Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Carry Higher

Ainsley, whenever she wants to be held inquires if she can "Have a carry." Ever a softie for her dear phrasing she's in my arms within seconds of her request. It's becoming increasingly challenging to acquiesce to these appeals as the lovely girl is just shy of three months from celebrating her fourth birthday. Sigh. In the midst of the sometimes seemingly endless days the years fly by without any courtesy to slow down for us to enjoy the view. Boom - they're not babies anymore.

Lately when I've been carrying the love she's been slipping down a bit on my hips. I'd love to think it was for lack of ample space to perch but that ain't it. Is it okay to say ain't? Well it just seems to fit in this context. Any old way, she often says, as she's slipping southward, "Carry higher". And it just kind of slays me every time. Isn't it so like us with the Father? Carry higher. To the mountaintop if you please. Enough with the day to day stuff -- carry higher already. It's not enough that we're being carried through this life - we want to be even higher up so that we might have more than a glimpse of the wonderful view from up there.

Life isn't lived on the mountaintop. At least mine isn't. And mine's a really blessed life. I mean ridiculously blessed. And yet the reality is amidst the beauty that surrounds me so does a world filled with pain. I'm not trying to go Debbie Downer or be an ingrate or a cynic - but the hard truth is that life is often really, really hard. The older I get, the more I realize this. I'm an optimist. I will find silver in the grayest of gray clouds. I love the bright side - live for it actually. But I realize that even in a life set on a solid foundation focused on eternal glory some days are really painful for a lot of people. One of my dear friends is wonderful at keeping what we together refer to as "an eternal perspective." She's like me and probably some of you in that she still struggles with the daily stuff in this life and feels seeds of discontentment creep in when she least expects them to crop up. Yet she's the first one to remind herself (and others willing to hear) that this green earth just isn't our home. When we remember that our hearts will ever yearn for something this world will never be able to provide we are at rest. Peaceful - done with striving. It's a rare thing to walk this out but she has ever done it beautifully and on my best days I try to do a bit of the same.

Two weeks ago I learned that her healthy, youthful brother, while driving down the street going about his day, was hit by an oncoming car and killed instantly. His life was over. My heart is crushed for my friend who lost her brother, for his wife who lost her husband and the father of their children and most especially for her parents who would bury a child. No matter the age - parents just aren't supposed to outlive their children. But they do sometimes. We weren't meant to stay here forever.

And so it is with new resolve that I embrace the words of my dear Ainsley love. I will ask my Father to carry higher. Take me to the place where I can see what's of eternal value. Remind that in this world we will have trouble but He has overcome it. Through him we can do all things. And one day we will be in His presence forever and ever amen.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Stone was Rolled Away...

Easter was celebrated here with much fanfare and fun just one week ago. I prepped the girls' baskets early as we had the great pleasure of hosting our former Lakeville neighbors for a wee short visit here a few days earlier. There was a chance they might be popping in again the night before Easter so I didn't want any time that could have been spent with them spent stuffing eggs instead. So these were ready to roll good and early.

Early prep is not always my specialty on holidays. I like to be organized and tend to plan ahead with shopping but it seems no matter how early the collection of treats began I'm always up until the wee hours of the morning the night before putting them all together. Dirk did his share of fanfare as well in hiding dozens of eggs outside for the girls to hunt in the morning. They were thrilled to find this sweet surprise here in Texas. In Minnesota we had another set of dear neighbors who always hid a number of eggs for the girls in our yard much to the girls' delight. Here are the jammie-clad lovelies checking for more goodies in both the front and back yard.

And the Ainsley love complete with her Disney princess crown atop her head which she indeed slept in the night before. We had, incidentally attended the Tangled on Ice performance the day before at the Alamodome. Dirk had purchased these crazy great seats while on a lengthy guilt trip for "making the family move again" so we all benefited from being on the very front row on the floor. We could feel the ice shavings as they whizzed by. And, for the record, he did not "make us move" we are all in this together and are following the same leader Who knows the beginning from the end. But that's a post for another day.