Hold On…Just a Little Longer

It seems like it’s been a lifetime since I last talked to you and in some ways it truly has been. So much in my life has changed and then changed again, so although there are lots of words waiting in the wings, I’m not really sure where to begin with all of it. There is a huge lesson in all of it though and that is, just when you think you cannot bear to deal with even one more thing, one more thing comes along and you fight your way through it. You take one more step toward your belief in yourself being re-established. You take one more step away from the expectations of others. It’s a scary place to be sometimes. Standing far, far outside the relative safety of your comfort zone and all that it entails.

As you take those first tentative baby steps, you find yourself having to hold on through one more mind bending explosion of disbelief. Hold onto all those emotions you’re feeling for just one more minute that turns into one more hour and one more day. Eventually, the days turn into weeks and then months have gone by with no sign of a light at the end of this journey. Your comfort zone is now far removed and you’re no longer sure it ever really was your zone of comfort. Rather it was a place in life where you simply settled because that’s what you thought you were supposed to do. That’s the place you were supposed to be. That’s the place where it was best for all concerned if you just planted yourself and did not budge at all.

I would’ve never thought of running as something I was meant to do, or something I was supposed to do and certainly not something that was implanted in me to do. I’d always despised it before. Somehow though, running became my peace of mind and even that was taken from me and I found myself second guessing its necessity. Until the headaches and insomnia returned in full force. Oh yes my friends! Some people turn to drugs and alcohol or prescription medication to alleviate the stress of life and aid in their sleep cycles. I had been on prescription headache relief and sleep aids for two years before I really got serious with the amount of miles I ran every week. Once my mileage became a nice steady base of 30 miles a week it was like a veil was lifted, the insomnia was there one day and all of a sudden it was just gone. I could sleep! The headaches went away with only a few stragglers who held on…

Hold on for one more month. Do whatever you need to do. Tie a knot in that rope you’re holding onto for dear life and pray that it’s strong enough to keep you safe. Pray that it’s strong enough to keep you from tumbling back down into the hole you’ve spent these months crawling out of. Granted, it was a hole that I helped dig. Every time I turned my back on what I felt was right. Every time I compromised the boundaries I’d established for myself and our family. Every time I allowed someone in my life, an important someone no less, to make me feel as though balancing between my needs and that of the family was a selfish act. Is it selfish to take care of oneself? I say not! Everything that I’ve learned in the last 28 years of parenting has taught me that in order to be the BEST parent I can be I must take care of myself first.

What is it about being a mother that makes it okay for someone to come along and tell you that what you are doing is not enough? You are not enough. You are selfish. You cannot take time away from the “family” to replenish your soul because it’s not right. You cannot spend time with others who are of a like mind because they’re not your family and the entirety of your focus must be on just your family to the exclusion of all else. Oh, and just for good measure, while you’re being repeatedly told that these are all selfish acts, you have to put on this act of perfection for others. Nobody would believe you if you told them that you live with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Once the doors close and any temporary residents depart, the mask comes off, the joker goes away and the coldness arises from the depths. Sounds dramatic I know, but that makes it no less true. Hold on.

Just hold on. That’s what running ultras has taught me. Every mountain eventually tops out and then you are coasting back down again. When your legs tell you that they cannot possibly take another step that they’re too tired, you have to fight that feeling and keep moving. I had to keep moving forward and break out of the set expectations that were before me. Breaking out of those expectations meant breaking vows I’d made to God and that was a big deal to me. When one makes a vow to God you don’t simply break it without a lot of deep reflection and conversations with your God. How could I cleave our family in two and cause a huge disruption in our lives? Many nights of fitful sleep over the course of several years. I asked for guidance and none appeared. I prayed for strength and I received more trials.

