Friday, August 31, 2012

a few of my favorite things

windows thrown open with a fan blown breeze
cicada's humming loudly in the trees
the first tentative chirps in spring time as the birds return
the golden colors of fall
the crispness of a cold morning
the steam of a mug of coffee in a cool room
the sound of lots of people turning in their Bibles
the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies
that first whiff as you walk into a bakery
the dollop of whip cream on a piece of still warm pumpkin pie
the first sip of a coca-cola when you have not had one in a while
my kids when they first wake up and right before they drift off to sleep
taking Tanner on a walk, he bounces down the driveway
the smell of the fall aisle at Hobby Lobby
the moment that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God heard that prayer
hearing old hymns
relearning to play the piano
doing tendus after many years of not doing them
running down the sidewalk on a cool afternoon
going to the lake and just sitting there and listening to the water lap gently against the shore
a great book that you lose yourself in
the promise of hope and His faithfulness
check off sheets and lists
paper and pen
Starbucks coffee frappucinos, mochas, or toffee nut lattes
a cappucino and pumpkin scone
Anne of Green Gables
Pride & Prejudice
The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
26.2 miles
Listening to someone from Great Britian read a book

How about you? What are a few of your favorite things?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

the end

Here we are at the end of August. I had pre-written a post to tie up my 'write everyday in August' challenge but I scrapped it. After our hymn study today of "It is well with my soul" I knew I wanted to end August talking about Horatio Spafford, not myself :).

If you have time I recommend this you tube video of his song and the history behind it as well as this site about his history. I used both of these to gather the information I recorded below.

First of all did you know that Horatio Spafford was a lawyer that lived in Chicago with his wife and five children? And that in 1871 his one and only son died? And that within a few months later of that same year he lost all of his life savings that he had invested in real estate through the Great Chicago Fire? Did you know that two years later the Spafford's decided to take a vacation in Europe? Mr. Spafford was detained at the last minute due to unforseen business so he sent his wife and four daughters on ahead with the promise to follow shortly. On November 22, 1873 that ship that his wife and daughters were on was struck by an iron sailing vessel and 226 people were killed. When the survivors landed in Europe, Anna Spafford (his wife) sent the following cable :

Saved alone. What shall I do?...

Can you imagine? I mean seriously even wrap your mind around what that would be like? Both to have to send that cable and in receiving it? Spafford immediately left Chicago to bring his wife home and on the way to collect her the captain of the ship called him to his cabin to tell him they were passing over the spot where his four daughters had died. It is then, as they passed over this spot that Horatio penned the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul".

When peace like a river attendeth my way

When sorrows like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot

Thou has taught me to say

It is well, it is well with my soul

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Do you ever read something that makes you squirm?

As we were doing read alouds a minute ago I was reading from Aesop's Fables. We came to "The Gnat & The Bull". The moral (s) of the fable are :
"we are often of greater importance in our own eyes than in the eyes of our neighbor"
"the smaller the mind the greater the conceit".


This made me squirm and wonder if I am not the gnat more times than I care to be in life.

today I am thinking

about fall and anticipating the deliciously cool mornings

about what it will feel like to pull my favorite sweat shirt on and go for a run

about Isaiah 46:4, He is in this for the long haul

about 147 million orphans, how is that even possible when so many people are alive today who love God so very much?

about all that we have to do today and the thrill of going about that

about why Tanner throws himself on the ground and rolls over? Does his back itch? Does he want me to pet his tummy? Or is he trying to get the leash thing to hit just right since he found his freedom one day from that trick?

about whether I should have another cup of coffee and light the pumpkin spice candle or the cinnamon gingerbread one?
(p.s. decided to go ahead with the coffee :) )

*pre-wrote my thoughts 8/27/12

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of the feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.– Rex Cole

May I learn to be this for someone else. I really, really need to work on my listening skills. The talking? The talking I have down pat, the listening...not so much.

