Sunday, June 27, 2010

Retreatville Day 2/1

I was up bright and early this Day 2 of my ‘retreat’. When I first glanced at my watch I was astounded at the fact that I slept until 6:35am!!! Then I looked at it in the light and realized that it was 5:35am. Guess I need to work on the sleeping in thing.

I did feel rested though and had fallen madly in love with what I now see as my own personal island oasis. I am referring to my bed.

An island is a perfect description for it. It’s the biggest part of the room. I make sure that it holds all of my needs (books, laptop, snacks, movies, pillows and 1400 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets, and heavenly pillows).

It took me a little while to fall asleep lastnight. Not because I was lonely, dogless or scared because to be honest I wasn’t any of these things.

It was more because I’m used to having two pillows to sleep on that together make the perfect place to rest my head and when apart work for me to lie on my stomach and sandwich my head between them. These pillows were a bit too big to put together but not enough to use apart (though they were delightfully soft).

I must have made some sort of decision at some point because I woke up with both under my head and used a third as a pretend body beside me.

I also found it difficult to know how exactly to sleep in a queen sized bed as Wally and I are used to our double.

I wiggled and moved to and fro. I tried diagonal, then just on one side, then the other. I almost tried even laying across the bed then I thought ‘Girl get yourself under control this isn’t rocket science’. I ended up slightly past the middle on the side Wally is usually on and slept great.

I have to say I can’t believe how relaxed I am. I mean I’m on my own in a strange place, with people coming and going and I don’t really give a rip. I didn’t leave my room all evening yesterday. It was great.

I ended up watching the romantic comedy which reminded me of something in myself I needed to watch (who knew you could get a life lesson out of a romantic comedy?). I spoke to Wally on the phone for 10 minutes and did some reading. And of course I wrote the last post. It was nice.

When I woke up early this morning all rested up I wasn’t sure what to do. No dogs to walk, I was on the clock for breakfast at 7:30am, and I was doing my best to go with however whatever spirit would move me. I decided I would write a letter. So I did. To God.

Honestly this action was inspired more by reading ‘Eat, pray, love’ than an innate spiritual act of love. But if you read the letter I do believe it was a love letter … in some form.

I used to journal to God all of the time but marriage, life, heartache, and confusion pulled me away. I don’t blame those things, ultimately it’s been my decision to neglect the practice but they were my valid reasons as to why I had not done so any longer.

I used to approach God with great reverence and fear. Fear in all sorts of ways. Fear that if I said something wrong or phrased something inadequately He wouldn’t be able to ‘read between the lines’ and get what exactly my heart was saying. After reading a little tidbit out of the fore mentioned book I realized something I think I already knew in my heart, God’s cool.

I mean the cool thing about Him is that unlike people He doesn’t need the perfect wording to ‘get’ what you’re sayin’. He sees your heart, whether you want Him to or not. And even if you aren’t really sayin’ properly what you’re wantin’ to say, He knows what you mean. Know what I mean?

I guess I really just want Him back in my life. Not that He’s ever left. He hasn’t, but I sort of left Him. Not really intentionally and maybe in some ways not at all. But in some ways I’ve shut down parts of my heart to Him which is really no way to live. It’s no way to live with a spouse or a friend, it’s definitely no way to live with the one person who loves me deepest and knows me best.

Not to mention the person that created me to be … me.

And that’s what I really want isn’t it? To be the best me I can be? The best way to serve the one who made me is to let Him in, to let Him show me things, to let Him have His way with me.

At some point in the past several years I stopped trusting God. I stopped trusting that He would give me what I needed and I gave myself what I needed. I think I did that because the life I had disappointed me, it wasn’t a fairy tale, it wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter, it wasn’t easy. The life I had hurt me, broke me, and seemed to make me feel I was a failure.

Therefore God was clearly not making my life better so I took matters into my own hands.

Now to some degree I feel like this is exactly what He wanted me to do. You know, to learn that I have a responsibility to do some things myself. That though life isn’t handed to me on a silver platter I still have the power to go out and buy the platter, if that’s what I want (it maybe just a plastic platter painted silver but you know, it works).

I have learned so much in the past several years about how much we as people are indeed responsible for our own happiness, for our own lives. I have learned there are so many things we do control, no matter what circumstances we fall into.

However, it is at this point I feel God is quietly, patiently awaiting my return from this lesson to take me to my next one perhaps. I have a feeling He’s planning on catching a front row seat for this one.

I decided to do the mirror exercise again this morning, hoping maybe that yesterday’s possible epiphany was misguided. Hoping that I might see something different. Hoping that the lighting may be a wee bit kinder.

I stood tall in front of the bathroom mirror once again. I looked.

The first thing that caught my eye were my eyes.

I have always noticed my eyes. I’m not sure if it is really because they seem all that attractive, I mean they’re ok. I like them and all but, you know, they are just eyes. Made more beautiful with make up and more alive with a smile, but still I’ve mostly only ever seen eyes.

Today as I took another look at my reflection I saw it again.

I saw a mother.

You may wonder what I am seeing or how I am seeing this all of a sudden. I can’t really say I know. Just that in my eyes I recognize a fierceness and passion for some kid (or kids) that I am yet to meet.

I see a woman that is ready to fight for the best for potential little hellions that may enter her life (or angels, I’m preparing myself for a challenge). A woman that is made to learn from the littlest human creatures. A woman that is desperately trying to slough off her ‘calling’ to mother because she knows that on her own she cannot accept this ‘call’.

I am not sure if I can properly portray now how difficult it is for me to accept this job. I have guarded myself so carefully, against all rationale, all logistics, all cushy romantic thoughts about it, pretty much locked myself safely out of place from anything to do with this.

You may wonder why. You may know why.

Other than the obvious ‘I was hurt and grief stricken when it didn’t happen before’, I think it also has a lot to do with my very unromantic thoughts about having a family.

Nothing annoys me more than romantics. I’m talking about all kinds. Those romantic over love, over babies, over buying a house, over travel, over renovating, cooking, going to school, over pretty much anything that in thought appears beautiful but in reality gets very messy and even dirty.

I’m a realist, sometimes to a fault (clearly). I am a preparer. I prepare mentally for challenges. I map out how I can be prepared to handle unexpected aversions. I think of all of the ways something could or may go wrong so that I am able to figure out what to do to fix it if need be.

If I am traveling and I know that the weather’s going to be hot and uncomfortable I prepare my mind to put up with the fact that I’m not going to like it but ‘it’s’ part of the experience, then I move on.

I prepared myself originally to be a very young newly married mother. I wasn’t prepared for the fact that life was going to take a different turn. After that little episode I was no longer interested in this ‘call’ (as I feel for me) to be a mother. If I can’t prepare for it then I’m not sure that I want it.

I know all of you mothers out there will think me clearly insane as there is no possible way of preparing to be a parent. None.

My solution in the past few years has been to ignore what I’ve known in my heart for years in hopes that I was wrong all along.

Give me a minute … (dashes to the mirror again)

... Nevermind. I still see a mom.


Now I sit here and wonder what’s next. I’m certainly not planning on running home to Wally to say ‘Let’s have a baby!!’ because there are still a few things to think about. Adoption is at the root of my heart. That doesn’t happen over night. Of course neither does having a baby.

I guess the first thing I will do is this:

Go from ‘If we have kids’ to ‘When we have kid(s)…’

No more ifs.


Anonymous said...

Going from "if" to "when" makes me smile.

Great to see you the other night!


Zoe said...

Just wanted to say I'm still here, and totally enjoying catching up on your retreat - sounds HEAVENLY!! love you!