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A Real Good Story

I spent 2 decades pouring over charts and planning meals and choosing curriculum and new starts and new systems and tiny budgets and to spank or not to spank and far too much fussing loudly.  I still go to church and clean the house and fuss and homeschool and organize and go to therapy.  I travel more and worry about new things.  The next big thing is no longer just around the corner because I learned for this season that all of it mattered.  The big moments, the laundry folding plans, the dishwashing schedule, the curriculum choices, the grocery budgets, and weird meal plans all mattered.  It was no one big thing. It never has been.  It is all a real good story.  All of those moments and lists and hopes and routines are what meant survival and beating the odds and crossing finish lines to only face the next shotgun start.  I have spent the last 24 years with one shotgun start after another while eeeking over the last finish line and every line in the sand has been washed away just as I was expecting my ribbons.  The ribbon is that it is a real good story.  A story where the bigs are making it and making their way and finding love and themselves and Jesus all in their own relationship to the world.  I am in a new season of watching my own prize ceremony while they start their own races.  I see that I didn’t mess it all up.  Most of the choices were ok.  We are still a mess. We are still safe.  We have actually beat some odds while I was looking for the perfect system of beating the odds.  Most of it came in the next best thing next.  So many finish lines to go in the race. More unknowns than ever and sweating it out with less fear and more wondering and wandering because that isn’t so scary.  This season I think that teaching them it is ok not to know and we really never knew what we were going to do and it wasn’t awful is the best lesson.  It is possible to be as shattered and broken as a box of mismatched china that has been rattled through decades of racing with no direction and fear and still do the next best thing next and love well and serve strong and tuck littles in without shattering them.  Shattered isn’t contagious and it is a real good story.

Could it be Day 8 of 31 Days. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

More than the sun and the stars and the moon on every leg of the race……

This is part of an ongoing series 31 Days of Being Present

Present for Eachother

31 Days of being present

Scratched out quick on my phone with autocorrect and 2 am editing (very little) please if you do read a mistake send a quiet message and don’t think I believed it was all correct  ☺️

Happiness is hearing my college girl, a few friends, and all the sisters together a few feet away. Watching The littlest (not so little) race across the yard with a “Sissy!” and knowing by 10 am the big boy will be here is almost more than I can contain. We are not perfect, we struggle, and cry, and get too loud. We sometimes can’t recall the next best thing next, and this momma forgets the important stuff far too often. But, we are family, and there is no greater love on this side of heaven than the fierce love this family brings to the table when we all need one another. Don’t let a tough season get in the way of family. Love your people, people.

Sometimes when things are hard or when joy in other places and faces seem to be consuming, I lose sight of being present for the very thing we need the most, our safe in the no matter what space, home. If I am honest(and I am trying desperately to be with myself and you), being present with my family, my kids, my husband is terrifying. I am terrified that by being a witness to their greatest joys and deepest fears, I will somehow mess it up. I busy myself. I handle a list, I take care of a need, I go searching for a need, I laugh loud or cook long, but I tread lightly on entering in. These kids they enter in.

I declared it “scrap the lists” weekend. I have quietly released the kids from the to-dos and my expectations and never finished gotta keep busy because we may all come undone and what happens if we come undone and we haven’t mopped or caught up on math. We are all undone with joy and grief and good news and struggles and victories and fears and hopes. I am seeing that we are all undone and put back together a million different ways a hundred different times through the breaths of each day and none of it is connected to my doings or fears of being undone or loosing it all because I didn’t remember and felt out of control and wondered what next, what will happen to us next list. I will be present through my fear of not being prepared for the what next and not able to predict that circumstance that I just know will knock the air out of me and trust that I will survive it.

These people, the ones who call me momma with such ease, keep showing up in spite of my worst fears and over preparedness that just may be the worst thing for them not the best and they keep loving each other  and being present even in the messy seasons that I can’t straighten up no matter the sweeping, because they aren’t afraid of the mess. They find joy, and hope, and companionship in the seasons of out of control and we are all ok even without a clear understanding of where it starts or ends. They trust the next season will come regardless of the lists of life being done, so they “do” this time with their whole hearts with tears and laughter.

I will be present without the perfect plan.

