An Honored & Slightly Exhausted Perspective

So, talk about blogging much… or the lack there of!

Sorry, folks.

There are so many moments that need to be shared, it’s sometimes hard to decide which to dwell on or even if I have it in me to process through it instead of accepting that it happened and continuing on. Lately, I haven’t found time to gather a simple sentence in my brain, much less put down those amazing, extreme, never-the-same-day-twice, life altering moments onto digital paper.

The past few weeks I’ve been running the girl’s house at Danita’s Children. A never ending mix of girls and teenagers and a whole heck of a lot of  hormones – my own included.

And, lucky for me, our girls are amazing.

They’re conscious of God and of others.

It’s an honor to hold the pressure of who these girls are becoming.

I can’t even get into their backgrounds and what they have overcome and how they still smile and press on.

It’s hard sometimes because I do what I can on such a lack of sleep, but wow. Life is very different in the disciplinarian’s shoes. I am good at being the “cool Aunt”. The “responsible, safety conscious, look out for their own future good” one… wow.

Ahh, Girls.

God knew what he was doing.

The worst part is, I see myself – my 12 year-old self, my 16 year-old self, my current self – in all of them.

Which makes the words “just trust me” weigh so much more.

Sigh.

The things that college doesn’t prepare you for…

That being said, and in light of the past few weeks of my life, I would like to state the following:

I get it now. I have had the epiphany of a parent’s perspective.

To every person who has ever has or is parented/ing: Props to you. Major, massive, props to you.

To My Mom: I’m sorry for calling your name or knocking on your door or looking through the crack to see if you were paying attention (or all at the same time) 18,000 times a day, everyday for the better part of about 14 years. I’m sorry for not doing it the first time you asked and for not realizing the extreme amount of strategic effort that it takes to just make a day with children happen from rolling out off the mattress at the sound of an alarm clock to falling back onto it at the bedtime that never seems to come.

To My Middle School Friends: I would like to acknowledge each and every very intense moment of our dramatic 12 year-old lives that we encountered together – boys, cheerleading, the works. Big shocker to us now – it all turned out all right. And when I say alright, of course I mean transitioned from 12 year-old intense moments to 20-something year-old intense moments. Such is life – surely in 20 more years I’ll be writing this same thing about today.

So… it is safe to say that I am now re-living those moments from a different perspective, being re-paid for the ones I thought I got away with and feeling like my mother on so many different occasions that it is scary!

All those parent-isms aren’t just for something to say after all.

From disciplining for things that are hilarious just to prove the principle while trying to keep a straight face, to buying an abundance of chocolate and Oreos when there is rumor of a potential heartbreak, to using the sandwich method at all times (something soft and sweet, then the harsh middle, then something positive again) to dodge any major potential meltdowns. With ages ranging from four to 20, you could get any thing at any time.

As you can imagine, I have found a whole new level of respect (if that is possible) for Brenda, our house mother, and her never ending amount of grace and patience, and a whole new appreciation for moments of silence.

I got to Santiago yesterday to pick up some visitors and the room they put me in is on the inside of a hallway so there are no windows. I’ve never loved a three hour taxi ride more. I literally – literally – walked into the room, put my bag on the foot of the bed, turned off the light and fell fast asleep for the next two hours, in a wonderfully freezing, dark, cave, where you never know exactly what time it is because there are no windows.

Bliss. Pure bliss.

… and if I haven’t said it lately: Thank you to all of you who make this life possible. I may be exhausted, but couldn’t be more content and honored to be living this life.

Quiet Time #ThoughtsOfDad

There are so many memories that live in my soul, and my most cherished are the times with my family before this world expected anything of me.  When I was just a clumsy little hooligan. Most of them take place on our sailboat, a campground, the woods somewhere or a beach house. The one constant in all of my past times is the infamous words from my Dad, claiming that it was, “quiet time”. The sun on it’s way to bed, crazy hair (I’m sure) from whatever the day held, feet hanging off the edge of our O’day, around a camp fire, in the sand, in our back field (or somewhere of this sort) and attempting the impossible task of not speaking while looking up into the black night sky as the stars simultaneously begin to appear – the big/little dipper, O’riens belt, beetle juice (totally not how you spell it, but I thought that’s what it was called when I was little). Quiet time: a moment that I find myself longing for more and more these days, and has left me with a deep love for astronomy.

Among quiet time lives so many moments of waiting for my Dad to get home from work so he could lift me up to touch the ceiling. One time he took me on a date to the circus. I don’t remember the whole day, but remember that I loved it. I also have this vivid memory of getting to ride a pony outside the tent and getting a coloring book.

His presence has always been consistent – whether there was a funny noise under the hood of my first car (or second… or third), learning to change a tire (cus what if no one is around!!), shooting my first gun (I’m a Texan people, don’t hate) in our field, being taught just about everything, or calling my Dad in his office at work to talk me through putting water in a radiator while I’m crying on the side of the road in a different state. Being lost, and a phone conversation that always sounded like some variety of the following – Me: “Dad, I’m lost.” Dad: “Where is the North star?” Me: “Dad! What the heck? I’m driving down the highway and I don’t even know what that looks like. They all look the same.” Dad: “You can always find home from the North star… home is East.” My best friend, Ashli, after I hang up: “Did your Dad try to explain our way with the stars again? “

And when the day came that I decided to move away from home and forge through on my own, and everything in my life was a question – he told me to head out, live the dream, take the road less traveled, make mistakes… and if it all crumbles – call him and come back home.  It is safe to say that because of this man I have never been afraid to conquer my hearts desires, knowing that I could always call my Dad at any random, petty, but “important in the moment” moment that I would certainly encounter along the way… and it would all be okay.

However, no matter how crazy life gets or how far out I venture, I am always taken home when I look at the stars. It has a way of calming the anxiousness of a busy day and always makes me smile… When I gaze into the sky, and all at once feel overwhelmed by the vast amazement of God’s artwork, feel seven years old again, look for Orion’s belt and find “quiet time”.

And to my Dad: In the mists of a crazy life, I am forever grateful that 23 years ago you chose to make me your daughter – a decision that showed me what love really looks like,  how special that I am, the worth that no man can match and that continues to reap fruit as I navigate these years “out and about” on the path less traveled.

Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!