Glimpses of the Divine in the Mundane

A poem I wrote the other night while grieving the loss of my hometown of Paradise:

I’m sorry – Please excuse the smoke.
It’s just the dreams and hopes of 27 thousand yesterdays.
It’s just the minuscule evidence of
That one baby picture,
That painting of the sea captain by my brother,
And those family portraits of the past 40 years.
It’s just the piano from my grandmother who passed away that my brother just brought back from Iowa.

Excuse the hazardous air quality.
It’s just the thousands of saved kid’s drawings and crafts, books, children’s toys from years gone by that had been unpacked for grandchildren, wedding certificates, diaries, the favorite pillows, that favorite teddy bear from baby years, the 1960s records and the VHS tapes of birthday parties and graduations.

It’s just the houses of my childhood friends where we would play in the late summer evenings and spend nights dreaming of what our grownup years would bring. Not knowing that our futures would all hold this moment in time as our collective yesterdays ascend to the sky.

Please excuse the falling ash.
It’s just the church where I grew up attending with all the children’s songs, VBS programs and the baptismal where I chose to dedicate my life to God. It’s just the aisle where I stood and looked at the man on the day that I said “I Do”.

The falling ash – It’s just Paradise.
A little non-destination town that’s not on the way to anything important. It’s just that end-of-the-road town where people settle and know each other and roots run deep. It’s just a place where the biggest news was that Taco Bell came to town 20 years ago – until Starbucks finally made it 4 months ago.

Paradise – it’s just the place where everyone is your neighbor, as backyards are shared and simple icons are known and loved. Icons that are now ashes falling around you (sorry about that).
Icons like Fosters Freeze.
Gold Nugget Days.
Honey Run Road Covered Bridge.
That one antique store, just to name a few.
Icons like Kalico Kitchen where my dad and I had breakfast on the day of my wedding, just the two of us.
Icons like Darlene’s Frozen Yogurt and Round Table Pizza where many birthday parties growing up took place, not to mention the take home pizzas to mom and dad on weekends we would visit.
Personal icons like the Lucas’s house where many days and nights were spent as we grew up from toddlers, to grade school, to junior high, taking care of animals, watching movies, going trick-r-treating, and discovering our first crushes together.
Icons like the Muth house, where we made brownies and talked about boys and got ready for banquets and wrote songs, and led out in different high school student leadership opportunities.
Icons like the youth room at the church where we discovered so many amazing things together and planned mission trips and prayer conferences and learned what it meant to be used by God right here and right now.
Icons like Rankin Way house where we would watch different phases of our family’s life every year as we gathered for potlucks, game nights or just hear some good music.
Or Country Club where huge gatherings would take place like the 4th of July party for the neighborhood, or just coming together for brunch, or talking about religion and politics.
Or Peterson’s house where we would eat the most delicious Swedish treats and have a visit from Santa.
Or all the houses around town that we lived in since age 2, (that are now all gone) and finally settling on what would become home: Boquest Blvd. Boquest, where breakfast was late, like nights, and eras of my life passed within those 4 walls – from preteen, to high school, and as the walls of my room changed their decor as they held my changing eras like a quiet, constant friend. The early mornings getting ready for school, the late nights studying or dreaming of tomorrows that are now todays. The Christmas eves and mornings where my brother would wake me up to go open our stockings. The night I spent in that room with my sister before the day of my wedding, our conversations waning into the early morning. The years and eras fleeting now in hindsight, as most recently these four walls had been a refuge for my aging parents. And not knowing that that one night would be my final farewell to my constant silent friend – my room – where I spent a few nights with my infant son as we cherished time with family. That last night, not knowing that we would be together for the last time…in Paradise.

… And not to mention all the lives that were lost: mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, grandparents, beloved pets …


All of these things now ashes falling around you.

But please, once again, excuse our smoke.
It’s just what’s left of what was one of the most unique little settlements in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains: what was Paradise.💔

Copyright 2018 Krystalynn Martin, All Rights Reserved

I was sitting there today, in Whole Foods, eating my sandwich and watching the crowds.  I felt you move against my abdomen wall as my sandwich became food for you and me.  I’ve been sensing your wild nature from the beginning, even before I could feel you move.  I am aware of your warrior-ness, your tenacity, your fight for survival and to become life in this world we inhabit and call home.

And yet I worry.  As I touch my belly and feel your beautiful life form growing, I know the world that you as a female will enter into.  I am well-acquainted with the fingers that will try to choke out your individuality.  I cringe at the misogynistic world that awaits to devour your humanity and unique feminine war-like strength.  I shutter as I think of how religion will try to put its foot on your neck and gently scream of who you are as a woman and what you can and cannot be.  I abhor the thought of anyone who would turn you into a mere object to lust over, and what if you feel you must succumb to their eyes and wants, and you trade in your wildness to become the object rather than the creation.  I want to strip all magazine isles of the images that will shout out to you of what beauty is – so that you may find and discover the beauty that is already within you, and wear it fearlessly to the world.  I know the well-meaning voices that will advise you and scold you and insult you for simply being you.  I fear for the self-hatred that may try to creep into your soul, where you will try to bury your gifts and your beauty – that you would compare yourself with others and try to trade your uniqueness for theirs.  I already feel angry at the bully who may attempt to squelch your fight, your joy, your you-ness.

I haven’t met you, but I already know you are so much more than the shell of the body you will be born into.  Your body, which I know will be beautiful, is not what defines you.  As you are being knit inside me, your personality and character is there within you.  You are wild.  You are beautiful.  You are undefinable.  You are woman.  You are warrior.  You are more than fashion statements and mascara.  You are more than the boys who will chase you, or reject you.  You are beyond the opinions of mere people who will try to control you and morph you into their insecure status.  You are here for such a time as this.  Never let yourself be whittled down to a grade, or how many likes you get on Facebook. Never let yourself become consumed with your waist-size or if you’re wearing the right clothing brand. Instead, find your strength in the old oak trees.  Find your passion in the moving waters of river and sea.  Find your joy in soaking in the sun, playing with caterpillars, or laying in the grass barefoot, staring at the never-ending sky.  For you were created from beyond this substance we call our world.  You came from the unknown mystery of Love – a place that cannot be defined, or boxed, or placed in a cage.

