Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hidden memories

High up on a shelf

amongst the ordinary
high heels, sandals, winter boots
wool, silk, soft denim

are bits of life

soft green blanket, a ghost of its former self
worn thin by sweet baby hands grasping, holding, loving

Purple Barney,who brought unbridled joy one Christmas morning
never to be equalled in years to come

Kindergarden book bags ... one for each child
filled with mementos of school days gone by ....
construction paper creations, report cards, glowing notes from favored teachers

These bits of life

Keepsakes that at one time held places of prominence in our home, a bed, a shelf, the refrigerator door

now reside high up on a closet shelf, tucked away

but not forgotten

melancholy days come to call .....

I pull out the step ladder and one by one

I sift through these bits of life

reminiscing of days long past

afternoons tucking a soft green blanket around a sleeping beauty
whisking barney away for a quick cleaning while a little boy sleeps unaware
checking book bags for forgotten permission slips and teacher notes

Sometimes these tokens bring tears, a longing to return to simpler days

But mostly they bring warmth and a smile

a smile at a life lived full

Thursday, August 20, 2009

For such a time as this

 The internet is a wonderful tool for finding old friends. She looked me up on facebook. I'm always excited to see "friend request" on my page. How wonderful to reconnect with old friends. As I read her message and clicked on her name I had great fun looking at pictures of her three kids. Kids who were teenagers when I last saw them. All three are grown and married now. 

One a successful photographer with two kids of her own.  Another a worship minister who has recently become a father for the first time.  The youngest, who was my son's best friend in the first grade is enjoying his dream job of being a band director. He just married a few weeks ago.

She said she was happy to see that I am still hanging out with God (I have a bible verse on my page) and that I am still with the same guy. (many other friends have divorced over the years). She wrapped up her message with "Life is good", how are things with you? 

Talk about a loaded question!  Yes, still hanging out with God, as a matter of fact He is on my speed dial these days! Yes, still with the same fella. He has been a rock for me. Yes life is good .... but. 

 After a few days I managed to send a reply and summarize the events of the last few months. Events that include a prodigal son, heroin, the police, and incarceration. I can only imagine how it was received. I haven't heard back from her yet. She is probably still trying to come up with words to say. I realize there just aren't many.

While I was thrilled to hear they are all well and happy this event did push me right into the "why me" river of self pity. It's an unforgiving river. Much like whitewater rapids it can smash you into rocks or suck you under before you know it. If you spend too much time in it it will undoubtedly send you over the falls of hopelessness and despair. 

As I was thrashing about in the river I reached out for a branch to help myself out. I picked up a wonderful daily devotional book that my pastor gave me several months ago. Here is an excerpt from that day's reading.

  .... Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life - paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure .......

For such a time as this. Perfect words at just the right time. 

The God of the universe took a moment to reach out and pull me from the river. I gratefully accept the gift.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

House hunting

walls colored an ordinary beige

braided rugs

ruffled curtains 

heirlooms, pictures, things ....

memories not  mine

here in this foreign room

I quickly take it in

as I paint a picture of my family here

My treasures

my loves

socked feet sliding on hardwood floors

colors..... ruby red, rich chocolate brown, creamy white

lazy winter days curled up under soft blankets lost in a good book

the laughter of my children

bouncing off the walls and into my heart

memories to carry with me always


I can see it ......

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Take my hand

So, I've been away for awhile, literally (traveled to Minnesota to visit Paul's family) and also emotionally (just haven't had my spiritual self together enough to post coherently).

Just when you are so weary of walking  alone God sends the perfect friend to come alongside and take your hand.

I got a phone call yesterday from a dear, dear friend. She and I were inseparable when we were teenagers. I moved to Guam when I was 16. Having been plucked from a life of Texas high school football games, dance core, good friends, and all around American high school fun it was a most miserable move for me.

Then I met Sherry. A soul mate. We talked, we laughed, we shared our hopes and dreams. That was 28 years ago. We have kept in touch over the years through Christmas cards and an occasional phone call but as time passed the cards became fewer and the phone calls more infrequent.

Then, thanks to the wonders of the Internet and social networking, a peek into each others lives once more.  It was then that I realized how much I have missed my friend. E-mails here and there a wall post, comments, cyber hugs OOO. 

Then yesterday a phone call ....

Seems like we live parallel lives. Our situations could not be more different, yet the similarities are true. 
Only God can weave a story like this. 

How is it that she knows exactly how I feel? How is it that she knows just what to say? How is it that in spite of the years apart the conversation flows freely as if it has been a daily occurrence?

God's ways are not our ways.  ... in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose ..... Romans 8:28

He is always there, whether we acknowledge him or not ... working, weaving his love and grace into our lives in spite of the decisions we make. If only we would look for him more often than we do.