Endless Gifts

A quick stop at Courtney’s and then all the world rimmed in gold

An armful of purple mums, an oblong plum I misplaced and then found again

tutoring hours and faithfulness

tea lattes on a rain-splattered Saturday with Nathanael

Friday night soccer game fun: the excitement when they return from the winning game and the memories round the table

Daily school rhythms rolling

Todd’s Stromboli

The week ahead: we take up the full mantle of fall; of the school year- their excitement to be back in all things. Their joy in the familiar rhythms of their childhood/growing up life.

A doctor appointment pressing me deeper to tend to myself

last ACT practice test

Our online classes especially Micah’s AP literature class… if I was on my phone I was post a stream of heart-eyes. ūüôā A hundred loves for this one. Pure delight in its reality being exactly what I hoped.

A gifted heart mug that is warming me inside and out.

College applications and counselor letters and school profile documents that make me cry

Chocolate chip muffins for a first day breakfast

working my way back toward candle rhythms and music rhythms and clean up rhythms…slowly

Sunday dinner round the table & candles & happiness

Waffles and Maple Syrup

Little truffles that please them

His bright eyes and energy peering at me over the tumult

September’s golden honey sunshine

 

 

 

 

 

1 Samuel 28; Ezekiel 7; 1 Corinthians 9; Psalm 45

I am at 66 books today! I usually post the first and third Mondays of the month. I have missed linking here a couple of times.

Join me?

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
8 All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir. NASB

Blessings,

Rebecca

1 Samuel 26; 1 Corinthians 7; Ezekiel 5; Psalm 42, 43

Nathanael is at 66books today!

‚ÄúAs a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.‚ÄĚ Psalm 42:1

Psalm 42 begins with vivid declaration of the author’s want and need for God. Just as the tired and thirsty deer needs cool, flowing streams to quench its thirst, I too need God to quench the longing and desires of my heart.

Join him there?

-Rebecca

Mentoring Mondays: Mission of Motherhood Chp 3 Part 1

Our first school day ¬†is almost entirely “in the books” and I am pleased to say: all is well. Forward motion. On, on.

Mentoring Mondays… Love to all.

All quotes from 2003 Waterbrook Press

Chapter 3: An Undivided Heart

Each week, when I work on the post for this series, I sit with my book in hand. I ponder and I recommit, every time. And right now, I am pondering that all the things I know in my head do not mean much if I do not put those things into¬†action in my life. ¬†For me, this naturally coincides with my school planning and schedule/routine making for the upcoming school year. We have been in the generalized upheaval of unusual summer commitments and plans. It is all going so quickly. So, I am going to be spending some time reflecting and making some plans so that the actual work-a-day life I live reflects the ideals and convictions of my heart. I am grateful for this freedom. I am grateful for this life. Refresh my heart, and make it undivided-ly yours and full force forward into this calling you’ve given me, O Lord.

The first thing the Bible tells us about committing to motherhood is that we need to be aware of what we are doing when we make our choices.  Proverbs 14:1 tells us that the wise woman builds her house and the foolish tears it down with her own hands. The Hebrew word that is translated as house really has three different meanings in the Old Testament- an actual, physical dwelling; a home or household; and a heritage. I think the context in Proverbs 14 refers more to a heritage of godly children. And the clear implication is that the process of building our heritage requires wise attention. pg 52

These days, I am more aware than ever of so much that needs my wise attention.

A second important thing Scripture tells us about our commitment as mothers has to do with the eternal significance of our choices. Matthew 6:20-21 encourages us: “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” We are instructed to set our hearts on choices with eternal results, not choices with only temporal significance.

It is a sobering realization to ponder that my commitment and choices have eternal ramifications. Where is my treasure? Where is my heart? The Lord, Himself, knows the fullest depths of the answers to these questions. He can sound the fathoms.  Lord, help me make choices with eternal results and not just temporal significance. Help me lead my children in Your Way.

How do we make the commitment to give the area of motherhood over to God as a sacrifice of worship to him? We yield our personal rights into his hands. We give up our time and expectations to him- and also our fears and worries about how we will manage. We trust him to take care of us and our family. We let him direct our thinking and expectations and adjust our dreams. And we wait in faith to see the fruit of our hard labor in the lives of our children, knowing that he will be faithful to honor our commitment to him.

