Iraq Journey

Compassion Bloggers: Guatemala 2010


Young Ladies Christian Fellowship

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Some Days…

July 28, 2010

Some days the weight of being alone sits heavy, a yoke upon my shoulders.

Some days my heart cries, realizing how much life he’s missing, that Marine of mine.

Some days, my eyes cry, too.

Some days the boys wake from their naps, crying for their daddy.

Some days, their mommy is helpless to console them.

Some days, their little shouts of joy bring ache to my soul.

Some days, I wonder if absence really does make the heart fonder.

Some days, I worry that we’re all going to grow apart.

Some days my fingers entangle the roots of my hair and my teeth grit until my jaw is sore.

Some days I stomp my own feet on the tiled kitchen floor, hearing the hollow beneath me.

Some days, I feel the hollow in my heart.

Some days, my heart is steeled with guilt, because we saw him. A stolen treasure, that.

Some days, I’m angry it was just a trip.

Some days, the five months he’s been away seem to have sped away, fast as the mountain lightning.

Some days, my eyes squint, straining to see the end of the eight months ahead.

Some days, I’m proud of his service.

Some days, I want to hide it, away from critical eyes and wagging tongues.

Some days, I shake my fist that this isn’t over yet, that we’re closing in on year nine.

Some days, I wonder why we signed up for another four years, and another.

Some days, I remember all the reasons.

Some days, crayons and coloring sheets make day-brightening presents, sent across the sea.

Some days, the mail brings gifts of gold, letters written in his hand.

Some days, we see him on a computer screen.

Some days, the telephone grows warm with hour long heart talks.

Some days, we remember what a gift this is.

Some nights, our little boys fight exhaustion, calling from their room that they can’t sleep without daddy.

Some nights, I send them back to bed fifty times, exasperation on my lips.

Some nights, I curse the television and its common scenes of lovers and gentle kisses.

Some nights, I drift away into sleep, on the couch, rather than face the cold, empty bed.

Some nights, I pray for dreams in which his hand holds mine, his arm encircles my shoulders.

Sometimes, I lay, face on the carpet, begging Jesus for strength to stand.

Always, I feel His arms pulling me up.

Sometimes, I cry that I can’t do this thing alone for one more moment.

Always, He fills the empty heart and gives warmth, peace.

Sometimes, I rest.

Always, He tells me loneliness isn’t shameful.

Sometimes, I can do naught but weep.

Always, He draws me closer, collecting my tears in a bottle.

Some days, the missing is so strong I believe my body breaking in two.

Some days, I’m but a half to a whole.

Colorful. Summer. World.

July 26, 2010

We brought a rug for sitting on

Our lunch was in a box

The sand was warm. We didn’t wear

Hats or shoes or socks.

Waves came curling up the beach

We waded, it was fun.

Our sandwiches were different kinds.

I dropped my jelly one.

~ The Picnic, by Dorothy Aldis

Hot July brings cooling showers,

Apricots and gillyflowers…

~ A Calendar, by Sara Coleridge

This time last year found us summering in our beachy home,
soaking up sand and sun most days of the week.

Summer in the mountains brings hikes instead of wave-jumping,
kabob grilling instead of sandy In-N-Out burgers.

It’s cool, green grass under our feet instead of warm, golden sand in our toes.

Bright blue above us instead of emerald oceans before us.

New spot on the planet. New activities to fill our days. New colors to brighten our world.

What does July look like in your world?
What are the colors of your summer?

Dreamy Days

July 23, 2010

Today was grey and still.

Only the slightest breeze blowing through an open window, gently rustling the curtain as it swept in without a sound.

The drops began falling early, with vengeance, then paused, weary from such a fury. They rested, only putting forth energy enough to drizzle, save for two more brief moments of passionately flooding our grass.

It was the perfect day to call for rest, ourselves. Shimmery capes were donned by tiny shoulders, wooden swords belted to waists only twelve inches high. Tents were built and sandwiches nibbled inside their cotton sheet walls.

And this mama, raising coffee to her lips, remained in light, soft house clothes and curled up near the open, dewy window, book in hand, listening to the mingling of giggles and drip drops from the eaves.

A misty day, laced with magic.

{I’d like to bottle up a few drops for when harsh, bright light returns, bringing with it a touch of the crazy. Likely, tomorrow.}


Whether your July day is sixty degrees and drippy or one hundred degrees and sweltering, here are a few gems, found in the midst of our foggy summer storm.

