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Just over there where the tide roles they light fires. The garbage from the day, the tourist trash. The glass bottles shatter on the bottom of the ocean here in the Gulf of Thailand. All of it dragged out to sea the burned up and the broken. We collect the treasure left behind, the sea glass and the shattered and dead shells. See that, how the sand of it runs through your fingers?
The days they just slip sometimes don’t they? Sqaundered on the small or discontent moments. The legacy we wished we were leaving or the things we wish to be to other people eclipsed because we just cannot quell the selfish…how it wants you to really see me. All the wish we hads or the too much pain or the heaviest heart.
But I won’t trade it.
I rise up…back arched in the breaking waves. I wonder how many times you can do that in a life? Bath in the salt water of tears pinned to the bottom by the crashing waves?
But then. There you are…the rock solid core smashed apart, shrunk down and tumbled. Only the core left, that place there right around your heart, the ‘made in the image piece’. Your failures are guaranteed, your flesh already failing you. So can’t we then stop forgetting our dim reflections? Please, can’t we have permission to do the next tiny and glory laden thing? Forget about the magnificient things…they are built from your daily work, one on top of the other. Faithful with sand, seeing the profound beauty in it.
You can burn me down, break me up, tumble me on the bottom…just as long as I find myself smooth in Your hands…
This week in one giant tidal wave of busy. Both the children have birthdays, Halloween smack dab in the middle, we had a party, phase one of the research project we’ve been working on completed. I had two batches of cupcakes explode over the interior of my oven. Joel preached what felt like 12 days in a row. Our little family is ready for a long slow weekend, curled up with hot drinks and books and sitting next to fires that burn big and bright. Joel put benches into a trailer for us in order to host some hayrides this winter. We will give that a try too.
So that is how October spun to a close and today I find myself looking forward to all that is to come in November and I am wondering: can anyone just make up a National Month of “Something or Other” these days? I mean mustache growing month? I know the world has evolved from my thinking about mustaches…but I am keeping it real since 1999. The man can participate by growing a beard (love me a beard) and he can have a mustache for the one night of celebration but…it better be gone again before he gets in my bed.
BUT I am participating in another National Month this November. I want to write. And people like me, those that don’t have all sorts of advice to give you. Those of us that don’t know how to make a home. Those of us that got no tips for you about beauty or clothes or cooking? We don’t make it as bloggers. And I don’t know if I could make it as any kind of writer, but I think I want to give it a try. My whole life I wanted to leave it out there as the thing I never tried. That way I could say I never failed. But now? I’ve failed PLENTY and you know what? It wasn’t the end of the world.
And so now, I think I would rather fail than never try. I would rather my story be that of letters of reject than letters never sent. I tell the boy all the time, all it takes to do anything is practice.
So National Novel Writing Month…HERE I COME! I am going to crank something out this month. You can see my word count on the top right of the screen. Hold me accountable will you? And I would love for some prompt ideas…give me a word? An idea? You few…who read here regulary….is there anything you have noticed in my writing that hints towards a theme??? What should this fist BIG story be about?
ALL IDEAS WILL BE PUT INTO A DRAW FOR A NOVEL OF YOUR CHOICE FROM AMAZON! Fun right? So…GO…ideas please!
I’ve done it more times than I care to count. Lined up the moments of my life one after the next like so many bowling pins that need only be knocked down. I’ve thrown the ball hard, hoping they would all fall at once. I’ve rushed the children through our day, I’ve walked fast, done a million things all at once if possible so that…what? The alley would be tidy, but the game would be over. The gutters are full of the people I’ve rushed by.
My man is home. And the children have two weeks left of quiet moments and unrestricted freedom. I want to enjoy it deep with them. I want to notice the smallest pieces of beauty. I want to explore and experience and I want to refuse to sit on any sideline. I want to laugh as freely as they do. I want to squeeze every bit of joy from these days. We will read books on the swing whilst watching the setting sun, listen to the wind whistling, wait for the house to cool off in a body of water somewhere. We will not waste these moments or take them…or each other…for granted.
Tell me…how will you look for the blessings and beauty in your day?
I am ABSOLUTELY stealing this prompt idea from Sarah Bessey. Please don’t give me any creative credence. She wrote “When I re-read a book recently, and the author wrote about how she was supposed to speak at an event, and when she asked which topic they would like to here her expound upon, they said, well, just tell us what is saving your life right now.”
So without further ado…WHAT IS SAVING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW
The beauty of the sunset falling so heavy it makes me ache. Two beloveds in my lap. Madeline L’Engle. The Psalms. Sunsets. Deck dates. A.A. Milne. Jesus Storybook Bible. Fresh berries from fruit stands. The things they say (a 5 and a 3…the funniest). Burrowing Owl. Quiet. Silence. Stillness. Cars, princesses, sprinklers, sidewalk chalk. Long baths. Digging out. Making plans. Picking weeds. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Clean floors (for this single moment at least). A shortening to do list. Grace; learning to receive it, wear it, walk in it, live in it.
