Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Today, I'm thankful:

-For this computer, given to me by a friend, so I could do just this.  Write.  I'm excited to have the ability to write whenever I get the itch without having to steal a minute or two here and there on my husband's busy work computer.

-For gathering with teen moms once a month to have some crazy fun and talk about Jesus.  It's a privilege to walk with them.

-For coming home from that gathering to see Loren and Hope playing Scattergories and laughing together.  A husband who gets how important it is to spend precious time with our kids.

-For a girl who prefers pancakes, one who prefers cereal, and one who likes eggs in the morning.  For one who prefers skinny jeans, one who wants yoga pants, and one who rocks skirts every day.  And for girls who yell out "I love you!" to each other for the whole block to hear on their way to school.  They are as different as can be.  And they love each other dearly.  I love being their mom.

-For homemade Christmas presents that I can work on at night and the joy it gives me to think up the perfect gift.

-For a kitchen counter that is a mess.  Evidence of life lived in these walls.

There's so much more.  But the kitchen counter calls.  I hope you get a chance to stop and be thankful today!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What God Reveals While I Sew Last Minute Kilts

I'm not sure why it hasn't hit me before now.  That this life I am living is so similar to the one my mom lived.  But, as we laughed and made last minute program costumes on Thursday night for my famously procrastinating husband, who was due at camp in less than 24 hours, she said, "oh...I remember what this is like.  I've done this before."  And it hit me like it was brand new.  She does know this life.

She knows about a husband in ministry...a job that comes home with you every night, both physically, as in stuff everywhere (with my dad it was music...always endless pages of music filling up our house, and cassette tapes of choral arrangements in every part), and in your heart.  Always thinking about what was stirred during that last conversation or thinking about that kid that's walked away and needs Jesus so bad.

She knows about raising three girls, too.  Last week she told me she didn't envy the task Loren and I have.  That raising girls back when we were small was hard enough.  Today, it seems so much harder. But she has also pulled me aside before and told me that she wouldn't have traded having three girls for anything.  And I can see in her eyes what I have come to know to be true.  That the moments between mothers and daughters can be so full with feeling, all that estrogen and all those easy tears mixed with the flowery vanilla scents that women have, that a heart can feel just about to burst with the beauty of it. And I know that when her cell phone plays the tune to "My Girl" when one of us calls, that that's exactly how she feels. 

It's been a rough year and a half for my parents. Life always has it's ups and downs but I think when you're in your 60's you think that roller coaster should be leveling out.  That you should feel more settled.  But, God doesn't always play by our rules.  (Thank goodness, right?!?) And in the midst of all of the heartache and the up in the air and the lazy days when all you wanna do is something, rather than nothing, I know one thing that has remained.  My parents have never doubted that God was faithful.  That he was at work for their good.  And someday, if God sends heartache and a storm that won't be stilled as quickly as I would hope, my prayer is that I will remember that my mom knows that kind of life, too.  And that I'd find some hope in remembering the faith of my parents...enough to remember that God is always faithful.  That he is always at work for my good.  And, if I'm lucky (and I am, people, I SO am!) my husband will also lead us gently through that time with humor that just won't quit!  Yeah...she knows about that, too.  She knows about husbands full of jokes and she, like me, knows just when to laugh.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Table

When your 87 year old grandfather comes to visit and wants to restore your dining room table, you let him.  Of course, that was his business for years.  Furniture.  And the restoring, his job on the side for years after that.  Even still.  And you bought that piece of furniture from his store all those years ago when you were engaged and dreaming about the kids that would fill that table and declaring that you would use the china on it at least once a month when your soon to be mountain man husband had argued that it wasn’t necessary.  The china, not the table.

And now, we have these children and we almost never use that china. Except for those times when I think about that declaration long ago and drag it out with an “I told you so” look in my eyes.  Our table is scarred and syrup is permanently stuck to it and the chairs have legs that were chewed by the dogs, who were once teething puppies.  Thirteen and half years of life have been carved and spilled onto that table’s cherry wood and my Dada tells me that he can’t make it look like new, but he can polish it up and ready it for the next thirteen years.  And I've always known him to be this way.  Able to see what a thing could be and then able to bring out it's beauty in surprising ways.  Never going about it in a rush, but slowing to see that every detail is attended to.  At rest as he exercises his gifts. 

I think about thirteen years.  Allow myself to dream about them and turn off the dutiful voice that tells me I may not even get tomorrow.  Today, I dream that I get all thirteen.  In thirteen years, I will have a 21 year old daughter and one who's 18 and a 15 year old that may be giving me fits.  The daddy and I will probably sit up at that table some nights, sipping hot tea, waiting for her to come home.  Twenty-six years of marriage under our belts, our eyes scratchy and red with the lack of sleep that comes from having teenage daughters. Our hands cupped around mugs whispering about the day she was three and peed in the bathroom sink and told him it was because she “loved to.”  (Yep…that was 2 nights ago.)
We’ll look, then, at the scars of that table.  The ones that my Dada was unable to rub out with the steel wool and lemon oil all those years ago, and the ones that are newer, that tell about our life, not with puppies and babies, but with growing and grown girls and teenagers in and out of our house, and days where, more and more, it’s just the two of us again at that table.  And we’ll see that this table, which once held food offered to small, sticky hands, and which had blessing spoken over it thousands of times in the past 26 years is laid with a feast fit for a King.  That this table is set with stories of grace.  The grace of feeding babies, and grown up girls, and teenagers not my own.  The grace of praying and reading the scripture at meal times.  The grace of friends and family breaking bread together. The grace of memories when tears of disappointment turned miraculously into gratitude and when hands wringing in fear turned into faith. The grace of cups of tea with this husband who lights me up inside when I look at him loving his life.  And the grace of a grandfather, whose gift of restoring, has opened up my eyes.  Cracked open what was stuck.  And finally...there are words to write again.

Linking up with Just Write....because it's about time I did!