fickled expectation

expectations are funny things. fickle things. falling-short things, really.

and boy howdy do we have much too many of them all at once.

i know i do. did. will have again. unfortunately.

yes, i was one of the many who thought marriage would be something i would be good at.

my perception of wife-hood was one of which i totally thought i would rock. like i rocked those wrangler jeans in the barn days of my youth.

being a wife was something i totally thought i had covered. and yes, this is where i pause to laugh because i honestly thought: 

how could it not be?

how could i not have this covered? i paid attention. every compliment. every seeming act of virtuous wife. i studied it. i mimicked it. craved it. grasped for it. fell short of it. and kept on again.

that is, until i got married myself. and realized expectation doesn’t come in terms of “one,” it comes as a whole flock.

it’s not about having an expectation.

it’s about having expectationssssss. times infinity.

because sure there’s the expectation of the condition of the marital relationship. of how fights will go. or not go.

but there’s also the house.

the city.

the lifestyle.

a thousand little expectations all culminating and merging into one whole expectation of what marriage will be like.

you may not have any expectations for your spouse. at least not unrealistic ones. but what about the environment of living it all.

and in the midst of the reality of my fickle little friend, Expectations, i was affronted with the fact that being a mother would be another time of me falling so much shorter than i ever imagined.

motherhood and wifehood. and all the whimsical dreams of youth now brought to light.

how do we turn that stark brightness off? dim it down a little bit… a little less harsh… a little more dream-like.

Halmark-Card-me… there should be an app for that…

or at least an oil.

oh naive, simpleton, me.

children are the mirrors of ourselves. and our spouses. and you thought communicating with another adult was hard. or trying to understand your own self at times was exhausting enough… *laugh* *cough*

and then you try to lead a child version- understand the child, speak with the child. listen to the child. have patience with the child. and don’t lose your-self to your-selfishness along the way.

don’t take the frustrations of the child-learning into the husband-endearing, and don’t take the trials of the husband-loving into the child-growing.

going from tiny humans to grown human, and back again.

the meter running out all the while on that little introvert battery of yours…

for how do you really truly fill an introverted heart in an overflowing house. city all abuzz and never a moment to breath?

the rush of it all collides against and collapses into you, and all the while trying to catch, and rear, teach and love…

it could overwhelm a person entirely.

too entirely.

but all is grace.

all is gift.

i always wanted to be a mother. i just never wanted to be a city-mother. an errand-running-mother. a life lived everywhere but here, mother. 

i am not the mother i wanted to be. 

i wanted that life of sitting on palettes in front of fire place… reading books, snuggled close. pajama day? every day.

play outside on mountain knoll… climb the rocks… explore the untamed woods… do it all with the nose in a book.

you all can have the city… i’ll take the farm… the mountain ranges… the anywhere that herds of people are not. 

oh, the fickled expectations… if only life always fit like the pair of jeans from childhood. the ragamuffin days. the lay on the hillside, watch the clouds play, days. 

the scramble to the woods. the build a fort from fallen Aspen trees. the days of black and white, and everything fell just right. 

but you see what i’ve done, don’t you? equating the circumstance to the occupation of motherhood. that the mothering comes easy when the life comes easy. and when the winds of life blow hard, the air gets knocked right out of me and i lay down not knowing what to do.

expectations locked up in circumstance.

and everything begins to crumbled right dust.

so i name the grace gift of motherhood.

of wifehood.

of Him being All Good.

of chilled days.

and warm teas.

of log piles.

and Christmas trees.

of fort climbing.

and slide racing.

swing giggles.

wild and crazy.

i name the grace and pray that finds the Joy He gave in this life of mine.

to let it go and let it be… and maybe find a peace for me.

to give up on this grating desire for everything to lay perfect. quiet.

to live the upside down motherhood life- of mothering in the life.

and not letting the living control the mother i am going to be.

to name the grace even when everything seems to not be… as it should be.

