Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How Many Kings?

     Christmas.  The time of year when people go all out to give each other stuff, things to show how much they care.  The time of year when we try to cram all the visits together and make sure to give everyone something to let them know how special they are.  The time of year that we celebrate family, love, good food and winter.
     If you are a Christian, this is also the time of year to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  The time of year we remember how He came down from Heaven as a humble baby, to walk the earth a regular man, to one day die on the cross so we may be free from the law of sin and have a ticket to Heaven, if we just accept it.
     There is a song that talks about all God gave up for us, for ME... that asks who else has given us what He gave?  Who else but Jesus came down to save?  I have been hearing this song on the radio lately and every single time it overwhelms me with gratitude. 

How Many Kings
Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl -
Just a child -
Is this who we've waited for? 'cause...

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we've waited for?

All for me...
All for you...

How many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?
Only one did that for me

Only one being has ever done what He did for me, for US.  I am so grateful He did.  I am grateful that He loves us so unconditionally, even when we turn away, when we ignore Him, when we pretend we don't need Him.  I am glad He knows us better than we do.

Friday, November 19, 2010


when winter drains
the soul.
The heart that once
was bright and bold
feels haggard
and old.
from the cold
in the light of a fire
one may find
their true heart
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I have been slacking lately.  Not writing or creating or even reveling.  No joy in small blessings, not even noticing the beauty all around.  My head feels cloudy and my heart is tired.  I hope to find some inspiration soon.  I wish to be a light rather than a shadow.

It's not that I don't have an idea what my problem is.  I know I just need to trust the Lord, to lay it all at His feet and leave it.  Much easier said than done.  I have started praying again, like today on my way home... just praying for my heart to open again.  Without joy I am nothing.  Without love we are hopeless.  Without God we are dust.  He must be my missing piece, I have tried everything else.
Thank God for grace.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Autumn Waning

Winter is coming fast upon us.  The Autumn chill is developing a wintry bite.  Driving home in the twilight is so disheartening.  I am still wishing for the West Coast to do away with daylight savings because when we change our clocks back that one hour our world all of a sudden turns dark.  It's like Winter comes overnight.  How glorious it is in the Spring, when we "gain" an hour of daylight... but is it worth the gloom that comes when we must give that hour back?

I used to swear that I loved the rain, no matter when, where or how cold it was.  The cool droplets brought my soul to life, gave inspiration to my mind and awoke my sleeping heart.  I did not feel safe in the sunlight, did not have the joy to bask in it.  Rain was my solace.  Since those troubled, unsure, growing up years, my heart has changed and grown.  No longer do I dread the light and happiness of others, no more do I pray for the rain.  I enjoy the Summer and basking in the warmth.  When the downpours arrive and darkness comes early, I find myself hoping for just one more day of warmth, just one last weekend of sun.  I cannot wait for Spring.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


       I had the worst headache a couple days ago.  It was probably once again related to the tension in my neck and also to my medication dosage.  It was a yucky day, or, as that children's book says, a "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"!  I had promised my dear husband the night before that I would clean the kitchen and do laundry since it was my day off, but when I finally rolled myself awake at 11 a.m. I felt like I was run over by a bus and nowhere near capable of doing anything productive.  I lazed about, drinking my coffee, watching television, reading my Agatha Christie book... I thought about just going back to sleep for the afternoon.
       My phone rang at about 3 in the afternoon.  Mom wanted to know if she could come over to see me and visit the kittens.  I said a hesitant yes and told her my head was killing me and I hadn't done a thing all day and I still desperately needed to clean the kitchen because almost every single dish we own was dirty.  Her response was, "Oh!  Let me come clean your kitchen!!"  (I was shocked and felt guilty for even mentioning it, but told her to come over anyway, NOT to clean the kitchen though.)
       My dear Mama arrived a little while later with a gift of spaghetti and sourdough french bread "so I would not have to worry about dinner".  She wanted to start immediately on the kitchen until I told her about the knot in my neck and my headache.  Mom worked the knots and kinks out while we sat in front of the living room fire and talked.  We have not had a good visit like that in a long, long time... if ever.

       After the massage we did clean the kitchen...

       My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day turned into a sweet day overflowing with love and gratitude.  Thanks to my Mama, the kitchen is not desperate this weekend, my headache has dissipated and is almost gone, and I remember how sweet unconditional love feels.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Kitten in my lap.
Contented purrs bring warmth to the chill.
She is a beauty.
Long, pale tortoiseshell coat, so regal and feminine.
Loving eyes glance up as I stroke her chin and  ears.

Is this a glimpse of Heaven?  Is this my gift for the day?
I gratefully accept.

Beauty has a name.
Blessing has a name.
God's gift has a name.
Love has a name.

          Its name is Ginger.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Let it be Autumn!

Have you noticed how some people call this season Autumn while others call it Fall?  I am not sure if one term is more proper than the other, or if it makes any difference.

Each of these words paints an entirely different picture.  Fall brings to mind the cold, blustery days, warm coats, frost on windshields, darkness coming early and back-to-school times.  Fall is about change and getting back down to business.  Not a bad thing, but somewhat drab and unimaginative.  On the other end of the spectrum, the word Autumn strikes a different chord in me.  I remember the glorious changing foliage, the beauty of crunching leaves underfoot, fresh apples and cider, fires in fireplaces and Thanksgiving.

