A Prayer for Outer Space

A dear aunt gave Wren a book about outer space for Christmas.  Rather than continuing opening the rest of her presents, Wren paused to “read” this new book about her favorite topic.

She carefully reviewed each page before turning to the next.  When she closed the book, she pronounced, “There’s no Pluto in this book.”

I was startled by this observation that I had to check the book myself.  She was absolutely correct.  Poor Pluto!

Now that Wren is five, her interest in outer space has only grown.  Last night her daddy found her kneeling beside her bed.

“I’m just praying,” she told him.

He inquired if he could pray with her.

“No, I’m just praying for outer space,” she replied before concluding the rest of her prayer in whispers.  “… and let me go to outer space.  The end.”

Snow, Flower, Sun and Rainbow

I came across this very short poem I wrote about Wren when she was turning two.  She was full of energy and joy (as a matter of fact, she still is).  One of our favorite things to do together was to walk around the little circle in our old neighborhood.  She loved going outside to play no matter the weather.

The other thing about Wren was that her speech was slightly delayed.  I yearned for her to talk so I could know her desires… her dislikes… her imagination… her.  I’d get one word out of her, but I wanted more.

This poem was jotted down in the late winter long after the beauty of the first snowfall and I was getting antsy for Spring like I do every March.  The structure of this poem is akin to the Wheel of Fortune “before and after” theme.  Enjoy.

Snow, Flower, Sun and Rainbow

The robin in the white
Snow
A word she knows so well.

I hope she’ll learn
Flower, sun and rainbow
Should be here soon.

I went for a run

This is my first day of the first week since having children that I feel like I can have the morning to do whatever I want.  So I went for a “run.”

I last went for a “run” at the gym last winter.  I did pretty horribly back then (like 16 minute miles), so I wasn’t expecting myself to make any accomplishments other than getting to the stop sign at the half mile mark and eventually getting back.

Not only did I go further, but I actually managed to “run” further without walking breaks and to “run” further than intended.  And that makes me worried.

The best part about being  a fair-weather runner is knowing that when you dust off and lace up those shoes, you will do the worst run of the season.  You console yourself knowing that not only can it get better but that it must get better.

You see, I’m upset because I did my first “comeback run” better than any of my other “return to running” runs.  In fact, I even completed my course faster than my lifetime running average.

Today’s pace:  12’12”

All-time average pace:  12’26”

Best annual average pace (2010): 11:37″

How am I supposed to compete with that?   I wasn’t looking for those kinds of goals, so I’ll just keep the next goal simpler for now:  Run the 1.4 miles without stopping.

The Fate of Mr. Devereaux’s Cello

A while ago, I subscribed to The Daily Post which, if you didn’t know, gives daily and weekly writing prompts.   I’ve written a few posts based on the prompts, but those will remain in my draft folder likely forever.  And you’re welcome for that.

The prompt for this week piqued my interest.  The challenge is to write a story in exactly fifty words.  I found myself sharing the following micro story with my girls throughout the day… which is probably why it sounds like a nursery rhyme.  Still I like it enough that I will publish it here.

The Fate of Mr. Devereaux’s Cello

Mr. Deveraux was not just any fellow

For he was quite skilled at playing the cello.

Oh, the lovely sounds produced by that bow!

It was said only he could make a wasp mellow.

Alas one day, he let out a bellow,

“Oh no! Why is my prized cello yellow?” 

Rejoicing

The breeze was gentle.

The sky was the perfect blue.

Her arms stretched upwards.

Her smile grew.

“Ahaha,” she laughed.

Down the sidewalk she flew.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118 v24

Lent: What are you adding in?

As a verb, lent is the past tense of lending.  It implies return.  As a noun, Lent is a religious period of 40 days before Easter in which Christians practice fasting or abstinence.  

I’m a Christian myself.  I remember once telling a friend I was Baptist, and I’ll never forget my father telling me I wasn’t.  Just because I went to a Baptist church didn’t make me Baptist was the gist of that conversation.  

I remember telling another friend I was a Protestant, and I’ll never forget my mother telling me I wasn’t.  She taught me that just because you aren’t Catholic doesn’t mean you default into the Protestant category.

I was a very confused child.  My parents knew what I wasn’t.

I learned I didn’t get corrected when I told people I was simply a Christian.  Although, come to think of it, my dad might have given me a lesson on how I was not just a Christian but a believer and a follower.

Growing up, I believed Lent to be a “Catholic thing.”  I didn’t know many Catholics until college when on Ash Wednesday I noticed quite a number of people walking around with dirt on their foreheads.  Upon closer examination, I saw that their faces weren’t dirty.  What I mistook for dirt, was an ashen cross drawn on their foreheads.

Making diverse friends of faith in college was easy for me.  I didn’t feel the need to go to the Baptist Campus Ministry because they’d be filled with nothing but Baptists.  (No offense to Baptists. In fact, I still go to a Baptist church.)  I went to another Christian ministry on campus, but I didn’t feel they were inclusive of non-Protestants (even those Lutherans and especially those charismatics).  I eventually joined Intervarsity and was enriched by a community of people who had one thing in common, their love for Christ.

So at this time of year, I would ask my friends on campus who were marked with an ashen cross what they were giving up for lent.  And then someone asked me.  “But I’m not Catholic,” I said, and then I realized I didn’t have to be Catholic to give something up for my Lord.  Over the years, I have given up soda, television, caffeine, Facebook (before I gave it up for good), and PG-13 & R rated movies.  I once gave up Scrabble on my iPhone.

It’s hard navigating the waters of Lent as a non-Catholic so I’ve kind of molded it into my own thing.  A few years ago, someone shared a secret with me that helped me out.  I learned that they break their abstinences on Sundays (called mini-Easters, I love that!).  If you don’t break for Sunday, then Lent would be 46 days long.  That’s a long time to go without coffee.

I’ve learned to not just give up the “vices,” but to fill the void leftover on focusing my attention on Christ.  That’s when Lent started to having meaning for me.

Lent is giving something to God and getting something greater from Him in return.

For this year’s Lent, I’ve decided to not give anything up.  I’m going to add something in.  I plan on reading my Bible faithfully.  

How about you?  What are you giving up for Lent, or will you add something in?

Breaking Radio Silence

We’ve gone dark for nearly a week. We last left the house on Sunday, and that was to church where we volunteered in the nursery. (My dear friend Sarah may see where this is going.) There were a few kiddos there with sniffles, including our Wren. The weather had been changing and I think all of us adults believed the sniffles were a result of the sinuses adjusting. Well, that was wishful thinking.

Wren has been full on sick since Monday morning. Her dad since Monday afternoon. Her sister since Monday evening.

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