Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The little girl in me and "A Dream"

Yesterday, I sat outside and watched my little ones as they played in the dirt... and ate dirt. And you know those moments in life when you have a suspicion there is a sacred lesson to be learned? Well... that was that moment. So I watched. I "tuned in".Tenderheart made his way to me with unsteady steps... concentrating on each rock and grass bump that he walked over. Braveheart smiled at me like he knew he was far enough away to be pushing the limits. They back-yard was their adventure-filled jungle. And the joy illumined their faces. 

And there it was. It came to me mid-day.

The morning was of my usual... I woke up... snuggled with my boys. Fed them... changed them... and then got going.... thinking.

I think.

A lot.

About everything. About my life. About life in the big picture. About poverty. Death. The small picture. The little hurts. The house we can't sell. The little choices. God. The journey. Questions. The "what I should be doing". The, "what I'm not doing". The things I am. The things I am not. How I'm such a bad house wife. How laundry is out of control. How I should call my friends more. How I'm failing in this or that way as a Mom. How I'm a bad sister. How I'm spending my time. How I'm not spending my time. The thoughts flood in like an avalanche. Once they start... they end up burying me. And all of a sudden... I notice that I'm clenching my teeth.

But then... there was mid-day.

And my children's smiles were so free. And it made me think... when was I that free of all this thinking?

Now... I am sure that there are many times in my life when I was free, when the breath filled my lungs effortlessly and joy was my middle-name. But my memory brought me back to three places:

The first...
I was swinging on a swing-set when I was a little girl. Probably 12. I was singing some duet with Celine Dione and Barbara Streisand blaring from my little boom-box. And the wind carried me. The sky was vast and beautiful. I was full of life. Full of joy. Full of dreams.

The second...
The morning after our wedding night. I felt like we grew up together that night. (Of coarse you would feel that way when that was the first time you both had ever made love) We had crossed over from little kids to grown ups. And we did it together, figuring life out as we went. Together. It was sacred feeling. It was a hot July summer day... and we went to a little local gem of a beach. And I can remember walking in the sand... and it never felt so good. I remember looking up at the sky and feeling like that little girl again. So free and alive and full of dreams. And the ocean water was like a bath tub. And fish jumped. I swear. And I was someone's wife. And that's all I was in that moment. And it was glorious.
(a high school shot)

The third...
The first year of marriage. We rented this little old place on the second floor. We fought like the dickens. Once I even chucked a cell phone at his head (sort-of-by-accident). Sort- of. But I never felt so alive. We lived day-to-day. I had a little job making minimum wage in a coffee shop and loved every minute of it. I made his lunch for him and we stayed up late. Working on "us". We went for walks into the city. We woke up early to see the sunrise. And we loved the crap out of each other.

So... why don't I feel alive now? I now have more reason than ever to feel alive... I have two precious children.
What's changed???

I wrote a little bit ago how I was going through some sort of big change. And how I would share it with you. I will. Promise. But it's been a while in the making. And I guess what I am writing now is a part of it. Being a stay-at-home Mom has been a tough transition for me. But now I think that it is single-handedly the thing in my life that has made me.   

Being at home most days with myself (and of coarse my little ones... but they can't exactly share a good conversation as of yet) has left me with too much time to think. But this "too much time to think" has made me realize that thinking is altogether... not a good idea. Thinking gets me into alot of trouble. Now... you may be thinking, "I thought you should think about things before you do them... so you don't screw it up". That's a certain kind of thinking... practical, I guess. I'm talking about another kind of thinking. The kind that gets you nowhere. The kind that makes you into your worst. The kind that keeps you up at night and one day you realize you are grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw.

As I sat watching my children Mid-day... I thought about their mode of existence. I think they are "in" most every moment. They don't "think" about it... they are it. They feel the dirt in-between their finger tips and it's just that.... incredible... beautiful.... dirt. And somehow... it's more profound when it's just dirt. It's not what they think about dirt. It's just dirt. Glorious. Dirt. Dirt from the Source of all dirt. And in a way... they know it better than we know things about dirt.

So... I made a choice to start "just doing" and "being" yesterday. Not careless. But a concious choice to enter into life at that moment and love it. Accept it. Forgive it. Enjoy it. It's the only place God is, i think. Maybe that's part of the essence of the word, "faith". It's here... it's now... it's IN you. The choice to be.

Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he said we should have "faith like a child"?

One of the things that kills me as a Mom is that I think I am wasting time "cooking" or "making" food. UGH! It takes so much time!!! I could be doing so much more! I could be saving the world for-crying-out loud! But if I don't do it... my kids will be unhealthy... WE will be unhealthy. But it's so annoying to be making food all the time. So after Mid-day... when that high school sweetheart of mine came home... I went to the little grocery store up the street. I brought home some fresh veggies.

