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He fills the longing soul with good things. Ps. 107:9

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City
by kayla fry

Photo by Molly Porter
She loved the city. She loved the burning in her legs as she rushed down the street. She loved the way her scarf never stayed where she tied it. She loved the buildings leaning in around her. She loved the lights of a million cars zipping past her and a million windows without curtains letting the cold office lights shine out into the even colder darkness. She loved the way each light made a dozen more shadows. She loved the wind that stopped her breath. She loved the screaming, wheezing, shouting, screeching, deafening noise that never stopped, never for a second. She loved the feeling of others’ shoulders pushing and suffocating and moving against her and never stopped, never for a second. She loved the feeling of not being able to speak, to think, to breathe, to do anything other than move and never stop, never for a second. She loved the city, the city that rushed and stayed and leaned and shone and shadowed and stayed and screamed and wheezed and shouted and screeched and deafened and pushed and suffocated and moved and spoke and thought and breathed and moved more, the city that loved, and never stopped, never for a second.
.
.
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Written at BCWC by Kayla Fry.  10.7.17

City



City
by kayla fry

Photo by Molly Porter
She loved the city. She loved the burning in her legs as she rushed down the street. She loved the way her scarf never stayed where she tied it. She loved the buildings leaning in around her. She loved the lights of a million cars zipping past her and a million windows without curtains letting the cold office lights shine out into the even colder darkness. She loved the way each light made a dozen more shadows. She loved the wind that stopped her breath. She loved the screaming, wheezing, shouting, screeching, deafening noise that never stopped, never for a second. She loved the feeling of others’ shoulders pushing and suffocating and moving against her and never stopped, never for a second. She loved the feeling of not being able to speak, to think, to breathe, to do anything other than move and never stop, never for a second. She loved the city, the city that rushed and stayed and leaned and shone and shadowed and stayed and screamed and wheezed and shouted and screeched and deafened and pushed and suffocated and moved and spoke and thought and breathed and moved more, the city that loved, and never stopped, never for a second.
.
.
.
Written at BCWC by Kayla Fry.  10.7.17

* Repost from 2012 Archives


Yesterday morning I was switching a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.  It was another good morning, without chaos.  It was about 7 am and my kids were upstairs, dressed and fed (or feeding) and happily making posters for the upcoming student council election at school.

And a moment washed over me.  I knew getting that load of laundry switched over in the morning was a good thing, the kind of thing that keeps a house running.  And it feels good, this feeling of being on top of the laundry.   But then a bit of sadness hit me.

I remember realizing that my mom just didn't seem to struggle with keeping up with laundry.  She went down to the lowest of 4 levels in our huge, gorgeous, tidy home each morning and put a load in, just as easy as breathing (it seems).  She had us fold clothes and match socks together on her bed.  She made us re-use towels more than once and not put our clothes in the laundry if they weren't really dirty.  I have felt sad, before, in moments of being buried under mountains of multi-toddler laundry, that even though I try to do all that, I wasn't quite so with it.  How did she do it so effortlessly and why am I such a doofus?



And although I feel more in control of the laundry situation in my life right now (thanks to a double capacity washer and a load-a-day effort), I still get behind.  Sometimes WAY behind.  All it takes is a couple of back-to-back trips out of town or a few days of pregnancy nausea and exhaustion and before you know it, no one has clean socks and the basement laundry sorter is overflowing.  But it's okay.  Really okay!   I always catch up. (It took me 2 major laundry days this week, but my family once again has clean socks.)


And I just had this moment of giving myself an "it's okay" hug.  And I wanted to give you one, too.  I'm silly and pregnant, but I'm crying now as I write it.  Because it's so easy to beat ourselves up over so many things.  I don't just mean the silly Pinterest-Perfection craze.  I mean regular, every-day, important stuff that we sometimes just don't get done or do wrong.  I had one of those moments this morning as I put baggies of unhealthy corn chips into lunch boxes.....  "Stupid, empty calories.  Not an ounce of nutrition.  I wish I could send carrot sticks and pita/hummus wedges and have lunch pails come home empty.  What have I done wrong?  How could I work so hard and still be such a failure?"

That's the kind of beating-up we sometimes do to ourselves.

And that's why I want to give us all a hug.  It's okay if we don't always keep up.  It's okay if our kids occasionally have to wear dirty socks while we catch up on laundry.  Or (heaven forbid) we send Koolaid and Twinkies in their lunches because we didn't quite get the whole-wheat-zucchini brownies made this week.


All of us are getting at least some things right.

