Receive this season of homeschooling…

As I lay on my couch one afternoon, a thought came to my mind in the rare moment of quiet in the house.  

Perhaps sisters, it’s about receiving your homeschool, in other words, your children, in the exact season that you are in right now.  It is not about where you want to be but where you already are. Dreaming, setting goals and having hopes have their place. I have many dreams for our homeschool, but when I am honest, I can often focus more on the dreams than the now.  It is easier because you do not have the challenges in your dreams!

It’s not about crafting the perfect homeschool year with all the best books and manipulatives.  Those are amazing, but they will not be amazing if they do not fit with your family, your very own kids, in this very season.  Allow me to elaborate.

If you have a baby, it probably is not the time to try out intensive curriculums, that you or your children do not already know how to use yet.  You will not have a lot of time to prepare for them. Instead, it’s probably more of a time to keep it as simple as you possibly can. Read books.  Let the audiobooks read while you are able to nurse the baby. Your rhythm may have to follow the baby for a time, until the baby can fit into the rhythm of your family.

In this season you might be working part-time.  No, it’s not ideal, but your family needs the extra money.  We are all facing our own not ideal situations. You get three full days of being with your kids, and you fit the majority of your homeschooling into this time.  It’s during those days that you choose to be hands on with your kids. This is when you do the hands on science experiments your son loves. You save the children’s independent work mainly for the two days you are at work.

So, really your first step is to know the season that you are in.  Focus on what you do have. We often focus too much on what we dream of having.

Instead, when we begin homeschooling, we research and gather all the information we can.  We look to other mamas on Instagram that we admire and we try to model them. We make a list of all the books we are supposed to read, and collect curriculums like kids do stuffed animals.  We think it means success.

We forget to ask ourselves, what season am I in?  What am I truly able to do? How am I wired? What do my children need right now?  What do I need right now? Ask these questions and others that come to mind, dear friend.

Then, each season reexamine your heart, mind and season.  Ask the questions again.

What if we redefine what success means for us?  We are homeschoolers after all. What if success means a peaceful home and children who will open a book anytime they have a spare moment?  Decide what success means to you and your family. It does not have to be Instagram worthy either.

You are the mother they need.  You are also the teacher they need.

We all think we are not enough.  We think, that other mama, she has it all together.  We wonder wouldn’t my child be better with her?

No, they would not.

They were given you.

Homeschool as only YOU can.  This is why I am writing this right now.  This may seem obvious. It does, when we think about it.  But, honestly, this was quite the revelation for me as I lay on my couch, and this is my third year of teaching!

Our  years most of the time don’t look like our plans. Why, don’t we actually receive the season we are in?  Perhaps, a dream you have, is meant for another season. Put it on a shelf in your mind and mark it for later.  Some plans we may use for later and some may grow new and different wings.

I am coming along.

I wake early, before the sun even rises, and I lie in my bed half trying to go back to sleep in that warm spot and half, thinking, feeling and talking to God.  I am pretty sure he woke me up, because on my own, I don’t do that well. Although, I would appreciate more sleep, my mind appreciates this time in the quiet. My soul needs it even more in this season.  


What I am thinking, feeling and talking to God about is my current loneliness.  I am grieving my dad, and sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do with this grief and the strong feelings.  I have desires for more community around our family,and for deeper connection to dear friends. There doesn’t have to be a multitude of people, I just need to know they have my back.  People that I can text and receive a text quickly back. People I can see regularly and maybe even weekly. I know people are busy, but why are we SO busy? I have thought about beginning some type of gathering but I have talked myself out of it.  I am praying again. But, do I start, when I don’t even know if we are going to stay here?

I acknowledge that I have had some of these same feelings before.  In the waiting season when we were not sure where we were going to live a year and a half ago.  When we lived in our first house together and walking the journey of being content with that house.  These feelings are not entirely new, but they are frustrating just the same! I do feel that we are waiting, waiting for our next right step.  There is this frustration of wondering where it will be. I am not even entirely sure that I have a hope of where I want to be.


