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What is Saving My Life These Days, Again

January 18, 2013

The title sounds familiar you say?  Well, that’s because I’ve used it before–once maybe, twice.  However, it is something to be revisited over and over.

This morning, what is saving my life is the memory of this song:

Last night, Curtis and I snuck out to see the Steel Wheels.  We did the unthinkable and had a babysitter come right at the beginning of bedtime, Curtis swung by and picked me up–he had been out of town for a couple of days for work and literally had just gotten back into town, and we headed out.  It was incredible.  This song was my absolute favorite.  I am a total sucker for four part harmony sung a capella with a bit of soul thrown in for good measure.

It took me back to the only other time I had heard The Steel Wheels.  My five and seven year old were 1 and 3.  We were in my hometown, which is where The Steel Wheels are mostly from (in fact, I went to college and was friends with their bass player–lots of stories about a Texas trip he and my ex-brother-in-law made 16 years ago which involved my first armadillo-dead-siting, raccoons, a popped bag of Froot Loops, rock climbing, and a car that almost rolled away).  My parents, the kids and I went downtown for the Fourth of July parade, a free Children’s Museum, and live music on the courthouse lawn.  I was rather distracted with my two littles.  A sticky layer covered both of them from the lollipops that the fire engine or one of the floats threw out into the crowd.  Dark storm clouds moved onto the horizon as the day faded into night.  The sprinkles started and we sought cover under an overhang as we waited for The Steel Wheels to start.  Once the rain subsided enough, the band started up and Madeleine started dancing.  She danced as only a three year old could dance.  To this day, whenever we go to my parent’s church, one of their friends always stops be to tell me how he remembers Madeleine dancing.

Needless to say this time around, I was a lot drier and a lot less distracted and was totally swept away.  I sat at my table, closed my eyes and let the music rain down on me.

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I am contemplating some significant changes in the coming months.  Nothing bad–just changes–but there has still a bit of mourning and anxiety in the change.  Curtis and my girlfriends are saving my life these days.  Walking with Curtis through changes lets me breathe and go outside of myself a bit.  We’ve done change enough that he knows how I work and how I deal.  More than any time before, he’s been great at just holding me while I shake.   Additionally, my girlfriends have been there.  The reaction of one was exactly how I was thinking and she could help me mourn a bit.  Another provided hope and inspiration, having done a similar change recently.  Then there are my dear women, who I can share my deepest anxieties and crazy.  I know that I am not alone as I think of the coming months.  I have a circle surrounding me that can help hold me up when I feel myself sinking down.

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I can finally touch my toes!  While touching my toes isn’t saving my life, yoga is.  Over Christmas break, I fit in three yoga classes over two weeks, which is unheard of for me.  While I somehow tweaked my knee and other muscles after overdoing a bit, I also felt stronger and more confident.  Like so many things, I take different things from yoga at different times.  Last time I went, I remembered that sometimes my body can do things that my mind says I can’t–like balancing on my bad leg or doing a head stand against the wall, using my core (what’s that?) to pull my legs up.  All it took was someone standing in front of me telling me I could do it, my body knew how, just don’t think about it too much.  I’ve also realized how busy my mind’s been lately as well.  During the end of class, when we’re laying flat on the floor, still, with our eyes closed, I’ve had a hard time slowing my thoughts.  Being present in that moment has been difficult.  I remember in the past falling asleep every time I laid still in yoga.  Now there is no sleeping because I can’t slow my mind enough.  My struggles with stillness reminds me to be more present in the current moment, not just in yoga, but playing with Isaac or listening to John tell a story or helping Madeleine practice piano.

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It was baptism of Christ Sunday last week.  The message of the pastor’s sermon was simple.  “You are God’s beloved.  God is proud of you.”  As I listened to her repeat those sentences and elaborate on them, I realized how much I needed to here that.  We all need to hear that sometimes.  I am God’s beloved.  God is proud of me.  I decided now was a good time for Henri Nouwen’s Return of the Prodigal Son which was based off the painting by Rembrandt of the same name and Jesus’s parable.  Like Rain in the Valley, I am reading and savoring the grace of God’s love, figuratively closing my eyes and basking in Nouwen’s words.

What’s saving your life these days?

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