Happy day

Today is a happy day. This is our 32nd anniversary. Not a particularly noteworthy number; but though the number itself isn’t special, this year had its own markers that make it unique in our shared history.

The past year took us through big events: Jack’s birth, Alex’s divorce and move, our nephew’s wedding; trips with family, trips to family, family coming to us. We’ve cycled through months of work and weeks of RV time; we celebrated holidays and slug days, weathered stress and counted joys. As we continue to redefine this time in our lives…empty nest, part-time workers, full-time adventurers, finding our joint and separate passions, I learn all over again. The lessons of life, always the same, but presented with new context each time, can be summed up in a few words:

True love isn’t found. It’s built.

Think the best of each other, especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad. ~ Jeffrey R. Holland

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.

Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys. ~ Rita Schiano

Pride is concerned with who is right; humility is concerned with what is right. ~ Ezra T. Benson

There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.

Once in a while, right in the middle of ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale.

Our fairy tale is an unlikely one. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the story is comedy or drama, or if it will end happily ever after. But there is something that keeps us connected, keeps us together. I like to think we’ve weathered enough storms that the future will be all sunshine. That’s unlikely to be true. Life has a way of mixing it up, good and bad all together, sometimes so intertwined that you can’t be sure where one ends and the other begins. But in the thick of it, I know I will look at him, and he will look at me. And we know, we two, what that look means. We know, without words, even without touch, what is passing between us.

So number 32…nothing really remarkable. Except that we made it. And with each passing year, this relationship, with its joys, flaws, sorrows, routines and surprises, grows more rooted in my heart. And through it, I learn, all over again, the lessons of life.

Happy anniversary to my one and only: R.

Nomads on the road

R & S

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Summer Scenes

Aahh, another beautiful day in sunny SE Alaska! I have to keep pinching myself to be sure this string of beautiful days is real. And here it is:

Today's weather

Today’s weather

Another week of sunny icons on my weather forecast. Another amazing Sunday full of sun and temps that invite us out to a picnic at Ward Lake, a hike after lunch along the lake path, errands, dinner on the deck…any excuse to stay outside and soak up the Vitamin D! All Alaskans have a Vitamin D deficit. But today…this summer…should help a bit.

This is a summer of fishing. Some seasons are better than others. We don’t own a boat. Sometimes we charter, or join friends who’re going out. Sometimes we buy our fish. But not so much this year. Between the fish Rob has caught, and the generosity of friends, we have a freezer full of fresh Coho salmon…a little King too. To me it’s all delicious. Some is smoked. Most of the bounty is just flash frozen, waiting to make an appearance at dinner a few months from now, when summer is only a warm memory on a rainy, blustery evening. Hey, even on a day like this I know October is coming.

Salmon portions

Salmon portions

Salmon filet

Salmon filet

All done!

All done!

Sometimes we use a local processing plant for prepping and freezing. Some fish I’ve done myself, using my trusty Food Saver vacuüm sealer. I never sealed anything before we moved here. I never heard of canning fish or meat before we moved to Alaska. My grandmothers canned vegetables, jams, preserves…all sorts of produce. But I never knew them to can meat or fish of any kind. We didn’t really have hunters in the family. But here, everyone cans fish. Actually they jar it. People process the stuff by the case. I don’t can anything. But I know how to freeze.

We watch the water in front of the house. This appeared a couple of days ago:

Yacht on the water

Yacht on the water

There is a constant parade in front of our windows. Summer is the season of float planes and fishing charters, sail boats, cruise ships and jet skis, kayaks and tour boats. Actually the float planes run year round, but they’re particularly busy in the summer. They start flying at first light.

We often sit in the early evening, looking out at the water, watching the all the coming and going. In spite of our ambivalence about living here, I sometimes think we’ll look back on these days and cherish them. We’ll remember how beautiful our view was, how there was always something happening in front of our windows. We’ll look back on the sunny afternoons and know that we had it good. We found a small, sweet spot in all the craziness of life.

To Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who mother. This day is about honoring the first relationship human beings experience through the process of birth. Rightly so. But giving birth is only one element of mothering, and many women reach out to nurture, encourage, protect, and sacrifice for those they love…for those they mother.

Motherhood is a pay it forward business and not for the faint of heart. But worth it. So worth it!

I thank the women who have inspired me to be a better mom, who challenge me to continue to grow and mature in this role. First to my mom, and then to other women in my life who demonstrate unfailing love and commitment, thank you. Bless you.

“Of all the rights of women,
the greatest is to be a mother.”

Learning to write, learning to hear

Rob and I are learning a new skill. At 31+ years of marriage, we are learning a new way to communicate. For all the good that we’ve shared, we’ve had an ongoing struggle with communication. The problem is not one of talking, it is one of hearing. He speaks, and I hear through my filters. That is to say, I don’t hear him; I interpret him. And sometimes he thinks he’s been clear and honest, but he hasn’t said the words that really speak the truth to me.

You can imagine the difficulties this has produced. Sometimes the problems are comical, sometimes frightening. This isn’t about the everyday speech of “pass the pepper.” Of course not. Even I can understand those words. This is about the thorny conversations of life. The what do I need, what do I want, what do I believe, what do I see…the ones that are full of individual angst and opinion. The ones that perhaps can only come after many years of togetherness.

In the very beginning of our relationship it was easy. We were young, we were focused, we had direction, we knew. You know so much when you’re young.

During the child-years, it was busy. We were on a roll, we were in harness, we were co-workers, co-habitaters, co-parents, co, co, co…we largely co-existed. There were a lot of good times, amazing experiences. It was fast and furious. Where did the 25 years of child rearing go? Gone in a blur of schedules, busyness, keeping milk in the house, getting to work, to school, to youth group, to church, to shopping, to appointments, to family, to vacation…wonderful years, but exhausting.

And now, after a few years of empty nest, we struggle. We are different people than the bright 20 year olds who made a life commitment. We are parents and grandparents, but we’re not in the daily trenches of those roles. We are post-career…we are not retired, but work is not all-consuming at this stage of life. In fact, that is one of the hallmarks of this phase. We are working less, making less, but enjoying more. We have margin. We have time, in the off-work blocks of life, to slow down, to talk again, to learn, to grow.

If all this sounds like we are self-absorbed, I would say no…I don’t think so. In fact, we’ve spent most of our adult lives being other-absorbed. And even now, life demands that we pay attention to work, to other relationships, to the needs of life. This is not about staring endlessly into the mirror, or into each other’s eyes.

It is about circling back. About seeing that we long neglected the primary relationship of our lives. We took care of pieces of it. But the real sharing, the real joining…that was largely neglected. I don’t think we’re alone in this. Isn’t that actually the common thread through most American marriages (I won’t pretend to speak for the whole of the married world here…just reflecting on the information I read regarding US marriages.) We come together, we create a life, perhaps we create children. But it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air. It is hard to be intentional and focused on the other adult in the equation with the never-ending need of everything else pulsing day-in, day-out.

As we’ve navigated the past years and challenges of our empty-nest adventure, we have learned some things. We’ve learned to feel comfortable again with a two-some, instead of the four-some we were for many years. We’ve acquired and practiced new skills for our new time in life. And we’ve made mistakes, a lot of mistakes. We’ve learned almost as much from doing it wrong as we have from getting it right. And maybe the mis-steps have been the ones that have waked us up, helped us to see that our relationship has had all it can take of being taken for granted. We’ve used up that credit in the trenches of child-rearing, career-building, and cruise-control.

So recently, after yet another ah-ha moment…a moment when we realized we had talked but not communicated…Rob picked up a notebook and wrote out, by hand, the words he wanted to say. A funny thing happened. I watched him write, and I waited to see what he was writing. Then I read the words, and gave him my response. He responded by writing, again. And I sat and waited, and read, again. And after a few rounds of this, we understood each other; we had communicated.

