Standing in the Hallway of Sorrow, thoughts on losing my Mother

(In honor of my beautiful, selfless Mother who went home to be with Jesus yesterday afternoon, hours after I wrote this post.) I am going to write something that is braver and stronger than I now feel, but I believe it with all my heart. Daddy met Mama on a Sunday morning at a little…

Voices of My Life, an abridged biography

It’s easy to look back over years as a series of big events–the day I was born, schools I attended, graduations, marriage, jobs held, the birthdays of my children…  These are the visible rings around my tree, the important details in a brief biography of my life. But when I close my eyes and let…

Thoughts on My Mother and the Miracle of Existing in this World

My Mama had nine children.  I am the youngest.  The fact that I exist in this world at all is not a small miracle.  I see it all now, like the iconic scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, where Mary is closing up the library.  A world where I don’t exist.  My husband is scorching…

Embrace the Mess, A Letter to My Future Self

This letter is to my future self. One day, when you are storming around your messy life as a mother of many small children, scowling at spilled crayons and upturned buckets of legos, haunted by the ghost of clean kitchens past…  When you reach the point, clocking in late for laundry after a long day…

Marking a Season

I miscarried nine days before our 15th anniversary. There we sat, across the table at a little cafe, drinking coffee together.  Our six living children were home with a friend who gave us the day together to celebrate our marriage. The week before, Randy and I had privately laid the whisper of a body down…

Living an Unscripted Life

It is nearly September.  This is when I am always scrambling for a good idea for how to make life work around here.  We only get 24 hours a day.  There is so much to be done.  Every day is a combination of homeschool, home business (teaching music lessons most afternoons), explosive creativity that needs…

Singing Out a Baby, the Birth Story of Rune O’Carolan Chester

“I am walking into this labor differently than I ever have before.  I am walking into it with a spirit of fight.  Not just trying to keep my peace, not just trying to stay calm, not just surviving and getting to the other side.  I am walking into this labor with the desire to put…

The Poetry of This Morning (On the Day Before My Due Date)

The poetry of this particular morning is not lost on me.  May 15.  The day before my due date.  I woke early this morning after a night of mild, sporadic contractions, wondering if today will be the day that we will meet our son.  It could happen at any moment.  The waves of contractions reminded…

Living with Vision

I am up early this morning, before the little ones.  In my closet-office (where I sit in a corner at a small desk, typing this under a rack of hanging clothes), I am armed with a steaming mug of Darjeeling tea, a couple of Cinnamon-Orange-Almond-Spelt muffins, and the promise of a glorious uninterrupted hour of…

Keeping Part of You Alive (Motherhood and Creative Vision)

Sometimes I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself.  What happened to that person I used to be–the one who was bubbling over with good ideas and introduced to strangers with an impressive trail of accomplishments following her name?  The person who had dreams and ambitions greater than getting every room in the house…

The Sacred Everyday

This morning I woke up to a miracle. All of my children are still soundly sleeping in their beds, except for the baby, who came down early to snuggle.  Her head is fuzzy and soft like a little duck.  The house is dark.  And quiet.  There is no birdsong yet.  The hum of thought in…

Are You Going to Have More?

People are always asking me if we are going to have more children.  The tiniest bit of smalltalk can tease this question out of a complete and utter stranger.  We go from eye contact, to a silent head count of my six kids, to are all these yours and are you going to have more……