Wednesday, December 31, 2014
There are moments that open our eyes to the frailty of human kind. Even as I sit here typing with one hand simply because of a fall, I grieve the loss of another friends baby and am struck by how finite we are. We can fight against it, speak of how horribly unfair it is and attempt to draw out our lives for as long as possible. Yet we will still remain finite, fragile and all too human. It would be easy to slip into a nihilistic view of life, but that would only trivialize our existence all the more. Powerlessness creates impotence. And so I choose to believe in the Infinite God. I choose to trust. The power of this choice breathing life into my existence, giving me reason to continue. And hope for a future.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I distinctly remember the day I saw technology in a new light. I was walking down the hallway at college about 10 years ago and I saw 3 people walking side by side. I could hear the echos of their conversations as each one of them was talking on their cell phone. So close to each other and at the same time so incredibly far. It shocked me, just like the first time someone texted on their phone while I was having a conversation with her. And I knew that this thing that was designed to bring connection would soon be forcing us apart. It is easier then ever to be connected with the world, to find those that we resonate with, to look up a long lost friend, to check a status, to read a text, and to fill our minds with countless hours of drivel. I am just as guilty. The personality tests that all tell me the same thing, the cute animal videos, the blogs that just happen to align perfectly with my world view........ If I don't like what I am reading I can close the window, unfriend another human being, and continue to block out all that would disagree with me. No tough conversations face to face, only trolling and ignoring. So completely connected outside of our immediate community, and so distant from our neighbor. Even now as I am writing this I find myself hopping between this page and another as the ping sounds letting me know that I have a message asking me when I will post the Christmas Party photos. I am the trained rat, jumping at the bell, pushing the button for a reward, and this lets me know that something must be done. I can no longer let myself binge and purge on the emptiness of social media, feeling as if I have experienced an emotional roller coaster each time I hop on my news feed, flooded with images trying to sell me a new me. Nothing good enough, always wanting more, nothing that lasts. In the last few months we have had the privilege to commune with some Amish and Anabaptist friends. While the Amish are a horse and buggy community, the Anabaptist have not completely sworn off technology (they use it as a tool) but do not use it for personal recreation. These worlds views that they hold to are challenging to think of, but I respect them greatly. The main reason being the quality of time that we have spent with these brothers and sisters. Since they are not shackled to cell phones and computers they are free to dive in to conversation. Our time with them was highlighted with deep theological talk of non violence, seeing them dig into the scripture at the breakfast table, playing games late into the night, and whole heatedly flipping pancakes as Bliss and I organized breakfast. There was a spark of the divine in them that I can not ignore. They are people fully present in the moment, not distracted by the noise of the world because they trained their ears to hear the voice of God. They have turned their eyes upwards to glimpse what God may have to say about all these things going on in the world, and while I may not desire to be so inwardly focused all the time, I cannot deny the wisdom in limiting my exposure to the noise of the marketplace. How am I to hear the voice of God, when I spend all my time listening to the world. The time has come to choose where my heart lies. Is it tying connections to people that I have never met? Or is it investing in my family, church and community. Digging into the issues that affect the people who walk down our sidewalks every day. Seeing a spark of the divine in each as they pass. They are his children too. Or have we so quickly forgotten the maddening simplicity of Gods love, mercy and forgiveness for ALL. The time have come to stop the constant feed of spiritual junk food on my life and dig into the bread of life. How will this look? More writing, more reading of the word, much less time on the computer, and giving up my Facebook news feed. I will still use technology as a tool to stay connected, but the black hole of my time has to end. My hope is to still share little family moments with you (photos and updates), to be able to send you messages, and to share my heart on this space. But the endless hours of mindless scrolling must come to and end. My hope is that as a result people will see in me that same spark of the divine that I saw in our dear friends. Peace be with you.
Friday, December 19, 2014
Kids in the tub, legos on the table and cold coffee in my cup. Little miss decided that her lunch was better off on the floor, and it is still there. If she is gonna eat things off the floor it may as well be her lunch. The boys went through this phase too, she is so similar to them in her development, her speech progression, her walking, her sweetness, her feisty side. People ask me how it is having a little girl, and so far I can't say that it is very different. The battles are the same, the love is the same, but my Pinterest page is not. While on the boys clipboard I have adventures, learning tools, imagination play, super heroes and so on...... Ferns is much different. And I suddenly understand what to guard her against. Her clipboard is nothing more then a fashion spread. Now granted I have very little pink on it, and pin the edgier girl clothing, but it still smacks of superficiality. Perpetuating that lie that girls need to be pretty. Women are beautiful and it is a gift. I think of some of my youth group girls and all the different types beauty represented. They have strength, dignity, they are smart, sassy, loving, kind, and compassionate. Such beauty and it has nothing to do with appearance. Lord forgive me for limiting my dreams for Fern to fashion and accessories. She is so much more then that, she is an amazing creation, made in your image and you have a plan and purpose for her life that does not hinge on her fashion sense.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
As a mother of 3 small children I wonder what it would be like to loose one of them. But I can't dwell there for long.because the despair would be too much. Think about that. We can't even imagine it. That says something. It is a feeling no mother ever wants to feel. Yet so many have. My heart aches so much lately for the mothers who have tragically lost their children. I feel so inadequate to help. I have 3 small children of my own and there are many things that I simply cannot be a part of, but that doesn't mean that I can't do "anything". I can uplift, exhort, encourage and love. I can remove myself from power to make a space for others who could use the platform better. My goal is too help in such a way that my position disappears and my privilege vanishes. While I may not be able to be on the front lines the way I interact, speak, love and serve may be able to empower those who hold the line. Jesus come. I long for your justice. I long for you to linger in my words, to speak life and not death. To lift up those who we have been trampled for so long. Come and step on my back, take my cloak, and don't mention my name. Know that you are loved and cherished. An apology is not enough, the thought does not count! Actions speak louder then words and humility cannot be fabricated. We shall know the truth and it will set us free. Open our eyes, open our hearts and free us from the love of power and control. They kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
There are many things going on lately, most of them lying beneath the surface, quietly wrestling in my mind late into the night. Sleep does not come easily, and so I seek help to reach that wonderful rest. Running away from the internal ramblings of doctrine, racism, fellowship, worthiness, calling, balance, family and unrest. Many things could be said, probably should be said. Too many evening commitments until fellowship runs thin as I am not really there. Mainly I am tired. Tired of trying. Tired of making peace. Tired of worrying what others will think. Tired of weighing the ramifications of every word that I speak. Handsome husband gets the brunt of it, as he is the only one it is truly safe to fully express myself to. It is not fair to him or me. Something has to change. I don't know what. But this tiredness cannot continue. In the bad moments I am tempted to quit all my obligations outside of family and just rest. I enjoy my loved ones so much, I wonder what it would be like sometimes if my only focus was the relationships that I count dearest, husband, children, God, myself. What would that even be like? I am not sure, but I am tired.
