Have my cup of tea...
and I feel ready today.
This is my life anthem these days..
I do believe I know what my first tattoo will be... I actually wrote this on my arm this morning.
Don't strive.. don't fight... just let go and let life, emotions, all of it flow through you... and just let go.
It's happening already.. life, the emotions... just fight them, just let go and let it all come.
It snowed last night, and I thought I would snap some pictures of the snow... it was gloriously light outside this morning...
The snow sparkling as if there were millions of tiny little diamonds in it.
It's still such a beautiful wonder to me... never living in snow, I am loving the experience!
Unfortunately, the camera just didn't capture it's beauty..but my heart captured it. :)
My pups on the other hand, prefer to view the outside from INSIDE.. :)
This is my Sammy boy! He rawks!
"How is Colorado?" a friend asked.
"How's it been out there?"
My answer: Amazing. Hard. Glorious. Intense. Divine. Miraculous. A Roller coaster.
The past 10 months living here in Colorado, away from our hometown of Arizona has been quite the adventure.
My hub and I have at least 100 new gray hairs.. ha!
Aaaaand, both of us have had some of the greatest breakthroughs in perspective and mindsets that we have ever had in our entire lives
Those breakthroughs came through a lot of tears, falling down, crawling, being bewildered, and choosing to move forward into new areas.
There have been so many "unknowns"... no security, other then trust and surrender that God has us.
Like... me going back to a clock in and clock out job.
Like... us losing half our food benefits and insurance.
Like.. my hubby working manual labor, and working outside in the snow and negative degree weather...and him suffering with injury, but continuing to have to work despite it.
Like.. not knowing how our rent was going to be paid, or how our children would have a Christmas.
Like.. every single need that arises, gets met in some crazy, "there is no way we could have planned this" kind of way.
Like.. actually realizing we get to create our own lives. THAT is a huge one for us.
I hear in my heart constantly.. " Make your way. Go on... make your way, love. Don't stop.. Make your way."
It's like a rhythm.. a drive inside of me... a beat... " Make your way."
Realizing we CAN actually make our own way, and work hard and reach the goals that are important to our hearts and family...
HUGE breakthrough on that one for my hubby.
He has been so stuck in believing what religion told him about his life.. the lie that he is only good for one thing and one thing only.. to lead worship. He has not been able to break through on that one, until literally a about a month ago.
Something clicked into place, and away he is going.
He started volunteering with senior citizens, and realized he has such a love and passion for the elderly.
So he has decided to pursue a 2 year degree to be a certified occupational therapist assistant that specializes in the elderly.
I cry as I type that because, you cannot even know how many conversations we have had, and tears he has had at his internal belief that he could do nothing more then music...a grieving, letting go, grueling aggravation inside of him... So much longing and desire to see things differently, but this constant doubt and critical voice that ate away at him.. longing to do something more, something different, but not being able to break free of the old mindset.
But one day at work, he had an awakening.. a view inside of the lie.. and it's origins.
He recognized it.. mourned it.
Went to sleep that night, and woke up changed.
Just like that.
He is a totally different person in that arena.. and THAT, my friends is a miracle!
My own journey breakthrough has been one of living inside of trust and surrender.
Trust that my heart is so so good...it's Divine...it's dreams, desire's and passions are amazing and they are straight from God's heart.
Trust that God has me. Has my hub. Has my children.
Trust that God cares, and is present in everything and surrounds me with hope..abundance...and truth.
Trust that we are not alone. that I am not alone.
Trust that the dreams I see, that I see so clearly, as if they are a super reality, ARE coming to pass, and WILL come to fruition.
Trust in the great Divine that this journey is His/Her doing, that I am safe in the heart of God, rooted down deep in the soil of God.
Trusting in the process and in the journey.
then...there is the surrender.
Surrender is like a picture of hands wide open.
Open to receiving whatever God flows into them, just enjoying whatever that is while it's there with no expectations of it staying forever or it being forever mine..
