Friday, 11 January 2013

Mercies New Every Morning

  When the girls were home out of school for the holidays, it was pure pleasure to sleep in... every morning. :) I could do it without guilt too, because the kids were happy and content. The girls took care of breakfast most days (cereal,  milk, toast), some mornings I'd go soft and let them begin their lazy day with cartoons.
  It was, in a word... WONDERFUL.
  Once Christmas passed, then New Year's, this bliss began to lift, and we all felt the need for life to reclaim schedule and structure.
  Okay- I was dying for the girls to go back to school. There, I said it. :)

  Monday, January 7, was the morning real life returned full swing. Dad to work, girls to school, mom and boys using time thoughtfully at home, the day centered around my husband's and daughters' schedules.
  It was noted that we made it through the day without casualties, and we were grateful.

  As Kevin and I settled into bed that night, he told me he and a friend were meeting early for breakfast and prayer, he'd be up and at 'em by 6:45. As my head settled onto my pillow, I was skeptical that the peace of Monday would grace our Tuesday morning...

  Several hours later, I stirred only slightly at the sound of the shower, Kevin beginning his Tuesday. I turned over greatly desiring more sleep, sinking back into it with no trouble at all. The next thing I knew I was saying good-bye to Kevin's dark figure leaving our dark room.

  I curled up again into the pillows and sheets, in protest to my being awakened. After all, a day that began so early couldn't possibly do any good! I thought about why Kevin was leaving so early, how he and his friend would pray, perhaps open the Bible together, and talk and build each other up and be strengthened. I said a little prayer for them, then closed my eyes to drift off again...

  But something CRAZY happened. (If you know me, it's CRAZY.)

  I was ready to start my day.

  The thought of being showered and dressed before the kids were even conscious thrilled my insides.

  And so it was done.

  Minutes later, I read an article from a friend about the wonderful benefits of a little honey and cinnamon every day, and thought about it as I dressed the girls, eager to make my kids some toast, butter, with a dose of honey and cinnamon. :)

  The kids ate breakfast, chattering excitedly about their tasty toast. I bustled about the kitchen preparing the girls' lunches for school, my heart warm as I listened to my kids share and laugh around the table, so cheerful and eager so early in the day.

  Things were running smoothly... but I was still skeptical... just too good to be true...

  I was stunned to silence when the kids naturally assembled at the door together, exchanging hugs, kisses, and good-byes. I stared at them wide-eyed, I believe my jaw dropped, as I shoved the girls' lunches into their backpacks. When they finished, they stood quietly around me, staring back at me expectantly. I didn't even know what to do, I was in shock. One of them asked me what I was doing, so I shook myself into sense, and we prayed together, for Daddy, each other, our day, and our loved ones.

  And the girls were off.

  The boys went to play, and I sat down for quiet time and coffee, writing this simple sweetness of God's grace in my journal, writing being an evidence of grace in itself for me, having written so little these past months.

  I closed with this:
"Good, gracious Lord- I am speechless at Your mercies new this morning. Thank You, with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength- I thank You!! <3

   And this was wonderful fun to write- thank You, Father. <3"

  It was later this day that I found myself meditating on 1 Peter 3:4. The study guide I was using asked questions that led me to dig deep and draw richness out of this passage, and out of my heart. I read over my answers to these questions again today, and I loved what I read:

  "I have a hard, cynical heart always in need of softening, always in need of God's tender mercy to make it tender again.
   I can be confident in the Rock, the beautiful Rock of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer. I am not left to live in, be ruled by, my fear and selfishness. I am set free and released to love and grow with tenderness and beauty as I behold the beauty and perfection of Jesus."

  These are a couple of things I am thankful for today. And it's only 11 o'clock. :)

  So in case this wasn't enough for today :), I have also been delighted to find a list I wrote out in early November, while I was visiting my sister and family for a few days. I was sad that I had lost it. But I found it folded safely in a book I hadn't opened in awhile.

  So picking up where I left off from a couple posts ago...

