Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 1: my story for His glory

Each of us has a story, IS a story: 

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

When we look at where we are from, our families, how we were raised, our experiences, our successes, failures, joys and sorrows, fears and moments of courage, we can begin to see the Story He is writing. 

The best part of the whole thing?  It is grand because it is His story.

The more I study the Bible, the more I realize that this whole thing, this LIFE I am living, is meant to glorify the One who gave it to me in the first place.

This month I want to write bits of my own story, the one where I am the girl who lives, and the one who is saved, the one who falls for the drug addict and the one who marries the brilliant professor, the girl who wishes she were someone else, and the girl who realizes she is made just right.  I long to see the shiny thread of His glory woven through it all…by Him, for Him, because of Him.

…grateful to be participating in the 31 Days writing community…

Saturday, September 29, 2012

weekends are for counting gift after gift

::giggling girls getting their ears pierced together
::knowing my son and husband are off having tons of Boy Scout fun this weekend, i.e. camping, zip-lining, rock wall climbing, water sliding.
::a friend who hear the emotions behind the words, who asks the questions and does really want to hear the answers
::the privilege of saying I love you to some friends this with a hot, cheesy casserole, cold, sweet watermelon and chocolaty brownies, delivered with a hug and smile!
::my home, with it’s dust and clutter and piles of dirty laundry, for it’s sturdy walls and snug windows and safe doors, a place to live life with my little family.
::a healthy body, a clear mind, a soft heart
::kids who can turn a hot and musty garage into a house for hours of imaginary play

Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Minute Fridays: Grasp


A child, toddling along by its mother, reaches a chubby hand skyward to grasp the strong, firm one that is there, offering stability, safety, comfort.

My children are all well past the toddler years now, so holding hands with them is no longer an issue of keeping them from harm’s way.  Now as we walk side-by-side their shoulders brush mine, their pace matches my own and when they slip their ever-growing hands into mine, it is a gift, an intimate connection, a steadying of the heart.
Please visit Gypsy Mama for more Five Minute Friday posts!

31 Days: Almost Here!

I am joining the 31 day writing party over at The Nester's place, starting October 1st.  The idea is to pick a topic that you can write about for the entire month, every day.  My hope is that this will be a shot-in-my-writing-arm!

Here is my topic (and the cool button my husband made for me...thanks, honey!):

31 Days of my story for His Glory, writing personal stories with the aim of giving glory to God for His truly amazing grace in my life.

Excited and nervous,


Friday, September 21, 2012

Five Minute Fridays: Wide

I pulled the white board easel closer to the table.

“Here, “ I said, “Let me show you.”

On the board I wrote a division problem, quickly calculating the answer in my head to make sure there were no remainders.

We walked though long division, step by step.  She held the sheet I laminated for her because some multiplication facts just aren’t sticking. 

“Then I multiply, Mama?” she asks, eyes glued to the white board, her body tense with concentration, gripping the dry erase marker hard.

“That’s right, Clare.  Exactly right.”

She multiplies, subtracts, brings down, repeats the steps.

“Let’s check your answer, OK?” I say, knowing she got it right, wanting a concrete way to show her success.

Carefully, she copies down the multiplication problem to check her answer. 

“You did it, Clare!  Great job!”

Her eyes move from the white board to look directly into mine.  They are the shining eyes of a child who understands, who has learned something new and is alight with knowledge.  Her mouth, furrowed a moment ago into a concentrating grimace, grins wide.

“I like long division, Mama!”

“Me too, Clare, me too.”

Please visit Gypsy Mama to read more 5 Minute Friday posts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ten Minute Tuesdays

These post prompts are so helpful to us newbie bloggers!  Thanks, Rachel, for setting this up!  Here goes...

I am writing this at the end of a LONG Tuesday, so I am coming a bit late to the game.  But I absolutely love the idea of writing for a set amount of time.  It takes me back to my English major writing courses where I learned about free-writing and how very free it can feel to just let the words flow from our brain out the tips of your tapping fingers and onto the page.

When I was in college I typed, not on a computer, but on a word processor.  What was that, you ask?  It was a machine that you typed into.  The machine saved the words and then SLOWLY and PAINFULLY typed them onto paper which you fed into it.  Needless to say, I turned in many papers late!!  Not because I…it was because of my slow word processor!

Today was the first Tuesday of this school year that followed the schedule I will have for the rest of the year.  I went to my Bible Study Fellowship group for the first time today.  We are studying Genesis.  My leader is an engaging woman who, with a couple of thoughtful actions helped our group to feel cohesive.  I feel hopeful, not only about the study in Genesis, but also about the possibility of being in an encouraging and challenging group.

