We Need A Flawless Constant

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{photo by Julie de Waroquier)

Sometimes, I feel like I put out a lot of effort, and it often feels like it goes unanswered.

It feels empty, sometimes.

I force myself to send it out, and often get nothing back.

But, I am starting to realize that this may just be what it is supposed to be.

A lot of push and pull.

A lot of unanswered effort.

We win sometimes, but we will lose most of the time.

Community is messy.

Heart friends are hard to find.

When you find them, you have to hold on like hell, because they are rare.

This sounds depressing, but I think it might be freeing.

Freeing to realize that beauty isn’t supposed to be common.

Divine moments would be less divine if they were experienced so frequently.

It may be better to expect to be burned. Low expectations means there is less disappointment and more surprises.

And since I’m stating a bunch of really hard truths, I will say this:

I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t trust others, in fear that they will hurt me. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I want to leap, and then tend to my heart. But, I am starting to understand why guarding and protecting our little hearts is necessary.

And, I may not be very good at it.

I think I am at a place in my life where how I am treated, has little effect on my core. My faith has come too far to let people munk up its’ waters. I know who I am. I know where I stand. My ground is firm.

But, community can be messy.

Heart friends can be hard to find.

But, my spirit can not be weakened by others. I won’t allow it. I love myself too much to let other people be assholes to me.

That might be the most profound truth in this long list of self talk.

I love my family. Love my husband. Love my little daughter. I love us, too much, to let others wreak us.
And so, maybe I need to learn to jump a little less often. Maybe I need to learn to protect us harder. Maybe I can’t be the kind of person who trusts easy. Maybe, it is necessary to guard stronger. Because I love to love people, but in life, I’m learning that people don’t love back easy. We are too messy as a collective people to freely love each other, and do it well.

I think this is why we need a God that never fails. We need a flawless constant.

I do, at least.

{self talk: brought to you by me, in this strange little heart place that I am in}

Small Prayers

I remember how broken I felt last summer, as I watched the news coverage for the Waldo Canyon Fire. I remember wiping tears off my face and whispering prayers for the helpless. It was unimaginable then, and now, not even a year later, my city is in flames again. It’s hard to be here in Salt Lake when my heart is at home. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are the days that we spent at my grandparents house in Black Forest. I remember watching antelope through binoculars with my grandfather on their big porch. I remember helping my Nana in her garden. I remember running around in their corral with my cousins and playing in their pond. And,  I remember burying my grandfather in the Black Forest cemetery.

My sister’s husband lost his grandfather last week. His parents returned home from the funeral, and had to evacuate their home. So in midst of grieving, they had to leave a home that they have made memories in for over 20 years. At this point, their address is still not on the preliminary assessment list. And, as I sit here and wait for updates on the destruction that my city is facing, I feel like my faith is being challenged.

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Last summer when the Waldo Canyon Fire was engulfing neighborhoods of friends that I grew up with, I said this about prayer…

“It sounds so insignificant when we are faced with the heaviest of circumstances, but it is all that we can do, and Jesus calls it enough. He commands us to do it, tells us that nothing is too great, and we should bring all requests before Him. His House. We must pray for His House.”

I felt faith well up inside me, and though it was hard, I remember it was easy to trust. But now, in this moment, if I am honest, I feel like my prayers are empty. I feel like they aren’t enough. I know in my heart they are heard, but in my head, they feel so small.

I feel small.

I wish that I felt like my prayer was powerful. I wish that I could say that I can feel them move. I have faith. I have hope. But, in this moment, I feel so very small.

All we can do is wait. Sit and wait for this horrific tragedy to end. And, all I can do is pray. Pray and hope that my faith is enough. I want to bravely say that our prayers sustain. In my heart, I know that they do. In my heart, I know that they are worthy. But, in this moment, my soul feels uncertain.

Join me in prayer, no matter how small you may feel. 

Donations:

To donate $10 to Care and Share, text “donate” to 41010. The donation will appear on your next phone bill. Or you can make a donation online at www.careandshare.org. Indicate that the donation is for “fire response.”