 

 

 

 

children may just teach you your own childishness

and we are all just children. the all of us here.

children.

yes, there’s a reason we’re not called God’s “adult-children.” and having children of your very own will teach that better than any writings or vocalizing on the subject.

children scream

because when those days come we get to hear God’s words through our mouths and watch our reactions in the faces of our children.

we question their refusals and rebuttals.

their disobedient acts and their flagrant disregard.

and disrespect.

their wandering hearts and their fickle emotions.

pirate tuck

we see it all.

i see it all.

i feel the hurt of it and the anguish. the desperation to get them to understand that what i ask of them is ultimately for. their. good. 

they don’t see the tomorrow that we see. a day filled with adventures and plans – which in turn requires a good rest the day prior in order to enjoy the activities of the next to their fullest.

and there is no reasoning  with a toddler.

we are asking them for something that is severely precious. anguishing to relinquish. and guarded ferociously.

their trust.

i am honestly not quite sure why we haven’t obtained it yet.

you’d think after all of the middle of the night feedings and diaper changes… the stroking of sick backs… the cleaning of sheets and clothes… and the fact that no matter how long it takes to get a meal made, they will still get fed… that we would have earned the right to be trusted by our children on all accounts.

without question.

despite all of the provisions and all of the gifting. there is a lack of trust.

of complete trust.

perfect trust.

and the belief that the child’s way will yield the best results. better than those of the parent. yes, that.

Tuck leap

you’ve seen a tired child. i’ve seen a tired child. that middle of the day meltdown where it’s so ridiculously obvious that poor kid is exhausted out of its mind- trying to control the laughter- while at the same time running down how to actually convince that child of the fact. you as the parent, or caretaker, or just keen adult observer, know this child’s needs.

most children don’t think they need sleep though. most fight it. i have one who viciously fights it.

i’m talking this kid gave up morning naps when he started to crawl. at five months.

he gave up afternoon naps when he started to walk. at eleven months.

and we did cry it out. sleeping in bed with me for nap-time. you name it, i most likely tried it.

he would scream for fifteen minutes. pause for one. then scream for fifteen more. and repeat.

for over an hour. 

he probably could have gone longer. but i couldn’t.

daddy Liam snuggle

there’s no reasoning with a baby. or a toddler. my kids aren’t at the other ages yet. but i don’t hold out much hope. because when i reflect back at my own actions with my own Heavenly Father, how much worse am i than them?

because i can understand not fully trusting another fallible human being.

but the Creator of the Universe? the One knitting together of DNA into marvels? miracles and life abounding from His touch? and my very breath evidence of His very Grace? what is the reason for not putting my trust wholly in Him and His Holiness?

why haven’t i been able to teach my heart that the more i seek the Joy in Christ, the more i will be in-Joy. en-joy my life. my children. this grace gift given at highest cost?

mirroring my attitude of child to the King back in my mind- i see all too well the screaming for my longings and fleeting desires. all the while He stands bent over stove and agonizing over what He is making for my life to become.

with calm voice and gentle hand, He repeats to me, “I am working all these things together for your good. for My purpose.” (Romans 8:28 paraphrased)

Liam toss

we teach our children to ride a bike with training wheels. looking to the day when the training wheels come off and the child flies off on two wheels and a grande feat accomplished.

one of the firsts.

and not the lasts.

us parents are already looking to the next.

we labor over the learning of letters and numbers. singing alphabets and counting to ten… so they can write their names and count their ages. for starters. 

why then do we not believe that Christ is working in us? that every refining moment has a purpose-  equipping us- readying us- for when we need those tools we will also need to know how to use them.

that is what this life is.

all moments that lead to deeper and more. all purposed and planned. diligently. intricately.

and we are meant to enjoy it all.

trusting in Him. naming the grace-gift of this life. and its moments.

even when our children are red-faced and refusing to rest their weary selves. even those moments can be a refining fire.

