Hallelujah anyway

Hallelujah anyway

Y’all I saw Jen Hatmaker last week on the Moxie Matters Tour, and I just have to say Hallelujah and Amen. She is such a down to earth, genuine human. She showed up sick and tired and persevered through the evening. She is just one of my favorite humans.

The theme of the evening centered around being a good neighbor and what that meant. She used the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:25-37, to illustrate what Jesus taught us about being a good neighbor.

See, Jesus tells the story of a man that is robbed, beaten, stripped and left for dead and how a priest and a holy man not only pass him by when they see him; they move to the other side of the street. The person who stops to help the robbed and beaten man is a Samaritan. Now in biblical times; a Samaritan was someone who was cast off and despised. Yet, this is the person who Jesus uses as the helper and caregiver. (If you want to read the verses yourself check them out here.)

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I know, I have a blessed and beautiful life. I get that. But Y’all, we every single one of us, have experienced pain. We have all had some form of beaten down-ness even if it is in the metaphorical sense. Jen shared this, and I wholeheartedly agree. Pain is common ground.

For me it has been this journey to be my whole self out loud; to finally follow my calling to mediumship. Even though I know what I am doing is right, it still seems to strike shame, hurt and fear in me.

See I have been talked down to, told I was the devil, said I speak to demons, that I capitalize on other people’s pain. People who love me have said that the only reason they believe me is because it is me. While that is nice; it still means that what I have been asked to do; called to do, is something vile and wrong in their book; that there is this notion that it is all hooey. That what I do cannot be real.

Even I have doubts; I am human after all, but those doubts don’t come from my soul at all. The shame, fear and hurt all come from human interaction and logic. When I let my soul do the talking, there are no doubts; there is no fear, there is no shame. But when I have to interact with other humans, the lump in my throat stretches, and I can’t seem to get out the words to explain what I do without feeling some shame.

The trick is, I was born this way. Being able to see spirit is as much a part of me as my hazel eyes, bad temper, and the blood that runs through my body. This is me. This is my normal. This isn’t something I created out of thin air. It isn’t even something I can escape. Believe me I have tried. Baptism made it stronger. Hiding didn’t stop what I was seeing it just kept me safe from other humans knowing and their reactions.

I spent most of my life in hiding. Straddling two worlds. Living in them and between them. Being someone different on the inside than on the outside. I know many of you understand this. You get that it sucks big time.

I didn’t want that for my kids. I don’t want that for anyone at all. We should have our inside match our outside. We should be free to be ourselves. We should all love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And for Pete’s sake we should love ourselves.

But it was ironic listening to Jen speak. Listening to her talk about what she felt and how she had dealt with ridicule last year, and I thought; I wonder if you knew who I was, if we were sitting down talking to me, would you accept me? All of me? I didn’t feel like I would be allowed in. OUTCAST. That is how I will forever be branded.

Seeing Jen felt like going to church on a school night. I am not saying it like that is a bad thing. It made me miss a connection to God like that. Now God and I are good. Jesus and I are cool. I think I am okay there, but to have a church and a community that loves God also accept me; those things are mutually exclusive. I don’t believe that there is a church that would welcome all of me with open arms. It stings a little because I feel like that is something missing in my life. Not God or the four walls, but the community of like-minded souls in worship.

I sat in this event thinking I want to be a part of something like this and left feeling like that will never happen. Yes, I know having God love me is enough, but we are all human, and man it would be nice to feel whole and unashamed in a room like that.

It made me think of my event and how the people who have known me all my life, saw proof of things I could not conjure up, research or find out on my own, saw evidence that spirit can speak through me and still somehow wanted more clarification that God was okay with what I do. I can’t give anyone that. It isn’t my place.

I think a part of me felt that if I spoke my truth out loud it would wash away the hurt and the shame and I could be me without feeling wrong somehow. Nope. I will have to defend myself to my dying day.

Dentists, doctors, teachers, stay at home moms, marketers, gardeners, chefs, cashiers they don’t have to hide in shame when they tell people what they do for a living.

Just posting my live event brought out people who thought they could heal me with Bible Speak and damnation. I do not need to be healed. I am already whole. I am a decent person who loves her children, puts time and energy into the community she lives in, has a stable, healthy marriage, is kind to others, and hasn’t ever committed a crime in her life. Okay, okay, I once checked my email on my phone at a stop light; I have a ticket for that, but that is it. And still, I feel like some abomination. It just makes me tired.

I know sometimes it feels like it is only doom and gloom here on the blog, but this is where I can work out my shit. It is in my blog where I can feel all the feels and then get to the other side. I know, some people say you shouldn’t share your story until you are all the way through, but I get stuck in the middle a lot. I get stuck and need to vent to find the light at the end of the tunnel or to see the damn switch on the wall that has been there all along.