What do I want?  I want to know where we will stay and set down roots.  I want solid friendships. I know now to call them hope champions,a term used from Danny Silk’s soultime app.  These are people that always speak hope to us and we get to speak hope right back to them. I want to have purpose or  a mission as a family that is clear. I want to know a house is officially ours and we have freedom to make it our own I want a wee bit of money to be able to do that!  I want to live simply, have less stuff, but have it be quality. I want, I want, I want. Perhaps, I have just caught myself being lost in discontentment. It so easily catches us right?  I have stepped away a bit from the media that feeds it, and maybe I am just seeing where I have actually been.


I have power to stop the cycle.  Oh, I can dream! I can hope. But, I can also, be right where I am, on this Tuesday.


Emily P. Freeman says in her book Simply Tuesday, “And we won’t be so naive as to try to make the hard times beautiful, but we will have faith that the hard days are making us, remaking us, and forming us into the likeness of Christ.  Let’s take back moments that are lovely even if they are imperfect, words that are powerful even if only one person hears them…”


I do not have to make what is hard at the moment into something beautiful.  Emily, gave me that permission. He will do that himself. He will. I can trust that right now when I don’t see it.  But, I can always search and call out what is beautiful right now. The antidote to my endless wants.

What is beautiful are my two children who are always eager to be with me, especially my little five year old shadow.  She was by my side only minutes ago. What is beautiful is that I get to teach them daily and to watch what interests them and makes them come alive.  I absolutely love this. What is a beautiful, is my husband, who supports me and does so much for me and never ever belittles me for any of my quirks. The neighborhood that is around us has such lovely tall trees and it is a great place to go for walks.  We are near so much, and we have had opportunities that I so appreciate.


Sometimes, we might want things that we are not yet ready for.  Can I allow myself to be prepared? Can I wait? Can I know even during this season there are good things growing within myself?  Can I believe in the unseen? Can I be imperfect, and be ok with that? I mean, I know that I am, but often, when I am honest, I want to appear perfect.  


The sun officially rises and Jesse and I both sneak out of our bed by 7:30.  I am going to write. Write when I have a fresh mind, instead of tired one.


I find that the internet actually does work in the corner of the basement.  I stop to admire the latest lego creation from my boy, that is so very detailed and of course amazing.  I give my girl a hug. I read the words from Simply Tuesday above, and I also read, “I’m exploring what it looks like to release my obsession with building a life and embrace the life Christ is building in me, one small Tuesday at a time.  I hope you’ll come along.”


I am coming along.

Sabbaths + Tea Parties

Soapy water ran over the plastic pink teapot.  Once it was clean, I grabbed the surprise animal crackers that were secretly hidden.  My daughter gladly took the cookies and put them on her plate and set them on her tea table.  I poured the boiling water over the mint tea bag,and then a few moments later into the teapot.  


Then, with dresses and scarves on, we sit down.   Addie assumed the responsibility of pouring the tea, “Would you like some tea?” she asks.   I answer yes of course. Then, I offer her a dash of milk and she continues to ask for a dash and sometimes a splash of milk throughout the rest of our tea time.  We drink tea, and nibble on cookies. Then, we refill our cups and begin again.


Once, when I offer her milk, I get a good glance into her eyes.  I see a new look in her eyes. It was delight. Delight, that her mother was really truly there with her.  I was present in that moment, with her.  I almost broke down crying, seeing both her pleasure, and gratefulness in that one look.

Most of the time, I am trying to do three things at once.  My most common response to my daughter when she asks me to do something is, to tell her to wait a minute or that I can when I finish “fill in the blank” task.  She is very vocal with her requests throughout the day so it can feel like I am spending a lot of time with her. But, through this encounter, I realized she has not had a lot of focused quality Mommy time recently.  I say maybe more than I say yes.


