Sunday, February 27, 2011

In the business of shaping hearts

Next time I get asked what I do for a living, I am tempted to respond -
"Oh. I'm in the business of shaping hearts."
And what a delightful (and often challenging!) business it is!!

I cannot think of a higher responsibility, nor greater honor, than shaping the hearts of these little ones that God has entrusted to my care. The days that we spend together seem to fly by too quickly. Before I know it, another week is gone; another month, another year.

Recently I picked up a good book:

I've read through the first several chapters, and all I can say is that IT IS GOOD.
Have you read it? Any thoughts on it?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just in case this never happens again!

Just for the record, this morning we made it to school in record-for-Leah time!

Somehow, even with a shower, getting three kiddos ready, two off to school, and dressing up a bit myself, we actually made it to school with time to spare.

Like sit-in-the-van-for-FIVE-MINUTES time to spare.

I tell ya, this rarely never happens!! We are usually the ones running down the street with the double stroller, laughing our heads off because we must look like QUITE the sight :). Three babes on a stroller built for two, back packs flapping in the breeze, hats bobbin' and scarves wavin' as this mama keeps repeating -- well THIS is my workout for the day. (Those strollers get HEAVY particularly if there is a nasty windchill ;P.)  Keeps the neighbors entertained, anyway!

And now I'm enjoying some lovely quiet time to myself.
A cup of coffee,
a bit of country music
and some blessed PAQ.
Life is good :).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And they're OFF!

Well. It's just a humble little donation, but every stitch was sewn with love :). I really enjoyed putting together these little hats for Caps For Good.

I did manage to create ten little hats - 5 for girls, 5 for boys - and get them sent off before we left Florida. I thought the shipping might be more reasonable AND they'd actually arrive on time.

For once in my lifetime, I might actually be EARLY!!

Anyway, I hunted high and lo for the perfect little embellishments, but nothing specific caught my eye. Due to fatigue and time constraints, only one little beanie got a flower :). But HEY, it was fun and I can't wait to do it again! I am hoping to find a few more patterns (though I've already "created" one of my own and maybe I can do a few like that) and start building a stock. Since they can be finished up in one evening, they are a delightful project to have in the van or beside the TV chair (except that I seldom watch tv!).

Thanks to those who've responded. Your contributions are delightful! So excited to hear about others who are on board with this!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Gift Of Time

Among life's provisional resources, time is one of the most precious to me. How I spend my time is very important to me - and how I waste my time is too!! There never seems to be "enough time," or it seems to move too fast or too slow. More and more, I am coming to see time as a Gift.

This fall, our little clan experienced a rare gift of time. Jon was able to take a 10-week (with 2 extra weeks at Christmas) parental leave. Due to benefits through his employer, this was a financially feasible opportunity. That meant that the kids had their dad around, I had adult conversation throughout the day and there was always someone to keep babies at home while the older one(s) made the trek to school in the cold!!

While this chance of a lifetime was a blessing, it was not without its work. Two adults, having to share space 24/7, used to doing things "their own way" requires communication, intentionality and a healthy dose of grace!!! It means ensuring that expectations and boundaries are clearly discussed (and understood!) and that it is okay to accept help every once and a while :). It means that not everything has to be done in a certain way (as a SAHM, this is a particular challenge because my house is also my 'workspace' and I am used to having things organized in a way that makes sense to moi!).

We also got to take a family vacation. When Jon first brought this up (I am fairly convinced he was waiting for just the right time, as he is quite patient that way, but he dropped the bombshell at supper with the kids bouncing everywhere :P).... I just stared at him.

Blink. Blink.
You're kidding, right!?
Do you REMEMBER the last time we took a lengthy trip away and I almost completely and entirely lost my marbles!???!
Clears throat. Let's me continue to vent. He's a smart man!
Yes. I do.

Oh man.
Keep in mind, this was before Wee One was born and I had no IDEA if we'd have any difficult surprises, if I'd wrestle with post-partum darkness again, and I certainly wasn't sure I was up for any adventures. And I like adventures. But REASONABLE ones!!!

Long LONG story short - we did it! We went away for six weeks (left Dec 29 in a dreadful snowstorm and returned February 10) and lived to tell the tale (though I wasn't so sure I would some times!). And you know what!? It was a big blessing. A SIGNIFICANT amount of work too, this business of traveling withe 3 little ones 5 years and younger, but a gift that will only grow sweeter with time. We did all sorts of fun things like Disney and Sea World, but my FAVORITE times were spent watching the girls gain confidence in the pool, hanging out in the sunshine, talking with Jon about our goals for the next few years (a rare treat, considering that most of the time our conversations are somewhat interrupted!) and so on. We came home quite wrinkled from having spent 4 days in the van on the way home, but refreshed.

God is One who offers us the gift of TIME. Time to live and breathe and love, to wrestle and work things through, and have adventures. Some of them are quite extravagant (like this); mostly the gift of time arrives in sweet little packages throughout the days.

Most importantly, he gives us the gift of time to FIND HIM!

 6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; 
   call on him while he is near.
          Isaiah 55:6

May the gift of time be even sweeter because it is shared with HIM!


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