Im making plans to….

Simplify, cut back , say no to the mediocre in my life , to make space for the extraordinary in my life.
Say yes to the
the things I love… Say yes to more time with the people I love. Yes to….
Chocolate shops
Coffee shops
Antique shops
Fall days
Eating outside
Clean sheets
Listening to the sound of a heart beat
Walking briskly
Laughing
Coffee in bed
Bathrobes
Candles
Birthday cake
Windows rolled down
Holding hands
Speaking life over my kids
Fresh flowers
Neck nuzzling
Dice tossing… Card dealing, game playing… Fun
To be in love, and to give love….
Love. The kind that makes you weak in the knees, makes you forget that you are mad, or right, or poor, or rich…. The kind that remembers your first date, and your last kiss.

Lessons in love…

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 It is only now that I am composed enough to write about my week. My daughter had a baby. Yeah, that one has to sink in. I expected to be emotional, and to cry, and to feel an enormous amount of love for my new granddaughter….and I did. What caught me off guard was the enormous love that I felt toward my daughter. It rushed in like a wave and swept me under. I have had the incredible urge to swaddle her up like a baby and hold her. I have no idea if this is normal or not. It is one of the strangest sensations, and yet…I like it. I cannot claim that the beauty Layla has comes from me, her button nose, and little rosebud lips….not mine. However,  I would love to think that the amazing job that Sidney is doing as a new mommy has filtered down through me. She is doing so great, and is in love with that sweet little bean. So even though I heard someone say- oh she isn’t her  real mom , in reference to me ( those words stung like a bee, FYI), the Lord whispered something very comforting to me. Love cannot be inherited, only offered and accepted. I have learned this week that love cannot be too early, or too late .

Chapters…..

Thomas is opening a gun store and indoor shooting range. Wow. This man of mine is persistent when it comes to pursuing his dreams, and calling God on his word to rebuild,  and renew visions and ideas for our family. It is a new chapter in the novel that is our lives. Manchild is learning to drive, and has a girlfriend. Little big blue eyed girl is deeply in the throes of adolescence with a tongue that can turn from honey to vinegar at a moments notice, I never actually got out of this stage, so you can see the dilemma.  Seriously, she is stretching around in her cocoon, I can see it moving, and changing.  I know that the butterfly getting ready to come out will be dazzling.  I would be lying to you all if I said this is an easy time. I always said that I couldn’t stand the thought of the kids growing up, but now I can see what I was afraid of was them growing  AWAY That isn’t going to happen.  Little lion boy is finishing up his school year strong, had the famous hygiene field trip of fifth grade today !  He is so eager for sixth grade, and to start HIS next chapter. Hope. I can see it in him. And then of course, we must not forget almost grown on my own girl…wonder when I will stop calling her that ? She is having a baby girl. Yeah, it’s hard to wrap my mind around, luckily, my heart has already grasped it, and can’t wait ! I sat there in the ultra sound room, and as they revealed the gender, I was just overwhelmed at the thought, the promise that God restores lost years, and he mends broken hearts. Thomas and I have been joking a lot about what our grandparent names will be, and this afternoon I sat out on the deck just daydreaming about what was coming, and what I will be called, and very clearly I heard God say – My name is love…and my hands are called tenderness, they reach across desserts, and the deepest pits.  My thoughts toward you are as deep as the ocean floor, and as wide as the sky, you are always on my mind.  My heart, it  burns as hot as the sun for you.  From the moment you were created, until all time is done …….I will pursue, and protect you. You are my beloved little girl,  and I am your GOD.  

I wrote it down, and I asked Abba, is this for my granddaughter ? He answered,  ” Yes, and for your daughters, and for your mother, and your sisters, and Angie…its for you.”

The Wheels on the bus.

It was cold.  It was gray, and in general dreary. But behind my glass door I stood in great anticipation….for the school bus.  Listening…until, there it was, unmistakable in its effort to get up the hill by our house. It had been seven long months since I had gone to work full-time , and seven long months since I had watched Isaiah get off the bus.  And then I saw him step down, monster back pack on his back, he usual hoodie . At this point, much to my embarrassment, I started to cry. I pulled myself together by the time he reached the porch. I tried to hug him, he tried to act like he was too big for that. We did our dance. Had snacks,  talked about his day. As he chattered away, all I could hear was the sound of my own heart. My heart song. It sounded like …joy. Joy to be back in this place, my nest, present in the little details that at times, seem insignificant, but aren’t.

Working  moms , I salute you. You don’t do less, you do MORE , you put yourself last, and then you wake up early, and do it all over again.  I feel so blessed to have experienced life outside of my home, and so blessed to be finished with that season…for now.  In the end, we all learned a lot. I was obedient, my kids, and husband saw that. Sometimes, it takes a whole family to make a house run, and most of all….that I am capable of more than I was giving myself credit for.