Monday, November 24, 2014
I have grown accustomed to day old coffee, preserved in a jar in the fridge until it is called upon once again. Reheating it in the microwave, time and time again. The former barista in me shivers, but the tired mama in me is just grateful that there is such a thing as coffee. Yet another high standard dashed on the shores of motherhood, singleness being an unrealistic watermark for life after children. Those who have yet to walk this path may say "I would never..........." There are many things I thought I would never do, and things that didn't even occur to me as possible. I would never give my kids cake for breakfast (did it last week). I would never give into a tantrum (Ha!). I would never raise my voice, spank my child, use the word "No!", drink 7x reheated coffee, let them wear dirty clothes in public. Because of course I am SO much better at this then all the other moms out there. Unlike them I will have it together, never loose my temper, attain that mythical balance of the hot, cool, awesome mom who still has a social life with all of her single friends. Dear Lord, forgive me for ever thinking this way. I remember the judgement in my mind when I would see a mom with a dirty home, dirty kids or loosing her cool in public. Oh if only I could tell that single, childless, skinny 20 something that I used to be "Get over yourself!" It was nice for a time to be young and completely focused on myself, but that kind of narcissism cannot last. Marriage and children will knock it right out of you. As well it should. And there is one thing that I would truly never do.......... I would never go back.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Thoughts have been piling up in my brain lately, just getting to sorting them. Like the abandoned laundry pile that has been moved to the guest room. I toss them carelessly into the corner waiting for some day when the energy, the divine inspiration comes to get up and do something with them. Just like the clean laundry eventually mixing with the dirty, so goes thoughts mixing with emotions. The sorting process long and tedious until finally the towel is thrown into the washing machine, and everything is washed again. Forgiveness of the mind, soul, and emotional dirt. Wash away, and perhaps this time when the buzzer dings I might get to them while the thoughts are still warm, comforting, and easy to compartmentalize. But the laundry is never truly done.
Friday, September 5, 2014
Getting ready to leave for the weekend. Up north, hometown, small town, harvest fest, might even check out the football game. I never thought that I would be here, looking forward to being back. You may say that no one fits-in in high school, every one is odd. But let me tell ya, I didn't fit in, not just in the "she doesn't party" way, or the "she goes to that weird pentecostal church" way, but in almost every way conceivable. We graduated in the "Football is life!" time, everyone was an athlete (or at least it felt that way). Organized sports and I have never gotten along. Having me play basketball was like watching a train wreck. I came in last in the 2 mile every single track meet for an entire season, and had the distinct privilege of being on B team volleyball my senior year. I breathed art, loved the odd ones out, and spoke openly about Jesus. For years the idea of seeing the guys from my graduating class made my stomach hurt. I was the running joke, people would get teased that they liked me, and I was not afforded my first name. I was Wieditz, weed-whacker, weed, wee-tits, you name it. I just didn't fit, and even though I consider myself a country girl at heart lets be serious I definitely wouldn't fit now. But that doesn't bother me anymore, I realized the reason I didn't fit was because I belonged in a different puzzle. And when that revelation came I saw my teenage years differently. Yes I was the odd one out, but also kept myself out. Its not a bad thing, it is just the way it was. Just like my classmates were not bad people at the time, they were just teenagers trying to figure life out as well. I genuinely look forward to seeing people this weekend. The benefit of growing up in a small town is that you never forget each other and like it or not you always have heart ties. And while I still may need to take a deep breathe before talking to the guys and remind myself that we have all grown up, I know that my validation does not need to come from this place and that sets me free to enjoy it all the more. Wish me luck.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
I have been thinking. Thinking about all of the violence that happens, and how it inflames our personal biases. A tragedy happens, lives are lost, and suddenly it is the newest platform in social media. Everyone jumps on with an opinion of who is right, who is wrong, and why it all went bad. The days after a tragedy make me shudder as I read my news-feed. It is a direct reflection of what is wrong with us, with humanity. Instead of uniting in grief and repentance, asking forgive and seeking reconciliation. We point, we point at anyone who is "against us", who doesn't align with our world view. The story of a scape goat is as old as human kind. We try to simplify the problem to more money, less guns, more guns, less cops, trusting cops, and so on. These things are merely bandages, our ailment goes much deeper. We are broken. First humanity didn't listen, then we hid, then we lied, and then we killed our brother. How we must tear at Gods heart. It would be as if a parent watched one of their beloved children kill another over a disagreement, and then that child try to validate his actions. There is no validation for killing another human being. Period. As long as we continue to convince ourselves that we have the right, the authority to decide when another human being lives or dies, we will continue to spiral out of control. We need a heart transplant, not a bandage. We need new eyes to see people as valuable, loved and someones baby. I look at Fern and see the way God must see. I weep to think of how many times Cain and Able have been replayed before his eyes over and over again. They were brothers, they were family, they are us. God forgive us.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Part of me hates July. It leaves a sour taste in my mouth as I think of Joi and Levi. I had forgotten exactly what day it was due to all the night driving, after waking from some much needed sleep I reached for my phone and took a quick glance at Facebook. Levi was there. July to me is like a slap in the face sometimes, today was one of those days. I can handle many things, many tensions, much busyness, but the unexpected moments of grief are hard. I will never understand Levi's death, or Joi's Suicide. I know that people die every day and that tragedy is common. We are a broken people and all over the world human beings hurt other human beings. I need no more evidence of sin nature then to see the way we treat others. Greed, gluttony, rage, vanity, sloth, avarice and envy. But these people, these people were special to me and while academically I can grasp that we all die, emotionally I battle. The roller coaster of events, emotions, with hardly a moment to breath leaves me with vertigo. When I feel the room spinning out of control all that can do is hang onto what is solid. I remember the day, I looked to my friends for support, many were busy, one left, they were not solid. My family was reeling with grief themselves, we could not hold each other up, they were not solid. I would have given away every earthly possession to bring him back, they brought no comfort and were not solid. The one solid thing was what I wanted most to be angry with. How could God let this happen? " This happens every day Sara all over the world." But not to us. "Yes. All die." I knew then that I needed God more then ever. He was my only hope to see Levi again. I wanted to be mad at God and so I clutched angrily to him. Grappling with the realities of life as they struck my inmost being. I hate you. I need you. Go away. Don't leave me alone. Death entered the world, we cannot live forever, all of us will die. God saw this and had mercy providing a way and hope. I have many friends who will disagree with this but I refuse to live an existence of futility and no hope. I ache for those who have no hope. I still grapple, still question, still challenge. But my need for God is greater then my personal ego and I will cling to the one solid thing I know. If I am wrong so be it, but I choose a life with hope for a better existence. See you soon Levi. I love you.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
