Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Forward. Reflecting Back.

As we are winding down from the twinkling lights, Christmas songs and joyful celebrations with family & friends, I’m also reminiscing on this time of year 2 years ago. Two years. My conscious mind held onto little of that holiday season. Emotionally vacillating between completely numb and frantic packing. 

I’m blessed that I will never have the opportunity to be so self-indulgent again! Truly.

Freshly from the tub Jan 2010
This year has been amazing. My beautiful son, is a teacher. He's taught me the value of admiration, joy, trust, security and living exuberantly!! He is diligent. Forthright. Bountiful. He is a kid who knows what he likes when he sees it. He is a child with style. He is growing some real self-confidence and from time to time, shows some leadership skills in his classroom, making sure that kids aren’t pushing each other around. “School is a safe place!” he’ll say.

December 2011

He is coming up on 5 years old in April. Which is exciting and sad to me all at the same time. Where is my little weeble wobble baby with the big belly that was here just 2 years ago? Then again, I also look forward to seeing more glimpses of the young man he’s becoming. 

He’s taken the bull by the horns lately, surpassing some developmental milestones of which I wasn’t sure we’d ever say good bye. He continues to be very diligent in mastering a new skill, task or build. He rarely, if ever gets frustrated, simply requires the time to get it working… and he usually does. He’s extremely fascinated in how things work, where connections happen, and what goes where and why and what happens if….  I think Christmas was surpassed as his favorite day, when the plumber came to the house recently. The plumber did not charge extra for his ‘4 yo apprentice handling”, for which I was most grateful. His exuberant curiosity and lack of self-restraint combine to make the normally unspoken rule of “No going under cars” mandatorily spoken repeatedly. Although he will attempt to trick any unsuspecting visitor by slyly rolling a ball under their car and ‘offering’ to go get it for them. Do not fall for it. You’ve been warned.

We’ve had a really wonderful year! I’m blessed to have some very supportive friends near and far. God sent. Truly. Blessed.

This year, I’ve come to learn that our biggest hurdles lie in me. Learning to be a parent, a home manager, and a single mom. 

It seems as if, I’ve been chasing down this ‘place’. This ‘place’ that once we get there, everything else will be easier, calmer and so much more obedient. This ‘place’ is a myth.  This myth is hard to let go of. Addicting almost. Cortisol is, I think, involved.  Each day I strive to reach some "place" before we have to get to the next "place". 

I want to thank you all for indulging my fantasies of there being such a mythical ‘place’ of attachment. Mythical ‘place’ of cleanliness. Mythical ‘place’ of being on time. Yup. Took me 18 months to figure out it doesn’t exist. There is no ‘place’. It all just "Is."

And thus enters us to a new year. A year that only God knows what holds, and we are willing to take what is given. This year will be the year I learn to listen and be. The year to break the addiction of stress and cortisol and stop searching for that damn 'place'. The year I learn to loosen my grip a little. I’m still actively seeking employment and now have expanded this search globally. I literally have NO IDEA what is next for us, but I walk in faith, because God knows. Clearly the glory will be His because I’ve been trying to figure it out for 18+ months and have made no progress. Time to give Him the reigns. I will fail at this almost daily. But this year I strive to give more than I grasp.

I wish each and every one of you peace, joy and exuberant laughter throughout all of 2012.  We will be walking forward. Our path can sometimes seem a bit dark, but this year we find peace in walking forward in confidence and faith. Our love to you.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Keeping Cabin Fever at Bay (so far)...

Gone. Not forgotten. We are still hard at work on a few things round these parts. Keep praying and manifesting mojo and juju (and lottery winnings while we're at it, huh?!).  If you've noticed somethings pop up on your reader, I've been cleaning house round here from time to time so I apologize if old posts are popping up as new ones. Forgive.. and well.. just forget it. 

It's been some time since I've written anything heartening. My heart is still buried in the heavy and.... well, the joyful too. Here's a bit of what we've been doing to keep away the winter crazies
"Digging for worms" in the frozen turned up earth, the 'new plow guy' provided. eh hemm. (this picture was clearly taken more than a month ago)

Climbing Trees. Necessary for sanity of any 4yo boy.

Examining dead trees. Soon to be walking sticks.

"Sang" (aka- picked nose) during candlelight service.

Peace on Earth. Joyful. Effervescent. Rowdy. Soulful. Peace.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wednesday Wiggles-

In case you missed it over on the time sucking black hole...

You can dance if you want to. 
If you don't nobody will

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It could be a redneck Christmas, if it weren't a completely normal everyday occurrence. Yes. That is a skidder. Yes. That is a sugar shack. Yes. Those are 4 & 5 year olds gearing and fitting up the four wheeler. And although, technically, it's not my back yard, ... this is my back yard.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fb - The Blackhole of Time...

F@cebook is a time suck for me. This is an example.

-Clicked on a canadian friends link to a huff post news article regarding Attawapiskat. Having never heard of that name, assuming it was in regard to a native population issue, it intrigued me.

-I read the article.

-Getting less interested as it had to do with Canadian politics and the budgetary defines and codes of restriction. Yet, still. Attawapiskat. Where is that? What did I miss that this article is clearly following up on dozens of others and apparently there was a crisis. hmmm

-Interested. I went to Goggle maps and searched for it.

