June 29, 2012

five minute friday: dance

The weary peeks out from behind beauty and grace, and she can't help but let a few tears fall. This horrific disease is making time... and just trying to stay in place is taking its toll. I take her hands and I pray... or at least ask God to read my mind, please, because my own words are jumbled.

Coming around to another topic we laugh and breathe... and I can see that her step is back. To see her in motion is to see the grace of a ballerina....her arms reach far and wide and embrace all that is before her. But what a friend knows, is that on the inside, her feet are tapping away, trying to keep one step ahead. Through it all she teaches me life. That to skip this dance, to not leap with wild abandon, is hardly life at all. Because when all is said and done, the place we land is Jesus.

Five Minute Friday

*and to take just a minute longer than my "5", if you feel moved to do so... and can unjumble a few thoughts into actual words, could i ask you to please pray for ann's healing? *


June 27, 2012

unpacking treasure

I can't imagine it would be a shock to you that I still have clothes in suitcases, and totes are still overflowing in the piano room... you know, since, my graduation decorations are still adorning the rest of the house! But today... feeling housebound, I decided I needed to tackle... something. And something turned out to be... at least clearing out the suitcases.

But I am distracted easily... and when I came across a little plastic container, all progress halted. I shifted to my knees, and peeled back the cover. And then, one by one, I removed each section of paper-toweling that nestled my treasures.

I didn't walk the beach to find shells. I was simply seeking the sunrise, nudged from sleep just-in-time. It was a chance to be all by myself... and close to my Creator. It was a time to empty my soul of me... and a time to listen, and let Him in.

But there, along side my thoughts and my footprints, appeared treasure.  Every day. The sea urchin... seemed to just appear on the edge of the surf. Placed there, whole and beautiful. Truly a gift from the sea, or the One who makes the waves. But even the slivers of sand dollars made me smile... the imperfections that are so beautiful.  I was tempted to stash them all away, but soon, my hands were overflowing. And so... I slipped some back into the seafoam... in hopes that another seeker would find the beauty in the broken.


June 26, 2012

after her diploma : : the party!

I hope she is wrong, but my Mom predicted that my graduation decorations will still be "decorating"  around Thanksgiving. So far though, she is right. Banners are still draped and pennants are still criss-crossing... books and quotes are stacked here and there, and my dictionary flowers are happy nestled here and there and everywhere. I actually loved coming home to it all... the party was so much fun, and then we left {for vacation} in such a whirlwind!

I wish I could have had you all here... so come on in!

Her party was...a celebration of what she loves best. Books, books, books and reading. Taking a "page" from The Nester, I worked on my decorations from the couch, during too many sick days. I loved making them, and I was thrilled with how they turned out! And... when the guests arrived, they were amazed at how much there was to see. I might have gone just a little crazy...

And our food was right from the pages of stories she loves... Troll Bites & Toenails (sausage bites & mushroom caps) and Bat Wings from Harry Potter, steak & cheese sandwiches from the Dresden Files, an herb cheese ball from the Red Wall books, pasties from The Cat Who books, cornbread from Little House on the Prairie, veggies from Mr. McGregor's garden, munchkins from the Wizard of Oz and a big fish bowl of colored goldfish (Red Fish, Blue Fish!)  Oh! and Turkish Delight from Narnia.  I know there was more food... but I'm drawing a blank!!  There were plenty of beautiful red velvet cupcakes with gorgeous silver sprinkles... just because it was her special request. I made way too many...

The celebration was all I hoped for... and then a little bit more.  Laura's friends came and they sat for hours and laughed and played games. Friends arrived that I hadn't really expected to come, and oh! how I loved seeing them! Laura's art teacher came with her husband and the teens all went wild... for this women they love so.much.

And at the end of the night... when it was just us, there were a few more special moments... heartfelt advice tucked away... and one sleepy girl. Maybe... two. Meow!

Celebrating this girl for all of this senior & graduation fun, has been such a blessing to my heart, and I hope, hers.


June 25, 2012

when the list is not-so-easy

I have committed myself to this post by typing the title, but I will have to dig.
Vacation dreams still dance in my heart and aross the screen of my computer... but the actual rest of vacation has long passed. And now? I'm in round... six (?) of healing (antibiotics+steroids.) Only... I'm not. But I know, that in this week or returning to reality, there are many gifts... under the laundry and the everyday...

