The Raw Truth

The Raw Truth

We are all unique, each as different as a snowflake or a fingerprint.

Fear, overwhelmed feelings, loss and change rather feed into that old song, “Growing Up is Hard to Do.”

We have all experienced these feelings in different ways. As children, we played, laughed, acted silly, took action, moved and were creative. Children experience genuine enthusiasm for life.

I have asked so many little children over the years (family and friends), ‘what is your favorite subject or thing you do at school?’ The consensus is always the same: ‘playtime’ or ‘recess.’

Why? My thoughts are because they pretended, used their imagination and focused on having fun. They laugh. They smile. They allow themselves to experience real JOY!

I watched a little video recently where they shared if you want to make true change then you have to radically change your focus, body and state of mind. To make no choice at all to create change is still making a choice.

We can make change, we can implement our ideas, we can create, we can imagine and we can grow at any age. Yes, it may be difficult and scary at times. There may always be fear.

Baby steps, however, are doable to move ourselves forward. We don’t all have to be ‘Tigger.’ ‘Pooh’ slowly moves toward his honey, his friends, his little treehouse.

We all want to protect ourselves from hurt and pain. No one wants to feel these hard feelings. But, again, with action (baby steps are GREAT), we can create great change. Instead of emotional arguments, one can have a calm chat about feelings, emotions, changes and loss. It is possible.

Conflict resolution is not overrated. One may experience fear at the mere thought of conflict resolution. Yes, fear is real. Doing something new of any kind: scary.

I wear my sister’s bracelet which reads,”with God all things are possible.” Letting go and letting God is truly a challenge for me. It’s a constant request I have to ask God: ‘Lord, please give me the grace and mercy to let go and let you guide me and let me ‘get out of your way.’ It’s a constant challenge cause my nature is to want to ‘fix things’ and ‘make things better,’ but I’ve realized I have zero control. Acceptance comes into play at this point for sure. The Serenity Prayer is quite handy here indeed.

The raw truth: I’ve felt fear, shame and embarrassment about our immediate family being wired very differently. The ‘naked truth’ hit me very hard years ago. I had complete clarity through the chaos that we simply were not then nor ever going to be a ‘typical ‘ or ‘normal’ family.

I felt like a failure at that moment in life cause things weren’t going as I thought they would go. I let those feelings put tremendous pressure on myself, my husband and our marriage.

Do you want your child to be loved? Does it sound like a ridiculous question? Do you want them to feel connected or are you comfortable with them being ignored, bullied, mistreated? Certainly, we all have the same answer. We’d choose the first option of love, as not only do we love our children, but, we too naturally prefer to be loved and not mistreated (regardless of our age I believe).

Recently, I heard a pastor share a phrase I hadn’t heard in a long while,”Children were to be seen and not heard.” He reflected on periods in history where children received no respect or were enslaved. He also reminded us that Jesus was the one who said, “Let the little children come to me.” He valued children, their innocence and their beautiful ability to love so deeply.

Rach came home from school one day years ago and was a wreck. Someone had put small dead frogs down her shirt and then pushed them into her back. They then pulled her back against the bus seat for them to squish more. She looked horrified and confused. She asked me, quite vehemently, “why would someone do that to me Mommy?” Anyone?

Yes, she (her behavior) can drive us batty at times. We’ve lost our tempers, cried, yelled, sunk into the ‘proverbial hole.’ Then, we remind each other, she didn’t ask for this, any of it. It’s the deck of cards God has dealt her and we now are certain He had a plan. She has worked tirelessly in social skills classes, speech and occupational therapy, play therapy, with the psychologist, with the psychiatrist, with her special needs teachers, to learn the ‘script,’ to get the skills to try to navigate this abstract world in which we live. Rachael just had her BEST IEP ever at age 20. They have a plan for her future. She has a purpose. She has dreams. She has goals. Money and time are still really hard concepts for her to grasp. She is determined. She won’t give up. She has heard all of her life from us that she is by God’s design and God doesn’t make mistakes. I thank you God.

I was asked by a sweet friend to pop into a lovely group of folks who have Alzheimer’s. She wanted me to meet them and consider coming back on another day to do an art lesson with them. I was happy to do so. While I was there, we sang a beautifully inspiring song as a gentleman played the guitar. We did exercises with bean bags and were led by a very positive physical therapist. The sweet lady who created the group (yes, she and several other folks in there did the infamous: ‘Oh, I know Rachael’) read a prayer. I heard, ” focus on God and He will make your troubles lighter and you will feel more JOY.”

The Bible verse in my “Jesus Calling” book says today, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

We’ve had great changes and many challenges the last few years. We’ve certainly been through many tests. My very old James Dobson calendar said recently that marriage is not a 5K, it is a marathon.

I am so incredibly blessed to be on this marathon of life with my phenomenal husband, Richard Lutz, whose heart is filled with so much love and humility.

I am so thankful God gave us our children, each one helping us to become the people that we are today.

Forgiveness is essential. Acceptance is a gift. Courage to move forward with baby steps through trying times is a must.

If you explore, try something and fail, get back up and try again or find your other strengths. We all have them.

If we could ALL choose to experiment with a positive attitude about life and circumstances, how different would our lives be?

Let’s all go do something positive in our world- again, baby steps. Let’s make, create, explore, connect, play, find courage, share love, be bold, experiment. Let’s create a positive wave of God’s love and light that has a ripple effect and unites instead of divides.

A gentleman shared at the group this morning in reference to ‘God is our song’ and if we play His song in our lives then that will bring us peace. May your song of life have a soulful rhythm to it.

We are still works in progress over here as we continue to strive to become the ‘best version of ourselves ‘ as Matthew Kelly would say. Failures will continue and growth will too. We will always keep trying. May God give the strength, courage and grace for us to all accept each other and our differences. May we color our thoughts with JOY!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

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