I wake up to a chill in the air and the sound of the wind rustling through the trees just outside my window. It’s a Monday, the start of a brand new week, full of brand new possibilities. At this early hour, the house is quiet, beds still hold sleeping bodies lulled with dreams. I breathe in the coolness of the house and wrap my favorite soft blanket tightly around my shoulders as I make my way downstairs to the smell of coffee brewing. I see the darkness fading as the sun begins to rise and greet the day, lighting up the entire world. And I can feel it in my bones. It’s going to be a good, good day.
She lived in a big house with a small mind.
She created ugliness in beauty and chaos in peace.
She lived out her days longing for what used to be while completely ignoring what was right in front of her.
She filled herself up with regrets and stopped noticing all of her blessings.
The people in the big house tried to remind her but she had closed herself off to them.
Swept up in her own ideas about life and how little she mattered, she looked the other way when they tried to convnce her how much she was loved.
As life went on, that big house stayed the same but became less and less crowded, until one day it was just her.
All alone with her small mind, with her small life in a big house.
Alone, lost and sad.
All her life she looked backwards while all the while life was moving forward, to this exact time, this exact moment.
As she sat in a chair, in that big house, with her small mind, she all too sudden became aware of how small her life really was.
It was just her.
Everyone else had moved away, moved on or passed away.
While they had been here, she had avoided them because they had reminded her of everything she wasn’t.
They reminded her of the dreams she didn’t pursue, the future she’d never have, the goals she’d never accomplished.
While she had a family, she had pushed them away with her bitterness and hate for what she had become, somehow blaming them.
Now that they had gone, now that it was too late,
she realized that all along she had, had it all.
The marriage, the family, the big house, the dream.
She had been blind to all of it, wishing for everything else.
It had destroyed her, her marriage, her family.
The real regret was now, the end of this all, what she had become.
A lonely, widowed woman whose heart had closed off all love.
Whose small mind had created a small life.
In a big house that was now empty.
In these troubling times, when uncertainty is more abundant than ever,
she finds that her faith remains strong and loyal.
She knows that there will always be two sets of footprints in the sand,
no matter where she ends up or what the outcome.
She will never be alone.
She will hold onto the only truth that is constant, God.
He is her anchor, grounding her in the unsteady waves and storms of life.
She will hold tight to His unconditional love and mercy and she will not drown.
It’s beautiful to see the way the world is coming together for each other right now.
In this foreign new world, I’m seeing abundant beauty.
People are sharing their gifts, for free, in order to shine a light in the darkness, an act of true selflessness.
Never before have I witnessed such extreme acts of kindness and love for complete strangers.
Even though most of us are living out these redunant days inside the walls of our homes with only our immediate family,
people outside are being brought in through the wonders of technology and we are all being connected.
It’s hard to feel alone.
It’s comforting to know that goodness still exists and in times of distress we are all still connected.
It’s wonderful to see how abundant hope, joy, faith and friendship is and how easily it is being shared.
Hold tight to this time right now, and stay positive.
The world is truely a beautiful place, that even in times of chaos and confusion,
we can come together, as one, and hold each other up.
THAT is the true experience of altruism.
Don’t let this quiet world get you down.
There is so much hope that can be found in each sunrise,
promises held in each sunset.
Don’t stay behind windows, locked inside with panic and fear.
Open your door and step outside into the beauty of everything that still remains.
Watch the birds flying freely and let go, shake loose the restrictions you have placed on yourself.
Feel the wind on your face and let it remind you to breathe, deeply and with intention.
Look up to see the clouds floating passively in the sky and look inward to find grace.
In this time of uncertainity, look around at the things that haven’t changed to find some grounding within yourself.
Hold tight to all things good: love, patience, joy, kindness, hope.
Let go of those things that serve no real purpose: fear, anxiety, control, panic.
These long days of isolation will pass, like days always do.
Time will move forward and lives will go back to normal.
Let this time of pause be a time of self-care.
Let this time of pause remind us of what really matters.
Let this time of pause open our eyes to the things we’ve been holding onto that we now can let go of.
Pausing can be a good thing because it forces us to stop.
And when we stop we have the chance to see more clearly.
We have the chance to take chances we might never of taken before.
So step back from your windows and instead of waiting,
start living the life you really want to live when we press play again.
The hubs and I went on what I call a ‘date night’ walk this evening. We needed some alone time, a quiet moment to breathe and just be together. We live out in the country where there are dirt roads and wide open spaces…The perfect place to get lost in God’s beauty. As we held hands (and I stopped to take a few pics) we talked about the crisis happening all around us right now, and as we talked we both felt all of our anxieties and worries lifting off of our shoulders. In this quiet world, where the future is unknown and all of our lives have been upended we decided this is the perfect time for us to press the reset button. I think God is giving us an opportunity to slow down, to look up and finally see what we have. I don’t know about you but I feel like this could be a time of great blessings. We are going to let this time, this worldly pause, reveal to us how we can be better, how we can do better and I hope our new normal will look nothing like the old one. Take it two ways, this time can either cause you stress and panic or it can be a time of paving a new road into a much needed change.
Finding purpose in life is not always as easy as it sounds.
I’ve found that some people know their calling at an early age, while others are well into middle age and still don’t know.
I’ve often wondered why that is. Does the breath of the universe somehow whisper into some people’s ears, while ignoring others?
Are some people meant to do great works while others are merely meant for mediocre things?
We are told that each of us has a specific purpose that we are meant to accomplish in our lives, be it a career, becoming a parent, a hobby, a talent…We are, each one of us, supposed to possess some divine purpose.
But what if you have no idea what your purpose is? Where do you find out?
My thoughts are that all things are revealed to us at the right time, but we have to be open and listening.
