It is difficult to know what to write about first when I have so much to be thankful for. I guess I'll express my deep appreciation for being able to write. I love words and communicating with others, and life would not be the same for me if I could not write. Today I am especially thankful that I'm able to share my gratitude over this coming month with you.
It's been a crazy October. Like, I don't even know how I got to the week of Halloween alive. For real.
Between a child in a competitive high school marching band, another in beginning middle school band, one learning how to be a responsible fourth grader, and yet one more child with literal special needs turning nineteen, I think I should get a pass on November.
And I didn't even go into their fine details nor my amazing challenges as a first year teacher.
It's all quite unfathomable. I can't even try. What I can do is attempt to slow down enough to remember how the month started, pay notice of all I accomplished, and allow myself some tears of gratitude and relief. Some days pushed me to the brink of sanity. I didn't know what to do to make it out of the troubles in a good way, but here we are. And everyone is alive.
I'm looking forward to November and participating in a #30DaysOfGratitude challenge I'm hosting here. Taking time to reflect on my blessings will do me a world of good. Maybe I created my own pass for November by challenging myself to do this. I always come away from writing challenges with a sense of accomplishment and more friends in my pocket.
See you in November!
As I was reading in the New Testament, I came across some scriptures in Ephesians that connect with last month's Seeking to Become challenge, and I want to share them with you today.
In Ephesians Chapter 3, Paul tells the people what he has been praying for concerning them, and these verses are an excerpt:
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,Every day seems to bring some new bit of trouble, but I would rather focus on how every day simultaneously has new blessings and help sent our way. Having what we need to learn and grow and become who God would have us become is what we should let our hearts dwell on. Taking time to notice how each problem leads us to examine the quality of our conduct can help us recognize that the Lord is teaching us, how he loves us. He leads us to understanding our true selves, our divine calling in life, and connects us one with another to grow in love as members of God's family.
May be able to comprehend with all saints what the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
To comprehend Christ's love for me will be the work of a lifetime, but I believe I find examples of it in the tender care of friends and family. I see it in the tender mercies found in daily living. To have Christ dwell in my heart, my faith must grow. Life has been a heart wrenching struggle for too long, but if I continue striving to exercise faith in the Lord, I will overcome. Overcoming defeat, heartbreak, abuse, loss, and other challenges will also be the work of a lifetime. It is life.
As November rapidly approaches with gratitude on our minds, seeking to more fully know the love of Christ will be my goal, to be "grounded in love." I will look for his love in the world around me and count my blessings. Please join me, if you will.
Interlaced forever, we are
My darling friend
My wish nearly come true
Whispers of something more
Keep me patient
You. Me. Us.
Everything yet nothing
You take my breath away in an instant
As the space between the lines closes in on me
Cracking open hope, exposing it for what it is
Spoilt wishes, darkened dreams
I can hardly keep myself from wishing
One more string of wishes
I wish you could see how we've been cheated
Of truth and kisses
I wish you wanted more from me
In the quiet of our long night
I wish for you to feel safe and warm
In too many ways
A kiss that never came to me
But I know should come
Waits upon these longing lips
Like coming home
From a long trip
Welcoming and wanting you there
As the layers continue falling to the floor
Undressing me with full abandon
As you do with only words
And our souls' connection
The ties that bind
Cut like scissors against my paper heart
And I wonder how something so dear
Can become yet another source for mourning
Where the sun can't shine
Where it rains forever
But then she looks and sees
Gladness glowing on the other side
Of walls meant to keep her out
Now reduced to curtains
Unable to hide what has occupied
Cheating, beating, stone cold sober hearts
Through the concrete we find cracks
Giving ground for unplanned flowers
As the droplets fall from their source
Proving their mettle
When summer won't come
Blooming against the jagged edge
In love's constant rebellion
Against its demise
Until the sun's rays warm these cold shoulders
I will remember, yet
In the shadows, I will let my heart breathe
The truth your heart explained to mine
That bright, blue-skyed day
Where in the coolness of the tower
Without a doubt
I'd love you true
Until, and ever after, you love me too
I'm not sure how many times a light needs to come on or a layer of truth needs to unravel or the obvious to dawn on me, but I'm feeling slow. I'm thinking that for all my intelligence I don't know how to look after myself very well.
Stating the bare truth about my inability to recognize where I am not wanted sounds negative. It has negative effects. I don't feel content with how things are for me. And yet, as I feel myself in my awkwardness, there is a freedom in it. There is freedom in knowing where you are not wanted because that's one less place to look for belonging. It simplifies some aspects of your life. You figure out how to stop caring about certain things. You learn how to let go of hopes and dreams. You realize what you actually mean to people. And not just the person rejecting you as a potential companion. You learn about who supports you and who does not. You grow in ways you never knew you could because you're forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel for something to look forward to. You learn to be happy in the simplest of ways, to be grateful for every kindness you're shown.
But there's this one part that I really hate—it hurts so much.
The burdens we bear
Quite heavy, and they tear
At the softness of our heart
Tenderness born with at our start
Ache aging and taking
Ripping away the layers
Until all is laid bare
Iron clad no more partaking
Of the fountain of youth
Force fed naked truth
Choking it down daily
With a strength smothered in frailty
Holding on to possibilities
Given and granted, none that frees
Her from the unequivocal power
Of those who reign from the ivory tower
Removing pieces and parts
Playing at truth, sinking in
Too far too fast
The end is where it all begins
So there's this thing about me. Words stick. I hear or read something that touches me, and it changes me and stays. I never thought much about it (it's just been my normal forever) until the other day when I was watching a movie with my friend. The strange part is that I had seen the movie two times before and hadn't noticed these words. Maybe it was the company I was keeping that pushed the phrase to the surface: "The quality of her love…" said in the midst of a wedding anniversary speech.
