Saturday, April 15, 2017

I am that mom.

I am that mom.

The one who has a gaggle of kids, sitting alone in church.

I am that mom. The one you look at with pity--or criticism--the mom who has a kid sitting in her gaggle who just did THAT in church, when everyone is silent and the pastor's praying.

I am that mom, whose shoulders shake during the prayer because I'm crying so hard at my circumstance, my humiliation, and my anticipation of what's coming next. What's the next disruption my family can manage to include in this one hour long beating of sitting together to focus on the beating of a Savior?

I am that mom, who you might think needs a good talking to because her children are OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW, but they don't behave, and they are disrespectful and loud and angry and giggly and all the things we were never allowed to be in church.

I am that mom who read the SAME parenting books as the mom across the aisle whose kids sit nicely and behave.

I am that mom who may have once judged another mom whose kids were out of control at church, and was miffed that they would disrupt my worship session.

I am that mom who's eating crow.

I am that mom whose family is broken. We just are. We are all grieving. And every church service is a flat-out reminder that we are still in the cycle of grief. Sure, we might not have suffered divorce, or death, or financial ruin--but we are grieving just the same.

Is that why my children--the gifted and talented one, the superstar athlete one, the compassionate, ginormous heart one, and the larger-than-life one--become weighted down with bad behavior when we sit there, trying to focus on the God Who was flushed away by the one person we all love so very much?

I am crushed by my embarrassment. I am absolutely distraught in my hopelessness. And I find myself on the verge of tears even twelve hours later.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt like an ant under a spy glass with your tribe throwing knives at you?

My only saving grace is a friend who was there to listen to me weep afterward. A friend who understands the immense pressure I feel, and the possible ground of attack that has replaced our foundation.

I am that mom, who might just let her kids sleep in on Sunday morning, and many Sundays after.

I am that mom, who, if you see me with my eyes closed in prayer, with five empty seats about me, I am praying my heart out for my family.

For the grief.

For the healing.

But most importantly...

For a hopeful future season of renewal and resurrection. And if I see another mom, struggling to maintain her composure, I can be of encouragement and tell her I've been that mom too.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Lifetime to Treasure

Ever hold something ordinary that brings you to a place hidden away deep in your memory? Ever burst into tears realizing that a time you'd thought would be ages ahead, has smacked you right dab in the middle of your present reality?

Recently, I received my inherited treasures from my grandparents' estate. My grandmother passed away a few years ago, and we just had my grandfather's ten year memorial service in January.  I've had time to mourn and process and miss them. And time to move forward in my own path of life. I've been at peace in my grief.
I must admit, there is excitement in receiving antiques. A love for history cultivates a great respect for things of old--even if they are just cobbler tools and powder horns. Even if they are hand-shaped ladles and bowls. Simple, ordinary, but treasures to me. I knew I would receive these things and excitedly opened my box.

But what I didn't expect, was to find the pictures of my children and my wedding, still trapped in the same frames my grandmother had once picked out. Our faces staring up at me reminding me that it is finished--that the smiles once gifted to them from me, and placed neatly about their rooms where I'd visit, were now being returned. A flood of emotion struck me hard. Had I really come to this far-off point in my life where all those gifts I'd given were left behind by those I'd love?

Forever placed behind glass by my grandmother.
How could I be here--grandparent-less, inheritor of stuff? How could I be here, finding the space in my own place from a tomb of a house ready to purge all that memory that was my life--my childhood--my foundation?

This is the original frame, about 2 ft
in height. A 1915 Wedding portrait.

Trinkets, early 20th century cobbler tools,
powder horns

Even now, the lump grows in my throat as I lovingly admire the new additions to my home. I guess I have grown up more than I care to admit in my forty years. I used to want to be on top of decorating trends and all the newness seen in magazines and home shows. But trendsetting on my walls and shelves is not nearly as important to me now.
A historical scene I admired as a child,
now graces my dining room

I've got a lifetime of treasures to display. 

A treasured lifetime to remember.

My grandfather inspired my love of architecture, and I always
remember these pictures in their house that now hang in my room.
And that chaise lounge in the corner is the first chaise lounge
I'd ever seen--a luxurious seat that my grandmother
had by her own bed.