Archives for posts with tag: love one another

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Wordless Wednesday

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So yesterday as Tanner and I were talking about the start of school, he said, “Yeah, Mom…it’ll be your  ‘last first’ day of school…”  Now I had expected him to say HIS last first day of school…but not mine.  And yep, I had a little difficulty seeing through the sudden pool that welled up in these eyes of mine…and all I could see as I looked at my senior in high school was the little boy with the blond hair and the blue smiling eyes.

And a flood of memories came.  My first first day of school with Zac’s first day of kindergarten…turning around as he got on the bus and waving so bravely with a smile. The mom who was waving back was trying to be brave too. And the many, many many photos on couches and porches and driveways of 2, then 3, then 4, 5, 6 children posing with their new shoes and back packs….and then photos of 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2,….and then this morning only one posing. One taller than me senior in high school ready for his last first day.

‘Last firsts’ are milestones…for our kids. And for us.  Am thinking that on milestone days we need an extra dose of grace (and chocolate or ice cream or your go to of choice…) for them and for us. We need to let ourselves feel and let the well that comes up from the deep spill on over in tears or words or laughter or whatever. Because life is so short…and the milestones need to be seen as precious treasures that we don’t just pass over.  For them and for us. 

I’ve been so in the ‘function’ mode recently that I hadn’t even let myself think about it being my “last first”.  I had thought about it being Tanner’s ‘last first’ day of high school, and had tens of balls juggling in my brain of things that need to get checked off for our family in the midst of lots of transitions and changes.  The list is long and broad and includes details, details, details, with needs for communication and planning and determination all crammed and crunched into a short period of time. But I don’t want to let the details squeeze out the moments that need to be celebrated, relished, and enjoyed. My mom-hat-of-function often bids me forget to let things seep in to my brain when it has to do with me.  But the cool thing is…with this great gift of motherhood… my firsts are multiplied with each new venture in my children’s lives. Because even when they go alone, my heart, my prayers, my love goes with them. …on the first day of kindergarten, or college, or walking on down the aisle…I’ll always carry the child that I carried. Might be in my heart, or thoughts, or prayers. Might be in my dreams or hopes or mind, but I’ll always carry the child that I carried. The ‘carrying’ just looks a bit different…

Am thankful for Tanner’s awareness, kindness, and words that helped me not just look at his ‘Last First’, but at mine as well. Am thankful for the reminder to treasure the day and be in there with each other. We don’t know what the next day holds.  And here’s the thing…we may all be experiencing our own ‘Last Firsts’ and not even know it. Am thinking being ‘all-in’ and ‘all-there’ is something that we will never regret. Ever. Sometimes I so need to be snapped out of the busy-ness to be able to see it.

So, Tan man, thanks for the ‘snap’, and reminder to your so-often-distracted, scatter-brained mom (who adores you by the way!). It’s your Last First day of high school, and it’s my Last First day of watching my 6 gifts go to school.  Definitely something to  both contemplate and celebrate. Am thinking that celebration and contemplation might need to include carry out dinner …and chocolate.  Or ice cream.  Or both.  All with extra extra doses of grace, grace, grace. (Because those pools of both celebration and contemplation just keep welling up in my eyes and I’m thinking it has quite a bit to do with this whole “Last First” thing.)

Blessings~

Heather

And to my 6 amazing gifts who have brought me a thousand firsts and a thousand lasts and a million in betweens…this little compilation of firsts and lasts is for you for today, for this moment in time. Because as Tan-man reminded me in the car yesterday, it’s good to be reminded of milestones and celebrate them.  Now, Tan and I are off to celebrate with carry-out and some sweet concoction.  It’s a good thing I had decided on doing carry-out, because the past hour and a half I’ve spent going through photos of you all. Love you all so much and so thankful for all the many, many first and lasts in our past…and the million more firsts and lasts to come.  Love you. Hugs and Kisses ❤ Mom

 

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Yeah…thanks for the reminder Tan.

“Wherever you are, be all there…”  ~ Jim Elliot

“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” ~ Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

 

  “Love one another…”

John 13: 34

 

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I so enjoyed watching the interaction of these two birds this morning. Yes, believe it or not, there are two birds in this photo. It’s tough to tell, but the female (who is moving so very fast that she is barely visible…just a blur…) is rocking the feeder a bit…and the male seems to be ducking for cover.

Kinda funny.  And oh so familiar!

In our homes, we women can tend to flit and fly about a bit in a flurry of function. Yep…flitting and flying around making sure that our nest is set and our little birds are fed, fit and ready to face the world. We flit and fly and function.

And oftentimes, the male, the very present and attempting to be-in-there-with-it-all-male, is ….ducking for cover. Yikes. He might need cover from words of what we need to flit about next. Or words of what should’ve been flit over yesterday. Or words of where we’ll be flitting tomorrow. Or maybe he’s in a flurry of what his part in all this flitting about should be according to the head flitter.