For many the life we live is not for them. When the fact that our family of five lives with nine other adults comes up in conversation most shake their heads and state how they could never do that, they need personal space. And while I am of the mindset that personal space is overrated, I do understand what they are saying. There are moments that I crave alone time. When all I want is to sit with a hot cup of coffee in hand, no children pulling at me, no housemates talking. Just silence. But that is not the life that I have chosen. I have chosen closeness, it what I crave and what I need. I find that when I want to abandon ship it is usually due to my flesh rising up and something that I need to fix. I remember our second year of marriage when the process truly began, the refining for community living. For some reason Andrew and I decided that it would be a good idea to live with 3 single men. Almost immediately the refining began. Honestly I don't know what we were thinking, a young married couple still figuring things out, a wife wanting to make a home and create a beautiful space, and three single college guys. The reality of this choice was apparent as I ferociously fought against the ping-pong table as our dining room table. The thought of that as an option had honestly never crossed my mind!!!!! There were other challenges as well, cleaning in general was not high on the priority list, and the dishes were out of control. I remember cleaning the house one day and leaving for work, by the time I got home 4 hours later it was a disaster. But these were small things, and soon I reconciled myself to the fact that the house would never truly be clean (preparation for children). And while it was challenging there was much goodness. Late night card games, ping-pong tournaments, and forming bonds that still exist to this day. The guys are all married with children now, and I am pretty sure that none of them have a ping-pong table in the dining room. We try to see each other once a year and genuinely enjoy each other. From what I was told the year after Andrew and I moved out was a rough one at the house, and things didn't go very well. And while I know that we were not the glue holding it together, I do believe that the diversity of having singles and a married couple together was a good thing. It is easy to gravitate to people who are in the exact same place in life as we are. Birds of a feather and all that. But this creates a large imbalance. We are better together, even though it is harder. Andrew and I have lived in community for 8 years total now, and I truly believe it has molded us for the better and kept from a myopic world view. The guys were part of this growing process for me and the beginning of learning to let go of the small things, and cling to that which matters. I still enjoy a clean house and try to keep it beautiful. But these things are meaningless if while I try to create physical beauty I am ignoring the needs of others. Relationships need tending to, if you ignore a garden for too long the weeds will overwhelm you, but if you tend to it a little bit each day soon profound beauty blossoms. We are better together, we need each other, and while community living may not be for you, everyone needs closeness of some kind. Tend to your relationships, give them your best, forgive what does not matter, and let go of the desire to control. It will be good.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
I am purposefully ignoring the laundry piled next to me on the couch, sunshine and laundry never mix in my world. Perfection would be the word that I would choose to describe these last few summer days, warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and several hours in the flower beds. Pulling, pruning, pondering placement. Digging in deep, coming up dirty and satisfied. I always have enjoyed playing in the dirt. Digging up worms and creating houses for them out of mud in my mothers bread pans. Begging Grandma to let me keep the worm at the dinner table because it was my friend (country living can be lonely at times). Covering our plastic rocking horse with mud and picking my own switch as a result. Sandcastles, sculpture, pottery and gardening have marked my development. I have never had a manicure, these hands weren't made for glamor but rather for laboring, loving, digging, molding, holding, and raising. My hands are that of my mother, short, small, strong. I think of my mother as I stoop down to pull weeds and tend to the flowers. Many times I am told how much I am like her. I think to myself "No I am like myself", but when it is in regards to gardening I don't mind so much. Her hands create beauty in whatever they touch, music, art, dirt, and so I am happy to have her hands. I hope to be known as a woman who creates beauty wherever I go, and to whatever I set these hands to. To look at me right now you would think that I am in need of a break, three children, full ministry schedule, 2 day old moo-moo, dirty hands and feet. Always barefoot, this is the given. Ezekiel is showing me his flip book he made, not quite right but a good attempt. The kid has been burning through paper at an astonishing rate, part of me wants him to conserve and not waste so much, and the to other buy stock in art supplies. He was in the dirt all day with me, playing with worms, digging holes, sitting quietly. Heart of my heart, me to the bone. It is odd to see yourself reflected so completely in a small person. This is life right now, interrupted in every way, yet part of me wonders if the interruptions are the real life, and every thing else just filler. I am not good at self care in the set apart sense, but I care for myself in others ways. I bathe myself in the laughter and love of my children. I find my zen during tough moments, deep breaths. Balance is a baby on my hip, and a hot cup of coffee in my hand. Sleeping in is lazily nursing baby in bed, while the boys play in their room. Alone time is grabbed here and there. I care for myself by surrounding myself with life. Plants, birds, children, music, fellowship, coffee dates, red wine, insane camping trips with way too many kids, these are the things that bring me life. So I forgo the laundry, and have completely given up on any kind of daily or weekly schedule. Finding beauty in the chaos, moments in the frenzy, life in the interruptions, grace in my failings, and redemption woven into all of creation. Creator God living in me, consuming me with his beauty, causing it to splash out on others, covered in dirt and full of his breath.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
