over the river

The weekend kept us busy with fall events. Saturday was our annual homecoming at camp. The turnout was pretty poor and I admit to feeling quietly disappointed about it. People say this is a busy time of year, but I’m starting to wonder if there’s ever a time of year that isn’t busy for people.  I’m grateful, however, for the ones who came. Camp has a solid group of supporters that will, rain or shine, show up for events. In this case rain.

Sunday was church and then later that evening we went back for their annual fall festival with a trunk or treat, bounce house, face painting, and pot luck. I spent the hours in-between there shopping for pot luck food, vacuuming out the van, reading, writing, and making a salad. The kids spent the rest of the time with Dad getting their costumes and make-up on. They get into the trunk or treat thing more than I do but we all had fun.

This morning we drove to a local historical site which counted as our main October field trip.  We walked through a town emulating the pre-Civil War 1800’s perspective. “Meat and potatoes” is a common Mid-western meal and it occurred to me that these were the foods that would’ve been easiest to store through the winter. First they slaughtered then smoked their pork, and also stored potatoes in their below ground root cellars.

It just seems like so much when I think about all we have today. The level of comforts and access to goods, and yet I feel there’s also so much waste in our lives. These people didn’t have garbage or garbage cans! They had fires that needed to burn year round, and the town had several places, almost like community waste systems, where the ashes from the fires were dumped and stored. They eventually used the ash to make soap.

I sometimes wonder why the heck I don’t know more by now. These people quilted, knitted, crocheted, made soap, cooked over fires, and drew water from wells. They dyed yarns, collected herbs, and knew exactly what to do to keep their toes from freezing. I know you never stop learning, but I hope there’s a time when knowledge blooms. It’s one thing to acquire knowledge in life, but I feel like the joy is when you get to start using it.




embracing my surroundings

It seems like everywhere I look the past several days I’m hit with that, “Wow, look at that!” and then, “Wow, look at that!” The Wednesday night church group we attend is currently offering a session on photography. Last week we learned about snapshots vs. photographs. The “Wow, look at that!” is the primary prompter of ordinary snapshots.

That and that feeling of, “I want to, I need to, of all things, remember this.”

Photographs are crafted and happen on purpose.  This week we’re talking about camera settings and light. I haven’t used my “real” camera in a while. I quit using it, yes, when I got my smartphone, and also when my computer quit reading my memory cards. I am hoping both to get a new computer soon, and also to learn how to further use my camera.

Daytime warmth comes briefly then goes. “Sweatshirt weather” passed quickly again this year and I’m already needing my regular winter jacket for walks. Autumn is definitely the season for layers–heavier socks, higher shoes, long pants, and warm gloves.

Pretty soon I’ll need a scarf.

A few more gals are coming over tomorrow morning. I talked before about that “needing more” feeling and feeling that pull to the outside world. Starting this school year, I knew “people” was something I was needing more of, and I know I’m not alone in this,

on taking things step by step in life

awaiting the snapshot of where He leads.

more on this


This morning as I pulled up to the gas pump for gas I had the “random” thought, “I need to call my mom and find out how she’s doing.”  Not five seconds later I got a text from my mom asking me about kids’ pajamas and sizes. Things like this convince me there’s such a thing as esp, or some kind of mind over body connection between humans.

And yet, the body effects the mind. Movement can uplift the mood. Food can comfort, nourish, and energize. What we put in our bodies can also deaden, damage, and slowly desensitize us to the world, and probably most tragic of all, our own selves.

I really don’t know where I’m going with this. One of my sisters has been struggling with health issues, and also trying to make changes to her diet, something she’s further inspiring me to do. I think we’re getting to this age where we’ve maxed out the resiliency that comes from being kids. I hope to keep writing about these various food things soon.

Call me pathetic, but I still have times where I look around or find myself in a situation where decisions need to be made and I’m like, “Well, I guess I’m the grown up here???”

No really, I seriously, STILL have a hard time.

You never outgrow the need to grow up.

I think I’ve made joking around part of a defense mechanism for not feeling confident. I have fears of commitments, because with commitments come weighted and hefty responsibilities. Am I against hard and difficult work??? I’ll work as hard as or harder than anybody else when I want to, but what am I supposed to do when I don’t want to?

I feel like that’s asking me to be dishonest, and I’m not just saying that to make it sound virtuous. I don’t like being someone I’m not, and I don’t like doing things that don’t feel like me. But I also love to learn new things, and becoming aged is something you learn.

