adoption, chronic illness, depression, family, journey, marriage, writing

The ugliest of secrets…

There are so many things… layered things deeply woven within my journey as a wife, as a woman and as a mother. We are subconsciously trained, here in this culture we call home, to look at the beautiful, well put together women and wonder What’s her secret? While also bristling internally about the knowledge of what our secrets are.

I may not know what hers is, but mine- Mine is ugly. It does not lead to put together, it does not lead to beauty.

My secret is the shame attached to every single element of my real, genuine life. My motherhood, daughterhood, marriage, sisterhood… On and on. You tell me a story about your father and then ask me about my own dad. I smile and relay the information, while the secret part beneath the surface that remains unsaid screams the truth- I don’t really know my father. My dad isn’t actually even my dad. He’s someone else’s dad. He loves me, I love him, but our lives are different circles of things now and though we exchange and annual something-or-other, we are pretty separate and that is ok. What ownership do I have of him? None. Fatherless and unvalued, there in lies my secret shame.

Your sister is your best friend, and now you’re asking if I am close with mine? I have several sisters but am close with two of mine. Sisters are the best! Except, gurgling just beneath my horizon there’s more. There is a defect within me, there must be, and the reality is that they aren’t really my sisters. Not beyond the word anyway. I have no one real, that is mine. Shame.

My marriage of twenty-five years, what’s our secret? It hasn’t been perfect. There hasn’t been faithfulness. There hasn’t always been stability, honor, honesty, love… Ease. If you only knew…

Shame… Shame eats away at the fact that my children are not from my womb, shame lives in the many words and perspectives who’ve challenged my motherhood and questioned its validity. Oh, Hallmark of consumer driven holidays, do I deserve a Mother’s Day nod, a celebration, am i even a real mom at all? World, which reiterates over and over a woman’s purpose is to bear children- and Very beginning of the Bible which explains a woman’s curse will be painful childbirth- who am I? What am I? 

My secret is shame. My truths, the REAL truths, they silence the shame. For awhile anyway- but it always comes back. Today- today I see it for what it is.

Shhh, between you and me, tomorrow I may forget again…

(this post is in participation of the FMF prompt on Secret. to see more, visit the link.)

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chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

Of all the sunshine goodness that began this month of May, there was a little balance struck with sore throat/chronic illness junk. I’m secretly wanting to lay in my bed and binge netflix with an abundance of throat lozenges and Coke Zero. With the husband away on business, and these two crazy dogs needing things like food, walks and playtime, this isn’t likely going to happen anytime soon…

With May upon us, there is a sense of hope around. Do you feel it too?

This week, I’m loving…

  • This mom t-shirt may be my very favorite thing EVER.
  • These sunnies are FABULOUS! My mother’s day will be shared with a red pair because, well, they are so fun! (and because, if Michigan cooperates, we will be spending the day in the sunshine!
  • My sister Jennie got me to watch this show when it first premiered, and I really liked it. But then, life happened and I stopped watching it 4 episodes in. I did dive back in last week, and wrapped it up last night. I really loved so much about it, and have developed some firm opinions about how I think the second season should unfold…
  • since I learned I can’t do Keto, I have also not been feeling the best. So, unfortunately I am apparently loving carbs. No links. I do not recommend loving things such as toast, Dave’s Killer Bagels and peanut butter sandwiches…
  • My husband put this on my dash last week. I am a pretty regular user of the Marco Polo app and this mount has made all the difference! (thanks, husband!)

Also, don’t forget The Collective has a new episode this week! It is my favorite, so far! Good stuff!

Go into your weekend with zest and a spirit of openness… Amazing things await!

chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, gifts, gratitude, journey, marriage, self care

Miraculous miracles abound, can you see them?

There is something absolutely remarkable happening outside…

I can’t even believe how soul-stirring it is to hear voices carrying in the breeze, from somewhere outside. Birds are singing, the sunshine feels amazing and each instant of warmth on my skin and fresh air in my hair feels like a mini- miracle.

Sun tea. Another miracle. I have a gigantic tumbler of sun tea to my right. I tap- tap- tap a few words, and then sip- sip- sip its divine deliciousness.

Also, ice cream. We have made ice cream once, and gone out to ice cream once. Miracles, I tell you. Don’t get me wrong, I love ice cream and have been known to partake in its bliss-filled offerings even when it is blustery cold out, but this wasn’t the case. No, the evenings stretched longer than yesterday and the sun’s golden love fell all around. Plus, there was ice cream. See? Miracle…

Our lawn has already been cut once, and it smelled like summer and kindness all knotted up, and real.

Bare feet, freshly painted (red) toes atop plush, emerald-green blades of new growth. Miracle.

This morning, outside, A cardinal landed on a branch and watched us, as Elenor thoughtfully pondered catching and eating all of the birds nearby, and I stood soaking every ounce of it in. (important, though silly sidenote- his feathers matched my toes. We were totally twinning, that bird and I.)

Miracles, miracles, miracles. Every second of it.

I’m sick. It is most likely some form of a virus thing combined with a fibromyalgia thing, coupled with a stress thing. Stress doesn’t look good on me, as I DO NOT carry it well. Whatever. Additionally, it was two weeks ago today that I really injured my hip/back and have been pretty miserable. Even so, with the odds stacked so hard against me, I stood there, in that grass, and exchanged silent conversation with that beautifully red bird. I walked down stairs and out doors to soak up the rays of sun. And maybe today I’ve cried, and pity-partied my heart out. Maybe I’ve been so rollercoastered emotionally, but the miracles are everywhere.