On one particular day there was a moment when it all reached a very anti-climactic breaking point and I knew it was over. I prayed for a method to help me begin the process and within days I had my answer. The method was provided. I knew in that moment and every moment since that this action of breaking my vows was acceptable in the eyes of my God. You can call it coincidental or whatever you want to call it. I held on some more. This was just the beginning and it was not going to be without pain. How ironic is it that when you ‘fall in love’ there’s no pain with the butterflies in your belly, but when you find yourself disliking the person you were supposed to love through ‘thick and thin’ there is so much pain you’re not quite sure where it all comes from.

Pain. I learned all about this facet of life from a very early age and every step along my journey has only taught me more information about it. How deeply you can feel pain before it knocks out your other senses. How much pain you can tolerate before you just become numb to it all. Running taught me that pain is really an issue of mind over matter. Put it out of your mind then it no longer matters. Think about something else other than the pain and before you know it – you no longer feel the pain you once felt. This journey through the divorce process was very similar. There were days when I was in so much pain I did not know how I could possibly continue to move forward. I second guessed every single decision made.

Yes. I second guessed the decision. For those of you who know me personally this may come as a shock. Maybe, just maybe, I was overreacting. Maybe the problem was me and my way of thinking. There’s truth there you see. I was growing, branching out into other endeavors of life and felt as though I was not able to breathe or move without asking first for permission. Maybe comfortable was better than this struggle. If I just apologized and agreed with all that he’d wanted me to be, maybe we could save our marriage…..again. There was another side of me though that would not accept this. If our marriage was meant to be saved it would take two people wanting to do so not just one and I’d seen not a single sign from him that he was desirous of saving it.

Again there’s the correlation between running and life. Second guessing yourself and failing to follow through with your plan which then results in failing to accomplish the mission you set out for. I set the course, maintained the course and followed my heart as well as my mind along the way without deviation. It hurt. There were days when the pain was immeasurable. I missed……..wait. WHAT? What did I miss? The relative ease and comfort of knowing exactly what to expect from that particular rollercoaster is what I missed. Going around and around in circles, upside down and feeling as though my insides were being torn out by way of my heart is what I missed? Oh, there were good times too, but often they were simply bandaids to cover the wounds that had sunk in deep like a fish hook.

It’s over now. Finally. I can breathe and now learn what there is to discover about this person I’ve become and am becoming. There will still be pain and there are many more lessons left to learn, but I’m looking forward to the road ahead with our daughters. I’m looking forward to demonstrating for them that when you truly love someone there are sacrifices that need to be made, but they should never be of self belief. Hold on and be strong. Hold your course and love yourself enough to know that there is more to this life than what exists inside this little bubble of a comfort zone. Step outside of it and see the entirety of the world you’ve been looking at through your single, little window.

Life goes on….

Peace

~TLT

 

Pawns in King Solomon’s Court

I have much on my mind this day, and the words seem stuck in my head as though they’re struggling to make it out of their tangled maze – though the results they dread. Children are a gift from God above. They’re given to us for whatever reasons He has seen fit. As we go through the motions of our lives, the little ones are often caught in the crossfire of mixed emotions and childish games. These little people have their very own thoughts and feelings though and are not meant to be used as pawns to cause pain to those we see fit to harm.

King Solomon of the Bible told the story about the selfishness of human beings who look out for their own best interest, rather than for the best interest of the child. We’re to guard them with our lives, hold them up to the highest esteem and keep them safe while they follow their own dreams. As parents we ought not to put them in a situation where they must make a choice to love one more than the other. There is naught that breaks my heart more than to watch the actions of a child who is so confused by the situation they believe in order to love their father, they cannot love their mother.

It would be the same feeling if the situation was reversed and a misguided child was under the assumption that in order to love his mother, he had to abandon his father. As parents it is our responsibility to love our children unconditionally and with a consistent nature so that they feel secure enough they know they don’t have to choose. I imagine myself in the shoes of the kings court….ready to sacrifice the child to the afterlife..in order to prevent them from being used as a tool to cause pain. I’d rather give up my own life and sacrifice my state of happiness than to make my children choose that which they should have no business choosing. They’re only children with very little thought of the future and have only a small idea of what they’ll be losing.

