Friday, March 29, 2013

{ broken }

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for this week's Five Minute Friday: Broken.


I'd much rather be the one who is broken than the one who is walking with someone--someone bloodied and bruised from life, sin, poor choices, people--because walking with a person through their brokenness? That's the hardest of all.

I hate the helplessness I bring. I hate that I can't fix their problem{s}. I hate that what Jesus asks me to do is to be with them. Not to fix them. Not to "help" them.

But to love them. To do the next right thing, as Elisabeth Elliot says. To pray and love and just walk through today with them.

Maybe it's because, in seeing the frailty of another, I glimpse my own shattered pieces. I see how much alike we are. I'm afraid to touch wounds and offer balm because it's messy and unpredictable and complicated and there is no guarantee that if I faithfully walk with you through this--by God's grace maybe more grace-fully than I have in the past--there's no guarantee that you will come out the other side "better." There's no promise of healing on this side of heaven. There's no certainty that pain will end, brokenness be healed beautifully.

But I will walk with you. By God's grace, I will walk with you. And I will pray to the only One Who can heal our broken places, both yours and mine.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{ tied up with string }

I had this nicely packaged post I was going to share with you, half written and saved as a draft. It went something like this:

I've been feeling guilty that I haven't served at church since Lainie was born, but after talking it over with my women's group ladies, I realized I'm largely motivated by pride and fear of man--I don't want people to think I'm lazy or not a "good Christian girl" because they don't see me serving in some capacity on Sundays. It's okay if my primary way of serving the church now is freeing up Mike {by taking care of Lainie at home} so he can serve on Sundays. I was still considering volunteering for midweek office stuff when Mike mentioned that he is thinking about hiring an assistant to help him with the work/business stuff he doesn't have time for, and I realized "Duh! I should use my time to serve Mike in that capacity!"

I'd pretty much wrapped it up and tied it with string, but dinner happened before I could hit publish. Over the chicken curry, I shared my musings with Mike. I think my closing comment was, "I used to think I like to serve behind-the-scenes, but really I don't. I like people to see me serving, but I don't want to talk to them." He was thoughtful, and after a few minutes, he gently told me that he thought I should still pray about serving in some capacity on Sundays, even if it isn't easy to do with an eight-month-old. He didn't discredit the value of what I'm already doing, but maybe I should still think about something beyond just freeing him up to serve.

I got angry. Really angry: The kind of quiet outrage that wants to lock itself in the bathroom and write Mike an eviscerating letter telling him why he's wrong about this. Mature, I know. After Lainie was down for the night I told Mike what I was feeling and we talked about it some more. It was good, but not in the sort of prettily-packaged-blog-post way I'd drafted earlier in the day. It was good because I usually avoid difficult conversations and stew in my own juices for days before readdressing issues {if I readdress them at all}. Good because we talked through the issue more thoroughly and better understand each other's hearts on this topic. Good because I'm thankful for my husband, not mad at him.

But I still don't know what I ought to do. Logistically there aren't a lot I of roles I can fill while holding/wearing an 18-pound baby. As it is, church already pushes her morning nap out by an hour or more; it's hard to imagine leaving home earlier {or getting home later} without complete meltdowns ensuing.

But just because it's hard doesn't mean I get a pass. Being a parent doesn't excuse me from "real life." As Mike said, Lainie needs to fit into our lives...our priorities didn't suddenly change now that we're a family of three. Implementation looks different, sure; but priorities are the same.

Right now that's it. I'm praying and still kind of grumpy, kind of not knowing what to do and feeling like either way it's not going to be easy.

But is easy my goal?

Friday, March 15, 2013

{ Five Minute Friday: Rest }

It's the nature of life, I suppose, when he has a job and a commute and I'm taking care of the home and our wee one and after that there's church, community group, family, serving opportunities, friendships--all manner of things and people vying for our time and attention. But I don't like it when I start to sound like a human calendar. When dinnertime conversation is

We need to make a decision about X


We've been invited to Y's party--do you want to go?


Are you having breakfast with Z on Saturday?


I need you to do this and this and this

I remember when we were first married, and Mike talked to me about how, for him as the provider working and fighting battles--both financial and otherwise--for us outside the home, it's important that our house is a sanctuary for him. A refuge, a place of rest and comfort and safety. And not just our home, but me. As a wife, one of my highest responsibilities is to be my husband's safe haven. His sanctuary. A restful person to be with.

Even though I'm not nagging--I'm pretty sure he'd agree--I realize that the way I've been interacting with him lately is more like a machine trying to get as much accomplished ASAP, rather than inviting his soul to rest when he gets home in the evening.

