Reining it in

I love that my hair is long enough to pull up into the perfect messy bun.  No strays or stragglers.

I love that I opened this window on my left side and a burst of warm summer wind hit me in the face like a pleasant surprise.

I love that my Pandora is playing all the songs I like so I don’t have to waste any skips.

I love that my dog always knows just when I need her to snuggle up against me and be my friend.

I love that my babies are running through my house having fun despite me yelling at them to knock it off.

I know I will miss their mess and noise someday and I only need a moment of intentional gratitude to sober me.

I love that when I stop and take notice, I am overwhelmed with things to say thank you for.

The hardest thing about being a realist is that you’re really only a pessimist in disguise.

To halt myself from traveling down the familiar gloomy tracks and force instead a stroll down a brighter path…

Well, I’m more comfortable sitting in the shade.

My disappointment hangs from my body,

heavy and always inconvenient.

Protecting me from pain but hard to ignore…and if I’m being honest it only makes it worse.

But I am told to be in the light as He is in the light…

and I was.

Spent the fullness of time feeling welcomed and alive.

Now here we are again, and back to being the last resort.

Wasn’t quite ready to come home to the norm.

I have amends to make and bridges to burn, like calories…and we all know how good I am at that.

Frames and galleries of words that crowd my heart, and the space is getting limited in these chambers.

Bolted with hardware and welded to my arteries.

This kind of blockage requires a skilled surgeon.

Blood pumping through paths I’ve carved out to survive.

A masterpiece.
A bypass of emotion.

Today is a new day that has been made for my gain,

taking a new route and a fresh way.

I will choose gratitude.

What other choice do I have?!

I love that I have mastered the art of coming full circle, even when it seems pointless.

I love that a deep breath and honest words can set my focus strait.

I love that I will turn off this computer and leave the tears behind and get back to living.

Excuse my ramblings today. I just needed to rein it in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gone Fishin’

 

 

Hundreds of friends on social sites but the sight-seeing I do is always alone.

Scenic routes to nowhere.

Breath taking views that always prelude
breath taking falls.

Pride is a faulty fence that won’t hold under your weight.

Especially mine.

I leaned in to rest and got too comfortable.

And I have been trying to dig myself out since.

I hate myself for it.

Because questions only give birth to more questions.

Conversations turn into more conversations.

Everyone is SURE of everything, which is really nothing.

Daring to dig deep but deep thinking doesn’t pay the bills.

 

Talk really IS cheap.

 

I prefer writing poems lately instead.

I like the indirect way it guts my soul.

It  holds me  under the  faucet, like a  fish.

Spilling cold water, blood and secrets.

Baited and hooked.

Filet of fresh foolishness.

Piercing the knife through my belly and up toward that trouble making throat where my voice always escapes me.

Running thumbs up my spine to clear all the waste, (just like you taught me) because no one else is gonna do it.

The sharp blade of reality will scrape the scales and dirt that burden you,

but it never really clears it all.

It only accumulates to add character and flavor.

Wrapped in garlic butter and foil and thrown to the fire to become something worthy of the fight.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Summer Prayer

 

If fire is honor, then we’ll stand and let it burn.

Hot and loud as it calms into a deep burning midnight.

Popping and clapping its truths.

Glowing red and warm; a blanket of appreciation.

Shadows of flames dancing on our faces as we gather around and listen.

 

If water is pure,

let us strip off these pretenses and plunge in.

Washing away all of the expectations.

Easing the heavy weight from our bones, bathing us fresh and new.

 

If the earth is nakedness,

let us run.

Let us take to the fields and carry ourselves to the edges of sight.

Let us stomp our feet in the dust,
to the sound of drums.
Dancing unashamed.

Like the children who still live hidden away
under the layers piled on our hearts.

Let us uncover these wounds and expose them to the open air for healing.

 

If the stars are mystery,

let us follow their lead.

Surrendering our proud explanations and false humility.

