Friday, August 8, 2014

Lessons From The Laundry Room

I sit down to breathe for a minute, pausing in the space between loads of laundry. As I slowly exhale, I think of all the things I really ought to be doing, and, instead, I pick up my phone and start typing (my desktop is old and slow, and it is just easier to let my thumbs tap away on the small screen than to fight with aging technology). Also, the breeze on the screen porch is uncharacteristically lovely for August. I sit down, breathe, and write. 

I really should be upstairs. I have just begun to attempt to get my house in order (both my literal house and the one inside). I have finally reached a new place, something that has eluded me for the last two decades. I am finally emerging from the stage of life where I have babies who require my constant physical and emotional attention. My youngest is 4. And, I have begun by tackling my laundry room, a repository for many of the Things With No Place for the last several years. 

It occurs to me that this is the longest I have ever gone without a pregnancy since I was 26 - yes. A full twenty years. Seven babies. Many in close succession. No wonder I feel as though I have never quite caught my breath. 

So, for the first time in many, many years, I am able to savor real coffee during my mid-morning break, and get back to work, exulting in the rush of the once-forbidden caffeine. There are many, too many, piles that I have to sort through, I realize. When you are walking, zombie-like and besotted with deep love and sleep deprivation during those first months and years, the non-essential thinks get pushed to the corners. 

Only now, have I been able to muster the resources to begin to find my way, again. To sort through the dusty piles and put everything in its place, throw out the unusable, and clean out the corners. I never really understood exactly the toll that those years can take until I came through on the other side. If I can carry only one thing forward, with me, from this place, it is this... That there is always Grace. 

There is Grace in unswept floors and piles of forgotten laundry and never-ending mending. There is Grace in the yogurt stain on the wall. There is Grace in the dark hours of the night and in the heavy-lidded watch of late afternoon. There is always Grace. 

And, that, even now, there is Grace, for me, too. Grace enough to see me through that much-neglected laundry room, and beyond, to whatever the next thing may be. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Tale

If You Ask A Mom To Take A Nap

If you ask a Mom to take a nap, she will tell you that she needs to wait 10 minutes so she can switch and fold a load of laundry. 

While she waits, 10 minutes will turn into 20 because dryers are slow.

When the load is dry, she will start another load and fold the last.

When she is almost done folding, a small child will request her presence in the bathroom.

When the small child finishes his business, he will decide to get dressed.

When he decides to get dressed, he will want to wear a favorite outfit. The mom will notice that the matching pants are not upstairs.

When the mom goes downstairs to look for the pants, the small child will decide that he wants noodles for a snack.

While the mom preparing the noodles (in a very precise manner as determined by the OCD child), the child will discover that there is CHEESE on the counter, and will request some of this yummy goodness.

When the small child is occupied with cheese, and is waiting for the noodles to finish, the mom will notice that a corner of the kitchen could use some attention. Let the cleaning commence.

When the mom finally dishes out the noodles to the small child, another child comes over to investigate the cleaning and offers to help.

When the child offers to help, he asks a million questions about where to put everything. The mom is, however, VERY thankful for the help, especially since some sketchy things were uncovered. Ewwww.

When the mom and the child have the corner under control, the mom heads back to the laundry room, to discover that the dryer has only 15 more minutes.

When the mom sees that she has a few minutes before another load of clothes needs to be folded, she decides she has just enough time to grab some Advil.

When the mom gets herself some water, the small child will want some, too, with ice.

And, instead of a nap, the mom might just wish that someone had offered her a drink instead.

**this may or may not have been my FB status earlier today**

Happy Sunday, and I hope you got a nap!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

#onedayHH 2013

A day in the life... Documented in pics on Instagram.

On Wednesday, I joined Hollywood Housewife in her project to take one ordinary day, and capture it in moments with a camera, and post the pics on Instagram, with the hashtag #onedayHH. It was a pretty typical Wednesday around here, but I still got some pretty good shots - my considerable lack of skill behind the camera notwithstanding... *grin*

Here is my day.  One day.  One ordinary day.

It was so much fun to watch the days of so many people unfold, joined by the everyday-edness of the mundane, so much the same in the different permutations of the rhythms of our days.  And, I found, for all the ordinariness, it became something pretty extraordinary.  These moments are, truly, priceless.  They are not the ones we will normally remember...  No, they are the ones that we pass by, often in the rush to get to the next thing on the list, to cross off that chore, to answer those incessant questions, to clean up the never-ending mess.  Slowing down for one day helped me see the beauty and he holiness in everything we do.

If you want to read the descriptions and, perhaps, glimpse in on more snippets of my life, find me, and follow me, on Instagram at @kmcvey5.

Monday, October 14, 2013

If:GATHERING. Yeah. I'm There.

Something happened in my life today. Something amazing.  I was blessed to have registered for a ticket to an incredible event happening in Austin, TX this February -  If:Gathering.  I have been following Jennie Allen's thoughts on this since I first heard about it several months ago.  Her vision spoke to my heart in a way that I haven't felt in a very long time.  So many of the voices in the blogosphere that I follow were heading in this direction that I could not help but feel a nudge in my own heart.

