Archive | My thoughts RSS feed for this section

They’re Raising Me

17 Oct

I’ve been baking bread a lot lately. It’s strange, it’s not something I ever thought I’d enjoy. They say you’re either a cook or a baker, and I am definitely not Betty Crocker. Baking (and most crockpot recipes) bother me because you have to follow instructions carefully. You can’t really just add in a dash of this and that and taste the cake batter as you go. That’s what I love about cooking. I can use my hands and other senses to experience the whole thing, to taste as I go and make it better. It’s intuitive to me.

I’ve found with bread, once I got over the initial phase of being annoyed at having to be exact with the measurements, I could be free to form the dough the way I want.

Kneading. It’s supposed to be the hardest part, the most inconvenient, but lately it’s been my favorite. Stretching out the dough, making it softer, firmer, feeling it with my bare hands. I guess it’s a little therapeutic and maybe I need that.

Yesterday I got out of the chair, after nursing my 5-month-old Wyatt to put him on his mat to play. My big toe caught on the hem of my mom-sweatpants and my whole body came crashing onto the wood floor, baby included. Luckily my arm caught his head but i was still so shook up. I sat on the couch and bawled, even after we checked him and knew he was ok.

Aurelia comforted me, saying, “It’s ok mama, it’s ok, don’t cry.” I’ve never met a 3-year-old as good as she is in a crisis. It helps that since she was very small, her dad and I have told her to slow down and breathe whenever she starts to panic.

Today she said “Mom, remember when baby Wyatt fell and you cried? God is with you all the time.”

Some days as a stay-at-home-mom feel like eternity and my children feel so small and needy. Other days I just look at them and I wonder what galaxy they came from.

After I knead the dough for 10 minutes, my hands are covered in flour and a little cramped. I pat it down to try to smooth out the cracks and make the heap of dough as perfect as possible. But there are always flaws.

Then comes the wait time. I am not good at that part. Instead of enjoying the fruits of my labor immediately, after all that physical exertion I have to wait for it to rise. I have to leave it alone in a warm place and trust that I didn’t mess it up.

I have to trust that it will grow and become what it was meant to be.

It’s been 5 months since I became a mother of 2, and about 2 and a half months since we moved 1,000 miles to our new home. Some days I am so, so tired. My brain is numb. I am annoyed and ungrateful.

Other days I stop and stare at the window and see changing leaves: oranges, yellows, and reds. I open the doors and the windows and feel that glorious nip in the air, inhale that wonderful, life-giving, smokey fall scent.

Sometimes I stop and talk to my daughter, and wonder at her brilliance. I make my son laugh, his mouth open wide, his whole face engulfed in joy.

Sometimes the only thing I can do is whisper “Thanks,” with tears in my eyes.

For so long it felt like we were barely surviving. Like we were wandering aimlessly in the desert. The manna was always there, but I grew so, so tired. I continued my feeble, half-whispered prayers every night and most waking moments.

“Please.”

You have to be patient and wait for the dough to rise. When it’s ready, you’ll know. When you put it in the oven, the whole house fills with a homey, fresh, comforting wintery smell. When it’s ready, it’s perfectly crisp and crunchy on the outside, and soft and comforting on the inside. The butter melts and your heart and tongue rejoices.

Motherhood feels a lot like your body being broken and made whole over and over. A holy calling in the most humble disguise. Waiting and watching. More patience that I ever thought was possible. Kid’s don’t play on our adult-made timeline.

Neither does God and his mad and hilarious recipe for our lives.

It’s better that way. I’d be bored with formulas and exact outcomes and I know it. Very little is actually in my control. It’s beautiful and freeing and it takes a lifetime to fully realize.

“Mom, God is with you all the time,” My three-year-old states this matter-of-factly, like she does her name. And I know, as much as I struggle through the beautiful, difficult chaos of raising them, they’re also raising me.

And I know I can fall back into the trust that there is grace and provision and abundance and more than we can ever dare to ask or hope.

