Shades of Motherhood

Reflections as we take another step closer to our eldest son’s future. The college of his choice seems nearly set, praise God. A mama’s heart soars with pride, especially as this boy is continuing to bust autistic stereotypes right and left. Yet, the letting go part a parent is supposed to do? Well…😏

Only a blink ago,

I think,

You were that lively little thing,

Popping up to greet me,

Meeting me with the sunniest of

Grins,

Wholly unperturbed by drooly chin,

Chubby hands outstretched on cue,

Looking to be fetched

From crib’s depth,

Always ready to give the new

A hearty spin.

Yet, it also feels a hundred

Countless lifetimes,

A thousand layers of soul-aging

Climbs

Since our hours were spent

On a child’s carefree explores

Just beyond the nursery door.

We’ve seen so much, you and I

Sometimes, too much, I cannot deny…

Enough to tug a heart’s string

To tendrils strained taut.

Oh, when I remember the raging

Wars we’ve fought!

For understanding,

For soft landings,

For clarity to bind,

For sanity of mind…

Now, here we sit,

Some days, rather spent,

Putting the fatigue

In our battle fatigues- more than just a bit. 😉

Yet, there’s also a hint of a gleam,

A fresh sheen glimmering on the old dream.

And, I admit, I love the new light in your eyes

As the adult begins emerging,

Shockingly wise,

Gently choosing which childish ways to nudge aside,

Judiciously picking

Youthful character traits

And new responsibilities to begin merging.

Yet, it’s sometimes hard to see

How my part in all this seems to be…

Fading.

And I wonder where my role

Pencils in best now,

Just what spaces are still light

And which are meant to become

More subtle shading.

Ah, but, then I stumble yet on the moments

I catch the searching wobble

Hidden in your grown man’s voice.

And I see there are areas

Where there lends yet a tint

Of mother’s Godly guidance as

You survey your many, often

Overwhelming choices.

The becoming is hard, I know.

I’ve done it.

Still doing it, as life takes me to and fro. 😏

But, I am here, battle-fatigue ready,

Hoping all the best for you, son,

Praying on Him you’ll stand steady,

Prepared for a long and beautiful run.

And, in that, I am reminded how true

It is that roles don’t actually diminish;

They only change shape and hue.

For, we mothers never truly finish,

We only step back from the crib

And, in the Lord’s strength,

Learn to await His ever reliable cues.

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers! And, look- comment box! 😁Thanks, WP, for at least giving me a new trick to outwit this bug messing with my discussion settings! 😊

Of Time Swiftly Spent

I am beginning my year-end pensiveness a little early. Bear with me as I ramble a bit…😏

Spring was barely budding only a few months ago.

Then, summer came with freedom and bare feet.

Before we could turn around, fall crackled and cooled the nights.

And, now, winter is settling in with its frosty mornings and heavy-coated evenings.

Already?

It couldn’t have been that long ago already, could it?

We were just finishing up first grade field day- and fretting on the possibility of sunburn on my sweet little freckle-faced boy.

Our summer vacation plans were just shifting like sand with the unwelcome intrusion of a blown gasket head…and, yet, being used of God for major hotel room togetherness and unexpected witnesses ( Don’t ask. Not just now, anyway. 🙂 Someday, this adventure needs a whole post of its own.).

Fresh pencils and crayons were just being procured and packed!

We were just nervously embarking on a whole new way of schooling/ interning with our senior. Oy. I have a senior.

That thought alone makes me reach for chocolate.😏

Shoot. On that note, October’s candy is still being finished! 😀

November’s musical was just coming to life on stage after months of teasers wafting up the stairs from basement practice sessions.

Now, it’s all just smiles and glories behind us.

A long chilly nap is firmly planting itself in our midst.

Yet, many things are yet to come on the calendar.

The one that says “2020”. 😬

Time slides away so quickly! One need only observe a row of yearly family experiences to see it is so.

I find myself asking how can it be?

And there steals in a wistfulness to hold on.

Especially as we prepare to really, actually launch our oldest into the world in a few oh-so- short months and the other three cluster rather closely behind, vying for their turn.

All in time. All too soon in time.

It makes me ask the serious question, What are we doing with our time?

That which the Lord graciously affords us. That which once spent can never return.

Ok. Yes, Lord. I will go back to the story of the vacation that never was. It does bear unique weight here. And it pays to heed Your prompting…😏

So… suffice to say, rarely was there a more frustrating situation.

We were supposed to go see edifying, faith-encouraging things-The Ark, The Creation Museum, historical sites.

What we saw mostly was a hotel room a state away from where we’d hoped to be, the free breakfast bar, (make your own waffles are admittedly cool. 😊) and the few sites that were in walking distance or a cheap Uber ride away.

