How a UPS delivery man showed me: God’s Love or The Darkness, I can Choose

Janus Tree

Janus Tree

I get to choose and so do you each and every day. Will I follow the light of God’s Love (however you define that to be) or suffer in the darkness of anger and pain?

Yesterday, I was presented this beautiful choice so clearly.

As I posted yesterday, I had a revelation about being a stepmom and my sense of mothering.

This awareness was one of the largest changes I had sensed in some time. I was just getting used to the feeling of it and appreciating everyone’s support after I had posted the blog.

Still in my haze of love, I heard the UPS man on our porch and ran out to the get the package. He looked up at me and said, “You surprised me. No one is usually home. ” And I said, “It’s just a strange day. I am lucky to be home so early.”

As I turned to walk inside, what he said next stopped me in my tracks. He called out to me as he got into this truck, “Well, have a great Mother’s Day this weekend.”

Someone said this to me, Kim Harding. Biologically, mother to no one. In her heart though, learning to be mother to two stepchildren.

Over the years, hardly anyone has acknowledged Mother’s day for me. ANd here was a UPS man (a deliverer from God in my mind that day) wishing me the sentiments to further ground my new found awareness in myself as a mother.

God will use any means to give us signs and symbols along our journeys. The symbolism of a UPS delivery man is not lost on me. (He is going to be getting a nice thank you note, Sbucks card from me, that is for sure!)

So that was my morning. Later I had to hurry to go pick up my stepdaughter from school. She is with her Mom these weeks, but I wanted to celebrate her last day of school before a big school trip the next week. She was really excited.

When I picked her up, I asked her where she wanted to go. She hemmed and hawed. Finally, I said, let’s go the mall (we have a very small one in town). We never do that. She didn’t say much. I pulled into the mall, first one parking spot wouldn’t work and then another wouldn’t ( I have no ability park in tight quarters.) Finally, we were set.

Before I could put the car in park, she looked at me and said, “Oh my Mom and brother may be here getting their hair cut.”

I paused and I said, “Well, maybe we should not go here. I think your Mom hates me and would prefer not to see me. This is about us, so let’s go somewhere else.”

She looked at me and said, “Yeah. Let’s go somewhere else.”

I do not know why I used the word “hate” in my statement, except that is was probably energetically true. It saddened me (not for me, but for her) that my stepdaughter did not counter my word choice. Not that I expected her to, but it was a shocking awareness that her Mom has made it quite clear that she hates me.

Her Mom may feel this gives her some power over me or something, but it does not. My life continues on as it does, whether my stepchildren’s mother likes me, loves me or hates me.

What I am most struck with is what a horrible thing to teach a child- to hate someone. We only have one opportunity to raise “our” children. Hate should never be part of the lesson.

As for me, I saw within a 4 hour span, how I can choose the messages I receive. I chose to see God’s love for me and God’s support of what I try to do as a stepmother- delivered to me by a UPS delivery man.

And I will choose to see that hate has no place in my life or relationships.

The Blog that Prevents Insanity

Follow the Serpent

Follow the Serpent

I began blogging for one reason and one reason only- I was going completely crazy as a stepmom. I could not get my bearings, and the slope I was trying to climb to some type of understanding was much too slippery for my liking.

So I wrote and I wrote- long blogs, rambling blogs, detailed-filled blogs of moments and days of confusion.

And I saw a part of my life typed out line by line.

The microscopic workings of my brain became telescopic as I saw my words laid before me.

Patterns emerged, support was gained (thank you, readers), awarenesses by others were duly noted and remembered (again, thank you).

Since that time, my blog has spiraled into other topics here and there, but I will always remember this most- writing helped me feel more real and less alone.

And I hope you feel the same 🙂

Restructuring the Fractured Self

Contemplation of Infinity

Contemplation of Infinity

The Infinite Loop

A girl once decided to confront infinity.
She found herself standing in the center
Two loops coalescing into eternity.
Around and around
She felt consumed.
Until she looked again and understood
she was also Infinite.


Family has such weight during this time of year. Holiday celebrations, burying of old wounds as everyone comes together and so on.

I have been lost in the sense of family as of late. I have used the analogy with my husband that I feel I am standing in the center of an infinity loop that represents “family” and I am being crushed by the weight of it all.

On the one side of the loop is my family of origin. Two parents, 3 daughters, including me. Take me out of the loop and no one else talks to one another. A falling out happened three years ago. My parents and one daughter on one side, a daughter, brother-in-law and nephew on the other.

Want to know who stays in contact with them all? Me. I hold onto that infinity loop with both hands, hoping it does not fly apart. Early on, during all of this, I had the hope that my family would come back together. I naively believed that if I, at least, kept open communication with everyone, that somehow I could be a conduit for reconnection.

