Friday

to share this moment {and this face}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

oldest-youngest-music

and because i just.
couldn't.
resist...

linking here

Monday

to homeschool {or i am so glad i don't have to ship my twins away}

they run and giggle,
those twins of mine,
chasing black and yellow,
beauty of tiger swallowtail and
we lay under plum tree as
titmice flit from branch to branch and
we count each one we see.

ruth,
she climbs into my lap,
finger in her mouth and
fingers of other hand twirling her hair and
she whispers,
"i want you mama,"
and i whisper back,
"i want you too."
she snuggles close as
her twin skips through grass and
baby crawls off blanket, amazed at feeling of
green under her knees.


i sigh so grateful for
this way of life deemed homeschooling
as it dawns on me that these two girls
would be gone now,
under the care of someone else,
this,
the year they would begin kindergarten and
this,
the year these two carefree girls,
the ones who still suck fingers and twirl hair,
who crawl in mama's lap when they get tired,
who just
want mama,
these girls who love and learn and live,
would begin a slow and steady separation...


we pull diapers down off the line
as we make our way back indoors,
to the older siblings lost in different worlds and
times,
and spend rest of day in childhood's secret world,
playing, imagining,
being and
when suppertime arrives they grate cheese and
chop onions and numerous
times throughout the day we
cuddle close to read and talk and love.

and how could i miss all this?
what a waste of life it would be.
i fall into bed at end of day
exhausted but
so grateful to be here,
with them,
all,
for each of these moments,
and that these little ones will get to
live
their childhoods,
not be separated,
not be forced to grow and experience
too quickly,
but,
simply
live.

Tuesday

to feel loved and be

somedays,
you just feel loved.










and your birthday,
with ocean spray adorning your face,
children running freely,
a pink chubby baby attached to your hip
and a husband who keeps giving that
quiet
smile,
makes you feel
oh
so
loved.

Monday

to turn 30 and learn 30 things

so as of today i have been breathing
for 30 years.  it's about time.
i have felt much older for awhile now,
being that i have so many kids and the
majority of my friends are older than me,
so it's fitting that i am no longer in my 20's.
and since i am filled with so much wisdom,
{cough, cough}
i decided to share with you the most important
things i have learned each of my
30 years.

ha.. let's begin...

one: comfort is a beautiful thing.
two: mobility is phenomenal and dangerous
three: older brothers are amazing and annoying
four: i love to learn.
five: divorce sucks
six:  four parents means two christmases
seven: moving away from your daddy is hard
eight: flying back and forth between two families every other weekend is tiring
nine: older brothers are amazing and annoying {yes, i learned this again}
ten: being an actress is hard work
eleven: i want to be around family but mine is never around
twelve: i am certainly different than all those giggly girls
thirteen: it's hard for me to make close friends
fourteen: i crave attention {and back then would have done anything to get it}
fifteen: i am so. so. different

 15 year old little hippie

sixteen: i do not want to be like the other kids in the hospital
seventeen: Jesus saves
eighteen: God still speaks
nineteen: marriage is more beautiful than i could have imagined

twenty: motherhood is the most. special. thing.

me, brand new mom, and layla, my first born

twenty one: there are some pains in this world that you cannot wake up from.
twenty two: God is good, God is here, God is real, God "works all things out for the good of those who love
                    Him."
twenty three: there is no place like home.
twenty four: that cheesy saying is actually true... you have to let go and let God
twenty five: God has a sense of humor
twenty six: sometimes God leads you through the desert, but He does lead you.
twenty seven: there are lots of people who just don't like children. i must ignore them.
twenty eight: there's no place like home {yes, i learned this again, too.}
twenty nine: God is so much more beautiful, mysterious and amazing than we can even begin to comprehend





and now what will thirty teach me?
whatever it is,
i hope thirty is a season of peace.      

