Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Marks on a Rock

I wash the bathroom rug every three weeks or so. Today was that day. It was clean. And then I went to get another load of laundry outside and Rose toddles into the bathroom and wets her pants while standing on the rug. This is progress. She, all on her own, walked to the bathroom and tried to pull down her pants. I’ll soak that spot on the rug and let it dry. 

I wish I could see the hopeful progress in all their accidents and acts of rebellion. But some occasions don’t seem to have a hint of hope. 

I am trying to get us out the door. I’m making everyone use the bathroom and this alone is something to cry about because Rose hates it when Lee gets to the bathroom first. She cries like someone is beating her and I come to explain that she can use the big toilet while Lee uses the potty chair. She knows this already. We go through the same thing every day five or six times. She’s instantly absorbed in pulling toilet paper off the roll while my hands are busy pulling down her pants. She is content with her three squares of TP, which she just squeezes through her legs and drops into the toilet without having wiped herself. Lee is finished and out the door, saying he wants a snack. I hear him opening the cupboard in the kitchen. Rose wishes to wash her hands. I allow her to do so while I stop Lee from raiding the snack cabinet. He complains and throws himself on the floor shouting, “But I want a snack!” Threats keep him obedient, but in the meantime Rose has rubbed soap all over the bathroom mirror. 

I’m putting shoes on feet. Rose shrieks that she wants to do it herself and then melts into tears when she has trouble. Lee’s boots still have mud on them from yesterday’s tromping and he soon tracks mud across the livingroom floor. I pull the vacuum out for Lee to clean up his mud while I pack snacks for our outing. “Stay out of the kitchen!”

Lee sufficiently aids in the cleaning-up process until he gets the Dyson hose stuck and gets so frustrated that he throws the vacuum down and then tackles Rose with pillows. I turn off the vacuum and make Lee sit in his timeout chair for 3 minutes. When that’s over, both children tromp around the house turning on all the lights. Rose grabs the stool from the bathroom and sets it up in her room to climb onto her mini kitchenette. From there she can reach her bedroom light. 

While I brush my teeth they get onto the kitchen table and take drinks from my half-filled glass of juice. While I’m looking for their sweaters, Lee terrorizes Rose with a plastic screwdriver. She screams and when I enforce my authority, demanding Lee sit in the time-out chair for such behavior, he goes running from the room shouting, “No!” I confiscate his Fuzzy blanket until he willingly submits to the time-out chair. I’m trying to stuff an extra diaper in my purse while Rose stands feet from Lee’s time-out chair and they laugh together. I’m not sure what about. This is no punishment. I send Rose away, but she shouts, “No!” and flops in my arms. I sentence her to her crib where she cries bloody-murder and wets herself and the bedsheets. 

And now it is about my turn to start crying. Because after all we are trying to get out the door to go to the zoo, but apparently no one seems to want to go to the zoo. Otherwise I’d have some cooperation around here.

I sentence Lee to his room as well. I put on a Raffi tape. Rose stops crying. “You’re having some quiet time,” I tell them.

It is 8:30 am. I have at least ten more hours of this. I’m not going to make it. 

It’s quiet. I sit down on the couch with my bible and my journal. Maybe I’ll find a reset button. Maybe the kids will reset themselves.

I see chunks of mud in the carpet and what seem to be little moths flying over the lawn in the front yard. No, they’re not moths. They’re termites. And I remember the yellow film on Lee’s potty chair that needs cleaning. I’m out of multi-vitamins, and the corners of our couch are starting to show wear through the frayed upholstery.

What is this? The season of torment? Something has happened. I went through three weeks of sore throat. Another week of the stomach flu, and when I finally recovered, someone replaced my children with fiends.

So here I am at the drawing board again. A paper and pencil in my hand. I start with what I know. One: I am the mother. Yes. I’m pretty sure about that much. They came out of me and now I am responsible for them. Two: they are pushing their boundaries. That much is apparent. Lee has become Rose’s personal tormentor and Rose has become a basket case of demands and tears. Three: I have power. I have to say this one several times to believe it. I have to list all the ways in which I have power over them. I am physically stronger than them. I can take away privileges. I can sequester. I can spank. I can confiscate. Then I write out a war plan: these offenses result in these consequences. Refusal of these consequences results in these further consequences. I find an old chore chart that I’ve put away and decide to implement its use once more for recording positive behavior. 

