One of the things that I spend the most time thinking about is mess. Seriously, I know. If you have read much of what I have written you have probably noticed that I can basically not write at all without mentioning laundry or walking on pretzels. I try to suppress it, but it does pop out – probably because it is actually a really big deal in my life. Mess in the home and people in the home have been some of the major headers over the flow chart of my sanctification. Much of my personal walk with the Lord has taken place circuitously around our home, and I am so thankful for that – because also in my home are a bunch of little people that I love. And it is here, in the middle of my sanctification laboratory that they are learning about life and God and joy and peace and family and sacrifice. Read More
Well I have ended up taking an enormous hiatus from actually blogging. Don’t think for a moment that I haven’t been busily writing blogs in my head though – I have! All summer long! Consider them all wise, well timed, and apparently best unpublished. It turns out that the only missing component in my life was time to sit down. It seems like it is time to break the ice with my old friend, the blog, and it’s patient readers.
Summer has been blasting along beautifully, with no child going to bed on time, just like always. Shadrach broke his femur just in time to celebrate his 2nd birthday in a body cast. He is still in it – we hope for only another week and half. We did volleyball league and lacrosse, Irish step classes, and lots of hospitality. Life has been really beautifully full. The kind of full that makes your back feel sick at night, and your laundry get out of control.
I continue to wrestle, day in and day out with keeping the house clean because I find that to be no small task. There are so many people in this house – living every corner of it up to the max. And I love those people and the creative games that drive them to leave things in all places but the right ones.
But loving this is not the same thing as always feeling like it should be this way. So I think through my options. I feel like if I wanted to keep my house looking great all the time I would have to choose between doing nothing but clean the house, and becoming an affliction to my children all day every day. By that I mean, I could throw away all their toys, and I could walk around behind them all day in order to notice who it was who dragged their dirty hand down the hall wall – but I’d really rather not be that person in their life. Read More
Occasionally when someone who is holding their first tiny baby tells me that they read my book I can’t help telling them not to judge me. I remember so clearly when motherhood was a new thing to me and I seriously could not understand a mom getting frustrated. I was still just eating the appetizers of frazzled, and tired, and emotionally expended. I knew the feeling of being touched too much, but had not accounted for that same nursing around the clock feeling being accompanied by a people trying to brush your hair, children climbing on your back, children leaning on you and whispering into your ear, or just general disobedience in the line of sight. I really truly had no idea how much deeper that pool would go. Cold ankles is one thing, but when it gets up to your stomach and knocks the wind out of you is another.
Some people feel this at two kids, or three. Four was the magic number for me, since with the twins I never experienced three. Anyways, if this is where you are, or even if you are past that now here is a short list of things that I found to be helpful in maintaining joy as you slog. Read More
I have an ongoing relationship with messes, a relationship that I do not keep a secret. My children are busy and active. They color about nine times a day at the dining room table, and by “color” I mean scissors, glue, duct tape, foil, and whatever else they rummage up. They play games all over our house. They leave socks in places that make no sense. They shed clothing. They come home full of things that they can’t wait to show me and dioramas that must be made. And all of this is not even any of the mess that comes from the food prep and clean up. Six small children bathing and showering and leaving towels everywhere.
My husband has just finished a wonderful four-part sermon series called “Why Children Matter” and you can listen to them here at the Christ Church website. Not only is each sermon available, but Doug and I have done a Q&A each Monday night after the sermon to answer questions and go on bunny trails. You can help yourself to them at the same spot.
Secondly, for those of you who expressed an interest in the talks from the Table Grace Femina seminar, here they are as well.
And finally, I want to commend to you my husband’s book God Rest Ye Merry. There’s still time to get it for Advent, and it is a wonderful addition to your Christmas preparations. We are reading it together each day.
And while you’re at it, take a look at the Canon Press Christmas Catalog!
Merry Advent to you all!
If we really face the facts, it is true that my kids are growing up. I mean, I still have a one-year-old, and a three-year-old who work together to keep the time of the baby-toddles fresh in my mind. But the truth is, things have changed. Slowly, some of these wonderful kids have grown into the kind of maturity that can handle their own zippers, button their own pants, find their own socks, and they even do things like load the dishwasher, or fold a load of laundry on occasion.
I don’t exactly know when it happened, but it does feel like we have left the little years and moved into the middle years. And I love it here. It is still the challenging, wild, wonderful, messy, hilarious, and outrageous life I have come to know and love – but it is just a little more mature. Our family life is somewhere in the middle lands -like we have lost our front teeth and they are growing back in way too big for our heads, but we have plans to catch up to them.
But it wasn’t that long ago. Only a handful of years ago in our house, if playing in the toilet had come to a vote, I could have lost. Read More