Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oh, its listed!

The past months have been a whirl, and resting square in the the middle of it all, you find our house.

Our house, the place where we the girls have gone from toddlers to teenagers...

It has been a busy 8 years here, and over the past couple we have begun to really feel this house as a burden rather than be able to enjoy the blessing. There are so many reasons ... too numerous for words... Over the past month we began to work with a realtor, and I've been peeking at RMLS for a couple days... the picture isn't great, but here it is - Oh, its listed!

A giant shop and a second outbuilding with about 700 square feet of finished space divided into three rooms...

Its a fixer, for sure, but I believe this property could be an affordable starter dream come true for someone who wants to raise animals, have a garden, and get away from it all.

Two bedrooms, two bonus rooms, and one bath.
A kitchen with character...
Oak hardwood under carpet...
The roof is sound and it would love a fresh coat of paint, any color you want! Check it out!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We. Are. Moving.

I prepared my first box today for the move.

I couldn't figure out what to really put in it. We are moving in a month or three... but with our work schedule and the hours of yard labor required to possibly sell our house, we have to start now... with those things we can.

So I prepared a box.
I spent 15 minutes looking at the books in one of my bookcases thinking... do I need any of these? Should I pack any of these?

And ultimately I decided to walk away.

I think we often live our lives like this. The easier things tend to keep our attention... Those things that require effort or attention tend to fall by the wayside, to be picked up when all that can be done is react.

"I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. ... What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?" Jeremiah 2:2 & 5
I will be sorting my books when I wake up.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


we are created
formed and made
crafted and designed
like a melody that captures the heart
or spices that meld into magnificence


and then, like a bubble from the wand,
we are set free to fly
the light eternal shimmering
catching the eye of others
Our gifts, the love, the joy..
freely shared and given away

Until that day when we are called back
and the hand that created us draws us home

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Working Mom Blog - epilogue

I came up with this idea while dozing overnight...

The reality is, being a mom makes for really full days...

Being a working mom makes for exponentially full days...

You can't always do it all. You can't always make the appointments, the meets, the visits. Your time is so very costly...

And that is why I thought of this. Sometimes this season is so lonely that it becomes unbearable and you feel like all you are doing is spinning in a circle.

You will wake many mornings wishing you could do so much more, not just for your kids, or your spouse, but even for yourself. You will wish you could make it to the gym, that you could make friends, that you could respond to email. You will wish that you could work on that hobby you haven't picked up in five years.

You will long for help with a menu, help organizing chores and schedules, help with those things that you aren't good at, like decorating, or entertaining.

I can't say that I have the answers for these things as I experience them myself. But I've been mulling a couple thoughts lately that have been helping.

One, this is such a brief season. Trust me. Whether your kids are tiny or teenagers, they will grow up and be gone in a blink. I'm learning to ignore some things that don't need critical attention so that I can be active in those things that pass quickly, like stories and icecream. I wish I had learned that sooner.

Two, others have gone before. Sure, many women didn't work outside the home, but they were busy women just the same. It is very likely that they had some of the same dreams, issues, and challenges that we do, but for whatever reason, I know I don't easily remember that.

Three, our worth and value is not found in our employment OR in our kids, truly. All of that fades. Our worth and value is found in Christ (thankfully!)

So, continue the journey. Books and friends can help, the Word deeply ingrains, and watching our kids journey through their own life and faith brings life and healing.

Working Mom Blog

Let the unique day of a working mom begin!
Good Morning! It's 5:40 and you are waking up a bit late... head straight to the coffee as you rub your eyes and yawn...

Your middle is awake and following her routine to a T. Time to sit down on the sofa for a moment with your coffee and iPhone; your daily reading is at Apparently you were sitting with your eyes closed holding your mug of coffee, as the next thing you know, your middle is at your side asking for help with her hair. She is always amazed at how much better you do, you always counter with how different your perspective is, and how much longer you have been fixing hair.

It's after six now, no sign of the oldest. Getting up to check on her, you notice that she is awake, but since you are available, mom, can you please get my laundry out of the dryer...