We are ready to start our next adventure….with a bang ! Hint, hint.

the ties that bind.

This week I have spent a ton of time in the past. Remembering . What binds you to someone ? Its not your marriage contract. That much I know.  So…what is it ? I’ve come up with some of the ties that I think bind you to another person, whether friend, or spouse….

  •                  KNOWING , and being Known. Inside, deeply….in the way that is raw, sometimes ugly, but always real.
  • CRYING, sounds funny, but the relationships that I want to hang on to are the ones that I have with people that I can cry with. And that means Thomas…I get this look about me, and he just knows ( back to the knowing ), and he holds me. He doesnt try to make it right, just holds me. Same goes for my best friend Erin. We see each other, and we cry. We are past the point of trying to hold it back. It’s way too late for that.
  • LAUGHTER. Yes !  I need it so much, who knew. It keeps me together. And in every relationship it is so valuable…ecspecially with your kids.
  • PASSION. You better believe that this is a tie that will bind, your marriage will not be successful without it. It might last, but I don’t think you will be able to look back, and call it a success without passion. Husbands and Wives – HOLD ONTO EACH OTHER, late at night, and early in the morning.
  • FORGIVENESS. The hardest one. Let go of hurtful words, wasted years…..move on. No one is perfect.
  • DANCING. Do it. Sway in the kitchen, go to a party….remember that you are alive. Your kids will benefit from seeing you dance, I promise.

REMEMBER. Look back. Think about when, and how your love affair started. Remember the details, feel the butterflies. This is a great tool for those of you, like me, who have been married for a while. I think back to riding in the car with my husband, his strong hands on the steering wheel, and I am reminded that I thought…I don’t want this story to end, this night to end….this man holds my world in his hands. And now, after 18 years, I forget that feeling….thats why God created memories.

You can cut the ties that bind, or you can make them stronger. My history is rich. It is wild, and wooly. Funny, and sad…..it is full. My history has created a future. And I am in love…still.

Tribute.

          Isaiah’s birthday was yesterday. I know, I’m a day late. It’s been that kind of week. Better later than never. I looked back over the past several years worth of blogs on here, and I realized that what I have been doing is writing a tribute to each kid on their birthday. It’s a fine idea, but I am committing to write tributes to them more often, and not just on special occasions. And so onto todays tribute. Isaiah. What can be said that hasn’t been said before ? You are spectacular. This year I learned that you are a GREAT dancer, one might even call you a …romancer. This year I learned that you care when someone is suffering, and that you know how to intercede and pray. I covet your prayers, and I treasure them.  This year I saw you do things that took such strength, and I was reminded about your spirit man. That he is massive, that he is a roaring lion. When you close your eyes, and I see that fringe of eyelash, that is so thick it looks like fur…. and I say to myself…I recognize you little lion boy. I love you. I admire you. I bless your spirit with the kind of joy that makes you strong, and the kind of peace that does not come from this world, but from deep inside. Happy Birthday .Image

Ok ya’ll.  I say ya’ll because this is South Carolina, and that was how I was raised.  I like it. Tonight,  I’m going to let it fly.  Random thoughts.  I don’t know if this post will ever see the light of day, but oh my, how I have missed you. It’s 8:30 , I’m eating nachos (gasp), I still have on every part of my work costume, from the earrings to the shoes….I came in to a storm of  he said, she said…where is she ? Can I go here ? He hurt my feelings. Thomas is working on at least 4 things at one time, and I think…aaahhh work was nice.  Just kidding.  Now that I work, I live for the weekend.  It’s solid gold to me. Even cleaning is a pleasure.  God, I miss Erin. (i mean that as a prayer).  Thomas has been so good since the whole work thing, keeping it all together, thats a gift of his.  And I am grateful.  Keeping it together….not my gift. Tearing it apart ? yes, can do….causing  a scene, losing all hope ? Yes, and yes.  Again, I say, I am grateful to him. I love him.  BUT…..since I am letting it fly, I thought I’d write a letter.

Dear friend that could’ve been, but is not,

Why do you make me feel like I am not worth your time ? My heart is good, and real. My stories are funny, and my advice right on. You don’t actually have it all figured out. I give up. No more liking your photos on facebook, fake air kissing at church, my heart is done. I wish you well, but I won’t sit around wondering why you don’t give me the time of day.

Signed,

the best friend you never had.

Please don’t take offense at this. It’s real. That’s all. I’m venting, and letting my fingers fly. I am a daughter ( not the best, looking back), a sister ( selfish), a wife ( hard to deal with  at times), a mother (all in…to a fault), and a friend (loyal, sensitive, over analyzing, sweet, sad) , to some.

