Winter’s Acceptance

There is a fresh skiff of our first snow on the yard. And it feels like officially winter. I know there is still a week or so till it’s official, but who’s a stickler on dates when it’s clearly weathering winter out there? As much as I want to just go bask in the sun, see green leaves and growing things- winters found me and I might as well enjoy it. November in Quesnel BC has got to be one of our less sunnier months. We have incredibly green lush springs and summers, vibrant autumns, and sunny crisp white winters that, well, November’s muddy browns and greys feels noticeably lacking. I feel itchy. In deep need of beauty.

I long for the beauty the snow brings. And the light. Even though it’s nearly pitch black at 5:30pm around here, a bit of snow on the edges of the roads really helps it lighten up. It’s kinda like when your bowling and they light up the bumper lanes… ya know?

In anticipation we prepared the yard for its whitening blanket. Stowing away the toys, hunting down a missing helmet, and tucking away yard things so the yard isn’t littered with treasures come spring. No guarantees tho. Last year we had all the shovels found and accounted for by the first snow fall. Then a month in and the kids left two shovels out while playing, and it snowed a foot. I waded about the yard making tracks in the snow back and forth the next day but to no avail, we never found them till the melt.

Is this the changing of guards? Snow to stay? Or… is this the beginning of the kids rehearsing with their snow gear?

The thing is- if I look too far ahead and fixate on spring, I won’t make it. If I worry over the quantity of winter here, I won’t make it either. I just have to accept each day. Look forward to all the treats that only this season can give. Look for beauty. Not just in nature, but in people, and special times too. I love that I can trust that God’s gonna bring spring in just the right timing. He always does. And He will fill my cozy winter days with snow adventures, skating, books, fires, friendships, naps, scrumptious things for my belly, and time to craft. Because winters a gift. And it’s not going anywhere, so I might as well see it as one. And wishing it away will only make me miss out on all God has got planned for this season. I feel like wherever there is hope, there is discontent lurking on the side lines. And the choice between the two is ours.

I need to stop telling people I’m not ready for winter,

And break out my snow pants.

Summer Lessons

Summer is in full swing as we have been off school since the beginning of June. That’s cause we homeschool and I can entice the children to buckle down and finish so that they can be gloriously free for 3 months.

Burn the workbooks!

Turns out they don’t love freedom as much as I thought they would, and really struggled with the lack of structure to their day. I honestly have thought on more than on occasion that teaching them school is less work then sorting out their summer squabbles. But like learning to homeschool, I’m just learning how to run this summer ship and am not as experienced at it as I thought.

I really thought the kids would just play outside happily for endless hours and I have to drag their little butts in just to feed them and put them to bed. Like school day afternoons were, only now they get ALL DAY. Only turns out they are like this for only half a day and the rest of it they are sick of each other and of each others games.

Going out for half the day really helps. And summer chores. What are your favorite boredom busters for kids age 4-10? Active ones…. I have to force my kids to STOP reading and go play ūüėā

On a side note, these are some of the lessons and things I’ve been learning this summer:

  • 4 years is probably a bit long to leave cleaning the dangling kitchen lights.
  • Vacuuming is more entertaining with Ranger Si popping out from behind the couch with binoculars.

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  • Veggies on the grill or baked in the oven are sweet and irresistible.
  • My neighbor friend who lets the kids ALL come play for hours is irreplaceable and is sweet mercy from heaven above- God bless that woman.
  • Turns out I’m not as bad at drawing as I thought I was, I just need to take sometime.
  • Pork Tenderloins on the BBQ are mouthwatering.
  • Jonas and Sammy are running around these days with knives slung on their belt loops, multi purpose jack knives in their pockets and lighters… but they also carry their own safety kits… and I’m good with it.
  • The bat population has been threatened by White Nose Syndrome (white fungus) so….. there is a possibility we will all die by mosquitoes.
  • Elise and Jonas are now better at making pancakes and salads than me.
  • My rooster, Captain Tom, could eat me for breakfast.
  • My husbands incredible patience teaching the kids to fish tugs at my heart in so many places.

