The Anatomy of a Scar~Almost all of us have one or more of them..I can pretty much locate each one, tell its story, all the while touching it, feeling the interrupted landscape, its silvery color makes it noticeable to others as well. Oh I know there are creams and plastic surgery to lessen its appearance, but you cannot completely eradicate it..even the scars that are unseen are forever there within ourselves. The places where we are hurt, damaged & bleeding that bring forth that scar are reminders to all of us of that moment in time where we felt pain. The new skin is tougher, more resilient, more visible..showing the strength gained from that traumatic time.
I look at my hand and see a large scar from a burn I suffered when I was about eleven months old. I was learning how to walk. Being at my Grandmother's old house meant new adventures. I tottered over to her old iron stove and placed my hand on it...my mom said I abandoned my walking for several months after, associating that burn with it. But, as it healed, the raised skin forever there on my palm, I did return to my quest of walking, but now being more aware of my surroundings.
Your scars. What have you learned from your scars? Have you allowed the memory, the feel of them, the moment to teach you, redirect you, strengthen you? Are you trying to hide them, allowing them to keep you from resting on the lesson acquired to venture in another direction with wisdom and strength?
There is value in everything we experience, the good, the not so good and the down right awful. I hope the next time you evaluate your scars, both inside and out, you see them with new eyes. Selah
This little light of mine....I'm gonna let it shine....
by Me on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 11:05pm ·
What a sweet song....if we really took those lyrics seriously, took them to heart, maybe we'd realize that each one of us has been assigned a light by our Awesome Almighty Dad with orders to "let it shine." What have I done with my light? I know I put it somewhere.....ummmmm, its somewhere...no, not there, maybe over here.....oh well, I'll look for it later....gotta go to work, maybe later when I have more time, the laundry needs folding, fix supper, American Idol is on........oh forget it I'm just too tired to look for it now...............light? what light? I have a little light? I'm supposed to do what with it and for whom? Oh, its too late to let it shine....look at me now...I'm too old, its so complicated now, I mean no one's going to see it anyway.....
We never intended to lose our "little light." Believe it or not, its still there deep down under all the worldly clutter, self doubt, sorrow, busy ness and second guessing we've heaped upon it.....just take a few moments to collect yourself at the foot of the one who gave it to us in the first place and he'll show you where it is.........Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
One Saturday evening I was indulging myself in a little HGTV. I was watching a program called “Color Splash” and the host David Bromstead was transforming a couple’s bedroom into a “get-away to the beach.” I love how everyone is so hooked on getting that “spa-like” feel . I could care less about that “spa-like” “beachy cottage” whatever thing going on in my bedroom. These days my main objective is to get unconscious as quickly as possible. Okay, okay—getting back to the reason I am writing this….good old David Bromstead has redesigned this couple’s boring bedroom into a “retreat” that will undoubtedly bring tears to the wife’s eyes and make their lives soooooooooo much better. He’s even gone “green” and made a rather fantastic headboard for their bed using old doors. Thus, giving it a “Martha’s Vineyard vaca” vibe. I loved it. The new terminology he used for this coup de grace was “repurpose”. In my day we used to say recycle, but apparently that is not good enough to use in the home design world. So David “repurposed” these old doors which he purchased from a salvage yard. Putting some sort of coating over the old paint to ensure the folks didn’t get lead poisoning (Sp) and sue the stars out of HGTV was accomplished somewhere between commercials.
