Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Royal Blue

Photographer: Mario Testino
Has all the jolly news of the royal wedding made me feel blue? 

Honestly, the upcoming nuptuals haven't got me down a bit.  I am an adult woman, smart, independent and well-school in life’s realities. Yet I'm a bit giddy and excited with news about the royal wedding. I always turn to view when I hear that subject come up in the news, and I'll watch lots of highlights and recaps. How is it that princesses, castles, abbeys and carriages still make me light-hearted?

Catherine Middleton seems like she is well-aware of the demands her life will bring and that she will be living mostly for William. From all appearances, she seems to be alright with this plan. I wonder if they have discussed their expectations of marriage? Is fidelity to be expected among the royals, where extra-marital relationships have been the norm for generations?

William seems like a very decent prince, although I’m a bit confused about the fact he’s not going to wear a wedding ring. That seems like a strange choice to me. I wish the couple the very best! I hope they produce a myriad of heirs and find true joy in their marriage. They have a long history of companionship that will serve them well.

I’m girlish enough to be anticipating what the bridal gown will be like (I do hope for a glorious train), interested in the flowers, what will the wedding party wear? But I hope things aren’t too polished. I would love to see a glimpse of true emotion, to capture an intimate glance or shared giggle. It’s those little connections that fascinate me the most. The whole wedding will be a grand production, no doubt. I want to remember that it’s real.  Real people extending a real family line with history and drama unfolding. Will you be watching?

Personal Note: I’m secretly convinced that I’m related to the lovely Kate. My grandmother’s maiden name is Myddelton and we have traced the lineage back to England as far as the 1640’s when the spelling was interchanged between the ‘y’ and ‘i.’ Somehow, my invitation didn’t arrive.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Change

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When you marry your college sweet heart, the relationship is destined to change and evolve.  I assumed that my spouse and I would grow and change together, our mindset becoming more alike, not less.  But when our communication became stifled, then non-existent, it became impossible for us to grow together.  The changes we each experienced were in isolation from the other and we became more and more distant.  When ultimate crisis entered our relationship, we had very little common ground on which to unite. 

The ways in which we once connected were now the very things that had changed and created greater distanceHow can someone so familiar become a stranger?  One day, one unshared choice at a time.  A relationship's success can be determined by how well we deal with the changes in life.  It's natural to build a wall of resistance, to pile on the sandbags against the flood of new habits, ideas, whatever.  But this creates defensiveness and only walls out the other person.  It creates trenches from which we fight for 'rightness.' 

We all change.  Our circumstances, our styles, our attitudes, our careers or not, our hair (thank goodness!).  Change is par for the course of life.  Learning to embrace it has been another great lesson for me.  I don't know if my spirit will ever welcome change, but these days I can plan more loosely, hold my ways as my own and not try to project them onto others.  I hope that I am much less rigid and more fluid in my acceptance of people and ideas. 

As hopeful as I am of my own ability to change and accept it others, I write this very aware of how I still resist it!  It's so ironic.  How well do you deal with change? How does stabilty and consistency in one area help you deal with the change in another?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Emerging

This week we celebrate Christ's resurrection and an empty tomb.  He emerged in power and victory after a painful betrayal and death.  Total defeat was the door to complete victory for Christ and for us all.  What has to die in me in order to emerge in victory?  What do you need to let die in your own walk of life?  Do we have the courage to walk through the doors that may lead to victory?

My week has been a good one.  I survived an explosion under my sink and a kitchen floor covered with water - and I have friends coming to lend a hand in the fixing of it.  The children have been fun and [mostly] pleasant.  I have family coming to visit and fun things planned.  I still wish I could please all the people in my life, but I'm [mostly] remembering to please only One.

I'm emerging from a year of crisis into a new season of semi-stability...I won't ever think I've got it all figured out again, and I'll always hold my plans loosely knowing they can change at any time.  Still, my confidence in God has grown and I trust Him more than ever.  Now the pipe explosions, car troubles and insecurities don't have as much power to devastate as they once did.  That is my current victory, little things remain small.  I'm more aware of the bigger picture and my small part in it.  It's okay that life isn't the way it was, I'm still so blessed.

