Monday, January 28, 2008

The Act of Redemption...
Being Saved, Delivered, Redeemed from evil, wrong doing, abuse & pain.
I believe in Redemption.
I need to.
Redemption was the nourishment my soul craved over the years when faced with torture, suffering, anguish, extreme loss...all of the hardship that we face in this life. The only thing I could grasp onto in certain moments of despair & sadness was that I would eventually be "delivered" from the pain. I would eventually be redeemed from the evil that was done against me. I had a core belief that knew I would eventually come through it all.
There are those cliche' sayings, you know the ones...we have all heard our mothers or friends or teachers say them: "There is a light at the end of the tunnel" "This too shall pass" "That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
As true as those sayings doesn't change the right now, right here, moment of pain and heartache. It only speaks of a time where it won't hurt as much. It does give us hope and perspective, if we allow it to. We can hold onto the knowing that one day our hearts will beat steadily again and not groan in agony over the wrong doing in this life. But in order to do that, we must believe. We must believe that is actually true...we WILL make it through and we WILL be OK.
We must have faith in our ability to heal.
The challenge is that a lot of us don't allow ourselves to truly heal. We don't want to go "through" the journey of pain and come out on the other side. We don't want to feel that discomfort, sadness, loss, anger,'s too much to bear and we don't believe it's worth it. So we escape and deflect, we sit in denial or we wear masks to hide and keep those parts of us safe in hopes that we won't be hurt too deeply. Now I am not suggesting that we wallow and make our final home in the darkness that can consume us. That's not healthy. I don't think you MUST go through pain in order to receive extreme healing...redemption. However, why can some of us go through extreme pain and come out refined and strong and others of us too broken to go on? Why do some give up their faith and belief in redemption along the way? Why do some put up walls and guard themselves from ever feeling, in fear of being in that kind of pain?
This past weekend I saw the color purple (on stage) with a friend. The main character goes through extreme abuse, pain, torture, adversity, loss, etc...and yet she holds on and presses through and cries out and challenges herself to continue believing. In the end, there is great redemption. Those that abused her see the error of their ways. Those she lost are restored to her. Those she loved most, return to her. She is delivered from the pain and sorrow that once saturated her heart.
And there is much rejoicing at the end for she came out of her life's journey stronger, wiser, prouder, bolder, and truly confident in herself...her ability to live, love, give and heal.
Yesterday, when I shared with someone that I saw this play they responded "Oh, gee, that's too heavy, isn't it...the story, too heavy...too heavy, how could that be enjoyable?"
I responded.."Oh, but there is redemption at the end."
That didn't change their view of it being too heavy and not enjoyable.
For me, I thought...I can view, witness, experience any hard and heavy pain as long as I KNOW there is redemption. It must be redeeming at the end. I don't want to stay in the pain and have the story end...I want to see redemption.
This person is close to me and I know that they have never dealt with some of the pain that has been present in their life. They avoid it, deny it, escape it, and don't feel it's worth it. I am very sad for him, as he cannot truly experience the joy and life that you can only experience when you have come through the hardships, faced them, survived them, and grown stronger because of them.
In The Color Purple, Celie (the main character) arrived at a place in her life where she knew herself. She knew her worth. She knew what she was "made of."
How do we really know what we are "made of" if we don't allow life to sharpen us, refine us, strip us and re-build us?
Why do some of us say yes to this journey, and others of us say no?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Of course, to be fair, I also need to include a picture of my girl. Here she is at the park, laughing and smiling. She is my angel face!

This is my boy. Is he not adorable? He loves going down the slide at the park. It's so cute...he gets to the bottom, jumps off and claps yelling "yeeeaaa!!" I just had to share this photo of my handsome boy. (OR as he says it "Handhum")

Ever Present "Change"'s ever present. Once you get "it" down, "it" changes.
Once I realized what worked for the twins (that one toy, thing, technique, style, etc) well of course, then the next time, that one toy, thing, technique, style, etc...doesn't work anymore. It's so frustrating sometimes.

