Friday, March 13, 2015

the remains of the day...

The Remains...

The crew is out the door.
Hallie Ann off to the vet clinic - animals waiting.
Steve and Tom off to school
and Tom also off to a weekend of Winter Camp with the youth group.
I can't help but smile and sigh as I look around the house
It's a mess
As it is every morning.
In an hour or so it'll all be put in place
As it is every morning.
I put it back in order....
they come home and undo the order....

(Kind of how we persistently wreck havoc with God's order)

I read the other day how important it is to love our kids (or whoever)
IN their ugly.
We get that privilege. 
When we're frustrated, angry, inconvenienced -
We can meet them with an affirmation of love 
or we can make sure they know our 'wrath'
Which would I want to be met with?
We have to train and deal with discipline and figure out game plans
BUT FIRST - do they know no matter what
they are secure in our Love?
Do they know that doesn't change?
What's more important -
The rules?
The Love?
no contest.

Ok, so they could do a better job of not leaving mess in their wake
There is a place for the shoes, 
and I'm not the only one who know's where they go.
Blankets can be folded and stacked,
by someone other than me
Crumbs can be wiped up 
by someone other than me
But to tell you the truth
They all usually do what's right
what's helpful
Life is mostly joint venture, pitching in together
but life is messy
and there's often a wake left behind
and I get to smooth it all out and make it right
I get to serve them
make sure home is a calm place to come home to
make sure clothes are washed
make sure dinner is made
make sure there is a sameness, a predictableness to home
and that fills me with peace and a feeling of being needed
I get to be mom, the smoother of rough edges.
I get to take care of the loose ends, the remains of the day.

I get to love them in their ugly. 

So I look around at the mess
and start putting away and putting to right
And I know it matters
They matter
and I matter
we mean something to each other
That's family

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In the beginning - what was He thinking?

Genesis 1 and 2:
In the beginning - God created
By the power of His word, everything was put in place
It's all made by Him.
But before it was all made,
at the end of Genesis 1:2 it says
...and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters...
His Spirit was hovering, waiting...
I can't help by wonder if He was pondering, considering...
Was He pondering over what He was about to do?
As He looked forward and saw what was to come 
What may have been His thoughts?
Of course none of us can know His thoughts
They are too big.
But again, I wonder, 
He would have seen it all - 
the garden
then turning - sin - His creation choosing away from Him.
So Did He keep looking forward?
Did He look ahead to eternity?
He was there, over the waters, in the midst of the Beginning...
He could see the Horrific Mess in the middle.
but was He focusing on the end?
As He hovered there.

To us, the middle is everything,

it is all we know.
The good of it, the bad of it, the ugly of it.
The sad thing is that there is just so much chaos
so much horror, so much pain and disappointment
so much turning from God.
He saw it all.
He knew how bad it would all be.
- how far we would fall
- how angry we would be
- the hate in our fist shaking at our creator
- the look of our backs defiantly turned away from Him
     ...our faces willingly turned toward His enemy
- how utterly against Him we would be
To us, what we see around us is enough
...enough to make us think that none of it is worth it
but God kept looking
and He saw the end - the eternity.
and somehow, looking at THAT - 
He decided to go ahead with it.
His hovering gave way to creation, to action
It makes me wonder, 
What is eternity?
What is heaven?
that is was enough to not hold back the hand of God?
So as His Spirit hovered
and time began -
God moved.
He created.
He put it all in motion.
And we have Genesis 1 and 2.
And then....
so soon after it all started,
it all began to crumble, just as He knew it would.
We chose chaos 
We chose what was other than God.
From the start, we doubted He who had always been faithful
- He who had always been good.
and we began listening to the one who always lies.
There was no 'long time of fellowship' before the horror began
We sinned 
....and Genesis 3 - Revelation began to play out
Just as God knew it would when He was hovering and pondering
And Yet, 
He still began it.
Makes me long for eternity.
Oh, how He loves you and me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

He just IS

I want to erect a standing stone.
I wish there was a huge pillar of stone that I could put up 
-to help me forever remember
-to remind me to never forget...the faithfulness of God.
A year ago today was simply the hardest day
But today - 365 days later,
My heart just overflows with hope and thankfulness.
God brought us through!!
Not that the journey is over, but we've broken through the thickest of the fog!
'Be still, there is a healer, His love is deeper than the sea!!!!'
I just love Jesus so much.
and you know, 
if nothing was easier, 
if nothing was better,
If the day was just as dark,
and hope just as hidden,
I would still love Him
He would still be the healer
His love would still be as deep.
It isn't my perception or my happiness that makes Him who He is
His goodness doesn't depend on things going my way
He is who He is independent of my belief
He just is.
And I am so grateful.
hopefully I can be that standing stone.
Hopefully my life can be a faithful witness to HIM
His love overwhelms me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