Yeah, the moment of watching the birds brought a grin to my face, and a cringe to my heart.  It was a bit too familiar.

I don’t consider myself a nagger by any means. (Only because I’ve learned from experience that has zero effect.  Correction. Zero effect in a positive way. It def has an effect…the opposite of what I’d hope for.) But I’m definitely a flitter…one who’s rushing around trying to get stuff done. Sometimes I flit in a flurry with people in my wake ducking for cover…just like my poor little purple finch friend.

Yesterday, I read a quote that made me pause and remember and simplify this whole marriage thing in my  mind a bit.  Here goes:  “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.” (Martin Luther…yeah, him!)  Yep. Pretty plain and simple. Pretty profound at the same time. And it made me stop and think about how getting back to simple basics is so important.

And I remember as a young bride and young mom literally running or rushing to the door to welcome my man home. The kids followed suit to welcome their Daddy.  And when people came to our house, we’d have lots of little ones filing out to welcome whoever it was to our home.  They followed the lead… Lots of years later,  when Buddy comes home, there’s still a welcome, but rarely the same, “WELCOME HOME” that he used to get way back when.  Back then, a lot of the ‘flitting about’ included moving toward and catering to that all-important relationship. The focus was so on family…not just on family function and a flurry of activities on the to do list.

Here’s another little lesson from the birds…I’m pretty amazed by how often birds come two by two to the bird feeder. Mourning doves,chickadees,  and cardinals all regularly come two by two. They linger, feed, and interact. It’s a beautiful sight to see….and it reminds me that being together, side by side, in the ordinary stuff of life matters. Spending time together is crucial. No matter how invincible we think we are, or our marriage is, couples need time together.  Not coming together just to function. Coming together to have fun and be and rest…(and let the other bird rest as well…) Like the birds, coming two by two  is a key to a good solid relationship.

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One more thought on the quote by Martin Luther. It states that we take ownership of our tasks…not that of the spouse. (Ouch.) Let the wife make his husband be happy he’s home. (That takes her looking at his needs and thinking of him.) Let the husband make his wife sorry to see him leave. (That takes him looking at her needs and thinking of her…) Yeah, this is not about telling the other spouse what to do. It’s about taking ownership of giving. Giving, giving, giving seems to be key in any good relationship. Not necessarily giving stuff. Giving time. Credit. An attentive ear. A good laugh. A encouraging word. Giving grace. Giving a little breathing room.

 

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Like the birds, we’ve got lots of necessary things to do in a day. And yes, our nests require upkeep and job delegation. But it’s important to know that the flitting and function is there for the family…not the family there for the flitting and function. Kind of an important distinction, I’d say (to myself).  Because, we don’t want to leave our partners ducking for cover while we’re flurrying through our day.  Just a few thoughts and reminders from my friendly little finch friends.

Blessings~

Heather

“Be completely humble and gentle; Be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” 

Ephesians 4: 2-3

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Yes, I have a few thoughts on husbands.  Correction.  Husband. Singular. Meaning mine. I’ve joked (sort of) in other posts that my husband is a ‘man among men’ in many ways. (And sadly, this was said more humorously than amorously…)  He is stubborn, thinks he’s invincible, and often doesn’t filter his thoughts through his brain before they come out of his mouth.  He will probably admit to all of the above freely.  He lives with an extreme intensity which has probably greatly contributed to his success in playing football, being an undercover cop, and coaching sports. My husband is one of a kind and like him or not, he is who he is. (I happen to like him, most days anyway.)

Well, this weekend, I was reminded of a few things about the man. You see, he’s living about 4 hours away right now, building a home on the coast of NC, so we are traveling back and forth to see each other. This weekend was my turn, so on Friday after work, my son and I jumped in the car and made the trek to Wilmington. On the way, my son got a call from his Dad.  I could tell that Buddy was asking Tanner what snacks he wanted because Tan started listing things like ‘Oreos’ and ‘chips like Doritos…yeah Doritos’.  And I kinda wished that he would ask me what I wanted because I was so in the mood for popcorn, but I kept quiet and just asked that we have coffee in the morning. I would definitely need coffee in the morning.

And when we got there, we all hugged and brought in  our stuff to his little apartment (that he affectionately calls his ‘bachelor pad’, ha.) and what did I see?  Coffee already made, two mugs, with ‘my cup’ on one and ‘your cup’ on the other. He of course got Tanner the Oreo cookies he wanted, but remembered from way back in the Fall that I had tried the Lemon Oreos and loved them. Yep. They were there too. And do you  know what else was there?  Pop corn.  The man notices.