*pre-wrote on 8/27/12

Monday, August 27, 2012

Today I taste & see

the sweetness of frosted cheerios

the flavor filled sip of cinnamon gingerbread coffee

a (mostly) clutter free dining room table ready for a new week of school

the sharp cold of a cup of ice water

my Bible and check-off sheet waiting to be dug into

three beautiful faces excitedly ready to embark on their day

three beautiful faces that just realized today is a school day :) - not so excited now

today I will taste and see that Adonai is good

Sunday, August 26, 2012

today I hear

fans whirling

birds chirping and singing and flapping their wings

squirrels chattering and crunching the pecans and acorns that have begun to fall

little voices with big ideas

my husband's voice telling me how much he loves me

the wind occasionally stirring through the trees and grass

the slam of car doors and the hoot of laughter

the drone of a motorcycle going down our street

the sound of shoes pounding the pavement as a group of runners run by

His voice in my heart urging me further up and deeper in

the hiss of my coffee pot as it leaks the final drops of liquid into the pot

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Being a Mom

is beautiful, messy, frustrating and full of joy. It has humbled me, brought me to my knees, had me question every thing I thought I knew or had known to be effective in dealing with other people. It has called me to surrender, be willing to stumble around and admit I am at a loss and have no clue how to do this or that. It has been the cause of many tears shed and many belly laughs given. It has also taught me what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and to have someone see me first hand make a complete idiot of myself, lose my temper and still they hug me and accept my apology and offer complete forgiveness. There has been little in life that I have experienced that will cause me to give all of who I am and cause me to battle my selfish nature and lay it all on the line like being a Mom.

There is also not another thing that I am aware of that will cause more unsolicited opinions and judgments to be offered by other moms. Being a Mom is hard. It makes me feel completely inept and keeps me searching for new ideas all.of.the.time. There is no way to do this (that I have figured out) that makes me look like I have it all under control. There is no neat way to parent. It is inevitably beautiful and joyful but OH so messy.

Not too long ago I read a comment that really stuck with me, 'best looks different in every home'. That is so true. We think what is best for us is surely the best for everyone, since it seems to work so well for us. But that is simply not true. As my husband said if someone had figured out the way to parent there would not be so many different magazines, books, tapes, cds, conferences etc; on parenting, very rarely offering the same idea/opinion on how to do it.

Tonight I had a mom stop me on a walk with my husband and children. I am not sure if she was trying to be helpful or simply wanting to point out the obvious. We were messy and loud and trying our very best to simply make it back home in one piece before a complete meltdown. These are my thoughts tonight after all of mine are tucked safely and sleepily in bed:

I have no idea what your day to day life looks like, and you honestly have no idea what my day to day life looks like. You don't know that I have a child that struggles with health issues. And yes, while I may be doing it 'all wrong' I am also doing the very best I can and operating from the stand point of how very, very much I love my children. I know what they may or may not need at that moment and try my best to meet that. Yes I fail. Yes I drop the ball. Yes sometimes I do it all wrong. But for the most part, I honestly try to give it my very best and try to contain the days that are hard so they do not bother other people.

But even if my right looks SO SO wrong to you, do you really think stopping me in the middle of the street while I am trying to help my child and explaining to me about how wrong it all is, how loud it all is, and how uncomfortable you are, do you really honestly think from one mom to another mom that is going to be the conversation I need at that moment? Because see what you do not know is that my child is special. Yes this child struggles, but this child has been through so very much over the past three years. Yes we are still learning the ropes as we go and yes we have some rough moments. Yes I know they are not easy to watch and yes I know they are loud and unusual and very messy. But we are doing the very best we can to offer each of our children a very normal life so that they can learn to deal with their limitations and struggles in a healthy and safe way. I am sorry that this makes you uncomfortable. I too may have glanced over at the situation a few years ago and rolled my eyes. I too may have been tempted to think "if that was my child she/he would not behave that way because I would..." However, I have quickly learned over the past ten years, there is nothing like walking a mile in a Mom's shoes to humble you very quickly.

