For Gifts I Didn’t Expect

I’m currently reading a book called The Good and Beautiful God, and in it the author challenges us to keep a gratefulness journal of God’s many blessings. My first entry was “gifts I didn’t expect”. Here are an assortment that come to mind.

-an art book that the kids all signed for Mother’s Day last year. I knew Luke took them to Ollie’s, but I didn’t know they were shopping for me.

-my baby shower for Julia. Chloe is continuing to benefit from that.

-a personalized baby quilt for Chloe. A young friend made it, and it is too pretty to use!

-a stuffed animal homemade by this girl’s little brother. I don’t know if it is a pig, or a bear with a pacifier, but how sweet of him.

-my parents just shared some money with us that will help us greatly in finishing our house. Now that we are only a year away, I feel like I can plan. I know how fast a year can go by.

-we’ve had both expected and unexpected bills lately, and a way to cover them all. Though I do confess to a sour stomach when I opened the dentist bill. So much money, and charges all due to fillings and sealants, not routine care. I feel guilty for not making the kids brush enough. I feel bad for putting Luke’s hard earned money to something like this. It was a heavy weight on me til I paid it this afternoon. I’m not sure all of the guilt is justified, the kids may just have bad teeth and that bill was for three, not just one. But it hurt me all the same. We’re brushing tonight, mark my words.

-so many children to fill our arms and home. The older four, as we call them, are at camp this week, the middle two last week. Anytime one or more is missing, you can tell. Aliyah flits about a lot these days, to photo shoots and coffee with friends, so I’m getting a little used to her not being here. But it is hard. I like to have them all around. A book idea I had was all about families, a counting book, where the last page said, “What is a family? A family is room for one more.” We have found this unexpectedly true.

A Tight Ship

Oh, a travelling life, a travelling life for me…

-Mr. Potts, senior

I’ve come to love the Aubrey Maturin book series, naval tales set during the Napoleonic Wars. This fifth book I’m reading now, I have not skipped a word, but earlier on, I couldn’t hack the sea going jargon at times and was forced to skim. Definitely a growing love for these books and their colorful characters. I noticed in this book how attractive the rigor would be on a ship- things stay clean and sharp. Of course, there are many hands to do work. But I wonder how much like the keeping of a ship I could adopt here at home.

One thing I note is that personal belongings stay stowed away, and the public spaces are orderly and methodical. While we can’t accomplish this right away (we’re finishing rooms in the basement-squeal-so people are all over the place until they can move in), it is definitely a good goal.

There is a time to work, on a ship, and a time to play. The other day Anna and Micah were painting, something I rarely let them do, though I love it myself. Micah said, “Let’s pretend we are artists…” and my heart squeezed. Of course you are artists, no pretending necessary. But I run our home like we don’t have time, energy, interest, or organization enough to fit these things of beauty into our day. They think it is forbidden fruit when it should be their daily bread.

Always something to learn, there is.

-Yoda