Sunday, December 14, 2014

Aiming for Authentic Joy

Inspired by the masterful post “Harvesting Hope.” Here’s my parallel plea, my own prayer and desire for our family, and for my photo recording of our lives together, especially this Christmas.


I want time with you.  
I want to be with you
and to know you.
I want to hear you,
hear you share your heart,
your dreams, your fears,
that never-ending dream from last night,
or maybe it was a year ago?
Tell me all the never-ending details, please.
I'm here for you.

I want to hear you breath, 
chew (well, a little less would be fine)
and swing your pillow through the air to start battle.  
I want to hear you sing.
and sing with you.
I want to pray with you.
I want to receive with you
the grace that makes us all even, equal,
sinners, saved, for glory, by lavish, unfathomable grace.

I’ve said that I accept you- 
warts and weaknesses and all-
but I’d like to do that better, truer, deeper.
Please forgive me for when I’ve not
born with your weakness
but tried to insist that you come in line right.now.
You have born with my weaknesses too.
Please forgive me.
I’ve been shown so much grace.  
Oh to be an open vessel for His grace
to flow into, onto you through me.  
That’s what I want.  

And as for the laundry on the couch, 
it’s on our bed.
And the scribbles on the wall,
they’re on several.
And the crying, there will be much of it.
And hopefully much, much more laughter
(Daddy can make you laugh 
almost anywhere, anytime, can’t he?)

I want to pass you the camera, 
my budding photographers,
and thank you for the gift 
of your angle
and perspective.
I can’t capture for myself,
Daddy’s arms around me,
his kiss nuzzling into my neck
his words and hands that stroke away my anxiety
as he helps me to lift my eyes
and remember what’s true.  
I want to be gracious in giving to you
the chance to capture these treasured moments.  
Thank you for your skill that captures these 
glimers of this fast fading time 
that itself is a record of your growth and heart.
Thank you.
I can’t capture this all on my own.
I need you.
Oh I need you, and I love you dearly.

And I want to jump in with you on photo fun.
I’m sad that I don’t have hundreds more photos
of me with you.
Oh my babies!
I’ve blamed a dozen things but
I’m the primary changer needed.    
Thank you for wanting me with you
even wanting me to be recorded forever 
in digital family stone 
looking like…
the mom that I am.  
Thank you for loving me.
Oh I love you so.

And you know what?  
We still might resort to bribery.
Just take the chocolate promise and 
smile big please,
OK loves?
Do it for me, 
and for your auntie,
and for your grandma.
We’ll be so happy to have a few pics 
of hopefully our whole large 
and larger crowd
all smiling at once.
And if that takes a bit of extra encouragement
lets count it as a gift.
Just this once, 
we’ll won’t call it fake.
But the rest of the time your smiles 
aren’t going to be paid for 
with skittles or chocolate.
If you don’t smile,
{here kids: see me raise my eyebrows and sneaky smile at you}
you’ll be the ones to go down in family stone
and we will show the pictures in your wedding
of your grumpy face 
and it won’t be my fault.
And I’ll love you still.
We all will.

But I do most earnestly, deeply hope
that joy is the real story of our family.
I want to make joy with you, for you.
Hold my plans loosely and
believe the truth about 
our imperfect family life
being the stuff of real purpose, 
the place where forgiveness grows into life,
bears strength
and joy that’s just a taste of life beyond
these dark confines. 

I am the gladdest any mama could ever be
that I get to look for wonder,
sing into your sadness,
pray for peace and patching up, and
take Jesus as the Savior we 
everyday need, 
get up again when we fall down,
and aim for joy 
and live it
with you.






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