What are you celebrating this Easter?  Please share, it's been very rewarding to interact with others 'out there!'  Comment or follow this blog to let me know you're there.  This is your chance to say hi!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Fiery Experience

Sometimes I wonder if I am ruined, forever to be passed over as not quite good enough.  I fear the judgement I once would have passed on others - Her marriage failed, she couldn't hold it together.  Why couldn't she just stick it out and wait for him to change?  I worry that I will become exhausted, angry, bitter, resentful - alone.

Every person goes through trials.  I don't know why I get so self-centered as to think I'm the only one!

Meshack, Shadrach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace because of their unwavering loyalty to God.  I wonder if they were worried?  Instead of backing down in the confrontation, they stood firm on their faith and let God dictate their outcome.  What harm cam to them in their fiery  trial?  None - they emerged unharmed and with blazing testimonies.

I want that, too - I want to emerge from this season of dispair and loss utterly unharmed.  I know it is possible because God has done it before.  I want no bitterness, no cynical spirit.  I pray this for my children as well, that their hearts will be whole and healthy, their outlook positive and hopeful.  I pray that our trials drive us to God and not to seek our own escapes.  When we remain true to Him, and often when we fail, God bestows to us His protection and provision.  These are the great elements of love as I understand it.  Sometimes we are delivered from our experience completely untouched, not even the smell of smoke about us.  Not even an attitude of discouragement nor the hopelessness and anger that threaten.  Other times the heat purifies us, bringing that which must be changed up to the surface where it can be burned away.  Sometimes we do face wordly consequences, but we never walk through the fire without His company.

 Are you experiencing a firey trial right now?  Emerging from one? Can you see how God has been with you?  Do you struggle with the feeling of being irepairably damaged?

"...They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them." Daniel 3:27

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Went to the 'Single Moms' Class

For two years I have attended a couples class alone.  I have great relationships there and I feel comfortable connection with the women who are also in my stage of parenting.  I enjoy the social aspects when we get together and our children (who also share classes) get to play and relate.  The bonds are good and comfortable.  But with lessons geared towared couples, sometimes I feel out of place or I get emotional and I've been sensing a need to forge relationships with others who are in a similar season of life as me.

But I still gag a little bit when I realize that I am a single mom.  Ugh - I never wanted to be that and it conjures up negative connotations for me.  I'm trying to reframe that mindset but it's taking some time.  So, I was reluctant to try the 'single moms' class at church.  Still, realizing that I really do need to meet and connect with others doing life the way I am, I decided to go. 

Here's how it went

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Didn't Know I Had Choices

When my marriage really, really fell apart ... I felt completely paralyzed and trapped.  What I believed was not true: my partner was not faithful.  I was not a priority, he had been living a secret life for months.  I didn't know what was real, what was false.  I continued to have disclosures and realizatons ... each one devastating and further eroding the trust, when I thought that was "all."  I felt so very insulted.  I was insulted.

And I thought my world closed.  My vision diappeared and all the possibilities for the future with it.   My horizon was blocked and all I could see was a devastated landscape, brittle and fragile with no resources before me. 

With the help of a therapist and the support of my family, I slowly came to understand that I really did have choices.  I wasn't 'doomed' to continue the life I now lived, nor was condemned by the failures within my marriage.  I was more than my relationship with my spouse and while I couldn't control the decisions he made, I was completely in charge of me. 

I was free to make mistakes.  I was free to be kind, forgiving and seek reconciliation.  I was free to end it all immediately and walk away.  I had real choices - my future was not the result of another person's choices.  My first choice was instant - I wanted our marriage to survive and for our family to remain intact.  Knowing how to get from the point where seeing my spouse made me sick to my stomach, to actively loving him again was still a mystery.

I never wanted infidelity and abuse to be part of my life story.  But that was the reality in which I found myself.  What I would do with this truth and how I would move forward were my choices.  I could stick my head in the sand and continue to deny the facts or I could educate and equip myself to stop the painful cycles of our relationship.  I could do my part, I could still choose joy, health and sanity for me.