I miss my grandma a lot today. I’m starting to feel weepy even though I haven’t wept. We’re having a small pastor’s wives get-together at camp. The original one was cancelled, but while we were at the pastor’s conference, I ran into some wives who’d really been looking forward to coming. They were all women with small or school-aged children, and my heart went out to their hopes for a break and some womanly connection.

My grandma used to do these things all the time, and she’s in a stage of life where she’s having to learn how to not, how she can’t, be that person anymore.

Wow. I truly didn’t mean to pull up this screen and write something depressing.  I don’t really know what prompted all this other than that I’ve been thinking about my sister and her health and my health and my family’s health and this retreat coming up. I’ve got my hashbrown quiche in the oven. The kids are getting their weekly Friday half-priced slushees with dad, and they just walked in.  Where o where on earth did the time go!?

Here’s to seizing the day again, friends.

A blessed weekend to you and yours.


enjoying the present


It was cold enough for the boys to make a fire downstairs. I had some phone calls to make and one last school required appointment to schedule.  The kids did school on their own yesterday morning, and today again they started without me.  It puts us out of routine, and I don’t like doing that, but it’s also nice they “know the drill” enough to get started. I caught up with everyone around 9AM and we marked down day 35 of school.


I love housework when it’s cold. I can’t pinpoint why some days the work at home can feel like such a pointless pursuit of nothing, and then other times it feels like a warm fuzzy blanket and the coziest gift that keeps unwrapping. Something about growing up in a house with lots of kids almost makes me crave and feel at home in the “crazy”.  It isn’t crazy though.  A cat here, a pile of socks there. These are the colors of people and life.


The past several days have felt pretty productive. It’s that nesting that comes any time there’s a change. Yesterday I stocked up on herbal teas and beef bones. Today the first batch of vegetable and bone broth simmers on the stove. In my never-ending quest in the movement toward order, I printed out piano practice sheets and a two week chore chart for each child. I even printed off and colored one for myself. I did it partly for fun, because it makes me laugh, and because I also do crave and want, too, an ordered life.


The boys had the same four items on their list:
1)Make bed
2)Straighten drawers
3)Tidy room
4)Brush teeth

Each one then had to choose a fifth item as a chore that would also bless the family.
–Straighten story corner
–Wipe counters in bathroom
–Lint roll furniture and straighten couch cushions


We’ve actually been working on the making the bed and bedroom things for a while, but I’m also trying to encourage ownership of self and spaces, where these little, positive things they do do not have to be regularly prompted by me.  I’m also trying to gradually increase the amount of areas in my home that give me that relaxed, happy, and satisfied “Ahhhhhhhh” feeling.  A decluttered kitchen cupboard. Snow pants hanging and ready to go. A linen closet filled with clean, soft, colored, and neatly folded sheets and towels.


The leaves are busy out there and the dryer just buzzed.


on Christ’s church


I want to be gracious, humble, and lowly, but I still find myself with so much anger inside me. I don’t know why I care about this topic so much, and why over the past several years, the way women are talked about in front of men has really started to bug me.

I do understand it was a room full of men, so the speaker presented for that particular audience. Yes, of course, the order of creation, and every diagram you see lists the word “woman” underneath the word “man”.  Yes, the man is the head of the wife, and the woman was created to be the man’s helper. He said that helper there is someone who “comes alongside” and that it definitely does not mean slave, and that yes, the husband, too, can do the dishes–but wait. Who just tied the word “helper” with dishes?

(I know. I know. We’re never happy.)

Over and over about head, helper, head, helper, and actually it was more like


Yes, the women are at times to remain silent.

(And never once did I raise my hand or say a word).

But Christ is the head, and we are the body of Christ, correct?

It seems like there are a ton of body verses in here.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it,  so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
~1 Corinthians 12:21-27~

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
~Ephesians 4:14~

And last, but not least–

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

He said women often pull this passage out saying, “But see, look, we’re all supposed to be submitting to each other.” According to him that’s not what it means. He said it’s like Paul here is saying, “Attention everybody…Get. in. your. spot!” He is calling them to order…

 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

To affirm a comment that came from the audience, the man, he believes, has the higher calling in marriage. He is called to die. She, however, is only called to submit.

(Wow, I feel so much better now, thanks.)

Look, I’m thankful. I really really am.

I don’t want to be sarcastic, bitter-toned, or disrespectful.

I’m really not mad.

I’m really NOT mad.

But where, O where, is the woman’s glory?

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
~Ephesians 5:21-32~

I know, I know.

It’s found in His.