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The door to heaven 

Jacob has been struggling with his relationship with God lately. I think it’s partly his age, partly the grief of losing his grandpa, and partly learning religion in his Catholic school when he’s been raised Anglican/Lutheran. 

Yesterday we stood in the parking lot of Save On, looking at the sunset, and talking about it looking like the door to heaven opening. On the way home I had my own personal confirmation from the heavens that I was on the right path. Little did I know last night when I went to sleep that our sunset miracles were far from finished. 

Jacob woke up this morning as bright eyed as he’s been in ages. He told me that he hadn’t prayed in a long time, but before he went to sleep he had prayed for two things. He prayed to be able to talk to his grandpa one more time, and he prayed for proof that God was real. 

He said last night he had a dream that he walked over to my parents’ house and my dad was waiting there for him. They hugged and then Jacob asked his grandpa a bunch of questions about how he was doing, what it was like and other things. This alone makes me happy as my dad came to me once in a dream not too long after he died, and all I did was yell at him that if he could appear in a dream I wanted him back in real life. 

I’ve  had Jacob tell me the whole story several times today and every time it’s the same thing with the same small details. Like how God has a calm and gentle voice that makes everyone who hears him lose all their stress and worry. Or how his grandpa lives in a house exactly like his old one here and he still sees all the alive people in the house. 

There was a lot more, Jacob walked around the house with grandpa who explained to him how he was able to be there and not be there at the same time. He talked to him about heaven and about God. Jacob is in the process of writing all this down and I will let him tell his story in it’s entirety when he’s finished. 

On the way into school Jacob was once again telling me  his dream and he said I had my prayers answered.  I got to talk to grandpa again, and I now know for absolute certainty that God is real. 

  

What a miracle. I’m still processing it all. 

My happiness moment was watching The Book of Life this evening with the kids. We didn’t know what it was about, but it actually tied in nicely with Jacobs dream and celebrating the memory of those who have passed on. The kids both really enjoyed it, and I love hearing those belly laughs. 

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I ain’t missing you at all….

This morning I was listening to John Wait’s Missing You which apparently led me into a morning of self-reflection. The kids have been sick the past couple of days and as a result we have had the opportunity to completely slow down, which has given me time to reflect and read and work and play. Listening to this song this morning made me think of who-I-used-to-be. I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about who-I-really-am and how do I get to living that authentic life on a continuous basis. Lately I’ve realized that who-I-used-to-be and who-I-really-am are actually pretty close to the same thing.

In my mid 20s I made 4 major decisions that altered the course of my life. It doesn’t really matter what those decisions were – they were made long ago and with the best of intentions for my future, but as a result of those choices I went from a life on purpose to a life on default.

What does that mean? I used to be a dreamer, I had ideas of doing fun-filled and exciting things with my life. They were always a little unconventional, but being a bit different was something I used to embrace about myself. I may not always have been 100% sure about where the path I was on was going to take me, but I always was certain that I was enjoying the ride there.

When I switched to a life on default, I gave up on my dreams, I decided to take the safe route and choose stability over dreams and fun. Although I had no idea at the time, the result of this meant I was no longer being authentic to myself. Instead of being the star of my own life I chose to become a supporting character in other people’s lives. So, instead of writing my own life story on purpose the things that happened in my life happened in a supporting role, on default.

The result of this is that I have become one of those women in their 40s sitting with a basket full of unfulfilled dreams. The good thing is that I have now realized that I am the author of my own life story and that it is not only possible, but necessary for me to live a life on purpose. To realize that I can live with intention and passion and joy because all of that is my birthright.

I took the kids home this summer for our longest trip back in 9 years. Those 9 years have been fun, busy child-raising years – but they also have been difficult and unsettling years. We have moved several times – across Canada and to two different states. I really wanted them home for an extended time for many reasons, but one of them was that I wanted them to get to see who-I-used-to-be. I felt that they only knew a stressed out and unsettled mom and I thought it was important that they knew that I used to be a fearless badass. The unexpected bonus of this trip was that *I* remembered who-I-used-to-be and realized that that still is who-I-really-am.

If I could rewind time I would go back and do the opposite of those 4 choices I made. But, there are many things about the life that I live now that are wonderful and beautiful and fun and I would never, ever trade them for the world. So, I will live with the life I’ve created quite happily. However, it’s wonderful to know that I now also have the ability to create my own future.

I thought taking the safe route would lead to security and stability and in reality it did exactly the opposite. Which, as I was singing badly but happily (even more happily when the kids started covering their ears telling me to stop, because that is funny) to my song this morning, made me think “If I had followed those dreams earlier in life I probably wouldn’t be in any worse shape than I am now, except I would have known that I tried.” Instead of that being a sad thought it was actually quite empowering. What do I have to lose now by following dreams? Seriously.

I think it’s freaking awesome that we all get to write our own life stories and that we can choose to live our life on purpose!

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