The Things They Say and Do

Much work in the kitchen these past two days…

prepping for Scout camp; prepping for PA

I bustle about here and there… and catch

these moments…

Small (not so small) son, …working in the kitchen a bit, dishes up; dishes away;

after a joint endeavor betwixt his older sister, me, and him- getting him packed-

his footlocker sorted; his clothing status assessed; it is a work!

I walk by him and hear him ruminate reflectively:

“I am going to a foreign land…”

his quiet murmur as he faces his first away camp week scouting; he reflects on what’s ahead.

A foreign land? I comment, smile,  then grin. O, the grand adventure in scouting for these boys.

The Things They Say!

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I am moving in and out of the kitchen. Cooking, cooking. Abi is at the counter; Nate at the stove.

Suddenly, a little girl (M) comes loudly limping “across” the house from Family room to Dining room.

Her irregular gait loping by us three (we, –perplexed)

I, abrupt, — hustling,

with the mom eagle eye laser focused on one of my own:

“Why are you limping?” I {almost} bark- no nonsense mode at hand.

Little girl, with a declarative cry:

“I’m trying to be a pirate, a pirate!”

Two teens and I catch eyes; incredulous look rippling from face to face-

Oh! — how we laugh. Taken utterly by surprise-

our small pirate.

The things they say {and do}

Endless Gifts

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Endless Gifts

  • Evenings of firefly catching, and they spread out across the lawn; I sit in cool night air and breathe.
  • the sweet physical relief from sleep and rest for my body
  • Maryland sky
  • all their help, in every way
  • her poem request, and I wake inside my soul
  • the hard soul work of homeschooling with learning disabilities; the uncomfortable realization that really, it is about my sanctification, and it hurts, and it is hard. I cry.
  • the gutsy commitment of this journey, and knowing more than ever, I don’t control any outcome, and trying to find my own joy and soul-filledness as I walk this path
  • the way a small (not so small) son cooks for me
  • 20 years, and the sensation of cresting something.. -where– the view is now sweet, and the hand is in mine, and the soul is knit, and the realization that some things will be easier from here. And somehow, we made it here.
  • pouring myself out like a cup full of water for their growth; for their futures; for their souls; for life; trying to understand what restores that cup; but knowing Jesus is the well that never runs dry, and grateful to know; to live at any moment that I can lean in, lean in to Him, and He is everything
  • turning back to write gratefulness, to write thankfulness, and knowing it is the power to transform a life
  • her organized, structured, logical ways
  • the Balanchine essay she wrote, and the quote she applied
  • my oversight advisors  {grace}
  • sweet friend’s boundaries encouragement, and how her words ring for me
  • he collects our photos for the yearbook, and my soul exhales. I see good.
  • a writing “club” whose location is the van; whose beverages are often a cola (for him) and an iced coffee (for me); whose encouragement is grand; time with a teen who creates space & gentle accountability for me; listening ear and fiction encouragement- for him #writinglife #itisgood
  • Summer season
  • and summer plans: swims, walks; trips; summer school; cooking; baking; tending; living; writing

After {Graduation 2019}

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From this morning

It is the night after Nathanael’s graduation culmination-

all the ceremonies; the after-party; the celebration complete with confetti scatter and balloons; photos and music and words

-bitter words among us and sweet co-mingled to create pain and joy- He (God) makes the bitter sweet. I need this.

I can’t sleep. There are a variety of factors that could be the physical cause of this– but perhaps it is just the deep need to place words in this place from my heart. To be alone in the quiet and let myself feel the weight of it all.

It is the after. This year, when I walked a path in which my own footsteps were still fresh(2018)- and the going was more difficult, and that was hard-

and now, as I face an ending, and a new beginning

and it is all so recent; and now– so not unknown- which is its own kind of hard. For me.

I have to remember as I look into his face that he is his own.

I wondered how I would muster 2019 with the same exhilarated joy as I did 2018. But, somehow, I did.  We did. It is and it was.

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And I sit in the glimmer of lamplight with an apt tribute all around me{his graduation display before me; my computer resting on 2019 confetti; remnants of covered sweets -a tribute of love and celebration; gold balloons gleaming; his face before me}. What feels like the remnants of a life… I try to take a moment to acknowledge all it is and was. My earnest endeavor laid out for this child, now man, whom I love and am so deeply proud.

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selfie before celebration

It is a mighty endeavor. Home Education. And, for a lot of it, I have done it alone. With Todd. It is an endeavor of heart, soul, mind, — faithfulness. It is the daily in and out over and over. It is knowing I will wake up and do it all again times 7 more souls, Lord willing- and O, Lord- help me.

I must choose hope. As I have done again, again, again, again – with each hard growing pain of life. And this is one of them.

This year felt hard. And, it felt slow. It felt like everything (including graduation, party, celebration, college admissions- everything) was just more than I could muster. And, somehow, muster, I did.

And there is the deep inner pang when I glance ahead to August. I want to do better next year {2019-20} than I did this year. I want the walk to be smoother; not hurt quite so bad; not feel quite so lopsided. I don’t know if it will.  Truth is, most likely it won’t. It will feel empty. It will feel like loss and grief. It will be hard as I lean into ministry and support of college-aged children while devoting attention to children at home with pressing needs. There will be grace; there will be blessings; there will be a lot of hard change.

I lean into the moment, and the people here in front of me. Some of whom are hard to love right now. My field is always before me, and I must not neglect it.

I will keep on loving. When it is hard. When it hurts. When I am unseen. When I am alone. When I am misunderstood. When I am rejected. When I am despised.

And, I will not be ashamed for the choices I make for the good of my family and my home. They are what they are- and often- intuitive- where I see the good much after.

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I will not be ashamed for being true to myself and who I am and who we {this family} are in each decision made. Live and learn; and on, on.

I will recognize that paths diverge and that does not mean my path is wrong.

I feel the burden of being alone.

“Things” are not finished. O, no. All I have to do is look one day ahead on my calendar, and my list wavers blurry and becomes shockingly clear right in front of my eyes. So, I have to choose to find rest in this moment. This one moment of completeness and culmination. Where I battled for joy and goodness and truth and honor. Because I did.

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Where I had to recognize weakness and frailty and the inability to get all the things done.  And it was what it was- with that. And, I did. Where I learned never again to decide to make the upstairs “off-limits” when hosting plenty of guests. O, no.

Where I felt exhausted and alone and at odds with this and that. And, I was.

Where I pause and acknowledge a deeper sweetness in marriage and joy in our love that is comfort and passion and friendship and {past and future} all woven together. I am the creative cacophony, and he is the order, service, and lines. As it always has been.

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It is the end of the day {literally and figuratively}.

I am the grateful mom of a homeschool graduate, and I take just a moment to acknowledge myself as educator; college admissions coach; guidance counselor; at-home Eagle Scout mentor; supervisor; and discipler. I finished high school well with this child.

I close my eyes. I see all their faces before me; precious, treasured. It is time to sleep. There is work to be done in the morn.

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-CCS Graduation Reception                                            We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

 

 

 

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