 

tuck's lashes

so may i encourage you as i remind myself- to not miss the opportunity to be refined. it may not be what you are wanting. but it may be what you are needing.

(a good way to tell when you are in the midst of this? when you feel like throwing a tantrum yourself. generally that means you are being told to obey a Father who isn’t acquiescing to your requests. and instead insisting that He knows what is for your best. And isn’t that just so incredibly good? Hard, yes. but GOOD.) 

entry twenty four

it’s the black and the white of the world and the do’s and don’t’s and should’s and shouldn’t’s all begin to stop making perfect sense all of a sudden. and how and why the stress of something fleeting can fill up the mind and burst from the mouth?

why the tired of the day yields to the exhaustion of the constant and comes out all anger and ugly? why women need more sleep than men? or we’ll get mean. when the hunger sneaks up through the midst of perfect child chaotic mess of a day,

and the ugly

it.  just.  retches.  itself.  all.  out.

before it can be swallowed back?

when there’s so much love and yet none at all– and the thought of no longer hearing the tantrums and the tired sits okay enough within that the thought of leaving it all behind doesn’t seem horrid but pulls pleasant?

and you, you thought you were made for motherhood but all that fills you is resounding failure. that at the end of the day, what was it that was accomplished that won’t need repetition the very next day?

And tens of thousands of times after

and it all wears thin.

and naming the grace gifts have been far from me. held off at arms length.

the race pulls at me and all i look for is the ending and the gentle soothe of knowing it is all over and i am all done. and the wanting that it won’t come fast enough.

and i am at loss.

for the desire may be good, the looking for the eternal, but it’s in such a desperation that it leaves all loathe for the place i find myself in … the here. and the now.

and how is that glorifying? and do i even care?

i want to whisper the thought – has my heart become so tired that it too has turned to all ugly? 

can i not wake long enough to name the grace that surrounds and abounds.

infant child “nu nu” sounds

young son’s desires to be as big brother

big brother desires to be baby once more

and the thought process there… oh son… you too will grow… and growth is an awfully big adventure. and sometimes it may feel all awful, that’s true. but the grace, it’s here, son. and the joy that comes from fully giving of a thanks that fully fills… to experience that, son. I pray you will live the majority of your life experiencing such a joy.

but that means you have to continue to grow. and the growth will be good. it will be hard. and it will end good.

our flesh is incredibly weak, child. and the pull of this world is wickedly sweet. but bypass the happiness to find the joy, you will find no regret there.

and here, when the desire for sleep leads to the demanding for rest and when respite is refused… to name grace. and when this feels like the hardest thing, to give thanks for the exhaustion. to give thanks for the crying. to give thanks for the never ceasing constant serving cycle of the day.

and maybe it’s time to rewrite the black and the white according to the serving of Christ that does not make the perfect of sense to the outside looking in.

-and to be okay when it’s met with the backhanded whispers and the shaking of Miss Manner’s head.

-when entertaining people may be bringing them into the realness of what is instead of a facade of something that’s all together perfect tidy.

-to fully relinquish that which causes stress and to realign priorities.

for the   eternal.   to.   matter.   more.  than the clutter that will burn and fade to nothing. 

 

entry twenty

apple harvest. pumpkins. boxwood wreaths. crackling logs.

the crispness of autumn. the wash of refreshment colliding with bare senses. and it lightens the heart.

i’ve been told this does not ring true for every soul who experiences it. and that is such a sorrowful thing. for a breeze that sweetens the air sweetens into the very depths of me. i am passionate about the beauty that draws me to Him. and i could talk into long hours of darkness of how His creation stirs within me a deeper longing to know more of who He is.

and perhaps it is all me alone in this? that when autumn leaves shake down from trees ablaze in amber hues, my soul wants to rush the winds and meet Him in the race of it all? As though when the year begins to end that is when things are stirred into action. and slowed into gratitudes.

when we render thanksgivings and unite in the delighting of the end-of-year fruits…

photo

How we close each year in celebrating His coming as one lowly babe here to save us all from all our sin?