I lost you somehow, right through my fingers. Some losses are easy to loose, the bonds are broken and the heart strings removed. Not so with you dear friend, it has been years and yet I feel a closeness that will not leave. Geography and time have separated us, but I forgot to cut the heart strings. My brother and friend. It was an easy friendship, gaps of time spanned instantly in a moment of conversation. We were always able to pick up right where we left off, but we left off so long ago. I look forward to when we are able to pick up again.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Sleep evades me. We used to be so close she and I, it was easy. Like a small child passed out in the back of the car, carried up the stairs, put into pajamas and then to bed without even a change in breathing patterns. I remember once going to the drive in movie. The old Aries station wagon with wood siding, my parents called it a lemon. But that night it was a magical place, the back seat laid flat, piled high with pillows and blankets. My sister and I in our pajamas. Excitement. I have no memory of the movie. I remember the giddiness, the popcorn, the speaker placed in the window. I remember waking up as my parents pulled into the driveway, pretending to still sleep. I was carried in and placed in bed. We only went that once, the memory will always be with me. Sleep was easy then, achievable without pills or libations. I am not sure when things changed, when the one thing that I craved most became the hardest to achieve. I do know that having small children has tightened the sleep parameters significantly. It is a hard start to the morning, no more lazily hitting snooze, slowly pulling oneself out of bed and then indulging in a cup of coffee that stays hot to the end. Mornings are now hurried and immediate. Baby nursing, hungry boys, and a tired body that fell asleep a mere handful of hours before. But there is no anger, no resentment, as my children climb into bed with me and shower me with affection. The baby taking a brief break from nursing to smile and coo, making the sacrifice of sleep small. I long for the day when I will make beautiful memories for my children, where details evade them, but the joy does not. I pray that they will be friends with sleep for many years to come, and that some day I will reconcile with her as well.
Monday, June 9, 2014
There is a lie out there, it permeates our first world minds, leaving a bitter taste whenever challenged. It is the lie of ease. Somewhere in our first world cultural mindset we decided that life should be easy, nothing bad will ever happen to us, and fairness is possible. Simply closing our eyes to the brokenness in the world and wishing it away. This is deadly poison. The moment actual life happens, pain happens, babies die, family leaves, abilities are lost, we are sent into a tail spin. This doesn't happen, yes it does. It happens thousands of times every day all over the world, and it sucks, it is painful and hard. Life is not easy or fair. But I believe that it can be good if only we can learn to live in the moments in between.
Saturday, May 31, 2014
This is a different kind of tired, not just a mere weariness of the body, but an ache that reaches down deep. Andrew and I have always been high tolerance people, going, doing, being, working, teaching, helping, building, cleaning, fixing............ Finding the limit, pushing the boundary. Like a small child testing where the limit lies. Learning the borders, the gaps, the soft places. Where can we tuck in more? More people in ours lives, more yes answers, more evening commitments. More time is the one thing we cannot have, it is the hard stop in our daily lives, managing it well is a challenge.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Papers of the heart, found loosely kept in the pages of a book. Tendrils of life and death interwoven with the memories they drum up. The beat of it swelling, overwhelming. Each person a page, a cup of coffee, a conversation or two. Some take up chapters, some a paragraph, all are part of the story. Leaving a mark, setting a tone, finding the beat. The heat is thick tonight, stifling. Not very good if you sleep on the 3rd floor, or more accurately don't sleep. I don't like blankets, especially on my feet, this weather blankets me with an unwanted covering. I am falling out of love with social media, falling out of love with polarizing posts, duck faces, prom photos, graduation photos........... The like, wish that there was an unlike button some times. People that I love, faces that I know, almost as if I don't know them when I view the snippets of their lives that they choose to share. What happened to the heady feeling of good conversation and responsive dialog? It is a vintage almost unknown to some now. I am just as guilty of the crime, caught in the world wide web, posting, sharing, pinning things to later induce parental guilt. Watching peoples passions, convictions Eb and flow at the touch of a button, the flicker of the screen. The pendulum swings, the populous reacts, and back we swing again. As a child I would soar, closing my eyes, letting the wind sweep over me, the dappled light changing with the swaying of the world around me. Simplicity, joy, peace. It has been years since I have swung with the recklessness that only youth allows. I see it in Leif as he runs full out and leaps into the swing. I see the excitement in Ferns eyes as she lets the wind wash over her, and Zeke as he leaves the world behind for some other place. The swaying, the rhythm, the gust of wind, the dappling of light, the moment of life that fills a page in my book and a place in my heart.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
You are sitting next to me right now and are 4 years old. Your thumb is in your mouth as you wait patiently for me to be done. It has been rainy and cold the last few days, but my heart is warm. Leif you bring me so much joy. I don't know what God has in store for you, but it is something wonderful. There is so much vitality and love in you. You are a lover of people, your gaze draws people in. You have no fear and though at times it may make my heart skip a beat I hope you never loose it. A life lived in fear is not a real life, only a shadow of the possibilities. It is true that we have had a rough week. Your campaign against all things green continues and I have Increased my expectations for you. But know this. Even as I take you and lead you out of potluck by the hand screaming, I love you. Even as you refuse to put on your boots, I love you. As you stand crying at the bottom of the stairs not wanting to go to bed, I love you. As you refuse to use the bathroom, I love you. As you refuse your pajamas, I love you. And as we snuggle in bed, asking forgiveness of each other, I love you. You have my heart little one in a fierce hold and I will never be free of it. I thank God that I will never be free of it. Because in case you didn't know.......... I love you.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Somewhere in the middle and there is no place for me. Left or right, front or back, watch the pendulum swing. No mans land, neutral ground no longer existing. Pick a side, grab a weapon, fight with words. Oh how I loathe war mentality. Brothers and sisters torn asunder. I will not fight, I will talk. I will not pick up the blade but rather extend my hand. Shall we search together. There is a promise that if we seek him we will find him, but first let us leave to battlefield and move to higher ground.
