If I continue waiting to write until life is back to normal and my heart is steady, I am unlikely to ever form a complete sentence again. So here we go.
But the thing is, really, my heart is plenty steady. Despite the massive unknowns and the very real and fresh grief in our family, I am so thankful to be physically home and to be held in every way by God. There is so much more to say. I promise to not be vague forever.
Let’s nibble at the day to day things for a bit.
Handsome and I have been tiptoeing into Christmas and it feels nice. It’s important, especially when at first you don’t feel like doing it, you know? I guess it’s all about discerning rituals and traditions apart from cultural obligations. Do what feels good and right. Let it all serve you and your family, rather than become your master.
Immediately after a bizarre and beautiful Thanksgiving with family, we put up our tree, festooned the outside of the house with lights and our Snoopy garden inflatable, and started adding a little more every other day or so. Paperwhite bulbs are inching their way skyward, a sure sign of winter here. A variety of Christmas music plays almost constantly (really loving Sia’s album). More wrapped gifts appear downstairs every day. Neither of us will claim responsibility.
We have accepted more invitations to socialize than I have felt “up to” accepting; and after almost declining each one, every single time I come home so glad. So happy for the loving energy we share with friends and strangers, so refreshed to be away from the farm for a few hours, just to remember that life and the world are big and expansive. As much as I love it here, I always love it even more when we drive home.
I have to mention our dear friends Mickey and Kellie. We’ve all become acquainted sort of by chance (if you still, after all the ways life happens, believe in chance). Now they are part of our fabric, plain and simple. They pray for us and with us. They open their hearts and offer love and support, advice when needed. They feed us both incredible meals and much-needed Truth. If our friendship is an accident, then it ranks among the best in life. A funny thing is that we have precious few photos together (except for Halloween!) because even a small event tends to grow into a leisurely five-hour conversation, all four of us talking and listening and laughing. You know that popular graphic floating around, “Do more of what makes you forget your phone,” well that’s time with Mickey and Kellie. Straight up. So, not many photos. Ha!
We have joined in with the Jedi OKC folks twice recently. Once to dress up for the District Attorney’s Christmas party for foster kids in the OKC area. This is an incredible tradition. Then again for a small town Christmas parade in Blanchard. The weather was merciful and the crowds were so happy and sweet. I am always proud to be with Batman, even if he is embarrassed that when I throw candy I tend to peg kids right in the face.
The Apartment has become Santa’s workshop in new ways this year. Besides sewing (I’m having lots of fun making gifts this year, fun creative surprises, not so much selling aprons right now) the Apartment is a gathering spot. Klaus plays with his myriad toys while I sew or wrap and Handsome draws and paints. Adding a television to this big upstairs room means we can watch Christmas movies as we dabble. It’s all lots of fun, and I hope it becomes a habit that stretches beyond December.
From a practical standpoint, it’s nice having all of our explosive creativity located in one big, spacious room. It’s decorated and cheerful here but still somewhat “contained,” haha, so the rest of the house stays neat day to day.
Running has been a joy, not a chore at all. Most mornings, right after Handsome leaves for the Commish, I make the bed and wipe down the kitchen, feed the animals, start a load of laundry, and then lace up. Six to eleven miles per day had been my sweet spot, but I am running without a plan this month. Just enough to feel good day to day and keep my heart beating evenly. I have done lots of crying in these solitary hours, and it’s a very good thing. Better runners and more prolific writers than me have already expressed how the physical act of running and breathing is like a mediation, and I will add to that: The privacy of prayer when you are outdoors surrounded by nature is just going to church, plain and simple.
Speaking of running! Yesterday evening we drove to OKC to join a few dozen local runners for dinner at Hideaway Pizza. Two of my friends plus more have some experience with the Hanson brothers’ marathon training method and have offered their mentorship to those of us who are new to it. I’ve read the book and have already become fascinated by the science, so listening to real life success stories just got my blood pumping for real. I will keep you guys posted on this, whether you want me to or not, ha! Marathon training starts on Christmas week.
Our kitchen’s abundant baking drawer has been restocked now, minus pecans, almonds, and walnuts. Exactly when those items tripled in price I don’t know, but if you have an affordable local spot to suggest I’m all ears!
The Lazy W baking list is long and happy this month. Today a small stack of blank pizza boxes should arrive, meant for packing the treats as gifts. Very excited about this. Hopefully, I’ll soon be joined by a special sous chef or two.
Music is helping me a lot lately. Traditional hymns like “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” especially this line…
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in Thee tonight.
Also Sia’s album. One song in particular is Snowflake. She croons…
There’s noone like you so I’m gonna hide you my sweet.
Keep you till winter when you won’t be needing me.
Snowflake don’t forget us…
If I were a betting man I’d bet a million of you.
There’s no way around this, the only way now is through.
Friends, life is good and beautiful. Love is as powerful as ever. Prayer works.
I am here to celebrate the little victories and many pleasures afforded us, despite our mistakes and despite the fears looming. But I am also here asking for your prayers. Our beautiful girl is in trouble. We love her so much, it is excruciating, and no matter how busy we stay, she is at the forefront of our minds every minute of every day. She is far away but always in our hearts, often in my dreams, in the background of every conversation, every project.
God has taken so much out of our hands, we have no control right now. But He does. And we believe that He is drawing us in and holding us tight, guiding our beliefs and saying “Witness Me,” watch what He will do for us, for her.
That’s about all I can write this morning. It’s after six now and the roosters are crowing. Another full day is cracking open, and I feel God nearby. In Colorado, too.
Merry Christmassing, friends!
Talk again soon.