Poetry & Words

a different kind of valentine’s day

this morning dawned grey and brooding, with thick clouds drawn tightly over the sky, pulling down wind and rain through the tousled treetops.

it had all the ingredients that could have made for a really bad day. monday. exhaustion. valentine’s day. a night of restless, fitful sleep on an air mattress on my in-laws’ living room floor. a fussy baby. all our stuff on a moving truck. husband putting the last few items in his suitcase to leave for florida. me staying behind for two more weeks.

yes, i cried.

but then, my baby smiled at me.

and my husband brought me lilies and roses while i was still in bed.

and God gave me peace.

wonderful, deep, incredible peace.

that doesn’t mean i didn’t cry any more after that. after all, it’s still overwhelming. i still physically don’t feel good, and i am still ridiculously tired (although my recent diagnosis of anemia explains that. hello, iron supplements!)

but i am at peace. i am content. happy. excited about this next chapter. excited to see what God has in store. madly in love with my husband and with my miraculous daughter and with this wild and beautiful life.

Poetry & Words

we’re moving again

the whole United States, it seems, is being swallowed up by ever-falling snow. but here in my favourite comfortable corner of the world–NorCal–it’s warm, sunny, and bright. i could stay here forever, you know. i love it here. the high skies, the dry air, the perfectly majestic california live oaks, the way the sunsets dance purple and yellow, casting long shadows across the white Sierra Nevada peaks…

i could stay here forever.

but i can’t.

you know that pillar of fire? it’s moving now, and we have to follow. it’s been parked here for almost a year and a half (a veritable record, as far as the last 11 years of my life are concerned), but now it’s time to move on.

as hard as this is, i am at peace about it.

Josiah and i have been praying–for the past year and a half–for full-time work. hundreds of resumes later, it was starting to feel like a drought. there was still daily bread and there were still new mercies, but there were no open doors.

and then suddenly, this.

not even two weeks after Aveline was born, Josiah received a job offer from a company he used to work for. it was sudden job offer, with an even more sudden start date.

Aveline Alenka - 2 weeks old - handmade crochet hat - cotton gauze baby swaddling cloth by Living Textiles

and that, my friends, is how this grand adventure called 2011 begins. we’re packing up the house now…wrapping up the insane amount of loose ends…trying to get sleep in between stacking boxes and waking up in the middle of the night with our tiny little daughter.

and in less than two weeks, we’ll be on the road to Orlando with a wee baby and a dog in tow.

as with countless other life events, i’m once again singing along with rich mullins. his music is the soundtrack to my soul. “sometimes i think of Abraham, and how one star he saw was lit for me. he was a stranger in this land, and i am that no less than he.” -rich mullins

so call us crazy. sojourners. gypsies. we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Poetry & Words

for now, i want to stay

just a little preview of an upcoming project… (remember the pendant inspiration i blogged about last month?)

pendant flags

now back to the laundry and the dishes. (why do these two things multiply so quickly? and it’s only the dirty piles that grow. the clean piles never, ever do.)  but, it’s ok. the dog is snoozing, my husband is working on an art test, and the music of josh rouse fills the house. a rather peaceful november night.

I know somewhere there is a party going down.
Interesting people; conversation to be found.
I’ve lived in cities where there is no solitude
Made some friends there that I hope I’ll never lose.
But, for now, I want to stay in this quiet town. -Josh Rouse

Poetry & Words

ramblin’ girl

it’s late.  the only light in this room is the cool, unblinking light of the sleek iMac screen.  my fingers tap a subtly methodical dance across the plastic keys.  i notice that each each sentence is separated by the dull staccato of the double space.

from the adjoining room, i hear the sound of water trickling over paint brushes, then the soft padding of stocking feet over hardwoord floor. i listen to the couch squeak as my love sits back down in front of his paints, clean brushes in hand.

my cough rattles my chest cage, and then this room.  the cough deepens as the night grows on, the cough that reminds me i’ve missed two of the five very first days at a new job this week.  the cough that reminds me i am not invincible, and i cannot control every circumstance.  i cannot always be perfect.  i cannot ever be perfect.  but that’s another story for another time.