I’m scrounging. I’m making arrowheads out of old tin-cans that have washed up on the beach of my desert island. I’m counting the days using an old abalone shell to scratch the 1,387th line on a rock. 

And a friend with teen kids shakes her head at me and says, “You have it so easy. Just wait until their older. It’s so much harder when they’re teenagers.”

“You have forgotten,” I want to tell her. And thank God, I will forget too. This grinding of mortar. This wetting of grout. This slathering of muddy mess in between each brick. When the work is done, I know I will stand back and see a wall and not the thousands of pieces of grit between every stone. 

But today I can’t stand back. I can’t see anything with shrieking cries in my ears and a dozen interruptions. Today is too long. I will call on my God and have a good cry and head back into the fray because I have no choice. No back-up troops are coming. The cheerful Daddy doesn’t get home until 6 or perhaps later. I make do. I put one foot in front of the other. And I think I am getting stronger. I think I see calluses on my hands and her cries don’t make my left shoulder ache anymore. I don’t feel a sizzling anger when I hear little voices thirty minutes before it’s time to wake up. A change is happening here too. A change in me. A strengthening. 

I’d like to think that after all the breaking and regrouping, I’m better fit for heaven than I was 1,387 days ago.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Treasure Gathering

I am a collector of treasures. With my plastic beach bucket and journal of blank pages. And my pathway is strewn with lumps of gold and plates of silver. With emeralds and rubies and sapphires and diamonds and pearls. The hillsides are encrusted with gems. I need another bucket.



I am shoveling the colors and wonder and giggles into my bucket. I am trying to cram these joys into words.





Golden leaves, cloudy peeks, stark-naked trees, powdery snow, little mittens, falling flakes, salty jerky, golden grass, frosted trees.





Frozen streams, falls, cold fingers, fitful nights, tears, chapped lips, short outings. Coats on, coats off, hats on, hats off, gloves on, gloves off, boots on, boots off. 


Lord, help me not to miss the treasures of today because I was looking for something else, something entirely within my expectations of beauty and luxury and wealth and relaxation.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Alliance

With each change of the seasons and change in the children's abilities, I remember. 

Like déjà vu, these wintery days of indoor rough housing, laughter, food, and alliances. There were alliances in my growing up home. Usually between me and the sibling that was providing the most entertainment. When Jonalyn let me enter her queen's bedroom and allowed me to play with her special dolls, she was my benefactress. When Jacob and I allied together to mock Jessica or create some dangerous contraption outside, we were cronies. When Jess willingly participated in whatever activities I planned for us, she was my minion. 

But usually it was Jacob and me. We were the closest in age and his protecting big brother personality complimented my adventurous loyal ways.

While adulthood reflections of this union have created a nostalgia, nothing has evoked my memories like watching my own children enter into a similar union.

Something has clicked in their little developing brains. I think it must be Rose's ever-increasing ability to talk, or maybe it's Lee's respect of the spanking spoon when he persists in tormenting Rose. 

Within a week's time, they've made a truce. They pinkie swore and clinked their plastic sippy cups together in solemn ceremony. From now on, you and me, doing things and making stuff and speaking gibberish.





  They look at each other from across the dinner table and laugh at the very sight of one another. Rose brings Lee his fuzzy blanket and he picks up her dropped spoon from beneath her high chair at the dinner table. Their little feet go thump-thump-thumping across our wood floor as they run from their bedroom to the living room in pursuit of each other. When two minutes have passed with one sibling absent from immediate sight, they ask, "Where'd Rosie go?" or "Lee?"

When I can't make sense of Rose's baby-talk, Lee comes in to translate. Usually by saying something like, "You wanna go to the zoo, Rose?" or "You wanna eat a tree, Rose?" or "You wanna catch a tiger, Rose?"
Rose: "Yeah." 
Lee to me: "Rose wanna catch a tiger."

