Archive for October, 2011

 

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Halloween this year had at least that many tears.

Despite her valient efforts, The Middle Girl was too sick to Trick-Or-Treat.

This was the first time that one of the kids was sick on Halloween.

Middle Pop was so angry with The Mamma for the no-fly call that she trembled.

It was also the first time one of the kids was so mad at me that she wouldn’t speak to me for a half hour.

Never mind the doctor laid down the preliminary order.

She just knew that I would not ever hold her to such a ludicrous call.

Never mind she was too weak to stand.

She was NOT too weak to sulk.

And her outrage was without pretense.

She felt every inch betrayed.

 

The Boy went to a party at a classmate’s.

A Girl’s house.

Another spooky first that makes me tremble.

He dressed up in a costume that made me too weak to stand.

After Middle Pop’s rage, it hit too close to home…

I need a cherry Lollipop stat!

 

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

So, I am a little lonely.

Our first holiday of sorts, Halloween is tomorrow, and I feel homesick. I want to go to Johnny’s neighborhood, smell her Chuck Wagon soup and corn bread as we enter to shouts of hellos,  drink diet Dr. Pepper on the rocks in insulated glasses and have our girls trick-or-treat together.

I miss the continuity of knowing what we do and how we do it.

And the baby who’s been most heartsick is also now down with the flu, so we don’t know if she will be able to trick-or-treat at all.

It’s been one illness or another with at least one of us since before we moved, and I am tired of unrest.

We haven’t had a day yet when no one has cried.

Ontop of a little lonely, I guess I’m a little tired too.

My PMA has PMS!

I miss normal and we haven’t had time to build it Here yet.

As such, I am a bit romantic about There tonight and the relational differences:

 

Friends Here: Never accept the offer to bring food.

Friends There: Bring Bodo bagels and cream cheese when your baby is sick.

 

Friends Here: Nod a polite hello across the room

Friends There: Run across the room to give a bear hug and kiss.

 

Friends Here: Know you have kids.

Friends There: Come to their birthday parties with gifts, play every, silly game and eat the cake with too much icing too.

 

Friends Here: Think you cry a lot.

Friends There: Expect you to cry, pass the tissues, hold you, and cry with you.

 

Friends Here: Remember whose turn it is.

Friends There: Never keep score.

 

Friends Here: Will help you clear the table before they leave.

Friends There: Will clean your house and man your yard sale at 5:00 a.m.

 

Friends Here: Know very little about us.

Friends There: Archive our history and roast us with silly stories about our family.

 

Friends Here: Ask where you’ve been when you come back after an unexpected absence.

Friends There: Track you down, pick you up, and get you back on course.

 

Friends Here: Wait to chat with you until after the baby is down for a nap.

Friends There: Crawl into bed on the other side of the baby and whisper updates as the precious naps.

 

Friends Here: Arrive on-time, by invitation only.

Friends There: Come as catch can, knowing anytime is a good time.

 

Friends Here: Will bring a casserole to your house if someone is in the hospital.

Friends There: Will take your kids into their own homes because they know you’re not leaving the hospital, set-up a schedule to make certain your laundry gets done and you come home to a clean house, and then come spend the night shift with you in the hospital so you’re not up all night praying alone.

 

Friends Here: Have your number in their iphone

Friends There: Have your address, birthday and Starbucks order memorized.

 

But the biggest difference is:

 

Friends Here: Are brand new and shiny. You still put make-up on before you meet with them.

Friends There: Are like old slippers. They expect you messy, wrinkled and intensely real.

 

I pray for the heart to love my friends Here with the same fidelity I share with my friends There.

Like many of you, I remember that I found some of my dearest friends There when I “wasn’t looking for friends.”

Now that I am, I appreciate even more the friends There that claimed me, especially as I was one homely, BFF candidate.

I simply Trust that as He planted me here, He will tend me carefully and bless me in time with new community.

I Trust Him.

I admit I am a little lonely only to reinforce my commitment to show people Here who I am -just like you taught me.

 

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

 

I try to blog the positive.

If, and when I blog process, I don’t post until the stream flows back toward the bank of Hallelujah.

Sometimes this causes quiet spaces just like a pause in music creates intervals for breath.

A trio of Sojourners recently visited us Here.

