Love

Love as Presence, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

He walks along beside me, towering over me holding my hand.
When I speak, he listens, interested, present.
He couldn’t offer me a higher compliment or kindness.

To be treated as if I matter, as if my words had value and weight brings meaning and presence.
Sharing his ideas and creativity, listening, hearing, feeling the change within my being his presence offers,
reminds me it is truly no accident he is here.

My Life works as a result of so many factors coming together.
Every person every friendship, romance, even illness and seemingly tragic events,
formed as a conspiracy or accidental occupancy of a million things
coming together each as they should be, were intended to be.

Only to be learned from and honored in retrospect.

Then the aloof one arrives, throwing his arms around my neck.
“Come on” he says, “Come with me”.
My heart opens into a permanent prism of love and iridescent light.

Life stretches behind me as well as way in front of me in gratitude
for the many accidental elements creating my lovely past.

And, life is stretching out before me into my endless exciting future.

Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

A Seemingly Insignificant Lesson in Loving Fully, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

It is not enough for me to believe in love. I want to love fully. I don’t know how to do this, but I am learning. I am learning in small, seemingly insignificant ways. 

What if God is Not Perfect?, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

What if God is Not Perfect?, by Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe, MEd

I have a teacher that always tells me to wait. She tells me that waiting is the space that allows for the receiving and the giving of love.

It’s easy to wait when things are good. It’s easy to do when the sun is shining. It is easy to do when the house is clean and the kids are at the grandparents. It’s easy to do when life feels perfect. When life is running smoothly, my heart is open, waiting and saying “bring on the love.”

Sharing My Vision, by Lynn Bartrum

Sharing My Vision, by Lynn Bartrum

I’ve been holding onto a secret these past nine years, and feel it is time to come clean.  

In the fall of 2009, my husband Thomas and I were staying overnight in Louisville, as we were moving our daughter back to Nashville the next day.  She had recently graduated from college and was moving back home. As we settled down to sleep that night, I had been reading A Course in Miracles, and was lying awake, staring out into the dark room, thinking.  Suddenly I experienced a vision - I was so confused!  

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Love Letter, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

This is a love letter.

A love letter to my husband, to my family, to The Estuary Staff and to our clients.
 
Every moment I spend thinking of you, talking with you, helping you, laughing with you is a lovely relational act where you become present to me and I am present with you. I gaze at the space between us as I look into the eternal You. Every breath of US is an eternal breath of You and Me.

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Forgiveness, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

“Forgiveness is nothing less than the way we heal the world".

   -- Desmond Tutu, The Book of Forgiveness 

I was a terrible oldest sister.
 
In our dysfunctional family filled with addiction and anger, yet held together in intense love and loyalty, I raged and cried and felt isolated.

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

Truth Tellers, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I have been watching a special “comedy” routine by Hannah Gadsby. She is a wonderfully strong person who is intelligent, funny, well educated, and successful. She taught me lots about feeling connected in a way we all long for, beyond gender and power.
 

Put Your Shoes Up, Please..., by guest blogger Jacqueline DeSelms-Wolfe

My husband is sitting at the table with a very serious look on his face. I ask him if all is okay. He looks at me and says “I’m just wondering what it is like to be you.”

Ma Is Dying, by Guest Blogger David J Saffold

Ma Is Dying, by Guest Blogger David J Saffold

Tuesday, Crying Again!

This morning I found my eighty-four-year-old mother sleeping with her legs hanging off one side of the bed.  She has gotten much weaker and can't pull her legs up onto the bed anymore.  She could last week, why not this week?  She cries out in pain as I pull her to sitting position - I have to hold her back so she doesn't fall back on the bed.  Everything with her is a chore - hard labor!  I flinch when her pain makes her cry out.  Her hip muscle has stretched from lying like that all night.  I finally get her to her recliner and get some Tylenol down her throat.  “Ouch, ouch, ouch, everything hurts” is the song she is constantly singing.  I beg her to eat something but can only convince her to drink a little vitamin drink.  So I sit down on the couch and my eyes well up with tears.  I have a great urge to cry just like I cried yesterday morning.  I don't know what to do and nobody else knows either.  I am helpless and don't like being helpless - so I cry.  I guess I am not the tough-guy I like to think I am.