Awake to what I’ve learnt.

 

It’s the last day of the year and gosh!, it seems to gallop into the home straight right after the Easter bunny has made his visit. Time to take stock, I suppose. That’s what everyone does, right?

At the beginning of 2017, the word meant to steer me through all circumstances this year presented, was “Awake”. Awake in everything. Awake to everything. Awake with everyone. It has been, as always, a year of learning. Being “awake” in the ups and in the downs, is not for the faint hearted. That much I’ve come to understand and continue to learn and embrace. As I await confirmation of the word for 2018, I reflect on the year past and what immersing myself into the tender and sometimes rough folds of “awake” has taught me.

awake.jpg

Dr Seuss (in his simple brilliance) says,

dr seuss

“Sometimes you will never know the value of something,until it becomes a memory.”

This is perhaps the biggest lesson I’m taking from 2017 onward into my next. We’re always reminded to make memories or to live in the moment…all good and well. But this leaves me with questions. How do you really make a memory? What does living in the moment actually mean? When do you know that you are making them? How do know that this is the moment you need to remember? Can you have a memory without having had the moment?

I’m learning, the little things are the BIG things. Memories from childhood remind me of that. Running through the sprinklers on the lawn with my brothers as kids…wow! That used to be such fun. I had this yellow bathing suit, looking at old photos tells me I wore that thing way past its expiry date but I have my happiest memories in that somewhat too tight bathing suit. There’re also those other pics. You know those ones in our Christmas outfits. OMG! Did my mom know that decades later it would embarrass the crap outa us when we look at them?

I don’t think we knew we were making memories in those moments.

There’re also those regrets. Those “I should’ve’ or “I wish I” memories. I had ideas of how things were going to turn out but it didn’t always go the way I thought it would. And sometimes I beat myself up over it. Knowing that if I made a different choice in this moment or that one, the endings to certain chapters in my book would be different. But life is life, things will happen how it happens anyway.

Those memories that make you smile when the sun is hidden behind the clouds, are more often the ones we never saw coming.

Asking a random stranger for directions and ending up making lasting connections. Now that’s a memory worth keeping. Watching a plant grow through a crack in the concrete, against all odds. It’s a thing of beauty. A reminder that I too can thrive even in difficult circumstances. Watching your old clothes become ‘new’ to someone who had nothing. Moments that humble you and grow you at the same time. I’ve seen the sunrise over the ocean and setting in the desert. Majestic. But nowadays when I see glimpses of crimson and orange winking at me here in the concrete jungle, it’s a magical sight.

I’ve seen the pride of achievement in my son’s eyes when he aced a test. I tucked that memory away to share with him on the days when he finds it hard to believe in himself. I’ve heard my boys giggle in the bedroom after I’ve punished them for whatever and I smile when I remember my brother and I doing the same thing years ago. Visiting the parental unit, cooking with mom or having coffee on the deck with dad. Priceless moments that I took for granted many years ago. Now I’m just grateful I have opportunity to make memories of it, which I hope to share with my grandkids some day.

I’m learning that maybe the best way of making memories is to truly be. Just be. Awake. Aware. Present. Eyes wide open in every moment. Don’t waste too much time trying to figure it all out because then you’ll forget how to live.

cesare pavese

So, as we get ready to journey into 2018 let’s leave the regrets behind. All the shoulds and coulds. Its unnecessary baggage that will slow us down on the road. Be awake. Be present with the people who are around you. Shine your light in to their lives and allow them to shine their light into yours. Don’t let the moments pass because you imagined something different. God is good and faithful and each moment He gives is filled with so much grace. Stop. Inhale and remember that every breath you take is your moment.

We never know when we’re making memories, after all.

Thank you 2017. And now I claim every good thing 2018 has to offer.

2017 goodbye

LoveLee©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My worship

Oh that I might sing of your greatness but, my vocal chords have yet to learn the notes to aptly describe your excellence.
How do I sing of your mercy that never runs out but instead is renewed with each passing day?

If I had it in my fingers I’d play a piece that speaks of your patience and longsuffering towards me. A sinner – who deserved to die but is given chance after chance by You.

How do I put into words what it means to be loved by Him who with a breath put stars in the sky and with a thought created suns and moons and galaxies innumerable?
He who is well able but chose to send His son to be born in a stable for me…for me.

Oh that I might sing of your power. The magnificance of your hand that when it moves, mountains crumble and seas part.

How do I play a melody that will rightly celebrate your Kingship? A song that will speak of your glory and tell of your grace that draws me into kinship with you. Yes, a joint heir, set apart. You gave me a new name, a new heart.

