Wednesday

to give some facts

while my mind is still blank in matters of prose,
i will give you all some facts from my mind and life
these days...

  • two days over due.  it really is frustrating, especially when everyone expected her to be born early and when everyone else you know who was pregnant and due after you has already delivered.  but, i know, all in His timing... it will be perfect.  and the good thing is that i have been able to care for little moses who has been feeling terribly the past few days.  just snuggle and hold and kiss him.  it would be pretty difficult to take care of him like this as well as caring for a newborn... so i'm seeing the positive.
  • i joined pinterest again... i deleted my account awhile back for various reasons, but now that i have no brain to write anything and i am pretty much too pregnant to move, it is the perfect momentary habit.  i may not stay forever, but for now...
  • christmas was super.  relaxing and chaotic all rolled into one... and now i'm really glad it's over.
 
  • i thought of lots of things to write while i was lying in bed last night... now they are all gone.
  • my brother has been staying at our house since monday the 19th, and he vows not to leave until the baby is born.  although he just told me if she's not born by thursday the 29th they have to go.  that's a really long time, but we are loving it.  he is the most sane person in my family, at least the only one who doesn't think i am crazy, and it has been so nice having them here. though my midwife thinks that's why i'm not going into labor, because i'm having a home birth and we have extra people in our house.  so i guess we will see if she's born on the 30th.
 
  • i hate cereal.  when moses eats it he cries and cries.  he never wants to eat from his own bowl, only the twins, and he cries until they give him theirs.  if i wasn't so pregnant i would make some breakfast for them, but for now...
  • it's getting warm here.  we had a few weeks of awesome, cold 60 degrees, but it's supposed to get up to 76 by next week and i am just not okay with that.  i am a seasons person.  i want winter.  i want snow.  instead we might just go hang out at the beach and play in the water at the end of december and this makes me very. sad.
  • my kids are really cute.  it would be neat to see this new one.
  • some of you know this and some don't but my husband was once a pastor, and then we were living in washington for awhile church planting, and now we are back in california (hence the no winter).  God has really been putting church planting on our hearts again, so we will see what comes of that... if you pray you could do that for us... for direction and all that.
  • moses skips everywhere he goes and it is incredibly adorable.
                       


  •  i am incredibly grateful for the friendship of you.  some of you have become such an important part of my life, my children even know you by blog title.  i will talk to my husband about jodi or nancy or jewels or tonia, and my kids will say "oh, the curious acorn, or the out of her mind lady, or the wondering eyes lady or the lady who studies brown."  they especially like when i talk about joann because then they say, "ostriches look funny!" so thank you for your friendship and prayers and i know you are all anxious for this baby too so hopefully she will be here soon.
 

    Monday

    to delight in the after party

    *this, reposted from the day after Christmas last year...
    and a needed reminder as the after party begins*

    Not a present was under the tree,
    the lights which had been shining brightly
    for weeks
    were neglected and not plugged in,
    even the hearth was dark and ashy,
    void of a fire's glow
    there was no cocoa,
    nothing baking,
    no christmas carols playing throughout the house.

    the day lay open before us,
    no plans were had,
    there was no one visiting and
    no one to visit
    it was just,
    simply,
    the day after christmas

    while children played and baby slept,
    a phone call made this mama wonder,
    words spoken on the other end,
    "do they feel the sadness,
    now that the excitement is over?"

    i question the meaning of this,
    and more words come,
    "you know,
    after you unwrapped presents yesterday
    came the boredom,
    and today enters
    the sadness..."

    i muster up a small laugh,
    while my mind ponders these ideas,
    wondering if this is true,
    does christmas end with boredom
    and sadness
    for people,
    maybe even,
    my own children,
    young and precious,
    have i failed to impart meaning into christmas,
    what thoughts of importance have we cultivated
    in our home?

    through with the phone call,
    desperate to know if they get it,
    or if they are experiencing the boredom,
    the sadness,
    i find my young ones,
    playing with new toys,
    together,
    with daddy
    and i sit down quietly,
    not quite sure what to say,
    and waves of uncertainty wash over me,
    but i ask...

