Thursday, September 26, 2013


These are the moments...

...the moments I want to hold onto.  Those quiet moments.  The noisy moments.  The ones where we cuddle and keep and pray and read and sleep and be.  Moments where life, yes life, is lived... breathing, laughing, soft tears crying.  Close. So close.

Moments that mark.  Moments that dwindle.  Moments that whisper and sit on a shelf dusted when old photo boxes, trinket boxes, tucked away treasures reveal.  Vivid, blurred, fading, fast.

The moments of life, the ones that echo, when standing in the distance, running but nowhere.  'Then' gets farther, tomorrow gets closer.  Good-byes, soft sighs, more tears and trembling and wondering... wondering how.  How do I live without.  How did I ever think I could.  Years trickle by, like the ripples on a pond when a soft breeze blows.  What was life with?  Without?  With... it all streams together and you wonder.  Wonder when you will blink and all...all of it is gone.

So today.  These days.  When I linger longer in the soft cushions of our old warn couch... the cushions which have held many babes, dried many tears, endured many bounces, spills, and splatters... if I linger there with warm bodies pressed closely around, voices drifting in and out of words from Tolkien or Alcott or Virtues long forgotten.  It is because these moments, these ones that are trickling by on that pond of life, these are the only real ones.  The ones that matter and last and live.

If, today.  This day, you find me bent over a rolling pin, a flour splattered, paint splattered, worn out table making biscuits or pies or things that linger in the senses.  Standing there longer than I should.  Longer than I could.  Standing and moving and swaying with the rhythm of a kitchen and chatter and sharing and clatter.  It is because these times are but a blink, a drifting, a fleeting, a sensation that will sift through the generations to 'remember when' and 'wasn't that wonderful'.

If now.  Right now, I slide away from the keyboard more to listen more to the voices and the noises and the din which is youth.  The din that some days hurts my heart and others lights my life.  The din that rises with a.m. and Bibles and buzzing around dishes and sets only when the last goodnight kiss and hug, one-more-hug, blinks dark... it is to say, when a spider web head wonders and wanders and still glimpses and remembers, yes, even the chaos was grand.

In the love and loss and life gone by, the memories fading, the people fading, the process of old and then and now which has settled in the midst of my heart and those I hold dear I stand firm in LIFE in now and know... for them it was a blink... for me it is a blink and only a blink more until tomorrow is today and today fades away.

Be blessed in the moments that are.  No matter how up or down or in or out.  They will pass, both good and bad and they will be longed for and missed, forgotten and wished. It is the path we have chosen, the path we are walking, the path which is Lit and Lived and Led which leads us Home.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lessons of Grace*

I sit and sip in the gentle aroma of Earl Gray from a sturdy, yet delicately decorated, cup which had been buried in boxes and paper until only a few weeks ago.  This new life, in a new place, old things, new routines... it is adjusting.

In adjusting, the Kohosh which has kept me sane these last 10 years since my surgically induced menopause, was forgotten.  Surely I don't still need it... it has been 10 years.  I learned, this week, I mostly certainly need it... or stock in Earl Gray and Rogaine.

The climax came yesterday, day two of our fullish day of school schedule, and my 13 year old with his earmark deep yet crackly voice... his speech impediment from being def for the first three and a half years of his life... his dyslexic sideways-upside-down way of tackling all that he does... yes, that 13 year old challenged me in my raw state beyond what I felt capable of enduring.  Agitation riddled most of what I said and did, though the years of teaching two of my children with disabilities has trained me in better self-control... it has not yet trained me in the BEST self control.

My heart ached... it literally ached.  My veins were sore from the pulsing as I wearily set out dinner.  Hubby home, all smiles and cheers.  Me, wondering if Rogaine fits in the budget and not daring to suggest it for a spelling word that will never be mastered, I moved quietly, wishing to be invisible.  Wishing to be alone.  Wishing it wasn't so hard.  Fearing for what will become of my child who just-doesn't-seem-to-get-it.