On those days where you feel like you were meant for more when you feel that deep longing in your soul, pay attention to what you are longing for.
Maybe your purpose is to be a mom and raise children who will grow up to change the world. However, you think that there is more for you. Maybe there isn’t. Maybe your place right now is at home, taking care of your family.
Maybe your purpose is to work hard at a career or job. You might feel like you want more but maybe where you are right now, is truly where you’re supposed to be, and in time, when the universe knows you are ready, things will change.
Waking up every day and being alive gives us so much to experience and be grateful for. This new day is a new purpose. So don’t waste it away wishing or hoping for more. Use what you have and be where you are. Soak in the present moments and enjoy your life. Because the ultimate purpose of life is not just to be alive but to live.
Sometimes holidays aren’t joyous. There is no anticipation of seeing parents, relatives, family. There’s no visiting people who love you and know you because they raised you.
Sometimes holidays aren’t households full of families, long tables set for dinner where love is emulated over food and stacks of presents await opening under a lit tree.
Sometimes holidays aren’t anything but empty days that remind you of all that you don’t have. As you look around you see and hear about other people’s plans and you feel like you have just experienced a great loss all over again.
You envy the excitement, laughter, fullness of being loved by so many and you wonder what that would even feel like. To be surrounded so that you didn’t feel so lonely. To be noticed so that you didn’t feel so invisible. To be loved so that you didn’t feel so worthless.
Every year, the holidays come and every year they take another piece of my heart. Especially when I see the sadness on my children’s faces as they too wonder why it is only us when others have so many. I try to give them all of me but I know that it isn’t enough. They will grow up never knowing the love of an extended family. If I could give them one thing it would be that.
Instead, we make do with our own little family. We put up the tree, decorate cookies, wrap presents and listen to Christmas songs. We do our best to make the best of what we do have, all the while knowing exactly what we’re missing.
Our trip started off perfect.
We traveled across the world and experienced a sort of freedom I’d only dreamed about.
We stopped at state lines to pose for pictures and stayed in dingy motels to sleep away the nights.
We had our whole lives ahead of us.
We were young and had no idea what we wanted out of life.
We thought we knew but isn’t that how most young people feel?
I cared about you so much but as the miles passed, so, it seemed, did our future together.
Instead of music blaring from the radio, the sound of happiness, the car began to fill with the noise of us yelling at each other in angry, bitter tones.
I suddenly felt trapped, like I’d rather be anywhere than here, next to you, on these strange roads, in this car.
Maybe if we would’ve just stayed friends… but I guess we thought that we could have more.
We used to have so much fun together, laughing ourselves into tears.
Staying out late, not in any hurry to get home.
Our friendship suddenly caught fire.
Those times, those memories, are faraway.
They seem like a lifetime ago.
By the time we reached our final destination, we tried to smooth things over but some things can’t be ironed out.
I ended up leaving you in the cold, as the snow fell.
Taking a flight back home.
We never really spoke again, although I’ve seen through social media that you are doing well, still living in the place where we last saw each other.
You were once a giant part of my days and now I hardly know you.
It’s strange how life ends up,
Someone you knew so intimately now a total stranger.
That road trip took us downturns we never saw coming and left us at a dead-end,
but I guess that was the plan all along,
or else I wouldn’t have met him, my now-husband.
You were just a part of my life where he is now my whole life.
You were just passing through, where he will stay a lifetime.
I sometimes think about you and the good times we had.
I hope you are out there, still doing great.
And in case you didn’t know I really once, cared a lot about you.
What we had…it was once something real to me.
I grew up in a house, not a home.
Fighting was as normal as breathing.
Chaos ensued almost every day between my parents.
I had a father, not a dad. A woman who gave birth to me, not a mother.
I had two brothers but really I was an only child.
My childhood was not terrible but it was not wonderful.
It was marked by alcoholism, divorce, almost stepdads and lots of tears.
My mother didn’t give her love away unconditionally and my father didn’t know how to give away love unless it was attached to a dollar sign.
In fact, money was what my parents lived for. My father worked endless hours to provide a life that my mother pretty much demanded…diamonds, fur coats, nice cars, a nice house, clothes, maids, lots of “stuff”. My mother’s happiness was always tied up to things. Money was the root of everything in our home and my mother spent more than was coming in. Hence, all the fighting going on between her and my father.
It’s no wonder that growing up, I began to lack some of the tools I’d need to get through life. Life lessons were screwed up and my understanding of what love meant was blurry and confusing. I began to wonder if I was even worthy of any kind of love so I began to date the “bad boys”. I had relationships that mimicked my parents…..lots of fighting, no respect and anger. It was I who was causing all of this turmoil. I was picking fights, pointing out faults. I was saying mean things because it was what I thought this whole relationship thing was about. It was what I had seen first hand in my parent’s marriage.
It wasn’t until I met a boy that wouldn’t put up with my insanity, that I began to change. This person called me out on my crap. Left me (literally) to see if I could get it together and then came back and taught me what real love truly is and what it’s not. This man, who is now my husband, is my lifesaver. The someone who struggled with me but stood by me and has always been my rock. He came into my life at the perfect time and with him, I have become who I needed to be. Our relationship started out thorny but has blossomed over the years into something beautiful. Even though we are polar opposites we are perfect together. We are best friends. We finish each other’s sentences. Over the years we have built a home. This home is full of love, understanding, faith, and all things that a family should be. My husband gave me a gift for which I could never repay. He saved me from all the wrong roads I most likely would’ve gone down. He saved me from repeating the pattern.
I will always have tangled, messy memories of my broken childhood, but with my husband, building a family with him, the love he gives me so freely, I have finally found my home.