Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Distinct Squeeze

An unknown author once wrote, "You can't wrap a hug in a box, but you can wrap a person in your arms."

A statement which was proven false just a few weeks ago.

A package arrived, ferried over seas, over islands, thousands of miles from it's origin.


Destination? A southern front porch. 

Sender? One sweet friend and her adorable daughter.


In favorite hues it came, with love exploding...delicate practice embroidery done by a hand that not long ago learned to form letters. Pastels abounded. Gifts fit for princesses. The chicks were floored, in awe. As was I, working to control the tears that this box brought to my throat; whelmed with the pure generosity of it all.




As it always goes, the Mama was last into the box. There, I found nestled gently, a beautiful note, tied with ribbon and specific instructions...


Always one to obey, I promptly did as instructed by my heart-filled friend. Handing the camera to the eldest,  I unwrapped my "hug-in-a-bag".


The girls desired a squeeze from afar as well, so I gently removed it from my shoulders and placed it 'round theirs...


Warmth...Security...Friendship...Love...

COMMUNITY

It's what arrived on a warm April day, completely unexpected, from the other side of the world. A friendship, beautiful, which blossoms despite miles and the seemingly small fact that we've never spoken or met face to face.

A friendship of words, of the heart....from the One who created us to be in relationship with each other.

A friend loves at all times. 

Which brings me back to boxes...


Which do, indeed, wrap and carry hugs.


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Project

I've been hit and mostly miss for the last few months...but for a most excellent reason.

(in)RL

Yep. I've kept silent about it, but today (in)courage tagged me in a Facebook post, so I guess my anonymity flew the coop.

Smile


In addition to all of the normal (wait, did I just call this nest schedule normal???) that goes on around here, I've been working since January on Sara's Story for the *gulp* upcoming webcast that will go live this Friday, April 27th and continue throughout the weekend.

Have you signed up? If not, I'm encouraging you to do so here. I promise that this will be an event you absolutely do not want to miss. The gang over at (in)Courage has worked tirelessly to bring you a conference of unmatched quality. Pure excellence. Faith, love, friendship and beauty all wrapped into a weekend event viewable from your home. Or, if you're near one (see a list here)  a meet-up. As of today, there are 422 meet-ups happening around the world. Yes, you read that right...around the world!!! (in)RL is global!

Here's the trailer for Sara's Story...




Thankful for words that shape lives, for hearts that reach out, and for friends on the journey.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Listen

It's 10:24 p.m. and my right hand is gently dusting the shelving as my left gingerly picks things up and places them down again. I pray, "Dear Lord, please, please, don't let me drop something precious with this throbbing, swollen grip."

I'm bone tired. The professor is at a conference receiving an award and I'm here playing zone defense. I prefer man-to-man coverage. There's been more zone than I like lately...but I work on choosing the gratitude and finding the joy. I listen to Ann's voice fill up the quiet of the car and pump loud over the thumping of the washing machine. The girls rush down from the dance room to see if we have a visitor who speaks over helicopters. I laugh, thinking that Ann Voskamp probably never raises her voice to that level. She finds the gifts. Tonight, I'm seeing only crumpled up wrapping paper.


Still, I listen...


I have read the words more times than I can count on one hand. I'm hoping that hearing them will assist in the cementing of my attitude. I am a gift finder. I've always been one, but it's the making of this joy list that adds life to my days lately.

I get the girls wrangled into bed, snuggled and kissed and prayed over. I work on not lamenting on all that I've  missed out on and things done incorrectly in the waking moments...instances of doubt and judgement, with my voice louder and more critical that I desired. Sighing, I try to make these last few minutes before dreams peaceful.

Heads rest on pillows. The internal dialogue begins. It is late, and the tone is ugly. Defeating.


Instead of counting gifts no matter how small I focus on what still needs doing...a floor still to be washed and laundry to be transferred and then folded, the dishwasher unloaded, the pup to go out three more times, vitamins to place on the counter so we don't forget them, and...

There is always more to do.


Always.


Words echoing, paraphrased in my heart...It is in the counting of the gifts that time seems to slow.


In this season where I should still and recall all that He has given to me, all that He gave for me, the counting is all the more important.

For it is the gratitude that helps my heart to open fully to Him, the giver of it all.


"Every good and perfect gift is from above; coming down from the Father of the heavenly 
lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows."
James 1:17 





Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hello Spring

Hello warm weather

Hello landscaping project

Hello rubber mulch that is supposed to keep the hue for a decade


Hello fluffy puppy who thinks lounging in the landscaping is a great plan


Hello sweet girl doing laps around the house


Hello fragrant snapdragons that decided to return this season


Hello signs of life peeking through


Hello, lovely Spring...I can't wait to see what you have in store