And this is a season.

And it doesn't really matter about that mother of 7 you know whose house looks like a magazine and kids look like models.  She's not you!  She's certainly not me.  But the me that I am is working hard and getting the important things right (at least some of the time.)  And as my kids get a little older and I no longer have multiple toddlers and am enjoying some longer stretches of time to get things done, I realize that this is always going to be a big job, but that someday (like they all say) these little feet will move to bigger places.  And they won't care how perfect I was.  They will care how happy and present I was.



Heaven forbid that I harshly criticize another mom for what she does or doesn't do with her home or kids.  She is learning just like me.  Balancing and failing and growing.  And I hope you never hear me apologize if one of my online pictures has a basket of laundry in it.  My world has laundry.  Always.  Deal with it.

I am trying to accept the fact that it's okay that life brings cycles of order and chaos.  And almost never has times when it's all order and no chaos..there is usually a bit of both going on.

I want to spend less energy feeling sad about what isn't perfect and more energy just enjoying the days and accepting the growth and constant-ness of it all.  I don't want to (emotionally) waste these years worrying and fretting and feeling like a failure.  I want to look back and remember that I cherished the playdoh and kisses and stories and projects and meals with a table surrounded with little faces. 

So I'm just reminding myself that it's okay.  And we are doing a good job!  For some reason we don't hear it very often - I think we mostly hear the messages we conjure ourselves from the very un-real images that bombard us online.  (Closets so organized that there are only 2 colors of coordinated clothes in the whole closet?  Really?!)  Or we hear criticism or disapproval ringing in our memory/imagination.  Or we hear our own voices criticizing ourselves.

But I just wanted to say to myself - and to us - that I think we're doing okay.  And we should relax and enjoy it.  That's all.






It's Okay*

* Repost from 2012 Archives


Yesterday morning I was switching a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer.  It was another good morning, without chaos.  It was about 7 am and my kids were upstairs, dressed and fed (or feeding) and happily making posters for the upcoming student council election at school.

And a moment washed over me.  I knew getting that load of laundry switched over in the morning was a good thing, the kind of thing that keeps a house running.  And it feels good, this feeling of being on top of the laundry.   But then a bit of sadness hit me.

I remember realizing that my mom just didn't seem to struggle with keeping up with laundry.  She went down to the lowest of 4 levels in our huge, gorgeous, tidy home each morning and put a load in, just as easy as breathing (it seems).  She had us fold clothes and match socks together on her bed.  She made us re-use towels more than once and not put our clothes in the laundry if they weren't really dirty.  I have felt sad, before, in moments of being buried under mountains of multi-toddler laundry, that even though I try to do all that, I wasn't quite so with it.  How did she do it so effortlessly and why am I such a doofus?



And although I feel more in control of the laundry situation in my life right now (thanks to a double capacity washer and a load-a-day effort), I still get behind.  Sometimes WAY behind.  All it takes is a couple of back-to-back trips out of town or a few days of pregnancy nausea and exhaustion and before you know it, no one has clean socks and the basement laundry sorter is overflowing.  But it's okay.  Really okay!   I always catch up. (It took me 2 major laundry days this week, but my family once again has clean socks.)


And I just had this moment of giving myself an "it's okay" hug.  And I wanted to give you one, too.  I'm silly and pregnant, but I'm crying now as I write it.  Because it's so easy to beat ourselves up over so many things.  I don't just mean the silly Pinterest-Perfection craze.  I mean regular, every-day, important stuff that we sometimes just don't get done or do wrong.  I had one of those moments this morning as I put baggies of unhealthy corn chips into lunch boxes.....  "Stupid, empty calories.  Not an ounce of nutrition.  I wish I could send carrot sticks and pita/hummus wedges and have lunch pails come home empty.  What have I done wrong?  How could I work so hard and still be such a failure?"

That's the kind of beating-up we sometimes do to ourselves.

And that's why I want to give us all a hug.  It's okay if we don't always keep up.  It's okay if our kids occasionally have to wear dirty socks while we catch up on laundry.  Or (heaven forbid) we send Koolaid and Twinkies in their lunches because we didn't quite get the whole-wheat-zucchini brownies made this week.


All of us are getting at least some things right.

And this is a season.

And it doesn't really matter about that mother of 7 you know whose house looks like a magazine and kids look like models.  She's not you!  She's certainly not me.  But the me that I am is working hard and getting the important things right (at least some of the time.)  And as my kids get a little older and I no longer have multiple toddlers and am enjoying some longer stretches of time to get things done, I realize that this is always going to be a big job, but that someday (like they all say) these little feet will move to bigger places.  And they won't care how perfect I was.  They will care how happy and present I was.



