August 31, 2011

it isn't easy

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Proverbs 3:5

I'm open. I'm trusting.  It isn't easy.
I'd like to dust off an old magic wand and make the drama vanish, or at least toss a handful of fairy dust up into the sky and cover it with something pretty.  But those are my solutions, not His.  And this heart knows that His solution is the only one that is perfect.  So I lean and I trust.  I push me out of the equation and pull in the stillness that He desires.  Between the drama and the busyness, it isn't easy.  But He never promised it would be...

August 29, 2011

little summer for the soul

The weekend may have been back to back empty squares, but none-the-less, it wore me out.
I suppose, to be fair, I was already past exhaustion... because the week was simply too much.  When they can't even count on me to be there to sign syllabuses or remember where I put that new planner I picked up,  I realize that my volunteer jobs may just be too much.  (It is a hard reality and quite catch 22-ish... that though I do it for them, it takes me away from them!)
But the weekend was just us...
Just us and home
I worked away trying to fix all of the things that didn't quite work last week... like homework space cleared, a place for his computer to charge, and finding the floor of the spare room.  But even with all that we accomplished, there was lots that didn't get done... like mopping, the grocery shopping, a shower.  The only place we went this weekend was church.  Oh, and in that outing we did have to go buy a second planner and replace a lunch box that the zipper flew off of.  So much for making that last another year. 
Sunday afternoon found me closer to finishing the must-dos... and closer to tears than I really wanted to admit.  When I thought I might not be able to accomplsih one more small thing, Eric looked at me and suggested throwing in the towel... and going for a swim.  Swimming doesn't appeal to me, but just as I was about to say no, I remembered the pink float...
And so for two hours, I floated. 
I let the sun shine down on me and into my soul.
I left my to-dos and my cares for rest.  Much needed rest
And even though school has begun, I closed my eyes and let summer return.

August 27, 2011

the empty square

Saturday morning and the house is quiet. Silent. Everyone but me is still wrapped up in sweet dreams, weary from a long week. I can't help but give thanks for this empty square on the calendar... nothing scheduled, no commitments, no place to be but home. And that is just fine... because last night we were just where we wanted to be...
Friday nights just get lovlier from here 'til November.

August 24, 2011

lost in the banter

Mornings are, once again, my favorite. 
I can hear them from where I lay, bantering back and forth and their voices make me smile... make me want to begin the day.  She offers to make him breakfast, he puts a slice of bread in her bento box and laughs about how he has made her lunch.  Hot cup of coffee in hand, I resist turning on the TV and the world so I can hear more of their world... I am quiet, but for a good morning... and the magazine in my lap is just a front. 
I am totally lost in them. 

The living moment is everything.  -D.H. Lawrence
Project Simple Pleasures2

linking up with dayle today...

August 23, 2011

tools for success

She all but twirled out of her room yesterday morning with a smile on her face... ready to tackle the world.  
First day of school... first last day.  Senior year.  And I really thought she looked the part...
She really does have her own sense of style... but the part I love best? 
The smile and that sparkle in her eyes. 
And maybe that set of keys dangling from her lanyard. 
Yes, she is driving. 
Driving was on the list of things we were told would probably not happen... but all of the doctors in the world cannot out-diagnose the power of God.  He provided enough sight for her to pass the eye exam at the DMV, and more importantly, He blessed her with the vision to see the beauty in the world... the beauty that is visable to all, and the beauty that resides within.  And I just know He has great plans for this girl of ours.  Her eyes may not capture every detail but she sees
And not just with those beautiful blue eyes... but also with the eyes of her heart.  

So off we head... seeking the adventures and treasures that senior year is bound to bring. 
And along with the keys, we'll bring perseverence and the Grace of God

Imparting Grace

and because I can refuse her nothing, I am linking to Richella... a day late.

August 22, 2011

tumbling time

He catches me staring at him, but he smiles anyway.
Typically, I'd get a face, but I think he knows where I am these days, my heart tucked in somewhere between unbelief and amazement. That smile sends me off into a kaleidoscope of memory... light and color changing at every turn. While this moment seems the most beautiful, a quick turn reveals another view... and the first is gone.

The past two weeks he has been playing with the big kids... or so it seemed, when I dropped him off at the high school for band camp. As much as I have been waiting for this, it still seemed surreal. But Friday night, on the field, my field of musical, marching dreams, there was only reality. Auntie leaned over and said he doesn't even look little. Nope. He doesn't. He seems to fit right in. All good, all right

Today is the day of full reality though, with the house bustling before dawn and ringing of the first school bell of the year just minutes away.  He is offically a freshman, which makes her a senior.  I have been waiting for this for years and now I want this moment to last for... forever.  I know better than to put much stock in that wish. 

