Thursday, April 26, 2007

The women slurped spaghetti, made with peppers, mushrooms, sausage, tomatoes. The women bunched together in the small living room. The women testified to the Lord's goodness in their lives. The women laughed. The women held a baby or two. The women sorrowed over a breast cancer in the room. The women prayed with hands touching her. The women hugged. The women connected in the kitchen before saying goodbye.

The toddler girl felt my hair as I carried her around. Her name was Taneisha or "Nana". Beautiful child!

I came home. My son and I prayed. My husband and I talked.

The glow lingers, and I still tug.

Here's a good word from this morning for this life:

When I said, 'My foot is slipping,'
your love, O Lord, supported me.
When anxiety was great wtihin me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:18-19

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I was so lonely for my son yesterday! I was so worried for him!

The women at the Thursday evening faith group speak about releasing your children to God: every day, release the anxiety which can grip you, let go, He can handle their issues. I understand to an extent, but I still want to defend them from the mountain lions which stalk.

Today I will try to be less wary, though, and more confident.

Monday, April 23, 2007

I've been in the throes of decision regarding school for Cody next year. I was offered a chance at teaching Creative Writing and Language Arts at an area private Christian school, geared for homeschool children. Yet in further thought, prayer, consultation, I realize that this school could not accomodate Cody and would most likely end in a negative experience. We've investigated the school before for him. I still remember the wave of concern visible over the administrator's face when I told him about the autism diagnosis. Although Cody is mild, yet he still would need some grace provided in the form of patience and love and time. He doesn't fit in the candle holder there.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a Christian school who could make room for all types of children? In Little Rock when I looked, there was one that had an outlook like this. However, the slots were full.

As it is, another plan is in place for Cody for next year, which includes a few public school hours and some tutoring in math and an emphasis on Social Studies and English at home. One door closes, some will open.

With the Virginia Tech specter in our minds these days, I pray that children who don't quite fit in will not be even more ostracized due to a fear or distrust issue. Protect our special children, please Lord! They need a full scoop of directed love, mercy, grace. Amen.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Laughing Song
When the green woods laugh with the voice of joy
And the dimpling stream runs laughing by,
When the air does laugh with our merry wit
And the green hill laughs with the noise of it;

When the meadows laugh with lively green
And the grasshopper laughs in the merry scene,
When Mary and Susan and Emily
With their sweet round mouths sing Ha, Ha, He;

When the painted birds laugh in the shade
Where our table with cherries and nuts is spread,
Come live & be merry and join with me
To sing the sweet chorus of Ha, Ha, He.

William Blake

This week has caused a need for a laughing song. William Blake writes in his Songs of Innocence and Experience about the division within us : the reality of innocence blurbing out within a reality of experience and its grief and pain. There's both. We retreat again and again within us to a longing of a world without guns, to a place where there's laughing, and childhood awareness of joy. We need it now and always. We need a song about laughter, although we know the song of tears too.

May the hope of a future lessened burden of grief somehow land upon those who are deeply grieving over the loss of innocence which can never be erased from their experience. Amen.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

This is a calf who lost his mother quickly. Are you my mother? he asks Cody.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Bo refuses to get involved, remembering the last time he chased some cows, he got whooped. He sits and watches the yummy testicles fly. Disgusting!
Cody "turned" / took on a big worried Mamma Cow with his stick and won! She was coming right at him all alone by the corral as she tried to return to her calf. We were all watching him, wondering, if he would be the one to turn and run. But, he didn't; he faced her and inched his way towards manhood that day there on the farm, working cattle like the men (and teenage girls).

A check for the granddaughter cowpoke

Someone earned her keep at the bi-annual cattle drive! It was important to look glamorous as well while filling the blackfoot vaccine and pouring the blue wormer on the cattle's back.

spring break in the Ozarks

Around this time, as we pull into my parent's lane after a 3.5 hour drive, we are exhausted but exhilerated. The sounds and the smells of the fresh country swamp our weary city senses, and we always roll our window down, no matter the weather, to let it engulf us and declare us: Hillbillies once more! Yeehaw!
Here are the kids; the daughter insists that it's high time for the not-so-little brother to learn how to do his time at the gate.
The daffodils to the left were planted by my great-grandmother Vietta, a beautiful woman who once was engulfed by the beauty of this land too.

A Lady Reposeth

Sunday, April 15, 2007


The question of purpose likes to fling itself full-force into one's face periodically. It especially likes to choose a time when the weather has swung into bleak coldness as it did in our area this week. I've been a scurrying figure, holding on to a tree,trunk,stump,branch,twig until late Thursday, I felt a snap, and I was hurtling through space. (Btw, I've always felt so much like a Virginia Woolf character when this happens. I can't even read her books at times because of that connection I feel to some of her people.)