A winter day at home
Tommy is working on a writing assignment...
Hal is taking a break from her studies and working on a puzzle...
I am here - just sitting for a while
and listening.
I can hear the hum of the fridge, 
the occasional sound of the furnace turning on
the clock ticking 
and the sound of my computer keys
but other than that, all is quiet
Outside the air appears to be still, though on second look, branches are waving a bit.
Little winter birds flutter to the feeders,
and then flit off to the pines to eat.
The dogs are asleep.
A sort of lazy afternoon.
A relaxing respite in a busy day.
It's like I can hear God whisper,
"Peace, be still"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

echos of love

Days together.
Days to cherish.
My son was home for a few days this past weekend
a little over 5 days to 'drink him in' .... as Anne Shirley might say
he asked me why I kept staring at him
I couldn't help it
It fed me.

One of my favorite books is "Laughter in the Walls" by Bob Benson
he writes of the things of families and what holds them together.
In the title poem, he talks of how he and his wife would sit and listen 
to the quiet of their house when it was just the two of them at home,
their children grown and on their own.
he speaks of sitting and listening to the whispers of the memories...
the 'laughter in the walls'.
I guess that is what I am hearing tonight.
The laughter and loudness and noise of family quietly echoing in the stillness
I love the noise....  and I love the quiet afterward, 
even the melancholy of it.
Mostly I love the time with those I love.
I know it must have a beginning and an end -
that after the 'looking forward to' and the 'living through' are done, 
there is only the memory left (and the hope of the next time)
but it's all So good.
This time together was particularly sweet because of the struggles we have recently gone through. 

Our predictable (ha) world has been shaken these last several months.
The storm and the pain that we have been through has exhausted me.
We have weathered something I never imagined -
but we have weathered it.
Or at least are out of the brunt of it.
There is a lot of healing to do - which will take time,
but I have this overwhelming assurance there WILL be healing
A heart will be mended.
There will be joy.
It all just reminds me over and over 
He CARES so much for us
My pain is felt by HIM and He comforts me
and He comforts those that I love.
I sometimes don't know what to do with that knowledge
It seems too big, too much, too wonderful.
It overwhelms me to tears.
I can rest and let go of my cares -
Because God so firmly and completely 
has it all under control.

I am so thankful...
and now, in the quiet of my little house
with those that I love spread back out - near and far
I can bask in the echos of love...
the laughter in my walls.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

God's song of love...

There is a verse in Zephaniah....verse 3:17....that says "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you.  He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
My God rejoices over me with singing.
He quiets me with His love.  
He delights in me.
He is with me.
I can't even say how much this means to me right now
Every family goes through hard times and pain
It isn't new or really unexpected...
but when it comes it still takes us off guard.
We are going through some things right now 
that have us holding on to each other and
more importantly to God.
It is such a wonder to be reminded 
of His love and presence and delight.
To be assured that He is singing over us.
When my kids were little....(and even now sometimes),
I sang to them every night and anytime they wanted me to.
I made up a little song when Mark was a baby
and sang it to each of them - every night.
It was a way I could assure them of my love
It was a time of closeness and warmth
If they thought I might forget (which I wouldn't) -
they reminded me.
I have sung it to them by their beds...
in the rocking chair...
in the light of a campfire...
in a letter...
over the phone...
in an email...
in a whisper..
in a soft clear voice.
I sang over them in love and rejoicing.
Now here in God's Holy word
is the assurance that He is singing over us.
He is whispering in our ears the soft song of love
He is wrapping us in His arms
and assuring us that He is in control and He is with us.
He wants our anxious hearts to be quieted...
to rest in Him.
Just as my little ones relaxed and gave up the cares of the day
when they heard my song of love,
God wants the same from me -
trust and peace and comfort.
Oh How I love Jesus.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

