Thursday, March 31, 2011


One of my first memories of a place, outside of my childhood home, is of my dance school.

I suppose the ballet room was fairly typical. One fully mirrored wall, barres on the other three walls, resin box in the corner, and a piano. But my first dance school boasted something that none of the following ones did, a wall of holes.

The idea was that a parent could watch their child without the child knowing it and therefore without being distracted. So, the studio directors cut out eye-sized holes all over the wall of the parent's waiting room. There were up high holes for tall daddies and medium height holes for mommys and a variety of lower holes for siblings. There were benches to help if you couldn't find quite the right height of hole.

Coming into the waiting room the first time I saw what looked like a bunch of people standing with their faces pressed to the wall. This was weird. Later, I was in my first class and I happened to glance at the wall, and I saw that it was covered in random eyes. This was terrifying. I have an older brother, so even at that tender age I knew all about cyclops. I was being watched by an army of them. I was paralysed with fear.

This week Grant had a scary experience for a child. The result was nightmares.

I held his hot shaking body on my lap and said, "Tell me a true thing Grant."

"God loves me."

"That is truth. What else?"

"He's always with me."


"Mommy loves me. Daddy loves me."

"That is true Grant. Keep them coming."

He comforted himself with truth and went back to bed.

The next night he came down again. He couldn't fall asleep, his mind raced with fearful thoughts.

I held out my arms and said, "Tell me a true thing Grant."

I waited for the truth that comforts, the truth that soothes, it didn't come.

Instead he looked me in the eye and said, "Mommy sometimes true things aren't happy things."
I stared at him in surprise.
He was absolutely right.

Truth isn't always happy.

Truth isn't always comforting.

My mind suddenly brought forward an array of truths that were anything but soothing.

They stared at me, a wall of cyclops eyes that followed my every move.

I sent Grant to bed and sat there in confusion.

If truth terrifies, what is there to trust?

And then I thought of the Truth who became man and taught us, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

The truth is that there is nothing to fear because the worst has already happened. Jesus was crucified. Death devoured Him instead of us. He submitted, He conquered, and He saved us.

The truth is that the Truth of Christ is so much more true than any fear we can imagine.

There are days, weeks, months, when the evil in this world winks at me through peep holes. When I see the sinful choices, unhealthy indulgences, and manifold consequences to myself and those I love, and I am paralysed. But I do what I did when I was a skinny thing in pink tights;

I remember the truth.

I experience the freedom from fear.

And I dance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Proverbs 17:6

"Children's children are a crown ...."

Wisdom encircles and protects.

Generations nestle safely in their grandparent's arms and learn.

And love is hereditary, passed down like a family heirloom, an inheritance worth more than jewels.

The arms that held my husband open to receive his children.

They, like their daddy, thrive in the strength of the love, they sense the foundation of it.

They perceive what they could never vocalize.

This is unconditional love, and it paves the way for Christ to woo.

Someday she'll feel her Savior's arms encircle her like she once felt her grandpa's.

And it will feel like home.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Learning from a Little Child

I awakened to a sweet boyish voice at ear level, "Good morning mama! Here's one of your favorite children!"
He climbed into bed with me. He rubbed his smelly little hands all over my face and said, "These are all kisses to you mama darling. Everywhere my hands touch is a kiss."

He left and I lay grinning into the still dark morning. The confidence my children have in my love amazes me. I am reminded of something... what is it? My mind teeters at the brink of a synapse... the neurotransmitters make a tremendous effort... the thought leaps and runs through my mind. It is this: "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence." (Heb. 4)

The way Rowan awakened me, with utter confidence in my love and goodness to him, is the way I should come before God.

I laugh, the thoughts grande jette over the gaps, and I try it.

"Good morning God! It's one of your favorite children! May everything my hands touch today be a kiss to You. Amen."

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little Boys And Their Thoughts On Marriage

He sat deep in contemplation and I rubbed my hands together in anticipation. Rowan's contemplation produces hearty Mommy laughter without fail.

So I asked, "What are you thinking about baby?"
He didn't fail me.
"Oh I'm just thinking about my wife."
He's five.
"Really? What about her?"
"Well, she has ta be four things fore I'll murry her."
I reached for a pencil.
"What are those four things?"
"Well, she has to be cute. She can't argue with me. She better be unselfish. And I really want her to be curious."
"Like George, the monkey?"
"Yep, then I'll murry her if she's really good and does all those things."
"She'll be a very lucky girl Rowan."
"Yeah I know."