So, why on this day, was I able to give her focused time?  The answer is, we were practicing Sabbath. For years the idea of a Sabbath has captured my heart.  A whole day to rest? That was incredible. How to do it though, especially with kids, was a mystery.  Then, at the beginning of August I read about a family and what they did for Sabbath. It answered my questions of when to grocery shop and clean, because that is what I usually did on Saturdays, our chosen day for Sabbath.  The answer was to do them before the Sabbath, and that meant I actually scheduled to do them on Thursday and Friday respectively. With these objections out of the way, I felt encouraged to begin.


This morning it was our third Saturday practicing the Sabbath.  It is something we have to practice because we won’t know what will work for us until we try.  To be honest, I was not fully focused. Before this, we had had fun dancing, she was the ballet teacher and I was the student.  She often moves from one thing to the next,so we moved onto the tea party. In my mind, I wanted to do yoga after our dance session.   I had to tell myself I could wait because we did not have anywhere we needed to go. This we don’t have to rush anywhere Sabbath thing is still new to me too.  But, without a doubt, from this experience having a time during the week where we can simply be with one another with no other agenda will be amazing. I am glad to be able to tell my kids and my husband and my God that I will rest with you on our Sabbath.  

Back to the tea party.  My girl slowly ate one cookie at a time.  This is not normal. Anytime there is sugar in front of her, she eats it with abandon.  She was treasuring this time, just as I was. The gift of connection with another human being is priceless. With your mother, even more so.  Saying yes is a gift we can give to one another.

…the good parts

When I am in the middle of reading a fiction book I almost always skip ahead.  Sometimes it is to the end and other times it is only a few chapters ahead.  Once I am satisfied to know what I did not know before, I go back to my place and begin reading there again.  Yup, I admit it.  My husband always makes fun of me when he catches me doing that.  The other day I caught my five year old daughter doing exactly the same thing.


During a movie I will forward through scary or intense parts I would rather not see.


Do you?


At the coffee shop where I am writing I just watched a young boy drink an entire apple juice box.  Why do kids, including this young man, drink everything in a juice box in nearly one big sip?  They want the goodness to keep coming.  I so identify with that.  I want the goodness to keep coming, so I skip over the scary, overwhelming and hard parts of books and movies so I can get back to the good, and the wonderful. I want to stay right there.


The thing is, in life we cannot really do that.  Gosh, wouldn’t that be nice?  In personal struggles and difficult circumstances we have no remote or power to skip over it.  We have to live it.  We have to walk through it.  We have a choice of how we do that, in fear or in faith, with others or alone.  Some difficult things in my life this year has brought out fear, anxiety and worry more to the surface in my life.  In all of these things I have wanted to overcome them all already and be done with them.  But, it isn’t that easy.  We learn things and grow in the process.  The in between time between the trouble and the victory is place where we become.  It’s the place where we get to see God be who He said He will be.  He will be your refuge and your strength, even if it doesn’t quite look like how you imagined it to be.


I want to become so I have to accept the hard too.  I am still in that process.


I have been walking through Beth Moore’s bible study The Quest this summer.  It has come exactly at the right time.  It has encouraged being honest with God and asking him all the questions you have.  Even the scary ones.  God won’t be hurt or surprised when you ask them.  The study has asked questions I have needed to verbally process within myself and God.


This week we have begun reading and talking about the book of Job.  This is a book of the Bible that I have skipped.  I remember intending to read it probably ten years ago and I never got around to it until now.  God had to include in the Bible for a good reason, right?    So far, I see Job in the most horrible circumstances.  I am going to keep reading to see what I find.  I won’t skip it this time.


What do you need to face and not to skip in your life?


Cinderella, Swords and a Kingdom

I hear about princesses daily.  Cinderella is my daughter’s favorite.  We host balls in our living room and there are always a plentitude of dresses strewn about across our bedroom floors.  I often have a helmet clad boy approach me with a wooden sword ready to attack.  I have to tell my son so many times that mamas don’t really appreciate battle as much as he does.


