the little things

fuzzy socks that warm numb toes, with polka dot grippies to keep me from falling
heating pads that ease stiff joints and relax amped-up pain
new pens with plenty of ink

hot tea & hot coffee
peanut butter cookies

the tiny hummingbird i saw in my flowering tree outside my kitchen window
daffodils pushing through cold earth

a friend to count on
books & movies

it's just the little things sometimes, isn't it?


the whisper of my heart

they saw a setback where i felt a death
they sent a card when i craved a funeral
they've long forgotten while i remember on

"how many children do you have?" they ask
"two," i say, while my heart whispers three
and i hold them all, two in arms and one in heart

"he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away."
~ revelation 21:4 ~


Too Much Fun

Had to share this video I made with my four year-old. She talks about her day

involving church,

 lunch with family,


 tea and cookies

 and about her love for her daddy.

Hope your weekend is "too much fun" as well.


A Sweet Week: Writing and Baking

This week I baked cookies a lot. I made giant chocolate chip, peanut butter dipped & drizzled in chocolate, and soft molasses. Yum!

I also spent several hours writing. {delicious!}

A few years ago I started writing a book about my grandfather and his relationship with my firstborn daughter.  Long before I was born he and his first wife had two beautiful baby girls. They both died before their second birthdays. Throughout the years, he was very quiet and never interacted much with me and my siblings and cousins. I had no idea why for years. 

When my daughter was born, with a little encouragement, he held her.

He held her.

And that changed everything. They developed such a sweet bond.

His last two years of life were her first two. 

He had more time with my daughter than he had with his own.

This is the story I am writing.

And when I needed a break this week, I baked cookies, and when I was ready for a break from cookies, I wrote.

 And it was a sweet week indeed.

I wish you all a very sweet weekend.


When Every Heart Stops Beating

There comes a moment when every heart stops beating.

Classmates, community members, an aunt killed in an instant in car accidents.

An irreplaceable family member taken unexpectedly by a massive stroke.

A grandmother, bruised and frail, gone to leukemia.

The baby we never got to hold...

... and this loss, short in life, long in love, shows me how to love better -- to be more intentional. It urges me to love with my whole heart, to love fully every day, because every life we touch, every person we love is fragile. And it can all be gone tomorrow.

We need to love better, because there comes a moment when every heart stops beating. Yours. Mine. Our spouse's. Our children's. Our parents'.

So we love right now, in this moment, with this breath and this heartbeat.


In His Image

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

We often hear that our younger daughter Natalie looks like me, and while she also has some of my husband Jonathan’s features, in her eyes and smile I see a reflection of myself. Our older daughter, Hannah, bears more of a resemblance to Jonathan and his mom. One of the thrills of parenthood is seeing these glimpses of ourselves in our children.

This makes me wonder what God sees in me, His daughter. When my Heavenly Father looks at me, does He see His reflection?

The Bible says that we are created in the image of Christ. How can I, with my selfishness and weaknesses and flaws, possibly reflect Christ?

Do I have His eyes? Eyes that see through the bad to the good? Through the prickliness to the insecurity; through the judgment to the hurt? Eyes that see needs?

Are my hands like His? Hands that create, welcome children, bless people, heal, and serve? Hands that meet the needs I see with His eyes?

Are my feet His feet? Feet that go the distance to comfort and spread His good news? Feet that step out in faith and test the water?

All I know for sure is that the cry of my heart – my heart that He softens and shapes with His plans for me, with the losses and the victories – is to reflect Him. The external really makes no difference.


This post is featured today as Rest Ministries' daily devotional. 
Rest Ministries is a Christian non-profit organization serving people with chronic pain and illness.


Journal Cover Design

I decided last night that it's time for a new journal. The one I'm working in is pages shy of being full, it's expanded by inserts of many types, and no longer lies flat. Not to mention, today begins a fresh month, and this month begins a new season.

So today I got out a blank spiral bound journal (actually sold as a sketchbook, it has plain white thick pages that ink won't bleed through, heavy enough paper that you can attach things to, and large enough (7.5x10") that I don't feel cramped on the page, but not so big that I feel intimidated by all the space) and set to work. 

I wanted to incorporate themes of season in transition, change, beauty & hope, and fresh, new beginnings.

I got out my scrapbook paper (I actually don't scrapbook, per se, although my journals include some scrapbooking) and looked at the all the papers I have. I was drawn to a few, so I set those out, and thought about how to layer and what design elements I would want to use. 

Anyway, long story short, this is what I came up with:

I chose a black base paper with white polka dots to symbolize winter, darkness, snow...

On top of that I layered a spring-like image of pink hydrangeas {incidentally, my mom's favorite flower}, to indicate beauty, spring, and new beginnings.

I added the butterfly on the bottom corner to indicate change, transitions, hope, freedom and peace.

Then, to top it all off, I added mini silver scrapbooking brads to be the centers of the hydrangeas. I loved how this made the whole thing pop, and the silver lends a bit of richness and symbolism of good things to come.

I love how this cover turned out!
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