Window Seat Faith

Living by Faith and Enjoying the Journey

When Age Catches Up

She’s soon to be 24 and he’s a solid 18. She remembers when she cried for a sibling. Tears streaming down her face, not understanding how her mommy and daddy would need to wait a year or so after buying a house. She bright tears to my eyes when she begged that she had money for diapers.When he was born, she would sit with loving arms ready and willing to receive him, at any given moment. Being a big sister was a badge of honor, a defining purpose. And she marched down the street and through subway stations, guarding his stroller or the safety of his toddler steps. I was always amazed and thankful at how this little girl had my back. 

I don’t think I would have been able to handle it when, baby boy number two came on the scene. I clearly remember our routine when we would get on a subway. She had her two year old brother, while I managed to baby stroller. A mom on the subway with three kids is sort of abnormal. People look annoyed that my MetroCard got be a 4 for 1 deal. I always felt the urge to say, sorry I know, I should be in a mini van. 

And in later years, she was the best babysitter we never had to pay. She kept her brothers in line and had a check list on the fridge, courtesy of some baby sitter workshop she wanted to attend. She insisted that they respect her; even when he thought he was a cool skater 5th grader. I didn’t interfere, she’d earned the right to demand it. He might not have remembered his 4th birthday, when she climbed in the ball pit to rescue him because he was feeling overwhelmed with all of the kids and birthday activities. He may not remember how she sat on the floor with him in her lap, assuring him that the party was a good thing. 

Over the past year, it was hard for her to see him with a girlfriend, doing relationship stuff. This was the little boy who was affraid of grass, sand and totally paranoid when he saw his shadow. She couldn’t comprehend his independence,  confidence and determined sense of self. Listening to her and watching him, felt like a touch and go scene. I knew they loved each other, but would they like each other?

As I look at our recent vacation pictures, reliving the special moments, I see the sister, brother bond has become something very cool. They have a vibe that isn’t defined by age or obligation. And watching  them these days, around the kitchen table when they turn each other onto music or in he driveway when they pass off the car keys, I feel thankful that they are friends. 


I’m the First Responder

Motherhood is my hardest job. Most days, my 9 to 5 is a walk in the park — literally and figuratively. Motherhood, on the other hand, demands something of me that makes me sit up straight; walk tall. Rarely do I or can I slouch. Sure I kick back, I enjoy my kids and have moments that are incredibly cool and full of total feel good. Yet, I know that at a moments notice, I may need to be a first responder for one of my three young adult children.

I’m their lifeline as they walk through their life challenges, the crossroad decisions, the life lessons, the first time teaching moments, the rough emotional landings… I’m a text or a call away. I don’t take a day for granted and I know I won’t always be there for them. I’m here today. And I trust that by God’s lead, they are being prepared to carry the wind solo and to one day be the lifeline for their children.

Sometimes I have moments where I feel like Mother Earth, like my cup runs over with all that I need to be for my kids. Actually most times I have the stamina and God’s direction, to help them find their way.

It’s just also a very real thing that sometimes I feel like I’ve given away all the food on my plate. Seriously, as if I’ve let them eat all of my French fries at Wendy’s or they’ve picked off all of the pepperoni from my pizza, because they somehow didn’t have as many of their favorite, absolute favorite thing. Yielding, giving, sharing; caring with to the very depths of my spirit.

To feel so empty; to stand with an empty fruit basket, I can only pray for the Lord to help me pace myself and to help them see that they are stronger than they think. Yes, at times like this when I am weak, I trust that it is because they have actually outgrown my sustaining arms.

I pray for the Lord to fill me up, because I need to care for myself as well. And I ask Him to continue to lead and guide. He has blessed me with these children because they each have a special purpose.

Lord, as I walk in motherhood, the Glory is yours.

Meatless in Manhattan

I’m in my third week of a meatless lifestyle. No cravings yet and I managed to survive making fried chicken for my family. I even resisted my husband’s BBQ chicken. Amazed myself as I pulled the saucy chicken off of the bone and cut it up for my son’s omelette. Beyond feeling spirited with will power, I feel pretty strong physically too. I’m not sure if it’s the void of meat or if it’s the smart choices I’m making with my diet overall.

