Sunday, March 4, 2012


"So, I want you to read it out loud to me for a while." I lower my chin, nod into Jane's unblinking eyes.

"Why?" She tilts her head. We let the moment of correction turn, slow like a sundial's shadow.

"Because you broke my trust." I wait for the moment to be long enough. "I will always love you and appreciate you and want to be around you. But if you want me to trust you, you have to be very careful with my trust." I watch her turn this over in her mind. A blink. A nod.

And, small like a puff of wind, the moment ebbs. I hug her to my chest. "Just like I have to be very careful with your trust," I say, "if I want you to trust me."

We linger. She kisses my neck. I kiss her forehead.

And silently, like her warmth in my arms, authority circles back, makes a path of equal footing. Isn't this what always happens when we learn to submit to authority?

Night falls, and we're home late. We linger again, the whole car of us stopped at a red light.

"How come if it's a red light and no one's there and you see it's clear, you don't just go?" she wants to know.

Before I can weave a thoughtful answer, the words spill out, "'Cause," I say, "if we did that it would change us into the kind of people that disobey when no one's looking."

There again, that equal footing. The light flashes green, and we speed away home, another glimpse of the path ahead of us.


1962. The children peeking over shoulders and around elbows to see pencil sketches turn into watercolor painting. How they clamor for paper and paint and try to copy.

1963. A hot fire, warm coffee, salted chocolate and a photo to sketch.

1964. How I ask Myra how she slept and she responds, "BIG."

1965. How Jane tells me that when you read your Bible, you start to think what God thinks.

1966. How Myra makes her baby wave at me.

1967. How Lucy confesses to breaking six eggs.

1968. How Myra raises her hand to be like the big kids.

1969. How Jane, Jack, and Lu all help Myra sled in the backyard.

1970. A whole pizza and all the laughter that went with it.

1971. Myra leaned on the counter watching Craig make scrambled eggs.

1972. How the children have the entire living room turned into a bed when I get up.

1973. How Myra wears Lucy's shoes over her footie jammies.

1974. Jack's exhortation, "Jane, I like it when you clean."

1975. His admiration for Craig, "Daddy, you have fat muscles."

1976. A surprise date from Craig, how he and his buddy make our house feel like a fancy restaurant for an evening. And how it reminds me of the early years, back before kids -- but better.

1977. Lingering conversation with his buddy's wife.

1978. Feta and bacon stuffed chicken, seared green beans, red potatoes, ice cream and rum sauce.

1979. Craig's wild enthuasiam over his latest project: mealworms. And how he greets me Friday morning, "Wanna see my mealworms?"

1980. Noticing what beautiful hands my mother has.

1981. A blue wallet purse that even holds my keys.

1982. Waking up to "Oh, My Darlin'" on Jane's dulcimer.

1983. Jack's latest inquiry, "Will I have rubber toots because I swallowed my gum?"

1984. Meatball soup and apple crisp.

1985. A vintage cutting-board.

1986. Jack's admonition as waits patiently to feel the baby kick, "Shhhh, if you're quiet you can hear him kick."

1987. Three of the four kids poised, hands on my belly waiting for a baby kick. And how Myra tries to copy, her hand on Jack's shoulder.

1988. How when one of our chickens winds up dead under the little ramp, Craig handles all after death proceedings.

1989. Babe still growing in my belly and the calm before the storm of major life change -- birth.

1990. Taking each day in small measures and being faithful in the small things.

holy     experience


Goat said...

Being faithful in the small things--like stopping at stop lights. Because I don't want to turn into a person who does bad things when no one is looking. The rock bottom basis of TRUST--you nailed it.

Brandee Shafer said...

I love reading you. You make me want to be so much better than I am.

Jeff and Naomi said...

Thanks for the encouragement. A timely message for my home today. Hope those worms make some excellent compost! :) We are enjoying our growing world of boy--had to laugh at Jack's rubber toot question!

Amy said...

Rich blessings as you prepare for the arrival of another one and how your lives will swell with joy even more.

Rachelle said...

You have this awesome ability to turn every moment into a teaching moment and I just love that about you. Your kiddos are not the only ones learning!! : )

Love you!

emily wierenga said...

i love how God gives us the words when we don't know what to say. he is teaching me through you, friend.

my name is kimberley said...

incredibly beautiful - and such encouragement for this mama who has entered this stage.

you mama with such beauty and grace...and you mama with Him.

thank you.

Nacole said...


gorgeous, just gorgeous--you always have the most beautiful list. and i agree with Goat--you absolutely nailed it--the rockbed of trust--doing the right thing when no one is looking--what a great way for a child to understand. i learn so much reading you, friend--the way God is intimately involved in every little moment of your life--beautiful and inspiring.