Yes!

She had a headache.  She looked at me with that desperate gaze.  I know what this feels like–when the world is spinning and your head is throbbing and you can’t even string a logical thought together.

I brought her to the couch–my littlest one–and we lay down and she fell asleep with her head on my chest.  I fell asleep too, my eyes heavy with the weight of the day.

It was good to have her close to me.  Close and safe and filled up with love.  Was this the last time I would hold her like this, feeling her warm head nestled under mine, hearing the sweetness of her sleeping breath?

And can I tell you how many times I’ve said “No” to her? . . . “No, I can’t snuggle tonight because . . . ya-da, ya-da, ya-da.”  But this time I gave a delicious “Yes.”

I was late to my meeting that evening, but I wasn’t in a hurry.  Instead I took joy in the goodness of saying “yes” to an irretrievable moment . . . one I’ll never have back, yet will hold forever in the hollow of my heart.

 

Posted in Daughters, Family | 4 Comments

Tokens

Just this from Spurgeon today:

“The fair earth is full of tokens of God’s presence.”

DSC_0465_edited-1And this from the Word:

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-13 DSC_0466_edited-2

Posted in Grace Gifts, Seasons | 1 Comment

be still

Stillness.  I find it in the quiet of the morning . . . in the hush of the night.

I find it in the edges of the day.

How can I find it in the middle?

When there are broken arms and spilled milk, piano lessons and orthodontic visits?

Yet, there is this command:  not to find stillness, but to be still.

To be still and know.

To know that He is God.

To listen to the One who commands the surges and swells of my own heart, “Be still.”

A friend recently reminded me to consider the goal of stillness.  Quietness of heart is not merely an attitude of resignation.  It is so much more.  It is meant to teach me how my portion might fit me for His purposes . . . how I might bring glad glory to Him in the middle.

Yes, even when the laundry is five loads deep, or the call comes in from ski patrol, or the little one with the tender heart needs just one more hug . . . this is when He speaks, “Be still.”  When the school kids are late out the door, or the muffins fall in the soapy sink, or the tire goes flat on the way to church . . . this is when He speaks, “Be still.”  This is when He reminds me that He is God.  And He is good.

linking with WriteAlm’s daily prompts for February

LAUREL LOVE CLIPARTS

Posted in Living and Active | 3 Comments

in the beginning

It’s a new year.  Still, the Christmas tree shines in the corner, a sweet reminder that the joy of Christmas is meant for all days.  I’m linking up this evening with a prompt from Write Alm.  Today’s words:  “In the Beginning . . . “

In the beginning it was dark.  Cold.  Void.

The nothingness begged for Redemption’s voice.

Was it a whisper?  A shout?  This divine imperative . . .

calling forth life.

Day, night, sun, sky, water, breath . . . life.

The beginning was good.

Another beginning,

eternity clothed in flesh.

Redemption’s voice crying in a teenager’s arms.

A heart beating life.

The silence of years stilled by an infant cry.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

The light shines in the darkness, beginning again.

The beginning is good.

DSC_0252Write Alm January Prompt-A-Day

Posted in Gospel, Seasons | 3 Comments

Christmas Grace

Anna Noelle.  Her name means “God’s grace at Christmas.”  And that is what she is.  All grace.  All undeserved.

We had all but closed the book, then she came.  On a day filled with cold December rain, she filled the room with her infant cry.  God’s grace at Christmas.

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Each child is a miracle.  Each one formed in the secret places.  Each one brought by the will of the Father.  But the unexpected ones–they remind us of the gift.

I remember holding her tiny frame in the wee hours by the Christmas tree.  This beautiful child.  She slept and I held her in my gaze, willing my weary, postpartum eyes to stay open, longing to hold that moment forever.

I knew it was my last time.  And I fell in love all over again.

Now she is all words and friends and cartwheels.  She has laughter in her eyes and joy in her heart.  We can’t imagine life without her in it.

She is a reminder that when God gives a gift, He wraps it up in a child.  And the greatest gift–it was wrapped up in a Child too.  A perfect, sinless Baby.  God’s grace at Christmas, meeting my deepest need.

Posted in Daughters, Mothering | 3 Comments

Thankful . . .

Here we are in November, rounding the turn toward a stark and leafless season.  Yet, in the middle of it, we take a deep breath.  We linger long and we softly speak “selah,” returning praise and thanks to the Giver of all good gifts.

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Posted in Grace Gifts, Seasons | 6 Comments

Mother-Daughter

We are five cords,

tied–

woven tight.

