It’s been a while since I reported in on the band of brothers and little miss thing so…here we go.
This is basically what goes on a lot of the time when we aren’t eating ‘nacks, drinking gallons of water and eliminating said items. Or resting up for the next go round.
In the above pic we have Caroline contemplating which wheeled vehicle will give Lola the greatest heart palpitations, Graham is executing 100 free throws, Joel is getting in his way as much as possible and Emmett is wearing roller skates that are two sizes too small. He complied with my request to wear shoes and a helmet, tho I finally gave up on the shoes since seriously…two sizes too small…
I got this text as I was headed out to their house.
To emphasize my response, I sent this along just in case we were not understanding my terms of service. As in, read the fine print regarding the zero tolerance policy for rodents and reptiles.
Apparently it was an epic adventure and thankfully they released it before I arrived. They said it escaped but I think their mom may have decided she knows her mom better than they do. The kids will tell you they caught a rat, but according the neighbor it was a vole.
Either which way, I never saw it beyond the pictures so praise be unto our God who grants me new mercies every. single. day.
These two occupied themselves with a very long game of life that involved them both having double and triple careers, owning several homes, offering to trade or sell children for more pets and a couple of skirmishes over someone who manages to pick up two cards at a time. eh hem…Emmett.
They were hilarious and a couple of times asked me to officiate on the rules. I basically told them if you are both a lawyer and a doctor and own a town home, a vacation home, a family home and a cabin you can basically make up your own rules. Or be in politics. Or both.
This one went and retrieved a Von Maur shopping bag from some undisclosed location and proceeded to show me three new pairs of shoes her mommy had gotten her. She would whip open the box and make the cutest darn face you ever saw.
And all I could think is that the love of cute shoes has been successfully passed on through two grandmothers, a daughter and now a child. Again..praise Jesus. It’s the little things that prove blood is thicker than water <3
I have personally experienced a mid-Covid breakdown this week and have talked to several others who would say amen…the struggle is real.
Maybe it’s the increased heat and humidity.
Maybe it’s just too many months since the shock factor when we were told we had 24 hours to circle the wagons, stock up on supplies…good luck if you wanted toilet paper…and life as we knew it came to a screeching halt.
Maybe it’s that the good feeling of “we are all in this together” has been blown to smithereens as the gloves have come off and we are more polarized than ever in these “united” states.
Maybe it’s that the places where we used to go when we were feeling the way we are feeling are no longer the places that bring us comfort but just add to the strangeness.
And maybe it’s that all of this has brought out the startling truth that, speaking for myself here, the comforts and “blessings” of this life I now refer to as normal, were far too important to me.
Maybe the things that I considered significant inconveniences were actually just tiny blips on the radar screen of life on planet earth.
All I know is on Sunday we went to big church.
In our masks.
Appropriately social distanced.
I sat down in the pew and looked around me and the tears started. As a side note, crying in a mask is about as comfortable as sneezing in one is. But I couldn’t stop the water fall.
I didn’t even miss singing because I usually don’t sing in church. I have a range of about 5 notes so I kind of speak the words and let my spirit ride on the music and please don’t tell me about how God doesn’t care and He loves my voice. He hears my voice a lot and He hears me sing by myself, but I was raised by a man who could play the piano by ear and while I can’t carry a tune, I am highly able to appreciate good music and cringe at bad music and when I know I am not hitting the notes correctly and someone who is gifted to do so is, I just let them do their thing while I worship in my spirit.
So I just listened and hummed and spoke the words and I was almost free of the tears until we hit the part in the song that says…when darkness hides His lovely face …and it was too close to home.
All of a sudden I could picture God wearing a mask that covers His face.
And I thought how like Him to go through the same stuff we are going through.
Darkness covering His lovely face.
The tears fell because in the midst of all of this season, at times I have felt the disconnect from community to blur into a sense of disconnect from God.
And what does the song declare further?
When I can’t see His face…I will rest…REST…on His unchanging grace.*
In the midst of daily changes in facts reported, allegations made, theories bandied about – His grace has not changed.
