Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I'm a tired mom.
So when my four-year-old beckons with a bed she's prepared for me on the couch, I accept, gratefully.
And when she tucks me in and rubs my head till I fall asleep, I bless her devoutly.
So when I awake and find that the little louse lulled me to sleep only to carry out evil designs, I am shocked!
I am also shocked that several people came in, saw me, and took pictures of me in my degraded state. Shocked. Did you get that? Scandalized.

How she managed to get an eye patch around my head and a revolver in my hand is utterly beyond me.

It's a sad, sad, day when a tired mommy can't get a little rest without waking up a pirate.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Things We Love

Twenty-three years is a long time to be friends.
But not too long.
My best friend Page, from Alaska, came to visit last week.
We stayed up late and laughed.
Laughed until the tears came, and we love that.
We forgot that we were mature mamas to many and only remembered that we like to dress up and take pictures of ourselves.
We put on loud music and dance partied with our kids because we still want to be liked and thought of as fun.
They like us, and we love that.

And they like each other. I was a bit surprised when our boys come down in matching camo shorts, holding hands, and claiming they were on the same team.
Our house was a little boy war zone from dawn to dusk, and we love that.

I write poetry and Page likes to shop and our children encompass the whole range of our personalities with dashes of our fun husbands thrown in for good measure.

Our kids make us laugh, and we love that.

Our daughters looked at pictures of us when we were young and were scandalized by our vanity and trendy apparel.

They are modest, sweet, little women, and we love that.

Page and I see the laughter lurking in the mundane.

We gather the joy up wherever we can find it, make a bouquet out of it, and put it in a vase to gloat over.

We speak the same language, understand each other's reactions and feelings, and share a common history.

We grow up together in Christ.

Twenty-three years is a long time to be friends.

But not too long,

and we love that.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


It's a long story. The ending is happy.
The barn cat that we borrowed came through and both of our persians got pregnant in March.
Sunday morning we awoke to Avonlea bewailing a dead kitten left outside our bedroom door.
Guinevere had had one baby. It was cold and lifeless and abandoned outside our door.
I knew she hadn't given birth there because there was no blood or birthing liquids. I had a vague idea that maybe she had more kittens somewhere else. We searched the house and found nothing. No kittens, no mess. Emotionally spent, I gave up and got back into bed.
I found where Guinevere had her kittens....between Dave and I....on our bed!
And we didn't even wake up.
After this mishap we were determined to watch Jane like a hawk and make sure we knew when she was in labor.
Monday night she started contractions.
We lost the first kitten that came out (as in it died, we didn't misplace it). Dave was down getting the alcohol to sterilize the scissors and we didn't get it out of the sac fast enough.
Grief. Tears. Determination.
The second kitten came. Dave grabbed it and rubbed it down with a warm towel. I cut the umbilical cord. No response.
Prayer. More rubbing. Dave did everything but lick it.
Movement. Sides expanding with breath. Rejoicing.
Another kitten came 2 1/2 hours later. It's now the middle of the night. We're tired but determined not to lose another kitten. Jane actually takes an interest in this one and helps us warm it. She cuts the umbilical cord herself. Yes!

We watched Jane for another couple of hours and realized she was done. We got to sleep for a bit before we had to get up for a busy day. And we were so thankful for two healthy kittens......
Monday night 18 HOURS after the last kitten ....Jane delivered another one. Avonlea found it and screamed loud enough for the neighbors to share in the joy.
Two hours later when Dave and I checked the kittens before bed we noticed that Jane was contracting. You guessed it, another kitten! Grand total....4!

We can't express how thankful we are that everything went as well as it did. We knew that persian cats needed help birthing, but we had no idea they needed that much help!
Grant asked the next day about selling them and I replied, "Would I sell one of you guys! I birthed these kittens!"
Perhaps this reaction will soften.
We certainly don't need nine persian cats.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Orchard

Friday night falls softly and in the dusk I delight in my solitude. Dave is at work, the babes are in bed, my mom is at church. I wrap myself in my shawl, warm in the work of a friend's skillful hands, and head down to the orchard. I think I've dreamed this moment my whole life. There is something utterly magical about an orchard. The utopian scale of the individuality of the trees balanced with the consistent, predictable spacing. Our orchard has much personality with 16 different varieties of fruit. Trees bloom at random times, white, pink, salmon, cream. Grass and wild flowers surround the trees. The music of a fountain plinks close by.
As I wander, I remember.
The first time I saw this lot was when we looked at our house for the first time. Our house is on a slope and the road ends in a dead end. When we first saw it, it was a very dead end. A brutally murdered end. It was an empty lot overgrown with hideous weeds. Bumpy with potholes. Raccoons, wild cats, possums, made it their home. In the spring an occasional truck would 4-wheel though it, leaving our fence splattered and Dave boiling.
After we lived here for three years, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. We moved my mom and dad into the house next to the dead end lot. We wanted to be able to be near them, wanted to help. My dad died 5 days after they moved in. This left my mom alone with the dead end. That made me nervous. I talked to Dave about buying it (we had been told it was owned by the city). He agreed and went to work trying to prove to the city why it was necessary for them to sell us this lot.
He came home one day in a daze. The story, as he retold it, was ludicrous. He went to the city, was shuffled around to different people, and finally found someone who understood what he was talking about. The man looked up the lot and claimed that the city didn't own it, it was privately owned. Dave wanted the owner's information and the city man gave him an address of the people who owned the property.
It was our address.
That lot had, unknown to us, come with our house. We had owned it all along.
The pit at the end of the road has been transformed. It is full of life and beauty and nourishment.
It is redeemed.
All that time, it could have been more, we just didn't know it's possibilities.
Ownership made all the difference.
And now I walk in a petaled fairyland after a long trying week and I am praising the Lord because ownership has made all the difference to me as well.
I'm so glad I know who I belong to.

