the most beautiful woman in the world

three years ago. a needy moment. me, asking him, in girlish greed, ‘do you think i’m the most beautiful woman in the world?’

him, my husband, being ever-literal, pausing then saying, ‘well, it would be impossible for me to have married the most beautiful…” and me, not hearing the rest, through smash of soul and slosh of tears.

he was right. nevertheless, i needed, somehow, to know that to him, i was.

why? this need to be the ‘most’ to the ones we love?

even now, as i walk along leaf-strewn path in autumn colour, i feel my baby kick and think, i am alone in this maternal moment. no one else has ever known this miracle of flesh within. meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of women give birth each day.

perhaps we reflect God’s need to be adored… we are, after all, made in the image of a jealous God.

yet he is also merciful. for, while we fail to give him worship, God still sees our quivering lips, our knobby knees…

and when we bow, we are alone with the Maker of the Universe, as he counts the hairs on our heads and dies for us, all over again.

along with the rest of the world.

 

“An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children… to each He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.” (A.W. Tozer)

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second birth

“can i hold the baby?” trenton asks.

i smile. wishing he could.

yet somehow, wanting to cling to my tiny companion who swims and sings within me…

whose foot i feel pressed against my side long after the world has fallen asleep…

and part of me cries at the thought of labour, the thought of losing

my speechless connection with this life within.

i rest, hand on abdomen… feel him kiss my palm … i poke him, when he’s too quiet, and he reassures me with a gentle kick… and as water drips from shower-head onto belly i watch my skin ripple with infant motion…

i am starting to understand the concept of second birth

the one God desires of us.

to be born again… to become like infants in God’s womb… entirely dependent, utterly quiet, never alone…

wordless communication, unspeakable love

cushioned against the world’s blows

grace within the belly of our maker.

our baby’s arrival

last night we felt our little one’s toes poking through the skin of my womb.

he’s trying to escape.

trent tells me all women feel this way

as i sit in front of the green moonlit window watching my belly grow…

shaken with fear that i might never actually give birth…

that i might live, forever, with a child inside of me.

“we’ll join the circus if that happens,” he promises me. i try to laugh.

every morning, he takes his cell phone…

i sit at home, writing articles, and wait for the baby’s knock: the insistent “let me out of here” whoosh of water, followed by the frantic call …

for  months, i wondered, can i do it? can i be a mother?

now, at 37 weeks, i know i can. and i want to do it soon.

“patience,” someone breathes to me… i swallow back the heartburn and try to enjoy these last few weeks–

or hours, or moments–

before my womb opens like an envelope and a baby emerges,

slippery letter of love…

changing our lives forever.

autumn ride

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above, angels are airing out feather-ticks across heaven’s blue. fields of ancient corn stalks rustle together to stay warm. trees sport bright red, orange and yellow hair-dos, heads inclined like women gossiping in a salon.

even in my ninth month of making baby, i ride, the bike and i seamless on Huron County highway. for it’s in these moments i calm. it’s in these moments i engage

silence.

i clamor for quiet. it nurses me, much as i will soon feed my child…

the asphalt smears black beneath my feet, wind nuzzles my cheek, and i

breathe…

the sun spinning gold above.

everywhere, God is. he and i commune when i ride. his spirit, on my handlebars. in the corn, in the falling leaf. on the iridescent shaft of light.

i pedal peace,

and my soul stills…

ready to listen.

prodigal woman

there was nothing poetic about it.

it was a truly, unadulterated, bad day.

the kind of day that makes you want to curl up under a linus-blanket, fleece next to cheek, and await the storm to pass.

but instead i stood there, amidst the storm, and felt its green tendrils wrap tight: angry men and women scowling, refusing this pregnant woman mercy; then, the doctor telling me my baby’s breech… and finally, realizing i’d forgotten the painting i was meant to drop off.

i’d had it all planned: baby appointment, then slip over to my client’s house, only a half-hour drive from there, to hand over the painting. only i’d forgotten to bring it. and so, i was forced to return, the hour-long drive home, to pick up the painting and then drive again, an hour and a half, to the customer’s house. my sciatic nerve flaring and my anger, blaring with music loud.

unassuming, my sick husband sat at home, trying to heal… i barged in, flung my rage upon him like a discarded towel, and he simply stared at this woman he couldn’t recognize. i was upset at the messy house, the sick husband, the bad day… then out again i barreled into the car, with the painting, leaving behind a man who’d suffered more than his share due.

three hours later, i straggled home… a weary 9-month burgeoning lady, prepared to beg for forgiveness. my duties done, i anticipated falling into bed alone. and yet, there he stood, in a freshly scrubbed house, supper ready on the table. his arms opened and i fell into them and he whispered, i was so worried… i called everywhere, thinking you should have been home by now…

i wept, for the wonder of grace in a world of mistakes.

The Face of God

African mother and daughter

The pink evening sun slips over her shoulders like a lace shawl. She sits huddled inside her apron carefully peeling an apple.

(Dear Friends… To read more, please visit me here. )

penitence

I find I need you in the quiet hour of soul-upset. But my knees refuse to bend and so I stand upright in the face of all that matters, and pout, bottom lip quivering. Why can’t I bow? What prevents me from kneeling, noon and night? What does it mean to pray without ceasing, and how might I train my tongue to whisper only holy words, ones you hear, ones which change the world?

Keep me from wasting away on the weariness of yesterday…

Let me love you with my life. Let my feet find the path you tread in early morning light… let me cling to your robe, sit at your side and feel the world’s empty cries. Break me like bread that my life might be consumed by you.

when trees speak

i hear them in the rustle of the moon-penny night… the trees, calling me… whispering to my child-soul to climb and nest amongst old oak branches.

they guard my house like sentry-men, and i stoop before them, awed by majestic roots… i feel safe beneath their canopy of leaves.

i don’t often take time to listen to their hushabye whispers… and soon, with autumn’s frosty fingers, their leaves will tumble like piles of yarn at my feet… so i must take the time to climb, at least within my child-soul, and find fellowship amongst the birds. to rest at the feet of the great oak, and learn from its century-old wisdom.

after all, in but a month, i will have a child of my own… and he too will need to learn the language of the trees.