Parenting… why so… Important?

So a young friend of mine messages me asking for help with answering a question for her project. “Why is parenting the most important job in the world?”


For you parents, you can see how this is such a huge question. You know its so important! But why? I mean, someone will raise your children if you don’t, but why is it important that you do?
I thought about what our Pastor said on Sunday about our children not needing our money. That parents get caught in the trap of working more to pay for things to make their kids happier. But that kids need us. Their parents.
They need our love.
Gosh, it’s such a small amount of their lives they are impressionable enough to understand our deep love for them. (Like look at teenagers- need I say more?)
So here’s what I came up with in answer to her question;

Love is the greatest influence.
Loving enough to care for a child,
teach a child,
discipline and show right to.
Loving them enough to ask forgiveness when you show them wrong.
Loving them enough to take the time, your time,
to raise them.
To pray for them.
To play with them.
Being there enough to be an example.
Feed them God’s word,
and try to instruct them in ways that will develop good character.
And hoping by showing them love,
and caring for their needs,
they will one day go on to do the same.

Oh man, if you could have seen my parenting day today!! I need this encouragement BAD. Some days, today being one of them, I feel so frustrated with the children… and know lots of hard work and changes need to be made in order to fix the problem circuit that just keeps running wrong. Daily. I want to complain (OK i actually want to rant about my children’s bad behavior) and give up (after all I’m only one little me, how much fighting, crying and whining can one person take?). But writing and thinking about this parenting question makes me consider the incredible importance of my job.
SO…
Discipline, Order, here we come. (Please take the time to wait for us.)
And God, can you please take BOTH my hands? (I wish you offered piggy backs…)

So to all you parents out there. Don’t give up. Don’t pull away.
You’ve got the most important job in the world.
And you weren’t asked to do it alone.
The guy who birthed the stars, parted the waters from the dry ground, pulled life from dust, and cares for even the fallen sparrows-
can handle tantrums.
Be of hope.

Seemingly Backwards

It’s this crazy seemingly backwards thing that I’m learning. My nature resists the proofs of this thing and resorts to what it knows best- selfishness, comfort. And yet something in my mind is slowly coming around and can’t help but see this ‘seemingly backwards’ jem as truth.

I’d had a tough week. With my husband starting out his new business, he was home less. Especially in the evenings. I’d grown accustom to his adult presence in my day of children. 12 hrs of me being mother, school  teacher, discipliner, referee, cook, cleaner, driver, listener… was wearing on me. In fact I was feeling pretty sorry for myself right around Friday night. (Earlier in the day I’d attempted to do some “quick” errands with them all in town… walking…) I mentally felt even more sorry for myself that I didn’t have family in town to help my load. And I prayed/ pleaded/ blamed God.

I’d been trying all week to seek “me time”. I need it for my sanity... or so I thought. I’d seek it out whenever I could, thinking my happiness was in some self- fufilling quality me time.

If I’m honest I got lots of short breaks, that I filled with Facebook and other useless pleasures. But I still felt sorry for myself. I didn’t feel happy. Surly this is a problem needing attention.

Sam was able to make it home for a late dinner Friday night but then told me he had to head back out for a bit. I’d dreamed of leaving him with the children and going hot tubbing and sitting in the sauna at the pool that evening. After a sigh, for the sake of sanity, I quickly asked if I could just go for a short walk first.

Which I did.

As I walked I saw kids outside on a  neighboring street and thought of my own children full of energy and wildness tearing about the place at home. I decided the dark and cold were not reasons to stop them from going out to burn off some of that energy before bed.

I’m not sure how it happened, I think it was maybe that my two year old wanted to go outside as well. But instead of locking the door on them and indulging in that precious time all to my glorious self… I found myself whizzing down the hill with them on a sled.

We made trains (which the leader tricked me and took my poor adult butt over a jump), we did bumper cars, pulling and pushing and jumping on others sleds. And my toddler walked up the little hill himself like 10 times and never even mentioned his mitts (can all the moms give me a hallelujah?) and he road contently down with me cuddled in my lap. And the very oddest thing happened-

happiness.

Yes, I felt so alive and full of such simple joy playing with my children! Those 4 little beings I was trying to avoid… we’re fixing my unhappiness as I spent time goofing around with them.

I eventually took Si (my toddler) in to get ready for bed and then washed up the dinner dishes to the sound of the kids laughing in the yard.

That’s so weird. I thought. Why did that make me feel better than I have all week?

