Thursday, February 28, 2013

Words for Another Day

This one is more for me than you............

A post for when I am old and gray and maybe a bit farther from my babes than today...........

My dear husband will have saved and documented the words that I carelessly spill across the screen, formatting them, fitting them to whatever form of technology we might find ourselves with many years from now.................

And I will want to read the words of my girl, words of love written to the one who loves her most, along with her daddy, to the one who loves her daily, each minute of the day................

She is so good to us..........stealing off to make her gifts, for words are her gift to us, she is a much more subtle gift giver than her siblings who pounce and smother and love with much force......but her love is no less fierce for it's quietness....................

And so this is what I found awaiting me outside my shower, from one who snuck in and left the words that are her gift.

to: Mandy
From: Fia  I love your lagh.  I love your cooking.  I love the food.  I love your ideas.  I love your exspesions. 

Oh my girl.

My smile softening, my heart melting, my eyes looking upward in thanks...........I go to bed with a heart filled to bursting.

How good it is to be known and to be loved.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stolen Moments

My babes are growing...............

So fast.

It's unbelievable to me that my baby, my screaming, grow-me-as-a-mother, as-a-person baby is growing.........

But she is.

Tonight I lay in bed with her, sipping my glass of wine - her taking a fingertip full, declaring it AWFUL, doing Hidden picture puzzles with her at 9:30.......

Yes, it was WAY past her bedtime.

I didn't care.

For it was precious time, time away from her brother, time away from her sister.........time with just her mama.  

We laughed together and giggled at how "bad" we were being - up late at night - her taking a taste of my wine, me breaking my rule of no kids after dark.

And it was so good.

And they told me.

They told me it would happen.

That one day these babies of mine would grow up and it would be good, as good as those days of building and playing and creating and staying home all day.  That the days of when school and friends and independence would invade and bodies would grow and they would start to break free...............that those days, too, are good.

It's hard to believe.

That even when you are loving all the time and everyone is needing you all time and life seems so intense and baby-filled that the days after would be just as good and need-filled and intense.

And they are.

Oh, my girl, how I delight in you.

How I delight in these stolen moments of just me and you.

It brings me back to those days - those precious and so few days of just me and you when you were a babe.

Only 18 short months and then there was another, another to fill my lap and my mind and my time.

But these moments of giggling and sharing and daddy coming in, mouth gaping and words asking why are we up so late, oh my these moments are just as precious as when it was me and you in the rocking chair, listening to Baby crying over Pachelbel's canon, imagining your wedding day when you were just a few weeks old...............

Thank you.

Thank you, Lord, for these stolen moments.

These are the moments that I will treasure and keep stored up for those days that are coming..............

Those days when she is far away and gone from my arms, from this house and is living a life of her own.

Let me not forget that my time, my attention, the out of ordinary moments are the ones that she, too, will remember.

What stolen moments have you had lately?

Friday, February 22, 2013

The War Stories of Women

Do you remember?

Do you remember the first time?

The first time you sat side by side, arms wrapped around another, your heart aching, breaking for another...........and you thought, NO.  This is not suppose to be this way.  You remembered every health class, every adult, every friend growing up that spoke of the BIG, SCARY THING that could could get..............


But then you grow up and you know that while it's true and the first time and all that............

It's just. not. that. easy.

Do you remember?

I remember.

I remember a friend who lost early in her pregnancy and had to face a child where she worked, every day, carrying her child - the pain that comes from the awareness that all is not right when a babe - oh that poor child - carries a babe and you lose yours................

I remember a year of worrying and thinking something might be wrong...........I didn't understand and probably still can't, fully, what it means to wait.............and wait...............and wait............but I heard the fear and the pain of each month going by without a child....................

I remember whispered side notes, confessions, really, of children lost..........babies known only by their mamas...........whispered thanks for the ones they have but never forgetting the one that never got the chance to be known.....................

I remember sobbing and holding strong the ones I love because sometimes the worst really can happen, it takes your breath away..............a promise withheld and kept for a day not seen upon this earth......

