Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Where, oh where, art thou?
"Spring being a tough act to follow,
God created June."
And yet all too quickly...
Will someone please tell me where it went??!
In the garden
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
So this morning, after rushing my boys out the door for an early morning swim practice,
I sat down with my Bible and
(plus a not-quite-ready-to-greet-the-day furry friend),
and I opened up to Day 05 (I'm just getting started). Here's part of what I read:
"Many times I've gotten so discouraged by Satan,
my own weak flesh, or another opposing entity,
that I've finally resorted to speaking out loud the the truth of Scripture.
Audibly praying and reading Scripture is a wonderful discipline to employ,
especially when you are
. That one got me.
And here's why::
A few days ago, my
sent me a few questions to answer.
You see, we're doing this study together (even though we're separated
by a couple hundred miles) with
Beth Moore's summer group,
and before starting,
we needed to answer a few simple questions. You know, the basic stuff
What do you want to get out of this study?
AND, in a word,
describe this season of your life.
Immediately, I responded....
(and felt quite sure this was the BEST and most appropriate choice for now)
Why overwhelmed? Because that's what I am.
Even though it's summer, and
even though I'm supposed to be relaxing,
I'm stressing over my mile-long to-do list and the calendar that's racing by,
and I'm having trouble-- very real and heart-thumping trouble--
because I simply cannot see the forest for the trees.
Yes, I'm overwhelmed, and for many days now I've been lamenting that fact.
So back to this morning. I finished my lesson
and hopped out back for some garden time before my littlest two awaken
[with no rain over the past several weeks and temps reaching the mid-90s,
watering my gardens has turned into a non-negotiable daily chore],
and with my
attached to my hip (because I agreed with the author--
what I needed now was a ginormous dose of Scripture...
in my ear, to my heart, over and over and over again),
I set forth.
I toted jug after jug after jug of water,
and I enjoyed a
few Holy Spirit-inspired dances along the way
(thankfully, we have a privacy fence :)
and then an old favorite came on and...
It stopped me, dead in my tracks.
Because the Lord had spoken.
Through these words-- through His Word--
I got the message, just as He intended.
Give me one pure and holy passion.
Give me one magnificent
Give me one glorious ambition for my life
To know and follow hard after You...
To know and follow hard after You
To grow as Your disciple in Your truth
This world is empty, pale, and poor
Compared to knowing You, my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after You
Lead me on and I will run after You
How 'bout that?!!
Meant for me? Yes.
Did I listen? Yes.
And did I get it? Yes.
And then I thanked Him for His gracious reminders and changed my tune.
So... history plans? Yes, they're important.
Those 3000 pages on the 20
century in review? I'll try.
A new paint color in my bedroom? Sure, it would be nice.
Veggie and flower bed survival? Oh, I hope so.
New recipes and adventures and bread and more? Perhaps... and hopefully.
But when it's all said and done, what matters most?
How should I really spend my spare time, my energies, and my attentions?
And what do I want to teach my children, even during these lazy days of summer?
To know and follow hard after You,
and to grow as Your disciple in Your truth...
Lead me on, and I will run after you.
So today, I'm resubmitting my answer.
Today, I'm set
Free to be faithful and obedient and grace-filled and more...
because He who started this good work in me will be faithful to complete it.
All I need do is follow.
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.
My little corner
Monday, June 28, 2010
1000 Gifts: On the farm
The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty,
let all the earth rejoice,
all the earth rejoice...
Amazed by His grace and overwhelmed by His goodness, I give thanks.
tree-lined drives and deer-filled fields
bright blue skies and split rail fences
the arrival of summer
and the Creator's generosity
a slower pace, a quiet life
a fieldtrip with friends, an opportunity to explore
and like-minded families who share, encourage, teach, inspire
loving arms-- never too tired to hold
and a loving heart-- never too full to give more
patience and persistance
and the opportunity to help another
and very best friends
chickens to chase
and the thrill of the catch
"O, LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is Thy name in all the earth!"
and the list goes on...
