Saturday, June 30, 2012



"Too often, we try to gain a clear perspective before it is time.

That will make us crazy.

We do not always know why things are happening the way they are. We do not always know how a particular relationship will work out.  We do not always understand the source of our feelings, why we've been led down a particular path, what is being worked out in us, what we are learning, why we need to recycle, why we had to wait, why we needed to go through a time of discipline, or why a door closed. How our present circumstances will work into the larger scheme of events is not always clear to us. That is how it needs to be.

Perspective will come in retrospect.

We could strain for hours today for the meaning of something that may come in an instant next year.

Let it go. We can let go of our need to figure things out, to feel in control.

Now is the time to be. To feel. To go through it. To allow things to happen. To learn. To let whatever is being worked out in us take its course.

In hindsight, we will know. It will become clear. For today, being is enough. We have been told that all things shall work out for good in our life. We can trust that to happen, even if we cannot see the place today's events will hold in the large picture."

This passage is from a meditation book on co-dependency, called The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie.  The italics are mine.  I read it this morning, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. I have written about letting go, and while it is not an easy process to be in, passages like this provide a great reminder that I am not alone, and that this path is a good one.

I have a tendency to compulsively seek perspective before "it is time".


More later.  Peace out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Help me to Be...

Dear Lord God, please help me to stop asking who I am supposed to be, who others want me to be, who it is good to be, and help me to just...Be.

There are so many things that I want to be!  But more and more, I am realizing that I cannot become anything until I become okay with who I am now.  Maybe not okay as in, this is who I want to be forever, but okay as in, this is a great place to begin.  Every day is a new beginning.  God, please help me stop trying to be what I think others want me to be.  I want to fear no one's rejection but Yours...and I know that You will never reject a heart that sincerely seeks after You.

I do not fear or reject the weaknesses of others, I do not turn away from the pain of others...I want to stop fearing that others will fear and reject my weakness, turn from my pain.  They may, but that is not for me to fear.  I know for a fact that when we freely enter into the pain of others with love and compassion, we come away richer for it.  But ultimately, if the God of the Universe does not reject me in my weakness, fear and pain, then what is there to fear?

Just for today, dear Lord, help me to be.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Writer's Block - Ahhhhhhh!

This morning I am working on my writing project, a book entitled "Splashes of Grace - When God Shows His Love in a Thousand Ways".  I have to be honest, this book is either going to be a breakthrough for me, or it will kill me.  Right now, I'm betting on the "kill me" option.

There are few things more disheartening than sitting at a keyboard, with pages to write and not one word in my head.  Literally.  It would be like gathering all the ingredients together to make my favorite recipe, only to find that I have forgotten how to cook.  Or what the ingredients are for.  Or even what they are. 

I'm telling you, I've got nothing.

I keep telling myself to just keep writing, even if I know that what is appearing on the screen is useless.  Just keep writing and at some point something will kick in and it will all begin to come together.  Just keep trying.

Just. Keep. Trying.

I've come to the HAECC, where our Cegep classes are held, to be alone and write without interruption.  While classes are over for the summer, I can still come to our classroom and use my laptop to write.  It's quiet here.  The only sounds are the hum of the air conditioner and the occasional door closing somewhere in the building.  Nice and quiet. 


The problem is that once the panic begins, like a vague flutter of trapped butterflies in my stomach, my brain seems to completely shut down.  Really, at that point, all seems lost. 

I think, at times like this, all I can do is discipline myself to stay here, write the dusty bits of refuse floating about in my vapid brain and try not to panic.  Or give up.  Or sob uncontrollably all over the keyboard. 

One thing gives me solace.  I am not alone.  I am still sitting in this chair by sheer prayer-power.  Without God, I'd have bolted a long time ago. I'm really grateful for Him.

Okay, maybe two things - you know I can't ever pass by a cat pic...

Peace out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Nap time smackdown ~ something a little lighter.

Last week felt a bit heavy, so I thought I'd start out today with something a little lighter.

