Marriage


DX

Even
zen
ranked
by
the
most
gentle,
retro,
revisionistic
rubrics,
despite
socially/
developmentally-
delayed
features;
I am an adult.

Full
disclosure:
at best,
I am
a
youngy-
old
woman.
No
longer
on
the
oldish-
side
of
young,
travel
with
ID
unnecessary;
no
one
cards
me.

Perhaps,
it’s
more
simple
and
I
am
just
another
old
adult,
certainly
past
the
typical
season
for
continental
shifts
in
identity.

Chronology
aside
however,
‘round
about
Thanks-
giving,
2016,
it
occurred
to me,
that
I
couldn’t
pass
as
“normal,”
even
to myself.

Even
though-

I.
Tried.
Everything.
I
knew
or
read
through
systematic
trials.
I
recorded
data,
analyzed
results,
and
controlled
indicated,
variables
to
adjust
test
method
parameters.

Thread
worn
as
baba’s
mop
rag,
I
wrung
every-
possible
suppositional
drop
from
these
experiments.

Perpetually,
I
tried
to pass
as
relentlessly,
and
intensely
I
was
labeled
INTENSE
(not in
a
good way,
mind
you).

Usually,
when
I
really
want
to
create
meaning
to
pattern
change
and
route
exodus
from
conditioned
parameters,
I
produce
results,
however
modest
or
slow
to norm.

NOT
SO
THIS.

A
random,
variable,
X
unelected,
undesired,
outs me
vulnerable.

Despite
therapy,
education,
career,
marriage,
blessed
children,
forever
wanted,
I
could
not
pass.

People
noticed.

Colleagues,
my husband,
our
children,
dear
friends
networked
consensus
as
viral
tumbler
that
confirmed
me
odd.

Random
reblog
notes
something
about
me
off,
and
a
little,
shiny
bit
that
bends
light
in
chaotic
angles
that
sort
‘a
squint
their
eyes
shut.

Not
much
was
said
to
me
directly,
and
yet,
I
could
often
sense
recoil
when
they
reached
for
their
sun
glasses
or
threw
shade.

Such
relational
signals
torqued
my
analysis
into
hyper-
drive.

To
know
why
transformed
want
into
need.

Security
risks
recalibrate
my
research.

Dire
internal,
tornado
warnings
broadcast
evacuation
drills
like
gubernatorial
orders:

Develop
safety
protocols
to
protect
children
from
collateral
damage.

The
nuclear
family
that
raised
me
ran
a
mill,
union-
workers
manned
24/7
shifts.

Its
conversion
process
fed
my
faulty
chips
directly
into
the
assembly
line’s
ravenous
maw
to
produce
pulp
prose
that
proves
there
is
something
wrong
with
me.
Like
an
errant
piece
of
code
that
breaks
the
smooth
build
of
family
unity,
my
bark
rejected
as
unusable
fibres
darken
the
pulp.

Such
systematic
feed
back
loops
identified
me
as
the
system
glitch.

Pop-up-
error-
messages
in
resplendent
bold,
ALL
caps
print
included
stop
signs
to
confirm
same
on
my
laptop.

Their
attempts
to
upgrade
my
operating
system
downloaded
constant
commands:

“If
you
get
your
ass
off
your
shoulders”

“If
you
try
hard
enough,”

and

“If,
and
only
if,
YOU
GET
OVER
YOURSELF
and
LET
IT
GO
ALREADY,
R
E
A
L
L
Y,
For
God’s
Sake,”

“Only
then
will
you
be
normal,
better
company,
and
easier
to
get along
with,”

and

“Clearly,
you
aren’t
REALLY
trying,
or,
at the
very
least,
not
trying
HARD
enough
to
get
it
right.

Over
time,
it
also
became
crystal
clear
that
I never
did.

Get
it
right.

Not
EVER.

Fast
forward:
to
now
and
my
own
family
God
gave:
Our
precious
homestead
no
longer
could
bear
X’s
collateral
damage.

I
wanted
for
my
children
more
of
a
mother
than
what
I
could
tender.

Despite
my
known,
know,
knowing,
knowledge,
discord
clashed
outcomes
I had
methodically
deleted
from
my
user
profile.