Gazing upon the vastness and treasuring the wonder that we are so eager to dismiss.

 

If the moon is lonely,

let us be a friend.

Let us set ourselves aside and turn our faces toward each other.

Let us see what we don’t want to see.

Let us forgive and be forgiven.

 

If the sun is victory,

let it burn brilliant and forever.

Let us turn our faces upward in unison to soak up the radiance that is promised.

Let us lift our hands together in thanks.

Like warriors,
moments away from an earned homecoming.

Finishing strong and whole.

 

 

 

sorella minore

I was 8 years old when you were born.

You were such a beautiful baby, I was jealous of you but not in a bad way.

There are so many things about our younger years that are blurred;
we were set apart.

Destined for division.

 

As I got older, and constantly in trouble, I only seemed to seal that fate.

But now, as time has pushed us past the barriers of adolescents and we make up our own minds about things,

you have become the best kind of friend that I didn’t know I’d need.

You are strong and stubborn and adamant.

You are beautiful, and wildly authentic.

Loud and boisterous.

Hilarious and headstrong.

You are reliable and loyal and hard-working.

Independent and sharp.

You will always argue for the under dog, you can’t help it.

Most people don’t get to see the you that deeply thinks and questions.

Deeply feels and loves, selflessly.

You are a teacher, taking time and liberties that no one else does…or would.

You are vinyl records and recycled bottles of baby houseplants.

You are adult soccer leagues and recorder of our memories.

You are an artist.

Your instruments are everything in your reach.

Pens, pencils, banjo’s, ink,

cast iron skillet and bacon grease.

I’m so proud of you.

Proud to call you my friend .

Proud to call you my sister.

 

(HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🙂 )
 

 

 

 

 

 

Realology

 

 
The real me.

I don’t think you can handle the real me.I don’t think I can handle the real me, which is why I spend so much time and energy trying to dress, suppress and cover.

The real me keeps up with Kardashians and enjoys every ignorant drop of pop-culture, and  I know you do too…or they wouldn’t be rich. We all watch.  The real me has been known to set the DVR…don’t want to miss any rubbish.  The real me watches all the awards shows, red carpets and live coverage even though I pretend like I’m above it.

The real me sings “laa laa laa laa, wait till I get my money right” while I type this.  Because sometimes, the real me listens to some dirty, filthy rap and hip hop.

It’s poetry.

I love it.

Can’t help it.

I’m jealous of it.  Its art.

It is.

It’s real and raw and I can’t help but appreciate.

The real me has the mouth of a sailor. I try not to, but sometimes…you just gotta…I’m tired of pretending I don’t.

I have the sense of humor of 8 fraternity brothers.  Every damn lewd thing under the sun I think is hilarious and it’s probably extremely inappropriate.

The REAL me likes a good love scene in a movie. You won’t catch me blushing or turning away.  Bring it on, I’m not afraid.  My husband has no complaints.  He knows the real, real me and luckily he loves me anyway.

The real me thinks its funny.

SO funny!

The real me can take a joke and surely throw one your way.  The real me will likely make fun of you, it’s an unfortunate self survival technique.  Because making fun of myself is what has kept me alive.  It has saved me.  It’s what I know..so I also know how to apologize.  They go hand in hand.

The real me likes to get tipsy every now and then when my kids aren’t around.  Tie one on and have a silly good time.  Sing oldies at the top of my lungs and laugh at everything.  I like a margarita or a simple beer…which is a sin nowadays.  Everyone is a beer snob and expert.  Maybe I’m just insecure and lame because I feel like the fancy beer tastes terrible.  The real me won’t care because if she drinks enough (which is rare) she likes to smoke a cigar.  The really sweet and cheap ones from the gas station.  The real, deep down me wont feel gross, guilty or in trouble…because she has nothing to hide.  

 

The real me knows..that God already knows.  

