Friday, December 02, 2016

Munchkin Mobilization and Move

Well, the Wee One is doing fun things now...he hasn't so much discovered how to crawl as much as he knows how to go into "front leaning rest position" (aka plank position for those civilians out there)  ;-P  and then rock back and forth a bit like a chameleon, and launch himself forward into a nose-dive!  He also rolls, goes up into the same initial position, but then scoots backward.  In short, Wee One is MOBILE!  It's amazing how much that changes...well...everything.  All at once, those papers I left on the floor are now terribly tasty looking, the lamp cord hidden behind the deck chair that serves as our living room furniture seems to have an attracting beacon on it that penetrates the attempted barrier, and if I fall asleep with him next to me on the floor in the bedroom, oi vey!  He will most likely have done 4 circuits, strewn his diapers everywhere, chewed on at least one until it's soggy as if he had worn it overnight, have bits of soggy paper from a warning tag that fell off the blinds....(oops), and be back, staring at me very intently from 1/2" away from my face.  Not an altogether unpleasant way to wake up, but before, I could have left him on any flat surface for untold periods of time, and he would remain there.  On to the next season of having a personal fitness trainer that is approximately the "height" of my shin....knee-high to a grasshopper....if I were one myself.  :-P

Our time here in the East is coming to an end.  As usual, I have mixed feelings.  We knew it would be brief, but I prefer to make connections quickly and deeply, regardless of the brevity of my stay.  Therefore, it's always so difficult to move to the next phase, even though I am so excited to move on and be a family all together at long last!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Motherhood

Nothing ever can quite prepare a person to be a parent.  Of course, we can always study, ask advice, collect resources, and make a plan of action our minds, but at the end of the day, when the months of pregnancy end, and a living, squirming bundle is cradled oh-so-uncertainly in one's arms, it's a rare phenomenon.  One suddenly feels as though she knows nothing and had no idea whatsoever all along.

I am loving being a mom!  Our son is a delight, and utterly adorable, even at 0100, and 0326, and 0515....you get the picture.  My years of sleeping through the night undisturbed came to an abrupt halt, and, though I do miss the rest that came with them, I wouldn't wish them back at the cost of erasing the cause of my sleeplessness.  The spit up isn't as bad as I remember it being from babysitting, and the diapers are no bother at all.  Well, there was that one blow-out on the airplane RIGHT before we took off, when we were surrounded by all men, and I was hyper aware of the smells and sounds associated with having a mess to deal with, and the diaper bag was conveniently located around aisle 43...while we were located on aisle 5.  But really, we have been blessed by a beautiful boy who gets bigger every day.

My favorite part of the day has become our nap times, snuggling.  I realize this season will be short indeed, and I'm so glad I get to enjoy them.  My most challenging life-change is the change in what productivity looks like!  I'm used to making lists of tasks and knocking them all out in short order.  I'm lucky now if I ever get around to writing down the list...because it usually has to be accomplished one-handed while feeding/burping/changing/soothing the wee one.

We have a big learning curve to swallow.  Some days, I feel as though we bit off a pretty big chunk.  But, LORD-willing, I will swallow it without choking too many times and savor the experience as we learn and grow as newby parents until one day, perhaps we'll look back on this moment and laugh at our awkwardness and struggles as if they were a mere memory.

Monday, November 30, 2015

La vida renovada

Starting life with new eyes feels so good.  I wish I were announcing that I had LASIK done, and I physically could see with new eyes, but I'm talking about drinking deep of contentment and joy again.  We choose joy, yes.  It is not based on our life circumstances, but there is something refreshing about when it bubbles in one's soul without having to very itentionally choose joy under heart duress.  This Year of Jubilee, I have hope restored, love restored, laughter restored, belonging restored.  It's a lovely season to be in.  God is so generous in His compassion, love, and goodness!

 I'm teaching for my fourth year, continuing to develop a Spanish program.  I had the opportunity to travel with a group of students from Helena Christian last year to Costa Rica on a missions project, and I look forward to taking a small group of my own students down to Guatemala this coming spring break to a recently-opened baby orphanage.  I love foreign soil, cultures distinct from my own, the opportunity to live a brief stretch of life with people from a completely different background.

