Friday, October 21, 2011

Words with Friends

We were discussing Words at supper the other night. I didn't bring it up, I swear. But I do so love a Word discussion.( Reminds me that they are really mine.) We were talking about how certain Words give a sentence extra meaning just because they are awesome words. Small Fry says - Yeah, it's like if you were trying to say you really, really want something...a good word to use would be yearn. Oh yeah, she's 7 (you can't see me, but I'm doing the cabbage patch dance whilst biting my bottom lip).
Yearn is a really good word. Because yearn is different from want, isn't it? It sounds different. It feels different. Want is utilitarian. It's salt and pepper, it's the bathroom sink. Yearn, however, is full of intensity. It spills over with desire. It sounds like you are grasping for that one shining thing that is just out of reach. What do you yearn for?

I yearn for plenty of shallow things. Plenty. Like winning a tennis match (so far out of reach). A full-time housekeeper and personal grocery shopper. A dog that doesn't need to go out at 4 a.m. every morning, yes every. An annual trip to Italy. No, no here is the yearning: a second home in Italy. With my own vineyard and wine press and a cheese market next door and the smell of the sea pouring into my open windows.

Also, I yearn for time to stand still. I yearn for more connection with small people who are always one step ahead of me. I yearn for that intangible sense of stopping.
These yearnings seem just beyond my grasp. But I try to remember past yearnings that indeed panned out, even though at times they seemed outlandish and impossible.
I yearned to fall in love. I yearned to have babies. I yearned to see the world.
I've done some serious rose-smelling, but I yearn for more.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Looking Up

The pace of life can be frustrating. With so many options, how do we select the right path? With so many ways to bear fruit, how do we dig through the abundant piles to find the perfect seed to plant? I'm so easily discouraged when my attention is diverted from Heaven to the imperfect earth. I'm like the 2-year-old boy I held on Sunday...he was crying and unable to focus on anything except his grief at being separated from his daddy. I held him and tried all my tricks -- rocking, patting, reasoning, reassurance. He allowed Big Stuff to dab at his tears, but they continued to fall unabated. Nothing worked until I remembered that oh-so-effective 2-year-old tactic: Distraction!! As I held him close, I directed his eyes up, to the shapes on the wall...friendly squares and smiling circles, hearts that held up their hands as if to say "What's up, little dude?" His eyes traveled away from all the unfamiliar not-daddy faces to the fascinating information that he was learning, step by tiny step. Looking up mitigated his grief and helped him look forward. It's so hard to look up sometimes. Our heads and gazes gravitate to the ground, our necks pressed hard and bent by trials and suffering. Sometimes we can only see a few inches around our own feet. That is when we must ask to be carried, patted, reassured and shown the way to look up.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7: Love that.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Severe Case of ADD

I think I may be a victim of focus deficit or information overload. ADD? Who DOESN'T have it in this world we live in? I may have said yes one too many times. I'm usually so good about that. No tends roll easily off my tongue, and (I'm sure you're shocked) I almost never feel guilty about it! I can say no to other people but I think, lately, I've been saying yes to ME too much!

It goes something like this: Yes, I will get utterly organized and on top of everything in my life. Because I never again want to lose an important document or piece of paper that costs me 45 minutes to find. Yes, I will eat healthy. I will reduce my portions and eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Except for cantaloupe. Because apparently you can't even eat a dadgum piece of fruit anymore without sending it through a biohazard removal machine. I will scrub my fruit and vegetables. That reminds me...Yes, I need to plant and grow my own food. Yes, I will play tennis because that is good exercise and a great mind-clearer. Except for when you lose five matches straight, and it starts becoming one more reason to feel inadequate. Yes, I will show up more at my kids' activities and at their schools. I'll be more involved. I will know their friends. I'll monitor their texts and filter everything they see and hear. I'll protect their hearts. Yes, I will declutter, I will wash the dog, I will reorganize my closets, I will start dusting and washing more often so it won't pile up, causing me to cry when I consider the sheer enormity of the pile. Yes, I will hunt down and remove allergens so my kid can sleep at night without a Breathe Right strip on her little freckled nose. Yes, I will make dinner because it is cheaper and more nutritious and when kids have dinner with their parents more than five times a week, they are unlikely to get involved in sex, drugs or rock n roll (who has the time to do these studies is what I would like to know). Yes, I will track down every last stinking coupon I can find for toothpaste, even if it's not the kind I like, saving me vast amounts of nickels and dimes, and I will stock up, make room for massive hoarding and as God is my witness, never run out of toliet paper again. Yes, I will watch the news and be informed, and I will read quality fiction, and I will not be distracted by Facebook and interesting blogs that make me feel like an unproductive slug who lacks ambition and I will WRITE and I will get published (hooray!) and I will help children learn long division and math facts (blech!). And yes, I will make time for myself, and I will pray and I won't forget about Cutie Pie and I will check in and make dates and take the dry cleaning that has been piled in my closet for who knows how long. Yes, I will give generously to well researched causes. Yes, I will make my kids do chores so they can learn responsibility and how to handle money and one day they will be financial geniuses who can afford to take care of their decrepit parents in the style to which they have become accustomed (beachfront, that is). Yes, I will drive myself into an early stint at the institution.

It should go like this: STOP IT! One thing at a time.

What do you HAVE to do today? Breathe in and breathe out. That's it. Let's all take a moment.