“You don’t make sacrifices.” I hear his belligerent ten-year-old voice in my head as I pick up another sheet and fold it. “I die daily,” I argue back as I dump the basket of towels and pick up the one on top. The laundry today feels like a slow death. Death by socks. I daydream a little as I fold and stack, fold and stack. How much easier it would be to leave this house every day and move among a world of rational adults who appreciate the contributions I make! How much easier to ship my kids off somewhere so I could pursue lofty goals and dreams instead of keeping house and tending to needs day in and day out! […]
I see the world from my own personal point of view. I know my own story, and I can see the roles other people play in it. But the world doesn’t revolve around me. I play a role in other people’s stories, too. Sometimes I’m an extra–another face in the grocery aisle as a widower goes to the store alone for the first time in forty years. Sometimes I’m a villain–the one who was in such a hurry that I cut off a lady in traffic and made her sit at that long red light twice, causing her to be late for an appointment. Sometimes I get to be an angel–swooping in to someone’s rescue before flying off again. Sometimes […]
There— Do you see it?— There, At the end of the long aluminum guard rail, There At the edge of the tire-tracked gravel Spilled over from the rumble-stripped asphalt, There, In the shadow of the wooden cross Wreathed by silk flowers, There, Among the shards of broken glass A wildflower blooms.
This is my favorite time-with-you of day, These moments just after you wake With the pink flush of sleep Upon your cheeks And the glisten of a tear Caught in the round place Beside your nose. Your lashes bat away the light That brightens blue your slumbered eyes As you up-reach two dimpled hands And sweetly call my name. I pull your tiny frame up Up into my arms and you Golden-nestle softly tussled head Upon my chest And rest Until the siren call of play Sweetly beckons you away And you scramble from my arms To leave.
As I was out with my children yesterday, I noticed the trees in bud along the road beginning to blossom. Half-open pinks and whites heralded the awakening of spring and new life. Joy and beauty bloomed before my eyes. But my heart wasn’t ready to see it. With a pang I thought, “No! Not yet! It’s not time!” The reaction startled me. Every winter I long for spring and I rejoice with the green and gold and dappled things. But it’s mid-February—these things are out of season. And my heart is grieving. Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. Proverbs 25:20, NLT The […]
I am married to a man who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in just over one minute. I’m baffled each time I watch him do it. The moment he solves one part, he begins unmaking it in order to pursue the next level of completion. What I thought was accomplished now looks undone. Once that level is complete, colors get even more jumbled as he puts other pieces into their proper places. It’s a messy prospect. I get a bit squeamish watching it. But then, all it takes is the flick of a wrist… And all is made right again. Whole. Complete. I am that Rubik’s Cube. This process of unmaking and rearranging of pieces is messy. I’m holding out […]
I normally love the bright glow of the late afternoon sun as it falls pleasantly over the countryside and streams through my windows, but today I noticed a harsh reality: the same golden light that brightens the goodness outside also highlights how dirty my kitchen is. I was shocked and appalled to see smudges, smears, and streaks covering the front of my oven, refrigerator, and two cabinets. So appalled, in fact, that I dropped what I was doing and immediately set to work washing off the grime. I knew if I let the moment pass, the light would fade and I’d grow complacent again with the dirt I would no longer see. I wanted to make use of that moment […]
I remember the first time I walked into our latest real estate project. My buddy Scott found a good deal and wanted me to see it. The enormous dead tree lying in the front yard was just a prelude to what we’d find inside. Standing in the kitchen, we felt squeezed by the dark, dirty, depressing space. Most people would have taken one look and passed on this old house, despite the great location in a quiet neighborhood. No appeal was visible to the naked eye. Scott and I, however, saw potential. Yes, potential for profits, but also potential to use our God-given abilities to take something damaged and make it beautiful again. Scott imagined stripping the kitchen, knocking down […]
Mom guilt. I can’t shake it. It’s there every time I turn around. What my kids eat. What I eat. What we should be eating that we don’t. Organic? GMOs? Antibiotics and growth hormones? Stress. Some days I just want Oreos. Milestones and growth charts. Do we vaccinate or not? Babywearing. Sleep habits. Breastfeeding. Bottle feeding. Stress. I should be savoring these moments, right? Some days I just want to sleep. Looks from other moms at the playground. Judgment from older folks at a restaurant. Advice from a lady with three dogs and no kids. Stress. Some days I just want to hide at home. (But then I feel lonely.) Laundry piles. I’m so behind. To-do lists and should-do lists. […]
I’m always amazed at the way our small children can teach us deep truths about God. When our third son was born, his older brothers were eager to meet him. They each got to hold him, kiss him, and love on him. Even after we were home from the hospital, they couldn’t get enough of the new baby, always wanting to see and touch him. After a great many holdings and kisses and too-strong hugs, I began to weary of their enthusiasm. It took a lot of energy to oversee their boyish love on a newborn, so frequently I’d only allow them to look on while I held the baby. They were fairly happy with this arrangement, except when he […]