May 29, 2012

I'm sure that you've passed a scene like this in your city.
Perhaps you even passed by one today.

A person holding a sign,
stating they have a need.

I am the one who is always digging for cash.

Or bottles of water if I have planned ahead.
Or the kids' snacks if I can find them.

But whether it's out of convenience or a lack of planning,
I always feel like I am just giving money.
Offering a "God bless you"
and sometimes with a smile.
If I can remember it.
But I always try to give something.

I just cannot ignore the thought of passing by some one
who may have a need and I perhaps have the ability to provide even a small part.
It aches my heart to see some one, especially in my home town,
who isn't being properly provided for.
Whether it be by their own choices or
my lack of civic involvement,
but I cannot just push through the light and drive on.

When The Hero and I first started dating,
he use to roll his eyes when I would dig through his wallet,
force him to change 3 lanes of traffic,
and he would tutor me on how giving money wasn't really going to change some one's situation.
He use to say that the result would only result in perpetuating a cycle,
support substance abuse,
or dissuade some one from getting a real job.

But honestly, even if everything he said was true, I can still resonate with this:

If my life had been relegated to
having no home,
having no one I felt I could turn to,
sleeping in alley ways,
wondering where my next meal would come from
or being disconnected from my thoughts

and forgetting that I am fearfully and wonderfully made
by a Creator who loves me more than anything else on earth,
I can understand that my choices may not always be the best.



The Hero has stopped hounding me about my stop light activities.
He now just hands me his wallet without ever being asked.
 I love that about him.

We gave a man a few dollars a few weeks back and
I told The Hero that I wanted a homeless friend.
He just stared blankly back at me.
I tried to explain that I didn't just want to pass by people on the street.
I wanted to engage them.
Enough to where I would know one of them by name.

He asked if any if any of the people we knew were homeless
would they still consider us friends.
I told him I didn't know.
But Jesus had several friends on this earth and he was still homeless.

I told him I just wanted to begin to put myself in situations where
I wasn't offering a piece of my wallet,
I was finally offering a piece of myself.
Maybe that's all Jesus really wants from any of us after all.
Offer yourself to some one else fully,
not to change their situation but to simply be their friend.


May 17, 2012

What Started As A Packet.

I told you guys awhile back that The Hero had plowed an area of our back yard just for me. He put a fence around it and added the most adorable garden gate. I really only intended for this to have a bench, a few stepping stones, a small fountain and a couple of veggie plants. I wanted a place to  pray, meditate and simple praise God in the simplicity of my own version of a Mommy's time out locale.
And then we went to the hardware store.
The kids and I both were enraptured. Rows and rows of brightly colored packets of future tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, radishes and five different variations of lettuce. We stood for close to an hour pouring through the spacing, depth and sunlight requirements for each possible purchase. We decided to only take home a seed packet for tomatoes.
Now don't get me wrong, I like all of the by products that a good tomato sacrifices their lives for: marinara, ketchup and who could pass up, SALSA! But slice it off the vine and eat it, eh, I could do without. The Hero however; well I think he believes tomatoes are this generations version of manna. Add a little salt and  pepper and he'll eat tomatoes until he gets mouth sores.
$1.29, seedling pods and dreams of salsa every night for dinner later, we were home. The kids and I planted the packet of seeds, filled it with water, scoured the house for an appropriate sun-lit location and waited. Every day was just as exhilarating as the next. Wake up, rush down stairs and "oooh" and "aaahh" only to discover that nothing had happened the previous night.
Then came day 10.
The screams and leaps around the living room at the sight of a tiny seedling poking through the dirt was amazing.
Since we could no longer be declared total failures, we marched back the following weekend to purchase lettuce, carrots, spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers and broccoli.
The Hero was just elated that saying "hardware store" no longer meant groans and protests from all parties.
Almost two months later and we've added, basil, dill, rosemary, cilantro, onions, sweet potatoes, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. 
Each night the kids and I walk through our growing slice of earth, pick weeds, check for new growth, stand amazed at how something so small can continue to keep growing. It's still so beautiful to me  knowing that a seed can produce a plant, which blooms into a fruit which can sustain our lives...and our souls. I've been able to not only speak but SHOW my kids God's love for us all through a process that occurs every spring. He has provided for us in so many ways and turned an entire planet into a way to meet our needs.
If there's every any doubt that there is a Creator who loves us, just go plant a seed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

May 13, 2012

Stand Up & Accept The Rose

Four years ago, I sat in church and watched as a beautiful tradition unfolded for hundreds of mother's in our congregation. Pastor gave an impassioned speech about motherhood and how it was the world's greatest job. When he was finished, he then asked all the mothers in the room to stand and be presented a long stemmed rose. Ushers moved across the room, presenting women with flowers, commemorating their bringing a child into this world and bestowed the most amazing gift.
I cowered at the back of the room; a slumped, sobbing mess. I gripped The Hero's hand, as he placed his arms around my shoulders. While these women stood to be honored, I fought off the devil in my head.

Our test results had been given to us a few days earlier. Our chances for success in the biological family planning realm were laughable, but I found no reason to laugh. My body would never be able to replicate either pieces of myself, or more depressing, pieces of the amazing man I married.
That morning, I told The Hero I never wanted to go back to church on a Mother's Day. I just couldn't handle having such a visible separation of a life I wanted, opposed to the life I thought we would be forced to live. I was barren, both in the womb and in the soul. My heart ached as my eyes stared not at the women who stood, but the women who were seated. Maybe not all were longing to be mothers, but their presence in that moment confirmed that there was a silent, suffering minority on what is supposed to be a celebration day.

Fast forward to this morning: dishes every where and our house destroyed from toys, clothes begging to be folded and put away and yet we lounge in the glory of celebrating my third mother's day. My heart could not be more full and more grateful for the gifts I've been given. I truly am not worthy.

Infertility is a lying, stealing demon that personifies Satan at his best. It steals our dreams of family, kills our heart's motivation to be happy for those around us and destroys our self-esteem, our relationships and our ability to see the light ahead. While God knows that I understand how hard it is to be standing in an aisle full of Mother's Day cards wanting to throw them all on the ground, I offer you a challenge today.

Stand up and accept the rose.

Whether you are waiting to be matched with a child, suffering from the loss of losing a child, or simply standing at the edge of uncertainty of where to turn next, if there is a child living in your heart, you've already be named a Mother.

Stand up and accept the rose.

No longer allow infertility to stand behind you and whisper his lies. Don't let doubt and fear cloud a day that is meant to celebrate your heart as a mother. If you know there is a child out there that is for you, you may not know how they get delivered to you, but if you're praying for them today, you've earned that rose. When your pastor asks for mothers to stand and be recognized, place your feet on the ground and put your head up high and stand up. Accept the rose.

And if your congregation doesn't offer one, go buy one for yourself. A simple, beautiful resolution for you, that you will not let infertility undo you, you will let it strengthen you to stand and accept the rose.

May 10, 2012

We're Back

It's been a month since I last posted. I actually made the self-imposed "vacation" from my cyber log. I felt there were too many things that needed my urgent attention.

30 days. That's a chunk of time to stop doing something and while I really missed you all, having our first real family of four vacation in 2 years, finishing our veggie garden and writing more than I have in a year was a month well spent.
I'll catch you guys up and let you in on some fun surprises the Andrews have in store soon.
It's good to be back.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone