Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Small Things

The past two weeks.  It has almost been too much to bear, all the heartache.  All the hatred and the hurting and brokenness everywhere we turn.  It is too much.  I am tempted to shut it out: turn off the news, avoid the rapid-fire of social media politicking.  Sink into my own comfortable life, where my biggest inconveniences of the day revolve around the fact that we have too many clothes to wash in our HE washer in our house with electricity and running water.  Continue about my day to day life, free from stigma of skin color, free from fear of opression and violence.  

What can I do about all that is wrong in this world?  I am often paralyzed by insignificance.  I don't work in a job where I make or carry out policy.  I know nothing about medicine.  I am not educated about how to approach issues of race in this country.  I don't have the means to travel abroad or adopt an orphan.  I don't know any refugees.  

All I have to hold on to is the Gospel and my own broken heart.  And that just has to be enough.  Perhaps it's everything.  

When God allows our hearts to be broken, what is it for?  It can't just be so that we feel sad for a few minutes or days until we forget.  Our hearts are breaking because our Body is broken.  The Body of Christ (or if you're not into that, just the body of our one humanity) is broken.  And what does a body do when part of it is broken or sick?  It rallies.  It sends the rest of the body to fight.  It swells and it sweats and shakes with fever until the brokenness is healed.  If it ignores the hurt, if it doesn't keep working to save the hurting part, it dies.  

Part of us is dying.

I've spent a lot of time in the past few days feeling so overwhelmed.  Feeling angry and sad about the things that I wish were different in the world and so insignificant in the fight.  But through my prayers, God has been quietly reminding me that it all matters.  I matter.  Syria matters.  Mizzou matters.  Beirut and Paris and broken marriages and childhood cancer all matter.  And in the tiny corner of the world where God has placed me, there must be something I can do.  Some way that I can fight for our body; some way that I can help to heal the wounds.  

And in my prayer, God reminds me of the words of Mother Teresa, "Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love."  Sometimes doing only the small things seems unsatisfying.  But Mother Teresa's life was full of the small things and the great love of God, and her life was far from inadequate.  

So with this word from God, my family and I will spend the rest of 2015 doing small things.  I don't know what that will look like each day or how I will feel about what we've accomplished come January 1st, but it really isn't about me anyway.  Surely if Jesus can multiply five loaves and two fish to feed thousands, then he can take this meager offering of ours and turn it into something beautiful.  And we would like for you to join us.  Let's rally for this broken body of ours.  We will be posting a picture to Instagram and Facebook each day using the hashtag #smallthingsgreatlove and we'd love to see yours too!  And if you feel like you want to offer a prayer along with your act of love (we will be) then you can hashtag that too...like #smallthingsforSyria or #smallthingsforMizzou or #smallthingsforParis...you get it.  So even though your batch of cookies for the neighbor won't necessarily directly impact childhood cancer, your prayers to go along with it will.  We would love for you to share this with your friends and family and let's see how much we can love each other for the rest of the year.

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Back in the Saddle

"Start a blog!" they said.  "It'll be fun!" they said.

It's been almost three months since my last post and I know you have all been crying yourselves to sleep.  Well, cry no more, because I'm coming atcha (at you?  I don't know.)  In the past 3 months the baby turned one, Andrew turned 9, and nothing else out of the ordinary really occurred, hence my web silence.  You can thank me later for sparing you posts about Luke's every milestone, my thoughts on the Bachelor finale, or the day(s) I called my husband at work crying because the kids are driving me bonkers.  It's all rainbows and unicorns here, friends.

We do have one new development here, though...Baby Chicks!  We've gone rogue and decided that we want to be homesteaders who still frequent the snack food and ice cream aisles of the grocery store.  And Amazon Prime...is it homesteading if we get stuff delivered instead of going to the store for it?  I don't know.  Maybe I should read a book about that. Anyway, we got some supplies together and got the place ready for our new arrivals.  They are cute.  We only have two right now, but we plan to get about 8 to round out our flock.  I'm being picky and waiting on just the right breeds.  That's not the best part of the story, though...

