Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unbelievably Three

Very recently, we had a small family event.

You see, there's this small person who lives in our house. I haven't yet fathomed how his expansive personality manages to stay in his still so very small body . . . nor have I comprehended the miracle that is our Bear. When he delights in something, it's with every muscle, every fiber of his being. Seeing him unwrap presents was more fun than unwrapping anything I've ever received.

His brothers and sisters did so much to make his day special. They wished him happy birthday over and over, made him simple gifts or gave him things of their own that they knew he especially loved. The little skateboard above belonged to MrC (now 11--yikes!), and was given freely from biggest brother to nearly littlest. The quote of the day, quoth by MissE up there in the photo: "Bear plays with that a lot, usually when MrC didn't know about it."

Grandma and Grandpa (my parents) were able to come and share the evening with us, which made the Bear's birthday complete. We all love them to pieces, which makes their move to California (albeit temporary) all the harder. Grandpa selected the trucks above, which were right up the Bear's alley. He scored a truck, a classic Pink ball, bubbles, a bike helmet, and a screamin' Schwinn trike.

As I watched the Bear, surrounded by his big brothers and sisters, and watched how they participated in his day, and gently or enthusiastically helped him free the trucks from their packaging, or put on his shiny helmet, my heart filled again with the wonder of family.  These little people sprang from me . . . and while I have given them life, nurtured and cared for them, they are so incredibly themselves.  I'm just really learning how to see them for who they really are, instead of what my own fears and dreams want them to be.  I'm so incredibly late to the game on that one . . . but I hope that somewhat late is better than never.

Those candles were a lucky break . . . all Bear talked about as his birthday approached was his birthday cake (with candles, of course), and a bike with tires.  We got the bike covered, and cake, but the candles were a close call, as I cleaned the cabinet where I formerly kept the birthday candle stash . . . and couldn't for the life of me find them today.  I happened to find these taper candles in the garage a few days ago, and had stuck them nearby, waiting for their turn in the candlesticks on the mantel.  The Bear didn't seem to mind . . . much the opposite, he seemed to love the gargantuan candles.  It's nothing new to him, though, as you can see from a photo of his first birthday:

This is the first birthday after I've begun to really feel like myself again . . . and seeing the smiles in these photos nearly brings tears to my eyes, as I see the joy in my children beginning to really resurface after a long haul of not too much joy anywhere.

Happiest of Happy Birthdays to my Bear.  I can't imagine our crew without you!

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Sons of men and angels say,
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply,

Love’s redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the vict’ry won,
Jesus’ agony is o’er,
Darkness veils the earth no more,

Lives again our glorious King,
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Once he died our souls to save,
Where thy victory, O grave?

Hardly a more glorious day could shine on an Easter Sabbath.  The whole of nature here seems as though she has newly risen from Winter's death, and sings with all of her heart and voice the strains of glorious Easter's message.  Christ lives.  He loves His people.  And He will not leave us desolate . . . He will come again, and we will meet Him and know Him, and at last be safely home again.

I hope and pray that the glory of this day can shine in your life each and every day, as we do our best to live and love and do as Jesus Christ, my Lord and Master, did, in His Holy name, Amen.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Late Afternoon

Sun streams across the sky,
finally dodging lowering clouds
that precipitated all afternoon.
Dull rain gives way to
glorious light;
turning clinging drops to
living gems.
The grass's new green,
the glistening, glowing, shining
of sunlight after rain
twists into an ache in my chest,
calling me outside.

But the sharp slap of winter's last laugh
sends my face straight back in.

(Rough, I know.  But when beauty strikes so sharp, I'm no longer going to stifle it in the name of dinnertime.  Hope you enjoyed it. ;o)