So,
I
got
me
a
good
psychiatrist,
who
asked
hard
questions.

I
loathed
my
deficits
more
fiercely
than
my
capacity
to
love
my
husband
beloved,
or
our
four,
precious,
innocent,
children.

Just
this
past
Tuesday,
January
31,
2017,
two
days
shy
of
Punxsutawney
Phil,
Seer
of Sages,
eye-
spied
his
shadow
in forecast
of
six more
weeks
of
winter

Clinical,
empirical,
objective,
reproducible
data…

(_least my
blended
parents
all
believe
I
am
making
this
all up,
again-)

…identified
me
as
an
adult,
late
in life
dx’d
on
the
autism
spectrum.

Relief
drenches
rain
upon
an
arid
oasis,
splashes
reprieve,
and
puddles
tears.

I am
NOT
a
fucked-
up,
broken,
damaged.
not-good-enough,
shameful
excuse
of a
daughter,
woman,
wife,
or
mother.

There
is
a
reason
and
name
for
why
I
cluster
cognition
like
constellations
pattern
stars
across
the
night
sky.

Abject
release
falls
Niagara
baptism
and
washes
me
clean.

I
am
undone
amid
the
rabble
pile
deconstruction,
my
identity.

A new
frame
raises
my barn.

I got
a
lot
to
hammer
out.
Likely
may
whack
an
errant
thumb
along
the way.

Yet,
tonight
Saturday
February 4,
2017,
as I
lay me
down
to sleep,
and
pray
the
Lord,
my
soul
to
keep,
I
lift
prayers
of thanksgiving.

Our
Father,
who
art
in
heaven,
may
it
be
Your will
that
this
dx
allows
me
liberty
to
live
out
and
be
who
You
made
me.

This
changes
everything
I
ever
knew
anew.

I am
more
grateful
than
anything
I can
si-
mul-
tan
e-
ous-
ly-
list
in
metacognitive,
pull-
down-
menus-
streams
list,
or
smells
shout
colors.

I
am
by
Your
design
made;
I
dwell
in
possibilities.

Hallelujah!

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Sacred Dichotomy

We are
born.

Our
Father,
all knowing,
ever loving,
delivers us
to
the family
He Knows
Plants us
in the
perfect
ground
for
each
one
of us
to
begin
our lives
in his will.

We
grew up
a
certain
way.
We
learned
and
heard
loud and
clear
what
our moms
and
dads
think
is
good
and
bad.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

Our
homesteads
taught
by
process,
as
how to
gather
eggs
from the
coop
without
a
break,
or
how to
drive
a nail
without
cost
to
thumb.

Such
lessons
protected
our
eyes
as
filters
safeguard
a
lens.
All
trained
our eyes
up
to
see
and
know
what
relationship
and
business
and
hard work
look like
here
on
these
family farms.

These
pictures,
all
among
the
infinite
and
perfect
ways
and means
our
roots
sank
d
e
e
p
l
y
into
the garden
He
first tilled
for
us to
prosper
our
lives
through
grace.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
want
to be
good.
We
want
to
do all
the
right
things
the
right way.
Photographs,
however,
take time
to
develop
sharp,
clear
images.
Humble
mortals,
we
forget.

Our
unremembered
harvest,
all that
fruit-
the
moist sweet,
the
foul bitter,
is
not
ours
to put
up
alone.

So,
instead,
we
pressure
cook
ourselves
like
fresh
strawberries
too
long
in
the
cooker
upon
the
hot
wood
stove.

Left
unattended
too long,
the
potent
force
locked
beneath
heavy
gauge
boils
hazardous.
Rocket
fuel
erupts
scarlet
splatter
up on
the
kitchen
ceiling
in
abstract
expression,
rather
than
making
jam.

It’s not easy probably,
being family.

We
know
what
is
expected
as
if
written
on
tablets
of stone.
Crystal
clear
guidelines
reinforce
like
nursery rhymes
since
before
we
remember
genesis.

Such
family
codes
make
it
easy
for us
to
know
when
or
how
we
are
doing
well
or
failing.

We
know
what
is
expected.
We
want
to
get
it
right,
not just
go through
the
motion
by
stations.

