Sunday, November 24, 2013

on the stories we find ourselves in

On Sunday evenings, I sweep through the house, tidying in preparation for the new week.  Somehow this ritual has turned into a time of reflection and gratitude for this life, for my people, for the place we laugh, play, and work. 

As I gather strewn clothing and toys, small collections of everyday, I ponder this idea of home-- all the history it carries, all the promise it holds.  The home my parents built belongs someone I don’t know and the structure of my family as it once was has long since ceased to be.  It’s not my favorite subject, but I’ve always said I could write a book about it. One day I will, although it probably wouldn’t be the kind my parents would carry around shouting, “My daughter wrote this book! Read it!” 

But, I do know that I am not doomed to follow in the footsteps of others, even those who so influenced my early days.  There are parts we are given,  parts we do not choose, but I believe with great certainty in the one who collects all the broken pieces and makes something beautiful.  Out of you. Out of me.  In the way that an artist gathers fragments of inspiration, found objects, and slivers of splendor and composes a masterpiece.  It’s the same.  Do you see that?  It’s what we do, because it’s what He does.   In our creating, we reflect the universal story of brokenness, redemption, and promise.  It’s all around.  In scraps of fabric, splatters of paint, strings of words, bits of glass, devastation, loss, darkness, dreams, hope, goodness. Possibilities.

But, yes, I was cleaning on a Sunday evening, as my children played.  Gathering socks and wiping sinks, catching a glimpse of the master artist at work.


the wild collected: a moonlit memory

November 16, 2013

In the stillness of the night, by the soft glow of the night light, I told the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears to two little children.  First, she climbed into the biggest chair and it was so hard.  “Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.” said Goldilocks, and she jumped down.  His face was sleepy.  I love the way a person’s face calms in the journey to sleep.  On this particular night, he was motionless under the blankets, head turned to the side, sinking deep into the pillow.  Eyelids falling. Opening. Falling again. Goldilocks climbed into Mama Bear’s chair and it was too soft, like a giant marshmallow pillow. (That’s how everyone tells it right?)   And then a smile so iconic of childhood, where a happy idea sweeps into your thoughts and over your face as you fade into slumber. It was a raison d’etre. A celebration of motherhood, childhood, stories, and dreams. Matter so pure, unfiltered life.

I wonder what a giant marshmallow pillow looks like in his head.  


Thursday, November 7, 2013

on the part that came next

In the great warm room, full of toys and piles of clothes and extra blankets, a sprawling shadow covered the ceiling where the night light met the wooden bars of the bed. 

“Mama,” he said, in a hushed, sleepy way, “but I can’t find my dreams?” 

“Oh baby, close your eyes and rest.  You’ll find them in your sleep.”

He turned and gave a deep exhale, the freshly bathed hair wild and free burrowing into the pillow.

“Good night, mama.”


There is much to say, to continue from where I last wrote.  A place of screaming in the darkness, daring to tighten the grip on hope while surrendering to the process.  Yet, for all the words I’d love to string, it seems the next part has already been written best here.

For the Lord your God has blessed in you all that you have done;  He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness.  These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.” 

Deuteronomy 2:7

 It’s all there. 

We scream into the darkness, the shadows dance, the fears echo; we’re shaken and weary.

And then it cuts through.  Blinding us.  Saturating us. 

Leaving us to stumbling around in its presence.

Speechless and amazed.