Monday, December 15, 2014

NIGHT


The driving at night thing doesn’t happen a lot for me anymore. I’m almost always home before dark. But when it does happen, it’s time to reflect – to see lights cutting through the pitch black, and to gasp over bright white lights strung along the roof line of a little church in the country, on the drive home from a Christmas gathering. This one was partially hidden by trees, and its steeple had a star. I wanted to slam on the brakes, pull over, take a picture.
This day had brought me a new experience, out past the familiar country spaces I visited as a child, and into the next town’s territory. Wide open spaces allowed the silos and ginormous out buildings of farms to jut up from the horizon, past rows of barren trees. Oh, the trees this time of year. They’re losing all their leaves. They are like the hands of an old farmer, bare and bent, swollen in random places, cold and stiff.
I write often about my deeply rooted (pun intended) love of nature, the outdoors, the freedom and holiness I feel in ordinary outside places. Even in the winter, when the cold winds steal my breath and turn my hands stiff, I love it. I love sitting with people who have that same passion, and listen to stories of working the earth for fifty years, how work was never done, and family was everything.

I couldn’t possibly say what it is like to work that hard for that many years while a love of family and farm run deeper and deeper with each passing day. I can’t know what it feels like to stop. We can only sit now, sharing stories, joys and regrets, and a few tears. And then drive home in the dark, astounded by life, and at the light cutting through it.




Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Monday, December 8, 2014

THE HEART REMEMBERS


I lost my dear, precious Uncle Clarence last month. I noticed while at the funeral, listening to everyone's eulogy, that when someone passes away, the mind cherishes the goodness in them. The imperfections, and everyone has at least one, are buried away. 

Your heart remembers people only at their best. I like that. 





Sunday, December 7, 2014

WE CAN AGREE ON GRACE


Also, the recycling is piling up way too high in the kitchen today. There is still laundry on the kitchen table from last week. The baby needs his flu shot. The paperwork needs delivering to Reef’s new preschool. Bailey needs a bag of candy for a school project. Ah, and it’s our niece’s and nephew’s 3rd birthday this weekend.

There is always something to do.

Like, right away. Not like, Add that to the list…but more like, OMG I better do that right now! I forgot!
Pay the bills, get the groceries (NO really, like, there’s NO food), edit photos for clients, sign up for Christmas mission work, wash the clothes (the kiddos have no socks)….

But somehow it’s okay. In the midst of the moments where I want to scream and run away because I.just.can’t….God shows up.


Maybe you think of God as not God like I think of God, but we can agree on Grace, I’m pretty sure. Because we’ve both seen leaves swirl, and we both know they can’t go back. We both can see it’s time to move forward, and even when we get it wrong or we slow down or take steps back, we do.





Friday, December 5, 2014

{coffee talk} GOOD TO BE ALIVE


I love December. I do. But with it comes a small amount of stress. Okay, a lot. I’m nowhere near ready for Christmas at this point, unlike years past. Like that kind of “not ready” that means if I wake up in the night I have trouble shutting down my brain. It wants to list all the things left to do and add new ones. It’s so silly, how you wake up in the morning and roll your eyes and feel like you aren’t even that worried about that brain list but Night Person thought you were.
Anyway. I was walking into the store, all hurried and brain-listing, and this girl was up by the door, her arms spread wide like she was receiving, and her face was turned to the bleak winter sun. She shouted, so loud, WHAT A GOOD DAY TO BE ALIVE!! She was just there, walking in to shop, and stopped to soak up the day, celebrate it, and praise it right out loud.
The stress in me flew out on the wind with her words.
***
I watched from the hallway, my oldest sitting at his hand-me-down desk that I found on the side of the road one day. I can remember feeling excited as we trimmed it in molding, primed, and painted it. For 2 years, I don’t think it’s been anything more than a fixture in the boy’s room, unused. Except last night. Work was being done on that desk.
From the same spot in the hallway, I could see my two youngest playing together, sharing the same toys. The smallest plowing over the older brother, who didn’t seem to mind much at all.
I got choked up and Bailey asked from her bedroom if I was okay. These poor kids with their sensitive mother always noticing. No, I’m fine. I’m just watching you guys. I love watching you kids when you’re not looking.
She sorta made a funny face at me, and then we both laughed. Giddiness is contagious, and it’s rainy and bleary but it’s a good day to be alive.




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