We wound up waiting that entire week of our vacation-the little time and finances we could afford- for the family van to be fixed. By the time it was done, it was time to be on the road for home again.

The family purse agreed. 🙂

Yet, where time in a worldly view appeared robbed or misspent, in a heavenly view, it was infinitely valuable.

For, we were just coming off some particularly tough moments even prior to leaving, to be honest.

But, there in close quarters, intimate family conversation happened, needed words were said.

Laughter bubbled up despite our disappointment, a fascinating place or two was discovered.

Prayers and scripture flowed from our place of need.

But, best of all, was chance after chance to relate not merely our circumstances but also the Reason for our hope-from nearly every Uber driver to hotel staff to the awesome tow truck driver and amazing mechanic that went above and beyond to help us.

We saw grace both smile on us and pass to others and time, as always in the hands of He who keeps it, was beautifully redeemed.

As it always is, when given over to Him.

As I know it will prove to be again and again as the seasons-oh, so swiftly!- pass.

He’s got us through it all, from freckle-faced sunburns to blown gasket heads to tuning up for the big launch.

And all that comes before, after, and in-between…

Thanks for joining me on my reflective ramble here, friends! May we each think carefully on how we are using our time. Each moment is precious-and some that may seem misspent can turn out to have unexpected purpose! Blessings and prayers to you!

Seasoned

Bear with me while I repost again. My comment button is once again on the fritz. 🙄

Time.

It’s in His hands. So, why can it feel like such a cruel taskmaster?

It moves so swiftly some days, aging us all the more swiftly in the process.

Like my beloved George Bailey, I have always felt, in many respects, I was born older.

Couldn’t bypass a photo of his earnest prayer here. Courtesy of cinemaarchives.com

Not necessarily just due to my attraction to things of a bygone era, though being the only twelve-year-old I knew with an antique display worthy of the PBS roadshow was somewhat a clue. 🙂

Admittedly, that is a piece, but, really, it goes deeper than that.

Even beyond the childhood abuse that can simultaneously stunt growth and drag one to premature adulthood, though I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that role as well.

I can’t say I never had innocence or naivete of any sort, because it was there, in some manners and forms.

My older brother, for example, could persuade me of a lot of things that had not a shred of truth in them. 😉

But, inexplicably, almost paradoxically, the eyes of one who can see through the world to the unseemly underside were also often there.

And, needless to say, looking at the world through such eyes can be a weighty prospect at best, whatever your age.

It’s honestly hard to remember a time I didn’t feel a certain amount of heaviness in my soul.

And, coupled with it the unfortunate tendency to look for some way to safely unburden it, or, as bashfulness rose up more pronounced the more rejected I felt, to at least long to.

I became quite the quiet, grave little soul as a result, only unwinding some of which had me so tightly wound around said brother, who mostly understood the unusually oldish creature in his younger sister, though even he could become baffled and annoyed at times! 🙂

This heaviness stayed with me over the years, by and large, like a shroud, lighter sides of me only breaking through at rare moments or upon being on stage. ( Ah, for I wasn’t me then! )

Such an asset in socal gatherings, let me tell you! 🙄

For a long time, I walked about with this odd duck label.

So serious. 😐

The wallflower. 😔

The overthinker. 🤔

Almost always feeling the need to apologize for it.

For, surely, it must be a shortcoming.

I think of Amy March describing- in hushed tones- her sister, Beth, in “Little Women”:

She has an infirmity. She’s shy.

It was much, much later I pinpointed my autistic tendencies via my children’s diagnoses. This did help shed quite a new light on what I had coped with all those years.

Undeniably helpful.

But, whereas it is in fact integral to the human makeup He created me with, it’s not the be-all end-all of me, either.

It’s why, where I appreciate deeply recognition of special needs, I no longer feel it need always be what I personally talk about. But, I have tread this road before, so, let me stop circuiting…😏

All this to say, all those pieces, all that weight on my shoulders, the harshness of life and the rapid beating of time…all so acutely evident in my sight, needn’t become an unhappy, isolating thing.

I don’t have to apologetically stammer how I’m older than my years, subject myself to a burning silence, or consider myself a lonely curmudgeon, an embarrassing oddity of nature for all time.

For, what the world calls odd, He often calls seasoned.

Matt. 5:13 says:

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Seasoning is a necessary part of the Christian life. Without the salt to preserve our faith, this world can quickly contaminate it.

To be seasoned, to me, means being able to recognize the true from the false.

Even when it’s uncomfortable or unpopular.

For, when we can taste and see that the Lord is good, it ruins us for all other flavors.

