Moonrise over New Mexico on our Eastward Journey

I wish everyone could have been with me to see the moon rising large and lovely over the desert of New Mexico this evening. The man on the moon was shining through, and the corner of his smile was a little higher, almost concealing his laughter at being cast in a coral hue. 

It made my heart feel like it might explode and brought a tear to my eye that the universe continues to pour out its wild magic for all of us to see.

Girl



Tonight, this girl said "girl" clear as a bell for the first time in her life! After so many years of speech issues, THIS IS HUGE!! This made me cry. This is a victory.

She didn't even realize she had done it, and when Jake stopped her, she said, "Now don't make me practice saying girl over and over." But that's when we saw the little light where we knew she knew she had it. 

She is quite resistant to change, and right after the "light," she asked, with a little quiver in her voice, "Does this mean I have to start talking right?" The way she speaks is important to her sense of self. For as triumphant as it feels as her parent, it's nice to be reminded that it's still a transition for her. While still acknowledging that sensitivity for her, I can't deny that I am one proud mama.

Credo Statement

Almost three weeks ago was the last meeting in a 6 week course I participated in called Building Your Own Theology. The course was designed as a space for those with a wide variety of beliefs to come together to discuss several common readings and exercises. Throughout the course, we examined our religious and spiritual traditions and where we all were on our journeys. There were Atheists, Agnostics, Christians, Scientologists, New Agers, Humanists, and a few others. It ended up being a lovely community to be part of. At the final meeting, each participant shared a credo statement they'd prepared.

I wrote mine really quickly. I've always had a difficult time trying to put my beliefs in written form. During my last semester of college at Oklahoma City University, I took a course called Literature and Spirituality. One of our assignments was to compose a poem that described our spirituality. What a task then! And what a task now. I went into the BYOT course quite comfortable with what I believe, and I left with those same beliefs, but found a new sense of comfort with how to express them. In all honesty, my beliefs aren't very different from my full-time in-the-thick-of-Mormonism beliefs, but how I describe those beliefs has changed. How I feel and live and acknowledge those beliefs sounds different from the Mormon vocabulary I grew up with, and that evolution of understanding through new descriptions feels better. The words mean more to me. They move me closer to that which I am seeking.

While my personal beliefs run far deeper than the series of words I jotted down, I feel like this is a good summation of where I'm at right now. And I love knowing that there is a fluidity to how I describe my beliefs now versus how I might look at them in the future. There's always a level of difficulty in change, but I'll take the difficulty as it comes because it's a quiet reminder that I am still learning and growing, that I am always becoming.

•••••••
Credo
I grew up in a world where truth was held in the highest esteem - in a church that proclaimed it was the only true church on the earth. I believed it. I defended it. And then one day, after years of trying to fit myself into a box, that claim broke my heart. 

I came to a place where I found peace in knowing less and asking more. I believe in questions more than answers. I live my life in the questions; they drive me forward.

I believe in a universal force. I call that force God. I imagine that force in human form. It is both father and mother to me. 

I believe in gender equity. That stereotypes have negative effects on both men and women, but that women have been getting the short end of the stick for all of history. I’m tired of it. Enough is enough.

I believe in the power of prayer. In focusing intention. 

I believe in a savior. That savior is love. Examples of love are my guiding force. I still obsessively study the life of Jesus. I continue to learn and apply his teachings in my life. 

My path of discipleship is important to me.

I believe in simplicity. In kindness towards all living things. In reciprocity between humanity and the earth. 

I have hope that life continues on in some form after we leave this body behind. I have no idea what that looks like or how it works, but I hope for it just the same. 

I believe in the connectedness of humanity, in working to unite all people regardless of time and space. I believe in the power of relationships, in family, in friends, in traditions and meaningful conversations.

I can only be a force of peace in the world if I have peace within myself. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” 
And with you. 
And you. 
And you.

When weeks feel like eternity. Or something like that.

Sometimes it takes a minute for life to catch up. I feel like I've been working at my new job forever. 3 weeks compared to forever is quite the overstatement, but maybe forever brings with it a certain sense of familiarity. Going from working 20 hours per week to 43.5 hours per week is something I'm still adjusting to. I think having to be at work at 7:30 was the biggest hurdle, only because I really love sleep. Magnolia didn't sleep through the night for 20 months. I feel like I'll be catching up for the rest of my life.

7:30 hasn't been so bad. I'd actually been waking up before my alarm every day until daylight savings happened. That. Hit. Hard. Maybe tomorrow will be a little easier. Have I ever mentioned I hate daylight savings? I do. 

Many things have happened in the last 3 weeks. The first week brought news from Oklahoma. One of our old neighbors on our block in Mesta Park was badly injured in a car accident. She is the glue in her family in so many ways. Another family of Oklahoma friends lost their adult son in an accident at work. They are the sweetest family. They love and care for one another so deeply. The last bit of news we received that week is still news I haven't quite let sink in yet; it makes me so very sad. One of my aunts went in for surgery to have a spot removed from her lungs. When they were able to look closer, they found that that one spot was the largest of many. She has opted out of treatment, hoping to make the most of the rest of her life and time she has with people she loves. I'm glad she feels comfortable and confident in her decision. Even with the love and support I have for her, I'm praying for miracles.

I've been attending a 6-week long course called Building Your Own Theology. Tomorrow is the last night, and it culminates in a reading of each participant's personal credo statement. I've thought about mine, dreamt about it, repeated portions in my head over and over, but I haven't actually written it yet. I'm so good at putting things off. :) 

I started BYOT pretty sure of what I believe, and that hasn't changed, but I've grown so much listening to the stories of others. I've thought a lot about Mormonism. One night we made a collective list of all of the good things we experienced in the religious traditions we grew up in/came from, then we made a list of the good things coming from our current religious experience and compared the two. I didn't know how to succinctly say all of the positive things that are part of me because of my Mormon experience. I did, however, know exactly what to say about the positive thing with where I currently am with my faith community. I won't share it here, but it was an epiphany. I was surprised at how quickly and strongly it came to me. I was glad for that moment of clarity. To me, there isn't a "previous" and a "current" to my experience. My spiritual life is one continuous thread. It doesn't start and stop depending on where I am on Sunday. It's all of who I am, all of my experiences, all of the ways I've found new understanding, all the ways I've come closer to love.

I have about 940,000 more things to say, but I'll leave it there for tonight. 

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