Another Monday Musing is on deck but this morning I feel as if I can’t find the words. Surely I have things to say but today, this day, I don’t feel it. My soul feels heavy. My body is tired. Despite knowing in my gut exactly why I am feeling this way, I feel the need to pinpoint a lighter reason for this heavy tiredness. I pick the weather because that is the easiest scapegoat. If Milli Vanilli can blame it on the rain, surely I can too. I giggle at the thought and shift my focus back to my thoughts.
I inhale and breath out the heavy in my soul.
I inhale and breath out the fatigue in my body.
I focus on my thoughts waiting for words, a sentiment, anything.
My freshly manicured nails hover over the keys waiting for the words.
This morning the words aren’t there to greet me.
What do we do in this life when words escape us?
We begin anyway.
I force myself to sit at my desk, strengthening the muscle of self-discipline.
The lamp offering a soft glow in my home office.
My diffuser humming, filling the room with the scent of invigorating citrus.
A cup of warm lemon water steaming beside my laptop.
The hum of the sound machine coming thru the monitor showing our sweet Toddler B fast asleep and cozy in his bed.
Hubbz already gone for the morning, off and running, well into his day.
I think of my sweet readers.
What is it they need to hear on a Monday? What is it that is going to resonate in those places deep in their soul?
Then it hits me. Just write.
Write when the words aren’t there. Write when you don’t have anything amazing to say. Write when you don’t feel like it’s any good. Pick a place, start somewhere and just write. It sounds so simple- trite even. Just write? What is this, the Nike of the written word? I laugh out loud at that thought. But then- maybe there is something to that…
On this Monday, I leave you with the sentiment to, for lack of a better phrase, “just do it”.
(Reader’s note… it’s okay if you rolled your eyes because I just rolled my eyes at the amount of cliche that last sentence held. I’ll make you a deal, we can roll our eyes together but then let’s promise not to judge each other.)
In your life, wherever you are right now, whatever you are doing, whatever is set before you- just go do it. There is someone that needs to hear this today. Someone that needs to hear that you have to show up in your life- even when you maybe feel like you don’t have a thing to offer. Show up even when you feel like what you are offering isn’t really that good. Show up even when it’s hard. When it doesn’t feel good. When you would rather be doing something else. Anything else. Show up. Just go do it.
The steam has stopped rising off my lemon water and Toddler B starts to stir in his crib. These are my cues that it’s time to wrap it up. My quiet time is over for the morning and now it’s time to go be Mommy to our sweet Toddler B.
Sweet readers, go do that thing today- don’t think too hard about it- just go do it. Show up where you need to show up. Write the page of your day. Write something funny or mundane or spectacular. Regardless of what you write on this page of your day, write something worth it!
Holy Week began last Sunday. The little girl in me remembers Catholic Palm Sunday masses filled with excitement and hope. The reminder that something big was coming. There were palms that we folded into crosses as we listened to the messages of our beloved sweet Jesus triumphantly riding into Jerusalem.
On Monday, Notre Dame caught fire. Flames raged in an inferno beneath the roof of the world’s medieval Catholic cathedral. This week I read an article that offered the idea that maybe Norte Dame burning is our modern day burning bush. That struck me deep in a place in my soul that I haven’t been in a while.
Was God trying to point a secular world back to Him?
Emmanuel Macron tweeted on Holy Monday that part of us is burning. You’re right, friend, part of us is burning. The parts of our souls that yearn for our Savior burn in ways that sometimes we can’t understand. We yearn for something deep. We feel it in the unrest and anxiousness of our souls. We spend time filling this burning with earthly things. Things that will never, ever quench the inferno inside us. I believe it’s because only our beloved sweet Jesus can quench the inferno of our souls.
On this Good Friday, my heart is heavy. It is so hard to see any good in this day. I close my eyes and I see our sweet Jesus. He was humiliated, ridiculed and mocked. He stood innocent, yet took our punishment to save us from certain death. Our sweet Jesus beaten and hung on a cross to die. I think of the cross that hung in my childhood church. It was beautiful and pristine. A symbol pointing to our sweet Savior. Death by crucifixion wasn’t beautiful or pristine. It was torturous and gruesome and horrific.