Heaven forbid that I harshly criticize another mom for what she does or doesn't do with her home or kids.  She is learning just like me.  Balancing and failing and growing.  And I hope you never hear me apologize if one of my online pictures has a basket of laundry in it.  My world has laundry.  Always.  Deal with it.

I am trying to accept the fact that it's okay that life brings cycles of order and chaos.  And almost never has times when it's all order and no chaos..there is usually a bit of both going on.

I want to spend less energy feeling sad about what isn't perfect and more energy just enjoying the days and accepting the growth and constant-ness of it all.  I don't want to (emotionally) waste these years worrying and fretting and feeling like a failure.  I want to look back and remember that I cherished the playdoh and kisses and stories and projects and meals with a table surrounded with little faces. 

So I'm just reminding myself that it's okay.  And we are doing a good job!  For some reason we don't hear it very often - I think we mostly hear the messages we conjure ourselves from the very un-real images that bombard us online.  (Closets so organized that there are only 2 colors of coordinated clothes in the whole closet?  Really?!)  Or we hear criticism or disapproval ringing in our memory/imagination.  Or we hear our own voices criticizing ourselves.

But I just wanted to say to myself - and to us - that I think we're doing okay.  And we should relax and enjoy it.  That's all.






Image+-+<b>Eat</b>+<b>a+frog</b>.jpg

Sometimes it's called procrastination.  Or just being busy.  Or having priorities straight.  There are lots of reasons we have frogs hanging around.  We put off the things we dread most.  Or the ones that seem the most daunting, or not as urgent, or not as necessary, or things that will be frustrating or require special tools - or  whatever. 

Anyway...I have a whole list of frogs staring me in the face with their beady eyes.  And I've started chewing.  Kinda rubbery and bitter, to be honest.  But I made a huge dent in one this morning and victory is sweet. 

And it really does seem to be true that it is helpful to eat your frog first thing in the morning.  I'm a "morning routine" girl, and I know there are certain things that I need to get done every day in order to maintain any semblance of order around here.  

BUT

These days, my "morning routine"  actually takes all morning!  Make bed...dress...kids to school...breakfast...dishes....clean kitchen...laundry...feed and change babies...naps  and so forth.  What (in other stages of life) could be an hour or less morning routine for me is actually, discouragingly, an all-morning thing.  So I have adapted my every day routine philosophy.  Sometimes, you need to postpone some of the daily stuff to get something done for tomorrow.  

In other words, my plate is fairly full with the basic tasks of meal prep, laundry maintenance, daily cleaning, etc.  If I'm not careful, I get so busy keeping up with the daily tasks, I never get around to the "future" stuff.  Things that help keep the future smoother...like deeper cleaning, sorting and decluttering clothes and toys, keeping clothes sizes updated and culled for 6 kids, planning and working ahead on projects, deadlines and events that are coming up.  

So I have worked "future" tasks into my daily schedule, but life has a way of happening.  And kids, dishes, laundry, meals and church have a tendency to fill in and overflow the space.  

And then I find myself facing about a hundred thank-you notes that are getting embarrassingly late.  Or the deadline on troubleshooting that computer problem gets frighteningly close.  Or the season threatens to pass without me doing even one of the fun decorating projects I have planned.


So what's a girl to do? 

 Leave the laundry.  Eat the frog.

The laundry will get done.  I promise.  Everyone will eventually start whining that they don't have any underwear.  

But frogs have a tendency to grow into large monsters.  Or to hop away forever.  Or both!

Some frogs aren't big looming  BULLFROG projects.  Some are those little pesky tiny green tree frogs - like a daily task that we tend to put off in the mornings that sortof follows us around all day.   Feeding the dogs on a muddy day.  (I'll clean a hundred toilets and sort all the closets to put off going out there in the mud.) Or maybe exercising. (Everyone knows the hardest step is the one out the door.)  Or getting online and facing the budget numbers head on. (It's so much easier to swipe and pray.)

Catch the frog.  Pin him down.  Hold your nose.  Eat the sucker.  

Here I go.


*repost from the archives



Have You Had Your Frog Today?*

Image+-+<b>Eat</b>+<b>a+frog</b>.jpg

Sometimes it's called procrastination.  Or just being busy.  Or having priorities straight.  There are lots of reasons we have frogs hanging around.  We put off the things we dread most.  Or the ones that seem the most daunting, or not as urgent, or not as necessary, or things that will be frustrating or require special tools - or  whatever. 

