July 31, 2012

seeking the words

Discouragement is sliding closer. I pray the prayer that never ceases in my my heart, and I wonder if it is time to change it. I don't want to...  The truth is, there aren't many words I can find, and I hope that God doesn't really need them. He can read my heart when I sit in the quiet with Him and the tears roll, right? Oh please say yes.

Yesterday I read...
"Worship Me in the beauty of holiness. I created beauty to declare the existence of My holy Being. A magnificent rose, a hauntingly glorious sunset, oceanic splendor- all these things proclaim My Presence in the world." {Jesus Calling by Sarah Young}

All of these things... and more...draw my soul, and pull me closer to Him. I am in almost-constant worship.  For He is great and mighty, and I do not doubt Him. It is not He that discourages... it is the world and what goes on here. Perhaps I am selfish wanting her to stay...
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July 26, 2012

these summer days

She texts me that she is going to run down to Publix for some groceries, and do I need anything? For a moment I see her in her red cozy coupe, carrying her Zoe pink plastic purse. And not for the first, second, or forty-seven-millionth time I wonder where did the time go?

Even before the calendar page turns February, my mind leaps ahead to summer and all that it just might bring. And while April is showering, something in me shifts and I am just ready for school to end and the freedom of summer to begin. I wonder how it is possible that I would be willing to toss May to the wind, and all of the joy and the gifts that might be waiting in her days... but oh, sweet summer! When kids can play and there is no schedule to stick to, and no socks to wash!  This year, for the first time, it occured to me that one day all summer would be is another season passing thru... and a hot, muggy, sticky one, at that. One day, sooner that I can really imagine, there will be no waiting on that last day of school...

Even with three more last days ahead of us, I can feel the change. Laura is house-sitting just down the road... and while she does pop in now and again, and texts frequently, she is really making it on her own. Buying groceries and cooking {without enough vegetables, I'm sure} and working at the barn as a camp counselor. I see that it is so good for her, and really, for me. Even though she won't be heading off away to school until May, this expererience is readying our hearts...

And isn't God's timing perfect? For so long I was struggling in the sea of not-enough-mothering, and I was doing my darndest to soak them all in before this time I was dreading {now!} came to pass. But here we are... and my heart is really ready.  I'm sure there is nothing I did to make it so.  Just like when I was so afraid of putting my kids out there on the road to drive... and when the time came, it was such a relief not to have to keep up with their schedule, and so nice to be able to send them our for that one thing I forgot to pick up...

Every season has its merit... and with God's love and preparation, we'll be ready for each of them.  There might still be a few tears when we get there, but our hearts will be ready.


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July 25, 2012

known

The other day a friend asked how I was... not the Hi, How are you? kind of greeting, but the real true how are you that someone asks when they want the actual truth. The kind of how are you that makes you stop and assess the situation before replying. The best I could come up with was Okay. And I am. I think I am feeling better, day by day... and life is just bopping along without any great highs... and that is okay. And then Eric, loving husband, looked at my friend and said She's been down ever since I told her about Kathy.

I had to then really stop and think... because I know that I was so sad for a few days... but I thought I had come around to it alright. But I guess I was wrong... because he knows me, inside & out. He can read my eyes and see right into my soul. I am thankful for someone who can see beyond my fine and my okay. I am thankful for a husband who reaches out his hand to find mine... and the love that transfers from it.

I learned a long time ago that my eyes, indeed, tell my secrets. The first one to reveal it to me was my high school history teacher.  He just knew... if I had done the assignment, if I was really sad, if I was ready for the lesson. I will never forget him looking down to me and saying, Your eyes are the window to your soul, my dear. He was one of the great ones... that I learned more from than what was written in the curriculum or found between the pages.

Today I am hoping that beyond what I feel or think or do, that my eyes will tell the joy that lives down deep in my heart... the joy that cannot be broken or smothered by sadness. The joy of knowing my Savior... the One who carries me.
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July 23, 2012

so you know i am still here...

My heart and mind have been swirling with words... and when I sit to write, those words drift off into never-neverland. I call them back, but... nothing. It seems once a story is complete in my mind, and I have struggled through the solving, I am done with it. And I wonder if that is as much grace as it is a frustration to me? I know He doesn't want us to dwell in our struggles...

Since my last "catch-up" it seems like summer has settled around us... we are nearly finished with driver's ed (Camden!) and Laura has finished a week of camp counselling (horse therapy camp) and is beginning another. But we have taken a few afternoons to swim & float in the pool... and took a day to enjoy the beach.  We spent a fair amount of time watching the clouds... wondering if the rain was coming our way or not. And once it did come, we huddled, seven under an umbrella, wondering if it was just passing through, or there to stay.  We did catch a few more minutes of sunshine before the next storm hit...

