God is so good.

Well dear, internets and random readers, I’m working 40 hours a week and studying like crazy. It doesn’t leave a lot of time for reflection, and I think I’m getting older and antisocial or something… or maybe just plain tired.

This week has been a week of the unexpected. I just got back from driving a friend home due to a family emergency and was reminded how awesome and startling it is at times to recognize how in control of our lives God really is. I’m grateful that it was a day for recovery, healing, and perhaps the beginning of a positive change for my friend and their family. But God is so good. He doesn’t change.

On my own home front, my little sister just graduated from high school last weekend 🙂 It’s hard to believe that she is 19 and I’m 22 now. I remember so many things about her from our childhood even though we are three years and four grades apart, and I am so thankful to have a sister who is:

1)a girl who loves God.

2) not one of those girls who has a bunch of boyfriends or feels the need to chase after guys

3) a sweetheart whom I am consistently complimented for

4)someone I admire and value for being different from me because I can learn a lot from her

5)someone who doesn’t care what people think yet examines herself and proposes change she thinks will be beneficial and healthy. What a wonderful sister! She has grown so much since we were little girls together.

A random Christmas card photo probably at ages 4 and 1 respectively

The older I get, the more I cherish my family. I am so blessed!

 

Advertisements

Poetry, anyone?

Just some recent stuff…

Trees

I sit solitary
Watching the freezing rain
Blow and billow branches
From trees slick and dark from moisture.

I stretch my limbs upon the coffee table
And wonder if those trees ever rest
From defying gravity and the elements
Raising their votive arms
To the sky
The giver of sun and storm
Of raindrop hope and lightning death.

They do not question
Why it is cold
Or why they must go naked
For bone-cracking winter ice.
They simply reach heavenward
And never look back
Until their faces rot
They are struck down
The trunk of their body splits
And flesh decays

Yet even then they humbly bow
On cracked dusty roots
In homage to the force
That creates and devastates.

My Grandmother’s Cottage

I wish I could show you
But all I have are these
old fuzzy photographs

The car parked in front of the garage
where Grandpa’s extensive workbench was
and the extra fridge and freezer
frugally saved homemade meats and goods
for winter, or for Saturday morning coffee guests

No, that picture doesn’t do it justice.
You just see the corner of the house
and the stone path I played hopscotch on
up and down the small front yard.
It’s like I’m seeing it from the corner of my eye
instead of properly focusing on it.

That one’s from the kitchen window.
See the bird feeder?
Grandma used to send me outside to refill those
I think it was after her second hip replacement…
but this had to have been from before because
her clothes are out there on the line
and she still kept houseplants when she was there.
Pity you can’t see how neat and tidy her pantry was
Just a few feet left from this view.
I recall the simple cupboards, and I think I can
almost see the pattern on that floor
and her tiny worn loafers
in pairs beside the refrigerator
beside the doorframe to the living room.
I can almost hear her
contented humming from the other room
as she went about her day.

Oh, that dark brown carpet. I was in my Easter dress there
right in front of the table where she always had a jigsaw puzzle
to work on whenever she had a minute or two for entertainment.
I’m not sure, maybe I was 4 or so?
My sister Amy must have been around there somewhere.
Grandma was so good at labeling pictures
with that gorgeous script
but one of my 7 aunts must have taken this.

It’s really too bad you never got to see this place
It’s gone- they literally moved the cottage
off its foundation
and across town.

They built a larger ugly cottage where it used to stand.

One with the dust

God formed Adam from the dust.
I think He did it to remind humanity to maintain humility- ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
We fade in our temporal glory to rejoin the collective of life.
Dirt both grows life and decomposes that which was alive.

Adam worked the land after the fall
And although God made it difficult, He was still there; bringing rain and sun to nourish and sustain.
It is this dependence that again should strike humility in people from the soil.
Maybe that is why farmers are often described with “humble.”
I think they live so close to the soil, they cannot help but remember that they cannot control everything.

Farming used to be a common occupation; after all,
everyone needs the fruit of the dust.
I am even descended from a long line of farmers;
families who worked the land
tanned
cracked
calloused
weathered
skin.