So when others try to handcuff your soul, remember that it is impossible, unless you give them the keys to do it.  And why would you?  You are a warrior woman from beyond the farthest star in the universe!  You cannot be chained!  Yes, this world will test you to your very core.  Yes, magazine isles will scream lies of what beauty is.  Yes, misogyny will continue to exist, and there will be those who will try to objectify you.  Yes, religion will attempt to crush your talents and skills, especially if they see your wild-woman nature.  Yes, you will be tempted to contain your beauty only in hair, clothes and makeup.  Yes, you will feel your heart being ripped out of your chest as it is broken for the first time when you lose your first love.  But – you are still wild warrior woman!  You were wild warrior woman before these things existed, therefore these things cannot change what you already are!  You are undefinable.


So as I finished my sandwich, and stood to leave, I felt the eyes of those around me glance at my belly – at you.  Already you are doing it!  Your presence is already causing others to pause in the madness of their day.  Already you are reminding others of their true beauty and the miracle of being alive.

As I walk out of Whole Foods and carry you these next 7 weeks, and as your body completes the finishing touches of the rise and fall of legs, arms, toes, fingers, nose and ears.  As you finish becoming before you enter our world, I realize that every person I come in contact with is exactly what I have described you to be.  We are all undefinable.  We are all already beautiful.  We are in the presence of sacredness all the time when we are surrounded with other human beings.  Yeah, we all have the same sorts of body parts – arms, legs, heads, eyes, ears, mouths, etc.  But we are all completely undefinable in that there has and never will be anyone like you, like me.  Ever.  Ever!  So why do we hurt each other?  Why are there things like misogyny?  Why is there pornagraphy?  Why do we slaughter each other as if we’re replaceable?  Why do we use religion to cage the sacred, beautiful, warrior-like beings we are? Why do we let hate morph us into non-human creatures who will kill with our words, if not with our hands. When will it stop?  Perhaps when we believe that we are as sacred as we see our children to be.  Perhaps then we will realize that we are all, individually, sacred miraculous creations, sent from beyond the farthest star.  Perhaps when we see Love encapsulated within the flesh and blood walls of the population, a population that we are a part of.  Perhaps when we realize that we all hold the keys to stopping the misogynistic, lust-ridden, wounded, hate-absorbed, blood-drenched society we call our normal world.

So little one, thank you.  Thank you for reminding me of my wildness, of my nature that cannot be caged.  Thank you for opening my eyes to remember that all humanity is a beautiful, unique creation that should be cradled with utmost care.  Thank you for your jabs and kicks – a preview of the way you’re going to rock this world!  And may you know, that through all the highs and lows of what growing up will mean, with all the stereotypes screaming at you, that you are beautiful, mighty, strong and undefinable.  Because you are the only human being EVER to be you!  You are my warrior woman!


We didn’t expect to get pregnant.  My husband and I have been married for 12 years, and it hadn’t happened yet, so we just assumed it wouldn’t happen.  Then suddenly, walla!  I’m with child.  32 weeks along as I’m writing this.

My first reaction when I found out was “oh shoot!”  I know, not like the movies at all.  The first 12 weeks were a blur as I was away on Sabbatical getting my health back after experiencing chronic burnout.  We heard the heartbeat and “saw” her for the first time at 6 weeks. Pretty weird.

At 6 weeks

At 6 weeks

No, I didn’t cry – I was more stunned than anything.  At 12 weeks, we got another heartbeat and “saw” her again – this time instead of looking like a wormish creature from some bad sci-fi movie, she actually looked like a tiny human being with an alien head.  Wow.  That was fast.

At 12 Weeks

At 12 Weeks

Throughout the weeks and months that followed, we “watched” her grow and fight her way into existence, looking more and more human.  It’s been cool and weird to finally feel her movements, see her kicks and turning in my belly from the outside.  It’s been crazy to watch in helplessness as my abdomen balloons out to make room for this growing human being.  And I’m doing nothing to make it happen – except eating, exercising and trying to sleep.

At 18 weeks - Quite the Fighter!

At 18 weeks – Quite the Fighter!

Surrender.  That has been the beautiful thing throughout this process.  I’m not “in there” examining and micro-managing the process of her creation in my womb. I’m not leaving comments about how her toes need a different shape, or pressing a “like” button as I examine the process of growth.  It’s just happening. In fact, we have no clue what she will look like.  This is probably one of the longest things we as human beings living in western civilizations have to wait for.  We’re so used to taking an early peek, putting something on credit card so we can have it now, or over-nighting a product so we don’t have to wait.  But not with a human being.  9 months of waiting, wondering, fearing and hoping.  I’m not controlling a thing, and it’s still happening.  It’s pretty mind-blowing.

So I’m at week 32.  Haven’t “seen” her since week 18, but I know she’s there.  It’s fun to watch my belly move after I eat, as she dances (hopefully) from the delicious sustenance I’m providing her.  It’s cool to play music and feel a jab or kick, or perhaps it’s a twirl.  I can only imagine what it would be like to be a human in the womb.  Can you imagine?  The first time hearing something – ever!  Is it scary?  Is fear even realized yet?  And to start to see light coming through the pink lining of your world as your eyes open for the first time ever!  What is that like to experience as a human fetus?  Is there any wonder or joy at that stage?  Is there curiosity?  Do fetuses have bad days?  I actually looked up if babies cry in the womb before they’re born.  There’s substantial evidence that they do.  But what are they crying about? Do they have dreams yet?  Are they aware of danger, or surprises, or love?

All these thoughts have led me to other ponderings.  As they get used to their world, their routine, and their existence, do they imagine another world?  Can they fathom this world that they’re about to enter?  When birth happens, what the heck are they thinking?  Does it feel like they’re dying?  Are they disappointed to leave their comfort zone – forever?  In the resurrection of being born, can they fathom that this world is even possible?  As they take their first breath, does it hurt?  Is it scary to breath in air, and not amniotic fluid?  How does it feel to suddenly be flailing around, with no womb to push against?  Does it feel like they’re falling because of the expanse of space to move around in?  What’s it like to actually eat for the first time through the mouth?  Does it hurt to have the digestive system work for the first time with food-to-mouth?  What’s it feel like to experience touch on your skin for the first time as a newborn human?  And the brightness!  Can you imagine how the eyes must feel seeing the outside world?

At 31 Weeks

At 31 Weeks

So many thoughts and questions and wonderings!  Which makes me think of the Divine and the correlation between pregnancy, birth, and life on this planet and beyond.  Is this planet like our womb?  Do we think we know everything about it?  Do we feel scared when we experience something supernatural, like the fetus hearing noise for the first time but not knowing where it’s coming from?  If we haven’t “heard” God’s voice, does it mean He doesn’t exist, or maybe our spiritual hearing hasn’t developed yet.  Are there moments when it seems like we’re stuck and can’t breathe and maybe we’re ready for a birth into a new reality?  But are we afraid to leave our comfort zones, be it work, religion, etc?  Are there times that we feel out of control, when in reality perhaps we’re being born into a new experience that will bring us greater life, greater depth, greater love?  Just because some are not conscious of the Divine, does that mean the Divine does not exist?  Is my baby completely conscience of me?  Or is she happily living her life, doing whatever she does in that confined space all day, and not even thinking about me?  And yet, I’m in awe of her and her growth and movements.  Is the Divine even more in awe of us than a mother is for her growing child?  Is God mesmerized by our movements, our growth, our “becoming”?

