A gift named Theo

Head over heels in love...and I haven't really met him yet. Please meet Theo, the newest "member" of our family, although I may never get to hear his voice (except on paper); may never, ever get to squeeeeeze him..(as I am aching to do!) Pray for me....James said he simply can't manage a trip to Indonesia this week. My heart hurts!!
I plan to share every little detail of his life as I get them!! My sweet friends who are grandmothers, fair warning.... It's ON!!

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." ~ James 1:17



My first thought this morning had to have been placed there by my precious Lord... I certainly can't think much beyond coffee when I first put these feet on the floor! He spoke to my very heart; reminding me what a wonderful gift it was, this fresh new day; that by His will alone my eyes are opened to it. He is delighted in this; knowing what could be in store should I trust Him and walk in His ways; seek Him in it. But Lord.. Im not much to delight in at the moment, I'm thinking, bleary eyed and yawning. He reminds me that never has a sparrow fallen that He did not see, and take to heart.
Lord, your mercies are new and beautiful with every break of day. Thank you for this amazing gift of life. Take mine today, and use it.

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?..." ~ Matthew 6:26


I Cry "Aunt!" 


 I don't understand men.  In a nutshell.  White flag waving, hands heavenward, I cry aloud, "Aunt!" releasing every ounce of my pent up frustrations with it; (collected, lovingly, over at least 30 years.)  I would cry Uncle, but I'm certain the latter would neither hear me, nor understand a word I've said, if, indeed, I ever did have his undivided attention.) What has come to me, at last, is it that there simply exists no explanation for them at all.  I have come to see that we can only accept this fact, and men with it.  It's a marvelous thing,  this revelation. I wish I'd thought of it years ago.

They will tell you its women who can not possibly be explained: (and there is some truth to that, I'll readily admit.  At times we don't always understand ourselves; which is why we prattle on to the men in our lives about this or that emotion, until their eyes glaze over and they start nodding; pretending to agree, while dreaming about that block of sharp cheddar in the fridge.) Men describe us as "mysterious", which doesn't bother me a bit.  I think there should be a little mystery; a little left to the imagination. We have lost a little of that over the years, and it makes me sad.  But I believe their meaning is that we are just these strange little creatures; sweet at times, beautiful to them, even when we feel the most ugly, kind of smart; certainly articulate, weak, but never, never helpless.  Like their mothers.  Because Mama never got sick; never ceased to do what had to be done; regardless of her own physical condition or geographical location.  The entire house, mother included; could be prostrate from some evil gastrointestinal disease; the kind that would knock a 200 pound man to his knees;  but it is always she who must clean, remove, change, maneuver, soothe, function, heal...while fighting the same raging fever or violent bacteria, without the slightest question, from anyone,  as to her power to withstand or perform. She must always manage to manage it all.

 And so these little boys find us, and marry us: promising to take care of us...and in fairness, they do, bless their sweet little hearts. I have never seen one who didn't take great pride in his work should he elect to undertake some household chore; beaming like a 7 year old after having actually folded a shirt properly or not ruining your best sweater with Clorox.) This is a huge thrill for their wives, and must be met with the same enthusiasm.  I've notice a great number of them that can cook; (this category is the only one my beloved has ever excelled in; although it must be a box of macaroni or anything that could be cooked outside with tongs.)  They do love us, most all of them, with every fiber of their being;  cherish us, just as they promised they would, the day their trembling hand slid the ring on our finger.  Most all of them  truly strive with all that is in them to be the best they can be for us and by us. Honestly try to understand why our hearts break over things they simply shrug and walk away from.  Would even die for us, I do believe.  I know mine would do all of that, and more.   And let me say now, I have several friends who have had cancer, and they know in their hearts that second only to our precious Lord, it was their husbands that truly got them through it; fought for them when they felt they couldn't fight it themselves any longer.

