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faith

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I read a post at Thistlewood Farms today that blessed my little heart. And got me to thinking. Jamie Eaton Thinking about how I see myself at this stage in my life…and also about how others see me. Which led me to pondering how interesting it is that depending on our environment, family size, activities, passions, and relationships, who we “are” changes in the eyes of others observing. Yet all along, in our own eyes, we’re still every environment, we’re still the same mom/sister/daughter, each activity is still in us, every passion still part of who we are, we’re still every friend we’ve always been. Only others often don’t see all of that.  They only see the you that is now. Which is why, in my pondering, it suddenly occurred to me that twenty years ago this year I pursued a passion that is still very much a part of…

I’ve always been a reader.  I was one of those little girls who would read every surface on the cereal box while eating breakfast, including the honey bear label.  My siblings and I used to hide our current books from one another for fear they would be hijacked before we finished reading them. As an adult, I still enjoy literary works from almost every genre.  I love beautiful language, historically-based stories, and rich character development.  My appreciation for Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth deepens with age. There are a few books, however, I find myself returning to again and again, more for reference and inspiration than for storyline.   Each one of the above titles has changed my life powerfully in some way, and in specific seasons. Were you to browse through my own personal copy of each, you would find many, many dog-eared pages, underlines, highlights, comments, and dates…

When we’re young, we strive to reach an ideal we’ve carried in our minds, an ideal which is a compilation of movie scenes, books we’ve read, families we’ve observed, truths we’ve learned, bits of life we’ve lived. We may not be able to accurately define this ideal early on, but its power propels us forward.  As we progress through schooling and relationships, jobs and big purchases, travels and recreation, it dances just out of reach beyond our fingertips ~ always there, yet never quite in focus ~ never quite attainable. Its drive is so very strong it carries us through excruciating tests, long hours on the job, heartache, moments of reprieve, and more striving.  It influences the clothes we purchase, the houses we buy, the activities we pursue, the way we parent your children, the way we spend money.  It drives our values, our choices, and our motivations. It…

I just returned from a morning run and somehow wanted to capture the beauty, the peace, the inspiration His great outdoors can bring.  Such a gorgeous fall day~! Words from a poem I couldn’t quite recall kept playing through my mind as I prepared for this week….this season….this Monday morning: “….The best is yet to be…” I did a quick search and was delighted to discover, and recall, this phrase is from a poem by Robert Browning, one of my favorite poets, call “Rabbi Ben Ezra.”  A faith-filled declaration of God’s design for the life of man which inspires a new perspective on youth and aging.  Here are a few lines from the first stanza~ Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand… If you need a dose of good…

Sometimes I lay my head on the pillow at night and wonder where on earth the day went….how another day managed to pass with still so many things on my to-do list?I try to rationalize by reminding myself of the progress I have made ~ the little things I accomplished that day to be present, to be real, to listen, to observe.  Things which become more important to me as my children outgrow shoes right before my eyes.Last night I had great intentions of spending the evening painting since we were blessedly home for the evening; instead, my daughter felt sick so we laid on the couch together reading about Mary and Laura chasing cattle from the haystacks in Little House on the Prairie.  Before long, the boys piled around so we sketched out a few games of Hangman on notebook paper.  When was the last time I played Hangman,…

I’m having one of those mornings in bed with my coffee in one hand and my phone in the other, reading inspirational blog posts about coming alive, building a creative business, and transforming barns into office spaces.  And almost everything within me wants to grab my planning journal and a pen, lock my door from all intrusion, and plan out this next stage of my creative life. This next stage would involve expressing my art…..embracing my days with a focus beyond motherhood and home….experiencing a no-holds-barred intensity that is becoming more and more appealing in this lifetime journey of self. It would involve throwing myself into DIY/home/blogging projects first thing in the morning, and working until family needs eventually won out because, after all, family is still at the core of my heart and soul. It would involve more days of transforming things like these: into things like this in,…

We spent the afternoon at a funeral for an amazing woman. Her life seemingly touched each and every person she met.  Over and over and over, people testified of her love for others and her love for the Lord.  Grandma Gladys leaves behind quite a legacy of faithfulness, encouragement, and hope. As is often the case with funerals, I come away questioning my own life’s endeavors: Am I prioritizing my time well?  Am I investing in the right places?  Am I too self-focused? Do I love others enough?    And while this reflection can be a healthy starting point for making change in the ways I prioritize my days, it can easily become depressing when I’m honest with myself about my shortcomings and my natural tendency to love self first. I was especially touched by the story of a mom with four small children who lives not far from Grandma Gladys.  During Grandma Gladys’s sick days the last several…

Although I rarely set New Year’s Resolutions, the start of a new year always prompts me to reflect on what I’m currently doing well, what needs tweaking, and where my life is headed. For me, this always turns into a personal assessment and subsequent plan for improvement…in every area: personal growth, homeschool, meal planning, daily tasks, service, etc. This year in particular it hit me that, for me, a personal assessment ends up being more about who I want to be than what I hope to accomplish. The weekend before New Year’s Day, I spent two large chunks of time writing down ideas, to-do’s, schedules, wishes, hopes, Scriptures, and personal thoughts.  This was extremely valuable time for me.  It’s always, ALWAYS difficult for a mom to make planning and reflection a priority, so I made a point of letting the whole family know ahead of time what I was planning to do those two days, and also…

Last fall my little girl started first grade.  The most beautiful thing happened as her reading and writing skills soared: Little notes…left for me…all over the house. “I missed you, Mom” left on the kitchen counter when I return from Bible study. “Quiet, Mommy sleeping” left on my door during my nap. (*sigh*) One day she helped me deliver a coat to my closet, and later I found this note stuck to the coat as I turned in for the evening: I stuck it to my bathroom mirror so I can see it and smile. Then last night, after visiting my sister’s house, I discovered this message on my pillow (someone broke out the label maker without asking, but I’ll let it go this time….): When I prayed 8 years ago for a little girl, I thought I knew why I wanted one so badly. Oh, how I seriously underestimated…

In my last post, I quoted the line from a design magazine: “God is in the details.” I didn’t elaborate, but my context was accessorizing and how often we stop short in this area for numerous reasons such as laziness, lack of inspiration, fear, or indecision. However, because the God I serve is such an immense God, full of glory and might and power, something in me rebels at the thought of reducing Him to accessories in a room.  The truth is, He will not be reduced by me or anyone else, no matter how hard we try. As I ponder this quote more fully, I can’t help but appreciate the truth it holds far beyond home decor. The truth of the matter is this: God IS in the details.  The details of our very lives. Every coincidence, every leaf, each and every bird, a breeze at just the right moment, a cup…