The secret message

As I walked out to the driveway I could see Ty cleaning the Pathfinder. He had a bucket full of soapy water and several bottles of tire cleaner lay next to his feet as he scrubbed the vehicle. Tears welled up in my eyes as the realization of getting rid of Beau’s car hit me. You see, I was the one Beau gave his car to.

When we were pregnant we needed a vehicle other then my truck that would be safe for our new little one and Beau wanted to travel across the country during that time. Sleeping in the back of my truck with its topper seemed like the perfect, logical trade so Beau and I switched cars. As Beau and I switched keys and exchanged paper work, he told me that he left me a secret message in the Pathfinder. He told me it wasn’t easy to find and I would find it at the perfect moment. So, you can imagine the anxiety I was feeling as the day came to sell the Pathfinder. I was a wreck because I hadn’t found Beau’s message. I felt terrible. I had looked intensely for the past year and finally the day had come to let it go.

Ty noticed my tears and asked me why I was crying. “I didn’t find it,” I said between my sobs. “Didn’t find what?” he replied. “I didn’t find Beau’s secret message and I’m sick about it.” I said. Ty’s shoulders dropped and he looked toward the ground. He slowly began to laugh. Yes, laugh! It was beyond me why on earth my husband was laughing at me as I was standing in the driveway crying.

“Oh Lis…I didn’t tell you.” He began to say. “The last day we saw Beau, you ran out to the Pathfinder to grab something out of your purse. When you left, Beau began chuckling under his breath. When I asked him what he was laughing about he replied. “There is no message. I just want to see how long Sis will look.” He said with the biggest grin on his face.

You see, this story gives you just a glimpse of Beau’s incredible personality. His fun loving nature was truly a gift. I know Beau was looking down with a smile and probably a good belly laugh when I finally figured out his scheme. Beau always reminded me to enjoy every minute God has blessed us with and to HAVE FUN!

Good one B-man…you got me.

You do not have to be Good

You do not have to be Good

It was the anniversary of my brother’s death and I found myself unusually emotional.  I have managed to focus on the silver linings of his death.  Silver linings may sound insensitive, morbid even, but the thought of knowing he is safe has profoundly ruled over my grief.  I found this day was different; as if it finally sunk in he was gone.  I needed an explanation, a distraction and another silver lining to get me through the day.

I began my journey with the distraction of work.  There people in their most vulnerable state surround me.  These people, like Beau, are looking for their purpose, their meaning, and their place in the world.  A group had gathered and a poem was shared. I listened to the rhythmic words flow over me, offering an overwhelming sense of relief, as if this poem was written for Beau and me.  The poem began with “You do not have to be good”.  Members in the group echoed the line and you could feel the sighs as if a huge weight had been lifted.  “You do not have to be good”.  What a simple yet profound statement.  In resolution the poem states “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting, over and over announcing your place in the family of things.”  I found myself smiling and wanting to scream the line over and over again “You do not have to be good!”  I wanted Beau to hear me say it….  You do not have to be good.  It was this he strived for, never feeling as if he could be good enough.

It was a sunny day; the sky was a crystal clear blue when I heard this poem.  I pictured him, up there; with the geese… he has found his place.  We all have our place in this world.  Our lives transpire meaning and impact on others.  This simple message gets lost amongst our daily strive to produce, control and for some, survive our lives.   I left the group with another piece of silver lining…. knowing we all are imperfect and our place in the family of things is meaningful, purposeful and profound. His life was profound.

 

Your life too is profound. Never forget that all of God’s creation has a purpose including you.  Find yours no matter how simple and live it everyday.  Would you share your purpose with us, you might be surprised what you find out when you put it in words.

 

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GRAY…CE

Gray…..ce

Do I love people out of shame or use shame to change them? Am I the person who builds others up or tears them down?  Do I notice my shame, how it feels and hurts so that I can ease it in another? Do I love the unloved?   Do I mentally shake my finger at the mistakes of others or do I realize there could be more to the story?  This is grace. I believe in it, yet I don’t believe I have practiced it well.  It’s time.

In order to begin to live this different life of mine, I have had to breathe grace.  Grace is the space that allows me to heal and to forgive myself.  It prevents me from spending the day curled up in my bed, from believing I am less of a mom because there must have been something I could have done.  Grace has allowed me to be imperfect while still doing my best. 

Grace has grown in me.  It is the space in my heart between black and white.  The gray that creates playfulness in the decisions I make.  The gray of letting go of the need to judge.  The gray space of listening without having to fix. The gray of finding the silly in life’s serious.  The gray that keeps me from making all my decisions dilemmas. The gray that feels like freedom.  This has never been me; I’ve never been a person who found it easy to offer gray space.  But I’m practicing. Gray is my life color these days.  It’s calming and caressing.

I hope to cover myself and those I love in GRAY….CE.  Will you join me?

On the road

I once thought my life would follow the crisp and clean look of black and white like a road set in asphalt with it’s white edges moving me along through the life I planned and dreamed of.  Instead it has been a path, soft and hard, molded around the falls of the trees; guided by the rocks and the roots that creep from the ground and the shifting soil that has responded to what the season has shared.  The path of course is more beautiful, filled with emotion, ups and downs, trips, falls and failures and separation from those loved. It offers trials with lessons begging to be learned, challenges waiting to be solved, and moments to share stories of those who walk, faithful and courageous, stories of miracles had and hoped for.

 It’s really amazing and without this last year, I think I would have missed the path. I would be traveling on the road too fast trying to get somewhere with the least amount of discomfort and inconvenience.  I would still be heeding arbitrary and lifeless man made beliefs and rules of not enough that I had created and placed on others and myself.  Instead, I have slowed to marvel in the lives around me, the messy, imperfect, and yet the most beautiful lives reflected in the people who have been placed in my path.  In this awesome challenge called life, I thank you and Beau for walking with me. Who might you thank today? 

 

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