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. …

For a moment, can we interrupt Sixteen Days of Getting Our Houses in Order to talk about the color pink?I just picked up the mail and was tickled (wait for it….) pink when I saw the front of the new Ballard Designs catalog.  Have you seen it yet?And then on page 6, this beautiful chair and ottoman.  In pink.I don’t know about you, but something about this bold pink color reminds me of this ~And this ~And this ~This isn’t the first time I’ve painted or decorated something, only to see within days a similar furniture piece or style.  I like to tell my family I’m ahead of my time. Truth be told, it’s most often coincidental. Here’s a Before of the little pink desk I finished painting last week. Found at a local thrift store, it was pretty beat up and tired-looking, but the the top took stain beautifully,…

In spite of falling somewhat behind in the Sixteen Days schedule I set, the experience has proven tremendously rewarding and purpose-driven.Being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend and church member, and attempting to be sensitive to how the Lord would order my days (as opposed to me rushing into my own schedule and asking Him to bless it), the truth is that ordering one’s house cannot always take top priority.  However, the good news is that I’ve learned much in the process and am moving forward with continued inspiration and determination.  For my own sake, I needed to plan the days the way I did, understanding they would be tweaked as circumstances required ~ things like, oh I don’t know, spending two days processing a moose in your backyard??  You know, random things like that.Here are a few reflections on my Sixteen Days journey so far:   1)  Making the…

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…

Many things can wait.Children cannot.  Todaytheir bones are being formed,their blood is being made,their senses are being developed.To them we cannot say “tomorrow.”Their name is today.-Gabriela MistralI am still new at this mom thing.  Although my children are now 15, 14 and 10, they continue to teach me new things as we journey this life together.  Like me, I hope they, too, are learning that sharing life together is about grace….about forgiveness….about unconditional love, and always expecting the best.Even when everything in you dreads the worst.Parenting children does not get easier as the years go by, it just changes.  Some days it feels like the stakes are higher.  I don’t worry about their safety now as much as the condition of their hearts.To be honest, it was easier to control their safety.  Or seemed to be.  (Bear in mind, my children are not driving yet.  This reduced safety concern may…

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…