One month to go. Less than really. And it doesn’t seem any more real than it did a year ago. There’s this strange time between 2/22 and 3/18 that will always leave me in a haze of wonderment.
I talked to one of my many “sisters” today. She brings much solace to my soul through her insight, mystical soul, and youngest camaraderie. Her words today soothed me, enlivened the song in my heart, and reminded me to keep watch.
No one will understand exactly what my grief is like. No one will understand perfectly my journey and purpose on this earth. But several know pieces. And I am thankful for how those pieces and those people are bound together. So when I feel sad or lost or without hope or direction I still have places to turn.
The words of others are just amplifying her words. They are bringing new insight, shedding new light, and constant reminders of her presence and being in the here and now. Today I am thankful for the thin places where I can hear her, where I can feel her, where I know she is reaching out fully of laughter and grace.
I am thankful for the memories other people share so I can continue getting to know her. So that when I am too tired to grasp on to the fragments of her there are still pages flooding in that keep her story in print.
I can remember the joy and wonder she had 30 years ago of being a mom again and welcoming you into this world. May this year and new decade be filled with many blessings and opportunities.
Blessings and opportunities. These are things I can create.
I believe in birthdays. Especially BIG birthdays. I don’t just like celebrating mine, but others’ special days as well. This year, I turned 30. One of my friends warned me that I would dread my birthday as it neared and that I’d start freaking out about my “impending doom”. But I didn’t. I actually am quite excited about my 30’s. It makes me think of the 13 going on 30 movie quote “thirty and flirty and thriving”.
I’ve made a list for myself of thirty things I want to accomplish in my 30th year. Some are big. Some are small. But I am ready to start tackling them. I’m excited to push myself. I’m excited to try new things. I’m excited to experience the world differently. And it starts now.
This weekend I got to celebrate my birthday with my nearest and dearest friends. Words can’t even describe how much it has meant to me. We’ve had dinners, went to a comedy show, crafted, hosted them in our home for food and games, etc. Time spent with these people makes me so happy. They make me laugh, build me up, and prove to me that I am loved.
I am glad to have found my people. And I am glad to have a close circle. These people are my people (no Biblical pun intended). Friendships haven’t always been easy for me. Life hasn’t always been easy. But having these people along for the ride is wonderful.
Thank you to everyone who made this the best birthday yet. To those who donated to my Facebook fundraiser; thank you. To those who gave me a gift or card or bought me a meal; thank you. To those who showed up and reminded me that I have people in my corner; thank you.
I have had every intention of writing a post the last few days. I’ve had several different thoughts and paths, it hasn’t been a lack of subject. But I have stayed true to my commitment. I’ve been lazy and apathetic. And, in some ways, shows me my own humanity. There is a lack of perfection. There is a lack of always being or doing right.
So I wrote now. I make the change now.
Music has been a constant theme of my last week. Singer/songwriter, folk, Americana, indie: songs I’ve grown up on, and songs that hold family importance, and songs that defined my college experience at school and in the summers. Music has been, is, and always will be a constant thread for me.
It soothes me, it grounds me, it pushes me to be better and to create. I feel it in my blood and in my bones and at the very core of me. It helps me be me.
I’m not always sure,
Where the journey will lead.
I just know,
I don’t walk it alone.
Community drives me forward,
It holds me close,
It pushes me to be me.
That is the deepest part of who I am,
At my core,
I am community.
This year I have chosen to add things to my routine for my Lenten Journey. I’m doing a photo a day and blog everyday. But growing up I distinctly remember being told that if we give up things for Lent that it doesn’t include Sundays. Because Sundays are like “mini Easters”. And so I decided, yesterday, that my sabbath time for my Lenten Journey this year would fall on Saturdays instead of Sundays. So I didn’t blog yesterday.
It works well for me that way. Saturday’s are generally my sabbath anyway, since I don’t work that day. So it’s a logical shift. But a new one for me.
I am thankful for tradition, routine, and newness.
