Angels in the treetops

It was hot.  Very hot.  Sweat trickled down her neck as she scrubbed the last pot and put it on the tiny counter to dry.  She ran over the mental list in her head and decided on the next task on tap for the day.  She wished the heat would ease.  She stood at the screen door and hoped for a breeze.  The curtains stood stick still in the windows.  Not a breath of air showed any life aside from that made from the small metal fan that whirled and clacked on the end table.  The treetops may be swaying, but nothing inside the house moved.

Everything was tiny in this house.  It was a small cinder-brick house built for shelter, not for comfort.  Someone had painted it pink once long ago and they hadn’t the time or money to change that.  It was okay though.  They were a little family in the little house, and they were together.  Howie had come home from the war.  She was happy simply because of that if nothing else.  But life was a struggle and there was no denying it.  She drew a breath in and looked up at the sun radiating down.  The house was at least shaded partly by the towering tree tops in the front yard.

Turning from the door she was back in the kitchen in just a few mere steps.  She took down a box from a cabinet and set a pot to boil.  If she made up some of the dinner prep now, it wouldn’t be so hot in the house later when they all sat down to eat.  The baby was sleeping in the back room soundly and her little girl was off at school.  It dawned on her that the  body she constantly was working around wasn’t where he should be. Ricky was always underfoot.  His favorite place to play with his cars was right at her feet in that tiny kitchen as she worked.

At first she just assumed he’d wandered off down the little hall and so she went to search for him.  She didn’t want him to wake Ronnie.  But no, he wasn’t in with the baby.  It took her just seconds to search the house and find him gone.  He was no where to be found.  She tried to think.  Where could he go?  Panic welled up in her.  She fought it back and called out to him, “Ricky?”  Nothing.

She called him loudly enough to be heard but trying not to wake the baby.  Running to the windows she looked out them all and saw only empty space and dry bare yard.  Where was he?  Her heart began to beat faster and offer up prayers she had not yet spoken.  Where did he go?  He had been right here.  The house was too small to get lost in.

Again she searched the house and looked out the windows and screen door.  “Ricky?  Where are you Ricky?”  She called his name more urgently.  Nothing.

She didn’t want to leave Ronnie alone, but she had to find him.  She opened the screen door and felt her heart flop back into her chest with a thud.  There he was.  He had his little rump perched on the tiny lip of the stoop.  She hadn’t seen him because he was hidden by the bottom of the doorframe.  Relief flowed through every vein and she joined him out there on the stoop.

“Ricky, why didn’t you answer Mamma?  I’ve been looking for you.”  He just shrugged his tiny shoulders and continued looking up at the treetops.  She let her frustration leave her as she sat and watched him.  There was something about the way he was sitting so quietly looking up at the trees.  She didn’t want to disturb him.  Though hard to describe, she could tell something amazing was playing out, right there beside her.

“What are you doing, honey?”  She tried to follow his line of sight.  She watched the sunlight dance across the leaves as the breeze circled overhead.

“I’m watching the angels play in the treetops,” he answered quietly as he continued to focus on the overhead canopy.  His small voice was barely above a whisper and contemplative.  He was just 4 years old or so and yet he seemed to be weighing thoughts of the world in those short moments they sat there.

A slight breeze moved around Norma as she sat there beside her son.  Her heart beat a bit faster and she began to ponder things.  This child was God’s child, not hers.  He was just here for her to raise and to care for… but truly this boy was His.  He had plans for him, she could sense it.

It was in those precious moments she began to see little things that would one day lead to big things.  God was at work and she had a front row seat as she set about being a mother to her three children.  The angels were in the treetops.  God had great plans for them, plans to prosper them, not to harm them, plans for hope and a future.  Life was hard.  But as this promise from Jer. 29:11 spoke, God had plans.  It would take a life time to see the plans God would work out, but they were already well underway today as she sat next to Ricky on the tiny stoop in front of the little pink house.

(Written for my Grandma and Dad – based on their story years ago I’ve heard retold so many times over the course of my life.)


My kids are driving me nuts and I am so grateful!

Yeah, you heard me right.  The kids are driving me bananas and I am thrilled.

I have just instituted mandatory quiet reading time so I can catch a few minutes of reprieve.  I was pulling my hair out trying to keep a lid on their insanity today.  They are over the top hyper and fighting.  But that’s okay.  Kid’s are going to push your buttons.  It’s even sort of their job in life.  All this talk of the Casey Anthony trial really has gotten to me.  People are blogging about it – chatting over the water cooler – emailing – and FaceBooking opinions.  For me, it’s not so much this one trial – and the hype… Lots of tragedy is in the news everyday of murder and children as victims.  With this one  it’s the smug and happy look on this mother’s face as she sits for her final session in court (knowing she is free to walk) there just to find out the slap on the wrist she will get for lying to the police – it’s simply nauseating.  I could never look so happy knowing my child was tortured and now dead.  In many ways I dont even care if she really did kill her baby girl or not, and if she is getting off scott free.  If she did it, she will be judged someday by the ONE JUDGE who counts, and is holding that sweet child in His arms now.  It’s the fact she can smile and be happy at all – knowing the grizzly details of how her child was found and the torture that baby went through in her last moments…  That alone would haunt me for life.

