My First Painting

I have joined Goddess Leonie’s Goddess Circle. It has been calling to me for months and then April 1 was the start of the Creative Goddess e-course. I could not resist. Creativity has been calling me for quite a while now. I want to explore what embracing it will do…and so it begins…

Tonight, my daughter and I painted. I have not painted since…like…forever. We made a mess, we listened to our hearts and we just did it. She moved on to other things after she was done, but my heart still had something to say…

And so I wrote words as they came to my head. I drew wavy lines that at first had no meaning until I began to see. I then picked up my pen and created a story that curiously matched the picture. Where did that come from? I don’t care, it just feels good to create!

My artwork:

My daughter’s artwork:

My drawing:

My story:

A light rain drizzled over her head. It dripped down the side of her face and off her nose. She could feel the wetness building at the nape of her neck. Her shoulders hunched as she tried to pull the jacket closer around her neck. She knew the tears would come soon. At this point, who cared? Alone in the dark…again. She felt the cold seep into her bones. The rain came harder and her soul grew heavier. The voices teased her over and over. Her own words, spewing hatred to the face in the mirror. His words of rejection and ridicule. Their laughter behind her back.

“Ridiculous”

“Silly”

“Stupid”

“Weird”

“Unworthy”

Each word pushing the knife deeper into her heart.

The rain ran in rivers down her neck. She’d given up on holding the collar tight to her throat. There was no point waiting here any longer. It was evident that he wasn’t coming.

Somehow, her feet moved. Her mind had nothing to do with it. It didn’t care if she stood there and dissolved into the nothingness she felt. But somehow…her feet carried her.

Her hands were numb as she lifted her sleeve to check the time. She had to look again when the only thing that registered when she looked was the fact that he hadn’t called. No one had. No one was looking for her or wondering if she was OK.

The rain poured harder. Thunder began to rumble in the distance. Her feet still carried her forward. Relentless. Pushing on. Splashing through puddles. Forward. She did not think about where they were taking her. All she could hear was those terrible words.

Somewhere, she heard a bird singing. She noticed the water running down her face was just from her hair. The rain had lifted. Still her feet carried her…closer and closer to the quiet. She heard the dripping leaves litter the forest floor with moisture. More birds chimed in and rustled above her.

She noticed she was on a different path this time. This one was quiet. Flickering sunlight peaked at her from through the glistening leaves.

Her icy hands pushed her hair slick back on her head. It felt good to get the dripping off of her face. Her temperature slowly climbed as her feet carried her along the path that gently rose up toward the sky. She could feel her heart in her chest, pushing blood to her cold fingers. The sun was stronger now. She could feel the steam starting to rise from her soaked clothing. The birds were louder; louder than the words.

As her hear pounded, her mind began to settle. The screaming faded to a mutter that she had trouble hearing. She began to forget those angry faces and noticed the clouds as the sun pushed through them.

She remembered a poem that she had written so many years ago. At another time and place when the ideas flowed from her heart like the rain that she’d just been through:

The waves that once were raging with fury

now lap softly at the deserted beach.

The green, murky waters wash the traces

of the storm away to hide in its depths.

Never to be see by the fretful world

in all its grimness and all its pain.

The Lord has commanded the waves to show us

that there is peace, along with the storms.

And the parting black clouds in our hearts

must give way to the shining Son — always.

Why had those words come to her after all these years? Why now? And how did she remember every word she’d written? Suddenly, she realized her feet had stopped moving. The path was gone. She lifted her head…

She felt it more than saw it. The grace. The beauty. Tears blurred her vision. She could see so far around her from this spot. So beautiful, so peaceful, so small. How did everything get so small? She felt so big. Higher than that dark world below. She realized she’d stretched her arms out and had lifted her face to the sun. She felt its warmth deep in her soul. Warm tears squeezed from beneath her eyelids. They ran down her face until she felt them on her lips. She tasted the salt and felt her own smile.

She turned and looked back towards the path…only to find that it was not there. Dense foliage blocked her way. The birds soared about her calling her name. She was sure she’d heard her name? Was she mistaken? Where did the path go? She was sure she’d come from that direction. The only way she could see was a rocky path along a ledge in front of her. She knew she did not come up that way.

Her clothes were starting to dry. The voices and the faces had disappeared entirely. Gone with the strange path that her feet had followed to this place. The words of the poem repeated and ran together in her mind.