This child may struggle now, but isn't that what childhood is for? To struggle and learn and make mistakes in the presence of those that are there to love them, guide them, provide for them and protect them? Maybe by having some rough days now, this child will grow up to be an amazingly well adjusted adult who is capable of giving grace and mercy to those who struggle, because they have walked that path too. Maybe that is the gift in the rough days. Either way I sincerely hope that you and your child never, ever have to face the hard days. That you can continue on your walks every night with no bumps in the road. And I am sincerely sorry that we were loud and disturbed you, your dog and your walk.

As I wrote this and thought about all that transpired I thought of an idea. Any time I see a mom out I am going to pause a moment and pray for that mom. Because more than anything I could offer her, that would be the greatest gift. And if the opportunity arises I hope that I will have the grace to speak encouraging words to that mom, to let her know she is not in the trenches alone.

Friday, August 24, 2012

windows thrown open

Music streaming through the speakers and fans whirling we sit around the table. It is journal time, the time that we take each day to write (or in today's case draw) out our feelings, fears, hopes and dreams. Tucked away from prying eyes and clear of red pencil proofreading marks, we spill some ink. This ink clothes what is tucked in our hearts. It gives voice the words we may be afraid to utter aloud. It dances with us across a page. This is a discipline I hope that our kids carry with them through life. That they grow to love it as much as I do, but if not love it, then at least tolerate it. Because there is freedom in unloading all that you cannot say aloud. Freedom in tucking that away in a safe place that no one uninvited may peek.

I sit back in my seat and peer around the table. Their faces a study in concentration. Markers spill all over the table and some have found their way to the floor. They draw, write, think, and smile to themselves. It is such a joy to be able to watch them, share with them, and teach them.

Well I better go jot some thoughts down myself, it is almost time for History.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I blink my sleep heavy eyes and squint at the calendar. Is today truly already Thursday? How did that happen? I think over our week so far and wonder, does what we have accomplished tell the same story? That it could be Thursday and we have something to show for that?

I squirm in my seat.

The list of chores stacking up, boxes still stacked left unpacked for now, note cards scattered across the table, pen left uncapped. Yeah it is messy enough for it to be Thursday. I glance at the turn in box for school work, chubby, barely holding on to a few of those pages. OK apparently we have not just been treading water this week. Grabbing my coffee in one hand, my to do list in the other, I stand up and make my way to my desk. *sigh* what a mountain of effort it will take to clear a small space to work from. There are books the kiddos have tossed there, their memory cards piled half hazardly tipping over precariously towards the point of no return (behind the desk), pencils, grips and erasers scattered EVERY where (what happened?) sticky notes, blank index cards, OH there is the library book I have been looking for. I know some other important things are buried under there, like our school plan for the day...

I stand there wondering how exactly everything a) ended up on my desk and b) stays there without just collapsing to the floor.

I take a big drink of my coffee, scoot my chair out (away from the leaning tower of disaster), plop down and settle my to do list on my lap. I lean forward and carefully take a pen off and briefly consider that that pen may have been what was holding that whole thing up, breathe a sigh of relief when nothing teeters or totters. CLEAN OFF DESK I scrawl on the top of the list. READ DAY 47 is next. Realistically READ DAY 47 should be first, but I do believe my check off sheet is somewhere under there. I seem to remember thinking if I laid it down there yesterday it would be a good idea.

Yeah today is Thursday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 46 Words

Out of the overflow of our hearts, we speak.

I love words.
I love to write them in pen, in pencil, in crayon, and marker.
I love to write them forwards and backwards and upside down and all around.
I love words.
However there is little in life that can be so easily and readily available as words, but carries with it such a heavy responsibility.
An aptly spoken word springs from our mouth and can lift up the broken and disappointed among us. And yet from the same mouth, and often in the same moment, a word meanly spoken tumbles out and can break a heart and shatter joyful anticipation.