Long after Color Splash, House Hunters, and some other show that reminds me of all the unfinished projects I have at home, the word “repurpose” is still in the back of my mind. I’ve gotten smart enough to know when our God is prodding me to into action and the word repurpose has significance to me in the way the Lord wants me to try to explain how our lives are to be repurposed……
This is how I see it…..in the beginning of someone’s life I can just imagine our Master Creator sitting at his workbench holding in the palm of his hand a new creation…you….you are a shining, glowing little light and He is turning his hand this way and that marveling at how precious, how wonderful you are. He’s thinking about all the plans He has for you, the joy you are going to bring to the world. He has given you a name you don’t even know. He knows what you will do, won’t do, what you will say and what you will not say. He knows you will break his heart, but He loves you anyway with an unending love……………..poof, zap……swish….I don’t know what happens, but somehow you are inside your mother’s womb. Your existence on earth has begun and dark forces are all too aware of it and it is their mission to divert your path from the one our Lord has set forth. You see, you were sent to be here on this earth to be something greater than you will ever imagine you are here with a Divine Purpose and you are not even aware of it….you sense it…..but the world will make you forget it…..Satan will trip you up along this journey…
Take the Apostle Paul for instance, or should I say “Saul.” He was given the name Saul by his earthly parents, but repurposed and renamed Paul by our God. He got here the same way as all of us do……but through his journey, he became a monster of a man who hated, killed and stole. This definitely was not God’s plan for Saul/Paul. He knew the paths Saul would choose, his heart breaking, but God being God, took nasty, loser Saul and repurposed his life….he was still the same person, but he had a new job, a new direction, a new life. What should have been his fate, death and destruction was now a transformed being who is now consorting with the other Saints in Heaven for all eternity. I’m sure Paul looked pretty much the same and it must have been pretty interesting to see him explain himself to his old buddies that he was indeed a new creation, repurposed for God’s Glory. Just like the old doors that were “salvaged,” Paul’s hell-bent life was salvaged as well. He still looked the same probably had the same childhood scars, same physical features, but now he was on God’s team, doing great things in His name. The lives he touched then and now are countless…..
So why do we lament and whine and complain about not having a “purpose” in life? Oh my friend, you’ve always had a purpose a Divine Purpose. It’s always been there and it will always be. Our Great Dad in Heaven will take you at any point in your life and use it……..because we think we are are supposed to be “large and in charge” we think we are the masters of our destiny. We are supposed to make our “mark” on the world…..how’s that workin for ya? I’ll be the first to say that I am famous for trying to run on my own steam and even now as a Believer I am constantly taking my life back because somehow I think I’ve got a handle on things and God’s way is somehow not good enough, but inevitably I screw things up so bad I wind up on my knees giving Him back the mess I’ve made-like a broken toy, pieces spilling out of my hands onto the foot of the Cross. And you know what, He takes it back, puts it back together with His amazing God Glue and points me in the right direction again and again. He knows I’ll be back, maybe it won’t be as badly broken or maybe worse. It won’t work the same, my life won’t look the same, but He will use it. He will repurpose it for His Glory. It is finally beginning to sink in that it was never mine in the first place. So are you ready to be repurposed? He is there waiting for you and he loves you with an everlasting love and would love to take the broken, stained, dirty life you have made and give you back a repurposed glory-filled life. Selah
Being honest with myself is probably one of the hardest things for me right now. There are some mornings when I peel back the covers and almost believe my false bravado..."yeah I got this thing under control....I can do this....gonna be just fine...etc.." By these comments I'm referring to my newly acquired "singleness" and although its been 6 months since Bob went to Heaven, there seems to be a new spin on this new journey that makes me take a step back and have me scratching my head, holding on to my heart and at times clenching my fists, my jaw, any anything else within my grasp. Some schmuck out there says that grief is necessary....like I said some schmuck.
It think its been easier to let go of Bob than to our marriage. The idea of not knowing what the future holds for me, my kids, my family. I took for granted that we would just grow old together and continue to make each other crazy till the end of time...this feeling of being left out flappin in the wind is nothing I ever imagined would be a part of my life. Well, I am here and I am flappin in the wind at times.....my knee jerk reaction is to find someone to fill the hole and get on with life..so not fair to the poor man is it? No. I am beginning to understand that there has been given me an opportunity to fall in love again...and I certainly hope do, but for the right reasons...for his smile...his heart...the way he looks at me....his convictions, his faith. I want to fall in love as if I've never been in love before...is it even possible? Trying to separate myself from the last 25 years is impossible...how can it be done....or is it done? Heck, all I know for certain is that this has to be God directed. Taking into consideration all the obvious factors like my sweet kids, Bren's special needs, taking care of a home.....without the work of the great Creator of the Universe in my life, it will be impossible to be accomplished and successfully.
So what next....I was never guaranteed tomorrow when I was married to Bob and I'm still in that predicament...instead of standing at the end of a bridge that has been torn down staring at what I thought was my future, I am building a new bridge heading in a different direction, not looking ahead wondering where its going to lead me, but down at my hands working, the tools of prayer, patience and faith close at hand and feeling the encouragement of faithful friends cheering me on as I make a new way. And who knows, God willing, another set of hands may join mine to share in the toil of creating something beautiful on this life journey.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 9:31am ·
At this stage in my life and the lives of others who find themselves without a partner, best friend, lover the idea of starting off on a level playing field is rather unrealistic. I guess that's what my mindset has been until recently.... Now that I'm in this predicament as a single woman, I have to say that I thought "hey, sure life has been tough, sure I'm a single parent, yeah I've got this little grief issue figured out, sure I'm a single parent and a parent of a disabled child....no prob...just like riding a bike...dating...got it all figured out...." I could not have been farther from the truth.