Ah, time to try again. I've somehow downed an entire mug of coffee and yet read no words. Since reading one thousand gifts I have been thinking of everything differently, so I start again by heading over to where today the topic is on forgiveness... how appropriate...

It is almost time for their bus, so I find myself busy with last minute backpack switching and adding to lunches. While in the kitchen I consider dinner (dinner!!) a success as its 6:30am and dinner is the last thing on my mind. Easy night tonight, as the family is busy on Wednesdays... while chatting with the middle about the plan, my eyes rest on the remnants of yesterday... somehow, getting a grip on the kitchen isn't high on my to-do list at any time of day...

And, they are off.. I have about 20 minutes until the next round, the far more critical round... Glancing about, I have a stack of papers on my desk.. dogs that are begging for a walk... a pile of laundry to put away, and wet towels cascading out of their bin...

First things first, the dogs... with a mug of coffee in hand and rainboots on my feet, we journey outside... Copper has to be on a leash so as to keep from getting lost in the tall grass (he has a way of sneaking to the neighbors,) while Asia can roam freely... but has been getting into it a bit lately with the new neighbor dogs...

Tromp tromp... Here is our typical Oregon spring; wet, green, and very alive. It has been taking a bit longer to arrive these past couple years, which in turn pushes back summer, and then winter, and then (you can guess!) the cycle repeats in this slightly off kilter fashion...

Mug empty, I figure that was about 10 minutes or so... in we go, ditching the wet outdoors...

Turn on the flat iron - I really wanted straight hair today - and consider what critical things need to be thought of this morning... Not much, I believe... there are so many tasks I haven't gotten to yet today, this week, this month... none of them are any more critical than the others.

The song "every light in the house is on" pops into my mind as I survey the wreckage of the two leaving... I smile, hit the lights, close the doors, and realize its time to get myself in gear.

Where did my morning go?

Left just in time to stop at a local convenience store.. coffee didn't quite hit the spot and so its on to diet dr pepper... pay in dimes, laugh (cringe, cry?) at the budget...

Made it to work with five minutes to spare. Which, it turns out, wasn't quite early enough as I was leaving early and had quite a bit to do!

Live and learn.

Workday, the usual. Note to self (to you!) foods smelled in the office during lunch hour should land on the menu. Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken PotPie, and some form of Spaghetti must be arranged in the coming week.

Leaving work early to celebrate the life of a dear friend. Stop in with my boss to give him a last minute update before leaving for the day three hours early, walk to the car praying that that one customer doesn't call until morning.

Since leaving early meant no lunch, hunger strikes! Thankful for the banana to tide me over for my quick run through the post office. The books I wanted to read came, fantastic! Journey home. Ah, its our dogs again....

Quick parade with Copper outside (one of the girls will be home soon, right?) Heat up leftovers and build a fire so the house warms up. Consider the time. Less than you thought.


Eat while you consider your options. Decide to make the bed and stoke the fire. Had the idea that I could take the time to load out some goodwill boxes but I think I failed to consider time outside with the dogs in my original agenda.

There's that infernal clock again, striking time to leave.

This celebration has been conventionally scheduled to allow for an exit in time to pickup the middle from track. I feel thankful and blessed to know this family, for reasons beyond this. As I prepare to walk to the car, I remember this lovely woman who made such an impact on our community. She will be missed.

Realize that the oldest will not be home due to after school commitments and it will be over an hour until the youngest arrives. Rush back into the house to check on the fire, tamp it down, write a note, and check the dog water.

Time spent at the memorial was very good for the soul. A healthy reminder of the value of a life lived well, for the right reasons, and with Christ at the helm. Momma will be missed by this community, but the family legacy lives on in her children and grandchildren... what a blessing!

Middle has been collected, and, at nearly 5pm, its time to consider the evening. I have a chapter to read and a quiz to take for the course I'm taking for work... the youngest has homework, the middle has a track meet tomorrow, and the oldest will be gone until 8pm...

