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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A shout out

Heard of an inner-city pastor who started the now-flourishing "Graffiti Church". He so named it after various attempts at repainting their church building was only met with yet more graffitti.

Mr. Pastor, you need to come start a church in my neighborhood.

I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just takin' a walk...

Noah and I usually take an early evening walk around the blocks close to home. The other day, I started looking at what we were walking by with, "I don't think I saw these things on walks with my mommy" eyes.

Such things as:
  • A nativity scene. Complete with the devil standing by. Painted completely red, with a skull between his feet and a beer bottle in his right hand. Sure seems to take the "serene" out of the scene.

  • A box tossed by the side of the road with a blanket in it. Closer examination reveal little puppy feet. 3 dead puppies.

  • An empty condom wrapper under the park bench

  • About 4 pounds of cooked beans, heaped in the grass next to the side walk.

Sometimes I think about this whole "normal" thing. For Noah, it is normal to listen to people talking and say, "Si, si, si" or to hit the bad floor that made him bonk his head and say "Ma-o, ma-o" (Malo="bad"). It's normal he lives in a 3rd floor apartment that looks out to the mountains surrounding our city. It's Noah's life that there is no candy sweeter to him than a corn tortilla hot off the presses. It is normal for him that he lives at over 7,000 feet of altitude and that here there are more people on bikes or motorcycles than cars.


I feel like I am bringing him "normal" when I serve him up his beloved mac & cheese (Kraft, to be sure) or when I present him with a box of Crayolas. Or sing him nursery rhymes. Or turn on Blue's Clues (which he absolutely loves).


I wonder, as I look at him--straddling these two "normals". He doesn't even know he's doing it. I wonder if he will later. I hope to find and accentuate the good in both these normals, and to not project that what is not my normal is in some way inferior.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

This is where I am

I am at that place. That one. Specific. Place. The one where I am saying to myself, "However I got to this spot, I don't ever. ever. want to do it again!" Annnndddd...having 6-some weeks left to go, I know this is a rather dangerous spot to be. I know the baby still has to put on some 3 pounds or so. I know I still have a LOT more "blossoming" to do, but. I don't wanna. Ok??

I am at that place. That one place. Where I feel like my stomach has turned into a bag of bones. I know, it doesn't sound glowingly maternal, but it's true. Any time I move in whatever direction, it seems a leg, arm, bottom or head bone juts out in protest. And, carrying these bones makes me slowly waddle along, wincing every 5 steps or so.

I am at that one place where I huff and puff--just sitting here writing this. I often feel like I am breathing through a straw. I actually jerk awake in the middle of the night because either my or the baby's position was making it so I couldn't breathe.

I am at that place where I dream constantly about the birth. Maybe I'm not really dreaming, because it's hard to remember really sleeping--but let's just say, it's on my mind. A lot.

I am at that place, Lord forgive me, that I look narrowly upon people who judgementally say, "Well, at LEAST you can have babies!" Yes, I know. Or people that say, "A woman never looks more beautiful than when she is pregnant" (2 kinds of people: Liars and people who haven't been pregnant). Or people that say, "I soooooooo miss being pregnant. Isn't the miracle of life sooooooo wonderful??" Yes, it is. But....

I am at this place. So far along, with seemingly so far to go. I am so glad God has blessed me with a healthy little baby, and I am happy to be a mama. I just wanna to get out of this place! :)



PS--Due to some worried responses to this post, I feel I must say NOTHING is really wrong with me! I am just whining... :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This week: Movies, tantrums, failings & betteration



So, I've been feeling a little guilty about how many movies I have been putting on for Noah during the day. I mean, they're educational and/or Christian--so, come on, right? Oh, I have a list of excuses, including:

--we don't have a yard (we live in a 3rd floor apt)
--I'm pregnant (helloooo)
--Noah's still not at a very "interactive" age (still eats play dough and crayons)
--the house isn't that huge (don't know what I'd do if we still lived in our previous home!)
--it's raining...


You get the idea. But, I still kept feeling a little guilty. Picked up the "What to Expect" for the toddler years. Says he should be seeing 30 minutes a day. Whoops. So, have I been brain damaging my son because I'm tired? Heap on the guilt.






