Saturday, July 23, 2011

precious moments

by mary
Today little one, I remember so clearly all the precious moments we shared. I remember all the times I told you I had a secret and how you'd laugh your growling laugh when I whispered "I love you" in your ear. I remember how you'd put one hand on either one of my cheeks and whisper the same secret back to me. I remember laying in your bed together, surrounded on every side by small sweet people-bundles--your friends and my heart, my world. How I miss you all.
I remember holding you and crying together when you were in so much pain. I remember singing and dancing together and eating the same ice cream cone. I remember the way your mouth puckers and your eyebrows come together when you shake your head "no".
I remember being late for my shift the only time because you stopped me on my way with your biggest hug, your sweetest I love yous and that same shake of your head "no" as you you told me not to go. And how you blew my misses the rest of my way to work...
I remember you running to me and your softness tight around my neck, clinging to my body, full in my arms.
I remember reading stories and playing in the sand, naptimes and bedtimes and singing a room to sleep. I remember the night before I left crying as quietly as I could next to each of your beds as the night grew older and my prayers poured out for every one of you, little children of my heart.
I'm so thankful I don't have to worry about you now. My own eyes have seen how you are wanted, how you are loved, how you're taught about Jesus. I couldn't wish either one of us away from where we are now. But I still miss you. And I hope you learn to treasure every moment of your life as I treasure every minute God gave me with you.
Happy birthday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

dark chocolate and photos

By Mary

I've always loved decorating, rearranging, making the house feel fresh and new with a few simple changes. And I guess I never really realized how nice it was to have some things just be stable...pots and pans always go here. Towels there. Something has to be on that wall because something is supposed to be on that wall.

I love the idea of starting with a blank slate but sometimes, I find it hard to fill up. My weakest point is hanging up all the photos and paintings. They sit for days, laying around where I can see them and muse on their proper location as I go about my day, stopping every so often to hold one against the wall and eye it critically. And then back they go to any flat surface that seems safe from puppy paws and teeth, to wait until another time when I can figure out what will be just right, what will give me the look I'm trying to achieve.

I'm like that in life too. It's not exactly that I'm indecisive, that I don't know what I desire. I can envision an outcome and set a goal. But what's the perfect way to reach it? I have to realize that the outcome isn't everything and the journey is just as important as the destination. Sometimes it's not just what will you do but how will you do it. It's not finding the next thing but savoring what's now.

And I want to plan, I want to do what's right. I don't want to mess up or do too little or fail in some way. But I need to want God and not just His plan but Him and relationship with Him.

Several days ago I unwrapped a small square of dark chocolate, took a bite between my teeth and read the little message on the inside of the wrapper. "Treasure the little things". It's not just an inspirational message but what God has been teaching me. Each moment is unique and worthwhile, a gift. Making the most of them is not about doing the most or figuring out the magical right thing to do but rather valuing who He is and what He's doing in every little part of life.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

settling down

By Mary
In our new apartment, things are in slight disarray. The extra bed we have for guests is littered with pictures waiting for their place on the wall and knickknacks that haven't yet found a place to belong. And no matter how hard I try, our table is always half covered in things that don't belong.
We've been here ten days, plus our three day stay in a hotel. Furniture has been delivered with a bit of hassle and drama, our clothes are folded right where I can find them or hanging easily to see and I can stop unzipping a suitcase for everything. Every box has been taken out and it's all a matter of finding the right space for the right thing...which admittedly might take me a month or two.
But it's good to be settled, in some part, to have our own things, a place to call home.
God allowed our house in North Carolina to be rented, on the very day we moved into the apartment, such a load off my mind. But nothing else seems to be going easily...household goods damaged in the move, a sick dog, problems with my medical paperwork on the insurance company's side complicating finding a doctor, fruitless church-hunting. I missed graduations and birthdays and weddings I'd hoped to see in Colorado and really I just miss having friends close by.
I have a long list of things I run over in my mind to complain to myself and wish to be different. But these things are so trivial when I think of how God has blessed us. He's provided so much...and this whole last month spent with my husband, visiting his family and packing our things, long hours driving and all the stress has been such complete blessing. The fact that I've had no morning sickness through all the busyness. The fact that Nick's boss is willing to lend us anything and help us out in any way...that he and his family have been friends when we could so easily feel lost and disconnected.
God tends to do far more than I could ever imagine or wish for, even during the times I feel He must be ruining my life. And while I hope life will start to settle down as we settle in in Maryland, I pray never to settle into complacency or forgetfulness and never cease to praise Him for who He is.