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Monday, October 6, 2014

GMoney and the Fall Breakers - A Vacation Tale

Fall Break.  Three women, Two Middle Schoolers and a Four Year Old.  In the car ..... for 14 hours.  Seven stops for liquid leveling either putting it in or letting it out.

Sounds like a dream vacation doesn't it?

After what seemed like 3 days driving through the backwoods of Alabama, (I swear I heard banjo music coming from the woods.  On the upside you can buy crickets and pee in the same place $1.50 for 50. )  we finally pull into the outskirts of Panama City Beach.  Our first indicator this wasn't a typical week in PCB, a large flashing sign that read EVENT WEEKEND.  Translated means, Holy Crap Traffic.  But no ladies and gentleman of the road trip, not just any traffic ............... Bikers.

Two miles into town and we are the outcast SUV in a sea of bikers.  Every size, shape, gender, color, and nationality known to the universe straddled over their steel horse.  And here we are, an SUV full of moms and kids rollin in their midst.  We lean forward pressing our noses to the window trying to make out the tattoos on the young lady in front of us.

But it's okay, they have security.

Photo Cred: www.PCBrally.com 


We find our condo which is just as beautiful as the website says it is except the pics on VRBO didn't show the tattoo shop across the street or the 5000 bikes patrolling out front.  We can't stop laughing. The noise is deafening.

We pull into the condo front and center to unload the road warriors and our stuff and pulling in beside us....none other than G Money from Detroit on the biggest baddest most beautiful white motorcycle I've ever seen that I'm sure cost more than my SUV.  He's blasting some home boy tunes from Detroit and carrying a pizza.  We hang with GMoney for a minute or two admiring his bike and then let him get on his way to enjoy his dinner.  Still laughing.  We load back up to find our own dinner with the giddy girls in the back making up a cheer about GMoney.  Who says the middle school white girls from the country can't appreciate some color and flavor to their lives.

We find a little hole in the wall pizza joint and order our food, sit down at the picnic table to wait.  The string of bikes on the street is so loud we have to lean in and shout across the table to talk while the girls clap their hands to the GMoney cheer which to the adults has lost it's allure. Every time the bikes hit that loud thunder clap sound on the street one of us jumps out of our seats and the rest of us roar with laughter. Laughing, yep, that's what we go on vacation for.  The sound scares the beejuzes out of us and gets our heart pumping and then we laugh, which is exactly what our hearts need.

Full of carbs and cheese, we park at the condo to find that we are directly across from the final concert night of the rally.  An AC/DC cover band perk. We didn't have to buy tickets, just parked in the garage.  #winning #laughing

We wake the next morning to find the bikers packing and moving out of our fall break vacation.  I head out on my long run to see them off and in act of spiritual alignment, my iTunes "shuffle all" provides far more heavy metal than usual, which is good for my soul and really good for my pace.









Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Because I Needed the Space, and Filled it With Grace

Today I needed the space.  And I took it without regret or guilt.

I laced up my running shoes and I ran until my legs grew weary.  Then I sat in mediation and prayer and where the physical release had cleared some space, I filled it with God's Grace.  Desperately needed, I lapped it up thirsty and grateful.  I let it fill all the spaces until it poured out of me like sweat from my pores.

Because children are being brutally murdered for loving the same Lord that I love.  Because Robin Williams is dead, strangled by the darkness.  Because my dear friend is lying in surgery as we speak to remove the cancer that has attacked her precious body.  Because the clot of blood locked in my mother's leg has her down for days.  Because young moms sobbed while their babies went off to school today.  Because my friend isn't getting her boy from Uganda like she had planned. Because while growing another precious child in the womb, my friend will always mourn the loss of the one that came and went far too soon. Because relationships lie in pieces at my feet.  Because people who once loved me are disappointed  in me.  Because the brokenness will never really end. 

And in the midst of brokenness, I knew I had to take the time to seek the Grace, the ever-loving Grace.  The Grace that fills the cracks and doesn't ask who caused them.  The Grace that knows the pain and knows the ache and acts as a salve to heal.  The Grace that is available to all who seek it. 