As I hold my belly and feel the kick of this tiny human inside me, does she feel my hand cradling her punches and kicks?  Does she know she’s not alone?  As we think about where we are in our life and existence today, stop for a minute.  Have you sensed the Divine in some way?  Have you heard a faint voice?  Have you experienced some form of sustaining strength, comfort, wisdom or love that has fed your soul?  Have you felt the labor pains of change encouraging you to take that next step, even if it’s scary, because it might just be a breath of life that will expand your lungs and your horizons?  And if you haven’t sensed anything at all lately, could it be that you’re at some point in life where you are developing sight, sound and spiritual muscles that will soon open up worlds of wonder for you?

I still have a lot more expanding (literally) to do before this tiny human emerges upon the earth.  And then, as I’ve been told, the lesson of life will continue.  Lessons of surrender will deepen.  But ultimately, I find comfort knowing that the Divine carries me within this womb we call life, cradles me within the Almighty arms of ultimate Love, and sustains me whether I acknowledge the existence of a Higher power or not.  May we continue to live in awe of this life, and may we find hope that there is a possibility of another world to be born into.


I noticed these words etched in a table at our school library recently.  Sitting mindlessly in a staff meeting, routines attached to me like puppet strings, pulling me in every direction.  And me, with no mind of my own, blindly following the prescribed script for the day.  I sat there, eyes glazed over, heart still pumping, but passion waning.  I appeared to be living, doing all my duties, following up on all my responsibilities, going through the motions.  Alive with a pulse, but asleep to awe and wonder.  In fact, perhaps just a warm body, with inconsistent pulse jumping now and then – walking like the dead – a zombie to the miracle of this moment.  Drenched in the monotony that had become my existence.  Apathetic moments filled with sighs and putting one foot in front of the other.  Moments filled with “making it through the day.”

I don’t even know what made me look.  I’ve sat at the same table on-and-off for 10 years.  10 years of staff meetings, of conversations, of announcements.  But today, it was as if these words whispered to my yearning soul.  My eyes drifted to the table’s edge.  Something went 0ff – an alarm of sorts.  It was if time stopped.  The sounds of the staff meeting suddenly faded into the background.  It was as if I was transported into a space and time where reality became clear.  It was as if I were in a sanctuary of awakening.

2014-02-04 12.52.49

A snapshot of the words etched in that table

“I WAS HERE.”  Who wrote this phrase?  Who took the time to etch it into the side of the table?  Who was behind those words?  Like a standard thrust into the territory of their time and space, there it still stood.  Alone, bold, and courageous.  Proclaiming to whomever would notice or not notice, that “I” was Here!  A human cry from every heart to be seen, to be acknowledged, to be loved.  I WAS HERE.

Who was the face behind the “I”?  What was their story, their struggle, their journey?  Where were they now?  Had they found the acknowledgement they had hungered for?  Even as they etched that 3-word phrase, they had already bypassed that moment.  Why did they use past tense?  Why not proclaim in present tense words of “I AM HERE” ?

Then it hit me.  While conversations of calendar items and grades surrounded me, its truth slammed into my world.  With the whir of announcements and “life” happening around me – I WAS NOW HERE.  In the same place.  My fingers traced the outline of the words.  I saw them – I felt them.  I was now HERE.  This is now my time and space.  And even as I write this, “now” has just become “was”.  Time.  So fleeting!  Within milliseconds HERE becomes THERE, and NOW becomes THEN.  IS becomes WAS, and TODAY becomes YESTERDAY.  In fact, could it be that right now we are making history and creating the masterpieces that will guide and inspire the human race of tomorrow?  We are all leaving our etch into this world – “I WAS HERE.”

Time:  so present.  Why aren’t we? In the madness of bills to pay, mouths to feed, calendars to fill, obligations to meet, responsibilities to carry out, are we aware of NOW?  I AM HERE.  YOU ARE HERE.  Like a mark on a map at the mall, or an appointment written down on a calendar space, or a carved phrase etched into wood, we are HERE – right here.  Why do we live life as if we’re on some moving escalator, helpless to the turns, events, choices…always yearning for the weekend, or the next vacation, or the end of the day.  Waiting and counting down the NOW moments til the next TV show, the next meal, the next appointment, our next Facebook post, the next move.  Surrounded in the midst of creating the photo album of our life, we are so many times already in past tense mode, planning our next agenda item, our next encounter, our next moment worth savoring.  Not realizing that perhaps we are in the middle of making a memory that we’ll yearn for later on.  Ironically, in the moments we rush past, we make ourselves extinct.  For if we are constantly ever-living in the future or the past, and we are never in the now, then we are really not alive.  Because life exists right now.  The past can’t be changed.  The future hasn’t happened yet.  Life only happens Right NOW!


I still wonder who carved that phrase in that table.  I hope they’re living a beautiful life where they are fully aware of the miracle of this moment.  As the staff meeting came to an end, with the rest of that day waiting with bated breath to be realized, I walked out with a warmer heart, a revived sense of being, and a returned pulse to the wonders surrounding me.  I wish I could meet this person who left their mark on that table, and thank them for the prophetic reminder.  That their words have been whispering to me, “don’t settle; open your eyes; you only have so much time in this moment!”  I’ve been reminded that happiness is actually present in THIS moment, as close and as subtle as faded words etched in a table.  The choice is ours whether or not to slow down and be present to that miracle.  Because, regardless of whether or not we’re aware of it, WE ARE HERE.

“I don’t know what it’s like, so I can’t speak…”

“What if I’m misunderstood?”

“I don’t want to seem too political…”

“What can I do?  What can I say?”

“I don’t want to sound patronizing or condescending…”

And the list could go on and on and on.  This is what the perceived paralysis of white privilege looks like.  Let me break this down.

Now, I know that “white privilege” can trigger many responses in some people.  People may say, “I don’t see color,” or “why do you have to make it a racism thing?”  or “I’m not racist.  We’re all human…”  Which may be how you truly feel, but the very fact that there is a choice in whether or not to CHOOSE to say something, proves that there is a privilege.  So if you’re feeling offended by the term “white privilege”, just keep listening with an open mind and maybe see it through a new lens.

