2014 Begins

The dust has settled from our Disney trip (FABULOUS, and when can we go again!?) and we are now back in the midwest, planted as we seem to get these last couple years.  I do still feel like we are "Runnin' Down the Dream" though, as we've been logging over 600 miles on our car EACH WEEK.  I am really thankful for lower gas prices (averaging under 3$/gallon) and for the space/sense of safety afforded by the Suburban, but that's still a lot of miles/expense.  Soon the girls will go to the same school and that will settle down a hair.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law purchased me a massage for Christmas and while I was there, the massage therapist talked to me about tension and loss.  I told her I was claiming 2014 as a year for restoring.  See, I did the "top 20 posts of 2013" over on my facebook page and I would be lying if I didn't read them and scoff.  I may have even said a few choice words aloud.  I am not sad to see her go, but I also recognize that it's time to grab my days by the horns and claim victory over them.

What does victory look like?  Some days it looks like survival.  Some days it looks like experiencing flashbacks so horrid I can SMELL my abuser who I haven't even laid eyes on in 20 years and yet still doing the homework the therapist assigned to me.  Some days it looks like taking the time to smile and remembering to give the kids a compliment and learning to forgive myself for only mustering a tiny bit of joy out of a whole day filled with blessings...because each day really is, no matter how my mind can try to deny it. Somedays it looks like 85 peanut butter oatmeal cookies that will look more like 50 when they reach my lonely, tired husband and his comrades.  Today it looks like writing because I need something to ground me.

Victory looks a lot different than I imagined.  Restoration means first being completely destroyed.  I know from living in a house being restored that restoration looks like a lot of hard work and a lot of days of rain when the work cannot be done, but always moving FORWARD and looking for other things to improve.

Something else that looks much different than I imagined is a healthy human being.  See, I would like to believe I'm generally a fun-loving, easy-going person.  I have deviated so far from that person at this point, that I have to wonder if that is really who I am at all.  The realization that is coming is that a person is made up of many different truths.  I am not *always* a fun-loving, easy-going person.  I am not *always* a stressed out wreck.  Who I *really* am is a hodge podge of these many colored days.  That has to be okay.  I haven't allowed that to be okay and I have missed out on a lot of grace because of it.

Something that makes me ponderous lately is how cold and dry it has been in MO.  The cold I shut down to-go into survival mode.  It means layers and yelling at kids who have thus far grown up in warmer climates to remember hats and gloves.  It means 30 mintues of letting the Suburban warm up for the babies so they can safely buckle without coats.  It means being hyper-vigilant of all the drivers on the road with me, in case there is ice. 
The dryness, though, always surprises me.  We are currently in the car so much because Violet is attending a "school" for Autistic children.  She is learning all about social skills our society deems of the utmost important and being drilled with letters.  The school is about 35 minutes from us and on the way there we cross the Missouri river, as well as many lakes and creeks.  Nearly every day the water has been frozen, and yet somehow the beds have become as dry as any Texas lake or creek in late July.  The river is so low we can see many feet of dry riverbed on either side.  When I checked our windchill warnings last week, we also had a wildfire warning, because of the excessive dryness.  It is just so strange to me when I am in the midst my lungs, eyes and fingers stinging because of the intense cold.

It reminds me that when we shut down and go into survival mode, many other things are affected, even though the current sting of that which must be survived is stealing all our senses and wit.  Sometimes I look around and wonder how things got so dried out, shriveled up and brittle.  Here's to a year full of plodding through the work of survival but staying alert to the things which need healing rain, also.  Here's to a year of restoration.

Wishing you and yours all the best in 2014, complete with joy in the moment and healing rains!