I've alluded to this in fragments, but we've had a busy, full summer. The things that really stand out are the moments we spent on the tops of mountains. Chats with dear friends. Sweet moments with family. Our time at the coast and our trip to Utah. Baking with my sisters. Painting the exterior of our house. Watching my flowers change from tiny seedlings to, well...these:
They were my mother's day gift from my mom; she even came over and helped me plant the tiny plants. This is typical of my mom - to give of her substance and of herself, which is, of course, priceless. I've never grown flowers before - I didn't know that it would be blossom after blossom of joy and satisfaction. I'm already thinking about next year's beds.
(sigh) My mom...I can't even begin to describe my affinity for her. I thought maybe living in the same town might take some of the excitement or joy out of seeing her. But it hasn't. We ran into her at Costco this morning and I was so glad to see her. So were the children. They ran after her and hugged her like they hadn't seen her in a decade.
She single-handedly put the happy in my birthday, pulling out party blowers and noise makers when I showed up at her house that morning for our birthday outing, taking me out shopping, very stealthily decorating my bedroom with crepe paper and balloons, making my birthday dinner and even a batch of strawberry bars for dessert.
She is so good, so kind, so selfless. Truly one of the most Christian people I have ever known. She has the essence of the Gospel deep in her heart and it informs her whole life. I have leaned on her so much during these last 6 months. In ways that she doesn't even know, she comforts and strengthens me. I've been blog-quiet because some of my feelings recently have just been so intense and personal, I don't have the energy or the desire to give them voice. (I know that sounded dramatic - I'm fine. We're fine.) I'm an internalizer by nature, a professional worrier, and it's just been a soul-stretching experience, what our little family has done recently. It feels like we peel back the reality of the change layer by layer, ever discovering new aspects. Sometimes it is joy, freedom, new strength, excitement. And sometimes it is fear, uncertainty, failure and doubt. And I guess what I'm trying to say is that in all of the change and flux, when everything else in my life feels variable, my mom has been constant. A warm, soft place to sort out feelings. An invitation for fun and adventure. A handful of homemade granola. Steady assurance that everything will work out. A port in the storm. A new blow dryer and some real hair product. And I've never needed those things like I have recently.
Thanks, mom; I don't know how I can ever pay you back; I'm afraid it is an unsettle-able debt of gratitude. But you are so deeply part of me that all of my victories are, in some round-about, reciprocal way, your victories too. Because of your influence I have very earnest desires to love people, to sacrifice for them, to sow quiet goodness. My goodness has roots in yours. And though I recognize the many, many miles of growth and progress that lay ahead of me, I listen more, I strive for more kindness, I am less selfish, more patient and steady because of the pieces of you that make up the whole of me.
So, there it is. One tiny chip of the enormous block of thoughts I would like to record here. It hasn't been all beach trips and mountain climbing in our recent life, though that's all that's made it to the blog. We have had a lot of fun. And experienced great joy. But there have been weightier matters, too. And sometimes I like to record and remember the contemplation that goes along with them.