Posts Tagged "family"

IMG_7496 1

I Carry Her Heart With Me

Ten months ago I made a mad rush north to Nashville to visit my great-grandmother, after receiving the news that she may only have days or hours left. She was turning 99, and I was honored and heartbroken to hold her hand and tell her I love her. I was also overwhelmed and joyful that she didn’t pass away. In fact, she seemed to have the life breathed into her with all of her family surrounding her. Two weeks ago I went north to Nashville to teach oil classes and sneak in some time with my aunt and my Granny again. I walked into her room, tried my best to wake her, and finally admitted that after nearly 100 years of living, she’s allowed to sleep through visitors. So, I anointed her hands with rose oil, curled up next to her, and I whispered that I loved her. She raised…

Read More

And It Shall Be Known As The Big Chill

We met and connected instantly with the Paul family and the Mattern family back at Wide Sky Days in September. Justin and I invited them to join us in January in the Keys. We weren’t sure it would come together (because how often do such things ever pan out with three busy lives?), but it did. It may have taken us 3 hours to decide but our time together came to be known as #thebigchill13. (You can see all the photos on Instagram with that tag). I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is to call these families our friends, to see our kids connect, and to have so much fun. So different in so many ways, so very much the same, all with a total love and appreciation for one another. The sheer amount of laughter, depth, fun, and support we shared with these incredible people is…

Read More

There and Back Again {A Tale of Thanksgiving and Spiritual Failure}

We just arrived home from a 9 day trip back to Las Vegas. Let me warn you now, this post may be long, meandering, and senseless to anyone but me while I try to make sense of the many things going on in my head and my heart. {I’m also going to talk somewhat candidly here and do so mindfully and in my never-freaking-ending practice to keep my focus on my own heart, without projecting or losing sight of my own accountability. None of this is “about” anyone, hold my experience with Life and how the hell we make sense of the seemingly senseless hurt it can deliver.} Ascending on my hometown Feeling more like a visitor this time {than the escapee of before} I haven’t missed this place Haven’t missed “home” Although I know that’s not the story for all Those were the words I quickly penned as our…

Read More

Being Compassionate Toward Others {Not To Be Confused with a Doormat}

I have been dealing with a family that I assumed was normal and was trying to be compassionate with. It turns out they are sociopaths with no conscience. How can we be compassionate without being taken advantage of? – A Facebook Sistah Ah, boundaries come to mind first. Compassionate doesn’t mean sacrificial. Compassion includes yourself. It means seeing beneath another person’s behaviors to the pain or fear or (tragic) attempts to meet their needs. It means choosing to see them with empathy, to understand what brought them to this place. And sometimes it means compassionately saying “no” or “I love you and I’m not okay with this” or stepping away, removing yourself from something that is hurting you or others. Even “sociopaths” are human beings with a long history of hurt or fear and no other tools, still doing the best they can, even if that’s not very wonderful at…

Read More

Anxiety, Overwhelm, Sorrow :: And All I Heard Was Love

It’s Sunday evening and my spirit feels spent but at peace. It started Thursday, as we were driving the 5th wheel through the hills of Tennessee, reaching Knoxville during rush hour traffic, when the engine began to struggle for the power to pull 16,000 lbs up the steep incline. We were on our way to surprise our family, who was gathering in Nashville to celebrate six generations, and my heart wanted to be there, not broke down in the parking lot of a Toys R Us. It started there, but it didn’t stop there. Our weekend looked a little like this: Stress: The feeling when you send the truck up the hill on not much more than prayers. Anxiety: What creeps in when you almost don’t make. Frustration: When it’s 6:20 but everything closes at 6pm and you realize you’ll be sleeping in the parking lot right in front of…

Read More

Being Organic Around Conventional Wisdom

For me personally, and I’m sure for some of you, one of the biggest challenges of Being Organic, of being authentic and true to your values and desires always, was stepping into a space that felt as though it challenged those values. I felt a lot of fear, as though I was stepping out on my own, rejecting the people I loved, rejecting the world…but also fear that they would in turn reject me. Think I was crazy. Think I thought they were crazy. I also felt a deep passion, a desire to share what was changing my life for the better, a desire to hang onto what I’ve found and a fear of losing it. I felt this conflict within myself when I moved toward holistic health: It seemed as though I had found something that made so much sense to me…but very few were interested. How do I…

Read More

Odessa, Texas – My Father’s Hometown

I wasn’t really sure why I added #8: Visit my father’s hometown, until we were actually pulling closer to Odessa, Texas. It had always been he and my brother who spoke about visiting. But as we were driving down the 20 it suddenly became very clear. There were quite a few gaps in our relationship, some as wide as three years of silence. Others were smaller, missing pieces that you only come to miss when someone’s gone. It is the history, the connection to his past that I crave. Based on what he spoke about I know exactly four things about his childhood: That any good dentist could tell where he was raised, because the water there was known for the stains on his teeth. That he moved away from his hometown and to Las Vegas when he was about 12 or 13. That he developed diabetes when he was…

Read More

Nashville Nostalgia

We’ve been here in Nashville, staying with my aunt and visiting with my great-grandma, for a few weeks now. Shortly after we arrived my aunt had the idea of guilting sweet-talking my mom and step-dad into a visit. Mentioning their grandson always works well. They came for the 4th of July weekend and we spent the time chatting, eating, playing, swimming and tourist-ing. It was good to see them again, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be for Zeb. He came to eat with everyone Saturday night but sat with his head down for only a few minutes before retreating again. When I went to find him he was curled up on the couch. I’ve found my role in these moments tends to follow the same pattern: 1) Help him articulate the feelings he’s experiencing and 2) Listen and validate his experience. This time it looked a little…

Read More

A Goodbye Party

Another big round of goodbyes yesterday. My mom threw us a Bon Voyage party and it was wonderful to spend the day with family and friends (especially when the Life Learners hang out late, as we always do). There were so many hiccups in the plans, it began to feel as if it simply weren’t going to happen. But I managed to only need one deep breath before I could let go of the expectations of perfection. Family in the hospital, sick babies and plenty of rain. But it was all so great to eat (the coolest cake ever!) and chat and take photos with the people we love. Photo Credit: Sara Janssen My parents gifted Justin with a GPS! He is super excited and has loved directing me to every location we already know. It’s going to be very helpful in finding nearby Chinese restaurants when we need a…

Read More

Bittersweet Thursday

We said our first round of goodbyes today. One of my closest friends is also the mom of one of Zeb’s closest friends and when we went to pick Zeb up from their sleepover, we did our best to say goodbye to Elizabeth before she heads out of town tomorrow. She was one of the first real-life unschooling moms I met and her gentle, affirming interactions with her son helped propel my embrace of unschooling. She is an amazing, open and authentic person and her approach to life is so mindful and inspiring. She is always the person I call when I need someone to truly hear me but she has an amazing way of helping me see things clearer, as well. Never judgmental, always thoughtful and always in my heart. I love you, Elizabeth. Then we got news that Zeb’s very best friend won’t be able to see Zeb…

Read More