Thank you to all of our faithful supporters & encouragers through the years. We appreciate you so much & are excited to discover what direction Mountain Haven will be heading as we seek answers, rest, & direction this next year. We will be taking another year of 2019-2020 to reset and reorient our future after the last year of this health battle. Thank you for standing with us.
MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $2700.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $850.00 Remaining Need: $1,850.00
Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened: 1.) The girls both finished school. Kaisha finished 9th grade, and Lilly finished 5th grade. It was a definite change for both of them attending school in a city. 2.) Lilly is in a summer theater program and she got the lead role of Penelope and did a solo on her own for tryouts. 3.) Kaisha turned 15 this month. What a wonderful and complex in between stage. 4.) Kevin is coming back into wholeness as much as one can in his condition. We are still doing some wound care and he has drs appointments at least monthly, but he has gained weight and is learning to live with all his new parts!. It has been a very long year.
Top Prayer Requests: Pray that we truly allow ourselves to love another, to love God and to love ourselves.
Mountain Haven Newsletter June, 2019
“For true love is given to mirror and manifest God on earth, and not for self realization and personal happiness. With the acceptance of those terms, the path comes into being.
What is it your mirror is reflecting to others? I like to think of true love and intimacy as a mirror that reflects back to the other their true self- shadow and light- in a nonjudgmental way. But we all know how mirrors work don’t we? If the mirror is cracked the image is distorted, if the mirror is foggy the image is unclear, if the mirror is warped by weather or cold, again the image is marred. At the crux of many inconsistencies and rifts in intimacy and true love of another, are the reflections and projections we ourselves bring into the relationship.
Let’s start with the way we see ourselves in our mirror. Often times I find that I am perceiving myself inaccurately; usually somewhere between who I am and who I want to be. As a parent this comes into play very often. I set expectations for myself to be present for my kids, to understand them, to react a certain way and then life gets in the way. I am tired so my mirror reflects back impatience and messages like “you are annoying me”, I am processing my own doubts and experiences and losses so my mirror reflects back a dismissive, indifferent response. I have a childhood wound of my own or a core belief that I still carry and it gets activated with my kids and I am sharp and even whiny with my kids. All of these ways I see myself inaccurately, are all the ways that I have not allowed all of me to be loved by the wholeness of Gods infinite love. They are ways that I am not whole, that is true- so I put the idea of wholeness at the forefront of my goals for the day, and instead of seeing my whole loved self in the mirror reflecting back, I see my brokenness and my flaws and it usually makes me strive harder, and make more demands of myself; and when I make demands of myself invariably those demands will be projected on my children. Inevitably I fail and I fall; and so do they. We all do, when we create a phantasmic ideal of ourselves. The mirror we reflect in our relationships with our spouses, partners and loved ones is also a mirror that is often clouded or distorted from previous relationships, our attachment model, our personality type, our hurts that have turned into beliefs, our habits and patterns, and primarily our certainty that our way of loving or being in a relationship is the way to be- in other words our selfishness. I am always struggling in my own relationship with the dichotomy of feeling forgotten and wanting to be a servant. Its like these two opposite ends of the spectrum are always beckoning to me when I interact with Kevin. I listen, serve, do, accommodate, caretake, bend, and sometimes I reflect grace and kindness and then other times I just feel forgotten and my ego takes over. I get angry and start demanding things of Kevin or start planning something so I can be fulfilled. My gratefulness is overshadowed by this other self that demands love, demands to be seen, and judges another. How do we balance the idea that to love another wholly is to be with another without judgment? All the while we can ask more of them in order to connect? I struggle daily with this.
Expectations are part of judgment and when our relationships turn contractual rather than covenantal we are disappointed. There is nothing intrinsically harmful or terrible about disappointment, pain or loss but I think it is when we put those feelings and experiences in a box (to be dealt with later or hopefully forgotten), or stuff them in our soul; that they become toxic and harmful in relationships. Liken it to this story: there was this beautiful home decorated with all the latest decor, gorgeous in its presentation; but there was a trap door in this house where the decorators had thrown all the rubbish, garbage, and years of debris to deal with later. Well the house started to stink and smells would waft through the air intermittently. But the owners had all but forgotten the trap door because it was covered with a gorgeous rug. However, sooner or later the trap door has to be opened and cleaned out or the beautiful house will be uninhabitable because others will keep noticing the smell and it will be unbearable. Someone has to pull back the rug. So it is with us- our anxieties, deep hurts, habits, and traumas will find a way to speak their truth to us and those around us. We can’t hide from these realities, eventually the uncover us and reveal us-and our loved ones will see and smell the stench. Our mirror will be so dirty and filmy that others may feel unloved, judged, or unaccepted in our presence.We will be alienated from our true selves unable to walk in grace, and we will be further alienated from others.
This is a battle that can only be won through surrender. Somehow I hate this word and I love this word. When I started looking up the etymology of this word I found that the word surrender comes from the early 15c and comes from the old French surrendre and means, “to give (something) up,” or “give up, deliver over” (13c.), from sur- “over” (see sur-) + rendre “give back” (see render). Reflexive sense of “to give oneself up” (especially as a prisoner) is from 1580s. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/surrender I like this from the standpoint that I can choose to give up my old self, I can choose to open this trap door and surrender or give up keeping it closed. In doing this I can open Pandora’s Box of anxiety, hurt, childhood memories, and worry -and so, like a prisoner will give themselves up, I can give up the pretense and I can get real with myself, my kids, and my loved ones. I am no longer bound to be a person of pretense hiding behind a shiny veneer. I am now a person who has a shiny veneer AND a trap door in my house that has a lot of mess in it. I can simultaneously be cleaning up my mess, wading through it, dealing with it while I am loving others, loving God, and loving myself. In this way I think the mirror reflection of my love can be more accurate and not a funhouse mirror projecting my distortions on another.
This type of loving takes a lot of work. Often I do not feel up to the task. Does anyone really? Isn’t that what true grace is really about? We respond from our own freedom from striving and we bring our whole selves- honest about our shortcomings and our victories. Relationships are like going to school every day- a school that never ends. Sometimes I feel myself sliding by on my previous knowledge and reacting out of habit (relying on what I know works). But what I really want is to just be present in every moment and respond as grace imbues me. I don’t want to be responsive from my ego motivations, my fears, my hurts or my selfishness- but I also want the freedom to know that if I do, I am still loved, I am still loving, and I can start again and hold up another mirror. I want this same thing for you as well my friend. Start today by opening the trapdoor and taking one thing out and start cleaning up your mirror. See what reflection comes back.