February 27, 2013

when they come home...

Bob is in the yard when I pull into the driveway, his passion evident as he trims away two weeks worth of growth before he has been home a full 24 hours.  We hug and smile and chat... and then my mother appears, her feet jigging with impatience, feet tapping out my turn, my turn!  

And then we are entwined.

Arms wrapped around, faces buried in shoulders.  I can feel my face smiling, and my eyes filling. And the wondering if a two hour round trip was ridiculous no longer exists. I would have come this far for her embrace alone. But there is more. Trinkets and stories and photos and movie clips that cause laughter to tears, and tears alone.

We sit by her computer and I walk along the dusty red path with her. She loves her new camera and so do I... Africa brought to life before my eyes in such startling detail. The wiry bristles that cover a dusty red elephant, and the ribbons of mudwater that suspend in the air. The pattern and loft of magnificent feathers and the fluff of brown and white stripes on a baby zebra. I reach out and leave my prints on her screen... unable to be kept at arms length. As we travel through their trip, I am there. In the vehicle, looking over the rim, in her heart.  I am not flipping though photos on a screen, but following in their footprints, walking along side. 

And when we come to the fishing village, and the men are pulling up the nets, I pass by a movie clip. She insists that I go back.  She must have known

It breaks the last of me.  My breath comes short and the tears run rivers, past the ache in my chest.  This is my opera.  The rhythmic Swahili voice that sing-songs along high and low, and passes right through my soul, though I cannot tell the words.  It is not what you say, but how you say it... and this comes in notes of joy and sorrow, hard work and worth.   And when I, at last, wipe the tears away, I am only surprised that there is not sand under my shoes...

February 21, 2013

love grows here...

He only needs two words... Shady Hollow?  I smile, and head for sneakers.
When he suggests the safari road, I accept, always. Because I know... that this is his offering, his way to say come out and play and be bright and beautiful and you, oh-so-you!  

And because sky blue and crisp clean air rarely disappoint.

This day is no different. We spot two deer and the lens reaches over the wire and across the field to capture them.  Further down the rutted road, our noise startles a hawk away from his routine and he takes flight and cover in a nearby tree.


And when we come to the swamp, the twisted dragon tail beckons us to look and see.

Without my spotters, I might have missed them... but my guys have eagles eyes, and they spot the babies just a bit down the bank. My squeal sends a few splashing under, but the rest just wait.

And we count. Twenty-one?

It is the gift of the day.
Unless you are counting the times my face smiles, or my heart beats with love...


February 20, 2013

my mom would not approve...


The fog of the morning gives way to a slice of sunshine,
and the dew shines in its rays...
and I cannot help but marvel at the webs woven...


February 19, 2013

when you cannot run...

Well, everybody's got a story to tell... And everybody's got a wound to be healed.
I want to believe there's beauty here...  {lyrics...I need You Now by Plum}

In my flight, He pursues me.
I run away, seeking a spot to hide.
I long for the blankets that absorbed my tears, as I safely burrowed beneath them. But that was then,  and this is now... out in the air, knowing that this palm at the far corner of the church garden cannot begin to hide me and the tears that run in rivers. I do not rail... just let the tears and the sad fall down...

I do not hear the door, but I see her and know... that this is where it ends.  That I must face the music... that I must open my heart to her. She wraps me in her love and covers me. Oh Lord let Dawn feel your arms around her...

Oh! prayers and love... they can do what blankets cannot.
And in His pursuit, I am found... and the hiding that I seek is worthless. 

Is there beauty here? It was never lost... only I was lost. Lost in the struggles of tubes and catheters and pain and gloom. Of embarrassment and ick and wanting what is not mine, not yet.

How many times have you heard me cry out "God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to just keep breathing?

It has been more than a week since all of this mess... and in a week, my world, or perhaps just my head, has turned around.  I am thankful to breathe and see and the routine of this ick is becoming rote.  And the beauty?  It is easier to see, as I acknowledge that I am not in this alone... that when I run, even away, He is by my side.

February 18, 2013

my forever valentine...

