My Sanctuary Defined…

Writing Prompt: Sanctuary

I have a place I call The Sanctuary. It is a place surrounded by my gardens and shaded by trees I planted – my perfect place; my Eden. I believe everyone should find a sanctuary of their own – a safe place to become the person they are destined to be.

My garden is chaotic and I do little to keep it under control. I plant a flower wherever I find a patch of dirt and I do not have a color scheme, I have hot pinks planted next to orange. I put it in the ground and hope it survives – most make it. It is a miracle it survives. My Sanctuary is that miracle and I feel a connection to the miracle – to the mystery – and it is that connection where I feel safe.

In my Sanctuary I feel safe to write, to journal everyday, sometimes I share the lesson, but mostly it is rambling thoughts, concerns or fears expressed on the page – where it can be picked apart and analyzed. From that a beautiful story will emerge – to replace a haunting memory, a lesson to change my perspective on a circumstance or an incredible insight that could only come from the Spirit. It is a place where I can take a word and ponder on it for a while and give my insight on what the word means to me. The miracle is I have found my voice – and the freedom to express it.

In my Sanctuary I feel safe to express emotions. Safe from the ever-critical eye of the world, I am free to grieve and cry the river of tears I deny myself. I am free to express my anger at the injustice and I am comforted by my surroundings – where the flower nod their heads and the trees shake their branches in agreement. I am free to admit I am afraid and face the fear. The miracle is the emotions are expressed in a controlled environment – a safe place. No longer suppressed, bubbling under the surface.

In my Sanctuary, my friends and family visit and we have special conversations and share secrets, protected under the hush of the breeze passing through the leaves of the trees and the continuous birdsong in the background.

My Sanctuary is a place where I dream and find the courage to become – a gardener, a photographer, a writer, a mentor and a friend – and whatever else I decide to dream up.

My Sanctuary is a holy place – a mysterious and spiritual place. It is a place where I learned to pray – to commune with God. I have been moved to tears by the occurrences of wonder and moments of incredible beauty. All of this in my backyard… A place I deemed as The Sanctuary.

Find a place to be your Sanctuary – and make it holy.

Sanctuary

Saturday

All week-long I have pushed myself to beat the clock. Rushing to get as much done as the hands spin faster and faster. I cannot believe it is the end of July, the end of summer vacation for my southern kids and the end of my 48th year

Time flies at lightening speed. I blink and an hour is gone. I wake up in the morning and it seems in an instant I am back in bed, although 18 hours have passed. Life passes by in a blur – and I spent many years wishing it would slow down. I have recently learned I must be the one to slow down.

Today is Saturday, a day I deem sacred – a day I choose to slow down, athough the world keeps spinning. Early morning coffee in the garden, with my writing – to record the passing of time.  Time to think.  Time to ponder and process the week events.

Time to marvel at the flight of a butterfly and be awe-struck by the majestic presence of an osprey, fishing in the nearby lake.

Time to contemplate. Time to breathe – slowly…

Writing Prompt: Slowly

Slowly
 

Don’t let Fear drive…

The Daily Post Writing Prompt – Drive

We decided that our summer vacation would be Winter Park, Colorado, one of the highest communities in the state.  I love the first reaction the boys had to the Rocky Mountains.  At first the mountains appeared to be mirages on the horizons, barely visible through the misty rain.  The clouds parted as we left Denver and the sun shown on the peaks, revealing patches of snow.  As the men in the car were busy making plans on which mountain peak they would summit, I began to feel that gnawing pang of fear in the pit of my stomach.  I was terrified of heights and I could only imagine what a drive to the summit of one of those mountains would be like.

My men decided on Mount Evans, which boasts the highest paved passenger route in North America at 14130 feet above sea level.  It is just 20 feet higher than the famous Pikes Peak and not nearly as “touristy”.  Fear wanted me to stay home but my love for my family won out and I joined them for this adventure. The drive up the mountain was the most terrifying drive I have ever experienced.  Every hairpin turn looked like we would fall off the mountain, and I prayed feverishly at each one “Please no cars!”   On one of the final turn to the summit we encountered a herd of mountain goats, in the middle of the narrow road and we had to ease the car around them to continue our climb.

MtEvansGoat

Once at the highest point we could go with a car, we exited the car and the boys took off up a trail to take them a hundred feet higher to the summit.  My husband and I felt the full impact of the change in altitude.  I understand the term “breath-taking” for it was – literally.  We made our way to the lookout’s edge and the view was like nothing I have ever experienced.  I was at the same height as a single rain cloud raining somewhere miles away.  I grabbed the rail and braved a glance down to the valley, I could see ant like cars crawling up the road.  I eased back slightly from the rail and returned my gaze upon the view.  My husband put his arm around me and we stood there in awe of the beauty.  It was a beauty that touched my soul and a vision that will forever live in my memory.  I tried to capture the moment with my camera, but it did not do it justice.  The experience is hard to express with a flat picture and even harder still with words.