In the changing of seasons. In a new home. In our daily bread.

Advertisements

We Walk On

11 Aug

I have an announcement to make: everybody feels like they are faking it.

We are all just along for the ride, and really have no clue what we are doing or where we are going. Even moments of confidence and accomplishment feel so short-lived.

Life comes at you the older you get, and parenthood adds a whole new dimension of responsibility and anxiety. These tiny human beings look at you with all the trust in their eyes because they don't know anything different. We are keeping them alive, shaping them, teaching them what love looks like. But even that we have no control over when it comes down to it.

The world is broken. People make choices and sometimes (often) choices are bad. The only thing you can do is let go and pray for the best.

Some intellects believe people of faith are weak, and actually, it's true. Only, we are ALL weak, and it's in the acknowledgment of it that we gain freedom. But the paradox of Christianity (and really all humanity) is we are also so strong. We are always pressing forward, overcoming adversity and bone-crushing sorrow. Always forging a new path. Always growing. Always making a way.

It's been in our DNA since the dawn of creation: build, create, reproduce, raise up, destroy the limits. Create civilizations, cultures, languages, inventions, art, of out seemingly nothing. Almost as if our blood was infused with the need for the New, the need to move forward, to make our lives and the world around us better.

And so we persevere. We battle the daily, hourly, voices telling us we will never be good enough and we keep living. We keep raising our kids, building a home, a new idea, a movement, a community. We keep ignoring the noise in our minds arguing the futility of it all, and we make something of our lives. We strive to create a better world for our children like our ancestors did. We use our minds and our hands. We discover and conquer. We bleed for a cause. We feel incredibly weak and extremely strong, we feel moments of stupidity and brilliance, love and rage, selfishness and compassion.

But we are human and there is so much grace for that.

If we are quiet and still, we can hear God among us, cheering us on:

You are loved. Give yourself grace.
Today is a gift.

And we walk on.

"You're a million years of work," said God and his angels with needle and thread. They kiss your head and said, "You're good, kid. You make us proud. So just give your best and the rest will come and we'll see you soon."

-Needle and Thread by Sleeping at Last

The Birth of Wyatt Everest 

25 May

When I sit down to try to write about my son’s birth, it seems so clinical, like I am just reciting facts, something that happened so someone else. It’s a funny thing about having a baby. Most people want to know stats and numbers: how much did he weigh, how long he was, how long were you in labor, what procedures did you need to have in order to get him out. 

What we don’t really talk about, probably because it feels impossible to express, is the searing, white-hot pain where you feel like you body is splitting wide open and your’e not really there in the moment because if you were completly present you couldn’t bare it….

A week ago, I thought I might be going into labor. The cramps were tight and frequent and my belly felt heavy, like an invisible weight was pushing from the top and bottom. I tried to time a few contractions but couldn’t tell where they stopped and started. I decided to walk through it and see if they got worse. I made jambalaya for dinner, all the while watching the storm tracker on my phone to make sure the tornadoes on the radar stayed far away. The last thing I needed was the stress of going into labor in the middle of a storm. The cooking process slowed down the contractions and I knew then it wasn’t time. The tornado watch was lifted and I felt a sense of relief. The next day was Friday and I would be 39 weeks, the day I had guessed he’d come. I figured I was wrong and still had some time. 

I woke up at 4:30 am with pretty heavy cramping. I got up, peed, ate a granola bar, and realized there was a rhythm to my contractions. My contraction timer app confirmed it: 9 minutes apart. Jean-Thomas woke up and asked if I was ok. I replied,

“We were right. Looks like we’re having our son today.” 

By 7:30 contractions were at 7 minutes apart, so I got up to get ready. My 3-year-old Aurelia ran into the room. I told her that her brother was coming today, and she exclaimed, 

 “Is it the 4th of July?! Yay! I am so exciting!!”

