Holy Ground

A quote from one of the most amazing things I have ever read because it verbalized my deepest heartfelt desire in a way that made me almost lay down my keyboard forever because I’ll never, ever, ever, ever be able to write as beautifully as that has been floating before my eyes as of late.

 

Earth is crammed with heaven,
and every common bush afire with God;
but only he who sees takes off his shoes.
The rest sit around it and
Pluck blackberries.
~Elizabeth Barret Browning

 

I want to take my shoes off. I want to live with them off, in silent, holy communion with the Creator of heaven and my soul, in recognition that every moment is hallowed because He is There.

I want to stop picking blackberries and stuffing my face with the sordid and the staining.

I want to practice the one thing that is needful…the good part that Martha missed. Though the day is full of agitation my soul can sit at His feet, listening and learning and reminding me that there is More.

 

More in the moments than can be seen with the eyes of this flesh. More to be savored, more to be gained, more to be enjoyed, even in the struggle.

 

Because He is There, in the flames, if only I stop and see. The holy ground is all around me.

 

Filling

In the dim charcoal of early winter morning the little interloper stirs next to me and rolls closer. He sighs and I wrap my arms around his sweet two-ishness, hoping to postpone the inevitable need to rise and feel the relentless pull of gravity on my ever-growing bulk. But I know what is coming as his eyes flicker open. There is only one thing on his mind, every morning, one pressing need that supercedes all else.

 

“Cup?” he whispers hopefully.“Cup?”

 

He has been weaned for over a year now, but I am still the preferred Filler of Needs, the Source of Nourishment, the Bringer of Cup and Bowl. Others may do in a pinch, but somehow it is more satisfying when it comes from my hand. Waking means breakfast, and for him it cannot come too soon.

 

We travel downstairs, he and I. As I pour the milk he chortles in anticipation, receiving it with a sigh of contentment, satisfied (at least for these five minutes).

 

Something niggles.

 

The image of a baby bird comes to mind as I gaze at my little son, who with his limited vocabulary manages to convey his needs to me. I take joy in this little ritual, this filling of his belly, and I cannot help but hear God’s voice.

 

I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (psalm 81:10)

 

Ungainly, powerless, with eyes sealed shut, the baby bird knows nothing but to open wide and be filled. He does not hold back. He demands and receives. Can I do the same? I too am helpless, but my pride convinces me that I can do the job filling the emptiness, even though in my blindness I grasp at straw and mud and pretend it is a feast.

 

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. (Isaiah 55:2&3)

 

I long to be filled. My Father in heaven longs to fill. It is a simple equation. Yet I must be unashamed to open wide, bold enough to ask and unafraid to expect not just a miserly sip but a drenching of good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

To be expectant, each and every morning, that my needs will be met if I will be lowly and brash as a little child, vulnerable and demanding as the naked bits of noise in the sparrow’s nest.

 

 

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. (psalm 145:16)

Cup, Lord? Cup?

 

Yes child, says He. Come and see the table I have prepared for you here in this wilderness. Come, and let Me fill your cup to overflowing.

Giveaway

Welcome to my first-ever giveaway, brought to you via Rocks in My Dryer and her neverending supply of creative ideas! You can stop by her site and visit all the jillions of wonderful links that this brainchild has generated, and neglect your household all day long signing up to win, Win, WIN!! Because that’s what life is all about.

Winning.

 

Just kidding. Duh!

 

I had so many favorable comments about my SNOW letters back before Christmas that I thought I’d go with that idea and craftabulate some in a Valentine theme.

 

Yes, craftabulate is a new word. It’s sure to be sweeping the nation soon, but you heard it here first.

So! I fixed up these swell little letters that spell out “SISK”…no wait…I mean “IKSS”…hold on a minute…

 

 

Oh yeah, NOW I remember! They spell “KISS”. Yeah. Because that makes sense, with Valentine’s Day approaching and all. You know what’s funny? When I was typing “Kiss” just now, my fingers automatically typed out “Kill” first. What does that say about me?

 

Nevermind. I don’t want to know.

 

At any rate, you too can have these lovely little gems of mod-podge and craft paper, for the low low price of nothing at all leaving a comment! Just tell me how wonderful you think I am, and sometime between Feb. 1-3?I’ll pick a number via a top-secret system (iow not-yet-decided) and we’ll have ourselves a winner.

 

First, some details. These letters are wooden, about 10″ high each, and they have hanging holes in the back for displaying prominently anywhere in your home because they’re so stinkin’ cute. I will pay Priority Mail shipping for anyone in the continental U.S., and regular shipping should you live in Tibet or something.

