Thursday, December 4, 2014

little white girl's Word.

As soon as they started screaming terrible things at the officers and I became uncomfortable, I wanted to turn it off.  I desperately searched for the mute button through muggy eyes. And then a thought came to me.  Just because you turn off the sound, doesn't mean they didn't say it.  Just because you stop the video doesn't mean it didn't happen.
I can shake my head and make my own assumptions about what did or didn't happen in these cases with law enforcement. I can cry out for love for both sides.  I can shake my head at the brutality of police or I can think my own thoughts about the looters using tragedy to break the law. I can shed pretty little tears and write blogs with nice big thoughts.  Then I close my computer and have sweet dreams.  I wake up and my life is just as I left it.
I come with my own quiet struggles.  Ones for friends and support groups to hear out and nod encouragingly. I'm no stranger to pain I didn't inflict on myself and even some that I personally picked out.  A beautiful little mess colored in yellow and hot pink. But I will never quite understand what some of my fellow Americans will face each day simply because of their skin.  Their beautiful skin.
Tonight, though.  Tonight I made myself watch injustice.  Tonight I felt the pain of two sides colliding with such force, I literally cried out.
My love must not judge. My place is not to condemn. My role is nothing but a Christ follower, broken for this suffocating evil that spews hate. I plead for justice to be served.  I pray for all the families affected by this.
So I will say...if you post a video to your wall that supports your thoughts on what did or did not happen, ask yourself why.  Do you want others to know where you stand?  Why? We have a generation that thinks everyone wants to know every little thought. Every stance.  The problem?  No one takes action.  Hey, if you think the police were just doing their job...you think that.  You go to bed and thank God for police that keep you safe. But don't stop there. Go tell them thank you.  Join the community action committee. Work together with the police to keep your neighborhood safe by getting out and MEETING PEOPLE. Meet the people you silently judge.
If you see what happened in these two cases and you are appalled at the unexplainable brutality, protest.  By all means. I will stand with you and pray and cry out for lives that shouldn't have been lost.  But also, how about going down to the police station and asking how you can work together? What does yelling hate solve?  I just don't get it. Call for change and help make it. Situations aren't changed with anger.  They are changed with action.
I don't understand what African Americans go through. I can't.  I'm just some little white girl that smiles and waives to everyone in hopes they feel loved. We can't undo what has already been done.  However, we have the ability to work together to create change.  Lasting real change.  That is something I could really get behind.  That is something I want to teach my children.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving goodness.

The house seems to sway with the steady rhythm of breaths and hearts in peaceful submission to rest. It's hard not to be amazed at how intricate our bodies can be. Our mind dances with our wildest imaginations, free to paint up our most secret of thoughts and feelings.  The biggest desires. An unrealistic view of the world. The things that terrify us most.  All the while, our chests rise and fall with lungs that just continue to push and pull without our asking.  Our hearts that don't take breaks. Blood that is in a continual race.  I'm alive and I am thankful.
Today I am thankful for time with a family who has accepted me as one of their own. A Papaw who kisses my cheek and gives me a sweet glimpse at what the man I married might look like in fifty years *fingers crossed*. I get to laugh with a mother-in-law that treats me like a daughter and who understands me because we've had a similar path. I love and respect her more than words could describe on a page. Sister-in-laws that love laughing and wine as much as I do.  Brother-in-laws that...well, you can't win 'em all. Just kidding.  They treat me like a sister, a part of them.  A husband that works so hard every day to keep this house running and still makes me breakfast when I am a jerk. A home filled with joy. A turkey with hidden giblets. Hugs that make my soul soften. Kids that make the quiet eery. And tomorrow, I get to do it all again with my side of the family.
Today I am reminded of all that I do have, not what I am lacking.  For that, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays.  Every day we are encouraged to buy more or upgrade or do better.  If you don't have the best clothes or nicest car or newest technology, you're out.  You need it.  You want it.  However today, TODAY we are filled with images and recognition of all that we do have.
I have to say, however you feel about what happened or didn't happen with Michael Brown is your own judgement.  None of us will ever know the real story.  But this morning as my kids awoke early and squashed my plans to bake and drink coffee in quiet...I sat down with Declan and kissed his head. I pointed out his eyes. Mommy's eyes. Declan's nose.  Mommy's nose. Declan's mouth. Mommy's mouth. Declan's cheeks. Mommy's cheeks, wet with tears.  My sweet baby boy. The product of the goodness of my soul (Declan means full of goodness and he SURE is). Michael Brown's mom doesn't have her sweet baby boy any longer.  She doesn't have her son to hug and be thankful for on Thanksgiving.  PEOPLE.  Stop judging and start loving.  The ache of my heart cried for this woman. Charlotte woke up and she snuggled under the blankets with us. I hope to never forget the smell of syrup in Declan's hair from yesterday's breakfast (don't judge) or the giant tangle of hair on the back of Charlee's head from her crazy sleeping that tickled my nose every time she turned to talk to me. The way she told me she was thankful today that I was a good mommy.  The way the boys snuggled against my chest after waking up at the in-laws house from their nap.  These things.  These things fade.  They become memories that I hold with both hands.  That is all this woman has left.
Today, as you realize how much you have, remember the people that are missing loved ones at the table for the first time.  People that don't have a house of laughter and love.  Tomorrow you will, once again, be bombarded with all the things you don't have.  Try and remember...not just remember, hold tight and name what you do.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Schooled by my toddler.

The slight pull of my shoulders, where the sun has shooed the pale away, brings a delightful smile.  A tired smile.  The kind of smile only a beautiful day can bring.  Today we had a special guest.  Harper Suit joined our madness.  Those crystal blues and curl-gone-wild hair had me laughing all day. I think what struck me most was watching Charlee with her.  In the beginning, she wanted Harper to play like her.  She didn't understand the age difference.  To watch her change her type of play and cater to Harper as a gentle teacher has me tearing up again.  She would help Harper do something and then when Harper would try it on her own and succeed Charlee would erupt in giggles and clapping.  Like genuine joy.  What a wonderful model for me to watch.  The patience, the encouraging words, the joy in passing on what she had already mastered...guys...I just can't.
I find myself forgetting that side of Jesus.  Man, He loves to show me new things.  He loves when it clicks.  He loves to watch me enjoy the harvest of my struggle.  Most times I encourage the feelings of failure rather that seeing my progress.  My prayers are cries of forgiveness instead of sharing my joy and growth.  As much as I love to build up other people, I love to tear myself down.  And then I remember (or rather am reminded) that, through my struggles, I can lead others. I can find joy in my pain because its leading me to great things.  They are renewing a self that is strong, joyful, able.
There are definite seasons.  But I am a firm believer that, IN EVERY SINGLE ONE, joy can be found. Here's to looking for it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hater.

It would seem I only have the desire to blog when I am Ms. Melancholy. I have finally figured out I hate January.  The whole month.  I don't use the word hate often.  But I am pretty sure I mean it.  Maybe strongly dislike.  It's funny that I feel guilty typing that word...as if I could hurt January's feelings.  I decided to figure out the root of the feelings instead of sleep.  Well, my mind decided for me.
I try to think of January as a fresh start.  Everyone is always, "What are your New Year's resolutions?"  It's kind of like saying, "Hey! What are you planning to fail to do/not do?"  That seems like such a Negative Nancy view.  I just laughed at myself. I just yearn for real change.  Not because a ball dropped but because I am tired of dropping the ball.
January is a little salt into the wounds caused by time that refuses to slow the efffff down.  My babes are growing.  Charlee is a small human.  On the way to church I asked Bran if I looked ok.  He replied yes and she piped up from the back, "You do, indeed."  Seriously?  What three year old uses INDEED??  The boys might as well be dating with all their smiling and drooling at all females while said ladies grin from ear to ear.
The heat generating from my cheeks is that thing I don't want to talk about (ohhhhhh but I will).  That dread that comes with January.  The day is coming where reality rips at the scar on my heart.  When someone is talking about a birthday and they say, "Well, it's better than the alternative"... I feel the familiar catch in my throat. The alternative I must face.  There is no one to call on the 29th.  It's not a happy birthday song in my heart.  It's a day I feel completely ok feeling sorry for myself. It's the day I miss my favorite man in the universe the absolute most.
The other night I had a dream that I was dying and had to inform Bran about everything I did with the kids so he could do it all when I died (for a sob fest you can see this as a movie called My Life).  I woke up and felt sorrow to the core of my bones.  So maybe my dad didn't need to tell my mom how I liked to be held...but what's worse...he couldn't tell her.  Our hearts.  Our souls.  They had to say their own goodbyes.  What we shared could never be recreated.  He just had to trust my mom would do what she does best.  She would have to hold it all together.
I think what makes that knot in my throat appear is the thought of him not seeing me as a mom.  I finally found something I love and feel confident in(well...most days).  The love that gushes from my heart could only be multiplied by him.  Charlee would be his best friend. The boys would instinctively reach for him. I remember hearing stories about his mom and dreaming of knowing her. I would yearn to know her and for her to know me.  I would be lying if I said I didn't cry wondering if Charlee will feel the same way about him.