Tag Archives: my story

There is a Season…

I know that it’s Christmas Eve and life as we know should be merry & bright, but unfortunately life doesn’t work like according to my seasonal plan.  I’m in sunny Arizona with my family visiting my immediate family, sitting at the kitchen counter, girls taking a nap and everyone else is out doing last minute stuff.  And as I was finishing purchasing that one last gift this morning I kept thinking, “I can’t wait to be done shopping.”  I enjoy Christmas festivities, peppermint mochas, the music, Advent, and shopping; but, I do not like last minute shopping.  It simply stresses me out with the lines, the endless traffic and the fact that I’m on quasi-vacation.

But it wasn’t just the lines, or the cars, or the commercialism of it all (do I sound like Charlie Brown?), but it’s the brokenness I sense all around me.  The homeless without a home, the drug addict vying for life but doesn’t know how, the single parent trying to do the best with what they’ve been given, the divorcee who’s children aren’t speaking to them, the soldier fighting an endless war, and the family opening endless amount of stuff feeling more dissatisfied & empty than before they started.

It reminds me of a story during WWI when the German soldiers were on the Western front against the British on Christmas Eve.  As they encroached the evening there was a truce called between the sworn enemies.  And what was seen was a beautiful sight.  These enemies crossed over the battle lines & shared life together for what appeared as a brief window of hope.  They ate chocolates, smoked cigarettes & sung ‘Holy Night’ together in their own tongue.  This was known as the Christmas Truce. There are times when we need to call a truce, even if it’s only for a short season.  Just like the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote,

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Whether you’re relating with the off-seasons of this poem or the on-seasons, I hope you will find solace, joy & a means to say truce in the midst of wherever you find yourself.


Casimir Pulaski Day, Auditory & My Firstborn

I’m an auditory learner. I thought I was a visual, but realized today I’ve misdiagnosed myself. This would make sense for my love of music, learning all the lines of the play I was in in third grade, & my ability to repeat most things when put to song or via storytelling.
Music..it’s a powerful tool, which is innate to most humans. It stirs emotion in the deep crevices of our life. It reminds us where we were & what we were feeling when a specific song is playing. It brings people together & tears others apart. I received my degree in History with an emphasis in Early Modern Europe. In fact, my thesis was on the complications music brought into the newly formed Protestant Church (tore people apart & brought others together).
Well, for me music is everything beautiful, sweet & good. I’m listening to Sufjan Steven’s ‘Casimir Pulaski Day.’ This song floods my mind & my heart with some of life’s deepest of emotions.
Ben had just bought Steven’s album “Come On Feel the Illinoise.”. It was late December of 2006 & I was about 38 weeks pregnant with our first child. Not quite knowing then how life altering giving birth would be, then mix in bringing a baby home whom you’d be responsible for it’s sustenance (makes for mental instability at times).
This album played non-stop. As I drove in the car, listened to my MP3 player, & when we were at home together. The song talks about a young girl getting cancer of the bone, which is depressing, especially when you’re husband points out after our daughter is born, “This song makes me sad, because I think of our daughter dying.” not really what you want to tell a postpartum mama.
But, this song now reminds me of how quickly she’s grown up. There have been times when I wished, “if only this could go more quickly!”. I’m reminded of all the fear I felt as a new mama, not knowing how I would make it through her first week, how I was going to get her to latch on…or…how would I make it through the dark night. I recall days just prior to sunset praying, “God, you’re my strength, I believe but help my unbelief,” over & over. I mustered all I could to not cry & think, “I don’t love her like Ben does, but I’m her mama.”
So as I listen to this song, I think of that scared mama sitting in the bathroom crying. I think of missing out on the beauties of my firstborn’s first weeks & how I wish I could take it back. But more importantly, which is now, I think of my dear, sweet, one of kind dreamer, firstborn daughter who will be three years too soon and how I want to bundle her up to stop her growing. I want to always hold her like I did the first day I met her. I want to cherish her beauty, her intellect, her quirks…everything that makes her the original handiwork the good Lord made.
This is what music does to me. It stirs up strong & powerful images, feelings, emotions, smells, tastes…creating stories for my life’s storybook.And I guess that’s why her middle name is Storey, which means ‘strong & powerful.’