Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here and There

An absolutely gorgeous day here on the prairie.
Blue skies, sunshine, and low wind make me one happy girl. 

 Hubby jokes that I am fueled by sunshine, and I suppose in some ways that is true.  When the winds don't blow so hard that it is difficult to be outside, and if the weather isn't so hot that I'm sweaty all over, I really enjoy being outside.

As you can see from the pictures, we have no neighbors.  Just wide open spaces of sky and plains.  "Why does the sky look so big?" I've sometimes wondered.  My theory is that without mountains to give a higher horizon, the blue just seems to stretch on for miles. 

We're contemplating building at our house.  We're getting 10 chickens this evening, and they need a chicken house.  For now, we've got a temporary structure for them.  We also got a black cat and a grey cat.  I have plans to call them George and Martha since this is an election year.  Right now they are both 'kitty, kitty...' And we've talked about adding on.  Again.  The problem has nothing to do with not knowing what we want.  It's the reality that we both know how much work it takes to build and to finish.  We're both really good at starting something and not finishing.   It's easier to start with high enthusiasm than to finish with it. 

So here is to building and finishing....and a perfect day spent in the outdoors.

Friday, October 26, 2012

By All Means Sing




"If you hear a voice within you saying, "You are not a painter," then by all means paint...and that voice will be silenced." -Vincent Van Gogh

I didn't try.  My main mistake that year was failing to try.  
"You've got a good voice," he told me, "And I would have put you in ensemble."
But I didn't believe it.  I'd been told since junior high that if you couldn't sing vibrato, and you weren't friends with someone who had clout, or didn't have singing lessons,  you couldn't sing, even if you could read notes and carry a tune.  You couldn't sing because one person decided the worth of your voice.

We moved.  The new teacher, he told me I could have sung in the ensemble, but I didn't try because I didn't believe I was good enough.  Entrance into the ensemble was by audition only.  The next year I tried and I made it!  I learned the joy of singing with my alto voice blended in harmony with others, offering together a gift of music. That teacher gave me the gift of hope and courage.   If you find a voice within you saying, "You are not a singer,"then by all means sing....and that voice will be silenced. 


We can spend our lives listening to that voice....you know, the one that says:
You aren't good enough.
You aren't beautiful enough.
You aren't like so and so.
You aren't lovable.
Silence the lies with truth:
His grace has covered you.  You are good by His grace alone.  He has given you unique talents.
He has made you, formed you in your Mother's womb.
You are exactly who He made you to be, and comparing yourself with another isn't wise.
You are loved.  Completely, totally, unconditionally.

 He offers us the bread and cup, and says, "This is for you.  God loves you, Lisa."  I hear my name and I know.  God loves me and He calls me with His shepherd voice and affirms His love for me by giving. The bread cupped in my hand, the cup held in the other.  Love meets me where and when I remember with Thanksgiving what He's done for me.  This bread, this cup.  Take it, and remember God's love for sinners.  His voice silences the lies. 

"The voice of truth tells me a different story.  The voice of truth says 'Do not be afraid.'" -Casting Crowns

Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fly

“There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." - C.S. Lewis The Four Loves

They told him to fly.  Fly, because you can, the doctor said.  Fly because you love it.  Fly because it makes you feel alive, alert, and yourself. 

 His eyes light up when he talks of flying, his mind acutely aware of all the details of landing a tail-dragger.  Forty some odd years of flying ought to make you an expert at that.  But, he notes, there are certain skills you can't teach someone that are like second nature to the person who possesses those skills.  My hubby, he nods his head.  And I listen, knowing that my husband has keen eyesight and perception, and notices details most would miss.  This perhaps is part of being a pilot.  His hands, they can fix airplanes.  But they can't fix this.  Fly, they said. And he thinks of all he will leave and what comes next.  

He asks Hubby to fly.  "Fly, because soon I won't be able to.  Fly, because we love it.  Fly because it makes us feel alive, alert, and ourselves."  An airplane can soar in the quietness of the sky on a clear day above farm ground, and miniscule monopoly homes.  Fly, because it makes problems seem far away. 

He looks at the calendar and calculates.  If we time this right, Hubby will have his tail-dragger certification in November.  Our friend gets weaker, but still talks of flying.  He knows he soon will not have the strength to operate his plane.  Between trucking and flying, it is what he has known best.  

