Tag Archives: life

We play our songs

Our son has been smitten over music since the moment he was born.

I can’t even remember exactly when we first noticed his love of music because it was always there.

He’s obsessed with the guitar. He loves the xylophone. Drums? Of course. Harmonica? Yup.

And this kid has moves – he looooves to dance. He feels it too – his dancing changes very much with different types of music. (We adore putting on slow music and watching him attempt a two-year-old interpretation of ballet. Love.)

Today we were playing guitar together – me on my guitar, him on his.

Judah sat a few feet away playing with toys and I sat across from Levi with the guitar on my lap and a kids song book out before me (expanding my song bank – ha!). Levi climbed all over me, clawing at the guitar, smashing into my case, stepping on my book. It was a total circus. And I wasn’t very much enjoying it.

I wanted to play a few songs together and sing “Puff the Magic Dragon” and see my boy pick up his own guitar and dance around the room like he usually does.

He wanted to play a few songs together too. It’s just that his definition of “play” looked very different to my own.

I finally gave up, put the song book away, and just let him have at the strings while I played some chords on the neck.

It was pretty terrible sounding, but of course he loved it.

Made me wonder how God feels when we’re “helping” him. We get in there and try to do it our way. We “play our songs” which often sound nothing like his.

And yet he loves it all anyway. He loves that we have a go. He loves that we want to participate.

He loves that we want to play a song with him.

I’ll try to remember that when Levi wants to “play” again.

STOP.

 

Q for you: What kind of songs have you been playing lately?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

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Where’s this pain coming from, really?

For days I walked around, gritting my teeth. Not meaning to, but as a reaction to the pain.

I just could not shake the headache. Not by drinking gallons of water, not by sleeping, not by popping pills, not by a shoulder and neck rub.

Nothing seemed to help.

It was so bad that one night it even kept me from falling asleep. (Doesn’t pain generally do the opposite?)

And then I realized…

Wait, this has happened to me before.

My contacts were in the wrong eyes.

Soemtime last week I must have put them in the wrong side of the case and have been wearing them backwards ever since.

I can still see okay. My perscription from eye to eye doesn’t differ enough to be overt. But the eye strain is obvious in the thump, thump, thump in my forehead and behind my eyes.

I throw them out, start with a new pair.

And I wonder how many times I do this in other areas of my life:

How many times do I make a small change – one hardly noticable – that affects so much?

How many times has one wrong decision brought so much discomfort?

How many times do I carry around hurt, trying to ignore it and hoping it will go away when really it just needs to be dealt with?

How many times do I just need to remove the problem and start with a fresh perspective?

How many times do I simply need to stop and ask where is this pain coming from, really?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How’s  your “vision”?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Breastfeeding: God-ordained “coffee breaks”

I always joke that since moms don’t get “time off” or to clock out or take coffee breaks, time spent breastfeeding is God’s way of giving us an excuse to slow down.

My problem is that I tend not to slow down; I only sit down.

If it’s during the day I’m feeding Judah while playing with Levi with my free hand.

If Levi is entertaining himself then I’m on my phone, reading emails, making lists, or scrolling through facebook or twitter.

Always multi-tasking.

We moms like to brag about how good we are at this. (Or complain when we aren’t doing so well at it.)

But lately I’ve been craving more margin, more room to breathe.

I’m tired of multi-tasking.

Yes, I know I will never completely escape the vortext of the multi-tasking compulsions that I have as a woman and mom. (And that’s probably a good thing – we really do need them.) But I am looking for little ways I can cut back and be in teh moment.

One of those ways is taking my God-ordained “coffee breaks”.

Instead of grabbing my phone or a piece of paper to write the grocery list while I breastfeed Judah, I’m leaving my hands free to hold my baby. I’m leaving my eyes free to watch him or even close them for a few moments. I’m leaving my mind free to think and pray and wander.

Even though I’m not succeeding at doing this every time I feed Judah, I’m doing it more and more.

Such a small thing. But a big thing in that it really is helping me to pause, breathe, and be.

 

Q for you: What’s one simple way that you build margin into your life?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Loose ends coming together

By nature I’m a connector.

I like to know context and history.

I naturally see patterns.

I think it’s part of the creative process – seeing how life is interlocked and overlapping – and then interpreting it all in light of what’s already been.

And when things feel disconnected, I feel fragmented. Somehow.

