28 March 2008


I had to fill-up the ol' minivan today. $3.35 a gallon.

So I polled my backseat audience when I climbed back in, smelling of petrol, "Look at the monitor and see how much we just spent on gas! There are still a lot of cars bustling about town, how high do you guys think gas prices are going to have to get before the average American makes a significant change in their driving habits? Maybe decides to stay home and fix dinner on a Friday night instead of hitting the road for the local McDonald's?"

The 9 year old: "I have no idea." (Translation: "I'm really into this book about horse and pony stories, will you please stop your maternal yammering?") I can tell when I'm being written off.

The 4 year old: "Yeah! I like McDonald's!! Can we go eat at McDonald's, Mommy?" (My dear child, that was not my point. No, we can't go out for lunch.)

The 7 year old: "Well, Mom, I guess maybe if gas was $190 a gallon people might stop driving so much. Or maybe $100. Or maybe $90. Yeah, they'd probably stop driving if it was $90 a gallon."

I will definitely stop driving if gas prices reach $90 a gallon.

What's your limit?

21 March 2008


On your deepest, darkest days in the pit...
do you ever imagine it possible that Death itself could die?

It can.

It did.

Resurrection (00285)

It will.

Matthias Grunewald, The Crucifixion -1515, oil on wood panel
Luca Giordano, Resurrection - after 1665, Oil on canvas


13 March 2008

Shiny Happy Theologians

What is it about growing up that breeds skepticism?
What is it about growing up in the faith that somehow drives us attempt to understand the Eternal One in minutia? To the nth degree? Under the microscope?
To break out the magnifying glass and the nit pickers?*
Why do we get so wrapped around the axle over things we can't possibly comprehend?

Jesus is giving us a break when he says to come to him like a child. "Relax. Trust that it's true. Be like your 6 year old who knows she doesn't know everything about the world, and she's ok with that. It's not tripping her up. It's not depressing her. She's not stalled out in her faith, she's sitting in the back seat of the car, singing and working out her theology. Belting out the mysteries of the Trinity and eternal life. "La la la la! La la la la!"

Can we worship Him for His omni-everything-ness without having to understand how it works? Can I?

Let me rest confident in His nature, hop on my bike and ride in circles, singing at the top of my lungs.

Never ending.
You will never end.
Because you're always never ending.
You were there before there was beginning.
Always you were.
You are never ending.
Here you are now with us.
Here we are found in you.
That's really weird and I don't get it, but
La la la la! La la la la!

How profound the theology of a child. How deep the trust. How bright the bliss of being loved.

* Please don't misunderstand me here. The God of the Universe is completely capable of withstanding our scrutiny and our nit picking. He can totally hack it. And often times our close-up examination of God breaks us through to a completely new level of relationship with Him.
I just don't think that He
owes us an explanation for Himself and His ways. I don't think we deserve to know all the answers. And I don't think complete understanding is a requirement for belief. Salvation is a free gift- a free gift, and a Giver, that I will never completely understand.
I can become cynical and depressed when I strive to push God into an inquisition box of my own design.

This song reminded me this week what a blessing it is to go about my life of faith trusting that He is holding it all in His hands. There's a plan. My soul does better when I just let Him do the planning and get on with the joy before me.

*Neverending, David Crowder Band, Remedy CD

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05 March 2008

That Is, After All, The Title of This Blog

No, no, you're right. I haven't been here in almost a million years. Forgive me my silence. There are reasons I've been quiet. They're affectionately known around here as, Paper Lanterns.

Dissecting cow eyes for the eyes and seeing unit in our KONOS co-op.
(I think he's watching you.)

Really, it wasn't as disgusting as you'd think. We learned a lot about the eye, and even the grossed-out members of our co-op were encouraged/forced to participate.( And they learned something new and valuable as well. )

A VERY cold day for tracking! Snow flurries, freezing temperatures... but perfect slightly frozen mud for finding footprints. Deer, dog and human. We're paying close attention so we can catch our prey.

