Leila Chiaravalle's blog

Say, “hey”

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My youngest daughter was a cheerleader in High School, I should have an adorable picture of her here…, she was actually incredibly good at it. Her dad and myself would cringe during games as she was the ‘thrown’ being the 4’11” less than 100 lbs. in the group. We would watch with jaws dropped as she did dance moves on the football field, realizing her talent did not come from me (she’s an awesome dancer). Our Laura, she’s great at whatever she sets her mind to, I look very forward to seeing where her great gifts lead her in life. Cheering to… Whatever she grasps onto to she gives 200% and shines, just as she did with cheering!

What I took away from her years of cheering, other than great mom pride was, “say hey.” It seems when you cheer, along with dance or whatever public performances you need to learn how to smile. We all grew up being told to say, “cheese.” Think about it really though, look in a mirror, does that bring your desired smile? Well if not, say, “hey” it works! I learned it years ago when Laura was in High School and that being the dawn of the Facebook era, it’s brought me through hundreds if not thousands of selfies and photo ops.

At The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens today, I ended up with a different/new assignment. I tend to spend my mornings greeting buses filled with beautiful kiddos, that I did do. My afternoons I work a ‘cart’ interpreting information to guests, in hopes of teaching them a thing or two that they didn’t know before they visited us. This afternoon there was a last minute sick call and I was asked to assist with the Giraffe Feeding.

I was delighted, excited, intimidated yet quite happy with this new challenge. I’m always up for a new experience. I encouraged adults and children alike as I handed them their carrots, “don’t be afraid, they are docile gentle animals.” Knowing full well, I personally have no fear of giraffes.

Truth is my son Wil collected giraffes and had a African/Giraffe themed bedroom through High School years. Because of Wil I’ve always admired their unique beauty. The other truth is, as I’ve taken friends and family to the zoo, I always urged them to feed the giraffes. How can you pass up an up close and personal animal encounter. Creation at it’s finest, closest and real. It’s always very special. Yet as for me, I’d never fed the giraffes.
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Getting through the afternoon and thousands of carrots later, things slowed down and visitors dissipated… The kind ladies I was working with found out I had never actually fed a giraffe encouraged me that I should have the experience in which I was selling. Therefore I gave it a try.
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It was a very good and lucky day for us because not only “daddy” who always shows to dine, but “mama & baby” came down as well. It was one of those WOW moments that we always hope for for our guests at the zoo. I tentatively faced each of the creatures of this fantastic family and fed them carrots, with the baby being through the fence since he’s a short little guy, only 12 feet or so. Their purple tongues gracefully grabbed each little orange stick out of my hand and I was thrilled, not being able to get enough of that cute baby (that happens to look just like Sophie the giraffe that Siah and Vivi had as the cutest baby toy).
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I was such a pro by now, my comrades and I agreed that this was good enough for a new FB profile pic. So the pros at this have a trick, it’s what we have all the guest do, you feed the long necked guys backwards to get a great shot of them and yourself. Great idea and all, but when you do that, you really can’t see what’s coming. And said giraffe, they can, it’s a carrot and they see it and they want it, so they snatch it. Bam. I’d yet to feel the sensation of the giraffe tongue at this point, even though I had described it to guests, I was not quite ready for my photo op when he got me and this is a true blue classic shot of a wild animal encounter sensation and fear. I couldn’t help but crack up when I saw it.
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Therefore the need to know when to say, “hey” for our photo opportunities. These are so much better don’t you think? But as we are all wanting it to kept real on FB . Yes 99.9% of my photos, I am saying, “hey”, today I got caught looking what I normally look like!
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A couple Giraffe facts:
If a giraffe is 18 feet tall, his tongue is 18 inches long, if they are 12 feet tall, 12 inches long and so on…

Giraffes tongues are purplish black and that is an adaptation to protect them from the sun because they are always out eating leaves and such (carrots at TLD).

A baby giraffe is six feet tall when it is born and our baby here turns one year old this Saturday!

Warmly & God Bless,
~ Leila the not so brave

I love how he sticks by his mama.

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It’s a Zoo out there, for real.