Lately he's been holding me together. Patching me up. Cheering me on.
If not for him, I'd be hiding from the world.  But he whispers courage into my heart and fills my head with laughter. Laughter... when he backs up the tivo to watch a commercial. {He just loves those AT&T kids who want to tie a cheetah to Gramma's back} ...when he threatens German lunch meat.  ...when we see a lone bicycle in a parking lot and wonder if it is a "bike sting" like the one we saw on Cops.  ...when we cook up a scheme and act down-right silly with the kids.

He is my safe place, my home.  And some days, across the room is just too far away.


February 13, 2013

for today...

"X" marks the spot... for joy, for the right now, for today.


February 12, 2013

care for every need...

My follow-up doctor's appointment was Friday.
On the way there, we dropped off one car at the mechanic. Air conditioning trouble, and all I could see was the dollar signs. Not what you want when you have paid your whole insurance deductible in January, and are well on your way to meeting the out-of-pocket amount by the end of February. But... in Florida, A/C is not a luxury.

The appointment was almost uneventful.
Questions answered. Antibiotics re-prescribed. Next surgery scheduled. I left deflated, just as I expected. This... situation... is unsolvable, and I knew it going in. A small sick feeling settled in my stomach, but even that was not unexpeced.

When Eric offered lunch, I nodded through stray tears... as I texted everyone I had promised.  It was easier not to talk... just to type it away, not quite ready to let go of those pity-party balloons. I refused God's pleading with my heart, knowing that when I was good and ready I would pass my burdens to Him. I don't know why I wanted to hold the ugliness at all... but in those moments, it was all mine.

Over a cup of soup and crusty bread, Eric spoke with the mechanic.
Uh huh. Uh huh. Ok. Yep. Ahhhh.  Hmmm.... and so on. All I heard was cha-ching, cha-ching.
Until he hung up and translated his mumblings.
Loose hose. Tightened right up. No trouble with the air.  30 minutes. Free
And all of a sudden, He got through to me. Do I not take care of your every need? 
And the tears fell again.
Grace... like rain.


February 11, 2013

with angel wings

There is a path I've been walking... one that I wish had a detour sign planted right in the middle. I'd really like to go another way. I've alluded to it in the past weeks, and promised an explanation, although I'd truly love to keep the ugly from my beautiful space. I'm okay with messy... but this?  So I am taking a deep breathe, and from under damp down-cast lashes, I will just whisper... urology trouble.

It makes me squirm to say it. Uncomfortable and embarrassing... but He still promises to meet me where I am.  Just so happens that today that place is a big 'ol Eeyore sized pity-party. My gray droopy streamers are just as I want them and the balloons are all deflated on the cold dark floor. The truth is, I'm okay.  It is nothing life-threatening... just icky.

So why do I blurt it out at all?
To keep it all in, means leaving the blessings locked away in darkness... and they are good.
Oh-so-good that they deserve the be celebrated. 

To keep it all in would mean that I could not share the fact that during pre-op, I was in Ann's hospital, and came to know immediately why she loved it so. Every person showed such care to me, and I was so reminded of her. The tears fell while my blood filled vial after vial... and that led to sharing about my beautiful friend.  The travelling nurse had only heard of her, but through me, she was overjoyed to know her. Faith was shared and embraced, and I left that small room feeling Ann smiling around me. Blessed.

To keep it all in would mean that you would not hear my gasp when my pre-surgery nurse introduced herself as... Angel. And there it was, right on her name tag. And then? The OR nurse? She had a lovely colorful angel pinned right on her scrubs, and when I complimented it, it was her gasp I heard as she shared that it was for her granddaughter...

To keep it all in would mean that my dear friends and family, who have checked on me daily and prayed for me at every turn, might not know how much I appreciate them, or how loved they make me feel. Like Facebook on your birthday. Yep. That great.

And so the story will go on... ugly pain mixed with the most lovely blessings.
God doesn't take the ugly lightly, you know... and He cares so much that He paints right over it with love. You just have to push the gloomy streamers out of the way to see his masterpiece...


February 08, 2013

friday letters...5

Hello Friday!
I am always so happy when you arrive!
The week just wouldn't be the same without you!