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  • Go camping with your mom, and you will hardly need to pack a thing.
  • Babies eventually turn four, but they still give cuddles and hugs.
  • I can still pull myself up onto a floating object from out of the water, and am somewhat tricky to remove from said object… keep trying kids.
  • Red is a fabulous toenail colour and this summer is no different then the rest in knowing Red is the best.
  • If I ran uphill to the outhouse every time I or Si had to go to the washroom EVERYDAY I would have a lean bod. (Theory was tested for a few short days at the cabin) ((I say bod instead of body because it sounds so cool- and my kids probably think it’s a word now….))
  • An empty fridge stresses me… but so does a really full fridge.
  • Jesus loves me a whole crazy lot- but I gotta choose to believe it and live like I do.
  • Si just turned four and plays his drums everyday. So I roughly have 5,110 days of listening to it left…. unless he’s still at home at 18.
  • Mushrooms can grow bigger than your head.

Well thanks for listening to my rambles, hope your having a fantastic summer, and don’t forget to leave me with your boredom busters… or summer dinners, could totally use those too ūüėú

Just off the Beaten Path

Wednesday of this week I dropped my daughter off at gymnastics and had time to spend with just the boys. After an errand, I told them we were going to go for a little walk on the river walk, just to the Medal Caterpillar and then back. It wasn’t far- so they were game. We parked where our town has a large medal steam shovel and the boys groaned and physically itched at the sign telling them not to play or climb on it. I’d ignore the sign, but that particular sign (on that side) was literally put there for us. A year ago my kids were all over the twelve foot structure, dangling from every limb when we drew the attention of a stressed city employee. I told the truth when I explained that I hadn’t see the sign on the other side of the structure…. and… well now there are two signs. One on each side. And I’m very aware of both.

It’s a deep loss for my kids and they grieve it upon every visit.

So after passing said grieving site, we came on the next medal structure- A pump and broiler. “It has no NO PLAY signs!” Sammy squealed. “Right?” He can’t read all the words but the one sign looked way friendlier and the sign was clearly up high. The “No play” signs tend to be down low. “Can we mom?!”

So while the boys climbed on the broiler, I gazed out at the river beyond the path I was on. I saw people down by the water in the distance. I called to the boys and we stepped off the path. We wandered down across a lawn and through some bushes to the rivers shore. We made our way along the rocks talking about all sorts of boy things and just enjoying the incredible fresh views.

We worked our way from the Frazer river shore over to the aqua waters of the Quesnel river where we noticed the river rock size changed.

We even made it in time to watch the train rumble it’s way over the tracks.

And all I could think of as we explored and were smitten with the beauty around us- is how many times I’ve walked that path and never done this.

Then today as we wound our way home along a path we often take through the woods, we took a deer path we’d tried, but oh so long ago, and found a old dump site. We’d looked down the wreckage of cars and dumped pails in that pit before- but today we followed Jonas and Sammy down into it. To explore.

Treasures are all in the eyes of the beholder. My kids excitedly brought each one they found to me for approval of its value. When they started pleading to bring their rusty treasures home, I directed their enthusiasm to building a drum kit that we could come play. Right here. In the woods. We could even bring our friends to show. And oddly enough I, the adult, was the only one who came out of there with a rusted treasure I wanted to bring home… an old lantern.

And then like a mix between Sound of Music and the Trashing the camp song from Tarzan- my babies were playing me beats. With good old fashioned imaginations and a pit of treasures.

To think if we hadn’t veered of the path yet again we would have missed it all. I struggle with just doing things thinking “because they worked good once, let’s just do it again.” Also with finding safety in what I know. But there is something in me keen for adventure, and every now and then it convinces the safe predictable side of me to step off the beaten path. To go somewhere on a whim, pull over on the side of the road and go see, try something tricky, or new, or listen to a crazy kid suggestion.

Adventure doesn’t always have to be something you have to save money for. Sometimes it’s just stepping out of normal.

Like who rides a sled down a sand hill?

Um we do.

The very top picture of this blog is a sign I managed to create for our kitchen this week. It’s a reminder to me to look for life’s adventures and say “yes” to them. And to trust that God’s got so much more for those willing to step off the beaten path and trust Him with all the unknowns.

