Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Music

Song for Sienna makes me weep.

It makes me want to grab pen and paper and fly off to a word world all alone to paint scenes and dote out life.

It's playing now on Pandora.

Right in the midst of doing something else - the moment it began to bellow from the speakers - I had no choice but to sit for a sec and hash something out here.

And as it turns out, it's a fine morning for that.

The oldest....discerning that Mama has been a bit (ahem)....'frazzled' lately - entertained the younger two for a full hour this morning before allowing them all to barrel in for breakfast.

And then...sensing that Mama might need a bit more time -  made their morning meal and hustled them away for a breakfast picnic in the playroom.

Good boy.  

Thank you, God.

So I poured a bowl of grains, headed to my desk to accomplish some things before the rare bliss passed.... and out comes Brian Crain's melody of music.

And so here I sit.

Teary, wordy, relaxed.

The Enchantment and Clair de Lune do the same thing....

They almost put me in a creative trance of sorts.

It's fascinating how beautiful noise stimulates the brain...
and causes cleverness to creep out of staunchness...
and lifts up mood...
and energizes dull moments...
and creates and encourages life and light.

Yes.

Music is the art that spurs on more art.

Melancholy Morning has now made tears flow, too.

It all just touches me special and deep.
And speaks to me in places that need spoken to.
And helps me find my voice.

Music...

Notes from notes - right to my frayed, needy soul.



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Telling Moments

It's hard to pick up shards of glass through streams of tears.

Ask me how I know.

Ask me how I know about the cloudy sheen that descends over eyeballs when a child drops glass on tile kitchen flooring again, and you're already in over your head in housework and homeschool.

Ask me what it feels like to crack like the cup does.

I could tell you.

Because Wednesday morning was my morning to implode.

The crashing chalice shoved me over the sanity ledge, and Mama broke.

Mothers....

You will have moments where your hands catch your head and you sob into sweaty incapable palms.

Parenting is a process that sanctifies.

It undoes the onion of pride, selfishness, egocentrism.

It reveals weaknesses and sheds light on sinful bents.

And it shows us more than anything.... that we need help. And we need a Savior.

The realization of this hit me square in the face Wednesday morning when the cup tumbled into disarray in my kitchen.


Reactions are telling.

Who we are in our knee-jerk responses.....is who we really are.

They tell us where we're really at in the process.

So when the glass goblet joined the floor, my tears and rising anger and sheer desperation - showed me much.

The next few days....(after foolishly self-loathing a bit) I prayed, and asked others to pray, and reached out to wise souls, and recalibrated. 

My days have been full of sounder, steadier, calmer moments ever since.

While in the moment it can be a startling embarrassment, seeing our own brokenness can be a blessing.

It gives us a sort of state of address.

And for that I am grateful.

If you have found yourself sweeping up the pieces while wiping away tears...

If you have discovered that your interior is shattered...

If you have seen your own self through an outburst or a breakdown or a loud reaction....

Know that you are a woman who is in metamorphosis.

And those cup cracking moments catapult us into mature reform...

If we allow them to.

I'm with you.

In those rending moments, you've got company friend.

There's a group of us here...all gathering the shards.

All heaping the fragments and handing them over to a  God who can create and refurbish the broken pieces....

 into something divinely beautiful.

May the Lord meet you in the teary moments, comfort you in the chaos, and bless your looking in and letting go.




Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome

Fire or window.

Warmth, or scenery with a draft..... that's the decision I'm trying to make this New Year's morning.

I'm at the French cafe again. Glory to God.

Getting a moments pause while the children and the husband ready the house for a day of football, rest, planning.

This escape is very, very good. I've been holed up through the holidays mostly - so to take flight for a few hours is a wonderful way to lead off the first day of 2015.

Welcome to the starting line, friends.

I fancy a fresh start. 

The beginning of the year is like a crisp dawn - ringing in all kinds of new possibilities and presents and revelation.

Looking forward here from the starting blocks  - I want this go around to be different.

