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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

February 26, 2018: The snow trees came at winter’s beginning – and I’ve been waiting for the snow trees to come again, but they haven’t. The snow holidays have been too few, though there was a flu holiday, which is not the same at all. The crocuses and daffodils have made an appearance, the Bradford Pear buds are on the edge of blossoming. Easter egg green grass, robin’s egg blue skies, the barometer herald Spring coming, but there are still 23 more days of winter. There are 23 more days of nature’s mischievous, impish, sly ways. In Five Windows by D. E Stevenson, the shepherd and the minister’s son talk about whether March borrows days from April, or whether April borrows days from March: “We get April days in March, and then they’ve got to be paid back; so we get March days in April.” I may get my snow holiday yet, but back porch living is starting to look much more appealing than fireside living, but whatever kind of living, it seemed time to pull  out, “When Winter is Late” – in a kind of tattle tale way to warn all my Spring-happy friends to beware of winter jumping out at them when they least expect it – but like all tattle tales – nobody wants to really heed what’s being said, but I just wanted to say it anyway because sometimes I just cannot help being a little mischievous, too!

January 19, 2015: Winter is playing it’s games right now. The sun shines like Springtime. There’s no frost on the windshield in the mornings – and I find myself thinking of tomato and chard seeds . . . . but I’m waiting. The more it feels like Spring, closer comes the snow . . . . and I love snow flakes and snow days . . . . and so I wait with expectation of God’s grace in coming changes, like weather patterns, seasons and how time fills the daily.

January 30, 2013: I felt like I needed to say this again – for many reasons, inside and outside reasons.

January 3, 2013: The boys, they have been moaning – moaning over weather channels calling for snow and snow not coming. Tonight, the boys kept looking at the weather radar – hoping. Too big to put ice cubes down the toilet – they just plain, old-fashioned hoped, with a dose of moaning for garnish!

At 11 p.m., when my husband and I were locking up, turning lights down, he called me to look out the door: The Snow Trees had come. I danced. I twirled. I trotted upstairs, to shake each boy gently awake, point out their windows, announcing the arrival of The Snow Trees – and wrapped in their sleepiness, they had now joyful greeting for the snow trees.

Feb 1, 2013 – They didn’t even remember me announcing: The Snow Trees have Come! – but they were so happy they had come!
snowday9c2

Winter 2012

Winter is late.
The snow hasn’t come yet.
I am
waiting.

The Daffodils and lilies arrive
too early
not suspecting
Mother Nature trickery
in mercury messaged
invitation
and stems climb out
of  warm brown covers
turning their hope
to an unreliable sun
so vulnerable, so unprepared
for Winter coming late

Even Dogwood Blossoms
are deceived
with sun signs and
mercury tricks

Wouldn’t at least
the dogwood
know
with the story of our Savior
imprinted on the fibers
of its design,
that signs and seasons
are unreliable
time clocks
for announcing
jobs and tasks,
like blooming and snow fall,
seed time and salvation

Unlike winter
God is never
late

Unlike rising mercury in January
God does not deceive or lead
falsely

God is never
surprised
about disappointments and troubles
we find ourselves
in
He is never
late
to redeem us from
our rushings into places
not ready for us

or maybe
places and tasks
we are not
yet
ready for

Only we
are surprised,
disappointed,
our budding faith
nipped
by trusting sun signs
and mercury
instead of God Words
God Whisperings

God always plans
Time to grow
into
His plans
for our lives
seed time
and harvesting.

“He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1: 7-8)

winter16road_edited-1

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azalea16_edited-1

“The more one judges, the less one loves” ~Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them” ~ Mother Teresa 

(I’ve worked on this since the azaleas bloomed. It was wanting finishing before the snow trees come. So the zinnias and tomatoj plants are pulled up and the burning bushes trimmed back, and the morning glories are untangled and summertime is pulled out of the gardens, I sat down to finish my rambling azalea story poem.).

shadows on an azalea blossom

Innocent azaleas dressed in white sidle
next to antebellum snowballs,
whose only job is to separate its charges
from a soldierly column of raucous
purple-bearded irises.
blue African daisies daintily sway
to a cool wind in the shadow of grandmother’s
Spider’s Wort and evening primroses that daily close
their shops after afternoon tea time.

from my porch all I see
are the best of themselves
wearing the prettiest colors
basking leisurely in a spring
sun

from my porch, I sit tangled
in spider webs and outside dust,
disorganized leavings of boys
in a rush, and the mess
of my own imperfection.
the view from this mess I’m sitting in,
is of all those living in my garden looking like
they’ve got it made, looking like
they’re living a garden variety
dream.

from my porch, I could think
how unjust
their advantage
a free privilege
to be created so effortlessly
lovely, so effortlessly
graceful, so effortlessly
blessed.

I could think it
unseemly
to be given more
abundant beauty
than others.
I could think it
unsporting
my toiling
the weeding, the feeding, the loosening
of soil for optimum growth,
for they don’t appear
to really do anything
except live their daily in
a fairy tale existience
while I live a messy chaos
and cobwebs existence on my
porch.

I could think simmering thoughts
that whistle and steam
hot enough to burn
others if not handled with care,
releasing it’s-not-fair mosquita rants that reach
to my fingertips that itch
to tear my garden neighbors
out – all root, stem and purple,
yellow, and pink petals of them.
I sat there, watching,
all the while whistling, steaming, itching
Until one morning, I stepped
off
my porch

I moved, drawing close
close, close enough to capture
their garden glamour with
my camera.
closer, closer, close I moved
near to know,
really know them
better
to know them better.

I drew close and saw
petal skins creased
and shadows that marred.
I drew close and found
truth conflicting with
my self-inflicted
myopic perception
I saw because I spent
time seeking intentional
truth
where they live.
I saw that my porch view
gulled me into unfair
judgement
or had my own jealousy
seduced me there.

All the garden flowers, not just
the azaleas,
had their own shadows to deal
with, marring their daily with heated
challenges, potentially spoiling
the impact of their God-designed
story.
I wondered whether other
flowers talked among themselves,
if when the winds blew them
close enough, they saw
the shadows, too.