Yet,
just
last week
the
pickles
burst
Pollack
sonic
boom,
an
inter-
section
jade
across
the
straw-
berry
stain,
our
ceiling’s
canvas.

We
some
times
get
mad.
Vain,
feet
pedal
a
dervish
upon
flat
tires
of
an
out-
grown-
bike
hid
in the
woodshed.

We.
Just.
Can’t.
Follow.
The.
Recipe.
Perfectly.

We
don’t
get
it
all
right.
We
know
we
used
the
same
ingredients,
and
yet,
no
jars
line
the
shelves
of
our
root
cellars
to
guard
against
the
winter
as
they did
every
fall
at
busia’s
house.

Other
times,
we get
so mad
we quit,
curled
ball
of spit.

We
fallow
like
fields,
erosion’s
costly
response
to
rigidity.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

We
marry
someone
and
think
we
will
be
happy.
Kids,
and
expectations,
and
all
that
that,
make
it
harder
as
we
only
grow
older.

We
think
we
know
what
we
need
to
do
and
be
to
sanctify
our
own
lives
and
live
as we are
supposed
to
be.

We
think
we
know
what
it takes
until
a
blaze
of
locust.
blinds
us.

We
do
not see
our
response
for
what
it is,
an
epic,
ageless,
battle
of wills,
no more
what
we
were
made for
than
the
inert
plot,
just
there
outside
our
kitchen
window.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

The
sacrifice.

Any
farmer
worth
salt
will
tell ya
that
it takes
a lot
of work
to
cultivate
new harvest
from
unsown
dirt.

If
he
reads
your face
listens,
he will
add
that
it can’t
get
done
alone.

When,
finally,
we
cry
out,
please
help
us
raise
this
barn;
our
family,
by blood
and
others,
same
as kin
through
mercy made,
shows up.

They
forget
to
bring
hammers.
One just
burst
a
thumb
for
a board.
Their
not-
always-
helpful-
help,
an
at
times
an
unnecessary
crutch.

Still,
the
picnic
baskets
they
carry
along
with them
over
flow
juicy,
fresh,
sticky,
moist,
melon
that
blushes
pink
delicious,
slate,
shiny
seeds
salute
crescent
moons
fully
stocked,
daily bread,
and wine.

It’s not easy probably,
being Family.

Oh,
yeah,
and the
barn’s
up.

We also
planted
a new
patch
of
blackberries
in the
back
for
preserve,
that
kind
of
jelly
jaja
always loved.

It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

c. 2017 Not to be reproduced or used without author permission.

Sometimes analogies are as clear as glass like I feel as giddy as champaign is bubbly or I am as low as a crab in an ocean trench. In fact, our DNA wires our brains to seek patterns from nothingness. This drive to create order compels us to interpret our dreams and identify concrete symbols from abstraction. Our medium is meaning and we seek to understand. We want to know and to be safe and feel well.

This genetic drive for stasis socializes us into a community of diagnosticians as our need to know is equally yoked with our desire to be comfortable.  As such, we approach experience like a puzzle to solve or a diagnostic differential.

If we feel ill, we assess our symptoms to determine if we do or don’t need the intervention of a physician. Often the indicators are straightforward like a fever, or a rash that won’t go away, or pain.

Unrelenting pain.
Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong.
Pain is a definitive, primal signal.
Pain flashes a warning.
STOP!
Pain asserts the most elementary of medical principals.
If doing that hurts, STOP doing that.

Yet, in it’s way, pain is also entirely subjective.

When I’m in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that it may have hurt less yesterday.

It (still) hurts (now)!
Make it stop!
Make it stop now!
I’ll drink anything.
I’ll swallow anything.
Get me an epidural!
I don’t care I’m not in labor (or even pregnant).

When in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that I will feel better, let alone soon, or that my life, actually, is generally very sweet and comfortable.

I’m so comfortable in fact, with my first-world sensibility and Middle Class American propaganda that I’ve devolved into something of a pain-phobic persona.

I don’t want it to hurt.
Whatever “it” is.
Truth be told,
I don’t even want it to feel hard,
or require too much effort…
Whether its making dinner,
or raising a child,
or saving a marriage,
or growing in Faith.
I really don’t want it to be messy
or painful
or moist.