PS I know that "plinks" is not really a word, but don't you think it should be?

Monday, May 9, 2011


Last spring my kids did track for the first time and I loved watching. That is I loved watching everything but the hurdles. They held a strange repulsive fascination for me. I wanted to watch those kids (not mine, mind you) try to glide over the barriers but at the same time I was terrified they'd fall. Fall hard. Fall hard and quit.

In my life I run at emotion, spiritual, and sometimes physical hurdles, because I simply HAVE to, they are in my path, blocking my way. But these kids were choosing to leap. Choosing to run at a blockade and challenge it. Why not choose the 100 meter? Seriously, run as fast as you can for about 30 seconds and have done with it!

Well, our first track meet of this year was last Tuesday. It started with the hurdles. I cringed and tried to look away, tried to ignore the sound of the starting gun, but I couldn't. I watched. What I saw amazed me.

It was 11-12 year old boys that sprinted forward at the shot. The majority of them cleared with ease, a couple of them barely made it. Next hurdle, one boy tripped, fell. He got up and tried again. Fell again. And again. Everyone had finished now but him. All eyes watched him fall over every. single. hurdle. The amazing thing was that he was laughing. Laughing. He put his arms up in the air when he got up from the ground. He delighted in the getting up and trying again. He finished last with a first place smile and the crowd went wild.

Last night Dave and I were talking over issues and I said, "I've got to get on the other side of this hurdle." My own words triggered a mental picture of that boy trying... failing. But wait a minute, I thought, was it failure? He finished the race. He chose to leap over something difficult and demanding and he ended up on the other side of the hurdle. Okay, maybe not perfectly, or gracefully, or in first place, but he did finish, and with joy.

So I attack my hurdles today with joy.
Not only because I have to, but because I really want to get over them.
I know that it is quite possible that I'll fall.
But by the grace of God, I will get up.
I know that it is entirely possible that I'll end up in last place.
But by the grace of God, I will finish.
With laughter.
With my hands raised in the air.
On the other side of the hurdle....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Reasons

I have four very good reasons for loving motherhood.

There are benefits I never expected. Private harp concerts for instance.
And more, little fingers holding mine. A five year old boy who likes to 'splain things to me.

The opportunity to become a referee. Daily.

Wonderfully entertaining dramas put on by little daughters.

Bearing witness to sibling affection and love.

Holding a Rose asleep, petals closed up tight.

Savoring the mommy moment.

We know how to love because He first loved us.
I have two dear Mothers who also loved me before I had my own children to love and showed me the path plainly. The path of sacrifice and prayer and laughter.

Thank you Mom and Ma Nancy.

My children spent the day picking out flowers and creating little gifts for me and I shook my head in joy. They don't understand that there is nothing more I could possibly want, I have them.

They made me a mommy, and that will always be gift enough.

Thank you my babies.

I love you.

Monday, May 2, 2011


She's got a heart full of dreams....
And sometimes they overflow and splash out of her mouth...
And I hear them dripping in sweet girlish hope...
And I shudder and look away,
Afraid to taint the purity of the spring with cynicism.
I know what she doesn't,
That dreams are dangerous things.
That dreams in the hands of God, are lethal.

I stroke her hair and watch her eyes afire and wonder if I looked like that,
because she is truly her mother's daughter and was birthed into a heritage of dreams.
I listen to her, engaged in who she is right now, because she is a dream of mine, alive.
I want good things for this daughter of mine, but I don't want all of her dreams to come true.

I want her to listen for the whisper of God in her dreams,
I want her greatest dream to be for a life with/for Him.
I want to watch her let go of the dreams closest to her heart, if they are not His will.
Because in the letting go, in the laying down, in the very graveyard of dreams, is where Christ dwells.
For the open handed life.
to give us eternal dreams,
dreams that carry a cross.

Dreams in the hands of God are lethal, lethal to self, lethal to our perfect plans, lethal to a safe comfortable life.
I want her to know that.
And I want her to dream anyway.

"When a man dreams his own dream, he is the sport of his dream.

When Another gives it to him, that Other is able to fulfil it."

George MacDonald


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