Did they come close, close
closer to betray confidence for
morning glory
spreading knowledge gleaned
of secret sufferings throughout
the garden like pollen
on a blustery day
or did they keep confidences safe
in comforting friendship
protecting, lifting up in a hard wind
or a down pour?

I thought back to
earlier on my porch
to the envious song humming from
my mind to my heart,
a deceptive humming of an envy song
an envy song that spread like morning glories
that creep up vining around unwary branches until bursting
into conquering purple blossoms, declaring victory
while destroying those who extetnded
hopsitality

I didn’t realize. . .
I didn’t know
until I drew close
close, closer still
not only to know my garden neighbors better
but to love not for glory but for love’s sake.
it was there my envy song changed into a
a redemption song of salvation, of blessing,
of a soul saving love song

“In judging of others, a man laboreth in vain, often erreth and easily sinneth; but in judging and examining himself, he always laboreth fruitfully” ~ Thomas a Kempis     

http://arabahjoy.com/ Arabah Joy
http://www.janiscox.com/ Sunday Stillness
http://www.spiritualsundays.com/ Spiritual Sundays
Giving Up on Perfect, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Nanahood, Moments of Hope, Family, Friendship and Faith, DanceWithJesusFriday and Wholehearted Wednesday, http://seespeakhearmama.com/ Give Me Grace

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tea5_edited-2There was a time when I didn’t have 5 sons, Cleo kitty # 6 or Sadie
A time when I wasn’t in charge of morning wake-ups and breakfast,
Clean clothes and matching socks
Or schedules.
. . . . a time when I’d not known a mother-son wedding dance, or received a marriage a proposal from a 4-year-old who couldn’t imagine living without me, or that star-gazing would mean so much still after 33 years

There was a time when the days crawled
like forever from one to the next.
Birthdays and Christmas took an eternity
to come.

. . . . a time I could fit into the WWII pea-coat my 17 year old wears now
and I slipped city bus-ride dimes and school lunch money into the sleeve pocket

There was a time, one winter, when the big snow came
and everything in the daily shut down, except the
small grocer and grandmother sent me along with my best friend
from across the street
to pick up some items to make dinner
better

after checking with the last of the Main Street residents
too old to get out safely
my friend and I, set out on our errand
sliding down the middle of Main Street, USA
on two feet
the icy world packed in a snow globe silence
until broken by
unabashed teenage exuberance singing
outrageously
“love is higher than a mountain”
on the icy street
empty of cars and everyday living
but for us

There was a time when . . . . I thought my dreams were just about me
and I flew without wings in my night-dreams
my soul-dreams just shadows of things
to come
because dreams are only as big as experience and knowledge allows
and nay-sayers are Magpies trying to carry off treasures that don’t
belong to them

. . . a time when I didn’t see how it was all a God-design
tucked full of blessing and love-letters
from the one whose I am
where faith grows wings
for daily living and dreams
amidst sock matching and scheduled
chaos

tea1_edited-1

I’m beginning to journal God’s gifts again. It grounds me, encourages me to look for the blessings He leaves me in the daily, to open the love-letters in them he sends. It changes my day, anchors me and keeps me steady and focused on whose I am. Won’t you join me?

1046 – Cardinals on the window sill, reminding me of home, its goodness and how God’s got the day. My husband got a bird-feeder for Christmas. There used to be only one cardinal – now we have a yard full.

1047 – my son’s friends coming in and out of the house. This weekend, after an indoor soccer tournament. They’d named their team the Waffles, so Keith and I made them waffles to celebrate their win.

1048 – studying with another son for a vocabulary test

1048 – the ability to work with another son to make product and get an order out

1049 – taking more responsibility in our family business – and being able to do it. I understand learning new things are “scary,” but I’m getting past the scary part into the skill comfort part.

1050 – the wrapping up of an odd assortment of challenges in a pop-corn challenge kind-of-year

1050 – classical music that infuses my home with a tranquility

1051 – Saturday morning breakfast at our house with my grandgirlies (Thank you for the term, Elizabeth) and their parents.

1052 – Clotted Cream with homemade scones

1053 – D.E. Stevenson books – and time to read them

1054 – colored pencils and a journaling bible.

1055 – a MIL adventure day with my newly married son’s MIL. She is such a beautiful encourager!

1056 – after a long spell of not writing – and just savoring the daily – and the difference of what I am doing today compared to last year – the freedom to just savor, accept the emptiness of writing ideas – and the confidence in knowing that God will give when the time is right – so many learning how to live waiting for God without pressures and expectations I am tempted to put on myself

1056 – Orchid Vanilla tea with a friend in the middle of a busy day

1058 – a one hour surprise visit from an out-of-town friend who is a beautiful part of the family story-telling thread of boys being born, growing, sickness and weddings.

1059 – Take-out barbecue for dinner at the end of a busy, good day.

1060 – Peaceful sleep despite an pop-up challenge

1061 – a phone call from a son, after seeing a car accident and worrying it was me

1062 – hot water in the morning for a cup of tea

1063 – birthday celebrations for my husband, lovely daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and my mother.

1064 – a picture of 3 of my 5 favorite sons in a joyful moment

3boys1_edited-1

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bicyclegreen_edited-1removing training wheels

he types his essay
on heroes and anti-heroes
defining the noble, the ignoble
the brave, questing search
of the soul of a man
wrestling down, pinning
the argument of his
ideas

“read it,” he wants,
only half-way done
but in this letting go
of both our hands
he needs to trust his
argument, his support
the heart of his ideas
for now
until the roughness of it
is sketched in

the review wait
until further progress
frustrates independence growing
unused to hands-off processes that
stretches new-found
self-ownership and the evaluation
of it
by other minds and other hearts
who neither held his hands and nor let go
to walk, fall, and pull himself up
to try again until
he got it
on his own

like bicycle riding
solo
for the first time
with the training wheels of
independence
removed
revealing the sheer terror
of hands-off
for both of us
until his feet pressed into the pedals
his hands wrapped control around
handle bars
his inside boy balanced his outside boy
and he flew down the side walk

heart jumping, I stood
at the letting-go point
hands gripped at my side
words held back so they
wouldn’t get in the way
as he wobbled, teetering
from failure to success
in the newness of confidence
emerging
from owning the journey
two-wheeled independence

today he writes,
and I find busyness
in a letting-go moment
hands gripping the dish clothe,
wiping the counter
words held back so they won’t
get in the way
of his words, his ideas
of heroes and anti-heroes,
examples and arguments
of an essay written
comparing the souls of men

this slow removal
of the training wheels of
Independence
of a mama’s hands
letting go
to allow him to own
his success, his failures
his  picking himself up to try
again
and in that picking up gain
more than success
is
courage-soaked mother
who loves enough
to let go

Won’t you settle in, join me with a cup of spiced ginger plum tea, join me with Karen at Tuesdays at Ten? The writing prompt is . . . Letting go.