 

He already knows the real me that sneaks leftovers from the fridge when everyone is asleep.  An extra scoop here, a bite there.  The real me that over eats to stuff down the urge to go ahead and just be the real me, and let it all hang out.  The real me that loses battles against pastries, bagels,calories and food journals.  Clean eating plans that fall short despite how hard I try or how firm my resolve.   So I try, but I want to have my cake and eat it too..and show no evidence of it.

Don’t we all?

The real me questions God and the bible and if this whole thing isn’t just a big scam.

The real me wonders if I’ve been brainwashed all along.

The real me knows I can’t say these things out loud because (gasp) what would everyone think?

Well, the real me doesn’t need your prayers.

God is always here for me, however that works.  The real me knows that God is real and loves, even the real and raw hidden me.

 

The real me needed your true friendship …you know the kind that you thought you had already given to me and then bailed on when you found out that I was TOO much?

The real me has few real friends.. you wouldn’t approve of.

We laugh at crazy stuff and talk about the dark things that crowd the soul with the practice of keeping them silent…but when they reach the light of day the power hold they had on me fall to the ground like a pile of rusty chains.

Hold on, there’s more.

The real me likes to be alone, but its hard to do things alone.

The real me wishes she could beg for help but she wont because shes prideful.  So,so, so prideful.

I’d rather die than ask you for help again.  Ever again.

The real me wishes I could say that to your face but I wont.  I know that deep down, the real me isn’t that polite.  The real me would shrug and keep walking because the real me doesn’t pretend like everythings fine. The real me is so damn tired of taking the fall.  So tired of taking the blame .  So tired of being responsible. So tired of being at fault.

But the real me cant say that out loud.  We must always keep up appearances.

 

The real me has secrets and regrets.

Darkness. Beyond what you could even imagine.

The real me has carried it a long time.

The real me is so sorry,  You wouldn’t believe how sorry! I could never express. It’s buried too deep.  But the real me is on her way to freedom.  Digging these old things up and letting them go.  So, let go and just let the real me hang on out there…good, bad and ugly, this is what it is.

We’ll see whose still standing here after.

We are all liars, thieves and pretenders.

What would be the harm if we just sat in our discomfort and exposed who really are and what we really feel?

So lets just get real.

Realology.

20140522-114847.jpg

Get a move on!

I just sat down at my computer and cranked up the music.

Subwoofer and all.

It feels so  good.  First song to pop up on my Pandora (Love’s Holiday/Earth, Wind & Fire Radio, if you’re feeling funky) is  Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T”.  Just what I need to light a fire under my ass this morning to literally dust this thing off and get down to business.  He  sings,” don’t you know now is the perfect time…” and he’s right, it is.

It has been way to long.

I have been avoiding my blog, my writing and generally all things I enjoy for sometime now.  I don’t know why I do that?   Must be a part of the weird and continual self-abuse that is my default when times get stressful.   I tend to fold up shop on all things productive and go back to the old way of thinking and managing my emotions when something sucky happens. And yes, sucky stuff has happened.  But I am still here.  My family is doing well.  I have a roof over my head.  All is well. Gratitude washes away all the weariness that has threatened to take over.

The good news is, the time between my old default setting and the fresh and ambitious setting that I prefer is getting shorter and shorter.  Thanks be to God!  My desire to THRIVE is greater than the desire to be feel sorry for myself.

One of my best friends reminded me of a great quote yesterday by the legendary Tony Robbins, “motion is emotion.”

Motion is emotion. 

Our body language and energy level is connected to what we think and feel about ourselves.  How we feel about ourselves dictates the quality of what we do day in and day out.  Even though I feel as though I have to learned this lesson over and over…here it is again today and I’ll be damned if a negative attitude hadn’t snuck in and tried to take over again.  Which is a shame because I have so much to tell you guys about the past few months.  I have gone (mostly) sugar-free.  I have started Pilates.   I began acupuncture to help with managing my foot pain and also to promote healing so that I can get to where I want to get with my fitness goals.  I have been enjoying some great accomplishments!  Even though I have a long way to go, I can”t afford to pull the plug and crawl back into my comfortable cave where everything dulls and comes to a screeching stop just because it seems too overwhelming.

