Do you want to know my secret? My favorite secret? Okay, I'll tell you. It is the secret of my sanity. If you know me, you really do wonder how I remain sane. So, I'm going to tell you. It is very simple really.
I am married to a really neat man, but he isn't the secret. He is busy, though. He sees lots of patients. He is the team doctor for our local high school and jr. college which means being present at ballgames. He is presently coaching four basketball teams, and one of them is a travel team. He is also on the pastor search committee and the deacon body and will soon be attending rehearsals for the Easter drama where he will once again be Jesus.
What do I do?
I keep the house running, the kids doing chores and schoolwork, make sure the babies are fed and bathed and that Jack gets his seizure medicine twice a day everyday. That is what I do.
Erik's schedule means that he may be home one or two evenings a week. What does this mean for me? Well, it means I do what I do all day, and then I do the evenings and bedtime routine, too. It means I make a lot of meals that either don't get eaten or they get eaten in shifts.
There are nights when I am tired, but God is gracious and good, and I wake up the next morning ready for another day! It helps that I love what I do, but still I couldn't do this on my own strength day after day.
So, here is the secret to my sanity...
God in the moment. God in every breath. God all day. God in the morning as the sun rises while I sip coffee and read His word. God as the kids slowly one by one rise and immediately come to my side for a good morning hug. God in the shower. God in school. God in His word as we learn it. God in history. God in science. God in literature. God in their journals. God in their questions. God in the conversation at lunch. God in their prayers. God in the sunshine. God in the cold wind. God in the deep breaths as I take the dog out. God in the quiet of afternoon reading time. God in the babies' wakeful cries. God in my nursing babe. God in the second pot of coffee. God in the fresh from the oven cookies. God in the smiles. God in the laughter. God in the tears. God in the clouds. God in the sunshine reflecting on the pond. God in the birds eating at the bird feeder. God in the trees blowing gently. God in the snotty sloppy wet kisses. God in the pot boiling on the stove. God in the hardy meal. God in the growing boys' banter. God in the Lego creations. God in the sound of basketballs bouncing. God in the puzzle pieces. God in the sunset. God in the splashing happy bath time. God in the sweet smelling babies. God in the glider rocking and reading with us. God in the last one tucked snug and warm. God in the last kiss. God in the moon. God in the stars. God in the quiet. God in my warm home. God in my soft bed. God in the moment. God in every moment.
Slowing and seeing God in every moment. Feeling Him. Knowing His presence. Sensing His presence. Pausing in His presence. This not only keeps me sane, but it keeps my heart at rest, at peace. There is nothing this earth can offer that compares to our God.
I have lived enough to know that sometimes when a challenge arises, God can turn that challenge, that difficult obstacle, into an opportunity to do something amazing within us. I wasn't excited about this new season of craziness, but I have already learned so much by just leaning into Him for strength during this time. He is so faithful.
The boys have been baking with me for years.... But a few weeks ago, I set them free in the kitchen with a recipe and all my baking tools including my kitchen aid mixer! :-) They were so fun to watch!!!
Not exactly the way Mama does it, but they were having so much fun that I didn't stop them!
Toward the end they got a little out of hand!! :-)
Silly boys! I love them so!! And, their cookies were delicious! I think they were even a bit surprised by how good they tasted! :-)
This is one of my favorite times of day. The little ones are napping, and the big ones are reading...
Due to the cold weather, the boys have enjoyed reading by the fireplace most afternoons. These are memories I already hold so close to my heart. There are many times throughout the year that I think to myself, "When the boys remember these elementary days, I hope they remember this..." And, snuggled up on pillows by the fire.... This I hope they remember fondly, and I think they will. As soon as I whisk Mr. Jack off to sleepyville, the boys grab their books, flip the switch on the gas logs, and snuggle up! I don't have to say a word! They just know...
Today, oh, today.... There was the usual chaos of Monday ~ the mama eager to cover a week's worth of material in one day and the children eager to continue their weekend play. These two worlds collide and make Monday spin crazy most weeks. But, as always, we survived.
The day took a turn for the better when I walked outside to take Rain for his early afternoon potty break. Lo and behold!! It was sleeting and so cold my hands hurt by the time I returned indoors. I looked at those sweet faces sitting around the table eating lunch and announced, "Boys! That! Is! NOT! rain!!!!!" A wintry mix. Their favorite song right now is Snow Globe by Matt Wertz. They want it to snow so badly! This is not snow, but still, we'll take it!!! :-) The boys were tickled to get to eat icicles earlier!! We'll take what we can get!!
My heart was heavy full from that moment on throughout the day! Cold, overcast, and a wintry mix!! Yay! We read books in front of the fireplace during the afternoon, and for dinner, I made white bean chicken chili ~ a favorite cold weather comfort food!! :-) Oh, if only every day was like this!!! But, then again, I guess days like this wouldn't be as special if they happened every day. The best news is that tomorrow is another day just like today!! :-) And, I am going to savor it with a heart full of gratitude! This may be the closest we get to snow this year, so I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!!
And, speaking of gratitude...from this week....
* A home with heat.
* A soft robe.
* A God Who is bigger than I can imagine ~ a FORCE moving in the hearts and lives of people.
* Kids quietly watching TV, candle melting, day winding down.
* Jack's love of books!!
* Em learning to eat food!
* Running with Erik and the kids trying to beat the ice cold rain as it beat down on our backs.
* Rain bringing cooler temps.
* A roof to keep us dry.
* Our wintry mix!
I love the holiday season. I love how everything is busy, busy, busy up until Christmas day and then it all just sorta stops. We slow down and savor. We enjoy downtime as a family. For several weeks virtually all activities come to halt. I am enjoying this now ~ slow and easy. No rush. Just me, the boys, and Em hanging out and taking it slow. These pictures are from the weeks prior to Christmas when life was a little busier. Fun times getting ready for Christmas!
Nana came for a little visit before Christmas, and here are a few pictures from our time with her. The boys watched Christmas movies with her nearly every afternoon, and inevitably Eriky ended up like this...
asleep on his Nana!
Sweet Nana is the best game player on earth! She is always up for a game of anything with one of her grandchildren...
Our children's choirs went caroling on the last Wednesday night before Christmas holidays. They sang to the local nursing home residents and to church members unable to get out of their home this holiday season. The boys were bundled up and ready to go out on that cold winter night!
We celebrated 12-12-12!!!
Such a sweet big brother! Love him!!!
We made salt dough ornaments for teacher gifts this year!!! So fun for the boys! I know they enjoyed handing their teachers something they had made themselves! :-)
I think this was during It's a Wonderful Life...
Christmas parade fun with our sweet friends...
Now Christmas is over, and the decorations have all been put away. It is simply cold. But, I do love winter so much! Hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, white cloudy winter skies, seat warmers in the car, and hot coffee on icy cold mornings. These things make my heart so happy! There is much to look forward to in the months to come!! There is much to be thankful for in each moment of each and every day!!! :-)
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.