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As the first group of the 363 school children that were set to arrive this morning stepped off the bus and I was directed (my very first real day) to lead them up the path and on into The Living Desert, my heart leapt to my throat. I was working hard to hold back the tears that were coming right along with the emotion that I felt. “I’m this fortunate, I really get to do this, it’s really happening.”

After 10 weeks of education on all things desert from; the amazing plant life, to rock hard geology, the magical desert oasis, to the tiniest of critters those bugs, to birds, ecology, North America to Africa, to learning the skills of interpretation and all those fantastic animals in-between, I am a certified docent at The Living Desert and I could not be more thrilled.

I questioned over and over if I was doing the right thing with my time, I’ve never been very good at understanding conservation efforts and am not the best fit for a learning environment. I’ve always wondered how it was I actually made it through school with an actual diploma. A book learner I am not. Also my heart has always been and will always beat the strongest for underprivileged children.

Bill and I’s very last trip, before we decided we were going to REALLY move to the desert, we visited The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. I said to him that day, “I wonder if they have a volunteer program?” I was stuck, the beauty and peace of this corner of creation did something to my spirit. I felt drawn to dig deeper, so I did. I barely made it in applying only two days before the cutoff date for the year and having no idea if I’d make it through the interview process. Thankfully they are pretty accepting and delighted to have just about anyone help do the job of sharing this place with others.

I was most certainly the shy girl in class, once again feeling that new kid in town vulnerability that I did at 15 years of age in Napa, something I really never recovered from. (Seriously what is it about flipping High School?) Never raising my hand, rarely asking a question knowing I was with, retired teaches, flight attendants, lawyers, a semiconductor designer/engineer, a broadcaster, deputy sheriff… basically 16 brainiacs who love and know a lot about the desert outdoors. Come to find out, they are a group of amazing people and after several weeks of shyness I was urged to come out of my shell and enjoy and absorb it all to the fullest. So I did. Thank God.

The 2015 Docent Graduating Class, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that remembers everyone’s name. (:

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You see, we moved here because Bill and I both are obsessed with being outside. We are not outdoor enthusiast/sporty type people in any way shape or form (henceforth the lack of fitting in in Bend) but we will do all we can, at all times to be out of doors. Quickly into my docent training I realized, this is a job outside in the amazing beauty of creation, there are exotic animals surrounding and I get to guide people around and answer questions about it all. For years now I’ve told my husband I need to work at an information booth because I love giving people helpful guidance and understanding. This zoo thing is a hysterically perfect fit for me!

The Grevy’s Zebra. Yep, they are endangered. How’d you like to wake up one day and find your species being wiped out?

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Then there was the day I did my first test/presentation. As I was setting up to present to my peers and share with them what I had learned about Endangered Species, before the 16 of them arrived, up the path I could hear the very loud and joyful chatter of a classroom of children. They walked right up to me and their teacher prompted them to ask what I was there to talk about. I melted like butter and the heart in the throat, it began this very moment. I realized, there was a hand in this fit, that was so much greater than I ever even thought possible.

Bill and I literally fell madly, passionately and deeply in love serving in Mexicali Mexico for a week doing mission/humanitarian work. We were on separate teams and as the group reconvened in the evenings we would share with one another the things about these beautifully brown-skinned children that we fell in love with each day. We’d argue over who had the cuter little girl in their group and share the joys of what loving on these kids did to our souls. It was an extremely rich week camping in the middle of an enormous dirty desert field and having no showers to cleanse that dust. We were hooked, we loved each other by the end of it and we’d gained a tenderness for Mexico that’s never departed and more specifically for its children. Every time we’ve visited since I’m not sure what we’ve enjoyed more, gazing at the beautiful ocean or loving on the beautiful little faces that are filled big huge eyes of hope.

It dawned on me that day, with those 26 first graders, as I did all I could to make their day a wee bit more special, “oh my gosh, I get to do this, this perfectly fabulous place is daily filled with Mexican school children.”

I was bursting today. As my leader asked which area I’d like to be posted in throughout the day I emphatically told her, “I will do anything you want, I’ll learn any area you need help, but please in the morning, can I please be on the team that meets the buses?” Even as I write this I am so overcome with joy, I am so incredibly thankful for this time in my life. Here I was so afraid of doing something that wasn’t making the difference in the life of a human in anyway. I’ve now come to realize that loving my classmates, knowing them and just being their friend is a priceless touch. I know that because they’ve done it for me. And these children, just wow, they make it so easy.