Like life, the storms just keep coming.
And last week, the dark clouds hovered.  My friend Ann continues to receive discouraging news about her cancer... and I keep praying for that miracle. And Monday morning we heard the news that a beautiful friend from church lost her battle with cancer.  The storms moved into my heart as I watched her husband wrap his arms around countless friends and family as they came to comfort him, and as I saw the empty in the eyes of her teen sons and young daughter. Yesterday they came to church, and for a moment I wondered how they propelled themselves across the threshold... and then I remembered whose house this was, and that He surely carried them in. A fresh set of tears rolled as I watched daughter cling to Daddy... and him cling right on back.

Oh beautiful Kathy, I picture you in the arms of Jesus... your smile as bright as it ever was (because I cannot imagine one brighter) and your long blonde hair dancing in the breeze, finally back where it belongs.
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July 16, 2012

more catching up to do

It seems there is nothing sweeter than a family's laughter. I love the way it can wrap around a day, seeping into the silences, or swirling up through a conversation. Thursday was like that. I cannot really even recall what the laughter was about, just that at every turn of our evening, there was plenty. It caused me to pause and drink them all in, these three that make us four, and imprint the sweet sound on my heart.  I love the sound of it, and the love that propels it.

four... at the angel oak in south carolina
Of course, some of the laughter may have been about anacondas. In another hold-on-to-this-and-cherish-it moment, Cam & I were laying in his room talking... and then it got silly as I told him there was an anaconda in his hair. With every fact he recited as to why that was impossible, I made up something crazy... just because. But I didn't make up these...

Anaconda tracks, right? It has definitely added fun to the week! In the silliness, and in the skeptical looks Laura keeps giving us...

And if you were to pack up all of the laughter from the whole week and transformed it into words, you might have the ten hours worth of conversation that two friends packed into five hours.  That happens when it has been too many years since you have sat across the table from each other! But I could not pass up the chance to visit Kim, and so the kids & I packed some snacks and hit the road, and crashed my friend's vacation in Orlando. Every mile, up and back in one day, was worth seeing Kim and her family! Her beautiful girls were just as I imagined... and Laura & Cam enjoyed splashing in the pool with them. Her husband graciously grilled a delicious lunch as Kim & I talked and talked and talked, one conversation jumping into the middle of the next. Goodbye was bittersweet... knowing that we could've talked for another four days straight! But rumor has it that our marching band is going to be marching in Boston the spring of 2014, so I made my reservation for her couch, and we'll pick up right where we left off, as we always do.

And then, even though we were behind schedule, but because I promised, we stopped at Downtown Disney...

On a day like this, I am reminded of how much I love to spend time with these two, and how much fun it is to have an adventure with them!
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July 13, 2012

catching up on a friday

Last Friday didn't feel like Friday... having a holiday right in the middle of the week had me wondering what day it was at all!  And so two full weeks went by without any writing... and I am, once again, finding my way back. And not just here...

I am the closest I have been to well in a quite a while.  The past three months have been a roller coaster of getting better and feeling worse... the doctor thinks I had a bad virus, which left me in really bad shape.  What lingers now is the wheezing and tighness in my chest... but I have a new list of fixes, which is hopefully just the right recipe.  I did get the green light to start walking just-a-little-bit, to try to get these lungs back in shape!

We celebrated the Fourth with a picnic on the beach with friends... complete with a wonderful fireworks show.  It has been years and years since our four have all been together on the Fourth, since Laura & Cam are usually travelling with Gran & Grandad, and I was anticipating the four of us watching the fireworks all together. But... a certain young lady had a party invitation, and we were back to three. My graduated girl is coming into her own and I think I'm going to need to really embrace three...

Last Saturday found a lot of us at the local zoo... Laura having her volunteer orientation and Cam & I wandering around for a visit. We are beginning to see the zoo through different eyes, now that my Mom is volunteering there. We love to hear the behind the scenes chatter, and hear the joy in her voice as she talks about being a part of the zoo. (And once Laura really starts it will be all that much more!) The highlight of our day was feeding a giraffe... I loved watching his long tongue come out and wrap right around the lettuce leaf! If only I could have reached out and pet him...

I think I'll save this week's catch up for later. 
Coming soon: a little day trip, anacondas & a lot of laughter.
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