Grant and I also had a marriage conversation that was destined to be preserved as well.
He's a very kissy child and sometimes his kisses get a little too much.
So I kindly told him, "Grant, you need to save some of these kisses for your wife!"
"No, I've decided I'm not going to ever kiss my wife."
This was taking purity and courtship a bit too far.
"Grant, trust me, you're going to want to kiss your wife."
He shrugged and answered, "No, I won't, I don't like kissing anyone but you."
I mentally chewed on some replies while we sat in silence.
Suddenly he turned to me wide eyed, "You don't think she'll make me kiss her, do you?"
"Let's go make some popcorn."

I have a feeling these boys will be hearing about these conversations again someday......
like at their rehearsal dinners.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I Found Gold!

We hit Arizona last Wednesday. Hit it with a 95 degree sizzle. Our first day's hike through the desert left us a little...well...droopy. Wilted. Thirsty.

Ahhh, but the infamous saguaro cactus has no such reaction to the heat. We were all infatuated with them. They don't grow arms for the first 70 years of their life. They grow roots first. Then the arms they grow are grown to keep them balanced. We laughed at the "noses" on some of them. The outstretched "arms" praising the Lord, on others.
And I learned from God's creation.
Roots first, appendages in balance.

We went to the Phoenix Zoo on Sunday. As we walked toward it, you could smell the hundreds of animals confined in the close city. I was about to comment on the odor, when my little Rose piped up and announced, "I smell Mommy!"
I laughed humility. Everyone within hearing distance just laughed.

"Little People" were my kids favorite toys for years. The zoo had a full fledged "Little People" petting and play area.
Some of my "little people" aren't so little any more.

We pulled off to take a picture of this canyon and the song, "Hold Me" by Sanctus Real came on. My ballet III class is dancing to that this year, so I pulled Avonlea out of the car and yelled, "Dance! Dance in front of the canyon! We'll never live this moment again!"
I'm sure that statement made her profusely grateful.
We slowed traffic for several minutes.
I have it on video if anyone is interested.
Love them. Love them. Love them. Love them. Love them.
Did I mention that I LOVE THEM?

I'm kissing Grant, but I'm looking at the cookies.

We had a fun meal at the Mining Company. It was all-you-can-eat ham, chicken, ribs, and side dishes. Dave was vaguely disgusted with us because we couldn't eat more. We ended up leaving him at the table while we explored the gift shop.

The highlight of the trip for the kids (besides finding the iguana in Trader Joes) was panning for gold. We spent the day at a real live ghost town that boasted a gold mine and a 1883 population of 5,000. We rode a train, toured the mine, and watched a gun show. But...the exciting part for them was the gold.

Really, once we looked, we were hooked. A handful of rocks at the lake yielded amethyst, quartz, rose quartz, fools gold, and every once in a while a sliver of real gold.

I watched them sort through the rubble to find the precious, and my heart swelled.
And I learned from my children.
Look for the gold, look for the gems, and delight in them.
That's Rowan's "I'm trying to figure something out" face. It's my favorite.
We stumbled across a real herd of wild horses. We watched them long enough to figure out who was the stallion. They were utterly magical.

We hiked to the top of this little mountain. Rowan thought perhaps the Lone Ranger and Tonto were hidden up there somewhere. Dave told him they were dead.

At the end of the day, Rosy and Cherrypop her doll (they are interchangeable-Rose was known to introduce herself as Cherrypop and announce that she lives in a hotel), sleep the sleep of the wild west.
I came home today delighted to have had a week to learn with my children and husband.
To look at the world with wide eyed wonder.
To laugh at the personalities that make us a family.
To spend a day toasty and drowsy in the sun.
To come home refreshed, watered in the desert.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cat Update

For those of you who have gnawed your nails to the quick with anxiety over our infertile cats....relax. There is a plan in action.
Our girls went into heat on Sunday (ahem, our girl cats).
I called a friend and asked her to help me in the kitties hour of need.
She asked if I wanted her to bring her tom cat or alcohol. Both?
(She actually only had cooking wine on hand and the vintage was questionable)
The first attempt to bring her tom cat failed. He fled; terrified. Avonlea remarked that he would have been glad to come if they would have told him that two girls were awaiting him.
The second attempt was successful and they brought him over on Wednesday morning.
I'm not sure if it's because Mr. Tom is the cat of a home school family, but he appears to have socialization issues.
He wants nothing to do with my voluptuous Persian females.
We put kitty treats around the girls, appropriately labeled "temptations." Nada.
Perhaps he feels inferior because he's not a Persian?
We've tried to talk him through this misconception. He's a gorgeous cat and will be a worthy father. No Go.
So we've kinda concluded that maybe it's the 6 pairs of eyes peering at him that's intimidating. So we're giving them their privacy. And praying.
If this doesn't work....
....I won't even let my mind go there.
I'll just be thankful for a friend who still loves me even though I ask to borrow her cat.
I'll focus on the anticipation of kittens......


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