Thursday, August 21, 2014

too much

do you know what this is?

it's called TOO MUCH.

yes, it's a brand new iPad...and a keyboard...and a carrying case...and gift cards...but it is so much more...too much more...overwhelmingly more
it is a tangible reminder of all of the people and the prayers and the "let us watch your boys at a moment's notice" or, "let us feed your husband and children so you know they are getting some good healthy food in their tummies" or, "of course you can bring your boys over to our house on the way to the ER at 3 in the morning" or "we know you have had an especially rough day, so let the boys ride with us to fort worth in an hour so your husband can spend the night with you"

this is people who come to visit, to sing, to pray over, to just sit with me and's a random text or email or voicemail to say "you are on my mind"...friends who bring things they know i beautiful fresh flowers and lotions and lip balm and books...journals to fill up with frustrations and prayers and songs and pretty pens to write with...coloring books and crayons...friends who sit and color with me...who send someone up to give me a pedicure...who come and wash my feet and give me a pedicure themselves...a friend who is a travel agent, putting up with 7000 emails and all of my neuroses, helping me plan the disney vacation surprise of a lifetime...friends who bring me comfy pajamas...friends who come up in their pajamas late at night and watch funny youtube videos...who laugh with me and talk about life outside of these walls...who ask me to "host" a baby shower i can't even be beautiful, sweet, pregnant friend and cousin, with two kids of her own, who thanks me for "hosting" that shower when she has done far more to care for my babies than i have to help her get ready for or celebrate her new baby...teachers who modify communication and give grace when boys are late to school or forget their lunch money...again...who seek you out to go on a school field trip, when they know you are home, and have no idea how much that means...friends who send me music, and clips of worship, because they know how i long to be leading worship again and the power that music has in my life...who bring their babies up here so i can have some cuddle therapy...who love on my babies when i can't be there to cuddle with them...who send a cleaning service to my house, when the temperature outside is like zero, because they know how i love a clean grandparents who drive hours just to spend the afternoon with family in fort worth giving my boys a week to just enjoy summer and making sure they have all they need to be ready for school...sweet pictures and videos of my nieces, sent to me by my sister and my whether-or-not-she-wants-to-be-sister...awesome girl group texts between me, my mom and those sisters that remind me how good laughing out loud can feel...a coworker who is a notary coming to the hospital to sign papers so we can close on a new mom who is coming to help pack...friends who offer to help pack and move and paint that new house that somehow we decided to buy and move into, while i am in the hospital, at the end of august, in texas, days before the boys start (a new) school...people who send cards...people who make food that i have mentioned, that they know i can't eat...but who will literally bring it here just for me to experience with my other senses...who run all over town picking up birthday decor and goodies, and help me decorate my hospital room, so i can celebrate my boys...and a friend who offers to come capture that celebration and our "real life", that is hard but still ours and full of love, in pictures that i will treasure husband making sure that, no matter what, we have family time every evening...along with keeping our lives afloat in every other arena...holding my head when i puke, my hand when i'm scared and hurting and holding our family together with his love and boys, who climb all over me, take my face in their hands and kiss me when they know i'm having a bad day, and who make sure they drive me crazy enough to still feel like their mom...our favorite young babysitters taking full advantage of social media to let this mama in on my boys' daily roommates who wear their outdated bridesmaid dress from my wedding to the hospital to make me smile on my anniversary...friends who let me cry and say the grown up words that are sometimes the only ones i can find, and most appropriate...who come in and see me weeping and doubled over in pain and, without a word, just begin to pray and rub my back...people who understand that leaving the hospital isn't the end of the journey when it comes to chronic is my sweet friend saying, "here is my laptop to borrow for an indefinite amount of time because yours broke and you should have a connection to the outside world"...and a group of people, whose names i will probably never know, who decided to ensure that connection was a permanent they went together and got me all of this

it is too many names to try and name...too much gratitude to try and put into words...too is is is a reminder you aren't is church

it is people who see your pain, acknowledge it and commit to walking through it with you, good, bad and ugly...and uglier...people who actually feel the hurt with is love...too much love

and, "when you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." (mother teresa)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

