Thursday, June 30, 2011

his big hand

When Corrie Ten Boom was a little girl, her father tucked her into bed and placed his big hand on her face.  She didn't move after that, so as not to erase that feeling.  Later, in the concentration camp, she asked her heavenly Father to place His hand on her face...then she could sleep.

I am convicted again this morning to strive to reflect God's love to my children to train them to trust Axel & I, their earthly protectors, so that they can find their way when they need their heavenly Father's help.

I don't know why this is so hard for me.  Sharp words fly out when I am ragged and my selfish heart needs continuous cleansing.  I am letting go, releasing the past embarrassing, even tragic moments, living in His Forgiveness that forgets my short comings & failures.

and I'm still counting His Graces...

purple weed-flower poking over window sill
over-cast & windy day of labor in garden
play-houses spanning the entire living room, draped in cloth & peppered in dolls & playthings
not minding that it need vacuuming
surprise-child under a table, listening to audio book
a 9-yr-old that loves history
4:30 a.m. gray sky, morning star, moon sliver between tree silhouette
early morning muffins with poppy seed crunch
morning time hopefulness for the day's doings
having cleaned up a pile of stuff
seeing progress in a virtue taught
husband brute-strength help in the garden
coffee in the a.m.
tumbling diligence (because this is a virtue I struggle with)
finding our I'm low in iron (maybe that's my energy-problem?)
safe bug-spray relief
eyelet curtains made from childhood sheets, swaying in breeze
generous sister-in-law
unexpected potatoes turned out in garden toil
eldest child's first picked carrot
happy child-play noises as I arise
baby cars
children trained to give daily hugs & kisses each morning (so that they will get theirs:)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

two more days of school for daddy...

and we continue the rhythm that will change, perhaps forever, as our direction turns toward a boys ranch in the fall...

dandelion worm salad for the turtle
a thoroughly cleaned matchbox car
headache-free again
last cool day for awhile
hard-working husband in garden
clothes for a quick-growing girl
dishes done
deep breathing
last home test today to find out my problem (Lord-willing!)
mating bird-play in mid-air
endless child play on swing
roaming chickens
Nehemiah, chicken with crooked beak
baking dirt for snail aquarium
cocoa, agave, & almond butter on a spoon
leftover lunch menus
reordering the familiar & cluttered

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

on suffering for a prolonged period of time

When the pain comes in waves, much like the birth-joy pain,
and there is not a thing to do but wait;
wait for the feverfew and ginger to wash over the wound in my head-
they come... gently, quietly...  but surely.
The waves wash and I see that I can endure greater things than I had expected.
Never have I used the Creator's name more, for help and comfort.
Never has the pain seemed so unbearably bearable.
And I realize that suffering is alright.  Life is not beyond the suffering; on the days that I feel well only.
Life is here as the swell subsides and I ready myself for the next, breath deep and wait;
Calling on the Name that one day ends all pain.
And then I realize that the last was worse than the now and I am grateful.
And the end slowly comes and a new beginning dawns.

continual gratitudes...

scarfed girl feeding chickens in prairie dress
Nehemiah named crocked beaked chick favorite
family breakfast on time (for a change)
feeling NORMAL after a migraine week
sore back from glorious day garden work
planning a garden for storage
first spring garden- so easy!
baby boy working diligent this morning on house chores
middle one thanking me for letting her sort the clothes(!)
(it's usually the eldest's chore)
teacher-husband-made swing in constant use
resting on the sabbath (learning how to)
sleeping all night 2 days in a row (no headache return)
eldest-inspired impromptu luncheon
handmade invitations
playing dress-up @ thirty-nine
one step closer to a planted garden

Saturday, October 16, 2010

transistion gratitudes...

for making big changes
seeing boldness in teacher husband
guiding prayer that hurts and enlivens
  selfless, encouraging friends
goodbyes with crocodile tears and pain in throat

for the call that made it possible to be together again
 that sunny saturday of last picnics and hikes
for unending help when needed
the last box packed
a ride with all we have for two days and one night
for a rental just right
and friends nearby
small town friendliness
exploring new spaces
fall beauty changing as we nest
screened-in porch with country breeze
for new beginnings with an old love
 for being together again after two months

the three that keep life interesting
and the strength from the One who gives freely...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

unending gratitudes...

pretend food
eldest child's unending creativity (even the misspellings)
2nd showing of the house this Friday
dinner at a friend's
being told a real life adventure
seeing someone deeply thankful
only one more day alone
a yard man in a pinch
deviled eggs
a good book list
sharing a good book list
child's first real haircut
four good haircuts in 30 minutes
getting ice cream afterwards
children playing so effortlessly

pretend oven and pot
painter's tape
finding a lost receipt
 not having insurance anymore
sharing medical costs with others
fields of sunflower glory
handmade wooden furniture
friendly small town post office
sweet sister-in-law helpfulness
receiving an extremely thoughtful gift

pretend homemade lemonade
watching church bounty-blessings play together
different time zones, same goal
tears on napkins
a long drive
flowing fuchsia petunias
child tenderness
shoes remembered by the forgetful one
baby boy hugs & kisses
perfect driving weather
dependability of eldest
sweeping dust under a rug for once

play food being a balanced diet
local vineyard
old friendship commitment
sweet memories
hope for the future
too many gratitudes to keep up with...
finding them on scraps of paper...
running through my head at night...
being grateful.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


 They take so much energy-
suck the life, it seems, of me;
me, who wants to do my own will...
dead to the joys at the end of my fingertips,
the blessed potential in each of these, if only-
I could see.
How to make myself stop, put aside my whims,
open blinded eyes and SEE?

 Today, a little girl at the park, in the hands of her auntie, went limp.
Many images play in the head while waiting for paramedics...
the mother who called her daughter a "fool",
the father who didn't want to push his 2-year-old son on the swing,
("play by yourself, or we'll leave"),
the mommy who would rather leave her child to drink with a girlfriend.

This auntie stuck out to me because she smiled at the child
and made the tire swing twirl and rise, sending gleeful shouts of joy.

She is better now, but I am changed.

I drive my three home, bathe them alone, sing & pray & tuck into bed.
I want to bring the shouts of joy,
I want to love them as I am loved by my playful Father,
who delights in me even though I stumble in this parent walk,
who forgives and teaches me gently (sometimes sternly)
and wants the Best for me.

Teach me to be what I need to be for these three,
my precious ones that help me to grow and change for the better.

Monday, August 16, 2010

what is home?

Home again to the dream house that we are selling that has not yet sold...

...husband has already moved 8 hours away.

giving thanks for...
three kids tucked in their beds
warm lamp light
only 90 degrees today for a change
a place to meet on the weekends
time with mom
date with teacher husband each weekend
farmers market
estate sale browsing
a friend's pool on a hot day
church home away from home
being content to move eventually to a rental
(as long as we are TOGETHER!)
home being with people, not four walls
apple trees surviving a hair-brained accident
travel laundry waiting for the morning
being mostly unpacked
fresh produce lining the counters for the week
mom's recipe for ratatouille
children popping grape tomatoes
white peaches with pink insides- oh, yum...
friends to see during the week
monday night prayer (emailing) group
our health
a good new home for the beloved cat
bowl of cereal before bed
a good night's sleep after a day in the sun

having the whole summer together in the 150 yr old school house dream house
swimming in the creek
seeing seasons of insects
seeing the stars at night..."but He cares more for Thee"
learning how to get cattle (or goat) off our land
loose chickens in the road
hammock days
vegetable garden memories
wild flowers
peepers song at night
two good years in the country that has led us to helping start a boys ranch