Children seem to have an innate interest in things of royalty.  What little girl doesn’t want to play princess or even better be a princess at some point? As bigger kids, or I guess some would call us adults, we still have that desire that lingers somewhere within us.  It is why I could not get the latest royal wedding this summer between Prince Henry and Meghan Markle out of my mind for days.  As one who never reads entertainment magazines, I scoured the internet for anything about the couple and the wedding.  There is something deep within us that is wired for Kingdoms, Kings and Princesses.


I think I know why.


We were created to be a part of one, the Kingdom of God.


This will be our forever home.  He will be our forever King.


The Bible speaks so much about this King and this Kingdom.  As I read,I become more and more excited.  As I read, the power that is behind His words that don’t merely exist on a page of paper reach inside and refocus me.  They whisper to me of what is really true, and it feels so opposite of the seen world in front of me.  That’s why I need to read, so my perspective is returned back to my Father and what He has told me is important.  He says in Luke, “Don’t concern yourself about what you will eat or drink, and quit worrying about these things.  Everyone in the world is concerned about these things, but your Father knows you need them.  Rather, be concerned about his Kingdom.  Then, these things will be provided for you.”  In short, don’t be so concerned and focused on the world in front of you.  God will take of the world and He will take care of you.  Instead, think about His Kingdom.  Make Him and His Kingdom your number one priority.  My daughter wearing a crown to breakfast doesn’t feel so crazy now, right?


In the book of Matthew the disciples were arguing about who was the greatest in God’s Kingdom.  I am not sure why.  One of them probably wanted to be the greatest.  It was almost like a school yard fight for superiority status.  Jesus knew they still were not understanding.  He asked a little child to come to him and put the child in the middle of all the disciples.  I can picture it.  A little child staring up at the taller adults around him.  Jesus looked at his friends and said, “You need to become like this child, and if you don’t you will never be a part of God’s kingdom.  Whoever becomes like this child, is the one that is the greatest in my Father’s kingdom.  He goes on even further to say, If you welcome this child, you welcome me.  I can just imagine the disciples shaking their heads, hardly believing what they were hearing.  They had to become like kids?


I am so glad that I have my children to watch and learn about the Kingdom.  I don’t have any concrete conclusions but some observations and questions.


Children wake up and immediately begin playing.  Playing is their work.  It is within play that they imagine their way to understanding, they try things out, and simply play.  Life is not so serious or as complicated as we make it.  Our Father has told us not to worry and maybe play is a part of that?


Children will simply believe what they will hear.  At the same time, they ask a million questions.  They are not afraid to ask, because they are curious.


They think so much more is possible.  After all, Nothing is impossible for our God.  That can become something we simply repeat, but pause for a minute and know that it is true.  Nothing is impossible for God.  Absolutely nothing.


Oh, how children’s eyes light up as they experience new things!  It is one of my favorite things to observe.


It is His Kingdom that I want to be a part of my and my family’s reality.  I am not really sure how to do that but I know it will be worth it.  His Kingdom will be more of our reality than our present one.  It may take a constant stopping and shifting my perspective.    I will pray.  How can we invite His Kingdom to our meal times, our parenting and our play?  Well, our kids have the play part down, right?

It sounds like the greatest fairy tale, because it is.   It is actually one we have the privilege to be a part of.  It is your story too.   In Luke 12:32 Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid, little flock (that’s us!).  Your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.  Let these words wash over you, and become a part of you.  He is pleased to give you the Kingdom.  And it is an actual, real Kingdom my friend.  What is unseen will soon be seen.  It is time to prepare for the Ball my sister.

Being here.

In the middle of a field

Of white wildflowers

I stood.


Green was

In every direction.

Then, there was me.


In life, so much fights

for my attention.

