Monday, September 3, 2012

The Last Things I'll Remember

The partly open hay barn door, white frame around the darkness,
the broken board, small enough for a child
to slip through.

Walking in the cornfields in late July, green tassels overhead,
the slap of flat leaves as we pass, silent
and invisible from any road.

Hollyhocks leaning against the stucco house, peonies heavy
as fruit, drooping their deep heads
on the dog house roof.

Lilac bushes between the lawn and the woods,
a tractor shifting from one gear into
the next, the throttle opened,

the smell of cut hay, rain coming across the river,
the drone of the hammer mill,
milk machines at dawn.

-Joyce Sutphen

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the most amazing woman I know! I love you, Mom!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'll Be Your Emmylou

 My brother, Casey, and I have always seemed to butt heads. As children, almost every interaction involved fighting and crying. We spent one year of high school together-- his senior year, my freshman. There was little interaction between us that year, but it was nice knowing he was there considering my tendency towards homesickness. That being said, there were still times during our childhood when Casey could seriously be the sweetest big brother. I remember once he even bought me a Barney purse for my birthday. I found out about it and he got really mad at me, but still. As we have gotten older we get along much better-- that is, except for one area: those I deem worthy of his time and affection. In the past, there have been precious few (if any) girls whom I have considered to be good enough. Until now. 
Last Saturday family and friends gathered to celebrate the wedding of my brother Casey and his beautiful bride Kate. Their country style ceremony and reception took place in a field next to an old, wore down barn. Everything about it was beautiful, fun, and quirky, just like the happy couple. To say that I am happy for my brother would be a complete understatement. Knowing Casey, it is obvious that Kate was the one he was looking for far before he knew it himself. Seeing him so happy makes me happy,especially having witnessed the long search for him to find her. Kate fits in so well with our family and she fits so well with Casey.
Here's to Casey and Kate and a lifetime of happiness full of babies.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Young adulthood. It is said to be the time of life when one discovers one's identity. Apparently we go through childhood and, especially, adolescence in a constant search and struggle for who we are. However, I am finding my own experience to be rather different. I knew who I was when I was a child. Even into early adolescence, I knew who I was and where I stood; I was significantly more convicted in my values and beliefs. And then I left home for boarding academy, later to college. While I in no way fell off the deep end, I lost my grounding in many ways.  As I went through high school and college I began to see a world with blurred lines and complicated problems. I met people and had experiences that were faith shaking, to say the least. It seems to me, that the time in our lives when we are supposed to be "finding ourselves" is precisely the time when we lose who we truly are.

Society would have us believe that our late teens and early twenties are for self-discovery-- a time to try new things and make mistakes. Throw caution to the wind rather than proceeding with caution. But this is what I have found: all the "self-discovery" that I have experienced has actually been re-discovery. It seems to me that early adulthood is vital in the shaping of one's character for the rest of life.

Somewhere between the age of 15 and 20 I lost big pieces of myself. Now, as I concentrate on shaping my own character, it is those qualities that I strive to get back. Passion for whatever it is I may be doing. Excitement over everyday things. Genuineness. But the more I long to get back sincerity of my childhood the more challenging it proves to be and I want to go back in time and tell my 15-year-old self "don't lose this part of you. Hang out to it with all you have. That friendship, it's not worth losing your depth and sincerity. And that boyfriend, he in no way deserves to steal your innocence." The fact is, we all make mistakes when we're young. But I would suggest that when we reach this so-called point of "self-discovery" that we don't go searching for someone new. Because maybe what we need to journey back to the simplicity of our younger years. Take the sincerity of your childhood and combine it with the perspective from your adult experiences.Be genuine. Be passionate. Be bold. Be sincere.

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.'"
Matthew 18:3-5

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Home Is Where Your Mom Is.

I couldn't have been more than five years old. I was feeling sad, burdened by the trials and tribulations a little girl of such as age is challenged with. I do not recall the reason for my distress, but I do remember feeling lonely. I approached my mom and as she recognized my distraught countenance she bent done and asked me the simple question: "do you need your love-cup filled?" In that instant she swooped me up, sat me on her lap, and held me tight. I laid my head on her chest taken in by the scent of her skin. She held me close and stroked my hair until when she asked if my love cup was filled I answered "overflowing." My mom has never failed to make me feel loved.

She has been the epitome of class, confidence, beauty, and self-respect. Her conviction is outstanding considering the things she has gone through and the challenges she has faced. She has faith unlike anyone I have ever known. And I know that any degree to which I possess these qualities is owed to her. She has been my sounding board throughout my whole life. All-nighters were never out of the question when, as a child, I was too scared to sleep, or now when there is so much weighing on my mind and I need someone to talk to. Her example has helped my mature in my own spirituality and relationship with God. And that is probably the best gift she has given me.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you so much; thank you for all that you do for me. I hope that someday I am as good of a mother to my kids.

"Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens he mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her...
Charm is decietful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."

Proverbs 31:25-28, 30

Saturday, May 5, 2012

You Aren't Like Them

Admit it. You aren't like them.

You're not even close.

You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them,

watch the same mindless television shows as they do,

maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes.

But it seems that the more you try to fit in,

the more you feel like an outsider,

watching the normal people as they go about their automatic existences.

For every time you say club passwords like

'Have a nice day' and 'Weather's awful today, eh?',

you yearn inside to say forbidden things like,

'Tell me something that makes you cry'


'What do you think deja vu is for?'

--Timothy Leary