 

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weddingbreakfastc_edited-2

When my first son married, I sent a question to the parents and grandparents asking, “When you said, “I do,” what is something you ended up doing, something you’d never imagined, that brought you great joy. I turned the answers to those questions in, “What are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life” (Poem 1). To listen to Frank Sinatra sing the song that inspired this project, click here. My second son married this week with family coming from all over the country – from California, New Jersey, Kentucky – and inbetween – to celebrate. I did the same project with them. Let me tell you, I fell in love with my daughter-in-laws family when I read their answers. This is their poem:

What are you Doing for the rest of your life? Poem II

What are you doing for the rest of your life, Beautiful,” he asked.
“Spending it with you,” she smiled, smiling his favorite smile

Dreams, Expectations, and Love
reshape, re-form
as the rest of your life unfolds

Papaw laughed, saying, “We didn’t know nothing when we got married”
but their house filled up,
creating their own love equation:
1girl + 1 boy + a set of twins
equals 12 grandsons
Who thought a house
could hold so much love?

“Packing and unpacking the good-stuff
about 20 times over 45 years,” mused Papa Bill.

“Savoring the slow grow
from Switzerland to Cape Cod,
France to the New Mexican Mountains,
the slow grow of a life-time of family,
Grandpa Leo, like a story-teller said,
when one day a precious granddaughter
chased butterflies through wildflower
fields
and, in the watching,
I saw the most beautiful
flower
of them all.

“I learned that miracles come in threes
A lifetime is full of blessing,”
explained Granny.
“That love shares
toothpaste
and dreams
growing
so much bigger than your imagination
daily, weekly, yearly
there is always more love
and the idealistic star-gazer matured
understanding.”

“A house on the water filled with grand
children
who ever thought visits could mean so much?”
Queried Grandma Doris
“Weekends, vacations, any time
kayaking, fishing, water skiing and big
waterfront bonfires with those I love so much
roasting marshmallows and listening
and loving every moment

How does I do  make scraps for love story pieces?
Somehow, it does – and out of it comes
garden tulips, little Dutch girls
and farmer boys, soccer balls and
all things Papaw from trucks, tractors
and Apple Tree Swings quilted
and wrapped tight around
so many little shoulders
like hugs and love,” explained Nanny.

“My happiest Days?
A Mama’s Trinity:
babies born,
college graduation,
and weddings,”
misty-eyed Grandmama wistful explained.

His mama gladly
put girly, girl dreams aside
to find joy in boys and their toys:
Whoever thought snuggle-buggles and Nerf-Gun Wars could bring so much joy
Learning to hug
in all the love languages,
the huggable language of each son!
Challenging each other to love
To God’s beard and back

“Who knew?” his daddy said.
“Wiffle ball,  sock wars,
and Friday Three Stooge
Night
could be so much fun,
or watching soccer
under the moon and the sun,
while walking out with each son
the plumb line of dream building”

“Hide-N-Seek
in the dark,
boys sitting on kitchen counter-tops
telling stories big and little,
little and big
and laughing,  a joy unanticipated over 35 years ago,”
his Aunt Sherry said added.

“Rooms filled
with yellow paper
birthday
Stars,” her mama said determinedly,
“every year,
every birthday.”

Who knew how important creating
an environment that grew
a strain of independence
in a three-year-old breakfast-maker
artist, speaker, singer?” said her father.
“Who knew how important that would
become to me, to be an encourager of
independence for you to be
you
following a path all your own
forged with your will,
designed with your brain
out of your own heart
which led you to a volley ball court in Tennessee
where a boy lived who loves you true

What are you doing for the rest of your life?
You really haven’t a clue
about the wonderful details and moments inside the plan
God has in store for you!
Big and Little
Little and Big

I never imagined a son would make me feel so tiny!

I never imagined a son would make me feel so tiny!

(To see the first What are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life, please click here.)

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salt2c_edited-2
I’ve been filling the salt shakers
– pepper shakers, too.
Wiping off finger prints
and dusty build-up,
Crazy Gluing bunny ears,
digging into cabinets
match-making pairs
lost to each other,
finding peace that one snow-woman shaker
found in a what-not box
given when my mother moved to warmth
and wholeness
cannot be reunited with her pepper
snow man

I’ve been filling salt shakers
after the tearing
of growing where I was planted
for a season in uncomfortable
soil
because He called me to it
to be planted there
until right timing
His big and little hands of timing
pull the roots of myself loose
shake out the soil
and carrying me
to a new place where
I am to grow where He plants me.

As He pulls me,
shakes me,
moves me
to a different way to live
the daily
I’ve been left wordless
silent
awed by His faithfulness
His plan
His protection
in this journey
to this place where
filling salt shakers
is so much more than
filling salt shakers

Salt: seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange. Salt symbolizes permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification.

“a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak (Ecc 3:7)

Store after the poem coming up. Be patient with me. I’m not used to silence. When my 5th son was born, the anesthetist, after the planned C-Section, said if I was in distress to let him know and he would, “take me out.” A few minutes after my son was born, I became quieter and quieter. My husband told the anesthetist, “She must be in distress. She’s not talking.”

I think I’ve been living a situation where God was definitely in the driver’s seat. It was a harrowing time, a heart-bruising time. I held on to Him, kept focused on Him. I still don’t have a lot of words. It’s a time for mending, a time for silence – but there will be a time when the words come – and I cannot wait. Right now, I’m going to immerse myself in this time of silence, in doing things like filling salt shakers, crazy gluing broken things, baking chocolate chip cookies and finding the carpet beneath the laundry, shoes and backpacks, walking Sadie – and, one day soon, following an idea down a rabbit hole to its conclusion.