He sits in our living room and tears up.  "They gave me this quilt to remind me that I'm covered with God's love."  He still walks, and lives.  But if you ask him what he does, he'll tell you he quit his job in August, sold his trailer and truck, the only income he's ever known, because he was diagnosed.  "Two months, they said.  Four if you are lucky."  Terminal lung cancer will bring an end to his life, there will be no cure, just maintenance. 

"Fly," the doctor said.  "Fly because you love to."

Fly, he says, and is letting go slowly but surely.  He knows that God loves him and holds him.  It's the grief of goodbyes, and the separation pain He feels.  We feel it, too. "I'll try to get certified," Hubby says, knowing that it will take time and energy.  "We'll fly," he says, even though neither of us want to think of a day when his strength is so depleted that Joseph will have to fly.  

Something like this should hurt.  We could withdraw from it knowing that the grief of death is coming, but love chooses.  Love chooses not to withdraw.  Love anything, and you will risk being hurt.  

"We'll fly," Hubby says.  Inside it feels like my heart is tied, bound with ropes of sadness.




Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Sweet Family

"Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!" Albert Einstein

We had family pictures done in September by Jenny of Long MemoriesShe did a fantastic job of capturing us enjoying one another on our farm.  It is so precious for me to have these pictures because I am usually the one taking the pictures of my boys, thus I don't have very many with all three of us in them except the ones I have from the day Itty-bitty was born.  
Itty-bitty was quiet and pretty somber.  He vacillates between really happy and really mellow.
Mr. B cracking lots of jokes.

Trying to get El revved up for a smile.

Or a half-smile will do....

Mr. B being clever about something....

Heads up!  (Notice my boots...who'd have ever thought I'd have a pair of cowboy work boots?!!? Not me.  City girl, meet country.)

I love the intensity in their eyes.

Love me some KS sunflowers....and some snuggles.
Have you loved on your family today (and not just in the pictures)?  Give a hug, a smile, a kiss.  Make a meal, clean (yipes) those places that you've procrastinated to clean, say a kind word, send a note, surprise them with something special. 

I remind myself that these moments will pass. 

And that reminds me of this song two of my good friends (Kim and Alisa) and I used to listen to.  "This Day" by Point of Grace.

When I look back at this picture of Point of Grace, I think to myself...wow, look at those pants and hairdos.  :)  Kinda dates me a little...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Native

Sabino Canyon-Tucson, Arizona
"Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind." -C.S. Lewis

 "They'll grow," he says.  I don't say anything, but I'm not sure.  
"We'll give them water, and sunlight," he smiles with a twinkle in his eye,"and these mesquite trees will make it."
"How different could this climate be from Arizona, anyway?"
"Arizona doesn't freeze very often, I've never seen it do so more than a handful of times in all the years I lived there."
"What did you do when it froze?" he asks.
"My parents would cover the fruit trees, but we didn't have a deep freeze."

So we wait.  They grow a little.  He puts rabbit wire around them to protect them from the rabbits on the prairie.  The freeze comes.  They die.
------
"They'll grow," he says.  I'm not so sure.
"We'll give them water and sunlight," he half smiles, "and our little boy will swing from these apple trees someday."  

So we wait.  They grow a little.  He puts a fence around our grove.  But the wind blasts, and summer unleashes a fury of heat that water cannot keep up with, and several of the trees succumb to a pest.  
--------
"They'll grow," he says.  I don't say anything.  I know he's right. These trees are native to our red dirt prairie land.
"They'll get their own water and sunlight, and there are other trees like this growing here.  These elm trees will thrive in the dirt we have. "

So we wait.  A few trees become many.  We don't have to build a fence around them.  
-------
The difference?  
Native trees grow best in the land that is considered their environment. 


Just like a tree needs the correct environment to thrive, so does the soul.  Is it any wonder then, why I sometimes feel out of place?  Like I have to battle, fight to make thrive, and to do what is right?
Like I'm stunted, dying? My soul has to fight to prosper, and live.  That part of me doesn't seem like it fits in this world.  That is because it doesn't. 

My soul was not made for this world but the next.  It isn't native to this world. 

