December 10, 2012

Use Your Light

Christmastime 2012

I don't have a life list. I don't even make New Year's resolutions. There are plenty of things I hope to do someday but I feel like if I permanently put them out there then it's pressure and forced and planned and then I will probably dread doing them. I want to be able to buy real art someday, and go to Paris again (and again) and create a spectacular knitting pattern and a million other things but I want those things to surprise me, to sneak up on me, to move easy along the way. Not something I will strike a line through and then on to the next item. Me and my John Lennon ways.

The only thing that would be on my life list is... to not die. It happened upon me suddenly, to find out that I am afraid of dying. Not for what's ahead, but for who I leave behind.

Christmastime 2012


It was Christmas break when I read Jane Eyre for the first time. I didn't leave the living room couch until I finished, yet transported almost out of body, definitely somewhere else. I even remember the cassette tape that was playing over and over- a collection of classical music from Victoria's Secret, I think it was $1 with the purchase of Rose Garden lotion, or maybe it was Strawberries & Champagne. I cried at the end of that book, and would every time I re-read it through the years.

Christmastime 2012



Last year on Christmas Eve I sat in the ER with Carter's severe allergic reaction to a nut in a cookie, and there in triage also discovered he had lice. I could not get the vision out of my head- of their photo with Santa that morning, Carter's head leaned against Santa's. Did we give Santa lice? I've never done so many loads of laundry and I was never so tired in all my life. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it, but I did. Here I am. It's been a year and I still check their heads obsessively. I don't know if I'll ever fully recover.

Sugar Cookies



It's dark when Noah goes out to the bus in in the early morning. He has a flashlight on his keychain and every morning I say "I love you, use your light" and I watch from the window and he does, until the other kids can see, so he turns it off. And I think about the depth of that very thing, every morning.


Christmastime 2012



I've drank and was too busy to taste, I've traveled through time with no recollection of where I've been, I've tripped and tangled, but my regrets are few compared to all the good that I have seen and savored and remembered with fondness.

Christmastime 2012

34 comments:

  1. oh Steph, this is so lovely. You.

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  2. oh Steph, this is so lovely. You.

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  3. Beautifully written.
    It's great to be able to savour every moment. They all count.

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  4. Something about this post just made my laptop screen get all blurry... (sniff!) Goodness mama, I totally hear you on your 'don't plan the dreams.. be surprised by them' approach - love it.
    And that image of his light shining or 'turning off' for friends is so.profound.so.so.profound. I hear that.
    As to your (very natural, very real) fear of what death leaves behind.. it's easier to say 'replace those fears with faith' and, the One who holds your heart - will care for theirs'... but I know it's a whole other ball of emotion to LIVE that.
    Praying it for us both.
    xx
    mel
    needle and nest

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  5. Use your light, it's light one of those silly things you might laugh at because moms say it, but it's kind of huge and meaningful. I like that, I wish someone would tell me that every morning.

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  6. whoa, could you put a warning on a post next time?

    sheesh, woman.

    like a hallmark movie, pass the tissues.

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  7. Ack! Tears. This is your heart, right here. And why I love you.

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  8. Tears...such truth! Such authenticity!

    {love}

    Jen

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  9. I don't have words. I have teary eyes, but no words. But I still wanted you to know I was here...and that you make my soul slow down and breathe. Thank you.

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  10. I was holding my breath reading this. Beautiful.

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  11. All these woven moments.

    Using your light, indeed.

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  12. OH! The last pic is glorious.

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  13. You use your lovely light so well, Stephanie.

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  14. Those cookies look SO good.

    You always get me with your words, Steph. Always.

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  15. Oh, that last paragraph made my breath catch. (all of it really, but especially those last few lines.) me too. xo.

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  16. *big sigh* ...Somehow you reach inside yourself and write these amazing words that speak so very much to me.... Thank you. That last paragraph blew me away...!

    P.S. I totally began itching my head after the lice mention ;) Oye, not a fun experience!!

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  17. "I've drank and was too busy to taste, I've traveled through time with no recollection of where I've been, I've tripped and tangled, but my regrets are few compared to all the good that I have seen and savored and remembered with fondness."
    oh yes. love that.
    a warm and bright season to you -- and hoping for a less "exciting" one this year. :)

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    Replies
    1. Well, she said what I wanted to say. So let me say "ditto" to Kelli Woodford. I, too, hope this Christmas is less exciting and more peace filled.

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  18. Such a beautiful post. I get every fiber of it. I swear I think we were separated at birth sometimes.
    I was never afraid of dying until I had kids. Now it is a genuine FEAR. A phobia. I wake up in the middle of the night sweating and thinking about it sometimes. My how kids change things, huh?

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  19. Beautiful...my very favorite style of writing.

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  20. Life list, schmife list. Sounds like you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing: capturing moments, documenting moments, loving moments, and showing your babies how much you love your kids.

    With words we live on. Think of Charlotte Bronte: she lives on whenever anyone reads Jane Eyre. You know, I've never read that book but now I am committed to do exactly that. I'm even going to look for an old, read-many-times-before used copy. You inspired me!

    I am so glad I visited from Just Write Tuesday. It is my first time reading you... I am grateful I did!

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  21. Your words. They get me every time. So blessed to call you my friend.

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  22. I stop here almost daily and read your words, and always, I am moved. They resonate so clearly. But I never let you know. I don't know why today is the day but I was just very strongly moved to stop what I was doing to come here and tell you. I hear you. I get it. In that way that this so very much belongs to you but I find myself saying "Yes!" and whispering "you are not alone". I love you.

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  23. Your pictures make me taste Christmas!!

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  24. Thank you for your final two words . . . I needed them!

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  25. I love what you said about not having a life list because it turns the "living" into a line on a to-do list. I have been pondering this ever since I read it a couple of days ago. I struggle so much with finding the balance between being a planner and a person who loves the LIST, but desperately wants to be free and simply live. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

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  26. This is so beautiful Steph....I am holding your words extra close tonight. XO

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  27. Hi Steph -- i read every time you post. If you happen to recall, I dont often comment because I read on my kindle and it wont process comments. Anyway -- I highjacked my daughter's computer tonight -- so i wanted to stop by and let you know how utterly beautiful this is!

    these words say so much -- and I feel the same - oh i feel the same.

    if i knew you in real life - i would hug you and probably cry too! all your words and writings are just so honest and real - thank you for sharing your heart!

    xoTiffany

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  28. Beautiful.

    I actually do have a life list and very distinct goals: http://stephaniesheaffer.com/lifelist/. I re-evaluate them every six months or so - maybe more often.

    That said, I understand what you're saying here. It's a wonderful thing to live in the moment, to be simultaneously grateful for the past and expectant about the future.

    stephanie@stephaniesheaffer.com

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