Anyway...I have a whole list of frogs staring me in the face with their beady eyes.  And I've started chewing.  Kinda rubbery and bitter, to be honest.  But I made a huge dent in one this morning and victory is sweet. 

And it really does seem to be true that it is helpful to eat your frog first thing in the morning.  I'm a "morning routine" girl, and I know there are certain things that I need to get done every day in order to maintain any semblance of order around here.  

BUT

These days, my "morning routine"  actually takes all morning!  Make bed...dress...kids to school...breakfast...dishes....clean kitchen...laundry...feed and change babies...naps  and so forth.  What (in other stages of life) could be an hour or less morning routine for me is actually, discouragingly, an all-morning thing.  So I have adapted my every day routine philosophy.  Sometimes, you need to postpone some of the daily stuff to get something done for tomorrow.  

In other words, my plate is fairly full with the basic tasks of meal prep, laundry maintenance, daily cleaning, etc.  If I'm not careful, I get so busy keeping up with the daily tasks, I never get around to the "future" stuff.  Things that help keep the future smoother...like deeper cleaning, sorting and decluttering clothes and toys, keeping clothes sizes updated and culled for 6 kids, planning and working ahead on projects, deadlines and events that are coming up.  

So I have worked "future" tasks into my daily schedule, but life has a way of happening.  And kids, dishes, laundry, meals and church have a tendency to fill in and overflow the space.  

And then I find myself facing about a hundred thank-you notes that are getting embarrassingly late.  Or the deadline on troubleshooting that computer problem gets frighteningly close.  Or the season threatens to pass without me doing even one of the fun decorating projects I have planned.


So what's a girl to do? 

 Leave the laundry.  Eat the frog.

The laundry will get done.  I promise.  Everyone will eventually start whining that they don't have any underwear.  

But frogs have a tendency to grow into large monsters.  Or to hop away forever.  Or both!

Some frogs aren't big looming  BULLFROG projects.  Some are those little pesky tiny green tree frogs - like a daily task that we tend to put off in the mornings that sortof follows us around all day.   Feeding the dogs on a muddy day.  (I'll clean a hundred toilets and sort all the closets to put off going out there in the mud.) Or maybe exercising. (Everyone knows the hardest step is the one out the door.)  Or getting online and facing the budget numbers head on. (It's so much easier to swipe and pray.)

Catch the frog.  Pin him down.  Hold your nose.  Eat the sucker.  

Here I go.


*repost from the archives



* Repost from the Archives


A thought for today: 

My mind and my heart want to zoom ahead and see the future.  I feel impatience creeping around the edges of my mind and heart.  I like to know what I’m up against…to be able to plan things out and prepare specifically and make lists and dream specifically.

My Mama and I chat about economies and investments and interest rates and I feel so antsy that today is hands-down one of the best times to buy a house for many, many years.  I've seen the wisdom of small, safe financial steps.   I want to take action!  Be proactive!  But God has us happily planted to wait for His new direction.  No new action necessary.  David comes home from long days of research and writing to tell me he has finished another section of his dissertation (another dead guy checked off the list), the end of a long journey getting nearer.  And I want to rap on God's window and remind Him - just in case He's forgotten..It's time!  We're ready....Poised to take the next step of our journey.  Years of praying and listening and waiting. 

But God draws back no magic curtains revealing new roads.  He gives no long-awaited long-term direction.  

He simply reminds me – today – to take care of today.  To be faithful to that specific area He has called me to Come Up in, just this morning.  

 To keep my focus on  keeping our home and creating peace and safety and purposeful teaching and firm diligent training….to maybe just, for right now, focus on finishing the floor-mopping and folding those 10 loads of clean laundry that have been piling up during a week of back-to-back activities.

He reminds me to of how far I have to go.....to let Him discipline every area of my own life and mind and time.  To be faithful to the everyday priorities that He has forged in me with such time and care.  To be kind and understanding and real.

He reminds me to prepare in every way I can for this baby boy that is growing inside me.  To pray with diligence and passion for the spiritual protection and strength of my children and husband.  To be a happy and present and discerning and supportive wife.

He reminds me to continue – quietly and faithfully -  in the small bit of outside-the-home work He has given me – to training a handful of young musicians and saying yes to the right amount of small ways that I can reach out to others.  

He reminds me over and over - gently but firmly and faithfully - to learn to find power on my knees.  To be becoming the kind of person that I want my children to be.

