Thursday, April 12, 2012

Post-Easter Thoughts

#1 - Having both yours and your husband's church volunteering responsibilities converge on one day, and that day being Easter, will not serve to make for a calm and peaceful holiday.  It might, indeed, result in your husband and the older kids eating at Ruby Tuesday's while you and your younger child serve in the church nursery, entertaining 2 year-olds who had too much candy before coming to the 3rd service.

#2 - Hiding Easter eggs inside the house is a sure way to find all the nooks and crannies of the house that have not been cleaned in the last year . . . or two.

#3 - This may be the last year for this particular child to hunt for his Easter basket.  He's 12.  I know how the eagerness pales with each progressive march into the teen years.  ::sniff::  As you grow up, things change!  But for this year, he was still eager!

(No, Youngest Son, you do not need to look through the clean 
laundry sitting on the living room couch to find your Easter eggs!)

#4 - I am very happy that I still have a little one that gets positively ecstatic about Easter.  There is definitely joy to be had in having babies after 40!!

(Wait . . . a tattoo on this child's arm?  At Easter?  How did that clear morning inspection?)

#5 - Apparently the brilliant engineer who designs Christmas lights so that the wiring disintegrates as the lights are stored in the attic over the summer and subsequently brings millions of Americans to tears of frustration approximately one month before Christmas has now been assigned to designing Easter eggs.  

Easter eggs with a little plastic hinge that joins top and bottom.  Easter eggs that cannot be snapped closed except by holding down one's left thumbnail against the egg's bottom lip, squeezing the egg top together while inserting into the egg bottom at a 45 degree angle, bumping the rounded egg bottom with one's right knee, and pressing at exactly 11 pounds of pressure both upward and downward on egg top and bottom with the heels of both hands. 

Youngest daughter and I worked hard to fill the eggs for the baskets and the hunt.  The teens of the house may have acted like they weren't interested in Easter goodies, but they all waited like famished lions pacing outside a wildebeest lair as we worked on filling, sequestered inside the large master bathroom.

We had about 10 kinds of candy, split into even piles of 5 (1 pile per kid) and we filled the appropriate color of each uncooperative egg for each child.

As we filled, we thought mean thoughts about the Easter egg engineer and muttered mild epitaphs at him/her under our breath.

Or at least I did.

Of course, buying 220 made-in-China eggs for $10 at Wal-Mart the night before Easter may have also been part of the problem.  Sometimes you just get what you pay for.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Morning Walks in a Safe Place of Grace

Easter morning started out with a glorious walk.  

Best place in the world to start?  Lying under my drippy, drapey zelcovia tree, 
sunlight flickering through the leaves.

Happy, dreamy place.

Can't lie there long if I'm going to go walking . . . 

and get back to get everyone up for church . . . 

and get the ironing done (that would be wise to have had done last night.)

Morning walks . . . best time of the day.

God wants me to spend time with Him.

To talk with Him.

I'm learning to do that.

I'm not a talker.

I'm a listener.

And a stuffer of my own thoughts.

Way deep down.

God is teaching me to open up and talk to Him.

That He won't be bored . . .

or rushed . . .

or irritated.

That talking to Him in an atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance is healing.  

That letting Him know my deepest thoughts draws us close . . . 

just like any other healthy relationship.

He says, "Come close to me, and I will come close to you."  
(James 4:8)

And I have.

And He has.

And I'm beginning to see . . .

. . . that opening myself up in an atmosphere of perfect grace

can be the safest place in the world . . .

. . . and make these walks the best time of the day.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

In March???

Can you imagine the delight . . .

Of two girls . . . 

That can play in the sprinklers . . .

In March???

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sharing Our Gifts

My friend Shay and I have an understanding.  She gets overwhelmed thinking about decorating her house, picking out fabrics, matching trims, finding accessories, etc.  So,  I help her.

Actually, I have no idea what I'm doing, but she makes me feel like I do, acting as if I have saved her decor, listening wide-eyed to my sage advice.

I don't have the heart to tell her I'm playing it by ear as we go.  I just bluff and pray hard that I don't waste her money . . . destroy her room . . . ruin her life.  It's a big responsibility.

And my gift to her.

I, on the other hand, get overwhelmed by anything non-human that grows.  Well . . . maybe not easy things like mold or mildew, but hard things like plants!!

This spring after I helped Shay pick out fabrics for her guest room; she reciprocated by determining to assist me in filling some planters for my back porch.

She's great at planters and ferns and perennial beds . . . basically anything rooted into soil.  This is her window box after planting.  Just wait until the end of the summer.  It will blow your socks off!!

I become a blubbering fool when walking in to a nursery and beginning to consider seasons of bloom, charting the light, matching up plants with similar water needs, dead-heading, fertilizing, and drainage.  Good grief, I haven't had to put that much thought into raising my children!!

She helps me pick out flowers.  She checks out the little plastic how-to-care-for tags.  She consults the sales assistants.  She talks me through my breathing when I begin to hyperventilate with the minutiae of it all.

She even taught me about the "thriller," "filler," and "spiller" principle of planting.  I thought she was a flat-out genius.  Until I learned that it's such a common concept that the plant companies have started tagging their plants with those designations.

She arranged my planters, trying to remain calm as I bumbled my way through planting.

Here it is . . . one of my two finished planters.  Dracena, lantana, upright geraniums, cascading geraniums, ivy, and asparagus fern.  Positively dreamy!

Now if all planets align, the sun rays come in at the right angle, and no one shakes the container, maybe they will actually survive and thrive.

And there is also the matter of remembering to water it! Children tell you when they're thirsty.  With plants, I'm somehow supposed to remember to do this on my own.

This summer, I must now keep me hydrated, keep children hydrated, keep pets hydrated, and now, somehow, keep these plants hydrated.  (More deep and slow breathing.)

Shay is confident I can do it.  She's like that.

I believe the dusty blue of the bedspread will go with the blue in her oriental rug . . . and that the lamp looks right . . . and that using antique kitchen scales as an accessory really is "in."

Sharing our gifts, believing in each other, cheering each other on.  It's the blessing of friendship.