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Beautiful Joy

The stack of our old International Harvester
Neat parallel chocolate rows of dirt line the fields as if they are mapping the way for the green wheat to arrive in perfect, synchronized form.  The sky is a somber grey today, and the rain is supposed to be here in a day or two.  Inside, I sip my decaf coffee, and bounce my little one on my knee.  The harvest will come, but there must be a planting.

When harvest comes, little one, you will be a bigger boy.  We will show you trucks and tractors, and you may remember or even toddle around our legs.  The world will seem so big, and so fresh and green then.  You were born a few weeks before the earliest harvest that farmers in these parts could remember, and just about 10 days after huge tornadoes swept our state and our neighbor's home away.  You were due just 5 days after the tornadoes, and Daddy and I were both glad you were not born in the storm shelter.

We sing to you.  We play with you.  We read to you.  We love you.  What joy you bring our lives.  We plant little seeds of kindness, and little acts of love.  There will be difficult times, we know.  But this laying down of our own lives, this self-sacrifice of love and time is for something bigger than ourselves.  We choose to love each other, sometimes imperfectly, but always with laughter.  We are learning to be your parents.  You are planting in us seeds of love, and oh, the harvest of joy.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Do You 'See' Me?

I'm linking up again this Friday with Lisa Jo for the Five Minute Friday challenge.  Write. Just write.  No editing.  Join up if you'd like!

See me.  I'm over there in the corner.  I'm a visitor.  I wish I wasn't one, but I am.  This crowd, it makes me uncomfortable.  I really want someone to see me, and be genuine.  Talk to me, I'll listen.  But yes, you have your friends.  I've been away from the states for some time, and I've got to take action.  "Welcome," I wish I felt it.  I wish I felt like you are actually glad I'm here.  But I'm on the outside looking in, and I'm not sure I want to be with the 'in' I see.  So I leave, and vow that I will be the change.

I will be the person who invites you over to my house.  I will be the one who sees you, yes you, in the corner with your eyes down.  The shy one.  The one who doesn't really want to carry on conversations for politeness sake, but for the sake of knowing, loving.  I will reach out.  I will give you a hug, and say, "Welcome!"

And when I do, I'm surprised to find that you like me, have a soul.  You want to know, and be known.  I find in the process of welcoming I am crazy, incredibly loved.  In the process of welcoming, I am welcomed.  Though this isn't my home, and I feel like a stranger trapped between two places I have lived in the last ten years, I know this isn't the final welcome.  I won't step off the plane, and feel it home.  I'll step off the plane, and have dreams of the other place while I'm present in this one.  My heart longs for timelessness. 


Five Minute Friday

Monday, October 1, 2012

Because Not Every House is a Home



"A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1

Hubby in front of our home...flying his kite.
It's easy to think I want something different.  I want a house that looks like a house.  I want more space so we have room to have people.  I want a dishwasher so I don't have to do dishes three times a day.  While it is one thing to want those things, there is a fine line between dreaming and complaining. 

How is it that I've lived in smaller spaces, and I've had no problem?  I  lived in a 21 floor apartment building, and it didn't look like a house.  I had no problem washing my dishes.  And good grief, I didn't even have  a clothes dryer.   When surrounded by the 'better' things in life it is easy to notice and complain about what we don't have compared to someone else.

My eyes stopped on this "...but a foolish woman tears it down..."  I'd never read it in this translation.  But the visual picture it gave me was overwhelming.  "Lisa, every time you complain about the dishes, it is like you are taking down your house board by board."  Hubby built our house before I was around.  Nail by nail he put it up.  He is the epitome of responsibility.  And you know, when I complain it is like slapping the face of the one who provided it for me.  I am saying, "Hubby, this isn't good enough for me.  Thank you, but I'd like something else."  And to amplify that, "God, this isn't good enough for me.  Thank you, but I'd like something else."

So I stopped.  Every time I'm doing the dishes and I start thinking wrong, I picture myself tearing down our house.  Our cabinets.  What Hubby has worked so hard to build.  And I realize we are building together.  We are on the same team.  When I complain, or compare what I have to what someone else has, it won't look the same.  The Giver is the same, but the gift is different. Your house may be small but your sense of home can be filled with an even bigger sense of love.  The love that you share with others within your four walls will have everything to do with the legacy you leave for your family.   

Because not every house is a home.
It was my 'ah-ha' moment.
In what ways do you build and cultivate a sense of  home? 
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