Category

reflection

Category

The last few weeks I’ve been preparing a Bible study based on Annie F. Down’s book Let’s All Be Brave.According to Annie, painting risers on the stairs as part of my Sixteen Days of Getting My House in Order definitely qualifies as brave.Here’s why:”The moment you take that first step,the moment you start,little seeds of courage,the ones already planted there right now,begin to sprout in your heart.You aren’t headed out to find courage.It’s in you, it is blooming,and it is with you as you say yes to things that seem scary.”p. 23, Let’s All Be BraveThe thought of painting my stair risers was, indeed, scary for me.  In spite of many hours painting furniture, walls, and various accessories over the years, painting laminated risers in a high-traffic stairway scared me.I was afraid the paint wouldn’t adhere, afraid that it would chip and scuff over time, worried that painted stairs would negatively…

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 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…

Fearless is not a word I would use to describe myself.Careful.  Orderly.  Responsible. Thoughtful.Good.These adjectives are more accurate.I tend to analyze situations before jumping in.  I wait and pray and ponder, questioning extensively if said activity lines up with my values, my priorities, my written goals, my faith.Does the activity I’m about to choose fit the mold for who I am supposed to be?  For who others expect I should be?For who the Bible says I should be?I weigh my time and commitments on whether or not I’m pleasing God and my husband, or whether I’m sacrificing what I believe is one of my highest callings: motherhood.  (Actually, I’ve discovered that I have clung so tightly to my role as mother ~ have taken it so seriously, in fact ~ that I risk saying no to many good yesses for fear I’ll fall short in this area.  God and I…

The spring sun warms my face as I walk toward the front doors of the junior high.  7th and 8th grade students fan out from the doors, their childlike faces filled with joy and relief as they escape the structure of yet another school day.I quickly catch sight of him, strolling out in his black school-logoed hoodie, his trendy, over-priced backpack slung over his right shoulder.I raise my hand to wave, the usual thrill of seeing him each afternoon overcoming any protocol, eager to connect with him and hear the details of his day.As he draws near, I notice he is not smiling.  Matter of fact, his face reflects….What is that? Aggravation?  Or wait just a moment…..Could it be (by golly I think it is!)…..scorn?? And before I can even say hello, he grumbles, “Mom, what are you doing?”In a split second I understand.  Unlike all the other moms and…

I’ve learned a few things since I became a blogger a few years ago.Things like:  Even if a basket doesn’t regularly live beside your entryway bench,  a photo looks so much better if you stage the basket for a few moments while you snap a picture. I used to think I couldn’t do that.Being an avid rule follower, this whole ‘basket-posing’ seemed awfully close to lying.But then I got careless one day and tried it, and it made my photo look so much better, that I reached a new conclusion:Not only am I not breaking a lying rule when I pose an object for a photo that doesn’t actually live there, but I am now committed to following a new rule which says you MUST add texture to your photos. I know, I know….could I be any more naive?  I mean, I’ve known for awhile now that texture is important in a space,…

Over the last couple years, this blog has been a primary means for me to share creativity, chat about all things home, and occasionally share a deep insight or two.In this post, I shared about my history of journaling.  Although I haven’t included much journaling content on my blog, it may be working its way in more regularly.I don’t know what that means or where we will end up, but rather than analyze and ponder it to death, rather than force myself to have a plan and “work the plan”………I’m simply stepping forward.Fireman would be so proud.I love this guy.  This afternoon I went to make myself a latte and you know that little cup that holds the espresso grind?  It was still warm.  Still warm from when he made his latte a couple hours earlier.And you know what?  It made my heart go pitter-pat.  Which tickled me because he…

One of the things I loved about the book “Unbroken” was a relatively insignificant paragraph on page 167 describing Louis Zamperini’s observations while at sea (emphases purely my own):Louie found that the raft offered an unlikely intellectual refuge.  He had never recognized how noisy the civilized world was.  Here, drifting in almost total silence, with no scents other than the singed odor of the raft, no flavors on his tongue, nothing moving but the slow procession of shark fins, every vista empty save water and sky, his time unvaried and unbroken, his mind was freed of an encumbrance that civilization had imposed on it.  In his head, he could roam anywhere, and he found that his mind was quick and clear, his imagination unfettered and supple.  He could stay with a thought for hours, turning it about.I remember reading that passage for the first time, pausing, and reading it through again, more slowly this time.And something…..a longing?….craving?…pulled hard…

I read a post at Thistlewood Farms today that blessed my little heart.And got me to thinking. Jamie EatonThinking 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 who I am ~ 1st…

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 in the margins.  This…