Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finding Things

I went out to the van to get my camera so I could get pictures of my family, many of whom I’d never met. I stood there at the van looking back over towards the pavilion where everyone had gathered.

If Daddy were there to reminisce with his cousins, to meet their kids and grand kids, I know I would hear his laugh all the way out in the parking lot. He was known for his laugh that traveled clean from his toes.

When Mom, Christy and I got there and started walking in with a few others who were arriving at the same time, I immediately started watching to see if I could see him.

I just wanted to see him in someone's eyes. To hear him in someone's laugh.

Even though there were some blue eyes there, we came to the conclusion that the really light blue eyes came from the Keen side of the family.

I went looking for him but I didn’t find him there. What I did find was a group of people I can call family. What a blessing.

I found folks I’d never seen before but felt the connection.

I found that someone in our ancestry founded the city of Longview.

I found that one walked closely with Sam Houston.

I found that if rapture did happen that night we would all be going to heaven together.

That made me really happy.

We took pictures of each generation, starting with the first cousins, then our generation, then the next. Daddy would have been in the photo of the three first cousins.

He wasn’t, and that was ended up being okay. I’m really glad I went.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Writing Down Grateful

Sometimes I get frustrated when I have so much to do and feel like all the players on this team are busy. So that means I'm frustrated often.

I'm working on that.

Last Thursday we actually had a day where we all braved the chiggers and went outside and worked.

It was so fun. Although, the other players might beg to differ.

The girls worked on putting together a bench someone had given us. Even had power tools out.

I came around the corner and saw them all testing out their labor.

Chook. Chook. Chook.

When they were little, Michael and then everyone else started calling them chooks, which is the same as chicks, someone told him long ago.

Seeing their heads made me remember. I stood there and watched them and remembered.

Remembered how I prayed to have them. Of course, at the time I was just praying for one.

Remembered how truly grateful I was that God gave us three, one for each of the big kids to hold.

Remembered why it is important to keep working on the frustration issue.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Serving Up Mercy

The mornings were always the hardest.

At night I would turn the timer on the television to go off after I was sound asleep. The bathroom light was left on just in case one, two, or three of the kids came in sometime in the night and crawled into the bed big enough for all of us.

I needed noise and I needed light.

The mornings were hardest because I woke up as the only responsible adult in their lives. There wasn’t another around any more, even for every other weekend visits or holidays traded. I hated to wake their little heads from a peaceful sleep to the reality of one parent. Hated it.

They slept content and tranquil. I didn’t want to be the one to mess it up.

I’m not sure how I got there - to the scripture He breathed to me that gave me so much comfort.

How I got to the promise that I did not have to be consumed in grief. Consumed in fear or loneliness. Consumed in the seeming finality of death.

Not only was I not to be consumed with those things, I was also supposed to rest in the promises of His mercy new every morning. Every morning. His promise to me--straight from His heart to my heart. And I believed Him.

I trusted Him when He told me I could. I believed His faithfulness was great.

Some mornings I knew I would need more than other days. It was there. For awhile I spoke His words back at Him as my bare feet touched the floor first thing every morning. As months passed I would just remind Him of His promise. I didn’t have to tell Him which promise, He knew what I was talking about.

We were that close.

As “You promised” came through my lips, I think He smiled. No, I know He smiled. I know He smiled because it brought Him joy that I trusted Him and I knew He and only He had what I needed. What the kids needed.

He was Father to the fatherless. He was strength to my weakness.

I learned so much from Him during that time. So grateful for that journey.

Now. Bring on the morning.

Lamentations 3:22-24

Sunday, May 8, 2011


A Mom Blessed

I’ve started this several times, wanting to write about Mother’s Day, but I ended up beating myself up each time with so many regrets that it was flat depressing. So I deleted.

Yesterday morning I was going to work some on my porch, but went to pick up 200+ roses to give to mommies today at church, then went home to cook for supper with Michael’s family. As I was doing my running around, I started thanking God for different things that remind me of the greatest job in the world – being a mom.

Thought I’d share.

I’m thankful for . . .

. . . stretch marks that remind me that I carried 4 children until they were fully done.

. . . a scar down the middle of my tummy that now resembles a loaf of Split Top Mrs. Baird’s bread because the twins couldn’t stay until they were completely done, and needed help getting here. Sorry for the visual.

. . . sleepless nights when the older three were little, then more sleepless nights ten years later when the younger three were little, because it reminds me that I had babies to hold.

. . . sleepless nights when all of them are now much older, because it reminds me that I’m supposed to be praying for them as they walk through situations that happen because we live in a fallen world.

. . . laugh lines because it reminds me that there was lots of laughter. So much laughter that Leah would sometimes throw up at the dinner table because she was laughing so hard.

. . . a white plastic bag tucked away in my drawer with 9 little wrenches in it because it reminds me that the kids think it is funny that I can’t find at least one of their stocking gifts. Every year.

. . . reading glasses that slide down a ways on my nose because they remind me that I am now called Lollie as well as Momma. I look like a grandma.

. . . the words “coke” and “hot sauce” instead of “pop” and “salsa” because it reminds me they love tradition. They want to do it like we’ve always done it and never change, no matter that the whole state may say it different.

I won’t continue this out loud to spare you a long boring story, but I’m not going to stop thanking God for the every day reminders of why I am so blessed to be momma.

So very blessed.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Journey will be 1 next week. She is such a beautiful little girl. Jade brought several dresses and I wanted to get as many pictures as possible before we lost all light. So we scrambled and got as many as we could. Every time I would pull one up on the computer it would make me smile.


Adam and Amber and Jade and the kids came in for Easter weekend. We had such a good time coloring and hunting eggs. And just being all together. I love when they come home. I love it so much.

Proud Poppa!

Left over Easter eggs and almost empty bowl of hot sauce. The kids are gone.