Can't think Pachelbel without thinking...

When a door closes, somewhere God opens a window

This is true especially in the life we are born into and the life we create.  The circumstances of our birth are beyond our control.  We can't create the type of parents we want, or the childhood we wish we had.  From the moment of our birth that door is closed.

The view from the window however is spectacular.  As we grow and have our own children we can choose to go to the window of better that God opens for us.  For our children we can write a new story, a love story of hope, joy and abundance.  Circumstances are often beyond our control.   Our reaction is our only power.

This morning, Taylor is recertifying for her Red Cross CPR class.  Corey and William are working together outside.  Some of our schoolwork is completed and some will keep until this afternoon.

Some seedlings for the garden are started, the soil has been turned.  The house is clean and smells like spring.  The breeze blows through the quiet of the house and Pachelbel is playing softly on the stereo.  The birds delight in all our freshly filled feeders, the cat paces by the window or naps in the sun on the deck. 

Everywhere I look there is beauty, growth, quiet miracles.  All things are being made new again.  It soothes my soul.  It restores my faith, in gives me strength and hope. I think I could lay down by some green pastures and walk beside still waters, if you get my drift.  It's good.

It wasn't by accident that this life is mine to enjoy.  It was part of a plan, a plan I chose to join in, to co-create with my Lord and Savior. 


I don't want to miss a thing

I was so happy this afternoon. I thought my tired little heart would burst.  Corey is on spring break and home with us this week.  We all went out this afternoon to the local farm supply store, Rural King.  We got bird seed to fill all the feeders, corn for the squirrels, grass seed, seeds for the vegetable garden, and flower seeds.

We rode in the van, windows down, all three of my babies with me.  It was like old times.  I kept remembering the days when Corey was the "big man" so happy to sit up front.  Taylor sat behind me, pigtails bouncing, kicking her feet and kicking my seat.  William, with his chubby baby cheeks played beside her in his car seat.  We would chatter, sing and laugh.  We did everything together.  Beautiful days like today would find us with and sometimes without our books at the lake, the park, the ocean, down the pier.  The sun would shine on my children like grace streaming from the sky.  It has been as perfect a life as I could have ever dreamed. 

It isn't possible to love anyone more than I love these children.  I drove along, radio up, breeze blowing through my hair, listening to their jokes and stories, I drank it in. 

I became aware of how relaxed I was, peaceful.  Joyful.  Happy. Content. 

I was sad for a moment though, this afternoon would pass - I couldn't close my eyes tight enough to make time stand still.  Corey has to work and is spending the night with a friend so they can go caving tomorrow. Taylor is off to a bonfire with her friends, William and Steve have plans for pizza, Wii and Heroclix, while I play Bunco with the girls.  I say just a moment because almost immediately I realized how the grace of God and good choices have given me a lifetime of memories like today.  I don't have to cling to them, because we are still making them.  Homeschooling has given me 12 years of joy. JOY!!

Yes, some days are tough.  Most aren't, not for me at least.  I used to feel bad for saying that, as if somehow I needed to diminish our experience to make others feel a little better about theirs.  I don't do that anymore.

I will look back one day on a lifetime spent in the company of my children.  Amazing, beautiful, funny, loving, people, my kids.  These perfect first days of spring have never been lost to me.  Not ever. 

I have danced in the first warm rain of the year with my children so many times.  I have snuggled with them on the couch with books during cold winter days.  They have napped with the windows open when they were tired, eaten momma's homemade bread when they wanted a snack.  The years are passing, the children are growing and I am growing too.  Still so many things are just the same.  My work, my love, my prayers, my sacrifices have mattered. Thanks be to God.

I never wanted to miss a thing and I really haven't.  I have absolutely no regrets.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

I have these three great kids and I love being home with them more than anything.  I didn't find any magic beans that is making this gig a fairytale but I hold on to my philosophies about child rearing, my values, and my faith like a pitbull. 

