Expansion

expansion

The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast which a women took and hid in the flour until the entire mixture expanded.

I've noticed lately how much I invalidate my own feelings.  My language is always apologizing or excusing or explaining or poking fun at what it is I feel.  It's easy to recognize how much other people "hold you back" but it isn't as easy to see that you are holding yourself back far more than anyone else has the power to hold you back.

I have been experiencing what I am calling EXPANSION lately.  Let me try to explain what I mean... In small & big ways whenever I feel myself hit the brick wall of life I have PUSHED PAST it or maybe I should say I LET GO & God flips it on it's head and all of the sudden the "brick wall" is a door.  I realized as I worked through this that this is the point of "expansion" which I see in the parable of the yeast.  The point where the kingdom of heaven is in us.  I have more to work through to understand what I am describing. So more on the kingdom of heaven part later.

It feels like this expansion point happens (so far) at the worst moments. The more desperate you are, the bigger the push "past it", the bigger the possibility to expand.  What I have experienced on the other side of this expansion is pure beauty, God in all His glory... showing off.  Saying "I am bigger than you can imagine & I am holding it all & it is all connected!"  I have experienced some mind blowing clarity at this point of expansion. It is crazy making & at the same time makes you want to go ahead and go crazy because it is THE way to be for sure.

The experience I am referring to has been in many areas recently, but let me give you a specific instance so you can see what I am talking about... 
I was walking through a difficult time on top of several other difficult times this past month.  (Why does that happen, by the way? Why does everything always happen all at once?  Maybe because the bigger the desperation the more you are willing to FIGHT to push!? I don't know.)  My 83 year old father who has been living with me the past year and has Parkinson's and Alzheimer's went, in a matter of days, from an 83 year old man with mild dementia to an infant.  He literally could not get up and needed me to attend to his every need.  It was a situation that was so far past my ability and outside of my control, there was no way for me to care for him and get him the help he needed on my own.  I had no alternative but to ask for help and I was horribly desperate because I really thought my father was dying.  
I took him to his doctor and then the hospital & quickly was facing that I needed to place him in long term care.  This idea was an idea I had fought, I felt like he would die as soon as he was in a home.  I worried he would be mistreated and would feel unloved and give up hope.  The brick wall I hit was not being able to care for him the way I wanted to and felt I should.  Fear & guilt was keeping me from getting him the help he needed and if I had put him in the home without facing that fear and pushing past it... maybe the outcome would have been different.  I cried out and let go and all of the sudden I realized it was all how I was looking at it.  Maybe it would be the worst home in the world, but there was a possibility that it was going to be the best.  Better yet, there was a possibility that we could make it the best.  I made room for that possibility & I shifted my perspective or God shifted it and that wall became a door, an opportunity for expansion. And here is the beautiful part, not just mine, it could radiate out.  

The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast which a women took and hid in the flour until the entire mixture expanded.

Maybe light would come into that nursing home and be felt and affect the other people there.  I began teaching my kids about lighting up a room with their smile. About how much you can change a person's face by chatting with them and we have made it our mission to make as many people smile as we can whenever we visit.  My dad has his own light to shine and he is shining it (whenever he is not in a grumpy mood that is).  I also worked hard at changing my language with him and myself about the transition to a nursing home.  I began telling him that I was looking for a "healing place" for him to go to.  This absolutely affected his mood as he entered the home and I overheard him telling a nurse "my daughter was looking for a healing place for me & I think she found it! This is a healing place."  Yes it is. Is it a healing place because it is a good home or because we believe it is a healing place?   

And now I begin applying this to other places in my life.  I begin asking myself the question: "How do you create room for the unexpected to happen? For more that you could ever expect?"  I mean when you are making bread you allow room for expansion.  You make sure that bowl is BIG.

I begin applying this to the obstacles I see in front of me, the things I see as hidden dark places that I need to bring to the light.  The fear I have of people not loving me if they really knew.  The things I believe are holding me back that maybe aren't really holding me back.  The flour in my life that is stagnant, waiting for yeast.  I'm not gonna lie, I feel afraid even as I write this. It is the "take a deep breath and jump once you can not push any further" moment. The part that is painful but as I see what waits for me on the other side of it... it motivates me to push harder past the pain and helps me to LET GO of even more in my life so the Kingdom of Heaven can overtake it. Heck I might just let go of the whole thing and see what happens!! Watch out, make some room!