Then, Noah had one of "those" days. Those days where I squint my eyes at him and try to remember where I got him. Who is this kid?? Just constantly testing every thing, and then going off the deep end of tantrum land when he was corrected. When he gets like that, I feel like he is looking at me and saying, "Failure!!!" Because, if I was doing everything right--my kid would never act like this, right?

Talked to my sis, who reminded me we can always get better as parents--and to ask myself if I was using the movies as a substitute for time I could/should be spending with Noah.

Talked to my husband, and he counseled me not to shy away from being (what I consider) harsh with Noah if the situation demands it. And if I am feeling overwhelmed, I should ask him to take over.

Result: Have become more intentional with Noah's movie time. Not to say that he never goes over 30 minutes a day... but it has become more of a planned thing rather than a knee-jerk reaction to boredom.

Have tried to discipline Noah in a "this is for your own good" rather than "this reflects on my failings" sort of mind set.

I think that may be betteration. Not sure.





PS--I still worry sometimes. Maybe someday the DIF (people that look out for kids here in Mexico) may come knocking to relieve me of my motherly duties. Like this afternoon: Noah comes in from playing quietly on the patio--with a large, dirt smiley face. (Sorry--wish I had a camera) He looked really funny...until I realized this meant he'd been DRINKING from bunny Mona's water cup. Have you ever heard of anything so disgusting? I considered having him drink hand sanitizer.


Monday, December 7, 2009

When wrong is right

It was the sweetest thing. Last night, Rey asked me if I had plans for today. Nope. He said, "What about if we go to the capital... eat at an Italian restaurant? I already got your Aunt to take care of Noah for the day..." What? How cool of a plan is that!

I was stoked. We looked up "italian restaurants Zacatecas" online. Found about 5 options. The first one we went to had been closed. The next one... well, it wasn't as advertized. Let's just say that. The place smelled like the dusty, mismatched tablecloths on the tables. Instead of the little white lights I was imagining-- big, guady silver star balloons hung from the ceiling. While I'd hoped for some Frank Sinatra music over the speakers, a TV blared mariachi music interrupted only by the occasional beer commercial. Rather than an extensive menu of pastas and delicious soups, the menu's most Italian fare was pizza. The table we sat at had one short leg, so it "danced" (Rey's wording). But, we were hungry. Really hungry. And the traffic in the city made it so we didn't really want to go look more. And Rey really wanted me to have my Italian restaurant. So, we stayed.

There was that 5 minutes of time that decided how this day would go. Would I let all my unfulfilled expectations cause me to turn into a blubbering pile of mush? Would Rey feel super awful about something neither of us can control--namely: it appears my "American definition" of an Italian restaurant is muuuch different from the Mexican definition. Rey ordered steak tacos and I a ham sandwich. I frankly was afraid to try one of their 3 pasta dishes.

We switched tables so as not to have to deal with the "dancing" the whole meal. It was to a quieter corner of the restaurant. And then. We decided. We chose to thoroughly enjoy the moment. It was so ironic how completely wrong this place was.

We decided the host of "Hell's Kitchen" would have a fit here, so we had a good time figuring out what his critique would be. We laughed as we heard the microwave being used during the preperation of our food (Was my sandwich really last week's sandwich being nuked??). We marvelled at the complete lack of coordination in decor (How many owners has this place had?). We wondered just how old the plastic rose on each table could have been. (See picture above). You get the idea.



(I love how those shelves in the background are loaded with

stuff that somehow equals Italy. Ah, yesss.)



In the end, the food wasn't that bad. We had a lot of fun. Maybe the bathrooms had no light bulbs, but--hey: there was a bar of soap on the sink. Maybe mariachi doesn't make me smile as much as some mellow jazz, but... ok. I did miss the music. ;)

But, in our family--we like stories to have happy endings. And this one did. Oh, yes it did.








And... we even topped that!! Rey is awesome enough to have found some cocker spaniel pups--which I've been hoping to find. We went and picked one out of the litter with Noah this evening. So cute!



Meet... hmm. Not sure on the name yet. But, he's around 2 weeks old. He's gonna stay with momma until he's bigger.






It was the perfect day.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lookin' good...

