Friday, November 30, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday's Gratitude

Today was a stretching day.  I literally felt myself being stretched and grown.  It hurt a little.  Maybe it was just a Monday, but I think it was more.  The pulling, the tugging, the everyday sort of challenges that stretch me and change me.  And, even for this I am thankful!

This week is very full for our family.  This week will go quickly by as I grope for spare moments here and there...

Today I am so thankful for...

*  Bare trees and overcast skies ~ winter is on its way, no doubt about it!
*  Jack's rosy cheeks.
*  The warm glow of lights on the Christmas tree, all day, making me so happy!
*  My Jesus leaving the Pharisees speechless in John this morning.
*  Winter skies thick with white clouds that make me think of snow ~ even when it is 40+ degrees outside!
*  A son crying over not wanting to do wrong.  Praying for Jesus to forgive.
* James asking as we drove by a building with a sign that said "FLEA MARKET" on it, "Mom, why would anyone sell fleas!!!!" Making me laugh out loud!
*  I'm thankful that the play doh Jack choked on today (oops) got stuck in his esophagus and not his trachea!!!!!!!
*  Four sweet boys deep into drawing and creating with various mediums for most of the afternoon.
* A quiet night with a few things checked off my to do list.
*  A God Who gently reminds me daily of the things that really matter when I get sidetracked on the insignificant things.  Love Him!

Friday, November 23, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This Thanksgiving...

My heart is overflowing this morning as I think of all the blessings that surround ~ the big things and the little things.

I am thankful for the little things like pumpkin spice candles in my kitchen, coffee every morning made by hands I love. I am thankful for the joy of sipping peacefully as the sun rises each day.  I am thankful for the sweet pitter patter of little feet all over my house.  I am thankful for the little leg hugs from my one year old and the neck snuggles of my 8 month old.  I am thankful for the young man, nine years old, who is growing up before my very eyes.  And, his best friend and seven year old brother, who brings me such joy!  And, those little two directly in the middle that are silly beyond words and make my heart so happy.

I am thankful for this job, my dream job, being homemaker to this family that I love.  I am thankful for the privilege of cooking and cleaning and creating a nest for my little ones to grow in.  I pray it is a safe haven of love and peace and joy for all who enter. Home is warm and cozy but mostly I am thankful because I feel Jesus here.  His presence among us is our greatest joy.  He is welcome here.  Treading  these floors, our God, he is with us ~ guiding us, growing us, loving us.  Oh, how we treasure Him.

I am thankful for the one God gave me to journey this life with.  All my quirks, he knows and loves me still.  Amazing.  Erik gives himself over and over again to us.  He takes care of me, shields me, protects me, yet strengthens and challenges me at the same time.  I could not have conjured up a dream of my future that would have come close to comparing to this life my Lord had planned.  His ways, His ways, always higher, always best.

I am thankful above all for my God who is not safe, not tame, not like us.  My God is a "wild man," and I am thankful that He is not the small God we tend to make Him, but rather He is an unimaginable force that cannot be contained.  And, on that note enjoy these words (before the song) that say so much about this God we serve...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday's Gratitude

Today has been a full day.  My legs are tired and so is my heart.  So, I am happy to be here now, sipping peppermint tea and giving thanks.

*  Hymns on piano playing in my kitchen.
*  A quiet house early in the morning.
*  Warm English muffins and hot tea.
*  Emery in a dress smocked by a sweet friend.
*  Come Thou Fount and For the Beauty of the Earth sung in Sunday service.
* Birds feeding outside our breakfast window.
* Entering our warm home on cold days. So, thankful for heat!
* A wise God Who leads His people gently.
* A God Who never sleeps!  Always attentive to our needs, ever-present in our daily lives.

Friday, November 16, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

First Frost

I don't know why.... but I love the first frost of the season.  I always run outside and take oodles of pictures of sparkly frost on every flower and leaf that I see.  They never look as pretty in my pictures.  This morning Elijah and Eriky woke up, looked out their window, and came running to Erik and I full of excitement!!!!  They thought it was snow!!!  And, they wanted to go straight outside and play in it!!!!  Erik had to break the news to them... no snow... yet, anyway.  I'm hopeful.... always hopeful.  Call me crazy... I do love the cold weather.... cold weather and hot drinks. :-)  Though by March I will be ready for a reprieve.  The beauty of seasons!

I was so tickled about the frost that I googled "quick and easy sugar cookies" and chose a recipe.  Then, as the boys finished up their morning chores and began their journal writing, I snuck off to the kitchen to surprise them with a happy morning treat!  We called them "first frost sugar cookies."

A little something to nibble on while they plugged away with their morning work...

The cookies were super quick and easy to make, and they were very good, too!  Fun to celebrate the cold!!  Every day is full of reasons to celebrate if we just take time to slow and notice them....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday's Gratitude...

I am so enamored with fall this year!  It seems that the leaves have been more beautiful than usual in our neck of the woods, and I have not taken them for granted!!