-Zoom out. Out. Out. Out Out. Whoa. Way up there west side of the Hudson Bay in Ontario. Pretty much where I assumed it would be but to see it on the map. oooh intrigued.

-I'm a map nerd. Actually. More of a map ho- as I have zero intellectual knowledge of maps. I just totally dig them and day dream "in the map". Totally thrilling for me. See weird. Nerd. Ho-esque.

-Airport. Single strip. Images taken in summer or painted as everything seems green. Landfill... burning. Interesting. What are those square areas? zoom closer... follow the roads. No clues as to what they are. They lie just shy of the bay itself and the road seems to have a small continuation over to the bay. Hmm. Ponder. Think. Follow the road the other way.. through town... all the way to it stops. On the edge of a river. At a large building compound area. Zoom Closer. Closer. Closer. Oh...tooo far.. back up. Does not seem to have any other road leading out. So this community is completely inaccessible except by land and water. Hmm. interesting.

-Look at clock. 30 minutes has gone by. CRAP. TIME SUCKING Fb BLACKHOLE.

It gets me EVERY TIME.

Must stay clear of the gravitational force.

My sentiments exactly!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Smile...

This is a first folks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankful & Giving...

I started writing and almost finished, when, I realized- I'm preaching to the choir here.
Let's put the most important pieces first.
You all know what it means for a child to not be able to contribute, with physical labor, to the family in rural Ethiopia.
How does a child wrangle the camels, graze the goats, or drive the donkey's with club feet?

You all know what happens when a family loses a father.
Perhaps we know, too well.

You all know what it will mean for this child to grow, marry and become a father himself. 
You all know that without this surgery ... it gets harder to imagine. 
Harder to know.
For we have seen it with our own eyes.
Perhaps we have touched it with our hands.
We can not deny it.
For our hearts have certainly felt it.

So the important part is here:
As an 'other' honory put in LIZ MCGOVERN's name (this will track donation for support of these patients)
It took me 3 minutes to do it. 
Do not get lost in internet links land. Go now. Click here.
Please share Scoop's link on your own site, blog, fB and tweet. 

 After you are done with that- come back and click here for the back story.

Ok- back to the drivel I was tapping out before....
It's amazing. Provision. 

I worry. 
Feign giving it to God.
With all true meaning to do just that, but it is truly so foreign that, perhaps, it can never really be accomplished. 

We live complex.
Oh, I can 'say' we live simply. Our home run-down modest.
I can 'say' I'm grateful for the $30 balance.
And it is even true, for moments here and there.
But do I live it? 
Do I live grateful?

Do I live giving to those in need, without questioning what I will have left?
No. I don't. 
I count the cost.
I question, what about me?
What about tomorrow?
Will we have any left?

It has been said time and again, that Ethiopian people are the most generous people on earth. Friends, family and acquaintances who travel extensively will recount the number of times they are invited to share a meal or coffee. They will recount the entering of the dirt floor home, with a pad on the floor, where many people sleep. I read of the host gratefully joyful, long preparing coffee ceremony and serving the last bits of food in the home.  Some of this is likely misperception through western lenses. For we hoard and stock up so instinctively, we haven't a clue what is needed on simply a daily basis and have a different room for every different activity, one for sleeping, one for eating, one for cooking, one for TV....
For now, I want to focus on the generosity. The giving.

Ethiopians are full of spirit. 
Full of God. 
Regardless of the name to which the bow nor book upon which they adore, God truly lives in them. 
They, seemingly, know this, without doubt.

For how else can they give all they have without worry? 
Without anxiety of what the morrow brings? 

It is a life lesson, I grapple with.
Do not count the cost. 
Live simply. 
Uncovered by the stuff that weighs us me down keeping me further from God. 
Give the last and know that God provides. 
Without question. 
Grateful to give joyfully.

When I speak of the generosity of the Ethiopian people and being touched, moved and inspired by it; please do not mistake that as saying "they gave me a child. Oh, most generous." This is not that post, nor is that a true statement.

God has provided. 
Thank you for praying.
Fully felt thank you.
That formerly $30 balance, went to Ethiopia yesterday.
Joyfully given.

He is merciful.

I do not know what happens tomorrow. 
But he does.
And he will provide.
We do not lack.

Five years ago, upon review of an ultra sound, it was known, my cousin would be born with club feet.
Born, casts and braces made and fit.
Months later, surgeries easily scheduled. 
Pain meds easily provided. 
Care readily available.
By 1.5 years old, he was without any sign of his birth anomaly.

He is graceful.

Around the same time, in rural Ethiopia, a child was born with club feet.
Let us not get bogged down in the what we can not do.
Not, in what we did not do.
Not, in what didn't happen.
Not even, in the lack of care available.
We can not take care of his goats or cattle for him.
We can not drive him the 6+ hours to Addis Ababa for surgery
We can not sit by his side.
We can not get his medicine.
We can not nurse him back to health.

We can not imagine the Godly hope his father carried in knowing God would provide.
We can not be the surgeons hands.

But we can provide.
What was given to us, can be given to him.

We can give.
We can joyfully gratefully give what has always been provided.
Do not count the cost.
Live simply.
Know that the morrows will bring healing for this child.

He is most faithful of all.