Thursday, April 24, 2014

Writing for my soul...

How I miss writing.

I’m sitting in the kitchen while my two kindergarteners do a math worksheet thinking about how I miss it.

Macaroni and broccoli are boiling, so I have about 11 minutes to sit down and write a few words.

A couple of days ago I read an old entry on one of my favorite blogs (which happens to belong to one of my favorite people. She's kind of inspirational :) .) She wrote about how she grew up an avid reader and after college and grad school she fell out of the habit. (Check out the blog for more details about why.)

I identified with Leslie Ann’s feelings, but in the area of writing. I am what you would call a voracious reader. I am always reading something. Recently, I’ve started to diversify the sort of reading I do. (I attribute this occurrence to a recent trip to Together 4 the Gospel, but that’s another story.)

Back to the point. While I’ve never backed away from reading, after graduating college, writing became a thing of the past.  As a child, a teen, and even a young adult, writing was kind of how I calmed my soul,  how I worked through my feelings, how I expressed myself…to God and to other people.

I would write short stories or poems and take them straightaway to my dad for his opinion. Every time our family went to Memphis to visit the grandparents, Grandaddy would ask me “What have you written lately. Are you still planning to be a writer when you grow up?” Don’t know if he ever knew how much his taking interest in my writing meant to me. I hope my dad knows.

I feel like writing is still in my soul, though it’s not something for which I’ve been able to carve out time in my crazy life.

Or maybe I’ve chosen to not make time for it.

My  super-husband constantly encourages me to write. My response is usually, “I have nothing to say,” or “there are so many wonderful things to read out there, who needs something mediocre?” Most of the time I really do feel that way.

So, I think I’ve come to the realization that I need to change my motivation for putting pen to paper. My motivation can’t be for other people to appreciate what I write. I need to do it for the reasons I did when I was a kid...

For my soul…

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Blessings or raindrops?

I don’t have sufficient words to describe the past few weeks in the Clardy household. Besides that, I don’t think I could do it without sounding like a whiny-baby complainer. Suffice it to say it has been “challenging.”

Yesterday, while driving home from yet another doctor’s visit, a song came on the radio that comes on all the time. A song I probably hear 3 times a week. I almost always sing along. But yesterday, on I-20, whizzing past the outlet mall construction and Bass Pro, I was a little bit surprised to find tears streaming down my face. I didn’t make it through the first line of the song.

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace, comfort for family, protection while we sleep.

Conviction began to sweep over me as I thought about my prayers of the past 2 or 3 weeks.

We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

And it’s hitting my like a ton of bricks. We’re passing the airport exit when the good part comes

And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Even when I don’t pray for the right things, he provides exactly what he knows I need. And sometimes that may not be comfort or a life free of suffering.

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

And I think about the sleepless night before while I begged God to please let me know what it is he’s trying to teach me.

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough

Had I been doubting his goodness, his love, and even his promises. Looking for an answer to my doubts in the clouds, rather than in his Word.
And then the good part again

And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

And I know that he has heard my desperate pleas for mercy for our family all along. I know that everything that he has ordained to happen in our lives is for his glory and our good. I also know that there are a million and one ways that things could be worse for us. A temporary time of trouble had blinded me to a world overflowing with blessings. I am beginning to understand that the very 5 pint-size blessings that God has given us are going to be cause for heart-ache sometimes.  They are my blessings and my rain drops, if that makes sense. The great love that we have for them leaves us vulnerable to hurt. I think that any parent might understand that.
And that makes me think about the love that our Father has for us and how our pain is his pain. Just like I hurt when my children hurt.

Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God's children. And we are! (1 John 3:1)

Now I think I’ll cuddle with the little blonde-haired blessing in my lap.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Last Saturday my little Sarah got to do something that just thrilled her soul.

For at least a week she had been relentlessly questioning me:

“Mommy, do I get to go to the wedding?”

“I don’t know, we’ll see.”

“Mommy do I get to go to the wedding?”

“Maybe. If  you can be a good girl and sit quietly like you do at church.”

That was it.

To everyone she saw at church, “I get to go to the wedding!”

To the ladies decorating the church for the wedding (who she didn’t know) from across the yard, “ I GET TO GO TO THE WEDDING!”

I thought her little head was gonna explode.

So I get her all dressed, french-braided her hair, even let her put a little lipstick on. She was all set to be Daddy’s date for the wedding (Mommy didn’t get to go, unfortunately.) She leaves with her daddy, stars in her eyes.  When she came home she was so delighted. Told me all the details she could remember from the ceremony. Pretty dresses, pretty flowers, and oh, I wish I had a picture of her face when she told me they kissed. Priceless. Superman told me later that as the bridal party was leaving the church, Sarah looked up at him and said “Daddy, I love weddings.”