But this is not one of those times of disconnect.

I feel like I can see through this window of a place I’ve not yet been… but the glimpse of what’s inside is making lots of little things start to make sense.

Convergence.

Alignment.

Relationships forming, vision shaping, web spinning, Word coming.

There’s a Jesus element to it that’s hard to explain.

But it’s there. I feel it in my bones.

One of those seasons that marks a life moving forward.

Loose ends coming together; The beginning of change.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Sometimes I write far too late at night and then this is what comes out – stream-of-conscious jibberish. But could you possibly have an inkling of what I’m talking about? What do you feel like when change is in the air?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Pep talk

I don’t get scared easily.

To be honest, I’ve never struggled much with fear.

But right now? I’m terrified.

An opportunity lays before me that I want to take. So much.

But I also want to run the opposite direction. R-u-n.

All of a sudden these ugly visitors rise to the surface: fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of being out of my depth, fear of rejection, fear of blowing it.

I “make my living” helping people to understand how awesome they are, but now all of a sudden I’m cowering.

I need to take some of my advice:

Face your fears.

Take a risk.

Be willing to fail.

Have faith.

Don’t over think things.

Let go of perfectionism.

Believe in yourself.

Trust God.

An opportunity is just that – an opportunity. It’s up to me whether I embrace it or blow it off.

I’m gonna choose to embrace it, perhaps with a little trembling… but embrace it nonetheless.

Eeek!

STOP.

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you faced one of your fears?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The making of a backstory

I learn so much from my kids.

Both of the boys are at ages where they’re rapidly changing at the moment – Judah in all his babyness (one milestone after another) and Levi in the midst of his toddler vocabulary explosion.

Although he’s been sitting up for a good six weeks now, just today Judah got himself up into the seated position (from laying down) all on his own. It was fun to watch, and looked completely effortless and natural.

And every day Levi says new things as if he’s been saying them all along. (Love the seemingly easy flow of words that pour out in every day conversation.)

So I’ve been thinking about these developments that seem to apprear out of nowhere.

Of course we know that there’s been lots going on behind the scenes to get them to the point of being able to sit up or articulate or whatever other development it is, but it’s easy to forget the backstory and just get swept away in the it-happened-just-like-that front end of the story.

It’s caused me to think about my own growth as an adult.

How many tiems to I get frustrated with myself when the results don’t come immediately? When the improvement isn’t overnight? When it seems like nothing visible is happening?

And yet, there’s always a back story.

There’s always a strengthening, a preparation, a foundation-laying that needs to happen first.

Pouring concrete into giant holes isn’t sexy, skyscrapers with shiny windows are.

And as cliche and over-used as the analogy is, the tallest buildings have the deepest, most grueling-to-lay foundations.

There’s a whole lot of backstory to be developed before the world sees those 78 flashy stories.

And so it goes with our lives.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you ever feel frustrated when you’re in the foundation-laying stages and just want to get on with the building of skyscrapers? Or are you grateful to be living the “backstory”?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Love him with my whole heart, I do. (Dad)

Since watching it sail off into the sunset just a few hours ago, it seemed obvious that I would write about our ship tonight.

About the amazing people that are on their way to Papua New Guinea to give their very lives to others. About the ones that waved them off from the shore who have spent long hours preparing, assembling, building, welding, painting, cleaning, praying. About the many people that have rallied, given themselves, invested their time, emptied their wallets.

I was going to write about the people waiting on the other side of the journey. The ones who have hope rising because of the heart and help that the ship brings and represents.

And these are worthy things to write about. (I will.)

But then I realized that today is my dad’s birthday.

And maybe no one else in the blogosphere cares about reading a wee post from a girl about her dad… but I care about writing, about giving him space.

I have so many memories of my dad growing up. I kid you not, they are all happy.

He was just that good of a dad.

But you know what I always remember when I think back to him during our “little” years?

Bike rides.

And tennis.

And softball in the park and soccer in the yard.

Whatever was my current whim, there he was right alongside me, helping me to learn, helping me get better,

but mostly… just having fun with me.

What a great dad. Dependable, available, approachable, relatable.

Always giving, always fun, always involved (in the best possible way).

Sixty years of being the best dad (and now granddad) I could ever imagine having.

Love him with my whole heart, I do.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you remember your growing-up years with your dad?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


Enjoying the small things, wholeheartedly

It’s easy to take for granted, isn’t it? Especially the small things.

