Monday, August 30, 2010

Deer, Deer, Go Away

I don't have a green thumb, so every bit of garden produce we get is grown with great investment. Last year we only got raided in late September, and it was a doe with two babies, so I just let her eat what was left of the tomatoes and snow peas. This year, we have harvested three snow peas. It eats the snow pea blossoms and keeps the tops of the plants regularly mowed so they've only grown four inches tall. I kept thinking it would move on since we haven't had this happen before, but it's still here, and I'm still slow to pick up on some things!

I'm so aggravated about this deer! I've only seen deer around a couple of times, one buck and one doe, each at different times and not together, so I don't know which one it is. Maybe they've even since joined forces... (For simplicity's sake, I'll just assume it's the doe, so hereafter it'll be referred to as she/her.) We put some fencing on top of the peas and beans (whose blossoms she's trimming as well), and I scattered the clippings from Kev's haircut on the portions sticking out. The next day we had gusting winds, so the hair promptly blew away. I am *this* close to staying up tonight to rush her with pots and pans!

So far, we've gotten a decent bean harvest, but as summer slides into autumn, she'll have to start eating what's available instead of making dessert of the succulent tops and blossoms of my poor snow peas. That means the tomatoes and cantaloupes are in jeopardy. Come to think of it, she topped my sedum last night too. Seriously, I've never wanted to punch an animal in the face like I do right now. Well, I want someone to anyway.

Not sure what I'm going to do. Don't want to spend a lot on fencing since we're going to redo the whole garden fence situation next year. I can't keep cutting Kev's hair. Jylle won't let me cut hers. I'm not talented enough to cut my own. Dog hair doesn't work.

GOOGLE--what was I thinking?!--somebody out there must have an answer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When Thank You Doesn't Come

It's when I've done or said something with the intent of being encouraging or uplifting that I realize I have subconscious expectations when the thing remains unacknowledged. I was raised to believe that "thank you" was in order after someone did or said something with kind intent. Most of the time this ritual is satisfied to the extent that I only experience a lack of it on occasion. It occurs at least once/month on my big trip to town as I deal with the general public, and even rarely with friends. I have a higher standard for my closest friends and my family, and that's a problem.

I feel all good about something after I've done it, like that person who can't wait for you to open the present because you're just going like it so much! There's that eagerness, that anticipation of something along the lines of "Wow, I really like it--thank you!" If I've put effort into a project, even a little one, it seems like an abortion of sorts when it's met with a "Thank you for that," and the subject moves on immediately.

That's when I have to deal with the Committee as we caucus in order to find out what went wrong. That is usually when I come back to I expected something different, something better, something more. Who was I really doing this for then?
R-i-g-h-t...... I gave a gift with strings attached... or at least one anyway.
Whose heart was blessed by the kindness of your intentions? My Father's... and His pleasure is the only thing I need to care about. Freely you have received, freely give.* The burden of unvoiced expectation, like a noose, is severed, as I realize my sin, and I release you from it with my most sincere apologies.

Yes, it would have been nice to know if it meant something to you, but the promptings of my motivation were divine, and you and I are only players in this larger lesson I would not have relearned if you had given me what I expected. See, I often forget that the main character in this story is not me, because most of the time it feels like it is me. The whole world tells me it is. I am reminded once again of that magnificent Protagonist, and I am humbled to the core.

Thank You for letting me play, Daddy. It means everything to me. You mean everything to me. Thank You.

*Matthew 10:8

Monday, August 23, 2010

Yea, Skype!

Got an email from Brett yesterday asking, "Can you Skype us about 2 p.m. your time?" My first thought was vocalized by Jylle, "Us...?" I replied that it probably wouldn't be a problem when suddenly the thought hit me--he's not going to tell us they're engaged, right?! I told him I don't like bombs...

For some weird reason, Skype was no longer on my computer, so I had to download and install it again. (I am so getting a Mac next time.) To my relief, it was a simple Skype call, a time to meet and introduce and get to talk for the first time.

Kev's phone kept ringing, so he only got to be in on it a few minutes here and there, but Jylle and I got to enjoy the whole thing. She laughs easily (which Jylle absolutely loved, esp the parts where Lydia laughed because of her), and she's simply adorable, very easy to like. I got to ask all the questions that came to mind, and we got to see the two of them together, having fun, joking, laughing, enjoying being young and in love (or least large infatuation =). It was a great introduction, and we were grateful for the time they took. They seemed to have a pretty good time too, so I believe a good time was had by all (...or however that antiquated saying goes).

Lord, please keep them pure and honest. Let the core of their relationship ever be anchored in Your love as they seek Your heart diligently. Lead them firmly by the hand through this time, whatever it may hold. Grant them wisdom, ground them in Love, and avail Your sweet joy to them. That's my prayer for all of them. XO

Friday, August 20, 2010


Glenice and I visited Jamara yesterday. She had her second knee replacement, so now she has two titanium hips and two chrome knees. Her right foot has been fused, but the left still needs to be done. Until now, it's all been her lower body, but she got the news before this last surgery that she'll have to have her right shoulder replaced too. She can't lift her arm beyond horizontal...