I remember a year happening again, to another family, another mama and the pain of that, the shock of that, leaves you feel fortunate to have your ones but every mother's pain is a reminder that the impossible is possible.........every mother's pain is, in small part, your own because you know the ache of a mother's heart.............


These are the war stories of women.

We are these women.

We know these women.

We all have scars and are battle weary, at times.

And there are different battles for us all.  For every mother who has a loss there is a mother battling with what should be her gain.  For as my heart grieves for the lost, my heart also feels for those living.  We can forget in the midst of other people's pain, that the living wage battles, too.  We can trivialize and make light of our own struggles or the struggles of people around us and then  no one wins.  Other mother's stories don't lessen your own.  We each have a story to share.

I know women who have survived sleepness nights only to arise to the sounds of many little ones, clamoring for her attention, love, time, energy......her EVERYTHING...........and she carries on.  Her story is not one of tragedy or great heroics but of everyday faithfulness.

I know women who have carried children - those endless nine months of sickness and retching and weariness and back aches and not feeling like life or their body will ever be the same........and it's hard.  It's hard to cry yourself to sleep at night because you think that you will never NOT be nauseous again and you feel stupid because you should be grateful for this baby, for this pregnancy but you just want to be done.

I know women who came late to motherhood, came early to motherhood and it was shocking and radical.........this disruption of life, this sacrificing of so much for such a little one.  Then there are the women that longed for this and found that it might not have been all that they wanted, that they weren't really ready for all this, all this........CHANGE.

I know women who were thrown off course by the arrival of a special child, one that didn't fit the mold that they had imagined......and it's hard.  It's hard to give up the picture in your mind of what life was supposed to be like and to dream different dreams for your precious babe.


These, too, are the war stories of women.

We are these women.

We know these women.

We all have scars and are battle weary, at times.

Today I ask grace.

I ask grace for all women.

I ask you to be gentle with those without don't know the reason why.

I ask you to be gentle with those with loud, acting up children in the store, at the library, at school pick-up, wherever you don't know their story.

I ask you to be gentle with the big-bellied women struggling to open doors, get through aisles, who may or may not be crabby...................yes, they are grateful, I am sure.....but it's hard.

And I ask you to look in the mirror and be gentle with the criticism, be gentle with the expectations, be gentle.  Look in that mirror and see the scars and the heart poured out and the beauty of being a woman.

I ask you to be gentle with every women, every mother who may or may not have her child with her here on earth.  We can't know their stories or their hearts.............we can only know what we have experienced.

What we can do is talk and share and laugh and weep together.

We can support one another.

We can praise one another.

We can delight in one another.

We can tell our stories.

For these are the war stories of women.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Through The Eyes of Love (And, yes, that song is being played over and over in my head.....the phrase was unavoidable, I am so utterly sorry :)

I have a confession.

I have been sucked in.

I have spent hours.

Late at night, sitting by the dim light of the computer screen, pulled in to the lunacy on the suggestion of friends, friends who should know better, who should know my compulsive nature and that I would not be able to indulge in just one.

That's right.

I am an addict.

I am addicted to the Crawleys, Bates, Thomas, O'Brien, Edith, Daisy..............

I am addicted to Downton Abbey.

But I love how God can use anything and anyone to speak to us.  I think that we limit Him, sometimes, thinking He can only speak to us when we sit with our bibles, kneel in prayer, read a "Christian" book, listen to sermons, etc.  He is always there, always ready, always speaking.......even through "Downton Abbey"............just stay with me :)

I commented to a friend the other day that I don't know if it's to the credit or discredit of women that Mr. Bates - a heavy-jowled, tubby man with a receding hairline - is swoon worthy.  Who of you out there, my fellow Downton Abbey watchers - has not sighed AT LEAST ONCE in the presence of Mr. Bates?

I have.

And let me say for the record that swoon worthy men in films/tv/books simply remind me that I have my own swoon worthy man at home.  Never do I think oh I wish that could be my husband or oh to have a love like that...............NO.  I just get swept up in the romance of it and am in awe of the fact that this happens in my home all the time, just in different ways.  I love the man I am with and the romance that fills our every day.  Romance on the big screen/little screen/books is just a reminder to me that I am living out my own love story.

