A Rock Home Companion: on holding on for dear life


Three out of three boys in my house wear some article of clothing backwards. Two out of three wear something inside-out.

I’m enjoying this time. We thought we would have our baby, my daughter, by the beginning of next year, the very beginning, like in a few months. But with prayer and asking for wisdom about timing and finances, we put the adoption on HOLD to start again at the beginning of the year, which can rip a heart nearly out,

except for peace. Peace does not exclude pain. In fact I’m learning to recognize peace by the pain that surrounds it, like a perfect fire in the middle of snowy tundra.

This place where we live isn’t fancy, but it suits us so fine. Our closest friends, in fact backyard neighbors, dig in our dirt. We all plant garden with peppers and tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and okra. I’m going to fry okra come soon, and we’re going to drink sweet tea, too. It’s just the nature of the southern beast.

The flowers around here are prettier than I’ve seen in my 11 years around the Haines people. Tulips popped up after years of dormancy. The azaleas are crazy like cotton candy in the front beds. It makes me straight want to request Azalea as a flavor from the local snoopy shaved ice place.

I have now put honeysuckle on my hate list, and before this is all overwith, I’m going to hack it all down for trying to squeeze the life out of our roses and lilac. I smelled the lilac holding on for dear life near the mailbox, and found it lassoed and curled from above and beneath by the dern honeysuckle. There has to be a moral to the honeysuckle story.

What do you think it is?

amberhaines
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17 Comments

denise
Reply April 19, 2010

Okay, I'll say the easy Bible school answer: Honeysuckle is like sin. It creeps up on you. One minute it's not there and then, "Hey, when did that come up?" It can disguise a fence, or is that a 'hedge of protection?' It looks pretty. It smells divine. You can even get a few licks of sweet goodness out of it, but it is hard work. Hard work to 'control' it. Hard work to imagine that the something good underneath it can get out if you put a little more effort into it. Hard work to excuse its evil. Hard work to talk yourself into wanting it right where it is. Hard work to explain its presence to others. Better than kudzu but not by a lot.

joann
Reply April 19, 2010

Azaleas are poisonous.
Mine are going CRAZY right now, and I took a picture because it's only for a moment, and then they wither.
I love flowers. This post made me happy. It made me want to forget about ironing (which at this moment, I'm procrastinating about) and go outside.

Cassie Boorn
Reply April 19, 2010

I remember LOVING honeysuckle when I was a little southern girl... The moral of the story...ay ay ay

Amy Mitchell
Reply April 19, 2010

No moral, but I have to say; Honeysuckle is one of the top reasons I love living in the south. I even wear Honeysuckle perfume when I can get my hands on some. Just love it.

Joy
Reply April 19, 2010

On one hand, I'm dreadfully sorry you're having to put adoption plans on hold. On the other hand, I'm so thankful for your peace, and thankful for your hearts to serve the Creator more than the Created. Praying for you, sweet friend.

Amber
Reply April 19, 2010

Joy, maybe you and I can go to Ethiopia together. Wouldn't that be so cool? First, I'd have to sit with you while you got a tattoo. It would be your turn to talk really loudly about Jesus and cry about orphans in a tattoo parlor.

Amber
Reply April 19, 2010

Okay. Okay. I know it about the honeysuckle. I seriously always loved honeysuckle, especially as a little girl, and I'll always love it in the wild places where it's only covering up a bunch of pine needles or a fence anyway, but now I feel like the eyes of my eyes are opened.

Honeysuckle wants to SUCK the sweetness out of everything beautiful here for it's own selfish honey. It's a glory hog, and I don't like it anymore.

Don't hate me. I still love to eat fried okra, though I think I'll need some tips on how to do it better since I can't seem to master its art.

Lora Lynn
Reply April 19, 2010

So glad you've found the peace in the waiting. Sending love and hugs, African Mama.

joann
Reply April 19, 2010

i personally like honeysuckle MORE now. I love an underdog, and I feel like I can relate more to a glory hog for some reason. I think I may be related to honeysuckle now.

Amber
Reply April 19, 2010

Joann, I just can't believe you're the lady who wears way too much perfume when a dab'll do ya.

Lilacs smell good, too, and nobody even knows it!

I confess: I'll enjoy them. I'm the girl who always did put the pretty clothes on the ugly Barbies. It's just that the ugly Barbies never murdered the pretty ones.

nic
Reply April 19, 2010

I miss you!!!!

april
Reply April 20, 2010

I can't imagine how much your heart must ache to put the adoption on hold...hoping that the peace you know now would continue even as I'm sure the ache will, too.

Nish
Reply April 20, 2010

It appears that Arkansas and Oregon are beautifully similar. I went on a walk, just a block up the street and took some pictures of what I found. Our blog pictures are strikingly alike :)

Elizabeth (@claritychaos)
Reply April 20, 2010

I'm sorry to hear about the delays and challenges with the adoption. I can only imagine the heartache and the struggle for patience. Love to you, Amber.

-elizabeth

Vonda Murdock
Reply April 20, 2010

Honeysuckle is like everything that seems good for a while and then it takes over and you can't control it...it controls you. It seems fine. It looks good. It is strong. Then it entangles itself around every part-seeking whom it may devour-it is like our own thoughts sometimes.

Peace is pulling it out. It hurts, but you know it is the right thing to do. And soon, you will come to understand why you had to pull it out...and what is left will be more beautiful than ever before.

misty (@ un vase fragile)
Reply April 20, 2010

ahhh, this post makes me smile and weepy all at the same time. i, like all the good southern gals above, just adore me some honeysuckle... and yet all of a sudden i'm stopped in my tracks at the allegory/metaphor of something when grown wild seems in its proper place and when stamping out the lilacs is somehow all wrong.
and? recognizing peace by the pain that surrounds it... how true that is... our awareness of one lies in our awareness of the other, doesn't it? i'm sad for your family that things are on hold right now.

Carrie L
Reply April 20, 2010

Honeysuckle... we're wacking a huge dead bush covered in live, healthy honeysuckle this weekend. I think then I'll hate it with you, Amber!
Let me know about those okra frying tips!!! We grew some last year but I didn't know when to pick it. We wound up with the nasties, woodiest, chewiest fried okra bits... We coulnd't even cut it. It was too sad! I'll try picking it a lot earlier and a lot smaller this year, but frying advice, would probably help too! I am, after all.... a yanky, trying to imitate my husband's late, southern Grandmother...

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