My spiritual life has been, for too long, now, wandering through a bit of a desert.  I have not lost my faith.  Far from it.  I see everywhere how God's hand redeems and moves in the least expected and craziest of ways - it's one of the joys of where and how we are called to serve.  But, it's one thing to witness these things happening around you, but it's another to feel them in your soul.  Right now, I am planted in a place where I find it hard for me to be fed.  And, honestly, I struggle with that from time to time.  I realize that it's not about ME, but, it would be nice to find my soul lifted up every once in a while.  Those places have been few and far between, for me, in the last few years.  So, once I read about this movement, something in me leapt.  THIS is it.  These are my people.  This is my tribe.  I speak this language.  Lord, I need this.  Water, at last.

There were bumps along the way, as this vision took shape, and questions, as Sarah Bessey perhaps described best here.  Sarah gave voice to many of my own concerns, as I just don't quite feel comfortable with the Big Ladies' Conference model (even though I attended one a little over a year ago - mostly because Ann Voskamp was a keynote speaker).  Once again, as I read more about this vision, I found women speaking my heart.  Growing, pleading with the Spirit, listening. Women with shaking hands and voices, unafraid to grab a hold of the moment and be caught up in a Holy Rush of a whirlwind, about to take on the world.  The more I read about what God is doing, here, the more in awe I am.  I am just a smidge older than the original demographic (20-40), but I was able to be one of the voices that helped change the conversation to show that this was a call that spoke to ALL women, regardless of age.  This is a movement driven mostly by the 20- and 30-somethings, but, I have felt a part of this since I first read about it.  Am I a little concerned about "fitting in?" Yeah.  A little.  But I think this is about more than that.  Jennie has been honest about her struggles with demographics, and branding, and the coolness factor, and I see, in her, a true desire to reach beyond All. The. Labels. and lead women to meet God and one another where they are.  Jesus was very good at that.  And, that is what this is about.  Sharing Jesus.  Praying.  Reaching people Where. They. Are.  Seeing God move, locally, in our own communities. Sharing the message of Hope and Joy.

Read more about what If:Gathering is all about here and here.

And, my friend Laura read my mind and wrote a brilliantly about this very same thing, including all the relevant posts I was going to link up, so you can visit her at In The Backyard to read more.

And, maybe, pray about starting or joining an If:Gathering Local event near you!  I am so excited to see what God has in store.  Join me, won't you???

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pardon The Dust

Thinking about doing some writing around here, again.  (No, really.  I know...) I'm also probably going to be messing with the blog design and stuff, so...  Stay tuned.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Your Secret Name Read Along, Week 1

I am joining Marla Taviano over at her blog for a book study of Kary Oberbrunner's Your Secret Name.  Every Tuesday, we'll be discussing a couple of chapters from this wonderful book.  And, yes, I know I'm a little late this week, but Joshua has been sick, and I've not been able to put him down long enough to get two thoughts together, never mind compose and type a complete blog post...  *sigh*  But I digress...  This week,  we read the Introduction, and the first two chapters.  Here are a few of my thoughts so far...

I have grown up with many names... My birth name, for sure, but also many other Given Names, as Kary Oberbrunner calls them.  Unloveable, Forgotten, Unimportant, Not-Quite-Good-Enough...  The list is long and unimpressive.  These names can define me, if I let them, which I oh-so-often do, or they can wither away in the light of our true name, the Secret Name by which God calls us.  For many of us, we go our whole lives without learning that special name God has for us, and we lose out on the freedom and power that the gift of a Name brings.  We become a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, growing into that by which we are known.  Once we can still ourselves and learn to listen, and to accept, the new, Secret Name that God has for each of us, we can begin to throw off all those things that were holding us back from becoming who God created us to be.

This all sounds great, right?  Then, why is it just a little daunting to seek to discover that name for which we were born?  Could it be that it's just a little safer to stay with that which we know, those names which we wear like a faded t shirt or worn jeans, which are comfortable but ill-fitting? Why are we afraid to shed the rags and don the wedding clothes?  Because it is to a Feast that we are called, is it not?  My prayer, as I wander though this book, is that I may come to the place where I throw off the rags of my Given Names, and embrace the beauty and Grace of God's Secret Name for me, as I set my eyes on the work he has for me to do, and on the Feast He has promised those who serve Him.

Monday, December 6, 2010

1000 Gifts for Today

So many wonderful gifts to share today...

  • the first clean, white, ground-covering snow of the season
  • crisp, clear, still, sparkling air
  • superfans and silliness at high school basketball games
  • visits with cousins
  • the pure joy of a simple BIG hill and new snow
  • making birthday cake - from scratch
  • the gift, 16 years ago, of becoming a mother to one of the most amazing girls in the world
  • the warm, inviting scent of Indian food simmering on the stove
  • letting go of *my* ideas of a perfect day and letting it happen
  • being stunned and awe-struck by the beauty and complexity of my children