sharing the love

I am so excited to be sharing our love story on Danielle's blog Take Heart!  If you haven't visited her blog, you need to!  For the entire month of February she has been featuring love stories and if you are a hopeless romantic like me you will want to read every single one. She is such a fireball of energy and fun.  I just love her!  Oh and she has the most gorgeous hair...really, she does!


books that are our favorites

We are still battling the monster sickness called the flu over here.  We just love each other so much we decided to share.  And no amount of scrubbing with bleach or slathering hands with germ-x or washing linens several times a day has been able to keep it from spreading.  I really thought we were completely over it and I was surprised that Astair hadn't caught it.  But my hopes were short lived and my pretty little girl is now the last one under the weather.

I made homemade chicken noodle soup.  Used the last of our silver shield.  Packed the fridge with fresh berries and broccoli.  Replenished our supply of emergen-c.  And by the way, would you have any home remedies you would like to share?  This tired and desperate mamma will try anything!

I think I've avoided writing this post for some time now because I knew I would be tempted to throw myself a pity party.  Write an "It's my blog and I can cry if I want to" type of post.  A sick house= a humongous work load.  And I haven't been keeping it all together as well as I would have liked.  Okay, that's not entirely true.  The truth is I have failed miserably.  Miserably.  And I don't handle failure (in myself) very gracefully.

Thank God He does.

And He had to remind me that I haven't disappointed Him.  I can't disappoint Him.  He knows what I'm made of.  He remembers that I am dust.  It was HIS breath that filled my being and made my lifeless form pulse with life.  When I am the weakest, when I've reached the end of my strength and I readily admit it, that's when grace flows and His strength knows no bounds.  

It's almost like God releases a sigh of relief, "Phew.  I've been painfully watching you struggle and I've been waiting for you to hand it over to me!" 

So, I'm handing this house over to you, God.  And my weary mommy brain as well.  Come show us what you've got!

(What you just read was only the intro i.e. a much needed mommy venting.  Now on to what this post is really supposed to be about...)

We've been snuggling a lot and reading libraries of books.  My mom sent me a family collection of Vintage Little Golden Books and Wonder Books that my dad had back in the fifties.  We LOVE these old books! Every one is a priceless treasure.  We never tire of them.

We have several other favorite books as well.  Here's a few:

I think I could write an entire post on this amazing book.  I still might do that.  My kids are enraptured by every story.  And I can't read it without weeping.  I've been known to sneak away for my devotions carrying only this book with me.  It's the stuff our souls are made of.

I remember memorizing scripture for Sunday School as a little girl.  It amazes me that I can still remember those verses.  They truly are written on my heart and God brings them to my mind when I need them the most.  I want that deep well of Life to be available for my children.  This book makes it easy and fun!  Thaddeus, at five years old, has already memorized scriptures.  Some of the verses are a little long for my two year olds to remember, but they are growing just by hearing the Word of God.

The Christian Mother Goose Trilogy by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker

Okay, so maybe this one is really just my favorite.  Astair likes it, too.  But she likes it more for the pictures then anything else.  The pictures are so imaginative and playful.  And the rhymes are anything but ordinary.  I grew up reading these books and loving them.  The stories are delightful and yet full of moral muscle.

We've loved this book.  It reveals the heart of our Father toward His children in a way every little kid can understand.  We never look at rainbows without claiming them as a gift, a very personal gift from a very personal God who loves to give us gifts.

I'm learning that sometimes those gifts are wrapped up in ordinary days and unassuming moments, just waiting to be unwrapped for the treasures they are...


what we do...

....when we're sick.  again. (didn't I just write this post?!)
We read lots of books.  
Which is something we have a lot of.  I love books and it makes me so happy that my kids do, too.

We wear slippers all day.

We eat chocolate peanut butter pancakes.
Don't judge.

We wear our superman costume.
And say things like, "Mommy, when Jesus comes back He's gonna kick Satan outta this world"
My favorite quote ever, Thad.

We make forts.
With pillows and blankets from every corner of the house and all the linens from mommy's shelves.  And somehow we get injured in all those pillows and blankets.  Several times.

And then when mommy (who is feeling under the weather herself) starts yelling and having a conniption and has run out of patience--every last drop--we tell her she needs to go spend time with Jesus.

Thank you, my dear little Thad.
Next time, I will do that the very first thing!



just the two of us

Last night....

We played hookey.  Skipped an appointment and decided to go on a date.  
Because the truth is we've been driving each other crazy with the stress we've been under.

We pushed aside our full plates, looked into familiar eyes, and talked about nothing and everything of importance.

We laughed, heads thrown back, over jokes only we would find funny, and reveled in the feeling of being known.

There's something so deeply satisfying in this knowledge that we can aggravate and exasperate and get all fired mad at each other but we aren't going anywhere and our love is even fiercer and we still make each other weak in the knees.

We've committed fearlessly to knowing every part of the person we've joined ourselves to.  The strong places as well as the weak.  And it isn't easy all the time.  Nothing of worth ever is.

The air was frigid when we left the restaurant and my teeth were chattering straight down to my toes.  We cranked up the heat and the warm tones of Arcade Fire thawed out our bones.  We talked about old times and how everything has changed and everything is still the same.  We laughed, warm and contented, till our sides hurt.  

And I stole long glances at this man I've loved since I was eighteen.  


the vintage ruby winner

(according to random.org)

***Emily of the sweet little Blueberry's Blog, dear please e-mail me (joyefuljourney(at)gmail(dot)com) your address and I will send you The Matilda Vintage Apron and a Special Coupon Code to The Vintage Ruby!!!***


my laundry laughs while my love alights

I've felt a little trapped inside these lovely walls of mine.
Rain and sleet are formidable outdoors
while sick kids are restless within.

And this is the third week we've been sentenced to such a house arrest.
You would think, since I am home all day,
that I am getting much accomplished.
My laundry laughs at that little joke.

I can't clean my house fast enough to keep up with four little 
people and their imaginative play.

I usually start cleaning (although truthfully I never feel like I stop) 
around nine o'clock in the evening.

Sometime before midnight, though, with laundry still piled high, 
and a house that mocked my progress, I finally gave up.

I reached for my bible as I would a dish in my sink, another chore, a mindless task.
Just one more thing I knew I needed to do, but was too tired
for any enthusiasm.
Emotionally spent and functioning on autopilot.

How would I feel on a date like that?

Just the barest of whispers, but it jolted me from my routine.
Washed my heart in awareness.
My sacrifice is nothing if it is not love.
And Jesus deserves nothing less.

Lord, I want to love you.
Only to love you.
Not just go through the motions.

I want to sit with you with a quiet and adoring heart.
I want to read your words as I would a much
anticipated love letter.

I want you to be my passion.

My blissful obsession.

Sitting there on my couch, with still hands and a quiet soul,
I felt the warmth of His love seep into my veins and 
slip silently down my cheeks.

And it felt so good to be alive.


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