Friday, May 22, 2015

Learning from Birds

I write A LOT.... far far far more than ever makes it to a public format.

This morning I was looking for some scrap paper to write a grocery list, and I found this scribbled musing instead:

I was watching birds dive off the branches of my pear tree.... free falling a distance probably 10-15x the length of their own bodies, then artfully shrugging their shoulders to catch a puff of air... slowing their descent and lifting their heads to land on the pencil thin rim of the bird feeder. Simple. Effortless.

Then I watched a mama robin chase her giant adolescent offspring out of the overflowing nest.
They ran and stumbled around the yard like they didn't know they could lift off. They looked hopelessly up at their mother who supervised their stupidity like, "Shoot me your traitor! This sucks!"

Even birds are afraid of hitting the ground. 
Built to fly, engineered to soar! But they have to be shoved out of the nest by someone who recognizes their potential.

I'm afraid to leave the nest because I don't know that I have wings. 
I don't know what my wings are for. 
If I knew, I think I could soar. 

Sometimes you just have to try.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Psalm 23 for a 2 Year Old

God is my shepherd...
(Hey! Do you know what a shepherd is? It's a person who watches over sheep so they don't get hurt. Let's imagine we're a sheep... Baaa! Can you say "Baaa!" like a sheep?)
The Shepherd takes care of everything I need.
He makes me nap and rest in a quiet place.
He leads me to a beautiful pool.
He give me my happy heart back.
He leads me on the right road so everyone will know he is a good shepherd to me.
Even though I walk through a very scary place,
I won't be afraid of any bad things
Because I know that God is with me.
God, you will use all your tools to comfort me.
God, you prepare a wonderful meal for me to show everyone I know that you love me a lot.
You give my head a big kiss!
My cup is full of my favorite juice.
I think goodness and mercy will be with me for my whole life AND
I will live in God's good house forever.

(My mother's day flowers... in a big pickle bucket from Chick-fil-A. Love.)


My grown-up take away today:

"He leads me on the right road so everyone will know he is a good shepherd to me"/
"He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name sake."

God has a vested interest in my outcome. He has thrown in his lot with mine. We're family. How I turn out reflects on how good of a parent/God he is. Just like me and my kids. He'll never walk away because that would make him suck... and he can't suck, because it's not who he is.

Toddler School - Science, Art, Geometry

Toddler school continues....

E painted a "choo choo" blue today. Mommy drew it (made of rectangles, squares, circles, and triangles) and he colored it in. 

When I tried to grab a candid shot he covered it up and shouted "CHEEEEESE". Ham.

Then we experimented with what sinks and what floats.

"Does it float like a boat or sink like a rock?"

He really loved this. Scientific method at its finest. Hypothesize, test, retest, deduce.

--Kawa Mama

Monday, May 18, 2015

Count the Cost... and the Joys

My favorite thing about this picture is how David can look simultaneously EXHAUSTED & so joyful. That face pretty much sums up parenting.

Sometimes (and by that I mean at least once a week) my husband and I look at each other and say, "What the hell have we done to ourselves having children?" And our eyeballs go... O_o

Parents know that the joys of parenthood are the highest high you can have in this life, so they don't tell you the dirty little secret. Kids cost you everything. They impact everything.

Here's one way to describe the cost of kids:

You'll never sleep in again.
You'll never casually decide to go out again.
You'll never be able to "run" an errand again... it will forever be a painfully slow inch-worm crawl that requires an entire weekend of psyching yourself up.
You'll never look at a mirrored/glass/lucite piece of furniture again and think, "Well that looks like a good idea!"

But there's another way to count the cost...

When you sleep, you'll savor it like the best sleep of your life.
When you go out, you'll suck up each cocktail drop like a hard won prize... you earned it.
Even running an errand alone can have the effect of a day at the spa. Ahhhh. Silence.
Your house will take on a harried warmth and natural functionality that reflects your true life... and that has a cool beauty of its own.

