Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's the Little Things

The day called us to play.  Sunlight laughed outside my kitchen window and as if I needed anymore convincing, a bluebird landed in the grass, showing off his happy colors.

And so we left this,

hunting for treasure.  We found beauty when we left to-do lists and looked for the things that are so little, they're easily missed or unappreciated, walked over in our hurry to get somewhere.

 (holy macro - I'm still trying to figure it out...)

We looked, we touched, we smelled, we listened.  We saw leaves and flowers and sticks and acorns and ducks and a caterpillar. 

We found that leaves are tasty, that shoes are not necessary for nature walks, that tractors are sexy (yes, I've heard the song...just don't get it) and that love was here.

And I'm not sure about the elephants where you live, but the ones around here love to get their pictures taken.

I discovered a few of the littles I tend to overlook, too.

Once we returned and my two little explorers were nappin' it in their beds, I did a bit more seeking and found jewels here at home, too.

The dirty dishes I left in our sink mean we are not going hungry.  Not everyone world-over can say that.  And when I turned the faucet on, our water was clean and hot.  My kids shoes to hate wearing and warm, safe beds to sleep in.  It breaks my heart that so many do not.  My husband works hard so that I can stay home with our children and have little, simple days like these. 

It's amazing how easily I forget. 

So today, as I notice the mini-handprints on the mirror I cleaned yesterday, I am thankful.  They prove little people with little hands live here. (I had to specify little people with little hands because I knew if I just said people with little hands, some of you -coughkendrakondocoughcough- might think of the SNL sketch, and that wasn't what I was going for at all.)

And, anyway, I'm so glad for these little things.  Hoping you pause to see the little things in your life today, too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Swingin' Skin

I've been following a blog for a little bit now.  Pretty sure Kelle Hampton opens windows and sings and little birds land on her fingers.  She's just that kind of special.  And in this post, she out did herself.  Check it out:

To Thine Own Self Be True.

When I was 13, I was scared.  I was broken.  I was searching for a place to belong and someone to define me, protect me.  Now that I'm (almost) 30, I feel like the saggy-baggy-elephant, growing nicely into my own skin. 

If I could sit down eyeball to eyeball with my 13 year-old-self, I'd say that you are beautiful without makeup.  I tell myself that my parents really do love me.  That life, breathing in and breathing out, is a gift.  I'd beg myself to slow down, to not to be in such a hurry to be grown up, to not start dating an 18 year old guy when I turned 14.  I'd tell me that other girls are mean because they are trying to figure out who they are, too.  And all the nights I begged the Lord for a friend, I'd tell my 13-year-old self that He'd bless me with more than one to hear my heart.  I'd tell myself that you are enough.  That you are not too much. 

And now I want to run up and hug every thirteen year old girl I see.

Life gets so much better.

And can I give a quick shout-out to my three followers?  Thank you for reading and commenting.  I feel like I'm in the vocalization stage of this whole thing, looking forward to the day when all this noise becomes words and then concepts and then...well, who knows where this will end up.  But thank you for being here now and joining me on this adventure.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Have, Hold

A few years back, I bought an old, weathered patio table and chair set, caked with coats of rust and paint, with beautiful bones.  I saw it's potential and envisioned the final product.  I was inspired to refinish it and make it mine.

I wasn't prepared for the work it would take.  And I gave up.  After months of working on it, I sold the set in a garage sale for $40. 

It's easier to start fresh than to repair, mend.

Doe-eyed bliss and white dresses are sold on the cheap for extra-marital arms and divorce courts.  Layers of hurt and resentment rust over relationships between family, friends.

And in the end, if everything is replaceable, I wonder where you end up.  I wonder what stories you hold and who you share them with.  I wonder what pieces of your soul you lose along the way...

There is something stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful about restoring an old piece, stripping it down, sanding off rough edges layer by layer by layer...  Fixing broken boards; replacing rusty hinges.  Old made new...again. 

We live in a broken, imperfect place.  We break things and hurt each other.  And there is something stop-you-in-your-tracks beautiful about the battle wounds that scar over between hearts.  The history that can be told and relived as we trace over the places where pain once reigned but healing now covers. 

Buying new will usually cost less money and take less time.  But in the end, the old-made-new items layered around a home are what make it comfortable, lived in, our own.

As I look back over this post, I feel the need to make two things clear: we are all capable of treating the people in our lives like something to be discarded and walked away from.  Recognize all the "I'd never"s and "It won't"s as the naivete they are.  Protect what is sacred.  (Above all else, guard your heart... Proverbs 4:23.)  Second, there are some relationships that need to be discarded.  Abuse is never love and abusive people rarely change. 

An old home, despite hard work and know-how, will never look brand new.  It will have its quirks, and there in lies its charm.  So, make room for imperfection.  Give mess a place in your life.  Love well.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.  (William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ahh...This is the Life

Sarah Schwarz makes it look so easy.  Like anyone could just hop up off the sofa and dance on a bouncing wire in the circus. 

And so it is with happy people.  They make it look like breathing.  Like anyone off the street could pull through the drive-through at Chick-Fil-A and ask for a number 7 and pair of rose colored glasses, thank you very much.

I love my life.  I'm a stay at home mama of a vivacious two year old girl and the happiest seven month old boy you've ever seen.  I married my college sweetheart 7 years ago and his heart and eyes are still for me.  I have friends I call sisters and brothers and sisters and a brother I call friends.  My parents still love each other and love Jesus most of all.

But there are days like today.  Days where I want to crawl up the walls.  Noisy days like today where I long for a moment of silence to remember what it is exactly I came upstairs to do.  Days where I long for a quiet morning to sip a whole, hot, cup of coffee.  Days where I don't trip over colored pencils and scattered toys that I promise I JUST picked up. 

I'm convinced: Happiness isn't found somewhere else.  It's not found with another man or different kids or in a different house or in a different city with different friends.  Nope.  Happiness is here. 

And I want to soak it all up, soak it all in.  The quiet and the noise.  The mess and the laughter.  I don't want to miss it.  I don't want to look back and wonder where the time went; I want to look back and think what a great time it all was. 

Wherever you are, be all there.  (Jim Elliot)

Guess tightrope walkers start somewhere.  And there's lots of falling ahead, to be sure.  But bring it on, Sarah; bring it on.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The becoming of a person is artful.  Layers of brushstrokes on crisp white canvases, open for endless possibilities.

Two things in life I love: dreaming of who I want to be and hearing the dreams of others.  Like love times a billion.  Because life is a big white canvas and you get to choose who you are.  You don't get to choose your circumstances, perhaps.  You don't choose the home you're raised in.  You don't necessarily get to choose whether or not you will be getting divorced or fighting cancer, but you get to choose who you are.  You get to point your feet in the direction you want to go.  You get to dream...and become.

So, welcome, to this little space of big dreams.  Come in, sip coffee and share a dream with me...or 500.  And please, whatever you do, prop up your muddy shoes on my ottoman and stay a while.