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snowroad“Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road”(Luke 24:32)

dirt, gravel, sand or asphalt
a thoroughfare
drag
bridle path
cow path
a beaten path
footpath
or bicycle path
in the lowlands
high lands
or mid lands
heat covered
puddled
or iced
He approaches us
on our own Emmaus road
solitaire
“What are you thinking about?” He asks, intruding
in my alone
a twosome or a klatch – He joins in,
like He belongs
“What are you talking about?”
sometimes I make room
and pull Him in to the community,
whether I am bumper to bumper
in Christmas traffic
and car-line pick ups
and He listens
really listens to me
spill my passions
over routine laps in the daily
or cruising down an empty highway
“Tell me more,” He asks
unsure at first of His sincerity
because I’m just a small fry
broken and torn
no hint of coolness
no mantle of importance
but He wooes me
like I’m somebody
worth listening to
and, finally, I believe,
yes,
He really does want to hear
what I think and why
and I do, spill inside out
He listens until I’ve put it all out there
and then
He starts telling me
big and little things, little and big
until suddenly it’s time to go
to push the pedal of the daily
and I whisper, “Stay. Come home with us.
Be with us in the breaking of the bread
and open our hearts and eyes
and I mean it
even in my kitchen mess
and after-school emotional pop-corn
fills the vehicle
I want Him to join us
on this Emmaus Road journey
where He opens our eyes and hearts
on the road
do you hear that?
on the road
while we’re going about the journey
in the daily
on the road
are heart and soul opportunities
to burn
in a Holy Spirit Fire
with Him
Stay
Stay with me Lord
every step, every mile
of my day

 

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quilt11

Whirligig
A basket of scraps
That is what I am
A piece of me here
A piece of me there
Like flying geese scattered
Everyone pulling pieces from
This basket of scraps

Beggar’s Block
Like vines at the window
Crayon and Pencil Children want a piece of me
The Laundry Room wants a piece of me
My man wants a piece of me
The checkbook, too, reaches and grabs
My Mother’s Dream wants a piece of me
The Devil at the Window wants a piece of me
Grabbing pieces,
From this basket of scraps

Broken Dishes
All pulling pieces
To fit their design
Disregarding color schemes
pattern lines
quantity
risking crazy quilt and broken path randomness
from leftovers
in this basket of scraps

Star of Hope
God’s Eyes see me
Not like mis-matched cups and saucers
Or un-coordinated color swatches
Not as a basket of scraps
Or Party Star Pieces
The Master Designer quilts me whole
into
A Peace Quilt
To wrap around
His children
Quilting me whole
Out of a Basket of Scraps

My very first quilt - a blue cotton quilt

My very first quilt – a blue cotton quilt


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butterfly62_edited-2Monarch butterflies
On Beggar’s Ticks seeds
Yellow seeds with barbed awns
Sticky, burring yellow awns
Designed to be carried
to Other places and other soils
By unsuspecting flutterbys
carrying unsuspected messages
tarry here
tarry there
living breeze to breeze
dropping Beggar’s Tick
futures
an inheritance
for other seasons

Carrierflys
Work to wait
wait for just the right
breeze-stirred air
designed for
para-sailing flutterby
missions
Across sand and shells
Past orange and raspberry sherbet
Beach towels
Past old and young
little and big
arms, legs and noise
playing wave games

Clapping and flinging
summer-colored wings
in spiraling airflow
Across ocean expanse
Across salty, slippery
grey, blue and green
stickier, deadlier than burrs
from a Beggar’s Tick

one wing beat
at time
To reach a home
risking to gain
all
against ultimate loss
to reach a home
never seen
a home always
calling
Something deep inside
something that says
butterflies Are born
To
Fly
Home

oceanfly“There will be a highway
called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious
is permitted on this road.
It’s for God’s people exclusively—
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road,
no dangerous wild animals—
Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed
will come back on this road.
They’ll sing as they make their way home to Zion,
unfading halos of joy encircling their heads,
Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness
as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night” (Isaiah 35: 8-10)

Come by Wednesday to see the Story behind the Poem

996) Walking a mile in a warm moment between winter and spring moods
997) Snow flakes in a Pear Blossom season
998) Time for children to recuperate. My boys ended their Spring Break with a re-peat case of Chicken Pox.
999) Toscano Soup on the stove top, leftovers warming at the end of a tired day
1000) brothers reaching out to brothers
1001) a husband that prays with me, from the top of the house to the bottom, inside and out
1002) Red cardinals fluttering in trees, calling to each other
1003) for friends – both mine and my sons – who pray, interceding
1004) Sunday morning church where hearts and hands reached out in love – not knowing our need – but loving
1005) Coffee after church with my son and a couple who have known him, who listened to him, who shared heart words with him
1006) seeing walked out, good friends of my sons who say care enough to say, “Don’t” – and lay open their wounds to show why.
1007) God moving more gracefully, with perfect timing in ways me with my mom mojo cannot
1008) wise laws that still exist
1009) A gift of 9 weeks in exchange for 9 months
1010) my teen revealing a heart to minister to athiests
1011) an answered prayer returning home after being sent out 15 years ago
1012) a repentant heart revealed, eyes suddenly selfless seeing and in the seeing grieving. Self-centered emerging selfless
1013) Watching my 2 little guys come off a soccer field, toes stiff with cold, cheeks red – smiling
1014) Friends on the sidelines
1015) Blue skies on a cold Saturday’s soccer tournament
1016) a cafe mocha warming
1017) people who know your name when you order to go
1018) 2 soccer games worth of photos resulting in smiles and laughter, doing a job good enough for profile pictures and banners – being able to bless others with something I can do
1019) Catching up with faraway friends
1020) Experiencing that while some prayers are a 15 year journey – some are 96 hour journeys – with much evidence of a mighty Father working on our behalf IN that 96 hours.

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When my littlest came home with his poetry prose in paragraph formation, we had to edit the content into standard, complete-sentence prose. The poetry was edited out. It saddened me because so many penny words were added, fading the imagery, leaching the strength of action – and, well, just diminishing the over-all effect.

A kind of “you-had-to-be-there” resulted in the retelling.

