bare white

bare white


Safety of Hiccups

I sit here feeling hiccups.
Feeling relieved this little one is protected still from this world...
then feeling bad that I feel that relief when so much hurt is felt around this nation, this world.
I want so badly to protect them from Evil that masks himself in so many forms, so many labels, so many people.  I want so badly for their innocence to remain.

We had a conversation about grandparents raising parents, raising children, raising babies. I learned about my grandparents things I didn't know or at least didn't remember. Then he states how interesting it is that two godly people can have children that drift away from Truth - how nerve wracking it can be to have children in this world not knowing where they will end up. Will they stay with Truth, walk in Truth or drift away...a little or far? Then I learn the difference...will we have a religion or a relationship? Will it be embedded in their hearts or just their minds? I see it now. I pray for their hearts to be captured by a Mighty God and never let go. I pray they would let him invade their every breath, their every step. I pray they would live and feel how HE does and see this world through the lens of Truth.

I want so badly to protect them from Evil, but I see they are in God's hand and His ways are so much higher than mine. My bubble that I call my world can be shaken in an instant. One second so calm & peaceful and the next like a snow globe being shaken so vigorously, so fiercely that you think it will never settle again. I want to hold tight to the calm times, but also trust that in His hands is where I must be no matter what may come. I want to question where God is in the bad, the horrific, the unthinkable. And then question why we continue to desire to bring children into this world - only to realize instead of questions maybe He is offering His strength, His hand, His heart. After all, "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." (Ps. 56:8)
He is the One who knows - "...the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." That's the God I serve and run to - may I run in times of great joy and absolute fear.

I have to hold to His promises otherwise the moments in life that make no sense will make even less sense. The fear I have of letting go will become terror. The hearing of events that take place in this world like what happened in Newtown, CT will drive me to such a deep trembling it will paralyze my every step.
Holding to His promises.


lovely days non stop

Today is one of those days
In the midst of chaos there are words spoken that dig deep
in the same breath there are sweet little, "I love Yous!"
There is no job I love more than being a mom - there is also no job that tires me like this one. But it is a good "exhaustion".
As we are getting ready for Christmas I am trying desperately hard to SLOW life down, to breathe deep and see moments unfold, to teach contentment & gratefulness. But around each corner is a distraction - for them, for me - exhaustion. Life continues on and I realize I am the one who has a choice whether life will be lovely or not...a choice each second of each day.

Then I read this,  "How when you are turned away from God, life turns ugly, but when you are turned toward God, life turns lovely." (Ann Voskamp)
This is the reminder I need day after day, imprinted on my forehead, engraved on my heart so I don't forget. The every day dishes, the mundane of the laundry, the never ending sweeping of  the floors, the dirty diapers and potty training, the teaching & reteaching, the tears of spilled milk...oh the spilled milk! the "I'm sorrys", the sticky kisses and fingers, the sore legs from ballet days before, all made lovely by a life turned toward God. 

With baby 5 just around the corner, I know these moments will increase and be multiplied again - for which I cannot wait! I know time will seem to shorten and days will fly like the wind. My prayer is to be a grace-filled momma, one who comforts and greets her babies each morning with kisses and hugs. And goes throughout the day with them never questioning love. One who helps them slow down and savor each moment as a gift and to help them remember even the mundane is sacred in God's did He send our Savior & King? As a sweet baby in a lowly manger. So mundane, yet so unbelievable sacred & holy.

From Ann's Blog :
“To a man who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.
He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.
To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel…
Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven in which were all manner of beasts and four-footed creatures, which he was bidden to kill and eat, and when he refused because they were unclean, he was rebuked by a voice from heaven, saying, “What God hath cleansed that call not thou common” [Acts 10:15; 11:9].
The Lord hath cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables…  He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar –
if you know what you are and live according to your high calling.
You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.
The sacred has absorbed the secular.”


Consistently - not

If nothing, I am consistently inconsistent.  I have been humbled by this truth today. I want to write how I have learned to consistently follow through. I would love to say I have learned the art of discipline in all aspects.  But it seems, the harder I try the more I fall.

As I was driving in the quiet of my car today, which is rare, I was sifting through my day, my weeks, my months. Wanting to take full advantage of the 'shhhhh' & trying to figure a few things out I realized IT.  How could I have been so blinded by my own independence that I didn't see? Why hadn't I taken this time before? My boys need it - or else this competition we call life may never cease and oh how I long for it to stop dead in it's tracks only to never come by my door stop again. How I yearn for these two to be best friends, comrades, protectors, just BE. Their roots are so young and shallow but so strong already.
The IT I realized is simple....simply asking for "help". Why is it so hard to say that word? How could I forget to ask my Heavenly Father for help? Don't we all need help - somedays help in remembering how to breath, somedays - how to love, many days - how to offer Mercy. We all want this extended to us, yet how I forget.
How does this undeserved gift fit into parenting?... the offering of grace and mercy to our children when it isn't earned or deserved, but yet doing this one thing is making the body of Christ beautiful! This is the EXACT thing HE does for me every day. And truly, don't they offer it to us in the simplest..."momma, I love you" when I know WELL I am not always lovable.

With Mother's Day around the corner, I am reminded not only the unmeasurable gift of being a Momma, but the undeserved gift of mercy and grace.