I’m trying to be mindful of my protein intact. Never have I been so conscious of the nutritional details and the count. I’m supposed to have about 58 grams of protein. I feel like I’m counting penny candy. I honestly want to find two breakfast things that cover me for the day. I don’t want to have to keep up with 5 grams of this and 5 grams of that… It’s worse than trying to make up the balance of my 10K steps at the end of the day, when I discover that somewhere in the course of the day I walked 1,303 steps less than my goal.

I know I have to add more fish to my diet. I like fish, I really do. But the little girl in me still wants to say no. The little girl in me still thinks of my dad coming home with fisherman’s trunk full; watching my mom clean them and fry up porgies and flounder. I always hated that pledge that there were no bones, only to nearly choke on one. And the fried fish and corn bread with syrup, yuck! Somehow this meal was supposed to be all good because fried potatoes were involved. Anyway, I know this fishy scenario is not remotely what would be happening in my kitchen. I’ve made amazing fish dinners, shaking it up each time with various herbs and spices, veggies and cooking methods. I’ll get back to that. For now, I’m just doing beans, veggies and grains. My favorite items right now and hummus and pesto. Pesto makes everything taste like it is being served up in a restaurant. And hummus, is one of those taste that I’m simply not sick of yet.

In the other side of this, I’m down to one kid at home. He’s a junior in high school. He’s starting to be busy with his social life, working and sports. He’s not home all the time for dinner and sometimes he eats before I get home. I make random things for him. Like last night I prepared a pack of frozen ravioli with some left over sausage and peppers I had in the fridge. Is it what he wanted? Perhaps not, but, as I said to him dinner just needs to be satisfying enough to get to sleep and through the night without hunger pains. He said, “is that what it’s come to, with the last kid at home?!” We looked at each other and laughed. We actually cracked up for a good minute. He was totally calling me out and he was right. I asked him what he wanted me to make. He suggested breakfast for dinner (with extra bacon), hamburgers, spaghetti with meat sauce. I smiled, sure I would get right on it. Oh boy, this meatless lifestyle will continue to be a choice that I have to make one day at a time.

I’m Really Doing This

Most of the time I feel like I’m setting the table and totally over projecting how many guests I’m expecting. I say I don’t care, some may show up after dinner in served and they will certainly be welcome to eat. Most of the time, I don’t even know what I’m going to cook, but I know God always provides. There are other times, when I think, maybe I’ll just offer a snack. And it turns out to be as filling as a feast. This is all how blogging feels to me. 

So, to get a notification today, that I’ve written my 100th post, I say that’s a lot of place settings; that’s a lot of meatballs! I’m doing it, I can’t even remember all of my posts or the passion that poured out when writing them. I know there was often an urgency that was absolutely beyond me. 

Like many of the blogs I read and follow, God is asking us to speak to a thirsty world. We don’t know when they will show up to drink; to feast. We only know that he has poured into us, so we can pour out. 

So, cool, after 100 posts — my writing is absolutely intentional. And yes, I’ll continue to “set my table” as if the world might stop by for a bite. That’s what bloggers do.

 I will continue to watch the Lord have His way. As I am here to share from my Window Seat

Through the Cracks of My Mind

I got to the end of the Highline and looked over the railing at the cool Chelsea restaurants. I was making a mental note of where to explore and dine next time. Endless possibilities, indeed. Taking everything in, I looked down at my feet and realized I was standing on an open grid. I could see a street vendor directly beneath. Like the Bionic Woman, I looked down and read the poster in the vendors rack. It spoke to me, “If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.” Yes, I was a believer in that. To know when it’s time to rest. To know when it’s time to breath. To know when it’s time to have a moment of peace. I received that Word. Thankful for the time to renew and return strong again.

Breathing on the Highline

I ran away from home today. I woke up with all intention of going to church, but my heart wasn’t into it. I felt like I was going because it was Sunday and the routine of it all. I stopped and took a breath.

