The Perfect Day…

Oh I had such plans for Monday. Zach, the Eldest, was off to his new tutorial for this year. He was to be immersed in Treasure Island and General Science.

The others, well, we were headed to this wonderful branch of the local library where there is a walking a trail a beautiful children’s area with loads of light and windows and colors…and story time for the Princess.

There would be time for our joint activities; time to discuss Bible and history, time to read the books we would find.

There would be a visit to the coffee shop and time to grab a bite before we picked Zach up and skipped our way home rejoicing in our stories of the day.

“MOM! Maddie just puked all over the iPad!!”

That was the announcement almost half way to the tutorial.

Yep.  The rest of the drive, if you had caught a glimpse of us, was spent with three boys hanging their heads out the windows to avoid gagging themselves.

Rather than traipsing through the trails around the library followed by hearing a story accompanied by violin music (seriously!), well, we visited the doctor with Maddie in a diaper, Crocs and vomit in her hair.

Yep. I was that mom.

Tuesday morning we redeemed the day. This is our second tutorial day. Seriously, I do homeschool…I just have some help. We had a great start to the day. Maddie was feeling wonderful, everyone was cheerful and we were actually on time for this first day of tutorial. Zach would be done early and we would spend the afternoon catching up on what I had studied with the other boys the day before. We would read and study at a hip coffee shop while Maddie stayed with a friend.

We jumped in the car….to find the battery dead.

Yep. It is better than the previous day. I was able to get the car jump started from our portable charger and got us to the tutorial on time. Still, it was not the day I had planned.

This is something that happens whether we are home school moms or public school or private school…or no kids or kids out of school. Life happens. The only difference with home school is the kids have to learn to adjust to the schedule and figure out how to get the work done around the obstacles; I think that is going to turn out to be a decent life lesson.

Zach and I still ended up at a pretty cool coffee shop able to study.


While we were there a man came in I knew, someone who is involved in Christian circles. He had someone else with him I didn’t know, and this other person told me he felt strongly he was to encourage me.

He said he had this image of me juggling many things and the encouragement he wanted to share was simply that I was doing it well. Not to stress.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in circles that talked that way. It’s not that my friends don’t encourage each other…we do. It’s not that my friends don’t share when something is on their heart…we do.

But I do not very often speak to strangers when something impresses on my heart about them. Maybe I’ll do so a little more often after this strangers kind words.

We came home to a meal that had cooked all day…chugging along through all the distractions and disturbances of the day. Life is like that. Bumps, distractions and disturbances, but there will be that underlying current of comfort and consistencies we cling to.

Our faith. Our focus. Our disciplines. We can roll with the frustrations and we can even laugh and adjust when the foundation is stable and we can still come around the table knowing who we are and knowing as well that there is One who knows our name and knows just when we need that word of encouragement.

We are remembered. We are known.



Inspired by….Monday?!

So today is the first Monday attempting to dig in a little more, to think a little more deeply and to avoid distractions. I had FaceBook off most off last week, but I think I did so in the middle of the week, and Mondays are just different. So today, not logging on and spending my time with my cup of coffee looking at the latest on FB just feels, well, different.

Mondays get our attention. They make us wake up earlier and sit a little straighter and have to be a little more responsible.

Mondays are frustrating.

They mean real life is back upon us…the weekend is over. Ugh.

My boys are not fans of Mondays.  I never really have been either, but actually…don’t tell anyone…I am beginning to like them.

I cannot believe I am saying that.

I am beginning to rely on the rhythm that Monday calls me to. Monday tells me it is okay to sleep in a little sometimes, but now it is time to get back to work. Today, that means it is time to listen. That is what this whole paying attention business is about.

Time to listen to the voices who have listened themselves…time to listen to those who have something to say. Sometimes it is work to listen. Sometimes it is work just to quiet myself long enough to listen, long enough to really hear.

The goal is not just to listen, but to have something to give as well.

I am listening to learn, to be changed and to be filled so that I have something for my boys as I teach them.

Because I know just in myself I don’t have a lot.

There is more though…I want to listen to my kids as well.

Monday reminds me that another week has gone by.

Time to sit up straight and pay attention…time keeps on marching on and these little ones will not be so little for long.

In fact, my oldest grew over an inch since June. He needs to stop that. Maddie is speaking in sentences. She seriously needs to stop that. All of them are changing so quickly, and all of them have so much they want me to see. I need to pay attention.

I need to listen and I need to hear. I need to hear and I need to think about what I’ve heard, and then I need to give that back to the kids.  Reading books feeds my soul. I know that doesn’t happen for everyone. For some people listening to music has the same impact, and for some it is the interaction with others. We have to find what it is that feeds our soul in a way that brings life.

