Friday, September 30, 2011

The (fill in the blank) thing about being busy-less

edited a bit

Recently it seems from every direction I'm on the receiving end of messages  encouraging me to slow down...take time to rest ... to think ....  to evaluate .... to talk (really talk) to my family and to other people ...  to pray ....  to count blessings (which, I am actually doing -- in a journal), etc.  Anyhow: 

The "funny" thing is - I am at a point where I'm not all that busy, so these messages serve more as affirmation than conviction for me.  Don't get me wrong. There's plenty to do at my end. Always the perpetual laundry pile, household chores and errands, dinners to prepare.... There's no shortage of things to do -  and I'm not at a point where I can just do whatever I want to do at any given time. I'm by no means bored. A bit lonely in all honesty, but not bored. And - on the flip side,  there is also no long list of things that must be done now or in the near future. Pretty much everything on my to do list is of no real urgency (well - other than my taxi driver job. I work for two girls who are - well - quite busy :)  If I don't do it today -  well - maybe I'll do it tomorrow ... and if tomorrow never comes...well then I'll be glad I didn't spend today doing laundry ;) 

The neat thing is -  I love this place!  This place of freedom and flexibility. This place where if there's an immediate need to fill, I can feel free to say "pick me!" - because preparing a dinner for another family in need or changing my plans to help someone out in a pinch, is not likely to put me over the edge. Or if a friend calls and wants to get together - just to talk - I can just stop whatever I'm doing - and be there.  Perhaps never more than now have I enjoyed such freedom to even try to be sensitive and attentive to what God wants me to be doing now (key word here) and I think that has something to do with the fact that I'm not continually preparing for something I've committed to do on a regular basis and/or in the future.  I mean really ... now is all we really have to work with - right? 

The sad thing is  -  that by no stretch is my phone ringing off the hook for things of the friends calling just to get together nature - because pretty much everyone I know is SO busy! And so building meaningful relationships is still challenging.

The other sad thing is that just because I'm not so busy, doesn't mean that my family isn't.  My husband is really busy ... so I don't have to be :(   I wish he didn't have to work so much toward that end.  And, truth be told, my kids are probably too busy too. Even with minimal commitments, school is huge! And when you add in homework it's - well - too much , if you ask me. Not so much for Playmaker  right now- but moreso for Strike.  Spokes is on the verge of being offered a full time position where he is interning - and, truth be told, he is about as free as one can possibly be right now - and already I can see him trying to figure out how to maintain some semblance of  balance in this so easily can take over one's life. He's determined not to let that happen, but it likely won't be easy. 

The odd thing is that even when I am "busy" (relatively speaking) I still find myself trying not to ever be too busy in the sense that my children don't want to interrupt or "bother" me. I guess the odd thing is that even tho' I'm not so busy, I still have to try not to be too busy for those I love most and for those I should love more. 

The frustrating thing is - that I still find myself feeling guilty. When I was too busy, I felt guilty for doing too much - and now that I'm not so busy, I sometimes feel guilty for not doing more.  And I tend to feel this way as it relates to church in general. Not just about Sundays but definitely about Sundays.   The one day of the week I try so hard to carve out as a day of rest and worship for our family often seems sabotaged by so many other "forces at work" and, truth be told, church is often among them. Right - or wrong? - I don't know for sure. I'm wrestling here.  

The scary thing is - that I'm kind of afraid to put this out there. In order to "get here" I've progressively rid myself of and/or avoided various commitments that I could so easily fill my calendar and busy myself with  -  and if someone finds out I'm not as busy as they are, well - they'll probably want to do something about that. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Motherly Love

I read a post over at Henley the Great Dane Says "Boof!" this morning and I've been thinking about it all day.  I can so relate to that momma. Sometimes more than others. But -  on a different level, I can relate to her little one too. It's a must read/see for yourself. Click HERE.

her story. it's a keeper.