Time for P.J. ‘s….this week has lasted a year, and my head is full.  Man-child is at the football game, and the littles (who are not little) are playing a game of RISK with their dad.  And there you have it.

 

 

 

 

 

Heightened Senses, and such.

I could write a book about all the things that I have learned in my first two weeks as a full time working mother.  But I won’t, at least not tonight.  I have learned some very trivial things, like, the fact that I CAN get up early, And I can walk in heels. Both very important, and nothing to do with this post. I’ve learned that it feels good to have some purpose outside of my home, and it feels good to have people say that I am smart, and capable. Really good, in fact. Mostly, I’ve learned just how much I love my kids. I have missed them like crazy. When I get home, the hours that we have together are like gold to me. I want to hear their stories, EVERY detail (this wasn’t always the case before), and I want to hold them, and stare at them.  It’s as if my senses are heightened. No joke.  And that is worth the getting up early, the late night laundry…all of it. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for our transition, we are doing great.

A family that we met when we lived in Fort Mill lost one of their treasures this week.  He was 23.  He was a violinist,  he was a student, a son, and a friend.   And he is gone.  I am praying, and praying, and believing that the peace they need is coming. This too,  has made me acutely  aware of my children, my life.  It’s so good.  Even in the struggle, it’s good. So tonight will be the night of a thousand kisses, and snuggles , and sweet words.  And somehow in the hustle and bustle, I will try to hold on to these heightened senses of mine. goodnight.

And goodnight to Jonathan Dailey’s  family, may all the prayers of all the people that you know, and don’t know cover you, and keep you.

the written word.

I got a job.  A full time job.  Talk about a shock to the system.  I am tired mentally, and physically.  I have been in pjs all day today ….just because I can be.   I have worried about the transition a lot.  That is putting it mildly, I have obsessed about how the kids will do, and how the house will run. So far …so good.  I had an idea to get a notebook for Belle, and one for Z.  I write in this notebook every night before bed, and then leave it out in the kitchen for them to read when they get home from school the  next afternoon. It has a list of things for them to do, get a snack, start homework, take out the trash….and then I write a paragraph or so asking about their day, telling them that I can’t wait to get home,  and see their faces, and to write me back if they want to.  So far Belle has written both days, Z none.  Shocking.  Not really. I’m not sure the notebooks mean anything to them yet, but they mean everything to me. There is power in the written word. The power to speak to their spirits even though I’m not with them. There is power in showing them that you have the time to sit down and write, even though you don’t get to come for the field trip.  That notebook goes a long way toward easing my mommy guilt. I recommend it, even if you don’t work.  Sometimes you can be far away even when you are at home.

The husband of a dear friend of mine wrote her a poem. He is not a poet, or a writer, but his spirit is connected to the LOVER above all other lovers, and he listened to his heart, and wrote the most beautiful love letter. There is power in the written word. Power, and healing, and…hope.

child of my heart, (and whom it may concern)

dear whomever (i don’t know if that’s a word),

I owe you, and you, and you…and most likely you, an apology.  I am so sorry for my judgement.  Who do I think I am…right ? No, it’s not like that at all.  My judgement comes from a giant, humongous place of fear.  Fear that you will know the kind of shame, and hurt, and heartbreak that I have known. Through the years, this fear has overpowered everything. Even my trust that God has all of us in his hand.  Fear overpowered my love. How is that possible if perfect love casts out fear ? Because of the power I gave to the fear.  I called it’s name…love.  I am shattered about this, but overjoyed at the realization that every day is new.   I am new.  It was my own shame that I wore like a garment that weighed me down, and in my desire for you to NEVER wear it… I covered you in it.  Again, and again…I’m sorry.  I’ve spent the morning in negotiations with my papa about how to handle this.  He agreed to this post, but only if it included some specific things.  Here they are…..  First, you are beautiful, and funny, you are a princess, and I’m sorry I never told you that.  Second, you are smart, and you are strong. I am hoping that you are strong enough to forgive. And last, and most importantly….I love you, and nothing could make me stop. There is no thing, or feeling that you have, or have had that is foreign to me.  I have spent years walking down dark corridors, but I was always looking for light.  I know that you are too.  I am here. I am not going anywhere. Even in my moments of anger, I have prayed for you. Open up your heart, let that shield that you wear to protect yourself fall away, that is what I am doing even now. It is a new day. The gift of daylight comes without fail, like a symbol of the mercy that starts over, and over, and over.  I was never disgusted by you, it was me, and my fear. I hope you understand. God is love, and he has forgiven me so much. Say you will too ?