I have 4 or 5 different posts in various stages of being written, but since I had wanted to write one about the recent Alice in Wonderland movie, I’ll just go ahead and link to CC’s blog, as she put it so nicely. I liked the movie because it allows for crazy in life. Why sit back and be like everyone else? Why not go for my dreams? Why not find 6 impossible things before breakfast? Why not embrace life as it comes, trusting that if I act in love and care for others, that in itself is following the right path?
I tend to think of myself as a patient person. I can sit in a hot shared taxi for 40 minutes and only be slightly agitated. I never understood people who had the urge, while waiting at the doctor, to get up every 2 minutes or be constantly changing positions. Delayed train, not a big deal. Waiting in a queue, easily done. I admit, patience with my kids is still something I’m learning
However, it seems I’m not all that patient when it comes to the long-term. A better term is probably endurance. When I want to see change, when I’m hoping for an improvement in some area of my life, waiting around for it seems to be something I’ve still got to get a grip in.
I don’t know when I started to think of endurance as something that just had to be ‘endured’. When going through times when the future is uncertain, or I can’t pinpoint a time frame on when I want to see change happen, every passing day is just another frustration.
Now, that’s changing. If I can sit and wait for a few hours, knowing that there will be an end to the wait, I’ll trust that God will put an end to the longer waits as well. I mean, He’s done it before, right? And I no longer want to endure the wait, barely surviving. I want to get to my destination fresh, excited, motivated, and enjoying every moment of the trip! Yes, I know there will be frustrations along the way, delays, or uncertainties. But why should I act like the spoiled child demanding on getting there right now, or the annoying “are we there yet?” syndrome?
Change will come, there’s no doubt about it, and I’ll be doing my part to effect what I can, will keep praying, doing all I can, work on my goals step by step. At the same time, I will enjoy the life given to me. Here’s to taking surviving a step further, here’s to suceeding with a bang!
I’ve been giving the word friendship some thought lately. I know I’ve written about those wonderful people in my life who have, in some way helped me to keep going, kept me on the right path, led by example, lifted me when I was down, and a whole lot more.
Recently, I’ve been once again reminded of the wonderful gift of friendship in my life. Sometimes it takes coming to the end of myself to realize that God does put people in my life who can be His hands, His strong arms of comfort, of strength, and of support.
I hadn’t even realized that I was trying to carry it all alone. I thought I needed to be stronger, somehow make my dreams come true–alone. I felt overwhelmed because I didn’t want to depend on anyone, or worse yet, drag anyone else down with concerns about me. I spent time trying to figure out why people said or did things to me. Why, when I was hurt, did I spend time going over the things that were said to me, again and again? I somehow ended up closing up a little more each time, trying to defend myself from the hurt I was sure I was going to experience, or even cause others by being myself.
Then it happened, the one instant that opened my eyes to what I had been allowing myself to become. While I don’t remember the words exactly, in so many words, a friend told me, “All I wanted was for you to know I was there for you, as a friend, I wish you could have accepted that.” That’s when I realized I was closing up again, trying to soldier on alone.
I started to look deeper into my heart and asked the Lord about it as well. Slowly, I started to see the blessings the Lord had brought into my life. In the midst of all the negativity I had let into my life, there was that bright light, that life-saver in the form of those He brought into my life. Friends, who don’t need to know all my trials to understand me, who I don’t have to say a whole lot, but they’re there for me anyway. They don’t need to understand my negativity, they don’t need to even know what I’m going through, out of the blue, there will be a comment someone will make, an IM, or email, telling me not to give up, to keep going for my dreams, or some acknowledgment of a gift I have. I’m not going to start expounding to you, my dear friends, of the things I go through. I won’t go into details of what hurts. I’ll just allow you to be there for me, to help me shoulder the load, to lean from time to time. And I do hope I can do the same for you.
Now, I’m looking at things more positively, I’m not completely alone. I don’t even need to try to be strong on my own. I don’t believe God intended us to walk the path of life completely alone; He gives us companions, friends, soul mates. And I’m so thankful for each one that He’s given me. And, I have come to the conclusion that I would rather accept others for who they are and be hurt, than to assume the worst, judge, or suspect with the result that I’m wrong.
There are those days when I question if I’m doing anything right as a parent, if I’m at all successful in teaching my children right from wrong, if anything I tell them even sinks in, if the way I lead through example is helping them to develop the character I want for them. I ask myself if there is more I should be doing, more I could be teaching them, more I needed to somehow impart. There are times I wonder if what I say goes in one ear and out the other, if anything I read with them, discuss with them, teach them even makes a dent in their lives. Over time, I’ve learned to sit back from time to time and assess what needs to change in my parenting tactic and approach and pray about how to enact that change. Still, I find the task quite daunting at times.
