Monday, February 28, 2011

Gratitude for things that don't look like gifts the first time you open them.

1.  Nora refusing to get out of the car at the grocery store.  Deciding to stand outside the car with my face pressed into the sunshine with my eyes closed listening to the thaw.

2.  This is harder than I thought.

3.  Split fingers that burn when submerged in the Murphy's Oil Soap, wringing clean.  The hands that have found work on the wood floor worn to the soft grain beneath.

4.  The stiffness of a curled, protective posture reminds that standing up to one's full height is not necessarily a sign of conceitedness.

5.  Again, I'm struggling to name what it is from today that challenged my willingness to give thanks.

6.  Being perpetually late to preschool no matter what time we wake up.  Working through the negotiation of getting dressed.  Patience and a reliance on understanding rather than time.

7.  [                                                                                  ]

8.  Feeling so far behind on school work and wanting to do so much more than I'm doing.  Learning that what I am allowed to do each day is God's portion-size for me.  Still...I am thinking try harder.  Try harder.

9.  Finding so many books I'd like to read and knowing there is only a small amount of time to read them.  I must be loving people instead.

Who is it that states my discomfort as a sign I am growing?  He does.  Who is it that brings me to the edge of routine to snap me into presence?  He does.

I am putting the bags and bags of groceries away, thanking God for each thing slipped into place on the shelf where there was an absence before.  I am rushing.  I am worried I am not thankful, that I am greedy--all the bags of things to sustain us, but I could still be fine with less.  Father, what would you like me to give away?  What of this isn't mine?  What have I stolen?

Do I love Him for what He gives me or do I love Him for who He is?  I am pressed to the edge.  And I know this is where He brings me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Once you start...

I'm wide awake--the kind of awake them means I could get a lot done if I wanted to, so I started the laundry.

I have to admit:  I'm excited.

There is a bathtub sitting in my bathroom right now.   I might actually relax every once in awhile now.  Do you folks feel the same way I do about baths?  Bubbles.  A good book.  Bliss.

Was it in The Screwtape Letters that C.S. Lewis commented on how angry it makes the devil to see humans enjoying a bath?  I think it  Take that, you big old meanie!

I am stunned by how much has been fixed in the last week.  I don't want to bore you with a long list, but I will anyway:

Salt in the water softener
Dishwasher working
Toilet flushing correctly
New filter in the furnace
Shelf in closet for Nora's clothes
Car (Okay--that was 6 weeks ago, but...)
Plants repotted
Cookies baked (I consider not having cookies around a sort of "brokenness")
Hibernation habitat constructed for stuffed animal ladybugs

Love is a hard worker.   I thought I deserved broken stuff.  Love keeps proving me wrong.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I am honestly:

1.  Eating more than usual.  I've been all sorts of weights and I know there is a connection between the up and the down, the "full" and the "satisfied"--the "hungry" and the "empty".  Anyway, I don't want to spend too much time thinking about it (this worryenergy needs to be diverted to more productive, less self-obsessed channels).  I know I don't simply eat food to fuel my activities.  I eat food because I yearn, because I love taste, because I'm bored, because I need to chew something, gnaw through my own worry.  I eat to celebrate.  I eat to mourn.

2.  Wanting to spend time with so many people and not sure where the day goes (as the cliche goes).  And I look for ways to open those spaces.  Mom and Mike have been here since Friday putting in my new tub and the noise and work and movement are so comforting.  And I want to live in a giant house with all the people I love.  And I will.

3.  Wondering how I will get everything done.  We all wonder this.  ...all things are possible...   But what of the ways I stop myself?  What of the ways I worry/doubt/fret/read and reread/crease brow/sweat it until all my energy is spent and there is little left for the real work?  The liar makes a convincing and deadly argument.  But there is Another who Set It Straight.  How do I learn to train my ear to hear this Voice above the other?

