Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Day that will live on in Infamy.... well perhaps not that long....

Ever have one of those days?

THOSE days?
The ones you refer to as "those" because truth be told you don't want to remember any crumb of a detail about them, so, you just refer to them as "those."

"Those" as in, "those-nasty--awful--very-bad" days.

I have.

I did.....


It started out grand. A real bacon-and-eggs sunny-side-up average day.

It ended with a cancelled trip, grumpy kids because of previous cancelled trip, a trip to the local Russian Orthodox church parking lot where we sat with the gas tank flashing empty and me flashing my license and registration and my face flashing red as I saw how fast I was going, and where a rather large portion of my money was going.....

(pardon me as I sigh)

and then a trip to see my husband and cry while one of the littles tells me in a very harsh tone that "She TOLD me to be careful." And then I stopped crying and tried to imagine how I could crash her next birthday party.

That is if she lived that long....

And then a trip home to make dinner and try to piece the day back together while the littles decide to clean the dollhouse furniture in the bathroom sink leaving a very wet little phone, now on the fritz which will not stop buzzing and came to rest in a bowl of rice to dry out for a day or two.

They are fighting  and I am yelling and can't this day come to a close yet?!!

And we recite our verses over more rice and tacos and I am wondering why Matthew never has a "blessed are they that mourn for their mad money which is now going to the courthouse...... for they shall inherit a great sum of money."

And sniffles are wiped on sleeves and no one wants to scrub the really nasty pot and I am now dreaming of all things chocolate.....

Too much water is added to the brownie mix by a little desperately trying to learn and I am wondering if she will always be Amelia Bedelia.... well..... they'll be MOIST....

And knitting becomes tangled in the five needles I am using for my first ever sock and I am wondering if I will  ever have the courage to knit the second one. Perhaps I should just hang this one on the wall and call it a day.

So I head to bed at the ripe old hour of 7:30 and decide to hibernate or pray for the Lord's return.

Or both.

And await a new day.

Good night friends.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A peek at the pattern

King Solomon's Mines is on the bathroom floor along with half of the Sword of the Lord.

I glance at their sales cleaning up and smile at some book boasting of "The Christian Woman's" something or other.

Always room for improvement.

I sigh. It has been a good long day.

I was so excited to finally finish a book of fiction that was so highly recommended, only to be disappointed, only to realize that the made up saga wasn't half as gripping as the story on the lips of tonight's company, opening raw wounds and still wondering why.

Who needs fiction when real life, when real hearts are so broken and hurting, and spilling over in my living room anyway??

And my heart is remembering hurts and how I could relate, could retell a story so similar to their own that it made my husband's jaw drop open.

He would look, point, and finally told them, our guests, that I really did know.

And it was a sort of weaver's moment for me.

Where I get a teasing glimpse of the upper side of what the Lord has been weaving in and out of my life.

Just enough of the pattern to keep me satisfied seeing a lot of loose edging hanging out on the underside.

And I am shocked and relieved and almost dumbstruck at the realization that there is a lot of hurt that God's children are carrying around.

A lot of guilt and pain and misunderstandings that cause us to get better or bitter, or even blinded to what real love and truth and loyalty really is.

And we sip cider and yes we are having that a lot lately, and I am wondering if this whole meeting is being watched by angels. If God has orchestrated this just so that I am reminded that it is worth it to forgive and keep moving on, and hug more and grimace less.

And the husband keeps catching my eye as if he is wondering if this night is for him as well. For him to be reminded that there are others like me. That forgiving and growing and learning to trust don't come naturally to everyone.

And stomachs are full, and hearts are renewed and prayers are said by the doorway before we all part ways, and I love that prayer can knit together what came in unraveled good as new. It is wonderful like that. That bowed heads and humbled spirits can remember who is mightier than the sting of remembrance.

Do you ever have a moment when you see your life, what has happened, what you have learned start to piece together?

Tonight was that sort of night for me. And what's more wonderful is that tomorrow morning I can choose to see God's weaving hand at the shuttle and give thanks for a messy past.

Good night of soul rest to you,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh, that those who bore us would be born again.

Because it is a good night to write things down.

Because it was a day filled with so many random blessings that if I do not write them down, I will forget, and God will not get enough glory for sending them my way.

The day began with two cardinals, husband and wife, (ok I know that is a stretch, but allow me the pleasure of thinking of them that way, would you?) eating at the feeder while we cleaned up from breakfast.

And God said once again to my heart, "I will take care of you. Are you not more precious than they to me?"

And He met our needs today, needs for fellowship with a sweet couple.

With the husbands working outside, we women folk sat by the roaring fire and I finally realized that it was indeed "Crochet" that she wanted to be taught, and NOT to knit. My husband thought he heard that right on the phone, but I assured him that it was to "knit" that she wanted and she probably gave the wrong English word.

She is Japanese. And I was wrong.

And she takes me to her room and slips out a storage container with oodles of crafting supplies and a slender red case. She tells me that her Mother gave it to her for her birthday when she was in the fourth grade.

I finger it gently and open it.

