Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thursday's crisp morning air reminded us of sweaters, cider and pumpkins. Fall is upon us, yet I am reluctant to release the warm bright days.

Salome' and I sat on the front porch, side by side enjoying a quiet moment. To our delight a bright orange and black butterfly flitted softly into our view. She stayed longer than we expected, but was gone in a breath.

Butterflies move us. Who, in seeing a prickly caterpillar meandering about, is not careful to avoid crushing it, aware that someday it will miraculously transform. Fragile, soft bodies relinquish themselves to the quiet darkness of cocoons, trusting that in time they will emerge again, changed and free to fly. As planned, after ages of patience, the loveliest of creatures emerges; the symbol of resurrection. Life is orderly, seasons pass the baton in perfect time, and so we must wait for Spring, then to our thankful, longing hearts, come butterflies again.

This beautiful butterfly we met today reminds me of a precious child we know.
Her name is Kayla. The joy of her smile, the depth of her poetry, the brightness of her artwork and the bravery of her spirit, are beautiful. She is the kind of person who brings out the best in those she loves, or even in those she barely knows, like me. When I look at the sparkle in her eyes from this past year's Christmas card I see that which I long for, a joy in the moment and the satisfaction with that which we are given in life. I believe she is saying to us," hold life loosely and hold those you love closely."

I am unsure to where Thursday's butterfly disappeared, but I know where Kayla is. On May 4, 2010, Kayla, whose physical heart was too weak to continue beating in the cocoon of her earthly body, stopped, but her spiritual heart beats on- strong, vibrant and in-tune with the Creator of her precious life. And so she is the one transformed, waiting now for us, in the beautiful Spring of Eternity, in the presence of the God she loves.


When I get a feeling,
it's just an ordinary feeling.

But when I'm with you
it starts to change.

It changes into hope and care,
And joy and love.

I believe in you.

You are the great one.
The Holy One.
You can save us all.

by Kayla Gucciardo

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All I Need

My hos-ta plants endured a difficult summer. Now, in the fall, thanks to the feasting of the slugs, they are dwarfed. I could sugar coat my gardening methods and say, "They have a lace-like look!", or, "Well at least they still have a few blooms!" The reality is, I hid the slug-bate from my little ones so well that I've never found it. The hiding of it followed Zion's pouring of a huge pile of slug-bate granules on the couch! He was delighted with himself, "A Tower!" he cried. I grabbed him in one arm, the bate in the other and read the label, "Safe for pets and wild animals." Whew, well there you go, it is safe for toddlers! So, though the slugs and snails happily dine where ever they please, they will never dare step foot on that couch!

It isn't necessarily a worry that Zion will eat uneatable things, it is the question of just what he will do with them. Helpful as ever just the other evening he fed the dogs. They were each given a cup of food, minus one piece which Zion stuck in his ear for later.

Emmaus is also extremely helpful. He is quick to grab whatever he needs, then conscientiously closes the baby-safety lock behind him, just in case any wayward toddler may appear!

I know the odd mix of encouraging ability, holding tightly to sanity and keeping everyone alive, sometimes pushes me precariously close to the edge of my limits. Supposedly, I am naturally a patient person. However, relying on my own abilities to handle extremes with patience can be an unsafe-safety-net. If I am too self reliant or place expectations on myself or my crew that are unrealistic, I set us all up for failure. Our gifts balance our flaws. It is the way we are made. The beauty of failure and inability, lends weight to our humility, which gives gravity to our earthbound lives and keeps us seeking the God we need.

This morning dew drops clung to a huge spider-web fastened across the deck. I could see the powerful threads holding together the intricate pattern, one end to another, perfectly planned, an exquisite filter. If I open my eyes to God's presence in my life, I can see him this way, as my strong shield and filter. Just a moment with him and my balance is restored. On this side of heaven my flaws will often appear to be my hindrance. But they are a gift, as are many difficult things in my life that keep me steadily relying on the perfect provider of all I need.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunbeams and Such

Ezra followed a sunbeam down the stairs and into the entryway. With palms wide open and arms stretched as high as her tiptoes would allow her to reach; she jumped, raced, danced and giggled, oblivious to anything in the world but her sunbeam. They both seemed to laugh at the camera I aimed toward them, nothing would detract or suspend this beautiful moment of delight. And all too quickly, as often our best moments do, the sunbeam left her. But our sweet Ezzie, after a moment of searching the shadowed floor, radiantly looked into my face, glad for the joyful time of soaking in the light.

Two nights later Zion awakened in tears. In his sleepy, husky voice he asked me to come find him, as if he felt lost. I scooped him up and brought him to Gabe's empty room. We lay on the bed, side by side, faces reflecting the light of the moon shining through the window. Under the glow of moonlight, Zion peacefully slipped back into sleep.

Daily, our children invite us to see life through their eyes. Ezra's joy and Zion's comfort came in following and resting in the light. They remind me, it is God's light shining into the dark places of my life that changes everything.