Friday, June 17, 2011

Love...I can do that

Hidden under the heavy blankets with the fan whirring above me I finally let it out. Tears. Not sobs or that ugly cry. Just tears. One after another. Like someone had opened the release valve for my heart. 

His body, crumpled by years and time, precariously perched in his wheelchair watching as I hung the crayon masterpieces delivered by sticky hands with sing song descriptions and tales. This is his life now. These beige walls. Beige carpet. Little rooms. Where time hangs heavy, moments pass slowly and sadness covers the room like a late winter blanket of heavy, crusty snow. 

Pushing the scotch tape against the wall with every thing I had, I was willing myself to keep it together.  As if this tiny piece of tape holding paper to concrete could somehow hold my heart together. Swallow the tears. Get it together.

Words have failed her for a long time. Locked in a world of early memories she functions in her own world these days. I listen to her crying and grunting as they change her. All dignity lost. Like a child she is laid out to have her body cleaned and clothes changed. Her discomfort and confusion palpable in the noises  she makes.

I push the scotch tape to the wall.

Helpless. We all are.

Time has robbed them of so much. Even the memories of better days...

I remember. 

She's singing "In the Garden" and dancing in the living room. She tells me of God and His love. That Jesus loves me...and so does she. The seeds she planted wouldn't sprout for years in my life, but how her love and her faith changed me. I remember.

He's working outside. Hands in the dirt. Planting. Building. Always busy. And even as my little legs struggle to keep up with him, his heart was never too busy for me. On our walks and in his garden he taught of love, responsibility and family. As I look out the window at my garden I know why I am drawn there...that's him in me. I remember.

And there I stood. Scotch taping my heart. 

In my hurt I cry out to God. Why? He doesn't answer.  I ask over and over on the three hour drive. Question Him. His plan. He doesn't answer.

As my eyes burned from the tears hidden in the dark, from somewhere in the depths of me I wailed to heaven. What can I do??? 

And I recalled a blog I read the other day. (Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience) about love and using your words when that is all you have to give. That love itself is radical and God filled. And even as the tears stream down my face as I write I know God answered me last night. 


I can't turn back the clock. I can't change the circumstances of my grandparents' life right now, but I can love them. I can show up with stacks of the kids' art for their walls, I can call and tell the same stories over and over again, and I can hold their hands when there is nothing else to be said. Love. I can do that.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I almost missed the moment

Her little hands held a small booklet. An answer to a mommy prayer. A moment I almost missed.

As I begin planning next year's homeschooling, many goals, hope, and ideas have popped into my head. And as I prayerfully sort through all my what ifs, one has continued to pop up.

Beginning the morning with the Lord. A moment with the God. Helping my children learn the habits of rooting their days in God's word. Turing their eyes to Him.

This morning as was I bustling around preparing for the day I began thinking of all the ways I could implement a morning devotion with the kids.

And then...there she was holding the moment I have been trying to capture.

Isabel sat on the couch holding a small booklet of devotions her grandmother gave her. Three steps past her I realized I was missing the moment. My daughter's heart was searching for truth and light already and if I took one more step I would miss the moment designed to answer my prayer and feed her heart.

Snuggled on the couch together I listened to Isabel read today's paragraph on waiting on the Lord. After she read I asked her if she understood it, and she said "kind of, but Mom can you read it now so I can listen, ask questions and understand it?"

What a sweet moment hand delivered from God, an answer to prayer and lesson all in one!

Open your eyes and hearts today friends...may you not take one step beyond the blessings of God!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thanking God on Friday

After a busy week where I met myself coming and going, there's nothing better than stopping to count our blessings.

lighting bugs
tomatoes on the vine hidden under fragrant green leaves
the smell of the living room
the feel of my hubby's hand on the small of my back
Paxton's wave from the poolside where he sits in swimming lessons
Isabel reading every word that comes in front of her
making notes in my Bible
windows down, radio up, singing at the top of my lungs
plan b
cold ice cream on a hot brownie
the view of my home, yard and life as I kneel in the garden
countdown to She Speaks
the smell of coconut conditioner
the dribble of strawberry juice on little chins as they indulge in fresh off the vine sweetness in the garden
the dripping wet tennis ball delivered in the dark by a wiggling, hopeful dog
a cool breeze after record breaking heat
Paxton's little legs half running, half kicking as he discovers he can swim
falling back to sleep on hubby's smells like him
saving a bunny from sure death at the teeth of our dogs
backyard bbqs
squirt guns
warm homemade chicken pot pie
American Heritage Girls
a new purse
the smell of sunblock
sun-soaked laughter and childish fun with a good friend
fresh milk duds
Will saying "Hey sweets"
the sound of the camera shutter
singing in public restrooms with Paxton trying to get him to relax enough to "go"
my long-bitten, stubby nails are growing
when the right song comes on the radio at the right time
bubble baths
peanut butter toast
scooping compost out of the bin for the first time
counting blossoms on veggie plants, anticipating the harvest 
cooking for others
putting the finishing touches on a dress for an orphan
LIFE group