    "are you guys sad that christmas is over?"

    they look up at me with curious eyes,
    smiles beaming brightly and i know
    there is no sadness behind them
    and an answer comes from six year old
    josiah,
    "christmas isn't over mama.
    it's always christmas.
    the day of it that we get stuff is fun,
    but after we get to play with our stuff,
    and we get to remember Jesus
    and love each other
    and be nice
    forever, so it's always
    christmas!"

    and i kiss his forehead,
    leave them there playing
    together,
    and whisper heart praise
    to Him,
    smiling,
    knowing they get it,
    and together we can celebrate christmas
    everyday...

    734. everyday, christmas
    735. one day closer to meeting new wee one
    736. week of a house filled with family, laughter, joy
    737. health
    738. kind thoughts and prayers of others
    739. children who get it
    740. little girls singing
    741. the quiet in the after party

    Saturday

    to find peace

    fog is abed out windows in early morning,
    and we sit with candlelight filling our home,
    children eat breakfast of pancakes followed by candy canes
    for 'tis the season,
    and this tired mama settles into quiet morning
    with coffee, blanket and book.

    dark, slow mornings rejuvenate and
    there is something beautiful about
    expectation and
    calm.
    knitting, reading, drawing and
    snuggling are
    the activities at hand and
    the children feel it too,
    this holy calm,
    for they whisper as they speak to one another,
    and i have not heard a cry
    all morning.


    herein lies peace,
    and i will take it while it is so evident,
    and as the day wears on
    with chaos,
    play,
    cries,
    fights and
    laughter,
    i will take it as peace too,
    for it is and
    i will cherish
    each
    moment
    for each
    is
    beauty,
    the quiet and the loud,

     and He is present in both.

    Thursday

    to share this moment

    {this moment}, a Friday ritual.
    A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
    A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
     
     
    still. 
    no baby.
    linking here

    Monday

    to plant seeds... (a gift for nancy)

    ***and yet another repost, we all know why, this one for my dear friend nancy,
    because it is her favorite, and she keeps yelling at me to have a baby, so i'll give her
    this until i can give her baby pictures***


    I haven't a thing to say to her, and I try not to look at her, but my eyes keep gazing in her direction.
    She is girl who is hurting in so many ways,
    and I am woman who was girl hurting,
    and I have overcome through Him who gives me strength,
    and she can be too,
    but my mouth won't open
    and my feet won't move,
    plastered into the sidewalk
    like the horrible statue of Puck in the downtown center,
    all I can do is stare...

    I see me in her,
    that long ago, attention hungry, willing to do anything to get people to notice me girl,
    and it tears me up inside something fierce,
    when I see myself,
    and know what is happening,
    and I know the Answer,
    but I don't think I can give it,
    because I know I wouldn't have taken it.

    And it all comes back...
    the shaking hands,
    the empty stomach,
    the tears and the ache and everything I wrote and
    everything I did.

    And I remember the Peace 
    which surpasses all understanding,
    how it stilled my hands,
    filled my stomach
    and caused that ache to cease...

    And I long to give it to
    girl dressed in black who
    wears sorrow on her face the way most girls her age wear makeup,
    but I see those who tried to give it to me,
    who only pushed me further away...

    and I recall the one,
    the woman with children,
    all smiling and laughing those beautiful smiles and sweet laughs,
    and I remember thinking she would glare at me with eyes
    that said,
    why must you sit there, why do my children have to see you, why can't you just go away
    and she would walk as far away from sad, life-hating girl as possible,
    the way most mothers with their little ones did.

    But then, she didn't.
    Holding love together while she held her children's hands,
    walking right in front of me,
    so close I could touch them with my scarred hands,
    she smiled at me,
    real, caring, love-sending smile,
    and staring in my eyes spoke words which woke my dying soul,
    "Beautiful day, isn't it?"

    And though she didn't give me life that day,
    she was planting seeds which would be watered one day by someone else,
    and would begin to sprout into this beautiful mess of a tangled but still growing garden
    that I am...

    I walk right by her,
    silent girl crying out louder than all the noise this downtown makes,
    holding hands with two of my little gifts,
    and I find her eyes, dark and full of pain,
    and I smile at her,
    hoping to transfer love with this smile,
    and I say to her,
    "Beautiful day, isn't it?"

