Have a dressed up day!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Just Because

If something happened to the man I love I would ask three questions . . .

Who will reach the stuff in the top cabinet for me?

Who will every time give me the first bite - the still hot soft it's his favorite part too first bite - of his dipcone?

Who will roast me the perfect marshmallow?

These things done for me over twenty-four years now.  Never complaining, and only a few times hesitating on the dipped cone - only to give in.

And I'm in the middle of this little post, just a little silliness to always remind my girls how good their Daddy is to me in the little things, when my phone rings.

He is calling.

He had worked the sound booth at our church for the funeral of a just one year old baby girl.

Strangers to us.

But is anyone really a stranger in the family of God?

I hear it in his voice, how hard his morning had been, before he speaks what he had texted me an hour earlier -

That was too hard.

And I sit in the living room of an eighty year old legend.  Such a remarkable woman that even our legislative takes the time to wish her a happy birthday.  And I'm telling her about someone who really likes my Gregg, and she interrupts me to say - Who doesn't?

And for a moment I think about cracking a joke - but I feel a flush of pride and say, I know - everyone does, don't they?

So, happy There-really-isn't-anything-special-about-this-day day, darlin'.

Except that I share it with you.

Love you,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ABC's According to Max

Max, your entire pizza is sitting on my bed with only one bite eaten.

I know.  It not Koger band and I don't ike it.

What is Koger band?

Koger band.

What is Koger band?

Ou know, Mommy - Koger band.

No, I don't know.  What is Koger Band?

Sisi, tell Mommy what is Koger band.

Lots of whispering.
Lots of grinning.

It is what ou buy in Koger and it is a band.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQ    STUVWXYZ - the ABC's according to Max.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Prayers Answered, the Final Gift of Four

You know when you want to climb mountains and shout from 'em?  When you feel like you should take your shoes off because the ground beneath feels holy?   When it's so sweet it feels like a dream but it's better because it's the wonderful wonder of reality?

And what is real in all of life is what you know in moments like these.

The beautiful gift of four. One and then another and then another and then another. And all so undeserved.

But isn't each gift?

And I've messed up so many things and done so many things wrong.

And isn't that why this is the biggest wonder of all?

That in spite of me I would joy in the grace that is the joy of a lifetime in the lives of each of my children.

Would it sound silly to say that it was the biggest smile I've ever seen on his face?  Because it was, you know?  The biggest smile.  Spring of 2012.  February 26.

Bigger than when he took that first step and we all had silly goofy grins of pride on our face - and he knew it was him.  Bigger than the time when Gideon coming was only one day away - or no days away.  Bigger than seeing the footprints Santa left behind or getting ten more minutes before bed or me saying yes to the second oatmeal pie.

He couldn't stop smiling.

And he said he felt funny inside and touched his stomach.  Smiling.

He ran to me, Mommy, I said my payers by mysel tonight.

Then again, ten minutes later.  He jumps up beside me.

Mommy, I asked Jesus to live in my heart.  I asked Jesus to make me a Chistian.  I told Him I love him best.

I mute the TV and pull him to my lap and he feels greater because he is and I know because of the beautiful gift of three before.  

And there is the smile.  He was almost shining and maybe he was?  That smile was large and he twinkled and I saw it.  Jesus in my son.

He can't answer all the questions correctly.  He's only five.  He doesn't completely understand the devil.  He only partly understands sin.  He doesn't understand death or hell.  There will have to be more later -

But he does understand the cross. 

Do you believe Jesus died on the cross?

Yeah, so I don't have to.

What happened after He died?

He wose.


Thee days later.

Where is Jesus now?

And this is the part.  If I forget it all this is the part I want to remember.  This is the glorious part that becomes my greatest gift - my final gift of four answered prayers.

The smile is still there.  I silently think his cheeks must be hurting.

In me, Mommy.

I hug him tight.  Yeah.  But where does Jesus live now, after he rose?

And he looks at me, smiling.  He stares at me as if I am the one who doesn't understand.

He lifts his hand and points one little finger.  Right at the middle of his heart.

In meeeee, Mommy. 

And he laughs as if to say, silly mommy.

But who possibly loves more on this earth than a mother?  Who else understands the things they don't understand themselves?  Who else sees the possibilities of their future more than a mother?  Who more than a mother hurts more when they hurt?

Who else worries more that they might turn away?

And isn't a mother pregnant for a lifetime?

