Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring break

Hallelujah! I think SPRING has finally sprung. The days are longer, the sun is warmer, the birds are happy, and my flowers are... ALIVE!

And life, well... life... it's crazy. Busy. Hectic. Blessed.

With friendships and projects and play dates and swim meets. Yard work and house work, fieldtrips and more.

All good. But too much. So this week, and in the days to follow, I'll be breaking. Blog-breaking, that is. For how long? I don't really know. I guess until the juices start flowing again and I find myself here, at my computer, for a spare minute or two or twenty.

In the meantime, I'll be outside. In the garden. With my little people and my pups. Cherishing every single moment... blessing beyond blessing beyond blessing.

Happy Spring, everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


you just gotta
get outside
for a few pre-spring minutes...

to breathe the fresh air, to enjoy the new flowers,
and to savor the fact that

spring. is. almost. here.

You've gotta jump

and climb

and bask

and crash.


and ride

and rejoice...

because spring is almost here!

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.

~Anne Bradstreet

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

1000 Gifts: As March rushes in

As March rushes in, I'm fully reminded of God's grace-full hand...
His constant presence...
His forever love.

As my cup runneth over, I give thanks...

snow-less treetops

"Mom, can we read now?"

the generosity of a stranger and the joy it brought to my two littlest people

end-of-winter provisions

a fun game to supplement our studies

a pancake breakfast... made from start to finish by my 9-year old son

a favorite new board game (thanks, Aunt Les!)

family walks around the neighborhood

bumping into (and then worshipping with) some favorite people at church on Sunday morning

59 degrees and sunny on a weekend afternoon

helping hands in the garden

a quiet house

a few spare minutes to wrap up an excellent novel

books... shared

hard lessons learned and opportunities to apply God's truth

second chances

His faithfulness, displayed time and time again

holy experience

and the list continues...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lessons I'm learning

*** Fresh flowers will always make me smile.

*** Grass really is much nicer than mud.

*** Giving up sweet tea is much, much harder than I thought.

*** Healthy living is work. Hard work. And some days, I simply don't succeed. Because a modest portion of pasta doesn't satisfy... because a mammoth glass of water is simply NOT what I want... because the carton of Breyer's mint chocolate chip ice cream is screaming my name. No, establishing healthier eating habits is going to be hard. Very, very hard.

*** No matter how thoroughly I prepare for the day, things never go just like I planned. In fact, I'd say Murphy's Law is alive and well (and on some days actually thriving) in our home.

*** Making homemade chicken soup, stock and all, is not nearly as difficult as I once imagined. I tried my first batch this past week and my children rejoiced (how's that for a treat :). Looks like we found another winter staple.

*** I really don't care for business that calls my husband out of town. I wish he was home every single night.

*** Helping a child learn to read... learn to explore God's creation through the written word... is truly a wondrous gift (and one of the most fantastic adventures I've ever known).

*** Even though the laundry is piled three feet high and my to-do list is growing by the hour...even though my kitchen is a mess and my family room looks like a hazard zone... this gift of motherhood is one I wouldn't trade for the world.

*** A foot race between an active two-year old and an extremely athletic five-year old is NEVER a fair match.

*** Puppy kisses are like salve to the soul.

*** The power of forgiveness is an amazing thing.

*** Parenting a thriving two-year old daughter is a whole new ball game. In a word... DRAMA!!

*** There's never too much pink. And there are never too many outfits in any given day. Change... apparently... is good.

*** Evidently... somewhere... there exists an unwritten rule which clearly states that 11-year old boys and their mothers will very, very rarely agree on anything fashion-related. And... evidently... that rule is being followed out to the T in our house! Our current struggle: hair. His. Our compromise: as long as it's clean, I'm good (though I'm spending many, many minutes with my lips pressed tightly shut, or close to it, as I hope beyond hope beyond hope he'll reconsider the meaning of the word, "cool.")

*** Priorities... sifting the good from the best-- and doing it with a joyful heart-- is tough.

Just recently, I was reminded by Priscilla Shirer
(in her book And We Are Changed) that
"...our spiritual enemy, Satan,
wants us to be so busy working for the Lord that we miss out on what matters most:
our relationship with the Lord.
The temptation of wrong priorities is high on the devil's list.
In fact, I am certain this is Satan's biggest attack
on those who desire to live the victorious Christian life."

Yikes. But oh-so-true.

So, priorities... it's becoming apparent to me that I might need to lay a few things down...
I might need to scratch one or two (or a gazillion) things
off my overflowing daily docket in order to carve out that precious Lord-time.
(Remember this post? Yea, I'm still working on it~)

"What He may ask you to give up will be different from what He has required of me.
Your responsibility is simply to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit in your life.
What is He asking you to put aside for His sake?
Don't let your personal schedule and tasks
override the real reason you were put on this earth--
fellowship with the Father, found by living in obedience to Him.
There is nothing wrong with earthly things having their place;
just make sure it's second place."

But oh, it doesn't stop there!
No, once the priorities are in place, then it's on to ATTITUDE.
And I know for me, that's oftentimes a much more difficult step in the process.

"The Lord does not want our service unless we are going to do it unto Him.
Do you complain about the ministry you serve in at the church?
Do you complain about your role as wife?
Do you complain about your role as mother?
We need to be reminded that our service is not for those physical beings
such as our boss or spouse.
Our service should be done with a joyful attitude unto the Lord.
He notices our efforts and appreciates our work, even when others do not.
The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:8-9,
"Above all, love each other deeply,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

Here's the secret to serving with the right attitude:
take your eyes off the physical people you are serving,
and place your eyes solely on the One whom you must ultimately serve...
Sometimes your husband will appreciate you, and sometimes he will not.
Sometimes your children will thank you, but many times they will not.
Sometimes people in your life will applaud your efforts, and sometimes they won't.
When you find that a spirit of complaining is overtaking you
in what the Lord has called you to do, take a personal inventory.
Whose praise are you attempting to receive?
Who are you trying to impress with your labor?
Could you have forgotten that all of your work is for the Most High God?" (pp 56-59)

I don't think I can ever hear that reminder enough.

*** Even though flawed and failure-ridden, selfish and sinful, Jesus. loves. me.
And that's all I really need to know.

We find freedom in life only when we seek the Lord with all of our might,
no matter what it costs us...

--Priscilla Shirer

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy birthday, Chris!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday, dear Chris,
Happy birthday to you!

Sending you lots and lots of birthday happiness

while wishing, wishing, wishing you were here.

We miss you gobs and can't wait to see you soon!

Much love from all of us~

Monday, March 1, 2010

1000 Gifts: February's end

Another day,
another week,
another month marked
by continued blessing from the Father's hand.

This morning I give thanks...

My dad's homemade bread, my mom's delicious dinners, & their never-ending support of us all

thanks to helping hands, a kitchen project... completed

a few minutes to work in the garden... with my momma

signs of new life

and flowers... coming!

focus, determination, hard work... paying off


Mom, I love you

Sunday morning worship

the bread and the cup

moments to reflect, a chance to repent, the power of forgiveness... freedom

His truth, His comfort, His deliverance, and this promise--
strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord!

"Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40: 28-31

holy experience

and the list continues...