thanks for the boot

 This past Spring I started having pain in my right foot that wouldn't go away.  I gradually stopped running because it hurt too much.  Seven months later, I went to the doctor (hello, Mama, take care of yourself!) and learned something interesting.  I have an extra bone in my foot (!), which I had apparently damaged during a run where my mileage increased too quickly.  The condition has a name: accessory navicular syndrome.  The treatment called for me to wear a stabilizer boot for seven weeks.  No gym, no walking my dogs, no wearing two matching shoes.

As I type this, I have a bag of frozen peas on my foot (my ice pack of choice) after my first morning back to the gym in over two months!  The boot has done its job and now I can ease back into my activities with the very hopeful goal of getting back into running.

There have been gifts to count, even during this frustrating, limiting experience:

More sleep!  I slept in until 7am many, many mornings.  Perhaps this additional rest was the reason that, although my whole family came down with colds during Christmas vacation, I remained healthy.

Slowing down!  I couldn't garden, stand for long periods of time, or walk very far.  Instead, I completed lots of crochet projects, read books and lived at a different pace than normal.

Practicing being content!  I tried ever so hard not to complain.  I know I wasn't 100% successful, but it was a good discipline to focus on accepting my limitations with grace.

Finding His gifts in unexpected places...a good way to begin a new week!

Linking up with Multitude Mondays today:



my new hobby

I've been staring at a crochet hook whipping its way through yarn quite a bit lately.  It all started when I bought my eight-year old daughter this book for Christmas:

Along with a sewing basket covered in brightly colored fabric with peace signs, some yarn and crochet hooks, it made a perfect Christmas present.

Clare likes the book, she really does, but she isn't getting much time to read it because someone else has been using it…ahem!  I have read quite a few different kids crochet books from the library, but this is my favorite one by far.  The instructions are excellent and easy to follow.  Since Christmas, I have mastered single crochet, increasing and decreasing.  I have made a tool pouch for Clare's crochet goodies, a wavy headband for my six-year old daughter, and….ta-da!  These fun beanies for the girls!

Dorothy (6) and Clare (8); smiling sisters

Dorothy's hat was made from a self-striping pink/brown yarn, Clare's from a thicker off-white yarn.  Around their necks they are each wearing matching "scarves" that they made (long chain stitch ropes).

After a recent visit to Michael's, I am now stocked with enough bulky yarn to continue my crochet obsession.  There is a sweater pattern in the book that is adorable!!


five years

Today marks 5 years since our son, William, was stillborn at full-term.  January 11, 2007 changed my life, our family, forever.

It is strange, but in many ways this has been an easier year. There has not been the heaviness of anticipation for months before today.  I have thought of him, my fourth child and second boy, yes, but I think of him often.  This morning I came to consciousness listening to the shower running.  My first thought was of my need to get up and bless my husband with a lunch to take to work.  It wasn't until my Mom met me in the kitchen (she lives with us...lucky us!) with a card and tears in her eyes, and I remembered.  Yes, it is today.  Yes, it has been five years.

In the span of time from that terrible day until now, I have learned to accept this reality.  I have experienced the extraordinary grace of God in the form of friends and family who have loved our family wildly through our loss, and in the form of my other three children who live and breathe, make messes,  frustrate me, and who are His generous gifts to me.  I am grateful.

We don't have big plans for today.  The kids and I will do our chores, our homeschool.  We have piano lessons and horseback riding lessons.  Tonight when our family is again, by His grace, gathered around our table for dinner, we will take some time to light a candle, pray, and remember.  I know there will be tears.  I also hope there will be thanksgiving, the hard eucharisteo that Ann talks about.  In a card I received shortly after William's death, a dear friend wrote to me of the treasures from God to be found in the dark place of loss and suffering.  She made the analogy of gems being made in the deep dark and pressure of our earth.  Formed in such harrowing circumstances, they reflect light and radiant beauty when brought to the surface.

...continuing to count His gifts, these treasures...even today

22. wearing a stability boot on my right foot for the past seven weeks, and tomorrow, hopefully, it will be time to take it off.  Hopeful that healing has happened.
23. plans to celebrate our 11 year old son's birthday with a father/son hike, friends, pizza and Costco lemon cake, his favorite
and from the Joy Dare:
26. thinking of the yellow daffodils that we placed at William's grave, how they were in profusion at Trader Joe's that year, and how they remind me of him.



my new year's resolution

I found my New Year's resolution today in church, or rather, I heard it read and it resonated in my heart like a bell ringing clear, calling me to sit up and pay attention.  The service today focused on the glory of God.  The worship, scripture, sermon, and sharing all pointed to the fact that "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever."

As part of the service, the verse from I Corinthians 10:31 was read, 

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  

In those words I heard My whole self say, "Yes" to this as the verse for this new year, the thing I need to be resolved above all else to do.   

The point was made that one way we glorify God is with our words.  As I wrote the word, my hand slowed to form the letters slowly: WORDS.  I pondered the power of words, both spoken and written.  I felt nudged toward this space, for this blog to be one of the ways I give glory to God this year.

I hope that today, as I hosted a play date for two little girls, as I made space in my day for someone who was really hurting, and as I did all the tasks that a Mom does during the day, that I was a conduit and reflector of the marvelous glory of God.  By His grace, for His glory...  


three gifts

I am giving myself parameters this year for giving gifts to my three children:
  1. An experience (inspired by Anna at Pleasant View Schoolhouse and the Christmas trips she gives her children.
  2. A toy (because they are fun!)
  3. Something practical
One of the things I get caught up in during the holiday season is buying things that look good at the time or in the store, but which my children (or anyone else for that matter) don't need.  Or really, don't even want!  I am hoping these guidelines will lead to a more peaceful and meaningful gift-buying and receiving experience in my family this year. 

I want our family Christmas to be focused on Christ, on waiting for Him and receiving Him as the best and most perfect gift.  We will be giving gifts to Jesus through the World Vision, Samaritan's Purse and Compassion gift catalogs.  We will be using the simple and stunning wreath made by Caleb Voskamp, which we purchased last year, to help us meaningfully walk out the days of Advent.  The Jesse Tree Advent devotional by his mama, Ann, will also be our companion.  

I don't want a Hallmark Christmas.  I want a Christ-focused Christmas full of peace, light, love and the holy joy of waiting for the birth of Jesus.  I desire my gift giving to be meaningful and practical, just like the wise men who came to worship and bow down before the new born King. 

What are your plans for peace this season?