Poetry evokes – sometimes more can be said with incomplete sentences. Not in a court of law, not when contractual things need to be established – but sometimes with pulling something valuable out of a day, a moment – that something trumps the other 23 hours, the other 1,429 minutes in a day.

I remember reading e.e. cummins in the 8th grade. He threw language rules out the window and made art. The entire class chimed in, “So we don’t have to use correct grammar rules. Here’s a grown-up who didn’t and made good.”

Our teacher loosened our grasp on that hope: “When you know grammar like e.e. cummins, you can write like e.e. cummins.”

e.e. cummins manipulated language – and its rules to re-create moments, like “riding through the woods on a snowy evening” – so you could feel it from the inside of your soul out – no “you-had-to-be-there” excuses because he took you there.

My son’s unintentional poetry lost something in the translation to intentional prose. Sometimes, to capture the essence of a moment, a weekend, a blessing – it comes out better in poetry, without penny articles, verbs and nouns.

Yet, also like e.e. cummins had to become skilled in the knowledge of  language arts in order to write poetry that reveals a moment from the inside of your soul out, you and I – we need to become skilled in the knowledge of God’s true, hands-on love for us  in order to recognize blessing that has the power to change our lives from the inside of our souls out.

Are you ready to live like poetry? Allowing a moment of blessing, regardless of size and importance, – a squirrel running across your window pane, a fleeting hug, a genuine smile, a cup of cider – are you willing to let that moment, that gift from the Father, define your day, your week, a year, a lifetime?

The coolness on your cheek from a breeze rustling out of the trees as the hand of God touching your cheek? And, in a second, the recognition of it changes everything – from the inside of your soul out.

Have I lived a life of blessing? Every minute counted from beginning to end, –  refreshing moments, just-right moments, forgiving moments, revelation moments, soul-inside-out moments would seem miniscule in comparison to all the penny-word moments.

However, those fragmented moments like poetry, whittling the prose of it all into poetry,  if I were to just pull them out, those moments would say I am richly blessed. Maybe they would say my life filled with blessing, reads like poetry.

747) Lumina white, Jack-Be-Little Orange, Jarrahdale green and Rouge vif D’Etampes – “Red Life of the Times” pumpkins, pulled from the flat-bed of a truck to my door steps, heralding a new season
748) ladling out homemade chicken noodle soup with bow-tie pasta to woodland stories of Blue Stones and Acorns for currency, brotherhood and neighborhood friendships creating a world of their own in the woods. Practicing democracy in leadership elections under God’s canopy and choosing blue stone and acorns for currency. Blue Stone turned memory stone in a friendship has lived lifting up when hearts are down – a living poetry experience

749) Nests emptied of backyard baby birds. No more cat birds screeching and squawking at my cat on the steps, on the porch, under the car, under the tree staring up. Chirping, solo songs and choruses, merry autumn sounds of troubles left behind.
750) Squirrel cheeks filled with winter nuts, filling the storehouses in tree nests, repetitive forays onto the grounds, storing security for e.e. cummins-kind-of-snowy evening
751) A to-do list reminding me of the things I want to do – and each one checked off, one-by-one.
752) Determination to complete actions and tasks that change the hue of everyday living – when making myself light a candle, knit one row, read one chapter of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense – one small action at a time is a brush stroke that paints my life. I can either choose through inaction how my life will look – an empty canvas – or I can choose through action. I chose to act – even though the brush strokes and colors don’t always turn out how I intend.

753) A friend blessing me with kind, un-looked for words
754) The energy to make Saturday what I wanted it to be: filled with homemade chicken-noodle soup, tortilini soup, cheesy bread, store-bought orange-icing cupcakes, pop-eye bread, simmering apple cider – boys saying, “Who’s coming for dinner” – and I just say, “You! All for you!”
755) A kitchen filled with chard, peppers and tomatoes from the Farmer’s Market
756) A squirrel running outside my window at work, through my shabby-chic picture frame
757) 15 minutes with God in a mid-morning break; 15 minutes with God in a mid-afternoon break. We two sitting together on a bench
758) Energy at the end of a workday to live fully through the most valuable parts.
759) Demands for bed-time tuck-ins
760) The Bed-Time Chronicles
761) An orange carrot juice, red beet and mango smoothie – that I stuck to the determination to include it in my day, making it at 6:45 a.m.
762) Frogs hopping on the road side during an evening walk
763) All the boys’ work turned in at the end of a quarter – punctuated by a Friday beginning a 2 week Holiday for the boys.
764) Open windows, cool morning air, the sound of the air-conditioning shutting down, yielding to Autumn’s superior coolness

765) Post-it-Notes reminding me to pray
766) That joyful euphoric feeling like flying when a problem’s potential solution makes itself known in the loudness of the problem, in an un-looked for area.
767) I heard that there are 21 million people who cannot read in America – and am so blessed that my mom secured the best possible education for my brother and me.
768) That I have the desire to read – the bible, fun literature, books to my children, legal documents – and historical documents like Common Sense by Thomas Paine – so that it will not be through ignorance that my freedoms are taken away.
769) The anticipation of good things –  like next week’s beach Holiday.
770) Pulling close the poetry moments out of the day that say more about my day than what the whole of the day says.
771) Hot Apple Cider on a lazy afternoon on my porch
772) Seeing the sun-rise in pink and yellow streaks Sunday morning
773) Watching my boys enjoy a bottomless bowl of pasta after church Sunday while I enjoyed a bottomless cup of steamy coffee
774) Sitting beside my husband on the porch, watching the moon, pulling the blanket close.