And as week three of camp winds down and we see the light of daddy returning…always…always…the hardest days…So also? Saving my life? Jake and the Neverland Pirates.
How about you? What ordinary miracle helped you out today?
Asleep on a layover…, a photo by one thing blog an online journal by Melissa Fedder on Flickr.
Enroute to Uganda. Unfortunately Air Canada was delayed thus making us miss our Montreal connection and throwing off THE WHOLE trip. We loose a day with the Aylards but gain a night on Air Canada in London. Sad turn of events but we will be sure to make the very best of it. Hour eight in Vancouver airport…the camera is cleaned, the software updated, I learned to use this feature on Flickr.
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” ~Annie Dillard
It was one of those days where there was too much to get done and not enough motivation to get started. So you know what I did? Nothing. I sipped coffee and I chased after my children. I had a pillow fight with the pillows already left on the floor. After a busy, away from home weekend, I really should have spent the day cleaning. Instead, we cuddled a lot. We danced a little. We wrestled on the area rug and we read books and we baked dozens of cupcakes and licked clean every spoon. We talked about how to do right and being a kind brother.
The housework will wait. Not for long, I believe strongly in a home well made, in mamma loving her family by creating safe and comfy spaces. I’m learning though, that safe and comfy does not translate to surgical grade sterility. I never feel more at home than when I spot a dust bunny under your living room furniture.
I’ve been thinking often lately that a well lived life has very little to do with the time you have but with how you spend it. Six years ago I was incredibly efficient. People were pulled into the pulleys and motors of my life chewed up and spit out. Everything moving so fast I had no control over the outcomes. I judged others on how full their calendars were, how much output they produced, how efficiently they could produce it. The one most marred by the pace was my own spirit. I forgot what it needs to thrive.
So now, I try to carve out moments for ink and paper, for Bread of Life, for playing outside. The things that whisper hope to me. The places I find my strength, the identity that stands stronger than the day-to-day incidentals and failures.
How is your time carving going? Are you creating sweet moments for God to speak to you in your deepest places? Do you even know what that feels like? Do you remember how to find Him?
I know if feels like luxury friend…it isn’t. Make quiet space to breathe in air that smells like earth. To eat words that taste like truth. One day, realizing your soul has died back will take much more time to repair; will cost much more than the few minutes it takes to live fully.
My kids don’t sit still. Bedtime has been, most days, the only time the two will simultaneously submit to story-time. Rarely will my son willingly sit down at the table to do anything closely related to crafts, writing or colouring (unless of course I can somehow involve construction…then he will sit for longer periods). Yesterday we slept through preschool (I know it sounds wonderful but it was only because of a strange night of less sleep than newborn phase!).
Anyhooo…..I had it in my head that we would make up for skipping school with our own version so I called them to circle time. My son called me ‘teacher’ and put his imaginary carpet square down and ran to find his show and tell. They sat on the rug for forty-five minutes while we did finger plays, songs, stories and a teaching time about letters. We proceeded to the kitchen table for play dough time which my son participated in until he said “Teacher Melissa, can we please have free time?”
It happened again today. North American animals, a bible study, two songs followed by a dance party.
So lesson learned…All I need to do to get my children to cooperate is pretend I am someone else.
I’ve been on the prowl for some interesting learning links as I prepare for next year. We’ve made the choice to hold O back one more year, but I really want to get the most of our year together.
Anyways…here are some interesting articles/links that have been fun for planning :
It’s easy to sleep walk through days. To wander through your home, to stumble over children, to stare at television or computer screens. Sometimes we forget that moments are precious and fleeting. Sometimes we forget that these moments that seem so ordinary are the only ones we have and that these children are being shaped by them. That these little people who are only little one moment and grow to big the next will be defined by these not so ordinary, ordinary moments.
How do we embrace today? Eyes wide open? Heart all here? How do we wake up and not let sleep walking be the order of the day? How do we face it when we want to hide for a few minutes? When the day feels nightmarish and not sweet dreamish?
We do our best to splash the water of awareness on our faces and remember that it likely is the only time he will spill an entire bowl of mushroom soup on my freshly washed floor…
But also the only week he will learn to ride his bike and to wear pride (and a brand new cape that Gummy made) like a banner:
Remember that while she has grown irritable and feisty this last week, that she has also grown more like me. That she has grown into very good best friend material and that she will likely never again wear an apron (or super hero cape), read a cook book and lean on my shelf full of cook books:
That those gorgeous geese will never again fly over when I have my camera at the ready..
We remember to take the good with the bad. To grab gratitude by the throat and to wrestle it into submission. That all can be received as very good gifts….even when he pushes her off a coffee table. That will never happen again right?