Let This Mother Mourn

Let this mother mourn.

Let her pour out
the sweet drink of merriment
and sip the bitter cup of loss.



Let her tuck away her shopping bags.


Let her pay her respects.

Let her trade her caroling.


Let her sing a dirge. 


Let her groan her heartbreak.

Let her weep for children.

Let her hug other mothers -


Unsure whether she is giving comfort
or taking it.



Let this mother mourn.

Let her refuse to be soothed 


by rhetoric,
comforted only by her God, 


and the soft warm skin of her children

nestled to her bosom
safe and whole.

Let this mother mourn. 


Let her object to the politicizing of her pain
and the sensationalizing of her sorrow. 

Let this mother mourn. 



Let her think of the mothers


who will never again bury their noses
in their child’s hair
after a bath-
sweet simple serenity. 

Let this mother mourn. 



Let her whimper and cry and wail.



Let her cover her head with sackcloth and ashes
in repentance
for violence.

Let her recoil from evil.


Let her refuse to speak the unspeakable.

Let her guard her heart. 


Let this mother mourn. 



And then, when she is done mourning -



Let her rise up

in prayer 

With a strong voice
Unafraid to speak up
for the children
Weighing in on the 
Issues of her day
[healthcare for the mentally ill]

[violent video games]
[prayer in schools]
[guns]
[God]

But for now,
Let this mother mourn.


thankful day five

struggling

[to be thankful]

overwhelmed.

ill.

burdened.

broke{n}.

nevertheless,

i.AM.grateful.

for the one who wanted to know me - so he created me.

wanted.

for the one who drew me as a child - sweetly wooing me.

pursued.

for the one who followed me into the darkest night - light and truth - and refused to leave me.

saved.

for the one who knows me despite my confusion.

known.

for the one who sees my insecurity and claims me as His own.

grafted in.

for the one who hears my cry, my anguish.

comforted.

for the one that never lies and never fails and rebukes the loneliness.

loved.

for the one who has prepared a place for me - eternal.

hopeful.

#thankful #day5

Word of the Year

You know how people choose a word of the year in January to define and shape their course?

I prayed and fasted and I had a hazy idea, but couldn't really define my word. I thought what came to me was too simple, and just coming from my own weariness.

It is now October, and I know, without a doubt, my word for 2012. My first instinct was right.

No.

NO.

NO!

I wish I had accepted it in January - meditated and practiced.

This year has been so difficult, and so much of it because I couldn't bring myself to say something so small.

No.

I feel like a child who asked for ice-cream, and my mother said no. But I really wanted it so I sneaked into the freezer and in my abandon ate the whole gallon.

I've made myself sick and angry and exhausted  - living out other people's expectations and dreams - filling other people's roles and ideals.

I esteemed them above God's voice.

I've considered myself dependable, reliable, and steadfast - willing to go the extra mile when other people wouldn't take the first step.

Now I see I was merely foolish.

Obedience could have spared me brokenness.

Misplaced worth, an abundance of pride, and my own headstrong will have brought me collapsed on my knees.

I am saying no.

No, I don't know better than you God. No I am not superhuman. No I am not better than anyone else.

No. I don't want to do this in my own strength.

On my own, I have poured myself out, and found that I am empty.

In Him I drink and drink and never thirst.

#no #late,butlistening

The Foot Story

Or The Periwinkle Crocs That Wouldn't Go Away

Recently, while cleaning, I dropped a heavy spiky toy on my foot. Watching it hit, I realized it didn't really hurt. Curious, I bent down and poked at my foot and noting I'd lost feeling in a small portion of my foot and ankle. I remembered that this was a possibility when my auto-immune disease reached stage 2. So I called my immunologist's office, and they made an appointment for 3 days out to examine my foot and leg. Eek!

Thinking of multiple doctors examining my foot, but knowing I couldn't afford a professional pedicure - I rounded up all the random exfoliating serums, soaps, lotions, and snake oil I;d been saving for such a time as this. For three days, I babied that foot and leg. I scrubbed, scraped, and glided in comfy slippers. I decided I needed a plan for appointment day so that my feet were at their supple best for the doctoral inspection.