Saturday

to share a song for your saturday

i. love. music.
i think it is a beautiful gift from God and
when you find the really good stuff
you just need to share.
so that's what i'm going to do on saturdays.
{share some with me too, i love finding new bands}


swell season- in these arms

Friday

to share...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


linking with amanda

Wednesday

to really suck and then get humbled

so.
i have been immensely pathetic this past week.
really.
granted with a beautiful opportunity to bless
with hospitality and open arms i
have failed
miserably.
all my talk about loving,
serving,
doing and
when it comes down to it
i find myself
the biggest hypocrite of all.

someone in desperate need and
i found myself resentful for
their bad habits,
their negative lifestyle affecting ours,
and my husband,
quietly,
reminding me,
"of course they have bad habits,
that is why they are in this position.
that doesn't change a thing.
regardless of who they are and
what they do,
we need to show them love,"
and i found myself muttering frustrations
instead of breathing prayers for
this person,
and my body tensing up instead of
arms opening wide
when they walked into the room.
and i couldn't write.
i couldn't tap out words about loving
when my heart was so cold and
my mind so filled with angst and resentment.

when i posted a photo on friday reminding you all
to love
it was more a reminder for myself. 
because i knew i needed to.
but i just couldn't.

and then
we had a minor crisis.
{thank you amy for prayers}
just a small, momentary crisis
but it humbled me.
sincerely.
and i poured forth tears of gratitude
for mercy and
tears of sorrow for pride and resentment and
tears of deep.
deep.
repentance.
humbled.
knowing, finally,
i am no better than he.
we are no better.
our lives may look different,
our filth may take a different route,
but it's still there.
and we are no better.

"for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

and so i have begun again.
this loving thing.
i have been humbled and come
empty handed,
broken,
whimpering to
the foot of the cross,
and i have cried at His feet
and He has lifted me and
taken my hand and led me on,
and He has washed my filth and
clothed my nakedness with garments
white,
and i,
i stand as one
torn and then healed and
i look at the one in need and
open my arms.
because He opened His arms to me
and loved me anyway.
and He teaches me
to love.





Friday

to be off...

have a beautiful weekend friends,
and don't forget....


to win a {steal a} prize

Sweatshirt pink with kitties on it
sitting staring at me amongst the other belongings
in the lost and found
and I,
just a kindergartener,
could not look away, wanting it so badly and
it,
lost,
wanted me, I knew.
Sneaking home with it that day,
hiding in my little pink backpack,
no plan in mind just
happiness at my new sweatshirt.
And when my parents found it that night
I conjured up a story
that made perfect sense in my five year old mind,
"I won it in a race."

Yes I thought it was a superb story,
my kindergarten class having a race,
the prize being an old, dingy, dirty
pink kitty sweatshirt.  And as I basked in my supposed triumph,
new sweatshirt, parents who believed me,
my mama looked me in the eyes and said,
"Well, I will just call your teacher in the morning
and thank her."
Then burst forth my tears, my pleadings, my excuses
as to why they just. couldn't. call.
Until all else failed,
and excuses turned into truth,
through tears came admittance and
my humbling walk to the lost and found
in the morning to return my most
perfect
ever
sweatshirt.

To consider how desperate I was for my prize,
and what a crummy little prize it was,
the lengths I went to
in order to attain such garbage,
how blind my little self was.
And yet now I run the true race,
the only which matters,
with a prize more glorious, more beautiful,
more precious than I ever could have
imagined.
And to tell someone where it came from...
no fabrications needed,
I merely have to mention that
Name above all names
for which we do not steal from the lost and found
but give all that we have,
all that we are,
because we were the aching, lonely lost,
we were the ugly old sweatshirts and He,
the Only One we could fit,
He sought us, He found us,
He mended us into beauty,
and all because He loves us.


*reposting this today,
basking in the glow of being mended
into beauty*

Thursday

to survive {aka finding peace on a toilet}

home crowded with children playing
loudly
taking a reprieve from the overwhelming heat
and so many voices;
laughing, chatting, reading and
that heat and 
where can a mama with a house
full of seven lively kiddos
disappear for just a moment
to regain, refocus, simply breathe?
where can she go to find peace,
to know she will survive?

i find myself behind closed door,
in the one place i can {occasionally} expect
to be alone,
the bathroom, and breathe
prayers,
yearning for peace, for cool weather, for
motivation to
do
anything and with hands over eyes i
sink onto closed toilet lid,
breathing,
praying,
and eyes open i
see it.
it takes only a second for my
strained lips to embrace smile and
my breath prayers to turn
to quiet chuckles and then to
outright laughter and
a knock comes,
"mama, what are you doing?" and
children are at door questioning my
sanity and i let them in.

they, looking marvelously confused,
beg me for answers and when
i finally calm the laughter down i let
them in to this world of real bathroom humor,
explaining that i came to the bathroom to
find peace,
i came to find the peace which would
help me survive and
as i sat on the toilet i found it,
a survival kit.
opening eyes from scattered prayers,
this real survival kit was looking right up at me...

a bible,
a pancake and
nunchucks.
everything one needs to survive.

and they laughed with me now,
these children who unintentionally made this survival kit,
and i could breathe again and
i could handle the heat and
i could hug little bodies and
kiss foreheads and
clean house and
{even} cook in the sweltering kitchen.
because i would survive.
and i had the kit to help me along.