The Living Desert Zoo is filled with hundreds of animals that are adapted for the desert, they are beautiful and each unique and special in their very own way. We have a plethora of Endangered Species that I would personally love to share with you and why this matters. There are gardens galore that are full of plants that’ve helped us live since the dawn of time.

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If you ever visit, take the time to interact with the docents, your experience will be 100 times richer for it. There is more education that you could ever want to learn available and you might be surprised by some of it. I urge my guests to look up, look around and breathe it in. I do it every day that I am there, never wanting to take for granted this wonderful opportunity.

Again, I am now an official Certified Docent at The Living Desert and I praise the creator for the beauty of this unique part of his creation. I humbly thank Him, that I am a lucky one, I get to love on people and children every single day that I am there and share with them what a Fossa actually is.

As I said, that heart for underprivileged children, it’s been there a very long time, it’s 29 years now since Bill & I fell in love in Mexicali. Then I went and read this book, yes it messed me up, in a good way. It solidified that heart for the children of this world, they matter, they matter so very much.

I consider it a great blessing that I get to touch a few once a week in a crazy beautiful place.

January 6th

Yep, this one is a true brag.

I’ve an offspring who’s not fond of people knowing when his birthday is. I’m confident that the whole bashfulness about the thing is much my fault. Unfortunately when your day of birth falls on January 6, your celebrations as a child can be a bit lack-luster. I really did make an effort to do birthday honor but with post-holiday everything, it was often somewhat of a challenge.

Because of this reserved birthday attitude, I really can’t write on his FB wall or even tag him in this post, because then it would be out, the date of his birth revealed for all the world to know.

At the same time, when your first born son turns 30 years old, your heart does a large amount of flip-flopping, pondering, remembering and surging with pride and such. And since I can’t be with said son to celebrate the move on from his 20s and into the day that marks three decades of life, a blog post it is.

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As you can see this son was an adorable little boy, he shined with skill of organization and intent for life from the time he was two. Yes two and it has yet to wither. From the lined up EVERYTHING running through our flat to the mind that always needed to know, “what are we doing next” it’s no surprise this son of mine has accomplished so much in the few years of adulthood that he’s had. He’s been my go to when I need help coordinating just about anything there is and he was that kid who wanted to learn how to do everything, always.

I guess that’s how you buy one of these off of Craigslist:

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and make this out of it:

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And since they’ve now outgrown this one, he is currently refurbishing a vintage trailer he bought for something like $250.

This young son met a very bright and cute girl he liked when he was 13, patiently waited till he was 18 to date her. I’m sure he always new this beauty was the woman of his dreams. It’s amazing actually, they are such the prefect match, complimenting one another so well and as a young married couple, now they’ve been kindreds over half their life times. I personally think that’s very cool.

Senior Picture, too cute.

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This son has a tremendous commitment to his family, all of it and it’s a big one. Between his dad, I and his in-laws, he has five siblings, six siblings-in-law, three sets of grandparents to his own children and and 11 nieces and nephews. He makes a conscious effort to devote time to all of them.  As a mom, I have heard him tell his siblings face to face, knowing he means it from the bottom of his being, “I’m always here for you.” I’ve witnessed that promise out loud in his life over and over.

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I secretly want to talk about this son’s accomplishments, I know he’s going to be a bit bothered by this blog because he is truly humble. But this guy, he is so amazing. A mom should be able to say, right?! It’s not simply the leadership all through High School, the participation in Band, the playing piano by ear, the Jazz drummer, the choir singer, the wakeboarder and boat driver, the faithful long distance friend, the youngest Starbucks manager at the time, the young homeowner, the guy who went back to school to pursue a dream, working the awful hours that the food industry brings and making the plans and taking the leap of faith and beginning a business of his own (that’s a success already after just one year of operation.) He is genuinely gifted and talented in a bazillion areas and I’m crazy proud.

