Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving . . . in retrospect

Thanksgiving has come and gone, just as I knew it would.
Just as it always does.
But I have pictures to prove it was here.
And this to say about it: It was a warm and wonderful day, and my home blazed with the fires of friendship long into the evening.
Family and friends.
Lots of people. Came and went. Stayed. Ate. Laughed. Played. Watched. Talked. Loved. Ate some more.
It was money.
And I wouldn't have changed a thing about it!
Well, maybe one thing.
Our good friends, Micah and Sarah, had a good habit of coming over for Thanksgiving. Something they've broken since moving to Korea. We've missed them. Our gatherings, though awesome, are just not the same without them. But I hear tell they are coming back soon. You know what that means, guys. Right? Next year, Thanksgiving at our house. Don't forget, you owe me one for the pizza debacle. : )
So, I'm thankful for so, so, so many things. My husband, who is possibly the best man I know. Definitely!
And my boys.
And my family.
And my friends.
Basically, people.

And food.
Lots of de-lish, mouth watering food!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

All creatures great and small . . .

The weather here sort of flip-flops, and it has been quite warm these last few days.
Last night, when my boys came home from boy-scouts, a moth flew into the house with them.
Daniel spied the moth, and in a flurry of excitement he was jumping up and down and announcing the small creature's arrival to all of us in the house . . . and a few neighbors, too!! (He can be a very loud little man sometimes.)
Joe lifted him up so he could get a better look at the moth, who had come to rest on the edge of a light.
As soon as Joe put him down, Daniel came running to me with an idea.
"Mom, we need to water him and feed him, mom."
So, we did.
We got out a bowl and put a bit of water in it, and a little container which I let Daniel break some lettuce off into, and we set it out on the table.
Then, ever so carefully, so I wouldn't "die him", I collected our unusual guest and sat him at the table with his food.
We watched him for a minute, but he flew off to an upper corner of the room.
He must not have been hungry.
Here he is . . . our special guest whom Daniel wanted to feed. Daniel is so hospitable!!
He's the small white speck on the chair.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Scenes from the cider mill . . .

Mom, Josiah, Daniel and I took a trip to the cider mill Saturday to buy some cider for our holiday meal.
Isaac was at a boyscout camp-out with his dad, so he did not make the trip this year. We missed him terribly.
Here are some captured moments from the day . . .

Apparently . . . he should have had a V-8.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The giving(thanks) tree: what it looks like now

Remember the Thanksgiving tree?
We have been pretty thankful these days.
And our tree went from this . . .
to this . . .
to this.
It has been fun to have people over and have them fill out a leaf for our tree. And it has been amazing to read what they have written. And it has been good to write down the things we are thankful for. To see them on paper. To remember with gratitude.
What will the Thanksgiving tree look like when Thanksgiving Day arrives?
What will the leafs say?
We'll keep you posted. (No pun intended : )

Friday, November 20, 2009

Confessions of a Mid-west housewife (or, It's snowing socks)

I have a sock basket.
Basically, I hate matching socks.
(This is my first confession.)
So, until I have time to sit down and pair them off into happy sock couples, our clean socks just sort of mingle it up in a round, white laundry basket.
When we need socks, we rummage through the basket until we find two that match.
Well, some of us do anyway.
Even when I have a burst of energy and actually fold and put away the socks, there are always a few lonely souls left in the basket. Socks whose matches have up and left. I always remember Erma Bombeck writing about missing socks, and how she would tell her children they went to live with Jesus. That always made me laugh.
Anyways . . . I just don't have the heart to discard these single socks, these sad and lonely socks, because their mates are out there somewhere . . . and what if they show back up? What then? Then they will be lonely, and it will all be a big mess.
My point is, there is always a little something in the sock basket.
My boys, God love 'em, drag this basket to the living room to rummage for socks, and then, leave it there.
Sometimes I put it back.
And here's another true confession. . .
Sometimes, I don't.
Today, it remained in the living room.
And Daniel spotted it.
And before I knew what was cooking in his oh-so-smart little brain, he grabbed a heaping handful and tossed them up into the air and giggled as they landed soft around him, "Look! It's snowin'!! It's snowin'!"
And before I could get all huffy that he was throwing socks around the living room, he did it again, and squealed, "I'm making it snow! It's snowin', mom! It's snowin'."
And again.
And again.
Until my living room was covered with socks, most likely happy for the exercise, and to be out of that danged basket.
At first, all I could see was the mess.
But then his little voice fell on my ears, "See the snow, mom? I'n makin' it snow!" as he looked up into my face, a grin filling the corners of his eyes, then his cheeks, then his mouth, which widened to show his perfect little teeth.
Very sweet.
And instead of scolding and picking up, I stood in the "snow" and grabbed my camera and laughed.

