Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Promises, Promises

Psalms 57:2 I cry out to God Most High
to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.

Psalms 57:7 My heart is confident in you O God,
no wonder I can sing your praises

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the Lord holds true
and everything He does is worthy of our trust

Psalms 33:11 But the Lord's plans stand firm forever;
His intentions can never be shaken.

The winter started off brutal and then in mid-January it was suddenly warm and the bulbs, beguiled by this surprise, started coming up.

"No! Don't! Not yet..." I shouted to them through the tightly latched window.

They didn't listen.
And then, as winter does, it came back and it was sub-zero for weeks and there was snow and it looked so hopeless. There'd be no flowers this spring.

But there are.

There shouldn't be based on what happened, but the flowers are here and beautiful.

The promise of Spring robed in white and yellow.

The Psalms send the same message as the daffodils.

No matter what I see or think, no matter what happens,"God will fulfill His purpose for me." "His plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken".

No matter what brutal winds blow, what circumstances shatter my hopes, what troubles pile up on me, if God's purpose for me is to bloom

at a certain time,

in a certain place:

I will.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spring Fever

I am getting spring fever just as surely as I am sitting in a resin chair by my garden on a 68-degree March day in Chicago.

Around me the green stalks are swollen, pregnant with buds just waiting for a few more days of warmth and sun until they will reveal
their cheerful yellow faces.

Two and a half crocuses remain after their premature entrance last week. A two-inch overnight snow was their demise, and even though it was gone as quickly as it had accumulated, the new growth was lost.
Their brief sojourn, though, clearly sent the message: “Winter is passing and spring is coming. Soon all things will be new and the hidden underground growth through the dark winter days will be evident.
The optimism of new life will defeat the despair of winter.”

My shoes are sitting next to me and I feel the matted greening grass under my happily unshod feet.
Spring is coming! Spring is coming!

The winter has been cold and dark with biting winds, and the ground frozen and impenetrable. I have huddled into myself, attempting to keep the fire of life glowing and protected from these winds that have blown, not caring their effect.
Enough now of wind and storm, the sun is come with warmth and light and bids me do as my plants: to stretch up toward heaven, to drink deeply of spring rains and with this nourishment grow and green until I too am pregnant again with hope, and then to bloom forth with new life.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sometimes it's okay...

If you are a SAHM (stay at home mom) you will understand immediately the situation I found myself in. I had planned to take a shower all day and then it was 10 pm and I hadn’t. If you’d ask me why I hadn’t I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the exact thing(s) that kept me from taking care of my own needs, it had just been on of those days where everyone’s needs exceeded my time and energy.

So, after getting kids off to school and making breakfast and lunches, I finally got into the shower, better late than never.
I was ready for this 10 minute (okay, maybe 15 minute) vacation!
No sooner than I had the temperature adjusted just right than someone starting running water somewhere else in the house – INSTANT ICE!

Great, just great!

I am a good girl, always have been. I follow the rules, turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, do unto others as I wish they’d do to me etc.

Now someone is messing up this shower; this event that has evolved from everyday personal maintenance to a symbol today of time for myself.
What is a girl to do?

As I tried to bypass the cold stream rushing out at me, I considered getting out and finding out who was running water and explaining…..and then realizing I would be the one who’d have to clean up all the wet footsteps to my destination…

So I cranked up the hot water, and left it there sufficiently depriving, I’m guessing, whoever was attempting to get hot water in another part of the house.

And for this mom, who is like all moms, always giving up for everyone else and making sure all other needs are met before her own, this was a hot, powerful reminder that there will always be needs but it is okay to take care of me.

Because like my friend Pam is always saying to me, If you don’t take care of the mom, who else is going to?

So, to all of you who are maxed out day after day taking care of everyone around you, let me remind you that it’s okay to take what you need to take care of you.
Wishing you long, and hot showers!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Love and Coffee

I realized that much I’ve learned about love,
I’ve learned in the presence of coffee.
I’ve just returned from being invited out for coffee,
partially because it was the seasonal special
with chocolate, caramel and Irish crème
but mostly because I needed space from my home
and needed to talk and my friend recognized that
and getting coffee became the perfect excuse.

The first time I was in a Starbucks
was because my father–in-law invited me and my infant son out for coffee. All I remember is enjoying for the first time a Carmel frappacino and sitting still in the comfortable chairs for the time it took to drink our Venti drinks. Since I was sleep deprived and in that general insaneness and giant learning curve that accompanies your first child, going out for coffee was like heaven.

One year I was given 3 coffee gift cards for Christmas.

I received specially blended coffee combinations
in plastic cones adorned with ribbons and silk roses
for Valentine’s Day.

I brought back 100% Kona coffee
when I visited the islands last year
and hope that the favor will be returned
by another who is visiting the tropics.

Our Bible Study group, aptly named Coffee Break, has a coffee bar called Love You A Latte in which we’ve gotten everyone addicted to whipped cream on their monthly specialty coffee and where we exchange hugs for coffee benefiting both the server and the “customer”.

See, it’s all about coffee!

I’m so sorry if you are not a coffee drinker.

It may be harder for you to learn about love.
Because I’ve found that in the drinking
and the giving and receiving of coffee
I have both demonstrated and have been the recipient
of expressions of love.
And gotten a caffeine boost to boot!