His first day of high school, her last first day...
Another turn, the light fractures and the colors tumble into yet another pattern... still beautiful, but still for just this moment in time.

August 15, 2011

nineteen things

We don't even know how it happened.  It was just all of a sudden... split. 
Sure, the ring has worn some after nineteen years of wearing, but the break in the gold had us both at a loss.
Some might take it as a sign or a warning... but as I spun the gold 'round my own finger I thought about the journey of us.  The seasons of plenty and days that have overflowed with love...  and the battering of egos and bruised hearts and the miles that sometimes kept us apart.  Nineteen years is a long time.  Almost half my lifetime so far.  This ring is a promise... from me to him.  A promise that still makes my heart tingle and my eyes smile.  Nothing to do but get the ring fixed.

I have tried to think back to the moment we exchanged rings... and I can almost remember it.  After nineteen years I think that it is okay to have faded, blurry photos  in my mind.  But it makes me realize that there are more moments that I want to always remember... crystal clear.

1. Dancing that last dance with him, in my spectator flats... him singing Beauty & the Beast into my ear... and into my heart.
2.  The moment I saw him step off the Coast Guard Cutter after his first trip away... and every military home-coming after that.  His arms are home to me.
3.  A little bundle of pink balanced in his hands... and the sweetness of his kiss on the top of her head.
4.  The stunning saddness we held each other through when we were told our baby girl would not see.  And the recovery from that diagnosis... coming around to knowing that we could do this. 
5. Our second wedding anniversary, the first we spent together... a babysitter, a green dress, dinner at Top of the Hub and us. 
6.  His fearless, unwavering decision to move to Florida.
7.  The moment we knew our family was complete...
8.  Every compromise he has ever made for me.  For us
9.  His graduation from college, and then the Police Academy. What he does for our family fills me with an overwhelming sense of gratitude.
10.  The laughter that filled the car as we drove from my cat-scan to the ER when my appendix needed to be removed. We seem to mostly choose laughter. (And afterwards, hearing how he almost decked a guy who was giving him a hard time at Cub Scouts the next night, because he was still so worried about me, made me cry.)
11.   The night he met Cam on the opposite side of the bridge... as he crossed from being a Cub Scout to a Boy Scout.  and how he stands with him still... not to mention the other boys he stands by.
12.  How he held me up that Mother's Day when I couldn't stand on my own. 
13.  Collecting Mickey antenna toppers, loving the Smurfs, bringing our sense of  youth into our lives even though we are no longer... young.
14.  Being a family of four and all that it entails.  Even the crazy days are important in knowing that all you have is all you need. 
16.  Taking our daughter to the Youth Gathering. Together.  And watching father & daughter take the lead... working together. 
17.  Being in Africa... knowing that while he didn't expect it to change something in him, it did anyway... and he let it.
18.  Standing at the edge of God's unfathomable creation and knowing that we are in His hands.
19. This one, right now, today... and all the beautiful ones still to come.  He is still the best husband ever.

There are ups and downs, laughter and tears... and a love so strong and true that God weaves through it all.
Happy Anniversary, Eric... I love you.  Always.

August 14, 2011

the gift for me

It has been ages since we've seen a sunset at the beach, and while each sunset is beautiful, I have been hoping for a sunset with clouds.  From home, I watch the sky each evening and the colors dance around the clouds and make them blush pink and glitter gold... and even in the midst of their splendor, I greedily want more.  I want the colors and clouds and the setting sun and... the beach.
Friday, it all came together. 
We had the car all packed up with a picnic, beach chairs, floats and boogie boards by six... and when Eric walked in the door from work, we only gave him a few minutes to turn back around and get in the car.  On the way we chatted and my soul tingled... sunset at the beach!  And there were clouds in the sky!  And yet, I still wanted more.  I hoped the clouds would drift a little more to the left...

When we stepped out onto the sand and took that first deep breath in, we  noticed that the surf was up.  Gone was the stillness of last week... but what was rolling in its place was fun.  Waves that splashed around us and crashed over our floats... and there was a good bit of laughter just floating on the breeze.  When we were just about water-logged, our picnic called to our rumbling stomachs and finally, dinner was served.

Watching the sky, I could see the storm brewing... and I could feel the coolness of the rain just beneath the breeze.  Oh I did not want to admit defeat, and I held my hopes close to my heart.  The clouds... they drifted closer to the left.  Just like I wanted.  But there, too, was the storm... was it coming or not?

