Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

December is one of those months that can catch us off guard. There are so many things to do and see. We have attended kids' concerts and programs. We have shopped and wrapped. We have eaten ourselves silly and played games, even sillier, with our friends. It has been fun and I have worked hard to keep the busy hustle of the world at bay as much as possible. There was a week or so that was extra crazy, but the final two of the month we are blissfully enjoying in the comfy quiet of our home and in simple fun with our kids.

Some say Christmas is all about being together with family. Christians say, no, no, it is about Jesus, and of course it is! However, there is great merit in the together time of this special season. Our friends and our families bring us laughter and refreshment and often some much needed encouragement (and tears, I know, sometimes tears...). Christian family members sharpen and encourage our faith. Non-believing ones remind us to be bold in our witness and diligent in prayer. There is also much to be said for simply reconnecting with the ones with whom God has blessed us. During Christmas we catch up with each other and we remind our loved ones that we are there for them and they for us. If your family is like ours, you have loved ones who are excitedly anticipating great new things this new year and others who are prayerfully hoping for less change and more stability.

We are praying for jobs and good health and restoration for many we know. We are thankful for God's continued provision in our own household.

As we look ahead to 2010 (even writing that date feels like an entry in a sci-fi book!) we pray for God to continue His work in us. We know that He may choose things for us that we would never choose for ourselves, but we pray for His hand to be continually upon us, holding us up, guiding us on the path He has laid out before us.

What will your new year look like? As we finish out these last days of December, my prayer for you all is that you will join me in purposing to hug my kids more, especially the big ones, and take more time to hold my husband's hand. I want to hold my busy schedule with open hands before the Lord each day, asking Him to edit is as He sees fit. I want to want what He wants. Will you join me in asking Him for that?

Monday, November 30, 2009

December Dawning

Can it be December? September days were full of freshly sharpened pencils and shiny new two-pocket folders. Fresh, tart-sweet apple cider washed down our October days and cups of frothy hot treats accompanied our many days at the soccer field. Our fall went sailing past us on the ever cooling winds of the changing season. But November seems to have escaped me altogether! Have you seen my Veteran's Day? My National Peanut Butter Month? ;0) I blinked and we seemed to have leaped right off the neighbor's doorstep (trick or treat anyone?) right into our seat at a heavy laden dinner table! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Were you, like us, more stuffed than the turkey when the last drip of gravy was swiped off the table!

In spite of my apparent daze last month, we have landed in the precious month of our Savior's birth and I don't intend to miss a thing. The kids eagerly opened their first advent treat yesterday. They, like me, wish to savor every delectable minute of this special season.

How will you purpose to enjoy these next weeks? Will you carefully read your way through the book of Luke (did you know there are 24 chapters? Perfect for one per day until Christmas!) Will you open a special advent calendar each morning, counting down the days until the much anticipated 25th? Perhaps you will use your December weekends to go on a Christmas light tour, do some shopping, walk about your neighborhood caroling, hailing the newborn King! Whatever you do, may I challenge us all to make our plans carefully, choosing wisely the things that will bring our families together, and will point everyone to the One whose miraculous birth we celebrate? Join me in a slow, steadfast resistance to the bustling pace of the world around us this Christmas season!

Christmastime is here. Let's keep our eyes on the heavens, glorying in every precious snowflake on our faces, each sent by the One who drew us to Himself through His perfect Son.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Comfortable Hush

