How A Bird’s Song Can Lighten The Heart Of Man ( And Other Gifts In The Mix)

Answering Ann’s call at A Holy Experience dot com after reading her book One Thousand  Gifts, A  Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are, today I am counting gifts of the week.

In a prosey sort of poetic sort of my own weird way.  Just writing gratitude.  Just writing words of a grateful heart.  Just diving in with thanks.

Because when we are up-close pressing hard against the store-front windows of this life, nose cold, nose pushed down with a bit of pain, the focus is a blurry kind of not quite right. Sometimes just too raw in the moment, present yes, but needing a freshening of perspective.  Stepping back.  Looking back.  Past the big window pane of the right now, into the sweet days back. Looking back for gift counting.  For today. And then thanking for this day.

We sit together after the curtain has come down on the stage of his work day.  Club chair facing club chair, mano-a-mano, but not really.  And we are still.  Cracked open wide window, spring air wafting in, and he says, “Do you hear that?”  “She or he is doing his repertoire for someone.”  And we listen mesmorized by the mockingbird running through all that she knows and all that she’s learned and all that she can give– one delightfully perfect song of something in her world after the other.  She mimics baby birds, and he laughs.  He is tired and he is very gray and the day was long.  But the mockingbird singing like baby birds brings child-like wonder to his face. “Do you hear that, now she’s doing a song bird.”  And whatever has transpired in his day in the before this moment, pales beside this moment of wonderment.  Of resting on birdsong.  And she is so loud.  And she is so very determined.  I listen to him listen to her.  I study his face while I listen to her.  He says it may be a male showing off for a female.  And the romantic in me measures the sweetness of how invested he is, this bird, in this moment.  How such volume can come from a creature so small.  And it is oh so simply sweet and then its over.

It is quiet and he is worn out, both bird and man.  I wait hoping this is a much needed break and that he will return with the second act of his beautiful performance.  But it is night and he is tired and he has run through at least once, all that he knows and delivered it, performed it, with all of his power and might.

But he reminds me that we will have all summer with this mockingbird.  I am grateful.  We will park our tired selves by the cracked open window again and wait to be sweetly entertained by one who pours out his gifts and talents with reckless abandon. And the baby bird imitation will always be my favorite.

And I am grateful for this child who took big steps this week farther into his life as a man.  And for his interview next week.  God knows His plan and it will be good and it is a gift to watch Him match up a career to a young man’s heart.  A man who will need provision for a wife and children in the one day off.  Who loves home and nesting like the male mockingbird.  Singing loud after life, about life. Always turning up the story of life with passion on the dial of life.

I see a child sweetly nurturing friendships after desert times, and dry seasons in this arena of his world stage.  Broken and busted up times in the past, healed with the sweet balm of good, kind friends.  Walking in all happy strided after the fellowship.  Calling to report that he’s just being with them.  Learning how to be a good one and invest in others.  Bending an ear to the need of them.  His little tribe, his little community.  Grateful.

Grateful for washing dishes with friends after a luncheon celebrating a community bible study.  The drudgery of dishes and sink and wet sloppy washing can take on new meaning when there is community and there has been such sweet laughter and roasting in love.  Flowers, and fellowship and food and celebration are justified rejoicing–we know God and His word deeper and different after this season of study, of community dwelling in His word.

Today will write her story as she unfolds.  And it will be good.  With its surprise, and mystery and delight.  Its twists its turns, its delightful birdsong.

The bellowing out and proclaiming will be done tonight, looking back on today. The nose pressed  against the glass, looking hard at this today. And counting gifts………

Listening for the birdsong, listening for the JOY. Wrapping it in a word of gratitude.

Celebrating, Cheering, Rejoicing —Life (With Words, Always)

I had lunch with a friend last week and she said something profound.  Profoundly simple.  I just live everyday like its the last.

And I want to too.  So a good place to start is with celebrating life and all that’s worth celebrating about it.  Daily.  In the ordinary.  In the mundane.  In the big and in the small. In the minutae and in the grand.  The footnote asterisk moments, and the all out worthy of champagne and caviar celebrations.  The all.  The package.  The whole entire messy and grandness of it all.

Around here today, this momma’s heart is celebrating.

So I write.  I write to celebrate and mark the worthy and the good. To describe the layers of living and life.  Tear stained keyboard marking milestones. Sweet and bitter co-mingling on the tongue-tip places. Tasting the past.  Savoring time since birthing a firstborn son into a world where he becomes the teacher, an anchor, a place to look for inspiration. A place to go for contagious exuberant passion for life and all that it grants.

Time blurs in the remembering. So I write.  And the fingers, the heart, the mind, and memories meld together and weave in and around, back and forth, and swirl up the all good.

I write and remember.  Track back and gather up. Gather up moments, milestones, time and time spent.  Ways love appeared and  the ways love was shown. Beautiful expressions of love.  Deeply handsome gestures of care, concern, love, and compassion.

I write to proclaim and give voice to the story.  A good story worth telling in bold and in all caps.  A story starting with love in love and continually marked by love.  Bookmarked with good and great and worthy of being raised up.

A story of a boy becoming a man.  Growing in manhood.  Tenderly, kindly, strongly, compassionately walking out love.  For His God.  For His family.  For his friends.  For others.

A story of gentleness and a passion for life and creation.  For the small in the world, the fragile, all that God created with feathers, and wings, and fur, and skin.

A story of caring.  Caring deeply for others, always.  A story of a heart which seeks to nurture  and love.  To protect and pour into.  Standing firm in Faith.  Standing firm in Family.  Going long, running hard after friendship.  Always digging deep into work, into love.

