DAY 16: JOURNEY OF MY HEART

A bit longer than my normal posts, but one that I think you’ll enjoy.

Journey of My Heart

Journey of My Heart

There are many pathways in life. The ones we choose to take and those we do not. There are paths that are well worn, with trampled grass and those without even a single footprint. Which path to take and which to abandon, we ask ourselves this every day with every decision we make. My heart feels the need to make this journey to find the real treasures of life

One such journey has taken me down the Acquisition Avenue. I thought that whoever had the most at the end of this life won a prize. I shopped with wild abandon. There is no prize worth acquiring things you “might someday use,” or clothes you bought in a size you want to wear, but don’t. I bought pictures that were never hung and art that sat in a closet. I was getting such a “good deal” I thought. I spent money I did not have. Acquisition Avenue was not where my treasure was kept, and all the things I acquired that were not needed I gave away.

My GPS unit took me to a bridge that I had not seen before, so I followed the voice and made my way to the Balanced Beam Bridge. This bridge was like no other, there was no traffic waiting to cross it. The beams were shiny and sparkling. Everything looked brand new. I wondered as I slowed down to take in this awesome structure, “What did this bridge connect to?”  “Where did it lead to?”  “Why hadn’t I seen this bridge before?” “Why is it void of traffic?” Then I saw the two red flashing stop signs on both sides of the bridge. I slowed down to a complete stop, and read the small words under the flashing lights, they read, “To get across bridge, middle of the road driving is recommended.” How did this pertain to my life? Is it like this when I go too far to the right I become fanatical about issues? Could it be when I swerve too far to the left I lose my equilibrium? Life is like this Balance Beam Bridge. I need to live in balance, in every situation. I now understand how to get to the other side of the bridge and cannot wait till I can see all the splendor the other side has to offer.

The next road is windy and dark; I have veered around its bends many times before. Depression Drive seems to call my name when trouble rears its ugly head.  It abounds in despair. The bones of faith, hope and love are scattered along its shoulders. This is such a discouraging place. It’s a selfish place. Caring for others on Depression Drive is not allowed because you would feel better when you aren’t  thinking the worst about yourself. I have deleted Depression Drive off the map of my heart journey, since having faith, hope and love leads you out of the darkness.

This brings us to the Faith Freeway. It is paved with prayers. Stepping out on this part of my journey is all about my faith. I ask myself, “Is this faith in myself, or someone or something else?” Some days I ask, “How much faith do I need?” I have to admit that there are those days that I need more faith, in myself, maybe, but most of all in my awesome Creator. Along of the Faith Freeway there are potholes of life that creates a slow down. These are the times I get down, and spend more time on my knees. The only way to make the pavement smooth again is to have that most important conversation of my day, in prayer.

On the left is an off ramp called Liars Lane. How many lies can a person tell? Most people including myself say they don’t lie. Does telling myself something that isn’t true count? Where does the lying stop? Liars Lane is an off ramp that leads to Chaos Circle, Depression Drive, and to anxiety and stress. The phrase “Fake it till you make it.” Should that be part of my repertoire on this heart journey to find my treasure? Is faking something the same as lying? The line has to be drawn and the words that I talk to myself need to be uplifting as they are when I talk to a friend. I need to speak the words of truth to myself. “I am beautiful.” “I can do anything I set my mind to.”  “I am a person of worth.” “My life means something.” “I am good for many things.” “I am a good person.”

The orange caution signs along this path tell me that there is construction up ahead. I must slow down and take a detour now. Come with me as I get on the Moodiness Mile. Some days that this mile goes on for hundreds, sometimes thousands more miles than it should. Do I change my mood when I change my shoes? Do I go from being in my favorite pair of tennis shoes and being outgoing and fun loving; to wearing my stilettos which make me be witchy and mean? Is there a way to get rid of all this moodiness? How often have I made people around me uncomfortable because of my mood? I have fought with this Moodiness Mile for quite some time now, and frankly I am tired of it. It has not brought me any closer to my treasure nor has it made my journey any easier. Not to mention all the people I truly need to apologize to for making them so uncomfortable.

