Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Rumblings (as opposed to ramblings)

I dusted off my silver-edged scriptures this morning and gave them the start of a good run through (at least the first 20 pages or so). It's amazing how life can bring you full circle if you let it. Even when we are a little off course, there are signs and indicators all along the path showing us the way back to where we should be, to say nothing of the persistent whispers in the back of our heads.

Without becoming preachy or pretending to be a theologian, and while also admitting to a current life of self-described spirituality and faith but not overly active at any church...I simply want to say that I admire folks who are devout within their own beliefs and tolerant of others who see things differently. I am not suggesting that I want anyone to be tolerant of me; I am more hoping that we will all be more tolerant of everyone.

As I was reading earlier today, it dawned on me that there are many parallels between the trek to a new world and the many treks I have taken in my life.

More often than I want to admit, when others were looking at me as if I was completely nuts, I would pull up roots and head off to a new experience; causing upheaval to my children and inflicting all kinds of extra expenses on my already limited budget. I am still playing catch up today for all the moves and those related expenses that were incurred each time we pulled up stakes.

These moves were not something I planned, anymore than I ever planned to be a single mother of six, but they happened as a result of circumstances and choices (some which were mine, some which were not) and the reality of a life as a single mother with six children and very limited resources in time, money, support and energy. In fact, the people I thought I could count on the most, never bothered, but many that had no responsibility for me or my family whatsoever became my emotional support. It's because of them that I am here today.

As the years went by, I didn't always know why I was moving, but when I made a move it was always because I knew that I should. As I look back now, I can see turning points in my children's lives with each move, although tainted by the hardship of being the new kids (again) and wondering where we were ever going to land permanently, more often than not our moves pulled at least one of my children from harm's way.

And the few times that I did not follow those whispered promptings (when fatigue ruled and Evil won), and did not take necessary steps to change circumstances in our lives (it wasn't always a move that was needed), my children were sometimes hurt as a result.

Those are the moments I will cry over eternally, not the other moments in my life that may have been painful or downright wrong, but those times when my children were affected negatively because I simply ran out of time or energy are the moments that still keep me awake some nights. Those are the moments I have to answer for, not the petty mistakes, the uninformed decisions, the moments, days or weeks that I lacked clarity or made innocent mistakes.

I am eternally grateful for that someone who is so much greater than me (and you), who picked up my hurting child(ren)when I had failed to protect them fully, dusted them off and headed them back in the right direction; quietly, without pomp and circumstance, but with love and faith in who they were and who I was. He is the reason we are all here today.

So, in retrospect, I know that each move that I chose to make was for a reason. Only two moves in my entire life were moves I didn't want to make and would not have made had I not been overwhelmed by a threatening environment and unwarranted personal attacks. Those two moves are probably the two that were the hardest for me and for my children; in fact I believe the actions by others that lead up to those two moves affected us in ways that altered our lives not only in the short term, but for years to come and even still today and possibly eternally.

Every other move that we made was prompted by something I couldn't always identify or understand, but I knew it was real and it was important that I acted on those feelings and so I did; I followed the promptings and headed out again - with kids in tow.

And so we wandered into new territories, set up our home for as long as we were supposed to be there.There were risks, there were dangers; it was exhausting. There were those who whispered behind my back, there were those who outright denounced me, there were even those who predicted a dire future for me and my children based on my actions...but in the end, when all is said and done, my children, my life and my following of those whispered directions have prevailed.

I didn't follow the hidden whispers of men, I followed the quiet whispers of the spirit; I am extremely grateful for those whispers and moments of clarity (reached after much consideration and prayer), even if others didn't understand.

It takes a quiet faith to head off to uncharted waters against conventional wisdom and the whispered gossip of family and friends. Maybe it was because of those many, many "callings" in my young married life and the leadership positions that have always found me, that I was expected to be something I have never been, I don't know. I only know who I am and I can't be anything or anyone else.

What I also know is that I am not someone who is anxious to climb to the top of a tower and proclaim their beliefs loudly for all to hear. I will share them and whisper them, and try to live as an example of them, but I won't shout my beliefs, or force them, or deprive, degrade and denounce those who don't believe as I do. What I know too, is that a mother's intuition, and even a woman's intuition, is often spot on; and those flashes of intuition are also not typically something you shout from the rooftops.

I have never had a loud faith, mine has always been quiet; it was others who put me in the limelight and gave me responsibilities that would thrust me into the public eye. It was others who expected me to shout from a tower or share personal revelations or explain my actions to them and oddly, it was typically those who never called who had those expectations.

I don't criticize and I am not intolerant of others who believe differently than I do, I love them and accept them for who they are. Unless they present a certain threat to me or my family or the innocent's of this world, who am I to judge them? And more often than not, they are great people.But if they treat my children unfairly, or exercise unrighteous dominion, or act as if they and theirs are better - than watch out.

I have no tolerance for egos, self-righteousness, or judgmental gossip and when it affects me or my children you WILL see me climb up the tower if that's what's necessary to right a wrong. I am not excited when and if that happens, I don't enjoy it and I don't wish for it, but I can climb and shout if called upon.

I am happy in my quiet faith. I have trusted it my entire life and I still do.

There are many who have taken advantage of me over the years, many who feel they know what I am all about in spite of the fact that they never bothered to really get to know me, never even called to see how we were doing. I love them anyway and wish them the best; although there are wistful moments when I find myself wishing that they did know (and care) who I really was and am.

I am grateful to my handful of friends and family who have paused long enough and cared enough and had the patience to see beyond the rumors, the gossip, the assumptions, the judgments and taken the time to see the real me. These are the people who I can trust; these are the people who know me.

As I read the scriptures, I am reminded that the trek is not over - I have a long way to go, but at least I am on the right path. And "thus far" (as it says in the scriptures) I am obedient to those laws and principles which are eternal and universal, either by obedience or through forgiveness.

I am not perfect, there are a lot of things I can do better, or not do at all, which would help me to be more like I want to be, but I am a work in progress. And as long as I am progressing, I am heading in the right direction and I am excited about that.

And I am excited about my children. They are grown now, and they are the most amazing people I know, filled with love, compassion, tolerance, tenacity, ethics, honesty and kindness. And they are wonderful examples to me, I couldn't be more proud of them, every one of them - I don't think of one as better or less than another because of beliefs, employment, parenthood, companions, etc. - they are incredible human beings, singularly and collectively. I enjoy one-on-one time with each of them, but I love to see them together just as much - after all, they are just grown up little kids - my little kids.

At this point in my life, I am happy to say that I have no regrets except for any pain that my choices or actions may have caused for someone else.

My heart is full and as long as I am able, I plan to dance through life with joy in my heart and a smile on my face, and anyone that has the same desire is welcome to come along.

May the rumblings be with you...

Paul McCartney & WINGS "Live and Let Die"


  1. Beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I love you Mom and I'm so glad I matured enough to see the real you. Sorry it took so long. But I think by now you know I love you no matter what. Unconditionally. And your tolerance has always rubbed off on me, so thank you for that. Thank you for loving ME unconditionally even when I was judgmental and just plain bratty.

  2. Oh you wonderful girl, thank you for the comment. I have always considered you a cheerleader and loved you beyond words! After all, you are my beautiful firstborn - the only child to have 3 years alone with me - even if you can't remember them! Love you, Ryn - Mom