- being welcomed back to work with squeals of joy! and being able to catch up a little bit
- a chat with a friend, far too long overdue!
- the care and concern he shows me... at my most unloveable.

- a release of tears and anger after a frustrating drs visit... i needed to let it out
- relaxation and truly being still
- unexpected laughter, on a ride i didn't really want to go on
- leaving the (boy scout) packing to the boys (i hope they have all they need, but if not, oh well!)
- pretend coffee in the round room

- being chauffered about by my daughter...
- and sharing some tea with her. charleston tea!
- someone who listens, and hears, and makes me feel sane again
- finding the bacon wallet!

Okay... so maybe it wasn't that hard... because He is in it all. Every breath. Wheezy or not!

June 24, 2012

sunday, full of grace {3}

The rain is pouring down today...and the house is quiet.
My boys have left for camp... yes, both of them. I love that Camden has the opportunity to spend a week in the great outdoors... and that Eric won't cramp his style at all. I can't wait to hear all of the stories when they come home!

Today's grace?
A found bacon wallet... I guess all it needed was some of that mom magic.

And time. To do whatever I want. Or nothing at all...

June 22, 2012

five minute friday: risk

I'm the one behind the camera.
The historian, the album keeper, the recorder of all things us.

While we were away, we rented stand-up paddle boards. I said I might try... but when it got right down to it, I was there with the camera... not wanting to miss a moment of the antics and the falls and the {few} successes. I enjoy watching them laugh, and squeal... so much so that it makes me want to drop the camera and join in the fun. But something holds me back. Something bigger than the need for adventure and fun.

I wish I could say it was fear.

But the truth is... it isn't. 
I have a feeling it is more the I am the Mom, I don't need to do that, I will just sit back and watch.

Yes, I wish I could say it was fear.

Last week, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and climb aboard. It was... exhilarating! I even stood up! {But that evidence is floating somewhere in the Atlantic, in my waterproof camera.}
As my daughter explained...

Huh?  You only live once!

Five Minute Friday writing for 5 minutes flat!

June 21, 2012

seeking still

She talked me through, and spoke me to still. From the top of my head, right down to my toes... relaxing every bit of my soul, along with shoulder and hands. It may have lasted two minutes... perhaps three. But when I opened my eyes, I felt centered and fully relaxed, warm from the sunshine her words spilled over me. Still. I admit that I don't do that enough. Or at all.

This ring spins on my hand and the verse is my go-to... Be still and know that I AM God. Psalm 46:10.
My heart believes I live it... and maybe I do, in certain instances. But am I ever really still?

I watch TV and my hands are itching to pick up a crochet needle or scroll through the computer. I drive... and I sing and plan and dream. And when I dig in to the bible and pray? I am talking and talking... even as I know to stop. And listen. His voice is so much more than mine.

And in this sickness, that has gone on far too long, I am stirring. I need rest, but my mind won't. It picks apart the why and the how and the why not and the what abouts... I cannot even leave the healing to the doctor, because my gut is talking. Or is it just me? Not being still? 

The more I stir, the more I know... that still is the sunshine to my soul.

Write it girl today i'm linking up to Write it, Girl...

June 18, 2012

the easy list

To count gifts during vacation week is to easy...
every moment is free and full of life... every day is packed with joy, from sunrise to sunset. The gifts are not hidden... in piles of laundry, under lengthy to-do lists, behind exhaustion of the day to day.
And so here is... the easy list.

-safe travel, to and from
-celebrating and recording the journey
-the most beautiful beach house, and the heart behind it
-feeling like Goldilocks, wanting to sit in every chair, see every angle
-exploring the tide pools... watching him play sink-or-float with shells

-six out of seven sunrises
-Kisses for Katie, sitting right there on the shelf
-sitting across the table from Cam, working on an africa puzzle
-Laura, playing in the surf (and the speed I raced with, to grab the camera!)
-recalling the yesterdays, laughing at Cam for not remembering, and making brand new memories
-tea, grown in the USA 
-falling asleep to the roar of the ocean
-watching him being the "fun dad"

-trying (and liking!) grits
-visiting some places she recommended, and feeling like she was there with me
-the park being so much more than I expected
-learning a few things on vacation, and it didn't even hurt

-buying a palm rose
-blue, lavender and pink hydrangeas
-laughter and memories made with the ones I love.


