Wake Up Mommy Nature

All is quiet, quieter than reality.  Sleeping, sleeping, nature sleeping.  Sleeping in longer than ought.  The grass, trees, the walkways, stones, and flowers, all are wrapped in a blanket, a blanket of snow.  Sleeping, sleeping, nestled into bed.  Sleeping, sleeping in like a Saturday morning.

Daddy gives a little nudge and a kiss on the cheek, “Wake up Mommy, Mother Nature, time to wake.”

She is no morning person.  She grabs the snowy blanket and rolls over.

After a little more time, Daddy nudges again, “The children are getting antsy.  Wake up dear.”

She turns and yawns, the sun rises in the sky.

The blanket is thrown back, melting, melting snow.

Arms lifted high, stretch, stretched high.  Rising, rising plants that have been hidden.

Fingers spread in a last final stretch.  Pop, buds pop and shake and jingle.

Step, step out of bed.  The temperature rises.

Final stand.  Animals invited, tweet, run, and play.

Mommy Nature is awake.  All the human children dance and sing, it is finally, finally spring!

Do it ALL and Let it ALL Go

There is so much I want to do and so much to be done. There is a philosophy of “how to be perfect” and a religion of “let it go.”  The judgemental wars commence, if your home is clean then you must not have played with your children and if you don’t pack a Pinterest lunch then you must not care about their little body’s health. 

LETTING IT GO TURNS INTO ONE MORE THING THAT I HAVE TO GET DONE!

Do I make the bed or have breakfast with the fam?  Do we go for a lazy walk around the pond or cut a fruit salad?  Will the ironing stack disappear or will the new puzzle be opened?  Is it more important to linger at bedtime and cuddle with my daughter or just sit on the couch and be with my husband that has been at work all day?  Will the floor get mopped or Shepherding a Child’s Heart be reread?

And I believe the answer is this: YES. Hmmm, rephrased:  Do it all, every bit of it. Clarified:  Don’t do any of it. Meaning:  none of it is important. Spelled out:  this is what life is all about. 

OK. OK. funny, funny. How do we know what to do and what not to do?  

Yes!  Spending time with our children playing SORRY  or Legos is crucially important but so is having dishes clean for dinner and clothes to put on in the morning. 

There are lots of little practical tips: Do it together. Invent cleaning games. Take double the time washing sudsy dishes with your two year old playing in the soap and “helping.” Be together. Do together. Include them in the things you have to do vs the games they want to play. Then they are learning and will soon be able to take over some of the chores. 

And there are the facts of life:  Work hard!  Life is not easy!

But still, HOW, WHY, and WHEN?  

And here is what I myself am still trying to learn and apply, the real answer is:  LOVE.  Make a perfect cookie cutter shaped sandwich and homemade cookies for a school lunch if it is showing love, scrub the floor and wash and iron the clothes to welcome your husband into a restful home, turn off the TV and play Monopoly, learn together, do together, DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR FAMILY AND WHEN YOU GET JUDGEMENTAL EYES FROM THAT FREAKIN PHARISEE, LET IT ALL GO!

Pass Me on the Street

Hello friend of this great blogosphere. Let’s both sip coffee and have a chat here. 

I love to read, the land of the possible. Here, in this world, we learn and grow and achieve the impossible. 

I’ll give you a hug, we will like and share and smile. But our spirits have secrets hidden all the while. 

My mind may not know, but my soul will stop and laugh and greet. As we both go about our business, as you pass me on the street. 

St Patrick’s Treasure

I don’t really like Pharisees. There are people today that I label with this term, self-righteous, think they are perfect people. Jesus didn’t like them either. (He loved them, as I should, but he didn’t like them). When confronted by the Pharisees, Jesus said he came to heal the sick.

Who is your sick?  Silly question, this is what I mean:

St. Patrick’s Day has its history like any other holiday. I love the festivities, green clothes or you get pinched, rainbows with pots of gold, orange beards, and green beer. But I also like to remember this guy that lived a long long time ago and is worth remembering today. 

St. Patrick lived in Britian with his family. At a young age, he was captured by Irish pirates and taken to Ireland, where he was believed to live for six years. After six years in slavery, he was returned to his home in Britain. However, on his own free will, he went back to Ireland. WHY?