We need to carefully guard our words. Both what we allow to cross the thresholds of our mouth, the barrier of our teeth and lips. And how we speak them, the attitude and tone in which we speak them. I have seen first hand how a careless word spoken in the heat of the moment can destroy something I have worked a long time to build. I have borne the weight of responsibility for hurt caused by the wagging of my own tongue. And yet I have also seen first hand the light that springs to an eye with an encouraging word and love wrapped in letters.

As I read through Day 46 (Prov. 7:1 - 20:21) today and wrote a note next to each verse that spoke about words, I was astounded at how much Proverbs says about the words we speak.

Our hearts are much like a tea pot full of hot water. What we treasure in our hearts is like the tea that steeps, the longer it steeps the stronger in flavor the pot of tea becomes. True adding sugar and milk (or cream) can help, but only to enhance the flavor not mask it, or drastically change it. If you want peppermint flavor, then you are not going to use chamomile tea and expect the minty flavor of peppermint. So if I want to speak words that lift up, encourage, speak life and praise God then I need to steep my heart in His Word, His presence. That way when I add the milk and sugar of words and actions, it enhances the fragrant and beautiful flavor there. I am not going to be able to treasure regrets, guilt, anger, bitterness and expect to have a heart full of patience, kindness and loving words. It just does not work that way. So I clearly see where my problem lies, now the hard word of disciplining myself to break some bad habits...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 46

For some reason if I am not on a reading plan (complete with the little check off boxes), I do not pick up the Bible and read it outside of reading it for my kids during school time. So I decided that no matter how crazy life is right now that I would pick back up where I left off and complete the Bible in 90 days.

I find that when I am not plugged into the Word, seriously plugged into it, it is not long before my life veers off course. I am way more prone to complain, way grumpier, way less likely to go out of my way to show kindness or love to someone else. However, I am more likely to sit and watch DVD’s of a TV show, pick up a questionable book and spend time reading that, or engage in a crabby fest within my own mind detailing everything I do not like and how unfair life is.

I am a different wife, mother, and friend when I am not plugged in and I do not like that.

I want to be the best I can be, give the best I can give, do the very, very best I can.

In short I want to do my ordinary daily things in an extraordinary way.

So in order for me to do that/be that person I am learning that I have to carve out time in the Word every single day. Apparently that means printing out a Bible in 90 days check off sheet or a Torah study schedule and going through those checking off the boxes. But that is ok. Because this Word, it is bread to me, life to my bones and health to my mind.

So starting tomorrow, day 46 here I come!

idea to learn time

Yesterday one of my kiddos kept getting stumped on a math time worksheet. So I took a file folder and spread it open (just the vanilla/beige colored ones) and drew a clock on the inside. Then I wrote one through twelve on the clock. I cut up paper for the minutes (I actually used laminated sentence strips) and wrote with permanent marker the minutes :00 - :55. I did this so that they are able to be laid over the numbers of the clock, or beside them, or on top of them etc; so that they will have a visual reminder of each number on the clock represents five minutes of time. On the back of each minute section I wrote anything that that time could be referred to. Example: on the back of the :30 one I wrote thirty after is also half passed, thirty minutes till top of the hour etc; Then I cut one long hand and one short hand - labeled the long one minutes and short one hours. Then we laid the folder flat and went exploring around the clock. On the back of the folder I put a sticky pocket to keep all of the pieces in and now we have a portable tool to take and work anywhere with us. Hope this helps someone else besides us!

PS and if you use sentence strips that are laminated, go ahead and cut a second one up the same size as the first ones, but don't label those. Once your kiddo gets a good handle on things, start putting blank ones in every so often and have them use a dry erase and label them (would work for the minutes or cover the hour and have them write the correct number that would appear on the clock).

Monday, August 20, 2012

This Morning

The air is chilly, beautiful, lit with a magical sunlight
that seems to shimmer and shine on every thing it touches.

My coffee is almost ready
the smell wafting through the kitchen.

My three still tucked in tight,
clutching blankets, stuffed animals, and those last precious moments of sleep.

I sit down and think about today.
So much to do, how would we go about doing it?

