Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The End is Near!

 Today I drove to Lowville to pick up some groceries (and seeds to plant with Lincoln!).  The sun has shone brilliantly all day, and while we were out and about the reading on the van's thermometer increased by 12 degrees, topping off at 43*.  This is exciting, folks, because though I know that winter will hang on until the end of April... or longer...it means that the end is coming soon.  It's so good to have hopeful days.  The fields we drove past also reminded me of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago:

"The First of March"

Under dazzling afternoon sun
I admired fields of old snow
the network of little rivers
eroding the winter--
dying glaciers in microcosm--
tracing across the hillsides
like stretchmarks shimmering down
the slope of a pregnant woman's belly
preparing her for promised new life.

                                   March 1, 2011

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Shaping Up Nicely

Last night, I nearly had a nuclear meltdown.  I don't remember the details clearly (funny how hindsight is so much more mellow than the moment), but it involved a culmination of paying too many bills, two meltdown-prone boys, a dirty kitchen, serving as a crash pad for jumping-son, overdone muffins, etc etc etc.  

And my husband, though contributing to my meltdown, also became my Rescuer.  He shared what he'd been pondering on his drive home, that in the midst of a sermon series, it's the topic of the series that gets attacked in our personal lives.  Our current sermon series?  Family!  Yay!  (You can follow along with this wonderful series here.)  My favorite quote of his from that conversation was, "Ahh (snap!), you are SO under attack!"  But you know what that means?  I as a mom and we as a family are actively moving toward what God desires for us; otherwise, there'd be no reason at all for the devil to bother over us.  Our family poses a threat to the schemes of the devil.  So, hooray!  I can rejoice through these meltdown-prone seasons!

Anyway, that was last night's grace after a hard day for me.  And today began with the reminder that indeed His mercies are new every morning!  Today has shaped up nicely: 

I took the time (was able to take the time) to cook myself an omelet (bacon, red pepper, and cheddar), which I enjoyed with one of last night's muffins and a mug of c-boost fruit smoothie.  Lewis thoroughly enjoyed it with me.  My body felt nice and cared for!  

Instead of constant brother-battles in the living room, I successfully convinced Lincoln to relocate his "tower" to the piano top, and scored a stretch of time during which the boys actually played together WHILE enjoying each other's company!

Before 9:00am, supper was in the crock pot.  A feat, indeed!

Later on, nearing a dish-washing disaster (because Lincoln wants the whole sink in which to play with "boats," and mommy requires at least half the sink to, you know, wash dishes), I spied our neighbors outside playing in the snow with their grandkids!  Lincoln immediately abandoned his boats and tried to get their attention by yelling "Hi!" at the dining room window.  I promptly went over to ask if I could bundle him up to join their play.  What a delightful addition to Lincoln's day!  

          Lincoln's new buddies:

The (fundraiser cookie dough tub) cookies I took over to share with the kiddos after they got cold and retreated inside.

Lincoln pointing out the snowman they all teamed up to build together (actually, I think it was mostly crafted by gramma and grampa...).  

And, I didn't get a picture of it, but Lincoln wanted to read his naptime stories in mommy and daddy's bed, which was (mostly) lovely.  And Lewis spent all of storytime on the bed with us and did not fall off (he did drop a book and mommy's hairclip behind the headboard, and rip mommy's glasses off her face over and over, and never spent more than 7 seconds staying still...but we're working on it!).

Altogether a full-day reminder that my gracious God loves to both chisel this mommy's character AND pour out the blessings of just enjoying her wonderful family.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lovely Day

 Last night, I went to bed at 2:00am.  I mean, went to bed for the first time all night!  This was because we had friends over and played a 4 hour game of Settlers of Catan--wonderful!  However, I didn't expect good things for this morning. 

But this morning came graciously, and I was able to sleep until 7:00.  

I made it to my Library Team meeting ON TIME, after stopping at Stewart's for rich-brew coffee and Kinney's for sign-making supplies.  (I really like to be on time or early...but if you know me you know the only reason I get anywhere on time is because of my hubby.  So this was a minor miracle.)  (We're out of creamer; hence the Stewart's coffee.  Also, this may be the first time in history that I have chosen, by preference, drip coffee at a gas station over cappuccino. This has been the Year of Learning to Love Coffee.  I've succumbed.)

Our meeting time together was wonderful, complete with chocolate chip banana bread, chit-chat about life, creative ideas and input all around, and productivity.

I had an encouraging conversation with my pastor in the middle of that meeting.  I thank the Lord for him just about every time he crosses my mind.  Papa Dan (as he's known by his grandkids and my boys) is the most thorough example of a FatherAndShepherdAndPastor's heart I've ever known.  He is such a testament to the grace and the power of Jesus At Work through a person.  

When I pulled in to our driveway, I noticed several pick-up trucks up the road at the house that burned last week.  The thought crossed my mind, "Go ask if they need anything: fresh coffee, somebody to watch the kids awhile, a kitchen table."  For one minute I argued against this thought, because, you know, that's uncomfortable.  But I knew deep down that this was not my own thought, but the Holy Spirit asking me to Go.  I've argued against His requests before, and it never ends well.  So, "Jesus, help me to be brave!"  And I went right up there and had a nice conversation with this neighbor that I'd not met yet but who's in the process of rebuilding his whole family's life. He didn't need anything right then, but whether "seeds were planted" or no, this was a big deal for me!  I heard the Holy Spirit ask something of me, and I obeyed Him, and I was Brave!  Thank the Lord for asking things of me again and again, despite all my years of stubbornness and fear.  

On the way inside, I opened the mailbox to find a wonderful note from a wonderful friend.  I opened the door to hear peals of laughter (almost shocking amounts of joyful laughter) from my older son and husband, wrestling together on the couch like it's their job.  Because it's Saturday, and that IS their job <3  

After lunch, I enjoyed a rare and wonderful cuddle with my hubby on the couch (usually these are interrupted by, say, Flying Lincolns).  

And then ALL the boys in the house went to sleep, and slept for three or more hours!

And I got to use that time to paint signs (posters) to celebrate the sermon series on Family that will begin tomorrow morning.  I love to put my art into action.  Even though my neck is all tight right now.  

After dinner, I drove back to church with my new signs and put the signs commissioned by Pastor on his desk, and the signs for the library door...on the library door.  I'm excited about them.  The library door now reads, "The family that READS together grows together!" 

This means that tomorrow can begin with less chaos than might have been expected.  We still don't have creamer, so it might also begin with a fresh cup of Stewart's rich-brew coffee.

(P.S. As when reading a good book, put your imagination to work dreaming up the pictures that should be illustrating this post.  Google can provide me with Catan and Stewart's pics, but not peals of laughter or library sign pics, and they're more important.  So I decided to skip the pics.)