Monday, December 31, 2012

auld lang syne

{via pinterest}
it's the end of 2012. how did that happen already? 

this year has been full of a thousand moments, a million things that i wasn't expecting. i am better for them, i know, even if they broke me as they came. 

the last day of 2011, He gave me the word -- one word -- brave, and i didn't know why. and then i found out why thirteen days later when expecting brave became reality, and Marian was waiting for me then. and then everything went up and down in a kaleidoscope of colour and newness and fear and tears and joy. oh, so much joy in this year. 

i used to look back on the calender squares and wrinkle my nose. good riddance to that 365. but not anymore. now i look back and whisper i was brave. i was so brave. 

i was also silent a lot this year. looking back at my blog, i've watched my words slowly trickle down to a drip and my stream of consciousness become dammed up and locked away. is it out of place, sacrilegious even, to compare myself to Mary in these months? both Marys of the Word, in fact.

one bore the King of Heaven under her skin, bound up all these things and treasured them so deep within her heart. silent solitude was this mother of the Holy One. 

and the other sat at the feet of the Man and listened, worshiping there on the ground with eyes turned up to hear away from the business and the pull of others to come and be lost in the grind of life. 
{via pinterest}

both listened. both were silent. and i've done much of that in 2012. 

i learned that brave does not mean unafraid. if it did, no one could ever be brave because fear is there wherever you go. it means exhaling and letting go, leaving the empty to be filled by He who is greater than i. 

starting last year, i gave up resolutions and took a word instead. my word is brewing in me now. i can taste it, feel it stirring so electric and so passionate within my heart. 

2013 is a blank canvas yet. untouched. but oh, soon it will be full of paint and lines and so much colour. i'm carrying brave over and i'm adding on. and my soul will magnify the Lord. and i will declare, oh, He is Risen and Alive and thus, i too will live in the volume and the grace of the King of Glory. 

i will leap barefoot in paint puddles and cry holy holy holy. 

see, I am doing a new thing!
    now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
::isaiah 43:19::

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the sacred yes // the sacred no

{via pinterest}
i've been doing so much soul-searching over the past several weeks. my blogger voice has been silent, i know, as i have tried to bring some sort of semblance to my life.

and then rain wrote her soul-prompt on the sacred yes and the sacred no.

and it was then that i realized that my whole life has become a sacred yes. and then, it has been a sacred no at the very same time.

 // By the sacred yes or sacred no I mean that affirmation or negation that comes from a deep place of wisdom and courage, even if it creates conflict or disagreement. The sacred yes is not willful or egocentric, but rather is willing and surrendered. The sacred no is not rebellion or refusal, but always the necessary protecting of boundaries. ~richard rohr 
i am a new mother of two very fragile and breathtaking months that have pressed me beyond what i ever thought possible. on 01 January, 2012, i said "yes" to being brave. twelve days later, i discovered that my yes was more expensive than i ever imagined.

and over and over, since that day when i discovered that my body was no longer my own and that my life would never bee the same again, i heard His voice whispering inside my soul

you gave Me your "yes."
and I have taken it. 
and I will show you beyond your wildest imaginings 
what can happen when you give Me yes. 

{via pinterest}
and my sacred yes has expanded to include much. so, so much.

yes :: i die to myself daily and live in Him for him and for her. 
yes :: i love boldly, even though i know it will one day hurt me beyond my wildest imaginings. 
yes :: i will raise a warrioress in a world where warrioresses are absent and fingers down the throat prevail. 
yes :: i will find my identity in Him. 

and in this journey, i have had to do something that i find so hard, almost horrible, almost impossible to do.

i have had to say no.

no :: i cannot do everything, i cannot please everyone. i must stop or else i will destruct
no :: i need please no one but my Jesus. i am my own, and no mold will contain me
no :: i will no longer chase 50K this year. maybe next, but not now. it is not the time. now is Marian's time.
no :: i will not allow fear or guilt or shame or pressure to cloud me, and in turn, cloud my marriage and my daughter's life.

and in my wrestlings with God, i have become Israel -- no longer Jacob, the usurper of the Throne of my soul. but a new nation of mother and leader and warrioress in my own right. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012


{via stylemepretty}
these days i have felt very unpoetic, very uninspired.

all of my artistic energies have been focused on my NaNoWriMo novel, and all of my strength has been poured into the care of my precious warrior-daughter of now eight weeks.

and then the doctors said i needed more surgery. my gallbladder quit working, as though it wast just as tired as i was. and i went under the knife again two days ago. my body is rung out like a rag in the bottom of the kitchen sink, tossed and crumpled and completely without strength.

