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31 May 2015


Dear May,
Oh, you sure kept us busy, month of May. Maybe next year we can take it a bit easier?

We traveled to the coast of Mexico and back and forth across the border and north in Texas and west in Texas. We finished the ESL school year and the University school year and the college school year and the high school school year. We welcomed family and celebrated moms and sent birthday presents out. We rejoiced with those who are rejoicing and we mourned with those who are mourning. We painted and cleaned and made messes, too. We attended meetings and more meetings. We made plans. We changed the plans. We graduated a student and by grace, hosted one big party to celebrate. We spent very precious time with friends and ate lunches and dinners together. We fed others and we fed ourselves. We ate some ice cream and we ate some tacos and we ate a lot of watermelon. I prayed and praised. And I prayed some more.
On this 31st day, I'm tired, but I'm thankful.

And wow May, you sure did finish with the loveliest of endings...

See you in 2016.


Fear and discouragement aren’t the order of the day; faith and peace are.
- Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers
which has nothing to do with butter, but everything to do with a very full month.

30 May 2015


finished just before the skies opened up and poured out.

29 May 2015


Earth laughs in flowers.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

(umm... so sorry, friend, that your daughter plucked this little lovely from your plant to give to me. But, oh, what a sweet gift to receive!)


the blessing of friends today:

  • chicken salad and good lemonade and rich lacey cookies and two and a half generations of women sitting around a table for lunch.
  • borrowing the young one who will still play Princess Monopoly with me. 
  • figuring out how to convince her that I can almost always give her a ride and figuring out how to save my number in her phone.
  • laughing about invisible tattoos.
  • text and email I do not expect.
  • a shared recipe that just might save my sanity.
  • strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

27 May 2015


adjective: crafty; comparative adjective: craftier; superlative adjective: craftiest
1. clever at achieving one's aims by indirect or deceitful methods."a crafty crook faked an injury to escape from prison"
cunning, wily, guileful, artful, devious, sly, tricky, scheming, calculating, designing, sharp, shrewd, astute, canny; Moreduplicitous, dishonest, deceitful;
"a couple of crafty rogues”
2. informal
of, involving, or relating to the making of decorative objects and other things by hand.
"a market full of crafty pots and interesting earrings"

In this case, the second, not the first.

26 May 2015


“Today the word "hero" has been diminished. confused with "celebrity." But in my father's generation the word meant something. Celebrities seek fame. They take actions to get attention. Most often, the actions they take have no particular moral content. Heroes are heroes because they have risked something to help others. Their actions involve courage. Often, those heroes have been indifferent to the public's attention. But at least, the hero could understand the focus of the emotion.” 
― James D. BradleyFlags of Our Fathers

24 May 2015


Sunday driver, yeah.


"You have an unfair advantage. You carried five children. It made you strong."
- daughter to (Saturday Arm Wrestling Champion) mom


“I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.” 
― John Steinbeck

and sometimes, they aren't so impressed with photography, either... 


Isn't it a wonder to find an unexpected sanctuary?

22 May 2015


I love the quality of childlike wonder. I love that my teen girls still get excited about collecting fireflies in a bottle. I love that they watch the glow bugs for a while and give them names and then shake those flying lights back onto the grass and into the dusky night.

20 May 2015


“That's right, you're not from Texas. But Texas wants you anyways.” 
― Lyle Lovett


Sometimes a light surprises 
The Christian while he sings; 
It is the Lord Who rises 
With healing in His wings: 
When comforts are declining, 
He grants the soul again 
A season of clear shining, 
To cheer it after the rain
In holy contemplation 
We sweetly then pursue 
The theme of God’s salvation, 
And find it ever new; 
Set free from present sorrow, 
We cheerfully can say, 
Let the unknown tomorrow 
Bring with it what it may.
Tomorrow can bring us nothing, 
But He will bear us through: 
Who gives the lilies clothing 
Will clothe His people, too: 
Beneath the spreading heavens 
No creature but is fed; 
And He Who feeds the ravens 
Will give His children bread.
Though vine nor fig tree neither 
Their wonted fruit should bear, 
Though all the fields should wither, 
Nor flocks or herds be there 
Yet, God the same abiding, 
His praise shall tune my voice; 
For, while in Him confiding, 
I cannot but rejoice.


