Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I love having girls and I treasure these days that they prance around in a mess of clothes and tights and leotards saying,"Pud on the ba-wa-lay music Mama." This happens at least once daily. Nana sent a Baby Ballet DVD so we have "class" everyday although Ella has officially completed her first real class.It was so special for Ella to have something all her own.

Well, not completely on her own. She got to have class with Dove-bird whom she could barely stop holding hands with long enough to dance. I watched my girl dance across the floor with a bouncy style that was anything but graceful. Ballet can be so very structured and formal feeling but Ella had her explosive smile on the entire time.One of the first things people noticed about Ella when she was a baby was her amazing smile and how her whole face lit up.

You could tell she was loving it and I must say it was the most uninhibited and clumsily beautiful thing I'd ever seen. Every little ounce of her being was immersed in the joy of the movement and music, before any hint of insecurity or self-consciousness. So free and innocent, so very in the moment; oh that she will always stay there. I mean really, is there anything cuter than a row of itty bitty bums in leotards? Precious.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


One of the other things I love about homeschooling is the freedom to have days like today; a surprise date with my little man to see the musical Peter Pan.
to hear him belly laugh at the antics of Mr.Smee,
to watch the magic of Neverland and pixie dust and pirate fights,
to hear him say, "Tiger Lily is the most beautiful girl ever!"
to hear him clap and yell "I believe in fairies," to bring Tink back to life.
to watch him stare over the balcony at the symphony beneath the stage.
to have his hand in mine.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

whatever is lovely

“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.”
~C.S. Lewis~

I love homeschooling. Juden drew lions while I read the story of David Livingstone fighting off the lion from Hero Tales. He has an insatiable appetite for books and usually illustrates what ever I am reading about. We have to stagger out the written work a little more. I have loved getting to watch his curiosity and excitement as he patiently works at reading and writing with such determination. I know these days are a gift, as we're snuggled up in a sunny corner with our reading that I enjoy just as much as him.
A few other things I'm loving right now~
* A handful of wishes from Ella.
* The gentleness of March and the nearness of Spring.
* The other night when Naya looked at the sunset and said, "Look Ella, Jesus made you an pinkalicious sky!"
* Moving Naya from the crib to Ella's bed, the sweetness of them asleep together.
the earthy smell of Juden's little head when he comes inside like spring time and sun. It's pure heaven.
* The smell of shoe polish, and suddenly I'm six years old on a Sunday morning chatting away to my dad as he sings and shines his shoes.
* A snow day last week and daffodils this week.
* Naya's wispy curls.
* crocuses and tiny buds.
* bare feet and flip flops, they don't waste any time.
* buying seeds.
* My precious husband who out of the blue announced he was giving me and entire day to myself, a very rare thing.
* The whispers from God in the earth, in my kids laughter, in the love of friends.
* The loveliness of being alive.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Lake Yarina

I remember strolling through the warm July night, through the sun-kissed music loving crowds. I could hear these soft rhythms dancing across the Illinois corn fields. I followed the sounds to find one guy with a guitar and some speakers set up outside of this little coffee tent. I first saw Josh Garrels play at Cornerstone fest and was immediately drawn in by his amazing sound which is a melding of acoustic folk, hip-hop and something all his own. I was moved immediately by the power and authenticity of his voice and his transparent heart for God. Amidst the musical happenings as of late,I am so excited that my husband is collaborating with him! They are passing songs and beats back and forth between here and Portland and I can't wait to hear the results. He's been a favorite of mine ever since I saw him and currently I'm loving Candlenight, Break Bread and Lake Yarina. Lake Yarina is perfectly transcendent. Reef sandals used his song for a fair trade project in Uganda. Give it a listen.

Reef Uganda from Russell Brownley on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

the earth shook

In the wake of the news of the quake in Haiti I began a post that I never finished but it goes along with many of the things God is laying on my heart so I'll just post it anyway.

(from late January)
Where to catch up in this long, cold January? I suppose I'll just start talking about the things occupying space in my head.
Security. Comfort. Peace. Purpose. Aren't these the things we all seek after? The things that are so very elusive; apart from Christ. I was stunned and grieved with millions of others at the news of the earthquake in Haiti. In a time of such cultural awareness, how many times can your heart break?
I prayed, I cried ,I held my kids close and clung to the stories like this that rolled in day after day, of miracles, and hope and resilience in the face of suffering. In a time when words fell short, I watched my small son on bended knee pray,"God please help the people in Haiti. Help them not to be so sad. Help them, to know that you are the King."
Yes, that is what I wanted to say. As I sit in my comfortable house surrounded by my loved ones, I feel so helpless. Then I was reminded of the power of prayer and of the sovereignty of our God. Their world shook and they lost mothers and brothers and babies and homes. They were scared, they bled, they cried, and they went hungry. Is it not a picture of so many of our hearts, shaken and torn groping desperately on the ground. Trying to pick up the shattered pieces of our lives and hold it all together, to get back on our feet. We are hungry, we are scared, we are fatherless. We all need a rescuer. My prayer for them is the same for every shaken soul including my own; "Lord, have mercy, bring hope, bring revival, help us pick up the pieces and redeem tragedy. Help them know you are the King." One might say,"Where is God in the midst of such tragedy?" There is no easy answer to this question. Except that I know He sees and cares about those who mourn(Matthew 5:4). Tim Keller offers a powerful voice on this age old dilemma; a loving God that allows suffering. I recommend this book or audio book for anyone who wrestles with these questions. He addresses these theological questions graciously but with out compromising scriptural integrity.

Many will rally together to be His hands and feet and voice, to help build up and bring hope. I pray that when the media attention wanes, the work will continue and God will bring a healing and restoration to Haiti that it has never known before.
~Psalm 46:1-11~
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolation's he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (Selah)

(photos from flickr)

About those other things God has been laying on my heart, concerning comfort, conviction, mercy and calling, they'll have to wait until I'm more awake to write about them. Exhaustion is taking over.