Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hebrews 13:1

"Let brotherly love continue" ...that is my prayer!  As I witness my children eagerly give of themselves for one another,  I whisper a prayer of thanks to the Giver of all good things!  For this is another marking of His hand in our lives. 

Ode to Benjamin
by Gavin
sung to the tune of "Three Blind Mice"

Benjamin, Benjamin. 
I love him.  I love him.
I love him when he laughs and cries.
I think he is a sweetie pie.
I love him all day and night.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Read yourself...

Jungle Pilot by Russell Hitt

...and read aloud.

Nate Saint, Heavenbound by Renee Meloche

For other Duet suggestions, click here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shepherding My Young

Benjamin snuggled close, his nose burrowing into my shoulder.  I brushed my lips against the fly-away strands of his hair and hugged him a bit tighter before lowering him to a spot at my feet.  Sniffles ensued as he protested the release from the comfort of my arms.  Feeling the pressure of the dinner hour, I picked him up again, singing to him with half of my mind while the other half measured water for the soup.  As my tune faded away, Benjamin grew restless and again I tried tempting him with a pot and a few blocks on the floor.  Growing annoyed I voiced my opinion to the walls, "Why can't I put him down?  I need to get this food cooking!" 

Listen.  A still small voice began to speak to my spirit.  When you need ME, do I disregard your cry? 

Chastened, I tossed the vegetables into the pot, turned the burner to low, and squatted down to my needy boy.  I beckoned to him and he came.  Without hesitation, he came.  Forgiveness was immediate, and as his legs molded to the curve of my hip, we peered into the soup pot together.  With drooly fingers caressing my cheek, I arranged the bread on the tray and placed it on the table, thanking my Lord for another lesson in the kitchen

Unfortunately, this scene has replayed itself again and again as Benjamin has grown large enough to cause aching arms.  We are never away from home without our pouch, but I unconciously phased it out in the house when he became mobile.  My little man, at 1 year, still prefers the kangaroo carry (facing out with legs tucked into the sling), but the pouch is pulling tighter around his chunky legs every day!   And while content on my hip alone, he is never secure in the hip carry in the pouch so...the search for a ring sling was on!

And find one I did.  Rebecca, owner, designer,  and seamstress of Li'l Peeper Keepers      (, has such a vision for the heart of babywearing:  
The security of a child held close is a reminder to me of the most precious facet of my life-- the eternal security that I have in my salvation through Jesus Christ. When I came as a sinner for salvation, trusting Jesus alone, I received the promise that "him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."  John 6:37b

Do I wear Benjamin because it is "hip" (no pun intended!) or because in doing so I can minister to his tender heart?  Do I carry Benjamin in the sling because it is fashionable or because I can keep him close and in this small way, shower him with love? 

The autumn breezes have pulled me, an outspokenly indoor girl, out this year.  I am gaining a new appreciation for His creation as I amble along with my children and watch the sparkle in their eyes as they search for insects and pick mushrooms and wildflowers.  Nestled close to my heart in our new sling, Benjamin reaches out his curious fingers to feel the trees.  I can't help but imagine a kinship between the colors of the changing foliage and the lovely coppery shimmer of the sling fabric (100% Dupioni silk).

Alas, as the pleasure walk ends, my thoughts turn to the list of items to be purchased at the store.  Benjamin needs a nap but duty calls.  My lips open to spew out complaint when I am reminded to praise him in all I tighten my sleepy boy in the sling, grasp the others' hands and begin our walk through the aisles of the store.  Heavy baby eyes succumb to sleep. 

I pray that even as my little ones grow and outgrown the need to be continually held, I continue to remember to nurture them as my Heavenly Father nurtures me. 

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.


**Disclaimer: I'm always a bit hesitant when reviewing new products.  I am afraid that either I will not like an item and have to write a tastefully negative review. Or I'm afraid that a positive review will come across as gushy or forced.  In the case of this ring sling, though, I can honestly say that it is the most comfortable sling I have ever worn!  And even though I've been babywearing for almost 7 years, I benefited from the included instructional DVD demonstating various holds. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Autumn Treasure

My mom is hosting a fall giveaway on her blog through Wednesday.  Breeze over to sign up...and if you stay awhile, you may happen upon some pictures of people you know!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just Because

Jesus loves these little children,
All the children of my world;
Red hair, brown hair, yellow, white,
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of my world.

maddie (5), owen (3), aunt bekah (8), benjamin (1), gavin (almost 7)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Owen sat statue-still while the clippers rounded his fine hair one morning.  He was only moved by Benjamin's jostles as he tried to play with the falling hair. 