Our primary guide in this homeschooling journey comes from Deuteronomy 6:1-9-

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
and right behind that is the exhortation from Micah 6:8-
He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?
These remain as our prayer for you, Susannah-
that you would love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength;
that you would love His teachings and hold tight to them;
that you would love others well, even better than yourself;
that you would know the breadth and the length and the height and the depth of the love of Christ;
that because of God's grace, you would be confident that there is nothing you can do that would cause God to love you more and there is nothing you can do that He would love you less;
and that is true of me and your dad, too.
Press on, eyes fixed, Susannah. We love you and we rejoice with you.

17 May 2015


quote of the day-
"I was in Utopia and there was no internet."


summertime residents (& a gutter that needs fixing after a deluge of rain...)


“In silence the three of them looked at the sunset and thought about God.” 
― Maud Hart Lovelace in Betsy-Tacy and Tib

13 May 2015


"But all may be done through prayer—almighty prayer, I am ready to say—and why not? For that it is almighty is only through the gracious ordination of the God of loving truth. On then, pray, pray, pray!”
- William Wilberforce, 1823

12 May 2015


We're pretty sure that they decreased the size and increased the cost. But it was pretty good medicine, nonetheless.


I've decided that Mother's Day is hard. I want so much to honor my mom, and all those mothers who have been such an example to me. Yet, I hate the expectation of the day, knowing how short I fall as a daughter and as a mom. I hate that my kids apologize for not putting a photo up and not buying a "good enough" gift when really, a phone message and a scribbled note and a hand-drawn sketch and a hug before breakfast means much more. I hate that our situation is complicated, relationships that no Hallmark card ever describes well.

How much more grateful I am for grace, for riches I don't deserve, for ordinary moments of peace, for the sweet delight of ice cream cake, for seeing these people of ours grow and learn and mature? How much more beautiful the promise of eternity, and all things being made new?

(the photo- isn't it a sweet thing? Circa 1968, that's my great-grandma Gracie and my mom and my Grammy and me, all of us stylin' in our 60's wear...)

10 May 2015


For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!
- Psalm 57:10-11 (ESV)

08 May 2015


an island of steady in an ocean of chaos.


thistle days-
prickly and pokey and filled with the beauty and wonder of life.

07 May 2015


And so ends another academic year in the English as a Second Language ministry.
Oh how these faces cause me to smile! We have so very much to be thankful for-
our students, who come in week by week, who arrive for two more hours after already long days, who greet us cheerfully, who dare to make mistakes out loud, and who persevere even when making sense of this language seems so very nonsensical;
our staff, who are so very faithful, who are so very dependable, who serve and love so very well;
and our God, who provides exceedingly more than I can ask or imagine, who gives His gospel for every nation, tribe and tongue.
We are blessed.

See you in September, friends!


"Adventure is worthwhile."
- Aesop


I was glad when they said to me, 
"Let us go to the house of the Lord!"
- Psalm 122:1


Yellow and gold as the new day dawns 
Like a virgin unveiled who waited so long 
To dance and rejoice and sing her song 
And rest in the arms of a love so strong 
No one comes unless they’re drawn 
By the voice of desire that leads em’ along 
To the redemption of what went wrong 
By the blood that coveres the innocent one 
No more separation 
Between us. 

- from "Beyond the Blue," by Josh Garrels 


Las cadenas de la muerte me quitó 
Para mí ya no hay condenación 
Hay libertad, libertad 
Siendo esclavo del pecado me libró
En la cruz compró mi redención 
Y libertad, libertad 

Rompió mis cadenas
Me dio vida nueva
Y al fondo del mar echó mi maldad 
Lavó mis pecados 
Y me ha perdonado 
Solo en el nombre de Jesús 
Hay libertad 

Yo proclamo al que en la cruz por mí murió 
Y cambió mi duro corazón 
Por libertad, libertad 
El poder de su evangelio me salvó
Y no me avergüenzo del Señor
Mi libertad, libertad

- "Hay Libertad," by Jonathan Jerez (Sovereign Grace Music)


my favorite travel companion of all time.


top reasons to keep a passport-
1. new places
2. new faces
3. street tacos