Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Rare Trip

I don't wing away from the nest very often.

It's pretty much never, actually.

So the fact that I am flying halfway across this big fine nation tomorrow...away from my blondes and my brood - it makes my heart and brain spin a little.

This trip - that I had written off as impossible...due to budget and logistics and care-taking... is coming to fruition and I'm a smidge giddy.


Since I was twelve years old, I've been bent on going.

I'm 31 - and the souls of my feet haven't sturdied themselves on Cali soil, yet.

Therefore, my glee and excitement are high and rising.

A grand group of girls and I are headed up to the northern stretch of the state - for a fast yet full, weekend jaunt.  There will be lots of new things for me to see....and lots of ministry opportunities for me to participate in.

Is this real?

Three or so days of allowing thoughts to fully form in my mind without harried distractions. Two rather long plane rides to read and rest and wonder. Meals to eat in slow pace. Conversing with Spirit-filled adults. Allowing God and man to minister to me. Tending to self.

What is that?

It's a welcomed reprieve.

Every once in a while Mamas need some tending, too. Yes.

Today - we have laundry and a library trip and school duties. I plan to whip up something sweet to leave on the counter before I scurry away. I have a girl blonde and a toddler blonde to pray over and tend I try to mend them of illness. I have emails to scribble and toilets to clean and a house to pick up.

But I'll also be packing. And packing always sends me into a merry step.

I have a travelers itch inside my body that never gets to jet off to mountains and ranges and green - it gets me going.

With new scenery to take in, and something unfamiliar to see - I can feel the words weaving now. It goes from eyeballs to fingertips with quickly in fact, that I have to carry a pocket notebook to capture it all down. Or else.... the next site flings the former one right away.

Yes - I'm expectant, and a bit wild over it all.

But....... I'm a mother.

And in this season my sole assignment is to tend the nest.

Serving and loving and teaching right here within these walls - it's what I do. It's what I love. It's what I constantly strive to better and enhance. It's my charge right now.

So soaring away for a leaves me mixed. Happy and thrilled and eager - but pinched. 

Pinched between knowing I need a short junket - and knowing where my current purpose resides.

So my strings will be anchored here in this home - as the jet whisks me away for a few days.

Just a few days, Kate. Go, and grin, and know that it is good.

I bow and ask you to come and be here as I am not. Protect and bless and tend and be ever present in this place and in my people's hearts as they get along for the weekend. Let them laugh and have adventures and heal.. Please board the plane with me and minister to my heart in deeper ways than I've ever experienced. Come with me and speak to me and reveal Yourself as I seek You. Please get us all back to the nest, sharing stories and experiences, early next week. I'm so grateful that You are omnipresent. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this time. Please fill it. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


It's Monday eve....and I've found myself in a dark, golden-lit French bistro.

Sans children.

Just me, my books, my laptop, my dreaming.

These reprieves are rare.

And as you now know, I'm content with this.

Coming off of a full weekend - that required much of my time, attention, and devotion....and being at the beginning here of a week that holds extra meetings and activities, on top of the normal duties of this time - the husband thought it best for me to steal away for a few hours tonight.

Bless him.

It always takes me a good while to adjust on nights like this.

The furry that unfolds as I leave the house - has to be shaken off before I can allow myself to slip into any kind of calm or quiet.

I'm there, now.

But it took the length of my meal, and a few chapters of my book to get me here.

My dinner consisted of a French dip sandwich, a pasta salad, and potato soup.

It felt fancy.

Anytime I can eat in peace...actually tasting the fare - I feel an unusual frill.

I'll have you know that when I first encountered the waiter, I considered using my broken French.

Bonjour, monsieur.
Comment allez-vous?

But I resisted.

I'm only on lesson 3 of my recent foray into this foreign language, so I decided to save myself the certain embarrassment - and speak in native tongue.

The waitstaff is glad, I am sure.

I'm sitting by a window.

It's a clear fall evening here in the south. Dusk has come and the sky is black and the air is still - making statues of everything in my eyesight out this fenĂȘtre.

I'm sipping hot chocolate from a dark blue ceramic mug, and eating a small lemon pastry.

A lemon pastry!

Because if I'm going to eat anything lemony, it has to be when I'm by myself. No one else in my sphere will subject themselves to the citrus. So I'm happy to be here - with my bite of lemon and no one saying 'eww'.


Hours have passed fast.

It's just about time for me to leave my sanctuary now.

Mama's escapade is almost over.

The kids should be in bed when I return. I'll be greeted by a dryer full of laundry, a list of emails to return, and most certainly a house to pick up.

And remember....this is good.

Tomorrow we have piano and dance and soccer and other Tuesday things.

And as I shuttle the littles and tend to the goings on of life - I'll be a bit more sane thanks to tonight's retreat of sorts.

The respite was needed, taken, and savored.

I hope to visit here again by the end of the week, friends.

I hope your next few days are filled with joy in the mundane, revelation in the ordinary, grace to handle the extraordinary, and little moments of pardon - no matter how brief.

Au revoir.

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.


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 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


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 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.