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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: November 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grateful for Play

One of the (many) areas I am woefully lacking in this mothering journey is in just playing with my babies. There always seem to be too many other things to do.

Sure, I include them in my things. Yes, we read together a lot. And there is all the talking and "Mommy, watch this."

But playing....

Playing is harder for me for some reason. I'd rather watch... and then instead of watching I'm "dovetailing" some other activity a the same time. So much for watching. So much for being a part.

Recently we've been struggling with obedience in our household. It seems like we struggle to want to obey. To care. And it seems to us (the mommy and daddy) that NOTHING is getting through. The verses. The talking. The urging. Scolding. "Discipline measures". Nothing. Even staking... he (in particular) just doesn't seem to care.

What is a mother to do?

I received my copy of Homepreschool and Beyond the other day and I read something in chapter two that has stuck with me:

"Parent's need to spend time playing with and talking to their children every day. Parents who do this will reap an unexpected benefit: Their children will work hard to please them and to protect their relationship (emphasis mine)." Susan Lemons, Homepreschool and Beyond

Not a new concept for me, but a much needed reminder... and spelled out so simply.

I don't know how long it will take for this relationship to be restored, for enough heart strings to be retied, but I am grateful for the process. Grateful for play!

holy experience

Grateful for:

94. beautiful Sunday afternoon weather

95. planting bulbs with my boy

96. an old deflated ball

97. kickball in the front yard

98. laughter

99. rough housing and a sore jaw

100. my boy's smile

101. an opportunity to play

102. taking that opportunity to play

103. memories

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tattler Giveaway!

I've been busy busy around here... we were away for the weekend (last minute trip to spend time with My Beloved's family!) and I've been working feverishly on getting the house in order (it's kinda needed it these last few years). On top of that, I'm working on pictures from a family session last week... and that is so not my priority these days. So it's hard to make myself do it. Oh, and working on being consistent with my children... even when it means sitting one on one with a particular girl who won't swallow a bite of her dinner for nearly 45 minutes. Did I mention I've been busy?

Image from New Life on a Homestead

At any rate... I'm busy. But not too busy to enter this giveaway for Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. Head on over and enter. Actually... don't. Don't go over there to try for a chance to win 2 dozen of each size lid.

Ok, ok... you can go. And let me know if you win!

Happy Canning!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm dreaming of a clothes line

We created senior portraits for a girl from our church a couple weeks ago. We were out at their home, using their land, creating portraits with her horse. As we crossed the yard behind the house toward the goats, the mom began apologizing for her clothes line filled with jeans.

"It doesn't bother us." My Beloved told her. "She'll probably want to take a picture of it for her blog."

The woman was appalled. Why would anyone want to take a picture of someone else's wash line?

For one simple reason, really.

In at least a few ways, she was living the life we want to be living.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More you should know about flying this holiday

I have a feeling this mistreatment by TSA isn't going away soon. As it turns out, as we stand up and say we won't accept one thing, it just keeps getting worse. As I was sharing with a lady here recently, about how TSA is going right up lady's skirts to "search" and touch everything, she stated, "Well then, I guess I'll be wearing pants on my flight." Now it seems, that isn't going to matter... they're reaching right down our pants!

I've also just heard a story about a little girl, three years old, who screamed as she received a full pat down. My heart aches as I hear her scream in the video, "Don't touch me!" I don't know about you, but I teach my children that no one except mommy and daddy can touch them if they don't want them too. In fact, in light of this video (they overheard the girl crying while I watched), I've started explaining to them that if anyone else touches them they can and should scream as loud as they can. Let's not mix messages here... are they or are they not supposed to let strangers touch them? Any strangers?

My Beloved brought my attention to a very interesting thing last night... a little good in all this bad. Apparently, when TSA was brought into airports after 9/11, it was a short term thing, and after 2 years, airports could choose between TSA and private security. Perhaps there is something we can do after all. I'd encourage you to call your local airport/s (or even non local airports) and request that they change security teams. Let them know you won't be flying until they do.

Other things we can do... participate in Opt Out Day (though I feel even more strongly about this one than the scanners). Some are saying that when you opt out, refuse to go to the back room where they do it in private, but make sure you stay in public. This makes sure others know what they are doing to you... and may just be a safer option.

My preference to the whole thing is to "opt out" of flying that day all together... or more than that, not to fly at all until this is done away with! Vote with your dollars... they can't argue with that if we all do it!

