Maybe Splendor

Maybe splendor
Is a girl
Rowing her younger brother to the
Far shore

She tells him she he will be
A cowboy there
He asks her how he can be
Without a hat

She tells him
you will make one
From the twigs and branches
And leaves there

And you will have a cow you will name Horse and another named Ted or Fred, he said

Yes.
She says, and a chicken…now get your clothes and race me up the hill.

A chicken named
Get-your-clothes-and-race-me-up-the-hill,

Rodents (I have loved and feared)

Dearest A,

I have already told you the nutria story. I think about my dad and his inspirational message of stoic courage whenever we see nutria at the river.

They come quite close and are reasonably lovable–orange teeth and all.

But I have other rodents in my past. For instance Mouse–red, worn, lovable, constant. Stuffed, so no plague risks.

When I was in Thailand our bungalows were infested with rats. They were so noisy I thought they were monkeys on the roof. Until the night one swung over the rafters onto the mosquito netting sending us all to the boys’ cabin. Five Americans in a double bed. I slept at the foot. Feet.

The next day the man pulled desiccated rat carcasses from the eaves. Like we had unsettled an ancient burial ground.

Then there was the boat to Yang Shuo. Kay said she saw a rat. Said she was moving to another cabin. I swapped bunks with her. At 4:30 in the morning I wake up to the curious gaze of a rat sitting on his haunches–squirrel-like and contemplative. No more sleep for me.

And then there was the year the rats were bad on the coast. They starved out the neighbor’s birds. They ransacked feed beds. They gnawed fruit left on the kitchen counter.

We told ourselves–mice. Silly us.

Until the night of the great racket. A rat shimmied down the wall in the bathroom. J checked but saw nothing. I opened the door and it scurried into the darkened bedroom were the children slept. J was not concerned.

He has a cat allergy. I have a rat phobia. As he slept I ruminated–it is me or it, I am bringing in the cat!

Zippy–always intrepid, stalked the rat throughout the room speaking words of predatory intent. Finally satisfied she curled next to my daughter’s head on the pillow. We slept till morning.

At which point dear J bought traps and caught the entire rodent clan living in our attic.

My dear soft-hearted love–
B

Mad-lib Bible

Mark 7:1 (NIV)
The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and

Isn’t that a great start? Guess what happens next. Do they get him to teach them? Worship? Make him breakfast?

I know that verse breaks in our modern Bibles are arbitrary. The book of Mark was a letter written to a body of people who lived their lives waiting for Jesus to come right back.

John Mark was young when he experienced this story and older when he sat down and recorded it.

And it would be years and years before someone numbered these stories. But God is a smart guy. He uses everything.

So let us pause for a moment and wonder at all the things the Pharisees could have done with Jesus…but didn’t.

What do you do with Jesus?

A Parable of Faith

My kids are practicing French, handwriting, and shooting the breeze. They are quoting Patrick Warburton, who could read tax law and be funny. They remind me of my father, who was a military helicopter pilot.

He used to take the back roads. He would head down some narrow country road with a mysterious look on his face. Where are you going? We would ask.

I know a short cut. He would tell us.
He had marked the roads as he flew over the countryside.

I think of this when I ask God, why?

He sees beyond the horizon, the big picture, the answers to all my why?s

Holy handbags, Robin!!!

Tonight I sang loud and off-key to God. There may have been some dancing around too. One of my children eyed me with a bit of alarm. Notable only because you would think they all would.

I also washed my purse today.

Not seeing the connection? Well, first let me explain that I am not a Gucci/baby Louie gal. My purses are cheap, washable, frequently seconded to me.

They are the receptacles of diapers (new), hair bands, gum (also new), keys, money, action figures, snacks, beverages, electronics, random papers.

Crumbs, a lot of crumbs…

I have been feeling itchy because I knew that my current purse avatar was the victim of a public bathroom floor incident that I will not shock you by explaining.

Just trust me: unhygienic.

