Listen, Mom

Child of mine, do you realize that I've been listening since I knew of your existence?

I knew you were there by the sheer fact of what you took from me, my very blood which you stock piled for yourself. With every heave of nausea. Lying in bed with daddy asleep while your jellyfish flutters let me know you were still there. When you grew hands and feet and pummeled my insides like you were training for a title match. You stretched me and grew me and pushed me to limits I didn't know existed. Then when you were done with me you broke out and rushed into this world squalling and bloody and needy.

Demanding, so demanding. And forcing me to listen...

Sleepless nights, listening when you cried, listening when you breathed. Listening as you grew and learned to tell me, "No," and "Momma," and "Love you."

Do you know I could pick your cry out from all of the other babies? Your laugh, your hiccup, all unique to you and recognizable to me as your own.

Then school and friends and more listening. And one day you bought into the lie that is crammed down your throat by tv and books and music and peers, that this is how it has to be. This not understanding and not listening to you. You believe them when they say that we can't possibly get along. You wait for that moment when the music gets sappy and we sit on the couch and talk it all out and you get your way.

You don't realize that I've been where you are. That you're more like me than either of us wants to admit. That I'm not trying to get you to see things my way, but His Way. That I haven't stopped living and making mistakes and learning.

And I'm still listening.


Who's the Head Honcho Around Here?

Last night, I was blessedly able to use a gift certificate for a Swedish massage that had been in my possession for almost a year. You know things are hectic in your life when somebody gives you a free massage and you can't make the time to use it...

Anyways, there I was wrapped up in a luxurious robe sipping on cucumber infused water and staring absently into a faux fireplace, with my stomach in knots. I think I may be the only person in this great grand world who gets nervous going to the spa. I'm really such a dork and I know that my appearance is screaming, "She doesn't belong here!" and I run to the bathroom like three times before my session because I'm mortified that I'll have to pee during my massage.

But again, I digress. So here I am with the low lights, the ambient music, the aromatherapy going on and oh so trying to relax. I felt victorious when I caught myself falling asleep, yay! Then at the very end of the sixty minute session, the therapist went to work on my neck.

This professional lifted up my head in her hands and said oh so sweetly, "Now, Ms. Goodman, I really need you to relax..."

But I thought I was and I promise I'm not fighting it, I really want to....

"Take some deep, slow breaths."
"Do you grind your teeth at night?"
"Do you clench your jaw?"
"Are you stressed Ms. Goodman?"

There you have it, hit the nail right on the head. I just returned from a three week cross country trip with my family. Why should I be stressed? I was on vacation! Yet, somewhere on the trip my aunt took me aside and began telling me how she and my late uncle talked about me before he died and how proud they both have been of me and so many beautiful, wonderful, personal things and inside I just broke to pieces.

I forget or maybe just get used to how much I take on myself, and how much is expected of me or perceived to be expected of me and I just put it into gear. After some time that takes its toll on a person and you just have to take a step back and hear what somebody else has to say about the situation. Like my aunt telling me how steadfast I am, and my momma telling me how much she misses me across the miles, and my dad hating to see me leave, the guest speaker saying that I carry a heavy burden, even the massage therapist telling me that I'm stressed and she can literally feel it with her two hands.

When I was a little girl and I would get upset about stuff, my Grandpa would always ask me, "Hey, who's the head honcho around here?" The answer was always the same for me, "You are, Papa!" That was always the reminder I needed to get things back in sight.

Today, I hear my Heavenly Father calling out to me with the same question. The answer remains the same...and once more the realization brings peace.
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