Do you have any stories of your recent flights??? The more we share, the more we can encourage each other... and maybe, just maybe see change!


Are you flying this holiday season? A violation of more than our 4th amendment rights

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reading Lists

As a mama who has been trying to figure out new and wonderful books to read to my littles (I get bored easily!), I was so thrilled to see that Susan has posted both a list for boys and a list for girls... through the various ages and stages. Thanks for taking the time Susan! I'm so excited to start getting those from my library!

I also have to tell you all how excited I am to have won a copy of her book, Homepreschool and Beyond from Jolanthe. Thanks to both ladies for that giveaway. I was just thinking to myself that I never win anything. :) Um... perhaps never is a little strong.

I'll be sharing my thoughts on the book after I've had a chance to read it.

Edited to add: Rebecca Jones just shared some of their favorite read alouds too! Thanks Rebecca!

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Monday, November 15, 2010

God, Our Protector

"I want hot dogs from the hot dog store." Tornado said, mimicking his desires from the night before when we were discussing where to go to dinner.

We were at church now... fellowshiping until only a few handfuls of people scattered about in the hallways. We make our way down the long hall, through the doors and out into the parking lot. Moments later our dark green Saturn pulls out of the church parking lot.

I sit quietly, noting the left instead of right, waiting to see where we are headed. The freeway? Lunch out? I would let My Beloved keep his secret as long as he wanted too. Let him enjoy whatever he had planned.

Our turn for the freeway onramp just ahead. A kid talks to me from the back seat. I turn to listen. Returning my attention frontward, I see it. White car crossing over white line. Not slowing. Not stopping. My Beloved sees it too. Brakes. Swerves. He tries to take it in his own door. He tries to turn. To minimize impact. To control the uncontrollable.

I see it all in real time, not slow motion as I expect. I say nothing. Hold nothing. Can do nothing. I except it instead of bracing for it.


Metal crunches. Or is it all plastic? The scene before me changes quickly. Road. Trees. Road. Overpass. Intersection. The spinning stops but the screaming behind me has only just begun. Panic.

Before a second passes, I am out of the car. Opening a rear door before I even know what I'm doing. They're all crying, but Little Man looks fine. I run around the car to Sweet Pea's side. Pull the handle. Nothing. Reaching over Little Man again, I unbuckle both children. Meet them in my seat up front. How can I know whether children this small are ok?

A man runs toward our car. A witness. He's asking if we're alright, but I keep my attention on my babies, pulled into my lap now. Held close. My Beloved talks to him. I try to ask one of my babies if he's ok, but can't hear his answer over the screaming in my other ear. I ask her... same problem.

"Stop crying," I say. "Stop." How can I expect my littles to grow up in a second? To know how to react? To possess self control better than many adults? Better than myself? "I need you to stop crying and look at me. It's very important. Stop." I say again, speaking firmly over their cries.

They are both looking at me. Tears in their eyes and running down their faces. I look at Sweet Pea, "Are you hurt or are you scared?" I ask pointedly, looking directly into her eyes. "Scared." She whimpers. My attention is turned to Tornado, "Are you hurt or are you scared?" "Scared." He answers as well. I hold them close, comforting them and rocking them. I am so grateful for all the training that allows for them to listen to mommy when it really matters. To put panic aside and obey.

The other driver tries to ask if we're ok. I can't look at him. I'm not ready. I hold them closer. My Beloved talks to him. Exchanging information. Making sure they are ok too.

We venture out together. Excited to see what happened to the car. With a little hand in each of mine, we walk around the car to see tire flat. Door broken. I catch a breath in my chest. Hold tears deep. My baby girl was right on the other side of that depression. I turn quickly, lowering to look at her again. Touching. Feeling. Squeezing. Asking, "Does this hurt?" "Do you hurt anywhere?" I can't believe it. Looking down through the window, there is no space between door and seat. Sobs threaten to force their way out. I hold them back for their sakes. Then a voice from behind.

A sweet sister, C, from church is talking to us. Are we ok? Do we want to come sit in their van? We are grateful they saw us. That they stopped. I walk over with the kids. Four young boys are waiting to entertain. To play. To distract. I am grateful for a warm place for my littles to hide from everything that just happened.

Back at the car another brother, D, Daddy to 3 girls in his car, stands beside ours. Are we ok? Can he do anything to help? Do we need a cell phone? Should he take pictures?