After we put the boys to sleep... he went for a run... and I poured myself a glass of wine. I put "Pandora" on my computer.. pulled up "All recipes" and cooked my little heart out. And I sang. And I enjoyed cutting... and dicing... and adding spice. And tasting. It was glorious. Cabbage Soup. Quiche. Homemade-granola. It was food. Glorious food. I watched as the bright colored vegetables plopped themselves into the pot. It was marvelous. And I felt the the dirt in-between my finger-tips. And it was profound.

And a song came on. A song that I had been looking for... for two years. I had heard it at a high school graduation. This beautiful young girl sang it with all she had. And there was wisdom in her voice. She had lost her father to cancer a couple years before. It stuck in my mind for months. But I couldn't remember the name... and I couldn't remember the words. But I knew it carried a "weight of glory" to it. Maybe just for myself. But still a weight.

As the song was playing, I was cutting up those veggies, and I was feeling in my heart how lovely that moment was. I felt it's sacredness. I "knew" the next step I should take, even though I wasn't "thinking about it". I was free. It was life abundant. And I started to tear up. The very thing I find such a burden to be sometimes, was glorious. All the wanting in the core of my being to have "life abundant" wasn't in the future... it wasn't in a place... it wasn't in the "thinking about my life"... it was in my life. Right here. Right now. In the folding of the laundry. In the making of food. 

So last night... I went to bed listening to this song... over and over. And the "Dream" of this moment carried me. And I was that little-carefree-girl on the swing again. And I was that newly-married-blissful-young woman. And I was a joy-filled-new-mommy.

And I watched as the love of my life fell asleep. And I felt the love that I had for my young, sleeping joys. And freedom and life were everywhere.
 And God was there, too.


  1. Every once in a while, you read somthing that speaks to your heart. You connect so profoundly that you stand in amazement that someone actually knows how to put into words what you've been feeling, thinking. I stand amazed. Because of your beautiful words, your reminder, I choose to just be, to just live, and to just find the joy, just for today. Tomorrow may require another reminder as "life" gets in the way, but for today, I'm flying on that swing with my head thrown back. Love you girl.

  2. I don't know if it's your writing, your story, the fact that I'm PMSing or all three but I'm teary-eyed right now.

  3. You have such a beautiful family! Your style of writing is so honest and sincere. I am so glad that you left a comment on my blog so that I was able to take a peek at yours :)

  4. Meet me??? You silly girl, you already know me. I've spilled my guts to you more than I have to people I actually see everyday. Do I want company?? Bring it on Baby Girl, I'll start mixing up the brownies.

  5. Hey,,,I am a friend of Holly...I want to come for brownies too.!!! we could talk for hours!!

  6. Um....I'm pretty sure we were cut from the same cloth. Only your cloth writes so much better than my cloth.

    I want to completely absorb this post. Every single word. It is me. It is God speaking to me.

    You are amazing. I'm so glad we found each other.


  7. gosh. so many things i want to say to you. you need to set up your e mail on blogger so i can e mail you.

    your comment on my blog made me well up. kindest, sweetest words. words i so needed to hear in that moment. you are such a gift and inspiration to this world. in so many ways. i just want to be around you and take in some of the glory you exude.

    this was such a beautiful, beautiful post. thanking for your being who you are.

    and that song? one of my favorites.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog! ;) I am fan-girling over your blog right now. :D

  9. GREAT post. thanks for stopping by my blog :) i especially liked the eloquence with which you described the wedding night/day after. is there anything more special than that when you saved it for each other?

    thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts.

  10. I am seriously in tears after reading this beautiful, heartfelt, and honest post. You are an amazing woman, wife, writer, and mother. I think I will bookmark your words for times in the future when I might forget to "live in the moment." Thank you for being an inspiration.

  11. Jenny, Thanks for your comment, I'm so glad you visited cause it lead me here. You have such an incredible story. I haven't inished reading the whole thing yet, but I certainly plan to.
    Your children are adorable, and it's so admirable that you're trying to learn Amharic! As is your decision to live in the moment, this post is such a great and heartfelt reminder! :o)

  12. The first time I saw that music video I cried.... I'm pretty sure I've watched in a billion times since then and every time it is just as beautiful and inspiring.

    Great taste in music and great post! -Emma

  13. I just found your blog. Wow, what a beautiful post. I am in that part of my marriage right now...the early, cell-phone throwing stage. Thanks for the remind to enjoy it and be in the moment :)

  14. Amazing, as always. Thank you for your honesty. I'd never heard that song before - it's beautiful! Love you!