A veil blotting out
even sun specks gripped
tight by your hands
going lax—faint glimmers
then blinding warmth
I see and feel day
leaving behind night and
Her as oxidizer. A crushing embrace
heated through. Stoked by red hot
embers igniting an epic blaze, a light
up the sky bonfire eagerly licking up
fuel as greedy flames burn, singeing.
Catalysts, flashpoint then combustion.
When the heat simmers down, a white smoky
haze–aftermath still smoldering. He was
Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.
~Henri J.M. Nouwen
Let’s celebrate what is good in our lives–who is amazing in our lives–and be grateful. Have a good one, friends.
What do you wish someone had told you before you had kids?
All the planning in the world cannot prepare you for becoming a mother. Even if you received too much advice from other moms while you were pregnant, you only realize this fact after you give birth—not a moment prior.
You will take pictures and videos—lots of them. From hearing the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of your baby’s heartbeat to grasping ultrasound pics in hand to your husband’s photo capture of you with a tear streamed face holding your precious baby in your arms for the first time to waving good-bye at the bus stop while your stomach lurches to your daughter going to her first middle school dance to talking about the birds and bees to waking up one day and your son is grown-up, you will capture every important moment with a snapshot and/or video clip—and then some.
Real parenting is not your friends’ Facebook shares. Facebook is not the real world. Seeing highlights of your friends’ posts, whether it’s viewing pictures of their little ones who are reading novels by the age of 3, potty trained by age 2 using the M&M’s method (it does work sometimes), or playing concertos at age 4, is not reality—even though the photos may be cute. Reality is: little ones will become preteens, next teens, and then they will go off to live their own lives. Your heart may feel like breaking but you will be proud—so proud. Welcome to the real world.
You will always be a mother. This reality will never change no matter how large your son’s shoes are or how your daughter towers over you in heels or if your kids become chefs, police officers, teachers, or parents themselves or if they adorn their bodies with tattoos or piercings or if they grow their hair out and join rock bands—whatever. After the umbilical cord is cut, you are forever mom. If you are lucky, you will become grandmom at some point. Love will never be in short supply.
You won’t ever be the same—never ever. From the moment you find out that you are carrying a life inside you, the ground will careen under you, you may see stars, and you will free fall into a love that no life alert call could rescue you from. You wouldn’t want to be rescued. You fell hard and thank God every day for it.
You are a mother. Imperfect at best yet filled with love so consuming that its presence is like breathing. You wouldn’t have it any other way.
To my mom, I know now–and I appreciate everything you are to me. You are the best. To my beautiful children, you will always be mine. I adore you.
where did the time go?
little that pitter patted to shoes that
gape and click
and monsters to scare to
looking up for hugs
where did the time go?
huge and huger still
cords fraying and
well the hopes and dreams
where did the time go?
life’s shorter and heart’s bigger to hold
from the sunshine of your smiles
You visit me when the rains come.
Sliding in through the rising torrents
beating my windows, in the water
swirling around my ankles.
You can’t help yourself.
There’s something about crushing
waves that are a part of you which make
her eat sand
another’s eyes red from stinging salt water
one more her heart aching from being crashed into again and again.
Your wake leaves behind brown tide
lines with dirty foam, crushed shells,
sand dollars in pieces.
I was away for awhile because of life things that needed addressing, still need addressing. Yet tonight I am filled up with gratefulness for everything that is good in my life.
I have two kids who continue to amaze me despite the little stuff that is inevitable between mothers and teenagers, my parents are alive and mean the world to me as well as the rest of my family, Dad’s cancer hasn’t returned and it’s been two years, I live in a home that is full of love, imperfections, and forgiveness, I have a roof over my head, I have healing foods to eat, I love my work, I like my children’s friends–they are each beautiful in their own way, while my health is not what I’d like it to be, I am grateful for pain-free days, days that my lungs cooperate, days that I can just focus on enjoying “now” without being totally exhausted, and I am especially thankful for the people in my life who have never left me–who continue to love me through dark nights and sunlit days.
To all of you, I hope you feel love in this post and that you can show love to someone who needs it. Love truly is the one constant that makes life worthwhile. It doesn’t have to be eros, even though romantic love can be an incredible journey. It could be the love of a best friend or a parent or a child who looks at you with love in their eyes. If we focus on love, gratitude is inevitable. Have a great day, friends.
She stood— fingertips tracing the years clinging to her face as her heart fluttered memories of crimson passions now dormant under layers of white. Autumn had come and stripped everything away while winter blustered in with ice and freezing sleet. She felt the chill and pulled her mother’s warmth around her shoulders—a crocheted shield against the biting cold. What was next? She mused—thoughts tumbling about her mind like snowballs rolled carefully by the boys outside her window.
Could they feel it? The seasons slipping past, one by one, as winter melted into spring and spring blossomed into summer and summer gleamed into fall then it all began again.
Did they sense the awakening little by little or did they one day just wake up and everything was different, changed and they couldn’t go back no matter how much they wanted or tried? Elusive childhood as a bouncing red ball they had once caught and held now bumping its way into another child’s hands further up the road leaving behind whys, puzzlement, and questions. Adulthood pressing in and not waiting for an invitation—churning minds into dollar signs, the future, and seriousness. Concerns trying to crease young brows, yet unlined— still pink from an impromptu baseball scrimmage, damp from last summer’s lake water, and cooled by the dappled sunlight in tree forts. She stood—fingertips trailing the lace hem of her Sunday dress as age crinkled around her eyes and settled into laugh lines. She felt it all—and she wondered.