Yet above that, it’s this man’s integrity that touches me the most. The words I’ve heard him speak, the life I’ve watched him lead, the people I see him touch, the conviction he has on running a small business, the private acts of kindness I’ve witnessed him practice, the commitments I’ve watched him keep, the aid I’ve seen him bring, the love I’ve felt him share, the thoughts I’ve heard him contribute. This son of mine is a man of true integrity and I’ve been blessed to observe him grow and grow more deeply in that each year of his life.

This is my son Wil. He’s 30. Isn’t he handsome! He such a good, good guy. I’m so delighted that I get to me his mom he makes my heart swell with great pride.

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And this is his beautiful family, they are wonderfully adorable and fantastic!

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Happy Birthday son, I love you so very much.

~ Mom

AS…

As 2014 rolls into 2015 I am so hesitant to write on my blog; two reasons mainly:

My stalker has found my blog, adding a new post will cause her to respond by sending hate mail to my loved one, telling my loved one what a stuck up, selfish, snob I am. I have to remind myself exactly what I tell my loved one, “she’s mean and her hate makes no sense, she should be ignored.” Sheesh… if she only knew… Second, when I am inspired to write/share my heart often it’s because I am feeling the depths of the weight that life can bring and I’m desiring to express that. How un-fun is that for a New Years Eve post.

I am thankful beyond reason that I am no longer struggling with loneliness, because of where life had brought us to in Bend it was basically eating me alive. A new start and second chance was deeply longed for and I am humbled by the friendship and beauty that is being found here already.

At the same time there are things that cause a heavy heart that seems impenertable. Christmas was quite a challenge for me personally in almost every way shape and form.

A broken relationship that needs time together to heal didn’t happen simply due to circumstances beyond my control. Facebook, the ultimate of Christmas letters and all it shares and tells, seeing the perceived perfection in so many lives and wondering why is yours so hard and painful, where did I go so wrong? (I am guessing my own Facebook brings much the same message, one of the main reasons I’ve decided to go ahead and write this post) The inability to be with all of your loved ones at one time and the impossible attempt to balance that and deeply questioning if your choices are right because of those you hurt by not having the time with them you had hoped for. The pain of experiencing someone who’s life is filled with loneliness and uncertainty, isolating themselves even more when they are with you simply because they just can’t do it. The anger and misunderstanding of how incredibly hard it is to heal a shattered spirit and life. The awareness of how choices that you have made in order to help heal your personal self have hurt others and caused pain and rifts that only bring shame and confusion. The consuming fear for the choices loved ones make and if it will cause lives to become even more of a challenge. The mind that sometimes allows that fear to take control and imagine outcomes that you know you can’t bear.

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Last Night, I’d had enough. This battle of sadness in my head, the weight of worry on my soul. I got face down on my knees, a supremely better place to be than on Facebook and asked God for help. Don’t get me wrong, this is something I do always, last night, I simply felt a deep need to share with Him “I can’t take anymore right now.” and “Please Help.” The crazy thing about my personal faith is that ‘magic power’ it is so real. I am not one who tries to explain or even understands all the pain and suffering in this world, it is a bit big for my finite mind. I do know throughout the history of the world as we know it the cry for help to the Lord God is real and oftentimes we are met with a low whisper or even the silence of a lightened and uplifted spirit. That is what happened to me, my burdened soul was lifted and my load made a bit lighter, for this I am thankful.

The truth is all of the brokenness remains the same. Yet it’s a New Day even a New Year for crying out loud. I know better than anyone how great the true possibility for healing, hope and change is. In this moment, I am choosing to plant here and move forward in a mental state that realizes the good so much more than the bad.

For Christmas I had almost all of our children here in our beautiful new home. For Christmas I had all four of my grandchildren together for the first time ever. For Christmas Eve I shared Tamales, Margaritas, Cigars (well not me) and great conversation with my family. For Christmas I was given a gift so meaningful from my husband that I cried. For Christmas I had the most meaningful coffee date in my life with my daughter. For Christmas I was able to care for my Penny and Jack for 24 hours straight and strengthen my Nonahood with them. For Christmas I was reminded of the Christ Child and all He means to mankind.

I could go on and on, the blessings in life outweigh the broken by a thousandfold. I’m not exactly sure why I allow the sadness to devour. Sometimes I just do.