I did not grow up on a farm.
My family was far from the dust
my father is allergic to…
Yet my mother would always take us to visit where she grew up.
I don’t think she did it to remind us of the land-
but I know it is what she loved
because it was home.

I must confess that
Somewhere in my young mind
The seed and smell of land fixed itself
And I was drawn to the common vein of my ancestors.

I work in the soil
Even though I dwell in a city.
My feet, shod with steel toes
Tread the dust that settles in me
like a plant taking root,
assessing all the creases in my skin
under my nails
on the sweat of my brow.
My hands destroy the life shell- now shroud-
of maize.
I look at my hands
tanned
cracked
calloused
although not so weathered-
and I almost see my grandfather’s hands
from when I was very young
and shucking corn
mercilessly sliced my fresh skin.

I am older now, grown from the soil
I am older now, having worked the land.
I am grown into humility-
Knowing the power of the elements
the power of God
the difficulty of the task
and the delight of completion.

O my soul, sprouted from soil;
reach heavenward until harvest
when we will be taken home
or become one with the dust.

Annetta

(another lit. class composition while listening to the prof. ramble about Robert Frost)

I hear her voice like aged wine
Rich with wisdom and strongly divine.
Her eyes yet pierce with brown strong stare
When the pain was not great and her spirit still there.
I recall the days she would recite and see
Long tucked away lines of classic poetry.
She was strong, this woman so dear to me
A hard simple life and a flowering family tree.
I know she is well, yet all the same
I miss her and keep her with our shared name.

It will be two years a week from Friday. I can’t wait to see her again someday.

My family makes me look normal and/or boring…

First of all, I have to make sure you know that I absolutely love my family. They are funny, sweet, rambunctious, and perhaps a little eccentric, but…. they are my family. Nothing will ever change that or my love for them.

That being said, I was on my way home yesterday when my 15 year old brother, Michael, called me up.

“Oh hi Rach- um just so you know, there might not be anyone home when you get there, but whatever you do, don’t open the fridge. Just don’t don’t do it. seriously.”

me: “I won’t be home ’til later later but what’s wrong with the fridge? Is there something bad in it?”

“no, the door will fall off.”

Needless to say, it was an interesting visit home. Apparently, the repairmen can’t come for a couple of weeks, so our fridge door is only functional for about four inches before it falls off rather suddenly. I’m pretty sure it’s somehow missing the bottom bolt.

To add to the enchantment of the evening, I got to hang out with my friend Stephanie from high school. We’ve both been busy living life, going to school, etc., but it was great just to hang out and enjoy catching up with one another. We tried this amazing norwegian cheese called gjetost on crackers, had fresh fruit and water, and then resolved to repair the fridge.

Armed with a sparse toolbox and parts and our imagination, we endeavored to make the door to nevermore fall on the floor. Yes, the Poe reference should be ominous, because it didn’t work. We tried for over an hour, eventually calling it quits, but not admitting defeat. It was comparable to life- sometimes the process is is long and seemingly fruitless, but life isn’t always about just the end product or goal. It’s about the people and the situations that draw us closer to each other, and closer to eternity.

Have I ever told you how much I love my family?

Because I love them a lot. 

I thought about how comical everything looked at age 16, and I realized, it wasn’t really that my personality changed drastically…but my surroundings sure did. For instance, tonight, I get a call from my little brother, saying he and mom and my other brother need me to come quick… because mom lost the car keys. You have no idea how many memories this triggered. Anyway, I get another call right before I’m out the door and they found the keys. They were in my mother’s glove. Her glove. Seriously. 

They get home, my baby brother is first up the stairs to report. “We got home; finally.” 

me: “well that must have been quite the adventure.”

him: “Yeah it was and now michael can’t get the key out of the ignition.” he grins and giggles. 

Michael is, of course, ticked off. He has his learner’s permit, so it bothers him when the car is being silly.

My mother, however, comes up the stairs and confides “He doesn’t know this yet, but the car wasn’t in park. That’s why the key wouldn’t come out.” I ask her if we can please inform him in the morning. Her response with a smile: “We’ll just wait until he gets all puffed up and then whip that out to humble him.”

I love my family. I am very glad I come home from school to visit them occasionally; they brighten my world =)

Baby brother & IMy baby brother & I being ourselves lol