It’s been too long. I have missed you. As usual, I have some confessions to make. I started off this year with such hope. such gratefulness in my heart. for a year of plenty. Remember? I know some of you do. You have been kind enough to remind lately. Good thing you’ve done so – because that brings me to Confession #1.
I’ve lost sight of the plenty. I confess that the muck and mire of my current job situation (which is less than desirable) have consumed me and left me feeling anything but abundance. I hate when that happens. It’s not pretty. It’s not every moment of every day that I feel the drain swirling but I can tell you I feel like humming “Killing me softly” on a regular basis. It’s difficult to admit that the queen of less drama has done her fair share of shriveling. Rising above hasn’t been easy, either. I have had a few triumphant moments thanks to my newly acquired mantra ~ NOT my circus, NOT my monkeys ~ but as Brad, Kerstin, Mom, and Michelle can easily attest to I’ve let myself wallow in the mire. Let’s not focus on the muck because frankly it’s pitiful. I know deep within me that it’s just temporary.
What I want to share is a gift. It’s the gift of hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams are keeping me from “puddle on the floor” status. I’m thinking this particular muck and mire have purpose. I won’t venture to guess what that is (we’ll just have to wait for the hindsight version). Until then, I am trusting the struggle. After experiencing steep learning curves on more than one occasion I have come to believe that “the struggle” brings learning and wisdom that cannot be acquired any other way. We don’t often realize it in the moment but it’s that pesky hindsight that enlightens us in situations such as these. Trusting the struggle is challenging but it often ushers in the plenty.
(artwork by Leigh Standley, aka Curly Girl)
As I glance through the snapshots on my phone, I’ve already captured lots of plenty this year! I am not a girl who is lacking. As I think about what is happening around the world and on our own soil ~ Bostonians, you have been in my thoughts and prayers ~ I know gratefulness should be oozing from my every pore. If only I could remain in my grateful place. I’m trying.
So here we are. At this contemplation. All present and accounted for? I hope you have enough of the backstory to grasp the beauty of what I am about to share. It fills me up and keeps me going.
Let’s take a glance at April 8, 2013. Dream-catching in unexpected spaces!
I went to work at 6:30am and started diligently entering data points into spread sheets (I’m thankful to have a “light duty” job that pays but oh-so tired of NOT doing what nurses do best – take care of patients). At 9:00am, I left for my doctor’s appointment. I was on my way to see the specialist for my work-related back injury. I was desperately hoping that Brad could be with me. On the spot, he is much clearer and more concise than me. As I drive, I’m dwelling on the fact that as much as I love the people that I know (Confession #2) I’m ridiculously introverted when it comes to strangers. I don’t know this doctor and I’m sullen in my introverted-ness wishing that I didn’t have to go all by myself. This might be redundant but I wan to make sure I paint the picture for you. It’s drizzling which matches my mood. The rain drops actually bring some comfort to this Florida girl who can never get enough rain in the Central Valley of California. I was thinking about my dear friend and her “coffee shop life-style.” She’s about to launch a new business and she gets to spend an exorbitant amount of time (remember I was in a funk which always distorts my perception and usually doesn’t meet up with reality) in coffee shops and at the water’s edge planning her launch. How come she gets to do that and I get to spend my days entering tiny little numbers into endless rows and columns? Not fair. (Confession #3) Oh ya. I forget that I’m more content when I’m not comparing myself to others (apples to oranges). When I’m focusing on what I do have instead of what I don’t have I am happier. Why is this so hard to remember?
Surprising even this dreary soul, the doctor’s appointment went well. The physician was personable, knowledgeable, and I easily connected with him. For this, I was grateful.
After the appointment, I received a couple of calls from UCSF’s IVF program that caused some inner turmoil and I was wondering to myself, “Why does life have to be so complicated sometimes?” My inner angst coupled with driving back towards “Excel-land” had me all worked up. So I called my mom and shared my “burdens” with her.
I told her that I just wanted to be a writer, retreat speaker, and mom – was that too much to ask out of this life? She delighted, “That seems do-able to me.” Wow ~ a breath of fresh air. Wind in my sails. A colossal sigh of relief. My heart instantly started day-dreaming. My vision was renewed. Even now, as I type, I feel my sails filling with the cool ocean breezes…
our home on the coast. our less drama queen retreat center nestled among the redwoods. i can hear the waves lapping the shore. i can see it. i feel it. every day is just right. life is full. i am content. i am free. i have purpose and intent. i get to spend my days pouring into the lives of women. women who travel together in the deep waters. ladies who are not afraid to be brave. girly girls who trust vulnerability and who want to be known. women who believe in the power of girlfriends and making life matter. i am a nurturer. i am wife. i am mom. i write. i speak. my days are my own. i answer to a higher calling. my “job” is to champion others. i breathe hope into their lives. a dreamcatcher of sorts – i inspire. i teach. we are community. we are connected and i am the queen of less drama.
That felt good. Hope reborn. All the mire ~ just a season that will pass soon enough. There is something to be learned here. I’m trusting. I’m taking hold of the dream. I will find rest in it. Rest for my weary soul. In those moments it was as if our savior had come to carry my heavy load. My mom’s words “that’s doable” sent beams of light through the phone line to my very being. I decided to cherish the idea of my eight upcoming MD appointments in the next two weeks. I thought if I can have dreams rejuvenated like this when I’m away from the dreaded spreadsheets – my cup will overflow. I went back to “Excel-land” bright eyed and bushy tailed.
(Confession #4) I sometimes check my Facebook while figuring out calculations on my phone while I’m at work. I hadn’t been back to Cafe Excel but five minutes. It was there. In my inbox. The message that gave me confirmation. A young mom that I’ve known since my children’s ministry days in Tampa when she was 10 was reaching out to me. She spoke of deep waters ~ longing for connection. She was feeling brave yet scared all at once. Asking for hope. Needing a shoulder to lean on. Oh how my heart sang.
It was then that I believed. My dream will come true.
A couple of days later, one of my BFF’s shared with me a dream she had while sleeping. She had the unheard-of-opportunity to buy a fixer-upper on St. Simon’s Island, GA for $45,000. In the dream, she realized she would have the bank roll to finance all the renovations. She shared some of her vision with me. The one thing that stood out to her was that this vintage beach cottage she now owned really needed some work but that it had stellar character and some really great “bones” that she wanted to keep in the renovation process.
When I asked her what she thought it all meant? After all, we are girly girls – we like to think everything has meaning. She ventured out with uncanny insight – she believed that this dream cottage was her true self – that she had deep character and great attributes worth keeping but that there were parts of her self and her life that longed for transformation. Being a coach and BFF I could not help but inquire, “What parts would you like to keep? What needs to change? What’s your next step?” She chuckled before answering.
So, there you have it. I’m turning my focus back to this year of plenty. Let me choose to believe that I am enough. There is plenty to go around. It’s win-win. There are some renovations in progress. My higher purpose is calling and I’m in the midst of answering. I will trust this struggle.
Will you join me in believing? Let the dreams commence. I know you have them. Let’s hope together. Let’s reach out to each other. Let’s connect.
Be brave! Be vulnerable. Be known. Dreams do come true!