Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Oh, Christmas Tree

I came home tonight to find that my in-laws got us the cutest little Christmas tree I've ever seen. Very short, round -- a real tree. I hung the lights, Sam put on candy canes (they all ended up in the same spot, where he could reach). For some reason, that is my absolute favorite part of Christmas, before all the ornaments go on, and it's just the lights. It's so evocative of childhood to me. I don't know why.

I'm not a big planner for the holidays. If it were left to me, I probably would forget to decorate. But it sure was nice to see that tree.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Amazing Diplomat

A conversation with my 4-year-old today went something like this:

Sam: Mom, this rubby ducky is so amazing.
Me: I think you're amazing
Sam: No, you're amazing.
Me: No, you're amazing.
Sam: No, you.
Me: You.
Sam: Let's all be amazing.

Good idea.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thank God for shirts

I’m thankful for my son and his simple honest prayers, like this one he prayed with Kevin a few days ago:

"Dear God, please help us. Amen."

And this one over dinner the other night, after I started saying thanks for the food, and he interrupted with, “Don’t say Amen!” (which means he has more things he wants to say to God, because in his mind “Amen” is equivalent to “the end”). So he prayed this to finish our prayer:

“Thank you, God, for our house … and for Mommy’s food and Sam’s food and for… our eyes and noses and … for our shirts.”

Yes, indeed, thank God for shirts. I am thankful for those, too. They keep us covered up and decent and warm, like friends who take me in with radical acceptance, my brilliance as well as my bad jokes included. For their willingness to cover up my plainness, my goose bumps, and my indecencies – to give me another chance to be whole through their eyes, and ultimately whole indeed – I give thanks.

For trust, for peace, for release, for laughter – I give thanks.

I am thankful for an elastic understanding of permanence which frees me from desperate anxiety. For a resolve that I don’t need to make anything happen, because it has all already happened, and for an awareness that always is not counted in minutes but in moments – I give thanks.

Thank you, God, for our shirts. Please help us. Amen.

Friday, August 6, 2010


"Evil itself may be relentless, I will grant you that, but love is relentless, too. Friendship is a relentless force. Family is a relentless force. Faith is a relentless force. The human spirit is relentless, and the human heart outlasts--and can defeat--even the most relentless force of all, which is time."

(From last paragraph of Relentless by Dean Koontz)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Who needs tv?

Who needs toys when you have a sock? Or a flashlight?

My son spent at least a half hour tonight flinging a sock up in the air, running forward (arms flailing) and attempting to catch it while it was moving in opposite direction, all the while singing some rap-type thing about "I win I win yeah yeah yeah." That was after the birthday party he threw for me (no, it's not my birthday, but he wanted it to be, so it was), complete with flashlight. Don't ask me the connection between birthday and flashlight, but we had fun making shadow puppets on the ceiling. Before he went to bed, he played "hide the sock on Mommy" several times, a game in which he very cleverly placed sock in sneaky (but strangely obvious) locations and I had to "find" it.

Who needs tv when you have a 4-year-old boy?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


This morning as I was helping Sam get ready for the day, he was saying something very quietly with a somewhat mischievous look on his face. I had to lean in very close to hear him whisper, "Be careful, Mom, I love you."

To all you fathers out there, Happy Fathers Day! And be careful. They really do love you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Starry Starry Night

Tonight, when we got home from a fun Friday night family date, Kevin pointed up to the sky and said to Sam, "God put the stars in the sky for you, son."

After a thought-filled pause, Sam replied, "Did He use a ladder?"

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Painted pigs and picnics

I entered this weekend bemoaning my fate: laundry, school work (accounting, of all things!), bills, work I didn't finish during regular work week of work. Work. Work...

I wind it down grateful that -- by some miracle -- I remembered that my life is a gift and not all work. That miracle came in the form of an almost-four-year-old needing Mommy's attention. And somehow -- the other half of the miracle -- I let the sand of work worry settle into the bottom of the glass, and filled up my time with big chunks of boy time.

Yesterday we went out for breakfast, me and my boys (the tall one and the short one), then went for a walk in the mall (too cold for outside!). While Kevin perused CDs and DVDs, Sam and I painted a pig at a ceramics shop. We picked out purple, pink, acqua, and black for colors, which could have been quite colorful if the black hadn't gotten into everything. So, it will come out mostly gray once it's fired. A gray pig with "SAM" spelled out on his bum. A masterpiece.

Today we went to church, where Sam learned about sharing and picking up. Love those folks, teaching my son values and good manners! So, we came home and practiced his Sunday School lesson on his room. Sam even helped spray Enddust. Awesome cleanliness. We then rolled out a blanket on his newly cleared and clean floor and had a picnic. We invited all the animals that we had just put away, and we ate Cheerios and Cheezits. So, it didn't stay 100% picked up. But that's ok, too.

So, here I am avoiding accounting with happy reminiscing. Back to the books. But don't forget, life is big enough to accommodate painted pigs as well as spreadsheets.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Musing on the obvious lately, I saw a question posted on twitter that caught my attention. A fellow tweeter asked, "What is the opposite of breath?"

Most obvious answer: Death. Which got me thinking about the nature of life. Without breath there is no life. I take for granted this constant in and out huffing I do without thinking. But it is this small thing that is everything in keeping the machinery of life working. It is not only the evidence of life but the sustainer of life.

Breath is also another word for spirit (or Spirit). And there is inspiration, which literally means to "fill with life" or "breathe life into."

Body and soul are connected through breath, as is evidenced by those days when I'm so busy or self-absorbed that I forget to breathe deeply. By the end of such a day, I feel a deadening weight, not merely depression, but a loss of spirit, a lessening of life.

Reminds me in an almost too obvious way of the Michael W. Smith song, Breathe:

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I... I'm desperate for you
And I... I'm I'm lost without you

Such simple yet vulnerable lyrics, they touch my heart every time I hear them. Desperate, lost... dead without his holy presence living in me, the one that is my air and bread. Such an awareness of my desperate state, this is what brings me to my knees in worship. And it is what lifts me to my feet to try again (after falling, after forgetting to breathe) to live a life of worship.

This is the air I breathe.