Apparently, it was snowing toys too!

And this laundry basket of unmatched socks, this bane of my housewife life, became . . . something beautiful.
Thank you, Daniel, for helping me to see the possibility for the amazing in the common.

Less than a week until Thanksgiving . . .

and we are in a flurry of preparation.
Endless lists are being written and rewritten.
On Saturday, we will go to the cider mill to get cider for our holiday meal . . .
The cider mill has been a part of my own holiday tradition for as long as I can remember.
When I was a little girl, my family lived in New Jersey.
Every year, on Thanksgiving morning, very, very early, when most children were still sleeping, and grandmas were up checking turkeys, and grandpas were puttering about "getting things ready" for the day, and families were beginning their holiday travels for cheery celebrations in their old hometowns, my mom would wake me up and I'd quickly get dressed in the crisp morning air, throwing on jeans and a sweater.
We would get in the car and drive the 40 minutes or so it would take to get to the Nettie Ochs Cider Mill on Old Short Hills Road in Livingston, and we would buy 4 to 5 gallons of the best cider I have ever had! Crisp and golden, with a sparkly flavor. I could drink glass upon glass of it, but you kind of have to be careful with cider.
And every year, I would get a small bag of gummie bears to eat on the way home.
I liked the red ones best.
Thanksgiving just wasn't the same without this trip.
I can still see the mill. You can watch them making the cider from windows in the small store. At least, that's how it used to be. I haven't been there in years.
We are no longer able to make it to Nettie Ochs, and for many years, a trip to the cider mill was just a happy memory that would curl my lips in a smile every time I thought of it (mostly around the holidays) . . . but there is a cider mill about an hour and a half or so from here.
We took the boys there for the first time last year. It was so much fun. I don't mind the drive if it is a beautiful fall day. When we were there last year, there was live music and we got some seriously delicious apple cider donuts and old fashioned sodas, and sat outside on hay bales as we listened to the music.
The experience was definately worth the trip.
We will go again this year.
Maybe we can create our own tradition with a new mill.
We also have to do our Thanksgiving shopping and cleaning and getting the house ready to hold a host of guests.
And there are school harvest parties to get ready for.
Next Wednesday, my cousin, Patti, and I will literally cook and bake our lives away.
Every year, on the Wednesday before the holiday, we dig into the kitchen early in the day, and emerge, splattered with sauces and floured from head to toe, only when everything we could possibly do to get ready for the next day is done, which is sometime around two-ish, three-ish in the morning.
As exhausting as it can be, there is a lot of laughing and talking and listening to music (Christmas music after midnight!) and remembering and improvising as we throw our mad culinary skills around my small kitchen. What I end up finding is that I am actually energized by all the activity, and I can barley sleep for the excitememt of it all ( I'm such a child, I know!).
And then, it will be here.
The day we have been preparing for, thinking about, dreaming of, looking forward to.
It will be here, and before we know it, it will be gone. Over.
All the guests will leave, the dishes will need to be done and left-overs put away for snacking on later.
But the memories.
The memories will live, I hope, in the hearts of my children and family and friends for many days and years to come.
And when it is my sons' turn to be the dads and the grandpas, and it is their homes family is gathering at, I hope they will remember the cider mill, and the Thanksgiving tree, and the love their mom and cousin mixed in all the recipes, and the faces of each loved one, gathered together, giving thanks to the One who is the center of it ALL.
What are some of your Thanksgivng traditions? I would love to know . . .