The rules as a young woman and dating and the rules now that I'm who I am 20+ years later are much different...wisdom and my maturity in Jesus has impressed upon me the serious nature of this new adventure. Even if I had not been widowed, parented, and blessed with a special needs child, the rules would have been vastly different just because of the passing of time. The lush, level field of my youth is now a very different landscape. I'm having to consider each and every step, before I even take that step...I have to remember that there is no "I" in "TEAM," my team being myself, my faith, my children and the other "player."
The consideration of another's feelings before rushing headlong into the game really wasn't even a thought...if it felt good you just went after it...if you got out or got someone else out...it was all a part of the game...there were winners and there were losers and hopefully you were the one who was on the winning end. Not so now, winning isn't the end result I am so much concerned with as how I'm playing the game....and its not about playing anymore, its about participating in something with others, working together, strategy (faith) and finishing as a team not as just a single player.
There's practice, lots of it before you even think of donning the "uniform." There's training...probably the toughest part of all of this is that I need to listen to the Coach (Jesus), take notes, see His vision before I take off with my own skills, dreams and desires trying to win the game. Never thought I'd be put into the game at point in my life, but here I am. I feel optimistic about the outcome of the game, but its going to be full 9 innings...God willing.
Last night was another turning point for me...I took Brenna to a Christian rock concert, DecembeRadio. It was sure to be a good night. I spoke to many wonderful friends and stole a few hugs (I'm hug deficient). I felt a little self-conscious and a little alone. I guess after 25 years of being with someone, you rely on them for certain things and I'm no different. Yes, I am outgoing, no denying that, but I would rely on Bob as a foundation from which to spring from when I wanted to do something. It wasn't so much as getting his permission as it was an "I've got your back, go have fun, I'll be there when you are done" look. I would look over my shoulder and we would make eye contact and I would see that look in his eyes..it was almost always there for he wanted me to enjoy life to the fullest, and then I was off...letting loose, chasing after something, or someone, doing something silly. Well it's not there anymore and I felt a little out of sorts and a little bewildered for a bit. It took me a while to nail this down. I hope that someday I will have another wonderful man that I can communicate with just a look and it speak volumes to me again, but the present is such that I need to dig deeper into myself and my faith for that reassurance instead of retreating, withdrawing into myself.
After a bit Brenna and I made our way out of our seats and closer to the stage to have some fun...I'm sure some folks thought me crazy for taking her so close to the loud music, but my girl needs all the stimulation she can get! We danced, whooped and hollered, praising Jesus and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Being authentic and true to myself may seem like an easy thing when you are on the outside looking at me, but there's always been a hesitation, even if its slight.
Its sink or swim time....and I need to pursue transparency and authenticity in all aspects of my life..my faith, my parenting, my personal relationships, present and future. How on earth do people find the love of their lives pretending to be something they are not? I was guilty of this when Bob and I first met and we certainly had our share of problems to sort through because of not being authentic with each other. Thankfully, we figured it out and had a good marriage, but it could have been even better had we not wasted a lot of time. My faith has given me so much strength and comfort, but not permission to be me....or so I thought. A stereotypical "God fearing woman" is definitely not me....I used to think that I wasn't such a woman because I was not fitting into that stereotype...not even my big toe was getting in there lemme tell you. I thought I was supposed to be "serene" not "silly", "composed" not "out there", "peaceful", not "boisterous"...you get my drift..I was not made serene, composed or peaceful. I am silly, out there and boisterous and yes its all God's doing for His purposes.
So friends, family, what you see is what you get....I'm not holding back all the love I have for you, no matter how clumsily I put it at times, its time put myself out there. God gave me this personality, albeit it's a little rough around the edges at times. I feel confident that if I am prayerful and rely on His guidance, He's going to use me for all the right reasons and bless me with the most wonderful people and experiences...how could He not? Everything good comes from God...and everything bad will be easier to deal with. I don't just want this for me, I want this for you as well. Who are you? Am I seeing the real you. I am just Sass, there's no need to be anything but yourself...lets start being now who we think we are going to be in Heaven...