I want my challenges like
I want my food,
fast,
quick,
inexpensive,
easy,
and convenient.

(Hmmmmmm…. Notice I didn’t list healthy…)

As such, I avoid pain and difficult conversations and hard workouts for the simple reason that they hurt. I know they hurt. The gamble that pushing through the pain will take me to a better place often, and simply, isn’t worth the upfront pain tax. This is true when The Husband and I try to agree on a budget or our family needs to purchase a new vehicle or The Mamma needs to schedule her annual OB/GYN physical.

In fact, prior to this week, The Mamma was over a year past due her for her pap and pelvic. Even though I respect that my health is a family resource, and it’s a commodity that daily caregives for the five people I love most on the planet, I kept procrasstinating making an appointment Here because I knew it would hurt.

I wasn’t willing to pay the pain tax.

Ever since I was in grad school, I had the benefit of the medical care and relationship with of one primary physician. Initially he was my gynecologist and later became my obstetrician. He tended my every woman’s health issue from before I conceived of conception through every pregnancy and pregnancy loss and reproductive repair.

He caught each of the heads of our four children.
He held us together through four losses.
He helped me get my body back into shape four times.
He performed seven surgeries.

I trusted him
in a way that I haven’t ever trusted
anyone else with my body.
Never.
Ever.
Except my husband.

So I thought I knew how much he meant to me before I finally made my appointment for that stupid pap smear Here.

I was so wrong.

Nothing at all went wrong with the appointment Here.

The physician was entirely competent and kind and professional. She was thorough and took a medical history as extensive as an archeologist on a dig. She tutored me on how to do a self breast exam and its importance. She inquired if I wore a seatbelt. She admonished me not to drink and drive. She warned that sending a text behind the wheel could kill me dead. She observed that there were treatment options available for recreational drug use and tobacco addiction. She inquired if my husband ever abused me and if I am safe in my relationship. She ordered blood panels and offered me a referral for a primary caregiver. She also asked to weigh me, inserted the speculum without telling me that she was gong to do it first and placed her finger in my bottom without a polite warning.

In other words, she didn’t know me.
Like, at all.

There was no malpractice and nothing inappropriate in the medical care she gave me.

As a woman physician, taking care of a woman with my medical history, she had every reason to expect I knew the ins and outs of a gynecological exam without verbal cue or someone to hold my hand.

Mine was a routine exam,
one of many she would do that day,
of the scores she would do that week,
of the countless thousands
she has done user career.

It was simply,
no biggy for her.
It was just,
as my lab prescriptions record,
a routine well visit annual exam for a healthy woman.

It was for me, however, anything but routine.

I felt anonymous.

As course as it sounds, I learned a lot about relationship from having a strange woman’s finger up my bottom.

Yep, I said it.
I went there.
I mentioned the nasty.

Ladies, we all know that appointment can be a literal pain in the butt.

Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my point without your thinking that I have some kind of anal fetish or engaged in an inappropriate relationship with my previous doctor.

No.
No, no.
No, no, no!

He was, however, a partner in my medical care and wellness. The Husband and I have had a relationship with him for over 15 years.

Relationships matter.

Relationship reduces pain. Relationship takes the impersonal out of sterile medical procedures. Relationship extends safety when you’re feeling naked and alone, let alone literally nude while straddling stirrups.

It hurts to be away from the people who make me feel safe and known and loved. It hurts to be anonymous, just another pap smear, just two more breasts to palpitate and one more woman to remind about sunscreen.

I knew it would be difficult to see a new doctor. But I didn’t realize how much it would hurt my heart.

I am so grateful that I enjoyed such flawless medical care from my physician the for so many years. His choice to care about me as a person was the longest acting, most effective and most life-giving prescription he ever wrote me.

I know it’s unlikely I’ll ever have that kind of relationship again with another doctor.

I am grateful to him.

He knew me.

I will go to the dentist and get a skin checked and make and keep my annual appointments Here.

I will also seek to nurture and grow the relationships that I’ve begun with people Here. Nothing is more important to my wellness nor better medicine than being known and appreciated for who I am.