On Saturday afternoon, I had gone upstairs to take a nap. Normally I just snooze for a bit on the couch if I need to, but it had been a rough week physically and it felt good to take time to sleep some of the afternoon heat away. Jean-Luc followed, because, lets face it, he's a cat and therefore genetically programmed to sleep his life away. Buddy also came up with us.  Jean-Luc took his usual spot on the pillow next to mine, Buddy tucked himself under my chin and we all drifted off to dreamland.

Buddy woke up first.  I groggily plopped his beanie baby pig in front of him. He played with it for a bit, and then resumed his wriggling.  Trying to buy some more time, I tucked him under my arm and tried to woo him back to dreamland, but he was having none of it. Jean-Luc just frowned at him.

Then Buddy started to whine.  I shushed him, told him to stop, wiggled beanie piggie in front of him, but nothing worked.  Just as I was was resigning myself to having to get up, Jean-Luc raised himself on one elbow, reached over and soundly smacked Buddy upside the head.  He then re-curled himself into a catnap ball while Buddy shrank back under my silence.

For those of you who know me and remember the CBC Radio 1 interview that I was part of on Breakaway about a laughter conference I had attended, you will remember a story that I told about being especially upset before Mum's death, and how, when Jean-Luc found me sobbing hysterically on my bed, he swatted me upside the head. Twice.  Apparently he has a low tolerance for hysterics, in people or puppies.  He made me laugh then, and he made me laugh on Saturday.  Poor Buddy didn't find it nearly as amusing, though.  Oh well. He'll learn.

In case you missed the interview, here it is.  I don't think I blogged about it, but it was a tremendous experience, and so much fun!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day to my Dad!

You know, while I am not yet in the place where my child is an adult and on her own, I imagine that it can be difficult for parents to find their places in the lives of their adult children, especially as time goes on and the children begin having and raising children of their own.

How can a father be a father to a daughter who is in her 40's, raising her own child, making her own decisions, living her own life?

One of the most important ways that my dad continues to encourage me as a parent is by reading my blog. Frequent readers will have noted that on occasion, after a quiet spell, I precede a post with a comment that it has been brought to my attention that I haven't posted for a while.  Without fail, the one who brings it to my attention is my dad.  Apparently he has picked up on the fact that when I don't write, it's often because things aren't going well.  His phone calls and carefully casual inquiries into how I am always make me feel loved and cared for, even if I don't want to talk about what is going on.  He doesn't push.  He just asks, and makes sure that I know that he is paying attention. This means a lot to me.

I cannot tell you how much it means to me that anyone takes the time to read this blog.  That my dad does it is especially nice.  My dad and I are very different in many ways.  The fact is, he probably doesn't agree with or relate to most of what I write.  Did I mention how very different we are?   It doesn't matter, though.  He loves me, and that's enough.  He doesn't have to agree, any more than I have to agree with him.  That's not the issue.  The issue is that he cares enough to check up on me by reading this blog and that means the world to me.

When I was a teenager and just beginning to write, I used to show my dad my efforts.  It is a nerve-wracking endeavor, placing one's creative child into the hands of another, and waiting for the verdict.  No doubt my writing was immature, full of the naive dreamy silliness of a teenager girl.  My dad was a reader.  He knew what good writing was.  And yet, he would say to me, "I don't know much about writing, but this is good."  Everything I offered to him was received with respect, read carefully and treated like it was, well, real.  I was wracked with doubts and insecurities, about almost everything but especially about my writing.  Without Dad's careful attention to my work, I might never have continued.  He passed on to me a love of books, of the written word, and eventually, I received much of his library.  My first typewriter was a gift from him.  It was electric and everything.  I treasured it.

Today I want to wish my dad the happiest of Fathers Days.  Not just because the calendar says it's time.  Not even because this past year has taught me that one is never assured of another day in which to share these things.  I wish my dad a Happy Fathers Day because I appreciate his care for me, his attention and love.  I am sorry that I have made him worry, although as a parent myself, I am beginning to think that the worrying thing hangs on pretty much until the end.  I love you, Dad, and thank you for taking the time to check up on Gracie and I.  I hope that you have a wonderful day, and that you know that you are loved.

