Friday, June 28, 2013

What I Learned in June....Three Dimensional

One of my favourite blogs, Chatting at the Sky, has put out a viral call to her followers to give feedback on lessons learned in June.  Of course I could not resist!

Apparently she was not necessarily asking for the deep and epic revelations of personal truth (we all know I can digress into that pit easily enough!) but the little simple things that make me laugh, cause me to ponder, or become a turning point in the journey.

Here's my top three D's for June:

1.  Despicable Me:  Light....Bulb.  If you haven't watched this movie, as I hadn't until last night with a few mothers/daughters while eating copious amounts of chips and drinking red wine, you are missing out on an adorable visual delight.  My favourite part was when Gru, the evil dad, kept saying "Light....Bulb" in a very slow and deliberate way, so that none of his minions could miss the very depth of his revelation!  Ha....Larious.  The little girls were beyond cute and reminded me of a few precious children/nieces of my own. Who knew I had missed out on this delightful tale this whole time?!  Looking forward to Despicable Me 2 next week.

2.  Dripping Kitchens:  I'm not one to freak out on just any small whim (ok, well not as much lately I should say) but when you come home from watching a riveting NHL finals game with your dad and daughter only to find your kitchen ceiling dripping water through the ceiling fan, there is cause for a little panic!  I started imagining the ceiling crashing down in the middle of the night with sparks of flame shooting from the electrical wiring starting a house fire while I was ensconced in my bed dreaming of the Caribbean beach.  As I pulled out pots and towels, I realized that nothing is really stable or solid in this world.  You can be as prepared as you want, and still discover a crack in the veneer that will tear your security into shreds, until the only thing left to do is take your imagination and go to bed.  

3.  Days Gone By: A fragile warmth has come over me these days when I'm reminded of my past.   Little flashes of people and moments that I enjoyed.  Take movies for instance.  Who didn't love Michael J Fox in the 1985 classic Back to the Future?   I saw an old picture of a boy I used to know in High School, and even though we weren't close, we hung out in the same circle of friends.  It felt nice to see an old familiar face.   I enjoyed dinner with my oldest girlfriend a few weeks ago, and as we reminisced about past adventures,  I was amazed how good it felt to hear how she remembered me.  I cherish my past.  Now THAT is a huge revelation for me.  There is large amount of pain, wounds, regrets that I have only and ever wanted to erase from my past these last few years.  I am coming more to terms with what was, what is, and what is yet to come.  I also enjoyed a weekend with my second oldest girlfriend in Radium, and again the theme was to look back, see the gold vein through the rock then move into a new and fresh way of loving and caring for each other. A refreshing change (Thanks Girlfriend!).

Thanks for Chatting.

Until next time,


Sunday, June 23, 2013

For Such A Time As This....Facing Reality

I have been quiet these past few weeks, pondering my need to write this blog, and what message it should hold. As I sat in the stillness of this reassessment, the waters of torrential rain flooded the city I once loved and lived in for the longest period of my life.  Calgary was blindsided by a deluge that has never been seen before and hopefully will never again.

I had moved from Calgary to Lethbridge 3 years ago, but still felt the thread that tied me to all that I had experienced and embraced there.  Sure, I had lots of grief, many heartbreaks, yet still called it home.  Lethbridge became my safe harbour, where I nursed my wounds, regained my footing and began to hope again that there was a reason I was here "for such a time as this."

Recently I read the most inspiring blog entry from a beloved writer who understood what is needed when heroes are hard to find and there is loss all around us.  

There is a book in the bible called Esther.  Its my favourite story because it depicts a young woman who goes from complete obscurity, to becoming the Queen of Persia.  A biblical Cinderella story. Except there is so much more substance to this epic tale than the fairytale Disney has put on film.  For not only does she move into the palace and become the second most influential person in the kingdom, but she uses this position to help save a whole generation of her people from becoming annihilated. 