Monday, April 28, 2014
There is no balance in life. This myth of balance has overtaken conversation. If only we can strike the right combination, the perfect recipe, the zen moment in our lives, then we will reach parenting nirvana, womanly bliss, marital perfection, all while keeping a clean house and a toned tummy. Well I will call it what it is, a fairytale. A damaging, guilt inducing, confectionery disaster. Sometimes you can't have balance, life throws an avalanche at you, and you are just scrambling to get out of the way. Not thinking "How can I pare down on the snow in this spot, or reroute my resources?", just moving instinctively to preserve life. Life is full and good, hard and overwhelming, stretching and testing. Daily pushing at the boundaries, testing the limits, increasing the tension. I would have my life no other way, even though there are moments that make me question why I bother. I know that it is good, there is a purpose, and out of the hard places comes new life and growth. Turning up the dross in my heart, testing my motivations, checking my attitudes and my pride at the door. This is no trite, self glorification where I am my own salvation, and the world must hold its breath as I find myself, and the balance within. The elusive myth of perfection. It is daily picking up, laying down, shutting up, putting up with, humbling oneself and asking nothing for what you give. Doing the work because it needs to be done, not because I feel like it. Entering into the relationship not for what it gives me, but rather for what I can give. Giving, serving, sacrificing, there is no balance in these things. I choose to be a giver and not a taker, this is the price that I am willing to pay. I don't want to be centered on myself, self centered. I want to be fully in the tension, acknowledging the moment, and entering into the fray of life. Finding life in the middle of the storm, flourishing in the chaos, buffeted and strengthened by the blowing winds. Coming out on the other side and laughing at the days to come.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Sometimes it is daunting looking at a blank screen, so many thoughts and nothing to say. Tired eyes that will soon be closing and taking their long awaited rest. The weekend has been long and good. Up at 6 am the last few days to cook for the masses, the teenage masses. Handsome husband is up north with the kids, I have this evening to myself. Could be doing anything right now, could be dancing, could be at a show, out to a meal, running around with the ladies. So many possibilities, freedom, and yet I freely choose to gaze on photos of my children. What is this thing called love that burns inside of me? I am consumed with unashamed emotion at the thought of my family, the sweetness of their smiles, the light of their eyes. Anything is possible tonight and here I sit. Anything. I want nothing more then what I have been allotted. Just the freedom of possibility is enough to brighten the soul. I feel no need to escape, to get away. Why would I leave the people who give me the most joy behind when I adventure? I want to share my joy with them. There is something dangerous in the mindset of escapism. Never content, always longing. Teach me contentment and satisfaction in the meaningless, the mundane, the draining. To glimpse the beauty instead of seeking out the ashes. Fill my mind with good things, meaningful things. So tired of distraction, the binge and purge of media, of news feeds, of articles about this and that. Junk food to the soul. The more I take in, the greater the hunger, the greater the discontentment. Article after article of rubbish, stuffing our souls with free bread, and so turning down the meat. Ingestion. Indigestion of the soul. Gluttons and starving, obese and malnourished. The over-informed generation with nothing new to say. And so the discontentment grows. It is the nothing of our land. Is there yet a grain of sand remaining on which we may wish upon? I wish upon my children, my husband, my faith, my loved ones. These are my grains of sand on which my wishes and my dreams rest. And though to some it may seem as futility to hope in such small things, they have been given a new name, they are the beloved. What is this thing called love that burns so deeply inside of me? Grasping it is beyond me, but enjoying it is not.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Lord save me from myself, my good intentions and misplaced emotions. The coffee is growing cold and my feet are warm under the covers. Handsome husband is gone for the night. Guy time, good times, essential. Looking forward to not making dinner, the nights I don't cook seem to bring the most excitement for the children. Hot and ready, cheap and packaged. Not made with love, but rather trying to make a buck using the least quality ingredients allowable and my children love them. It is okay, just like the pile of laundry on the couch is okay, and bordering on becoming installation art. Title "If its not in the main space then it doesn't bother me!". I have a prime view of this masterpiece from my bed as I type, color, shape, texture, and form. At least it is clean. New life came into the world today. Joy and unexpected sorrow. Life is funny that way, celebrating the new, remembering the lost. Lost lives, lost friendships, lost faith. Tomorrow we celebrate the undeniable fact that I am indeed inching closer to 40, and many friends will be there. Some are budding relationships full of possibility, and wonder. Still smitten, still wooing. Others the romance is dieing and I feel the need to fight for it. Relationship is a bitch. One day you are infatuated and the next deflated. So many people whose lives have intersected with mine, some very dear and long lasting. Others were a fling, emotional, and lacking depth. The one thing that we crave, were created for seems to be one of the hardest things to maintain. Mind you I am not a prize catch myself. Love you, woo you, completely available in the moment, but poor at the homework, the daily maintenance. I was the student who would ace the tests and not turn in the homework. I don't set out to mislead, I just don't function that way. Yesterdays birthday lunch out with with lovely ladies I received 3 meaningful cards and a gift. Yet I forgot to bring anything, I am good in the moment, bad in the maintaining. Lent is almost over and I look forward to the end of what has been an epic fail on the holiness meter. And yet it has been fruitful, in the failing day after day to control my flesh I see the need for someone greater then me. I am not being dismissive or fishing for compliments, but rather in somber reflection there has been this realization: I am not great. I do not want to be one of those people who thinks of themselves more highly then they ought. I can be a crappy friend, a stern mother, a quarrelsome wife, an opinionated daughter, and a forgetful member of society. There will be many wonderful women there tomorrow night, some look forward to it, others completely forgot it. Both are okay. And even though I am not that great, I will still fight for you, I will still love you and speak life to the dry bones of relationship. New life entered the world today, beauty, a new heart beat and soul. And I realize that life is good and worth fighting for. As is faith, and as are you. Because in the end the only legacy that we leave is the trail of lives that we have touched, birthed, and loved.