Live in the Grey

Hi friends! I want to tell you a story, it’s long and it’s mostly because I need to do a little more processing but here it is.

Yesterday I stumbled upon an Instagram post of someone expressing their disgust with the recent news of New York’s change of law on late term abortions. Initially I skimmed and internally nodded my head in agreement because I generally don’t believe in abortion (this isn’t a post for or against abortion stay with me). Then against my better judgement I opened the comments and started reading. When I did that I drug myself into an entirely different world. A world that seems to be full of black and white views, hate, and lack of empathy just to name a few (on both sides of the topic). I was immediately thrown into the grey of the subject, the extraordinary circumstances, the what if’s, and the buts because I used to be a very black and white person but along the way I developed a realization that love lives in the grey. The grey is very uncomfortable though. The grey says I don’t really believe what you are doing is right and it might go against every single core value I possess but I understand why you did that(said that, believe that etc). Don’t get me wrong, there are still many many topics and situations where this is so so hard and seemingly impossible for me to do, but I do think that if we can throw ourselves into the grey areas of life we will find that love lives there. Also, hear me when I say this: Living in the grey does not mean you don’t take a stand for what you are convicted of, it only means putting away your need to fix something or argue someone to your side and instead saying “I love you anyways.” Jesus definitely had black and white views but also definitely lived with people in the very messy middle grey area and that’s the kind of person I want to be.

Now here’s the other part of the story:

Last night I was fortunate to get a girls night out for a really good friends birthday. We were discussing TV and I mentioned how my sensitivity to news and the terrible things happening in the world has grown to the point that I find it difficult to even read a news article. I mentioned that I didn’t feel like I NEEDED to know everything happening in the world. My friend responded by saying she had felt the same but is now becoming aware that maybe she should know so that as a Christian she can join in a solution (this is highly paraphrased). Enter the abortion post, I used the example of that abortion post because of the initial way it had made me feel – anxious and upset. Then we had a long discussion about it, the ins and outs. I took the devils advocate side I think because of my knee jerk reaction to the hate I had been reading in the post. It was a very civil, respectful discussion but I could not get it out of my head. I’ve been thinking about it ever since and more than anything I’ve been thinking about how as humans we need community. We need community to help us hash out these hard parts of life, to help us process our own internal battles. Without that discussion last night I would have let myself dwell in the toxic feelings of others. I would have become upset and then put it out of my mind without properly processing how I actually felt about it. It is because I felt I had a safe space to verbally dump my brain even though most of what I was saying wasn’t actually how I truly felt that I could then have a clearer mind to think about and wade myself through the messy middle. Community is so so necessary and it’s something I’ve been missing for a really long time (for many reasons but myself being the biggest obstacle). Yesterday was vital for me to realize that as amazing and incredible the online community I have is, I still need a real life, face to face community and I think we all do.

Moral of the story?

Love people in the messy middle and get yourself into a safe amazing community of people.

❤️

Pushing Through

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It’s that time in the summer that I remember from last year.  When I get tired of all the heat, when I get a bit lazy with all the gardening and yard work.  This year on top of that I’ve been sick for over a week and I’m exhausted from all the work.  Yet I couldn’t really imagine it any other way.  Last night my husband basically begged me to stay home from work today, he said he would match my wage at work if I would just stay home and rest.  Although I really appreciate that he notices how hard I work and the sacrifices I have to make, I actually enjoy going into work.  I love my job and I’m not feeling sick enough to stay home – I will push through and this too shall pass.

Monday morning I woke up at 5 am when I normally like to get up and it was still dark.  A depressing reminder that winter is coming and a gentle nudge to remind me to hold on to these summer days.  To get outside and enjoy the sun, to dig my fingers in the dirt and tend to my plants, to pack a picnic and go for a walk.  At this stage in life I really am just pushing through and trying to do my best in all of my roles but I also need to live in the moments of each day.  Ezekiel is finally spitting out words and starting to communicate, his big personality is shining through and he’s learning that he can fight for what he wants (also known and stubborn independence), if I’m not allowing myself to be present in these moments it’s easy to get frustrated with him instead of communicating calmly and clearly with him.

I’m pushing through this part of life but I’m also fighting for the moments.  It’s an odd paradox to be in – wishing this stage of life was over but enjoying slowing down each day to take it all in.

Simple Thought

IMG_6811I find my mind preoccupied this morning with all the “to-do” lists I rely on to try and gain control.

I struggle with the things I need/want to do and the time that I need/want to spend with my family.

As I was pondering this reappearing feeling (it seems to come and go like the waves of ocean tides), I asked myself:

What are the top three most important things to you?

That’s easy to answer: Faith, Family, and relationships.

From there I thought, every to do list, every need/want should serve to strengthen those things directly and then if there is time and if there is desire, tackle the rest of it little by little.  Forget about needing to fill the walls with decor and organizing the clothes by season and color.  Forget about having every item in place at every second of the day.  Make your lists work for you so that your priorities, your top most important things in your life, remain in the top spots.

It’s a freeing thought.

I’m still working on it, and it’ll be a daily struggle I’m sure but I’ll get there little by little.

Simple Thought

It’s been a weird week.  I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I’ve been feeling so weird.  Maybe I’m really just trying to grasp the last few weeks and hold on.  It’s probably a bit of that and a bit of stress, but I’ve been so content with sleeping late with Ezekiel, staying in my PJ’s until the afternoon, watching Netflix or reading a book in bed while Ezekiel sleeps.  I didn’t even want to leave the house, and only did out of complete necessity.  I did a lot of baking and cooking for the freezer but that’s about it.  It’s a stark difference to what my norm is – showering and getting ready first thing in the morning, checking things off my list during Ezekiel’s naps, finding any excuse to get out of the house.  I can’t say that this week hasn’t been great even though it’s been weird. It’s been a nice change, and probably necessary, I’ve felt my most relaxed this week and I’m going to go with the flow and let it ride out.

Sometimes instead of trying to keep ourselves busy, busy, busy we should slow down and just let life ride.

What are you doing to slow down lately?

 

Simple Thought

Sunrise Saskatchewan

Here’s a Saturday Simple Thought:

Earlier this week I was putting Ezekiel into the car after browsing through Chapters.

This simple act is something I do daily, undo stroller belts, lift him up, kiss his cheek, tell him he’s my favorite, place him in the car and do up the belts.

This particular day as I was bent down adjusting the seat belt I hear someone call out, “Excuse me, ma’am.”

I looked up to find a 50 something man, who looked somewhat ragged yet put together, standing in front of my car.

As I look at him a little bewildered he says, “I was passing by and couldn’t pass up the chance to come back just to let you know you have a beautiful healthy looking young man, and you are a great momma to him.”

Again I looked for a second, taken aback by this strangers kindness.  Then quickly I snap back to reality, offer a smile and simply say, “Thank you.”

He walked away, I finished my task and drove home.

I couldn’t shake the gratitude I felt from that 30 second encounter.

Kindness is always the right choice, yet I feel like I’m all too often consumed by the task at hand to stop and offer it.  I rarely notice the people around me because I’m too focused on what I need to do.  As I strive to live a simpler life I hope I can take the time to offer kindness to the strangers around me.