Creative Family Advent, 25 Days of Ideas for Savoring the Season

I love Christmas.  I loved it as a child, and I love it even more as a mother of children.  It is so beautiful to see their little faces come alive at the first sight of Christmas lights or trees.  Hearing them practicing their Christmas carols, thinking of the transformation that is about to come…

The Reason I Write

I wash the dishes a lot. (((When I say a lot, I may mean world record.))) Lately I have been listening to podcasts while I clean the kitchen, and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be in a season where my mind is really awake, and I am learning new things.  It…

30 Day Poetry Challenge

I love reading poetry.  When I read in poetry, I start thinking in poetry.  And this is always exciting.  Until I start speaking in poetry, and people start looking at me like I’m weird. About three years ago, I gave myself a challenge: to write and post an original poem a day for 30 days…

The Story of Yesterday

This is the story of yesterday.  Yesterday is recurring in this household.  It is a day that starts way before I am ready to get up and ends way later than I want to stop.  It starts with babies crying that they want to eat and get up and it ends with babies crying that…

Unfolding

It is such a mercy that life unfolds before us.  Ten years ago, if I had seen a photograph of my future-self this morning, driving along in a 15-passenger van with six children ages nine and under, I would have asked what any other stranger wants to know: Are they all mine?! And the answer…

My Father

This morning, I am going to church to hear my Father preach.  I have done this literally thousands of times in my life.  Every Sunday morning and Sunday night of my childhood, I listened to him deliver a message that he had prayed over and wrestled with throughout the week. This morning, I will sit in the…

Slow Work

God is doing a slow work in me.   So many days it feels like nothing is happening.   Like my life, which once seemed so useful and productive, is making zero impact on the world.  The days when life was defined by an impressive string of accomplishments are lost somewhere at the bottom of the laundry…

Making Time for Quiet

My life is loud.  With five happy healthy children ages seven and under, a husband who is basically the personification of music, recording in the living room and making Irish whistles and bamboo saxophones all hours of the day and night–not to mention around 25 piano, guitar, and whistle students that rotate in and out of our…

On our 12th Anniversary

Today is our anniversary.  We met in the fall of 1999, dated for three and a half long, confusing years, and married on a beautiful spring morning just like this one 12 years ago today.  I hoped I was doing the right thing.  I prayed I was doing the right thing. There is no one…

Surrender: Listening for the Song

Our baby is 3 months old now.  We have settled into our new roles and are working ourselves into a more predictable pattern of living.  Life as a mother of five small children is a blur.  Every day has its own rhythm.  Sometimes it is like a song.  Sometimes it is total chaos. Last week was particularly hard…

Home

Life is starting to settle back into a rhythm for us.  The baby is almost two months old now.  Since she was born, a lot has happened in this house.  We sold our vocal booth, which has been taking up a third of our living room for a few years now.   We were given…

The Best Birthday Gift I Have Ever Been Given

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.  I woke up to secret sounds in the kitchen as my girls decorated the holiday table for me with double table cloths and our fanciest china.  My three-year-old son came down to snuggle me.  In the monitor, I could hear the baby singing in his bed. I could never have…