Love Letters

Love Letters

Inspired by a lesson from our week’s Bible study, we all took Sharpies and wrote in our palms: The Lord’s. To say I need the reminder is an understatement. You’d think I had other things scribbled there in the middle of my hand, however invisibly—The Bank’s, The House’s, The Children’s, The Husband’s, The Worry’s, Mine. And they don’t easily fade from red to pink like those six letters. They seem indelibly etched into my heart and mind, these cares of the world. They carry serious weight. Sure, some look like holy pursuits. Take my family. God gave me Hubby and the little people, so isn’t it okay to lose sleep, time, and even myself in them? Teaching them, raising them, loving them—they’re each a full-time job. Yet my palm attests, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13) They’re not mine, for we are all His. It’s fruitless and prideful to focus on my limitations as a mother and wife in the face of His unlimited love and power. I should seek His plans for their life. Then there’s my writing, what I see as my ministry. Shouldn’t I give it my all—well, all that’s left, mind you—by pursuing publication, encouraging others, spreading His Word? Yet, the letters on my hand tell me, “For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” (Psalm 139:4) This is His gift. I am His instrument. Worrying won’t get an agent’s attention; fasting and prayer will get His. God knows it all and gives me my all and all. All I can do is write...
The Word, to the Wise

The Word, to the Wise

During literature today, the little people looked up a few unfamiliar words. When Think Tank typed tilth, his autocorrect feature kept trying to change it to tilts. Maven chuckled at the pronunciation of puissant, while Think Tank wondered if we could call God “omnipuissant.” Funny guy. We like to read aloud. They enjoy hearing and “seeing” great literature come to life. We discuss a writer’s intentions and the direction of a storyline, debate about what counts or doesn’t count as classic literature, and relate themes and plot lines to the Bible and current events. It’s also helpful listening to the little people’s pronunciation from time to time, checking out how they wield their language swords. Mini-wordsmiths all, they still can mispronounce the dickens out of what I’ve considered simple vocabulary; I’ve learned there’s nothing simple about the queen’s English. As Crusader showed me years ago, misled is not MY-zled. Ah, the power of language. Thing is, we don’t have to get all fancy when we’re talking to God. We don’t have to call Him “Elohim” when we pray to our Abba Father. It doesn’t matter what language we use when we cry out, “Help!” “Save me!” “Here I am, Lord!” or just plain cry. Often, my silent obedience is all I have to offer, or a hand in the air—and not because I just don’t care. I do care…too much. My church mothers knew what they were talking about when they sang, “When I can’t say a word, I’ll just wave my hand.” So, wave your hands. Weep silently. Don’t worry about publishing your thoughts for various and sundry....
A Son Is Given

A Son Is Given

Brown Sugar is mourning Christmas. So is Songbird. Last night she pointed out that we had 365 more days until Christmas 2018. December 26 is her least favorite day, even more than the day after her birthday. Just like the rest of us, Songbird and Brown Sugar love all the anticipation and events leading up to Christmas, all the baking, buying, carols, and lights, the late nights watching holiday movies and the sleeping in during vacation. Ah, the Christmas spirit. But we believers still have His Christmas Spirit; for us, it’s always the night before Christmas. And not just today while we recuperate from our turkey-, candied yams-, and key lime pie-induced coma; trip over new toys; and laze around the house enjoying the tree. For us, every day is Christmas Eve, but now we’re looking for Him to come…back. We still call Him “Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”—and not because of prophecy but because of reality. We yet celebrate Jesus’ birth, His sacrificial gift, and the gift of the Holy Spirit in our life. His kingdom is eternal. (Isaiah 9:6, 7) So, Merry Day After Christmas! And guess what? I’m still accepting presents. “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of...
Sipping from the Saucer