4.  Turning my house into a jungle.

5.  Hoping to spend some time this summer recording 17 minute piano epics and learning a few Hymns.

6.  Still not ready to say everything.  And then I am.  It was said for you.  But you still need to feel it in your mouth, taking shape in breath and sound and sigh.  All the things you thought you couldn't say.  Because this is part of letting it go.

7.  [                                                           ]

Friday, February 25, 2011


A farmhouse sunk in snow.  The quiet bed.  It's later than I thought.

Let me not fear the chaos of a life in motion.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Some Littles

1.  Watching Calliou in bed with Nora after getting my dishwasher to work because a working dishwasher means at least 20 minutes more a night with my girl.  And younger looking hands--well, until garden season.

2.  The brass ensemble in chapel today reminded me of why God gave us metal, really hot fire to bend the metal around, and the ability to blow zerberts.  It sounds funny, but when you put all those things together, something celestial happens.

3.  Teaching:  today was intense.  There are no hardened hearts to speak of--only speaking hearts.  And I love them.

4.  Peace where there shouldn't be.

5.  My mom calling just to say she loves me, which was a coincidence because I happen to love her, too.

6.  Working up the courage to drink a soda pop at a remote gas station.  Because there is adventure and then there is hiding under the booth.

7.  [                                                 ]

8.  Did you know the 7th wave is always the largest?  I didn't, and this means I'm growing.

9.  Making it home safely in the snow, cuddled up around the space heater, and even though my eyes are drying out, I'm safe and warm as kittens.

10.  All sorts of vision.  How she teaches us to see.

11.  So many amazing women emerging of late.  The utter blessing of community.  I wonder if it is too early to sew aprons for everyone...

12.  I have my seed.

13.  Yes.  yesyesyes.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My New Bathtub is in the Back of the Pickup

Mom and Mike took a good chunk of their day today to drive us out to Menard's, hunting down all the parts and pieces I'll need to install a bathtub at the pig farm.  (The original tub was replaced with a walk-in shower for Merle and Ila in their later years there.)  At one point, I got separated from my "peeps" in the middle of all those aisles, probably dazzled by the sparkly faucets.  I wandered a bit, tired perhaps, and suddenly panicked:  How terrifying it would be to suddenly be alone here in the middle of all these building supplies.  Lost.  Doing it alone.  And what if this was like my life?  What if no one was there?

I don't really know how to say this enough, with enough emphasis:  I am okay because of all the good, loving people in my life, how they do God's loving, helping, a hand extended.  I am leaning on you, brothers and sisters.  And you can lean this way, too.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Window

She wakes at 3 AM with memories of a "blue furry thing on the bathroom ceiling."  I'm groggy, having only been asleep for a couple of hours.  "Like Cookie Monster?"  "No, Mommy, Cookie Monster can't get into our house.  Remember you have a rule about monsters in the house."  "Oh, that's right."

Her eyes refuse to close and my eyes refuse to close watching her eyes.  She analyzes shadows for danger.  I am holding her.  We listen to her sleepy-time music again.  At 4 AM, she's still fear addled and sleepless.

I sing to God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there's nothing my God cannot do...

The moutains...His.
The rivers...His.
The stars are His handywork, too.

I will admit something to you:  I couldn't sleep alone until I was 12.

Fear, the shape that fills us when we momentarily forget: love.  I tell her I love her, that God loves and protects her.  But how do I make her FEEL this, to replace this terror with the warm constant comfort of His love, the goodness of His makings and doings?  I sing again.  God is bigger than the Boogie Man.  He's bigger than Godzilla and the monsters on TV.  She soothes for a moment.

5 AM:  Mommy, I just need to talk to you.

I sneak into one of my younger sisters' beds.  Even the small, warm assurance of a foot against my foot comforted, stilled.  I would sleep and wake ashamed that I had no courage.

I can sleep in the empty farmhouse alone.  And I'm not afraid.

How is this even possible?

