Monday, May 31, 2010

rain, and we return to normal scheduling

I woke early this morning to the sound of thunder rolling, rolling, long and loud, across a dripping wet sky six shades darker than usual... and also to the sweet sound of Husband coming home. He and two sons just got back from taking Sweet Girl back out west after a visit here. It was good to have her here for the week.

Very Good.

We shopped and talked, she got to hang with her family. We got to love on her for a few days.

But now she is gone again, and my deep love goes with her. I work on balance: to care, but not carry the burdens that are hers alone. I do love that girl! Love all these kids with whom I have been blessed. I am so proud of the way they look out for each other, care for each other. It's the way I think Christ would want us to act toward each other.

So the house returns to normal, the rain falls hard, the thunder hollers loud and deep, the grass practically glows green after the good soak, the sky rests dark, and we all move a little slower because it's a rainy day. Rainy days are good that way. Restful. Also good to moderate the temperatures, which have been so high lately that even I, who was so looking forward to warmth, had to come inside and cool off, drinking glass after glass of water to stay hydrated.

Today the temperatures are gentler. Today we can open the windows and hear the outdoor sounds, feel less insulated. Today we can smell the freshness of grass after rain, move at a comfortable pace, and not have to use caution to avoid heat exhaustion.
Today I can enjoy having Husband back home. I missed him.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

this perfect night

I am sitting on my deck right now, smelling grass that flies out of the mower as son cuts.

It's tall!

The mower was broken for a while
and the grass just kept on growing while it was out of commission.
(Wouldn't it be nice if grass - and other responsibilities - stopped growing
until we were ready to handle them?)

I love the smell of freshly cut grass. I watch the tall stalks of grass lie down and become like their brothers, all sheared the same...and looking good. Jack Red-Wing fusses at son, then swoops low over my head as if he holds me responsible for the disruption my son and his mower are causing.

The air is warm and perfect. 81 degrees and I can't imagine a more comfortable night. I wish I could move my bed out here so I could sleep in this 81 degree perfection, with the smell of grass, and the ideal temperature, and the sounds of life at night. Frogs and their friends.

I am thankful for....

318. perfect nights.

319. a strong son who willingly helps.

320. the smell of grass

321. sweet girl learning to mow the yard too

322. warmth, finally!

323. times for rest

324. "Life piles up." -- my wise friend, and she is right, and it's ok.

325. Sound of mower humming, growling at the tough places, then humming again.

326. How pretty the yard looks after it's mowed.

327. Romance. Not just the falling in love kind, but the finding beauty in every moment wherever you are kind. Which sometimes includes falling in love all over again.

328. watching a movie together that makes you laugh out loud.

329. mower coughing, spluttering on a thick, too-tall place, then skillful maneuvering getting past it without stalling and feeling like a conqueror!

330. Bugs. they say it's summertime! (or close, at least)

331. sun lowering, casting house shadow that climbs up the trees

332. this right now time after supper, when the day slows and winds down peaceful

333. family volleyball the other day! I dared to take part! No fear of ridicule this time.

334. Girl home from far away. for a few days. So good. So good.

335. family gatherings always fun and love-full, with laughing and talking and dealing and being. Together.

336. Birds singing bedtime songs.

337. Being able to be thankful. Sometimes it is hard, but right now, in this near perfect moment, it is so easy.

Monday, May 17, 2010

more thanks

306. Rain watering the earth, which must smile a silent thanks after a good soaking

307. New baby peach tree, planted with love as a Mother's day gift, right out the front door where I can see it every time I walk down my hall

308. Green! Rich and full, everywhere!

309. Offspring willing to help out

310. Coffee in the morning as a rare treat

311. Working out and feeling strong

312. Seeing Husband love what he's doing, and be so good at it

313. Beloved friends who join me in celebrating thankfulness and daily delights

314. fresh-made pizza to take home to the hungries after a long, long day

315. wildflowers with jobs to do...healing jobs

316. lilacs smelling like heaven, I bet

317. discovering that the little heart-shaped leaves of the wood sorrel are good to eat!
...they taste lemony.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Singing Anyway

Today is rainy and cold.... and windy. I wonder what the wind chill is today. It's not comfortable, it's nasty out, and frankly I would like some warmth and sunshine.

So I'm sitting here on my laptop and I hear a bird outside my window. Chirping! Happy-sounding little guy. How sweet!

And I think, "There he is out in the cold, wet rain... singing!" And here I am complaining about the darkness, the cold, the wind, the weather. Inside, where it's warm. With the lights on.

I'm not saying I have to pretend I have no preferences. I still would prefer nice weather... but I can sing! Can't we, even when things are not comfortable, choose to see what is good, choose to be thankful anyway?

Can't we sing?

Granted, there are times when life gets so heavy we have no song in us, but that's not most of the time. Most of the time we let little things get to us, and we lose our joy, or we ignore the joy that lies dormant in us.

Quit it, people, ok?

Let's sing!

Let's allow joy to prevail!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day After Mother's Day

So did you all have a good Mother's Day? I hope so. If I'd gotten on this blog sooner, I'd have wished you one, so consider yourself belatedly wished a happy mother's day!

What did you do to celebrate? I had a good day here - we went out for dinner with the grown children who live near enough and their children. So there were 14 of us at Applebee's for lunch. I love being together with all of my children (or as many as possible). What a good day. And for a gift, my children all went together and bought me a peach tree! I am excited about that!

As wonderful as this day can be sometimes, there are two groups that I think about on Mother's Day who I think must ache as we celebrate: the women who long to be mothers but aren't, and the children whose mothers abandoned or otherwise seriously let them down.

It is important for us to celebrate; it is important for us to honor mothers. Where would the human race be without mothers in general, and where would we each be without our mothers in particular? And what kind of people would we become if we stopped saying thank you? It's good for us to take a day now and then to think about the people who helped us get where we are today. It's not like any one of us made it on our own.

But as we mothers are honored, how do the women feels who desperately wish to have children but have none? I know their hearts ache. Mother's Day can be very hard for them.

I think we need to honor the heart of mothering. Women who mother the children of others in so may ways, showing unconditional love... those women deserve honor too. Teachers and choir directors and childcare workers, and the neighbor down the street who loves on the kids after school... they show a mother's love the children in their world, and they deserve praise for that. So on Mother's Day I wish a Happy Day to all the Mothers and to all who have mothered in their own way. If I get a chance, I give my rose to the young woman with the heart of a mother who waits with tears through months of infertility treatments, and when she says she doesn't deserve it, I tell her yes she does, and I explain why. Mothering is about the heart.

But what about the kids whose mothers have left them, or kids who feel abandoned by their mothers? Kids who live with mothers who don't show a mother's love? Or kids who don't even know their mothers? Or kids whose mothers have died and they are still grieving? These kids are around us, and on Mother's Day they say nothing. They have no one to thank, to praise, to honor, while we celebrate. We don't see them because they are quiet on this day.

This must be a hard day for them. (Same as Father's Day is for those who don't know or have deep issues with their fathers.) We need to be sensitive, not in a way that diminishes the respect and appreciation we need to show for our mothers on this day, but somehow we need to try and not make it worse for these kids. Hard to balance that. I don't know how to do that. Do you have any thoughts? 'Cause I could use some practical ideas here.