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The rubber meets the road and suddenly good intentions and ideals are hard to find. The balancing act begins between life and idealism. Something must give. A choice must be made. A perfect parent never has existed, only broken people doing there best with what they have. But best is never good enough. Either you are a helicopter or negligent. Abusive or dismissive. A pushover or a dictator. Heaven forbid if you spank, give your kids sugar or tell the "because I said so". Our generations' fears and wounds played vicariously through the lives of our children. Trying to fix the wrongs done to us by overprotecting them. I do not want to give my past that kind of power in my life, to parent out of fear. I choose rather to parent out of joy and hope, and not to burden my children with the wounds of my past. I choose to parent in reality rather then the myth of perfection that is so unattainable. Creating a feeling of inferiority at every mistake. I would rather live a genuine life with my children (repenting when needed), then live a sheltered life where nothing is ever risked, and my children are unable to cope with the realities of this world. I love them too much. And so I will not always try to fix things, but I will be there for them as they deal with disappointment. I will not hover on the playground, but will be ready with the band-aides. I will try to give them home cooked food on a regular basis, but I wouldn't be a sugar-nazi. I will freely hug, forgive, and tell them that I love them no matter what. I will occasionally spank, I will not spank while angry. I will try to explain, teach, redirect, play, and interact. But I will not sacrifice my sanity for answering "Why" 50 times a day. I will ask for advice from those whom I respect. I will not take crap from random strangers in the grocery store who do not know me or my child. I will pray for my children. I will tell them about Jesus. I will try my best to live a life worthy of my faith. And when I can't I will ask for forgiveness. I will not pretend to be anything that I am not. I will be genuine with my children, I will let them see me sad, angry, happy, and proud so that they are able to see how their actions and choices affect others. I will not parent out of fear, I will trust that God is good and that his grace is sufficient. I will jump off the tightrope of this life and take my kids for a hike in the woods. There is no such thing as balance or the myth of idealism. There is only reality, doing the best with what you have and surrendering the rest.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
It has been one of those days. Nothing of note that should trigger the avalanche of emotion hidden beneath the surface. Trying to keep a calm demeanor and not let on. Yet it has been one of those days. Deep breathing followed by jaded thoughts, aimed at everyone and no one. One of those days where I can not explain what I am feeling because I don't even know what it is. Typical woman, the phrase makes my mouth sour and my brain explode. That I may be behaving in a typical way that gives precedence for stereotypes that mar women as emotional, unattainable, and not being able to be fully understood. And yet it has been one of those days where I barely understand myself, and fear for Andrews life every time he opens his mouth. Poor soul, not him, just me. If only the catalyst were known to me. Perhaps I do know but am unwilling to put words to it. Admitting that something so seemingly insignificant could have such a tole on my demeanor smacks of weakness and kills me inside. That I would seek such trite forms of validation, recognition? I do not seek the praise of man, and yet I lap up the words all at once and internalize them or rather the lack of them. Words have power, whether present or absent. Sometimes the lack of them can hurt all the more. Perhaps it is for the best that this day just end in the hopes that tomorrow will not be one of those days.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Tired of the empty rhetoric, posturing for control with words. Not convincing anyone due to the lack of substance in your step. What if we just shut our mouths? What if we stopped posturing, looking for control? Just give it up. Why do we try to control that which we obviously have no control over? I don't want to fight you, I just want to love you and show you that for me this is reality. You may not agree. I will still love you. This world can be a terrifying place when you are alone. No one should be alone, everyone needs someone in their corner. I want to be in your corner, not fighting against you but rather with you. Actually not fighting at all, because no peace has come from the exchange of blows. No change of heart can come from domination. I loathe the war analogies. I will not fight those who do not agree with me. Rather lets go for a walk together and I will let my steps and actions replace my words.
Friday, March 14, 2014
The white witch is dead and with her demise comes a sigh of relief from my inmost parts. Permission to smile, laugh, gaze and dream begins to flood my soul again. Awake daughter, do not hang your head with the dark, cold, long winter nights. Look to the sun, feel it, drink it in. Water and air for the soul. Wash away the debris, the discarded remains of a hard year. Fling wide the windows, open your eyes and see the fresh, new life springing forth. Beauty for ashes. From death to resurrection. The cycle of life may continue ever more, but pause this time, this very moment and set it aside in your heart to draw from for the next winter of your soul.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Out with the old, in with the new. Why is new always best? Cheap, prefabricated, pop together IKEA veneer. Nothing sturdy, sound, and full of character. Toss out the old, the feeble, the useless. We want to be shiny, new, beautiful, perfectly aligned. Quirky but not too odd, sticking out just enough to get noticed while keeping the boat steady. Don't rock. Just consume and groom. Nothing more then a dime store one pop shop. Take it and toss it, don't consider the losses. A throw away society. Throw away the marriages, the babies in their carriages. Toss out the old, the useless, the bold. Anything we don't like can take a hike. And if you feel offended complacency is demanded. Don't step on my toes, don't tell me I am wrong. Don't value the old their time is come and gone. A bigger lie has never been told then that of throwing out and devaluing the old.
A Clean house.
Things that I probably take for granted now......
A full house.
A full heart.
I am never bored.
The fact that I will never be alone.
Learning how to play again.
