be brave, embrace your journey

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Maybe it’s part of getting older, or just seeing my nieces and nephew reach certain milestones (like high school!).  How does that happen so fast?  I’m sure it was yesterday that I was holding the oldest in my arms and laughing with her, but fifteen years blink away.  

Whatever it is, I have started thinking more about slowing down and embracing the journey.  Eating up every detail as much as I can.  Keeping the phone and social media at arms length, only reaching for it when I absolutely need to.  Of course, often reminding myself to do just that!

It’s a nice lull that I have been craving.  I take each day as it comes, careful not to hope for the day in the future when it’s summer and warm, but enjoying today, even if it’s cold, because I am alive.  Each day has its own type of beauty even when it seems dark and bleak.  There is always some thing I can be grateful for.  A bed to sleep in, socks for my feet, breath.

I have been reading more slowly, sitting in silence, listening, and writing with paper and pencil.  It is challenging keep the tendrils of my old self from weaving back in and suffocating the new growth I have built.

But moving forward, I want to do my best for the rest of my days, to be intentional at embracing life.

not a destination

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This life is never just a destination.

We are all on different parts of our journey and the scenery and lessons are going to be worlds apart for each of us.  Even those that travel in the similar circles.

There are so many parts of my life I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, nor would I want to do it again.  But it has challenged me, and made me who I am today.  All the pain, the hurts, all the smiles and laughter continue to add up.  I wouldn’t want to subtract anything for fear of taking something away from the adventure.

I know it has been a little tough, a lot of joy, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

No one does life perfectly.  I make mistakes, missteps and put myself back on track.  I figure out what works, what doesn’t, and move forward.  Looking back just long enough to learn and teach, adjust course and continue on.

I have said before.  It is so easy to get caught up in the what if’s, what might have been.  I don’t want to go there anymore.  I like the me I am everyday. 

 

be intentional

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There have been a recent string of deaths of people who in different ways touched my life.  Some weren’t people that I new well, but I interacted with each of them in different ways.

A couple of them have died so young.  It really made me think about how important it is to to make the best of my time here on earth.

Life is a tender delicate string of reality that we cling to.  

I heard someone say, “We make the most out of our time when we have the least to spare.”  That is true for me.  When I only have a few minutes before someone is coming over, it’s amazing how much I can quickly get done around the house.  I used to write daily for 15 minutes.  Sometimes I was able to get more done in those focused 15 minutes than the other times when I had an hour or two to spare.

For the past couple of years, I have picked a word for the year.  This year my word is intentional.  This word coincides with how I have been feeling lately.  I want to be more intentional with how I spend my time, with the food I put in my mouth, with keeping up in my relationships with others, and with what I spend my money on.

In life, I don’t want to live with regrets.  I want to Be Intentional.

welcome

img_8447Welcome to Rebekah’s Hope.  I started this blog as my healing journey through my past abortion (nearly 25 years ago).  While I will always deal with the consequences of that day, God has truly used my experience for His glory.

If you’d like to read more of my story

Part One

Part Two

If you’d like to learn more about the Garden of Hope

GOH

My author website

mlalvarez

some things must die

Scan007, October 16, 2003

April 29, 2013, for me, is one of those days that you “remember where you were when…”

They wheeled my husband back into the hospital room, the back of the bed faced me.  I couldn’t see him, but I knew something was wrong.  There was something in the air that changed.  Something felt off.  This was a routine heart catheterization procedure to put a couple stents in.  One day in the hospital, a couple days of rest, and bada bing, bada boom life would be back to normal.

But that’s not what happened.

The nurses flitted about getting things ready in his room.  His bed was still half in the hall and half in the room.  I couldn’t wait another minute for them to push him in, so I went to his side.

“Hey,”  I said, hoping for a smile, some sign we were done and we could move on from here.  But his face was full of dread and something else I couldn’t quite recognize on him.  Fear.  He spoke to me through watery eyes, his words a quiet whisper, “I have to have open heart.”  I shook my head no, hand in his squeezing tight.  The nurses droned on, talking to each other.

“How do you like working in the cath lab?”
“Oh it’s great, I’m learning a ton and it’s neat to see all the procedures and how they are done.”
“That’s great…”

Everything splintered in that moment.

I wanted the nurses to stop talking, to do their job and leave so we could be alone.  The world around us began to fade and spin.  All my thoughts were of ribs being opened and separated.  I couldn’t bear it.  I looked at my husband and wiped the tears from his face.  When he spoke there was terror in his voice.  He too, was afraid.

I had no words.  I couldn’t comfort him, I didn’t know what to do.  What would this mean?  I could see the process unfold that night as we went from denial to acceptance.

On May 2, 2013, he underwent quadruple bypass.

I have been wanting to write this entry for months.  I can say I was too busy, but I wonder if it was too raw.  It still feels fresh, like a wound that hasn’t quite healed.

But I learned there is a time and season for everything.  It’s ok for some things to die…to come to an end.

Death of shame.

Death of self.

Death of pride.

Death of bad habits.

The end of this blog…

This journey has brought me farther than I ever thought possible.  There was a day not too long ago that I said, “When I was post abortive.”  That day I realized I will always feel the pain and loss. But I am done carrying the shame and guilt from my abortion.  Jesus bore that all on the cross for me. Who am I to continue to carry the penalty, rather than choose to accept the free gift he has given us.  Now, I am truly free.

My prayer is that in a way this will live on.  I wanted to take others on my journey and see how it’s possible to heal.  That they are not alone in their struggles with abortion.

So I leave you with this:  Life is beautiful.  When the reality of life’s frailty hit me upside the head, it was a wake up call and I learned a lot about myself.

To live.

To live beautifully.

To live fully.

To not take things for granted.

To live without regrets.

To love more deeply.

My prayer is that you may do the same.

east to west

When I am drowning in my sorrows and filled with the muck that ones life can bring I am reminded about the forgiveness in which I believe in.  This morning this song came on and I love the words and the meaning.  You can go east forever without going west and west forever without going east.  THAT is how far my sins, shortcomings, regret, pain, guilt, shame, and everything else has been cast from me.

Psalm 103:12  As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

fractured revisited

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I was thinking about my last post and it’s hard to articulate the deep loss I felt that day.  It was like the tears were this sort of vomit that came from the deepest parts of me.

Fractured.

We are locked in our own prison, dead and dying on the inside while on the outside you would never know.

Fractured.

We have learned to hide it so well.  We have glued our happy mannequin mask on tight.  Living day to day…but inside there is a constant battle raging.

Fractured.

In my brokenness I was held captive by my thoughts that filled the empty void:  Hopelessness.  Worthlessness.  Shame.  Judgement

Fractured.

One day the light broke in through the darkness and mercy and grace poured on me.  Like a puzzle, God put me back together.

*****

The picture above is a sewing table from my Great Grandmother.  The top of it was wood and was peeling from a lot of water damage.  I had a table from my other Great Grandmother that had this beautiful tile on it, but it was also broken.  I put them together and made a beautiful top for my sewing table.

It is in the fractures and wounds of my life that I have found the most beauty, growth and HOPE.