Monday, June 29, 2009

Still Listening...

I continue to ponder what it means to be still in the Lord.

Physical stillness does not belong to this season of my life.
Solitude cannot be found. Not in the early morning hours when even a whisper rouses my light sleepers. Certainly not in the heat of day when the backdoor ushers happy souls to the yard..and back in...and back out. Not in the evening when Daddy arrives home amid squeals and stories. Then dishes and children need scrubbing...and the day is done.

This is the movement of life. Not chaos. Not movement to stay busy or for distraction, but movement nonetheless. And He knows. If my 6-year-old can pray while swinging from the bars of his bunkbed, can I not seek Him as I move through life, too?



Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hers, Mine, Yours (Summer Giveaway #1)

UPDATE: The winner is Commenter #22, Sarah Klingensmith. Visit her at Congratulations, Sarah!

I'm a jeans girl in winter and a sundress girl in summer. Last year when I was great with child and huge and continuously hot, I lived in a black sundress my sister-in-law loaned me. This year I was out of luck since dresses don't work for me with a nursing babe!

But when Line Rothman, founder of Glamourmom contacted me to review another of her company's products for nursing moms, I was thrilled! Glamourmom ( carries a variety of tanks for pregnant and nursing women. They also have pajamas, swimsuits, baby bodysuits...and a tankdress!

Nursing clasps blend in with the adjustable shoulder straps so while nursing is as easy as ever, the dress does not scream "I can nurse in this!" to the casual and fashion-conscious observer. With a cranky, teething eight-month-old (wanting to nurse constantly in this sticky heat-- ugh!), it is a great staple around home. When I need to dress it up a bit, I throw on a cute jacket.

Now, for the "Yours" part: Glamourmom is offering one reader a free item of her choice from the online store! There are things for non-nursing women... and babies, too! Or think gift!

There are three ways to earn entries:
  • Earn 1 entry by commenting on this post.
  • Earn 1 entry by blogging about this contest! (Feel free to use my button in the right sidebar to link back to me.) Don't forget to leave a separate comment with the link to your post.
  • Earn 1 entry by sharing this contest with your friends on Facebook. Again, be sure to leave a separate comment telling me you did so.

The contest runs now through Friday, July 3 at 12 noon (EDT).

Watch for my second Summer Giveaway later in the season!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come.

Song of Songs 2: 11-12

Thursday, June 18, 2009

9 Things I Learned From My Dad

Intelligence is not the same as common sense. Dad loves to point out how smart people often did dumb things. It was frequent dinnertime conversation at home. Like the time my friend drove on the exit ramp of the highway or when my brother walked miles down the beach without sunscreen and ended up in the emergency room or when I cracked an egg on his lap (last week) boggled his mind!

Never pay someone to do something you can do yourself. (If you don't know how to do something, learn.) My dad never pays someone to change the oil, cut the firewood, paint the house, build his barn...he always learned how to do it himself or found a friend or book to teach him. I think I've inherited his frugal tendencies, because I cringe when I have to shell out money for something I think, possibly I could figure out how to do!

Saturdays are sacred. Dad works hard at the office Monday through Friday and Sunday is family day so Saturdays are THE day to get house or yard projects done. If something happens to prevent him from getting an early start (or to cut his day short), he is famous for saying, "The whole day is shot!"

A small sacrifice is huge in the eyes of your child. I asked Dad to take me to a church roller skating event when I was 13 or 14. I know he didn't want to spend that Monday evening hanging out at the roller skating rink with a bunch of teenagers, but he did it, and I'll always remember it.

Spending time with the Lord is priority. Dad leaves for work early in the morning and, though I only recall him grabbing breakfast on occasion, I remember him pausing to read his Bible on the couch before walking out the door.

If you don't know the words to a song, make them up! Dad led the worship at our church for several years when I was a young teenager. If he forgot the words, he kept singing anyway. On the drive home, we would laugh at the new phrases he wrote, but they sure sounded pretty good on the spot!

US Route 50 runs 3073 miles from Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California. This fact made an impression on my dad so we heard it approximately 3073 times while growing up!

Turn off the lights when you leave a room. "Who's in the dining room?" he would say. Interpreted: Why are the lights on if I can't see anyone in there?

Beans are good for your heart. Enough said.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We are overflowing

...with books! Check the bookshelf in my sidebar regularly for new additions as the pace of our reading is swift this summer.

Armed with a list, we brave the sticky heat for a weekly trek to the library so we are humbly begging for any and all book suggestions! My family will thank you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Life Imitating Poetry

by A. A. Milne

I found a little beetle, so that Beetle was his name,

And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.

I put him in a match-box, and I kept him all the day...