So as I parent my brood this summer, with kids seriously making me want to pull my hair out some days, I will simply smile and be grateful.  Why?  Because they are healthy, active, alive, and growing.  When I cant handle them, I will take a break.  But I will never, never, ever choose to not have them  here.  I will instead hug them and love on them and remember they are a gift from above.  No matter how trying, God will give me the patience to deal with whatever comes, if only I ask for it.

I am grateful for these three crazy kids.  With all the talk of this trial – it makes me want to make up for the lack of mothering many children, not just this one child’s.

When I don’t know what to do…

I have been frustrated and irritated lately.  More than a little.  I have no right to throw a pity party, but I have been.  I am sick of pain, doctors, and no answers.  I will not throw a pity party here and rehash it for you – because that’s not the point.

I realized that I lost sight of the ultimate source of healing and the place to seek answers because of the detour thrown into my path.  So I am back to my knees and looking for answers from where I should be.  Here is a song that plays over and over in my heart as I seek HIM.  May it bless you as much as it does me right now…

I found a Youtube video – and though it’s not the best collection, it gets Tommy Walker’s music through to you via this blog.



Whopper fish stories and the ones that got away

He may only be 8 years old, but already he has a whale of a fish story to retell.  No, we didn’t spend the 4th on the lake catching fish.  We spent it at my parents who live down the country lane from a lake.  While walking past the boat launch with his dad, Drake talked Derek into putting his feet into the water to play.  He found “tadpoles” (aka minos) and wanted to return to catch some.  So not long after they returned with container in hand.  Long story short, instead of coming home with tadpoles, Drake “saved” some fish.

As hard as it was in my very UN-boy-ness to allow, I beamed with pride as I watched my little guy unflinchingly stooped down to retrieve 4 still alive fish from a tire rut where they had been trapped in high tide.  The heat was cooking them in the shallow well and he thought it important to save them.  So he got fresh water and scooped them up in his hands and thrust them into the cool waters of salvation.  I was proud of him because he was showing thought for the life of something, chose to do something about a problem he saw, and was showing maturity in not focusing on getting the tadpoles he wanted.  Maybe it sounds silly, but I was noticing how much he is really coming into his own… with ideas, thoughts, drive, and focus.

He took them back to my mom’s to show off, but then brought them back to the lake to release them so they’d live and not die.  While running around with his friend down the street, the tale got larger, cooler, and more heroic… but that’s what it’s supposed to do.  Every guy has their fish story – only HIS were supposed to get away  🙂

Like a foreign language…

Whenever I want to send a teacher a note and dont want my kid to read it on the way to school, I just write it in cursive.  It’s like it’s a foreign language.  I know I am old fashioned…  and that keyboarding is important – and more so in this age than when I was a kid – but really?  No cursive?  There is going to be a whole lot of confusion for a lot of years where this generation will not be able to understand the handwritten notes of anyone older than they are.  It’s gonna be a long time for cursive to die out of usage for all of us who do it on a daily basis from shopping lists to Thank You notes.  Then there is the fact that no handwriting means no signatures.  How does that play out?  Print them?  Might as well be placing an X on the dotted line…

My daughter had a beautiful note sent to her via a teacher this summer.  She told her how proud she was of her and it was something that should have produced huge smiles and pride.  Instead she just shrugged and said it was “nice”.  I looked at her and then asked – “what did she say?”  Caught!  She had no clue.  None.  She could pick out the letters that looked like printing – but that was it.  I had to read it to her.

When I told one of my girls about the new change in the Indiana curriculum,  she turned to me and said, “then you will have to teach me, right mom?”  Yep – I guess so…  because as silly as it seems, I do think they need to know it.  And sadly, not many parents are going to take up the torch and teach their kids the curvy and loopy writing.  If nothing else, I will teach them to read it.  That is the most important.

So no rant – no crazy woman raising a ruckus – just a sadness that there is no time to teach the things that seem there should be… and I wonder why we cant teach new things like keyboarding right along with the old like handwriting.  The argument is that there is not time.  I know that there is hardly time to accomplish all the things they teach our kids now… but I just think it is a sad day when the loopy curves of handwritten notes will become a thing of the past, and blocky sloppy handwriting or cold emotionless typeset will replace it for all time.

…Except for my kids.   They will be secret keepers from their kids, too – and have the ability to write unreadable notes that hang on their fridge where their kids can’t read them, right under their very noses.