Five minute Friday – notice

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photo 2When you are the mother of the groom on your son’s wedding day

you are like a gallbladder

necessary to some extent but if you cause trouble then out you go

I wanted to remember my place.

The day was so NOT about me! It was about the Lord, my boy and his stunning bride!

But that doesn’t mean it was easy though I really wanted to behave like a good little gall bladder

especially since my son was getting married in a foreign country

Yikes, the struggle is/was real…

Totally out of my comfort in a place unfamiliar

Lacking close friends and extended family
It was a lonely place

My husband was my oldest son’s best man and so understandably Nathan was his first priority

I got ready by myself and prepared emotionally and spiritually for the moments ahead alone. 

As I stood waiting to walk down the aisle, hearing Spanish all around me, just awaiting instruction

It was my daughter-in-love Kelsie whom God used to be my support.

She pulled me aside and blessed me with these words,

“I’m going to take care of everything. Just enjoy the moments. Give me your purse, give me your phone, I’ll take all the pictures, you just be.

Oh my word.

She noticed…me.photo 5

Little, insignificant African Violet gown dressed me.

In spite of a raging root canal infection developing

In spite of her own emotions and needs

Kelsie was there for me…

We sat together, observed the Salvadoran wedding ceremony,

I think I even put my hand on her lap just because it felt good to have her near

I did not feel alone anymore. We haven’t been family for all that long. She and Aaron have only been married since May but her kindness embraced and ministered to my spirit.

Though I told her that I was her project for the evening, I didn’t expect her to take it seriously. Or to do it cheerfully. For someone so new to the care of feeding of a mother-in-law, Kelsie is a pro. That night, our entire family welcomed a new dear one to our family together. photo

Lu became Kelsie’s sister that night. Lu became another daughter for me to love.

I’m one blessed gall bladder.

Thanks be to God. Thank you Lord for noticing me and for using a special girl to offer me things I needed.

Summer words

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20140619-122658-44818081.jpgWriters’ group – we all put one word in a bowl. Something that reminds us of summer. Then we go around the room and randomly draw a word. Timer is set and off we go, pens grabbing words from our women’s hearts. This is the word I chose. At first I sat there, unable to summon forth much, but what surfaced was sweet memories.

Sprinklers

The smell of freshly mown grass

The perfume of chlorophyll and Copper Tone

Feet on vacation – released from sneakers and school

Run towards the misty prism arch

Skip over the sprinklers

Giggles

Squeals

Droplets of water glisten my back

Fingers catch the sun

And later a few fireflies

…carefree girl20140619-151229-54749522.jpg

 

Does anyone else have a sprinkler memory? On this steamy summer day, I’m refreshed thinking about this and would love to hear from you!

 

A son sees his bride for the very first time –

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photo 1To see a groom behold his bride for the very first time

That moment when they first lay eyes on each other

It’s hard not to cry, isn’t it? Heck, I’m verklempt even watching Say Yes to the Dress and I’ve only personally known one bride that’s ever been on that show! Click here to watch the episode!

Yet to my surprise, when my middle olive shoot saw his beloved last Saturday morning in a church tucked away in verdant Pennsylvania

Tears escaped me as it happened in front of my eyes

Not that I didn’t find it precious and a bit surreal

But when I stood watching my son prepare to turn and step into the day and the role of husband

Times we had prayed for all these years – both just with him and as a family

It would have been wrong to cry because I just felt joyphoto 2

Uncle Alan directed the photo shoot which kept the mood light which helped, thank you, kind sir!

Now, however…

Even after making this simple video,

photo 3It’s like after Thanksgiving dinner

When everyone is gone and I put on my pj’s. I pile my plate high with food – turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, apple pie, whipped cream. That’s my moment when I truly savor the meal minus any other responsibilities.

Now I’m able to soak up all the deliciousness

The quietude allows me to absorb it all.

Less than 60 seconds

I watch over and over again, my heart full of gratitude…

How about you? A special wedding moment you observed or experienced? I’d love to hear your stories and share the bliss!

 

 

 

 

I’m having a FOOT fit

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Chico's parents prepared a delicious Brazilian meal for us. Oh how I wanted to be in the kitchen helping!

Chico’s parents prepared a delicious Brazilian meal for us. Oh how I wanted to be in the kitchen helping!

The doctor told me that it would take seven weeks to heal from the foot surgery. He didn’t pull any punches or sugarcoat the news but somehow I under estimated the recovery.

It’s interesting the things we hear and the things we ignore.

