Friday, August 30, 2013

Learn from Her

There's a mama behind every man.

Just like there's a womb behind every woman.

It's true for all of us.

But...... the contrast is vast.

The childhood experience can look so different from one life to another, can't it?

While some of those mamas and some of those wombs dealt out nothing much more than wounds.....

Some dealt out such high doses of lavish love - that there children couldn't help but become beautiful.

I'd like to be grouped in the latter, wouldn't you?

In last week's post - I invited you back to the blog spot here.... to take a peep at some people, some ladies....who have walked the mama road well...who have left a fine fragrance for us to pick up on and share ourselves.

Because ain't for sissy's. And bringing up boys and girls in God - it's not a flippant endeavor.

It's heavy and real and it requires purpose. And motivation. And examples. And a whole lot of Jesus.

So I'm glad you've gathered around....

because I'd like to first introduce you to a lady named Susanna.

I ran into this woman in Richard Foster's book Streams of Living Water.

Right there...on page 238 - I found myself a mentor straight out of England's 1600s.

Foster introduces her with...." Susanna represents the millions of people who have learned to do ordinary things with a perception of their enormous value."

And then he quotes one of her prayers....

"Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, or closet, nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Thy presence. So may my every word and action have a moral content.....May all the happenings of my life prove useful and beneficial to me. May all things instruct me and afford me an opportunity of exercising some virtue and daily learning and growing toward Thy likeness......Amen."

Now that's a woman I need to know.

Susanna birthed nineteen children - nine of which didn't make it past infancy. She did a crazy awesome type of homeschool with the ten kids that did. She met individually with each child every week and she even had a type of church service in her home where over 200 people came to her gatherings.

Susanna was also known for her incredible patience.

Quoting again....this time from Susanna's husband who had been observing her teach a lesson where he counted twenty times that she had to repeat a single piece of information....

"I wonder at your have told that child twenty times that same thing."

And Susanna replied with....

"If I had satisfied myself by mentioning it only nineteen times I should have lost all my labour. It was the twentieth time that crowned it."

This teaches me.

Susanna loved learning. She put up with an occasionally rigid and stout husband. She stood her ground on numerous occasions. She endured huge house fires.....and managed her home with little money.

And so...after all that care and all that pouring in and pouring over....

She reaped some fruit for sure, my friends.....

Because our Susanna .....was John Wesley's mama.....

the evangelist who helped found the Methodist movement.

Day after day after day for some twenty years - Susanna taught and tended to. She passed on faith and know-how and resilience.

And her children couldn't help but be world-changers because of it.

Those of us who are in the thick of lessons and discipline and home maintenance and heart tending - we should nestle in under the wings of women who have wondered this path in years past.

They can show us the way!

Want more examples? More resources? I do to. I'll share what I've come across and you do the same.

Because yes....I need

May you feel spurred along in your mothering endeavors today, friends - by the fine example discussed here. And may your own research and study grant you much as you lean in to hear what other great mama's have done.

Love to you all.


*Check out Ann Voskamp's 'Good Reads' page. Especially those books found in the 'family' section. I've been mentored through page by many of the books listed there. And while you're over on her 'farm porch' - read some of her Holy Spirit inspired posts and drink deep. You'll be filled.

*Stop by Sally Clarkson's blog. And consider a few of her books, too. She has taught me much in the last few months.

*Take some time to watch the women around you...the ones at your disposal. The best way of learning - is to see things played out well. Pray for mentors and examples - and hone in on them. Take notes and take heed. Yes!

Foster, Richard J. Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith
         [San  Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco, 1998. Print.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Being here in the home has been a heart changer.

Working (and I do mean working) within these walls....with these littles hot on my heels all the live long day - it forces change in a woman.

And it forces you to stare your current calling square in the face to figure out how in the world you are going to sanely walk through your every day.

Especially if you are going to walk it well.

It's been a unique season for me in this regard.....

 Our work car has finally called it quits - leaving this family of five with one vehicle. And leaving me with no way out most days.

If you had told me that I would spend a season of my at-home life without a car - without a way to escape the confines of the house....I would have fallen a part.

