we were the victims of a hit and run. actually, it was a random act of kindness kind of hit and run.
we awoke yesterday to find that our entire garage door was covered with hundreds of yellow post-it notes with written messages like "we love you," "you speak hope," "you speak healing," and my personal favorite, "miska rocks."
there was no sign or clue as to who performed this crazy act of grace. we discreetly asked around at church, but no one fessed up or even looked remotely guilty. beware. these people are still at large. . .
so, i'm sending out a thank you to these anonymous folks, hoping they will read this:
the amount of time and patience it must have taken you to write on and affix all of those notes to our garage door speaks volumes itself, and your written words to us were powerful and life-giving. we did feel so loved, and our kids--well, i wish you could have seen how lit up they were from the inside out while we read note after note after note. thank you, thank you for blessing us with such thoughtfulness and creative kindness. thank you for saying that we matter. (isn't that just the message we all so long to hear?) may you experience the love and delight of Christ toward you in the days to come.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
we were the victims of a hit and run. actually, it was a random act of kindness kind of hit and run.
Posted by Miska at Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
wyatt anticipating his first "mad scientists" club meeting at school: "we get to make lasers that kill people."
seth while i was washing dishes: "your booty looks good in those pants, mama."
wyatt after attending the barack obama rally: "i'm definitely voting for barack obama. definitely."
seth while i was helping him zip up his jacket: "you're my best mommy."
wyatt riding in the car with winn: "i'm going to ask God to build a million playgrounds in heaven."
Posted by Miska at Saturday, January 26, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
my brother gave winn and me an itunes gift card for christmas, so i've been downloading some tunes lately. i’m particularly enjoying howie day’s collide, john mayer’s say, and colbie caillat’s magic.
but the song that is playing in my mind so much these days is a song we've sung at church several times called how he loves, written by john mark mcmillan. he wrote this song the day after his best friend steven died, and you can hear him tell the story on youtube. It’s a powerful song born out of heartbreak and hope.
I absolutely love and savor the images in the song:
loves like a hurricanebut the lines that get me every time are these:
i am a tree bending beneath the weight of
his wind and mercy
if grace is an ocean we’re all sinking
when heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss
i don’t have time to maintain these regretsboy, do I maintain my regrets—in the sense of maintaining a garden or a beloved plant. I tend, prune, nurture, only there’s nothing beautiful or life-giving about it. my self-doubts and self-recriminations take up a good bit of space inside me, although thankfully, God is slowly and incrementally reclaiming that space. as i sing and listen to these lines, i am pulled up and out of my small self and into the magnificent Love that is God. I stop obsessing, if even just for a moment, about my own damn self and am bathed in God's deep, abiding love for me and this world. once again, i am reminded that life is not a story about me, and a sweet, surprising freedom rushes in.
when I think about the way
he loves us
the soundtrack in my mind for the past several days has been this song. i think maybe, just maybe God’s trying to tell me something.
Posted by Miska at Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Posted by Miska at Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
"what dwells in your soul this day?"
sadness. i'm grieving the loss of my dog tucker. we had to give him away because of his random acts of aggression; we didn't feel like we could really trust him anymore around our kids or their friends. but i loved him. he was my buddy, my constant shadow, even if--as some of you know all too well--he was needy and neurotic. (but who among us isn't?) he went to new jersey, of all places, to a great cocker spaniel rescue where he will eventually be placed in a good home without small children. i miss him terribly and still can't talk about him without crying.
fear. winn drove away at the ungodly hour of 3:00 a.m. so that he could catch a plane to denver. i tossed and turned until the alarm went off at 6:20. fear had me in a stranglehold; fear that winn would have a car wreck on the way to the airport in atlanta, fear that his plane would crash--again, that fear of unspeakable loss. i was so afraid that it was hard to breathe. i started the day exhausted.
hope. after i dropped seth off at preschool, i came home and sat down at my kitchen table with a cup of hot tea. i did a bit of reading, and then i spent some time in silence with God. i prayed not with words, but with my imagination, which is so much easier for me. i saw the heavy load this fear was, how i was carrying a weight that was two or three times my size, and i knew to set it down. the darkness from it clung to me, though, like a shadowy cloak. it was only when Jesus came and took my hand, pulled me away, that the cloak fell to the ground. the message i heard was simple: this is not who you are. there was a subtle shift in me, and things felt a bit lighter.
quiet. i moved through the rest of my day with a quietness of soul. i had to run a couple of errands after i picked seth up, and as a little treat for him, i drove through "old macdonald's," as he calls it, and got him a happy meal. he got a toy in it that overjoyed him. i said yes to his request to visit petsmart. he and wyatt both love to visit the cats, the gerbils and hamsters, the birds, the fish. oh, there was an adorable kitty there i wish i could have adopted! so precious. i talked on the phone to my soul sister amy walker, who is truly one of the funniest people i know. then seth and i picked wyatt up from school, and after a snack and a little bit of playing, we took a lovely siesta. we woke up refreshed, played some video games together, made supper together, and read together.
love. i talked to winn on the phone tonight just for a couple of minutes; it's so wonderful to hear his voice and heart, especially when he's away. then my baby brother called (he loves it when i call him that. don't you, josh?), and we talked for over two hours. that felt like a gift.
panic. i have a whole new crop of gray hair growing in, and every time i look in the mirror, there's more. 2008 is definitely going to be the year i start coloring my hair.
