Wednesday, February 24, 2010

it is no longer discretional. it is now requisite.

I will write.

Errrrrr. There they are again.

Oh excuse me, what? I'm sorry, I'm losing consciousness of your existence in my ever-loving TREE! Hmmmmm, what's that? You think I'm a fraud? Shallow? Ridiculous? Lowly? Simple? Yeah me too. But my crazy, lovely God doesn't agree. I'm bettin' on Him these days. He loves me and thinks I'm great.

So there.

You know I've always been a writer. Not a good writer necessarily, but a writer. At heart. There is so much technically wrong with my writing it's hideous, absurd that I would even begin to pursue this, give it my level best. But I am. Call me crazy, but this is what my crazy God is inviting me to do. May take years. But I'm in.

I could suppose and doubt and wallow all I want but it's silly. It's just silly. God is bigger than that, and I'm His.

So here it is.

Fierce Love.

No limits.

That's what I'm writing, and it's going to be great. Because it's His Word, not divulged from my own experiences or self-attained wisdom 'cause it's just not there. I'm an amateur and I'm sketchy and I'm underdeveloped. However, let us not overstate the obvious. It doesn't ALWAYS bear repeating over and over again. We're acutely aware of our my humanness. What I want to centralize on is God's greatness. HIS capacity. Because that's where all these so-called pipe dreams are going to derive from. So then I guess they're not pipe dreams after all. Nice.

Here I am, trying fiercely to cling to truth rather than earlier said caustic soul-battering slurs that often intrude upon my joy and trying instead to listen to Him. Because He's great and He's lovely and He's wonderful and I'm convinced He speaks nothing but the cold, hard facts. Which in His case are never that I guess, never cold, never hard. Always kind, sometimes reproving, but always love.

So on that note, how do you love fiercely? No limits, regardless of the who or the what that he or she did or didn't do. Regardless. Just regardless. How do you do it? And don't just say, 'by His grace and only by His grace' or 'by the blood' or other aforementioned Bible jargon that is so beautifully right on, but come on, tell me true. Whacha got? Give it to me scrate.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

yummy blather that makes my heart all ooey-gooey like.

At the end of the day, if I've heard just ONE of these from my son, I don't have the option to call it a bad day. It just isn't.

Here is my current list of swooning lines from my squishy boy:
(Zion, 17 months old)

*Ah Da Doe?* (translation: *Where did __________ go?*) You have to ask him what he's looking for but the boy will tell you. It's usually one of the following: Dada (this is a big one), Passy (hmmmm, this one might be the biggest), Cheetah, or Sissy (he's asking this one more and more. Boy, he loves her.) Oh, and you have to picture the "Da" part at a much higher octave.

*Yay-Yaaaaay!* (translation: *Sisseeeeeeee!* It sounds nothing like "sissy" but it's what I want to say when I think of her too.)

*Tee-Taaaaah. Tee-Taaaaaah* (translation: *Cheetaaaaah. Cheeeeetah.* When it's time for night night he needs his Cheetahs, one for each hand, thus the cries for his kitties.)

*Ah Wu Wu Wu* (translation: *I love you*) :)

*Thee-Ahhheeee-Ohhhh-Eeeen* (this is Zion spelling his name, repeating each letter after us. Z-I-O-N)

*Nin* (translation: *Again!* to being thrown on the bed, thrown in the air, flown around the house and other such fun and he's saying it before said act of fun is even over! so cute.)

*Ninu* (translation: *Menu* letting you know the DVD Menu is up and it's sooo time to push PLAY. He just sits on the couch, *Ninu! Ninu! Ninu!*

and I couldn't leave out...

*Mama. Mama. Mama.* (no translation needed. :) He says it perfectly. :) He calls me when he wants to show me something silly that he's doing, when he falls, when he's stuck, when he wants to be held, when he doesn't know where I am, when he throws something he knows he shouldn't into the toilet, you know, normal times like that. And if I don't answer right away the volume is boosted one notch at a time and the syllables become more and more elongated. There's just nothin' like it.

So here's the dealio, when I start to complain or get down or just feel yucky, I look at my kids. They are bright light and warm sun and happiness and every synonym that exists for goodness. They make my little innards leap at the sight of them. :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maple Brown Sugar meets Crap.

Let's get one thing straight.

My life is not a relentless stream of episodes of charming baby doll play, patient games of Candy Land in a room filled with streams of warm sun, cozy cuddles with my small blond steed and sticky sweet longings to be an even better mother. Oh please.

Don't get me wrong, gosh, these moments exist, often even. But I also have days where I walk around my house thinking... I can't do this... and feeling demotivated with no initiative and desperate pleas of Oh heaven, I'm begging you to send some angels my way to be her panel for the next 5 hours until bedtime because I cannot answer one. more. question.

I hate writing this. I fear you don't know my heart fully enough and the degree of gut-wrenching love I have for my children, my love for motherhood. The truth is, I often feel lost, bleary, uninspired and otherwise distracted from the good life. That's the truth.

But alas I intentionally spill my can of crap to show that my life in indeed not always smothered in maple brown sugar and hopes of an even brighter day. It's sometimes something far uglier.

So there you have it. What you will find here is the depth of my heart, all of it, errrr, most of it. But hopefully it will be a candid, veracious balance of real life. Living day by day and not loving every minute. Just most. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FIERCE LOVE. No limits.

So this is my current compelling but shaking-in-my-boots-at-the-very-sound-of-it mantra. Fierce love. No limits. An act of the will. No matter what.

I can't do it. Not even close.

I am mesmerized and awe-struck at the love I've witnessed in others. Inspired even. I haven't had to love like this. Yet. I'm captivated and otherwise charmed by the love of a fellow Mama, Kate, who both suffered and embraced a level of love for her lost son that is equal parts heart-wrenching and beautiful. Or Gayle Haggard who chose to love her husband because of who he was, not what he did.