Children are not meant to make major life choices. Hence the reason why we’re not legally able to vote until we’re 18. They’re not capable of choosing what is the best for them and the remainder of their lives when they’re under the age of majority. This is the reason why children under the age of 15 or 16 are not able to drive at all and even once they do reach a given age, they must be supervised by an adult. We have to hold them up and make the right choices FOR them until they’re able to do so for themselves. It is so sad to me that grown people use children to seek an advantage over another. I didn’t choose to bring babies into this world to mother just so I could use them as pawns in a twisted game of chess. We’re adults supposedly….who should do what is best.

Until next time friends

~Peace

TLT

Anniversaries

An anniversary is so much more than simply a date on the calendar and when I hear people say that they married their best friend I wonder.

I wonder how it is that one can be just a best friend to someone who sees you at your very worst and loves you even though it hurts. I wonder how it is that one can be just a best friend to someone who sees you at your very best and loves you beyond life long tests.

I used to be envious of those couples who seem so in love whenever I saw them out and about but then I remembered what goes on behind closed doors is shrouded in clouds.I wonder how someone can love me for who I really am, if even I don’t know who that person is. I wonder how someone can love me through the good and the bad, when sometimes it seems that bad is all there is to be had.

It seems to me that saying one is married to their best friend may be undercutting the height to which love transcends. Marriage must transcend it all through the thick and the thin; through the times of financial struggle and times of ease; through the times of illness and of health. Yet those are only words we speak because when the line is drawn in the proverbial sand, you have to make a choice as to which side of life you will stand.

There are no easy answers and no instructions to follow, whether you are flying high as an eagle or drowning in a pool of sorrow. How will you manage to hold true to your words when they’re left tasting bitter on your lips? Why would you want to leave the person who steadies your emotions with just a hand on your hip?

A decade plus of marriage surely must show you how much you truly do not know this person you have married for better or for worse. Almost two decades of communication between the two surely must indicate that there is so much left to learn. There are choices to be made daily. That’s right I said, there are choices that have to be made – daily. As a wise woman recently said, life is all about choices and when we fail to make a choice that is a choice in itself.

Being married to another person is a study in patience, understanding and stamina to name but a few. When I am out among the trees, I am reminded of the likeness between my love of running and that of marriage.

There are hills to climb and as my friend Doug once told me, you are fighting yourself climbing those hills. Just go with the flow, he said, in his infinite wisdom. Take smaller steps and don’t work so hard. Being married is that way when every step feels like quicksand trying to pull you under to flounder in your misery. Quicken your steps, lighten the load and before you know it you feel as though you are once again floating along effortlessly.

I ask God to help me bite my tongue and guide my words daily. You see, some degree of faith in a power greater than me is necessary to trudge my way through when times are tough and the going is slow. There are things in this world I believe that only He knows. We make the plans but he sets the path and once again this is similar to running a race. We make plans to complete this race or that. We follow our plans and aim for a successful conclusion but sometimes there are lessons to be learned in the falling down and failing.

Anniversary is but a simple word that really means so much more….

Parenting

There is nothing that will make one feel more inept and often guilty than parenting. Guilt can ride your back like an ugly monkey if you let it. Taking from you every ounce of joy parenting can elicit. I have been on my fair share of guilt trips – both self imposed and those thrown at me by those with less than good intentions. Funny enough, I don’t believe that anyone is able to impose on me a greater feeling of guilt about past mistakes than I can impose on myself!

You see, I am quite aware that as a child/mother/wife of 18 years old, I did not set the best examples for my children. I am aware of the fact that I made many mistakes as I was bearing and attempting to raise four boys in my late teens and early twenties. I am also painfully aware that my mistakes cost me to lose so much time with the boys. Time I am unable to get back – nor do I want to.