A blessed repast, it also introduced an unwelcome new tradition- how to say goodbye again when the hello still paints your lips sweet like Cookies and Cream ice cream.

The Middle Girl summed it up nicely, “I don’t want to learn how to say goodbye.”

Yeah…

We’re a Hello people.

As such, for now, I will hold the report on their visit until the Hallelujah rings with genuine Thanksgiving replete with word portraits.

Today, I want to share with you instead another astute observation made by the very same Middle Girl, “Mamma, I love how your face wrinkles when you smile.”

_Insert stab-to-the-heart-mid-life-crisis-pain here. _

“Thank you, Baby,” I chuckled after a quick swallow of the vomit in my mouth, “but I don’t think you should say that to any other women.”

“Why not?” she inquired with eyes as wide open as her curiosity.

“Well, Honey, I know that you mean it as a compliment, but some women,” like me you sweet, cruel youngling I cringed to myself, “might think you are calling them old.”

“You’re not old, Mamma! It’s not being old, it’s just that the women here don’t smile with their whole face like you do.”

_Insert stab-to-the-heart-pride here._

You see, Botox is one of the cultural mores Here that is as new to our family experience as, well, Here.

In a somewhat bipolar shift of primacy, we moved from a vortex of cerebral activity where academics were all but elevated to a hive-mind mentality to a coast of aesthetic blitz.

The Middle Child is absolutely accurate in her assertion that many women here do not smile with their entire faces.

It’s not that they are humorless nor unkind; they physically can’t because their faces are purposely paralyzed with botulism.

Like Botox, another of the many other trends I am uncertain how to explain to my 9 year-old daughter is women’s footwear.

The shoes women wear around here to go grocery shopping are straight out of Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City.

When a woman wears Grotta Manolo Blaniks, $945.00, grocery shopping at Sweet Bays, it sends a message more arched than Botox brows can physically transmit.

Were it not such a common thing, I would be dismiss it as a simple fluke, or that I am feeling insecure about my look in this new place.

However, it is common enough that my daughter now wonders if I am ever going to wear any other shoes than flip-flops or running shoes and finds the way that I smile different from what she sees on the faces of other Mommies.

It’s a whole new village Here.

What follows some of my Botox FAQS that Google does NOT address:

• If everybody can tell it’s Botox, and the shiny sheen of the foreheads Here are more flax and monotonous than the terrain, doesn’t Botox more advertise affluence rather than youth?
• What happens when the Botox wears off? Does it frighten the children? Do suddenly look like the melting Wicked Witch of the West?
• Don’t the track marks in your brow line itch?
• Are you often misunderstood as your facial expressions don’t match your words?
• Doesn’t it hurt?

I’ve got questions about the shoes and clothes too, but for now I will leave you with a sarcastic grin that makes my eyes squint.

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

We have company
fromTHERE
coming Here
Saturday!

Can ya gimme an Hallelujah?!

Well Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
she tied you to her kitchen chair
And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

Dear God,

The Husband and I agreed tonight that You are one maestro for the details.

For over a half of a year you’ve had us swim in the promise of Jeremiah 29:11.

Once you finally dragged my reluctant carcass on the righteous side of obedience, not to mention marriage, and staked our claim Here for now, I have tried to put aside every complaint or question or doubt I could wrestle.

You are the One who gives and takes away.
You made my path clear enough.
We are Here and we are yours.

So, when my heart wants to stray, I remember that You have a plan to prosper and not to harm me.

And when I hold one of the babies in my arms as they sob their grief, I remember you have a plan.

When The Boy was certain that he wasn’t good enough for the soccer team Here, and not only makes the team, but plays the majority of every game, I recall Your plan to prosper us.

As The Baby sings her own songs to simulate the Chapel she so dearly misses because she wants to pray with her friends, I hold your promises.

If I get too deep or open on the phone with someone There, I hang up fast before my own tears flow, because I trust Your plan.

When The Husband wakes me with morning coffee to begin our day together, and he has already worked out and is eager to go to work, I sense the power of Your plan.

If The Oldest Girl believes she’s able to run for class VP, I imagine You might see her elected or teach us something along the campaign.

And that The Middle Girl, precious peace-pop-o-licious, and I were never more close makes me consider that You Hand-stitch hearts like Mammaw once did her quilts.

