blackout

This poetic piece of awesomeness is a finally-finished post I began writing a month ago… Enjoy!

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A  month ago, we experienced our first Portland blackout. We were without power, internet and phones for 6 hours. <gasp, I know> We couldn’t watch the tele or cook or use the internet or make phone calls or go on Facebook or participate in any other nonsense we need electricity to take part in, and guess what…?

We survived. 

How, you might ask? 

We played outside soaking up our last bit of evening sunlight, we snuggled under blankets and read books by the light of a candle. We talked. We told silly stories. We laughed. We played games with the flashlights… and then we went to New Seasons for dinner.

We survived #Portlandblackout2014 by having fun and going to the grocery store. YES. You read that statement correctly. I said, we had fun going to the grocery store. 

We are experts at surviving blackouts.  

We’ve been thru several blackouts before. From Ohio to New York City. Remember #Northeastblackout2003? Yep. We survived it. We were living in NYC at the time and working at our church. When the city went dark, everything shut down… except for the people. People were still on the move. We responded by handing out water to thirsty tired travelers from the steps of our church in mid-town Manhattan. The city air was thick with August humidity and millions of people sweating their way thru the city. People were still on the move. They needed to get home, to pick up their kids. People had basic simple needs – like water.

The truth is – we are experts at enjoying simple things – such as going to the grocery store. In fact, the simpler, the better. If a task is too complex, detailed or complicated – forget it. Anxiety will overtake me and… the end. I will shut down. 

When there’s a blackout, life shuts down. There are fewer options and simplicity takes center stage. When there’s a blackout, I can only see what’s right in front of me. In the dark sky, I can see the moon and the stars. Oh, how I long to take joy in seeing the simplicity in front of me! Take it all in. Breathe in the wonder. Trace the stars. Stare at the moon. Soak in the sounds of my children. Slip into the arms of my husband.

I come alive when I ‘shut down’ and enjoy the simplicity of who is in front of me… My family. My friends. My neighbors…  The blackout forces life to slow down. To darken our ‘world view’ momentarily. To take hold of what we can see. The blackout changes our lens to purely see. An unfiltered view. To truly see. What is right in front of us.

In the blackout, life can shut down… And in the simplicity, we can thrive.

Do you thrive in simplicity? Please share! Our story rages on… In Him, Leslie

New Year’s Failures

On New Year’s Eve, we asked our 3 wee Bab’s, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”  After several “What’s, Why’s and Who cares???”, they gave us some answers for the taking.

Soleil: “I want to learn how to be a Teacher.”
Parents: “You are already a teacher. You teach your brother and sister lots of things.”
Soleil: “No, I want to learn how to be a real Teacher – a School Teacher.”  She is so literal.  She’s so black and white.  There’s no fooling her.

Selah: “Two”
Parents: We thought, this is an appropriate answer – she just turned two years old and we’ve been saying, “You’re two! You’re two!” repeatedly the last few weeks.
Again, another literal answer from our second daughter. TWO. She will succeed at being TWO for her 2012 New Year’s Resolution.

But what about all of those New Year’s Resolutions we hope for ourselves, which are less attainable?
The resolutions which somewhere, someone’s statistics try to prove ‘That won’t last thru January’ – the ones which will most likely fail.  These are the resolutions which require more work. more prayer. more surrender. more hope.

Is failure our fate?

Should we just give it up and quit trying all together?

Our sweet son, Salem gave us his hopeful answers.
Salem: “I want to learn how to read, so I can read the Bible” – {insert parental gushing here} – and btw, No, we did not feed him that answer.  Yes, Salem can learn to read in the year 2012.  He will eventually be reading his Bible.  Literally.

His second resolution…”And I want to learn how to exercise, so I can do the treadmill!”
You see, I am not sure this is every little 5-year-old boys dream for 2012; but Salem spent a lot of time downstairs with me, playing with trains or Lego’s, as I logged 938 miles on the treadmill in 2011.  He probably figured, mom does this treadmill thing and makes it look so cool, so I want to learn how. Amidst all of his enthusiasm, Adam & I looked at each other and smiled.  He caught our glance and said…”but I’m to small to do the treadmill”.  Still, he can try… He can still hope.
I don’t think he’s going to give up his dream of using the treadmill so easily.

Adam & I have many New Year’s resolutions for 2012 ~ travel, save money to travel more, walk more closely with God, grow in our marriage and family,  fully live in and enjoy the present moment ~ even the difficult ones.
So, why?  Why do we give up our resolutions, hopes, goals, dreams for the New Year so easily?  Why do statistics somewhere that someone made up, exist to say “that won’t last thru January”?
I think we lose hope so easily.  We don’t want to be hurt or disappointed in life, so we give up hoping and dreaming all together.
2012 New Year’s Resolutions become 2012 New Year’s Failures. And we accept it.
But we don’t have to ~ we can choose to live out our resolutions. We can still hope, be disappointed, dream again, get hurt and hope again. Don’t lose hope.
Let’s prove ’em wrong… why not?  Let’s change the New Year’s failure stats. Let’s all start by using the treadmill, and at least try and make it thru to February.

Noted. By Les Babs