But in the midst of change, I draw upon the one thing that never changes; the love of my children. Their love is consistent, deep, life altering and freely given. It's very amazing to take it all in. In the midst of major change, I will remain rooted in their smiles, their hugs, their kisses...they are my gifts and I treasure them.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Invitation to Jeannie

Open up your heart
If you can manage one more time
Let my love be the instrument
to help you rewind
Try to look back on the times we shared
Just you and I
I still don't understand why
we had to say goodbye

But I know...

Love can penetrate all our misconceptions
If we let it in
Let the Healing Begin
Love can wash away the pain and deception
If we let it seep
deep, deep within
Love will Win

Open up your eyes
Can you see me, I'm right here
I know the future
Remains so unclear
Try to focus on your
family and your friends
Know that your legacy of Love
Will never end

Cuz' I know...

Love can penetrate all our wrong perceptions
If we let it in
Let the healing begin
Love can wash away the pain and rejection
If we let it seep
deep, deep within
We can let Love Win

And even in times of utter despair
If we open our hearts...Love will be there

Copyright: ALS /1-11-08

A friend of mine is dying of brain cancer.
She is on my mind and heart today.
I wrote this song for her.
I love her and know that she is hurting.
I pray she will invite love in and allow her heart to heal.

The "AWS" of Parenthood

There are so many "AWWW" moments as parents. You know what I am talking about...those moments when you sit back, gaze at your child and watch something amazing take place. Those moments where you say "AWWWW" in wonder, in fondness, in pride and amazement of this little person who is learning how to navigate through life.
It's in these moments, these tiny little moments of awareness, that true life, true beauty, pure joy and wonder dwell. If you allow it, the most amazing and fulfilling emotion will inhabit your heart and soul in these moments.
We are meant to be present in these moments and to "be" and receive life's blessings. We are meant to be engaged at this level and to allow this type of delight to overtake our beings. Yet many of us miss them. We have responsibilities, pressures, goals, deadlines, schedules, routines, others' expectations, fears, wounds, resentments...we allow all of these things to steal from us these moments...this glimpse into the heart of God. Time has passed and our own heart has grown weary. We feel so disconnected from God and have learned how to survive, rather than how to really live.
The heart of God is FOR YOU! The heart of God is about discovery, adventure, life, joy, love, peace, amazement, beauty, creativity, desire and passion. it me, or doesn't that also describe our little ones. I know my little toddlers certainly display and crave adventure, discovery, beauty, creativity, passion, joy, etc...on a daily basis. And you know, they truly show me that all the little "AWWWW" moments make up a life well lived and cherished.
May you have a moment today where you are still...captivated...amazed and utterly delighted by the true heart of God for you! May your circumstances, your situations present to you a glimpse into the love that exists within the heart of God, only for you! And in spite of our schedules, our deadlines, the pressures and responsibilities of life...may we all stop and truly engage in the presence of wonder.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Journey of never ends. We are all constantly growing, developing and expanding our perspectives as Human Beings as we invite and embrace the new experiences presented to us. Currently, I feel really unsettled. This job search journey, the pending lay off, being the sole financial provider for my family, etc...all of these things are beginning to take my breath away.
I am trying to focus on the elements of this journey that can teach me something new, stretch me, refine me and reveal parts of myself that I haven't yet seen, or wanted to (or been willing to) look at.
So, thus far I am learning that I crave stability. Stability, to me, in it's truest form, represents commitment, loyalty, dependence, always being there (thus, will never leave...the absence of abandonment.) Deep inside somewhere I still have this core abandonment issue. It rears it's ugly head at times in all sorts of odd situations. I have worked through this in many areas of my life, and then when I am not expecting it, out of the blue, a circumstance or situation unlocks the dungeon of darkness within that still believes, deep down, that if something or someone goes's because of me...I am not "enough" or they/it wouldn't have left or gone away. There was something I should have done, or should have "been" and thus...IT'S MY FAULT.
There it is, ugly, isn't it? Why do I still have this core belief? There are things outside of my control, completely, and yet deep down, somewhere...I believe I could have/should have done something.
I despise this part of myself...and then the internalized self hatred (let's just call it what it is) begins to rear it's head and spews out at those closest to me (my partner of course). I become critical of everything about HER, I point out all of her deficiencies...I "go off" about all of the needs not being met and all of the frustrations (that are true, but most likely are a 1 or 2 on the scale and I convey them to her as a 10) At least I can recognize that I am acting this way and I can make peace and share with her and apologize. And I did. And I will, always. I am human. I am flawed. I am broken.
But, it is in the acceptance of my brokenness that my true beauty shines.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

