Pulling them in close

Well hello. I’m coming to you on a lovely afternoon while the kids are playing outside and the babies are napping. Should I be putting away clean dishes in the dishwasher? Possibly. But here this post is in my head and I don’t want it to float away.

I read an about page that made me think this week. She described her writing as for her kids to be able to “read her” when they are older. I think this is a wonderful way to think about blogging. So for them, for you, and even for me a few weeks down the road – here it is.

It seems that we have a cycle of having at least one child who is struggling at all times. Our kids are all still small – so we’re talking disobedience, disrespect, constantly being too wound up, unkindness to siblings. Certainly all our kids – being sinners – will fail in all of these areas every week. But there’s usually one whose transgressions are a little farther past the line. = ) And, in the course of a few months, each one will have their turn being “the one.” It just seems to happen.


About three kids ago, it ocurred to me that “the one” of the hour seemed to be the first one up in the day. Great. You see them come through the door and brace yourself, imagining the struggles that the day will hold.

By His grace, the Lord helped me to think a little differently. Why not use those few minutes to invest a little love and direction. Instead of sighing or sending them back to their room, greet them warmly and stop to snuggle them in your lap for a few minutes. Sometimes I’ll sing them a song, or read them a verse, or say a short – but desperately needed for both of us – prayer. Mostly I just tell them I love them and encourage them to obey Daddy and Mommy and be kind to their sisters that day.

I can’t say that it makes the difficulties go away completely, but it does help my mindset and a lot of times theirs as well.

Very often in the afternoons little ones who are past napping get rather cranky and naughty. I’ve found it’s much better to pull them close than to continue trying to occupy them with toys or siblings.

“Do you want to hang out with me for awhile?”

The answer is usually yes. Sometimes we’ll read a book quickly to snuggle, but then they just sort of follow me around while I do dishes, laundry or dinner preparation.

Of course, it might look totally different in another house or situation, I know that. The main thought is that if a particular child is posing more problems than normal, seek ways to pull them close to you for affection and attention. Involve them in your everyday tasks in a way that is just for the purpose of being together. Or, forego the dishes and laundry and play their favorite game or something.

It’s so helpful in the midst of stressful, merry-go-round discipline situations to also have sweet moments sprinkled in.

Don’t forget to hug them extra tight before bed. ; )

Every moment counts.

As silly as…


Teaching kids serious lessons about God, the Bible, and theology does not always happen in serious ways. We’ve talked about this before, right?

A few weeks ago we had a fun but profitable conversation at breakfast regarding our purpose in life. I can’t really remember how it started, but we began talking about how silly it was for people to think that they could take their life (which God had made) and use it for what they wanted (instead of His glory.)

One person started and then another and here is a sampling of what we came up with – minus the giggles:

Using your life to please yourself is as silly as…

…using a plate for a washcloth

…or a rosebush for a chair

…a cup of water for a hat

…or a table for a blanket

…a shark for a ship just would not be a good idea

…nor orange juice for window cleaner (but I’m tempted to think someone on Pinterest has tried)

One child who shall remain nameless suggested a piece of wood for a bench.



It was a ton of fun, and yet I pray just one more tiny step towards solid thinking from good theology.


It never ends


“Man may work from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.”

For what it’s worth, I will still take the woman’s work; however, this post is not actually about the unending demands on wives or moms.

It is about the faithfulness of God. A precious truth that has become my constant friend. Of all the reasons to know and love the Old Testament, to let it speak for itself – this is one of the best. Over and over we see the faithfulness of God brilliantly displayed against the darkness of human faithlessness.

It used to be that in the mornings (if I was even spiritually together enough to meditate), I would try to think of things that would help me do or think what I thought  I should while making breakfast or getting the kids ready. And then a bowl of oatmeal would hit the floor, or a toddler would have an accident while I was nursing, or I would realize that we had no clean clothes to wear for the fourth day in a row, and before you know it I was thinking  things like I will never get caught up. I am so bad at this. I should have gotten up earlier to read my Bible. I should have joy no matter what. 

One morning by God’s great grace (manifested no doubt in some really good teaching and preaching of His Word at my church) it occurred to me that I should just think about the faithfulness of God. Forget thinking about all the things I couldn’t seem to do, forget about the possibility that I may never do them well, forget even for the moment about my desire to be faithful – just think about the faithfulness of God. To Abraham. To Joseph. At the Red Sea. At the walls of Jericho. Even throughout captivity. Over and over we see the steadfast love of God in His covenant-keeping faithfulness.

Honestly, that first time there wasn’t even an immediate application; it was just a rest. Just enough joy for the ordinary tasks ahead. I do remember some lame thought like Wow, that really helped.

Now I seem to need it more in the evening during those last hours before the kids go to bed. I’m so tired and yet I want to value every moment with them and then the baby is fussy while two are downstairs painting (by my consent – why?), and two are getting out of the shower, and the toddler I just bathed is sure she needs to use the restroom and threatening to take off her pajamas and accompanying diaper while I’m just trying to get this baby to stop crying and… (that was tonight). Unfortunately there is no eject button, neither is there a magic machine that will smoothly put the children to bed when you really don’t think you can take any more. So what do you think? Think about the faithfulness of God. It has never ended, and it never will. And with the faith that you have, ask Him to help you be faithful.

And He does.

From your first thought in the morning to the time you’re trying to relax before bed, He is faithful. All through the night and through every stage of life.

His faithfulness never ends.

The flower fades


These flowers have been such a blessing to me!

I’ve enjoyed their beauty and been cheered by, well… their cheerfulness.


It doesn’t hurt that they sit right by my rocker so I get to look at them quite frequently while caring for Owen.


Today I can’t stop thinking about how the grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of God stands forever. How blessed we are to have God’s Word in our language, our laps, our devices, and our hearts.

Oh for grace to fill my life and mind and home more with this eternal beauty and treasure!



What the fly on the wall heard

So many funny things have been said in the last months, but these are the three I remembered to write down. Enjoy!

We were reading one of our favorite books with the girls when we saw the page with the taxi on it. (There’s a taxi with all of one number here in town that the girls love to spot as we drive.)

“Hey girls,” I asked, “do you think that’s a 999-9999 taxi?”

Gracie hunched over the picture. “No,” she began slowly, “it’s a T, A, X, one – taxi.”

Oh the giggles!


For breakfast one morning I cut up a good amount of oranges for the girls. While we were eating I had to take Zoe up to her nap. I found the oranges all eaten when I returned with a huge pile of peels on Mckayla’s plate.

“Uh-oh girls, you ate all the oranges already.”

The girls began to pipe up,

“I only had two.”

“I only had five.”

“I only had three.”

Mckayla joined in, her voice just as disappointed as her sisters,

“I only had fifteen.”


The week after Christmas we enjoyed a family hike at a nearby walking trail. I led the pack pushing Owen in the stroller with Gracie behind me and Mckayla behind her. Paul pushed Zoe in her little stroller while keeping up with Hope and Sophia who were in explorer mode complete with hats, backpacks, walking sticks, pencils, notebooks, and rulers.


Gracie piped up as we walked, “I’m a shepherd and you’re a star!”

That was funny enough, but she really got me when a few minutes later she added, “Why am I following a talking star?”