Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Cashmere Wedding Throw

(...who by now, three and a half months on, is New Bride. And I really need to think of a better blog name for my Daughter-In-Love as just "Bride" doesn't really work. )

I'll never be able to back-blog all the happy days of this past summer but some Happy Days are not to be missed. One of those was our first official celebration of Active Son's and New Brides wedding week: a small family and close friends bridal shower for New Bride, well, Bride to Be, depending on how you look at it.

The ladies of our family hosted the shower at the home of our ever gracious and generous entire-Boise-summer hostess, with Oldest Daughter flying in just hours before the event. That's our hostess/friend pinching a berry from Tayta's awesome chocolate-berry trifle, and that is her punch bowl that we packed the trifle into.

And though not all the ladies of the family could attend this shower, the intention was to celebrate New Bride and her family, and the joining of our two families in marriage.

As I've had the great pleasure of getting to new New Bride's mother, I've gained sweet glimpses as to the loving and nurturing heritage that New Bride brings to our family. And I've gained a new friend--and prayer partner!

I prepared a couple special gifts for New Bride, with her and Active Son's colors in mind. Of course they would need some felted wool potholders for their first kitchen.

But the gift I really enjoyed creating for them was this recycled cashmere throw. The colors are a nod to the brighter palate of pinks and orange one might find in traditional Jordanian embroidery, with a little of the ubiquitous Jordanian aqua accent color thrown in, rounded out by the lighter earth tones of the arid land. And, magenta is New Bride's favorite color.

It is now gracing Active Son and New Bride's sofa in their Arizona apartment.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

In Him All Things Hold Together~A Mother's Tale

As I visited the other day with a Jordanian friend, whose house is full of children, ages 10-21, she asked me in an empathetic voice, "But isn't it hard having all your children so far away?" Oh, yes it is, I replied, but it is good. I wouldn't have chosen it, but because of it I experience God's goodness to me and our family. Too many ways to recount in a blog post, but I want to remember a very significant and meaningful way God let me experience that at the end of my time in the States this summer. Here's the extended version of what I told my friend:

Due to some uncertainties as to where our kids would be in August, Dear Husband let me make my return ticket to Jordan for August 23, about three weeks after he returned to Jordan. As the summer and fall plans of our children slowly became clear, what also became clear was that these three weeks were a generous gift from God during which I was able to spend time with each of them, and in three different parts of the country.

This also meant saying good-bye four different times--and that's just my kids. About mid-way through the summer a phrase bubbled up and skipped around on surface of my emotions: Pulled apart. That two-word phrase expressed the tension I was feeling as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a wife. All at once and in too many places. A few weeks later, as this phrase was again resounding in my heart, God answered my new mantra with this precious truth from his word--well, it became precious to me at that moment.

 ...And he (Jesus Christ) is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)

There are more awesome truths about Jesus packed into this passage, but this is the particular one that God brought to mind for my comfort and encouragement, the perfect antidote to my tension.

The first good-bye was to Active Son and his New Bride. We packed their moving van and hugged and waved goodbye as they headed to Arizona, New Bride's homeland, full of family, where they hope to work and study for the next few years. This good-bye was made easier by knowing that Active Son and New Bride go together, looking forward to establishing themselves as a family.

After Active Son and his New Bride pulled out of Boise, I had about a few days to spend with Tayta before she returned to college and a new job as a resident advisor in the dorm. We visited friends, shopped, packed, and had some sweet times together, picnicking on the Boise river and knocking around downtown, drinking coffee/tea in the District coffee house. It was a good time for us to debrief the and look forward to the coming year.

After Tayta left for Houston, I moved from our summer lodgings to my parents home so that I could spend my last two days in Boise with just them. I hadn't realized how physically and emotionally spent I was until I arrived at their house, but of course there is no better place to crash then at home with mom and dad. They took good care of me and we enjoyed two gentle days of watching the Olympics, a couple ladies meals out, and relaxing walks. Perfect. Thanks Mom and Dad.

And so I began my solo journey back to Jordan. My first stop: a little over a week with Oldest Daughter and Music Man in Chicago. They had recently purchased a townhouse in the city and as it turned out, I would arrive during a week that Oldest Daughter planned some new-house projects and organizing. We accomplished a lot, I think, and had fun doing it together. And we even had time for a day of shopping in the city, two trips to the Lincoln Park Conservatory, a trip to the Chicago Botanical Gardens, with the bonus of attending Music Man's last summer Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert at Rivenia Music Festival, Itzhak Perlman conducting. I loved spending this time with Oldest Daughter and Music Man in their new home and it is comforting to know just where things are and how things are in their house when I think of them throughout the days we are apart.

One final stuff-it-all-in packing job, and I was headed back to Jordan, flying out through Boston Logan international airport since this is the airport we flew into at the beginning of the summer to attend Artist Son's graduation. Earlier this summer, I wrote about Artist Son's plans to attend graduate school in Houston this fall. Through a series of soul-searching events, Artist Son, with the affirmation of all who care about him, including the recruiting professor, decided to withdraw his application and take the desired and needed year off from a formal study program. Thus, he is still in the Boston area, living, working, learning, and making art. And his senior exhibition is now hanging in a local gallery. I hadn't seen him since June and probably wouldn't be seeing him until next summer, so I was thrilled that I had a five hour layover in Boston and would be able to have dinner with Artist Son in the airport.

Four hours is not a long time, but God's economy is perfect. It was enough time for my mother's heart to be assured and encouraged that all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well. And what a wonderful thing it was to receive a great Artist Son hug before making my final turn toward home.

On the other side of the Atlantic and 20+ hours of travel, I was greeted by Dear Husband, smiling, alert, and fresh, even though he was picking me up from the airport at 3am. What loving and generous gifts he gave me by encouraging me to enjoy the time I had with each of our children while he lit and stoked the hearth fires of home, cleaning away three months of dust, bringing the seriously wilted garden back to life, and chasing away the cockroaches that took up residence in our apartment while we were away.

It is good to be home, even with pieces of my heart walking around Chicago, Phoenix, Gloucester, and Houston, because I know that in Jesus we are held together.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Autumn Crocus

Yesterday I had a little time while waiting for my husband to finish in a meeting at the hospital, so I wandered over to a place on the hospital compound where I once found wild autumn crocuses blooming under a planted palm. September is the month to begin looking for such blooms. They are rare, and this is the only place I have ever spotted them. As it turns out, my timing was perfect--several petite bunches were blooming and in their prime.

Autumn Crocus
Colchicum tunicatum
Wildflower spotting: Mafraq

Monday, September 05, 2016

Flowering Jordan 2016 Calendar~September

I'm back in Jordan and pulling myself up onto the blogging wagon once again. Try, try again...