I am whispering so as not to disturb the peace. This week we have had a blanket of germ induced rest, a respite from the clamoring world at our door. It is not as strange as it sounds. We have cleaned and disinfected with the rest of the world, so you will not find a Q on our door, although quarantine is precisely the state in which we have found ourselves. We have had sick kids this week, which resulted in cancellations and hibernation, all to our general quiet and comfortable hush. My calendar for September and October looked like an old fashioned newspaper, all black and white, smudgy in spots, busy with text and crammed with information. Those papers of old were great for sharing information and keeping one up to speed, but sadly lacking in readability, or visual appeal. Many a day in October I could be found rifling through the drawer searching for the elusive fine point white board marker so I might squeeze yet one more tiny reminder on a reluctant, albeit accommodating, calendar square. Please don't misunderstand. I blame nobody for the whirling pace of fall. It was one blustery day after another and the constant traipsing and traveling in most cases could not be helped. Also, please don't think that I was secretly excited to have sick children. Those of my friends who know me best, know how I crave peace and, like my friend Jane, consider nothing better than staying home for real comfort. However, I do not relish feverish brows or wracking coughs and I snuggle my children, as do the rest of you, praying for speedy recovery. I must admit to thoroughly enjoying our collective sigh when the answer to, "What do we have going on today" was a simple, "we're staying home and staying in our cozies." Life will return to normal, and I use the term loosely. The soccer schedule is winding down to a quiet din and for a moment we pause and breathe before the holidays inch their way onto church and school schedules. Christmas party did you say? Choir concert? What's that you say? Family get-together? I'm sorry. I can't hear you over the hush of chapter books and board games, lego creations and long naps.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Radical Transformation

The leaves are turning. I love autumn, with its colorful dance and crisp revelry. Like peacocks displaying their finery and vying for attention, the maples dazzle with their fiery reds, daring the other trees to match their display. The gold and orange and even purple that greets me when I step outside reminds me yet again that nothing in God's creation is stagnant. Creation is constantly changing, drawing our attention to God' handiwork in new ways. The season we're in also reminds us that the grass withers and the flowers fade but the Word of God stands forever. He alone is eternal. He Himself is a fixed point, and yet He is constantly working and making changes in us. Jesus turned water into wine, death into life, slave into free, lost into found, stranger into son. He is able to transform my life for His glory like he transforms the bright greens of summer into the varied and vibrant hues of fall. However, unlike the leaves, which eventually fall and die, the life that Jesus gives is an abundant one that is eternal, that never fades. I praise Him for this glorious, glowing season and thank Him for His redemptive work on the cross, transforming me into one whom He calls His own, and clothing me in His finery.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)

There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. (Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis)

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines. (Madeline, Ludwig Bemmelmans)

When he was nearly thirteen my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.(To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee)

The first line of a great book is like the first few words of an interesting conversation. That for which we hope in a story or a friendship is the same. We want to be drawn in and have our hearts touched. For those of us who are lovers of the written word, when we first read sentence after sentence that entice us, we have high expectations for a delicious adventure between the pages in our hands. For those of you who thrive on relationships, you love the taste of conversation on your lips, for it is sweet to you and you savor the moments spent with a kindred spirit.

Today was a special first for my daughter, who stepped into academia today. Scoff if you like at my referring to Kindergarten in the same way one might name the hallowed halls of their college alma mater, but it truly promises to be a year rich with learning for her. Today she entered the sticky sweet world of glue-sticks and story time, but at the end of the year, she will emerge a READER! What delightful little delicacies await her.

The first line of her story was written long ago, and Jesus Himself holds her future in His hands. May He alone write the story of her life on her heart. May she [fix her eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of her faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2]

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Fun

Sand between my toes (and in my bathing suit, but no harm done)
Underwear for the two and a half year-old (who am I kidding - he says he doesn't want to sit on the potty, but I sure would like to get over this hurdle this summer!)
Miles of beach for excavation and architecture and building (read: sandcastles)
Miles of fresh water for jumping, swimming, splashing, cooling off - aaahh!
Extended evenings for peaceful lounging (love that long lasting daylight - but wait - it is almost bedtime for the kids! Yikes! Am I the only one for whom that sneaks up in the summer?!)
Riding bikes all over town just because we can (Ace Hardware has free popcorn - seems like a good enough reason for an outing to me!)