Perhaps not quite surprising is the foreign culture, background, piece of soil God brought into my life this year.  I never considered West Africa.  But West Africa it is!  It's been a crazy ride thus far; crazy because of all the amazing connections, verifications of his character from a plethora of people who have known me for my whole life, or at least very intensely for a period of time, and unlikely web of circumstances that allowed us to even meet.  I would love to see a visual map of it some day....

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Transformation- Transformación

An echoing thunder torments the corridors of my mind
My senses awake, I feel the coming downpour
As a mouse feels the lurking talons of the 
Feathered shadow, hovering, thrumming.

Hovering, thrumming, strumming the poignant chords
Reverberating on the thin strings of the chest 
Cavity.  I sense a change, I feel the
Stirring of a new and unequaled challenge.

A new and unequaled sunrise marks the 
Arrival of a day fraught with 
Unexpected, the unfathomable possibilities
Discovered among the rich sands of adventure.

Sands of adventure obscure my eyes a
And I fight to clear them.  I want to 
See clearly now, and forever, avoiding
All traps that lie in wait for the unguarded.

My heart was supposedly impenetrable and guarded,
Believing the best and reckless in abandon,
But a thief tiptoed in with promises of strength,
Promises of beauty and a pact of forever.

The shattered shards of that pact of forever
Fell one by painful one into the weeping pool
Of abandonment and rejection and poisoned memories.
Why does the nightingale lose her song?  I'll tell you.

I'll tell you a tale of love's labour lost.
Lost in the rotting putrescence of selfishness.
Eyes blind to Truth and Love, and all good
And perfect gifts coming down from the Father of Lights.

The Father of Lights wrapped me in His arms,
Weeping the tears of my brokenness and
Feeling the weight of the vast ocean of woe
Upon His shoulders that were shredded for me.

His shoulders, His embrace, His compassion and
Abundant provision define my life with newness;
They are much more sufficient in the storm
I face than a thousand brittle seashores.

I have trudged those brittle seashores and weary
Of them.  The waves will not cease to batter 
Me, and so I must cling to the Rock
That will not shudder or shake or fail.

My faith will not be shaken and it will not fail.
I writhe in the struggle of my destiny, but
One day, soon, I will break through.  New 
Energy coursing, pulsing through my being.

And I will stretch, press into the pulsing energy
And breathe again the vibrancy of life and soar.

















Un trueno resonante tormenta las corredores de mi mente

Mis sentimientos se despiertan, siento el diluvio que viene
Como un ratón siente las garras acechantes de la
Sombra emplumada, sobrevolando, rasgando.

Sobrevolando, rasgando, rasgueando los acordes emotivos

Reverberando en las cuerdas finas del baúl del
Pecho.  Siento un cambio, siento inquieta
Por un desafío nuevo y inigualado.

Un amanecer nuevo y inigualado destaca la

Llegada de un día nuevo cargado con lo 
Menos esperado, las posibilidades incomprensibles
Descubiertas entre las ricas arenas de la aventura.

Las arenas de aventura nublan mis ojos

Y lucho a despejarlos.  Quiero
Ver claramente ahora, y para siempre, evitando
Todas trampas que les esperan a los expuestos.

Mi corazón era supuestamente impenetrable y bien guardado,

Creyendo lo mejor y imprudente en el abandono,
Pero un ladrón en puntas de pie vino con promesas de la fuerza,
Con promesas de la hermosura y un pacto de la eternidad.

Y las esquirlas desmenuzadas de tal pacto de la eternidad

Se cayeron una por una en el charco lloroso
Del abandono y el rechazo y las memorias envenenadas.
¿Por qué se la pierda su canto?  Le diré.

Le diré un cuento de un trabajo de amor perdido.

Perdido en la podredumbre del egoísmo.
Los ojos ciegos a la Verdad y al Amor, y a toda buena
Dádiva y perfecto don viniendo de lo alto del Padre de las luces.

