Thursday, November 29, 2007

something to look forward to

I’m lazy. And prideful. My windshield needs scraping, but when I can’t find a scraper, I might pull out my credit card, which is right with me rather than walking 20 steps to the garage where a tool specifically designed for that job hangs ready and available. The pressure arches the card, and I end up with ten times the work because I have to do the same spot 3-4 times because I can’t press as hard, AND my fingers cramp because my VISA card doesn’t have a nifty grippo handle. I convince myself that I’m practicing for an emergency when I’ll need to do just this very thing and won’t have a scraper handy. My cold and crippled fingers don’t buy it. I keep repeating “This is a GOOD idea, Cyndi. You are special.”

I need something to look forward to. When our college junior leaves for his next three months of study, I set up a countdown on my calendar so I know just when he’ll be home. Something to look forward to instead of dwelling on his leaving. This sounds like a complete departure from the topic, but I do have a point. I need to buy a snow scraper that is so deluxe, so premium, so chuck full (I know it’s “chock”, but that’s the way we say it) of comfort and speed that I will not only overcome my laziness and walk those 20 steps to it, but I will go against my lifelong aversion to winter driving and actually look forward to the next snowfall just so I can use my new thingy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

cat love lesson

Leonardo jumped up on my lap as soon as I started this quiet time. He is completely obvious about what he wants. Today I was actually happy to give it to him. (Usually my lap is busy with books and notebooks, and he's too uneven a surface to read or write on.) He curled up on my lap, and I scratched his head, his ears, his chin, I stroked his back, and he purred like a generator. I was so happy to have him right there with me that I hugged him to me and just held him there for a minute. When I released my embrace, I was delighted to see that he hadn't budged. That hadn't chased him away. He was content to stay right there. He just changed his position a little and then hunkered down for a nap.

He wanted my attention.
I gave it to him.
I wanted his nearness.
He gave it to me.
We are both happy.

Daddy, You want my attention, and You are delighted when You hold me close, and I don't go away. Forgive my going away... Feed and water my desire to stay. I want to give You joy. XO

Saturday, November 24, 2007


It was a sweet day. There were nine of us at the table, the presence of the absent ones strongly visible in our minds. Thanks were expressed one by one, the corn kernels deposited in the bowl as symbols. The sun was winter bright and so very welcome. We drank in the faces we love that we just don't see as much as we'd like.

My poor Kevin... He's so sensitive. He wanted someone else to say grace over the meal, but they deferred. I would so have loved for my dad to say it, but he remained silent, and we remained respectful. He made it through though, I think the first time ever. Mom began the "corn praises." We each get two kernels of unpopped corn and express two things for which we're thankful. Mom started us off, and because Kev was the one who announced the praise time, Mom looked at him when she began. It only took her one sentence to launch into prayer mode though. She closed her eyes, and she began to speak to Him instead of to us. Out poured one thing after another, a veritable cornucopia of heartfelt gratitude for family, health, relationships, and most of all, Jesus. Kev summoned all of his steeliest machismo to keep it together.

This was my first attempt at injecting a turkey with a basting concoction, and it turned out great! I just love garlic butter. I'd eat that on just about any meaty or bready kinda thing. Alan brought his turkey fryer, which I love for two reasons: 1) The turkey turns out delicious in only an hour, and 2) Someone else cooks it. I made the pie crusts with butter this year instead of shortening, and I decided I like that better. Thanks, Hosey.

My folks only stay a few hours so they don't have to drive in the dark, so they took Jeslyn back with them, but Alan and Wayneen stayed. Ryan and Jylle disappeared downstairs, and we four adults settled in the living room for football and conversation. Within two hours after dinner though, the three of them had gotten in a nice little nap while I surfed the 'Net for jobs for Wayneen in hopes of getting her over here a little quicker than April.

Hearts we know and love sitting round the table. Absent ones we know and miss still with us in the missing. Lives so full--of family, true friends, good health (well, Mom's is mediocre, but at least it's not horrid), almost shameful material abundance (almost =)....... It won't always be like this. At the next holiday get-together there could be an empty chair, even two. I won't future-trip, but I acknowledge how quickly life can change.

I just want to say simply and meaningfully, Thank You, Daddy. You are everything Good and Lovely, and this silly wee lamb just wants to say Thank You. XO

