Oneness All Our Own

Warmth of oneness all our own,
a wealth neither has ever known.

Together in a permanent
state under the firmament.

A oneness more than touch alone.
A choice made as love we hone.

Cultivate sustainable,
believing it attainable.

Our oneness growing, building, on,
as closer, we are being drawn.

Uniquely us, yet made to fit
together as our lives are knit.

As with knots, it’s never straight.
Oneness is our guarding gate.

No other two could ever be
quite like this oneness of you and me.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

The Body, Mind, and Soul

“I’m tired,” said the Body,
to its brother, Mind.
“The pain within this shell
leaves me so confined.”

“I’m tired,” said the Mind,
to its sister Soul.
“The heaviness I feel
threatens my control.”

“I’m tired,” said the soul,
to its God above.
“The weariness around me
is muffling my love.”

“I hear you,” said the Father,
to his child’s whole.
“I see the toil and strife
is taking quite a toll.”

Then the father wept
He shared his child’s pain
Tears slid down God’s face
To mix with earthly rain.

It pooled in the puddles.
Scattered over stones.
It rang on ever roof,
in muted flowing tones.

A lullaby of grief,
harmonized with love.
Tucked child in
with night a woollen glove.

As the morning rose
to kiss the sky with pink.
Child’s eyes opened
and Body gave a blink.

Mind acknowledged pain
as Body stretched to sit.
But Soul still held its payer
refusing now to quit.

“I’m not quite as tired,”
said body to its mind.
Mind reflected quietly,
now with Soul aligned.

“I hear the prayer inside me,”
said mind to body’s pain.
“Even though this day,
will bring another strain.

I feel Father’s love.
I heard it through the night.
Soul remembers well
God’s goodness and His might.”

Though the body weak
It leaned on Mind’s new will.
Mind held on to Soul,
Still drinking in her fill.

From lullaby to bird song,
outside the windowpane,
God’s love was still flowing.
Its refrain would never wane.

“The will to carry on.
The strength to carry more.
Thank you, God, for holding me.
Show me what’s in store.
I long to hear you more.”

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Whispers of Always

In the quiet of the night
A whisper that brings light
Not light to show a room
But lighten loneliness and gloom

Now blackness doesn’t press
Instead, it’s a caress
A weighted blankets hold
Within a safety fold

A single word of care
Reveals that you are there
Now eyes can close in sleep
No longer will they weep

With a single touch
You have said so much
In a simple phrase
I hear our always blaze

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Sacred Kiss

Your love is like a sacred kiss
But never dose it bring me bliss

Its mark is burned into my soul
Smoulders there as living coal

It feeds my passion and my strife
So angered by this willful life

It feeds the longing to depart
But also bids me do my part

I fear my heart will melt away
You mould me here, like potters clay

Fired firm, within your flame
Ready to my purpose claim

Your love, it has a plan for me
That love is truly this life’s key

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Loves Art

There is a joy in joining
And when we come apart
The push and pull of day-to-day
Is Love teaching us it’s art

There is a pain in holding
Too tightly to your hand
It echoes even when released
Time to ease, it does demand

Absence can grow fondness
Take a moment, sit and wait
I’ll learn to soar with my own wings
Just open wide the gate

A little trust will guide us
As situations shift
First, you lead, then it’s my turn
To lift us over rifts

We each have our own value
Separate, and distinct
But when we choose together
Love is an art where we are linked

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020

Bed Crumbs

There is a Stinker sitting in the middle of the bed. She wears an impish smile while stuffing bread crumbs and strawberry slices into her little cheeks.

Her father is laying behind her. His glasses resting on the unused pillow. His eyes closed. His breathing slow. Lips set in an exhausted, yet somehow happy half-grin.

“What are you two doing?”

“EetEn snacks Mom!” Is the answer given as I stand in the doorway, hands-on-hips, shaking my head.

It’s March 31st, 2020, a Tuesday. We are just about halfway through our 3rd week of social distancing. COVID 19 has disrupted our daily routines. The world is still afraid, and a lot of us are lonely.

We are thankful for spring, and the warming temperatures. Being able to go outside and play in the sun has been our only escape for the last week. But still, we must content ourselves with our small snow-filled back yard. Ice and all. Or short trips to the vacant parking lot down the back ally for a bike ride. The little Stinker’s cheeks are still a bit pink from her last excursion. When I stoop to kiss her head, she smells like spring, puddles, and fresh air. If you know anything about spring, that can be an interesting smell.

