"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Mother's Day to Remember

I almost didn't publish this particular post. To the casual reader, it will be laborious; to the one looking for some deep thought, a waste of time. And while it was written in the early morning from my deck off the sunroom, it didn't arrive via long hours of contemplation or introspection but in the midst of a spring sinus headache. But for me, it is about a day to remember. And that's why I write.

I realize that for some, many even, Mother's Day is not a day to which they can look forward or enjoy. It's often a day that holds great heartache, questions, and regret. And certainly sadness. But Sunday night as I fell into bed, I did so with such a full heart and with such great joy.

What I thought was to be a day of church, lunch and a visit with my own mom turned out to be much more. My daughter surprised me by showing up on my door steps unexpectedly. (Her dad was aware of her arrival -- something they had been planning for days.) At my request, they took me to one of the city's finer restaurants: Maddio's Pizza, where she and I split a freshly made salad and dined on the best gluten-free pizza. When Marynan suggested we "get our nails done," we assured her dad that this was not a girls-only invitation and that he was welcomed to come, but he opted to drop us off at the door and hang out at the mall. Let me just say that any time I get to spend with my baby girl can always be labeled "experience." FUN experience at that. Humor is forever to be found when I'm with her. Even in the hard times. She sees it and she goes for it. Yes, she knows how to laugh -- and so laugh we do. As we sat there chair to chair, we had to intentionally avoid eye contact or else embarrass ourselves due to all the comic activity going on both around us as well as throughout the salon. At one point, I asked the darling conversing Korean girls in front of us, "Are you talking about us?" In horror, mine responded, "No!" To which my startled wide-eyed daughter silently mouthed to me, "Now they will be."

We left the salon and walked to Menchie's where we met my husband and all enjoyed a bowl of frozen yogurt while we sat on the patio in the beautiful May weather. We were able to relive with him the hilarious episodes of the previous events -- this time not having to withhold our laughter.

Shortly after, Marynan and I went to visit my mom who had a pound cake in the oven. Isn't that what mother's do? Fortunate for us, the cake tested done while we were there and we tested it "delicious." We split the first slice, which was almost too hot to handle, and then decided on another. Truly, nothing is better than my mom's pound cake straight out of the oven. Hot pound cake. It's the way she loves us. We cut 3 more slices and brought them home with us for later. 

Soon after arriving back at our house, my cell rang and my 6-year old grandson said, "Hi, G-Nan! Happy Mother's Day!" What a treat to spend a little time with him and his dad talking with both of them on speaker. When I asked him what he and his dad had planned while his mother is completing her master's degree at Asbury Theological Seminary this week, he said, "We've talked about it but haven't settled on anything yet." That made me laugh coming from such a young fellow. But at the present, they were watching "Homeward Bound," the same movie I must have watched a hundred times with his dad when he was little. What joy then. What joy now.

Just minutes later, I was on the phone with my first born; the one who actually made me a mother. He told me that he was sitting in Starbuck's writing a post for his blog, Sacred Brewings -- and had just hit the button to post. No clues were given, but after we got off the phone, I saw where it was entitled, "Mom." It didn't take long for the tears to spill over as I began reading such a beautiful tribute. I'm not sure I've ever received a more special Mother's Day gift. I had to completely redo my makeup before heading out for Mexican.

The day ended with Marynan and me sitting together on the couch, eating toasted pound cake, sipping Rose, and watching last week's episode of Dancing With the Stars. Indeed a perfect end to a perfect day.

Yes, I fell in bed with the thought: "I don't know when I've enjoyed a Mother's Day more."

So why write a blog about it? Because as I was sitting on my deck the next morning thinking about the day's events and recalling just how much I enjoy my children, not just this past Sunday but every time I'm with them, I sensed the Lord say to me: "Don't you see? That's the way I enjoy you." Yes, He loves us, but He also truly ENJOYS us. Not for what we do. Or for how we behave. Or for how we attempt to serve Him. No, He enjoys us simply because we are His children. Yes, His. 

Probably the most famous question asked to young Presbyterian children is this: What is the chief end of man? The answer: To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.

Maybe we also need to be reminded that He enjoys us, too. At least I do. So I just wanted to remember -- and offer you the same opportunity as well.

Just an ordinary moment...

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Some Moments Are Too Holy To Miss

I checked the radar when I got up this morning and noticed that the rain was almost upon us. And so instead of making my way to the deck, I positioned myself on the couch here in my sunroom. 

I began what I call my spiritual practice, some might call it "routine," when I noticed the color of the sky. It was an odd shade of pink coloring everything within its reach, and, at once, I knew I must get out there less I miss it altogether ... for colors like this don't last very long. And after all, it had not begun raining yet. 

I'm not sure I've ever seen this color of earth. It was nothing short of beautiful. Even eerie to a point. All was very quiet. Still. Even the birds had hushed their singing. And the further east my eyes took me, the richer the color. Almost mauve really. I search for words even now to describe it, and the only ones that come to mind are ... holy ... sacred ... Beauty Himself: God.

And as quickly as it came, it went. I sat there and watched the earth gradually return to its normal hue of green and basked in the experience of that as well. I began to sense on my bare arms the prick of the water in the air. The kind you can't see; just feel. Shortly, I felt the first drop. I still waited to move. There was no rush to get in as I had taken nothing but my cup of tea out with me, which was now empty. No cushions. No books, pencil or journal. No device. 

And I wondered: How much color have I slept through? How much have I failed to see? How much has come and gone because I wasn't looking, or worse yet, saw and just refused to take the time to be still and know it? More than I care to admit.

But today at least I didn't miss it. I saw. I stopped. I knew. And I was known.

It's raining steady now and I'm back in the place where I began. A pair of cardinals sit just outside my open window: the male on the arm of the chair and his mate on the table next to him. Oblivious to the rain, they occupy my holy space on the deck. And I smile.

Yes, some moments are just too holy to miss.

Just an ordinary moment...