Let’s analyze this term privilege. Privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” (Oxford Dictionary) Privilege is proven when we can sit from our couches and criticize cities being destroyed by “those people.”  Privilege is proven when I don’t understand why people are “rioting” and “destroying property”, but I didn’t say anything about the unjust violence that led to the protests, cuz it was too political. Privilege is proven when the conversation is uncomfortable and I can leave, and it stays where I left it.  Privilege is proven when I feel I may receive backlash for saying something or doing something, and I choose not to so that I can protect myself or my family, my job, my title, etc.  Basically, to have privilege means that someone has freedom to choose or not choose certain actions, and there will be little or no repercussions to those choices.

And this brings up the whole Black Lives Matter debate. Stay with me, as this can also be a triggering phrase.  But take your emotions out of it for a minute, and put on your learning lens. So what’s the Black Lives Matter debate again?  In a nutshell, privileged people who aren’t aware of their privilege will say “All Lives Matter”.  This statement is very true; however it is not being lived out in reality, as we see people of different races being treated unjustly, and even murdered.  Therefore, “Black Lives Matter” is a call for justice, a call for the reality of “All Lives Matter”, not just in concept, but in practice.  If “All Lives Matter” was a true reality, we wouldn’t need to say “Black Lives Matter.”

I want to share a personal experience I’ve had with someone using their privilege to benefit me. I don’t know firsthand what it is to be discriminated against based on the color of my skin.  But I do know what gender discrimination feels like.  As a female pastor, I have been called names by church people that are definitely not PG-rated.  I have been told I’m going to hell.  I have been told that God doesn’t approve of me because of being a female pastor. I have been physically accosted at events for being a female pastor. I’ve been personally attacked on social media and even people who have worked at the highest levels of the church have personally attacked me to my face.  At times, I would wonder when my brothers in ministry would rise up and have my back?  Why would I ask about them?  Because they had the respect of the men (and even sometimes women) who would only hear them because they were a man. They had the privilege of being male to that specific audience. If I spoke up to defend myself, which I have and still do, I would many times be seen as an angry feminist or a liberal, or … you fill in the blank.  I couldn’t defend my validity to some because they already saw me as flawed and wouldn’t hear my voice.  But they would hear a man’s voice.

Then something amazing happened.  About 10 years ago it really surfaced.  Men started speaking up for female pastors.  And not just any men, but fellow pastors, conference workers, and men who had titles and positions that they could lose if they spoke up.  Some men turned in their ordination credentials and asked for commissioning credentials (what many women are only endorsed with) in a move of solidarity.  Once when I was attacked by a male pastor, I had other male pastors who came to my defense.  They used their privilege of being male to not just defend me, but to support me.  There would be times we would even hear men say “now I’m not a female and I don’t pretend to know what you’re going through, but I stand with you and this is wrong!  I will raise my voice with yours.”  That was privilege being used.  And it felt amazing.  It felt like suddenly we weren’t alone in this fight.  It gave me energy to keep fighting for what I knew was right, to keep using my God-given gifts to change the world, and to keep moving forward, even amongst the critical, misogynistic and sexist voices. We felt empowered as we now had others, others who had the ear of those who were mistreating us, who JOINED us in the fight.  We weren’t alone.  They used their privilege to do what was right.  They saw us as sisters and fellow colleagues.  We weren’t offended by their privilege:  we were encouraged by it.

Now I imagine, and at times we even heard it, the men would say “now I’m not a female, so I can’t help you…” or “what if I’m misunderstood…” or, quietly and privately “this thing is so crazy that is happening!  We got your back” but then when it came down to it, didn’t follow through. Or “I wish I could do more but it’s bad optics…” Or even worse, the silence.  Not knowing where someone stood.  The silence was louder at times than the critics. So, I use this personal illustration as a way of making a comparison.  To use our “white privileged” voice is actually a compliment.  It’s a secret weapon against discrimination, bigotry, fear, racism, hatred, etc.  To use white privilege is not condescending:  it’s empowering.  It’s voicing and reminding the FACT that we are ALL children of God and so why be afraid to voice it?  It’s a powerful way to encourage our fellow sisters and brothers.  To stay silent makes our privilege evident, and I would say is worse than the racist actions and comments of others.  Why?  Because we hold the key to helping stop the hatred, so our silence is complicit.

There is this perceived paralysis of white privilege, but remember it’s only perceived.  Which is good news, because in reality it is a powerful weapon.  It’s not something to be offended about.  It’s something to wield that is a powerful weapon in the fight against bigotry.  Yes perception is powerful, but the good news is that perception can be changed, if we are willing to do so.  We may not be able to change other’s perceptions, but we can begin to change our own.

Let’s look at the word paralysis. Paralysis, or inaction or silence, can happen because of the perceived fear of misunderstanding that we will receive.  And, let’s be honest:  There will be misunderstandings when we take action and raise our voices, so in some ways this fear is legitimate and it’s ok to take an honest look at it.  There will be people who won’t get it.  There will be people who will ask you why you are being “political”.  There will be people who will try to shame you by saying things like “all lives matter” or “stop being racist” or “I don’t see color”, or start another rabbit trail argument about a totally different issue.  And there will be some people who don’t want your white privilege voice, or who are offended in the way you choose to raise your voice against injustice.  There may be some who say what you are doing is bad optics.  There may be some who ask you to tone it down.  There may be some who don’t want a white voice, for fear that you may encroach upon their story or experience.  There may be some who say you are not black, so you don’t have a right to speak.  But there also may be some who will die if you don’t use your privilege.  There may be some who need your voice to translate what racism looks like, and the ones who are racist will only hear it from your voice.  There may be some who will deny their privilege, until it is revealed by you, and they are invited in the fight for love and justice.

So, I invite you to join me in continuing to raise our voices.  This will look different to everyone.  Not everyone can march.  Not everyone can rally.  Some people, like me, can raise awareness through written words. Some people, like me, can be proactive in raising kids who are aware of and enthusiastic about diversity.  Some of us can open up conversations, ask questions, and LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN.  Some of us can video an injustice as it happens and speak out that way.  Some of us can widen our circle of friends.  Some of us can VOTE. Some of us can read and educate ourselves.  Some of us can join the fight on the front lines, behind the scenes, in the home, the neighborhood, the church, the school, the city counsel, the county, the state, the country, or the world.  But it all starts in our own mind.  In our own perception.  May we not be those who hide behind our perceived paralysis of privilege.


Let him breathe!


I heard my son say Mama today

And it made me think of George Floyd.

