I've been sitting here for three solid days...in my brain...trying to figure out what to write about 2015. There's been a war waging inside of me. Do I write the ugly truth of all I discovered last year? Should I only focus on the good? There was so much good. Or can there be a balance of both?
Honestly? I just want to cry and throw some pics up on here, with some music, and call it good. I wasn't expecting the tears right now...why the heck am I crying???
Because 2015 was hard.
I just asked Maise, who's sitting on my bed right now, if she could bring me some tissues. Our conversation:
"Are you crying Mom????" She sounds incredulous.
"I have no idea. I'm emotional today and I'm trying to sum up our entire last year on my blog."
"Okay Mom." She gets up.
"Maise, actually just bring me a whole roll of toilet paper...not sure how long this is going to last. Thanks."
She cracks up as she walks in the bathroom.
"I could only find 1/3... no wait, I mean 2/3rds a roll under the counter, Mom. This is going to have to work."
"Mom. You just wheezed...you sound like that toy from Toy Story." She breaks into very dramatic wheezing sounds.
We laugh and laugh. Now I'm crying from laughing.
And...just like that, I know now what to write.
In 2015, I dreamed a dream of healing and hope.
The year started out like this:
This accurately sums up the amount of pain I was carrying at the start of 2015. That part in the video where she starts gasping for air...around the two minute, forty five second mark...yes, that feeling. When trying to describe my pain to a dear friend earlier this year, I actually played this video. And my friend understood. This is hopeless pain. We've all experienced it at some point in our lives, yes?
My pain felt extra hopeless because I was viewing it through the unique frames of mindset glasses I disgustingly acknowledge to be
Victim Mentality Sunglasses.
Ugh. Yep, I'd been wearing those shades my entire life. They felt...comfortable...in their hopelessness, honestly. Their attitude told me that all this pain was someone's else's fault. I picked up those glasses in childhood and they had served me pretty conveniently at times throughout my life.
They don't actually help at all. They tie a person up in the idea that if someone else caused all this pain and misery, then only someone else can fix it. Not me, certainly not me...I can only limp along broken, waiting and hoping for the impossible.
I'm about to vomit just thinking about how pathetic my victim mentality was. Ugh. We all know how gross and small victim mentality makes a person.
There is some truth in it, though. Someone DID fix it for me...someone paid for all the injustices.
(I'm crying again. Partly because this writing is hard today. I want to, want to quit. But, also tears for my thankfulness. So thankful Christ paid my injustices. A new person, a fresh start...behold, old things have passed away and ALL has become NEW.)
"Oh praise the one who paid my debts and
Raised this life up from the dead."
But all that fresh start in Christ means nothing if my own mindset stops it.
Lessons learned in 2015:
1. Stop being a victim.
It was hard. More difficult than I really care to put into words, so I'm not going to. But I feel I did the work and broke the evil, death-inducing victim mentality off of me. Sometimes it creeps back up, because the pain the girls and I have experienced is real and confusing, and sadly it continues to be perpetrated against them. They are so brave and carry themselves with beautiful, strong dignity. We fight victim mentality hard in this family...the girls understand it and we fight it together.
...There are two girls on my bed now. Ainsley joined Maise and they are talking and laughing and playing music. I remember when I used to be such a writing diva that I had to have a completely silent environment, which leads me to lesson number two:
2. Work through the noise.
One foot in front of the other, in front of the other, over and over again. Fall down, get back up...all the pithy, motivational quotes you've heard all your life really do apply. And I want to share my favorite good words, from my amazing former counselor. I say former because I am DONE WITH COUNSELING, since summer, because he feels I have "everything I need, inside of me, to face any situation and build the life that feels right and is healthy for me". Let me tell you, that makes a girl feel good! He says:
Take small steps in the direction in which you want to go. Not big steps, or big decisions, but small ones. Everyone is capable of small steps and they will get you there quicker than you think.
3. Embrace the joy you find every single day.
We laugh a lot together in this family. We cry together too...and yell sometimes. But, oh, we laugh. To the point of crying, can't breathe, rolling on the ground choking on water, kind of laughing.
In case you don't believe me:
2015 was tough in ways 2014 wasn't. But 2015 brought good lessons out of tough personal work and so much grace. These pictures were all from this year. I've said before that God brings joy after the mourning. But I believe now that He brings it during the mourning, too.
Joy is such a gift.
I dreamed a dream and it came true. There's work ahead, of course. Always is. But we've got what it takes in this little family of Lumsden girls to get it done. With some help...lots of help...from the Maker of the Stars.