Monday, July 25, 2011

From Behind the Waterfall

Last week a friend reminded me of the analogy of tapestry, or needlepoint.
How we see life from the back of it, knots, frayed ends, a NY interstate system of disorder and confusion.
But God sees the front of the design, the picture, the ordered beauty.
This week's "church in the woods" gave me a glimpse of God's side of the canvas.
We hiked the Columbia Gorge this Sunday and found a waterfall tucked up in the cliffs.
The front of Ponytail Falls was lovely, a sheen of water with gray rock behind.
To our delight, the trail didn't continue in front of the falls, but went behind it.
And, oh, the view from behind the waterfall!
The surprising overflow falling from above, the Columbia River beyond framed by verdant summer trees, and the sun which was now in front of me rather then behind.
And I know that too often, I see life from in front of the waterfall.
Dappled light at my back, something pleasant in front of me, enough to be satisfied.
But when I reach, stretch, go a little further in faith, seek a new angle of understanding, I am amazed that sometimes,
He lets me see something more.
So this summer, I venture beyond safe and satisfactory, to see what life holds from a new angle.
To see what view greets me from behind the waterfall.

Here are some of my favorite summer views so far:

Posy loves her baby dolls.

Rowan wrote Pa Jim a story for his birthday. Apparently it was funny.

Avonlea did her sister's hair and took pictures.

The tree house, getting there.

A Dave size slip and slide. My husband never does anything small.
Did you know dish soap will enhance your slip and slide experience considerably?

Two teeth this month!
So thankful!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

On Battles, Weddings, and Boy Slugs

I walk down the hall tonight in my apron. The apron pocket contains three rubber gloves and two bottles of ointment. The antibiotics were administered earlier.

This Florence Nightingale moment is a result of a doctor's appointment. Rowan had a staph infection in his eczema several weeks ago. I noticed in dismay last week that it appeared to have spread to Grant and perhaps Rose.
I took them all in to get looked at and nonchalantly asked the doctor if he could peek in Posy's ears as she hasn't been hearing me too well. Double ear infection, tubes bulging with fluid. He said he was surprised she could hear at all.
Grant was infected, Rowan and Rose inflamed.
All this infectious joy two days before we left for my niece's wedding.

So I packed rubber gloves and medicines and ointments in a chic pink case and made the best of it.
I slept between two lubricated little boys, who left a trail resembling slug slime everywhere they went.
We watched our brother-in-law give away his little girl.
 My flower girl traded her flowers for a ring and vowed her life to another.
At the reception a violent thunderstorm hit.
Mom said it reminded her of the passage in Revelations where the throne of God is surrounded by thunder and lightning storms.
Yes, even here in the holy moments, there is battle, symbolic and actual.
It is grace to be reminded of this.

I battle pray over these little boys with their wounds and my little girl with her muted ears and I know that these prayers will subtly change over the years.
My sister's battle prayers for her bride daughter are very different than mine, yet the heart is the same.
We want health for our children.
Physical health, spiritual health, mental health.
Robust health.

So I am Florence tonight, with an apron pocket stuffed with soothing salves and a heart stuffed with love for these children.
I touch their faces (after I dispose of the gloves) and pray God's perfect health for them.
My heart is full of the reality of storms and battles and the strength He gives to weather them all.
I am not afraid to fight for them, because I have more in my pocket than just topical help.
I have the Word of God, which never returns void, I have the Holy Spirit, guiding and helping, and I have Jesus Himself, interceding on my behalf.
I am well armed for the years that lay ahead.
It is grace to be reminded of this.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Random Pictures on the 4th

It seems that kids and kittens still want to be fed, even on the fourth of July.
This is what I came downstairs to, mouths waiting.

The kids played and worked hard all day and the energy level amazed me.
The boys banded together and asked their dad to build them a tree house. He consented and took them to the hardware store to get materials. He worked on it all day for them, and they were there much of the time to pass him supplies and shake his ladder in fun.
Rowan claimed his independence on Independence Day by losing his first tooth. Literally.
Grant eventually found it under the picnic table.
He gave the same cry as Grant when he realized it was gone, "I'm not Peter Pan anymore!"
Then he buried his bloody, ketchuped face in my shoulder (might I add that I was wearing a white shirt).
He emerged victorious from wrestling the demons of "growing up."
 He smiled his gap for the camera.
Rosy and Rowan with cute and scary. 
My patriotic crowd.
Dancing around the strobe light firework (Yes, I know that's not what it's really called).
Between losing his tooth and setting off fireworks, Rowan was extremely affectionate.
Mom was loving it.
Four very smoky, smelly children were sink bathed and tucked into bed while the sky continued to explode thanks for a country that honors freedom.


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