That’s right! I said I don’t want to take back that painful time. Do I wish I had been a better parent? Absolutely! Do I wish that I had not made the mistakes I made along the way which made the lives of my children harder than they needed to be? Of course! However, those difficult times created resilient young men and helped me be a better parent to my daughters. Those tough times that saw me lose my temper and forget momentarily how precious life is, helped create young men of immense amounts of patience and compassion.

Now, as I look back, after laying next to my youngest sleeping child who had thrown her arm over me and snuggled in for a good nap, I am grateful. Grateful for the knowledge that those mistakes provided. Grateful for the growth that occurred out of the pain. Grateful for the fact that my boys know in their hearts that no matter my mistakes, my love for them is never-ending. There is no reserve amount – no price to be paid. I love them no matter what – even on their worst day.

This is another lesson from parenting you see. I had always heard of the unconditional love of God and my mom always provided me with her manner of unconditional love. I did not truly know the meaning of the term though until the girls came along. You see, there is a different type of relationship (IMHO) between a mother and her sons versus a mother and her daughters. There is no doubt that boys love their mamas without reservation or hesitation – and I them. The love of mother and daughter however, is another animal altogether.

I am not even sure I can put this thought into a cohesive paragraph that makes sense to anyone but myself. With the girls there is an understanding. We communicate on the same plane using the same words that identify emotions. As people of the female persuasion there is a different type of communication that takes place – sometimes it does not even require that words are spoken. We pay attention to the smaller nuances of human behavior and for a great majority of us, this means that we are able to attain a new or different level of understanding.

What I miss about the boys: the sound of raucous laughter and them calling for ‘mama’. The mornings when one of the youngest attempted to make my toast ‘crunchy’ the way I like it, but misinterpreted BURNT for crunchy. They served it to me before I even rose from bed, as though they were serving a queen! I miss sweaty boy hugs and the look of pride on their faces as they successfully accomplished whatever feat they had attempted.

For me, being a parent is quite similar to my ultra running and in fact, the two worlds often intersect in unique and interesting ways. I breathe a sigh of relief as I enter the dirt/mud/cobwebby world of the trail. It is often quite unforgiving, cruel and difficult at the same time it brings me a fantastic sense of PEACE. The trail does not require one to think much beyond putting one foot in front of the other. At the same time, there are an abundance of thoughts that occur within my head simply BECAUSE it does not require a whole lot of conscious thought.

Running, especially as slow as I tend to go, requires some patience and compassion; fortitude and stubbornness….persistence and consistency. Does this not sound very similar to parenting? Ironically I find that many of these characteristics I thought I did not have, I have found on the trail. Not only directed or felt for others….but for myself as well. There is so much we can learn about who we are and in what direction we would like our lives to meander by hitting the open road, sidewalk or nearest rocky trail!

It is my serenity….my peace and the place I go to think. It is where I go to just BE…..me. Not mother, wife, teacher, student, counselor….etc., etc., to just be a body cruising the trail….

I am thankful and blessed to BE back on the trail and that has been another lesson learned. That is a story for another day though.

Until next time, don’t be a stranger…

Peace

~TLT

Random thoughts of Randomness

Been a little bit since I blogged and today although I have a lot to say there is nothing really sticking with me. I think that is par for the course, so to speak! I have these random thoughts that come and go every single day and not many really stick around to make a definitive impression. Those that do stick around have to be pretty raw/intense/powerful in order to do so – that’s just the way my brain works. It takes a lot of information in and then lets go of the majority it deems as unimportant. Unfortunately….sometimes because it means I have no recollection of the bad nor the good. Whereas some have a brain like a sponge and remember everything – my brain is more like a sieve and only retains very large pieces of information.

There are a few things on my mind today though. I have been in a blue funky place in my mind for awhile….probably about 6 or 7 weeks long. The moments come and go and some are better than others but for the most part – funk is where I am at. Just when I begin to feel better and maybe climb out of this hole I seem to have fallen into, something comes along and knocks me right back in! I get my cravings for garbage food under control…….and then my craving for LARGE amounts of caffeine kick in, thereby making it so I do not drink enough water. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing since I haven’t really been running….until I decide TO go for a run and get a headache because I have not drank enough water!