    Walking away,
    whispering prayers for her,
    let these seeds be watered and grow...



    Friday

    to share this moment

    {this moment}, a Friday ritual.
    A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
    A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
    A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
    linking with amanda, and still. waiting. for. this guy's baby sister
    to make her arrival

    Thursday

    to learn the love of a f(F)ather

    Wind blows hard on my neck,
    and I shiver fierce, laugh aloud and I wonder
    is this Papa's way of playing, tickling me,
    His child?
    I close green eyes and breathe moment in,
    Him, me, here, us, play,
    I can feel Him, I know Him and
    here is safe, is peace.

    And all is broken with yells from house,
    carried down the street,
    ringing out above the roar of car engines and hungry call of jays overhead.
    I gather self, fighting against urge to stay in this peace,
    but how can I stay when there is no peace for
    the sensitive artist child howling loud over minor frustrations?
    I must go in, try to ease this storm...
    Whispered prayers pour forth while I make way from
    contentment to chaos,
    "Jesus, You know what he needs.  Show us, guide us now, in this moment,
    for his good."
    Door closes and I see my sweet boy crying, yelling,
    desperate for an end to his frustrations,
    frustrations which no one knows but him.
    Husband standing in kitchen, I see he is murmuring prayers too,
    and we smile knowing smiles at each other,
    he nods,
    together we hug boy, love flowing from our calm
    to his turmoil, and he tries to fight but
    slowly, gently,
    his yells subside and become whimpers and whispers of "I'm sorry mama,
    I'm sorry daddy."

    And we forgive, of course we do,
    and sensitive artist child doesn't even remember why he was upset,
    but now the sorrow overtakes him, guilt ridden for having lost control
    again
    and his seven year old body shakes as he looks up remorseful,
    his sadness pouring over with words of contempt,
    "I just can't do it right.  Why did God even make us anyway?"

    Taken aback, I search for right words, and stammer forth with
    apologetics  that are meaningless to a child,
    and why am I trying to explain in these terms and
    only confusing him?
    Husband looks at me
    and then he pulls boy to him, wraps arms around and says,
    "God made us because He wanted children.  Just as mama and I
    wanted you and your brothers and sisters.
     We would have been fine on our own,
    but we wanted you to love, to care for, to give to, to love us.
    That's what God wanted.  That's why He made us."

    And tears stop, and this mama catches her breathe for
    this man I married has said it right, more beautifully,
    more true than I ever could,
    "God wanted children"
    and  how could I forget, me,
    just moments ago basking in the love of Daddy for daughter,
    how could I forget He wanted us, wanted children
    and sensitive artist child smiles,
    he gets it, God wanted him, us,
    and we want him,
    and perfection is not a requirement,
    the only requirement is love.

    *** edited repost, 
    still waiting for baby

    Wednesday

    to yarn along

    so this is not my typical post,
    but i'm just awaiting this baby and she's not coming yet,
    so i want to post something and
    words are far from mind,
    and thus here i am, happy to share with ginny's yarn along
    what i am reading,
    and what i am knitting...


    having (finally) finished the baby blanket,
    but still waiting for the baby,
    i cast on these leg warmers for her little baby legs,
    a super fast and easy pattern,
    i'm working on #2 already.

    and on the reading front,
    never one to be able to read just one a time,
    i'm (still) reading (again) one thousand gifts,
    reading (again) the rhythm of family,
    to the twins little house in the big woods,
    and to all the kids, the birds christmas carol.

    and it's peaceful,
    it's simple,
    it's beautiful,
    and we are waiting...

    to wait

    ***an edited repost, because  i have no words as we prepare for baby these last few weeks. i share these words with you, wisdom from my husband which  i return to often***


    And, behold, the LORD passed by, 
    and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, 
    and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; 
    but the LORD was not in the wind: 
    and after the wind an earthquake; 
    but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
     12And after the earthquake a fire; 
    but the LORD was not in the fire: 
    and after the fire a still small voice.