It's all about your perspective.

In the Bible, James says, "Count it all joy, brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."

Joy in trials? That's weird.
But when you look for those drops of joy in your trials on the daily, you gain steadfastness. (Steadfastness... that's an awesome quality. That's a word I want my boys to use to describe their old ma. She's always there... she's constant... she's steadfast.)

Trials are par for the course with kids. You might as well look for the joy.

Your perspective will determine your perseverance.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Loving Ugly People... and Other Beautiful Things

A few days ago a friend was telling me about her journey through the adoption process... she had to fill out paperwork which detailed what kind of disabilities in a child she would be willing to adopt.

Will you take a child with autism?
Will you take a child with cerebral palsy?
Will you take a child permanently wheel chair bound?
Will you take a child infected with HIV?

It occurred to me that when we talk about how Jesus adopted us as sons and daughters, we usually think of ourselves as cute little orphans with big round "hold-me" eyes and all of our limbs in place.

But what Jesus really did was.... he adopted the mentally-handicapped quadriplegic with HIV.
And that person is me.

Also this week, I attended a dinner to benefit and raise awareness of Citizen's Advocate: a sponsorship program pairing able-bodied folks with mentally and physically disabled/differently-abled folks.

The people who shared their testimonials of pouring out their time, energy, and love for the handicapped invariably said, "They have touched me more than I could imagine." And yet somewhere deep down in my heart, I have to be honest, I was glad that they are doing it so I don't have to. Isn't that truly sad?

When I realize how deeply the Father has bent down to wrap his arms around me (adopting me, the most handicapped, ill, unpleasant human with all love) how can I not long to pour myself out for others... ugly others... difficult others... completely-different-than-me-others? Because they are NOT completely different than me. We are the same.

I'm good at loving pretty people. Good at loving my own beautiful children. Good at loving my friends who think like me, eat like me, parent like me, look like me.
I'm basically a Narcissistic Lover... I love things that reflect myself.

Lord teach me to love as you love. Not looking for myself in others, but looking for you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blooming Where You're Planted and What You Are

This week I said to a long-time friend, "With most people I feel like I'm either too much or not enough. All my life I've been trying to be myself in a simple and balanced way. It's amazing how often being yourself doesn't actually work out."

This week I've been all emo, angsty, ridiculously introspective, and kind of annoyingly insecure. Basically I've been 13.

I know it's dumb, but it's hard to stop.  Like cocaine? *shrug*

It's hard to rein in the wild horses of self-doubt that stampede through your heart and make you want to run away from everything and start over in a fresh country where no one knows you're actually 13 on the inside.

Doubt is a cancer. It drives you away from friends & community. It drives you into your little hole.

It makes you feel unloved. Worse, it makes you self-focused when you should be fearlessly loving others.

Doubt is a joy killer! It takes the delicate flower, or wild rambling vine, or hearty tomato plant of your personality and shrivels it. It makes the functional tomato long for violet petals and the lily feel stupid for being purely ornamental.

Being yourself DOESN'T always work out... but that's ok. If you're a tomato you're going to be great at being a delicious summer snack... but you'll probably never be in a wedding bouquet (unless it's the new hipster thing).  If you're a lily, you're going to be an incredible ornament in a significant event... but no one wants you at their cookout. If you're a violet, you're going to pop your head out of the brown dirt first in the spring and brighten the bare times, but you'll never be surrounded by other glorious blooms... you'll stand alone.

We are all different. We all have our seasons. We have to bloom where we are planted and give the gifts we have to give.

Sometimes it's just hard to be ok with it.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Yogurt for Dinner

Tonight I was frantically trying to cook dinner with a crying baby on my back.
E-Money was trying to raid the fridge.

Me:   "Get out of the fridge. I am making dinner."
E:      "No! You not make dinner! I make'uh da dinner!!"
Me:   (Feeling sassy) "Ok, fine! You make dinner. What are we having?"
E:      "Yogurt."

He got me. He has a plan.