When Life Hands You a Popsicle

It’s only been five hours since I crawled into bed, when my husband rolled his suitcase in the room wearing the smell of airports on his suit jacket.  The glare of red numbers still in the fives when I step on the carpet, wrap robe around chilly shoulders and open the glow of screen for Friday’s word prompt.

Together, it’s the word and I ask God what He wants me to say about it.  Linger over it while I spread mayonnaise on bread, zip lunchboxes, pour orange juice and close eyes over a steamy tea sauna steeping on the counter.

I write, push publish. Then God shows me another chapter of together in a day that unfolds like a landslide. I’m running to stay out of its way and watch where the earth decides to rest.

When the doors slam and the house empties, I climb into my monastery and drive to Myrtle Beach to meet Dawn, whom I have only known through the prose we pen on our blog houses.

On the way, Kelly calls.  I haven’t heard her voice in eleven years.  But the conversation picks up like we’re sitting with folded legs on the floor of her A-frame covered in snow on the mountain in California twenty years ago.

She calls to tell me about her trip to Scotland last summer, when she learns that I am going too. To share a slice of the city, so I can eat from her joy.

I shake hands with Dawn and her husband at the door of the Mexican restaurant. We sit over nachos and I learn what it’s like to pastor diversity and blog for more than seven months. We share faith like M&M’s in a bowl, savoring the sweetness one color at a time.

After we hug goodbye, I bump into the Chanel girls walking through the mall. Ask Laura about her cancer, and talk to Mary about disappointments over fine lines and sagging skin. They tell me to hydrate.

I buy some shoes from Lynn, tell her my feet changed. Explain that I hope these shoes won’t hurt my feet walking cobblestones in London and sidewalks in Edinburgh. She says she’s been there too, assures me our feet really do change.

When I walk into Ann Taylor Loft, the lady that wears orange sherbet every time I see her, she gasps and then smiles at me. Says she likes the blouse I’m wearing.  I tell her I remember her words every time I wear it, “You won’t be sorry you bought this.” She was right.

And when the earth rotates and I gently awake from slumber foggy eyed on my periwinkle pillow, I hear this: “Your words are like a popsicle, they drip sweetness.” I see a hand holding a popsicle covered melted cherry. My eyes are still closed.

I can’t stop thinking about the popsicle so I wander into the quiet of the kitchen, under the hum of refrigerator, open my book on the table and read the words of Baldwin of Ford:

“Jesus is sweet . . . . He is sweet in prayer, sweet in speech, sweet in reading, sweet in contemplation, sweet in conpunction, and in jubilation of the heart. He is sweet in the mouth, sweet in the heart, sweet in love; he is the love of sweetness and the sweetness of love . . . those who have tasted of him grow hungry, and those who are hungry will be satisfied and the sated will cry out the memory of his abundant sweetness.”

He shows me in the stillness. How His love drips sweet in panoramic perspective on the phone, in the restaurant, at the counter, in my dream, on the pages of my book, and when I close my eyes to pray.  The way of grace sticks sweet.

And I can’t help but wonder if my son will wake up wanting popsicles for breakfast.

“The Lord was made sweet to you because he liberated you . . .you had been bitter to yourself when you were occupied only with  yourself. Drink the sweetness.” ~Augustine

 I’m still counting gifts for the Joy Dare and I wrote every one of those holy moments mentioned above in my journal this week. I hope your still keeping your list too.

Linking with some good friends who I hope to see one day in real life too: Michelle DeRusha, Jen Ferguson, Shanda Oakley, Ann Voskamp, Laura Boggess, Carissa Graham and Heather.

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61 Responses to When Life Hands You a Popsicle

  1. Drink the sweetness. I can see that so many, many people are drinking and enjoying your sweetness. What a wonderful gift.

  2. “We share faith like M&M’s in a bowl, savoring the sweetness one color at a time.” Your words are poetry, Shelly. I love reading your posts!

  3. Karla Porter Archer says:

    Such beautiful reflections. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Laura says:

    Sweet. I want to leave a wise, encouraging word. But all that comes to mind is our recent discovery….popsicle molds. We’ve been pouring our favorite juices, or frozen fruit old with freezer burn blended with yogurt into them and having fun eating popsicles for breakfast.

