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Beach Sunrise... Light and Perspective

(Written a little bit ago...)
Cool breeze.  Hot coffee.  The smell of salt water filling the air.   Walking along the beach this morning watching the beautiful sunrise. There were egrets, pelicans flying in perfect synchrony, and the dolphin show that lasted forever. I felt as if I walked with the dolphins this morning as they followed a school of flipping fish. It was a gift. A basically perfect morning sunrise experience.
Footsteps in the sand.  The crash of rolling waves in my ears. The glimmer of the sun on the water. And I am thinking about how she always popped up next to my bed- her golden blonde curls bouncing- tapping me relentlessly on the arm and saying, “Mommy, the sun is up! It’s time to get up!” It was my morning greeting from my early riser. And this morning by the beautiful ocean sunrise, the warmth of the memory fills me with smiles. And joy.
And there’s something about the way her little mouth curved into a smile and her laugh echoes so uncannily in my four-year-old bab…
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Family Vacations- Not for the Faint of Heart

Written June 17th… just a little late posting…
Family vacations are not for the faint of heart.  I mean there are always challenges along the way when a whole group of people… especially six people… plan to spend 24 hours a day for seven days together.  I’ve learned over the years that in my mind I build vacation up to the equivalent of heaven and then I am often disappointed when reality creeps in.  So after 17 years of marriage and five children, I have learned to buffer my expectations and plan on choosing a good attitude when things don’t go my way.  But this time.  I can’t even.  “Can’t even what?” you ask. A whole lot of things. And they all start with I can’t even.
And no.  I’m not talking about my wonderful, sweet family.  Just some crazy circumstances.
Let me back up a bit.  One of my goals this summer is to try to teach the kiddos more scripture memory verses. When I think about how little they’ve actually committed to memory and how we’re halfway to 16 for my twins, I almost p…

Cultivating Gardens... & Thankfulness

So this year the girls and I planted a garden.  A very small, raised garden.  Not because I have a green thumb, but because two of my littles told me it was their New Year’s resolution.  I can't go around shattering babies' dreams just because I hate to sweat- and I do hate to sweat.  I’m not really good at growing things (except kids I hope!), but I am very good at shopping!  And so once I got in the mode of buying plants, I’ve had a hard time stopping.  Now my tiny little slab of concrete that we call our back patio is covered in green!  Strawberry plants, herbs, and a few blooming things.  To my husband’s delight, even our beat up grill is covered in living things right now!                                           






A sweet friend gave me a beatuiful magazine called "Eden & Vine" whose tag line is cultivating beauty and truth.  I’ve been reading it out on my back porch with my coffee early before the day gets crazy, and an article about cultivating joy got my …

Matching dresses and Busted Plans…. Perhaps

We took pictures just like everyone else.  For the first time ever I bought us all matching dresses- I know with 8 year olds the time for that is running out- and by golly, we were going to at least get a picture of us all in them for Mother’s Day.  It turned out ok.  Not too shabby.  But the whole thing made me laugh on the inside at the irony.
You see it was totally staged.  Three of my littles had fever when we woke up on Mother’s Day.  I wanted to cancel Mother’s Day all together.   I was so sad we didn’t get to wear those matching dresses to church.  And I was so sad that the day before when we wore them to the mother daughter tea, and my baby was home sick, we didn’t manage to get a picture of at least those who were well enough to go.  I know… poor planning on my part.  So then Sunday afternoon I declared that the sick children were going to dress up and smile for at least a minute in my dining room.  There was push back.  There were tears.  There was pouting.  But we got that p…

Happy 13th Birthday Makiah!

Dearest Makiah,
This is a different sort of birthday letter for several reasons.  The first is that this Saturday, May 11th, would be your 13th!  I can’t believe you would have been a teenager today!  I can’t help but wonder what your sweet little face would have looked like now.  How tall would you be and would you be begging to wear makeup?  Your daddy and I would be 5 short years from having our first kid in college.  I’ve known from the day you went home that these wondering, missing you moments would come along and tap me on the shoulder begging for attention as long as I still have breath.  
As I type this I am sitting in a room at the preschool waiting to celebrate your baby sister Eliana’s 5th birthday with her class.  We are singing to her early because she is a summer baby.  I bought her the prettiest pull apart flower cupcakes… the ones she ooed and awwed over as she draped over the cooler in the Kroger bakery.  And there is a pang of sadness, and I blink back a few tears bec…

Dreams- Beyond the Laundry

So a few Fridays ago I went with my kindergartener on her school field trip to a farm.  At the end we had a picnic, and I was chatting with some moms while she played for almost 30 minutes with a ginormous, shaggy dog who lived on the farm.  One of the other moms snapped some pics of her and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.  Since this mom was anticipating veterinarian or something to do with animals, she was completely caught off guard when my sweet baby replied that she was going to work at a gas station!  And so was I!  I have heard dolphin trainer for the aquarium, orthopedic surgeon, but gas station worker was a first!  At her upcoming kindergarten graduation they will ask my little what she hopes to be when she grows up… I think I need to do some coaching before then!
Now don’t get offended.  Working at a gas station could be a perfectly respectable job (and owning it is a different thing altogether!), and I suppose the lure of free slushies all day might be a s…

Compassion, Forgiveness, and How Easter Changes Everything...

I have a guest post from a precious friend today.  On a typical day you can find her grabbing a Diet Coke and doing a beautiful job with the balancing act of work, mom, and Pastor’s wife.  And some days we are lucky enough to get a peek at what God is speaking to her as she writes about being BRAVE women over here on her blog at Life on Purpose.  Thanks for visiting here, Katie! Get ready to be encouraged and challenged....
I sit in my car, tears stream down my flushed cheeks, and I beg the Lord to heal the pain in my heart. I cry out to the only one that I know can make it different, make it better... the only one who's love is deep enough. He knows why I'm crying - He knows the longings of my heart - and He knows how the enemy has used this pain to try and get me to run back into the pit that I clawed my way out of. Sometimes it seems harder to stay out than it was to get out - when life happens and it hits the right nerve and opens the right door of opportunity - when the en…