Gratitude to God:

November 2012- God's beauty on display the past few days...

160. Watching my 78 year old grandfather take a stroll with his 5 year old great-grandson, my eldest son, who favors my dad, my grandfather's eldest son.
        They walked and talked a short distance, then sat on a bench to watch deer lay and graze at the edge of a field.
        Silas adored Gramps and this time with him.

161. Celebrating my grandfather's 78th birthday with him, enjoying time with him, my aunt and cousins, my sister, brother-in-law, neices, and my own children; all of us singing "Happy Birthday" to him, then eating the homemade cake my sister and I made together. Taking in all of us in that moment, at that table, together.

162. Laughing and joking with my sister. (Teasing her even when she's grumpy :), yet being able to help out when she just. can't. take. it. anymore!!!!! ;D)

163. The depth and wonder of a brilliant night sky away from city lights

164. Breathing in the crisp air, canyons, bluffs, and beauty of northern California

165. The unity of the Body of Christ, how moving and beautiful it truly is to know and experience this family of God, whether meeting for the first time, or fellowshipping with loved ones

166. Rediscovering a bond with friends so close they are family; finding that these ties are stronger than I ever realized they were

167. Relating as an adult to loved ones I knew as a child and teenager

168. Trying to soak in the surreal moments of them meeting my children for the first time, this being so fulfilling and natural

January 11, 2013

169. The way writing and recording a list of gratitude to God for simple every day evidences of grace is healing to my soul. Confessing praise to Him this way leads me to the Cross, which humbles me before Him, clearing my cloudy vision, my inward parts cleansed and renewed by His blood, through His Spirit of grace. I want to carry this song on my lips today, Father- the song of the Redeemed. Put a new song in my mouth today, Lord!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

A Cynic Silenced

  Sitting in my bed finishing the last of the holiday cookies I've had stacked in the Christmas tins on top of the refrigerator; glad to be rid of them, sad that they are gone because most of them were consumed by me.
  Obviously, dieting is NOT among my new year's resolutions. Actually, I have no new things I have resolved to do or be that I can think of at the moment. Friends of mine have written posts on their blogs in the past week that have encouraged my soul at the start of this new year. This gave me resolution to write something here again. ...If only my friends had written of dieting, perhaps I would be inspired to diet... wait, three chocolate covered cookies left.
  Writing something is as resolved as I'm gonna get tonight.
  I hadn't realized how long it's been since I last wrote, and I had to ask myself why. I have discovered that I am often drawn to write when I am in melancholy, darker moods. So I have not written when I have been drawn to do so because I do not want this to be my mental and emotional garbage can! (That's what my journal is for! And a very vital garbage can it is indeed, it shan't be replaced!) I don't want my writing here to be consistently associated with my darker side. When I think on all the beautiful things I desire to speak of here, and how infrequently I have stopped to write because of the frequency of my darkened moods, I see, and sometimes mourn, how cynical I become as I age.
  I mourn the loss of innocence in my heart, in unexpected moments, like during Christmas-time so recently, how I fail to wonder and awe at the marvelous, simple beauty and treasures life offers, as I did when I was a child. I want that depth of purity and hope again, a fearless hope for every new day. I hunger for the healthy lack of inhibition children have, to speak honestly and vulnerably with no hesitation, to look a stranger straight in the eyes, smile warm and big, and say "Hello!! What is your name???" because the greeting simply cannot be contained, to dance and sing on impulse, to run, and jump, and leap, and laugh without restraint. Don't get me wrong, I have four little ones, I love some restraint and boundaries ;)... yet, I cherish this lovely, unsullied place in children, I admire and desire it so.
  I see the increase of evil in this whole, wide world- horrifying, wretched, soul-wrenching evil. It tears this world, so many hearts and lives, apart. I grieve, it angers me, I harden.
  This past year, I have become increasingly aware of my cynicism. It is a subtle, sometimes not so subtle, way of thinking, an attitude, disposition, that I default to. I could blame it on my generation, my cheeky age group of fellow Americans, that plays a part in it, sure, but ultimately, it beats within my own heart, I am cynical quite naturally, on my own, with no external influence, it is how I react to any number of horrible things happening in this world, or on a smaller scale, how I react to life when it doesn't go the way I plan or prefer, which is pretty often.
  Recently, on a day I was more aware than not of my cynical attitude, I was struck by the mention of a verse that has always meant so much to me but I had not heard, or meditated on, or prayed for my own heart, in a very long time. "But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." (1 Peter 3:4) In contrast to my hardened outlook, 1 Peter 3:4 reminded me of that vulnerable, tender place in me that I had not given time or attention to in awhile. I was instantly convicted, brought to Jesus' feet, asking Him to take my cynical heart in His hands and make this imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit true of my own.
  I am cold, blind, and selfish but not for His tender mercy pouring over my heart of stone, seeping Redemption into its cracks and crevices, creating a new heart of flesh that beats for Him and reflects His beauty, pointing to His perfection and grace.

