Sunday, May 20, 2012

Purpose. A Family of Individuals.

   In the past few weeks I have been spending a considerable amount of time reading, thinking, talking and praying about purpose. As in an individuals life purpose. Their calling. Wanting to understand the concept, as a whole, better. But also to understand my own personal purpose better. I have been able to detect several strong currents flowing through me that lend themselves to some obvious and some not so obvious purposes... but my biggest stumbling block in this self excavation project has been my compulsion to fit all of those separate callings together into one neatly wrapped box. Or perhaps more accurately, a map with several roads that intersect and tie together to end at a destination that encompasses all of them together. And maybe they do, in a way that I just can't see right now. But, right now, I'm struggling with how my purpose as a wife and a mother fit in to my life's purpose of writing and helping hurt people, people with brokenness in their minds and hearts.... specifically adolescent girls and young women.

   How does my desire for a large family and a stomach-churningly sweet marriage fit in to this other piece? Does it need to? How does my shared family life fit in to my individual calling which I alone can fulfill? From my limited point of view it seems readily apparent that my family does not exist merely to serve my individual calling... it is so much more than that. And on the flip side my individual calling does not exist merely to serve my family... it, too, is so much more than that. It seems pretty plain and simple, but for some reason I have this nagging feeling that there is a link between them that I am missing. Or perhaps I am simply overwhelmed at the prospect of fulfilling two equally as important callings simultaneously, not to mention the other passions less pressing during this season in my life.

{Photo by d4vidbruce}

   When you think about famous people who have accomplished huge things, people who dedicated their lives to a specific purpose, the purpose itself is almost always the most notable thing about them. Many of these people had families. Families who most people never hear about or bother to learn about. Did these family members all buy in to the one persons purpose or was that simply one of many purposes that existed not only within the family but within the person themselves? Was it simply the only purpose of the group that was external enough to be noticed? Or could it be that marriage and parenting as a purpose is secondary. Not secondary when held up against your other purposes, but secondary in that, the height of accomplishment in marriage or parenting is creating a foundation on which the other members of your family can choose to go out and fulfill their own individual purposes. Do we all play a supporting role to each others purposes, instead of being each others purpose. Or even one of their purposes....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tech_ical Difficulties

Forgive me for my lack of posts lately. My key_oard has mysteriously lost some letters. Two letters.

See_ (questio_ mark (which also is_'t worki_g))

There you have it. 


More at future time.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

An Instagram Recap of Our Weekend

   A few weeks ago I posted about being at my little sisters Senior Show, and how incredibly proud I was (still am) of her... Still on a bit of a high from our last trip down to her college campus, we set off for another. The final one. The trip that marked the end of a chapter in her life and by default mine. It may seem silly to some people, to define it in those terms, but for me, my sisters college years were a season all its own. I didn't go to college. At least not really. Not enough to count. And though I am, to this day happy with that decision, it would be a lie to say that I didn't live vicariously through her, albeit from a somewhat great distance.

   There is something more to it than that however. Really it's that my world changed, because my relationship with my sister changed. And my relationship with my sister changed because she changed. And simply put, she changed because of college. Because of everything that it was to her. She went away to school as a strong, determined, extremely intelligent young woman and somewhere between then and now she has developed into an artist. A women grounded in herself and in her passions and abilities. Where many of us saw little room for improvement she flourished. No one doubted her capabilities, yet at the same time I feel it's entirely safe to say that not one of us who made up her inner circle, were not completely blown away by what she has done.

   I know most everyone is at least, in some small way, proud of their siblings. But, I just cannot begin to articulate what it feels like to be in such amazing company. To know that this is the same little girl I used to coax into asking Mom to order pizza for dinner because I knew that her face was harder to say no to. Something about her inability to lie lent itself strongly to that reality. The same girl who I used to try to hide away from my friends, because they were mine damn it, not hers. I always knew that at any given moment she could surpass me. I guess I just never could have imagined how good it would feel to watch her do it.

   I could go on... but I won't, because tears are hard to see through and if I went any further the possibility of a proper segue into pictures from our trip would diminish greatly with each and every word.... and I know you want to see pictures. So here they are:

The one in all pink... isn't she gorgeous?

...her entourage...

For documentation sake (this time last year this romper was MUCH tighter)

The flip side of the cap pictures everyone else was snapping

One of her many accomplishments; being one of the 10 Ideals chosen to represent the virtues of a Stephens woman. More importantly... secret society. You're jealous. I know. Me too.

Someone actually slept on the long drive home!

I know that your reading this... there are so many things I want to say but can't find the words... 

...from me to the moon...
(and back)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bearing the Burden in Gladness

   Sometimes when you pray for the same thing over and over again day after day, and no change seems to happen in that direction, you begin to wonder whether you are simply praying for something that is outside of God's will for you. That maybe you're really asking for the wrong thing. That you simply must be confused. And then suddenly a veil lifts and you are reminded of the old adage that an unanswered prayer doesn't always mean "No", sometimes it just means "Not now". As in, He has perfect timing.

   I have spent some time recently praying for a certain fog to lift from my heart. I knew that it was there, that it was sinful in nature and that it was of my own creation, but still, all of my human efforts seemed to do nothing but make the fog thicker. Denser. Harder to see through.  I didn't know anymore if it was a matter of my efforts being too far from perfect, as all human efforts are, or if maybe it was just something I was meant to learn to live with. A permanent disablement meant to force me to develop a needed strength in another area in order to fulfill my life's calling.

   It turns out that what I really needed in order to move forward was to accept that maybe that really was the case, and be willing to bear that gladly. No sooner had I decided that I would find a way that didn't involve waiting for the fog to clear, did it begin to dissipate. The removal of resentment I had been praying for began to take place in my heart and even better... a compassion I had not felt in a long time appeared in its absence.

   The transformation is not complete yet. But knowing that it's taking place within me this very moment feels to be so very much more than I was even hoping for during all of those prayers.

Art by Ohaniella

   This seems to be a reoccurring thing in my life. A lesson I must learn over and over again. That oftentimes the only thing that will fix a problem is accepting that the problem may just be permanent. To stop trying to fix it and simply ask "how can I achieve my life's purpose in spite of this thing. Or better yet, because of it" The key though, seems to genuinely be okay with bearing that burden for the rest of your life. So accepting your burden in hopes of relief from it almost never works. It is the glad spirit of the acceptance that heals the wound. So don't stop praying. It may be the only thing that can bring you around to the place of acceptance required. Even if it takes time. Even if it feels like it's taking forever.

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