I’ve had varying degrees of success with writing therapy in the past. In some ways, it is very useful…you can collect your thoughts, express just what you want to say, and be sure you’ve chosen the best words. Or you can write to vent, and sometimes, after you’ve written out your frustrations, you don’t need to share them anymore. The drawback to the way I’ve experienced this in the past is that my writing was via email or texts. And the big ah-ha I’ve experienced with those forms of communication is:

  1. You can never know the time and circumstances that impact when an email or text is read; timing, mood, and context can color someone’s ability to hear your written words as you intended them to come across. You can’t put tone of voice in an email or text. Even punctuation can be misunderstood.
  2. The writer isn’t present to clarify or correct any misunderstanding…there’s no ability to see each other’s face, to be in the moment, so any misunderstanding could percolate for a while before it can be corrected, if it ever is.

Are we crazy? Is there anyone else out there who needs to find a way to break it down? To find a way to understand and absorb what the other person needs to say? Maybe we are outside the norm. I don’t know…having no other experience, I can’t assess that, other than through my impressions from what I read and hear. But something is amiss out there in marriage-land. Something is causing marriages to fail and homes to break apart. And the trend toward divorce at an older age is rising…this gets to the heart of the problem:  The Gray Divorces, Wall Street Journal

This is not a criticism of those who have been down this path. One of the realities of my own experience is a growing humility…I struggle with my own life and spouse…I am hardly in position to tell others where they got it wrong.

But I am able to share something we stumbled on that seems to help. Maybe it is the process of slowing the speech between us. Maybe the magic is in the ability to go back and read the words again, to let them sink in. I can’t say that I know exactly what is working. I just know that something is. We’ve had breakthroughs before, and certainly we’ve grown through our verbal conversation. But writing it down, even if the writing is largely on Rob’s part, and I am still largely speaking my words, seems to be making a difference.

I plan to stay with this grand experiment at life-long partnership. I plan to make it better, not merely co-exist. And so, between the work, the travel, the family, the friends, the errands, the mail, the stuff of everyday life that has to be tended, I plan to prioritize my partner. He deserves that place in my life. I promised it to him, years ago. For much of our lives, we’ve not kept that promise…we’ve run off infusions of togetherness, snatched on vacation, or hot-tub conversations on the weekend, or the big-emotion moments of life. But now, I see that we’re in a stretch…not the final stretch, I hope!…but a place that allows us to live differently. We don’t have to wait for alone time to talk about the big things of life…we have it every day. And we need to learn each other again, well beyond the selves we think we know so well…we need to learn how we’ve changed, and who we’ve become in this fifth decade of our lives.

So when the mood strikes for a deeper conversation…when the topic is something beyond, “what’s for dinner?”…we’ll talk. He’ll do some writing, I’ll do some reading, and respond; and we’ll hear each other. We’ll really hear each other.

No defenses

I’m learning to live without defenses. I’ll probably still be learning this when I’m 80, or 100, or 53…doesn’t matter the age I ultimately achieve, the lesson will be ongoing, I’m sure of that. I’ve touched on this before, one of my recurring themes. It is recurring because the lessons are never-ending, and just when I think I’ve rounded a corner, there’s another opportunity to learn all over again.

And what does it mean, to live without defenses? It does NOT mean to live weak. It does NOT mean to be a door-mat, or a “yes” person, or to avoid all conflict. It DOES mean that I choose to offer grace and understanding when someone differs with me. I choose to give the benefit of doubt to intention, even to action. I choose to live strong, and to live with expectation.

Expectation is tricky. Sometimes my expectations have created disappointment: in myself, in others, in circumstances. But when the expectation is adjusted…now lowered, but adjusted…to seeing the potential that is unleashed by my actions…the real joy begins. What circumstances can I change, or impact, or better, or encourage, or simply comfort, if I act out of strength rather than defensiveness?