Real-life conversation that took place between myself and my prince charming yesterday evening.

(prince): "Aren't you going to get a shower today?"
(me): "I did."
(snorting disdainfully): "You did? Nooooo. No you didn't."
(rather offended): "Yes, I did."
(still disdainful): "When?"
(more offended): "This morning at like 10."
(another snort): "No you didn't."
(near tears): "Yes, I did. I took a shower. I changed clothes. I blew dry my hair. I put make-up on. And THIS is what I get?"
(realizing he may be on thin ice): "Hmmm..."

How much trouble do you think he was in?
Ah, and match that with the comment he made a while ago about not being attracted to me for my "physical qualities"!! Yeah, he's sleeping on the patio these days.




Sunday, November 29, 2009

Obedience vs Results




Being in the ministry, it is always so encouraging to be able to see when your efforts bring about positive change in the people you are working with. However, the reality of it is that it is more often day after day without notable improvement in many cases. Rey is the one who is "out on the streets" on the daily basis, so he is the one that feels this more regularly. The thing that always impresses me is I've never heard him dragging his feet to go out or complaining about people's less the friendly reception.


The other day, Rey asked me if I could get a small bag of groceries together for a family they had met in the community they were going to that day. The woman's husband committed suicide about 3 wks ago, and left her to tend to their 5 children as best she could. As I was getting the bag together, I asked him whatever happend to "the old man". The old man was a man in his late 70's they had met in another community that seemed to be left to fend for himself out on the edge of town. For several weeks, the team had been taking some groceries and prayers out to him--even though the man was practically deaf and it couldn't be too readily seen how much he was taken in. Rey said, "Oh, we haven't been able to find him these last couple visits." This got me thinking about how often we extend our hand to people and then it seems that we never know if what we did had some kind of impact. I found myself wondering if the bag I was preparing for the family would have any kind of visible results. If it would touch them as we hoped it would.


That is when the idea of "obedience vs results" came into my mind. You see, I am more often the one to analyze: "Was that a waste of time? The person didn't seem affected..." Or, I become offended and less eager to reach out to a needy person the next time around.


"To obey is better than sacrifice." (1 Samuel 15)

"But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices
God is well-pleased." (Hebrews 13)




We all know God's multiple promises of blessing to those who "extend their hand to the poor and needy". What I need to remember, is God doesn't ever speak of "results"! And, that my desire for results as practically always linked to my desire for praise (aka: my pride)--not a true desire for that person to find his hope and life in Jesus.


Can I share some acts of obedience Rey has demonstrated that have born "no results"--but I am sure have stored him away treasure in heaven, while speaking to me?


  • He found an old, crippled woman in the streets and helped her get back to her house. She was very obviously supersticious and closed to the Gospel, but upon arriving at her house, Rey felt that God told him to wash her feet. He asked if he could, and she gave him permission to. He did so, prayed over her--and hasn't seen her since.
  • Last week, we were enjoying the evening at a downtown plaza, when a man with no legs appeared. He was sitting on a crude, home-made cart (basically a piece of plywood over 4 wheels) that he pushed along with his hands. We were eating guayabas, so Rey took about four of them over to him. The man got very annoyed and refused to take them.
  • Almost every stoplight here in town has people (from scruffy kids to adults) asking for money. They have gotta be happy when they see Rey coming, because he always finds some kind of change in his pocket to give them--usually along with a Gospel tract.


And so it goes. Rey is an example of constantly finding love for the unlovely, and the humility to extend himself in ministry--even after rebuttal. I love my man!!





Saturday, November 28, 2009

Personality


As anyone who has talked to me in the last month or two knows, I have stumbled upon a book that has absolutely revolutionized how I understand people (and how they undestand me)--and helped me to not try to apply my personality to others. The book is Nurture by Nature by Paul & Barbara Tieger. I picked it out from my aunt's library, wondering whether it would be "one of those" dry psychological reads. Turns out, it is just the opposite and I highly reccomend it--especially to parents because it really does help you be patient with your child.


Take our family for example... I am an ENFJ, while Rey is a ISFP and Noah is a ISTJ. Even if you don't know what those letters stand for, you can see that Rey and Noah have a LOT more in common with each other...while I basically am their opposite!! (I'm hoping this baby on the way can throw some "E" my way--help a lady out here!)


