Monthly Archives: October 2009

today: restless but good

in fits and waves
but still and quiet
internal is this hearty riot

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The thing about my life (isn’t there always a thing?) is I struggle with being content when staying put is the present tense. And it is. My eyes drift backwards to all those years of non-stop going and forward to the ellipses point in the future when my passport will see a bit more action. (And that is an if, I suppose, that ellipses point.) In the meantime, it seems like not viewing the present as the meantime is a good plan…

So here are some good things from this week:

-Ben stopped by the office with Sonic drinks. And we visited.
-Running, lots of running, some runs including both rain and laughter
-Shoeboxes, which make me both crazy and joyful
-Skype, which cuts the world down to size via the internets
-Halloween costumes on kidlets I love. Stinkin’ cute.
-The new Swell Season. Oh so depressing. Oh so beautiful.
-Laughing, into tears, time and again, about the fight Meghan and I had last week.
-Lunch with Mom on Monday for her birthday. My mom rocks.
-Boots. Skinny jeans. Boots.
-Habakkuk. I read it this morning. I like that he called God to account. I love that God answered back. Goodness. That’s what that is: goodness.
-Soup. With crusty bread. And beer.
-Steel cut oatmeal. The kind that takes a half hour to make. It tastes like yummy and healthy married. It implies that one woke up early enough to have time to prepare breakfast. Which means there was time to read and drink coffee…
-The people who make me laugh and cry and crazy and better. I have a lot of them.

This? I think it’s the good life. Restless, but good.

today: 3 of the 9 of the 13

“If you run away,” said his mother, “I will run after you, for you are my little bunny.”
-from The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

So I’m a little behind on birthday posts… and since Mom’s birthday was last week, I have intended to write her post… instead here are 3 paragraphs for 3 brothers who had birthdays in August and September and who are worthy of celebrating.

Sam
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When Sam was nine-months-old, he came to live with us from Korea. Sam doesn’t walk or talk, and he needs a lot of care. His utter dependence has so grown every person in our family’s capacity to love day in and day out. We wouldn’t have it any other way. Meghan says Sam holds a treasury of family secrets, because he’s hung out with many a sibling as we worked out various seasons of life on the phone or in the backyard with him in his wheelchair beside us. Sam laughs a lot. He cries a lot. He is not always easy, but he is well loved. He loves Bridget and Dad most. And the world is a better place because Sam is in it, for he has filled our lives with fullness and faith, challenge and wonder.

Tater
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Every family should have a Tater. First of all, his name… he has introduced himself as Tater since he was a toddler. He is compassionate and funny. His temper and wit are quick. He loves baseball. He loves running. He plays the guitar. He doesn’t mind helping out. Little kids like him. Tater was this rough and tumble little tyke who is growing up to be thoughtful and eager in his approach to life. It is sure to serve him well.

Josh
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Josh hates having his picture taken. He always has. Here is what comes to mind when I think about Josh: he always says thank you. If he forgets to say it when you do something for or with him, he calls later. He does not take things for granted. I love this about him. It stands out in our family. It’s not that the other kids don’t appreciate these sorts of things. It’s just that Josh is intentional about remembering. Josh falls on the quiter end of the family spectrum, and he loves to read. He runs because it’s good for him. He is easy to love.

I get busy and forget to be around the boys sometimes, but when I pause to think about them or pray for them, I am always grateful for the value they add to my life. And I am always hopeful for who they are and for who they are becomming. There may be a lot of us, but everybody stands out one way or another. I love that.

today: rain

“It rains. A lot.”
-Rob Bell

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I like the nights when rain is the soundtrack to going to sleep. Good thing, because that’s been a lot lately. It makes me think of childhood and splashing in puddles and playing hard and not caring how dirty we got in the process. When I was little, I was always in a we, I think. That’s part of growing up in a big family, and as introverted as I am, I’m glad most of my happiest memories are we memories. Anyways, the sound of rain makes me think along those lines.

Nowadays when it rains, I like pulling on a hoodie and lacing up my runners and being out in it. Soggy shoes and soaked through shorts are a small price to pay for a momentary return to back then as a means of finding joy in right now. Rainy days are almost always good.

today: one morning i woke up

…my purpose remains
the art of losing myself…

-Joel Houston

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In a world that slipped and slips away from the paradigm that creates wholeness and freedom, sometimes it amazes me, time and again, how fully amazing it is to live surrounded by people who love me and who I get to love. Sunday was full of smiles and laughs. And it was full of God. And I don’t have much of anything figured out these days, but I am okay with that. Well, kind of. Tuesday will be filled with work and shoes for kids in Mexico and photographs of a girl about to step into adulthood. These are the tasks placed in my hands for this time. This is a good life, I think.

Today was a (mostly) full stop. This time of year every week feels like hard sprint, and Mondays are hunched over at the end, guzzling air, most of the time with a grin celebrating the finish. This pace may not be sustainable 24-7-365, but the get-to-dos are ample. Hopefully the purpose behind it all has less to do with money in the pockets (though that matters… this girl loves to eat, among other needed things) and more to do with living for the something more, living with Someone more. If I am going to lose myself into something, may it be His story not the flimsy fabrications I come up with when I try to go it alone.

tonight: this. i. know.

grow some big feet, holes in history
is where you’ll find me, is where you’ll find
all is love, is love, is love, is love

l-o-v-e is a mystery…
– Kim O, “All is Love” from the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack (This song makes me want to play my guitar in the happiest way.)

doors

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blurred vision (damn that dim glass)
how hard a fall disables eyes made to see
all things working for good
but all things working for good were
indeed
hands ever gripping playthings
determined to control all these meant-to-bes
found to be held fast
by open hands that hold it all together
firm, fierce and ever loving
good? yes, indeed.
things work for good
so. loved.
this i know
(hear this: you are free)

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today: death itself would start working backwards

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Today’s blog title is brought to you by C. S. Lewis, and I am trying really hard to love Narnia as much as I love Harry Potter. And failing. Miserably. I miss the kiddos at Hogwarts.

Lewis’ brilliance, though, is creating a world that ponders what is true and what it looks like in regards to reality, and as it turns out, this is something worth considering. In Narnia, when Aslan voluntarily gives his life at the Stone Table, Edmund receives his back. In Narnia, that is the Deeper Magic. In Harry Potter things play out similarly in every book in one way or another. Harry must choose sacrifice with increasingly greater cost as he matures.

Somehow these fictional pictures seem helpful to look at and consider at times because they tell something true, and that something that is true alters perception of reality. What looks best on you and on me is humility and sacrifice; the choosing of others, at times at the expense of self; and the understanding that perfect love conquers brokenness and death. Stories help us to open our eyes to the choices presented in life. For Aslan and Harry, choosing life (for everyone) meant choosing death (of self). Most of us do not have to make that choice on the scale of actual finality of one’s days.

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But daily choices matter… and there’s something to be said for giving instead of taking, for listening instead of talking, for forgiving instead of revenging (actually a word… who knew?). These cost. Sometimes they cost a lot. When you understand the value of something, though, great cost does not seem unrealistic. And people are worth it. Inherently. Some days that perspective seems a stretch; it’s intended to be a gift, an invitation to force death to work in reverse by bringing life everywhere. That is a beautiful story, one Lewis and Rowling knew and know, an echo.

today: it starts in a garden and ends in a city

“For in Calorman, storytelling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you’re taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing. The difference is that people want to hear the stories, whereas I never heard of anyone who wanted to read the essays.
-p46, The Horse and His Boy, C. S. Lewis

All I have today? Stories, stories received and stories told. These represent story for today.

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