It’s spring break here in Wilmington and we’re entering week three (year-round schedule). Though I always dread the first few days of our routine change - the boys bickering over games, taking turns, and having constant "fairness" disputes - by the end we’re in sync, and I hate to send them back to class.
This time, the transition looks different. As our kids hit the books, my husband and I will slip away to celebrate our first ten years together. A gaggle of incoming family will be in charge at the Gemelli house so that a couple of tired parents can find rest under a palm tree or two.
Like many of you, the majority of my time is spent as mom, wife, and whatever else is asked of me. Over the years, it’s been easy to lose sight of the simple woman I’ve always been - a daydreaming daughter of God, enthralled with the dialed-down, simple life that used to come naturally.
Returning to her is a purposeful practice that I’ve adopted over the years. As I pack my suitcase and envision my impending escape from responsibility, I remember the words of April Lakata Cao. Her wind-through-the-hair reminder is one that I come back to time and time again. It's about the little things imprinted in our memories, the smells, the freedom, the mistakes, and living to the full.
Here’s hoping that you’ll be inspired to spend time with the you who gets lost in the shuffle too.
Light up the room,
When I was nineteen I had a jacked-up Jeep with big tires. I bought it that way, trading in my sensible, tan, automatic Corolla for a stick-shift Wrangler. To this day I don’t know what possessed me, but I drove that green monster off the lot, lurching and stalling along the way. (Did I mention I had no idea how to drive a stick?)
I never made it home. I ran out of gas on a hill and panicked when I couldn’t figure out how to stop from rolling backwards.
How often do we climb a mountain only to forget where we came from?
For a new job. To be noticed. For the next stage of life. On the healing. For the apology. A thank you. For finances to fall in line. The pregnancy. On a new season. For the much needed break.
Over the past few weeks, there's been a particularly feminine focus here at the Pearl (sorry Charlie). These recent messages are in direct response to the stories of women who've recently participated in our local workshops and other community events. If you, too, share some of these struggles, be inspired. You're not alone.
There was this thing I was supposed to do years ago. I lost sleep over it, tossing and turning. You know those God-prompts that only come when He finally pins you beneath the covers, a captive audience? I argued. I diverted. I didn't want to draw any attention to myself or invite judgment with this writing-about-hard-things stuff. Counseling behind closed doors was plenty for me!
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.
Moses and I would have gotten along just fine. My mostly-introverted self could be content wandering the desert, "watering flocks." I know many of you wish that you could disappear amidst the sand dunes every once in a while too. I hear you loud and clear when you say that you want to get away, but there's just one problem...
Women (and men) of grit and grace,
I went and did it - looked not good enough in its ugly, lying face and submitted this article to Kelly Balarie's #FearFightingBook contest. It's my prayer that you, too, will be inspired to clobber any fear that lingers in your life.
If my words are an encouragement to you, I humbly ask that you'd vote for my submission. It's easy! Just click the button below and leave this number in the comment box at the bottom of the page:
Also, take some time to visit other entries. You'll be blessed by some great writers. Because of your vote, I could win the opportunity to learn how to improve every resource and word offered to you here at the Gritty Pearl.
With gratitude and truly nothing to lose,
She bought the bathing suit, but hid under t-shirts.
She knew the answer, but couldn’t speak the words.
She took the blame to get it over with.
She had a question, but didn’t risk the attention.
She tried the new thing, but made sure nobody was watching.
She dated the guy and sold herself short.
She made the friend but held her at a distance.
She changed herself when the world wouldn't change.
She hid. She shrunk. She conceded.
Invisible is always safer than the fear of being abandoned, attacked, or ignored...
until it costs a woman her soul.
It's been one of "those" - a no good, rotten week for creativity. So like a toddler having a tantrum, I broke up with my true love, Writing, again. We made it an entire 24-hours apart until there I was, habitually sliding into my desk chair with a cup of coffee in hand. The pain of our separation was forgotten and no necessary apologies were needed. We're like that, writing and me.
They stood within arms reach of one another, notes barreling from the core of shared experience. The music was their connection but their stories were the intimate bond. No words could explain the abuse each had endured and few were necessary to describe their faith. Sometimes all it takes is a look, a recognition in the eyes of another. The meaning behind the melody steals the spotlight.
"I used to sing like I knew 'what' I was doing, now I sing like I know 'why'..."
I can't tell you the number of years I've charged into the New Year like a sprinter at the Olympics. Metaphorically of course, my top running speed isn't so impressive. I was certain that I'd accomplish every single goal written on those typed, double-spaced pieces of paper. Examples:
In the 90s, the music we listened to was a mixed bag. I was in high school. There was grunge, country, boy bands, and teen pop stars. Does LFO, 98 Degrees, or Green Day bring back any memories? There was a group that always seemed to shift my perspective when I listened to them. One of the lines of their songs said,
“Meet me in outer space. We could spend the night, watch the earth come up.”*
It's anniversary week at The Gritty Pearl! One year ago and with trembling fingers, I pressed "post" for the very first time. It was a nerve wracking experience, but one I don't regret for a second. Anytime we put ourselves "out there" for any reason, it's accompanied by a whirlwind of emotions. It's truly been a busy, wonderful year.
Crossfitter. Back-Packer. Mother of two.
Kind and full of GRIT.
Please welcome guest blogger, Lisa Doyle, to the Gritty Pearl this week!
Last week, my life went off the rails.
There was a lot of cheating, lying, and the finality of my signature on a divorce agreement. Stamped and filed, it's on the docket to change my life forever. A dear friend texted me before I headed downtown with my soon-to-be-ex that morning, knowing the kind of pain I was walking into. She told me to pick a breath prayer and sent a verse.
M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy. Earns Crossfit participation trophies. Disaster cook. Enthusiastic wife. #Boymom. Clutches her faith, not her pearls.