Tag Archives: new life

Breaking News

This weekend was another happy college football weekend for our family, if you don’t count the outcome of the game. It was especially delicious for us because all our children were there, our son-in-law, our grandson, other relatives and lots of friends, old and new.

Football weekends are always very busy and loud with cannons, fireworks, lots of yelling, singing, music, fly overs, marching bands and such. In the midst of all that noise this weekend, my daughter confided that she definitely felt the baby move this week.

I have written and spoken about this phenomenon before. It’s called quickening. If women wrote more theology I’m sure this would be classified as an “official” theological concept because I’m not sure there is any other more God-filled idea than this..

In the noise of life, in the busyness and movement of all things, something flutters, quickens. It is new life unfolding in a dark and hidden place.

When my daughter mentioned this, I felt like we should stop everything and make a giant announcement about it including taking over all the news channels and social media. Breaking news: we’ve got a flutter here, a quickening, something new.

Right now in our world and in our news feeds there is so much muck, darkness, accusation and trouble. The same is true in our people circles, at least in mine. People you and I love are facing hard and challenging things.

That’s why quickening is breaking news. I believe God is absolutely faithful with the quickening. Whatever we are facing, if we are just still long enough, there is a flutter of new life. We don’t know the form it will take, but it is there.

For those facing disease and pain, there is a flutter of health and relief trying to win in your body. Grieving? Look for a flicker of light or laughter to come back, even for a second. Facing something hard? An addiction, a difficult relationship, a financial burden,  a job decision? Somewhere in all that God is at work, knitting something new that is going to flutter past you or make itself evident in a conversation, a dream or a prayer. It will be subtle because that’s how these things go. You might miss if it you aren’t still enough or perceptive enough.

God is absolutely faithful in the quickening. God is a masterful  Creator when it comes to  at new life. And, I think God enjoys the surprise of it too. Just when you thought all was lost, it’s not. Just when you believed you’d never feel again, you do. When all seems dead, a flutter.

Emily Dickinson perceived it when she wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

Pregnant women say quickening feels like that, hope with feathers…like a butterfly’s wings or a tiny hummingbird moving inside. God’s faithful quickening in us, in our too real, messy, sometimes sad and loud lives is actually the best breaking news of the day.

 

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On My Walk…

Today, all of nature got the memo that spring has officially begun. At least that’s how it is here in Texas. The day was awash with blue skies, a breeze, new grass the once a year lime to kelly green color, trees with  baby tender leaves. I saw all these flowers with only buds. I have to wait and have faith a bit to see what kind of flowers will unfold.

In yoga, I’m learning to breathe more deeply and so I closed my eyes and breathed in spring. It smelled like fresh leaves and grass, cypress and floral. I wondered how many other springs I’ve raced through forgetting to notice; forgetting to breathe.

While I walked my Twitter feed exploded with news about political investigations and accusations and everyone’s opinion on all of it. I care but not now. Not while I’m on my walk. Not while spring is making a debut. Not when it smells like this and I now know how to breathe.

Today on my walk, I paused. There’s a bench right at this little lake and so I took the hint and sat. I never really noticed how accurately that lake reflects the sky. I never understood why older people were depicted as sitting on park benches all day or rocking endlessly on porches. I get it now. There is so much to notice.

My favorite poet, Mary Oliver, wrote, “It is a serious thing just to be alive on this fresh morning in the broken world.” Yes, it is, especially in spring.

I know there is trouble in our world. There is hunger and hurting. There are diagnoses and dangers. People I know have lost those they love. But, on my walk today, I noticed it was spring. That is certainly something.

 

Already Wrapped in Layers of Love

We are getting ever so close to our first grandbaby’s due date. I bought Half and Half that expires after his July 1 due date, so it’s close! We all: friends, extended family and of course, his parents and grandparents are just abuzz with anticipation.  When we will he come?  How will it unfold?  What will he look like?  What will he need?  Will we be able to   provide for him?  Will he like to be rocked? We have rocking chairs poised and ready. I wonder if he will like being swaddled? We have many blanket options on hand.

