Monday, February 27, 2017

"Where Words Fail, Music Speaks", Hans Christian Anderson

We have come to really enjoy concerts.  When the girls were younger we attended classical concerts, recitals, concerts in the park, etc.  We steered clear of the “big” concerts because of sensory issues with noise and crowds.  Now that those things are really no longer an issue, we have discovered how much we enjoy concerts.  

The girls had the opportunity to see twenty one pilots recently with a bunch of friends.  It was a super late night for them but they said it was totally worth it.

College Street Music Hall in New Haven is a great small venue.  Friends invited us to see Lake Street Dive, who were pretty amazing.  

Then we have our weekly worship at church.  A visiting Pastor compared our worship band to Hillsong.  They are that good.  Each week is a blessing and just what I need to still my mind and heart before hearing the Word of God.

We have some exciting concerts coming up in the next few months.  I’m looking forward to making new family memories at each.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Dresses for Swaziland Update

My assistant turned co-teacher brought in her serger.  It makes those really cool seams on your clothes that make the edge look bound.  In fact, that is what it does, it binds and cuts the edge of a piece of fabric so that when you fold and sew it into a seam, it will not unravel.  She taught the girls how to use it.

Because this was a special occasion, and we would not have this machine at our next coop meeting, we created an assembly line to prepare all the pillowcases that were donated.  Grace ironed.  I cut the seam off the bottom and cut the arm holes.  Another student did all the serging.  We zipped through a large stack of pillowcases.  

When we meet again next week, all that will be required is the sewing of the arm seams, and creating the drawstrings.  By working together we ensured that a much larger donation will be made to our friends in Swaziland than I was expecting!  

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Winter Shelling

I miss the beach.  I miss the girls having their ASL class in the beach neighborhood of our town.  That was my weekly hour of sand and Jesus.  It was my peace, my relaxation, my “me” time.  I suppose I could drive to the beach and park for an hour, but I never seem to take that time for myself.  

One warm-ish day we decided it was time for a little shelling.  The sun was shining, the tide was low, and the finds were good.  No matter how gray the snow and sky are in the middle of a New England winter, there is always color at the beach!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Unshaken Northeast April 28-29, 2017

I have two journals that I write in, my blog journal and my faith journal.  I share my blog journal because without fail, whenever I think of quitting, someone reaches out to me through email, this blog or Instagram to let me know they have found encouragement here.  

My faith journal is quite different.  Perhaps I will share it one day, but not now.  It chronicles my journey from a denominational faith structure to discovering my friendship with Jesus in a non-denomination, evangelical church.  Today however, I do want to share one very special entry; my reflections after attending my first Moms in Prayer meeting at church.

“After years of not writing, the desire to journal has returned, and returned with a powerful need to record what is happening both in me and in my family.  Glory to you God, the most powerful God, the God who has always been and always will be, for your love is truly and awesome love and your grace has washed over me.  This is the second day in a row I have woken up with worship lyrics in my mind. Yesterday it was Lauren Daigle’s Trust in You and today it was a band I can’t remember but the line is “your love washes over me, washes over me, for you are for us, you are not against us....” so that is my faith prayer for today.  You are for us, you are not against us.  

“If God be for us, who can be against us?” 
Romans 8:31

God is for us.  Simple.  Last night as I drove home from my very fist Moms In Prayer meeting, I reflected on how simple it is really.  I left washed in peace.  I have never, ever, spoken prayer for someone else’s child, let alone my own.  The power in hearing an other woman pray for your child is life changing.  It is real and tangible and touching.  I want this community of praying women in my life.  I want to call them friends.  I want to drink tea or coffee with them, learn who they are and how they came to this place of faithfulness.  I want to learn how they find the eloquence to talk about a child they have never seen, never met, as if they know them personally and deeply.  I realized a day at the spa may give you relaxed muscles but it is fleeting.  A few hours of prayer gives you true rest.  We moms are all chasing the wrong thing.  We are chasing peace and calm and quiet and rest amid our very busy lives and we are chasing it in the wrong places.   I may not have the “time” to add a Monday night prayer group to my week.  Grace has her youth group Tuesday, I have my small group Wednesday, date night Thursday but this is essential.  This will make me not only a better Christ follower, but a better mother, wife, sister, daughter, self.”

