Saturday, July 7, 2012

{Sparks and Clothes Pins}

When I was in Nashville for the Storyline conference, I had the privilege of hearing some fabulous speakers, including one of my character role models, Bob Goff, and Jamie Tworksowski, who started the non-profit To Write Love on Her Arms. This ministry is dedicated to helping people who struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. 

I love their vision statement: You were created to love and be loved.  You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you're part of a bigger story.  You need to know that your life matters.

Jamie sold surfing t-shirts before starting TWLOHA. But he met a girl one night struggling with cocaine addiction (she was also cutting herself) and he wanted to help. He also wanted to give her hope. He needed to raise money for her rehab, then more money to help others get treatment. Since he only knew t-shirts, he began selling those to raise money. It was the start of a bigger story that has reached far beyond one girl and a t-shirt.

I bought a t-shirt from Jamie at the conference. As I was looking at their website tonight, I am reminded at what great work one person can do. How a spark can spread wildly with greater intention and potential for hope than we can ever imagine. We only need to do one thing---begin with great passion.

A poem was posted on the TWLOHA website called "Shake the Dust" by Anis Majgoni. It's a powerful tribute to our ability to shake it off, move on, make our struggle worth something. I cried while watching it. I also wrote down the most powerful line.

"Grab this world by its clothes pins 
and shake it out, again and again, 
and jump on top and take it for a spine,
and when you hop off, shake it again."

Hear it for yourself, my friends. I hope it sparks something in you like it did in me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

{The Toilet Writer}

It's only been a few short weeks since I officially declared myself a writer. I love being a writer! The tricky part is I haven't written anything since my bold declaration. Not so writer like, I admit, but I have some pretty creative procrastination excuses.

For example, a few short minutes before I sat down to write this post, I hear screaming and crying from my sons downstairs. Apparently, someone has their hand stuck in the toilet. I'm pretty sure this isn't possible, so I casually walk down the stairs feeling extremely huffy that my moment of inspiration is being disrupted. 

It's true. You can get a five-year-old hand stuck in the toilet all the way up to his wrist. It took me 15 minutes to get it unstuck through lots of crying, my other son yelling "Call 911! Call 911!," and the dog trying to drink out of the toilet during the extraction. I didn't even ask what he was digging for when it was over. I just shouted for him to pull up his pants and wash his hands. Toilet diving is disgusting. DISGUSTING!

I also threw out my lower back last weekend on a float trip. I wasn't even drinking, friends. I'm just old. I had finished an extremely aggressive slippery log balancing duel (yes, people do this on the river!) and, as I rested on the raft after my victory, I reached out to grab my hat and BAM. Lower back spasm. I can't sit very well or roll over in bed, but I can still fish out a fat hand from the toilet. My muscles are starting to cramp as I write this, but I'm a tough writer, crazy mom, log-dueling champion. Tough as dirty rusted nails, I am.

I will also be unplugging in a few short hours at a lovely cabin by the water. Technology is too much sometimes. I've spent my morning gearing up for the relaxation---downloading new songs to my iPod and books to my Kindle, posting yummy recipes on Pinterest, and commenting on every one's posts and pictures on Facebook. I didn't tweet because I still don't get it. I'm also updating my blog in case I get so relaxed I don't write for another month. It happens. I don't always relax well, but I'm bound and determined to give it another shot.

My mantra for this summer is to not take myself so seriously. I'm going to suck at something, sometimes, some days. Writing, parenting, wife-ing, relaxing, working, friending. I'm up as much as I'm down on these things. Life still moves on. It's a much better ride if I can just enjoy it.