winter blues

What started out as a fall project has turned into a winter long continuation of art and mess and incompletion.  I’ve been painting, which is a big reason why I haven’t been writing.  I keep thinking I’m coming to the end, and then, there’s always something else to do.  People need to eat.  There’s another room to clean.  And maybe this is good thing, actually, of course it is.   The world keeps on spinning, no matter what season it’s facing.  Our good work is a gift from God, and it’s a grace that it never runs out in this life.

This has simultaneously been an act of faith and an act of rebellion.  Some woman dye their hair purple.  Others, like me, paint their walls every color of the rainbow I can find a way to work in.  It’s my way of dealing with all the brown in the world, which by the way, will hopefully be the color of the school room hallway when I paint over the red I didn’t end up liking.  It’s my way of saying, okay, fine, you’re gonna turn all brown out there? Then I’m just gonna head on over to Sherwin Williams for some Aristocrat Peach now.


Actually, it’s so much more than that, so much simpler.  I’m too old and tired for rebellion.  I feel at home here and I want to make it feel like home.  I cried with so much joy and happiness and satisfaction after finishing my son’s room for his birthday, the son whose birthday I basically forgot last year.  I found him a headboard with a book shelf for his bed that had always sat alone on the floor.  There’s redemption happening all around us in this life. The barrenness of soul is being restored to faith and fruitfulness again.

Lent is here, and I’ve said this before, but spring is not my season.  Some people get depressed in the winter, but I don’t get depressed til the spring.  I mean, I’m always sort of a little bit depressed.  But Lent just seems to make everything worse.  I can’t remember if it’s always been this way, or if it only started after having to grow up.  With my first pregnancy I was sick all spring long.  And when the others were born, I was recovering through the spring.  If fall is summer’s grand finale, then spring is winter just beginning,


the lengthening days of hope deferred.






on the ground

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall never pass away.”
~Matthew 24:35~

“What is it?” I asked, half asleep and undecided.

He was staring out the window, hushed.

“The world looks huge”, he said.

It was time to do what he needed to do.

He got out of bed.

I heard the shower through the wall.

Yesterday in the shower, when he suggested I come along for the ride, I could only hear the sound of my voice hushing kids through two long church services.  If I stayed here, five kids could sleep a little longer.  If I went, we’d have to leave in half an hour.  The time was 5:58, and I couldn’t shake the lingering thought.

It was now or 7:30.



We dropped Dad off at the church around 7:45.  Instead of going to the early service, he suggested we take some time to get something to eat.  We’d passed a variety of little restaurants in the town of thirty-thousand, and after getting some practice with our directions and map skills, we experienced french toast and bacon at The Busy Corner cafe.

The food was good, the company even better.

We made it back for Sunday School and Church.

Thanking God for daily bread.

the balance beam

We don’t get out much, and most days, none of us seem to mind.  We have our Wednesday afternoon P.E. at the Y, which we started in the fall.  Thursdays are co-op days, which we added after the first of the year.   For co-op we get together with other home school families and have classes.  It sounds nice, and it is, but I was hesitant to join.

I do have fear of commitments, but I also just want to be careful.  One of the greatest parts about homeschooling is the freedom.  I was thankful we moved when we did.  I haven’t said this to many people, but I even feel like we escaped, as we were just about to enter the ages of endless kid activities, and the end of being home together as a family.

I have mixed feelings about the co-op.  What began with the intention of giving my kids a chance to meet other kids, quickly turned into me volunteering to teach the preschool class this semester, when the original teacher had to quit for family reasons. Teaching preschool this semester, and for the most part enjoying my hour with the kids, got my possibility wheels spinning and almost turned into me willingly signing up to teach Practical Astronomy next semester.  But I didn’t.  I decided, instead, to give it time.

We hear a lot of talk about finding the balance.  Rarely does one fall off the balance beam all at once.  It’s a gradual process, of little by little, adding things to the delicate plate. One day we’re driving down the road toward socialization and experience, and before I know it, the next day I’m flustered and in tears trying to get out the door, hoping my eyes dry before it’s time to teach my class.  It’s then I find myself doubting, wondering whether or not a good thing is the right thing, wanting nothing more than our sweet and quiet school days at home.

At the same time I know it isn’t all about me.  Family life involves a willingness to see beyond ourselves and adjust for one another.  People ask me how long I plan on homeschooling.  I tell them we’re taking things one day at time.  It is my belief, that in order for this to work, it has to be a mutually enjoyable and beneficial experience.

So far it is, and for that, I am thankful.

Dad and I are not morally or philosophically opposed to traditional school–public or private. Homeschooling is just something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and God has opened up the way for me to do it.  My greatest desire for this time for homeschooling is to walk by faith, keep an open eye and open mind, and make the most of out of every day He gives us.