    1 Kings 19:11-12
    A hush had fallen over the house,
    children tucked into beds, 
    I sitting, praying, nursing the littlest...

    sounds of nature creeping in through the window,
    rain pounding, wind howling, 
    husband preparing for the next day of long work,
    peace settling in...

    Climbing into bed beside me, 
    kissing the cheek of the nursing babe,
    the cheek of the mama, his words soft and perfect...

    "keep on loving me, keep on trusting me."
    And the unexpected voicing of those words unleashes emotions from my tired mama soul,
    "I do, I do... but I don't understand this season in our lives... what do you see that I don't?"

    His gentleness continues as he speaks words I need to hear,
    "I don't see anything,  I just know we are where we are supposed to be at this time, 
    doing what we need to be doing..."

    "Yes, but...  it's so hard..." 
    And it is so hard, not knowing the next steps, just trusting God is working everything out,
    and thinking the rest must be just around the bend,
    but getting around that bend and seeing another storm...

    Momentary silence, then... 
    thunder shakes the house, I shake along with it letting out a quick gasp, and I am not used to this thunder...
    it comes often, but my beach-front california girl self will not become complacent to this frequent washington rumbling...

    Return to silence and stillness, 
    the sounds of baby swallowing his mamas milk,  
    and husband's love rolls off his tongue with words that spread a soothing ointment over me...

    "remember when elijah was waiting for God?  and you remember He was not in the earthquake or the fire,
    He was in the still small voice..  and I know, we all remember He was in the still small voice, 
    but what people tend to forget is...

    before the still small voice,
    there was an earthquake
    and there was a fire."

    words resonate and i think they would knock me down if i were standing, and yes,
    there was an earthquake
    and a fire,
    and then came
    the still
    small
    voice,

    and here I am in the fire,
    and it is so hot,
    sweat pouring off of me,
    but i know,
    I KNOW
    that the still small voice WILL COME...
    and i will wait,
    earth shaking,
    fire burning,
    i
    will
    wait.



     

    Monday

    to share a daybook {Nov. 28}

    well, for at least today, i am jumping on the daybook bandwagon
    as katherine and tonia have done lately,
    borrowing prompts from these beautiful ladies,
    mainly because i want to write something and yet
    am immensely pregnant (full term in one week) and
    i am just not able to write much,
    so here i am...

    living seasonally…

    thanksgiving found us alone,
    just the eight of us,
    for the first time. 
    it was quiet, relaxed and beautiful.  
    we made the foods we love,
    took time throughout the day, moving slowly,
    there was no rush to eat at a particular time,
    no worry about when,
    just
    each other.
    though there was a bit of sorrow over the lack
    of family and friends,
    we enjoyed every moment.


    and as soon as it was over,
    the children's focus shifted to preparations for
    that joyous day known as christmas,
    and decorations were pulled out,
    a tree was picked out,
    and new days of anticipation and 
    preparing of hearts are now upon us,
    along with the unique situation of preparing for
    our new baby as
    we follow mary preparing for hers,
    the Christ child.
    towards thanksgiving...

    these days have been so slow, 
    and so peaceful,
    just as i like them,
    they have given me such time to reflect on 
    all the beauty, all the gift and
    breathe it all in...


    our dearest friends, 
    living in a place of such. beauty.,
    God always, always providing, even in the most mysterious of ways,
    my mama buying me fancy cloth diapers after years of old school prefolds and diaper covers, (can i just tell you how excited this makes me?)
    moving closer and closer to seeing her little face

    towards a reading life...

    reading too many books at once,
    as usual,
    finally making my way through a long put off book,
    gift from the sea by anne morrow lindburgh and
    the sayings of the desert fathers,
    which is so deep and challenging,
    my heart is being stirred in only the first
    few pages.

    establishing rhythm…

    i feel we are more out of rhythm right now than
    establishing,
    with all of the seasonal changes and 
    life preparations we are undergoing,
    but as i look at our days of
    chores, 
    reading,
    baking,
    playing,
    learning,
    and snuggling
    intermingled with the seasonal delights of
    cocoa,
    fire burning,
    christmas music playing,
    children making presents for others,
    and rosy smiling faces,
    i realize rhythm is there,
    it's just shifting and
    it's beautiful.

