Gathering my Thoughts














I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

The Bradford Pear tree in my front yard is always late to the autumn color show. I’m so glad. All the other trees are faded and nearly bare. This big beauty still has most of her leaves and they are turning from green to a glorious red. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

We planted 90 bulbs last week--one for every year that Granddad lived. In the springtime they will radiate all kinds of glorious color. At least I hope they will.

::listening to 

soccer practice. It’s the Monday routine, no? It’s quite chilly. Regular season games have ended. And still, Stephen has four practices this week and a couple weekend scrimmages in the works. There is no off-season, friends.

::clothing myself in 

Yoga pants, sweatshirt, and hand knit cashmere socks sent to me by Elizabeth DeHority. I spent the day cleaning the basement. I did shower and change but when I did, I just got dressed in another variation of the same. I’m going to sit in the car and write for an hour and a half and then go home, put small people to bed, sleep, and repeat the entire process. Mike’s out of town until Tuesday late. Not a much here that calls for earrings or proper clothing.

::talking with my children about these books

Jan Brett’s new book Cinders arrived a few days ago. Love, love, love that our fairytale explorations can take on a new volume.

::thinking and thinking

About all the things I thought I was going to do this year, mostly writing projects and speaking opportunities and all the things I did instead, mostly mothering. Thinking what a grace it is to be at peace with that equation.

::pondering prayerfully

“Our condemnation is often the veil for our own weakness: we cover up our own nakedness with the mantle of criticism; we see the mote in our brother’s eye, but never the beam in our own.” ~Venerable Fulton Sheen

::carefully cultivating rhythm

We are intentionally living each November day according to the healing plan. So far, so good.

::creating by hand

Surprises to send across the country.

::learning lessons in

Grief and gratitude. One is more bearable if every time it invades my brain space I chase it with the other.

::encouraging learning 

Had a discussion of “logistics” with one of my children today. Said child asked, “What, exactly, are the logistics that get a baby into a mom?” Um. Not the UPS man, my dear.

::begging prayers

for all the intentions of our prayer community.

::keeping house

I am on a serious deep cleaning mission. Everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. It’s purge and vacuum in every corner of my house. Amen.

And today is that glorious day every fall when all the laundry gets caught up.

::crafting in the kitchen 

I deep cleaned the pantry yesterday. I took everything out, wiped it all down, and put back only healthy things. For me, this appears to be a first step every time I successfully get back on the grain-free/dairy free wagon. I desperately need to get back on that wagon.

There are a few baking mixes on the top shelf, reserved in case we are required to bake on a moment’s notice (yes, that does happen). Other than that, there is nothing but whole food in my kitchen. By the way, somehow I have come to possess six pounds of red lentils and four pounds of green lentils. Feel free to share your favorite lentil recipes. I’d be most appreciative.

::loving the moments

when I know I just invested a whole day in the hearts of my children.

::giving thanks 

for a home my children truly love.

living the liturgy

I’ve moved my morning Liturgy of the Hours time yet again. Sarah Annie loves to cuddle first thing when she wakes up. She wants me to sit and be still and just hold her. Turns out she loves Morning Prayer, too. I’ve promised her that time every day and she holds me to it. We do Night Prayer together, too. In her bed. She’s yet to remain awake until the end. Truly beautiful way to close out the day.

Liturgy is a gift. For me, in times when I’ve doubted or struggled with the community of the Church, it is liturgy that has sustained me. Scripture and prayer and wisdom of the saints of old. A lovely, sustainable rhythm for any day in any season. And if you drift away, it will be right there, unchanged, awaiting your return.

::planning for the week ahead

*More deep cleaning.

*Hopefully, a visit to hold a newborn baby

*Hopefully, a trip to Germantown to the Soccerplex for the ACC semifinals on Friday and finals on Sunday. Hopfully.

*More Nutcracker rehearsals.

*Another soccer tournament for Nick.