i am weary. i am without poetry. i am simply exhausted.

i am driftwood.

lead me to the Rock that is higher than i.

and i am tempest tossed and oh, so forelorn.
i am a ship and the waves are swelling. 

but there is One who calms the waters with a word.

peace. be still.
for I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel.

and He has gone before me, unsurprised by a single thing that has occurred over the past month. and all i can do is whisper "thank you" to the stars that illuminate my night. because the Cross is what i cling to without ceasing these days, or i would be smashed to pieces against the shoals, carved with lies. 

insufficient becomes :: enough
broken becomes :: whole
empty becomes :: filled

and i am driftwood carved to elegance, leaning against the Rock that is higher than i.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

inked :: redeux

{songbird for joy, flower for feminine, branch for strength}
two days before 2012, i crossed an item off my bucket list with ink of permanence on my skin.

four days ago, i did it again.

and now my shoulder bears the reminder of the best thing i have ever done. this is a memorial of her birth in the most perfect of ways. pain and blood that results in beauty, and this is what birth is and this is what i will bear on my skin for all eternity.

but it's more than that.

and these stones shall stand as a memorial...
for when your children ask
what does this mean?  
:: joshua 4

one day she will touch the mark on my shoulder, and the one on my wrist, and the ones that i have yet to get but will soon bear. and she will ask, what does this mean?

and i will tell her our story. i will tell her how i wrestled with God the day she was born, and how i was humbled, and how He was victorious. and how she was pulled from me like Moses from the water and laid in my arms. and she is my ultimate memorial to His grace. 
{via pinterest}

and that i am marked on my shoulder, and that i am marked from hip to hip, because i love her. 

and then i will point to the cross and tell her of the One who gave her to me. 

i will tell her that He is marked, too, because He loved her, too. because He loved her most. and that His Father has her name engraved on His heart, and that He wrote love in blood.

some people glace at my skin and wrinkle their noses. 

that's permanent, you know.
 even when you're old. 

and i smile. because i never want to forget, and i never want them to disappear. i'm proud of them, my story. my tattoos are my stones in the water, stacked high to remind the children of God from where they have come and where they are going instead.  

and i want to remember always what my Lord has done. 

and so i am inked. 

{linking imperfect with emily today. won't you join us there?}

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

and yet she sleeps

i have the future of the world in my arms.

and she's sleeping with little mouth open and tiny eyes shut. she makes the tiniest little snuffling noises and wiggles slightly against my chest. i wear her these days, or else i get nothing done, wrapped in green cloth as i pace the floor, browning ground beef and singing it is well with my soul, to remind me as much as to soothe her.

and she's a drop in the next generation, one grain of sand that could form a pearl in the mouth of the universe if she just gets under their skin enough.

and she's my daughter, and so i know she will be. this is not a child born to be silent.

and she's sleeping.

so often i take these times to stare at her face, to memorize her every feature and dimple, the tiny roll of her chin and the long flutters of her dark lashes. it makes my heart clench, to know that she is a month old today, and i will blink and it will be twelve and she'll not be a baby any more.

always my baby, not always a baby.
and my mountain-mover will grow up and hold the world in her tiny fingers grown long and feminine and womanly., not yet.

:: for now, i will let her sleep ::
:: for when she wakes, she will move mountains :: 

my word for 2012 was brave. it was my plan, my goal to start my new year with a new measure of something i struggled to possess. and then twelve days later, i received word that my world was changing, and nine months from that, my gift was delivered into my arms wailing as loud as my heart.

{via pinterest}
they say your child is your heart born around outside your body. and with a wild child that already sings of bravery at one month old, she is truly my heart. my wolf-child and my dove girl, still a puppy, still a fledgling with down for feathers.

and she wakes with the sun and coos in my ear and gazes with wide eyes at the world around. and i think...this is the future of the world. and i hold her now, and she sleeps now in my arms wrapped in green and pink and softness all over.

a lioness in training, still a cub but with a roar of her own.

Aslan's daughter, the weaver of her own dreams who holds the hand of the One who holds the loom that bears her one-of-a-kind pattern.

my woven warrioress.
my brave little girl.
my sleeping shaker who teaches me with every snuffling breath...

