November 25, 2011

Truly a Wonderful World

I used to be a runner. Although, I suppose once you are a runner you are always a runner (hmm...well that is something I guess I need to think about more...). For various reasons I have been out of running regularly. I missed it horribly--the exercise, getting lost in thought, and the stress relief.

So this morning after a wonderful wake-up and lingering in bed, the beautiful 70 degrees invited me outside to run.

The first half mile was hard as I tried to find my breathing rhythm, but once I did I was ready. Eventually, I veered off the road to run the beach only to be greeted by a group of four unloading kayaks from their car. They were talking and laughing and the bright yellows and reds and blues from their kayaks seemed to mirror the mood of their time. It made me smile.

The sand dune up the beach was deep and soft and I felt sand spray up my legs with each step I ran. It reminded me of running in the snow for soccer practice back in high school. Although there is much more delight in the sand kissing my legs instead of snow slush.

As I got closer to the top of the sand dune I could spy the vast ocean and marveled at how calm it was. The water seemed near motionless with expanses of sand inviting you far out into the ocean floor. While footprints of earlier runners or walkers left a path inviting you to "come on in."
It was serene.

Looking into the distance I spotted a couple, weathered by time, sitting on the rock jetty. As I got closer I noticed how her head rested on his shoulder. The red hood from her coat flapped in the wind behind them creating the illusion of a kite. He smiled down at her, stopping to brush the wind blown hair from her eyes and she tilted her head up in response. This pure moment of delicate love brought tears to my eyes.

I continued down the beach admiring two little girls as they stood with the jeans rolled up letting the tide kiss their toes. The water would touch their toes and they would look at one another and just giggle. And they would do it over and over. I smiled at their jubilant delight over such a simple thing.

Admiring all that was around I got lost in thought when suddenly out of the corner of my eye I spotted a dolphin fin. I slowed my pace to see it again and when he reappeared I laughed realizing that I was "running with the dolphins." We remained partners for about a half a mile until I realized I had run father down the beach than I intended. Yet, I felt like I could run forever. There was something amazing and beautiful about this moment.

Finishing my run I marveled at how much joy running brings me. Not just for the exercise but for the time it allows me to take in the wonder of the world around me. There was so much I wanted to share so I returned home. Filled with such peace and joy and glee just knowing that it truly is a wonderful world.

November 22, 2011

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

My day did not go as planned. I started off thinking I was giving someone a gift, but did not receive the affirmation I was looking for. I guess it wasn't really a gift if I had expectations. But this started my day off kilter and things just seemed to continue downhill...part of it was I had big plans for my day. None of them seemed to happen.

Sometimes there is nothing else to do but let out a big "ARGH," let it go and just take whatever the rest of the day holds as a gift.

The letting of when things don't go as you hoped...well... I struggle with that.

So I am having Thanksgiving today and continue to prepare the food for those who I am to share this with. My heart is not in it and I just go through the motions.

I am peeling potatoes...thinking of the meal I am preparing for those I love... and thoughts from Ann Voskamp's "One Thousand Gifts" pop into my mind. In the small, menial things, tasks throughout the day.. .give thanks for something. So I start thinking of my girls and the gifts they are....and the others who are coming for dinner and the gifts they are. This brings tears to my eyes and I stop and stare at nothing.

Cass takes me from where I am when she appears by my side holding a blue plastic plate and a play doh birthday cake. "You were feeling sad so I made something for you." I hug her so very tightly.

And so I should be cooking Thanksgiving dinner not out of obligation, but love. So I cook the rest of the meal offering specific thanks for things about those who will share the meal with me tonight. I do love them so.

I am mindful of my dear friend who will have Thanksgiving later this week at a different place while her heart lingers somewhere else. She is a beautiful person who brings such joy to others and yet I do not think she knows just how precious she is. She is discovering it though and I can't wait until she really sees herself as we see her.

I am also mindful of this is a new first for another person and as much as I wanted to give and make it special, I feel I failed. It did not come close to being what I wanted it to be. I settled in a funk for this morning and could not get past the barriers I created. So I cry because the night ended not as it should have and I sit here alone.


Downstairs I hear the laughter of my three blessings and know that whatever I am feeling, they deserve better. So I pray for inner peace, for a better day tomorrow, for my dear friend and her week, and for one to forgive my failed first.

As another dear friend reminded me earlier today, "The sun will come out tomorrow..." I can't change today, and there were some good and wonderful moments...but I am ready for tomorrow.

November 21, 2011


As I have gone through some major transitions in my life, I have chosen to not write a lot out of fear of what others would think. Would what I say be offensive? Would others think I am crazy? Would I be judged?

The sad truth is that even while I have not shared my journey, these things have still happened. Regardless, of sharing the truth of my heart, hoping that it may help someone else, I found myself still criticized for things. This only caused a downward spiral into self blame and so I chose to pull myself even tighter (because I was a pretty private person already) and surrounded and protected myself fiercely.

There was one person though, who refused to let me stand alone. Through consistent encouragement and persistent love, I was shown that even though sometimes I could not find words, and the tears would not stop, and my list of faults was endless....that I was valued. In the worst of the worst... I was still valued.

This grew to including a collection of friends---some new, some old---who sat listening, who made me laugh, who encouraged me, who opened their arms and embraced me, who invited me to their homes, who fed me... who filled my heart with hope.

William Bridges in his book "Transitions" writes that, "We have to let go of the old thing before we can pick up the new- not just outwardly, but inwardly, where we keep our connections to the people and places that act as definitions of who we are."

Great comfort is easily found in resting in what we have always known. And as much as I would like a life of great comfort, I cannot grow and become all that I made to be while resting in the familiar. So I have slowly found myself, after a brief period of just managing through each day, letting go so that I am ready.

There are still things I am working through, but I am thankful for those who have loved me unconditionally as I continue to embrace my journey. I thank God every single day for the special collection of friends that I am blessed with and love. Especially the one who despite what I said, knew what was in my heart. Thank you.

It seems so inadequate, but thank you.