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

what I like

  • having my family home and I'm in the kitchen baking
  • getting to stay in on a stupidly cold day
  • Ya-Ya time
  • drop-in friends who take me out to dinner
  • savoring a warm book
  • how my dogs love me no matter what
  • Grace
  • the color of my cat's eyes
  • when my family likes what I made
  • a bargain wardrobe
  • salmon-colored roses
  • milk chocolate when it's bendy but not melting
  • a full yellow jacket trap
  • thinking of better days for Jewelee
  • imagining Jamara having a good day
  • justice
  • but I like mercy more
  • my daughter's auburn hair
  • an honest answer
  • Napoleons
  • novel arrangement of words
  • buffet pants
  • when Kathy is content and appreciated
  • father-bride dances
  • seeing something familiar in a new light
  • baby belly laughs
  • the smell of rain on a hot sidewalk
  • knowing I encouraged someone
  • one wrinkled hand in wrinkled hand
  • real butter
  • gel pens
  • clear pictures of my kids' faces
  • Jylle's exuberance
  • quiet kindness
  • campfires
  • Jewelee's sense of humor
  • Glenice's heart
  • Rosie-isms
  • Tina's face when she's thinking out loud and planning something fun
  • lovin' on Chelsea
  • Cheryl's excitement
  • Kim's love for me
  • the color of Jeannie's eyes
  • good manners
  • the first heavy snowfall
  • the first warm spring day
  • croissants
  • vibrant color
  • shiny things--even fishing lures keep me busy
  • pumpkin pie with Breyer's vanilla ice cream for breakfast
  • getting a card with a picture in it and something handwritten
  • Brett's one-liners
  • homemade soap
  • being able to give spontaneously
  • Josiah
  • Stephanie's singing
  • the smell of cut grass
  • getting facebook & myspace messages
  • magenta
  • my mom's laugh
  • kidding with my dad
  • seeing Alan's joyfulness
  • knowing Jeny's such a beautiful person
  • French silk pie
  • seeing my kids run
  • capturing a good picture
  • loping on my horse
  • saying "fluffles"
  • mandarin oranges, sweet watermelon, and crisp grapes
  • Ryrie's "dumb" voice
  • handmade quilts
  • when I hear Your voice and really listen
  • family movie night
  • watching one of her brothers patiently teach Jylle something
  • Annie's blog
  • mexi-fries
  • intimate moments
  • sunrise in my back yard
  • sunset in my front yard
  • watching my kids tube
  • watching my Kevin water ski
  • chenille gloves
  • See's chocolate-chocolate butter creams
  • my front porch swing
  • Shasta daisy plants
  • happy endings
  • Kev's excitement about deer & elk
  • when my kids do stuff without being told
  • unexpected kindness
  • helpful neighbors
  • clean comedy
  • the word "sugarplum"
  • steelies (maybe I should include this in shiny things...)
  • making someone laugh
  • nice comments

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

divine encounter

I saw a friend as I was leaving the checkout counter of Safeway, and when I said hi I immediately knew something was wrong. I asked if she was okay, and without much thought, said "No."

Her insides were raging and twisting in reaction to a great offense done to her and her two boys. As I listened, it wasn't that I could relate personally to the injury
as much as I felt an all-consuming compassion. I know what wanting to retaliate and backlash feels like. I listened to her anger, her logic, her history with this offender, and remembered well my own. She was on a hunt for this guy, and this was the third place she'd looked.

I told her, "It's no coincidence that you haven't found him. I don't think God wants you to. Right now everything you're feeling is horizontal--it's all about you and him," and I gestured back and forth with my arm. "What He wants is for you to to make it all about Him and you," and I lifted my arm up and down. "I'm not saying this is what I do or that it's easy, but that's where this needs to go."

I am not known for my counsel. I'm a listener and someone who comes alongside. No one asks me for advice, and if it is asked, doesn't get followed. (shrug) That's just the way it is. I also do not confront people. I hide or avoid or make nicey nice in public, but I don't tell people what they oughta do. So... I know this was God's word for her. He put me where she was so she could hear Him because I'm a safe place for her.

It only took one minute for her to receive that and to accept that this was a divine appointment. A church friend, an elderly man, passed us, and right away she told him, "She told me Truth, and she's keeping me accountable!" Being STP (slow to process), it wasn't until this moment that I realized Jesus had just taken place. Emmanuel--God With Us--was right here, right now, right then, inside us, in front of us, the whole thing intended to reveal Jesus, who is Truth.

It is an extremely humbling and incredible thing to be used by God. To have been a container and a medium for His communication to a hurting Child is an other-worldly experience, and I will never forget this.

Well, until senility creeps in, but that's another post.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

the fam

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I get rescued

When I wake up stupid and alone
there You are--Intelligence and Communion.
When I wake up needy and troubled,
there You are--Resource and Peace.
Your arms are a great, soft blankie--
they wrap completely around my whole body,
and then through me
to hug my insides.
When I feel dirty and ashamed,
You cup my chin and lift my gaze
and lock on
until Your love blasts away the smoke and sulphur
of condemnation.
Tears fall fresh and cleansing
like a first rain
and the perfume of Your ever-spring
righthereness wakes me up new,
and I am willing and ready to walk again.
My soul, a rescued P.O.W.
and my spirit, no M.I.A.
You are my Hero of the interior,
MY Hero, my Deliverer. XO

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pressing Cider

Pressing cider the first Sunday in October, it's become a yearly tradition that's made up of family and talk and apples and pulp, as well as jugs and hearts poured out and poured into until we just can't keep going. It gets refrigerated or frozen so we can drink it up, give it away, and wait for next year.

Friday, November 09, 2007

give it away - let Him out

Why don't I give myself away more? It's not like I'm a great prize to be hoarded and tucked safely away. You'd think we're all these precious, invaluable treasures the way we keep ourselves all wrapped up nice and tight. We contain not just love, but THE LOVE. We rob not only others, but ourselves of that Love moment when we keep Him inside.

"This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess of that precious nourishing love from which flowers and children have their strength and which could help all human beings if they would take it without doubting."
~Rainer Maria Rilke