Sipping from the Saucer

Scrolling through old family pictures reminded me of that Christmas we learned that Number Six was on the way. Hubby and I were wide eyed. We asked ourselves, “How did this happen?” All we could do was shake our heads. In fact, now that I think about it, we’d shaken our heads in wonder and disbelief with Numbers 4 and 5 as well (we take full responsibility for TD). Admittedly, most of our “wonder” was fear in disguise. We balked at our family’s response to our happy news, calculated the age we’d be once all our peeps graduated, imagined how my body would look and feel when all was said and done, wondered what kind of car would hold us all (because it wasn’t the one parked in the driveway). Once we took a deep breath and hitched up our big boy and big girl pants, we remembered, “Oh, yeah, that’s right! Our father is the King. He’s got this.” Since then, we’ve sat back and enjoyed the ride—that bumpy, twisty-turny, forty-foot-drop-filled, uphill chugging, rollercoaster-simulating, tearful, and thrilling ride of our lifetime. I wouldn’t change a thing—well, nothing major, but I’m only human. And do you know what blows my mind? No, it’s not the cost of paying for seven college educations or the length of seven Christmas lists. It’s that if I’d had my way, I wouldn’t have chosen any of this. My choice was settling down with the three children I’d agreed on and watching them skip off to a yellow school bus while I edited my way through a satisfactory life. Yet God. His way has been beyond...
Grace Under Covers

Grace Under Covers

This morning, all I can think about is this old nursery rhyme I used to read to Crusader: “Wee Willie Winkie runs through the town, Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown, Tapping at the window and crying through the lock, Are all the children in their bed, for now it’s eight o’clock?” Or something t’other, as my character, Granny B, might say. Well, that poem about sums up my week thus far. Yesterday, I was running upstairs and downstairs, through the town, and checking on little people late into the night. Now I’ll spend the day in my nightgown, or something equally comfy. I have moaned and groaned over this weakness, frittering away valuable time, fretting over the whys and hows. But not today. Today, I’m choosing to see this day in bed, on the sofa, on my chaise, or in my seat in front of the fireplace as an opportunity, a gift forced upon me by the God Who knows my need. Really, Robin? You need weakness, achiness, and pain? I suppose so, at least today. It means I can’t run around cleaning, washing, instructing, and hustling, carrying out that whole upstairs-downstairs routine of life. The only part of me that’ll make it up or down today is my voice, yelling, “Can someone bring me my charger?” and “Play with TD!” Yesterday, I reached into the barrel and scooped out the grace I needed to do all that, plus get my party on with my little girlies to boot. It was enough. Today, I scooped out my daily grace using that same measure, but it served a different purpose: I get to write a post, read,...
Driving Home the Message

Driving Home the Message

Riding with Brown Sugar is a singular experience. Talk about quiet. And it’s not because she’s tap-tap-tapping on a device, reading a book, or playing with a toy. She’s not even singing along to the radio. Every now and then she’ll pipe up with, “Could you turn it up?” or “Will you play that song again?” or “Can we stop at McDonald’s?” Even then, I have to strain to hear her soft voice. But other than a request or two, she’s just…quiet. As one introvert riding with another, it’s a beautiful thing. Our drives serve as a retreat of sorts for us both. I emerge from the car refreshed; I don’t feel like my ears have had a workout. I get time to ponder the mysteries of the universe, mentally compose my next blog post, focus on the directions, consider the next day’s activities, fret over yesterday’s, or just enjoy the music. And of course, I get to wonder what’s on Brown Sugar’s mind. Yes, sometimes, my mommy curiosity leads me to break our fast of silence. I don’t pepper her with questions; I simply sprinkle an inquiry every few miles: “Are you okay? What are you thinking about? Did you enjoy practice?” To which she replies: “Yes. Nothing. Yes.” There’s certainly more substance in the stillness. Indeed. It’s surely hard to hear Brown Sugar in our family’s day-to-day—during the jockeying for position at the dinner table, the scramble for the truck’s middle seat, the complaints over schoolwork, the requests for Friday movie choices, the cheers during the games, in the schmear of attention we spread over each little person. We...