And yet, it was good.
The paradox this day holds points to something big coming.
Our Good Friday full of pain.
The pain in this day points to something big coming.
Our Silent Saturday full of waiting.
The tragedy of this day points to something big coming.
Our Easter Sunday full of the most incredible joy.
The timeline in Matthew says that right now, darkness came over all the land.
In this darkness we think about Jesus. We think about Notre Dame and our modern day burning bush. We think about the Lord pointing us back to him. Because in the end, it all just points back to Him.
On this Good Friday, we wait and we pray…
Notre Père qui es aux cieux, que ton nom soit sanctifié; Que ton règne vienne; Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel. Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain quotidien; et pardonne-nous nos offenses comme nous pardonnons à ceux qui nous ont offensés; et ne nous induis pas en tentation, mais délivre-nous du mal, Amen.
I laid on the soft, heated table in the dark room, heat lamps hovered above my body radiating warmth across my skin. The temperature outside hovered around 10 degrees but I was in a cocoon of warmth and it was magical. I drifted in and out of sleep while the acupuncture needles did all the things that acupuncture needles do. I was in a state of zenAF and amazing music massaged my eardrums…
Until I heard it…
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…
ON and ON and ON and ON and ON and ON and ON.
It took me a moment to rouse my brain, defog it and realize this was not a fire alarm. I wasn’t in danger and I should not begin frantically pulling out the acupuncture needles as I searched the darkness for my clothes. This was not any kind of emergency. It was instead, the reminder on my phone prompting me to give my old lady dog with slight incontinence issues her medicine.
I love my little old lady doggie. And also, FRIG.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…
I laid on the table, now wide awake. I was willing the beeping to turn off so I could get all cozy with my ZenAF mindset again.
It didn’t shut off.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…
Thank you, Apple for your unyeilding desire to keep me reminded of the shit I asked you to remind me about. You are relentless in the pursuit.
I laid on the table growing more and more annoyed with each beep. I laid yearning to drift back off to LaLaLand. I start to try and make the beeping mesh with the soft music playing… spoiler alert: it doesn’t mesh. At all. Ever.
I laid on the table defeated in my efforts and faced with two choices. I could accept what was happening knowing I couldn’t at all change it, or I could keep fighting the (self-inflicted) situation I found myself in. I realize that I was leaning toward the latter and it was time to flip the flow. Choosing the accept the situation didn’t change anything. It didn’t make the beeping stop and I definitely didn’t get back to my zenAF state. What it did do, was allow me space to not have a negative reaction about what was happening. It goes back to the radical acceptance post I wrote a while back.
I made a conscious choice to be at peace with the situation I found myself in. By accepting that which I could do nothing about and surrendering to it, I laid there in that warm, cozy dark room and I started to laugh. It came out as a giggle at first and turned into an all out belly laugh. As I write this I am still unsure what was so funny but I know the laughter bubbling out helped me not take the situation so serious. In a weird turn of events, acceptance helped me find a new giggly zenAF in a situation that offered zero zenAF notions.
I think about what it means to be human and the things that happen to us in a day. The millions of tiny things that have an impact on who we are and how our days pan out. I think on how many times our circumstances get in the way of our moods, hearts and attitudes.
It is here that I pose a question to you.
With what mindset do you want to spend your day?
Do you want to spend your time letting your circumstance be in control of you or do you want to spend your time joyful regardless of your circumstances? I choose radical acceptance, a shit ton of peace and even more giggly, laughter that bubbles out in pure joy. Choose wisely, sweet readers. We don’t get our days back and rarely do we get do-overs. We don’t always choose our circumstances but we always choose our mindset.
Among the azaleas, magnolias and dogwoods a story unfolded. It is a story that has spanned decades and today came full-circle. It’s a story about adversity. It’s a story about struggle. It’s a story about mistakes, courage, and the relentless pursuit to attain success again. It’s a story about all of those things – and now, it’s a story about a comeback.
