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Showing posts from 2014

I see the work of Your hands...

I pick up on it days later.  

I notice and draw the dots together after I finally upload recent pictures to my Facebook photo album.

And my heart pounded in my ears with gratitude... and regret.

Because it had taken me days to realize.

On Thursday morning I pulled up to a snow-covered stop sign and rolled down my window, allowing bitter and biting 12 degree Northern Indiana air to crawl into my van.  We were headed to the store, to preschool, but I had to stop.  Not for Instagram’s sake.  For my own.  The sunrise was marvelous; other-worldly.  I snapped a picture to the curiosity of my four year old.  

“What are you doing?”  

“I’m taking a picture of this sunrise. Isn’t it amazing?”

“Did you ask God to do that today?”  My eyes feel itchy.  Tears wiggling forward.  

“No, I didn’t.  But that’s what God does.  It’s a gift.”

And we rolled on to our Walmart destination.  Phone tucked away.  

My Thursday was a roll of to-do’s and missions to accomplish.  I had a crock-pot full of mac and cheese to s…

Shake off these heavy chains...

I’m wondering this morning... what is this search, this pursuit, of happiness?  What does it mean?  What would it look like if we were “really” happy?  Why do we think we “must” be happy?  Is it spiritual?  Cultural?  How we were raised?  
It’s not even 6 a.m. and I’ve been awake for an hour and a half.  The kids both were awake before 4:30 a.m. and by the time I checked on them, settled them back down (i.e. threatened them to go back to sleep or else) and came back downstairs, it was nearing 5 a.m. and my alarm was set to go off then anyway.  So I went ahead and got up.  Folded that load of laundry that I had tossed from the bed to the floor so I could sleep last night.
I thought about it as I stared at my bleary reflection and pulled my hair into a ponytail.  I felt irritated as I patted concealer under my eyes.  Why can’t they just sleep?  Why can’t I catch a break?  Why can’t I set my alarm to wake early to read my Bible of all things and not be interrupted, hassled or awakened even…

For all who were condemned...

It’s amazing, scary even, how the little moments can be strung together.
How they can create a streaming story.  A somehow continual truth. Separate shadows, all mixed together and suddenly, so you think: the real truth.  Every deeply rooted fear, confirmed.  No myths busted here.
He comes like a thief.  Just like that.  In the night. 
He robs us so blind.  Heart and soul and body and strength.  Traitor.
I’m not more than eleven.  Standing in my parent’s master bathroom, playing in makeup and playing dress-up with my younger sister.  We take turns applying a wildly red lip.  I catch my reflection and feel my heart shrivel.  My mismatched eyes and my too-large-for-my-mouth front teeth break my tender dreams.  I stand by the sink, transfixed at my sister’s reflection.  Her naturally curly blonde hair, wild and beautiful around her eight-year old face.  Her perfect rose-bud lips, bringing out the bright, almost other-worldly blue of her eyes.  My hair hangs limp and dark and I’m …

I'll love you for a thousand more...

I’ve made a decision.

I’m done.
I’m finished with saying how hard mothering is.  I don’t need to convince you or anyone that this is the hardest work of my life.  I don’t need to compare your work-day with my own 16-18 hour days, my pre-5 a.m. start times and my middle-of-the-night treks up the stairs.  I do aim to be grateful and to allow thankfulness to keep me from being pushed off the cliffs of insanity.  But let's be real, sometimes I’m calling a best friend and I’m in tears because they just turned into monsters before my eyes and everyone else’s in aisle six and I’m exhausted, humiliated and so emotionally vested that I could just lose my mind and heart in it all.

But I am finding there is a very real difference between calling a friend or your Mom for help or advice, someone to say, "I've been there, too." and simply letting our mouths run wild, throwing our kids, our husbands, our very gift of this very life, under the bus.  A bad day doesn't make a bad li…

And if...

It’s early when I think it.  Dark out, still night, but technically morning.  A train trembles in the distance, its whistle, warning, awakening.  I smile, calling to mind my sweet boys, tucked in upstairs, their love of all things with wheels and particularly for my oldest, trains.
Where is it?  I dig out my gratitude journal from under a stack of clean jammies, papers and my calendar, all heaped on the kitchen counter.  I had tucked it there so in case a glass had spilled or the flowers had overflowed, my thankgivings would be protected.
Praises are that valuable.
I tug it out from under the pile and start listing.  One after another.  The coffee growing cold in the mug and I don’t care.  I’ve been up for over an hour, the darkness is still as black as it was when I awoke, but it’s bright.  So bright in my kitchen and I’m heart glowing.  Feeding it in and fueling it out.  Thank You, thank You.... I don’t deserve this, I didn’t earn that, and wow, that was a complete surprise.  
Another w…

Anything you want, you got it...

It hit me one day last week while I was dusting the dining room chairs.
I made my rounds, thinking how I had read recently about one woman’s method of praying for the person who typically occupied that space.  I cleared off crumbs and replaced the booster seat on the chair that my three year old typically sits in to color and do puzzles.  I prayed for his creativity, his sensitive spirit, his artistic and methodical little mind.  It made me smile and I thought of the people I love, the people who have shared that table space with us. I finally got to the head of the table and began cleaning off the chair that my husband most often sits in.  And you know what struck me between that moment and the two or three chairs before?  
When I got to Aaron’s chair, I was tempted to cut corners.
I mean, it’s just his chair.I spent time dusting in between all the spindles on the other five chairs, but Aaron’s?Well, I mean, come on, I was tired of dusting and being meticulous by that point.It’s just my …

Morning by morning...

With a major winter weather advisory coming our way, the plans were to snuggle down and enjoy every second.  With Aaron gone on a hunting trip, the boys and I were ready to have a string of home days.  My Kindle is loaded with books to read and my coffee and hot chocolate supplies were good to go.  We had milk and bread.  Bring on the snow!
Our church cancelled services, which was to be expected, and so I resolved to make our Sunday at home a day of rest.  A true one.  Not just a lazy day, but a valuable day.  I took the time to make myself some fancy scrambled eggs.  I put paint in Ziploc bags and taped them to the patio doors so the boys could have a mess-free activity.  They colored, they played, they had snacks.  I made cinnamon rolls in a pretty pie plate and drank coffee from a too-pretty tea cup (with saucer!)  I turned on hymn music and away we went into our restful, peaceful, heart-worshipful Sunday.
And why then, after all the effort and the good intentions was I lying on my …