Monday, July 29, 2013

When I grow up.....

I want to be just like her.

Did you ever say that?  

I've had a few really great role models but until lately I don't know if I've said 'just like her.' Sure there are role models I have where I really admire them but typically it's a handful of attributes I would want to emulate. 

In the last 2 years God brought into my life 2 women who I was slowly getting to know better, and as I did I saw someone I increasingly desired to model myself after. It was about a year ago I realized I really wanted to intentionally seek out a source relationship, someone who could mentor me, especially spiritually. I felt one of these two women could definitely be that source, I just had to be patient and let God do the networking, that's how I would know it was the right fit. Trouble is, when you find a woman like that, and she's a few years older than me (12-20ish) she already has quite the community surrounding her, so moving into deeper relationship moved slowly.

And so I waited patiently.  I saw a deep affection was building, especially when life got hard six months ago. That's when both of these relationships really took a step deeper, yet I knew the timing wasn't quite right to initiate something more intentional.  Life started getting more challenging for both these women in February and the time they had available shrunk. Our connection times were fewer and while our moments together couldn't afford going any deeper, what moments we did have were still strong and encouraging. 

And so I waited patiently.  And then in May we found out one of these women's challenges would mean they were moving back to the USA. It was unexpected and not planned, but their family circumstance dictated the move. And not only did I lose a friend and potential source, but her husband has been Sean's source and mentor for the last 2 years. But life happens, and we knew God was moving evidently in their circumstances, so I made peace with the bittersweet goodbye.

And so I waited patiently. Meanwhile, my other friend's life was also getting more challenging, I hardly saw her at all since February, with a daughter's illness, father-in-law's passing, and then needing a break so they took a few weeks to visit family in BC. Shortly after returning in early July she suffered a seizure due to an aneurysm. As I mentioned last week, she didn't survive it. 

From what I knew of her before her passing, I knew this loss was significant. From what I know of her now, since her funeral, the loss is even more substantial. I found out so many amazing things about her from tributes that showed me how perfect she would have been as that source relationship. Even small things.  Like she wears her heart on her sleeve, like I do, and she couldn't and didn't want to hide her emotions.  Like she felt things deeply, something that has been said about me in those exact terms. And like attributes I've wanted to flourish more in my life, she had them in spades! Like what kind of co-worker she was and what kind of mother she was. And like her education (slightly different than her job, so I didn't know about) which is exactly what I have had a passion for and recently a nudge to possibly pursue. I actually started taking notes during her tributes, because it was like a they were describing a template for the me I've wanted to be. 

And so it makes me wonder even more why she was taken away so soon. But as was said very frequently during her funeral, her spirit lives on in us, and I know that I have taken that to heart and I intend to take that up as a personal challenge. In fact, I actually have a tattoo scheduled in a week, a burning heart on my 'sleeve'. It represents that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that I feel things deeply, what is imprinted on my heart burns with a deep passion, and I am on fire for those passions planted in my heart. This to me sums up what I learned from her life and so I am glad the timing of this tattoo is what it is (it's been hitting delays for 3 years), because now it is also partly a memorial tattoo. 

And so I don't really know where to go from here. And so I wait patiently. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

In Remembrance

I have spent the last 24 hours remembering.

Remembering a 24 hour period exactly a year ago where my mom suffered a massive heart attack and then a triple by-pass surgery.

Remembering a dream I had the night after, of Sean holding our newborn son, on a July 21st somewhere in the future, and knowing mom was going to see him. I took it as a sign that would indeed happen.

Remembering a worship leader, Pam, who just happened to lead us in hymns that following Friday, hymns that I could recall so vividly from childhood, it was like my mom’s alto voice was singing right beside me.

Remembering a Friday night almost exactly six months later, with Pam explaining that as their family planned that week’s set, they felt the Holy Spirit leading them to sing a more somber song selection….although they weren’t entirely sure why. Sean and I were sure why. It was like a funeral service for the child we had just lost.

Remembering that even though Pam, and her husband Paul, were going through their own struggles, a daughter suffering from chronic, severe, and debilitating back pain, they made time to ask us how we were coping.

Remembering that while Pam and her family were flying to Toronto for major corrective surgery for her daughter on the morning of March 2nd, she remembered to email us that morning, wishing us a happy anniversary and well wishes for our vow renewal that day.

Remembering about 2 months later, Pam and Paul courageously sticking to their serving commitment to lead worship on a Friday the day after Paul’s dad suddenly passed away, knowing the power of music in their lives was helping them heal and that being there might spread that healing power to the participants.

Remembering how devastated we all were to hear Pam had an aneurysm 2 weeks ago, despite what a young, healthy, and active woman she was.  Known as tenacious and up to any challenge, we all prayed she would beat this too.

