Sunday

to celebrate

he turns one and
we smother him with our affections,
smiles and hugs,
and we make him stay awake
to eat cake and
enjoy celebrations and
he just wants to
eat,
sleep,
and have a clean diaper...

but he smiles at us throughout the day,
and humors us as we lift him up
in prayer
and thank God for him
and take him to his favorite places
and make him cake he
doesn't
want
to
eat

and when he,
little one year old,
falls asleep hours early that night,
we say he had a great
first birthday,
and thank God for him
again,
and we laugh at how the celebration
was more for us
than him,
more for his five siblings,
who coddled him all day,
telling him how much
they love him,
who are sad when he
sleeps because,
they say,
you can't go to sleep early
on your birthday.

and they ask,
"mama, did moses like his birthday?"
and they are so pleased
when i say that
he did.

i think of how precious and simple
he is,
merely wanting his needs met,
while we force celebration upon him,
and how much wisdom there is in that,
his young mentality,
how backwards we are that we
cry out when our needs are met
because He is not
giving us more...

how wise the baby is,
to want
and be content with
just what he needs,
now if only i could...

i'm thanking Him today
for giving me what i need
and more...

171beautiful moses,
172turning one,
173healthy and
174happy
175family games bringing forth
176laughter from
177children and
178husband
179looking at the night sky
180reading outdoors to children
181gardening as a family,
182working together,
183cooking,
184cleaning together
185smiles from all
186little girl whispers,
187"mama, you're the best."
188before bed game of indoor football
189another day on the horizon

Wednesday

to dance with the crazy kids

 ***food to make, house to clean, children to read with, not much time to write today,
        but i want to link with you my friends, so i have reposted this...***


the door buzzed loudly,
a hundred swarms of bees in one place,
buzzing simultaneously
and in walked a dozen people,
all of whom i ignored,
sitting on the raggedy stained carpet,
facing the dingy white walls

there was no one at that door for me,
i was alone,
while the other kids visited family and friends
i sat and let sadness
seep from me,
melting into the floor beneath me
mine would have come,
but they were hours away,
and so i was alone

this night was excrutiating,
dwelling on thoughts of my friends,
being pampered and dressed
as lovely as they ever had,
and i picture my dress, black and gold,
flowing, beautiful,
my mama and i picked it
special for tonight,
my senior prom,
and it sat,
hundreds of miles away,
tucked in my closet,
never to be worn,
and here i sat,
on this ragged stained carpet,
facing the dingy wall,
while others were visited,
and i was alone
in an adolescent psychiatric hospital...

listening to the joyful voices,
lost in thoughts of what i was missing,
my world spinning around inside my
mental head,
tears falling,
i hear my name,
"amy"
breaking through my state
of depression

slowly i turn to see
jason,
another patient,
holding a stunning bouquet of
deep red roses,
and he holds them out to me,
smiles sheepishly and says,
"happy senior prom"
i too stunned to move,
he places them in my arms
telling me he asked his aunt to buy them
for me...
for me

and two other patients open a cupboard
and get out a hospital gown,
draping it over my shoulders,
"it's your gown"
they say,
and a radio is turned on,
and there we are,
a dozen crazy kids,
dancing,
though without touching,
for we are not allowed to touch each other,
in tattered old hospital gowns
and i am crying and laughing,
i am so happy and
so sorrowful,

but these kids,
this messed up bunch of teenagers,
came together for me,
and gave me a prom
like no other

after lights out,
i peered out the door at the nurses station,
at my beautiful roses,
the first i had ever received,
not allowed to come in my room,
for we all know
roses have thorns,
and apparently i could have
cut myself with them...

now i see me,
i see them,
and i know we were just
a bunch of kids
needing
Jesus,
He bled for us,
we didn't need to make ourselves
bleed...


