Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I overhear her urging her friend, "Ask your mom if you can stay for dinner.
My mom is a really really good cook!"
I smile (I'm popping a frozen pizza in the oven). It's just a box pizza, I say.
She sidles up beside me conspiratorially.
"That's ok - you really really are a good cook."
Later, reading a bedtime story and tucking her in, I thank her for the compliment.
And she tells me then that when she grows up she wants to be just like me.
My shortcomings are hovering in the shadows of those words,
when she breaks into my maternal terrors with this;
"You are kind and you always help me,
unless you are teaching me to do it myself, but then you watch.
You are a good dancer. I'm a better singer though.
And you pray my bad dreams away and you have a lot of good ideas.
You are the best mommy ever!"
She asks if we can cook something together tomorrow,
and we do.
The image of her, aproned and cracking her first eggs into the bowl
is already in my scrapbooked heart.
Husband/Papa saw it too, this snapshot of grace.
We share the good of it in one delightful moment.
Good thing, cause I completely forgot my camera.
Life makes it's demands of us, but oh, it is so very full of magnificence.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We went hiking in the evening recently,
feeling the need to move past the walls that house us & occupy us,
breathe in the wide open spaces and the good company of the earth & one another.
We needed the quiet woods, as Emerson said,
to adopt the pace of nature - whose secret is patience.
Papa and 7 year old pack up a picnic, I grab my camera and we are off.
Mission Trails
Late afternoon sunshine and a cool breeze rustling the trees
accompany us as we make our way.

It is easy to find the path, feel confident heading into unknown territory
since so many have walked these trails, a well tramped path underfoot.
We found the old dam easily and it's rustic beauty and waterfalls were a pleasant surprise, a tranquil beauty.
It was just an evening walk; but filled with wonder...
We met a giant tree snail that gave Papa and 7 year old a lift.

Rabbits stopped to greet us on the path as they hurried and scurried to dinner.

An old, one-antlered reindeer guarding the sky.

Crossing a bridge later I saw this sign;  SENSITIVE HABITAT

Ask God for a sign and sometimes it's a humdinger!
It's the place we have been living; our family, all of us
as we walk by faith on this new trail still being forged.
We picnicked on a fallen tree and then
7 year old walked the length of it balancing with her arms open wide.
I snapped away happily cheering her on -
it was only later at home I made the discovery -
Just on the edge of each shot, ready and waiting,

Papa's hand.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~John Muir

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beautiful Beautiful World - ICP Awards

When you get there, roll over with your mouse to learn about each photo
(I am picturing you rolling over with a mouse, too funny)

Prudence and Bravery

7 year old has learned how to climb a doorway.
Do I want to see?
But of course.
Give me a minute she says…
And disappears into her room.
I hear drawers and doors,
footsteps to the garage and back,
Things being dragged from the bathroom.
After a good amount of time and a lot of activity
she proclaims herself ready!
She has put on every pair of underwear she owns
Her ‘biggest’ shorts over them all.
Another pair of underwear she found is on over those
Her nightgown
Her sweatshirt
Her swim goggles, the big ones
And her bicycle helmet
She has dragged out the bathroom towels
and placed the rug over them for padding
should she slip and fall.
Then, in an act of ready bravery,
she climbed to the top and shined!


Oh there is wisdom there.

Fix my mind (God so enjoys a play on words)

Your kindness should be known to all.
                                             ~ Philippians 4:5
I read this and come face to face with my desire to imitate Christ
and my own brokenness and need for grace.
I continue to read, to crawl under the covers of His word...
The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all,
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I pull the sheets over my head and pray.
I know how that peace which makes no sense is born.
Then I read some more,
God’s Word encouraging me
To fix my mind on all that is good.
Whatever things are true, whatever things matter,
whatever things are righteous, whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely and lovable,
whatever things are gracious,
whatever virtue there is
and whatever praiseworthy thing there is,
think on these things. Philippians 4:8.

That's a good perspective to hold onto.
For Christ's sake, for my own continuing conversion,
and for the sake of those whom God has placed in my life, I keep at it.
Kind-ness urges me on.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,

only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
 Excerpt from Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Friday, August 6, 2010

What do you carry in your pocket?

...I carry the woman with the lost child
in my pocket, where she murmurs
her love song without end:
Just this, each day:
Bear yourself up on small wings
to receive what is given.
Feed one another
with such tenderness,
it could almost be an answer.

Closing stanza of "Morning Song" by Marcia F. Brown

Let your Heart Thrill

In the morning I sit in an eastern window as the sun comes up.
Each day this week
on the tip top of our neighbors roof
there has stood a lone bird, chirp, chirp, chirp.
It doesn't twill a melody,
just chirp, chirp, chirp
rather loudly, irregularly, but constantly.
It reminds me of the warning signal
when the batteries are low in the smoke alarm.
(though not as loud or as annoying, TBTG)
I have given it a casual glance each morning,
amazed at it's persistence.
But this morning, halfway through my prayer reading and coffee,
I noticed all was silent.
I looked out at their roof just in time to see this feathered friend
alight there and begin to shout out at the new day
chirp, chirp, chirp.
I watched it's effort-
every chirp caused it's tail feathers to stiffen and lift
and it's toes (do birds have toes?)
to lift off the ground, as we might do to stand on our heels.
There was no doubt this little guy was putting
everything he had into that morning shout out
and just the act of doing so 'curled his toes and shook his tail feathers'
Yes, by all appearances he was thrilled to make his unique glad noise!
He was made for it, and finding his Joie de vivre,
happily engaged in the task, never mind the effort it took.
This is not finding joy in life but the joy of living -
I looked it up...
Joie de vivre is a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy,
a philosophy of life, a Weltanschauung!
(Why does this remind me of Young Frankenstein)
It speaks to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which
we interpret the world and interact in it.
But my husband is the philosopher, I am the...
whoa - that one stopped me in my tracks,
bet my kids could fill that in with something,
but I digress.
This 'framework' is what I like to call holy spirit spectacles.
Try this -
What is says depends entirely on how you look at it.
Nothing changes but your own reading of it.
Dictionnaire says "joie is sentiment exaltant ressenti par toute la conscience,
that is, an exhilarating sense felt by the conscience
that involves one's whole being."

What comes to mind when you think of joy in this way?
Not how Life brings you joy
but how you bring Joy to all of life?

Rise up in splendor! Your light has come.
Yes, upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.
Raise your eyes and look about; then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart will thrill and overflow... Isaiah 60:1,4-5

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today You will be with Me in Paradise

We went to the nursery today -
After feasting on Tom's tomatoes
I was craving a plant of my own.
7 year old wants carrots that she can actually pull up from the ground.
So we pick out a small tomato plant and a packet of carrot seeds.
She chooses a carrot stake - with personality -
so that they will be really good, happy carrots.
She wonders aloud why the bees are so busy today.
and the lizards, baby iguana's in her mind,
are everywhere.
(She saw the photo of me, ages ago,
trying to be cool while terrified,
with an Iguana on my shoulder
while vacationing in Mexico, and is ever since intrigued)
We come home and play in the dirt,
she knows why the tomato likes to live in it's tower-
climbs inside to show me how it holds you up.
We make a mess together, get our hands dirty,
water our lives with quiet joy
plant some promises as we bend down
the sun on our backs
then stretch up tall, take it all in
look forward to the harvest,
watch the yellow butterflies dance among the flowers.

Today, our humble garden was easily confused with Paradise.