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Showing posts from 2014

pretty good day

today I dropped the kids at my great-aunt and uncle's house. they love my kids and my kids LOVE going to their house so this is bonus point one. bonus point two, in peace and quiet I was able to knock out several phone calls and errands that I'd been meaning to get to... some of them literally for months. bonus three, I stopped at panera to grab lunch and they had my favorite, squash soup. and to top it all off, giant bonus point four, there was a Tim Keller interview on suffering and the sovereignty of God on the radio that was exactly, exactly what I needed to hear right now. this day didn't really start out any special or spectacular way, but it appears to be taking several unexpected good turns. Thanks, God.

Sunday morning lyrics

I need you, oh I need you,
Every hour I need you--
My one defense, my righteousness!
Oh God, how I need you.
//
When I cannot stand, I'll fall on you...
Jesus you're my hope and stay.

#truth

God is with us
God is on our side
He will make a way
Far above all we know
Far above all we hope

He has done GREAT things <3

backpacking, finally

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I have been slightly obsessed with the concept of backpacking for a very long time. In high school I was convinced I would thru-hike the AT after graduating, and obsessively researched everything about it. My dad got me a bracelet for graduation (I still have it) made with stones found along the AT.  Years went by, and my interest continued, but I never took the chance to just go. 
A couple years ago I started subscribing to Backpacker magazine and I would read every issue front to back. My dad asked what I'd like for my birthday several (maybe five?) years ago, and I said a hiking backpack. Although I'd never used it for an overnight, I lent it to a friend last summer who was going backpacking up north for a few days.
Dan and I take the kids camping several times a year (we have a pop-up, which is so fun) but I really really just wanted to go backpacking... to be out in the woods, traveling by foot.
So this week I decided I might as well JUST DO IT. (Maybe it was the "S…

These are the longest (nights) and shortest years of my life

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With the exception of maybe five days this year (and less the last 3 years!), every morning I wake up to this:

Every night, some time between 1 and 5am, she makes her way into our room (occasionally on her own, but usually by calling for me) and spends the rest of the night tucked in the middle.
For all her sass and bravado and gumption and confidence by day, she sure turns into a small, cozy, needy little person at night.

I like to think that every night she spends nestled between Dan and I is helping heal the hurts from when she spent five months of nights alone, in 1/3 of a triple crib, with no mama and no daddy to hear her cries or come to her aid. I like to think her confidence by day is being built up by night, and one day, maybe not too far off, she will sleep the whole night in her own bed, and all these nights will be a distant memory. 

I hope I never forget the sound of her breathing, or the sleepy way she smells, or her sleepy voice requesting, "I wanna lay on your arm...&…

when in doubt...

...gird yourself up with truth:

// It is the Lord who goes before me. He lights my way and makes my path straight. I do not need to fear what tomorrow will bring. All things are in his hands, and he is working all things for my good, because I love him.

// I keep my eyes on the prize that is set before me. I run the race and know that I am seen by an audience of One. He knows my innermost thoughts; he knit me together, even my innermost being.

// I am confident that he began a good work in me, and he will see it to completion. When the going gets rough, I will lift my eyes and focus on the joy that is set before me. I will run and not grow weary; I will walk and not grow faint.

// Because I love the Lord, he will rescue me. He will protect me; I will call upon him and he will answer me; her will deliver and honor me. Surely, I would have grown faint and fallen had the Lord not been by my side. He is my helper and my refuge.

// The Lord is sovereign. All of my days are in his hands. I …

friday night

:: it's friday night and i am feeling lazy and unmotivated. i feel like ditching dinner obligations and reading a book for the rest of the evening. alas, my life does not currently allow such luxuries.

:: dan and i are talking seriously about enrolling will in the local charter school this fall. he will be in 5th grade and it will be a big step for all of us! we feel like the time is right... but we will see. i'm excited for the possibilities. 
:: i'm running my 2nd half-marathon on sunday, with one of my best local friends / distance-running partner. she is moving to anchorage at the end of may, which is sad for me, but not all bad, because i'm planning to go out in a year or so and run a race with her there (simultaneously realizing my dream of seeing alaska.)
:: the last two books i bought on kindle (one being francine rivers' latest, and the other was highly recommended to me, called sober mercies) did not download because..... our credit card number was hacked…

worship and dishes: a winning combo

Tonight we had our first spring dinner outside on the back porch... I made risotto (a perennial family fave) and sautéed mushrooms ... and leftover roasted brussels sprouts. It was lovely to sit outside in the fresh almost-spring air and listen to the kids' chatter and Dan's laugh and watch our crazy happy dog chasing birds in the yard. I love just being with my little fam.

