Five Minute Friday: View

Five Minute Friday: View

We made a rule when we moved into our new home. “No dirt allowed,” we had said, as if proclaiming it would keep all the grunge away and the kids would just instantly know better than to come in dirty.


All winter long we waited for sunshine and when it came through the windows, I noticed the grime. The dog-prints and bug splats and mud splashes, and someone kissed good-bye through the kitchen glass or at least pretended to, smudging their nose and lips and chin right at about 4 feet high.

Greasy, grimy little face prints.

Even the dust. I understand why they’re called “dust-bunnies”, because they just multiply and proliferate before your eyes.

I notice the dust in the sunlight. I watch it escape the dust cloth and settle again to mock me and I see it under the piano and covering the light fixtures, and my view is clouded by it.

Nevermind the sunlight. Look at the dust and dirt.

The sun shines in through dirty glass and shows dirty floors and my broom flies with it, vanity of vanities, trying to chase away the natural stuff of living.

I think heaven must be a dirt-less place, but I’ll have to ponder that one while I chase the bunnies. Maybe a clean life is boring and lifeless, us all made of dirt in the first place.


Click over here to read a parable to your littles, called Motes in the Sunbeam. This was on my mind while I wrote about dust and dirt and sunlight, and how I miss the blessing sometimes when I only see the mess.


Linking up with Lisa Jo and the Five Minute Friday community.

What to do With Memories {Project Life}

creative boys, working together, homeschool room

In light of my last post on creativity, I thought I’d share a little of where I’m spending some of my creative energy.

Those of you who know me in ‘real life’ and who have been to my house lately have probably been subjected to my giddy excitement over Project Life. {Sorry}

Giddy, because it just. makes. me. happy. Excitement, because at long last I’m actually doing something with our pictures. The guilt-laden boxes and files of photos are finally being defeated.

See, I dream of being crafty. I dream of being super-organized. And I combine the dreams into one and I envision beautiful scrapbooks, baby books that are meticulously filled, and a computer who’s hard drive is not crammed with jpegs.

I also “want-to-like-to” journal. That means I have dozens of beautiful but unfinished journals with scraps of family life, random happenings, and never-forget moments in them. If only I can remember which journal I wrote them in.

Project Life Project Life has been an eraser for my mommy-guilt. It combines the pictures with the journaling and you do what you want with it.  Mine’s simple. Simple makes me happy.

The real beauty of Project Life for me is that I can start now, but I can always go back and add in things from previous months, years, or decades. I love the 3-ring binder. Love the sturdy pocket pages and variety of layouts. Love the journal cards and the fact that the box of scrapbook stuff I bought at the turn of the century can now be put to use.

I keep our album out at all times because it just makes me happy. Did I mention that?

Project Life only needs a little explaining, and there are beautiful blogs out there with layouts and inspiration. I probably won’t be that blog and I probably won’t post pictures of my album, but I can point you in their direction.

First step. Becky’s blog. She has just recently posted a note to new PL’ers, and it’s grace and freedom.  Grace to start where you are, and freedom to be as fancy or simple as you want to be. View the sample albums, click on free stuff, and check out the products.

Next step. If you’re on Pinterest, search Project Life. Tons of inspiration and free products, and all the great blogs with beautiful ideas and layouts. If you’re not on Pinterest (whaaa?!), just google Project Life, and don’t be overwhelmed. Ever.

And if you homeschool? We bought another album to use for our timeline book. We use the design F pocket pages and the 3 x 4 journaling cards. I print a 4 x 6 piece of paper with the time span (1000, 100, or 10 years, depending on the era and the amount of historical data). We write the dates on the journaling cards and add pictures or stickers if we have them. We are getting into the Renaissance now, so we may use some bigger pocket pages for printed artworks. It’s simple, neat, and less expensive than other timeline books you could buy. Again, it makes me happy.

Project Life has tons of possibilities. It has been such a burden-lifter for me and if you don’t already have a system in place for your pictures, you should check it out. Maybe it will make you giddy and excited, too! If so, drop me a line. If you are already a PL’er, I’d love to see your album and hear your ideas.


Linking up with The Better Mom, Growing Home, and Titus 2sdays.





Permission to Create

I want to be productive.

I am a stay-at-home mom and you’d think the day was mine to schedule but it takes over, this life of 4 busy kids and homeschool and sports and we’re-outta-milk-again. Sometimes I re-do the same task 10 times before dinner and that doesn’t look like progress, or productivity.

So I try to make boxes to fit it all in so that at the end of the day, when my husband comes home soaked from the rain and tired from building a house, I can have something to show for my day and I can say that I’ve built a home, too.

Productive. See my list??

But I want to be creative, also. And I guess I feel I need permission for that, because I’m not professionally creative and some of it just seems frivolous and how can I sit and create when he’s out there laboring? Can I be creative and productive? Because sometimes the two seem mutually exclusive.


It’s guilt that steals the joy right out. I bring it on myself, with comparisons and skewed value systems.

I read about the tabernacle in the dessert and I hear how God call the skilled workers by name, about their handiwork and their talents and their labor-in-creating. I read it in Exodus after he leaves for work in the dark. The ones who were willing came and offered what they had, their gold and their skills, their beauty and their creativity.