I sleep walk, stumbling into the living room mumbling, cold-sweated, disoriented.  Mom leading me back.

Now, I simply leave no space of my heart unoccupied.   I let Him in:  The knocking at the window was real.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Big Little

1.  Friends who understand and respond with prayer.

2.  Crock pots and cookbooks.

3.  Three generations of women hitting a second hand store and a movie.

4.   160 pounds of salt in the water softener done while Mom was here "just in case you fall down the stairs."  (At least I'll be seasoned well.)

5.  A kiss on the cheek from a daughter.

6.  A kiss on the cheek from a mother.

7.  [                                                               ]

8.  Orange sheets and bread machines and clean dishes.

9.  The gift of peeling an orange for your daughter's meal.

10.  The gift of eating anything off your daughter's plate that she doesn't.

11.  A miniature watering can on a windowsill.

12.  Trimming and talking to the houseplants.

13.  A shower curtain with squirrels and owls and trees.  Suitable for the young and the old at heart.

14.  Figuring out that excess calcium deposits are probably contributing to my toilet not working right.

15.  Resisting and giving in.  Giving in and resting.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Dizzy Camel

I just woke up after accidentally falling asleep while snuggling with Nora, and I feel confused and dehydrated, obviously the product of fatigue and nachos--like a dizzy camel, a spinning canteen with no water in it, a raisin on a merry-go-round...

Okay.  I'll stop.

Nora looked at me while we talked tonight, her hand in my hair, "What's the deal?  Are you happy?"

We had a rough afternoon when she refused to put her clothes back on at Grandma's house.  (We had to throw them in the dryer to recover from a water spill accident.)  It was time to head home, so I told her she'd have to go in the back room in a "time out" until she decided to put her clothes back on.  I mean, I know running around naked must be completely amazing for a child--you don't have that cultural body-image hatred thing that I think so many of us are afflicted with, and to be honest, none of Nora's clothes are fitting right at this moment anyway--the waist too tight, the shirt sleeves too long.  No wonder she wants to go au natural.   I'd rather be tossed in a box of snapping turtles honestly, so it's hard for me to relate to her quite vociferous desire to go "woodstock" on me when it's time to go.

What is going on in her heart right now?  She's tired of going so many places perhaps, or she just doesn't want to leave Grandma's or she just wants to know she has a bit of control over her life.  (I have a feeling it's a little of all three.)  Mom is so good at reminding me that her ability to say "No" is a gift, a tool we shouldn't dismantle in the course of helping her grow.  She needs to be able to say No to all sorts of things in life--and the only way this "No" works is if she has a clear sense of who she is, how she should be treated, what she wants and needs and what she will and won't put up with.  No.

I am sitting on the couch praying for patience and peace.  And I'm starting to cry a little bit, too.  I'm ready to go home, kick off my boots and just sit for a moment.  I check on Nora.  Nope.  No clothes.

There is a side of me that wants to howl and cry and throw a tantrum in the same way that she does because I want my way and I want it now.

But not this time.  I sit.  I breathe.  I wait patiently because I'm not the spanking type and I'm not the forcing type.  While teaching her self-control, I'm learning it myself.  And it hurts.  The tears spill, the heart races until I finally get it:  hurry is the death of prayer.  You can wait.  Even if Nora claims she wants to "stay naked in Grandma's guest room forever," she will eventually decide it's time to get dressed.

"Are you happy?"  I tell her that I am always happy to be her mom, even when we disagree because I love her and this is what love does.  It waits.  It doesn't force it.   It doesn't mold the other person into a convenient "take-along" package in my busy schedule.  And I hope that the more I respond with patience, with consistency, with clear requests that always take her point of view in mind, the more I hope she will learn how to say Yes and how to say No like she means it.   This (developmental phase) too shall pass.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I have come to rely on the healthygood habit of this evening ramble.

And while I'd like to believe I would be strong enough to write it even if no one read, even if no one responded, even if I got hate mail--I'm not sure I would.

