Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some Inspriation for You

These words and photographs warmed my heart, made me smile and remember why being a woman and a mother is such an incredible gift. Some days I just need to be reminded.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Look What I Found in the Garden

The sun was finally out and the temperature was finally above 60, so I ventured into the flower beds and look at what I found.

Yep, a black widow spider.

Last summer the kids and I made a bird bath from terra cotta pots and saucers, and as I turned it over I spotted this shiny, black spider. This may sound crazy, but I was so excited to find her. We studied spiders earlier this year in science, read Charlotte's Web, even went to the play, so this was an exiting find.

Of course, I called for Ken to help me catch her and sent Lindsay for my camera.

Here's a closer view:

Funny how I felt a little blah and the day didn't seem to have much spark until I stepped outside and stuck my hands down in the dirt. Suddenly, the appearance of this tiny creature made me smile and wonder at the beauty of spring. It's on the way and I can't wait.

A few more pictures.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Waking Up

I feel like a bear waking from a long winter's nap. It has been an especially long, wet, cold winter here in North Carolina. We have even had snow more than once this year. For folks like me who don't particularly enjoy the short, gray days and the cold it's easy to hibernate, hard to be motivated, and even harder to be inspired or inspire anyone else.

When I began blogging, my heart was to inspire and encourage. While I haven't really felt depressed this winter, I haven't really felt inspirational either. It's hard for me to encourage others when I feel like I am just keeping my head above the water myself. However, a sweet friend reminded me that it encourages others when we are real. So here goes.

Instead of feeling super sunny and optimistic about life and homeschooling, I feel like I have been managing chaos as we navigate some changes. Change, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is to give a different position, course, or direction to. Our family has taken on a different course this year.

For starters, both teenagers are taking online classes through the community college. This is actually going well. Lindsay is taking four classes as a concurrently enrolled student and Alex is taking one through an earn and learn program. This means a little more independence for them in their school work - a good thing. It also means they are getting older and our schedules are changing (more on that another time).

Next, I have gone back to work part-time. After being home for the past thirteen years, I have discovered that I was absolutely spoiled. I thought being home was hard, but it's really not. While I am only working part-time, it has been a challenge to figure out how to meet everyone's needs (physical and emotional), keep some kind of order in our house, and be certain no learning opportunities fall through the cracks. Don't you just love the way I said that? It sounded way better than making sure the school work gets done.

Anyway, now that we are a couple of months in to this new plan, we still aren't sure what we think about it. Some days it seems to be good and other days I wonder if I'll make it. Ideally, I would love to be home, but for now this is where we are. I must say that I am learning to be more organized with my day and to simply let some things go. Plus, the time that I am home is more precious to me and I feel motivated to really make the most of the time.

Which brings me back to blogging. The blog was one of the things I let go because of time and lack of anything to say. But now that my brain seems to be waking up from its winter slumber and spring is upon us, maybe I can find some inspiration or at least a cute picture to share on a more regular basis.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful for....

two turkey dinners to eat today - our life is filled with family,

tired legs from running - football after lunch was worth it,

recipes passed down from grandma and folks who still fix them,

sunshine, blue skies - perfect weather,

ears that hear the laughter, eyes that see the joy,

voices that can sing, and hands that play instruments,

birthdays and holidays all in one day,

families coming together to celebrate all of life's glorious bounty.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Children

The morning was crazy busy. A million thoughts were racing through my mind wondering how I would get it all done. All through the morning I was racing from one thing to the next quietly crying out to the Lord for help, for peace, for the strength and wisdom to get it all done. Still so many things were weighing me down.

I tried to shake it off and move on....gymnastics, a french lesson, science co-op....still the many things to be done hanging on me like weights.

Just as we were heading out the door for gymnastics, my youngest, Kelsey, looked at me and said, "Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Luke 1:13"

She learned this verse in the form of a song at CBS. The timing was perfect.

For the rest of the day as the weights tried to creep back on me, I would hear her sweet voice saying,
"Do not be afraid, your prayer has been heard. Luke 1:13"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let My Teaching Fall Like Rain

The sky is gray. The air is cold. The rain is falling.

Through the open windows this morning I hear the steady rhythm of the rain. There is no sunlight peaking through the blinds to beckon me to greet the day. I make my way to the kitchen to start the coffee and ponder how to approach this less than ideal beginning to my day. As I sit in the stillness of the early morning, I consider the advantages of rain.

Rain is cleansing, washing away the dirt and grime.

Rain is nourishing, feeding all things green.

Rain is rhythmic, pleasing to the ear.

I remember that I love the verse in Deuteronomy 32 where Moses is giving the entire law to the children of Israel just before his death and he begin with these words, "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants."

Looking for inspiration for this school day, I look out the window and pray that my words can fall like rain today.

The sky is silver. The air is snappy. The rain is cascading.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dragonflies and Life Lessons

Recently, I read a book to Kelsey called Eliza and the Dragonfly by Susie Caldwell Rinehart. It's a sweet story about a young girl watching a dragonfly nymph grow into a beautiful dragonfly. When Eliza first discovers the dragonfly nymph, she remarks that it is an awful green creature. Upon closer examination, she becomes fascinated with the dragonfly nymph, affectionately names it, and watches it closely at the pond everyday.

Shortly after the discovery of the dragonfly nymph, the aunt (an entomologist) says, "A dragonfly nymph doesn't worry about when it will become a dragonfly. It doesn't wish it could fly or be more beautiful than it already is. It just mucks around the pond, being itself. Then it wakes up with wings." This description really caught my attention and I have found myself thinking about it from time to time.

So I thought, maybe walking by faith isn't so hard.

Maybe it is as simple as not looking at others and wishing for things I don't have.

Maybe it means not worrying about when I will get my wings and fly.

Maybe it means just mucking around in my own pond, looking after the things right in front of me.

Maybe it means just being me, not trying to be like someone else.

Maybe it means taking care of the things God has placed right in front of me, being myself with my own gifts, not comparing my life to others, and one day I will wake up with wings.