May 2013


I’m blogging today at How to Homeschool High School, where I share a few thoughts on eighteen years of motherhood. Sniff, sniff.

Hope to see you there.


Shirley and I meet with three or four other couples on Monday evenings to look at Scripture.  We don’t all attend the same church and we are not meeting to see how we should interpret scripture, but to see how it can help us to be better Jesus followers.

When we read 1 Peter 4:8, Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins, I was intrigued and have continued to think about what it says to me. I did peek at what the scholars say about this verse but to me it is quite simple.

If I love people whole heartedly we will both become different.

Perhaps some of my insensitivities (sins) will be covered and I will become different. If I see the person, not their short comings (sins), and love that person unconditionally, they too will become different.

A while ago Janelle wrote a blog about loving bad kids and I thought about the passage.

Janelle’s post from yesterday showed a picture of Carter sitting patiently in the pasture with a pail of oats trying to win the attention of the young donkey he got for his birthday. I wonder if the same principle doesn’t apply.

Recently I have thought about people who have few friends, folks who may be struggling with same-sex attraction and older people who can no longer be in their own homes. And I am challenged by these words from The Message,

Love each other as if your life depended on it.  Love makes up for practically anything.

Because there’s nothing more beautiful than watching an old person sing praise.


I sit with them sometimes, on elder row, so I can hear them. Old, cracked voices singing familiar words. He might nod off during the sermon, but during The Old Rugged Cross or Trust and Obey or Sweet Hour of Prayer? Never.

The music of their walks, and of my childhood. It’s a precious thing to share.


Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,

Calling for you and for me.

See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,

Watching for you and for me.

Sadly, I don't have a picture of the Holy Spirit, so here is a picture of my farm, instead.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of the Holy Spirit, so here is a picture of my farm, instead.

I’ve read about Him Her It … okay, I’ll go with Him. I mean, I’ve read The Shack, and some other books with names I can’t remember right now. Probably by Yancey or Lucado. Heck, I’ve even read the Bible. Still haven’t really got a clue.

The Father and the Son, these two I can grab onto, at least a bit. I have a father. I have a son. I have reference points for them.

But the Holy Spirit? Try to grab that and I come away with a handful of … what? Even the name is hard to relate to. Holy Spirit? Or worse, Holy Ghost?

Hey, I’d like you to meet my friend, Holy Spirit. It just doesn’t work like it does with God or Jesus. Maybe I’ll just start calling him Dove. Since out of all the forms he could have taken on the day Jesus was baptized, that’s the one he chose. Dove. I kinda like it.

I’d like to know him better, I really would. I’d like to understand him. Or maybe what I’d like is to know I’m being understood by him. You know? Since he’s supposed to be a mediator of sorts between God and me. And he’s been sent here to live in me and help me and all.

I googled him. There’s lots written about triune this and blah blah blah that. It really didn’t help me know him much at all.

I wish he wasn’t such a quiet, unobtrusive, low profile deity. If he’d spoken up a bit more in scripture, you know. But it seems he doesn’t like the lime light. He’s the introvert, maybe, of the trinity. The quiet one, going about his work without a lot of fanfare or fuss.

I don’t know much about him, but I think I like him a lot. Mystery is not always a bad thing.

It’s weird, but it’s kind of wonderful too.

my graduating son's application for the Fall

my graduating son’s application for the Fall

Hello, Friends! I’m blogging over at How to Homeschool High School today, talking about things like the future and replacing fear with excitement. I’d love for you to join the conversation over there. Click here to go there!

I am reading the online chatter, the tweets and headlines, and it doesn’t take long to realize something bad has happened, again, and I make myself read deeper to discover the tragedy, if only to pray over what I am sure will be many sad and hurting people.


I’m expecting the news before its confirmed. Children lost, people lost, homes lost. All lost to a wind and in just a few minutes, lives changed. Forever May 20th, 2013 will be remembered for the tornado that devastated the community of Moore, Oklahoma.

It’s been all over the place. Photos, tweets, news casts, blog posts. Even without television, it’s inescapable, and I’m drawn in. I’m in tears over the woman whose dog climbs out from under the rubble while she is being interviewed on a news program. I’m amazed by the man who films the scene around him as he emerges from the storm shelter, his house a pile of toothpicks, and utters, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

But I can’t watch the parents. I can’t click on anything with the words elementary school in it. I know it will be bad.

I can hardly go there, to that mother place of not knowing where is the child.

These big tragedies, they overwhelm me. I know people in Oklahoma. I have relatives there. A friend’s daughter was teaching in her classroom full of children a mile from where the tornado touched down. I ache, from a distance, with the hurting.

I’m tempted, in the face of all this big sadness, to fall into despair for what is so wrong. To forget who I am and where I am in the face of who they are and where they are and what they’ve lost.