...she teaches me to be brave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

sprouting branches : day five/ten

i'm learning to sprout extra branches these days.

two hands used to be enough for cell phone and coffee and driving down the road with too much on my mind all at the same time. but now i have precious cargo in the backseat, and so now i drive ten miles slower than i used to with sneaky sips of coffee to stay alive. 

and i'm growing extra branches and blossoming here, because i'm seeing what's important. i'm slowing down and savouring these moments, because i looked at her this morning and saw a growing flower in my garden. 

my seed is already sprouting a little bud with hints of pink petals, signs of life of her own. she's brushed off all that dirt from her shoulders and reaching up fingers all on her own toward the light. she's seeing more, knowing more. 

it's already almost been a month. 
can you believe it?

so everyone in my house is growing as the world starts to hibernate. i'm getting the hang of juggling little girl on my hip while i do the banking with one hand and raise the other toward the sky with a whispered prayer of

can You send me an extra whisper of strength today?
not too much, just enough...

{via pinterest}
and i'm resonating with the leaves that fall on the ground in this season, but i don't have the time to fall. i can't fall down until she's tucked up asleep with little lips open and curving into a sleepy smile from mysterious baby dreams.  

and then maybe i can crumble for a moment into strong man arms and cry for just a second from overwhelming moments of emotion and the realization that my branches are extending, and growing pains hurt after all. 

but i have a Daddy to carry me in the moments when the ground seems very far away, and i'm being parented while i parent by the ultimate Father who gets it all. 

and so i'm taking a breath, and tying on a babywearing wrap of fabric and facing life like i used to...just with a few more blossoming branches.

carved on one is mother
and another says woman
and yet another speaks warrioress

some are new. some are old. some are rediscovered. 
but all are my branches. 
and He's tending them all. 

{being imperfect with emily today}

Thursday, October 4, 2012

humble communion :: day three/four

{via pinterest}
being a parent is a lesson in humility. this i have learned already.

i've started in with the litany of stammered apologies at the state of my house to any guest that might stop by, and the blushing shame that lingers even when they assure me that they understand. because part of me thinks they don't, and they simply cling to polite courteosy as a way to make the frazzled new mom feel better.

and then today my mom came by with a box of things from home, and the stammering began. could she come upstairs? house is a mess...i'm so sorry for the mess...

and then my mama started in with her love. she held my daughter while i showered, and when the tiny warrioress slipped to slumber, she started in on my dishes. and dishes turned to floors and sinks and the toilet and tub and the messy stack of haphazard books and welcome your new baby cards in every shade of possible pastel.

and i again started with the i'm sorry you're seeing my house like this...and my mother lifted her head up and looked into my eyes and spoke words that melted my soul like wax.

:: that's the devil's lie

i wept in secret as i fed my daughter and my precious mother scrubbed the limescale from my tub. and  i felt my pride starting to fold in on itself.

because i was living in pride, in this dark land of messy dishes and unvacuumed floors that were crushing me from the outside in and bringing me to this place of overwhelmed confusion. and He was giving me a thousand outs, a thousand chances to rest and breathe again, and i was tossing them back in His face.

i am enough. i can handle this. 
i don't need You. 

{yesterday, me and my daughter) 
and then i broke. and i sat in the armchair while my mama brushed my hair and twisted it into a French braid out of my face and told me that i was radiant in my new motherhood. and we washed and dried dishes and laughed while my infant heart-clinger slept in her basket nearby.

we shared communion without the bread and wine, but with our mother-daugher-granddaughter hearts all meshed together. and i know He sent her to melt me down and restore me whole again.

even if it was just a shower and a tidied house and no more stammering apologies.

i need others. and i need Him.
there's no surviving without Him.

i'm inhaling His breath. and i'm loving my baby and letting the pillows fall where they may for now. no more pride, just on bended knee between the notes of the Lion's eternal song.

no more devil-lies. i'd rather share communion with my mama.
with my baby.
with my Jesus.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

not mine but Thine :: day two

{via pinterest}
the day of my first baby shower, my mom gave me a book to read.

sacred parenting :: gary thomas

and i've read little pieces here and there, snippets when i hold her while she sleeps and passages as she nurses and looks up into my eyes with her baby blue pools that whisper of the future.

i'm learning why parenting is sacred in a way i've never seen before. i've been told more than once that not everything can be sacred. but parenting...the only way i could survive this journey is by relying on the ultimate Father.

the relationship between Father and Son grips my soul freshly now, this way that Father loves enough to surrender His Son from glory to earth, and this way Son loves enough to surrender His life and will.

not Mine
but Thine.

and i want to love like that, though i know it might destroy me in the moment when she comes home and cries into my shoulder and whispers, how i wish i hadn't done that, momma. my mom did that for me, this thing of loving me enough to let me fail and let me chose.

can i do this? can i let her fail sometimes?
can i love her enough to let her learn for herself?

can i love her enough to let Him guide her steps instead of me tying her shoelaces together and the ends to the belt-loop in my jeans?

i prayed for this child on knees with choking sobs of longing, and she is here now in my arms, tiny and sweet and more precious than my heart can bear. but she is mine only for a time, but she is His for always.