After dinner, I offered to clean up and Dan offered to take the kids out in the woods for awhile to give me a quiet house. I love Hillsong Live's pandora station -- it always seems to "speak" to me, exactly when and where I need it. 

Tonight these lyrics echoed around my heart as I scrubbed pans and loaded dishes:

Everlasting:
Your light will shine when all else fades

Never ending:
Your glory goes beyond all fame

And the cry of my heart
Is to bring You praise

From the inside out
Lord my soul cries out

~~

SO. GOOD.

I love good lyrics paired with good melodies. As I have little to no talent in either of thos…

on underprivileged kids and education

earlier today i finished reading a book called "found" by micha boyett. (loved it.)

browsing for her blog led me to another blog (emerging mama) who, in one of her recent posts, quoted max lucado in his book, "outlive your life":

"in the game of life, many of us who cross home plate do so because we were born on third base. others aren't even on a team."

i've been thinking about that truth all day, and it's weighing heavily on me.

my kids have the benefits of loving parents, good nutrition, education with (what basically amounts to) a private tutor (*pats self on back* ;)) solid routine, normal bedtimes, fresh air and exercise every single day... along with a million other little perks that, all combined, will help them trot down that little white line from third base to home plate.

 so. many. others. don't have ANY of this.

they don't have loving parents. don't have a decent breakfast (or any breakfast) before showing up to an ove…

Sunday evening

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It's a quiet Sunday evening and Dan has said his goodbyes for the week a few hours earlier. The kids are sad and restless and irritable, so we head over to our neighborhood lake for a bit to regroup and enjoy the nearly 70° weather. They immediately disperse and I sit at a nearby picnic table, reading.

It is breezy and cool as the sun sinks lower towards the hills. The kids' urgent chattering soothes all our frazzled heads and makes my heart swell. You can hear peepers all around us, and I watch as birds glide on updrafts over the lake.

I've always found peace outdoors. When life and its myriad of distractions get the best of me, I can always find a clear head and calm spirit when I get outside. And the lyrics from my current favorite Hillsong that I've been humming all day resound around my heart and deeply anchor my soul.

"There is no one else for me: none but Jesus.
Crucified to set me free; now I live to bring him praise."

I know I've got a long …

changes

i've changed things up a bit on the blog. many times when i feel like writing, i think i really should stop and update everyone on my life instead (who exactly the "everyone" is remains to be seen...) and then the actual bits i wanted to write never make their way onto the screen... like many small, precious things, they get lost in the shuffle of the "big picture".

so. this is my way of repurposing. of slowing down. of recording the small moments. of remembering a few of the many thoughts, prayers, and full-hearted emotions that so much make up the fabric of these years of my life.

Moving on...

Today I am working on cleaning out our mudroom cubbies. All the kids' winter stuff is getting phased out and packed away for another kiddo in another winter.

As I moved about making piles, to wash, to give away, to store, I began to fold up Olivia's little back snow pants --  and I felt that little twisting mama-heart pang.

I had purchased a pair of sturdy little black snow pants for Will during a freakishly big snowstorm in St. Louis, six years ago. He proudly wore them, and the boots and the parka that arrived that week, all week long, out in the snow. Over the years, three more siblings got a full winters' use out of them and they are still in great shape (because really, how hard are four-year-olds on snow gear?!) ...so now it is time to pass them on. And really, I am happy to do so. I love getting rid of stuff and have no desire to keep things around that won't be used.

But they are so cute. So small. I can picture each of my babies standing tall in the littl…

Update

Well. It's been 4 months since I last blogged so I decided since the kids are all (all?!) upstairs happily busy playing restaurant together with Olivia's play kitchen, I should use these precious few minutes of daytime peace and quiet to update the blog world. (I know, my priorities rock.)

So let's see... what's new....

Me: I began running last October out of sympathy for a friend who had failed to qualify for Boston and who wanted me to run a consolation race with her. (It is widely known that I hate running so this was a very generous move on my part.) Since there was no way in hades I would be able to go from literally zero cardio endurance to running a half-marathon in 4 months time, I decided to go with a run-walk program. I started out walking a minute for every 2 minutes I ran, then upped it to 3/1. And I have to say, this tactic totally changed my life. Getting on the treadmill and staring at 20/30/45 minutes was horrrrrible and impossible. But anyone can do tw…