Thursday, December 6, 2012

On the Road...

I Love You
The little wooden beads spell it out
in absolutes
of pink hearts and careful girl-child fingers;
This van is loaded to the brim
with love.
and crusty cheerios
and songs sung too many times
and empty spaces
of desert
always following 
out the window.
Dried wildflowers fill places
of memory in me
where my life usually lives.
But Devil's Claw
you call me out.
You whisper secrets and
tell stories by firelight.
Mystery and Alien
you point the way
onward down the road.
And so we fly on
into the I Love You.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sisterhood of Mothering

Baby Rain and Grace-girl:  Sisters
Today I'm thankful for sisters.  Mine, in particular.

Last weekend I sat with her, a latte and a black coffee between us, homeschool curriculum spread out on the table, and the Pacific Ocean roaring out the window.  It was a breathlessly beautiful moment.  Not just because of the ocean, or the silence of the child-less moment, but because it reminded me of all that is good between my sister and me.  We've shared so much on our life journey; some pretty and some definitively not.   But divorce and cancer and all kinds of ugliness could never overshadow all the good: marriage, children, life, and Jesus, to name a few.
She's latte, I'm black coffee.
I've been watching my girls as they grow and unite against the world in their crazy childlike way and remembering what that felt like for me.  Having a sister meant I was never on my own.  I always had a help-mate and friend.  When I doubted myself, I could trust that she would be standing there ready to give me a true reflection.  I like to think that our relationship is part of the reason we both married wonderful men- there was no desperation or loneliness in that choice.  We always had each other, after all.

Oh the joy!
I've lived with my sister (and her very patient husband) a few times over the years and in the living together we have discovered we have very little in common in the everyday threads of life.  She's organized, I'm eclectic.  She's modern and minimalist, I'm artistic and Bohemian.  She's a vacation at a spa, I'm a backpacking adventure.  But we would live together again everytime.  Someday we'll be 85 and 88 in our rocking chairs watching the world go by our little porch.  Or maybe we'll still be hiking down to the beach, wine glasses in hand, to watch the moon rise.
Cousins can be sisters, too!
I don't want it to end.  In a way it is the sisterhood that provoked my heart into wanting a child in the first place.  And then another.  Between us we have five girls and some powerful strong sisterlove going on.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What does Sunset smell like?

Mt. Washington with Alpenglow- a bit closer than our park view.
The view from my Grace-girl's bedroom window is incredible.  Above the park across the street, the sun is setting over Mt. Washington, the sky all pink and blue.

We lie in a pile up in her high loft bed; a tower set apart, resting.  Baby Rain, little sister, is down below.  Darkness creeps into the sleepy corners.

"Do you want me to open the window so you can smell the sunset?"
"What does it smell like?"
"You tell me."  I open the window.
She takes a deep breath.
"It smells like rainbows."

She dreamed that night about brothers- helping her, holding her up, supporting her (she has no natural brothers).  The brothers in the dream were represented by real people in her life, friends, both girls and boys.  It's a dream, mom, anybody could be a brother, boy or girl," she reminds me.  She was falling and they helped her up.  Then they gave her a picture of Jesus.  A physical picture of Jesus as well as the metaphorical one. 

This is how my five year old dreams.

So sleep well, little girl.  Don't worry about what might be lost.  Soon you will be six and you might not remember what rainbows smell like.  But you'll never be alone in this life- that I promise.

photo courtesy of Pacific Crest Stock Photo Blog

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sisterhood of Wild Things

The paint is dry.  The honeymoon is over.  "Mom, I miss when it was just me and you and Daddy.  I miss our old house."  Oh, wow.  My heart is physically breaking.  Can she hear it?  The sadness in her little voice is overwhelming.  Must...act...strong...

Four days later:
"Mom, I like sharing my room with my sister.  It's not so lonely."

How strange blows this wind!  The storm of sisterhood is truly amazing.

At first the baby reaches for sister's hair, her toys, her face, anything related to this being that she so adores.  Soon baby is touching her things, crawling into her space, her face.  I was that baby once: adoring, single-mindedly determined to devour my sister and anything related to her.

We'll eat you up we love you so!

I was the wild thing.  She was Max.  Losing control, lost in confusion, angry, frustrated.

But Max said, "no."

Oh, those poor little wild things.  They just wanted to love and be loved with pure abandon.  And poor Max, who could finally control something in his world, didn't mean to hurt them.