Dyslexia, Amanda, he has a heart to learn and serve... don't loose sight.  Spelling challenges, unintended attitude with a seeming-to-him odd request from his mom as we worked on an unpacking project... he is my sweet child... oh, 13, give him back.  It whirred as I sat, taking my place at the table and bowing as 13 was picked to pray.

So quick, the speech impediment, the strings of ridiculousness at odd things asked, the playful-at-all-the-wrong-times disappeared as his prayer drifted through the air.  The prayer of a young man not a 13 or a child or a soul lost and searching.  No.  The firm, confident, prayer which cut straight into my aching and tumbled heart as I slumped across the table from this man child who had challenged me all day,

"And thank you, Lord, for our teacher...and thank you, that our teacher is our mom." Tears broke through the rims and only a miracle of the Spirit kept me from sobbing.  I had been so short with him, so intolerant and unwilling to offer up grace for the moment.... the new school year, the new schedule, the new ways things are being done in this new place.  I missed how compliant and willing he was.  I missed how hard he worked (even in-between the goofing off).  I missed his desire to conquer his challenges and overcome in order to achieve a greater goal and purpose in this life (and the next).  I didn't deserve gratitude... but he wanted to give it.

Oh, the lessons of grace from the sweetest, simplest, most undeserving places... from someone who did not care about the temporal, rather, only for the eternal.  Oh how Christ-like my man child has become.

But that is homeschooling.  More than book-learning are the lessons in the moments between.  The ones where student and teacher look oddly unexpected and the material becomes that which hands can not hold but hearts treasure forever.

Be Blessed in all the moments God has granted.

 Also linking up with some of these

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Monthly *Vlog* and a note on Hospitality*

It is that time of month again where I try not to embarrass myself in front of my webcam!  Where I also still seem to fall short on keeping it... well.... short!  I will get there... someday!  But, hey, for the first time it actually gave me a thumbnail where I am smiling!

The book is Open Heart Open Home; How to find joy through sharing your home with others by Karen Burton Mains. My copy is a 1976... seriously! So the subtitle on the new one is a bit different (and the cover has changed).

The *vlog* challenge comes from Jen Ferguson at Finding Heaven Today I think it is a GREAT idea for our sister bloggers to create community and get to know each other more personally.
Jen Ferguso Pop over and check it out.  I think it is a GREAT idea for connecting with our sister bloggers on a more personal level!

Because hospitality is often mis-understood and under-estimated, I plan to share more on it.  Be sure to email or comment with questions and I would be happy to respond!

Be blessed, be hospitable, and be open to sharing God through your home!

“Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, "This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant and I use it as He desires." Hospitality does not try to impress, but to serve.”
Karen Burton Mains, Open Heart, Open Home: The Hospitable Way to Make Others Feel Welcome & Wanted

Also linking up with Michelle at today 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Deep Under Old Familiar*

It was this wild idea.  A string of events that came together at that perfect point.... what does a disciple do?  See what I do... you do it too.  Me... I'm studying the book of John.  So I asked... do you want to too?  Yeses and requests began popping up, even in the unexpected. Our little group is growing, it is exciting and as I teach and share and search and lean... I am growing.  Why wouldn't I?  Anytime we crack God's Word with a serious and searching heart... should we expect anything less than growth, change... profound revelation???

So yesterday I sprawled on my couch, cozy against the corner with the pages of my young yet worn NRSV open and highlighted to the hilt, notes and scribbles all over the words of John's gospel.  I interrogated, because that is what I have learned to do.  ASK, search, ASK, pray, ASK and wait and know God has a message.  He had a message then and He still has a message now.

God, what is the message today?  What do you want me to see in these old familiar words I have read so many times in John's 5.  "Stand up, take your mat and walk." and he does. HE DOES, Lord, but what more?

Then I hear it, that beautiful voice of my Father, lean closer, child....

6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, "do you want to be made well?"


Jesus KNEW his circumstances

Jesus ASKED HIM do you want to....

Jesus sees ME
Jesus knows my circumstances
Jesus asks me do you want to....?

Do I?

This sick man makes excuses.  Is he excusing himself?  Is he saying, yes, he wants to, BUT?  There must have been a 'yes' implied there somewhere because, then...