The rocky path ahead was narrow. She felt her heart quicken and her face flush:

“What if it wasn’t the right way?”

“Maybe she should force her way back through the dense foliage?”

“Stay with the way she thought she knew?”

“What if she went ahead and the rocky path got steeper?”

“What if it became two paths?”

“Which way would she go?”

She could just sit here and enjoy the view, couldn’t she? Surely someone would come? But who? Who was she waiting for?

The birds continued their glorious celebration all around her.

She took one last look at where she thought she’d been. She breathed in the beauty all around her once more. Her body filled with the sights and smells and sounds of this glorious place. It filled up her courage and her heart. Her mind stopped asking the question as her soul took over:

“What a grand adventure may lie ahead?”

“I wonder what I’ll see?”

“How many other paths are there?”

“How many will I get a chance to follow?”

“Will the birds follow me?”

“What am I waiting for?”

And her feet carried her forward once again. And the sun shone. And the birds sang. And she heard these words:

“Strength”

“Love”

“Healing”

“Faith”

“JOY”

…and she smiled.

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Life is Beautiful

It is the first day of Spring 2012, here in Olds, Alberta.

I rushed along, stuck behind someone who thought the speed limit through town is 20KPH, late and no parking spot and so many things demanding my time. I felt the cold on my hands where my forgotten gloves should have been. My body aches from yesterday’s tough workout and my sluggish brain complains of the lack of caffeine that my sleeping in resulted in from only one latte today…

There are many things to grumble about, there are many changes to be afraid of, there are many things that don’t go the way I’d planned. And yet…I have it all:

1. My beautiful family who give me reason to press on

2. A warm bed and loving husband in a house in a quiet neighbourhood where my family is safe

3. Parents who allowed me to spread my wings and fly wherever my heart takes me

4. Friends who love me the way I am, who are always there when I fall

5. A job that lets me do what I do best: help people, every day

6. My body that is strong and able to feel the cold and the sore muscles because I am alive and well

7. Dreams that may seem crazy to some but I believe in them anyway

8. A hope and faith that there are so many more special moments and days ahead of me
I read an email early today that said: “Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house … kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.” ~ Mother Teresa and then I saw this video:

All of these thoughts came flowing out of my heart and I had to write. I had to share. Regardless of the consequences. I just had to share in whatever way I can.

Life IS beautiful…We have it all

Lent Day 27

Friday – Lent Day 24 – the usual. Friday coffee party at work had pretty much nothing I could eat, so I skipped it. I did treat the kids (who had AMAZING report cards) to A&W burgers.

Saturday – Lent Day 25 – Lucas had a birthday party where he had some chips. He said that he hadn’t been very interested in the sweet stuff. I did have a bunch of snacks at ReFind’s 2nd Birthday/Ladies Night. The snacks were two variations of hummus with some veggies and whole grain crackers. I had a couple of the homemade chocolate coconut balls that were there – I’m sure there was no refined sugar in those because Kristin doesn’t eat that stuff either. I did splurge and have a Shamrock cookie from the Cocoa Tree bakery. I’m sure that there was a little bit of sugar there. Not much in one cookie, I’m hoping. Man, I sure wanted to go out and have a drink with everyone afterwards. I decided to just go home instead so that I wouldn’t be tempted! I had already been weak and had the cookie!

Sunday – Lent Day 26 – We all stayed home and stayed out of trouble! LOL! (Well, B had to work, but just daytime). I made the bran flour pancakes again. Everyone (even me) had a tiny bit of syrup on the three pancakes we had. I then made a yummy homemade stew for dinner!

Today, Monday – Lent Day 27

I’ve recently learned that I’ve been counting the days incorrectly. I’ve been counting Sundays. You’re not supposed to count Sundays. It doesn’t matter. We’re still sticking to our plans of no refined sugar, no cable and no alcohol. The cable is disconnected. We’ve been working pretty hard on keeping off the refined sugar. Bruce and I have not had a drink other than the ones we had on Date Night a while ago. I can’t say the same for the kids…LOL! Just kidding!