Here, none of that feels important.


The bird songs calm me.

They slow me.

So I can be.


Being here,

In the moment,

Living in the world,

I’ve been given,






a note to your spring self (on the last day of spring!)

In the Fall it is so very easy to be excited as a homeschool mom.  We are ready for more structure or rhythm to our days after the low key days of summer.  Isn’t it funny that we long for summer but then, when we have had our fill, we long for the opposite?  We long to get back to our Morning Time, to time around candles at the table, reading, cozy inside as the weather cools down.  It is a time of beginning again. We have ordered our new books and other tools for learning. We are ready to dive in and use them.  We have blissfully forgotten the tears over math, the whining and the hard daily work of teaching habits.


In the spring, we have not forgotten.  We are right in the middle of all of it.  We are having to help our children focus on their handwriting when all they want to do is play and go outside.  This is extra hard when honestly, that is all we want to do too! We all have spring fever.


Here is a note to your spring self.  I am writing to myself here as well.


You have done such a good job this year.  No, you probably have not done everything you set out to do.  Your to do list or reading list was longer than what anyone could do in five years.  So, give yourself grace. But, you have walked out what you felt called to as a mama.  You have showed up every day. You have answered questions, given out hugs, fed your crew and you have been present with your children.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing more important than the time you give and the gift of yourself.


You can change up your rhythm a bit.  Really, you can.


You can go spread a blanket on the grass and read outside.  Then, soon your children will be exploring sticks and whatever else they find.  You can count that as school. If you need to for your sanity, you can have them count the sticks or add them, there, now you can really count that as math.  There is no shame in that either.


There might be those days that you end up not having any official school at all.  Gasp! It’s a crazy thought right? But, we know, as wild and free mamas that education is a lifestyle, and our children are really learning all the time, whether they know it or not or whether we call it school or not.  Sometimes we need to take a day off to play with our children. As Mamas we need to remember the art of having fun instead of always trying to accomplish. Go explore a new place with your children, whether it be a new hike or a new part of your city.  That adventure of seeing and experiencing new may be just what you need to keep going or to finish your year.


Maybe you just need a good belly laugh.  Go tickle your children and have them tickle you.  Have your children make up jokes and tell you. Their silly jokes or even the not so silly ones may cause you to relax, which is exactly what you needed. Don’t we all just need to relax?


Find something that you really enjoy, a new something or an old something.  Decide to do that now or as a special summer something. This something can be something only for you.  Sometimes we need that. A special thing to look forward to. An act of love to ourselves. As an example,  I am thinking about finding a Zumba class, simply because I remember enjoying that years ago. Also, because I  love to dance.


Spring Mama, you are doing fine.  Allow yourself to look out the window at the beauty outside or at the beauty sitting around your very table.  You are doing a great job dear one. Love, another spring mama.


On Home.

Here are some thoughts that I wrote over a year ago while we were in what we call “Our year of moving” in 2017.  We moved three times in 2017 and that of course was not our plan.  This was written after our first move, after we found out that our landlord has sold the house, even though we had a year lease.  It is not fully fleshed out ideas, but we are all on a journey and why can’t we share when we are in the messy middle?  On this Mother’s Day, let’s think about homes, where we do most of our mothering…


I love the moment when both kids are in their rooms for naptime and it is only me and quiet, well sometimes.  Sometimes there is a child upstairs singing or talking.  So, I love the moment when its only me.  Then, I hear the dryer going downstairs.  There is something calming to hearing the washer or dryer work and know you are getting things done without actually having to do them.  In this moment, after our first real homeschool day in the new house, I finally feel at  home since moving from Cairo.  My mind wants to rush to the future, to the plans up ahead, but when you do know where your home will be in two months, you cannot really plan.  You have to be in the present, the place where I have been working to be, in the right now.  So, this is a great time to practice being present.  Right now we have a home and I am grateful.  We do not have everything unpacked, yet we have everything we need.


