My Calling

fromheaven

The idea that I have a unique calling isn’t new to me.  A calling is what got me to enter a convent.  I was truly convinced that God was calling me to the religious life and for a time, I believe he was.  My calling changed but I didn’t want to let go of what I believed my calling was.  I was angry with God that things hadn’t turned out the way I’d planned.  And, yes, I know how silly that sounds.  Humans are funny that way, especially this one.

It has taken years for me to begin to understand that my calling is my life.  My life only becomes my calling when I open myself up to it, when I accept the path that shows up in front of me and I follow it.  A calling isn’t something exotic or special and while it’s unique to each one of us, it is as simple as opening oneself to the life we were given.

This simplicity doesn’t make it any less powerful or important and it certainly doesn’t make it easy.  For years, I’ve resisted what was before me all the time.  I just didn’t see it.  I stumbled through life with my eyes closed.

Now the pieces are starting to fit.  I look back over the years and I clearly see how some things were meant to be.

I was called to a relationship with my husband in marriage.  Much of my character has been refined because of this relationship.  I have not always liked the lessons but I have no doubts that marrying him was answering my calling.  I love him.  He is blessed to have me and I him.

Nothing has ever felt as natural or as right as being a mother.  Motherhood was a calling, a very important and very special one.  I have been given the privilege of being a mother to both my amazing children.  This too, is often difficult and challenging but it has been my calling and nothing has improved my character more than being a mother.   Every day I struggle to rise to the occasion and every evening I am grateful for the opportunity no matter how trying the day.

I am called to write.  Maybe, not best sellers or even non-selling e-books but this blog.  The reasons don’t matter.  What matters is that I am drawn to do this despite the fact that sharing so much of myself feels uncomfortable and often embarrasses me.   I am my own harshest critic.  Yet, when other critics appear and I question the sanity in continuing, the call remains.  Questioning stops and I continue to write.  If this isn’t a calling than I don’t know what  is.

I am called to be an Independent Mary Kay Beauty consultant.  This isn’t a job or even a career, it is a calling.  I am very aware of the irony here which is precisely why I take this so seriously and continue despite the occasion challenges.  What I learn about this business is helping me in ways I never expected.  It constantly challenges me to push past my reluctance and resistance and show up and meet the women I am called to  meet and to work with the women I am called to work beside.

People are placed in our lives for a reason.  Once I understood this I open myself up to the chance to really learn from all of them.    This is a calling to empowerment, which begins with me and has a ripple effect on everyone in my life.  Great skin care and makeup products are a tool to change lives, to help women feel better about themselves.  I am constantly touched and humbled by the women I meet who need reassurance and affirming acceptance of their looks and who they are.  So many women have yet to be introduced to the beauty that is inside them.  My calling is to open the door to that beauty in a small and gentle way.  I am humbled by this opportunity.

All these things are my calling, yet some times I still resist.  I am often guilty of failing to grasp the importance of my calling.  I try to get out  of it.  I try to find excuses, other things to do, distractions that take me away but none of these things satisfy or feel good.  My heart knows what its work is.   When I avoid it, I do not know peace nor feel a sense of alignment with the God/Universe that has created each of us for a special and beautiful reason.

Every day I am called to wake up and engage in the gift I was given, this particular life with these particular people, challenges, tears and joys.  This is my calling.

 

 

Focus

Focusing isn’t one of my strong points.  I have a noisy mind.  Wild and unruly, it gallops here and there and drags me along with it.  This noisy mind is the reason I am very rarely bored.  It’s also the reason that achieving goals are very difficult things for me.

For a long time, I’ve wanted to rework this blog and maximize its potential.  I can’t decide what that means or how to do it.

There is a crafty, practical side that I’d love to express and share with others.

I’m a Mary Kay consultant.  My connection to the people in this company is transforming my life in ways I never expected.  This is something that should not be kept secret.

I love cooking and eating.  Food excites me, soothes me, fascinates and charms me!~

I’m a mom with an amazing daughter.  I learns something new from her every day.  She is a remarkable young woman.

I’m a bipolar mom with a child who is diagnosed as bipolar.  This is no walk in the park.  He makes me laugh and can break my heart all within a matter of minutes.  There is never a dull moment.  He is a remarkable young man.

I’m an older mom which adds a dimension to parenting that is distinctively different than parenting while young.

