Seed Bank

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There is something provokingly profound about the maturing of a seed.

The hope-investment: planted months ago in a little spot, tucked between dirt and pebbles, we dreamily planted all sorts of wonderful things.

But, my when they grow: life in actionForces beyond our power knit and awaken… a flower, a fruit, a purpose!

Every day I am planting seeds for some future harvest.  I’m never sure which ones will ‘take’, but that’s not really my job to figure out, that’s the work of faith.

My effort is this: more time on my knees in the dirt.

If I don’t seed the idea today, or plant the seed of forgiveness, or take the risk, or recklessly cast about the seeds of love, what harvest will there be in any of my tomorrows?

Today’s work is all about the planting.

The Heavenly farmer will bring in the harvest in its time.

Music Machine

The noise is popping over here!

For her birthday: a trumpet{Incidentally: we rented this – for $20 a month!  What a great way to try out an instrument!}

It was the only thing she’d mentioned multiple times over the last few months that stuck in my mind, so a trumpet it was.

It seemed sort of random to me, but, oh my, how it has been played!  She loves it, as do the others.  Most of the time we’re asking the ones with bigger lungs to go play it out in the forest, because it’s so darn loud, though.

But, family singing time around the piano just got a whole lot livelier too!

And another important musical announcement:

I’m so proud of Duke! 

He has written his first full length album of original music.  He has worked hard this spring composing, creating and playing all the tunes on his new album.  Please check out his music here!

Two personal favorites are “Victory” and “Finished But Not The End”.

Check it out!!

My Sunshine

Little woman in the bud; running the kitchen all day like a happy little hen.

She was intent on making her own cake this year.

She did the whole thing from beginning to end on her own, while including a younger helper for most of the time (which is no small feat!).

And now she is ten.

This new dawning decade that seemed so far away is now here, and I marvel that she is perhaps halfway through life in our arms.

Where did all the smudgy fingers and dirty diapers and baby tears go?  Like some distant mirage those memories fade on the road behind me as time seems to thrust me forward towards a future that is manifesting before my eyes in her maturing smile and song.

What happy joy it is to see this young woman blossom, so full of stories and songs, art and purpose, so ready to serve and explore and laugh, even now as she delights in following her Heavenly Father’s voice.

I didn’t know on that rainy birth-morning ten years ago how much sunshine this one little heart would bring into my world.

Gift of Time

We’ve been watching some home videos from years ago, when the now-big kids were small.

Oh my.

Time marches rigorously on with a steady, rhythmic gate, and I am left to wonder where it went.

Those early days of motherhood were full of ideas and dreams, possibilities and insanity; they were so intense and draining, so magical and overwhelming; they were the beginning of the end of me.

Oh, that I should be the recipient of such undoing… that the gentle love of the Father would fill my lap with the mother-blessing and in the process strip me of the greedy entanglements of the flesh, one thin layer at a time.

The warm and funky memories of those stretching early-motherhood-years roll over me as I watch those images of my tiny cluster of children dancing and drawing, singing and laughing.  Now, I sit, comfortably on the couch, watching the past flicker before me, while nestled between all this robust life squished on the couch around me, and I wonder, can there be anything more magnificent than this?

Making

Between washing the stack of breakfast dishes, organizing painting crafts for the Littles, and taming the general household-morning-hullabaloo, I was able to sneak in a wee little making while Poppy had her nap today.

This was my first foray into the world of lip-care product and I must say, the end result is truly lovely.  I was able to use my friend’s local honey too, so it made this “Coconut-Honey Bliss Lip Butter” even better!

Upon closer -ah- inspection, the kids thought it tasted like cookies.

I believe it’s so good for us mothers to work creative making into our days here and there, as so much of the work we do is systematically unmade.

Sometimes it’s just good to make something special and beautiful that will last a little longer than the next meal.

Unless of course, those sweet ragamuffins eat the lip balm too.