Jean-Thomas fixed us scrambled eggs and toast which I inhaled hungrily with watermelon and pineapple. Contractions averaged 5 minutes apart , so I called my midwife, Cheryl, and we headed out. Aurelia stayed with my mother-in-law. I got all emotional saying goodbye when it hit me it would be her last day as our only child. 

The drive to the birthing center was about 30 minutes. Once I got in the car, my contractions slowed down to 10 minutes apart. I was worried that I’d called too early and it was just gonna fizzle out and we’d have to turn around and go home. But Jean-Thomas reminded me (again) to breathe, and once I relaxed they picked back up to 5 minutes…. just as we pulled in. We headed inside to the birthing center. I changed into something comfy and got set up in the room. Cheryl and LaQuita checked me and I was already 5cm dilated. Relief swept over me. Wyatt was on his way.

I labored for awhile. Walked around, tried different positions. By 12:30 or so I was hungry for more than snacks, so Jean-Thomas called his parents who dropped off Chic-fil-A for us. I ate that original sandwich with no pickles and Polynesian sauce quickly, knowing it was about to get intense. I was right. 


Cheryl checked me and I was dilated to an 8! She prayed over me and I just started weeping, recalling the birth of my daughter and how she was rushed out of my arms to an ambulance when she couldn’t get enough air in her lungs. Cheryl reassured me this was a different birth and everything would be ok. 

I calmed down and got in the tub. Blissful relief. The water has such a calming, healing affect. I wanted to stay in, but after awhile in the water, I had to get out of the tub because I wasn’t progressing. I labored for awhile on the toilet which was so uncomfortable and miserable. I stood up and a strong contraction hit and I could barely stand. I grabbed onto Jean-Thomas and started to lose it emotionally.

“This is too hard.” 

He spoke encouragement and truth. I tried to believe him.

I went back to the tub. Fire. Hot. Burning. No relief. I reached down and could feel his head! More pushing… So much pain… so close…. The next events are a blur. The chronological order and details lost in the emotion and pain. 

When the only way your pain can express itself is in deep, guttural cries that come from an entirely different place, wild and raw nature. And you hear these moans escaping your body as you try to embrace the pain, and you don’t even recognize yourself. 

Cheryl was yelling directions. I was out of the tub, on the bed. Oxygen was placed on my face. Then I distinctly heard a phrase that made my tired heart sink and almost give up:

“Call 911… just in case.”

“Ok. God. If I am transferred it’s ok. As long as baby is ok.” I prayed to myself quietly. 

I heard my husband praying hard. Cheryl told me baby needed a little help getting out and she was going to give me an episiotomy. I told her, anything to get him out. 

More pain. People in the room. Change of position. Blur.

Shouting: “PUSH!”

A whisper, beneath it all: 

“Your Grace is sufficient for me. Your power is made perfect in my weakness.”

In that moment you know you’re too weak and you can possibly do it and you pray the most desperate prayer….then, like a lightening bolt feel your entire soul and body let go and finally release this child it’s been nourishing for nearly a year. 

And it’s over. 

The tidal wave of relief. There is nothing in existence like that moment. Your body relaxes, and suddenly you’re back, in the room. Things come in to focus, and then your child is laid on your chest, and all the pain the universe has to offer simply pops like a bubble and only this moment matters.

This moment.


My son. Wyatt Everest Louvier. 

We were ok. Baby got checked and was cleared. I needed stitches, but I didn’t have to go the the hospital. The EMTs who had been waiting around were sent away. 

I had birthed our second child the way I wanted. Peaceful laboring with no drugs or intervention, only water, music and prayer and lots of deep breathing. 

This time, I got to bathe my weak body and brand new baby in a warm herbal bath. I got to rest in bed and eat breakfast food (the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted) while Wyatt was weighed and measured. I got to watch with joy as my daughter met her brother for the first time.


I am so beyond grateful for our incredible, attentive, and loving birth team. I know without their knowledge, discernment and hard work, this may have ended much differently.