As of late my predictable mornings have been disturbed and delayed by the ever changing traffic patterns on West Main Street in Salem. What would take me 5 min to accomplish to deposit my Hunter at the curb of his school now takes 8 minutes. The journey then continues to the high school to take sweet Brenna to her destination. Another 2 to 3 minutes has been graciously added to that previously swift jaunt as well. I don't mind it actually. Heck, I'm always late regardless of a traffic situation or my apparently newly self diagnosed ADD. Oh, and the wonderful news is that I get to bob and weave my way back again. Sorta like the challenge of an obstacle course. I've been known to some as "Betty Andretti."
But there are others I spy on this adventure, grimacing behind the windshield, brows furrowed and perhaps just a tad frustrated at the ever changing landscape of the traffic patterns. There is signage for the most part warning us in advance of the new traffic patten, but we really don't pay attention until we are right there at the spot negotiating new turns, avoiding, orange barrels and trying not to knock over those infamous bright orange traffic cones. Frowns digging just a little deeper into the faces of those who are perturbed that their path has been changed without their permission, delaying them from their destinations....holding them up from their appointed rounds.
Its funny how we plan our future "as the crow flies." A direct and very straight line from Point A to Point B. Rarely thinking of the possibility of changing traffic patterns. Extremely surprised when we have been detoured in another direction for a while, having to pause, stop and wait at times while we are on our way. Most of the time this grieves us and we sit there fuming, sometimes beating our fists on the steering wheel, perhaps letting a few not so pretty words escape our lips. Some start to frantically search around for another route, taking it as a personal affront that someone or something has interfered with their destiny. Blindly taking matters into their own hands jumping to back roads, alleys and other avenues not really caring that that its usually the same amount of time no matter what they do..just as long as they are in control of the situation.
My inspiration for this piece came as I was negotiating a tight turn from Dougherty to Main Street...a new traffic pattern that definitely required me to slow down so as to not take out a few traffic cones. There are quite a few of those silent, yet extremely bright fellows and I thought how they reminded me of people. Many in number, all over, in my path, some laying on their sides, some a little dirtier than others, some damaged, but very recognizable for what they were created to be. Admittedly, I have on occasion knocked a couple of those guys over, either in my ignorance, haste, just plain disregard because I was in a hurry to get to my future...funny how we chase the future and we never really catch it while we are barreling through our present unaware of those traffic cones. You know where I am going with this, but I'm going to spell it out in the way I always like to do it...Sass style.
Thinking that we have a clear and concise road map of our lives is a really sweet thing to think we have control over, but if you have a few stretchmarks, a mortgage and have paid taxes, you know that your well thought out plans have had a few new traffic patterns in there. Some can actually be welcome instantly gratifying surprises. Taking you a new route that was quicker, prettier & smoother than what you had intended originally, but most are bumpy, stop and go, fraught with pot holes, detours, flashing lights, fender benders, cracked windshields & frazzled nerves. Delaying you, costing you more than just a bit more than extra gas and time. And along the route some of those traffic cones are sacrificed as you plow over them trying to take charge of the situation. Nobody told you this was going to be a part of your journey. Nobody told you hold long you were going to have to endure this mess. For days, weeks, even years. You really have no idea how long its going to last at times, but what you do know is that you have to get through it.
So here you are in the midst of another traffic pattern, what are you going to do with all that anger, frustration and possibly even pain as you are sitting in traffic waiting to get on with your journey? Surrounded by orange traffic cones put there to guide you safely around the dangerous areas under construction. Gonna knock em over, curse them, ignore them. The extra time spent negotiating...are you going perhaps look at this as an opportunity to spend a little time with those passengers in the car, offering a kind word, getting to know each other better, or spend a little one on one time with Jesus. The pretty wild flowers on the shoulder of the road waving at you, the scent of honey suckle coming through the vents reminding you of a sweet moment long ago, the lyrics of a song on the radio catching your attention for the first time...unexpected blessings I think those are called...hmmmmm.
We are indeed in control of our destinies...that is the gift God has given us. He never said that the journey was going to be free of obstacles, delays, flashing lights, detours, barriers, etc. He did, however, promise to be there for us. Perhaps in the form of traffic cones.....gosh I kinda like those little guys. Selah