Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What I Do Best

This thread of thought started at the beach last weekend.
Dave and I were at the outlet mall and we wanted to try on some clothes in Old Navy. The guy in charge of the dressing rooms gave us a room together. This was a little awkward. Not that we don't dress together in the same room at home...but this seemed so....weird. Anyway, Dave tried on a shirt and pants. He took them off, put his own shirt back on, put his coat on and started for the door. He had forgotten his pants. He stopped himself in time, but I was in hysterics.
That night when we were telling our family the story, he said, "I only do these kind of things when I'm with you!"
Now, I suppose I should be grateful that he doesn't traipse scandalous without me....
I proceeded to tell them about the time when my friend Sarah sat and watched me burn all my old letters and journals. I was burning them in a metal pan and the metal pan sat on the linoleum. A fireplace stood about 5 feet away from me. When I went to pick the pan up, I couldn't, it was burnt to the floor. As Sarah and I scraped the pan off the linoleum with a knife I asked her why she calmly sat there and watched me do such a thing. She said, "It's like my brain turns off when I'm with you."
I leaned forward in time to catch Avonlea's comment on this story, "And we're with her all the time."
This week I've thought of lots of times when, yes, I was with friends and their brains turned off. I have been laughing all week. I suppose I always just thought this was the natural state of their brains, but now I know, I was the cause.
I have yet to fully comprehend the implications of this in regards to homeschooling my children. It could possibly explain quite a bit.
So know this, if you are my friend, YOU ARE AT RISK FOR BRAIN MALFUNCTIONS.
Many of you know this already.
I am sorry, but you must admit, it's made for some really good stories.....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pressed Daisies

Wednesday afternoon Rose and I went to Fred Meyers.
The boys were at piano and Avonlea was home with a fever.
We had an hour to spend and I had all the groceries I needed in the cart and had made my way over to the clothing section to browse.
An announcer over the loud speaker droned on about some product demonstration they were about to do and I swished intently through the 60% off rack. A little hand on my arm stopped my swishing.
"Mommy listen."
"There will be free gifts given to everyone who meets at the black and red stand by the furniture section in two minutes." (Note: furniture section is the opposite side of the store from the clothing section)
"Mommy! Free gifts! Please can we go?"
I laughed. "Rosy, mommy doesn't want to walk all the way across the store for free junk."
"Mommy, ppplllleeeaaasssee."
I turned the cart and power walked toward the furniture.
There were three of us gathered round the black table listening to the infomercial on super absorbant towels from Germany. It sucked soda from a rug. It could hold 25xs its weight in water. Ect. Ect.
The free gift was a 2" by 3" scrap of this miracle fabric.
We walked away and Rosy bubbled, "Mommy, it was a show! Can this be my very own cloth? It can hold all that water and not even drip! I'm going up to my room when we get home and clean my table with it!"
Her enthusiasm made my day.
There are so many moments like this in a day. Just simple beautiful moments of sharing life with people you love. I think sometimes I look for the big things, the English balls, Christmas, vacations. Those things are the roses I cultivate. But surrounding those roses, are hundreds of wild boisterous daisies, waving happy faces. These daily things too, I want to remember. I want to acknowledge them. I want to enjoy them.
When Daddy came home Rosy gave him the details of the wonder scrap and he had to try it out for himself. There they squatted on the kitchen floor together, moping up water with the yellow rectangle, and mentally I picked the moment and pressed it into my memory.
A daisy with a happy face.
A daddy and daughter sharing life.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cultivating Roses

Cultivating roses.
It sounds so romantic, but it's not.
It's work.
I can testify to this and if you drove past my house Saturday you would have seen me on all fours cultivating for all I was worth.
I'm used to my flowers blooming unassisted. But lately, I've been wondering if my yard could be more if I poured more time into it, if I cultivated it.
So yesterday, armed with fertilizer and a spade, I cleared a circle of space around my rose bushes so they could breathe. I added fertilizer and mixed it in well so they would bloom lush.
I don't have any pictures to offer you of this process because I wasn't thinking about blogging at all. I was thinking about the ball that I would be attending that night with my daughter. I was thinking about how much I've learned about her lately.
Last Saturday we had a disagreement regarding our cleaning time. I am rather dramatic. She is stoic. This can equal trouble in a mother/daughter conflict. The reality is, I want her to respond to me like me. I want her to apologize with sackcloth and gnashing of teeth. I want to see tears to know there's contrition. But she's her and not me. And she gives me a sorrowful look with her big brown eyes and closes herself up in silence in her room. That night I get a note on my bed that states that she loves me, but she is an Indian and keeps all her emotions inside and on the outside, is expressionless. Last I heard we were Germans, who are not known for suppression.
So God, in His kindness, brings me a friend who once upon a time was a quiet, reserved girl with a verbal, dramatic mother, and we talk. In sweetness and gentleness, she is able to show me that Avonlea is just Avonlea. She is a precious soul that God made, not for the express purpose of helping me clean, but to do His will and to glorify Him.
So the next day Avonlea and I talk. It's hard work. I clear a space around her, clear it of my ideals and ideas and give her some room to breathe. I reaffirm how much I love who God has made her and I talk with her about ways we can improve our communication. I get a glowing look from those big brown eyes and she hugs me and opens up her silence to let me in. I think she's German again.
We work on this all week. I give her space. I fertilize her with love and listen to what she's trying to say to me. And Saturday night I take her to a ball.
We go to an English Country dance in our best dresses and we dance with each other all night (except for 2 dances when she was claimed by a young gentleman).
Our brown eyes laugh joy into each others and we bloom lush.
Mommy and her Papoose

Friday, February 3, 2012

Armed and Ready

I smile as they walk off into the woods.
Winter's sloping sunlight at their backs makes for long shadows in front.
Two boys, well armed, go into the wilderness determined to subdue all opponents.
Grant has a machete slung nonchalantly over his right shoulder, over his left is a bow and a case of arrows. Rowan has a duct tape sword. I'm guessing there's a slingshot in his pocket and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a pocket knife somewhere as well.
Grant turned 10 this week and somehow, in this moment, I see the future.
My boys, walking away from me, towards the shadows, towards the wilderness.
The thought comes quickly, If he is armed spiritually like he is physically, he will have nothing to fear.
But no, having the weapon is not enough, he needs to know how to use it.
So we set up a target. He memorizes the Word.
The truth, the bulls eye, becomes familiar. His eye is trained to seek the center.
He learns how to apply it to his life, what weapon to use in each situation. This is wisdom.
He shares the adventure with a brother, a sister. This is fellowship, love.
He learns to always center himself on the target, even if it's uncomfortable, even if he has to adjust his position to do so. This is faith.
There is victory in the sight of my warriors walking away. I know my job isn't even close to being done, I know that the boys will come in cold and wet, wanting hot chocolate and warm underwear. I know the target is still hazy to them sometimes.
I know,
and yet I rejoice.
Because they are walking in the right direction, with the sun at their back, illuminating everything they see.
They are well armed.
And by the grace of God, they will subdue their enemies.
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Psalms 127:3-5


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