And I open the windows and let the breeze blow through my house, my heart, my mind.  And I am reminded that I am love, I am loved, I am forgiven, I am given grace.  Sweet, sweet, grace. 

I will move through today with a peace and a knowing and a grateful heart.  Grateful to openly praise and pray and love.


So I’m breathing in Your grace
And breathing out Your praise
Matt Redmon lyrics

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are?

Ever had these words thrown at you?  Usually it's in a spirited debate.  Lately there's been interesting dialogue about who a person really is versus what they post on Facebook.  Facebook is often your highlight reel.  Isn't that how you really want it to be?  Do you really want me to post about who I really I am, especially the ugly parts.  The true epitome of #nofilter.

A recent spirited debate got me thinking about who I really am.  Lest there be any confusion from the beautiful hydrangea pictures that I post or the funny quips and quotes from my kids and the snippets from my morning scriptures, I am much more than that.

I could quickly borrow lyrics from Meredith Brooks and quote:
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between

 


But maybe I should be more specific. I stood back and looked at some of my posts and pictures and can see how one would misconstrue the true fullness of me.  I live in a beautiful home that I sometimes wonder if I deserve, I have a job that I love and kids that so far are looking like they might turn out okay.  It's still really too early to tell.

However, much of what I remember about who I am started in a mobile home, or a trailer as we called it, plopped down on an acre of land given to my parents by my grandparents with a gravel driveway and the most beautiful dandelions a kid could want. Where my mom would stay up late and wait on my dad to get home from night shift, eating the hulls from the popcorn so he could come home and enjoy the good parts.  A place where a can opener in the window would bring my favorite cats screeching from acres far and wide to come and nest and eat and purr.  Where sometimes the animals we loved wouldn't make it home from acres far away, either eaten by survival of the fittest or squashed on the road by crazy Sadie that drove way too fast on our country road. 

I grew up with people that crawled under your house and often in your crap, literally, because my grandfather did plumbing and heating and lots of other jobs that you paid for because you never learned how to do.  You needed him and I learned about hard work and being paid for it.  I learned about sacrifice when many a family meal, he would get up and go because your toilet didn't work or your heat stopped working on Christmas Eve and rather than honor our Christmas meal, he left us and made sure yours was warm and good and dry.  One year, when I was old enough to "do the books" in the family business I charged double time for a holiday visit which had never been done before.  My grandfather scolded me and told me that we didn't do those things and explained to me that those people didn't have that kind of money.  My grandfather curses like a sailor in pain but knows the value of treating people well.

I grew up with a father that worked his way up from a night shift mechanic to a well paid engineer and was too busy working that he skipped that college education part.  Many of his young colleagues fresh out of the frat house and laden-ed with student debt probably didn't want to know that.

I've seen scuffles and fights among family and addiction gripping their very souls and all gathered round the plastic table cloth at grandmas house out of love.  I've seen my mom build fence and take out brick chimneys while my dad was at work and follow the ambulance when our baby cousins were born too early and she didn't want to miss the only breaths he had in case there weren't enough.

I've seen money change hands when we didn't deserve it but just because we needed it without shame or judgement or fear, only out of love.  I've seen many a candle lit on a sheet cake covered in chocolate icing. My language is salty, learned carefully over the years as a generational art form.

With my uncle's permission, I've driven a car long before the BMV thought it was okay and cut Christmas trees on the side of the road in the dark of the night.  I've drank sugar in my milk and stirred it like coffee just like the grandmas and aunts, listening to stories of the factory.  I've watched family take their factory money and turn it into mounds of security and others drink their paycheck before church started on Sunday morning.

So yes, I post the beautiful and the inspirational and the funny and the good.  Not because I don't know the darker sides, but because I do. Because I've cried myself to sleep with hurt and anguish and pain, because I've huddled on my closet floor afraid to face the day, because I've had the awful manager at the fast food place threaten me as a young girl, because I've seen the hurt in my child's eyes from my own words and anger. Because I've gone on the jail visit to see family on Christmas Eve, because I've broken the refrigerator door in a bout of anger.

Because  .....
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between

And because I know the dark and the light, I will continue to share the light and the beauty and the funny and inspired.  Not because it's all that I know, but because it's all that I seek.