Dinner is easy, but man, that mountain of dishes is about to erupt. Plan of action, delegate... Vacuuming to the youngest, dishes to the middle, the oldest can fold the towels when she is home again!


Course subject for the week makes me laugh ... controls.... Anyone running a home knows very plainly the subject of controls... How to prepare so that plan B is successful when plan A crashes... and how to make sure plan C is feasible in the event that it is required as well!

the evening is spent with the kids.. mom, look at my icecream.. do we have any sprinkles... watch this comic with me... listen to this... they grow up so fast, faster than we can imagine...

As 8 o'clock ticks past, the household begins to wind down. Chores that were not done are now balked at those infernal dishes! The oldest arrives in a whirlwind, declares that she is going to cut her hair off right now, because everyone should try that for themselves. She dreams of the era of the 20's - it fits her steampunk and her style..

Meanwhile, the middle begins to melt down... early bedtime tonight!

The husband is home, we talk work and memorial and I serve him dinner, then I too move toward bedtime... goodnight to all, its just a bit after 9 and I've got nothing left to offer!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Three Hard Eucharisteos

Considering the April Joy Dare, I scanned the chart for today and found "Three Hard Eucharisteos"  

Grace, Thanksgiving, Joy: Eucharisteo. 

My mind is blank as I consider this joy dare... I have so little that is tangible right now, everything requires faith, everything unseen...

Scanning beyond my daily, deeper into the truth... and perhaps that is the point of this focus -

One long held joy, the word
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
~ Psalms 119:105
A second joy, hope beyond anxiety
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful."
~ Hebrews 10:23
And a third, my creator
“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”
~Ernest Boyer, Jr.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

To Defend

Defense of the orphan and widow
High calling
Low earthly return

The battered, the war-torn
and weary at heart
Long for refuge

So many questions
Few answers

The answer to every question
Hope for the weary
Strength for the weak

Beautiful solid rock

Thursday, April 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts

I found myself looking about on the very last morning of our girls spring break, wishing, wishing, that I had been able to take some time off with them...This is a challenging season we are in; if there were a proper parenting manual given at the birth of our children, you would find that the entire chapter on teenage girls would be blank. I believe there would be several blank pages there - and then the next chapter would be "on weddings"

So here we are. Gifts. Here's my weak attempt at defining gifts (without looking anything up...) Gifts are unexpected things given to us. (does that cover it, good or bad?)

I recently read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - and in all my reading over all my years of books, I haven't been challenged quite like when I read this one...

here is my short list of gifts to remember from the past couple days

  • standing shoulder to shoulder (shoulder to SHOULDER!) with my daughter washing dishes
  • a gaggle of geese flying overhead
  • watching my girl walk confidently toward a bus full random students for an aspire field trip
  • clapping "a sailor went to sea" with our youngest - the one growing up faster than the others
  • babies consoled by bee's buzzing by outside the window on Easter
  • bubbles
  • the magic of artistic ability
  • the power of wind

Our concept of good is a bit skewed; here are some other things on my short list

  • Folding socks
  • Clearing through the remnants of life out on the porch an in the yard
  • Discovering secret stashes of candy and wrappers that have been forgotten behind and under furniture
Last week I was given the gift of raw honesty. It made me cry to hear the truth from someone I consider a close friend... Sometimes this kind of gift is the best kind of all ...
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
 James 1:2-4;16-17

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Silly things today, things about colors...

I have always had a difficult time answering questions about myself... Questions like... what is your favorite animal, favorite food, what do you read, what are your hobbies...These questions cause me to stumble... to say something random, like everything, which is good and safe...  I've learned that I keep my distance from a true response out of fear. Fear is a multi-layered beast, attacking in so many unique ways that it is always shocking to discover it...

I recently read the book One Thousand Gifts, and in the reading I found myself again and again, wondering... what am I truly thankful for

So today, I am excited to share the color purple.
Silly, I know... but I think I finally have a favorite color.
Its a start.