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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Our Mess is Blessed

After four days on the road I return home to the nest.  It's trying to be Christmas in my tiny piece of this world.  The lights are all strung from the gutters with care but it's rain that pours down and cloudy skies everywhere.  It's trying to be Christmas.

I come home with a suitcase full of dirty clothes and an aching back from carrying my pack.  The tree is lit and tries to be Christmas,  but .......broken light strands and boxes of ornaments litter the room.  Not quite.  We're trying.  Because our family is fragmented trying to figure out the future.  We're trying to be Christmas. 

And in the midst of the trying we're growing and thriving and the man boy takes his drivers test in the worst of conditions and passes with a high five and a declaration that in the midst of the rain and the mess he will be King of the Castle for tonight.  And we declare it to be so.  Our mess being blessed.

And the young girl's plans fizzle and fade and together we bring bread and meat and cheese wrapped in paper into our little cocoon and hover over the crumbs while Taylor Swift brings us home on every station and we fade in and out of the crabby and the blessed.  And the lights they swing in the wind pounded by the rain, trying to be Christmas.

And we gather in our home, we center our hearts and we decide to be all that we can be.  We decide to be blessed in our mess.

And the movie is sad and the tears pour like the rain and I am cleansed knowing that we have what we have always had, we have the hope and the promise and the choice and we are blessed in this mess.

And the girl looks up at the tree of lights still scant on bulbs but high on intent and she sighs with anticipation, "I can't wait for Christmas."  And in that moment the hope swells and we know that we are blessed in this mess. And our mess is someone's else's blessing and while the future is unknown and the mind runs wild. We are blessed in our mess. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Thanks.. The Giving .. The Differences - May They All Come to Dinner.

It's Thanksgiving Eve and the preparations have begun full on in most houses around the country.  Pinterest is abuzz with the latest recipes and the grocery stores are alive with activity. 

Thanks ....... giving.   

So while I hope your potatoes are perfectly mashed and your gravy lumpless, I also hope you choose to spend your holiday this year in  thanks and in giving

Please for the love of God and all traditions...... be ...... thankful.  For all that you have and all that is possible in you.  For the tinyest of things and the largest of our creator.  Please put down the potato masher for just a minute and close the oven door and just breathe in the grace and the love and be thankful.  No matter your situations or conditions you can find a small sliver of something that you are truly thankful for.

And don't forget the giving.

Give of your praise and give of your time and throw mom a few bucks to chip in on the turkey and fixings for once.  Clean up the table, sweep the floor, carry out the trash.   Give an apology, give out praise, find a place to give.

And please for the love of the holiday and cranberry relish, do not spend the holiday bashing the groups who are unlike yourself.

Yes there is much in the news you could stew about and rant about and cuss about and all of that. This only contributes to the problem.  Everyone gathered around a table of people that look like you, act like you, worship like you and eat like you looking out at the others that are different with judgement and your idea of how things ought to be ....for them.  How they should dress and talk and respond.  While you sit unchanged.   And in your mind ....right.

And it's not just about race, or religion it's fundamentally about differences of any kind.  Because yes there is discrimination alive and well and it's not just saved up for the black versus white, I've experienced this still in 2014 with men in business who would rather work with a male consultant than me as a woman. No, they don't riot in the streets, but they make it clear.  Having "rights" shouldn't spill over into your right to judge and dictate that everyone should be more like you because differences make you uncomfortable. 

And the more we fear those differences and draw lines around those differences, the greater the gap becomes.  I love my country for the opportunity that it brings me but it also sickens me at times.  It doesn't take long when traveling outside of the US to find the "ugly American" ranting and complaining about something not being like it is "at home".  We are often ugly ungracious guests when we leave our cushy creature comforts.  We are entitled and secluded and we look ridiculous standing in the middle of someone's home complaining because it's not like our own.

As we sit in our neighborhoods full of "our kind" and watch the news just for our town or our country and make skinny little narrow minded judgments about politics and world views and how the others should fix their problems. The problems we've never actually seen except from the large flat screen that we stare at for hours each day. 

So please, don't sit around your beautiful table this year abundant with food and talk about the others in a way that evokes judgement.  Don't complain about the politics or the race riots or the guy that sits behind you at church and picks his nails.

Be thankful and giving and for the love of all holidays, plan some time to get outside of your teeny tiny little world. Plan a trip outside the country to experience the full breadth and depth of the human spirit. Turn off the tv news and go and get groceries for your elderly neighbor. Decide to take a long look in the mirror, staring deep into your eyes until you get to your soul and your own heart. 

Ask yourself who you are. You'll know if it needs work if you begin to justify your own actions and beliefs. Because we're all a bit of the problem.   Decide if you're willing to consider that you may not know everything. And that your ways may not be the only right ways.  And then invite those folks of a different race from across town into your home and welcome them and learn about them. Be open and vulnerable about their differences and their ideas.

If you have never left this country and most of your friends and family look like you, talk like you, and worship like you, then you don't get to vote on what's wrong with this country and the world because you haven't really seen it, heard it or tried to love and understand it.

When your world gets more colorful and full of views outside your own to ponder and consider and your heart gets open and you try some food you never thought you'd try and love it because you love the beautiful family that introduced it to you, then we're getting somewhere.  When your heart aches for the brokenness of all kinds and all colors, then we're getting somewhere.

Then we're closer to the thanks and to the giving. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Girls, Girls, Girls

It's Monday morning.  The coffee is poured and the conference calls have begun.  Those are the same as most Monday mornings. What is dramatically different is...... I'm fresh off a girls weekend.  I real  girls weekend with a hotel for a couple of nights and suitcases full of outfits we never wore but had "just in case".

Girls are girls as long as they are "your girls".  My crew this weekend had an18 year age gap and lots of differences.  But our similarities are where it all counts. We are the same in our hearts and laughs and the protection of each other.  In the love.  In the intention of filling each other up.

And we succeeded on all counts this weekend.  So today's Monday also has giggles to myself about stories and laughs and the goodness of a few days with "the girls".

So if you don't have a set of girls that do this for you ... find them.... create them ... watch for them.  And mostly look in the mirror and ask yourself if you're ready to open your heart to people that will raise you up with honesty, out of love, and the perfect balance of knowing the right martini for the moment. 

What I saw happen this weekend was all about energy.  Everywhere we went we brought an amazing energy.  Shop keepers came around their booth with our receipts and thanked us for being the fun shoppers.  Others told us we were "perfect".  Which isn't at all true in the regular ways, but we are perfect in our energy.  We know we are responsible for the energy we bring into our spaces. It's not that we're without problems or concerns or scars or worries.  We have them all and we are each others salve for what hurts and hope for what has yet to come and in each moment there is a reason to toast.  To raise our glass in the moment full of gratitude. To celebrate those moments we can raise our energy to new heights just by being together. 

Photo Cred: www.colorfully.eu