Friday, June 25, 2010
The temperatures are rising as summer has surely staked her claim on our small parcel.
Thankfully, little helpers abound, and our veggies... they're growing!
Lolli's already snatched (and gobbled) a few red tomatoes from the vine
(plus a few that have gone straight to the kitchen windowsill for further ripening :)
and the cauliflower is getting closer and closer to harvesting--
hopefully only another week or two.
The beans are just starting out, and the cucumbers & squash are spreading their wings.
As for me, I'm just praising the Lord for the harvest!
"There, in the presence of the LORD your God,
you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice
in everything you have put your hand to,
because the LORD your God has blessed you."
In the garden
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
The C & O Canal
President John Quincy Adams broke ground for the
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal
way back in 1828, and due to one complication after another,
the manmade waterway never opened for business until 1850.
It stayed in operation for 74 years, and then in 1971,
concerned citizens successfully convinced Congress to rescue it from ruin
and establish the 184.5 mile-long canal as a National Historical Park.
Open now to the public for "a refuge, a place of retreat, a long stretch of quiet
and peace (Justice William O. Douglas, 1954)," the canal is a delightful setting
for an afternoon get-away... and a fantastic place to experience our nation's history-- alive!
Lil, our ever-gracious hostess (think: mule-power, if you will)
actually pulled us along the water (attached by rope) as she ambled down the towpath,
just like back in olden times,
and one of the locks (think: water elevator)-- it still works!
And let me just tell you... in case you didn't already know
(because it amazed me as much as it did my children)...
to study a lock is one thing; but to experience one, well... that's a whole other matter!
Yep, the C & O Canal--
lovely in every way... and the perfect complement to
Monday, June 21, 2010
1000 Gifts: A Father's heart
Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from Him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Blessed beyond measure, my cup overflows.
And I give thanks~
and their daddy
his commitment, his attention, his sacrifice
kind of love
this precious father/daughter relationship
and sons who long to be just like him
a day with
daddy (and his mama, too :)... plus ice cream sundaes, apple pie, and swimming pools...
dad's unwavering support, encouragment, and love
a father/son outing, a Nationals baseball game, and nothing but "junkfood" for an entire evening :)
shade at the ballpark!
shopping with my girl... just the two of us
milkshake... to share
and time in the garden before bed
silliness and laughter
the same old jokes that never. get. old.
this family... this treasure... God's grace upon grace
every single day
MY daddy... his time, his example, his always & forever love... his wisdom, his presence, his heart...
my very favorite "Pops" in the whole wide world
and the One who makes it all possible... who blesses and blesses and forgives and forgives.
Who comforts and strengthens and enables and protects.
Who heals and rescues and empowers and redeems.
perfectly, unconditionally, and without limit.
"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,
that we should be called children of God!
And that is what we are!"
1 John 3:1
and the list goes on...
Friday, June 18, 2010
In our continuing quest for healthier (and simpler) living, Chris and I have committed ourselves
to making a few needed changes
to making a few adjustments in the way we live, and most especially, in the way we eat. Our most recent installment--
homemade bread & muffins...
because over the past several months, Chris and I have become *fully* convinced
the many benefits of baking with freshly milled flour
, and as a result, we've
finally taken the plunge-- we've bought
everything we need
to start milling our own grains
and baking our own bread.
So tomorrow, while my men are happily celebrating the onset of summer
at a Washington Nationals game,
Lolli & I will carefully move our pile of goodies
from the living room to the kitchen,
and there, with lots of patience (and surely many phonecalls for help :),
we'll start baking our very own bread!!
Wish me luck... and happy weekending, everyone!
In the kitchen
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
My educational goals
wrote an excellent post regarding educational goals...
