Have a dressed up day!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm Learning

I'm dressed and ready to walk out the door, already late, and my phone rings.  Punch cups are needed at my girl's apartment warming party.

I put her on hold and answer another call.  Punch cups, again.

Juggling the phone I reach into the buffet to pull out my mama's glass cups - smooth and fluted, etched and cut.  The bottom falls as I drop my phone and stretch arms that fail to catch.  My eyes fill as I look at the floor.  All her cups.  What took her forty years to collect I destroy in seconds of hurried frustration.

They lay shattered on the floor.  Dozens.  I quickly scoop up the ones that survived and yell a warning to everyone as I race out of the house.  Tears are threatening.  They won't be hard to fall if I give in.  This day, which has been twenty-one years in the making, isn't surprising me with its pain.

In moments a friend from childhood wraps her arms around me as she says, They're just things. Just things.

I look at her and am reminded of her daddy, lost to her on this earth just months ago.  Found in heaven.  She waits to see him again.

As I pull into this spot in front of my girl's new home I reach for the few strong ones and wonder how I will tell my mama.  Mama who entrusted me to keep her things safe.  Years of hostessing wedding and baby showers for friends who returned the favor. 

I hug and speak the words.  I feel five.  I hurt today.

Rie, they're just cups.  It's easier to use plastic now anyways.  She squeezes back.

Does she remember?  Does she understand? 

I travel back and sit in the quiet of a hospital room and if I close my eyes I can imagine the blood flowing from my mama's brain as it drains.  Only later would we who love her realize how much more than just blood was lost those days.

I return and watch my girls smile in their joy, grin in their pride. I know a secret. Fear grips them both often as this new adventure struggle envelopes each new day.

Weeks have passed since that difficult day.

 One broken cup sits on a shelf.  A piece I couldn't throw away.  A reminder of Mama lost and of one found.

A reminder of days beautiful and difficult.  Significance.  Me struggling to let go and holding on to more than just memories, more than just a past.  More than my children and my Mama.

Does she understand?  More than me.  But I'm learning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweeter than Cake

Shelby's latest cakes.

Amber's baby shower cake.  She and Brett are discovering great joy after a great loss.

My friend, Donna's, birthday cake.  Her sweet husband, Gregg, ordered it months in advance. 

My birthday cake.  Isn't it great.  I love it.

Best part about my birthday gathering at Mom's . . .

my brother-in-law, Marcus, doing dishes.  Some things in life are sweeter than cake.  He's one of 'em.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I Fight the Middle Ground and Wait . . .

I'm thinking on this post of hers

Thinking how lovely it must feel to be a vessel.  To be the one God uses to speak through.  To be a chosen one to hear His voice and tell others. 

I followed this trip of hers and cried every day as I soaked in photos and God-size revelations.  I remember the tsunami and my sister's fear.  In every photo we searched for our Compassion children, and I had a hard week.

I click onto prayer requests and follow as a child dies of cancer, trying to block out the pain of parents, because isn't that just too hard to imagine?

I celebrate in the joy of a newborn's healed heart, and then hear the words that she can't listen.  I pray for hearing restored.

I ask for babies to be placed in God's homes.  For a new generation to walk the straight path.  I touch the silk of their hair and hope.

I ask, beg, implore, beseech, borderline nagging, for my baby sister to have her heart's desire.  I ask His will, but with a breaking heart for fear of the answer.  I search for faith.  I hope.

I pray for jobs lost, fear of loss of jobs, fear of losing faith.  Fear of being brave.  Haven't I been there?  How I understand. 

Then I forget to pray.

Then I take the middle ground and stand there far too long.  Comfortable shoes.  Balancing my own teeter totter.

"I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking.  You're not cold, you're not hot--far better to be either cold or hot!  You're stale.  You're stagnant. You brag, 'I'm rich, I've got it made, I need nothing from anyone,' oblivious that in fact you're a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless."
Revelation 3:16-17 The Message Bible

Yes, Jennifer.  I am afraid, too.  Afraid I can't provide justice.  Your words have me pondering long into the night.  

I think on this post of hers, I ponder Jennifer's words.  I think of being a vessel, of being chosen.  I think of prayer.  I know I hate the middle ground.

I think I know the answer, why this sadness has settled and won't lift.  I have too much.  I have been too blessed.  I have recovered to face another to recover and my loss is small. 

But my gain?  What have I done with my gain?

What will I do? 

He breaks my heart and I rejoice.  To feel.  To hurt.  To imagine what can not, should not, be imagined.

To hope.  To run with faith.

So I think on this post of hers and being a vessel.  Open to His voice.   Desiring to hear the pain of His voice and be poured out.

