Little Joys

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After spending over a month with major chaos around our house, we are finally getting things back in order. We had gone weeks without a kitchen sink or oven, living on frozen waffles (toasted in the dining room), chocolate milk (mixed in the dining room) and on the kindness of the fine folks at McDonalds restaurant.

Earlier this week, the last details of our renovations came together, and I wept with joy at the beauty that is having a dishwasher. Every morning since the day it was hooked back up, I have been amazed at the ease with which breakfast comes and goes. It is merely a matter of getting a bowl (from the shelf!), pouring cereal, adding milk (from the fridge in my kitchen!) and serving it to my boys.

In those weeks without a kitchen, we were shooting from the hip, maybe even more than should be allowed. Several days in a row, I thought I was at the end of our food supply only to discover a few more hamburger buns for making peanut butter sandwiches. One morning I thought I’d have to bring food to the school later before miraculously spotting – just as the boys headed out the door – another stash of granola bars to round out the meal. The Lord was providential every morning – we somehow always had the food we needed for breakfast and lunch, and it amazed me every time.

The obvious question is “why didn’t you just go grocery shopping?” That’s a good question. Mostly, I was overwhelmed with the chaos and the thought of bringing in more piles of stuff (to find more places for) was a greater hardship than seeing what I could magically discover in the dark recesses of the pantry. There was also something exciting about living this way – relying on God’s provision and overwhelming amounts of grace, every single day, built my faith.

Now that things are getting back in order, I am amazed at the simple joy that good order can bring. While it’s true we can’t rely exclusively on externals for our happiness, peace in the home certainly helps. “Order brings peace,” my mom has always said, and never do I agree more with that sentiment than when I don’t have the order I need.

One other crucial segment of this equation is the exciting news we received at the onset of our home renovation adventure – we are having another baby! We found out a few days before workers came and gutted our kitchen, and feeling poorly in the midst of all this has been the biggest challenge of all.

As always, I struggle with operating at a diminished pace. I am amazed, in these seasons of feeling green, at how much energy my life really does require. In order to run my household the way I like while also getting the boys where they need to be (and fulfilling my own professional obligations), I often require operating at the outer edge of what I can give. Getting taken down a few notches makes that painfully clear.

But here is where God is so good and faithful – in these trying (and also so very exciting times), he puts people in our life who are in a position to help us.

Recently, some of my siblings and their spouses helped watch our boys for the day. By the time Paul and I got home that evening I was feeling pretty exhausted and knew I was coming home to the mess I had left – there just had not been the reserves to get back on top of the laundry and displaced kitchen as yet.

I walked in the door to find my home totally clean – my sister and brother had rallied the boys, made them have a Work Party, and I was treated to a totally clean house. I was overwhelmed by that generosity.

In these challenging times, when I can’t do everything (or find everything), I am forced to allow others to help me. Sometimes it is God providing, sometimes it is a beloved sibling.

For these, and so many other little joys, I am blessed. 1745″>

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Get Inspired!

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I found this on one blog who credited another blog, so let’s just say this thing is floating around the Internets. 1744″ ? .

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Too Two

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I posted this over at Faith and Family yesterday and Augie walked by when I was proofing it. He read my post and started to laugh — he thought it was hilarious! (He only made it through the first paragraph — the imagery! Too good!)
Tonight, as I was working on another F&F post, he asked specifically to read that toddler post again. Once again he laughed heartily and then he called his brothers to read my handiwork. They all laughed as well!

As I am all for spreading joy, I thought I’d share it with you here! As you can see, it’s really not meant to make you belly laugh. In fact, I may have been writing through tears. I can’t remember. Either way, I’m posting this here and I’d love some feedback, if you’re so inclined.
The post reads:
Toddlers are such a mystery. One minute they are staring at you with big, beautiful brown eyes full of love, mouth covered in whatever they just got their chubby little hands on. The next, they are climbing onto the arm of the couch and flailing their body, full force, onto padded cushions.
Or is this just my toddler?
Henry has recently discovered the fine art of being Two and my goodness it’s throwing me for a loop. Bless me Father, it’s been five years since my last toddler! I think I’m forgetting something.
Today I went to lunch with a friend and spent the entire meal dealing with my sweet little guy and his irrational desire to go look at the balls by the front door of the restaurant. True, Henry was a little tired, but really, he’s been acting this way for a few weeks. Two, I think, is here to stay.
Remind me again, some tricks of the trade? I brought paper and pens, and a little snack for him while we waited for our food. What am I forgetting? Or is the answer really (as I suspect) avoiding these kinds of situations until toddlerhood is a thing of the past?

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School Pictures

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Here are two shots from the first day of school. I like these because clearly, at some point between Photo A and Photo B I told Augie and Charlie they better start showing each other some respect. So they struck a pose full of love. It does my heart good to see they can act this way on demand.

Isn’t it strange to think one day Henry will be the same size as his big brothers?

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