Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Birthday Reflection

Presents sit wrapped on the  kitchen table, cake awaits it's dawning of candles, and two little birthday boys anxiously buzz around the house, full of excitement for a party that has finally arrived. 

This morning, as we prepare to celebrate The Deuce turning the big three amidst a sea of family and friends, my eye can't help but be drawn to them and how splendidly full of life they are. My heart truly overflows with love and joy {and exhaustion!} at the thought that the Lord has entrusted them to Jer and I for this time. They are our treasures and I am daily in awe that I have the privilege of being called their momma.

On this birthday morning, my sense of wonder over my three year old big boys also has me reflecting on the following words from Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain. May his thoughts encourage you today, as well, in whatever your weekend wanderings might be.
"Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: 'O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!'" 

Monday, February 14, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

I sit drinking coffee under a a blanket, children piled high on my lap, and remember only after he's gone the card and his favorite candies that still sits hidden in my top dresser drawer. It's a small but genuine token on this day of romance where restaurants fill and flowers abound and love flows syrupy and sweet. 

I am hard on myself for forgetting. 

But just as it's in the being broken that I am being healed, it is also in the forgotten in which I am reminded.

How you really say I love you to the half of your two become one is by giving thanks to the One who joined you.

11-20 of my 1000 gifts...
11. Dinner out but hearing only the clinking of our two glasses.
12. A weekend away and the eyes to appreciate the beauty in every moment.
13. A kiss admits a sea of children below.
14. Coffee and a chocolate croissant shared in the quiet corner of a cafe.
15. His gentle teasing that reminisces of our once boy-girl love.
16. The familiarity of his hands and finding them effortlessly.
17. Riding quiet.
18. Frozen yogurt with one spoon.
19. His continual yeses despite all my no's.
20. Love that comes only because He first loved us.
"We are to love then because it is the essence of God who lives in us, because love is manifest by Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, because love is the key to our testimony and declaring the very reality of our God. In loving each other in a perfect, mature, whole way, we put God on display."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

Months ago, while on vacation, I awakened suddenly to a pounding heart and a racing mind and an overall unexpected fork in what I thought to be a very straight path of life.

And just as it must and does when these things come about, life shifted. Prayers became longer and more intent in hearing. The Word, read, and digested more slowly. Inventory of life taken. Heart examined. Priorities weighed and the question of, "Why?"  ever constant on my lips. 

"Why, Lord? Why now? When children whirl and life blurs at it's busiest yet for us. Why?"

Test are run and come back negative and my chest heaves at the thought that there just might not be a tangible answer. I lean harder on the Father than ever before. 

It is a hard season. 

Harder than my parents divorce. 

Harder than our first pregnancy and the dashed hope of the baby that wasn't.

Harder than anything I've yet to experience in my 28 years . 

Several doctors have taken a guess at what drives the fear and keeps the cogs turning way past when I am  ready for them to slow and quiet. Their words, their diagnosis', all hang like heavy blankets.

I cry to my husband about the thoughts in my head and the tightness in my chest  and how I feel robbed of joy and peace. He gently reminds me that only earthly peace and joy are devoid of conflict. His arms comfort and his hands fold over over mine and the man who prefers music to books, reads aloud strong words from great men late into night until sleep finds me. 

And slowly, like a small but steady trickle from a faucet, the Lord whispers softly to me that in being broken I am really being healed.

And so I praise Him, for His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts, and I daily cling to His promises and the HOPE of the Gospel. 

And I continue to beseech Him for wisdom and strength in this journey.

Won't you pray with me?
Admits these  wearisome months, I have continued to find great encouragement through one of my favorite blogs, A Holy Experience. Recently, Ann, whom I often talk about to others as if she is one of my dearest friends, wrote a book called One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. This book is Ann's story of  striving to live full of grace, and in her words, "waking up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out."

Ann also says in this week's in{courage} book club video,"I think the tension of every moment is if it's going to be resentment or am I going to accept it as a gift and it's going to be gratitude. All of the time. Every moment there is that choice. It is a battle all of the time." 

So I begin today, choosing gratitude over resentment. Naming the gifts bestowed by a Father who loves dearly and tenderly and who's grace superabounds in all moments of life.

1-10 of my 1000 Gifts
1. A husband who patiently loves and comforts and  who has welcomed the past couple months of tears as if they were his own.
2. For the darkness for that is when we truly understand light.
3. For a renewed sense of gratitude to the Father and ALL of His gifts.
4. For longer days and the promise of the coming Spring.
5. For grace.
6. For my dad, for reasons to numerous to list here.
7. For these days that keep me constantly seeking the Lord. 
8. My babies and their infectious happiness that is  thwarted neither by sadness or worry. 
9. Tears in the eyes of a friend who asks you how you really are and then really listens.
10.The Cross and all it's Glory.

Should you find yourself in a similar season of life OR if you just desire to count the gifts of our Father, please consider purchasing Ann's book and joining me in the One Thousand Gifts book club over at in{courage}. And if you've never heard about the Lord and the HOPE of the Gospel, I'd love to be the one to tell you about Him. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sweet As...

 {APPLE} pie!

A.B. lining up his math manipulatives {which are certainly used for everything BUT math!} in the military style. It's kinda his thing these days...
And last, our sweet Ju *wishing with all his might* that he was allowed in the backyard to participate in all things big boy.