And then I remember I need to pray and seek Him first.
So my heart utters these words:

May God bless us today
as we study, learn, and grow in who He is and what He wants.
May God grant us the ability
to see Him, to know Him, to love Him with all of our hearts and souls.

May we count the way He loves.
The whirl of a fan, the turn of a leaf, or the song of a bird.
The slam of a door, the torrent of tears, or the trying of patience.
In each moment is tucked a facet of who He is.
If we but stop a moment and simply count the way He loves.

So I am off to grab a mug and wish my handsome husband a great day.
Then I will tiptoe in and wake up my three snugglies.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a few of my favorite things

This has been a difficult weekend on many different levels. The topping on the cake was one of my children throwing up everywhere this morning. It oddly seemed fitting to end the weekend that way. However, even with all that has seemingly gone wrong, there have been some favorite moments...

Getting out for a run yesterday, feet pounding the sidewalks, wind in my face, Adele singing in my ears, sun filtering through the leaves. There is something so awesome about running in the middle of a difficult day.

Listening to Rico Cortes teach through I Tunes.

Sipping hot, fragrant coffee.

Enjoying a cloudy, rainy, cooler day.

Picking up the house plants to bring back inside after the rain storm and having the foliage drip water all over my arms.

Reading a good, short book on my kindle that I found for free as I helped my kiddos go to sleep.

Walking my doggie, I swear he smiles as he prances down the street.

Having my youngest crawl in next to me this morning and squish my face between her little hands and squish her nose right into mine. I opened my eyes and just stared at hers filled with joy.

Buying more bird seed to refill the empty bird feeders today.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Does it mean

you are getting older when the college freshmen seem SO little and SO young?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


has been a not so great, very long, very hard, (did I mention NOT so great?) kind of day. The kind of day where you wish you could just fast forward through it or better yet rewind and have a do-over. So we just stopped where we were, popped in Pooh's Grand Adventure and the kiddos are currently giggling through that while I am off to make dinner. I also may or may not have consumed large quantities of chocolate.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Do you ever wonder if the two hummingbirds that chase each other near a hummingbird feeder or flowering bush are playing a fun game of tag or if they are arguing over the food?

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be God and NEVER have a moment of silence? Like there would ALWAYS always be someone who was talking.

Do you ever wonder if the library books, the pencils, and the erasers hold an emergency late night meeting? And conspire to hide and not be found the next morning? Because it seems like one if not all three are always NO where to be found.

Do you ever wonder how you could ever expect to actually do the ‘to-do’ list you made the previous morning when you were hyped up on coffee? And as you stare at it today you realize that no amount of coffee will get that list done?

Do you ever wonder why you and your family seemed to destined to be the entertainment? Oh look it is dinner and a show?

Do you ever wonder if your doggie would say if he could talk since he actually glared at you? Not that you don’t deserve it after bonking his nose with a food dish (accidentally) and then letting the screen door shut when he was not all the way inside yet.

Do you ever wonder where your kids get the amount of energy that seems to bubble up and over constantly? And for that matter where yours went?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Good Grief

SO I am cleaning up our dining room the other day. When it is time to clean the chairs and the spot underneath each chair, I pull all of the chairs out and line them up side by side and wipe them down. I get to one chair and it had more crumbs than the others. A VERY messy eater obviously sat there. I was thinking 'good grief did they actually eat anything?' I smiled to myself thinking it was our youngest, who has the hardest time sitting still during meal times :). But then when I finished with the chairs I got out the vacuum hose and the part (NO idea what that part is actually referred to) and began to spot clean where the big part of the vacuum cannot reach. I get to the place where I sit and blushed.

It was me.

I was the very messy eater.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

so little time

Despite our best efforts to slow time down, it continues to pass. We take pictures, blog moments, scrapbook and journal, attempting to capture it all. And despite it all, time passes, and the kids grow up.

We, as parents, stand back, full of sad and sweet - sad because I.just.wish.there.was.more.time. Sweet because we get an amazing gift. We get a front row seat to watch what God has done, is doing, and continues to do. We get to watch Him meet them at their lowest and carry them to their highest.