“There is a power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds in the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.” -Sheryl Feldman

Wyatt Everest Louvier 

Born on May 19, 2017 at 4:23 pm.

(At exactly 39 weeks on a rainy Friday afternoon just like his big sister.)

Weight: 9 lbs 4 oz 

Length: 20.25 in

Head: 13.75 in

Chest: 14.13 in! 

Here’s To The Fools Who Dream

23 Mar
Remember when you were 19 and the whole world was yours? It was so open and astounding and you knew you could conquer it.

You were convinced your life had deep meaning and purpose.

You knew it was your destiny to change the world.

So you took risks. You went out on a limb. You made decisions not based on a practical way to climb the typical ladder of success, but based on a small voice inside telling you to screw the ladder and jump.
fools who dream
So you did. With both eyes closed and an enormous smile on your face.

The words you wrote may have been naive and riddled with grammar errors, but they were real and alive and full of conviction.

You saw the world and knew it was beautiful and that you were the luckiest girl in it.

Remember how you believed every day mattered?

That every person you passed on the street wasn’t just part of the scenery, but a unique soul who’s path was forever intertwined in yours.

Remember how you lived your life always looking for signs, which seems ridiculous now, but you actually found them?

Rainy days and ocean sprays made you cry.

Conversations were long and meaningful, and you were never afraid to pour out your heart.

Remember, dear one, when you would dream the most fantastic dreams, and you just knew (like you recognized your own face) that they would happen?

It was simply a fact.

Then things were taking too long, so you attached dates to those dreams, not realizing that the deadlines were weighing them down, essentially believing they would eventually expire.
Somehow, years have gone by and your body and mind and soul have been worn out by the miles.
You’ve past many deadlines in your head,  even the ones you’ve extended several times.

What once felt like an adventure feels like a hassle. Somehow you’ve arrived at the place where the magical feels mundane.

Even when you start to dream again you are hit full force with a dark voice that you’ve allowed a platform on your inner stage,

“Nothing will ever change.”

“It’s too late.”
“Please, just be practical.”

When the easy way out looks inviting, or simply that all other paths are impossible,

When you’ve been lulled to sleep by an over- saturation of worry, doubt, jealously and fear, or worse, you simply feel… nothing.

When it seems like everyone else gets a break, that you’re stuck in this endless cycle and trying and failing, of constant disappointment.

Don’t lose heart.
Look at your daughter, looking out the window and praying for snow in 85 degree weather, smiling and saying, “Now I can build a snowman with daddy!”
Learn from her. Unlearn your cynicism. Remember.
Remember how to create characters and whole universes in you mind.
Let it replace the anxiety and stress.

Keep going, my dear. Every. Single. Day.
Keep yourself open, my dear. Even open to pain.

Don’t forget my dear, dreams don’t have deadlines. Just because you’re not where you thought you’d be, doesn’t mean it’s over.

It’s never over.
Don’t bind yourself with the chains of imaginary time constraints.
Beautiful things take time to grow.
Don’t rush a thing before it’s ready to be born.
Let it gestate. It WILL come when it’s ready.

Keep hoping. Surround yourself with dreamers.

Don’t ever grow up.

Dream big, but know that what you’re doing now matters:

Raising tiny, awesome people. Writing tiny words. Little connections. Minuscule prayers.

This moment matters. Today. How you react to your husband. How you treat the waitress. What you create. How you treat yourself. How you love.

Be one of the foolish ones that shames the “wise.”

Know you have every dream in the history of the universe inside you. 
So don’t be afraid.

His Strength Is Mine

2 Mar

It’s funny how life comes back around in cycles. I often find myself in the same place, learning the same lessons over again which I thought I had conquered years ago.

I guess your own history repeats itself. Nothing really changes, but everything does. The universe is more circular than we realize.

And our inner selves are in a continual cycle of growth. Death to self and rebirth. Everything comes back around.

I find myself on the other side of constantly questioning my faith, back into some kind of simplicity of what it means to be a Christian.