Without fear.
By choice.
Given freely without asking anything in return.
Does not lose heart.
Perseveres patiently and bravely.
Endures misfortunes and troubles.
Does not envy.
Does not parade itself about.
Is not provoked, irritated, angered or exasperated.
Does not rejoice in injustice.
Endures all things.
Conceals the errors of others.
Never fails. Ever.

Nope, can't do it. I can't seem to love like this. Oh, I want to be loved like this, but I can't pay it back.

*May the Lord make you increase and overflow in love for one another. This love, agape, is love by choice, an act of the will; an unconditional love demonstrated by an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other no matter what; a self-sacrificing love that is given freely without asking anything in return and without considering the worth of it's object. You do this so that God may establish and strengthen your hearts as blameless and holy before your God and Father.* 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 (taken from several sources: 'In Pursuit of God's Heart' by R. Crawford, NIV, and Strong's Concordance)

So with God I'm decked out, geared up, stocked, feathered and endowed. He will increase my love for others. Terrential downpours of sticky sweet, undying, enduring-heaping-mountains-of-crap-with-not-the-least-bit-of-ill-will, patient, kind, long-lasting love all for me to dish out to my preferred list of love suckers, I mean, friends and family.

That sounded crass. Was that crass? Darn, meant to sound genuine, honestly.

I'm merely scratching the surface with my attempts at this ridiculous, crazy love that I know is being asked of me. My amazingly beautiful, majestic, gloriously gracious God is asking me to love like this. Because I think, with His unrelenting help, it's possible. Christine Marie Sweet, choose love even when it hurts. Even with it feels like a thorn, no, a machete in your side. Even when your spent, empty. Even when it's undeserved. Do it especially then.

O God, are you here? Are you listening? I need you for this so desperately. How I long to love my husband, children, everyone the way you endlessly love me. I'm at least armed. I'm at least presumably equipped. What am I saying, I'm totally equipped. Hmmm, now how do you use this blooming thing? Anyway, we'll see how it pans out. Stay tuned, or call my husband at 757-333-LOVE.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just them.

What if at the end of the day I'm not doing what really matters? Like playing with my kids, really playing, quality playing, and not the kind where I'm acting like I'm playing but my mind is elsewhere, on dirty dishes, or showers, or facebook, or God even.

Yes, I really said that.

Because when it's 7:30 at night and I'm sighing in relief at bedtime's final arrival, I wonder. Did I see them today? Did I hear them, listen to them? And it's not 5 minutes after they're sound asleep that I don't ache to go in and scoop Zion up out of his crib and hold him for a while, nestled on my chest, knowing him. Or to slip into bed with Jersey under her flannel sheets next to her warm skin and soft hair, breathing her in and begging God to make her stay like this forever. It happens so often like this.

These indescribably normal, everyday moments are hissing by me so fast I'm wracked with whiplash and I don't know how to pause time and cement these frames of glorious-ness in mind and know that in 25 years I can go back and hold my kids, warm from a nap in my arms and it makes me mad.

There's nothing better than them. Just them in their clothes that smell of breakfast and disheveled hair and really wet kisses. Hearing Zion say *Mama, Mamaaa, MAMAAAAA* with intensity and love and Jersey telling me about baby dolls, and Astro Girl, and friends, and summer. Seeing her come into my room in the morning and telling me it's too sunny and not meaning the sun but my lamp. Feeling the weight of my son grow heavier with each turn of the page of The Big Red Barn as he makes his way to sleep and peace. Hearing about Jersey's day at school with expressions I don't recognize because she's growing so stunningly fast. Watching her enter a reality that is tangible to her as she sings over, dresses and nurses her baby doll, taking time and care and patience. Hearing Zion say, i wu wu wu, and noon, and aiwuhwuh with arms held up, and theth, and dado, and tith, and the like and knowing exactly what he means and just how to make it better. Accepting a hopeful request from Jersey to play baby dolls or a game and seeing her light up when I say yes.

No, there's really nothing better than them.

In light of this, here are some pictures, unedited, unscripted, unposed. Just them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Hear O Israel and the like.

So this morning I was praying through a few scriptures for my hot man and kids and heard myself muttering Bible lingo like it was my job (phrase credit: K. McGrath). You know words like *behold* and *O God* and *beseech*. Hmmm, yeah, so I don't actually talk like that, so why do I talk to God like that? Can't you just hear me? *I beseech you therefore, O Brian, to live this moment worthy of your calling as 'Dada' and change this godforsaken diaper. Hear O Husband, I ask that you would not allow any negative thought to enter your mind concerning me, but instead be transformed into the likeness of our Lord, the Holy One of Israel.*

Never said it.

I don't know though, there's something about praying like that, using the very words of scripture when talking to our awesome God that just feels good to me. I have a lot of friends who have eighty-sixed this way of praying and adopted more modern jargon when talking to *JC* in an effort to be more feel-real or authentic. I get it, I so do, and I think it rocks. But for me, in a good way, there's something other-worldly about God, and so when I'm communicating with Him it just feels appropriate to sound like I'm from another planet too.

So on that note, this is my prayer for you. Today. This moment.

God I pray that each of my friends and family would acknowledge you, the God of their fathers, and serve you with whole-hearted devotion and with a willing mind, for you search their hearts and you understand every motive behind their thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9) May they be clear-minded and self-controlled so they can pray. (1 Peter 4:7) Prepare their minds for action, O God and may they set their hope fully on Christ Jesus. (1 Peter 1:13) Pour out your Spirit on them that they would be ever increasing in their knowledge of you and may they have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. May they know this love that surpasses knowledge that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18)