Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Of soap and sand

it was a stolen moment, a little quiet hiding tucked into the busy of day, those little ones for once just playing together in their room uncaring where we were. we simply lay on covers still unmade from last night and wondered at the simplicity of aloneness, this private cocoon. he grounds me in this nest of arms, and my restless feet statically and rhythmically keep time against his calves. inside the growing one kicks through my belly to his belly, we laughed. he is long and solid like history, and i'm all curves and plump softness (except that tight globe i love so much), and i'm the one leaning on him. i've always been this way. i told him how he makes all of us--three busy boys and even furry loves--feel as if we were the center of his universe. he shrugged; he's always been this way. avery clambers in, finally missing presence, and he reaches over me to grab him up. long brown curls mimic his smile as daddy holds him high and mama snuggles close. shea comes in to tattle, and connor comes in all loud-boy-noise-machine, and the bubble of first-couple is broken just that easily. but like soap, there will always be residue, the tickle of memory from unexpected oasis. so we heave off bed with laughing tickles, our sand in the desert swallowing footprints of the day.

linking with emily and other broken poets along the way

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Towards a spring theology

she played hooky from work yesterday and we talked long and fast, our nature. she wanted to call just to say the bluebonnets are there. i've written of them before, how they helped this lonely soul see Him again. spring always refreshes, and i adore memphis in spring (which is why i missed it so hard!). bradford pears have changed lacy shawl to summer-green and japanese magnolias have dropped their magenta petals. in their wake, the remaining cherries, the dogwoods of easter promises, redbuds, and wisteria so haunting to make me weep. these are gifts i unwrap every errand, every excuse to drive, and i feel that winter thaw again.
we played hooky from bible study this morning, she needing work done, and i just eager to go over later and play. lunches packed and chocolate delivered, and we talk and love each other with skin on, and i think, "home: friends. true spring. my boys singing walkin' to memphis [sic]."
i received excellent news yesterday that has assuaged so many fears and relieved some pressure; good medical reports often do. this wee one inside--so heavy and low!--seems protected from the diabetic complications i had with my last pregnancy. i am still on the diabetic side, but so close as to be borderline. unfortunately, my current OB is still pushing for many extra measures, but i feel confident to deny them safely. it is yet another blessing, this prayer being answered so mightily.

i hate that it's so easy to trust and enjoy when the winds are calm instead of storming. spring is both, though, eh? all this new green and pale palette and then the rains that chase the petals from stems. all this creation sprung from the same hand: my sister and i tightly joined in womb to love across all this distance just to share a flower; the beauty that revives me every spring; the visible answer to prayer to mark His hand this day, and even the storm that raged internal last week and that rained out his soccer game on sunday.

Thank You, Lord, for this hands-on love, this spring of rains and the Eternal water of life.
linking with my lovely friend, suzannah, for her ShoutLaughLove. come along?
lt;center>so much shouting, so much  laughter

Friday, March 25, 2011

All the small things

271-282 counting towards 1000....
my favorite playlist on repeat.
hot, fresh pretzels from the oven (it's true; you must eat one straight away. i don't know what these taste like cooled because we've yet to have any last that long).
coral and gold-tipped tulips still closed but promising to open soon; a friend's perfect gesture to send me into the weekend after a horribly stressful week.
husband home on a friday afternoon, in the other room, but close enough to call out, to reach.
an almost-two-year-old finally weaned from his bottles, and now napping as if he were still an infant and full of mama's milk.
a novel half-read, better than the movie, as they always are.
miami vice on my toenails, an unexpectedly bright and feminine pink instead of my usual.
the last load into the washer from all the laundry accumulated since we moved (we even brought some dirty with us) and didn't have appliances at home. a friend gave us her older set and slowly, and now surely, i've gotten all caught up: linens, towels, clothes.
fresh strawberries and nutella for dipping.
asparagus fresh and slim and perfect eaten just slightly sauteed in butter and a sprinkle of salt.
a check so late in coming (in our time anyway!) but blessing us this week perfectly, an the ability to begin paying people back.

