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Sunday, December 25, 2011

the yellow teapot...

many years ago, 1993 to be exact, i found a little boy.

he was starving, emaciated, deathly ill with tuberculosis of the spine.

i brought him home, mewling like a kitten, and nursed him through many long years of hospital stays, medicine, and surgeries. several times we did not think he'd make it.

those huge black eyes of his would melt my heart- we called him "the boy who would not die".

eventually our daughter and her husband adopted him and 'j' became part of our family.

he grew up. he graduated from high school. he adapted to life with hearing aids and minor bone deformities. he developed a lovely personality and a caring, gentle heart.

he went away to canada to work. he got hard jobs and became tough and strong. he made lots of money.

and one christmas, his first christmas after leaving home, he came back bearing gifts. he bounced in, walking like a man, sporting a 'rockstar' image and an eyebrow piercing- but his eyes were the same.

he brought me a yellow teapot- the first thing out of my mouth when he had asked, 'nini, what do you want for christmas?'

a yellow teapot.


every time i use this beautiful object, and sip the warm tea from it, i will remember, and rejoice, in a life saved, a grandson who loves me, and the goodness of a Father who loves the orphan.

thanks, j...you are loved!

Monday, December 19, 2011

wee sma's...

here it is, 2 something am.

the "wee sma's", as the scotch say. (wee small hours)

can't sleep. it was a busy day, about 50 people in our house for much of the day, too much food and laughter and sugar.

i'm up reading blogs. in the bathroom. so as not to wake daddy and emma.

reading these blogs makes me tired, but unfortunately not sleepy.

i read about these adoptive families, moms in particular, who are so busy with their big families and adoption causes and i look at their photos and their eyes are wide and their smiles huge and the description of their daily life makes my head spin.

i think back to 25-30 years ago when i too was in the throes of adopting and managing a busy home and being a pastor's wife of a growing church and a part-time mary kay lady and running a counseling center at our church...and i wonder

how did i do it all?

then i think of the 15 years i founded/directed the birthing center and worked around the clock for probably a decade until my health broke down...

how did i do that?

and...why do i sort of feel guilty that i'm not doing that now?

old habits die hard.

i have just spent a semester assisting in my 5-year-old daughter's classroom at Faith Academy...driving 2 1/2 hours every day to get there and back...loving it, but feeling weary at times...wondering where my energy went?

forgetting that i'm 61, and should probably pace myself a bit more.

i should probably stop reading these BUSYMOM blogs, too- even though my heart is for adoption and mothering.

so here i sit in the dark, talking to myself, reassuring myself that it's ok to be tired and NOT bright-eyed and WIDE smiled like those 40somethings.

after all, i have been there.

i have actually done that.

and now i really should go lay down and try to sleep.

after i step out on my balcony and look at the stars, that is, and say a quiet prayer of thanks for being 60 something.

:)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

grace for the season...

silent night, holy night...

peace on earth...

goodwill to men...

i repeat these phrases to myself under my breath as i drive almost daily through endless traffic jams, where the irritation and haste and anger reveal the mental condition of 90% of the drivers in this city. there's an edginess. horns honk, not in conversation ("move over, coming thru, excuse me, pardon me, wow, that was close") as we normally hear...

but more like "you idiot, get out of my way...nice driving, fool!...hurry up, for pete's sake..."

i murmer, "goodwill, goodwill"

and steer my trusty van over the ghastly potholes

and beside massive trucks in all the wrong places

and behind jeeps with guys hanging off the back

and through dozens of people randomly crossing the road regardless of lights

and around tricycles loaded to 3 times normal capacity.

i watch the red faces, the sweating foreheads, the motorcycles- oh, dear God, the motorcycles- who flash in and out and around the vehicles heedless of life and limb.

i pray.

i catch myself sweating, steering hard, accelerating too fast, braking too suddenly, muttering under my breath...

then i remember...He promised peace on earth.

dear Jesus.

this is not the way You want it to be.

the malls are madness. let's not even talk about the malls.

let's not talk about the restaurants packed with people eating stuff they should not be eating, shoveling the chemicals down and slurping back the caffeine and sugar...blaring music making it impossible to think or talk....

exhausted, i pull up in front of my white house, my heart longing for the quiet and peace of my green yard and my cool rooms.

jolly?

peaceful?

goodwill?

silent?

it's a struggle to have the grace for this season. i need grace.

i need to remember that despite the chaos that surrounds this time of year, and the way the world has simply forgotten the silence and calm and gentleness of how it should be-

it is still Christmas.

and there is grace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

zero at the bone

today i was out on my daily walk, just clipping along in my green crocs and enjoying the fresh air, the sunset in the west, and the feeling of stiffness working its way out of my bones.

suddenly i looked down.

right in front of my next footstep- a snake.

still as death on the road, facing away from me, but alert and listening and waiting.

i stopped.

calmed my instinct to scream and run.

stood still and watched him back.

slowly backed up and called across the field to rose to call someone to come and kill it.

death to the deadly. there are cobras in these woods.

nobody came except nancy, bearing a piece of wood in her hands.

