Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the light strained and stretched

bringing with its arching rays brand new hope for a new day. As I stretched I listened to the lilting music that stirred my soul (love, love, love The Lark Ascending by Ralph V. Williams) and rose quietly. I quickly dressed and squatted low to greet Tanner, I linked his leash and off we went into a cool, brisk morning. The trees were coming alive as birds sang. As I stood there I realized that our street was waking to a new day as well. Doors shutting, cars starting, voices muffled yet there, all evidence of His faithfulness, His fresh mercy. He again, faithfully brought the Sun up and peeled back the darkness.

For a moment I remembered. I remembered to slow and soak it all in. I remembered why I am home and what my purpose is. I often lose sight of this is the hurry and hustle bustle of busy days. I rush so much from one thing to the next that I lose sight of the bigger picture. But then Tanner was done and little ones were waking and a husband needed to be seen off and coffee was begging to be brewed (or more accurately my body was begging me to brew it :) ) and so the day began...

A moment ago, I walked passed a window that opens to our backyard I stopped and realized that here I am hurrying from working on memorizing the Declaration with one child to a read aloud with another child that we really need to get through. Two cups of coffee and a breakfast of cinnamon life cereal later, rushing and hurrying, scurrying from one chair to another trying to cram it all in. Why do I forget? Why am I so quick to waste the time instead of savoring it? It is as foolish as gulping a fragrant cup of hot coffee, missing the flavor and burning my mouth and throat. I do not do that, instead I slowly savor and sip and enjoy it to the last drop. Why do I not drink slowly of the moments? Living them fully out to the last drop?

So I begin again. I will try to remind myself to slowly walk, even through the hard moments and savor even those. Because when it is all said and done, this is my life. And it is beautiful and messy and wonderful and I want to live it out fully and completely. Not hurry through to the end. Because once it is over, there is no going back to re-do it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Anne spelled with an 'e'

I have a short list of comfort movies :

Anne of Green Gables (1 & 2)...never seen number 3
Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
Pride & Prejudice (Keira Knightley version)
North and South (Elizabeth Gaskell)
Sound of Music
Fiddler on the Roof

I wish I could stroll through the beauty of Prince Edward Island with Anne and Diana as my tour guides. I wish that I could be Molly's confidante in Wives and Daughters and Elizabeth Bennett's best friend in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I would celebrate Shabbat with Tevia and sit at their table and soak it all in. I would sing with Maria on the hills and walk the path with Margaret as she seeks to find her place in Northern England. Life would be SO much easier if we had a script to follow :), but then it would be boring and predictable. Life right now, for us, is not boring or predictable.

We are currently trying to get our doggie used to outside, to say he is pampered would be the understatement of the year. We rescued him from the pound about six years ago and he was mat trained. It took me FORever to figure that out, but once I did we settled into a (mostly) nice routine. Now however our life is changing and we find ourselves needing him to get used to spending more time than usual outside. Well since I CANNOT stand to listen to him whine, it makes me SO sad, I find myself also standing outside. This morning was particularly nippy and so I gripped my steaming mug of Italian Roast close and let the fragrant steam warm my cheeks. Then I heard it. THE BIRDS are returning and the trees were alive with the most beautiful sound. I looked down and Tanner sat right beside my feet, not doing his doggie business, but seeming to soak in the beauty as well. Silly, sweet, cuddly mutt that he is, he is a great companion to stand outside with on a cold morning and listen to the sounds of Spring come alive.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Do I have grit? What is grit exactly?

Five Minute Friday - link and details HERE :)


Confession : I looked up the definition of grit this morning. :) I hear it used a LOT referring to the character of someone or referring to a huge mess :). I glance down at my sweat pants and t-shirt that have seen better days, my hair swept back into a pony tale and a face free of make-up and take stock. Do I have pluck? Do I have firmness of character? There were seasons in life when I put a lot of effort into my outward appearance but not so much in my inward character. I carry the shame of those memories even today. But what about now? The days of being knee deep in the trenches of motherhood require a lot of grit. A strength of character that will allow me to bend but not break, allow me to be on my knees and yet stand firm on the line that my husband and I have drawn. So while sometimes it is true you could use the descriptive word grit to describe the messes I make with seemingly little effort :), I would be honored if someday I over heard my children describe me as the type of Momma that parented with grit and love.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moment by moment

life happens.

