Introspective Insights

Introspective - adj: Examining sensory and perceptual experiences. Insight - n: The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation.

Papers and Pens and Journals, Oh My!

Office supplies…the mere mention brings a dreamy smile to my face while visions of brightly colored, sparkly gel pens float in my head. Memories of the smell of sharpies…the crisp feeling of paper in my hand. The rich, musky smell of a leather bound journal. My adhesive in hand, my reflection mirrored back in the silver paper trimmer. Ahhhh…what else is there in life?

Even more wonderful – the feeling of cracking open a hard bound book for the first time. I sometimes wonder if they make books extra crispy for me! Or better yet, the feeling of a paperback held firmly in my hand as I devour the pages.

It is ironic that the paper and pen medium appeals to me so much. I probably have about 20 journals, of which I’ve written in maybe 5 or 6. But I keep buying them. I just can’t help myself. My latest purchase was a red leather one with a heart embossed on the front. I was captivated by the thick scent beckoning me from under the plastic wrapping…it was more expensive than the others, but I kept coming back to show my affection. In the end it enticed me by wearing its heart on its sleeve. I was consumed! OK, OK, I’m not completely obsessed, it actually is in use – my husband and I write love notes back and forth in it. Sometimes I just pick it up and pet its beautiful, embossed cover. You little rascal, I hear you calling me now! Perhaps you will get your wish my pretty – hubby deserves a love note today.

Back to the irony – it is ironic how I really believe I will write in the journals – that I will use that new pen that feels so perfect in my hand and glides so effortlessly over the pages, but alas, both collect dust. Instead I’m here in cyberspace. Clicking away on my keyboard in a relatively sterile smelling office (where is that coffee candle when I need it?) with the shadow of an overflowing pencil cup in my peripheral vision. Here is where I can share my thoughts…here is where I can scrupulously edit each sentence with the miracle of spell and grammar check. Here is where I can make that font LARGER! Who could have dreamed of such perfection? Typing almost as quickly as the thoughts go through my head…fingers perched on the home keys…the white glow of the monitor warming my heart. I guess it is official…I’m a geek…I’m a blogger now…I’ve moved to the next dimension. At least for now…

Oh maybe tomorrow that cute little white joural with the purple flower on it will have its day, the purple gel pen patiently waiting by its side. Maybe the 5 books I’m in the process of reading will experience the joy of living their purpose – being read by a person instead of rotting in a drawer! But for now I continue to type…or maybe it’s off to Amazon where I can browse the books, quietly clicking to turn the pages.

The Sound of Silence
It is not often when you have a small child that you can truly envelop yourself in silence. Yet today is one of those rare moments when my husband is not home and my daughter is asleep. Ironically still is that there are no environmental sounds – the soft thud, thud of the dryer, the swish and drain of the dishwasher…nothing. The only sound I hear is the occasional soft, sweet sighs of Kayla as she drifts deeper into sleep. How sweet and calming this is. It used to be that I wouldn’t let myself enjoy such a peaceful moment. Shouldn’t I be doing something? Cleaning, ironing, washing dishes, making a neglected phone call, emailing pictures, sending invitations. No…not tonight. Tonight I’m quiet…at least for now. Listening. God has given me this moment to hear him and I’m listening for the still, small voice.

Have you heard God talking? Have you listened for that voice? Maybe you expected something else…something loud and dramatic. That is what the world wants us to think. The loudest voice drowns out all others – the biggest, flashiest object gets our attention. But is that what we really want to have? Is that really what we need?

We were recently at Disney World and I remember thinking in amazement that a vacation here is the highlight of many people’s year. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing – it was enjoyable to be there and there was much fun to be had. But I was thinking of people that obsess about being there, that this place is the one bright spot for them to look forward to. It is as if for some people the fantasy land that exists there is preferred over what real life is. Somehow this struck me as sad. We are so wrapped up in what we see and can feel and touch and experience that we sell ourselves out for created treasures rather than unseen treasures that only God can give us.

What are those treasures? What about freedom from worry or fear, a mind at rest, peaceful sleep, hope in all things, joy in all circumstances. As you seek to know who God is personally (not through the eyes of others) these things will come.

I looked at the people around us thinking of the motto of Disney World, “Where Dreams Come True.” What is your dream? For a child maybe it does involve meeting their favorite character at Disney. But as an adult, my dream is to leave a legacy of love and respect to my children – for them to know that the ultimate dream and fantasy is not Cinderella’s Castle, but the streets of gold in heaven. For them to experience the treasures of knowing who God really is.

So for now I’m listening…listening for the purpose that God has put me here. Listening for the dreams I have to come true with his help. Silently embracing the treasures he has given me.

Pure Joy
I was reminded today of how important reflections on the simple things in life are to keeping our joy. My daughter was running through the house with the pure expression of boundless joy on her face screaming “I’m gonna get you Daddy!” The simplest joy – being able to run and jump can somehow put a tiring, draining day into perspective. This is what matters…not the time spent working on someone else’s problems. It is in the everyday, simple moments where the true meaning of life is found. In the quietness of a peaceful home with little feet pattering…with the soft sound of “love you, Mama.”

Maybe you don’t have children…it never seemed like something you could do. Yeah, I was there once too – only imagining the hassles, the change that seemed too overwhelming to embrace. Then one day she was here…I was confused and tired, like any new mother, overwhelmed to the pit of exhaustion wondering what I had done. And then one day, she looked at me through her tears as if to say, “are you my Mama?” And I looked back through my own and realized that yes, I was her Mama and that an extension of my heart and soul was in my arms. I could feel and touch this wonderful new life and nothing could ever change that – nothing else mattered.

Life isn’t always those meaningful, earthshattering moments and being a Mom isn’t always a trascending experience. But I will never change the feeling of little tiny arms hugging me or seeing her effervescent, smiling face running towards me with her arms stretched wide.

Today was not what I wanted, not what I aspired to, not what I wished it to be…but the short, sweet time spent with my girl is what I needed. May your joy be found in the quiet observations of everyday moments.

Introspective Insights

adj : examining own sensory and perceptual experiences

n. The capacity to discern the true nature of a situation; penetration.
The act or outcome of grasping the inward or hidden nature of things or of perceiving in an intuitive manner.