These words stung my heart. They grabbed onto me and haven't let go.
Do I have love that would be considered high quality within me to offer someone? Is there anything about my love that would make it stand apart? Yes, and yes. If there is something I do well, it is love.
Now to give it to someone who wants it. That's where patience comes in. It's interesting to reflect on the past five years to see how much has changed, so as I write these words, I reassure myself that in five years, I will hardly recognize myself and my world once more. Because of the quality of my love, walls will dissolve and problems will have solutions. I know things will work out; I just can't see how!
And about the movie. That movie is The Age of Adaline, and I adore it. It's perfectly enchanting. Watch it, then let me know what is your favorite part.
Never thought it would mean so much
Needing others to accept me as I am
To realize I have no place to go
Where I fit entirely
Even at my worst I fly free
The time it has taken to know
How nice it would be to belong
Somewhere secure and welcoming
Filled with devotion and understanding
Yet to want for this feels wrong
I fly free away from half baked truth
Aloof from the world of happiness
My first memories crammed with mess
Never broken but forever bruised
Misunderstanding standing on the outskirts
A flood of remorse for things I cannot change
Since I last did a Whimsical Wednesday post, life has changed so much. I rarely have time to go out on a whim because every day I'm out on a limb barely hanging on. But then, I ran across this wonderfully adorable short video, and I must share it.
For the record, I still like bacon.
I'm sitting here thinking about my frozen little fingers as I type, and I need to admit something. I honestly had hopes to not face another winter literally cold and alone.
Don't be too hasty in your assumptions though. I just thought I might have someone to call my boyfriend; that's all. It's a silly thing to write when I think about how many men I've told I don't want a boyfriend right now. It's actually downright ridiculous of me to even utter the thought, but I'm getting good at being ridiculous; therefore, I pretty much have to share my entire train of thought right now, today, because I can.
As I slow down to ponder all the steps I've taken to heal from the divorce and grow in positive directions, I wonder when the time will be right, if ever. I contemplate all the friends around me who have become newly single after me but are with a boyfriend/girlfriend, engaged, or married again already. The next thing I wonder is what have they done to be prepared. I hardly have just begun to trust my intuition in the past year or so, and I've been separated/divorced for 4 1/2 years already. Another thing is I don't see how anything could have begun to work out for me early on. Things have been jacked up to say the least, and most importantly, I have needed the time to find myself and learn how to be the lovely person that had been hiding from herself and the world. I don't have any inclination to be with someone just to say I have a boyfriend either. It's been awhile being single without ever having a boyfriend from what I see going on around me, but I'd rather be alone forever than choose badly and have more horror stories to add to my repertoire. And even still, I wonder at how ready anyone will ever be for how purple my home is becoming. I'll probably need to get another house, so as to not frighten off all these potential boyfriends who are going to be knocking down my door soon.
Totally kidding. The new house will be purple too. Who are we kidding? Right?
But seriously, please don't worry. The time has not been dull despite my lack of official boyfriends. As of right now, my romantic situation is messed up in special new ways. I've had a regular casual date/dance partner/kissing somebody who wanted me to be his girlfriend until he felt he had to break up with his non-girlfriend (me) to date other people, an old flame rekindled quite warmly then extinguished due to major pigheadedness, dates with several men (too many to say—it's embarrassing) who could only be described as bizarre copies of my ex that unbeknownst to them subconsciously begged to be rejected (albeit with courteous tact, of course), a much older person who is so very kind and kisses nicely and I believe would marry me if I gave him extra attention for a few short weeks but no just no way I'm doing that my brain and heart shout in unison, a friend from my teen years (who kisses like whoa) who is crazy vocal about wanting me while being completely honest about how it would fulfill one of his boyhood dreams (Do I look like I dish out boyhood dreams? Well, maybe I do, but not those ones). And then I have the person I have come to love and care about in such ways that cannot be described here, but, simply put, he will not consider expanding the facets of our unique friendship to include me further in his life. It's all such a mess that I've taken a step back from everything to focus on figuring out what I want exactly and what I'm willing to do to have it.
And now I wonder if I've said too much.
I write all of these things because keeping it all swirling around in my head without any outlet has been getting on my last nerve; It's been over six months of quietly pondering, fervently praying, and silently wondering. These men might (and some will certainly) read this, so I don't know what to expect now because I'm positive I overshared. I might have just made everything worse, and I'll want to kick myself and cry myself a river. It's what I do sometimes. Me and my big fat mouth. But it's my life and I'll write what I want to.
not ready but waiting
Walk with me in sun burnt glittery rain
Through gray-purple storms and unrelenting winds
Hold my hand, my darling friend, to help me up again
Please lead me where the end is where everything begins
To dance once more with you, to revel in newness
Never ending, always fresh, to effervesce
Persevering in a place of perfect uncertainty
Kindly wishing—hope-stained wishes—that you might see this heart
And recognize within a matching wish, delicious bliss, tasting of eternity
Drawing you closer, awakening, breaking doubting clouds apart
Welcome me with willing arms and your warm, kind way
Call me, beckon me, home, forever to stay