Skip to content

This I Believe: Illness vs. Death

June 18, 2015

Delighted to have an essay featured on This I Believe this week! A link to the full essay is below. .

 

This_I_Believe_Logo

 

 

At one point I found myself imagining it was cancer.

Fantasizing it was cancer.

I’d rather die of cancer than this.

Up until the age of 40, I was able to live and make decisions as if I had a full life to live. I began a career, and then another. I married, I had a child, and then another. I worked and mothered and lived a fairly normal life. Yet, throughout those relatively happy years, there was always another presence. Creeping from the distance, growing gradually larger and more ominous, until finally, right around my 40th birthday, it parked overhead like a massive alien warship, blocking out the sun and waiting. The life I have known may be nearly over. I can’t ignore my genetic code any longer.

Read more…

 

About This I Believe: 

This I Believe, Inc., was founded in 2004 as an independent, not-for-profit organization that engages youth and adults from all walks of life in writing, sharing, and discussing brief essays about the core values that guide their daily lives.

This I Believe is based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, hosted by acclaimed journalist Edward R. Murrow. Each day, Americans gathered by their radios to hear compelling essays from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, and Harry Truman as well as corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries—anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they lived. These essayists’ words brought comfort and inspiration to a country worried about the Cold War, McCarthyism, and racial division.

In reviving This I Believe, executive producer Dan Gediman said, “The goal is not to persuade Americans to agree on the same beliefs. Rather, the hope is to encourage people to begin the much more difficult task of developing respect for beliefs different from their own.”

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn

Re-Post: The Day We Met (June 17)

June 17, 2015

11062336_10153004641002362_7697454273785220996_n

So, this happened.

Twelve. TWELVE?! How, I do not know. Because, this only just happened…

***************************************

It was the day after Father’s Day. It was hot. A Monday.

It was seven years ago, today.

I remember being so afraid I couldn’t stop shaking. Anxious and anticipating. Ecstatic that the day had finally come. Terrified of the outcome.

When we first met, you were crying.

I cried, too.

When you heard my voice, though, you stopped, and listened.

I was fuzzy from the drugs they gave to me, but I can still remember that moment clearly – touching your tiny head with my swollen fingers. They took you from me then, and left me alone.

I cried some more. Overwhelmend with what had just happened, and overwhelmingly alone. I missed my mom more at that moment than I think in the last decade. Your grandmother would have loved to be there with you. I know that for certain.

We were given a room, and you were given back to me, healthy, hearing, breathing and perfect. We celebrated then – friends and family came in a steady stream the next four days. Grammie was there, and Papa, too. So many people were anxious to meet you. From the day you were born, my little son, you were special, and wanted, and loved.

I don’t remember much of the first few days but what is in these photos. I was hurting – my body that is. My heart was rejoicing in every moment with you. But it was painful, bringing you into the world.

I immediately checked you for your father’s chin – it was there. I was so happy to see it on your wee little jaw. I found you extraordinarily beautiful. I don’t think I was blinded by a mother’s love – you were exquisite.


And you still are.

Unique and wonderful. Like no one I’ve ever met before, and I love you so much it hurts. I love watching you grow and learn and become.

I can’t wait to find out who you are going to be, and how you’re going to get there.

We had a great lunch date today, you and I. I tried to tell you this story, and ended up crying all over my orange chicken. You thought it was a little weird, but I think you understood.

June 17 is an important day to me. A day worth celebrating, rejoicing.

It was the day we met.

**********************************

Go kiss your babies, right this minute. Because when you blink, they are not going to be babies any longer. They are going to have big feet, hairy legs, wonky teeth and they will HATE it when you try to fix their hair.

 

 

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail.

Time For Change: A New Look, and Why

June 5, 2015

web

Happy Friday, friends.

I’m delighted to have you here! Thank you to those who’ve joined in the conversation since my blog was featured on Charis earlier this week. I’m humbled to be on that list. Humbled, and completely gobsmacked. Me? Really??

