Saturday, May 25, 2013

For My Son

Mama and her boy
Papa doesn't only fly airplanes...
My son, you'll surely grow
And as you do, you know,
I love you to the stars and all the in between.
While you make your own path
My love and prayers cover you.
Everyday you dream I pray you will have
Courage to be brave in a world that says you can't.
Take heart, for you can.
When your dreams take flight
I believe you can do what you set out to do.
For today, you're little.
I still cradle you in my arms
And gently sing this song to you.
You watch me, eyes full of steady study.
I know you'll be a man someday, my son.
But for today, I'll rock you now
And thank God
For who you are, and what you are becoming.
You are a gift.
For my son,  you are a soul.
Unique.
Daring.
Careful.
Loving.
The Lord put you together.
You are a miracle.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Planting

Our ditch sunflowers that show up in early fall

He watches as I talk to him about the chimes.  Tiny chubby fingers grasp for the bells that sing jingle-tink when moved.  We move on through the pet section of the store, his eyes wide with wonder as he observes a few koi and varied goldfish.  I move on towards that plant section because after all, that is what we've come here today for.  Concord grapes, specifically.

We take a touch when we get to the Gerber daisies, and his eyes twinkle as he lets out a 'gah'.  "Soft petals," I say, and we move on,"And these son are some pretty red geraniums.  But they don't smell so great."  I'm learning to vocalize thoughts, to put them out there so that my son learns to observe, and learns language.  In the past this kind of trip would be a quick stop and go without much interaction.  We find climbing rose bushes, and rose bushes, and some plants for the barrels by the garage.  

Hubby digs me holes for the climbing rose bushes, and I feel delighted.  "I've always wanted climbing roses," I say.  And he says something of castles and roses.  "Why do they always plant roses around castles?"he says, and I say,"Because princesses like roses," and smile at him.  

This planting, we could wait to do it.  We know that life in this house isn't permanent, but we are trying to live where we are happily. We're not looking for the next best thing, but when he's done with school, we will most likely be moving on.  When you plant, you don't plant for today or even necessarily for the next year.  Each person plants and waters with their own intents, the ground ever giving the fruit of one's labor at the mercy of the weather.  But life, this is life, this planting and watering and waiting and preparing. With dirt under my fingernails and my ring,  I praise God for the glory and beauty of Spring.

Are you doing any planting this year?  What is in your garden? 

(One of my favorite posts on planting is found here on my blog.  And for the record, all the trees died, and we replaced them.  )

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Raindrops and Laundry, Let's Call it a DAY

And yes, we still have our Christmas lights hanging....
He points at raindrops because he's never seen them from the back window of the car.  His eyes intent, studying the droplets that have fallen on the back windshield.  He faces the flowers, and picks the buds, eyes full of wonder and delight.  Oh son, you remind me.  There is joy in this life, there is interest to be found if we only look. 

My days are full of meals, washing, cleaning, and organizing.  I had an epiphany of sorts, one of those moments when I realized that I wanted things to be nice, to be good in this small place of ours for my son.  It isn't that he'll remember everything about this house, but I want him to know he is well cared for, well-loved (even if my house is messy sometimes), and honestly, when my couch and chair looks like they've vomited laundry all over the living room I don't like it.  So I'm trying a new system with baskets and shelves and sorting and all of that good stuff that normal organizers know how to do already.  But I think I've already explained that if there was a reform school for unorganized people, my Mom would have sent me a long time ago.  In fact, I think most of my frustrating moments from my childhood and adolescent years have to do with my Mom and an organizing system.  (One should know that my Mom is not frustrating....she just was so frustrated with me and my inability to figure out how things should fit and go in place.) 

In the cool of the evening we walk on the path around our farm, or we sit in the yard and watch the sun go down.  The diapers sway in the breeze, dampened by the raindrops from earlier.  I slip them from the line, clothespins and all, and bring them to the house to dry.  Those raindrops, son, they'll wet you down.  Wonder and delight and joy of everything beautiful and good.  Thank you, God, for today.

Is there anything you are trying to learn to do that you don't feel a bit good at?  
I feel way out of my comfort zone in the organizing realm and  the making new friends area.  


Saturday, May 11, 2013

On Friendship and Community

"And if in your spare time you consort simply with the people you like, you will again find that you have come unawares to a real inside: that you are indeed snug and safe at the centre of something which, seen from without, would look exactly like an Inner Ring. But the difference is that the secrecy is accidental, and its exclusiveness a by-product, and no one was led thither by the lure of the esoteric: for it is only four or five people who like one another meeting to do things that they like. This is friendship. Aristotle placed it among the virtues. It causes perhaps half of all the happiness in the world, and no Inner Ring can ever have it."- C.S. Lewis

Long gangly arms, a 5'3 frame, and size ten feet in 3rd grade.  I looked like I should have been a 5th or 6th grader. My hair had one of those strange perms that seemed to be all the rage in the 1980's.  My best friend was in a different class than I was.  This was the year I found out what it meant to be a target, what it meant to be bullied, what it felt like to be on the outside.  If I am asked which year was my worst year in school the answer comes easily--3rd grade tops the list of worst year ever.  Gina was short (at least compared to me), she had all the girls as friends (except me), and she chose me as her target.  I think my third grade teacher knew this, she was gracious enough not to let it happen in class, but the playground was free reign for the little bully who saw it as her one joy to taunt my looks and smarts, and leave me playing by myself on the jungle gym.  How I hated that year, even though I adored my third grade teacher.  
 