For New Years Bill and I have been graciously invited out to dinner with our neighbors, they are the sweetest guys who keep reaching out to us, what a gift. They are new here too and are fearless in sharing, “we need new friends too.” It is quite wonderful!

I wish you ALL, a New Year that is entirely HAPPIER than the last and in the places that it is not and may feel broken and painful, I wish you the strength to grow in understanding and love. Cheers to more TRUTH, BEAUTY, MEANING, PURPOSE AND LOVE that knows LIMITLESS boundaries.

And in the words of the great prophet Stevie Wonder (okay maybe not a prophet but what a great man he is and so filled with understanding of it all) where I stole the title for this post:

“We all know, sometimes life’s hates and troubles,
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space.
But you can bet your life, times that and twice its double,
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed.

So make sure when you say you’re in it, but not of it,
You’re not helpin’ to make this Earth a place sometimes called Hell.
Change your words, into truths, and then change that truth into love,
And maybe our children’s grandchildren and their great grandchildren will tell.”

Just listen, you wont be sorry.

AS

Love and God Bless

~ Leila

These last four weeks

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I don’t even know if I can express the last four weeks of my life. The change of direction and place, has been quite phenomenal and I want to touch on that; yet first let me say, “these last four weeks I’ve had the blessing of being with each of my kids and their loved ones (sans Claire) and what a gift that is. Not the sans Claire part.. Everyone in this immediate family knows Claire, you can’t not know her grace, beauty and lighthearted spirit. What a gift she is to this family and our son Michael, there could be not better mate for him and we are so thankful for her commitment to him, her own family and work (the only reasons we’ve missed her these last four weeks.)

The gift, my goodness our children. At the depths of my heart I am two things, a wife and a mom. Then these kids of mine they went and added Nona, who could ever imagine the great gift in that.

We made a life change four weeks back, a big one, a somewhat secret one. Not purposefully secret but the year before I had shared so much, too much. Then life, it fell apart and it fell hard, it all changed and got redirected. How do you share that stuff via social media? Some do and I respect and honor that, for me, I don’t, it’s simply too big. So this time, we kinda hid.

Truth is, we moved, a really big move this time. We moved a business, a home, we left our beloved friends and family and we made a huge life change. Crazy thing is, we are thankful, we are happy, we are smiling and we pinch ourselves daily realizing we really are here. If there was one word that could describe where we are as a person or couple, it’d be humbled. We are in a place, climate, home that we dreamt about, that we know we do not deserve in any way shape or form. The simple truth is Bill and I have been scheming, planning, trying to figure how to relocate from Central Oregon for years, to here specifically (the desert) for the last 2 years and by golly we did it and we are thankful, it was time.

Back to those kids and the last four weeks. All of our life we have been floored at the children that God blessed us with. Their gifts, talents, goodness, spirit and thoughtfulness are beyond measure. We have had each of them (again sans our treasured Claire) in our presence over the last four week period I am blown away, thankful and humbled that they are ours’.

From the honor to say, “you are moving I/we want to come and help”, believe me being in your 50’s this gift is a tremendous help that is inconceivable (there is no joy in unloading a 26′ foot truck on 105* weather) to dinners around a table simply getting to know one another and their new love better, to putting furniture together, to Lego organization that knows no end, to enjoying my new joy (our Zoo) in the 110* weather, to watching an adult child run his business and love on his family simultaneously, to the adoring smile of a baby grand daughter who seems to find joy in everything, to the fascination of a grandson finding his confidence in Nona and Poppa’s pool, to playing ‘farm animals’ at least 40 times, to snuggles with a new born grandson who’s seeing this world a bit clearer each day, to a son in law who flies in late at night to catch a mere three hours with us to share catch up and enjoy the company of one another, to a son who balances his genius and helping solve our work i.t. issues and follow the lead of a ‘boss’, to a young mommy who magically balances baking tarts for a wedding feast and nursing a wee one, to a daughter who is gifted beyond measure and shares her heart that knows no end to compassion and truth, to a daughter that has new dreams and hopes and is forging a path that is her own, to an italian dinner enjoyed because we simply love great food and wine, to a heart that is filled beyond measure of a woman that is a wife and a mom first but is trying to find her place, her purpose on this planet as life moves forward. Then in the middle of all of this there was the blast of driving up to SF for 24 hours and going to my first SF Giants game at the new stadium and having the funnest evening ever with the baby bro and his gal, good grief what fun!!