El Padre de las luces me abrazó en sus brazos,

Llorando las lágrimas de mi quebrantamiento y
Sintiendo el peso del vasto océano de aflicción
Sobre sus hombros los cuales azotados por mí.

Sus hombros, su abrazo, su compasión y

Abundante provisión definen mi vida con frescura;
Son mucho más adecuados en la tormenta
Que me enfrento que un mil playas quebradizas.

He caminado arduamente aquellas playas quebradizas y me canso

De ellas.  Las olas no cesan de abatirme,
Y por eso debo aferrarme a la Roca 
Que no temblará, ni sacudirá, ni fallar.

Mi fe no será sacudida ni fallará.

Me retuerzo en la prueba de mi destino, pero
Un día, pronto, brotaré.  Nueva 
Energía fluyendo, pulsando por mi entero ser.

Y me estiraré, tomaré el néctar de la energía

Y respiraré de nuevo la vitalidad de la vida y me levantaré como un águila.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Un día de eventos desafortunados: A Day of Unfortunate Events

     I am somewhat resigning myself to being a gypsy the rest of my life.  My friend Laurie told me today that she thinks I'm destined to become a professional house-sitter, since I never stay long enough in my own house to count.  When my brother and his family moved in with me nine months ago, it was nice to not have to come home to an empty home full of broken dreams.  But by the end of summer, and beginning of another school year, I needed some more space and different sleep schedule to function for my job, so I moved in with a coworker in Frenchtown for almost four months.  And then, the plan was to move back into my own place...but that plan vanished like plans A-P always do in Honduras.  Another friend needed someone to housesit and care for her dogs and horse for her over break, and then perhaps until her house sells after the first of the year.  So, I moved out and in yesterday.  Today, I got up leisurely around 8:30 or so, later than I had planned, but feeling as though I still had ample time for all my plans.
     Laugh.  Chortle.  Weep.  Plans.  I meant to be up by 7, walk the dogs, unpack a bit more, eat breakfast, wrap Christmas presents, go to town for groceries, return, meet up with my friends who were coming to eat lunch with me and take a look at the little plowing/mowing contraption to get it working, plow the driveway, make a cake, finish picking up the remaining belongings from my most recent residence, carpool up the mountain to a Christmas dinner with my friends, come back, finish evening chores, and perhaps relax and read or practice some instrument, and go to sleep.  Breathe.  After blinking several times to rest from that terribly long, horribly constructed sentence, continue to see how my day actually turned out.
     Slept in past my wake-up time.  Walked the dogs, got the mail.  Started unpacking.  Left for town later than planned.  Got groceries, but realized that my friends would be showing up at the house before I did, so I texted to inform them.  Thought we would arrive about the same time, 'til I reached my car and realized one of my purchased vitamin items was actually already opened and missing half the contents, so I had to take it back in to exchange for an untampered-with item.  So, they already had fixed the issue by the time I got back.  No big deal.  Ate lunch, made the cake.  Friends left to go back home, and I made a mental note to go upstairs, check my email, and take care of an online purchase for a present, and then go out, finish afternoon chores, and leave for the friends' house.  Right.  So, I was supposed to be at the house to carpool up by 3:30.  I woke up, not having remembered falling asleep, as it was never my intention to do so, sometime around 4:00 p.m.  My phone had been charging downstairs, so I missed the many calls and texts and reminders and alarms to make it on time.  So, my friends being amazing like they are told me to hop in my car and make it to the base of the mountain ASAP, which I did as quickly as possible in the nasty road conditions on balding tires.  Made it to the base, parked my car at an angle so I could actually make it out of the snowy pull-out later on, and we were off.  Made it up without much incident.  Had a most lovely dinner and met a new family who recently moved up to that area from Pennsylvania.  All well and good.
     Very few spots can a person actually have cell service in that area, and even fewer on the way down.  We had almost reached the bottom of the mountain this evening post-dinner, when we received a call from our hostess, informing me that I had forgotten my purse in their house...with my car and house, and work, and all pertinent keys to life.  And it's an hour's drive in a 4x4 up the mountain to turn around and go back.  However, as we were passing by my lonely Flynn (my car's name), it was decided she would just bring me the purse when she comes down for work in the morning.
     Which means I will get up as any other work day a little before 6:00 a.m., carpool with my friend back up to the base of the mountain, meet up with my other friend with my purse, then unlock my car and bring it back down in time to do morning chores and feed and let the dogs exercise.  So, after switching vehicles at my friend's house in Frenchtown, she drove me all the way out to my new abode to feed the dogs then came back to Frenchtown for the night.
     And after lining out our plan to undo all my emptiheadedness today, I came down to my now empty bedroom and looked at my phone to set my alarm and realized with yet another lump of dismay that the battery is almost caput...so I went back up to ask for a wake-up call.  And of course, both of my chargers are up the mountains, one in my purse, and the other in my locked car.  Oi vey!  I think my brain took the term "vacation" too literally.  I need to figure out where it went and reattach it somehow!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Starting Over

