Simply Peace

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Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

Is that  possible?

Last Friday morning while I was posting a blog about REJOICING – an unforgettable moment was being engraved on the pages of history.

I don’t want to be another clanging cymbal adding my banging to this profoundly sad tragedy.  But I have this desperate cry in my heart for peace.

Twenty six families are facing an unfathomable ocean of grief and sorrow.

… And there is an unbearable cacophony of voices battling to be heard.

“Peace on earth , goodwill to men” –  traditional words of the Christmas season. When is the last time I saw or heard those words? Truthfully I don’t remember!

There is an ocean of words I want to use to describe how I feel about what happened a week ago.  Ultimately, it boils down to this –

“Be the change you wish to see in the world …” Gandhi

These words have been coming before me again and again. Change must begin in ME.  BE the change.  Embody.  Personify. Demonstrate.  Express.  In ME, from ME, through ME – this is how change begins.

I am angry about the intolerance, violence and hate in our world.

So I must invest compassion, peace and love into my world.  This is the greatest weapon I have.  It is something I can do – and it will make a difference.  For today, it will not change the grief the world is experiencing.  But a week ago, someone made a decision to engage in violence.  How do I know that the decision I make today won’t make a profound impact on someone tomorrow?  It is not a small or passive thought!  It is a decision to be INTENTIONAL, to ENGAGE, and CONSCIOUSLY participate with compassion, peace and love.

Today, I seek to place PEACE in my heart.

Today, I will give PEACE to the world around me.

It begins in ME.

Peace on earth – it is possible.

It is the season of giving.   What gift do you offer the world today? Share with me – I would love to hear!

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Joy & The Art of Being Loud

DSC_0025Re-joice (verb)

  1. be happy – intransitive verb to feel very happy or show great happiness about something
  2. make somebody happy – transitive verb to fill somebody with happiness

Re-joic-er (noun)

I don’t know when I started singing in the car.  Maybe it was the road trip to Texas with my brother – sweltering, record breaking August heat through Arizona and New Mexico – in my red corolla with no AC.   Or maybe it was years of the five hour drives home – treacherous Northern Alberta winter roads – after a weekend in the big city.

I don’t just sing along – I blew a speaker on my previous vehicle.  I totally denied it to my husband – “I’m sure it was like that for a long time… I’m sure it was like that when we bought it”.

I live in a small community outside of a large metropolitan center.  When we first moved here, I worked in the city.  I LOVED my drive to work.  Thirty minutes of warbling at the top of my lungs in the morning, and then thirty minutes of the same on my way home.  Bliss!  A big city – no one knew me, tunes cranked, arm pumping – I would yodel away. When I began working in the town I live in, I decided it was appropriate to be more circumspect.  O how I missed my times of vocal abandon driving into the city.

Twice – in the last several weeks, within a kilometer of my house – my car bouncing, and fully committed to the lyrics, I was brought to an awareness of my exuberance.  It was the looks from my fellow motorists that caught my attention.

I only sing for me.  And if you knew me, you would know how painfully self conscious I have been for most of my life – the confession of this secret indulgence might surprise you.

But I can’t stop!  I YEARN for those moments – car stereo blasting, driver seat bouncing … letting it all out!

Which brings me to the word REJOICE.  It is a word of “the season.”  It is commonly associated with heavenly choirs of angels, and rapturous choruses from the Mormon Tabernacle.  Rejoicing is more than reflective thoughts of thankfulness or lists in a gratitude journal.  It is a verb – it is action.

It is full body contact with JOY.

In our busy, hectic, stressful lives – happiness has become a silent emotion and joy just another Christmas word.  Our bodies and minds and spirits need to experientially REMEMBER what HAPPY is.  It is a sensory experience.  It is a physical, emotional, spiritual experience. And it needs to resonate, vibrate and BOUNCE!

It doesn’t cost a penny.  It just takes movement.  Turn your music up LOUD – start singing in the shower, or dancing with the lights out!  Engage with JOY – with your whole being!  Spread your arms wide, reach farther than you thought possible – STRETCH into the unknown!  Let emotion rise up and overwhelm you!  MOVE. DANCE. JUMP. SING.  BE LOUD!

It is the season to rejoice.  I hope you find a moment to ENGAGE with JOY,  and celebrate with spirit, soul and body.  Rejoice FULLY!

And if some day you hear loud music while you are driving – it may just be me, engaging in joy!

How do you engage with JOY?

A Moms Heart It Will Always Be

DSC_0060My son and I argued this morning.

Anger. Frustration.  Disappointment. Sadness.

He misunderstood my words – I misunderstood his.

My sorrow showed, and so did his.  The weight of decisions rests heavy on his heart.  My stomach is wrenched up into my throat.  An iron vise squeezes my chest.  A wellspring of tears threatens to well up, overwhelm and overflow.  All my regrets, and words unspoken combine with that breathless indescribable tearing pain of love for this young man – who is my son.

He is a wonderful son.  And he is stepping out of childhood into the man that he was created to be, and destined to become.

Both of my sons are wonderful! Both are at this threshold in their lives.   In as much as they are dealing with this significant change in their lives – so am I.  I am struggling to release them, to loose the strings that have bound them to me for the last twenty years of my life.  I grew up with them.  I learned how to nurture and love through them.  I think perhaps they have taught me more than I have taught them.  O how I love both of my sons … yet I have to let them go.    They need to discover what life holds for them – on their terms, not mine.  They will make mistakes – but life’s most powerful lessons are forged in the process!  Both boys are strong and independent – they will find their way quite well.

I am blessed – my son and I find reconciliation.  We are able to express the words we need to say.  Our hearts touch.  I am so proud of my son.  He IS and WILL BE a good man.

Change needs to happen in me.  Sometimes I don’t know how to do that.  My encouragement sounds like control.  My caring feels too pushy.  My heart connection feels different – and it needs to be different!  How do I express to them that  I just want them to KNOW I will ALWAYS  love them.  I want them to know that my heart will always hold safe refuge for them.

But for now, they need to step out of the safety into the world that is waiting for them.  Free to decide, free to fall, free to soar – on their own.

And God whispers in my ear – “yes, I know the feeling MY daughter.”

Then I understand He knows my heart pain – because it is His yearning for me as well.  In the past I misunderstood.  I thought it was all rules and control – but He released me to discover otherwise.  In His heart, He holds a gut wrenching tender love for me.  His arms are always extended – yearning to embrace and express His love for me.  But He also longs for me to choose and to grow – and so He frees me.

So to my son I say, “find your path, be free … and SOAR!”

And God whispers in my ear, “My daughter – get up, be free.” My heart responds, because from that safe place of love, I know I can SOAR!