amily time (Monday nights at the beach anyone? Bring your own meat to grill and a dish to pass...)
USA network (I know this is lame, but I am addicted to this show called In Plain Sight - about the witness protection program - love Mary McCormack)
Nothing on the calendar (there are far more of these days lately and we are loving it!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The kids and I enjoyed a perfectly blissful four and a half hours at the beach today. The water was surprisingly warm, the sun was ever-so hot, the sky its dutiful blue. As always I sink my toes into wet sand and my senses are filled with so many little treasures of distant but not forgotten days when I was the little one playing in the gentle surf, getting sand in all manner of places! What a treat to see my own children enjoy the rhythmic waves, the soft sand, the coolness of Lake Michigan. Even the greedy gulls cannot snatch us out of this cocoon of hazy, lazy summer fun! They may sneak a sandy crust of peanut butter sandwich or the cheesy remains of a scattered Cheeto after we leave, but for now the pleasure is all ours! We giggle and jump as we strip off our T-shirts, toss our flip flops and splash our way into the lake for the first time. I well remember the feeling of sheer joy and sweet contentment that I see on their sunscreen and sand streaked faces and I am pleased to say that even this thirty-something mother of four was able to set aside the demands of a busy household for a few hours and bask in the glow of a perfect June day! Praise God for this flawless view from my beach chair! Thank you, Father, for the coolness of the fresh water on my sun kissed skin. We will go to bed tonight with a bit of sand in our hair, a hint of warmth on our pink shoulders, and the sweet call of birds and waves and other revelers echoing in our sleepy heads. Here's to a day of accomplishing nothing at all and enjoying every minute of it!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Take 5

As many of you know, I have had a few opportunities to speak in front of groups such as MOPS, and I have been asked to give the same particular talk at a women's conference in September. I am humbled and excited about this opportunity to once again share some things from my heart with a group of ladies. As I prepare and pray this summer, I am asking God to fill me with His grace and truth and to protect me from the evil one who delights in coming between God's people and the work to which He has called them.

The topic of my talk is loving and encouraging one's husband and I use chocolate to help make my points. If you have not heard it, I won't spoil it by telling more here (look for more information here is August about the conference), but as I prayed for my husband this afternoon, I decided to share with you one of the most important points I will share with the ladies in September.

Pray for you husband! Consider these five points as you intercede for him.
1 - Pray for his relationship with God: If he is a believer, praise God for that and if he isn't pray for his salvation and pray that he would find in you a woman who fears the Lord and who provides a quiet example of godliness that might win him without words; pray that he would do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God; pray that he would be a man after God's own heart; pray that he would seek forgiveness when necessary; pray that he would hunger and thirst after righteousness; pray that he would find time in his busy schedule to spend time in prayer and in God's word
2 - Pray for him as he leads your family: pray that he would step up and be the spritual leader God has called him to be; pray that you would recognize that only God can stir his heart and give him the desire to do this and no amount of nagging on your part will ever do it; pray for godly men to come alongside him and encourage him in this area and keep him accountable
3 - Pray for his protection from temptation and sin: pray for a hedge about your marriage and family; pray that your husband would not be decieved by the lies of the world that offers pleasure with no price; pray that he would have Christian coworkers and Christian friends who would encourage him to walk the path God has placed before him rather than be lead astray by the lies of Satan and those who seek to destroy; pray that he will carefully weigh the consequences of his actions; pray for his thought life, that it would be pure
4 - Pray for him in the workplace: pray that he will be bold in his witness for the cause of Christ; pray that he will be a man of integrity, one to whom his coworkers look as an example and from whom they take encouragement; pray for his reputation, that he would be known for his honesty and trustworthiness, his skill and dependability; pray that he will be a hard worker known to put everything he has into his job when he is at his job, but that he would not become a "workaholic"; praise for continued provision in his job, or for the provision of a job!; pray that it would be known in his workplace that he is a godly man who loves and is faithful to his wife
5 - Pray for his physical health and safety: pray for protection as he travels back and forth to his workplace; pray that he will remain healthy so he can continue to care for and provide for your family; pray for continued strength and praise God if your husband is healthy and able to take care of you; pray that none of you would take this for granted and pray that you would remember that there are men who are not able to work or care for their families this way and that each day of strength and health is a gift from our Creator and Great Physician

As the kids and I embark on three months of vacation, and we watch my husband go off to work each day, my hope for myself is that God would remind me daily to bring my husband before my Father in prayer. I am thankful for him and need to remember to praise God for him and pray for him regularly.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I offer my long absence from this keyboard as evidence that I have had a busy few weeks! My husband and I have decided that May rivals December for the most busy month. Calendar squares sport scribbled engagements and scrawled events until there is no more room to be found! Do you find your spring equally hectic? I say, bring on the lazy hazy days of summer! Yes - bring THEM ON!