I chatted with the Educational Director last night from Shakespeare Camp. Taylor wants to do this very much and she will.  It's a wonderful program.  Shakesperian Theatre is her favorite and so perhaps this is more her niche than musical or dinner theatre which she seems to abhore.

How blessed am I to have a daughter who loves to read Jane Eyre! Dickens! Shakespeare! Christie! She picked her summer reading list last year and I was humbled.  She loves to discuss books, politics, morals, values, she loves to debate and have her ideas heard.  She loves music.  I don't mean she always has her ipod on, which she does but she loves MUSIC - she loves Beethoven and the Beatles.  If you don't love the Beatles you don't love music. Sorry it just is what it is. Music lovers appreciate good music, even if it's not the favorite genre - they know good music when they hear it.  I had always preferred Mozart but she has me totally hooked on Beethoven now.  What gem she is!

William was ecstatic to learn of my plans for him. Circus School and Space Camp.  Like his daddy he is a clown at heart.  We loves the circus and have taken him to Ringling Bros. whenever it was here.  I have a little boy, who doesn't follow the crowd.  He loves fencing.  He loves comic books, writing stories, doing art, inventing games, doing science, birds, bike rides and he loves Math. Like Taylor his imagination is fertile ground and he has a hundred new ideas everyday.  They come at him constantly and he is so excited about life.  Life is a well spring of opportunities for him.  A grand adventure he can't wait to experience everyday. 

Corey, my adult son.  Oh my when did that happen? He is the one I look to and think, okay these crazy ideas about raising kids, really works. Like my other babies Corey had his own ideas about what he liked.  He wore his full cowboy gear in his first grade photo. He loved to play sports and was always gifted and athletic but would get bored with the repetition of playing the same sport year to year.  He loves rock climbing, and swimming.  He likes to play the drums, and he loves dancing.  Ballroom to country line dancing.

I am rejoicing this morning as I think about my children and the life we have chosen in homeschooling.  I've said many things to them over the years that are beginning to make sense.  Like, my favorite response to "I'm bored." Bored people are boring, if you aren't interested in your world, you are uninteresting.

TV was limited and the choices tightly restricted.  Not to control but to preserve. I didn't want them desensitized, or weaned on a world that has to be flashing and loud from a tiny box to hold their attention.

I have sheltered my children. I don't apologize for it.  What is shelter?  Shelter is the safe place.  The place you can take refuge from the elements, stay warm and dry.  Shelter is good.  It is essential to survival.  We seek shelter in the Lord from the battles of our life.  Sheltering my children doesn't mean that I or they are not aware of the "real world" or that we don't live in it.  In fact we love all the good thing in the world. It means that I have given them a safe refuge from the darkness and difficulties of the world. 

I've had people say to me over the years, more times than I can count - you can't shelter them from everything, drugs are out there, drinking is out there, sex is out there, fill in the out there. My response is this.  Yes, it's all out there.  I don't pretend it's not.  I simply resolve to give my children a place where they do not have to fight that battle, a shelter from it.  Yes, pre-marital sex, drugs, drinking, partying is out there.  I do not have to then invite it into my home through the computer or television and spoon feed it to them.  And since when is trying to limit the negative things a bad idea?  If you can't shelter than from everything don't shelter them from anything?  um, no.

Instead I want my home to stand in stark contrast to the cynical, sarcastic world.  It is their shelter.  When they are here they are safe, loved, respected, celebrated! The darkness, the yelling, the trash of the world can stay on the porch. 

Come inside.  It's warm and cozy.  It's filled with laughter, and noise but lots of quiet places.  There is good food, comfy couches, and people who love and adore you.  Jesus lives here. In every room you'll find him and be reminded that He loves you so much He died for you.  It's not perfectly clean, but it's neat and organized.  You can think, read, draw, play, talk, create, make music, or just rest, safe and sound.  Sheltered from the storms of life. Then you can head out into it all again, and know that I am right here and home is a safe place.