Goodness - With THAT list, it boggles the mind that I would even have the energy to THINK about tomorrow!  : )

I believe in dreaming and preparing and looking ahead.  But today, Abba has said to me….

"Silly Sarah - Look to today.  Be steadfast in today.  Let Me take care of tomorrow."

He’s Gentle and Faithful and Wise like that.


Today Before Tomorrow*

* Repost from the Archives


A thought for today: 

My mind and my heart want to zoom ahead and see the future.  I feel impatience creeping around the edges of my mind and heart.  I like to know what I’m up against…to be able to plan things out and prepare specifically and make lists and dream specifically.

My Mama and I chat about economies and investments and interest rates and I feel so antsy that today is hands-down one of the best times to buy a house for many, many years.  I've seen the wisdom of small, safe financial steps.   I want to take action!  Be proactive!  But God has us happily planted to wait for His new direction.  No new action necessary.  David comes home from long days of research and writing to tell me he has finished another section of his dissertation (another dead guy checked off the list), the end of a long journey getting nearer.  And I want to rap on God's window and remind Him - just in case He's forgotten..It's time!  We're ready....Poised to take the next step of our journey.  Years of praying and listening and waiting. 

But God draws back no magic curtains revealing new roads.  He gives no long-awaited long-term direction.  

He simply reminds me – today – to take care of today.  To be faithful to that specific area He has called me to Come Up in, just this morning.  

 To keep my focus on  keeping our home and creating peace and safety and purposeful teaching and firm diligent training….to maybe just, for right now, focus on finishing the floor-mopping and folding those 10 loads of clean laundry that have been piling up during a week of back-to-back activities.

He reminds me to of how far I have to go.....to let Him discipline every area of my own life and mind and time.  To be faithful to the everyday priorities that He has forged in me with such time and care.  To be kind and understanding and real.

He reminds me to prepare in every way I can for this baby boy that is growing inside me.  To pray with diligence and passion for the spiritual protection and strength of my children and husband.  To be a happy and present and discerning and supportive wife.

He reminds me to continue – quietly and faithfully -  in the small bit of outside-the-home work He has given me – to training a handful of young musicians and saying yes to the right amount of small ways that I can reach out to others.  

He reminds me over and over - gently but firmly and faithfully - to learn to find power on my knees.  To be becoming the kind of person that I want my children to be.

Goodness - With THAT list, it boggles the mind that I would even have the energy to THINK about tomorrow!  : )

I believe in dreaming and preparing and looking ahead.  But today, Abba has said to me….

"Silly Sarah - Look to today.  Be steadfast in today.  Let Me take care of tomorrow."

He’s Gentle and Faithful and Wise like that.




Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash



"Cherish your visions.
Cherish your ideals.
Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, 
               the beauty that forms in your mind,
                      the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts.

For....if you but remain true to them, 
                                  your world will at last be built."

- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh.

Vision



Photo by John-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash



"Cherish your visions.
Cherish your ideals.
Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, 
               the beauty that forms in your mind,
                      the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts.

For....if you but remain true to them, 
                                  your world will at last be built."

- James Allen, As a Man Thinketh.
And so...just like that...another summer ends.

We get home from church and tumble out of the van to scatter clothes and bodies to rooms all over the house, just to end up again in the kitchen....eating frozen pizza and no-bakes and drinking hot chai tea with ice cubes.  And there are kids scattered everywhere...in diapers and underwear and pjs and church clothes, sitting on counters and climbing on stepstools and laughing and just being.  And we sit and stand and eat and listen and laugh and sing - taking turns choosing songs - from West Side Story to LaCrae to Gummy Bear to God's Property.  And the boys make up a game in the music room while the girls hang out in the kitchen and it is a slow and loud and beautifully quiet way to end a beautiful summer.

And then we settle and pray and read and brush and tuck.  And my heart knows that these are the very best times.



Summer's End

And so...just like that...another summer ends.

We get home from church and tumble out of the van to scatter clothes and bodies to rooms all over the house, just to end up again in the kitchen....eating frozen pizza and no-bakes and drinking hot chai tea with ice cubes.  And there are kids scattered everywhere...in diapers and underwear and pjs and church clothes, sitting on counters and climbing on stepstools and laughing and just being.  And we sit and stand and eat and listen and laugh and sing - taking turns choosing songs - from West Side Story to LaCrae to Gummy Bear to God's Property.  And the boys make up a game in the music room while the girls hang out in the kitchen and it is a slow and loud and beautifully quiet way to end a beautiful summer.