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!

Many life changing transitions come down to one sentence.

The phone rings,
the in-box pings,
the letter arrives registered
and requires signature,
and silent words unspoken
crash like thunder in a storm.

Such sentences silence hearts and still rooms as they simultaneously shift everything into two indelible categories:

Before X and After X.

My life changed 10 days ago with such a sentence said by The Husband, “I hate that you are not thriving Here.”

He didn’t say it in a mean way, it was a soul cry. He declared it from the core of his being.

Loved ones, never a rooster gave more of a wake-up call.

The love beneath his words still wrap me in a bear hug.

This man,
my best friend,
all he wants is to maximize me,
he delights in the good use
of my gifts and talents
in the service of others,
the work I choose,
and the community I make.

My recent Mistress Silence sabatoged the unity of my marriage.

The husband’s sentence interupted my understanding in a most welcome way like The Word being burst open before me.

Precious family, please know I have made thriving my new battle cry.

Reappropriated as an action verb, I choose to thrive.

I talk,
I write,
I work,
I share gifts,
I show up,
I exercise,
I command laundry,
I meet new people,
I give my husband the
“gift of presence.”

In it’s way, it’s like being born anew.

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well, really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Silence may become as seductive a mistress as a golden idol breast.

I have been unfaithful.

Unlike Sméagol, I became a Gollum, not for making a horrible swallowing noise from my throat, but for the absence of my cry.

Even a Hallelujah.

Silence became my Precious.
Perilous Precious.
Stillness Precious.
Precious swill,
now no longer precious
still.

Like infidelity, my precious silence has cost me.

The silence I wrapped around myself like an insidious shawl to camouflage my self-reliant perversity, protect my marriage, and keep me warm became like a sword in our bed.

Silence cut like a knife and it divided covenant promises as I bled quietly onto blank pages never penned.

Initially my silence had virtue. I chose to partner The Husband and heed God’s call on our family to move Here. All the fight in me became mute to the undeniable will of our Father and I was encased in an aisle of precious and Supernatural peace.

I knew that I was to wait upon the Lord,
Called to trust and obey.
And when I would bid Him
when would I feel fulfilled again,
He replied to me
just what he said to my sissy, Ester,
“Not yet.”

Historically, I am a hpyer-verbose verbal processor. I am a word girl who has a GRE vocabulary word ap on her iPhone just for kicks and giggles. I mention this not for bragging rights, but to confess I really am that much of a logophile. Words thrill me. I go weak in the knees for a bon mot with a powerful hilt or verb with a preposterous thrust.

However, as many detour signs I placed in my mind and thoughts I aborted mid sentence, no matter how many conversations I didn’t entertain, eventually the quiet of His peace mutated into the silent din of my own self-indulgent tantrums.

Are we there yet???
I have to go tee-tee…
I’m not happy Here…
I was drafted…
I’m tired…
It hurts…
I want to go home…
I am unfulfilled dammit!

Yes,
PATHETIC!
You know it’s true,
I admit it’s true
and that I even stomped my feet too,
but oh, so quietly,
you couldn’t hear me,
I never made a sound.

However, my ever loving, intercessory Father has never needed words nor lightning bolts to make His will known.

In addition to His illustrious Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow sealed upon my heart, I also limped through my own disastrous yesterday.

Like tax day, silence left its bill.

The debt is large.

I diluted the unity of my marriage.
I created distance in key relationships.
I abandond this platform of Praise.

Here I am
a woman of His Word,
seduced
by a silent masquarade
of obedience,
led by feeling,
not by Faith-
even though
I know Who made me,
perfectly imperfect as I am.
I know Who died to set me free.

“Foolish child,”
He said to me with a chuckle
that tickles like a butterfly kiss
when His Grace restored
my senses,
Enough.
I said, not yet.”

Waiting is.

Hear my cry, Lord.
HALLELUJAH!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

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!

Thank-you for asking.

Yes, I am absolutely crazy.

