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Window Seat Faith

Living by Faith and Enjoying the Journey

Chasing the Sun

A window seat on Metro-North’s Northbound Hudson Line Train. The only thing you’ll hear in the  Quiet Car is the rumble of the train. As for me, I’m glued to the window, while listening to Chance the Rapper. 

So beautiful. I had to share it.

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6. New Living Translation

I Refuse to Crash & Burn

I keep having this vision, slightly incomplete but very symbolic of Ironman doing something heroic and then malfunctioning and crashing. I can’t remember the movie or exactly the scene. But, I feel that’s me landing after an incredible leap of faith. 

I feel like I have the whole trust the Lord thing down to take the leap. And the experience in midair is powerful as all get out. But, boy do I have to work on my landing. It’s like doing the high jump without strong ankles. It’s like dancing in high heels all night and trying to get out of bed the next day. 

I’m stumbling, I came in too fast, I didn’t prepare my crash pad, I’m trying to get up but the waves keep sucking the sand out from under me. 

The more I stumble the more I write. God keeps filling me up with a voice to write. Writing is the only way I can defend myself against the sense that I’m stumbling through day to day challenges. God shows up in my writing, empowering me to not only cope with what’s in front of me, but giving me the desire to share. 

I refuse to crash and burn, for the simple fact that I know in my heart that God wants me to get stronger. 

I may stumble, but my head is to the sky. 

Life Looks Good on You

We may be weathered by life, but our beautiful life is undeniable.

Uber Mom’s Pit Stop

I stayed home from work to be an Uber Mom. I think that’s what I’m going to call myself for my soon to be 15 year old, who has two part time jobs and plays two sports. I’ve never been the soccer mom type and I don’t have a minivan anymore. 

He’s my youngest and the only one in the house without a license. If he could, boy would he drive. And he actually has money for car fare. He will literally check my gas gauge and offer to make a gas stop. So, I’m his Uber Mom. Today he needed to be dropped of a few towns over on the other side of the Hudson River, at his coach’s house. 

He was catching a ride down to Atlantic City for a wrestling tournament. I mention that because it actually further supports my role with my passenger. He paid for his tournament participation, his gear, his club fees and he handled the arrangements to go with his coach. 

When it turned out last night that no one else in the family could drop him off at Noon, I felt like the least I could do was put on my Uber hat. We put the address in the GPS, but as it turned out, he knew a great short cut the GPS had to recalculate and catch up with him! 

This guy, my passenger, my son, makes me incredibly proud. And quite simply, I am amazed. After dropping him, I circled out of the the coach’s driveway, reflecting on my empty arms. It was early afternoon and I had space and time to exhale. 

I took my time driving home and decided to turn off at the Newburgh Waterfront. I got a parking space and even found a riverside bench all to myself. Seemed odd not to have at least one kid in-tow. It’s still pretty new to me, to not have a kid as a sidekick when I’m out and about. They’ve always been either available or has no choice. 

It’s been 24 years since I’ve been able to sit and look at the River and write, without the thought of needing to do for a kid. I remember before my daughter was born nearly 24 years ago, I would spend hours at Pier 17, the South Street Seaport. I would sit out people watching and looking at the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge. Back then, I was journal writing, desperately trying to make sense of my life. I couldn’t get a handle on it. 

Now, I feel like I can step outside of myself and say I don’t care about making sense of it or where I’m headed. 

This afternoon, I tried to write. But, here’s the other thing about me now, I don’t people watch as much as I used to. I find that I usually end up talking to someone, connecting. When you’re some place interesting or beautiful, it seems God begs for us to share the moment. I did that today. 

My turn off wasn’t a moment of solitude or weepy empty arms. Just as I did way back at Pier 17, I found myself having no choice, but to stay present in the Will of God. 

The Origami King’s Prayer Box

YouTube is his teacher and I call him the Origami King. Before he got his job at Glazed Over Donuts, folding boxes and decorating donuts, he was my commissioned Origami artist. He was so awesome and so about it that I made him a Facebook page. 

He folded all the way to Baltimore for his Uncle Steven and Aunt Hannah’s wedding reception table favors. He cranked out magical Origami stars for his sister graduation party decorations and favors. The whole family painted and threaded each star. I have friends who still have the stars hanging in their car or kitchen windows 
He even started getting promotional items in the mail with his start-up business name on it! I asked him if he wanted to order give away pens with “Favor My Table” on them. I smiled and imagined the possibilities. He looked at me like I was pushing it. 

But, then, he turned 14 and I couldn’t get my son to fold a single piece of paper. It was fun while it lasted and maybe I pushed it. I was always like the gallery owner reminding the artist of the fast approaching date for the art show. Nudging for their muse to kick in.

Maybe it was the 60 Origami prayer boxes for our Christmas Eve Open House favors. I had the stacks of paper on the kitchen table. And they would show up on the back porch table, convenient for folding while watching TV. 

Christmas Eve was huge for our family. Everyone was welcome and I never knew how many people would actually show up. I asked for 60 because it seemed like a safe bet for the time like and pretty extreme for people in the house. 

I tried to get him to fold without counting. Fold without a care; fold because it rolls off of you easily; fold because Christmas makes you happy; fold the prayer boxes will be a blessing… Night after night I tried. Sometimes it worked sometimes my words “rolled off of him.” 

