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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
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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

When Faithfulness Becomes Fruitlessness

  I have high expectations for my fruit trees this year. All of them are in the ground now, released from their confining pots and barrels. Each is placed near others that will help with pollination, and each is in it's optimal sun exposure. My expectation of fruitfulness feels justified because this year I have been faithful to tend to the needs of each tree. My dear husband helped me dig and haul, I used what my brother taught me about pruning, I gave each time and water and mulch and sun. I have much more to learn, but so far I see blossoms giving way to little buds of pear, cherry, asian pear, and one tiny peach. Remember my little, one-pear tree from a previous post? I knew that little tree wouldn't bear much, because I was only tending to the needs that kept it alive, not to what it needed to be fruitful.  My heart, and my life, totally have places where I'm only tending to what's needed to sustain life, not what's needed to be fruitful.  What if my little bat

Weird Weeks

       He's been a little off lately. The volume has been full-scale, the naughty next-level, and he hasn't wanted me out of his sight. I've known that the upside down nature of life lately had sunk into his little spirit. Many days have been away from home and normal, many days with Mama out of routine and his world less predictable than he'd like. He doesn't understand that good things are happening, they just take phone calls and hours of paperwork. He doesn't understand that while we were temporarily away from our home, we were grateful for a warm, safe place that was almost home. He doesn't have context for the 'why' behind the break in routine, he just knows that it's not his normal.    His little heart and body have been expressing this intangible upset to the people around him. He is louder, bolder, shyer, poking at his playmates for attention, poking at the routines that do remain, reverting to baby voice and Mama attachment.     Tonight

Loaves and Fishes

   Jesus stood before more than five thousand humans. They had seen what He could do for them. They had testimony and witness of His power over the physical barriers that bind us. Their perpetual needs arose again and Jesus' attention turned to their hunger.    He knew the plan, but He paused and invited his companions along. They looked around and found nowhere near enough, and leaned back to their Lord.   "Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?"  John 6:9   They only had loaves and fishes.    You know the story, the miraculous, the EXTRA collected in conclusion. You know that all were fed, that nothing was wasted, that they worshiped at what was surely God's doing.   Remove the thousands, and I stand before only five humans. They think I can do it all, their needs are physical and emotional and spiritual and relational, and they have my attention.    The plan is the same. I pull in my companions and in