I needed a minute. I needed space. I needed open air. I needed a Me-day. I jumped in the shower and dashed off to catch the city-bound train. I wasn’t sure where in the City I would go, but I wanted to get lost in it. Get lost in the crowd and pace.

I could decide if I wanted to walk until I felt lighter or sit and write until I was empty or sit and contemplate life in a big open space until something clicked. I was thankful for the long train ride, it took that long for me to decide that I would go to the Highline.

I took the 7 to Hudson Yards Station. I wanted to walk the Highline from end to end and back again. I was certain it would feel good. But, I started walking and felt overwhelmed by the volume of people on the Highline. I was in a wave of people. Caught in selfies; hearing sound bites of conversations; dodging; and desperately trying to breathe deeply.

I longed to be in Central Park. I imagine there was a wide open space and a park bench with my name on it. But, I kept walking, I found it odd that there were signs everywhere advising to leave the plant life alone. Yet, it was okay to take pictures of people’s bedrooms that seemed to be within arm’s reach of the Highline. People stopped and looked into apartment windows, seeking the right angle and view that was, perhaps candid. I sat down from time to time, I was in a melting pot. There were tourists from all over the world, New Yorkers from every path of life.

And then, something clicked, as crowded as it was, there was actually plenty of space and never a loss for a place to sit. I actually could breathe and I loved the dynamics of the scene. And at every straight away; every turn; the setting changed and was conceptually surprising.

I loved it and was so thankful to be there. I was happy; to be there and to be present. I was taking it all in. And just as there was space for the crowd up on the Highline and plenty of seats, My mind wasn’t nearly as full as I was when I first arrived.

If you have a chance to go to the Highline to catch your breath, consider this:

Take the walk solo. Walk it from end to end and back, so you can get the perspective from both directions.  Stop and soak it in from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great walk for a getting to know you date or with best friends. But trust me, do it at least one time by yourself. I’ve done it a few times and it’s honestly hard to do that when you’re walking with someone, conversation and pace becomes a distraction.

Taking the Blinders Off

Sometimes the day, the week can’t end fast enough. Sometimes it’s impossible to wait until the end of the story; the anticipated sunset. I had to walk out side to catch a breath. 

I feel like I just kicked off the heaviness of the day, like tossing aside the covers in the middle of the night. I’m standing outside Grand Central as if I’m taking a smoke break. Actually smokers have the right idea, they certainly make time to simply stand. 

I’m catching rays and simply breathing. People are passing by on my left and my right. Some are dashing by, clearly trying to make a train. Others are heading across town; perhaps just arriving in Midtown. 

Where am I going? I don’t want to think about it. My work day isn’t over. It’s not that anything is hard. It’s just that I would rather be on my back porch in my play clothes with a glass of wine. 

The sun feels good. Something soothing about it. I feel like I’m catching up with an old friend. Maybe I’ve had my blinders on too much this week. Look up from your life

Wearing Blinders Today

Some days I don’t look up from my phone. Some days I sense the passing scenery in my peripheral and I ignore it. Preoccupied with life, I literally refuse to look up. Sometimes we totally give in to our dysfunction.

Sometimes we allow ourselves to stay under water longer. I think God gives us the capacity to do that. And He also gives us the sensibility to hear when it’s time to come up for air and to take in the view.

TGIF, thank God it’s Friday. I’ll look up from life on the ride home. A sensational sunset and the weekend will be mine to savor.

Receive Grace

A selection from my book, Layers of Faith: Deeply Transparent. (By faith and God’s green lights, it will be published April 2018)

The fact that we receive grace when we’re so undeserving and He doesn’t want us to dwell on the fact that we’re so undeserving (who we were, what we’ve done, etc.) blows my mind. 

I remember walking around with guilt, feeling unworthy of the Grace I received. And someone basically said, when He forgives, there’s no need to grovel. Move  forward and let His light shine through you. 

It’s like when someone tells us our outfit is fly. We’re not supposed to talk about what’s wrong with it and how it’s unworthy of the compliment. We’re supposed to receive it, say thank you and let it spark us to shine brighter. 

Lord, thank you. I will shine for your Glory. 

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