Thankfully, I am pain free while running now…..well….at least there is not pain from the injury I sustained back in December. Now the pain is simply from working hard at getting my base level of fitness back. Starting over really does suck in case nobody told you! Hopefully, tomorrow will be good to me and I can break the 10 mile mark for my long run! If so, it will be the longest I have managed since the middle of December! Perhaps this lack of distance in my life is what is keeping me in the blue funk since those neurotransmitters aka chemicals the body makes like dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline etc are some that help balance MOOD. Perhaps….

Perhaps my blue funk is a natural progression due to the changes occurring in our lives. Perhaps it’s an adjustment issue. Perhaps….I hope it is simply the fact that my body, my psyche, brain…..whatever you want to name ME..is in desperate need of some time to run amongst the trees in varying speeds. Perhaps it is the desire of an endurance junkie to get my fix of fresh air and heavy breathing. Since running is the only outlet available where one can simply BE…There are no labels in the trees and on the trails…You are just you and I am simply me – going as fast or as slow as we are able. I know I miss some friends, near and far – and I hope that you are SAFE (JS and AK) no matter where in the world you are!

Conversations this week with students provided endless entertainment and debate about topics such as whether or not homosexuality is a choice or if it is genetic; if we are somehow programmed from birth to be this or that (computer programmer, teacher or psycho killer, child molester) in addition to a very stimulating conversation in 3 different groups of students on the same topic: the lack of a ‘fear’ in the children of this particular generation which is thereby making it less likely for them to have a balanced locus of control.

For many, the locus of control growing up was a healthy fear of what our parents would do or say should we make an inappropriate choice. Somewhere along the way, children were given the power over the parents (as evident in any grocery store in almost any city in the United States) and that healthy fear of the repercussions of our actions was stilled at best and completely reversed at the worst. We talk about children who sass their parents; the children who run through the clothing racks of the nearby department store, seemingly unconcerned with the concept of courtesy or manners; and the fact that parents seem unwilling or unable to get control over these children.

My brothers and I have spoken about breaking the cycle of abuse that many suffered at the hands of parents who had no idea how to parent and made it up as they went along, like so many did. The problem, as I see it however, is that the pendulum swung too far the other direction in a quest for balance. It went wide, to the other side of the spectrum and now we suffer those consequences. We have parents too afraid to tell their child to sit still and enforce that stillness. We have parents too afraid to ‘lay hands’ on their children in order to instill some discipline on them for fear that someone will report their parental judgement to a governmental agency that tells the public spanking is abuse.

I do not intend to start a debate about the evils of corporal punishment, nor the lack thereof in this generation of minions and ‘beasties’, only perhaps AWAKEN the consciousness of some people. If we continue to pretend as though this is not an issue, the issue will continue to grow and fester – and society will pay the price. It is our FUTURE we are talking about after all!

That was another topic discussed this week – that of consciousness but I think it requires more thought on my part and therefore, I will save that particular blog for another day! 🙂 Oh and an EXCITING post about a documentary I watched at Endurance Outfitters last weekend is brewing in the back of my mind as well…..Be sure to remind me!! LOL

Tonight I sleep (thank you Lunesta) and tomorrow…….we RUN!! 🙂

Until next time friends…..
Peace

A motivating factor fear

Let’s talk about FEAR shall we?

Fear is a powerful emotion whether you are a three year old afraid of the boogeyman under the bed, or a 30 year old afraid of spiders. Ironically, fear is a driving force, which typically enabled us to choose the right path when we were children. The fear of receiving strong discipline from our parents if we did something naughty, was often enough to persuade us to make the right choice. If not, and we chose the wrong path, there was the other fear which occurred when the discipline arrived. This type of fear motivated us to STOP behavior – or perhaps, to never act on a childish impulse in the first place.