I rejected that title for so many years. Not because I ever stopped believing or loving Jesus, but mostly because of the people, the hurt, the reputation.

I spent years rejecting the religious side of church in order to get free. And I did. But it left a void. Jesus was still there, calling me into grace, but often I let the my own cynical voice drown him out.

Now, I feel like I am kind of starting all over. These are the days of simple songs and words. I can’t stomach another blog post on what’s wrong with the church, the same words I used to feed on and write.

I find myself going back to words I used to reject because of the memories connected to them.

Basics, that I come to see aren’t so basic after all.

Love God, Love People. 

Another freeing mantra that became a cliche. (Like all things do eventually.)

And this one, often:

Your strength is made perfect in my weakness. 

It roams in the back of my head, always, leaving tire tracks in the mud of my understanding.

I say it over and over until I believe it and even then, it’s like I can’t fully comprehend it.

But I know I am so weak. 

I feel this lately. Emotionally and physically exhausted. Just tired of feeling life isn’t going the way I thought it would.

I am so ready for a huge shift, a breakthrough, a big change. Something. 

I feel like I am drifting with no focus or direction. I grasp on to something familiar because that’s all I have.

Jesus. 

(Maybe this is the point.)

I think about how in less than 3 months my body will release my son, and we’ll get to meet him for the first time.

I am excited, terrified, in awe, unprepared.

My mind goes back to those scattered moments of my daughter’s birth nearly three years ago.

The intensity and prayer. The feelings so weak and so strong all at once.

Reaching the point of knowing there is no possible way I can do what I have to do, and then doing it. 

And my daughter suddenly being in my arms.

Knowing I don’t think I could have done it without my husband being there as my comfort and my coach.

He never once doubted my ability or our decision to birth naturally free of any interventions.

I think of his words, his love, the pressure of his hands, and how suddenly,  in the middle of my greatest weakness,

His strength became mine.

Then I remember a few days later in the lowest, darkest moment of our lives sitting on a bench outside of Cook’s Children’s hospital, our perfect, brand-new daughter hooked up to so many machines, drugs running through her body trying to help her breathe.

I remember my husband, this pillar of strength and faith in my life being so broken that it was like a physical punch in the face.

I wasn’t sure how I could hold him up in that moment, but somehow I did.

Somehow God’s strength never left me, and in the middle of a crisis,

I was able to lend him my strength. 

And suddenly, I know this truth and it warms and heals me deep down in a place that’s been left bruised and vulnerable:

When one with someone, you borrow each other’s strength

 

strength

Only I am one with the creator of the universe. One who is yesterday and tomorrow, light and love, power and strength.

And I know, all those words I memorized and whispered as a child that became cliche to me over the years are true.

True enough to shake the foundations of the universe and steady my crazy emotions and become real in every moment of my life.

With God, Nothing Is Impossible.

The Same Power That Defeated Death Lives In Me.

I Can Move Mountains.

His strength is mine. 

 

All the Right Reasons- Thoughts on Pregnancy, Love & Staying Fit

14 Feb

I’ve always had a disdain for exercise. Maybe because I am not athletic, or because when I was younger  I didn’t think I needed it because I had a super high metabolism and could eat whatever I wanted and stayed skinny. Maybe it’s because it was forced on me when I attended a strict Christian program after High School that equated staying fit with spirituality.  Or maybe I am just lazy. I’d rather sit passively and observe. But I am not 19 anymore. And (thankfully) life isn’t just about me.

Today, on this rainy Valentine’s Day,  I was at the gym  and I had a sort of epiphany. I’ve been dragging myself there because I know I need it, because my husband is a personal trainer and encourages me to go, and honestly, because of the cheap childcare. I know it’s good for me, but it’s not really something I enjoy. In the past I made it a necessary evil, but a selfish one.  I thought maybe I could get my body back, feel good about myself, feel thin. But then I got pregnant again.