Today has been a hard day.  I've had to love with the kind of love that says no.  The kind of love that is not fun and is very difficult.  I think they call it "tough love."  Whatever it is called, I am exhausted and ready to start fresh tomorrow!  I think I need to sit and be thankful! My heart is restless and tired this evening...  Here goes...

*  Your word ~ unshakable truth.
*  A hurt finger not broken.
*  Big brothers who take orders (with clipboard and pen :-) and prepare and serve their little brothers lunch.
*  Reflection of fall colored trees on the pond. 
*  New seasons with new challenges = new chances to choose to die a little more.
*  A cold sunny day.
*  Sitting on the floor in front of my bedroom window with Joshua marveling over the sweet little birds flying around in the woods behind our home.
*  Hot tea ~ an attempt to soothe a difficult afternoon into a peaceful evening.
*  Little Jack with fingers in mouth and silkie in hand.
*  Listening to sweet Em whisper growls during the OCC program at church last night.
*  Lijah making Eriky's bed for him this morning ~ just because.
*  The bookmark JCT made for me with I love you's and stickers.
*  Fallen leaves floating on the pond's surface.

Friday, November 09, 2012

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Jack's First Haircut!!!

Big Boy!!!!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Monday's Gratitude...

The world spins fast around me.  There are elections and hurricanes, traffic jams and long lines, but at home we experience none of that.  The leaves are still full of color.  And, today home feels like a warm haven from the chill of the beautiful outdoors.  God, He takes my breath away...


A sampling of last week's gratitude...

*  Hot Peppermint tea on a cool evening...
*  Boys cuddled on couch with blankets watching a movie...
*  God's presence in this house ~ making it a home...
*  Candle warmer melting sweet smells in my kitchen...
*  Sweet excited gasps from little boys over a new history book...
*  A wintery sparkly new apron from a sweet friend...
*  Leaves floating gently down in the breeze...
*  Warm brownies as midday snack for hungry little men...
*  Laughter of little boys ringing in the autumn air...
*  The stillness and quietness of the house at naptime...
*  Friends who love Jesus...

Friday, November 02, 2012

The Dead Places

I read a quote recently about how fall is a reminder that death can be beautiful.  That resonated deep within me.  I feel like this stage of my life is about constant change and little deaths.  My life is so incredibly blessed that I would not complain that these deaths have been dramatic.  On the contrary they are simple small deaths of my own selfishness ~ long overdue.  But, as I have confessed many times, I am a slow learner.  

I grew up in a small town. My dad had a good job, and the whole town knew this.  I was told to my own shock by a boy in my 6th grade class that I was rich.  Really?  Up until that day, I had not known. We lived well below our means.  My mom was an enigma.  She held her own with the socialites when necessary.  But, she spent her days teaching an old man to read, taking meals on wheels to various older people, teaching Bible studies, and volunteering everywhere.  She had these friends with very little money, but they loved Jesus, so she loved them.  And, I remember going to their houses, and their houses weren't like my house, you know?  But, they loved my mom, and they loved me.  And, they prayed for me.  And, I remember one lady. She homeschooled her kids (and in my mind that made her a bit odd :-) and she didn't have much money, she had really long curly brown hair and she wore skirts and I think her husband ended up leaving her and her children.  Anyway, she used to pray for me when she and my mom got together.  And, when I graduated from high school she wrote in calligraphy this verse and framed it for me: "But, He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10.  This meant so much to me. She knew how high school was a struggle for me.  How just like my mom, I didn't quite fit with the socialites.  

For some reason this verse came to my mind the other day.  Just as it was the perfect prayer for that time in my life, it is the perfect prayer for these days of parenting.  Each day is a test.  I am tempted to be selfish with my time, my space.  I am tempted to be frustrated, to lose my temper.  I am tempted to give up, tempted to be too tired to fight for the battles that need to be fought.  I am tested daily all day long, and, oh, that I would come forth as gold!  Oh, how many times I fall so short, but it is my prayer!

And, I think of her writing this verse for me on a page of parchment, and I think of all that must have been going on in her own home, all her hurt and her struggles.  We all have struggles and temptations.  We all have things that we must put to death in order to give birth to the beauty of Christ in our lives.  When I think back to that eighteen year old hairspray headed girl, who took that sweet offering of a graduation present into her arms and hung it on her dorm room wall, I can't help but smile at how God has transformed that self-centered teenager into this mother of six.  Still quite selfish and still very much in process, but, years of dying little deaths has ever so slowly transformed areas of my life.  I'm not the same girl I was back then, and I'm so thankful for that.  When we give up these things, when we put them to death, these things like security and fear, like wanting my time and my way, God replaces these dead places with something so much more beautiful. Death can be beautiful.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

I was thinking this morning...

Thinking about how crazy life is.... how busy... how full...  

But, one day...

One day the swing will hang quiet and still, moving only with the breeze...


Thankfully, that day is not today...

My photo
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.


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