And how does the changing of the leaves and the gathering dark of the days not make one pant with desire to be huddled in close to His Word? The year’s ending brings us within doors to rest in front of fires, with mugs of something that warms us to the toes, and curl up close in everything soft- all just to be able to bury deep in a written living Word.

When white begins to blanket the hillsides and the trees have turned barren, and how can you not think of it all just up and ending? And so it will.

And the Savior’s returning. And this Grace here. This Joy now.

And how can this not fill one to the depths- this rosy cheeked, frosted breath, crisped freshness that surrounds us and bring us all in close?

when we allow ourselves to get gathered right up in the chaos of the season instead of the celebration of the season, and allow that panic to come right into our homes and burrow deep instead of immersing deeply in the Reason for it all.

when less is more just doesn’t make sense to the worldly cognition. and when generosity just doesn’t have a role to play within this life.

photo (3)

maybe that’s when the steps need to be taken back a bit. and the childlike joy found in the changing of the months’ tides needs to be rekindled. when the realization of just how much you get when you give needs to be anthem-ed out and set ablaze…

feel that crispness penetrate through the skin and deep into lungs, and don’t be afraid to smile when you just. let. it. all. go. 

because that is the very start of how to beg in– it’s in the letting go. in the whisper of the freshly fallen leaves underfoot. in the apple’s juices ready to be relinquished. so too may we relinquish the juices of Grace and pour forth ever generous the blessings of the every day and those to come.

entry seventeen

“If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief… atheism.” (Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 148)

and how easy to choose stress in motherhood. to let the fears of this world wholly consume until there is no trust left inside the depths of this heart. no longer does anxiety come upon me as I contemplate my own life, but now as I look at the three lives entrusted to my care. stress. my mind is prone to gallop full speed into lands rich with anxiety and cares that are solely of this world. and trust is absent.

to believe. it’s a verb. an action. a choice. to wake up to every day and choose the cares of this world and the blackened fear that accompanies- or to believe, to trust, that God is not only God, but that He is good. and the thankfulness of the soul builds up the trust in the God who has made all the things good.

to choose to name thanksgivings. to receive the joy from the trust that is built upon the act of naming thanks.

blue eyes color of Colorado skies perfect there on my daughter’s face

the strength of my family as my father battles the cancer 

and is this the ugly beautiful? that beauty can be seen out of something so unbelievably ugly? that the very thing that could easily cause the rush of fear has in fact created a stronger trust? that community rises up and takes breath right out of lungs while the waters rush to the eyes- because of the loving trust of One who is greater. who is good.

“I shake my head at the blinding wonder of it: Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow, built with planks of thanks. Remembering frames up gratitude. Gratitude lays out the planks of trust. I can walk the planks – from known to unknown – and know: He holds.” (One Thousand Gifts 152)

perfect chub of baby hand held close to perfect round cheek

sideways baby smile – the response to hearing my voice – and the wonder of that full of love overflowing all consuming feeling

the baby-turned-child-turning-boy in fast-sleep in my husband’s arms

the laughter of late night friendships

a day of quiet

sun strokes dancing in daughter’s strands of hair

the boy joy of running down grassed hill

the child wonder of the nature that surrounds

the child like faith.

the unflinching trust in the parent’s provision.

and why as parents does that slip through fingers like the boat’s hull slips along the water’s surface? the water forgets the boat’s presence, and have I too so easily forgotten? and am I teaching my children to trust or am I teaching them to fear? do I clutch for a handhold of this world and strive to hold their hands a little tighter when their lives are not in my hands at all?

these lives labored into this world- and the laboring didn’t end in the delivery room- it just began there. but these lives, these three, created in womb and gifted to me are three things more that are required to in turn be entrusted back to Him. to be name-thanked and grace-given, and trusted to Him completely.

fifteen

It’s happened two times; two times since I became an adult, since I reached this age of independence and self-sufficiency… it has happened twice. When the phone rings and knocks the breath clean out of my lungs. And to breathe feels like drowning. And to communicate the shock is near impossible for the words are thick and weighted deep in the heart and the blood rushes faster than ever, but thought becomes sluggish and is never birthed forth into spoken word.