Pictures. Yes. We need those and forgot both cell phones. But wait. The camera. We do have the camera. I thank him and run around to the open door for it. Pressing it into My Beloved's hands. He takes the pictures.

EMS arrives. The police. I go through the motions. Am I hurt? Who was driving? Where are the children? My Beloved takes care of everything that matters. I wander in circles, staying close to the car where Little Man is still in his car seat. The EMT comes to check on him. I tell her I'm only worried because he's not crying. In reality, I'm grateful.

Another voice. Another sister, J, driving by from church with her boys. Can she take us home? D is offering his car for My Beloved. He'd get a ride home.


My Beloved's boss.

All were among the handfuls that remained at church when we left more than a few moments before.

Pastor carries the infant seat, Little Man inside, across the highway to J's van. I turn to get the kids myself. Sweet Pea is upset again. Nervous that Little Man is being taken away. Everyone is fine. We load up in a van with friends. More boys. Little Man is crying now. Hungry.

My Beloved removes valuables from the car. Gets a few more pictures. The kids excitedly watch the tow truck. The driver becomes a hero.

Sweet Pea is upset because her door is broken. She will cry about this several more times over the next few days.

All things considered, we are fine. Sore necks, especially My Beloved. The kids are shaken, but not hurt at all. The kids talk about the white car. Wonder why it wanted to break Sweet Pea's door.

We return home to lunch. To naps. To a deep breath.

God is our protector!

The rest of the week My Beloved battled insurance... still battles insurance. A new car to drive every day. God is our provider as well! Finally a rental. New car seats. I am grateful!

holy experience

More of my first 1000 gifts:

79. warm November days

80. side impact bars

81. children uninjured

82. church family when ours is so far away

83. roll playing

84. spare cars from friends

85. fun rentals

86. no need to fear

87. knowing He's our provider

88. a husband who does all the hard stuff

89. new car seats

90. bringing so many along our path

91. protection

92. mercy

93. grace

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to ensure your Saturday morning starts off on the wrong foot

Step 1. Fall asleep very late.

Step 2. Give 2 and 3 year old a directive to play quietly ON THE COUCH until you wake up.

Step 3. Go back to bed.

Yep, this pretty much ensures a difficult and frustrating morning of fixing and straightening and cleaning up everything they get into while OFF THE COUCH during that time.

  • toys everywhere (a given)
  • water everywhere (they were thirsty)
  • tupperware I haven't used in the sink with the sticky ice cream maker stuff
  • lids too
  • clothes covering the bedroom floor (had to change because they were wet)
  • Tornado needs correction after lying about "not being in the kitchen" because he "stayed on the couch"... but then how did he get wet? The story got even more unbelievable as Sweat Pea evidently flung water all the way across the house to get him wet... without getting the carpet or the couch in the mean time.
Now mommy needs to take a nice deep breath, and start the morning over. Perfect... Little Man needs to be fed again. We'll just pretend this is the first one of the day!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

My last 24 hours... and maybe my next

Feels like midnight... it's 8pm.

I'm freezing in my robe, thermal pants and cozy slippers... it's 68. The heater just kicked on.

I hurt. I'm working on that one.

The house is destroyed. That can wait.

Several posts are scheduled for this next week... otherwise, I'm probably not here.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

This mother's desperate plea

A call rings out through the house at 5am... or was it 4? The kind of call that would come from a bad dream or a sick tummy. I rise quickly, careful to avoid the bassinet pulled up against my bed. Careful not to wake the finally sleeping baby. I grab my robe and make my way quickly down the hall in the cold. Reaching for the knob expecting stories of how a wolf is in his room. Or a moose is putting his head through the window. Or that baby deer can get into his bed because they don't have antlers. Inside I smile... outside I move mechanically in my stupor. Door knob turns quickly, heading off another yell.

"[Tornado]!" I bite off sharply. Too sharply. "Stop yelling."

That was the first time I yelled. It wouldn't be the last. My yell was quieter than his. Hushed. But still a yell. A yell comes from the heart.

It was only eight hours before that I had scolded for the same thing.

"Yelling will wake your sister." I explain, glancing toward the crib for movement, words only slightly gentler. "What is it?"

He needs his blanket spread out on the mattress. Warmth. He wants a warm, dry place to lay down.

"Are you wet?" I ask him, much gentler now. Yes.

