Midwinter Musings


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I find myself:

::noticing God's glory

The temperatures rose to freezing two days ago. Tonight, we are back under an official Wind Chill Warning. I like the change of seasons and I do love snow. The biting cold is something for which we aren’t really prepared, though. I’d love to get out and walk in it, but it seems ridiculous to invest in extreme cold weather gear when one lives in Virginia. I can bundle adequately for my daily round, but true expeditions in zero-degree weather, not so much. I am so grateful I bought those boots.

Stephen, on the other hand, continues to play outdoor soccer as if there’s nothing unusual about scheduling matches on days when the wind chill is 7* at game time

::listening to 

soccer practice. But of course. They were supposed to train tomorrow night. It’s going to be “too cold.” The current temperature here at the field where snow is pushed into huge piles all around? Twenty degrees, with a wind chill of 13. Warm enough, apparently.

::clothing myself in 

Coat, hat, gloves—sitting in the car, trying to type. This is rather ridiculous and I’m calculating how many actual work minutes I lose driving to Starbucks, versus how many I gain because I can take off my gloves...

::talking with my children about these books

Well, there are the snow books;-). Stephen and I are immersed in Huckleberry Finn . Nicholas is reading through the Chronicles of Narnia . Katie is reading The Long Winter  and Karoline is really enjoying The Doll Shop Downstairs. Sarah has challenged me to read every picture book on her shelf to her before summer. Game on!

::thinking and thinking

About burn out and recovery. About running oneself ragged and about self-care. About renewal and surrender. I have enough thoughts and ideas and lessons learned here to roll them all into a very practical and hopefully healing workshop. And it’s happening! I’m praying for time in the margins to write. I’m also eliminating all computer time that isn’t devoted to writing. I’ll have this workshop ready for you during Lent this year. Your prayers for wide margins in the next month are very much appreciated


::pondering prayerfully

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
~CS Lewis The Four Loves

::carefully cultivating rhythm

Snow days have a rhythm all their own. Our winter appears to have taken on the rhythm of a snow day. Fancy that.

::creating by hand

As I work to create the worskshop, I’ve definitely lost some creating-with-my-hands time. I know, however, that time with needles is critical to my own burnout prevention. It’s Super Bowl week. That means I’m missing Mike. It also means the girls can hunker down at night and watch Lark Rise to Candleford with me and Mama can knit just a little.

 ::learning lessons in

Time management. Cutting my ties to Facebook was an excellent, beautiful thing. Facebook came up recently on Jennifer Fulwiler’s Instagram feed. I chimed in (something I rarely do) and I also read there about Jen’s Facebook-free philosophy.  Yeah, what she said. I’m still posting blog links to Facebook and I’m still checking for dance and soccer updates there, but this season in my life makes any more than that just plain impossible. I only wish it hadn’t taken me so long to recognize that.

::encouraging learning 

Mary Beth is fully immersed in her first college writing course. I’m enjoying it;-). It always interesting to me to see how different teachers approach the teaching of writing. This is my fourth child to take at least two college-level composition courses. I’m getting quite an education.

::clicking around

For some reason, I haven't been able to get my Delicious sidebar feed to update since before Christmas. Here are few links worth clicking:

Five Questions Every Husband Should Ask His Wife (could probably work the other way, too)

The Questions that Will Save Your Relationships

Marriage Matters and Redefining it has Social Costs

Teaching From a State of Rest After what feels like a barrage of blogs trumpeting the "Do More! Be More! Go More!" message, Sarah is encouraging mothers to rest in Him. Good plan. Very good.

The Creative Adult is the Child Who Has Survived

::begging prayers

for Shawn and for Elizabeth DeHority and for all the people who love them. Cancer is a hideous, horrible disease and watching it devour someone you love is incredibly painful.

for all the intentions of our prayer community.

For college students, especially the ones who are lonely and feel forgotten.

::keeping house

No time on the computer, more time for laundry. And, also, I need another bookshelf. Really need it.

::crafting in the kitchen 

Thinking about Super Bowl food. What’s on your menu? I’d like to make it healthy. I’d also really, really like to avoid my family’s snide kale jokes. So, healthy but not obviously healthy? Who has a suggestion?

::loving the moments

of quiet in the morning. Yes, ma’am I am getting up at 5:30 in order to have more of those moments. And yes, ma’am, I’m spending them all with tea, a candle, and a Bible. And I am seriously loving it. Hasn’t quite cured the Cranky Mommy Syndrome, but we’re much improved.

::giving thanks 

for wise women who create very useful tools. Lara Casey Powersheets. I highly recommend them.

living the liturgy

Time to think about Candlemas.

::planning for the week ahead

Stephen turns 15 on Saturday. He’s my fourth boy. I love fifteen. Love it. It means thirteen and fourteen are over. Thirteen and fourteen are torture for my boys. Four down, one to go. Praise the Good Lord!