Month: June 2015

I Didn’t Know It Would Look Like This (Otherwise Entitled: When Fostering Makes You Sweat)

I Didn’t Know It Would Look Like This (Otherwise Entitled: When Fostering Makes You Sweat)

The fits. The tantrums. The meltdowns. Eardrum piercing screams…from rage…from fear…from plain. old. confusion. Little fists swinging. Marks from little teeth. Which brings me to the sweat. Oh. Holy. Disgusting. The sweat. Rivulets racing down my face…my back…my knees. My knees, people. I know it’s […]

She’s My Mom, Too

She’s My Mom, Too

  “She’s my mom, too!” The familiar refrain floats to my weary ears. I walk around the corner, where Joy, my three year old, grins up at me and then looks over at her two year old foster sister, words sweet as honey on her […]

Love Stories and Life Stories and Just Plain Living

Love Stories and Life Stories and Just Plain Living

He turned, agitated and glanced over at Grandma’s chair.

“I need to give Grandma a kiss,” he said as he began to heave his large frame out of the chair. I grasped his arm and helped him as he wearily tipped back into his chair. And sighed. He didn’t even look at me as he uttered the words:

“Go give your Grandma a kiss for me,” he said, resignation evident in his words.

I swallowed hard as I stood up and went over to lay a kiss on Grandma’s cool cheek. She winked at me, and shook her head, a small smile gracing her beautiful, wrinkled features.

Sitting heavily back in my chair, I grasped Grandpa’s hand as he drifted off to sleep. I studied his weathered hands, saw how they shook more than they used to. Once he was snoring softly, I eased my hand from his grasp and quietly stood up…learned maneuvers from four children and twelve years of putting kids down for bed. I slipped into the chair next to Grandma and grasped her hand as I asked questions about “the old days.” How she loves to sit and paint word pictures of days gone by. More and more she speaks of growing up and speaks words of longing for her hardworking mother. Her last words stuck in my head long after I turned my van out of the care center parking lot.

“I’d always thought I’d write a book some day.”

I imagined her blue lined hands with their crooked fingers penning a story. Oh but hadn’t they already, really? I think of the way those hands dipped in and out of hot, soapy dishwater and how they grasped garden tools. I think of the way they tucked us into covers, tirelessly coming back in through the night to make sure the blankets were still secure around us. I think of the way they hold on to Grandpa as he leans in, perilously I might add, for a kiss. I always kiss her goodnight, he tells me every single day. Haven’t they weaved a tale of love and beauty in the mundane, ordinary living? Haven’t they always been telling a story of loving well?

My other grandfather, he too expresses a fervent need to write down history as he nears home. To tell what he did, why he mattered. I wonder if he knows that he already told his story in a thousand dusty footprints leading to a barn and his beloved horses. How the story of oatmeal cookie crumbs fill pages in my own children’s life stories.

And don’t we all want that? To tell our story? As we said ‘yes’ to a unique calling recently, I knew my life would be full. Beyond full. And as I looked forward in anticipation, my heart quietly grieved for the loss of time. Time I could type in these words of mine. As if life hasn’t really happened unless I get it down in ink. And it’s true…it’s been weeks since I’ve had time to write a full sentence. But maybe…maybe in this every day, ordinary living, I’m penning a story anyway…even when my keyboard goes untouched for days.

Maybe I’m telling a story of love and redemption every time I tuck in kids who quietly, tentatively call me ‘mama’. Maybe I’m penning in words of trust and hope every time I stop and breathe and respond with quiet, calm words at irrational behavior. I guess it could be true as I blend together a family, I could be writing teaching words of patience…failure….and sweet grace. Maybe every stroke of a forehead, every weary arm from shouldering toddlers, every dish prepared and load of laundry done is painting a story all on their own.

Maybe the life I’m living tells a greater story to one or two than thousands of my words written between two covers.

Yes, couldn’t my story be penned in the pages of these littles’ souls? Couldn’t I tell people a story by loving them well?  Ah, Father, help me make it a worthy tale.

gpas hands