The question of purpose, of connection, of non-random plans was at my throat again due to some prompting that happened at a couple of groups I attended on Thursday. It had been building too. I sat catatonically afterwards on my red couch with my husband peering at me in concern. "What's wrong?" he asked. "You couldn't understand," I said. And the intense questions became mixed with marital issues until I had to get away and collapse unhappily and troubled to sleep. He didn't know what to do.

The morning, cold, came, and I could barely function. I was confused and within the fog. My husband left early for a men's group from church, and I asked him to have them pray for us. Later an online Bible study prompted me to read a chapter in John which held the verse: "I am the light of the world. Those who follow me will never live in darkness." I held it to my forehead and cried and prayed for the light to remain in me and to shine forth, despite the night of confusion. He is our constant help, the Bible says repeatedly, in time of trouble.

The question of purpose had stared me down, mocking that it was even a possibility, taunting me by saying that my life was just a series of random events which had only the meaning given to it by a personally subjective method. I had found out on Thursday night that even women who had no belief in God/Christ, even many of them had a strong sense of their purpose, of corresponding things which reaffirmed their identity and activity. After this group, I went to a faith group where lovely emphatic black women were saying parallel things but in the beautiful language of faith, with conviction and empowerment, and hope and love. Coupling the belief with a belief in a caring Deity, I knew they held the best possibility, the most light.

Meanwhile, my sense of these things had increasingly decreased. My belief in transcendence, in God's design, had been skiing down the mountain towards the fall-off cliff. Yes, He allows me to swerve and stay safe, yet I've gotten closer by some habits of unbelief and skepticism. That night, I felt like I had plunged off, because I felt that I really had no sense of control in how to believe in these things. I just didn't much.

The day went by, my husband brought me flowers, and we went out to a movie, and we were close. I finally told him bits of pieces of some of my load. He seemed to take the time to listen. That part was helping me. He was kind and caring, a gift.

Then, on Saturday, I went to a local folk festival with a friend. During the lunch break, we talked about some things, and I shared with her some of my confusion on the question of purpose and correspondence of things for that purpose. I shared that I had a hard time believing in that in a highminded way, but I wish that I could. She shared her view and questions, and then she told me that she thought I had a purpose of guiding others, of touching others in a unique way, of being a friend that's needed in other's lives. I have a habit of shrinking back and not receiving these things, which I did, shrink. But, I thanked her and remembered a few instances where I have been necessary to others. Of course, I know that I'm necessary to my children, but aren't all mothers? Nature requires it. Why do I minimize things?

The conversation helped me, though. As I ran this morning, I thought of it, and I thought of God's touch in my life. I always think of the positive things as gifts, and I'm always a grateful recipient. Yet, I stop there. I felt like God was telling me this morning to not stop, to understand the the connection between the giver and the gift. A gift cannot be random because it always issues from a giver; it always issues with a name on it: To Teri: a friend; To Teri: a talent; To Teri: a loving family; To Teri: food; To Teri: light. Therefore, a gift from a giver must logically involve a reason and most likely a purpose. A purpose to accept, like a gift.

I still feel like God wants me to continue and not stop there but, at some point, to understand more and fully accept my part within His purpose, regardless of whether that simply involves who I am now and what I'm involved with. Or, perhaps within something else down the road. I'm opening myself up to that. I prayed for more certainty and confidence again within that.

The light is shining more here in the middle of Missouri. Those dark times are telling. Several gifts for sight were given to me. I pray that we can all follow the light He intends for us to follow.


Monday, April 09, 2007


It is Monday morning, very early; I've been a bad blogger lately. My head is filled with tunes these days instead of words. I find myself going to my bed, opening my mandolin case and songbook, and working on "Arkansas Traveler" or "Irish Washer Woman" or "Black Mountain Rag". When I went to the Wednesday evening jamgroup, I was incited by the melodies once more. Thus last week's pattern was 1) picking, 2) penance; 1) picking, 2) penance. My picking was glorious; my penance was housework and time spent with family members. That was good, yet I must confess, my fingers wanted to be picking. My dad has bequeathed a hopeless, helpless life of taunt strings and melodic challenge.

Yet somehow a life was managed, and now it's a new week.

I found time to begin a wonderful new book called "The Yellow Wind" by David Grossman. Beautiful, lyrical, haunting, impactful ... and, I'm only on Chapter Two. Check out some excerpts at this site.