Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Little Red Swing

It blows in the breeze on some afternoons when it is too cold for us to go out.  Other days, he sits in it, this boy of mine, with a smile that spreads clear across his face and touches his eyes.  On evenings as the sun goes down in the west, and the moon comes up in the east, moonglow and sunkisses settle themselves in shades of lavender and pink over the tree where the swing hangs.  Beautiful little boy, I didn't know you'd change my life so much.  Swinging happily over the days, dimpled with the joy you bring.  It's been close to a year, son.  But I still walk by that swing in the cool of the evenings and think how you've filled our lives when we thought our lives were already full, how you've brought us joy when we've already had a cupful of it, and how this love runs over and spills happiness unto those around it.  Sweet boy, how I love you!

Prayer Doesn't Merit Favor

Hands laced together, knees on the floor, elbows on the chair.  I'd try for a time, not to put my head down.  To spend this hour in prayer, to avoid thinking of homework, to petition God, to really pray.  This was, after all, what I'd been told prayer was.  It was in the quiet, it was in private.  Some days I'd wake up after 20 minutes of praying, and 30 minutes of sleeping.  That is what happens when one works 20 hours a week, and takes 18 credits.  The candle gets burned at both ends, and the person tries to keep up a semblance of what they are supposed to do along with what they've been told they should be doing.

"Who wants to pray?" the teacher would ask.  (Let me just say, I don't like to publicly pray.  My words don't come as quickly to my lips as they do to my mind.) " If no one else will volunteer, I will, " I'd tell myself.  Then I'd breath a sigh of relief when someone else would.  This isn't a worry of mine, praying in front of people. I'm not afraid of how I'll look if I blunder because I know I'm talking to God and not a bunch of other people. I'd rather just express myself in the quiet of my own heart. 

I no longer position myself in front of chair.  My knees can't take it.  I don't have to be on my knees for God to know the status of my heart.  (I'd been taught that the position one takes proves to God what is in the heart...what a bunch of bunk!)  I no longer think I need to 'set' aside a certain time for prayer every day.  I know that God hears me no matter when I talk to Him even if I'm walking or driving.  I know that some days when all I can say is, "Help...I don't know what to say," he hears me.  I know who He is, and He can handle me being me even on the days when I need a nap.  

The human heart can take what is good, and twist it into something legalistic.  In college, I hoped to gain God's favor by my prayers. The truth is, I don't need to earn His favor or approval.  I can rest in the relationship I have with Him.  It isn't based on anything I do or don't do.  His favor already rests on me because I am in relationship with Him.  It can't be earned.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Years

It's been five years since we said our 'I do's'.  Five years of loving in the face of the unknown, in the adventure of life.  I had some idea that I would post some nice picture of us, but alas, my computer has gone the way of no return.  Or at least, no return of the computer without some kind of repair.  And with it went many of my pictures. (But alas, and alack, I am one to back things up so I do have CD's of some of the mess I'm still organizing. I could blame that on being pregnant our first year back in the states.  I'm still trying to catch up.) I'm typing from our Old Faithful.

My husband lays down his life for us every day.  He goes to school, comes home, spends time with our boy, and takes time for me.  I've been seriously blessed in the husband department.  I have terrible seasonal allergies and so tonight he took time (and his own sweat) to install a working air conditioner in our window because I can't sleep with the windows open and not pay for it the next day in sneezes.  This afternoon I came downstairs after a nap and found my husband and son.  Little son had dirty hands.  Hubby had taken him to our creek to play in the mud.  Did I say I'm blessed?   I'm sure our son feels the same way, clear down to the dirt stuck on his little fingers. 

But A Shadow

I'm linking up with Lisa Jo for Five Minute Friday.  Join if you wish.

We look for it that place of rest
When we lay down to rest we dream of it
In leisure time we play and think
And daydream of what's coming there.
For we will find a complete rest, one we've never known
Deadlines within the realm of time
We only know until we're shown
A land of beauty where He shall fill
Our timelessness, divine
To feel the beauty of complete rest
And know joy in the sublime
All the resting we may do here
Can't be compared with that
For this world is but a shadow
Of what is coming next.

Stop...(3 minutes...whew)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Never Far

*I've been dreaming of Asia these days.  I'm not sure why, but it's been sweet and sad all wrapped into a life-like dream from which I am sad to waken.  

I wake, the day new brightens
My eyes bleary with distant dreams
I've left my second home
My mind faraway as sun streams
Through glassy panes
Thoughts so vivid, distinct
I woke up and thought it strange
To find myself in my bed
When I thought I was buying food
In my head
In another language not my mother tongue
When I close my eyes it visits
Though I left this place will be
A part of my far off memories
And while I'm here I dream of there
And when I was there here would visit me
I'd close my eyes, and there I'd be
The incense wafts upon the wings
Of pigeons and the gentle breeze
The hot green tea warms my hands
As I meet the days demands
The cold nips my nose as I'd ride
My bicycle through alleys beside
The labyrinth of our little school
I'd meet you and we'd walk through there
We'd chat a bit, pull up a chair
The jiao zi wrapped in fresh dough
The fireworks--now, ah, what a show!
And when I wake, tears come to my eyes
I've visited this place I'd loved so well.
I've left but my heart still swells
With dreams of my distant home.

Monday, March 11, 2013

No Easy Answers

Old logs
I've stopped giving pat answers and Bible verses for everything.  In the past, I wrote quite a bit about the Bible and practical theology.  Yet somewhere in the last ten years (and some unexplainable life circumstances), I found that living the Bible privately was more powerful than writing about living it.  The 'here's-how-to-love-your-neighbor' or the 'here's-how-to-be-a-God-fearing-Christian' articles gave directions, but I quit looking for those point by point steps.  Life doesn't always happen in the proper 'steps' or the complete pattern that the articles tell you it should.  God shows up in the ordinary, in the small, in the quiet. 

