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.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A new adventure

Two years ago, January 2009, our precious exchange student, 
Terka, came to stay with us.
That ended up to be life changing and priceless
Tomorrow we will welcome Paloma to our home
Another exchange student.  
Another January family change.
I can't sleep tonight
I suppose because I am anxious about tomorrow.
I love the idea of her coming 
and expect that it will be a great thing - 
but the first few days are always a bit awkward -
polite and friendly and stange.
I just want Paloma to feel at home
to feel like she belongs.
That takes awhile. 
Steve knows Paloma already
She is a student of his
He really likes her and has a high opinion of her
Others too, have told me how nice she is
We have met her, but only briefly
Hallie and Tommy are both excited about her coming
We have her room all ready
We are all ready too
It has been kind of a drawn out process...
started back in November...
but after all the wondering
now the day is almost here.
I want to be able to meet her needs
and be a blessing to her
That is all that really matters to me
It has to be hard to be so far from home
I don't think I ever could have gone so far from home when I was in school - I don't suppose my mom and dad would have let me...
kind of like I don't think I could let my kids
(I am not willing to give up the time with them)
I have kept them home to teach them...
largely because I couldn't give up the time with them...
But here she is, far from home (Chile)
wanting to find her niche 
I wonder what God has in store for all of us?
I was reading about God being the God who sees us
El Roi
He sees us and know our needs and wants to fill them
He knows Paloma's needs
He knows the needs of our family
Somehow those have something to do with one another
He is bringing us together for a purpose
His purpose.
I am excited to be a part of His plan for Paloma
I am excited that she is part of His plan for us.
I'm sure that the next 6 months will be interesting 
and full of blessings
I pray that we will be faithful in following Him through 
whatever is ahead.  
I pray that through living with us, Paloma would learn much
about this God who loves her and sees her and cares.
On my wall there is a saying...
"Let me live in such a way that those who know me 
but don't know God will come to know God because they know me"
I guess that is what I pray
that whether or not Paloma knows God now or not
She will get to know Him by living with us.