22 December, 2011

What Kind of Bird Are You?

Kevin and I were laying in bed the other night talking and at one point he said to me, "You just don't like to fly in formation when the rest are lagging behind."

This comment has really gotten to my core. At first, there was a guilt - why can't I just fly in formation? Why can't I just go with the flow? My husband can just put his head down and get through, why can't I just put up and shut up? My life would be so much easier...

Then my husband reminded me, "Sometimes we need people who march to the beat of their own drum."

Two very mixed analogies and so in jest I said, "No, I'm not a goose like everybody else. Geese just all fly together making a lot of noise and soiling all over everybody else's stuff. I'm a hawk. A solitary bird that sees what I want, watches quietly but actively for awhile, and then swoops in to get it."

But then I thought about it - that's too agressive. I'm not that way either.

As I laid there in the dark I continued to think. Finally, I rolled over and said to Kevin, waking him, "Nope, I'm a hoot owl - a barred owl to be specific. Solitary, noctural, and thoughtful. I speak loudly when necessary and take decisive action when it comes to my hungers and the hungers of my family."

Yes, I am a hoot owl.

What are you?

Matthew 6: 25-27
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?"

16 December, 2011

Song of a Sick Day

Well, it's not been the most wonderful time of the year in this house for the past 4 days. We've passed a stomach bug, tips and tails, through all four of us. Clara got it first and seems to be the last to shake it. She's not really had an illness in her 18 months and I just don't think her body knew exactly what to do with it.

Suffice it to say, we've learned first hand that sick days as parents are no longer about getting well, just getting by.

Reality aside, we learned a very important family lesson. There we sat (I laid), two busy parents in the middle of the holiday season, huddled up in the fetal position bribing each other to care for the bare necessities of childcare. For an entire day our children took turns cuddling up with us both in billowing piles of blankets. By the end of the day my son was the most pleasant and content he's been in weeks and my little Miss Daisy had foregone her usual sassy, independent self in favor of a snuggly little lamb.

Our children had been craving some undivided attention and it took a massive sick day effort for us to realize it. While initially I felt like a terrible parent, I have come to believe that it was just me discerning some priorities in the midst of crisis - or finding God's silver lining!

The work on our basement is likely to be finished by this weekend, but you won't find me down there staining or painting. We're taking this final weekend of Advent to enjoy time as a family doing all the things I put off every year like gingerbread houses, light viewing car trips and holiday video viewing. I am going to cook like a madwoman for no one other than my family and spend lots of time snuggling with the kids and my sweet husband.

12 December, 2011

Searching for a Voice

Where to look?
In a book?
For a sound.

To a colored house or a shape of five?
To people of red and blue, but half alive?
It cannot be found.

No! Seek the truth, the faith, the way!
Find it here, the saints all say.
Even here, my voice is drowned.

I hear it here, right here inside.
Crying to get out alive.
Screaming from the inner self,
to be pulled from the shelf.

A voice discerned,
a heart concerned,
a soul with blessings which abound.

Two small heads entrusted there,
two small hearts taught to care,
My voice, perchance sent heavenbound.

I hear it speak to their small ears,
even through the mindful tears.
Their lives of love and laughter be,
hope for my dying voice eternally.

05 December, 2011

Funeral Regrets

I recently had the opportunity to attend the funeral of one of my co-worker's fathers. He was a gentle man with a big heart. Though I had never met him, his love and devotion to his family was legendary. When I heard the stories of he and his wife, they were the small and warm gestures that any woman hopes for in her later years. Hand-holding, slow walks, and daily rituals marked the memories of his loved ones. He raised 12 children including a lovely woman with Down Syndrome.
However, all of these things could not get me beyond my fear of funerals. I know that death is a part of life and I believe in heaven, but something about funeral masses that seems so final. I know it is supposed to be a ritual release and celebration, but it seems so sad and the black seems anything but celebratory.
Kevin says that it is one of the greatest signs of respect and care for a person and their family. No amount of my believing this could get me out of my office chair that day. I regret it. I really do, but I just don't know if I would do it any differently if presented with the opportunity again.
I don't have an answer. God and I have to work on this one. In the meantime, I cooked a big meal and left it in the freezer for my co-worker's family.
Notes for future reference: No black at my funeral and no sappy "go with God" music. I want praise and worship and guitars...yes, guitars.