How well do you think that has worked out? On the one hand, I still get to enjoy everyone. On the other hand, I am completely fractured. We have to take separate trips if we want to see my family- as they can not be together. There is no meeting up with everyone for a holiday. If we want to see my parents that is one trip. If we want to see my sister, that is a completely different trip. Our “double travel” throughout the years has cost us $1,000’s.

Of course, conversations with this group is built upon lies. Do my parents still consider they have 3 daughters or is it 2 now to them??

And then there is the other half of the loop- my current “family” – husband and 2 stepchildren. We have the children 1/2 the time- every 2 weeks for 2 weeks. I felt hope for this family. I committed to it fully. Now, though, I am not so sure.

I see their mistreatment of me countered with my continued desire to fit in and have them love me as if I mattered. In some ways it has worked, in some ways it has not.

I see myself as the girl in the picture, staring up at the infinity loop wondering “Why?”, followed by “What lesson can I learn here?” (I am always asking this question, confirming that yes, God does have a sense of humor, as I have become a teacher in this life.)

I decide I must transform my relationship to this analogy I created. Rather than being crushed by the infinity loop of family – perhaps I am the infinite one here. Maybe I can see beyond all of this and use this sense of infinity as inspiration. Perhaps I am learning to question what family truly means to me and what boundaries such commitment to family may or may not imply.

So, I see myself as the girl who played with infinity and came out O.K. I am learning to repair my fractured self through seeing this situation differently. Does this remove all the pain? Of course not, but it allows me to heal some cracks that have been running deep for some time.

I think this is what we are frequently asked to do. We may not be able to change situations that cause of pain, but we can see into the cracks of our fractured selves and think differently. We can focus on healing ourselves.

The Blessing is in the Next Moment

Time Bubbles

Time Bubbles

You may wonder if any blessings are present in your life. You may look at your life, in its current condition, and sense fear, failure, frustration and more. And you will wonder if there is hope, somewhere, standing out side your door.

And then you will remember, because you can’t forget this completely, that the blessing is simply this-
One moment leads to the next.

Right here, right now, this moment is already budding forth the new.

One moment to the next, and All is once again anew with hope and potential.

——–

I did this piece of art work last night. When I lecture in microbiology, there is one slide that shows yeast cells budding. And I think to myself, this is what each new moment in our life is like. It buds off of the earlier moment, but each moment is its own “cell” filled with potential.

Sometimes your art will outpace your life. It was prophetic that I did this art piece early last evening as I had an interaction with my stepdaughter.

We had accommodated her all weekend. She had friends over all evening Friday to work on a school project, again some on Saturday. I have to babysit my stepkids today and my stepdaughter began “directing” me that she would need her friends over again today.

I was firm but gentle, saying that was fine but only for 2-3 hours. We do not have a large house, and she and her friends had taken over for 2 days, A portion of the 3rd day would have to be enough. Of course she began screaming about this.

And I said to her, “Wait. You are not even noticing the blessings. We had your friends over for 2 days. We fed them several times. We bought you all of these supplies. And we will allow them to come over tomorrow but not all day.”

I continued, “You are missing the blessings of what you have been given and you choose to focus on your suffering.”

And I said, “Who is responsible for this sense of suffering you feel?”

And she looked up at me and said clearly, “You are, Kim.”

To say this did not hurt would be a lie. And I try not to lie to myself as much anymore. I give and give and give to these children, yet, still can be labeled by my stepdaughter, in particular, as the cause of her suffering.

If I am to continue with my honesty, this does not surprise me. Her mother is a narcissist, so what am I to expect with my teenage stepdaughter?

I realize all teenagers can be strongly self-centered and such so I also know it is her age. But, sometimes it all gets a little tiring.

So I write and I think and I create. And I tell myself, the next moment is the blessing and contained therein is the beauty I am seeking. 🙂

Can 5 minutes a day make a difference in my Stepkids’ Lives?

Carrying Her Heart in Her Eggs

Carrying Her Heart in Her Eggs

Spirit always feels hope. Where we see fear and concern, Spirit is determined and sees opportunity, not barriers. And because of this sense of Spirit, I have begun to hold a “Sacred 5 minutes” with each of my stepchildren per day.

The last line can be read literally. I find each of my stepchildren in a private time. I say to them “Want to do a sacred 5 minutes? We can just sit with each other. We don’t even have to talk”

I thought I would be met with resistance from them with this idea. So much so, that I bring my phone along and tell them I am setting the timer for 5 minutes. I feared that they would think they would be stuck in some long conversation.

Want to know what has actually happened? When I ask them “Want to do a sacred 5 minutes?”, they always stop what they are doing and say “Sure”. When the timer on my phone goes off, invariably they and I ignore it, continuing on with our conversation or my stepdaughter’s piano playing for me or my stepson’s reenactment of his favorite movie feature and so on.

