Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crazy Nest

Lately I've noticed a bird flying furiously from our porch every time I open the door. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a nest with five blue eggs tucked discreetly among my fake flowers on the front door.

My kids are ecstatic. I think they're convinced we'll soon have a our very own family of birds that sit on our fingers and sing to us like we're Mary Poppins and Bert.

Blondie even made a sign to redirect all of the neighbor kids to another door while I hot glued the bottom of the flower basket to the door to keep it from swinging to and fro. Heaven help us if one of those eggs falls to the porch with a splat.

I've thought a lot about this poor Mama Bird. She just wanted a safe and quiet place to be still and cozy up in her nest. She likely envisioned this season in her precious birdy life as a time of peace, tranquility, and domestic bliss. A season of careful nest-making and sweet bird-rearing...

Instead she is bombarded by loud hooligans all up in her business, slamming doors and not giving her a moment's peace. She probably hopes her sweet baby birds just make it out of the nest alive and able to make it in the world.

I feel the same way.

I said to her, Mama Bird, you sure did choose a crazy and unlikely scene to do your life's most important work.

And then I told my own Mama self the same thing.

{For "Crazy Nest Part Two," click here.}


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Monday, April 19, 2010

For the Love of Friendship

One mommy. Three kids. Four flights. One mile of sprinting with three kids to make a connection. Two shuttles. Eight hours in a car. Two sick boys. Countless hours of missed sleep...

And six days that made it all worthwhile.

Years from now I won't remember the hardships of travel but I will cherish the memories of time spent with a dear friend..our first extended time together since we graduated from college 15 years ago.

Back then we ate Rice Krispy treats by the panful, borrowed each others' clothes, and talked about boyfriends-now-husbands.

These days we eat spinach salads, watch our daughters borrow each others' clothes, and still talk about our husbands-then-boyfriends.

Our lives look very different and our homes lie in completely opposite parts of the country. {Her kids live in snow boots; mine live in flip-flops.} But kindred spirits have a way of keeping us connected over years and distance.

As time marches on, my soul clings hard to the few sister-friends God has blessed me with during different seasons of my life. Friends who live far away but always feel close.

She is one of the dearest.


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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Acceptance, Laundry, & Robots

Recently life has become very compartmentalized. I don't know how well I'm adjusting or keeping up.

Between the increased rigors of home-schooling, home-keeping, everyday responsibilities and new part-time work, I'm easily overwhelmed by the seemingly endless tasks that require me for completion. Sometimes I feel as if the world would stop spinning on it's axis if I didn't tell it to keep on twirling...or at least feed it a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich.

Change requires sacrifice. Most of us will admit that sacrifice is hard, even when it's just the little things. Sacrifice shows me the idols I'd rather not acknowledge. They're different for all of us but change shows me that I cling too hard to my own time, my own agenda-wish-list.

Oh I am selfish with my time. Giving up more of the precious little I had for myself is downright painful. I remind myself that the mothers who came before me probably devoted fewer thoughts to issues like "me time" than we moderns do. As I've said before, sometimes I envy those long-ago mothers. Like it or not, we are products of our place in history.

And while opportunity cost is a reality for all of us, there are seasons in our lives when we feel that more acutely. This blog post, for example, means that I will stay up even later folding laundry or that it will just not get folded at all until another day. Every bit of the unnecessary {like writing} that I choose for myself means that I have to be okay with the undone. It means I can't complain about it, I can't secretly fret and fume...I can simply accept the what is.

Acceptance, much like her sister, "Sacrifice," is also hard. My Father keeps reminding me, gently but clearly, that this is the stuff of life, the stuff of being a responsible grown-up. Change, sacrifice,'s what we adults often have to do.

I like provision to come in the form of a money tree in my backyard or a plane ticket to Paris in my mailbox. And sometimes gifts do come in ways that are magical and undoubtedly supernatural {though I have yet to experience the tree.} And when they do, my lips are eager to offer praise.

But when opportunity comes in less-than-glittery ways, I too often choose to see what I'm giving up rather than what I'm being given, my pessimistic tendencies an all-to-familiar obstacle to joy.

It's all in how I see it. Sometimes I'd rather be a robot, a series of buttons and switches that someone could just program. Choice can be overwhelming.

Thankfully we're not on our own...and we're not robots either. I can choose the lens through which I view the season but in any given moment, I lose it. And that's when I cry out to the One who made me, not as a robot but as someone who can ask for new eyes {a little reprogramming}, anytime, anywhere, no matter the season.

So I'm choosing {with some divine encouragement} to accept the change and the inevitable sacrifice that comes with it. And there's some cool stuff happening...excitement, surprising fulfillment, even some joy.

And yes, some unfolded laundry...

Because some things never change.


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