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Blessings like Zinnias

pomegranate red zinnias
shaped like dahlias
thrive in Full Sun living
no shades necessary
to protect
from living its design
where planted

always reaching,
for heat and glare
cactus-shaped heliotrope purple petals
grow better
in weathering challenges

gangly,stalky stems
overlooked by whole package beauty shoppers
seeing too much imperfection to appreciate
button-shaped tangerine orange
dazzling in God’s appointed bloom time
those willing to love an imperfect creation

God-designed to withstand
a world of drought
beehive-shaped lemon yellow
blooms hope and joy
to be carried to other places
in clear mason jars, pink pottery vases,
thumb print glasses, cutglass rose bowls
set on harvest tables, welcome tables
bedside tables, porch-side tables, work tables

never blue,
zinnias bloom to seed
seeds for you and me
for tomorrow seasons
needing caring hands to harvest
and slide hope seed stories
into white envelopes
sealed and stored until
Time
To grow
Some more

 

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The mighty rush of the wind
whipping tree seedling
severing from
the mighty pin oak protection
tromped,
hoof pressed,
storm weathered pressed
leaf pressed
water pressed
gravity pressed,
into soil blackness
seemingly world lost
until the core of itself
remembers light
and
flimsy roots push upward
emerging fragile
thinly
waveringly
faith and hope fragile
vulnerable
growing gentle
slow
reaching ever light upward
strengthening
widening
deepening
stretching heavenward
sunward
into a mighty pin oak
sprouting fragile seeds
harsh weather regardless
this born again journey
of a life given over
to our Savior

526) 10 squirrels running past my window at work, as though a tri-cera-cat was chasing them – God showing me He was there and there was fun to be had
527) friends letting us use a field for a son’s air-soft birthday party
528) dinner with friends, laughter, and a faith story of forgiveness in the bible that I hadn’t realized before
529) Grandbaby girl dedicated to the Lord
530) Holding grandbaby girl during church,
531) Her falling asleep without a peep in my arms, that I can do that
532) All my sons sitting in service together
533) Celebrating Father’s Day with my husband. When God answers prayers, He answers abundantly. He gave me an amazing husband!
534) Zinnia seeds grown to bloom
535) Conversations with my sons
536) Cardinals chirping at 6 a.m.
537) Dove calls in the evenings
538) Evening walks with my husband reviewing the progress of our carrots, tomatoes, zinnias, butterfly bushes, peppers, shasta daisies and so many other growing things
539) The hope of prayers answered. I might not know how they are to be answered but God sends clues just when I need them!
540) Things stored in my heart, messages from the Father, that prepared me – the remembrance of those messages
541) pumpkin seeds volunteering
542) my sons’ humor – either in solo or in a chorus.
543) homegrown eggs from a friend – because that’s what friends do
544) my husband helping me because he wants to, not because he has to
545) friends in the blogahood who pray – that they are friends like that.
546) peaches at the Farmer’s market
547) the difference one year can make

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“Lo, as a careful housewife runs to catch
One of her feather’d creatures broke away,
Sets down her babe, and makes all swift dispatch
In pursuit of the thing she would have stay;

Learning how to balance the multi-tasking roles God put inside us challenges me. I learn a lot through my failings, my gracelessness, my inability to do it all. That feather’d creature  Shakespeare talks about could be my dreams, my dinner menu, needing to attend to child one’s needs whether it is class work, heart work, discipline-work while another’s need may need to wait 20 more minutes. Being a mother is often graceless like goose chasing.

Whilst her neglected child holds her in chase,
Cries to catch her whose busy care is bent
To follow that which flies before her face,
Not prizing her poor infant’s discontent;

My littlest guy, he’s hit the blues. He’s accused me of “not prizing”  his discontent, leaving him feeling unloved. Saying no for the right reasons is a tough act to play to a tween to teen audience.There is no more critical reviewer of a mother’s job. I don’t think they’ll  ever realize how I made it my goal from day one to know the condition of their hearts, to provide security, to keep away the night terrors, to listen to every word, to never let them feel unloved or unwanted, to help them believe they can achieve whatever they want, to introduce them to the most important relationship they will ever have, the Father.

So runn’st thou after that which flies from thee,
Whilst I thy babe chase thee afar behind;

If something flies from me, doesn’t that mean it isn’t mine? Maybe it is not the right time to be goose chasing. Or maybe, just maybe, it is all part of the balancing act of the responsibilities of our different roles – and this is a lesson of the compassion we need to exhibit when others let us down. I cannot make everybody happy at the same time. During Shakespeare’s time, that goose leading her a frustrating chase could have been a weeks worth of food during the winter season that helped keep her family’s tummies filled. Maybe, just maybe it is crucially important that we exhibit compassion and forgiveness because goose chasing is sometimes as graceless as it is necessary.

But if thou catch thy hope, turn back to me,
And play the mother’s part, kiss me, be kind;
So will I pray that thou mayst have thy ‘Will,’
If thou turn back and my loud crying still.”
(Sonnet 143, Shakespeare)

Children are a forgiving lot. I remember feeling that way with my dad, who never met my children. I remember despite the hurt, his goose chasing, if he would “just turn back” – the grief of my heart would have evaporated. Sometimes I wonder if my children are less forgiving because they have really never been set down while we chased our geese, are less generous with their cheerleading about our hopes to catch.

My hope? That I always play the mother’s part with affection, kindness, making them feel valued, can always find a way to still their hurts either through action, words or prayer and that when I miss it, when I goose chase gracelessly, that I can make it right and receive forgiveness.

My Aunt's Peach Azaleas

407) Shakespeare’s Sonnet 143, my favorite Shakespeare work that I read many years ago, many children ago.
408) I loved my weekend. My boys helped me sparkle-up my and install the screens in our windows. The cool-front blowing through my windows is sweet respite, at least until the summer heat creeps in.
409) My husband, he built me a raised garden Saturday, too.
410) Sitting with my husband Saturday night before the rains came, listening to him make dove calls – and listening to the answering call.
411) Making scones early Sunday morning for Mother’s Day
412) String, eye-screws and determination to finally complete the installation of the blue toile Roman Shades my Mom made me for Christmas.
413) Finished piecing together my very first quilt. It’s not perfect – a lot like me, but I learned a lot. My next quilt is a twin-size for grandbaby girl – and then regular-sized quilts for my boys. I’m working my way up in size.
414) Coffee at the end of dinner Sunday, as we sat around the table, 4 of 5 sons, my daughter-in-law and grandbaby girl. A cup of coffee is the exclamation point to family dinners.
415) Walking around the yard in the evenings with my husband, checking the progress of our transplanted butterfly bushes, knock out roses, hydrangea. Not sure the butterfly bushes and hydrangea are going to survive the move from one spot to anther. 13 out of 15 burning bush root-bulbs we planted grow, grOW and GROW.
416) Yellow Papaya with Carrot Juice in a homemade smoothie for work.
417) Left-overs
418) My boys cutting up strawberries and adding 1/4 cup of sugar for my Mother’s Day Scones.
419) My sons bravery during allergy testing.
420) God allowing me to feel like evenings are much longer, filled with hours that last longer since I started my job in February. Only God can make time do that.
421) “Greater is He that’s in me than He that is in the World” (1 John 4:4). This scripture got me through quite a bit of out-of-the-box challenges this week.
422) Old friends in grocery store aisles
423) Tiki lights from my boys to keep the bugs away when we sit outside at night.
424) Rain. Lots of rain. Nourishing the outside, cooling the inside – and the beautiful sound of it’s coming.
425) Gapow from the Thai restaurant in a very frustrating week – that God let’s me find goodness in things totally unrelated to the challenges.
426) All the different ways my sons slipped, “Happy Mother’s Day” into my ears. Unasked for on this day I find very awkward.
427) Laughter in the neighborhood.
428) “God is the unmoved Prime Mover of all movements, the First Cause of all Causes, and the Designer of all the design seen in the world” – St. Thomas Aquinas, in 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World.

