Tag Archives: faith

Faith Over Fret

In just a few short months, The Boy will be living on his own hours away. Over the summers, he would be far away for weeks and months at a time. I never worried much. He was safe. He was not out in the world alone, figuring it out. He was never really far from reach. But with adulthood looming ahead, I am worrying myself to death.

They say when you are close to death life flashes before your eyes. Welp, I can tell you when your kids start driving and becoming more independent, their life flashes before your eyes, too. All the wonderfully wicked things that could happen run rampant in your brain. Suddenly, 48 Hours Mystery and Dateline are all too real and you twist your stomach into a pretzel imagining the worst. The thought of following them everywhere or at the very least putting a hidden camera in their car no longer seems far fetched. Them walking the dog at dusk feels like a kamikaze mission now when before you wished they would go outside if only for five minutes. My days and nights are spent in a silent panic over the inevitable–they are leaving.

This place is big, bad and scary. And sure, really, really icky stuff happens out here, but if we worry too much we will have ulcers and wrinkles. Fretting never did anyone any good. Part of growing is falling. Part of getting the recipe just so is taste testing. Worrying about the parts of life we have no control over is worse than the thing we fear happening actually happening. There is nothing, no ting, worse than the thought of something fearful. When the Boogie Man jumps out and the roller coaster ride is over, all is right with the world. It wasn’t as bad as you thought.

Faith is an important part of life, whether you believe in a higher power or not, we all have faith in something. We believe in the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Whatever we are fearing, it just simply is not that bad. It may feel bad and it may cut to the marrow, but we are capable of making it through. We were built to make it through.

By the time I hand deliver The Boy to his new life, I will have a handle on the fretting. It feels worse than it is. He is right where he is meant to be, going on the path he was meant to be traveling. He is here for a reason, unbeknownst to me. I was just the vessel and the taxi and the caf and the atm. I have to have enough faith to overcome the fret and trust the process. Besides, I don’t need not one more gray hair–I have a complete collection already (and you don’t even want to know where).

~SM

By Golly, Be Happy

For a year I have watched my beautiful husband endure things no twenty-eight year old should. I have watched him run the gamut of emotion—both good and bad, big and small. I have seen him step above and beyond and I have watched him completely fall apart. I have seen a spirit break before my very eyes. But there have been tiny moments of sunshine he clung to, preventing the quicksand to take him under. No matter how deep the cuts, he clung to something–anything–and managed to still stay on solid ground. How ‘bout that?

Watching him find joy, even the size of a mustard seed, and hold onto it for strength and peace has helped me. It has helped me to find the small and be thankful. Even in the horrible moments when the entire house smells like sick and we are all (even the dog) burying our heads in toilets and trash cans, there is a smile in it. Even when The Baby and The Girl take foul balls like champs, there is a breath of thanks and an ounce of joy there. Even when all he can do is wave at a picture, there is a glimpse of happiness buried beneath the sad.

I am learning how to find the slivers of happy in the pile of difficult. Watching YG has taught me a thing or two about the human spirit. Joy is never far. Yea, letting go is tough and yea, people are completely stupid (understatement), but does that really mean we have to let it consume us—eat away at our happy like cancer? I am making the decision that no matter what comes my way, I will be happy.

I will be happy because there is every reason to be. I need to take small things and hold them close and be grateful. Nope, not much is perfect or even to my liking these days, but daggumit I’mma turn toward the good stuff and bask in it. Why the hell not?

Nothing is ever easy. Life is full of crap shoots and luck of the draws. Money is never, ever right, kids are friggin annoying 23/6, jobs are never perfect, traffic always sucks balls and there is forever never enough time in the day. But that only lasts for a night, doesn’t it? Happiness is right around the corner, we just need to hold on long enough to see it. It ain’t always gonna be right, but by golly, it’s right enough for me to be happy.

~SM

Que Sera Sera, Smalls

Sit down. Let’s have a chat. Friend to friend. If I might be frank, you’re killin’ me, Smalls. You are up and down and you hardly know which end is up. But we can fix this…promise.

We can fix this shit storm you are in. We can step away from the funnel cloud and watch it all swirl round and round. Do you see what is passing by? Mmmhm, and you were standing in the middle of it. Now that you are on the outside looking in, let me give you some instructions.