Two Big Questions

Ok so I’ve got two big questions for you.

Number one:

Is this not the cutest owl?

Don’t feel too bad, I had to be told it was an owl too. He might possibly have a hard time getting in his car… poor owl.

Number Two:

Don’t most siblings make ridiculously random competitions? Seriously, my husbands family (he has 7 siblings) STILL do this every time we hang out with them. And I have all brothers… 4 to be precise. Half our life’s adventures started with the sentence

“Bet you can’t do this!”

Here’s my kids the other night,

And yes, we eat lemon juice on our fish sticks.

And can you tell the bottle has been dropped? That’s the sacrifice one is willing to take when getting a 3-year-old to set the table.

(I also feel like justifying that we’re eating processed frozen food… but don’t we all have those days? Wait… don’t answer that or I’ll have to change my post to 3 big questions.)

Both these random questions originate from the normal ongoings of our household. My fridge sheds pictures like the autumn trees do leaves, and my children are often challenging eachother to perfectly useless uses of their skills. But every now and then I actually notice it.

I’ll look down at the art in my lap and not just say what I say to the million that pass through my hands. Or stop and film their crazy antics because one day dinner will be way too quiet and boring. And realize how full life is with little gifts if I just notice and remember to be thankful. It’s downright easy to fill my mind with annoyances, but my whole being fills with peace when I let all my blessings sink in. And the blessings are right there, always before me- if I only just look with eyes of gratefulness.

Happy Thanksgiving you crazy lot. Hope your eyes see more than turkey this weekend, and your filled with more than food.

Thankfulness is a choice,

and it’s worth seeing.

When the Well Ain‚Äôt so Well

I don’t think we even realize how much water we use in a day. I know I didn’t. And I didn’t find out by going on some Save-the-earth, Think-of-the-water, Minimalistic, “What would it be like??” kick.

Our property’s Well stopped working.

I was pleasantly surprised when our plummer friend, Rob, pulled up in the driveway shortly after I’d phoned Sam at work explaining the situation. That was fast…

Sadly though, it wasn’t gonna be a quick fix. He had to give me the report that nothing INSIDE was broken… meaning something deep down in the Well was.

A nearly 300 feet deep Well.

So while we waited for the Well guys to call us back, the kids and I carried water from the neighbors. The first few days. Till my kind neighbor suggested hooking our garden hoses together and basically saved my poor body from elongated arms.

Before said idea, however, (when we were still carrying/ pulling in the wagon buckets of water… ) I’d managed to carry two 5 gallon buckets down the road in one go and help the kids with theirs in the wagons. Then lifted all 5 pails and a Rubbermaid bin of water up onto the porch.

The kids had left a doozy in the toilet, so I slugged one pail through the house and into the washroom. I began pouring it quickly into the back of the toilet as my arms were really done. The satisfaction from a job well done however, drained from my face as I watched the water drain away…

the toilet handle was stuck down.

Really??

I dropped the pail to the floor and groaned… It’s bad enough ONE flush is half a bucket, but there goes a good two.

I instantly felt for people in less fortunate countries who carry water daily as a way of everyday life.

The other struggle I was faced with was when I reminded the kids to not flush for just pee as they’d head into the bathroom.
“I won’t!” They call as they pass you, crazed by your ridiculous reminding.

Then WOOSHhhhhhh!!!!!!

and a head pops out the door.
I squint- eyes narrowing.

“Oooopppppps! Sorry Mom! I didn’t mean too!”

And I slug in another bucket.
(It’s the years of drilling “did you flush?” into their little minds- it’s like an animal instinct now; right up there with migrating. Except for the youngest, of course, pretty much still just working on general AIM with that one.)

If my career as a Homeschool Mom doesn’t pan out- I could always take up Pun-comics right?

I recently came back from a 5 day camping trip, which I felt had prepared me for this situation. You know- stinking and living unhygienic.
No actually, for washing dishes in minimal amounts of water, using paper towels for grease, leaving things in the rain, and capitalizing on baby wipes (what? I told you it wasn’t a save-the-earth kick).