The drive down was much more bearable.  My fear was under control and I was able to sneak peeks of the panoramic views.  I marvel at how calm I was and I wonder if it was because I survived the drive up.  Whatever the reason, I felt empowered with my fear under control and joined my family in their enthusiasm.

We pulled off to explore an area at a lower elevation and I was able to look up at the summit we just visited.  Looking up at the massive mountain and it’s snow speckled peak gleaming in the sun was an impressive sight, but no comparison to what I experience at the top of it.  Fear can keep me on the sidelines, but my soul longs for the experiences.  Many times I let fear dictate where I am going – but not this time.  This time I did not allow fear to drive.

Prisoner Of Cowardice

Dailypost prompt: Cowardice

I feel the heat in my cheeks and the quickening heart beat. My jaw clenches and the small hairs stand up on my arms and the back of my neck. I stand rooted to the spot, wanting to run yet my feet refuse to move. Denial sets in – this can’t be happening – not to me. Why is it happening to me? Am I being punished? This is usually my first reaction when a “bad” event happens in my life.  I will do anything to not face it.

I was taught God blesses those who are good and punishes those who sin. This is not a blessing – far from it. What did I do to deserve this? Where did I go wrong? What will people say? I must find a way to justify why this has happen to me. It is not my fault. That is it – find someone or something to blame. I am a victim in all of this. Pity is a powerful tool. I cannot be classified as “bad” if I am the victim.

When I am the victim I do not have to do anything. Why should I? I am not to blame. By being a victim I have created roadblock in my journey. I have an excuse for not moving forward. I have also created a shield for future villains; for how would it look if one would do wrong to a victim? I have created a perfect solution to all the problems life has to offer. A safety zone all wrapped up in being a victim. I do not have to do anything because I am a victim. No one can touch me because I am a victim. I have made myself a nice and tidy prison and fear is the prison guard.

Choosing to stay a victim is an act of cowardice.

This realization was a hard pill for me to swallow. Choosing to stay the victim is allowing fear to dictate my life. I have learned there is only one way to overcome victimization; and it is through forgiveness. The hardest thing I have ever done is face an event and/or person that wronged me and forgive. When I forgive, I release myself from being the victim and take ownership; allowing it to become a part of me, which is more than it being something done to me. If I allow the event or circumstance to become a part of me, I am then able to expand from it or in other words, grow from it. Eventually I am able to move out from under it and eventually I overcame it and I let it go. Or maybe I should say, I am let go from it, free from the prison that it created. This lesson has changed my life and continues to change me for I am still learning. Forgiveness is a huge lesson and it may take my lifetime to learn all it needs to teach me.

Life is not fair and bad things happen to good people. I may not deserve the bad nor do I deserve the good. I believe God does not dish out trials to those who do not live up to a certain standard. Nor do I believe he blesses only those who have acted righteously.   God gives life – it is up to me how I choose to learn from it.

 

 

Desert – the verb

Dailypost – Desert

I have decided to use the daily-prompt to aid with my writer’s block. It is my luck that today’s word is a tough one – a few days ago it was false and yesterday it was glass.

Desert as a noun means a wasteland – or a waterless land. Dry and very little vegetation – or a wilderness. Desert as a verb – means abandon with the intention of never returning.   To fail someone in a time of need

Desert – the verb

I placed a call and the voice on the other end accuses “where have you been? Why has it been so long since I heard from you?” I grip the phone and anger starts to simmer. “I have been busy” I answer between clenched teeth, “The kids, work, the house, everyone wants a piece of me”. I close my eyes and bite my tongue. I want to ask the same questions “Where have you been? Why has it been so long since I heard from you?” She acts wounded and hurt as if I have deserted her. But who deserted whom?

To be in a relationship with her, there is an unwritten contract that states; “You must be the one to contact me, to reach out to me – if you do not fulfill this part of the contract then you will be guilty of desertion”.  I seethe at how unfair this contract is.  In the chaos of my own life with obligations to everyone, my children, my husband and my employer – how they all fill my day as I try to meet their needs. The hours fly by and days blend into each other. When I do have a minute and I dial the phone I am accused of putting her last.

I can’t remember the last time she made the first move – the one to reach out to me. How it would brighten my day if for once she would call and ask “Is there anything I can do, so that we can spend time together?” I believe it would bring tears to my eyes and joy to my worn out soul.

But this is our relationship and it is my duty to keep up my part of the contract.   It is the only relationship we will have – and it is better than no relationship. I will not desert her.