Here it is. That crazy seemingly backwards thing I was talking about. I took time to PLAY with my children, not just care for all their many needs… but enjoy them. And I was filled up. I became satisfied.

I think it’s easy, nature, to think happiness is hidden in doing things for ourselves. But it isn’t. The proof is all around us if we think about it. It’s seemingly backwards, but joy is found in enjoying others. Caring for their interests, not just our own.

When we give of ourselves, we take joy in the other persons pleasure at receiving our gift.

Alone time is good, and healthy, don’t get me wrong. But it shouldn’t be my daily goal. “I” should not be my daily goal. Because, however seemingly backwards it seems

loving others is loving ourselfs.

But after all, we were made in the image of someone who defined love. Said love was that he sent his only son to die… for us… while we were still ungrateful little sinners. The most selfless act in all of history. To be a God that can whisper a word and save yourself from all the pain, all heart wrenching pain, and yet CHOOSE to remain and take all our sin on his back. To be made nothing… or worse, treated like a criminal and a lair. For what?

Love.

And when my King rose again, 3 days later, after making the way for us all to be free from our death demanding sin… paying the only price that would ever need to be paid… let me tell you-

he was happy. Oh so happy.

Yes sometimes my kids throw toys at each others heads or argue over who once said that doll was heavy but “I never said that!!” and you wonder how they can fight over seriously, nothing. But they also draw me pictures, say thank you when I help them, snuggle me with stories on the couch, laugh and say the darnedest of things. And as I care for them and give of myself in so many ways for them… they grow, stay alive, become intelligent, kind, and loving of those around them. And oh! They do bring me so much happiness.

It’s easy to get sucked into the woes of ME. But that ME needs to remember- the cure to that is

THEM.
OTHERS.

 

 

 

Philippians 2:4
 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 John 4:9-12
 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Destination- Somewhere Chilcotin

We’d never planned on a 5 day trip to the Chilcotin. We had planned a year in advance on a group trip through the Alexander Mackenzie trail in Northern B.C. But that wasn’t about to happen.
No one could have predicted then that forest fires would cook B.C. and back-country bans shut down trails. But we’d already booked Grandma to come kid sit, and we’d already dreamed of a great adventure.
So we went where the roads were open.
And the “group” turned to Sam, myself, and our buddy Rob. Two rigs. With nothing but a backroads map-book we headed out with a itch for adventure,
and we weren’t disappointed.

I once wrote that my greatest stories are like Sandcastles. If I don’t write them down, day by day the waves slowly wash away bits of it, till all I remember is that “there was once was a great castle there”. I know this Chilcotin trip will be like that for me one day. Except, man, those mountains, if nothing else, will always be etched in my memory. Sandcastles… in large scale.

It didn’t seem possible that man could stand on their backs, let alone drive up them. I remember Sam pointing at them from a distance and I being in awe and terror at their might. Even the clouds seemed to quickly pass them by, as to not anger them.

Yet, after a scouting trip in the evening and a night at their base- we crawled over boulders that made those mountains in the Toyotas with “Peak” determination fueling us forward to the top.

We had awoken that morning shocked to find the river we had camped beside had changed like there was a tide. The grey glacier fed river would melt in the day’s sunlight causing more volume, and slow down, receding, in the cool of the evening. Across from our camp was an actual camp. A mining camp. Full of equipment and trailers, beds, vehicles- and not a soul. At least none living. (Unless you include the furry pack rat in the pantry in the cook house, or the dead mink curled by the boiler room door). Doors creaked, pillows and bedding swung from plastic bags attached to the ceiling, and everything looked like it had been left with plans to return. Only…. from the paper stubs we found, that was in 2008.

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What had they found in these mountains? Why did they leave? And why did they leave this all behind?

After a hot breakfast we started the climb still within the tree line. We passed by hundred-year-old cabin remains all the size of garden sheds, holding mysteries of their own. On the first bend before the mines mounds of tailing’s, we passed our garbage sacks that we had stashed that night- we were well aware we were in Grizzly country- it wasn’t just the mine leaving piles behind. We drove over a culvert that had large gaps on either side where the mountains runoffs tried to carry it away. Except we beat Times intentions, and were able to cross over the tube. How much longer it will be there?… well I guess only Time knows.