The sweet truth is, I think seeing us in pain is far worse on them than it will ever be on us. I used to imagine the rib God took from Adam had to have been his strongest and most resilient one; but one that was able to bend, a little, if need be. I may have been right about that, and that men have some innate knowledge, or belief in this, deep inside of themselves.  This gives them courage in our weakness; knowing they will need a lot of it should they choose to cleave only unto a woman, sickness and in health; for the remainder of their days.  Like when we have babies.  Not all men, but certainly a great many, would secretly like to go back to the days of waiting rooms and cigars; their tiny and perfect blessing delivered to them from a smiling nurse, their wife now beside herself with joy and wonder, not excruciating and unbelievable pain.    

I love my brother in law.  A lot.  He hasn't always loved me, I'm afraid; but I have never wondered about this for a moment.  My sister and I being twins, we do share a few of the same characteristics which I am certain send him up the wall.  I am, quite simply, the embodiment of all things unattractive and irritating he finds in her; one of them being that observant and opinionated side that we rarely even attempt to hide.

My sister had extensive foot surgery the other day, which placed her in a cast she will wear for weeks; recovery to be slow and painful. And her surgery was a lulu.  After 10 million texts and phone calls from concerned family and friends offering our help, my brother in law insisted that he could care for her that first night, no problem, under control.  I wondered just how this could be accomplished; her having had this surgery only hours before; unsteady, still under the affects of anesthesia, but feeling the pain increase with every minute.  Helpless.  And my brother in law with her. The two of them sent home together,  one crippled and drugged, the other taking the role of nurse maid, bearing a long list of instructions and several prescription bottles with varying times and dosages.

It's odd that Sharon and I, being twins, would have married two distinctly different men; their personalities, in almost every single area of their lives different, if not polar opposite.  They both love us and the Lord.  Beyond that, the two of them share absolutely nothing...the exception being this one thing my twin and I marveled at yesterday afternoon as she lay in her bed, left foot propped precariously on a foam block; pain meds doing little to relieve her.  Both of our husbands (and we have decided the vast majority of their gender) are absolutely pathetic when it comes to helping us when we're sick. Hopeless at it; the lot of them. One can see a flaw in construction or materials that is simply invisible to the two of us; the other could detect a tornado on a monitor that to the rest of the world is nothing more than confusing blobs or blaring colors, and know, within inches, exactly where, and who, this monstrosity was going to affect.   The both of them are amazing at spotting restaurants miles away; can literally smell barbeque, cooking two counties over, and find their way to it, in record time, devouring it with even greater speed.  Men can sit in their chairs watching a 19 inch TV clear across the room, kicked back and seemingly dozing, (or most likely eating,) and never miss a single bad call, play, or "block in the back," knowing the inch line on which it happened, who did it; whether or not they meant to do it, whether the play (which has a name they could recall in their sleep) will stand, or be called back, and exactly why it should or should not.  They are born with this, by the way.  My boys were about 8 when I realized they could do it, too.  I thought of it as a skill at the time.  I now know it's just a guy thing.  I just roll with it; ask the dumb questions, and ignore them when they look at me like I have 3 heads.

It's Ok, all of it, until we're sick. I have been in dire need of water, knowing my beloved would bring it; re-plumb the entire house to see that I had it, if necessary, if only I would ask. Knowing, somewhere in my delirium, that if I was to get it, I must do so, somehow. I remember one night in particular after battling the most amazing food poisoning; certain, at any moment, that I would surely die, and never seeing my husband; him having left me, and I believe this with every fiber of my being---thinking that I wanted to be alone.  He would peek into the room with that look.  Every woman in the world knows the one I am speaking of.  The "Big eyed little boy; uncertain, a little fear mixed with abundant pity, completely and totally out of his element; the  'I know I'm supposed to do something but I don't know what that is exactly so I am just going to stand here until you tell me, but I'm here; oh, yes, you can count on me, your Knight in shining armour'"...look. That one.  And heaven forbid you ever have any ailment which may fall under the "female" kind.  They would sooner run screaming into an oncoming train.