That’s what stood out to me from the video of his public execution.

That’s the main part that broke my heart.

When I saw that video, so many emotions and questions came to mind:

-Wait, we’ve heard this before – “I can’t breathe!”

-Get off of him!

-Why is the policeman on his neck when his hands are already cuffed and he’s on the ground?

-Why are the officer’s hands smugly in his pocket as he forces the life out of this man? Stop!

-Why isn’t anyone doing anything?

-Can’t you hear him? Let him breathe!!

But when I heard “Mamma” come from George’s dying lips, I lost it.

And when I heard my son say “Mamma” to me today, I heard George.

Yes, I’m a white woman.

And I’m a mamma.

When I feel the rage and the sadness after seeing these stories, in some ways I feel powerless because I’m afraid I’ll only be seen for the color of my skin, or I’ll be seen as patronizing and my privilege will negate my words from being heard as legitimate.

But I’m a Mama, so I must speak.

I’m a human being, so it is my duty.

This needs to stop.

Even as I type these words they seem so empty because we keep saying it and nothing stops.

But I’m still a Mamma, so I must speak.

And George was someone’s son, brother, lover, friend, co-worker, neighbor, fellow human being.

Let him breathe.

Let him breathe!

Let them breathe!!

Where are the ventilators for injustice??

Copyright 2020 Krystalynn Martin, All Rights Reserved


So here we are, all of us, the entire world, on a quarantine of sorts … or perhaps we could call it a Sabbatical.  It’s all about perspective.  My days have been spent between the dance of social distancing measures with 2 kids under the age of 5, keeping a box of Clorox wipes handy because I don’t think I need to tell you how many times kids touch their faces and put things, disgusting things, in their mouths.  My days have also been balancing between anxiety and peace, most of which I find is all about choice.

For instance, I love social media, but since this whole thing really started getting crazy, I’ve had to use social media distancing, lol.  It seems EVERY post is about COVID-19, or how many people have died, or why isn’t the government doing more, or how bad it’s gonna be in a month, etc etc etc.  I began to feel knots in my stomach more and feel my pulse go up, and start to think about ALL the terrible things that could possibly go wrong.  So, I took and am still taking a HUGE step back from social media, and even from watching the news.  I prefer instead to read the news, and I keep it limited to certain times within my day so I don’t get sucked in for long periods of time.  I still sneak onto social media sites now and then, just to see if there is something enjoyable to see, like pictures of my friends, the great memes that are going around right now, or positive posts.  But when I feel my stomach begin to turn in knots again, or my vibe start to get off, I close the app and return to my present life.  It’s such a crazy thing that our thumbs hold the capability of promoting peace or anxiety!

We’ve all seen this message floating around right now, but I’m gonna reiterate it again: this time is a GIFT.  We have mandated quality time with family!!  What??  We have been told to slow down.  We have been told to take a Sabbatical from the frantic lives we all have been living that have caused us stress or have stolen time with family.  We have been told to BE HOME.  Wow.  This is a Sabbath gift that is being given to us all!  So how are we doing with that?

How are we spending this unspeakable gift?  Are we spending the whole time on news sites to see what is the latest thing happening now with this crazy virus?  Are we getting the latest adrenaline rush as we read about the possible horrors of what could happen to us?  (Don’t get me wrong:  it’s good to be informed – I’m referring to an overabundance of information that we can’t control the outcome of).  Or are we taking advantage of this amazing gift, and being present to ourselves, to our families?  Are we allowing ourselves to slow down and be still and be present?

On this weekend, on this Sabbatical that we all are in, I challenge us all to unplug and lean in to the amazing gift that this time is.  This will probably never (hopefully) happen again.  So drink in this precious time we’ve been given to be with family, or to be with ourselves.  Let’s give ourselves, especially our souls, permission to rest.

Today I looked into my kid’s beautiful pudgy faces and fell in love all over again.  We all as a family stopped long enough to hear the birds.  We sang songs together.  We shared what the best part of our day was.  We stopped and saw each other, and basked in each other.  Yes, this time we’ve been given is a beautiful gift.  Let’s not squander it.


On our walk this evening – just us, the sky, the birds and time…

I was 37 years young when it happened.  The summer before the incident, it had been a particularly hard summer for me personally due to an attack on me at a public event.  Up to this point I had been a career pastor for 13 years, most of those years working at an Academy (a private Christian boarding high school) as the Pastor and Chaplain.  Working and living on a high school campus was my dream job!  Pouring into the lives of teens for 10 months out of the year, as well as dreaming up, initiating and completing creative and engaging activities, Week of Prayers, mission trips, Bible classes, Friday night vespers programs, Church services, afternoon activities, and working to mentor student leaders on campus.  Not only that, but also working with community members and staff members to better the church environment we all were a part of.  Summers were slower, but were spent with continuing education, planning for the next school year, creating and implementing church services for the staff and community on a weekly basis, and heading the youth department for a 10 day camp.

I kept this pace for 10 years, and I loved what I did.  But this particular year I came into the school year already running low, due in part to the pace of all my activity.  The other part was due to the attacks on me and my job (being a female pastor, which some find to be offensive) from certain people, and even from discussions on a broader sense in my denomination.  Although these personal attacks over the years only made me stronger in some ways, they also were taking a toll on my morale.  To add to the ticking time bomb within me, this particular year I had no help lined up yet to assist me with the 165+ students that would be in my care. I approached my supervisor with a request for help, telling them of the personal attack that happened over the summer.  Things got busy and the help got pushed to the back burner.  I thought, “hey, I got this.  Just keep doing what you do!  Get the students more involved to help out.  Make this work!”  And it did, for awhile.  But unbeknownst to me, I was experiencing Adrenal Fatigue, and my body and soul were shutting down.  Literally.

About 3 weeks into the school year, after a huge small group student led week of prayer, I was at the church service about to run through the service for the event, talk about who goes where in the service lineup, etc. and I couldn’t talk or think.  My mind literally went blank.  I was standing there and it was terrifying because I couldn’t do this simple task of walking thru the order of service.  I literally could not talk.  I looked at one of my colleagues in the circle, and they jumped to my rescue and ran through the order.  I was bewildered.  Maybe I just needed some time off.  After my two days off, nothing was different.  Simple tasks felt like marathons.

