A letter

Posts Tagged ‘Courage’

Thirty-three

In Bloomfield on December 31, 2016 at 7:58 pm

  

Tomorrow I’ll be another year older. Three-hundred and sixty-five days will have passed, and I will get to start again. Sigh. 

I would be lying if I said the past year was easy. If I said it was free from heartbreak. If I said it was free of disappointments, loneliness, anger, and struggle. There were more days than I can count where all I wanted to do was hide and come out again when it was easier—when the road was less rocky. I feel emotional ending this way. I feel fragile looking back.

But, I’d also be lying If I said there were no joys. If there weren’t victories. If there weren’t graces that kissed us. If there weren’t hands that sustained us. If there weren’t three little people that gifted us with uproarious laughter and delight. If there weren’t milestones to be celebrated—mountains we have climbed. If God didn’t give us His gold in Goldie. If there weren’t wildflowers all along the way.

Pain makes beauty more beautiful. It’s the contrast that highlights. It makes me appreciate the treasures, and savor the richness in life. And, it’s in my broken and fragile state where I find myself really leaning on Him. Not able to contribute a thing to His many graces. Not bringing my own mercies to the morning.

Sometimes life is a fight, and the fight is what’s beautiful. It’s beautiful because it’s real. It’s beautiful because it’s not easy. It’s beautiful because it takes courage. It’s beautiful because it’s what we’ve been given. Not something perfect, or flawless, or easy, but something rugged and dangerous and defying. And it’s in this nitty gritty that it’s most beautiful.

If you want to know where to find me this year, it will be here: back up, stabbing at dreams, peeking around corners, daring to fly, out on a limb, standing at the edge of cliffs. And, I’ll be soaring, because there is always a brighter day. And He who holds the future writes a good story with our lives. And one thing I know for sure is that he’s not done writing yet.

The best days are always ahead!

Love, 

Bep

 
  
David gave me this necklace on our anniversary this year. It’s a stirrup. It’s been years since I’ve ridden. Sometimes dreams feel like lifetimes ago. They feel out of reach. This was our reminder to keep dreaming. A symbol of the “better” still ahead. Both old and new. 

When living takes courage.

In Bloomfield on July 29, 2016 at 11:48 am


Certainly odd for me, but I just finished reading my second book on death. I sat alone in a quiet, sleeping house sobbing, barely able to read the last chapter. His (the author’s) story hit me at the core of my being. Maybe because my mom has had two brain surgeries this year. Maybe because we just had a baby, and I can’t imagine a goodbye like that. Maybe because the author that passed was only a year older than David. Maybe because we’ve said two painful goodbyes this year already. Or maybe because life is fragile, laced with unbelievable joys and aching tragedy. But maybe mostly because life is a gift, and I want to keep seeing it that way.

It is easy to forget that life is a gift, especially when it’s hard. I’ve wanted to hide from life many days this year. I hate to even admit it, but it’s true. The urge to crawl back under the sheets has been all to frequent. Life has been hard. I’ve felt so bare. We’ve had conversations, asked the difficult questions, reminded ourselves of God’s goodness and cried bottles full of tears—mainly mine. We’ve thought about giving up on dreams and leaving the mountain climb for something easier. As tears continued to fall the other night, I think what gripped my heart the most was realizing not my fear of death, but my fear of life.

In difficult times it’s not the uncertainty of life that makes it hard to keep going, but its seeming certainty. In the face of hardship, it’s the living of life I fear. I fear that there are too many hard days still in front of me. Grappling with death these past few months, as strange as it may seem, has been freeing. The worry about getting through tomorrow is suddenly relieved when I realize all I’ve been given is today. In facing death or life, I’ve only been given today.

There is a peace in surrendering to life as it is today, even through pain. In beauty or mess, in plenty or lack, in joy or pain, the only thing that is certain is today. I think God told us not to worry about tomorrow to protect our heart in times of trouble—to not worry about bearing the weight we feel today, tomorrow. There are no guarantees. Tomorrows aren’t given to us today.

This man’s courage to live while dying challenged me.  It challenged me to live my todays more fully—more yielded and present. It’s challenged me to soak up baby kisses, savor late-night chats with my hubby after long workdays, and to have too many scoops of ice cream. It’s also given me courage to face challenging days, knowing I only have to tackle today for now. This man’s courage also reminded me of another Man we know, who courageously faced death so we could have a better tomorrow. And, it’s because of Him that we do not have to walk alone.

Love,

Bep


When the grass looks greener.

In New York Summer on July 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm



The boys are at the neighbors and I have a few minutes of quiet on this gorgeous day. It’s been quite a week, as you know. Not sure I’ve ever felt this helpless. It’s been a leaning week—leaning on the faithfulness of Jesus. I guess there isn’t a better spot to be, but it is certainly not the most comfortable. Thankfully God doesn’t always give us what we want. He always gives us better. Our better came in the form of dinner guests. And, let me just say, it was FAR better than the comfort I craved.

We had met this incredible (my-parents-aged) couple a few months back, and after weeks of crazy schedules, we finally found a night to do dinner. This couple moved here about a year ago after acquiring the largest parking garage company in NYC—no small feat, incase you were wondering. To say he is business savvy would be a gross understatement. We told them our story of getting to NY and the insane highs and lows of the last year. He smiled saying he could tell us twenty stories just like the ones we told. He said he’d just tell us one, but we’re so glad he didn’t stop there. He was speaking our language. For several hours he shared story after story of risking all, and sometimes loosing all, only to climb again. They had watched bank accounts dwindle just like we have. They had parallel stories of being down to the wire only to see God come through in miraculous way—except on a much larger scale. They sat across from us beaming, unscathed from the journey, full of faith, cheering us on. He happens to be a professional mountain climber, and has climbed some of the highest mountains in the world. He said when you are close to the peak, you often can’t see it. Sometimes people turn back when they are so close. He told us we just have to be willing to take one step, then one step more.

I lay in bed last night thinking about what I told David earlier this week—that I just wished things were easier. I’d been thinking about how nice it would be to have a steady income and a stable life. I was craving a life with less pressure. But, laying in bed last night I realized I don’t want to live on that side of the fence—that grass isn’t greener for us there. We would be craving adventure, begging God for something more. We would be stagnant—dying inside. We would be laying in bed wishing there was more, not less. Sometimes what we need is courage, not change. I’ve thought I wanted change of scenery, for things to be different. I’ve been wrong. I want to be right where we are, climbing this mountain. I’ve just needed courage to keep climbing. I’ve needed to realize the grass is greenest where he’s led us—right here.

Love you friend,

Bep


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