The reality is that I am a far cry from being the peaceful soul that I strive for. God made me loud and anxious and full of vibrant life. He made me strong and fearless but with a rambunctious nature. Being still and present, being a good listener with a quiet affect: it is a challenge for me. One of my favorite quotes is by Jack London:
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste me days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
There's a connection, I learned this weekend, between who I WANT to be and who I AM. Embracing who I am, with all of my flaws and inconsistencies, while still soul searching for my potentials and inspirations, is a beautiful and emotional process. I can still be the "superb meteor", an energy so alive and free that I exude that "magnificent glow". But I can learn to draw from a more quiet and peaceful place inside my soul, a place that only God can strengthen and bring forth. I can learn to lead with my faith, to step back and listen rather than jumping ahead at lightening bolt speed. I can evolve into a person who lives big and loud but who does so with the peaceful energy I feel inside my heart.
We left that beautiful retreat center on Sunday with hearts on fire, new affirmations made, a family more solid and connected. When I look at my life and the people I am blessed to be with, I feel grateful and humbled. They ground me, inspire me, and motivate me to continue to fight my way through this life. I feel closer to who I am, who I want to be, who I aspire to grow into. A perfectly imperfect peace loving soul, a loud and colorful warrior who strives to exude peace and humility. With a servant heart, I move forward, ready to use my thoughts and answered prayers, ready to take on the world.
P.S. This photo is one of my favorites. It so perfectly shows the art and beautiful chaos of parenting. Going on a retreat with a gang of babies is not easy but together we made it work. What a blessing these babies all are, what an inspiration it is to see all of this activity!