Wednesday, June 29, 2011


today is a day-
the last day-
i have four,
all stepped down
one from the other
by a single year.
this is the day so little
but the year in which
they were loved alive.
shea is oldest, still 4
his daddy-broad shoulders
carrying the weight of the world
of little brothers
and wearing his mama-freckles
brightly asking of the world
all whys.
connor is middlest, still 3
with blonde ragamuffin
(i love that grace the best)
and eyes blue as a promise
that impish will and
push back against the grain
the strain of nots.
and avery is today's child, 2
finally out of ones,
and he is all brawn and laughs
and head full of cherub curls
intensity's child, he.
and lastbutnotleast owen is still just one
month (ok, and a half)
and he is quieting extension
of mama, still breast-close in all wonder.
thank you, Father,
for sons a heritage and ours a full house.

happy birthday, beautiful avery!

linking for the first time in ages with emily and others

Monday, June 27, 2011

In which I am filled unexpectedly

owen is 5 weeks. i say this to remind myself this is still a time of crazy. but i've been reminded by nancy and my friend christina that things happen in cycles (oh, Ecclesiastes!), and now i have hope that my words will return, the desire to write again will come, and that while i'm not sharing words here and processing, i am doing a good work at home with my four boys. my house is still a mess--i think i'm giving up in that department!--and meals are whatever can be served hodge-podge because i rarely have two arms at my disposal, but i have three happy older boys and a seemingly pretty content new guy. things are good.
i broke out my mei tai this morning for the first time because i just needed to get SOMETHING done, and owen went right to sleep, happy in that place next to mama's heart. i'd forgotten how glorious it was to have two arms again, and so i stole some moments to read a few blogs i haven't visited in ages. i've been filled again. listening to worship music i am reminded how much i love the Lord. reading words of hope and humor and grace i am reminded how much the Lord loves me. i have not been to church of the brick and mortar sort in months, but today i was filled. He is good.

friends, if you still read, know that i will be back though i don't know when. life is still a bit hectic and i haven't completely gotten it all figured out, but i know i still need this space.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gradual grace

i haven't been to my ladies' bible study group in ages. i miss the connection, the Word, and the fellowship of my sisters. i aimed to go this evening, if for no other selfish reason than to see walls other than my own living room, and so today for the first time in many moons, i picked up both Bible and study guide on Acts. i didn't end up going, but i think He knew what He was doing by kick-starting my cabin fever and nudging me in the direction of this group of women, just so i would pick up his word. He surprises me when it's evident He wants to meet me. what love is this, when i'd just as soon ignore him for seasons at a time?! and there, the words that jumped off the page: sovereign grace is gradual grace and gentle grace....divine grace does not trample...but rather it enables.
john stott is discussing the mercy of saul's damascus road conversion, and yet i see these words as testament in my own journey. from the day freshman year of college i tentatively asked my first bible study leader, "i know i should know the answer, but what IS grace?" to becoming a mom 10 years later, i've seen the gradual work of grace on Self, the kind that leaves me intact but invites His holy hand into my life. gradually and gently indeed.
i wear a sterling band as an outward sign of the inner work of wife-dom: when words are sharp and loosely held, grace reigns. when exhaustion embitters and grumbles, grace swells. when love is stretched 7 years long, sighing for the ease of earlier years, mercy is new every morning.
my belly is stretched and marked and my hair grey showing all my mother-work, and grace renews. there is no wrinkle cream to erase the toll of labor, but there is a wisening that rewards: i no longer have to try to be perfect. i can accept that i mess up (all the time!) and pray for sovereignty to win, and He will.
thanking Him today for His gentle prodding, for His love that is without fail, for His compassion for his children, and for good gifts he willingly bestows. Amazing Grace!