As my children grow older, I often find myself flummoxed. So many years nursing and tending very small ones… so many years physically nurturing babies and toddlers. And now, my baby is 4. Almost 4.5. I need to breathe. Coming up for air looks so different from what I expected or thought it would. Worshiping God through the commitment of giving myself, my life, to Him is the same heart response in every season- just different manifestations- I think. ¬†Yielding my personal rights still needs to be my response. Sometimes it is harder for me now. Easier to yield when flooded with hormones and a soft bundle in my arms…. than now when facing hormones (flooding the tall, stretching forms before me) and my own self rising up in new and strident ways. For me. ¬†Now, when I seem to be ever so much more tired in deeper ways than I ever was before. Yielding now, in the season of ministering to teens. Help me walk in wholehearted commitment to You, Lord, and please show me what that means and how it should look in the borders of this life of mine. My very own life.

Psalm 86

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.NIV

 

Isaiah 35

3Strengthen the weak hands,
and make firm the feeble knees.
4Say to those who have an anxious heart,
“Be strong; fear not!
Behold, your God
will come with vengeance,
with the recompense of God.
He will come and save you.‚ÄĚ ESV

On the start of this New Year 2017

This year’s notebooks- mine included, all loaded and ready to go for Monday.

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I am starting my 13th year of homeschooling.  I am starting my first senior year. I began when my darling(now seventeen) was four and his eager, precocious mind will forever be bound with mine as I cherish the memories of wonder and everything new. We are knit together in stories, in words, in love, in life. It has been a journey we all take together. I am grateful.

 

This year, more than any other, I find myself apprehensive. I am finding myself purposefully having to turn my heart and mind. I am finding myself full on in a season I could have never predicted or understood. Just like every season, really- as I recollect.

 

The world is spinning and I am spinning with it. Forever. Unending.

 

I find myself crying. I find myself choked. I find myself stretching out and breathing in the boundary places the Lord has established for me. I find myself rising up, determining to keep living priorities of my heart.

 

No one could have/can prepare me for the college applications, the classes, the world expanding life of these years. No one could have prepared me for letting go. Is it easier because there is still so much life in this home to nurture, to educate, to raise? To disciple, to influence, to mentor? To build traditions, to strew beauty, to love? No. It is not easier. It is one hard, each day daily walk.

 

And as I let my heart expose and as I reckon all the feels-

I know the only place for me is in Him. Forever stable. Forever refuge. Forever known and to know. All the riches and treasures of life. In Him. No matter the season. No matter the year. No matter the day at hand.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 16:5-8 NIV

This year, I have been confronted with a life outside my own in new ways. I have seen the visual of a calling other than mine. And it takes a lot of will to turn my gaze back at the messy beautiful that is mine. And breathe deep. Embrace.

 

This year, I need a fresh infusion of vision and a single-eyed determination.

 

As I struggle with the weight of all my life, I need the wherewithal to be still and small at the Lord’s feet.

 

Homeschool Mama, be with me as we step into this new year?

It helps to know I’m not alone.

 

How are you feeling at the start of this new year?

-Rebecca

 

Endless Gifts

The roll of thunder outside my window and the comfort of my quilt

Morning Meeting plans and weekly schedules coming into focus

Quiet time with 66books

A year later wellness visit -and all the strength and joy in my girl

One last week of summer and it is okay; it is good

Meters on the rower – again, again

Finally, podcast listening…little bit by little bit

Orientation night and friends; time with Todd

Face to face and keeping it real

A day with my Mom; a day with my little nieces and nephew

The rising anxiety and heart cry pressing me to pray and seek God’s face; the deep things rising- I feel choked. I feel it. And this is a gift- because it presses me to Him; because the rising witnesses the waking and the waking is real; not numb; not dull and deadened. Tingling, albeit painfully, and alive.

promise of provision

inspiration toward home

raspberry tea and chocolate chip cookies; Girl Club

A heart toward books…

sticky rice in the rice cooker

A full pantry

Finding these gifts has shown me hurts and missing; lack of center and settledness- I write them anyway and I press on.

Psalm 138:8 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.

 

 

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Endless Gifts

 

66 Books and More

I am at 66 books today… with some thoughts on ambush and illumination.

Judges 21; Acts 25; Jeremiah 35; Psalm 7; Psalm 8

 

Multiples Illuminated Vol 2 -from toddlers to tweens released Friday, August 4. It then rose to number one bestseller! My essay is published in this anthology. Squeeeeee!

