Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Spirit of Christmas

Emmanuel - God With Us
I was talking to my youngest son Isaiah the other day about the "Spirit of Christmas" and why this time of year is so special and magical.
We were driving in the car when this conversation about Christmas took place.
This is where most great conversations take place with my kids. 
When we are on the go, out and about in the world.
We passed by this corner in our neighborhood that is always decorated with lights at Christmas time. This corner has stood out to us since we moved here over 3 years ago now, and I will tell you why.

This corner lot is a community corner. 
This corner isn't in someones front yard.
It doesn't belong to anyone really, but every year a couple comes out after Thanksgiving and puts out a beautiful light display for the world to enjoy every Holiday season.
They work hard every year to bring a little holiday cheer by bringing a little light to the world that gets so dark every winter. 
Emmanuel - God With Us
Isaiah is 12 years old and loves people.
He has been a people lover from the day he was born.
I have said that Isaiah has never met a stranger because he makes friends wherever he goes.
When he realized that this couple goes out to put a light in the world simply because they have the "Christmas Spirit" we got talking about what that really means.
We talked about how people love to give this time of year.
We sing songs, wear silly hats and overall just seem happier.
He wondered, Why is that?
Emmanuel - God With Us
I mentioned that the true heart of God is that we would all be like this all year round and that the true "Spirit of Christmas" might in fact just be God's Holy Spirit that we have in us all year, but we just don't pour it out like a cold drink offered on a hot day. 
We talked about what the world would look like if we all started thinking about how we can make another life a little brighter and their load in life they have to carry a little lighter. 
Would if we were givers rather than takers all year long?
Would if we greeted one another with a smile and genuine love in our hearts?
Would if we sang praise to God all year long like we do at Christmas?
It was a great conversation that got me thinking about one of the names we call God;
Emmanuel- God With Us. 
It made me realize how grateful I am to have God's spirit within me, changing me, helping me to see the world through the eyes of faith, hope and most importantly love. 
It reminded me to have hope for others because this is what life should look like here. 
It is only a prayer away that would keep this life of love and cheer, of light and hope going strong all year long. 
The prayer is a simple one... it goes something like this ;
Creator of the Universe
Emmanuel 
HELP ME!
Help me to see the good.
Help me to be the good.
Help me to live in a way that makes life easier, not harder for others.
Help me to give and not take.
Help me to sing and smile and hug freely.
Help me to love.
Help me to accept.
Help me to forgive. 
HELP ME!
"And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- the Spirit of TRUTH, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but YOU know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."
 John 14:16-17

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Moving Forward


I've been writing here for many years now. 
Some seasons provide more time for me to write and share my thoughts with you beloved reader and other seasons I am quiet because my thoughts shouldn't be shared.
One thing I hope I have conveyed over all these years is that when you come to spend a moment with me here you will walk away from this spot knowing that you are loved and that my life's goal is to love. 
I end every blog post with the signature "Nothing But Love" because that is the only message  I have to express that I feel is of any value to repeat over and over. 
And maybe I've become redundant in this message, but I'd prefer to think of it as being consistent in my life's message. 


I know many people who are feeling a deep sense of loss and sadness this advent season.

They are looking around at the present state of our world and more specifically our nation, and they are still shaking their heads in disbelief. 
Some have shaken the dust off and moved on, but there are still so many that no longer feel secure in this country. 
They wonder every time they walk out their door if they will be safe to walk their streets and wear their clothes, and have a different color of skin.

I will never truly know as a white, suburban married, mother of 4 what it feels like to move forward for them at this present moment, so I won't presume to know what to make of all of this for them.

But, as a mother of 4 who has had many conversations with my adult and almost adult children I can tell you that my sole purpose has been renewed. 

"LOVE WINS"

I have come to realize that so long as we keep our heads, and more specifically our eyes on people and humanity our discouragement might continue.
If you look for the negative you will find it, but I challenge us all to look for the good because it is there.

This man and his sign inspired me to write this post ;

This Was About Washing My Brothers Feet

Maybe it will inspire you too and remind us all that we are one as we remain walking out a life in love. 