We (my fellow running buddies) ran 4K at the gym track today in 32 minutes! I felt really good afterwards. I worked out 4 times last week, so getting back into full swing has helped tremendously. Today, Krystal and I have started our Simple Spring Cleanse Challenge! I’m really excited about it. It’s more than Spring cleaning, it’s letting go of all kinds of clutter. Follow along (and join in the challenge!!) here: Simple Spring Cleanse It’s going to feel so good letting go of so much clutter and keeping up our Minimalist Challenge!

Today’s Menu:

Breakfast: my hubby made me a breakfast sandwich (egg, bacon, cheese) on one of those whole wheat thin bagel things.

a.m. snack: a banana

Lunch: left over stew (I didn’t bring much for food today – poor planning…)

p.m. snack: missed this

Supper: tortellini with homemade alfredo sauce with mushrooms. no sugar there, but a lot of fat though! 🙂 I just had one helping, so I’m very ok with that!

I saw this picture on FB today and printed it out so that I look at it every day. It’s a simple prayer with so much power:

Lent Day 22

It’s weigh day again today and I’m so very excited to share the news with you…

Day 1  – 176 lbs

Day 8 – 172 lbs

Day 15 – 172 lbs

Day 22 – 168 lbs

I have lost 8 lbs in 3 weeks! I’m really excited about that! I had not anticipated that at all. 3 more weeks to go, so we’ll see what happens! I’ve been exercising back to my regular daily routine that I had before the Celebrate Life Summit, so that makes me feel better in general too!

Today’s Menu:

Breakfast: left over homemade oatmeal & blueberries

a.m. snack: Greek yogurt & blueberries

Lunch: 1/2 whole wheat pita pocket with a little cheese, chicken breast, lettuce & Frank’s Red Hot sauce

p.m. snack: a banana

Supper: 1/2 sausage & homemade stuffed potato (little cheese & cream cheese in the mashed potato) with Caesar salad

 
I love this song: Beautiful People – Chris Brown. It’s a great reminder that we are ALL beautiful, no matter what our shape and size. I’m excited about losing weight, but I refuse to obsess about it. I love my body and all it can do! Being able to lift the weights I lift, holding “the plank” for as long as I can and run as far as I can means more to me than any number on the scale. It’s being ALIVE!

You’re a Perishable Item

“You’re a perishable item. Live accordingly.”

Ashley from The Middle Finger Project posted this on FB today, and it really resonated with me….actually, it was weird all the emails and posts I saw/read this morning that we’re about living life. Well, I guess not really that weird since that’s what I subscribe to…still…. 🙂

This morning, I woke up with my sweetie at 5:00 a.m. so that we could sign up for the Melissa’s Road Race. A 10K run in the mountains that I love. It will not be an easy run. I barely run 10 K on a straight road. It is a goal and I will train hard. The bonus is running with some of my girlfriends and running with my hubby (well, he’ll be far ahead, but he’ll still share the experience with me!)

If you would have tried to tell me that I would be running a mountain 10K this fall a few years back, I would have laughed in your face. I have never been a runner. I am a mediocre athlete at best. But…I am an athlete now. I may not be a winning athlete, but that’s not why I do it.

I do it to feel my heart pound and the wind in my face. I ride my bike to feel the freedom of the road. I lift weights to see my body change in shape. I do crazy Nike workouts because I am able to move. I do all of these things because I am alive. Because I am alive and well. And that makes me very blessed and very thankful.

I have come to believe that it is my God-given right and privilege to experience life. As Ashley put it today…I am perishable, so I’d better get off my ass and freaking LIVE like I am. I’ve wasted waaaayyyy too many days moaning and groaning. I likely will again…but something (or someone) will kick my ass and I will be up and moving again.

For today, I am living, I am listening to my heart, I am alive!

The song that keeps playing in my head while I write this…

 

I Can Feel It

I can feel it…

Sometimes it feels like I’m racing towards a cliff and the brakes don’t work…and I kinda don’t want them to.

Sometimes it feels like I’m trudging across a desert; up and down over dunes – no horizon, no end in sight- just the constant heat and unending desert, and I just want to collapse and let the sand take me.

Sometimes it feels like I climb over one obstacle only to have another crash down in front of me, bigger than the last and I clench my jaw and feel the tears come.

Sometimes it feels like I’m drowning in a raging river; my battered, exhausted body slamming over and over again into the rocks and I think about how it would feel to just slip under.

But….

I can feel it…

Sometimes it feels like the open road stretches in front of me; I cannot see my map, but I know it is there and I feel the wind in my hair and the anticipation in my heart.