As he cranked them out, sometimes fast; sometimes slow, I put a mini notebook and a pen in each one. I then, lovingly arranged them around the windows along the three walls of the back porch. They were very much apart of the room’s holiday splendor. The Christmas lights in the windows, the Christmas tree with many hand crafted and traditional ornaments. Including the King’s Origami. 

On Christmas Eve, i gave out the boxes and explained, how to open them, tuck away prayers, jot down dreams and scriptures… I talked about my son, the Origami King, making my vision a reality. Our friends and family were touched. We watched them walk out as if they were gifted with a love chest. It was my prayer that their prayers would be treasured. 

On the surface, he cranked out the boxes to satisfy my nag. But I know my son, beneath his contrary exterior, he was folding with a lot of heart and love. Every time he gave or displayed his art he was openly sharing his amazing gift; his ability to create beautiful art. There is much light and love, fold by fold. 

He’s a working guy now, no longer a “complicated artist. But, if you ever happen to see him at Glazed Over Donuts, his first parr time job, you may find that he actually folds the donut boxes with that same kind of love. 

Find something you love to do and do it with passion. 

A Speechless Word

Jesus is my constant companion on life’s road trip. It’s so cool the way sometimes He doesn’t give me a word; He doesn’t talk — instead He simply nudges me to look out the window.
Thank you, Lord that on my life journey you are my driver. I sit with you and you pour into me.

I see. I receive. I share.

The Natural Beauty of Grace & Hospitality 

I Better Get Ready

I’m in denial. I was Swifting the floor this morning. That’s my absent minded, therapeutic way of processing thoughts that are far below the surface. It’s also a much needed chore in a house with a Shiba Inu, who’s only supposed to shed twice a year. (I think the breed book should be updated to account for global warming). 

A Monday morning is a good time to dig deep and bring up the fast approaching reality that my first born son, my middle child is leaving for college in less than two weeks. 

I was moving around the kitchen with my Swifter, my in my mind I’m stuck. He’s so ready, but he’s been so independent over the past year, that I don’t know how to help him pack up. I guess I just give him money and he’ll get his stuff. The college dorm list from Bed Bath is on the table. I scratched off the ridiculous stuff. He’s a no nonsense guy, I know he will cover the essentials and get a few things that are uniquely him. Admittedly, my denial has nothing to do with the to do side of getting him ready. 

No, I was denying something that I had learned with our recent college grad. It’s that sending a kid off to school can’t really be that easy. It was time to acknowledge that I was getting ready to have to step up my game and be ready for the challenges and experiences that will come my son’s way and randomly land on my lap. 

When your kid goes to college the patenting doesn’t end. 

That was the big nugget that came to the surface. I put the Swifter away, knowing that what I really needed to do was get out my catcher’s mitt. It’s nearly time to play ball. 

Life’s Crossword Puzzle

I was pulllng out of the supermarket parking lot, waiting for the traffic to clear. I found myself saying, “I have a new washer and Oji’s going to college.” They were two totally unrelated items on my checklist of “stuff” and they randomly came to mind at the same time. I swirled the two around in my mind for a second and I knew clearly they were proof that God was doing His thing. And I was grateful. 

The washing machine had been a need since before we left for vacation. In fact our old machine flooded the basement, not once by twice, right after I bought the airline tickets for the first leg of our vacation. I took it as a sign that our faith was being tested or that the devil was trying to fill us with regret and panic. As if the whole vacation thing, the financial commitment, was going to be a fail. I didn’t let it shake me. At first I was trying to figure out how to squeeze a new washer into our budget. And then Jeff and I decided to do without until we were back from vacation. 

Oh, but when we got back from vacation we were over whelmed for a flash, but the reality that was waiting for us. The broken washing machine was stacked with the first tuition installment payment for my son’s first year due. Moreover, there were even other pressing bills on top of one wedged between them. 

Yes, but pulling out of the parking lot, I knew the rest of the puzzle would fill in. God doesn’t have way do things. I thought about an engaging conversation I had the night before with a new found friend. (I think it’s really cool that I can be nearly 54 and still make new friends.) This friend was a brilliant artist, we hit it off instantly. To the point where I didn’t even catch her name. We were just on and talking and when I met her husband I didn’t get his name either because I immediately knew who he was because the familiarity was naturally established. 

Well my new friend was telling how she’s an avid New York Times crossword puzzle lover, since forever. She used to sneak and do them in her high school English class. Can you believe that?! Sneak, have them on her lap! 

Somehow we touched on French and she said she loves French, but often get stumped with French words pop up on her crossword puzzle because she can’t spell them. She may know the answer, but the spelling is a wash. I asked her if she would do a quick Google or speak the word into her phone. She was quick to say, that would defeat the whole challenge of doing the puzzle. She said she just solves the other related fields, down and across. Eventually the letters of the word fill in. 

I feel like that’s how God works out our lives. Clearly two pieces of the puzzle in place are indicators that the rest of the puzzle will take form. We have to stay faithful, following his lead. Further, as we turn the pages of life, there will be other puzzles and those answers will reveal themselves time after time. 

Thank you, Marcia, my new friend (and your husband Gary)! I totally get it. And, thank you Lord, for providing the answers up, down and across every facet of my life. 

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