My question is where is all this coming from? My sweet little girl is only four years old. She won’t be getting married for at least 35-40 more years, right?  Of course all her excitement over this wedding of a girl she really barely knows made me think of her wedding day.

And Anna Bell’s.

And Gabriella’s.


It’s gonna take some special guys to get their daddy to let his girls go on a date, much less actually walk them down the aisle and give them away. Fortunately we have an application ready and waiting.

In all seriousness, I’m thankful for a Mom and Dad who prayed for their kids’ future spouses from the time we were small.

And that’s what we’ll be doing…

for the next 40 or 50 years.

Slackers Anonymous

Anyone else having discipline issues, lately?

Our Sunday School lesson yesterday was from Proverbs 6:6-11.

Go the the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise. Without having any chief, officer or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.

Hello, my name is Sluggard.

But you can call me Slacker.

I have a good friend. For the purpose of this blog let’s call her Rebekah. We’re pretty close, but we are very different.  Rebekah’s son is going on vacation with her parents next week . She told me Saturday that she already has him packed. I looked her in the eye and said “I hate you.” Seriously. Rebekah’s house is always clean and her kids never wear mismatched socks. *sigh* She’s kind of like that ant in Proverbs.

That little ant doesn’t need someone breathing down her neck keeping her on task.  I long for that kind of discipline. Our lifestyle kind of demands it. Unfortunately, I have always struggled in this area.  I tend to fly by the seat of my pants, as they say.  Not always a good plan if you’re trying to homeschool two little geniuses and keep three little girls from wandering away.
I feel the need to quote a little old school DC Talk. “Time is tickin away, tick tick tickin away…”  I have got to get a handle on managing my time and glorifying God through the way I spend it.  It’s a daunting task.  (I always appreciate practical advice or help with laundry.)

With all that being said, I never want to find myself so busy “being productive” that I fail to take time to appreciate simple things. There’s always a little time to cuddle with 4 little monkeys on the trampoline. Doing a little star-gazing, watching fireflies and having some in-depth conversations about why God made us. Did I mention I love my life? Grumpy baby and all. (Yeah, she’s in a phase.)
I’ve been married to my superman for almost 10 years. We met in college and one of the first things I remember saying to him was “What are you laughing at, I don’t even know you.” To which he promptly replied, “And I don’t want to.”  And that was the beginning of our love story. It’s a strange one, but the hand of God brought us together and together we will be until death shall part us.
If you happen to be one of those lucky people that knew me very well at all during those high school and college years, you might remember that I had a bit of an obsession with Superman. Not long after we started dating, naturally, James became my superman and has continued in that role. Not sure if he is bullet-proof (he is a bit acrophobic, ironically ) but he is definitely my hero.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mommy Brain

So, I had a thought the other day.

Well, actually, I tried to have a thought.

That’s the problem.

Lately my brain hasn’t been functioning quite right. I’ll try to recall some bit of information, or one of the kids will ask me a question, or I’ll attempt a simple math problem and my brain refuses to cooperate.

I’m blaming it on “mommy brain”.

The thing is I spend the majority of my time with humans under the age of 8. While the time spent with these precious beings is rewarding, satisfying, worthwhile, essential and life-altering, it leaves me little time for deep thinking, pondering, if you will. I rarely use any analytical thinking.

Occasionally Superman will engage me in conversation about something he has preached about or is studying and I find myself struggling to keep up with what he’s talking about.  I feel like my brain is a tad fried, for lack of a better word.

This brings me to the whole point of what I’m trying to say. For years Superman has been pestering/encouraging me to write a blog. I’m always quick to tell him why that’s a bad idea. The reasons range from “I have nothing to say” to “Why would anyone care to read anything from my random world of thoughts.”

Now that my younger sister has hopped on the blog train (you can find her over at Allison’s Wonderland), the husband has been at it again. “If she can do it, you can do it” kind of thing.

So, I think I have finally decided  to give blogging a chance for the sole purpose of exercising my brain.
(See, I couldn’t even spell exercising just now, had to spell check.)

And maybe to pacify Superman just a little.

I realize the importance of exercising to benefit your physical health, not that I find myself doing that all that often, either. But I also know that the brain needs a good workout to stay sharp as well.

Here I go, off to blogland. Making myself vulnerable to judging readers (Hi Mom and Dad) and just putting it all out there.  Whipping my brain into shape through writing.

Now, as for the physical exercise…well one thing at a time….