Then there were no trees, just rock balanced on rock and a switchback trail scaring the great mountain’s back. The first stretch up, my husband got to have the mountains edge by his door. Then all too soon a switch back. And there I was hovering over space- or so it felt. From the cab you couldn’t see ground. At least not the ground we drove on. I was greatly relieved when we stopped at the second switch back. We hopped out and scrambled over to “that glacier and pool- just over there” which turned out to be quite some distance away. Without trees distance is strange. It felt like we were bounding around on some planet from space, and we’d left earth behind. Even the plants that grew from between the rocks cracks were strange and foreign.

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We crawled on in the Toyotas. With the gears set just right in low range, the tire treads grabbing, the shocks and springs flexing- the Hilux worked like a spider up the narrow path.

I murmured in fear and didn’t know where to put my eyes. “You think this is bad- imagine the balls on the guy in the excavator who scraped this road out!” Came Sam’s response with a crazy twinkle in his eye. He was loving it. The truck moved like it was an extension of him, and he was in his glory.

I found my place, eventually. And it was outside of the truck- just up ahead spotting tricky spots where a good line would need to be played. Out there the truck looked like it had more room on the trail- not so precarious. We always risked the possibility that the path would become impassable and we’d have to back down the mountain.

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Then it happened. A rock side had washed out the path and left a rounded mound in its place. We were so near the top, and so far from the bottom.

After a short discussion the guys pulled the smart card, and as much as they hated it, decided the trucks weren’t going any further.

Not to stop us going on foot though. And man we’re we in for a treat.

Boxes and boxes of drill samples lay glistening in the sun, jade, quarts, marble… and large metal motors and equipment that looked like it was dredged out of the sea. Rusted and burnt swimming in a large array of nuts and bolts. Maybe they had a fire? Or maybe they set a fire when they left.

There were air tubes coming out of the ground. There had to be a mine shaft somewhere. We looked about for a while. Then DOWN a ways on the side of a sharp embankment was a large metal truck barrel and a pile of beams.

“There.” Sam said, pointing.

We returned to the trucks for flashlights, food, and water.

Rob (our friend driving the other Toyota) and I went searching for another entrance and Sam (a climber in the past) made his way to the tank and beam pile.

Of course Sam found it. The entrance. And of course this stretch our comfort zones. Rob and I weren’t climbers. Rocks falling away onto the small ledge where Sam stood- was concerning. Although we tried, there really was no other way. While we were trying Sam had disappeared into the mine and we could hear metal clinking…”what the?” And then he was back on the ledge beneath us with a ladder made from rebar with spikes on the top and bottom rungs.

“Hey! Look what I found.”

Then Sam was at our feet with a ladder that he pressed into the mountain, got us to step on it,  then monkeyed around us moving the ladder down. With this process the three of us made it to the mouth of the cave. I breathed a sigh of relief before thinking-

” Um, What if there’s gas in there… like we don’t have a canary or nothin.”

” you can stay out if you like, but we’re going in…. besides it will be fine.”

Well I wasn’t staying on this rock face by myself- and so I went into my first ever mine shaft.

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It was beyond dark. And yes, damp. In about five minuets we had hit the end. Besides the incredible quarts walls, we were disappointed. Then on our way back Rob happened to look up… and we realized the mine kept going up in a few different spots with sketchy old climbing rails. Well guess who checked one out? Sam.  Mean while Rob and I spotted little white mushrooms growing in the pitch black.
We never died in that mine.
Nor the next.
Although I would have been the lone survivor of the second mine because i sat at the caved-in entrance while the guys explored that one. I figured the only real danger I could be in was from bears or cougars and with the mountainside being all bits of rock, I’d hear them coming. I felt safer than I had all week camping. The view was spectacular, and I never had to drive a truck down the mountain to get a search and rescue team. The boys lived to go find another mine opening and climb over the top of a near by mountain top.

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When we did decide to call it a day, we realized we were fortunate that the trucks had stopped not far from a switch back, which was wide enough to turn around on.
It was strange but on the decent I felt no fear of heights riding in the truck- guess being on top of the world for a day does that to you. In fact at a spot i’d insisted to get out at before, i didn’t bother on the way back.
The whole week trip was incredible. We had so many explorations and adventures. From finding a floating party barge on the bluest water you have ever seen, to having cat eyes watch us by tour little propane fire. Being told were not wanted in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to leave to. To finding a Native Trapping school, water crossings, and that that public bridge you drove an hour to get to- was locked up in a inhabitants property and they’re not home. I saw clouds pour like a river over a mountains peak, a post office the size of a shoe-box, hectors of burnt forest, gnarled wind beaten African looking trees,  a fly-in fishing resort, and a really cool trapers cabin. Loons in a group of 9, and this…

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But nothing was quite like that day on that mountain. It was the icing on the cake. The Cherry of our Chilcoltin adventure.
Somethings need to be seen to understand, The peaks of the Chilcolin are one of them.
B.C.’S greatness is calling…
to be seen.
To be explored.
And we only just scratched the surface- forever hooked.