     creating beauty…

    just having completed sewing three skirts as
    christmas gifts for the twins and a cousin,
    i am now working diligently on finishing this blanket
    before baby arrives, 
    it's almost done but
    we 
    will 
    see...

    nurturing hearts…

    as our family grows, 
    i have been trying to keep in mind the necessity of 
    loving each of my children individually,
    daily living out this principle spoken of in
    cheaper by the dozen, 
    instead of living like i have only seven children, living like
    i have seven only children.
    giving them all of me, loving them
    individually,
    giving attention to each one and 
    meeting the needs of all.


    nurturing minds…

    i just began reading for the second time,
    the little house series
    with the twins and i am so delighted
    to share these wonderful books with them
    as i did with their older brothers and sister long ago,
    and,
    of course,
    those older ears keep popping in to listen as well,
    laughing and reminiscing.  
    this is pure joy, 
    this rereading, enjoying with the new,
    this circle of love, of continuation, of
    doing again,
    and again.
    rhythm,
    seasons,
    cycles...

    beauty.

    tending the earth... 

    and, this, 
    a lone rose blooming in the midst of
    a succulent patch
    here
    in late november,
    a reminder of life,
    absolute,
    beautiful
    gift.

     

    to do something strange

    as we draw near to thanksgiving,
    this baby being born,
    and christmas,
    i'm not getting much computer time,
    let alone time to write.
    so i might not very often for the next month.
    but i will share this,
    because for some odd reason some people have emailed me
    or messaged me
    and asked to see a picture before this girl is born.
    so, odd as it is to me,
    here you go...


    yeah, i know, weird.
    okay, happy thanksgiving friends!

    Thursday

    to keep going

    Peace is replaced by chaos in a split second and it seems to take an army to find the way back.
    This is my home, and today this peace is interrupted by a shrill cry coming from sandy hair, deep blue eyed seven year-old boy.

    He is my artist child and with pencil in hand he creates a beauty I cannot describe.
    He is my sensitive artist and all things touch him deeply,
    with the largest display of emotion
    over the minutest mistake...

    and he just doesn't understand why he can't make the line perfectly straight,
    though no one sees the curve in it but him,
    and when the eyes are too round,
    and he has erased for the tenth time,
    he wails cries that should be reserved for the most devastating of moments...

    he cries and wants to give up because it's just not right,
    to him,
    but to us, we see an amazing piece of artwork,
    and don't understand what needs to be different...
    but his eyes see it.

    We cannot let him give up,
    his passion,
    his talent,
    his source of gladness and frustration...
    but he doesn't
    think
    he's
    good
    enough
    and he
    can't
    contain
    his
    emotion
    and
    that
    frustrates
    him
    all
    the more...
    and I think of how God must feel
    when I get so frustrated because I am failing
    at something
    and want to give up...

    because I do all the time,
    I just can't get it right,
    and He just smiles at me,
    and holds me,
    and loves me,
    He loves when I try,
    and my mistakes,
    He doesn't even see them...

    so I see both sides,
    and I know what it is to be the sensitive one,
    and I know what it is to be the loving parent,
    and I want him to see,
    he just needs to keep going...

    because when we,
    in His image,
    attempt to do
    in His name,
    He magnifies
    our attempts
    with His beauty

    Wednesday

    to hide


    We sat at the window,
    two other preteens and myself,
    watching in horror as our young friend hid from the police. 
    The house was completely dark and
    we hoped that we were invisible to the searching light beaming from the patrol car. 
    Three frightened, young girls
    huddled together,
    holding hands as if together
    we could protect each other from the cops,
    convinced we were about to witness our friend being arrested
    in
    her
    driveway.

    Only an hour earlier we were four friends
    giggling, gossiping and planning. 
    Planning for a girls night.
    Movies to watch, treats to eat,
    boys to talk about. 
    Yet,
    we realized, we had to get from one house
    to another...

    "Isn't there a curfew?"

    None of us knew,
    but this friend was convinced.
    "I know there is, it's 9:00.
    Under the age of 16 you are not allowed to be out
    past 9.
    If we get caught, the police will pick us up."

    This realization brought an element of fear to our impending mile walk,
    but we could also feel a sense of adventure among us.