(...and now he rests in the matchbox on her dresser as she sleeps!)

Thursday, June 11, 2009


When does one find the time to be still when each day runs at a constant pace? When does one be still before the Lord, listen to His still, small voice?

Perhaps there is no need for physical stillness and every need to be still in Him in the little moments. Perhaps it is in those seconds that I sense Him most.

Perhaps I can hear Him while I am steeping my tea between storybooks. Perhaps I can hear Him as I walk to the mailbox. Perhaps I can hear Him in those bleary hours of the night when I am nursing a teething baby.



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Life Lessons

In June of 2005, my mom and I began a term as co-editors of our local homeschool newsletter. It has been our delight and our obsession! This year, we felt it was time to move on. For our last issue, we each wrote good-bye articles. Though that audience was made up of homeschool moms, I realized that the ideas I expressed can be applied to all moms so I'm sharing it with you!

Seasons of Serving

Homeschooling is about learning. It is about gaining wisdom and ultimately growing in the knowledge of Jesus and His way. While teaching my children, often I have been the student, too! While preparing to finish serving my term as co-editor, I’ve been reflecting on lessons learned—lessons that must be continually practiced and drilled, lessons that He must review with me daily.

To everything there is a season. When I signed on as co-editor four years ago, I was the mother of a 2 ½ -year-old and a 1-year-old. My belly has swelled twice more and, with it, my obligations. Each time circumstances changed, I mourned the loss of what I once had. Not that I wasn’t thankful for new life or new opportunities but I struggled with shifting responsibilities. With two children, we filled our days with play and crafts and nursing and naps. With three, I played while nursing, did crafts with napping babe in arms. As the oldest began kindergarten, we added math and phonics to the mix. Four children finds us staying home more. When we do venture out, it involves inventing creative ways to juggle an infant and heavy bags while clasping little hands to cross the street. There are days when caring for the needs of the two youngest souls while teaching two older souls is overwhelming, but when I begin to grumble or feel sorry in my circumstances, I remember that this is a season. Life may be different in a year—in a week—but this is my lot for right now. “There is a time for everything, and a season for everything under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Serving brings joy. Whether it is serving as newsletter editor, serving my family’s meals, or simply buttoning a toddler coat or wiping a tear, giving of myself to others ultimately brings reward. It is rarely easy and I don’t always do it well, but battling the inclination of my flesh cultivates that joy. Does it come naturally to smile after an intense day, to overlook little boy antics at bedtime when I’m exhausted? Does it come naturally to pack my husband’s lunch for the next day when I would rather be reading on the couch? No, but Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Do the next thing. I am an organizer and a list maker. I am also a scheduler and a worrier, and when my lists grow long, I panic. Same goes for schoolwork. I look at all the things I want or need to teach my children and I get frazzled. I’m slowly recognizing the need to just “do the next thing.” Do what God has for me now instead of looking towards the next hour or day or month or school year. Do what He requires of me next instead of trying to (unsuccessfully) tackle everything at once. This doesn’t require abolishing my lists, plans, and calendars. It simply requires that I do the next thing and then leave it up to Him as to how, or if, I’ll accomplish the rest. “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)

And now my season of serving as co-editor has come to a close. The Lord is leading on. I pray for His guidance as we all seek to do the next thing.


Saturday, June 6, 2009


"What?! There is more to life than nursing?"

"Intriguing. Maybe I'll give it a try."

"Whoa! That was not at all what I expected!"

"Now that I'm used to it, it's not so bad. But, please, no more for awhile!"

NOTE: What a joy it has been to delay solids for Benjamin (and all of our babies) and watch him discover food on his own!


Friday, June 5, 2009

The Bible Tells Me So

I have been away. Not by choice. My phone line was down, and boy, did I feel isolated! But I am back...


“Mama?” Owen said for probably the hundredth time of the day.

“What?” I answered, only half listening.

“I love Jesus.”

My full attention was snagged. “Oh, Owen, I’m so glad.” A tender moment…but it went downhill from there.

Gavin piped up, “Owen, you love God, too.”

“Nope,” he replied. “Just Jesus!”

(Maddie, our house theologian, made it her mission that evening to explain the Trinity to him!)


I’ve found that when the kids are having a hard time understanding a concept or how people in a story are related, I give them examples from their own lives. On a recent morning, we read the account of David and of his son, Absalom’s attempt to kill him. Amidst the jumble of names, I knew that Gavin didn’t grasp the magnitude of what we were reading. I said, “Gavin, Absalom was David son. Can you imagine trying to kill Daddy?”

A look of horror passed over his face as he said, “No, I would never kill Daddy. He is my best friend!”

A light bulb moment!

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