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Wife of a Wheeler

Last week my adventure breathing husband intentionally took the family 4 wheel drive van to the creek.
Literally.
Down the bank, to the water.
(We do not use pre-made parking lots and small trails to get to our destinations.)
Then he unintentionally hit a rock… with the radiator… coming back over the creek bank on the way out.
I wandered around looking for a bar of service, well Sam did what he does best.
He got the old van home.
Now we just need to pick up a new radiator.
I should maybe mention we drive a right hand drive, diesel, Japanese Toyota Town Ace 1990 4×4 van.

You do not go “pick up” ANYTHING for that van. You call places, who know people, who had one, in their back yard, who may be the only person on this side of the earth with the part.
And it’s all yours- for a kidney.
And they will ship it to you for a hip,
or left ankle bone.
(I recently waited for 9 months for a sliding van door window. Yes, I sported a duct tape van for that long. A member in the family may be missing a body part, but it was shipped, then installed on Mothers Day. You don’t know how good you’ve got it till its gone… For nine months. )
So I may be off the road for a while.
I REALLY wanted to take the kids to their summer reading club at the library today. So at the beginning of the week I presented this problem to Sam.

“Just take The Toyota,” he said.

Ok so side note. Although we may have half a dozen Toyotas on the property at any given time,
THE Toyota;
is his Hilux.
Let me show you.

 

 

I rode a horse once.
You think you know where you want to go. But really the horse knows you are not the boss, and it goes where it pleases. To you- it’s a wild thing.
An Animal.
This pretty much sums up my experiences with this Toyota.
It’s Sam’s tame animal when he drives. He does the amazing with it.
It’s a beast trying to throw me off it’s back when I drive. I fear it.
I know nothing about tires. But I do know that when the inches start to reach their mid 30’s, you have probably altered your ride to accommodate said tires and are into off roading, “4 wheeling”. When the tire size climbs in it’s late 30’s to being the ripe size of over-the-hill 40’s-

you do dirt more than pavement.

You’ve agreed to shouting at your passenger over the hum that can be heard for miles, when you do drive the highway. And being pulled about by the tread on the pavement like the taming of 4 rebellious toddlers. You giveaway to the splits every-time you climb into your vehicle, and you drive over yard toys- because lets face it- you really can’t see nothing down there.

But it’s all for the glorious performance in the wild.
They pull like a team up a steep embankment. Grab and tare at the thick mud. Slay trees in their path. Defy rivers, ponds, marshes and streams. Crawl over rocky passes. Balloon over snow, widening their grip.
But they no longer mesh with civilization.
I feel like a criminal in hiding (only the truck is yellow) when Sam drives us through town.
I feel like law-breaker, and a poser when I drive though town. And I drive like a Granny. Or just like someone who’s afraid of what’s beneath her. It takes ALL my focus and strength to keep that thing on the road.
I actually woke up in the night this week and couldn’t fall back to sleep thinking ‘surely there is another way to get to the library’.

Then it happened.
Today came.
I tamed the beast. Rode one handed glaring through the mud covered windscreen- and roared into town. I pulled that sucker into the library parking lot and was told, “sweet ride” by a passer-by-er. My children fell into my arms, and we strolled into the reading club with our library books.

Too cool for words.

….Actually Sam just gave us a ride in his work truck….

Who am I kidding? I “take 4 children to Library book clubs”.
Honestly, I’m still taming the beast inside me to just be the passenger!
But who knows…

I’m married to someone who keeps changing my tires size.

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.

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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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Winters Voice

 

Nestled in the van with the heater warming our toes we sped along the cold roads early this morning leaving our house. We came down the hill, and there before us was a sight to behold.
“Wow! Look at that!” Jonas called from the back seat.

The sun broke from the clouds igniting the silver mountains. In shimmering rays it pulled at Fog slumbering upon the tree tops, drawing out his spindly arms. There before us they danced,
Sun and Fog
swirling together like marbled sponge cake.

As we neared the woods I saw as they skipped and chased after one another through the forests of tall aspens. Beams of light and tendrils of cloudy mist weaving in and out. The scenes flashed by our windows like photographs in a film reel.