    Dressing in all black
    with hopes of being consumed by
    the dark of night,
    we set out. 
    Walking slowly,
    we would duck behind parked cars,
    trees,
    or just lie on the ground if
    nothing else was around,
    anytime a car would drive by.
    We were criminals, spies, ninjas...
    our blood was rushing.

    Finally we saw it,
    our destination, Chelsea's house.
    All we had left to do was
    cross the street,
    pass one house and
    we would be free, victorious. 
    The night air was cool,
    the street was silent and
    dark, lit up only by street lights and porch lights.
    Once in the middle of the street
    we saw it. 
    A car coming towards us, very slowly,
    headlights off.

    Alicia whispers the words we fear,
    "police car."

    Panicked,
    we run. 
    Three of us head for the door of Chelsea's house,
    unlocked,
    inside.
    We let out our breathe, adrenaline pumping,
    glad to have made it, when we realize
    Chelsea is not
    with
    us.
    Rushing to the front window
    looking out to the street,
    we see the patrol car stopped in front,
    the search light glowing brightly.

    Where is she?

    Then we see her,
    flat on her stomach in the driveway,
    under the car.  Terrified at
    what will happen if they find her,
    we begin to cry. 
    Yes, cry,
    we were naive little girls.
    We hear a beep, a megaphone turned on,  the loud voice announce,
    "Your feet are showing. 
    You can come out,
    your feet are showing."

    And they were,
    her doc marten covered feet
    sticking out from under the car. 
    She creeps out, makes her way shaky and
    alone, to the car,
    speaks for a few minutes to the officer,
    and then comes inside
    where we smother her with hugs and congratulations
    for not being arrested.

    She tells us he laughed at us
    and that there was no curfew.
    He also suggested we don't walk around
    in black at night, hiding from cars and
    running from police.

    I tell my children this story, and
    they giggle endlessly.  These fears of their mama
    as a child, these adventures she had.

    And one child
    leaves
    me
    speechless.

    "It's like God mama.
      People try and hide
    from Him, but why would they?
    He knows where you are and
    what you're doing, but also
    He just wants to love you
    and keep you safe.   
    Why would anyone hide from Him?"

    I pull her close and whisper, "Very true.
    Why would we hide?"

    He just wants to love us.


     

    Monday

    to build a legacy

    ***revisiting these words again, as we draw closer to baby 7,
    dealing once again with the words, the stares***

    and this memory, # 734...

    Arriving late, mama whose belly is large with precious new life holds the hands of a 5- and 7- year old, while the daddy carries one of a duo of 2- year olds and dear oldest 14-year old son holds the other.  We sneak into the building, hoping not to be noticed.  Behind us, the old wooden door creaks as it closes and the young child husband has in his arms coughs loudly.  Our attempt at being inconspicuous fails, and we are now the main focus of this Sunday morning church service.

    Trying to not give attention to the stares and whispers, we gently shoo the children along as we maneuver through the  tiny aisles, searching for an empty pew for our large family.  Dark eyes follow us as the short man to our left mumbles a comment I pretend not to hear, "All theirs?  And another?"

    Sitting down, I feel the eyes of judgment on us.  Emotions begin to boil inside, I make sure children are seated, hope they are quiet and that focus can be returned to where it should be.

    Three people away from me, 5-year old has decided he is too far.  Crawling over daddy, then sister, and lastly attempting to pass over toddler who yells, "NO JOSIAH!!!"  Before mama has the chance to intercede, 5-year old grabs petite little sister and pulls her off of the pew, promptly replacing her empty place with himself.


    With the attention of the church on our family, 2-year old begins to cry from the floor.  I lean over, gently swoop her up with a multitude of kisses, and hold her in my arms, stroking her soft hair.  With my free arm, I pull my handsome young culprit close to me, and whisper, "Now that was not very nice, was it?"


    His face reflects the sadness he feels at his choice of behavior, and he attempts to kiss his sister and apologize, only to have her cry all the louder.  After a moment she settles down, and eventually we are forgotten, yet inside I feel a bit dejected having become the spectacle I desired to not be, and most likely causing some people to feel justified in their judgment of my family. 