  5. bungalow56 says:

    This was as sweet as a popsicle. Lovely delicious words i enjoyed savouring as I read : )
    Dana

  6. Beautifully woven musings. Thanks.

  7. triciaraisinghumans says:

    Your words… I just love them. You weave such beautiful moments into stories that stick with me throughout my day. Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Joy says:

    Nice to meet you through Heather’s Just Write. Your writing is beautiful, and this story a great way to show, not tell. Love it.

  9. Denise says:

    Such sweetness found here.

  10. Alicia says:

    Oh, YES! Savor the popsicle days. Love the quotes about Jesus’ sweetness! And glad to hear I’m not the only mom in the world who serves up popsicles for breakfast sometimes :)

  11. Pamela says:

    Beautiful in the writing and in the words. A day of grace and beauty–of communing with God through His children. When I read the Baldwin quote about my sweet Jesus, the words began to sing…”Oh, to be like Thee. Oh, to be like Thee. Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art. Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness. Cast Thy own image deep on my heart.” That’s the yearning of my heart.

  12. Meredith says:

    I love how you wove them all into a narrative! What a beautiful day!
    My heart has been doing business with the love verses in 1 Corinthians 13. I loved the picture of His sweetness– it really resonated with me!

  13. first time to enter your site and it really blessed me reading post from other christians and it is like knowing new things how God works in each and everyones lives. It makes me to seek more of God’s presence in my life. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love the beauty of all these gifts! Yes, it is so sweet, His life, how He leads! I love the quotes you share here. I am particularly convicted by Augustine’s words. Thank you, Shelly.

  15. dukeslee says:

    I so want a popsicle now. :)

    Glad to hear you and Dawn met. That makes my heart smile.

  16. Shanda says:

    I have learned a whole new meaning to the word together since i started blogging. The sweetness of life and friendship in Christ is like nothing else.

  17. I will never be able to eat a cherry popsicle the same way. I pray when I leave someone, that I leave the sweet stickiness of Him behind. That I drip it all along my path…
    Thank you, friend!

    Oh, and P.s. I made brussels sprouts the way you told me to and they were good enough to be welcomed again at my home, thank you!!!

  18. kimahall says:

    Yummy bloggy sweetness! Just so lovely, friendships on and off the web.

  19. what a joy it is to meet blog friends in real life and share a meal together. God is so kind to allow us to embrace the gift of friendship!

  20. “the smell of airports .. . ” I know exactly what you mean!
    I went through a period when I was kind of mad at God. We weren’t exactly on speaking terms. Then, one day, I told my pastor that God’s word had begun to taste sweet to me again. There is a sweetness and it comes, I think, in connection with things like gratitude and seeing God’s goodness.

    • I think your right Nancy. The way we view life definitely shifts in gratitude and seeing Him clearly in the mundane of life. No doubt. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve had a not so stellar day and needed to remember that.

  21. Cristal says:

    The sweetness of Christ. The juice of His Word. It’s all so satisfying. Thank you for the reminder.

  22. I got to spend some IRL time with a sweet bloggy friend this past week – it was awesome

  23. ljbmom says:

    This is such a beautiful glimpse of together. So many ways to be. Makes me want a popsicle :)

  24. Love the quotes and the sweetness imagery. Hope you are enjoying preparing for your trip. When we went on our anniversary trip last year, I had such a blast shopping for proper clothes and shoes. Blessings to you!

    • I am enjoying the preparation. We’re getting excited. H is the master planner for which I am thankful for. I just have to pack my suitcase and he handles the rest. So excited to visit the castle of my ancestors soon.

  25. r.elliott says:

    Shelly…just so good…I love the quote…and I never think of popsicles the same…and I don’t think I would have every prayed…make me like a popsicle…the sweetness of Jesus. blessings as we drip by the grace of God.

  26. tereasamansfield says:

    Yes, this is good. His Words, words about him, words with his people, they are all sweet. And, unlike a popsicle, I want them to stick. Sounds like you had a wonderful day of fellowship!

  27. What a beautiful post. I love the imagery of the popsicle dripping sweetness.

  28. kd sullivan says:

    Your words stick to me all day, like that cherry Popsicle…and I pass along the stickiness everywhere I go…

  29. I love that you met Dawn in real life.

    So many sweet gifts in that one day, Shelly. Thanks for allowing us a glimpse.

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