In fact, I’ve taken to describing my current cognitive condition as a non-concussive brain injury. Nothing hard or large hit me on the head, but I am nonetheless operationally impaired. My never great, short term memory is now completely shot. Like I can’t remember my children’s names shot. Never mind their birthdays, they always remind me of those anyway. Where as a recent CAT scan would prove my brain is physiologically intact, the road from the driveway There to the driveway  Here cost me at least 59 IQ points. They promise me it’s temporary. I operate like a brain injury patient who’s run away from her rehab facility. And the laundry. My physic wounding has also deleted my laundry function capacity. We live in a sea of dirty clothes piles. The children don’t even expect I’ll get their PE uniforms back to them in a timely manner. They taken to wearing them dirty and using lots of deodorant and body spray.

Some of you have seen this dysfunction in action, or should I say inaction?

It is from among that group I’ve gotten the question:

“Are you crazy?!?! Did I read that right?!?!?!?!? Tell me YOU DID NOT GET A PUPPY!!!!!!!”

Again, however testily queried, thank-you for asking, and trust I admire the emotion behind your multiple use of the exclamation point and question mark/exclamation point combo.

Very, “Really? Really!”

We did, in fact get the kids a puppy for Christmas.

Here he is:

Check out that sweetie-boy-face!

He’s of the smallest of Japanese breeds, Shiba Inu, and his name is Hoshi.

Hoshi is the Japanese word for star.

He is our widdle, shiny Christmas star.

Hoshi fulfills a pre-relocation promise The Husband made to the children. Much like Obama, The Husband vowed our babies would get a dog if we came to live in this little ,white house in Far Far Away.

Hoshi flashes us back to past years with newborns complete with nocturnal crying, potty explosions and scheduled time for tummy play.

I understand why you would ask if I was in my right mind to introduce a puppy into our transitional mix, but I already admitted that I’m really not.

Really.

And that’s OK.
It’s even good.
Not easy, but good.

It’s a time that challenges me to Trust Him more,
go deeper into The Word,
and always,
always,
always,
carry a plastic bag
when walking outside.

‘Cause poopy happens.

Well maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who’d OUT DREW YA
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

 

Ok, it’s not that I haven’t tried to post.

It’s not that the technology is beyond me.

It’s that the technology is out to get me.

Paranoid as it sounds, my every attempt to finish the picture tour of the new space was sabotaged by one computer issue or another.

Inevitable user-frustration cross pollinated user-error to further compound the issue.

Visions of the first Well study I ever taught downloaded in my memory like the printer that printed perfectly on Tuesdays would crash every Wednesday.

I’ve tried four times; this will be the final strategic attempt and, if I don’t get more pictures up today,  well you’re just going to have to come visit!

In fact, you need to come visit anyway!

Here’s some morning inspiration I see in the kitchen with my morning coffee.

Be still and know that I am God.
This verse conducts a calm in my heart like none other.
Such elegant simplicity affirms, baffles, and delights me.

I had originally placed the apron on the pantry door to send a photo to a heart sister, but fell for the sass of its whimsy and constant reminder of how versatile a household tool aprons can be.

The yellow stairway is adjacent to the yellow kitchen. I still think of Oz amid all that yellow and have taken to naming the occasional spider Toto.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I read this verse every time I head up the steps
with Thanksgiving
to walk out His plan for us here.
A good plan, if not an easy one yet.
A plan I trust and will obey.

The photography above and below the verse was taken by a friendship doctor, constant reminders of the priceless remedy of his quiet love and boisterous talents.

Check out Sprout!
If you’re late to the party, you can read Sprouts origin story here.
Go ahead and count the number of shoots.
Go ahead,
go ahead!
He cycles anew and is ready to plant.

As respectfully as Mary to the angel, I look at that plant every day and pray, “May it be also with me and my Faith.”
May I cycle anew here.

The kids’ rooms gallery their own art and passions. This is the Oldest Girl’s self-portrait:

Sister The Middle Girl’s silhouette:

The Baby collaborated with her sister on this piece intended to help them embrace the vivid colors of their room:

As they splattered, stomped and kissed, they decided that they wanted bold text as part of the piece.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

Was I proud they independently chose to make art from the Fruit of the Spirit?

Can ya gimme a Hallelujah!

What is missing from this scene?

Look hard.
Harder.
Harder!

