Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The girls and I left Thursday after swimming lessons to drive to my parents' in Sugarcreek. I forgot to pack lunches (or just didn't feel like it ;-) and so to avoid fast food or save money or something (?) we ran into Target to grab something for lunch, which took sixty-seven minutes and cost three times the fast food. We emerged with three bags of school supplies and two world maps which means that school is in fact going to happen again, somehow, though I am doing a grand job at ignoring reality.

(Also: three processed kid lunches contained within about sixty yards of packaging. My kids got to make their own turkey sandwiches with fake cheese in the car and this was the bestlunchever! and for about ten minutes I was the bestmomever!)

Friday I went to an event to celebrate the The Budget's 125th Anniversary. I write an article for the local section. But there is a second section which is made up of letters sent from 900 Amish communities all over the Americas. The letters share details of their community- the crops and weather, who is visiting, who is sick, etc. It is a way for communities to keep in touch with one another- an original facebook. I just love this paper, and community. I am so glad to be a part of it.

We drove home late Friday evening and I worked all day Saturday. Just enough time to unpack the car, and pack it back up again Sunday morning. Jim had to work Sunday, the girls and I headed to Mohican state park to camp with my family. Stop at the mall to buy my mom a birthday gift. Stop at Wal-mart for prepackaged boxed lunches all over again. (Tell me one quick lunch that is not guilt-inducing? I'm all out of ideas). Stop to buy a birthday cake. Stop for the bathroom. We can make this drive last allllll day.

We got to float down a river and eat burnt marshmallows and do all the summer things within about twenty-four hours. Home again last night, to no groceries and a week's worth of laundry and soggy towels and muddy shoes.

And a broken washer.

That was four trips in the car and one child who has a really difficult time in the car, which makes it really difficult for the rest of us. Four times packing and unpacking, a bazillion soggy towels and a dirty van and too much sugar. Maybe this weekend was all I needed to be almost, just a little bit ready for Summer's end. Almost.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Every summer has a theme and for our family this has been a summer of work. We've worked on the house, worked in the yard, worked on Math, worked on our bad attitudes. I have spent the summer working on the class I'm going to teach for our co-op. We have worked to ready the house for company and worked together cleaning up. I began a part-time job this spring. Summer is Jim's busy season at work and some weeks all we do is pass each other- quite literally- as he comes home from work and I leave for work; I work one weekend day and he works the other.

I like to work. I am glad for all of the ways I need to work right now.

I like my job. It is a good job, the hours are what I need and I am thankful for it. It is stretching me in ways I need to be stretched. I've tried to blog about it but it is too complicated and too boring to tell all the details; what and how and why I believe the Lord led me to it. And because I can be conflicted about everything, I've needed to sort and re-sort it out in my head; is this work meaningful or important?

Jim reminds me that most people don't get to do work that feels all that meaningful. It is the fallen condition of work. For now, my work is to make money and bless my family. I have a new sensitivity for people doing hard, meaningless work forty hours a week. I think a lot about this. There is a great lack of teaching on this subject.

But we can work as unto the Lord. We can offer our work to Christ. We can love our co-workers and pray for them. We can pray always. And Christ is there.

p.s. One night I was lamenting that I don't have contemplative time anymore. I said to Jim,I've not been reading or writing like I used to. My mind is too full of details, I only think in logical ways anymore. I feel shallow. My husband's ever-logical, wry response; Who gets to live a contemplative life all the time? Welcome to the world of the rest of us shallow people who have to go to work everyday to make money. Me, laughing: That's true. Thank you for being an engineer so I can be a mystic. ;-)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

buy yourself flowers

: because I have this habit of questioning every decision I ever make (my life's calling/ where to live/ how to pray/ crushed or diced tomatoes)

: because living on the surface is only floating

: because the one thing I sense the Lord instructing me to do is to lighten the heck up

: because I want a couple more kids and a front porch and fancy Sunday dinner, every week, and to write books and to wander and to live next door to all my favorite people