Things camping didn’t prepare me for, was cooking meals like homemade pizza and the insane amounts of dishes that dinner requires . Or two kids puking, a bed wetting, and having to see actual CLEAN people in my “camp” state.

Let me assure you though- things really didn’t go so bad. In fact, I never got to feeling “crazed”or “desperate”. My kind neighbors beside us we so compassionate, they graciously lent us buckets, hoses, a hand, and their water whenever we wanted. A friend a street over let me use her shower one night, while other friends prayed. And running water really wasn’t too life changing, where as electricity, or heat, would have been so much harder. SOooo thankful it didn’t happen in the winter too.

Also, 3 of our off-road friends came over Friday and Saturday to help Sam yard up the cables and pipe with his truck, winch, and engine hoist. Because those well guys Sam kept calling?- never had time. And as fun as camping is and not doing laundry for a week, the time had come.

Getting the pump above ground and back into it was stressful with just Sam and I. But actually pretty fun with friends. At one point Sams magnetic beer holder fell in the well and Sam’s head came up drinking the last of it. His friend Alex was also flung over the well when the hoist took a lunge from some tape getting wedged into the spinning spool. And when we reached really inconvenient knots in the rope being winched up, before we knew it Robs volunteered. He’s the tie-down supporting the whole works with his body while Sam un-clips, switches, ties new knots, and loops. Our friend Teela worked and rewound the winch, and her and I both drove the truck.

Of course the very best was the purr of that new motor,

and water reaching me “un-carried”.

And knowing God takes REALLY good care of us. Not just blessing us with running water, but with awesome friends and neighbors. And per usual

So many things to be thankful for.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded of just how good we’ve got it.

Waiting to get Back to it

The kids were just running through the summer rain as it pelted down on the dry thirsty earth. Hands swirling about them and bare toes carrying them through the fresh cut grass. It was a quick, glorious burst of excitement over all too soon.

“It stopped raining. Can we come in now? Everything is wet,” my oldest asked from the porch. A damp grassy crew (neighbour boy included) waited loud and wiggly on the lawn.

“Um, why don’t you guys light a fire and warm up by it?”

I’d managed to redirect their energy, and they’re presently running about collecting sticks from the woods and racing across the lawn to feed their hungry flame. I get flashes of yellow boots when my toddler runs by the window a little slower than the rest.

I too am hungry- to be outside in the “wild air” (as my 5 year old calls it).

I’ve found myself couch bound for a couple days… after not taking proper care of my bad hips and low back during our May Long camp- something tweaked in my back grabbing a piece of recycling off the floor yesterday morning. It was ridiculous- I couldn’t straighten at all yesterday! I was bent over like a tree in a gale, and whimpering in pain.

A dear friend assured me this was something that could most likely be fixed with strict rest, and that most certainly could be made worse without it. Seeing as I could only stand in a 90* angle- I instantly found the couch.

I could tell you all the woes of my interesting predicament- or brag of how well God sees us through in every circumstance. His kindness came in in so many ways.

Awesome friends, neighbours and hubby helped where they could. But my beautiful babies that I’ve cared and raised these past 9 years- really stepped up taking care of their momma. Swapping heat packs to cold packs, getting me medicine, making me tea, fetching pillows, making macaroni and quesadillas. Loading laundry, vacuuming and clearing dishes. The older ones being such a huge help with my toddler too- wiping his face, helping him with all random toddler needs, and even dragging him kicking and screaming to my couch so I could discipline him when the temper tantrum striked.

Little Si helped in his own special ways too. Wrapping his pudgy arms around my neck, kissing my face, curling up beside me and falling into a cuddly sleep. He taste-tests all my beverages, and delights me with his odd little whims.

So you see, although I can’t wait to get back to my job as Mom, it’s been special to see the children care and pull the extra weight for me. And before long I’ll be running about in the “wild air” getting wet grass between my toes with them.

So it’s Spring- eh?