{first moments with my Marian}
so i'm holding her up to Him and saying

not mine. 
but Thine. 

nothing i need to remind Him of, but a reminder to my mother's possessive heart.

i prayed for this child on knees with choking sobs of longing, and she is here now in my arms, tiny and sweet and more precious than my heart can bear.

but this daughter of my body and blood is His creation, of Lion's breath and Lion's song and earth so fresh and new that even iron and steal springs to life from within.

and the song continues from the tips of her toes and the ends of her fingers, and in the night as i hold her and kiss her sleeping face and whisper

not mine.
but Thine.

your children are not your children.
they are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
they come through you but not from you.
and though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
:: kahlil gibran ::

Monday, October 1, 2012

holy intentions :: day one

{via pinterest}
the birth of my daughter was not what i planned.

i had the best of intentions, the most carefully orchestrated of plans. i would labour without meds, without intervention unless needed. it would be natural, it would be private, it would be beautiful.

but the day before i was induced, i wrote this post.
and i wrote this phrase:

i'm bringing life through blood. it's sacred, a reminder of Him, really. 
the Stone Table broke when blood was spilled, 
and my body might break in this pursuit of motherhood. 
i'm ready to be carried, lifted up and held.

and indeed, my body did break. but not in the way i anticipated, nor in the way i wanted. 

but it wasn't about what i wanted. because i gave this child to Him the moment i knew of her presence within my body. it was His job to bring her here, and He did. His way in His time. 

she was late on my timeline, but not on His. nothing about that day surprised Him or alarmed Him. i was afraid to the point of shaking, but there was that whispered voice in my ear that breathed

{pure awe upon gazing at my child's face}
:: courage, dearheart, for I have already overcome :: 

and i let go. and she was lifted from my body like Moses from the water, like a flower from the soil of earth. and her life began in His time, and not in mine. 

and oh, how precious His intentions are. how precious is this child. 

everything about this motherhood journey is going to be foreign, anticipations that may not line with a perfect world in which i would rather dwell. 

because parenthood is laying down me to better her, being Him to her innocent eyes. i am mother to this roaring lamb, this tiny warioress. but i am still learning to be a warioress myself, still learning how to stand and fight while letting Him guide my feet. 

it's a dance, this thing of holy intentions and sacred parenting. a dance of standing strong and letting go, the act of exhaling

You are God. 
i am not. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 days :: motherhood

i've started a new journey this month. i've become a mother. and there is such a risk in motherhood, i've learned, even with only fourteen days to my credit.

there is a risk of retreating when i should be warring, a risk of withdrawing when i should be clinging. of all the times in my life, this is the time to be seeking Him with fire in my veins and passion in my soul.

this is the time to seek the sacred, to walk the path of the King closer than ever before.

and so i'm undertaking my first 31 Days.

:: thirty-one days of sacred, seeking motherhood ::

i'm not sure what i'll find, or what i'll become, or what i'll uncover while i undertake this. i will not shut out the Light in the time i need illumination the most. 

i cannot live without Him in the best of times and in the easiest of moments...oh, how i grasp Him now. 

:: my ship is in unfamiliar seas ::
:: my Anchor is my salvation :: 

and so with Marian in my arms and the Lion's breath at my back, i'm inhaling life. 

// i'm uncovering sacred in motherhood //
// i'm seeking Him in everything //

:: day one :: day two ::

little girl loved // two weeks

{taken the day of her birth, bare minutes old}
my daughter is two weeks old today.

and i've been resisting the urge to blog endlessly about her for fear of turning into one of those moms who can't exist outside their children.

but she's so new, and so precious, and i can't help but fall in love with her all over again every single time i look into her tiny face and see those blue eyes staring back at me and see that tiny mouth curl up into a pouting smile that illumines me.

the first days of her life are a mental blur for me, a blur of morphine and hospital blue and white stripped blankets. and now they are a different sort of blur, an exhausted new mommy blur of sleeping sometimes but not all the time.

clocks have stopped having a meaning for me. 3am and 12 noon and 4:15pm have all become times to curl my body around my newborn child and feed her from my own body and inhale her sweet indescribable infant aroma.

and though she be but little
she is fierce 
:: william shakespeare ::

