September 28, 2009

simply me

I hang up the phone and pause to contemplate words undeserved, words spoken in admiration but that have left me pondering once again their concealed meaning…

‘Oh, you’re a super-mom, a super-woman!  You’re simply amazing!’

Is this really true?  And what does this mean anyway :: have I somehow reached a status that we as women and mothers are to try and attain?  Who makes these decisions….

My spirit is disturbed at the thoughts shared.   It often rattles me when an outsider receives a peek into our daily routine, our pattern & rhythm of life and makes such a declaration.  I’m not amazing.  I am just simply me.  Just attempting to live out our priorities in a God-honoring way, what feels right for our family.  There are no claims that what we do or how I function works for all, but at times others seem to think so.  While I know how to receive and even welcome compliments, I still cringe :: for I want to inspire, not intimidate.  They receive a message not intended.

It’s flattering and can lead to pride, oh I’ve been there.  When others try to emulate and copy, the heart swells with selfish thoughts leading to an uppity disposition that has trapped so many.  It’s a snare, pride is.  Ugly and unrelenting in it’s trap.  I don’t want that.


And yet, I am to be me.  Living out the plans and purposes He designed, trying to be a good steward of the gifts He has given.  Exploring the interests that cause a spark in my mind or heart.  I didn’t ask for these gifts—they do not belong to me ultimately :: and my creative pursuits are wide and many…

but that’s just who I am.  It’s simply me.

While there are many aspects we should hold in common, we’re each to walk in the unique path set before us, to develop our abilities and talents, to share with others the gifts bestowed upon us.  We should not push our own expectations onto others, but neither should we shrink back because others have yet to accept who they are uniquely.  Encourage spirits though, for they only struggle with an ailment common to us all at one time or another.

    DSC_0035  DSC_0030

What is the right path for you?  Is it one of quiet in this season or do you sense a wild stampede of ideas, rushing to the surface to make themselves known?  Perhaps this is a time for retreat from previous plans, or on the other hand…it’s time to step forward :: knees shaking, heart trembling but a readiness to pursue & move ahead. 

Dare to be who you were created to be.  Live fully and uniquely to how you’ve been wired.   Really, it’s the only way.  But, for His glory, oh yes….only for His glory.

“Not to us, O LORD, not to us
       but to your name be the glory,
       because of your love and faithfulness.”

                                                                     Psalm 115:1


photo: last weekend’s project~homemade tic-tac-toe board for game time fun (idea came from here)


September 23, 2009

around the web

Sooo….instead of working on lesson plans for the next day,

or writing down ideas for a health and wellness day our church is hosting next month,

or returning emails,

or doing anything last night that required that I think! ~ I instead chose to wander through some beauty and goodness around the web.  It’s a most relaxing activity (especially with a cup of hot tea in hand).  Go ahead, try it.

:: I seriously want to own this journal just for the cover and also because the paper is completely captivating (I love paper). There’s room in my house for this pillow, so sweet.

:: after our six-year old went into a tic-tac-toe frenzy this summer, I was very happy to come across an idea that will save us a bit of paper.  I’m thinking of it as a Christmas gift, but not sure it can wait until then.  Um, well..first I need to make it.

:: when we’re finished with our acorns on the nature table, we’ll take the tops off and make these!  a cute way to preserve a bit of autumn.

:: note to self ~ use the last bit of summer squash and turn them into ribbon candy; a special way to serve this veggie when company is over :: or just because.


:: as soon as I find the next gorgeous sunset, and I have my camera with tripod ready, and my 3-yr old is being still enough…we’ll try for a shot just like this one.  but that just may never happen.

:: colorful butters and homemade biscuits!  the photo alone makes me hungry. any kind of bread is my weakness ~ I completely blame it on my French heritage.

Alright, enough.  I did eventually finish up school plans and return a few emails.  Replenished my cup of tea and called it a night ~ it was enjoyable while it lasted!


photo~a bit of beauty on our table to welcome Autumn


September 21, 2009

morning basket

Children scurry, moving quickly through morning responsibilities :: brush teeth, get dressed, make beds and such. We all prepare our bodies, minds, and yes our hearts for the event ahead.