Happy Day of Your Birth.  Happy you have made me.  Joyful, joyful I adore you.  

Your life is a beautiful praise song to God.  You love all His creatures and you love His people in a way that touches deep in me.  You have woven your love throughout our family, always caring and searching for the needs of others.

Thank you for walking back into this home, my man-child, your passions, your joy, your love and your hopes.  Grateful for your strong tethered heart to this home and this momma.  I weep with joy, I weep with gratitude.

Happy Birthday, my son, I love you.

When we celebrate life, we celebrate Him, the Giver of all great gifts.  Thank you Father God for pouring out so richly into this life, this home, this day.

And all God’s people say “Amen.”


From Me To Me– Words For Me {And Maybe For You}

Dear Me:

Psalm 36:5 says “God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic,”

Jude 1:2: “Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

1 Corinthians 13:7: Love “Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.”


Me ( with all content lovingly from God via The Message)

Its Like The Normandy Invasion But On A Larger Scale

This is Tuesdays story. And yes its Wednesday.

It rings.  Or vibrates.  Or more likely its muted and I see there is a call.  I reach for the lifeline in this life.  Its red phone, its  black box important. Its part of a multi-level communications plan that involves email, carrying  life plans delivering the latest top level security updates.

She is Patton. I am MacArthur. This is war.  This is their lives.

Red pen, push pins,  tools in the battleplans laid out in the heart and mind.  Marking the critical, identifying the hour by hour movement of troops. And we strategize.  We move pieces around the map of life. The map of their lives on this night.

We momma warriors plan out how to keep them safe on this night of their lives.  Point A to Point B movement is critical to safety and well-being.  Its a jungle out there, these roads of life.  Danger lurks.  Hearts and bodies, fragile with youth, must naviagate through decisions, confusion, temptation, and dark night.

She tells me a story and I tell her one too, this co-general momma planner.

Our boys, one half a step from manhood, are tall, grown in stature  and  raised in this community of believers. My daughter, one year behind these sons growing into womanhood.  These children linked up and doing life together. My son, her son such deep friendship carving out.  My daughter, linked in friendship.  These woven lives all threaded together in community of youth.  We have much to steward. The flowers and shrimp for the battle night are distraction wrapped in details of the pre-battle party.

She goes first.  Words paint story of three year old school kids off to the pool after three year old kindegarten.  And she, plunges down in and swims with the playmates. She caring for a child for these hours, whose life she has been a participant in from before the beginning.  She comes to the surface, all momma cleansed, her make-up and hair no longer as before.  And he stares, my wide-eyed one, blue saucers, blue orbs piercing her in numbing confusion.  He, always this recorder of events, never missing one.  And always, always speaking out in raw truth.

And after long pregnant pause of childhood wonder, he asks what he questioned all along.  Are you still Taylor’s momma.  Change so subtle, wet haired momma swimmer now could be someone else.  Now could be for mine a stranger in this pool.

She giggles and I belly laugh. This story of over a decade ago blurs time and space and races back and delivers simpler.  Drops her in my lap, simple.  The easy to explain.  Of course I’m Taylors momma.

Its my turn now.  Story rises up all warm, like white flour biscuit oven ready.  Story hot out seeking open mouth to savor her and enjoy how sweet, all honey-covered she is.

Do you remember?  Do you recall? The time my husband popped into your office eighteen years ago and you pointed him to Bethany Christian Services? His heart broken by my pain, and  his, and  ours. This battle with infertility. This pain of long wait for baby.He, seeking a God path out of the pain. Black tunnel life moments, the coming out seeing light.

And do you remember you were the one there on that day? He was a stranger.  We were from somewhere else.  This was before.  Before we were drawn to this place.  This was a beginning and you marked this community as one of Hope and Love.

And she, belly full of baby.  Working at the church.  She directing and moving push pin strategy plans of the heart, pointing toward hope, gently lead by the Spirit. Leading us to a place where family would grow out of and from.  Where comfort and blessing and our adoption story would be birthed.

So story reminds of beginnings of friendships between boys.  Hers on the way into her home in her warm ripe belly.  She a directress of Hope and Encouragement. Ours, nine months later birthed through a precious life-giving birth mother who would lovingly release our cherished and prayed for one into my arms.

And now the warrior mothers plan and scheme of safe life travels on the night of Prom.  Planning all Normandy Invasion, how to feed the troops, what tanks will carry these young people off into the night. How will they move from Point A to Point B to Point C. What happens when the enemy lurks on the highway, dark night covering their paths. How will they find their way home to us to the mothership? Dodging each obstacle in their path with skill, on their own in this night.  Her son and my daughter, traveling companions on this jouney, paired up she with his best friend.  And my middle off with another group.

This battle, this plan has dimension and depth that challenges a momma battle planner.But we have each other.

Whether mother or not.

We have community in life.  Ones whose gifts come alongside and lend strength and comfort.

We have the other story-tellers who tell of their messy and their struggle.  Who shine bright light on the you are not in this alone. Who tell of over-coming challenge, pain, grief, and disappointment.  Who tell of times of rejoicing and flat out Joy.  Who shout the Mercy times and the Grace times when just before they stumbled hard they were caught in Love.  By community.

He wove this momma warrior back into my life.  He weaves these threads of support in kind word tapestry.  Ones who tell story of life where we see clearly He carried us.  He fought that battle for us and with us.  He prepared.

And we’ll release these young brave-hearts into this night and this life.  Covered in His love, covered in prayer.

And the mothership will keep watch for safe return. Always longing for their return, from playdates in swimming pools and first prom nights.

And trips home from college.

This is not the end of the story.  By no means is this the end of the story. Because its Wednesday’s story and Thursday,  she will have one too.