Archives for March 2012

Five Minute Friday: Gift

Hello and welcome to Five Minute Friday. This is where I sit and stare for three minutes and then write feverishly for two and then wish I could do it all over again because clearly I am not made for writing under pressure. But I have five minutes and a few words, so here you go. Meet me at Lisa-Jo’s?

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

Today’s prompt: Gift

I see my faults rising like cream to the surface. When they are present in the people you parent, the ones who share your very DNA, they make their presence known early on. He has my tendency towards perfectionism, she has my laziness, he, she, I could go on all day.

DNA shows it’s gifts in the brown eyes and pink lips with the perfect cupid’s bow, but it stands like a mirror reflecting my soul and sometimes what I see there makes me want to say ‘I am so sorry’.

I’m sorry when they receive the worst of me. But, in some ways this is a gift because I have the battle scars to prove I have been through the soul war and come through the other side. Limping maybe, but heart beating and brown eyes clear and able to see. I see, and that is the true gift.

I walked that road and battled those demons and I will be standing there with the first aid kit when they face them too. May they come through the battle limping but victorious.


Very Important Matters

On the drive home, the kids and I talk about our day. E is still under the impression that I lie around and spend most of my time channel surfing. For that matter, so is his father. However, clean clothes and full bellies tell a tale, one that doesn’t involve laundry fairies and grocery laden leprechauns. In the car I listen, mostly between the lines. Today, we skip over the inevitable tattling on one another, and launch straight into Very Important Matters. These almost always center around which classmate had a cookie in their lunchbox or who said a naughty word in class.

My boy tells me that they are learning a new song in band class. Band consists of nearly every fourth grade student, each toting an instrument bigger than their head, and one lone, loud band teacher. God bless her. She managed to get them all playing the same piece, with the delightful command to ‘Play it faster’; always a crowd pleaser amongst the fourth grade set. According to E, the trumpet players mistook faster for louder and in their excitement drowned out the rest of their bandmates. He said with a sigh that it became too hard to keep up. He finally quit trying, his horn drowned out by the noise of the others.

I sighed too because who better to understand this than his mama? I know what it is to fear being drowned out by the louder, better, stronger, more talented among us. Don’t you? There is always someone who will be heard above the cacophony of noise, one who will play with more passion, one whose talent will rise and seemingly drown ours out. There is always someone whose music will shame us into putting away our instrument.

Too often we let them. We allow their music to drown out our own, until we are silence instead of a symphony. I tried to tell this to my boy, feeling a lot like the pot talking to the kettle, but I know he needed to hear it and so did I. Maybe you do too. Maybe you need to be reminded that you are an essential part of the piece. The song isn’t the same without you. You are not silence, you are a part of a symphony. It’s time to pick up your horn and play.

Just you

We stole away for the weekend, just the two of us. The last two years of work travels and graduate school and general Swiss confusion falling away with every turn of the train wheels. Before we left, I told him I had a good, long think. I pulled up the covers on every quiet corner of my heart and made sure there wasn’t anything lurking there, anything that might rise to the surface and ruin an otherwise lovely day. He replied with an ‘Oh, good’, bearing just a hint of sarcasm. There have been a few unfortunate incidents in which my husband believes he is taking me away for rest and relaxation, and I view it as more of a therapy session. Minus the level headed therapist and unbiased opinions.

He asked me if I had any expectations; what I needed out of our time together. I didn’t hesitate saying, ‘I just want you’. And so we had each other, hand in hand, by the lake, in the sun. We sat on a green metal bench and stared across at the mountains reflecting in the water. I squinted my eyes really tight and imagined I could see our future.

We could be here or there. With a lake and some handholding. The details were fuzzy, but I could see the shape of the future. Him and me, sitting on a bench, dreaming together through gray hair and knotty hands and grown children and grand babies. Maybe there will even be a room with a view.

It was altogether wonderful. As we sat across from each other on the way home, the soft rumble of train wheels underneath and the shadow of white capped peaks above, I knew that I’d gotten exactly what I asked for, and then some.

No therapist required.

Five Minute Friday: Loud

It’s Five Minute Friday and I’m joining Lisa-Jo at the Gypsy Mama. Join me there?

    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them.

Today’s Prompt: Loud

She came home in tears, and it’s not the first time. She said there are mean girls, ones who lie and spread secrets. They write notes and list her faults; one of those faults was selfish. I told my baby that these words aren’t truth, that mean girls don’t know her the way we do. I said the words loud and clear.

You are loved.

You are selfless.

You are beautiful, and kind, and a good friend.

You are not their words.

She gave me a half smile through tears. I asked her if she believed me, if she believed truth and that no one knew her better than her mama and Jesus. She nodded, but from the look in her eyes I could see that the truth wasn’t making it past the lies.

Why is it the lies are always the loudest?

I tried again. Louder now, and I worried that maybe I sounded angry (which I most definitely was). So I softened and we decided to pray. Whispered words from my lips to her heart and His ears.

I know that Truth comes softly and I asked that in its sacred echo, Truth would drown out the lies.


Wander Way

The ache of spring fever is slowly creeping in. I feel it working its way up through my toes and I think about putting on the running shoes, but I grab the camera instead and decide to take it slow. I walk, long enough for the sun to warm my face, long enough to ease the ache, long enough to wander through woods to water and paths of golden grass.

I smile when I see a sign posted lane, and I wonder what hi-jinks occur between the hours of 6pm and 6am amongst the Amphibian crowd.

I pass dogs and horses and aging lovers. The light on the forest floor shifts between branches and I focus and frame the view in front and to the side of me. Then I remember to turn and take one long look at the path behind, and I realize it is just as beautiful as the one that lies ahead. I try to remember that and I think if only I had a pencil I’d write that down.

And then I smile at myself because, really, my thoughts are not profound enough to require a pencil to commit them to memory.

I drink my fill of shadows and light and sloping hills. I swallow cool air and bird song and feel them strum beneath my chest. I look back and I look forward and I think about how lovely it all is when you’re looking through the right lens.