  I am not able to resolve not to be cynical. For me, that is impossible. What I can do, and have found myself doing, is thanking God for the grace of His conviction, thanking Him for each and every time I am sorry for and grieve over the hardness of my heart, even just a little. It is a glimmer of hope, a piercing of light into darkness, when I can see how I am gripped by fear, moved so often by nothing but fear and self-preservation. I thank Him for softening my heart, even just a little, making me able to see when I have grown cold to compassion, calloused with pride, deceived by selfishness in all its justified disguises.
  It is in these times, when my heart is broken in humility, that I have joy unspeakable in even the smallest of His graces and glimpses of His beauty, and the cynicism, within and without, is silenced.

  I am very glad to be writing something again. Today, I see His grace for what it is, and it is enough for me.

Monday, 27 August 2012

A Little Thanks... His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever;
to Him who alone does great wonders, for His steadfast love endures forever;
to Him who by understanding made the heavens, for His steadfast love endures forever;
to Him who spread out the earth above the waters, for His steadfast love endures forever;
to Him who made the great lights, for His steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day, for His steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night, for His steadfast love endures forever; Him who led His people through the wilderness, for His steadfast love endures forever...

It is He who remembered us in our low estate, for His steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes, for His steadfast love endures forever;
He who gives food to all flesh, for His steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.

Psalm 136

Gratitude to God:

143. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

144. Coming to tears of gratitude and praise to God as I memorize familier Scripture, verses I have heard and read since I was a child.

145. Galatians 2:20 penetrating my heart, the Holy Spirit applying it to my life today, opening my heart to soak in the truth of this verse.

146. Thanking God for writing His Word on my heart today

147. A birthday full of love, being surrounded and strengthened by loved ones

148. My church family, who are used by God so beautifully and profoundly in my life; how God reveals, lavishes, and pours out Himself through them in love and grace. Being continually supported and strengthened by the gift of the Body of Christ.

149. My children bursting out of the pantry closet exclaiming, "Surprise!!!! Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!" on the morning of my birthday, exploding with hugs, kisses, and artwork made by each of them just for me. (Michaela made a special pop-up card for me with her declarations of love and affection all over it, Brook drew a picture of a rocket flying out of the atmosphere with our whole family cozy and smiling inside, Silas drew a colorful rocket for me too and a dinosaur, his first drawings like these that I know of!, and Sol colored an entire picture pink, calling it "Pink Smoke".)

150. My little boys singing "Happy Birthday" to me as I tuck them in for bedtime

151. Receiving gifts in person and in the mail:
- a bike from my husband! The million ways he spoils me and cares for me.
- the incredible love of family sent across the miles
- packages from my sisters, a few of my favorite things, their words always speaking straight into my soul...
- a homemade cookie cake made by the dearest of friends! The treasure of her friendship and affection
- birthday greetings on Facebook, the odd blessing Facebook can be sometimes... (smile)
- the pleasure of my birthday falling on a Sunday, worshipping with my church family, thinking deeply on Christ with them, soaking in the preaching of the Word together, meditating on the Gospel and responding to it corporately, what joy!!
- enjoying the presence and company of so many beloved friends on my birthday

152. My heart bursting and melting in thanksgiving before God, knowing I bring nothing good to the table, He is all goodness, I am undeserving of it, yet He lavishes His goodness upon me.