You can’t make momentum out of nothing.  

So today I will GET UP.

GET A MOVE ON.

Maybe put on some Beyoncé and get my groove on.  I will not lie down and let poor and lazy thinking allow me to slip into fatigue and depression (again).  I think this is a danger for any of us moms who stay at home during the day (but that is a whole other blog post!).  If I am making the choice to sit and marinate in all of my negative feelings and fears, how can I ever expect any changes to occur or progress?  This was where I always seemed to fail before.  Throwing in the towel and resorting back to the same old thing before the new thing could take hold.   Putting a halt on all of the things that help me feel better and do better  is about the worst thing I can do.

I will WRITE.

I will post it.  Even if it sucks.  Because I know I should.  Because I know it helps me feel better.  Because I know it helps connect me to everyone else who reads these words and resonates with what I feel, and I know I’m not alone.   Because I know it is my art and my gift and if I want to get better at it, I need to quit worrying about who will read it and what they will think of it.

It’s the perfect time.

Especially now that Pharrell and Daft Punk are in my ear telling me it”s time “to get lucky”.

 

 

 

 

 

Dissecting is necessary for study

20130924-095632.jpg

I have been off the blogging airwaves for a little over a week. My allergies have kept me busy dealing with headaches and misery which in turn has allowed me to excuse myself from writing. Which really means, I have excused myself from checking in with myself and being present and REAL. Sometimes I just get sick of myself and it all seems redundant.

In all honesty, each day I have sat down to write and I feel stumped. Writers block has finally set in after almost 150 posts since February. I just feel like I don’t have anything bubbling up to the surface right now.

There is plenty going on in my life I could write about.
I have struggling family members who haunt my thoughts constantly and weigh heavy on my heart. I have been missing them terribly.
I have witnessed true heartbreak among my friends. Death, divorce and discontentment swirled around in hushed conversations amid many different households. I have made myself available to carry burdens along side them in hopes to lighten the load. Living life together. I have prayed and wondered why? It never gets easier to hear bad news. I have put trust in God that he will surely make beauty from all these ashes.
I have scolded my children. I have had fights with my husband, fights with myself and my very own body, resentful of limitations I allow myself. Resentful of being in my own way. I have yelled and smirked. I have been difficult. Tired, irritable.
I have been juggling money and chores. Made meals and amends. I have been counseled and offered counsel. Showered and dressed. Worried and stressed. I have dodged phone calls and returned them. Faced the music and dodged bullets. Been overly honest and painfully vague. Kept my word and made new commitments. Met goals and completely blew others off. Canceled plans and forgotten things. I have scrolled newsfeed after newsfeed in a weak attempt at being connected but have realized it only leaves me feeling disconnected, bitter and jealous (every single time!).

Yet, I have belly laughed, cried tears of joy and slept so deeply and peacefully for a few nights in a row that it somehow makes up for the harder things.

Life just keeps moving…ready or not.

(P.S. One of my favorite cousins designed this logo for me in honor of my “dissection of an open heart” that is the essence of Realology. Isn’t it cool?)

Image

Reflections


“As adults, we try to develop the character traits that would have rescued our parents.”
– Alain de Botton

This quote absolutely stung my face when I read it.
It rolled across my newsfeed so unassuming I almost missed it. When I finally read it, it attacked me with its depth. I’m still not even sure I have it fully unpacked and examined in my mind.

Why did I find this quote so haunting?

We can all tell stories of our upbringing and have scars to show. Some worse than others, but we all all have a history that we fold up nicely and pack with us everywhere we go. We have moments in our lives where we wished things could have happened differently or not at all.
I’ve heard it said before that “childhood is what you spend your adulthood getting over.”