Seeing life through he eyes of a child.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Sometimes you just fail. Today was one of those days for me. I got so caught up in the tasks at hand, and finally tackling the laundry mountain, that I forgot something. It feels like that is my life right now. One thing too many always on the plate, one thing too many falling off my plate. There are so many times that I wish that I could be everything that society is telling me to be, but my lack is far too great, maybe I need a bigger plate. Sugar free 1st birthday cakes, jeans that make your ass look great, Trendy but not trying too hard, everything made from a mason jar. Pinterest worthy home decor, being a girl worth fighting for. Brains and looks and humble as pie, this can never be you and I. Yet the blogs that tell me I am enough are hard for me. Because what we don't want to admit is that sometimes we truly blow it. There are days when I am not good, not even close, and saying your fine is not the answer. I know my heart and where my faults lie. There are days when I am not fine, good, loving or kind. There are days when I am at my worst. And while I wasn't at my worst today, I definitely was not at my best. The fact is that I am not enough. I never will be. We are broken people in a broken world, and we are not fine. Look at all that we touch and how we break them, we break people groups, we break ourselves. We are not good. I am not good. And sometimes I need help, to look outside of myself and to say "God help me".
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The timer buzzed and the rest of their breakfast went into the garbage. Tired of raising my voice, tired of them not making a choice. Tired of not having time to drink my coffee hot. Drank it in the van while waiting for the bus in my pajamas. Tired of my flannel pajamas. Don't want to face the reality of my skinny jeans stretched over my body. Flirting with a baby as she gets ready to sleep, she smiles and coos. I smile back all while mulling over the impact of a global economy on 3rd world nations. Who decided that they are third? We know who is first, but who is second? Deep thoughts for someone still in her nightgown. Finally the baby is down and my coffee is cold. Preparing a sermon for tonight. Will I be bold enough to say what needs to be said in love? Will I love even if what I say is openly rejected? Only looking to reflect an image that is not mine, hoping for a little piece of the Divine. Will I set a timer for myself? Motivation to get dressed, to impress a room of youth. External motivation, while irritating is essential for me. Would be happy to do nothing but sit and drink coffee that is still hot. Clean clothing in a pile on the floor, waiting, taunting, pointing out my lack of care. If only someone would lay out my day for me, segments of life composed to make a whole. I would scream and rebel. And yet the timer was set this morning, motivation. I don't want to yell. I don't want to be late. I just want them to freaking clean their plate.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
The balance between loving and loathing, thinning the line one magazine article at a time. The bipolar lens of who we should be, bombarded by images of femininity. Buff this, tuck that and don't you dare be fat. Buy this, eat that, its low calorie and low fat. Nothing sagging, nothing bagging. Green is the new means to make some green, absolutely obscene. Trending, bending, extending, pretending who we want to be. Come on people open your eyes, see the reality that lies within the lie that you must buy, buy, buy. Nothing good, nothing right, don't you dare take another bite. They don't care, don't dare, and will always compare something unattainable. Physically unavailable. Create the need, and they will financially succeed. Nothing but greed. Splenda coated so as not to get bloated. Shove it away, not today. I will not fill their financial bucket, and honestly they can suck it.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
There used to be a time when image was everything. Fit in, don't fill out. Clean pressed, and smartly dressed. Missed opportunities of drinking in culture, speaking up, or stepping out. Always wary of how it appeared, was perceived, was accepted. Not wanting to be tossed away. Yesterdays trend is tomorrows garbage, bought for a $1.99 at the local thrift store, though that isn't even local anymore. Chain events and jacked up prices, selling one mans garbage and making a smart profit. Passing it off as a local service, real do-gooders who serve themselves. Profit is king in this urban market. What value is a person, only what they can sell. Biggest losers selling hope, Pinterest selling cut and paste creativity, Facebook and nostalgia. Till all that appears is the same old, unique, one of a kind video. Trip down memory lane, immortalizing the mortal images that it contains. Calling back a time when image was everything, and we were young, unattached, and consumed with self. The decay of man evident in our narcissistic visions where we are the sun, and all is centered on us. My calling, my job, my family, my look, my vision, my dream. My one chance in this mortal life. A breathe and gone, a sigh and no more. Never knowing exactly when life will shut the door. And soon the images fade in the sun. So important and temporary. A culmination of nothing that matters, nothing of lasting impact and the everything that image was, now gone. There used to be a time when image mattered, cluttering up the junk drawer, taking up space where useful things should be found. Cleaning house, knick-nack, bricka-brack, dump out the drawer. There is no space for this nonsense any more.