     My sketchpad sits on the shelf, untouched.  My journal, the constant companion of the last couple decades of my life, has dwindled to almost nothing.  I wrote my first letter in over a year just last week.  I don't actually remember the last time I made time to just sit and read something interesting that was unrelated to my job or my schooling.  I hear a lot of mothers say the same.  Difference is, I'm not a mother.  I had expectation that upon getting married, my life would change; I would no longer have to fill as many moments with hobbies or pastimes, because I would be able to do things with my husband, and/or I would get to spend more time building our marriage.  However, after the first few weeks of marriage, I instead have spent the past two years trying frantically to glue pieces of myself back together, hoping against hope that the rejection and unfaithfulness on his part would be replaced with repentance and a new start.  At the end of a 2-year battle to save my marriage, I'm left on the side of the road with nothing to show for the lifetime I spent guarding myself, training, watching, learning, waiting in expectancy for something challenging and beautiful.  And yet, marriage IS beautiful.  I could see that with just the few weeks I spent as a married woman without a third party involved in the relationship.  It is worth fighting for.  It is worth standing up, though utterly destroyed on the inside, dusting myself off, and moving forward.

     I'm still in the uncomfortable place where I am not legally free yet, and still feel bound; I am still married, though he has not valued my fidelity, nor honored my sacrifice of life to help him start over, and continually asks me for a divorce.  I meet new people, and feel awkward telling them my full name, knowing it's only my name for a little while longer.  But God is faithful, when man is not, and He has begun opening my eyes to beauty and joy again in little spurts.  He has given me strength to see new loves or lives and not cry at the loss of my own love and the loss of dreams of my own family.  He has saved certain sunrises and sunsets that show His splendor and majesty, and has pierced my heart with His love and provision in those moments.  I no longer am constantly bathed in my own tears of grieving and pain; I can laugh again without crumbling into weeping moments after.  I have begun going on small adventures again, simply for the thrill of it.  

     I see a blank two-year gap that I wish I could make disappear, and I guess I almost can, though not from my heart.  It's the first major gap in my journal.  The first large expanse of nothingness in my photo diary, since I deleted everything that reminded me of painful things.  I think some days that it would be so nice to just disappear and start life over somewhere else, but then again, I already tried that, and it's very hard for me to "disappear".  I run into people who are connected to me everywhere I turn.  And I've met so many lovely people in Missoula.  And this year will be the first I get to teach two years in a row in the same spot.  I will get to live in the same spot for the longest period since 2003.  I'm close to family.  I can see good things for me here, though I never conceived for a moment I would end up in Missoula.  I still don't love the poorly constructed streets, but I keep my 3rd-world driving techniques fresh, I suppose.  So, to sum up, I have no idea what tomorrow will look like, or the next day.  I'm doing well if I can remember to breathe and smile at least once a day.  But there will be a day, with no more pain, and no more suffering....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

One day at a time...