No matter what roller coaster my emotions may ride or the lives around me that I love that are being rocked back and forth by decisions that affect all of us and yet we have absolutely zero control over…He is the anchor that remains unmoved.
I pray you are holding up if this has gone on too long for you. Short of a miracle, we have a ways to go.
If you find yourself having a meltdown every now and again, remember that you are held. Tight and firm and safe in the unchanging love of God. Maybe google the song below and sing along with the lyrics. Let them fill you with the Hope of Christ again <3
Grace. Amazing grace has not been canceled and remains unchanged, as powerful as ever.
Thankfully as I approached my 50th year and was making all kinds of negative comments about it, God did that thing He does with me and spoke rather succinctly that perhaps since I had two daughters coming along behind me I might want to change my tone and embrace each year as a beautiful gift so that they would not dread getting older in a culture that deifies youth.
I am so thankful He doesn’t beat around the bush with me because I can be dull and slow to catch on and His way of speaking in brief sentences helps me very much. I began to say I was excited about turning 50 and before long, I actually was excited about it.
While there are times I see my neck and whatever the heck is going on there or the patchwork wrinkles that are forming on the outside of my eyes and I am not a fan of aging; for the most part I am continuing to be postive about my age and thankful for the life I have been given.
It has its perks, like early shopping hours during Covid and young people no longer treat me like a potential threat because I am an “older lady” so they open doors for me and call me “sweetie” and ask if I need help with carrying my groceries…sigh..whatev
Russ asked me last night if I had any favorite birthday memories and I would have to say all of them. I always loved my birthday and would tell everyone in my sphere of contact when it was coming up or happening so they would remember. I am sitting laughing at myself..but it is so true.
There were the years he would have the kids make a big deal of it for me and the surprise parties he threw on my 30th and 40th that made me cry. There was the one I asked for on my 60th where we gathered a group of friends who have walked through so much of our adult life together and I was able to tell them how much they mean to me.
I shared a handful of ones from my younger years with him in answer to his question and as in all things he just shook his head at what this brain holds onto in the file cabinets of life lived.
There was the year my dad set up a movie projector in some garage captured in a black and white photo where a group of little girls sat in their Sunday best on folding chairs watching cartoons played on the wall and munching popcorn.
There was the year in junior high when my mom felt bad that my birthdays were always spent in a travel trailer with people their age so she threw me a slumber party in the fall after a football game. She bought a cake from the bakery that was iced in psychedelic colors and had a plastic record player and records scattered over the top.
Did I just date myself? If anyone doesn’t know what a record player is it was what we used before 8 tracks…never mind.
Those travel trailer birthdays were fun, too. One year we had cake in a parking lot somewhere out west with the twenty plus fellow families from around the world as my dad was leading a Caravan America for ambassadors of other countries and their families.
There was the year she bought a half a watermelon and stuck a candle in it because I loved watermelon more than cake that summer. I have since recovered and they hold a solid tie in my heart.
One glorious summer I was staying several weeks with my aunt and uncle in Washington and had real live cousins around my age to celebrate with me. They gifted me an insulated Schlitz mug for drinking my soda as we watched game shows….they all had one and wanted me to be part of the team with my own mug.
Isn’t that what we all long for?
Isn’t that why we celebrate our birthdays with friends and family and why we reach out and send greetings to others we love to say we are glad they were born?
It’s why I made a big fuss over each member of our family on their day and why I go out and hand select gifts and a card for friends on the anniversary of their births.
We are born into a time and setting for purposes beyond our understanding and we touch the lives of those who travel with us.
We should celebrate the gift of life given to us and we should celebrate the lives of those around us. Each one is so precious to God. Each one is assigned a time and space and it is sacred. What a marvelous thing that we are surrounded with the people of this time and place, hand picked to be here and to journey alongside others who were also handpicked <3
His breath sustains us. His wisdom guides us. He loves us and in return we love Him and each other.
Such a gift.
Such a cause of celebration.
I hope you have a very happy day wherever you are. Whatever your circumstances are today, you are loved and you are designed for a purpose that is beautiful and specific and holy.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing this day with me, today and any days you choose to visit. You are a gift to me <3