  1. Leave It Alone. You heard me. Leave it all. Walk away and in the direction of calm. There is no clarity when you are rolling with the debris. Over there, in that funnel cloud, is grime and grit and broken pieces. All of it ripping and tearing your flesh. Before you can assess the damage, you are getting hit again. That is no way to live. Is it Smalls?
  2. Breathe. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Matter of fact, take more than one. I’ll wait. Feels good, right? Now that you are calmer, we can move on to the next thing…
  3. Don’t Turn Back. Easier said than done, I know (just ask Lot’s wife, oh wait…you can’t), but try. Plant your face in the direction of goodness and light and will yourself not to look back. Nothing good comes from looking at the damage. It will just upset you. It will have you second-guessing. What is lost is lost. What you abandoned you abandoned. It is okay.
  4. Don’t Let Guilt Consume You. What is behind you is behind you. The choices you made are made. If they were stupid, then fine, they were stupid. If they were good at the moment, then cool. Yay, you. But no matter what you did or didn’t do, this just was not for you. Do not continue to carry around the guilt of the ‘what-if’. You can only do your part. You are not responsible for how others choose to react.
  5. Get Over It. I know, these are the worst three words anyone in pain can hear. It is harsh, yes, but it is necessary. Nothing you can ever do will change it. Perhaps if you are lucky enough to have a time machine, one day (if it bothers you that much) you can go back and fiddle with it, but for now, my G…gone ‘head somewhere. This holding pattern you are in isn’t healthy, and it won’t end if you continue to mull over what you can’t change.

Now that you have your instructions and you are starting from scratch, I want you to start with just the basics. Do not pile too much on your plate. Take it easy. Be in the stillness when you can, remind yourself to be present, and lean in. Lean in with all your might and grab onto what matters most. I know, it hurts. It does not seem like anything will go your way, but trust me, friend, it will. Just be patient, be faithful and keep walking toward peace. Keep grounding yourself in the simple parts of life and keep the understanding ‘whatever will be will be’ with you. Que sera sera, Smalls. Que sera sera.

~SM

Energy Shift

After a long week chocked full o’ vomit and diarrhea (now dubbed Stomachbugmagedon henceforth), a much-needed breath of fresh air was warranted. YG and I snatched up the baby, slipped into a pew, heard some desperately craved Word and took a Sunday ride. Along the ride, we had a bare naked conversation about where we were individually and collectively. I did not like our energy. Neither of us had been the same for a long while. Our lives seemed to be unraveling at the corners and eventually, the whole thing would come apart. But if we could prevent that, then why not? We are everything. Everything is us. What we put out is what we get back. If he hadn’t lost that, I certainly had…it was time I got it back.

Energy is everything. I had forgotten that. I had let myself forget I am apart of this thing called life. Not the ‘life’ we are always talking about—the journeys and the a-ha’s—but life the living, breathing thing. I let the sludge get mixed in with the good and it turned sour. I forgot what I was putting into the world would return to me in the way I presented it.

The moment we walked out of the church, our energy shifted. The second we ended our naked conversation, the air shifted. Things were possible. Yes, somethings might be a little on the tougher side, but it all seemed possible. We saw an open house sign and decided to just go take a look. Buying a home right now is a long way away, but what harm would it do to just pretend for a little while? From the onset, it was perfect for us and when we walked out our lives had shifted. We could no longer afford to fumble around in the dark, walk on eggshells or defer dreams. We had to become one with that which was around us, become one with each other and most importantly, allow God to breathe life onto dusty bones.

We walked out talking excitedly as if we would go home and call our banker right away. We smiled at the thought of The Boy finally getting his own bathroom too little too late. We made plans for the unfinished rooms in the basement. When the day turned to night and everyone was snuggled under their individual covers, I slipped into the shower. I closed my eyes and for the next ten minutes, I pictured myself taking a shower in the home we had walked through…our home.  I turned the water off and smiled. Hope had returned and pretty soon our energy would be right where it should be. Thank God for the shift.

~SM

Life & Time

I stepped into a friend’s beautiful home, full of warmth and the air thick with love, lugging The Baby, bags and The Kids. I sat across from an old friend, his face a little older, middle a smidge softer, and gray streaking his beard. We talked about his job and kids. It was sort of surreal to see us in this space. My babies (save the last one) were no longer babies, neither were his. At one time, both sets could be held on a lap or in the crook of an arm, but no longer. They were too busy running by or engrossed by whatever technology held their interest. Somehow, the time had flown.

