I didn’t know it, but I’ve been running from her my whole life.
It isn’t that I didn’t want her. I just don’t think I know her that well.
At times, she is starry eyed, dreaming up all kinds of ideas and excited, talking a gazillion miles per hour. Grabbing friends by the neck, snorting as she laughs. Just bursting with wide-eyed innocence about what she could do and who she could become.
Other times, she is unsure about herself. Insecure. She is quiet, withdrawn. Lonely. Pressing her cheek against the cold of her bedroom window, watching her breath fog the glass, hearing her fingers squeak as she traces the outline of a heart behind drops of rain trickling on the other side of the pane.
I’ve talked about the breakthrough I experienced earlier this year. After a year of intense therapy, I did something the little girl in me has always wanted to do, but never could.
“We tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we can do, but who we are.” Henri Nouwen
I am good at planning birthday parties.
I love celebrating birthdays.
When I found out my high school best friend Annette wasn’t doing much on her birthday a couple weeks ago, I insisted on driving over on the weekend and doing whatever she wanted: breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Better yet, why don’t I plan a girls outing with you? I suggested. I got excited brainstorming and actually started having a virtual party in my head just imagining all the different things we could do.
And when it came time for my son TJ’s eighth birthday last month, I got really adventurous — and decided last minute to deviate from the plan of baking cupcakes to bring to school. I experimented and made rice krispy treat balls (instead of my usual squares) and shook some cookie sprinkles to make them look happy and festive.
Trouble is, when the kids started eating them, they were too hard to bite. I think I made them too big. Some of them kind of disintegrated. I don’t think I put enough marshmallows. read more…
I don’t remember turning on the stove. Or putting the kettle on the burner.
I was upstairs, listening to music stream, eyes intently following words trickling across my computer screen halting at times, in staccato-like bursts. Like a reluctant seamstress at the helm of a runaway sewing machine, my thoughts were carrying me far away from where I was sitting.
I forgot water was boiling. I forgot I wanted tea.
Until I caught the smell of something. Burning. read more…
I won’t be quiet.
Just like the blind beggar who kept calling out to Jesus.
Even though everyone told him to be quiet.
He didn’t stop calling out.
I am finding my way too. To express my heart. Not just in private. But, out in the open. With others. Even when critical voices bombard me.
Like the blind man. I want to see.
I want to answer the question Jesus asked the blind man. ”What do you want me to do for you?”
I want to want.
Do you want to want too? read more…
The door had slammed in front of me.
It didn’t matter what I said or what I did.
What mattered was that she was mad. I would have to plead and beg.
Please, Mommy. I’m sorry.
I didn’t know what to do.
I didn’t know how long I’d have to keep standing in the hallway. How long I’d have to keep knocking on the door. To no reply.
After a while, I’d walk back to my room. And cry.
I’d pull out my journal. And start to write. I’d read a book. Or do my homework.
I still remember how the air felt like a live wire. How at any time, her bedroom door would fly open. read more…
“Comes a time, on the journey, you wonder how you will survive. There comes a time, when you’re thirsty and so alone… There is a pool in the desert, where water flows from fountains unseen. Saving water, healing water flowing over me.” The Choir, Flowing Over Me
You don’t have to die, in order to feel like you’re not really living.
You can even be loved by the man of your dreams whose arms as husband gently encircle your waist every night in bed — you can love the world’s most beautiful two boys, the ones you’ll always remember resting warm and soft in the cradle of your neck as newborns — and yet feel something missing inside.
It’s hard to talk to other people about what you find difficult to face yourself.
They might think you’re being ungrateful.
They might think you’re not counting your blessings.
They might think your faith is broken.
But, it’s not that way at all. read more…
“You are a mighty river. A reservoir for the thirsty soul. My God… the only one who makes me whole.” Jeremiah Jones
I wish he was right here.
I wish he was sitting in front of me.
I would feel his arms around me.
And I could just simply cry and cry and cry.
Without having to stop.
He would know what to do. What to say.
And everything would be alright.
But, Jesus isn’t here. Physically. read more…
I didn’t want to go.
Even though a part of me did.
Back and forth, I couldn’t decide.
It was a last minute decision — whether I should really get on a plane and fly to Savannah, Georgia to spend time with my (in)courage sisters.
The morning I was supposed to be packing, I laid in bed.
I wrapped the covers around me. I didn’t want to go anywhere.
That’s what happens when I start feeling anxious. I feel cold. My body is hijacked read more…
It wasn’t even 24 hours since I turned in the manuscript for my book.
It felt surreal, getting an email from someone from the international mothering organization called MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). She told me MOPS puts together curriculum that is distributed to around 100,000 moms all over the world to encourage them in the journey of motherhood.
She asked me if I’d be interested in doing a 15 minute talk that MOPS would film and that it would be a part of their 2014 curriculum.
We would fly you out to Denver for a day trip and do the filming in an hour or so. This November.
I read that email, stunned with disbelief.
I haven’t stepped on an airplane in two years.
Since becoming debilitated with panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety this past year and a half, the number of people I’ve been able to feel safe with has been small. read more…