Abundance – Life Around A Table

This is Day 15. To read the collective, that is all posts in the 31 Day Series click here. Today I am joining Amber Haines for her concrete words writing prompt.Today’s word is table.

The round, the oval, the rectangle memory builder, maker.

The dining, the coffee, the end, the side,  the row, column of data. The table.

A vehicle for feasting the soul, the heart, the mind.

In  one transformative sweep it morphs from holder of today’s bills and mail to the meeting place for high school english project. Piles of candy recharge, refuel the teenage mind, while brainstorming crisscrosses her mahogany Pledge shine surface with ideas to make the project better. More A worthy for the teacher.

And its held recreations of a Civil War battle and the solar system, glued construction paper replica, comes together where china, crystal, linen napkins share the place of honor.

She becomes the family board meeting table, hosting discussions of what went well, what bruised hearts at school this day. She, firm, steady, noble bears up under tears of joy, tears of happiness.  Tears. Holds up well during squabbles or were they full-blown fights.

She has born witness  to those who failed to  follow the family  protocol sent from her to their rooms, off to think in solitude, of how they hurt, whom they hurt. Her eyes have seen the dogs fed scraps of cold peas, stewed tomatoes remnants of the unwanted slipped beneath her.

And all the Cheerios spilled. Thrown. High chairs pulled up to her until the graduation to a real seat. Elbows on her. Nervous hands rattle silverware, ADD herky jerky knives and forks tap tap out like morse code on her chocolate brown surface. Spilt milk, water pools over, rivers of running liquids spilled and wiped, wiped and spilled again.

Like the family secrets. Spilled. The table holds the family up together while the abundance is passed, salad, bread, more than enough even in times of want. And there is pass the salt, pass your words so we can know your heart. More spilled liquids, more spilled dreams and then we move from the table.

And the every changing centerpiece of the real centerpiece of the home is this place of nourishment. The sunflowers, baskets of shells, rosemary mixed in, the gardenia and hydranga, they mark a season, mark a life.

It all is so abundant there. The way He has filled us up. The way the mana keeps on coming. Flowing.

The way a table is not needed when you grab a tray a plate and balance on your lap, serving from the table now becomes a buffet for a house full. She serves so graciously. Always ready to transform into the wooden vessel of service.

It is the departure point for life, we move from her after nourishing our bodies, minds, and souls. The side holds books, the coffee holds papers screaming a headline. The bedside holds bibles, more books.

And she has heard the voices of the High -Low game, played over her. The best of the day, the worst of the day tossed back and forth like ping pong ball over and around. Marking the day with baked chicken mashed potatoes. My high is being here with you, The Patient one says. This meal, this time. She hears confessional of what blesses the breadwinner’s heart. The being sur la table. Looks out and on his family from the head.

And she bears witness to the words of thanks for the grateful hearts creaking back in chairs, rocking back on back legs wobbly.We are grateful for the abundance. Children and friends and friends of friends. Monopoly and dominoes shuffled cards.

Blessings sung, off key, in unison, blessings spoken. Children’s easy God is Great, but for all ages, because God is Great and He is Good. And the long ones spoken by the mother while her children squirm and say the food is getting cold.

She has seen eggs died, dipped, rolled on her at the celebration of His resurrected life. And Christmas mornings too, with Luke and children’s books read. Moravian sugar cake, coffee-cake, casseroles, and carols, candles. She has heard the telling of His birth seen the bird carved up and served. Thanksgiving feasts laid in thanks with gratitude through the years.

Her memories tabled in a column in a row of data, she sees the life lined up and stacked. Life and portions served from the left, cleared from the right. Napkin in your lap spoken one thousand times or more. Mabel, mabel get your elbows off the table. Candle wax dripped, cut off with a knife. Red wine spills and stains, tears spilled and stained.

Announcements made, plans made, the best laid plans made and tabled, the discussion is over. You may go to your room. You may clear. You may set. You may be excused. May I be excused too. You may.

Bow your heads. No peeking. She could write a book.

There was the time she opened her engagement ring, wrapped in a box in a box in a box, from him, there, at the table, at her parents. And there was the time. All the time, the rhythm of the meal, no bare feet, the knife guards the spoon from the fork, its a battleground sometimes. Crease in the napkin, more linen than paper. No condiments random, must be wrangled in a proper container. And there was the time.

Chapter One. In the beginning was the table, she served her family well. May she rest well after years of service.

Until she takes her place with the next generation.

And takes her place as the centerpiece of service, serving others, always.

God is Great, God is Good, Let us thank Him….for the table a place for feasting on the life abundant.