I made a promise, and thank God for promises because they are so good to keep.  I had no idea...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

What I found out today.

Tonight I feel a fragile string between all of us--fragile, but not breakable.  It's just that it shimmers so much, makes it seem permeable.  What it is you are working on, it too is what I am working on.

A cathedral takes more than one lifetime to construct, and I am thankful time is wearing down my rough edges.  I am grateful for the hearts that make me see this so clearly in the morning talking over our words and our work.  That I will complete this life without ever seeing the final product of these hands.

The lamp lit at the head of the classroom as we work through Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and I say at the end:  "Do you see?"  And they sit in silence for a moment and then he says, "Yes.  I see."

And we laugh loud and out of control in the afternoon when poems about kitchens and wars and hair bring us there, overfilled and brimming with this joy.

Those "inconvenient" tears (don't let them see me crying--I can not answer if I'm all right), they remind us of the space we make together in time, meeting, pressing at its edges until it takes on the full shape of life abundant.   The vaulted ceiling held by the upward force of our breath and our willingness to give everything that has ever passed into us back into the open lung.  And sometimes, nestled in the breath, we make a sound, a song, a sigh.

If that is home, then take me there minute after minute.  Take me there brick by breath by brick.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Three Things (or more--I can't actually count)

1.  Girlfingers wrapped around my neck, nose pressed to nose, single-eyed child:  I love you.

2.  Songs resonate in the Cowgirl Room, a voice ready to be heard and then the woman will follow.  Go, Hope.  Go.  Follow your voice thrown in front of you, a lifeline.  Grab hold.

3.  Forgiveness and an arm offered when the preschoolmother forgets/confuses the Valentine's Day party.

4.  Wordgifts and dinner with a soulfriend whose belief in me lifts me above, beyond my own low expectations of and for myself.  A mirror that clarifies.

5.  ReaLove.  Get right.  Get real with the Lord.

6.  [                                                              ]

7.  and a little more smile over tops of heads gathered at the Utica gas station and we've all got Spring fever up in here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Today today today:

Life is love is life.

And who can resist when the wind knocks the dead breath of winter out of you?  There are puddles to disperse and birdhouses to construct.

To write:  I was here and it was good.

The two of us go to the Word together this morning...wherever two meet in His name.

Mom.  She teaches me.

A replica of the birdhouse Nora built outside.

What the garden is now.  A boot in deadwood.  What some backyards look like.

Mending on the front porch.  One of the more peace-inducing activities in the world.

I love her.

Zucchini bread sandwiches with cream cheese frosting.  Yes, they are amazing.

Standing in the place where you are and knowing it is all, every moment of it, a gift--take this, I love you.  Have this: I love you.  Everyday is His love.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A List of Little Things for Today

1.  Meeting unexpectedly two students at the park and playing follow the leader with Nora in the lead.

2.  Stomping through puddles at the park and having an extra pair of pants and socks for Nora in the car after the damage was done.

3.  A book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp that makes me feel like I am behind her eyes completely, looking through, hungering for His grace, His joy, His peace in all thanksgiving.  Finding something there I had not expected--a 15 year old girl who can not speak about it yet, but is hearing it in so many others that she will need to be brave sometime soon.

4.  A surprise visit from Grandma and Grandpa while I fold laundry after supper dishes and Nora practices puddle hopping in her boots and raincoat across the living room floor.  The room so filled with love.  This house loves company.  (Friends, do come see me soon!)

5.  [                                          ]

6.  A community of women.  Strong, creative, faithful.

7.  Reeling in the epiphany.   In His care.   Butterflies.

Friday, February 11, 2011


How many of her ran out of the kitchen into the field chasing the moon because it was something God made?  To be closer to Him.  When Nora was almost talking, we walked out to see it rocketship full and sitting low in the sky.  Her legs kicking against me, perched on my hip, her hand pointing moonward, spurring me toward it and I walk a few steps forward, almost believing we could.  She kicks harder.  A few steps more, still pointing.  I don't have the heart to tell her that we can't actually walk to it, touch it.  So I keep walking until the sidewalk stops, the gravel begins, the gravel stops, the field in green growth begins, the field ends and the sky.

