Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A Cup of Blessing

Truly, who is man that thou are mindful of him? Or the son of man that thou should visit him? Who am I that I should receive from the hand of the Lord a cup of blessing, pressed down, overflowing, shaken down and without measure? A time filled to the brim with happiness and beauty to overflowing?
   The prairie giving way to the rolling hills of Montana, Big Sky Montana, beautiful and lonesome with the heartbeat that still echos of rugged cowboys and brave, honorable Indian chiefs. The majestic Rockies. Then the wild forests of Idaho. Eastern Washington, part of my heart stays there with someones that I love. At last the Columbia River! The Cascade Mountains, the Gorge, the Willamette Valley, Portland and I-5, bringing me to the place that I love best.  
A place that is green and mossy. A place that smells like wet earth. Where a picturesque little town rolls its way up the hills from the Columbia. I wondered if I would feel like I was visiting an old lover, one that could never be mine because I had rashly married another. I didn't. I just mostly felt like I was in a luscious green paradise, like I could breath deep and see beautiful healing life every way that I turned. 

When we arrived our house bore the marks of love and friendship.Candles were lit and tea water was simmering. There were flowers and a bed made up and cookies and food in the pantry. And I am completely humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude for these women that I am able to call sisters and friends. Friendships that have developed over years of laughter and prayer and tears, studying the Scriptures, sharpening each other's iron, being moms and wives and teachers side by side.
    We went overnight to the beach  and stayed up almost all night, talking and laughing. Just like girls. Blessed.
Then there's my niece/littlesister/friend, she is creative and beautiful and such a good mama. I got to fall in love with my great niece who's got the wispiest, cutest little face ever, I'm sure. And her brother has all the poignant wonderful qualities that a little boy should have! Bringing me back to when Isaac and Moses were small. Sigh* Maybe God will give us another lil' fella some day.
There was breakfast with my aunties. My sweet aunts, they seem to always bless and build up with their words. Being with them gives me the feeling of strength in quiet steadfast faith, faith that flows through generations of maternal love. I see the faith and gentle mannerisms of my Grandma living on through them and it makes me miss her and my mom.
There was supper and sauna at my uncle's, now the patriarch of the Carl Kulla family. My good, kind uncle who is a little bit like my Grandma and a little bit like my Grandpa. Oh, that sauna was so nice! It was my first time taking a real sauna since taking one at my Grandparent's house before they died. And it came at the end of a near perfect day. Let me tell you, I slept like a baby that night! I also got to meet my little baby first cousin, my uncle and aunt's fourteenth child. He was happy to meet us too! All coos and smiles.
There was a weekend at my brother's house. Home church and fellowship and coffee. BFF girl cousins all around. And their one boy (he needs a brother:), traipsed around with the big boys. Isaac told me earlier today he really wishes I would have twin boys. One could be a musician and writer and fisherman and follow Moses around, the other could be a hunter and trapper and follow him around. Hmmmm....is it a puppy or brother he wants? 
While we were there I asked my little brother, now the daddy to six children, what he would say impacted his life the most spiritually as a child. Without hesitation he said it was my mom reading the Bible stories to us and her praying with us at night. I love that! Sometimes it seems like the maze of being a parent is so perilous, one wrong turn and everything is lost, but it's not really like that. We make lots of mistakes but with a consistent diet of the Bread of Life and prayer, we can trust that those seeds WILL bear fruit! They will! 
My heart is full of praise when I see the promises of God fulfilled, generations will be blessed by those that fear the Lord! How wonderful to see my Grandparent's family tree flourish and grow like a huge old oak, planted by the rivers of living waters! O, there are many sad and hard things too, yes, but still the new green leafs are budding, and many are of the household of faith!

Wow! Ten girls between our two families! Cousins make the bestest friends!
There were coffee dates with my church friends and visits with the neighbors, catching up on all the neighborhood news. There were hikes through the sun dappled mossy forests. The kind I love, love, love. I picked up a handful of forest floor and held it to my face. There's no other scent like that, it's earthy, organic and rich. It's ancient and healing. I walked along in solitude, just being still in my spirit and knowing that God is God. Just breathing in His creation and believing that He is good. Two years of tension were released on that walk. He IS good.
There was a walk through the woods with my sister in Christ, to one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on earth. An old log cabin church, complete with a church bell, all nestled away in the old growth forest.
There was traveling with my in-laws. Hearing so many interesting stories about the West family and Grandpa Galen. Lots of singing with Grandma. Catching winks from Blue-eyes in the rear view mirror. Something about road trips, especially in our big old van, always makes me feel like I'm in a  Norman Rockwell painting. We get a lot of looks from people. We're drinking pop and eating junk food, our hair's all crazy. Then at the rest area- every time!- the little girls are missing their shoes. So we're rummaging around grumpily and stuff is falling out the door. Then the stuff blows away in the wind so someone takes off after it with one rubber boot on. (Well, that a slight exaggeration, but you get the picture.) What can you do but laugh? It's not like you'll ever see these people again. Grandma Baker fit right into the Norman Rockwell setting. Lots of laughs and bonding. 
I've always loved my dear blue eyed husband because of his gentle way of being a daddy, now I love him even more for the gentle way he is a son. I love the example he is setting for our sons. My in-laws are blessed. I am blessed. 
And now we are back home at our prairie parsonage. Spring came to stay while we were away, the grass is green and the leaving are unfolding themselves. It's good to be here too, back with my nice chickens and Willy. See the cup of blessing overflow?

"IT is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High; to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.....For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy works." Psalm 92