For two hours the rain held off while we played.  And as the sun set I watched the sky explode with gold and shimmering blue and orange... kept my eye on the lightning that crackled in the clouds.  It was quite a show... and quite a gift.  The gift for me.  We returned to the car, wrapped in the glory of the sky,  and I felt the breeze blow by like the breath of God.  I leaned in, took one more deep salty breath and wondered if it was my imagination, or if I had really heard His whisper... Just for you, dear.  Just for you.
Thank you... it was the perfect, soul-filling gift.

Imparting Grace
I actually wrote this last week for Richella's party but never got around to posting. Hop on over and share a moment with her!!

August 04, 2011

simple pleasures

The past week has had me back to walking. 
The darkest hour may be before dawn, but what comes next is always beautiful.  Soft breaking light that filters golden hues through palms and turns fluffy cloud pink.  Each day a beautiful show... but today is different.

The breeze of the fan greets me and the air feels almost chilly to my hot, damp skin.  The house is quiet and still, unless you count the sound of the finally-satisfied cat munching on her breakfast.  The stillness stirs my soul and though a steamy, creamy cup of coffee beckons me to the kitchen, I sit and enjoy the moment.  But today is different.

Today is different.
The masterpiece He painted across the sky was brilliant and the quiet morning is still stirring... but today, both are laced with anticipation.  Today, I wait for sleepy faces to emerge from behind closed doors.  Today I wait for their good morning, Mom mumbled from sleep drenched mouths.  Today, after almost five weeks of travel, my kids are right where they ought to be.  Home. 

It's the simple joys, the simple pleasures the heart remembers and dearly treasures. -Hadin Marshall

I'm linking up with Dayle's Simple Pleasures... come on over and share some simple beauty!

August 03, 2011

flat calm

Saturday was a beach day.
Sunshine and sand. A picnic in the cooler. And hours upon hours to do nothing but float...
The calm before the storm of August... and it was lovely.

August 01, 2011

the truth of ugly and grace...

For the last two weeks, Richella has commented on a post and asked me to please post this to my Grace Imparted link-party!  But this week I am on my own... and I've been searching my mind for that little bit of grace.  There has been grace, offered and received... acceptance of office supply hoarding, because I know she comes by it rightly and a day at the beach when I know he'd rather spend the day doing anything but.  But somehow I could feel grace lingering in a larger way... and so I sought it.  In the seeking, there was finding... but there was also awful truth that is stinging my heart because I know it is just that.  Truth. 
: :
One of the first places I look for inspiration is Jesus Calling... I gravitate towards it,   knowing that His word will be just for me, just right.  Today the words that struck my heart were Nothing will ever separate you from me and You are engraved on the palm of my hand.  The words move through me and stick like glue.  Superglue... glue that once you stick it, it is there to stay.  Glue that cannot be un-stuck.   

Driving to work, the words were still wandering my heart  and I was still searching for the little bit of grace to share.  I have come to learn that searching and seeking will often lead to an answer... and there it was.  On my radio.  The words were so strong and so true that I wanted to hide my face... in shame.  I knew it was my answer for today and yet... I did not want to share this ugly truth about me.  But I asked, and He answered...

I am the thorn in your crown, but You love me anyway
I am the sweat from Your brow, but You love me anyway

I am the nail in Your wrist, but You love me anyway
I am Judas’ kiss, but You love me anyway

See now, I am the man who yelled out from the crowd  for Your blood to be spilled on this earth shaking ground.

With this sin in my heart tried to bury Your grace, and then alone in the night, I still called out for You
So ashamed of my life, my life, my life...

But You love me anyway
Oh, God… how you love me
You love me anyway
It’s like nothing in life that I’ve ever known

Still you call me to walk on the edge of this world
To spread my dreams and fly...
-lyrics from You Love Me Anyway, Sidewalk Prophets

You see... when it got to the part about being the nail in His wrist... it brought me around to how we are really engraved on the palm of His hand.  And if I am that nail... then I am all those other things too.   Judas' kiss?  A betrayer?  Me?  And a part of the crowd crying Crucify Him?  The thorn and the sweat I could handle... but this seems like too much.  And yet... I don't really need anyone to tell me where I'd be without the events of Cavalry.  And still... He loves me anyway.  That is the simple, beautiful truth I need to cover the ugly. 
: :
So maybe this is not the little bit of grace I was searching for today... and perhaps it might have been a better start to a Monday if I had splashed beautiful beach photos before your eyes.  But I just couldn't. 

Imparting Grace
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