Friday, October 17, 2014

For Now

I feel like I'm always rushing to write.

Like I'm always having to be hasty with my time here.

Like it's a dash and scramble.

The other things and people I tend to breathing down the nape of my neck as I type....

it's normal in this season, I suppose.

But I certainly don't want to dart through this period.

I want to really live it and embrace it and caress it like the prize it is.

But I can't help but feel the squeeze and tension of pouring out to my people - yet having a deep yearning to spill thoughts out here, too.

Ah, motherhood.

A few nights ago - I slipped into a tub of hot liquid, submerged my aching neck underneath, held my book just above the water line, and read the afterward of Anne Morrow Lindbergs' Gift from the Sea. 

In it, she describes how she felt when her days in the home with children were done....when her young left the nest and flew on to their own things.

She portrays that section of her life like this....

"Plenty of solitude, and a sudden panic at how to fill it...."

This struck me.... so I reached around the rim of the tub and grabbed my pen to highlight that piece.

Because the realization that there will come a day when the pitter-patter of small feet, and the bang of percussions, and the squabble of siblings, and the asking for snacks, and the myriad of messes in every room....

will cease.

And when it does - I'll probably have a bit more time to splash words on a screen.

So what.

I won't be able to kiss soft new cheeks or hear the giggle of sneaky children each morning either.

Kate! Behold! 

Behold what is before your very eyes this moment! And breath them in! And hug them close! And listen. And remember. And play. And sit down. And shut up. 

Every season has it's place. Commit to what's currently sitting between your wrist and finger tips. Catch it and keep it..... in the depths of your mind and heart. Because one day - that's the only place this season will be.

It won't be loud and glaring you right in the face anymore - it will simply be a memory...tucked away in spirit and scrapbook.

Behold, behold, behold Kate.

Yes. The trudge through motherhood can be fierce. And depleting. And exhausting. And frightening. And freaky.

Yes. One must find a way to trickle out her bents and longings - right alongside her mothering.

Yes. Those later seasons of life - will hold much, too.

But this moment - ring out every drop of the here and now. Insert and extract all you're able - in His power....and not one second of it will be wasted.

It's late at the time of my writing this.

There is finally a hush in this home - as all three young ones rest and the husband preps a sermon.

I have the candle my mother-in-law bought me burning here on the table. And I have piano music pouring out from the ipad on Pandora. I have tomorrow's long grocery list sitting to my left, and Matchbox cars parked on my counter tops, and literature for littles littered about my living room.

Due to an early alarm in the A.M. - and a full weekend and week ahead...

I'm hastening to hash this out here and get to bed.

And this.is.good.

Because one day - I'll have more time to write. I'll have more time to sit and tinker and think and put thought to paper.

But I won't have the rush and thrill of loving on lads and lassies all day.

So for now...I'll take and embrace and behold the latter.

Writing without rushing can wait.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Carrie and Friends

Isn't it odd how hearts can remain nigh across the miles?

Isn't it grand how the souls and marrow and crevices of people can stay connected while situated on opposite ends of a continent?

It's one of the things about living and breathing and being human that I love....

connectedness at the heart level - no matter what hemisphere you find yourself.

My dear soul sister Carrie - is having a double mastectomy today - to take away cancer.


Knowing that this day was looming - my last few weeks have been peppered with thoughts of her. All the emotions. All the what-ifs. All the preparations. My mind couldn't even begin to wrap itself around her whole situation.


So I prayed.


And today I continue.


And I ask you to do the same.


Carrie has seen the Lord in very real and vivid and precious ways throughout this hard journey. And I'm trusting that all that revelation and vividness and love from the Lord won't stop. I'm believing that more of that is to come this week for her.


Won't you gather round and kneel with me today and war in the heavenlies for this song-writing, worship leading, faithful, pure, God-seeking friend?


I thank you.


Right now - just sitting here in the early hours with dawn dawning...I think of a few other friends of mine.....who bless my absolute socks off.


And I'm thinking that right along side our prayers for Carrie today - we should send up praise and thanks and requests for the ladies in our lives who carry us, and reach out to us, and hit knees in petition for us - as we whether the wins and woes of this life.

Because the wins and woes are many.

And we need these women in the midst of them.

They are treasures.


Life can take a toll - and our heart-girls help carry us. Yes?

To Carrie,

You're a heart-girl for me. You have boosted me, and asked the right questions, and sent the right scriptures, and prayed for me hard, and taken an interest, and buoyed me up countless times. A million thank yous. Your journey these last few months has left me in awe of your faith and trust and honesty and realness and love. Me and all the sweet sisters who pass by this place are praying for you. I love you dearly. Sending you hugs across the way. And trusting for good, God-things to occur this week. Lord come.

"I cannot count the number of times I have been strengthened by another woman's heartfelt hug, appreciative note, surprise gift, or caring questions...my friends are an oasis to me, encouraging me to go on. They are essential to my well-being. - Dee Brestin.