There are as many types of fear as there are people in this world, for we are all unique individuals and as such, our fears reflect our uniqueness. Fear of new places, new people and new guidelines may keep us from taking a particular job offer or even submitting our resume’ to begin with, for fear of receiving yet another letter of rejection. As someone who has been in search of an employment situation that works for me for the last two years, I can tell you personally – those rejection letters are ugly, nasty creatures that can build any insecurities already living in your mind.

Fear has the ability keep you stuck in place like quicksand. It could be the job you trudge through daily because you are afraid to take a chance and make a change or a toxic relationship that makes you second guess all you believe and how you feel about yourself and the world around you, but you are too afraid of the unknown to make a change. Fear of what others may think, fear of rejection and pain all serve to keep us stuck in place – never moving, never truly growing.

There is a flip side to fear though! I can tell you, for me personally, fear is a great motivating tool! When I was a teenager, looking through my teenage eyes at my surroundings and all of the people I saw who were STUCK in the same small town, doing the same job, in the same house for the same pay – year after year – I made a decision to move. In my late 20’s, after four beautiful boys and a failed marriage already, I felt stuck. I felt as though I was being sucked under and then trampled underfoot by the myriad of bad choices I had made. I was living through the painful consequences of those choices and found it to be unacceptable. I was AFRAID if I did not make a change, I’d grow old and die without having done anything – without having served a purpose. I believed then, as I do now, that we all have a purpose.

That fear propelled me forward into a new era of my life story when I signed my name on the dotted line to join the Armed Forces….It seems like ancient history now, though it’s only been 18 years, to the day almost, since I began basic training. Unfortunately, my time in the service was ultimately cut shorter than I anticipated it would be by a decision based, at least partly, on….FEAR. We can make the choice to let our fears make our choices for us or we can become aware of what is taking place and utilize it to our advantage.

One way I do this is by planning. I LOVE to plan activities, vacations and of course, my own training schedule. I have even helped others plan for various events! Rather than allow fear to decide, I make the conscious decisions necessary to be successful in whatever mission(s) I happen to be working on at the time. Is there fear of the unknown? Am I afraid of failing at whatever it is I happen to be working on? ABSOLUTELY! Am I “successful” at every single mission I set out to accomplish? NO! What drives me more than the fear of failure though is the fear of NOT trying. The fear of growing “old” and having done nothing in my life to affect change. The fear of hitting my 90th birthday and looking back with regret, not at all the mistakes made for that is a natural progression of life, but regret for all the things I “should have” done.

I had a conversation with a friend a few years ago and we were discussing getting older and my unhappiness with this prospect. They told me that there’s no use in trying to fight aging, it’s a fact of life and therefore unavoidable. I told them, of course we all age and eventually die, but I will go kicking and screaming the entire way. Like the poem by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas

Until next time my friends……USE your fear rather than be used BY your fear

Peace~

(From The Poems of Dylan Thomas, published by New Directions. Copyright © 1952, 1953 Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1937, 1945, 1955, 1962, 1966, 1967 the Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. Copyright © 1938, 1939, 1943, 1946, 1971 New Directions Publishing Corp.)

To be THANKFUL…..thoughts on what that means

I read a book about 10 days ago. This is not a big deal ordinarily, since I tend to devour books like the air I breathe. It’s not unheard of for me to finish two novels in one day – depending of course, on the type of day it may be. Anyhow, I digress…This book I read by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts really answered some questions in my mind that I didn’t even know were pinging around inside my head.

She begins the book with a poetic description of her birth in all of its glory and in the next chapter telling the reader about the death of her sister when they were just small children. Her poetic manner of writing sits very well with me and I found myself eating up the pages, despite the fact that she discusses a subject that is often difficult to get through when one is reading,  unless perhaps you are a devout Christian. I am talking about religion. This is not your ordinary Christian missive however, but something else altogether. She discusses the fine art of being THANKFUL.