The key to her heroism is that she hasn't told the king who her people are (oops.  Rule #1: always tell your new beau about your family background so he doesn't have to find out in a crisis situation!) AND she has to go before the king uninvited (which is a BIG no-no) to intercede for her people without telling him first any details.  This girl is in a tight spot!  But she doesn't back down.  She takes the high road and plunges in to play her part "for such a time as this" and shows what her true substance is all about.  Even unto death.  Luckily the king accepts her request and she was able to tell him her tale of woe. (If you want the full accounting, go find a bible and read Esther in the Old Testament, after Nehemiah and before Job. Amazing story!)

There is a similar theme throughout the media these days regarding the heroes of Southern Alberta.  One is even dear to my family.  He decided to go down to High River and offer his support, his strong back, even in the face of possible danger.  He chose to go.  He left the high ground and went down to the flood lands to play his part in the story of his time.

The question I have been asking all week is what is my part?  Where am I to step in and contribute my personal role? Because that's what we all want, isn't it?  To be the hero of our story?  To step in when the odds are stacked against us and we feel small in such a large cost?  To go when we're afraid and help those who are in need?  Or are we too comfortable?  Do we like our distant sympathy, not wanting to put feet to the feat.

This blog is "for such a time as this".  Its to encourage, to feed the soul with truth, to look fear in the face and say, "I see you, but I'm going anyway!" To get off the Italian couch and head back to the foothills of Alberta and stand with those who are knee deep in the flood, facing the annihilation of their homes, their land, their lives, and still not give up.  

I'm no hero.  But I am part of the Esther Generation that will go into the court and face the king, fighting for those who are outside my gates, who need a voice to speak on their behalf.  To stand with them when they face tragedy, to see their anguish and encourage them to have hope.

For what better purpose could this blog have than to feed and nourish the soul with words towards hope for a new day?  Hope for strength.  Hope for community.  Hope for a helping hand in the storm.

Until next time,

(I am letting go of my imaginary story and entering into the reality of who I am "for such a time as this")

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Striving To No End

Has anyone else been striving this week besides me?  
It seems to be the word for my week.
Striving to be the best person, striving to do the right thing, striving to help and support.  None of these things are wrong, but when the striving becomes a way to be accepted, noticed, admired it becomes restless and uncomfortable.

I was at a birthday party this week for a friend's daughter, and as I kept asking if there's was something I could do to 'help' the husband looked at me and literally said "stop striving!"

At first I was so stunned at his choice of words (how was he to know I struggle with the 'Martha' syndrome of staying on task, instead of relaxing in the 'Mary' mode of enjoying the people I'm with?!), then I realized that there is a posture I sometimes put on when I'm engaging with people and certain circumstances.  I strive.  I'm not really at peace with the outcome.  I have an agenda and I'm determined to see it to its end.  It can actually push people away from the very purpose I'm endeavouring to accomplish.  The more one strives in the doing, the more others recoil from the BEing.  Thank goodness my dear Sista quickly stepped in and replied its my Love Language so I was graciously excused!

As I walked down my little Italian cobbled road here outside my Tuscan villa the other morning, I was suddenly mesmerized by a very large tree.  It was beautiful.  I was enthralled by its stature and grandeur.  I felt small and still in its shadow.  It reminded me of how very small we really are in the true scope of living.  We fight our small battles, determined to win a war that isn't even ours.  The tree knows which hill to die on, which storm to brave, which direction to grow.  It doesn't strive or worry.  This is the beauty of mankind, but also its demise, I concluded.  We were created to wonder and believe in things unseen, but our finite minds twist it around so we get distracted by the striving of simply being.  The tree knows and responds in perfect harmony to its surroundings.  I am constantly picking fights that aren't worth the discord it creates in my soul.  

My food and beverage of the soul this week was rest.  Rest in the beauty of being in the still point through my internal compass.  The God-given peace that goes beyond making sure I am seen and heard correctly, and brings relief to the constant striving.

Until next time,

Lady Jane