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A Denver Home Companion | learning the art of sabbath

from my morning journal, 5/28/2014 at 5:15 AM:

with two small children it seems near impossible to find time for rest and reflection. by the time ramona’s quiet time and harriet’s nap time roll around at noon (after an early morning wake-up call from the two of them) i can barely muster the desire to wash the growing pile of dishes in my sink. i settle into the couch or my “office” chair and zone out to TV shows or mindlessly return simple emails or putz with my ever growing “to-do” list, of which i get little done.

but it’s clear –many of us can sense it in our hearts– that time set aside for prayer and meditation does immense things to rejuvenate our hearts and minds, readying us for the daily work and tasks ahead.

to be continued. interrupted by waking children.

i love this entry in my journal. so apropos pos of my life these days.

i intend, every morning, to wake up early to either go for a run or set aside some meditation and sabbath time. to rest. to reflect. to gather myself. wake up slowly and alone. i’m inspired by the obvious evidence of how well i do on days i wake up early and spend some time in my thoughts and in prayer. and i’m further encouraged by books like the one i’m reading now (well, intermittently): sabbath: finding rest, renewal, and delight in our busy lives by wayne muller.

two little ones can really screw that up. they both wake up so so early, especially harriet these days (she’s got a morning poop that is seriously timed to the minute). so i’m learning to spend my sabbath with them instead of alone: lounging at home, picking grass, making up stories, playing dress up, folding laundry, drinking beer on the sofa (well, the girls drink some variation of milk), eating mindfully (whether that’s dinnertime or popsicle treats on the front steps). slowing down at home is the only way i have found to successfully make up for my current inability to carve out some morning solo quiet time.

and as i feel this time at home with them passing more and more quickly? i’ll gladly practice my sabbath with them, quietly praying and hoping that they take some of that and learn to carve out quiet moments in their own grown-up days.

3:1 ramona w grandma

these articles and blog posts have been bookmarked in my tabs for a while. i wanted to dump them here so i can come back to them in the future. they’re thought-provoking, interesting, controversial, needed. i won’t add much. at least not right now. though there are a couple i’m tempted to revisit and add my two-cents. many of them speak to me as a mother, as a wife, as a christian whose faith looks extremely different than that from how i was raised.

let me know what you think.


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life is going to change dramatically when little bug arrives. i can anticipate and foresee some of these changes but others are going to take jp and i (and ramona!) by storm. before life gets rocked and we’re juggling a toddler and a helpless newborn and patio season opening up at the populist (which makes for an increasingly busy hubby) jp and i set aside a long weekend to spend some time with just the two of us. our intention was to slow down, be a pair free of our daily commitments and distractions, and reconnect with each other. so off to a ranch in hye, texas (that’s hill country, y’all) owned by jp’s aunt and uncle.

we were blessed with great weather, free and spacious accommodations, beautiful sunsets, wonky wi-fi that forced us –even more– to be present with each other, and a golf cart that enabled me to explore the land freely (this belly doesn’t get me too far these days). i understand a baby moon is a luxury that many people can’t find the time or finances for and i do not take it for granted we were able to steal away for these handful of precious days.

jp is the most important person in my life. he is my lover, my rock, my best friend, my confidant, my reason, my chosen one. he is steadfast, kind, humble and pretty much your poster-child of patience. living and learning and loving with him has taught me much about being grounded, listening well, and constructively and respectfully agreeing to disagree. at the risk of sounding cheesy, being his partner has made me a much better person than before i met him. and he also loves and embraces all my quirks and who i am at my core!

i gush about all of this bc, while i LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mother and that will always be a part of who i am, my partnership with my husband is the most important relationship i will cultivate on this earth. we are a team. and i want to continue to work on our marriage and our union so that when ramona and little bug watch us, it will be so evident to them how we are able to love them so well: bc jp and i love each other as best and as selflessly as we humanly can. jp and i working on a strong, healthy, loving, respectful marriage is, perhaps, one of the most essential things we can give to our children (that and the freedom for them to be themselves… but that’s another post). my hope is that a strong marriage will set them up to love themselves and to expect and give good, honest, respectful love from and to their future significant others.

A Denver Home Companion | baby moon in hye, texas

furthermore, if we do things right, ramona and little bug will be leaving the nest around the time they turn 18. and i shudder to think that jp and i will have not made the effort and taken the time to grow our love and connection with each other and, instead, feel like strangers bc we don’t know what the hell to do w the other now that we don’t have such an active role as parents.

parenthood, especially the early years, is hard. when ramona was first born i had awful thoughts about jp and our marriage. some of these were fueled by crazy hormonal changes going on in my body, and others were caused by the great shift that had happened in our family. in the beginning, with all this newness, we didn’t always adjust as well or as quickly as our emotions needed. and there are, of course, still days every so often where we completely miss each other. and having young (basically helpless) children compounds this. and it can be lonely and frustrating. but, i will tell you this: it is a season. and it too shall pass. especially if both you and your partner are on board w working your darndest to communicate honestly and respect the other (even if biting, nasty words get hissed in the heat of the moment) and are open to being humble and asking for forgiveness and giving it freely.

this post didn’t quite go the direction i had originally planned: but marriage is hard and i think struggles like how babies can totally knock your marriage on its head need to be talked about more openly so that others don’t feel they’re all alone. that, and how important it is to set aside the craziness of life and find time to connect with your lover. the payoff, when the chicks have flown the coop and it’s the two of you old birds wondering what to do with your empty nest, will be well worth it.

 A Denver Home Companion | baby moon in hye, texas

thought you’d be getting more of texas hill country? below is my list of suggested things to do (besides soaking up the open space, wide skies, and drinking on the porch) if you find yourself one hour west of austin, texas, in what people are calling the napa of texas (i know, 30 weeks pregnant is prime time to go wine tasting. ha!)

A Denver Home Companion | christmas eve

the nature of living and loving is the act of reciprocity. as women, we are told that to be the guest is to receive. we are told that to be the host is to give. but what it if it is the reverse? what if it is the guest who gives to the host and it is the host who receives from the guest each time she sets her table to welcome and feed those she loves? to be the guest and the host simultaneously is to imagine a mutual exchange of gifts predicated on respect and joy. if we could adopt this truth, perhaps we as women would be less likely to become martyrs. 

what are we setting the table for? transformation.

||terry tempest williams, when women were birds, page 211||

it is not easily in my nature to receive so much from hosting — but this is something i earnestly and genuinely want to approach with a different, more generous heart. even so, i am so very much looking forward to welcoming dear friends into our home tonight for a christmas eve feast.

may this special eve and holy day tomorrow overwhelm you with joy and love (rather than stress and resentment as can often happen with holidays). may you be nourished by meaningful time with family and friends, whether you are breaking bread at their table or yours.

god jul and peace unto you.