I am not just referring to the quick nod of thanks we give for the roof over our heads and the food in our stomach but also for all those things that bring us pain; the hard lessons of life that can either break us down to depths never before experienced, or lift us up into the highest of highs. The author talks about looking into her mirror and being brutally honest with her self evaluation. Seeing all those things in herself, both outwardly as well as the inner workings of her self that she finds lacking. All the ways she has somehow failed to be the person she thought, at some point, she thought she ought to be. This resonates deep within my own spirit as I have struggled in the last several years to feel successful. I have accomplished all these feats and yet, sometimes it feels like there is something I am not doing, a task I have yet to complete….a hole that is supposed to be filled somehow that remains empty.

It is not as if I have not lived life because I promise you dear reader, I have lived life from giving of my time to charities, completing service in the military, 25 years of mothering 7 children, athletic endeavors of miles upon miles of roads and paths traveled, thousands of books read, travel to foreign countries, mention in various honor societies…….blah, blah…blah. Yet, it all feels like it is devoid of something important. Like there is something or someone I am missing or have missed. All this has been done……and yet I am EMPTY?

The author calls it the legacy of the Garden. She is referring to the Garden of Eden where the very first sin took place and gave us all this craving for more, despite how full our lives may be we desire MORE. Ann Voskamp tells us that our fall from grace occurred because we are not satisfied with the fruit that God provides and instead we hunger for something more….This more is what drives us and has driven our planet to the brink. Look at our population as a whole and listen to anyone over the age of 35 talk about the ‘younger generation’ and how ungrateful they are. It’s like a disease that has gone systemic.

The biting of the apple in the Garden of Eden (whether literally or not) changed the way we see. The devil said to Adam and Eve, ‘In the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened…’ (Genesis 3:5 NASB). Our eyes were already opened though and we could see the perfect love of God and a world overflowing with goodness. We were fooled into thinking that there was something MORE and we were missing out on opportunities or other visions we had not yet beheld. They bit the fruit off the tree of life and in that instant they saw everything, except God. We see a world of loss, scarcity and extreme injustice and prejudice.

We become hungry so we eat and feel full…….yet empty. We are still looking at the fruit of the material world expecting it to fill our emptiness rather than looking to God to provide for us as he always has….There is one of the keys for me….God has always provided for me. There is no way I would have made it through everything I have ever lived through if He had not been there. I have often asked and found myself trying to research in order to understand, “Why”. Why did I make it? What kept me going when so many others quit trying? How did I get to this point in life when so many I know got lost in the pain? God was there and is still there through all of it.

My friends know me pretty well and I am not someone who throws around words like Christian and I don’t speak about the Bible or its content all that much, though I do BELIEVE that there is a God and that we all have a purpose for being on this earth. There is a reason why we meet the people we do at the time they enter into our lives. There’s a reason we enter into the life lessons we do – sometimes over and over again. We have to get it right. We have to learn the lesson before we can move onto the next one. Like we have to learn how to crawl before we walk, we have to learn these other lessons in order to be ready for better opportunities or for people to walk into (or out of) our lives.

I was listening to a random segment from Bishop T.D Jakes on YouTube last night with all of this on my mind and what he was preaching about was God waiting on us, where we are at right this minute….so he can propel us forward with His nourishment. He does not just stand by while we suffer with our ‘soul holes’ but tells us that if we believe, have faith in HIM and are THANKFUL for all He has given – He has so much more to give us. We only have to be thankful rather than acting like spoiled children with our hands out saying, “more, more, MORE!”

To be thankful for all we have does not sound like a difficult thing…until our boat is rocked by stormy waters. That, my friends, is when we find out where we truly stand in our faith, with friends and within our own stormy, monkey minds….

I have only skimmed the surface of where my heart is leading these words so I will let this sit and give it to you raw and uncut as always. There is more to follow….If you dare.

Until next time….

Peace