The baby showers are happening. Relatives and friends are layering in the love and good wishes already. I even had a surprise Mimosa shower (that’s my grandmother name–it’s a long story and yes, I love it.)  My coworkers gave me children’s books for Mimosa’s house.  The titles of those books, “Love You Forever,” “You’re Here for a Reason,” “I Love You Night and Day,” “How Do I Love You?” and “Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You” speak of the messages that will be layered in and lavished on him immediately upon birth.

On Saturday, my daughter and I had fun opening all the packages of crib sheets and little hooded towels. We took the tags off of countless cute outfits and tiny socks. We created three piles of laundry to wash and fold and put away in his nursery. You know it is real when there is laundry involved. You also know he is already a Texas Aggie because he had one whole pile of maroon clothes.

I found myself thinking of other pregnancies and babies being born around the world. I know not everyone is wrapped in layers of love before they arrive here. Not everyone has good prenatal care and their own room and scores of relatives and friends awaiting them with open arms. Some babies won’t have enough to eat or even medical care from the very beginning much less multiple rocking and swaddling options on hand.

As we prepare, I pray for our grandson but also for all the others. I pray for layers and layers of love and anticipation for all children. Isn’t that really how it should be?

Ten Puppy Truths for People

We had Rusty, our Golden Retriever, for 12 years.  When he died, a year ago January, his absence was palatable and it took our family a long time to grieve losing him.  A few months ago, we started the process of looking into rescuing another dog.  We worked with DFW Lab Rescue (dfwlabrescue.org), to begin the paperwork and approval process. I fell in love with a little yellow lab mix with cute white markings on her face.  They assured me that everyone loved that particular puppy and I was far too behind in the process to even think about getting her.

Then suddenly, last week, Holy Week, my crunch time, THAT puppy became miraculously available. After weeks of being in the application process, she could be ours in a matter of days.  Days! I picked her up on Good Friday, our Easter puppy, because love and new life trumps logic and reason every time. Rollie has reminded me, in the short time we’ve had her, of a few things we all should remember:

1. It’s good to go outside lots of times every day, rain or shine, day or night.

2. It’s good to have people.  What if we all greeted our people enthusiastically every time we see them, even if they stepped out of the room for just a few seconds?

3. Playing is fun.  We should all play more.

4. Walking is great. We should all walk more.

5. Food, water and treats are beautiful things.  We should appreciate those things greatly, maybe even wag our tails in gratitude.

6. A clean house is overrated.  Messy food and water bowls, puppy toys everywhere and lots of leaves, grass and sticks tracked in make a house a home.

7. Dog hair on people clothes is not the end of the world.

8. Cuddling is good. We should all cuddle more.

9. It’s really good to have a nice soft bed to retreat to.

10. We should walk, play, cuddle, wag tails and greet each other so hard every day that we are super tired at night.

It’s Springtime, But…

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite writers.  She just posted a new blog. It came to me as a lovely Monday morning gift, echoing what I was already feeling today.  Her words, “So life. It’s the whole deal. Mixed grille all the way, gorgeous and sad things all mixed up.  Us, at our best and worst, in it together; life death, rebirth, and life again.”

Isn’t that the truth?  Just like today here in Texas, the sun is shining brightly. The sky is this amazing blue color. It rained all weekend so spring is just bursting forth before our eyes.  And, yet in our world, from politics to terror; from lack of food and water to other injustices, so much is not right.  I can’t hold lovely springtime and my newsfeed in my heart and spirit at the same time. It’s just reality. Bitter plus sweet equals life.

How do we manage the sad and real weaving its way through the beautiful and tender parts of life? We hold it all lightly. We lift it all up to God’s healing light.  We offer up our mixed feelings, relationships and irritations to God’s tender care; not to mention of deepest angers, hurts, resentments, pains and losses.  We make it by praying, crying, laughing and letting go; by holding onto each other and being kind.

Oh yes, and by washing all of it, regularly, with buckets and buckets of God’s grace. I’m pretty sure that’s the only way forward, just dripping in grace and tracking it everywhere.