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Jun 09, 2011

Empty Hands

So, yeah, the little people (otherwise known as 'The Little SQUIRRELY People") came with us to the Patchwork Indie Arts Festival last weekend....

I mean, they had to come with us - - they're like 7 and 9 and we couldn't just leave them home alone with their light sabers, legos, and gluten-free crackers.


Now could we?


(We couldn't, right?)


Anyway, the minute we get there, around the food trucks that have items starting at around 8 bucks per individual french fry, they proclaim, "We're STARVING!!!"




After a pre-breakfast, a breakfast, a post-breakfast, and two snacks

they were,




So, we robbed a bank and bought them lunch for like, a scrillion dollars.

They ate and drank, shlurping and dribbling the whole way -- making snowglobes out of their water bottles (ick) and then, both walked up to Rocky and me, desperately.

"What?" I asked, searching the pleading eyes -- trying to figure out what was wrong.

Seth breathlessly brushed his 7 year-old old curls with the back of his hand, "Take this, Mom. Now!

You would have thought the food they had been eating moments ago, had suddenly caught on fire or was dripping acid or something. They wanted it out. of. their. hands.

So, I shuffle my purse, my drink, their sweatshirts, and the organic wool, lavender-soaked eyepatch (that I pray to God I don't forget and put in the dryer lest it become a Barbie-doll bra) while my kids walk off


scott free.


They're waving to people, touching things, sampling vegan chocolate and living the high life.

While I'm playing the juggling game of the century.

They were having a ball and I was sweating under the weight of it all.

I stopped and watched my little goobers. They were so happy. They just flitted around like two little butterflies. I kept my eye on them and enjoyed them enjoying their freedom.




God, how many years have I been holding stuff? Emotions that I didn't feel safe to feel, let alone share. Opinions that I knew would put me at risk of losing acceptance or worse yet...'love.' The extra 40, 60, 80, and yes, (gulp) 100 lbs that I hid myself within so that I wouldn't have to find out if I was a faithful wife or not because I had guaranteed no one would be interested in me.

All those things I had been holding on to.

It's a wonder I had any room left -- after all, I was also holding onto my husband's fidelity, my fear of death, my 'control' (ha!) of circumstances or money and success...

I was holding onto my reputation.

I held onto my bible like it was a weapon (which you need when everything and everyone is a threat) and I held onto the God that I knew hated me -- for I'd always heard, "Keep your friends close -- and your enemies closer."

My hands were full








I spent years in counseling and prayer thinking that I could let go of all of the control, marriage, money, weight stuff and still hang on to the hateful God I believed in...but one day it hit me:

They were all attached to him.

It was a "buy one, get-everything-else-that-screws-you-big-time" deal. All those other issues I was dealing with actually came with that God who was moody, capricious and able to be pissed off in a single selfish prayer, pre-marital sex act or missed devotion.

In those two fateful years we lived in New York -- where I thought I'd be buried and my children would visit my grave because of the death-defying pain of facing that god head on --

I learned he wasn't real.

I didn't know who the real God was. I just knew it wasn't that one who had tortured me most of my life.


And I let go.


That god went falling down the edge of the grand canyon of my heart. And so did those other things that came with him.

And then, Love came out of Clark Kent-mode and revealed himself to me.


I mean, okay. This is where the analogy breaks down. That is essentially what happened in those two years but still, something in my brain is so programmed to believe, that asshole god is real. And then, 'Love' reminds me, "Nope. That has nothing to do with Me. 'Love' wouldn't talk to you that way, abuse you, have you hurt yourself with too little sleep or crappy food...Love wouldn't have you fear of your reputation or self-criticize your parenting. Love supports you and believes in you. That other guy? He's just got some identity theft ring going and he uses my name. His calling card says, "Love" but everything about him is 'Fear.' "

And that 'Fear' led me to believe in a god who was just waiting for me to screw up so that he could 'in love' -- send me straight to hell.

'Fear' told me that I couldn't be sexy or successful because someone might be threatened or worse, that I might become proud or tempted -- or happy.

God forbid -- we won't have any of that 'happy' crap.

It was 'Fear' that said good things were bad and pleasures were painful and pain was holy and holiness kept you from sinning.

(As if that's all God was concerned about was being some kind of 'sin-retardant' in my life so that I didn't burst into flames before I went down in them....literally.)

And I finally turned to that God of Love, that Glinda-the-Good-Witch-God, with trusting eyes and said, "Come on! Take this! Now!"

Because those fear beliefs that I used to hold on and consume like the costly, artery-clogging lunch from the food trucks have become poison to me and I don't want to hold them for








And I fill up his arms where things seem to disappear, anyway, and I walk away...


Waving 'hi' to people

Standing close

Touching lives

Tasting the delicacies of pleasure and feeling-filled life...

because I'm able to let go and just






and again -- the way that Love intended...

with a full-heart



empty hands.





by Stacey Robbins

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  1. Gravatar

    Stacey - I loved this the first time I read it and am glad to see it here. Great insights.

  2. Gravatar

    OMG,...That was incredible Stacey! Your writing is wonderful,...:) LOVELY!

  3. Gravatar

    Stacey, other than the fact we are of opposite sex, your story is a mirror image of my life. I'm still trying to shake that pissed-off god so that I can find the real one.

  4. Gravatar

    Unbelievable words. I have just started listening to the Wild podcasts and have heard DH speak of you in high regards. As someone who has struggled with their perception of God, I really enjoyed reading your words.

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