December 30, 2011


"Are you from here or are you visiting?" she questioned sitting down at a table across from us last night out for dinner. "No this is home for us," one of us replied.

I thought of this exchange as I ran this morning. I felt like Jim Carrey in the Truman Show when every single person I passed smiled and greeted me "Good Morning." It was a beautiful morning full of people walking, riding bikes, children laughing in their yards. The picture perfect small town.

I thought about home.

Daily working with homeless people... people literally without a home; it struck me how many people wander around "homeless" every day. Home being more than a building that provides a place to sleep.

There are many who do not have a safe haven to return to, a sanctuary of peace and love and acceptance. I am far more knowledgeable about this type of displacement that I really care to admit. It is saddening.

For a long time I aimed to have the perfect home when people would come to visit. I wanted my house to be perfectly clean and welcoming. I found it hard to be at home without jumping up to clean or fix something. It was hard to just relax. I wanted me to be perfect too.

Many of us work so hard in life to perform what is expected of us... at work, in families, in relationships; ending up confused as to who we have become. We end up creating home void of the holiness of a sanctuary.

It has taken me awhile to accept that when friends are coming to my home, they are not looking at my house. My home is me.

And now I am learning that even though I am covered with dusty scars of imperfections, they love me anyway. Even though I make mistakes daily, they love me anyway. Even when I disagree with them, they love me anyway.

So last night at dinner with Mike and Dee...while receiving texts of love from Cheryl, Maddie, and Judy...I knew I had found my sanctuary. Indeed I was home.

December 1, 2011

My Own Christmas Carol

There is not enough time in the day, but lately I am able to find the time to sit and stare at myself basking in deep reflection. It is Christmas Carol like in reflecting on what was, what is, and what will be.

I have come to appreciate that my life has been…full. I have been the helper of three wonderful miracles, I have been the “mother” of Korean sons and daughters, a Japanese son, a Chinese son, and a Mexican daughter; I have been a mother of 7 children through the gift of foster parenting; I have bought a house, added onto a house, sold a house, and bought another house; I learned more nursing skills than I ever wanted when Ben ruptured his Achilles and was on bed rest; I have been blessed to work continuously since I was 14; and I have transitioned to a house full of girls.

I have come to be extremely mindful of my compulsive behavior to be the energizer bunny. A few years back I had to talk myself through the need to not say “yes” to everything. I am better at resting now, although I still tend to waver towards the go-go-go side. I am able to put myself first occasionally and not feel guilty. I am embracing the joy of discovering things I want to try and have an endless bucket list.

My life is quite easy in comparison too many, yet I struggle to always see that clearly. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, under grateful, and alone. I believe my future holds great things and I want to rush to get there, yet the true adventure is the journey of each day. With the tendency to want to plan it is hard to wait for soon. I suppose that is also my own selfish behavior of just wanting it all now and the fear of just how uncertain the future can be.

Lately I have felt like I am living in four different worlds…being who I am always…but with differences in each. This has been exhausting. So it is time to start melding them all together. I am very aware that in doing so it may surprise some or offend others, but it really is not about what others think. I know there are times that God is shaking his head at me laughing, and I also know there are times that he is extending his arms of grace over and over and over again to me. I treasure the truth of knowing just how much the gift of unconditional love means.

The past several months of transitioning have been some of the most joyous and hardest times for me. I am not sure if processing through transitions ever has a definite ending. I fail to think you just wake up one day knowing you are done and I believe life is too short to sit waiting for the ending only then to be able to start what’s next. In my reflection I have asked for forgiveness, forgave myself, and have some scars that perhaps time will heal. I refuse though to sit waiting to be completely perfect in the eyes of the world to begin what’s next.

Today it all starts with publicly sharing that for awhile now I have been a single mother of three beautiful blessings. The details surrounding this is only for a few to know and I have kept this hidden out of fear of what others would think. Yet, I cannot begin melding “my worlds” without sharing this first.

I am grateful for those who unknowingly supported and loved me over…well for a long time. I am extremely thankful for my “extended family” who have encouraged me non-stop from a distance—you are so very special to me Aaron, Amanda, and Amy. I also thank God ever day for these people who have created a local family for me--so thank you Dee, Cheryl, Johnny, Judy, Sam, Jodee, and Rocky. For lunches, dinners, talks, laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, for creating memories that I wake up thinking can't be true, for music, and for embracing me and the girls. And for the one who keeps me supplied with the brand of toilet paper I prefer and the lunchables the girls eats....well you know.

Awhile back I am not sure I could have said this in full sincerity, but tonight I can truly say I echo Tiny Tim when he exclaims... "God Bless us, everyone!"