"LOVE WINS"

In times like these it's crucial that we look up and remember this is not our home. 
That's not to say that we shouldn't pay attention to the world we live in right now, and that we shouldn't spend every last breath we have trying to the best of our ability to make it better, but we have to remember that this place is not eternal. 

The earth and all that is in it is passing away. 

The souls that inhabit this place are however eternal and the only thing that will last in them is the love that is shared. 

Love is eternal, because God is love. 

"LOVE WINS"

"But God can restore vision where it has been lost. 
He can give hope to dream again.
He can bring His truth to bear upon the lies of discouragement.
He can give assurance to a promising future.
Prayer is the avenue through which He can accomplish it. "


So in moving forward for me and my house I am remembering what my determined purpose is here on this planet while I'm here and it's not to declare my allegiance to any particular party line, but to continually point upward and onward. 
It is to continue to shout from the snowy mountain tops that; 

"LOVE WINS"

To let love reign and rule and truly be a light that shines in this dark place. 
Im not capable of this kind of love that crosses so many divides in my own strength. 
There is only one that I know who can reach out across all borders and extend grace and acceptance and it's in His footsteps that I want to spend my life's energy to follow after. 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

Only LOVE is eternal





Monday, November 14, 2016

This Moment post Election Day






written  on November 7th
I've been working really hard this year on being present in the moment. 
For me to not dwell on the past or think too far ahead in the future is a real challenge.
I was born with what some would call a sentimental heart. 
This kind of heart doesn't recover quickly from past events or feel safe enough with the constant change and upcoming events.
I'm working on having peace in whatever moment I find myself in, and fully embracing what that looks like.
At the beginning of last year I remember feeling a distinct nudge to stay fully present in the moment.
Last January I had ALOT of change ahead of me with a graduate and my first adult child taking flight from my nest and I knew I could no longer just go hide under the covers and hope that nothing would ever change.
And so because of that impending change coming down the tracks at the beginning of 2016 I chose a word like I do every year to remind me to stay focused.
My word for the New Year was to "Embrace" all that is happening in the present moment. 
I have come to realize this year that... 
this is easier said than done.
I have to say though, that recently with all the political hype that's going on I have never wanted a day to be over sooner than I want tomorrow to be over and done with.
November 8th is almost here and I find myself thinking... Can we just call it a day already?!
I know there are SO many blogs, articles, radio shows, podcasts, interviews etc about this upcoming election and all of them seemingly more negative than the last.
As a parent of a daughter who is finally old enough to vote for the first time in her life I feel so saddened by the current political conversation.
Early on in this election she told me that she didn't even think she would vote, and she will tell you that when she said that I let loose with a conversation about how important it is that we not take for granted our right to vote, especially as women who were once denied this right.
But, as I sit here and type these words this morning... One day before D-day I feel her discouragement, and for the first time in all the years that I have been of legal age to vote I am seriously considering taking that route.
It saddens me to even admit that to you beloved reader... but it is the truth. 
I honestly cannot and will NOT stomach my hand voting for either of these candidates.
Neither one deserves the honor of being called The President of the United States.
Neither one of them deserves our defense of why they did this, or how that isn't as bad as this, that, or the other thing that the other one did.
Neither one of them has United this country and before either one of them has even been given that great honor they have caused SO much unrest and discord that I can't imagine it getting any better in the next 4 years or God forbid 8 years of them being in office.
I won't give up voting on the local level and I hope other people who are feeling just like me will realize that to not vote on the local level is even more important than those two "ding- bats" ahem sorry I mean either of the two candidates before us now , but if you ask me who I voted for after November 8th I will tell you some local names of people I hope can make a difference and I will work really hard to embrace whatever may happen after November 8th. 
But if I could just suggest one thing to all of you who may have taken the time to read this, remember that these two people who are standing before you asking for your vote of confidence in them are not where our faith should be placed. 
----------
written in THIS present MOMENT , November 14th
Sigh...
Well the day came and went and I am happy to report to you beloved reader that I did indeed vote. 
The day I wanted so badly to just be over with is over and NOW in this moment in time I'm trying to be present and embrace what the outcome of that day has brought about.
I voted for;  none of the above.
That is my right to not choose one or the other of the candidates that were placed before me.
 