Overnight my energies spent on engagement of children went from 75% to 50%. Laughter is the soundtrack of my meal making. Little voices. Thumping feet. Absurd suggestions. Let's pick our noses, Rose. Let's eat this paper, Rose. Let's touch our belly buttons, Rose. Let's drink from the sink, Rose. Let's put out this fire, Rose. Let's be tigers and growl at Mommy, Rose. 


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Growl away and continue the play. My life is getting sweeter every day.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Vegetable Tom Yum Soup

We've been battling colds around here the last two weeks. This called for some spicy Thai Tom Yum soup, which turned out to be fairly simple to make. I got my recipe off allrecipes.com and then tweaked it to fit what supplies I could find.

Ingredients:

10 1/2 cups of chicken stock
12 thin slices of ginger
6 kaffir lime leaves (They're lenticular shaped and two are connected together as if strung on a necklace. These are the essence of the soup. Substitutes, such as lime juice can be used, but you'll lose good flavor.)
3 stalks lemon grass, smashed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1-3 Tablespoons of hot chile paste or Sriracha, depending on how hot you like your soup
3 Tablespoons of fish sauce
9 Tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup of onions, chopped
3 plum (Roma) tomatoes, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped in half
1 1/2 cups chopped bok choy, cabbage, or Chinese cabbage
1 cup thinly sliced carrot
6 sprigs fresh cilantro (for garnish)
6 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

Bring chicken stock, ginger, lime leaves, lemon grass, and hot chile paste to a boil in a large pot. I made my stock from scratch and boiled all these ingredients with the chicken carcass. If you do this, then remove leaves, ginger, and grass when you remove the chicken carcass. If you don't do this, allow the herbs and such to steep for 20 minutes before removing them from the broth.


Stir in fish sauce, lime juice, shallots, tomato, mushrooms, bok choy, and carrot. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and green onions before serving. Having rice on the side is ideal. Rice may be added to the soup to reduce the heat level.


Bonus

Employ 3-year-old to cut soft mushrooms.




Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween (Lumberjacks & Kitties)

A banana was running the Whittier's Spooktacular 5k. Two bananas actually. And a gorilla, Noah's ark, the standard princess-fairy-undead crowd, a six-foot-tall unicorn, a plethora of super heroes, and Thomas the train with his conductor and railroad crossing sign.


Halloween morning Phil, the children, and I sat on the brick seat-wall on the corner of Greenleaf and Broadway to watch the runners go by. The runners in first place were without costumes, but then came a high school track team wearing capes and various superheroes keeping a steady pace. Those that followed were obviously participating in the costume contest. Though, I can't imagine Gil Rodriguez and his staff of Sharpstone Realty dressed in their business attire were going to win any prizes.


After the race we strolled home for a pancake breakfast made by Phil. Luke joined us for the meal too.


The rest of the day we spent in relaxation and preparation for the evening trick-or-treaters. Phil gave Lee a Black & Decker chainsaw and then demonstrated how to use it by sawing through a log on our front lawn. Lee took copious notes.


 And Rose watched from inside.


Phil also sawed a wedge in a log to serve as a seat for Lee the Lumberjack. Suspenders, beanie, painted beard, plaid shirts, and chainsaws. Rose naturally had to be a kitty and somehow I found myself in kitty clothing as well. I don't know how that happened. Thanks to Mama Mina, Rose had kitty make-up too.


Our street was decorated for the crowds. One neighbor held her family party in her front yard. They had a chemistry-theme going there. Several other neighbors put up rather grotesque horror scenes and others decorated with lights and pumpkins and simple ghosts. They too got into the spirit with their costumes. We had a jellyfish umbrella, mad scientist, and a family of characters from Peter Pan. 


We had over a hundred trick-or-treaters this year. After comparing notes with our neighbors, we think the influx of children was due to the Saturday holiday. Phil is proud to say he didn't give away a single piece of Halloween candy. All the trick-or-treaters had to earn their treat by feeding our bonfire with slivers of sticks. Our evening highlights included visits from Thorpe, the Post, Jensens, and the company of the Himes.




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sacrificing Inward Integrity

Divulgence of the heart, to freely speak my deductions and desires regardless of their affect, is a selfish luxury. To foist my thoughts upon others and to call the speaking of these things honest truth, is no gift. 