A knitter's dream. Every needle of every size, double points, counters, so delicately arranged and for sure made out of bamboo. So sweet. And in the middle pocket, my savior for the day, a hook. A crochet hook for catching dropped stitches, and for catching my error of not planning better.

She chains like a pro and I am wishing that April was here to really show her how and not me and my single and double crochets.

I convince her to start again for practice and as I unravel, she begins to unravel about her Mom. How she found out she had cancer, how her father refused to believe that she had anything wrong. How she was a champion through the pain, the chemo, and how she was able to make it to their wedding.

She talks in a little bit of broken English and my heart is breaking, knowing where this is heading.

She remembers the moment she knew that she needed to accept the Lord. She had only been in the U.S. a short while, her husband crazy busy with work and a new culture to make her feel completely alone.

She had left everything and now was confronted with leaving all she had known to trust this Son of God. And to trust Him for her future would acknowledge that her Mother's was settled forever.

And she would never see her again.

Twelve years later she still dreams that she sees her Mother and that they are heading one to heaven and one to hell and she tries futilely to convert her and wakes again knowing that there is no hope.

No hope.

By this time I am holding her newest in my arms still sleeping peacefully and my tears are spilling onto her blanket. THIS Mother/Daughter duo will see the face of Christ. Together.

I look her straight in the eye and tell her that I have such a burden for Asia. That I want to go back and tell her Mother. I want to tell all of Asia. I tell her I am sorry. I am sorry that twelve years ago I was not there to speak truth. I was too busy playing church here to be bothered with a dying Mother of someone I was not connected with.

She is now going back, progressing well on her scarf, thanking me for my time.

And I wish I had time to go back. She tells me that she knows that her Mother's passing gave her a hunger for God, and that we may understand the 99 percent of God's plan, but we will always have the 1 percent we do not know. Here on earth, she says, we will only be Christ-like, not all knowing like Him.

And I wonder if I am teaching her or if she is teaching me.

The men come in to warm cider and they are pleased that I attempted to make them an authentic rice cake, and our van is filled to the brim with wood that we so desperately needed for warmth this Winter. But I didn't need the wood so much as the reminder that we are only here for a little while. I am glad that my Mother will join me in heaven, but shame on me if that makes me the least bit more comfortable here.

Because someone else is dreaming of the chance to see theirs in glory.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Like pulling teeth......

It's a complete struggle.

He knows it needs to come out.

We all know it needs to come out.

The garbage man would tell him it needs to come out....

And still he waits.

And chews, and hits it and cries and my temper flares and my mind shouts, "JUST PULL THE SILLY TOOTH OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

And I give the husband the "hurry up and just grab it" look and he smiles. Wait. He wants me to wait a bit longer.

I want to grab it and be done and tell him that we will NOT give him a quarter for the grief he has caused us, and he cries at the dinner table, hitting it again with his fork.

Is it possible to be this angry over a tooth??

I ask for the salad and try to forget.

And I am so frustrated with the pile of laundry shoved under the girls beds. I sigh, shoulders slump, eyes widen, and roll the sleeves up. I know that sometime around tea and with slippers some night we will talk and we will laugh over it, but I just want a pitch fork and a large garbage bag...

We settle for devotions and I beg for the living room because I can get away from the dishes and worrying about if one of the littles swept good enough and can just breathe for a minute.

Breathe and listen to God remind me that we all have growing pains.

Like a tooth, a new tooth pushing out the old and bringing in the new. The better. But always met with resistance.

I smile during the reading. There really is no difference between  6 and approaching 36.

He kneels by Joel, listening to the temple being rebuilt and his eyes brighten. He spills so much from today's school lesson about Ezra.

He remembered. So dirty fingernails don't hinder listening, learning, retaining??? I grin.

And we eat popcorn and put a puzzle together and again I just get frustrated with not being able to find the right pieces. Controlling again. And worries of what if's, like what if we lose a piece and it never comes together right?

And we come up with a neat way to keep the pieces in and I remember that life is messy, but God holds all the pieces together.

It isn't ours to put together anyway.

And I settle littles in beds and wonder if they will be warm enough and one wants to talk about the moon, and I laugh. So important to her, so irrelevant to me.

One greets me with a birthday card for dad in the hallway and I tell him he can hand it to him first thing.

First thing. Promise.

I finally sit to completely relax and take in the day and I hear it.

A squeal. I am almost pretending not to hear so my brain doesn't think I have to move.

"I pulled it out!"

What? YOU did? He did?????

Joel smiles at the stairs.

I'll send him down to show you.

And it's a big deal and there are cheers all around and pictures and relief can be felt by everyone.

And I am reminded that life goes on.

It is scary and you can be a great big chicken and it's ok.

It's really ok.

You can mess up, give up, give in, run away, get angry and just like tape, God hold the pieces together.

He smiles at the end of a very long day like the Father that He is,

at his child who finally decided that a new tooth is best.

And He even smiles when we have fussed and fretted, made everyone miserable, finally relent and still ask if it's too late to get a quarter for complying with the process of growth.

Of course it's not.