I’m sitting at the computer with a hot tea having successfully tired out, and bedded, the young-ins. It was truly spring-like today in Quesnel. Warm and sunny. And i freed the gate to my garden! I dug furiously with my garden shovel- a Y shaped pathway- through two feet of untouched damp snow.
I never did see dirt.
There is a shield of ice, a force to be reckoned with, encasing my soggy spring dreams. I was busy as a bee though, carving out chicken trails that led to the hole we have separating the garden from the chicken pen. In triumph I stabbed the shovel into a near–by snow bank and called the feathered ones to venture forth into a new (or just forgotten) land. Widening their borders, giving them something new to do!
Feather brained idiots….
They never even tried it.
One chicken did, only briefly, as i locked her in the garden and chased her through the hole to show her where it was.
Another ate some snow off the path but never even ventured onto it. I sat squatting in the snow watching them.  Their deeply simple chicken minds.
Peck, peck, flap, poop, squawk, peck.
Later sweeping out the SUV i found a stale rice cake. I  took that out to the chickens.
Well that was a lot less work and much more entertaining. It was like Chicken Ultimate Frisbee. The best was when the disc got submerged in mud and all the players are pecking like crazy-till it resurfaced! Andddd off Maple goes with it in her beak with all the hens hot on her heals (?? do they have….? ). Then it’s cracked into pieces. The game divides. Hens get desperate, and with a squawk it’s over and the losers keep pecking at¬† the mud hoping something turns up.


I don’t always go squat near the coop…
in case your wondering.
In fact I made a point of it today as I needed to find some joy in my Backyard Layers. As of late there has been added work, problems, injuries, things on the coop breaking, death, too many roosters (harming hens), and not enough dry. Period. Everything damp, poopy, muddy and stinky.
But today the sun came out, dried out some areas, and the hens basked in it and tried to clean themselves up a bit. Two of our roosters were brought to a friends farm the other day (you can breath now ladies), and a hen (I could not help) with a bad injury was finally put out of her suffering. Each day as spring makes it’s appearance, things should get better.
Today I also helped make little trenches around the carport and driveway that added into the ones Sam’s made. Drawing water away from places we don’t want it.
And seriously my kids don’t think I play??
It was very addicting, I felt torn away when Silas told me he had to go potty. And I came right back.
I’ve been putting my garden shovel to work doing all kinds of things lately. Even if it isn’t gardening.
I also carved ice steps going to my door, and with the help of Elise, shoveled 4 feet off the deck where my porch window looks out. There is still 2 feet to go- but now i can see my yard! (even if it is covered in white). It was also quite fulfilling because I had tried last week and the snow wouldn’t budge. In defeat, I had leaned on my snow shovel despairing at my grand plans of seeing a view. But with a flicker of hopeful interest realized I was Eye-level with my houses gutters. The snow really was that tall!
So I went ahead and cleaned those babies WITHOUT A LADDER.
You just go ahead and be jealous- snow fortress win for me.
Even though it snowed here on the first day of spring (and the day after) don’t go and pity us. We’ve had warm sunny days where the children sledded in t-shirts. Sandwiches eaten in the fresh air. The roads are mostly bare and make satisfying splashy sounds. (Little Si loves to run through them on his runner bike).¬† And I’ve been sun basking in my lawn chair (first thing i freed from the porch snow pile), Going for sunny walks with friends, And the kids have been trying out various combinations of their outdoor wardrobe- succeeding in having the time of their lives and bringing the springfull sound of dripping indoors.


There truly is always something to be grateful for.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to be looking at what isn’t-
that you miss what is.
Hope your all enjoying the change of seasons, and have a little Spring in your step.

Creative Fears and Feasts

As a child I claimed to have nearly drowned from seaweed. Where as in actual fact, i nearly drowned from my imagination. Seaweed had wrapped its hairy tentacle arms around my legs, and was dragging me into the deep layer where fish gorge themselves on small pink toes. My kicking and trying to stay above their reach had become hopeless so suddenly.

Having an overactive imagination is a blessing and a curse. The average dark patch¬†of woods- breaths dark things with eyes of intelligence waiting… waiting to ponce.
And yet,¬†a simple sentence from a child’s chattering mouth¬†can set alight a series of images worthy of satisfying delight. Adventure and distracted pleasure is where ever I imagine¬†it to be.
My imagination can turn nearly anything mundane thing I do in the day, into something terribly extravagant and quite worth writing about.
Yes, I truly write most my stories about really nothing overly extraordinary at all. Yet they come to life in my mind and grow, and stretch, and spread wide arms AND well… I’ve been told can be somewhat amusing.
Entertaining to the children, if no one else.