I would gladly tell you why I chose to go that route, but for the sake of this blog I share my vote with you only to let you know that I'm not going to defend or discount either of the choices that were put before us on that historic November 8th 2016.
And now here I am in the middle ground of what I see happening in this country.
Here's the thing I want to say post November 8th 2016 ;
No matter who you voted for, no matter how shocked you may be by the outcome remember this election should NOT change the fact that like it or not we are in this together. 
If you want to continue to be the UNITED States of America then work toward unification.
"You act out what you want to see in reality"
I have been given the fortunate blessing of travel in my lifetime.
I have traveled outside of these four walls or borders called the UNITED STATES for many years.
 I think from my very young teen years until now,  from all of these travels I have learned SO much. 
I truly loved every trip and there have been many, but at the end of every one of them I felt this sentiment; 
"Be it ever so humble there's no place like home"

I'm grateful beyond measure to have been born here.
There are SO many reasons why I love this country, but I think one of the greatest reasons is because of our diversity. 
To the native americans who were here first, to all the rest of us immigrants that discovered this beautiful land we are ALL so diverse and amazing and fascinating. 
As we approach a holiday that is truly america at it's finest , Thanksgiving let's not forget to be thankful for this moment.
 
Our diversity IS what makes us a great nation and we should never forget that. 

I have family members and very close friends who voted for Trump, and I love them ... deeply LOVE them beyond any vote they may have cast on November 8th,  I LOVE THEM.
I have family members and very close friends who voted for Clinton, and I love them... deeply LOVE them beyond any vote they may have cast on November 8th,  I LOVE THEM.
And I have family members and very close friends who voted for the VERY first time in their VERY long lives for none of the above like I did, and I LOVE THEM.
This is what we all have to remember now ... 
Whatever the reason for your vote don't forget to keep LOVE for your fellow man or woman at the forefront of everything you do and say right NOW!
If you are so discouraged by Trump becoming President because of the awful things he has said and done don't forget that in order to conquer hate and fear your ONLY weapon of choice is LOVE!
Remember that Trump is only one man and his wife only one woman. 
Remember that this country is and always has been GREAT, because of YOU!
If you are giddy over the fact that Clinton isn't the president that you are now coming out of the closet and defending Trump remember to season your victory with grace, and peace, and LOVE!!
Remember that this country is also flawed and has done some atrocious things because of YOU!
Your words, your actions, your vote means something.
Remember that to agree to disagree, agreeably is WISDOM at it's finest.
Remember that YOU can make a difference no matter where you live or where you work you are what changes the world we ALL live in.
Remember that LOVE casts out ALL fear.
Remember that LOVE always wins.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Have A Secret....

After a whirlwind of several months I finally have a moment to sit and ponder life with you all.
I can't believe how long it has been since I've had a day to sit and blog.
Today, is the day folks!
First, I want you to know that I have missed you beloved reader.
I also want you to know that in attempt to give you something fun to read instead of political or just flat out depressing, I will be revealing a little secret about myself that if you haven't been around me in some time you might not know.
I can't reveal this secret right away because as every good writer(not that I'm calling myself a good writer) knows you have to keep your readers attention so the secret will come you just have to wait for it.
So onto my non sensical blog topic...
With all the negative and just plain sad things there are to read out there recently I thought I would bring you a little ray of happy fun over here at the ole' bloggy poo!
The statement below is not the BIG secret your waiting for but it's getting closer... if we were playing the game where you were walking around in my house looking for something I would say, "You're getting warmer, warmer!"
But instead of my house your walking around here in my brain and the statement below is getting you one step closer to my big secret. 
Sometimes I want to be other people.
Not even real people.
Sometimes I want to be the character on a TV show or in my favorite Movie.
This morning I was thinking about Phil Dunphy,  from Modern Family.
I love Phil. 
His character is so fun loving and free of malice.
Do you know Phil? 
If you haven't become acquainted with him yet, do yourself a favor and get some happy, fun loving Phil in your life right now!!
I want to be Phil Dunphy when I grow up.
One of my favorite quotes from Phil;

Do you see what I'm talking about?