Wow.  Don't really even know what to say at this point.  I feel pretty bereft of poetic thoughts and feelings.  Just sort of empty, yet overflowing.  I realize that paradox doesn't make any sense.  But I suppose that's how life is sometimes--we can't make sense of things all the time.  I certainly can't make sense of my life right now.  I don't know how to encapsulate the time left undocumented in anything that would make sense to the reader.  So, I'll stick to weather-like topics.
I had to leave my husband again for an unknown length of time to return to a job and a house contract here in the States.  I can always look back and think that I ought to have done some more research, taken more time, chosen a different process...but I have the here and now to deal with, so I guess I will tuck my shouldas, wouldas, and couldas away for a rainy day when perhaps I can share my life experiences with others in a similar season.
I am still working at figuring out a functional system here in Missoula in my new job, Spanish teaching at Valley Christian School.  Although I have to admit moving to Missoula was not on my bucket list, or even a preference list, or even a "like" list, I am loving living here!  OK, I hate Reserve, but who doesn't?  It's not the worst I've driven in, and even with traffic, I'm only 13-15 minutes away from work.  Plus, I get to keep my 3rd-world country driving skills fresh and active this way.  :-P  (Comment specifically intended for those who KNOW what that sort of driving entails!)
My coworkers are fantastic, my kids have won my heart already--(and keeping me on my toes every moment)--and if I ever find time to mow my ginormous lawn, I will have accomplished a full transition to life here...well, almost.  Once my husband gets to be here and not 3,500 miles away, I will have accomplished a full transition.  As it is, I am torn in half and constantly feeling a giant distraction gap somewhere in the functional portion of my brain and heart.  I wish somehow I could slice through the beauracracy of immigration and just have them make an exception for me, but I am but one of thousands wishing the same thing.  I do not want to be reduced to a whining, bitter waiter, but I admit that at times, I can feel only bitterness toward a system that really doesn't care for matters of the human heart.  I know that my God is bigger than man's red tape, but I still find myself wallowing in despair at times, feeling like the reality of Bairon ever coming here is more of an irreality, really.  One day at a time!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Who We Become

Lately, I feel as though I have somehow lost focus on who I was on my way to being. Do you ever find yourself in such a place? I am a firm believer that life is a journey, a process of continual transformation. Each decision I make, every day, impacts who I am becoming and how I will respond to life situations in the future. I do not believe life is about sitting on my derriere and waiting for the transformation to just happen, so I can wake up tomorrow with my wings totally unfurled, dried out, and ready to test the air currents. I desire to have a continual divine discontent...discontent with dulled consciousness of life and existence; I want to burn with passion in joyful expectancy of my destiny, and be living it along the path to reaching it. I will never reach it if I am not moving toward somewhere. I can't wake up one morning and expect to have suddenly arrived at my destiny. We're not designed that way. True contentment is having that joyful expectancy, with full assurance that God is moving and has us in His palm all along the way.
So why am I in this joy-sucking eddy in which I feel desolate and impatient? How did I let myself get stuck here? When did I stop running and sink into the quagmire of complacency? Why do I find myself dwelling on the "what-could-have-beens" and "what-ifs"? Life is not a formula in which I plug in the right variables and spit out the perfect product each time. We humans are a bit more complicated.
So, since I am convinced, (flawed logic or not), mistakes seem to only be permanently such if I don't learn from my poor decisions and stop doing them. Sin is sin, I know, and I am a sinner, though redeemed and a new creature in Christ. His blood has already redeemed me, and His hand continues to shape me as I go along. Do the little dirt flecks in the lump of clay that is my life truly ruin the whole piece? If I recognize those areas in my life that exhibit flaws, selfishness, false pride, rebellion, etc., and allow the Potter to poke them out with his potter's needle, and allow myself to be pliable in His hands, will I not turn out a beautiful finished piece in the end, tested and refined by the purifying refiner's fire of grace?
So, now to lift my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help, to focus on the Author and Perfecter of my faith, and persevere, praying for wisdom, learning to focus on what I want to become and living out the steps to get there, seeking first the Kingdom, and all the rest will be added to the richness of the transformation process. I choose anew to live life with vibrancy and passion, with my focus on traits I want to exude, not kicking myself over mistakes and struggles.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

El día del amor...and such sundry topics

I decided to be terribly cliché this year and post something in the spirit of romance and lovey-dovey poetry. I wrote these two sonnets some years ago, and might even post a third eventually, if I feel uber inspired to write a new one. Voy a traducir mis sonetos, aunque no tendrán la misma forma correcta de un soneto en español.

