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The Snag

  Are you tired of hearing about sickness yet?      Seems like a swirl of illness has been making its way through all the pods of community around us. Despite all our elderberry and all the home remedies this grow-your-own geek Mama could muster, the germs entered our household too.    The big ones were down first, a sister shortly after. Then the Little Bear, and Papa Bear. One sister and I escaped, and eventually even the combination of our introverted selves and a can't-go-anywhere week finally gave way to some restlessness. She began begging to be dropped off at a friend's house, and I think I inwardly begged the same- ha!    I hadn't quite counted the cost of it all. The week wrapped up, and the nights settled, but the sour and the "hey Mama"s continued. All of a sudden my heart began to resist. The quiet, restful days had been nice for a little while. I got some projects done that I don't have time for during full-swing school at the table. However... my
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Snip, Snip

  Isn't pruning just your favorite Biblical topic? Right next to submission and death to self, for sure. I've been thinking about pruning after a great conversation about it recently, and today I set out in the sunshine to finish up some winter pruning on the fruit trees. I waited WAY too long to prune my fruit trees because it kinda scared me, but after seeing the explosive growth that happens as a result, I am much more willing to chop and trim and collect a pile of twigs for future burn piles.  Three aspects of pruning registered in my heart while clipping: Prune off branches that will grow into each other. One of the purposes of pruning is to keep branches from tangling with each other. I was taught to clip off little growths that WILL run into another branch, even if it will take a long time for the intersection to happen. It is so, so much easier to snip a little twig than a 2" branch. Don't wait until the two areas of growth have tangled- look at the direction e

Only One Voice

    I was gifted so many thoughtful things this year, many of which feed into my love of backyard farming. Today, I pulled on new work overalls, and happily christened them with a little dirt and hay out in the sunshine. My littlest squish pulled on his (rather ragged) coveralls, and together we set up a worm bin given by my Daddy, said hello to the goats and chickens, and burned lots of Christmas paper and cardboard.    Now that the whirlwind of Christmas is behind us, my thoughts are turning to the new year: lesson plans, class choices for my older kids, house projects, and health renewal. I've seen a lot of content regarding resolutions for the New Year- articles about the top 10 things successful people ALL do, tips for how lose belly fat fast, health regimens that are life-changing, even meme-worthy one-liners about how we should make patterns and not resolutions (which I happen to agree with).     I could write today about how I think it's so much healthier to make habbit

Cave Trolls

    My brain has been absolutely busting with overwhelm regarding the depth and breadth of  all the things my kids need from me. They need physical nourishment and rest. They need a clean home. They need discipleship of heart, regarding both practical life perspectives and spiritual things. They need conversation, and the space to be curious. Most weighty currently is their academic need- I lay awake at night thinking and thinking (should be praying...) about math curriculum and how to help this one over a reading slump, and whether its going to be enough in the end. They need me to be healthy so that the person they are around the most isn't grumpy and toxic. They need my prayers fueling their futures. Beautiful, and profoundly important, it is all so much.    A few days ago I was wrapped in a snuggle as far as I could around our little sweaty, squishy four year old. I breathed in deep the smell of his hair, and squeezed his little belly and gathered his legs up into me. He gave m

Too many things

  There's just too many things to be faithful to. When I work through our projected school schedule for each fall, I block out sections of our weeks for housekeeping, because there isn't enough time before, during or after a school day.  I have job jars for the kids to select out of daily, and everyone-does-it-every-day items, and there is always much  that stays undone. Sometimes school work is abandoned (by me) so that I can work toward some assemblance of housekeeping order.  I try to be faithful to keeping our house tidy-ish, and clean-ish. Lately I have been laying awake at night processing (okay, stressing) what will be needed academically in the fall, and what some of the kids need even before their next grade level begins. I write out a two-page "academic overview" each summer, packed with ideas and details for each subject for each kiddo. When that is finished I write out a two-page "weekly schoolhouse routine" to allot times and days to make sure i


It's been awhile now, in so many ways. It's been awhile since I felt like the fire-breathing dragon that I am. It's been awhile since the boiling inspiration of lyric and chord came bubbling out. Songwriting and blog writing have laid dormant, and my worshipping hands have settled down at my sides. I've been telling myself that I'm waiting. A few weeks ago husband and I visited a friend's church service, filled with people whose worshipping hands are vivid free, and my heart came welling up. I finally looked down at my own self and saw my atrophy. Like a bird laying still too long, my wings laid down along my sides- torn and tattered and weak from the kind of stillness that is not rest. I let my head hang limp like my wings, and begged the Lord to restore me. I talked through that moment with my husband, and began to see even more ugliness. In my "waiting" I had let bitterness grow. My stillness was not hopeful, expectant rest. I held on to Go


       None of us had previously felt the kind of heat we got last weekend. I woke up on the third day  to the shaded part of the back yard being ten degrees hotter than our living room. In the height of the afternoon, the air measured 115 degrees. I knew there would be some casualties in the garden, and I hoped not in the hen house. All the chickens are fine, but goodness, our blueberries and some gentler greens suffered. I spent one sweaty morning trying to shade the blueberries that were in full sun- they weren't made for heat like that. Our blueberries are made to fruit and harvest completely before the hot, dry days of august. On the last weekend in June, they were full of almost-ripe berries, right on schedule for their abundant July harvest. But then unprecedented circumstances were thrust upon them, and nothing I did prevented those tender berries from scorching and shriveling and souring.    After the baking heat passed, I went out to do my usual rounds. I like to walk the