Sunday, February 28, 2010


Photo of a Blue Ridge pottery plate taken by DD#2

rain, snow, sun, rain, snow, sun (all in the same week)
tired sweaters
tired mittens
tired coats
mint chocolate chip ice cream
one year older
my mother's birthday
Easter choir music on my CD player

the first daffodil
His coming

Thursday, February 25, 2010


(photo taken in 5 degree windchill)

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Song of Solomon 2:10-12

Okay, so the winter isn't quite past yet, but there is hope.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sometimes, You Just Gotta...


Praising Him with you today!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Drill or Not to Drill; That was the Question

After our closet collapsed three weeks ago, something had to be done. (I almost took before pics, but I didn't want to be responsible for adding to your stress.) One cannot live buried in clothing and hangers. It was time for a major closet overhaul, quite a task when the said space is only 7 feet long and must house clothing for both man and wife.

There was just one problem.

It's February.

At our house, that means wrestling season.

Which means temporary widowhood.

So....I took my little self to Lowe's, picked out the one closet system that looked remotely doable (and happened to be on clearance, yay God), and brought that bad boy home.

Three days, countless broken fingernails, a few Goodwill bags, and *ahem* some unkind thoughts later, I present this:

Just call me

Big Red will be redoing the girls' closets ALONE. I will supervise.

Be blessed! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Keepin' It Real

This blog is frequently read (and edited) by my kids. These precious ones are old enough to have opinions about what Mom writes. For the most part, I am glad they care about my musings enough to read along.

Out of respect for their privacy, I have talked very little about the day-to-day parenting stuff we do around here. Much of my speaking and one-on-one ministry to women comes out of the challenging places we've walked with our kids over the years. I'm grateful that God is taking some of my most spectacular failures and using them to speak to someone else. He's good like that.

Today, in this place, I just want to say that parenting is hard.

If I ever get to thinking that I know a lot, my teen and pre-teen are here to remind me that I don't know much of anything, really.

I am not particularly wise or patient or loving.

Some days, I'm not witty or clever enough to come up with something funny to diffuse a tense situation.

None of my Goodwill runs have uncovered a crystal ball to make up for my lack of insight.

This week I'm meditating on I Peter 4:8.
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Love covers over a multitude of sins, mine and my kids.

Love is the balm, the salve on the wound of humanity.

Where I have bruised and bumped my children's hearts unintentionally (and, let's face it, sometimes intentionally because I reacted out of my flesh), the agape love of Christ can heal.

Amazingly, Christ loved me the same way, with a love that forgives, soothes, rescues. While my face was turned away from Him, He demonstrated His love for me by His death on the cross. He loved me from a austere and lonely place, a painful place.

His love hurt.

While my child's face is turned away from me, I follow Christ's command to die to myself and love her through the pain.

Because sometimes love hurts.

Be blessed today,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let the Games Begin

In this year of actual snow accumulations, our family has engaged in a serious snowman building competition. Here's your chance to vote for your favorite entry of the Winter Games. (Cue the Olympic theme music.)

First up, DD#2 and I constructed a gorgeous snowwoman in bridal attire:
Isn't she lovely? She's the epitome of the Southern snowperson: short and pleasingly plump with big hair.
We thought we had secured the gold...until we spotted this:
It's Big Red marching across the yard with a colossal snowball in hand. Subsequent spying on the competition revealed this:
Wow! It's like a real, no-kidding, Yankee-style snowman!
The finished product, a debonair gentleman, ended up taller than Big Red.
So, who wins the D.I.T.H (Dwelling in the House) Olympic Snowperson Competition?
(Medals will be awarded posthumously, as rain Sunday night melted the challengers.)

The games will resume about every five years or so, since our "big" snowfalls seem to be be about that far apart.

Be blessed!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Big Red Valentine

Dear Big Red
How do I LOVE thee?
Let me count the ways.
(a somewhat silly poem for my man)

First, you love the Lord
It shows in every way
Your decisions show His wisdom
From His will you would not stray

You love our little darlins'
You hug and guide and tease
They think you are annoying, but they'd miss it all the same
If you gave in and let them do things just the way they please.