Counting gifts, gratefully, time, crisp air, hope, pink morning sky, peace, good news, more peace, gracious words, more hope, pink mums, time to reflect back on a life of a young mom who died at 48 and hear the words of the funeral from two of our children, cherishing the days we have, seeing the abundance in this life, time with old friends – tender, sweet, seeing God’s hand of protection and sovereignty, too many to count.

Joining Ann, Laura, Amber, Michelle ,  L.L. Barkat, and The Nester.

And now its time for your words. Because hearing yours is an important part of being in a community. You may leave one word or many, but I do love to hear from ya’ll. There is a comment box below, there is a leave a comment link on high. Either way, they wait for your words to spill and add more color.

You may leave words on Facebook, Twitter or my email inbox. Those are great word repositories too.

Window Panes -Day 8

She played a game in chilhood. Two raindrops run down window pane, of car of home. She mans the race, Olympic judge of water racing.
Window pane the venue for drops that run like tears.
Eyes the weary travellers, raindrop snails,they wind their way down fogged glass, make and mark a watery zig and zag trail.
Who shall win a rainy droplet race? Which blue ribbon champion wins the rainy dual.
Winner puddles in a pile. Child’s play at the window for awhile.
And she sees the cross, a brace in pane, of wood. Horizontal setting gaze, vertical completes a frame.
Bracing life, and framing view.
Always holding, shaping, marking perimeters of a life view,
The eyes’ view, the looking out and looking past.
Stretching toward the future.
Seeing forward, looking out, a window on her world.
A perfect frame the crossed pane glass, always quartering life.
The pieces become bite-sized manageable. In fours, and eights or more the crossed-paned windows.
Her windcow on the world.

There was the childhood window, bedroom high, peering down below.
Scared of what she didn’t know.
Of monsters underneath the bed and in the closet too.
She sees a hundred stars and moons, the window frames the world.
There were the stained glass windows too.
Sunday sanctuary, art. An early primer into holy beauty.
Gazing off in wonder, with child’s eyes gazing in a trance toward glass,
In jewel toned beauty,
Blood red crimson, beauty contained, beauty framed, worship through the windows.
A gallery of art,young men, the Christ friends stand in solidarity, Peter and the rest.
Sun shines through Sunday windows, panes, azure blue, emerald green.
A thousand Sundays of window art, a portal to her God.
She stares while preacher preaches, lost in beauty, lost in art.
Bold window panes, a masterpiece of glass, windows to a wounded world of which the preacher preached.

And now she looks to frame the world without a windowpane.
Just plane and simple life view lense, with words, a window to her world.
A lense of grace, a lense of love, a lense of paneless gazing
On life, with hope,
All through the blood soaked cross-barred pane.
As much a she is able.

Counting gifts

*Hope for healing wounds of the body and soul
*Joy of family
*Joy of progress with middle man/child’s college plan
*Receiving a hundred dollars for my Compassion Child for a post a wrote. Thank you Compassion, I can’t imagine how my sponsored child will spend one hundred dollars
*More and more and more precious friends in community in this bloggy writing world.
*A increased hope and dream of a book one day
*Safe arrival of travelling loved ones
*Time spent back in my mountain cottage to write and wake to cold mountain air.
*A flat tire, yes in the right place
*My AAA tow truck operator was humorous and kind, good natured, and wearing a cross of our Lord on his neck.
*Seeing my sisters all in one room

Writing in community with The Nester, Ann, Laura and L.L. Barkat

The Stairs

I love Amber C. Haines’ writing. And she is inviting us to write with her on a concrete word prompt. Today its stairs. You may recall The Necklace. You will want to go read Amber—she has a truly lovely way with words. Her voice is distinctive and full. You won’t want to miss the words she weaves; art. Pure. Simple. Art. Her words. I write in good company when I write in community with Amber.

You could mark a life
by the number you choose. And by the speed
pace, rate,
like a heart rate.
The rate you take
the sairs.

The child me chose
to ride a bicycle down.
Child me
it sounded
like a good
at the time.

Grown me, well
they never grow
tired of telling
the tale.
It has a life
of its own.

What child rides
a bicycle down
a staircase?

The one who is
child full
of life
and child
full of wonder
wondering what
joy lies
in going down
a different
way. Not the
all the others

And two’s and three’s
at a time
mark youth
she skips many
unnecessary steps
tedious boredom
in going a
decidedly predictable
Life has much
to offer.
Why waste time
going up slowly
when you can
run down three-by-three.

