iron maidens and the dragons they slay

A giant nearly ten feet tall stepped out from the Philistine line into the open,
Goliath from Gath. …”  (1 Samuel 17-4)

She cussed like a sailor.
She smoked like a freight train.

unnamed-4For awhile she drove an eighteen-wheeler from one end of the country to the other to earn her living.
She lived large, laughed loud and drank her whiskey straight.

When she set her mind to something, it was done— five minutes ago.
She tore apart several houses and put them back together the way SHE wanted them.
Sadly, sometimes it wasn’t her “house” and she left a trail of men in her wake.

She intimidated the crap out of me and yet,  I wanted to please her most of all.
I often felt like I didn’t and I’m sorry I didn’t understand her better.

She was my mother. The toughest thing going and to this day, a good bit of who she was remains a mystery to me. There are not many folks alive who can tell me much more than I know so I’ve gotten used to the fringes and shadows of what few memories I possess.

To be honest, there were many years I was flat out mad at her. Might have said I hated her. Hurt and disappointed by her choices and behaviors— and though it wasn’t her fault alone, I didn’t know how to process what I was experiencing.

In fact, for a while if you wanted to make me so mad I might punch you hard and cry harder, all you had to do was say I was a lot like her. That was enough to draw me out swinging. Not anymore.

So much more is clear to me now that I’m older with a fresh perspective on life and it’s struggles and also… now that she’s gone.  I realize now, we were both tragically misunderstood. I loved her more than I feared the pain of her rejection but somehow never found a way to break through.

I miss her. She was strong and amazing.  She was a tough cookie with a soft spot for the underdog, the downtrodden and the strays. And….in at least the best ways I can tell— I’m a lot like her.

She wasn’t a very big woman but recently I have begun to realize that the pain that once passed between us has cast a giant shadow over me for most of my adult life.     It was a giant I had to slay.      One of many actually.

 Iron Maidens

Today I’m finishing this story with the Brave Girl Community…join me there?

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bless my adulterous heart

The seasons are changing— I’m glad. I sorta need it.  I’m hungry for a good thunderstorm and the shiver of a brisk wind pointing me in the direction of Autumn. Mostly, I long for an outward sign marking the inward and subtle changing of seasons within—and everywhere as far as I can see.   Good changes.     But slow.

With the heat of summer and a life-altering trip behind me, it’s not surprising that some things have come loose and undone in my life and there’s no putting them back where they were before. Nothing major— in fact, only those closest to me and my heart could sense my frustration as I wonder what still fits and where it all leads. Right now?    It’s here.

In this HERE place I’m sensing God’s question: “Am I your enough?”
And He wants….deserves… an answer.

Precariously straddling the chasm between the “already” and the “not yet”, I’m realizing with a sense of shame that while my heart and mouth may cry out “Yes Lord!”, my flesh and attitude may tell a different story.  Prone to wander, Lord… I feel it. 

Oh bless me and my fickle,    adulterous heart.

bless my adulterous heart

Let me tell you more…

notes from a veteran expert

I swear………… I saw a ghost the other day.

Rushing through the dining room from one task to another I caught a glimpse of someone I surely recognized and had to stop and do a double take. Mary?!?     Wow.     There in the mirror…my mother. It’s happened.

Shoot, she looks pretty good for her age!

Yes, I have reached the age where I can now clearly see traces of my departed Mother gazing back at me in the mirror and there’s more than the numbers on the clock and calendar telling how the time has passed. If I’m honest about the sum I have to admit that even the roughest of the years have been sweet and kind.

I’m in the sorting stage. Toys, books, pictures, papers and homeschool supplies…sorting what leaves, what stays and where it all belongs now.

With the wedding of my oldest on the nearing horizon, another one deciding life matters for the future and only two more years with the last at home, it’s necessary now to see my children, myself and my role through a different lens.

Though somewhat hazy and bittersweet, the memories have kept their fond flavor and can make sense while taking their proper place. Hanging up one hat, I begin to put on another knowing I must not — can not–hold on to what was never mine. This is the way it should be. It’s ok.     It’s good.

In this next season I’ve been entrusted with much to hold and to behold as well. This realization was made clear to me as I was filling out some volunteer paperwork for our local homeschool association. There was a line (how I never noticed this before is beyond me) asking “veterans” to consider mentoring new homeschool families.

Let’s see, I’ve been homeschooling fourteen years so that makes me–seriously?! A veteran? Me?

When did THAT happen?

Let me tell you more…