his voice cuts through the silence, comforting and warm.  his voice sounds just like the way it feels to be curled up next to him on the couch, my head on his chest, tracing the pattern of his graphic tee with my painted fingernail.  today, it was white clouds on dark cotton, and the outline of a vw bus.

today it was white clouds on dark cotton. i like that.  i think in life, i tend to focus too much on the dark, and not quite enough on the white, bright clouds.

tonight, though, i’m daydreaming of the shapes in those clouds.  wondering where the wind will blow us next. we’re still walking underneath this sky, together,  pushing forward on this long road.

and Your Love lies our salvation.

listen: orange sky | alexi murdoch

Poetry & Words

hope is written on the walls.

once again, shanley jo inspires me to write.  she keeps writing, even when times aren’t exactly the best.  times weren’t the best this weekend. i worked and cried and cried and worked some more. i felt further away from my dreams than i ever thought possible. i felt my life was so many leagues away from everything i ever thought it would be.  i nursed my disappointments and choked back tears i didn’t even know i had inside of me.  i even started crying myself to sleep, but my dear husband bundled me up in blankets and brought me back out to the living room and encouraged me to watch something funny with him, instead of crying alone in the dark.

also, he holds me and tells me its gonna be okay.  this is so much better than logical persuasion, so much better than a list of facts of why i shouldn’t be sad.

he writes down verses like romans 5:3 and folds them up and puts them in my lunch, and he reminds of these verses even when, like this weekend, i didn’t feel close to the hope in romans 5:3.  i felt like i was still on the perseverance and nowhere near the hope.

“We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

God really wants me to “get” the hope thing.  i’m a slow learner who doesn’t like to be disappointed. and to me, it just seems like expectations and hope can be dangerous. yet the Lord says that hope doesn’t disappoint. reminders of hope were everywhere this weekend, even though I felt like the darkness would not lift.   on Friday night we listened to The Music Room at Bloom Coffee and Tea.  the lyrics touched me. i fought back the tears, because the words were piercing my heart and stirring up too much emotion, and i couldn’t stop seeing HOPE literally written on the walls in between the soft babble of tiny children’s voices and laughter.

The Music Room playing at Bloom Coffee + Tea (Shane Grammer art in background)

“I gotta believe that it’s still worth fighting, I need to be told that it works out fine in the end. Loneliness shakes up the pain inside me, within the span of a midnight drive.” -The Music Room

“The road is narrow and I’ve sure it’s not paved, but don’t give up when it gets tough, no you’ve got to stay, ‘cause I know the Giver and He’ll take you away” -The Music Room

i’ll fight on. i know that i know that i know hope does not disappoint. and i know it’s gonna be okay.  and hope is written on the walls.

Poetry & Words

“2 little whos”

you’d think by now, the california-ness of the autumn-kissed air would have caused my words to sway and stumble, to stoop and swing across the wide open sky, to sing and land finally, across the white page of new and october thoughts.

by now the full moon of the western night, the silent peaches and salmon-orange of the morning dawn, would have pulled the words from my lips and from my soul and into my pen and onto this, the beginning of something new.

two years ago, he&i were walking hand-in-hand down a long stretch of midnight-lit sand and sea, hearts aflame with the wonderful realization that love was here to stay.  one year ago, we put our hands together and bound them to one with rings, and forever he and i become he&i.

and now, we are again in the left coast world, many tears later, and grown together like the gnarled and twisted branches of the california oak outside my window as i write. we have walked europe and america, we have seen barcelona and paris and montpelier and we have traveled fourteen states and laughed and we have cried and we have soared and we have sunk but we have always gotten up again, anchored to the Rock of all the Ages, the Foundation of our Life.

e.e. cummings wrote this best, when from his pen flowed the words —

2 little whos
(he and she)
under are this
wonderful tree

smiling stand
(all realms of where
and when beyond)
now and here

(far from a grown
-up i&you-
ful world of known)
who and who

(2 little ams
and over them this
aflame with dreams
incredible is)