As I slid into the bed with my two youngest daughters, snuggling and waiting for sleep to overtake them, I could almost hear the collective sigh of my fatigued mind, my worn out muscles, my exhausted bones, and my weary heart. It had been a long day. Every day is long lately. It seems it’s nonstop…the to-do list, the needs, wants, demands. There is never a lull in the craziness…
It’s always something…
My heart grows weary when I enter the bedroom and find an entire box of bandages emptied and opened.
But my heart can’t help but smile when she proudly announces, “look, I can open them just like cheese sticks.”
I made bread a few days ago. I searched the pantry and the countertop for a packet of yeast, but came up empty handed. I knew there was some in the refrigerator, but was unsure how long it had been in there. I also wanted fresher, more “active,” options. Well, there WERE no other options so I pulled open the door and reached in the WAY back to pull out the little jar.
Naturally, there wasn’t nearly enough for my recipe…about half. I wanted bread. The kids wanted bread. I WAS MAKING BREAD. I used what I had and hoped for the best.
“You need to do better.”
The context doesn’t matter. Just the words.
I thought it didn’t bother me, but apparently it really did because here I am writing about it a couple of weeks later after it has churned and churned in my head…eating away at my joy.
Who’s definition? Your’s? Society’s? Mine? My husband’s? God’s?
What’s “better,” and is it even possible?
The power surged. I don’t know how I can hear power as it goes OUT, but I can.
It did it again.
No, no, no, no…I have to save water. We have a well.
I rush from the bed, run into the bathroom, close the drain, and set the water to run full blast. I hurry upstairs to do the same. All this running water. I have to GO. What time is it?
All is quiet in the house. Wow, this house DOES see quiet. I miss the stillness because it happens during the rare, few hours when my eyes are closed, my brain able to rest. Is it this peaceful every night at this time? What an emptiness. In a few hours, the silence will pass. Whether there is a hum from the furnace as it continues to warm my family, or it dies from an outage caused by too much strain from icy branches on lines, I won’t notice it’s absent sound in a few hours. It will be overshadowed by much larger, bouncing, boisterous sounds. An audible noise will return to this house. Power or not, tranquility won’t last long. The kids will wake, and all will be alive and “running” shortly. Their power is never out. The sun WILL rise, and they will be fully charged, ready to face the day.
They wear me out. Some days I don’t doubt that I will go crazy.
Storms can be hard. Ok, they can be downright frightening.
The rain is beginning to fall.
It falls, falls, falls from the sky, making its way to the tiny leaf,
the one that is just barely hanging on…that’s how I feel some days.
It’s hanging on as firmly as it can, trying not to let go….
From the leaf to the ground the tiny drop falls, lost…
Faster now the drops come, I can hear them on the roof.
They begin puddling. Those tiny drops are lost no more,
They are found, they are joined by others on a similar journey….
The wind picks up,
The trees bend, dance…
The power flickers and with each plunge into darkness,
Continue reading “The Rain Falls Down”
It can be deceiving. Ice on a pond. One quick glimpse out the upstairs window will have you believe that you have your own personal ice rink. It appears that the entire surface of the water is one solid piece of ice. That gleaning sheet even supports the weight of your ducks. Leaves are blowing and sliding across the flawless smoothness, not a drop of water to touch them. You walk outside, brave the wind and cold, to get a better look. Upon closer inspection, realizing that appearances are often deceiving. A single, tiny movement from a duck’s foot causes a small portion of the surface to break. He dives in, triggering a little more to chip off into the icy water, in his excitement to get to the keeper of the food. He swims and swims in this new pool that he has created, but it is just a mere fraction of what he is used to. He is confused at the wonder as well. It is also his first frozen pond experience.
So often in life, we can be deceived by appearances. Things look perfect, flawless.
My oldest, “What’s that smell?”
It was at that moment that I too smelled it. I also saw the truck up head and we were closing in rapidly. The smell was also growing…exponentially.
“It’s that truck up ahead.”
We got closer…
The smell got stronger…
I wanted something new…
Something that would stick in their little minds and hearts…
Something worth remembering…
I wanted to start a new Christmas tradition, something for “my children.” I wanted something to encompass, fully, who they are and allow them to experience Christmas.
We have traditions.
We have Santa. Santa DOES come to our house and bring gifts, but he’s never overly extravagant.
We have an elf and a shepherd. My kids enjoy them both. Neither are naughty. They both encourage my kids to have a giving spirit and spread the true love and purpose of the Christmas season.
I let the kids purchase or make small gifts for each other, for their father and me, and for their grandparents.
We always pick out a real tree for the family and the kids get to decorate one of their own.
We read stories and sing songs.
We do advent activities and make ornaments.
We bake cookies and candy.
We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas morning.
It’s all fun. I LOVE it ALL. But I needed something that was unique to “them.” Continue reading “Seeking the Greatest Treasure”
“Are we there yet?”
“When will we be there?”
“When we get there.”
“Is it the next stop sign?”
“Not even close.”
“How much farther?”
“How many feet is that?”
Really? Did she just ask me that? She really DID ask me that. She told me to “Google it.” She’s five.
Every journey is paved with anticipation. Some journeys are filled with an eagerness to arrive, others with anxiety for the trip and what lies ahead. We all want to know, “When are we going to get there?”