Insomuch as any one pushes you nearer to God, he or she is your friend. - French Proverb

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wind

The scorch has diminished in these parts as of late.

The red on the thermometer will climb high to 90 today - but the scald and blister of a southern summer has passed.

The air has a slight crunch to it - a gentleness and a cool that I've welcomed.

Because of this turn in season, the oldest boy and I sat outside on Sunday for our read-aloud.

I lounged in a child's rocker much too small for my adult frame. He moved about the porch and tinkered.

The wind blew through our skyward pines as I read Wind in the Willows to our man-child.

Eight now, with broad shoulders and a sudden robustness - he is closer to adolescent than infant and it makes my mind spin.

How do the seasons change so swiftly?

Like our abrupt entrance into Autumn - he just went and turned himself into a lad of all things.

The winds will do that. They'll carry change and seasons and newness.

Sometimes welcomed. Sometimes not.

But to cower away from the wind...is unreasonable. To try and escape the draft is impossible.

While tides changing can be rough - it can also be glorious.

I'm currently in a spell of time that's wrought with wind.

A temporary rent house, seven months into a strangely different job for the mister, dreams and inklings within....

There's an up-in-the-airness in the air.

The wind could blow any which way.

The gusts can carry in just about anything for anybody anywhere anytime - even for those who feel set and stationary.

While I do have somewhat of a longing for security, consistency, and sturdiness in life - I also have this tinge of thrill over what may come next. Always have.

I sometimes like to be on the cusp.

So for now - as I sit in this section of time where things seem so different and somewhat strange and a little bit interim - I'm going to keep the window open.

Why not welcome the breeze?

It may be prompt, or it may be years before the gale gets in - but it's going to tuffle your hair at some point - might as well expect it and let it waft on in to arrange things.

And won't it be sweet.... when the winds, at some point, usher in something precious?

If you find yourself here with me - take courage this moment...knowing that I just now prayed for you - for every wandering soul that passes by this post this week.

And feel a boost in hearing - that I too am seeking God in this....that you know another being who doesn't have things all mapped and planned and polished.... that someone else out there is hitting knees on a vacillating floor.

Hugs and embraces and blessings to you all.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Snapshot

I'm sitting here on the fringes of fall this morning.

With windows slid upright and all manner of insect and amphibian noises coming from the yard out back.

It's still somewhat dark, but it's growing lighter with every glance.

The air has lost it's summer sting.

A cool mistiness has replaced the Gulf's humid steam.

My boys are already up....already playing outside even at this early hour.

My girl is still snoozing there on her bottom bunk.

The squeak of the trampoline is echoing off of our wooden fence, and I wonder what the neighbors think....of children bouncing high before breakfast and sunrise.

The day holds much.

Bed sheets to wash. Learning lessons to hold. Emails to send. Doctor's appointments to make. Papers to sift through. Errands to run. Family birthday presents to buy. Lists to be made. Grass to shear. All before a soccer game this eve.

Ah. Breathe Mama.

All this....all this runaround. All these full to the brim moments. All these loud child voices rising high each day. All the neglect of self - they're blessings. I must remember it.

The following is printed in a quote book I own:

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow."

Amen.

This week - feeling worn, and torn, and a bit tattered.... I've had to fight the thoughts that come to mind that say they'll lead me to greener pastures just over the fence.

You know the ones...


The thoughts that try to carry you to some fantasy life - where kids don't holler and laundry washes itself and roses are everywhere.

Women! We must realize - that while our minds can carry us to pretend, fantasy-like tomorrows...reality can't. Those scenes don't actually exist....no matter how vivid the imagining.

Instead...

Behold today.

The loud, full, messy, imperfect.... ordinariness of it all.

The middle blonde has risen now and is curled up behind me in my bed.

The boys have made a race track on the porch for all their Matchboxes.

It's bright now.

The day is darting, and I better do the same.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Morning Poem

I think I might use this smidgen of time here this morning....to punch out a poem.

It's just where I am today.

Please excuse all errancy and lacking. It's early. There's no time for a good, thorough edit. And for me, poetry is somewhat new. Hugs to you all.

As dawn emerges all slow and steady
And this mind raps out the day ahead
I petition to the God of the universe
to keep me faithed and fed.

As babes rise and rally early this A.M.
with all those needs and wants
A woman's wise to seek sustenance
From her Father's endless source.

And as she hits knees in shaky wondar
And puts unready forehead to floor
His presence descends and sweetly lifts her
Pouring, filling, mustering her core.

She hears the small ones wrestling from slumbar
She stands to greet and brace and love
She knows she's being held and gifted
By glory highest from heavens above.

As the day wags, wills, and thrashes
And evening comes flitting at the end
Mama sprawls out on beds upholding
She has no more to give or lend.

But as she rises next morning come
And the day's agenda greets her strong
She'll kneel on knees of knowing needing
and be sustained all hours long.

Yes, He'll sustain you all hours long.