I have never been and will never be the most beautiful person, I have never been and will never be a principal dancer. Years and years were spent dreaming about, working towards and wanting both of those with everything that I was. I have not nor am I ever likely to set a world record running, in fact I may never, ever actually win a single race that I run. I may never actually be good enough to get something that I write published. That used to bother me. That feeling of I will never be that person. The most beautiful, talented, or fastest.

But then I realized something. I get to do something that no one else in the ENTIRE world gets to do. I get to be THEIR Mom. I get to be the one that holds them when they are sad, that cheers for them when they win a game, that celebrates all of the accomplishments (tiny and big) with them. I get to tuck them in at night and wake them up in the morning. I get to be the one who stands with them when no one else will and the one who stands lost in the crowd. I get to be the one who cleans up the spilled milk for the third time in as many minutes and the one who reminds them to take their vitamin. And someday, yes someday, this job will be over. And while that makes me very sad, that is ok. Because time passes and all we can do is make the most of what we are given.

So if you are the worst runner out there, but love to run, I say RUN HARD and do not let anything keep you from crossing that line. If you love to write, but get rejected time and time again, keep writing. But most importantly, if you are a Mom - do not let anything deter you from pouring absolutely everything you are into them. They are worth it. Even if you will never be elected Mom of the year, that is ok, love them and love them well.

And someday when I stand before Him, I want above all else to hear this : "You are beautiful to Me. You are talented because you bear My handiwork. You are mine. You took what I gave you and you invested it into three children. Well done, good and faithful servant."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday from Lisa-Jo Baker (Gypsy Mama)



I cannot remember the first place that I read this, but I believe it was at Ann Voskamp’s lovely blog ‘A Holy Experience’. The quote is this : ‘as a parent you have to connect before you correct’. That thought has shaped my parenting goals this year. As the days get longer and the children get older, parenting gets harder. You have this completely wonderful person that you love more than you love yourself and you are trying to figure out how lead them through their childhood to become well adjusted adults that will make a difference in the world.

As the days become weeks, the weeks months, and the months years that speed by at an ever-increasing pace the pressure to get it all said and get it all done before you blink and they are grown up feels so heavy some days. And not just that, but to not lose their heart in the process. To not stir up anger, resentment and a feeling of hopelessness, that no matter how hard they try, they will never please you.

Investing in their hearts is so time consuming, but I do not believe if you searched the world over you could ever find a better investment. You may never see the reward of your effort, the fruit of your harvest but the seed will be planted, and God can be trusted to bring it to fruition. I know that struggles are inevitable and sin is abundant in our world, there are literally no guarantees, because we cannot see God’s purpose or plan. But we are not called to know the end, we are called to love one another deeply (and at my house we add, especially on the hard days).


Thursday, August 9, 2012


I sit here at the table, having been able to arise before the munchkins. Sitting here, thinking, trying to prepare my heart for today, I glance out a window that opens onto the street in front of our house. The street is quiet, the trees still, and only small chirping sounds can be heard. The ninth of August dawns here in America. I wonder at how many mornings I have now spent at this table, looking out this window, thinking about the day that lay before me. What will I say today to teach my children about who God is? What will I do that will draw their focus to Him? How can I pray for them today? What words can I speak to encourage their hearts?

My favorite moments of the day are when the awake fresh from sleep and when I tuck them in at night. They are so cuddly and rumpled when they awake. Eyes sleepy, yet you can still glimpse their barely restrained energetic curiosity. I love that they will seek my husband or I first when they wake up. If they could carry one picture into adulthood with them I would ask that it would be this. The first thing that they saw in the morning was a face that conveys love and joy and thankfulness that they were ours for a season. The last thing they heard at night would’ve been our voices, voices of prayer, of love, of adoration, of encouragement.

