Posts Tagged ‘5 Minute Friday’

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

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
“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


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


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Four seed packets of zinnias, 3 seeds per pellet in seed trays – I’m planning ahead for zinnia blooms in May. Thyme, Sage, Italian Parsley, Tarragon, Marjoram, Sage and Basil – 3 seeds per tray, too. They’re all sprouting, except for the Old German’s in their tray. They’re holding out.

I can count on seed-time and harvest. I can trust in my planning – and I love planning. Planning averts failure; ergo planning creates success – right?

I read book endings first, so I know how the plot unfolds as I go. I love planning vacations, holidays and the daily – all planned with buffer time for the unexpected. I plan contingency plans for the contingency plans.

I try to pre-destine the daily not accounting for the free-will asserting itself – or nature’s plans, or even God’s plans. The only thing I am sure of in this planning is that my plan is predestined to not go as planned.

I didn’t plan for one boy throwing up at 4:30 a.m. on a Thursday morning – or the nasty bug flowing and ebbing over the next 5 days.  I didn’t plan for another boy catching the same bug 48 hours later, two days behind the other. Is chaos a plan?

Challenges have shown up un-invited into what should have been a seamless year, with a fall-out that affecting my boys in unplanned ways.

I didn’t plan for that.

Life throwing up unplanned, unpleasant things? “Not in my plans!” I assert, not considering I am man, fallible man. How can imperfect humanity create a perfect plan?

My plans are but pencil sketches on onion paper to God’s plans. He’s planned for every intersection crossing with other plans, like my husband’s, my boyss and everyone else’s whose path I cross in the daily. His contingencies out-contingency mine.

5-Minute Stop

I’m a terrible passenger (just ask my boys who are now have their licenses) in this God-designed journey.  Still gasping at some of the curves. Still saying, “Do you see that?” Still trying to slam on my air brakes. Sometimes my breath just gets caught in my chest, and I wonder if I’ll survive – but I am learning to let God drive this ride.

So when the boys throw up, and cry, “I’m hungry . . . . I don’t want Italian ices anymore” – and I stand firm on the soft, liquid diet until tummies settle down, I’m learning to embrace the plan change – and find God in it – not the sickness – but the silver lining of it.

When the boys come home,worn out, not 100%, frustrated with the make-up exams and unexpected, unplanned for chaos in the daily, and spill frustration like a sticky soda canknocked over into the day. . . . I settle into God – and after I settle into God, I make chocolate dipped pretzels with KitKat and M&M dust – because some days need extra-special, unplanned cooking – and unplanned time with God.

“We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
    but God’s purpose prevails” (Proverbs 19:21)

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knitIt’s tangerine rosemary tea in my grandmother’s tea-cup on a holiday afternoon
as the sun slants through the front windows
And I lasso time to write
My heart

It’s snowflakes on the first day
Back to work after the holiday
Snowflakes cover the road
Covering my windshield
And my black ballet slippers
Leave a path across the grocery parking lot
For club soda, vanilla bean ice cream
And chocolate syrup
Because my littlest one found the recipe
In an old book
Though I knew the recipe from an old memory
Saucey boy thought he’d discovered something I didn’t
And I lassoed time
Because he threw down the gauntlet
To make soda memories

It’s, “Mama can you make my sandwich
‘cause it would just taste that much better?”
Or, “Mom, can you bring by the stapler?”
“Read my essay – did I do the cites right?”
expressing appropriate appreciation in the dry
humor of a miniature snowman
and how repentance grows out of hard lessons learned,
grows into tears, hugs and walking tall
And I lasso time out of the jaws of not enough
of me to go around

It’s the no in healthy boundaries
And faith in the journey of a prayer sent out
It’s decisions not for popularity
But for love
and letting go so that independence with training wheels
can work
For standing when sometimes I’d rather
retreat to “Stars and Butterflies” and “The Militia Marching In”
And I lasso time for grace
because I asked God for these boys and this job
and He grew my heart and the will to fight
for moments with tangerine rosemary tea,
chocolate sodas, the dry humor of a miniature snowman
and an answered prayer come home

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Mothering lays bare my soul, all raw and real to these arms, legs and toes with a soul born skin-bare. Life bare they grew, loved and wrapped little arms around my neck, unconditional trust to grow who God created them to be, some days barely graceful, some days barely adequate – and the memory of the imperfection bared is no longer than a sleep.

Imperfect me laid bare to little toes and legs that grow up into teen toes and legs with little tolerance, little forgiveness for a barely good-enough mom who misses it, missteps the daily dance with those toes and legs. And I am bared, in this teen reveal, the true brokenness of imperfect me. In the bareness of the reveal these legs and toes remember past the daily sleeps, remember and dress imperfect me in my own gracelessness.

The bare necessity of a mother’s life? It’s not the coffee, the hugs, the candles lit that symbolize hope for a peaceful moment. Not, it is hope and faith that here I am bare, alone, judged by these legs and toes – that they will one day take their soul fingers and peel away the imperfect memories, laying bare to the startling unconditional, hope-filled love that never gave up on either of us.

Once I got beyond the thought of how my boys used to, pre-10 unabashedly walk bare-naked through the house without any inhibitions  – well, such is a boys-only house – I realized that bare is a word that should come with “forgiveness required.”

While we can dress up our bareness when we leave the house –  but home and these boys and my husband and I – home is real, where we are all laid bare. It’s where tempers like a teapot give off steam. It’s where comfort is available like blankets folded, waiting to wrap around. It is a place where unexpected humor shows itself. It’s where daily wounds get tended and exacerbated. As a mother, it’s the place where I am more harshly judged than anywhere else.

Home is a bare-it all place where God is the foundation and forgiveness, faith and love frame it, cannot stand without it. When you enter or leave, please take some love and forgiveness with you.


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