If I could play the flute I’d play a tune that tries to describe how, just your nearness can calm the storm – how only the mention of your name brings peace.

No, there are no words, no notes, not an instrument good enough to encapsulate the mystery and the beauty and the wonder that is you.
I am that I am. The alpha. The omega. The most high God. Excellent in all your ways. The One who is ever true. 

No, I do not have the vocabulary, so instead I stand and I raise my hands and I cry out with the angels

Holy holy holy
Holy holy holy
Holy holy holy

LoveLee© 07/2015

Godsongs

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. — Psalm 40:3
You were created to worship Him. Made to give Him praise. And how beautiful it is, when it gets hard to sing/play/write/dance/serve or however you define your worship, Father himself puts a new song in your mouth. The message translation calls it a God-song. A melody composed in heaven, that song papaGod was humming when He knit you together at your beginning. Your personal soundtrack.
Life happens, sometimes things fall apart and the darkness overwhelms but we have an escape. When we sing a song of worship, lift our voice in praise to the only One who is worthy, Light floods in. Filters through the darkness and changes circumstances. It changes mindsets. It changes you. When we worship, we invite the very presence of God into our situation. And like Paul and Silas we experience the liberation-deliverance-harmony that His holy presence brings. 
So regardless of your situation today, always have your ear inclined to His heart. Lean into the rhythm of grace. Tune your thoughts to heaven’s melody and tehillah yourself into victory.
LoveLee©

Glowing up

14600 days. 40 years. Snapshots and memorabilia of  4 decades spread on the floor in front of me. What a trip. So many ups, some downs and oh so much learning.

Time to take stock. Unpack, dust off, repolish and throw out. 

Here’s the gray blankie of validation I used to wrap my fear in. How did this tattered and frayed thing ever keep me warm?  I remember the day I packed it away. That’s the time I shed the victim mentality. Refused to give in to self-pity and learnt to let go of those things and people not as deeply commited to my dreams as I am. I learnt to dream again.
Here’s where I was treading water, keeping my head above the waves, learning to float again…same time the scale became a non-factor. That was bliss…Realising I would never weigh up to everyone’s expectations and being okay with it. Cured from the disease to please. I’m so glad I didn’t hold on to the heaviness. An unforgiving heart would’ve drowned me. 
A ticket stub of that trip I took to Self-doubt. Yeah, I way overstayed my welcome there. But I learnt to trust ME again. It was necessary, but it’s time to burn the t-shirt. 
Time to take the mirrors down. Those reflections have proven to be untrue. And it doesn’t matter if they don’t see me, I now look inside to be seen.
I brush the knots of their “nots” out my hair. I trim the edges of those words that, at one time split my heart and head in two. Keep cutting until I’ve shed it all. Down to the root of who I am created to be. 
I carefully fold the good days. Deep conversations over coffee cups, long hugs that made the load easier, receiving bright smiles and getting lost in big eyes. Warm hands on cold days.  These must go in my backpack for the journey ahead.
It’s time for the cremation. Time to burn the unnecessary. I watch it go up in flames, inhale and allow the smoke to burn my lungs one last time. Exhale it all, one last time.
I run myself a bath. It’s time for a cleansing. I immerse myself in the warm waters of forgiveness, acceptance and selfbelieve, cleansing myself of the hype, the misguided believe that I need others’ permisson to be me. And as I come out of the water I breathe, giving myself permission to be free from yesteryear and wholly step into my today…happy birthday Lee-Anne! 

Unsung heroes

 

All this talk about the men who chose to leave,

can we take a minute to appreciate the ones who choose to stay?

The fathers who, if given the option, every day would choose theirs. Regardless of situation or circumstance.

We feel the pain and we rant in anger because that’s what abandonment brings, but the ones who are present, their praises we never sing.

Can we thank the father who is up at dawn, who loves his kids and works his hands to the bone to give them a home?

A round of applause to the daddies who know what it means to be responsible and accountable.

Those who provide and protect, the ones who never make a child feel the sting of resentment or regret.

Say a prayer to heaven and thank God for those who never allowed their own ideas and perceptions to get in the way of giving their own kids more than what they had.

Bravo to the father who grew up fatherless and yet found it within himself to be exactly the kind of dad he never had.

The ones who discipline hard but allow love to soften the edges. The ones who teach and guide, but are humble enough to learn.

Thank you to the father who knows when to say the things that matter…

“I’m sorry.”

“I love you.”

“I’m proud of you.”

Thank you. We see you. We appreciate you.

 

LoveLee© 06/2017

aahMEN

I know I’m a bit late (life and stuff) to jump on this wagon and say NOT all men are trash!

