Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four Blessings

I love asymmetry... when things are slightly off... not perfectly paired.  A grouping of three, five and seven = I totally dig it!  Pictures that aren't centered. Mismatched patterns. Dishes with flaws and cracks.  Shabby chic. Upcycled. All those things really turn my crank! I once was working on a project with Anna Thomas (who at the time was five years old and wiser than I'll ever be.) I put a grouping of three flowers in the corner of a picture frame and Anna pointed out that I needed to balance out the frame by adding three on the opposite side. I explained that it was asymmetrical and without blinking she replied, "Well I don't like it. I'm VERY symmetrical!" I loved her spunk - and her apparent understanding of a word quite outside her normal vocabulary at the time... but I digress.

As it turns out - I like asymmetry best on my terms. Example: On my way home from grocery shopping - The Stig calls to give me a "heads-up!"

"The girls moved in together, " he said matter of factually. "I dozed off and E said something about how she wanted to sleep in A's room... forever... and then next thing I knew she had moved her stuff into A's room."

"WhAt?" I groaned. This was not part of my PLAN for Saturday. I had laughingly posted to FB this morning that we were on plan #852 (after having exhausted both the English and Greek alphabets worth of letters in ONE morning!)... but this was taking my flexibly and bending me into GUMBY!  I mean I was just getting used to the idea that the crib that had formerly occupied one wall of our home for the last 7.6 years, was in fact on it's way out the door. I was coping (I thought) pretty well with these new changes... making plans to sew a tutu-bedskirt with my mother-in-love.

"Just remember that from the day we knew that "a" was coming, you wanted them to be best friends for life. This is just them trying to find their way. E needs you to allow her to try this out - it will only take about five nights of "A" talking her ear off and they'll soon be back to sleeping in their own pre-appointed rooms, " the Stig encouraged. I was not so easily encouraged.

Later that day, "A" asks me to take a picture of her hands cupped round four tiny M&M's... I resist the urge to grab one out to "make a better shot"... and she tells me, "There's one here for everyone in my family!" Now the shot that had formerly looked "artistically bleh" becomes something precious and sacred. Because I realize - there are FOUR of us - nothing asymmetric there. And I TOTALLY dig that we are four.

Last night (five nights on the dot) we put the girls to bed at 8:15 PM and for the next three hours we laughed and listened as E tried to reason with her four year old roommate, "You have to stop talking! Okay... I have a plan... You lay your head down and I'll tell you a story!" (*ten minutes time elapses*) "Yeah... Now you REALLY have to close your mouth... I've got another plan... this time you whisper quietly into your pillow while I fall asleep." (*more time passes*) "Enough already! Daddy!"

The Stig looks over at me this morning with that "I told you so" grin he's so good at. The girls were impossible to wake up - mainly because they had pulled the seven & four year-old equivalent of an "all nighter!" I had to admit - it was pretty funny - even if we were thirty minutes late for school!

Jeremiah 29:11 talks about God having a plan. Plans that include hope and future - but don't necessarily guarantee symmetry and balance.  I wonder if He looks at my attempts at life and laughs as I try to convince Him, "Okay... I've got a plan. You lay your head down and I'll tell you how this should go!" Does He shake his head and gets the giggles when I try to "perfect" His perfect plans. Does He look at my hands holding four sticky projects and think, "Man, I wish she'd picked up a better number than FOUR!" or does He pour into my outstretched hand more blessings that my dirty palms can contain?

I just love that the Stig was right - the girls are headed back to their own rooms tonight, and without my losing my grip on life over it (*pause and celebrate growth with me!*) And I'm also glad that God's math/balance isn't exactly like mine. Two, Three, Six, Eight... Who do we appreciate?
Isn't God a hoot?

More of you God... less of me!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Mighty Oak was Once a Little Nut

At an early age my mom "gave" me a hymn and a scripture - to be fair, she gave my sister one of each too. I can remember feeling so special when they read "my psalm" or sang "my hymn" in church. In some way it rooted me to the ancient words to have others join voice and song to confirm what I had come to think of as mine.

And so it was when E was just a bean of promise on the computer screen, we were looking for a cute little name to use when speaking about said bean without calling the baby, "Bean." E was not our first pregnancy and loss had become all to familiar to us - but we decided to claim the promise of Psalm 66:5 "Awesome are your handiworks, O God!" and from the moment we gripped onto that promise, she became "AwEsome" (ok... I just capitalized the 'e' there to be cute!) The hymn I sang as I rocked my ever growing belly in the overstuffed chambray covered rocker my in-love's had given to me, was "Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"  Six months after she danced into our lives, when my daddy baptized her on my sister & brother-in-law's ranch, we built an ebenezer. Everyone who came to the baptism brought a rock from the place they called home - and we piled them on top of each other as a reminder that God is our "Rock of Help."