Some people told me after seeing me live that they didn’t know I was that funny or they didn’t realize I was that engaging. Well, duh I can’t be myself most places. But there in that room, people bought a ticket to see the real me, and I showed up.

My instinct to hide has been a part of me since I was two years old. I knew I wasn’t like everyone else. I was something different. That is all I have been all my life, something different. I count myself lucky, besides being female, I was able to hide who I was, to escape judgment because my difference is something that couldn’t be seen. And yes, I also know that I chose to speak up, I decided to let this loose. I get it. You can’t have it all.

But I guess because I was straddling both worlds and keeping it secret for so long; I miss my secret hiding place sometimes. I miss a place where I could pretend to feel whole and not have to feel what people think of me.

hallelujah anyway. I choose to stumble forward with as much grace as I can muster and hope for the best.

The good news, I guess, is that I am who I am. I know that my relationship with God is intact. If HE was pissed at me, I am pretty sure I would know it. And if I keep doing what I think is the next right thing that is all I can do. That is all we can ask of anyone. To do the best they can with what they have. So even if I can’t fit in places I would like to, and I might be seen as an evildoer in some circles; I just have to be the best me I can be. That is all I have to offer and at the end of the day that is good enough. So I say, hallelujah anyway. I choose to stumble forward with as much grace as I can muster and hope for the best. I will be a good neighbor and a good human. That is enough and it is okay if I stumble through it. I think moving forward with as much grace as I can muster is A-okay.

November Lessons 2014 Style – Juggling

November Lessons 2014 Style – Juggling

November

I guess the good thing you guys is that I am learning something here. Slowly, oh so slowly these lessons are sinking in and leaving me a stronger, wiser human. Not to say I am not making some of the same mistakes twice, I am human after all, but I catch myself in the mistake now and say, “Uh-oh, here I go again.” and I redirect myself, you guys.

That is it, like parenting a toddler, I redirect myself and that is still learning. Catching yourself, being aware and making quicker steps to resolve what is happening. And so with all this wiser knowledge I bring you my November lessons (the wiser in this sentence is intended to be sarcastic, we really need to design some sarcastic font):

Click to go to NY Mom's World Blog - original source for this photo
Click to go to NY Mom’s World Blog – original source for this photo

1. All the things

So I have a problem that I know all my readers are aware of; I try to do all the things. Before you scold me, listen. I have done all the things so far in life until recently. That is what tricks us into thinking we can do all the things.

As a kid we do all the things. We play, go to school, have friends, spend time with family, play a sport maybe and it is mostly seemingly successful. As a young adult we do the same things and just juggle in some bill paying, house cleaning and in a short time we swap out school and a low paying job for just a job. Then slowly we add in a relationship (for some of us, some people don’t want a serious relationship and that is totally fine) and possibly some kids.

So let’s get to that part for a second. I got married, went back to grad school while I was teaching and had a baby. Now I shifted to working part-time while I did this the second year, but I still juggled all the balls pretty successfully. I added another child and took on an out of the home full-time job and still juggled all the balls pretty successfully. See this tricky life, making you think you can juggle all the things.

Then, I went and had twins. Wha-bam! Balls started falling to the ground all over the place. I was surviving said juggling failures and learning that life is about learning from mistakes and there is beauty in the mess, blah, blah, blah. I know I shouldn’t blah, blah over the sentimental wise stuff, but you have heard all that before in my previous lessons.

So here is where, I got tricked you guys…I had been juggling all the things, I started dropping a few balls thinking oh you are supposed to drop a few it’s okay, and then I started to add more things. A blog, a turtle, a dog, Holiday Cheer, a side business and then it became just sheer chaos.

You can't tell by these two right now that it is chaotic around here.
You can’t tell by these two right now that it is chaotic around here. P.S. the puppy does have her own bed she chooses to sleep as close to our other dog as she possibly can without our other dog moving away.

So here I am neck-deep in the chaos and I am not sure I can let anything go, but taking care of myself at this point. Those of you who see me on a regular basis are seeing that is the case because my weight is back on these days. Mind you, I am also writing this at 4 in the morning while drinking a coke – yep that ball has dropped my friends, and like Jack Handy says, when you drop your keys in hot lava let them go, let them go because they are gone!

I have made some mistakes at work this past week that I am not happy about; mistakes I would not have made four and a half years ago. I wallowed in them a bit, but I learned from them and adjusted things so as not to make those mistakes in the future.

Giving up one of my other things though isn’t really an option for me. I love being a mother. The kids are for the most part doing pretty darn fabulous I might say. Two successful parent conferences, and the twins speech therapist wants me to teach parenting classes, so I must be doing something right even if I do forget to comb both the twins hair most days. I love being a wife and adore my husband. Honey please stay married to me even though I am terrible about refilling the soap – I know that drives you crazy and that you have to do all the dishes all the time – I love you dearly I am just a bad juggler.