?

i stood guard. i wanted that thing dead before it escaped into the sewers from whence, no doubt, it came.

nancy, upon seeing the size of it, picked up several rocks, but was too afraid to approach the now slithering snake.

he knew the jig was up.

the sun continued to set as we stood there in the gathering darkness waiting for a rescue.

little by little, in fits and starts, the object of our attention made his way towards the drain.

nancy refused to stand in front of him and keep him in the middle of the street, although she did buck up enough to throw a rock at him.

that just made him mad.

slither slither slither.

and then- he was there, and disappeared headfirst down into the darknessssss.

(stock image above, but his exact likeness. cobra.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

what a difference a year makes

last year at this time, i was organized full-throttle into Christmas time.

gifts bought/made and wrapped.

supplies bought and baking started.

house clean.

christmas guest towels in the powder room.

everything was relaxed, settled, ticking along nicely towards Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

this year, not so much.

more like lurching towards Christmas, really.

not one present bought- 17 days to go.

nothing wrapped. tree up, but the cats keep destroying it so i've kind of given up keeping it tidy.

the only baking i've done was shortbread (google it) and i've eaten most of that myself.

and you know what's weird about this chaos?

i don't even care.

i am finally beginning to realize that my OC tendencies cannot always control circumstances.

working part-time...driving 3 hours a day...keeping a massive garden in order so as not to lose my vegetables and fruit and new grass...i just don't have the time or energy i had last year!

i can barely keep this little blog up.

and i'm not really getting upset about it.

so, Christmas, bring it on. i'm not ready, and i'm not going to be ready. i am going to focus on each day and each moment that i can- to not stress about what the expectations are, and to simply look into the faces of those i love and be aware, so very aware, that this is really all that i need to do. just love them.

lurching is ok.

somehow things will all be lovely- if we just love.

merry christmas, everybody.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


many many years ago
in a small country town
there came a day
when it was someone's birthday.

the husband of this 'someone'
suggested
that she choose gifts
for herself.

so they went shopping.
and somewhere
(i think if i remember right)
this someone
who was me
found this little mouse.

this sweet little christmas mouse.

look at his face.
those wide eyes. 
that pert little nose.
the dear little santa suit
now rubbing off in places...

does he not look
like just the sort of mouse
that would creep quietly quietly
out from under the christmas tree
to watch with beady little eyes
for santa to arrive?

(of course we know it's just a story)

i love this little mouse.

he's getting worn.

he's travelled around the world 
and been packed and unpacked 
many times.

but each year when i take him
out of his newspaper wrapping
he reminds me 
of the sweet day
that i found him in a little shop
on a certain day
that was a birthday 
of a certain person
who was me.

merry christmas, dear little mouse!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mommy- is Santa Claus real?

sigh.

yes, it was time for the answer, Virginia.

and i had to break the news to my dear little daughter that 'no, Santa Claus is not a real person. he's just a story'.

"REALLY? HE'S NOT REAL?" she gasped.

she was not upset, or hurt, just very shocked- it seemed like she could hardly believe that so much excitement and fun surrounded a person who is not real.

i followed up with saying that Christmas is really about Jesus- that he is who the story is really about.

she nodded...Jesus has been in her life since before she was born...so that seemed to be a given.

i told her the story of a man named Nicholas who was so kind and good that people began calling him a saint...how he gave to the poor...how he was our example for gift-giving and out of his story emerged the story of St. Nicholas, which then morphed somehow into Santa Claus.

"but Emma," i said, "we must remember that Jesus was the best example of all, because he gave himself."

again her little head nodded, and her black eyes sparkled.

Sorry, Virginia, i cannot tell a lie. There really is no Santa Claus...only the Lord who came as a baby and with joyous abandon gave his life away- for us.

It's really all about Jesus.

and that's the truth.