That next week I went to the doctor to get tests done, fearing the worst.  As I waited for the tests to come back, I took some sick days thinking that they would give me my juice back.  But it didn’t happen.  I went back to the doctor and he said everything came back normal.  I was fine from a physical standpoint, except for one thing:  my adrenal glands were completely shot.  The adrenal glands are what help you deal with stress and activity.  Well, mine were completely empty.  He diagnosed me as suffering from Chronic Burnout.  I remember hearing that and thinking, “what?  But that’s for older people.  I can just finish these next 2 weeks and then rest over the next homeleave…”  but my mind and heart knew better.  I literally was broken.  The doctor then gave me two options for curing this malady.  One option was I could take a pill that would make my brain think that I was not at burnout – a kind of adrenal mask.  The other option was I could rest, which is what my body and really more of my mind needed.  So, I had a decision to make.  I still remember being in that office and I literally asked myself “what would Jesus do?”  And I knew the answer to that, because we have the example of what He did.  He would rest.  Just like all those times He went into the wilderness to pray.  Or how He wouldn’t heal every single person all at once.  Or how He rested from His work at Creation.  So what would I do?

And this is an interesting question because I knew that if I did what Jesus did, it would be hard.  Everyone would know.  I may appear weak to some.  I would have to advocate for myself.  I would have to say “no”.  And then the ego came in with suggestions like “all those people who say females shouldn’t be pastors will now have you and this breakdown to use as an example.”  or “just take the pill and keep being going! No one will know the difference and you’ll still be loved…”  and that’s where I had to stop and think:  keep being what?  The Savior?  A hero?  Was my activity really tied into being loved?  If we’re working harder than Jesus did, there may be a problem.  And ministry in this way may be a form of idolatry.  I knew that if I took the pill, I would dishonor not only God, but my very soul.  So I opted to fight for rest.  To fight for Sabbath.  To actually be a Sabbath-keeper.

The next couple of weeks proved to be just that:  a fight.  I had to get my doctor to write out his prescription for rest.  I had to apply for Sabbatical as well as a Family Medical Leave Request.  I had to approach my supervisor.  I had to make lesson plans and find a sub.  I had to keep asking for help, which many times is a hard thing to do for someone in my position.  In fact,  it takes a stronger person to ask for help than to continue to fake it. I had to announce to my church board and my students what was going on.  I had the option to not do this.  In many cases like this, people sometimes do this quietly and they just disappear for a few months.  But I wanted to be completely transparent and honest with those around me for a couple of reasons.  First, I wanted them to hear it straight from me and not have rumors flying around about me.  Second, I wanted to give others permission to think about their own soul fatigue and give them a sort of model of how to stop – to kind of be an icebreaker in the subject matter of activity versus rest.  And third, I needed to be in control of the narrative of this thing that was happening to me that felt beyond my control.  I needed to thoroughly experience this concept of rest, and in order to do that I had to thoroughly be honest through the process.

After getting the approval for Sabbatical and limping through the end of the first semester, I took a 3 month Sabbatical to get my soul back.  For that first month of my Sabbatical I lived in a cabin in the mountains outside of Ashland, Oregon.  I felt like a skeleton making my way up there, with a car full of groceries, a few books and some clothes.  For the first few days I felt crazy.  There was no activity and no things for me to fulfill or do.  There was nothing to distract my soul.  My only “job” was to take care of myself, make sure I had wood for the fire, and enough food to eat.  I realized quickly how much of my existence and even my identity had been about activity and going going going.  I found myself sleeping at all hours of the day, waking up exhausted yet somewhat refreshed and feeling at times like a failure.  But then as time began to slow down into evenings and mornings in the woods, and days became segments of light and dark, I began to heal.  It occurred to me that at one point in human history, this is how it used to be:  success was measured at the end of the day in (1) am I alive; (2) do I have shelter and enough wood for the fire; and (3) do I have food to eat.  That’s it.  Where did we make it more complicated?  Where did we change the meaning of success and how did we get our self-worth all wrapped up in that? I began to live again.  My soul began to breathe again.  And there was no one to impress except the trees, and the crackling fire and the occasional deer.  As I began to stop from all that activity and all the needs of everyone and all the fires to put out, etc. etc. etc. I began to get to the bottom of where all that thinking leads to and the idolatrous trap of accomplishments and I just stopped and became present to the fact that I am alive.  That I am loved by God apart from all of what I can do.  That I don’t need anyone or any activity to determine my worth.  As I began to practice this new ancient realization and remembrance, I asked myself…is this what Sabbath keeping really is?

Sabbath in a lot of traditions is considered a day of rest.  A day to go to church and worship with others.  In Jewish or Seventh-day Adventist circles, for example, it’s also a day to refrain from “work” or things of the “world”.  But for those who “work” on Sabbath (Rabbis or Pastors or other ministry leaders) what is Sabbath?  In fact, is it possible to keep the Sabbath day and miss Sabbath altogether?

During and since my experience of my burnout and of my Sabbatical, I have realized some things about Sabbath.

  • Sabbath is more about an experience than merely a day.  Now don’t get me wrong:  having a day set aside is important and necessary.  But it is entirely possible to observe a day and attach the name “Sabbath” and still miss the experience of Sabbath.  So when I speak of Sabbath I am not referring to a day, or to a fundamental belief.  I am referring to an experience of Stop. An experience of Presence. An experience of Being.  A day can help to sequester this experience, but a day doesn’t necessarily accomplish the purpose of Sabbath.  Sabbath is so much bigger. In fact, what if breaking the Sabbath is really about not stopping?


  • Why is it so hard for us to celebrate rest?  When was the last time you heard someone proudly share about how much they rested and what a great experience it was (apart from the activity of vacation)?  We get accolades for activity and deadlines met and things accomplished.  But when was the last time rest was celebrated at this level?  Or why do we at times feel guilty for taking a nap during the day?  So I have toddlers and they need their nap time, right?  I don’t judge them for that – I know that they need it and if they don’t get their rest, we all will suffer.  Why don’t we give ourselves that same grace when we need to rest?  Or at the end of the day many can feel like the day was a waste if nothing on their to-do list was “accomplished”. What if the thing to do on that day was nothing – aka experiencing Sabbath.  Just being present in the fact that we are loved apart from our accomplishments.  What if that was the thing to do?


  • Practice saying no.  To say “no” means to say “yes” to Sabbath.  And once again, I’m talking about the experience of Sabbath rest.  Rest for your soul.  This is particularly true for those working in ministry or working for the betterment of people’s lives (education, healthcare, public service, etc).  There is such a temptation to say “yes” to all the needs that are out there.  Remember that Jesus said “no”.  We are not the Savior.  Jesus is and He still said “no”!  So who do we think we are to have to say “yes” to every need that arises within our purview? If we say “yes” to everything we are saying “no” to something else, and many times that something else is something that we are responsible to say “yes” to.  For example, when I had kids, I have had to practice saying “no” to things now that before I could say “yes” to.  I could say “Yes” to certain things, but I must practice saying “no”, because if I say “yes” to those things, I say “no” to my kids, and therefore I say “no” to the responsibility God has entrusted me regarding my kids.  I am the only mother they will ever have.  Don’t be afraid to say “no” – this is a way to experience Sabbath.