I told myself today that I was going to get a lot done. Cleaning, shopping, taking things to Good Will, taking recycle. And I told myself I was going to write a poem for my blog.
The first stuff happened. And then I went to lunch with some of my favorite people. And then I got distracted by a fundraising campaign (check it out here: http://www.gofundme.com/bennettgiveback). And I didn’t create a poem. Maybe tomorrow.
I am thankful for goals and the ways I’ve been pushing myself physically and spiritually. But sometimes we need to allow ourselves to rest, to not always take great strides toward the end in sight. Sometimes we just need to breathe.
Here’s to an evening of breathing and a day of creating tomorrow.
My word for 2018 is “create”. I haven’t been doing as much of it as I want but here are somethings I have completed or are in the works:
- Baby Onesies–completed and gifted
- “welcome” door hanging–completed and hung
- Mix CDs–completed and gifted
- Mug Christmas gifts–completed and belatedly gifted
- Tshirt quilt–in process
- Boho bag–in process
- Collage Birthday card–completed and sent
- Wrap Pants–in process (for years now)
- Tag Blankets–in thought
- Falkor Plush “teddy bear”–in thought
It doesn’t seem like a lot, but at the same time it seems like a ton! Here’s to holding myself accountable and continuing to create. Crafty creations are just one piece of my “create” resolution.
I’m challenging myself to two things this Lent. 1) To complete the daily photo challenge I created for my youth and 2) To write a blog every day. So here it goes.
Today is many things. It’s the day we remember our dust. It’s the day we share our love. It’s the celebration of another year.
My brother-in-law’s birthday is today. He is a crazy, nerdy, loving, and driven person. I am thankful for him. I am thankful for the way he levels my sister out. And I am thankful for how our relationship will grow over the years. Love you, Josh!
Today is one of my very favorite holidays ever. Mardi Gras. As a kid I used to wear super crazy outfits to school in some combo of green, purple, and gold. Today I found an adult, work appropriate version 😍 I didn’t get to have pancakes or dance to wonderful big band/jazz from the Naptown Strutters–but I thought about many of those childhood memories today.
Growing up our church always had a Mardi Gras Party. Staff made a pancake breakfast-for-dinner, there were prizes and treats, and dancing. Lots of dancing. I always miss the Hansels leading us in a jelly roll, or playing “pass the broom”. But what I miss even more is instigating and taking the lead on those things once they moved away.
Tomorrow marks the start of Lent. And in addition to the photo-a-day challenge with my youth, I’m going to blog everyday. They will be more devotion-like than most of my posts. But I’m excited for the challenge.
People often assume that my busy times at work are around Christmas and during the summer. And I agree. But I’m also quick to say that “every time is really my busy time”. It’s true. There is always something happening, or planning that needs to be done; an endless cycle. It can be overwhelming at times. But I always come back to the moments that I get to share with my youth. Whether one-on-one, or in groups. That shared time is the most precious.
Yesterday we had a lock-in, really today too as they are all still sleeping. Doing some extra planning for Youth Sunday in April, playing games, watching a movie, and of course: eating. That has filled our time. I am clinging to these moments because spending time with these youth makes me the happiest. They amaze me, they challenge me, they make me proud, they make me LAUGH, they revitalize my soul. The time we share together always teaches me something new about them–it leaves me in awe. Not the dumbstruck, mouth agape kind of awe. But the kind where you smile because you can see how much they’ve grown and how they continue to morph into these incredibly insightful and loving people.
I’m lucky to share part of their journey. I’m lucky to have their influence on my life. And I thank God for the gift of their presence in my life. They say that faith formation for young people gains strength through relationships, more specifically intentional relationships with five+ adults. I am humbled and honored to be among that five. Just as I feel when serving during the summer with ASP, I feel that I gain more that I give. “Sticky Faith” relationships, while monumental for the youth, are also beneficial for the adults. And I stand in awe this morning recognizing the gifts of relationship and community with these youth.