Weddings- What if the Lord were to attend.

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I drove up to Oakhurst this past weekend to celebrate my friend Annie. She was getting married. Annie and I have been friends since college. She’s one of those friends where you pick up when you left off. I love that.

I don’t know what it is about weddings, but I love them, like totally gushy girl love them.  I love everything about them. I love the beautiful flowers and the color and the music. I love the dancing… Oh how I  love the dancing.  I’ve learned to wear black to weddings not because I am mourning the loss of a friend, but because I sweat so much. It’s just gross, like dripping off my chin gross.

I’m a wedding cake snob. I love insanely savory wedding cake. Moist and light, it melts in your mouth and the frosting doesn’t’ leave a film in your mouth. (I know, I have given this way too much thought).

I love people’s creativity. I remember my cousin, Monica, had a table set aside for everyone to splurge on her favorite food- donuts. Jackpot. I love candy tables where guests can grab a little baggy and scoop to their hearts content. Feeling like I am in the make believe world of  Willy Wonka,  I jam my little sachet with every morsel possible,  the pieces of sweets  literally falling out the top. It’s embarrassing, really. 

I am mesmerized by twinkle lights and candles and find myself transported into fantasy world where everybody is happy and everything is beautiful. Pure bliss. Pure splendor…

and I love these moments because I get a glimpse of what heaven will be like- intense joy- intense beauty. I am reminded how often God uses weddings-wedding feast- and the bride and groom to explain how He feels towards us and towards the church.

And so I found myself this weekend, sitting for a moment, taking it all in and wondering what it would be like to meet him, my Lord,  face-to-face in this kind of setting. Talking across the table, sharing a bottle of wine, dancing with him, me in a beautiful wedding down, Him beaming from ear to ear, his eyes set aflame.

I know it sounds strange. Even as I write I am aware of that, but if the stories in the Bible are real and his friends got to experience life with him, then I want the same… and I want to dance with him.

I picture us  slowly moving across the floor as Louis Armstrong croons softly in the background. He holds me tight.

It’s not sexual- just safe. Intense love. Intense Him. Intense joy. I can rest now… I am in his arms.

If we are to spend all of eternity with him, dear sisters, then I want to start now. 

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This is what happens when you eat See’s candy at night

 

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What a weekend. I was out of town and arrived back  late last night. After I got settled, I found my See’s candy stash and popped two pieces in my mouth not even thinking that the chocolate would keep me up.  So there I was laying in bed, wide awake and wishing I was asleep, and I started giggling to myself. I was thinking about the See’s Candy I just ate when I was flooded by a not too distant memory.

Now, you have to understand, I love See’s candy, like totally love it, and my kids are hooked on it too.They even know the motto, “The happy habit.” Sad, but true.  It’s really not my fault. My mother and her mother- both See’s candy addicts.

In 2013, I fell and broke my pelvis. I won’t go into the details now, but lets just say hellish is an understatement. I was in the hospital for four days. Once I transitioned back home, I slept in a hospital bed and used a walker. “These are so cool,” my babes shouted with glee, as they cranked the bed up and down. Me…not so much. I  was completely miserable and to make matters worse, I couldn’t drive for two months. Being a single parent is hard enough, but this… this was a disaster.

The day came that I was given the okay to drive.  I picked up the kiddies from school and we made our first stop… you guessed it, See’s Candy.

So, we pulled up to our regular spot and in we went. Once inside, I noticed there was only one other customer, an elderly woman with a walker. No joke.  So, there we were. The two of us with our walkers and it hit me right then; I am in See’s Candy, a middle aged single woman with my walker… with my walker. Oh Lord, how in the world did I end up here?

“Look mom, she has a walker, like you,” my youngest shouted. Yeah, that’s great.

As I began to slowly make my way towards the counter, a gentleman entered the store. He froze midstride and just stared at me. Then he looked at her. Then back to me. Shaking his head, “Whoa. There is something really wrong with this picture.” At this point, Alex who had wandered over to the candies, returned to where I was. “Look what I can do,” she  exclaimed, as she hoisted herself up in to the splits using my walker can as a gymnastics bar. This just can’t get any worse. We’re a freaking three-ring circus.

What happened to you,” he asked. “Well, I broke my pelvis.” His eyes widened. “Well, I broke my hip last year,” the other lady chimed in. I stand corrected. Much worse. I will see your broken pelvis and raise you a broken hip Not exactly how I envisioned my first day out.

We chatted a bit more, then I continued making my way to the counter once I was able to get my gymnast to dismount. The other woman made her way to the door. As we slid our walkers past one another, I glanced over at her walker; “nice wheels.”  I might as well embrace the situation. She smiled and nodded, and kept moving.

