Monday, September 28, 2009

Lasting oil

Scents of cinnamon and coffee grounds fill our kitchen...firelight beyond small faces wakens us in the morning time. Small hands longing to be big...ask to help.

Its simple today, toast and cinnamon, fresh peaches lugged home from the farmer's market...creamy milk. Warm and crisp slices popping and little hands pull out the butter to let it soak in and melt...its never quite right until its gooey on a morning like this.

Little hands wipe quickly across a new sweet shirt...oils stain..."Oh no Mama!"

I am disappointed, wondering how to remove the oil that is always so stubborn and so lasting, smiling all the while and trying to calm a little heart that adores being fancy. And as I kiss her little head I remember when we placed oil on her brow. The promise of dedication, an annointing to be set apart by God....a lasting promise.

And we get to good stuff today...talking about laundry and lasting stains and lasting promises and the beautiful picture of oil and butter and our God's delight in story. We smile and drink and crunch on our cinnamon toast. And the air is a little sweeter and we are all covered in crumbs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Finding Peace

Ambleside England 1890

Taking in landscapes always relaxes me...I love drives, I love scenes, I love the stories they tell or what is happening in the hearts of God's people, of what wonders have been seen and lived and loved. I feel fresh and inspired and ready for whatever beckons after soaking in a view.

Lately, my soul has been in need of refreshing. My fuse seems short, tears bubble over and stay a while and I'm not ever quite sure why. Patterns develop with my children,I snap, I cease to listen fully, I forget to tie heart strings of fellowship that will remain long after my children age. Habits of response set in without much intention and I quickly find myself deep in a valley with only high walls around me on every side. No view. No perspective.

A dear friend spoke to me yesterday of practicing peace. Her words were so life giving, so true and struck my heart with clarity. Each moment, each response, each thought poses an opportunity, to continue further and further into a deep valley or to practice peace, to lay at the feet of our sweet Jesus the emotions, the fears, the bad habits. When we practice this in small ways, in interactions that typically cause stress, we begin to emerge victorious! I want to fight to follow the life we have been called to and in the thick of the battle the voice of our Lord whispers, " I will give. I will give you peace. I will go so far beyond your understanding and guard your heart and mind in the name of my Son." (Philippians 4:7) And so I am choosing today to believe him, to take the Lord at his word, to trust in the restoration of Christ in my anxious heart and to seek his peace today.

I have been chewing on the words of Charlotte, as usual, and still become overwhelmed with thankfullness at her writings, at the simplicity of her methods and how she has encouraged me on this homeschooling path.The picture above is a painting of her sweet Ambleside, her home and the place of her school. The view is breathtaking isn't it? I feel in so many ways that in our home, we trust in this view and the perspective of a treasured mentor. Today I am remembering to this blessing to, taking comfort and being so thankful for what is taking root in our little school.

When we first started homeschooling, one of the things that I loved, was a felt peace. I still relish in the days of learning and growing in our home, where babies can nap, training can happen in a safe shelter and minds can soak in exciting new ideas all throughout the day. We are being intentional as we hunker in, we aren't bustling, its slow and steady and the rhythm is one I cherish. We are cultivating peace here and I am so thankful for that work. I pray I can stay steadfast in this task, be faithful to this work and see it through. How easily I can become cumbered down and busy...even with wonderful things! I am praying that I will remember to count the cost, to have a wide view as I choose how to spend my time and invest my resources.

If you haven't read it already, please check out Anne's post on peace, it was so sweet, wouldn't a peaceful place like this be the sweetest addition to a home?