I’ve managed to stay married for over 17 years to a husband I dearly love.  That hasn’t stopped me from having moments or whole days when I wanted to run away to Canada and assume a new identity and leave him behind.  Staying married isn’t always easy.  I’ve learned a few things (but nothing about emigrating to Canada and taking on a new name.)

How can I take all these odd pieces and make them into something coherent?  Thinking about it all makes my head spin.

This task is precisely what has had me utterly stumped wordless for some time!  And then, I realized that I am the connection between all these weird pieces and that readers want to read about the real things in someone’s life: the successes, the failures, the hopes , the dreams and disappointments.  Keep it short, keep it real.  Don’t set out to inspire to instruct.  Just write.

So that’s my plan.

I recently read a blog post by a woman who had a falling out with her family.  It went on and on about scorpions and frogs and how some people are scorpions and can’t be trusted and will always sting the frog.  I didn’t feel very good inside after I read it.  Scorpions always give me the creeps.  I don’t want to go there.

The only thing I really know anything about is being me.  While I don’t always enjoy being trapped inside this particular body with this particular mind, it is what I know and it is what my focus will be.  Let the writing begin again.

Sunday — Wanna Make a Difference?

I follow a blog/website called Kind Over Matter.  Amanda Oaks at Kind Over Matter often helps keep me on track with her positive and encouraging posts.

(You can find out more about Amanda at:  http://www.kindovermatter.com/p/about_22.html  )

Recently, a frequent contributor to her blog, Jo Anna Rothman, wrote an article called “Wanna Make a Difference.”  I contacted Jo Anna and Amanda for permission to post.  I’m posting the first part of Jo Anna’s post here and providing a link to Amanda’s site and the rest of the article.   The day I read it, it was exactly what I needed to hear.

“Want to make a difference? Yes? Good.

Show up. Do what you say you are going to do. Do what you know needs to be done. Don’t stop. Even when it gets hard. Even when all the reasons that you haven’t done it in the past come welling up. Keep moving forward, letting action and pleasure guide you.

Want to make a difference?

Serve. Every day. And not because you feel guilty. Or bad for anyone. Serve because it feels amazing to. Because it connects you with who you and and connects those that you serve with a deeper truth inside of them. Serve because it reminds you that life is wonderful. That people matter. That this experience has the potential to be absolutely incredible.”

Please read the entire post at Kind Over Matter.  http://www.kindovermatter.com/search?q=Make+a+difference

Jo Anna Rothman contributes often and I enjoy reading her posts.  Jo Anna has her own web site and her life work is inspiring others.   Check out her “Receiving Project.”  Find out more about Jo Anna here:  http://www.joannarothman.com/

Carrying a Woeful Grace

Tuesday, I wanted to write about grace.  The days soon ran together with only a litany of unwritten words circling around my mind like dirty water around a drain.  It’s bath day and the youngest of nine has just taken the plunge in the tepid murky mess. Tired wet words are splashing on the floor.  A detached curiosity drapes itself around my neck as I watch.  I can’t turn away.

Yesterday, I wandered through the downtown library as we killed a few minutes between appointments.  So many books.  My heart beat faster with desire.   Ah, the words, the millions and millions of words that swarm around me and seep into my veins.  Words are like heroin in my blood.  Without them I don’t feel normal but with them, I feel still feel lost.  It’s as if the world knows a secret and it’s not telling me.  My mind feels sweet and foggy.

Maybe it takes more to get high these days.  My mind has gotten use to the noise.  The words feel different then they once did.

Continue reading

Hooks

Words are just the hooks I hang my life on.

Some times the hooks are like the ones in the back of the fifth/sixth grade classroom.  The carefully, colored counties of Oregon were pinned up neatly on the sliding cork board while our coats lurked underneath like empty prisoners.

Some times the coats fell off and lurked around the bottom like sleepy escapees from a gulag among the umbrellas and rain boots.  It was a half-hearted attempt to find freedom.  On Friday, that week’s “Sergeant at Arms” would carry out their duty and impose order on all those coats.  Chaos and disorder were not to be tolerated for long.  As for that Sergeant of Arms,   it was never clear exactly what a “Sergeant at Arms” duty was.  Why would anyone ever need to keep order at a meeting and how did a meeting have anything to do with the classroom?  None of us where going to openly oppose Sister Emily.  Even the boldest child was still a little bit afraid of her.  We didn’t need a Sergeant at Arms.  We did need an occasional organizer of coats and miscellany.  And, we needed hooks to hang our lives on.

