Friday, November 13, 2015

Just let it happen

How awesome would it be to own a herd of alpacas? Way awesome. Honeeey... I'll be out ba-aacck... checking on the alpacaaas...

And by "out back" I mean sprawling acreage. Rolling hills. White ranch-style fencing. And don't get me started on the house. (Complete with what my magazines call the "mud room" - where I'd keep my houndstooth rubber boots!)

Perhaps what I'm really after is where alpacas live (wealthy alpacas) more than the actual alpaca. After all, aren't they a lot of work? Don't they need more than an occasional checking-on? Pretty sure you can't just set them up on iPads before leaving town. And then there's the alpaca caca...

So maybe they're not my thing. When it comes to alpacas - and all furry friends - maybe brief, snugly, atta-boy and who's-my-good-girl encounters are more my thing.

Take rabbits. I see them all over the place when I go for walks (you know, rabbits). Popping in and out of my town's overly landscaped areas - bushes evenly spaced, red-white-red-white flower beds, short plants in front, tall in back. It's oddly nice and nauseating at the same time.

But where was I...

Rabbits - popping in and out. Sadly more in than out, for they never let you get too close. And oftentimes I tell the person I suckered into walking with me: "If they only knew I wouldn't hurt them. That I would pick them up, pull them close, and give them the massage of their LIFE before safely putting them back down to run off to their little family."

It was my husband who got to hear my latest rabbit rant. (Lucky guy.) And when I finished, a thought came to mind. More like, a thought was spoken over me: "That's exactly what I want to do with you, if you would only let me."

Believe me, it wasn't Jeff trying some sort of mental telepathy. It was God, wanting to remind me of his coziness. His warmth. His protective and relational ways. And to stop being afraid of trusting him. It sure laid to rest my recent all-business approach to him. As if relating to God has become a cold, awkward heavenly transaction.

Isaiah 40:11 says, "...he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart."

Turns out we're the ones, the not-so-furry friends God wants to pick up and hold close, whispering a string of atta-boys and who's-my-good-girls. And unlike me and how I'm only interested in all-things-alpaca except the actual alpaca, God is only interested in all-things-me... all-things-you.



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Here's the thing about long drags...

Just when I thought our home was having a longer than usual wholesome streak - kids making good choices, more please-and-thank-yous going around, nobody's requesting R-rated birthday cakes (read about that one HERE) - I overheard my 12-year-old singing, "I don't smoke, but sometimes I need a long drag."

Not a cute, perky long drag. But a fairly convincing "loooooong draaaaag." Sung with eyes closed, lots of vibrato, and that hand you put up when trying to hit the big notes.

Thanks, Carrie Underwood, sweetheart of America. Until we bought your latest album, "Smoke Break," my daughter thought a long drag was something her brother did with trash cans out to the curb on Mondays.

But now, home girl needs to light it up? Hardly. She's 12. For me, it's more about the lingo. I'm not quite ready for her to be up on her smoking slang. Doesn't sound ladylike. Other than that, I suggested she make it an around the house song. Maybe only sing it while organizing washi tape or Pinteresting.

Then I pondered the real meaning of the song. After all, metaphorically speaking, what weary soul doesn't need a long drag every once in awhile? Especially those who, according to Carrie Underwood, are "never taking nothing and doing nothing but giving."

Take me. I recently took a "long drag" at one of those Chinese reflexology massage places with a sign in the window: Walk-ins Welcome. It was 70 minutes of pure long draggishness, which I later celebrated with a cup of dark roast (long drag #2), a Nordstrom Rack walk-thru (long drag #3), and a See's Candies sample (long drag #s 4, 5, and 6).

Although here's the thing about long drags: I can easily line them all up everyday - long drags 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - and will always want 7, 8, 9, 10 to quickly come the next day. There are never enough drags.

But the most lasting, in-it-for-the-long-haul "drag" out there is knowing the creator of everything calls me friend. I know, God and metaphorically (or not) taking long drags don't usually go hand in hand. But there you have it.

Jesus says, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."

Ah, isn't rest is the best?

So perhaps the wholesome levels in my home are still running steady. And goodness knows cigarettes are the furthest thing from my daughter's mind. Besides, what could she possibly need a rest from? Driving literally everywhere? Paying bills? That dishwasher that always leaves a residue? Finding where the cat pee odor is coming from? Oh no, it's time I take another long drag.