Ya know how there are some things your kids make that you just can't part with....ceramics, handmade birthday cards, crafty Christmas ornaments, etc. Well that's how I feel about this paper that Playmaker recently wrote. This cut & paste version doesn't capture all of her professor's decorations (compliments & comments) that now adorn the original - but this will hafta do for here. For now. Playmaker is taking a writing class about travel and adventure. The only thing I edited out of this assignment was her name and where we live. I even left her grammar/spelling errors in there ... for to change it at all would make it less of what it is....that being her story.  It's a keeper. 

All About me

            From day one, my life could be defined as “different,” or an “adventure” and for a good reason. In order for me to talk about who I am today, I should probably start from the very beginning. My name is ___________, my parents are still married, I have an older brother who is 23, and a younger sister who is 14, I am the middle child at 17 years old. Not a lot is known about my family history. When people ask about my nationality, I just say I am American!
            I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona… on the way to the hospital. No, I’m not lying, my birth certificate literally says “en route to hospital.”  I do not find it a mere coincidence that I am a naturally curious person today, dreaming of other cultures and traveling overseas, apparently even then I couldn’t wait to see the world!
            After living in Arizona for three years, my parents, brother and I moved to Oregon where my sister was born. We stayed there for four years then moved all the way across country to_________________where I still am now! My mom homeschooled my sister and me up until high-school when I decided to stop homeschooling and try it out. It wasn’t long before I found out school was nothing like the movies. The first year of it I felt trapped, there was such rigid time schedules as apposed to the leniency of homeschooling. There was no learning at your own pace which was difficult when I excelled or fell behind. I found myself drowning in homework, where as in homeschooling all work was homework so after school there was nothing extra to do.  As two years passed I decided high-school just wasn’t for me.
            All of the reasons listed above were contributing factors to my pursuit in the Duel Enrollment program at Fitchburg State University.  Junior year I came to FSU and loved it! Here I am, yet another year later and still going to the college.
            Which leads me to how I came to be in this class. Because I am a Duel Enrollment student we have a limited selection of classes to choose from and when I needed another writing class I saw this and it was perfect! Adventure, and foreign cultures! This is everything I talk about wanting in life! Plus I needed the credit to graduate; this course must have been made for me!
            I think my adventurous spirit came partially from all of the reading I do. Ever since I was young, reading has taken up a lot of my free time whether it is in the car, before bed, after homework or on a rainy day. Through the books, I have experienced so many different life styles, cultures, thrills, and dangers! There is something so appealing about a life outside of a daily routine sometimes.
            Not only have I experienced the world through books, but also first hand! In eighth grade my aunt and uncle took me to Europe with them for about two weeks to visit with friends. We did not always stay in hotels but mostly with the people. I got to see how families in other countries live their lives, and even play a part them for a short period of time. It was winter and nearing Christmas when I visited the Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria. I was freezing, awestruck, and captivated the whole time! I may not be great at history but the things I learned in those two weeks will stick with me for the rest of my life, because walked historical roads with my own feet, I went in ancient cathedrals that took centuries to build, I took pictures of and with famous monuments. The books and stories I read before hand were coming to life! I imagined myself as a character in a in a novel, waiting for the story to unfold. Trying to picture every detail in my mind, and how it would be written on paper. I was finally beginning my own adventure!
Sophomore year of high-school my mom, sister, my friend and I all went to visit the same uncle who took me to Europe, only this time he and my aunt were in Senegal, Africa! If I was shocked in Europe about the differences in cultures, I was dumbfounded in Senegal. In the beginning of our trip I did not know what to think. This place was more than strange, more than pore, and more than out of my comfort zone. It did not take long however for me to embrace the differences. I admired their hard work despite incredible poverty.  I saw the pride the women took in their appearance even while walking in dust and hot weather, I saw their beauty, and thought how often Americans dress sloppily or do not take care of themselves even though we are so much better off than them. I saw the joy and gratitude in young boys who had no families when we brought them the simplest of toys.  I experienced people with next to nothing, sharing everything they have to people who have everything they could dream of, like me. When you get past the sand, dirt, smell, heat, and fear you really begin to understand the beauty in simplicity of a third world country.  
The most recent trip out of the United States I was on was a mission’s trip with my church to Haiti this summer. I went in expecting it to be very similar to Senegal, and in some ways the same and others completely different. In many cases, Haiti was a worse off third world country than Senegal in terms of poverty. I did not know it was possible. In the beginning, my heart absolutely broke for those people.  There were countless tent cities, sources of water contaminated, wild pigs roaming around, children wandering the streets, unimaginable amounts of trash, a repugnant odor… but once again, despite everything on the outside appearance, I fell in love.  These people even after everything they had been through loved and cared for each other, children looked after other children, they played with what little they had and embraced us with love that only a child can bring. Love that breaks the barriers of language and age. In going to Haiti expecting to bless the orphans who we helped build an orphanage for, and blessing the people who needed water and food, I feel as though I have been blessed back by those very same people, in equal amounts if not more.
My heart does not naturally belong confined in a classroom being taught by textbooks, and videos telling you about the world. I was wired to experience, to walk, to see, to smell, to taste to feel, as I learn and as I create my own story. When I was a little girl I read so I would have an adventure now I am realizing that I have the potential to make my own.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