I realize Motherhood changes the shape and size of your body. It’s difficult at first. I catch my reflection in a full-length mirror or see the number on a scale and suddenly I don’t even recognize myself anymore. But then I remember that growing and sustaining life is a privilege and a miracle. And I know deep down, I don’t want to be skinny. I want to be strong. 

And today as I was on one of the leg machines, looking down at my belly, swollen with life, I realized I wanted to be there.

I want to be there because I don’t want labor just to happen to me, I want to prepare for it, like a marathon runner trains months in advance for the big day. I continue to try to exercise because I believe very strongly in natural childbirth. I believe it can be not only bearable but beautiful. I believe my son can come out my body smoothly, that it doesn’t have to be traumatic or something to dread.

Yes, I acknowledge that sometimes no matter how much we prepare, things happen.  I learned the painful lesson when my daughter was put in an ambulance and sent to the NICU 30 minutes after she was born— some things in life you just have no control over.

But I can prepare. I can pray. I can hope for the best. I can get my mind, spirit and body ready as much as I can.

I don’t have to just let and birth happen to me.

I have a choice the way my child comes into the world. I can be at peace. I can be strong. (I am strong.) I can make myself stronger. I can take captive every thought and fill my mind with beauty, peace and strength.

I think a large part of maturity means you realize you are in charge of your own life. But the conundrum lies in the realization that as much as you’re in charge, you’re not necessarily in control. It’s a grasping hard and letting go all at the same time. A pushing forward and a finally closing your eyes and resting. It’s a striving for the goal, yet understanding everything worth anything is a gift you can’t pay for.

It’s all about motivation really. I think that being strong is a much better motivation than trying to avoid weakness. Love always moves you farther than fear. It’s all the right reasons.

blogpic

“Because I want to,” always goes father than, “because I have to.”

So I’ll stay awake and active. I’ll let self-discipline not be something forced on me by some inner dark voice, but a light within me motivating me to never give up. Always keep moving forward. I’ll let it be fruit in my life that comes automatically from healthy roots, water and sun.

Because that’s what love looks like. It looks primarily like work, with emotions blindsiding us as an extra reward when we put the effort in. It looks like sweat, blood and tears. For all the right reasons.

Where’s Jesus?

2 Jun

Every night, I pray with Aurelia. Sometimes it feels special and even sacred. Mostly it feels like routine, and occasionally just meaningless words.

Lately, she’s been talking and communicating and understanding more than I could have imagines for someone who is not even 2 yet.

The past week or so, when we pray she asks a question, and innocent question that stops me in my tracks and pulls me out of the mundane into something more.

“Where’s Jesus?”

“….He’s here, baby. In our hearts.”

“I don’t see him.”

I swallow, choking on some invisible fear, a memory, a doubt.

“He’s here, baby. Whenever we feel love, or happy or full of joy, that’s Jesus. Whenever we see anything good and beautiful.”

I struggle to form the words.

I’ve never had a problem believing God is real.

I don’t remember a moment in my life ever doubting his existence.

I’ve always made my home in ethereal places that don’t count on the tangible and logical to exist.

I don’t have a problem believing what I cannot see.

I don’t even necessarily struggle with the fact that He loves us.

I know he’s a good father.

It’s how good, how joyful, the “bigness” of His grace and love I think I know deep down, yet somehow I don’t apply to every day moments when I need it the most.

“I don’t see him…”

When my prayers feel like they are hitting the ceiling, when my feelings seems too loud, to real to make sense of the Truth.

When I just want my way, my timing.

When I let those old voices in.

When I believe fear instead of love.

When it feels too hard for too long.

When I am about to give up on my dreams.

When I am tired from struggling to believe how good.

How big.

I pause.


Last night I had a vivid dream.

I was hiking in a dense, dark jungle with my husband. We were trying to get somewhere important, somewhere where people were expecting us.

Somewhere we were meant to be.

To get to this place, we needed to cross this terrifying chasm on a swaying, frayed rope bridge. My heart in my chest, I followed my husband across. It was so high up I couldn’t see the ground. I panicked, half-way across.

