Beans and Boys

Tonight, I have been hard at work canning.  I bought a bushel of beans today because our own beans are not going to produce the numbers I was hoping for.  Heaven helped me clean the whole mess of them which took the better part of the evening.  When JP left to take them home, I started the cooking, filling, and bathing of the jars.

I admit the canning is not a very quiet job.  I make a lot of noise banging jars while washing and filling.  Constant bubbling of pots, and whistling of kettles.  Water turning on and off, and I turn on the disposal ever once and a while for good measure.  It is not a quiet place.

#1 came out of his brother’s room where is is sleeping due to the recent water in the basement that I haven’t had time to deal with completely.  “Wow. That is a lot of beans!  How long is that going to take? What else do you have to do?”

“I have a lot to do, but there is no way it will get done tonight.  Am I keeping you up?”

Sheepish grin and a slight nod.

“I am sorry, I will try to be quieter so you can sleep.”

“Its okay Mom, I know you have a lot to do.”

Fifteen minutes later. I hear him in the bathroom, then back to bed.

Another fifteen minutes later.  He came in to get a drink.

“Oh no. Are you still up because of me?”

Nod and hug.  Back to bed.

Another half an hour ended with another bathroom visit, and kitchen appearance.

“Mom, are you almost done?”

“I am trying, I am really done with the pot clanking, and the cleanup.”

Another half an hour.  Another flushing toilet.  Another kitchen companion.

Just a tired look and a smile.

“I am so sorry.”

“I know you are trying,and I know you are working hard for us.  I will be okay.  I love you.”

A giant hug, and he was gone again.


So often, I miss the kid who used to run up and throw his arms unashamedly around me and tell me that I was the greatest thing ever.  I miss the face full of kisses. I miss my baby who is growing up in front of my eyes.

However, even though earlier today he asked me why I had to be SO weird, I still get these moments.  I haven’t gotten a kiss from him in nearly two years, but I am allowed to kiss him.  He has started giving me big hugs again, and comes up just wanting a hug every once in a while.  I savor them more now.  I appreciate his grown up attitude that shows up every so often.  (Even though most of them time he is tormenting someone he is related to and giggling under his breath) I love that little man.


Oh, what a glorious morning!

I haven’t been sleeping well.  Sleep has been reluctant to come, and then fitful at best when it arrives.  I have had a lot on my mind lately with list of things that still must be done and my mind still reeling from recent events.  I have a hard time just turning off my brain sometimes.  I pray that I can remain STILL.  I must say that I am not very good at it.

When the alarm finally went off, I had been tossing for a couple hours and I was thrilled to have an excuse to get up.  I come from a long line of people who don’t sleep well for all the same reasons, and I fight to not be one of them. I was determined to stay asleep.  This is my summer break for Pete’s sake!  The first thing that greeted me was a fabulous pink sunset.  I exclaimed its beauty, and my husband groaned something about sailors beware.

I still reveled in the glorious pinkness.  My heart was filled with God’s goodness to me.  Something as simple as a soft pink sky remind me of His gentleness with me. He is gentle with me when I am hurt and when I am wrong and when I struggle.  He brought a song to my heart as I headed about my morning to do list.

“I cast all my cares upon you.  I lay all of my burdens, down at your feet.
And anytime, I don’t know what to do. I cast all my cares upon you. ”

When I got to sit down with Him, I read from my Utmost for His Highest this morning.  Again, a message for me.  It talked about going to the secret place and praying.  It talked about prayer being  willful act.  So many times, when I am trying to pray, my mind runs forty seven directions. Somehow,  I find myself lost in a to do list instead of prayer. I find myself frustrated with my running mind.  Yet, I was reminded that sometimes that secret place isn’t a physical closet, it is a secret place in my mind away from the to do lists and worldly distractions.  I willfully began to pray that God would give me the strength to willfully pray.  I know that sounds somewhat funny, but I know that the will I have to stop my mind from running is not strong enough to do its task.  I know that He is the only one capable of controlling my wandering mind.

I get so frustrated with my wandering mind and unsettled spirit.  I know all the verses about worry.  I know that it is a sin, and yet my mind runs.  The other thing I know is that I am His creation, and He made NO mistakes when he created me, wandering mind and all.  The comforting and incredible thought through it all, is He is SO MUCH BIGGER than my wandering and worry.  He is in control of all the things that run furiously through my mind.  For all that, I am so thankful.



Time marches on

My baby is going to kindergarten in nine short days.  For a long time, I didn’t think that it bothered me in the least.   I finally realize and admit, it really does bother me!

I think that our recent loss stirred up emotional junk and I am guessing it is compounded by the fact that I just turned 35.  I am not getting or younger and my life is slipping by one day at a time.

Thirteen years ago this month we had just found out we were expecting our first baby and had moved cross country on a new adventure.  Here we are as older versions of our same selves, and a whole lot of water has rushed under the bridge.

This year, we are busy getting a seventh grader, a third grader, a second grader, and a kindergartner ready for school.  (Do you have any idea how many school supplies that requires?)  It just doesn’t seem possible that we have that many kids going to real school.  Previously, I have been able to rationalize that #4 wasn’t going to real school, and we let him skip whenever Grandma would take him to play hookie. Now, it is REAL school.  The kind he has to actually go to everyday.

My baby is growing up.  I would say that he was our last, but the recent shock in our house has made me realize that I shouldn’t ever say that.  Nothing is fool proof.  I will say that we plan on him being our last unless God decides otherwise.  But, since we plan on him being our last it makes me sad.  This is the last first day of school we will have.  This is the last preschooler that is no longer.  It just makes me sad.

AND… It makes me feel OLD.  I can’t even imagine how I will feel when he graduates from high school!  I don’t want to think about how old I will feel then.

Time keeps flying and there is no way to slow it down.  For now, the only thing I can do is be grateful for each and every moment that I get to enjoy with them.  I am working on being grateful for the unenjoyable moments too 😉

Mom guilt strikes again

I seem to always stay busy.

And, yes, Julie, I almost heard you choke when you read that statement.  I know, it is a slight understatement, but I am TRYING to be honest  🙂

So, I am always busy.  Yes, I know I need to learn to say no more, and I am really trying to put it in to practice more often.  I am trying to put the things into perspective and be more selective while setting my priorities.

I have been thinking about this all summer.  It took me a few weeks to recover from the spring semester.  I was teaching full time, going to school, and doing two extra side jobs. We also have that whole church planting thing.  Plus, the mom thing, and the wife thing….

I hate the fact that all those other things consume my life.  I hate that the “mom” and “wife” thing gets pushed all the way to the end of the list.  Isn’t that supposed to be my FIRST priority?  I have so enjoyed my time at home this summer.  I am finding that I am ready for some structure, but I am not ready for the consumption.

I am really struggling to find the balance.  I want to find the balance.  I NEED to find the balance.  I want to have time to cook dinner that we have time to eat at the table together.  I want to have fresh baked cookies for my kids. I want to have time to sit and listen to them read. I want to teach them to play the piano, and not only other people’s kids.  I want to just sit and enjoy them.  They are growing up WAY to fast.

My baby is going to kindergarten this year.  Our girls are NOT little girls anymore, and we are soon to have a teenager.

I don’t want to regret not spending enough time with them.

I don’t want to wish I had done more.

When we turn around and wonder where the years went, I want my heart to be full of memories. I want their hearts to be full too.

The question…How do I do it all and keep my house and home? How do I do it all while working my job?  How do I do it all as a pastor’s wife? How do I do it all with all the other responsibilities? How?

How? Someone tell me please?!?!?

Someone have a magic potion?