Monday, November 28, 2011


I dread the bedtime routine.  It can really go on and on with Annike.  One more story... another song... now I need a snack.  Sometimes at the end of a long day I tell my husband, "I am done being a mom now."... which means that I don't want to have any more mother-related responsibilities for the day.

I've forgotten that my job is more important than that.

Tonight, after Christian spent time winding her down, it was my turn to go in to pray with Annike.  I was particularly distracted, tired, rushed.  But the thoughtful question of my recently-turned-3-year-old grounded me...

Annike:  Is God here?
Me: Yes.
Annike: Does He live way far away, up in the clouds?
Me:  Not really... we often picture heaven up in the clouds, but God is always here with us.  He wants to come and live in your heart.  One day you can ask Him.  When you ask, He will always say yes.   (I have been careful not to push this decision on her, and allow her to take the initiative on her own.)
Annike:  Can I ask Him now?
Me:  Yes.
Annike:  I'll start.  Dear God.  Can you come in my heart? Amen ...  Momma, are you crying?

Of course I was.  But not because I was sad.  No God-fearing mother wants to miss the moment when her child invites God to live in her heart.

I realized that the moment had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a 3-year-old who is trying to make sense of God.  I almost missed it because I would rather have been watching t.v. on the couch, selfishly enjoying the final moments of the day sans kiddos.  But parenting isn't something we can simply turn on and off when we feel like it.  Neither is our walk with Christ.  In a way, I wanted to turn both of these identities off with the bedroom lights.

Tonight I was rather humbly reminded that this final part of the day is not just one more chore I have to finish before I can relax.  It is an opportunity.  I have a chance to be intentional about the way we spend this one-on-one time, possibly the most meaningful minutes of the day.

P.S.  In case you are wondering, the Proverbs thing (see here) is just what I've been needing.  Every day I come away with a deep truth that follows me through the day, relating to a multitude of dilemmas.  Proof that Scripture is alive.

Today's Truth:
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act."
Proverbs 3:27

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In a desperate search for wisdom as a mother... as a wife... as a friend... as a woman... as a daughter... as an encourager... as a listener... as an advice-giver... as a chore do-er... as a musician... as a teacher... as a book-keeper... as a money-spender... as a time-spender... as a leader in women's ministry... as a woman seeking to strive for God's best in my life... Wow.  I need a lot of wisdom.  Primarily, as a mother raising these two little monkeys...

... Miss Grump-o on the right, and Miss Unpredictable on the left.

In this desperate search for wisdom, I am committing to read a section of Proverbs each morning before I get out of bed.  A book full of wisdom for all occasions.  A "section" will remain loosely defined.  Perhaps only a few verses are necessary to chew on for the remainder of the day.  Right now, that is all I can commit to, but it is a starting point in my quest to become the woman God wants me to be.

Anyone with me?

Today's gem:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but a fool despises wisdom and discipline."
Proverbs 1:7

Sunday, November 13, 2011

in the country

Living in the country has its advantages and disadvantages.  Fortunately, nothing as horrid as the boot incident has happened in a few years (major disadvantage).  Over the summer we had ample opportunity to interact with the nature surrounding us, giving me a greater appreciation for the detailed care that God took as He created the world we live in.  We've stumbled across some of His treasures in our own backyard.

Having a husband who likes to catch creepy-crawlies certainly helps us admire them.  Our daughter thinks lizards are pets...

Orange-bellied salamandar

different type of salamandar

... and hunts for ladybugs in grass taller than she is...

... and loves to chase chickens.

She will probably kiss a toad one day looking for her handsome prince.  Until then, she can be content with simply holding one.

She will eat anything that is grown in our yard.  The garden was full of produce this year - carrots, onions, tomatoes, and the sweetest crop of beets I have ever tasted.  

Oma and Opa helped pick the last of the summer veggies.

Annike devouring a garden fresh tomato.
No current pictures of all the fruit in our orchard, but we are up to our ears in apples.

Sommer is too young to eat from the garden, but we are training her now to love the outdoors.

We have discovered some other treasures of nature like this wasp nest with perfectly hexagonal cells repeated over and over and over.

And this morning as we were exiting the driveway, a magnificent creature flew right in front of the car.  It landed in the road, clearly injured.  Christian rushed to rescue the wounded bird, and THIS is what he captured...

... a Great-Horned Owl with talons like daggers and a beak that made me glad I wasn't a mouse.  The towel was necessary protection.  Have you ever seen such beautiful eyes?  An intelligent creature to be sure.

Notice the relative size of Annike to the owl.  Animal rescue picked up our winged friend this afternoon (now maybe he will stop keeping us up at night!)

How cleverly God created each of his creatures, both great-horned and small.  The care taken as He designed each individual uniquely for survival in their world... down to the color of their eyes.  How much more care has He taken with us?  Surely this testifies to the greatness of His love. 

Monday, November 7, 2011


Annike saw this flower arrangement and said, "Mama, are you pretending the teapot is a vase?"

Yes, dear.  That is exactly what I am doing.

The imagination of my 3-year-old is in full bloom.  It is hard to imagine her without her imagination.  She reminds me that my sense of imagination has dulled and needs to, perhaps, be resharpened.  

Today, I am pretending that the teapot is a vase.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

happy halloween

No homemade costumes this year due to a decrease in the amount of available time I have for being creative... and let's be honest, an overall decrease in creative energy.  Hopefully this energy will be rediscovered as soon as Sommer starts sleeping more consistently.  Instead, I nabbed a green fairy costume a few months ago, much to Annike's delight.

Sommer got to use Annike's old glowworm costume - one advantage of having their birthday 3 days apart!  Until I took these pictures, I thought they looked nothing alike.  Christian gave me a hard time for taking the picture on the same blanket because he couldn't tell them apart!  Any guesses as to who is who??

Did anyone get it right?  The top one is Annike, the middle is Sommer, the bottom one is neither of my children... just a picture of the original for those who might be unfamiliar with glowworms.

Despite the survival mode status of our current household, we managed to find some time for a little festivity.  The baby even got to watch!

Pumpkin carving

Halloween is definitely not my favorite holiday (though I sure love getting to stick my kiddos in silly outfits!) It looks like Annike might share my sentiments because she only lasted about 20 minutes at the church trick-or-treating festival.  She was clearly far more excited about carving a pumpkin with her Papa than she was about the scary crowd of costumed strangers.  I won't fault her for this... perhaps she has her priorities straight.

Until next year, Happy Halloween!