Tag Archives: faith

Winter beach day

Last night I was on a mission. I was going to find our church.

I spent quite a good bit of time online comparing websites of local churches. Church doctrines and mission statements. I also spent a good deal of time researching the different denominations, trying to see what church would best suit my beliefs and our family. Ultimately, I know we just have to go out and try a few different churches to see what feels right. But part of me hoped to find one online, fall in love with it, and feel at home before we even stepped foot into the building. If I’m going to be brutally honest, I asked God to leave me a note on my kitchen counter to tell me where to go…

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But neither of those things happened. I now have a few in mind to try, starting next weekend, but I’m still not sure. And I think that’s ok. It’s a process.

But last night, I had worked myself into a frenzy of finding the church. It seemed so necessary, and so urgent.

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This morning, it didn’t seem so urgent. This morning what seemed urgent was all of us getting outside to breathe some fresh air. Salt air. I woke up remembering words and pictures that friends have recently posted about waves, rocks, salt air breezes and gusts. I had mentioned a few days ago to Lucas that I wanted to take the kids to the beach. {I’m omitting the part where he looked at me like I had three heads and thought I was a lunatic for wanting to brave the beach with the kids in the winter…} There’s one near us that’s a little protected from the elements, and there is nothing better for the soul than a walk on the beach. In any season.

So we went.

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We walked, picked up rocks and seashells, smelled the salt air and felt the sand crunch under our winter boots. We took deep breaths and held hands. We walked together, separately, then together again when Fynn called hey, wait up! or wait for me! Paige rode on her daddy’s shoulders, pointed at seagulls and directed where his feet took them. It was one of those beautiful chilly Sunday mornings that you can’t anticipate. They just happen.

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Years and years ago I attended a Congregational church with my father. I sang in the choir {shocking… my kids will one day laugh their heads off if they find out!} There was one church member, I think her name was Marion, but I can’t be sure. I forget how the topic came up, but I remember this vividly. We were standing in the basement meeting room, dawning our red choir robes that smelled of moth balls and whoever wore it the previous week, when she touched my arm and asked me to remember something. God hears you no matter where you pray, no matter where you worship.

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That’s the key. My search for a church, for a community to worship in, will happen. And I’m guessing it will be fruitful. But ultimately, He hears me. Whether it’s on a beach, in our little two bedroom apartment, or in a gigantic church. He hears me.

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It’s here

It lies in the simplistic, the peaceful

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In the careful grasps by little hands, on something much larger

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In red cheeks, snowman and polar bear pajamas, and curious glances

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It lies in the endless amounts of energy, fed off of parents excitement and children’s wonder

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It lies in the waiting, the patience of toddlers

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The learning, and acknowledgment that you might never fully understand

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The careful preparation

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and finger licking execution of gifts for a jolly old man

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It lies in all of us, always. It’s Christmas. It’s the birth of a baby. It’s Santa and magic. Hope, joy and peace. Keep it with you.

Merry Christmas!
~Corinne, Lucas, Fynn & Paige

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Needy

I snuggle Fynn in the moments before he goes to sleep. I stroke his hair. Run my hand down his cheek, my fingers trace the line in between his eyes that runs down his nose in an effort to help him close his sleepy blue eyes. He holds my hand for a few moments, then lets go, rolls over. He’s ready for sleep, ready for his space, ready to say goodnight. He’s had his fill of snuggles. I leave him to his slumber, and sulk out of the bedroom.

I always need more.

Tonight is my high school reunion. I’m not going. I thought about it, but the timing is not good – the night before Thanksgiving when we’re hosting, and now we have sick kids, and no babysitter. However, if I could take my {healthy} kids with me, I would have gone in a heartbeat.

Is that wrong?

People always want to show off their best sides at reunions. They are my best side. My best work. My everything. With them in tow I would had a built in shield from harsh conversations or off handed comments that might have occurred {though only in my head…} I have some wonderful memories from those years, and think fondly of the few good friends I had, but there are also memories that got shoved away due to painful content. For another day, another year.

There are times when I think I need the kids more than they will know. They are my protectors, my shield. When I’m out by myself, I’m not as vibrant and on the ball as when I’m out with them. With them, I want to be the mom they know, always. Relatively uninhibited, outgoing, fun. Not the shy, introvert that I’ve known and had a love hate relationship for 28 years.

They bring out the best in me.

They push me.

Egg me on to be better.

And yet they are safe.

In their absence during my alone time I wear a necklace bearing their names in hope that it reminds me of who I can be, who I’ve become. They’re with me always, in my heart and on my mind. I know I’m needy when it comes to my children, they’ve given me so much already. But it can’t be helped. It’s not that I wasn’t hugged enough as a child, or have a husband who doesn’t give me hugs. Neither one of those are even close to the truth.

When my children were born, I thought many insecurities would simply disappear. And some did. But some are here to stay. Thankfully it’s family and faith that gets us through them, makes us work at them, makes us stronger.

Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I sneak in to the comfort of Fynn’s bed and steal a few midnight snuggles, then drift off to sleep smelling his Burt’s Bees washed hair. I breathe him in and it brings me back to earth, back from late night panic attacks and dreary thoughts. He and Paige both bring me peace.

If there’s a twenty year reunion, I will probably go. Without the kids. By that time I hope to have grown into myself a little more, with the help of two little ones. The family my husband and I created. The best parts of us.

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Blue markers

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blue reminders of which way to go

sometimes on the right, the left

covered with leaves

rocks as confetti on the landscape

to stumble on

to slow us down

and though hidden at times

the marker is there

discomfort when strayed from, though not always obvious

giving in to the path, with its rocks and boulders, varying boundaries,

brings peace and solace

trust that it will lead to the destination

hope that He will lead

and He will

followed with sincerity and an open heart

a watchful eye to navigate the rocky path

He will lead through a blue marked, leaf covered trail

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Please visit Emily at Chatting at the Sky for more Tuesday’s Unwrapped. You’ll find simple moments and simple mysteries unwrapped in everyday life. Enjoy!

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Vulnerability and Sweetness

I’m having a rough day. Really rough. Didn’t sleep well last night, we made the decision to stay where we are another year (and that along has me feeling a roller coaster of emotions… happy to not be moving, but definitely a tad bit depressed to be staying someplace without a yard and with barely enough space for us), the kids are at each others throats and it’s not even nine, Fynn got up too early and didn’t make it to the potty in time… it’s just been a messy morning all around. Messy with emotions running ramped, messy with pee, messy with juice spills.

I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Lamott recently, because her honesty really attracts me – and she seems grounded in her faith even with confusion and chaos all around. To this confused woman surrounded with chaos, that’s a huge source of inspiration.

Anyway, in her essay Red Cords, Lamott says ” I don’t know why we have to become so vulnerable before we can connect with God, and even sometimes with ourselves.”

Isn’t that the truth.

Today I’m going to take the kids out for some fresh air (it’s in the 60’s after all!! In November!!!), say a few more prayers than normal, remind my husband to bring home a bottle of wine (cheap, since the next year or so is all about seeing how frugal we can be and if we can scrape together a down payment for someplace our own……..) and probably get a little weepy reading more of Lamott’s essays tonight. And sometimes that’s necessary. It’s not self pity, I’m thankful for all that we have – we are lucky in so many ways, but it’s becoming vulnerable.

In the meantime, here’s some total sweetness from yesterday. We had another great outside day… just gorgeous.

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Our Graceland

The music and lyrics have followed us from days of bottomless glasses of wine

and nights on an ancient porch

And sometimes when I’m falling, flying

Or tumbling in turmoil I say

Oh, so this is what she means

To the chaos that is wedding planning

no matter how small & simple the day

She means we’re bouncing into graceland

To quiet evenings stretched out on the couch

enjoying the view of an expanding baby bump, softly humming the same tune

And I see losing love

Is like a window in your heart

The album has seen us through road trips

harsh and soft words, long embraces and too quick goodbyes

Everybody sees you’re blown apart

Everybody sees the wind blow

Time passes and it’s still bringing us together

thanks to man throwing caution to the wind singing at the top of his lungs

In graceland, in graceland

To no one, then a lovesong, and finally as lullabies

and silly calming mechanisms

I’m going to graceland

And all of  a sudden we’re all dancing

on a rainy Saturday going about play and chores

For reasons I cannot explain

There’s some part of me wants to see

Graceland

It’s our soundtrack of the day

and all the memories of how we got here flood my eyes as the kitchen dance continues

And I may be obliged to defend

Every love, every ending

Painful and beautiful, it’s our happily ever after

Tears start as giggles take over two wee ones and a daddy in the next room

Or maybe there’s no obligations now

Maybe I’ve a reason to believe

We’re here. Happiness is ours.

We’ve made it to our Graceland.

We all will be received

In graceland

** Lines in italics are lyrics from Paul Simon’s Graceland, off of the Graceland album**

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Only human

The responsibility, alone, of having two children makes me stop in my tracks and want to hide at home some days.

It’s so much. They’re so little, so dependent, so… fragile.

And that’s why I have faith. That things will be ok, that there’s someone other than myself looking out for them. Because I can’t possibly be enough. I can’t be everywhere, I can’t be everything. There’s something more. That thought at least eases my mind and helps me through the day.

Even just watching Paige. It’s a miracle we haven’t been to the ER for either child, especially Paige. She has NO fear. Fynn at least thought about things before he did them – like jumping from the couch to the foot stool or something like that. Paige doesn’t stop. She just does. From chair to chair, from table to chair, from couch to who knows where, the girl is in constant motion.

I’m thankful that someone is always watching her, even if it’s not me. I try, but there’s only so much I can do. And I’m ok with that. I’m their mother, and I try my best, but I’m only human.

I hope they know that. And are thankful for that.
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