Welcome to a new look. Not a major revolution but rather an evolution of what was. In the words of my seven year old, “it was tedious”. (He loves this word. He uses it all the time. And every time, I laugh. Because, he’s SEVEN.)

I needed something new. And I needed a better way of explaining why I’m here.

An illuminated life. What’s that?

Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

~ Brene Brown

It’s a life lived out loud, out in the open. With all the perfectly imperfect bits held up to the light. It’s being real, being honest.

Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s not.

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I lived for a long time in the shadow of a monster. I’ve only recently been able to step out from that gloom, but before I did, before that spectre had even left my side, I realized that a perfectly varnished life is not truly living. Like a mosaic, it is the broken pieces of a our reassembled lives that give us beauty.

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

II Corinthians 4:5-77

These are my stories, and sometimes, the stores of others.

I hope you’ll stick around. Leave a word before you go. Let me know you’ve been here. Tell me what you think. Comments – they are such a gift! Leave many, and often.

Maybe my stories will shed a little light on your own. Maybe you’ll leave here feeling a little brighter. When we allow ourselves to shine, we light the way for someone else.

The cracks are how the light gets through.

May grace and peace be yours in abundance,

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail.

 

Worth Repeating: All the Light We Cannot See

May 29, 2015

18143977

“You know the greatest lesson of history? It’s that history is whatever the victors say it is. That’s the lesson. Whoever wins, that’s who decides the history.”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

There are books, and then there are books.

There are books that tell stories, and those are fine and good. But then there are books that welcome you in, inviting you to live alongside awhile.

This was one of those books.

It is a story of a spiral, a triangulation of lives, a Fibonacci of words. Exquisitely crafted, it is the very best of its kind.

“To shut your eyes is to guess nothing of blindness. Beneath your world of skies and faces and buildings exists a rawer and older world, a place where surface planes disintegrate and sounds ribbon in shoals through the air. Marie-Laure can sit in an attic high above the street and hear lilies rustling in marshes two miles away. She hears Americans scurry across farm fields, directing their huge cannons at the smoke of Saint-Malo; she hears families sniffling around hurricane lamps in cellars, crows hopping from pile to pile, flies landing on corpses in ditches; she hears the tamarinds shiver and the jays shriek and the dune grass burn; she feels the great granite fist, sunk deep into the earth’s crust, on which Saint-Malo sits, and the ocean teething at it from all four sides, and the outer islands holding steady against the swirling tides; she hears cows drink from stone troughs and dolphins rise through the green water of the Channel; she hears the bones of dead whales stir five leagues below, their marrow offering a century of food for cities of creatures who will live their whole lives and never once see a photon sent from the sun. She hears her snails in the grotto drag their bodies over the rocks.”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Have you read this book? What did you think?

 

 

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail.

Guest Posting for Magnifications

May 18, 2015

hunger always wins

I am guest posting today for a beautiful website called Magnifications, a blog of theological reflections written by women from the Churches of Christ. Check it out!

Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve had issues with food.

I used food as a means of controlling something when I wasn’t in control of anything. By taking authority over what I put in my mouth (or didn’t) I disassociated myself from that which I could not control – my mother’s illness, for example – and put the focus back on myself. Food gave me a sense of control and power when I felt out of control and powerless.

Unfortunately, false security and power don’t really stick to your ribs. Hunger can only be denied for so long. Even to the most authoritative anorexic, hunger will, eventually, win. The body will do whatever is necessary to regain balance, sending up red flags and warning bells, hunger always wins. No anorexic remains in control forever.

Hunger is something that dwells deep inside, a mortal ache of emptiness. It is not a quiet longing but an urgent yearning. For fullness. The yawning emptiness of depression, loss, grief…they mimic this mortal ache. So often we confuse one longing for another. So often we seek to end our spiritual emptiness with the temporal and temporary substitute of food.

Read more…

 

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

Windshield Time

May 15, 2015

Four feet nine inches.

A mere 57 inches, and already, everything has changed. It’s only been a week.

