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Monday, November 14, 2011


Yesterday Dan took me away.

We only had a few hours after church while my parents watched the boys.

Oh how I resisted.  I came up with excuses why we couldn't go to Wonder's Cabin; we didn't have enough time, I was too tired to enjoy it, we should just do our usual coffee place or a hike... etc.  I was afraid.  Of what?  Perhaps the pressure of it just being us or of expecting too much from such a special place or of him expecting more from me then I could give that day.  Sometimes I find myself fearing to hope, to expect joy and anticipate peace.  I am so wound up and anxious that I refuse to believe I can be any other way.

I felt the fear and knew I was being unreasonable - I told him to call and see if we could go (half hoping we couldn't so I wouldn't have to face myself) we could!  The owner was in Florida and told us where to find the key.  I took a deep breath and decided to enjoy what I could enjoy and to let go of the rest.

My parents were late.  The milk I got out of the freezer for J was older and I wasn't sure he would take it.  We drove to get water and I realized I forgot my phone.  Dan and I argued.  We went back for the phone.  I felt this rush of panic of fear at leaving; of loss of control.  That mommy anxiety about no one being good enough to know my boys well enough to care for them. What if....

We leave.  I breathe.  I am honest and open about those feelings.

I have an incredible husband.  He listens; he laughs with me and embraces these quirks and thoughts without diminishing them or me.  We drive.  The car together is one of our favorite places.  We talk easily there; always have.  The tightness in my chest releases.  I'm anticipating the warmth of the fire and the smell of fall air above the river.  He holds my hand and speaks life to me.  I am blessed.

We arrive.  It's a secret place for us.  A cabin built by Dan's great Uncle overlooking the Susquehanna River.  We've spent a few nights here and a few afternoons as well.  It smells of wood smoke and earth and something about the 60s.  I build a fire in the stove and we cuddle up on the orange contoured chaise lounge (which is definitely something from the 60s or 70s).  It's good to rest.

We post pictures on Instagram and talk.  I feel the weight lift and Dan rubs the tension from my shoulders.  The view is stunning and an eagle soars over the river. The smoke smells sweet and feels like home. This man knows me well and I thank him for gently pushing me towards the rest I need.

We go for a walk along the ridge and Dan takes pictures of us.

 I talk about the water.  How it brings me peace; soothes my anxiety.  We speak words of truth and love. I am drawn to the water and the fire.  Dan to the earth; to the rocks and trees and mountains.  The water is too unpredictable he says.  I laugh at the river of emotions he swims through being married to me.  He shrugs and says that opposites attract.  He is my mountain; my firm place in the midst of this rush of myself.  Stubborn.  We smile.  It is okay to be myself and tears come unbidden and I thank him.

The sun sets in a blaze of glory bellow the sullen sky.
We walk back to the cabin and our fire and warmth.

The darkness settles.  We are sharing hearts and minds.  I am reminded of how blessed I am.  We will continue to come to this place.  To feel the peace of fire and water and mountain and tree.  Somedays it is so good to retreat.

We return home. The boys did well. We have brownies and ice cream with my parents; my brother and his wife of one week, my sister and her boyfriend.  God is good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembering Grace

November is always hard for us. Dan and I both hate the change and struggle in the dark. We panic with the diminishing light; afraid it may be gone forever. I grasp at the last few days left with him home. Grasp at his time and moments and demand more; like a bear scarfing down food for winter.

Fear and depression, even fear OF depression, drags at my soul. J stops sleeping and R wakes up earlier with the time change. I am TIRED. To the bone.

I stumble with the boys. Voice raised in desperation. I am empty too often and forgetting where to find my fill. I wake Dan in the night and cry out my loneliness - dams breaking in the darkness - and his love stems the tide.

We are so in need of Grace. But perhaps even more we simply need to remember the Grace we have already been given. 1,000 gifts. In the darkness I whisper:

1. Sleeping baby at my breast; all heaviness and sweet sighs, warmth and love
2. Reminders that I am not alone. The voice in the darkness (or on the Internet) that calls out "we are the same" "we walk beside you!"
3. Boy running in the leaves and wind
4. Blessed In-laws who watch my babies well
5. My brother marries a sweet Blessing and I join in the dancing
6. Seeing my husbands love and joy in my smile and laughter
7. J's smile and belly laugh when R walks in the room
8. Music lifting my soul
9. Life with dear friends; hard work and deep stories being shared
10. Fires and good wine on a fall night
11. Being married to a good man
12. Bone-tired naps with my boys on the couch
13. Amazing chicken and sweet potatoes on the grill - food that fills and delights.
14. The boys playing together happily!
15. Remembering to remember