Monday, September 26, 2011


i can't even begin to express here the storm of uncertainty in my heart. but i need to get it out somehow.
how do you share words that hurt, even when your aim is to protect? how do you write real when you can't forget last night's dreams (the bad kind)? how do you mama-give when you curl fetal?
i know i can't make sense to you. (ambiguous you) i wish you knew i loved you and hurt for you, but i hurt for me, too.
how can there be seasons of certainty and others of mere fragility? days when i'm strong for me and others where i ache for you?
silence lingers these days, and i know neither of us knows what to say. i'm sorry. i'm praying for us. even if you don't know it.

311. breathing out this prayer for all of us involved: when you can't trace His hand, trust His heart.
312. for broken hearts so he can heal
313. for bravery where he allows
314. for the wind that whispers his name and the rocks that cry out, and the faith it takes to believe
315. for grace, daily
316. for the little things that help deflect these cloudy thoughts:
317. such as this gorgeous fall-like weather
318. and owen now 4 months already
319. and homeschooling freedoms to play-learn
320. and little boy haircuts
321. and husband's strongest arms to rock wee babe and tender-wrap me
323. for chocolate chip cookies
324. and coffee shared with friends
325. "for God so loved the world"

linking with the gratitude community as a discipline to share humble thanks even in a hard season right now. thank you for sharing without sharing some of my heart's cries today.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When you say nothing at all-Repost

toes push, heels rock, we're swinging
and my legs are metronome to the
heartbeat of a quiet afternoon.
neither of us are talking,
just sitting:

push, rock

the clanking of chain against chain
and screw inside of wood
protesting against our weight,
and we're simply sitting
amid the bird-song and each other:

push, rock

and i think, "we're here on a swing
and there is space between us
and he's just two
and i wonder if he knows
how much i love him?"
so i reach over,
caress his fat-creased thighs
and i whisper,
i love you:

push, rock

we're just sitting
and neither of us is talking
and there's space between us
and still looking forward
he reaches over the space and touches my hand:

push, rock

reposting this for enily's imperfect prose

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The richness of belonging

he scared my 3rd grade self, and he pointed right at me, black fingers waving me over. he said nothing, just started walking, and my heart began thumping out of my ears. i racked brain to see what i'd done; we were standing outside the cafeteria waiting on ms. heitz to take us back to our classroom. "what did i do?" i repeated several times on the verge of tears when i realized we were headed to The Principal's Office, his domain. he must have seen the near-panic in my eyes, and finally knelt down, "you didn't do anything. you were the quietest one in line, and i needed a helper i could trust."
i still don't remember what the task was, but can remember the fear of his huge authority calling me out of line like it was yesterday.

where does this kind of fear come from?

why am i still afraid?
of the police (ok, ok, my tags are expired)
of the cool moms on the playground with hair coiffed and sons in plaid

of God?

i received a summons 3 months ago for an appearance in court, a suit for a debt i knew nothing about.
i felt all the same fear standing so exposed beneath the judge's gaze. husband said i did well, but heart thudded all the same.

i always see myself as rule's exceptions: that God loves others but not me, my sins are the ones unpardonable, that i'm the one grace won't quite cover.

i pray one day i feel the weight of grace from the judge who loves, who has not only summoned, but redeemed. i pray i live today, not in fear, but in the richness of belonging.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How patience is sexy

he told me once how he used to hunker down, ashamed by height and breadth--til the day he held his firstborn and knew his shoulders were meant for this all along.

today he held connor, the one i'd pushed away several times because of the boy whirl-wind and impish antics. the one who trampled nerves already frayed and mamamamamama'd the ears overstimulated.

connor says, "i love you," and i say, "i love you, too, baby," but does he hear without hands?

and daddy just picks him up, full of patience. patience despite all the traits, antics, touch, noise that undoes me.
i fall in love with my green-eyed man holding my blue-eyed boy. this man is patient with me, too, filling in the gaps where i am short, hunkered down in selfish "i can't do this anymore!"

so that when house is quiet (ok, it's not all that quiet, connor's wheezy breathing snoring through walls and pele's collar clanking with itching dream twitches and the muted honking din of city streets)
we collide in grace, parents holding our babies' hearts, lovers holding each others' hands.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The beauty that surrounds

there is a beauty that surrounds me,
(even when i overlook it.)
there are some days i forget to walk outside,
so fail to see how green comes in ten shades, just on ivy road.
or, how smart and wily the backyard birds are,
arrogantly eating the dog's food,
fluttering away with a taunting second to spare.

