fair weather friend

Friday, April 26, 2013

It has been months. But tonight I actually got out for a run, and I was reminded that I LOVE to run - especially when the sun is shining . . .

. . . And, I get to run in an incredibly beautiful part of the world.

I should have known not to run right after eating a big dinner, but the sun was out and Darren encouraged me to go, so I went. I couldn't run as fast or as far as I could a few months ago. In fact I was as slow as molasses and my knees gave out way before I did. Instead of the dull ache that I could push through last year, this time it was a definite pain that forced me to stop running on the way home and walk. Nevertheless, I will persist (carefully and with much strength training) for the love of the thing. I need to remember that as hard as it is to get out there sometimes, I ALWAYS feel better once I do. I love what running teaches me about myself. I may never run marathons, my knees may never allow it. I am a fair weather runner, the sunshine is definitely a big part of the enjoyment for me. I am not a superstar, I am doing only the best I can do . . . and I am perfectly okay with it all! I compare myself, not to other runners, but to where I was before I started and what I thought I was capable of.

"That's the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success.
They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is." 

- Kara Goucher

orchid appreciation

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lately my days have been filled with endless opportunities for me to increase in patience and long-suffering. Children have had their share of quarrels - and then some. And instead of expanding in virtue I feel as though I have been letting it get the better of me. The other day when Darren told me that he had yet another church meeting, I groaned. He has been working away long and hard at his many obligations, and where normally I support him, especially in regards to church responsibilities, I must confess, at that moment I thought only of myself. 

Later that night, after children were finally tucked in bed and the house was in some sort of order, I fell into bed. 

That is when he walked in with orchids. 

I do not need to be noticed. I do not need to be praised. I will carry on because that is what has to be done. And I remember: It was I who chose this life with 5 kids and all kinds of crazy. And when I step back and priorities are put back in proper place, burdens are made light, not because they have been taken from my shoulders, but because I see, once again, the value of my mission. Days that feel empty of any sort of production, yet filled with guilt and exhaustion, are not so at all. My efforts, whether great or meager, are vital to this small world of which children think they are the center - and they are! These are the things of eternity. 

Even though efforts seem to go unnoticed, all these unseen tasks that fill my days, they are not. He is grateful. 

Now, everyday, when I catch a glimpse of my orchid, I remember his appreciation and I feel buoyed up. So although I do not need these simple, lovely gestures, they make a world of difference.

Thank you Darren. Love, your adoring wife.

blog shmog

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five years ago I began a blog.

I have loved this journey. And I have learned some things along the way.

I have learned that I don't need to blog everyday, but I can if I want to.

I have learned that blogs are like the frosting on a cupcake. There is much unseen and a whole lot of unwanted left over after the toddler licks the icing off the top.

I have learned to be true to myself and to never blog to impress.

I have learned that I am stronger than I thought I was.

I have learned that life is oh so beautiful.

I have learned to write, truly write, on matters of the heart. I have learned what those things are, those things that matter most.

I have learned that each blog is as unique as the people who write them, and that one should not try to duplicate another's style.

I have learned that my life is very ordinary, but worth documenting.

I have learned that I blog best late at night or early in the morning, when children are sleeping!

I have learned that comparison is poison to the soul.

I have learned to use a camera. And my children have learned to ignore it when needs be and to smile when I ask.

I have learned that I cannot force a post. Sometimes I sit and type and words spill over like a waterfall. Other times I go for days with thoughts floating through my mind, all kinds of random flying in and out and all around, knowing what I want to say but not how to put it all together - I put my bucket into the well and it comes up dry. Eventually I get there though, I always do - but I cannot force it.

I have learned that no matter what I put out there, once I push publish I no longer have control. It is for any and all, and how they interpret it is something only they can tell.

I have been giddy with excitement, I have been overcome with gratitude, I have sat here with tears streaming down my face.

This blog is my journal. It is my scrapbook of the ordinary events that make up my life.

It is like an open window I get to look through with different eyes. And God's grace is blinding, the abundance over-whelming.

With every picture I take and every post I write, I am writing my autobiography. I hope I can blog forever and ever.

~ Beacon Hill Park April 13, 2013 ~

"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

I came home from town the other day to a house full of children and an unflushed toilet full of mess. Of course, no one would claim it. I wondered whether or not the q-tip that was also in the bowl would make it safely through the turns and bends, and what the chances were that it would get stuck and cause a greater problem than that of accepting what had to be done and sticking my hand in that bowl. I pondered my position. 

The glamour of motherhood, if there had ever been any to begin with was swallowed up in the plastic bag I wrapped tightly around my arm. 

You see,  I have this longing within to be great. I want to be super at something. I want to achieve and do and grow and be

As the day wore on and I went about my responsibilities God breathed wisdom into my mind: Maybe my greatness will be that of my children's. Greatness is in everyday ordinaries.

It is in the preparing of a grilled cheese lunch.

It is in the putting of a camera in little hands and seeing life through her eyes, her world.

It is in the making of lemon Jell-o.

It is in the strokes of a paint brush.

It is in the workbooks, the math, and even in the frustration.

(Tate is attempting to "disarm" me with his "wand" as I attempt to instruct him in math. Expelliarmus!)

It is in the cutting of oranges . . .

 and the folding of dishcloths.

My greatness may never be awarded or noticed. It will not be in fame or fortune. Instead, I have the opportunity to be the catalyst in the lives of these children who call me mom. I am the cheerleader, the catapult. I am the one on the sidelines who calls out their names, who jumps for joy at their victories, and praises their attempts. I am the one who wipes the tears and comforts the sadness. These children will grow in the knowledge that their mom is quite often a big ol' mess. They will see me at my worst, as well as my best. Through me they will come to understand that life is hard and hearts can hurt so bad. They will become acquainted with perseverance. They will learn to pick themselves up and to be of good cheer. They will hear, over and over, as long as I live that NOTHING is impossible, and to never say can't. And even though life does not always look like the vision we had planned it is beautiful beyond measure in its imperfection. Greatness is in never giving up, even though you feel a failure. My greatness will live in the hearts of my children. I cannot imagine a purpose more noble nor a greatness that is bigger than that.