Just released

I am still writing and (planning) to post Mentoring Monday posts- even though I have missed a Monday (or two)…

I am delighted to share that Nathanael is posting on 66 books once a month and you can find his first post here:

Judges 19; Acts 23; Jeremiah 33; Psalms 3,4

 

I recently completed the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson in a whirlwind read -fest. Quarantined with pink eye helped the cause. I really enjoyed this series for three reasons. 1.) My son (Asher) absolutely insisted that I read them and then discuss. ¬†Forever endeared to me for that reason alone 2.) I have been encouraged, inspired, and blessed by Andrew Peterson’s work and was intrigued to explore his fiction writing. 3.)The books were mind-expanding.

Some fearful/scary elements, violence, suspense, and loss are featured- so herein is my disclaimer and parental heads-up.

I want to read them again. More slowly this time. Good talks on story structure, world building, consistency with characters, and more…not to mention the multi and many layered world to explore and learn in more depth and detail.

Some Endless Gifts…

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Pool days

Todd’s visit with grandparents

A Canvas screen that shows a grade of B! M. Tax.!?!?

the four of us; late night in chairs and memories…and the laughter

Visiting Colin’s house and the thunderstorm; time on the porch

The sweet weekend treats

Delicious dinners

Meals around the picnic table

a long talk on the front step

Celestial Seasonings Chai- Indian Spice (Decaf) – so good

Melodee- and her truly amazing skills with the Nintendo Switch.  And I ponder: what giftedness and skill set is reflected here? She holds her own with all ages.  She is a champion.

On the sly, stealth-like rowing on my Dad’s Erg

My Mom- taking me to Urgent Care and helping me.  Thanks Mom-  dealing with the stress of finding an appropriate place to go and then relocating in the midst when one place was actually not covered by insurance.

Cousins

Precious friends to share Saturday

Good/normal test results

Little girl dance class with Nikki

An Eagle Project in progress

melty hot cookie bar with chocolate chunks and a cup of coffee

Getting ready for a new school year.

A 100 Chart Complete- Yay! Joshua!!!

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Tomorrow there is soccer practice, high school co-op orientation, twin wellness appointments, and evening dance and 3 on 3. On, on.

Pondering life, slowness, commitments, and a new school year. Bible time, water, exercise, and finances.

This is an email newsletter that drops into my inbox with a well of refreshment, encouragement, and comfort. Middle Mercies.   It has been grace to me.  I know I am fully in transition as the seasons of my life have irrevocably changed.

-Endless Gifts-

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Things They Say

I

I am settling little girls to rest time… sitting on a chair in the office, task focused to get everything settled- when suddenly, a little blond girl pops up…. hair rumpled, blue eyes alight… and she says,

“Mommy, that’s Joshua! Joshua’s fluting!” Sure enough… strains of flute music practice can be heard over the air purifier and the music am I trying to start on the computer..

“Fluting” – The Things They Say

II

Driving down the last road before the turn of our development, several of us have been delighted to observe ground hogs. Big ones, and babies. Tucked in the grass, on the roadside. Munching.

Recently- ¬†two teens …one newly fledged and one, the oldest… and Joshua… passing by this spot with me as we head home:

Suddenly, delighted exclamation:

“Look Josh! A Beaver!!” And the sweet one really meant it.

Oh!!! How we laughed and laughed.

The little husky ground hog was upright munching grass. Our beaver.

The Things They Say

The Things They Say

I am at the coffee pot and it is a morning flurry. The day before a trip. A day full of running teen-agers places: jobs, lessons. I have dough in the mixer and a fresh blueberry cake in the fridge. The counter is a crumble. Little girls are spinning through the minutes.

It is time to go and I am hurriedly making a coffee travel cup. Last minute sunscreen applications are happening. Littlest one decides to ride with me on the first venture of the day. She gathers her juice; her snack… and then I hear…

her confident voice rising,

“Let’s move it!”

(Did she really just say that? She did!!)

She’s ready and she’s rallying.

How I laugh! And we laugh.

“Let’s move it!”

The Things They Say

 

Six!

Our twins are six! There was a request for a snowflake cake. There was a request for a rainbow cake. There was a request for a “…rectangle cake, Mommy. Not a small cake. A rectangle cake for each of us.” Grin. We had fun decorating these beauties. I found rainbow decorations at Target. Perfection.

Twins Dinner
Hot dogs (pigs in a blanket), carrots, special sauce, chicken nuggets, french fries
“Snowflake Cake”
Chocolate cake with white snowflake icing
“Rainbow Cake”
Chocolate cake with strawberry icing and rainbows and strawberries

James 1:17 NASB

17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or [a]shifting shadow.