Why am I sharing this?  There is something very special happening this April at Black Rock Church in Fairfield, Connecticut.  

Moms in Prayer is sponsoring Unshaken, an event gathering women from 11 states (WVA-ME).  We have national speakers attending as well as local speakers:

  • Secret Keeper Girl/Pure Freedom Founder and Best Selling Author, Dannah Gresh (Speaker/Partner), 
  •  Pulse Movement Founder/Together 2016 Visionary and Author, Nick Hall (Speaker/Partner), 
  • Moms in Prayer President, Sally Burke (Speaker), 
  • K-Love President and CEO, Mike Novak (Speaker/Partner), 
  • Video message specifically for Unshaken, delivered by the Kendrick Brothers (War Room Producers/Directors), 
  • Personal testimonies from women who have remained unshaken in times of trouble through prayer, 
  • Operation Christmas Child/Samaritan's Purse (Speaker/Sponsor), 
  • Young Life/Young Lives (Speaker/Partner), 
  • Hopeline (Partner), 
  • National Day of Prayer (Partner).

Through this event, I hope to further my understanding of how to stand UNSHAKEN in a shaken world. I hope to learn how prayer truly does makes a difference; in my life, in my friendships, in my marriage, in my children's lives, in my church, in my community, and in my world.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN. Cost is $50. Scholarships and Hotel discounts are available.

If you find encouragement here, would you please forward this on!

Friday, January 27, 2017

In the details

Over and over I tell myself that God is in the details.  I think He can’t possibly know or care about the little details of my life because I am just a drop of water in the huge ocean of humanity, yet He hears me when I speak.  I was feeling a bit worn out and purposefully kept the calendar light this week.   I thought we would see a movie, visit my Aunt, and do a bit of work.  I needed to slow down in order to fill myself up.  

In an odd way, I got exactly what I said I wanted.  A nor’easter blew through Monday whipping up some crazy waves at Silver Sands State Park and my weather girl/photographer thought she could get in some driving time in windy conditions and get some cool pictures.  The Connecticut driving laws are a bit overprotective in that while under a learner’s permit, Lilah cannot be in the car while Grace is driving.  This restricts her practice and is often why Lilah is lacking in pictures lately.  I find it absurd, but rules are rules.

The wind was whipping sand everywhere and after only a few minutes I was ready to leave.  Grace got her pictures and I just wasn’t feeling quite right.  Tuesday coop was cancelled due to trees down in several towns and a school cancellation in the town where coop is held.  This was a blessing because I felt like crud.  We watched chemistry, watched the final lesson in Dave Ramsey’s Generation Go series, watched a Great Course photography lesson, and Lilah finished Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children (she rated it 5 stars).  Our chemistry lesson was so interesting, we watched another Wednesday before going to see The Redemption of Gavin Stone (I give it 5 stars).  At the movie, Grace didn’t feel quite right.  Thursday kept us home as she struggled with a fever and body aches and I cancelled piano for Friday.  

In the past weeks like this would have stressed me out.  Did we do enough?  Did we learn enough?  Now I roll with it.  Lilah has been reading like crazy.  She is up late every night reading, and has had her fill of at home days.  I have been able to catch up on things I had outstanding.  We planned our late winter vacation.  We took naps.  We ate lots of soup and drank lots of tea.  We watched Heartland.  We got a calligraphy lesson in and lots of practice.  Our life is as if we never knew what school was.  Eight years into homeschooling and I know us.  I know that God is in the details and this week was clearly a week for rest.  

Grace's picture:


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