June 17, 2012

sunday, full of grace {2}

home... safe and sound.
and remembering... the sunrises.

Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
-Lamentations 3:23


June 15, 2012

while i wait for the sun...

Each day has begun with anticpation of the sun and the show He has planned. With camera in tow, I head to the beach... barefoot. Sea air restyles my hair from sleep to wind blown beauty and I stroll, letting the waves wrap round my legs.  The roar alone rushes the to-dos from my thoughts, but as the water sweeps the shore, my worries are pulled out to sea. I am left with... just rest. A bright new fresh start to the day... lay open to the treasures He has planned.

June 14, 2012

morning light

i thought He nudged me for the sunrise...
but perhaps it was for this message,

and this...

even broken, we are beautiful.

June 13, 2012

wordless wednesday :: isle of palm

Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.


June 12, 2012

beautiful souls

Our lifetimes are made up of moments... pearls strung, squares stitched, photos laid out in a row. But to look over my shoulder and recall those moments, I see what really makes them matter. It is the people who are woven into them. The friendships and the love and the sharing of a million breaths.

Graduation week was full... of life and laughter, thankfulness and praise, friends and family. We were honored and blessed that so many we love celebrated with us... some even travelling far and wide to do it.  And as we gathered to laugh and eat and whoop with joy, people I love, from all times of our life, sat side by side.  In the crowd of guests, I tried to make introductions, putting faces with names, connecting shared stories with the people they were about. 

I was standing with my friend/cousin/Dallas-traveller, Pam, when I spotted Ann... and immediately pulled her in for an introduction. And when it was just us again, Pam asked if she was the one I often wrote about... and at my nodding, she smiled and said Oh I thought so... I could just feel that she was a beautiful soul. And not two days later, as Ann and I caught up and recapped the crazy beautiful weekend, the sentiment came 'round again. Ann, asking about Pam and how she fit into my story... and then an Ok! I remember! What a beautiful spirit she is! 

Oh yes, it is the people woven into this life that make it matter.

This week we are enjoying a blessing from another beautiful soul. We have only met heart to heart, the beauty of her soul seeping into words I read across the screen... stories, emails, secrets... sharing of prayers. I count her friend... one of the people who is woven to my story, making it shimmer. And to walk across the threshold of this gift, is to feel and see her beauty.  The little touches that are her... and the love that lives here. 


June 11, 2012

return to charleston

Eight years ago our little family was stretched across states... but we counted a thousand thanks for Charleston over Kuwait (which is a long story that is just going to wind back around to the Grace of God.) For a year we lived apart, him serving our beautiful country, us holding up our home front. The weeks were uneasy, but the comfort of knowing safety and being only a day away filled the spaces until one of us travelled the road to bring us back together. The year was long, but in that time, the charm of Charleston grabbed a bit of our hearts, never to let go.
: :
The transporting is almost instant, crossing the imaginary border between Georgia and South Carolina. The highway narrows, two lanes are enough, thank you, and the guard rail travels the road in rust red. And while you are minding your own business, keeping eyes to the pavement, the world opens into a wide of green marsh, stretching and winding, pulling you in.

We are returning to Charleston for just a bit... a lovely gift from a beautiful soul and surely, the Grace of God. Laura rattles the list of memories to revist and Camden says he plans to remember it all this time...
: :
road trip gifts...
silliness from the backseat, road trip snacks, a smile from the boy
internal camera memory, georgia peaches, a u-turn for pie
peach cider, almost there, and really almost there...

June 10, 2012

sunday, full of grace

Last week school was winding up... graduation complete, freshman year finshed (at last.) But there was one more occasion to celebrate... as our niece Chelsea graduated pre-school. It was a sweet celebration, and the end of an era. Laura was in Miss Julie's first pre-school class all those years ago... and Camden followed in her footsteps. And when Oakley & Chelsea were just the right ages, they took their turn learning through play and loving Miss Julie. It has been the tie that binds... in the most colorful fun way.

And the graduation brought us back... to memories we thought we had misplaced, to love that never ends, and the windows that I have loved.
The windows that were the first to teach me how light and color dance.

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