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A prayerful life

It has been cold, and snow has been teasing the corners of the sky, which hangs heavy and low.
Waiting for the first snow of the season is delicious!
I made soup last night for dinner.
It's perfect soup weather.
I have been home with Daniel, who has a sinus infection. Yucky. He is so pleasant though, even when he is sick.
"Mom! I got boogies! I need a Kee-nex!" he says.
Melt your heart, right?
He is going through this phase where he wants you to kiss him on both his cheeks, and if, somehow, the kisses get wiped off, he comes to you seeking replacement kisses. He loves to give dad "knucks" too. And he can be heard yelling out "love you too, boys!!" after they have been tucked in.
Last night we had company, and I sent the boys to bed, but did not follow them in to pray with them, as per our usual custom.
Daniel would have none of that.
He came and got me up from my seat and led me into their room, chastising me in his little voice, "Mom, we gotta pray with the boys!"
And so we did.
Prayer is so important, and I want the boys to know that.
Gandhi said "Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening."
Sitting together in the boys' room, each praying our love, our thanks for the day and the graces of God, our admission of neediness, our hopes for tomorrow, I thought about this quote.
Words to live by.
The boys do this "pray on the way" thing on the way to school. They take turns praying in the car before we get to the building.
And we make sure we pray together at night, most nights anyway.
The key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
Hopefully, this is something that is getting in their bones at their young ages, and will be something they a carry with them into their old ages.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Faith and Fear: Bridges to the Spiritual

Picture of Footbridge - Free Pictures -
Photo by Ian Britton.

Those of you who know me know I can be somewhat of a worrier.
I worry about my kids, my husband, my own health, my extended family . . . the other night, I worried about a lost dog who looked hungry . . . true story.
Sometimes, I find myself worrying about things that are going to happen, and about things that may never happen.
I confess that it is something I struggle with, and I have sought God to learn trust and peace.
There are times I rest in the knowledge that God is God, and I relax.
Then, there are times I try to "help" God by . . . worrying.
Falsely, I believe that I can add an inch here or there, an hour to my life, by fretting.
Which just isn't true.
The Bible even says so. There is a whole passage in Matthew 6 that deals with the subject. It is headed, amazingly,

Do Not Worry 25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow if thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear.' . . .33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well. 34 Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus is so clear, about it. Worrying doesn't change a thing.
So why do I do it?
Is it a lack of faith?
No, not exactly.
It is a choosing what kind of "faith" I am going to have.
In his book Worship As David Lived It, Jusdon Cornwall talks about the tension between faith and fear in a way that is enlightening, convicting and just plain . . . good.
He talks about David fleeing in fear from a jealous Saul to the cave of Adullam when things were not going well for the would be king, and how that was a fear response to his circumstances, and caused him to act like a crazy man to save his own life. He relates this to our own experiences with fear.

David does not stand alone here. All of us will have the "cave" experience, for no matter how lofty God's promises to us may be, the sound of the enemy's javelin can reverse the flow of faith and we become fearful. Fear and faith are exactly the same energy running in opposite directions [emphasis mine]. 'Faith' says, I believe God, and 'fear' says, I believe the enemy. 'Faith' says that God's promises will be fulfilled, but 'fear' declares that the enemy's threats will be realized.
He goes on to say that the spirit world connects to our world by a bridge of faith, and if we have Godly faith, that bridge allows the things of God, his peace and love and joy, to cross over into our lives, our realities; but if we have fear, which is a kind of "faith" also, (like faith's evil twin, so to speak) . . . well, some very different spiritual realizations will cross over into our lives.
I do not want a bridge that allows dark and bad and worrisome things into my mind, my heart, my life.
Fear begets more fear.
Instead I want to live by faith . . . a faith that allows a peace that passes understanding.
Cornwall comes to the conclusion that:
David's fears disappeared when he sought the Lord, for he was no longer running from Saul; he was running to God. All his spiritual energies were being released in faith instead of in fear. God's answer to fear is action, for the loss of fear is not the loss of danger or change of circumstances; it is a focusing of our energies back to God and moving to Him instead of merely moving from something.

