The “Home Hole” Our Universal Ache

I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams 

Feels like home to me, Feels like home to me, feel’s like I’m all the way back where I belong.

Another airplane, Another sunny place, I’m lucky, I know, But I wanna go home,  I’ve got to go home.

We’re in Michigan, the land that birthed me, broke me and forever holds me captive.

This is the place I know, the seasons I understand: Sundays at the beach with a box of wheat thins and winters with snow suited kids waddling up sledding hills.  Boxes of blueberries, endless evergreen trees and miles of sparkling water.

I’m not saying it’s perfect, driving along the train tracks where my mom died or the street we used to live on still stands my hair on end and steals the air from my lungs.  These streets are haunted by many ghosts, yet still they feel like a well worn hoodie and  jeans.  When I slip into them I feel like the purest form of myself, stripped down and comfortable in my skin, known and loved.

I want to share every bit of this with Noelle and Caedmon, to infuse this cozy Michigan beauty into their childhood memories.

So, what do I pray for?  Freedom from being bound here or a window to return? Continue reading

My Son’s Voice

my Caedmon at the splash park in downtown OKC. I wasn’t prepared for splash play so my kids were the ones running through fully clothed in bulky regular diapers, ah well, Que Sera)

My 17 month old, Caedmon, has started talking, wowing us with new words daily. As I write he’s bebopping around the kitchen pretending to greet someone with a hearty “hello!” into his play phone.

He’s now named his stuffed elephantMamake” and his main two word string is “my eat!” He yells this often as he is always keen to eat whatever is available to him, including chalk and Q-tips. (which i try very hard to make UNavailable to him)

I’ve been waiting for that little voice, so sweet and still dripping with baby softness. Before I know it he’ll be walking in the door with his buddies, showing off his deep man voice and armpit hair. I’ll love him tremendously then too, but I’m guessing I won’t get as many kisses.

One of my favorite parts of parenting is unwrapping all the unique and lovely bits that God packed into their souls, the inner voice. Such as my daughter’s energy and tender heart, my sons determination help and be “part of the group.”

I want to love those around in a way that empowers them to be the person God created, not the vision I have in mind. This is universal for every relationship we engage in. Love is sacrificing what we want for what is best for our dear ones and this is always God’s lovely, perfect will for them.

It’s not always easy, we’re all so prone to want to jam people into our molds. But it’s our call to love people freely, especially when it’s inconvenient. Our natural drive is to focus on what we are getting out of every relationship we’ve engaged in, including parenting.

Yet if we all spend our time in a state of self focus, community would die and our world would become an even lonelier place than it already is.

So the trick is to hear the voice underneath the bad choices, the acting out, the hurtful words and peer through to discover the intentions underneath. Very few if any of us are walking around the world intending to hurt people for fun, it all comes out of something broken or buried deep.

We are all accountable for our actions and have to make amends, yet to correctly understand the actions, we have to reflect on the heart behind them. We have to learn to listen for the true voice in spite of the din and noise.

We all need this grace, to be loved and seen for who we really are in spite of all our faulty choices and painful words.

One of my deepest prayers is that God will grow me in humility, teach me to die to myself so that I can have eyes to see the deep voices and true needs of those that I love. I pray he makes my own true voice louder as the Spirit speaks to more of the moments I’m blessed with.

So I pray Grace for today, ears to listen for the deep voice in the strained moments.

Opportunity

Today I’m joining in the five minute friday conversation through the Gypsy Mama.  I have five minutes to write, start to finish on a selected topic.

“We write because we love words and the relief it is to just write them without worrying if they’re just right or not. So we take five minutes on Friday and write like we used to run when we were kids.

On Fridays we write with gusto, unselfconscious and flat out.”

Me writing, all vulnerable in my worst PJ pants and no makeup sporting bed head. This photo was taken by my daughter, when I let her use my camera to capture the world from her perspective.

Today we write about Opportunity, so here I go, all heart, no editing.