But, in learning about Noah's personality, I learned that:


  • His personality is one of attaching to one person, usually his mama. Ahhh, yes.

  • His personality has a very heightened awareness of his 5 senses. Hence his knowing from 3 days old who was holding him, noticing every new thing around him, and being very particular (read: annoyed) about any kind of stickiness. When he was a couple months old, it took us a while to figure out that he wasn't sleeping because we had changed his sheets from smooth summer cotton to a fuzzy winter flannel. He didn't like it.

  • His personality doesn't like changes or undefined/unpredictable things. So, new people's houses, the nursery, people picking him up--basically anything he doesn't feel that he can predict/control makes him extremely agitated. Example: He loves the slide (he can grab on the sides to slow himself) but he hates the swing (can't control it).

  • He needs a lot of time and warning when it's time to transition to a new activity. He is a lad of extreme concentration, so just yanking him out of thought world is a traumatic thing for him indeed.

  • He is not a risk-taker. No indeed.

You have no idea how "freeing" it was for me as a mom to know that so many things really were just "Noah" and not a fault of my not socializing him enough or of not forcing him into new activities enough (things I'd been told). Basically, Noah is his own little particular self who is very happy and easy if he's given time to warm up to a situation and feels very assured that I will be nearby. This can be frustrating if I look at him through my personality--which loves new things, surprises, socializing and CHANGE!! But, when looking at him through his personality, it makes sense and gives Noah space to be who he is--while hopefully I can help mold him into the best "version of his personality" that he can be.


Check out the book... Pretty cheap on Amazon!!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pregnancy Apologies

So, a few weeks of battling for more than 4 hours of sleep a night and being uncomfortable 24 hours a day has me feeling sorry for the people that have to be around me.

Sorry, Noah.

Sorry that I can't play in the rough-and-tumble way that you like so much. Little sibling makes crawling around, falling to the floor and any kind of bending over really hard. Sometimes, I am moved by how happy even my smallest attempts at playing with you "like we used to" make you. Sorry I can't do that more.


Sorry that you are watching way more movies. The idea of scampering up and down those 30-40 steps overwhelms me at times. I know I should be providing you with much more stimulating ways of playing, but--for now--it's all I got.


Sorry that for reasons you can't control, I am far less patient with you. Sorry if I get really annoyed with your need for interaction and sorry we don't chat as much (sure can't wait 'till our conversations are "two-sided"!).


Sorry, because I know that sometimes you just want to spend time being held and snuggled by mommy, but I get tired faster and sometimes your sibling-on-the-way starts beating me up because you're sitting on her head.


Sorry, Rey.


Sorry that I'm completely useless to the world by 8:30 pm.


Sorry that I'm not much better in the morning.


Sorry that you have to share the bed with about 100 pillows, and that my constant tossing and getting in and out of bed keeps you awake at night, too.


Sorry that I can really only do one thing a day. You are either getting a really clean house with all the laundry done and everything sanitized. Or, you are getting some really yummy eats. Or, you are getting a son who is receiving a lot of attention. Or, you are getting attention. Some day... maybe never...I'll learn how to get a little bit of everything into a day!

Sorry you get to relax less because I can't do as much of my share of things.

Sorry because I can't promised a bettering of the situation for another... oh... 15 years or so.

Sorry, world.

Sorry that you have to watch a somewhat dazed version of myself shuffle around, bumping into things and forgetting my thought half-way through a sentence. Sorry that you have to watch me shift around into the closest thing to a comfortable position... and that you have to avert your eyes as I 1-2-3 heeeeave myself up off the couch and to the bathroom, for the 83rd time today.


These things should clear themselves up in a fairly timely manner. I think. You hope.







Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mushy Stuff



So, today is our 2nd anniversary. Last anniversary, we wrote each other letters talking about favorite memories of the past year and goals for the next. This year, we wrote lists of what we like/love about each other.