I woke up.

I made and drank coffee.

I talked with friends.

I did my job.

I video chatted with my handsome husband, who is on a business trip.

I got a video of my son and his daughter, after he returned home from a military trip and they reconnected. So many miracles, because the truth us, I take things for granted. Most of us do.

I’m here today though… #miracle

chronic illness, depression, family, friendship, journey, marriage, writing

Turn…

This is the week when I plunge back into joining the FMF writing challenge. I used to participate every week but, well, it’s been a long season in my journey…

Start.

To everything- turn, turn, turn… 

There is a season- turn, turn, turn… 

Turning seems more like churning these days. I grow weary. Who am I kidding? I’ve grown weary and I am worn. Torn, and battle weak. With tears streaming, as I drove, voice cracking as I alternated singing along with Hillary Scott and asking God why it always has to be so hard. I read once that for some it is always hard, that’s the path for them. For others it is always easy.

Screw my path, then, because I want theirs.

To everything- turn, turn, turn… 

I’m ready for a new season. A season of something other than aching inside and out, isolation, loneliness, a never ending weather winter. I long for connection and conversations, face to face laughter till my side aches.

There is a season- turn, turn, turn… 

My faith feels weak these days. It isn’t. I am solid and I know what I know, and that isn’t being shaken, yet somehow I feel low-blood-sugar jittery about it all. Where I stand, who I am, what I’m worth. That deep rooted feeling of how things never work out for me, grips me tight.

I want to be, breathe, believe. I want to wait and not feel discouraged, and I think I did that once. For a long once. And then my years long life winter wore me down.

The churning feels destructive, though it won’t take me down I will honestly (maybe) wish it would. Maybe I do.

But turn, turn, turn…and a time for every purpose, under heaven- I’m ready.

STOP

 

books, chronic illness, journey, list, marriage, self care

It’s Friday, I’m in love…

You guys…

You guys, you guys, YOU GUYS! April has been wild! I can’t even believe what has happened, and how quickly things have just BLOWN UP! And by blown up, I mean it so many variations… Good, not-so-great, awesome, stressful… I am (SO) excited about things ahead, and trying to remain every thankful. And you make it easy! I am so grateful for my readers here, in this little space. I am grateful for your likes and love, your comments and the notes you send! I have said this so much this week, but your support is AWESOME and I love you guys! (And in case you missed it, Episode 2 of the Collective podcast is live now! Episode details, notes and how to listen are all available here!)

YOU Are my number one favorite thing!

And these:

  • This awesome little notepad has made this list before. It is just THAT Awesome! But really, I love the little games and notes Chw and I leave one another!
  • Speaking of showers… Being a skin care enthusiast and all, I stick with shower products which are free of parabens and sulfates. I really like that options are increasing, and this little bottle of magical scented wonder is my new obsession. The description of scent had me thinking NO WAY, but I love it! Intoxicating!
  • It is NO SECRET that I adore Shauna Niequist. In fact, if you’ve known me for over fifteen minutes, I have probably mentioned her once or twice already. (ADORE, ADORE and love her!) I am slowly making my way through her book Bread & Wine. It is the only book of her that I’ve not read, and the truth is I pre-bought it forever ago. I kept it beautifully sat aside, waiting on a special time to read it. I’ve packed it for three trips, naively thinking I’d have time to lose myself in it. Instead I was encouraged to crack it open now, in the season of stress and anxiety… So slowly, I read on. While I stand by my theory that it deserved a special time where I could devote myself to it, I am really glad to be reading it now.
  • I am obsessed with this song! I’ll be honest, I am all together mesmerized and creeped out by the video. On my third observation I had to admit the eyes are my favorite… The lyrics though, I love them!

I’ve got to be honest, it’s been a hard week. I’ve had a lot of work stuff, the weather has been brutal, my mom was in the hospital (hence the not posting a friday post, last week), tensions are high, sleep is rare and I’ve managed to transition from one sick dog to another. As I am typing this, it is 1 A.M. and I am in the gloriousness (*sarcasm*) that is a Fibro-flare. I hurt terribly and, living in a second story condo, each and every time my poor pups need to be sick, it’s up and down the stairs. I have made that trip today well over fifty times, and there is no end in site. I am super discouraged about a lot of things… Like spring. WHEN WILL SPRING BE REAL? Is spring like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny? Is it something we tell kids to manipulate them into being good?

Wednesday night I went to an event in “Detroit” (which was not actually anywhere near Detroit. They ALWAYS do that with events here, it’s like people might just be a bit terrified to go into the city. Detroit is AWESOME, world, GO!) where I was assaulted with pellets of hail as I travelled from vehicle to venue door. (I think it was like a 47 mile walk, though it could have been less. The welting balls of ice may have had a way of distorting my perception of the distance.) As I was walking, stinging in the exact same way Macauley Culkin’s sweet little My Girl character must have felt when he died*, I thought to myself THIS! This is exactly what the past 4 years have felt like. This… I’m ready for spring. Life spring, of new growth and blossoming, of warmth and ease. And also real spring…

My husband was supposed to be out town this weekend, but he’s going to be home so I am thrilled. Last weekend was terrible for us and I’m happy for the chance to redo it. (and also, happy to tag team the dog sickness situation because- TIRED…) Also, super happy to see I Feel Pretty and grill some steak. And sit in a coffee shop and read my book. These are my weekend wish list items. How about yours?