{two weeks old in Daddy's arms, already so much different}
there is a strange fierceness about this tiny creature that came from my body. the way she demands attention with the loudness of her wails, the wildness of her intense blue eyes. 

there is no secret that she will be a warioress, 
// and she already is, in a way. 

at two weeks old, she is already little girl loved, small fairy-child treasured. and now she sleeps on my husband's chest curled in a soft pink daisy-patterned blanket with her rosebud mouth partially open and an arm tucked beneath her head. 

and i'm overwhelmed with the fierceness of this small one, of Aslan's newest and smallest daughter, currently a cub but a strong lioness in the making. 

i'm mad with love, with a fire i did not know i could ever possess. 

i'm mother, more than i ever was before. 

and i am two weeks mother to a lioness. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

arrival // Marian Abigail

she is here. 
my bug, my angel, my soul-wailing warrioress. 
:: Marian Abigail ::
9 lbs, 6 oz, 21 1/2 long

my labour was induced on the 15th at 7pm. i laboured for 24 hours with no change, breathing my way through contraction after contraction, praying for strength as they grew and then faded and then grew again.

but then her heart began to struggle as i contracted. oxygen found my nose and fluids found my veins and we watched and waited and prayed. 

doctors came and my mother held one hand, my mother-in-law held the other, and my husband stood at my head while i wept in fear and whispered

please God...

labour was too hard on her, they said. and she was big, bigger than they had ever imagined my body could produce and bear for so long. and the time had come, the appointed time, for this child to enter the world. 

they bound my husband up in baby blue scrubs and clad us both in green mesh caps and numbed my body from breasts to toes. and i laid on the table, arms spread wide and shaking like a leaf with whispered words into my ear and his hand clutching mine, and His hands holding all three of us. 

and they pulled her from me, this child of the strong lungs and dark hair that covers her head like the softest duckling feathers.

 in a rush of blood and life-giving fluid, my daughter was born and laid at my cheek so our skin touched. 

and i heard her wail, and i wept. 

and now she lays against my side, curled in pink and white blankets as my body heals among the IVs and foam cups with ice chips. we're a tiny family here. 

my strong little miracle. my heart outside my body. 
my Marian. 
my daughter. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

jumble // tomorrow

{via pinterest}
i'm all over the place right now.

bag packed, clothing washed...did i remember everything? do i need one more blanket, another outfit, just in case? am i overplanning, under-doing?

i'm excited. i'm so, so excited.
oh Lord, i'm so scared. 

:: tomorrow is the day ::

i've been counting down for this day for 41 weeks and 3 days that have seemed to stretch endless in front of me. and now this is the end, no more waiting.

i'm being induced tomorrow, the stroke of noon is where this pumpkin starts to transform from me to Mommy. it could be hours, it could be days. i don't like this unknown where i sit right now, this not knowing.

but this i do know.
He is greater. He is in control.
He is God. i am not.

so pray for me, would you please? because i'm so very small, and this seems so very big. and i need peace to do this big thing, this foreign and beautiful and frightening thing.

i'm bringing life through blood. it's sacred, a reminder of Him, really. the Stone Table broke when blood was spilled, and my body might break in this pursuit of motherhood. i'm ready to be carried, lifted up and held.

tomorrow is begin.
tomorrow is the start.

and He is greater.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Narnian almost-newborn

{via pinterest}
i am Reepicheep.
a mouse who must be held back from attempting combat with a dragon.

i'm marveling at the grace and joy that this life brings, to inhale and exhale courage that never seems to let up these days.

there is a kind of happiness and wonder 
that makes you serious. 
it is too good to waste on jokes. 
:: the last battle  // c.s. lewis

and that is where i am right now, right on the cusp of so many things, so much change. and i am breathless with excitement.

i understand that Narnian wonder again...i think i had forgotten what this feels like. it used to be my passion, to leap into the pools and come up to the tune of Lion's breath and steel growing alive from the ground.

because that's what this time is for me, a transition from summer to autumn, the time when the earth comes so alive and grace overflows so that the earth brings life from nothing.