Our entire belief systems about who we are and the world around us are built within the confines of a couple decades with (in my case) wild, immature 20 something’s at the helm. Sometimes when I look at pictures of my parents (and subsequent step parents) in old albums and see their faces that were captured at ages younger than I am now, I feel like I know them better. Differently. More like peers. My own maturity and experiences shedding an understanding light that was never seen before as a child.

People don’t PLAN for destruction and heart break. They hope and dream and intend for good. For peace. For love and life. The same way my husband and I do. The dreams my parents had navigating through my childhood are probably close to the same we have heading up this ship with our babies. I can’t help but think of what my own children will think when they are in their thirties looking back on us?
Now that I’m a mother, it’s terrifying to think of what imprints I’ve left and have yet to leave. Hoping that there will be something good and valuable in there somewhere! Hoping that our intentions will be known. Praying for them to confidently grow into the people that God created them to be despite us and our selfishness.

If there is anything to learn, it’s that while there is still time I can make the choice to grow and change. To LIVE life fully and be an example to them of how to rise above whatever it is that is hell bent on dragging you down.
This is so hard because it requires painful honesty and admissions. Birthing genuine character requires labor. There’s just no way around it. In the same way that I hope my kids will be able to forgive us and show us grace for the ways in which we will fail them I know that I’m called to do the same with my own parents.
With my own HISTORY.
Maybe even with my own self.
That’s really all the rescuing I need…from my own self destruction.

Instead of living my adult life “getting over” my childhood I would rather just be free to LIVE.

I heard this song this morning and it felt like a burst of fresh, clean air. She sings, ” the glory of God is man FULLY alive”.

May it be so!

“Just Showed Up”
By: Sara Groves

Spending my time sleep walking
Moving my mouth but not saying a thing
Hoping the changes would take by working their way from the outside in
I was in love with an idea
Preoccupied with how a life should appear
Spending my time at the surface repairing the holes in the shiny veneer

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

I’m going to live my life inspired
Look for the holy in the common place
Open the windows and feel all that’s honest and real until I’m truly amazed
I’m going to feel all my emotions
I’m going to look you in the eyes
I’m going to listen and hear until it’s finally clear and it changes our lives

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Oh the glory of God is man fully alive
Oh the glory of God is man fully alive

There are so many ways to hide
There are so many ways not to feel
There are so many ways to deny what is real

And I just showed up for my own life
And I’m standing here taking it in and it sure looks bright

Look what I’ve been missing

Leftovers

Yesterday at church the sermon was about left overs. Leftover scraps and portions. Food, paper, fabric, whatever really. What do we do with our leftovers of life? How do we organize them? Decide what’s important? What to keep, what to throw out, give away?
We all take pictures to memorialize a moment. To keep the memory. We might even keep cards and letters and notes for the same reason. To capture the sound of a voice that we don’t get to hear anymore or re-read over and over again the words of a prized and treasured love letter.
The punch line being that everything we have today is tomorrow’s leftovers. The one thing that does not wither or fade or change is the love of God.

We acquire many things in this life. Stuff. Possessions. Relationships. Experience. Memories. Wealth. Debt. Friendship. Love. Hate.
Some of which we give and share freely, some we hoard for ourselves. Some we wish we could rid of and desperately try to.

At the end of the day, with my head on the pillow before drifting off to sleep it all becomes this morning’s leftovers. What deserves my attention and energy?

One of the books I am committed to reading for my bootcamp/rehab is John Orterburg’s book,” Love Without Reason”. He talks about, “One of the great miracles in this life is that God pays attention to us, this is how He shows his love.” He shares different excerpts from the psalms that talk of Gods face shining upon us, to give us peace. Turning His face toward us to give us grace. He says,” to turn your face toward someone is to give that person your whole-hearted, undivided attention. It is not the casual listening of a preoccupied mind. It is a statement: I have nothing else to do. Nowhere I’d rather be. I’m fully devoted to being with you. This is the kind of attention God lavishes on us.”

I know that in my life, I miss this. I have been so distracted and preoccupied that I have not noticed this lavish love. I’ll even confess that I have doubted its very existence. Trying to manage all of my stuff leaves me little time or attention for much else.