  • One more thing to think about when it comes to saying no.  If I say “yes” to every need that comes my way, I am stealing from someone else who was created to fulfill that need.  I rob them of the purpose that they were created for, and in turn I also rob myself of Sabbath because I am filling my 24 hour day with more time than I have, thus breaking Sabbath.  But I am also stealing the opportunity from someone else to fulfill their God-given talents and skills for such a time as this.


  • A true Sabbath – stopping from activity and ministry to refuel your soul – may look like laziness to those who profess to be “sabbath-keepers.”  These people are also known as workaholics, but have masked their activity under certain guises that look like ministry, success, etc.  And many times these things get wrapped up in personal self-worth.  When I took my Sabbatical for instance, there were some who were uncomfortable with my decision to take a conscience rest.  Some even seemed offended.  It was interesting to me, because it had nothing to do with their lives.  But then again, my journey into discovering true Sabbath and talking about it openly was either an invitation to others who needed the same, or it was an unspoken rebuke to those who were caught in the trap of activity and workaholism.  So when you take a true Sabbath break, it may be seen as laziness from those who worship at the altar of activity.


  • When looking at your life and determining whether you need to practice Sabbath, look at your time.  In fact, what I have found helpful is to make a map of my time.  Map out every hour of every day for a week.  If different weeks look different, maybe make a map of your month, but once again you must account for every minute, hour, day, week, etc.  It’s almost like you’re making a time budget line-item of your life.  This is helpful because once you see on paper what your life looks like, it can give you permission to practice Sabbath.  For instance, every one of us only has 24 hours a day.  That’s it.  We don’t get a credit card of time.  We only have 24 hours.  What is taking up that 24 hours?  Am I getting enough sleep?  Where am I putting my energy the most?  Where is my Sabbath rest?  I got this concept from a book called Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, by Richard Swenson.  In the book the author talks about how each page on a book has margin.  What is margin again?  it’s the white parts on the page that have nothing on it.  Margin is what helps a reader concentrate on the message of the page.  Margin brings balance.  So the author then asked:  What does our life look like in regards to Margin?  Or is every minute of every day filled up with activity?  Margin is the spaces to breathe.  I would even dare to say, Margin is Sabbath.  So once you make out a map of your time, how much Margin do you have?  Seeing it like this can give you permission to say “no” or it can also help you not feel guilty for having healthy boundaries of Margin.


  • Some of us have grown up hearing the term “Keep the Sabbath Day…”  Which comes from the Commandment to “REMEMBER THE SABBATH”.  When I was a kid growing up, this phrase, “remember” was drilled in to our minds.  It was thought that the word was used “remember” because we would forget it, meaning we would forget which day to worship God on.  But what if the REMEMBER has more to do with “don’t forget where to find your worth.”  “Don’t forget to stop.”  “Don’t forget to take care of yourself.”  “Don’t forget to remember that you are loved regardless of activity.”  So what if “keeping the Sabbath” is the practice of remembrance?  The practice of saying “no.”  The practice of getting away for awhile like Jesus did.  What if “keeping the Sabbath” is really about the fact that the Sabbath keeps us?  That the Sabbath keeps us out of the rat-race of activity and out of the idolatry of ego?  That the Sabbath helps us REMEMBER who we really are?


  • Lastly:  I don’t use the word idolatry lightly.  As I said before, If I am working more  than Jesus did, I may have a problem with  breaking the Sabbath.  If I use excuses all the time such as “I’ve got 4 more weeks to really push it and then I’ll take a rest.” or “If I don’t do this _______ the whole thing will fail and fall apart…” I may be living in idolatry to activity.  Also be aware of ego.  Ego will say things like “What will people think if you don’t do _________?”  or “You’ve got to do this if you (a) want to keep your job; (b) keep moving up the ladder of success; (c) be seen as legitimate…” etc. We sacrifice many of our personal Sabbaths with the idolatry of activity and on the altar of ego.  But remember this about ego:  At the end of the day the ego is a deeper cry to be loved, valued and accepted as beloved.  And these things can only be accomplished as we practice the rest that comes from taking a Sabbath.  Ironically activity and going going going never appeases the ego, because there will always be something more to do, or another event to attend, or people to please.  Instead, as we rest in the realization that we are beloved and valued and accepted right now apart from activity, the ego is silenced as our true soul’s needs are met.  In my experience this ONLY happens as we practice Sabbath.

After my Sabbatical ended, and in my journey since, it has been quite a beautiful thing to continue to discover this concept of Sabbath.  But I also have been aware of how much work and activity abounds, especially in church work, or in education or in humanities work.  It is my hope and prayer that we all will continue to find Sabbath again, and give ourselves permission to rest, and breathe, and be loved.  And in so doing, we will be fueled again and again to extend that message of love to the world around us, as we continue to experience it ourselves through the practice of Sabbath.67082983_10157581610872834_7298708762435518464_o.

Let me tell you a little about the day in the life of our 1 year old and our 3 year old that just happened pretty recently.  Ok, in all honesty, it happened last night and this morning during our family vacation.  We all come with certain expectations when we come on vacation, right?  Expectations like we’re gonna have golden moments all the time.  I’m gonna get exactly what my soul needs.  Our kids are gonna make memories that will last them a lifetime.  My husband and I will reconnect.  And the list goes on. But let’s face it:  parenting can be tough.  Like, a lot of the time!  And it doesn’t take a vacation on family vacation.