It is a lack of self-control, a wily tongue gone loose and an inability to value others' ease and dignity. It is giving mastery to my own pressing thoughts and insecure feelings, which, when given power, insist upon being made into gods. To live this way will surely make all normal relationships disappoint by their imperfect handlings of my divulged heart. If I am to demand so much from life and others, joy may never be grasped.

No. If there is to be any grace, then the truth of personal feelings cannot come first. For grace is to forgo being understood for the sake of understanding others. Grace is to act the part of honor, respect, and agreement though my heart would rather wield its wounds and fears as weapons.

Grace is to silently sacrifice my deepest longings in order to share another's dreams. And although such restraint may feel like jeopardizing inward integrity or stifling my own freedom, it is in fact broadening my scope of truth. It is acting as if we were entirely unselfish though the individual heart screams for stardom. For it is that daily mundane acting, built up into a habit of service that becomes at last a habit of mind and feeling as well as of body. This, indeed, is the continuous death prior to a continuous life.

Such a love turns paupers to kings in the finding of value in the simplest of persons who through the lens of this love, seem to possess such unique loveliness that, rather than being a source of jealous contention, receive our admiration. 

What a world we have of such variety and colors and tastes and dreams all stowed inside each man and woman's heart! What a vision to behold when we keep silent to see the tapestry of mankind all different but all reflecting the trillions of facets of God himself! We need not see trillions; we have our own parents and siblings, spouses and children, in-laws and congregations as a start. 

Let our sacrifice start here to increase our grace and to see Providence everywhere. 

-Elizabeth Gouge, Bird in the Tree and Pilgrim's Inn

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Top Ten Toys for Little Boys

1. PVC pipes: these work like giant tinker toys. Glue them together to make golf clubs or handle-bar swings. They can be also be any manner of make-believe tool.

















2. Ropes & Swings: hammocks, climbing towers, pretend hoses, pulley systems, Tarzan vines, etc.





















3. Mattresses, Pillows, Cushions, & Blankets: think forts, trampolines, giant human sandwiches, stepping stones, hideaways, obstacle courses etc.

















4. Blocks: cities, streets, animal cages, towers, etc.

















5. Tinkertoys: guns, tools, car-controls, aircrafts, animals, etc.





















6. Boxes: boxes!

















7. Legos: just about anything. Use large legos until toddlers aren't at risk of eating them.






















8. Ice blocks: freeze little animals inside and let boys break them open with hammers.






















9. Dirt & Sand: shovels, buckets, sieves, rakes, cups, dump trucks, or excavators.

















10. Water: sprinklers, cups, funnels, pitchers, buckets, paintbrushes, sponges, etc.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Battle Speech of the Materfamilias

Daughters of America, of the world. My Sisters. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come, when the courage of women fails, when we forsake our men and break all bonds of grace, but it is not this day! An hour of false martyrdom and shirked duties when the age of femininity comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! 

We are glad now that we see the facts with no veil of false pretense about them, to fight thus for the ultimate peace of the family and for the value of our men: for the way of humility in both great and small and the privilege of women everywhere to choose gratitude in their way of life and of obedience.

May it not be that the spirit of men and our families will be defended by the skill and devotion of women? There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for femininity. Helen of Troy, Joan of Arc, Catherine the Great, all fall back into the past—not only distant but prosaic; we young women, going forth every morn to guard our mouths and all that we profanely contemplate, holding in our hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that

“Every morn brought forth a noble chance
And every chance brought forth a noble lady,”

demanding no queenly treatment, just like our many brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue to be ready to give life and all for our sake.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in our minds, we shall fight on the seas and oceans of self-pity, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in letting go, we shall name our blessings, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight against brooding, we shall fight against manipulation, we shall fight against complaining and assigning motives, we shall fight against comparisons; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this fleshly body or a large part of it were made the martyr that we so often think we are, then our men would stay home from work, forsaking job and paycheck, to care for our struggle, until, in God's good time, our renewed spirits, with all its strength and might, steps forth to the battle again.