Continue reading

Writing Me Whole

Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness by Ariel Gore.  It’s the book I’m reading.   Pieces of me stare back from in between the words on every page.

” . . . the act of writing our lives has an intrinsically healing effect. . .[women] by telling their stories, they begin to see their experiences — especially their negative experiences — as part of a longer life narrative.  When we can see the big picture, and begin to understand some  part of the vast context in which things happen, that seeing eases the resonance of whatever it is that haunts us”  (Gore 92).

That is exactly what I’ve been doing or trying to do.  How did she know?

Trapped in my own head, in my own life, I thought that this was my little secret.  A moment’s thought would have told me how wrong I was.  Not that I didn’t already know.  I just didn’t want to think about it.  Part of me wanted it to be all about me.  To be all mine, something I didn’t have to share or explain or justify.  I wanted something that belonged to me alone.  I wanted my own private outlet.  I wanted a way to create something that was not of bone or muscle but of words and ideas, things that couldn’t be captured, that didn’t need watching or caring.  I wanted words to smear across pages.  I could walk away from these words and forget all about them.

Wanting an outlet, wanting not to care, no one was more surprised than I to discover that I do care.  The words that I thought came too easily bound themselves to me.  They became my children.  I still love them when they mess up, when they don’t do what I want them to do.  I love them because they are a part of me.  I love them because they can also stand alone. . . at least some of them time.

They are more than children.  They have given birth to a new me, a me that I didn’t really know before I committed to writing a blog.

I like this new me better.  She’s deeper, more thoughtful.  She sees things I don’t see.  She gazes at a bigger picture and occasionally takes the time to reassure me that “Everything will be OK. Trust.”

And, most of the time, I do trust that she knows something I don’t, this new me that I find looking back at me in between the posts and the pages.   I like this story so much better than the one I was haphazardly compiling in between one catastrophe and the next.  Things that once haunted me with a vengeance don’t interrupt my sleep at night.

Writing has to take a lot of the credit.  Writing is knitting the pieces back together again.  I am writing myself whole and it feels good.

 

 

The Great White Expanse

The cursor on the screen blinks at me with a dull ferocity   Impatient, impersonal and aloof, it demands words to fill up the great white expanse.  The few words I do have seem disconnected as unrelated to each other as I to Jimi Hendrix.  I’ve actually had a few people ask if we were related.  Blame my maiden name for this question: Hendricks.   While I entertain the idea that almost anything is possible, I’m pretty certain that the great Jimi and I are not cousins.  I can’t play a lick.

Continue reading

Anne Bradstreet, How did you do it?

See more about Anne Bradstreet at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/english/naal8/section/volA/workshops/poetry/anne.aspx

You can’t tell but I’m making dinner right now.  The pasta sauce is simmering  and the fettucini boiling.  Phone rings.  Noodles were slipping into the hot water as I nod my head.  The callers questions are answered relay style.   Before I finished these sentences, I am interrupted and given instructions on how to do a trash run.  Trash runs are an extremely important covert operation.  I am sworn to secrecy. Enough said.

Less than 1 minute has passed.  In walks my daughter who is watching a show on Hulu.

“This is the best show ever!” she says as she hugs me.

Continue reading

The Place Without Words

Some times I travel in the place without words.  It is a land of unexplored dreams and desires, a land of heartache and pain, a land of survival and victory.

In my mind, I sit alongside a dusty road.  It’s summer.  The sun is directly over head.  I’m barefoot and covered with dust and dirt.  Tears stream down my face, tiny rivers of dirt.  My sorrow is primal.  It can’t be hidden. I wait for sympathy in the form of a ride.  I want to be rescued.  No one comes.  Finally, I moved to the shade of an oak tree.  A nice breeze makes the leaves rustle.  Fall will come soon.

Drying my tears with the back of my arm, I get up and walk.   As I walk, memories drift in and out like sunlight and shadow casting shifting patterns on my soul.  I re-member myself into being in this place without words.  My story captures my attention.  In the light and shadow, I write without words. Rainbow colors fly out of me into the center of the sky.  I stand on my head to get a better look and then I fall.  I fall into the story.  I am lost.  I am found.

I am the person behind the words printed here. I write because my heart will not allow me the option of NOT writing. It has taken me half a life time to discover this basic truth, but now that I have, writing is as natural as breathing. This is where my breath takes the form of words.

Connect

I am reading

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
0 / 170 Pages