Originally published in 2013.
Have you ever just felt foolish? Like Heavenly Father has to kind of smack you over the head over and over and over…and over again…
and you still don’t get it?
And then, finally, one day the slightest glimmer of understanding begins to dawn upon your neanderthal-ish brain and the faintest spark of realization begins to shine and you think
“Oh! That’s what He means!”
And even then, you’re just only beginning to have a vague understanding of what God wants you to do.
It’s like I’m looking at this:
and I’m saying, “Yes, that’s a “P” and that little number two means squared and there’s a little square root and that’s pie! I get it!!!!
That’s my life right now.
It’s like I see signs. I know kind of what they mean. But trying to put them together is…well…
like coins and gaussians.
Whatever that means. I haven’t the faintest idea.
So, here I am and now that I made that analogy I have a SMeE headache.
But, anyway, I have realized a few things over the summer that have given me that “Aha!” moment. As in “Aha! I have received inspiration for my life! I recognize a “P” and I know there is a square root in there! Ah, and there is pie! Humble pie….”
Here are some things I learned. Starting with number one:
2) Dreams Come True–And Then You Have To Keep On Living and Finding New Dreams
It’s nice when dreams come true. It’s fun. It’s amazing. It’s magical.
But, what happens after the dream comes true?
I had a dream of having horses, chickens, ducks…of having a beautiful garden, raspberries, cherry trees…of living in the country with my children. I did it. It was the most wonderful, happy time of my life. And then…well, I guess I wanted it to last for a long time.
I guess I thought that was what was going to happen, that the dream would come true forever.
(As an aside, I wonder if that’s kind of what happened to Job? (Not that I’m comparing myself to Job, because I’m not, there is no comparison.) I mean, I wonder if Job was living the dream, and part of what happened was that Job had to find a new dream in the end…)
But there were other things to do and other adventures to have and other courses to chart and other seas to sail, so here I am in the middle of Florida and I am finding new dreams.
And I have thought a lot about dreams, and I feel like some of the problems we face come from the fact that we tend to hold on to one or two big dreams and we quit dreaming about other things…and we (meaning I) tend to become inflexible. Even our imaginations become somewhat stifled and we tend to get stuck in a certain rigidity of fantasy where we will only go to certain places but never visit others.
I think Heaven likes to shake things up for us to encourage a little extra adventurous thought. I think Heaven enjoys enlarging our imaginations and daring our spirits to reach beyond ourselves and to defy boundaries…even if we thought we were already doing that. Heaven always has a way to open a door we didn’t even know existed.
And when Heaven opens doors and windows (and sometimes, it feels like trap doors!), it sometimes turns things upside down, and sometimes we end up landing on our metaphorical bottom, nearly drowning in a sea of our own tears and sometimes we feel like Alice down the rabbit hole.
I mean, when you are trying to live right and true and good and virtue, who needs drugs to feel like you are in Wonderland? Lewis Carroll’s got nothing on people who are just trying to bravely face the world with their clothes on and their virtue intact and their imagination and dreams free!
And speaking of Alice,
3) I Give Myself Very Good Advice, But I Very Seldom Follow It
Oh, I love to give advice to other people, too! The funny thing is, I know I am not following it when I am not following it, and I still don’t really want to follow it even though I know I should.
But, I am trying to follow my own advice now and I simply cannot stand it. And, I don’t even know why. I just want to stomp my feet and be disagreeable for the sake of being disagreeable. Mostly because I feel like I want my old dreams back (see #2), and I sometimes become cantankerous because I haven’t quite figured out what I am doing with myself and what my raison d’etre is.
All dramatic women need a raison d’etre. Not having one makes one irritable.
(Although I think I have begun to understand it and it is terrifying–but that is another post altogether!)
4) God Loves Me. (If you don’t believe in God, insert Universe or Higher Power here)
Even though I sometimes feel like I am abandoned. Recently President Monson mentioned this:
There will be times when you will walk a path strewn with thorns and marked by struggle. There may be times when you feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith.
When he said that, I was like, “Wow. He must have been reading my blog!” He went on to say:
My dear sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you—each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.