When "A" danced onto the scene we had no idea she was coming. To say she was a surprise is the understatement of our lives. We were still grieving the loss of our twins at 18 weeks gestation - and not at all sure which end was up. I hung on to the sweet words of the song "Glory Baby" and spent the next four months sick... thinking the whole time my thyroid was going wacko (which it was) but all the while sweet little "A" was spinning and forming and dancing around my insides. And it came to pass (and pass... and hurl... and upchuck) that on December 19 (the day after our due date for Tripp & Kennady) I pee'd on a pregnancy test and almost fell off the potty when I saw "Touch Down Jesus" = two lines confirming my mother's suspicions. We were already in the second trimester - God totally surprised us - but this time the computer screen held the image of a perfectly formed little person - no bean of promise here! She had hands and feet and eye sockets. We were so blown away. When we showed little E the picture of her little sibling, she said, "Isn't she sweet... let's call her Honey!" I ran for my bible and found her verse in Psalm 119:103, "How sweet are your promises to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth." And with a laugh I KNEW that Honey's song would be "Great is Thy Faithfulness"! As I rocked E to sleep every night we would sing the chorus to my mother earth shaped belly as "A" knit and spun and twirled.

Several nights ago, I was tucking "A" into bed. Somewhere between reading Guess How Much I Love You and reciting her night-time prayers, she asked me to sing the "Acorn" song. Now, she has asked me to sing songs before about purple dragons or ladybugs... so to that vein, I started to make something up (you know the way mom's do - Familiar tune + goofy lyrics = pure silliness and eruptions of laughter.)

"No, Momma! Not a made-up one... the one about my faithfulness!"

Okay... now I knew what she wanted, but what made her call it the "Acorn" song? So she reminded me that ONE TIME when she asked me why I sing songs to her about God, I had told her that, "a little nut grows into a mighty oak." And somehow she came to think of her song as a little nut... a bean of promise... roots going down and spreading deep.

As a parents, both by birth and by choice/of the heart, we do that hard work of loving these little nuts into the mighty oaks of righteousness! (Isaiah 61:3) So I say, love on! Dream big! Pick a hymn of blessing for your child (even if they are 35 and have children of their own!) Choose a scripture - a promise to claim and pray over their lives... choose to be a blessing... choose to be blessed... choose to bless. When you look at the rings on a tree you can see the years that were hard... rings mark things like drought, plight, fire and flood. Make your mark on the rings of your children's lives... mark them with a blessing and stand firm in the knowledge that He "who knit them together in their mother's womb/heart" loves them ever so much more!

Planting Trees means more of you God... and less of me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Holy Trifecta Batman!

Today is my Trifecta...

It's Derby Day - So there was a lot of horsing around at the Lessner home. We pulled out the stick horses and did a few laps around the living room, hoping to run off some of the excess energy that "A" had built up after spending the last few days home with a "stummy" virus. Special thanks to my parents, Ran & Joyce Loy for the awesome hat from the San Diego Hat Co. I must say, I DO love this hat!

It's Cinco de Mayo - Since I felt a bit of a "stummy" ache today, we are postponing our usual New Mexico Hatch Green Chili Flat Enchiladas and Rita's until later this week... it still counts right? (For my sister's recipe for NM Green Chili check out In the Kitchen!)

And (drum roll please.....)

It's my blog-o-versary - One year ago today, my dear friend Lauren Pickle Day made me this spiffy little resting spot to mark progress in my spiritual journey, wander around in my daydreams and keep written benchmarks for my life with the Stig and these girlies of ours.

Psalm 19 sums up my plea (in this blog) to the true Holy Trifecta:

May the words of my mouth 
And the meditations of my heart
Be pleasing to You, my God
You're my rock and my redeemer
You're the reason that I sing
I desire to be a blessing in Your eyes
Every hour and every moment
Lord, I want to be a blessing in Your eyes.
 (Shane & Shane take me straight to the throne room with their version of this one) 

Sweet friends - my prayer for us as we embark on yet another year of grace, is that we chase after Him like there's no promise of catching Him tomorrow. May we each feel the warmth of His smile as we run headlong into His arms of mercy. What a great day to be His child... We are blessed... and today we stopped to take notice!

So don a funny hat, cook up some food that's good for the soul, run a few laps around the house on a broom (on the off chance that you find yourself in a house without a stick horse), and celebrate today the things that draw you close to the Trinity. 

Three times More of You Lord, and way less of me.