When the magic begin

The sun shines into the cold, bright air and little white clouds float through it effortlessly.

The birds are singing a song again, and I’m wondering which warm spot they camped out at this winter.

I know they didn’t come home because they wanted to encourage me to hang in there, to prove that spring and summer are on their way back.

They came to build little nests in hedges and trees and bushes, to make everything ready for their arrival of their babies.

Either way, I’m glad they came.

The song they sing while going about their own business lights up my day.

Some of the trees are turning pink, prettier then the prettiest princess dress. The magic is beginning.

Children who are cranky from being cooped up inside go out and play, discovering wondrous things they have seen a thousand times before.

This time, more than any other time before this, it’s new and special and utterly delightful.

In a different realm and also very much here, is the Lord of All. The Lord of the mountains we try to climb, the oceans we can’t fathom. The Lord of spring and forget-me-nots and the babies that are […]

When I’m the girl in the photograph

January, 1922, a young dutch girl is at school in Zaventem, Belgium. She writes the date carefully, each word a work of art.

96 years later I hold it in my hands. I trace the letters she wrote; my great-grandmother.

She started writing it just after a world war, not knowing it would only be the first. Before she had children, before those children grew up.

Did she make ever make the fancy recipes she carefully wrote down, for visitors or in-laws?

Sometimes I think of life back then in black and white, or at least in the faded colors of the photographs I find.

But the sun shone just as brightly, and the grass was just as green.

Life seemed to stretch out just as endlessly for her. After she went back home and put her simple brown notebook with its elaborate curly writing on a shelf, she couldn’t have known that almost a century later it would find itself back in Belgium close to the place where it received its first word.

Someday I’ll be the girl in the old fashioned photograph. And although it won’t be black and white it will seem just as […]

What they are all saying

The trees are saying it, while the sticky sap is running through their veins, rushing to the leaves that are making oxygen so that we breathe, live.

That God is great.

The sun is shining it out with its warmth from 90 million miles away. It warms us, sends energy with the sunbeams that come barging through space towards us, so our skin can transform it into vitamins.

Three small boys who grew into actual people in me. Now they walk beside me, becoming who they are a little more every day.

Eyes full of admiration, seeing miracles. It’s the miracle I see. God is great.The summer comes, anticipated by everybody. Hope flares up in our hearts like fireworks in the night sky.The mystery in our hearts that long for something else. Something untouchable, unattainable and it becomes reachable and tangible when we love others, when we feel the sun on our skin and when we create beauty to see.The presence of God we can see in the everyday, all around us, and at the same time have to hunt for as if it’s a lifelong, worldwide treasure hunt.The clouds, big airy castles made of dust and water […]

The hope that’s always there

All through the winter months, the trees have hidden it: the life that streams through their veins.

Sometimes I’ve thought they must be dead.

Overhead the sky is making an impenetrable wall between us and the sun by spreading a thick blanket of fluffy gray clouds from horizon to horizon.

It won’t be long now before the gray blanket leaves. And the daffodils are the first to appear.

All those months they sat, with only the promise of what would be, like a funny little onion underground. Now they come up.

All that quiet waiting, silent growing and now we can see it. It makes everyone happy and they’ll do it again next year.

Yellow pieces of wonder on the side of the road and nobody can help looking at them, because everybody knows it.

Spring is coming. Thin, fragile yellow leaves are sowing hope in our hearts.

Hope. I always want to feel it.

I want to laugh and dance in the sunshine and revel in the joyful knowing, seeing and believing that everything will be all right and that there is a burning, shining light at the end of the road.

That the road is not […]

Love

Yesterday, love looked like you loving me when I was grumpy, reading Dickens all day in an effort to forget the pain and letting the children run wild.

It wasn’t pretty.

And when you came down after 5, you sent me up to take a hot bath, making supper and feeding the boys.

Yesterday, love looked like you going down after 10 to make me hops tea like so many times before.

Today, love looked like me bringing your pancakes and coffee for breakfast up to your office even though I was annoyed you didn’t come down to eat, and maybe I shortly considered being spiteful and let you starve until lunch.

Love means staying, even when I want to run hard and fast. And I love you. Also when I merely know it and don’t even feel it the smallest bit.

I love you, because I promised. I promised I would stay in the hard times and although there have been hard times, in which I wished I hadn’t promised you anything, I always end up being glad I did.

By which I mean: I’m glad I’m stuck with you.

Love is staying. And staying means having […]

Caleb

Caleb asked for the hard part.

He went and asked for the hardest part.

Not the ready-made fields Gad and Reuben wanted.

Not what Manasseh asked for: more land, land that didn’t need to be cleared of trees, in which Canaanites no longer lived.

He went and asked for the mountain with the fortified cities and their giants.

Because 45 years ago God told Him that the land upon which his feet trod would be his inheritance.

And He knew God would keep His promises. Always. Caleb had waited for 45 years and had never stopped trusting God.

Those 45 years were not Caleb’s fault. But he still had to go through them.

He didn’t forget the assignment: Be strong and courageous. Also in these long, dreary years.

God kept His promise.

Because Caleb wholly followed the Lord. Because he had a ‘different spirit in him.’ He, who went and asked for the hill with the giants, and if he could please go and fight them.

I can’t stop thinking of Caleb, and how he saw the blessing in the hard part.

At 85, 45 years after he was supposed to have gotten his inheritance. He was still ready […]

Slow, really nice and slow

I sometimes complain that life is rushed.And then I rush you.I complain everything is fast, and busy,And then I busy the life out of you.You do it so very well. Living slow.The toothpick falls.

Slowly, you get of your chair. You crawl under the table and find not only the toothpick, but also a ball and a spoon. This delights you.

Your mouth curls into a mischievous, satisfied smile. Your cheeks deliciously go along, not wanting to miss out.

The cheese is lost.You check your t-shirt. Your pants. Your chair. And find it under the table a few minutes later.

Slowly, you push the chair away and I restrain myself from bending down to just do it for you. Your little fingers rub the cheese, relishing the texture. To me, it looks unappetizing. To you, it is a piece of gold.

I tell you to hurry up and finish eating.

You twist around on your chair in an everlasting dance, bumping your plate and your milk. All I can see is the possibility of spilled milk and all you see is the crumbs in the shape of an airplane.

Staring at the ceiling, you contemplate…something? You can’t and won’t […]