For Example…

I have realized that no one knows what I’m asking for when I say,  “Send me your stories!”   In an effort to help encourage my readers to submit I have asked a few friends to submit “sample stories”.  These ‘samples’ are actual submissions, but they are on this page for the purpose of giving you an idea of what you might send in.  I hope these are helpful, and I am grateful to my friends who are willing to help me out with this!

Texas Flood

submitted by Hana

“I’ve been reading a lot of books lately. Books on financial peace, spiritual peace, peace in your marriage and in your home. I’ve even stopped fighting my personal demons because, well, it might be easier to just make peace with them and fold the laundry.

As a young mother of two little boys I sometimes look at myself in the mirror and remember being three sizes smaller, having great clothes, great hair and wondering where the girl who got so excited about any outing has gone. Now I see t-shirts covered in paint and baby spit-up and really can’t remember the last time my hair was done. My once sizzling and sordid romance with a mysterious guitar player has slowly found its way into what I can only assume to be the “rut” married people always talk about. And the conflict of re-joining the work force or staying home with my children and dirty dishes has become a daily struggle.

I had hoped being a wife and a mother would be like reading the pages of Mothering Magazine; sort of peaceful and wonderful and full of great clothes and alternative choices. I find, instead, that my patience level was NOWHERE near where it needs to be to embark on this adventure as my dreams of Pulitzers and Grammies are having to not just be put on hold but more or less hung up on.

So, as I’m thinking about all this peace, which seems so unattainable -especially in the ridiculous Texas heat- my good friend, Keely, calls and asks for a positive story about something going on in my life. I’ve been reading about the Dalai Lama and Dave Ramsey and The (stupid) Secret for weeks, years even. I’ve been working on learning about positive energy and positive thinking but when called upon for some sort of insight into the blessings I currently have I am a writer lost for words.

Let the soul searching begin.

I spend the rest of that day making dinner, putting kids to bed, and not having any adult time with my husband, the usual. Climbing into bed I wonder how all the mothers before me have managed to keep any shred of identity or sanity, for that matter. I begin feeling even more frustrated since my boys sleep in the same bed as my husband and myself. I wonder why I allowed myself to be sucked into attachment parenting since now I don’t even have my own space to fall asleep in. Then Keely’s request and my response wriggle their way back into my mind and as I say my prayers I find myself asking Heavenly Father to soften my heart so that, maybe, I can stop being a little brat and start being a better woman. And, as an aside, that is how I speak to God.

If you’ve ever lived in Texas you know that we have AMAZING thunderstorms. If you know me you know I love thunderstorms. You’d also know that I forget this during the unbearable heat of August because by that point there hasn’t been rain for months and months.

At about five am I begin to have dreams like we’re being bombed. Imagine WWII England. As I am pulled out of sleep and into consciousness I get the distinct impression that we’re not being bombed but are experiencing, as we Texans call it, severe weather. My husband wakes up with the next crash and asks me when the last time I’d heard anything like that was. A few seconds later there is yet another burst of energy right over our roof so loud and so exquisite the painting above our bed falls off the wall and the windows rattle. With lightning exploding all around our little house I heard the sound of those heavy sheets of rain that come with storms like these. My husband’s big, beautiful hand found mine and I realized, with a certain quiet satisfaction, that all my babies were safe and here. Cuddling out the storm with me. The babies didn’t wake up but I thought about how one day I’d have to wonder where they were while it was raining. Being so depended on would only be for a short time in comparison to our whole lives. They were and are the boys who will one day be men and the man who has become such a part of me. As my husband whispered that he loved me I found myself feeling the thing I’d been longing for and looking for. Peace.

I remembered that all the opportunities for service and inspiration, all the joy and the passion, and all the learning I needed were in this moment. I wasn’t thinking about the clothes I couldn’t afford to buy or fit into even if I were to buy them. I forgot about the struggle for money and greatness. It was gone, even for a moment. So I squeezed my husband’s hand, told him how much I loved him and cuddled up to my youngest boy letting the sounds of rain and winds rock me back to sleep.

The next morning I found my energy and spirits renewed. The love for my husband and children seemed revitalized and the gratitude for the many blessing I have became more prominent throughout the day. I’ve known for a long time that sometimes you have to be word specific in prayer. That it is sometimes not enough to ask for what you need you must sometimes ask for the wisdom or the compassion to receive it when it is offered.”

Wildflower Moments

submitted by Mikaela

“Someone once said, “the lights of the city are the stars on the ground.”  Sometimes I catch myself getting frustrated with the prosaicism of the every day, of the neighbors’ porch lights ruining my view of the stars.  Of the hum of the florescent lights in the library.  Of headlights heading to work, then home, then work, then home.  Of streetlights making sedate and measured pools of arthropoda insecta lepidoptera infested orange.

I recently read a Charlotte Bronte poem Amaree gave me years ago.  Beautiful.  Mysterious.  Redemptive.  I remembered when I was lost.  I remember feeling redeemed.  Wildflowers redeem the hothouse world from all its sins.  As a child I waited, breathless, every spring for the blue bonnets.  Now I wait breathless for wildflower moments.  Unexpected turns.  New friends.  The unfolding intricacies of culture–wherever I am.  A husband waiting for me at the end of work to whisk me away to the Blue Ridge Parkway–so we can look at the stars from a place where light pollution doesn’t exist–for ten minutes before we wind our way back home for another night of homework and cleaning. From the Blue Ridge Parkway a rising breeze reminds me that lives change under the hum of library stars, and poets walk under those orange pools.  And even moths are beautiful up close.  Perhaps the stars I can’t see from my porch are reminding me of the neighbors I haven’t made friends of yet.

My 9 to 5’s are redeemed by wildflower moments.”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mikaela
    Sep 14, 2009 @ 14:04:09

    A. I miss Texas thunderstorms. B. I am currently taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class and it is amazing. C. Hana, you are inspiring!

    Reply

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