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.

Friday, April 24, 2015

from their mother

It has been wild to see what emerges from the ground of our new house this spring. Every time I look out the window there is some new color. I did not plant a thing. 

Out of the mundane rises gold with all its might. Lavender like remember. Fiery red yes. Raw purple poetry, vulnerable and rejoicing. 

Everything comes back. Today is not only today. 

It is not all lovely. There is so much to clear away. Overgrown and in the way. Pettiness, despondency. 

For two weeks I've lived on the thin layer of epidermis, sliced deep by poison ivy, my skin angry like words I can't forget. Everything comes back. Today is not only today.

And my own words and prayers are seeds scattering, erupting one day in some season or place far from now. 

One day my kids will peer out the window and see some shape of me. What seeds do they carry in their heart from their mother? 

Have I scattered faith and strong and true and passion? Among the mundane and daily, have I sown beloved, imagination, some shoot of fiery red?  Have I broken open, dancing? 

Or only passive shrubbery? 

Only arguments and sighs?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Homeschool (question, convention)

A few weeks ago I began to imagine life if we didn't homeschool. I wrote lists of possible life plans if the kids were in school; get a job, finish the novel, go to grad school, drop the kids off and go to Starbucks. 

This is only our third year of homeschool, but each year in the spring I have worked through our decision all over again. It is likely that every year this will happen and its good and necessary to give myself space to ask the question.

But even at my most doubtful, in the back of my mind I know the Midwest Homeschool Convention is coming, and this fact alone gets me through muddy March.

I've attended smaller conferences which left me less satisfied or outright annoyed, and for me the bigger conference is worth the four hour drive (time with grown-ups? I would drive ten hours). It is one time a year without children, and enough conversation and homeschool inspiration to hopefully re-fuel me for another year.

Most of my Classical crushes were there, some really solid parenting workshops, and a plethora of everything else. I came home with renewed vision for what homeschool is and what it can be, my mind swirling with thoughts and ideas.

I love to learn the theories. But Sam still needs to learn her multiplication facts, and this is where I find myself again today, attempting to put the glorious wide vision into a daily practice.

I thought I would sort out my notes and blog about a few of the highlights. This is the main thing the Lord impressed upon me this year:

The work I am doing is God's work. 
I am to work as unto the Lord.
God will complete His work in my kids.
I have everything I need.

The best line from the convention was a speaker quoting Ben Carson. He said:
"You will likely have about seventy-five years on this earth. You will spend the first twenty-five years preparing for the next fifty. You will spend those fifty years reaping the benefits or paying the consequences for how you spent the first twenty-five."
What a gift to have these early years with my kids, to nourish their bodies and minds and spirits with all that God has given, to furnish their minds with good and true and lovely things, to engage with them the great conversations. To help nurture the person God has created them to become, and disciple them in the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Truly, the call to homeschool is a gift, and I am so grateful.

p.s. I wouldn't want to do it alone. I am grateful for friends on this journey with us, and a fruitful co-op, and for Christ-centered women I am learning from and with. I am blessed!

p.p.s. My favorite part of the convention was hugging my dear friend Shannon! I love how God weaves people together throughout life's seasons.