So I plod this path You’ve placed us on,
a good hike, if not an easy climb,
ironic as it is so mind-numbingly flat,
and by Grace almost every day
can muster a mustard seek of Faith.
I haven’t seen that mountain bunny-hop yet,
but do believe one gave me a wink.

The recent impact of relational stress,
financial challenge
mystery rash
and illnesses
have engraved another invitation
to accept or decline
Your gracious offer of a Plan.

Up until this afternoon, I heard Your call to stand firm in Psalm 21,

They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
LORD, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

and accepted that if some days that’s all I had to bring, it was sufficient through Your Strength.

That is what makes today such pure honey,
rendering extremities amber
with extreme sweet
.

You had to give that deck one good,
long,
deep,
forward-Seeing shuffle
to land me in a classroom as a guest-teacher today
like a hot table Blackjack in Vegas
lit up Holy.

It was not lost on me that you allowed me the opportunity to teach on a Wednesday Here as The Well meets There to drink Your Word.

Oh, Father!
How brilliant are those kids?!
Smart enough to build a machine of unity,
know what a broken build is
and have the vision
to repair it
anew.

I simply forgot the
hummmmmmmmmmmm-
buzzzzzzzzzzzz-
jazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy
blaze
of the highschool mind!

Invincible Seniors!
Sweet Father, their fire!
You make them so iridescent
like soap bubble
butterfly wings!

Thank you for such an unexpected treat today.

It took my breath
and reminded me how deeply
my lungs can draw
Hope.

I will bank today.
I will record the Interest.
And I will hold it as my Treasure
another certain assurance
that You have a plan,
I can trust You,
and I don’t need to know
Your whats or whens.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts, (Isaiah 55:8-9).

You are The Father of Details,
The Ultimate Party Planner,
and The Giver of Gifts
and my sacred Portion Deliverer.

Father, thank you for today.

I love you.

xoxox

And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

Sojourners sweet, the week was a tough march up hill Here.

Those of you who know me best realize that when I run, I love the hills most. The push of challenge to climb is a passion of mine, so much so in fact, the lack of mountains and hills Here, that were There everywhere rubbed like a painful blister in our move Here.

Those early runs on constant, anesthetic flats numbed my mind dull until I met an exercise partner who scales her own mountainous workouts for us to hike together.

After the last several days, however,  I can assure you I don’t need a certified, personal trainer or mountain to find a steep ascent Here.

I am happy to spare you all the gritty details, but suffice it to say that being at Urgent Care having to register with the in-take nurse that I have a rash over 60% of my body, including my bottom, was NOT the low point. I am one big itch, walking around scratching, pulling at my the elastic of my underwear like a grown-up baby with diaper rash.

Again, this was NOT the nadir experience of the week.
That can be treated with steroids and followed
with allergy testing to determine what caused
my systemic, allergic reaction.

(Though I will tell you, just like on TV medical shows, doctors really don’t show up to the Urgent Care exam room really excited to treat a woman with a rash all over her thighs, back and bum. It didn’t long into the visit for his another-STI-grimace to shift to empathy as he quickly ascertained that obviously wasn’t my issue and that my discomfort was intense, but his expectation impression of me on his smug mug framed a humbling mirror.)

Because I let somebody I love down this week.

Big time.

So I spent some more time on my face this morning.
No, not because I can not sit,
but because I needed to pray.

He picked me up
as He always does,
my Brother,
Lamb of God.

I offer you these affirmations He made certain that I know today:

1. The view from Berber carpet really does look astonishingly similar Here and There.

2. When I put my face down, I trust Him to tenderly lift my chin back Up.

3. When I trust Him to tenderly lift my chin back Up, He shows up.

4. Again and again and again, The King of Glory shows up for me.

5. God Winks leave no mascara tracks.

6. Hurt people hurt people.

7. Hosanna in the Highest heals individuals and generations.

8. God handpicked a friend for me to walk with Here.

9. My There friends remain vital and intact.

10. Psalm 20

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
3May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.[b]
 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy over your victory
and lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the LORD grant all your requests.

Now this I know:

The LORD gives victory to his anointed.
He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary
with the victorious power of his right hand.
 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
LORD, give victory to the king!
Answer us when we call!

11.He heals my heart and makes it clean;
He opens up my eyes to the things unseen;
He shows me how to love like He has loved me.