 

In the interest of full disclosure, I will be frank and say that the paper rippled a bit as I made these letters. Consequently, they look homemade and not store-bought. Shriek!

 

 

However, they are still cute. And some of them have little extras like buttons and silk flowers. To make up for the ripples.

 

Have a fabulous, giveaway-filled Monday! Don’t forget to visit all the other fine links at Rocks in My Dryer’s ’08 Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!

 

 

*sigh*

Someday, I shall learn to love January.

 

I shall love its stillness and its silence and its gray waiting.

 

I shall appreciate its call to rest, to sit, to muse and meditate.

 

I shall approve of its hidden activity, the changes occuring beneath the ground my frozen feet tread, and I shall not chafe at the secrets it withholds from me.

 

 

I shall savor its call to slow down, to travel less, to reflect more.

 

I shall string the days like jeweled beads upon the cord of time and learn to see the beauty in even the common and coarse.

 

I shall.

 

Perhaps next year.

 

 

And by golly, she waited until the full light of day to get it.

3 AM. I have always thought of it as the witching hour. Probably because I ill-advisedly read “The Amityville Horror” as a teen, and that was the time the father was always waking up because of the grisly murder that had occured in the boat house, and that’s what he called it. Actually, I think that was 3:10. Or 3:12. Who the hell cares. What a stupid book.

 

At *my* house last night, at 3 am, a tiny piping voice floated up the staircase to me as I flipped and flopped in my bed in an effort to get comfortable around the 2 year old who, due to his magnetic properties, must always point north, and therefore winds up with his feet in my ear more often than not. This skill in compass-simulation will no doubt come in handy if he is ever lost in the woods.

 

 

The voice belonged to the 5 year old, who shares a room with three of her older sisters. It was small in the darkness, and I can imagine it peeking timidly into the other rooms as it travelled, seeking my prone form.
 

“moooommmmyyyyy? moooooommmmmyyyyy?”

 

Now, I don’t have any idea why, but I get spooked at night quite frequently. I do not handle the darkness well (perhaps my selection of reading material as a teen has something to do with that). Even the sound of someone getting up to use the bathroom, or car tires from outside the window, can send my heart into palpitations. If any of my children should, God forbid, ever come and stand at my bedside and breathe heavily while waiting for their ominous and spectral-like presence to permeate my consciousness, they are liable to lose an extremity when I finally do awaken.

 

That’s probably why they prefer to call me from the safety of their own beds.

 

At any rate, the voice floated in, and I shot upright (okay…so I heaved myself upright) to go investigate. I had to go through the dark house in order to do this, as well as pass the front door, which has big windows and no curtains and would be the perfect place for a deranged clown to stand and stare in a psychopathic stupor, should he decide to, at 3 AM.

 

I arrived in my daughter’s bedroom safely.

 

“What’s the matter, honey?” I asked, between gasps for air. I was ready to administer tylenol, wrap an aching leg in a soft blankie, or pray away the bad dreams. I was prepared even for the eventuality of vomit, since we had recently had a bout of that with another child.

 

“I need lip stuff.”

 

Yes, from now on, 3 AM will no longer be referred to as the witching hour. It is instead the hour at which you awaken, lips crusty and dry, and decide to call to your beleaguered mother to fetch you some ointment.

 

The chapstick hour.

 

 

 

IT

There are a lot of questions I get asked when people realize I am expecting my dozenth (new word; make a note) child. Some of them are worthy of swift and immediate disembowelment (“don’t you know what causes that?”), but others run the gamut of curiosity over laundry, school, vehicles, employment, etc.

 

I think these questions are boring. I’m not sure why people think they want to know. I’d much rather discuss scrapbooking or movies or the love language of snails, but no! They are insistant. They want to know. So I thought I’d take time to answer some of those questions here, for all the world to see. Then maybe I can get some cards printed up that say “answers” or something, with a link to this post, and I can just hand them out when necessary. 

 

Shut UP! I know! I’m brilliant, right? But let’s get on to the questions.

 

Question: How much laundry do you do/How do you keep up with the laundry/Do you have more than one set of washer and dryer?

 

Answer, I wish: I don’t do laundry. Every night my children throw their clothes away and wear a brand new set the next day. 

 

Real Answer: I swore to myself I would never, ever, ever, infinity talk about laundry here. But it’s a new year and my resolve is all shot to hell, so here goes. I do an average of one load of laundry a day. I have one set of normal capacity washer/dryer. Some things only get washed if they get puked on. DD#2 does the laundry for herself and DD#’s 1 and 3. And since I just came a hairsbreadth away from boring myself to death, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject.