It's not in Phil's nature to know that WTF really means something very different.
I love this sense of innocence that Phil embodies.
His wife Claire and 3 children may roll their eyes over his gullible responses to life, but deep down I think they appreciate his way.

There are other characters and even friends who I often times want to be like because there is just something I see in them that resonates with my soul.

Another character that I absolutely adore is Kathleen Kelly from the movie, You've Got Mail.
She has a dream life in New York with a children's book store that she inherited from her mom and she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

I want to be Kathleen Kelly when I grow up.

Sidenote- Did I ever tell you that I took a stab at writing Children's books once upon a time?

This is not the secret folks, but it all ties in to the big reveal secret I want to share with you today, so just be patient I promise it is coming. 

There is a quote in this movie(one of my all time favorite movies btw) that just gets me every time. 

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life- well valuable, but small- and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer, I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

I think the reason that quote resonates with me is because I feel we all wonder about our lives sometimes. Not in the mid-life crisis or even in the "quarter life crisis" way but just in the over all wondering... Like the John Mayer song ;

Georgia

There is a line in that song that is actually a question I think we all ask from time to time;

"Am I living it Right?"


I might want to be John Mayer when I grow up as well, but the jury is still out on that one.


I think we all have moments where we wonder if we should be doing something more, if we should be living somewhere else, working somewhere else, being with someone else, those kinds of questions are what we all ask and some of us try to find the answers or worse, some might go and try to live out the answers.  Although, you may think it's brave to live out a question in your life without knowing the answer, you may very well leave a train wreck of debris behind you.

Life is about one unanswered question and brave choice after another. 

Those of us that realize that there are just some questions that won't ever be answered, and we can find peace in that are truly the brave souls. The sad part is that we are normally the ones who would feel as though we aren't being brave.
I have come to realize that the bravest thing we can ever do when those questions arise is face them and stare them down, to weigh and measure every bit of the questions or feelings of discontentment and realize that it's all just part of life.

One of the bravest answers in life to those questions are to simply say, 
I don't know!

That's where the beauty and mystery of a life lived well is played out ; in the not knowing!


Sigh- And now, somehow I feel this blog is getting away from the funny and light hearted blog that I so wanted to bring you today beloved reader. 

I'm gonna get this train back on track... watch me now. 

Back to Phil and Kathleen Kelly.

The reason these two characters are people that I want to be when I grow up is because they bring a kindness to humanity. 
Their words are what I most admire. 
They speak kindly and when they get ruffled or angry they still don't deliver that emotion in a way that damages others. 
I realize these are fictional characters, but the qualities that I admire about them are indeed real character qualities that I want to emulate. 

I want my heart to be kind above all things.

I want my words to be sprinkled with kindness.

I want my thoughts to be good natured and positive.

That being said, I feel it's time to reveal my BIG SECRET...

Recently I have realized that my heart, my words, and my thoughts have NOT been very Phil and Kathleen Kelly like. 

My heart has not shown kindness in so long that I wonder how I have any friends left.

I most certainly know what WTF really means and sad to say, I say it OUT LOUD quite often!

In fact, I cuss so much lately that I have shocked myself with my potty mouth. 
I could blame it on my work environment, but the truth is I've made the choice to speak like this.

And my thoughts... Well let's just say that I'm really glad that no one can hear those or even worse see them or I most certainly wouldn't have any friends or possibly even family left. 

There it is beloved reader... My BIG SECRET is that I'm Human!

In my humanity, and it left to it's own devices without any check ups it can get real ugly around here.

They say confession is good for the soul, and I have to say I do feel a bit lighter now that I've spent some time here with you beloved reader. 
I hope that this wasn't too heavy and that you aren't completely and utterly bummed out by that anti-climatic secret reveal.
I confess these character flaws about myself not to worry you, but in an attempt to maybe find some other Humans out there who need to hear you're not alone.