And I wait to be filled.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Surprise, Mama

I'm not sure if this is the prettily wrapped surprise package that Lisa from Lisa Notes, one of my favorite reads, wrote of in my comments yesterday, but I got a feeling.

I'm sitting at the computer downloading the fair pictures when I see . . . 

Without me knowing it Maxster had been playing with the camera.

Sometimes no knowledge is the best kind.

Here's my budding photograher.

Simply entitled -

 Self Portraits.

Do I think God whispered in Max's ear?  Son, your mama needs a laugh.  Take some pictures of yourself.

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't put it past my Father.  He is the giver of all good things.  And He plants ideas.  And He speaks.  So . . .

Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven.  The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.
James 1:17, The Message Bible

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Anticipating . . .

I feel like I just bathed in mud. My tears mixed with the dirt of me.

The house is empty so I go shower but don't ask the usual question. Today my prayers are all about me. Begging and bargaining to not go back to that place seventeen years ago. To that panic.

How many more bad days before a good one? Maybe as many as I wallow in? I loathe self-pity but can't seem to escape it. People are hurting, sick. People are killing babies while my baby sister cries herself to sleep wanting one. Loss of jobs, fear of loss of jobs, cancer taking children, hunger.

And I'm sad. Here with my lovely life I can't seem to escape this sadness.

At one point so much salt water mixes with pure till there is no seperation and I demand an answer.

What is wrong with me?

Why can't I hear you?

Where is my rescue?

Aren't you coming?

I stare at myself in the mirror, a sun-burnt face from a fair missing fair weather.  I close my eyes and pray for that beauty.  That beauty called grace.  A shower of grace.

A wash from heaven. 

It will come.  It always does.  He doesn't move and in my stumbling I will soon find.  He will draw me and woo me and I will find Him.

Maybe this season will continue, maybe nothing will change but the wash of grace. 

But that will change everything.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Review Coming Up

I did a give-away for CSN stores a while back and was very impressed with the variety of items their stores have to offer.  They have over 200 online stores selling everything from handbags, to cookware, to bar stools.

I will soon be reviewing an item for CSN so I've been checking out their sites.  First stop -  bar stools.  Delia and Shelby need want a couple for their apartment.  Items like bar stools are hard to find around here, so with most CSN Stores offering free shipping, they're a great place to shop.

These look tempting . . .

and my favorite . . .

Those satisfy my modern flair, but with thousands of bar stools to chose from, you just can't go wrong.

Remember, Christmas is a comin', and though we don't celebrate the birth of Jesus with many gifts, I have a feeling this sweetie . . .

will be poking his head out of Izzy's stocking.

And this . . .

 is too adorable to pass up for my new yet-to-arrive-but-we'll-still-be-celebrating-him-at-Christmas nephew.

I found 'em at CSN, lots and lots of toys.

Check 'em out, CSN Stores.

And sshhh . . . about Christmas, 'k?

Monday, October 4, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

My phone rings.

Mama, are you ever going to blog again? I got up this morning to read your Multitude Monday and it's not there.

My voice is tired as I answer.

Yeah Shelby, I'll blog again soon.

Okay, cause I love to read it and you haven't blogged since Wednesday.

I sigh. Tired. Hang up.

This is for them.  I've told y'all that.  But where do I find the energy on some days to give to them what they have come to expect?  This love for them expressed in words transplanted from heart onto screen.  These lessons I relearn new each day to teach them now, to try to prevent mistakes in them still made by me each day.

I look around at house dirty, school books unopened, a daughter home who needs a snuggle and a son who needs a tickle.   Both who need kind words instead of exasperation.

I look at myself, a heart that needs filling, a body that needs holding.  I call him and hear a machine.  I sit on the bed and hear a voice.  The voice of a King.  He's not what you need right now, I Am.

I pick up His words and find nothing that comforts.  I rise and walk away.  Not today, Father, I'm not in the mood.

She calls me from the schoolroom seeking help. 

I sit beside her and hear myself saying . . .

Don't just do what it says.  Pause, stop.  Look carefully at it and soak it in.  It is nothing but a waste of your time and energy if you don't learn from it.  Take the time to take it in.

My heart hurts and eyes fill.  From where comes this emotion that is taking over?  The tired body, the empty mind and heart?  Giving till given out?

I double click, read each of my Thousand Gifts posts seperately.  Refresh and remind.  These are gifts to you, I say to my heart.  Multitudes of blessings from Whom you won't give the time.

My list continues . . .

There are many more, but today the only ones that matter are these . . .

His patience

His forgiveness

His understanding

His love

His Forever

holy experience

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12