Nov 052012
 

 

 

Last night was my re-entrance to the world. Since The News  I’ve been disconnected, living in my head – suffering, really. Suffering takes up every bit of time and energy a warrior has.

Last night I took the kids to Tish’s friend’s birthday party. This little girl is a new friend from our new school. I haven’t had time to make many grown up friends there yet, so I felt a little nervous walking in. What we stepped into was a beautiful celebration of kid-dom. There were twenty five children of all ages scampering around the backyard together while their parents talked in horseshoes. I prefer the horseshoe talking configuration to circle talking because horseshoes leave room for a wandering mama to step in.

Halfway through the party, the kids sat down to eat at an extra-long table set up under the stars. Their plates were filled with food that makes kids happy – hot dogs, apples, chips, too many Capri Suns. It was seventy degrees on a Florida night. The air was filled with smiles and giggles and I DROPPED MY HOT DOG!s and grateful, relaxed parents. I watched my girls, so thankful to be there in the moment with them, finally. So grateful to step away from my role as sufferer and figure-outer and back into my role as mama, if just for an evening. So grateful that my kids weren’t watching me to monitor my feelings –grateful they could just be kids.

In the middle of dinner, there was a moment of complete quiet – mouths were full and bellies were happy, I guess. Tish looked up from her plate and said, to no one and everyone, in her loud, helium, precious, precious voice:

MY DADDY MADE SOME BAAAAD CHOICES. THEN HE WENT AWAY TO SOMEPLACE THAT’S TEACHING HIM TO MAKE SOME BETTER CHOICES. THEN WE ALMOST GOT DIVORCED. THEN MY MOMMY WENT TO VISIT HIM FOR A WHOLE WEEK AND SHE LEARNED SOME STUFF AND FORGIVED HIM. NOW DADDY’S COMING HOME TO LIVE WITH US AGAIN.

Then she ate another bite of her hot dog. I froze. Every adult froze. We all avoided eye contact for one looooooong moment.

The kids didn’t though. All the kids were smiling at Tish. They were reacting to her relief, to her truth, to her joy. They were happy for her. Their faces seemed to say: WHOA that was almost bad! That must’ve been scary! This is GREAT, TISH! The little girl next to her tapped her on her shoulder and said, “That’s good, Tish.”

Tish smiled and said, “Yeah. It’s good.”

Chase looked like he might crawl under the table. I winked at him. Thankfully, he winked back. Amma looked confused. Her reality is that Craig is on a business trip. I winked at her. She seemed over it already. Face full of marshmallows. I nodded and squared my shoulders and smiled proudly at Tish. Then I turned to walk back into the house, suddenly quite thirsty.

On my way back inside,  I looked down at my expensive scarf, manicure, and jewelry. I’ve learned that one of my defenses is over-accessorizing. I wear necklaces and makeup like they make me bulletproof. I giggled. All this STUFF. All this stuff that I hope says, “I’m together! I’m shiny and NOT AT ALL A MESS. SO not confused!!  Look at how well this scarf matches these earrings?? I mean, not too matchy-matchy. I’m so together that I can be matchy without being TOO MATCHY MATCHY!! Obviously no problems here!”

And then I looked back at my girl and her friends. All truth. All joy. No shame in Tish’s game. No hiding.

 

“Let the little children come to me, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”

“If anyone wants to come to me, she must first make herself like a little child.”

 

I just want to be like Tish. I want to live in the Kingdom of God. Of truth, of love. I want to tap into my inner child and invite her forward to tell the truth with joy. So other folks’ inner children can come forward and react to my truth, to my joy, to my sadness, and hope. So we can really SEE each other.

No hiding behind scary grown up things we INVENT like shame and perfection.

So anyway, Monks. Here’s the thing.

