Archive for March, 2011

Some Days

Some days are better than others.

Some days I wonder if I’ll ever have time again. For anything. I look back at that naïve little person I used to be who thought her house was never clean enough and I scoff. I guffaw. If only that person could see this house now. It has never recovered from when it flooded back in September and we had to move everything in every room to somewhere else in some other room. The piles that were started then have turned into gigantic mounds of heaping stink that I’ll never get to. Never. I can’t even seem to put pictures back on the walls, let alone get rid of the stink.

Some days I am overcome by feelings of self-consciousness that I can’t get rid of, no matter how I try. I do not wish to be spoken to for I do not wish to speak. I do not wish to be looked at nor thought of. More than anything, I wish to put on pajamas and crawl into the corner of my big brown couch. Sometimes the relief when getting in my car at the end of the work day brings me to tears. Finally I can breathe, be alone and go home where it’s safe. The people at home can speak to me, look at me, think of me all they wish. It is them that I long for.

Some days I realize that I am really not such a bright, burning, streaking ball of gunk as I thought I was. I’m actually barely a flicker of a burned up, ashy lump of coal. And I don’t get it. I really don’t. I want to mean something with my whole heart. I want to enter into this life with all that I have. But some days I just can’t bring myself to do any better than going through the motions. Somehow it gets us all through that day and on to the next and that can’t be all bad, right?

Some days Lent seems to drag on and on.

And yet the goodness goes on. It’s a week of two old friends and my heart bursts to the point of aching to get out of this office and see them. Kirsty arrived here from England last night and I haven’t seen her yet. But when I do, I’m going to kiss her face. And I’m going to kiss the face of the sweet baby she came to see too. And then tomorrow I get on a plane to go see Jackie, who I am assured has all kinds of good food to stuff in my face (starting with gnocchi upon arrival from the airport tomorrow afternoon) as well as tickets to Over the Rhine for the two of us Sunday evening. And when I see her, I’m going to kiss her face. And her babies’ faces too. And what the heck – I’ll just go ahead and kiss her husband’s face while I’m at it. He is French, after all.

Some days I find that the goodness overwhelms the hardness and makes it better.

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Hello Lucy

My friend, Carlee, just had her third baby. I have been lucky enough to be present at all three of her babies’ births. That lady sure can birth babies. Thanks for welcoming me into your home once again, Carlee and Wilmar, and for letting me capture each moment. I love you guys and the little people you have brought forth into this world. May God bless your family.

Ready to welcome baby and celebrate – Carlee had everything looking beautiful
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Wilmar bought plenty of food for us to munch on all day
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Time to say goodbye to mommy for a little while
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Saying goodbye is never easy
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Julie and Marisela have never been at such a fun labor
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Aunt Linda gives the obligatory high kick at 8cm
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So does Mari-cutie
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Carlee even does a little high kicking herself in between contractions
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I would show you mine too, but it’s a little embarrassing…

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Hey! How’d that get in here?

Moving right along…

Yes! Carlee is having a baby!
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We ride the waves of pain as best we can alongside our sister
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We sing and get choked up, which makes it hard to sing, but Carlee sings right along with us in praise to the Creator of the universe, the Lord and Giver of life
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Janet holds Marisela’s baby and gets choked up a bit herself
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Sometimes the prayers are quieter
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Sometimes all we can do is wait
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And the joy that comes is indescribable
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How amazing it is that so much pain brings forth so much love
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Sweet Callie is overwhelmed at seeing new life birthed
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Lauri has impeccable timing and pulls into the driveway with Jacob and Maya at the moment their sister Lucy makes her entrance
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We all sing a very quiet and beautiful happy birthday song to Lucy
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Then Aunt Linda cuts the cord
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And the same hands that caught her as she came out, now separate Baby Lucy from her mommy for the first time ever
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Oh, this baby has a lot of love in her life
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Welcome, Little Lucy
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We love you so
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THE Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace, this night and evermore. Amen.

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One Moment More

Callie sang in her school talent show this weekend. The same Callie whose voice used to crack all over the place as she belted out “He’s my prince of peace and I will live my life for Him” over and over and over (and over and over) with her big ole blue eyes piercing into your soul, willing you to listen and to respond enthusiastically, and her thin, short, wispy, blond hair framing her face and bobbing along with her head that jerked crazily with every syllable. But now she’s sixteen and her voice doesn’t crack so much and her head doesn’t really bob and I don’t think she has any idea how her mother feels listening to her sing “Let me have you just one moment more.” A lifetime I’ve had with this little girl who’s almost gone. To make it even more special, Shelby, her best friend since birth (they were born five days apart!) is accompanying her on cello and my baby brother Robbie is on the guitar. Sigh. I really love these moments in life.

Thanks, Aunt Janet, for videotaping. I even love the sound of my nephew’s voice in the middle, asking for water. It’s all just perfect.

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Flung

I fling myself through time and space

A bright, burning gob of irregular gunk, careening crazily

Hurtling helplessly, yet intentionally through my daily routine

Waking up, showering, dressing; attempting to bring order and beauty to my aging face and wild hair

Watching the first ten minutes of the morning news, trying to make sense of my place in this world as I prepare to fling myself into it once again

Inserting black liquid fuel into my body by way of my mouth, adding cream and sugar to enhance the experience, breathing deeply to prepare for the insanity that is about to hit as I relinquish my desperate grip on my place of refuge

Herding the three little burning balls of less-developed gunk (yet gunk, nonetheless) toward the vehicle that propels us to the place where they each become a little more developed every day

Allowing them to be flung far from me, speaking words of love and encouragement that I pray mean something more than the inadequacies my feeble mouth seems to croak out

Plunging ever forward, into the depth of the city, where the streets are filled with people whose paths intersect with mine for a brief moment every day; every one of them leaving a streak behind them as they race on, destination unknown

Unknown to me, anyway

There’s the man at the bus stop, leaning forward into the busy traffic to see if he can catch a glimpse of that bus that should have been here by now

There’s the woman with a child wearing a jacket and backpack on either side of her, holding the only two hands she has, while she keeps calling back over her shoulder to the child walking behind who just can’t keep up

There’s the sharp looking older gentleman with the dark skin and the distinguished, perfectly trimmed grey beard, wearing a deep red silk shirt with an even deeper red silk tie, hands in the pockets of his dark grey trousers as he saunters along

Where is he going looking like that at 7:45am in a neighborhood marked by iron bars on windows and graffiti covering the aging brick walls of thrift stores, used car lots and liquor stores?

Maybe he’s coming from the Iglesia de Dios, where they offer marriage services every Friday night (¡Gratis!) or maybe he’s headed to the Taco Joint for breakfast (the one that posts a new Chuck Norris joke on the reader board out front every day), or maybe he’s headed to the little brick school to teach the children that I slow down to 20mph for every day

Every day, every day, every day

I fling, yet I am flung

I am flung while being formed

And as I rush headlong into this season, the season of Lent

My burning ball of brightness will gradually diminish as it learns to rest, to reflect, to be disciplined, to rely on seeing by the light of the One who gives light, the One who is light, the One who forms, the One who reforms

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Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.

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