Remembering the hopeful email from Paul read last Friday, that the latest complication and coma Pam was in, and the last battle for her life, was dependent on her body and mind’s ability to fight for her life, and she was a fighter.  

Remembering Pam and Paul’s obvious love for one another, they had made it to 26 years of marriage on Friday, her last words to him before the coma, ‘Happy Anniversary, I love you.’

Remembering the songs that played minutes later, talking about the glory and holiness of God, and how I couldn’t shake the thought Pam would get to experience that first hand soon, even though I prayed against that.

Remembering the urgent need for an update Sunday morning, no one had heard anything concrete, no update in the family health news section of the bulletin. Then, seconds before the sermon began, with the first words of our pastor I knew this was the terrible news we had been waiting for.  Not remembering much about anything in the sermon afterward.

Remembering with a heavy heart all the ‘could haves, would haves, should haves’ that are spiraling into the growing void we immediately felt the instant we knew she had passed.  With each new thought of what might have been, the void grows bigger.

Remembering, how my mom was spared her life yet a spiritual mother was taken away, exactly a year apart.  A mother of her own two daughters who still needed her very much.

Remembering she left behind not only a void, but a legacy of love and light that stretched far and wide, and the people who can’t believe she is gone are already lining up to support the family she left behind.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sew What

I said at the beginning of the year I wanted to sew more this year, which meant I should probably get a sewing machine. In talking about my desire to sew, an acquaintance offered me her MIL's third sewing machine she didn't use anymore....for free! That was back in March-ish and I finally used it!
This is me forming a large pillowcase from 2, to fit a large sponge pillow I'm using to elevate myself at night, which helps with my breathing. 

This is my home-maker attire, white dress and pearls :)

Now that I've broken it in, I can start on that pile of projects....when I have the time!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Back to Life

You feel hollow.
You feel dry.
You feel scattered.
You feel death.

Until you feel a breath
Blow over you.
It's the winds of change.
A breath of life.

The pieces of you that were once detached develop strong, sinewy connections.
It is an unfamiliar sensation....they have been isolated too long.
The extra attachments seem cumbersome at first, like excess baggage.
The parched pieces chaffing each other.

Until you feel them soften,
And saturate with life.
Until you feel the emptiness fill.
Until you feel whole.

And the breeze that teased
No longer blows over and through you.
It breathes into.
Back to life.

Inspired by.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Pray about Everything

"I might have made a lot of things different. But I’m not God and I don’t want to change rules just because they make me uncomfortable. I want to struggle within the limits of my understanding and my devotion."  ~ 

I might put it slightly different, like, "I don't want to struggle within limitations I've placed on God. I want to struggle within the limitations of my understanding and my devotion."

I asked God why I feel such conflicting sensations in my body.

I feel emptiness.
I feel stirrings.
I feel closing walls.
I feel opening doors.
I feel exhausted.
I feel deep wells filling.
I feel caught in a hurricane.
I feel stuck.
I feel paralyzed.
I feel healed.
I feel too full.
I feel hungry.
I feel lost.
I feel hope.

I'm struggling with the limitations of my understanding. I'm struggling with my (lack of ) devotion.

And so He told me to pray. Prayer is my priority. Set aside everything that hasn't been laid on my heart by Him and pray.

That's pretty scary. That means I have to EXAMINE. Examine EVERYTHING. And lay down what is my heart and take up what is God's heart.

I feel like I'm taking my first steps onto the water. Because Jesus called to me. And I want to go in deep. And I don't want to let my fear or lack of faith overcome me. And I don't know how not to.

Except for pray.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

I Don't Know

I don't know what's going on with me lately.

I don't know why I am extremely tired. Several naps a week is not me. Constantly being drowsy at work. I haven't had the energy to do much of anything but be on my couch anytime I'm at home.

I don't know why I want to quit. What I want to quit changes, but it seems like a common thought...I wish I could just quit....this. I don't really want to, but the thought pops up much too often to dismiss.

I don't know why I'm anxious. I've had on and off anxiety symptoms (my chest feels like it's closing in on my lungs) for almost 2 weeks now. With no particular reason to be named. I'm not worried about anything.

I don't know why all of a sudden I'm overwhelmed by my lists. Can't even look at them. All my organizational and motivational orientation has shut down. If I see something and have the inclination in that moment to deal with that something I do, if not I forget it.

I don't know why I've lost interest in just about anything that isn't relationship related. Give me an option that includes socializing and I'll have interest and energy galore, but otherwise, I want to veg, on the couch, with t.v. or a book. Nothing else even blips my radar.

I don't know why I can be full of life one moment and virtually paralyzed the next.

I don't know why I sense there is something big coming to change my life but have nothing concrete to base that on.

I don't know if that's why my body is hitting the pause button. To prepare. To rest up.

I don't know.

Wish I did.
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