Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Minute Friday: VIVID

On Fridays around these parts we stop, drop, and write.
For fun, for love of the sound of words, for play, for delight, for joy and celebration at the art of communication.
For only five short, bold, beautiful minutes. Unscripted and unedited. We just writewithout worrying if it’s just right or not.
Won’t you join us?
    1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
    2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
    3. Most important: comment and encourage the person who linked up before you.
OK, are you ready? Give me your best five minutes on:



I watch from the stands as my 8 year old and his team etch treads in the white ice and dance with sticks in hands toward the play.   The puck they are after is actually blue, the lighter one the younger ones use.  But I can't make that out from the bleachers under the warmth of the orange-hued old time heater running above our heads.  It's already the 3rd period and I realize that I have forgotten to slide on my glasses.  The game has been blurred and my eyes have been squinted tight for the last 45 minutes probably creasing extra lines in my already aging skin.  After I slide them on I sigh, thinking how much more VIVID and crisp everything is and kicking myself for not remembering the spectacles in the first place.

And how often in my life do I forget to look through the proper lenses.  Whether I am taking in one of my precious little one's games or just experiencing life in general.  How important it is to shift our gaze through the proper lens of grace instead of pride.  Remembering that we are all works in progress and none of us have arrived.  Tonight I am thankful for the reminder that life can be much more VIVID when pride isn't blurring the scenery.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Shall We Dance?

Ayla (Winter 09)

We finally have snow back!  I haven't missed you too much but I must admit that I do enjoy your brightening smile!

Tonight, after Jonah's hockey game we ventured 6 doors down the street to the kids' Gaga and Papa's (my parents') house for dinner.  How sad is it that I can't even remember the last time we have done this?  
Don't misunderstand, we are very close but have resorted to usually gathering around our table instead of theirs...

Gaga and Papa's Christmas Brunch table 

We begin the night with Ayla and Gaga performing interpretive Celtic dance, costumes and all.  The two of them made me smile from ear to ear and Ayla is destined to be on stage one day!  She is the most serious dancing 4 year old I have ever laid eyes on!

After soup was swallowed and cobbler was gobbled I found myself curled in front of the fire.  As I tucked my socked up feet under me next to the glowing flames shifting on the yellowed wooden floor, 
  my mind drifts back in time some 28 years ago when each of those pine floor boards were laid and shellacked by my dad's hands.   As the fire flickers into a dance on the knotted planks, I glance at his hard working hands across the dimly lit room....  Those hands that used to be stained with hot tar and smelled of GoJo soap at the end of a long day.  Those hands that never felt calloused or overworked when they rubbed my eyes as he would tuck me in tight every night...Those hands that guided me down the aisle to my groom almost 14 years ago and held onto me as we danced to "Sunrise Sunset" at our reception.  Those humble hands that were now holding my little girl, just like they held me when I was her age.

I look around the room and count my blessings as we take turns rolling dice and playing a game together.  I shift my eyes over the other way and catch a glimpse of my love.  Memories of sitting in front of this very same hearth and dreaming of a future with him...all of those years ago, pour into my mind.
We were so young, the world at our feet and opportunity knocking hard for many different roads to take...
And as the fire blazes hot I realize how glad I am that we chose to dance together in this life.   As I breathe in the beauty of the moment, tears of gratitude fill and spill over.   Our argument from the night before has blurred and faded black as love glows warmly, winning once again.

Micah giggles and Ayla shakes the Yahtzee cup loud and Jonah marks the score and my heart has been mightily marked once again with this deep love that could only have been sent from above.
I remember toes toddling the rug and recall changing pads gracing the floor of the family room now filled with adolescent giggles. And now we are all enjoying a game that we can actually play together.   And time flies and babies sprout up fast and furious but memories etch deep so I grasp onto this moment and tuck it away in my heart as I pack up the game.  And as I shut the red box I open my heart for more as I make a vow to make more time to join in and dance with them in these cherished moments.  

Papa and Jonah

 And we come home to cluttered counters and piled shoes and I feel the panic stir a bit.  I bite it back hard and step over a mini-stick.  I tell them all three again that we will play more games tomorrow.  I even ask them to remind me of my promise so I can't change my mind when I wake up to Mt. Everest piling up in the laundry room.   And hopefully tomorrow some new memories will be made that one day they will all three be able to look back upon.  And when they do, I pray they will recollect the beauty of the dance we shared in that moment.   

Sunday, January 8, 2012


I always love the beginning of a new year. 
 Fresh starts and clean slates are always associated with January 1st.
And now the second week of 2012 is here and the old is creeping up on the new.
The same old cravings are still lurking in corners.
Morning smiles have slowly faded into rushed mundane routines.

But buried underneath all of my constant hangups....laying down deep right next to that anger and impatience, resides a sure hope.
A flicker that sometimes requires a bit of unveiling to get to.
And as the layers are painfully peeled back a bit, the strength of hope bursts through.

And the more I try to change and do it all by myself the more I come up short.
Without HIM, I fail every time.
The most important thing for me to do is humble myself before HIM.
Open up my hands and receive this grace under my nose.
And appreciate this gift.
Because all of these gifts in my life are from HIM.
Recognizing this and tracking them help me remember this unmerited favor.
And as I search among the monotonousness of daily routine an undeniable peace saturates the dark corners of my soul.

As I journal these 1000 Gifts
a sense of renewal begins to replace my ingratitude.
I can feel a spiritual awakening that I can't deny.
A heart changing as I pen each gift, small or large.

And my fears, my failures will remain with me but what good news that the slate won't be filled with those.
In counting and gathering these gifts I can't help but be reminded that my slate has been wiped clean.
I can't help but be grateful for a fresh start and a forgiven heart.

Start counting with me here: