Monday, May 27, 2013
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Listen, Mamas of Specials,
It will happen. You must be ready. Ready to stop. Stop pushing. Stop trying. Stop fighting the giants. Stop doing.
Be ready to stand still and let everything you keep clenched so tightly in your fists slide away. Your hands must be empty and open when the moment comes, so you can cup the fragile peace.
Hold it as long as you can.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Put the boat into deep water, and put your nets in the water to catch some fish.
I’ve worked hard all night to catch some fish. I did my level best. The rowing was hard, and slinging those heavy nets wasn’t easy either, but I cast and cast all night long without success. I moved my boat to different spots that other fishermen recommended and tried again. Nothing. Still, I kept fishing.
The sky grayed and the stars began to fade. So I threw the nets harder, farther, and dragged them in as fast as I could, again and again, ignoring the ache in my back and shoulders. Every single time, they came up empty. The last star winked out.
My miracle never came.
I’ve packed it in. My nets are washed.
Fishing time is over and the sun is high in the sky. If nothing was there when the conditions were prime, how can I have faith of anything being there now? But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.
When the fishermen did what Jesus told them, they caught so many fish the nets began to break.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Yesterday my son shared a song with me. The message of the lyrics are that the answers we receive to our prayers don’t always take the form we want them to, but we are blessed even through the hard places. I want the easy solution, the immediate healing, the comfortable way. No one wants to suffer. No mother wants to watch her child suffer.
Hard places make us grow. My flesh resists this concept, but it’s true. It is not an easy thing to stand in faith when faith is all you have.
If we had not traveled the difficult path that was destined, we would not be where we are today. I try to remember that saying, ‘You have to go through some stuff to get to where you are going.’
My son told me that he felt that our trying experiences had been a blessing to him. He said, “It makes me know what’s real, what's important.”
In the evening, when we gather together, my children and I, my sons pray for me. They pray for their father, and their siblings, for each other. I am still and listen to the voices of these men of God. Mighty men of God who live in my house.
Laura Story - Blessings.mp3
Thursday, March 10, 2011
It's time to get back on track now. I have a meeting today.
I was getting ready and looked in the mirror. I frowned at my reflection. "I hate to go out looking like this, " I said out loud, then shrugged. "But it's how I look!"
Some days all you can do is accept that it is what it is.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thunder has a little friend. She is glossy black and obviously has some lab in her. She loves to bring Thunder assorted gifts, such as: boots, empty dog food bags, and my all time not-so-favorite, dirty diapers. She is also very hyper.
Little girl likes to wander. She likes to wander fast. Thunder likes to go with her.
The other day my pup had been cooped up for too long, and by the time he got to go play with Little Girl, it was late in the afternoon. After a while, Little Girl showed up half covered with mud, but Thunder was not with her. Pretty soon it was dark. We called and called.
Thunder did not come home.
I told myself not to worry. If he was stuck somewhere he would get unstuck. And if he got into a fight with another critter he'd probably win. Dogs were part wolf, right? I'd seen him beat a pit bull before. Never mind that he acted like it was a game the whole time and likely was too, well, let's say 'inexperienced' to know it was a fight. If he was lost he'd make his way back. I mean, dogs find their way home from hundreds of miles away all the time. Like in Homeward Bound.
Did I mention before that Thunder is scared of the dark?
We called and called, yelling, "Treat!" about every five minutes. At 11:00 p.m. or so I told the kids he must have found a nice place to sleep and couldn't hear us. We would try again in the morning.
Thunder did not come home.
I assured my daughter that he would return. The day dragged on. Periodically we would holler for him. Little Girl, with tailed tucked and mournful eyes, haunted our back door.
The we heard a familiar honk in the driveway. Our mail lady always honked if she had a package for us. She was early. My son went out to get the mail, but this was a special delivery. Thunder! He had ended up at some nice lady's house a couple of roads over. The nice lady had met the mail carrier and asked her if she knew who this dog belonged to. The answer was yes! Thunder hopped into the back of the mail lady's jeep and she brought him to us.
And so, Thunder came home.
Some people say my dog is really dumb, what with him not being able to find his way home from two streets down and being scared of the dark. But, he was smart enough to find a human friend who fed him meat pies before he caught a taxi ride home.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
I had worried about that. All morning I ran around the house preparing, just in case. I stuffed laundry in the washer, tried to get dishes done and put a pot of soup on. My efforts to enlist the help of my kids were of no avail.
The two who could have been the most helpful were more concerned about keeping the computers running than filling jugs with water. Both are both very technically inclined and can fix anything wrong with your computer or electronic device. They did not share my perpective on the order of priorties.
