Monday, September 10, 2012

It's been too long...

Here's the harvest the boy and I gathered in the last thirty minutes.  Not all that's out there, by any means, but still abundant.

And I'm reminded of Jame's words that struck me so deeply as the man and I planted in early spring:

"Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted which is able to save your souls."  (1:21)

Would that His word would have such a harvest in my life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My uncle Jay

My uncle Jay died suddenly two weeks ago on April 6th.  Today's post is in memory of him.  Here's the slide show I created for his funeral.  He was full of life, and we will miss him.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

a quote & a blessing

I've recently been reminded of this quote by Henri Nouwen, and it has been rolling around in my head:

"The more you are called to speak for God's love, the more you will need to deepen the knowledge of that love in your heart. The farther the outward journey takes you, the deeper the inward journey must be. Only when your roots are deep can your fruit be abundant" (The Only Necessary Thing).

I wonder, is this one of the reasons God called me to memorize the book of James? (One chapter + one verse down today!)

And such a blessing, my sweet husband and boy surprised me with breakfast in bed this morning.

And God surprised me with a lovely view of spring blooms out my window. I couldn't ask for more!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It is early spring...

and Kelby and I began planting our garden. (Okay, mostly Kelby began planting; I only helped a bit.) We scooped dirt out at the right depth, gently placed a seed in the ground, and covered it with soil. We were careful not to plant the seeds too close together, for we wanted to give each plant room to grow. Crowding seeds means small, immature plants. And these plants are meant for sustenance; we want them to grow well in order to feed our bodies, to make us healthy and strong.

James writes: "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).

It is early spring, and God is tending my soul garden. He has gently placed the seeds - His word - at the right depths and the right distance apart. Sometimes, let's be honest, most all the time, I fill up that empty space. But God meant it to be just that - space - room for His word to grow. My filling makes my soul garden overcrowded. Crowding seeds means small, immature plants. Crowding things means a small, immature me. And God meant these plants for sustenance; He desires (and so do I!) them to grow well in order to feed my soul, to make me healthy and strong.

Humbly, I wonder, is Hulu the only thing I've crowded into the garden of my soul that God so carefully planned? I don't think so. What else, Lord? What else do I need to put aside in order for Your word to grow, full and mature, in my soul garden?

It is early spring.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In one room...

Lives are shared. You begin to see...
the struggles,
the messiness that is life,
the hurts,
the celebrations,
the desires long forgotten.
You can feel the tension
and the release of finally sharing.

Stories are told. You begin to see...
your father's fingers stained from the Mulberry tree on Sunday afternoons,
your grandfather's little boy legs around the horse on his early morning ride to school,
your grandmother's strong young arms holding babies close,
history come to life.

Memories are stored up. You notice...
those hands work-worn like your father's,
the color of that cheek bright once more,
the slant of their noses just so,
the note a chuckle takes.

Four generations,
in one room.
A gift.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Joy x2

A few weeks ago I posted on considering all things joy. Yesterday, as I was reviewing my Bible study and beginning to memorize the book of James, God was reminding me of this.

Side note on memorizing the book of James: Crazy! I know. Beth Moore challenged us all to memorize this short book during the study. Of course, I, with a 3 month old, said, "Absolutely not, Beth!" And wouldn't you guess that in my vehement response, God would suggest ever so sweetly that memorizing James would keep me from losing all I had gained over the last seven weeks? I suppose I should have seen that one coming. Nevertheless...

God was reminding me of something. He reminded me that joy is my birthright. (Now, I hadn't actually forgotten this little - big! - truth.) Further, though, He told me that just because it is my right doesn't mean that it cannot be taken from me. In fact, because it is from Him, the enemy will try to steal it away. But, lest I get discouraged, He said to stand firm. In standing firm, I could refuse to let my birthright of joy be taken from me. I could, in James' words, resist the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
--Ephesians 6:10-17

Yes, stand firm. And the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, for me in this case is consider it all joy (James 1:2a). Because joy IS our birthright. It is ours, not to be stolen from us. And that is worth celebrating.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Part of Me

There is something in that moment. When it hits you. When, suddenly, it's clear. A word, a phrase stands out brighter than the rest. Brighter than ever before. And your heart says, "Sit up. Listen. Take note."

The sermon was about being a servant, not just one who serves. He said that serving in the "hidden-ness" is what transforms our hearts. And isn't that what I'm after? Isn't that what Lent is all about, after all? Transformation? Preparation?

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied,
“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered,
“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
(John 13:6-8)

There is something about serving that guarantees a part of ourselves, that gives a part of ourselves. I can't expect to serve wholeheartedly without giving myself over to the other. And then, too, when I allow someone else to serve me, I receive a part of them. How can I refuse someone's service to me without denying who they are? How can I hold on to myself in the service of others? I can't. I can't.

It's something to ponder, to mull over, to treasure. Because this moment of awareness is not accidental. This moment is preparing my heart, transforming my heart. I was made for this, after all.

And you? What is your moment?

My sermon notes & doodles. Hop on over to my friend's blog to see more doodles from church.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


For the first time, I'm actively engaging in the season of Lent. My husband decided to give up computer use at home, which got me thinking...
about my time
about my habits
about my Bible study
about my conviction

And I knew it was right for me to join him in giving up and giving over, in this time of preparation. So here I am giving up Hulu for Lent. Reminding myself daily that what I fill my mind - my life - with is important. Remembering that being intentional with my God, with my husband, with my son is more important than the characters on my favorite shows.