I have been living in Fall.  The drabness in my heart has been clouding me from seeing the glorious changing foliage and hearing the leaves crunch.  I want to see and feel the beauty, to hear the geese and watch the floating leaves.  I long to bask in the fire's warmth, look forward to Thanksgiving and be excited for Christmas just around the bend.  I want to live in Autumn again.

I suppose the first step in changing things is noticing a need for change.  Perhaps this is that first step.  Perhaps tomorrow will be different.
May tomorrow be my first day of Autumn!

If not, don't fret, I will simply try again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Sunday morning...

Warm fire

Rain drizzles just outside the window
Kittens tackle each other at my feet

List of things to be done for Monday
Just a bit longer to relax

...Content in the moment

Saturday, October 23, 2010

predniSONE Taper

I visited my rheumatologist on Thursday.  She has me keeping the prednisone at 5mg per day for a month, then halving that to 2.5mg.  After one month at that amount I am to stop entirely.  I am a little concerned about stopping it completely, but trying to look at all this one day at a time.

The RA symptoms that pretty well disappeared when I started the medication are beginning to return, especially the enormous fatigue.  I guess the hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) should help all the symptoms but it can take a few months to feel the full effect.  I hope it truly does help with the fatigue, because that is the most aggravating symptom.  I can live with pain and stiffness in joints, being exhausted and weak constantly is a nightmare.

I think I worry too much.  I worry that I will feel worse again and lose all the energy I have gained... I worry that we will not have enough money to pay for things, like medications, the kittens, firewood and food.  I worry that I am always going to feel cloudy and lost... I worry that I will never again feel close to the Lord like I used to so long ago.
I wonder why I let myself worry so incessantly about every little thing, most of which I have no control over.  I try to blame it on my Mom for "giving me the worrying gene" then I feel guilty for blaming anyone, when clearly it is all in my own head.

I hope to feel more awake and alive soon, but so far things are just foggy.

I suppose I should pray for peace.  Have not done that in quite a long while.  Maybe it will be easier than I think?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pouty Pepper

     Pepper is a pouter.  ESPECIALLY when she goes to the vet.  The poor girl has had a rough start at kitten hood.  She came home from N.O.A.H. with a little kitty cold and a huge case of bashful (that she has since mostly got over,) and now has a yucky, runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing fits cold!  We took her to see Dr. Wilson this afternoon and came home with antibiotics and eye medicine.
     Michael and I had a good conversation on the way home, and I was reassured that it doesn't matter how much they cost us, our little kittens are a joy and a blessing and NEVER a regret.  I made a joke that it's a good thing we do not have kids yet because of how much these babies have cost us!  Ginger and Pepper are more than worth it though.  God knew what He was doing when He guided us to the shelter that solemn Saturday afternoon.  We have been blessed more than I could have hoped.

He always does give us beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for our mourning.

Friday, October 15, 2010


     I felt a feeling today... one that has been absent a long time.  This sensation crept up like a shy kitten, curious if I would turn on it, squash or ignore it.  It pounced at my heart with an intensity I have not felt in quite a while.  My heart swelled with the emotion and, to my amazement, the feeling lasted through the afternoon.
     The sensation was one of joy, longing, peace and anticipation all rolled into one great big heart flutter.  I felt joy watching a young mother with her rambunctious three year old... longing for that kind of connection and love that only comes with motherhood... peace (instead of fear or dread) when dreaming of having my own babies... and the anticipation of wishing for the time to come soon.
     Don't get me wrong, I am not going to jump the gun before we have both agreed on our situation.  I would not want to get us in too far over our heads and not be able to afford food, shelter or clothes for our family.  The tragedy of poverty has pushed too many families to the breaking point and I would be devastated to feel that we were heading in that direction.  My heart is simply thankful for the reprieve.  I have not felt the intensity of that joyful yearning since... well, since Grandma died.  Things have been bottled and shut away for so long that I assumed if I ever again felt I wanted to have kids it would be too late and my clock would have run out.
     When Grandma died, so suddenly in July of 2008... my heart was broken.  My joy was crushed and life was gray.  The deep melancholy has only slighted lifted in these two years since.  Clinging tightly to the memories and trying to forget the reality was all I felt I could do.
     I used to dream of the day when we would surprise her with the wondrous news, "Congratulations, Great-Grandma!!".  I could just picture her squealing with delight, wrapping us both into a gigantic bear hug, tears no doubt glistening in her beautiful eyes.  My picture of that day was so vivid that I could imagine nothing else with her gone.  After all, what would be the point of having a baby if they could never know their Great-Grandma Gail?  I figured her death was the end of a dream that I had, and without her there would be no reason to have children.  (Obviously I was not thinking of my own parents, who are and will be fantastic, loving grandparents.)
     I am glad I once again felt the maternal yearning.  The joy is returning, I can feel it.  I must simply remember to embrace it and let my heart rest.

I am grateful for this light at the end of my long, dark tunnel.
Perhaps my heart is awakening.
Praise the Lord.