The Aspen stood there, knobby knees poking out, wearing only their white bathrobes and fluffy bunny slippers. Their twigs tangled with their neighbors, like a swath of bad morning hair. They didn’t join the dance, they remained firmly planted in the icy snow drifts- observing.
Much too drowsy from Winter‘s voice.

An old three rung fence, had his arms outstretched protectively around the aspens, scolding the sun and the fog for playing so. “HUSH!” He creaked, quivering with age.
“Don’t wake them!”
Did Old Fence hear something I didn’t?

Ah, it must be Joy. So beautiful, childish, and bright. Whispering of Hope and Spring. Joy singing while Winter preens showing us her dazzling beauty.
The day just bursts with it all, shouting, whispering, singing
of their Maker. God.
King of Hope.
Purpose.
Promise.
Life.

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An old photo of Sun… because I “wrote” the photo of what I saw

 

 

Snowsuits and Chickens

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“It’s a five egg day.” I told my 17 month old as I came out of the coop. I showed him the last egg, a little spotted and creamy brown. He batted at it with his snowsuit arm, because

One cannot do anything in a full-body-snowsuit.

We had just popped over to feed treats to the chickens.
It’s kinda like feeding the ducks at the park;
little people love it.
Some of the birds peck nicely from your hand and others are convinced your flesh is part of the package and try to take some of that too. We’ve figured out which ones are which and try to distract the crazy birds by sprinkling seeds in the snow, then we hand feed our favorites. Silas waddles around in his suit and occasionally squishes a chicken between his outstretched plank arms.
Yesterday Sammy, three, tried to feed a chicken in his snowsuit. He removed his mitts. Tried to squat. Tipped over. And got a poop on his hand. Then wiped it in the snow… and got a poopy snowy hand.
I try my best to maneuver Silas around the fresh poops when we’re in the chicken run, but eventually I have to take him out and close the gate because the odds get worse as the chasing of chickens increases. Besides he’s particularity interested in their little ramp going into coop… and if he crawled in there I’d have to throw out his snowsuit.
We’re trying the “Deep Bedding Method” which in a nutshell is leaving all your chickens crap in the coop over the winter mixing it, and just adding more bedding. It composts and keeps some added heat. You don’t crawl in that.
I gathered up my pail. The chickens had gone back to tucking up one foot into their downy feathers and standing in the snow with the other. Then the quick switch to warm up the other foot; waiting in hope that I might still have more tasty treats in my bucket.
I slid that last warm egg into my wool pocket and started down the path to the house calling Silas.
Looking back I see Silas has wondered off the path and is trying to tread through deep snow. He’s headed to the ditch in the yard…

You don’t land well in full-body-snowsuits either. You kinda just… plop.
Like a forward facing snow-angel.

I jog back and am careful not to crush the egg in my pocket as I direct him back onto the path where he picks up speed. I give him an airlift over the ditch and we progress towards the house until he spots the giant inflated turtle the kids abandoned to a snow-pile. Then he sits.

Now a full-body-snowsuit sits O.K…
Un- sitting is where
things
get
complicated.

You must roll to your belly, go on all fours then walk backwards with your hands till you reach your toes. At which time you stand hoping you don’t have too much momentum which would topple you… back onto your back.
It’s all worth it though-the snowsuit. He’s as warm as toast.
In fact, come inside time, he’s the warmest.

Once indoors I get to do the chasing.
Chasing that toasty-warm-fully-bodied- snow-suited- chubby-bub out of that orange thing.
It’s almost like catching a chicken.

Words are like small candies.

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Fob.
“Don’t just fob it off on me!”
My friend used this word the other day at the Homeschool moms table.
Ya, a bunch of us cool moms steal all the chairs at the recenter and sit around a table socializing while our children take swimming lessons.
People always worry about children getting enough socializing.
Peeps! What about their Mamma’s?
Seriously, hanging around the same small children everyday- think of all the nerdy things we could pick up…
Anyways, fob.
I’d never heard of it before. It was wonderfully new.
I love new words.
They are like small candies on your tongue. First the taste surprises you. Then you keep sucking on it, intrigued by the flavor. You try it with a different one and get a satisfying result. And then…. you can’t get enough of it. Till accidentally, you over eat of the same flavor and it becomes dull… and familiar.
And so

you need a new word.

So what’s an interesting word you like to use? Or just recently learned?
Tell me.

Fob is tasty, and if you haven’t tried it- go for it friend.
But I’m in need of a new one.