In the hustle of programs and projects, field trips and field days, graduations and grandparents days, spring soccer and Saturday showers (the bridal and baby variety), I have discovered a few questions rolling around in my foggy brain along with dates and time, deadlines and destinations.

Here they are at complete random (not sure I have the braincells to organize them at this point!)

How is it possible that my fifth grader is still forgetting to take his trumpet to school? They have been at this for a good nine months now...

Who keeps using up all the toothpaste/toilet paper/Kleenex/milk/cereal/bread when I feel like we are NEVER HERE?

Isn't it too much to ask for my family to expect to be fed three times a day? Really.

When the squirrel eats a hole in the blue plastic garbage bin, isn't his little tummy too full to eat the refuse within? What is the point, then, of all that work?

Why does my boys' room smell like a bologna sandwich (we don't even eat bologna!)

How can it be 32 degrees and 72 degrees all in one day? Is God joking? I know He has a great sense of humor. I have four children.

Why is the maid such a slacker on the stuff that I hate to do the most? (Emptying the dishwasher, putting away clean laundry) Doesn't she know she is making it that much more bothersome for me? (You understand, that she is a hypothetical maid that has yet to show her face or fanny)

Why can't teachers at one school talk to each other so I don't have to choose which field trip to attend on an given day?

Why do I still have to get on the treadmill, when it feels like I have been on one all week?

When I do work out, why do I want to take a nap when I am done - where are those endorphins that are supposed to energize me?

How does my husband still think I am beautiful when I know I need a shower/clean shirt/swipe of lipstick? (I know...because he loves me - still, it is great and it boggles my mind!)

Why do I get to live in this great country full of freedoms that people had to die to ensure?

Why did God choose to bless me so abundantly?

Why do I forget to trust HIM?

Why do I sometimes neglect my time with God, when I know that is the most important thing I can do with my time?

Why does my two year-old talk so much about the potty, but can't seem to actually use it?

Why is a bed of lettuce and greens with some veggies and dressing so much yummier when someone else makes it (like at a restaurant)?

Why does my neighbor still have a Christmas wreath on her front door?

When do I get to take a nap???

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cleansing Prayer

Tonight my hard working husband is working late (much to his sadness, he is missing the NCAA Championship game in which his Alma Mater is playing!)When bedtime approached, and our ten year-old reminded me that he needed to shower, I decided to cut hair (10 and 7) and bathe everyone! This serves me well because I don't have to try to remember who is due for a wash behind the ears before they reach a point where they could grow potatoes back there! So, I put the 10 year-old in the separate shower stall and the 7 in the big tub in the master bath. The 4 year-old went in the tub in the guest bath and the 2 went in the kids' bathroom tub. This turned out to be a great plan! There was no hot water left when it was all done, but everyone was washed and scrubbed and in their pj's by 8:30 (this is later than normal, but it is vacation time after all!).

Something else I did while they were swimming and splashing in colored water (love those tub-tint tabs!) was scrub four toilets and wipe mirrors, scour sinks and floors. This is a great use of my time and it is a trick I learned a long time ago.

The most important thing I did while forty little fingers and forty little toes got pruney, was pray. Here's how I did it.

Toliets: (wow - is it that hard to aim for and hit the water in the bowl?) Please, God, protect the purity if my children. May they not be taken captive by the deception of the world, lead by the Father of lies. May they understand that they are created in Your image, that their bodies are meant to be temples, and may they guard their purity carefully, saving themselves for their future spouse. May they not be victims of those who would hurt them. May they not be tempted to be flippant about their bodies. May they be modest.

Mirrors: (the splatter of soap bubbles battles the toothpaste for center stage) Please, Father, protect the way my children see themselves. May they not be fooled by a world that tells them that their worth comes from what they do or what they see in the mirror. May they know that the only identity that matters is the one that they have, or can have, as a child of the King! May they like what they see. May my daughter be glad she is a girl, and may she understand that being pretty is fleeting but a woman who loves and fears God is truly beautiful. May my boys be glad they are boys and may they grow up to be men who are proud to stand up for what is right and good and true.