It's a New Day...and a New Year!!

Wow...2008! I can't believe it...As most of us turn inward and reflect upon the previous year, we are often times reminded of the areas within ourselves we would like to improve, the things we will once again strive to accomplish, and the many things that happened in our lives over the past year that changed us...we are different, we have evolved...mostly for the better, we all hope, but often times we focus on the negative. Why do we do this? What always pulls our introspection to the negative? The failures? All of the things NOT accomplished...all of the goals not reached. I know there is wisdom to being honest about these things and being able to make new objectives for the new year, however, we HAVE accomplished much...and we don't give ourselves enough credit for the things we DID, the goals we REACHED, the changes we embraced, the lessons we learned, the new experiences we invited, the risks we took, the loss we grieved, the joy we experienced.
So, today, of course...I shall do this. On all of our behalf, of course, I take inventory of what wonderful, positive, life changing things occurred in 2007 that will forever make me a better person!
* The adoption was finalized in Feb. 07 and I became a LEGAL parent of the twins, although I was their mommy from the day I inseminated their Mama T.
* My twins turned 1 year old
* We had a wonderful 1st birthday party (barnyard bash) for the twins and did not kill ourselves before the day arrived from all the planning, details, etc...(all though it was a close one)
* Through the March of Dimes, T began volunteering at the local hospital in the NICU as a support to parents with premature babies
* I moved into a new job closer to home, allowing me lots more time with the family
* We received better health insurance benefits through the new job; and more affordable too!
* I sold my Jetta (loved that car!)
* We bought a new family vehicle (gotta love the Caddie SRX)
* We took my house off the market, changed real estate agents, put the house back on the market, and then took it off the market yet again for an undetermined amount of time
* Little T began walking after her 1st bday
* We took an amazing vacation to MN to visit T's family
* The twins went on an airplane for the 1st time and did quite well
* I had my very first glass of milk from the dairy at the MN state fair
* Little C began walking for the first time in MN
* I went to my very 1st NFL game - GO VIKINGS!
* We had an amazing Christmas with the twins and family/friends.

Now, there are many things I am going to focus efforts toward accomplishing in 08, but wow, what a year 2007 turned out to be!! May 2008 be 1/2 as great!

We are hopeful for the following in 08:
* New Job
* New House
* Twins will turn 2 & possibly start part time pre-school
* T return to school
* Vacation back to MN around holidays, if possible
* New Car when lease for Caddie is up - towards end of year

Personal reflections and vows for improvement:
* I will be a better listener
* I will treat others as I want to be treated
* I will be more patient
* I will get healthier
* I will love more deeply and let go of fear
* I will be honest, even when it hurts, and let go of codependency, but be loving and caring with my honest words
* I will let go of anger and resentment
* I will lose weight
* I will stop biting my nails for good (ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED...WOO-HOO!)
* I will be a better me, with God's help and continued dedication, I will be a better person, partner and parent!

Here's to ALL that we accomplished in 2007! Well Done!

May 2008 bring us all peace and joy in abundance!