153. Though sinking into mild depression, God sustaining me through His Word and through my family in Christ

154. That God allows the sinking of my heart to remind me that I am empty and lost without Him, so that I can drink Him in more deeply, and then pour out my heart to others from a place of deep gratitude to God

155. God's pursuing commitment to complete the work He has begun in me

156. God setting His affection on me through the gift of His Son

157. How God sets His affection upon His Beloved, the Church, His Body, and cares for her tenderly, patiently, diligently, passionately

158. Today, knowing in the depths of me that I am cherished in the depths of God's heart

159. Being loved- by God, by my family, by God's people

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Longing for... Home

  I dry my hair after a shower, standing in one corner of my room, finding myself glancing over at my Bible and journal on the other side of the room, as if they are old close friends I have neglected and am trying to avoid, and I actually feel guilt. I laugh at myself for this, trying to push away that empty, gnawing feeling I've had for the past couple weeks.
  Without effort, my thoughts delve into the deep, searching this ache in me, asking God to awaken something in me that I feel like is dying.

  What are you longing for, Danae?

  ...this question cuts... it both comforts and disturbs me to answer it. So I start slow and simple. NOT allowing my heart to bleed.

  Creativity. Just the ability to create.

  What do you want to create?

  Not a clue.


  Ah!! I want to write!!

  What do you want to say?

  (Crickets chirping) ...Silence.

  Hollow ache in my stomach.


  Well, if I could just have enough QUIET time to think, to process, I could come up with something! SOME kind of healthy, productive outlet!! Something creative to do, something colorful and outside of the lines of the daily grind for me to do alone, or with my kids...or alone... or anything, I'll take ANYTHING!!!! Because I know this is the root of what I'm feeling... this sad, weird, restlessness is me needing something to latch on to, find identity in, something that expresses ME. That IS what is wrong with me right?? This is what I need to make this ache go away, right...?

  The restlessness is churning now, buzzing in my head.

  Go CLEAN something, Danae!! Hurry!! Before you snap!! Go play your guitar, play with the kids, e-mail someone, organize something...

  Too late. My heart is bleeding now. That unsettling question is beating hard in my chest, I try desperately to keep down the lump rising in my throat...

  "What are you longing for, Danae?"

  My heart struggles with this longing I can't quite put into words. It nags at me, it really bothers me, because I feel that there isn't much I can do about it. It is a deep restlessness that scares me sometimes because I don't know what to do with it. It makes me miss loved ones I can't see for long months on end, it makes me impatient to grow in the friendships that will grow only from time and sacrifice, it makes me frustrated at my slow growth, leaving me yearning for a glorious day when I will be wiser, mature, full of grace... less ridiculous, melodramatic, and selfish... I dream... (pitiful sigh)

  This is not a happy place, to be sure, a place I have been time and time again. I go for days, weeks, denying that I am discontent with the routine of life, because I KNOW I have everything I need and more, and I want to be thankful for every blessed and sacred moment.
  I deny that I get mad that I can't seem to be creative, mad that I can't seem to do something/be in control of something more than laundry, 3 meals a day, avoiding summer heat, trying to keep me and the kids from going crazy in the house, to playdate or not to playdate... the circumstances I get claustrophobic in vary with the changing seasons. But this familier place is, well, just that- familier, whatever the season of life.

 Yet, in all this mess, these are the Days that remind me of what I am really, truly, always longing for.

  I am longing for Home.

  I am longing for Jesus.

