Monday Morning Almanac












I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

The trees are beginning to look gray and bare. The pansies look like lone warriors against the wind and chill. It's winter. Soon.

::listening to 

Nothing. I've been awake since 2AM. It's quiet, save for the hum of appliances.


::clothing myself in 

Layers. Many, many layers. There's a thermostat war happening  here and I (and my thyroid) are losing. The men encourage me to put on another pair of cashmere socks. A girl can only wear so many socks at once.. 


::talking with my children about these books

Advent books. They're not actually out yet, but I'm beginning to organize them. And I owe you a couple more posts on such things. This week. Without further delay. I promise.

 and we're listening to The Boxcar Children read aloud while we knit. Or play Legos. Have you seen Sarah's Read-Aloud Revival? Great idea.

::thinking and thinking

about how full--and full of change--the next six or so weeks will be. Michael will get married and move out. Patrick will begin his studies at the Univesity of Virginia. And move out. The grocery bill will decrease substantially. I'll have a car to drive whenever I want one. The beer will remain stocked in the downstairs fridge. I won't cry. Yeah, right. 

::pondering prayerfully

All living creatures are sparks from the radiation of God’s brilliance, and these sparks emerge from God like the rays of the sun. If God did not give off these sparks, how would the divine flame become fully visible?"

- Hildegard of Bingen


::carefully cultivating rhythm

I watch footage of the surf in Virginia Beach right now and I can't help but feel like that's how I have felt for several months. Up and over and crash and then recede. There has been so little rhythm. I have almost no control over the rhythms of the lives of my big kids, but they live here, and so I am at the mercy of what to me seems like a chaotic way of life with them. On the other hand, my little ones desperately need rhythm and I'm nearly exhausted trying to protect it for them.

But that's the kids. I need rhythm. And I need silence. When I have neither, I truly feel it physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There is a fine line between being available to my children and meeting their needs and setting myself up for devastating burnout. The careful cultivation of healthy rhythm has to be a priority. I'm revisiting this post over and over and over again, with the hope that I can truly live it and truly heal.

These are words from October. I'm living them. I've spent much more time away from this screen. Much more time. I've been a careful steward of my days and my moments--taking them all captive to what's true to my heart and what answers His call. I've come to a sense of peace about something critical to my existence: it's just fine--even desirable--to "just" be a mother at home, even if that's "all" I ever am. The blogosphere might shout otherwise; so many talented women spinning so many plates. I cannot. I just can't. There's too much at risk if I do.

::creating by hand

Let's see... I finished knitting a sweater for Karoline, begun by Mary Beth (and intended for Katie) last year. I've begun a similar sweater for Sarah. I've been playing with some embroidery for a pillow. I've made several pillow covers for the family room and finished the window treatments there. And the drapery creations continue. Living room, dining room, and family room completed. Sunroom all cut and about half sewed. Up next this week: the sewing room. Once those drapes are finished, I have a lovely stack of flannel I want to make into nightgowns before St. Lucy's Day.

::learning lessons in


::encouraging learning 

People, I have been doing two hours (or more) of math a day with Christian, all semester. I like math just slightly more than I previously did (which was not at all). I love Christian to pieces. Seriously. This kid has such heart. I have never seen any student work so hard. Love. that. boy.

::begging prayers

for peace.

::keeping house

I absolutely must stay on top of things. Between Nutcracker and Christmas and the wedding and Paddy's graduation, I am expecting countless (literally) guests through my doors. I need to keep things running smoothly. And I must, must remember this:

"Here is the core of hospitality: May I know you better? Will you come closer, please? No, it will not be easy, but...your life depends on this saving stranger coming to you and stretching your tight little heart." ~Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love

Dear Lord, 

Today, help me to live this kind of hospitality in my own home. Help me to draw my children closer, to recognize that we are a community in this family and that each of us comes with our own quirks and temperaments and gifts and needs.  Let me see that the ones I love, the ones closest to me, are still "saving strangers." And then let me stretch beyond these intimate relationships. Give me a heart that can be stretched. Amen.


::crafting in the kitchen 

I'm going to try emeals Paleo plan this week. Several people have suggested it and why not? I need a plan and they've got one. 


::loving the moments

when Karoline asks to knit with me.

when the cousins come and there's a rowdy game of Apple to Apples for everyone from 4-20!

with the very old and the very young

::giving thanks 

for such a happy to-do list. 

living the liturgy

Advent people. Let's prepare to prepare.

::picture thoughts 

come from my iPhone.

::planning for the week ahead

Guess I should do that now. (Mike has a birthday this week. We celebrated with his twin sister last weekend. No doubt there's another cake in the works, though.)