Not to worry I have a plan of action for this sad state of affairs that I find my soul in.

I'm gonna start with working on the inside. 
The only way I know how to do that is to eat some soul food, and by that I don't mean gobbling up some fried chicken and mashed potatoes.  No, I'm talking about the soul food that comes in the form of words that will fill me up to overflowing with goodness for my heart and soul.

Then I'm going to try and work on not saying the real version of WTF so much and maybe someday it will turn back into an innocent question like; 

"Why The Face?"

Monday, August 08, 2016

And the Beat Goes On...


I feel as though Sonny and Cher's got the theme song for my life right now. This is what keeps playing in my head these days expressing my emotional state so well ; 

"AND the BEAT goes on.
  
  And the beat goes on.



You're welcome for that video btw ;)


Today as 3 of my 4 kids headed back to school (Yes I KNOW it's only AUGUST 8th, and this is in my opinion a criminal thing to be done, but alas thank you NV school system... I digress)  it seemed so strange to not have all 4 lined up ready to head out into the world.


I always get a little emotional at the beginning of each new school year, although there was some heavy sighing and a sort of "limb missing" kind of feeling this morning I have to say overall
I'm feeling good.

 La de da de de, la de da de da!!


Normally my brain can't help but jump into the future where the picture will soon just have my boys, and then eventually it will just be Isaiah, and my caption will say "And then there was only ONE."

(Insert weepy emoticon face here)

But staying present, in this moment is what I'm fighting hard to do these days and today is no different.

I'm trying not to stay stuck in the past, or jump too far into the future.

I remember so well older parents saying to me, "Don't blink it goes by SO fast!"
 I can honestly relate to that now, but thank God for my handsome, hot, husband named THE Moses who actually reminds me that it was in fact several, million, billion blinks that got us to this very moment, and it's a good moment.

La de da de de, la de da de da!!

I know we can't escape the forward motion of this train called life, and so I will embrace the moment that is here before me now.

It's a happy moment.

It's a full moment.

It's a good moment.



My kids are healthy and growing like kids often do when you feed them, and truly they are some of my most favorite humans to hang out with.
My oldest hasn't moved out YET, and we all love each other.
21 years into our story and we all still love each other.
That's something to celebrate!

La de da de de, la de da de da!!

It seems like only moments ago we were the family pictured below. 

There is so much that could be said about this photo, but what comes to my mind first,  and foremost is truly how fast the time has gone with these billion blinks I've made.
The other thought I have is in regard to being that young momma who felt like she was at the top of her game because I had this all under control. Really it was all just the illusion of control that I felt I had in that moment.
A time when life was simpler and I even clearly had control of what everyone in my family was to wear. 

Now I'm no longer in control of wardrobe choices, Thank God, and more than that I have realized that although I could choose their outfits back then and even who they may have hung out with I never really had control.
That is the illusion when your kids are little that we mommas often times live under.
But from the moment they are born we quickly realize that we really don't have control over these little humans. 
The more I have embraced not being in control the easier this parenting gig has become. 
I've always believed that the only real way you know who your kids are is how they behave when you're not around. 

When I'm not there with these 4 amazing young people I am told they are pretty damn amazing human beings ! Time and time again that is the big fatty bonus check I get to hear from teachers, friends and family who are around when I am not. They remind me and confirm that all those years of being a stay at home mom was well worth it! 

There truly is no greater investment than our kids. 


La de da de de, la de da de da!!




By the way, we call this our Mormon family photo. 
No offense to our Mormon friends, but we are all just a little too matchy matchy for this monosco clan!

Our faces are so different now.
Our bodies are so different now.
Our lives are so different now. 

Today is a new day and I feel as though we are approaching the beginning of an end. 

The end of an era, when my kids were all under the same roof but very much still a beginning, as our story grows and goes in different directions. 

I realize now that as we embark on this new adventure with young adult children the pictures will only get fuller, with more people and dare I even say it yet.... eventually ( way far in the future eventually) grandkids.