these are the tiny graces i'm so thankful for. i'm so glad that we serve One who can both carry he universe and live in my heart. counting with ann and others to mark His hand in our lives.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


i love the way distressed hardwood floors look, as if they tell a story of a hundred feet in every sinuous grain. in my mind, they are footie-pajama'd children squealing with glee on christmas morning and sliding, back when there was veneer and shine. or, perhaps the swishing of granny slippers and house robe pulled too tight, the wood peeking from beneath the rugs to help keep her warm. yes, weathered wood that has taken a beating, and finally no more splinters to spill.

i sip on coffee hot and au lait colored, and muse over floors. i think i swept our living room three times yesterday. the hardwoods collect dust like i collect memories, and my own children run and leap and slip-slide on these worn wooden planks. one likes to throw especially loud tantrums, arms all flailing til my heart wants to join in, and one is monkey-boy, all blue eyed rambunctiousness, and one is bossy and demanding the others follow the leader. no splinters have wounded their country boy bare feet (bear feet; they all have large feet, like their daddy.)

coffee cools. the cup says, "Her children arise and call her blessed." i wonder if my boys will weather gently like old wood, if they will emerge all grace-worn edges and battered varnish, but smooth as an old proverb.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Thankful, when i don't want to be

perspective helps. hard to see, perhaps, but aligning nonetheless.
words soar in my brain, and i chafe all over again.
high risk.
i want to scream, "it's not fair!" i want to ball my fists and stamp my foot, and am reminded by a sweet friend that it's unbecoming.
so i'm choosing to give instead.
give up.
give it over.
refuse to carry that tantrum or the grief any longer.
this little boy inside is already Known, all his days are numbered: Your works are wonderful; i know that full well.
i have birthed three already, and when the time comes, naught but He could stay this one inside! i've complained to those who've listened that i can't enjoy this pregnancy anymore because of the new maternal care and the pushing of "extras," of unwanted medical attention that will cost thousands of dollars out of our pocket (insurance kicks in about a month from now), but with perspective comes the majesty of feeling this boy's movements inside of me. of wondering who he will favor, and what his place as fourth in a line of brothers looks like. it is the awe of a creator who loved enough to die so we might live, both in this frail skin fighting diabetes and in eternal worship.

choosing to give thanks with ann and others even when my nature wishes to complain.
258. that we've been blessed with this, 4th boy
259. for my incredible OB in texas who had faith in my body's ability to birth naturally and healthily, and who was unperturbed my my history of gestational diabetes
260. for the peace that provided me in the first half of my pregnancy
261. that i'm still healthy, that most of my glucose readings have still been reasonably normal, even when i've "cheated"
262. for knowing He is in control and knows the outcome
263. for 2 more months til we meet this little man--i've truly enjoyed myself this time and am reluctant for it to end
264. that it will end, and i'll get to meet him soon anyway!
265. for friends willing to pray and listen to me complain after a morning of talking to doctor's offices
266. maybe the blessing-in-disguise of not having a thousand dollars at my disposal to see the maternal-fetal specialist; maybe this way i can continue to enjoy a stress-free gestation
267. for husband who willingly lets me grab his hand to feel every kick at night...still
268. for Sonic ice. no, i'm not kidding.
269. for medicine still working, and mental health still being GOOD
270. for grace, as always

