August 30, 2013

Let Her Fly

I stood in the lobby of the dorm with a "Student MOM" button in my hands. It didn't feel real. How was I the mom and not the student?

Seeing my daughter on the brink of adulthood, made me glance back at my own. Had my journey been what I envisioned when I went to college? No, certainly not. Life surprises us like that. Was I disappointed with the turns life had taken? Some dreams had died, others had been born. And no, I wasn't disappointed.

She settled things into her little room. She wanted to arrange it by herself.  I found myself feeling useless, asking if she wanted me to put her books away or make her bed; she shook her head. She wanted her fingerprints on each task.

I stood there wishing for something to do, ANYTHING. I'm a mom, give me a project! I felt uneasy with all the boxes still boxed.

"Just sit down and relax, Mom," she invited.

And that's when I realized, she needed me to just be there. But how do you just be when, from the moment she was handed to you, you've been doing? All those needs, all that tucking in, wiping off and cleaning up; it becomes instinct. It's hard to transition to still hands. I selfishly wanted my hands busy so my heart didn't hurt so much. But she needed me to simply stand beside her and let her fly.

So I sat, on a bed with no sheets, near a pile of clothes unhung, as she unpacked everything and arranged it to her liking. I nodded and smiled. I laughed and listened.

I let her fly.

August 12, 2013

Bits of Summer: The Tattered Cover

When we were in Colorado, we re-visited one of our favorite bookstores, The Tattered Cover. This is the children's corner of the store. Isn't is dreamy? I would love to have a room like this! :) My only regret is that I didn't get a photo of all the beautiful shelves of picture books.

August 7, 2013

My Journey: From the Junkyard

My spiritual journey has been like a walk in the junkyard.

I love lines, grace is hard for me to get. I feel more comfortable in perimeters, which is ironic since life doesn't sit within lines. This summer, I stepped out of my box and did a forty day water fast.

I cried the night before I began. I was terrified of failing, being in pain and having to explain it to my family. Fasting is not me. Each day I survived the fast, became a trust-building moment. I had more time for other things. Time to sit and talk. Time to think. Time to work through issues I avoid.

I faced what I don't normally want to face, and cried, a lot. My soul detoxed along with my body. I felt connected to the Bible's forty-day fast in the desert. Not saying I had the same experience (he was in melting desert heat, I was in air-conditioning with plenty of water) but something about it came alive for me ~ a touch of suffering, albeit self-imposed. My auto-drive attitude of entitlement began to fade into grateful repentance.

The fast didn't feel like a big spiritual enlightenment. It felt like a walk through a junkyard where you're just focusing on this step to make it out, because if you look away for one minute you may end up sliced open by broken glass or fall into a hole where no one will find you. But I also see love.

And it's the love; overpowering, forgiving, meet-you-where-you're-at, kind of love pulling me back over and over. Many of my junkyard days felt more carried than walked. And that's the way love is. It goes with you to the middle of your stench-filled junkyard and carries you out.

Hmm, I think grace may be inching it's way into my perimeters.