Off to the bathroom he goes to remove wet diaper. Wet jammies. In quiet darkness now, lit only by the hall light, I strip fitted sheet from mattress and spread a blanket down to protect my boy from cold plastic. I click on a single light in the living room to dig through a ever growing pile of laundry on the couch for something... anything for my boy to wear the rest of the night. Moments later I cover him, clad in fleece pants and hooded sweatshirt, with a second blanket.

The words come from behind me.

"I need to potty Mommy."

I let out a sigh. "OK baby." I lift her over the rail and send her on her way.

All tucked in. "Please go back to sleep." I say, pleading within my heart. "Night night, Mommy loves you." Hushed tones, much softer now.

I pull the door closed. My Beloved passes me in the hall. "Did you give him medicine?" No. "He needs it."

I sigh. Turning on the living room light again, I rummage through my purse for the inhaler. Tornado's coughing. Of course I noticed... but it didn't occur to me to do anything about it. Back in the room we sit for six deep breaths, learning to hold them in for a moment before pushing them back out. Again, the admonition to go to sleep.

I lay my robe on the end of my bed for the next "emergency", then step to get in bed myself, kicking the bassinet. I hold my breath. Please stay asleep, I say in my head. Please please please.... All is quiet. Breath releases.

Then morning. A feeding, 45 minutes of crying, several sleep interruptions later. Morning.

Today morning is not defined by the height of the sun, but the willingness of this mommy to climb out of bed. It's late... and I'm already sorry for it.

Children sing and play from their beds, growing more wild by the second. It's my fault, I know, but can't they just wait quietly... patiently?

I snap at them as I pass to the bathroom. Gritted teeth. Threats. And deep down I know I'm failing. I leave them there. Brush my hair. Maybe if I'm ready for the day before they are up, I'll have a chance.

But I know I've already lost.

I knew it last night as I sat in quiet. Thinking. Praying.

Something would need to change. I need to change.

How can I demand patience of them when I lack the self control myself.

Everyone is up, staked closely to me. Breakfast is on the table. Daddy says good-bye. We're alone.

A thousand people would think my kids cute... rambunctious and wild. Not me. Not today. I'm a grouch. Not much is cute.

I try to turn the day around. My words are harsh around every turn.

We work together to fold laundry. I hear wheezing. My heart sinks. I'm failing again. I scoop him up, knowing he must be afraid he's done something wrong. I set him down on the washing machine. Shake the inhaler. Six more breaths. I smile. He smiles. Forgiveness... always forgiveness.

We return to the laundry. Each of them do their part... I the rest. Still my patience is thin, if it is there at all.

Then a prayer surfaces from the depths:

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

That's all I dare ask for. Not because He couldn't give more, but because I can't be trusted to be on my own any longer than that. One of the children speaks. I pray it again.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Tornado needs redirection, again. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Time for lunch. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Tornado won't sit still. I can hear the wheezing. Lunch will have to wait. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

Signing Time distracts us through a nebulizer treatment. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. I snuggle with them on the couch... actually enjoying the moments.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. Back to the table. We'll make our own quesadillas... because it's fun.

They go in the toaster oven. I sit to feed Little man, all of us at the table. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We sing. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We talk about our memory verse. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. We laugh.

Lunch is winding down. It's time to do our lesson, Tornado and me. I think of skipping it, but he loves to do it. I remember yesterday. He's learning how to read... tiny step at a time. He has been asking for a long while. I decided to give it a try. He so enjoys the lessons. Tells everyone he's learning to read. It's me that may not be up to the task.

Teaching a three year old anything is frustrating. Teaching to read is in a whole other ball park.

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

We settle onto the couch... the four of us.

Tornado and I do well... Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment. Moment by moment.

From the other side of me I hear, but don't compute. Then it registers. "I standing on [Little Man] Mommy!" I glance over... still trying to figure it out. Little man is laying up against my leg. Sweet Pea on the other side, foot squarely on his abdomen.

I snap. Harsh words. I forget to pray. The words keep coming. I can't stop them and I can't pull them back. They slow. Deep breath.

We finish the lesson. Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

And I will continue to pray...

Lord, give me the patience to mother well in this next moment.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The new blog design

Ok, so the new blog design is up. I just couldn't wait until I had every single thing finished, so it's up... and I'll be adding things here and there. You may also notice that I've changed the title of the blog a bit. I'm still Babychaser... couldn't change that. And I do still stay at home... most of the time. But I wanted something that showed my heart a bit more than "Stay at Home Mommy". Since I'm "the Babychaser" I thought "Chasing Babies" would be appropriate. And I'm hoping to focus more on my growth and the things the Lord has and is teaching me as I go through the day to day... thus, "Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace."