I guess I’m just thankful and I want to share that. I’ve (we’ve) definitively chosen to move on because we know our kids (grown as they are) lives are not ours to live. At the same time, it may not be apparent about us but the truth is our family is our everything. It’s what God has gifted us with and we are so thankful and blessed by who these (once were our own wee children) people who are turning out to be. Time with them is precious, so precious. I wish I could describe it here in words, it’s so much in my heart, again I am thankful. I love my children and I am incredibly grateful that in the last four weeks I got to see, know and touch, almost, each of them face to face. They are a priceless gift. I love you hwml and those that are yours’, thank your for the time you’ve given to your mom and your dad Bill. In all honestly we are so very thankful for it. You are my glory, my crown, my foundation and honor.  The time we’ve had with each of you is truly treasured, not taken for granted and we see each of you as a unique and special gift. And we miss our grandchildren more than words can even express, what incredible little souls each of them are.

I know you all think your grandkids are the cutest, sorry to burst your bubble but truth is mine are even cuter.

So back to that new life.. yes, we’ve a new home, a new place, are learning to make new friends and are enjoying this blessing. Of course y’all are welcome to visit us here, we promise to share all we have and are with you. Truth is, it’s not a bad place at all, we were pretty dang picky in our choosing of where life should be lived next.

As for me, I need to finally get unpacked, organized and settled. I need to feed this dreamer’s (Bill’s) needs and find the balance of peace, purpose, truth, beauty and meaning in this new place. A challenge to achieve, an adventure behold and a great man to love. Good Lord I am so beyond blessed, truthfully and sincerely I get that.

life

I don’t even have a picture or a purpose. All I’ve got is to say, “I’m laying in a hotel bed tonight,in a new town, a new place, that tomorrow becomes my home.”

The thoughts swirl to no end. I’ve visited this place so many times on vacation; is this it? Is this the place? Where we plant? For this next unpredictable season of our lives?

Social Media, its an odd thing. I feel so close to so many, yet so far away from those that I am logistically the closest to. If you are offended that we’ve left Central Oregon without forewarning, I sincerely apologize. At the same time… If you knew us well enough, you should’ve known this was coming. Enough said on that.

Life, it’s been more than most could ever ask or imagine the last year or two. We’ve encountered more than we ever thought we could handle and very honestly, maybe have not have handled so well, on so many levels. Simply put, it’s been hard and quite often sad. It’s time for change and by golly we have done it. I was surrprised at how few people commented on ‘the truth and/or reality’ of our move (to those of you that did, THANK YOU, SINCERELY, for taking the second to recognize a life changing event.) It’s bigger than you can comprehend till you do it yourself, but in all honestly. I am flipping excited.

Through a series of events, Bill and I have been through the pressing mill and back and have made a conscious decision to change the course, direction and place of our lives. We have made poor choices and decisions in the last few years, its beyond humbling and painful and we are slowing working our way through and (hopefully) out of that. The truth is we love loving; our children, our family, the broken, the hurting, the impoverished, the immigrant, the lost… Oh how we hate hate. For some obscure reason we’ve needed a new start and tomorrow we enter into that with sincere hope of finding a place of peace and time to bless whoever walks across or into our doors.

I guess I’m simply trying to say’ “If you’ve a need to escape, we’d like to offer you us, our home, our life for a few days, to rest, rejoice, recuperate, whatever. We’ve been beyond blessed and its our sincere desire to love and bless our friends, family, loved ones and whoever truly is brought into our lives.” As Bill said to me earlier tonight, “I want everyone I know, to know, they are welcome at our home, always.”

I get that this is silly emotional/moved away talk. At the same time, it is so not that. You go through a hardened journey of three to four years of really complexing and hard things and you do grow and learn, that’s simple truth and life. Honestly it’s what we have walked. Therefore this push of, “please consider our desert home for your retreat” ’tis entirely sincere.