And then we settle and pray and read and brush and tuck.  And my heart knows that these are the very best times.




So I mentioned that my extended family went camping together.  It was wonderful.  And exhausting.  But totally worth it.

I loved moments like these:












But the STUFF!  Granted - it was a huge group of us, with 6 tents and around 18 people.  But there was a freakish amount of stuff.  Just saying.


And as peaceful as tents look....getting 4 boys to settle down and go to sleep with all the diapers and bugs and drama and anxiety and mud.  It's a thing.  Not a peaceful thing.  An 11:00pm I'm-pretty-sure-I'm-ok-if-we-never-do-this-again thing.





So now, after about 10 years and years of my little quiet pity party moments because we don't camp anymore and our kids are missing out and what awesome family experiences we could be having.  

I'm like..."Wait a second.  Maybe an air-conditioned Priceline hotel with white sheets isn't so bad. Maybe it's time to sell the camping gear.  I'm tireder than I used to be.  And we have more kids than we used to!"  

And David is all...."I'm planning a huge camping trip for next summer out west to like 45 National parks!"   

AND 
"Let's make a list of all the things we need to be shopping for."  

And I'm like...."10 days of camping sounds terrifyingly exhausting."

And he's like "It's in my blood now. I've already bought the maps." (grinning sheepishly cuz he knows all those years I've tried to get him to go camping...)

 And I'm like  "Great." 


Be careful what you wish for, girls!




Photo by Matthew Sleeper 

My Love/Hate Relationship with Camping


So I mentioned that my extended family went camping together.  It was wonderful.  And exhausting.  But totally worth it.

I loved moments like these:












But the STUFF!  Granted - it was a huge group of us, with 6 tents and around 18 people.  But there was a freakish amount of stuff.  Just saying.


And as peaceful as tents look....getting 4 boys to settle down and go to sleep with all the diapers and bugs and drama and anxiety and mud.  It's a thing.  Not a peaceful thing.  An 11:00pm I'm-pretty-sure-I'm-ok-if-we-never-do-this-again thing.





So now, after about 10 years and years of my little quiet pity party moments because we don't camp anymore and our kids are missing out and what awesome family experiences we could be having.  

I'm like..."Wait a second.  Maybe an air-conditioned Priceline hotel with white sheets isn't so bad. Maybe it's time to sell the camping gear.  I'm tireder than I used to be.  And we have more kids than we used to!"  

And David is all...."I'm planning a huge camping trip for next summer out west to like 45 National parks!"   

AND 
"Let's make a list of all the things we need to be shopping for."  

And I'm like...."10 days of camping sounds terrifyingly exhausting."

And he's like "It's in my blood now. I've already bought the maps." (grinning sheepishly cuz he knows all those years I've tried to get him to go camping...)

 And I'm like  "Great." 


Be careful what you wish for, girls!




Photo by Matthew Sleeper 




Photo by Ksenia Makagonova


I come from a family rich in educators.  Last weekend my extended (Wolf) family went camping together.  A highlight was sitting around after breakfast, sharing our teacher ideas and plans for the coming semester.  We laughed together as we looked around the table and counted the teachers.  Eight out of 10 adults present were teachers.  I hope I never forget our conversation - taking turns telling what classes we are teaching, what we are excited about, asking questions and sharing practical and philosophical ideas.  It was lovely.

Every year, when fall rolls around my teacher blood starts churning.  I itch for a new planner, and a new classroom to decorate and ALL THE NEW BOOKS!

So I cozy up to my computer and drool over continuing degree programs and I spend long hours poring over my personal planner (full of teachery stuff like laundry and dishes and appointments.) Sometimes I submit my name for more information from an institution of higher learning or two - and the subsequent year of dodging their phone calls and emails.

And every year, I look at the tuitions costs, look around at my babies, re-evaluate my season, simmer down and go back to the laundry.

But this year, I'm not so sure I can simmer down.  I've printed out two course plans, I've sheepishly entered my information into the blanks for "more info".  I have decided that I will pretend money isn't even an issue and that I'm not already balancing a full plate or two.

I do not believe that my kids are done needing me after they start kindergarten.  I do not believe that in 2 or 3 years when baby Carson starts Kindergarten that my mummying job will be over.  But I do feel like there is a bend approaching in the road.  There are rocks, too, in the road.  But the trees are blazing autumn along the sides.  And I am chomping at the bit.

There are so many ideas rumbling around in my head - ideas that combine my passion for family and parenting and training and trauma and pastoral care and counseling and neuroscience and theology and mentoring and community and the church.  And how it is all connected in the most intriguing and necessary ways.  My picture is getting clearer.

