And we’re back. Again. It seems that I should just resign to only update our blog semi-annually. That would be a bit more realistic. Where to begin, where to begin? The past few months have flown by (though individual days sometimes seem to crawl, especially the really cold-we’re-trapped-inside-and-already-played-pillow-mountain-ten-times days). We had a short stint of excitement about the poor little kitten we found at Lowe’s one night in which the boys were constantly “loving” Boots (usually by every-s0-not-gently picking her up or poking or chasing her). However, Boots has semi-defected to another home where the owners actually allow him inside at night (we did make him a house in the garage, so don’t call PETA). He still visits us by day, so we get the best of both worlds!
In other news, we spent a week in ATL with our staff team for some Training Time. The boys literally get giddy about these weeks, meanwhile I am typically stressing over which toys to pack and praying for peace and grace for all the change in our routines that I so love! It really was a sweet time. We visited with our dear friends the Roland’s who live in Atlanta. As always, we stayed up too late talking and the kids woke up too early to play with the toys that are just the same as ours, but better because they do not belong to us. But it is so worth it to be with like-minded, fun friends who are in the exact same stage of life we are! Plus, it snowed; not that we lasted more than 5 minutes at a time outside, but it was pretty to look at! We wish we could be around Wylie and Lola more (we are thinking possible arranged marriages since we do have some Indian in our blood). It was so sweet to be able to be at a few of the meetings with the staff team; it was a sweet reminder that I get to live out my calling as a mother within the greater calling of Campus Outreach. I love getting to be alongside G as he teaches and coaches and texts throughout the meetings when others speak! He is so good for me (I hate people who try to distract me from the speaker, and I married one… he loosens me up!)
We had early Christmas with my family here at the house. It was quick and chaotic, but such a gift. The boys are so themselves around my mom and dad. My dad told them a bedtime story (a true one about some deep sea fishing tournaments he was in when he was a younger chap) and, as I eavesdropped and peeked in on them from the hallway, I was reminded how much of a privilege it is that the boys get to know my parents and hear their stories. I think Ty might have been scarred for life by the mental images of the sharks flopping all over the deck trying to get away, and Eli J surely did not listen at all, but it was a sweet moment, if only for me!
And Hollywild. What can I say that will do that experience justice? I have not laughed so hard in years. What an insane idea. Only possible in South Carolina. Hundreds of cars driving every which way in a field with animals scared to death everywhere. Think scared zebra getting as close as possible to the fence keeping him in this living hell, while cars surround him on every side trying to shove rye crackers in his mouth. Then think truckload of tweens screaming and trying to get a cow larger than a Tahoe to come and lick their hands and faces. Think my father (a hunter and former gun range owner who is not at all a fan of PETA) who does not mince his words laughing, cursing, and threatening to call PETA for these poor animals. All the while G is making hysterical remarks, while my mom and the boys are loving every minute of it. Unreal. Words really cannot describe. If you have not experienced, you must and should. Once and only once is needed.
This concludes the extended road trips portion of the blog. Now onto Rest (or the lack thereof).
I am not speaking of physical rest, but spiritual rest. I know it is cliche, but in all the busyness of the season, it really has been hard to be anchored in the love of Christ, the real purpose of all the hub-bub. We are so thankful to be staying home this Christmas just as a family so we can rest physically and spiritually. We really long for the boys to brought to the deeper joy of Christmas, and we want to be living models of those who exude that kind of joy and hope and purpose. Taking the model of a Russian poet who wrote a poem every Christmas on the nativity, I tried to think of what that first night might have felt like through Mary’s eyes (me and every other singer, songwriter, and writer). The produce is not all that great, but it did provide a sweet chance to stop and see the birth of Christ through fresh eyes. I pray that it would do the same for others!
A Restless Mother
As I look out upon the desert, upon hills of endless sand,I cannot help but wonder at the entrance you’ve planned.
I wish Elizabeth were closer, she’d remind me what is right, But faith is hard to muster here in this cold cave tonight.
The angel brought news of his conception by your power, but I forgot to ask him what to do in the baby’s first hour.
I am so weak and young and tired, but love him I do. God, all I lack as a mother must be made up by You.
This tiny hand that holds so tightly to my shaking finger one day will guide your people, here my thoughts linger.
The voice that commanded creation limited to an infant’s cry, and I’m the one to comfort him, my Creator? How can I?
Not hours old, yet He innately knows his momma will provide. Teach me to be your child, keeping close by Your side.
As I, his mother, wrestle and worry, He sits gently at my breast; already I can learn from Him; teach me His peace and rest.
Joseph keeps reminding me of your provision at every turn,but still my faith, it waivers; to be trusting let me learn.
I’m holding Him, yet surely You must see I am still a child. Shouldn’t the one to raise Him be more mature, more mild?
Oh, Father, I wish my heart did not doubt Your perfect will, yet you hear my questionings and you receive me still.
But now is not a time to think. Joe’s right, we all need sleep. You are God, and so I trust both baby and parents you’ll keep.
My questions about this child greatly outnumber all this sand, but who am I to question You, the Ruler of this sweeping land?