Endless Gifts

It is Multitude Monday…
and my cup is running over.


Without further ado, I am finding evidences of grace in:

61.)- Lemon Lift Tea when I really, really needed a lift
62.)-Aroma of Baked Chicken filling the house… such a comforting smell and I am glad to bake joy with no fear
63.)-This book: For the Family’s Sake; amazing, comforting, like the Titus 2 mentor I long for…
64.)- The Gospel
65.)-Clean shower curtains; really clean and sweet smelling, too.
66.)-Light falling grace on a well-tended home; glancing on surfaces well-ordered
67.)-ringed round the table- me and the kids and we sing out our hearts, “Jesus Messiah Name Above All Names Blessed Redeemer- Emmanuel”
68.)-Beautiful children (and they are mine) standing in the the light of our doorway, together
69.)-Time out alone with Nate and he says, “No one would know it by looking at me Mommy, you wouldn’t know it by looking at me- but this is a completely new experience for me. I have never been in this restaurant before.” I grin. He is all eagerness and delight.
70.)-Kind words from a sweet friend. (Thank you.)
71.)-Grocery shopping alone and the confidence in which I navigate the aisles and the food…I am proud of how far I have come in living real life with IgE food allergies. It is grace to be in this place. Item after item into the cart… and- I am not afraid.
72.)-Ten, that is TEN women at the first YMCHE parent support meeting. Thank You.

holy experience


Roses (from last week)


Outside this day-
I walk hand in hand with Little One.
I pick for him two brilliant roses.
Darkest pink…almost magenta- but
So much more… beautiful than magenta can ever be…
They light up in his arms
Against his navy blue shirt.
His blue eyes shine.
“Thank you Mommy”- he says, sweet and eager.
He clutches petals in his hands.
He calls them, “Butterflies.”
I stare hard at the deep color
Shining out bright in the gray sky.
I soak deep the beauty.
The petals crumple and they bring them to me.
Little One and Little Boy.
A sad, small pile of silken brilliance pink.
This beauty- so much more than man
Can ever create.
We can only imitate.
Delicate and fragile beauty
Bruised and crushed in
Too strong grasp.
Petals bear the marred perfection;
Oiled creases, crumpled edges.

I hold His crumpled beauty
In my hand.

Isaiah 53:5 (King James Version)
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed

“He became sin who knew no sin, that we might become His righteousness. Love so amazing… Love so amazing…”


Butterflies (from 9/12/2010)

Today when we arrived home from church- a giant swallowtail brushed by our car…
I watched it
Seemingly float
Our butterfly bush.

As I got out of the car-
Caught in butterfly wonder-
I noticed more-
Seeming to
Seeming to
Like the soon
Twirling leaves
Cascading down
From the sky.

Slowly, I walked, with Little One in tow-
Toward our bush-
Watching butterflies
Drift from the sky…
Counting at least ten
Drinking hungry
On our bush…
At least five were
The beautiful black
Golden swallowtails hovered
And little
Butterflies too.
They caught the breeze and soared across our yard,
Floating in the air,
Landing on the trees,
Landing on the bush.
They seem to fall from the sky like
Their life

I wondered if they have begun their fall migration…

Even so.
Floating gently.

The Autumn Book Basket

The Autumn Book Basket

As summer makes way to fall…
Our summer book basket has given way to the Autumn selections… and interestingly enough- the tones of the basket are all muted russets and oranges, deep greens and golds… just like the season. The Little Ones have enjoyed delving into the selections already- and tonight we drank deep of four special favorites…

Our list (in no particular order):

When I was Young In the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant
A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard
Dr. Seuss Ten Apples Up on Top
In November by Cynthia Rylant

How do Apples Grow by Betsy Maestro
Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklin M Branley (Let’s Read and Find Out Science)
A Salamander’s Life by John Himmelman
Usborne Lift the Flap Bugs and Slugs
The First Thanksgiving Jean Craighead George
N.C.Wyeth’s Pilgrims
Johnny Appleseed by Reeve Lindbergh
Thundercake by Patricia Polacco (because we still get those mountain shakin’ storms in fall here)
Like A Windy Day by Frank Asch (did glue a page together in this book)
It’s Fall by Linda Glaser
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert
The Dandelion Seed by Joseph Anthony
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
Give Yourself to the Rain by Margaret Wise Brown
Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers
The Cloud Book by Tomie DePaola
Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky
Deer, Moose, and Elk by Deborah Hodge
Raccoons and Ripe Corn by Jim Arnosky
The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer
The Oak Inside the Acorn by Max Lucado
Meeting Trees by Scott Russell Sanders

Not included in our basket- but some more special autumn reads…
Autumn with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Redwall by Brian Jacques (some violence- parent be aware)


Endless Gifts

Endless Gifts

Capturing those moments when I am found in His Grace…

We haven’t really had a Sweet Sunday in awhile… and I am hoping to get back to those… soon.
Planning a surprise blessing for my sweet ones… our favorite Cinnamon Rolls and warmed soymilk; coffee; tea- loving that we can greet the week with this grace. Loving that we are living life- together.
Hoping that the shelter of our home and love will birth great grace and souls alive…
Praying that I will be kind, and each one will sense His ministry through me… to them.
Praying that our home will indeed be a shelter- and how can we raise a Christian family? I wonder.