And it’s a feeling of helplessness.

Of out of my hands and out of my control.

And I cannot even be there to bear witness.

Or to comfort my own selfish heart.

To hold his hands or to see him hold is second grandson for the first time… because that hasn’t happened yet. My son is one month old, and has never been held by his grandfather. And that makes the tears pile behind closed lids. The water gathers and I swallow it back. Because crying won’t help anything. It’ll just wake the reflux filled infant sleeping in a basket at my feet. And tears don’t cure cancer.

I wish they did though. Because I can do that. I can cry.

I can pray. But I think I can cry better. And I can be desperate and sleep deprived and unable to put thought into words.

But oh, I could cry. And if tears could heal we’d all be well.

Now I crave to know every medical term in the books, and even the ones that haven’t made it to text yet. To fully understand and comprehend just how bad everything is. Because the internet makes everything appear death, and the doctors make everything appear controllable, and I won’t know the difference. I wish I could understand. but I don’t. I just don’t. My mind is fuzzy and my words empty. (And only partly because I am a mother of three children three years of age and under.)

The other part, the main part, is that in the midst of crisis I process slow.

Looking back to the first time I had gotten a phone call that shook me to the core- to when my little brother had been diagnosed with two brain aneurysms- one as large as a golfball– and I was in this same city, hours away from my family. I wish I had been there more but honestly I feel like my time in that hospital was a blur of pointless – I let things  happen around me and didn’t even try to understand. It’s what helpless looks like. But at least I could be there.

Seated. hands open. desperate to grab hold of anything and everything, unable to touch a single thing. and the rush of the ones in the coats with the knowledge who God has placed in the situation are so busy acting that they cannot fully explain to my confused and chaotic brain.

And here I sit again. Helpless. As my father walks into the unknown with the rest of my family beside him- I sit in this other city. Aware of what is happening by what I receive over a telephone.

And here it is. It’s come. The hard eucharisteo. And do I thank Him? And can I name it? And how does anyone find the joy in the times such as these?

My elocution is lacking. My words are far from beautiful.

So here it is. Written down in black and white. And I am in the midst of walking through it. And God is in the midst of it all.

Eucharisteo.

entry fourteen

sweet smell of cinnamon.

And the ripping right raw, the tearing of the muscles, and the kicking out of little feet against the too tight space of uterine walls- it eases. Smell does that. The right scent breathed in deep through the nose can calm even the most anxious of heartbeats.

Painting the children’s rooms these past few weeks has given me a large dose of nostalgia  almost overwhelmingly so. Sent me back to childhood. To family working side by side in restoring mountain cabin. To the walls of fresh color, those fumes overpowering, and thankfulness for how they seemed to finally mask the smell of the rodent urine that littered the log sides.

We were wilderness family embodied during that time- that time when everything in the world seemed like it was at the brink of perfection– the time before I knew much of anything in regards to how great the sin is in this world. Innocence still clung to every part of me, and I was only a year away from being in high-school.

The talk that I hear now sends shivers down my spine. Panic almost suffocates me. Lungs tighten. Heart races. It’s the Preakness Stakes here in my blood. And fear runs me right through. And I want to go back to my childhood home in the valley of mountains. To raise my kids in innocence. To shield them from a world where there is no protection for their ears and their eyes. To hold them close and place my worn body before theirs in this fray of warfare- this battling for something greater. Why can they not just have the greater? Why must this world be allowed to nip and tear and rip away their innocence?

