Tuesday, May 18, 2010


we made-believe (there were robots-in-waiting)
we made pink cupcakes with glossy white swirls
a mess, those same pinking crumbs making trails across a barely swept floor
we made time to play: mama, wanna play again?
we memoried ourselves into pairs (he won, you know)
we built a castle-fort and wrecked it several times
we burritoed ourselves into the quilt, greens and reds pulled tight and low
we made time to pause: let's sit for a while, ok?
we are in the process of making little men and
mama learns that making is love
mirrors dirt-breathed-into-life kind of love

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Of soy sauce and serenades

this has been one of those 'off' weeks.
the kind where words are hasty and not always empathetic to the other's feelings. the kind where busy-ness has felt closer than happy-ness. the kind where circles have been made around the other: children tended, dishes washed, work accomplished (or not), and errands here, there, a wall of my-needs-first, careless.
today words were hurled at him; how him? my beloved did not feel be-loved.
so i cooked.more than just prepare the dinner i had planned, i wok-fried that little bit of remembered passion into the neatly chopped vegetables. reheated leftover rice, refusing to give him my emotional dregs, my discards. vowed with the stirfry sauce that he still deserves so much more than i can do, but to daily remember all i love about him when life stills that voice to a quiet whisper.
while he wiped off dirty mouths and i wiped off dirty dishes, i asked him to play "happy music," and with the first notes of a newly favored song of mine, i heard him shouting to me across the room "i love you hunny, as i always have, and will."
you see, he played me my favorite song, one he dislikes--immensely. he played a silly song not normally classified as a love song, and still it quivered each note with patience and forgiveness and friendship.
do i deserve this man? not anymore than i deserve grace. but i love him and am reminded of the Good gifts we're given.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


last night at my love&logic class, one of the video teaching segments spoke a truth right to my heart. in talking of setting boundaries (and rather the lack of a need to do so; the class teaches you to allow your children to make the majority of choices in their lives), one of the teachers said simply, "our children don't often care about our approval. instead, they merely want our acceptance [the knowledge and assurance that they are loved no matter what]." while he was expounding on the idea that our kids' most basic needs is to feel loved and that we parents can be equipped to handle this gig with the right toolbox of logic and empathy to meet those needs, i heard a bigger truth.
isn't it easy to confuse the two as we get older: acceptance and approval?
my basest need is to know and be known: acceptance. but i conflate this need with the need for approval, favor, affirmation. i replace trust with things. i swap faith for rewards and words. i swap Relationship with recognition.
approval isn't inherently bad, but it creeps very near a line of self-importance. instead of finding Him big enough to handle us, we try to be like bright puffer-fish, blowing steam and making very little splash eternally. acceptance reminds us that we're imperfect.
we want to be loved by the one who is Love. we want to bask in the reminder that he won't ever let us go. we can't ever do enough to gain perfect acceptance. what we can do, though, is rest in the comfort of God's kindness.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday night

he reads his book,
finger tucked expectantly
under cottony page.
my head rests in his lap
& i hear rustles &
my own beating heart,
feel those quadratic sinews
tighten as foot crosses
over foot
& i breathe content

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the race

I'm not saying I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
~ Philippians 3:12-14
i met with my counselor on monday, and as usual, i walked away with a further insight. i'm a perfectionist. STILL. and i had a bad parenting moment (umm, weekend) that i'm also STILL reeling from. it's just been emotional: the grief, the guilt, the worry if i'll scar my kids' lives, and that deep, dark fear of failure. i'm afraid of being a bad mom. afraid of being my mom. and so with all that heavy heart-ness and mama exhaustion, i ranted about my imperfections. to my counselor. i'm fairly sure she's aware of many of them by now, but she listened with grace and replied in kind.
she told me she wanted me to make more mistakes. especially of the parenting kind. and not only make them, but make them Out Loud so my children can see them, and see me repent, so that in all things i can point them to Christ. i hate to admit i actually laughed out loud when she said the first part, until i heard the last part. because really, the whole point is the Who, and i in all my ragamuffin self am not I Am.
it's so easy to wax about wanting him to pick up my broken pieces, but am i willing for him to break me as well?
my counselor tried to help ground me in reality (she's sooo good at this, and i'm eternally grateful. i need practical), and she said if i remember it's a marathon and not a sprint that the falls don't matter quite so much. isn't that insane? so true. if you run a 100-yard dash and fall within a couple of steps, your race is over. if you fall even a mile into a marathon, you brush off your knees, retie your laces, and start running again.
so. utterly. profound.
perfect people don't need Jesus. and if there's anything i know, it's that i need him so badly. there's no way i can even bear the weight of my own perfectionism when i am reminded of just how perfect he was. i'm attending a Love&Logic course, and the first night the speaker handed out 16 penny nails for us to carry around as a visual reminder that no one is perfect. i slipped mine into my purse with no extra thought, until now.
i want to run the race well. that's in my nature. but i don't have to run it perfectly.