Anxiety is coming so there’s work to do. Journal, pray, read— stay busy, stay still, breathe and don’t exhale until your throat catches the air. Diffuse wintergreen. Make chamomile tea, and make yourself sweat, but preferably not in that order. Let yourself stand in line at Chipotle. Say yes to extra guacamole. Call your friend and talk about nothing because you can’t really name why your ribs keep clawing so tight.
Tears come because crumbs can’t stay tucked long in corners of the hardwood floor. Exposed and tired— you’re left confused why your tricks aren’t sticking to the script.
Please know, it’s okay. You do what you can, you cancel what you can’t, you stay in child’s pose long after everyone has left.
Peace will come again like the sun and new days. Birds will sing melodies.
For now, you wait for Love’s outreached hand dressed in so many disguises. Trust she’s there even when you’re scared. Know it’s good to need her.
I’m not in the mood. Another day of gray after a night with restless little sleepers. The last thing I want is to grab my pen and write.
Like oil changes and peeling potatoes and folding those same clothes every week— routine can be a drag.
Having to wear a heavy coat doesn’t help.
But my body knows, practically overflows, ready to get the words out—
Rhythms at work again reminding me, “This is what we do.” One letter after another like one foot following its brother, I forgot how good it feels to move forward. .. Day 4 @hopewriters writing prompt: Mood. #hopewriterlife
When do you know when a balloon is blown full enough or a handpicked bouquet has the right amount of lilacs? Even a fallen branch in a forest still has work that he is doing.
Half-finished things are everywhere— tucked away in documents filed or buried between ramblings and folds and pockets. There’s a poem right now in the back of my mind just waiting for the right small talk or traffic light stop to deliver the piece I’m missing.
Even final drafts are still drafts. They just sit a little taller in the chair because someone smiled at them, proud of all their effort finally on display— Straight irons and combs put away in a drawer and the counter cleared off for pictures.
They arrive at Four’s home because it’s the coolest. Some indie artist playing on a record next to a platter of port-wine cheese.
One shows up clean-shaven, on time, and proud. The invitation said 7pm. Six is just around the block but makes sure to text an “I’m sorry, running late,” while Eight finds curbside parking that Nine passed up because he doesn’t want to brake in traffic that long.
Two juggles her dishes From the sign up list Three sent with a reminder about the white elephant. Five waits for his debut of the games’ rules as Seven makes her way from another party.
Friends over a decade it’s easy to see everyone acting so—predictably. But the stories and wine begin their work restitching familiarity back in its seam.
Nine changes the script from “of course she did” to “tell me more” while One loosens his tie and listens. Eight empowers Two to see her value, while Four offers an idea Five can get behind. Three overhears and gives it feet while Seven jumps in adding wings. Six sitting, smiling, treasuring this togetherness with her friends.
Days before Christmas and I’m annoyed by winter’s gray, mad at sickness I can’t keep at bay, stressed with laundry and the wrapping, and more stories of sneaky porch pirates getting away.
I know I seem frivolous, and this is luxurious, to complain about things that seem trite, but “merry and bright” aren’t sitting just right these few days before Christmas.
Joy gets harder to muster under days trimmed with evergreen; pressure builds to find handles on peace while decorating with dried tangerines.
So let it be said even if I’m alone in forgetting— Joy is no prerequisite, shame not a consequence, when all isn’t calm, a lot isn’t right, and we are drowning in incompetence.
Joy isn’t something conjured with cookies and Peace isn’t lured by more packaging. Believe me, I’ve tried, and I’m back to what’s time-tested and true:
Remembering a lifting a lightening a release of Joy and Peace in Holy flesh like snow fall swallowing us whole. Christ came to us, introducing redemption that found our hurt and loneliness, acknowledged it hugged it wrapped it with Promise: it will never be forgotten and we will be brought in even in our preoccupation in these days before Christmas.
For my birthday last year, my husband surprised me with a kid-free weekend with my best friends and their spouses at the Kentucky Derby. It was incredible—the company, the anticipation, the hats, the intensity of cheering on horses even though none of us knew what we were doing—it was all so much fun. The only down side? It stormed all day and we had no seats. Still, we laughed hard and made the best of it because we don’t get these moments often and no one can control the rain.
What I loved about Jennifer’s poem from Monday was that the storm and the sweet air were both held in open hands. One did not dominate the other and there was a humility in seeing the good yet knowing the storm is encroaching. I loved the intentional reflection and want to cultivate the same in my soul.
It’s so easy for me forget the kindness, originality, spunk, and courage of my girls the moment food is thrown on the floor intentionally or tantrums in Target make us abandon the shopping list. In those moments, I feel like I’ve failed as a parent and have not made any progress in shepherding or discipline. But on this side of heaven, the radar will always have some storm brewing on the outskirts. And, if the derby can endure it (trust me, there was a lot of rain), I’m much more confident little deposits of good in our children aren’t going anywhere—they may just be hiding in tall rain boots and under thick ponchos, and might need a bit of time and space to dry out.