  My bleeding heart is a hardened one, content to lick its wounds, and it rejects this. It says no, no Danae, your problem is that YOU are not fulfilled. What will make you happy now, right now...? Be practical. Think 5 senses, see, touch, hear, taste, smell... Food? Blogging? Being entertained by music, something funny to watch with the kids? What can I do, see, hear, touch, taste, smell...? So many options... think! So many things to do... so many things so limited... so lacking what my shriveled heart desires... so many distractions... so many things to keep me ignoring what's really going on inside of me... My idol of self-fulfillment trembles.


  I AM longing for Jesus.

  It is here my heart is pricked by the scalpel of the Holy Spirit's conviction, its edge presses in with precision... it is here Truth resonates in the deep parts of me, here that my idol of self-fulfillment crumbles. I know that even if I receive self-fulfillment from all the things I think will fill this aching deep... I will still only have grasped a passing, temporal fulfillment that will soon fade, and I will be left with only the option to consume more, to conquer my soul's unquenched thirst yet again with what does not satisfy... It is NOT merely my own self-fulfillment needing to be satisfied that is my problem here. Self-fulfillment, in whatever form, in its "purest" form, will not satisfy me, and when I ride its short-lived highs, I inevitably experience its intense, brutal lows- I experience something that cannot be put into words... a fathomless grief that I cannot be satisfied with anything in this life, in this world... a raging thirst to be lost in the wonder of something beyond this life, beyond this world... a ravenous hunger for every breath to be saturated in wonder, depth, and beauty...

   I am longing for Home.

  I am longing for Jesus.

  I am longing to be with the One my heart loves... because He first loved me. To be with my Creator, the only One in whom there is no end to Beauty and Life, the One in whose hands all things are made new. I breathe in the truth of His unchanging character and it fills that desperate thirst to be lost in the wonder of something beyond this world.

  Only HE fills that void.

  THIS is my longing, the deep ache I have... for my corruption to be no more, to be eternally consumed in the presence of my God and my Redeemer. I long for Home.

   Do I long for creativity? Yes. Passion? Yes. Inspiration? Sure. Depth? Most definitely. Anything else that is lovely, that breathes fresh wonder into our souls, shows us how beautiful life is, and makes us come ALIVE somewhere deep inside- YES. But I am so good at trying to find fulfillment in these things in themselves, forgetting Who has given them and Who is pointing me to Himself...

  He is patient, and He is kind, He allows me those days of coming to the end, the scraping of the bottom of the bowl, a place where the emptiness hurts, and we feel the pangs of starvation... it is here He reveals that I am starving for HIM. I am longing for every moment to be saturated in the wonder, depth, and beauty of Christ.

Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

John 4:13,14

As the deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1,2

O God, You are my God; earnestly I seek You;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary,
beholding Your power and glory.
Because Your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise You.
...My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
And my mouth will praise You will joyful lips...
My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:1-8

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in His temple.
... You have said, "Seek My face."
My heart says to You,
"Your face, Lord, do I seek."

Psalm 27:4, 8

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart
And my portion

Psalm 73:25,26

"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love Him" -
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.
For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Corinthians 2:9,10

Gratitude to God:

June 23, 2012

101. The cool of the morning

102. A chorus of birds, greeting a new day

103. Morning mist, dew on the grass

104. A cup of hazelnut coffee

105. Rising early, time to pray, read, and write to my leisure

106. Coming home to my kids, excited to see me

107. The sweetness of my kids when they first wake up

July 4, 2012

108. Pleasantly tired and slightly sunburned from swimming with the kids

109. Brook and Si beside themselves at learning to swim today

110. Witnessing so many tender moments in my kids’ lives, being a part of these moments

111.The kids staying up late, wrapped in blankets outside, marveling and shouting and constantly commenting on the fireworks overhead

112. Celebrating the independence of a nation in which there is religious freedom for Christians

113. Freedom to share the Gospel

114. Freedom in Christ; being a citizen of heaven, storing incorruptible treasures in heaven in Christ. By the mercy and grace of God, not being consumed by temporal and earthly cares that will pass away.

July 9, 2012

115. A basket of fresh fruit piled high

116. The way my kids love apples, their favorite snack

117. Reflecting on time spent with dear friends and loved ones in the past couple of weeks, so thankful for these people placed by God’s loving hand into our lives!

