Friday, March 23, 2012

stringing pearls

This week has been...difficult.
I have felt the push and pull of parenting...the stretching and tightening that comes with growing...the painful ache of humility settling into deep what has seemed like every.waking.moment.
It has been tiring, among other things.

Interesting, too, as I consciously started the week with a renewed commitment to mindful and gentle parenting.  My reasons for said resolutions were multitude, many of which I'll have to explore in later posts, but my overreaching desire was to consciously, intentionally, and wholeheartedly be fully present in each moment.

“Respond; don't react. 
Listen; don't talk. 
Think; don't assume.” 
― Raji Lukkoor 

I really thought that mentally preparing for such a mind shift would have won me half the battle.
It appears that I might have been mistaken.

Parenting is weird and wild stuff, I tell you.  It's crazy enough that my sweet love and I could bind together so powerfully and magically that new life spilled forth.  Twice.
And then, that "those so fresh from God, would love us" (Dickens) and we, in turn, would love them...well, it's quite lovely, really.
And even though, at times, love can trump the foulest mood or turn something unbearable into something else entirely, loving is still really hard work.

And you have to get up and do it every day.

So, for me to have this desire to do all of this loving and responding and listening and thinking and to do it while present and aware..well, I feel like I kind of set myself up.
For failure, that is.

But that's okay.  Because I've learned this week that my failings, my weaknesses, my brokenness, even, can be used for good.

Actually, I've seen this week that what I am really doing is stringing pearls.

Miraculously, I have been given this fibrous parenting strand, this "complex of fibers that have been twisted together" and, each day, I pick it up and hold it in my hands.  And as the shafts of sunlight parade across my floor, marking time with shadows and silhouettes, I have a choice.  

Again and again, I am handed moments, wrought from the Source of all time and entrusted to me to round out with my patience, my presence, my personhood.  One at a time, they are gifted to me and, one at a time, I either receive or reject them.  

When I receive these gifts, these moments, they are made complete and they reflect the beauty of their Maker.  And as I hold these lustrous orbs I am reminded that pearls begin first as grains of irritants inside the shells of oysters...and I rejoice that 
pearls are actually shimmering drops of grace
and, thus, 
there is hope yet for me.

And that brokenness that I spoke of...that I experienced with such depth this, too, has a place on this strand.  When I am not able to receive the gift of each moment, when I am closed off or tuned out, or when I flat out reject the opportunity...a knot is formed on the strand instead.  Because nothing goes unnoticed and all of our actions have an equal and opposite reaction..and all of this is reflected on the strand.

So I find myself looking back at my week, at all of the times when I had to make a choice between receiving and rejecting and I pause.  Because although there are a fair amount of knots circling my neck, symbols of my brokenness, my weakness, my failures...they are outnumbered by the pearls. 

So much so that I am literally 

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