Archive | February 2012

Marco Pollo

We have had a new family member since December… his name is Marco.

Marco was a rescue rooster.  He needed a place to stay where he wouldn’t be pecked at, and more importantly (in my opinion) a safe place to learn to use his voice.  Not to personify a rooster, ‘cuz frankly — if it didn’t work out the plan was to put him in the broiler… but the poor thing didn’t even know how to crow.  Now, for some people that would be a marvel.  A beautiful bird like that which won’t wake me up at dawn?  Where do I sign up?

I personally felt a kindred spirit with Marco about this whole voice thing.  Poor, sweet bird.  I am learning how to use my voice too.  It’s been something of a spiritual awakening for me, stepping out and being myself more and more as I learn to trust God in the midst of things that overwhelm me or scare me to death.  So…. as Marco began to slowly work on his crowing, I silently cheered him on, and rejoiced when he not only mastered the crow, but I heard my little kids begin to mimic it.  Isn’t imitation the finest flattery — especially when it’s something we’ve only just figured out?

So, yes…. my kids love him (he’s very friendly… when he’s not hungry).

We’re lucky; our neighbors on one side already have a rooster and our neighbors on the other side were raised with them (when Marco got out the first week he was with us, they fed him and took care of him until we came for him).  So I suppose you could say our neighborhood is already set up for urban chickens (the rapidly-forming online community support for this is astounding).

Why a rooster?  I don’t know.  Less to lose if we don’t get it right — after all,  he was free to us.  Now — the coop wasn’t, but I did get this one for a great bargain (put it together myself with screws and carpenter’s glue, even getting a bit of a refund for badly-done predrilled holes which I had to remedy myself).

My favorite things so far:  I love Marco’s little happy bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk-bawk when I put down leftover cereal, popcorn, you name it.  Also, my son (pictured above) has started singing

This little piggy went to Marco, this little piggy stayed home.

Another thing I like: Now I know how to tuck his head down and put him to sleep, and give him a nice luxurious petting.  It’s quite soothing (to me, too).  Who needs dogs or cats?  Marco, and hopefully (when we can get them) his soon-to-be harem, will be not only playful, but productive, with eggs and chicks (when we need them).

So, yes, on to the reason I really want chickens: I love “yard eggs,” as they’re called in my family.  Eggs which have basked in the sun after days of pecking fresh yummy seeds and scratching in the meadow of the back-yard — I’m drooling about this already — are firm and solid, buttery to the taste, with darker yolks and savory finishes on the palate once done over-easy, scrambled, or omelet-style.  YUM.  Every time I visit our family/friends with “yard eggs” in the fridge I walk away a happier woman, feeling like dancing and singing (I’m not kidding):

To life, to life, L’chai-im!

So…. Thanks for reading, Friends!

Sing Me a Love Song

Most love songs remind me of my husband.

There are a few songs for old boyfriends (either I don’t really listen to those, or they talk about what I don’t miss — and point the way to true love instead).

Then there are some that I love to sing for my sister (do you know how many ‘sister’ songs there are out there???) or my dog (I don’t have a dog but I’ve always loved Benji… cue Dolly Parton… “Roll over Beethoven, I’ll be your Beethoven!”)… le SIGH.

So, here’s a thought…. while all those points of love (and pain) are real and right on, I also love thinking of a lot of love songs as the perfect expression between the LORD and myself.

Ew, YUCK!  Some of y’all might think.  Love songs aren’t for Jesus!  How can you even relate the bedroom to God?  Uh…. yeah, that’s EXACTLY what I’m doing.  Complete nastiness is only a worldly twist on the passion we can experience in the bedroom — which, in itself, is an expression of the intimacy we can have with God.  Therefore, IMHO, all that love-song passion is a perfect expression of what I feel for God (and He for me).  Bends the mind, doesn’t it?