Somehow life had been lived in the space of these almost twenty years. A lot of life had been lived. Adventures had been had, ideals had been formed and then questioned. Morals had been strengthened or lost…God, Himself, had made a lasting impression. Time was a moving, living, breathing thing, and we had moved, lived and breathed right along with it.

When I drove away, long-legged kids folded in their positions, heads bowed to the iPhone god, I thought about how I had gotten here. How had I ended up with two young adults, a new tiny one and all the attached adventure and wisdom? How had I made it past the devil’s tricks and my own stupidity? How had I found God and lost Him? How had I face planted and gotten back up? How had it all come to pass, and I was still able to tell all about it?

The how will forever be a mystery. The why, too. The awe, though, continues to take my breath away. I have lived. Man, oh man, have I lived. No, I have not been outside the country or brought down Goliath, but in my own little way, I have lived. It has been a ride, let me tell ya. Yes, there are days I would rather just sleep through it until I am ready to deal, but overall, it has been a fun ride chock full o’ nuts and laughter and joy and love. Boy…the stories I could tell (wink), but I won’t. I will keep them as my own little treasure, and when the days get long and my heart is heavy I will dig them up and take a peek. I will grab a snack, settle under the covers, Lifeflix…and chill 😉

~SM

The Year Two Thousand & Eighteen Notables

“Think through each month, and make a list of all the notable moments, the treasures of 2018.”  (Grit & Virtue)

 

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January – We got to see the baby! For an entire month, I was a nervous wreck! Every ache or pain I felt, I just knew it spelled trouble. We knew there was a little life growing inside but we had no idea if it was okay or if it would stick. In January, we got to have our first glimpse of the newest addition. What a beautiful, amazing sight!

February – I got to meet all of Young Gun’s family and I got to witness how one long, loving life could affect so many people. The unfortunate part was that I was unable to meet the man behind the long, loving life, but the number of people he touched was absolutely unbelievable.

March – We found out the baby was a girl. My husband wanted a little girl and God saw to it. Although, I still believe when my mother-in-law got to heaven that week, her first order of business was to put in a good word and God obliged. March was also when for a brief, sparkling moment, my beautiful friend and I put away everything heart-heavy and became husband and wife.

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April – The Boy’s baseball career started to buzz! He was in the paper, his pitching was amazing and colleges were peeking in to see what he had to offer. It was a blessing to see something blossom right before our eyes. He has been dreaming of playing baseball since before he could read well, and to see it growing before him was amazing.

May – Mommy and I chucked the deuce to an item on our bucket list…JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!!! We had amazeball seats and the show was a-mazing! We had been waiting years (yes, years) to see him in concert and we finally made it. I still owe her money for my ticket, but the debt is soooo worth it.

June – BABY SHOWER! Oh my goodness what a wonderful, beautiful showing of love. Friends, old and new, the family from out of state, Mommy, the kids, and even The Ex and his person were there. Cookie received so, so much that we barely had room enough to receive it all.

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July – The Mother/Daughter Team was back at it in Atlanta, but this time it was Sam Smith. What a surprisingly wonderful show! We had such a great time. Me and my 8-month pregnant waddling self hung in there. Cookie had a great time too!

August – Both of my girls had birthdays. Earlier in the month, we welcomed Cookie into the world and two weeks later we celebrated a beautiful young lady and her Sweet 16. School started too and we had a Class of 2019 man in the house and a fresh Junior (Class of 2020). What a year of extremes…

September – Young Gun and I went on our first date post-baby and we chose to celebrate with a Childish Gambino concert. I surprised him with floor seats. He was so stoked. We almost got within touching distance of Gambino, but security blocked us (booo). It was an amazing show. To top it all off, big Bro and Sis got some baby watching action in.

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October – Me and my girls went out for brunch one morning. The Girl and I were awake and Cookie woke up too and I just said: “Let’s go to brunch.” We left the boys snoring in the bed and had a wonderful mid-morning. I didn’t have a ton of cash, but the little I had, we used on yummy pancakes, waffles, hot chocolate, and tea. Time (and money) well spent.