Today we went to our local feed store to pick out the babies.  We were bracing ourselves against the cold and wind that has come along just in time for spring, and I was struggling to get Luke in the umbrella stroller because I am a baby who hates the cold.  Just as we went over the threshold of the feed store, the stroller partially collapsed (you know, folded together, like umbrella strollers do) with Luke inside.  I popped it back open, but I guess his finger was in a bad spot and he got a major finger pinch/squish/idon'tknowwhattocallit.  And he let out a holler and then did that thing where he doesn't breathe for a minute because he's about to cry so loud and hard.  And it wasn't just a cry-for-a-minute-until-Mom-snuggles-you-and-makes-it-better kind of crying incident.  It was a true scream-fest and he would. not. stop.  So here we were, myself and four kids in this tiny local feed store, waiting for the chicks to arrive while Luke screamed bloody murder and a bunch of self-respecting farmer type men tried their best to not be annoyed.  Everyone was very gracious...they offered a bandaid for his wound, which I think only succeeded to make him more angry, brought wet paper towels over to wipe off his snot covered face, and smiled politely while I apologized over and over again.  After about 10 minutes it reached fever pitch...he was out of control and so so mad.  So I just sat down and nursed him.  Right there.  In the middle of a bunch of dudes at the feed store.  Now, I am not really shy about nursing where I need to...babies gotta eat.  But this store was so small and it was full of grown men and, due to the screaming, we were certainly not inconspicuous by any means.  No one really batted an eye, they were so wonderful and polite--got our chicks ready to go and we all escaped mostly unscathed.  But let's just say it was awkward.  And I'm sure they will not be anxiously awaiting our return.  Thanks Bourn Feed in Columbia for being so great!  I promise to not come back soon. 

Some 'grams that you probably already saw...you're welcome. 

Hard at work building the coop

Flash and Bandit, our first two chickie babies!

Friday, January 9, 2015

7 Quick Takes: New Year's Edition

I'm ba-ack...

The holidays definitely took their toll on this ragtag bunch and while I won't lull you to sleep with all the not-gory details, Glennen Melton over at Momastery put it best when she said, "It's called 'Holiday Break' because it breaks a mother's will to live."  I might have muttered, "I hate my life" more than once over the last few weeks of December.  I don't really, most of the time...

Here are 7 Quick Takes about the things that have revolutionized my life since we last talked!

seven quick takes friday 2

#1: PRESCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There aren't enough exclamation points in the world to accurately convey my joy over this most glorious invention.  The pre-k partners in crime are going somewhere else to be taught by someone other than me two mornings each week and we are all better people for it.  Reece was so pumped that he had vegetable soup AND a biscuit for lunch the first day.  You can bet your biscuits that if I'd made that same lunch he would have fasted for religious reasons.  I thought the first drop off was going to be traumatizing--Preschool eve he started hinting that he didn't want to go: "I am too big for preschool."  "I don't like my teacher."  "I don't know where the bathroom is."  But much to my surprise, he manned up, marched right in, hung his coat on his hook and started writing his name at his table.  He refused to pose for a picture.  So I took one anyway when he wasn't looking. 

And that's me, singing my freedom song

#2: A High Efficiency Washer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
Also, needing all the punctuation for this most wondrous of appliances.  It is magical.  I can put approximately three times the clothing in this new washer as my old one!  Game.  Changer.  I don't even know what to do with myself now that the laundry is no longer ruining my every waking moment.  If it would only fold and put the clothes away, then I really would have it all...

#3: Hmm...there were other things, but now I am at a loss...I got a big coffee cup that I really like, does that warrant a blog mention?  Does any of this?  Are you even still reading?  I learned how to use the Pic Stitch app which brought you the above collage.  So I guess you can thank me for all the photo collages of my people that are in your future.  Oh!  Holiday Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea is most delicious.  Brew it up and add a touch of Stevia and it tastes like a legit sugar cookie in liquid form. 

#4: And since it's January and we're all hyped up on New Year's resolutions I'll share mine: to keep better attendance and records at this so-called "childcare" operation that I run here.  So basically to write names and payments on a calendar.  It's impressive, I know.  I'm still thinking/praying about a word for 2015--currently "underwhelming" and "mediocrity" are the front runners.

Here's a bunch of unrelated pictures to round out this post:


Emma posing as Mark Twain for her famous Missourian project.

I got another baby!  Kidding.  But she's my goddaughter, so it's close enough...maybe better!
Our mostly merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!  It's January 9th, can I still say that?  Who cares...I'm throwing caution to the wind!  Go see Kelly for more 7QTs!