Friday, January 31, 2014
I lost my Zen some where today. Not sure when, or how. Just that it was some time between beautiful baby girl spilling searing hot coffee into my lap at Glamdoll Donuts, and sweet sucker Leify breaking his cereal bowl during lunch. I am fairly certain it is overrated anyways. A mere accessory for the young and beautiful. Hipsters unite in crescent moon and tree pose, at the 10 am yoga class. All while nursing a hangover from the night before. Dangling it like a talisman around their necks not even fully knowing what it is, and you probably haven't heard of it anyways. I don't hear of much these days, and traded in my tree pose for balancing a baby on one hip while moping up the spilled milk on my kitchen floor. My jeans still smell like coffee, they could smell worse, much worse. It was hot, yet I didn't loose my cool. Didn't even make a noise so as not to disturb the business men who looked at me with an air of suspicion when the littles chose the table next to them. Jumping quickly up, shaking it off, checking the baby, and simultaneously explaining to my children what happened so as not to alarm them. Deep breathing and closed eyes to focus on what needs to be done. Take that yoga, you can keep your zen.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Now sitting in the kitchen surrounded by sacred silence, and the aroma of fresh, hot, black coffee. Beautiful baby girl sleeping after an epic drive in the van to bring the boys to school. Snow drifts, running starts, molasses traffic, and 50 minutes later the precious cargo has been delivered. Dropping off two of the things that are most precious to me, entrusting them to a system that I don't completely trust, praying for Gods grace to make up the lack. Lack of care, of supervision, of tenderness. Knowing that the underpaid workers do there best, but there is simply not enough of them to go around. The bright shine out, the dull are buffed, the in between forgotten, left to hold up their own. I was an in between, not brilliant, not dumb and completely unmotivated. I still have anxiety dreams of being tossed back into high school, having missed a class completely. Now having to sit with freshmen and take a test that I never studied for on which my future relies. I take pause to sip down the fresh hot coffee, and savor the silence in the kitchen. The floor is still sticky from an early morning mishap. My mukluks bear the residue a silent testimony, a witness. I was never known as graceful and am the antonym of athletic. So it was no shock and at the same time a great one, when the bottle of rice vinegar landed on my forehead as I attempted to reach the crackers, so obviously out of reach. Glass and sticky vinegar everywhere, as I befuddled attempted to clean it up in bare feet and tears. It was a real "Wieditz" moment. Hearkening me back to the days when athletics ruled the world, and I couldn't catch a pop fly for the life of me. I didn't fit the mold, and wanted for the longest time to be able to re-form myself. Never completely satisfied with the reflection in the mirror. Looking out instead of up. Teachers aren't given the tools to handle things like this, they teach a subject, have objectives, place a value on the work of a student and move on to the next class. I don't fault them, they get paid far too little and do way too much. Still as I drop off the pieces of my heart, a wave of concern occasionally crests. Leif will have no problem, he is adventurous, outgoing, cute, and athletic. My only concern for him is that he will use his powers for good and not evil. Ezekiel, heart of my heart, flesh of my flesh, me to the bone. He cares so deeply, wants so much to do good, to get it right, to be accepted. Once again the mirror is in front of me. I know him all too well, and so I pray that God will protect his tender heart. And I release him full well knowing that he will be hurt by others, he will be rejected, but to love him is to let learn how to cope with out me. Heart of my heart. If only I could carry you for always, but soon you will be too big for my arms and too far for my reach. The kitchen becomes crowded as housemates begin their morning routines, they are unaware of the silence my soul craves. Choosing to live with so many people, good and bad, bitter and sweet. Completely of my choosing. Wouldn't change it except in this moment, and so I pick up my things and move to the parlor room. Sunlight streams through windows that need washed, Cats in the Cradle plays as I piece together my thoughts. I realize that my fears are not Ezekiel's reality, and that I am no longer "Wieditz". One day I will learn to cast my vision up and not out. Until then, Gods grace is sufficient.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I used to have time. Time to sit. Time to sleep in. Time to think about myself, my future, my life. I no longer have time, every moment busy. Unwashed hair, 3x reheated coffee, muffin top mama kicking it in her minivan. Daydreams of travel, higher education, and romance have been replaced with nothing simpler then the wish to go grocery shopping alone. Young single women look at me in fear, a glimpse into a possible future filled with washing diapers, runny noses, and peeing while holding a baby. I gaze at them in their skinny jeans. Freshly washed hair, $5 coffee drink. The beautiful, yoga mat toting, craft beer drinking, socially redundant people. Time to think, time to act, time to be, time to pause. I take time, squirreling it away during naps, trips to the YMCA, and after bed. Coming to the same place, landing on the same conclusion. Allotment, the same minutes in every day. Choosing to use them how we please. Interests, hobbies, a career, a loved one. Time is no longer mine, it was a gift gladly given. I may not have time, but this kick-ass family is mine. Minutes wrapped in an entirely precious, frustrating, loving, surprising, wonderful, time consuming existence, with no regrets.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Little girl runs by. Pink boots, leopard leggings, puffy vest. Mamas little helper as she offers to get 3 cups of water for her family. The mama says two because she has soda. "But sodas not healthy for you." The little girls voice chirps, causing a grandmother at the next table to laugh stating. "I didn't know she was so well informed." The tall skinny (gap between the thighs skinny), fashionable mom of two smiles. Embarrassed, "Sometimes a little too well informed." she blushes. Mamas little helper comes back proudly carrying 2 Styrofoam cups of water that she filled up at the water fountain. They are out of fashion with the rest of the lunch, little raisin boxes, applesauce pouches, and it causes me to like this mom even more. Her son walks around with a bag on his head. I smile. Her compromises delight me. Trying to be good, do good, be right, do right. So tiring trying to uphold all the time. A little bit of grace goes a long way on the dead end road to perfection.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Sitting in the locker room, pulled up a stool, sipping Folgers coffee out of a Styrofoam cup. Gulping down the caffeine while I can. No time this morning, chose not to make the time. The polar vortex strikes again, causing me to willingly succumb to lazily nursing the baby under warm covers. Throwing toast and bananas in the general direction of the boys, with a movie on the computer and me back into bed. Enjoying the complete lack of an external schedule and thinking about the disaster that would be me homeschooling until I realize just how late it is. If we are going to make it to the YMCA it needs to be now! Lazy morning quickly turns to chaos as boots and coats are thrown on. Purse, diaper bag, gym-bag, car seat and kids are unceremoniously tossed into the van. Little boys finish with mittens and hats after seat belting. Why so tired? The road unfolds before me, and the lack of coffee dawns in my brain. Cold and foggy, distant and blurred. No time, didn't make time, and so I sit coffee in hand, surrounded by geriatric nudes and light conversation. Staring off into the distance at nothing in particular. Sipping as quickly as the heat of the coffee allows. Not that bad, not that good. Just humbly grateful that there was any at all.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
There seems to be a trend. It started simply enough, a few artistic types looking for ways to express themselves. Jot down a few words, share a deep thought, a journal to the public. But things like this never seem to remain simple and soon every thirty something looking for deeper self expression has caught wind. It just sort of exploded. Self help, fitness, decor, parenting, and the list continues to grow. With growth comes regurgitation of the same thoughts, again and again. I am not looking to regurgitate for you, second hand food for the soul is never that good. And so I say don't read this. Don't read this if you are looking for answers. Don't read this if you are looking for personal validation through my words. Don't read this if you need more then can be offered by simple text on a screen. This is only an experiment. Taking the ramblings of my mind and attempting to make sense of them. A storage unit for my thoughts, a small window to my soul. So I ask you not to read this with any expectations in mind only take it for what it is.