And I guess that’s what this post is about. It’s about …noticing.  Noticing the little thing, the little things he does that are so thoughtful.  You see, this man who drives me crazy in every possible way and doesn’t pick up  his socks, communicates in one word answers and is as stubborn as all-get-out….this man knows me.  He notices things I don’t think he sees, and cares about the little things.They aren’t always the things I care about, but that’s what happens when you have different takes, view, perspectives on things. When the kids were little, he knew what every one of them wanted on his or her sandwich (that’s no small feat with 6 children). He works hard for our family. And the man who may not be seen as the greatest communicator makes sure that he talks with all of our kids almost on a daily basis.

And it’s good for me to notice what he notices. It’s good for me to step back and appreciate those little things. It’s so easy to see what’s lacking, the gaps,the falling short. I know that as women, often long for more and have a vision of what we hope things could be.  But there’s so much that is. And the cool thing is, is that the more I notice what is,  it seems, that there is so much more to notice.  There it is again…perspective changes everything.

They say that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I can only speak for myself, but it sure has helped me to appreciate my husband. In his absence, I see what is. Like a puzzle with pieces missing, I realize what was there that maybe I didn’t see before.  I so wouldn’t wish living separately on many couples. But it sure has helped me and my husband. I have a feeling he’s seeing some of the missing pieces too, and appreciating what is. And even though he may not communicate and have deep conversations with me about this or that, he’s showing me in his own way that he’s all in and he cares and he notices. And I can’t help but notice that.

Oh, and he called tonight to make sure we got home okay and said he’d definitely be coming home next weekend. In the midst of all the absence and gaps and loss, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for. And what we don’t have?  Well it seems to make us more thankful for what we do.

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What Bud sees when he walks out the door in the morning….and what we get to see when we’re there…Kind of the best of both worlds, I’d say.  At least that’s how I’m choosing to see it…

Blessings~

Heather

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7

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We had some visitors at our home today.  My parents, a.k.a. “Grammie and Gramps” came to spend some time and also to just help out with some household things at a very busy time in our lives.  They were only here for  a few hours, but the time was time well spent.  Just as it’s great to see them come through the door, it was sad to see them leave.  But after I waved goodbye and walked into the house, there were reminders of their visit all throughout the home. One had left behind homemade chocolate chip cookies on the kitchen table and beef stew in the oven. The other had installed a dishwasher and fixed a dripping faucet.  Both had left behind hearts more encouraged and feeling loved.

Legacies aren’t always made through the big things.  Often times, the biggest investments we make are in the little things we leave behind in the day to day interactions with others.  We may never know the impact we have, but rest assured, we all have an impact.  May we never forget the difference that the little things can make in the moments, days, and lives of those around us.  One little visit can make a big difference.  One encouraging word can help grant the courage and strength to take another step for those who may be struggling through.  I’m so thankful for the legacy that I’m seeing lived out in the lives of those I love.  And the chocolate chip cookies and clean dishes sure don’t hurt either!

Oh, and one more thing.  You know how great it smells when chocolate chip cookies are baking in the oven?  The aroma fills the home with warmth and sweetness and goodness.   Well, the Bible talks about Christians being the ‘sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place’. In this busy success-oriented competitive world, may our legacies be more than resumes of accomplishments or financial gain.  May our legacies be full of fixed faucets and chocolate chip cookies and time well spent giving an encouraging word.  May our legacies point to so much more than ourselves, and to a God walked among us right where we are…with our leaky faucets and broken dishwashers.  I’m so thankful for the reminders that we are not alone.

By His Grace ~

Heather

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us

the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”  

2 Corinthians 2:14-15

a mom who is Tuned In

My little niece was having one of those moments when she needed a bit of reassurance. Love that my sister in law is a mom who is tuned in. She listened and waited and comforted, and this little one was probably back to her normal sweet and spunky self in a short period of time!

I love how love does that. It transforms. It’s not magical, but it’s so powerful. It’s not manipulative, just a sacrificial, getting in there, being there, and saying “I’m so with you no matter what” kind of thing. The benefits, the applications of the impact love makes? They are limitless, boundless, beyond measure. Love is a power to empower, and the effects are exponential.

In Mark 12: 28-32, Jesus talks about the greatest two commands. The first is to love God, second is to love neighbor as you love yourself.What has greater transforming power than the Love of God? Not much I’d say. But it’s amazing how love fleshed out through us in everyday simple acts has incredible far reaching consequences that we’ll never even see!

Today, I’ll look for those simple little opportunities to love well in the midst of a very busy world. I love what Mother Teresa said. “I may never do great things. But I can do small things with great love.” Hmmm. Simple acts and one profound truth with far-reaching effects…She had a bit of an impact, I’d say!

Would that we would all become more intentional about doing the little things for those around us, because, bottom line, they are indeed the big things with greater impact than we could know. Moments matter, and one moment in time, handled with a little grace and love, can make all the difference.

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