We can trust Him.

Thank you, my shiny Jesus.

And Sojourners, thank you for your presence, prayers and messages.

The Body is ever-present Help in times of Thanksgiving Harvest and fallow fields.

Hallelujah!

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

Baby Girl:  (Huge smile, sweet, open and eager squeal) MAMMA! I! WROTE! MY! FIRST! PRAISE! SONG! DOYOUWANTMETO SINGITTOYOU!!???????!!!!!

The Mamma: (Morning grimace, mutters, while making breakfast and slurping coffee like its O2 dropped from the over head compartment of a distressed plane) Sure, Baby.

Baby Girl: (Innocent and wide open) The title is, NoBudes Prfikt and I am NoBude.

NoBoDes prfikt and I am noBode.
Cume now is The time to rest
Cume now is the time to Bring
your heat. Come just as God
said thank you for
Bing such good frenas
all of you Thak you Thak
you Thak you But
remebr NoButes
Prikt evin you.

The Mamma: (Moist words, softly cries and hugs Baby Girl tightly) Amen, Baby Girl.

Hallelujah!

 

 

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah 
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

 

 

 

Hats off to Jonathan Mak whose condolences of the iconic Apple logo rose to the top of the sea of tributes to Steve Jobs on the Internet this week.

Mak, a 19-year-old student of Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University School of Design, incorporated a silhouette of Steve Jobs in the negative space of the bite in Apple’s logo to symbolize the mark Jobs forever leaves on technology.

I am moved by the visual impact of his tribute.

There are times when I write I forget how much less is more.

Mak’s less here makes me ache with appreciation of the  more in elegant simplicity.

His use of negative space is sheer brilliance.

It literally brings a face to the loss so deeply felt in the tech community.

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

Sweet, soulful Sojourners, I find myself in a situation that exceeds my expertise.
I covet your prayers.

The efforts The Husband and I have thus far made to mediate with the moving company in regard to the losses and thefts incurred during our move have stalled.

I covet your prayers that God will lead us to a timely resolution.

I ask you pray that our every contact with these parties be anointed.

I encourage you to pray for our wisdom and stamina as we negotiate this as a couple.

I covet your prayer covering that God will guard our Genesis with His plant of us Here and that this issue will not impede our collective momentum.

I ask you to petition for our spiritual, emotional, and physical safety as individuals and a family.

We trust God to make His will manifest in this and all situations of our lives.
We believe in the power of intercessory prayer to move hearts and heal situations.

If you are so led, we ask you to lift your voices on our behalf before the Lord as you cry out Hallelujahs.

Thank you.
Most humbly.
Thank you for this gift of The Body.

I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

For International Business Times, Maggie Astor lists 5 Ways the Steve Jobs’ Legacy Changed the World:

5. He made PCs before they were PCs.

4. He made computers simple.

3. He made advertising innovative.

2. He turned technology into art.

1. He connected every aspect of our lives.

 

Astor’s list encapsulates the panacea that Jobs will ever be in the realm of technology.

Appropriately, Astor speaks from the vantage point of an international reporter to a global market.

As wife and mother, my list of 5 Ways Steve Jobs’ Legacy Change my Family archives a more intimate tender:

 

5. He built platforms that encourage the voices and art of my children

4. He created a communication haven between children and parents more element proof  than a covered bridge.

3. He made community innovative, for example, my transplanted children recently took friends on a virtual tour of their new home on Face Time.

2. He made computers simple enough for my 6-year-old to use without instruction.

1. He made my husband an entrepreneur before he was an entrepreneur. My husband goes to work excited by possibilities every day.

 

Steve Jobs helped change our family tree.

I am humbled to consider
how masterfully he developed
his passion and skills
to serve the world
in his too short life.

Thanks, Steve.
Rest well.
Well done.

Well done,
good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful
with a few things;
I will put you in charge
of many things.
Come and share your master’s happiness

We love you, man.
You’re in the ultimate
i-cloud now.
Help ’em out up there
’til we meet again.

 

For those who have yet to read or view it: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish, the only commencement speech ever given by Steve Jobs, Stanton University, 2005.

 

Our family watched it together last night in solemn celebration of a life well lived.

The children’s lunch box notes today read, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish.”

And every breath we drew was Hallelujah.

 

There was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!