Goals that have nothing to do with standardized bubble tests,
achievement rates, and assembly line education...
but everything to do with raising truly "
I was very impressed by her list and have thought of it often,
especially over these past few weeks as I've been elbow-deep in catalogs and books and plans
for our next academic year.
What qualities do I want to see in my children... right now and 10 years from now?
What traits do I want to instill in them?
What do I want for them... in the long run?
When all's said and done, what is the end goal of their education?
For them to be loving, capable, and content? Yes.
But even more-so... for them to be God-honoring, God-following,
God-adoring, God-praising beings... all of their days...
who seek to glorify Him in all they say and do.
So, inspired by Heidi's list and excited by the possibilities,
I decided to write one of my own...
modeled after hers, of course, because she's a creative genius, and me...
well, not so much.
What I want for my children,
that they might live a rich life:
in your heart.
Stand for truth & settle for nothing less.
Run with perseverance
never. give. up.
Learn something new every day.
Ask questions and search for answers.
Read. Read. Read.
And then read some more.
Explore. Investigate. Observe. Discover.
Examine. Inquire. Think.
Play hard and sleep well.
Count your blessings
laugh. every. single. day
Learn to be content in all things,
never forget that
Plant a garden and watch it grow.
Bask in the sunshine and jump in the puddles.
Manage your time and your resources well.
and build each other up.
Think, discuss, and share ideas.
Accept new challenges.
Listen before you speak.
Be kind and honor others.
Defend freedom and
protect the innocent.
Be strong & courageous.
Dwell on the lovely, the pure, and the noble,
and ponder His goodness, every single day.
Pray without ceasing.
Care for the needy.
And always remember:
you are loved.
Monday, June 14, 2010
1000 Gifts: June days
"The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes,
and surely it is in the everyday things around us
that the true life lies."
--Laura Ingalls Wilder
A joy-filled heart, a thankful heart, another week for counting...
the last of the peonies
a wrist full of silly bands... his favorite new collection
chai tea with friends and laughter around the table
our neighbors' strawberry patch... and their wonderfully generous offer to share
the way she says "berries"... they're her "boo-eys"
plans for next year... finally coming together
and shopping for school books-- DONE!
convention companions, shared meals, and homeschool planners
my very best friend-- and an all-be-it brief time together
my mama's generosity and her help with the littles
dinner with classmates-- their kindness, their hospitality, their friendship for more than 15 years
basketball hoops and scooters, popsicles and cupcakes
and plans to get together again-- very, very soon!
"Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name."
1 Chronicles 29:13
and the list continues...
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Homeschooling benefit #102
The dog is invited to "P.E. class,"
the catcher is allowed to "take out" the batter,
and the outfielder is allowed (& able) to wreak absolute havoc on the game at any point in time.
And the teacher-- instead of dragging said offenders down the hall to the principal's office
for some obligatory disiplinary measure--
is permitted to simply sit back and laugh. And smile. And delight.
Because this is her family, her time, her love....
My little ones
Monday, June 7, 2010
1000 Gifts: A little bit of June
Come, Thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise his Name,
I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Counting His blessings... one at a time.
Truly, His mercies are new every morning!
one brother teaching another
and the last few math lessons... DONE!
test results in hand... their amazing accomplishments
and the celebration that follows... their job
yes, proud mama moments... too many to count
and this heart-tugging
... her very first
summer vacation, just a stone's throw away
filled with afternoons at the pool and our best pals, too
a chance to bake bread with a
and flowers on the porch... the outside brought in
a plastic harmonica, sweet melodies galore
yes, her little girl music from morning 'til night
time with her "
" and a big bucket of peas
and backyard excitement... our veggies-- they're growing!
reading success & a chance to fly solo... my 5-year tyke with his nose in a book
haircuts and... individuality!
his gentle reminder, "
motherhood-- I simply can't count it enough
and the joy that comes with raising little men
his boldness to proclaim the Truth that sets him free
God's grace upon grace... His mercies every morning
"I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High."
and the list continues...