Mist
My love is vague and fleeting after rain,
Like twilight he is neither day nor night,
I often dream, beneath the stars have lain,
In hope he might transpire upon my sight.

Most oft he blurs the visage trapped behind
His cloak of swirling droplets. Just as I
Reach out to touch, he disappears on wind;
He comes and goes upon my ling'rng sigh.

On silv'ry threads he shivers, then he shines,
With kiss of light from quiv'ring gentle breeze
To tease and tug upon the lethal lines
But won't be caught; entrapped by none of these.

To see my love, await the coming down,
When fears and all obscurities are gone.

Neblina
Mi amor es vago y efímero después de la lluvia,
Como crepúsculo no es día ni noche,
Siempre que podía, yo he soñado debajo las estrellas,
Esperando que él aparezca en mi visto.

A menudo se desdibuja el rostro atrapado detrás de
Su capa de gotas remolinas. Así como yo
Llegar al tacto, se desaparece en el viento
Él va y viene sobre mi suspiro prolongado.

En hilos plateados él tembla, luego brilla,
Con un beso de la luz de un viento cariñoso
Al provocar y jalar a las líneas letales
Pero no podrán capturarleatrapado por ninguno.

Para ver a mi amor, espére la llegada del amanecer,
Cuando todos los miedos y las oscuridades han ido.

The Silhouette
When rays of sleepy sun come peek upon
The stretched horizon found to east of shore,
When darkness, fear, and dusk are found no more,
The morning after night is hailed the dawn.
My love to me is slowly taking on
A shape I see I think I saw before,
The vapored sunlight bright as gold does pour
Around his formless face. And with fear gone,

I revel dancing, gleaming soft delight;
We sway with hands entwined like rosy vine.
My love is dew that nestles close to grass,
Resplendent dashing valor blinds my sight,
In tiny glimpses, see this love of mine,
In air suspended. Time does cease to pass.

La silueta
Cuando los rayos del sol soñoliento vienen a mirar
Al horizonte que se lo encuentra al este de la costa,
Cuando la oscuridad, el miedo, y el anochecer se encuentran nada más,
A la mañana después de la noche se celebra la madrugada.
Mi amor para mí es poco a poco tomando en
Una forma que lo veo que creo que lo he visto antes,
La luz del sol brillante como el oro se vierta
Alrededor de su cara sin forma. Y con el miedo desaparecido,

Me deleito bailando, brillando el deleite suave
Nos mecimos con las manos entrelazadas como la vid de la rosa.
Mi amor es rocío que está ubicado cerca de la hierba,
Valor gallardo y resplandeciente me deja ciega,
En destellos diminutos, vea este amor mío,
En el aire suspendido. El tiempo deja de pasar.

Friday, January 28, 2011

When the mind is left to wander...

...it sometimes gets lost. No job for two months has punched me into a sort of time warp. I can most aptly describe the feeling as being "stir-crazy", which, for those of you out there who don't mind absolutely useless trivia, is connected to the Romany (Gypsy) term for "imprisoned". That's how I've felt some days: imprisoned by the excess freedom without any structure or schedule. That, and I've been living out of a suitcase since arriving back in the country, traveling regularly to visit friends and family, attend conferences, and share my trip with various groups.
Seriously, though, this month has marked several changes in my thoughts and behaviors, mostly for the better, so I think I've finally overcome the reverse culture shock period and have returned to my finding-joy-where-I'm-at phase. It's a much happier place to be, I've decided.
I got to dance for hours at the S.O.B Barn at MSU-Bozeman, attend the SALT conference in Butte, visit my Bozeman peeps for a week, swim at Fairmont Hotsprings with my family, ride my horse in the snow, pick up the violin again after a LENGTHY period of not practicing, and watch my little nieces grown and develop. So, it's been a great month, regardless of me being a jobless bum.
I have an interview in Richey, MT on Tuesday. Road trip! I'll see how many books on CD I can make it through. Oh, and on a reader's note, I highly recommend Aurelia's Thread series and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Good reads!