Posted by Miska at Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
i love to celebrate. any excuse will do, really. i especially love to celebrate those times that commemorate the end of one season and the start of a new one (birthdays, weddings, etc.), so you’d think ringing in a brand new year would be one of those celebrations that thrill my soul.
as 2008 approached, i noticed that my internal response was not so much joy and anticipation as fear. fear of what this new year would bring, what catastrophes and losses, what disasters would hit unannounced and without proper preparation.
you might know this about me: i am always imagining the worst. i routinely make emergency response plans in my mind, for when a tornado hits (grab the kids and run to the bathtub), for when our home is invaded by thieves or worse (baseball bat by my bed, a big knife in the kitchen, and if need be, secret hideouts), for when a fire breaks out in our home (grab the kids, the dog, the photos, the computer hard drive). the list goes on. this is why i was so excited when my mom and stepdad gave winn a tool for christmas that is made specifically to help a person get out of a car under water (seatbelt cutter and a sharp end to crack glass—all in one handy tool!). winn opened it and was slightly incredulous. when i saw what it was, i literally clapped my hands i was so happy. finally! i’ve worried about that exact scenario since i almost daily drive over at least one of the two bridges in our town. how would i get my kids out of the car if we suddenly careened off the bridge and plummeted into the water? (as anne lamott writes, my mind is "a neighborhood i shouldn't go into alone.")
so a whole year stretching out before me, the unknown future, was causing me some anxiety. some of this fear stems from having had the bottom fall out of my world once. my worst-case scenario did become reality. it was years ago, but i find myself, in some sense, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. and now the stakes are so much higher: i’m married to the love of my life, and i have two of the most precious boys you’ll ever know. so much loss is possible. this world is a minefield, with chaos and pain around every corner.
at its source, my fear is not so unique, though. what i’m ultimately afraid of is that God’s heart toward me is not good, that he doesn’t have my best interest at heart, that i’m totally on my own in this life.
my head knows these fears are not true, but it’s taking a while to trickle down to my heart. it’s also difficult to reconcile that my definitions of “good” and “love” are not necessarily God’s definitions of these words.
so, each new year, each new season, each new relationship even, is an opportunity for me to learn to trust in the Love that is the center of this universe. i can’t spend all of my energy trying to manage and control and prepare and negotiate. well, i could, i guess, but who wants to live like that? i want to live with my hands and arms wide open, with my heart open to life and to God. that is going to require some faith and courage.
i recently read the entry for january 1 in God Calling, a book written by two anonymous women who simply wanted to be known as “two listeners.” the contents are the result of these women devoting time and space to sit and listen to the voice of God’s Spirit a portion of each day for an entire year. what they heard the Spirit say on the first day of that year was this:
“I stand between the years. The Light of My Presence is flung across the year to come—the radiance of the Sun of Righteousness. Backward, over the past year, is My Shadow thrown, hiding trouble and sorrow and disappointment.
Dwell not on the past—only on the present. Only use the past as the trees use My Sunlight to absorb it, to make from it in after days the warming fire-rays. So store only the blessings from Me, the Light of the World. Encourage yourselves by the thought of these.
Bury every fear of the future. . .and let us leave them all, buried, and go forward to a new and risen life.
Remember that you must not see as the world sees. I hold the year in My Hands—in trust for you. But I shall guide you one day at a time.
Leave the rest with Me. You must not anticipate the gift by fears or thoughts of the days ahead.
And for each day I shall supply the wisdom and the strength." --God Calling, ed. by A. J. Russell
Posted by Miska at Thursday, January 03, 2008
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
one of our christmas traditions is for winn and me to make each other a gift. this year, after we'd opened all of our gifts, winn said he had one more gift for me. he pulled me into our walk-in closet that doubles as an "office" and turned on the computer monitor. there was my blog--and a brand new, unbelievably beautiful title banner. winn designed it (with some consulting help from our friend andy--thanks, andy!) and had somehow uploaded it to my blog in the wee hours of the night while i was sleeping.
isn't it fabulous?
Posted by Miska at Tuesday, January 01, 2008