Early, the morning of my appointment, I went to the Walmart by my house and bought cheap socks: extra thick mens black athletic socks on sale for seventy-two cents for the pair. I was thrilled. All morning I lotioned my feet and kept them elevated so they wouldn't be swollen when I arrived for my appointment.

No, I did not heed the warning signs.

When it was time to drive to my appointment, I lotioned one last time, pulled on my fluffy black foot protectors, and donned a pair of hideous periwinkle crocs that my mother had sent me for Christmas.  I figured that the holes and airiness of the shoes would keep my feet from smelling by the time I arrived at the doctor's office. I also brought along my most expensive-looking sandals from the back of my closet to put on once I arrived at the doctor's office.

Arriving in the large waiting room, I checked in and sat in the far corner away from the receptionist's desk and behind the pillar so I could covertly swap my shoes. I'd forgotten to plan for hiding and storing the the offensive crocs that I had never before worn in public. I didn't want to appear that I'd made any effort with my feet and shoes (because how ridiculous would that be?) so I put them under my chair and covered them with a magazine from the table.

Then, I took off one sock, and to my absolute HORROR my feet were covered in furry black fuzz. My feet looked like a caterpillar needing a cocoon to mature and beautify them.

The new socks had shed and melded together
with the lotion on my feet
to create a gooey sticky layer of fur
that was not to be moved.

Immediately upon my discovery, the nurse called my name and brought me back to be seen. I had an uncomfortable feeling in the bottom of my stomach, but I figured time was on my side. It was a doctor's office after all, a notoriously late one. I figured I'd wash my feet in the sink in the treatment room, and be sitting pretty before the first student doctor popped in with their antiseptic smile.

Immediately after the nurse checked my (unusually high) blood pressure and left the room, I ran to the sink and hiked my short leg up onto the counter and hopped until my foot went into the sink. I turned the faucet and ... nothing. Nothing came out. The sink was ornamental..

Panic set in.

I turned to my right, tiny packets of alcohol wipes. I began furiously tearing them open and wiping at my foot. Less hairy, but now red and stinging.

I ripped off the other sock.

A knock at the door, and in walks Dr. Young Handsome & Carefree with three of his immaculate colleagues.

I have my foot in the sink (that doesn't work), my leg on the counter, a stack of hairy alcohol wipes, and an ape foot. I began giggling, a little hysterically. "New socks" I tried to explain.

"Ah." - Dr. YHC

Another knock at the door, it's the receptionist.

"Mrs. Roe you left your shoes in the waiting room." "Me? No, those aren't mine." "Are you sure? They were under your seat, and the other woman in the lobby thought she saw you wearing them."

I looked longingly at my gold sandals blingy sandals (with a slight heel) as I accepted the musty periwinkle crocs onto my lap.

I learned some valuable lessons that day.

1. Never take off your socks in public.
2. Don't be vain.
3. Most importantly, never EVER accept a pair of shoes from your mother you wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing in public.



In My Dreams

I dreamed that my friends and I were sitting in a hospital waiting room. We were uncomfortably talking about getting old, and the symptoms of our various aches and pains.

After we had been waiting for a little too long, someone entered the room and told us the hospital was on lockdown because of a security issue outside.

It was immediately apparent to me that there was some sort of hostage situation.

The day began to drag on without any of us being seen, and without being allowed to leave. Information began to leak in through social media and television that we were all in danger. We had a common enemy outside. Friends of mine were called upstairs, and never returned. People began to talk about negotiating for their lives.

I got down on my knees in desperate open prayer. Michael was there kneeling with me. God spoke to me "Get up. Flee the coming wrath."

I immediately grabbed Michael's hand, and ran to the door. I turned over my shoulder, and screamed out to my friends "didn't you hear him? We need to flee!"

Heavy flooding water began to pour over the sides of the building. I could hear the enemy on the roof raining down bullets trying to pick of those who were fleeing.