Like bathtubs and quiet hours and good books.

This morning the boys went out for a walk along the Strand while I stayed in our hotel room and drew a hot bath.

I can’t actually remember the last time I had a bath. We only have a shower stall at home, so when we came to the hotel with a clean, white bathtub I knew I needed to make sure to bury myself in it at some point.

After the boys left I filled the tub, boiled the kettle and made myself a cup of tea, put a small lamp in the bathroom so I wouldn’t need the bright overhead lights, and settled in with a book.

Music played on the ipad a few feet away until I realized, wait, I never get this – the sound of silence – and quickly turned it off.

I let my tired muscles soak and my weary soul drink of Ann’s rich words.

Today would be a day I would not take for granted. I would not let it slip by without making it matter.

Small things, normal things, beautiful things.

The boys returned, bounding in with squeals and mommmyyyyyyy! just as I finished drying off my pruned up skin.

I was ready to see them again, missing them.

Clean and grateful I pulled my robe around my middle and went out to embrace my little balls of endless energy.

Enjoying the small things, wholeheartedly.

STOP.

 

Q for you: When is the last time you really enjoyed the small things?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Little baby

He pulls my face and grabs it close. With slobbery lips he leans in, open-mouthed, face-planting.

Pulling back he squeals, pleased with himself, sure of my approval.

Tiny fingers grip my hair, the easiest thing to grasp.

I wince, knowing why so many women cut their hair once the babies come.

His eyes still blue, they sparkle and smile.

Once toothless grin is replaced by little bunny teeth, a sign of growth, of newborn no more.

Happy flailing of arms and kicking of feet tell me that life is good.

Captured by my every move, he thinks I’m the most beautiful person he’s ever known. Also the funniest.

And I love that.

Little baby, so sweet, so small. So strong.

How will you ever be a curious 8-year-old?

How will you ever be a gawky 13-year-old?

How will you ever be an adventurous 17-year-old?

How will you ever be an ambitious 29-year-old?

Little baby, I like you just the way you are.

You’re more mine now than you ever will be. I like it that way.

I’m in no hurry to change things.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you have children? How do you see their current age?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.


Spring cleaning, house and heart

It’s autumn here but there’s this urgency growing beneath my skin to do some spring cleaning.

Behind cupboard doors sit unused things, taking up space, collecting dust.

Some are just too hard to reach so they’re forgotten.

Drawers in disarray feel fuller.

Closets that looked bare only months ago now seem to burst with a sea of cotton.

At a glance things look fine, but behind closed doors Mess lurks.

It’s driving me mad and I’m having brutal impulses to Purge. All. This. Stuff.

I’ve realized that I get this way when I’m tired or stressed. (Or extra “this way” when I’m tired and stressed.)

It’s suffocating and stiffling and whereisthespacetocreateandenjoy?

I want to simplify. Reduce. Get rid of fillers and noise and things that make me feel stuffy.

I want to open the curtains and let the breeze in.

I want to lift lids and move rugs.

And maybe it’s not really about things being clean or organized.

Maybe it’s just me wanting to gain some sort of sense of mastery over the chaos. Reign it in.

I never thought I had control issues. Until I had children. Children who have minds and clocks and opinions of their own.

They will not be controlled. They fit in no boxes. they respond to no formulas. (I’m glad for that. Mostly.)

But they make me realize that I have to let go. (MOre.) I have to create more margin. I have to find breathing space.

Life is too full to be full.

And maybe it’s not even a negative thing to want to reign in the chaos and restore some order. Maybe it’s the creative process starting all over again. God brought order out of chaos, right?

So when this sort, sift, clean, organize, purge, open-up-the-doors-and-let-the-good-green-earth-come-in thing starts to happen to me, it makes me stop and think:

Is it hte house that needs tending? Or is it my soul?

Perhaps we both need to open up the windows a bit wider?

STOP.

 

Q for you: How does your physical environment influence your mental/emotional/spiritual realm? (Or the reverse?)

 

Love,
A

p.s. Admittedly, this post is a bit scattered tonight. I suppose that’s just going to happen occasionally when writing in this format with no structure or editing. I suppose also that’s part of the God-getting-in-the-cracks process. And the humbling-me process. Sometimes it truly is hard to hit “publish”…

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.