Endless Gifts

I have been coughing incessantly for over a week now. And taking more medicinal aids than ever before in an attempt to overcome.  Sleep- so little (in general), is even more minimized with the disruptive coughing and discomfort.  And, still, honey in tea or steaming hot water works the best.

….Endless Gifts, beginning November….

a primary care doctor and a golden drive to get there

Gettysburg with Todd (even though it feels almost buried by this illness- the pictures remind me… we were there.)

Dobbin House by Candlelight

the Gettysburg Starbucks (which has this beautiful, carved wooden map covering a complete wall) and the Christmas Tree Hill shop

conversations with my Mom; sometimes grumpy, sometimes funny, always real

a poem request

my people at the table

little girls with hair twisted into buns, skipping with delight

his first indoor rec soccer game (A)

his hair all rumpled and all the prevailing attempts to persuade against the (inevitable) hair cut- it didn’t work… but it brought a whole lot of joy and laughs (A)

the astonishment of him, washed, groom, dare I say fragrant?, styled… early! in the morning…O! the full  co-ordinated outfit, too.(anonymous for respect, but so noteworthy- placing it here for my heart memories.)

watching his growth in academic writing this year; in all writing this year (M)

flute notes…rising, of an early morn… and he is improvising (J)

the way he changes the whole atmosphere when he is at the helm in the kitchen, working magic on counter and dish (N)

The Republic of Tea- Ginger Peach! Orange Ginger Mint!

a time to rest

my sister, always there to talk sense into me and to share an understanding of my world cause it’s her world, too

the colors are/were more muted this year, and I am left with November- still in flame and suddenly so cold-  and there is all the whisk and tumble, scatter, and whoosh of wind in the dry crackle of leaves and the bare limb branches. The moon slung low in the sky. The early darkness now.

The curtains pulled, the blinds drawn up, and light flooding the house and pushing away the gloom














A Poem for November

A Poem for November


Burnished bronze, gold, and


flame in leaf and



Wind wraps me round,

I shiver


Gone, gone golden October


leaf, luminous, parchment-


mellowed, aging light

spun through

the solemn, stain-glassed


-of November.


moody skies shift and change



blue, gray, streaked white,

spits rain-


there is magic;

the early, gentle



the cusp of all

family, feasting, holiday


joyous reveling.


tables groan and candles glimmer,

mugs steam,

and early,

early comes the darkness

inviting all to hunker in,

light the lamps, start the fire.

Push out cold! It’s warm within!

Come in, come in.


Window lights gleam

amidst the sudden press

of darkness,

wind strips daily

all adornment from

the trees


who abandon all their beauty-

unresisting, unabashed.

Half-undone, half-unspun,


a little while longer-

russet, gold, burnished bronze

golden ground; crimson limb-

sunny yellow, velvet purple, creams, and white;

those stalwart, plucky pansies



Still, there’s color. Still, there’s time.

-all the ground is gold-

– November.

-for Courtney


66books today

Nathanael and I are recently and today at 66books!

Here (him):

2 Kings 9; 1 Timothy 6; Hosea 1; Psalm 119: 73-96
Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.” 2 Kings 9:13

and here (me)

2 King 12; Hosea 3; Hosea 4; Psalm 119:121-144; 2 Timothy 2

I just returned from a funeral and a brief foray spent at my childhood home. Some things become crystal clear:

Psalm 119:

127Therefore I love your commandments
above gold, above fine gold.
128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right;
I hate every false way. ESV

Read the rest at Sixty-six books in a year

Blessings on your Monday!


Quietly Here

I am still here.

A voice rising from a space of quiet darkness.

-where much has been happening-

Choosing to publish and refresh posts that have been sitting patiently

in my


and purposing to catch my breath

and capture this good life

in the shape of my words

and the frame of my lens.

This year has proven more demanding and challenging that

even I

could have expected or predicted…

with heads down and soul fortified

we are all

pressing on.

And I plan to rouse myself and light


round our table.

Their flame will flicker hope and goodness and beauty.


Love is a table


Hope is a door



is a hand in mine.






I cry

(just like I said, I really do)

this year

this senior year, launch year, goodbye year, hello year, one more year, essay year, test scores year, stretching, reaching, belly aching, hair pulling, memorize your face



even for me, hold it in, swallow it back, stand up straight, knock it out


seeping, weeping, trailing, leaking

(shhh…sometimes sobbing)

Birthing year, hurting year, hard year, grace year, hug you close, push away, watch

you fly.



I cry.

Endless Gifts- October

Slim side-wise grin of the moon, just in my view, and only from that one particular aspect ( I could only see it from exactly where I landed as I crawled into my van) and the way the gold light glimmered

Making dinner with wee rainbows all around me and its eggs and sausage, and dippy eggs and toast, and fruit all mixed with lemon crushed by my hands

and the way the rainbows fill the kitchen, glance off our skin, shine on the walls

Sprouted bread from Aldi toasty warm with spread

Sunday salad with red onion and cukes and greens and good seasons goodness

The way he stocks our pantry

3000 meters on the erg: again, again

Philosophy fragrances against my skin and their little voices, “Mommy, you smell delicious!”

Coconut Ice Cream and Ice Cream Sandwiches

Pumpkin bars and the promise of more as the squat can waits on my counter

Their happiness in October

The Admissions essay (am I thankful for this? I think it is the hardest thing I have ever encountered. Hard.)

Toast. And Hot Cocoa.

a (graduate) diploma in the mail. M. Tax.

The last soccer game under the lights

A food challenge saturated in prayer

October glory days, that sky, those clouds, that light…

the twirl of golden leaves

a needed pause to renew

a drape of fog weaving in and out of Pennsylvania mountains

A song from my high school years…just taking me back… and I take Todd back with me.

reconciliation and kindness

Endless Gifts in Photos

a degree hard-earned; a drive down a beautiful road-with chickens, a red barn, and a road named after me; Merry’s new coat; a red soccer shirt;them walking; my darlings: big and little; french toast and maple syrup; Fall Harvest Festival with Contempic and Lemonades for four littles; Todd and his grandparents; twinnies cuddled up; an Eagle Project Complete; all round Mom and Dad’s table; my butterfly girls; that Maryland sky; Jonah helping Mellie practice piano; Pennsylvania mountains and fog – and all I have to do is point it out to Todd and say: Miss.













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



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

Nathanael is at 66books today!

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” 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?


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.” ESV