. So, I thought again, if I were to take that first step in my personal life, my goals, my desires, perhaps it would escalate into reality, as long as I focused on the beauty along the way.
I have alot of unanswered questions about myself still, to this day, about what makes Michelle tick. But I'm learning. I'm letting go of the fear. I'm letting go of that girl who tries to be perfect in everything she does because I'm finally realizing that trying to be perfect is miserable. It's really okay to get a little messy sometimes and make mistakes. I won't die from them. The people who truly love and care for me have still continued to do so and some have only gotten closer and more loving along the way. I think my different attitude has actually put THEM at ease. So, here I go...I'm taking my first few steps onto the Pier of My Personal Life and I'm ready. Ready to face what lies at the end.
If it's pain or joy, it does not matter. I can accept both. I have to leave what is not working for me NOW. I have to at least give it a chance, to get my toes wet, dare to live and not look at what "could" have been but MAKE IT SO. We are on borrowed time, each of us, and if we don't take the oars and progress forward, we will float and drift the rest of our days. I'm soooo done with that. I'm done with being around people who only wish to keep you tethered to the shore. I'm looking out to the horizon...what is there is up to me. I'm happy to finally say, IT'S ALL UP TO ME this time.
Well, except for the part where I get dizzy and lose my bikini. :P
Talk to you soon. Posting pics soon. God bless.
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