There was a lot of bustle around out house yesterday. Making Cinnamon ornaments. Outlining the frame of our garage and front doors with tiny white lights. Cutting Christmas cookies. Getting our hands gooey and sweet with powdered sugar icing. There was a lot of doing.  There was a lot of being. And we were all together. I loved it. But it was the end of the day that I think I treasured most. The house was quiet–I could hear the ticking of our clock again….Continue Reading “Homemade and Slow”

Most of us know that Advent is a time to prepare. It is a special time set aside to prepare our hearts for Jesus’ coming. But we’d better not forget these either: Prepare the gifts for giving. Prepare the food for serving. Prepare the cookies for decorating. Prepare the tree for showcasing. Prepare the photos for sending. Prepare the songs for singing. Prepare the house for hosting. Prepare the clothes for wearing. I DO love the preparing. However, my head starts to spin and my…Continue Reading “Preparing to Prepare”

Oh praise Him/ Oh praise Him/ He is holy/ He is holy/ la la lala lala… That old song that I first heard when I was dating the man who would become my husband… That old song that we had seen in concert at least three times… That old song that I sang each night to my toddling first born as I put him down to sleep… I sung that old song tonight. That toddler is seven now: a boy who thrives on responsibility and…Continue Reading “Oh Praise Him”

Her sweet green eyes squinted up at me while her messy hair wisped over her shoulders. “So, when is it going to start?” We had been outside with the second grade class of Room 20 for the last fifteen minutes. The kids had looked through special glasses, mastered the use of tilt paper, and peeked through holes in shoe boxes. “It’s been happening,” I replied.  “Remember when it got kind of darker a few minutes ago? The moon has been passing in front of the…Continue Reading “That’s it?”

The kitchen was messy on Friday. The toaster was still on the counter from the morning. The clean dishes in the dishwasher needed to be put away so that the pile of dirty dishes in the sink could be cleaned. There were bagels next to the kindergarten homework folder… next to three half-full glasses of water with straws standing tall… next to a document I needed to return to my son’s preschool… next to the cantaloupe rinds that were supposed to be taken to the…Continue Reading “Haze”

I was alone in my friend’s kitchen, rinsing off strawberries and slicing them up to serve over ice cream, when I heard the topic for the group’s discussion announced: raising counter-cultural teenagers. Did I hear that right? Most of the people gathered were parents of babies, toddlers and 2nd-graders. Were we really talking about teenagers tonight? I was thankful to be in the other room so no one could see the fear behind my eyes. Parenting through the teen years is something I am scared…Continue Reading “Teenagers?!?”

My family and I were just returning from a long trip: an extended family reunion in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. Plane flights and shuttle buses and car rides and lots and lots and lots of family. July 4th was the first time we were riding in our own car in 11 days. It felt so good to be back in our old “friend”………. except for that moment that the warning light came on accompanied by a loud beep telling us that our rear tire was…Continue Reading “So Worried that you can’t say Anything”

Every mama needs a break. I’ve seen it in the faces of my friends this last month—that worn-down, pushed-to-my-limits face of needing rest. If she could just shut off her brain from her to-do’s, or stop feeling the guilt of “not good enough,” or have an hour of uninterrupted personal space, she could feel joy again. I learned recently about Working from Rest. So often we Rest from our Work, but I challenge you today to Work from your Rest. It’s a tricky mental shift,…Continue Reading “First: Rest”

Dear New Mom, I sit here, typing in the dark on the night that stands seven years removed from the first night I held  my firstborn son. I couldn’t get over the miracle of his life. I couldn’t get over how I was holding this person in my arms, who just hours before was a part of me. Now, he was quite himself and quite not a part of me. He was so perfect. A little bit of dark hair on that round head. Tiny little nose. Long, wrinkly…Continue Reading “Dear New Mom”

Sometimes, we are really bad at things we feel like we should be good at as parents. For example, I am really bad at putting my almost-two-year-old down for a nap. Not really bad as in I don’t do it or I put it off when I should, but really bad as in almost every time I try, he resists and I do not achieve my goal. I’m pretty sure it goes back way to the beginning of our history together, mamma and son, when…Continue Reading “Failing spaces”