I want the tune of the next 12 months to ring clearer, calmer, more collected.

The drum I march to this year needs to have a steadier beat.

Last year's had a changing tempo.

Some of that I couldn't help, some of it....I could have.

I need to steady what I can.

And I need to hand over what I can't.

And I need to look up and out, instead of down and in all the time.

Succor me, Holy Spirit. You are where my help comes from.

I just read Matthew 23.


Jesus is speaking in these verses about the hypocritical ways of the scribes and pharisees...the religious leaders of that day. And in verse three Jesus says...

So practice and observe whatever they tell you - but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.

They preach but do not practice.

Parents!
Spouses!
Friends!
Siblings!
Children!

This is not simply for scribes and pharisees of 2,000 years ago...

This is for us who lead, and love, and are still lingering here on this planet today.

Oh, yes.

This year...

To practice what we preach.
To match our mouths.
To walk what we talk.
To walk what we write.
To carry out what we are saying we behold within.

Can you imagine the impact?

Because "No amount of talking penetrates as deeply as example." 

Mrs. Elizabeth Elliot said it right.

So whatever it is you have been planning or procuring for this next trip around the sun....

Whatever you're wanting to hash out, and change, and improve....

Whatever it is that has you focused and inspired....

Whoever it is that you want to influence...

Wherever it is that you want to go....

Let your life match your lips.

Kate, let-your-life-match-your-lips.

If this living what we homilize....is something that we thread through all our efforts...

Our fruit will be good.


And others will want to eat of it.

And fine nourishment....it  changes parched and famished lives around.

Yes.

The impact will be enormous.

Supply us, Lord.

So I've settled here...by the fire, away from the window, but facing it.

The best of both.

And I've punched out words and I've wrestled through some much needed admonitions here.... and I feel happy starting the year off this way.

Friend, may your fresh start be faith-filled and fruitful and fabulous. May it be rich in all things fine and holy. May it be chock-full of prophetic encounters and divine appointments. May it be a year of positive influence and joyful work and God-given purpose. May it be a year of healing and reconciliation and sweet growth. I'm grateful for you - for your company here, for your willingness to enter into the deep life with me. ENJOY what's to come. I trust that so much of it will be grand.

New Year Hugs to you all.





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Good Morning

I'm at the dining table typing today.

The youngest has woken up well before his allotted start time - due to a snotty head.

Watery eyes, drippy nose, lethargic.... all he wants is Mama.

And tissues.

He's getting lots of both.

When settling down to munch on breakfast - he asked me to sit with him while I write.

So I moved candle and computer into our common area here.... and the change in scenery is a welcome one, albeit loud.

I'm flanked by blondes at this point.

The oldest saw that the youngest got to get out of the gate early - so now he has joined us.

I'm sure the girl isn't far behind.

So much for my early writing time.... alone.

:)

Soak in the season, Mama. It will flee fast.

Today....the eve of Christmas eve - it's an antsy, thoughtful one.

Everyone in this house - looking forward to celebrating and eating and opening and pondering the Purpose of it all.

And allowing the gears to turn for what next year could hold, what matters and goals to fixate on, what fresh starts to forge and conquer.

For me...I've got a clear concentration.

I'm sure it will make it's way into my words throughout the year.

But for today - we will snuggle in, and read, and think, and clean up, and administer medicine, and take shelter from the elements.

It's a cool, cloudy, wet and thunderous day in these parts.

Perfect for doing those things I just mentioned above.

I hope your days leading up to Christmas and New Years - are filled with peace and direction for the coming year, friends.

Grateful for each of you.

Holiday hugs to you all.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hello, Again

Everyone else in my house has yet to stir.

Heads are still resting on pillows and the sun won't make it's way through our windows for a while still.

I'm up, however.

I'm up...because I know that if I will have any quiet, still, unrushed moments - I have to steal them.

And I have to steal them early.

But I like it here in the initial dark hours when the day's pot has yet to be stirred.