 
 


Monday, September 15, 2014

The Sermon

There's a song bird just outside my window this morning.

The sky is high and clear and the air outside looks crisp.

The clock is quickly approaching that hour where the blondes rise and stampede into their day.

I just rolled out of the bed and stammered here to greet you.

It's been too many days since I've sat and poured something out. I know no one is waiting around on my words...... but I have been. I need this space....this nook....this therapy. Pouring out here pours into me somehow.

I have a plethora of things to ponder and pass along.

Yesterday's message is a fine place to begin.

It was a memo of sorts....straight to my ailing, flailing heart.

I was so seared by the sermon shared - so deeply spoken to.

I'm still processing. Like picking up a handful of sand and sea shells - and shaking it out to let the sand fall between my fingers....the shells haven't completely emerged yet. I'm still handling it.

The text .....was 1 John 1:5-10. That bit of scripture that speaks of light and dark and sin and confession and fellowship.

Once the message is posted online, I'd like to post it here. I'm afraid my tidbits and nuggets just won't do.

Because when the Lord speaks mightily - it can be hard to properly regurgitate what actually transpires.

Sometimes it's just a deep, wordless thing.

I can't do it justice....but the main jest?....

 Fear is based in darkness. When we make decisions out of fear, in the dark - we make decisions based on things that are false - leading us to bad decision making. But when we make decisions in the light - we can see what's true - leading us to sound decision making. 

If you only knew, friends - how many of my decisions have been influenced by deep-seeded fear....you would know why this so resounds with my very shaky soul.

On another note....verse 9 of the text says to 'confess'. The guest preacher shared that the word confess does not mean to say 'I'm sorry'. It means to tell the truth. So really the scripture is asking us to tell God what we actually think and believe of Him....being honest, raw, real. It might look like the following:

God, I don't really believe you are loving.
God, I doubt scripture.
God, I don't actually believe you are always with me.
God, I often times don't even know if you are real.

Etc...Etc...Etc...

All those things we believe in the dark....all those things that we believe all seeped and saturated in fear and warpedness....confess them. And then ask the Lord.....ask Him to turn the lights on!

Just like He did in the very beginning - His voice being the light switch and setting the sun ablaze and separating day from night - He'll illuminate your life. He still does that.

But ah, there's more. The Spirit spoke yesterday. If I can get my paws on a podcast - I'll certainly relay it to you.

This post here - has taken me most of the day. I have sat here between math and history, between lunch and snack, and now between nap and dinner. And such is the life of a wanna-be-writer homeschooling mom. :)

I have a pot of hot chicken soup on the stove - the scent of simmered poultry filling our sweet, small rent house.

The kids are out back playing in water and making a mess and traumatizing all sorts of insects on our porch.

But tonight...tonight I have a date. After the blondes reluctantly lay down heads and slip into slumber - I have plans of prayer and of confession and of asking.

Lord come and meet me where I am and let my life glow again.



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday

I went to a bookstore today.

This means I went right near heaven.

Few things make me feel inspired, and connected, and known, and enthused like pages in binding.

Passing all those classics I haven't read yet - I feel giddy and guilty all at the same time. It makes me want to scoop them all up for purchase and digestion.

A great mentor of ours once told us that we should seek out the books of old - not just the books of the hour. He told us that we should try to take in the writings that have stood the test of time...a bit more than we take in the ones that have only been spouted off recently.

He was quick to say that our more modern pieces certainly have the potential to speak and guide and minister - but that we should be very careful in our pursuing of them.

Our wise mentor isn't the only guy who has suggested this.

The following is from Alister McGrath's book entitled C.S. Lewis - A Life:

Lewis argues that a familiarity with the literature of the past provides readers with a standpoint which gives them critical distance from their own era. This allows them to see "the controversies of the moment in their proper perspective." The reading of old books enables us to avoid becoming passive captives of the Spirit of the Age by keeping "the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds."

Interesting.

Don't get us all wrong here, please. There are some very sound words floating around these days, that come from people of our own generation. I'm shaken awake by many of them.

We just need to be careful. And prayerful. And picky.

Especially when it comes to the writings we expose our children to.

Gladys Hunt in her book entitled Honey for a Child's Heart (Fourth Edition) wrote this:

"Good books provide for the kind of character we hope to see developed in our children."

Yes.

Teaching my own kids  - has awakened me to the fact that children are very heavily influenced, and spoken to, and captivated by.... books that teach them things in story form, rather than text book form.

Children are experts at pulling out moral nuggets and keen facts from simply listening to or reading good literature. It doesn't have to be dumbed down and spoon fed to them by way of a dry text.

And you, as the parent, will gain much from sitting in the pages with them.

I've grown, and been fed, and been whisked away by many of the readings I've done with my lassies.

I could go on and on, really.

 But alas - it's only half an hour until tomorrow.

And Mama here is tired and the pillow is calling.

It's been a pleasure sitting here with you over the last 7 days, friends. We should do this more often :)

Blessings and good books to you all.