I walked in, babe-in-arms, and made my way to the counter.  For the first time, a neighbor saw me.  I mean, really saw me.  Greeted me and said hello and chatted for a bit.  The postmaster looked at my letter and said, "You aren't J so you must be Itty-Bitty,"  naming my baby and remembering my husband's first name. I may have walked calmly to my car, but my heart was skipping.  See, I've found this community to be difficult to make friends in.  We've made the changes needed to put ourselves here and not in the bigger city 40 minutes away.  We've tried to know our neighbors.  

I come home and bubble giddiness all over my husband.  "Well," he says,"the postmaster should know us since we've had our mail put on hold more than once for trips and overseas visits."  "It's not just that," I say, "She remembered our names, and faces."  It is a small step for me.  

In the local grocery I see a gal who knows me.  She's the teller from our local bank, she chats and is friendly.  My heart, it needs this medicine.  It needs this sense of community that I've so missed after leaving a place with long established friendships.  This beauty, the sense of being welcome after one has been on the outside for so long.  Thank you, Lord.

The little girl in me remembers I am not who they said I was in 3rd grade, I have worth, I have value, and I am deeply treasured by the One who loves me.  I have a husband who loves me, and adores that I am tall.  (Who'd have ever thought?) A friend once told me to be who I was, and that was enough. Friendship, after all, isn't forced.  It is a gift.

(On a side note:C.S. Lewis has an essay about the outside (found here), he calls it the 'inner ring'.   He explains how everyone wants to feel like they belong somewhere on the inside of a group.  And to some certain extent that is true.  The desire of the heart is for some kind of community. )

Friday, May 10, 2013

Voice

 
Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday.  Here we go!

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Comfort

You were crying when we first met.  They laid you ever so gently on my chest, and I cupped your little body in my hands.  "It's all right Itty-Bitty, shhh..." I said.  You quieted and looked around the room with your big eyes, taking in the world around you.  I still think of that moment.  My voice, it comforted you.  I didn't realize how you'd recognize my voice, or how the sound of my voice would be familiar and normal to you.  Still, it brings tears to my eyes to know the security my voice gives.  

He knows His sheep, He calls them by name.  And I'm pretty sure that He comforts us with His voice.  His truth tells us not to be afraid, His Word tells us He is with us.  Though we have not seen Him, He is known.  Like a mother comforts her child, our Father comforts and takes care of us.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Garden, Take Three

We have a bit of earth.  160 acres of it.  Most of it grows wheat, here in the breadbasket of America, our county is the largest producer of wheat in the world.  In the spring, it glows green and blue in the sunlight whipping in the breeze like waves of the ocean.  That is, until it ripens golden.  If it makes it through the drought, if it makes it through the rain, if it makes it through the hail.  It stands tall and golden.

Our home shares an acre with our chickens, and the creek and wooded area run behind our house.  The deer share the creek and trees with the skunks, possums, ducks, turtles, and armadillos.  It is pretty, but this clay earth needs help growing things.

I have a little spot for a garden, and I've learned that on the prairie weather is never certain.  You may have rain, you may have hail, and you may even have snow in May.  Yes, in May.  Since we'd passed the danger of last frost, I'd planted once.  It froze in an freak ice storm three days after I planted killing all the seedlings I'd so tenderly taken care of for two months.  I waited two more weeks, and planted again.  It snowed three days after I planted again killing the plants that I'd bought from the grocery store.

I don't claim to be a gardener, nor even a prairie girl.  I pretty much grew up in the city with neighbors, and it was my sister who wanted to marry the farmer.  Well, I didn't marry a farmer, but here we are in the country.  My husband is more of a gardener than I am.  But out here, these little plants seem to be at the mercy of the weather.  And I'll be trying one more time.

(On a Side Note....from one of my favorite musicals, "The Secret Garden".

Friday, May 3, 2013

Shuffle

I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday.  And without further ado, here we go.

Brave

He walks down the hall in a shuffle behind his walker, one foot following the other, each step filled with pain.  The chair in the corner with the blue cushion, and hole-y back sits in the corner watching him as he comes.  My little boy follows him step by step pushing his own little walker.  It takes a certain amount of courage, heart, to grow old.  He wants to be with Jesus, but he is still-so-very-much here with us.  And being here means being with loved ones, but suffering with pain on a daily basis.

The cup of tea tries to sooth, the meals are familiar and bring a little comfort, and my son brings some smiles.  I watch him as he wants to hold my baby.  I hold him, so he can see him. He kisses his head, and caresses his hair with his hand. Oh son, you follow in the steps of a giant.  He says he is a giant becoming feeble and small, a strong man becoming weak.  As you follow him, son, with your little walker, you are a little boy becoming strong.  The bravery it takes to fall when you are learning to walk is as great as the bravery shown when admitting there are things you can't (and shouldn't) do anymore.  Give us grace, and bravery, to face aging with courage.
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