As we did school today, and played outside in the snow, I saw how this house felt even more like a home.  It is time that makes a home.  It is shared time and memories that make a home.  Then anywhere, a tent, an RV or a whole house could all be homes….and so could cardboard boxes, right?  Not that I want to live in one of those this summer…


It is interesting that we often think HOME as a stationary place as in a house, that has a foundation,and trees around it.  We think of that classic picture that children draw.  It is what I have thought.  It is what I have desired.  I have desired a house more often than a home.  As I have been growing in my love for cultivating a home, a place where we all feel freedom, rest and nourishment, I see it’s about freedom, intentionality but also letting go.  This season feels like letting go.  We let go of our home, but really, our house in Cairo.  We do not have that shell that held our home, but we have our home.  We have each other.  Yes, it is true in one sense that things, like candles, pictures and your favorite chair make a home but really people make a home.  We make our home.  The four of us make our home.  Wherever WE are, we are home.


This feels a little crazy to even type, these are new waters of thought that I am stepping out in but it’s what I am beginning to realize.  I love looking at houses and I love decorating houses, even though most of the time it is decorating in my mind.  When I was in middle school my goal was to be an interior designer (Hmm, side thought, what if I was to be an interior designer for the soul, for the heart?).  I have always watched home shows whenever I would be near cable or look at house magazines.  I love houses in other words.  I do not think there  is anything wrong with houses.  I have a dream for a house and some land that we could really call ours and that we could dig our roots deeply in.  But perhaps as much as this isn’t my favorite, maybe I needed this unrooted season.  The sale of this house was a complete surprize but with the overall peace we have had, I sense God with us.  By letting go of our old house, which was a journey of its own, I am not attached to this new house in the same way.  We haven’t  found any rented house.  We are waiting.  I am unable to say where we will lay our heads after May 14th but I am convinced that God is and will be faithful to us.(And He has been!)


Wherever we will be, we will be home if we are together.  When we have traveled we would be at a new place often but we learned to make that place home for as long as we were there, whether that is a night or a week.  Our home, was essentially our car, as the four of us were doing our thing on the road, it was my favorite place to be.  As we shut the doors to the car, I felt that feeling that we were home.  It was not beautiful or even  decorated at all.  Since we learned that we were moving, I stopped unpacking.  I had unpacked some pictures before then but this home is so much more bare than our old house.   I am not even sure that I remember it all the things we have packed away.


After being in the new house for two months now I feel much more at home here.  At the beginning I had a lot of reasons why I did not like it.  I see now that time is a beautiful teacher.  In time, the parts of the house become more normal because you have been around them.  Yes, it is still not the most effective house but we have adjusted.  This is such an important lesson.  We can adjust.  I just realized that in total we will only have lived here for three months and it is amazing that it already feels like we have been here so much longer.  When you live daily life in a place, it becomes home much more quickly than you would think.


Everything within me wants to set up all the nooks and crannies, have a place for art, and a place for everything.  I want to be incredibly efficient and have systems within our home for everything.  A place for shoes, a place for jackets, this is all great.  Underneath this fine desire, is one that is not so fine.  I want security.  I actually want to create my OWN security through my wonderful organization plans.  Oh, these systems can be helpful but they are not my security.  My security is in God, who made the entire world.  I cannot make the world or keep it spinning and tonight I was reminded I cannot even do it with my own life either.


But, why not make a place for now?  Why not make a place feel like HOME for today?  The children make places for now, with no thought in planning forever.  They made a place in the little cubby underneath the stairs with only two unpacked boxes that they call a computer.  It is what they call their office.  They made a place that they enjoy for right now.  I can do the same.

contentment + the simple life

The rhythm of official schoolwork has been lessening as the springtime weather has truly begun. We’ve begun our days outside. Bare feet in the grass and allowing the sun to kiss our cheeks. Yoga in the open air for me and a place for my kids to run and make believe. We meander back inside for nourishment, a bit of conversation, reading books and before I know it, if I pause for a moment too long, my kids are outside before I can say STOP. But really, do I want to say STOP?