Love, Kelly

Friday, June 15, 2012

Letting go...

Yesterday I talked briefly about letting go, of my plans, my anxieties and efforts to control things that I have no business controlling.  The concept of letting go is an important one.  Even shortened down to a convenient  catch phrase, 'Let go and let God",  it is a vital tool for overcoming and surviving some of the intense struggles that we often find ourselves facing.

The idea of letting go addresses those moments when we are faced with struggles, tasks, feelings, even blessings that we are compelled to try to control, but soon realize that they are not really ours to control.  Sometimes we can't be trusted with them.  This is always painful to admit to.  Often times we are powerless in a situation, which can be equally painful.

I have been in conflicts in which I have been completely powerless.  I knew that there was nothing I could do or say to speak into the other's rage, because the rage did not originate with me. I cannot be responsible for what I cannot control, and I cannot control another's anger.  In fact, to even try just adds fuel to the fire.  So I had to let go, to walk away from the conflict.

Other times, I have had to let go of tasks that I have accomplished, hoping for positive results but unable to control the outcome.  Things I have written, gifts I have given, lessons I have taught - this is especially true in my role as a parent.  There are few desires as strong as the desire of a parent to positively influence her children, to direct a child in the way they should go and to see the child walking free and strong and whole.  Still, every lesson is but a gift, and every child is free to accept or deny that gift.  I have had to learn to let go.

The strength of letting go, though, lies in who is there to receive my hopes, desires and dreams after they leave my hands.  I cannot release my child, my relationships, my finances, my dreams or my life into a vague, unknown universe, hoping that something out there will take care of them.  I mean, seriously, I don't even let Buddy out into the world without the boundary of a long leash and a watchful eye.  I can't just open the door and trust him to the universe.  The universe will run him over on the road just as easily as not.

I let go of my daughter this week so that she could go to a Foster the People concert with her best friend, Meagan.  I didn't let her go out into nothingness. I let her go out into a world with boundaries and guidelines, where laws exist and are, for the most part, enforced, where young people like Meagan earn the right to drive by proving themselves able through strictly designed tests.

And still, as a mom whose heart would shatter into a million pieces if anything had happened to her, I ultimately let her go to God.  I placed her into the hands of a God that I have known and followed for years, whose boundaries and freedoms I have welcomed into my life, whose heart is mine in a passionate, enduring love, simply because I exist.

There is no magic in the letting go.  The freedom comes in knowing that by letting go, my concerns are then able to be picked up and cared for by One who is faithful and trustworthy, who loves me and those I love, who carries my treasures with the utmost wisdom and care.

I don't always get the results that I want.  Still, I have a feeling that someday, somewhere, I will look back on this life and my walk through it, and I will see that I have received what I needed.

I look forward to that day, even as I live this day, letting go and letting God.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Living in the moment

This morning I had a reminder, from a very small fur friend, about how important it is to live in the moment.  We have been puppy-sitting for my ex-husband and his girlfriend, Donna.  They have an excruciatingly adorable chihuahua mix puppy named Buddy.  He's three months old, and obviously well-loved by his owners, because he is the sweetest, most affectionate little fellow.  Donna had surgery on her knee, and Grace and I were more than willing to help take care of him until she recover enough to keep up with him again.

This morning I let Buddy out of his crate and put him outside. In a few moments I had a cup of tea and was sitting out with him.  This has become our routine.  He goes out to pee, I make tea and when I get out onto the front porch, it is time to say "Good morning!".  I don't know if anyone knows how to say good morning like a puppy.  Buddy literally writhes with the sheer joy of a early morning re-connection. I sat in a lawn chair on the porch, holding him on my chest while he frantically licked my face and hands, wiggling and whimpering his pleasure at the dawning of another day.