It’s a life-posture that’s deliberate choice, throughout my day, weaving through my interactions and thoughts.

It helps me to consider: what am I feeding myself? what am I showing those around me? how do I handle hurt, disappointment, sadness?

The only way I can make sense of life is to believe that we each have purpose, and we find the purpose and our gifts by sharing and giving with abandon. It is growth of faith. For me, the faith is in God, in the perfect grace I can only imperfectly copy, and the spark of miracle in everyday life.

The goal, the aspiration, doesn’t make me saintly, or superior…it keeps me grounded in gratitude, and challenges me to adopt an attitude of graciousness.

“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.” Yehuda Berg

I’ve been fortunate, and have experienced a lot more love in my life than hurt. But the lesson still applies. I can’t pretend to know how people who have suffered great injury and loss at the hands of others can adopt this stance. But I know that this is one of the secrets of the universe, and healing, paying forward, and joy, stem from this choice.

Another rabbi once said:

If you forgive other people…your Father will also forgive you  ~ The Great Physician

Forgiving, living without defenses, showing grace and patience…these words come across as passive. The behavior is anything but. I find I need much more strength to bite my tongue, to show kindness when I’m struggling, to assume the best when I suspect the worst. Am I living authentically? Absolutely not! The authentic me is not the nicest person I know. The authentic me is often grouchy, rude, intolerant, impatient, selfish…pretty, huh?

Am I living intentionally? Yes. What I choose to show the world is the person I want to be, and am trying to become. Always, always, the first thing to recognize is that this is not about perfection…I’ll never be that. I have to forgive myself as often as I forgive those around me. I don’t have life all sorted out and neatly packaged. This is about the trying, the choosing, and the goal. And that’s all it can be about. Because this is no magic formula to get what I want out of people or my circumstances. Simply put, living without defenses is the formula for changing myself.

Song of childhood

I have a child’s toy tune stuck in my head. Actually, the tune is from Jack’s new bouncy seat, complete with an assortment of objects designed to capture the attention of an infant. He’s not quite sitting without support, still a little wobbly. But in his little seat he reaches out to touch the noisemaker and color in front of him, his first exploration of the universe he’s joined.

Jack in discovery mode

Jack in discovery mode

I’ve been immersed in the world of the littles for much of the last two weeks. First we went to a family wedding, featuring Riley as the flower girl (sorry, bride and groom, this is Gram speaking!). It was fun to see her participate in the big event, complete with losing her shoe on the way down the aisle and stopping to put it on again. Priceless! She managed to scatter the petals (pedals, heavy on the “d” in Riley-speak). She was charming in her little dress. And both Riley and Jack were good on the flights. Mission accomplished!

Flower Girl Riley

Flower Girl Riley

I spent the following week in Gram mode, rediscovering the joys of potty training, naps, snacks, feeding times, and a memorable blow-out of a diaper. Funny how effortlessly it comes back! I struggle to remember I am not mommy in these scenes. With my own two children being the same sex and birth order as Riley and Jack, I could close my eyes and skip back twenty-five years to see Alex sitting in Jack’s spot, and Stephanie chattering beside me.

Riley is a joy, in the phase of constant “look at me.” She wants to go everywhere the adults go, have a part in everything going on. She’s both a big girl and emerging toddler, and you never know for sure which side of her you’ll get. But it’s all good. I have endless patience for this phase of life. Give me the sweetness of these ages, the funny things a child says, the joy of snuggling a three-month-old safe and warm in my arms, and I’ll gladly take the not-so-pretty spills, poops, and messes as the price of admission.

Over the weekend I flew to Denver to spend a few days with Alex. Alex, who at twenty-five has already spent five years in the army, has been 13 months deployed abroad in a war zone; has married and divorced, one of the statistics of military life; and is now trying to re-start his life in his old home-town…my Alex, who just a few short years ago was the Jack in my photos. He’s come through, not without scars, but with courage. He’s learned some difficult lessons, made hard choices. And now, seeing him after a year apart, a year of plans for connecting that didn’t work out, and long conversations by phone, I’m satisfied. The mom in me has needed this sight and sound of him, his hug and quick smile.