Then there are the days when I see small rewards of my efforts. There was the time two weeks ago when I had a pretty bad earache for four days. I was able to keep teaching most of the time, and kept up with a marginal amount of work, but a lot of the physical stuff, I just had to let slide. One morning, after breakfast, I came to the room to find CC doing my chores–the ones she dislikes the most, because, “you’re tired mom, let me do it this time.” Meanwhile, Jordan, Cherise and the other boys were in the schoolroom racing to get the place spic and span while I was changing into my work clothes.
There are the times the girls take responsibility for the younger boys in ways that are adorable to watch. They’ll try and teach them art techniques, beading, help with homework, or listen to them read the same stories over and over again. They take on the responsibility of keeping them occupied when needed, and do a reasonably good job at it, too.
At night, when I see them all snuggled in one bed together, I pick them apart, put them in their own beds again and thank God that something is getting through. They’re still learning, they’re still growing, but that’s the good part. They ARE learning. Just like me, they’ll never be perfect, but we’ll go on this path of life, learning together, with and from each other.
…you were so small the smallest baby clothes were too big for you.
Now, you’re barely head and shoulders smaller than me and wear my clothes from time to time.
…you were so fragile, you couldn’t even hold your head up without support.
Now, you bravely face change, travel, or challenges with your head held high, despite any fear or apprehension in your heart.
…you depended on me for everything: food, warmth, the ability to get comfortable enough to sleep, and so much more.
Now, you’re learning to cook, design your own wardrobe, do your own hair, and so much more.
…from the look on your face, you were not pleased with your surroundings in the first minutes of life.
Now, you have learned to be happy despite any surroundings that might not be your favorite thing. You’re learning to rise above feelings of discontent and will do things you don’t want to do just because you know it needs to be done.
…you cried, and I comforted you the best I knew how.
Now, you comfort those smaller and more fragile than yourself.
…there was very little you could do for yourself.
Now, there is very little you don’t try to do when you put your mind to it.
As we go into a new year together, I’m looking forward to many more years of watching you grow into a young lady. I love to see how you’re going to handle the new challenges, discover new things you like, learning new things, and more. I love you, and never forget, regardless of how big you grow, I’ll always love to cuddle my little girl.
Just wanted to put a little shout out to my beautiful, talented sister who is getting married today! Leilani, I’m wishing you and Stephen all the best as your lives enter this new phase. I wish I could have been there, I’m sure I’m missing out, but know that I’m sending so much love, many prayers and good wishes from this side of the world. May you be happy always. I love you!
CC has been writing again, I’ve started posting some of her poems, with more poems and stories to follow. I know she really appreciates any comments. Thanks!
It’s been some time since I enjoyed watching relationships and marriage in a movie as I have in this one. Based on two true stories, the movie does little to gloss over the realities of marriage, the ups and downs that go with it, and the beauty of being in a healthy, loving relationship with all the trust, love, and care that does still exist in the world.
Of course, the fact that both women cook like mad must help in some way in the way of keeping their men happy, but it also shows the support and care that comes when there is real, unselfish love.
One couple is married ‘against the odds’ as her father doesn’t approve, they’re both older when they get married, and frankly, she’s not the kind of person I could personally stand to be around for very long. By the end of the movie, I’m just glad I didn’t have to hear her voice anymore, ha! Regardless, she’s loved and loved deeply. He seems to see beyond her outer appearance and love what’s inside, seeing her potential and understanding her fears and dreams.
The other couple is younger and just starting out on a new life as they move appartments, and she takes on the challenge of working her way through the cookbook in one year and blogging about it. Again, he understands her like few others can. He sees her melt-downs, gives her the space she needs to cry it out, but is there for her when she needs that shoulder again. He doesn’t just sit by passively as she grows more egotistical and self-centered, but rather gives her the reality check she needs. Through their own ups and downs, they find out what’s important to them, how to support each other in that, and on top of it, how to cook really, really well.
Maybe not to everyone’s taste, but I enjoyed watching the chemistry, the growth, the connection that is called love.
This morning we were peacefully enjoying our breakfast when Jordan quietly motioned for me to see that there was a baby gecko under the table. I looked, and satisfied that it was at the other end of the room, went back to my food. Within 10 seconds that creature was running over my foot. Instinctively, I shrieked and pulled my feet up on the chair. After explaining what happened, my kids all had different reactions:
Jordan: “Oh, mom, it was just a baby gecko.”
CC: “I once even picked one up!”
Cherise: “Awwwww, cute!”
Followed by a typical CC reaction, “Mom, you really shouldn’t scream.”
I don’t know what was going through the mind of that creature as I nearly stepped on it as I went to the kitchen to do dishes. And that’s just not cute!