Love my husband

I love writing this blog. It is sporadic at times and that is because I am juggling other things, but this is important to me. Writing in here keeps me real, keeps me open and ensures that I continue to shatter the walls of perfection, by just being who I am out loud for all to see. Maybe in me doing that others will, too. Take off your masks and let’s all just be bad jugglers together and help each other pick up the dropped balls.

My side business is my dream job, as hard as it is at times, so I have to keep pursuing that; even if it never pans out more than what I am doing now.

And the day job keeps my family fed, a roof over our heads, and really is a fantastic job because I am able to work from home. I mean really I can’t let either of my jobs go by the wayside.

So, I have decided that I may not be able to do all things well, but I have to keep trying to do all the things I have right now the very best I can. That is all I can do, that and make sure I never let myself get a puppy again. She is cute, but that one really tipped the scales in my time management.

2. Find your tribe

Girls weekend update, for those of you that haven’t heard – it was glorious.

Friendship has always been tricky for me. When we moved away from my soul mate, best friend in the fourth grade I didn’t ever let myself get close to another human like I did with her. This past two years, I have worked to make some solid friendships and rekindle some important, older ones. I have found a tribe of friends that I cannot live without.

These fabulous, amazing, kind, forgiving women are all so important to me. They support my craziness, love me any way (that is a big one because you see from the above lesson I am a horrible juggler which means I can sometimes seem like a flaky friend), and they show up all the time.

I had two of them check in on me this week just to check in! Amazing feeling.

girls weekend

The husband asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I told him I wanted to throw a little party and he about fell off the couch. I am pretty sure the look of shock on his face matched the one he had when my obstetrician told him we were having twins.

But, that is just it; I can’t imagine having a birthday without my people. My people are so much a part of my life now. I love all my people. So if you don’t get an invitation it is because I am a bad juggler and do what my people do: just invite yourselves over for dinner, really that is what my people do and I love them even more for it.

my tribe

3. It is none of your business what people think of you

One of my dear friends tells me and others all the time, “It is none of your business what other people think of you.” For a while I have to admit this saying bothered me. Not the way that you think either, I wasn’t worried so much about doing certain things because of what people would think of me; I mean I leave the house in sweatpants and a ponytail. I was more worried that people wouldn’t think I was kind. Being kind to others is important to me and that was my worry. I thought if I didn’t always do the right thing by way of being kind or courteous to other people then that was an issue and so I worried about what people thought because I wanted to make sure their needs were being met.

But here is the thing; I am constantly telling my daughter to stop telling everyone else what to do and do what she needs to do and everything will fall into place. That is the same thing as not making it your business what other people think of you.

How is it the same? Well if you just do the best you can and always try to be the kind of person that you want to be then everything will fall into place.

See I have worked at being the kind of human I want my kids to become and in doing that I have made friends and rebuilt old friendships. I have started giving back to other people and always try to put kindness first. Do I sometimes still lose my temper or put my frustration before my compassion – of course. But I try to remedy any issues that may cause and I have learned that even when you make mistakes people see you for what you really are anyway. Be yourself and worry about yourself, the rest will fall into place.

grace

4. Personal Grace

This one is simply said, but difficult to put into practice. I mentioned earlier how I made some mistakes this week, well offering myself grace was incredibly difficult. I had one of my worst bouts with depression in twenty years. I couldn’t offer myself grace or compassion. I was angry, frustrated, disappointed, and well I felt plain worthless. I took that out on those I loved most because when I was feeling those things it was clear to those I live with. They saw it. They felt it.

If instead I I had just said to myself – “you made a mistake, how do you fix it? Okay, let’s fix it and not make the same mistake again” and then moved on – no big deal. It was because I wallowed in it, let myself be so disappointed and frustrated that caused all the trouble.

Grace, offer yourself grace for your mistakes and it really is an easier road.

And that my dear readers wraps up my November lessons. I need to keep on keeping on, offer myself grace because really when I am juggling all the things that is pretty impressive and when something drops I pick it back up again – also pretty impressive. So my life is carefree compared to the struggles of others; it is still my life and my struggles therefore it is okay if I wade through some days instead of surfing the tide. My wise friend who tells me not to concern myself with what others think of me also tells me that everyone is just doing the best they can and I think she might be right about that, too.

Doing the best I can each day,

signature

 

 

Sister's Baby
Sister’s Baby

 

P.S. I know this shouldn’t be a P.S. but seeing a baby being born is one of the best things ever. My sister had her second baby this month and she let me stay in the delivery room – I know she is amazing – and I was able to see this sweet baby come into the world. Unbelievable, so earth shatteringly cool. 