{via pinterest}
it's hot cinnamon apple cider and burning leaves coupled with soft pink sheets and hand-crocheted booties in purple and mauve.

it's mustard yellow sweaters and chunky knit scarves with fresh-printed books by candlelight...Goodnight Moon and I'll Love You Forever take up the shelves where Austen and Bronte used to reside.

this is where it starts. this is the begin.
she is four days late, but i know she will arrive.

and then we will tip over the wave and catch our first glimpse of Aslan's county in her newborn eyes.

and i will teach her to being a roaring lamb
a dragon-fighting mouse.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

being imperfect mommy

{my family, May 2011}
me, my mommy, my daddy, my sister
your mother is so amazing
you have a fantastic father. 

these are words i hear often, frequently filling my ears from the lips of those who encounter the people that raised me. not just church people, not just family people, but strangers too, sometimes, who know me through them.

my father is the life of the party, loud and wild with a whistle and a laugh that both boom and echo so loud that they can be heard in the front of the church where i sit, compared to the back where he sits with my mother, always just that one second after the joke when the rest of the laughter has died away.

but he has these eyes, my father, the eyes that draw men to speak and share their hearts when most would rather withdraw and be quiet. he was good to his girls, my dad, my mom and sister and me, and soon his granddaughter too. most men wouldn't have cared. my daddy did.

and then there's my mom. this red-haired, coffee-carafe toting powerhouse who often starts her sentences with i'm not perfect or only by the grace of God am i here. and she's right, of course, because it takes God and only God. but mommy needs to give herself some credit too. because she spends hours with women, holding their hands and weeping with the broken. she gives of herself endless and endless to teenage girls who love her and call her mom like i do, and it's amazing.

and women tell me that listening to my mom is like listening at the feet of Jesus. and it is, because she raised me when she could have said no, and adopted me when she could have been content to give to others who didn't hold corners of her flesh in their fists. but she chose a daughter, and then another. and gave even more of herself -- the most bits of herself -- to us, my sister and me.

and i'm going to be a mom soon, any day now. and i sit and press my hands to my swollen stomach where my daughter, due tomorrow and stubbornly waiting beneath my skin where she seems to be quite comfortable in her silent liquid world. but wouldn't you be too?

i want to be the kind of mom that has people come to my little girl and say your mom is doing good. your mom is amazing. 

{via pinterest}
and i fear i won't be that kind of woman for her. i fear i'll live in flesh and in self, and not in the Jesus-shawl that my mother drapes over her shoulders when the world brings her to her knees. and i fear that i'll chose my own feet instead of kneeling on the sheepskin that my father has used for prayer since i was a little girl.

i have big shoes to fill, these ones of sacred parenting that were emulated for me by the two most amazing people i have ever encountered. and sometimes i call my mom crying, and tell her that i don't feel good enough to mother like she mothered.

and then i remember that He fathered her, and me, and my dad, and my husband. and fall is coming, a death and a life all at the same time. and my little one is coming to make me a mommy, and to make my husband a daddy.

and we won't be perfect parents. but we will be parents who love. i won't be my mom. but i'll be me, and that'll be okay, won't it?

and she'll love me for me, those tiny flailing arms and fluffy little cheeks and big still-unseen eyes of an unknown colour and hair to match, also still unknown.

but He died to make me worthy to hold this tiny one in my arms and call her my child, and made me worthy to be called mommy. He didn't die to make me perfect, to make me supermom, to make me anything but me.

He died to make me whole.

and i'm who she'll call mommy
imperfect mommy who loves Jesus
loving mommy who tries
her mommy. 
who loves her forever & always 

{linking my imperfection with dear emily and her community today. join us?}

Saturday, August 18, 2012

please stop

{via pinterest}
this one's for the lonely
the ones that seek and find
only to be let down
time after time

this one's for the torn down
the experts at the fall
come on friends get up now
you're not alone at all
:: comes and goes // greg laswell 

dear world, please stop. 

stop battering down my door with a thousand voices telling me just how i should mother, how i should parent, how i should be. 

it's breaking me down before i've even begun.

dear fashion designers, please stop.

stop teaching us to hate our bodies, because we already fall down enough and we need to love this thing that carries our souls and hearts and breaths and dreams. it's okay not to be a size 2. 

it's killing our daughters. 

dear mothers of the world, please stop.

stop hating one another because one holds a baby to her breast and one chooses another form of life-giving food for her little one, because one chooses to return to work and another can hold her baby from dawn to dusk. 

i can't bear it any more. 

dear church, sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Love, please stop.

stop screaming hate when He said love, stop twisting words to mean what He never meant. put down the torches and the pitchforks. 

it's making Him weep
and He doesn't recognize you.

what else can i say but please. please, from the bottom of my heart, cloaked in all the love i can muster...