She only knows what all of us have known, alone, some night when it seems the world was made for us and we know His love individually, uniquely made.   Seeing the moon through the alfalfa framing it where it happens again and again whether we look or not with the eyes of our heart pointed toward the mind that could create something like...the opening closing eye on the night face as her dress falls white and rectangular across the midnight bed.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eating the Pages of the Books I Read

Some days I dream of crawling into this bed, the one with the bright flowers made for reminding me of the Spring to come, the bulbs we planted in October, breaking open.  Of life.  Of joy.  Of this thanksgiving.

And the bed is covered in pages, in words that nearly hum from the covers like the dream I had once when I was 13, leaning over the bed and picking up one of the cassette tapes strewn on the floor, pressing it directly to my ear and hearing it sing to me:  Do you remember the songs that saved your life?  And the songs that made you cry?

So I go still at night after the day of talking and listening, of receiving so much of those who give of themselves in a language we use to explain, to comfort, to confront, and to heal.  Love must shatter us.

The little girl with pretend pliers in her hand, turning the screws on her three-wheeler:  "Let's give it a whirl.  See if it runs."

The dark hallway on the way to my office: as I pass, I put my fingers to my lips, sign thank you.  Fear runs from gratitude.

And tonight, I'll open the books and listen hard with them pressed directly to the ear of my heart:  Shattering.  Because I need these directions to see if it runs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There are dinosaurs in Milford, Nebraska. And meditations on Slowness.

First, the dinosaurs:

I crashed Nora's preschool trip to the dinosaur museum today, and it was...truly a blast from the past.  (I heard that groan!)

Ten kids sticking their heads in the open mouth of a Tyrannosaurus Rex = A mother grateful that we don't have to watch out for those while crossing the street.

And I don't know what Mrs. B put in those dinosaur cookies, but they were incredible.  Maybe if I bribe her with more Nutcracker Tea, she'll give me the recipe.

And now, Slowness:

Today I am trying to learn there is always enough time to do the job right.  This translated into copying the recipe for zucchini cookie sandwiches slowly enough to remember again, suddenly, the careful practice of writing each letter over and over again.  A meditation on the line and curve.  Even so, I could feel the horse at the gate, kicking the stall and anxious to speed forward.  With practice, I understand it won't always feel this way.  Impatience wears itself out, runs a short race.

And I am wondering this:  My need for the quick, the immediate, the "good enough" --  Isn't my practice of speeding through life because I believe there isn't enough time to "get it all done" a sign that I have lost sight of the immense gift of a single day when it is spent doing what God intends?  To sit.  To eat.  To talk.  To praise.  To play.  Eye contact.  Setting it down and really listening.  To do the slow work of loving each other properly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Bad Mood is Just a Lie I Tell Myself

Tell it one thing you like:  I really dig the Be Good Tanyas.

Despite how worried I was about our discussion of The Tortilla Curtain in Lit class today, I was able to get out of the way and let the room go where the room needed to go.   I lost sleep over it last night.  I suppose my teaching anxiety has a real and necessary place in the process.  

I'm asking myself what place this mood occupies in the house of my soul.

To wear my hair up with long earrings and a dress.  This might scare my bad mood away.  So would sweatpants.

To dominate a jukebox somewhere lonely until the waitress and the busboy and the cook quit their jobs just to dance for a single shift.  That would be good for a bad mood.

A bad mood gets hungry, eats 4 day's worth of calories while watching reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore show.  Bad moods like crunchy food, food your teeth have to gnash over.  Food that sounds like ice breaking.