 

 

Round here…

I lose my voice from time to time, because I start over thinking things. I have been trying to make this blog a better place for readers to stop. I want this blog to mean something to someone else; to have purpose and so I have been really struggling with the purpose of this blog. Struggling with who the audience is. Struggling with writing what they want to read. I even struggle with the whole notion of writing, but I think I was born to write – I am compelled to write against my better judgement. Somehow I always find myself behind this keyboard writing a message that comes from my spirit; my intuition – there is no logic or exact plan to what I write. And somehow by that same grace more than 100 people stop here. Visited and have decided to stay and follow what I write. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for stopping. Thank you for validating my intuition that I am supposed to be here typing away.

In this space I write about random things like how I cut my hair and I really don’t like it. I cut about 6 inches off and died it dark brown. The picture below was my inspiration, but it did not turn out like that; damn that Katie Holmes and her cute little hair cut. Any way, I found myself standing in front of the bathroom mirror thinking, “Good God, I need to call someone in case I die like this so they can put a nice wig on me or have someone dye this mop blonde again. Oh I hope that is even possible.” But after deeper introspection I realized I would want to be remembered as the girl who was brave enough to try something totally different. Remembered as the girl who believed it’s just hair and it will grow back. So no need to worry – we can keep my hair as is mortician.

Katie Holmes Hair Cut
Katie Holmes Hair Cut

This blog talks about how I see and hear and feel dead people. Spirits have communicated with me all my life and yes, it is REALLY REAL (yes, that is opposed to fake real which is a whole other blog entry). The spirits don’t scare me (mostly) what really scares me is how some people react; what really scares me is getting the message wrong and delivering it incorrectly to the loved one. What really scares me is that I might be meant to be a medium on a large scale and I am not sure that I am brave enough. I am just not sure God chose the right person, but I remember God is all knowing and she doesn’t make mistakes even if we happen to think it’s possible. So here I am stuck in a debate with my intuition and fear. My intuition is winning already obviously because here it is in black and white for all of you to read. Spirits speak to me. No hiding now.

I write about how I make a zillion mistakes with my kids. But that sometimes the new things I do are making a difference – like this note my daughter wrote me two weeks ago.

We can do hard things
We can do hard things

Worthiness. I write about how my worthiness is a tight rope and God’s Grace is my net and that somehow I am trying to turn that tight rope into a bridge (preferably wood covered out in the country- but that doesn’t really matter I just like visual). About how I worry that my lack of worthiness is setting a bad example for my children.

I share bad pictures of signs I made out of gift bags.

Drinks well with others
Drinks well with others

I write about seat warmers and that even though I live in California where they should be worthless I love them. Absolutely adore them. I guess that makes me beyond spoiled, but it doesn’t change that fact that I love them.

yes, they are on high
yes, they are on high

I write about how I need to be a better listener. That I suck at conversation. That I use so many “I”s in this blog it actually makes me cringe because I am not that self centered and yes I can hear you laughing through the Internet.

Silly illogical things from out of the blue are often the topic of this blog. For example, someone once said that they hated self pity. Why that still bothers me 6 years later is probably because I think many people think depression is a form of self pity. Depression IS NOT self pity – depression is illogical self hatred. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain – we can’t help it, we don’t like it, we don’t do this for attention, it truly is just how we are born. I write about stuff like that.

I write about how a six year old dying, a six year old I had the privilege of meeting once, went to heaven this past week has completely knocked me off balance. How I am so concerned for her family, not only today, but for two years, ten years, twenty years from now when all the attention they are receiving fades and how they will have to find a new normal – if that is even possible. I write about how that scares me to death and that feeling of helplessness – that I don’t want to ever be one of the people that forgets – I write about that.

This blog is about my struggle with weight and that I lost that battle this week to a box of freaking Somoas. Stinking Girl Scout Cookies – and I let them win. How I think I am a food addict. I am always hungry, never full. I am thankful it is just food and not some other horrible demon.

That my house is run by three-year-old dictators (please don’t tell them that – I am not sure they really truly know that yet) and that every day my life is mostly made up of negotiations with them.

  • How am I going to keep them in their clothes? My youngest thinks hanging out in his underwear is totally cool (please those of you that think this is totally cool, do not encourage him – he will have to wear pants in public).
  • How are we going to get to school without a fit? Is nap time going to be successful?
  • What I am going to find outside of the bathroom today?

And how most nights lately I collapse into sleep the minute I hit the pillow because I am spent – 100% completely spent.

Ridiculous, boring problems. Regular life. Grace and forgiveness. Failing out loud. Learning to love myself and love others better in the process. Wanting to become the adult I want my children to become. That is all here…and I write it out because I think that society is too caught up in making things look good; we need to remember that life is messy, hard and that is what makes it so great. I would like this blog to be a place where readers can come and hear honesty, feel like they can share honestly, and also see some of themselves here. Know they aren’t alone out in the world that messy and hard and beautiful are what real life looks like.

Thanks for reading,

M