There are some things you can't really know about a blog design until it's official (at least for an amateur like me) so there will be some tweaking... and maybe some major changes as we decide what we really think, like and don't like.

And since we are looking at what we think/like/don't like, I'm asking you... what do you think? Do you hate it, love it, or have ideas to help me along? I won't tell you our thoughts just yet because I want your truest opinion. There are some little things I haven't finished with too... but that's ok. I'll get there... someday!

Oh, and as always... please be kind. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thankful for 3 months of life

holy experience

More Gifts from the King:

60. my babies
61. giddy laughter
62. rough housing

63. 3 months of loving a brother
64. learning gentleness

65. 13 pounds 10 ounces
66. personality
67. so many smiles
68. that almost laugh

69. Little feet

70. Kicking

71. Tiny toes

72. Tiny fingers

73. good napping
74. good night time sleep
75. wonderful alert times

76. yesterdays
77. today
78. tomorrows

I am so grateful!

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Are you flying this holiday season? A violation of more than our 4th amendment rights

It seems the government is asking the American people to succumb to m*lestation for an opportunity to travel by air. I sit here staring at my screen after what I just learned... searching for words.

Dumbfound at the audacity.

Visually upset.


I know I have to get the word out. All you beautiful women. My throat closes at the thought.

This secular video clip from shares the latest in TSA's regulations:

We're conditioned to let it happen. What can we say? It's in the name of "national security". We're conditioned to let them do whatever they deem necessary. For a long while now, security officers have been "checking" us with the backs of their hands brushing against clothes. With the advent of the "n*ked body scanners", it occurred to many of us that they had gone to far. But we could always opt out, then succumbing to a more thorough physical search. Now they've taken it a mile further.

It seems that when we choose to "opt out" of the n*aked body scanners (and possibly regardless), a more invasive hands front "pat down" is the alternative. Touching. Groping. I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd been Michelle from the video interview. Would I have had the presence of mind to stop that security man in his tracks when his hands, touching/feeling/squeezing their way up, had moved their way up past my knee? Beyond mid thigh? Reaching between? Or would I have been dumbfound in my horror? Too embarrassed to speak? Humiliated?

If it had happened to me, would I ever forget it? Would my children? Who cares if it's a woman who does the groping? By the way... the woman in the video wasn't working with a woman... but a man. And she didn't say anything about it, but I'm having a hard time believing that he told her everything he was going to do before he did it.

Everyday women and children are violated in this way by strangers and trusted friends and family alike. It's called m*lestation. And they are too embarrassed to ever mention it to another human being again. They walk through life scarred. Shattered.

What do we tell our children after something like this happens? This mother did the best she knew how, but how can we teach our children that it is never ok for someone anyone to touch them in those places, only to let government officials do so? Will it be something that gives my children nightmares for years to come? Will it affect my daughters future marriage bed? Even I feel like I may be going too far with this now... but am I? What's the difference?

And which would I prefer? For my daughter to be forever scarred by this "security search" of her private areas? Or for her to feel it's completely normal for a complete stranger to touch every inch of her body because it's protocol? I'm not sure I have an answer for you on that one.

Alex Jones calls it humiliation... but as a Christian woman striving to be a virtuous woman, I'm going to have to call it worse than that. I just can't come up with anything strong enough to put into words.

I'm begging you, beautiful women crafted by God, be aware. Protect yourselves. Protect your children. Know that this is happening. Know that this could happen to you and your children as you travel this holiday season, in some cases whether or not you "opt out" of the body scanning. Stay home... travel by car.

More importantly though, tell everyone you know about this. I'm angry about what is happening, but I am grateful to know about it before being in the terrible position myself.

Have any of you seen or heard about this already? Has it happened to you? If you are willing, please share it with us.

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Monday, November 1, 2010


The feelings came on strong again, heavy on my chest. I looked around my house and I saw all that was undone. The kitchen a mess. The table the same. Remnants of laundry folded in piles on the couch. Nearby three bushels of apples in heaps around the kitchen. Canning equipment and supplies everywhere. My desk buried. Toys and paper airplanes strewn about. The baby still crying.