If you let the bad mood convince you that this is what you're actually like, you'll cling to it like a new and sour skin.  This isn't you, girl.  This is just a ghost passing through.  Why hold its hand while it's crossing?

It takes strong Word medicine:  be faithful in the little things.

A bad mood can't stand hands that hold anything good: yarn that weaves into some useful pattern, a child's hand in need of help crossing the ice, the book you've read and read and read because you want to know how to talk about it with others, a hammer working out its shelter nail by nail, dirt crusted fingertips and the hand cupped to the mouth holding the whisper, "I love you."

Monday, February 7, 2011


The lights are out, the heat turned down and I climb into bed, Nora asleep in her room.  An hour later, she walks in with half-opened eyes, her hands cupped in front of her:

"This could help," she says as she holds her hands the shape of small pink birds toward me.

"Oh, thank you."  I hold my hands out, a bowl for the birds to land within.

She lets it go there, something only she can see, something she has named in her sleep, the solution to some problem.  And I hold it as tightly as a rope, as reigns, as a pen, the onion thin page, love.

I lift her into bed beside me.  Under her pillow:  a note to the tooth fairy:

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Please can I have my tooth back?  But can I also keep the present you brought me?

Love, Dear Tooth Fairy,

Sunday, February 6, 2011


1.  A good talk with Nora this morning about...stress and love and helping that translated into the two of us rearranging the bedroom.

2.  Mistaking the rain and color of the dirt in the fields for April.

3.  A call from Ila about the puzzle and jam I gave her.  Verdict:  The puzzle was torture and the jam was delicious.  I guess I'm even.   (Word of warning:  Don't attempt to put together a puzzle while eating jam.)

4.  Julie and Rasa, if you are reading this,  I miss you.

5.  I lost 50 cents tonight.  That's what I get for rooting for the guys with the best helmet design.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Out with the new. In with the old.

"Mommy, I think my tooff is even more broken now!"  I'm doing the dishes while she watches the Powerpuff Girls.  "Lemme see," I yell back.  She hop-skips in and sure enough, the little fella is hanging open like the tailgate of a pickup.  "Well, you can have me pull it out or you can give it a pull."

There's a lightening quick look of apprehension, slight rise in the shoulders, protective.  Then the shoulders drop and she opens her mouth wide, picking at it with her index and thumb.  I hear it give a bit more, tissue letting go.  I'm stunned.  

I remember how long it took me to finally pull my loose teeth.  I worried them for days, talked to people who had lost teeth before, listed every possible method for pulling them (including the old string and doorknob trick).  Not Nora.  

She reached right in and gave it a good tug.  And there it was sitting in her hand--a precious piece of her.  I remember the nights of teething while she worked to get it through the gum.  And now, it sits in her hand.  I know I will save it just like I saved the first piece of hair I ever had to cut.  Proof of this incredible person, this miraculous life.  That she was once my baby girl.  And when she is a woman facing her own set of challenges--what to let go, what to keep--I will show her these small treasures of her little girlself: the hat she wore from the hospital, the monitor belt she wore around her chest, the hair, the tooth.  Already her courage is guiding her.  It always has.  I will remind her of this in the same way my mom reminds me of what I came here already possessing.

She shies from the blood but I assure her that it's completely normal.   We write a note to the tooth fairy explaining that she can't forget that "this is my very first loose tooff."  We leave the little envelope under her pillow.  As she tries to sleep, I see her eyelashes fluttering, forcing them closed.  Finally they pop open, "Mommy, when exactly IS the tooff fairy going to get here?"

If it's hanging on by a thread, cut it off.  If something new is about to come through, get rid of the dead thing sitting on top of it.  It's sewing and gardening, folks.  Sewing and gardening.  This is also living.

Oh, and does anyone out there have change for a $10?

