Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Some Enchanted Evening (Not) And One Blessing After Another

This one is from a few years ago...but this sweet memory reminds to today that there is blessing all around...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...




"Better get going," I say. "Time's tickin'."

Lonny looks at me and smiles. He's taking the boys to spend the night with grandparents. Then he and I are having a date.

"Love you, Mama," Zay says. He hugs me hard and pushes through the porch door with two backpacks and Mine-O-Mine, his special blanket.

Grant will drive over after work, but Gabe and Samuel go with Lonny now. There are hugs and I'll miss yous. There are kisses thrown over shoulders. There are waves. There are see-you-in-the-mornings and don't-forget-to-prays and an Oops! I forgot my toothbrush.

At last they're loaded and I walk outside and stand by the fence as the van moves down our drive. It's vehicle full of precious. I wrap my hands around wrought iron and whisper a prayer for their safety. For their grandparents.

I love these boys like wild.

But I'm excited to see them go.

I trudge through gold leaves (they'll just have to wait) and head back into the house. Lonny will be back in an hour.

There's just enough time to get ready.

Just enough time to fall flat with the flu.

It hits hard and fast and anything romantic is gone before Lonny returns. But when he gets home, he loves me with that caregiver kind of love. He rubs my back. He holds me close. He loves me well when I'm well past lovely.

And the next afternoon he returns for the boys.

They come in a burst of excitement and life and I'm still camped on the couch. They've heard that I've been sick and they come full force.

Grant bends low and wraps his arms around me. Zay rushes in with a cupcake saved from lunch. Samuel asks if I'd like some music. He finds his guitar and the room is filled with song. Gabe comes last. He's snipped the final pink rose from the bush by the walk. It's floating in a drinking glass. He walks slowly. Eyes on the glass. Eyes on me.

I settle into my blankets. The aches aren't so bad because the room has grown so full.

Lonny walks in. He's got an armload. There are backpacks and blankets and pillows and more.

The boys are home. Things hadn't gone as planned.

But there's an enchanted evening after all.

From the fullness of His grace we all receive one blessing after another. John 1:16

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Prayer for Mamas Like Me

I'm running morning-mad again, eyes shifting from the road to the green digits on the dash. My teenage son is almost late for his job. He sits beside me, quiet, and I look down to see that I'm still wearing my oven mitt. My hand is wrapped around the wheel, wrapped in a worn, ragged mitt. Frosty the snowman. One merry eye plucked off clean.

It's worn from muffin mornings.

Worn from hours before the sun comes up and before boys come down.

It's a little tired and a little frayed.

A little bit like me.

I turn the corner and my thoughts shift, too. In that moment, I remember Gabriel's prayer from the night before. He'd closed his eyes and bent his knees. And as his brother knelt too, pure and sweet in flannel pants, he'd said, "Thank you, God, for mamas like mine."

It comes to my heart, this prayer from my son, as I pull to the curb for my nearly-grown boy. Grant gets out and turns to wave. He smiles a wide smile, and I'm washed over with love. This tired - it's precious. It's serving soul-deep. It comes with blessing and honor and giving and glory. Suddenly I want to  pray for mamas. I need to pray for Mamas. Mamas who give. Mamas who love. Mamas who cherish and hold and give roots and give wings.

Mamas whose passions come in baby bundles and stretch a whole life through.

I think of my own dear mama, my Mamo, and Grandma too... rocking and teaching and loving a dozen babes. Ages of mamas, serving in silence, giving what we have, growing the hearts that came to life right under our own.

So, dear friends, this prayer is for you. This prayer is for me. This prayer is for hearts that give and give again...

Dear Father,

Thank you for children. Thank you for family. Thank you for this first, beautiful way to give and receive love.

Thank you for mamas. Mamas who hold. Mamas who grow. Those who give without hesitation from an endless sea of love. Thank you for mamas who teach. Mamas who listen. Mamas who hold hands and hearts and hopes and dreams.

Help us to be patient. Fill us to the brim. Flood us with Your Spirit so Your love can flow straight through. Give us deep wisdom. Keen discernment. Hearts that are hungry for Your life-giving Word.

Build us strong...heart, soul, body, and mind. Give us the portions we need, pressed down, measured out, to spill into the hearts You've given us to love.

Allow us to persevere, to encourage one another, to lean into Your strength, and to see the blessings that fall from Your hands.

And may You have the glory, for this love and these days...