I am not sure we have covered the most life-changing of topics. Yet, when I look back, I see how much we have shared in some ways.

It may seem funny and I wonder what can 5 minutes really do? But I do it.

Spirit, if anything, is an opportunist. And perhaps all it needs is 5 minutes to change my and my stepchildren’s lives.

5 minutes per day- perhaps that is all that Spirit needs.

School Portraits with Your God

Portrait with God

Portrait with God

What if your God is not as patient as you have been lead to believe?
What if your God is opposed to delayed gratification?
What if your God senses you as perfect- right here, right now?

Could you for one moment believe you are in the Kingdom of Heaven at this present time?

What if your God never meant for you to wait?
What if by sharing life with you, God already meant for you to understand you were in Heaven?
What if your God senses nothing in you that must change for you to “earn” your spot in Heaven?

What if, what if, what if…. we have been told everything wrong. Heaven is here and now and we already have our place in the Kingdom. Amen.

—–
When I look at the picture above, I see a version of a school portrait. They must be on my mind, because we just received ours for the kids this year. We let my stepson choose the background for his every year. My favorite is the time he wore his orange T-shirt and then chose a red swirl background.

He loves this picture and even now, a few years after it was taken, will stop me in our hallway to point it out and ask if I noticed how he did his hair that day, because according to him, he spent at least 5 minutes in the bathroom “fixing” it that day.

When I saw these portraits, my mind ran to envisioning how God sees us. What portrait would appear when God looks upon us?

The image above actually came from a different sketch, but when I looked at it, I thought “this could be how we appear to God”. God sees us as all heart, already wearing the crown of Heaven, surrounded by the flames of life and Spirit.

Yoga Girl Saves the World…Or How Miracles Work

Yoga Girl

Yoga Girl

I completed this picture to show how I feel the energy during yoga. Heart energy moves upwards from beneath me in order to support and bless me, while I outstretch my arms, forming my own heart, which moves the energy back out into the world.

It is just an additional layer of union which yoga is to represent.

When my stepson saw this, he commented that I look just like that while doing yoga, except for the face. I chose to do the face as the vesica pisces- the ultimate symbol of union.

The picture also speaks to how miracles transpire in this world. We are all miraculous, make no mistake about that. We induce miracles all the time and we are the recipients of miracles with equal frequency.

I want to speak about a three-fold miracle that recently involved my stepson.

One evening, while I was in my home office trying to grade, he came to “visit” me. He always wants to make sure I am not lacking for company. As typical, he jumped around the room, talking to me about his day. Except on this evening, the talk went on for a very long time and centered on school. One topic after another.

I could not make sense of some of it and finally asked several times if he would like me to contact his teacher. He kept assuring me that yes, he would like me to do this.

I wrote the teacher the following day and received a 10-paragraph e-mail in return. Those of you with children in school know what this means. My stepson was struggling on many, many levels.

And here is the three-fold miracle:

My stepson, although not able to articulate his concerns directly, knew he was in trouble. And knew he was in so much trouble that he needed help and he very directly sought this help through me.

I was willing to contact his teacher for him- in an honest manner. Years before, my stepson had a piece of paper that a parent was required to fill out. It went home with him to his Mom’s, but she never did complete it. He then brought it to our house and asked me to fill it out for him. So I did.

Later, his Mom saw my writing on the paper and went ballistic. She called my husband saying I had no right to fill out this form. In her narcissistic/bio Mom world, I may not have had the “right”, but on the spiritual plane, I had every “right” to help this child and I did.

The second fold of the miracle is that I trust myself, the world, and spirit enough to stand by my stepson and do what is best for him, no matter what ultimatums I have received.

And the third fold of the miracle is my stepson has a teacher who cares enough to write a 10-paragraph e-mail about him and follow through about her concerns.

All of this may be small to you, and quite honestly, insignificant to your day. But, I thought of this yoga image and how it represents the true transformative energy of miracles.

We work on ourselves. We give. We get. We give some more. We get some more. On and on and on – the energy of exchange of life.

Go do a miracle for someone today (and include yourself as a “someone”). Don’t belittle your act by labeling it “small”. Such exchanges of energy are never “small”. They are what makes the world go around- one miracle at a time.

Your Spirit never Compromises.. Ever

Spirit

Spirit

Tough situation last evening. Stepchildren, lies, and unsupportive parenting. How many times had I been in this situation? How many times was I going to stand in kitchen (it always seems to be the kitchen) and cajole, reprimand, teach and more? How many times am I to leave my own ego at the door as I try to instruct, teach, lead these children into a different understanding?