Friday, February 4, 2011


I'm just going to say it:  I'm tired.  Today was rocky.  Nora is moving into an intense tantrum phase and I feel so helpless:  hurting, anxious, impatient, sad, worried, scared.  I suppose that's how we both feel.   And my mom had a rough day, too, and I don't like my mom to hurt.  She's the sweetest person in the world, and the little girl in me wants to protect her completely. Remember that 6 month old baby sitting in a pickup with her behind the bar?  Yeah, that's me protecting my 18 year old mom, and I still do it to this day.)  And the van needed more work than I was suspecting.  About twice as much work.  And then the propane bill came.  And the final paperwork that officially ends my marriage.   And the muffin Nora was eating fell on the floor and she said it would be fine to eat, and I said, "Well.  Okay."  I was holding her and heard something crunch in her teeth like a screw trapped in a vacuum.  "What was that?"  Continuing to chew Nora calmly states, "That was just the muffin."

Oh, Lord.  I wish I had a bathtub in this house.

Is it giving in to state how difficult it gets some days?  Is this just self-pity or is it okay to occasionally admit that sometimes it actually does get me down a little bit?  Don't get me wrong; I still firmly place my life and all that it contains in the hand that made me, and I trust completely that this hand knows my limits and knows the kind of weather I need in order to learn how to endure.  So, it's okay sometimes to cry along with it, yeah?

Well, thanks for listening friends.  Believe me, your words make for one powerful umbrella when the rain starts to come down.

And, Mom, I love you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pen Pals

To open the mailbox and find her heart written on ten pages of college ruled notebook paper, a little wet from the snow that found its way through the small cracks in the mailbox, the cracks where the light gets in. Where the voice gets out.

I know you through your word.  And I will be writing you back soon.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Single Day Bucket List



Show something to Nora that she might like.

Make something.


Give thanks.

Grow something.

Move around a little bit.

Respond to the season present in this day and the work required therein.

Eat something that might have nutritional value.

Sit still long enough to stand up again a little bit steadier on my legs.

Harvest something good.

Place something nearby that hums with the possible until it's ready to be picked up again.   Don't rush it, the delicate intention of something thinking about being.

Feed Lucky and the farm cats.

Put a bit of order into the place we live, but not enough that we can't do some living there, too.

Find words.  Tell them to other people.


Smile more.

Stop biting my bottom lip.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

In a world with big problems, little things that glue it strong should be mentioned.

1.  A daughter's first loose tooth.  The excitement of a close encounter with a "real live" tooth fairy.  Talk of the secret camera that will be placed strategically.  Me wondering if I actually have any cash in case it falls out tonight.

2.  This living room couch is a ship and daughters are Captains and mothers are First Mates.

3.  (for adult readers only)  Talking to Lynn today about his pigs, all of which are doing fine in this weather:  "Yeah, they're running around in there just fine, happy as can be.  The only problem we had today was my semen came in later than usual."  Me:  "Uh...well...oh!  Yeah!"   And I thought I was this tough old farm girl.  It's just they never mentioned the semen delivery thing in Charlotte's Web...I mean, I thought the pigs just sort of multiplied on their own...  

4.  So grateful everyone is enjoying the poetry classes.  I am too.  In no other class am I able to get to know everyone so well, and I am so thankful for these vulnerable cracks in the "lesson plan" that allow me to step down, as I always wish to do, to simply admit that I am learning, too,  how to describe this life.

5.  That after the mourning comes whirling and the uplifting of hands freed from the hair she worried in keening knots.

6.  A list I made two days ago of thoughts put in my heart to fulfill in action:  Sponsor a child.  Juan in Mexico, you are in our prayers now.  Nora wants to send you her toys.  Thy will be done.  Donate a garden row.  Thy will be done.  Move, sleep, drink enough water.  Thy will be done.  Read My Word.  I go to it gladly each day, words lit by Spirit.  New curtains.  Sewing them.  No matter how "small" the whisper seems, I am learning to listen and respond.  Now.  Not later.  A little bit each day because that is all that I have, and it is enough.