Life knit deep, in feminine form.

Hands gathered now,

bone and marrow,

joint and heart.

All these daughters filling up the empty spaces.

{linking up again today with Amanda’s prompt at Habit of Being}

Posted in Daughters | 2 Comments

I Dared . . .

I haven’t dared much in my life.  In fact, I’m pretty conventional.  I’m not an adrenalin junkie.  I don’t have an incurable sense of wanderlust (though I’d to travel to Paris).  A few years ago, when sampling oysters on the half shell for the first time, I reached the far limits of my thrill meter.  Me–adventurous?  Not really.

But, by God’s extravagant grace, I have dared this one thing.

I have dared to believe that the Bible is true.

I have dared to trust in a God I cannot see.

I have dared to put my faith in the work of Christ on the cross, to believe in impossible promises, to love the God of divine surprises.

And I have not been disappointed.

I am learning the sweetness of repentance . . . forgiveness . . . mercy . . . grace.  I am growing in the ways of God, loving deeply, from the heart.  I am walking in the path of life.  I am watching Him change me from glory to glory.  And my restless soul has found rest in Him.

Linking up today with Amanda’s “Habit of Being.”

Posted in Gospel | 2 Comments

Samuel

(This post is a few weeks late, as it took me a while to get photos of Sam.)

October 22

I remember that September morning.  It was one of those clean fall days with blue skies and sunshine.  One of those days when I usually get a burst of energy and start my fall housecleaning.  But on that day, September 11, I was all weight and fatigue, heavy with squirming life.

I remember that morning.  I was cleaning up an apple juice spill when the phone rang.  The news was breaking and Steve told me it was unbelievable.  I turned on the tv and terror’s story unfolded right before our eyes.  Airplanes.  The World Trade Center.  The Pentagon.  Pennsylvania.  I quickly switched off the tv, longing to shield my children from any image of the horror on the screen.  And I went back to my sticky floor, going through the motions.  Washing and rinsing.  Adding my own tears to the water on the floor.  Longing to be clean in a world that was darkened with evil.

A few weeks later, as our nation still shook with grief, I delivered a son . . . all eight pounds of him.  The air filled his lungs and we both cried.  There was a sudden pairing of grief and joy, and a surge of relief that life is sweeter than death.

It has been twelve years since that October evening.  Those twelve years have been filled up with securing the homeland, rooting out terror.  For me, those years have also been filled with “boy noises” and percussion, with Legos and nerf darts, with soccer and baseball and snowboarding and playing in the woods.

In the midst of it all, I have found a certain  acquiescence to the grander scheme of things.  I have set my heart to enjoy God’s good gifts to me–my dear children, my loving husband, sweet friendships, even the beauty of the world–but more than that, to enjoy the Giver of all good things.

I think back over the gift of Samuel’s years.  How do I sum up this boy?  Do I talk about that Thanksgiving morning when he was a toddler?  He woke up before everyone else and climbed up on the table before dawn and took a nibble of each cookie I had laid out to cool the night before.  His cuteness made him so very forgivable.

Do I tell about our trip, just the two of us, to visit my brother in Washington, and how he loved his first airplane ride?

Yes, we have stories.  Lots of them.  But in the end, I am just glad he is a part of us, perfectly fitted into our family at just the right time.

Happy Birthday, Samuel.  I am so glad there is you! 

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Posted in Grace Gifts, Sons | 3 Comments

Hand in Hand

The hills are dancing with painted leaves.  Autumn color is cresting like a wave through the countryside.  The sun sends shafts through the clouds and lights the leaves between the shadows.  I tell the kids to hold on to this in their memories.  They have grown up here and this has become their October expectation.  So I toss out some reminders . . .

“Do you realize how beautiful this is??”

“Do you know that people come from all over just to look . . . to see . . . to behold all this goodness??”

My parents come for a visit.  They were here in the fall of1964, back when they didn’t know what the future held.  Now they are back and holding hands with us, walking down a path with their grandchildren.  Life comes full circle before we know it.

DSC_0077I run up the trail to capture this moment–a still-small hand clasped together with her grandfather’s.  I want it to last forever, but all too soon there is the hard good-bye, and they drive up the hill and blow kisses.

DSC_0080All of the goodness of the week–the beautiful weather, the evanescent glory of “peak color,” the warmth of family love–it is all gift.  And my heart is full with the sweetness of these gifts, lavished in grace by the Giver of all good things.

Posted in Family, Grandparents, Seasons | 2 Comments