LIKE WE ALL DO, MY HUBBY MADE SOME BAAAAAD CHOICES. BECAUSE HE’S BRAVE, HE TOLD ME ABOUT THEM AND THEN HE WENT AWAY TO A PLACE THAT IS TEACHING HIM SO MUCH. I DIDN’T WANT TO GO VISIT, BUT I WENT ANYWAY. I LEARNED A LOT, TOO. AND MY STILL, SMALL VOICE TOLD ME TO FORGIVE AND FIGHT. WE HAVE A WHOLE NEW LIFE TO START, BECAUSE I JUST MET MY HUSBAND. I JUST MET HIM, ALL OF HIM, FOR THE FIRST TIME LAST WEEK. WE ARE ALL OUT IN THE LIGHT NOW. AND THAT IS A GOOD PLACE TO START.

 

 

*Don’t worry. My still, small voice also suggested that I put a bad ass lawyer on speed dial juuuuuuust in case. Husband understands completely. Gentle as doves and shrewd as foxes, Warriors.

 

 

I love you, Monkees. That’s all for today.

G

Nov 082012
 

So, the election has come and gone and some of us are thrilled and others are angry and the fact remains:

Our job as citizens has not changed. Not one iota. Our jobs are to take care of ourselves, our families, and our neighbors.

So that’s good. Makes things less confusing.

ENTER THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE MOMASTERY YEAR.

IT’S HOOOOOOOOOLLLLLIIIIDAAAAY HANDS TIME!!!!!!!!!!

The concept of Holiday hands is simple. It is this: This holiday, I would rather my kids have three presents and your kids have three presents than my kids have six presents and yours have none.

That’s all.

The concept of Holiday Hands is SMALL. This is not a Love Flash Mob. We will not be building homes or paying off medical bills or purchasing vehicles. We will be buying a helmet for a stranger’s son. We will be sending some trendy leg warmers to a preteen who’s mama doesn’t have STYLE in the budget this year. We might be providing a holiday meal for a family who wouldn’t have been able to fill every belly at the table otherwise. We might be covering Christmas or Hanukkah gifts for Sandy families so they can focus on rebuilding. These sorts of things. Small things with great love. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ABOUT HERE. SMALL things. We can each give or accept something small from a stranger this holiday season.  From a fellow citizen. We can prove to each other that LOVE WINS.

And so, EVERYONE IS INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN HOLIDAY HANDS THIS YEAR. EVERY. ONE. People with not enough. People with extra. People with just enough.  EVERYBODY’S IN, BABY. And we take care of each other NOW. So that we can rest in the miracles during the holiday season. So there’s no worries. It’s all done by Thanksgiving, so we can be extra thankful.

Monks- you are going to freak when you see the amazing technology that the Monkee See- Monkee Do board has gathered to carry us through Holiday Hands this year. Last year there were 1400 of you and one me matching Monkee Families on paper towels and Chase’s homework and sticky notes and crying and trying to breathe and LEARN EXCEL for fourteen days straight. It was the worst/best two weeks of my year. THIS year there are almost FORTY NINE THOUSAND of you and SIX of us. Me, Sister, Amy, Lou, Liz, and Allison. . . your Monkee See- Monkee Do Board. We work for free, sometimes round the clock, because we believe in Monkeedom. We believe in YOU- We believe in our bottom to top, one hand to another, upside down and inside out Reloveution.

A few things to remember as you travel to the next page.

First, please read and reread and rereread the instructions and watch and rewatch the tutorials before emailing questions to us. Again – 48k of you. 6 of us. And one of us is going to be at the pool soon. Ahem.

Second – there will be a board member monitoring requests around the clock –so you may receive a follow up question or two about your specific request. If the question isn’t answered, we’ll have to remove the request.

Third – IMPORTANT: Please do not send any gift until the requester has PUBLICLY matched him or herself with you on the site. This will avoid accidentally doubling and tripling up on matches.

Fourth- MOST IMPORTANT: Be patient with us. Show grace. I’m not sure anyone has ever attempted a project like this on this scale and there will be snags. We will work them out with time. We promise that we will be consistently doing the absolute best we can.

Fifth- If you’d prefer to donate directly to Monkee See- Monkee Do instead of becoming matched with a family, please feel free to do that. Every penny we get from you goes straight to mamas and dads in need. We are a charity with NO OVERHEAD. This is unusual. A miracle, really. Made possible by those two unbeatable teammates – faith and SWEAT.

WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER. To join in our holiday hands miracle, start here.

Love,

Amy, Sister, Lou, Allison, Liz, G, and TWMF

PS. If any Monks have stories to share about how Holiday Hands touched your family as givers or receivers last year, please take a moment to share your story in the comments. Love.

*****REMINDER!

HOLIDAY HANDS MONKS…VERY IMPORTANT!!!!
1. Reminder to Receivers: When you update that your need has been taken, also list the giver’s first name and last initial, or else that person will not know they have been matched with you.
Reminder to Givers: Do not send your gift until you see your first name and last initial in the receiver’s post, even if the receiver emails you to confirm a match.

2. Putting together an opportunity through holiday hands to give directly to Sandy families who can’t post. Apparently, as several graceful monkees have taught me, posting requires electricity. We’re ON IT. Stay tuned.

 

 

Nov 102012
 

 

 

It’s early Saturday morning and after five weeks, Craig finally got home last night.  I was so anxious that I actually became ill. I’ve learned that my body tells me the truth. Sometimes it’s hard for me to identify my emotions, but they’re there, and if I leave them unexpressed or suppressed, my body shuts down in one way or another.  Like Shakira says, “the hips don’t lie.” Something like that.

Amma came in to wake me up this morning  – she was nervous to go see Craig by herself.  I walked her into his room and she shyly tapped his shoulder. Then she spilled into him and there were hugs –  long grateful hugs.  Two minutes later she was riding him around like a horse and holding onto his neck for dear life. Laughing, laughing. Almondy eyes shining.

It’s all mixed up. The kids joy, my pain, Craig’s fear about what he’ll learn about the state of his wife’s heart…MY FEAR about what I’ll learn about the state of my heart. Where do I learn that by the way? I don’t even know. I just feel off. Wrong. Like I’m waiting for some sort of “different” to settle in but it ain’t settling.

This is my life right now. Lower case l. And while my life, lower case l, trods along, unpredictable, twisty, turny, scary –   Life –  capital L  – goes on, too.  All around me. Same as it ever was.

Sometimes I wonder if we live our lower case l lives  just to practice what we believe about upper case L life. Like we’re all on the same game board, right –let’s call it Chutes and Ladders –  seems appropriate. And we all have the same rules, the same goals, the same, same, sames. Especially here at Momastery, we seem to have similar beliefs about how this game really works.  Love Wins. We Belong To Each Other. Offer Grace. We Can Do Hard Things. Small things with great love. Forgiveness.  Sprinkle Joy. But we each have a different path – we each have our own lower case l life – different chutes, different ladders.  And every chute and each ladder we hit in our lives is an opportunity to practice what we believe about LIFE.  It shows doesn’t it? What we really believe about the ways of the world?  It shows – in our responses to our chutes and our ladders –  our personal mistakes and our tragedies and our triumphs – what we really believe about LIFE.

This month, right now – I have never felt weaker or more confused about love and the future ( and past and present) of my lower case l life. And this month, right now, God, the Universe, Love, whatever you want to call it – gave me Holiday Hands. To remind me of the truth about upper case L Life. People are good. Not perfect – pretty banged up actually, but good. Worthy of grace and love. Worthy of being showered with grace. Not because they’ve earned it- but because that’s the rule of Life. Grace. Everyone is worthy of infinitely more than she deserves. That’s what I believe.

Can I act out in my lower case life what I believe is true about upper case Life?

So far, not so good. I’m still in bed, hiding. But I deserve every bit as much grace as anyone else, so I will be sweet and kind and patient with my banged up self, and offer myself as much time and as many chances as it takes to match my upper case beliefs to my lower case life.

Amen.

Tonight at six, I’ll be back here- posting some beautiful Holiday Hands stories. I was starting to annoy people with my seven million status updates, so this way will better. We’re getting there.  Loving, Loving, Loving the word “TAKEN.” Click here to join the miracle.

I love you, thank you for being my teachers about Life, Upper case.

Love,

G

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