Friday, November 07, 2008

Read At Your Own Risk: God Says "Yes" To Me!

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite authors. Her irreverent and eccentric look at life is like being in a Chinese antique store...when you read her it's like finding small, unique and thoroughly divine treasures in unexpected places!

Anne's view of "God" is outside of the mainstream view. She talks to God...while in her car, going to the bathroom..and her language with God is much like talking to her best girlfriend. Reading Anne is refreshing to my soul! It's almost like God saying to me..."It's OK Linda! You are a Christiam, even though your faith may not be exactly like anyone else's...

Recently I've been reading "Life Is A Verb" by Patty Digh. Perfect timing since my life FEELS upside down right now. I am at once ecstatic that Barack Obama is President, and in the next minute I feel a great sadness and worry about my family, my students, and those I love!

What I know for sure is that it is OK to be wherever I am! That is a life long lesson, well learned!
Don't pretend! Don't pretend you are OK, when you are not! Don't pretend you are "fine" if you are not! Don't pretend you aren't angry, when you have steam coming out your ears!

So...this is a DON'T PRETEND blog entry!

I learned about "pretending" in my family-of-origin. Pretend that Dad doesn't drink too much. Pretend that your marriage is OK, when it is far from OK. Pretend that you are happy, when you really are sad. The days I have pretended feel like days that are lost to me. The days when I am authentic and congruent, and tell my own truth, feel like days well lived!

I've have also learned that not everyone wants to hear what is really going on inside of me and outside of me. So I pick carefully where I share my deepest truths. I save those moments for those I hold most dear, those I trust with my heart. I am selective about my deepest self-disclosures! I don't share it all publically. Certainly not in a blog.

But on some days, when I feel weighed down by the enormity of personal growth I'm experiencing, I put some, just a few, of the learnings down to record the journey.

Lately, in Anne Lamott fashion, I have been talking to God non-stop! I talk to God in my car, in my heart, in my head...and I have been asking some tough questions. I know that God loves me! That is never in doubt. How God wants to use me, and how to be with certain people I am angry at, is always in doubt.

My conversation with God goes something like this..."OK God, how could he do this to her???That is so, so mean! She is so wonderful and this breaks her heart. Doesn't he see what he is doing? Can't you do something God to change his heart??? Could you please do that now..or soon.. OK... could you please do it while I am still alive to see it?? OK, I guess i don't get to dictate the timing? OK..I know I can trust you and put this in Your hands!"

While reading the book "Life Is A Verb", and going through the daily exercises, I ran into this poem called "God Says Yes to Me." As I read it aloud I started to cry and then bawl. I was OK with calling God "she", especially since I miss my Mom so much. I needed God's warm and nurturing touch on my heart.

Here's that poem:

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
you can do exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

I miss being called honey or sweetcakes. I miss summer and times that felt carefree. I miss viewing life through rose-colored glasses, when I could trust the people who took care of people's pension funds and not constantly worry about the people in my church not having jobs and enough to eat.

OK God..I know I can't fix it all, but I believe You can!

So I begin today knowing that God loves me and says "YES!" to me. It is time for me to say "YES!" to every aspect of my life, no matter how hard it is! As Natalie Goldberg says:

Our task is to say a holy yes to the real things of our life!

OK Natalie...OK God....I'll give that a shot today!

Thanks for listening!
God Bless!
Love Linda


LORIE said...

The is one of your best posts. I appreciate your authentic expression today. I appreciate you NOT PRETENDING. I love you because you are you and because you are where you are. It IS okay to be where you are. That is a lesson I have learned as well this year. Thank you Linda. I love these posts. They are reminders to how I want to do life.

Our Family said...

I know what it is like to be someone who can be overcome by emotions (mine and others). I guess that comes with being sensitive.

I pray that you find peace with it all. Know that worry isn't prayer and trust that your Father is looking into all things.

I love you, me

Kim said...

Linda- your posts are always so heartfelt and I love them because it makes me feel like I'm not alone with days where I feel sad. I just wish I would remember to have a talk with God as much as you do! I'm constantly reminded how my father in heaven loves me. Our sermon last week was about do what you do...for the Lord!

Love ya!

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