There are tears burning behind my eyes right now.  Tears of excitement and frustration and passion.  And I will settle down to reality and get back to the laundry....but I may have to take a step towards the direction my heart is tugging.  Just one class, maybe?

For now, I decided to come back to blogging.  I have things to share.  Things to figure out. Things to think.  So here we are.

Teacher Itch and the Bend in the Road




Photo by Ksenia Makagonova


I come from a family rich in educators.  Last weekend my extended (Wolf) family went camping together.  A highlight was sitting around after breakfast, sharing our teacher ideas and plans for the coming semester.  We laughed together as we looked around the table and counted the teachers.  Eight out of 10 adults present were teachers.  I hope I never forget our conversation - taking turns telling what classes we are teaching, what we are excited about, asking questions and sharing practical and philosophical ideas.  It was lovely.

Every year, when fall rolls around my teacher blood starts churning.  I itch for a new planner, and a new classroom to decorate and ALL THE NEW BOOKS!

So I cozy up to my computer and drool over continuing degree programs and I spend long hours poring over my personal planner (full of teachery stuff like laundry and dishes and appointments.) Sometimes I submit my name for more information from an institution of higher learning or two - and the subsequent year of dodging their phone calls and emails.

And every year, I look at the tuitions costs, look around at my babies, re-evaluate my season, simmer down and go back to the laundry.

But this year, I'm not so sure I can simmer down.  I've printed out two course plans, I've sheepishly entered my information into the blanks for "more info".  I have decided that I will pretend money isn't even an issue and that I'm not already balancing a full plate or two.

I do not believe that my kids are done needing me after they start kindergarten.  I do not believe that in 2 or 3 years when baby Carson starts Kindergarten that my mummying job will be over.  But I do feel like there is a bend approaching in the road.  There are rocks, too, in the road.  But the trees are blazing autumn along the sides.  And I am chomping at the bit.

There are so many ideas rumbling around in my head - ideas that combine my passion for family and parenting and training and trauma and pastoral care and counseling and neuroscience and theology and mentoring and community and the church.  And how it is all connected in the most intriguing and necessary ways.  My picture is getting clearer.

There are tears burning behind my eyes right now.  Tears of excitement and frustration and passion.  And I will settle down to reality and get back to the laundry....but I may have to take a step towards the direction my heart is tugging.  Just one class, maybe?

For now, I decided to come back to blogging.  I have things to share.  Things to figure out. Things to think.  So here we are.

“I notice that Autumn is more
the season of the soul than of nature.”
Friedrich Nietzsche


Photo by Cala


I love autumn so much.  When I walk outside and the chilly air hits me, it actually baffles me how much instantly happens inside me.  Melancholy.  Excitement.  Longing.  Comfort. Memories.  Futures.   (It's all pretty confusing, come to think of it. I should stay inside more)   It carries the promise of the Christmas season.  It ushers in coziness.  In our family, that means fires, hot chocolate, cuddles on the couch under blankets.  It means dark mornings and dark evenings.  Which is great on weekends and awful on school days. 

One wonderful thing it does for me is reminds me to make our home a haven.  Reminds me to sit and snuggle and read and taste and smell. 

And as crazy as it is around here in these months, it reminds me to slow. 






Season of the Soul


“I notice that Autumn is more
the season of the soul than of nature.”
Friedrich Nietzsche


Photo by Cala


I love autumn so much.  When I walk outside and the chilly air hits me, it actually baffles me how much instantly happens inside me.  Melancholy.  Excitement.  Longing.  Comfort. Memories.  Futures.   (It's all pretty confusing, come to think of it. I should stay inside more)   It carries the promise of the Christmas season.  It ushers in coziness.  In our family, that means fires, hot chocolate, cuddles on the couch under blankets.  It means dark mornings and dark evenings.  Which is great on weekends and awful on school days. 

One wonderful thing it does for me is reminds me to make our home a haven.  Reminds me to sit and snuggle and read and taste and smell. 

And as crazy as it is around here in these months, it reminds me to slow. 







Photo by Adarsh Kummur


I was looking out my kitchen window at some beautiful autumn leaves and bare branches.  And thinking of what we hear so often about autumn being the season of letting go.  And how beautiful that is, to let go.... blah blah blah.  Letting go of things is painful and hard and most of us don't do it very gracefully, to be honest.  We ugly cry and thrash around a bit first.  And by we I mean me, of course.

