Archive for April, 2012

Let That Pony Run

I’ve been fighting my own personal Mommy Wars in these recent years. I war with myself. I war with the mommy I used to be, the mommy I always wanted to be and the mommy that I am. I don’t need anybody else to enter this war because it is ferocious enough with just the three of us. And I know full well that there can never be a winner so I’d like to call a truce. I really, really would. I don’t even want to talk about it. I just want it to be over. I work outside the home even though it wasn’t something I ever saw myself doing. Lots of mommies work outside the home, some of them wanting to and some not. I am blessed beyond measure with a husband who loves me, children that I adore, a pleasant work environment, a church where we can worship and food on our table. It’s hard work raising a family and I am working hard. Kaboom.

I’m reading one of those books right now that I can only digest in little bits because of its awesomeness. It’s one of those life-changing, infuriating kinds of books. It’s called “Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating” by Norman Wirzba. It is everything I know to be true. The only problem I am having now is that I don’t know what to DO with the life-changing information I am inhaling. So I would like some of my friends to read it please, and discuss it with me. Please and thank you.

The other day, I drove by a cute little family of five, walking home from the grocery store. The dad was leading the way, laden down with multiple, heavy bags of groceries. It was obvious that he was rushing because he wanted to be rid of his burden as fast as he possibly could. The mom followed behind him, pushing the baby in the little umbrella stroller as fast as she could manage while trying to keep it from tipping backwards due to all the grocery bags hanging from the handles and causing an uneven distribution of weight. The ten year old (or so) girl followed behind her, sucking on a sucker, not nearly as concerned with hurrying with her two bags, but also not wanting to be left behind. The six year old (or so) girl brought up the rear, always running but never getting anywhere while she carried her one bag and sucked on her sucker. She never got anywhere because she didn’t run in a straight line. More concerned with activity than direction, she skipped in circles or ran up to her sister to laugh about something with her, then ran back to pick a flower, then ran up on a ledge so that she could jump off of it. The last thing I saw as I turned the corner after my light turned green was her running straight up the steep incline underneath the underpass, then running down and tumbling hard on the sidewalk while her one bag that she was carrying tumbled hard with her. No one in her family saw her fall and she didn’t cry out or bring attention to herself in any way. She just picked herself up, and picked up the bag and kept walking. The bag was slightly see-through and I could see two cartons of eggs in there.

My car breeds fruit flies. I have had my children clean out every crevice that can possibly be cleaned out and we still have fruit flies. Yes, it’s true that multiple banana peels, orange peels and apple chunks were found in the cleaning, some of them in motion due to the maggots crawling around in them. Yes. I do mean that blackened, hardened banana peels were MOVING. That was fun. But as far as I know, we found all fruit and the car has been fruit-free for days now. And yet, I still swat gnats away from my face on my drive to work each day. How do all those other mommies out there (the ones that I’m NOT at war with) get their children to take all of their stuff out of the car every time they get out? How do other mommies’ cars not have fruit flies in them? Come on, mommies. I’m on your side. I war with myself and no other so spill it.

I have a dear friend who has always appreciated the simple (and profound) wisdom in country music. She appreciated it way before I was mature enough to get it. One of her favorites has been running through my head lately. In the words of the wise Pam Tillis:

You do what you gotta do

And you know what you know

You hang on until you can’t hang on

And then you learn to let go

It sure is a beautiful Eastertide. The honeysuckle in my back yard smells amazing tonight.

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Joy!

The sun has now set on this Holy Saturday. The last darkness of Lent is upon us and when the sun rises tomorrow, the celebration will already be well underway. I can feel the anticipation building as I prepare for the Easter Vigil, which begins in just a few hours at church. The joy in my heart is building.

Twelve years ago today, I held my newest baby girl in my arms. She was born in the middle of the night at my home, in my bed, surrounded by more love than I can comprehend. Her daddy and her big sisters were there, both of her grandmas were there, one grandpa, and two dear friends of mine who remain my dear friends still (one of them even became her aunt!). The night that she was born, I truly carried the cross and bore the weight of sin and followed my Lord into the desert. And joy came in the morning. Oh, the joy when I was finally delivered from that pain. I knew pain with that third birth much more than the first two. But oh, the joy when I beheld her face. Oh, how we exclaimed over her precious dimples. Oh, how I remember waking up to that beautiful little blessing of love, nestled in between her father and me, just a few hours after falling asleep with her between us in the exact same place where she took her first breath.

Today, twelve years later, I feel like I am awakening to new life once again. This Lenten season has not been easy. I have followed my Lord into one of the most barren deserts I have ever known. And I have not carried this cross well. I have heard Lent described as a bright sadness. Tonight, I know it. For while I stumbled under my load and found that I could not go on, He continued on. While I entered into one of the most debilitating depressions I have ever known over these last couple months, the beauty and the blessings of a world that is being redeemed has continued upward and onward toward the Easter Feast. And I am thankful beyond words that I was able to seek help for my depression. And in my seeking, I found more than I even asked for.

Tonight, as I sit in my house surrounded by love, I listen to my middle daughter play a hauntingly beautiful piano concert. The notes fly around this house that has been blessed over and over and over. The music only continues to lift it heavenward and we wait. All of us, waiting. My oldest daughter cleans her room and hangs up colorful lights and sings as she rummages through drawers looking for extension cords. The birthday daughter puts her newest picture frame together, after a day of swimming in her new backyard blow-up pool. Even though the freckles aren’t as noticeable as they used to be, she definitely got a few new ones today. And those dimples are still just as precious as they were in those first few moments after she was born, twelve years ago today.

Tonight, we all feel satisfied after a birthday dinner at her favorite Italian restaurant. And tonight, in just a few hours we feast again.

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