I love mushy, romanticky things. Sorry. But, I do. So, this is what I love most about special days--receiving special notes! I'm wanting to stretch out the romance...so, I'm going to share our lists. If you're not into mushyness, you may want to skip this post!! ;)

I'll start with my fave, which--of course--was Rey's list about me! Ah, and the editor (myself) may see fit to make comments and they will be shown in italics.

"Things I Like about Liz"

  • That you receive me with happiness and kisses when I get back from going out to the communities

  • When you know I'm tired and you prepare a hot bath for me

  • That you give me a massage to help me relax

  • That you give me compliments
  • That you give me time to do things I like to do--like wash the car, fix things, exercise, read the news, or watch a soccer game on tv

  • That when we are out walking around you hug me and give me kisses

  • That you keep the house clean

  • That you get ideas on how to make the house better or to move things around so they are more comfortable

  • When you prepare my favorite food

  • That you tell me "thanks" when I help you around the house

  • That you don't demand things of me, but you suggest to me that you'd like some help when you'd really like to demand it (hmmm...)

  • That you clean the bathroom although it would normally be my job. (Really? REALLY?? How come I never knew this???)

  • That you pray with me before I go out to the communities

  • When you call me to see where I am when I am late getting home. (Oops! I hardly ever do that 'cuz I thought it might be annoying...)

  • When you ask me how things went (since I usually forget to tell you)

  • When I mention something we talked about in the communities and you have some good suggestions or opinions about the subject.

  • That you don't get annoyed that a big part of the day I am out of the house or preparing messages

  • That you usually do the updates and you do them perfectly

  • That you remind me and ask me to talk to you about the communities and our plans--it helps me stay more organized.

  • That you are a really great mother for Noah

  • That you take care of yourself even during your pregnancy

  • That even though you are dealing with Noah so many hours, you don't complain very much. (I'm glad he was honest and put the "very much" in there!)

  • That even when you "loose your figure" during pregnancy you still make yourself pretty and well-kept to make me happy

  • That you try to find ways to help people

  • When you take time to write people or call them to see how they are

  • That you don't get angry easily

  • That when you get angry, you don't pressure me with words. You just get really serious and quiet, and then I realize something is wrong. (Heh, heh...I never really thought of that as a good trait)

  • That you don't demand, you suggest

  • That you make sure to have my clothes clean and ready to go

  • How you organize everything in the house

  • When you make coffee for me (Oops!)

  • When you let me sleep in when you know I'm tired

  • Your initiative to get things done

  • That you're really talkative, even if I don't alway pay attention to what your saying. (Hah! )

  • When you play the violin (Aww... I didn't know that)

  • When you surprise me with cards or gifts

  • When you plan an outing

  • When you are really optimistic about my plans when we go out

  • When you explain to me if one of my ideas doesn't sound good to you and why


  • When you not only like my ideas, but you add on your ideas which almost always makes it better

  • That you are really patient with my ideas when they aren't the best or I mess up

  • I like you!

Awww, isn't he the best?? Talk about feeling uplifted in my daily living! :) Wait 'till you hear about how great he is!


Here's my list:

  • I like that I know I could write and write and still not come to an end of the things I love about you.

  • I love your heart--- faithful, strong and wonderful.

  • I like to see you when you are worshipping

  • I like your smile: big and innocent

  • I like that ever since I met you, you have been one of the most honest and sincere people I've ever met...and you continue to be that way to this day

  • I like how tall you are

  • I like it when you sing along with your music

  • I like how you are with Noah, the daddy you are. How fortunate our kids are!

  • I like that you make yourself something to eat when I am too busy or tired

  • I like that you are quick to learn

  • I like to hear you laugh really hard--like at one of your shows or when something unexpectedly strikes you funny

  • I like how sexy you look when you are washing dishes. (He didn't like this one)

  • I like it when you surprise me with little gifts (Like you did on my birthday!)

  • I like the line in your chin

  • I like spending time together--just the 2 of us--chatting

  • I like to remember funny things we've gone through together or jokes you've told me--it makes me laugh, even days later
  • I love to see you living out your calling: ministering to people. You are so good at it.

  • I love your humility. You do things that would embaress other people to do, but you do it because you know it's the right thing to do and I learn so much from you

  • I love your strength of character

  • I like that you are sensitive to the needs of others.

  • I like your clear perspective. You always help me see things more cleary/calmly.