Oh life, you are so unpredictable.  I used to wonder, dear life, why there was no rhyme or rhythm to you, why I couldn’t anticipate what you would do next; how one day I could be a young married, stay-at-home mom and the next a single middle-aged women in the middle of See’s Candy with a walker.

You see, I wanted to know what you would do so I could plan and prepare and feel safe. But that is not who you are.Your steadiness shows when the suns rises every morning, yet I am reminded that you are free to do as you please, bringing tragedy and sickness, a sudden loss of job, loss of spouse. And then I realized that when that safety and security come from within, come from my Lord, I am free to let you be you- whimsical and flowing- full of blessings, full of sorrow.  Such a mystery. Such a joy. 

Oh, dear life, may you never cease to amaze me. 

 

 

Plain Ol’ Me

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1. Me likes to post without proofreading. I wish I could tell you that it’s because life is incredibly  hectic and I’m exhausted and that I couldn’t possibly make time to proof, but the truth is, I probably wouldn’t do it anyways. I’m still to impulsive for that. I know- weakness. Total weakness and I am working on it… kinda.

2. Me likes to use way too many hyphens. I am obsessed with them.

3. Me doesn’t need to embellish what I write about because my life is, well, colorful. I don’t try to make it happen. It just does. Falling of treadmills (totally not my fault), breaking my pelvis (definitely not my fault), Bob (again… nothing to do with it), three crazy kids (ooooh, yeah, that’s all me. Gotta own that one)

4. Me laughs at all the mistakes I make. (I am guessing this is directly linked to #1) Holy cow, there’s a lot of them. Notice the title of the Facebook Page- ‘time’ isn’t even capitalized and I just used another hyphen, for crying out loud.

5. Me wants you to know that I will try my best to respond when you write, but I can’t be responsible for what I say. I’m usually writing in the wee hours of the night,  which means I’m deliriously tired so it will either come off sounding compassionate and caring or like I’m drunk. Just giving you a heads up.

Having said that…

6. Me just wants to say thank you and please keep sharing! Thank you for all the messages, words of encouragement and stories of your own. I’m so grateful when you take to time to share your hardships. It is humbling and healing to be welcomed into your place of hurt and loss.

One of my favorite moments in therapy…

This is by far one of my favorite moments when I was seeing a therapist and it went something like this:

Therapist: So, it sounds like you felt like you didn’t fit into your family when you were growing up. (typical shrink question, right?)

Me: Yeah, I didn’t. But, I’m pretty sure it was my issue. I was kinda a train wreck.

Therapist: What do you mean a train wreck?

Me: Well, I was unpredictable and emotional. By the time I got to college I was pretty rebellious and a little bit of a loose cannon.

Therapist: You know you just smiled when you said that. (I hate it when they are so observant)

(chuckling a little)

Me:  I think that’s because I have mellowed quite a bit. Life has a way of doing that to you, but I still see that in me.

Therapist: You mean, rebellious and a loose cannon.

Me: Yeah, but in a good way.

We sat quietly for a little bit. I was flooded with memories of my antics over the years. I giggled to myself as I recollected on how feisty I was, even as a little girl.

Therapist: You know, I get the feeling that you really like that you are a little bit of a loose cannon.

Silent. More memories. Silent.

(slowly nodding, my mouth widening into a soft grin)

Me: I think you are right. I really do.

Inhale acceptance. Exhale contempt

I had finally made peace with who I was.

 

And that dear sisters, is the moment I realized there was no mistake in the way He made me.

For where He has placed me, for what He has called me to do… I was beautifully and wonderfully made. 

 

 

The gift from Karin

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Everyone needs a friend like Karen.

Karen and I have been friends for five years.

She watched me go from being married to being single. She walked with me as I struggled through my divorce, when I couldn’t get off the bedroom floor, and supported me as I slowly began to build my life back.

We both had our struggles and out of those struggles came the words for three books.

Karin is one of those wise souls. Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth would never dawn on me. Seriously, you need your radio show, I always tell her, you’re questions and suggestions are so insanely brilliant. 

So much stands out about Karin, but there is one particular gift she has given me that I am truly grateful for;

she taught me how to stay.   Continue reading

This was me today… and this is what my mom did.

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Yep. This is exactly what I felt like today. Done.

Yesterday was bursting at the seams. My day didn’t end until well past ten o’clock, only to have to wake up to another jam-packed day. Now, I am not feeling sorry for myself  because I’m the one packing it, but with school, seeing clients and three kids I sometimes just want to scream. Scream that I seriously need like three of me. Scream that I am the luckiest girl that I get to be exactly where I am. Or maybe just scream because it feels so stinkin good to just scream for no reason. (you really have to try this)

Continue reading