And so my sister and I shared a laugh yesterday together, as she dozed in and out; still drugged a little, still in a lot in pain.  She had turned a corner, she told me; now that there had been two women there.  Now that the person she loved the most in the world; even needed the most, was gone for the day, leaving us in her care.  I tried to go over a few things with him when he returned last evening; having written it all down, and underlining the parts I felt most dire.  But of course, you can't write between the lines, where one really needs to read when there is a sick one in the effect to think like a woman.  I knew that as much as I emphasized or highlighted; underlined or circled;  there was simply no way to take the man out of the equation any more than I could have turned all of creation on its head and started over.  And there is something kind of pure about their little hearts I wouldn't want to touch, anyway.  They do put us on a pedestal, I think, seeing us stronger than we see ourselves; loving us so much, at times, that to see us hurt or in need, renders them helpless and paralyzed where they stand.  

And that is something I wouldn't even want to understand, if ever I could. 





Just before the rain yesterday I walked out onto the deck and noticed some gangly green "weeds" growing up and out of an old clay flowerpot.  It came to me as I got closer to them, stopping short of removing these "intruders" from my petunias, just what they were, and how they came to be there. Okra! Here were my tiny little okra seeds, proudly  bursting through the dirt, reaching for the sun, and shaming me, for doubting them.  I had found this seed packet weeks ago; far more fond of the memory of it than the okra itself; a "project" Ryan had wanted to try some years ago, when the season was right.  Long forgotten.  And so I planted them; unsure, still, of the right planting time (my grandfather, Pappy, probably chuckling at this from his spot in Glory!); and popped them into the pot; thinking my now teenager would at least find it interesting, should they, indeed, survive. But after a few loving pats of my hand, and a little rain from my watering can, I forgot them entirely, certain these tiny specks could never bear fruit: certain they would never grow after all this time, and all this heat.

He speaks volumes through these funny little plants; miracles, they are. The Master gardener; loving us as we are; seeing us for what we will become...even now, after all this time, hidden.  We forget, but are not forgotten; growing, bearing fruit; basking with joy in His nourishing sun, we will dance in the rain; knowing it is for our good...pushing higher, raising our hands; we reach to the heavens and the Glory of His face... 

"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." ~ Ephesians 2:10





I feel this weight inside being lifted, growing lighter; myself bearing up under it; stronger.  I recognize time has healed nothing, although God has surely used its passage for good.  Days, moments, even words..having separated us from it, causing it to fade a little, like the glaring sun falling down behind the trees.  Each passing minute pushing it farther down.  But like the sun, it comes up, again and again, some days harder to face; some days more welcome than others.  I have learned to embrace it; this pain.  Knowing, now, He is working in it; seeing His very hand in it.  Even this.

I wouldn't see it before, thinking I had only imagined Him there; arms around me, even in my least huggable. Knowing now He was doing just that.  Time again, offering up His amazing comfort, the beauty and healing of His words, and I would not listen; choosing to plead my case, and mine alone..  My words no better than the ones that had hurt me; my heart as far away.  I would listen to another voice, one I knew to ignore and didn't, my ears closed to the Truth; the still, small Voice...I love you.  I love you...He whispered, time, and time again.

I show Him this broken heart and demand He restore me; He shows me the beauty in all things broken.  This bread; My Body, broken for you.  Beautiful.  Holy.  Broken.  Abba, Father, He cried; Love beyond understanding; Love everlasting...The curtain torn; shaking the earth; rocks, tombs opened; death itself shattered.  It is finished; it is finished.  The Holy Lamb of God Who was broken...Behold...I make all things new..

Precious Lord and Savior, continue to break my heart open for You.  I praise You in this Holy place.

"And when He had given thanks, He broke it, saying, 'This is my body, which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." ~ 1 Corinthians 11:24