Friday, April 27, 2012

My Big Red Umbrella

Three weeks after the end of ski season, the residents of our town of Whitefish have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather.  Honestly - I was wearing flip flops the morning before I put on my snowboard boots on for the last time this year. Typically in this area, Spring is our coldest season, at least in my opinion. It is also known as Baseball Season in Montana....the season in which I typically get the most out of my down coat. Not this year...not so far.

Each morning this week we've woken up to sunshine and birds singing. After Luci and Fynn are off to school, Myli and I make what we call, "second breakfast". We fry our eggs in coconut oil and black pepper (delish), place them on a bed of fresh spinach and top them off with tomatoes, avocado, parmesan cheese, and some Franks Redhot Sauce. Add a side of fresh fruit and berries....well, that's a nicely balanced and quite aesthetically pleasing meal. (mmmmm, sorry I got sidetracked....I may have to get up to make "midnight breakfast") Anyway, lately we have been excitedly taking our second breakfast outside to enjoy in the sunshine. We've been sitting at the table on the back patio under the big red umbrella. After we eat I've been bringing out my coffee and my journal and some paper and markers for Myli.

I love writing in my journal. I actually have several different journals I write in regularly. My dear friend gave me a book last year called "A Thousand Gifts" which inspired me to keep a journal of all the gifts I have in my own life. I haven't made it to one-thousand yet but I'm sure I'll get there and beyond. The book showed me how to see everything in life in a new light. I learned to open my eyes again and really see the small details of this world that would otherwise go unnoticed or even be viewed as a negative. Often I don't even see the gift until way after the fact when I think....."ohhhh, that's why that happened." Writing about my gifts....all the bits of my life for which I am thankful (tired of this subject yet?) really makes my heart swell. I'll write and stop and look out into the trees and then write again. On this day, Myli would study me and then color again. "What do you keep looking at Mommy?" "Hmmm? Oh nothing really, just enjoying it all." A few minutes later I noticed Myli looking out into the green belt behind our house in the same way. She whispered, "look at the baby deer." I took it all in and then wrote, "Gift #192 Quietly watching the baby deer in the sunshine behind our house with my baby girl."

Just then, it started to rain....really hard. I didn't even know there was a cloud. The sun was still shining through the downpour as bright as could be. We were in awe. Our big red umbrella kept us and the things on our table completely dry - we were in our own little warm bubble safely watching it rain on the world.

I thought about that for several minutes. The picture seemed to take on more meaning. You see, I'd been trying to describe, in my other journal that morning,  my deep fear of cancer. There are waves that come and go in my life when I feel like I'm praying for so many families who are being torn apart by this disease. Women I know, my own age, with children, being beaten by this disease. Children I know being beaten by this disease. My own dad was beaten by this disease. It terrifies me and just the idea of it coming into our lives threatens my sanity. The same word repeats in my head again and again. Why? Why them? Why not me? (I feel physically ill even writing that question.) I make my brain go straight to a page in my lesson book from Faith Formation at our church where I teach fourth grade. In huge font, it spells it out. "Worry about nothing, pray about everything." That's right, (breathe), that's right. Worry about nothing. Pray about everything. I prayed again for the families. The ones getting poured on right now while we sit happy and dry and warm under our big red umbrella. The sun is still shining on them, even through the rain. God loves us through all the pain and sadness in this world. Right now, we get to just take it all in. Trust and enjoy our lives while we support those who need us. We need to trust our journey (like my t-shirt Brad gave me says to do - I think I'll wear that tomorrow)

Gift #193 Every moment on this earth with children and family.

Gift # 194 The ability to appreciate all the ups and downs life has to offer.

Gift #195 My big red umbrella and the sun that shines through the rain.


  1. Love you, girl............Mama

  2. That's my favorite post. You're so right!
    And such a great writer!