Open so that whatever comes, can stay as long as it would like..
Open so that whenever it is time for something to flow past, it can.
If my hands are clinched shut, this represents expectations that I would have...and I would hold fast to these expectations...being disappointed in life if things didn't "look" a certain way or if I didn't "have" a certain this or that...never satisfied or content with what is. Calling things mine.
If my hands were flipped upside down, with palms facing the ground, this represents me receiving nothing.. Allowing everything to fall to the ground. Never offering it a chance to stay... to be vulnerable in the friendships that might be or the love that might be. But being afraid. Possibly having a belief that I don't deserve anything good..not love, not money, not abundance...
Surrender IS Living Inside the Letting Go.
Allowing all things to come.. emotions, truths, situations (be it hard or euphoric), love, friendships, life.
They WILL come.. that is just life.
And I want to stop the striving against them..and allow them to come and just flow through me.
Inside of the Letting Go.
I am finding such an incredible abundance of peace and this euphoric joy inside living in trust and surrender.
I have NEVER in my whole entire life experience euphoric joy, just because.
Not even when we had all our needs met and all life's external circumstances were "perfect".
Let alone when life is the complete opposite.
So so loving these truths.. I want them to stay and root down deep deep inside my heart.
so that is a tiny little bit that has been happening...
On another note, just within the last month we have come to a big T in the road.... and in this I will share more.
This is the part of this post that is very emotional for me.. it is where my heart presently is, and I am going to just write it out..tears, snot and all!
I haven't been ready..until today.
My heart has been breaking.. tears have washed my face so many times I have lost count.
This is my love.. my daughter, Hope.
This picture was taken when we first arrived in Colorado 10 months ago.
You can see the light in her eyes. Life. Light. and so much Beauty.
She is my deep well... of thought and emotion.
She is such a light.. I love love being her momma.
She is my first. My love. The kid that makes me laugh out loud and cry.
She is strong. Stubborn. And so full of love.
When we left Arizona to pursue our dream of Colorado, we told our children one thing.
"We are going to try Colorado for 1 year.. and then we will re-access and see how everybody likes it. If we don't like it, we will go. If we do, then we will stay."
It's always been a team dream. We are a team. This dream was ALL of our dream for most of the 7 years that we talked about it, planned together, etc..
Hope started to waver.
She was 11 at the time and in 5th grade.
My honey and I had been watching to see if she had made that "switch".. you know the one.
When kids switch from being children, relying on their mom and dad for their security and wisdom, and then switching to more young adult/teen independence and their friends become their source of security and wisdom.
I don't know if I explained that right, but I think you get the idea.
Having had Colorado in our hearts for so long, our whole family had been dreaming of the day we would move and try it out.
We had some factors that we were waiting on, one very big one was waiting on our son, Josiah, to be ready. He has complications from a brain injury that happened when he was almost 2, that have caused learning disabilities and speech and language disorders.
He has been surrounded and saturated, in freaking miraculous ways, with therapies and a school program that helped him immensely.
So he was a major factor in moving.. we wanted to get the thumbs up from all areas for him.
And we did.
Then we had our oldest.. Hope.
We wanted to make sure we didn't pull her from school and her friends if she was making that "switch".
We watched, talked, watched and talked more.. and we did not see this.
Until.. we were in Colorado.
She struggled. and struggled. and struggled.
We talked and reached out to her to walk with her through the transition of a new state, new school, new everything.
But slowly she began to build a wall around her heart.
She would not talk after awhile.
She boarded herself up inside, and became quiet.
My hub and I would continue and have continued to reach out, to love her, to cultivate ways to connect, and she started to resist....and her resistance became hostile and mean and angry the more time went on.
This is a recent picture of Hope... you can't see it, but she is stiff as a board.
She hated this whole family picture session. Would not smile... and is pulling away from me.
Girlfriend IS PISSED... and not just because we have a camera in front of her...well that's part of it.
This is symbolic of her in this season.
