Twas the end of the summer,
It just wasn’t right.
Every beach chair was packed up,
And so were the kites.
Last grains of sand,
Shaken out of the flip flops.
With dim hopes that fall shoes
could be found in mall shops.
The children were crying
all mad in their beds,
With visions of homework
crammed in their heads.
And papa in his lounge pants,
And I in my shorts,
Were ready for anything,
Definitely done making “forts.”
When checking our phones,
To see what’s on our plate,
We couldn’t believe it,
It was already past 8.
Away to the kitchen,
I made a mad dash.
To see if we had snacks.
“Oh no, forgot the trash!”
The moon was all shiny,
Its man poking fun.
“Summer is over,
caput, gone, YUP, done!”
When thoughts to my wandering
mind did come clear,
The fall is upon us,
There are things we can cheer.
Like football, Like pumpkins,
Like lattes, Like scarecrows,
Like apples, Like sweatshirts,
Like cider, Like warm clothes.
To the ice cream truck songs!
To the fireworks all night!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away! That’s right!
Make room for the soup
The outdoor fireside chats.
Make room for the leaves,
Thank God, no more gnats!
As I came to my senses,
And was settling down,
A smile snuck to my lips,
No longer a frown.
I’ll be dressed in all manner of
sweatpants and hoodies,
I’ll feel so so cozy,
All ready for some goodies.
That Halloween will bring,
It won’t be just eats,
It’ll be lots of hugs, true.
I spoke no more words,
But went straight to my bed,
Said a prayer filled with thanks,
For what lies ahead.
And laying my head,
And closing my eyes,
My heart felt more settled,
“My goodness! Time flies!”
I rose one last time,
To check on my crew,
“Happy Fall, my sweet ones,
I’m thankful for you!”
“With fear strangling me from the inside out, a soft gentle brave Voice kept wooing me to something different, something scary, yet something satiating and life-giving.”
Thank you, Becky Beresford, Author, for publishing my story.
I only have 9 more hours until my 24/1. Can’t wait.
Find out more by clicking HERE.
“Why did you pack the dishwasher like that?”
“You left the light on.”
“Go to the doctor. You’ve got to stop the snoring.”
I am definitely the queen of nitpicking. At my husband.
It’s so easy for me to find all the ways he just doesn’t do “it” right.
Or the way I think is right. Whatever “it” is.
It’s so stinkin’ easy.
It’s also so stinkin’ harmful.
It perpetuates shame.
It silently mocks, “I’m better than you.”
It is a destroyer of connection.
I don’t want to be the queen of this.
I just DO NOT.
I want to bring grace.
I want to build up.
I want to foster deep intimate connection.
I want to be an agent of healing.
So today, I will call out my husband.
I will yell for the world, and mostly myself, to hear.
“He folded all the laundry.”
“He walked me through a very hard conversation, bringing me much wisdom and guidance.”
And guess what else?!?
Guess what else?!?
“He cut these flowers from our garden and placed them right next to my bed!!”
It is so stinkin’ easy to find all the things that are wrong.
But it’s so much better to see all the things that are right.
It happened again.
Children brought hope to my discouraged heart.
Hope in the form of painted rocks.
Painted rocks outside our local elementary school.
Messages of goodness, encouragement and kindness splattered all over simple gray stones.
In “pre-crazy times,” I would have thought, “how cute” and moved on quickly.
Not now. I stopped, savoring each one, breathing a prayer of thanks.
Thanks for each child. Thanks for the purest and simplest of words, designed to breathe life into my disheartened soul.
I needed these rocks. I needed these deliberate acts of kindness from children who decided to take a moment to paint rocks.
I want to be like them when I grow up.
Your heart, my friend, may be a little (or a lot) tender right now with all the constant change going on.
Today, I pray only kindness FOR you.
May all those you come in contact with act and speak kindly to you.
May unkind and critical mouths be shut so that discouragement has no voice.
May you see clearly all the ways you are shown kindness.
May every act of kindness satiate the empty and soothe the hurting spaces in your heart!
May all the kindness you receive overflow FROM you to others.
May you find ways to pass along this precious gift you have been given.
You won’t have to look very far.
It might even be that person who doesn’t deserve it.
Your kindness won’t be wasted.
That I know for sure.
From my heart to yours.
I got a leaf-blower for Christmas.
Not a girly, light leaf-blower.
A manly, heavy-duty, back-pack, professional leaf-blower.
Last fall, we moved to a house in the woods and there were lots of leaves once the trees said “goodbye for now” to their petals of yellow and orange.
Lots of leaves. Everywhere. Constantly.
Enough to jump in and be lost for days in a pile of them.
You get the point.
I begged my husband for said leaf-blower and when I opened my bright shiny Christmas package, I giggled with glee. My kids nodded in amusement because they just know.
What do they know?
They know some out-of-the-box, but very cute things about me. Okay, not so cute. More out-of-the-box. Or at least out-of-the-gender-culture-box.
I like those things about me.
I like them a lot.
I am who I am.
I am not super girly. Or more true, what culture says girly is.
I like NFL football.
I like being physically strong.
I like spreading mulch.
I like feeling powerful.
I like taking care of myself.
I really like rescuing people. In fact, I just did it this afternoon when my husband texted and said, “I have a flat tire.”
I like being a little manly. Or more true, what culture says manly is.
I am who I am.
You know how parents get a lot of things wrong?
This is a BIG DEAL one that my parents GOT RIGHT!!
They never ever told me who I should be. They let me be ME. Fully. Always.
If that meant being strong, so be it.
If that meant traveling alone in Europe at 21, so be it.
If that meant moving to North Dakota on a whim, so be it.
If that meant loving football, so be it.
Yesterday, we had a huge storm. Leaves everywhere. Branches down. The yard was a mess.
Guess what I did?
I woke up and declared mightily, “I am going outside. Where is the leaf-blower?”
You know how spouses get a lot of things wrong?
This is a BIG DEAL one that my spouse GETS RIGHT!!
He never tells me who I should be. He lets me be ME. Fully. Always.
If that means spreading mulch, so be it.
If that means having a fantasy football team, so be it.
If that means rescuing him on the side of the road, so be it.
If that means taking a picture of me donning my leaf-blower, looking powerful, so be it.
(SIDE NOTE: My hubs chuckled with admiration as he watched me…maybe he thought I was sexy with this giant backpack, conquering leaves and sticks and yard debris. I sure thought he was sexy when I went back into the house and found out he made the bed.)
One last thing.
Sometimes, I am not so strong.
Sometimes, I need help.
Sometimes, I am a girly girl. Or more true, what culture says girly is.
Sometimes, I can’t pull the throttle hard enough to turn a leaf-blower on.
Guess what my husband did?
My tall, flower-loving, bed-making, likes-to-shop-at-cute-little-shops partner still let me be ME. Fully. Always.
“Yes.” He said, “I’ve got you. I can turn that on for you.”
I am who I am. Period.
Manly. Girly. Me.
P.S. Our yard looks beautiful again. Driveways clear. Walkways clean. Sticks gone. Leaves blown. Yup.
Manly. Girly. Me.