  • I like that I can rest in your love

  • I like your sense of humor

  • I like how your mind works--that you are good at fixing things

  • I like that you're patient

  • I like that when I ask you for advice, you always give me a really well-thought out answer, not just whatever pops in your head

  • I like that you let me arrange time to go out with friends or do stuff

  • I like that there are always new things to learn about you--your life, your personality, your likes/dislikes

  • I like that you too like to travel and explore new places

  • I like that you know how to put up with my craziness and rapid changes of opinion/idea... that you are my rock

  • I like that everyone that knows you respects and esteems you

  • I like that even though you are so strong you are always so gentle

  • I like to see how you are always growing/developing into the man/husband/father/missionary that God has made you to be

  • I like you!



I am so grateful that God has seen fit to so abundantly bless our lives with a happy, healthy marriage. I am also grateful knowing that while we are in His hand, we can look into the future with complete confidence and joy!







Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I love...

Today has been one of those days that had me muttering under my breath, "Noah, I can't wait until it's your bedtime!"
Now things are a little calmer. Cool, gusty winds are blowing in the windows as a big storm rolls in, and, well...Noah is in bed. :)
I figured this is the best time to remember all the things I love about my little man. Maybe it will give me better perspective and more patience for tomorrow.
Things I love:
  • His snuggly times before he goes to bed



  • His attachment to Beary and Blankey. Seriously, if he sees them and can't get to them in time of need, he screams as though the world is crashing in around him.

  • The way he fishes around with his blanket until he finds a corner to hold. Apparently, only the corners feel right.

  • His little "mmm-mmm-mmmmm" sound he makes to himself when he's tired

  • When he says, "Mom, mom, mom".

  • His sweet little serious face


  • His dimples: In his cheeks, his chins, the backs of his knuckles.

  • When I catch him "talking on the phone", "reading a book", or conversing to himself in his own babble language.
    • When he takes his toddling steps towards me



    • His love for music. Nothing grabs his attention like music and it always gets him moving: swinging his leg, raising his arms, bouncing, clapping.

    • How he always holds his mouth wide open when he is excited about something.

    • His bright, intelligent eyes. He is always analyzing things and you can almost read the conclusions he is drawing about everything he takes in.

    • His readiness to laugh, make us laugh, or join in on a laugh--even if he doesn't get it and all he can muster up is a fake, social "Ha, ha".


    • His uncontrollably spikey hair.

    • How he gives me big bear hugs when he's really excited.
    • The sparkle in his eye when he's with his "da-da". (Today he was "lifting weights" with his dad, and had to take as many water breaks as his favorite man. All that excercise leaves a guy pretty thirsty!) ;)

    Hmm... that will do for now. And to think--this little angel had me "muttering under my breath"???! :)

    Wednesday, April 1, 2009

    Transparency

    "There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a
    false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are... Getting honest
    with ourselves does not make us unacceptable to God. It does not distance us
    from God, but draws us to Him--as nothing else can--and opens us anew to the
    flow of grace."
    --Brennan Manning


    Transparency. It seems to be a word forever looming before me--appearing perhaps unattainable. I think it is especially true among us ladies. How much of our lives do I spend looking out of the corner of my eye trying to see how "she" did it, so I can do the same? Maybe I am just more impressionable than most, but I know I spend a whole lot of time trying to look more awe-inspiring than I am, better than I am--or than I see myself. In other words, I often spend a lot of time trying to be who I am not... or trying to be who I think someone else is.

    You know, it's funny--because with all this tweaking and trying and proposing and changing--in the end, the people who love us love the real "us". Not the us with our hair in glossy perfection, or with a wonderful pre-planned menu every week of the year, or with our amazing accomplishments.

    Rather, they love us...
    when we are comfortable in our own skin, with our imperfections
    when we can sit with a sink full of dirty dishes and not feel the need to explain that it's not "usually this way"
    when we can focus on being in the moment with them and not on the ways we miss perfection.

    And there it is! Our changings and desperate attempts at perfectionism are really thin veils over pride. Wanting to amaze people and somehow be better than them.

