Church with littles…

Church with littles…

I sat in the third row on the right. The ancient pews created a wooden box around my three babies. I positioned myself at the open end. At least they were contained. On the other side of the divider, an older couple smiled indulgently. Behind us, my friend Allison performed similar maneuvers to manage the chaos of her three boys. Occasionally the sounds of army men fighting, “pew, pew, pew” floated over the wooden back that separated us. Baby Stephanie, crawled over the stained maroon cushion looking for a smiling face and open arms. Allie, sucked her thumb with one hand and rubbed her ear with another.  It was 10:30a on Sunday morning and I was exhausted. Continue reading “Church with littles…”

The good stuff…

The good stuff…

He called in the middle of the week. Did we want to meet them for ice cream? Of course! There was something in his voice, something in the air. Keith and I smiled about the possibilities as we drove to meet them on a thick July evening. We ordered our favorites and headed over to the picnic table. As we spooned cold sweetness into our mouths. They shared their news. There is a baby on the way. My heart swelled. Their eyes looked huge. Fear tugged at the edges of their faces, but love and hope filled them up.    Continue reading “The good stuff…”

Workday…

Workday…

They gathered, a bit blurry-eyed. It was early for a Saturday morning. Brian was the first to arrive, he is always first. Allie showed up next. Steph and Tyler brought a friend, and Teddy stayed with Auntie Kim. In the early morning gloom, they ate donuts, swigged the coffee and hot chocolate they brought with them. They were here to help their dad regrade the long winding driveway. Ten yards of gravel had been delivered and the bright yellow tractor was on hand for the weekend. They were here to work. Continue reading “Workday…”

A new rhythm…

A new rhythm…

One of the unintended consequences of my recent trauma has been a profound sense of disconnection from my life. I’m certain there are lots of reasons for this. Life literally stopped for a couple months, weakness and pain kept me close to home, and dealing with the emotional, physical, and spiritual aftermath has been no joke. I have been so grateful for the space, the time, and the grace to move through my own process of healing. I’ve found the silence healing. I’ve spent time reading. I’ve snuggled close to my husband and children. It feels as though I’ve let go, somehow, and just life move on without me. Continue reading “A new rhythm…”

Play time…

Play time…

Monday morning, before the sun was high in the sky, Teddy and I were at the playground. I forgot that the plastic play structure would still be covered in dew. He was so excited, it didn’t even matter. He climbed, steered, stomped, and slid for over an hour. His little muscles worked, his brain made connections, and I got to bear witness to the miracle of a growing toddler. By the time we returned to the car, he was dirty and soaking wet. My work here was done. Continue reading “Play time…”

Family ties…

Family ties…

Last weekend my family gathered for a wedding. The Facebook pictures showed beaming faces, dancing, and some rowdy behavior (Kindra!). I hate that I couldn’t make it, but I love that they gather. I love knowing that cousins who are now three and four generations removed from the original siblings are still connected and connecting. I know my grandpa and his siblings would be proud. Continue reading “Family ties…”

Making connections…

Making connections…

I am a connector. There is nothing I enjoy more than bringing people together. I do that around my dinner table, through small groups, scheduled meals, and impromptu gatherings. For many years, the main way I accomplish this has been through weekly gathering. We’ve opened our home for the better part of a couple decades to small groups of people who make room for each other and prioritize connection through a weekly meeting. These small groups weren’t our idea, we first were gathered up in a group that opened up the world to us as a young family. We found that we weren’t alone. We found that behind the Sunday morning smile, other families struggled to figure it out too. We found company for the fun days and friends for the hard ones. We remain deeply connected to many of the people who have done life with us through these life-giving groups. Continue reading “Making connections…”

Christmas pondering…

Christmas pondering…

This year our family has grown from five humans to seven (with one still on the way). We couldn’t be happier to welcome these two “others” who have captured our children’s hearts and our as well. We’ve been getting to know each other and are finding our stride as a family of seven (almost 8). Relationships are stronger and gatherings are much more fun. Not perfect, but great fun. Continue reading “Christmas pondering…”

We the people…

We the people…

By all accounts, this political season has been brutal. As I prepare to cast my ballot this morning, I am less concerned with tonight’s results than I am with tomorrow’s response. My Facebook feed is filled with harsh images, doomsday language, and vitriol from both sides. It seems we’ve stopped supporting our individual candidates (maybe because they are both so flawed) and instead taken to villanize the other. Continue reading “We the people…”

My to do list…

My to do list…

I love a good list. My new color-coded “Bullet Journal” has become my best friend. I’m organizing my life, because well, it makes me feel less chaotic. You know, I’m running in several different directions at the same time and I am learning a couple of new systems. I need a way to make sure I don’t drop those lovely spinning plates. Continue reading “My to do list…”