Make no mistake, those little wild things have claws, too.  And the King of the Wild Things does bear some great responsibility.  He must be able to say NO (and to put them to bed without any supper, but that is a different story for a different day).

But in the end, who do we love more than life itself?  The Dream, the Imagining, the Wild Thing that has pulled us out of ourselves and drawn us into the great adventure.

As I watch Grace-girl and Baby Rain dance these steps, I find tears flowing. Thankful for my sister who gladly piles up with me when things feel lonely or hard.
Thankful that my girls will have that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

To Dream the Impossible Dream: Elmo and Windmills

I was watching the documentary about Kevin Clash, "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" while burrito-loading (a common activity for Friday night around here- making breakfast burritos for ski days).  I was struck by Kevin's pure, unstoppable essence (or so it seems) of innocence, love of his craft and passion..  This man endured ridicule in High School because of his love of puppets.  High School.  The most brutal testing ground of all social interaction, and he brought puppetry.  But he kept his dream and made it grow.  Clash went from regular lower/middle class kid to "most likely to become a millionaire" because he followed his dream regardless of the consequences.  The high school yearbook was wrong though.  He's probably worth several million by now.  He did this at the risk of his own personal relationships, which he fully addresses in the story, and his telling of it only reinforces my opinion of the guy. 

How can we become such impassioned champions of our own dreams and visions?  I've never been a big Elmo fan, but I can't help admiring the guy.  Children LOVE Elmo.  Wanna know why?  Because Clash created Elmo to emanate affection.  When he was creating a new persona for the Elmo puppet he did so with a particular action: affection.  Where did he get the idea?  From his parents.  He realized that it was something that wasn't really being done on Sesame Street at the time.  He was the first Muppet to be requested as a Make-a-Wish wish.  That scene seriously made me cry.  This great little documentary reinforces my entire universe: 
  1. Show my children affection.  
  2. Be authentic.  
  3. Lead with Love.
And tell them to always follow their dreams.  But try to say it without the cheesy-PBS-overtones.   Now I'm going to watch some Bones.  Because brainless brainy-drama is my usual favorite brain candy. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

At which altar do you kneel?

"Worship" is a loaded word.  If you come from a Christian background it's full of mixed messages: carved statues on mountaintops juxtaposed with the leathery smell of old hymnals overlaid by power-point-presentation and over dramatized guitar.  Really, worship is much less about the music we play and more about how we pay honor, homage or respect to God.

Our family has recently taken on the truly awesome role of leading a little music time, a.k.a. "praise and worship," at a little gathering of Jesus-lovers on Sunday mornings.  We come together to serve our community and encourage each other, pray, and study the Bible without all the trappings of "church."

Except those little mini-cinnamon rolls.  Those are delicious.  And coffee.  Gotta have coffee.

Anyway- true worship, in my opinion, is the one thing we possess that we are able to give freely to God.
Worship is not ordained or orchestrated or even necessarily interpreted by God or anyone else.
I believe we were created to love God.  To WORSHIP Him.  To show respect, reverence, affection, love, devotion.  Why does He need this?  He doesn't.  He really doesn't.  But He likes to know that we choose to do it, anyway, because He loved us first.  Even before we knew to call on Him, before we knew the extent of our own shortcomings, He loved us, first.  He can't help himself, He HAS to love us.  

The thing that trips me up is this:  He Worships Us, Too. Now, don't freak out on me.  I'm not suggesting that we are gods of some sort- He Sings over usHe adores us.  He longs to be with us. 
The true worship of our hearts is that we choose Him over everything else in this world, just as He chose us.  

This topic of worship has been heavy on my heart for the past few months- I expect to return to it with a little more clarity, soon.  Promise.
For now I'll leave you with a favorite song of mine by Misty Edwards, "See the Way."

"God is a lover, looking for a lover, so he fashioned me.
God is a lover, looking for a lover, so he formed my heart..."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

growing up too fast

Who is this girl?  
Longer than the bathtub, now, 
all arms and legs
chubby cherub toddler gone
in her place 
this gangly creature, unknown to me 
eyes twinkling with mischief and creativity, 
her hair is strong and long as her will 
she pushes me
tug of war 
dancing an unfamiliar dance 
We laugh and cry, together

how to walk this new line:
weary and wary
I will myself able.