And that’s a good thing! ☺

As is the burden, if you will, of helping others recognize this fact.

It has been such an irony to me, honestly, that God directed me to places seemingly contrary to my rather old-fashioned ways, both in previous years and now.

Teaching toddlers and ministering to youth would seem to call for a child-like energy and some level of, shall we say, “coolness”?

Where I did and do allow myself some youthful zest where able, no one could ever accuse me of “coolness”. 😏

Yet, I feel God tell me not to assume what they have need of.

For, who am I to say they don’t need the sort of seasoning He has uniquely called me to help provide?

In seasoning should also come a growing confidence in His goodness and wisdom, after all.

And, as I referred to last time we spoke here, beautiful bridges can be built between generations.

So…if you feel older than your years…

Feel good about it. To be seasoned is not a bad thing.

And if you feel younger, or, maybe even just your age, that’s okay, too.

Your seasoning can still be there.

And when we surrender to its aging us, we can see it’s not actually done cruelly, though it might seem to be, but, rather, beautifully in its time.

And guess Who has it all in hand?😉

Blessings and prayers, friends. May we each embrace who we are in Him and season the earth with His truth.

Seasoned

Time.

It’s in His hands. So, why can it feel like such a cruel taskmaster?

It moves so swiftly some days, aging us all the more swiftly in the process.

Like my beloved George Bailey, I have always felt, in many respects, I was born older.

Couldn’t bypass a photo of his earnest prayer here. Courtesy of cinemaarchives.com

Not necessarily just due to my attraction to things of a bygone era, though being the only twelve-year-old I knew with an antique display worthy of the PBS roadshow was somewhat a clue. 🙂

Admittedly, that is a piece, but, really, it goes deeper than that.

Even beyond the childhood abuse that can simultaneously stunt growth and drag one to premature adulthood, though I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that role as well.

I can’t say I never had innocence or naivete of any sort, because it was there, in some manners and forms.

My older brother, for example, could persuade me of a lot of things that had not a shred of truth in them. 😉

But, inexplicably, almost paradoxically, the eyes of one who can see through the world to the unseemly underside were also often there.

And, needless to say, looking at the world through such eyes can be a weighty prospect at best, whatever your age.

It’s honestly hard to remember a time I didn’t feel a certain amount of heaviness in my soul.

And, coupled with it the unfortunate tendency to look for some way to safely unburden it, or, as bashfulness rose up more pronounced the more rejected I felt, to at least long to.

I became quite the quiet, grave little soul as a result, only unwinding some of which had me so tightly wound around said brother, who mostly understood the unusually oldish creature in his younger sister, though even he could become baffled and annoyed at times! 🙂

This heaviness stayed with me over the years, by and large, like a shroud, lighter sides of me only breaking through at rare moments or upon being on stage. ( Ah, for I wasn’t me then! )

Such an asset in socal gatherings, let me tell you! 🙄

For a long time, I walked about with this odd duck label.

So serious. 😐

The wallflower. 😔

The overthinker. 🤔

Almost always feeling the need to apologize for it.

For, surely, it must be a shortcoming.

I think of Amy March describing- in hushed tones- her sister, Beth, in “Little Women”:

She has an infirmity. She’s shy.

It was much, much later I pinpointed my autistic tendencies via my children’s diagnoses. This did help shed quite a new light on what I had coped with all those years.

Undeniably helpful.

But, whereas it is in fact integral to the human makeup He created me with, it’s not the be-all end-all of me, either.

It’s why, where I appreciate deeply recognition of special needs, I no longer feel it need always be what I personally talk about. But, I have tread this road before, so, let me stop circuiting…😏

All this to say, all those pieces, all that weight on my shoulders, the harshness of life and the rapid beating of time…all so acutely evident in my sight, needn’t become an unhappy, isolating thing.

I don’t have to apologetically stammer how I’m older than my years, subject myself to a burning silence, or consider myself a lonely curmudgeon, an embarrassing oddity of nature for all time.

For, what the world calls odd, He often calls seasoned.

Matt. 5:13 says:

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Seasoning is a necessary part of the Christian life. Without the salt to preserve our faith, this world can quickly contaminate it.

To be seasoned, to me, means being able to recognize the true from the false.

Even when it’s uncomfortable or unpopular.

For, when we can taste and see that the Lord is good, it ruins us for all other flavors.

And that’s a good thing! ☺

As is the burden, if you will, of helping others recognize this fact.

It has been such an irony to me, honestly, that God directed me to places seemingly contrary to my rather old-fashioned ways, both in previous years and now.

Teaching toddlers and ministering to youth would seem to call for a child-like energy and some level of, shall we say, “coolness”?