Aye, fight and you may die to yourself. Give in to selfishness and you'll remain unchanged — at least for a while. And closed in upon yourself many years from now, you would be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell the Deceiver that he may take your freedom, your beauty and time, but he’ll never take your eternal glory!

May the lightning of your glory be seen and the thunders of your onset heard from east to west, and be ye the avengers of feminine graces!

By the blood of the Christ you hold dear, I bid you, stand, woman of the West!

-Utterly misquoted speeches taken from from Winston Churchill, Braveheart, Woodrow Wilson, William the Conqueror, and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Great Story in the Forever Afterwards

I’d love to know how what I do has affected others. I’d love to hear how some letter that I wrote to someone gave them the courage to text an old childhood friend. And that childhood friend might have been praying for a sign about whether to take a particular job or not. And this seemingly random phone call prompted them to stay put in their current job, discontent as they might have been. And as a result of staying put, they met their future spouse and led half a dozen people to the Lord.

It’d be nice to know.

But I realize that I’d be tempted to give myself credit for this wonderfully synchronized chain of events, or perhaps think the eloquence of my writing was the source of the power to make such influential changes, when in fact my letter might have only kept that certain someone from their usual TV show and because the TV show was skipped they decided to sort through old family photos and in the photos was a picture of the aforementioned childhood friend. The driving action might’ve stopped there save for a sermon preached the previous Sunday where a pastor told a story about how he’d recently contacted an old childhood friend and found him divorced and bankrupt. And in recollection of this story in the middle of sorting through family pictures, that certain someone picked up a phone and contacted the childhood friend.

But seeing as things are in this life, I’ll never know what events and seemingly random happenstances caused the saving of souls or the first meetings of future spouses or the forgiveness needed within a family or the courage to do something beautifully sacrificial. I’ll not know this side of Heaven because I am stuck behind blind eyes that see only what relates to me, and besides, I haven’t the time to discover all the details of what happened to others. I’m not discouraged because of this. Because even if I were to ask others the right questions to learn how magnificently woven together our stories are, the people I would ask probably wouldn’t remember all the details themselves. Our very mortal minds fail us.

But I have hope in the forever afterwards when our minds will remember and our time will allow for us to discover the grand story again and again and again in every person’s life, in their friendships and vocations and spouses and children and homes. And when I hear of the grand story, I won’t even be slightly tempted to give myself credit. Rather, I will marvel at how Providential it was that God made me love to write. How marvelous that He gave me this hobby that I can’t help but do lest I explode!

But until the forever afterwards, until I can do such, thank God for authors because when we can't imagine how all this mess must work to something beautiful, we have the attempts of authors to show how it might. These artists weave together imaginary characters, events, places, and things to make something grand occur. I love what they do. And I marvel at how the Great Author’s story will be even more fabulous than this.

I’ve recently put up a collage of pictures on my living room wall. I meant to display beautiful moments throughout my married life, but naturally what I intended didn’t get in the way with what those pictures have now become to me. The symbol of the Great Story. The visual reminder that those moments of beauty, pain, joy, and work have a purpose in my own development, in other’s development, and in the development of that grand plot that I await to discover.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Oh Girl!

She’s bubblegum and butterflies and ruffles and kittens.
Who knew that God made such girly girls!

She gazes up at me before we go out and points at my accessories one by one. 
Then beaded necklaces go over her head and she poses coyly in front of a mirror. 
She walks like she knows that she is a doll. 
Delighting in her pink skirts in motion and the brush of her curls on her cheeks.

And she waves at strangers even if they don’t see her. 
And practices “Hello,” and “Good Morning,” 
while holding a toy car to her ear like a phone.

She requests that I acknowledge her troubles.
“Hurting,” she says and once I repeat, she goes on with her play.
And though I don't ask, she feels for my wounds too.

She mothers her doll, chants ditties while clapping.
Like a cat she sits on my books while I'm trying to read. 
And she climbs into the driver’s seat to rotate the wheel and tap the center with one tiny finger while saying, “Beep! Beep!”

She wants to sit with the grown-ups, sit in the safety of my lap. 
She melts in my arms after we’re apart. 
Resting cheek on my shoulder. Little fingers patting my back.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Comstock Inc.

