A boy's treasure…

I walk into work with head hung low, as sorrow and regret fill eyes and leak down cheeks.  It has been one of those mornings, the kind that leaves you wishing for a "do-over", the kind that leaves you questioning, the kind that no one prepares your mom heart for.  It's one of the hard days, and it feels long even though it's just begun.  I shove hands hard and deep into pockets, partly in defense against the cold and partly in defense against the raw exposure of heart ripped wide because that's the raw you don't want seen.  And that's when I feel them, two cold metal "coins"; a boy's treasure. 

One day, not too long ago, he placed this treasure he holds dear, in my hands for safe keeping.  He trusts these hands, even with his treasure.  For weeks, maybe months, the treasure remained in my care.  He may have forgotten, but I'll return them safe.  And when I do, I'll remind him that I've held them all this time, held his treasure. And I'll remind him just how much of a treasure he is to me, because  sometimes I speak harshly, and I don't want him to forget.  So all day long, I clasp coins in palm and I remember.  I remember that even when I think he should behave as if he's grown, he isn't, he is just a little boy.  He is just a little boy, His treasure, that He has placed in my hands for safe keeping.  

Empty Seats

As Holiday season is about to begin,
We know that we'll gather with family and friends.

As we gather around for Holiday feasts,
There are bound to be some empty seats.

For some, it's the first time a loved one's not near,
For others, the seats have been empty for years.

They say it gets easier with the passage of time,
But their journey through loss may be different than mine.

So know if a seat sits empty this year,
Your heart may feel joy while your eyes brim with tears.

I hope that seat at your table that's bare, 
will serve as a memory and gratitude chair.

Sit down with in it and pause for a prayer,
Thankful for the love that between you was shared.

Time is so fleeting and too soon it has passed,
But Holidays are for memories and memories last.

I wonder if you know how much I love you…

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I wonder if you know how much I love you...
I wonder because even though I spoke the words, I yelled too much, I was impatient and sometimes unkind.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I wonder if you know how much I love you...
I wonder because even though I spoke the words, I wasn't fully present, I was distracted and I didn't really listen.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I wonder if you know how much I love you...
I wonder because even though I spoke the words, I barely saw you, I worked late, you stayed in your room and I wasn't with you.

Sometimes, at the end of the day, I wonder if you know how much I love you...
I wonder because even though I spoke the words, I failed to 'thank you' for all you do, I took you for granted and was ungrateful.

So even when I'm impatient, even when I'm distracted, even when I'm not near, even when I'm ungrateful, at the end of the day, I'll sit by your side just a little longer, I'll hug you just a little tighter, I'll lean in close and whisper soft, because at the end of the day, I just want you to know how much I love you.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little

It isn’t the big kid voice, with a growing vocabulary and precise pronunciation. It’s the loss of the squeaky voice and mis-spoken words. It’s not realizing how much you’ll miss talking about “rucks” and “tars”. It’s not realizing how much you’ll miss requests for “hamburbers” and “spabhetti”. It’s not knowing the last time you hear it is the last time you’ll hear it.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens word by word and all at once.

It isn’t the growing in of molars and permanent teeth. It’s the loss of baby teeth and no more toothless grins, and it’s not knowing it’s the last time they’ll leave a tooth under their pillow until it’s the last time they leave a tooth under their pillow.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens tooth by tooth and all at once.

It isn’t the growing into new found interests in video games, dance and sports. It’s the loss of the innocence it takes to believe in a talking mouse and a monkey’s mischief, and how you don’t know it’s the last time they’ll ask for Curious George at night, until you realize they’ve stopped asking for Curious George at night.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens interest by interest and all at once.

It isn’t the fact that they can tie their own shoes or button their own coats, it’s the loss of the little toes and little fingers, and it’s not realizing that you are holding a chubby little toddler hand for that last time until you look down and realize that big kid hands have grown where toddler hands once were.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens by fingers and toes and all at once.

It isn’t the fact that they can reach the cups and pour their own milk, it’s that they no longer fit on your lap and it’s not realizing it’s the last time you’ll carry them to bed until you realize you can no longer carry them to bed.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens inch by inch and all at once.

It isn’t the growing that gets me, it’s the loss of the little. It’s how growing up happens day by day and all at once.

Why I linger here.



Some may wonder why I linger here.
Linger at the bus stop, until the taillights fade.
Linger at doors even after my children have passed through.
Although I know they probably won’t look back, they haven’t looked back for months or even years, I remember a time when little noses pressed hard against bus windows and little hands waved from 2nd story classrooms. I remember the times there were tears because they didn’t want to see me go, clinging to my leg and gripping my finger tight.
I know they probably won’t look back, but I linger just in case.
Just in case today is the day they feel a bit insecure,
Just in case today is the day they need that nod of encouragement,
Just in case today is the day they need an extra smile of reassurance,
Just in case today is the day they need to know that I am there.
So I linger, just in case today is the day they look back.

If today is the day they look back, I will be there. I will give them a nod of encouragement and a smile of reassurance.
And sometimes I linger, not for them, but for me.
I linger, because as I watch them, big and bold, I want to remember them little.
I want to remember little noses pressed to bus windows.
I want to remember little hands that once gripped my finger tight and waved from second story classrooms.
And sometimes, as I linger here and watch them go, I have to wipe away the tears, because as much as I love seeing them grow, it’s still hard on mommas letting go.

Sitting in this church, on this Sunday…

There are couples in love, 
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are singles feeling unloved,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are married people, here together,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are married people, here alone,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people who laughed on the drive,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people who cried on the drive,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people who feel connected,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people who feel isolated,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are parents of pastors,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are parents of prodigals,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people feeling strong in the faith,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people full of doubt,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people full of hope,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

There are people who have lost hope,
Sitting in this church, on this Sunday.

So remember, when you're sitting in this church, on this Sunday,
you never know who else is sitting in this church, on this Sunday.