So, when I am smoothing my son's brow, which is burning with fever; when Joe walks out the door to go to work at a job that is dangerous; when I watch the news about the economy and health care and a mad man shooting up Ft. Hood; when I think of the future, I need to be moving toward God in faith. I need to rest in Him, and in the knowledge that He is so much bigger than all of it. Than me.
Saul was real.
He was an actual danger to David.
David had viable reasons to be afraid.
But hiding in a cave was not the answer. And it is not the answer for us, either (as much as I wold love to find a nice, quiet, dark, well hidden cave some days).
"God's answer to fear is action . . . "
The answer is to build a bridge.
A bridge of faith, formed prayer by prayer, trust by trust, confession of faith by confession of faith, one step after another, in the direction of God.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The giving(thanks) tree

I truly believe that when we take time to be thankful for what we have, we focus less on what we don't have.
When we become aware, through gratitude, of all the good things in our lives, the bad things just sort of fade away.
It's not that hard times and bad things don't exist, or that we do not and will not face trials and difficult circumstances.
But when we choose to give thanks, to see the good, the lovely, the providential, in spite of the bad, the ugly, and the seemingly random trials, we render those lesser things powerless in our lives, and we become free to really bear joy.
Giving thanks.
It is a way to take back our lives, our joy, from those things that would try to steal them away.
One thing I want to teach my sons is gratitude.
I want them to know that no matter how bad things may get, there is always something to be grateful for.
There are so many things in this world that are hard and cruel.
And there are so many things that are not.
That we live and breathe and get to be a part of this story of life at all, the sun that rises golden and sets fiery red across the plains, the trees that dance with the wind and the creek that babbles and rolls, families and friends, the sounds of laughter and grieving which assure us that we are alive and we feel things deeply, salvation in this life and eternity in the next, just these are enough to evoke a swell of gratitude in me. To be thankful for this beautiful disaster that is life.
One way we are trying to make gratitude tangible this year is by having a Thanksgiving tree in our home.
This idea is not original to me. I have seen it done in many homes via the blogosphere, and think it is a good way to practice being aware of gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving day, but always.
Here's what we are doing: I pruned a big branch from my apple tree, and stuck it in a large pot. Then, I cut various leaf shapes out of construction paper (fall colors) and placed them in a basket near the tree that has a few pens, a hole punch and some ribbon in it as well. Every day, from now until Thanksgiving, we will write things we are thankful for on the leaves, and hang them on the tree. On Thanksgiving day, we will share all the things we are thankful for.
What I like about this so much, is the visual representation of what gratitude can do. It can take a dead, dry branch, and fill it with life and color once more, just like giving thanks can revive and renew with hope once again our tired and naked souls.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So many books, so little time . . .

Picture of Books, Shakespeare and Company Bookstore, The Latin Quarter, Paris - Free Pictures -
Photo by Ian Britton

My grandma was an avid reader.
She definitely passed that on to me (not her love of doing the laundry, however! : ).
Most of my life, my memories of reading are connected to her in some way.
There was the reading of many picture books at bedtime, when I was a little slip of a girl, before sleep and dreams took over; and endless hours of poetry read to me by gram and mom and Aunt Jane from a beloved volume of poems published by Reader's Digest that I wish I could remember the name of; and listening to A Wind in the Windows and The Prince and the Pauper as gram read them out loud in the evenings while I played near her feet; and reading Ivanhoe to Gram as she cooked dinner; and later, taking turns reading Jane Eyre to each other; and discovering together that it's the convict all along that's Pip's benefactor at the end of Great Expectations.
Major reading moments in my young life . . . she was there.
When I went to college and became an English major, Gram would ask me what I was reading, and often, on my recommendation, she would read the same things and we would talk about them.
I remember her calling me once, after I had moved to the mid-west to get my Masters in English at a university here, and saying, "Joy! I walked into the new addition at the library today, and there were books lining every wall, from floor to ceiling, and shelves and shelves of books in between, and it made me kind of sad . . ."
She paused, and I thought, "Books from the floor to the ceiling?! What's sad about that?"
"Why sad, Gram?" I asked.
"Because, all I could think was there were so many books, and I would never be able to read them all in my lifetime."
And I knew it was true.
Not just about Gram.
But about me, too.
So many books. So little time.
I'll tell you what, though. . . she sure did try.
She read all the books she could -- fiction and non-fiction, inspirational and mystery, biography and how-to, and, of course, every day, her Bible.
Later, when she lost her eyesight and could no longer read to herself, I would sit in her room and, once again, read to her. It's funny, how life comes around. I started my journey of books with her reading to me, and she ended hers with me reading to her.
She also subscribed to the Talking Books service in our community, and would get tens of books on tape each week.
As quickly as she would get them, she would "read" them. And true to our tradition, she would tell me about every one. If there was a book she particularly liked, and thought I would too, she would buy it for me.
She pretty much is single-handedly responsible for providing me with the majority of the books in my personal library.
In fact, the other morning I rolled over before getting out of bed and came face to face with my bookshelf. There are lots of books on there that I haven't read yet. Many of them, gram bought for me.
They call my name, and I will read them . . . one day.
But right now, with a toddler running through (and trying to run) the house, and two active boys, and school, and so many other things going on, it seems like there are so many books, and so little time.
Those who say there is no magic in this world must not be readers, for reading can transport you to different times and different places, and introduce to you exotic and horrific and terrific people and things, and can change your perspective and your mind and . . . you.
Grandma knew this.
She knew the magic.
And she shared it with me.
And I am sharing it with my sons.
And we will keep reading, until we can read no more.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The family of God . . .

