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Jun 12, 2015

A Perfectly Ordinary Day at the Park

Sunlight frolics through the leaves, chasing the shadows on the pavement.  The breeze slows and the dance changes, becomes graceful and fluid.

Mourning doves coo a soft melody against the lyrical rustling of the leaves.

Kids beckon their mothers, "Look at me, Mommy!" and "Mommy, look over here!".  Moms respond with waves and affirming smiles.  Their gazes linger sometimes as they seem to try, as I so often do, to memorize the sunlight kissing their children's faces, illuminating their twinkling eyes and their wide toothy grins and their dirty skinned-up knees.  

Girls cartwheel.  Boys race.  Gnats annoy.  Sunshine warms.  Clouds roll.

It's a perfectly ordinary day the park, one that will surely fade from memory as these drowsy meandering youthful days filled with sweaty hair plastered to chubby red cheeks and bike rides, turn into hurried days filled with crammed schedules and teenage angst, when there just isn't time enough for one last ride down the slide.

This perfect, ordinary summer day surely won't be one that lingers in my children's memories as they grow and get busy with life.  But I pray that this perfect, ordinary summer day takes up residence in mine.

Jun 9, 2015

Where My Treasure Is

It's June.  Wait.  What?  How did that happen?  My blog has once again fallen victim to the villainous traps of the hustle and the bustle.

Thoughts and ideas and inspirations have been stacking up in my brain lately, each waiting their turn to be organized and assembled and written down.  It looks like a midday line at the DMV up there! I have a few minutes today, so I thought it wise to get one out that has been lingering up there awhile.

Work and relationships.  

My job has always been a struggle for me.  I spent the years before we had kids loathing my position.  Commercial real estate is absurdly boring to me. And I foolishly saw my job as a partner's secretary as demeaning and beneath me as a bright, collage-educated woman.  I looked for other jobs, but none came to fruition.  I finally figured that God must want me there, so I stayed and wrestled with my pride.  I have always been grateful for the blessings my job has brought to me and to our family, but to say that it has been a lesson in humility is a grotesque understatement.

When our kids came along, everything changed.  I no longer sought purpose and self-definition from my job because I found both in the brilliant blue eyes of my babies.  Paradigm shift!  I began looking at my role at the office differently.  I saw myself as a nurturer and that spilled over into my work.  I'm good at taking care of people and now I pride myself at doing just that.  The title of secretary is no longer something I scoff at.  It's just another way to serve.

Now I don't always do it with a smile on my face.  I lament.  A lot.  Taking care of demanding grown men is much more frustrating than caring for children because these grown men have so few redeeming qualities.  :)  They don't have sweet angel faces that make you feel guilty for losing your cool.  They don't say they're sorry when they hurt your feelings or push your buttons or ask too much.

But I love them anyway.  

Because I've never accepted the "business is business" rule. My relationship with my boss is the longest and most difficult relationship I've ever had with a man.  I adore him.  He's family to me.  Over these fifteen years we've shared many personal moments, like when his father died, when my grandparents died, when he had a very scary health crisis at the office, when he's shared things with me about his family, when we've laughed so hard we've cried, to name a few.  And in these moments I have caught glimpses of him as a man.  Not the boss or the businessman or the high-powered executive, but stripped down to what we all are when the titles and wealth can't help us.

Our most humble human selves.  

It's these moments that have fostered a place in my heart for this man who I have admittedly cursed as often as I have praised.  He's a tough man to love, but I love him nonetheless.

One of the hardest things for me to reconcile is the knowledge that my feelings are not reciprocated.  I know he cares for me like a sister.  He's told me as much many times.  But I'm under no delusion that he wouldn't fire me if it were best for business.  For him ambition and business reign supreme.  It's how he lives his life.  I get that.  I in no way agree with it, but I guess that's why I'm not a powerful millionaire.

My relationships are my treasure.  

They keep me going.  The fill me up and make me whole.  They make me who I am.  Sure I would love to vacation in Scotland and Greece and Africa, to travel the world in comfort, to give my children those experiences.  But my focus is on the stripped down soul inside.  When I stand before God at the end of this journey, in the place where we can't hide behind money and beauty and titles and power, it's my love and my relationships that I will offer as evidence that maybe I understood what it was all about.  And I want my kids to learn by example that our lives and the people who are placed there are deeper and more beautiful and more important than any business deal or bank account could ever hope to be.

And maybe, when I'm in that place and God sees where my treasure truly lies, he'll overlook all of the cursing.  :)