Sinks: (the blue toothpaste wins here, get me a chisel!) Please, Lord, may the words on their lips be kind and pure. May the meditations of their hearts be pleasing to God because Your word says that out of the heart the mouth speaks. May my children speak up for truth, for what is right, and for those who need a champion. May they use their words to build each other up and encourage others. May they learn early that it is better to listen before we speak and sometimes it is better not to speak at all. May they grow up to have God's words pouring forth from their lips because they have spent time memorizing scripture so they will always be ready to give an answer for why they believe and do what they believe and do.

Floor: (I have to wait until the rooms are empty - my socks get soaked from the 2 year-old's bath) Please, God, may they walk the path of righteousness. May their steps be sure and set on the solid Rock of Jesus. May they run from temptation. May they run to things that are good and lovely and honest. May they be the first to arrive for a hard days' work and the last to leave. May they be healthy and active. May they delight in following the path You set before them and may they constantly seek to stay on it.

Towels: (Now they are all hung, dripping their blue or purple or green tinted water, having done their cozy drying jobs) Please, Father, may You wrap them in Your love, may they be sure of Your presence, may they never doubt that You are with them. May they be certain that they are loved by You and that they are loved by us. May they know the warmth of our home and our family and may they always come home to us.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ten Things

There's a silly teenager movie called 10 things I Hate about You. (Yes, I have seen it - I happen to enjoy silly romantic comedies of all kinds) Of course, the hero and heroine fall in love. Theirs is a love/hate relationship. They have chemistry. They have spice. They explore the best and worst of each other and come out with the expected happily ever after that I enjoy every time.

I have a love/hate relationship with spring. The season so often personified as a blossoming, blooming young thing full of promise is not my favorite. It is cold and wet and just for fun (it is currently 39 degrees and raining - can you tell?) I have made a list like the movie's title;

10 things I hate about spring

1 Mud - the snow is melted and beneath those mammoth piles lie inches of winter sludge, just waiting for an energetic two year-old to step in (my energetic two year old)

2 Rain - this is no refreshing summer rain I am talking about, but the kind that soaks into my jeans and sweatshirt at an early soccer game and gives me bad hair for the rest of the day

3 Brown - There is no green in my spring yet. We have bare trees and piles and piles of wet, ice-crusted oak leaves that fell after the snow flew

4 Busy - the calendar is ramping up with end of year programs and projects, conferences and concerts, and indoor soccer isn't over and outdoor has begun!

5 Cold - it may be sunny, but yesterday it was 28 degrees.

6 Middle - mine is thick from warm winter comfort food and cup after cup of hot cocoa

7 Floods - people all over the country are contending with swollen rivers, pregnant with rain water and melted snow and ice - in my little corner of the world, the floods are on the pants of my kids, who have no suitable clothes to wear because they have grown six inches over winter

8 Yard Work - see #3

9 Coats - the kids have holes in elbows, gloves, boots, and yet it is too cold for no coat, no matter what they would like to think when they see the sun finally shining

10 Squirrels - they have eaten a hole in the top of my blue roll-to-the-curb garbage can (not sure what this has to do with spring, but...)

Okay - If you know me at all, you know I am not really much of a complainer. I am actually quite content! It was actually hard for me to come up with ten things up there. I could have summed it up with cold and wet, and I know this, too, shall pass! Where I live, the spring comes late, stays briefly and makes way for an awesome summer, so why am I whining? :0)

10 things I love about spring
1 Walking/running - outside instead of on the treadmill - hallelujah!
2 Kids - riding bikes and playing with sidewalk chalk
3 Dates - this has nothing to do with spring, but I just had a date with my husband and I loved it ;0)
4 Flowers - I bought my first pansies last week!
5 Cleaning - I love the smell of fresh lavender in my house after I have mopped and scoured and wiped with Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
6 Purging - Hooray for sorting and sifting and getting ready for a spring yard sale!
7 Birds - they are everywhere! We had two bald eagles in one tree in our yard the other day!
8 Soccer - in spite of the busy practice and game schedule, our kids love it and it is so good for them!
9 Green - there are actually buds on some bushes and trees already!
10 Easter - Resurrection Sunday - I serve a risen Savior - no other religion on earth can say that! My faith is in the One who makes all things NEW!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Louisa May Alcott once said, "'Stay' is such a charming word in a friend's vocabulary." So true! As I ponder those words, which I currently have written on my chalkboard, I wonder how many opportunities we miss to invite a friend, new or old, to "stay." Here are three ways I intend to invite my friends to do just that in the weeks ahead:

Invite them to literally stay . Have dear friends come spend a weekend. Make sure to have fresh flowers in their room, a stack of fun magazines near a cozy chair, favorite snacks and pop on hand, treats for the kids (like fresh new sticks of sidewalk chalk and a tasty array of Popsicles!) and a planned outing to one favorite destination for the girls and a favorite "boy" movie for the guys. Make cinnamon rolls. Build a bonfire (hey - it's spring!) Eat S'mores. Stay up late. Take naps!

Invite them to temporarily stay. Have new friends, or ones we don't know well, over for dinner. Make easy, comfort food (maybe grill outside?). Set out a snack for nibbling while last minute details are pulled together. Set the table prettily, but not too much so. The object is to make them feel welcome and special, not intimidated or uncomfortable. Have a special dessert for the kids (ice cream sandwiches or frosted cookies to decorate?) Ask about their lives. Be interested. Invite them back again, and mean it.

Invite them to figuratively stay. Geography often keeps us from sitting at the counter sipping tea, or strolling through a quaint town with our dearest friends. I have friends all over the country and the ones nearest to my heart are hours away. So, how do I invite them to stay? This invitation is one that says, please stay a part of my life, no matter where you are! I send emails and post pictures on this blog. When it comes to snail mail, there are funny cards that make me laugh out loud, packages full or little things that make me happy or make me think of the fun friend, and there are magazines, read with a Sharpie in hand, so I can comment and poke fun or point out great ideas - it's like reading it together! With far-away friends, we talk on the phone - sometimes it's an hour of catching up, sometimes it is five minutes to share the delightful/silly/ghastly/obnoxious/wonderful thing we just saw/heard/ate. We plan visits and we share news. We stay a part of each other's lives because our hearts are bound together, but our days are not unless we make it so.

If you are reading this, then you are a friend. I am not sure in which of the above categories you fit (maybe all three!) but I want you to know I treasure you! If you have never eaten at our table. Come and sit a spell! If you have never napped on our porch swing, sit and stay awhile! If you have never laughed at a card I sent...well, just shame on me! ;0)

I invite you to stay, friend!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sigh...My Hero

Saturday morning found me kneeling in an inglorious position in front of my toilet. Some sort of stomach bug hit us in full force this weekend, attacking half of the family in 24 hours. This nasty creature showed no mercy and hit where it hurt right out of the gates - mom got sick first. This does not a happy Saturday make! My poor husband, who was feeling half-way to death himself with a brutal sinus infection and was planning on a weekend of rest and recovery, found himself rallying the troops and manning the house, the laundry, the soccer game, the sick me, and all while he would have much preferred to be the one with his hurting head under the covers. He, as is so often the case, was my hero this weekend. He was my knight in shining armor. By noon, my hero had battled my dragon with a script for an anti-nausea drug, crushed ice and water, and a quiet room, soft bed, and sweet solitude. Did I mention that he is my hero? By the end of the day he had been puked on, twice, by our two year old. He had been to the pharmacy, twice, for medicine and milk. He had done loads of laundry, prepared three meals, and the house was clean when I made my way down for the first time at 5:00 pm. He was sick. He was really sick. But, because he wasn't throwing up like some of us, he soldiered on. Did I mention that he is my hero?

This man of mine - he's a keeper.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Take Your Time

Are you like me in that you find yourself repeating the "hurry up!" mantra a gazillion times each day? After attempting to wake the kids for school, "hurry up - you need to get ready for school." When said kids are dressing/brushing teeth/fixing hair/eating breakfast, "hurry up - we need to get in the car." When gathering backpacks and snow stuff and trumpets and lunch boxes, "hurry up - we're going to be late." When gathering all of the same items and heading into the school building, "hurry up - there are people behind me."