I start my Tuesdays these days with an intense spin class at the gym.  This is part of my get in good shape for 40 regimen that I am putting myself on these days.  I am doing weight lifting and running on Mondays, spinning on Tuesdays, weight lifting and running on Wednesdays, abs and spin on Thursdays and weight lifting and running on Fridays.  Saturdays our Family Chore Day gives me lots of exercise, and my husband and I run Sunday mornings before church.  It feels good to be getting stronger, to have no aching joints, and for my clothes to fit a bit better.  Scale is still higher than I would like, but as I tell myself often, I have birthed four babies and things shift and change a bit…right?

After dinner tonight we had one of those evenings where everyone settles in to do their own things: my husband was editing his poetry, I was editing a letter for the elders at my church, the girls were playing and my son was doing homework and researching legos on the computer.  I enjoy times like this where we are all close by one another, we can hear and see one another, but we are focused on our own activity. 

Times up!  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Focus: Five Minute Friday (three days late!)


A lens comes to mind.

I am not much of a photographer, but I enjoy the IDEA of the way that photography helps you to focus on seeing differently.

My mind is a place that could do with some focus!  One of the things I struggle with in maintaining my blog is that I read many other blogs, love their entries and the way their view the world, and then when I sit down to write my own entry, to share my own heart and mind, my words seem in adequate as I compare them to the others I have read.

I need to help my mind focus as I come to my computer.  Perhaps that means I write first then read.  Or I only write at a separate time than the time when I read, so there is a clear delineation between my words and the words of others.

As a homeschooling teacher, I have been using shorter lesson times for my kids and it really helps them focus!  For example, instead of trying to get through the bulk of an Apologia lesson in one sitting, I am taking small chunks instead.  The girls are able to really focus during our learning time, and their recall is exponentially better because I am not cramming their heads with too many facts at once.

Sometimes what I need to focus on is the quiet, or the beautiful face in front of my who needs my attention, or a task in the kitchen and NOT trying to do three things at once, but really being in the moment as I cook or clean or engage with a loved one. 
Visit other 5-Minute Friday posts at Gypsy Mama

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Family Chore Day

For the past five years of homeschooling three kids, chores were just a part of our school day, our “Life Skills” time.  Since my workforce has dwindled to two this year, I needed to come up with another system: enter Family Chore Day. 

The way it works is this: Saturday morning, after a nice leisurely breakfast, I write everyone’s name on our white board, along with their chores.  When someone finishes, I erase their whole chore list and put one more item under their name: go play and have fun!

I appreciate many things about this new system.  First of all, we are all working together which brings a nice sense of community.  Secondly, we can really knock out a lot of work in a short amount of time!  This Saturday we cleaned up after our dogs, mowed both lawns, swept our patio, sorted and washed the family laundry, cleaned both bathrooms, vacuumed, cleaned our French doors, dusted the living room and entry way, swept and mopped floors, did a big clean of the guinea pig hutch and all three kids practiced piano!  We started work at 10:30am and were done and eating lunch by 1:30pm.

The longer I am a Mama, the more I appreciate the different seasons in this parenting journey.  So far, the Family Chore Day is a positive part of this new and different season.    

Friday, September 7, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Graceful

(I know the prompt is graceful...grace is what stuck in my head)

A perfect prompt for today because I am needing much grace!  Grace to let go and trust in the area of parenting a pre-teen.  Grace to trust that God made me just as He intended, and to gracefully accept that and live confidently as the woman He made me to be, not as I THINK I should be as I compare myself to others.  Oh, I need such grace for this…

This is also a perfect prompt for today because I have been pondering the gospel lately, trying to think often how the truth of it connects with every area of my life. 

Isn’t it interesting how God will get a theme going in your life?  Lately mine is the gospel of grace.  I am reading Elyse Fitzpatrick’s book, Give Them Grace.  Our church is studying Galatians and during our first home fellowship, we talked about the gospel, where we first heard it, what is IS anyway.

I listened the song Grace by U2 this morning during my workout.  My favorite line: “Grace….it’s a name for a girl; it’s also a thought that, can change the world.”

Visit Lisa Jo at Gypsy Mama for more Five Minute Friday posts!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

the drop off

Today, for the first time in five years, I was in the line of cars snaking their way onto a school campus with a child beside me holding tight to a bulging backpack, ready to open the car door and step out into a new adventure.  I pulled up to the curb, smiled into the sea blue eyes of my son, and watched him open the door and go on his way.  Then I drove on out of the parking lot, down the road, and back home, wiping a few tears as I went.