Lord, it so easy when things are smooth.

"Now, Owen, I'm just about done except for trimming with the scissors around your ears."  I felt his shoulders tense. 

"Are you going to do it today?" he asked.

Lord, I'm not ready for your pruning.  Can't we wait awhile?

"Yes, of course." I replied.  "It is part of the haircut.  Waiting until tomorrow would be funny, silly boy!" 

Child, My training is a part of the life I have for you. 

I set to work brushing off the clippers and retrieving the thin pair of sharp scissors.  Owen's body slunk lower onto the stool.  He began to whine and press his hands over his ears.  "Are you going to cut me?"

But Lord, I'm afraid it is going to hurt!

"Honey, I would never cut you, but I need you to hold still while I work."  No amount of gentle words could convince him... until he decided to trust me. 

Okay, Lord, I'm putting my hands down now.  I trust you.

A couple of careful snips and the haircut was complete. 


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to you,

You, precious one.
You, who in one year has wiped our memories of life without you.

Happy Birthday to you,

You, sweet child. How can someone so little be needed so much?
(And how much more we need Him for wisdom as you grow.)

Happy Birthday, dear Benjamin,

Dear, dear Benjamin. We daily surrender you to Him.

Happy Birthday to you!

As your body grows, may your love for our Saviour grow infinitely more.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can you smell it now?

Autumn.  For me, it is the season to fire up an oven that lay cold over the preceding months.  It is a  time of one-dish suppers, the  kitchen warmed by the scents and the hearts within its walls.  Days growing shorter, autumn is a season to linger over conversation at table and grab another roll with butter while sharing moments from the day. 

And for me, it is the time for new recipes...

Cider Beef Stew
(adapted from recipe found here)
5 T butter
2 pounds beef, cut into cubes

1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 pound potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound turnips, peeled and chopped

6 tablespoons flour

3 cups apple cider
2 cups beef stock

Preheat oven to 425. 

Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Melt butter. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to pot. Brown on all sides, about 7-8 minutes total.

Add onions, carrots, potatoes, and turnips, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add flour, stirring to combine and coat.

Add the apple cider and the beef broth and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer to the oven for 50 minutes. 

Serve with Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.


Friday, October 2, 2009


“You must have the patience of a saint.” It was just another variation of the “How do you do it?” inquiry, but this remark of a friend particularly startled me. Somehow with four children under the age of seven, others get the impression that I am cut from a different mold. They assume that only a special woman would have children so closely spaced and that this special woman must have special qualities or special virtues making her suitable for the large-family life. In other words, “Glad you can do it because I certainly don't have what it takes!”

If only this admirer had seen me snap at my dear ones after a day of schooling when the baby was prematurely woken from his nap and I was running on fumes. If only she had seen me blame my husband for the grass on my freshly-vacuumed floor. If only she had heard me grumble about the spilled water at the table. And clearly she had been absent when I dissolved into tears at the kitchen sink, biting my stinging tongue. Patience is a virtue and it is not mine.

“For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do I do.”

Despite my human weakness and seeming failures, maybe the joy of our busy home is a drawing light. Like other mamas of multiple little ones, I could share reams of management tips. I could tell how we’ve simplified our lives in order to spend most days at home; or I could tell how we train the children to obey even before they can crawl; or I could tell how we work, keeping the children by our sides.

But tips and tricks are human wisdom. I could train and teach and manage from morning till night and still not exude peace because that is not how we thrive. It is solely by God’s grace. “…yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” He gives the strength and patience as it is needed. When I was blessed with one child, having more children seemed incomprehensible. I barely kept my head above the water some days. The reason is clear. With one child, He supplied the grace for one—not two or three or four—and as each child was born, His grace increased.

I am reminded of the testimony of Corrie ten Boom. As a child, she confided in her father that she was afraid she would never have the courage to be a martyr. He asked her, “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you money for the ticket?”

“Just before we get on the train,” she answered.

“So it is with God’s strength…He will supply all you need—just in time.”

When my life feels at capacity and Doubt is whispering in my ear, or when I am stretched thin and feel incapable of accepting any more responsibility, I know that He is still holding the grace I need for what lies ahead. I am simply clay, molded in the hands of my Father.

“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

And His grace is enough.

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