February 28, 2012

they grow with grace


We were talking about the Sundays in Lent and she shouted out loophole! And just the other night, in the middle of a simple conversation he used the word upholstery. When and how did they shed their smallness? All I can figure is that in the blur of breakfast-lunch-and-dinner, and between shouts of did you brush your teeth? and all the rest of life that is so daily... they misplaced it. Somehow, we are talking about graduation and sophomore classes, and in small ways, it hurts just a little bit. But the big picture has me amazed, and grateful. She speaks of adventure and tomorrow. I peek at his grades online and am utterly A-mazed.

And maybe I realize that it is all grace.
I present my desires and my wishes and my biggest hopes to Him... and He pours love all over them.
Only He could take us from there to here... and only He could ease the little bit of hurt and replace it with joy and excitement over the tomorrows that are just down the road. All grace...
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February 24, 2012

a little more...

It is too early to be awake, but in a far off land, hours ahead of here, two people I love just might be settling down to lunch. Or catching a few last winks of sleep before they disembark the airplane and make footprints in the dusty African earth. Perhaps... she is finally breathing in that sweet smoky I'm in Africa air. If I close my eyes, I can almost smell it myself.

Part of my heart is there with them... as I watch their clock and keep the itinerary close at hand. A quick We're here email from my Mom swirled a rush of giddy through my soul and stirred up some of the beautiful in my mind. A friend mentioned that she had hoped I might have a few more stories of Africa to share, and as my heart chases my parents across the world, I realize that this just might be the time to share a little more...

The road climbed up and up through the morning fog. My eyes drifted shut and then opened quickly, catching myself from true sleep. Seeing only the cars in front of us on the narrow road, I let myself drift back to darkness... for just a few minutes. But when we jolted to a stop, and a large bull elephant was the cause of traffic, weariness vanished and excitement overtook me.

The treetops hovered flat, creating a lush green canopy, and it was as beautiful to me as anything I had seen. Acacia trees, like giant bonsai lined the crest of the crater... and as we made our way up and then over, each breath was a gasp. Since we had arrived, the magnitude and vastness of Africa itself amazed me at every turn... and yet, somehow, travelling down into the crater magnified it further.  And my smallness, in this great wide world, was more apparent than ever.

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February 22, 2012

life returning

A bump in the road of life can turn you in circles. Circles so wide, you wonder if you will ever come back 'round to normal. But a little bit of faith, tucked away in your heart, will take you far. It will walk you though a week of the unknowns. It will pedal along when you just can't, and pull you through the last miles when discouragement overwhelms. Thankfulness abounds.  After four months of healing, Eric returned to work. What was broken is now whole. And thankfulness abounds some more. With two weeks, an arrest & a vault into the back of a pick-up truck under his belt, life seems to have returned to what we remember... almost unbelievable stories, juggling schedules, rushing dinners, and swapping cars around in the driveway. And while I cannot say I didn't worry about this transition, and the toll it might take on us, now that we are caught up in life again, it seems so right. Like a conversation with a long lost friend, picking up right where you left off, hardly missing a beat.

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February 20, 2012

a mother and daughter

Rows reserved. Family present. Sweet baby, gowned in lace.
And I remembered... a baptism. But what I didn't know... there were two being baptized.
Daughter. And Mother. Together.
I thought it beautiful... and brave.
Brave, to stand up as an adult, in front of your worshipping peers, and be baptized, when perhaps they assumed you had already embraced that gift.
Brave, to take a new step, after so many years had gone by.
Brave... to finally accept the invitation, when for years you kept casting it aside.

And while baptism itself is beautiful in its own right, this was somehow... more.
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Perhaps it is more to me each time I witness it... taking it into my heart all over again.  I was thirteen when I was washed clean... and I thought I knew, thought I understood it fully. I was wrong.  And when my children were baptized, it came to me... how fully I misunderstood the promise of a Savior. For the first time I questioned. Not Jesus, but the ways of religion... I knew it was right, but I didn't know why, and I felt as if I knew less than I had ever known.

But He has a way of working in a dark heart... and in a little girl's eyes and heart, He showed me Light.
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The little one accepted the water wailing, much as I had when I presented my own for the washing.  This time though, my smile was bright, and tears poured from my soul. Because I know. I know what it is to walk with Him, to love Him, to let Him love me. I know, at last, what it is to give a life away, and have it returned washed in His grace... forevermore.


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February 17, 2012

in the days that passed...

While this space sits quiet, life has been anything but. I have been working my way through days, counting the hours until this Friday.  Friday will bring rest. Rest, at least, from the must-dos that have had me crying out to Calgon to take me away.  {My sweet friend did indeed bring me a box!} It has been two weeks of life... work, meeting, work, meeting... and so on. Mix in an event for 250, a rummage sale for our youth, and a dinner party for eight, and I was anything but ready for work this week, let alone Valentine's Day. But I faced it all with the One who carried me. More than once I scrawled let grace be enough across the palm of my hand... a reminder that, indeed, it is.

Love knows no schedule... and even in the midst of crazy, it danced all around our day.  Love notes scrawled in cards, stray glitter dancing across a smiling face, sweet gifts lying in wait... hand-made, heart-made, heart given.  Every little gesture, a whispered kiss.  And his gift to me was perhaps the sweetest.  Something I have the money stashed away for, and couldn't bring myself to actually purchase. I have wavered... I don't need it; I don't want it anymore; Ok, I might still want it but I don't need it... and now it is on its way.  I am so thankful I never have to wonder. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me.

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February 08, 2012

tender heart & grace

These two are so different, in so many ways.  When I find myself shouting she brushes it off as if she couldn't hear my ranting.  He might fall into a puddle of tears.  My first choice is to not yell... but mostly, I have learned to be careful and parent to each of their needs. 

Last week, I made a comment about what she was wearing.  Instead of just being thankful that she is always covered, I pointed out that it had been a week of big, baggy, icky tees.  She shrugged it off, but later that afternoon she came to me... and told me that she had been working on the pottery wheel all week and didn't want to ruin her good shirts.  My insides shivered. My heart ached. I remembered. And apologized. I forget that her heart can be quite tender too...

This morning the phone rang just minutes after they left for school. My heart stopped as I waited for the everyone is okay. It did come, but any accident can shake you.  We rushed out... and all I can say is that I am thankful for the grace He poured out on me.  He allowed me to be the Mom she needed, not the lunatic that sometime lurks inside. 

I held her and wiped her tears. 
I held her hand and rubbed her back.
I loved her like He loves me.

Everyone was okay, and things can be fixed... and grace covered it all.

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February 01, 2012

{almost} wordless wednesday

it just made me laugh when i looked down and saw all of my pinks & turquoises... right down to my tootsie rolls!
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