Sometimes it feels like I can see the summit of the mountain and hear the soaring birds call my name; urging me forward and I feel myself take flight and join them.

Sometimes it feels like I’m walking through the dense forest, but its quiet settles my pounding heart and I press forward toward the light that beckons me.

Sometimes it feels like I’m on a stage with so many faces turned to me; listening, waiting, needing my voice and I am inspired to sing to them.

I can feel it…

The changes

The peace

The gratitude

The faith

The love

Far From Home

I’m alone and far from home these past few days, and I have enjoyed it; but I’ve missed them all so much. I talked via FaceTime with my hubby for a bit today, and with the kids the night before. I love how technology allows us these things so that it’s not quite so hard. I tried to call my Mom, but she was out with her mom shopping for a new dress – which is pretty cool.

For some reason, after today’s sessions, I started thinking about Mom’s – I’m guessing it’s because of Mother’s Day on Sunday and I really haven’t made any plans…as usual! LOL! 🙂

I have written posts about Mom’s before: Never Alone and Delta Dawn and this cool reminiscing one: Where I’m From

I remember a time when I didn’t get along with my mother…how she just didn’t understand me…how a word from her could make me crumble…how I was afraid to disappoint her…how I always wanted to be far from home.

And then I was…

I will always remember that day…I was home on the farm for the summer and I’d never felt farther from home than before that day…and I’d never felt closer since…

I was out by my car, I don’t remember what I was doing, but my Dad walked up to me and in his quiet way asked me the question I’d been afraid he would ask. “Do you have something to tell us?”

They’d just got back from a summer holiday with my sisters and I had stayed at the farm while I worked my summer job to help pay for university. The night before, I’d stood next to the stove as everyone told of their adventures. I was dressed in my usual sloppy clothes that conveniently hid the growing bulge of my belly. The bulge I’d not told anyone about…

“Do you have something you need to tell us?” he asked again.

I shook my head, but the tears were already welling up.

“I know what it’s like, you know. I was with your mother when you were born. I know it’s hard”. He said more to me, but I could barely hear him as I just sobbed and sobbed. He didn’t yell. He didn’t scream. He just talked.

I couldn’t control the agony as it fell down my cheeks. I knew how much I’d let him down. And oh God, now my Mom would know. I was so ashamed. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to die. I’d pleaded with God that it wasn’t happening. I pretended it wasn’t, but I couldn’t deny it anymore. I had to stand there.

A short distance away,  my mom pulled up on the quad. He walked over to her; knowing that I couldn’t face her at that moment. That moment when she would hear the truth. My knees shook…I wanted to throw up…and yes, I wanted to die right there where I stood so that she wouldn’t have to share my shame.

She cried when he told her. The first time I’d ever seen her cry. I wished again that I was dead. I was so not worth the tears and the heart break I was giving her.

But then, she did something that I never dreamed she would do. I thought she’d throw me out. I thought she’d never speak to me again. I thought she’d turn her back on me. Instead, she called me over and told me that I wasn’t quitting school. That it was even more important for me now.

She stopped crying and mothering took over. She wanted to know if I’d been to a doctor. If I was OK. She wanted to know if I’d decided what to do. If my ex-boyfriend knew about it. So many questions and I just stammered the answers. She assured me it wasn’t going to be easy, but that we were going to face this head on.

As she made sure that I got proper medical care the very next day and all the counselling and support I needed; I realized that this was what being a mother was about. Never turning your back on your children, especially when they need you most. That you are NEVER, EVER far from home.

Up until that day, I had felt so alone:

  • The troubled young woman, full of fear and shame
  • The perfect one that had fallen so far off her pedestal; with her knees bleeding and her halo bent beyond recognition
  • That even God wasn’t listening to me
  • That no one understood me
  • That no one even loved me – he had broken my heart, my first true love; I would never love again
I had never been so wrong:
  • I wasn’t alone, my family surrounded me instantly with their love & support
  • God gave me the most beautiful gift – being a mother; a gift I didn’t even know I needed
  • God understood, my family understood
  • Most of all, they all loved me more in my frailty and my mess
  • And I have loved again; loved my family, my three beautiful children and the man I adore with all my heart
God’s love surrounded me that day when I finally came home to the family I didn’t even know I had. I was no longer far from home.