Her anger. Her disconnection. Her sorrow.
We were losing her.
We kept talking to each other to figure out ways to reach Hope.. we kept pursuing her heart...but she would have none of that.
She isolated herself in her room constantly. Door locked.
She dyed her hair black, and covered her eyes in black.. her clothes are all black.
We let her.. I have no problem with my kid's expressing themselves, and I wanted her to have that outlet.
She still would not talk to us..other then a snide, mean or negative comment here and there.
ugh. My heart breaks just looking at this picture, and how exhausted I was after our photo shoot.
The negativity, the lack of connected-ness... ugh. The whole thing just breaks my heart.
The greatest heart break of all was on Christmas Eve.
I had been working like a mad woman at my new job...crazy hours.
My hubby whispered to me, "Babe, when you get a sec, check out Hope's left arm."
I did..and saw a series of cuts on her arm.. 6 or 7 I think.
So right away, I called her to her room, and asked her what they were.
She was shocked.. and said that "the dog had scratched her."
We went round and round and round...with her more and more atimate that they were not from her cutting herself, but that she was playing with Sammy and that he had gotten all excited and scratched her.
I looked at her... and with tears in her eyes..
"She said, Mom.. you have to believe me.. I am not cutting myself."
So I did.
I believed her.
But vowed to myself to be watchful.
Fast forward a few weeks, I was online and had a thought to check Hope's twitter account.
I am a Mom and it's my right to snoop.. ha! and boy do I!
She was writing and conversing with some stranger about how she has been cutting herself.
There it is.
I went on to read how she was portraying her life, herself...and it was all so dark.
Many of the things she wrote were not "true" in the sense that they were reality, but I think they were her reality if that makes sense.
After talking to her again about my findings, she was truthful with us.
Very short. and quietly truthful.
We reassured her that she is so loved, and that cutting is a symptom of pain not expressed.
That she isn't in trouble...but that we wanted to help her.
She just glared at us..tears would come sometimes, but not because of us knowing...more because her control was busted through.
I went on to snoop a bit more and found her art journal... she had been talking about ending her life...all the words she wrote to describe herself were so hate filled, and just pure lies she was telling herself.
Freaked out can't even describe how scared I was.
My hub went into denial..almost not believing that she was actually doing all of this...down playing it.
But I knew better then to over look this kind of stuff.
My alarm and freaked out shock, pulled him out of his denial.
I found a counselor right away... was able to get Hope in ASAP.
But I couldn't shake a decision I knew that my hub and I needed and were gonna need to make.
After finding Hope's journal and realizing the depths of her pain, something clicked inside.
One morning, while by myself, a scenario of images and emotions and truths came flooding into my heart.
Almost as if God was downloading all that Hope has been going through straight into me.
I had NOT seen it before, tho I had sought her out.
This was what came...
Hope, out of all three of my kids, has never been one to voice her needs.
She has always been the quiet one, the one that goes with the flow.
Josiah has had so many needs over his little life, and Faithis so NOT quiet about any of her needs...
But Hope has always been quiet. We have always had to seek her out. If she needed a hug, she wouldn't ask.. we would have to hug her, and then she would soak it up.
This is the child that has the hardest time asking me to throw one of her tshirts in the washer if I ask.
Us moving devastated her heart deeply and greatly.
She had made the "switch" just that school year before we left Az for Colorado.
Hope loves fiercely. And she is fiercely loyal to those she loves.
Us pulling her away from her friends..her beloved school...from her family/cousins, from her state, broke her heart... literally broke it... it made her feel completely out of control.
She had decided that year she didn't want to move...but our plans were already in motion.
We talked her into trying with us. She agreed.
I don't think she could even see what was coming... I know her heart was to try and make the best of the experience.
But what happened was she felt her choice was taken.
She felt completely out of control..and us taking her from all she loved and found security in took her control away... the impression I got was the type of out of control I would feel, if someone forced me to do something that I absolutely did not want to do...in a very extreme way. I haven't felt that way in a very long time, but as a child and teen I sure had a couple situations where I felt like that.