November – Cookie went to daycare for the first time. At first, it was bitter, but seeing her progress in such a short time helped to turn the bitter sweet. Seeing just how well cared for she is and the fun she has is wonderful. And (as much as I complained about it), it was actually nice to get back to a semblance of a routine.

December – I found my voice (and breath)…again *swoon*

~SM

A [Voice] Is A [Voice]…No Matter How Small

“What promises has God revived in your heart to trust him for and believe again? What has He whispered to your heart?” (Grit & Virtue)

I have been trying to answer this question for a week now and nothing has jumped out. Thankfully, the fog I have lived in recently is lifting, but it still hasn’t cleared completely. Perhaps once it does, I can hear. But with the little peace and sunshine parting the icky weather, I can hear something. A [voice] is a [voice]….no matter how small (smile).

Horton, one of the world’s largest creatures, is a gentle giant who happens to hear the smallest voice. The voice was so small and so quiet, hardly no one could hear it. But, here came along a large, loud being open enough to hear what others would not…could not. Despite ridicule and some bumps, he listened to the voice and vowed to help whoever was behind it. He listened. He allowed himself to believe it, and his heart was big enough, open enough to receive it.

Taking a lesson from Horton, I am listening to the little Who in my soul. I cannot speak to the promises God has revived in my heart. I can’t hear that at the moment. If I turn everything off, close my eyes and tune in I can hear ‘peace’. Amongst the static in my ears, just under the current of thoughts, I can hear peace.

Perhaps that is all I am meant to hear at the moment.  God knows I have had enough to listen to this year. Maybe to absorb the goodness of the small voice, He’s giving it in tiny baby doses. Just a small voice, willing to be heard amongst the big, loud world.

With peace comes so much for me. It is pregnant with endless possibilities. With peace, I gain vision, voice, confidence, love, and courage (to name a few). From peace, the birth of a better, tamer, wiser me is inevitable.

I definitely will not complain about not knowing or hearing it all right now. Instead, I will hold the little speck of peace and carry it with me keeping it safe. When the time is right, the voice will be heard loud and clear.

~SM

Finding Him In Reflection

My sister-in-love forwarded an email that gave me pause. The email was from a journal company (my weakness, besides planners) speaking on reflection of 2018 and moving forward toward 2019. I typically stay away from all of the new year’s resolution hubbub because it does not seem genuine (IMHO). If change is what a person is really after, they will tackle it any time. Why wait for January 1? Due to how 2018 started off and ended, I plan on being a ginormous hypocrite and being a part of the hubbub. And I think I will start with the email.

I am far from a heathen, but I must admit, God and I have been distant lately. My fault entirely. I allowed a lot of the important parts of my wellness to get swallowed up by other things happening around me, and my relationship with Him was one. When all else fails in my life, faith is the one constant saving me every time. Today, it has faltered and I have no doubt it is because I moved farther away from the source. When I read the email, it painfully reminded me of how far I have wandered. But, thank God for His mercy and grace. Even if I have wandered far from Home, He continues to keep the light on…just for me.

In order to find my way back Home, I have got to stop going in the other direction. I can’t front and say I haven’t been hiding. More and more I have been cutting my circle closer and closer, allowing it to dwindle down to nothing. I have been ducking my head and being passive because parts of me preferred not to even deal. But if I am going to take this upcoming journey and if I am going to get better, I have to turn around and open my eyes. Nothing is ever as scary as the thought of something. The real thing might be hard and a little intimidating, but it is the thought of it being something more than it is that creates hysteria. Instead of playing the scary-thought loop in my head, I need to uncover my eyes, about-face and stare it down.

For the next nine days, I will take a look back at these past twelve months and reflect on the wins. The bad stuff is easy to point out, but there was good. There was great. The first order of business in shrinking the scary is measuring it up against the good. God is in it all, but for me, it is easier to see Him and understand Him in the good. So, I will be intentional when I look back and reflect. I will seek understanding. I will seek goodness and light. I will search for Him in it all.

I can’t say I will be a completely different person when I reach the other side, but I can say that I will be on my way. There is no magic pill to finding your way. There are no ruby slippers to click or fantasy tornadoes whirling about to carry me Home. There is only courage and dirty work, and, if I have nothing else, I know I have the courage to put in the dirty work.