ANYWAY.........Bates.  Swoon worthy.


And then I remembered.

Our first look at Mr. Bates occurred with Anna in the same room.  Do you remember?

Do you remember the way she looked at him?

With a bit of interest.  A spark.

And then it grew.

And so our first sighting of Mr. Bates was influenced by what we saw on Anna's face and I, at least, began to view Mr. Bates through Anna's eyes.

And she looks at him in love.

Because we view Mr. Bates through the eyes of Anna - we see so much to love and to swoon over.

And when I think of great love, I think of God.

When I allow myself to be fully in His presence, I feel SO LOVED.  I feel His care, His mercy, His strength, His power, His LOVE so fully.  I know that He knows me fully and yet LOVES me fully.

And so what if we viewed the world through His eyes?

What if each person I encountered I looked at and saw HIM, His creation, His work, His love?

And what if people saw ME loving others in this way?

Would they, too, begin to view those people through my eyes, His eyes?

What if every encounter included a praise?

What if every encounter included a loving reminder of our Creator, our God who Loves?

What if we began to view the world through the eyes of Love?

And there is no need to throw out Truth with Love, Truth spoken in Love to those who we have earned the right to speak truth to can result in love and deeper understanding.  Love is not without reproof and Love without Truth is not Love at all but a pale representation.   But we must earn the right to speak such truth.  As Anna did :)  Her love for Mr. Bates didn't mean that she didn't speak truth once the right was earned.

So join me?

On this day of Love?

Let us look upon those around us - in our house, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our world - in LOVE so that through our eyes they may see a glimpse of the love that God feels for them.  If we are to be representatives of Christ then we must first LOVE.

Friday, February 1, 2013


A friend posted some old college pics on facebook today.  They were quite horrid.


I was sitting at the computer looking at them and exclaiming over the hair and the clothes and WHAT ON EARTH WAS I THINKING just general look of myself...........but oh my they made me smile.

It seems so long ago, like those days, those times happened to another person.  They are so far removed from my life today and only two of those girls do I talk to with any regularity.  And as much as I claim to have a disdain for technology (so says the blogger and facebook user :) I love that I can see pictures of my long ago friends with their babies and their spouses and their growing makes my heart happy, for once upon a time they were my every day, my roommates, my Hicks dining companions, my fellow backwoods celebrants :), my smoke drivers, my Eat N Park/Mustang enthusiasts, just my every day.

And one of these girls - my Skirt Sister, my more than every day, more like every moment friend - taught me what it means to have a tried and true friend, she initiated me into the sisterhood.  Before then, before Karen I had friends but not like Karen :)

I didn't know the bond of girls, the bond of almost women.  I loved the shopping together, get ready together , living life together.  Karen was like an open book, there was nothing that was held back and it seemed completely natural and easy.  I can't remember how exactly we met other than a bunch of people were going into "town" to see a movie perhaps?

And, to be honest, I can hardly remember all the moments in between.  However I do remember when she told me she was leaving school - when I think back, I can't believe the courage that decision must have taken.

I couldn't quite believe it.

My every day, my tried and true, my initiator - gone, a year and a half early.

I know, I am making it sound quite dramatic when it was just a shifting of course, a decision that had to be made that led to a good life for Karen - those pictures of Alan that were kept hidden in a drawer became a real life husband and children and life.

And when she left she left an opening.  A space that wasn't there before and I made new friends, new tried and trues that I am still in contact with today - women that I treasure and love.  And I can't help but think that without Karen there wouldn't have been the space, the room for those girls, for those friendships.  That Karen taught me a bit how to love sisters, how to love being a sister.

And so when I see those pictures from long ago........I smile.

My heart fills with gratitude.

My heart remembers the girl, the almost woman who taught me to be a sister.

And I remember and am reminded of all those that came after, those that have come alongside me, that proclaim me to be a sister.

How I love and am honored to be a part of the sisterhood :)

Thanks, Karen, for first showing me how..................