Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jesus loves me, this I know......

     Okay so yesterday was like any other day until I logged onto Facebook ( oh I love you Facebook.) To my surprise I had received a lengthy note from an old friend. My daughter has shown since she was very young a propensity for music. As young as age three she would bang away at the little xylophone and quickly tap out tunes like "Mary had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle Twinkle." She just could hear the notes. I have never been musically inclined, so I jumped at the chance to send her to lessons. It so happened that her preschool music teacher was also a piano instructor. Like many folks the preschool I sent her to was faith based. All important fact to the larger story. She began her lessons and truly thrived. Her teacher is well- adorable in a word. I have likened her to Snow White on many occasions. She is just so radiant and pure. She exudes kindness and is heartfelt and good. It was nice to have my child being taught by and in the care of someone so kind. Through the years I have seen her family grow as has mine. She has three kids now and so do I. I have watched her become this beautiful mom. She is patient and loving with her kids and they are so happy. I was grateful to know her and so happy to see how content with life she had become. I felt like I watched her become a woman. That may seem silly but when we met she was only like 23 and just married and is now, nearing 29 and has three kids. Sadly this last year I had to make the decision to use a new piano teacher. It had nothing to do with her at all. In fact I stayed with her two years longer than I probably should have because I loved her so much. The distance was the only factor. We were making a 45 minute drive each way ever Tuesday night just for the 30 minute class. It was taking a toll on our evenings with homework being regular and taking a toll on my pocket book with gas and all. We switched to a class nearer my child's school. I kept in touch with the teacher as I truly felt sad to be leaving her. Like we had made a connection- kindreds in motherhood.

The letter I received was from her. It was well- uncomfortable a bit for me. It was as nice as it could be and it was sort of beautiful but the more I read it the more strange I felt. It was a letter that basically said that she loved my family and I and that she wanted to share the kingdom of Heaven with us so she felt compelled to reach out and bring us home to God. She felt that God had lead her to send this letter. She said she loved my beautiful family so much that she had longed to write this letter to me for quite some time. She asked if I ever felt that all I had done for my kids was still falling short and assured me that God would take up where I had left off with them.

It was such a nice letter yet some how it made me feel a little bit bad. It made me feel "judged."  I am 100% positive that that was NOT the intent. I am 100% positive that she would never hurt me. But still it was there and it is what I felt. That must be acknowledged. Now why? I have read this book "The Four Agreements" buy it now... now now now.. I'll wait.. no really it's a must read. It's short and to the point. Basically one of the agreements is to understand that "this is not about me." That is hard for me in general but especially when it feels like someone is saying I am not a good mother. That always knocks the wind out of me and doubt washes over me like a flood. No like a tidal wave. So here I sit. Here I sit thinking that this woman I admired feels like my kids and I are on the express train to Hell. As always I ponder, sort, scrape, mash, peel, tear apart and reconstruct my feelings on the matter. I ask for guidance from my tribe. One friend said that anyone who has met my kids even for a minute or in this case has had the chance to spend a great deal of time with them must know how happy and how kind they are. Finn at age four even holds open doors for ladies. He is a true gentleman. Jude carries my bags and says let me help you all the time. Char is so intuitive about feelings and knows how to heal all around her. They are GOOD kids. One friend said I should be flattered. That I should know that most people want to recruit those who are not that far gone. They want to help those up who are almost there already. They dont want to drag people from the pits. Ha Ha... I still fretted. This was after all not the first time something like this had happened. Once a woman close to me (even staying in my home for a few days) told me that my family was beautiful and my husband was such a good father.. "but it was too bad that we were all going to Hell since we were not saved." It was not the first time I'd heard these words. It was like the fifth.

In fact it made me think of a funny joke my Grandpa used to tell.