The other day we went for a walk in the woods. I could leave it at that. After all that really is what we did.


But
then
you couldn’t¬†ever know that our woods has a Beard Shop.


This tree is where the Forest Nome’s come to collect their daily beards before heading off to work. Now you see all that Old Man’s Beard strung out and hanging ready for a new day, don’t you?
The aspen trees along our path were bent like long Giant fingers, crossed in thought. ¬†The boys were helpful standing on the odd finger that lay too low, so we could get the stroller over. Then the children climbed up Pebble Mountain, an exposed bank along the trail. On top of Pebble Mountain is Bramble Look-out and Dead Dog Log (Jonas’ clever name for what he thought was dog bones). They climbed over and over again, sending pebbles bouncing off into the abyss.


The younger ones and I pushed through Deep Ravine heading home again, while Jonas bush-wacked in the sun above us, keeping us in sight. We sent out calls when the underbrush grew dense-till we finally met up again where we tromped though every puddle we could find- till we found ourselves home again.

This is my imagination enriching my life. But then sometimes…

I’ll be¬†driving home at night and slow down for strange hooded creatures about to cross the road, or large wolves… that aren’t really there.
Winter nights locking up the chickens can have my heart pounding with one crack from the woods. I can think of a million ways we could die 4×4-ing, and can envision the sickness that I “could” contract if I touch… that… (at which point my child would probably eat it).

I’m on a journey of discovering how to stay imaginative, but not fearful.
To hold every thought captive,
but not be the captive of my thoughts.
To be creative- but free.

Sometimes I have to stop my mind. Tell it to go no further. I’m only just learning how. I replace the fearful thought with Truths.

It’s a journey I know that I can’t navigate on my own. But thankfully The Maker of all wisdom, Creator of the great imagination, and The Great Conquer (of even death), has offered me His help. I love that God loves me enough to challenge and grow me into more than I ever thought possible while constantly reminding me of His faithfulness.
And the thing with a journey is
it always makes
for a great

story.

A Fuzzy Spring

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Spring has come to Quesnel B.C. and with it children, chickens, and chicks roam about my yard.

The lawn has finally stopped talking to me which each step and the mud lakes have receaded to mere puddles.  AND from my lawn chair

I CANT SEE ANY SNOW.

During The Melt our coop which was like an island (Poop Island) was only accessible by boot.
Yep, B.O.O.T
Yet daily I washed a steady flow of stinky soggy socks from the “forgetful”. Those socks worked like toppings- on the mud caked pants that clogged the laundry room.

It felt like things couldn’t possibly melt fast enough, so I attempted to help it along early on in March. Frustrated that the garden gate was frozen shut, I found myself climbing¬†the 8 foot fence, chuckling at my agility, and landing in the garden with my kids snow shovel. I rediscovered my dirt.

I let the chickens in the garden and created pathways for the flock. Then I chipped away at the ice holding my gate captive, and two days later I opened it’s latch. I flung it wide and entered my pad with great satisfaction.

Then it was coop mucking out time.
My Mom happened to visit from the Okanagan. Being the country girl she is, that coop was mucked and freshly chipped before the kettle announced tea. She also rubbed my sore shoulders from my previous attempt. Thanks Mom.

A deck shoveling work party also commenced. Involving all my small people and their neighbor friend. As it turns out, pretending to be construction workers demolishing a great ice wall is a great deal of rewarding fun.
And
The kitchen view was also much improved.

Then it became time to prepare for our April arrivals. Much to my surprise, they ALL arrived that first week of April.