I heard SEVEN weeks, and thought, “Oh I can do that, no problem!”

But I failed to think that SEVEN weeks breaks down to

49 days and nights

about 1,176 hours

or 70,560 minutes (if my calculations are correct)

non-stop

of inactivity and/or pain.

A brief moment out of the foot boot enjoying flowers given to me by Ike and Caleb

A brief moment out of the foot boot enjoying flowers given to me by Ike and Caleb

Often it’s like I’m just counting down the time, longing to put both feet on the ground and move forward – physically and mentally.

Since it’s my right foot, I am truly sidelined.

I'd rather be sewing...

I’d rather be sewing…

I can’t drive and almost even worse, I can’t sew. I made a Christmas quilt and walked four miles in one day just traipsing back and forth ironing the piece and putting it together. Now I’m adrift in inertia. As someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time inactive, I’m very challenged right now. In many ways, I feel completely worthless.

And to add further misery, while wearing the orthopedic boot, I developed a shin splint which has resulted in even more time in bed or stuck on a couch. I feel like I’m not progressing at all but instead going backward.

It’s not an entirely blob-like existence. I’m reading Don Quixote, doing my Bible study, praying for others, maintaining prayer journals for my future daughters-in-love, these are useful good things. I’m also folding clothes, doing an occasional chore but nonetheless I don’t feel like me. I guess I didn’t expect a cheilectomy and removal of some screws in my foot to result in such a season of purposelessness. My friends are visiting, in fact people from two different countries have graciously made dinners for us, it’s lovely but I’m accustomed to doing stuff, being an active participant in life.

What are ways that you feel productive when you’re unable to do the things you love? I know I’m not the only one that’s faced this challenge!

My family phoenix

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34I am proud of us.

This five-piece puzzle that we have called ourselves has shown strength and faith in the face of great sadness and loss. Last year, my father-in-law was a significant member of our family, this year, that all changed.

But instead of falling apart, our family persevered. We nearly curled inward, it would have been understandable. But we all have done the opposite. We chose hope. Not always, not perfectly. Yet we risked rejection and kept our hearts open. I am proud of us.

UnknownAs a junior in college, I attended l’universite de Caen in Normandy, France. Founded in 1432, the university was destroyed in 1944. Most of the town was also decimated, in fact, the home where I lived still had bullet holes in the stone wall from a fire fight during the Invasion.

At the entrance to the school, a sculpture entitled “The Phoenix” welcomed all. Many days I strolled past this statue but never really appreciated its beauty or significance until now.

For some reason I remember that monument and connect it my present day life.35

The morning before Thanksgiving, my family gathered together. An impromptu gluten-free brunch of pupusas (a popular Salvadoran dish) and pão de queijo (a delicious Brazilian cheese bread) filled the kitchen with warmth and flavor.

Around the table, I saw people I never expected to be here. One person, in fact, I didn’t even know existed until about three months ago.

There sat~

– A handsome borrowed Brazilian son

– A Salvadorena future daughter-in-love

– A gluten-free future daughter-in-love

photo 4And beside them, all holding hands sat

a Soldier preparing to be deployed a few days later

– a ministry-minded middle and

– an orange hair, freckle face olive shoot.

We bowed our heads to pray and I tried not to cry. Happy tears filled my eyes.

How did I get so blessed?

Look at this food!

Behold these people!

I scarcely could take it in as the Hubs led us in prayer. The Lord gives and He takes away. There weren’t five of us. There now were EIGHT.

In a way, that breakfast was a symbol of our phoenix, our human sculpture of grace and resilience.

Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia, deception and greed have not defeated us. What Satan intended for evil, the Lord has used for good. Though we do not forget and still grieve, our family has created new connections and love.

Across the miles, continents and cultures, hearts still remain strong.

Simple Summer Plan

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Sometimes I’m terribly proud of my friends who are so intentional with their job as a mom. Mad props for Jenn, I think she’s got a great summer planned for her family! Check it out!

redefining

I don’t know about you, but if I’m not careful I’ll blink and it will be August. And I’ll wonder, “what the heck did we even do this summer?”

I decided to come up with a better plan this year, a plan that would give us a little structure and focus each week, but without being so complicated and difficult that we would give up on it the second week in. I also wanted to make sure that we were keeping up with a little school work each week so as not to fall behind.

Naturally, I scoured Pinterest for some ideas, and this is what we came up with:

This Week’s Theme

Having a theme each week gives us something to plan around, it gives us books to read, activities to do and, best of all, it gives Sam a guaranteed weekly entry for the journal he is keeping…

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