Then the lights went out. I asked them if they had any ideas about an alternate source of heat since the electricity had failed. One boy went and found a camp heater, but parts of it were missing. They sat on the couch.
I was totally disgusted. "You guys are no use at all," I told them.
"Of course not," retorted son number one. "The power's out."
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The last Saturday morning before Christmas, I heard Momma’s footsteps as she came into my room.
“Wake up, Laynie.”
I kept my eyes shut like I used to when I was small, wanting her to come to me. Maybe if I stayed in this moment I could go back to being a little girl. I clung to the edges of warmth, snuggled deep in my rose-covered bedspread. The one my mother had bought for me before all the bad things happened. The bed creaked as she sat down beside me.
She kissed my cheek. “It’s time to get up.” She smoothed my hair. “It’s tree day.”
Her departure from my side seemed abrupt, and my arm reached to feel the empty spot where she had been a moment before. I opened my eyes, but she was already gone.
The floor was cold on my bare feet, so I hurried to get dressed.
Downstairs Momma had pancakes waiting. Christmas carols played on the stereo and the smell of cinnamon filled the air.
She smiled at me, “Hungry, Laynie?”
Momma had made too many pancakes. I lifted the corners of my mouth and ignored the empty spot at the table. My plate was red, and I forked two pancakes onto it. I wanted her to sit down with me, but she leaned against the kitchen counter with her hands wrapped around a coffee mug. She kept dipping her face into the steam that rose from it. I ate quickly and put my plate in the sink.
“I have to go find my gloves,” I told her.
“The pancakes are really good,” I offered, hoping she would eat.
A couple of the boxes marked “Christmas” from the attic were in the living room, but the small table and chair still anchored an oval blue and cream rug in front of the big window. The set wasn’t heavy at all, and I moved both pieces to the spot they usually occupied during the month of December.
We took Daddy’s truck. Momma was tiny behind the steering wheel. Her face wore a pinched, tight smile when she glanced at me for a moment before she focused her attention on the road. As she stared through the windshield at the blacktop, I twisted the radio’s knob until “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” filled the cab with sound.
I had forgotten my gloves.
At the farm we walked up the path to the little building where Mr. Simpson or one of his helpers would always meet us. Momma opened the door. Chocolate tinged with the sweet smell of marshmallow mingled with the scent of pine. I closed my eyes and tried to catch Christmas.
Mrs. Simpson was short and round. Her smile revealed a row of tiny teeth, and dimples appeared in her ample cheeks. She even wore round, wire-framed spectacles. If it weren’t for her dull brown sweater buttoned up over a navy turtleneck and her tattered blue jeans she would have been an excellent stand in for Mrs. Clause.
Mr. Simpson’s tall, thin build did not resemble Santa in the least. His wiry frame exuded kindness, but he was very quiet and frugal with his words when he talked to anyone. A hearty Ho-Ho-Ho was not in the making.
He nodded at my mother. “ ’Lo.”
As always, he held out a peppermint stick to me, which I took. I had never saved my candy before, and so, even though I didn’t want it, I pulled off the cellophane wrapper and stuck it into my mouth.
“Thank you, Mr. Simpson,” I said, around my mouthful. His eyes crinkled up at the corners and he ducked his head.
“We’ve come to get a tree!” Momma’s cheer had a shrill edge to it.
“I’ll get one of the boys to come out to the west field,” said Mrs. Simpson as she adjusted her glasses.
Mr. Simpson nodded at her and headed for the door. He held it open for us and ushered us out. By the time we had walked to this year's section, a young man had joined our group.
“How are you doing, Ladies?” He had a hand saw slung over one shoulder and grinned Christmas cheer at us.
We murmured niceties in reply while he managed to match our slow pace without losing any of his energy.
It was late in the season, and many trees had been harvested already, thinning the selection. Between the scattering of trees passed over by previous buyers, raw stumps poked up through the thin dusting of snow.
“What about that one, Laynie?” Momma pointed to a tree that was a little fat and bunchy around the bottom. Momma always wanted the tree to be perfect. It was tradition for Daddy to tease her about dragging us all over the lot while she analyzed every tree there. I tipped my head to the side and hoped I looked as if I were trying to picture it dressed up in baubles and lights.
I squinted at it. “Do you think it’s too tall?”
Mr. Simpson’s friendly helper announced, “It’s six feet.” He rubbed a gloved hand on his thigh. “That’s ideal for a tree.”
Momma sighed and glanced around the lot before her gaze rested with me. Dark smudges left shadows under her eyes and her face seemed deflated. “Do you like it, Laynie?”
“It’s a beautiful tree.” I tucked my hands into my armpits and watched the tree wobble as the young man sawed at its base until it fell.