Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The empty house

Some mornings the moving is slow.  Heart downcast.  Relationship in jeopardy.  Wondering the whys. 

The complexities of getting along, understanding; perspective gone awry.

And the feeling.  Misunderstood and victimized and unable to unravel the hurt.

A fly left hanging in a web.  Flapping in the breeze.  For all to see. 

Caught like a trap.  Defenseless.  Hanging.

Continuing slow.  Morning chores and rituals and the checking.  For an answer to a plea, to a note sent in love; speaking blessing and wanting back something good from the messy.

Roaming.  Through the empty house.  The morning.

This slow sad juxtaposed against golden beauty splicing the hardwood floor. 
But denying the beauty; the calling of something better.
Headed toward the pit.  Choosing despair.  Feeling condemnation.

Please. An alternative. 

Something more than beauty, self-determination, busyness.  All helping.
But not fixing.

Again and again, going back; to the pit.  Suffering.
Unable to shame myself.  Others.  Into better.
Not wanting to.

Wanting greatly; a wildly courageous and love filled life.
Living fully and redemptive.  

It takes love.  To overcome.
It takes love to live this way.
It takes remembering.  This love.  Always present.  Never leaving.

Make no mistake.
Not the enabling, wimpy, people-pleasing, self-serving kind of love. 
Not the pathetic preacher character portrayed in movies. 
Not the pie-in-the-sky kind of disgusting gooey sweetness.
No, not at all.

I'm talking gutsy.  Powerful.
I'm talking strong.  Life-changing.  Empowering. 

Like the wind and the sun arguing.  The stronger one removing the man's coat.
A strong love.  The kind that wins.

The kind of love that went to a cross. The kind you'd be crazy to turn down. 

The kind God offers. 

Never to understand; it's so good.

Remembering now.  Truth.  About Love.
Moving across the splayed morning sunshine, dust particles dancing; remembering.

Yep.  Messed up.  All the time.  Sometimes catastrophes even.

But there is better.

His love.  A place to live.
Filling empty souls with better than we deserve.

My heart downcast reminded. 
To be patient with the lives we see only on the outside.

And, for heaven's sake.  A beautiful morning emerging.  For the grasping.

No longer a fly caught in a web.  No longer hanging.

Nothing changed but me.  Remembering the enormity of God's love.

The same theme over and over.
Letting go.  Forgiving.  Choosing grace and freedom and blessing.  Choosing love.
For myself.  For others.

Remembering it looks more now like a butterfly.
This transformation Love does.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My daughter took this picture.

"My daughter took this picture."

Words like these.  Said nonchalantly. 

By many mothers.  All the time.

And one might ask.  What's the story?  Behind the picture?

Nothing really.  Just a gorgeous vista.  Something we're both crazy about.

But what's behind the words? 

Something else indeed.

My daughter. 

It took a long time for me to become a mom.  Now to two great guys and one cool girl.

And so the words never nonchalant.  Never without gratitude.

Because they are grown these days.  Flown the nest.  Something to celebrate.

More like good friends to me and my best friend.  Jon.

Closing out their twenties.  Entering their thirties.

Full of life and smartness and grasping opportunity.  Loving the days.

But also.  Like everyone else.  Greeting challenge and overcoming adversity.

Just like we did.  Years ago.

Me and Jon.  Facing infertility.  Adoption three times.  Raising a family.  Never easy.

But the most important work and greatest joy.

And so I am reminded.  Again and again.  Adversity.  Bringing good stuff.

Remembering the years, yes years; tears over pregnancies not happening. 

And then tentative joy, more like pain; the anxious wait.
To be given the word.  Today's the day. Go to the airport.
Our child's picture in hand; ours to pick up.  Unbelievable.  Crazy good.

Suddenly hearts never the same.  Pouring over our children.  Medical scares and school struggles and lots and lots and lots to do; raising kids, that is.  Never ending.
Always challenging.  And always worth the struggle.

Today.  An empty nest - most of the time.

And in the place called empty - nothing empty about it.

Adult children.  The greatest joy.  Friends as well as family.

God redeeming the years of waiting and the years of struggle and the years, even now, of uncertainty in a world that constantly challenges and scares and keeps us slightly off center.  Not always understanding.

But choosing to trust.  And looking back reminds.

Redemption.  Everywhere I look.  Seeing it best looking back.  Over my shoulder.

And so never the nonchalant. 
Not with my grown kids or anything of God.

When I speak of our daughter.  Or either of our sons.
It's on holy ground.  Not because of them, so much; because of God and the work He has done and continues to do.  In my life.  In theirs.

My daughter took this picture. 

It's beautiful.  She's beautiful too.

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's ok.

When summer comes skidding around the corner on two wheels; doing a free wheelie and laughing all the way. 

When the blueberries come calling; big and purple and sweet on the bush.

When friends come home from teaching all year and call celebrating hard and drinking in all the freedom of that first day off. 

When the empty nest is full again - grown kids vacationing and finishing school and anticipating a call, any day; waiting for that big break.   

When life is so crammed full and the light stays on deep in the day.

Finding myself running; running hard to maintain the discipline of last week.

Morning coffee on the patio amid the cacophony of bird song.  Time alone.

Well-intentioned.  But not for long.

Everywhere I turn a reminder.

Beach towels piled high.  Watering cans full.   Messages inviting.

Open windows with curtains stirring.  Barefoot. 

Lunch on a sidewalk.

A day stretched long on the beach.
And evenings lazy.  Warm on the skin.  Lingering late around the fire pit.  

A season begging for our attention.

Attention to slow.  To relationship. 

To the beauty and the changes. The ebb and flow.  Restoration.

Stars flung from the heavens.  Waiting for the fireflies. 

Schedules and discipline come hard but it's ok.

It's June.