We have to find what it is that feeds our soul and in a way that makes us sit up on Monday with a hint of inspiration and an inclination that we are ready for another week to pay attention to life that week.

Part of it for me is reading, a large part is also fellowship on Sundays and worshiping together with others. There is great encouragement there and inspiration. Usually a healthy dose of thinking and challenge.

So…on this Monday….what inspires us? What feeds our souls in a way that brings life. Not just a chuckle and a diversion, but life. What pours into our souls in a way that gives us the patience and strength to pour back into the lives of those God has placed around us for us to care for, for us to inspire, for us to love?

Me?  Reading. Music. Fellowship. These things are my focus right now…with a little sprinkling of diversion.

Pay attention. And eat your veggies!!

I have written multiple times here about paying attention.  I probably have written so many times about the topic because I need the reminder.

I need to tell myself to pay attention.

When we decided to begin teaching the boys at home last year, I knew I needed to pay attention. See, I am not disciplined. I am easily distracted.

FaceBook is mental candy for me. Games. Short updates on multiple friends. Pictures and links to interesting articles. And then of course Pinterest.  I love FaceBook. I love the connection to such a diverse grouping of my friends. I love seeing the pictures of their families growing through the years, seeing marriages and births. Mourning through deaths. Rejoicing through victories. It really is a rather remarkable social connection.

Especially to a stay-at-home mom who has limited interaction with adults and friends.

And yet…

I find myself distracted and I find myself wanting to check in on what is happening with friends, wanting to play the games and wanting to post something interesting.

I find that I check in on the computer in between talking to the kids about history or Bible. I’ll take a few minutes to check something, and I’ll look and find that a few minutes has become fifteen, has become thirty.

Did I mention I am not the most disciplined person?

I find myself not paying attention where I need to pay attention. I need to look at the little ones who are looking to see if I am “liking” the tower they just built out of blocks, the amazing mess they just made with baking soda. Have I commented on their latest story?  See where I’m going?


There is more though.  This year I have begun developing some of my own curriculum. Specifically Bible. I am enjoying the process, and also realizing how much time I need to devote to the project. Quite a lot, it turns out.

More than that, though.

We can’t grow on candy.  I love mental candy. I love playing games like Candy Crush and Tetris. I love watching my favorite shows. I love catching up on life in snippets. I don’t grow on these things, though.

I grow on being stretched and challenged and reading deeply. That simply cannot be rushed. That requires paying attention. But, oh my does that feed the soul. And the mind. That makes me feel alive, makes me think more deeply and quickly…that gives me something to give to the kids in teaching them.

That makes me more present. That makes me pay attention.

So. I turned off FaceBook. Took the apps off my phone and iPad. Logged off on the computer. Turned off the distraction. I have not shut off my account, but I have minimized the distraction. Sometimes it is allowable to have a little candy. Even a little Candy Crush.  Plus, When I post articles here on the blog they post on my FaceBook page, so I’ll be somewhat present that way.

This school year, however, I want to be present to the kids. I want to pay attention to them. I want them to know they have my focus.


Part of that is feeding my soul and my mind so I have something to give them each day. Part of that is turning off the distractions so I am not looking away when they are looking to see if I am watching them.

Part of that is simply being more disciplined.  It is no great revelation, no amazing fact. I am not saying anything staggering. I’m actually just saying I need to grow up a little, it really is as simple as that. Growing up a little, paying attention, being intentional and turning off the distractions. Yep. That’s the vision for this year.

Less candy. More meat and veggies.

Prayer Requests

“To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

Karl Barth

There is brokenness all around us.  We do not have to look for it, it finds us without our seeking it out. We know brokenness as we know ourselves.  We know pain and we know the disorder of the world.

Cancer. Fear. Loss. Pain.


The unrest in Egypt…that is hard to fathom for those of us who walk into our fellowships with no fear of persecution.  That outward brokenness is an assault to our senses, an assault to our hearts.

We close our hands not distraught, though, we close our hands in hope.

We bow our heads not in fear and not in defeat. We bow our heads in awareness that we do not hold the power to change the situation, yet we know who does.

We bring our needs to each other and ask for prayer because we are journeying together. We clasp hands together and in doing so we join in the uprising against the disorder of the world. We place ourselves, together, in the care of the Creator. We place ourselves in the care of the One who can change the situation, the One who can speak hope to those who are hopeless.

So….speak your need.

Pray for others in need.

Clasp your hands in prayer and be aware that in doing so we are not vainly throwing our words about; we are acknowledging that we are are His and we cast our cares upon Him, for He cares for us.