Alex smiles

Alex smiles

We talk. I drive to his apartment in a blinding white-out of a spring snow storm, one of Denver’s famous March storms that makes me wonder if I’m foolish for being on the road. But how could I not be? I won’t give up a day of visit to the inconvenience of weather. His apartment is spartan, bachelor in furnishing, and needs a mom shopping trip. He doesn’t ask for anything, but I load up the cart with comforts and extras. It’s so little to offer.

He knows what he has to do: put his head down and forge a path to next. He has to make his life work, and that takes time and discipline, doing it day after day, paying his bills, creating a place for himself. I can’t do it for him, and I can only help in minor ways. Mostly, he has to choose what he wants, and then accomplish it. Hard for me to recognize that he is essentially on his own.

He used to want me to watch him play video games, to see his Lego creations. He was the one that said, “look at me!” Now he’s singing a different song. He has to prove something to himself, and to the world around him. His song has matured.

We were out in the storm last Saturday, hitting Target and Safeway and knocking out my list for him. In a parking lot there was a car with the hood up and a guy standing beside it, leaning over to look at something. Alex pulled up next to him and got out, offering to help. Turned out no help was needed and we drove away. That’s who Alex is. He’s funny, has been known to wear a kilt on occasion, loves music, is helpful to a fault.

My head spins a bit, coming back to Seattle for another few days in the nursery before heading back to Alaska. I’m in a time-warp, caught between the realities of today and the memories of the past. All good, but just the same, poignant, driving home the reality that the days are long but the years are short. I’m so blessed to have had children in my life that brought me joy. They weren’t, and aren’t, perfect. But they were, and are, a joy. And to see it repeat with Riley and Jack..that’s a privilege I treasure. I know this go-round just how fast it really goes, and I know more than ever that life is a risky business with no guarantees to the outcome.

Motherhood is a delicate balancing act. Heart can get in the way of character building and courage-growing. How could I not want to protect? And yet these adults that I still mother a bit have moved well beyond my ability to protect. They fight their own battles and make their own decisions. Sometimes my heart has to race to catch up with them. My head gets it, but the mother in me struggles. I’ve been a slow learner and late bloomer in the realm of letting go. I’ve done a good job of it externally. Does that count?

The song of childhood is sweet but short. I’m learning to listen to the adult voices of my kids, and feel proud that somehow, in spite of the fact that I was making it up as I went along, they turned out well. If I do say so myself, not in my own praise, but more in wonder that it worked…all the things I tried to do, that we tried to do as parents, somehow, we got enough right.

Mommy and cub

Mommy and cub

In the thick of it

I sit between two rug rats (Rob’s term of endearment): a 2 3/4 year-old, and the two-month-old infant, in the back seat of my daughter’s SUV. Two car seats with me in between. I’m holding a bottle for the baby, and searching for the sippy cup for the toddler with my other hand. As we drive, Riley, the two year old, is getting grumpier. She’s mercurial, sometimes fun and sunny, but in typical toddler fashion, when tired, pretty awful. At this moment, she’s awful. Rob is in the front with Stephanie. Did I mention I’m in the back, between two car seats?

We’re trying to change the mood. Pep up the two-year-old. Rob begins to be a two-year-old; now he’s on her level. He’s distracting her, making her smile as he mimics her words, her grumpiness. Slowly she’s coming around. Stephanie hears the change in her voice, and she begins to ask Riley…”did you crack?” She means her smile, which Riley’s trying to hide. She wants to smile, but she wants to maintain her mood…impossible to do both. Before she knows it, she’s charmed right out of herself.

