My dog ate my…

headphones.

Seriously, what kind of a dog eats electronics?  A hungry dog? A naughty dog? No, and no.

A bored dog?  Probably.  He sure looked sorry when I found the shreds of his misbehaving joy.

I told him it wasn’t worth it, mister.  It hurt going in, likely will hurt coming out, and now you’ve got me mad at you, too.

He just gazed at me adoringly, burped, and laid down.

Again without headphones.  This has happened before.  Different dog.

THAT dog not only ate headphones, but an entire Adidas t-shirt.  Oh, and money from my wallet.

The thing is, it’s still worth it.  They still make me laugh…every single day.  They need me, and they are THRILLED when I come home. Even if it’s just a trip down to the garage, and then back up, they act like I’m their long lost relative, returned from the war.

Dogs can smile, I’m sure of it. Hobbsie’s little snaggle toothed grin and Maggie’s girly charm just have me by the heart.

Dogs=eating inappropriate items, work, money, responsibility

Dogs = joy

Dream Dad

My sister had a dream, where my dad was in her kitchen.  healthy, strong, snowy white hair.  Happy.

She ran to him and hugged him tight.  He smelled the same  – awesome-and  was dressed as he always was-crisp, pressed, dapper.  He hugged her back with  love, and greeted her by name.

It was then that she asked him her question:  “Dad, what should we do?  Oh dad, what should we do to help mom?”

No answer came, and she woke up.

I wish, with every cell in me, that I could see him in a dream.  I’d love to smell that tweedy sport coat, and kiss his cheek. I’d love to hear him say, just one more time  “I love you, Susie.” And I wish he could tell us what to do.

But Dream Dad was silent.  He just loved and hugged.

Maybe that’s it.  Love and Hug.  Maybe that’s the answer.

I exist to…

The challenge is to respond to this with two words.  Two.

I know that I have many responsibilities.  Regarding my life as a whole, I can answer what I want.

I want to love my children, work hard, learn everyday, love life,  be a true friend, display kindness, be thankful, speak intentionally, write thoughtfully, be transparent…

I want to see God clearer.   I want to get closer, be nearer, be like.  I want to be together, like a lock to a key.

But as I think about gathering it all together, and really sifting it down, for me, I know it comes to this:

I exist to Reflect Jesus.

Roots Grow Deeper when It’s Dry

Prosperity will have its seasons

And even when it’s here, it’s going by…

And when its gone, we pretend we know the reasons.

All the roots grow deeper when it’s dry.”

I wonder how many times I’ve heard David Wilcox sing that song.  A whole lot. Something about that just gets me.  So I listen again.

I can’t assign the truth of the lyrics  to a specific time, although I increasingly get the message.

What I can tie it to is my increasing desire to live in today.  This moment.  This hurt.  This joy.

Hurt is fleeting.  I’ve felt it often enough to know.  It passes, and occasionally transforms into impossible joy. Joy birthed from hurt is  deep joy.

That hurting season is always on its way to gone, so let it be  a teacher while it’s here.  Let my roots dig deeper for water.  Let me become steadier and sure, when the ground seems parched and thirsty.

I want to reach for You.

What I Know Now

A book with that title, edited by Ellyn Paragons, has had me thinking about this. The book is a collection of letters by women to their younger selves.  Really incredible women like Beverly Sills , Ann Curry, Madeleine Albright, Olympia Dukakis..Just a group of unrelated women who have the life and self-awareness to see how the past links to today.

It takes more thought than you would expect. What age of me would I write to?  Have I learned a thing or two since then? Would I really want to know what I know now back then? Wouldn’t that be stealing experiences that shaped me?

Whatever. I’m going for it.

To my 13 year old self:

You are already so much of  who you will be. I know that you feel uncertain and singular, but that self~reflection and focus on the  internal will blossom into a passion for a life that values the journey.

Bell-bottoms do not make you cool. Having to share them with your sister just shows how smart mom was. The outside is how your peers measure value, but it won’t always be that way .  God is  speaking truth into your life. I promise you that you will learn to recognize and love that Voice.

Boys grow up, and most will leave childhood behind, but not all. Try to remember that core values will almost always remain core values, but give what you would like to receive. You will grow up, and so will they. Have some patience, with them and with  yourself and guard what is precious about you to invest with the right man.

The only person you can change is you. You are not in control of everything in your view. Manipulating others is not the same as being persuasive. Getting what you want isn’t the same as getting what you need.

You will grow to love journaling. Start now.

That love for music? It will stay and take root as a love language. Fan that flame dear one.

Your sisters really are your best friends. They matter. Treat each gently.

Making mistakes is part of all of it. You will miss the mark and have mis-steps. Everything has a way of working out. Just remember that you are no mistake.

It all goes so quickly, Susan.

Value this day.

 

Getting to New

Often I will pray about something.  Rather, I pray all the time about all sorts of things.

I speak when I pray,  but these days am really more about listening.

The thing I think is the hardest is how true it is that every single prayer uttered is responded to…not by me, but by God.

It’s curious to me when people say “God answered my prayer.”  From my perspective, prayers are always answered.

Things do not always go as I want them to, though. Usually they don’t, as a matter of experience, but the experience of whatever it is that concerns me goes as it should.

Lately I’m realizing that my prayer communication with God is far more about me confessing and crying out about that which is on my heart and then consciously yielding to God’s better way.  It’s not about me winning the game, getting that job, keeping that person in my life, or realizing success.  It’s about admitting that I control almost nothing, and desperately wanting the Higher Way.

Occasionally, I think God’s way is inconvenient.  Sometimes it goes against every single plan I have for myself and those I love.

God’s way in my life has meant that I walk through pain sometimes.  That I let go of what I thought I wanted.  That my life seems to be turning out entirely different from what I thought it would be.

I said that to God recently. And am listening for His view.

Clearing the stage.  He is clearing the stage.

Be gone, clutter.  Swept floors. Clean air. Windows open.

Breathe…listen…look.

He makes all things New.

F.E.A.R.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

The thing is, appearing real just feels so real.

It’s always about the unknown, the threat of what if.  What if they….What if it…What if I…

This morning, I have a couple of friends on my heart, and something of my own to deal with.  Fear is the common denominator. Their circumstances are entirely different, and mine isn’t even in the same hemisphere, but I encouraged both of them to just keep going.  I believe in one foot in front of the other, so of course that’s my advice.

But hearts still pound, palms still sweat, tears drip down, nights are still long. The evidence of fear ruling. The evidence of still living as a human being.

A few years ago, I was afraid of stairs.  Not nervous or uncertain, but utterly freaked out.  I have several sets of stairs in my house, so stairs in my everyday life were unavoidable.  I went up to get to my bedroom, down to get to my main level, down to my car, and at the end of my workday, back again.

My thought life was consumed by this fear.  Why?  Absolutely no idea.  Intellectually, I could tell myself that this was absurd, but the abject terror I felt when going up or down overwhelmed my ability to think rationally.

Resolution arrived, after I did everything I knew to do.

I went to God in prayer, constantly…constantly….constantly.  I cried. I went to the doctor. I cried some more.

And then, I shared it.  I admitted it out loud, and I asked for help.  My friends, several dear loving awesome friends, came to my side.

The resolution came in an unexpected way.  Fear didn’t leave completely.  It stayed, and the stairs were still scary.

I just started going up and down with the fear.

I did it afraid.