Tuesday, March 31, 2009

5 Days

With a 24-hour drive (or a costly plane ride) separating us, the rare reunion is precious. It feels as though we should fill each minute momentously. And yet we talk diaper rash and basketball scores and enjoy the comfort of simply being together.

It is easy to forget that this is finite and that soon we will all return to the normalcy of the everyday. We embrace each other's children to capture the personalities we are just beginning to learn.

Little ones play as though they have always been together, foregoing awkward introductions. Their interactions are sweet and innocent, and as we count down the days, we envy their disregard for time.

When next we meet, babies will be toddlers, toddlers will have broken from their timid shells, and children grown taller. We long for the day. Until then, news will be shared by phone, advice dispensed by letter, pictures shared by e-mail, and patience perfected.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Hearts are full but aching. We brushed aside tears while saying our good-byes for another year. The cousins' crazy giggle games are done and the table is strangely empty as the chairs that were squeezed on the corners for meals have returned to their scattered places around the house.

But oh so thankful for the gift of this time together.

Our family of six grew to fourteen strong in a little over seven years!

The six grandchildren so far...
with all six and under and my two sisters yet to be married, there is potential for many more!

The youngest four grandchildren.


Monday, March 23, 2009


My brother and his wife and girls arrive tomorrow. Having not seen them in a year, there is great rejoicing and preparation in our home! A new life has entered their family, as a new one has entered ours, since last we spoke face-to-face.


How much more are we awaiting HIS return.

We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
(2 Peter 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 22:20)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

For Benjamin...

The sleeping-basket whose sides once offered you security now are too confining. You stretch out and whimper awake. I remember just a few short weeks ago kissing your moist cheeks before tucking the blanket around you and lying down in my own bed, watching you as I surrendered to my own sleep. Now as I pack the basket away, I realize...this season of your life has passed.

The heel of your blue socks sits on the arch of your foot, threatening to slide off when you kick. I remember packing for my journey to the hospital when I knew you were soon to be born. I brought along the tiniest pair of baby socks I could find and yet they were still too big! I place the now-too-small booties in the box with the other keepsakes and realize...this season of your life has passed.

I put you on the floor to change your diaper and you grin as you roll onto your tummy. I remember a time when I would lay you down and you reflexively wrapped into a familiar curl, arms and legs pulled in against your middle. At a sudden noise, you would startle. Now, as I roll you back to me, I realize...this season of your life has passed.

But this is not a time of mourning. Just as winter is now yielding to spring, the passing of your seasons has allowed for the ushering in of new ones.

~This is a season of discovering-- the grass, your tongue, strangers...
~This is a season of being nourished exclusively at my breast...
~This is a season of bouncing on my hip as I cook and serve...
~This is a season of laughing at your brothers as they do the silly tricks only boys can do...
~This is a season of toppling block towers...
~This is a season of napping and waking in my arms as I teach the others...
~This is a season of grabbing the crinkly pages of Daddy's Bible while he reads...
~This is a season of sticking close to home.

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven."


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Maddie Tackles Theology

This morning we read I John 4:19-- We love Him because He first loved us.

Maddie responded, "He loves us because we are cute and beautiful."

Looks like our next lesson will be in humility!


Monday, March 16, 2009

How I Spent My Yesterday...

...pining for a good book and pining for a trip to the library...inhaling, practically consuming the scent of baby hair...thanking God for the fellowship of my sisters, both of whom were born long after I gave up on ever having a sister...playing games with a little girl propped on my knee while she whispered the answers to me...longing for Heaven...


How did you spend yours?


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For Owen...

Sometimes my obligations stack up taller than you do;
Sometimes the dancing princess steals your show;
Sometimes your voice is lost in baby wails,
And sometimes your eyes surrender to their own flow.

Sometimes my mind is too tied up to hold you;

"Not now, not now, not yet."
Sometimes I rush you through your thoughts;
You're barely out of babyhood; sometimes I forget.

Tonight you crave my touch, my warmth;
Tonight my strength you breathe;
I silently squeeze you and let you cry,
Pour your day onto my sleeve.

The tears are through, your smile returns;
Heart wounds mended, anew;
The clock says I'm a bit behind,
But I'm glad I gave the time to you.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Maddie Muses...

It says everything that has breath can praise the Lord. Can a dog praise the Lord?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Where Did It Go?

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear,
Fuzzy Wuzzy lost his hair,
Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Hope of Glory

We had a rare moment of conversation alone, Gavin and I.

Outside inhaling the hint of spring, I perched on the stoop, thumbing through the mail. Benjamin bounced on my knee, sucking my knuckle. Gavin and his bicycle skidded to a stop, just missing my toes.

"Mama, do 'S' and his grandmother love God?"

Mail forgotten. "Well, Gavin, I hope so...but I don't know."

Tears welling in his eyes, he continued, "But what will happen if they don't? My best friend might go to Hell and I'll never see him again...Mama, the next time we see them, tell them God loves them."

Lord, give me the passion, the urgency. "...making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Ephesians 5:16)


Monday, March 2, 2009


Some memories can't be captures with a photograph. They are spring breezes...
I feel their warmth, revel in their pleasure...
Yet, they are with me briefly...and they blow on...and I lack the power to keep them with me any longer.
Such are the memories...

~The sleepy peace in my pretzeled body as I wrap my arms around Benjamin each night and my legs around Maddie who curls at the foot of my bed in the wee hours of each morning.

~Gavin's habit of reading Benjamin a "good morning story" every day...every day.

~The pile of feathery brown baby hair I clean off the mattress after a night's rest. I put it to my cheek before I let it drift into the wastebasket.

~Maddie's lilting songs as she takes her time in the bathroom.

~Owen's clutches to his teddy bear with the well-loved, dangly arm and matted fur.

~The questions about Jesus and Heaven and the prayers for Daddy and a good day...and more snow.

~Benjamin's smiles-- the hold-nothing-back open-mouthed grins and the shy, bury-his-head-in-my-shoulder ones

~Gavin's furrowed brow as he fits the pieces of his Legos and the triumph as he succeeds.

~The cheeks, still sheet-creased, that are so kissable after a nap.

~The hands that are hungry to caress the baby, slip a letter in the slot, stir the pudding...

~The same hands that finger the dough when I'm not looking!

~Maddie's timid smile and shiny eyes when she whispers that she is in love with Daddy but can't marry him because he is already married to me!

I must memorize the moments while I still feel them...

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