Where I did and do allow myself some youthful zest where able, no one could ever accuse me of “coolness”. 😏

Yet, I feel God tell me not to assume what they have need of.

For, who am I to say they don’t need the sort of seasoning He has uniquely called me to help provide?

In seasoning should also come a growing confidence in His goodness and wisdom, after all.

And, as I referred to last time we spoke here, beautiful bridges can be built between generations.

So…if you feel older than your years…

Feel good about it. To be seasoned is not a bad thing.

And if you feel younger, or, maybe even just your age, that’s okay, too.

Your seasoning can still be there.

And when we surrender to its aging us, we can see its not actually done cruelly, though it might seem to be, but, rather, beautifully in its time.

And guess Who has it all in hand?😉

Blessings and prayers, friends. May we each embrace who we are in Him and season the earth with His truth.

Quiet Time When There is No Quiet Time

My house is often a…well, shall we say?… clamoring place.

Two kiddos have a six AM wake-up call for play rehearsal.

For the fifth time this week.

The fifteen year old? He is rather serious-minded; his sister of nearly fourteen is lovely, but her autistic tendencies usually mean time is surplanted by stardust. 🙂

Then, there’s the imaginative seven year old boy who needs a gentle reminder floss is not for making a faux Fu Manchu.

For about the hundredth time in the last few weeks. 😏

Add to that my brilliant, autistic seventeen year old boy-forgive me-young man- getting a taste of adult life with an internship that requires a lot of running around, tool-wielding, and remembering.

And helping him remember. Also helping to keep his more anxious tendencies at bay.

Several times a day.

Oh, and the handy husband juggling small business getting bigger, more dilapidated houses calling out to be restored.

Every day, all times of the day.

I play the part of the secretary/ tool hander/cleaner upper. 😉

Oh, not to forget, there are also two dogs, one an increasingly stubborn old man, one fairly young but completely blind following sudden onset glaucoma.

Each with their dear little “what about me?” moments. 🙂

And I have referred to the knocking door a few posts ago.

So…all that added together with my own obligations and physical struggles, in addition to making me just a wee bit tired 😴, makes for much scurrying and, at times, more than a little noise.

Hence, quiet time that is literally quiet is a rare commodity.

Sure, I could be a predawn sort, but, at the risk of making excuses I refer you to the above, which often means sleep I can actually get is precious.

So, instead, I find I burrow out what and where I can, hunting up scripture like a squirrel digging up the treasured acorns she’s been storing for winter.

I eagerly gulp down the bits I can afford for that moment before the ones He’s given me have a need of a hand, a reminder, a word of encouragement.

Again. 🙂

I don’t often have the ability to steal away for lengthy prayer sessions, either, obviously, but I do quietly pray throughout my day.

Wash morning dishes, pray He washes away my bad attitudes.

Toss some clothes in the dryer, pray for the owners of said clothes.

Pass a hammer drill up a ladder to my husband, send up a plea for the residents that inhabit or will inhabit the house he’s working on.

Not to mention a thanks for keeping him safe up there! ☺️

But there’s not really a lot of traditional eyes closed and kneeling, frankly, unless I am in a position to (I do like to when I can! It’s a great reminder to remain humble.).

But, for all my hopes in what I have been able to cobble together in my crazy world, this area is something that honestly long had me feeling tremendously guilty as a Christian.

I always wanted to be one of those ladies with a prayer closet I could close and commune with my savior for an uninterrupted hour or so.

But, this is a full house at present- with narrow closets and a fix-it list still a mile long after six years (Handyman’s house is usually last. 😉).

Still. Ah. I can visualize it.

Pipe in some worship music, devour books of the Bible at a time, memorize big chunks, pray emphatically for everybody and his brother, map out my spiritual game plan for the next however long I can.

Every morning at the
same time.

I mean, shouldn’t it be that way if I want to be truly growing in my faith?

And yet…

The further I get in this walk the more I see it’s not about a ritual, a time, a place.

Not scoffing at that.

Some of it, when approached with a sincerely seeking heart, is a beautiful thing.

And if you can do it, I say go for it.

Wholeheartedly.

But, for those of us that struggle a bit more to squeeze out that perfect quiet time, not from lack of desire, but due to circumstances, I say don’t give up!

For one thing, I know well the Lord gives us seasons.

Yours won’t necessarily look just like mine, nor mine yours.

Some may change rapidly.

Others seem like they’ll never change. 🙄

The key is surrendering to Him your particular season and letting Him do what He will with it.

And then, letting go of what you or everyone else says you should be doing.

Or, that is, how you should be doing it.

Prayers to you, friends. May your quiet times be blessed, whatever season you’re in.