Wake up in the morning and open your eyes wide. See the beauty in the world, smile and give thanks. See the ugly in the world, weep; then refuse to let it win. Do this and a life will be lived.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

falling back to grace

Life is temporary. Love is not. There is something more than dust to dust.

Again and again, I get carried away by pride. Fear knocks me down. Shiny objects distract me from the truth.

I get lost.

Then, I stop. I remember. There is a path for me. There is more to life than me.

I am here to serve.

When my thoughts and actions reflect my purpose, I feel peace.

So again and again, I come back to where I belong. I surrender to grace. I welcome the love that heals me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Roses, chocolate and laughter

Awe. Valentine’s Day. Romance. Decadent candies and sweet notes scribbled onto Hallmark cards. I like it. I don’t mind profiting from it. (I have a collection of empty candy boxes from years passed.) But let’s get real, authentic love can’t be packaged and sold.

Real love is when your lonely life gets all tangled up with somebody else’s, when I blurs into we and two souls attempt to make a love story out of good days, bad days and all the in between.

I knew I loved my husband when I cleaned the moldy goo out of his toothbrush cup. When I met him at the door wearing my ugly pajamas. When I bought him an XBOX360 for Christmas, knowing full well he’d ignore me for days on end to play it.

Real love is two people laughing at the same joke when no one else gets why it’s funny.

It’s staying put. Even when the other person is sick (the gross sweaty kind of sick) or crying (the lip quivering, make-up running kind of crying.) When they’re angry (for no reason at all.) Or when they fall off the pedestal you built for them.
Love is a dozen forgotten kisses goodbye and hello. The eye rolling, the snoring and the thoughtful kisses that make up for it. Those moments when you’re apart and you know something is missing.

Those moments together. Devouring a box of fried chicken on the couch. Comfortable silences. And the turning of the calendar.

There are those rare conversations, when the other person says all the right things. The feeling you know the person in and out. And the days when you wish they’d just shut up.

It’s yeah you’re great but you can also be annoying, and why didn’t you do any laundry today? It’s trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. Spending too much money and feeling guilty. Wishing you’d done this or that. Knowing there’s so much to say but feeling too tired to actually say it.

It’s saying it and falling deeper.

It’s recognizing that you are not perfect. Love is not perfect. And the person you gave you heart to is going to crack it every now and then.

But there’s something about my husband’s smile. There’s something about the way the way he stands by me no matter what, and how he just stands there across the room, looking that way he did the day when we first met.

We have passion.

We have laughter.

We don’t really need Valentine’s Day.

Still, I save the cards and devour the chocolates. I celebrate because once upon a time someone picked a date on the calendar and declared it a day for love. Cupid decided to make a buck off selling a fairy tale.

Only I know real love stories don’t end at the beginning. Real love stories keep going on.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

so the earth revolves around the sun

I stop, look at the calendar and shake my head in disbelief. Like a typical grown-up, I pause to ask myself "Where did the time go?" Once again, the earth and the sun successfully conspired, meaning another year takes its place in the halls of my past.
I look back on the year and I smile, not because the last 365 days went off without a hitch, more so because I fell from grace so many times I have to laugh.
I could daydream about getting everything right next year but who am I kidding? I am human. My plans won't all work out exactly as I want. There's a good chance I'll walk right when the earth shifts left. But I learned something in the last year. Detours sometimes lead to miracles.
Still, looking forward, the idea of New Year's resolutions inevitably comes to mind. I know better than to make a list and try to check things off. So, I turn to God in prayer.
I ask to move forward in my career, that I might use the gift of words to tell meaningful and powerful stories. I pray for my marriage, that my husband and I continue to grow deeper in love everyday. I pray we can start a family and welcome a baby into our world, a child that will grow to learn the beauty and mystery of this imperfect life. I pray I don't mess up to much.
I have typical resolutions too, things I don't bother God about. I want to go jogging, then work up to running and eventually become one of those people who wakes up early to exercise. I also want to learn to cook the countless recipes I have pulled out of magazines. And I want to look put together, less like a messy hodgepodge who mixes fashion dos and donts.
Still, there's a reason I don't pray for running shoes and an apron. I might not follow through. I don't want God investing to much on my self-improvement schemes.
After all, I hate to run. Those recipes started piling up five years ago. And I really don't care if my shoes match my purse.
Then again, each year winds up being full of surprises. So maybe I'll finish a marathon, or bake a pear tart. Whatever the year brings, one things is certain, the time will go by fast and I'll wonder where it went.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Blink, I'm Thirty