Honey, I'm sorry. Tonight, let's rest.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

{ Fambly }

Part III of the trip Lainie and I took to Idaho in January

:: just chillin' with my cousin Christy ::

:: fashion show courtesy of {L-R} Emily, Eli, Audrey, and Charlotte ::

:: second cousin Cecily {I so clearly remember when Cecily was Lainie's size!!} ::

:: second cousin Vivi ::
:: first snow--on a walk with Mama and Grandma ::

:: talking to great-uncle Ernie ::

:: standing with Grandma ::

:: loves from second cousin Audrey ::

:: chattin' with Grams ::
{note: the only reason there are so few photos of my mom is because I know how much she hates--hates--having photos of her publicized. Thinks she's not photogenic. It's not that I didn't take them, it's just that she wouldn't want me to put them on the internets.}

:: first kitchen sink baths ::

:: fun with my cousin Julie ::

:: lunch with uncle Joe--he's not really as frightening {nor is Lainie as shocked} as appearances suggest! ::

Saturday, March 9, 2013

{ Big Girl }

How is it that my little Bug is big enough to sit in strollers and shopping carts like a big girl?
When did all this growing up happen?

As you can see, this sitting-up-like-a-big-girl business is very, very serious stuff. You should have seen her in the shopping cart: furrowed brow, slight scowl, very leery of this crazy new idea of Mama's...until the last five minutes, when she decided it was great.
I love this super-serious, hilarious little girl!

Friday, March 8, 2013

{ Five Minute Friday: Home }

Linking up here this week...


Hard to believe it's been nearly four years since I crossed the threshold from "spinster" to "Mrs." and started making a home with my man. A real live man, people!! This is not something I ever really thought possible! Hard to believe that for nearly four years, "home" has meant "small treehouse near the lighthouse." So much growth, learning, awful paint choices {followed by really good ones}, good memories, new life--so much is wrapped up in these four walls. I love this place, and I will be sad when it's time to move on.

But we won't be leaving our home: everything that really means "home" to us goes where we go. This treehouse has been the canvas for the home we've created with our lives, and our next dwelling is simply the next canvas. It will still be home. I firmly believe that Jesus knows exactly where we're going to live next, and when, and that it is perfectly suited for us. Just like all the homes I've known before.

The farm.

The houses where I rented a room from family friends.

The cozy apartment Lizett and I shared.

The house where Lizett, Colleen, Kristi and I did life together.

All perfectly suited to those particular seasons.

Because wherever He wants me to be, that is the perfect home for me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

{ Second Cousins }

Part II of Adventures in Idaho ~ January 2013 edition

Did you know that second cousins and first cousins once removed mean the same thing? {At least as far as I can tell from the definitions Google provided!}

That's what Zach and Lainie are: His daddy Andrew is my cousin.

These two little punkins were due only two days apart, and while they do share a whole horde of relatives who dote on them both, they also have quite a few differences:

Zach was born on his due date; Lainie was 16 days early, which means their birthdays are not only 18 days apart, but in different months!
Zach has four older sisters; Lainie's a "lonely only" so far
Zach is growing up in a house on a hilltop farm in Idaho; Lainie lives in a third-story condo in Washington with a tiny balcony instead of a yard
Zach loves tummy time; Lainie hates it

:: proof ::

Zach is a chunky little monkey--he outweighs Lainie by a few pounds--while she is petite
Zach is a social fellow who loves company and prefers a houseful of people to being home alone with his mama; Lainie loves being home, prefers mommy over everyone else, and gets easily overwhelmed with lots of people

It was so fun to watch these two interact! The following is an actual series of photos I took the first afternoon they hung out.

I can't wait to see how this friendship develops over time!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

{ Grandpa Duck }

Part I of January's adventures in Idaho
:: two bald heads watching Jasper the dog outside ::

:: chattin' ::

:: basking in the wonders of the rice paddle--one of her favorite "toys" ::


:: breakfast SO funny! ::


:: um...isn't some of that mine?! ::

:: never mind...I'll just play with your chin whiskers ::

Friday, March 1, 2013

{ Ordinary }

Linking up with Lisa-Jo at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for this week's Five Minute Friday! Today's prompt: Ordinary.


It's so hard to feel anything but ordinary, bland, boring, when it seems like all I do all day is nurse, change diapers, roll around on the floor and play with her--with flurried stints of housework in between. I feel plain. Invisible. Ordinary.

It's a lie, isn't it? This IS the Great Thing I've always wanted to do with my life: Bring up little ones. Teach her how to eat, walk, talk. Show her Jesus with my life. Be the gatekeeper of this little heart. It's not ordinary! It's so extraordinary, this responsibility and this privilege, that when I stand back for a moment and look at it, I'm breathless with the weight of glory.

It's only when I can't lift my head about the daily drudge that I forget. My perspective skews ugly. She's not the interruption, the distraction, from the Great Things I was doing {or was going to do} with my life. Being her mama is the great thing. Shaping and molding her heart and soul? It's a huge task, too monumental for me. The fingerprints I will leave on her forever? I'm terrified of them--that I will hurt, break, mar her.

That's why my days with her matter so much more than the other stuff.