57 inches and you are sitting in the front seat, beside me. Your precious self safely tall enough to survive the airbag, so there you are, beside me on the short trips to and from school, and already everything has changed.

Windshield time, I’ve heard it said. For a boy-mom, invaluable.

Side by side, staring ahead, hearts wide open.

You tell me things I never would have heard from the backseat. You pray with me, aloud, tumbling out daily petitions for each other and those around us.

You sing along with the radio. “…if you want to know, how far my love can go, just how high, just how deep…” To hear your voice speak those words, engraving them on your heart, makes it hard for me to breathe.

I worry still, that you are safe. I won’t let you, not yet, on the freeway, or longer rides, but for our three mile commute each morning, this side-by-side but heart-to-heart connection is so precious, invaluable at a time in your life when you could be slowly shutting me out instead of letting me in.

I wave good-bye to you through the open door as you grab your backpack from the rear, when suddenly you turn and duck back inside the car.

A quick boy-kiss on my cheek, electric shock stopping my heart at this adolescent impulse of affection.

“I love you mom. Thanks for driving me to school.”

We wonder, parents, if this is ever going to be worth it. When they are screaming at us in anger and frustration. When the LEGOs underfoot and dirty socks abundant. When the water all over the floor and the toilet overflowing. When the voices raise, and the defiance roars…we wonder if they will ever appreciate what we’ve done, or all we’re doing. We wonder if they will ever truly see us, as humans, not parent-shaped servants and slaves.

And then the fragile moment appears, a filament of days to come, perhaps. Manna, to sustain through troubled hours and family famine.

Reassurance that, yes, it’s worth it. It truly is.

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

surprise connection

A Big Revelation After 12 Years of Parenting

April 29, 2015

Adelle's Phone 2014 2015 031

I’d like to think, after nearly 12 years of parenting, that I’m getting pretty good at this gig.

If I’d been doing anything else for 12 years, I would likely be considered an expert.

With 12 years of higher education, I could be a doctor. Twice.

But after 12 years of parenting, the big “a-ha” has finally come and it’s not what I thought it would be.

It’s not “I’ve got this!”

But rather,

I have no idea what I’m doing.

The rules keep changing. Every time I think I’ve nailed the routine, the playing field alters.

The big revelation after 12 years of parenting, is that there is no such thing as a parenting expert.

We’re all just parenting survivors. Comrades on the battlefield. We need to stop trying to be experts and tell everyone else how to raise their kids and just help each other survive. Share a canteen and a chocolate bar.

It’s not going to get easier when….

It’s not going to get easier when they sleep through the night.

It’s not going to get easier when they start school.

It’s not going to get easier when they can tie their own shoes, make their own bed, or pour their own bowl of cereal.

It’s not going to get easier when they graduate high school, or move out, or get a job.

I hate to be the one to break it to you.

There is one bit of good news, however.

You are not alone. We’re all lost. We’re all confused. We’re all trying to feel our way through this quagmire in the dark.

There isn’t anyone who has it easier than you. It feels like there is. I know you’ve thought (as have I) that parenting just comes so easy for them….

But it doesn’t. Not for anyone. Whatever phase they are successfully striding through at the moment will quickly be replaced with another, more complicated phase down the road.

As such, give that parent next to you some grace today.

Tell a mom she’s doing a good job.

Tell a dad that he’s an inspiration.

Tell that couple over there that you can see how much they love their kids.

grace

 

It’s the best we can hope for, grace from each other, and the knowledge that none of us really have this parenting thing figured out.

I’m not the only one who’s lost. Neither are you.

sig

The conversation continues!  For more insights and resources about living a shiny, abundant and beautiful life, join me over on InstagramPinterest, or Facebook

Like this post? Subscribe to receive future posts via email or a quarterly newsletter that positively glimmers with good stuff. 

Do you Pinterest? Join me over on my new Pinterest Board: Pinterest-y Disasters – a place to collect all the crazy ideas we know will turn out just awful, or to post a really glorious Pinterest Fail!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 159 other followers