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What Could Be December 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — listening2learn @ 2:01 pm

Read on someone’s blog this delightful line:

living is all about learning to see beyond what is to what could be.

Isn’t it though? What is, right now, frankly is not all it’s cracked up to be. I could say it’s not enough, but then I think about that and realize it sounds rather selfish. Much of what I have is too much. More than what others get, certainly. But let’s face it, that all refers to material things. Things the world sees. If I am looking at heart matters, I still end up in the black–family and a few good friends that support me. But there’s more I desire.

I desire change for the better within myself. Less concern about how I am perceived by the world and more about what I can do to make things better for others. How I can use my talents to their fullest potential. We all have something we were meant to share with the world, and I like to think we were given those things specifically to make our world brighter, better, more fully realized as a Gift from God. How often do I remember that? So one of the major areas of necessary change for me is my mindset.

Remembering to appreciate where I am, what I have and how I can use those things to create a better ‘what could be.’


Perception October 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — listening2learn @ 12:16 pm

“All too often we perceive ourselves as lacking sufficient energy, insight, intelligence, talent, and money to experience personal fulfillment and really make a difference in the lives of others.” Bruce Epperly, Holy Living: 40 Days of Audacious Grace



I read the above line in one of my emailed devotionals and the concept of perception just took hold of me. I have found my personal perceptions rather erratic lately. Losing a father to cancer took away one of my most steadfast cheerleaders. If I was feeling unable, he perceived me as able. Losing a husband to divorce certainly changed my perception of myself as someone who could overcome and conquer. Although looking back on past relationships I see that I was never very good at anything long term. I took that to mean my relationship with T was something different because it did weather more storms. I thought that marriage was the next logical step as we had lasted years at that point. I didn’t fantasize divorce would be in the future. I do realize that no one gets married thinking they’ll get divorced. It’s not a part of the plan. So when we started to fall apart, I was unprepared with what to do. I gave up without putting forth a fight. My perception of myself as someone strong shattered.



Perception. I perceive myself daily as a failure in one area or another. I question my abilities to teach. My tendency to overreact. I think of how little it takes to earn the trust and love of a child and wonder if I chose wisely with my occupation. I make it about myself too much and about them too little. I certainly perceive myself as a failure in relationships. My past is littered with some questionable choices. Ministers, bartenders, liars, chameleons. What was I thinking? But I know what I was thinking. Each of them showed an interest in me and I ran with it. Just happy that someone noticed. Thankful to be receiving the attention that would confirm that I was somehow worthwhile and beautiful and desirable.



Perception. I remain convinced somewhere inside that with enough beautiful clothes and the right hair and makeup, with a loss of about 10-15 pounds, that others will perceive me as someone attractive, successful and worth having around. They will look at me and think “I want to know that girl.”



Perception. I Samuel 16: 7   But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”



Seems time to find new definitions and, most importantly, a new definer. To realize it’s not about what I think. What others think. It’s simply about what God has put into my heart.


Catch October 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — listening2learn @ 1:59 pm

5 minute Friday post on this week’s topic “Catch.”

Nothing comes to mind but colloquialisms and cliche’s. Being a catch. Catch as catch can. Catch this. After a while the word itself loses its meaning.

But then I think about catching someone as they fall. I have spent some time free falling lately. Keep waiting for someone to step up and catch me. And it’s not happening.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, though. I think about God, the size of the hands that God needs to hold this world and all of its mess. This galaxy and all of its mystery. Some big hands. Surely big enough to catch me.

Big enough to place upon my shoulder and assure me that there is an end in sight to whatever is my current ailment.

Big enough to place upon my heart and offer comfort. Yet light enough to not oppress.

Gentle enough to not bruise.

Firm enough to not lose its grip.



The sound of music October 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — listening2learn @ 9:49 am

For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12


I am thinking there’s a reason this scripture spoke to me so clearly this morning. I thought it was because of the imagery of trees clapping their hands and mountains and hills breaking out into song. I just loved the picture it created in my head. Something cartoonish, ebullient.


But I read something different in it this afternoon.


This month, the 21st will mark my 6 year wedding anniversary. Except that we didn’t quite make it. We separated in April. But mentally, and physically, too, that deed had been done for months. Maybe even years. It’s hard to say because this last year was filled with so much sadness and stress and just plain turmoil. My father was dying from cancer. My career-teaching-takes a great deal out of me emotionally. My husband’s job was hitting its stride which meant weeks out of the house and on the road. Lots of building resentments. Frustrations spoken and not. Tension and some serious emotional distance.


But I digress. The scripture. If I think back 6 years ago to my wedding day, I was definitely joyful. If you had looked joy up in the dictionary, my picture would have been there. Folks said they’d never seen a bride smile so big. I was just delighted about what lay ahead of me. I knew it would be difficult; I didn’t anticipate easy sailing. My husband and I both have big personalities that could overwhelm without intention. Set in our ways. Head strong. But I felt I’d met my mate. Someone I could breathe with and be myself with.


The funny thing is, when I look back at that girl, I don’t want to tell her to change her mind. To turn around and run. I am actually quite, well, relieved, that I took that step with confidence. Yes, I loved the attention and the excuse to have family and friends in the same place at the same time. The dress was beautiful. I felt lovely. But I also relished the idea of starting my life with someone and having all of the people I loved present to witness the event.


So what happened? I am still piecing it together. Lots of things that I think we both equally decided to ignore all pooled together and became something that we couldn’t survive. I wasn’t getting what I needed and my guess is that if you were to ask him, he would say the same. We lost track of how to do things together as opposed to living these parallel lives.


So here’s where the second half of the scripture comes in. That part about being led back in peace. I have hope for that. I like to think on my best days I have faith that peace will reside in both of us. Not that we will be led back together. But that we will be able to move forward knowing we’ve learned what was needed in order to make the next relationship work.


Right now I’m trying to piece myself together for a relationship with God. So far I have found myself rather poorly equipped at listening and waiting. Most likely the things that interfere with my earthly relationships as well. But Lord knows when I let it go and really start to rely on the wisdom that God planted inside of me (by planting himself there, no less), some hills will surely be alive with the sound of music.


Lots to do October 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — listening2learn @ 4:05 pm

I recently read something that stated artists who want to create and see their creations get better need to simply begin. Begin by creating crap. Write, as Anne Lamott states, those shitty first drafts. And continue, continue, continue. It will be a lot of crap, and it may be that way for a long time. But here and there, there will be slivers of genius. Things that stand out and tease mind and spirit. Items that beg to be explored, should you only stop and listen.

And so, that is my current goal. To stop and listen. And to get a lot of crap out of me while I am at it. Maybe I can turn some of that hardened mess into my own kind of diamond. God willing, let’s hope so.