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my Mama, she came
from far away sands,
a different climate
leaving behind her gardenia bush
that bloomed the day she left,
blooming itself out
in her absence

she left behind her gardenia’s
to wrap arms tight around me,
tight mama hugs
to sit at my table,
hear my tales face to face
instead of ear to ear
and eat new recipes
from an old family book
to clean up together
after the Normandy pie
and wiping the counters clean

while unpacking her travel, she unfolded
out of tin-foil and damp paper towel
a treasure for me
a gardenia
from mama

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Launching into independence “feels” perilous. Two of my sons have launched into independence differently: one gradually, one immediate.

As one son described it: “I loaded my truck 2 scoops at a time. He took the load all at once.”

Nervous? Frustrated? Sad? Scared? Freaking out? Some people might suggest these feelings mean a diagnosis and pill are needed, maybe they’re not ready, maybe they don’t have what it takes. While sometimes these reasons maybe be viable, most often they are just growing-independence-becoming -responsible pains.

I think all parents want to eliminate stress, hurt, failure and fear from their children’s lives. However, keeping children in a bubble, un-stressed, ill-equipped for responsibility is doing them a disservice. Learning how to handle being uncomfortable, how to face the unnerving challenge of living independence should be essential parenting.

Blue Cotton Dad says, “I would be concerned if someone newly on their own wasn’t [stressed out, frustrated, scared]. This means they’re engaged. They’re thinking about what they need to do.”

However they leave the nest, it is important to let them build their wing strength to eventually soar. It is hard to be a hands-off safety net. In this growing into responsibility and independence, my prayers can go where I cannot. When Change Comes is a prayer for these sons growing into men, facing challenges that separate the men from the boys.

When Change Comes

When changes comes
seemingly unasked, unwanted, uncomfortable
you might be surprised
but God isn’t

When change comes
so does frustration, fear, sadness,
humility, deflated confidence
because change brings new things
new challenges, tasks, heart-issues
new things bring out the gracelessness
of who we are without Him

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character. Hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

When change comes,
in the fine print of the change
is a note from God saying,
“You are ready for this next level.
You are equipped for this. You need to walk this path to collect
things important for the rest of your story.
Trust me.”

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 5: 3-5)

When change comes,
you will first cry out, “Help me”
until one day, you will realize help is
a journey, a short story journey
in the midst of the anthology of your life
and you ask, “Be with me”
and He is with you, even on the days
when you can do nothing more than stand,
in the night terrors when all you can do is breath in
“Lord Jesus Christ,”
and breath out, “Have Mercy on Me.”

“We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” (2 Cor. 4:8-9)

When change comes,
it heralds God calling you to greater
intimacy
where faith, hope and love become
more real than your skin
where God becomes more than 3 letters
in a book

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze” (Isaiah 32:2)

When change comes,
and the world questions you
it is your faith that shields
you from the arrows that would pierce
your dignity,
while you grow into God becoming
more than you ever knew

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way”(James 1:2-4)

When you come upon change
remember change is the next stepping stone
closer to God.
He placed each stone there before
you were born
so you would know how to find your way
back home
the path is true
the end
is assured

“When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it” (2 Cor. 3:7).

196) Standing between my boys, our hands raised in prayer, blessing our week
197) Walking during my lunch break, talking to my mom before surgery to clear an 80% blockage in her right carotid artery
198) News that my mom’s heart is healthy as a horse
199) Friends calling on God in their prayers to battle for my mom, to make miracles and healing for my mom
200) “What’s that?” my mom asked about the sound. “The blustery wind” and I thought about the trees above me. Were they praising God and was their praise going up to God and the sweet blessing of it falling on the students and me walking beneath it, like cherry blossoms in the spring?
201) The next day after surgery, my mom’s speech flowing more freely than it hand in a long time. It is amazing what 100% blood flow to your brain can accomplish.
202) robin egg blue, butter yellow, heavy-whipping-cream white, baby girl pink – all in the bags of mini-Cadbury eggs!
203) A candle jar turned into a candy jar that hollars to my sons who come for a handful. We’re working on 3 – I told them this was the not-gluttony jar. The discussion that followed made me smile.
204) pictures to my cell phone from my husband when my son graduated from AIT Thursday.
205) My soldier son walking through the door, asking if he could do laundry.
206) The energy to cook his favorite meal, Cajun shrimp and pasta, as I learn to get the hang of all day working.
207) Praying with a son before he leaves the house to face living independent
208) a squirrel foraging beneath a shrub beside the door entrance to work
209) a black umbrella with blue, green and red polka dots
210) baby showers and animal print blankets
211) A sweet friend and husband surprising us on our porch Fat Tuesday to celebrate friendship. God knew we needed to come out of our box! Just further proof that God sends beautiful gifts of friendship.
212) my little guy saying bedtime prayers and including his baby niece like she’s been part of the “God Bless” list forever.
213) peace beyond understanding
214) fluffy pillows and my white down comforter
215) That how I feel is not what determines the outcome, that it is my faith in my Father that determines the outcome!
216) My husband’s joyfulness, his humor and his smile – through it, I am able to see life more beautiful, more joyful.
217) Orange Dulce tea
218) Sunday afternoon when the sun was shining springtime, and the oldest son of them all stopped by, and in all the talking, each brother walked through, hugging, talking, teasing, and it felt like family when it’s good
219) Clean, white sunshine, falling from the blue sky into my house.