 I've been given many books to read (and bought quite a few myself) about how a Christian should live, love, find a husband, be content as a single, do the next thing, and grow.  The books were good but not always helpful.  It is difficult when one person makes what happened for them the life rule of what should happen for all people if they just follow the same steps.  Because honestly, by the time I was 28 and still unmarried, the books telling me God was teaching me to wait, that I needed to be under a man's authority, or teaching me to be this or that in the meantime weren't helpful. I know that at any age a husband is a gift, and not one God gives to us because we've been on our best behavior.  God gives in spite of us.  The rain falls on the just and unjust.

So although I contemplate, I hardly ever write about truth I haven't been turning over in my head for some time.  Throwing a Bible verse at someone doesn't help as much as listening.  Most of the time, people want to know you care.  It's good to know the Bible, and what it says.  I'm just saying I seek to live a quiet life in peace.  That means I'll be your friend, that means I am a Christian, but that doesn't mean I'll slap a Bible verse on every situation. 

When should you be quiet, and when should you speak up?  How do you seek to be Christian in the quiet?  How do your actions speak louder than your words?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just Four Walls

Our little house and huge garage...from the grass strip.
Joining up for Five Minute Friday.  Write along if you wish!

Old creaky armchair
In fading shades of blue
Memories stitched together
With loving thoughts of you
We'll sit and rock right there
And I'll put my feet up
We'll talk and spend a little while
You'll look at me and I'll smile
Golden piano in the corner
Your fingers touch the keys
Calling up songs from your childhood
My heart sings as it sees
Home is more than the things you possess
Home is the things you do
Everyday building upon the next
If only everyone knew
The fresh baked bread out of the oven
The hot water on the stove
The acts of love and simple kindnesses
Build a home
But without precious memories
A home is just four walls.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Catching this Moment

We'll watch the sunrise through the window as the day begins.
I'll kiss your baby hands, my boy,
And touch your hair with love.
I'll sing you songs before bedtime,
And make up silly rhymes.
I'll hold your hands so you can walk,
Tottering across the tile floor,
Imaginary hills and valleys greet us,
Before we make it to the front door.
We'll dance across our living room,
Jumping up and down.
You won't remember these days, sweet boy,
But your Mommy will.
You are only little once.
I hold you on the windowsill,
Your face bright with fading light.
You'll discover the world out there soon my son,
But for today, I'll love you, hold you,
And kiss you goodnight.

Why I Silenced Facebook

Everyday about a gazillion different things scream for my attention.  
  • There's the laundry pile that needs no watering to grow.
  • The dishes that threaten to spill out of the sink if I'm not faithful in attending to them.
  • Country dirt seems to coat our floor like a wax job, and the Swiffer and I swing a little dance most every day to keep the dirt out and the clean in.
Brain cells I'd rather spend writing, or contemplating that get swallowed up in the everyday.

And then there are those things I want to do with my child:
  • To rock him and read him stories as I snuggle and breath in his fresh smelling head.
  • To take him on walks, and talk about the trees, the the grass, the chickens, the fields, the sky, the introduce him to the world we live in.
  • To play with him on the floor, and watch his delight with the noises he makes.

There is also the have-to.
  • Dirty diapers.
  • Feedings.
  • Naps.

Each day seems to function with its own rhythm, and I want to be there and experience it.
  •  For one, I don't want my son to remember me with the phone in my hand and the computer in my lap.  I'm not against Facebook, just against the culture it is creating. 
  • Furthermore, I don't like the idea that by just posting 'pieces' of ourselves online we've suddenly created a relationship with people.   In real life, how many of those 'Friends' do I actually hear from?  The ones I hear from know me better than a picture, a status update, or my likes and dislikes.  
  •  I unplugged so that I have the ability to invest in the real people around me in the community.  Someday I might get back on, but for today, I'm glad to have things quiet.  Since I quit, I'm not receiving advertisements I don't want, and I'm not in the 'know' on what everyone else is cooking, playing, reading, doing.  But for today, I'm okay with that.  I want to be all here for the people in my life. 

Have you ever considered taking a break from Facebook or quitting all together?  What keeps you from quitting Facebook?

Friday, March 1, 2013


I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five-Minute Friday!  Join in if you wish...

Fun scarf, Mommy....

"If by doing some work which the undiscerning consider "not spiritual work" I can best help others, and I inwardly rebel, thinking it is the spiritual for which I crave, when in truth it is the interesting and exciting, then I know nothing of Calvary love."  -Amy Charmichael

Each day comes in and out with the same frequency much like the tides change.  I know what to expect.  Dirty laundry piled in the bathroom makes its way to the washer, and clean clothes make their way to the dryer.  Heaping piles of warm laundry mound themselves like Mt. Everest on the couch until littlest tumbles the pile and the living room looks like we've had an eruption of Mt. St. Helens except she spewed laundry and toys all over the living room.  Dishes have been done two times already, and the sink has a full belly full of suds glimmering rainbows in the light.  "Normal is a setting on a dryer" (thanks, Patsy Clairmont), it isn't a word by which I can define any part of life, because really, what is normal? 

I scoop up baby and swipe his soft head.  He's growing so fast amid the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning.  He follows me, crawling, as I make my way to wipe bathroom mirrors.  He babbles and bubbles, and looks for his Mommy's eyes smiling.  Here in this ordinary I'm reminded that there are no boxes for this kind of life.  That all work--the dishes, the laundry, the cooking, the writing, the teaching, the cleaning, the loving-on-my-baby--is spiritual work.  I fold my hands (and my laundry) and lift my heart in thanks and praise for the ordinary.

Five Minute Friday

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