In a word... overwhelmed.

My heart is laden with guilt. My attitude in desperate need of a re-boot. I am often amazed at how a single failure on my part can rob me of patience, love and grace for everyone else.

Thing were running smoothly, despite the mess which seemed to be taking over. My Beloved was home early and I had jump started the applesauce canning of the day. Now I'd get dinner thrown in the oven so we could eat a nutritious balanced meal (for once) before he had to leave for class.

Then it occurred to me that I hadn't precooked the green beans for the casserole. A seemingly trivial thing, but our time frame and the state of the pan I needed for that task removed all hope from me like a town ravaged by fire.


I'd failed.


And there was nothing I could do to fix it. Suddenly I had no patience for Tornado. His questions. His loud playing, talking, singing. Playing where he shouldn't be. I snapped at him. I felt worse. Things kept getting worse.

Over the next hour my despair seemed to deepen and my patience thinned more and more. I knew my heart was wrong, but how is a mother of three in the middle of several things with time constraints supposed to get away and get right? Instead the mess and noise and list of all left undone crowded in on me. I could feel despondency and anger welling up to take the place of my drowning.

Then my mind drove in fast forward as I began to look around at all I would need to do... should do... before getting to those things I had wanted to tackle tonight. Never ending.


Still, as I looked around I saw only clutter, mess. Hopelessness. Without warning and in the space of very little time, I was back. In the middle of the previous week. A bad place to be. One I'd hoped was gone, a passing phase. But here it was again. Failure. Hopelessness. Depression.

A suppression so strong I could do little more than look around and grow more weary, more hopeless. Overwhelmed. A laundry list of all I wouldn't have time for formed in my head.

But, in fact, reality was much different. The kitchen table was covered because jars of home canned applesauce sat there. Evidence of productivity throughout the week. The kitchen has been worse, much worse. Toys cluttered the house as evidence of the wonderful little lives that left them there.

I was the only one to think I'd failed.

My family ate a meal together. Leftovers, but a meal. Twenty minutes of hard work would have this place looking pretty good. Another thirty would give time for a shower and some freshening up.

This weight forcing me downward, nothing but lies from the evil one. The enemy. Yet I fall for it. It occurs to me that I'm under attack for my recent determination to grow in gratitude. How can I exude gratefulness when my heart is consumed with failure. Hopelessness. Me. Gratitude is, after all, only worship. Pure worship.

Now there I was. Again. Under fresh attack. Pressed onto the couch, chest heavy. Doing nothing to climb out. Another hour gone, wasted.

So thank you God. Thank you for You. Thank you for grace. Thank you for worship. In simply lifting my eyes in worship to you, I am set free. Free from hopelessness. Free from the weight that presses upon me from every counter top. Free from myself. Thank you for this home. For the walls that surround me. For enough clothes to sit in piles. For apples. For applesauce. Thank you for your calling on my life. That you ask me first and foremost to love you. Thank you for loving me first. Thank you again for grace.

Slowly. Slowly I feel strength enough to smile. Then to stand.

A timer set. 20 minutes. Thank you for order. Lines of jars. Room for children to eat breakfast in the morning. Thank you for shelves. Toys away. Thank you for progress. That you see my heart, not my clutter.

Thirty minutes. A shower. A heart full of worship. Gratitude.

holy experience

More, poring from my heart over the last couple weeks...

19. Cuddles with my girl

20. Piles of apples

21. a full refrigerator

22. left-overs for lunch

23. sleeping through the night

24. a servant husband

25. waking to a clean kitchen

26. cuddles with my boy

27. being pleasantly surprised by a new recipe

28. grace from my sweet husband

29. a clingy girl

30. patterns with the kids

31. productive mornings

32. laundry helpers

33. a plan for dinner

34. a husband willing to serve me when it would be easier not to

35. toast for breakfast

36. dishes put away the night before

37. kids who slept longer than expected

38. beautiful leaves

39. a sweet daddy with his boy

40. a surprise lunch out

41. grace in my failures

42. dinner around an outside fire

43. help with the dishes

44. an evening freed up last minute

45. a year worth of applesauce put up

46. a dinner out

47. almost out of apples

48. extra sleep

49. elderberry syrup

50. feeling better

51. family time

52. playing together at the park

53. new friends

54. projects done

55. space reclaimed

56. working with my husband

57. God's protection

58. spotting deer

59. helping friends

What are you thankful for today?

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