118. Growth, maturing

119. Turning from fear, letting go of fear- embracing love, seeing through God’s love, not my own fear

120. Talking with my dad on the phone for awhile, really catching up, never a dull moment- what a blessing!

121. Relating to my parents as an adult, how it makes me feel closer to them than ever- I feel like I know them better now then I ever did as a child or young adult; and I realize this knowing can and will grow as the years go by- looking forward to that

122. Pacing myself, taking days “off” to make the most of days with nothing planned, just me and the kids at home

123. How blasting music while I clean or cook centers me and the kids, and they enjoy the loud music with me, while they play and draw or make crafts at the table

124. All of us singing loudly with the artist serenading us on cd

125. Cuddling with my kids

126. My daughters’ soft, golden hair, my sons’ dark tanned skin

127. Michaela and Silas’ green eyes that they got from their Daddy; how much they are both like him and each other

128. Brooklynn’s light brown eyes, Solomon’s dark brown eyes and their round cheeks that they got from me; how much they are like me and each other

129. Cooking dinner for my family and everyone eating together- eating well and happy

130. Reading Charlotte’s Web with Michaela

131. Enjoying “The Jesus Storybook Bible” as much as my kids do! Enjoying teaching and reading from this book when I teach the children at church in Sunday school

132. Bonding with my friends’ children- getting to know these cute and hilarious kids my own children know and love as their best of friends

133. Painting my daughters’ nails and toenails with their choice of vibrant fuchsia nail polish

134. Making paper airplanes for my boys

135. My soft, warm bed, welcoming me in to be still and enjoy the quiet of the evening

136. Not knowing how to stop adding to this list whenever I sit down to add more

July 18, 2012

137. Thinking over the last week or two, so thankful to be a part of so many lives

138. Celebrating the birth of a brand new little boy, the son of dear friends; being a part of the excitement of the day he came, the blessing this family is to our lives

139. Going out of town for two days with the women of my church to a women’s conference that blessed our lives; soaking in the Word and teaching and each other’s company

140. The relationships God continues to build and bless at Redeemer Church, the work He is doing among us

141. Absorbing “The Attributes of God” by A.W. Pink and “The Knowledge of the Holy” by A.W. Tozer, praising God for how books like this impact me deeply on every level

142. How solid teaching and books stir my hunger and thirst for Christ, for the Word of God! How this strong, deep, passion humbles me before God, knowing it only comes from Him, because I am absolutely aware of all the time that passes when I do not have this strong desire to drink Him in and soak in the Word… and it makes me so thankful, SO THANKFUL that He gives us eyes to see, ears to hear Him… broken and contrite hearts to know Him.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Sacred Moments, Part Two

  As I shared in my previous post, I want to share some moments I’ve had with my kids, to remember them as they are now, to remember the days I have them close and small, days, I am told by older and wiser parents, that will pass more quickly than I can know right now. So I want to treasure some of the moments I have with them here, in no particular order. The dates are for me mostly, for memory’s sake.

June 14, 2012

  Michaela asked me if I still have my wedding dress and if she could see it today.

  I pulled it out of its hiding place in my closet, and spread it over my bed. We looked at it together, she examined all its details. She wowed and marveled over the veil my mom made to go so beautifully with my dress. She dreamt of maybe wearing it one day, asking me question after question about my wedding day.

  …Mother-daughter moments that threaten to make you a weepy mess- you never see ‘em coming.

  One rainy day, I took the boys on a morning date to Starbucks. Silas, not quite four years old, was pleased as punch sitting next to me sipping his chocolate shake, occasionally sharing his very important and very random thoughts with me and Solomon.

  His eyes and mind were busy with people-watching, all sorts coming in from the rain, soothed by the warmth of indoors, easing into the line to order, pulling out wallets to pay for their orders.

   After 10 or 15 minutes of observation, and a very long pause, Silas looked at me, thoughtful and serious, stating, “Mom, God doesn’t have a wallet.”