The two little words follow me throughout my day. We hurry in and out of the grocery store, Target, the library, the post office, the dry cleaner. We hurry so we can get lunch and a nap squeezed in before it is time to head back to pick up kids at school. We hurry up so we can get chores and schoolwork done before dinner. We hurry up so we can clean up and play a bit before bed. The bedtime routine brings out the molasses again and those two icky words show up again. "Hurry up and brush your teeth, get your pajamas on, set your clothes out - you need to do your quiet time before you go to sleep." How can it take twenty minutes to brush fewer than twenty teeth in a mouth the size of a plum? Finally nestled in bed, the kids are quiet and at peace. I hurry myself through cleaning up the house so we can sit for a bit of peace of our own before my husband and I need to head to bed ourselves. Oh, how I hate "hurry up!"

What if, instead we replaced those two unpleasant words with three more delightful ones, "take your time." One of the things I love about Saturdays and vacations is that great "take your time" feeling that meanders along with us as we lolligag our way through the day. Praise God for Saturdays and vacations! Words like stroll and amble and wander, daydream and discover and wonder are sweet accompaniments to a day full of "take your time."

My challenge is to be intentional about getting more "take your time" into the other days of the week, because life is too short and busy days are too long though somehow the minutes race by me. I pray that I would remember that God gives us richly all things to enjoy - that He delights when I take delight in Him and there is no time to do this if His voice is drowned out by my own, impatiently repeating, "hurry up" (I wonder how often I say this to HIM when I am waiting on an answer or direction? Yikes!)

I pray you have more "take your time" days than "hurry up" days in your week and that you can make time to sit and sip tea with a favorite friend - or novel ;0), cozy up with a lap-full of lilliputians and beautiful books, or snuggle under a blanket with your husband, a bowl of popcorn and a great movie .

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The incongruity of a sunny blue sky and fat floaty snowflakes greets me today. Only God can give my eyes the feast of sun and snow in the same sky! Feathery clouds that are easily pushed on a harsh wintry wind are not usually the ones who carry in their depths the snow that currently dusts the drifts along the sidewalk. What a special blessing to have the showy dance of sun and snow, rays and flakes, winking their flirtatious way through the day today.

As I study the life of Moses this year, one of the many recurring themes is this special setting apart of a day for rest and worship to the Lord. How precious that He has chosen to bless me with the perfect setting for a long rest in a cozy spot by the window, relaxing and wondering at His delightful works.

May your day be one of rest and refreshment and may you find yourself the witness of the wondrous works of a Creative God who delights to share with us His beauty in the snow, His warmth in the sun, His power in the wind, and His playfulness in the joining of them all at once!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Over the weekend, we spent some time playing in the snow and walking on our frozen lake. There is something breathtaking about standing in a place that only months ago we were racing by in our boat. This time, instead of pulling a skier or kids on a tube, were bundled against the cold and had set out on foot.

At my husband's suggestion, I wore his ski gloves. He correctly pointed out that all of my pairs of gloves and mittens are equally fashionable and useless for a cold January day in the snow. They did not match my coat, but what did I care on an icy deserted lake with my family? A little bit of chivalry at work, ladies and gentleman.

The two older boys were the most pink cheeked of all due the the exertion of the sledding before our little walk on water. Their gloves were soaking, no doubt, on the outside, but the lack of complaints led me to believe that either they were numb from the onset of frostbite, or the cozy fleece lining was holding up.

My daughter insists on wearing crocheted (or are they knitted?) mitten, on which the snow encrusts almost instantly and makes a big frozen mess of her mittens to the point that it looks like she is carrying around big snow balls. The benefit, as she apparently sees it, is that she can snack on the icy snow that is now literally at her fingertips!

My youngest was clad in red and blue and his thumbs weren't even in the proper place in his mittens but he didn't care. What mattered to him was that his mittened hand was safe inside his daddy's big gloved one.

I am reminded that the snow out there on the frozen lake, unblemished by man nor beast, was last touched by God Himself. As I stood there and let that soak in, I was breathless and not just from the cold. The One who created me in His image, who sent His Son to live and die and live again so my heart could be as white as this snow, is the only One to have touched that fresh blanket of white out there. Awesome.

I pray that, like my tiny son, with his hand safely tucked inside his daddy's, I will not forget that my Father in Heaven draws me to place my hand in His and consider the wondrous works of God.

Enjoy the snow and remember to give praises to the One who made it.