I'm an only child.
Which is why it is so strange that I have so many brothers and sisters.
Let me explain.
Today was Sunday, and if you know my family, you know what that means . . . Sunday dinner.
Two things about Sunday dinner: 1)we always have pasta and meatballs and sausage, covered in Gramp's famous pasta sauce (gravy, we call it), and 2) we nearly always have a full house, and then some.
So, days like today are not unusual.
But they are always special.
Today we had a smaller crowd than we typically do.
Our good friends, the Nwagwus and Daniel Williams came over for dinner.
And maybe it was because it was a smaller group, and I was able to sit more and enjoy the moments and take more in that I thought more.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I am an only child.
For a long time, this was a very sore subject for me. I would watch my friends, and even strangers, interacting with their siblings, and a twinge of jealousy and loneliness would shoot through me.
I wanted a relationship like that.
I wanted a brother or a sister, or both.
Now, I was blessed with cousins who were more like siblings to me than cousins, so that filled a large portion of that hole. The majority of my childhood memories include my cousins. They were, and are, a very important part of my life.
Nevertheless, I longed for brothers and sisters.
Today we were sitting around the table, and my friends' child, who is Daniel's age, was calling my grandpa "grandpa" and my mom "meme Lin", and we were all having such a good time around the table, laughing and sharing food and life, and I thought, "Wow! For so many years, what I wanted more than anything else was brothers and sisters, and God, by adopting me into His family, has given me the chance to have them . . . in spades."
After dinner, we had a bonfire out back, and lots and lots more sisters and brothers showed up to join the fun and worship a bit and eat . . . of course.
Thank you, God, for giving me the desire of my heart when it comes to brothers and sisters!

Here's another Daniel story before I turn in after this full day . . .
This evening, after everyone left, Daniel was in the hall, looking at himself in a full length mirror we have hanging on a wall. I guess he never noticed it too much before.
"Look! Mom! IT'S ME! IT'S DANIEL!" he squeaked.
"I'm in that picture!! I'm in that picture!!"
He was so excited to see himself.
Tres cute!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The kind of man he is . . .