  “What does He have, Silas?” I ask.

  “He has money in rainbows, the sky, the grass, and the mountains.”

  There you have it, folks. You heard it here.


  Brooklynn and Silas killed their first frog yesterday.

  After 3 hours of them playing outside so contentedly, I thought it might be a good (not to mention, responsible) idea to check on them in the backyard. I found Silas quietly coloring at the outside table with his right hand, while his left hand held a poor frog in a death grip in the air, pinching its sides towards its back, its black eyes bulging in pure terror, its legs hanging lifeless.

  I exclaimed over it, telling him to put it back quickly, quickly, quickly!, trying my best not to throw up. He brought it over to its hole in a panic, putting it in like some kind of 2 year old frog expert.

  In the afternoon, I found the frog, dried up and dead, sitting in the sun on the grass.

  …They’re playing quietly outside right now… much too quietly…


  Solomon insists on riding his rocking horse in the middle of the living room. We drag it back into the playroom, and when he notices it’s gone, he drags it back, mumbling his disapproval that it was moved at all.


  Silas is walking around with Brooklynn’s polka-dotted lunchbag, telling me over and over again, “Don’t stay in my purse.”

   He is quoting me- I say to him and Solomon all the time, “Stay out of my purse!!”

   He has 3 or 4 play cameras in this “purse”, he is pretending to snap pictures with them. He says he “bites” when he takes a picture. He took a picture of my face and said, “Mom, I bite your eyes.” He turned and took a picture of our room and said, “Mom, I bite the room.”

Sept. ‘10

  I’ve noticed lately that when I vacuum, the testosterone mounts in my sons’ veins, and they are transported to a strange, barbaric world in which I am the great monster/dragon seeking to devour them.

June 2011

  As I helped Brooklynn put on her socks and shoes this morning, she says “You’re naked!! No, I’m not!!”

  I ask, “Who are you talking to, Brooklynn?”

  “My feet.”

Ok, I’ll say it.

I like Tangled as much as my two little girls do.

I said it.

“Then I brush and brush and brush and brush my-y hair…!!”

March 16, 2012

  This morning, it happened.

  I’ve sworn to myself never to wipe anything off my children’s faces with my saliva.

  Four kids into marriage, eight years into motherhood, I have stayed true to my word.

  Until today.

  In the rush of the morning, leaning in for a kiss to send Brooklynn off to school, I spotted jam on her cheek. Before I even knew what my body was doing, I was licking my thumb and swiping that jam right off her sweet little face. She and I laughed together as I exclaimed, “That’s the first time I’ve ever done that, Brooklynn!!!”

  I’m growing up.

April 4, 2012

  As I laid Solomon down for a nap today, settling his blanket over him, he yanked his chubby fingers from his mouth abruptly and looked up at me, his big brown eyes wide.

  I knew this was going to be important.

  “Mom, I’m gonna have a good dream of GOD,” he said very solemnly.

  My heart almost exploded. But that probably would have ruined the moment.

May 3, 2012

  Michaela’s 2nd grade writing assignment:

  Read the beginning sentence.

  Finish the story.

  Write a title for the story.

  (Beginning sentence)  One day I saw an octopus in a shoe store.

  Michaela’s sweet 7 year old work:

  (Title) Talking to an Octopus

  “One day I saw an octopus in a shoe store.

  It had six shoes or more. I met the octopus, it was very kind to me. But the octopus told me it was not kind to a bee. The octopus talked to me, yes, it’s true, but the red octopus, his brother, came along too. The red octopus was not very kind, it seemed that it was out of its mind! It was time to go and I knew, the octopus’s would go too.

  The end.”

May 23rd 2012

  Solomon has finally peed in the toilet for the first time. (Yes, he is 3… yeah, I know, I know, everybody!! I’m still growing up, too! ;)

  Silas, the big brother, was SO excited. He ran through the house yelling, “Mom, he peed!! He did it!! Solomon peed in the toilet!!! We HAVE to tell Daddy!!!!”