: because I want my kids to grow up in the city and the country

: because I can't believe my kids are growing up

: because today is only ten days away from the first day of summer and this is the very best time of year

: because I am homesick and content and anticipating, all at the same time

: because the Cavs

: because more and more I see how lost is the human condition apart from Christ

: because it is possible one day to just give up and to quit dreaming and stop growing and you aren't even dead yet, and I am opening all the windows and brewing strong coffee and buying myself flowers because I want to stay wide awake

Thursday, June 4, 2015


It has been a long while and there is so much water under the bridge. I've been a bit of a muddle anyway, change does that to me, the new job and end of school, house projects, relatives came to visit- we stretched the little house but we did just fine- and this week I have the flu. Ugh. There is nothing I hate more than wasting time, and the first week of June when I want to be digging or planting or wading or a hundred things but lying in bed certainly isn't one of them. 

Well then, a daybook:

Outside my window:  I am visiting my parents for the day, so my view today is green grass and trees, a hay field being mowed. Green green grass is vibrant this time of year, and watching my kids run in it one of the best views of summer.

Thinking: about our summer routine and how to make summer somehow fresh and interesting even though we are still at home and doing our thing just like every other season. 

: about my parenting, always; what do we need to change, what am I not seeing?

: about the idea of writing your own obituary, how do I hope to have lived and what habits do I need to change that I might?

: about how we construct our own existence, we build the house we live in, by our thoughts, and that by the time one reaches old age we are pretty much settled into the house we've built, we don't want to change, our minds have made us; and therefore how important it is that we take every thought captive, that the most basic habits of our minds are rooted in faith, offered to Christ, saturated in love . . . that I would build a life of faith by a lifetime of faithful thinking. (As a man thinketh in his heart so is he. -Pr.23:7)

Thankful: to be a mom to three funny, passionate, creative, smart, strong girls and to get to help nurture who they will become.

Creating: a basic, easy work wardrobe that I don't have to think about. 

Hoping: to feel better soon

In the kitchen: not much. Working evenings means I try to have dinner ready before I leave, and I've been keeping things simple; roasted potatoes and seasoned meat in the le creuset, tacos or salad are staples. 

Reading: Motivate Your Child by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller (I got to hear them speak at the Midwest Homeschool Convention) 

In the homeschool room: Math, math facts, and cursive. Hooked on Phonics from the library for Josie for the summer.

One of my favorite things: Last night, after several days of feeling like all I do is repeat myself, all day long; the same instructions, all day long, hearing myself say the same correction over and over . . . I asked the girls to tell me something I say to them all the time . . . their answer was I love you.  

The job: is good. The best part? Two hours of cleaning a night = two hours for prayer and solitude. Glory. Plenty of over-thinking thoughts on what I'm learning from the job . . . soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

laundry and honey

I was awake in the night and thinking, how beautiful it is to live. This, our little routines and our little sleeps, circling the seasons, taking care of each other. Laundry, three meals and cleaning up, picking up, our daily, gorgeous ordinary. It is honey from the rock, let me tell you, I have been broken and remade so many times on this journey.

I began a job this month and while I keep telling myself nothing is ending, only a beginning, it does mark an end; the end of baby days and baby nights, the end of a child on my hip, needing, always needing. Goodnight Moon. 

The truth is I am not ready, not ready to go. Here we are, sleeping all night and in the day on the move, a place for everything, all of the baby things donated, all but the crib, and I find myself awake in the middle of the night asking the Lord for one more, two more? Here, my arms, and here, my hip, my heart, here, these plates, this table, my sleepless nights, this, its what I do, there is more to give.

Another door opens but I'm not closing this one. Even if not my own body which groans and makes room, there is more work to do, a whole lonely world. More circling, more laundry, more honey. Hold the door, my arms have stretched to the moon. Come in, come in.

This ever my true work, this breaking and remaking, this circling. Taking care, picking up. This my heart. It is true, you know, a mother's work is never done.