where I belong

Sometimes I wonder where I belong.

I am a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a sister-in-law. I've been a guardian, and I'm a pretty good friend (most of the time). I'm also a teacher, editor, writer, and countless other titles. So I know where I belong as far as these roles are concerned. But do you ever wonder where you stand with a particular person on a person-to-person level?

Not that it is essential to my role, but I wonder if my children actually like me. There are things that teach me that they do, like when we laugh at the sad things or when they say sorry for not realizing my humanity. I wonder about them every so often, but in the end, I believe that when they are all grown up we will continue to love each other and enjoy each other's company.

I wonder sometimes about who merely tolerates me but I can't tell that and inadvertently believe they actually like me. There have been times when I have felt so close with someone who ended up rejecting and recanting their affection for me in various ways. This occurrence has not been often, but it has happened enough that I trust I am not cared for by all who profess to care. And that is why I wonder where I belong at times.

I have been told that I am too difficult. I have been told through words and actions that I am not invited or that I am unwanted. I have seen and perceived times when I do not belong.

Understanding these things about myself, when I have a persistent sense that I do belong, I find it easy to push through obstacles that try to keep me from where I know I am at home. It is not easy for me to be confident about where I belong until it is. There is nothing quite like feeling justified in your intuition and sense of belonging. I hope to prove myself right time and again, yet it feels even better when others provide the evidence to back it up.

Wondering where I belong is natural when life has been so harsh and continues on as per usual, so I hope in all my wondering you realize how much I hope that I actually do.

Seeking to Become - August 2016

I've been doing this thing for five years now. When I set out with an idea to help myself navigate the treacherous waters of separation and divorce, I never thought about the long term effects of setting this type of spiritual goal.

Seeking out scriptures each month to focus on for personal improvement and reflection has grounded me when chaos could have reigned (or even when it did and I was holding on for dear life). I have been able to find solace when there seemed to be none. I have been able to root out my weaknesses to see what I might do to overcome them. And all of it has led me to uplifting conversations with others as well.

I don't know if this sharing of my scripture study each month has helped anyone else, but it has helped me in immeasurable ways.

Here are some of the past years' posts. I hope you might join me in reflecting on them and learning maybe just a little bit more about seeking to become more like the Savior in doing so:

The Very First One: August 2011

The First Year: Condensed

Year Two

October 2014: Self Doubt

August 2015: Keeping It Real

February 2016: Gratitude

sweet summer

Sunshine in My Pocket

The days are fading into autumn quickly, but until it has to settle in, I will sing about summer.

It has been another transition time, another set of months where I have realized I can't make plans for the future. I have to take my days and weeks one at a time with my eyes looking toward the future, but I cannot be too bold about any of it. Boldness is insupportable. However, happiness is.

I've been focusing on making time to step back and enjoy the days without allowing the worries to wreck them too much. Severe difficulties continue to rain down, and somehow I keep on making the best of things. There is hope in all of that. There is a power in it too. Learning how to breathe despite the water's depth is an accomplishment in my mind. So much balance has been achieved. My children and I have had small and large-sized adventures. We've had misery and joy in equal portion too. It has been a mix of everything. Such a better summer than last year.

One thing that tips the scales to better than just balanced is that I had a delightful adventure to top off the summer. It has refueled my heart. There's not much that can compare with spending nearly carefree time laughing and gallivanting around town with someone who accepts you, forgives you, and genuinely cares about you. True balm for the weary soul. Photographs for days and swimming and talking and movies and chocolate and walking and smiling…I've decided that I need this occurrence to happen more often. It is vital to my existence.

This summer has been a sweet mix of happy and sad, joyful and learning. It has been so very good.

I am not a guy

Love and friendship intertwine . . .

The way I take care of you
By remembering who you are, your heart
How I consider your hopes and dreams
As far as you let me in to see
By hoping, praying, giving what I can
For all that you hold dear
To make it out better than alive

The way that I let you take care of me
By asking you for sound advice
How I let you in to see
My hopes and dreams and fears
Even if it means I feel insecure
By hoping, praying, receiving what I can
For all that I hold dear
To live better by living true to me

The way we take care of us
By saying what we need
How we allow space to breathe
Yet keep the ties that could bind
Within fingertips' reach
Through hoping, praying, sharing all we can
For all that we hold dear
To find our home within reality

. . . Because I am not a guy.

healing heart

I'm skipping to number eight on the list even though, in the process of number eight, I hope to experience all ten . . .

I'm going adventuring soon (if you couldn't tell), but I'm not quite sure yet how much, if any, that I'll want to share of it. I've come round a bend that has taught me that maybe sharing what I perceive of my experiences hurts me more than letting it settle back into the recesses of my memory. That sentence breaks my heart a little, but at the same time, it also gives my heart courage, so I believe it is a good thing to ponder and reconsider my current practices.

There is something delicious about the anticipation of an upcoming adventure. Plans made and set into motion cause a pleasant nervousness that lifts spirits and enlivens hearts. It is all just so good. With expressing that, I hope to find a balance of sharing and saving just for me that helps me with healing this heart of mine. Because when all is said and done, all of these things that I love should lead me to feeling loved and whole.