On May 20th, 2013, I am with my family and we spend the day outside, together, cleaning up from winter and getting ready for summer. Mowing grass and raking up debris and burning up the old, dirty mess left after months of snow and ice, and I’m thankful for the blisters on my hands and the dirty children around me. I fix soup for lunch and we sit around the table, whole and complete and united in our messiness. And when the news filters its way into our day, I weep over the cinnamon buns as I mix them and butter them and roll them out for the ones who are mine, and it all becomes treasure to be held close and carefully polished.

And when my youngest comes to me, a clutch of baby mice in his barely baby hands, and asks what to do, I can’t even speak. They are just mice, left behind from the cleaning of the barn and mice are killed regularly around here. He already knows, but they are babies and they are helpless and he feels sadness for their fate.

It’s okay, Mom, he says, and he goes out to do the thing that must be done, and I am weak for the hard things, big and small, faced this day.

Around the world, on May 20th, 2013, grandparents passed and mothers miscarried and children cried and cars crashed and winds destroyed and there was hurt and devastation and sadness.

Tragedies, some of which were made public.

None of which was ordinary.

Continuing to pray for the hurting, the devastated, and the sad …


Actually, what I said was that I am so incredibly behind in so many things, and that I really need to take some time off to catch up.

How does a mom take time off?

This mom asked for it, like this.

I am behind, and getting behinder. I’m wondering if it would be okay with you guys if I spent the rest of this week catching up. I’ll still be here. I’ll still feed you and stuff, and if you really need me I’ll stop what I’m doing and help. But if you could work away at the things you know you need to do, and go outside once in a while, and do your chores and such without me needing to ask… if you could do all that and if I could just spend some time on the things I need to do, well, I’d really appreciate it.

And my cool kids said, sure, Mom, and so here I am. Writing my first blog post in a week. And with a list beside me of all those things that are keeping me up awake at night with their undone-ness. And with a sweet sense of relief in my heart.

Yeah, I can do this.


This post is part of the My Dad and Me series that I write with (surprise!) my dad. (Click the tab at the top of the page to read all the My Dad and Me posts.)

I love hearing his thoughts on all the different things we’ve written about. Dad has been a busy guy his whole life. He and Mom are still some of the busiest and most-engaged-in-community people I know. Wouldn’t you like to hear from him some of his suggestions on how to get it all done?

Looking forward to hearing what Dad has to say about this, or whatever else he decides to write about, next Tuesday.

Sunday was The Day, I know. But really, around here, it wasn’t a big deal. Mother’s Day, schmothers day.

I left my sick husband at home and the three boys and I went to church. Just me on the back row and the boys scattered throughout the room and I really just wanted to be done with it and go home, to tell you the truth. Not feeling so joyful and lovely that Mother’s Day, to tell you the truth.

So I sit and stand and sing and pray when I’m told to, and I close my eyes and drift a little, there on the back row with everyone in front of me.

And then the older kids’ class is called to the front, two of my boys with them, and they stand in a line to share a Mother’s Day poem with us. Carter had been practicing his lines that morning, and he’d debated with himself over changing a word or two to make it a little less mushy. Whatever you want, I’d said, and when it was his turn to speak he included his revisions. That’s how he rolls.

Then it was Colton’s turn, tall boy up there at the front, and he didn’t say anything but only looked up from his paper and his eyes glanced around the room.

He’s nervous? He’s lost his place in the poem? He’s holding the wrong paper?

My thoughts immediately went to what’s wrong and oh no and I fretted for him.

But then his eyes found mine, and he spoke his lines deliberately, one by one, straight across the room past all the other people and directly into my mother heart.

And love found me, there on the back row, on Mother’s Day.

my Colton on a spring morning

my Colton on a spring morning

Grandma making buns with Carter

Grandma making buns with Carter

Mother’s Day: We got up early because she was doing what mothers with loving hearts often do – getting ready to serve others.

We went to bed late because she was doing what mothers with loving hearts often do. We were visiting friends. He’d received word on Saturday that his brother had unexpectedly passed away. There was a need to visit, to eat pizza, to look at an ongoing project and to just be there.

In between we went to early church, worshipped, visited with people and came home to finish preparing dinner. A friend who’d had surgery on Friday to remove a brain tumor was our guest. As our family and his family sat around our kitchen table we were blessed by his wonderful attitude, enthusiasm and faith.

Mother’s day:  It was busy. She did receive some flowers from a daughter. There were some texts, cards and a phone call, but the mother in our house was busy serving others. These are the things I learned:

God is good and family is important.

He doesn’t keep us from experiencing difficulties but He extends His grace if we do –  often that grace is extended in human form.

I am blessed by the “grace extender” that lives in our house.


I’m blogging over at How to Homeschool High School today, sharing some thoughts about this whole mother thing. Hope you’ll join me there.

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