 

Question: What does your husband do for a living? 

 

Answer, I wish: He has a thriving home business that enables him to unleash great amounts of creativity daily while remaining free to help me with homeschooling, support our family in high style, and pass on to any receptive progeny for posterity, forever and ever, Amen.

 

Real Answer: He’s a computer programmer for a Brogdingnagian oil company which at this very moment is picking your pocket for every penny you are worth just so you can get from point A to point B. No, there’s nothing he can do about it. He is but a cog in the wheel. Thank you for your support.

 

Question: What do you drive?

 

Answer, I wish: When it’s just me, an Audi Roadster. When it’s everybody, we pile into our private lear jet because the only places we go as a whole family are exotic, educational, and overseas.

 

Real Answer: When it’s just me, a Ford Taurus. When it’s everybody, a big ugly white 15 passenger van we like to call Moby Dick. I don’t know what brand it is; that sort of information falls out the back of my brain just as soon as it goes in, right along with stuff like my blood type. There’s only so much room in there.

 

Question: What curriculum do you use? 

 

Answer, I wish: Each child has a set of books on each subject that has been customized according to their individual interests, strengths and weaknesses, personality and learning style.

 

Real Answer: It’s a mish-mosh. What works for one often does not always work so well for another, but by and large we try to crush everybody into the same box because we like to have money with which to buy food after the year’s curriculum has been bought. We’re funny that way.

 

Question: “How do you do it?” 

 

This question is overwhelmingly the winner of most-frequently-asked, even though it is vague and largely rhetorical. Do what, exactly? Breathe? Live? Get up in the morning? Make coffee? Wrangle toddlers? Adjudicate disputes? Potty train? Keep my eyeballs from rolling around independently of one another?

 

Or maybe all of the above, while keeping sanity at maximum and bloodshed at minimum? This might be the inference, since the line that almost always follows the question is usually something like: “I go crazy with just my one/two/three!” 

 

I suspect I do it the same way everybody else on this terrestrial plane does, whether they acknowledge the existence of a higher Power or not.

 

By the grace of God, baby. By the grace of God.

A proposal*

Reasons why the word “hemorrhoid” should be replaced with the word “asteroid”

 

1. Location, location, location

 

2. It’s easier to spell

 

3. They both burn with a fiery hot vengeance when they encounter friction

 

*alternate title:”why pregnancy should only last 6 months”
 

 

 

Methinks it would be dandy

If I had a robotic substitute, my life would be so much easier. Whenever I felt the threads of my sanity begin to slip, I could bring her out of the closet, and she’d take over. Robot-Mom would sit on the couch with the early reader and say brightly:

 

 

 

“That is a “b”! See?his big belly? It says ‘bhh!’ not ‘dhh’! BBBig BBBelly BBBhh!”

 

 

She would say it cheerfully and non-judgementally, even if she had to say it infinity. bazillion. times. She would never, ever, ever sigh heavily. Her metal digits would?not grip the book so tightly it almost tears apart in an effort to keep her shiny chrome head from exploding.

 

 

Robot-mom would wheel about on firm, smooth casters and her sciatica would never keep her from fixing dinner. She would glide into the kitchen and whip up cream sauces and desserts from scratch, chuckling animatronically at the unyielding tile floor beneath her.

 

 

Robot-mom would listen to the ten- and twelve-year-olds talk about the latest level they reached on their favorite video game. She would smile and nod in the appropriate places, and her eyes would not glaze over. It would never even occur to her to say please, for the love of all that is good and pure in the world, stop talking now because I have no idea what a Dodongo or a Moldorm is, and if you try to explain it to me I’m fairly sure I will start shrieking. If an acorn of defense helps you, I’m thrilled. But I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really need you to go away now.

 

The possibilities are truly endless. When Robot-mom was done with the grueling tasks of the day, flesh-and-blood mom (ie. me) would be there…ready to dole out hugs and kisses and positive affirmations and unconditional love overflowing from a well-rested and prayer-laden heart.
 

 

We’d be the perfect team, Robot-mom and me.

 

 

 

It turned inside out, and then it exploded

That sizzling noise? Oh, that’s just my brain frying. Here are some reasons why:

 

1. A toddler in day 3 of mysterious fever and becoming increasingly grumpy about it.

 

2. Fractions.

 

3. Decimals.

 

4. Percents.

 

5. Phonics.

 

6. “I have to cut? I have to glue? I have to count African mammals? Mother, are you trying to kill me, your beloved child? MY GOD IN HEAVEN, THE TORMENT OF BEING A FOURTH GRADER!!!”*

 

7. Gravity.

 

*not his exact words…but close enough