I begged and choked, sick to my stomach - "Please. Please, flee the coming wrath!" As I looked over my friends, some sat playing on their smart phones, ignoring the crushing sounds of the water. Some sat in terror, but would not move. One looked right at me and rolled her eyes.

I turned back and Michael was safely out of the waters way. I propped the door open, and ran for my life.

Then I woke up.

This was my dream two days ago, and I have struggled with whether to share it.

I am not super-spiritual. I have some doubts, and perhaps tend toward cynicism when it comes to mystical things.

However, my spirit will not leave this alone.

My children would not sleep last night, and I decided to give in and pray and ask God if he was speaking to me through my dream. I looked up "flee the coming wrath" and found these verses Matthew 3 and Luke 3.


Matthew 3  - In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.  People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.“ I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

I admit I don't know exactly what this means for you, or for me. Perhaps God will speak a specific interpretation to someone, and they will share it with me. I will tell you this -

I am warning you! Flee the coming wrath! A day of judgement is coming.

I'm not telling you this because of any inherent goodness or stellar righteousness on my own part. I like, John the Baptist, am not fit to carry the sandals of Jesus.

I have been praying earnestly and desperately the last two days for God to cleanse my heart of all unrighteousness, and that I would produce fruit in keeping with repentance. I pray for all of my friends too, but of course, you have to work out your own relationship with God.

Love you.

That's My Car


After the morning school run a few weeks ago, I stopped by the grocery store with my toddler to stock up on his favorite snacks for the week. We bought fresh strawberries, apples, yogurt, and whatever colorful healthy foods caught his big brown eyes. After we checked out, and I denied him all the bright fun candies at the register we gathered our bags and walked out to the parking lot. He would be easier to manage in a cart, but he loves the independence of walking on his own next to me so I quickly and carefully guide the way. 

As we approached my car I could see that someone had rolled their cart directly behind my car and propped the cart against my trunk which I already needed to somehow open with my pinky and the power of my mind since my hands were full of bags, and I was focused on the loose two-year-old. I was incensed that someone could be so inconsiderate and lazy. Didn’t they see the carseats in my car? Didn’t they see how I’d strategically parked directly next to a cart return skipping the five closer empty spots in case I needed to come out of the store with a cart? Another few feet, and they could have properly put it away. Doesn’t anyone care about others anymore? 

Not even a week later I was leaving Target, and as I walked from the store I saw a young woman clearly younger than I, in good health, park a cart behind the first car in the row, and begin walking off to her car. I tried to make eye contact with her, but settled for shaking my head in disgust. I stomped my way to the cart return with my cart debating whether I should have called out to the girl - chastising her for her rudeness. Deciding that the least I should do was put the other cart away myself I turned around, and there she was parking another cart behind the first car! I put my hands on the cart, debating what I should say hoping to sound indignant but polite. I decided someone ought to teach her a lesson. 

I worked out saying “this is my car you’ve so lazily parked your cart on. Please show me and yourself the respect of returning the cart to its proper place.” Before I could open my mouth, she called out (in tears) “thank you so much for holding the cart for me!” Then she opened the door and lugged an infant carrier from the backseat of her SUV. There was a tiny, obviously preemie, baby in the infant carrier. She gently put the baby girl in the cart, and asked me if I would mind terribly holding the cart while she went back to the car quickly. She walked over, and pulled out another infant carrier. Setting the carrier on the ground, she stretched up on her toes and pulled a third carrier from the vehicle. Struggling she dragged both carriers over, and proudly with exhaustion in her voice proclaimed “I did it. This is the first time I’ve left the house since having the triplets.” 

I stood there with my mouth shut (for once) unable to think of anything to say. So I offered to push one of the carts around the store with her while she shopped. She graciously accepted my help in getting through the parking lot, but said she really wanted to prove to herself she could do this on her own. So I walked back to my car head low, wondering how and when I had become the inconsiderate jerk. At that moment I resolved to show kindness to others not just by returning their carts, but by remembering we all have moments we need the help of those around us.