Why there are no professional pictures of me as a five-year old

The great hearts have a stubbornness about them,
a determination to keep loving
when it seems to make no difference,

a disbelief in every lie
that speaks against hope,
and a willingness to waste their lives

for the sake of others.
Thank God for their inability to give up
and leave empty-handed,

for that thing inside them
that doesn’t want to believe in failure
every time they hit the ground.

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Lampyridae

at a time when the brightness was leaving my eyes
like a tired sign
blinking intermittently on then off

and my love was like a fly in a jar
buzzing to reach the top
where the lid holds it in,

you walked past
and I turned my head at just the right time,
catching your light.

your fire was enough to turn me back on
and want to shine in the dark again,
flickering brightly to bring you in.

funny how any other day before
you have just blended in
like a fly on the wall.

What happens when you hear ‘Let it Snow’ ten times in one day:

As long as you love me so
let it snow
I don’t care
As long as you love me so
I can make it through
so many hard days
it doesn’t matter
if you love me so
my dear
a bright warmth in my heart
that keeps me going
your love
oh Colorado snow
you can keep on coming
my love is here
and that is all that I need
to be alright
so let it snow

Fight . Dance . Love

For so long I didn’t realize that I had been battle ramming you
with indifference,
using it as a shield to hide
what I had been so brave to show you once before,
bruising ribs and straining patience,
all the while pushing you back and away from me.

But I’d rather think in harmony with you,
two strains of the same thought wrapping around each other,
turning and reforming movements
to create a beautiful dance.

I’d rather understand who you are
and open up enough to give you space
to move in,
instead of bracing for the impact.

Fall in Love

Fall in Love

Attributed to Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ (1907-1991)

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

– See more at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/prayers-by-st-ignatius-and-others/fall-in-love#sthash.Ispnai4W.dpuf

Not to take away from the importance of loving God [first], but I think it’s worth saying that falling in love with another person and staying in love, changes your life dramatically as well.

This lower case “l” falling in love in marriages and long-term relationships decides how you live your life –where you go and how you spend your time.  In all its heartaches and joys and unexpected moments, it changes you and how you love the world.  Falling in love and staying in love, a life-long endeavor, molds you into a new person.

I guess this is my letter to all those who are not married but who are called nonetheless, who are afraid or think that they do not need this irreversible relationship in their lives.

Falling in love and staying in love is for your good.  It is not about being loved, but rather your love for someone else changing you in an absolute and final way.

I don’t think we think about that enough –how will me loving someone else change my heart for the better? — regardless of how the relationship turns out or how this other person receives this love.  How will this act of being other-centered and constantly shaping my life around this other person change me?

Don’t be afraid to be changed.  Don’t be afraid to fall in love and stay in love.

On Being Single and on the Cusp of My Thirties

I should be freaking out right now, right? Worried that all the good guys are being taken and my time to have kids shrinking. My life getting smaller and smaller as all the opportunities I had when I was younger start to slowly disappear. I am being left behind while all of my close friends fall in love and get married and have kids, and I am left wandering the beach of singleness alone.

Well, I think all that’s really a lie. My life is not getting smaller. It’s not like there’s only so much love to go around and once I’ve past my twenties suddenly the opportunity for love and marriage and kids will dry up.  Those are just unwarranted fears.

Yes, it is a little harder as I lose close friends who were also single, and as I still long for someone to share life with in all its ups and downs and ordinary days –to have this closeness with someone that you love. It is lonely in that way.

But I think it is a lie that just because I don’t have any relationship plans on the horizon and can’t foresee this sort of thing, that it will never happen.

It’s a lie to believe that I am alone or unloved.

The other day a friend of mine was lamenting the fact that she couldn’t go on the high quality vacations that she so loves and had been planning for because she is now pregnant, and having a baby changes everything. Vacations are different with kids. Finances are different with kids.

It let me see the unexpected loss of following God’s will, of dreams and plans you didn’t expect to lose and weren’t asked to give up suddenly no longer a possibility.

It’s a part of growing up I think, or at least something that everyone goes through at some point in their lives. The realization (and fierce disappointment) that life will not go as you thought it would, but it’s beyond your control. That you can’t do with your life what you wanted to. I think it’s something that all of us have to grapple with (and sometimes never stop grappling with).

I think at these points you can choose to surrender and say, “God, I am heartbroken that I can’t do this with my life. But if I can’t do this, let me do something that is for Your heart, that will use me in ways I didn’t expect, that will use all of me.”

I did not expect to be still single at 29 or to have so few romantic experiences in my lifetime up to this point. I gave up going to a school in London and making writing or publishing a career because I knew that God was calling me in a deeper way to motherhood, to that being the focus of my time and talent. I have known the disappointment of losing dreams, of being emptied of desires you had not realized were so strong, in order to live a life more deeply in tune with God.

But I can say, that I have found myself capable of so much more than I ever thought, of horizons brighter and farther than I would ever see on my own (without God giving me eyes to see), of life with new meaning.

My life is certainly not sad or lonely. I know with certainty that married life is in my future, thought I have no tangible evidence to prove to you that this is true, no outward sign to show it. I only have God’s words to me. But it is this that I am choosing to listen to, to believe this truth about my life and not what the world surmises about it.

To me being single and on the cusp of my thirties is a point when I have reached a maturity in my faith to know and trust that the work God has done on my heart and in my life is just beginning to bear fruit; it is a point in which I can see the strength God has given me to walk this road particular to my life, a road that goes beyond marriage and kids to my life and role in eternity, and to trust that there will be strength enough for the rest of the journey.