Wednesday, December 28, 2011


For those who follow this blog religiously (hi, moms of mine), my apologies on the lack of... much.  The family equilibrium changed with the sudden addition of a teenager, and I'm still adjusting to the new normal.  As my energies are redirected, blogging has fallen lower on the totem pole of priorities.

I (naively) hadn't expected to feel much of a pinch in adding someone who's mostly self-sufficient to the household.  I was wrong.  Every day I find myself giving more energy, more time, more love, more grace.  I worry more, cook more, delegate more, advise more, chauffeur more, study more, pray more.  

I get more hugs.  I hear "I love you" more.

I feel an urgency in parenting this young man, more so than with our biological sons.  He's already so grown up.  We have so little time with him.  He has so much still to learn.  He plans to go to college in a year and a half.  Even if he's with us until then, is that enough time?  Enough time to impart wisdom?  Enough time to teach faithfulness?  Enough time to train him in grace and respect and humility and honesty and love?  And yet, I know that on our own, we can teach him none of this.  Only God can move hearts to resemble His.  We can only model.  And pray.  And love.

And so we do.  We love more.  We give more.  We pray more and hope more and trust more and by the grace of God we receive more, too.  More than we had ever asked for or anticipated!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Feeling Better

Christmas break has begun!  The counter is strewn with school papers that need filing and pencils that need sharpening, but I don't even care (they'll still be there for me tomorrow, right?).  I'm on vacation!

The break was ushered in delightfully with a long drive, much of it just me, Nicole C. Mullen and Rebecca St. James singing Christmas songs loudly, and softly.  A brief sundown stop at a lonely campground staging a lit nativity dusted in snow was the cherry on top of the sundae-sweet ride.

To those who worried over me after my last post, I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to be dramatic!  To those who prayed for me after my last post, thank-you -- they were felt!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Stirring

It's 38 degrees and completely dark outside.  Wade and the boys are roasting marshmallows as part of a fire-building badge project Isaac is working on for Boy Scouts.  I'm staying inside and sipping tea.  And one of my precious pink-cheeked striplings just brought me a caramel-golden marshmallow.  They're sweeter when they're outside and I'm in (the boys, not the mallows).

A feeling of ennui has been hanging over me today.  Maybe I'm looking forward to Christmas vacation and visiting too much to be thrilled by today's mundane to do list.  Maybe I've eaten too many cookies (and marshmallows) today.  Maybe I need to take a nap.  Or a walk.

But this sense isn't just today.  Advent is, second to summer, my favorite time of year.  I love the lights, the smells, the tastes, the music, the candles, the feeling of it all.  And I just haven't felt as Christmassy as usual.  I feel watery, like chocolate milk left sitting too long, with all the good stuff settled to the bottom.  I wish to be stirred.

Part of me wants to "fix" myself from the outside in -- steep a cup of tea, run a warm bath, light some candles, sit down with a good book, I'll be sure to feel better soon.  But the better part of me knows external comforts won't significantly alter my inner drear.  I'm craving a swift kick to the heart, a shot of passion, a reckless act of love, the ability to truly bring joy to the world.  And here I sit feeling blah.

Well, at least feeling blah is an impetus to write with some semblance of passion.

And yet I know I can't rely just on feelings to keep my heart warm and my outlook bright.  My words and actions must show love, even when my head is foggy and my body shlumpish.  Perhaps this is an opportunity to love more selflessly, a chance to deny myself a dose of melancholy and love exuberantly in spite of whatever doldrums may hover, not as a fake show of cheeriness, but as a faithful witness to the Light that shines in the darkness, a stirring.

I wish you all a truly joyous Christmas, infused with the joy, hope, peace and love of the One who loves us enough to die for us.  May that thought stir us all to praise Him and pass on the secret of the season.