I can’t do it. It’s too hard. It’s not worth it…

I don’t see him. 

Somehow I kept going.

Somehow we made it across.

On the other side was our destination. A beautiful hotel, more majestic than anything I had ever seen. When we walked inside, we found out that someone had anonymously paid for us to stay there. We walked into the beautifully decorated, enormous suite and looked around laughing with pure joy.

It was a gift. We could rest.

I woke up with a jolt.

It’s a risk, stepping out. But there is an enormous blessing waiting on the other side. 

 


I don’t have trouble seeing Him in the small things, in my daughter’s eyes and in the little ways he provides our daily needs.

Sometimes it’s the big-ness I struggle with.

“He’s here baby. Everywhere. He never leaves us.”

She looks at me, innocent and whole, with more wisdom in her little-enourmous heart than I can understand, and says,

“He’s in the stars.”

EKBP8Q0PG1

Free Because of the Brave

30 May

Today I woke up, and I have the choice to do what I want with my day.

I can openly speak about what is on my heart to say,

I can express my opinion through writing words, and even publish it for the whole world to see online. I can disagree with you.

I don’t spend time worrying that someone trying to silence me is going to knock on my door and arrest me because of my beliefs.

I don’t have to hide who I am.

I can eat what I want. I can make my own decisions. I can walk the streets without being paranoid about what I am wearing. I know if something happens, I can get help.

My husband and I can raise our family the way we see fit. We can have as many kids as we want, and that our bodies our able to have. I can give birth at home or in a hospital. We can choose the medical care we receive.

If we want to responsibly own guns, for protection and sport, we can.
If we want to start a business or ministry or buy a big chunk of land and live off of it one day, we are able to.

I can choose the career I want.

Any thoughts that I am limited by where I was born and who I was born to, the gender I am, or even my education are just an illusion.

I can rise above that.

I can make something of my life.

I can travel wherever I want.

I can produce wealth.

I can give it all away.

I can make a difference in the world.

I can make life better for my children.

I can live without fear.

Whether I choose to see the bad or the good in this country is up to me.

What I do with my freedom is my own responsibility.

What I do with what’s been given to me is my choice,

My life. 

It is not dictated by anyone else. It’s between me and God.

The majority of the world can’t say this.
They can’t claim this.

They live in fear and instability,
Their individual rights don’t exist, according to their government, or lack thereof.

Life, liberty and pursuing happiness is a far off goal that feels unattainable.

Because oppression rules them,
Power and greed are in charge.

The weak are items to be used and discarded.

There is no justice.

Evil reigns.

You can argue with me all you want.

You can scoff at the idea of patriotism and point out all the wrongs,

(That was once me. I wanted to live anywhere but here. I wasn’t grateful.)

You can live under constant fear that soon all this will be gone.

That one day you’ll get a knock on your door and everything will change.

Liberty will just be a distant memory.

That may be true….but...

It doesn’t have to be.

That’s your choice.

And mine.

We create our own future.

And the fact remains,

This morning, if you’re an American, you’re free.

The world is open for you.

Nothing is holding you back.

And it’s because ordinary people throughout our bloody history, felt something, saw something, valued something…

FREEDOM.

They knew the potential. They saw beyond their own temporary existence.

They knew what they wanted for their great-grand children.

They knew the endless possibilities in a people who are truly free.

They knew that one act of heroism mattered,

That it could change the course of history.

And it did.

Today I woke up, and I have the choice to do what I want with my day.

Thank you.

IMG_6076

Embracing Permanence

10 May

IMG_5492

The other day I drove past another place that’s been erased from my past.

The trees were overgrown, and I barely recognized the familiar road until I got to the entrance.

I felt an ache in my gut: part anxiety, part sadness, part nostalgia, part relief,

It’s the same feeling I get when driving past the trailer I grew up in in the middle of the woods in New Hampshire.

“You better not leave me, or I might disappear into nothingness,” my husband joked.

