Monday, December 11, 2017

And still counting (11,276-11,311)

66 Books
a broken heart
a Father who loves
tears, released

cloudy days
a sky blue sweater, warmth
a sewing project with Erin
phone chats with Lori
early morning hours

books in the mail
books from the library
the farmhouse mug of coffee
their laughter from the living room
Sophia's happy voice

coupons from Joanne
grace for (piano) history
a full fridge
a full table
abundant life

the splatter of fat raindrops
sunrises through the woods, glorious
and sunsets, equally beautiful
the wrestle
a word for 2018

her open mouth catching fat flakes
snowfall, the season's first
Suzanne's happy text at finding the chocolate snowmen
an actual Christmas card to send this year
these girls, who tell me they love me a million ways

a day of "no" for a day of "yes"
the quiet of snowfall, all day long
a birthday party that didn't get snowed out
edible flowers
savory cupcakes

tea with friends

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


I had big hopes for you, Restore.

I imagined a smoothing over the rough spots and rough years. A reconciliation. A father's love, restored. But you had other plans. A plan to take away the one thing I have heartachingly, heartbreakingly pursued--my dad.


When I said I didn't want a door opened, you opened it by slamming and sealing another. And what could I do? One foot in front of another, humbly.


Love, goodbye--silenced. Closure, none. Heart numbed. Heart broken. And it wouldn't be the last of the breaks, no. You had other plans, Restore. I looked at his peaceful face. I looked into the deep hole. I looked into her eyes. A new chapter. A new day.


The emergency. The urgency. At a bedside and heart-to-heart talks that seemed like lasts. You broke me down by taking away first my family, then my excuses. A doctor's call. A numbing drive. A ventilator. I couldn't fathom another funeral so soon.


I sifted through the information, a growing realization that nothing was what I thought it was. No one to work it out with. Just me, the facts, and you. What do I do with all the broken pieces? They don't fit back together. How could they fit, the lies.


Gone. Weeks turned to months, a sister, sick. I mourned a lot of things. I grieved their opinions. I grieved the truth, and grieved the betrayal of believing the best. Opportunity, gone. Belongings packed up, donated, auctioned, sold--and with them, the memories. And with them, my worth. 


I wonder, still, at your mystery, that maybe restoration wasn't in holding on or getting back, but in letting go.

Letting go of strongholds, of hurts, of chasing acceptance and approval that I never seemed to catch. Letting go of all the things that actually hindered and held back. (Let go, let go.)

Restored, to run. To run the race marked out for me. Unhindered.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. (Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT)


Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:7, 9-10 NIV)

A Father's love.

21 Yet I still dare to hope
    when I remember this:
22 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for (seek) him.
26 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord. (Lamentations 3:21-26, NLT)

And I am loved.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Drink me

I have a friend who's all into natural things. I remember being at a playdate at her house one time when Erin was really little and Erin wanted a glass of milk. My friend looked at me apprehensively for a second, opened her fridge, and got out a container. She gave it a few quick shakes and poured a glass for Erin, watching her for a reaction.

Erin took a sip and paused. She put the glass down and went back to playing.

"I wasn't sure she'd like it," my friend explained. It was goat milk with some things she'd added to it. I no longer remember what she said she put in it.

Erin was an easy baby and an easy eater, until she turned three. Suddenly, she boycotted black beans and much of what else I put in front of her.

She was about eight when our household went gluten free, and she didn't take the transition easily. She deeply missed the breakfast cereals she used to eat daily. My days became weeks of searching and reading and buying lots of gluten-free cookbooks. Then I got introduced to paleo and Whole30 eating. Now I use a combo of all: gluten-free with its rice flours and potato starches, paleo with its nut flours and natural sugars.

I go to the library for a lot of the cookbooks, and if I love the book, I buy it online. (I just did a purge of cookbooks back from the gluten days, but in all honesty, they weren't very good cookbooks. I love the ones I have now, well, mostly. There's an almond flour cookbook that has given me some disappointing suggestions.)

Today, I made a smoothie while Erin fed the animals. I had to be stealth because IF SHE KNEW ...

coconut milk
a frozen banana
almond butter
dark chocolate cocoa
medjool dates (double check the pits are out)
a handful of spinach

Blend and put away all evidence of dates and spinach. It is absolutely DELICIOUS. Definitely needs a smoothie straw though. (Looking forward to Amazon delivering them.) Inspired by Danielle Walker's Against All Grain--Meals Made Simple a library pick (not compensated to mention) and a soon to be welcomed addition to my books.

Lanie and I joined her for today's hygge: Togetherness. Although, Erin isn't quite on board with the smoothie part. (It takes just like a chocolate milkshake. So good.)