I will set the table for tea and make it pretty… I hope. Capture some of those autumn roses to grace the table and soothing music, too.

Wishing for a large black journal to capture all the notes I write scattered on scraps of paper as I try to capture
The Things They Say and all these Endless Gifts… I write them- to remember…
Hoping to be more in tune to the children and all the little but important things they need and say and do… especially when they come to me with “treasures”…

Lifting Soul in Gratitude for…

46.) Beauty, it restores my soul…
47.)steaming mint tea cupped warm in hands, late night waxing
48.)chubby fingers turning pages of Dear Zoo lift-the- flap book- and I notice- those fingers- they are slendering a little… precious baby fingers.
49.)Ginger Pye and our own “Ginger Pye Apple Toast” for breakfast. They loved it (most of them…)
50.)Holy Spirit witness… that I can know I am His because His Spirit is in my heart crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
51.) A clean(er) bedroom that gives rest to the soul
52.) Night rain in the mountains- and we hold hands, shut eyes, and all we hear is rain rushing down on thousands and thousands of green leaves all around and underneath that soothing anthem- the crickets sing… We listen. Then- open eyes, look. We are sheltered in the darkest dark with whooshing rain pouring down. It is darkest dark. So dark and I remember how long it took to get used to the darkness here in North Carolina- and how it frightened me at first… now the dark soothes. As long as I don’t think too deeply about it…;) And as long as I am not trying to travel anywhere… This is our very own mountain retreat.
53.)The Swallowtails floating and congregating.
54.) sharing Nate’s joy and seeing the funny side of a toad’s daddy-long legs feast… complete with two long legs sticking out of its mouth…
55.)a Tall Son who urged me to have my Bible time- because God will help me, He will. You’re right, son. Thank you.
And now five reasons why I love our mountain home (six- if you count night rain in the mountains)
56.)the privacy; they way I feel held in the crook of the mountain’s arm.
57.)the freedom the children have to roam, and climb, and experience God’s wonder outside (never mind all our red clay…!)
58.)the feel of breeze from our bedroom fans…
59.)the open spacious feeling we all have from the open floor plan…we flow.
60.)our deck- where I can view- whenever I wish, the hummingbirds, butterflies, tulips in spring, roses in fall, and the butterfly bush for summer, and watch the mist cloak the mountains in a gauzy shawl, rainbows arc across the sky, rain pour down in a wet torrent, or just sit quiet with tea.

holy experience

Camp Out 2010

Preparing for Camp Out

Tall Son stealthily packs back pack with “provisions”-
Snack bags of food for all campers, fruit, read aloud, flashlight.
He secretly prepares…

Tenderheart makes his own real bow and arrow. Perfect bowed stick, my blue yarn,
And a homemade stick “arrow.” And it really works. He tries it and tries again. He shoots it across the lawn. He announces, “I hit the house!”

Little Boy percolates deep thoughts and announces that he is a big boy now.

Strong 7 swings hard and long- staying out of Dad’s way as he strives with the tent…

Dad works hard to set up. Roasts sausages and ham over the fire, and shares the air bed with Little Boy.
Little Boy somehow takes up most of the bed. Funny how a four year old can need more room than a grown-up!

I try, and try again to have some quality girl time. But Little One is too excited by all the comings and goings and has trouble going to sleep…

Campout 2010. 🙂

The Things They Say: Little Boy

The Things They Say: Little Boy

Little Boy appears in the bedroom doorway. I am endlessly “resting on the bed” trying
To settle Little One.
He leans against the door jamb.

“I’m a big boy now.” He announces confident. Big Blue eyes wide,
Voice so serious.
I smile. Inside- I worry. I say,
“Maybe we should have waited til you were five. Do you want to stay in with me and sister?”
Sister and I have big plans for treats and Little Bear and sleeping in the homeschool room…

Ever confident, ever serious. He says again:
“I’m a big boy now. Only big boys camp out.”

I say,
“But you’re still my Little Boy.”

“No. Brothers said- after Camp Out- You will be a Big Boy like us. But I changed it and said, ‘I’m a big boy now’.”

He hurries away- back to the camp out preparations.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
All I do is ponder
my sweet, adorable boy.

“I’m a big boy now. Only big boys camp out.”
The Things They Say