Monday, January 30, 2012


The frightful feeling of being underwater.  The way emotions and hard times can wash over you like a fierce, crashing wave.  It leaves you struggling, disoriented, ears muffled, eyes blurry, chest tight and heart racing.  The way you grow weary, so tired, while you struggle to reach the surface.  Murky waters, uncharted territory that you cannot navigate.  Sometimes coming up for air just long enough to breathe before being pulled back under, fighting the current, kicking your way toward the surface but running out of energy to continue.


Haven't we all been here at sometime in our lives?  Underwater looks and feels so different to all of us.  As unique as the journey that takes us below the surface.  The loss of a loved one, dear to the heart, whether through death or divorce, calendars filled with obligations that we can't keep up with, projects we can't complete, raising children, false friendships that wound us, loss of employment or inability to find work, financial difficulties, car trouble, illness, children with special needs.  Sometimes we walk into these waters, one small step at a time, not quite realizing how quickly the water will be over our head.  Other times we are plunged backward, sinking below the surface before we have a chance to realize what is happening.  It doesn't matter how we get there, what matters is how we get out.

Panic sets in and we flail, and we fight, peering up through murky waters, churned by our own hands.  We want to regain be be saved from what lies beneath.

And then the moment of clarity, the calm that interrupts our storm, the gentle reminder that we need only to surrender.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

When I feel like my world is underwater, when I am drowning, I turn to him.  Unfortunately, this is usually after I have wriggled into my wet suit (the one that is too small), made an unsightly attempt at snorkeling while swallowing and choking, lost a flipper while kicking furiously toward what I believe to be the surface.  All the while splashing around in circles, going nowhere fast. 

 Then, as I grow weary I remember.........he didn't intend for me to do this alone.  I surrender and I pray and I trust and I know that he hears.  He doesn't always rescue me as quickly as I would like, but he is a God that is faithful, sovereign, and eternal.  He has promised he will never leave my side.  I am the one who has turned away, not him.  When I remember that I cannot do it alone, and I settle down long enough to hear his voice, he reminds me to take his hand and just keep swimming.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Like Sand Through The Hour Glass

Sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, hours turned to days, and days to weeks.........okay well I think you get the point.  Time, where does it go? January already.  I feel as though I just purchased my 2011 calendar and began dreaming of all the things I would get done last year.

Have I accomplished much of what I dreamed I would this year?  Probably not.  My bedroom walls are still the same white they were when we built our house 10 years ago.  Disneyland didn't happen (again), and we didn't make it snowboarding, nor did I spend every weekend of my summer skimming across the lake behind the boat and roasting marshmallows around the campfire.  The kitchen remodel is not done, the yard is not landscaped, and my scrapbook stuff is still stacked neatly on the closet shelf.  It turns out that I'm okay with that (on most days).

When I wasn't so busy, being busy I made a conscious effort to find quiet moments for myself, and that has made all the difference.  Well that, and the fact that after 14 years in Southern Humboldt I finally found a little church that is beginning to feel like home.

It is true, time passes.....seasons change, children grow, parents age, friendships stretch, babies are born and loved ones pass on.  I so often have told myself, eye on the prize........hang in there Clover, things are going to slow down and when they do........

What I didn't realize is that I was living my days like a hamster stuck in a wheel, or a robot going through the motions, crossing tasks off the to do list, just waiting to get through this week, and wrap up that event.  To finish up one more meeting or one last project before I opened my eyes and lived a little.  Constantly telling myself that maybe next year I would get around to all those things I wanted to do.

Last year was one of awakening.  Life is to short to wait for the right moment to appreciate the abundance and the gifts that surround us everyday, in every moment.  When you live a life of gratitude, and you choose to embrace what is good, you can find beauty in every situation.   It doesn't mean you will always find joy in everything, but instead of focusing on a list of what is wrong, try to find the one thing that is right.  Just doing so brings peace and strength to endure even the most difficult situations. 

I learned this, hands on, the hard way, in those first few weeks of August right after my mom's car accident.  It wasn't always easy, but with each new challenge I was able to step back and find something positive to focus on, always looking for what I could give thanks for amidst a crisis that threatened to crack my foundation.  The reality is, no matter what we are going through, things can always be worse, and we must learn to be thankful for what we have rather than hungry for what we don't.

The days are brighter when I put on my rose colored glasses.  Even when I don't feel like smiling, I try to paste a grin on anyway, say hello to someone I pass on the street, offer up a compliment.  Bringing pleasure and a smile to the face of someone else always lifts my own spirits.

In the end it doesn't matter what we have or where we've been.  What matters are the moments that make memories....that leave footprints.... that lead to smiles....It's about learning to love the hand prints on the front door, the dirt on the welcome mat, the dust on the ceiling fan, and the list that never ends, because that is proof that I am too busy living to notice what is still waiting to be done.