It's clear I am no poet, from this silly little rhyme
For you, I'm baking cookies
So I just don't have the time

February 14th doesn't make you think of love
It makes you think of takedowns, pins, and other wrestling things
After 16 years of marriage, I've learned to love you more
no matter what this season brings

Cause I love a man who makes me laugh each and every day
even when he flushes earrings down the toilet drain
You're my best friend, and that's a fact
come snow, drought, mud, or rain.

This poem will embarrass our teenager
Yes, I know that this is true
But we're having fun with it
And what else is really new?

And so I'll end this with one request
that you'll always be mine
You forever hold my heart
You're my Big Red Valentine!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Martha Moment

Today I stayed home with a sick child, a perfect opportunity to get a jump-start on my home to-do list.

Mostly we curled up and read Voyage of the Dawn Treader together.

Oh, yeah, I did about 80 loads of laundry. That should count for something, right?

I'm taking about two weeks off when this sub job ends before going back on the regular rotation.

The project plans have been piling up in my head.

Here's a partial look at my list:
1. Walking 3-4 miles a day instead of my more-typical two.
2. Spending lots of meaningful time preparing for Sunday School and an upcoming talk at our church.
3. Clean my house.
4. Get in some thrifting, preferably at a larger Goodwill in a nearby town.
5. Paint both bathrooms.
6. Repair my closet, which COLLAPSED last weekend. I might share before pictures, but it will would leave you scarred for life.
7. Write letters.
8. Catch up on the girls' scrapbooks.

Now I'm out of breath.

My husband would very much like the closet repair in progress, but his version of the next few weeks is probably lots more accurate than mine.

"Why don't you sleep late and blog and read a book for a few days?" he asked me.

Bless that man. After nearly 16 years, he knows I need to detox after big events.

Remember my "10 Goals for 2010" ? (I've considered a follow-up post to assess how I'm doing. I decided against it.) Anyway, my word for the year was "grateful", but now I'm thinking of a second choice.

Not that being grateful has paled in comparison. It hasn't, and indeed, it is arguably a large part of what this second word entails.

The new word is REST.

As a professed perfectionist, I am scared of resting. I have, on many occasions, been paralyzed into inactivity by my unrealistic goals, but fear, not peace, stopped me.

A few weeks ago, I was lamenting to my precious mentor about some decisions facing our family. "Does all this make sense?" I asked her.
She smiled and took my hand.
"Yes, Martha, it does."

She nailed me.
I realized then that all those perfectionist tendencies that I thought I'd left behind were creeping back into my thoughts, only in different packages, tied up in a spiritualized bow.


I still don't have my questions answered. In fact, all signs point to things getting more complicated, not less. I haven't a clue what to do.

Except for one thing.

I need to rest.

Matthew 11:28 (The Message)

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Caf or Decaf?

I'm needing a good girlfriend gabbing session. Want to join me?

It's too rainy to go shopping, and besides, I have no fun money. My whole paycheck is designated for paying for medical bills and cleaning out the septic tank.

Sorry for the mental picture.

Anyhoo, let's have a cup of coffee and sit a spell.

I'll have hazelnut decaf with lots of cream and a chocolate chip cookie. Or two. These are virtual calories, after all.

Over here, we're counting down the hours until this long-term subbing job is done, and our family can get back on our previous non-routine routine. There are pros and cons both ways, but for now, we've found that one-day-at-a-time subbing works okay for us.

I'm doing some devotionals for a small group that's meeting this weekend. God hasn't told me what to say yet.
I'm not panicking.
Somehow I think resting in Him and not panicking are part of the topic.

It's raining,raining, raining here. Forecast for tomorrow? Snow showers and more rain.

I was sorely tempted by a pair of blue and yellow plaid galoshes at Wal-mart this afternoon.
Did you know they even still made those?

Unfortunately, I was not tempted to buy dog food.

Oh, I'm sorry. I wasn't yawning, I promise. 5:00am was a LONG time ago.

So, what's going on at your place?

What is God teaching you about these days?

I'll get us a refill.


Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm Still Here

...and listening to this over and over:

What are you listening to these days?


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

This memory of springtime...

is brought to you by...
the awesome Designer of my garden last year.
Thank you and have a nice day. ;-0