Her attitude is incredible. She is vigorously optimistic, enthusiastically joyful, and disturbingly wise for her 23 years. She's like my own little Dalai Lama--with a sprinkling of Kelly Pickler for color. Her state of mind is poised on the Mercy she sees in experiencing the ravages of this Adult Stills. While onlookers' mouths drop open at what she's encountered in the last three years, emotionally as well as physically, she speaks at length of God's kindness, grace, protection, and provision and how she is a better person for going through this. It is at once profoundly inspirational and convicting.

Wish I'd taken a picture of her. She straightened her hair, makeup beautifully done as usual, and she was perfectly lean in her black sweats. She is an unstoppable presence in any room. I love this girl like she came out of my own body, and it's bitterly piercing to imagine what it would mean if this disease continues to evade remission and runs out of cartilage to attack, starting in on her organs. I can't let myself go there. I must follow her sweet example and focus on Mercy.

Oh, p-l-e-a-s-e, Lord..............

Sunday, August 15, 2010

They're Droppin' Like Flies

So Ryan has a girlfriend. Jylle is fairly regularly crushing on someone different like twice a year. Brett calls us every week on Sunday, and this time he had something very intentional to tell us. Yeah, her name is Lydia. "You could say 'girlfriend'."

I had so many questions. He answered them all, but I found that my questions grew exponentially once we got off the phone. I've met Ryan's Larissa. I know all the guys Jylle has crushed on. I. Don't. Know. This. Girl. At. All.

My kids appear to be a little different as far as romantic relationships are concerned. The boys never had a girlfriend in high school. They're both now in their very first "real" relationship. I thank God that their Walk is sure and solid. That they care very much about the interior landscape of this other person, both as she came to them and how they must take care of it as men of God. There's a song called "A Sacred Moment" by Daniel Kirkley that often comes to mind when I think of my boys now. He sings of how this is a very special time, but that it may come to be that she will become someone else's wife, so for now, he wants this to be a sacred moment in her life. My take is: Let there be no scars or ugliness, but only a putting the best foot forward, putting her best before his own.

Maybe because it took so long for one of them to have a girlfriend, it was a surprise when it finally happened. That 'first' was in March. Five months later, we encounter the second 'first.' It was at once another surprise but also a very joyful thing for me. Brett sounded so happy, so willing to be forthcoming. I only wanted to know more, to dig into knowing this person who's making my son smile so much that I could sense it over the phone.

It's a really interesting time for me, something that a lot of moms my age have already experienced. But I wouldn't trade having to wait for anything. This seems just right. It's kind of like delayed gratification--seems a whole lot better for having it come later. And I'm grateful.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Again With the Going Back to School

Ryan will go back to school this weekend. I can't believe his whole summer has gone. Looking back, it doesn't seem like there was even one day when I wished we were doing something else. All the days that he slept in and all the time he spent playing guitar or being on the computer, I was glad he was able to. I simply like that he's in the house. I suppose that once he's lived out of the house longer than he's lived in it, the feeling that this is the way it's supposed to be will diminish. Judging from the eagerness in both sets of our parents to see us and have us stay with them, I don't think it ever goes away completely.

Knowing that he's looking forward to getting back and seeing his best friends is worth a lot to my heart. Knowing that his classes are only getting more difficult is a little hard, but I know he can do it. I suppose I'll probably cry again, before and after he leaves, but knowing that's a natural and healthy thing makes it not as dread-full as it's been in the past. One last, good cry pretty much wraps it up until the next time. I just hope he keeps calling at least once/week because that makes me happy. I love you, Ryrie. XO

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Before and After


Do you know how much damage can be done when you expect to be the Center of someone's universe? Do you realize how complicated you make it when your level of expectation exceeds reason? Where is this Grace you preach...? Where is this Love you speak of...?

You are so young. But you have experienced a great deal: Depth. Life. Miracles. Grief. Sorrow. Confusion. Complication. Tenderness. Courage. I don't consider that lightly. But this is hard.

This seems to be three steps forward, three steps back. This no longer seems worth it to me. Maybe it's a good thing I'm not much in the scheme of things because I would no doubt make this situation worse than it already is. I thought I knew your heart. Obviously I don't. I got caught presuming.

When Mary's heart was pierced through, did anyone remember the prophecy? Did she even, until the midst of it? To see your child suffer is a grief no parent can bear in a lovely way. It stinks. It's a mountain of misery, and more often than not, this mother's knee jerk reaction is to slap at the hornet rather than to be still and know that He is God, at work, alive, revealing...


Psalm 103:11-12 was written on the note left on the counter, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

I needed a fresh reminder of my own sin and level of unreasonable expectation. If I find that I am unwilling to forgive, if I have uttered the words, “How could you…” then I need the tender revelation once gain of which world I belong to. The rules and tools of that other world have no function or place , like using a tennis ball to build a house, or a sock to magnify. The rules of the Kingdom, of the Overcoming Life, are the tools of the Redeemed—humbled at being saved, forgiven, and given the scandalous privilege of walking as Daughter or Son, that to walk in any other manner than that of Abiding is not an option.

Where is this Grace I preach if it does not begin with me? Where is this Love I speak of if it isn’t seen immediately in my own life? I have been forgiven of far worse, and I drop the stones I would hurl in a red hot hurry as I acknowledge that my board is greater than your sliver. I wish you sweetness and roses as you are delivered from your self in this walk as we all will be. XO

Psalm 32:6-8 For this forgiveness let everyone who is godly pray—pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely when the great waters of trial overflow, they shall not reach the spirit in him. You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah. I the Lord will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.