One of the greatest gifts I feel like God has given me over the past few months is this renewed ability find humor in the everyday and beauty at surprising intervals. In the first few weeks following my discovery of the betrayal, I had those crushing moments and days where I wondered if I would ever be happy again. Lately, I have found my eyes and soul open and vulnerable, which has allowed me to see, hear, and feel more acutely, both in grief and beauty.
A few weeks ago, I stood at my kitchen at nearly midnight getting ready to finish shampooing my carpets (a monthly process in a home with 2 boys, 2 large dogs, and 2 cats). I had just made up a batch of carpet shampoo from some Pinterest recipe. I had run upstairs to grab my machine and stood in the kitchen looking at something on my phone when suddenly there is a loud “pop” and I found myself showered in bubbles. Looking around my kitchen there were bubbles dangling from the ceiling, the television, a framed picture and myself. Apparently, my homemade shampoo and continued to bubble up after I put the lid on until the pressure caused an eruption. My first instinct was to cry in annoyance knowing that more time had just been added to my day before I could curl up in bed. Then suddenly I found myself laughing this deep belly laugh over the humor of standing in my kitchen at midnight covered in bubbles.
Before the boys came home from Ethiopia, I used to enjoy sewing. After jumping off the high dive into parenting 4 & 5-year-old boys, I was just happy if I got laundry done and the kitchen cleaned. Now that they are older and help around the house and are more self-sufficient, I have begun doing things I enjoy again. One morning in May, I woke up and knew I wanted to start creating beautiful things again and I decided to start by making a baby quilt for my very first niece. For the past 6 weeks, I have been spending free moments listening to audio books and sewing. I finished it last week and I love it more than I imagined. This week the quilt will make a journey to the Midwest awaiting the arrival of its’ owner. Next up, aprons for a tribe of amazing women who have held me up during this time!
One of my favorite workout programs is this funny one called, “Sh’Bam” by Les Mills. It is just a mixture of dancing to different songs. For those of you that know me, you might remember that my dancing skills leave something to be desired. Someone recently compared it to Elaine on Seinfeld, which, admittedly, I had to look up. So, this program, allows me to perfect my dancing moves in the privacy of my home. However, lately my newly found dancing skills like to just randomly appear, most notably when our ER ambulance phone rings with “Danger Zone”. So, yes, that crazy nurse dancing to “Danger Zone” in the middle of the ER is me…I apologize for the traumatizing image.
Just two days ago, Bolt and I were driving home from Karate when I we passed some green hydrangea flowers. I began talking to Bolt about how, in a few weeks, those flowers would turn purple or blue or pink or white, dependent on the variety and the acidity of the soil. He began peppering me with questions and then started asking if unusual colors were possible. Suddenly, red and blue flashed in my rearview mirror and I pulled to the side of the road and a police officer pulled up behind me. Apparently, in my discussion over hydrangeas, I had not been paying attention to my speed. As we sat there waiting for the officer to run my information, I felt myself becoming overwhelmed and then upset as hydrangeas were the featured flower at my wedding. I began to feel the familiar anger with my ex-husband emerge as I thought how he had stolen my love for those flowers (and how, obviously, he would somehow be responsible for my ticket). Then, I looked up out of my car window, and right in front of me were a group of hydrangeas in full bloom and in my favorite periwinkle color. I looked at the blooms and began laughing hysterically at the irony. When I finished laughing, I looked at the flowers again and realized, they are still one of my favorite flowers, despite the painful association. The officer came back to my car and gave me a warning, and I drove home thinking about the comedy of the whole situation
When I was in the “depths of despair” (to quote my favorite heroine, Anne Shirley), grief threatened to steal my joy. It has been a conscious process on my part to not constantly wallow in pity, but to embrace the entire rainbow of my emotional healing. God has been faithful to provide opportunities for me to grieve, but also for me to experience laughter and joy and beauty again.