Thanksgiving Pumpkins into Carriages

  I am so thankful for traveling this year’s twisting and turning journey. From tightly closed doors to wide open opportunities, it has really been a gift of a year, tied up with ribbon on top. Each year begins with a blank slate. A custom canvas ready to be filled. It may have holes, or be a little crooked, but it is yours to decorate nonetheless. To look at that piece a little differently sometimes requires vision, sometimes perspective, but always faith and creativity. Perhaps, it needs to be flipped over, turned upside down, or just hung a little differently. God has provided everything we need to decorate that year, we just have to look for it.  The very essence of faith is that all will be provided, at the right time and place. It has been, for all this year, but sometimes it is hard to see. We concentrate on the pumpkin, not the carriage it could become. Even as life is unraveling, perhaps it is just preparation for it to be unrolled, pressed free of worry wrinkles, revealed, then tied into a beautiful bow. It has been a beautiful year of unraveling, of losing control in only the most wonderful ways. Faith. Fullness. Chaos. Grace. Growth. Fun. and for that perspective, I give thanks to my great God today. May your Thanksgiving be overflowing in grace and...

The Great Wide Seas are Yours

“O God, the great, wide seas are yours! You carved the oceans’ rugged floors. You set the waters in their place And made all sea life by your grace. You also made humanity To care for earth and sky and sea.” A beautiful morning to a beautiful song! Biblical References: Genesis 1-2:4; Psalms 8 Tune: John Bacchus Dykes, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861 Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey...

An Apology to the Parent of a Strong-Willed Child

I was the parent in Music class who arrived with child immaculately dressed, instructed quietly, and received immediate obedience. She participated in all the activities…clapping hands, sitting on her dot, singing along to the songs. I left the class smiling, both mom and child still perfectly dressed, and thinking to myself  “Wow! A few of those other moms in that class really need to get a handle on their children. I am sure I could whip those little rascals into shape in no time” Fast forward a couple more children and a few years. If I actually make it to the music class, it is in a very disheveled, usually unshowered state. My child’s shirt now wears stains from the sippy cup he found under the seat in the car, and as we enter the 30 minute class 15 minutes late, I note that his shoes are on the wrong feet. I still silently pat myself on the back though for remembering the shoes this time. The remaining 15 minutes of class involves me attempting to prevent him from tipping over the keyboards, running for the door and taking all the bells from the basket in the corner. Silent disapproving stares come from the other side of the room as the cutely dressed parent-child pairs sit quietly and sing along. I scream silently in my head “I WAS THE PARENT WITH THE CHILD THAT SAT ON THE DOT!! I was there! Just this time…I have met my match!” Yesterday, the battle lines were drawn and my youngest was in rare form.  He had come up with a completely new...

Buckle Up Buttercup

When my children hop in the car they are greeted with “Buckle up Buttercup” That was ringing in my head as the old button bin spilled out with several different types of buckles for creating art and listing in the Etsy shop The mother of pearl glistened with a beautiful purity and I paused The rusty metal on the miniature clips only enhanced their beauty and my mind wandered to how we can be made beautiful with our scars and hard roads Today two young children in our community lost their mother to a long hard-fought battle with cancer and my heart cries out with questions The reply I hear in God’s whisper is strap in for the ride He is in the drivers seat and knows the joys and tears and fears and dangers in the roads ahead  Buckle up...

Country Roads

Take Me home Country Roads My father studied and completed his PhD at WVU in Morgantown. I remember steep treks, fast snowy sleigh rides and trees that seemed taller than life. But what sticks with me are the many, many rounds of this song sung by my dad… Almost heaven, West Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains Shenandoah River – Life is old there Older than the trees Younger than the mountains Growin’ like a breeze Country Roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma Take me home, country roads All my memories gathered ’round her Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water Dark and dusty, painted on the sky Misty taste of moonshine Teardrops in my eye Country Roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma Take me home, country roads I hear her voice In the mornin’ hour she calls me The radio reminds me of my home far away And drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’ That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday Country Roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma Take me home, country roads Country Roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain momma Take me home, country roads Take me home, now country roads Take me home, now country...

Balance

Sometimes life makes you stop, or at least pause, as the ideas and images you were weaving together for your family, or career, or even simple goals, hit a wrinkle, or a snag, or might even come unraveled. My beautiful patterns that I envision in my head to create for my family, my life, my children, keep hitting small snags, un-knitted knots, and mis-stitches created from my own busy-ness. My prayer for this week is that I stop each day, in the midst of my busy-ness, to reflect upon the beautiful patterns that are being created before me, By my daughter’s ventures into high school, and her passion for pushing herself through the waters by my middle child’s tender spirit looking for praise and encouragement and safe passage by my youngest son’s mischievious adventures that one day will have me weaving true (and embellished) stories of his cleverness and balance it all. That would be the success, balance...