And we will soon turn the corner where my family of 6 will Lord Willing expand and grow as my children meet the men and women I have been praying for over all these countless years.

We will Lord willing head into the future together and still be smiling, but a little less matchy matchy and that's all good with me.

And the beat goes on....


La de da de de, la de da de da!!!



Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Tribute to My Grandma and My Mom

"A falling tree makes more noise...
Than a forest that's growing."

I remember as a young, brown eyed girl who was innocent to the ways of the world my grandma used to sing a few songs that I just thought were simple silly songs. 

There were two of them that she sang quite frequently;
 Row Row Row your Boat and Accentuate The Positive.

To look at the lyrics of either of these songs you might think they are but simple childlike songs, but as I've gotten older I have come to realize that the theme in both of them; to live merrily, gently, and stay on the positive side of life, are words to live by.

"Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily life is but a dream." 

and

"You've got to accentuate the positive 
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative 
But 
Don't mess with Mister in between."


As every year passes and my kids are growing like weeds, with a graduate of High School and one more headed into High School, their friends getting married, and having babies these lyrics are beginning to become my life's simple song.

Because life truly is ...
But a dream.
But a breath.
But a moment.


I think that is all one can do in this life is row your boat gently and merrily down this stream called life,  call it a good day, and return to dust.

Gently because there are enough storms in this life to rock that boat so on the daily to remain in gentleness and kindness and merrily live this life is truly not an easy task.

The second song is without a doubt in my DNA.
My mom and my grandmother have lived this song out and maybe it was the song in their hearts that forever changed them to be positive people.

Living on the positive side of life and not giving energy to negative things is also not an easy task.

Latching onto the affirmative to me would be the key to life.
The affirmative to me means truth.
Latch onto what is TRUE in this life and for me The Way, The TRUTH, and where life can be found is only in Jesus. 

These songs although they might be simple melodies they are far from simple to live out.




I believe they are the reason you arrive at 46 years of marriage like my parents picture above. 
Either one of my parents at any given moment could have got hung up on negative things that they saw in each other. They could have looked at their 5 kids and torn them apart for all their inadequacies as well, but instead they chose the positive side of life. 
They gave each other space.
They chose grace, and mercy and they still do.

These words are a way of life that I'm determined to emulate.
  I'm beyond grateful for these simple songs now that I'm older and I've seen many ways to live this life.
You can spend your time, your energy, your resources on so many different things in this life, but things don't last, people do.
If your not spending time on what is eternal it all turns back into dust in the end.


Simple but True.

Life  is But A Dream.
Live merry.
Live Gently.
Live Positive.
 And pay attention to that growing forest rather than the one noisy negative tree falling.

