{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything: the young know everything.”
–Oscar Wilde

(Work in progress: My two oldest boys growing, growing, growing. Which is apropos, as they both celebrate birthdays this week. )

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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The part you can’t see

Dear Judging Mom,

I’m sorry that we ruined your grocery trip. Really, I am. I never want to inconvenience others. Honestly, I lived a whole lot of years of my life carefully ducking around folks who appeared to be put out by the existence of my family. I thought I was being polite, making sure that my preschoolers whispered, and my toddler didn’t run, and my baby didn’t yank anything off the shelves. Then, one day, the Lord revealed to me that I was teaching my children, on some level, to apologize for normal, routine, childish things. That my constant care for the feelings and comfort of others was often at the cost of relationship with my own children. That I was taking a good thing (respectful public behavior) and making it an idol.

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Be Thou My Vision

In front of me stands my three year-old daughter: red-faced, tears streaming, teeth clenched. She’s angry because she’s just been called to the mat for jumping ahead of Phineas to complete a job I asked him to complete. Something simple (taking the clothes from the dryer to the couch, where they can be folded) but something right at his skill level, something easy for him to be successful in doing. Birdie is hot because she has already finished her job (dusting the piano with the Norwex mitt), saw that Phineas’ still needed finishing, and leapt into action. Which– understandably– frustrated her well-meaning but much slower older brother, who was trying his hardest to figure out what steps it took to complete his task on his own.

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{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent van Gogh

 (Work in progress: Christopher’s rough sketch in pastels on the wall of Birdie’s play closet/”house.”)

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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Feeding the People {a large family’s two week menu, with recipe links}

The weather is getting warmer and for some reason, all I can think of are foods from the places that remind me of summer. You’ll notice a very definitive leaning towards Mexican-inspired dishes this menu, as well as lots of meals that incorporate coconut milk. Because, well … that’s what warm weather tastes like, right?

Oh– and a very heartfelt thank you to those who reached out to let me know that they’d be praying for my diet overhaul journey. I’ve lost 7 pounds in two weeks thanks to taking another look at my carb intake, being mindful of what I put in my mouth, and hauling my rear to the Y whenever the opportunity presents itself. And I’d be remiss without giving a shout-out to several of the THM recipes I’ve sampled. I’m not a pancake person at all, but these (which have hidden cottage cheese, of all things) have turned me into a true believer. I’m also hitting the Muffin in a Bowl recipe pretty hard (so chocolatey, so good!) as well as two milkshake treat options that have helped to thwart my chocolate cravings. I’m loving that I’m seeing some progress. Keep praying for me!

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5 (good) things I learned from the patriarchy movement

The vendor hall seemed strangely empty and somehow too quiet. For the first half of the day, I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. As the conference broke for lunch, though, it struck me: Vision Forum. The sprawling VF space– usually four long tables encircling a few more, laden with books, CDs, binoculars, wooden swords, and the most obnoxious pop guns imaginable– was absent. Of course. When the ministry shuttered late last year, it had occurred to me that the group that anchored one of our local conferences would leave a gaping hole in the vendor offerings. And here it was.

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{Work in Progress Wednesday}

“The kitchen table is where we mark milestones, divulge dreams, bury hatchets, make deals, give thanks, plan vacations, and tell jokes. It’s also where children learn the lessons that families teach: manners, cooperation, communication, self-control, values.” –Doris Christopher

(Work in progress: addressing, assembling, and preparing to mail announcements with my favorite homeschool grad-to-be. At the kitchen table, of course.)

We’d love to see your works in progress. Something that makes you feel simple, full, or creative. Something you’re making. Something you’re doing (folding a pile of laundry–again?). Something you’re planning. Share in the comments!

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The Missional Handbook {a review}

You know what’s the hardest part of being a missionary? Explaining it– all of it– to others. Only missionaries really get other missionaries, just like only pastors truly understand pastors, only professional soccer players have lived inside the skin of other professional soccer players, and only mothers of multiples can truly empathize when they see a woman trying to discreetly nurse twins in public.

Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes is priceless. Even better is looking down at someone’s feet and realizing that, when faced with aisles and aisles of options, they selected the same pair of fire engine red Converse high tops that you did.

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