This thing is (or was, I don’t know what’s trending now *don’t judge me*) all the rage on social media. But this is also the topic on the other side of the office right now. I never totally get it when girls talk about how trashy men are. How they’d rather stay single and hustle on their own, because they just don’t have the support from their fathers/brothers/partners. I have to add here that I don’t really go around these circles either, I don’t hang with ladies who sit and trash talk men (or other people). Mainly because I don’t have anything to add and I want to go heaven. I have other creases God is ironing out, I can’t still make it worse.

All my life I’ve been surrounded by good strong men. In my tribe, there is The Dad and three brothers. Add to that uncles and a dozen or so male cousins. Then there are those brotherfriends. Solid individuals who know how to take responsibility, own up when they make mistakes and go to the extreme to protect and nurture their families. And now, I’ve been blessed with manchildren of my own and I consider myself the most fortunate to have a part in their growing up.

I LOVE men. I say this unashamedly, because that is what I was exposed to growing up.

So, allow me to apologize to you, daughter who never had the privilege of knowing a father’s love. You, who never felt safe and protected. You, who were never told you’re beautiful. I’m sorry that you never had a daddy-lap to go to when your heart was breaking when the other girls were mean to you. I’m sorry that he wasn’t there to help you with math or embarrassed you when he dropped you off at the school dance. I’m so sorry that he chose not to be a part of your life.

Lonely girl, I’m so sorry that you never had a relationship with your brother. I’m sorry you didn’t get to experience his idiocy and the teasing and sibling torture. I’m sorry that he wasn’t there to teach how to throw a proper punch. I’m sorry that he was nowhere when you needed someone to stand up for you when that stupid boy was talking trash and trying to tarnish your reputation.

I apologize to you, single mama. I’m sorry that he left. I’m so sorry he wasn’t there when your baby was born. I’m sorry about those sleepless nights when baby was sick and you didn’t have the courage to call him up because your tender heart just wasn’t ready to hear any more harsh words. I’m so sorry that you have to do this on your own.

I’m sorry battered wife. I’m sorry that your husband doesn’t know how to love and cherish you. I’m sorry that his inferiority complex and insecurities makes him chomp away at your selfworth.

I apologize to all of you who have not lived my life. It has not been without it’s installments of pain, but the good far outweighs the not so good. I find myself divorced, single mama and I smile because life is still good and I have fight in me, because of the men I have been gifted with in my life. Not all men are trash!

So, thank you to my first love, my main homie, my heroDAD. He is the standard. Solid, strong, protective, soft and all things Love.

A BIG thank you to my overprotective brothers. Dudes, y’all are lowkey my hero’s. You (no names, coz I’m not looking to start no fights) are my favorite! Thank you for always having my back, for stepping in where the boys are concerned. They think you are the coolest.

Thank you, to my uncles and cousins and friends, who won’t hesitate to “keer die jol om” when I’m hurting or have been hurt. You are the BESTEST!

Thank you to my sons. Wow, what an amazing privilege to watch you two grow and discover manhood. Thank you for teaching me patience and flexibility. May you never grow tired of being curious and excited about life. You give me life. You are awesome!

I have been blessed with the most amazing partner (I think it’s in the name because dude has the same name as my Main Homie). Thank you for loving me in all of my colors. Thank you for standing in the gap when it comes to the lil guys. I’m still in awe of the way you have just welcomed us. You are my favorite human being.

So cheers to all the good men, the here men, the real men. Thank you. We see you.

LoveLee

Good Friday

I know you’d never say but I wonder…what it was like for You on that day.

Creation’s weight on your shoulders. Painfully dragging one foot in front of the other. Blood and tears streaming down your face. All of hell’s demons giving chase.

No affection or applause, tired, naked, stripped of pride as you trod along a road lined with scoffers on each side. 

The jeering, frenzy building but you pressed on without any withholding. All the way to that lonely hill as the sky grew dark and You felt the chill of being locked out and yet to know without a doubt, that…

It would only take one word, and legions of angels would show up in one accord but you chose to stay silent amid the crowd’s violence and all along as they nailed you to that tree you were always thinking of me…always of me.

You were wounded by me, for me. So that I live. So that I’m free. I will never understand how that is right, no matter how hard I might try, 
but had it not been so, 

I don’t know where I would go in the times I need someone to understand what I’m going through when I face rejection in my pursuit to attain perfection. 

I don’t understand why it was You who had to die, I remember the old me and cry because you chose that filth and said “Father not her, here am I” 

So you came from heaven’s glory to rewrite my story. Took on my guilt and shame and gave me a new name and now I’m forever grateful…No longer indebted. Yes, when you cried “it’s finished” the price was paid in full.

LoveLee ©