Thursday, March 10, 2011

As you are going: Worship

i see songs of worship

in a mother's hands, unconsciously pressed on her purple-stretching skin, a responding call to the fluttering thumps below

in milk that leaks nourishing comfort

in the toddling steps of a wee one, shaky on legs but certain in love's fall-breaking

in the fart-jokes as oldest little one grows--there is a letting go, even this young--and the burst of " i do it" as 3 year old insists on independence

in the quotidian click of wedding bands as she hands him the plates for the table, the eyes catching with an old flicker

in hands that fold laundry and reach under tables during grace

in wearing wife role, which looks a lot like red toenails and the two curved bodies asleep before they intended to


i sing worship as i tend this home. sometimes i bake the bread, and sometimes i buy it straight on sale. i raise these three boys and grow another, and sometimes it means avery kisses my bottom because that's as high as he can reach, and sometimes it's the constant yelling to QUIET DOWN. i sweep floors and consider decorations, but we have written on our doorposts to Whom we belong and serve. i remember meg's words: just as you are going. one step at a time.

linking with emily and others for her imperfect prose

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spring hymn

i can't get over the japanese magnolias w/ their haughty purple-pink robes.
or the bradford pears in their unfruiting yet flowering privilege.
i am giddy with green (despite sniffles ensuing)
and i don't miss the big texas sky for all the climbing trees here.

we used to sing this song in college, and i find myself singing it again

Awaken The Dawn (by Delirious)

Sing to the Lord with all of your heart
Sing of the glory that's due to his name
Sing to the Lord with all of your soul
Join all of heaven and earth to proclaim

You are the Lord
The Saviour of all
God of creation we praise you
We sing the songs
That awaken the dawn
God of creation we praise you

Sing to the Lord with all of your mind
With understanding give thanks to the King
Sing to the Lord with all of your strength
Living your lives as a praise offering

You are the Lord
The Saviour of all
God of creation we praise you
We sing the songs
That awaken the dawn

God of creation we praise you

Monday, March 7, 2011


the lines on his face tell me a poem,
of the three-before-three trips to emergency:
the gentle dog who bit him
the coffee table collision
the tumbling off railroad tie;
another scar where football scramble
was prayed over, no stitches and healed anyway;
his eyes crinkle like a pleated skirt when he laughs
and i wish i'd carved them all myself.
his dimples drew me in, "hoyuelos" i said on an early date
and i trace them every night in my sleep,
kiss those parenthesis, all mine, gentle scruff scratching me.
those furrowing lines of pressure and worry
no botulism could ever straighten out
and i know he holds us in his thoughts, his
high proud forehead
all the time
and i love him for his lines

(241-256 of counting gifts with Ann and others on this journey)

so grateful for the love of my life.
for his patience as daddy and
ability to be jungle gym
b/cs i can't.
for his patience and grace with me
and holding my hand always
for his worry for our needs
and his strength to carry it all
for his searching heart
even when i don't understand
and his laugh that literally keeps me sane sometimes
for his work and ethic to work
even when he doesn't like his job
for his urgency in providing
for providing all these little boys
for the love we make and share
and the oasis in a difficult time we were able to have this weekend,
no getaways, just staying, and being present
and connecting in a way we haven't in a really long time
and always, always, the Grace of the Beloved
in providing me with the helpest of mates,
knowing exactly what i needed and desired.

Friday, March 4, 2011

this space has been too quiet, the last post taunts me that i haven't been back. and yet, when i think, have tried, my mind draws blankly. i've written on paper with intentions to share, but that notebook was dropped in grease (no, i'm not kidding!). so it goes.
i still mentally count my blessings, wonder if it's enough.
avery, perched on edge of office chair, swings his feet back and forth, he simply enjoys the movement of his body; i smile at his enthusiasm. shea is reminding me every day with every sentence that i can't go wrong with attempting to homeschool him next year, for he's simply too excited to learn every day. connor's joie de vivre is infectious like this spring we're enjoying.
there are grey thoughts under the surface, too: we're here again, but he's so unhappy, and life has been hard. it's hard to stand wife against despair, and all i want is to wrap him up and fix, and both my hands are tied, though heart will never follow suit.
yes, this space has been come-and-go, hit-or-miss. i don't like being sporadic, but i want to be present in life, not just in words thought out. i know there are words to share, lessons to ponder, but i also need balancing with these tasks before me, especially these tiny ones.