Patrick saw them as sick. And he had the medicine. These people needed Jesus. 

And that is Christianity. It is not pretty. It is not for the purpose of a big house and a life of material blessing. Patrick was the epitome of “love thy enemy.”  He returned to Ireland and spread the gospel in a huge revival that swept across the country. 

Pots of gold are really great, but this St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget the real treasure. 

Comfort in Nothing

Six year old Caroline tossed and turned in bed. The closet light was left on, the closet light was always left on. I heard a sound. A creak of the floor in the hallway. Probably my older sister was doubtless still awake.  But what if it wasn’t?  What if it was someone coming …someone coming for ME?  

What if it was Nazis?  What if the Nazis were coming to take me to a camp, a torture camp?  Or what if it was Freddy Krueger and his knife nails?  I had never seen the movie, but I knew he was something to be feared. 

That pretty much summed it up. The fears of my six year old life, Nazis and Freddy Krueger. But I was scared, I was TERRIFIED!  

How?  How could I escape them?  When they did, as they surely would, come for me, how could I escape?  I was pretty sure climbing into the attic would do the trick, but there just wasn’t the time. And besides, how would I hide the ladder that was needed to reach those heights?  Maybe if I punched them in the nose?  I saw that once on an Oprah episode my mom was watching, punch them in the nose and break it. That would work for Freddy, but the Nazis, they traveled in groups. I just couldn’t break all those noses. 

And then there was a lightbulb, a bright light from heaven shone into my brilliant mind. 

As a child we had a “bucket,” a small wooden container that my parents kept extra change in. Occasionally, I could reach my little hands into that pot of gold and draw out fifty cents. Fifty glorious cents to buy an ice cream at school. 

And there was my answer. If those damn Nazis came for me, I would tell them, “If you let me go, I will tell you where our money is.”  

I saw their conniving faces taking the bait. I saw them chosing those glorious riches over me. I saw the success of my plan. And I rolled over and I fell asleep. 

Jesus Heals a Woman with Cancer

A woman with Cancer came to Jesus and begged him on her knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the woman, “I am willing.  Be clean!”  Immediately the cancer left her and she was cleansed.

It isn’t that far fetched.  Mark 1:40.  He healed the man with leprosy.  One day, sooner or later, he will heal me.

No. I think you absolutely definitely shouldn’t. Go for it, not yet. 

I want answers. I want to know what to do to be healthy, make money, raise a successful citizen, be a stellar friend, and how clean my house should be!  

When I said, “I do.”  I really meant I did.  But sometimes, more often than I want you to know, I looked more like I didn’t. I was, am, grumpy, rude, self serving, and just plain done. But I loved him. I still do.  

And when the nurse laid that 7lb 9oz miracle on my instantly smaller tummy, I cried and smiled and instantly changed, because she was everything, and meaningful, and poetic, and beautiful, and soft as beautiful. But sometimes, more than I want you to know, I get frustrated with a messy room, and stepping on pink Legos, and a sassy attitude. But I love her. I always will, even through the teenage years. 

When should I scrub and when should I play?  How many cups of milk should I drink in a day?  Should I sit on the couch and watch a show with James or read “Bringing Up Girls,” that should have been checked off my reading list six years ago?  Should I call up a friend or spend the day at home?  Is this the year to save or enjoy?  A bush or a floral beside the house?  When and how and where? Why?

Daddy, Father God, will you please tell me?  

Because it matters completely. I want to do and accomplish. But I have made mistakes. And I hear you whisper that yesterday does not matter. Right here. Right now. This very. 

One thing is the objective:  accomplish, do, succeed, but the greatest of these is love. Love. 

Meditation

I. Myself. Believer. The ninth letter of the alphabet.  Individual. Caroline.  Sister. Selfie. Soul. Wife. Entity. Quintessence. Mom. Woman. Daughter.  Author. Creature.

Am. Abide. Continue. Last. Breathe. Stand. Be. Dwell. Survive. Last. Happen.

Not. Negative. Never. Nay. Nix.

Alone. Abandoned. Deserted. Detached. Sole. Unaccompanied. Lone. Forlorn. Matchless. Discarded. Eliminated. Empty. Forgotten. Left. Jilted. Divorced. Isolated. Removed. Destitute. Despondent. Wretched. Lost. Lonely. Forsaken. Despairing. Forgotten.