To be the one who finds herself vertical first - to be the one to grab hold of the spoon and whirl today's contents and set it to simmer before anyone else....it boosts me.

So this pristine moment is good.

But please know....

Many times I have walked past my laptop the last few weeks...

Rushing to grab an extra diaper for the diaper bag....
Carrying a child who is learning to 'potty'...
Hoisting folded laundry to closets and drawers...
Pushing a vacuum over crumbs and litter...
Shuffling myself to my side of the bed....

Life speeds past this contraption here. Lots of life. Great life!

But as I dart around my computer handling my people and my things and my duties - I glance at the screen of this thing, and feel a strong tinge and twinge to rest and wonder and write with you in this place.

Know that.

Someone recently suggested that I just grab fifteen minutes here, and ten minutes there - to punch out my passions here. But my brain doesn't do that exactly. And my heart doesn't want to. It....wants to be seated, settled, and perched for more than a few moments - to let the words unfold. That's what feels good.

So this morning, scripting won over sleeping.

And I'm glad.

Just typing all of the above - I already feel more myself.

It's a Monday. And as mentioned - the day hasn't exactly dawned yet. And in the wee hours here - I'm thinking about the people all over the place....the New Yorkers getting ready to step down into subways, the westerners who are still in deep night, the Londoners who are already setting out to lunch. And it makes me want to join each one in each place - in each city's day pregnant with possibilities.

But I'm happy here in my suburban rent house looking out onto my dining table, while also looking out onto my next 16 hours.

As I look...

My table has a blue sippy cup of water resting on it - leftover from yesterday. It has an empty glass cup left there by a certain husband. It has my black button-up sweater draped across the middle - left there by a certain yours truly. The corner of the table has my school plans for the week, a notebook I scribble things in all day, and a group of pens and pencils ready to pour. The other corner has a tiny matchbox car resting on it - waiting for little hands to grasp and zoom.

My day has a full load of learning to carry out. We will look further at the planets today, and study spelling words, and review grammar rules (just as much for Mommy here, as for anyone else!) tackle a few math lessons - amongst a gaggle of other things. It also holds wrapping up a few Christmas to-do's, washing and drying at least one load of laundry, playing a new game a dear friend gifted to us just last night, and finding a few moments to pray and petition and dream with God between it all.

As I gird myself up just now....as the children reach the tail end of their slumber and the sun is threatening to peep...

 I ask the Creator of all things good, to simply grant us His peace and persistence and patience and yes, His presence today.

Reveal Yourself to us all this week, Lord. And let us see and discern You as we head toward the holiday.

Ah.

I feel so much better having unloaded here... after all that long wait.

See you soon. Yes, I need it to be forthwith. (Isn't that a fun word? So Jane Austen-ish.) :)

If I wait that long again - I'll either wither or burst!

Big, huge, festive, heart-felt hugs to you all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Treasure

Every once in a while the itch to write, trumps all else.

I have moments where I feel such a strong beckoning to sit and scribble words, that I can't find peace doing any other thing.

Most times I can tell whether it's me - simply longing and needing to do something of my own and something for myself........and when it's God.

Today I feel like it's God.

The odd thing is, I don't really have a particular story, lesson, or epiphany burning a hole in my soul.... to share.

But out of what seems like obedience, I have positioned myself here this morning - in front of this screen....to punch something out.

Something.

Lord, I seek and accept what you want to deposit. What is it?

Just as I'm sitting here - I feel such a sweet and strong Presence, that my eyes are pooling tears and my chest feels wonderfully heavy, and I have a simple picture in my head that shows me He has something to hand out here today.

As I'm asking, I feel a tendency to strain and stretch to hear Him. But at the same time, I feel an urging to simply be calm, and open up..... and I'll receive. 

Funny, in the midst of this affectionate Presence that's filling this place - I have been interupted countless times by the earthly season I'm in.