And, you know, I KNOW that! And it’s hard to describe how I know it, in spite of the times when I look in the mirror and see what I see and wonder what happened and why–and sometimes when I can’t even see and sometimes when I can’t hear or talk correctly and sometimes when I can’t walk right–but I do know He loves me.
And I know He loves you–all of you wonderful women who have been my friends through all of this craziness in my life. All of you who have given pieces of yourselves to fix my brokenness–all of you who have played a small role as saviors in my life–who have helped me repair myself in your little comments, in your sweet and kind emails, in your little gifts in the mail, in your prayers, in my reading of your blogs and your writing and your insights…you have given me parts of you and for no other reason than that, He loves you. Because I know an angel, and she’s got my back.
And anyone who helps me, has an in Up There.
I know He loves you, and I LOVE YOU. And in loving you, I actually start loving myself, too. And it makes me a better mom.
5) I Can Be Brave
We are moving away from the twisty stairs. I didn’t want to do it. I feel foolish and flaky and ridiculous and completely irresponsible. I mean, who moves this much? Aside from gypsies and bandits and nomadic herdsmen?
So, we started looking for a home, and I had no idea where to look. I mean, first of all, I kind of didn’t want to, so I was not really happy with anything, and secondly, I felt adrift in a sea of suburbia and people and I am used to Idaho and I have been awash in the humanity of Disney for months now and my, my, my, it is a lot of humanity. I am afraid it wasn’t the best time for me to look for a home that didn’t have at least 300 acres.
I apathetically wandered the internet half-heartedly looking at grainy photographs of kitchens and dining rooms and hilarious descriptions:
“You will LOVE the luxurious resort style living in this gorgeous, spacious home! The open kitchen/living room concept is great for entertaining! No one will feel cramped in this 800 square foot estate!”
Or this one:
“This five bedroom home is perfect for a large family (Because of the large square footage)! The entry way is covered in Italian marble, which is found throughout the house! Granite covers nearly every square inch that isn’t marble! Perfect for concussions!!!
The grand staircase is covered in wrought iron with spaces just large enough for a two year old’s head to fit through and get stuck! Walk out to the backyard, where the infinity pool awaits with absolutely no child gate and has unobstructed views of the lake! Enjoy boating and fishing your child out of the jaws of alligators, as the unobstructed view means NO FENCING BY THE LAKE!!! MUST SEE TODAY!!! All rooms upstairs means you will be paying $3 million per month in air conditioning!!!”
Or this one:
“This is a perfect home! It has six bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen with a walk in pantry that fits an extra refrigerator and an oversized island, an open concept living room and an award winning 40 foot pool with fountains. It is also completely fenced and has open spaces in front of the house and is close to a park.
The lanai is wide and beautiful and comes with gorgeous patio furniture. Unfortunately,the previous tenants were gothic, so they installed black carpeting and painted the walls
blood redbarn red. This home would be perfect for Halloween holiday entertaining!!! Imagine the fun!!”
Or this one:
“Vaulted tray ceilings, a lanai that has disappearing sliding doors into the airy, light living room. Master bedroom and office with built ins and beautiful bedrooms with a pool and fountain that you can hear in the house as you prepare delicious gourmet meals in the amazing kitchen–this home is gorgeous and waiting for your family! (And every single other family moving into the Greater Orlando area.) Also, if your family has more than two children, this home is not waiting for you. Try the gothic carpeted one down the street.”
We finally got fifteen minutes of sleep and said a prayer and then, we found the house. It is different. Smaller. No stairs. Not what I expected. I am scared. What if I just tried a little harder and tomorrow I could do the stairs?
(Okay, so that’s where it’s hard–I keep thinking that tomorrow I’ll wake up and be able to do stairs, and that is not how it’s going to work. I DO believe that I am going to get a lot of my previous abilities back, and in some ways, be stronger, but it’s going to be a long process. It’s going to take time and lots of work. It’s not about faith, either. I think I have faith, and I think my faith is that Heaven wants this to be a journey not a moment–I will be healed, but not in the way I thought, and I am coming to terms with that.)
I love the home I am in–it is eclectic and beautiful and fun and lovely. I wish I didn’t have to leave. But we will be alright.