God. Jehovah. Father. Absolute. Deity. Master. Spirit. Power. Yahweh. Lord. Maker. Divine. Creator. Almighty. Celestial. Guardian. Model. Worthy. Alpha. Omega. Immortal.

Is. Abide. Act. Live. Endure. Inhabits. Transpires. Dwell. Rest. Be. Prevails. Remains. Remains.

With. Along. Near. Including. Accompanying. Alongside. Via. On. Over. About.  Per. Above.

Me. Myself. Personal. Author. Character. Individual. Identity. Caroline. Somebody. Unit. Beautifullifewithcancer.com  Wife. Creation. Soul. Volunteer. Mom.

I am not alone. God is with me.

Miracles are not Enough

My feet are sore, so much walking and I have no shoes. Walking on the desert sand with blistered feet, I can think of nothing more painful. At least in Egypt I had shoes. 

I scan my setting, three children lay napping before me. I am glad they are sleeping. I try so hard to stay cheerful for them, but they have long ago given up also. Who could blame us?  No shelter from this blazing heat and so much, so much walking. 

We had been slaves. In those days, one thing was talked about: freedom. But was this what we had long desired?  

When the plagues cursed Egypt, we praised God for his mighty deliverance, for fighting and persevering for us. Miriam led us in a song of thanksgiving. But I have quit singing and the tune is no longer heard. A new voice rises, a song of complaint. A song of entitlement. The voice of ME. 

We were hungry. Did we not think of food as we marched away from Egypt?  God had provided manna. Sweet manna from Heaven. The clouds were raining food. But I have grown tired of manna. I want meat. 

And when we were hungry, God provided fresh water from a rock.  I have seen miracles with my own eyes. But that was yesterday. God, do you care about me today?  Here is what I want today. Today. 

We look back and we condemn them, the Israelites. They had seen the mighty hand of God. They walked on dry land through the Red Sea as the waters raised high above them but did not obey gravity. They had been delivered from bondage, provided food, and they still wanted more. But the tale lives on. 

Just a few hundred years ago, America won an impossible war. We gained independence from the most powerful country in the world. Our forefathers gaining the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the pursuit of happiness, the American Dream. Miracles all around us, delivering and providing. But they are miracles of yesterday. It is not enough. 

We want riches at no cost. We sin demanding no consequence. Comfort is supreme God. How dare anyone speak truth!  There is no God that provides or loves or cares but He is to be blamed for any hurt or destruction. 

We mock them and we condemn them as we live luxurious lives, crying out once again to see a miracle from the God we doubt. 

Ask and it Will be Given

I want so much to be strong for him. He calls me his rock. I have never felt so driven, I have never felt so much purpose. Here I am, following my God. I see my God face to face in human form. It is one of those things that completely blows me away and at the same time I realize that I can not grasp the depths of its meaning.

Jesus just returned to us. He was gone for over forty days. The insanity of the story!  I would not believe him if I had not seen his miracles with my own eyes! I did not want him to go but he said he must.  He did not eat or drink for forty days or forty nights. I do not understand, sometimes, why he does the things he does. And then he met with Satan. Why did he not destroy him then and there?  How does Satan have the audacity to even stand before him?  To stand before God and tempt him!  My God, the wonder of it all!

And here we sit and I stare at him while he talks. He looks so ordinary. There is nothing about him that would make me think he was anything different from the rest of us, that would make me think he is God!  It is his words. His words are like none I’ve ever heard before.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, and those who mourn, and those who are persecuted for righteousness!  Even in the synagogue, I have never heard this message.

He tells me to love my enemies. He holds me to a higher standard. He tells me to pray and fast in secret. These words, they are the words of God, I know it.

And then he turns to me, his eyes look deep into mine and he says, “Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find.”

I have never heard so much wisdom. I have never been so convicted and at the same time so loved. And it makes me think with great responsibility, “what do I want?”

I follow Jesus. I see him here before me, I walk with him and talk with him, the God that made me is my best friend!  What do I want most in this world, what will I ask?  The answer is clear before I ask myself.  Ask and I shall receive?  I want to know him.”

And I sit. And I listen.