And, it’s cinnamon. This smell that calms the nerves and soaks seemingly into my very skin. And that’s all I am. This flesh and bone and blood. I’m wrapped in a skin and I can’t do spiritual battle on my own.

And then there’s trust. 

To trust in Him who created these children in the depths of my womb and who has guarded them and who has promised His best. And do I not trust His best? Have I not seen His ways unfold and His provision in the lives of so many around me? In me?

To rest in that. To rest in Him.

To rest.

I look at the frozen chai, now melting. And the pure white of the whipped cream flaked in brown pungent spice. cinnamon. 

 

entry twelve

“In this wilderness, I keep circling back to this: I’m blind to joy’s well every time I really don’t want it. The well is always there. And I choose not to see it. Don’t I really want joy? Don’t I really want the fullest life? For all my yearning for joy, longing for joy, begging for joy – is the bald truth that I prefer the empty dark? Prefer drama? Why do I lunge for control instead of joy? Is it somehow more perversely satisfying to flex control’s muscle? Ah – power – like Satan. Do I think Jesus-grace too impotent to give me the full life? Isn’t that the only reason I don’t always swill joy? If the startling truth is that I don’t really want joy, there’s a far worse truth. If I am rejecting the joy that is hidden somewhere deep in this moment – am I not ultimately rejecting God? Whenever I am blind to joy’s well, isn’t it because I don’t believe in God’s care? That God cares enough about me to always offer me joy’s water, wherever I am, regardless of circumstance. But if I don’t believe God cares, if I don’t want or seek the joy He definitely offers somewhere in this moment – I don’t want God.                              Blasphemer.”

– Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts 130

And this is where I am. And here is where I sit. And the choice is set before me. And I react. React to the stresses and the pains and the emotions in ever-increasing tumult that well up inside of me. I choose. Because it is a choice… however much I wish to deny it.

My heart longings and my flesh abilities do not fit together in these final weeks of child-still-in-womb. And where is the God-grace and why do I turn blind eye to it? My mind does not first thank and re-joice, but rather it dwells on all the inadequacies of my own self- things that I cannot change. These God-given-graces that flood my days and I count them as burden and ugly and not-good-enoughs to name-thanks for.

And why?

Who am I to judge grace? And who am I to not be sehnsucht for it? I understand the joy that comes from the naming of grace-gift – the ugly beautiful’s and the easy beautiful’s – I have experienced it, however finite that experience has been. And yet I still don’t live in constant seeking of it.

And then there’s the “far worse truth.” My rejection of God, the grace-gifter.

And it’s still here, this prideful control of mine, this stern lip and stubborn chin, and the flickering ember that just won’t completely die that lies deep inside of me- in all the rebelliousness it can muster in this moment. And it clings to control. And for what?

To let go and let God’s grace gifts be named and recognized fully… To relinquish this childish control and fall deep into the Father’s well of joy… And why not?

staying up past bedtime giggles

the squeals induced by a dog-friend being in our home

my son who wants my arms to hug and hold him -(will I see grace when he is too old for me to kiss his tiny pink lips?)

a daughter who won’t let me go – (and when she refuses to stay? will I see it then?)

To bottle this time- to be fully here- and then I resent the aching of this weary pregnant body and I long to escape its restricting skin- to run and laugh and play a different role than the one I am able to at this point in time. … But is this not grace too?

a body that carries life inside of it

a child being formed safe within

tangled mess of fringe on blanket’s edge

the worn hole in husband’s shirt

the candle-left-burn-scar on coffee “table” from a childhood party at my grandmother’s

the droop of the sunflowers as light gives way to night

the painted messes of colors all wrong on bedroom walls

And this. The heart calm.

entry eleven

There’s the back spasms. Those are followed by the Braxton Hicks contractions. And just the aches all over. The muscles sore and the flesh weary and all tired. It’s the mantra of my day, this exhaustion. And it’s exhausting.