TM

I have a weird history of being a part of things that no longer exist. 

1. 2 out of the 3 High Schools I went to shut down.

2. My first job and the main place I worked when I was 16-18 was also a town landmark to get old-fashioned ice cream shakes, burgers, and fish & chips. It burned to the ground.

3. Teen Mania, which I mentioned above, is the ministry which was the center of my existence when I was 18-22, no longer exists.

4. Youth With A Mission Woodcrest, a small branch of a large ministry where I attended a writing program and ended up traveling all over the world with when I was 22-25, pretty much dissolved.

5. Also, the coffee shop I spent years of my life at either hanging out in or working at is no more.

It’s kinda funny, I know. But here I am at almost 31 and I guess there is not much left in terms of my youth but memories.

I spent those years somewhat of a wanderer, living on a bus and in shared homes and rooms, and I loved everyone moment of it, but then I grew tired and wondered what I was running away from.

Add this to a hundred unfinished projects, and dreams I’ve almost given up on.

I guess what I am saying is while many things may be out of my control,  I do have the tendency to jump from one thing to another too fast. Or maybe it’s just the way my life goes. Lately, it has slowed down quite a bit.

I’ve also had the tendency to view people as temporary, too. Like they will just be out of my life soon anyways, why get close? Although, those few that I really let in, stay forever.

I know it’s immature now. I know I can’t just live like a rolling stone my whole life and truly find happiness.

So now my tune has changed, and I while I know there are plenty of adventures to come, I just want a sense of permeance.

I long to put some roots down in a community, and I finally feel like I actually can.

I know I can be connected to a group of people without thinking in the back of my mind, “Soon they will be gone, so what’s the point?”

I want to feel at home in a town. To know the people there, and to let them know me.

I desire to grow something stable and permanent. To plant a seed and watch it grow until years go by and I can sit under its shade with my children’s children.

Yet, to continue to grow and change. To continue to pursue adventure, while still knowing that I always have a safe place to return to.

And I know my husband, my family, is home. 

I know everything changes and nothing is truly permanent on this earth.

But what truly matters, is.

While these things fade, love remains. 

IMG_5501

 

Anastasis 

27 Mar

It wasn’t cold, like I thought it would be

It was warm, like slipping underneath a thick sheepskin at night

Surrounding me, 

Telling me it was ok to let go

I could see shadows as I struggled to keep my eyes open 

and my senses awake

I fought, mostly for my father

He wasn’t ready to leave me yet

My body had hardly begun to change from girl to woman 

but it felt frail like a woman who had many children

and grandchildren 

I knew I would never bear that gift

I would never know the love of a husband

I would never have a home of my own 

I would never see another bright full moon

Or taste a grape, sweet and bursting from the sun 

My time was up

I was going home

I felt a hand, rough and familiar, touch my face:

Daddy

I heard him weeping

He wasn’t ready to lose his only daughter

His baby girl 

I am sorry, papa

I tried to whisper, but my words couldn’t form

It was so warm

I was floating

….

The weeping faded

Silence….
A glint of light beckoned me and I felt myself lifted

I began to soar upward like a bird

Then, as if my wings were heavied by rain

I was pulled back to the ground 

by words 

Soft but firm

Lovely and dangerous 

Echoing in my very core 

Spoken across realms of reality 

Aligning my spirit back into my earthly body 
“Little girl, arise.”

  
I was staring at him

Someone I had never met,

But knew instantly
I wasn’t home, but I was home

Back to my earthly reality
His warm eyes brimmed with tears

As he smiled from my bedside,

His hand in mine
I felt a surge in my body, like energy from the sun’s rays

and I knew my disease was no more

I stood up 

My legs strong

My heart beating 
My father rushed into the room, tear stained face, eyes as big as the sea.

He gasped
I dropped the hand of my healer and ran to him

He picked me up like a small child 

and swung me around

Weeping, 

Only for joy this time

%d bloggers like this: