Sidewalk Strolling

IT’S ALL NEW

Open, Grassy, Windy, Lovely, Homey, Trampoline – Suburban View

The trees are skinny with trunks as wide as my forearm. The winds whip down the open streets with full abandon whirling un-lawned dirt but -sidewalks beckon. 

Subdivision, new subdivision life, may not be a natural paradise and shade is sought under a giant pergola from Costco, but it is a place where sidewalks sprawl. Neatly lined rows sometimes getting rebellious and curving into a court but still predicable and inviting.

REMEMBER THAT?

One of my favorite things about living in a subdivision is watching the mommies stroll their babies, safely on the sidewalks. I smile every time with nostalgia and in a particularly beautiful shared joy of what a fresh aired walk can do for any woman.

I see the mommies, sometimes in great need to get out of the house, settle a fussy, really fussy baby down. Hair in a messy bun, shirt dotted with baby you-know-whats and a pace that starts fervent but slows as the baby calms.  

Remember that? How once we strapped even stuffed, fussy baby into the stroller. It felt like life or death to get outside and get moving. Be-them-may I’m wearing the same pants I awoke in – We need a walk! 

Sometimes a beautiful day may mercifully coincided with nap time. A mommy with a tired smile parked on her face will move uniformly with the stroller to keep in sleepy rhythm. 

Remember that? Nap time, how schedules revolved around them, admit it, they did! How much inner joy we’d feel to just stroll peacefully without playing the pick-the-toy-up-every-nine-feet-game. You just walked as one; stroller, mommy and baby. 

I love being privileged to stride by and witness an adventure walk. The baby at the ready, sitting up taunt in the stroller, feet bopping about and hands reaching. With each pass of a dog the baby crooks her little neck to keep that interesting creature in view. Or if passing another strolling tot, a gleeful baby greeting of wiggling arms and legs ensues communicating joy to one another and anyone blessed to see.

  Remember that? The walk where you were ready, fresh pants on, feeling rested for you noted getting three solid hours of sleep in a row. That walk, where you pointed out all the things in your neighborhood, like a fancy highlighter; “That’s a doggie” “Here’s our mailbox.” “Those are Mrs. Weston’s pink roses.” 

LITTLES & BIGGIES

I love seeing the mommies stroll. I enjoy remembering that time, not too long ago really, when I looked to my sidewalk as: a highway of freedom, a path to calm, to stretch the body, teach my child, pray for strength and another night of a solid three. 

Now, as I’m advised to cross my legs to sneeze, due to the privilege of strolling three littles, I can take my walks with my biggies pacing ourselves one foot in front of the other, next to each other, on the sidewalk. 

Cheers, Rebecca A

Wild and Mild

Balancing Act

ONE WORD

One word. Use one word to describe your time during this pandemic, the shelter in place order.  This is the question posed during a Bible study Zoom meetup and I was up first.

Insert a pause, long enough to be awkward with the Zoom timer ticking. My mind is scrambling searching for THE WORD.  I can feel my body and brain trying to meld together, be witty, be honest, not too honest, trying to find an inspiring word.

What I come up with, for me, fell flat, plunking onto the kitchen table turned meeting center.

“Wild and mild.” That is the bit of brilliance I came up with. We are two months deep into quarantine and I zip out, ‘wild and mild’ with a tentative shoulder shrug.

To add to my word-smithing fail it’s three words, not one.

Next person on the zoom call please… ah yes, those words seem appropriate.

THINK ABOUT IT

Do you mull over your word choices? I do. I love the power of words. Used rightly they can change a person’s day, inspire and in the case of Scripture change lives. When ‘wild and mild’ tumbled out of my mouth they sat heavy on my mind, begging me to mull.

As an English educated gal and a proclaimed writer all I can muster is ‘wild and mild’, rhyming like a child’s poem?  Throughout the day I think of wonderful words: intensive, patient, creative, chaotic, and the relevant meanings behind them. All the while shooting shifty-eyed looks at my word trio.

Cleaning the never-ending dishes, I thought. Wiping down the finger marked tables, I pondered. While task managing my children’s schooling I thought of my words. Again, brainstorming ideas for the children “to do” while doing my own brainstorming. Making multiple meals, I continued to think.

ANSWERED

The Sock Garden

Then, the day answered me – ‘wild and mild’ was, true. It is the best word blend to describe this “time” for our family.

In just one day, sometimes in just a few hours of one day: a child will be sliding down a banister, scolding will be had, the drone of tablets – mobile phones – laptops – TV permeate the air (“Hon, grab my charger, please!”), outside/inside/outside/inside (“Close the door!”), exercising around a streaming app (“Son, move the cat for Mom.”), reading in corners, forts being built in all rooms (“Dad, crawl in here.”), pretend store – salon – restaurant – house…, school supplies everywhere (“Where’s the red marker cap?”), fresh flowers offering a pause, blankets strewn inviting a nap (“I’m just resting my eyes.”), discarded socks growing like weeds on the carpet, our pet’s nails ticking along the wood floors (“Feed the dog!”), blessed gatherings around the kitchen table to read the Bible (“Sit still for five minutes please.”) and eat yet another meal (“Tomorrow no more potato chips.”) and finally the thud of parents landing onto their bed (“I’m so tired, love you Honey, goodnight.”)

THE RIGHT TRIO

I could not come up with one word or even a small group that will make the pages of a soon to be published book about our “quarantine time” but, I did summon a trio of words that fit our family’s daily doings. Our simple yet complicated lives at home with each other.

“Wild and mild”, indeed.

Cheers, Rebecca

Empty Nest, Not Yet!

ATTENTION

I felt a twang in my heart and tug in my stomach, a physical response to an upcoming life change.

It seems to me, the Lord is ever preparing us for His ordered steps of our lives. 

THE STORY

I was pleasantly listening to Faith Talk Detroit in my van (yes, in the van again) after dropping off my kiddos to school. Knowing in three hours I’ll turn around and pick up my littlest and then in another three we’ll swing back to the school to pick up the two biggies.

Routine, life with littles, parenting the every day, it’s a part of who I am, until it’s not. 

On the station the announcer, announces tomorrow’s Family Life Today’s discussion will be; leading a full life as an empty nester.

“Well, that’s not for me”… Twang! Tug! 

I recognize this. The Lord has motivated me in such a way a few times, recently. Just when I’m in the thick of it all, feeling a little buried by parenting, wifing, leading, learning… wearing all the hats of raising children, He’ll give me a glimpse. A moment to pause and realize this will not always be. The nest will, empty.

Months before, again in my van, I was day dreaming (yet driving impeccably) when my thoughts shifted suddenly to the inevitable; the children will grow up and move out, maybe far away. It really hit me – twang and tug. This will really happen. 

I won’t be tying shoes, except for my own. I won’t be packing multiple lunches each day. I won’t be tidying up three little bedrooms, putting their colorful school papers in their bins or…. The nest will, empty.

Twang and tug.

Our three kiddos smiling!
Our Everyday Trio

ENCOURAGING

Thank you Lord for these gentle reminders. The nest will empty.  But, today it is still full. Lord, please realign my heart. 

Today I am able to love on three littles with kisses in the morning, I’m able to pray with them in the van. Pull on socks over their sweet feet (the day has not stunk them up yet). Help them write 5’s the correct way. I’m able to bustle about in rooms with evidence of their play and projects (crafts and Lego). And, cook them a dinner with vegetables.

Routine, life with littles, parenting the every day, it’s a part of who I am, until it’s not. 

I’m so appreciative for the Lord’s grace, for His work in our daily lives. For His reminders making hearts twang and stomachs tug. The soft reminder to not covet the future but to live in the blessing of today. To thank God for being a Mom, one whom has the daily reminder of children encouraging a life rooted in Christ.

The nest is full today. It’s full of: backpacks, fruit snacks, hair ties, dollies and Pokémon cards. It’s full of giggles, squeals, teasing, hugs, warm baths, music, cartoons, smelly markers, artwork, prayers, apologies, fast feet, dancing, bouncing balls, finger printed windows, joy, tears and love.

It’s a full nest, for now, amen. 

Cheers, Rebecca A

Well Hello There

BRING THE SPARKLE – WE’RE LIVE!

READY, SET, GO!

Well hello there! My creative energy knocked on the door of You Knitted Me Together and it said “Come on in!” Here we go Crew!

I hope this video is a proper invite to come and engage with me and the many adventures God has me rolling with. Also, check out the ABOUT page it will give you a less distracted, “Squirrel”, idea of what You Knitted Me Together is well… about 😉

Cheers, Rebecca

A December Mind

Christmas Pic 2015My thinking is most comfortable when moving forward. I like to wrap up experiences and move on. I have them color coded at the ready to extract to maintain conversation or indulge in fond memories. Except today, my thoughts hovered, not to my new year goals but to Christmas. I had tucked in Christmas nice and neat, decorations properly placed in the Christmas corner of the basement. Only bits of glitter and stray ornament hooks remain. It puzzled me how I felt a need to dwell, especially today, the day when we all line ourselves up and go about our non-Christmas business. Troubling. So here I am, writing in order to move on. Because I also like to think in lists I have come up with four Christmas notes: Two reflections on Christmas I think we did just right and two others which leave ample room to improve! Leave it to me to list up Christmas!

Reflection 1 “We Did It!”: Our Advent Calendar – So soft, colorful and inviting. It helped our family bring our thoughts around to Jesus. Each day either Genevieve or Enzo would pluck a figure from a pocket and Velcro it to the Christmas scene while Rosalie proceeded to de-Velcro. It was a joy to watch G place an angel on high while E chose a sheep to soar above. Inside the pocket a paper provided a Bible verse to be read. We had our small visual and Biblical journey leading up to our Savior’s birth. The children really enjoyed being a part of celebrating advent with our calendar.

Reflection 1 “Not So Much.”: Our Advent Calendar – This wonderful journey was not flawless. I took charge of something so simple and made it complicated, waiting for the perfect moment to let Genevieve or Enzo tend to the Advent calendar despite their eagerness. Knowing the longer I waited something else would come up. There was much doubling up (okay, tripling up) on our verses. I needed to trust in the Lord. Simply read His Word even during an egg frying cereal flying breakfast, He can handle our mess.

Reflection 2 “Oh Such Joy!”: Christmas lights – Our little Rosalie was enamored with Christmas lights. She squealed, cooed and ahhed when she spotted Christmas lights twinkling, no doubt for her enjoyment. This little tot scooted over to our playroom window, tippy-toed up to peek out and gaze on the lights Art and our neighbors displayed. Every single time I saw her do this I became lighter. Rosalie took something commercial and gave God the glory through her pure enjoyment; He did create all for His glory! I pray to never forget the joy she displayed this Christmas – twinkly Rose.

Reflection 2 “How Do I Do This?”: Christmas! I love Jesus I want my children to know love for Him too. I want us to glorify Him in all we do and say! So why Santa and mysterious elves too? Now what? I struggled with this all season long. How do I balance this? How can we have the fun of Santa, elves, reindeer, bundles of presents, and still hold fast to our hearts why we celebrate our Savior’s birth? I winged it. It was messy. Sometimes I tittered about like Mrs. Clause, other times I could not muster another story, all the while trying to remind my children why Christmas in the first place and trying to do so without sounding like a broken Christian record.  We all,due to God’s grace and sovereignty had a joyful Christmas full of wonder. My Father provided me Art to patch my blunders and give me an outstretched patient hand when I was stumbling.

I’m glad I daydreamed about our Christmas today. Allowing myself to smile and cringe at my Christmas spirit. I can rest on how He loves us and sent His Son for us on a Christmas night. I’m going to let my pen down and thoughts drift here now, moving on.

Uncomfortable

Being a homemaker is unique for me. It instills emotions and expectations  I am still working on diagnosing. This fall I, among a flurry of personal changes, was re-affirmed in my choice to be a homemaker. I was not assured because my children demonstrated exemplary manners or won the coloring contest, nor were my dinners more thoughtfully planned but because of an internal struggle I have been dealing with.

While pursuing my heart’s desires I was met with challenges I did not foresee. What is wrong with going-for-it, with taking some me time? Nothing really, I suppose, except that uncomfortable feeling I would get as I needed to walk out the door yet again to continue my pursuits. It is not guilt, fully, though I suspect guilt anted up a dollar or two in this pot of uncomfortable. More it was a sense of displacement. On my short drives alone, with no little child in tow, I thought about this uneasy feeling. With each exit, I began to understand the trouble. I was meant to be a homemaker. This oddness with each getaway was my reformation of my choice to be a career mom. It’s okay to care for your family as a career. This was a truth I needed in my life. Sometimes we have to be uncomfortable and given to aches in the belly to see what is best for us.

I did not stop pursuing my goal this fall. Instead I made it very clear, to myself, by making a choice to pause mom-duties in pursuit of Rebecca goals, I best Make It. And I did.

Psalm 33: 13-15 The Lord looks down from heaven and sees all mankind. From where He rules, He looks down on all who live on earth. He forms all their thoughts and knows everything they do.

(This image of G is right after I decided to become a homemaker.)

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#homemaker #change #family #goals #Godhasaplan #wife #mom #careers

Three, Two and One

And then there was one as little Rosalie and I motored away from school drop off number two. At first it seemed odd. My instinct double checking care seats for the other children. Is the van lighter now? Seems so. My hands are fidgety at the ready to pass a snack, grab a fallen treasure, make a mom, “cut it out” gesture. Rosalie is chatting in one year old speak in the back, comforting me. My mind is jittery. I could visit the bookstore with one child, albeit a toddler but just one toddler, easy breezy! Or let’s get home and accomplish the daily to-do’s, ugh no! Not yet, not on a perfectly placed September day. I think of Rosalie, maybe this is a time for us to get to know each other one on one. For Rose, in the beginning there was not one but three. As soon as we came home after her birth, she was a bundle of three children. Is this her “one time”. Yes it is. Sometimes one time is a little lonely when you are used to running in a pack but sometimes one time is exactly what you need. How about a walk around our favorite park loop at a pace suitable for a new walker? A snack, all to your self Rosalie? Maybe a snuggle and story is what we’ll do. Me and you, you and I, a little one on one for my one and only, till 11:30 at least, when pick up number one brings the pack back.

Just Write

Good Morning, I need to get something on paper right now! I’m feeling perfectionism take hold on me again. This happens a lot with my writing and I suspect with other areas of my life. I have not wrote a blog in weeks now, the plan was at least once a week. Today, I write. This post does not pack the literary fun I like to include in my writing, it simply is fingers to keys, pen to paper this morning in order to shoo away perfectionism and get back on track. I was going to write about perfectionism how irritatingly crushing it can be but I won’t, beyond this, it has had enough stage time for now. I’m back, ready to write, my ideas rolling about in my head are lining up to roll onto the page.Every good and perfect gift is from above… James 1:17

Happy First Birthday Rosalie

Little girl, you are one now – a little walker chatting consonants, teasing with an occasional Dadda and MumMum. A Mona Lisa smile behind two tasty fingers tells us you know more then you say. Your size is small, hair wispy and you just now sprung a new tooth, making a tally of three. Inside you your soul is real, large, known by the Lord from before time. He knitted you together* and knitted you together again when you were just shy of six months old. Your heart has stitches and patches and has been resculpted in order to beat in a rhythm keeping up with life. Your chest bone has wire securing it, all wound up like pumpkin vine attaching itself to a fence. You were re-knitted. I wonder if that Mona Lisa smile knows of His great work in you. I know God does. He’s your Great Physician. He has used your little being as a tool in His great plan. Whole churches prayed together, believing strangers paused to pray reaching out to their mighty Father and your family and friends have cried out to God to heal you Rosalie. You are one today, God answers prayers! How exciting to wake with your childlike faith each morning, reaching to get out of the crib to start your adventures. Rosalie, this is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it**. Happy birthday Rosalie, you are loved.Psalm 139:13-14* Psalm 118:24** 

 
 

Flower School

“Mommy, when you say ‘kindergarten’ it makes me think of flowers.” My little Genevieve says this to me during one of our many discussions about her beginning kindergarten this upcoming school year. The imagery of this is joyful. Kindergarten should be like flowers, a growing process, fun, pretty, a little wild. As a parent having this discussion about attending big kid school is a trip. It’s exciting to see my daughter daydream about her upcoming kindergarten adventures. During this last bit of summer everything about school is noted and analyzed by little G. Spotting a school bus on the road has personal meaning since she’ll be a “busser”. Errands have a new twist in anticipation of getting a glimpse of her new school from the car window, “Mom, there’s my school!” I’m thrilled. Truly. I will miss G. during the day. We are a little team, but it’s time, her time now, to grow a little more, peak out of the nest a bit. I’ll remind her the first day of school, when the nerves set in, how she thought kindergarten was like flowers. I’ll get her a flower patch for her backpack, she’ll smile and touch it softly. Big backpack in tow, she’ll be a little silly about it, then board the bus, wave, and head on into the kinder-garden.