 

 

The diaper-changing pallet!
It’s the first time in 14 years that our bed has not had a changing station atop it.

It still looks empty to me that way.

Every day, I miss my LPK babies
and their giggle-coo music
drool persusion ahhhs
and stacata da-da-das
and love smell
that triggers hope dopamine.

 

Mamma love,
palms of peace.


McLove,
faces of peace
through Body’s lens

 

New digs for old tools.

In this space, He often meets me low and lifts me on high.

Not through my strength, but His strength alone.

Grace.

This tour captures snapshots of views my eyes light upon each day.

Where my thoughts dwell.

Consider it one salted peanut.
A taste.
An invitation to come gather at our table
and join us again
and together feast
with Thanksgiving
His daily bread.

I miss you.

I love you.

I trust Him.

There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

I’m so in love with Paul right now.

His encourage words slap slips with the supreme reminder of His glorious strength shared through us and in us.

He’s a marvelous enjambment to my Beatitudes Fall and Spring.

Paul doesn’t mind the heat of the Summer, even Here, because he’s learned how to be happy in whatever circumstance God places Him:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content, (Philippians 4:11).

In terms of dynamic duos, Batman, Paul delivers!

He uploads our Father’s Promise that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and also that we can learn to be fully content in every state.

Given the poison of ingratitude in me, I neglect the power of Christ in me.

I more often cringe in fear than stand content in the power Christ.

If we’re looking at what matters,
and telling the hard truth-
like a Supernatural
echocardiogram…

This move, for example, is something
I can go all rogue about like Paul in prison,
and be content whatsoever state I am,
or I can allow a seed of malignant bitterness
grow crab weed tumors
in my heart.

This weekend,
the venom of thanklessness
flooded my thoughts
again
and again
and again.

I,
little i,
sinful i,
cleaved grievance,
pulled it close like a precious babe,
and allowed it suckle.

Hard to think holy and nurture hate.

The same daughter that seeks Obedience, His path for my feet, and His Face of Love was the woman that screamed at her husband Saturday,

“… I want to go home!”


ellipses

candid as I am,

I am unwilling submit

the entire quote

Let’s leave it that this Baby Girl, full-bred daughter of Eve, choked on the wormy apple, pride.

Large!

In default mode already,
I did what I do
when in that blind dark.
I ran away.
Aerobically mind you,
athletically,
no sense not getting
the workout
in midhuff…

Thankfully, in lieu of more futile rehearsal about how I feel tranfers onus on anyone else, I began to think about Paul’s orthodox view that I could bear any circumstance because of the strength of Christ within me.

Pique aside, even I am stilled when I consider His Glory within me. Certainly, I want him to be glorified more than I was mad at my husband, wanted to be right, or even wanted to go home.

In fact, Paul would chide that I am not only already home, but that I’d better get busy on my gratitude education just like in Proverbs 3:11-12:

But don’t, dear friend, resent
God’s discipline; don’t sulk
under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that
God corrects; a father’s
delight is behind all this.

A Father’s delight,
A Son’s strength,
an imprisoned apostle gratified…

The idea that I can learn what Paul mastered through Christ’s strength
and be happy in every circumstance
oh so stokes my go fire,
my go,
Go!
GO! Fire,
my more walking, less takling blaze,
more than kettlebell Bella,
more than the eyes in my pen,
more than hard runs on wet sand…

I trust my Lord Deliverer has done more than put me in a new town.

He’s new expectations for me Here too.

I will not resent them nor sulk, instead, _content_ I will seek His Delight behind it all.

I will also remember, loved one, there’s a bigger THERE than There that I’d best concern myself while HERE Here…

Later the same day, The Husband and I took the girls to the beach and where, like when an opthamologist asks which lens it better,

“1 or 2?
A or B,
Now this
or that?
More clear
or less?”

beauty was easier to see and the content like sand between my toes was more tactile than socks:

Salty prayers on soft sand as wind carressed my shoulders like a reassuring touch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A cloud angel waved her wing,
parted,
and crowned
a perfect baby rose.

 

 

 

 

 

A child splashed forward,
like the tide,
stick in eager clenched fist,
to etch
the perfect message
in the sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

and seashell mulch
crispy as Captain Crunch
under content heels
headed home.