mamas on each side of the barricade

all over the world tonight...mamas' hearts are breaking

mamas who can't feed their babies
mamas who miss their babies
mamas who have hurt their babies
mamas who couldn't keep their babies safe
mamas who must hide their babies
mamas who don't know where their babies are
mamas who couldn't raise their babies
mamas who had their babies snatched from their arms
mamas who are desperate for a cure
mamas whose babies couldn't live with the pain for one more day
mamas who can't do it on their own
mamas who have no choice but to do it on their own
mamas who can't understand where the hate comes from
mamas who see it every day right outside their front door
mamas who fight for their babies' education
mamas who wish their babies didn't know so much
mamas who are trying to keep up
mamas who feel they can't measure up
mamas who are holding their babies for the first time
mamas who are holding their babies for the last time
mamas who want to raise their babies to be independent
mamas who don't want to let go
mamas whose babies had to grow up too fast
mamas whose babies might not see tomorrow
mamas on "our side"
mamas on "their side"
mamas who see their babies abusing power
mamas whose babies are powerless
mamas whose babies have gone to war
mamas whose babies can't find peace
mamas who mourn for all that has been lost
mamas who have lost hope for all they thought could be
mamas trying to teach their babies to love
mamas who fear it was they who taught their babies to hate
mamas of those who are called to serve and protect
mamas whose babies no one can seem to protect
mamas with babies who are dead
mamas with babies who have killed
mamas on each side of the barricade

afghanistan, palestine, israel, arizona, pakistan, oakland, texas, newtown, iraq, philadelphia, liberia, florida, boston, chicago, aurora, syria, ferguson...and on and on and on

a mother's broken heart is a universal language

to be a mama is to know heartbreak...because a mama can never forget...hers is an ache so deep that only the love of God could be long, O Lord, must this broken world keep breaking mama hearts?

how do we forget so quickly that we belong to each other, and that we all belong to Him? when did we decide that one life means more than another? how do we keep finding new ways to destroy our brothers and break mother's hearts? 
we are not forgotten...not alone...fully known...fully loved...each bearing the image of our maker...each life mattering

united in holiness...united in heartbreak

i see you won't forget

He sees you daughter...He won't forget

Can a woman forget her baby at her breast? Even if mothers were to forget, I could never forget you!
~Isaiah 49:15


they just want you

i have been a long-time reader of Glennon Melton over at Momastery...i so appreciate her voice, transparency and general keepin it real-ness...this precious story she shared touched my heart...and then it did so much more...

What every child wants to know is, “do your eyes light up when I walk in the room?”
– Toni Morrison

Today is Amma’s first day of first grade. When she finished getting dressed this morning, I brought her over to the mirror and stood behind her while she took in her first grade self. She kept her eyes fixed on the mirror and said: “Mama, when Dada sees me - his hawt is going to explode.”

Well then, I thought. I married well.

Moms and Dads- I don’t think it matters whether you are rich or poor or healthy or struggling or divorced or nuclear or gay or straight or lost or found or working or home. I think all that matters is that when your kid sees herself through your eyes- she feels worthy of a heart explosion.

Your child doesn’t need you to be “better.” She doesn't need things to be easier or shinier. Doesn’t matter if yesterday was a bad one at home. Doesn’t matter if money’s tight or if stress is high or if the whole damn world is falling apart.

All that matters is: Do your eyes light up when you see your baby? She just needs to know that you are DELIGHTED by her. That’s it. That’s the whole she-bang.

Light ‘em up, today.

Love, G

OH how i love hearing the voices of daughters who are confident of their worth

i have now spent all but about 3 months of the last 14 months at home...the rest have been spent here in the hospital...i too married well...i don't know how he does it all...i have an incredible partner who somehow manages to keep the world turning outside of these walls and still brings my babies to see me every boys have spent far too much time in hospitals...we have spent every holiday, too many birthdays, anniversaries, first days of school in here, and have somehow managed to make our own little piece of "normal" and not completely implode as a matter how short and chaotic, we know that this time is absolutely sacred and necessary, and satan isn't getting one grubby little finger on any of it

as much guilt and shame as i would LOVE to heap upon myself for all i am not able to do...and, believe me, i do...when i hear those feet running down the hall the same time each day...when i see those beautiful mop-headed boys burst in the door with huge smiles on their faces, pulling off their shoes as fast as they can to jump into this tiny, uncomfortable bed that was not made for 1 person to sit comfortably upon, much less mother heart is reminded...

all they want is you mama...all they want is YOU...and oh they have me...i guess this daughter needed to be reminded of her worth today too

thank you amma


Drink deep, drink deep of quietness,
And on the margins of the sea
Remember not thine old distress
Nor all the miseries to be.
Calmer than mists, and cold
As they, that fold on fold
Up the dim valley are rolled,
Learn thou to be.
~Robinson Jeffers, Song of Quietness

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,

    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.
 The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,

    nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.
~Psalm 121