Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Labor

Today, I noticed something. I tend to classify my spiritual life with weather metaphors. For a while, recently, I found myself dwelling in a desert place. Cold air swirled outside our doors and windows, but the air in my heart was dry and burning. I read my Bible and sang in worship on Sunday mornings. I prayed. Oh boy did I pray.

Then, thanks to small things here and there, I began to drink of God again. Raindrops came in the form of books in my mailbox, quotes by CS Lewis, conversations with friends, the daily love of my husband. I became a cactus, sucking up the rain for all I'm worth. Writing the Word on my heart is the best way to survive a drought in later years.

So water flowed, and then, almost before I drank my fill, the air went cold. Now, I am full up with words and prayers and the knowledge of my heart in His, His heart for me. But the water that once fell warm now stalls cold, frozen in my center, frozen in my home, frozen around my husband, my children, my life. I feel as if I'm eating ice chips…

And that's okay. It's hard, but it's okay. Because, do you know when most women eat ice chips? 

We eat them when we labor. We eat them from our husband's hand, a nurse's proffered cup. We eat them while sweat pours down our faces, while we cry and moan and push. Ice chips come when we have made it through nine months of pregnancy, when instead of ultrasound images and baby showers, we have IVs and epidurals, or tubs of water and hot towels. We have nurses and doctors or midwives and doulas. We have husbands or mothers or sisters or friends who hold our hands and remind us to breathe.

We labor.

It is scary. It is hard. It feels otherworldly, impossible, how can a baby come from there? How has it been nine months? How is it possible? A baby? A whole little human formed inside of us, and we have been waiting and waiting and waiting. 

While we grew larger and lost sleep, change was already taking place deep down in the pit of us. It felt like the end would never come, like we would always be round and heavy and complaining of heartburn, of back pain, of bruised ribs and swollen ankles. We've been sensitive to the smells of our world, made sick unexplainable and craving things we never ate before. Our moods have been volatile. We feel rage and despair and overwhelming joy all in the space of three seconds. No one can keep up with our hormonal barometer. 

But now it is time.

I am choosing joy today. I am choosing optimism. I am choosing to believe that winter means birth is on its way. I am choosing to believe these ice chips on my heart are a good sign, a sign that a seed was once planted and it has already been growing, growing, growing up inside of me. Before long, a new life will burst forth from God's womb. She is me, and I am her, but we are something new.

Something new is brewing. The winter storm is raging, but God is coming through. 

Life will birth anew.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Poem: My Heart's A Well of Wasted Things

My brain is full
of faded artificial
flowers, not even
silk, but polyester.

My hope is filled
with books I haven't
written yet and all the ones
I have.

My fingers are full
of stories, letters
typed and not typed
but danced around.

My mouth is full
of Bibles without covers, 
verses spilling only
to condemn.

My feet will fill
with mismatched socks,
all the steps I took
and then forgot.

My belly is full up
with food I never ate
and never fed to even
one small least of these.

My nose, it fills
with the stench of sin,
and I will not throw away
the workless wrongs.

My eyes are filled
with candles snapped,
never lit and only saved
for the shallow 'just in case.'

Is my heart a well
of wasted things?
Am I a temple 
to myself and stuff and more
and can I fill the holes 
with less of me?

* Yes, it is supposed to say workless, not worthless.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Felicities: 2/22/13

Friday Felicities

Fun upbeat song stuck in my head
Sliding photos into albums
Brand new ink in the printer
Made up words
My boys' Harry Potter joy
Being heard
Text convos with Carrie and Tara
Small possibilities budding to life
Thinking on agape
Itty-bitty notebooks
Griffin & Sabine
Creative play with Mandy B
Unexpected evening with friends
Ciona's beautiful heart
Emailing with Louise
Gifted avocados

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Felicities: 2/15/13

Friday Felicities

Freshly updated Dry-erase calendar
New possibilities on the horizon
Jesus' words on index cards
Opening a brand new book
Brilliant and beautiful metaphor
Excitement in a loved one's voice
Playing with Project Life
Earth-toned owl-print paper
Postcards in the mailbox
Red flag raised high
"10,000 Reasons" as my ringtone

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Middle Places - Love and Marriage

If you haven't visited the Middle Places blog, here's a good entry to start with. In honor of Valentine's Day, the Middle Sisters let their husband's take over the blog. Pure genius if you ask me. And here is Cheri's husband, Donald, sharing about the beauty for ashes that is their redeemed marriage, and if you get through the entry without crying, I think you may be broken.

