Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Our August is awfully full.

I'm typing here - with my calendar spread out before me and my nerves coming undone within - because looking at the agenda is making me quiver a bit.

Most of the penciled in events are favorable.

Some are annoying and mandatory.

But for the most part - the things we have committed to next month and beyond are of the positive variety.

School. Church events. Fellowship. Visitors. Bible studies. Gatherings. Meetings. Appointments.

And so it goes. Such is life.

And this is good. And it is healthy. And it is an honor. And it is growth inspiring.

But while so many of the things on my calendar have the potential of ringing in a lot of light.....they can sometimes feel really heavy.

Like right this moment - I feel like I'm shouldering each square on the August almanac.

It makes me want to build a fortress around our lives and reel in the drawbridge.

But at the same time, I wrestle with that image. I know my propensity to hermit-in at times - could really run with that image and it could be the fall of me.

Let me rephrase that, it would be the fall of me. We are made for community.

It's just the truth that being engaged, being a participant, becoming involved - is right.

Backseat parents.....
sideline Christians....
shore sitting people...

they miss out.

And the world misses out - just as they do.

But too full of an agenda.....can leave one empty.

Too awful much of a grand thing - can truly be a negative.

It's like air.

I think you'd agree that oxygen....it's pretty awesome. We need it to be. But if we humans only went around inhaling all the time - we'd bust.

The exhale is a must.

Filling our lungs up with oxygen is kind of like....a have to.

It's the same with involvement and engagement - our souls need it to thrive.

But just like the lungs need to deflate and expel carbon dioxide out of the body....

Our schedules and agendas need some emptiness.

We can't go around filling up all the time without some releasing and letting go.

Last night - we had nothing.

So the oldest started piecing together PVC pipes - to make little water systems in our backyard.

And this morning - we had nothing in particular scheduled....so I was able to make pancakes.

I was able to mix and stir and splat and scoop and fill happy bellies...because we simply had some margin in our day.

Pipes and pancakes would not have happened otherwise.

I'm grateful for all the opportunities. And for most of them - I'm thrilled to dive in. As I mentioned - it's an absolute honor to be engrossed. But September, onward - I plan for simple to reign. 

Because saying no to good things - so that we can say yes to great things, to spontaneous things - it's what I want. It's what I need.

As all of us here gear up for another school year, another fall season, new commitments and continued old ones....

Let's be faithful, yes.

Let's commit to the things we feel are necessary and needed, of course.

Let's heed the call on those things we hear the Lord pointing us to, most importantly.

But let's allow simplicity to have it's place.

Our homes and hearts will be fuller....

with the few and far between.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Series of Snapshots

They're outside right now.

Mowers and edgers are roaring through the neighborhood, breaking up bird song and mid-morning silence.

A long black slug is making it's way across our backyard patio, with an audience of blondes - of which, the youngest is completely enamored.

"Ug! Ug, Mama!"

The oldest boy is holding a frog he found this morning, and the girl is eating her breakfast sitting pretty in the seat of a plastic John Deere.

The door just opened, with patters of shoeless feet hitting the floor tiles. I hear humming. They must be looking for something - because a hum usually accompanies their search.

Mama here is about to throw some shoes on and put a backpack together, so we can venture out on a bike stroll.

Storms are coming later in the day - so we need to steal some sunshine while we're able.


It's crisp and early on the flip side.

I'm typing here with chipped finger nail polish and a long to-do list scrawled out to my left.

All three littles are still laying down and the house is calm quiet.

There's a basket of folded laundry along the wall, and a lot of dishes waiting to be stashed in the washer.

David Nevue is playing on Pandora, and a soft pink candle dances on my desk.....Mama's attempt at solace.

Nevue is playing the old hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness.

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All that I've needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.

I hear stirring and doors creaking down the hall, and I carry those lyrics with me into my morning.

Getting my bottom reluctantly out of the chair to start breakfast, I pray for His help to minister well as a Mama today.


The eggs and toast and granola are all cleaned up from our morning meal.

Bible study (from Luke 7) has been had. Christs' love for both the pharisee and the weeping woman - has been considered, and taken in, and discussed.

There is a fort being made in the living room.

Pillows, cushions, blankets....they are everywhere.

I hear them in there now, discussing the architecture of the thing.

The littlest is sitting at my feet here....still wanting to be close to Mama duck most of the day.

I have pushed send on several emails, and I'm about to read aloud to the wee ones.

The laundry is still waiting it's turn to be done. There is so.much.laundry.


With the house in fort-making disarray - we plopped ourselves right in the middle of it, and read.

A short biography on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, followed by a few of his exquisite poems.

Four by the Clock, hit us real and heavy.

We read it through, with sound effects and drama, three times.

I could have sat as Longfellow's audience all day, but once again....rain ensues.....and there's a yard that needs mowing.


Mid mow, I had to go in to wipe a bottom.

Ah, motherhood.

After the grass was all freshly shorn - I snugged up to the youngest and we read books and sang a song before he fell into a nap of slumber.

I went in and cleaned up the abandoned fort.

The older two sat at the chalkboard and did some school review.

Shapes, and letters, and numbers for the girl.

Adding, subtracting, and clocks for the boy.

Today's review went well. We aren't always so successful.


Right this very moment, the oldest is stretched out on the couch reading an easy chapter book.

I keep being interrupted by this boy - unsure of certain words.

River Flows in You is being played by Yiruma on the ipad.

Mama here should be prepping for tonight's Bible study, but she is sitting here with you....blogging instead.

It's been so long since I've been able to pause here - and hash out, and dream, and create...I feel I could do it for the next several days or so.


On to laundry. And group prep.


And so here I sit.

The day is budding new once more.

As I review these little flashes of my week, I wonder if they are odd.

Some people take photos with a camera. I tend to take them with words.

This drives all the grandma's crazy and leaves scrapbooks empty, but letting you form the photo in your mind, by the reading of verse - I think there is something to that, don't you?

It warms me, anyhow.

There are things looming in my heart this morning - that are causing me a bit of anguish.

There are things happening in my world - that are making me war in prayer.

But there are also things, just everyday ordinary things, that ring in all kinds of joy and delight.

Slugs. Frogs. Rain. Grass. Diapered bottoms. Forts. Poems. And the gift of garments to launder and fold.

Little snapshots, in word or in image- when returned to - can flicker gratefulness.

May these do just that.