My Father's Daughter


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Tenderness

photo source: Wikipedia

There is a small rabbit dying outside my office window today. It is breaking my heart – open wounds, broken bones surrounded by delicate fur. We debated trying to save it but can see the futility of that course of action. My father would shoot it, but as my husband is not a hunter or gun person (thank you, God) we are letting nature take its course.

It is agonizing to watch the life ebb out of the glassy eyes of this beautiful creature. It is a fragile, tender, precious thing, and it is dying.

I wish I could do more – offer comfort, provide healing, take it in my hands and stroke away fear.

I wish I could feel less. Somewhere inside me echos the words of my farming ancestors that this is only a rabbit. My husband pointed out that it is rabbits who cut into the bounty from our garden. I hear words from my childhood – that I am too sensitive.

Maybe I am.

Or maybe it is not a shameful thing to be open to the suffering of even a small rabbit. There is so much pain and suffering in this world – so many things that I can’t imagine, that people must endure. I fear knowing about it because I fear that once I tip into it I will drown.

But people do endure. And when we are tender toward the suffering, when we acknowledge it and sit with it and identify it’s profoundness and beauty, we are the better for having known it.

I am sensitive. I am tender-hearted. It is how I see the world, and it is how I know that the world my Father created and the people he made in his image are awe-inspiring, delicate, beautiful and precious.

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How Sarah helped me blog anew

I haven’t posted on this blog since September 2008. My eldest daughter was born in early October of 2008. Coincidence? I think not. After baby number two I started a new blog called Tales of the Reluctant Mother in order to navigate the murky waters of motherhood and my place in it.

But sometimes I want to blog about other things. I have other journeys, other battles to fight, and other issues to shed light on (and clearly far too many metaphors for just one blog). I’ve been toying with returning to this, my humble blogging beginning. And then, then I read Sarah Bessey’s blog post In which we are saved, right now and it set my heart a-hummin. I wander over to Sarah’s blog periodically without following her formally as I covet her writing talent. But I will take up her challenge to share a post on the same theme. So, here I go.

What is saving my life right now.

What is saving my life right now is the need my babies have of me. Not because I am a good parent, or a better parent than their Dad (I give them too much sugar, allow too much TV and don’t get on the floor to be their human jungle gym). They need me because I am Mom and I am THEIR Mom. I see into their little hearts and know the tenderness there; I hear their laughter and know the wisdom there; I feel their little arms around my neck and know their love – that precious, precious love of a child for her mother.

What is saving my life right now is my parents. The tearful pride in my Dad’s eyes when he thinks of his kids – of me. He’s proud of me. And the pride I have for my mother who at age 66 started a new job and found passion – and because she was passionate about it and because she was perfect for it she excelled at it. This gives me hope for my own career search and dissatisfaction.

What is saving my life right now is my husband. Through 8 years we have navigated (read: fought) our way through the difficult times of work frustrations, personal heartaches, loss, grief, painful growth, and our individual selfishness and are now coming through it to finally start to see each other, know each other, love each other (you know, what we should have done from day one).

What is saving my life right now is finally, finally, finally, understanding at a heart level things I should already know about my God – how he values me, THAT he values me, how wide and deep his compassion is and how amazing is his love. Why don’t I know these things yet? Where have I been? Oh, yeah, lost in fear and doubt.

What is saving my life right now is the big things in my life – the big loves, the big relationships, the big reasons to be alive. I would love it if I was noticing the little things in life to counter-balance the little irritations, but right now my problems feel big, and I need the big things to save me. And I will cling to the big things until I can see clearly enough to notice the little joys in life. I know they are many, and I know they are just out of my sight, I can feel them like a childhood memory that is close to being remembered but still hazy. I will find my balance and breath in crisp air and be happy, see flowers and be peaceful, hear the wind and be relaxed. Someday.

Until then, coffee is saving me too.


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Dreams

A friend at work has a little plaque that states the following: Dreams can’t come true if you don’t have any. The past two weeks I’ve been thinking that dreams aren’t broken if you don’t have any.

While it isn’t everyone’s dream, it is a dream of Phil’s to drive for a living. Since it appears the major league baseball career is out of reach he longs to spend his days on the road, seeing new places, singing/humming/whistling along to music in his private one-man concert. And, bless his heart he has pursued that dream. And like any dream pursual it hasn’t been easy. It’s been remarkably hard. There have been a number of set-backs and with each one of them we’ve focused on being supportive of each other and leaning on God and trying to see what we could learn from it all.  Oh, and we cried a lot.

I think what I’ve learned about Phil is some of his biggest areas of vulnerability and his greatest areas of strength. From pushing me to pray, pray, pray, to his endless optimism and his courage to even begin the journey, he has shone through this experience. I think you really get to know your partner during your most trying times together. How can we not be grateful for that?

It appears now as though Phil’s dream is, if not firmly in his grasp, within reach. He is insured (the biggest hurdle to date). Next we will learn if dreams really do come true.


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First House

There are a lot of firsts in life that mark a person’s growth and development and the passage of time — first steps, first day of school, first kiss, first time someone rips hair from your upper lip with piping hot wax lest you continue to look like your grandmother. A notable first in my life in the last month has been the purchase of a house. A house. Nothing makes you feel more grown up than a mortgage.

What a blessing a house is. A greater blessing still a sense of home. Home is a place to belong, a place to rest, a place of comfort and [hopefully] joy. Owning your own house makes the realization of that sense all the more tangent.

But as a friend and I were discussing this morning, C.S. Lewis points out in The Screwtape Letters (run, don’t walk, to rush out and read this book) it is laughable for humans to believe they own anything on this earth. To claim ownership of their time, money, even body and soul is ridiculous. We are given things to tend to, but ultimately they are not ours.

So, I will try to think of this new development in our lives as one of the “talents” the master has given us to tend to until his return. I will try to be thankful for this gift while refraining from believing it to be mine. I will appreciate the sense of belonging, the rest, and the comfort and joy we gain from having a home while keeping in mind that these gifts merely point to our true and ultimate home.


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Ahhh, now I get it

So awhile back I blogged about all the whoz-its and whats-its on womens pants vs. the simple button and zipper on the male career pant. Today I found out what is useful about this aspect of women’s clothing. I lost a button; well, not lost it, I know where it is, it’s sitting on my desk in front of me, but the point is, it isn’t on my pants where it belongs. Thankfully there is no concern that my pants will fall to my ankles at any point in the day (by their own volition anyway) because the additional clasp on my women’s pants are securely keeping them at my waist (yep, my waist; as we’ve discovered in another previous post I am too old for trends like low-rise). If a man lost the sole button on his pants he’d probably just jerry-rig his pants with duct tape or a paper clip or some other fool thing. We women are able to avoid these messy solutions.

Neat, eh?


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Thanksgiving for a bane existence

The wisest woman I have ever known, Phyllis May, told me prior to my wedding that a lot of married life was just everyday boring stuff. She wanted me to not expect flowers and romance all the time. And I believed her. I just didn’t know it would take a year and a half.

A lot has happened to Phil and I since September 25, 2004 — a lot of living, a lot of growing, and a lot of growing pains. And I’ll take it, I’ll take it all, but these days that we have now, with routine and everyday stuff, there’s a sweetness to them made sweeter by the fact that they’ve taken so long to get here.


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Today I will…

Today I will think good thoughts, Godly thoughts.
Today I will give others the benefit of the doubt and offer love and mercy instead of judgement.
Today I will remember those the world has forgotten.
Today I will be thankful for, and generous with, what I have instead of longing for what I don’t.

Today I will focus on whose I am instead of who I am.