Thursday, February 24, 2011

My life has been so full the past two weeks.
First of all, I went down to Jana’s house where she cut my hair, we went for a walk on the beach, I played with Jay, and I enjoyed being with her and Wes.

 Just a few days later, I flew to Utah where Annalisa and Ellie came to the airport to pick me up. They were in Utah for the weekend and they stayed an extra day so that we could see each other.
 They took me to Jamie’s house where Shawn, Kari & Phoebe were waiting along with Jamie’s family to introduce me to Chase Dixon Dana, just a few days old.

I am staying at Jamie and Ben’s house to help them with this new addition as well as with Katelyn and Collin. So here I am, holding a brand new baby, dancing in my twirly skirt with Katelyn & Collin, and watching this amazing family in action.
Then Brad and Sam drove up to see this new little one and everybody else. So I got to enjoy all of this with them too.

Just when I thought it I had about hit my maximum level of pride, we went to Phoebe Jane’s first birthday party (where I finally got to see Andrew). Kari did an amazing job on throwing a magnificent fairy party complete with eating gourmet food and cupcakes, painting fairy wands, coloring fairy shrinkie-dinks and going on a treasure hunt. The eight or so guests as well as the birthday girl were all dressed in fairy dresses. Everything about the party was extraordinary, right down to cleaning up the kitchen afterward with Kari’s lovely mother Wendy.
And then . . . that night Andrew brought Margo and they joined all of us for dinner. I always love being around that girl, and I love seeing and listening to Andrew and his way of seeing the world.

I have a family that I love and that loves each other. I have children-in-law that accept and welcome me into their lives and their homes. The only members of my family that I haven’t seen in the last week and a half are Brady, who is finishing up his Ph.D. and couldn’t get away, and Jeff, who is on a mission in Brazil serving the Lord and his fellow man. Even though I haven't been able to see them I am happy to know they are doing good things with their time.
Life just doesn’t get better than this!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines Limericks

Here are some Limericks that I wrote for my Class
Happy Valentines Day!

O’Leary’s Gifts
There once was a man named O’Leary
On Valentine’s Day, he was weary.
His wife wanted more
So he went to the store
And got gifts that made her eyes teary.

Valentine’s Day Disconnect
Valentine’s Day comes just once a year
Girls in the land all begin to cheer
The men start to sweat,
They’ve never been right yet
They’d rather just go out and get a beer.

Unlearned Lesson
Poor Tom spent the night in the doghouse.
The gifts that he gave made him such a louse.
If he’d bought his wife jewels
Instead of more tools,
Her affection on him she would gladly douse.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Story

Last night I went to Toastmasters. I liked it. I had a good feeling there. I liked the people and I liked what they had to say. In Toastmasters, when you give your first talk, or “icebreaker,” you introduce yourself and tell your story. Last night two women gave their icebreaker talks. I loved listening to their stories!
The first woman, Andrea, was very polished and had a well-organized and interesting talk. She told about where she came from and how she got to where she is now. I could relate to four or five things that said and I wanted to talk to her. Her confident yet humble style was very engaging.
A woman named Tara gave the second “icebreaker.” She was absolutely gorgeous. Her tall thin body, her lovely hair and her kind beautiful face gave me a sense of security, groundedness, confidence, and purpose. Her speech was about pivotal moments in her life. She was obviously nervous, clinging to her notes (which she didn’t use), and speaking with a slight quiver in her voice. She shared her heart. She told how her parent’s divorce had shaken her world and left her insecure and thinking poorly of herself. She also shared how God was directing her toward her purpose and helping her get back on track. I admired her for breaking through her insecurities by being vulnerable – sharing her heart in front of a room full of people. After she spoke, the message in my heart for her was;
“You are so beautiful. You have so much to give and you’re giving it! I can’t wait for you see in you what I see in you.”
If I enjoyed listening to these women so much, why do I have such resistance to sharing my own story? I feel a strong sense of embarrassment and shame around telling it. My story is a story of a little girl who believed that she had no talents and that she was flawed in a way that put her at a distinct disadvantage to her peers. This disadvantage made her know that if she did not have help from those around her, she would be left behind and alone. Then one day, she was shown that this story was made up from the perspective of a young child. She now had a choice to continue believing it as she always had or update it and see it through adult eyes. Seeing this choice was both the good news and the bad news, because leaving her story behind would upset everything in her world.
That’s my story.
Isn’t that the story of every person on this planet? Aren’t we all living out the same story with different details, at different stages? Why then, if this is the Universal Story, do I feel so separate and alone in it? Maybe part of the aloneness comes from hiding my story and thinking that I am the only one that has experienced it. Last week I shared part of my story with my creative writing class. I was embarrassed to show my writing. I was hesitant to bore them with all of the details of my experience. The reaction I got from them was very different from what I was expecting. They liked it. They related to it. They asked for more. That was exactly the way I felt after listening to Andrea and Tara at Toastmasters last night.
Is God big enough to heal my heart and allow enough acceptance and love to shine on what I have to say? Will I allow my story to thaw and then tell it? Is the desire to share, heal and speak my truth bigger then the insecurity and doubt that has run through my veins for most of my life? I guess the only way to find out is to put it to the test. So, I will write my story and share it with my creative writing class and on my blog. I will continue to go to Toastmasters, and I will give my “icebreaker.” The only way I know to find out the truth about God and the truth about me is to put it to the test.