 No throwing the kids in their car seats and driving around for a while just to get a change of scenery, no quick runs to grab lunch on the go, no unplanned trips to the grocery store to grab that missing ingredient, no shopping trips during the day, no surprise trips to the park across town, no taking leave on a whim.


 a peculiar thing has happened in the place of all those outings.

I had felt it fleetingly before.....I had ran my hands across the fabric of it admiring its sturdy and smooth ways donned on others- but I've actually grabbed hold of it my own self and am wearing it now. Owning it now.

Couple no car - with the cranked neck - with the up-in-the-airness our family currently feels.....

and somehow, someway you find.......



I've settled into this season.... and I've found satisfaction in it..... the behind the scenes, nobody knows or recognizes....daily grind of a stay at home mother.

And just only took me seven years.

It only took over half of a decade for me to truly embrace and take hold of my vocation.

And it wasn't me who decided to buck up or bow out, even.....

At the start of the year I felt the Lord hounding me on homemaking. In a gentle God-like way - in a 'it's good for me' way....

And so upon his sweet prompting - I made it my year's quest to hone in on all things home.

While it has certainly come under attack....and while it has had its maddening struggles....and while I do....daily....have moments where I barely keep my head above the water line...

There's a constant contentedness that abounds here now.

If you're like me....and you hold down the fort day in and day out (or by all means - even if you don't!)....and you want to walk in this mom calling upright and well....

Perhaps you'll want to nestle in with me here on the blog spot next week? - to take a look at some resources, some stories, some women - that have walked the homemaker road high and swell.

As for now....

I hear the three blondes stirring on the other side of the thin rent house wall my desk leans up against....

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I sat on the sidewalk yesterday......

... and watched my oldest blonde sketch beauty next to a bayou.

He captured cotton ball clouds floating overhead, and cattails standing sturdy in murky water. He sketched out the sun and the light - while sitting there on that grassy knoll near by.

And this's a regular occurrence for us - the oldest boy stopping to copy some scene into a white paged notebook.

Just last month on a spontaneous trip to an urban garden center - he sprawled all out on a wooden bench situated next to a flowering, towering tree. And he proceeded to sketch that thing perfectly onto paper.

And so it goes with helicopters, and trucks, and trains, and skyscrapers, and country sides and home designs. it turns out...the oldest is into art.

That practice of putting pencil or paint or prints to paper and curving lines and connecting sections and making something glorious from it. He loves this.

And as his Mama, his teacher - I do so love it, too.

To have the ability, the gift, the draw - it's straight from the hand of Heaven.

This talent that rings in wild wonder...that captures glorifies the One who gave it.

Why don't we stop to ponder these pieces more often? The art work of our children....of local artist... of famous ones.

I'm sitting here mid-day - thumbing through the boy's art folder....and finding joy in every piece. Finding Him in every stroke. Remembering in my mind's eye the event, the photograph, the lesson - that spurred him on to sketch each scene.

It's such a fine way of remembering....of keeping.....of beholding.

Writing here now - tapping these keys.....the seven year old has asked for another blank page - and I hear him cutting sheets of white and sharpening colored pencils at his school desk.

It looks as if another masterpiece awaits me!

Enjoy the works you come across, friends. Whether the art is from Monet or your wee one....  art can often times ring in all kinds of evidence and glory.

Don't miss it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Joy in the Ordinary

The things I usually loathe - are the things I'd love to be doing this weekend.

Oh, friends.

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday - trying to roll from one side to another....when my neck flung itself into a fiery fit.

What in the world?

Ever since - I've been hardly able to turn my head to the right....and any type of jerked or extended movement - sends pain coursing through my neck and shoulder.

Pinched nerve, maybe? Strained muscle, perhaps?

Either way - it is keeping me from doing what I do.

Laundry, dishes, baby chasing, workouts, and the like.....

Those things that I often times complain about and rush through and dread...

Yes. Those are the things I'm longing to carry out today.

Why does it often times take freak occurrences like an out of no where gnarled neck to awaken me to the blessings? To the privileges?

Walking through an ordinary day - and tending to the little, repetitive things - being able to carry those tasks out's an absolute gift.

To go into the laundry room and hoist a laundry basket on my hip and divvy up the contents in each room - this actually sounds desirable right now. Divine, even.

