Sunday Sunshine 04.24.11

Happy Easter!  May your joy in the risen Christ be full today!

Here are a few good things from this week:

Video by Robyn O’Brien (author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It.”).  This is great basic info on food allergies and insensitivities.  (Mom, WATCH THIS.)

The Case for Once A Month CleaningSimple Homeschool

Now Is All We HaveKisses from Katie

Sunday Sunshine 03.13.11

One Way to Keep Your Art AliveChatting at the Sky (Love this.  And so often, as mothers, our children are the primary recipients of our art.  Keep gifting it!)

10 Points of Joyful ParentingOne Thousand Gifts (Ann Voskamp gifts readers of her book with this site and these downloads.  I think I’ll hang this one somewhere I’ll see it often!)

We Don’t Have to Do This Alone(in)courage


As I’ve mentioned in my Daybook entries, I have been reading lately.  It is not always an easy read, but it is a good read.  Today my heart is heavy with friends’ news.  My eyes welled with tears as these words rent soul:

I grip the card and I know all our days are struggle and warfare (Job 14:14) and that the spirit-to-spirit combat I endlessly wage with Satan is this ferocious thrash for joy.  He sneers at all the things that seem to have gone hideously mad in this sin-drunk world, and I gasp to say God is good.  The liar defiantly scrawls his graffiti across God’s glory, and I heave to enjoy God…and Satan strangles, and I whiten knuckles to grasp real Truth and fix that beast to the floor.  ~Ann Voskamp

When my daddy was sick, and when he died, I wrestled so long, so hard with the goodness of God.   Through a sermon my pastor spoke, a hot Sunday morning in August, the parking lot a sea of folding chairs and umbrellas and sweaty tots, I came to see God’s mercy in the apparent evil.

Twice I’d stood in the same pew as John had at the funerals of both of his sons, and I had turned and I had seen for myself, how John stood with the congregation and sang it clear, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Twice John sang his lifelong favorite Scripture before the coffins of his sons.  I can still see him brave through each line sung, the tears of faith streaming down his cheeks into his smile.  My throat had swelled raw in this sad awe, and I had turned away, drowning in grief waters all my own.  The kind of faith I had witnessed in John, that spoke in the dead boy’s home, that kind of faith puts real vertebrae into a verse like Ephesians 5:20: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (NASB, emphasis added).

This is the hard thanksgiving.  In the face of great loss, we grieve.  And God, who allowed his own son to be crucified, relates.  Understands.

God, who gives and takes away.  God, an ever-present help in trouble.  God who holds all truth.  God, we pray for your grace and peace and thank you for your mercy, especially for those who cannot find the words to pray right now.

Simple Woman’s Daybook 02.23.11

Outside my window…the snow piles again, softly covering the old, dirty snow. I am thankful for it – the white instead of the muddy blackish-brown.

I am thinking…about children’s prayers. Did you have a simple prayer you were taught as a child, or did you pray for specific things?

I am thankful for…a kitchen where I can create, even if it is currently quite messy.

From the kitchen…Pesto Pasta.

I am wearing…jeans, a white long-sleeve t-shirt and a brown poncho.

I am creating…a batch of steamed carrots for my son.

I am going…to a MOPS Swap today!

I am reading…One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

I am hoping…that my move-in can wait until April. Funny how things change.

I am hearing…the computer’s hum and the squeak of my daughter’s (my old) bed.

Around the house…is a tent, a bunch of scrapbooking supplies, and a pile of mail that needs going through.

One of my favorite things…is peanut butter.

A few plans for the rest of the week: chiropractor, small group, touring a swimming facility where Anja will take lessons, and hopefully more home renovations.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…my sweet boy, wondering why I’m making him lie on the floor for pictures.

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Read more Daybook entries here.

The Power of A Kind Word to Your Child

Anja, bless her heart, gives her primary love language, which is encouraging words.  She really enjoys telling us when we are doing great at wiping up Markus after a meal or when she likes our shirt or when she appreciates us reading her a book.  Her encouragements, though sometimes accepted with a smirk on our lips, are precious.

She recently had a very bad day, filled with discipline and “no” and many dramatic tears.  All day long we fought, her strong will against mine, and by the end of it, I was exhausted.  Husband took over for the last half hour before bed so that I could get some filing done.  And while filing, I found a little blank note card in my stack.

I jotted a quick couple of sentences and left it on her pillow.

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Her reaction surprised me. I knew she would like it, but to hear such simple words at the end of a day when I’m sure she thought her mama wasn’t very happy with her made her face light up and her entire disposition change. She kept the card with her in bed and looked at it for many days afterward.

Her crushed spirit changed to cheer.

How can you use the power of a kind word to cheer someone today?

Sunday Sunshine 01.02.11

The Problem of PainLife in Grace (Edie & family lost their home to a fire just 3 days before Christmas..I’ve read her blog for a couple years, so it was almost like hearing it had happened to a good friend.)

Spinach SmoothieA Little Spinach (One of my goals this year is to incorporate more whole foods into our diets, from breakfast to supper, and this lovely Minnesota mother, who I met once at the gym via a mutual friend, has fab healthy recipes.)