Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Under the Umbrella

My tagline is ~ We don't live a Christmas letter life; if you don't either, welcome. 

I believe in excellence. Hate mediocrity. Even so, awards, trophies, plaques, and blue ribbons aren't lining our shelves.

We do have a room wall to wall with framed photos. Pictures celebrating memories we have in common as a family. Brita and Tessa have most the shelf room. They are our treasures, engraved on our hearts.

We have a drawer of love notes from our daughters.
We hug and cuddle a lot.
We still gather to eat a meal together once in while.
We sit around and talk.
We do chores side by side.
We laugh.
We pray together.
We argue.
We're messy.
We breakdown with real or imagined misery.
We have pity parties.
We play.
We fight.
We procrastinate.
We are ridiculously in love with our golden, Maggie.
Craig whistles.
The girls make music.

See how our days aren't filled amazing accomplishments. We're not on committees, boards, or listed anywhere. We're not on the cutting edge of anything. No one is following us or hanging on every word.

Slow days filled with the common, simple, and ordinary rhythms of family life ~ nothing stunning enough to make the grade for an impressive Christmas letter. 

Most of you know Craig and I had engine trouble recently. Coming home from vacation in Idaho, we
had to leave the truck to get the transmission repaired. Relay fashion, inconveniencing more than one branch of the family, we limped home.

This last weekend, we had to pick up the fixed truck in Oregon, eight hours away.

Our youngest, Brita, always has a sturdy savings account. She graciously allowed us to borrow enough for this unexpected emergency. She offered her gas saving small car.

As we left, we found a small cooler filled with two bottles of tea and two bottles of water - on ice. The gas tank was full. A fresh, unopened bag of hearty trail mix sat between us. Her car was clean and uncluttered. Lagniappe. Unexpected gift.

Tess is currently housesitting for some mutual friends. Adult to adult, friend to friend ~ she invited us over to enjoy the hot tub. We laughed like giddy children, steaming away in the cold rain. With perfect timing, she arrived carrying hot Peet's decaf in big mugs. Mine with warm cream. We could only sigh with contentment at such a lovely gesture.

I blame Craig entirely for the thoughtful and generous genes passed on to our progeny.

Coming away from both of these recent experiences leaves me with warm fuzzies. Our dreams for our girls were simple and few. Being capable of giving and receiving love was on top of the list, for it is the umbrella over all.

In spite of ourselves, and in spite of the rain which falls around us, we're covered. Love is a circus tent sized umbrella. Under the Big Top there's lot's of room. Come in. Welcome. It's so good to see you.

"You are our letter, written on our hearts....." ~ Paul

"For life, with all it yields
of joy and woe
And hope and fear, 
Is just our chance o' the 
prize of learning love ~ 
How love might be, 
hath been indeed, and is."  
~ Browning 

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