“Don’t make a mess in my bed silly goose!” I get no reply but a babyish giggle.

I’m tired. So the time before putting the kid to bed is filled with cartoons and Xbox. Tonight I make it my turn. For a few minutes, I forget the constant ache in my shoulders. I even smile at Erin’s exclamation of “Good job Mom!” The last 3 weeks have not been easy for any of us.

As I find my escape, my other half does what he does best, in his quiet way. Before I know it the two oldest kids are in their pyjamas and heading to bed. The Stinker, Heather? Well, she rarely settles so well. I half-listen as teeth are brushed, the blanket is found, and more snacks are asked for and given. Brant sounds tired too.

“Time for bed Heather.”

“No! Mommy’s bed!” Her shrill little voice sounds like it indeed wandered again on to ‘Mommy’s bed’.

“No Heather. Your bed.”

At that, she screams her defiance. I hear my name being called in between her heartbroken sobs. Inwardly I groan and roll my eyes at the same time. After Brant tucks the still wailing imp into bed, he joins me in the living room.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes.” He says. He is famous for one-word answers.

“Thanks.”

“Your welcome.”

“It’s not just me, right? She’s more difficult than the other two ever were.”

“Yep.” His exasperated agreement is cut off by wailing from upstairs.

“Mommy! Mommy! I want Mommy!”

“Do you think she’s okay? Should I go lay down with her? It’s my turn anyway.” He just nods as I hand him the controller and head upstairs.

I lay on the floor beside my 2-year-old, rubbing her tummy and doing my best to assure her that Daddy is busy but Mama is here. While I was still only halfway up the stairs she had changed her tune and called for Daddy. I silently pray that this won’t take a few hours like usual. She is overtired. Soon her eyes droop as I sing lullabies handed down to me from my mother, and grandmother.

Tell me why the stars do shine.

Tell me why the ivy twines.

Tell me why the sky’s so blue,

and I will tell you, just why I love you.”

She has the covers pulled over her head. Does she also want to shut out this crazy world for a while?

Because God made the stars to shine.

Because God made the ivy twine.

Because God made the sky so blue.

Because God made you, that’s why I love you.”

Her constant movements have stopped. There is no reply when I ask if she is sleeping. No movement when I kiss her cheek.

I really think that God above.

Created you for me to love.

And picked you out from all the rest,

Because he knew, I’d love you best.”

“Well that wasn’t so bad,” I tell my self. Honestly, I can’t believe it was only 15 minutes and not 3 hours. Down the stairs, I go. Now I have time for that shower I have been needing. The dishes also get put into the dishwasher I thank God every day for.

Brant and I alone in the living room. It’s been a Day. A long, tiring, boring, day. Or at least that’s what my mind is telling me. Brant gets up and stretches. 10 pm. This day is finally over. He makes it to bed first.

I pull back the overs and crawl in.

“Oh gross! Brant!”

“What?”

“There are crumbs ALL over in my bed!” I give him a heartfelt glare. “What did you give her!”

“Just bread.”

“It’s everywhere, and it’s your fault you know.” I add, “so gross” under my breath again for good measure.

All he does is smile.

For the next few minutes, I make myself busy brushing crumbs from my side. Brant reads our nightly devotions.

When he is finished I bury my head into my pillows and ask him in a muffled voice. “How much longer do you think this is all going to last?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you think this is why God hasn’t let us move yet?”

“Maybe.” His answers are not very comforting, but his hand rubbing my back helps ease a bit of my tension. It’s been 9 months since the house went up on the market.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

After a few minutes, he is fast asleep. Thoroughly exhausted by a full day of work and his demanding family. It is sleep well earned. But I’m still wide awake.

I pull out my phone, turn the screen light down, and scroll. I know full well it’s the worse thing I could be doing, but I do it anyway. A bare knee finds more crumbs. I put the phone down in exasperation.

Up I get, smooth out the sheets, brush out the crumbs, and lay down again. Still, there are more.

“God, why?” I whisper to the night.

I don’t hear any words come back to me. But my thoughts start to slow down. It’s been a long time since our family has had our own normal. Things keep changing. Plans are made, but fall through. Dreams are made but put on hold. Things we never planned happen, and we must react. Now, this.

More uncertainty, more loneliness.

“God, what are you trying to teach us?”

Then, just before I drift off to sleep, I feel more crumbs under my arm. A final thought slips through my mind. Maybe God just wants me to learn to be more thankful for lullabies, and bed crumbs.

©Mary Grace van der Kroef 2020