Not my responsibility- or so I have been told. Yet, I see things happening that I can not ignore. A stepdaughter who sees someone on TV with a strong cleft in his chin and utters, “Oh, that is gross!”, a stepson at the ripe old age of ten who declares that he doesn’t need to do well in school because he has dyslexia, a stepdaughter who takes my package from the porch and in the chaos with friends leaves it sitting out in our front yard and boldly claims “I made a mistake”. All this and more.

And I have sat on the fence, wondering why I respond as I do and then I read a bit in a book or two and suddenly it all made sense.

The Spirit presents two faces- one that never compromises and one that never quits.

So, I will not compromise when my stepdaughter says someone’s (anyone’s!!) appearance is “gross”. I will call her out on such thinking before the next moment even thinks of passing. I will challenge my stepson and his tales to let himself off the hook.

My Spirit, and yours, does not compromise. Remember this. The next time you are wondering why you care, why you involves yourself, remember your Spirit never compromises. When it witnesses something is amiss, it will speak up – always. And thank God for such acts of courage by our strong Spirits.

But, your Spirit, and mine, also never quits. My aware Spirit opens my arms to my stepkids again and again, not it naive self-sacrifice, but rather out of its sense of what is right. My Spirit, and yours, knows especially with children, that second chances are a must.

If you ever find yourself in doubt and wondering how you can go on, take heart and know that you have a Spirit that never compromises.

A common Error…We know the Truth and then Spend Hours on the Lies

I See My Own Truth

I See My Own Truth


I don’t know your view of Heaven. I am not even sure I know my own. But, I frequently make the joke that in Heaven, if one’s life is laid before one’s self, I never want to see an accounting of all the money I have spent on Diet Coke.

A very small issue, I know, but I am sure I would be appalled at the income I have given to vending machines and convenience stores throughout my time to purchase this beverage with absolutely no nutritional value.

Along the same vein, but on a more serious note, is an epiphany I had recently- how much time I have spent on the lies of others.

The Truth simply is. We do not need to defend it, color it, attempt to hide it, reveal it, or modify it in any way. The Truth can stand on its own.

I know this, but I now also know how many literal hours I have spent on the lies of others.

My best example of this is my role as stepmother. For at least 2 years, lies were told about me. The lies included what a mean person I was, how the kids hated me, how the kids were fearful of me, how no one could ever like me, etc.

You know, I did not buy into these lies. But, I did make a fatal mistake. I tried to convince others who were telling these lies that their lies were not the truth.

I wasted hours on my scheme of conviction. I came up with examples, explanations, scenarios, dramatic re-enactments all to show them the truth – which was simply this- I am a loving stepmom. I make mistakes, of course, but making a mistake does not indicate a lack of love.

Whenever you are caught in a situation of lies, please don’t make the mistake I did. Stand your ground, for sure, but trust in the Truth. The Truth is there, whether others can see it or not.

If others are hell-bent on telling lies about you, because of their own weakness, delusions, or insanity, you do not have to spend hours trying to change their views (because most likely they will not change them anyway).

An important point to note, the person telling the lies is very, very invested in these lies. They will expend an inordinate amount of time defending, harassing, demanding of others all to get support for their lies.

Why? Do they think they are they right? May be, may be not.

The fact is they must spend so much time, energy and engagement on the lie, because the lie is NOT the Truth. A lie can never stand on its own. It must be fed, cared for, and paid the utmost attention, because it is not real. Without this time and energy invested, the lie falls apart, a deflated projection, prostrating its self before the Truth.

When we try to counteract these lies, we are actually playing into the hands of the liars. We are giving time and energy to things which are not even real.

I read many blogs about abusers, sociopaths, and narcissists. They are the ultimate liars and we have spent too much time on their acts of ridiculousness and their absurd lies.

Know yourself and Know your Truth. Trust that who and what you are can stand on its Own. You do not need to waste hours of time counteracting the insanity of others.

Your time and energy are needed elsewhere- loving your life and all the blessings you have been given. Let others live in the darkness of their lies, knowing your Truth and its light prevents such darkness from remaining in your Life.

Life is not here to serve You…You are here to serve Life

It's OK to Question Life

It’s OK to Question Life

Oh, what silly thoughts of
“What can I get?”

When you have been given
the ultimate gift

Life freely given
in enjoyment

Gratitude lovingly given
in service

——————–
I speak to my stepchildren a lot about life and the decisions we make in regards to how we live. A current theme has been the idea of serving others.

My stepchildren have, at times, had the idea that life is here to serve them. It is not.

Life is a gift- a gift of living, of experiencing, of sensing, of sharing.

Our return act is to serve this gift- to act with gratitude, kindness, awareness, and importantly, joy in relation to having received this gift.

I am never sure what impact my words/actions may have or may not have on my stepchildren. However, these are the things I believe and I do want them to realize what a gift they have been given.