Beauty In All Things

A single mom loving Jesus and surviving suburbia

Day 31 – Reflections on 31 Days

31 Big ShoesI have loved writing my single mom life for 31 days. I should do this post tomorrow, but tomorrow is halloween and I will post one last fun pic. Here are a few observations….

Observation #1: I should have called it 31 days of my toes. It is still so warm in Southern California that each pick has my toes.

Observation #2: No situation is as depressing as it seems when you have to figure out how to type it up for a blog post and try to give it meaning. To others and yourself.

Observation #3: It is hard to be totally raw and I was surprised at how easy it was to gloss over many of the tough things. I will need to go back and elaborate on some of my posts to share more accurately the raw and real.

Observation #4: I was a little crazy with the feet pictures. Most specifically at Beth Moore and the Airport. 🙂 People must have thought I was crazy.

Observation #5: We are a really, really busy family who does a lot of cool things in October.

Overall, It was so healthy for me to look at my days and see all the ways that God’s hand covers our family. There were fun days and then there were rough days. I realized that my rough days are always filled with some joy. I can choose to look at only the hard parts, but that would be dishonest. It is a lie to label my day without looking at the positive too. Both are evident. Both are worthy of acknowledgement and process. And through it all my kids and I….

 …are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes for the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18

 

Still processing all of this,

alison sig

 

Day 30 – Halloween

IMG_1227Holidays are hard. Many families have two to share the load of the common place of the day and the excitement of day. Halloween for example means that I have to coordinate buying the pumpkins, overseeing the carving, cleaning up the carving roasting the seeds….you get the idea. One great thing after another that is hard to give up. Thanks to a sweet friend, I am happy to say that, Halloween is one holiday that I have finally dialed in. A few years ago she started inviting me to her Halloween party and it has changed our holiday. We gather in the afternoon and all carve our pumpkins together, in community. There are tons of parents to supervise and clean up and manage our brood. She orders pizza and the kids play. At 6 we head out and trick-o-treat all together. Again, tons of parents to manage and coral all our kids. I know they do it for fun, but it ministers to me so greatly. It meets a need for our family in a special and unique way.

Until next year,

alison sig

 

Day 12 – Captivating 2013

thejump

 

 

It is a rarity to actually get away. I have the opportunity about once a year around fall to be gone for a weekend. Last year I was at the Captivating Retreat in Colorado. I traveled with a good friend and had an amazing time away. I posted this when I got back and thought I would repeat it again here. If you look close you can see my shoes. 🙂


 

My hands shook as I stepped out onto the ledge. I looked down through the grate to the ground a hundred feet below….Why am I doing this?…. I clipped in with harnesses fit tight around my legs and shoulders…. Again, why am I doing this?…. I stopped a moment, turned to the young guy holding the lever and begged him to confirm that I was indeed hooked in. He assured me and the floor began to slowly drop. There I was hanging. Suspended far above the canyon. 3-2-1 the latch released and I plummeted.  It felt like a lifetime before the rope caught and I swung out over the ravine. As I swung I shook, scared I would still fall even as the rope held taught. Once the arc of the swing decreased, my body started to relax and I settled into the joy of soaring hundreds of feet above the ground. Knowing I had faced my fear and jumped!

 

For whatever reason I felt compelled to have a physical representation of the emotional and spiritual cliff jumping I have been doing over the last few years. Larry Crab calls it jumping off the cliff of safety into the abyss of rejection and trusting that the “rope” of God will hold you tight before you hit the ground.

 

It was a funny thing to actually jump. First, when I stepped out it seemed like a really BAD idea. My terror was greater than I anticipated. And so it is with most steps in life. It is much easier to stay put. It may not be good, but it is familiar! I know how to navigate my current situation and make it the best it can be. I made my literal jump with a friend. We sat side by side and once we stepped out there was no turning back. Truthfully, I don’t think I could have made it up the stairs to get harnessed in without her. I didn’t need her to do anything. She didn’t hold my hand, she didn’t force me, in fact, she barely spoke. She just walked beside me as I faced my fear. God is so good to put us in community. Sometimes we are called to act or to speak, but sometimes we are called to just walk beside our friend as God does His healing work in her life.

 

Second, it was not instantly fun. Even after the rope caught it took several swings for me to relax. Why is that? I was safe, secure, but the shadow of the fear I had just faced took a moment to vanish in the light of my new reality. That is the thing about facing fear, it takes a little time to get used to our new reality. Our new freedom. Often we have been in darkness and fear for so long it is difficult to embrace the freedom and light Christ offers us.

 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Gal 5:1

 

Third, the jump actually hurt. Later that day large bruises showed up on my arms and legs, tender to the touch. Life is not instantly peachy when we risk and leap where God is calling us. It is messy, painful at times. But it is right where I want to be – trusting God and enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

 

For I know the plans I have for your declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

 

On the Adventure,

alison sig