:: please stop :: 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

circles repeated

{via pinterest}
:: i am drawing circles in the earth.
i am marching around my Jericho. 

those words, those two simple lines, started a post that i wrote on the last day of January. my circle journey had just started, and i almost want to laugh and then weep at how far i have come.

because all of me has become a circle. and i can say that with laughter as i watch my belly grow and grow and continue to grow. and i watch the mandella of prayer in which i have found myself kneeling become visible and evident on my skin, dark purple twisting lines that create

the most intricate
the most precious
the most beloved
and the most frightening of prayer circles that i have ever witnessed.

i've learned more about myself in these past nine months than i ever could have anticipated. and yes, it has been nine months now, at the dawning of this morning's fingers of rose and pale gold. i've had to release the rigidness to which i have steadfastly clung, because i wake up every morning without a single clue as to what i might encounter.

and this journey of her safely beneath my skin is almost over, and with a scream of mine and a wail of hers, she will be here...and this makes me tremble, loved ones. this makes me tremble in the most sacred of ways, and the most human of ways, as well.

{via pinterest}
i feel like this circle is fragile. like it could break if i press the wrong way, and everything falls to pieces. it's that fear again, that serpentine voice whispering my ear, you shall not surely die, but you shall be like God. 

and now i understand why Eve's temptation was so great, why the first woman reached out for the fruit that whispered lies of simple solution, of knowledge of what is and what could come.

but i'm letting Him guide my fingers from sparkling poison apples to something brighter, something dirty like Carpenter's sandals, something dusty like the hem of the Rabbi's cloak.

grasp Me here. 
and down on your knees is where you will find Me, the most clean and the most pure. 

because faith is found in circles of prayer and blood and freshly cut covenant
where the fire can pass between the torn pieces of me to lodge in the fullness of Him.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

briefly // maternity pictures

i know i've been silent. i know it's been quiet here, but i've been finding my own corners in which to meditate, and that has let me beside still waters where words are few and moments are precious.

we're down to the end of this pregnancy, almost. 34 weeks and counting, almost, down the final moments where it's just two of us and not three.

i promise i'll be back with more insightful thoughts and quiet musings in the days to come, hopefully by the end of the week.
my sister took these maternity photographs for us late last week, and i am finally able to see and share them with you. 

i'm embracing this thing of stretch marks and body scars...expect a post on them in coming days. i have a lot of thoughts and a lot to process, though i feel that my words won't convey the magnitude like i would hope. 

but i will try, as i always do, and maybe i'll hit even just the edge of the target. because the edge is better than a complete miss, after all. but i'm aiming for the bulls-eye here, seeking to go further up and further in for her as well as for me. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

real beauty // you are not fat

{via pinterest}
i have a formspring. you know, one of those places where people you know and people you don't can ask you any number of questions about any topic they wish.

and today there was a question sitting there in my inbox from that coward, anonymous. innocent words strung together to form something so much more painful.

so you've used pregnancy as an excuse to let yourself go, then?

and my blood ran cold. because in my mind's eye, i saw fifteen-year-old me crying in the dressing room because i felt so fat every time i tried on anything. and my sister could fit into clothes that i never could, because i was curvy. 

and then i saw another little girl.

a little girl whose face i couldn't see clearly, but that i knew better than my own all the same. and she sat there in the mall food court picking at the pile of lettuce with the dressing on the side that she called lunch and sipped at her water while she smelled the burgers and watched the other girls drinking their smoothies. 

i saw my daughter's face. 

and the blood turned to ice in my veins, and some strange mother-bear anger stirred in my stomach right next to the little rolling flutters that mark my daughter's current home. 

this anger was not for me. i'm growing stronger now. words, yes, they still hurt. but this anger was not for me. 

with hand on stomach and face curved toward the sky, my soul screamed

don't you dare call my beautiful little girl fat. 

don't teach my little one to count calories instead of the stars. because she has my genes, the curvy genes with rounder hips and fuller breasts. the ones that might not fit into the teenage carrot stick world into which she is being born. 

{via pinterest}

and maybe there will come a day when you come to me with big eyes and slender limbs and say words like carbs and calories...too soon, too young, too early.

and i will pray for grace and i will pray to not break down until i am behind a closed door where i can weep for this world where little girls starve themselves and big girls stare in mirrors and whisper i hate you. 

and this is the letter i will read to her even before she understands the world, in which i have promised to not call myself fat anymore, and i pray that she will see her mama living in truth and not on the scale. 

beauty is not size 2 defined. 

beauty is health, not break-ability. beauty is dressing on your salad and chocolate for desert. beauty is forgiving eyes and kind smiles and a soft heart, and chins lifted with so much peace and warrioress pride. 

because there is a Lion in Heaven that roars with rage when people talk bad about His daughters, and when people whisper lies into little girl ears that are too innocent to know better. there are millstones for people like that, and He has them in a line and waiting with rope for tying.

don't you dare call My little girl fat.

