Monday, April 27, 2009

video
We started trying solids (or pureed, thin, nasty looking stuff) with Willow. She apparently really likes sweet potatoes! We're going to start slow, just eating a bit at dinner time most evenings. It's a whole lot messier, but it sure is cute.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Belly laugh

Willow has started giving me a good little chuckle. She especially thinks "boo" is funny. This is kind of shaky since I was holding the camera with one hand and covering my face for peek-a-boo with the other, but you can still see her cutie-pie self!


video

Saturday, April 11, 2009

story

When I was little I remember often waking in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep. Mom would scoop me up into her lap, covered with an afghan, settle in the rocker and begin to tell "the story". I would close my eyes and see it so clearly, and it helped transport me from my present fears to a far away, safe place that I came to love and yearn to go.

Now, as I rock my own babe, the story comes flooding back in the form of images and memory. I know I don't remember it word for word, and the picture my mind created and recalls is different from the one Mom had in her head, but the result is still the same. 
The following is that image translated into my own words. I look forward to scooping up my frightened little one and sending her down the path...

The Throne Room

Your bare feet pad softly along a worn path as it twists through the woods. You are strangely aware that you aren’t really following it, but it’s leading you. There is a dim green glow as the heavy hang of branches filter light through their verdant leaves. It’s peaceful, a purposeful trail even though you aren’t sure exactly where you’re going. You have a feeling deep in the recesses of your soul, in your very fiber, that you’ll know when you’ve arrived. The overhead branches begin to thin and the light illuminates the path more clearly, and suddenly, you're there.

It looms before you, tall and earthy brown, weathered with use but no less sturdy for the wear. A door that you know you’re supposed to enter. As you approach, you realize there is no handle or knob to assist with the daunting task of trying to open such a massive structure. You look up and it seems to become part of the trees at it spirals towards the sky. Intimidating in size, but welcoming in presence. Take a deep breath ,raise your scrawny arm, much to feeble for the task.

As your fingertip barely brushes the warm brown surface, the door swings open with no effort and you have to shield your eyes from the outpouring brightness. Step over thresh hold, pause, listen.

As your bare feet strike the new surface that stretches seemingly miles before you, the sound of millions of crystals and delicate chimes deafen you. Where is this light coming from?

There’s no visible, singular source, just reflection after reflection of beautiful light dancing down the long corridor of mirrors and windows before you. You make your way across the crystal floor that has no beginning or end, with no boundary to the windows that form the sheltering walls. Before you realize it, you’ve made it to the end; you have no comprehension of how far you’ve walked.

Before you stands another door, much different from the first. Polished gold is inlaid with millions of precious stones. There are gorgeous colors you’ve never seen, you couldn’t imagine existed. Like the first, this door also speaks of forever, but is not worn or weathered with use. It gleams with perfection, reflecting the light behind you

This door requires knocking, you think to yourself, and as you raise your fist, you pause as you feel it.

A vibration traveling from your feet up your spine, then reaching your ears and becoming sound. At first a simple low hum, then words begin to take shape in form of chant. You feel your heart race, and then slow to timed rhythm with the chant. Deep breath in.

You knock and the door burst open and you’re greeted by the sound in amplified proportions coming out of the darkness before you. Again you cross the threshold, this time aware that you are no longer alone.  You cannot see clearly yet, but you feel you’re standing in the center of a round room. Your eyes slowly adjust and you see the shapes covering the walls, even the ceiling. You know they aren’t human shapes, but are some sort of living creature, strong and fierce, yet totally unaware of themselves, united in one focus and purpose. So they are where the sound is coming from, you hear yourself whisper.

At that moment the rushing sound becomes words in your ears.

“Holy,     Holy,     Holy,     Holy,     Holy...”

Over and over again, never dulled by the repetition, each word bursting forth with new strength and conviction. And then you turn.

 Before you is new light that you couldn’t see before, and in the center he sits. The light isn’t illuminating him, it is HIM, pouring out and drenching everything it falls upon. Hands reach out to you and draw you close where he sits. You fall before feet and your eyes begin to trace over the hands that support you. They are worn and speak of years of work and heavy labor, each bearing a scar in the center. Yet there is youthfulness in their strength, a sturdy grip that claims energy and readiness for whatever battle they undertake. They know no fear, nor defeat. Your eyes then fall to the feet you’ve knelt before. The same scars are present on the feet that you saw on the hands. Feet that have walked for ages, born the load for many, tread dirt, stone, straw, crossed stream, river, ocean. They are creased with miles, now glistening with fresh oil and incense. You can’t take your eyes off the hands and feet; you don’t dare look up and meet the gaze that is piercing through you, already knowing you.

You aren’t afraid, and you realize you aren’t ashamed to meet the gaze, but you tremble nonetheless. 

Then chin begins to raise, shoulders square, and you allow your eyes to rise to his.

Louder and louder it comes,

“Holy,     Holy,     Holy,     Holy...”

Exhale, and rest. 


Friday, April 3, 2009

Cutie-pie






She just gets cuter and cuter..... and has a pretty big personality too!

Squeals

This is Willow's new form of communication. It seems to be a combination squeal+scream+growl. It's pretty funny, whatever it is. The ceiling fan seems to get the best reaction, sometimes I manage to come in as a close second.
video

purging

I just finished purging.....my closet that is. Now, I by no means am a clothes shopper. If you want to raise my blood pressure and see me break out in an anxious sweat and aquire and instant headache, just ask me to go shopping. So I didn't have a large quantity of clothing to purge, but I knew it needed to be done. As I was whisking through the hangers, touching each article of clothing, I found myself pulling something out to place in the "to-go" pile, then putting it back in the closet, pulling it out again, putting back. You get the idea. Why am I doing this, I thought. I haven't worn this in forever, in fact...have I ever worn this? 
*BING* light bulb moment.

I knew this wasn't a fashion issue, it was a heart issue. As I took those old, comfortably worn clothes off the hanger, ready to discard them for good.....they wanted to creep back into the closet, often forgotten about, but always there, the familiar ready to be donned again.
 
So goes sin it seems. As we approach the Father asking for pruning and refining, don't we often resist allowing him to clean out the most familiar, seemingly comfortable corners where sin lurks and waits for a lazy, unassuming day to be put on and paraded. I know that's all too frequently the case with me. But that sin is out of style with this new creation that's already been redeemed. I don't have to keep putting it on again and again, with delusions of comfort and flattery. 

"We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life" Rom 5:2-4

"Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Col 3:12-14

As I continued to painstakingly clean out, my mind shifted gears from my ugly sin to others desperate need. The images of several homeless people who I've seen repeatedly over the years that I've lived here came into mind's view. I could see exactly what they were wearing, always have been wearing each time I see them. The man in the filthy red shorts and yellow pull-over jacket who I see walking and talking, gesturing loudly to his imagination, long beard and graying hair dirty and matted. The middle-aged woman who sits at the bus stop in front of the drug store or Blockbuster, long brown sweater filled with more holes than not, clutching an old book bag, wearing to large men's shoes, generally arguing with her invisible nightmare. There are others, many others that it pains me to draw to mind. I begin to put more and more clothes in my "to-go" pile, realizing that that shirt I may have worn once last year just might be the only shirt someone has to wear all of next year.
 
Cast-off sins make room for new garments, warm layers of compassion, kindness, humility gentleness, and patience, always more beautiful than the latest style.