Some call it the greatest comeback of all time.
There was a moment when a judgmental world shook their head at him. His story that we didn’t understand at the time has now been redeemed into a fairytale of sorts. I think the reason his story is so incredible is because oftentimes, athletes don’t get the comeback they are hoping for and if they do, they don’t end up winning the championship again. His story is incredible because so many times, in sports and in life, hard things don’t end in greatness.
Tiger’s story is the story of hard work and non-negotiable drive. Relentless will and the unwavering pursuit of excellence. It’s the kind of feel-good story that Hollywood makes movies about.
The moment he embraced his caddy with his million dollar smile and yelled, “we did it!”, I felt a small lump form in my throat.
The moment he embraced his son, the Mama in me teared up.
The moment he embraced his Mama, the Mama in me sobbed.
The moment he embraced his daughter, the Mama in me ugly cried.
I can’t help but wonder if Tiger’s rise and fall and rise again is a lesson to us all. Sure, our stories don’t culminate on incredible golf courses with the world watching or end with beautiful green jackets that bring a tear to an eye. But they do happen in the secret places of our lives and our homes. Our growing and changing and successes and failures.
On a Sunday in April, at one of the most storied golf courses in all the land, with the world watching, Tiger put on a green jacket and gave us one of the greatest moments the sport has ever seen. On a human level, he offered the watching world the notion that we don’t have to ever be defined by who we were at one time. We can hold on to hope and redeem our path. We can be successful and create futures that are incredible no matter what or who our past says we are.
On a Sunday at Augusta, among the azaleas, magnolias and dogwoods a story unfolded- and what a story it was.
Does your soul ever get wonky? The kind of wonky where you feel itchy in your own skin. Like something is off and you’re unsettled.
Err… uhh… right. Me neither.
Except, can I be honest in this super safe space?
Sometimes I do.
Sometimes my soul feels wonky and I feel itchy in my own skin… more accurately in my own life. If I can be super honest, sometimes in the quiet moments of my day when I am alone in my thoughts, the ultimate joy-stealer starts to creep in… doubt.
Doubt about life.
Doubt about friendships.
Doubt about the way I am a Wife.
Doubt about the way I am a Mama.
Doubt about my health and my fitness journey.
Doubt about my career and education and if I am smart enough.
Doubt about finances and the best ways to invest, save, give or spend our money.
Y’all… SO. MUCH. DOUBT.
I bet if I went on that list long enough I might hit a doubt or few that get the best of you too.
In the Book of James, scripture describes someone who doubts “like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” What a perfect description. Well played, God.
Would you agree that sometimes these storms of doubt leave us feeling seasick?
What do we do with this?
In the past, at the first sign of an unsettled heart, I did anything and everything I could to fill that wonky void. I didn’t want to feel the pain of an unsettled soul, so I attached myself to vices that helped me not pay attention to the unrest inside me. I think in these moments when our souls are unsettled and we feel itchy in our skin, when our urge is to fill the void and go as numb as we can, we have to turn our minds and hearts to the one who made us. Turn our minds and hearts to the only one who truly knows our minds and hearts because he created them.
During a recent journey through a storm of doubt, I realized what was happening and I stopped my brain in that moment. I flipped the flow on the waves of doubt. I stood up from where I was and took a deep breath. I walked to the nearest window and felt the sun on my face. I put my hand over my heart, and I got really still. That heartbeat I felt was mine. No one else’s. That heartbeat was God’s gift to me and signifies a purpose I have on this planet.
Know what the coolest thing about this is?
YOU HAVE ONE TOO!
When doubt and unrest creep into your day, your life, your moments, your thoughts – stop and flip the flow. Take a deep breath. Stand in truth. Feel your heart beating. That heart is beating to allow you to live your purpose. I have learned something along the way in this life- when I have purpose in my heart, I can’t have unrest in my soul. There isn’t any room for it.
The unrest fades away.
The doubt significantly diminishes.
In its place, the truth. Your truth. The truth that ultimately sets you free.
Meet you back here next week, same time, same place,