Nothing But Love
Noël



Monday, April 11, 2016

Just Details

New life, Sudden death, Letting go, Seasons always changing, and all that is in between is what has me here today with you beloved reader.
I recently became an Auntie again and my heart is exploding with the joy of this new little life found in a teeny tiny girl named Hailey Jo.
Watching my brother and his wife protect and control every social setting that she has yet to encounter in her very short 4 weeks that she's been on this planet has got me thinking about how I wish I could have remained in control of anything and everything that would try to hurt my own children.
I know it's not healthy that kind of control, and I know that as Hailey gets older and learns to walk and wants to get out and see the world herself my brother and sister-in-love will have to come to that point in parenting that we all eventually end up at.
The point where to stunt a child's free will for the sake of feeling in control as a parent is damaging and no longer the best way to parent.
I guess what I really want, and what I struggle with is not so much to remain in control,  but to "Embrace" each season as it presents itself.
I know that being "in control" is just an illusion in this life. 
I would venture to say that the very first thing having a child helps you realize so quickly is that you are no longer in control. Being a parent means that all of a sudden your heart is walking around outside of your body. There is this other human that has a completely different will and ideas of it's very own.  
So maybe what I really sometimes wish for is that things in this life wouldn't change so quickly.
Maybe it's just me, but it seems like just when I've gotten into the groove of one particular season of life it goes and changes it all up real fast in a blender named Father Time.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum of joy, new life, being in control, and things changing SO quickly,  some beloved friends of mine recently suffered a tragic loss as their brother-in-love died in his sleep at the very young age of 36, leaving behind a 5 year old and twin 6 month old girls. 
Another beloved friend is in the thick of being a single mom with a daughter who has MS.
Three of my old beloved friends just recently lost their dads.
And yet another beloved friend is going through something right now that I'm not going to divulge the details of, but it is heart wrenching and not something I would have ever thought in a million years could happen to her.
On and on the stories go of ;
Love and Loss
Joy and Sorrow...
And here I sit with a house full of teens, a husband who loves me and I love him and our oldest daughter who just recently took her dad to prom. 
I mean who gets to witness that kind of love and devotion? 
All the while we are getting ready to graduate our first little baby girl and celebrate her as she turns 18 and her sister turns sweet 16 and we ... MoNoSco turn 21.
Sigh.
In between all the joy and sorrow I've been re-reading a book called Broken Open that one of my treasured friends gave to me several years ago.
The friend who gave me this book is a brain cancer survivor and one of my personal heroes because of her constant pursuit to grow, and heal in more ways than one. 
The book is about how hard times can either help us grow or  hinder us from life and growth and good things.
It's about more than just that though, it's about life in general because things in this life are ALWAYS changing. 
It's about seasons and how we grieve when things DO change.
 It seems that the Lover of My Soul knew I would need each and every word from this book during this time of letting go of my oldest as she graduates High School and enters the world of adulthood, and as the friends and family around me are suffering as well as rejoicing all at the same time.
My sentimental heart is on overload and when I read this the other day, well... the water works just wouldn't stop...

"So much of what we do each day is a diversion from what our lives are really about. A traumatic event like a knife slicing through our diversionary tactics and exposing the vein of truth- the truth of what we really want,of how we really feel, of wrongs we have visited upon each other, of the LOVE we crave from each other. In our habitual lives, we exercise the foolish luxuries of complaining, avoiding, and blaming. We gossip about the annoying behavior of friends or colleagues, shutting them out of our hearts, turning our backs on their complicated beauty in favor of their obvious flaws. It seems easier to do this than to move toward each other, to take responsibility when it is ours to take, or to speak directly to others when it is theirs. All the while, the TRUTH waits patiently, until it shows up in the eyes of a frightened little boy."

~Elizabeth Lesser, book Broken Open


The frightened little boy she speaks of is one of her neighbors kids who at the age of 11 is diagnosed with Leukemia and this news changes everything.
But it may as well be the news, or the TRUTH that shows up in the new life of Hailey Jo, or 
the tragic loss of life that has ended way too soon, or  the graduation of our oldest child,  or whatever it is that you are going through right now that involves change.
Whether it is expected or unexpected, change and the seasons of life always cause this sentimental heart to reflect.
I am without a doubt a Frederick the field mouse in that regard.
 Indulge me as I reflect upon all of that with you beloved reader.
Right now, Hailey's parents are her only safety from the outside world.
They are doing a phenomenal job of taking the role of parenting very seriously.
It is the responsible thing to make sure she is securely buckled up for every car ride.
My other friends are moving on and forward in helping their adult children navigate through life with only one parent who is their rock and anchor.
Still some other friends are going through the motions of living life on survival mode when everything within has been torn apart and is no longer what it seems.
Joy and Sorrow.
Love and Loss.
Embracing and Letting Go.
It's all part of this crazy wild ride we call life.
Einstein once said, 
 
"I want to know the thoughts of God, everything else is just details"

Oh Einstein, you brilliant and wise man.
I too want to be so caught up in the TRUTH of what all these changes in life are supposed to be doing in me.
 I want to know the thoughts of God about all of this and so much more.
I don't want to get hung up on silly details that really don't have any eternal value and will quickly be forgotten.
I want to be broken open to whatever it is and all the details in between that will bring life, love, and hope for the future. 
This song sums it all up for me ....

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