we return to play, now that heat is not so oppressive.
maybe now that we have more work to do?
the boys are more outside than in,
though the flies are more inside than out;
we dizzy in the middle, hap'ly.

my house has probably never been messier,
but why clean up the forts
and sweep away the dragon's lairs?

owen grows fat on mama's milk;
i blossom in his honey smiles,
us: making liars of canaan's promise.

this home i make in beds unmade
and arms entwined (yes, love is made, too)
surrounds me in beauty
i often overlook, but can't wait to see

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to learn at home

it's been one full week, this new addition to our life, us just trying to find a rhythm. shea and i had our first week of kindergarten, him not sent off with backpack in tow and bright yellow schoolbuses...just another pop-tart on the couch while i nursed owen and the tv was left on a little too long. i always thought i wanted to homeschool, but i was filled with fear and worry that i'd do it badly. i kept saying to myself, "if i'd just get started...."

mama, teach me!
his words, unprompted.
me: fears beginning to quell, heart humbled.
Yes, LORD, teach me, too!

mama, what will we learn about today?

shea is so eager to work every day (he even wanted to work on saturday; i put my foot down on sunday to prepare for the new week!). this is where i must fall to my knees to remember that teaching everything is teaching nothing if not about the Lord. we see skies, we breathe air, we wear our provisions in tummies full and bodies warm, and these are the things i must learn anew, teach fresh: to see rightly the world (fallen) through the lens of Creator-Savior.

teach me, Abba!

too long since i've voiced my gratitude. resuming with the gratitude community:

301. for living in a country that allows me to teach my children at home
302. for the comrade-in-arms i have with brownie, also homeschooling this year
303. for husband willing to support this new adventure
304. for four children, truly a blessing from God
305. for the occasional naps that owen has taken not in my lap so i could get things done
306. for all the naps that owen takes on my lap because this time is so fleeting and i could hold him forever
307. for shea's willing and eagerness to learn with mama
308. that we had a successful first week (and can judge success on our own standards)
309. for learning to let go the things i have less control of (ongoing!)
310. our memory verse: and what does the lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your god? micah 6:8

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The miracle of "just"

i knew she had a lump, and neither of us was worried.
after all, mama had cystic breasts, and we figured that would be our normal someday, too.
she scheduled her long-delayed well-woman, expecting to be... well.
and then there was a scare.
the gravity in a doctor's voice and the change in his shoulder stance speaks in undertones heard louder than thunder.
cancer, they think.
this is where i try to remember to breathe. i cry instead, as does she, we crying fear together but across a too-long-distance phone call.
testing done, more images taken, the lump becomes carcinoma in-situ and needs biopsies. these, words we grew up with, surrounded by cancer because our mom worked at a prominent childhood cancer hospital, and now they are language applied not overheard.
she saw the pathologist, and a miracle broke: just a ruptured cyst, they said.
this is where i tried to remember to breathe. i cried instead. we still cling in gratitude for health and prayers heard.

this is obviously the shortened version of a very real scare that my identical sister went through in august (can it just have been 4 weeks ago?). i share it here both to chronicle but also to invite you, always, to share in praise for His hand on her, on us, as we bowed low under fear of breast cancer and even scarier potentials. He is good no matter how He answered us, and i'm eternally grateful that in this instance my sister is cancer-free.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hogging the details

i'm the only one who's given him a bath. i cherish the touch of his butter skin against my mama-worked hands; my palms linger in fat-roll creases like his wrists are smiling, and i grin right back. i test that water tepid and smell that soap lavender, and i just know these are my moments to drink right full.
i wrap him in a big, fluffy towel the way eternity would, because our now is all i have, and i want to remember the tiny holding when he's too big to wash and wear. i tender-wipe off lingering droplets, and tender-coo him into snapping pajamas all warm.
he lies between us at night, but really, he's still all mine-mine to let down milk and mine to curve a "c" around in groggy half-awakes. the world is ours at 3 a.m., though neither of us sees beyond the other. he drifts back into milky sleep, my starry child, and i claim the details exclusively: don't grow up yet.