Orterburg says,” attention is so valuable we don’t just give it, we pay it.”

Boomshakalaka.

What am I paying attention to?

We are all given a currency each morning of energy. Where we spend it either proves to be a great investment or terrible waste. Our thoughts, our attitude, or attention is all up to us to spend wisely. It will determine what leftovers we will be dealing with tomorrow. Ones of value and worth or just heavy baggage.

May we all experience the lavish love of Gods face shining upon us this morning, and may it cause us to choose to pay more attention to the really really good stuff in our lives today.

Listen to the lyrics:

How Jesus, Disney, and Nicki Minaj keep me motivated

Day 5 of my in home boot camp/rehab. I must report that I am doing surprisingly well! Many thanks to all of this who are praying and encouraging me along this journey ( I really hate the over use of that word!) I am still in the cleansing phase, and am enjoying feeling better inside and out. In the back of my mind I worry because I’m always a great “starter”, but this time I’ve made up my mind to finish. Part of why I’ve made it public, for the accountability.

I am motivated by many things in my life. Some are great, (boringly obvious though right? No offense anybody! Just keepin it REAL. It is Realology after all.) My children, my familia, my faith, the bible, good friends, great books, fresh poetry. All of these I have blogged about before.

Other motivators may be slightly inappropriate and selfish but…?

Whateves.

My OBSESSION with Nicki Minaj. Seriously. If the song “Pound the Alarm” doesn’t light a fire under you ass, there just isn’t hope for you. She is brutally honest in her “spoken word” (rapping) and all about women being empowered and champions. Overcoming and rising above. There are some songs about, ehh hemm, other stuff too…but I skip those. (Wink-wink) With her in my headphones, I’m murdering that treadmill, ya feel me?

Another motivator is Disneyland. Ok ok ok. Some of you who know me in real life are like, ” Ugh, here we go…the Disneyland obsession. Good Lord.” But it helps!!!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” -Walt Disney

If I can just imagine that instead of walking around my block, I’m walking down Main Street…it makes it a little more fun. I walk around Disneyland ALL DAY and am never bothered by it. So when I walk ( and hopefully soon, run) I imagine that I’m preparing for the next trip. My ultimate Disney dream would be to run in a marathon and earn one of those awesome Disney marathon medals. Someday I will, watch me suckers!

In all honesty, the biggest motivator of all is my husband. He is gonna kill me for making this blog post all about him, but I have to gush. He never ever ever gives up on me. He never looks at me or treats me any differently based on my size or how I look. I feel nothing but acceptance for who I am as a person and his wife. To honor him and how much I love him and am grateful for him I will post a poem in his honor. Gotta find fresh motivation everyday, right? Have a wonderful weekend!

He doesn’t know I’m watching.

So many years together now,
you’d think I’d grow tired.
His arms that are muscled with years of working,
providing.
His hands, strong and skilled.
Reliable.
Fixing our messes. Repairing our breaks.
His back, broad and wide.
Spreading out into shoulders like wings to hide in,
and I do.
When I bury my face into his neck, he tucks me in.
Breathe in love.
I was made to fit in there.
No matter my size, he makes sure I do.

He doesn’t know I’m watching.

Playing with our children.
Laughing, running, playing.
Hiding and tickling.
Someday these will just be our memories.
Affection free and abundant.
They’re so lucky, I think constantly.
They have no doubt of their importance to him,
He leaves no room for that.

He doesn’t know I’m watching.

As he sleeps and I lie awake.
I listen to him breathe,
Heavy.
Steady.
My hand on his chest,
thumping heart beat.
I’m so lucky, I think constantly.
No room for doubt.
Just gratitude.

Previous Older Entries

Also forgot to share this post-workout pic from yesterday! I'm surrounded by awesome women who push me!!! 😜💥🔥😍 #girlpower #selfieoritdidnthappen

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