Pepper

Five fuzzy little chicks!
I dared not hoped for a 100% hatch rate. (All those times the Broody hen hopped off the eggs and how cold it was during her setting time!) But the Great Creator built His creation with such intuition in these things. I was baffled and amazed at how our young Chicken Mother, not quite a year old, knew exactly how to hatch chicks. When to pluck her stomach feathers to warm the eggs, when to hop off to eat, drink, and poo, when to hold up on the nest, rotate her eggs, and lastly care for her young in the feathers of her wings.
The children and I had troubles knowing just how many chicks had hatched, as they were all tucked up inside their mothers down. We counted the egg shells she tossed out of the nest, and ooed and awed as little fuzzy heads popped out only to quickly bob back in. Sometimes the mother would move and a chick would fall out from under her. The chick would run a little circle then dive back into its mother like a bird disappearing into a hedge. The last to hatch, Clover, would ride on top of her mothers feet tucked up in the warmth of feathers with only her stick legs poking out.
The kids and I squealed and marveled at their antics.

Elise and Pepper

 

With the sunshine, yellow balls of  breathing fuzz, and my own little fledgling son toddling around the yard in gumboots. Spring danced in. Jonas, Elise and Sammy have also spend nearly as much time in the air as the ground with the excitement of having their trampoline back together. They even drag little Si up on there. I love calling them from the deck to come in for dinner and hearing them laughing and out of breath. Then watching as they dangle their legs from the tramp, feel with their toes, and drop into their boots. I smile as they use teamwork to re-boot their little brother. One kid holding on tight while the other crams on the gumboots.
Then all four run in for dinner.

I love that although I tried to help Spring along with her melting, and the hen with her hatching, and my children with their growing- they all did it anyway
under the watchful care and design

of God.

And me? I get to witness it, marvel at it, touch it, hug it, feel it and thank Him for this abundant Life.

Messes and Roots

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I go to grab milk out of the fridge and slip on an empty container on the floor my toddler pulled out. I then go to use the bathroom (that I just cleaned) and grimace as i look at the hand print smears on the mirror and dirt splatters all over the sink.
In the coat room jackets and splash pants drip puddles onto the entrance floor. Gum boots, snow boots, dress boots, runners, hikers, shoes, booties and slippers¬†are piled in mounds, their patterned trails dotting the floor to the door. Mitts crowd for space on the¬†house heating vents. And the laundry room greedily accepts puddle drenched clothing ignoring it’s Max capacity.
All the while my toddler continues with his interior design methods throughout the house.

And I…

Contemplate taking the children, and dumping all their dresser drawers in the mud puddle out front- to just skip right to the outcome. Muddy Mess. Throwing all the jackets, footwear, mitts and house mats on top.
No wait… maybe the kids on top.
Then I’d just go ahead and clean the house and

smell it.

Gaze upon its cleanliness.

Bask in its clutter-less peace.

And
Lets be honest… I’d go berserk with boredom.

Besides, I’d probably have to go out and get those children off the mud pile. I can’t go long without missing all those¬†squishy love hugs that remedy my day.

But here’s my analogy.
Some days I feel like the house.
That I can’t keep myself together, or in order. That I can’t keep up with shrugging off the burdens tossed on me, the pressures and circumstances scattered across my floor. That my glass keeps getting smudgy and I’m having a hard time focusing on Truths.

And in it all I’m learning deep things. Slowly. Painfully. But it’s also freeing.

Where are the roots of my tree planted? My roots. Are they in shallow dry ground? Will I be easily uprooted in a storm? Do circumstances, people, and my feelings hold me and sustain me? Or is it God- with his cool deep running water that I have to reach my little roots down for? He tells me He has a plan for my life, and that He can give me everything I need for that plan. That He’s enough. He’s always there and is unchanging. If my roots are in Him and His truths then every storm that comes my way will only make me stronger.
Did you know trees need wind to grow strong? That there was a study done where they grew trees in a very large greenhouse (Biosphere 2) without wind. Although the trees shot up fast and tall, they then fell from their own weight. They were weak.

So I’m working on my roots. Yanking on the shallow ones and trying to retrain them. So that my peace and joy in life isn’t dependent on my kids, my husband, my friends, my home, healthy dinners, our money, homeschool successes, or¬†less messes. But instead they’re wrapped tight around the unchanging Jesus¬†and His promises.

I’m by no means there; deep rooted and standing tall. But i’m determined to not be a measly tumble weed that just tucks and rolls at life’s blows.

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