Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Thankful

As 2009 draws to a close, I've been thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for . . .

For my Heavenly Father – I'm so thankful that even when I am faithless, He remains faithful. That He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in Spirit. That His grace is sufficient and that He is the only place where I find rest for my soul

For Brian – I'm so thankful I married
- a man who isn't afraid of hard work and proves it every day
- a man who loves me and his family and proves it every day
- a man who has suffered much but still worships
- a man with a sense of humor – even if it is slightly nuts
- a man who can put up with me – because I doubt anyone else could

For Emma – I'm so thankful for a little girl who
- can tell me she wants cookies for breakfast
- finds joy in french fries
- has memorized every DVD she owns and quotes from them at random moments – I just realized the other day that this is a hereditary trait – her daddy does that too!
- is always happy to see me
- sees the world differently than anybody else and helps me see it that way, too

For James – I am so thankful for a little boy who
- is healthy and smart and blessedly normal
- thinks no one can fix things the way mommy can
- has the sweetest little feet - especially because I know someday those same precious toes I love to kiss will be long and smelly and gross!
- has a favorite word - “Mama”
- finds joy in discovering the world around him – and helps me find that joy, too

I'm thankful for so many random things -

For parents who think I'm doing a good job even when I think I'm blowing it
For parents who think I can do things I've never even thought of trying

For a sister who would do anything for me and frequently does

For extended friends and family who love and pray for me

For chocolate

For a mother-in-law who loves me and thinks I'm doing a good job

For friends who invested hours of time they didn't have to help me pursue some crazy dreams

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mama . . . Mama . . . Mama . . .

Right now, my 15 month old son’s favorite word is “mama”. This thrills me in a way I find difficult to describe. My daughter was born with a rare genetic syndrome and speech has been an elusive and hard-fought skill. I didn’t hear “mama” from her until she was 3. While other mothers bemoan the frequency with which they hear “mama” during the day, I marvel at intricacies, the thousands of brain functions that all have to happen just right in my son’s brain, in order for me to hear those sounds. I revel in the miracle of speech.

So, when my little man says mama . . . mama . . . mama . . . mama . . . mama, I answer “yes” every time. We are hardly to the point of having a conversation, but I want him to know, even now, that when he calls to me, I will answer him. Most of the time, he doesn’t need anything. He’s just checking in. He simply wants to be reassured of my presence, of my nearness. Of my readiness to step in when life get overwhelming.

And just now, as I said yes . . . yes . . . yes . . . in response, I wondered. I wondered about my Abba, Father. I wondered if maybe He was wishing I would call out to him more frequently. If, just maybe, He also revels in the miracle of speech. Particularly when one of His creation calls to Him. And I wondered if He longs to hear me call to Him, not only when I need something, but just to check in. Just to say Hi. Just for the reassurance of His presence, His nearness. Of His Everlasting Arms, eternally ready to hold me when life gets overwhelming.

Abba . . . Abba . . . Abba . . .

And in my spirit, I hear Him answer – Yes!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning to Write

Am I a writer?

I'm not sure!

I've written a book. I think most people would consider this simple fact adequate justification for calling myself a writer. Except for the teensy little fact that most people (fewer than 10 at last count) have no idea I've written a book.

And, I'm 35 and just now diving in to this strange world. Prior to this year, I've rarely felt the compulsion to pull the words from my head and put them onto the page. Aren't I a little old to suddenly feel the need to write? Doesn't this insanity usually afflict people at a much younger age?

But, as I started thinking about it, I remembered that there have been times when I simply had to write. And, the desire to write is beginning to feel more and more like a compulsion, maybe - yikes - even a calling. I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm not sure what's happening. But it is happening.

In March, I sat down and started writing a book. I finished the initial draft in August. I submitted it to a contest at the end of September. I started taking a writing class. I've started another book. Just last week, I felt the need to write a non-fiction piece about a very difficult time in my life. I came in, put my sweet son down for his nap, and totally ignored the laundry and housework until the words were staring back at me from the screen. It was compulsory. And I loved it.

But, what I particularly love is what happened today. A dear friend is hurting. And the words I wrote a week ago were the exact words I wanted to say to her. So I sent them her way. And I'm loving the idea that the Lord may have had me write them last week so she can read them this week.

Is the reason I shy away from calling myself a writer embarrassment? Fear of rejection? Fear of failure? Fear of commitment?

Yes - to all.

But, whether I'm prepared to call myself a writer or not, I'm still writing. And I'm just wondering where it is all going to lead.