Wednesday, June 19, 2013

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

In all respects, I should have been a spoiled child.

I was a surprise baby (child number five), with ten years separating me and my next oldest sibling. And if you’ve ever listened to the worn out tales of babies born into such circumstances you know the expected end-product: snotty nosed brats who lug around heavy doses of entitlement.

But God chose to place me in a family that doled out love by bushels and pecks and hugs around the neck and so the only things that came to be spoiled around our house were forgotten cartons of cottage cheese shoved to the back of the refrigerator.

Because, you see, love has never spoiled anything. Ever.

But I was a child once and, as such, I certainly had my moments--moments of selfish desire and impudent behavior, of unmet longings and unrequited wishes. And, being a child, I naturally looked to the givers of good things—my parents—for the delivery of said hopes.

So, as a child nurtured by way of arms flung wide and hearts burst open, the phrase “You can’t always get what you want” was a tad bewildering, at first. Not because I was spoiled or bratty or entitled but because, for so long, my parents’ love had been enough. Love and acceptance had been the standard upon which I grew and thrived and so, I had never really felt a lack.

And then I entered junior high and everything kind of flipped upside down...

Continue reading over at Mama Monk with Micha Boyett? Join me here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

To Reclaim Is To Create

"Reclaim: From the Middle English, to call back..."

Some days I feel like old barn wood.
Solid, yet slightly bowed in the middle …
Curved in places that were once straight and narrow …
Brown locks fading to gray.
It’s heavy enough to truly recognize that I’m growing older but the image of a barn slanting westward on the roadside feels weightier. It reminds me that I am mortal.
So when I found out at forty that I was pregnant for the third time, that weathered tilt that lurks in my lower back sighed ever so slightly. This body-house of mine felt every bit its age.
And just as I might question the wisdom of, once again, using a vintage barn that has stood empty for years, I leaned into the Holy Spirit, whispering questions and what-ifs by the handful.
“Is this a good idea?” I murmured, more than once.

The rest of this story continues over at SheLoves Magazine. Follow me there?

Sunday, June 16, 2013


My arms circled round your neck
this morning 
like a garland of hope
and although I thought it better
to refrain from
pomp and circumstance
I secretly imagined that I was
knighting you with
strength and fortitude
ringing you with
joy and hope 

Because I know
sweet one
that you are riding into 
in the days ahead

Even on good days
there is a struggle within
That inner conflict
who you want to be
who you are
and all of it
swirling round like a storm

But you were made for glory
who are so meek in heart

Here and there
I get glimpses of
the ways that
fire has been forged
in your bones
deep and hidden
It emerges
when it must
your face shines radiant
from the effort

That is the image
I will carry with me
these long days
when you are apart from me

I will cross my heart
and hope
with the saints
that you will hear the song
placed inside you
when you were but a whisper
to me

The song that was sung over you
by the One
that imagined you into being
and knows you by heart

Photo credit: Swirl Abstraction by Matt on Flickr

Friday, June 7, 2013

Night Work

photo courtesy of liz west on flickr

There is that cool breeze that blows atop the blankets
so unusual for this time of year
and we keep wide the windows at night
grateful for the way it pushes away
the heavy scent of labored sleep

But the truth is
you are not sleeping much
and although I can't help myself
the sleeping, that is
I am aware that your
dark hours have cast you as a sentinel
and it makes my dreams
all the more muddled and tangled

For the moon hours
they are for renewal
and the night fairies
they are known for their gifts
of sand and ebony glitter
all of which
remind us that work
is being done in our stead

how I long for you
to lay down your hammer and anvil
if just for a night
so that you could be carried
to the other side
and so
you could wake
groggy and gritty

and yesterday
it could be but a vague memory
having been carried off
by the fay folk
and now hidden
in the mist

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Turning Pages

I haven't made much time for writing lately.

It's a new reality that I am simultaneously hating and embracing. Hating, because I am always thinking, musing, lining up words and ideas, wanting desperately to pen them down, keep them fast and that is just not happening. But I am also embracing this new way because I am really here, in this moment and that last one and that other one last week where I gazed upon orange colored skies wrapped in a wide open rainbow. Yeah, that one.

But I had to stop today and remember a few things. Because some things you just don't ever want to forget.

I am growing a life inside of me for the third time but the hugeness of that still catches me by surprise some days. Such as the tiredness that encroaches upon every square inch of skin and bone and muscle and demands that I and rest. And so I do. I stop and stretch out upon my bed and I let myself sink into cushion and blanket and holy rest. And that baby hidden deep? He tickles me from the inside, thanking me for that little bit of extra room that lying on my side provides him. It is then that I realize that I am so very human and what is happening inside of me is so very God and I can't help but smile at the absurdity of it all.

Then there are the moments when I realize that conversations with my two boys have started to include subjects and topics that stretch beyond Legos and Iron Man and Hank the Cowdog. They are asking bigger questions now, questions about relationships and current events and sex. And every time we close out those talks, its as if I'm turning pages of their childhood at a faster pace and I can see how the paper is curling and yellowing, as if we are coming dangerously close to the end of a chapter.

Surprisingly, I realize that I am okay with that. I'm excited for new chapters and story lines and plot twists.

But then the aforementioned tiredness will, again, wash over me and I am reminded of the return to babyhood that is imminent. And I sigh. Will I remember how to do all of this? When I slow to the pace that mothering an infant requires, will I end up sputtering to a tragic end, like my old Nissan? How will I manage to stay connected to the boys that are growing taller by the day and reaching further into the future than I can see when I am totally consumed with free flowing breastmilk and piles of laundry? What does bridging that huge gap even look like?

And then there will be a moment. The ones I have by the handful now.

Yesterday, as I sat in my chair, the baby deep within was alive and kicking and I called Aidan over to place his hand on my belly. I've tried this before but we always managed to miss the opportunity. But we tried again.

And there was a kick. I quickly looked at Aidan and he jumped in place and hollered that "HE HAD FELT IT!" and his smile--his smile that would soften the hardest heart--it shone glory and his eyes danced with pure joy. And in that moment, we were all connected and alive and in love.

It was then that I realized that there is no gap too wide that love can't bridge and that, sometimes, what brings the world to its softest place, the place where heart fires are kindled and hope is born, most often, is a baby.

Linking today with Emily at Imperfect Prose.