May 26, 2009

grace gifts

{in an effort to be more intentional & continuous in being grateful, noticing grace all around, I list the gifts without numbering…for they are endless}


gratitude for ::

Sunday sermon reminder to praise Him from whom all blessings flow

my sister, my spouse~their assistance in moving the children’s rooms around

family reunion, food, fellowship

thoughtful conversations with my husband over coffee & tea

the smells & sights of spring all around

anticipating finishing some craft projects

little hands on my belly to see if ‘the baby knows I’m here’

fresh hope, new mercy :: always made available to me from His hands

photo credit


May 20, 2009

springtime bliss



DSC_0020a note of gratitude ::

thank you grandaddy for sending us the package of goodies! everything was great and I really, really like the bubble blower. since I’m having a difficult time sharing, maybe you could just send two more for my sisters?

don’t tell mommy I asked.

much thanks,



May 14, 2009

how to spend a quiet evening

Yes, it’s rare :: an evening at HOME, by myself. A sacred event to be celebrated that is for sure. How? Simple.

Well, almost.

First, at just the right time, ask spouse to take all three cherubs with him to ballet lessons. Notice his hesitation but do not comment on it or the battle may be lost. He obliges. Try not to shout out in a loud voice with extreme excitement, that can wait.

Prepare the angelic little people for the event :: feed them well, scoot everyone out the door. Make sure they all leave the driveway with no setbacks.

Sigh and breathe deeply. Sigh again and roam around the house wondering just what you had in mind to do. Continue for ten minutes and then plop down to read a book. Catch on to the fact that there’s little interest in this pursuit and then roam some more.



Think of hubby and how sweet he is, make his favorite cookies—oatmeal raisin. Play worship music while working because you feel the Lord is pleased with you as a wife. About halfway through a song realize that this thought may be prideful. Repent. Eat some cookies.

The sweet taste is not what you’re craving. Open the refrigerator for inspiration and stand there a bit :: the exact action the children are not allowed to do. Notice the luscious tomatoes bought earlier in the day—yes! Take out ingredients to make bruschetta. Happily chop away basil, tomatoes, and mince garlic. Forget how many cloves you already put in, add another one for good measure.


Refrigerate bruschetta and glance around the kitchen at the mess that was created. Ugh. Begin cleanup. Play more worship music so grumpy attitude does not set in. Take note of time—hubby and children will be back in just a few minutes. Clean faster.

Welcome everyone, hear stories of their time away, upcoming ballet recital preparations. Offer cookies to all, prepare children for bed. When that is complete and lights out, find spouse and thank him generously for the quiet time. Leisurely enjoy some bruschetta with leftover pasta salad from lunch. Find a comfy place to rest and realize that it’s the only time you’ve sat down almost all night. Laugh out loud, make plans to go to bed shortly.

It was truly a wonderful evening.


1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tbsp chopped basil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

4 medium tomatoes, drained & chopped

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Combine oil, basil, garlic, salt & pepper. Add tomatoes & toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese & refrigerate for an hour. Bring to room temp if desired and eat with toasted French bread.


think on this

I've been coming across some really great quotes lately :: one to ponder today....

"Until I commit myself there's a hesitancy - a chance to draw back. But the moment I definitely commit myself, then God moves also and a whole stream of events erupt."
-John Maxwell


May 11, 2009

tender ties

{thank you so much for the prayers & encouragement! this little one continues to stay put and the pregnancy relieved of contractions. we rejoice!}

Mother’s Day reflections~

He bounces onto the bed, all 41 pounds of this exuberant three-year old nearly crashing into my belly. “Happy Mother’s Day!” spoken in a growly whisper that only a mother could appreciate. “Daddy told me to say that!!”

At least he’s obedient. For now.

She floats in next, light & airy in complete ballerina style, and sprawls out her six-year old frame next to me. Yawn. Another yawn. “You will like your gift Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.” Her tone & demeanor clue me into the fact that she probably would have appreciated the extra minutes of sleep. We embrace tightly, the only kind of hugs she is capable of.

I wait a bit and yes, here she comes. Mind set on the task at hand—Mom is to be celebrated today, no reservations. Inside I chuckle at this ten-year-old’s seriousness, one that I fully understand and can relate to. I beat her to any words and we banter back & forth about the day’s plans, how she spent her evening of sleep. “Are you happy you’re a mother?” Oh serious, I tell you. Very, very deep this child. I assure her that this vocation, this calling, brings me great joy.

My spouse watches in observation. Cards are opened :: much laughter & merriment. Church attendance, a full lunch. Naps, Mama included.

Communication with my oldest, who has recently moved further north. Could I have guessed long ago that love & appreciation would come in the form of text messages & voicemails from this out-of-high-school & into-the-world-beyond young lady? “Sorry your card is late Mom! It should be there soon!” I trust that’s true.

Oh, the fullness. Even the little babe to come celebrated by keeping me up most of the night with persistent kicks & jabs.


And I think of the ties to my children—once envisioned as strong cords, perhaps rope-like, wrapped around them and me. And I found this Mother’s Day wondering if that’s really the best picture :: probably better describing a marriage covenant? The bond is strong, no doubt about it. The intensity of love, devotion, care & concern for them…it’s all there. But motherhood has in the past few years taught me that the ties are tender.

Almost spider-web like in it’s delicate nature.

My children are with me for a small window of time really. The extension of myself, this journey of motherhood, is much about release. The opportunity to weave for them a web, if you will, a place & purpose in our family is big…but not the only goal. The home we form is their temporary incubation period, albeit very vital to who they become.

But I am preparing them for another place and bit by bit teaching them how to weave a web of their own, for their future offspring…and on & on it goes for generations to come. God’s delicate design. Strong, yet loose. Tough and tender, all at the same time. May my heart flow with the process and not resist His plan.

Oh Lord,

sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion, instruction, discipline, example.

that my house may be a nursery for heaven…enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting…

for thy glory. {excerpt from Valley of Vision}


May 5, 2009

pregnancy update

The weeks have been moving along, this being week 27 and all going well until several days ago when I began to experience contractions.  At first I just thought that perhaps my household organization and cleaning needed to be tailored back and so I rested & took a break.  But, it became quickly apparent over the next day that this was not just a simple tightening of the belly.  By early last Saturday a.m., my husband and I found ourselves at the hospital to stop the consistent contractions that had not relented.  After an ultrasound, there were clearly more concerns than just putting my feet up would take care of.

My physician, who I really do appreciate so much, began talking about an early delivery and preparing my body for that reality.  I was completely taken aback.  My spouse had insisted the call in to the doctor while I had thought that staying home and resting would do the trick…submission won out and thankfully so.  We were both shocked :: we prayed, I cried.

I was sent home with instructions to call again if the contractions returned again with a consistent pattern (my body had responded well to the first dose of medication).  Sunday a.m. came and the contractions continued though at a bit slower pace.  “Well, I’m going to church since no one told me to stay put!”  And there we experienced the power of congregational prayer and the beauty of believers standing in the gap with you—a precious memory.

Sunday evening I was still a bit anxious, but feeling confident that God is in sovereign control.  There were strong contractions but not steady, so bedtime found me trying to find a comfortable position to sleep.  About 2 a.m. Monday I woke up with the realization that my body, this growing belly, was calm.  Peaceful.  Restful for the first time in four days. 

And the peace continues.  The contractions have not returned and I give praise with my whole being.  For what He has done, yes…but also for who He is.    Give thanks to the Lord!!

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