{linking with my dear emily}

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

graceful star :: father's joy

{via pinterest}
we're naming her Marian. 
grace's star. graceful star. 

we're naming her Abigail.
joy of the Father. father's joy. 

:: :: :: 

i'm painting her legacy into her name. the legacy of a woman, sister to my father's father, who prayed for me when i was as she is now. a woman who now sings with Jesus and dips her toes in the pools of stars and inhales pure grace from the lips of the Saviour. 

the legacy of a blonde haired sister who shared my room from the moment we brought her home, who became my worst enemy and my best friend, who became more connected to my heart through drying ink on a legal document than blood could have ever provided. 

she is named after two great women. one older and passed from earth to greater Life, and one younger and still inhaling every second of oxygen that she can while her feet are still just barely pressed to grass. they are both full of Holy Light, though one is in the presence and one is still striving forward. 

some shake their heads and say 
{via pinterest}

it's just a name.
she'll be who she is all on her own. 

and she will be herself and no one else, because i plan on pressing the paintbrush into her fingers from the moment she inhales earth's air into her tiny lungs for the first time.

from the time she is born, i will whisper into her ear of her self-worth and her beauty, and i will show her little feet how to walk His path instead of theirs. 

but i'm still painting that legacy into her name. graceful star, her Father's joy. woman of God, girl of grace. warrioress and soul poet, whether she bathes in ink and old parchment or revels in grass stains and basketball courts. 

and she already is a graceful star. i feel her dancing beneath my skin in a rhythm that only she hears and understands with my heartbeat as her cadence, as her tribal drum to start. 

and oh, she already is her father's joy. here on earth as he presses lips to my stomach and tells her that he loves her already, as his eyes fill with so much pride that i know he would rip lions to pieces and place them at her feet, that he would bear the moon on his back for this tiny girl-child. all before she is even his to hold. 

and that is just her earthly father's pride, and the joy of the man whose blood she has. she will still bear a name that He knew -- her heavenly Abba -- before it was pieced together in my soul. 

a name He knew, a name He treasures. a name that makes Him laugh and whisper, 

yes, I know her. 
she's Mine, and I know what's Mine.

linking with emily and the rest of the imperfect prose team

Sunday, June 17, 2012

reaching out for life

{28 1/2 weeks}
photo by DramaticElegance and PinkStudios 
i've often marveled at the gravitational pull that my stomach seems to bear these days. it's as though people cannot help themselves from reaching out, from pressing their fingers against my taut skin.

:: they want to feel the life inside

and i have to admit, as much as i was dreading these outstretched hands into my personal space and even against my body itself, i've found myself seeing the profoundness in this simple gesture.

people would not be touching my stomach if it was just me, wandering around and making my way through the world on a day-to-day basis. it's not something that you do to just anyone.

but i'm pregnant, and there is life beneath my skin. it's not me they want to touch, it's her. it's not my skin they're desperate to feel, but the little wiggles and pokes that remind the world that there is indeed a person dwelling within a person.

// they're reaching out for life //

and isn't that how things should be with all of us? shouldn't spirits be gravitated toward us, whispering

you have Life. let us feel. 
we just want to touch Him. 

that's what i want, all the time, even after this little one is born and in the world. i want hands reaching out, not for me, because it's not me they're desperate to feel. it's not my spirit they want to connect with, to feel flowing like electric water through their veins.

it's Him. even the hem of His robe is enough. they just want to feel the Man dwelling within.

:: they're reaching out for life ::

Sunday, June 10, 2012

day of rest

{via pinterest}
you know that music player at the bottom of the page?

please, scroll down and turn it off.

and then come back to this video. turn off the television, the music. shut out the distractions and draw the Word of the Lord into your lap.

God cannot give us peace and rest outside of Himself
:: there is no such thing.
// c.s. lewis

soak in this meditation, lose yourself in the blessing of His grace and goodness, His glory and His salvation.

we have lost this concept, this burning need for a day of rest that comes with the start of a week. fresh with no mistakes, a new hour to breathe and learn and draw so much in to our weary souls.

do not be afraid of rest. instead, lose yourself in the sacredness of this.

:: // :: // ::

why do y
ou complain, Jacob? why do you say, Israel, “my way is hidden from the Lordmy cause is disregarded by my God”? 
do you not know? have you not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 
even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
:: isaiah 40:27-31 ::

// hallelujah, You have won the victory //
:: ::
// hallelujah, You have won it all for me //

{one thousand thanks to rain for bringing this meditation to my attention}