Night Light

We’ve been busting out of our little eating corner in the kitchen, where the table and number of required seats for our members no longer fit.  We’ve been mulling over renovation plans from the totally simple to the ridiculously extravagant (i.e. knocking out walls, moving everything under the sun, etc.)

Anyway, a lot of thinking later we opted to make use of ‘the big room’ in a new way (a large room at the back of the house that has had no real purpose beyond building play forts, as it feels so removed from the rest of the house) and do a whole lot of furniture and room swapping… and so far our renovation costs have been nil!

Ben removed the two giant windows between the ‘big room’ and our new ‘dining room’.  He framed them up all nicely and now we have a wide open space connecting that part of the house with the kitchen/dining area.

My favorite ‘renovation’ has been the creation and addition of the lights over our table.  When I suggested the idea to Ben, he responded with his usual, “Why not?” spirit and helped me wire up and build this fabulous piece of art that hangs over the table!

First, we went out to the barn and scrounged up an old pallet that looked sort of like a ladder, and me and the kids cleaned it up and painted it.  Ben hung it from the ceiling with beautiful old-looking ropes and wired it up for lights.  And we made the lights using old mason jars from the basement.  Sunny and I have also found it makes a nice place to hang herbs that we are drying… though, we did find an inch-worming rappelling down from the mint at one point.  Ahem.  Anyway, it’s so lovely to have ample lighting over our long table for the first time!

We also wrote out this excerpt from the wonderful Jesus Storybook Bible on the downward facing rungs of the ladder…   I wanted these words to quietly dwell over us as we commune together over our food.

Then Jesus picked up some bread and broke it.  He gave it to his friends.  He picked up a cup of wine and thanked God for it.  He poured it out and shared it.

“My body is like this bread.  It will break,” Jesus told them.  “This cup of wine is like my blood.  It will pour out.”

“But this is how God will rescue the whole world.  My life will break and God’s broken world will mend.  My heart will tear apart – and yours will heal.  Just as the Passover lamb died, so now I will die instead of you.  My blood will wash away all of your sins.  And you’ll be clean on the inside – in your hearts.”

“So whenever you eat and drink, remember,” Jesus said, “I’ve rescued you!”

Overall, the effect has been quite charming and it’s delightful to finally have the space to fit others more comfortably around the table!

Weekend

I took a little saunter around the farm today; everything is so overgrown.  Oh my, the weeds.

But, anyway, we seem to grow a little bit of ‘normal’ food too (though, did you ever know how many weeds were edible?!).  The kale is busting out like crazy.  Duke’s been working hard to process it and get it through the food dehydrator.

We enjoyed a lovely weekend of work and fellowship, and I was even feeling inspired enough to make four spelt Dutch-apple, and strawberry-rhubarb pies.

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Sunny and I have been drying herbs for all the winter tea we anticipate drinking, and we’re having a lot of fun stretching into learning how to make some lovely natural creams and lip balms, etc.

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The Littles continue to build extensive play forts and empty the costume trunk on a daily basis; and this weekend an official tree fort even got launched into the works!

And lest it all appear completely idyllic, be assured it included a fair dose of chaos from Daddy’s little renovation project, piles and piles and piles of dirty dishes, and the usual symphony of diapers and sobs and stains and grumbles and laundry and mess that is often the background accompaniment to all the joy.

It was a good weekend.

Back Home

There is so much that fills a day; the hours seem to expand with possibilities, even as the minutes slip through my fingers.

The mundane becomes magical as we work together and learn the tough processes of perseverance and patience.  Even the grinding, basic, dirty work has a way of elevating us when we embrace it with joy and thanksgiving together.

Something good happens in us as we build a home and invest in the creative heart-work of life together.

Hands are busy, heads are full with questions and ideas, and I am at peace, with a plate too full and a cup overflowing; these are good, good days.

Here is a record, for now, of the moments that fill our days.