    The church service ends, and we cause quite a bit of ruckus packing up to leave.  Making our way towards the exit, I feel the eyes on me again, hear the whispers, and I think "Lord, don't these people know You? "  Not one smile, not one word of kindness... I know we will not return to this building.  I feel such frustration welling up inside me, and I want to tell these people who Jesus is, I want to ask them why they claim His name when they can't even welcome a new family to their church... but I stay silent, I know I am just as guilty as they of judging others, of whispering about people, of not showing love and kindness.  I am no different.

    Almost to the door, an elderly woman approaches us.  Her back hunched over, her white hair glowing under the church lights, tough skin a symbol of many years of care, love, work.  She smiles at me and her smile is so large that her wrinkled eyes almost close, and joy just seeps out of her.

    "Your family is so precious.  Thank you for bringing them today.  I don't get to see this much these days, but I am so blessed when I do.  Do you know what you have here?  Do you?  A legacy.  The only one that matters.  You have so much to be grateful for."


    And I did, and I breathed it in deep.  I was grateful for them, I was grateful for her.  For her love, her joy, for the wisdom flowing through her and a knowledge of something greater.

    I thanked her as she walked away, and I was knew why we had gone there that day.




    Thursday

    to make a marriage last

     ***this is the last in my small little series of marriage posts,
    leading up to our anniversary (which is today!),
    the first is here,
    the second here,
    and this repost is the last...***

    "do you know what love is?"
    and i smirk,
    haughtily thinking what kind of a stupid question
    is that,
    and he looks at me with those eyes,
    those eyes,
    and i realize it's not a joke,
    not a stupid question,
    he is serious,
    and maybe there is a reason for the question
    so i grasp for words and
    babble about good feelings and care,
    and i'm only a new christian but i know that somewhere
    in the Bible
    it says something about
    God being love,
    so i tell him that.

    as he looks at me,
    i can tell i missed the point,
    and he says,
    "yes, God is love,
    but what does that mean?
    what does that mean for us,
    in our marriage?"
    we were soon to be married,
    and to me that meant
    romance, companionship,
    someone to care about you,
    but i could tell,
    to him,
    it was so much more,
    and i wanted to understand because,
    i knew,
    that was a good thing.

    "um...."
    finding me speechless,
    a very hard thing to do,
    me,
    the lover of words,
    always one to speak up,
    to voice an opinion,
    even when i shouldn't,
    but here,
    in this moment,
    i had no words.

    he saw my ignorance,
    my wonder,
    and answered,
    "when you love someone
    your concern is not what they can do for you,
    or how they make you feel,
    it's what can you do for them,
    how you make them feel."
    i look up at him,
    i know he feels this for me,
    his consideration for me pours out of him
    like beautiful melodies flow from
    a symphony,
    and i bite my lip,
    afraid,
    searching young soul,
    can i love like this?


    and ten (as of today... woot woot!) years,
    seven (in Dec.) children later,
    his words resonate in my head daily,
    as he constantly shows his love for me,
    seeking to fill my needs before his own,
    and i limp along,
    learning, slowly,
    to love
    as he has told me,
    shown me,
    as He has told me,
    shown me,
    and his words are so dear to me,
    for they are what make a marriage last,
    a family flourish,
    learning to truly love.

     4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.



    Sunday

    to be loved

    they wander and enjoy
    the beauty made evident in
    this season,
    smells of hay mixed with
    the baking of pies,
    cinnamon,
    apple,
    brown sugar
    causing them to crave sweet things and
    auntie comes to make memories
    with the young ones,
    who cuddle up to her,
    filling her with that overwhelming joy
    that comes from
    being loved

    older children and
    young ones alike
    take part in those traditions which
    auntie and their mama did so many years ago,
    and God speaks in whispers,
    wind breathing on neck,
    as sun breaks through clouds,
    peeking over hills which lead to ocean,
    and as God reveals gifts that
    only searching eyes will notice,
    I too am filled with overwhelming joy
    that comes from
    being loved.

    (those were gifts 709-733)




























    (so hard to get a good picture of 6, with 4 pictures there's at least one good one of each... i hope.  just shows the beauty of so many)