what's inspiring me

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

my own little beautiful mess
Over at Middle Places today a guest blogger talks about embracing life with small children, in all of its fullness and chaos, in In the Middle of a Mess.  "The love I feel for my children does not look past their mess. No, the love I feel for them includes their mess ... I don’t love them in spite of their mess; I love them in the mess. The way the Creator loves us. "   If you have little ones at home with you this summer, maybe you can relate.  I don't love my children in spite of their messes and neediness.  I just love them, period.

Her point is poignantly appropriate after reading Just Because He Breathes:  Learning to Truly Love our Gay Son this morning.  What a beautiful and agonizing story.  I was most moved by her grace throughout the article - for herself, in mistakes she made during her son's adolescence; for the ministries that encouraged a destructive approach to homosexuality; and, most of all, for her son, in discussing why he made the decisions he did.  As I read it I couldn't help but see God's grace, too, in her opportunity to reconcile with her son before his premature death.  A friend summarized it best in her comment: "... Love people just because they breathe ... you are loved by God just because you breathe.  There are ways I can do better by my children (gay or not) with this concept."  Me too.

Speaking of abandoning religion in search of grace, I started reading Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim's Tale, by Ian Morgan Cron, last night.  My priest read a selection from the pulpit a few weeks ago, and it piqued my interest.  My favorite line so far is set in a cathedral, where he is beginning to think of Scripture as a whole story, redemption woven into each individual scene. "... For the first time in years, the enormousness of the Story burst forth like an expanding universe in my chest, and I was grateful it was mine."  Beautiful.  If you are looking for a new book this summer, I recommend Chasing Francis.

Finally, my baby boy is inspiring me to ride faster. 

We have recently taken up biking as a family again.  I pull the little ones in the bike stroller, and my husband rides alongside the older two.  Imagine me on a path meandering beside a creek, mountains pressed into the sky, soaking up the breeze and the cool comfort of the shade.  It is an idyllic scene, with one hitch.  My baby boy cannot abide that stroller.

Every word that could describe his loathing feels euphemistic.  As soon as we start moving, he begins to wail.  He does not stop, ever, until he is picked up again.  If I should try to comfort him briefly, then strap him back in and continue ... well, he looks like this.


Other people create playlists to inspire them to keep a steady pace while jogging or biking.  Me?  I ride with a screeching baby strapped to my bike.  He's a pretty good motivator.


  1. Hahaha sweet baby boy. I also love how his Sister is unfazed by the wailing infant next to her...speaks to her days =).
    Also? I'm wickedly impressed you make the time to read. It's SO important - to make that time to escape and nurture our curiosity and so on...and I tend to put it low on my priority list. But I only have TWO kids, and neither of them are if YOU can make time, by golly, I should be able to as well =)

    1. I love to read but hardly ever picked up a book in the South. Here, though, I have started enjoying it again. But you work, Kendra. That's a lot to balance!



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