Antony gave me the letter "H" when I asked for a letter in his 10 Things/Alphabet Meme.
1. How could I start with any other word but Hope? I may be the first pessimist in history to love the word hope. Over time my tendency to be a pessimist has softened. I like to think it has to do with recognizing the amount of mercy God has extended towards me, which in turn I try to extend to others. Somehow, no matter how rough life gets, a little bit of hope keeps me putting one foot in front of another.
2. I like to laugh. Thankfully I married a man who has laughed so much in his life that he has these beautiful rainbow shaped etches in his forehead above his eyebrows. So howling with laughter is something I love to do with him.
3. I dearly love my husband. Ha. How did you guess that word was coming next? In a few short months we will celebrate 25 years of marriage together. I was 14 and he 16 when we started out as pen pals. When we married 5 years later I was an atheist and he was on the run from God. The story of our journey to faith and our journey as a couple has as many twists and turns as a road in Jamaica.
4. In a few days my kids are going to be home for Christmas. I love that word, whether it means me going home to my family or my family coming home to me. We've been empty nesters less than a year so this is our first Christmas where our kids are coming home for Christmas. We haven't lived very long in this particular place and when I was decorating the tree I was thinking that me and dearest one living here makes this place home for them. That helped me see this place as home a bit more.
5. I tend to live life from my head and when I manage to live it from my heart I rejoice. It's also scary, and I may want to back peddle to the safety of my head, but living from my heart means being authentic, real and without masks. It means being free to say nothing instead of having verbal diarrhea to keep people at a safe distance.
6. Since being diagnosed with a chronic illness two years ago I have a new appreciation for good health. Doing what I can to improve my health is something I keep in mind. Keeping perspective is another. Coping with what is, instead of what could be, is something I try to do. It could always be worse. At least this illness isn't a death sentence, just something I need to learn how to live with and not let define me. On good days it's no problem. On bad days I cry.
7. I don't know what's under your bed but underneath mine is my hula hoop. It's a glittery multi-coloured hoop that I have hopes of swinging around my hips with ease one day. I keep trying. It was one of the first things I bought when I began honouring the child within me. The little girl who has no memories of playing without keeping one eye out for the adults who could make the rules of life change at any moment.
8. When I was young my grandparents went for a Sunday drive without a destination in mind. Sometimes they ended up so far away from home that they stayed in a hotel overnight and came home Monday. Between spring and fall there is nothing I like better than getting in a vehicle and heading for the open highway. One of my best memories of this past year is the time dearest one and I took the long way around and drove through Banff and Jasper to get home. It was in April before the highway gets busy so we drove miles and miles without seeing another vehicle.
9. I grew up in a family where the only touch you got meant pain. When I married my husband I entered the world of hugging. After nearly 25 years together I forget that others don't spontaneously hug one another several times a day. A good hug is good medicine.
10. What all the above words have in common is that they play a part in my ongoing journey of healing. I don't always embrace the path that I must take in order to heal. Sometimes I swear an awful lot before I take another step but God continues to be merciful and gracious as I make my way home.