I look again and the leaves on the oak tree still have the underneath dark green color of early morning, but the topside sparkles with a shimmering golden light. A soft breeze now dances with the tree and the leaves sway gently to a tune only it must be able to hear. It will be a glorious morning, a day that He made, a day that He laid aside for us, for you to live and experience and I dare say revel in. I must get on with my morning, coffee needs to be made, passages need to be read, and my household needs to be loved on. I hope today is beautiful for you wherever you are.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I have been struggling with balance in parenting. Wanting to use the Word of God as our guide, road map, and standard but not wanting to discourage or hammer the kids with constant references as proof when they are doing something wrong. I sat down to type an email to a good friend of mine tonight and was expressing my frustration and something popped in my mind. I need to make sure I encourage them and reassure them with Scripture as much if not more than I correct them with it. Why does it not occur to me to bless more than I correct? Encouraging them and catching them doing something right is as important as consistently correcting a wrong.

I read an awesome piece on motherhood by a person named Jamie C Martin. I remember her talking about the importance of focusing on (in our thoughts especially) what our child did right that day, even if it was only one thing all day (and it NEVER is just one thing, we just tend to overlook it or *cringe* take it for granted?!).

I thought about that and realized one thing that I really, really love about my husband is the grace he consistently extends to me. He does not ignore when I mess up, he acknowledges it and gives some ideas for better choices next time, he has prayed over me, he has helped me come up with ideas that would work to help etc; but he does not focus on what I did wrong. He then will point out or encourage me with what I did right.

I on the other hand tend to focus on the wrong thing, even if it was literally one wrong thing all day. This has been and continues to be a struggle with me.

I am working on a post about words and studying about what the Bible says about the words we have to speak. In light of that post and this one, I want to try an experiment. I want to write down things throughout the day that I catch my children doing right (even if I mention it to them at the time). Things that warm my heart, bring a smile to my face, things that delight me about them. Before bed I want to sit down one on one with each of them and read my list to them. I bet at the end of the thirty days I will be astounded at what I see.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

To my husband,

Surrounded by your arms

with my head tucked between your shoulder and neck

your stubble tickles me.

Your quiet voice of reassurance

your steady belief in the best

settles me and helps me believe it too.

Tears running down my cheeks

soaking your shirt

You listen as I pour out my heart.

When I am scared or upset

devastated or disappointed...

When I am happy or full of joy

excited or elated...

there is no place in this world

I would rather be


there is no voice in this world

that I would rather hear.

You are one of my greatest

earthly treasures


together I feel like we can do anything,

I love you so much.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Dry and brittle the grass crunches beneath their feet as they fly over it. Stopping suddenly as if they can read each others’ minds, they squat down and examine the crevices that are buried beneath, the heat and lack of rain causing them to crack and pull apart. Losing interest in this they stand and run again, eyes dancing with joy, giggles and shouts tumbling out. All of a sudden, the one running in the lead stops and the rest crash into her back, she squats and exclaims over a rare treasure, a small section of a bird’s egg. They stay there for what seems like forever just squatting and looking and all a wonder at the delicacy of the jagged edged shell. On and on the morning goes, until the sun rises to a position to steal all of the shade and they mournfully make their way inside to wash their hands and get on with their day. I get out the book we are reading and they settle in, still smelling like summer, I take a moment to memorize this moment. It is an exquisite gift. Rare and priceless.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I am SO ready for fall.

SO ready for school and schedules and routines.

So ready to see the leaves turn colors and drift and twirl to the ground.

So ready to see the squirrels scampering around gathering up the acorns and pecans and raiding our bird feeder.

So ready to be able to walk outside without feeling like I will literally melt to the pavement.

So ready to be able to let my kiddos play and romp around outside without worrying they will have a heat stroke.

So ready for cool nights and chilly mornings.

How 'bout you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Five Minute Friday

Lisa-Jo Baker (Gypsy Mama's) Five Minute Friday


There is a quote that I love by Jim Elliot that says "wherever you are, be all there".