After a few moments of this, he nuzzled his face into my throat, stretched his small body out onto mine and sighed deeply.  And was still.  He was enjoying the moment, the smell of a friend, the warmth of the sun and my hand on his back, the joy of being awake and in the world again.  I felt him relax, and heard the gentle reminder in my spirit to do the same.  I closed my eyes, sighed deeply, relaxed into my chair and settled into the moment.  The morning sun, warm on my face.  The bird songs as they greeted each other, made plans for the day.  The taste of sweet, milky tea on my lips.  The fragrance of  peonies dropping soft, pink petals in the garden. The pleasure of the little body on my chest, his bum cupped in one hand, my other hand languidly stroking his smooth, silky back.  The cool wet nose, pressed into my throat.

Then, the moment went deeper.  I felt the soft moving of the Lord in my spirit, the gentle, encouraging invitation to take the surrendering of this moment further, and to surrender to the rest of the moments in my day.  I was invited to let go, of the day, of my plans, of my anxieties, of the need to try to control the moments which distracts and keeps me from truly living them.  I let go.

Then Buddy stirred. Apparently nature was calling again.  I sipped my tea and watched a transport truck go past on Chateauguay street as Buddy tripped down the stairs in search for just the right spot.  And life resumed. Or continued.  New moments, new opportunities to let go, new chances to live.

Thanks, Buddy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

For Today...

This afternoon, I sent a link to one of my blog posts to a friend through email.  We had been talking on the week-end, and part of our conversation was about dealing with grief and sorrow.  My friend said some things about making our way through sorrow that I could relate to, and I sent him the post because in it, I shared some of the same thoughts and ideas.  It was actually a neat experience, to re-read the post and remember an encouraging, uplifting conversation.  It felt good to share it.

And then the doubt hit.  Was I pushing my writing on him? What if he felt obligated to read it, but found it boring?  Was I really sure that it was a good idea to send it?  All stupid, irrelevant questions that I know, intellectually, mean nothing.  The fact is, if I bore him, he'll be polite about it.  But he won't be bored.  He'll enjoy it because I wrote it, for one thing.  And he'll enjoy it because he'll understand it.  He'll know what I mean, because he has been where I am/was and he remembers.  More importantly, he won't be bored because he is a friend, and he cares.

To be honest, the doubt and anxiety that I felt is the same doubt and anxiety that I often feel when I push the publish button and make these posts official.  Blogging, especially blogging about personal things, is an agonizing endeavor. I feel so vulnerable, so exposed.  Some days are better than others. Lately I have been feeling especially fragile.  I re-read many of the grief and mourning posts this morning and marveled at how brave I was.  Or more accurately, how brave I let God make me.  Every time I read them, I cry because I revisit those days, which isn't exactly a bad thing.  Mum felt closer in those days.  The memories were clearer.  I could still feel her hand in mine.  I would gladly be back there, in the hospital room, at her memorial, at my sister's, trying to figure out how to open the plastic box that held her ashes, so that we could sprinkle them by the water and say good-bye. Frankly, at this point I'd be glad just to see the ashes again.  

I don't know if sharing these things will ever get easier.  Sometimes I feel like Peter, walking on water to meet Jesus.  Eyes on Jesus, one step at a time, stomach churning at the sheer thrill and terror of doing the impossible.  Look away from Jesus, realize how impossible the task is, and the next thing I know, I'm up to my armpits in stormy seas. I need to keep my eyes on Him, and keep walking, letting the cool salt spray wet my feet and not cover my head.

For today, I choose not to sink under fear and doubt.  For today, I will trust my friends, my self, and most importantly, my God.  For today, in God's strength and by God's grace, I walk.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Holy Tiredness, Batman!

Okay, so yesterday I spent most of the day at the Ormstown Fair. I haven't actually been to the fair for years, and I really can't remember the last time I spent the whole day there.  It was probably back in the days when planning the day at the fair meant trying to figure out how many rounds of the Zipper I could handle without rolfing hotdogs and coke all over the place. Yesterday, it meant trying to figure out where we could best be entertained while conserving enough energy to make it through the day.  Which means horse shows and tractor pulls.  One does what one can.

