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  • How to Not Miss Your Real Life Calling

    On Friday, November 16 th, 2012

    When they cut the three right open and start pulling out the inner guts, there isn’t a sound in the room. They’re focused and silent and pulling at strings and ripping away at things and I wonder if I am doing any of this ridiculous thing right? Not the pumpkins — I could care less how we hack these three up. It’s the kids, this year, my life. I keep ...

  • How to Make Any Place Happy

    On Wednesday, October 24 th, 2012

    And after 11 years here, we paint the walls white, all the walls white, right over the shades of softest green, because in the beginning I wanted a cocoon and now I just want clean, the quiet of clean. Because if you’re saying the average nowadays family has two kids? And we have three times the average with these ridiculous six—  then you multiply the age of these...

  • What Every Hard Week Needs to Know

    On Monday, September 24 th, 2012

    Sometimes, even right before it really begins, you know how the week’s going to go. I look in the mirror early on a Monday morning, the bedhead looking more like a monsterhead, and I look right into that water-splattered mirror. And tell the woman looking back at me how the next seven days are likely to go down — are going to likely try to take me down. The mail...

  • The Truth about Really Having it All

    On Friday, September 21 st, 2012

    I t was after the waves. After the waves of contractions, after the waves of blow out diapers and wet nursing pads that leaked through the let downs and the damp spit blankets that piled high at the bedroom door. Long after the waves of colic at 3 am and the 4:30 am crying, both the swaddled and terrified toddler, and the sleepless nights in that faded worn flannel that bl...

  • How to handle (parent) temper-tantrums

    On Tuesday, August 21 st, 2012

    ‘M y boys come in from the barn. I lay out bread. They banter, hard, the brother-scrape. One of the boys tosses in slices of bread for toast, careless. I set out plates in sun. The Tall-son lathers butter on toast, but only his. I notice. “Son, your brother? Could you butter his toast?” He reaches for peanut butter, fires me a white-hot glare. Morning flas...

  • The Easy Plan Before Summer Ends . . . . . . {14 Things to do in the last 2 weeks}

    On Friday, August 17 th, 2012

    Two weeks left. Two weeks of sweet corn and swimming suits and bare toes and zinnia bouquets and light like this in their hair and all the days are adding up to make years And before the sun even comes up, the clock ticking so loud in my ears, there’s this rolling over toward the Farmer, this desperate murmur, Only two more weeks left of summer —- what...

  • 10 Ways to be a Happier Mom

    On Wednesday, August 15 th, 2012

    10 Ways to be a Happier Mom   1. Life is not an emergency. Life’s a gift. Just. Slow. Down.   2. Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace. Do whatever it takes to wake to wonder right here.   3. Sometimes the slowest way is the fastest way to joy. Make time today, even a moment, to read Scripture and memorize it. Without the lens of Hi...

  • The Very Best Way to Schedule Your Life {The Law of Life}

    On Thursday, August 09 th, 2012

    I confess, it felt counter-intuitive—just plain wrong. Just plain, straight out wrong to bend over each strawberry plant, press the delicate white petals —  and all subsequent hopes of fleshy scarlet sweet —  press between thumb and index finger — and then just pluck it off.   I had forced myself on because of the Googled reassurance: “Pick off a...

  • A Perfect DIY Mother’s Day …………… {or “How to make Your Own R&R Day”}

    On Saturday, May 12 th, 2012

    Because there are days when every mother – every woman – just needs to have her own perfect little DIY project: 1.  Go for walk just anywhere quiet, just for a moment — somewhere this weekend, go for a walk?   2.Turn on the music: Fill the house and your heart and mind and bones with Praise to God music (Play it loud and let the whole house...

  • Why We Honor You This Mother’s Day: Because You Really Mother Thousands

    On Friday, May 11 th, 2012

      Because there’s something about the sound of opening up a bag of seeds in spring. Something about holding a promise right there in the palm of your hand. And the Farmer’s whole tilled field, she’s laid right open, expectant and waiting. The Farmer’s got his Wranglers on and he’s got his hands into those seeds all like pearls and the man’s ...

  • The Habit of a Mother Who Changes The World

    On Tuesday, May 08 th, 2012

    Houses may be bought, built, or borrowed. But homes can only be made. And  only with bits of ourselves. The kids and I sit together close in a house with dishes on the counter and read about painters and artists and look at a flock of ducks, preened and nestled, a painting, oil on canvas. The children press in close for a better look at the open book, at Alexander Koester...

  • How Everyone Can Be An Optimist

    On Wednesday, May 02 nd, 2012

    My Grandma Barbara Ruth, she ever only saw a cup one way. Didn’t matter if the tea’d been poured out or if the sky’d tipped over or the tap was still running loud. Every cup she ever held or tipped back or drank from, they were all right empty as far as she was concerned. She’d been dying of old age since she was 42. Every picnic was bound to get rained ...

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