Cracked bells & French Bathrooms / a teaching of finding peace

I would love to tell you that I am in full bloom. That my garden has been watered gently and the soil of my life and all of the writings of my heart have been fertile. I would love to tell you that going inside my heart I found nothing but 30 years of walking with Jesus. That somehow his heart and mine have traveled the same tributaries of cleansing and healing blood. That my heart is pure and clean. I would like to tell you that I have become a scholar in the ways of love, that my need to be right and in control has been washed whiter than snow. That forgiveness is an easy swipe of the eraser when I am wronged, that grudges are not kept in untidy and chaotic closets. I would love to share that all is well inside of me on any given day. That if the phone doesn’t ring for days or the mail is nothing but grocery coupons and bills that I am still content. That the bathroom in the cottage of my choosing doesn’t cause me to question my sanity. It is about the size of a closet, and when I simply had to have this home I remember thinking “It’s so French having this tiny little space to do my Oui oui in….this teeny tiny claw foot tub that I daily crack my knees on has become synonymous with a four letter word for poop. (I am digressing)

No life has stormed the gates of my sanity and if I weren’t in so much pain both physically and emotionally I might have more than the rare moment of thanking Jesus for all my blessings. I recently read a book that suggested you really listen to your thoughts and figure out how often your saying a negative thought versus a positive thought. This was not good. I listened to the moaning and the negative chatter which frankly removed ALL rose-colored glasses about me. The thoughts of how horrible I am, mingled with the thoughts of how horrible the traffic, the weather, the bed, the bathroom, those darn pooping puppies, the bills that never end, the neighbors trash, those ungrateful people who never reach back to me…blah blah blah. So cleaning up my thoughts was going to be harder than I thought. I started counting my blessings, while my back ached and my head pounded. I have a loving husband, I have some play time with the puppies, I have hot running water even if the bath tub is barely big enough for a large child. So what if I am still sick after 30 years? So what if I have never found my dreams fulfilled? Where did I get the idea that I was going to be Gandhi? Save the world. Who made me Jesus?  I think it’s time to go back to square one, day one of the story of Jesus and me. The fundamental truth of Christ is love your neighbor as yourself. Love God above all things. That the only way to change the world is to change ourselves and believe that God has got this.

I was sitting in a meeting on the anniversary of the death of my brother and I realized that control is my bottle. It’s my way of trying to feel safe. It’s my way of trying to not feel so much pain. My thoughts have been as brittle as a dry drunk, as judgmental as a broken down church lady. I didn’t like what I saw in my heart because I was sitting long in the what if’s and the not fairs. Why did I need to blame something or someone for all of it. What if I laid it down to radical thinking, such as radical acceptance?What if I just accepted everything from the broken relationships to the broken old body of mine? What if I didn’t allow all the pain and cries of the world to control my emotions? Would I become more effective in loving? Mother Teresa said that you must start at home to change the world. Home meaning our hearts, our relationships with those closest to us for whom we have often put on the back burner for more “pressing things”  Learning to love is opening our cracked hearts to one another. To expose our underbelly and to trust the love to cover our nakedness.

Rose colored glasses removed, I see that I am still the apple of Gods eye even when I can’t see or feel it for myself. That grace comes in forms unexpected and the truth is I don’t have to be more or less than I am to be loved. I am a cracked bell. It’s ok..God uses the broken vessels for change. There is hope for me yet,  French bathrooms and all.

6 thoughts on “Cracked bells & French Bathrooms / a teaching of finding peace

  1. victoriawoodworth says:

    Thank you for drawing us into your life and your heart, with your always vivid, hopeful view of the uneven roads we travel. Peace will come. One ‘a these crazy old days…


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