8Jesus said to him, "stand up, take your mat and walk."

It isn't just the command that gets me though, it is the response that follows which drives it home....

9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk...

 How often do I need help yet I pray only for the way I see out.  How often does Christ stand in front of me and say "Do you want to...?" with His intention being to fix the problem in an unexpected way?  And (sadly) how many times do I miss it because I am busy telling Him why I can't?

Jesus SAW HIM.... He sees me.... Do I see Jesus?
Jesus KNEW his circumstances... He knows mine... Do I trust that the circumstances are inconsequential to the King of Kings?
Jesus ASKED HIM... He asks me... Do I respond with excuses or anticipating a miracle?

Whether it is a rut, a catastrophe, or even a fleeting moment of challenge; I suddenly feel more deeply inspired to not just KNOW Jesus is in control but to SEE Him, Focus on HIM (not the circumstance) and Focus on His solution... not just what my eyes can fathom as the solution.  If my eyes, thoughts, heart never leave His face I will certainly find myself getting up, taking my mat and walking.... and even Pharisees won't stand a chance!!!

I pray you find deep roots in old familiar passages of God's Word.  I pray you know each moment of each day rests in His tender eyes, His capable hands, His loving heart.  I pray you see Him, trust Him and respond to him with anticipation.


 Also linking up with some of these

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A House Called Home*

NOT our new home!*

 Well, I made it!  Off the BIG Roller Coaster and onto the runway.  Lots to see, lots to do... and yes, I know "lots" is not proper grammar!

We are in our new home, having traveled 1000 miles round-trip in the last 2 weeks to retrieve our household items from storage and plant them within the walls of our new surroundings.  Friday, as I nestled into the familiar soft corner of my old couch in my still barren walled living room... I felt it.


I scribbled deep thoughts in my journal from that cozy corner.


I opened His Word and searched for His mighty arms.


Yes,I was Home.  No more in-between.  No more borrowed space.  No more contingencies or questions or wondering/wandering....


Such a word was never so sweet then at the end of a three year journey of simply yet radically following Christ where he led out of "home", out of familiar, out of comfort to places I could have never imagined... into situations I would have never dreamed.

As I tarried in that old familiar spot Friday, I journaled and prayed and dreamed and studied.  God showed me many things but most profoundly He showed me Faithful.  The whispers and murmurs of the last few months... wondering the purpose and plan of this cozy little website where my fluttering heart often rests and my wandering mind sets down beside the babbling brook....

He showed me.

There is a HOME in Faithful HOMEschool.  A home that is missing and needing and calling to be shared.  There are mamas who, yes, need HIS Word to lift their weary hearts, but there are also Mamas who need to know this crazy journey of life, mothering, teaching and LIVING has, beyond its nucleus of our Lord, ties they sometimes get lost in trying to connect.  Being Faithful in the kitchen, in the laundry room, in the school room, in marriage, parenting, friendships.... in every detail and every aspect.  Devotions each day are just the beginning.  Tie-ing God's Word into the inner workings of life... that is when we begin to LIVE.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
-Deuteronomy 6:6-7

I will be starting a new series next week.  Chronicling and sharing my journal pages beginning a year ago this month as we traversed this great nation west to southeast to southwest and finally north again.  I will share the trials and tribulations of living as a mom/wife/woman/homeschooler on mission.  A continuation of sorts of the Traveling series I was working on during the summer... but with a twist!  I will also be sharing more deliberately on hospitality notes, scheduling experiences (and experiments), wifely thoughts, parenting, and teaching moments.  And, of course, I will still share a devotion each week.

It will take time and adjusting as we learn our new schedule and routine on this end... but I am excited to see where God takes us, takes Faithful, on this new branch in life planted in south-central Montana with a focus completely altered as the result of the past years' journeys and this life's calling to live missionally right where we are.

From the house I call home, I pray you have/know/find home... even if it isn't a place but a state of being where focus must stay on things eternal and that Mansion with many rooms.

Deepest Blessings,

*As we get settled we still don't have proper internet so I can't upload pictures of our actual home... the picture above is from a cute house I found not far from where we use to live!