  • This post by my heart-sister Sara Sophia makes me giddy-happy, because not only it features a little bit of moi, but because everything she says about buying handmade, and choosing ethical practices and voting with your dollar makes me want to stand on a chair and toss (recycled) confetti into the air.
  • The boys and I were passing a newsstand a few days ago and the non-glossy paper of Boho magazine caught my eye on the shelf. I reached for and it was love at first touch. I’m on my third read-through, simply because this magazine is perfect. It’s a new-ish publication and I adore it and can’t stop telling everyone I know (well, those with a bit of hippie blood in them) to pick up a copy.
  • “Eternal soul connects to eternal Creator and this skin prison is not enough.  Cannot contain. So you dance.  You weep.  You face-down love Him.”    ~from Skin Prison, by my beloved Arianne. She speaks my heart’s current state. This skin is not enough.
  • I’ve been listening to Keith Green on repeat for days and days. I know every word by heart, yet hadn’t listened in years because there was a bit of residual background pain associated with the hearing. But this week, these words are the only ones fitting my heart. The depth… oh, the depth. A few days from now will be the 28/28/28 anniversary of Keith’s tragic death, and I plan to watch the live web stream of the memorial event. Join us?
  • Have you ever seen a sweeter or easier to make little girlie’s dress? I’m pulling out my sewing machine this week and a few white-shirts-turned-dresses will be the first items out from under the needle.
  • A commenter on this post decided to sponsor a child through Compassion as a result, which really, truly, caused my eyes to well up. If you don’t already, would you consider saving a life, both physical and eternal?

As ever, I’d love if you would leave me with a little treasure you’ve found this week. The rain and drizzle is said to have extended its stay with us for a few more days and I’d love to visit your diamonds and amethysts.

And as Pooh asks his reflection during the blustery night, “Is it raining out there? It’s raining in here, too.”

From Afar

July 21, 2010

He stood, little bare feet on cold tile, staring at the pictures on the refrigerator.

Mama,” his head tilted. “Where does Ariel live?”

“You remember, baby…”

“No, I don’t mean just in Bolivia. I mean what house does he live in?”

We sat, curled together on the overstuffed red couch, in a house full of matching decor, in a town where people are comfortable and safe, and pulled over the laptop.

A window, filled with glimpses of the world.

Of another world.

And we looked at pictures.

Of houses in Bolivia.

And we looked at people.

In Bolivia.



Simply staring.

Hearts full, so full.

The four year old, as much as his mama.

He ran back to the clean white refrigerator and pulled down another picture.

What about this Uganda baby? Where does she live?”

So we looked at pictures of houses.

In Uganda.

And we looked at pictures of people.

In Uganda.

We just stared.

Us two.

Loving, from far away.

And I wondered.

How can anyone say no?

How can I say no?

The faces.

The hearts of these ones, so loved by Jesus.

I want to be there. I want to hold them in my arms. I want to hear their hearts, their stories. I want to tell them of this Love.

I can’t be there.

Not today.

But someday.

So I sponsor.

And I write letters.

I wear my Uganda beads,


near daily,

holding a piece of another woman’s heart and life


near my own heart.

And I pray.

Oh, how I pray.

And I wonder,

How can one be so homesick for a land to which they’ve never been and for people whom they’ve never met?


How can I say no?

How can you say no?

Say yes.


Open up, open up
And give yourself away.
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay?

The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can’t fight
Cause it’s asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed

~Keith Green, Asleep in the Light

(read the rest and hear the music at Ari’s today)

All photos courtesy of Compassion International’s blogger trip Flickr stream, and were taken by the phenomenal Keely Scott ~ except the first photo, which has an unknown source.

Mein Liebchen

July 20, 2010

He sleeps.

Snuggled under quilts and cool sheets.

Tousled head on a pillow, soft with down.

We are the odd sort, the parents who keep our little ones

snuggled between us until late toddlerhood,

when, even then, they only fall asleep in the evening

on their own tiny mattresses,

and by the wee hours, have walked

sleepily, tumbling feet, stumbling headlong,

grasping the sheets, helped by a stronger hand,


into the familiar comfort

of Mama

of Daddy.

We hardly wake,

pulling them close,

wrapping an arm around their soft, warm little selves.

Their breath, even, slow,

warm on our shoulders,

lulling all of us.

We sleep.


So fleeting.

How many more years

until they no longer trip over their own feet

across the hall, into our bed?

So we snuggle.

Cuddling, close.

And I hold my own breath.

Knowing they must grow.

Must become men.

Strong and noble.

But wishing,

for time to stretch.

Never wanting it to end.

Sleep well, here, near, my little love.

The winner of the Softly Sweetly giveaway, chosen by is (really!) commenter #1… Bethany… who just happens to be my lifelong sister-friend, sharer of my birthday, maid of honor in my wedding, and the best photographer I know. She’s going to eat these marshmallows and promptly go for a run. I know her.

For the rest of you, head on over to Softly Sweetly and choose your favorite variety of homemade marshmallows. You will thank me, I promise.

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