"It was flooding. As the flood waters were rising, a man was on the roof of his house and another man in a row boat came by. The man in the row boat told him to get in and he'd save him. The man on the roof said, no, he had faith in God and would wait for God to save him. The flood waters kept rising. A man in a motor boat came by and told the man on the roof to get in because he had come to rescue him. The man on the house said no thank you. He had perfect faith in God and would wait for God to save him. The flood waters kept rising. Pretty soon they were up to the man's roof. A helicopter then came by, lowered a rope and the pilot shouted down in the man in the house to climb up the rope because the helicopter had come to rescue him. The man in the house wouldn't get in. He told the pilot that he had faith in God and would wait for God to rescue him. The flood waters kept rising and the man in the house drowned. When he got to heaven, he asked God where he went wrong. He told God that he had perfect faith in God, but God had let him drown.
"What more do you want from me?" asked God. "I sent you two boats and a helicopter."

So were these people sent to me as a life raft? a helicopter? a boat to save me from drowning?  If God is so wise and so all knowing would he/she not have sent me a messenger I'd be more likely to listen to? Would he/she not have clothed them in garments I'd recognize? Make them someone who's council I'd be likely to seek?

My friend Tracey said it to me best.. If this is like the fifth time you'd had someone say these things to you, well then you should be feeling over-joyed. (WHAT??)  Because obviously you are good enough that they want you on their team. Yay! So I wont be picked last in the cosmic game of kickball to Heaven. Sweet.....Whew what a load off....

I guess this is where I am and this is basically how I responded. Religion to me is private, more private than politics in fact. Some may have you believe you'd only keep it quiet if you were ashamed but in fact I keep it quiet because it's mine. It's a place in my heart that I hold sacred and you will rarely be invited there. No matter who you are. My children and my husband reside there. There we run freely together in the multitude of blessings and of love we have for each other and for this life we were given. I love this man I married and I know he was brought to me by a higher power and for a higher purpose. I love these little sprouts I birthed. I know they are from the divine source. I share with these humans the beauty of life everyday. In an average day I tell them- "I love you, and I am thankful for you" over 1000 times. I am thankful to the Holy Spirit for the gift of them. My sermons are held each day at breakfast when we talk about what's good and right, when we talk about life and history and language and travel. My sermons are held at dinner when we talk about our day and our food and what we loved and what made us sad and what lifted us up. My sermons are held at bath time, when their tiny naked bodies are flailing around in suds and being silly and giddy my choir is their laughter. My sermons are held at bedtime when I kiss foreheads and linger in the smell of their hair or when my husband and I lie awakes and talk or hold each other close and warm. This house is my church and this life I have built my temple. Any one who enters can feel this love. I know I am loved by this higher power for I look around me each and every day and I am so blessed- Would someone undeserving or bound for Hell be this happy and this filled with gratitude?

I will face the end of my life with these people and I will not fear what comes next because this right here and now is my Heaven.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Listen to Your Mother, Excitement, and Random Thoughts..

     I was pondering the other day, as I often do, about the life and happiness. I was with my kids at an amusement park and they were so excited to be running from one ride to the next. They were seeing new sites and feeling over the moon hopped up crazy on adrenaline. I was thinking about when as an adult I had that feeling last. I know I was excited on my wedding day. I know I was excited to leave for our honeymoon. I get that butterfly feeling of possibility when I travel to a foreign country. I know on the way to the hospital to give birth I was ecstatic. But when had I felt it last? I started to be a bit jealous. Who knows when again as adults we might get that rush of new and amazing excitement, haven't we experienced so much that very little is new to us and still awe inspiring that is THRILLING? I'm not saying I'm unhappy or that my life is boring- far from it. I am simply saying that I wonder if much as a grown up makes us feel that pit of your stomach nervous excitement.

Well, I can say with complete satisfaction that the "Listen to Your Mother 2014" show announcements made me feel that way.

Giddy Goofy Happy Three Years Old again Excited!!


I know I have been telling anyone within earshot how great this thing is but until you actually see the show, hear these stories, FEEL the energy you will not understand. This is excitement, this is life, this is empowered funny and smart women telling the story that is life- that gave life- that sustains life, like only we can. It is beauty, pain, and overwhelming love and laughter all packed into one hour. I am so giddy to be a part of the creative team in Kansas City this year. I hope my story will make you laugh and make you love this show as much as I do! 

Here is a sample of what you can expect.  This is one of my favs from the 2013 show in Chicago.

Marianne Walsh is the "Penis Whisperer"