It’s ‘morning basket time’ as the little ones in our home are now fond of calling this daily devotional portion of our day. The oldest girl lights the candles, there is a sense of anticipation and hush {well, almost!} and we begin with prayer. As breakfast around the table continues, we pause to spiritually fuel-up for our day.

Morning basket time has become a special highlight.



The idea is simple. Gather several devotional resources we own, place in a basket close by the table, and use often. What an easy organizational tool! Before, the materials used were around the house on different bookshelves and I often forgot we owned them or couldn’t quickly locate a certain book when needed.

So now we come together, a variety of books at our fingertips and visually available to me often so that I can plan accordingly for our week. We take about a 1/2 hr to complete morning basket gathering. Other times it’s been shorter because we are leaving the house earlier or at rare times it’s been a bit longer. The children have enjoyed more structure to our devotions. I think it has to do with the candles, really :: they’re mesmerized by the light.

Our time consists of:

Opening Prayer~thanking the Lord for the day He has given, usually by one of the children

Focus for the Day reading~I plan ahead and choose a selection for each day. Right now in our basket are these resources, some of our favorites representing the various ages in our home:
We do NOT use all of these resources every day or even each week, but they are available, reminding me to plan them in. After reading, we continue on with….

Celebrations~anything exciting to report! :: family happenings & such. Or we’ll use this time to work on gratitude journals.

Prayer Requests~ for ourselves or others, praying for those around the world or taking time to pray for the child in India we sponsor through Gospel for Asia.

Closing Prayer~ and blow out the candles :o)

How I love this! A simple tool of placing all resources in a primary location can be used for anyone & for any age group, including adults. Try it out in your home?

September 15, 2009




for sweet baby cheeks

the first emerging smiles from our newborn

sunlight streaming through windows

homeschool days once again, natural learning opportunities

gratitude always, always for the Word


for the first hints of reds & yellows on the maples outside our home

new books to read, fresh ideas to explore

everyday blessings from little ones :: notes, smiles, kisses & hugs


photos of candlelight at morning devotional time :: fresh pages in a new visual homemaking journal


September 4, 2009

another school year

Though the time has already come for many homeschooling families we know, and the big yellow bus has been seen down the street for several of our neighbors' children…our family is gearing up for another school year that will commence {I love that word!} next week. I hope.

That’s just a joke, we really are anticipating a new journey and the unfolding of another year of learning and making memories. This week has been filled with trying out some new routines for the children & implementing new bedtimes and wake-up times~we’re rusty on these! We also worked on decorating fresh journals for our Bible time :: I’ll describe these in another post.


Homeschooling has been such a blessing to our family! I’m not of the persuasion that it’s best for every family unit and we did not always think this path was the right one to travel. Now, I describe homeschooling as God’s provision for us, the manna that will sustain the type of family life we desire to pursue in the middle of also trying to live out other visions God has ordained. Bread from His hand, truly.

Our responsibilities stretch us and require quite a bit from both my husband and I :: yet we enjoy abundant, rich family times and what I would describe as strong relationships with our children. Sure, we are improving and growing as parents, but I have very little regrets when it comes to time with our kids—they are a priority. I’m not bragging, just explaining how homeschooling has fit so nicely into our lives. We have lots of time together and flexibility to work around Dad’s schedule so that field trips or outings can include him as well.

Oh, don’t get me wrong…it’s hard work. Anything of great value requires sacrifice; isn’t that just a principle of life? Yes, it’s at times an overwhelming pursuit and journey, but I’m simply blown away by the rewards we have experienced already.

So here we go into another year!


September 1, 2009

this boy


DSC_0006  {The bottom picture is at 3 weeks old}

Alright all of you far away family members, I hear you loud & clear :: more pictures of this boy!  So here we are!

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