In the Middle of Loving Forgiveness

Also, it is Thursday and Thursday is my day to host the Middle Places Facebook page. You should drop by and check that out as well. I do a different theme each Thursday. For this month, I am following (loosely) C. S. Lewis' The Four Loves. Last week, we covered friendship. This week, we're all about some eros. There will be quotable yumminess all day long, including poetry that might make your skin tingle.

Middle Places on Facebook

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Currently: a February Face

Current Books: I just finished Incendiary by Chris Cleave and started The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister. In the car, we are listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We are reading a book by/about Dave Dravecky as well. I'm still rereading One Thousand Gifts and making my way through Red Letter Revolution.

Current Playlist: The White Flag album. Specifically "White Flag" and "10,000 Reasons."

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Hot Tamales candies

Current Colors: Bright pink and orange-red

Current Fetish: Project Life

Current Food: It's shrove tuesday. I will be making gluten free pancakes for Haydn and enjoying pancakes with my family and my church family this evening. :)

Current Drink: water or coffee with stevia and creamer

Current Favorite Favorite: Watching the number on my pedometer get higher and higher

Current Wishlist: A teleportation device, some way to be in SC and help my sister with her new work transition.

Current Needs: Patience. It is so hard to wait for things.

Current Triumph: Walking more than three miles two days in a row and closing in on a third.

Current Bane of my Existence: Haydn is moodier than usual and I am not sure why. Do meds need adjusting? Or is it having his brother around more often? Or is it just part of growing up?

Current Indulgence: Buying apples. They aren't cheap, but they sure are yummy AND healthy.

Current Mood: Tired and mostly content. 

Current #1 Blessing: Corey. He is my biggest fan, and his reading my writing is so encouraging for me.

Current Outfit: dark jeans, dark purple long sleeve shirt, painted TOMs

Current Link: If you haven't already, check out the Middle Places blog. Also, look them up on Facebook. I moderate on Thursdays and it's a lot of fun.

Current Quote

“You know," Marion said, "I met a woman once when I was a teenager. I knew she had gone through a lot but she was so strong, so compassionate. I asked her how she could be the way she was, and you know what she told me?"

Hadley shook her head.

"She said, 'You can be broken, or broken open. That choice is yours.” 
― Erica BauermeisterJoy For Beginners

Current Photo:

Title taken from:

“Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?” 
― William ShakespeareMuch Ado About Nothing

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Poem: Transfigured into Glory

This is my Son,
God says.
This is my Son,
He is the turning
of your life,
you must believe
you must listen
to my Son.

He is transfigured
in my day.
He has become
sunlight through beveled glass, 
skid marks
from running boys,
little voices laughing
over Legos.

He is transfigured
in my home.
He has become
a first cup of coffee,
the flow of black ink,
the look in my child's
eyes when he finally
gets it.

He, Jesus,
is transfigured,
visible in so many
small hinged moments
when God says,
this is my Son.
Pay attention
to Him.

He is transfigured
and the Voice is
heard, and it is my
decision, hinged here,
on His voice.
Do I pivot, do I
turn, do I
accept transfigured Glory
or do I close
my eyes, ignore this
simple seeking moment, and
walk back down
the mountain?

Will I remember this
Moses, Elijah, Jesus joy
or will the cock crow thrice
and break my heart?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Project Life: January

I started Project Life this year. I have seen my friend Stephanie doing her own binders for a couple of years and I adore what she shows on her blog. I miss scrapbooking but felt overwhelmed when I thought about catching up. So I started fresh. And, because I love it so much, I am doing an album for my sister as well. I am doing hers as more of a monthly thing, since I am not around her kids and can't minutely document their weeks. (I so wish I was there and could do weekly pages for them as well). Anyhow, here are some of the mini-layouts I have done so far this year. I print them on cardstock and slide them neatly into their pockets. It's fun and simple.

David's first bit of homeschool work
Pumpkin Cheese Bread and a Double Chocolate Loaf

Eliza and her daddy in Virginia snow

Mom and Carrie and sweet Tyrus

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Poem: Dance

In the taking of communion,
we dance before the devil.
We throw Jesus in his face
as David threw caution
away and danced without
regard for dignity. The enemy's
in Michal's eyes, and he
doesn't like for us to dance.
He cannot tolerate our joy, but
he cannot stop it anymore
than the blood can go unshed,
than the breaking of the bread
can be unbroken.
So heart of mine, also broken
and put back together again,
let go, let go, let go.
If I don't dance,
the rocks will.
If I don't bow,
the trees will.
If I don't sing,
all of creation will sing.
I see the enemy in
the queen's eyes,
but dignity can't hold us back
when Jesus takes up residence
in all our broken places.
The only thing to do
is dance.


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