I have to end this calling out two ladies who’ve rallied me personally though this, both without even knowing it. One, I’m not even connected to on Social Media, but what and who she’s been to me is priceless. I only hope to be more like her as I grow older in life and stop being the pathetic “debby downer” that I’ve become. She’s embodies to learn to look to the BRIGHT side in life, oh how I desire to be that person. Second, she’s forgiven me like no other. I’m simply blown away at the grace of this individual, we were given something priceless and in my simple immaturity I gave it up. I think maybe, I’ve never been more sorry. Hoping for a flower out of mud.

I really don’t even know if this blog has any purpose, beauty, truth or meaning (which is the desire I have for everyone’s life whom I love.) Its just me saying, ” wow, I just did something crazy big.”

Oh and P.S. truth be told……..
My husband, he’s an incredible crazy dreamer; I on the other hand am the doer, I’m a realist who gets things done quite well. Therefore these life changes, they take a bit of time and effort to be done right and well. (o:

Forgiveness

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My goodness, has it really been February since my last post? Where did life go? You need purpose I said, you’ve too much time, you need to live your passion… I went and got myself a second part time job and, whoosh! Life’s been busy and full, AND I love working hard and my new job but that’s not what this post is about.

I’ve been personally dealing with a thing over the last couple of years that is simply the second most hurtful thing I’ve ever dealt with in my entire life. There’s no need to go into details, the need is to say the hurt was caused by me. I made a choice, decision, change of direction that I agonized over for months in my decision making process, because I knew the result would hurt a large handful of people I respected incredibly and a few I loved quite a lot, I knew it would hurt them deeply, really deeply.

Sadly I did it, made the choice to walk away and in turn made the choice to hurt, knowing full well it would. The last two years I’ve lived in questioning myself, my choice, my actions and in almost constant shame for hurting others. Life, it can be so filled with decisions that seem so easy and flippant, but when we think of the ramifications of our selfish acts and the others involved, it’s not easy at all. Wrong choices, mistakes, judgements and separation happens. It’s the truth of relationship and personal choices and convictions, as much as we want, none of us are able to live like Jesus. He, He’s the best.

I’m sitting on my porch, two years later from my choice, two years of pruning, growing, learning, finding peace and recently I have experienced forgiveness. This was meant to be a simple copy and paste of a forgiveness quote on my FB page, but then when I researched quotes… I found they are almost entirely about the forgiver, about forgiving when it’s not deserved, forgive but by golly don’t forget, forgive and free yourself and on and on. I was hoping to find something about what it means to be to be forgiven and I found nothing. What a perfect example of who we are as people; “look at me, I’ve forgiven when it’s not deserved, wow me, it was hard yet I did it!”

I in no way mean to discount the forgiver, that’s the entire reason I am writing this, to honor them. It’s that I was surprised, how little there was on the impact of being forgiven. It’s a big thing, like a huge thing. It brings a trepidatious joy of moving forward, past your shame and grief. I suppose it’s what all the quotes are about. Forgiving, really forgiving, choosing to love, forget, move on and accept it is quite a noble and lovely thing. To be on the receiving end, honestly it’s awesome.

What I’d like to say is being the recipient of that; it’s mind blowing, it’s humbling, it fills my heart with things I’ve been afraid to open up to for a couple years. It makes me think of the song Happy, it makes me secretly feel that way, in an inside private place. I am incredibly grateful for the undeserved forgiveness that I have received. Not just from Jesus, His is the biggest but from people here on this earth, that I have hurt, wounded and damaged. I am so sorry and your grace is appreciated and embraced.

 

I did find a couple quotes I liked a lot even though they were not quite what I was looking for.

This one, I feel it’s what my forgiver did for me:

“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time-just like it does for you and me.” – Sara Paddison

 

This one, it’s what I’ve always known and now again seen in my forgiver:

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This one, it’s why I’m humbled, I’m slowly getting this. I am very thankful:

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It may seem crazy what I’m about to say……. Can’t nothing bring me down.

well sorry for the ad…

 

And if by chance you are reading AP, this one is for you. “I am sorry, I am thankful and your forgiveness, that I’m not even sure I’ve asked for is appreciated. Please forgive me.”

I may not have time for an email, but you’ve inspired me to write. xo