I am learning that our rhythms of a family work best when they mirror the season of the year. We want to be close and cozy in the winter. There is plenty of time for schoolwork because our days are largely spent indoors. But, now in the spring we want to wander, explore and spread our wings. We need wiggle room in our schedules to sit and stare. I am feeling that more lately as the pace of our life has sped up with the finishing up of things before the summer.
Watching my children, there’s nothing like spring contentment. The contentment of simply being. The contentment of play, of exploring, of being outside after the “confinement” of winter.

Contentment has come to my mind recently. Honestly, its not something I think about often. Overall, I am so very content. I have a husband I love, we have been blessed with two amazing and sometimes challenging children who fill up my days and I am doing what I have always wanted to do. I get to be a wife, mom and teacher. I write a little. I dabble in creative endeavors when possible. These are all things I love.  So, I am content now, right? I used to really struggle with the lack of it back in college though.

As this thought of contentment has pushed its way back into my awareness, I have realized that I may not be thinking about it but it may come to play in my life. I do think often how I want more clothes, a particular pair of shoes, an art supply item or something I think my kids would really enjoy. Most of these items are not things that I REALLY need. I love beauty and I am attracted to beautiful items. I will think about the item, find it on amazon or a website and put it on my mental list to purchase when and if we have the funds. We have had to make choices with being a one income family and this is not always very easy for me to keep up with.  Amazon most certainly does not help.

I have thought of it from the perspective of worry but not in terms of contentment.  I tend to fixate on something for a bit until maybe something else more pressing comes to mind.

If I am content with what I have, would I want more?

Why do I want more?

We have been on a journey to simplicity both physically and internally for years. It isn’t until today that I have connected the idea of having more with less or having a simple life with contentment.

Yet, I have what I need. Actually, I have more than I need.

This week I have seen God provide very specifically. I do not have to worry.

Can I be content with what God has given me in this season? There will be other seasons of life just like there are different weather seasons. But I have what I need for this season. He will give me what I need in other seasons too. He really will. Often, He gives me more.

What if I wake up each day, thanking him that I have what I need and putting into his hands what I do need?

I am processing this while I am writing friends. Therefore, there is no huge conclusion except perhaps this has been the missing puzzle peace in our living simply. I have no need to buy more if I am content and therefore our houses and our lives stay simple. I tend to want the most I can pack in. The most library books I can carry. Packing  the most into our day that I think I can handle, but I really can’t. I have made progress. But something with this realization really strikes close to my heart.

Tonight, I stay open to hear the voice of my Father in this. I am here. I am present. And so is He. We are in this together. And that is all I need to know.

Sitting with Jesus for normal people

A few weeks ago I wrote on Habits and I thought I would delve deeper into my habit of spending time with Jesus today….

Most mornings one of the first things that I do is to sit up in bed and sit with God.   I need his presence.  I need to know that I am not alone and by sitting with him I remember that He is with me.  I slowly wake up, allowing myself to stay under my covers probably too long, and then after a trip to the potty(as quietly as I can tip toe so I don’t wake up my kiddos),  I sit up in bed.  I slowly allow my mind to wake up as I stare out the window in front of me.  Sometimes I have an hour (these are my favorite times) and other times I have five minutes because my children are already awake and I have told them that Mommy needs at least five minutes with Jesus.


This morning, I finished my time with both of my children on my lap.  I say this to let you know that this is not a perfect process.  Far from it.  I am not the devotion Queen.  Actually,  I don’t even like calling it that.  I am a quality time and words of affirmation in the love languages that most fill me up.  Spending time with Jesus covers both of those love languages.  It is something I have decided is important so I try to do it everyday.


