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Posts Tagged ‘One Thousand Gifts’

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

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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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My son, when he was little, had trouble settling down for bed. It wasn’t so much energy oozing externally, propelling him from bed. It was all about how to still his mind to sleep.

It was the thinking, the ideas needing to be expressed – from his eyes, to his mouth to his fingertips to his feet – and not knowing how to still it all.

“Your fingers need to go to sleep, too,” I’d say, sitting with him, – and he’d still his fingers. One by one, he’d try to still thoughts and expression – kind of like turning the house lights off one-by-one. He wasn’t even 5 years old.

Learning how to still it all isn’t just a 5-year-old thing .

I know how he feels. Except it’s not always a stilling for sleepy-time things – a stilling of fingers and toes.

My self-perception is affected by thoughts that need stilling. To-do list thoughts, How-to, How-to-achieve-things-like-dreams thoughts, creeping-in-sly-fearful thoughts, less-than-my-better-self thoughts.

When I think of God, His plans for my life – I think of action, doing, achieving, always feeling behind the plan instead of ahead of the plan – never just where I need to be in the unfolding of the plan.

Motion – never stopping, never stilling – for fear I’ll end up to far behind to catch up.

All types of motion are required for real, living relationship with God.

Sometimes with God, I am to just stand, in a withstand way.

Sometimes, He carries me.

Sometimes, I am to read love letters He left outside my door, in a nature walk, in the journey to a waterfall, in a thunder storm.

Sometimes, we walk, heads bent together, arms linked

Other times, it has been like sitting on a porch swing, quiet, no talking, nothing happening but just being together – being still together.

That was this week.

Being still was a tough lesson for me last week. For a time, it left me confused, empty, insecure, sadly forlorn.

Instead of me soothing my children to still themselves, He kept admonishing me to still myself.

He sat with me on a porch, in the mountains, during a storm that blew dust particles from trees  into my face before spraying me with a misty coolness.

I wanted to read a love letter, to find a message from Him, but He just said,
“Be still. Just be with me. You can read the letter later. It will keep.”

Sitting in a chair, casting and reeling because I couldn’t do much else, in a little pond in a little cabin where cleaning and cooking were off-limits for my surgery recovery, I tried to build a post out of it all.

Be still. Just be with me.Everything else will keep, He said.

I couldn’t swim in the pond, couldn’t go rowing in the boat because of my stitches, so I watched my boys, took pictures and sat on the sidelines. I kept trying to find meaning for a message

But He just said, “Be still. Just be with Me. Everything else will keep.”

Sometimes I need to live out the “being” – let everything unfold – let it swirl down inside and “be” a part of it, even if it is just sitting.

Sometimes just to be with Him, recognize that He is sitting with me, beside me – that He wants to have relationship like that – like on a porch swing late in the afternoon when no words are needed, and we just watch together, just be still together.

I don’t think He created  Adam and Eve for Big thoughts, Big tasks, Big achievements. Sometimes He calls us to those – the Father, also wants to walk with us in the cool of the day and spend time with us (Genesis 3:8).

“Be Still,” He says – fingers, toes, and, yes, my mind.

“And Know that I am God”(Psalm 46:10)

He doesn’t want us to just know He is God – He wants us to know Him – even in the stillness of just being.

When He wants us to be still, everything else will keep.


Still joining Ann Voskap at A Holy Experience learning how to see the gifts God leaves me daily – it has been like a training camp this counting to 1,000 gifts – filled with blessing!
580) Prayers from friends in the blogahood and the neighborhood.
581) No pain
582) the ability to stretch
583) little guys who still give hugs
584) the ability to recuperate without pressure
585) pink, yellow and orange zinnias with bergamot blossoms in Mason Jars
586) uninterrupted time with my husband
587) waking my little guys up at the cabin to go fishing, counting ribs to get their muscles moving, their voices woke up, and shrieks of laughter filling my ears
588) a blue gill I caught with the wrong bait and a bobbin – it matched my glasses. We released it
589) my husband putting the worm on my hook – for some reason, it was easier a long, long time ago when squirmy wasn’t as yucky
590) watching the boys play in the pond, one in an inner-tube, one on noodles, another rowing
591) knowing that sometimes the figurative dragging to an experience is a moms job – knowing what the result can be when they get there – and see it all come about
592) peace that I did not have to be doing, achieving or even being productive as I recovered
593) air-conditioning and plenty of hose water for my tomatoes, zucchini, squash and zinnias
594) the blessing of healing
595) Sons who find our home comforting, a place to replenish, refresh
596) Sharing Sunday dinner, even if it is leftovers
597) Answered prayers unfurling
598) Evening walks with my husband, water, finding watermelons growing, red tomatoes, a rain tree flourishing.

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