After all, who has loved me the most perfectly?  Who has REALLY held me when I was otherwise completely alone?  Who held my head over the toilet when I was throwing up while I was pregnant and helped me wash it all off when I was done?  (Okay, so my husband did that last one, when he could.  But still, God does that with the state of my heart, all the time…)

I love God.  I love Him so much, I can’t wait to rest at his feet daily.  Sometimes this is figurative, in my heart or my emotions: coming to Him about it all.  Sometimes this is literal: sitting outside and just resting in body, and letting His love be the soft blanket of quiet for a few moments.

I remember when, before I was married, a man I liked had dragged me through one very deep heartache: chasing another girl after flirting with me all weekend at a church retreat.  I went outside, sat down under a beautiful pink oleander in the Texas heat, and stared up at the sky, waiting for the Lord.  My hurts were big, but I had begun to learn how to ask Him to meet me there.

The quiet subdued me, and I felt a song begin to drift into my heart: “You are beautiful, my sweet, sweet song.”  The Lord was making love to me!  I mean that in the purest, yet the most sweetly romantic, heavenly, passionate way.  God himself has outdone even the tenderest of moments that anyone has ever created for me.  This is not to say that humans aren’t part of his outreach to us (husbands, friends, and families included), yet I must say that I am forever besotted with the Most High God.

His love only hurts when I can’t take it all in.  He forgives me so deeply where someone else (usually me) wouldn’t or can’t.  He helps me in ways that only He and I can see.  He teaches me patiently.  He encourages me tirelessly.  How can I possibly return that love?  I am so dependent on his mercy for my often faithless and fickle heart.

Even doing my best, I minimize his power and love.  Feeling the deepest about him one day, I can wake up unhappy the next.  This is not doubt, it is just my variance in attitudes, my own peevish moods that want things the way I want them.  I forget whatever lesson he has already taught me, three times already (or thirty).  Anyone hear a rooster crowing?  Or, wait — do I hear mercy falling???

So yeah… I love taking a moment with the love songs on the radio or in my playlist, and dedicating them to My Truest Love: that Man, that great Counselor, and that intimate God who is near me always.

Sing it again, Sam.  Whoops, wrong context.  Oh well.  You know what I mean!

Thanks for reading, Friends.

Delight in all my Labor

It is easy for me to forget in the daily grind that I am cherished.  Treasured.  God’s special girl.  A princess in the kingdom.

We’re not talking “positive self talk” here.  We’re talking true healing from the frustrating day yesterday, and knowing (and feeling) the tender heart with which God views all my mistakes, trials, and heartaches.

My husband has taught me this phrase: “PROGRESS, not perfection.”  I love it, but it is hard to really step into sometimes.  I do want to be good at my job, my life, you name it.  So, when even PROGRESS seems unattainable, I can be easily and understandably…. erhm…. emotionally constipated or… erhm… runny.  Either one.  Ha!

What I am realizing is that this enemy of my heart works to not only steal my self-worth, he also seeks to steal the joy in my work with this mentality.  I am suddenly just working away for nothing, not appreciated, not worth being appreciated.  The voices start saying: You should never have signed up for this.  You made a big mistake, and you will pay for it for the rest of your life (if you want to be a good wife and mother by not quitting).  

or

Look at the mistake you made.  You shouldn’t share about that with anyone.  They will just look at you sidewise and not want to be your friend.

Then I start filling in: I should quit — to be rebellious against all these voices!

or

I must never make that mistake again.  Let me be as hard on myself as I can so I will learn this time.

These are all tricks of the enemy of our souls!  I know God wants me to just rest in the identity HE has created for me…. it’s all there, in the Scriptures.

I am beautiful.

I am His treasure.

I am His bride.

I am not alone.

There is joy for my work today.

There is new mercy and grace for every mistake I make.

…It just goes on!

Ecclesiastes 2:10b — “My heart took delight in all my labor,  and this was the reward for all my toil.”  Even though the purpose of everything is to know and be known by God, and is meaningless otherwise, I seek to rest in His perspective of today.  I choose to look to Him for the joy and delight in all my labor… as a friend, mother, wife, homemaker (I loved seeing that on our IRS return!), and daughter of the King.