this is my 3rd revision to this post.
i should start by saying that i usually don't plan posts.
they usually get "pulled" out of me by my pictures.
but that is not true this time.
i have had this post in my mind for a while, and it is finally coming out.
it partly comes from "meeting" Keely....and her story, right now.
partly from Julie's story and partly from Heather's.
partly from Edie.(who i had never even heard of before this week)
and partly from many other people i have come across during this last year as i have entered this blogging world.
i have been thinking about tragedy.
or even just heart ache and challenges, in our lives.
and then our salvation in and through them.
although these things are sometimes horrible, they become so deeply a part of us, that we get caught in this strange world.
a world of wishing that particular pain in our lives could just disappear (because of course we do!)
but also a world of not being able to ever wish it away.
because it feels like we wouldn't want to live another day without that incredibly painful, hideous thing that has happened.
we'd NEVER want to be that old self that hadn't witnessed God's embarrassingly generous heart for us, when he carried us through.
you want to share this salvation with others, but it's hard to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it.
and what if they reject your efforts to give this hope of your story to them?
so this brings me to my point.
my word. (you know, heather's word deal? where you choose a word for your year?)
i have been second guessing it all day, since it really rubs me the wrong way.(that's a good sign right? ha!)
now this is a tricky one.
because to truly give the "right" way.
you have to only give what is yours to give.
and to only give what is yours, you have and have a respect for other's boundaries.
this is challenging for me.
but, i think this is what i am needing to dive into this year.
(and i think the whole idea of giving away ONLY what is yours deserves a completely separate post...stay tuned...)
giving what i actually have.
i don't make any money.
i don't have much time (that is really mine to give).
what do i have to give?
i have pain.
i have hope.
i have love.
i have my life story.
here's my idea:
since i have a unique story made up of things that you may or may not experience in your life time, i could share that with you.
a sort of gift.
it is one of the only things that is mine.
i am risking that you may think i am simple.
i am risking that you may think i am spoiled.
i am risking being mis-understood.
i am risking what you think of me.
that is not my best subject.
but i've been asked to give.
i am choosing to obey.
now, for the next part of my idea:
i probably don't know you.
but, i am just wondering if maybe you'd want to give too?
you may be experiencing things that i haven't been though yet.
you may have lost a child.
your house may have burned to the ground.
maybe you moved to a completely new place and had to start over.
maybe you lost your parents, as a child.
your body may not be able to have children.
you may have been though paralysing struggles in your marriage.
you may have had you kids close together and had a super long lonely stretch of years where you felt alone.
maybe you feel you've made mistakes in your parenting.
you may have witnessed the weakening and then the death process of your mother (oh wait that's me!)
maybe you have been through a sickness yourself.
maybe your child has.
you may have been through something BIG that i don't even have on my radar....yet.
what if, together, we shared our stories?
what if we thought hard about the parts that REALLY mattered, in
i am not talking about making a list of all your failures and why you hate yourself.
i am talking redemption here.
maybe you could open yourself up so that those mistakes or lessons learned could help someone else.
in those darkest moments God had his opening to swoop down and pull us up and through.
we didn't know what that would look like until it happened.
so what if we could be part of that "swooping", for others?
or you may be faced with similar struggles as another "giver", at some point.
what if each of us could go back and tell our "old self" some truth.
tell yourself what REALLY mattered during that trying time.
wouldn't you love to do that?
i mean we all know there is a LARGE chance that "old self" would ignore "new self"....but still i'd try if i had the chance.
i can't go back.
but i could share with you what mattered.
then if you ever look around and realize that your life looks a little like mine, God might bring back even one truth that i'd shared...you never know...He might.
And you could share with me some of your "truths" that you would tell your "old self" and i could hold those close when, someday, in the near or far future i recognise the pain that you described....and even equipped me for.
i think i will write a list.
and if you feel lead with some simple truths (large or small) that got you through heart ache, try taking a leap of faith that someone else out there might see your words and be changed...or comforted.
you are risking.
you are risking the same things i am risking.
i don't know the reasons that you may NOT want to do this.
i know my reasons.
but they are possibly different from yours.
i respect your reasons.
i am just asking you to question your reasons (that never hurts, right).
and then decide one way or the other.
you are the expert on you.
i am just inviting you to give with me.
i will try to keep it simple so that you can remember it, in your time of need, if you need to.
My list: a gift to you
for the weakening and dying of your mother:
*spend as much time as you can with her.
*take her to doctor appointment or chemo or whatever. and stay WITH her there. she may say you can leave, but staying and being devoted to her may NOT only be for her. you may need to explain that to her, if she is feisty...since she may see it differently if she thinks she is doing YOU a favor :)
*don't always assume you'll have more time. today may be the last day that she looks or acts like the mother that you know and remember her to be.
for child birth:
(this one is not for the faint of heart)
a warning: there is a lot of blood and serious blood clots that come out of you....dude. it is really pretty gnarly...and then its over...wish someone had told me about those blood clots i almost passed out.
just fyi: um. having more than one child is SO SUPER CHALLENGING!
when i had my second child i felt like i was hit by a bus!
one little baby is hard.
it is exhausting to be completely in charge of another body and life, but two....
where they both need you and are calling for your attention was the biggest adjustment and patience teacher of my parenting career....so far.
this concept is still one of my biggest challenges as a mother.
the good of the whole family vs. the good of the individual
WORTH THE PAIN!
Painful family relationships:
oh gosh! i am still working on this!:
i am certainly not an expert.
my best interactions, in hard relationships in my life, are when i can discipline myself to listen to who GOD tells me i am instead of who that person is telling me i am.
i never want to be someone who can't see themselves clearly, and because of that, i am sometimes too open minded when others want to tell me what i am about...i give their voices more weight than is appropriate.
and God's voice falls to the side.
when i can focus on His calm, loving, graceful voice my conversations don't spin wildly...geez! i hate those hideous spinny convos!
one note: this is very hard to do. and many times has been impossible for me because of damage in my heart and in the relationship, at the time. patience.
so that is what i have to give, at this point.
i will being in constant check over the next year, and hoping that God reveals to me more things to give.
i am hoping that this can help you someday.
and am curious to see if any of you feel called to make a list....
if you do, link up.
i can't wait to see what the Lord can do for us, through each other.