And when their flutters turned to kicks that turned to pain that you knew of but had no idea of, each time forgotten fresh, in each blessing turn of gift life you whisper and plead and need to know they will be safe in the life past this one.  That He will grant what you will never be able to.  That He will give the real life.

This you pray.  Even when they only flutter. 

And here I witnessed the last, as I witnessed the three before. 

The first who wanted to lie with me in the dark and whisper it soft.  As if it was so beautiful the moment might break.  Gentle with small hand in mine and a great confidence.  And beautiful it was.  And my heart swam for in this moment I realized the greatest gift of grace is the gift of life to her.

The second who didn't understand why she had to ask for what she knew was already there.  Hadn't He always been there?  She couldn't remember Him not.  He could have easily been her first word.  The help of a dear pastor to fill in her blanks.  Her taking my hand and stepping out.

The third with the crowd in the living room.  Family all around.  Rare moments of all together and she pulls me to her room.  She cannot wait.  She wants to do it now.  And in the quiet of a room, shared wall with love loud seeping in, she bows and prays.

And now this fourth gift.  He so unexpected, who I love wild and strong and in that way a mama loves only a son, he takes a knee alone.  Warrior.  Joining an army of the King.  Running to me to tell and feeling funny inside and smiling huge on the outside.

What is such grace as this my Father grants?  Proof that His love is not only greater than my sins but called to these four in spite of me.  Where I failed He triumphed and loved more and spoke softer but louder and called deeper and gave all to the ones that I would give all to

but the thing I cannot give that is His alone is the only gift there is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

When He Shows Off His Smarts

He's out on the porch playing with a neighbor little girl.

This cup was made in China, he says.

Ohhhhh, she says, clearly impressed.

China is far far away.  It is in Texas, my son says.

Well, maybe not in Texas, but in Spanish, he continues.

Ohhhhh, she says.

We yell from inside - Max, where is China?

In that place that speaks Spanish, he yells back.

Ohhhhhh - we say.

That's it, baby boy.  You impress those girls.  They really go for the brainy guys.

Friday, April 6, 2012

the day that represents the day

I receive the text on my way home from church Wednesday night.
Are you alright?

I text back yes and share that this week does this to me every year.  This holy of weeks that shames me into admittance that so few of my days in a year are spent hurting over the pain my Savior endured.  And is there a word deeper than pain?

Admittance that my lack of faithfulness brought Him to a cross and even still that cross I so often forget and what love could be stronger to bear that cross knowing I would still lack faithfulness to even remember? 

I attend service of darkness and sing and pray and watch the blowing out of candles and feel tears slide.  I wipe my face and for a moment wonder if I can stifle sobs I feel coming.  And the pain from earlier in my day mixes with grief and reminder of grace and I feel threatened to lose control.  Then with the final Amen I exit quickly and quietly and prayer is answered when I make it to my car before the crushing weight of all this wins and I break.

I listen to the story of K. and there is a clock inside spinning backwards remembering and I know only by grace.  And I wonder - where is K's grace?

Some small sound wakes me to a morning still dark.  I avoid the clock and pull covers up over my head. But there is no rescue of sleep because here it is -  the day that represents the day.

Good Friday.  Pious.  Holy.

If I had been there would I have seen my name written in the stripes on his back?  RIE carved in letters so deep that only God's love can erase.  Not time or shame or sorry but only love.

Would I have seen my face in the angry sneering crowd?  My mouth turning Hosana to crucify?

And my answer screams yes and I push myself deeper under the covers.  I remember last night I closed my eyes to the day that He prayed for another way and accepted the way of the cross.  How could I have rested when He prayed drops of blood?

Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, "Couldn't you watch with me even one hour?" 
Matthew 26:40

I rested in sleep because of the crack of whip moving faster than the speed of sound and nails pounding crushing small bones and heart breaking looking through space and time -   my face.  RIE.

Just make it through today, just make it through today I repeat over and over.  And then morning will break again just get through today, I pray.  And what will I do from noon until three?  I will wash dishes and clean house and shop for a birthday gift and remember to remember.

Only by grace did I realize early enough in my life, before it was maybe too late?  Never for love, but maybe for redemption?  And on this holy day I wonder again Where is K's grace? Help her, Lord, to find her gift of grace.

And I long to go home and look into His face.  I want to touch the scars and fall at His feet and sob unstifled I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm so sorry.

I must await my heavenly home but not my seeing His face because He wakes with me and rises with me and rests with me and loves me a cross much.  Today the day that represents the day I will remember agony and thank often and wait for new morning to break.
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