Sometimes it is messy but almost always its own form of beautiful.

I am sitting here today sipping a hot cup of coffee, looking around at the stack of boxes that contain bits of pieces of our belongings. Each box seems to contain an entire story all its own. Moving is always (to me) a good way to take stock of your life. Not just physical possessions, but memories and moments that have marked your days here. Six years we have made a home here, six years of memories, a mix of good days and bad. As I pack away our belongings and we prepare to make a new home for ourselves I pray. Pray that my husband and I will take a deep breath before we speak, especially if we have hard words to say. Pray that we are always willing and able to draw our children close and hold them tight. Even when they grow bigger than our laps. I pray that our words are gracious and lovely and kind. I pray that we never, ever buy more than their hearts are able to be grateful for and that they learn to share and bless others from our examples. I pray that the little eyes that see so much will find something worthy to imitate. I pray that I consciously approach each day with the knowledge that for a season my husband and I hold their hearts in our hands. That we hold them gently and cherish with integrity this awesome gift. They are growing up SO fast and time seems to speed by, stopping for no one.

Moment by beautiful moment life is unfolding.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thank You SO Much!

For all of the sweet, sweet comments that have been left here. I really appreciate it and hope that all of you have such an amazing week! Sunshine

Friday, February 17, 2012


I have seen lots of people do this, write a letter addressed to them, from them. I am going to do that for today's five minute Friday exercise.

Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday Link and Details

Dear Sunshine,

Sweet girl those children are growing up fast. They are changing and becoming young people every single day. God has a plan for them, a plan for their good and to give them a hope and a future. Sweet girl delight in them. Delight in their giggles, their tears, their triumphs and the accidental failures. Delight in their story that unfolds every single moment of the day. Don't get so caught up in a formula or teaching them how to do something that you forget this. Don't let another day pass without plunging in heart first and giggle with the sheer joy and miracle of being a Momma. Do not let another morning pass without striving to make it absolute amazingly awesome. After all you will never get this exact morning, when they are these exact ages ever again. Time stops for no one. So don't miss it. Delight in those precious little ones that are literally growing up right before your eyes. And while you are busy being a Momma and a wife do not forget the psalmist words, "delight yourself in Adonai". He is an unending, unshakable well of joy and delight. Dive in and drink deeply.

With the warmest of affections & love,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

With Great Love

Lately I have been thinking about a quote from Mother Teresa that I read. It said 'do small things with great love'. This year we are memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 at home and so I find myself thinking a lot about how well I do or do not love others. On further examination I have come to the conclusion that it is simply not enough to do something nice, but that that something nice needs to be done with great love. The whole saying "it is not what you are doing, but how you are doing it that is so important" or "it is not what you said, but how you said it" has taken on a whole new meaning.

So I remind myself :
Get up to get that glass of water refilled?
YES, by all means, but do it with great love.
Take the bag of trash out?
YES, by all means, but do it with great love.
Hand out and review those spelling words?
ABSOLUTELY, but do it with great love.

It is humbling to really, truly do things with great love. It goes deeper than feelings, attraction, and chemistry. It calls me out of my comfort zone and calls me down to my knees. It is something that will be a life long journey for me, learning to live each moment with great love.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Colossians 3 verse 12

It is hard to clothe myself with compassion when I am being selfish

It is hard to be kind when I desire more to be right

It is hard to be humble when I talk more than I listen

It is hard to be gentle when I am always in such a hurry

It is hard to be patient when I want things done my way

In order to clothe myself with compassion I have to become less

In order to clothe myself with kindness I need to realize it is more important than being right