i'm learning to speak a foreign (relatively speaking) language


 I am learning to speak a foreign (relatively speaking) language.  

It's called


You don't hear it spoken much in our day and age where 

"Entitlement" is the native tongue

which I find hard to understand.

 In Eucharisteo 

there is only one word you need to know:

Thank You 

("You" is capitalized - and for good reason)

That's it!

Just. one. word.

But  - it is important to note three things:


 While only one word is necessary in order to speak Eucharisteo 

 that word is 


like a strand of three cords


Grace and Joy.

Charis. Grace
Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving 
Chara. Joy

as if to 


that it is 


 to have one without the other. 


Eucharisteo is a means of

commune-icating with God.

For some

 this aspect of the language may be intimidating at first.


in everything give thanks; 
for this
 is God's will
 for you
I Thessalonians



 This is the hard part

and it might very well require

an entire lifetime of


26 While they were eating,
 Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks,
 he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”


  I just read... 
click the pic

It was an oh so timely read for me 
and it served as my inspiration
 to attept to learn to "speak Eucharisteo" fluently.
I wish I could give everyone who reads this post their very own copy
 but please accept my recommendation to read
One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp
  as my gift to you.
If you open it soon
you very well may enjoy 
your most joy-full 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

awake up call

Yesterday is history.

Tomorrow is a mystery.

Today is a gift.

That's why its called "the present".


All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that's given us.

- J.R.R. Tolkien -


Arches of reaching limbs.
Crickets sing secret hymns...

(Note: This is 10+ min video. Begin 6 minutes in for the song that I heard for the first time yesterday. The refrain struck & stuck in my head like a broken record that I don't want to fix :)

Awake my soul to live this moment
Awake my soul - Give thanks and hold it
dear now. 
God is here now.
Awake my soul.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Silly Dog!

Last night as we were sitting down to dinner Malakai did something really odd. He grabbed a whole zucchini from a pile of fresh veggies from our garden that we had sitting on the floor near the table - and he sprawled out right by us (as he does every evening at dinnertime) - and ate the whole thing!   Tonight he took an eggplant and did the very same thing -  he ate every single mess to even clean up afterward this time. Weird!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it...

The only thing typical about this Sunday morning 
was that we were rushing to get to church on time
  even tho' we woke at 4:00 AM to do so!

Walking from the car to church this morning

Once we were seated

our eyes were fixated on the 
beauty-full  ...

stained glass window.
 as if to remind us that

"This moment ...

and the next 

and all the ones after that 

are ...



 I took off my shoes for a bit.

From what God was revealing right before our eyes, it seemed as if
even the ground we were on 
because He was there.

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
   the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
   night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words;
   no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
   their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
 5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
   like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens
   and makes its circuit to the other;
   nothing is deprived of its warmth.

Psalm 19:1-6

coffee time


As I suspected, 
we didn't want the sermon to end.
it seems that what God taught me 
early this morning
at the edge of the vast expanse where the ocean meets the sky 
didn't even really hit home 
we were heading home. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Can you guess where we're going to church tomorrow?

Tomorrow we're going to church 

but, LORD willing 

we won't be...