early morning ponderings

1:45 am
I am awake - again
I went to bed before Steve got home from his hockey game
I knew it was a mistake,
but I was tired and bed was warm. 
...and it was nearly midnight.
I love that he enjoys hockey 
and that it gives him good exercise and comradeship with the 'guys;
but the ice time they get is often late
If I go to sleep - or nearly go to sleep... and then am awakened
I am done.
the edge is off and I am awake. 
Oh well, I am never too tired the next day
like I used to be when I was younger
and I do eventually go to sleep (and tomorrow is Saturday :)
So I check my mail and Facebook and The Homeschool Lounge
...and then here I am - pondering and writing
Lately I have taken up the challenge offered at
to write 750 words a day.
I have made it 10 days!  Thats good for me!
Kind of neat to be challenged to write the equivalent of 3 pages a day
interesting where my thoughts go while meandering through memories 
and thinking about what to write about.
It was easier today than 10 days ago
I am getting in the 'groove' I suppose
a fun challenge to myself.
Here at our house we are in the heart of winter
but now that is February, the end feels more in sight.
The groundhog came and went the other day
but whatever his prediction was, it is irrelevant here,
If he predicted a long winter - 6 more weeks - then yea~
That would be short for us
If he predicted a short winter - ha I know better than that
I'm hoping for very little snow left by the end of March
We'll see - what I do know is that spring comes
it always does, because God promised that it would
For now, in these days of cold
I have to keep focused on finding the beauty 
...and to tell you the truth it isn't that hard.  
it is beautiful
and if you could have seen the big smile on my sons face tonight
when he came home from the ski hill, then you'd have seen
the most beautiful part.
big smile, rosy cheeks, good stories.
So let it snow - open the flood gates of heaven :-)

sleepiness is returning - off to bed with me

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oh what a beautiful morning....

Painfully cold windy winter day in Wisconsin!!
Beautiful bright sunny February day in Wisconsin!!
Today God is reminding me that it's my choice how I see things.
In Tom's devotion we talked about how it's up to us to be
optimistic or pessimistic
I know that, but I don't always remember that
Am I looking for the good in:
winter days...
or am I determined to find the faults
It really is painfully cold, below zero outside
It is also windy and bitter and hostile
not really fit for spending any time out there
unless you really bundle up
It is also bright and beautiful
The sun reflects off of acres and acres of white snow
the wind picking up the loose snow dust
and swirling it around; creating drifts and beauty
I tend to stop at the cold and ignore the beauty
That isn't what God asks of me though
Whatever is true, whatever is honest
...just...pure...lovely...of good report...
of any virtue...
worthy of praise...
think on there things
God made this winter day
so it is worthy of praise
and undeniably lovely
so I will see its' beauty
and marvel at the God who brings beauty
to everything
When I asked Hallie Ann the other day
(in a definite moment of pessimism)
"what exactly is there to like about winter?"
she answered honestly (and optimistically)
"what is there not to like?"
and then to rub it in
she went on to list one after the other -
all the things she loves about winter
She has it right
you have to take the time to find the good
I could make a list to oppose hers
but what would that do 
except add to my discontent
instead I will list the lovely
and dwell on those
and will teach myself
through the loving hand of God
to find the beauty
and love winter
because it too is the handiwork of God

Monday, January 31, 2011

He giveth and giveth and giveth again....will I?

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain....
I love hearing that when I open up this blog.
I just don't get tired of hearing that song...

but anyway -
What is really on my mind is what my life for Christ means.
Tom's devotion today was about giving
How our life should be one big opportunity to give
really give.
The author (Bob Schultz - who's books I LOVE)
reminded us that it is God's very nature to give
What about Him is not giving?
He gives because He wants to
He gives because it brings Him joy. 
It is in the root of His Being.  
God is what a cheerful giver is all about.
and we are to be like God
Happy and excited about giving
Giving not out of necessity or grudgingly
but with my whole heart
out of joy and obedience (which brings joy)
It's in giving that we can share in God's delight.
God is all about giving 
and when I give I am mirroring Him
Schultz encouraged us to make giving our hobby!!
to pursue it with zeal and delight.
Why not?  
Giving is way bigger than money
It is smiles and kindness and time and provision.
It is giving up your place in line, or shoveling a walk
It is backrubs and picking up slack
It is meals and phone calls and written notes
It is saying "sure, my pleasure"
It is an extra chapter read at bedtime
It is reaching out to help in whatever way we can
It is seeing our abundance 
and giving out of that.
We can radiate God's love
simply by giving
in dozens of ways every day
in thousands of ways every year
Instead of a lifetime of seeking to acquire
why not a life time seeking ways to give
"...happiness walks with givers not getters"
What is my abundance?
(I have so much)
Perhaps it is all there...
the material and the spiritual and the emotional....
just so I can give it away.
I want to share in God's joy of giving
"Silver and gold have I none - 
but such as I have give I thee"
I pray that the rest of my life 
can be filled with days filled and overflowing
with GIVING.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ahhh Ha!

Ok, just had to write this down while the feeling is fresh...
Just had one of those Ah-ha moments - or Tommy did anyway
We have been working on a particular concept in math
I have been feeling like 'this is not getting through'
Many times I've looked at his cute face 
and have seen this blankness
Like I am talking to a wall
Then suddenly today
after taking some time to review
and reteach
He comes in with his math assignment
and it is all done right
He didn't come for help
He knew how to do it on his own
He has a big grin
I have a big grin - and a feeling of whew!
and on we go.
I love teaching my kids at home.