Thursday

to have nothing to give

*i share another today, forgive?  i am broken, and words help...*


we yell pain filled cries
and our words are just an outpouring
of the hurt
we feel inside,
wounded souls grasping for grace,
being overcome by world's cares
and we,
man who loves bigger than the world and
woman who is desperate to breathe grace
cry aloud,
say hurtful things
which we don't mean but that doesn't
stop us
and six children play together in
their room,
ignoring the hurt they hear,
hearts filling with worry,
praying desperately inside

and then comes the calm,
the cries
the forgiveness,
and let us go out and play,
show the children life is okay,
it remains in God's care and
nothing has changed,
and we pray as we drive,
bathe us in peace God,
remove these stains, this filth,
these memories,
and children smile and laugh
but we know
it will take time,
days of peace, of love,
of joy,
of hugs and kisses,
to restore their sense of
security...
how hard to build,
how quick to destroy it,
and how do you rebuild beauty when
you feel defeated and
beauty is hiding?

we try to move on,
let us laugh
and pray
laugh and pray,
and then the pain comes,
the inside pain,
the mama can hardly breathe pain,
she who is desperate to breathe grace
cannot even breathe air,
and he forgets all cares and
rushes to the hospital,
children fearful,
security being beaten down once again,
(o Lord protect their hearts,
help them trust in Your faithfulness),
and she has felt this pain before,
knows that part inside is filled
with stone,
like the stone in her heart
that caused outward pain,
and doctors give medicine and she
is soothed
but weak in so many ways,
and they return home,
children waiting with breaking hearts,
hugging mama,
needing her touch,
and she sleeps...

o Lord,
fix my brokenness,
heal me,
my family,
i breathe air again,
help me breathe grace
here
to these lovely ones in need,
while i have nothing to give...


Wednesday

to need each other

"But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;   And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. "Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;  And let the fish of the sea declare to you. "Who among all these does not know That (A)the hand of the LORD has done this,

 and His creation sings mighty,
i cannot gaze upon the trees outside
my picture windows
without feeling a sense of awe at what
He has done

and when i reflect on the past
two and a half years of
leaving home
a failed church plant
and the desperate struggle to find a home in the Body of Christ
i whisper praise to Him for what
He has done

now having returned home,
amongst family and friends,
having found a church
(really, could it be true?)
where we feel loved,
supported
and home,
i am humbled by the beauty which comes from
community,
the strength we gain from one another,
the way in which we hold each others hands,
pray for one another,
take each burden upon ourselves,

when we do,
when we follow His ways of community,
family,
miracles happen

What scientists have learned about why geese fly in a "V" formation... As each bird flaps its wings it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following it. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone.
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wind and another goose flies point. 
The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Finally, when a goose gets sick or injured and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow the bird down to help or protect the injured bird. They stay until the goose can fly or is dead, then launch out to catch up with the group.


when we look to the birds,
follow the examples that He has placed for us,
we soar,
we need each other...

thank you friends,
for honking
for me 






quotes from this site
picture from wildgoose ministries

Saturday

to make a marriage 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 nine years,
six 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.

written a few weeks ago, but linking today with ann...

 

Wednesday

to be a rebel

i wasn't supposed to become
a christian,
nope,
no one who knew me would ever have guessed
i would be
one of those Jesus lovers
i made so much fun of

i wasn't supposed to just be
a high school graduate,
with no "higher" education
i was all ready,
SATs taken
performing arts colleges applied for,
i was on my way,
but never got there

i was definitely not supposed to
get married at
19
to someone i had known
4 months
who already had a
6 year old son

i wasn't supposed to have given
birth to
5 children
by the time i was 27,
ask my dad
who said,
"amy,
i know you believe
in the whole Bible thing,
but when God said
'be fruitful and multiply'
i don't think He meant for you
to do it all
 yourself."

i wasn't supposed to view life
from eyes filled with grace,
seeing the pain and beauty
in a world
scarred
and desperate,
trying to impart a bit of
His love whenever,
wherever
i can

i wasn't supposed to see
a little girl
lonely,
neglected,
who shrieked with joy
when i took her outside
because
she was actually being allowed
to go
outside,
a girl with such sad eyes,
who cried when we left
and ran into her tomb
of a home,
begging her daddy to
let us stay,
and driving away in silence,
our family speechless,
no words,
until i look at my husband,
open my mouth,
and he looks at me,
tears in his eyes,
and says first,
"i know.
i want to ask him if we can
have her."
but, of course,
we can't.

i wasn't supposed to forgive
the woman who gives me
dirty looks for having
all these kids i wasn't supposed to have
or pray for
the man who tries to
get my husband fired
or thank God when
we don't have money
to pay rent or
buy food

i wasn't supposed to do
any of this,
but i did,
so i guess i was,
and maybe i'm not
that much of a rebel
after all.


linking with em...