This is part of an ongoing series 31 Days of Being Present

Fear Not the Breaking Apart and Breathing In

Sometimes home is breaking wide open; we are not a broken home, I am a momma, who has been broken, that has concluded with great fear and trembling my brokenness does not exclude me from beautiful pouring out of family and all that comes with it.  I waited, not so patiently, to be “fixed”, cured”, or “done” with this putting back together process. Sometimes things shatter and splinter and keep breaking wide open.  We can’t get ahead of it.  I assumed that my being of any use for really authentically taking care of my people or of being any use to others would be dependent on my lack of brokenness.  I would have waited forever.  No sooner do I have a piece put carefully in with strong hold glue do I become aware of a shaky place deep in the recesses of the mortar is all but crumbling. Then, it crumbles.  Still I have not been released to the recesses, but instead I am propelled with pieces falling all around remembering who HE calls me if I turn down all of the other voices and do the next best thing next. Dust flying, shards of me cutting deep, the words in my head flying with fracture, but with a persistence outside of myself I do safe.  I hear. I see. I sit.  I wonder. Sometimes on days like yesterday, the words fly aimlessly out of my throat with the “I quits”, “I cant’s”, “I’ll never”.  The “not enough” and “always mean” splinters my soul and breaks a daughter wide open because I am being forced for use even when I am breaking wide open.  Today must be new, today has to be worth breathing through, today I must pray that the “them” of ‘Himhimthem” will somehow recognize the brokenness as being outside of them and that the safety, the hope, the place to go when we are splintering with pain that we can’t swallow is inside of us, each of us, in our home doing the next best thing next. Breathing in safety and knowing, praying, believing, that the broken is the beautiful.  The broken is the safety.  The crevices of pain are the places we can trust to be worth the time to be present in, to understand, to honor. This broken apart self will not die or destroy others.  It will be tolerated and honored and is worthy of being called Beautiful not in spite of the broken and breaking, but because of the broken and breaking.  All I have in me for the next thing next is don’t let me break them apart, Lord I beg of you Break me Wide for You and when it looks like none of it makes since they see You there lingering in the unexpected, tried to avoid the pain, must walk through the dark places clinging, and be present place we all call home.  The brokenness is what is flinging me and them and him and us towards the safety and hope.

This is part of a series -31 Days of Being Present…continue reading  

Days 1-4 Scribbled With My Favorite Pens

words scribbled but not recorded for days 1-4

Day 1-
Called Yours by the Lord
YOU are calling me by name and it is the name YOURS. Disconcerting and comforting all at once, I try and wrap my head around this idea. I have been called by many names and called myself out by names…lazy, exhausted, sad, angry, frustrated, full, empty, energetic, kind, organized, mean, wife, daughter, mother, sister, friend, broken, better, hopeless.
YOU, You, Lord….call me Yours. Because You call me yours, I can be ‘in it’. I can be present with each place that I land, in each place that I land. I can be in it all, with it all, not anxiously awaiting for things to come, go, or stay, for names and ‘known by’ to be heard or silenced, but to be present in You called Yours. I can be present because of what you call me….’Yours’

Day 2-The day that will remain silent

Day 3-
I have been captured by my own anxiety around all feelings including anxiety. Irony-yes, but by sitting still and being present in the very places of -pain-hope-joy-fear-anger-grief-sadness, they can no longer capture me for taking captive. I have been gripped by the idea that if I lean into the waves of overcoming-swallowing up-rushing ever present grief and conflict, both inside and outside of me, they lose the power to drown me. I am resting, present in the enveloping of the very place, stuff, and feelings that are actively pushing and pulling. I take long deep breaths to find that as I gain footing I am at shore with new deep beauty surrounding me on every side, the beauty of not having just survived the wave, but having become, of becoming, and being a woman of greater depth after leaning into the wave of the place and time that captured me. Healing and living has become possible in presence.

Day 4-
Embracing joy and grief and not finding them exclusive of one another is my challenge. Simply grasping that they are not the difference between life and death is a challenge. They are weaving in and out while honoring all of the life and all of the death in each moment. I find that  embracing the difficult can bring residing joy through it all even the pain. Grappling with the big stuff in the small space, the moments of truth all caught up in the living while trying to stay alive.

not completely silent

if you stumble here(you would have to stumble, because I don’t direct anyone)….its a mess (sorta like me). I am writing constantly (in my head) but not really getting it on paper.  most of this is unedited heart thoughts and I am coming back to it (on real paper that can’t be saved on the internet) and pouring out prayers for direction (while my life runs in a hundred directions with 6 kids) for what he would have me do with the unedited story of what He has done in me and ways I have thwarted it at various turns.  be patient I am a writer who is still being editedImage internally