Sad Riley

Sad Riley

Bribery and a little clever humor work wonders. She’s laughing, and peace is restored, at least for the moment. We don’t kid ourselves that it will be lasting. The most we’re hoping for is the garage. Just pull in with no crying, no screaming. Just unload and begin to comfort, change diapers, find snacks, distract. That’s the job of the parent, or parent-stand-in, sometimes known as a grandparent.

I watch Stephanie and Matt, trying to hold their own against the needs and demands of the two small people they birthed. They’ll never make it, any more than we did. It’s a losing battle. A small human can overwhelm an adult with hands tied…not even a fair contest! The best you can hope for is survival, and growth. They do grow, and part of the process is they grow on you. As much as survival, the other key is falling in love. You get so caught by the spell these little beings weave that you become a willing prisoner to their smiles, their moods, their needs. And by the time you realize it, their work is done, and you’re hooked, body and soul. Well, maybe it has to be that way. Who would sign up for the craziness if they understood the commitment up front?

Jack

Jack

 

Stephanie sees me smiling at the scene after dinner, a little crazy, a little chaotic. She says I’m laughing at them, and I say no, just laughing. Not at them…just appreciating the scene, in all its joy, at this very moment in time.

This is just the age-old ah-ha that all parents experience. Only now, I’m experiencing from the second row of seats. Let me tell you, the view is pretty good from where I sit. I’m close enough to lean down and be in the game, but just far enough that most of the sticky bits miss me.

“We never give up wanting things for ourselves, but there comes a day when what we want for ourselves is someone else’s happiness.” ~ Robert Brault

Healing on a beach

We came down to Mexico last week…an escape from late winter in SE Alaska, and a chance to see the sun and feel the warmth of a breeze instead of the buffeting of the wind. We had no plans, as usual. Most of our vacation escapes are low key…reading, resting, just being. We don’t need a lot of entertainment. We need time with no structure. IMG_0005

We vary our days between sitting by the pool, walking the beach, sleeping in and reading or catching up with on-line chores. Rob is studying for his upcoming boards test. I work on projects…designing a business card, writing a proposal. Nothing earth-shaking.

Somewhere in the resting, the recovery, we share. We talk a bit about what we’re reading, how we’re growing. We do this in our “normal” life too…of course we do. We connect on quiet Saturdays, or Sunday afternoons. But there’s something about the slow pace of a vacation week. Or maybe it’s the rhythmic presence of the ocean. Things begin to come out. We soften, open up. We become vulnerable.

We have been healing for a while now. I know the date we broke apart. It was September 12, 2010. That was the day we separated, in heart, although not quite at that moment in body. That came a little later that fall, at the end of October. What a time of awakening that was! It was a time like no other in my life, an experience that became precious to me: for the insight, for the honesty, for the truth that came out of it. IMG_0007

The funny thing is, I couldn’t tell you the exact date we came back together. It was in May of 2011. But the date isn’t branded on my heart. We just returned…to each other, to the relationship, to trying. We’re still trying.

The whys and hows aren’t important now, and anyway, wouldn’t be important to anyone but we two…I don’t need to share every detail. But I will share this: it was worth it. Every moment, every hurt, every loss. Because out of it, I grew, and he grew. We became better and stronger. As people and as a couple. It was a hard-fought battle, and to tell the truth, there are times we’re still fighting it. Maybe we always will be.

But this is my pearl of great price: I have wisdom now that came from that time of suffering. It isn’t wisdom of pride, it is wisdom of humility. I don’t have it all sorted out, neatly packaged, nicely arranged. I do my best, I make mistakes, and I forgive. And that’s all. That has been enormously freeing….just that, to know that I’m doing the best I can, and to let go of everything else. I’ve taken down my defenses. I’m standing with my hands open, my heart bare. It feels good to give, and to be open, regardless of what comes. To just do the right thing.