Because it's not just about my time. Or my energy (or the lack thereof). It's about my heart. He is making my heart a garden. For Him. For His glory.

And in Hulu's place there is to be...

Watch. Listen. Enjoy.

Monday, February 13, 2012


My friend and neighbor told me when my son was born that change is the new normal, or something to that effect. She basically meant that I should expect change. As soon as one routine seems to be set, Jesse will change, and we'll have to adjust. That certainly seems to be the case, and it's not a bad thing.

When I found out that I got into school and was pregnant at the same time, I knew there was a specific reason for it. That's why, as I take this semester off, one of my goals is to figure out how motherhood and writing fit together. (Right now I picture it as less of a balancing act, and more of a marriage. There will always be give and take, but they are meant to be together and make each other better.)

Although this is my goal, the first few weeks I didn't worry about it. I just wanted to get to know my son and myself as a mom. (Not to say that it can be accomplished in a few weeks; I don't think that will ever be finished.) After a bit of time "off" writing, I began to want it again. My fingers itched to get to the keyboard. But when I had a spare moment, I had neither the energy nor the ideas to even begin to write. So I waited a bit longer.

Now I have more energy, but often I feel bereft of ideas. Or I have ideas but no time. Or my boy needs me. Or it's easier to watch Hulu. Or, or, or...

But today, glorious day, my son fell asleep. I took a quick shower, and he was still sleeping. I messed around trying to get my printer to work, and he was still sleeping. So I thought, why not try to write? Eight-hundred plus words later, and I'm beginning to realize that it's not about the time or the ideas. Sometimes it's simply about sitting down to the computer, placing my fingers lightly on the keyboard, breathing deeply, and getting out some words. No matter how many. No matter how good.

I may feel great about it, like today. Or I may feel frustrated and drained and incapable of thought. No matter. It's a marriage. Some days are easy, and some are hard. But this journey of motherhood and writing were gifted together. I trust that they will make the other better.

So here's to change, to constant adjustment. Here's to being who I was meant to be. Here's to being whole - a daughter of the King, a wife, a mom, a writer, a friend, and so much more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Consider it all joy...

Today, I find myself musing about joy, books, creating, work, and so much more.

At the beginning of the Bible study that I'm doing at my church, the author says that joy is our birthright in Christ. What a beautiful thought. Joy as a birthright. That has been sticking with me over the last few weeks.

I love to read. I can and will literally devour books day after day. Now that I'm nursing, I find this especially true because I'm sitting still for hours each day without the ability to get up and do something. So...I read.

Wouldn't you think, then, that these endless hours of reading would fill me to the brim with joy? Most of the time, they do. However, sometimes I find myself swallowed up by the waves that I once sailed. When I am only taking in without in turn creating, I drown. My joy in reading is stolen when I don't turn around and create or do something with what I'm taking in.

Sometimes I forget that the creating, the doing, is joyful. Madeleine L'Engle says it this way: "Our work should be our play."

I was just recently speaking with a friend about this. We both agreed that our hardest work, the thing that takes the most energy and time and risk is also the thing that is the most rewarding, the most joyful. For me, that thing is writing. It's sad that so many young people don't understand this. (I can recall many instances of my past students saying that they wanted to have a job where they didn't have to work; they just wanted the easy life, to play.) "Our work should be our play." Our work should be our joy.

In the grand moments of inspiration when I'm swept up by the In the work of In the cleaning of the In the changing of a In the waking up tired to nurse my hungry In the reading of the In the moments with friends, In the reading of good In the remembering to photograph my boy each

Consider it all joy.

My husband planning a lovely 27th "Napa Night" birthday party for me.
Consider it all joy.

My beautiful, sleeping boy.
Consider it ALL joy.
In Christ.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My cute boy...

Today, I'll just let my cute boy do the talking!

Happy Tuesday.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I can see Squints from The Sandlot mouthing the word in slow motion, his bottom lip folding under the pressure of his teeth: "For-ev-er." Yes, it's been forever. And in that forever space, so much has happened. Here's the quick-and-dirty list:

1. Kelby and I found out we were pregnant. Woohoo!
2. The next day, I found out that I got into Vermont College of Fine Arts to study Writing for Children and Young Adults - my dream come true!
3. I finished the year and quit my teaching job in order to focus on graduate school and the baby.
4. I completed my first semester at VCFA with the rough draft of a picture book, a short story, and half of a novel.
5. I had my beautiful boy on December 1st, 2011. He was born on his great-grandpa Jesse's birthday and named after him.

This really has been a whirlwind year of blessings. The Lord really poured out his blessing and made his scripture come alive for me: "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not calamity, plans to give you a future and a hope'" (Jeremiah 29:11).

As I was reading another blog this morning, I came upon an amazing and simple idea for keeping up on this blog. In yesterday's post, Ashley Ann of Under the Sycamore mentioned that she has "started a little project of taking one picture a day on her phone." For this perpetually-forgetting-the-camera-and-missing-such-sweet-moments-girl, that sounded just simple enough. After all, I'm never that far from my phone. I decided that I'm going to copy-cat this year, and try to make that project my own. A picture a day (or more, depending on my mood.)

Now don't get your hopes up, you five followers who may have already abandoned me during my extremely long hiatus. I am not going to post every day. That just doesn't seem doable. I will, however, try to post my daily photos at least once a week with an update. Hopefully, hopefully...

Here are three photos from today. Enjoy!