Monday, March 26, 2012


We were settling in for the last stint of the morning's school work.
Usually, not a big deal. We've come to enjoy skip counting and adding and word problems and subtracting, and on a productive morning we even get two pages done ;).

But as M turned the page, I could hear --- Moooooom. I can't do this!! I just can't do this!! I ... just... can't.
I peeked at the page. Adding? Subtracting?
Not usually an issue --- but then I knew the problem.
Too many problems!
A page FULL of problems.

When we broke it down line by line - doing a line from right to left, or left to right - it became manageable. Feasible. Conquerable.
Within a reasonable amount of done, work was done and the lesson behind us.
The math lesson, anyway.

But the life lesson lingers.
I know that same overwhelming feeling.
I turn the page over to start the day and all I can see are the problems. So many squeezed into one day, I get stalled and don't know what to start or finish. Decisions need to be made. Parenting challenges addressed. Developmental questions I'd love to find the answers to. Conflicts? Got 'em too. Chores. All the projects I'd love to do, people I'd love to connect with, acts of love I'd love to give. Fatigue that never seems to go away. Then there's me, personally. Issues that seem to persist, even though I've addressed them a hundred times a thousand times over. 
It can be hard to know where to start.
And what to finish.

Just like M calls out to me, her parent, I call out to the One who has ordained my days. Father, I begin, I just don't know where to start, let alone, finish. It all just seems so .... much.

Some days that overwhelming feeling lingers, and it is just that kind of day. And I get stalled. Or I procrastinate. Or I leave it all, mentally, for a while and just take a break.
Other days, though, His Spirit settles mine, breaks down the options a bit, gives it a creative spin, and helps my heart find direction.
Because it's His direction I so desperately need.

It's funny. 
Some times I look at these text books and think about the things they teach the mind.
More often, though, I look at them and think about what they've taught my heart.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good morning

This morning I woke up to the smell of fresh spring air and fresh bread ready for breakfast :).
A new week.
A new day.
A fresh start.

21 Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; 
   great is your faithfulness. 

24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
   therefore I 

25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
   to the one who seeks him;

26 it is good to wait quietly 
   for the salvation of the LORD. 

Lamentations 3:21-26

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What happens when your heart is pulled in different directions

A number of weeks ago, I had the lovely privilege of hearing someone share about their journey of wrestling with God. This was something in-process, waiting for direction, praying and listening. Though the circumstances were not expected, it was - and is - an opportunity to draw close to the One who was created all things and knows all things.

Although I don't much enjoy the wrestling hot-seat, I found myself almost envious? of the opportunity. Waiting is not fun, and it challenges me immensely. But it is in the waiting and the seeking and relinquishing that the LORD has graciously taught me so much.

Little did I know that our own Waiting Room was just around the corner.

It's not like I hadn't anticipated this. The appointment has been on the calendar for a while. It's just that I had not slowed long enough to think about a number of the implications. Or perhaps I was just avoiding them. Within a week's time, we were reconsidering our present housing arrangement (which included meeting with a contractor to review some potential renovations which just would not really work in the long run), meeting with a variety of support staff at the local elementary school regarding K's entrance into kindergarten next year, and having to take a serious look at what we'll be doing for school for M (she'll be entering grade 2).

Through the thick fog of fatigue, it is hard to keep things in perspective some times. Each one of these things may not seem like a big deal, but the long-lasting ramifications can be.

I'm not sure when Jon first started talking different housing. Perhaps it was one L's bedroom-in-the-living-room had extended longer than we thought. Maybe it was just one of those I-feel-restless conversations that we started to take seriously. Or, likely, it was just the right timing. Though we'd remain in the town where we are, even changing neighborhoods feels like we'd have to resettle all over again. And so begins conversations around excessiveness, desires, finances, stewardship - but also about (extremely important!) things like - neighbors, community, and all the things that make a house a home.

No matter how settled you are in your heart about your children and their abilities, or their challenges, there is just something plain, stinkin' hard about having to review (even strongly emphasize) all the areas in which they struggle in order to receive funding for help. It hurts immensely. As the conversation progressed (and the meeting itself went well, I think), I found myself needing air, needing time to myself to process all the terminology, all the implications, all the differences. I have very little doubt in my mind that enrolling K in public school would be the best way to develop her linguistic abilities. I know many people that have taught their developmentally challenged children at home and had great success. However, at this time, that path does not seem like a right fit (though, of course, if funding should become an issue than that will DEFINITELY be an option!). Especially in these early elementary years, when it is far easier to get support, I think that public school will enhance the path that we are already on.