“Oh good, this detour is over. But look what is coming next!”  This ongoing journey gets to take a break and breathe a little; I am in the Patience Parking Lot. Sometimes my vehicle needs to be parked and I need to get out and walk. My GPS tells me that the Patience Parking Lot runs parallel with the Faith Freeway. I must have faith in order to have patience. Patience gives me reasons to stop and smell the fragrant flowers growing along the paths that I did not see before because I was in such a hurry to get to my destination. I now have time to enjoy and take in the beauty of the spectacular sunrise that greets me every morning. I find myself living in the Patience Parking Lot more now than ever before. I am not alone here as many of my friends are here to keep me company. The Patience Parking Lot will never be empty.  Patience is one part of my life that I have not mastered yet, I know I will park here again as there will be times on this journey of mine where I will need to have more patience.

I decided to get out and walk a bit. I made a wrong turn onto the Stressed Out Sidewalk. It is seemed like a popular place to be as there were so many people on it.  I thought this was a party. I was wrong. Now I am getting stressed out with each step I take, and these people seem to be walking in circles instead of actually getting anywhere. There are people here that look somewhat familiar to me, but I am really not sure. The anxiety has caused their bodies to hunch over, they are nervously twitching. They seem to look right through me, yet their eyes never make contact with mine. I don’t like this sidewalk. I have been related to these people, and I have been these people, more times than I care to speak about.  Hastily I got back into my vehicle, drove one block to my destination.

My destination is right here in front me. I found my treasure. Its name is Relationship Road. It has been here all along.  It is the relationships in my life that are my true treasures. My most important one is the relationship I choose to have with God. I never miss to call on him every morning, noon and night. I cherish the time I get to spend with God and His Word. This relationship makes all the others possible. Relationship Road is paved with the memories of my bonds to my parents, my siblings, my husband, my sons, my family and my friends. Travel down this road under the posted speed limit: of one moment at a time.

Throughout my journey my heart has learned how acquiring things is not the same as having a treasure. Living in balance is the only way to get through life. Helping others gets us out of being depressed. Faith and patience work hand-in-hand, you can’t have one without the other.  Being moody and stressed out makes the journey so much harder.  The true treasures of life are the people whose hearts we touch.

ADDING ANOTHER NAME TO MY LIST

This has been a wonderful month so far. It has been filled with many wonderful things so far and one sad thing. The sad thing is that my middle son, goes off to training for his duty in Afghanistan. I am not at all happy about this and really think it shouldn’t have to be necessary at all.

The happy news is that I get to add another name to my long list of names. I am a girl, a daughter, a woman, a friend, a wife, a mother, and I just found out I am going to be a grandmother. In my case I will be a Nona. I am excited for my son and his wife. I can’t wait to welcome this bundle of joy into our lives. It is often said that when a child is born so is a grandmother. I am all too eager to accept my role as Nona, in my grand child’s life.

But what type of grandmother can I be from 2000 miles away. I often wonder if I will be a recognized figure in his or her life. Will I just be someone who comes to visit for two weeks at a time, or someone who sends gifts and is not thought of. These are things I am wrestling with right now and don’t know who to talk to or what to do about this feeling.

If you have any ideas or tips you can share with me on this subject of distant grand parenting, please feel free to leave a comment of encouragement.

My Mom

I was recently flipping through some really old woman’s magazines that I had saved from the recycling bin when my Mom was moving. The dates are from the 1960s and 1970s; my Mom saved magazines because “you just never know when you might need that information again.” As I was flipping through them I noticed that Mom had cut out the coupons, and anything had a free offer on it. In looking at the free offers on each of the pages I began to realize that many of the items we had in our home growing up came from those pages. We had all the book sets, knick-knacks, pictures hanging on the walls, craft kits, yarn, socks, sewing supplies that were all advertised on these pages with the address box cut out. It was nice to know that my freebie shopping and free sample hobby was part of who I am because of my Mom.

Ruth Mazzocco (aka: My Mom)

 She instilled in me that if you can’t get something for free at least get it for half-off. I learned how to shop from my Mom; who never paid full price for anything. If we were in the grocery store and bananas were a day past their freshness she would ask to have them for pennies. She would shop with the intent on having money left over in the grocery budget so she could fund one of her obsessions. She had two obsessions material and yarn. While never sewed, she loved the feel of material, the different patterns and colors. But the yarn she used and used well. Mom kept us warm in the winter with her blankets, sweaters, and slippers she made for all of us even the dog.

Leonard & Ruth Mazzocco (my Dad & Mom)

I’m a lot like my mom. I love freebies, I never pay full price for anything, I love material (only I sew), I love yarn, and I love to cook just like my mom did. There’s not a day that goes by that I am not using one of the skills she taught me.  Mother’s Day comes and goes each year but it is a daily praise I give my Mom when I share what she has taught me with others in my life. I love and miss you, Mom!