I told the husband yesterday that I was going to scribble this all down in my journal - as not to forget it.....

To remind my discontented and negative and complaint-prone self....that being physically able to wash and clean and chase and exercise - should not be taken for granted.


Those arms that carry the load and the little ones, that back that plays pony over and over again, those legs that take you from one chore to another - thank God for them. Treat them well. Take note of their prowess and keen design.

And instead of huffing and puffing because we aren't living out some dreamy fairy-tailed life everyday - be filled with gratitude and out right awe over the ordinary.
Yes.... this weekend - if you find yourself sassing about those daily duties......just don't.

Your neck could be seriously cricked.....and it more than likely isn't. Take joy in it!


I love you all. Praying health and healing and gratefulness over each sweet soul that passes by this spot throughout the weekend. Hugs to you all.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Noon Day Sun

He's reading a chapter a day.

He's filling his being, his moments, his life....with rich, time-tested, insightful quips.


That wise old compilation sandwiched between Psalms and Ecclesiastes. Placed right there in the middle of heart-cries and life observations.

All that wisdom right there in the middle of those honest books - it fits there well.

So on the drive to church yesterday morning - my husband had me find Proverbs 4....and I read it aloud over young voices in the van.

And verse 18 - it made me want to roll down my finger-printed window and blare it out strong and happy for all the other worshipers heading down the highways yesterday morning....

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, 
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

There's something about that first break of morning, isn't there? That initial glimmer of day, of possibilities, of starting anew - all crisp and ready. Such grandeur every twenty four hours! How often I let the splendor of it slip right past my slumbering eye.  

But oh, we should awake and see!....

As this Earth rotates, and the sun becomes clearer and it scales higher in our sky...notice that it doesn't slip back down past the horizon again - until it's gone through the cycle of a full days time. There's no inching upward and then downward, upward and then downward - it's just all up! The great big ball of fire that lights our day hours - it doesn't descend until it's time for it to light up the other half of the world again.

Hence....the second half of the verse....

"shine brighter and brighter until full day"

All those who find themselves redeemed in Christ - we are to grow and grow, mature and mature, overcome and overcome. We are not meant to grow and shrink back to a seedling again. We are not supposed to mature and then turn all silly young afterwards. We are not on course to overcome some addiction or wound - just to find ourselves chained and oozing again. 


We are to shine 'brighter and brighter', my friends.

This takes us back to one of last week's verses....

And we all with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

'....from one degree of glory to another...'

The King James version says 'from glory to glory'.

Yes, this is the way!

As David Guzik wrote:
"The work of transformation is a continual progression. It works from glory to glory. It doesn’t have to work from backsliding to glory to backsliding to glory. God’s work in our lives can be a continual progression, from glory to glory."

Is it us? Is it our own resolve alone that keeps us climbing toward Him? Not at all. 
The only way...for us to keep taking steps forward in all the hard areas of life....
The only way...we can pass up that temptation the next time it lures on by....(because it will)
The only way....we can transform for real.....for forever - is the Spirit...and our yielding to Him.

So please understand....that there is no condemnation or guilt -trip here. If you find yourself slipping down the slope or revisiting some weak area (like I am) - know that this little post is just a push to pursue God consistently. A motivation to keep moving forward.

So this we've marched into a new month - let's take note of the areas that have fallen away again. Let's look at those things that we had victory and revelation in at one time...but that have slipped back into darkness.

 Let's bring them out and offer them up.

For good. For keeps. For the long-haul.

Because we weren't claimed by Christ to waver. We weren't saved so that we could go back and forth.

We are called to shine and keep shining.

As the sun pursues its highest point each day this week - oh, may we do the same in Jesus' name.

" It is a growing light; it shines more and more, not like the light of a meteor, which soon disappears, or that of a candle, which burns dim and burns down, but like that of the rising sun, which goes forward shining, mounts upward shining." - Matthew Henry

*Guzik, David. "Study Guide for 2 Corinthians 3." Enduring Word. Blue Letter Bible. 7 Jul 2006.2013. 4 Aug 2013.
* Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Proverbs 4." . Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996.2013. 4 Aug 2013