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Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

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Another week begins.

Outside, a change has come.

A bitter wind that those bare, black trees just can’t hold back.

My hands are raw like a nurse’s, from all that hot scrubbing.

Because though it’s Thanksgiving week here in America,  

for me it will be another seven days of much the same,

if I want to look at it that way.

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Loading and unloading

dishwashers,

washing machines,

wee ones in and out of beds.

Washing and scrubbing

walls,

floors,

toilets,

faces,

feet.

It’s sacred ground, you know, my home.

Sacred, with Jesus here.

Beside me as I labor, as I stoop.

Just as He did, right before He died.

Servant-like, He washed all the black off His disciples’ feet, just like He’d wash their hearts.

Just like He washed mine.

And so it’s sacred work, too, that I do.

Washing little hands, little feet.

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Not easy. Not easy not to pipe up about what’s fair, and who’s pulling their share of it, and what I need to be happy.

No, the work’s not easy, and it goes on and on.

But what’s easy, really easy, is to go looking for something to give a bit more meaning to it all

when the sacred is disguised as tedium.

I know it’s not there, yet how often I go looking

for something to fill that deep, deep hole.

And yet I know, when it comes down to it, where to be filled.

Filled up and overflowing.

Where I can find the strength to serve and keep on serving.

And I can’t afford not to take the time each day to be filled up,

filled up and floating on all that love, all that grace.

He’s here. Beside me.

But I need to turn and look Him in the eye.

And as I scrub, I need to look them in the eye—my little souls.

They won’t sleep under this roof forever.

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And while I’m kneeling, sometimes I’ve got to remember to keep them there, pull them to my lap.

Lean with our elbows on the windowsill to see what’s what.

With our eyes, trace the shape of those big, black trees,

the colours in the sky,

catch some geese in flight,

work together on our smile lines.

Acknowledge the sacred.

Because it’s right here.

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She rises up as morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone
Before we wake
And her heart is so full; it overflows
She waters us with love and the children grow

~ Andrew Peterson, “Planting Trees”

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“It was November–the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.”

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables    

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You might also be inspired by “Sinking in Deep”https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/11/02/sinking-in-deep/

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Happy Little Sigh is now on Facebook and Twitter — Find me there?

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A Dozen Cosies to Warm Your Heart  & Your Hands and  Bless Your Week . . .

  1. Spread a blanket and have a picnic lunch inside. Or a candlelit picnic at night when the children are abed?

  2. Buy a bouquet of fresh flowers and divide them up in jars around your house. Don’t forget your bathroom and your bedside table. And don’t forget to give them a smell.  

  3. Rake some leaves and jump in the pile. Go in and warm your hands and your soul with some tea.

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4. Bake something with cinnamon. Apple pie?

5. Go for a walk and pray until your nose and cheeks are red. Then go in and warm up with some tea.

6. Watch Anne of Green Gables and laugh and sigh when Anne is “in the depths of despair.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HZfQ7EqMUs

7. Make a cup of tea and cradle it in your hands while you read the Bible. Psalm 42?

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2042&version=NASB

8. Make a big pot of soup. Calcannon, an Irish favourite?

2 Tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, crushed

4 large potatoes, thinly sliced

Chicken or vegetable stock/broth

Herbs and salt to taste

200 grams kale or cabbage, shredded

300 ml cream

1. Heat butter on low. Add onion, garlic, potatoes, cook for 5 minutes without browning.

2. Pour over enough stock/broth to cover, season to taste.

3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Add the kale/cabbage, bring back to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Pour in the cream, ladle and serve.

9. Sprawl out on the carpet and listen to some favourite songs. Maybe this, by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins?

10. Invite some friends over without worrying about the house. Light some candles. Serve tea.

11. Stand under a tree, look up, and watch the leaves fall. Try to catch one.

12. As many times as you can remember, tell your spouse and your children how very much they’re loved. By God. By you.

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I had nothing to show for the day.

Nothing but a pail of wet nappies and some autumnal paintings drying on the porch.

Oh, and the fridge was emptier, and that basket of clothes that needed folding,

well, it sort of overflowed.

Outside the rain fell warm,

but we hadn’t seen a drop of sun all day,

and even the yellow trees, and the red, and the orange,

they all looked

just grey.

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And it felt a cold place, a lonely place, to be doing battle.

And I’ve told myself a thousand times that it shouldn’t be so hard.

It should be nothing at all to

wash sticky hands and faces,

change nappies,

sweep floors.

Couldn’t anyone do it? Anyone at all?

But there’s a little more to it, always a little more.

Because they howl when you do it. When you wipe their hands and face.

And they howl when you change them, and they try to crawl away.

And the crumbs are never nice, dry crumbs that skid across the floor.

No, no.

They stick. Mashed peas and bread crusts. Cereal welded to the wood.

And you’d have to use a crowbar, or at least your nail, to pry them free.

And it wouldn’t be so bad if it were only once.

Not three times.

Every day.

Or if your baby had actually taken his nap,

or your toddler hadn’t been ill and bit hysterical at every little thing you asked him to do.

And there isn’t a room in the house (not one room) where they don’t come after you

with their quarrels and their tears and their demands for more food.

And so yes, it is a battle. And it’s hard.

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And sometimes, it can leave you wondering what you’re worth.

Because you can’t help but feel that there are grander things you should be accomplishing.

And your husband, yes, he has to hear about it all, and you can’t help but feel that this is all

just a little bit his fault.

And part of the battle is taking it all—all the busyness, and the fights, and the tears

and turning it into something good.

Finding reason for us all to give thanks.

And there’s always a reason.

Or instead of shouting,

kneeling down to look your child in the eye

to find the cause for his tears.

Or forgetting about all the good things your spouse should be doing for you,

and finding something good to do for them.

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Because souls, they live in people.

In your children. In your spouse.

And people are more important than things,

and being kind is more important than being right.

And when it all seems a bit of a mess, that’s what you’ve got to remember.

And as many times as you can remember in a day, you’ve got to tell it to your children

Tell them how very much they’re loved.

By God.

By you.

And when there’s no one there to tell it to you, you need to read it.

Read it till it sinks in deep.

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“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:17b-19

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You might also be inspired by A Walk with C.S. Lewis — https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/10/18/a-walk-with-c-s-lewis/

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“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh 

Wellies by our backdoor in Scotland.
Two of the pairs are mine – John does not wear pink!

Findlay having a wee adventure at Glamis, our local castle and favourite place for a family day out when we lived in Scotland.

*It’s been a rather long time since you’ve heard from me, I know. It’s just that life has been a bit of an adventure recently, and not in the inspiring, tramping across fields in wellies sort of way. Adventures usually includes a few surprises,  it’ s true, but this move to America has included just a few too many surprises to make it a nice, comfortable sort of adventure.  A few weeks ago our house was burglarized and almost everything of value taken. This included our laptops, of course, which housed my many notes and photos. The whole experience has been a bit traumatic, I must admit, and the loss of our files was devastating. But . . . I have found myself being forced to look at my life a little differently since it happened, which I pray will turn out to be a good thing. I’ll have more to say on the subject, I’m sure, but until then, I give you this small offering–a little quote and some photos in honor of this colourful, wet, puddle-filled season we call autumn . . . or, on this side of the world, fall.

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