Paper Lanterns of the Etsy kind.
I sewed up a few pillowcase dresses from vintage pillowcases. I just love the charm of these dresses. And the models make them oh-so-much-more charming to me.
Frolicking kittens.
A blushing Southern Belle.
A poodle. Oo la la!

Crowning the baby as our four-year old birthday princess.

SoulPerSuit in Proverbs

"The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask God who gives generously without reproach, and it will be given. " (Proverbs and James)
The One who created wisdom is the One I ought to ask for wisdom. Then I will be like a tree planted by streams of Living Water, and send out my roots by the stream. I will not fear when heat comes; my leaves will be always green. I will have no worries in a year of drought. (Jeremiah)

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Proverbs 6:6
Where there are no boundaries, the horses stampede.

Sometimes I'm a lazy sluggard, and sometimes I'm just tired out. I'm tired out though, as a result of having poor boundaries with my children. Homeschooling and not being involved in a lot of outside activities means we are all together A LOT. I am also a bit of a micro-manager in our home-- a leftover from the days when I had nothing but little ones who needed a lot of supervision. They don't need nearly as much input from me these days, but I have been very slow to understand that and to loosen up.
What that has translated into though, is that I've led my children to believe that they CAN'T do most things without their Mom. They can't move on from spelling to math until I check their work. They can't fold their clothes and put them away unless I'm standing there over them. They can't get a library book back in the basket without a direct command from me. (I think some of that is their own laziness.)

So as a result of this Proverbs study, I am determining which areas of life my 9 year old needs to mature in and learn to function without me. I'm looking at what my 7 year old can do on her own. I'm thinking about how the 4 year old can be helpful and grown-up. How all the girls can help each other and take responsibility for their own welfare as well as each other's. I'm not hanging up the "Off Duty" sign, but I am going to try to draw some better boundaries so that I don't feel like I'm overseeing every iota of life around here. Wisdom tells me I'll be less tired that way.

Wisdom Ice Cream Cone

Eat honey, my son, for it is good;
honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul;
if you find it, there is a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off. Prov. 24:13-14

My contemporary equivalent to a honey comb- the ice cream shoppe.
How awesome to have the opportunity as a parent to teach your kids the delight and anticipation of wisdom... just like you look forward to going to the ice cream shoppe.

The kids and I are studying Attentiveness in our homeschool right now, and specifically The American Frontiersmen. We're learning about how they needed to pay attention to animal tracks in order to hunt for food, how they needed to pay close attention to how much food/supplies they had before they started on the Oregon Trail, how closely they observed the signs of changing weather to indicate an early winter or the soil conditions to know if certain areas were good to set up a permanent homestead. One activity my girls and I wanted to try was quilting, and specifically doing our own in-house quilting bee like the pioneer women might have done.

This quilt square represents a lot more than an ice cream cone to me now.
It is the attractiveness of wisdom, the sweetness it adds to our lives.
It is the generosity and enthusiasm with which I'm supposed to be offering sweet wisdom to my children.
It is the instruction and teaching (of sewing, of pioneers and American history, of attentiveness, and ultimately of the wise ways of the Lord) that I desire to take place in our household.
It is mentoring- a couple of the ice cream scraps were taken from my mom's scrap bin, I pieced the quilt square together, and my 8 year old is going to embroider the edges. A lineage of sewing. (Though some of us were not so interested to begin with.) A lineage of Christ-followers.
Whew! That's a lot for a little 8 X 8 quilt square to live up to!!

House of Cards

Fools build a house of cards on shifting sands. Nothing a fool "establishes" will actually remain established because the foundation is flawed from the first day... and everything from the building materials to the choice of building site show a lack of insight and eternal security.

Two weeks I labored over a really brilliant blog entry. I mean LABORED. (I even wrote with a western accent if you can believe that.)
Blogger is a free service.
Trusting Blogger is my house of cards.
It ate my brilliant blog entry. Gone without a trace.
I tried to establish a portion of my creative life on Blogger and was met with frustration, disappointment, and grief.


But I'm over that now.