Monday, October 15, 2012

Behind the ivy wall

There is a big beautiful ball of fire in our sky everyday. It’s gets stronger as you get closer to it. It has a million properties to its existence up so high in the sky. In our daily lives we tend to forget the mystery of it. We just know that the sun will always be there every morning to wake us up peeking through our blinds and shining on our noses making us feel its warmth.

In 3rd or 4th grade science class we learned about the planets. I don’t know about you but for me I left school amazed that day. I learned that I was just this one person living on a huge planet in a solar system larger than I could imagine.

I learned that I was so tiny in comparison to how big the world really was. It opened my world to see that this world wasn’t all about just me in it. There was more than I knew and it made me wonder what my place in it was in it.

Today I saw some ivy growing beautifully green and alive on an ugly wall that was covering its disgrace with something beautiful. The wall is serving it’s purpose to hold in what is inside behind it and keep out what is on the outside out of it. It also has something beautiful growing on it’s outside covering over it. The wall itself is very strong and it’s foundation looks like it has strength to endure. As an outsider I can see that from its appearance but I can know it because it is still here. It’s a wall that has not fallen down despite rains, earthquakes and the weight of the ivy on it.

You would have to conclude it must be strong. It is stronger than it looks from the looks of the worn out wall. It is made more beautiful because it has something alive growing on it. It makes you want to see what is on the other side. I couldn’t see a gate to go inside behind this wall today but maybe it is someplace around the corner of it. The thing is though if the owner of the place behind the wall doesn’t want any visitors they may have not made a gate.

It is like this with people sometimes. They are here in this huge world as a little piece of a huge world God made and they have something beautiful growing on their outside but they are afraid to make a gate that goes inside.

There is a risk in letting the gate be opened and a fear to get past. Seeing who you are in a huge world can make you feel smaller or it can make you feel significant in that you are a necessary part of this world. 

God who created the universe and the sun made you and everything in this world. You are significant and intricate part of a huge world. If there were no you then where would the ivy grow? Make a gate if you don’t have one. You have something beautiful people need to see and appreciate behind your wall.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Starbucks Living Room

Peace can come in room filled with strangers all doing the same thing. We sit inches apart not talking, working on laptops, getting lost in technology, daydreaming, reading a book, staring out the window, people watching and drinking coffee all while getting away to our own private island of Starbucks.

The homeless man who sits out front all the way to the right of the Starbucks with his cup on the corner of the table silently asking for help, the grey specked haired man who was laid off from his job and is still carrying his briefcase to Starbucks everyday in his job hunt, the little group of teenagers giggling about something one of them said, the woman with tears in her eyes as she reads in the darker corner without a window nearby, the creative college student with five books open and a pink bed head look going on, and the barista who has been working here for as long as I can remember still smiling but truly hiding here, the single woman whose dream is to write to help people and have a family, the single man who has lost his dream and just works long hours now. They are all here on the island.

It’s day one of hanging out in my Starbucks living room trying to figure it all out. There’s this huge pile of papers, drawers out of control, dishes to be done, laundry in the basket and I decided to run away and spend some time with my God trying to figure it out. I could stay home and face the music of the many “things” to do. Yet, all I want to do is go hang out in my Starbucks living room and make a plan, my grand plan. Its what I do when life change happens.

I run away to my little corner booth at my favorite anonymous Starbucks seeking that peace I need. I can’t find my peace in a house with roommates where my space is a room I rent filled with mirror’s of my internal mess I don’t want to look at.

I almost always change up the music that goes into my head when I go to Starbucks unless they are playing Beatles, 60’s or something sweet and jazzy. I get comfy with my poor girl version of a personalized coffee drink that I doctor up with my own flare and write out my next dream. I start making a plan so I can feel like I have some sense of control. I am all about organization and having everything all planned out into a calendar that tells me what to do.

Reality though is that my world is not in my control. I like to think I have it all planned out but it never seems to turn out how I think it will.  I can work like a dog on overdrive and miss really seeing people and their needs, miss out on feeling anything, miss out on being who I am, and miss out on giving or I can stop and take a look around so I don’t miss it.

I don’t want to look back on my life years from now and wish I had taken the time to get direction and listen to that good advice. I want to take it and live in the present not in this future I would hope to have for myself.

What amazes me is that when I get away for these little times of siesta is that I can find my feet beneath me again. I find that I have been running too fast and I need to stop and get some perspective. I get some perspective and I find some sense of direction as to where to put my next foot in front of the other.  I would encourage you to find your feet on your island wherever that is. My island is a Starbucks living room where I can stop and truly see.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I love you to the moon and back...

I was strolling down a lonely town's little downtown street with a friend a couple years back and we walked into a sweet little shop. It was one of those shops where you walk inside and your senses go wild. You smell something wonderful, hear some sweet music you can't quite identify and feel your eyes come into focus on a million little things all at once.

You find a little bar of local handmade soap carved into the shape of funky star. It's laying on this beautiful antique table with scented candles that make you wonder "who could have thought of that scent?". The table lamp in the shape of a crescent moon with twinkle lights inside. Then there is that scary handmade rag doll that is coming out of her seams. It's an eclectic world of everything.

My world was quite chaotic then as I walked haphazardly around the little tables trying not to bump things over. I am quite clumsy that way. I had gotten a divorce, lost my home, my aunt passed away, my father passed away, and I had been laid off from my dream job all in the span of a few years.

I made a crazy love kind of decision to move to a place where I could feel the sun shine on me again after I had lost my job. I had been cold living in Washington state for ten years missing California blue skies and needed some good old fashioned sunshine. I needed a reminder to look up.

It was crazy because I only knew one person and I was grieving many great losses in my life. Somewhere inside though I found the courage to move two states away. Then the courage to stay and fight out those run home blues.

On this day though I felt like I was in a tailspin hovering over those precious trinkets and odd things you really probably could live without. This is when I saw the sign that hangs on my purple bedroom wall now. It says "I love you to the moon and back".

I had been in the land of sunshine for 9 months and I had already had three contract jobs. Three times of the excitement of starting a new job, being the new girl, learning the ropes, just starting to really get it down and then... "that's all folks", "it's time to wrap it up", "job's over", "don't need you anymore", or "sorry no permanent jobs, the seasons over".

Even though I had known each job would end I still felt the sting of loss when my world would dramatically change overnight after each one. Suddenly I was to become the huntress hunting, hunting, hunting, for my prey of a new undertaking. I would work like a madwoman harder than I ever had in my life trying to prove myself only to be laid off once again.

 I didn't have much money that day after having finished my third contract job and I peeked in my wallet looking at the signs cost. Then I saw it. It was 50% off! How could it be? It was such a beautiful large wooden sign.

I fell in love and decided it was an opportunity cost. I needed the inspiration it gave me to believe I was valuable and that someone could love me so much that they would say "to the moon and back".

So in that small moment in the store I found a little hope looking up at that sign being a woman, unemployed, divorced and very tired.

Rejection in life is one of those things that can really bring people to the point of disaster. Its an endless loop of emotions, hardships that are real and imagined telling us we aren't worth a hill of beans.

In every season there is a time and a purpose in this world we live in. So I choose to walk forward with all my current uncertainties and walking in this life without a safety net.

I keep that sign posted high in my purple painted bedroom. It makes me smile because I do believe a love like that exists for me even if I never marry again. I have peace in knowing God loves me like that. He wraps me in His arms and holds me with every rejection I have in life.

He can hold you too, if you will just ask Him to. 
He just loves you.
You are that valuable!