Just when I think I’ve come to the end of the reconciling experience…that we’re neatly put back together, that I’ve gotten my growth out of this…something else appears. It isn’t necessarily about the relationship itself, but it is as if, once I faced myself and those issues honestly, whole new worlds began to open up. Sometimes I’m inspired, and sometimes I’m so humbled.

I began this blog in the midst of heartache, at a time when I needed to stake a claim to the good of life, and to the positive. I needed to say “I will not be poisoned by bitterness.” The joy of reaching out, finding others, discovering – it has been a significant part of the healing process for me. As is my style, the next post may be some light-hearted thing…a funny cartoon, or a recipe. I’m not someone given to the depths. But now and then, just now and then, I have to acknowledge: I’ve been down, and I’ve been out. And I’m so grateful to have come through, to have found grace and peace and joy. And even now, I know, there are no guarantees. But there is hope. If there is one message I have to share, it is this: don’t give up on anyone or anything. Don’t write the end of the story before it writes itself. It may surprise you. I would never have believed, on September 12, 2010, that I would write these words today. Life is good, not perfect. Love is wonderful, not perfect. Nothing is perfect. But it’s all good.

“Yes, I decided, a man can truly change. The events of the past year have taught me much about myself, and a few universal truths. I learned, for instance, that while wounds can be inflicted easily upon those we love, it’s often much more difficult to heal them. Yet the process of healing those wounds provided the richest experience of my life, leading me to believe that while I’ve often overestimated what I could accomplish in a day, I had underestimated what I could do in a year. But most of all, I learned that it’s possible for two people to fall in love all over again, even when there’s been a lifetime of disappointment between them.” Nicholas Sparks, The Wedding

“I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am.” John Newton

The Dream, reblogged from 4 Little Fergusons

I stumbled across this post today and had to share it. I know the value of being broken. It changed my life, made me grateful in new ways, opened my eyes, brought me joy and peace that I couldn’t understand before I experienced the scars. Read the whole thing. Read the other posts in this section. Even if you can’t fully relate, I hope this will touch you, speak to you, whoever you are, wherever you are. It is hard to see in the moment, but brokeness adds value. Blessings! ~ Sheila

4 little Fergusons

Just tuning in? Please start at the Original Post that begins this Series on “Surviving Infidelity”.  It will all make a lot more sense if you do:Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises. 

For those of you all caught up, this is post 2 for today, please go back and read the first post, “Hearing from the Lord”.

 I’d like to share a dream our mentor had.  He has been praying for us faithfully during his late night prayer time.  I am telling you, this man has been invaluable to our healing process, sharing things he hears during that time that are straight from the Lord, meant to soothe our broken hearts.  Personal things that would only make sense to us.  Man, I love that!

This was sent to us via email on July 15th, 5 short days after the secret comes out:

THE DREAM

horses

So, I’m not really a ‘horse’ person, but this dream…

View original post 874 more words

Home again, home again!

I blew in this morning in a gale. My flight was delayed, the wind and rain were ferocious, and I felt like I was wet through by the time I got unloaded. After a week in baby-land, it’s back to reality, work, and home…home being Rob, not a geographic location.

I talked to Stephanie tonight, and heard the sounds of two-week-old baby Jack sleeping near the phone…the little sighs and noises…I could feel his tiny body stretch and wiggle, just like I have for the past week. I miss him already. I miss his newborn softness, his fresh-from-heaven look. I miss his scent.

But the reality is, I’m not cut out to do the solo act. I had a divided heart last week…part of me glad to be with this new little being, and part of me sad to have left Rob behind working (work camp, we call it). Clinics do not shut down because a new baby arrives.

We’ll be down again the end of this month, and I’m looking forward to that. I’m really looking forward to that. We’ll go together, and we’ll experience together. And because we’ll be together, even though we’ll be far from our address in SE Alaska, I’ll be home. Home is where the heart is, and I’ll admit, pieces of mine are somewhat scattered through time zones and states. But the biggest piece of it is with Rob. Just as it should be. It is good to be home.

Baby Jack