I think, at first, she struggled against her anger with us for taking that choice. She is so kind, and loving... and to feel that kind of anger was really difficult for her.
She has always struggled with naming her emotions, and that was something that we would talk out together...ever since she was itty bitty.
Her anger towards us caused her to wall herself inside her heart.
She was alone...isolated.
And being so young, she coped and tried to handle her pain the best she knew how to do.
She ended up stuffing it, and checking out all the time...through music, tv, internet.
And when the pain had no place to go, she cut herself.
And all the thoughts that come when we don't express pain.. our mind starts going to scary places..as her's did.
She was in so much pain, the idea of suicide started to look like the only solution.
When this all came, I knew at once a couple things had to happen.
1. This journey for her..coming back to healing and wholeness was going to take time... as well as her trusting us and restoring relationship with us.
She is a snail pace mover, like her Daddy....and when trust is betrayed, it takes a long time to restore that. Trust is a biggie for her.
2. I felt strongly that one of the first steps for her to start to make steps towards wholeness was going to take something on her dad and my part.
She needed to know just how much we loved her and were FOR her...and this was going to need to come from a BIG and VERY LOUD example...more then just counseling was going to bring her...which leads us to 3...
3. This example couldn't come in any other form other then us moving back to Arizona.
That is her one heart's desire.
To go back home.
And there you have it.
We are moving back to Arizona.
Did NOT see that one coming. at. all.
But, just like we told our daughter, .. there is no state or dream that is more important then her life..her happiness and her wholeness.
She is and has always been our first dream.. that she would be a whole and happy human being.
And the deal was, if one person was suffering and not enjoying this move, we would go back.
The picture I saw of her was of her drowning.
We were all on the shore, and Hope was under the water.
We were reaching out our hands to her, but she would not grab a hold of it for help.
And how we see it is this.. if as a team, one man is down we all need to get down and do what it takes to pull that man up...or young woman in this case.
The night we told Hope, she smiled...truly smiled for the first time in months.
And the next morning, she was singing and giddy.
This child that I had missed terribly and had been so angry and sad was singing... Oh my heart.
The light has come back into her eyes, and she has been touching me again.
No more cringes or stiffness when I hug her or touch her.
That makes me cry right there... to have so much love in your heart for somebody and for them to repel it...to cringe from any action of love is so painful, as a parent. I am sure many of you understand that.
Her counseling is going wonderfully.
This choice has to be one of the most heart wrenching choices on one side, but also one of the greatest acts of love I think my hub and I have ever made for our children.
This has come so unexpected. I have been walking around in shock and wordless.
My hub and I have cried so much the past 2 weeks after realizing what we needed to do and making this decision for Hope.
Neither one of us feels "ready" to go back...but the more we turn our face towards Arizona, and the knowing inside that this is what is best for the whole of our family, the more peace comes and it is getting easier.
It's a definite adjustment of heart and perspective.
I look back at our time in Colorado and I can see the Divine's fingerprints everywhere.
All the truths and awakenings that have happened inside are eternal and we both can say we are forever changed.
I am so very grateful for this time here.
My heart is so so eternally grateful...
Just the other night I was laying in bed...tears came again, and I let them fall on to my pillow.
A whisper came..
"Greater love has no man, then he lay down his life for another."
And then a promise came..
"I am with you in this... your love can only come back to you 1 thousand fold, my love.
Do not be afraid..
Think of what you are sowing into the heart of Hope it.
I have you..you need not be afraid or wonder if I will go ahead of you... I already have, and am with you.
Shhhhhh... my love..
Peace to you. I am with you always.
Love will always win."
And I fell into the most peaceful sleep that night and have not been afraid since.
This post has been one of the hardest for me to write.
I am crying again as I type.
Thankyou for reading this.
Thankyou for your love and for caring always.
I love you.