Occasionally during company breakfast meetings, wild zebras will appear on the wall. Sometimes they are on the ceiling too. And sometimes the bowls of cream of wheat catch on fire and we have to spray them out with our sprayers. Sometimes there's a death. The cause is uncertain. Debris from the ceiling crashing on our heads or big thunder banging someone in the eyeball. At any rate and despite all odds, we finish our breakfast. Our insurance rates are sure to go up soon.
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We've spent a lot of time at home this summer making prototypes of potentially multi-million dollar products. We've made tow-truck trains, squirter-cars, anti-tornado-police-stations, snake homes, automobile control panels, orange soups, and screw tacos. Unfortunately nothing seems to make it to production because a cracker-dial or wrecking ball or stomper or big claw smashes everything all to pieces. It's rather unlucky.

When destruction is evidently the song of the day and the furniture starts to take a beating,
we succumb to destruction's calling through team building activities such as making human sandwiches with pillows or hammering tiny animals out of ice or throwing all the laundry on the living room floor and burying each other.

If staff relations begin to implode, we invite friends over or exercise our nervous energy in regularly scheduled gymnastics. This years abilities have expanded to eagle rolls and mini-cartwheels.
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Occasionally the office has to close due to road work or tree trimmers. But rather than impede all progress, this kind of mandatory maintenance feeds the creativity for tomorrows prototypes.


In fact most daily production is mimicry. Our youngest caretaker of the grounds has hired an intern of proper proportion to practice all her newly surfacing maternal tendencies, which include feeding, putting to bed, changing diapers, wrapping up, and singing lullabies. 


In general, company dynamics are at an all-time favorable high.


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And the office manager has outdone herself keeping all employees well-dressed and groomed.



Monday, August 31, 2015

Eternally Examining

O, that all of life could be a vacation, a breakfast of bacon and eggs and pots of tea at 11 am. A leisure stroll down the beach among tide pools where depressions in the rock cradle a cornucopia of textures and colors. And I with my journal have nothing calling upon my attentions but the beauty in these still pools left behind by the receding tide.

O, that I could study these pools of life and discover the names of all the creatures within. What are their names? What do they eat? What do they do when the tide comes rolling in over their heads, pulling and pushing like a tug-o-war of water.







Hello, limpets upon limpet. Hello, crab with the beady eyes hiding in the crevice between the purple spiked urchins. 
Do you know about the waves crashing nearby, little crab? Do you know that we humans up here are frolicking in the same water that brings you lunch. Yes, we are. We just made sport of it. I don't suppose you do that do you?

Alas, I cannot study you little crab because the tide is coming in, because the moon goes round the earth, because the night will come. And I will grow hungry and tired and cold. Perhaps I must leave the study of the crab for eternity where I will have the always now to examine infinitesimal things. Today I am mortal. I cannot.

Where go a mere five days lavished with gifts heaped upon my lap? Why do the hours flit away when I pay no attention to them or meal times or nap times or wakings or sleeps? I will tell you how it happens. It goes this way: when I, like a child, meet every unexpected newness as a sweet surprise. 

The arm of an old cypress to sit in while journaling! Surprise!


A view of alcoves and cliffs! Surprise!


A content husband who sketches beside me! Surprise!


Passing tourists willing to photograph Phil and I in front of a blueish of blues sea! Surprise!


The bright green tufts of growth attached to rocks! Surprise!


The yearly hospitality of two dear relatives! Surprise!


The time Phil took to make Ed and Barb some garden signs for their house! Surprise!


The great adventure that I take with this man! Surprise!


The two little children who are awaiting our homecoming! Surprise!

O, that I could continue naming these little surprises in the daily grind that so often becomes drudgery. O, that I could see all of God's sweet graces raining down into my open hands each day so that I, like my children, might be unaware of the passing of time. Then I should reach the end of this life sooner, and the forever afterwards will begin where I shall have eternity to study the small things that I left behind in Monterey and the small things that I miss each day with these children, not because I haven't the eyes to see them, but because the tide is coming in, the night is coming, and people are tired and hungry.

I sleep well knowing that no detail here shall ever be wasted when I shall have eternity to examine it for all its beauty and context and purpose.