Patience scraped thin. Too thin. Soul dry and thirsty and irritability halts joy. Everything that calls to me- the needs of my house. They aren’t small, they’re real. Very real. Like putting foods in bellies of children, real- and the brain doesn’t work quite right. Cognition. It’s not there.

I am drowning in this sea of in-cohesive thought, flailing and fighting the stresses of my own making. And why? What is my hope at the end of it all?

The voices of this world. Of my family. Of friends. Of strangers. Of self. That constant telling of judgement. Of not enough. Of short comings and failings and all the things I haven’t gotten right… not yet at least. The “too young’s,” “financially unstable’s,” “maritally not there yet’s,” and it continues.

Every person as of late seems to have an opinion on the most intimiate details of my life. And whatsmore they vocalize these thoughts in such a way as to make me feel shame and insufficient. Why must concern be shown as criticism? And why do I linger so on these statements? Why welcome them into the depths of my being and allow the eating at my heart until I am all consumed bitter?

I am child of this world and yet not of this world. But I let the world’s view of me define me and how is that good? I am child of God seeking approval and worth in a world that was not made to give me such things.

And He gifts me grace. Crazy grace.

And do I see it?

Am I constant emptying to fill?

baby-girl all twirling to Peppermint Twist. 

holding my firstborn in my lap- head resting all content on my chest. 

beads of colors. 

bouquet of sunflowers sitting bright on table in morning light. 

rays of sunlight on freshly made bed. 

melting collapse on new linens. 

entry ten

I paint butter onto rolls of dough before placing them in the oven. Warmth rushes against my face skin as I place the sheet of bread in to bake.

pastry brush dripping butter. 

The children rush and calm and I put together a dinner of leftovers – provisions of friends’ hands and hearts. The corn cobs boil and soften and I drain pot in sink. And pause. The sun dances shadows across the grass. Trees stretched tall and green. The trunks grow and the branches stretch, and none too soon they provide ample shade.

My children grow too. Their torsos lengthen and their motor skills turn fine. They laugh and crawl and walk and run. They babble and speak and then never stop chattering. Their minds develop and their curiosity grows and they seek to satisfy a thirst deep within souls small.

His cries turned to pain. Funny how motherhood teaches you things you never thought you’d learn, much less need to know. The difference of the tantrum being thrown defiant and that of a pain that turns his body. I heard it. That change. That quieting that came after the tantrum, the turn of the cry of my son to signal me to him. Pain.

He said his nose hurt. And he was all tears and stuffiness and sobs. Not until after he drank down his allergy medicine did he look at me. And the tightening in my chest. The immediate rise of fear and panic and rush of blood through valves in heart. His eyes. never. looked. like. that. Swollen as though there were marbles underneath- in that space that turned blackish blue when his tiredness showed weary on his face.

Allergies. The rubbing of his eyes when they itched hard. An airborne allergen could do this to my son. Swell this face of my child and cause heart to panic to the depths of my own fragile self.

And I had abandoned it. That thanking of grace gift. Abandoned it to the moment of fear that I gave myself to completely and without a second thought. I clock watched, paced, and gathered boy-child into arms to rush to car and doctor and store for medicines.

And I see it now.

After eye drops and medicine and cuddling with the child I have labored with from pregnancy to three years old- to this right now. And it is here.

In the help and the surroundings and the doctors. And all provisions of Him who sees and knows and is. And all is grace. All is gift.

The corn sits in sink all yellow with kernels plump and ready for the mouths. And I gaze out window. Lost in sun-rays and shadows. In a year the trees will be taller. In a day the grass will be cut. In two months my children will have baby brother new and small. And all is fleeting. And time doesn’t slow.

So I enter into this now. This grace of this day.

weather cold and sunlight bright.

children napping easy and playing sweet.

cuddles gentle and personalities full.

health.