I'll send updates about our trip in a while, but first I want to re-post something I put out on April 3. This post is pretty personal and I've been cautious about the level of transparency I allow in this tool of blogging. When I first posted this journal entry, I was still pretty raw. I am a recovering approval-addict and somehow when I first put out the entry I felt a lack of peace -- like I was turning to you for approval instead of my Heavenly Father. Often, I think we can do that simultaneously, but this time I think the Holy Spirit was checking my motives. So I got up in the middle of the night and deleted the post.
I'm ready to put it out there again -- this time more as a 'this is where i've been lately' instead of 'o.k., everybody! make me feel acceptable right now!'
My journal entry from Monday, April 2, 2007
Opening day in the Bronx stadium.
A hair cut and color.
Running through new mossy grass and withered autumn leaves with Griffin.
A fat, glossy robin feasting on wriggling worms and assorted other bugs on
the yellow grass next to Smokin' Joes over the PA state line.
Call me man's best friend - I am a woman who loves treats and rides in the
car. After a week of yucky coughing, chills and nose-blowing, I hit the
bottom of a deep melancholy late last night. A simple, run-of-the-mill
parenting experience shot me to the bottom of that abandoned well in a
matter of minutes.
Standing in the middle of my teenage sons' disastrous bedroom while
lecturing my 9-year-old daughter for her April Fool's prank that turned out
more foolish than funny. (water soaked blankets, sheets and mattresses) the
rope ran out of line. Whack - almost a literal physical impact...the anxiety
and pain of old memory hit that hard.
Tears took a while to reach the surface having to follow the plunging
thrusts of anger and fear . 'I must be crazy! What is wrong with me? Will
someone please tell me once and for all if I am a terrible mom! Who sets the
rules 'cuz I'm sick of not knowing the play book. Do clean bedrooms matter?
How about the fact that I feel like I can't stand my kids sometimes? Tell me
what mother of four this side of the abuse hotline who feels that way???"
Plunging the depths of me - like the bucket in the cracked well - sobs force
out the tears. The release comes as a 'woosh' - almost fake they seem. The
highlight reel in my head shows me at the same age as my daughter lying in
my blue and white gingham bedroom sobbing with deep, guttural anxiety that
my bedroom was such a mess. I had failed life by age 9. Funny, I don't
remember what that messy bedroom looked like - I only remember the feeling
of drowning in failure and worthlessness. 'what is wrong with me? Why can't
I keep my room clean? Why am I such a failure? Why can't anyone see that I'm
not right? What is wrong with me??"
My helpless husband asks, "Is this just about messy bedrooms? We can fix
that." I shake my head as an answer because I can't figure it out either.
The bucket lurching off the frayed rope scrapes bottom once more. "Oh, yes,
I am crazy! I finally have the proof I've been trying to figure out my whole
life. I am certifiable because... [EDIT: not ready to put this memory into
print] What's wrong with me? " Tears seem to spring out of my very pores by
this point. My face has lost its form and has become a pool of water and
mucous. The sobs actually hurt my head. My husband asks what is wrong. I do
not answer. I can not answer. How can I when any words I form on my tongue
and in my imagination seem like they are taken from the screenplay of a lame
So, today - after the hair cut and color and romp in the yard with my nephew
- I return home and crash back on the couch with my box of tissues and bag
of cough drops. My husband announces his plan to drive to the state line for
cigars. If I had ears on the top of my head like our Jack Russell, they
would have quivered in the excitement. A ride? Maybe a treat while we are
Husband and I do not speak during the ride. I close my eyes against the
breeze creeping in through the cracked windows. My own iPod shuffle on the
truck stereo - a groovy mixture of Jack Johnson, Patty Griffin and Third Day
serenading my sunny nap under the open sunroof. The spring sun seems to pull
me inch by inch out of the bottom of that well as if were straining biceps
heaving the rope. I fantasize that I am one of those wealthy, Victorian-era
swooning females taken to the shore by doctor's orders to paint
impressionist landscapes and regain strength in the salty sunshine of the
Ridiculous fantasy over, I open my eyes and instead find myself parked up
against the yellow grassy bank behind Smokin' Joe's just over the NY/PA
border. This is the best place to get cigars for my husband's weekly walks
with the Jack Russell. I choose to stay in the truck while he goes in. He is
kind to leave the music playing and the sun roof open.
A black fluttering outside the window gets my attention. My brain is on
automatic - it's just a robin after all.
JUST A ROBIN! Rewind!
It's the Official-First-Robin-Of-Spring Sighting. I sit in the truck outside the PA convenience store and find resurrection with each worm the giddy bird pulls out of the
Cars pull in on either side of me and I jerk my head to see if the drivers
have noticed this wonder of nature and are smiling the same crazy smile as
me? I am literally surprised when they do not appear to share my awe and
The smile felt odd on my lips, anyway...like someone was sculpting it there
just above my chin and just below my chapped nose. (the week's worth of
sniffling and coughing and blowing and then the night's worth of torrential
grieving have done significant damage!) Next the lips push up the cheeks and
I can feel the light almost reach my eyes.
I am resurrected.
Not in the sense of being totally dead and now totally alive -- not in the
sense of what the Emmaus road traveler's discovered in their walking
companion, but a resurrection of hope.
Resurrection hope brings shafts of transcendent light into the dark drowning
places in my soul.
"Wait, Israel, for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!" -- Ps. 131:3
Wait, Tami, for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!