Pretty sure the leaves don't choose to let go.  The wind and the rain and the chilly changes knock them around until they just fall.  And die. 

They die.  They lay there and get covered up and turn back into dirt.

But I was actually thinking more about what happens after the letting go. After the beautiful letting go and the ugly dying.  There is barrenness.  Branches and twigs all sharp and gangly and naked against the vivid blue and murky grey autumn skies. 

Next is Winter. 

And frankly, if you live in Indiana, you never know WHAT in the world winter might bring.  It might snow once in October and then not again until February and snow its brains out until Easter!  And I'm not even exaggerating - can I get a witness from the Hoosiers? 

And the whole time, the branches are barren and ugly and worthless.

And I thought about how sometimes I feel like gangly branch - barren and ugly and worthless.  Sometimes there are those seasons, you know?  And you dream of sometime having the new bright green bursts of fruitfulness popping out all over.  But right now you're just....kinda hanging in there and not really accomplishing much?

Sometimes that looks like:
Dishes and laundry and laundry and dishes.
Being displaced.  And not in a fun way.
Having things removed from your life.
Losing relationships.
Losing loved ones.
Losing health.
Death of dreams.
Sense of failure.
Loss of identity.
Feeling stuck.

You can fill in the blanks.

So what in the world are we supposed to do during the harsh loneliness of winter?

1.  Hang in there. 

Be the best naked branch you can be. Do the next thing. Take the next step.  Be present.

2.  Focus inward. 

Winter is a powerful cycle for nature.  It allows new life that simply could not happen without the freeze.  I want to allow these winter times to draw me inward, to the steadfast work of my core.  Looking after things and putting them into place.  Letting quiet set things right.

3.  Rest. 

It gives me great comfort to think of the quiet, frozen winters of life as seasons of rest.  I love harvest in the Midwest.  There is a flurry of activity that is thrilling and exhausting.  (In our churches, homes and the fields around them!)  I really believe that in God's great economy of rest, sometimes he brings seasons into our lives that are meant to be quiet and restful.  But we perceive them as failure or boredom.


Autumn thoughts on winter


Photo by Adarsh Kummur


I was looking out my kitchen window at some beautiful autumn leaves and bare branches.  And thinking of what we hear so often about autumn being the season of letting go.  And how beautiful that is, to let go.... blah blah blah.  Letting go of things is painful and hard and most of us don't do it very gracefully, to be honest.  We ugly cry and thrash around a bit first.  And by we I mean me, of course.

Pretty sure the leaves don't choose to let go.  The wind and the rain and the chilly changes knock them around until they just fall.  And die. 

They die.  They lay there and get covered up and turn back into dirt.

But I was actually thinking more about what happens after the letting go. After the beautiful letting go and the ugly dying.  There is barrenness.  Branches and twigs all sharp and gangly and naked against the vivid blue and murky grey autumn skies. 

Next is Winter. 

And frankly, if you live in Indiana, you never know WHAT in the world winter might bring.  It might snow once in October and then not again until February and snow its brains out until Easter!  And I'm not even exaggerating - can I get a witness from the Hoosiers? 

And the whole time, the branches are barren and ugly and worthless.

And I thought about how sometimes I feel like gangly branch - barren and ugly and worthless.  Sometimes there are those seasons, you know?  And you dream of sometime having the new bright green bursts of fruitfulness popping out all over.  But right now you're just....kinda hanging in there and not really accomplishing much?

Sometimes that looks like:
Dishes and laundry and laundry and dishes.
Being displaced.  And not in a fun way.
Having things removed from your life.
Losing relationships.
Losing loved ones.
Losing health.
Death of dreams.
Sense of failure.
Loss of identity.
Feeling stuck.

You can fill in the blanks.

So what in the world are we supposed to do during the harsh loneliness of winter?

1.  Hang in there. 

Be the best naked branch you can be. Do the next thing. Take the next step.  Be present.

2.  Focus inward. 

Winter is a powerful cycle for nature.  It allows new life that simply could not happen without the freeze.  I want to allow these winter times to draw me inward, to the steadfast work of my core.  Looking after things and putting them into place.  Letting quiet set things right.

3.  Rest. 

It gives me great comfort to think of the quiet, frozen winters of life as seasons of rest.  I love harvest in the Midwest.  There is a flurry of activity that is thrilling and exhausting.  (In our churches, homes and the fields around them!)  I really believe that in God's great economy of rest, sometimes he brings seasons into our lives that are meant to be quiet and restful.  But we perceive them as failure or boredom.


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