In order to clothe myself with humility I need to listen more than I talk

In order to clothe myself with gentleness I have to not rush and hurry

In order to clothe myself with patience it needs to be less about me

Friday, February 10, 2012


Write for five minutes on one word

Sometimes I lie awake at night and I think of their days, the days that will unfold outside of the umbrella of our protection. It makes me crazy to think of everything that could go wrong. Everything that could hurt them or reject them and some of the hard lessons they will learn along the way. I am just the mom, limited and finite. I want someone bigger, wiser, stronger and more able than I am. So I pray and I surrender their moments to His hands. I lie back and rest. I am learning to trust His ability, His timing, His plan. I remind myself of what He has done for me. Of what He has brought me through and the mountains that He has moved. I remind myself that He knew them before I did, will know them more intimately and for longer than I will. I will learn to trust in Him with all of my heart and to not lean on my own understanding.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

note to self

when cleaning carpet spots with this REALLY neat and effective idea you found on pinterest that involves a hot iron, MAKE SURE there are NO tiny crayon pieces between the hot iron and the cloth. Because that makes a REALLY, REALLY big, blue mess.

PS and some of comments are gone. I am not sure what happened, they are emailed to me, so I still have them in email, but they are not on the post any more...why?! I just noticed that. I have no idea how to fix it either.

Monday, February 6, 2012

today...or was it yesterday?

I read this:

Always be kinder than you feel like being.

And I realized that I need to stretch myself more.

Reach out of my comfort and feelings and pour into someone else's life thinking more of what they may be needing than what I feel like doing or not doing.

Because for someone today, this may be their worst day. Their whole world could have just been tipped upside down. Whether it is a day of sadness, frustration, or a situation that feels hopeless, one kind comment, one kind act, or that one extra effort to encourage them or be patient with them could lighten their load.

I had a baby that had chronic ear infections. It was raining like crazy one Spring day, I had been stood up at an appointment, sat in the doctor office lobby for longer than usual and was having a really bad day. I needed to stop on the way home to pick up yet another set of antibiotics. I reluctantly climbed out of the car realizing that I was ill prepared for the onslaught of rain. I wrapped a blanket around my baby girl as best as I could, trudged into the store, got the meds and trudged out. It was still raining. Some girl came running across the parking lot with her umbrella and shielded my baby and I (getting completely soaked herself) as I unlocked the car, tried to juggle the keys, the prescription and everything else. She stood there until I got my baby all buckled in and I thanked her over. She just smiled and turned to walk into the store. I sat there for a moment while the tears of joy and thanksgiving trickled down my cheeks. That one act of kindness had completely transformed my day.

I want to strive to do this for someone else. To be that kind, even when it inconveniences me, or stretches me or makes me reach out of my comfort zone.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Gypsy Mama hosts a five minute writing exercise every Friday

One word, five minutes...go




Depth, texture, somehow, someway I can embrace what is real. I can touch it, smell it, see it, hear it, and/or taste it. But sometimes it is just the effect or outer shell that I can touch, smell, see, hear, and/or taste. But does that make it any less real?

It exists.

The wind.

A human.

His Word.

The wind is real. But you cannot hold the essence of what it is. You cannot capture it to look at, see and hold it. You can harness it for power. You can see the leaves twitter, dance and twirl because of it. But you cannot hold wind in the palm of your hand to analyze it. Does this make it any less real?

A human. You can see and touch a humans outer shell and sometimes even their inner organs, but not the essence of who they are. Their spirit, their mind and heart and feelings and emotions and breath....all of that and more combines to make the person real. But you cannot hold the essence of life in your hand, look at with your eyes.

His Word. You see the letters on the page, you read the paragraphs that weave into history and stories and commands. You feel the effect on your life when you trust and follow. But the essence? You cannot scoop up the truth of God in the form of the words on the page and grasp it and hang it out and say "here it is". It is so much more than just some words weaved together. It is real. Alive. Active.


I wanted to say so much more. So many more thoughts are tumbling around this morning. :) I have written this in minute or second snidbits as life takes priority over words...even when the words want to come tumbling out without restraint.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today I want to...

do ordinary things in an extraordinary way

think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely...things that are excellent and worthy of praise

inspire and encourage

delight myself in God

cherish my children's hearts, for they are delicate, exquisite, beautiful and to be handled gently and with integrity

cherish the love of my husband

lose moments in the words that I read

savor that first sip of hot coffee

greet the first moment of the day with joy and wonder

relish that last moment before my eyes drift close

love wildly, without measure, deeply, truly and completely poured out

because to reach for anything less than these things will be to live today without any integrity at all