~SM

Finding 40: A Journey of Fortunate Events

The big four-oh. To my sixteen-year-old self, this is twenty-four years past old. To my thirty-nine-year-old self, it’s just another chance to get right. In six months, I will be celebrating a few milestones and I have plans and emotions for each of them…. Except…well…forty.

You would think the woman with five 2018-19 planners (probably a sickness) would have a solid plan for her big year. I spent the last year in my dirty thirties dealing with some major extremes, so naturally, you would think I would spend the first year in my forties shedding it all and dancing in the sun.

Here’s the problem, and it could be the mind/body/spirit-numbing Novocain 2018 talking, I can’t think of anything worth the energy. I want nothing. No lists. No buckets. Nada. Nope. Nothing. I suppose this means I will quietly allow myself to slip out of thirty’s armor and into the satiny little number of forty. I will most likely just keep my feet on the ground and lazily power through. I have spent forty years making mistakes, pushing, goaltending and climbing. It is okay to stop and not force myself to smell a rose, start a business or rebuild. I can just be….right?

Unfortunately, I can’t. There is no way I can sit back and watch life pass by. Trust, I want to. I am tired. I don’t have the energy to deal with the bucket listing and such, but I can muster up a lil’ sumpin. I also can’t say I have must-do items I am looking forward to because honestly, I don’t. What I do have is a red-dirt dusty, slightly bumpy path ahead with dim light overhead. I don’t need lists or big goals. Hell, making it to work on time is goal enough for me. I need no demands. I just need a good pair of shoes and the permission to go.

All of those previous lists and plans were always about finding who I had never really known. All of it was about validation. Job well done! I wanted to hear. You look great! I wanted eyes to say. She’s amazing! I wanted people to think. I can finally say, I don’t need it or want it. I found myself years ago and I like her. We became friends. We found our way to love and joy. We want for nothing. However, we never made the journey to a specific set of coordinates. This will be new. Together we are setting out on a journey to find forty and see what it is all about. The adventure and the discovery along the way is everything. Hope she’s ready…this should be fun.

~SM

Being Helpful

I have about $34 to my name currently. I also have a $20 bill nestled safely and sweetly in my wallet. It has lived there for the past 3 weeks. On top of the $34 and the $20 I have about $1000+ I will  spend in the next few days for a baseball trip–of which I currently do not have. Go figure. The only reason why I have not drowned my sorrows in cake and ice cream just yet is because I have faith that He will make everything okay. But you know what they say…faith without work is dead. So, I decided to put in a little bit of work.

I hate asking for help. I would sit in the dark with only candles for light before I opened my mouth to ask for help. It is unfortunate, but it is who I am. I am learning, however, that that is what family and friends are for. So I put a little bit of my head on their shoulders when my back is crushing the wall. This week (please reference the $1000+ above) my spine is cracking the drywall. I asked for help.

My aunt and uncle were one of the first to answer the call. When my uncle answered the call, he reminded me to tithe. It was a funny thing he had mentioned it because it was nothing more than confirmation. Just a week prior I had prayed about my situation (as a whole) and what I should do and the only thing that came back was that. It stayed on my mind for days afterward–you know that nagging pull and tug? Yes, that was it. Okay God, I understand. I have a plan. Starting July 1 I would have it all in place. So–yea–the thing about God and plans….

Remember the mention of that sweet little $20 bill I have tucked away? It is no longer tucked–in my wallet anyway. YG came into the office looking for food to feed his face. He also mentioned that he was trying to drum up cab fare for a lady who had been sitting in the lobby trying to figure out how she would get to where she needed to go. Angel tap, mental nod, bye bye $20. He took a $20 bill out of his wallet ready to hand it to her and I slipped my $20 out too. “You sure?” He said. “Yup.” I said. “Ok, I will try to get you your money back.” I shook my head. “No need. I don’t want it back.” And truthfully, I didn’t.

Someone sewed a seed for me in my time of need and it seemed only fitting that I did the same. The Angel tap didn’t hurt either. I have learned not to argue with God or to hem and haw at His instruction. We have no idea what His plan is. It feels good to be helpful when I am in need of help. To be able to give openly knowing it is His will and for His good and not my own, feels right. I like feeling good and right. It also feels kinda cool to get my sweet little $20 back…she didn’t need quite so much after all 🙂

~SM