about a boy

Thursday, January 31, 2013

12 years ago I grew a boy under my heart. And in that heart I knew he was just that, a son. The day he was born my world changed and my soul opened in ways I never knew possible. That same heart that had been captured by my husband, and filled up with our daughter, was stolen clean away by a boy.

As that baby has grown into boy and boy begins his journey into manhood, hugs become fewer and farther between. His circle is small and his bubble tight. He will daily accept but not often offer. I wonder if he knows how much of my heart he holds. I wish him to know that I am there for him, always.

And then while in front of friends he comes up to me, his momma, and squishes in next to me, two parts into one chair - my heart beats within my chest to bursting. My soul is filled with unspeakable joy. He. loves. me.

When he sees me from across a room, where he did not expect to find me, his eyes catch mine and a wide smile fills his face, and I know this boy loves me. He needs me, and I him.

Late at night, with few words spoken, he just wants me there - to rub his back or read him a book. And I know that I am loved.

It is in these moments I must fill up that hole he left behind when he stole my heart away, with the love that he offers, in any way he will.

beautiful soul food

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A dozen times a day she tells me I am pretty.

Feeling anything but pretty in my ponytail and sweatpants, I smile and tell her that being pretty on the inside is more important than being pretty on the outside.

She smiles back and touches my cheek.

Day after day, week after week, we exchange these words, always the same.

But today, instead of spilling forth a well worn response, I stop.

I hear what she is saying, but what is she telling me? What is she trying to communicating that I am missing?

I don't feel beautiful.

When children stomp away in anger and doors are slammed, when my soft mother heart feels tight, and words have sharp edges, when the house seems to be coming undone all around me, I don't feel beautiful.


It is raining outside.

I do not want to go.


I tie up shoes, turn up the music, and head out the door.

I run.

I run and I worry.

I worry: do children know I love them, that I want the best for them? Do they know how my heart aches as I keep pushing through, not knowing all the answers, simply hoping that they come when the need is greatest? 

What is one to do when your heart is broken into a thousand pieces and tears fill your eyes, when children hurt bigger than a cookie and a bandaid can mend, when bones are weary yet still more is required, when times are tough and means seem thin, when sleep and peace feel an Island across the ocean away.

These muscles are stiff. It has been too long since last time.

I feel the sting of the run.


Worry fades as muscles warm. It is me and the road. One foot in front of the other, and I just go. Life becomes clearer in running shoes. Answers come - ideas - inspiration. My body lets go and my mind takes over. And then it comes. When I run I am mom, I am wife, I am writer, reader, teacher, friend, leader, athlete, Christian, gardner, sewer, sister. A crazy mix of everything that is good and right with my life. There are no losers out here. I feel powerful, strong, humble, grateful, hopeful but most of all . . . happy, and my soul is fed.
The sun sets and dusk spreads its grey long upon the land as I climb the hill to home. Lights twinkle as I approach the house. Balloons float across the lighted windows as children give chase, careful not to let them drop.

When they do they are quickly picked right back up again and the game resumes.

How much I learn from these children. Pick it back up is the lesson. Pick it right back up and continue on.

I finally see what she has known all along. I am pretty to her just because I am me and I love her. It has nothing to do with hair styles or colored skinnies. She loves me because I offer her all the love I can, day after day, through failure and weakness, I pick life and little ones back up and carry on in love. And that is all she needs. In the end it is she who is teaching me the lesson I thought I was here to teach. When she speaks of pretty she speaks of who I am, not how I look.

As I look from the outside in at my life, I can see it. I am pretty to these people, the only ones that matter, because everytime I leave I come back. I step back in the game day after day, even when the odds of success seem out of favor, I love on, and when I feel nothing but ugly inside she is there to remind me of who I really am, and nothing could be prettier than that.

finding Christmas

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Christmas has come and gone, and like every one before I went into the season with an over-whelming desire to feel Christmas.

Every year I pray that I will be able to feel Christ in all the holiday celebrations. Above and beyond a rather general feeling of goodwill and love towards others I want to be reconciled with Him. To find Him, feel Him, in everything I do leading up to that day we honour His birth. Every year I expect something life changing to occur, some grand manifestation that I am celebrating this holiday for its true purpose. Nothing drastic ever happens, and I am left wondering. Why do I seem unable to find what I am looking for? I, once again, seem to be blinded by the trees as I search longingly for the forest. It is not a matter of Him not being there, it is a problem of perspective.

The tree comes down and decorations are packed away for another year.

I look back at the small and simple, and I see through the rearview mirror what searching eyes did not before.

This thought fills my mind, "I was there, always. Look again..."

He was there in the tin of goodies dropped off at our doorstep. He was there in the madness of dress-rehearsal. As the music rang through the night and people filled the stands, he was there. He was there as the rain poured and the show went on. He was there in the dust and dirt as hands and hearts served one in great need of help. He was there in the stillness of the softly falling snow, one perfect Christmas day. He was there in limbs too tired to go on, yet somehow they found strength. He was in the twilight sky blazing purple and pink. He was there on the floor as brothers played for hours. He was in the baking, and building, and boughs. He was there with those struggling to find the way. He was there in the face of the small child giving their heart-made gifts to those they love. He was there in the birth of a new baby. He was there in the sick beds of family members. He was in the turkey and the stockings. For where there is love He is. And where love falls short - too mortal and weak, yet is longed for, hoped for, asked for, in moments when love seems hard to find, by one aching to let got the hurt and pride and be filled beyond bounds, He is there. He can always be found.

This peace, this reconciliation is not something given gift wrapped in pretty paper. It is found in weary hands, in service, in the beautiful, the blessings, the ugly, the broken hearted, in everything, even pain. He is always there. As our hearts are stilled and our whispers float heavenward in humble prayer we invite Him in, we give away our sins and ask for forgiveness and strength and then........ we hope.

That was what was born that day. That was the gift given to all mankind. Hope.

Reconciliation comes.

He is not hard to find, if we stand where He stood. In humble mangers, with the sick and afflicted, with the weary and down-trodden, where there is service to perform and work to be done, where the most beautiful people are the ones with the softest hearts and shoulders to cry on, and in the hope for a brighter future.

I will endeavor to look with eyes wide open to the beautiful and half closed to the imperfect. I will seek Him in all I do, no matter how insignificant the task appears. I will find the beauty in the day, the sunshine through the clouds, the safety in the storm, the smile under the sadness, the treasures of this majestic world. I will find healing in the hurt and forgiveness in my heart, find friendship along the way, and opportunities to serve. I will find peace in tired bones, the bounty in the laundry, the blessings in the dishes, the abundance in the mess, the joy that is living and the delectation of finding the way, His way for me, to not only a holiday filled with reconciliation but a life, all the year long, for every one that I am given.

My word for this year is find.