 

 

 

 

 

Prison ain’t got no seashell mulch.

I imagine I can muster me some Paul juice on Jesus rocks this Winter…

 

There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

 

 

It’s almost a year ago now that I logged my first post on bh.

Less than 365 days ago, my ecstatic children were blitzed out on cheese balls and body surfed Virginia Beach whitecaps. We huddled together in a sleazy ocean front motel like it was Cinderella’s castle as happy there together as a honeymoon couple and completely inoculated by the joy of possibilities.

We were at the beach, baby, and no amount of sand or windburn could dampen the elation housed in that little Eco-Lounge den. I can remember the discovery of unexpected secrets about my children there, and how when Far Far Away together they were more unified as friends and confidants. As I reported then, there’s little privacy when six family members share one hotel room.

July abdicated to August this past Saturday night and found us in another cheap hotel room together for an entirely new purpose, this time a Holiday Inn chosen because its chain welcomes pets, and of course, our two cats were part of the caravan from Here to There.

That was the day that we began the journey of God’s new call on our lives in the Land of Citrus.

As many of you know, this new beginning seasoned in the barrel of dense family process before it decanted action.  The cup now poured has begun to breathe.

Insomnia courted me again that night we reached the Holiday Inn closest to the midpoint of the journey like a jealous lover. I was its captive date among the sleeping noises of my beloved family. Once again, I learned many things about them in the room that night as the cats marched likes grunts on a hostile recon mission.

The Baby whistled in her sleep, a breathy percussion like a locomotive puffing up mountainous tracks. She stirred and tossed her head as she played the scales of her dream engine like a child at violin practice. Her baby face painted a portrait of innocence on her pillow case canvas. When did she get so tall and lean? Her coltish legs, brown and bruised, were tawny from swimming and tag. Even in the still of sleep, she looked ready to leap.

Unbeknownst to The Boy, he terrorized his nocturnal feline. Every time his beloved River returned to his corner of the room for comfort or in hope of a pat, he growled a ruffle-bumble that snorted like an irritated horse. This scared and confused his cat at every checkpoint, and once she jumped back in such outraged, feline surprise that I had to muffle my laughter with the pillow. I often forget that The Boy is now man-big and he often scares me when I catch his stranger profile in the room with me. That night, my terror was complete as his baritone clearly proclaimed, “I have to move to our new home…!”

I’m still not sure who he was talking to as he hibernated, but he was as earnest as Hemingway and sounded ready to run with the bulls.

The Oldest Girl talks in her sleep. As I prayed for her, I watched her eyes pace back and forth, her closed lids like sentinels on a wall. At one point, she sat straight up in bed with her right arm extended as if in praise and said, “Please!”

Whom did she petition?
I hope her prayer was answered.
I so want this heavenly girl to live happy ever after.

The Middle Girl? The Middle Girl grinds her teeth at night.

Loudly.
Often.
Ouch!

I couldn’t help but imagine the gruff grumble of Jack’s giant, “Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman! 
Be he alive, or be he dead, 
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!”

The Middle Girl internalizes her experience. I pray space for her voice and truth through this transition.

The Husband is silent.
A wall of comfort and provision.
Certain,
steady,
and at rest.
He is my  warm blanket and guaranteed security.

The Husband is neither surprised nor grumpy when I wake him at 3:28 a.m. to tell him, “Cant sleep, will you hold me for a little while?”

“You got me?” I ask him.

“I got you.”

“Sure?”

“I got you, baby.”

And Our Father does too.
And His plan is to prosper and not to harm us.
And it’s a good plan, not easy, but good.
And I have faith small as a mustard seed.
And I can say to Geography, “Move from here to there and it will be.”

I left one place.

I did not leave home.

I am His.
And his.
And theirs.
And yours.

I’m right here.

Love wins.

Well baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
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!

The husband showed this to me yesterday.

This morning it waited to greet me on Facebook.

Must be time to share!

A teacher asks his students to punctuate this sentence:

“Woman without her man is nothing.”

The men all write, “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women all write, “Woman! Without her, man is nothing!”

The power of punctuation!

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!

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