 **anyone notice the verse next to the nunchuck? "from this we know the end of the world has come..."  see...this survival kit is perfect for surviving crazy hot days AND the {zombie?} apocalypse.  ha!**


Wednesday

to be official {officially something}

i made a facebook page.
yes i did.
why?
i do not know.
like me if
well,
you like me.
ha!
are you allowed to like your own page?
or is that like cheating?

did i mention it is STILL hot?
grrrrrrr....




Tuesday

to melt

it's a strange thing,
this thing we call weather,
especially here,
this county i grew up in.
the ocean is fifteen minutes to the west and
then there is this hill which separates my town
from the ocean and another hill which separates
my town from another town
fifteen minutes south.
so if you drive over the hill, west,
to the ocean,
the temperature drops twenty degrees.
if you drive down the hill,
south,
the temperature drops ten degrees and if you drive
ten minutes south of there
it drops another ten degrees.

strange,
this weather.

well i grew up in the town
fifteen minutes south of here and so
when it is ten degrees warmer up here
i simply melt.
i just cannot handle ninety degree weather.
the good thing is,
all i have to do is drive fifteen minutes west or south
and i drop ten to twenty degrees.
but,
let's be honest,
with seven kids it's rather unlikely.
instead i'll sit here in my house
{my un-air conditioned house...
because no one has air conditioning near the ocean}
and
simply
melt.

{oh autumn,
where art thou?}

hot day living...





{notice the lack of clothes}

me,
i've been hanging out with these kids and
tending to these addictions of mine...


reading mitten strings for god,
which i read at least once a year and
it is the perfect summer book when you are
slow
and
melting and
sticky and
can't move.
and i'm still knitting pearl's leg warmers
so they will be ready for those oh so blessed,
please come soon,
autumn days.
though thinking about leg warmers in this heat
is making me gag a bit.

oh yeah,
and,
it pains me a little to mention it but
suddenly pearl is doing this...
 
and then,
if you are my buddy on the fb you probably
read this, so bear with me,
but hannah and i were discussing compost, recycling and trash.
asking me what to do with different things,
shattered glass,
metal,
a broken ball, etc.
she then asked,
"what if you have a chicken and you are holding a pair of scissors
while you are holding your chicken and you accidentally cut off
its feet?"
she fell into hysterics.
and yes,
i told her compost.

and now back to the heat...

Friday

to share this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


linking with amanda

Wednesday

to be wanted and to want

we used to sing under star filled skies,
voices joined together bringing john denver,
neil young and other folk singers into our
bed time routine.
and i was always enamored by my daddy and
his song,
floating away in what i thought was the most
beautiful
voice,
and i would wonder why he became a lawyer and
not a singer and
once he whispered to me,
"it's because i wanted you."

and he did,
want me.
through all the turmoil and upheavel
divorce, moves, remarriages,
i never doubted
being wanted.
i knew i was loved.

and when the later years began and
blood ran from cuts down arms and
stomach remained empty for days,
when over emotional teenager sat on
couch after couch and
listened to doctor after doctor,
i still knew.
and they always said i was searching,
i was lonely,
i felt abandoned and
unwanted and
i always told them,
no.
i am wanted.
i am loved.
they tried to convince me all my problems
were rooted
in divorce,
but i said no.
my daddy loved me.
my mama loved me.
my step parents loved me.
and they all
wanted me.

i knew i was loved.
i just didn't know i was loved
by my Creator,
my Father and those doctors,
they never asked about that.

but i learned.
and when i did,
all those emotional outbursts and actions,
they fled.
they fled when His love broke through,
broke through heart which bled in desperation and
soul that was starved,
emaciated from lack of communion with the Lover of my soul.

i knew i was loved.
i knew i was wanted.
by mama,
by daddy and
by Him.

i called my daddy the other day.
just to say hello.
i didn't leave a message but when he saw
the missed call he ran out of
his deposition to return it.
he asked if everything was okay.
because he loves me.
when i assured him that it was and
i was just saying hello he told me
he would call later.
then he asked, {half}joking,
"are you pregnant?!"
ha!
nope, but...
mine are loved.
mine are wanted.
by me, by their daddy,
by Him.

and i will make sure they always
know it.