Thirty & learning

Sometimes I think God takes pleasure in using the little things in this world to teach the big things.  Often I sit back and laugh (or cry) at those teaching moments. Like this one...

My son just told me..."Mom, I think the older I get the bigger Jesus gets in my heart." He told me this after he said that he was tempted to do something he shouldn't do and he walked away.  It has taken me 30 years to realize the sooner I listen to that Still Small Voice the clearer it becomes. And yet that  same Voice that speaks to my 2nd born, speaks to me. What a great God who upholds and speaks!
The words I penned the other day are ringing more I teach them - and at times teach seems like a strong word -  HE is teaching me through them.  I don't mean the subjects teaching, but the daily teaching. The daily grind, the moments as they swiftly pass by and hopefully I caught it long enough to use it - that teaching.
God's ways are so much better than mine.


Spring Reign

Disappointments will come and go like a spring rain.
They will happen and at times I wish I had a fair warning so as to not be so surprised by them.
People will disappoint, circumstances will disappoint, weather and food will disappoint.  I will disappoint my husband and kids and they will me - I think this is the hardest to swallow or the hardest to know how to work through.
I get quiet with words, but my head and heart are loud inside. If you were in me you would see an ebb and flow, back and forth - words everywhere - coming and going. Trying to figure the best way to speak and  yet no words come, still.   I have always been this way but then sometimes it bubbles over and IT gets loud and the words just flow and yet those are the times, as fast as that river flows out,  I wish I could pull it all back in - usually too late.

 I am learning when to just be still.  And I am learning that maybe, just maybe - those times of disappointment  are God's way of saying "be filled with me alone.  I am  the ONE who will not disappoint ... no matter how many times you do Me." He is the one who can fill my rivers of words with kindness and truth and help me stem the tides that flow uncontrolled.  HE is the one who can teach me what I, every day, tell my kids, "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all".  I get so frustrated at times that I am a record playing over and over saying this same tune and then God, in His gentle way reminds me, HE is that same record playing over and over to me too. I can teach my kids and then God teaches me through them. So humbling. I can learn much from them - their forgiveness is sweet and doesn't remember.

So I am learning to pursue HIM first every day.
I am learning He doesn't disappoint, ever. He has a plan for everything and will work it for good in HIS time and HIS way and it's okay if I don't see that good yet and probably won't.  It forces me to keep my face in HIS and not move - be still my soul.

As I am learning, I am hoping that record player won't have to always play over and over - rather that His voice would become stronger because I know how to listen better. Oh what a feat!
May HE reign in my life so I can then teach these little ones.


field trip : sticky syrup

One (of the many) things I LOVE about homeschooling is field trips. We went to the Sugar Grove in Central IL. a couple of weeks ago for the Maple Syrup Tapping field trip and it was amazing. We went with a bunch of our friends from the Classical Conversations family we are a part of.  The kids LOVED it ...despite the cold and wet....did I mention cold???

One of the most amazing parts for me though is seeing that the kids remember, truly remember parts of what they heard. Bobo came up to me last week saying he found a tree that was cut down that was 18 years old. I asked him how he knew and he said, I counted the rings to the heart of the tree. SO, I went out to check and sure enough he was right. 
I just feel blessed!
The 3 oldest ones left the field trip happy, filled with joy after seeing friends and sticky from syrup. 

doesn't this just look so inviting! If it had been warm - I would have sat there forever!
What I love is leaving feeling refreshed for another day, challenged to meet with my Creator in everything and living the Normal realizing that is where the blessings lie.


Messy Fingerprints

The more kids I have the more passionate I become about capturing them & making time stand still for a brief second. Time is fleeting and so I want to hold on to these sweet, precious gifts. I want to remember. Remember where we've been so I know where we are going (or not going).  Crazy?! Maybe. But it is what we have in this life - Memories & fingerprints. And sometimes those fingerprints are messy, sticky and gross. Sometimes they are sweet and perfect. At times they are so obvious they are caked like mud and others so faint you can hardly see.  But I want to remember each one - after all this is our story, our gift.

For some reason, when I look at these paper memories I see so much more than just that paper - I see our life as it has and is unfolding. I see it changing, me changing not what I see, but how I see.  Since I have changed that one thing, it is literally changed everything, everything.

It is  so easy for me to see the daily messes as frustrations, the hourly disputes as interruptions. I think I have to raise my voice to be heard louder and louder only to realize they hear very little then but everything when words are soft. All those loud words result in is tears from me, from them...But then, then I hear that "still small voice" (1Kings 19:12), "a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Prov. 15:1) I know this, I know this, I know I know this - but oh how I forgot this precious truth. I want them to know how to hear His voice and listen to His voice and obey His voice so they don't have to learn the hard way like me.

(My grandma & prayer warrior - oh how she has prayed over her family for SO many years)

It starts with us.
This is why  I am passionate about these paper memories - so I remember TRUTH revealed. So I can keep changing how I see and pray what I do see doesn't slip through my hands without me noticing, fully.
And maybe someday, I will be like Grandma - a prayer warrior, woman of FAITH - trusting God knows so much better than I and He takes care of all those tiny "lilies" and "birds" in my life (Matthew 6:25-24).