I turned thirty this week. Funny, I still remember picking dandelions in my grandma’s front yard, quietly daydreaming about life as a grown up. I spent my childhood imagining the future and then suddenly, it was the day after tomorrow.
I can’t say I’m where I thought I’d be but if life were exactly as I’d imagined it, I’d probably be bored. My choices and the love of an amazing God have led me to where I am today.
I am a writer. I am married to and deeply in love a man who is my rock, who makes me laugh and who gives me butterflies. I still pick up a paint brush from time to time. I pray everyday. I have good friends. I have good days. I have bad days. When I’m sad, I like to look at the clouds or spend time with my dogs. I still daydream, but it’s different now, because I can’t get lost in a wish like I used to. There is simply too much life to live.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Because Love Is

Because love is something you will find, try your hardest not to loose it. Don’t let fear keep you from giving all of yourself to another. Love is all we really have here on earth. Love is the dance between moments, the glue that holds the pieces together. Love is our connection to the Father. Love is what Christ did for us on the cross. Love is how the Holy Spirit moves in us. Love is what wakes us when our hearts are sleeping. Love is accepting a whole person, their beauty and their flaws, then being there when the earth shakes and threatens to tear it all apart. As human beings, we are all fragile like porcelain. It is love that keeps us from shattering. It is love that saves us from ourselves. It is love that brings us home when we are lost. Because love is what separates us from the darkness, never underestimate its power. Love with all your heart. Love your God. Love your spouse. Love others. Love yourself. How you love will define your life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life is a Love Affair

All of life is a love affair.
As children, we are captivated by life’s enduring mystery. We look closely at every little thing and ask questions at every turn. We aren’t afraid of the answers. We aren't afraid to believe in God or step out on faith. We are infatuated with life. When something bad happens, we blame ourselves. Life can do no wrong.
As we grow, life romances us with first kisses, beauty, love and laughter. Life excites us with new thoughts and ideas. We are curious, sometimes to a fault. Then the day comes when life breaks our heart.
When this happens, we act like children. We stomp our feet in protest. We fling ourselves into despair, shake our fists at the sky and wait for life to apologize. When it doesn't, we vow to conquer life, to master destiny.
The more we learn, the more we believe there is nothing left to learn. We begin to think we're smart. We convince ourselves we don't need God. We become self involved.
Then something happens, maybe we fall in love or have a child. Maybe we experience more pain or loss. We fall to our knees and ask God to help us, to forgive us, to welcome us home.
This is when we fall in love with life all over again.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Punching fists in the air

Why do we let so many things divide us? Why do we hate when we can love? I tire of the arguments. I tire of people shouting, “I am right. You are wrong,” their voices sounding out in fear. We are all just people, men and women with opinions and ideas. It is not our place to judge, to force our beliefs on others, to dance around wildly with pride as though we are masters of truth. We are not God. We are human beings, and what separates humanity from the animal masses is the capacity for compassion and for reasoning, the ability to have faith in what is beyond the flesh yet be humbled by our limitations.
No one wins a battle fueled by rage. We cannot win a fight against imaginary adversaries. How does a person defeat what foolish fear creates? It is only when we wipe the mud from our eyes that we can see.
I believe we are safe in God’s love. We are all the same, all children engaged in the mystery of life. We do not need to control one another. We need to embrace one another. We do not need to kick and scream. We only need to whisper.