Monday, May 18, 2009

Mama Monday

Today's Mama Monday is a local friend of mine, but also a blogging friend of mine. It is a unique experience to have a connection to a blogger, and have them also reside right down the street from you...
L.L. Barkat is the blog author of the thoughtful, poetry filled blog Seedlings in Stone.

L.L. in person gets to the heart of matters very quickly--skips the small talk and gets right to the meat--(sorry, L.L., I know you are a vegetarian!)I do enjoy that kind of talk--helps my mind not go to mush...
L.L.'s daughters on a recent trip to Paris

Ladies, I am pleased to bring you:

1. Greatest thing about being a mom: Soft cheeks to kiss at night. You've just gotta love that. And the things kids sometimes write or say, like this recent poem from my 9-year-old...


I will play the
song for you
and then show
you how to play it.
You will love it
forever. I know that,
because I know you.

2. Hardest thing about being a mom: Me. I'm the hardest thing about being a mom. I always say it's the most challenging job I ever took on, because of the incredible personal growth it requires.

3. Interests/Hobbies: I have an unnatural affection for languages (which my poor little home-educated girls will tell you is true, since I'm teaching/learning with them... Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Spanish... and on my own I'm trying to learn French). I'm also instrument-happy... currently trying to learn piano and cello while recapturing my flute past. I love to sew by hand, clothes for my girls. As an author I suppose I should say I love writing (that's what a writer is supposed to say, yes?) but I like to say, more truly, that I write to love.

4 . How you find balance in your life: I say no. I say yes. It's a continual process of listening to my needs, and listening to the heart-body-and-soul-needs of those I live and love with.

5. Inspirations: Nothing inspires me like tiny seeds in Spring, the first snap peas of the season, wine berries overtaking the woods, the sound of water lapping at a shore. The constancy and abundance of nature, its resilience and loveliness gives me hope and wakens me. It is, I like to remember, the context in which David wrote some of the most beautiful, honest, and God-reaching poetry the world has ever seen.

6. I couldn't live without: Spiders on dewy webs in morning sun, purple wildflowers that forbid me to mow them, the sound of the wind. Which is to say, the gifts of creation.

7. Ways you worship God: I used to think that worshiping God was something I do. Now I think it's a gift God gives me in quiet moments that I set aside-- to just watch the mourning doves new-nesting, or the red hawks circling, or the blueberries pushing towards purply ripeness. Oddly, I have also found that writing is a form of worship, because it humbles me and is always, always a gift I receive.

8. What helps me through tough days: Chocolate is good. (Alternately, so is blogging, writing poetry, running, sleeping, sitting outside and drinking tea. It probably goes without saying, that the love of God is a gentle thread that weaves through both my joys and sorrows.)

9.What do you want that you think you cannot have: I always wanted to be a farmer, or at the very least a passable gardener. Except the only thing I'm truly talented at growing is the grass in my yard and a lot of wild onions. Both of which I am responsible for taming or uprooting. Which I'm rather lazy about. Plant laziness is a terrible quality in a farmer, so I don't think I'll ever be a wonderful Miss Ann.

10. What do you pack to pursue your dreams, and what do you leave behind: Dreams. I used to find them suspect, but ever since reading Bill Strickland's book Make the Impossible Possible, I've come to see them as central to my generosity and life direction. The hard part is deciding which dreams have staying power, are truly dreams, and which are just a passing fancy (oh, I have a lot of those!). At the moment, I'm delving into my love for poetry, reading everything I can get my hands on, writing a weekly poetry column at HighCallingBlogs, reading and writing poetry with my children. And that last point partly answers your question... I do believe that a wonderful dream has a way of drawing others in and spurring them to their own creative risk, healing, and generosity. Dreams that isolate us and don't encourage others to greatness and growth are the ones that are suspect.

11. What's been on my mind lately: Besides cleaning the fridge? :) (Which I try not to think about, but can't seem to avoid thinking about, since I know my fridge "science experiments" don't particularly interest my husband.) Really though, right now I'm trying to finish up my second book to meet an August 1st deadline, so it's on my mind night and day. That's both exciting and burdensome as you can imagine.

12. One word that describes me: passionate, poetic, artistic (now, that's three words, which means maybe the one word to describe me is really 'indecisive' or, to be more generous to myself, 'multi-faceted'! :)
Thank you, L.L.!!!!!


L.L. Barkat said...

Andrea, you're welcome. But really, thank you for showing off my little purple wildflowers, my 1940's copy of Walt Whitman and my sweet little girlies.

Andrea said...

My favorite part of the interview:
How L.L. finds balance:
I say no. I say yes. It's a continual process of listening to my needs, and listening to the heart-body-and-soul-needs of those I live and love with.I love that!!!

Prairie Chick said...

mmmm.... can relate to so much! we would be fast friends in real life I'm just SURE of it! wonderful.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, and just a fun little aside. Click on the purple flower pic and see the bee that is hiding, drinking sweet nectar.

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

I only wanted the conversation to never end!

Thank you, thoughtful women, for sharing wisdom....

Children of Eve said...

The first mama monday to leave me teary-eyed. That poem, LL, honestly it describes God's relationship to me. God being the author of the poem. Yes, Andrea I echo your term...."meaty"!

deb said...

how lucky I am to "know" such a beautiful person. In the not knowing this felt like such a gift.

Anonymous said...

Andrea - you know such interesting mamas! What a blessing we can share. Thank you once again from the other side of the world. Barbara

Kimberly said...

I love the Mamas I meet here! Some are new friends, some are others I've already met through their words. Some, magically keep appearing in the quiet, out of the way spaces I love. I find our hearts drawn to one another. How I long for the day, though it may be On The Other Side, where those of us same-hearted Mamas can join together to laugh and talk and share for an eternity.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I feel like Kimberly when she mentioned we might all get together some day! I am grateful to have connected with all of you and to feel a heart connection. Thank you for the Lord is speaking to me in this season, preparing me for something out of 'character.' So I wait for Him to speak to me some more...

Maria in CT