Isaac recently had a writing assignment for which he asked me about my favorite childhood memories.
There's nothing like a question like that to open up the floodgates of remembrance.
I needed to provide three of them for his essay.
I pulled two general memories, 1)dinner time, because throughout my growing up, the family dinner table was an important place where we all gathered, no matter where we had been separately that day, and each of us would takes turns sharing the "highlight of our day," and 2) playing with my cousins, who were really more like my siblings, anyway. We got in all manners of mischief, and had so much fun doing it!
But there was one very specific memory that popped into my head, too.
I can see this favorite memory in my mind's eye almost as clearly as if it were happening this very moment.
The December I was five, I lived with my grandpa and grandma at their home (a church parsonage) in New Jersey.
Here's some background . . . I was a bit of a grandpa's girl. If he was home, you'd find me curled up next to him on the couch while he told me stories, illustrating them on the spot (he can draw an awesome duck out of a figure eight); or singing along as he played his guitar or plunked the keys on the old cherry wood piano; or being mesmerized by his games of "fly away Jack, fly away Jill" and "invisible ball; or outside playing in the yard as he raked and swept the pavement or tended his garden which grew along the fence.
I missed my mom when we were not together, but when I was with gram and gramp, they were my world . . . and what a world they were!
I remember sitting between them in the front seat of their powder blue such-n-such a car, with the cream colored vinyl top, on our way to everywhere, but mostly to the church my grandpa pastored in the next city over. It was a very secure feeling, riding between them.
Back to this particular December when I was five.
It was a few weeks (maybe days, my memory isn't that great) before Christmas.
Grandma was getting ready for her holiday baking.
I was sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the open baking supply cabinet, lining up all the spices and herbs, trying to read their labels, smelling them.
Grandma was racking up a list of things she needed at the store, and Grandpa was home that day (he worked a swing shift of sorts, nights one week, days the next, etc.) so he was assigned the task of making a run to the store for the missing ingredients.
He was in a hurry to go and get back with the needed items, so he got his list together, bundled up to face the cold northeast winter waiting on the other side of the warm kitchen door, and kissed gram, who had walked him to the door, right smack on the mouth before leaving . . . but he forgot one thing!
He did not kiss me good-bye! Or say good-bye to me at all, for that matter!
In our family, we always greeted and parted with kisses. We always acknowledged everyone in the room we were either entering or exiting. It's just how it was.
So, grandpa not kissing me or saying good-bye was a HUGE deal to me.
In the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the store, I had been forgotten.
I didn't say anything, but I was stinging, and sat, quiet and sad, on the floor.
It didn't take long for grandma to notice something was wrong.
"Grandpa left without saying good-bye to me," I quietly confided when she had asked me what the matter was.
"Oh, honey. He was in a hurry to go so he can get back to us as quick as he can. He loves you very much . . ." she reassured, then turned my attention to other things.
I just want to point out that these were the days long before cell phones were even thought of, so there was no way for my gram to communicate with my gramp about how crushed I was by his oversight.
When grandpa got back, I was reserved.
Grandma unpacked and put away the groceries, and grandpa sat down next to me at the kitchen table with a little white box tied in red and white string.
That could mean only one thing.
He had been to the bakery!
Whatever was in that box was fresh and sweet and delicious . . . and it was being offered to me.
"I forgot to say good-bye to you and I'm sorry. I bought this special just for you . . . " he pushed the box closer to me.
I opened the box . . . and inside was . . . a vanilla cupcake with a mound of vanilla frosting that looked like a snowy hill, and right on top sat a little plastic Santa, waving from a sleigh drawn by one reindeer (maybe two).
Grandma *tisked* when she saw the Santa. She was not a fan.
I broke into a huge grin.
And things were right again.
I was not forgotten.
Not really.
Gramp realized soon after he left that he had not said good-bye to me, and knew what that would mean to my little girl heart.
He made up for it beautifully.
I kept that little plastic Santa in a special box for a long time throughout the years.
Occasionally, usually when I was rummaging for something else, I'd pull it out and smile, though Santa wasn't who I was thinking of every time I looked at it.
That little Santa is gone now.
Lost in one of my transitions.
But grandpa is still here, sitting with my boys, telling them stories, drawing them pictures, singing with them, playing with them, teaching them.
He cooks for us and bakes for us and cares for us in a thousand little and big ways. That's the kind of man he is.
I am so blessed to have him in my life, to have grown up with him, and to watch my boys growing up with him, too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just talkin' bout the weather

After a frosty night, we had temps in the 70's today.
It was so warm, I wanted to stretch right out in the sun, like our cats, and catch the rays and some zzzzzs.
On days like this, I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the warm summer days so recently past, long days that stretch into hazy twilight long after the children are asleep.
I miss the light.
Today I thought the trees must be happy for the warmth.
Most of the leaves have blown off the trees by now, so they stand naked and exposed against the ever changing sky, their fiery rainment lay all around them on the ground, as though they are ladies who just stepped out of their fine red dresses, or yellow or orange, for that matter, and their discarded clothes lay crumpled at their feet.
I love trees.
They are so beautiful and strong and full of promise.
They are always being born and dying to be reborn again.
They know how to hold on and when to let go.
They shelter and shade and feed.
They are perfect for tire swings.
They help us remember there are things that are bigger than us.
They help us remember there were things here before we were, and there will be things here long after we are gone.
And one tree held a man who made a way for us to know life everlasting.
And because of Him, I am free.
And so, there may be darkness for a while, and the trees may be bare, but a great light shines in the darkness, and He comes to bring new life where there was once wintry death.
The trees will live again.
And so will I.