    So, I want to choose transparency. To be who God made me all the time. Of course, that doesn't mean I'll stop washing the dishes or brushing my hair, but maybe--just maybe--I'll engage in less corner-of-the-eye watching and instead look into people's hearts.

    Friday, March 27, 2009

    Treasures




    He is small and delicate, a flower in my arms

    Giggles and coos--little tooth buds arising from his gums

    I breathe in his sweet scent:

    Baby lotion, warmth and milk

    He is a treasure, a gift from above

    He is my son.


    She is an adult, full-grown--off aside, out of the way

    Empty, sad eyes looking at the ground

    Stooped shoulders, old broken clothes

    Hair matted with dirt and sweat

    Yet, she too is a treasure, a gift from above

    Just like my son.


    How often do I shirk from her, oh my father God?

    Was there ever someone who held her close as I do my son?

    Coos and smiles, sweet scents and beauty

    Are easy to hold, to love, to adore

    I want to with Your eyes and Your heart see

    Your treasures.

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    Thoughts

    "When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." --George Washington Carver


    As I sit down to write this, the house is strewn about with baby toys, clean laundry and dirty dishes. These call out for my prompt attention--after all, the baby is in bed!! However, I want to make good on the promise to myself to be regular in my writings.

    Two strands of thought have been running through my head the last couple of days--does that happen to you? Like the beginning to some great "understanding" of an illusive concept, and then life happens and the strand just remains there...hovering until it dissapears forever.

    One strand is of the insignificant things that aren't really insignificant at all... the small things that can add up to be big things.... the time-consuming little details of life that can seem to stifle living! I find myself constantly struggling against those things: Change that diaper, clean this mirror, sweep that room. I don't want them to be the sum of my life, but they are nessesary parts. May I learn to keep the little things in their place--so that I don't miss the big parts of life: Snuggle times with my hubby, giggles with my boy, talks over coffee, hot baths. Joy in the things that matter, let the rest just be background.

    The other strand has been compassion. I think that true compassion is often (mostly?) the compassion that no one else sees or notices. Compassion is not hard when there are friends around, cameras flashing or the idea of a reward motivating the act. True compassion, though, is hard. And, often it is hardest to demonstrate to the people closest to us. Isn't that crazy? I mean, I can find myself sobbing over some obscure reality show, and then feel absolutely no compassion towards my husband when he complains of not feeling well. I think another word for compassion could be empathy. Why is it harder to feel empathy for your sister than it is for a poor child on the street? I don't have the answers, but it's got me thinking.

    Little things. Common people. Big picture. I want to be a person that sees the big picture clearly enough that I don't let the common people in my life to become little things while I divulge far to much time in the things that... in light of a life... mean nothing.

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    The Why

    I have always loved to write. Had a diary from the age of 9, I think... in which I recorded important things such as what I had for breakfast and how many diapers I had changed that day. Through the years, I had to put down my thoughts on 4-H, swim classes, school, family... and of course... love. The all-consuming search. Poems, scribblings, and notes without number where filled with the theme.

    I have also been a "quotes searcher". Actually have a special notebook just for those perfect quotes I've found.

    I also found that oil painting would fill me with an excited wonder. No one would rush to call me a child prodigy, but the rush of emotions that I would feel as I would mix my own colors and use them to fill a before-empty canvas was unequalled.

    For some reason, since I got married and life became completly "other" than how it was, it seems that all artistic expression got put in one of those dusty boxes I have under my bed. I know that this was largely due to huge upheaval (i.e: moving to a different country two months after marriage) and permenant life-change (i.e: marriage... baby before 1st anniversary). I think I was kind of floating along for a while. Perhaps part of the ebb in my flow was the fact that I am married to a wonderful, understanding husband--so that certain "searching" or "longing" that often inspires poetry and the like was no longer there.

    However, in recent days, I have been feeling a stirring of desire to return to the cultivation of the "litary/artistic" side of me...and I feel like if it is somewhat public, I may be somewhat inspired to be more regular in my recordings.

    So, here's to expression and viva la poesía!! :)

    I close with a quote from the great A.W. Tozer from his book The Pursuit of God:
    "It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or
    secular; it is why he does it. The motive is everything. Let a man sanctify God
    in his heart, and he can thereafter do no common act."