And God made a place of worship out of their offerings.

The people willingly offered their most beautiful and precious things, and their time and their creative skills, and all of it God used to make that place for His worship. Productive creativity.

I think about this home and what we want it to be. My husband built it with his own hands  and it challenged him, every step of the way. He enjoyed the work and he learned and he fought and he was patient with it.  Six years of it.  And in the end he has created a place to worship, too.

Because of the people in it, and Jesus in them. We are the temple for His Spirit and Jesus in us makes us a living tabernacle, right? We carry around the Spirit of God and every place we are becomes His dwelling place, and shouldn’t we surround that with beauty?

Doesn’t He surround us with beauty?

So be it flowers or words or colors or smells or tastes, building houses or making a home, it’s all valuable.  And that’s what I needed to hear, that creating is valuable, and that creating a place to worship is highly esteemed in God’s eyes. The ones who built the frames that held the tapestries, and the ones who spun the yarn and died it blue and purple and scarlet, they all were productively creative and God brought it all together to make a holy dwelling place.

We want our home to be a holy dwelling place. A place where we and our children are creatively productive and where beauty surrounds. Which means that this place needs general maintenance and picking up but also, creative license. Permission to be creative.

What do you long to create? 


linking up with Imperfect Prose, The Wellspring, Growing Home, Titus 2sdays and Finding Heaven

Where are My Glasses? {Five Minutes to Focus}


Sorry for yelling, but I have five minutes to write about this topic: FOCUS.

I could write about the child who’s attention I fight to hold over math lessons or phonograms.  The one who I chase like a wild animal, and how just when I get him cornered up to the fence, and just as his breathing slows and I can almost speak slow and gentle to him…someone runs up and asks, “Watcha doin?” and he’s off again.


I could write about the struggle to look in the right place with the right attitude and set my mind on things above, not on things in the mirror or the sink or on the floor or spilling over the baskets.

Or maybe the discipline of quiet time.  The set-aside time to FOCUS (sorry for yelling) on written words that speak loud.  The continual hiding away and bringing the heart back and how sometimes I lock the door of my bedroom just to get a second…

How about those times when ten minutes turn into forty-five and all my good intentions and scheduled activities are lost at sea because I lost my FOCUS?

Or how I freak out over little things and walk around looking for my reading glasses and everyone laughs because they’re on my head (the glasses) and maybe they’re a little nervous that this woman is in charge?

Or how I think without punctuation but speak with many… ellipses…and that’s good because we’re supposed to be slow to speak and I really have to FOCUS on edifices, aedificium, building them up.

Nah.  I’ll write about How to Order Your Home to Create More Focus.  Sounds perfect.

Just another cup of coffee and then I’ll start…


{Yep.  Five Minute Friday is here and this week’s topic is FOCUS.  I freaked out a little, thinking of how to spend just five minutes on that one.  I’d love to read what you wrote.  Click the link and play along!}



Five Minute Friday: Join

They squabble and I squirm because I just don’t have the words.  What do you say to siblings bent on destruction?

Hearts need to change and mine is first in line.

My words are not what they want to hear and the feeling is mutual, but we just can’t stop.  We struggle to make home together and I tell her, when I find her all huddled up, that people are just difficult.  That’s all the wisdom I can muster.

And we are all people.

After the fuming and the glorious repentance (the angels sang, they did), I lament.  Why does family life rip and tear sometimes?

Why can’t we all just love each other and skip through the fields stringing daisy chains and singing songs?  

Oh, to live that quiet life.

I join with Jacob and Esau’s mom.  With the mother of those “sons of thunder”, too.  And with millions, billions, of moms throughout time and geography.  Because everyone, everywhere, at every time and point in history, has had to make their home with people.

And I love my peeps, so we sleep without the anger and tomorrow we start over.  Thank You, Jesus.

{Five Minute Friday, where we write for fun and nobody corrects our grammar.  Click the link below to join the fun!}


For Those Days {You Know the Ones}

Some days are just like that.
Some days you don’t listen to your child-feeling-ill and you clean lunch off the bathroom floor instead.
Some days you try to do something nice for someone and it turns out all catastrophic, with smoke and charcoal and flaming chicken.
Some days you stand over the blender and get a mini-smoothie-facial, and it makes your kids laugh hysterical.

And sometimes it happens all in the same glorious, blessed day.

All those days, the ones that don’t go as planned and the ones that seem to crash in the middle, they all string together to make up this life.  You look back and remember that you let your kids laugh at you, that you gave grace to the sick child, and someone tired and poured-out was blessed by your meal anyway.

And families stick together through those imperfect moments because moments make memories, and these are some of the best.


Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases,

Who redeems your life from destruction,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

{Psa 103:1-5 NKJV}

Blessing the Lord for all this:

326.  the Gospel, preach all weekend to 130+ kids

327.  the 26 who are new creations!

328.  creek baptisms

329.  friends who make themselves at home in our house

330.  coffee, half n half, and fresh morning air

331.  podcasts to divert my mind from my burning lungs on my run

{Linking up with A Holy ExperienceThe Better MomTitus 2sdaysScribing the Journey, Growing Home}

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