  I congratulate my youngest on his accomplishment, and pick up the phone to call Kevin, at Silas’ urgent request. Silas is VERY persuasive.

  As I wait on the phone, I see and hear Silas telling Solomon how proud he is of him, to hurry to follow him to their room so he can get some of his underwear for Solomon.

  Solomon strutted behind Silas with a very big boy look on his face, his chest puffed out, quite pleased with himself as he followed his proud big brother, who was about to share the sacred stash of cool Spiderman and Superhero underwear with him.

  The Day has come.

  We help him get the underwear on and Solomon shares the news with his proud Daddy. Kevin shares our happiness, giving his approval to all of us over the phone, telling Solomon how proud he is of him, telling me how proud he is of Silas for how happy he is for Solomon, telling me “Don’t drop the ball” as we say good-bye (his way of telling me he’s proud of me too).

  I told Silas how proud his Daddy is of him, and we all wore the same contented smiles on our faces.

  Kevin- Father, Husband, was proud of us. What more do we need to know today?

May 30, 2012

  Around 7:30 this morning, standing in the kitchen readying the coffee pot to brew, I take in the scene before me, my senses on overload.

  The kids were “eating breakfast at the table”-

  Michaela was mutilating her gummy bear vitamin, yelling things like “I don’t have any arms!” and “I don’t have a brain!” on its behalf.

  Brooklynn and Solomon were running circles around our dining and living room, Solomon screaming for no particular reason, Brooklynn- just running.

  Silas was singing, “I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss…!!” (from Enchanted) as handsomely as he could, declaring “Giselle!!!” from time to time, in between bites of cereal and milk.

  I re-seat the marathon runners, moving into the bathroom with Michaela to fix her hair for school. As I braid, she breaks into song… The Twelve Days of Christmas.

  At this point, I surrender.

  We finish the whole song together. We sing through fixing her bed, making lunches for school, getting shoes on, etc.… Approaching the 12th day of Christmas, we raise the key for the grand finale, lifting our voices in exaggerated, operatic tones, Michaela clearing bowls and spoons, me, sweeping over milk circles and drippings with my washcloth… we close the song as obnoxiously as possible.

  Yes, I know all the words to that dreadful song.

  And yes, it was an out-of-body experience.

  And now for that cup of coffee…

June 1, 2012

  If you ever have 6 kids in your care for a day, ages 9 and under, and they ask you if they can make a “cave” in the kids’ bedroom, say “Most definitely, yes!!” and give them all the supplies they need (blankets, sheets, bed mattress…). Once they are engrossed in their work, back out of the room, then yell something over your shoulder like “It’s so loud… I’m shutting the door…!” Then close the door behind you.

  You will be amazed at the quiet house you’ll have in your hands.

  I understand how the illusion of being powerful can be so addicting…

June 11, 2012

  While Solomon was waiting for his breakfast this morning, he began to whine, “Mooooom, I want my FOOOD………..”

  I told him, “Solomon, stop whining. You act like a big boy and wait nicely. Are you acting like a big boy?”

  Without hesitation he replies, “I’m acting wike a kid.” (he pronounces his L’s like W’s J)

  Brooklynn and Silas are playing zoo in the confines of the boys’ room. Brooklynn is playing the part of every zoo animal splendidly, and apparently all the cages of this expansive zoo are found just behind the Spiderman sheet draped in front of Silas’ bottom bunk.

  Silas is having a conversation with Brooklynn, who, I forgot, is also the Head Zookeeper…

  (Silas) “I can work here forever and ever and ever???!!!”

  (Brooklynn, in a voice like Dora the Explorer) “Yes!!!!!!! We are so exciting!!! (‘exciting’ is how she says excited) Okay, but if you work here forever and ever it’s gonna be a lot of work. You will have to sweep ALL the floors, fix the cages, and feed all the animals.”


  “And then when you’re done, you can look at the animals.”

  This doesn’t seem like all it’s cracked up to be… but it’s probably just me.