Naked. Nothing. Simple.

Many years ago in a land not too far away there sat two couples in a diner at two a.m. munching on something I am positive was not healthy.

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Not sure it was this diner but I am going to guess.  Same town.  Same era. 

The conversation turned serious for a minute when one young woman wanted to know what we were doing there.  “No, I mean, What  are we REEEALLY doing  here?  What is our purpose? ”  The other young woman, being me, dug deep for a profound answer that would knock the rest off their seats.  We were going to answer that question that has been in circulation for oh… since the beginning of time. One of the guys who sees things just as they are said, “I know exactly why we’re here.  Because we’re hungry.”.  We all laughed and the subject was changed.  Nothing was solved but I would put money on that each of us today could  say where and when that 1 minute conversation took place.  About 25 years ago.  Why do I remember that?

I have pondered that question over  the years.  Is it really as simple as that?  Or is it more complicated than that?

Ahh,  the olden days.

Fast forward to this summer.  I have been studying some spiritual things in nature.  The question has come up again.  Especially now that we have our very own first grand baby, Joan Marie.

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In my “spiritual things in nature” investigation, I have concluded that this little precious baby in her 2nd day of life is doing it better than I.

We define ourselves by what we do.   I am an artist.   I am a wife.  A mom.  An educated woman.  A gardener. Sorta.  An animal lover.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  I could go on but I would faint from boredom.   I have created this image of myself that I spend my days trying to live up to.  Exhausting.   I make lists upon lists to make sure the image is upheld.  When I go to bed at night I subconsciously check my list to see if I accomplished the tasks needed for the world to believe the self-image that I created for myself.

Isn’t honesty brutal?

Dang.

My  recent discovery is that when I was  born, like our precious Joan, I was already everything in God’s eyes.   It is a place of utter simplicity.  Not adorned or decorated with my created self images.  Naked and nothing.  Perfectly made and fully created.  “It is a place before having done anything wrong or done anything right”, says Richard Rohr.  A wonderful author of spiritual things (in nature.)

Pure.

State of “be”ing.  Not a state of “do”ing.

As I move along in life, I don’t want  to compare myself with others and their gifts or calls anymore. Richard Rohr also says, “All I can give back to God is what God has given to me – nothing more  and no less.”  Hmmm.  That is so good.

I have a great example that should neatly tie this baby up. My mother-in-law, Jo, who our new baby was named after, use to tell me every summer to make sure to let my kids just BE.  Don’t schedule  their hours up.  And when I think about it now….What she meant is …    Let them be who they are.  Who they were created to be.  Let them use only their little minds to figure out who they are.  Let them run through summer being nothing.  Naked.  Simple.  God will show each one of them who they are.   And that is all they can give back to Him.  Such a miracle.

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Oooh. She was right.  That Jo, she had more wisdom that I can say.   Especially when it came to children.

What I want to say and may be having a time trying is this……I am beautifully, lovingly made. I  have a purpose.   A simple and wonderful purpose.  I was born with it.  It is a gift to each of us.  I can take the self-made burden off my shoulders.  What is to be is already within me.  Just let it be and let it flow.   Let it ride.  No need to contrive.   I am not my own invention.  Naked.

I want to shout out to my son, Eric, and his beautiful wife and mother to my grandbaby, Emily…. Thank you SOOO much for naming your daughter after that great woman, my mother in law.  You have awakened her memory in me and I will think of her every time I look at your daughter.  I am so  grateful for that. A gift you have no idea.

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We miss you Grandma! 

Peace,

Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under Spiritual, Uncategorized

12 responses to “Naked. Nothing. Simple.

  1. Jeannie

    Thanks for sharing! And congrats to your beautiful, growing family!

  2. Dave

    I always love your posts. The honesty is refreshing. By the way congratulations on the wonderful new baby. In retirement I am finding that I do not have to live up to any preconceived images or expectations. Especially living in a new community where I have no history. I can just go and do each day as I wish. Always trying to be an encourager and a good example. Loving the grandkids loving the daughters. Enjoy life . Do not worry about living up to an image, just be yourself for that day, each day. Dave Wright

  3. Robin

    Karen, it’s been a long time! Thank you for this post as we are struggling with our youngest (17) who seems to have no direction. This is a great post and says it all. Thanks again and congrats to your family!

  4. Anne F kelly

    Hi Karen,

    Congratulations!  Enjoy your new grand baby….  I’m glad you are writing again. 

    Anne Kelly

  5. Congratulations! I know Eric and Emily, and do believe that Jo will have the benefit Joan’s wisdom and loved poured out on Eric. When I asked Geoff about Eric’s relationship with Joan he said that Joan just “poured out love on him” as she did with your wonderful husband. He loved his mother as she loved him. I met Joan and she was captivated by her quiet elegance being comfortable in her own skin. She was deeply spiritual without saying God in every sentence. She asked me if I wanted to see Jack’s Notre Dame collection. I know she personally wasn’t interested in the ND football history in pictures but it was important to Jack and she was very gracious about that.
    That was love. Love is always naked. Soul to soul and Christ within. You and your family are being blessed and for this, give the glory to God.

  6. Phyllis

    Beautiful post….I am reminded of something I read from Henri Nouwen …it’s not so much “who we are” as it is “Whose we are”…..

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