They all head out the door, sippy cups in the side pocket of the bag and towels flowing over the sides.  Off to the splash pad, to WalMart and then home.  The door closes and here I sit with my chance, my two hours or so to write.

This is my opportunity to do the thing God put within me to do besides motherhood.  Two hours to say all that I’ve been longing to communicate for the past few days.

He left in a huff and me with a frown.

He’s leaving in 48 hours for a conference, and then when that door closes I’ll be 4 days a single parent, how do those women do it every day, month, year?  Every bath and diaper and meal all on me.  A part of me is at peace and then the other part is frustrated.  I love being a mother, in every way but somedays my career aspirations shout “Hey, what about me?”

I strive to die to myself, to serve those little ones and the bearded guy that I love down to an atomic level.

Yet, somewhere inside me there is a whisper, “You can serve others too, outside these walls, you have a story, you have hope, don’t give up, don’t quit, there is more for you”

And then I scream inside, “but when!  When is this moment?!”  It isn’t now, or if it is it’s only a few hours a week when I have the brain space to unblock my thoughts and let them become words to share.

It’s a season, whispers my Father, I give you everything you need to fulfill your purpose, grace for my timing beautiful daughter, breathe the air of my grace.

He’s leaving in 48 hours, we have only a little time left as a family, to laugh and part with hearts full of love.

I think I shall seize it.  

Three years a daughter, Three years a mother

Saturday was the best day I’ve had in ever so long.  So much so that I’m fairly certain I told my husband how content and overjoyed I was nearly 20 times as we sat together and wound down from the busyness of the day.

Yesterday we celebrated three years of our oldest, our daughter Noelle.

Noelle Ava on her birthday from birth to three

The more I stop and really see my children the more overwhelmed I am with how much beauty God poured into each of them.  My Noelle is fully of curiosity, joy and compassion.  She was given a doctor play set by her grandma and she has been attempting to “feel us better” ever since with TLC and immense determination, watch out or you could take a pretend needle to the face.

I sit here at my breakfast table listening to the thunder and rain and reflecting on this morning three years ago.  In a small hospital room, exhausted with a freshly cut C-section scar across my abdomen.  I was trying to walk without abs and praying to learn how to nurse and swaddle my freshly given baby girl.

Continue reading

Parenting in the Valley

  

This week, I’m excited to be guest posting over at my good friend Jenni’s parenting blog Just-Mama Jenni.  

I’m the proud and busy mom of a 1 year old son and a 2.5 year old daughter.  Just before the birth of our son, as I was plowing through my third trimester, my own mother took her life after a long and hard fought battle with depression and anxiety.  Processing the pain and shock of her suicide has been a big part of my parenting journey, so when Jenni offered me the option of writing for all of you I thought long about what unique insight could add to the archives she’s already shared with us.  I would like to write about what its like parenting your way through a difficult season in your life.  I feel this important because it will to all of us at one point or another.  Be it grief, divorce, illness or something entirely other, you will find yourself parenting in the valley.  Here is what I learned that helped me hold our family together even when it seemed as though things were falling apart.

1. Seasons- When we hit a valley season in our life we can fall into the trap of thinking that our family room will always feel gray and depressing.  It won’t, life is composed of seasons, both light and dark.  This is just a chapter in your family book, a formative one yes, but not the defining one.  If you fight on, there will be others and that spirit will be what defines you.  Don’t lose hope, instead grasp it tightly, you will need it.

2.  Back to Basics- When you’re struggling, it’s okay to strip your routine and to-do list down to the essentials and just “get by” for a while.  Eat a few pizzas, let the dust build up, buy jarred baby food and do whatever you need to do to make things easier for your family.  Real pain takes real time to work through and heal from.  Graciously cut yourself as much slack as possible.  My mom died just before Christmas and I stayed in on Thanksgiving, didn’t do Christmas cards and I didn’t decorate the tree.  I took baths and read books, I didn’t do much more than take care of my daughter and breathe and I have no regrets about that.

For the rest of the post please visit her blog to read on