Dear Readers,
Have you heard about this new book? It is free on Amazon until midnight!!!
You have nothing to lose... and grace-oh-grace to gain!  I read Tracie's 31 day series, and loved it... and am loving it all over again in e-book form!!!  Of course, you can buy the paperback if you want! It is only $7.99!  {I had to have a hard copy, too!}

Dear Camden,
Why-oh-why must you torture me!  I just wanted a nice photo of you, sitting there all handsome with your fresh haircut! But you squirm and make funny faces, and I end up with a series of silly and awful! I will never stop trying! And if you would just sit and smile, the torture would be over so much quicker!

Dear Pony Beads,
Who knew?!?! I saw the craft on Pinterest and didn't give it much thought... until my sister showed off her crafts at Christmas! If I had only known you would melt and pop out of the pan with ease I would not have made so many beaded key chains all those years ago! But now, you are giving me joy with the sun shining through!

Dear Friends,
Thank you for your loving care.
I feel surrounded by your kind words & prayers and your daily texts and emails.  I cannot express what they all mean to me and how they can pull me out of a grand old pity party.  {I am taking the weekend to pull some words together just right and will share more next week... because God paves a rocky road smooth with His gifts and graces.}

Dear Mom & Bob...
Tomorrow, tomorrow!!!!  I am so excited for your trip... give George a hug from all of us! 
And tell Africa I said hello...  I love you!



February 07, 2013

and it moves me again...

I missed church a few weeks ago because I wasn't feeling well... and I missed a really great sermon on baptism.  How do I know? Because Laura and Camden both came home talking about it.  About who we are, and whose we are.  That thought was spoken again this past Sunday... during a baptism that touched my heart and soul.

Leafing through the bulletin before church, I saw her name.  I craned my neck up a few rows to see if there were others with them.  Did they have a granddaughter being baptized?   But no, it was just she and her husband, sitting it the very first row.  And when it was time, she stood there at the altar, humbly, with her cropped silver hair and a string of pearls draped down her royal blue dress. Her husband stood close beside her, one hand on her shoulder. To steady, to comfort...and perhaps, to help usher her in. I wanted to know the whys and the hows... and smiled when Pastor shared the simple, short story. The sermon, that I missed, nudged her awake in the middle of the night... and she, who is an active part of our church, was brought to wonder if she had ever been baptized.  The bright of day, and the information found, brought her to the altar... to be washed and made new. A child of God, with silver in her hair.  And when the water was blotted away, the question of whose she was was blotted away with it.

Baptism moves me.  To see a tiny baby welcomed into the kingdom of God gives me such a hope! But somehow, this baptism gave just a little more. And I was reminded of another baptism, that happened just about a year ago. 

And now why do you wait?
Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins,
calling on His name.
Acts 22:16


February 01, 2013

friday letters...4

Dear January,
Are you really just a memory?
It seems you lasted forever, and yet flew by so quickly. Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate my girl, and lasting long enough to get Christmas put away! 

Dear February,
You are off to a beautiful start! The crisp winter air and my favorite shade of blue!  I plan to fill this month with love...

Dear Unexpected Events of the Week,
Wow. Everyday has brought along something unexpected... but on Friday, with a fresh shower and a little eye make-up, I can look back and nod. Perhaps you offered nothing pleasant, but the prayers that surrounded me daily make up for that. And the knowing... that each event I caught as unplanned was actually already mapped out by the Author of Life, and therefore, covered by His grace.

Dear Ann,
I have felt your presence all around me this week.  In memories and tears, through nurses and angels. You could never be far from my heart... but it has been more than that this week.  While it makes me miss you more, it also makes me laugh as I can hear your voice loud and clear. We would have laughed a lot this week...

Dear New Blog Readers,
Thank you! Your sweet notes and comments have made me smile and have been so encouraging!  I also offer thanks to Southern Gal who blessed me by linking my little spot of grace to a blog hop! It never ceases to amaze me that friendships can be made so fast and true... and oh, I enjoy being amazed a little bit each day!

Dear World,
My dear friend Tracie wrote a 31-day series on forgiveness this past October... and very soon, you will be able to buy the actual book. In print! I am so excited for her... and am anxiously awaiting the news of how to get it!!!  Her journey through forgiveness is  profound... and simple and beautiful. I hope that you might seek it out!

Dear Eric,
Are you as amazed as I am how the tides turn and we find ourselves sitting right in each other's shoes time after time?! I think you may be the better care-giver... thank you. For loving me at every turn.


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