Tuesday

to salvage a day

when a baby doesn't sleep at night,
trying to breathe and nurse through a stuffy nose,
and doesn't understand why it's not working,

when a printer doesn't work
and a wife can't print up necessary papers for
husband's work that day,
and this makes him late

when children are grumpy
and don't want to listen,
or at least you think they are
and don't,
and every look they give,
every sound they make
you think is intentionally against
you,
and your head is pounding,
you haven't had a cup of coffee yet,
the baby won't nap,
and your three year old twins are
so
loud,
your morning of school that was so
carefully
planned out
has fallen apart,
and you are about ready to crawl into bed
and hide for the rest of the day,
but it's only eleven o'clock...

and you know if things don't change soon,
they will only get worse,
so you close your eyes,
whisper prayers of
"help me find You today" 
open a bible and read
and you take each child,
hug them tightly,
kiss their head,
say to them
"i'm sorry we have had
a hard morning.
let's start over, ok?"

and when they look up and see your smile,
they smile back and say
"ok"
and suddenly there is peace,
and the baby is napping,
and you are drinking coffee,
reading the Words of Life,
little ones are quietly playing,
bigger ones clean up lunch
on their own
and settle down with their books
to begin their lessons
and you breathe deep,
because He salvaged your day.


thank You Lord for helping us start over.  thank You for the peace You bring.  Continue to guide us and satisfy us, for we can do nothing without You.

Sunday

to turn the shirt around

Long before the sun is up,
when moonlight is still pouring through my huge front windows,
casting bits of light into the darkness of the living room,
and there are still a few embers burning,
trying to  find a source of life
among the ashes of the fireplace,
we wipe sleep from our eyes and
venture into the land of awake,
baby, three year old twins, and I

and even before the coffee has brewed
or I have changed little guy's diaper,
one twin is stripping down into underwear
and the other is searching for clothes,
dressing herself
daily
they want to remove the reminder of sleep
as soon as they can,
and every day young ruth
appears with her shirt
on backward

and this morning,
husband took my place in this early morning ritual,
telling me to rest,
he would take care of all
and when at last i awoke,
making my way to my family
when the sun would have been shining
if not for the clouds and pouring rain,
i saw my twins,
ruth with her shirt backwards,
and heard my husband say,
"honey your shirt is on wrong,
can i help you turn it around?"

rain fell hard,
drowning the world outside,
and inside I smile,
knowing that this day,
as every day,
ruth would wear her shirt backwards,
and she responds to her daddy,
"no, I can keep it my way.
I want it backwards!"

and those very words
of the very young,
cut me deep,
my mind racing through time,
remembering His prompting to
slow down,
follow His ways,
talk to Him and
He would guide me,
would help me,
and my stubborn, independent self
brushing Him off,
speaking with my actions that my ways were fine,
I could do it myself...

and oh,
His love and His patience
as He waited for me to come around,
and I came, so often
crawling,
broken,
having been battered by the outcome of
my ways,
and He,
always waiting,
always lifting me to my feet,
brushing the filth off me,
tending my wounds and then,
saying "this way,"
and leading...

I stand in the hallway and watch her,
she runs to play with her backwards shirt,
and I whisper prayers for her,
and thanks to Him for waiting for me,
and as I sit in the living room sipping coffee,
she comes in,
straight to daddy,
"my neck hurts,
can you fix me?"
 her shirt is rubbing against her,
and now she seeks him out to help,
which he does,
setting her shirt straight,
kissing her cheek,
and we watch her go play,
"thank you daddy,
i love you,"
as she goes...

I smile,
squeeze my husband's hand and
whisper to Him,
"thank you Daddy."

counting gifts...

He always waits
He always forgives
a little girl who loves her daddy
a husband who lets me sleep in
a husband and sons who have tea parties with their little ladies
music played by my children throughout the house
green, everywhere, from this long lasting rain
dessert to make and
a full house to eat it

linking with ann