psalm 107

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Oh Lord, that I might have a song to sing…

My voice is lost
my heart is gone
my story read
and dead for life

Who have I in heaven but You?
And earth has nothing I desire besides You

You have redeemed my soul
from the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul from death

Let the loving deeds of the Lord be retold
of a love foretold from the infinite dayspring

Find me, O God!  For my soul is tied up

and I linger in loneliness

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.

He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
    and broke away their chains.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he breaks down gates of bronze
    and cuts through bars of iron.

He fills the hungry with good things.

faith hill

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This morning on vacation, before heading to the beach, I found myself watching Faith Hill and Tim McGraw interviews. It was one of those things where I’d run into her in the search feed on Instagram, and after looking through a few photos, I was intrigued.

It blew my mind a little when I saw how many followers she had. Faith Hill has 1 M followers. One million. Just to offer a comparison, President Donald Trump has about 9 million. Adele has 32 M. Katy Perry has almost 72 M. Taylor Swift has over 100 million.

When I was in high school, Faith Hill was big. “This Kiss” was on the radio constantly. I was never a fan of that particular song, but “It’s Your Love” was the theme for my Freshman high school homecoming dance. Somewhere in there was “Just To Hear You Say that You Love Me.”

“I’d walk across this world just to be…”

That line, right when they hit the word “walk” was so beautiful. I’d play that particular song line over and over, frustrated by the unique and beautiful harmonies, ones that as an alto in the choir, I could never quite figure out because the notes and the harmonies seemed to go up, not down.

Faith Hill was beautiful. With the possible exception of Catherine Zeta Jones, Faith Hill was the closest to goddess-like beauty I’d ever seen in a real-life woman. Her smile along with her powerful singing voice cemented her in my mind as someone who truly was the most beautiful woman in all the world.

It’s weird to see people who were famous when you were younger. I watched an interview from the height of her fame, just a year or two younger than I am now. Had Instagram been around back then, she would have the 100 M followers.

Her children are in college now. She and her husband recently traveled the world in their soul2soul tour. They did daytime and prime time interviews again. The two were still married after 21 years. They had also both recently turned 50.

She looked different.

I wish I could tell these women it’s okay. You don’t have to stay the person you once were, and you don’t have to try so hard to get back here. I’m not saying Faith Hill is doing this, but at fifty years old, it’s okay to not look like you’re thirty anymore.

Faith Hill has an amazing voice. I wish I could sit down and interview her myself. Tell me what it was like to be famous. What was it like to travel the world, to raise your girls with the man you love for life? What would you tell your 34-year old self?

Why do I have a feeling it somehow keeps coming back to those same little words?

“Enjoy it.”

sun, moon, and stars

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There’s a mom blog I’ve followed for close to five years.  I don’t read blogs as regularly as I used to, but there are a handful of blogs I read and catch up on every so often when I think of them and have the chance.  The name of the blog was Biblical Homemaking, and the blogger was a homeschooling mom of seven kids.  Yesterday I looked her up and the blog no longer appeared at the web address.  All of her social media pages are gone.

The internet is a weird thing.  I’ve often wondered about the effects of blogging and social media on parenting and children.  There was an instance in the past  two years where one of my boys pulled up a video he’d taken on our Kindle.  He was playing with my youngest son, who was an infant crawling around on the floor.  In the background was me sitting cross-legged, Indian-style on the couch, typing away at the computer.

As a stay-at-home mom, I’ve had a LOT of time to spend with my children, and we have spent a ton of time together.  Time together, more than any secondary logistics or parenting philosophy, has been the driving force and reason for me not working while my children were little, and homeschooling now as they get bigger.  There’s something inside me instinctively aware that time together is something we won’t always have.

There are times when I wish for more time for personal interests.  I sometimes wish for more focused time to pursue other things.  I’d meet up with Tara at the Y every morning for a morning swim and exercise class.  I actually enjoy cleaning my house, the results that come after a nice, deep clean and decluttering day.  While I’m not a Type-A, I do enjoy the peace and beauty that comes from order, organization, and art.  Who doesn’t?

I said a prayer for that mom in the dark of the morning.  I hope she’s alright, that her family is okay.  She’s got teenagers, infant/toddlers, and everything in between.  I’ve read in other mom-blogs that teens and tots together is a crazy hard stage.  I am entering the stage of teens and pre-teens, but don’t have infants at home anymore.  I offer my “LOL!!!”‘s of solidarity to sisters, texting pictures of their toddlers digging through the trash.

“BOYS! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”, I shout out the screen door–not in anger–to be heard.

It’s raining outside and the spigot is shooting water.

“WE’RE MAKING A HUGE FLOOD!”, they shout back with glee.

Of course they are.

If the Lord grants the years, I do believe there’ll be time for other things.  It’s just not going to happen this moment, right now.  You truly can’t do all you want to do at once, and in the grand, over-arching, time-changing scheme of life, you don’t have to.  Right now, I’m still coaching, still shouting down the stairway “WHO’S ON DISH DUTY?”, still getting up to snuggle in their pile of fuzzy blankets on this gentle, fall-like, summer rainy day.

 

 

nothing personal

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School has started back up again, and I’d say the first week went really well, despite the fact that I still cried at least three out of the five days (not in front of the kids).  We are going on our third full school year of homeschooling, and when I first began, I wondered how long it would take me to get to the point where the magic had worn off.

I’m not there yet.

My biggest stipulation about the whole thing was that it had to be a mutually beneficial experience.  I wasn’t going to force any of them to do it, particularly the bigger ones, if they were only going to miserable.  I wasn’t going to tell myself that I had to soldier on through and keep doing this if I was going to be miserable 85% of the time.

Homeschooling is very much a CHOICE that I have made, and at any time, I maintain the choice, the option, the freedom to make a different choice based on what I think to be best for the situation.  This was the first summer where I, for a lengthy period of time, questioned whether or not homeschooling would be the best choice again.

I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to just about anything in life.  My INFP personality side (half INFP, half ENFP) is one of peace and idealism, and when the same two kids are bickering for the 8th straight year in a row, I can get to such a place of pain and despair.

I’ve long considered happiness and joy to be two of my most valuable assets.  But IN THOSE MOMENTS when my family seems immune and unchanged by my cheer, when I realize, yet again, my own limitations to be or make everything and everyone perfect, a deep sadness rushes in to fill the void of disenchantment.

I can already tell that this is the year I must learn to become immune to my own self.  As someone who lives so fully in the moment, I can’t give moments all the power to consume me.  It really doesn’t have to be so painful.  Let the great moments be great, the good moments be good, and the awful ones be just a passing moment in time.

psalm 39

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It’s been a while since anything I’ve read has inspired me.  I’ve not read the Bible or truly thought about it in months.  It’s nothing against God.  I’ve just been overwhelmed with all the God talk lately.  Everyone has something to say about God or what He’s like or what the rest of us ought to be like with God in mind.  I’m not against any of this, just tired from it, I guess.  I sometimes feel like God gets talked about for the wrong reasons.  All the different voices have a tendency lately, at least for me, to cancel each other out.

I forced myself to read a Psalm.  Not a book. Not my phone.  Not Twitter.  A psalm.

I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”

I was mute and silent;
I held my peace to no avail,
and my distress grew worse.

My heart became hot within me
As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue;

“O LORD , make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days…

I never got past that line.  My eyes jumped down and were caught by a footnote on the measure of my days:

“about the intimacy of God’s attention to us”

The intimacy of God’s attention to us…

This is the God I know and love.