Category archives: Loving Life

On Motherhood and Marriage and Finding God

I love being a Momma. All of it. I love all of it. All the joy. The learning. The growing. The stretching. Yes, even the struggle and strain. I find that it's the hard parts of motherhood that help me most become like Jesus. When I was in my early twenties, I remember going on a bike ride in my neighborhood. (I was still living at home with my parents because I was afraid to leave home and there were other factors weighing in on that, but I won't get into that now.) Anyways, I remember passing this empty house. I stopped in my tracks and paused there on the road and wondered if I'd ever buy a house. Or marry a best friend. Or have any children. And I decided then, on that patch of pavement, that all of that was impossible. It wasn't that it was impossible for anybody else, it[...]

On A Summery Day In June

On a summery day in June, we found a toad. This momma taught her boy how to hold it--not upside down, not too squeezy around the tummy--but just like this so as not to traumatize the critter. And the momma taught the boy that you have to let the toad go if you want it to live. Toads are not so happy in your pocket or in a bucket for a week, though it's hard for you to let them go. You might tell your momma afterwards, "I miss that toad." On a summery night in June, we all looked for fireflies. We smelled the honeysuckle. We found a nest of baby bunnies. This momma prayed and she asked God lots of things like, "Please help us. How are we supposed to live this hard life?" On a brand new morning in June, this momma looked up at the sky. She caught a glimpse of God-glory, shouti[...]

Dear Writer, Why It's Okay (and good) to Write

Each day, we’ve got this rhythm in place. After lunch and a little play time, I lay Samuel down for a nap, and Gideon (5) and Hope (4) head up to their rooms for a rest. Well, they can either rest or entertain themselves quietly. They do this for a whole hour. At least, that’s the plan. I had to buy an egg timer because it didn’t work so well at first. One of them always needed a drink and a snack and the other kept coming out every ten minutes, asking if rest time was over yet. So, I learned after several times, that it works best if firstly, everyone takes a bathroom break. And secondly, I round up a drink and a snack for each of them and set the timer. And thirdly, I threaten them a little that if they keep coming out to interrupt, they won’t get to watch a movie later. This i[...]

Happiness is...

Happiness is shutting down the glowing screen and stepping away from the wreck for just a bit and taking a barefoot walk in the grass after the rain. And happiness is pausing long enough to peer up into a thousand tiny branches. It's sticking out your tongue and sipping up the rain from the tips of trees... Or letting the edges tickle your shoulder as you walk beneath. Happiness is stretching out and reaching up... To feel the world around you, so you can more fully see. Happiness is pressing close, And stooping down and leaning in to all the wild things. Happiness is cupping tiny cheeks in the palm of your hands and looking  into little eyes to whisper kind, "I'm so glad you're here. You're a good, good kid! I'm thankful God mad[...]

For the Love of Trees (And Why They are Good for our Souls)

I love trees. They are good for our souls, me thinks. At least, there have been some trees in my life that have been a great comfort and solace to me. And I know I’m not the only one. There was this young Jewish girl, Anne Frank, who died in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. You most likely know her story already. Before she died her and her family hid for a little over two years in a secret room upstairs, above her family’s business. I feel sad when I think about her sufferings. How she couldn’t even go outside. No running in the yard after lunch. Or walking over to the ditch to pick wildflowers or check on the wild blackberry bushes. There were a few times at night when she would sneak up to the roof and look up at the stars, but she wasn’t able to do this much. [...]

On learning how to live and how to write

My tummy is comfortably round. I try to suck it in. Especially in crowds of people. I don’t want them to see my tummy all comfortably round. I want them to see my eyes and my smile. I want to fully engage with them. To throw my head back and laugh about funny things or let the conversation meander off into random things or allow pauses long enough for talk about deep things. But, I’m distracted because I’m wondering if they’ve noticed my tummy. Full and comfortably round. Later, on the drive home, I wish I had mostly forgotten about myself and enjoyed more of them. And myself. I think that I’ll try to do better next time. I wonder how to write. I wonder what it would be like to write in a free way, with no worries or fears of what people will make of it. With no pressure to come [...]

Here Lately

Usually, when I write here in this space, I try to make sense. I think hard about what it is I want to say, and I try to make it flow somehow and I try to pick just the right words to say exactly what I mean. But not today. Today, I'm just going to be my free-spirited self. I'm not going to think too hard. I'm just gonna type away as my brain thinks away. And I'm gonna be random. So, if you're up for some  random, do come along. There's some things I was wanting to tell you. Today, me and my three babes went on a walk in the wild woods. And this is what we found. Gideon has high hopes that his bones are actually T-rex bones. And Hopey is very fond of her rocks that she wants to add to her "collections." And that mushroom-- I'm proud of that. That's a morel. And I found it whil[...]

When You Go Looking to Find

This morning I woke up, sat up in bed a little and peered out the opening in my window shades. I confess. I groaned. I groaned because the tree limbs were laced back up in white and the yard was all covered in snow, and I was thinking it should be spring. Warm, green and growing spring. But, no sooner had I groaned when this sing-songy voice came rollicking back into my head. The voice of my momma when I was little as she was trying to teach me that each day was a gift and that I could give thanks and still find the good in things. The voice that would say, “Remember! This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice, and be glad in it!” (from Psalm 118:24) Yes, she’d say it and I’d roll my eyes. Yes, now that I’m a grown-up, I still hear that voice and those words and I know i[...]

How I'm Learning To Enjoy This Life

The girl with the paint smear on her forehead ran, like some wild child, like someone without a care in the world. Like someone utterly free. So, her momma turned to see. To see that light in her eyes and the way it shines out through her smile and punctuates her cheeks. And the boy, he ran too. Like a crazy hooligan, streaking through the hallway, tearing through the kitchen, and all for sheer pleasure. Nothing else. And that momma of theirs was captivated. She couldn't stop watching how the fully alive enjoy just living. She'd read about the dying. What they had to say. How they wished the living ones would just slow down and really feel their lives. She'd watched a dying man express how intensely happy he was when he heard the pitter patter of his little girl's feet comi[...]

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