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If Trees were Ents

If my grandmother’s backyard trees were Ents*
and could stories tell

where my grandfather built us a treehouse

Would they drop acorn-ringed history
of Indians walking root to root
scouting behind tree skirts
explorers, surveyors and hunters
seeking new soil for new hope
on the edges of Bear Grass Creek
where hungry bears lunched
on bankside yucca grass

Would these trees, “Baroom! Baroom!”*
and moan a lament
of once-upon-a-time bears and wildcats
following tree roots
to the yucca grass-lined creek
once bigger than a brooke,
bigger than a stream
big enough for boats
carrying new stories

Would their Ent stories
would they recall
the sounds of Long Run Massacre
of sons stake-burned
and wives scalped,
of fainting salvation
these Indian ambushes slaying
Lincoln’s Father
the wrestling sounds of Indians and Settlers
on these dark and bloody grounds
over these roots that reach deep
this battle
for home

Would the footprints of La Fayette,
of Daniel Boone, of men
hiding whiskey
as brother fought brother
are they imprinted in the soil
beneath their shade, pressed into a living root?
have the footsteps and shade seekers become
a more ordinary
intentional walk
civilized stepping
to what would one day become
my grandmother’s main street sidewalk
that led to her back yard

Would wooden limbs raised in praise
slump at being relegated
to backyard living
waiting for life, any life,
even two legged-life
to walk creek-stone paths
beyond forsythia hedges
and white azaleas
stuffed behind elms and oaks
these hemlocks and pines
still standing a few feet from where once a field lay
now cluttered with parking lot overgrowth
roots reaching but not finding
Bear Grass Creek,
imprisoned beneath concrete gullies and ditches
trickling through pipes
where boats cannot fit
to bring supplies, settlers and cattle
to new beginnings, new life
this Bear Grass water
not now fit for wildcats, turkeys and bears
for consumption,
immersion,
baptism

Would their Ent stories tell
of dignity lost or redemption

of a lone little girl finding the creek stone path,
circling its leaves and limbs
to step inside foliage arms
and climb branches up high
carrying books full
of other places, like a settler seeking,
a safe adventure
not knowing the dark and bloody history
not knowing new hope history
not knowing of limbs raised in praise
just spending time together
belonging, comforting, living
one so needing to be needed
to belong to a story
one so needing a place to
be
Until a grandmother calls,
“You don’t know who might get you up there.
Come down
Where it’s safe.”

Alone, hedged in by change
where springtime’s violet carpet shrinks
the only thing unchanged
are limbs raised in praise
and roots reaching for
living water

If the Trees in your backyard were Ents
What stories could they tell?

* Ents were trees that talked and walked in J.R.R. Tolkhien’s The Lord of the Rings.
**”Baroom,” dialectal pause-utterances designed to keep language “unhasty.”

dignity lost or redemption gained

The story behind “If Ents were Trees” – well, let’s be honest – if I’d had a daughter, maybe Ents wouldn’t have captured my attention – Ents being trees that walked and talked unhastily in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien’s character development found it’s way into character development lessons in our household: “Are you noble enough that Strider would have invited you to be part of the Fellowship?”

No handmaiden stories in our house, unless they were for me alone. The stories for my boys were Knights-in-Shining-Armor stories, Warriors, filled with nobleness and fighting for right.

I remember choosing rustic-looking light fixtures for our house so our boys would feel at home. Not too shabby chic or too elegant. Maybe my vocabulary and my story telling grew to fit my everyday-kitchen-counter audience.

Warrior training, the discipline and skill development of Knightly character – and even Entish creations have seeped into the marrow of my motherhood, probably to the dismay of my moms-of-daughters friends.

A few weeks ago, when I was visiting with my aunt, I’d walk for a few miles on the walking track civilization built in the field where Lafayette watered his horse when he stayed at the Inn that is now city hall. Big changes were getting ready to happen in my life. I was going to start a full-time job the next week. These visits would be harder to come by. Motherhood was going to be tweaked.

As I walked that track, I looked for blessings.

It was a blustery afternoon when I walked, and the trees tipped and swayed.

I remember smiling, walking another half a circle, when I felt someone start walking beside me.

And the trees waved and bowed – and I smiled. He had come.

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12)

I felt God slip his arm through mine. My hand had been tucked in my pocket. And we walked together, a power-walk that suddenly felt graceful. I t was as though he pointed to the left – and there was a squirrel. A fat squirrel scampered up a tree. It reminded me of grocery store foragers before a snow storm.

It seemed like we shared a laugh, our heads bent in conversation no one could hear.

And He whispered in my mind,

“If Ents were Trees. . . .”

Suddenly, the trees became something more.

“Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth” (1 Chronicles 16:33).

If stones can shout praises (The Message, Luke 19:28-40) when people won’t.

If Trees will sing for joy before the Lord (1 Chronicles 16:33), (Psalm 92:2)

This Bursting into song, “you mountains, you forests and all your trees” (Isaiah 44:23)

Then maybe there is God praise going on around us all the time.

Maybe when we take the trash outside, if we looked for the blessing, we’d see the trees praising God.

Maybe if the windows were opened at night, and we listened for the blessing, we’d hear the trees praising God.

Maybe when Lafayette watered his horse, these same trees were praising God.

That maybe, when I climbed that tree to read a book, maybe I not only interrupted a tree having Church with God but His presence wrapped around me from all that Praise.

It’s not a Cathedral, a canopy of trees. Rather, it is a chorus, a praise dance troupe, loving God creation.

And that day, as I walked arm-in-arm with God, I walked a part of this God-me relationship I hadn’t experienced before. More than a be-with-me. Not a “we’ve got to talk” moment where I listen, chastised.

An arm-walking, smile-sharing, poetry-bantering moment just between God and me.

God talks to me in the language I have been living, a mother-raising-knights-in-shining-armor-language. It’s not filled with handmaidens and pink polka dots. It’s filled with Entish things – like trees praising God while He walks with me.

“All the trees of the field will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.'”(Ezekiel 17:24)

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