It’s getting ready to storm. I’m sitting on my front porch and the sound of the trees whispering in the wind is one of the most wonderful sounds I know. I love a good storm. Even as a child, I couldn’t wait to hear the thunder and see the lightening. Right now, I hear the thunder off in the distance and the trees are beginning to shake more violently. The clouds over the house are big, black and beautiful. I hope it’s going to be a good one.
I’m home alone right now. For this moment I am not going to worry about the laundry that needs folded or the carpets that need vacuumed. This is my time out. . . this blog has become like therapy. After kissing the kids and Chad good-bye this morning and then spending the afternoon with a friend I find myself feeling happy. Content.
(Ah, it’s raining now. . .big powerful drops. I love the smell)
I’m 32. I’ve got a lot of living yet to do (God willing) and lately I’ve been experiencing life in a different way. Experiencing it more deeply. Seeing it more clearly. Living it more intentionally.
(Now it is sideways rain. I should go inside now.)
My MIL, who prefers to be known as “one who should have been born blonde” recently sent this to me in an email referring to this blog:
I’m so pleased that this venue has given you an opportunity to stretch and grow. The cruel reality that life is finite puts us at a crossroads….do we choose the bitter route or the better route? Do we open our eyes to all this life holds or do we close them to slits to limit our vision and protect our hearts from further hurt? I hope this exercise in self-discovery has helped/will continue to help a bit in the grieving process so you can continue to travel that “better” route.
She’s pretty cool, isn’t she?
Anyway, I’m doing my best to travel that better route and keep my eyes wide open. I’ve got a lot to learn, but along the way I’ve learned some things. . .
*I’ve learned that each of us have a story. A story filled with endless scenes, plots, and characters that shape us into who we are. It’s important that we tell our stories. . . to someone. We all need to be heard.
*I’ve learned that in each of us there are passions. Some find it more easily than others, but we all have them.
*I’ve learned that marriage can be a healing agent.
*I’ve learned that I can learn so much from people who think differently than I do. That diversity is beautiful. That when I am okay with myself, our differences are no longer threatening.
*I’ve learned that while being disciplined is good, if taken too far it kills creativity and steals joy. To fully live, it’s important that I find a balance.
*I’ve learned that I need affirmation. While I wish I could be self-sustaining, I’ve learned that I need to know that someone is proud of me, rooting for me, encouraging me. It is the affirmation that spurs me forward. Maybe that makes me sound needy. . . I think it makes me human.
*I’ve learned that God can not be contained in a box or in a building. I believe that some of the most deeply spiritual people will not be found sitting in a church on Sunday morning.
*I’ve learned that girlfriends are vital to my existence. And it IS possible for girls to have friendships that do not get messy with “girl stuff”.
*I’ve learned that a journal, a pen, and some uninterrupted time can be better than four hours of therapy.
*I’ve learned that a hand-written note of appreciation can change a person.
*I’ve learned that I’ll never regret saying “I love you” before we part, but I will regret not saying it.
*I’ve learned that sometimes there are just not words. . . just being there is enough.
*I’ve learned that even though it’s scary, it’s important to do it anyway. It’s okay if I am silently counseling myself through it or fighting back tears. This is how I will grow.
*I’ve learned that in the wake of tragedy, beauty can be found. If I look for it, I’ll see it.
*I’ve learned that my most important education did not come with my feet on the ground and facing forward in a classroom. It came from living, listening, experiencing.
*I’ve learned that I need to bake. . . three times a week, minimum. Even if I just give it away, there is something about baking that brings me joy.
*I’ve learned that my skin is a thick as it’s going to get. I can’t make it get thicker. . . I was made this way.
*I’ve learned that my kids have endless lessons to teach me. About love, joy, acceptance, and compassion. Their uncluttered minds and unfiltered hearts touch the deepest level of my soul.
*I’ve learned that being around a lot of people drains me. I used to feel bad about that and fight against it. Now I accept it.
*I’ve learned that life is full of choices. Choices to survive or to thrive. To grow or be stagnant.
*I’ve learned that it’s okay to highlight my hair. It’s worth the investment, because it makes me feel pretty.
*I’ve learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was.
The storm has subsided and there is just a gentle rain now and this is where I am today. Some things I have learned, endless things I have yet to learn. I find myself excited at that possibilities. Struck with the incredible reality that there is so much of life ahead of me and I wonder what it will hold. I have learned that there are so many things in this life that I cannot control. One thing I can control is how wide I open my eyes to this life.