On the way into Bethlehem

We parked. The whole family piled out of the van, donned coats and hats, and began to wade through a sea of vehicles. Strains of Jewish music floated over the fence from across the road. Who knew that the local “Bethlehem Village,” hosted by several area churches, drew such a crowd? 

With two littles in the double stroller, we moved quickly before they could start deciding they didn’t like being in the stroller after all. A parking attendant called out, “There’s a place to cross the road about half way down.” Continue reading “On the way into Bethlehem”

It’s OK to live a cluttered life (there are many things worse).

I have just emerged from the basement, where I am making a valiant effort to de-clutter.  I almost drowned in a sea of game pieces, puzzle pieces, stuffed animals, dress-up clothes, wooden blocks, trains, dolls, legos, and everything in between. I have lived to tell the tale, but the clutter is not conquered. I would say I made a dent in it.

Minimalism. We see it talked about all over the place. And hey, I get it. Materialism has taken over America. Americans seem to live to get more things, and then need time to take care of those things, and then need time to get rid of things, Continue reading “It’s OK to live a cluttered life (there are many things worse).”

If Mama Ain’t Thankful

She stood there smiling at me, in the basement of the church where we both were visiting. It was a genuine smile, a relaxed smile, not a forced “I have to smile at you because I’m the evangelist’s wife” smile. She had three or four small children in tow, and they were climbing on everything in sight, as were mine. Continue reading “If Mama Ain’t Thankful”

How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)

An adorable little freeloader enters your world. First, he creates mounds of laundry and dirty diapers. Not long after, dirty dishes begin to multiply. Then suddenly, the entire kitchen floor becomes sticky and grimy in 1.9 seconds of your back being turned. Books and knick knacks litter the floor, because your little freeloader has also become a little ten-month-old tornado. Continue reading “How to Begin Training Good Workers (spoiler: Don’t say “Go clean your room”)”

Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)

The loveliness of the Shenandoah Valley welcomes the change of season a little more each day; days of late summer mixed in with days of early fall. Katelyn and I have been enjoying the scenery on the drive to and from the farm where she and Ethan work on a butchering crew.  So we took a drive out that way the other day, to try to capture some of it on her camera. Yellows and golds are some of my favorite color tones, both inside my home and outside of it. Goldenrod may be Continue reading “Golden Tones of Late Summer (with kids crying in the background)”

God of the Very Small

{I wrote this several years ago. The photos were taken by Katelyn during a family day at the Blue Ridge Parkway, although not the same day referenced in this article.}

“Look at this, Mom!” My daughter ran up and handed me a lacy green fern leaf. We both gazed at it for a moment, a delicate and detailed specimen.

Our family was enjoying a day together with friends on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had just gazed Continue reading “God of the Very Small”

One More Year. Or, in the process of letting go.

Graduation season. A familiar time of year; we send a card or attend a ceremony and offer our congratulations. Only, this year, it’s different. The winds of time are blowing and I constantly hear a little chorus in my head, “One more year, one more year, one more year.”

How clearly I remember Continue reading “One More Year. Or, in the process of letting go.”