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What is this love between a mother and a son?In moments, her heart so overwhelmed it truly aches.Her soul and spirit pregnant with hope for who he will become.Right now, a celebration of his nearness.So many high stakes and choices and crossroads ahead for him…for young men today.What is this love?Bending down to retrieve another sock left behind, all the while whispering a prayer for his life-giving and salt spreading and servanthood in the halls of school today.  Because this daily bread is now, this present, and grace abounds right now.Complete, unconditional forgiveness for the neglected sock in light of these more important things.Complete, unconditional love to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.A mother’s heart beats with the cadence of prayers for her son.I am listening to a beautiful story in the mornings this week, a love story between a mother and a son. …

I’m sitting here at my desk, my eyes darting from the computer screen down our driveway because at any moment my youngest will emerge from a large yellow bus after her first day of public school in four years.  Red, heart-shaped Rice Krispy treats are sitting on a plate, I brewed myself a double-shot latte, and I cannot wait for our chat party to begin.In the meantime, I will begin my post on Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order ~ Kids’ Systems Part 2 (you can read Part 1 here) but I may have to come back and finish later.  But first, can I share my heart with you a moment?  After my last post in which I shared our family systems for Bible Reading, Memorization, and Prayer, I felt compelled to reassure your momma’s heart in two areas:  Recipes and Realities.By Recipes, I am referring to the…

I titled this post “The Sixteen Day Master Closet” because, truly, it felt like it might really take that long to finish.I relate to the Nester’s post today about her boys’ bathroom: “I’ll do a final post once it’s 100% done (in four years.  kidding.  kind of. )”As I was working on finishing this shared space between Fireman and me over the weekend  (okay, and all the way into Tuesday as well…), I couldn’t help but reminisce on the way things used to be.Back when we had our first apartment together and we used a cardboard box for a tv stand.Oh, don’t worry.  It was a reinforced cardboard box, and a very small tv.  To make it look pretty, we covered the box with a pretty towel.But still.One summer night, Fireman invited some friends over to watch a movie on our very small tv.  One of the guys was so…

As you know if you read my last post, Friday was the first day of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order.  I assigned myself the area of Closets first so I could evaluate school clothes needs and begin to turn over seasonal clothing as fall is nearing.  As is often the case when we commit to action in any area, obstacles and distractions come hard and fast in the wake of inspiration and enthusiasm.  The class Fireman was scheduled to teach Friday and Saturday was cancelled, so he was home those two days.  Although I love having my guy around, I think most women would agree that the plans change when the Mister is home, bless his little heart.There was also the matter of no cheese or cereal in the house Thursday evening, a dilemma worthy of rapid address if I was to avoid a mutiny in…

I have been so excited about my Sixteen Days plan to bring order back to my house.  After I wrote the post yesterday, I was outside spending time with the wood splitter (we heat our house with wood so many summer days are spent cutting and splitting birch logs) and my mind was absolutely full of ideas for how best to organize these Sixteen Days of cleaning/organizing/restructuring into a reasonable plan that will work over the next few weeks.I know you are like me in that I never, absolutely never, have sixteen days in a row that are unplanned, unscripted, unscheduled.  In a family, scheduling time to clean and organize the house comes after penciling in all the sports practices and events, church commitments, Fireman’s hunting schedule (although this HUGELY works in my favor the next few weeks…mwaahaahaa!), orthodontic appointments, school activities, and my furniture painting days on Tuesdays and…

I haven’t shared details with many people, but this last year was possibly one of the craziest, humbling, most stretching and surrendering years of my mid-40’s-something life.It was a year of obedience in the midst of questions, a learning to press on and lean in when I simply couldn’t muster the grace to face another day.It was a releasing of my preconceived ideas about order, structure and schedules, and a clinging to concepts much less tangible like trust….forgiveness…..gentleness….and mercy. It was finding the strength to believe He is who He says He is, and truly believing that His plans are for good, providing a future of hope I could rarely see.And oh, the deconstruction He did within my soul.This summer we are slowly, hesitantly, peeking out of the fog after a very long nine months.  Re-evaluating goals, revisiting priorities, re-establishing systems.  In some ways this feels wonderful, almost a semblance…

As I cleaned house last Friday, a segment from the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Joanna Weaver) came to mind.You see, I spent a lengthy amount of time Friday vacuuming my living room drapes.Don’t get me wrong: this is not something I do often. As a matter of fact, Friday was most certainly a first for me. But let me explain.While I busily & awkwardly vacuumed up and down each 108″ drape, this blog post began forming in my multi-tasking mind.  One of the first things I supposed upon reading my ‘drape vacuuming post’ was that the ‘Marthas’ among you would most certainly jump to the self-incriminating, personal crisis question:”She vacuums her drapes??  Should I be vacuuming MY drapes???”Which brings me to my aforementioned segment from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.I received this book years ago from a dear friend who thought I might find…

The last couple weeks I’ve enjoyed the simple pleasure of spending more time in our home.  Sitting for long spells over coffee, stacking dominos on the floor with my precious kids, wiping down the base boards in my boys’ rooms (long overdue!), actually lounging on my sofas instead of analyzing what throw pillows they still need, and thoughtfully contemplating the arrangement and necessity of what makes this house a home. I find myself doing a lot of purging. Part of the reason is where I am in life.  Recognizing that so many things I used to value greatly pale in comparison to the things that do. Another reason is a growing awareness of how abundantly overwhelmed we are with all the little things we think we need, yet how little we really do. Lastly, from a design perspective, I’m recently appreciating how powerfully one item or accessory can speak when given the chance…