Saturday, December 21, 2013

When you are tired of things that break

“You have played, 
(I think) 
And broke the toys you were fondest of, 
And are a little tired now; 
Tired of things that break, and— 
Just tired. 
So am I.”
― E.E. Cummings

An entire season of my life year after year dedicated to choosing and buying things makes me tired. I choose gifts for my children that will bring them enjoyment or meet their needs or encourage them to read and learn or be creative, but I know most of it will end up in a donate bin by next year, sit on a shelf collecting dust or simply become used up.  I wrap things for others I've carefully chosen as tokens of love or appreciation, but I still feel somewhat empty handing them anything besides my actual heart, my time, my "spoons", because I know this is what I truly want from others.  I want a piece of real life.  I'm so hungry for it.  I want experience.  I want to play.  I want to look into your eyes and know how you are.  I want to hear what your dreaming of this year and what your next step will be in making it come true. I'm tired of things that break.

When I was a little girl my mom used to encourage us to leave our comfort zones and make friends with people outside our four walls.  In our small world I'm pretty sure she meant the neighborhood kids who were quite tattered and had much less love than we did in their day to day. She would quote the old saying, "Make new friends, keep the old. One is silver, the other gold."  I love the connection I have with friends from my childhood.  It keeps me grounded.  It reminds me there are people who were there and remember the hours and days of youth much like I do.  We walked through frivolity and unbridled joy and trudged through angst and hurt, all to survive and become the people we are today.  Most of us have taken very different journeys spiritually and still by Grace we love the same God with all our hearts no matter how confusing the theology of our younger days made it to really know Him.  I had spent years of my life intentionally and unintentionally burning most of those bridges out of shame because of who I had become for a time and also thinking if I cut it all off it wouldn't be part of me anymore. Over the past almost seven years God has used these people the most to remind me there can be intense love and best intentions behind the worst life events.  They are the ones I feel safest with.  My friend Angie, who I have written about many times is the childhood friend I am closest with. Sometimes I think we share the same heart.  How dear she is.  She is my gold.   

Making new friends when you are mostly home bound is not easy.  I have a community of people online who share in my same disabilities and illness.  Several of these people have become like family to me. Still, I have little real fellowship with others except those who can slow enough to come here to me, leave their perfume behind, and sit on my couch and just BE together for an hour or so.  It was late summer this year when a women I've written about before, my dear Janet, took me to the airport before dawn and a friendship was born the likes of which I've not known before. Now, she comes, once a week to BE with me.  Knowing and being known by her is something God gave me at the perfect time, just days before the first of three major surgeries and an adrenal crisis. I never could have known to want a friend like she is to me.  She is silver.

This week I received gifts from one of my oldest and dearest friends, Angie, and my newest friend, Janet.  Two women who know my heart so well they gave me things that cannot break. From Janet, a little box full of little slips of paper.  In her script she wrote a year's worth of things we will do together.  This included little things, like a cup of coffee together and walking together on her morning path, and bigger thing like visiting art museums.  It is a precious box of intentional gifts of her time and energy to BE with me and most of all help me remember how to play and enjoy and choose life again, something I didn't mean to lose, but I somehow did through all my pain and suffering.  From Angie, two beautiful signs, hand painted with the names of places I hope to go this year.  They are my hometown of Staunton, Virginia, and the Duck/Corolla area of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  She is not just hoping for me to be able to make these trips.  She is writing them down.  She is writing them in the biggest possible place to display.  She is speaking to me exactly how I hear.  "Moni, You can do this again.  You can travel for pleasure.  You can come and see your Blue Ridge.  It's only a day's drive.  Get in the car and come.  You can have a week with your family in a place you love like the beaches of North Carolina.  It is not impossible.  It will make you more well.  GO.  I'm stepping out in faith you will be well enough to GO."  I will hang these in my kitchen, and I will make plans, and I will go.  

We are so close to Bethlehem now.  I think of the wise men and their gifts that held meaning but most of all held their hopes and dreams for their Savior.  Things that could not break.  I wish this for you. Give something for Christmas that cannot be destroyed.  Encourage someone in their hopes and dreams.  Be specific with giving your time and friendship.  Oh how happy giving and receiving can be when it's tied to our hearts.  

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