- dressed in our Sunday best - (we'll be bundled up - but I may take my shoes off for a bit)

sitting in pews - (but rather on something much softer)

- listening to special music (well - no - I take that back ... we will be listening to VeRy special/beautiful/soothing for the soul music)

- "taking" communion (but I have no doubt we will be enjoying communion with God...assuming we're not late!) 

- singing (but we will be worshiping!)

-  meeting and greeting those sitting around us (there won't likely be anyone else there!) or placing our offering in a plate (but we will be looking for someone somewhere that we can bless somehow)

-  we won't be in a box (building) because God doesn't fit in a box and -  quite frankly - often times it's easier and much less distracting to worship and commune with Him in His element(s) 

-  listening to a long sermon (but I have a feeling we won't want it to end!) 

Can you guess where we're going to church tomorrow? 

sunflower upside down cake

Apparently sunflower upside down cake is made to be eaten upside down!

I hung this sunflower head on our back fence recently - and later this funny fella was seen hanging next to it :) 

Friday, September 16, 2011

pumpkins & other farm pics

Our garden is almost done.   Looking back through the camera I found a bunch of pics we took out there:


no - this picture isn't upside's a reflection in the water. neat - huh?! 

Raaawr! :)

just writing a little something about not much of anything

Up until today we've been given subtle hints that fall was just around the corner. School buses. Mums. Geese flying overhead. The first real urge/desire in months that I've had to bake something....  But today - sometime during the wee hours of darkness - it seems we turned that corner and fall arrived outside my door where pumpkins that we grew ourselves (I'm so proud of that!) adorn the front steps. And leaves on the trees are beginning to change into their rich autumn wardrobe.  The chill in the air is - well - downright chilly this morning as I sit here in my living room with coffee close, a candle lit to cozy up my space -  and I'm comfortable because I'm wrapped in a soft wool sweater and my toes are tucked snugly into warm wool socks. Malakai just wants to be nearby so I brought his blanket in here too.  

I miss spending time here. Writing. I just wanted to pop in here and write something tho' it's not much of anything... just to get me started again. Planning to post some pics soon as they speak volumes about what we've been up to and will save me some time since I'm so far behind! Hopefully very soon I will feel as if I've caught up to now and more ready to move forward and to walk in step with fall around this corner that we seemed to have turned overnight. I know where it's leading .... Thanksgiving! Christmas! And I don't want to be left behind.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Innovative Bird Feeder

Kinda cool....

The seed is added from the inside of the house through holes drilled out in the top piece of the unit. That keeps keeps bird lovers from having to run outside during the winter to try to fill the feeder.
The feeders mount into the window like an air conditioner and bump out into the house, which is where the birds come to feed.
Ferguson's son, Bobby Ferguson, 29, suffers from a crippling disease that attacks his joints and has left him bedridden for the past five years.
About three months ago, Ferguson was given a NorEasterTough feeder from a neighbor. Since that time, it has brought her son nothing but joy.
When Lawe saw the amount of joy that his product brought to Bobby Ferguson, he saw a purpose deeper than just making a few extra bucks on the side.
"My real goal is to reach people who are confined," he said.

via/read more at :

Thursday, September 1, 2011

some things have(n't) changed

Today is Playmaker's first day of her senior year in high school. She's doing dual enrollment again this year at the local university. And I've just been thinking. A lot. Amazed how fast time has gone and how blessed I am that God chose me, of all people, to be her momma (she still calls me that :). How incredibly much I love her. What a sweetheart she is. Gentle. Thoughtful. Creative. Talented. Helpful.

I remember an award she was given during a school assembly in 1st grade.
That being the:

"Peace Award"


a state of mutual harmony between people or groups,especially in      personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors.

It fit her then and the funny thing is - it still fits.

That's her...on the far right.
 The picture itself is as telling as the award she received that day. 
Still, today, she tends to distance herself,
 not entirely but to some degree,  from "the crowd". 
And I just think it's interesting how in retrospect 
 - a unique perspective that affords clarity only hindsight can provide -  
one can see so clearly

First Day of Kindergarten

how much some things have changed


how some things haven't changed much ;)

first day of senior year in high school