It now feels like a special time that is just mine and His.  Sometimes I feel a smile come to my face simply sitting up and doing nothing for a few minutes.  It can be hard to just sit, but even if it’s for a moment, its powerful.  Honestly, I can get more from letting Him be God by sitting, its as if He is infusing me with strength.  “Be still and know He is God” this is how I begin.


Then, I usually have a book or a bible study to go through.  I am better with a loose plan because then I stay with it.  I have something to tangibly hold.  I have something that might even have fill in the blanks and being a natural student this works for me.  There usually is a scripture within the material that jumps off the page to me and then I will stay with it longer.


Last week I remembered how much I have liked meditating on scripture in the past.  I haven’t done it in a while so why not return to it?  I wondered what to meditate on.  I always seem to return to John 15.  I get the basic gist of the passage but the details are still a mystery to me.   John 15 it was.


He says, “Abide in me and I will abide in you.”  I have tried to wrap my mind around this for awhile to no avail.  Then, I came to this version, “Live in me, as I live in you.”  This is more relatable to me.


Live in me.


Generally, I wonder, how in the world can I live in God?  Live in me.  I have repeated this phrase when I remember it through the day.  Often, it is when I am on the toilet!  Being honest here.  I am a mom and sometimes the bathroom is a quiet place, where I stop and actually remember to meditate on this verse!  As I have, it has become less overwhelming or impossible feeling.  Live in me as I teach my kids.  Live in me as I wash the dishes.  Live with me.  Allow your Father God to join you as you do your daily things and you are with your people.  Give your Father permission to be your homebase.  He is your beginning place and your end.  He is your all.  Live in me.


As I live in you.  The God of the universe lives IN me.  I believe this is something we are never meant to wrap my mind around.  It is something to sit in awe with.  It is something to figuratively hold hands with and take comfort in.  He lives in me.  This is why I am never alone, because I really am not.  As I live in you.  As I try to new things or walk through new territory for me, He is with me.  I have his power in me.  The other day was one of those overwhelming days with my kids where I had to remember this parenting gig is a process, and not done in a day.  It was during this day that I remembered God has patience as one of his fruit and since He is in me, I have it too.  His patience is in me.  As I live in you.


The crazy thing is the more I live in God, such as meditating on this verse, the more He lives in me, because His words, His heart is in me.   I am not here to talk theology, my mind is not wired that way but more in relationship.  What I do know is the more of me, the more time I spend with God, the more He is realized in me.


This relationship is worth pursuing is basically what I am using all of these words to tell you.


Wondering how you can fit time in your day to sit with God?


Begin small.  Give what time you have.  I have sat with God during my first child’s naptime.  At that time I had never had a regular morning habit.  When I had my second child, that time disappeared, so in one stage I would put my baby in her baby swing while my older one napped so I could have that time.  When the kids are eating breakfast or right after you put the kids in bed could be other times.  Do you commute?  Listen to a audio Bible, then stop it and meditate on it.  Pray from it.  See where there is a crack in your day and begin with five minutes for a month.  Then move on from there.  Try different times until one sticks.


Be You.  You may not be a sitting type of person.  Go on a walk with worship music or an audio bible and stop it when a line or verse feels like what you need right now.  Turn it off and as you walk or run meditate on it.  Then, pray it.  Perhaps you like using your hands.  Have a Bible close by to your craft project or your kitchen sink.  As you are washing dishes or knitting that line, read a verse, meditate on it and pray.  Remember who you are, what you love and meet with God right there.


Be forgiving. There will be days you sleep too late.  That is me.  There will be days you may forget or days that are so very full.  Forgive yourself.  Do not linger in shame but wrap yourself in grace.  You are ok.  You are still loved by your Father.  It’s not about performance or accomplishment but about being present with God.  So, right when you feel the yuck of shame, begin again right there.  You can always begin again.


I will say that again, you can always begin again.

Live in me, and I live with you.  There, that is your invitation.