However, how do you relinquish a way of life that you have fallen in love with? Though there are definite struggles (another post for another day) there are a multitude of blessings. It is not a lifestyle for everyone, and I would've never dreamed it would be for us either, even for just a short time. The educational and life-giving lessons we've learned this past year are invaluable and I wouldn't trade them for anything.
And yet, it was never something we intended to do up till grade three, maybe, but not long term.
And now, M (who'll be entering grade 2 in fall) has already expressed that if K is going to school, she should too. And really, dropping one off at school, just to take the other home, really does feel a bit awkward. I have told her that we will continue to pray about it and won't make any major decisions until she (and we) have peace of heart about it, which has really settled her. God has surprised us before ;) - maybe He will again!!
And so, I wrestle with the high possibility of having to let go of a rhythm of life much sooner than I would've liked.

So .... I wait. I wrestle. I pray. I hope and dream. We discuss preferences and possibilities and the implications of things over which we have influence (maybe) but control? Not necessarily!

And who knows, maybe next year's adventure will include sifting heart and soul and tending to those things that have sat on the back burner for a long time :).

Friday, March 9, 2012

... just to live another day....

1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, O Jacob,
   he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; 

   you are mine. 
Isaiah 43

I was blog-surfing the other day when I paused at the site for a local ministry committed to loving and helping and connecting with those whose lives are very messy and broken.
My eyes filled with tears as I read the prayer page.

The desires of the hearts of these people spilled across the page.
Longings for healing and wholeness...
restoration and family...
for freedom.
For release from the chains of addiction.
For peace.
For the opportunity just to live another day.

Each request has a name.
Join me in praying for Art... Diane... Lawrence... Barb... Kevin... Leo... and all who find themselves in pain-filled, despairing circumstances.
Pray that through the darkness, they would see and feel the Light.
Pray that hearts in healing would be open to even more love.
Pray that today, they would hear their name spoken - in love, in dignity, in hope.

We don't pray simply with some abstract hope that "things get fixed."
I am learning, slowly learning, that perhaps, as we pray, the Maker of the Heavens plants the seeds of love and ideas in our hearts - to shine His Light where it is so badly needed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wisdom from the morning's tea pot...

What is the song you were created to sing?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Just what I needed....

Yesterday was just that.
A day that was just what I needed.

Life has been full in the last while. The schedule has been hectic, the heart is full.
Doctor appointments (which, we are praying, will lead to insight and better sleep for Sweet K!), development issues, parenting challenges, decisions that don't need to be made today ... but consume a lot of thought and energy anyway.

When commitments and responsibilities and challenges threaten to exceed the maximum hours in a day (which, last time I checked is and will ever be 24-hours!!), things get a bit tense. We find ourselves racing through things "just to get them done" instead of enjoying the process. It is a balancing act trying to get little ones out the door, ensuring we have all the necessary supplies for the journey, and enough energy to make it enjoyable :).

I find myself growing short and snappy.
Take our time together for granted.
I take less time to listen.
Soak in less laughter.
Find myself reacting instead of responding.

Everything feels a bit cracked and dry.

And then a day like yesterday rolls around.
A snow storm. A cozy day at home. Cancelled appointments. A day of rhythm. An unexpected supper invite.

And I can feel it. Refreshed. Ready to enjoy the weekend, ready to embrace the coming week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bye bye baby

Of all three of our girls, our Wee One is definitely the one to put up the fight when Mama tries to leave. She'll willingly stay with Grandmas .... and that's about it. (Until recently, when we've started to stretch her a bit here and there, thank you gracious friends :P.)

And until recently, this wasn't really a big deal. We don't sneak away without the kids very often (maybe we should :)???), so when we do there was usually a Grandma around close by to give us a helping hand. We are thankful ;).

And yet, very often she'll grab a purse, a hat, a pair of funky shades --- and she'll wander through the kitchen saying, BYE BYE. SEE YOU. LOVE YOU. Giving us her royal wave like she's the queen herself :).
And I'll ask her if she's off to go shopping or to the mail or some other thing. 
And she'll respond with an enthusiastic YES. 
Her heart is full of adventure; her sweet spirit passionate with it.

It'll seem like a blink and she'll be finding wings of her own and she'll be off on a mission I am sure.
But, unless things change, it'll be with a strong sense of where mama is at. She may be able to wander far and wide, but I suspect she'll want mama to stay ... at least ... accessible :).

I can relate. I've enjoyed a few adventures of my own, however it has always been with a strong sense of connection to the security my own parents have provided. Now that BOTH of our parents are out of the country for 5-7 WEEKS :), we miss them (and NO, not just because they graciously watch our babes ;P) and wish them a safe and memorable holiday, and pray daily for their safety and timely return :).

As for now, we just enjoy the dress-up games and those adventures of imagination!!


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