Monday, May 27, 2013

Straight Paths

That's it.  I've reached my breaking point.  The fences are going up.

Yes, I know they have wings, smarty pants.

To be clear, my intent isn't to prevent the hens from flying over the fences. Rather, it is a futile effort on my part, all I could think up really, in hopes that maybe by putting up a decorative fence, my chick-a-dees would recognize that a boundary actually exists between the dirt driveway and the dirt garden and stick to the other gazillion acres of dirt surrounding them. They'd just, you know, take a hint. I mean, really. How in the world am I supposed to convince my landlords that I am responsible enough to own a donkey when the landscaping looks like a mulch volcano exploded all over the sidewalk?

I set to work hammering in these dainty, so not chicken proof fences, chickens hopping over their new 'boundaries' as I worked, all the while feeling rather dejected realizing how much of my thoughts these days were spent trying think as a chicken would. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised that in fact, the fences were enough to keep most of the mulch from scattering around the premise as the chickens scratched. If you happen to be keeping a tally, the current score is Christi: 2, Chickens: 1. And once I find where these chickens are secretly hiding all of their eggs, I'll be taking that point right back from them thank you very much.

I looked out of the window this rainy morning and watched the chickens explore their yard, scratching and pecking at invisible delicacies hidden within the overgrown lawn.  (A donkey would certainly take care of that lawn problem, no?)  One chicken is by the barn, another stirring up mulch within the confines of the decorative fencing.  The flock is scattered around the yard rather aimlessly.

But for one brief moment in time, this morning I actually feel a little more mindful than this scattered flock of chickens. You see, I've been praying for some clear direction. I've found myself these past few weeks asking God if He could pretty please just light up the path he wants me to follow so that I can have no doubt it is His will for me. Make my boundaries a little more clear, make His path a little more visible in this foggy world with so many different roads.

As I prayed the prayer I'd been praying for weeks now, a thought slowly slipped into my consciousness,

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him
And He will make your paths straight.

Ohhhhhhhhh.  Don't you love that skin tingling feeling inside you get when God answers your prayers?  Better yet, when He answers them by gently turning them back to you in His loving way as if to say, My child, I answered that prayer long ago, before you even thought to ask it.  Sure enough, there was the answer to my prayer, written in His word, long before the prayer had even formed in my thoughts.

Thanking God for answered and unanswered prayers and humbled by His awesomeness this Memorial weekend.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Time to dust off the vases and prepare them for the bottomless bouquet of dandelions!  One of my most favorite holidays is here upon us...Mother’s Day.  This year my children are at such a fun age that they have great anticipation for each and every holiday, even when said holiday does not celebrate them.  That's okay, because I celebrate them.  For me, Mother's Day is a chance to sit back and giggle to myself still in awe and wonder that I am a mom. A Mom!  Sometimes I still can't believe it.  Although to be honest, I approach Mother’s Day with more of a quiet reverence rather than as a day to justify kicking back with my feet up.  (Oh, don’t get me wrong though, I am getting a pedicure.)  But, each year around Mother’s Day I am reminded of a time when a day that has become so celebrated, was once my least favorite day of the year, a day I wanted to stay in bed and hide under my covers until it was over.   Longing so badly for children, my heart grew resentful of this elitist club that I couldn’t join.  Resentful of the basket of flowers and the lady at church who handed one to each and every mother.  I wanted one of those darn flowers so desperately, and yet couldn't have one.  Well, I could have had one.  They weren't heavily guarded or anything.  I once or twice thought about grabbing the lot of them.  Grabbing the whole basket and bolting out of the church, sprinkling them down the road as a flower girl walking down a wedding aisle would.  But, I digress.  What I mean to say is, Mother's Day was a really tough day for me not so long ago. Yet God blessed me with two precious gifts despite my ignorance to all things He knew, and I am forever humbled.  Motherhood has been the pleasure of my life.

So this Mother's Day, I celebrate.  As I celebrate moments of each day.  Waiting for these children placed in me a joy for parenting I may not have otherwise known.  It also left me with an empathy that I might not have otherwise known.   I remember noticing the heartbreak in a co-workers eyes when the news of my pregnancy was shared at my office five years ago, an invisible flicker in her eye that maybe she wasn't even aware of, but I felt it.  And I cancelled my plans to buy out every funny maternity t-shirt with clever jokes spread across the bump.  I don’t hide my joy about motherhood, but I am sensitive that for many, including three special moms I know, this Sunday is a heartbreaking reminder of a gaping hole in their lives.  Posted on my refrigerator is a phrase written by Ann Voskamp.  I read it to remind myself when the days are long or when I’ve had a particularly trying workday:

Motherhood is a hallowed place because children aren’t commonplace.  Co-laboring over the sculpting of souls is a sacred vocation, a humbling privilege.  Never forget.

Happy Mothers Day, Mommas.