Thursday, April 14, 2016


"By perseverance the snail reached the ark."
Charles Spurgeon

Dinner was already late in the making when I spotted this little guy. I put down my chef knife, then grabbed my camera, a few cut flowers, and my porcelain berry box from the open shelving in the kitchen. I set it all up on the windowsill above the kitchen sink, and began to snap images of a tiny snail. Jon came down from his office upstairs, probably wondering about dinner, and there I was leaning over the sink and following a garden pest with my lens. I know he thinks I'm strange sometimes, but he doesn't say anything. He just smiled and shrugged, and went back to his studies till dinner was ready.

If I were a snail, this is where I'd want to be.


It's late now. And quiet. We had a full day of school, with some kids continuing with homework this evening. We are growing very impatient with school work, but the end is in sight. I was thankful for a good run at noon, and had a time with he boys doing push-ups and stretches. Jacob and Andrew did a series of burpees on the deck while I made lunch. They are recording their top scores on index cards and making weekly goals. We ate lunch by the pool on the yoga mats, then went to dentist appointments after picking up Olivia from school. I am happy to report that our teeth all remain cavity-free. On our way home we stopped at the library to drop off some books, but realized that the over-due book was left at home. Then we made a stop at Trader Joe's for ingredients to make an easy dinner. The kids have been tired, and I am thankful for one night this week when we could wrap things up earlier than usual. 

I just changed into a comfy, oversized sweater I bought at a sample sale in NYC last summer, and I sit here wondering if the words will come. I do have words to journal, I just don't know if they will stay all bottle-necked inside, or if they will flow out through my fingertips and onto this screen. Recently I've wondered if I should continue with this blog. After my longest break ever last month (something like 5-6 weeks), I didn't even miss it. It's funny that I've been doing this here-- writing out my joys and struggles publicly-- since 2010. But I didn't miss the routine of it for all of March, plus some.

A couple weeks ago Jon and I went out for dinner together. Our beach towns were crowded with tourists and vacationers. It's likely that many residents like ourselves were out, too, but it felt like we had been invaded. We often comment that we get to live in a place that people desire to visit, and we don't cease to be thankful. As unremarkable as I may be, I am surprised by parts of my life.

When Jon and I finally found a table for two on the patio, shoved in the corner, and after a man we had just met held each of our hands and prayed for us right there in the middle of the crowd, we finally began to talk. I find it interesting how I can live with a spouse and kids, and see each other everyday, but not really connect as life happens all around. Taking time out is so important.

I am a quiet girl that needs to talk, yet the quiet part of me usually suppresses the words. I especially need to talk to Jon, but I need him to draw it out. I value his opinion and his insight. (Incidentally, he thinks I should make an effort to keep blogging...) I told him how I still haven't recovered from the events of last spring with the two children I had prayed would become part of our family. I am still shaken and hurting, confused by every part of it. For so very long, adoption was the desire of my heart, my expectation. In many ways  I never thought too far beyond that aspiration. Along with raising our four children, the work and joy of mothering two more was how I wanted to spend my time and energy. Raising these 6 children, I thought, was to be my life work and service. But it wasn't meant to be as I had hoped. Of course I still have a work to complete with my own kiddos, but the loss of two more (plus the loss of my vision for life and work) has been difficult. I've not been able to understand the events of last spring, and so neither have I been able to conceive of future work.

So we talked. I was curious to know what my husband thinks I should plan for as the kids grow and my season of life eventually changes. Sure, I have some ideas on how I could spend my time, and maybe contribute to our income. But I need to do something valuable. I need to know my time will count for something. I have always been restless for purpose. 

I want God to be pleased with how I've spent my days. I want to live in a manner that is in line with my conviction that life is a mere breath, and that in this short duration I have opportunity to live a life that has eternal implications. I don't want to fritter it away. It will pass by quickly, and I only get to live it once.

I was reminded this week that God doesn't give us an individual plan. Rather, he gives us himself. So I lean into him once more. I run to him. He is where I want to be.

"Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations..." Ps. 90:1

"He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.""Ps. 91:1-2

"One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple." Ps. 27:4

Like a snail, I am dreadfully slow. I am slow to understand, slow to remember to trust in his plan for me, slow to move on. But today -and for all of my todays as long as time is still time- I will strive for this simple goal: To "Trust in the Lord, and do good; [to] dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness." Ps. 37:3

My time on earth will only be pleasing to God if I am dwelling in relationship with him, choosing obedience and faithfulness each day... today, then tomorrow, then the next. I may not have a remarkable life, or do remarkable things, but I will strive to live righteously in what is set before me by God, simply trusting that it is fully pleasing to him. I may be slow, but I'm sure God is leading me on to fuller sanctification and glory.

Besides that I don't have a grand plan, but for now I'm quite content with it.



  1. countless times your words ring true to some area in my life. i appreciate how you put to words what sometimes i can't. also, i hope you don't stop blogging. this last year, i tried a number of different ways to document our memories, but honestly none were so convenient as blogging. and i've found it's the easiest way for me to put our pictures and words into books.


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