day 209: my greatest need

Happiness is not my greatest need.  My greatest need is to feel that every part of me is fully in use.
Carol Shilds, Swann

When I read this tonight I scrapped the blog post I had started.  This quote hit me.  It hit me right in the heart.  

The heart that feels swollen with missing someone that hasn't quite left yet.
The heart that is filled with concern for my kiddos that I have a major responsibility for.
The heart that read scriptures with my youngest tonight.
The heart that is filled up with respect and want for my husband.
The heart that is banging in my chest, against ribs that try to hold me up.  That try to hold me together.

My ribs that seem wider than they used to.
Ribs that tickle.
Ribs that hurt after I laugh so hard I can't breathe.
Ribs that protect other vital parts of me.
Ribs that grab at my spine like a cage.

My spine that stands me up when I want to puddle on the floor.
My spine that acts like an axle to my body.
My spine that allows me to lean toward the mirror in the mornings when I examine my face.

My face that kisses my children on their way out the door.
My face that looks at papers and books and 5 year-olds all afternoon.  Gladly.
My face that has freckles and lines that say you can do it.
My face that talks to friends and laughs and sings.
My face that looks down at my body and remembers better, younger times.
Times when my hands held babies more often.  Cooked more often.  Tied shoes more often.

My hands that now type more.  Write more. Wring more.
Hands that reach up to touch whiskers on my sons' faces.
Hands that are folded under my body when I fall asleep on the couch at night.
Hands that are held by my husband as he leads me to bed after a long day.

Fully in use.  Fully, and happily, in use.


Robin | March 15, 2010 at 11:17 PM

Lovely thoughts.

charrette | March 15, 2010 at 11:26 PM

Great post. You express yourself so well.

Dona | March 16, 2010 at 3:07 AM

Intense. You exude happy usefulness!

Unknown | March 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Wow Karen, Your words and thoughts are amazing.

Kimberly Vanderhorst | March 16, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Do you have any idea how inspiring you are? Reading this makes me want to LIVE in ways I'm not currently. Fabulously written.

wendy | March 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Good post.
This is a conversation I have been having lately with my husband.
I am still trying to adjust to some of the solitude here
without my family
without my friends
I tell him I don't feel "needed"
It is good to be IN USE
then the happiness really comes

Lola Sharp | March 16, 2010 at 8:52 PM

I really loved this post Kazzy. Beautiful. Honest.
Thank you for sharing it with us.


Jenny | March 17, 2010 at 8:18 AM

I feel your same thoughts, well put.

val of the south | March 17, 2010 at 8:21 AM

Thank you.