This battle to be fully 'here' is one that I have fought my whole life. I am not sure why but I am constantly tempted to either analyze the past or figure out the future, meanwhile completely ignoring the here, now, present. Realizing at the end all that I will have are the 'here moments' is very sobering. I cannot hold yesterday and I cannot touch tomorrow, but today - today I can see it, for it is right here, right now. I can hear it, I can feel it, I can smell it , and I can taste it. Why waste that?

So right now I see my children - sleep tossled, snuggled together, munching their cereal watching a Friday special movie, I can feel the rough edge of the seat I am perched on and the cool tap of each key as I type. I can smell my coffee and the barest hint of cinnamon from my bowl. I can hear an occasional giggle, the crunch-munch of those that are eating contentedly and the whirl of the fan next to me. All of my 'here' is SO beautiful if I just take the time to notice it and give thanks for it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

At times it is easy to lose hope

and feel overwhelmed by all of the bad news you hear, read, see right in front of you. Fires, overwhelming heat, not enough money, robberies, murder etc; on and on it goes.

But God.

It would be hopeless, but God.

It would be overwhelming, but there is still good, still truth, and still beauty. Even on the darkest most horrible days, He is there. And that is beauty and hope and good enough.

Do you ever re-watch a favorite movie? Or re-read a favorite book? I do! The time spent reading/watching Anne's (Anne of Green Gables), Elizabeth Bennett's (Pride & Prejudice), or the March sisters'(Little Women) stories unfold are as comfortable and joy filled as snuggling down into a favorite blanket.

Do you ever get to the height of their story and want to shout to them "HANG ON! It will all be worth it in the end?" I often times wonder if God says the same about you and about me?

Psalm 27:13 I am still confident of this : I will see the goodness of Adonai in the land of the living.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Delight Us

This morning my children and I sat at the table munching on cinnamon life cereal and I slowly sipped my hot cup of coffee. As they went round robin sharing ideas and questions and thoughts our discussion turned quite deep and the questions became harder and harder to wade through, because they are questions that I myself ask daily. Questions about why God lets some things happen, questions about ancient Israel and what the prophet Isaiah meant when he foretold about the Messiah, about how the Azazel goats’ rope (the scarlet rope they tied around the goat's neck) became white the further it went from camp etc; As we sat and talked and as I said time after time, ‘I am still studying about that, we will have to come back to it’, I realized how little I know and how MUCH I do not know or grasp.

But just as easily as I realize how much I do not know, I grasp what I do know with both hands and all of my heart.

God is God.
He is the Creator of heaven and earth.
He is ALL good ALL of the time.
We are called to trust in Him not to lean on what we do know.

I told my children of His faithfulness, of His goodness, and of His love. I told them that He made them, He knows them, He sees what will and what will not happen, He knows the dates of our deaths, how many children they will or will not have, if they will marry, who their best friend will be in thirty years. He holds it all and knows it all. And we can completely delight in Him in the midst of all that we struggle with, all that we question. I asked God to blow our minds. To show us His creation, His presence, Him. To capture their hearts and set them aside for Him.

As we got cleaned up and ready for our day I remembered some things God has done when we prayed to be delighted by Him. One of my children was in love with turtles. We had (the summer before) been to the zoo and had visited a lake near us and both times she had seen lots of turtles and talked about them all of the time, drew pictures of them and checked out books about them. But that summer she had yet to see any turtles. So I prayed and asked God to delight us with His creation, to show us a turtle that summer. A few weeks passed and one rainy day I had the urge to get up and look out of the window and what was making its way through our backyard? Yes a HUGE turtle. My child was SO excited and so blown away. God had heard and boy had He answered.

This summer I prayed to see some hummingbirds. We love them, have never had any problem attracting them with our hummingbird feeder, but we moved earlier this year and until a few weeks ago our hummingbird feeder sat untouched and unvisited. I finally prayed. God please delight us with your creation, show us the wonders of what you have made. Please let us see some hummingbirds. We have seen LOTS of hummingbirds, but we have also seen an owl, a road runner, a fox, a persnickety cat, birds of all kinds, armadillos, and a wild turkey. Right here where we live, mostly in our very backyard. He is amazing, is He not?