It was a really nice day.  No tornadoes or hail, which is always a bonus.  Plenty of sun, and cool breezes. I got to meet up with people that I haven't seen for ages.  There were lots of hugs and 5 minute conversations that consisted of yelling out bits of news over the din of screaming kids whirling about on rides and howling machinery lugging sizable weights in clouds of dust, to the roar of the crowds.  I also got to spend a few hours catching up with an old friend.  It always amazes me, how we all live in adjoining towns, shop at the same stores, send our kids to the same schools, and only really connect once every decade or so.  But sometimes, when we do connect, we get to remember what makes old friends so special.  There is a comfort in old friends, and reconnecting with them is a joy because it is very much like making new friends, only a shared history means that we are already aware of how trustworthy and caring they are.  It makes for lots of great conversation, complete with the wonderful "remember when's"  and the always interesting, "Wait....I don't remember that! Did I really....?"

Of course, today I am paying for it.  Again, I remember when "paying for it" meant too much time in the beer tent.  Now it means getting to bed past midnight.  I am wiped.  And in pain, thanks to a bladder that doesn't understand how the whole fun thing works.  But that doesn't matter.  Today I have time to sleep. I can ignore the house work that needs to be done - after all, that's what tomorrow is for.  I'm going to curl up with my heating pad, a book and a few critters and rest, all the while thinking how cool it is to be in a world with such neat people, how grateful I am for my dear friends, for those who have been a part of my daily life for so long as well as for those who who have lingered in my heart despite their absence from my life. I am a grateful woman, and am surrounded by incredible people.  

Now...I just need to pick a book and round up the cats...

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Test Post & An Epiphany

Well, I suppose this is a test post, as I will be using it to find out if I am still blocked by Facebook.  Funny thing, that.  When I first discovered that my blog had been reported as abusive, I felt a bit sick.  As much as I wanted to think of it as an obvious mistake, the fact is, it could have been intentional.  Past experience has taught me that.  Then, my inner sense of righteous indignation kicked in. Visions of anti-censorship blog posts danced...okay, stomped around in my head. That didn't last long, though.  To be honest, who has the energy?  I don't.  I was, like, "Meh..."  Besides, one friend suggested that I simply post the blog entries as notes, and another friend bypassed the system all together and managed to post my blog link anyway.  I have brilliant friends. 

So, I had a bit of an epiphany this week-end.  Week-ends are hard for me.  I always feel extra lonely, I always miss my mom more, and I always feel down and discouraged on week-ends.  It has taken me a while to clue into this tendency.  I don't even dread week-ends.  The melancholy always catches my by surprise.  I realized this week-end that being an introvert makes grief and mourning really difficult.  I mean, I know that grief and mourning are always difficult.  But for me, there are different challenges that come with being an introvert.  For one thing, I find it hard to reach out for help or companionship when the sadness hits.  At times when I most need to be out and with people, my melancholy mood makes me want to hide in my apartment, hugging a cat and crying.  I cannot easily distract myself.

 I am too inner focused to escape my sorrow, or the things that are going through my mind.  My Mum told me once that I analyse everything. She was right. One of my favorite verses in Scripture is the last part of 2 Corinthians 10:5 -"...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Without the discipline that I have grown into over the years of walking with God, my mind would be a very scary place.  I do tend to analyse, ponder and examine things much too intensely. When I am sad or hurt, it takes all the strength that I have to discipline my mind so that I don't get lost in the memories and the relentless desire to figure out why things happen the way that they do.

Social interaction is difficult for me in the best of times. When I am down, it seems impossible.  One misconception about introverts is that they don't like or need people.  This just isn't true.  We love people.  It's just that interacting with people on a social level is work for us.  It may be pleasurable work, but it is still work.  I walk away from social activities exhausted.  Happy, but exhausted. When I am down, I don't have the energy to be social.  But I still have the need, the desire. 

I'm not really sure what to do with this new insight into my self.  Maybe knowing about it is half the battle.  Maybe I should force myself out into the world.  Maybe, maybe maybe...maybe I could just give it to God and let it go.  Just a thought.

So...let's see if Facebook has really released me from the catagory of perverts, bigots and bullies...

Here's hoping.  :)
My Zimbio