Squabbling sibblings.
The oldest practicing his piano and wanting me to listen.
Fetching food.
Getting kids dressed.
Helping kids find certain toys.
Addressing behavior.

I've been up and down from my writing chair at least a dozen times in the last 20 minutes.

Yet, every time I come back and sit down - I feel Him.

Ah. He meets us in our seasons, in our current situations, in our now.

He knows where we are - and He can come to us there. 

He can bring His Presence to our present. Isn't that grand?

Hmm.

I have lots of tears and no words to tell you why.

But I can tell you - that it has been a hard week.

But also, I can tell you - that when my feet hit the floor this morning, I felt a surge of hope and of expectancy. An inkling, once again, that the good Lord has something great to reveal to us today.

Yes, Father. Bring it.

I've been reading through Matthew. And today's reading is from chapter 13, verse 44:

 The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Up until a few years ago, I had looked at this verse as if salvation was 'the treasure', 'the man' was me and you, and that we had to go and sale everything so that we could buy what was really worthy.

That made sense to me. And it went along with other scriptures I knew.

But after listening to a very thoughtful sermon on this verse, and much pondering on the subject - I don't think that is what Jesus meant by that passage at all. 

This may sound egocentric.....but I now think He meant that 'the treasure' is us. And Christ is 'the man'. And Jesus went and 'sold' Himself on a cross to buy you and I back. 

Hear this...

You didn't have to buy anything to come into the Kingdom of God. YOU were what was bought.

You and I, the church, the field, the treasure....

According to Christ, we were worth selling everything for.

Wow! 

Find your identity in that today, friends.

Yeah. No matter where you find yourself this moment - He finds you

And you are His treasure.  

That's why He was willing to pay the cost to make you....His.

Was that it, Lord?! Was that passage what we all needed to hear from You this hour?

Yes! 

But I think there's more.

Lord, for every single person that passes by this post - please deposit something else that is lovely into their souls at some point today. Something that they know is from You. Please. Thank You that You are so good. And that You come and find us, and buy us, and unearth us, and wipe our dirt away, and place us higher. In Jesus, Amen.



 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Holidays

There's gold to be seen this holiday week, friends.

Just a few days ago, around 1pm when the sun was high and tarrying....the blondes and I were out back.

There were pine needles all over the porch that needed sweeping, and balls bounced about all over the grass, and piping pitched around by the boys.

It needed a tidying.

As I was straightening up and doing my duty with the broom, the oldest said....

"Mama! This looks like gold!....Come here!"

Honestly....I didn't want to stop my cleaning. I wanted to check it off the list and be done with it.

But thankfully, instead of following my bent....

I made a few more brushes with the sweeper, and headed over to where he was standing.

He positioned my body in the direction of a large potted tree, and said....

"Look!"

When I turned my head and really opened my eyes....I saw a tree all lit up at the top by an Autumn sun.

It looked like it had been painted with strokes of gold.....each leaf a blazing shimmer.

Gorgeous!

I grabbed his growing shoulders, and squeezed him tight, and told him that yes indeed....

it did look like gold.

And then I thanked that first blonde of mine...

...for making his Mommy really see, behold, notice.

Ah. What a lesson for this season.

With turkeys, and d├ęcor, and cards, and gifts, and company-cleaning, and parties, and events, and end-of-year work hustles....there's much to distract us from wander.

But let's try to anchor down, and do all that well..... while still awakening to the shining, sweet, golden moments that will be scattered throughout our days here.

The kids will remember our soft glances, and our fitting responses, and our pats, and loves, and listening, much more than what is placed on the table, or swept into corners, or placed around a tree, or bonused into your checking account.

And they'll certainly remember the moments you stopped your chore, or your work, or your long conversation, or your racing.... to enter into a  moment of really seeing, and really taking in.

Lord, help us to really breathe and behold this time of year, and always.

I pray your Thanksgiving is rich with love, heavy on grace, pardoning of family woes, and really, really blessed.

Big grateful hugs and embraces.....to you all.