To make a donation of any amount to the Pikes Peak Community Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund, launched Tuesday to benefit nonprofits providing local disaster relief, visit www.ppcf.org/products/emergency-relief. The fund is modeled off of last year’s Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund but will have more flexibility, according to the website.

You can also purchase a Wild Fire Tee. 100% of profits go to the Pikes Peak Emergency Relief Fund.

Its a Mom Life.

A typical day for me begins before 7am. Kinsey has settled into a 7pm-7am schedule, and while I miss the days when she would sleep in until 9am, I like to roll out of bed, grab her from her crib, and spend a few minutes cuddling in the “big bed.” We run our errands, and are often home before 9:30am, which means that I never deal with lines or crowded aisles. We spend almost 2 hours a day in total, reading books. Kinsey really loves “Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?” I power through board book after board book, but this one, she stops creating whatever mess that she is working on, and listens to the story. We usually watch at least 2 episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba, or the first half, or the last half, of the Lorax. Kinsey loves music, and dancing, and I have probably seen the Lorax, in parts, about a hundred times over. (Suggestions for other movies with catchy musical numbers, appreciated). We do puzzles. Or, I do the puzzle, and she pulls off the pieces and holds them out shouting “du! ah! uh!” And I respond with, “Yes, that is a cow. Cow. Cow. The cow says Moo. Cow. Where is the duck?” And, she gets it right about 1/3 of the time. We listen to music. A lot. Kinsey spends close to 3 hours in total playing by herself. Some may respond with “What? by herself?” and get all judgey, but I believe that independent play is important. I will often hear Kinsey working on saying new things, one word in particular that begins with a “D.” I’m pretty sure she is trying to say “Dog” but only time will tell. Our day finishes up with cuddles, and a couple of stories, and Kinsey curls up with her Hippo and the day ends.

This is my life. On repeat. I love every moment.

Except today, I cried a lot. I can’t really explain what the problem was, except that, I talked to one of my closest friends on the phone for the first time in a very long time, and when she asked how I was doing, tears started streaming down my face.

I do a lot for my daughter. I try to keep her alive, happy, and am now starting the part where I am responsible for how she interacts with others. It is a very massive responsibility.

And, lately, my husband’s job has consumed much of his time (not by his choice), and so the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, has fallen on me as well. And somewhere, in the trying to do everything for my family, I forgot to submit a very important paper to one of my graduate classes.

I got an email today that said “I am grading your final projects” and suddenly my heart started racing, and I quickly replied back with “I thought they were due on Monday? Did I really do this? Please advise. I may have a heart attack over my massive oversight.” Thankfully, my professor is an angel, and replied with “I thought it was weird when I didn’t see your paper. Submit it by Monday, and I will not take off any points. Just breathe.” Grace given to me when I was completely undeserving of it. This is graduate school, and what in the actual fuck was I thinking?

I was thinking that time with my family, all of us, together, is a rarity. I was thinking, it was April 1st, not April 9th. I was so consumed with my job as a parent and a wife that I forgot that I exist too.

I used to do things for me. I used to run for me. I used to have coffee dates with my girlfriends without a baby attached to my person. I used to laugh more genuinely because I took time for myself.

I am severely starved for alone time. And, this has been a complete and total failure of my own doing, because I never stopped and communicated what I needed. I thought that I was not important. I thought that I could handle all of it. I thought, that I could give and give, and always feel good about it. That is not true to who I am, as a person. While, I would love to be completely devoted to others, my mental health can not be well if I don’t stop.

This post is hard to write. And, because I am being vulnerable, you should know that I write it through tears, because expressing this monumental moment in my life, is difficult, in a way that I did not expect. I can easily admit that I am not the perfect parent, or that I am not the perfect wife, or friend, or sister, or daughter, but to admit that right now, at this moment in my life, I feel like I am failing at all of it…well, it scrapes at my heart, and I feel ruined.

Lately, I have neglected this space, where I write, because in all honesty, I have been deliberately neglecting myself. I don’t know how I will put everything back into its rightful place, but I hope, that in admitting that I need to change some things, that I will actually hold myself accountable to doing that.

I suppose this part is also mommyhood. And, marriage. And, life. Hard parts. Questions. And, some difficult truth.