Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Teach me dear Lord,

To live all of my life, through your eyes."

It has been raining, and we've been catching up on our indoor time. It leaves room in my mind for the decorating, cleaning up the corner cobwebs, putting the busy hands that follow to help :) to work themselves. I shared with a good friend the other day that as hard as I work, as organized as I try to be, the little hands and people are very active, so a static state of perfectly clean doesn't happen. But we do have clean up times during the day and they are wonderful helpers!
"Bannon, you have the entrance room. Abby, you have the living room. Sophie, you take the dress up box. Bella, put suchandsuch away for Mommy."

I'm being taken back to my homeschooling days Hannah, Cotter, and Jake and I shared, lately. The coziness of fall, the manipulatives we use in math, the things I learned that were important in my relationships with them, come to the front of my memory again and again.

One of the things is that as I tried to and try to learn from other moms, I can't make my personality or interests or priorities to be like another. Who we are married to, who our children are, our callings in life, are really, all very different. I've tried on some hats for a time, and they never seem to fit right. Some hats are just about right, I just need to be patient and persevering and let the Lord work in me to give me more strength and wisdom in the doings. The other hats are best left on the shelf, and I love and learn from what its uniqueness offers.

In our insecurities as women, we may be tempted to criticize or feel criticized by what doesn't work for us. But God, who loves us dearly, knows what's best for us, and He'll lead us in the way we need to go if we are seeking Him.
And always remembering:

"but the greatest of these is love."


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Every day is a feast

"All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast." Proverbs 15:15

"So if the *Son* sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

"A joyful heart gladdens the face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken." Proverbs 15:13

"This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

A ride down the dirt road, the leaves are falling, and the corn stalks are looming over my head on the right, the hills and black and white cows are to my left and again I'm struck with the beauty right outside the front door. Sometimes I wonder aloud to God if heaven will be like the good parts of the earth. Is that why I think it is beautiful?

Faces of good people, activities of so many, comforting others the ways they have been comforted, in the ways that are unique to them, knowing just what to say, to do, and I wonder aloud to God if this is His way of demonstrating His large heart? That everyone is playing in His game, no matter their location, vocation, and destination? No one is sitting on the bench?

This week I noticed again, thanked again for the little things I think He's demonstrated His table in my life. Thankful for:

~the gift of sisters in Christ who I can confess my faults to and they understand, remind me of forgiveness and grace, and the truth that there is always the next moment to look up and walk afresh in the Lord.

~little guys with energy to run and jump and yell and all the spunk God has put inside their hearts to live with gusto

~the colors of fall bringing warmth to the inside of a home

~hugs from teenagers


~little mister who is too cute for words

~the work of the Holy Spirit


~family and friendship bonding through football


Friday, September 23, 2011

September things

It was a blurry morning, but we were able to get some chores done. A Bible story under our belt, a poem, and a grim Grimm's fairy tale ;) We suddenly had a peaceful moment when we did a picture study and everyone was coloring or painting. *insert deepest of deep breaths* It is sometimes so loud and busy here these quick inserts of quiet are so nice. And it counts as school. bonus.

Doing art. copying a painting listening to classical music.

Playtime*outdoor time*

Eating mint leaves

duck chasing

Toadie number 1

Sunlight watching, colors of fall

Picking flowers

And then Toadie number 2. Bella's catch this time. All by herself.

We were invited to my parents for dinner and were blessed by their hospitality as busy again as the little guys are. Dad made pasta fagioli and Mom made apple pie.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Love...believes the best.

Well, hi :) I'll just come right out and say I've been hiding from my blog. This little spot where I record moments we treasure, I've taken a step back to think and pray about. Never have I wanted to paint a picture that is perfect, but I also have a 17 year old on the verge of leaving the nest for college. This has given me the perspective of how quickly time flies and if I let my thoughts serve my grumpy moods, other's bad attitudes, and the plain ole life difficulties, I'll miss these moments meant to enjoy :) no matter how bumpy the days.

"Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises." James 5:13

I feel bold enough to say: Is anyone feeling discontent and afraid? Reflect on God's goodness. Is anyone feeling lonely? Remember His unfailing love. Is anyone feeling stressed out? Ask God for wisdom and He is generous with it and He will show us how to do the next thing. I know I have mentioned it before, but my kids read the printed version of my blog. It is a beautiful pink book. "Your pink book," they say. They love it. I want them to always remember difficulties, but the faithful hand of God's goodness, love and provision in the midst of life. To know and see and believe the best.

We are in busy fall mode. Bannon is quarterbacking for his team and he's pretty good at it much to his Father and big brother's delight. Jeremy is a volunteer coach and doing lots of running around. But he doesn't complain. he loves it. we enjoy lots of football stories and tales of interactions between the friends. it's REALLY cute.

Hannah and Cotter recently played with theit band and buddies Steve, Andrew, and Jon at the Pop Warner homecoming football game. Bella ran crazy back and forth from the playground to the food stands. :) A beautiful friend came and bought our family ice cream cones.

Sophie and Matty, these two. So cute and funny.

Thrown Over the Bus playing their music.

The feet pjs have been pulled out of the storage boxes. Sweaters are hanging, green tomatoes are trying to ripen in paper bags.

What a great time of year.

My first crocheted pair of socks for Bella or Grady. Whoever will tolerate the uneven, bumpy pair of warmness.

and now, I go back to being me.


Friday, September 9, 2011

And so begins the fall

We are up before the sun and the coffee pot is turned on. Shower runs, teapot stirs. Little screens are in the hands of teens and nerves are on the surface. I pass on the encouragement that God is with them and they should look for opportunities to be a blessing to another and watch the Lord take care of all their needs. The somewhat traditional picture of the First Day is taken and I'm happy to have it as I look upon it later in the day when I'm missing part of my companions.

The little ones and I get off to a little bumpy start. Summer has a way of losing routine and some necessary habits...most importantly in the obedience and attitude department. After some praying and asking, some wisdom came my way. So time for some realistic goals were put in place, and it was the fresh breath part of my day. Peace settled in, and we were able to start to get back on track!

Oh my, I was very very tired at the end. I know though, there was lots of hugging, some baking, some listening and hearing, and some gentleness in spite of all my imperfections as a mom, and that makes me happy. Bannon and Abby have been writing songs together, Sophie has been so involved in her doll play and Grady joins in. Bella spent alone time with me. Today is a new day and thankfully the Lord has new grace, new energy, and ideas to help me and strengthen me. His lovingkindness is better than life.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The power went out with the hurricane. And we lit the candles.

Rose before the sun :) but were happy to play camping.

we spent a lot of time together.

Playing games.

And word puzzles.

The debris we cleaned away.

And still more time to play.

The creek took on the look of a river.

We spent time with friends and tried popcorn successfully over the fire.

Breakfast made by Jeremy. Over the fire, nothing quite like it.

empty plates filled

And then again more time to play and get very dirty.

Again, futures considered and being prayed about.

And watching hearts and hands jump in to help where they could.

It's a a lot I'm still taking in. But it has been a week I won't soon forget.