Gathering My Thoughts












I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

There are lots of bunnies in my backyard. They're living in the trees by the playhouse. Not at all shy, they often treat us to scampering antics as they run and play with one another. I'm very afraid for my garden. Researching fencing this week....

::listening to 

Karoline slurping tea. My hour for awakening keeps creeping earlier as I try to squeeze in alone time before the children join me. I need this chunk of time every morning to set my head on straight.Today, I rolled out of bed at 4:45. She was up at 4:50. Need a new plan.

::clothing myself in 

new shoes. I bought a new pair of Jambu shoes for this summer. I wore last year's pair every day from April until Ocotober and they made my feet so happy. It was definitely time for a new pair. Love them!

::talking with my children about these books

Civil war books this summer, as we visit battlefields in Virginia and Pennsylvania. We've added a few new ones to the old Serendipity list. The children all like these Interactive History volumes:

The Civil War

 The Battle Of Bull Run














::thinking and thinking

about morning time with the Bible and how it anchors my day. 


"The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in and out of the wind."

C.S. Lewis

::carefully cultivating rhythm

Summer begins for real this week. We've discussed the summer schedule. "School" year 'round will have to happen here. As I gridded in all the comings and goings, I recognized that we won't have a single week where someone isn't away for something. I'm introducing my children to the concept of "Make Up Work." We do lots of things all together and I can't suspend them all this summer, so certain people will have to catch up on what they missed when they return.

::creating by hand

I'm making a pretty gift to tuck into my carry on bag this week. I'm flying to Colorado to visit with Sally Clarkson! I have a little somehting for her. I'll show you next week. 

::learning lessons in

blog hosts, podcasting, website transfers. We're trying to move this blog to Squarespace. This blog is old--over 8 years old--and the code is tangled mess. So, the move isn't happening very smoothly at all. Technical learning curves have been frustrating me for some time now. I can see what I want and I know that the technology exists to create it, but I don't have the technical know-how. When I try to learn to learn something new (as I have with podcasting) the rest of my domestic world falls down around me. I blog in the margins. Learning new technical things creeps way into the main column of my life.  And then, there is the inevitable stress that comes with the overlap. 

You know what that does? It breeds envy. I find myself looking around and seeing all the cool things other people pull off--e-books and digital magazines and social media blitzes and blogs in brand new spaces and beautiful digital art--and I am envious. How do they do that and still be a wife and mom and run a household and remember to make sure that everyone has clean socks?(And cream for the coffee--there's vanilla ice cream; that will work today, no?) How do they do that with a house full of kids? Do their kids not need to eat three times a day? Do they not need someone to hold their hands through every single problem on every single page of the math book? Do they not get sick? Is it only me who finds the day-to-day responsibilities to be more than enough to fill the waking hours, even when one arises at 5 AM?  How in the world can all these people learn all these new things? Yeah, I have no idea. 

But here's the thing: For some reason, it's really hard for me to do the technical things that take other people much less time. I don't know why, though it has been suggested that it's my aging brain. As I endeavor to stumble along and I learn just a fraction of what I really want to learn, I have a new appreciation for the kids in my life who struggle academically. They know what they want--their hopes and dreams stretch out in front of them. They think big thoughts and they have great ideas. But they get bogged down in the challenge of the learning curve. It's hard to learn something new while the world barrels ahead at full speed. Sometimes, it's really, really hard.

So, here I am full circle. When we decide to educate at home, we ride that learning curve with them. And sometimes, that means we put aside our own learning, because yes, actually, they do need someone to sit with them for every single math problem. Those math problems stand between them and their futures. 

And what of my techie aspirations? I don't know. Maybe this is not the time for that. The thing about vocation is we never have to question priorities. I stood before God and everybody and pledged my whole life to a man and to the children that we would welcome. I promised to give it my all. I promised surrender. While I am tempted to think it's about my life, it's not, really. It's about God and it's about living a seamless testimony of obedience to His holy will.

So, I have to trust that He, knowing how earnestly I intend to keep my promise, will grant me the grace to stand at my kitchen sink or sit in front of an algebra book or pull clothes from the dryer and know that this is the moment and the place in which I am to glorify Him. If it is His will, all the rest will happen in His time.

::encouraging learning in

My teenagers and I are going to begin this course this summer. It's the Summer Reading List, if you will. We've already read some of them and a couple we may skip. It's going to take more than the summer, probably, but we will make a dent in this list.

Great American Bestsellers:

The Bay Psalm Book

Common Sense

The Last of the Mohicans

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Ragged Dick

Little Women

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Virginian

The House of Mirth

The Jungle

Main Street

The Maltese Falcon

The Good Earth

Gone with the Wind

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The Grapes of Wrath

Native Son

The Catcher in the Rye

To Kill a Mockingbird


The Woman Warrior

John Adams

::begging prayers

Please pray for Elizabeth DeHority who begins a a new chemo regime today, even though she's been given almost no hope of it making any difference at all.

And pray for people struggling with doubt and faith and fear and hopelessness.

::keeping house

We had a baptism party here last weekend, so some deep down cleaning happened last week. It's nice to move about in a place of order. I could get used to this. But I better not, because--ahem--I'm leaving them for three days and I know what can happen to order and cleanliness in three hours if my back is turned. Three days? Le sigh. 

::crafting in the kitchen 

The unusually late winter and cool spring have meant that there is nothing but strawberries at my Farmer's Market. I'm so eager for tomatoes and okra and fresh garlic. They were actually selling hothouse tomatoes at the Farmer's Market last weekend. Seems like it shouldn't be allowed. We have perfected the fish taco, however, as we wait for market meals. Our Friday summer dinners are crisp and fresh -- but those tacos would benefit from vine ripe tomatoes, too. 

::giving thanks 

for our sweet beautiful Lucy Shawn, who received the Holy Spirit on the Solemnity of Pentecost. She is pure joy!

::loving the moments

when the boy nearly grown texts me to tell me that one day he will marry a girl just like his mom.I have no idea if that will really happen, but it's nice to think that he thinks it's a good idea. 

living the liturgy

It's always a little sad when the Easter season ends. But it's as if God knew we'd have to be weaned from the season of celebration gently, so there are three Sunday feasts in a row: the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, The Solemnity of Corpus Christi, and The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. That's pretty exciting for Ordinary Time. 

::planning for the week ahead

I leave early Thursday to go to Colorado Springs, so I'm scrambling these couple days to leave things here in good shape during my absence. I'm really looking forward to spending a couple days with Sally. I intend to soak up wisdom and lean into her mentoring--I'm very grateful for wise women who understand mothering teenagers and young adults and can help me to be an intentional, wholehearted mother for a lifetime.