Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Being Jesus

I feel like such a wimp for getting down about life. Last weekend was the Barf-O-Rama...(not my favorite form of weight loss)...the house is still in shambles...laundry piles to the roof. It's snowing again and there is more to come. The icicles are beginning to look more like iron bars trapping everyone inside for days to come. Even my tough New England neighbors have "winter anxiety" and that horrible "hunted" look about them. "Cabin Fever"...my Oregonian friends know this well, but I have to say that I have never experienced it like this before now.

Yet, something surprising happened this morning. A little glimmer of hope. I went to my neighbors house to pick up her daughter for school, (we carpool), and she started telling me about how hard these days have been for her. I listened, and really didn't have much to say except when I told her that I cried when Aaron told me that we have another foot of snow coming. She actually ran over, put her arms around me, and gave me the truest hug I have had from any new friend since moving here. "I'm so glad I'm not the only one!" she cried into my shoulder.

That shocked me. Here I am racking my brain about how to reach out, how to share, how to be a light...and all she needed was someone to simply relate with how she was feeling.

Then I thought, isn't that what brings us to Jesus....He came here, He walked here, He suffered here...He understands. And that is why we trust Him with our struggles. He even asks for the weight of it all to be shifted to His shoulders.

I hope I was Jesus to my neighbor and I pray she comes to cry on His shoulder.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"You do so much for us!"

The Chefs
My Breakfast

Abby Sue & Ben had a "Snow Day" one morning when Zibby had to go to preschool, so I let them stay home (a new adventure these days) while I drove the littlest girl to school.

When I came back I noticed a sign on the door that read, "A French Diner". I came into the house and was welcomed by the cutest of chefs and the most beautiful breakfast waiting for me on the elegantly decorated kitchen table.

"You do so much for us, we wanted to make sure you sat down and ate a healthy breakfast today."

I will say that the giant salad with radishes and chunks of carrot was a little hard to choke down that early in the morning, and the homemade juice a tad bit suspicious. Overall, I could not help but feel flooded with love for my precious Kookies.

Grace comes to mind.

I have lost my temper more than once with each of them lately. In fact my reactions have been downright ugly. Even on that morning I left them with an ear full of complaints.

To be welcomed and forgiven by them was humbling.

Side note: The kitchen was even clean!

But always my baby...

The littlest Kookie went off to preschool a couple of weeks ago. We found the sweetest place for her to make new friends and treasured memories. Little Lambs School meets at one of those quintessential New England churches...tall white steeple included. The best part is that at this particular old church the Word of God is taught and the love of Christ is felt the moment you are welcomed into the pint sized classrooms.

So, off she goes...two mornings a week. 5 minutes of apprehensiveness....and then it was, "Goodbye Mommy!"

Having kids is all about letting go, from the moment of conception.

I'm letting go, but not without a little struggle.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Snowy Day

The back woods
Covered porch
Puzzles in their jammies
Lottie & Zibby
Blankets of snow

Piles of snow everywhere as far as the eye can see. I had a favorite book when I was a little called "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. My kids now know it by heart. As a 5 year old living in sunny southern California, this book seemed almost other worldly to me.

I feel like I am living in that book. "The snow was piled up high along the streets to make a path for walking." In fact the snow banks are so high it's like playing Russian roulette every time you pull out into traffic. Zibby is often heard form the back seat, "whoa mommy, dat was a close one! You should be more careful!"

"He climbed up one tall heaping mountain of snow and slid all the way down." Almost everyday the kids can be found sledding, climbing, and even tunneling their way through the snowy moonscape just outside our front door. We had to hang up extra hooks for all of their snow gear. I feel like the laundry load has doubled, the floors are covered in snowy, salty slush residue, and someone is always searching for that ever elusive glove.

"That night when Peter went to bed he dreamed that the sun had come out and melted all the snow away, but when he woke up his dream was gone. New snow was falling as far as the eye could see. After breakfast he put on his snowsuit and called to his friend across the hall and they went out together into the deep, deep snow."

As far as life goes here, it's still lonely and barren, but also still, quiet and beautiful. I'm learning to embrace the winter outside and in me. It takes time....but I'm hoping for a glorious spring.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Planes, Trains, & Automobiles

Waiting for Papa & Gramma
Duct tape art gifts
Waiting for the T (our subway into Boston)
Paul Revere's house
Welcoming the New Year!
Sparkling grape juice toast with Papa
The Vermont Country Store in Rockingham, VT.
An outhouse..looks like a chilly way to go to me!
The Vermont Country Store in Weston, VT.

The plan was for Papa & Gramma to arrive on December 27th direct from Portland....but God had something else in mind and decided to cover New England in 22 inches of snow just the day before they were to arrive. Logan airport shut down and my parents had to find a way to Boston...and find it they did, 24 hours later via Seattle, Washington DC, and finally a more than 7 hour train ride along the eastern seaboard to our part of the country. Welcoming them off the train in the freezing cold, jumbling suitcases, and bounding grandchildren will be a memory that I treasure for years to come.

Since they have arrived we have dragged them over hill and dale, The Freedom Trail in below freezing Boston, pizza on Federal Hill in Providence, New Years Day to both Vermont Country Stores, coming to our new church, having dinner with our pastors and their families, Zibby's first day of preschool, and the list goes on and on....no wonder they are still in bed as I type.

Of course what would a true Harrington visit be without someone getting sick???? Gramma came down with a stomach bug last night. Then Abby Sue woke up with the crud and Papa decided to join in the fun this morning. I think that the rest of us would rather not be in their club...so I guess we will take are Que form above and slow down a bit.

I'm dreading Thursday, when that big 'ol plane swallows them up and takes them far away from us again.

But...this is the day that my Jesus has made so I will make the choice to rejoice and be thankful for all that He has blessed us with.

(I'm secretly praying for another snow storm that shuts down Logan again anytime before our goodbyes.)