The first
time he said I love you
there on a flight
of fancy stairs
frozen there
on them
by the words
Numb in love
The Patient One
held me
in and on the
Caught in a word web
of love.
The bridal portrait
tells a story
hanging from a nail
in the well of the
She said I do
He did too.
Months later
bride me
to words
said in love on
the stairs
before the three
steps to the altar.
After that
its two by two tandem
taking the
for life.
Taking the stairs
A baby
In tow.
More babies
In tow.

They measure the heart rate.
After all. They mark
they measure
they record.

And after a new hip
Older me practices the
in the stairwell
at the hospital
You can’t go
home until
you can climb the
I am 52 with a body part
man made, not God-made.
My first prosthetic.
She climbed with a limp
for awhile.
She climbed
with pain
for a season.
She left her limp

They measure like a
They measure speed and rate
Like rings of a tree, telling
They tell the narrative
of the life.

Up, down,
in love.

The steps on the steps and the stairs hold secrets to a life, lived ascending and decending,

The stairs.

Measuring marking a life, like breath.

Writing the story with every step taken,
a page turns.



until she’s climbing a stairway




Counting gifts with Ann. Grateful for

*A crisp cool air in the warm deep South, peeks of a change, her name is Autumn

*A walk and a talk with a friend

*Such sweet new friends through the blog

*Such generous and kind friends through twitter

*Restored faith in social media for the good it can be when used rightly

*More and more a passion for writing and more and more grateful for God allowing me to see, use, and steward the gift

*A glimpse into the hope-filled future for a child and his college plans. God is good in revealing daily, that there is a hope, always. Hope for good things. Trusting Him to show us His plan.

*A long heart to heart with a friend. We sat in the dark at church after the last light had been turned off and dove into parenting with our hearts and our words. Grateful for this friend. Grateful for common ground on parenting daughters.

And linking with Ann today at A Holy Experience dot com.

And with Laura

The Necklace

It was gold. It was a circular, pliable, bendable, wire.

It still is.

He purchased it on our trip. The one we took the day after we stood before the robed one and said, forever, we do. And there were hundreds there. And really the One who matters the most, the Most High. He was there.

He still is.

Today is always a new mercy morning. This one is our twenty four year mark. Of being linked and bendable and pliable. And tomorrow will be a new mercy morning. And the portal into the quarter century mark on a conjoined life.

It has held much, the wire. It has been to weddings and funerals and celebrations and church. On it has been threaded pearls and coins. An octopus and a turtle have hung from there too.

And there was the coin from the bottom of the sea with the cross, raised you can run your fingers over and touch the trinity, or is  it deep-grooved recessed. Or is it both. Around the neck on the wire, it is heavy and it is large, but it is beautiful. Hammered encircling the coin, on the wire, the others, the dolphin, the seahorse, the sealife, the handwrought others.

And it, like the wire was a gift. From the Patient One who is here. And doing life and loving sweet, tender, deep, and gentle.

And bearing, like the wired gold treasure.

Who dripped sweat from his brow the day we said the vows and still does. Because of all the work. Long days. Long weeks. Laboring in love.

And of all the things we’ve lost, many and much that was lost. But not missed. There is no lacking. There is no want or need. Really.

We never lost the gold circuitous wire.

The one that holds the things. The one that she wears.

The one he gave in love.

And it is strong and weight-bearing. Capable of holding the delicate and the heavy.

A slim gold wire. always marking the early on. Always marking the continuity of the continuous conjoined love.

Wrapping around the neck, in love. Gold. Worthy of a gift to the stable. Given by a wise man.

Bending, not breaking. And holding treasures.

Always. At least we have today.

And the words we said before the Holy One infront of the robed one and the hundreds, they echo sacred, they echo soft. And two gold rings wrapped around, in love.

Twenty four years ago today. The glorious day we have, in love.

This is a post written with Amber and a community of writers on the one word prompt necklace.

Counting gifts, hopefully forever, but at least for today:

Marriage, twenty four years.
A doctor’s visit with a child that will lead to change… it looks promising, it looks good.
A night of celebrating, its all up in the air, its all good.
A night with all three kiddos home… rare and welcome…makes my momma heart soar.
A long talk with my momma after she left the hospital. It was so very long & wonderful.
The sun is shining bright though they’ve called for rain.
Time with the man/child in our bedroom right before we fall asleep. Precious.
Plans are made to be with friends a long way away for a wedding. Joy.
Laughter and open lines of communication with a child.
The kindest comments from the kindest readers any blogger could wish for.
New friends.
Wonderful time on the river. Beautiful friends. Beautiful day. A long boat ride to a yummy burger.

And linking too with Ann for Multitudes on Mondays and Michelle at Michelle DeRusha dot com. And Laura for Playdates. And with Jen at SDG