Monthly Archives: February 2010

All We Can Do Is Keep Breathing*

Today in my hometown a 14 year old girl was hit by a car and killed.   I know her brother.  I’m friends with his girlfriend.

This morning, while still in that foggy land between asleep and awake, I heard my phone vibrate.
Innocently I glanced at my overnight emails that had come through before I looked at the message that had just arrived:  please pray for my boyfriend’s sister.

Twenty-two minutes later I got a final text: she didn’t make it.

A girl I had never met.  A friend of a friend.  A 14 year old girl.

I couldn’t help it.  I started to cry.  Ugly cry.

My kids stared at me blankly.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?”

I told them.

A girl was hit by a car.  She died.

“Let’s pray for her mommy and daddy and brother, ok?”

(Was I too open with them?  They’re only three and five.)

I know I’m not the only one holding my kids a little tighter tonight.

****

Alone in the car, after going to see the family, my heart and my mind are searching.

I’m already angry with God.  Confused.

So young.  So much promise.

Gone.

Gone.

I wonder…can’t help but wonder…

What if it were me?

What if it were my child?

How can you, as a parent, not think that?

How do you keep going?

I know you must, you do.

But how?

All that I know is I’m breathing.
All I can do is keep breathing.
All we can do is keep breathing now.

The repetitive strains of the song flood my mind.

****

I can’ t sleep.

And I know that this is why.

I want to write more about it…

but this isn’t about me.

So I’ll pray.

And I’ll ask you to pray.

For love.

For peace.

For…the words that don’t come, can’t come.

*Thank you, Ingrid Michelson for this song.  It touches my heart in so many ways.

Blissdom 2010

I could tell you a lot about Blissdom.  I’m sure there will be hundreds of posts chronicling the sessions, the parties, the speakers, the food.  Well-written posts about friendships made and cultivated, the beautiful Opryland Hotel and Harry Connick, Jr will surely be out there, too.

And although those things were awesome and I learned so much and met so many, something bigger happened.

Somewhere inside me, in that quiet little place that I sometimes hesitate to share with even my closest friends,
I felt a movement, a revolution.

There were times this weekend when I laughed so hard I cried.
There were times when I was my normal, loud-mouth self.
There were times I stepped outside my comfort zone.

But often I found myself just being quiet.
Watching others.  Listening.
Listening to others and listening to that inner part of me that so frequently gets drowned out at home,
shushed and squashed by my to do list.

Blissdom was not a Christian conference.
Blissdom was not about religion or God.
Blissdom was not about growing in your faith
or becoming a better person.

But Blissdom was inspirational.
And Blissdom was educational.
And Blissdom changed me.

Over and over and over, whether in sessions or conversations or within my own mind,
the same three phrases kept re-surfacing:
Be authentic.
Be passionate.
Focus on what’s really important.

Not really novel concepts.  Not something I hadn’t heard a hundred times before.
But exactly what I needed to hear,
what I wanted to hear,
what I was ready to hear.

Several panelists talked about finding your voice, but I realized that in order to find my voice, I must first find me.
I’ve gotten lost in the shuffle.
I’ve gotten wrapped up in things that don’t matter.
I’ve let some influence me too much, and others not enough.

It’s time for a change.
Thanks, Blissdom.

Sometimes

Sometimes in order to succeed, you have to fail.

Sometimes in order to do accomplish something big, you have to accomplish something small first.

Sometimes accomplishing one big thing doesn’t matter, but accomplishing lots of little things do.

Sometimes you are torn between reality and desire, wrong and right, good and evil.

Sometimes…

Sometimes it’s hard.

Sometimes it’s hard to do what is right.

Especially when you’re not sure what right is.

Grace.  Compassion.  Love.  Equality.  Redemption.

Easy to say, hard to live.

But I’m trying.