So I feel good. Brownie crumbs evacuated, wallet transplanted. Purse clicking noisily in a midnight wash.

Cleaner.

I am aware that the God I trust and love is holy. Really clean.

I have a few kids who are well versed in superhero lore. So I was thinking about how a good comic book superhero needs an Achilles heel. And that led to thoughts of the only real superhero.

No Achilles heel–wait! There is a weakness. Not in him, us. We are his weakness. We are his mortal heel.

And he lets himself bleed out in holiness to bath us in his eternity.

That is clean. That is holy.

So I worship–messy and loud. Because he has rescued me. Once and for all eternity.

Losing Sleep

The Dragon and the Nanny Goat did not take long to realize that this baby was going to be a game-changer.

The Mama Dragon’s already blood-shot eyes had a weary quality about them as she woke frequently to feed her hungry little charge. He ate constantly! She got nothing done!. What would she do without Nanny?! Nanny came by each days and fed the little one while mama rested, concocting nourishing soups for Mama and either nursing him herself or feeding him through a clever milk-skin pouch.

Whenever Dragon bemoaned her loss of freedom and flight time, Nanny gently shook her head and tutted–oh, dearie, they are but babes for the blink of an eye. You must snuggle them good and feed them up, because before we know it this little fella will be a strapping man with a man’s voice and a man’s armor.

Or she would just coo over his dumpling cheeks, his beautiful round little knees and dimpled smile.

Treasure in the snow

Cowboy and Honey Bunch trudged through the snow. They had a couple bags of groceries nestled in their arms. HB was still quite rotund with child and chafing for a delivery process that would be a bit more challenging than cable tv.

A bit of gold glinted in the driven snow. Cowboy pulled at the corner of a gilded manuscript. It said Nurturing Sunshine in ornate calligraphy on its cover.

Hey! This looks valuable, he said. I wonder if it got lost or stolen from the university library? Or maybe the Jesuits, mused Honey.

I bet it is valuable. They said together. Jinx! Shouted Honey. Cowboy squinted at her with annoyance until she laughingly said his name. Strange that the big rules of the universe were made to be broken, but jinx was sacrosanct.

Something about the book drew Honey. She knew they needed money, but she did not want to let this book go right away. It looked magical.

It’s so cold, she pouted. I want to go home. Let’s read it first, we can take it to E-Z Cash later.

Cowboy grudgingly agreed.

When they got home and began to unthaw Honey Bunch gingerly opened. The book. It’s lettering was ornate and there were a lot of cherub-y illustrations but the book seemed to be a book of lists interspersed with stories. The stories had intricate little illustrations. The lists seemed surprisingly bossy.

The cool mom’s club

Someone I have never met before came up to me today and said, you must be the cool mom.

A wonderful compliment, undeserved…

When she said it I thought several things at once–
I want to get to know this lady better.

I wonder if she would still think I was cool if she knew my whole awful story?

And maniacal laugh…I am about to go make a fool of myself on a dock for 2 hours. I will not look cool.

But there is something cool in not accepting failure and there is something cool in public humiliation for a good reason.

Perseverance is cool. Not giving up is cool.

Most of the time it is lonely and many times the stakes are way too high, so I am grateful for my patient community.

One day I may master things even harder than launching off a dock at 20 mph.

That will be cool, and I will know exactly who to thank.

Door-to-door salesmen

Mark 2:1-2 (NIV)
A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. [2] So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.

…and then called the cops because they were trespassing, dog-gone it.

I think you get where I am going with this<3

Funny repent story

Mark 1:15 (NIV)
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Repent?

When I was 6 I played t-ball. I am left-handed so when I batted I faced 3rd base. Often in the adrenaline of the moment I would hit the ball a modest distance and run toward…3rd base.

Repent means change directions. Jesus is telling everyone who hears Him–change directions, you are going the wrong way.

All of us are going the opposite direction.

So he tells us to turn around and run the other way. Toward the Good News.

Jesus.
Home.