So here is what my last 24 hours looked like:

We’re potty training the 3 year old, and while at a restaurant she goes poo in her pants.  However, we forgot to bring a change of pants, so the Moana underwear were used as a wipe and thrown away, and we happened to find a pullup diaper to put on her.  Finished eating and got in the car, taking off the poop-smelling pants so she doesn’t get it on the booster seat.  Take the 15 minute car drive to where we’re staying, while tickling the 1 year old so he doesn’t fall asleep before we get home to put him down for a nap.  Arrive “home” to where we change everyone’s diaper, and put on clean undies on the 3 year old, and put everyone down for a nap.  Whew.  Take a breather while our kids nap, and then when they wake up, go on a bike ride to a garden.  But first, change of plans, must stop at the playground because that’s what we did yesterday when we took a bike ride, so if we don’t do that today all hell will break loose for our 3 year old as we are in pre-meltdown mode.  Avert the meltdown by taking a detour to the playground before the garden:  success.  The next few hours pass by in the routines of site-seeing with toddlers and then rushing “home” to get food to eat and bath time, stories, songs and bed.  Kids go to bed and hubby and I crash in a zombie-like state of PTSD after accomplishing another great day of family vacation with toddlers!  After zoning out, we summon enough energy to prepare food and watch a movie before collapsing into bed.  2 hours later, after we’ve fallen asleep, our 1 year old screams and wakes us all up – teething.  For the next 2 hours we trade off rocking, singing, feeding him back to sleep.  4 hours later our 3 year old is up and ready to go at it again!  Sigh…  Yay!  Good morning…

So we get up and do the morning routine:  potty, food, etc.  She then asks for the iPad.  We sometimes do the iPad, so I, in my exhausted state, succumb to the pressure of the electronic babysitter, and let her have the iPad so I can have a minute to myself to eat, wake up, etc.  15 minutes later it’s time to go, and because she is getting pulled away from the beloved iPad, a full meltdown occurs.  I mean, we’re talking tantrum on steroids.  And then the next hour is a meltdown about everything:  combing her hair, walking a different route to the beach than last time, going out a different door to the car…on and on and on…  You know, one of those mornings.  One of those days.  And I of course am blaming myself for the iPad, which started it all.  If I could only be a super mom and not need sleep and just put my needs aside… You know, all the mom-shaming things we hear or say to ourselves.  And my poor 1 year old is just kind of watching the whole thing.  If he was at the age of eating popcorn, I’m sure he would have loved some for the show.  We get in the car and then he starts crying and having a meltdown, as she is now collecting herself and now excited for the adventure at hand.  You know the drill.  An hour later and it’s still his turn with the meltdown, throwing food at me because he wanted to eat something else first…  Ah, family vacations with little ones….  The golden memories and moments being written on our hearts…hahahaha…

And as I write this, I feel somewhat guilty with the things that people say like “it goes by so fast…” or “…you’ll look back and relish these moments…”  And I know it’s true.

And that is what brings me to this truth that I have come to know:  our kids are raising us.  We think we are doing all the heavy lifting, and in some ways we are.  But in a lot of ways the thing that makes parenting to tough is that we don’t know what the heck we’re doing!  And once you get it down, they suddenly are going through a new phase, and we are starting all over again.  And once you get it down with one, it really doesn’t matter because the next one is a completely different person so it’s a whole new journey again.  Yep, our kids are raising us. Here are some of the things that they are raising in us or teaching us lately:

  • Slow down – it’s really not that important, whatever it is.  There is much beauty to be had in the small moments that can at first seem mundane.
  • Let go of expectations.  Why are we going and doing and being all that?  Stop!  Let go of it all and let whatever happens today happen.  No expectations.  Just BE.
  • I can be quite the selfish jerk.  Why is my agenda so important?  Maybe importance looks a bit different in the whole scheme of things.  Maybe what’s important is sitting on the floor and rolling a ball back and forth for 40 minutes.  Maybe that’s how we conquer the day, as I download quality time and simple unconditional love into my baby’s hard drive of his soul.
  • Going potty should always be celebrated, no matter where it takes place!  It’s an amazing thing to have a working internal plumbing system, and don’t care what the person in the next stall thinks.  Shout “I’m a big girl!!  I kept my underwear dry!  Tinkle tinkle!!”  Potty training will slow down your life, but it will also open up your soul to the little miracles of tiny celebrations that we, as adults, take for granted and think are merely routine.
  • Take a nap!  Slow down long enough to let your mind, body and soul rest.  And sleep close with those you love.  It’s a great thing to snuggle.  And when it’s time to get up, be ready for the next adventure.
  • Anytime is a good time for snack time!
  • Dance to good music.  Who cares what people think!  This moment is amazing – so dance away!
  • Everyone can be a friend.
  • There are many things in life that need repeating – especially the things that bring us joy.
  • There’s no such thing as wearing out a good song.  It’s a good song, so play it, sing it, shout it!
  • Everything is unpredictable.  Although routines are necessary, human emotion is a force that is not tamed.  So breathe deeply and remind yourself that it’s not about you, and not to take it personally.  This tiny human is wild and beautiful and complicated.  None of us, including the child themselves, have dealt with this particular person before.
  • Don’t be afraid to get dirty – that’s when the real fun begins!  A mess can usually be cleaned up later, and most of the time it’s worth the memories that will be made.
  • Take a timeout.  It can be frustrating, and that’s ok.  Just take a moment to step away and regroup, reminding yourself of the bigger picture.  Timeouts aren’t just for little kids.
  • Don’t forget what it’s like to be a kid.  Hang onto the magic.  Don’t lose sight of the wonder.
  • Don’t worry so much about hair, and makeup, and clothing styles.  The day is wasting!  Let’s go play!
  • Everything is fleeting.  These moments will be gone soon.  So breathe.  Stop.  Be.  Perhaps that’s where the golden memory maker is…

As I write this, it seems that it all comes down to one thing:  Being Present.  When I look at the moments in my life that were golden, it was when I was present and aware of the miracle of now.  Or it was realized after it passed, as I look at pictures and reminisce that moment and how perfect it was… and most likely while I was in it, I was probably distracted from the gift of it.  Maybe I was wrapped up in work, or perhaps I was worried about some stress in my life.  Or maybe I was planning for the future.  In fact, when you think about it, most of our present moments are caught up in longing for something from the past, or worrying/planning for something in the future.  And in so doing, we miss LIVING.  We miss being present.

In the last 24 hours there were also other moments.  Like when my 1 year old wraps his tiny long arms around my neck and gives me a tiny squeeze.  Or when my 3 year old is repeating things I say to her as she plays with her paw patrol, saying things like “be careful!  you don’t want to get hurt!” as she mothers them.  Or taking a minute to stare into the face of one of them, and say “I love you!”  Or laugh about nothing in general.  Or scream in delight as we chase them after a bath to get their jammies on.  Or when music is playing and food is cooking and we’re living the mundane routine life, and I capture that moment with them all siting at the table, realizing that it one day will be a golden moment to reminisce back upon.  Yes these are the moments.  This is the life…

Yes, so many times we are not present to the gift of NOW. That, ultimately, is what my kids are teaching me lately.  To live in the present moment.  To be ALIVE RIGHT NOW.  The lessons will continue to come, but that has been one way that my kids have been raising me lately.  And, with that, my kids just woke up from their nap…so I’m off to practice the presence of NOW living…