True Confessions of a Fifth-Born Child

Maybe this post should actually be titled “True Confessions of a Fifth-Born Child’s Mother”

Poor kid. He doesn’t always get the attention he needs when he needs it.



This is His Doing

I am far less regular in my prayers and devotions than I want to be. I make time to be still and quiet far less frequently than I ought to. But when life begins to spin and spiral and twist and contort, when my heart is heavy because of sickness and pain and sorrow, when friends and family suffer and mourn, I can go nowhere else.

This morning I sat down with such a heavy heart for all of life’s hardships. I felt such sorrow for all of the ways that we suffer here, most of which I see evidenced right now in the lives of the people closest to my heart. Chronic sickness that doesn’t get better. Acute pain that causes concern. Broken relationships that divide friends. Weak bodies that require mending. Everything seems wrong. Nothing is as it should be.

And yet, what does He whisper to my heart this morning?

“This is My doing.”

Wait. What?

It comes again. “Yes. This is my doing.”


He says it in 1 Kings. God’s people are divided. Israel is a broken nation. Everything seems wrong. Surely this is not what God intended.

One faction takes it upon themselves to fix the problem, to make war against the other faction and force unity upon Israel again. But God says, “Go home, every one of you. For this is My doing.”

These are the words that pillow my head today. My weary brain that paces back and forth over each problem, over every outcome, over all possibilities, finds rest here. Even when circumstances are pure sorrow, even when life is grief and living is pain, God is working and moving.

“Today I place a cup of holy oil in your hands. Use it freely, My child. Anoint with it every new circumstance, every word that hurts you, every interruption that makes you impatient, and every weakness you have. The pain will leave as you learn to see Me in all things.” -Laura A. Barter Snow


There’s a snow storm moving in and we’re all ready for a couple of days of coziness. Even the family minivan is getting cozy.


There’s really no logical reason why one would knit a hood-ornament-cozy for her minivan. But here’s my best explanation.

Two years ago, the car in front of me stopped short and I tapped into the bumper. No damage done, except that the hood ornament on our car popped out onto the road. I picked it up and tossed it into our catch-all basket of “things that need to be fixed someday”.


Then, last week, I had time to browse at the library. Tucked in among the craft books I found this little gem, and was inspired to mend all of our clothing in creative and inspiring ways.

Thinking about the mending put me in a fix-it frame of mind, and I got sad thinking about all of the things in life that couldn’t be fixed with a little fiber (plumbing, appliances, relationships…) So sad, that I became determined to prove that any repair is not only possible but also more fun with fiber. The minivan was the perfect foil.

I knew if I didn’t finish it in a day, it would never get finished. So I taught school that morning with my knitting beside me and we had leftovers for dinner. The kids kept asking me what in the world I was doing. The plumber gave me a very odd look as he passed in and out of the room. But I got it done.

And it makes me really, really happy.

Now I’m eyeing the wheel with the missing hubcap.



Pearl has just been full of the most encouraging words for me this week.

On Monday (me making a desperate attempt at the loom with Daniel on my lap):
“Mama, I know why you can’t finish that weaving. Because you never work on it!”

On Thursday (me refilling my pill box for the week, Pearl watching me):
“Mama, I think you need to make a doctor’s appointment because I don’t think you’re ever going to get better!”


Right now she can still get by on her cuteness. But I’m not sure how much longer that’s going to last.


What They Didn’t Teach Me in College


I had a lot of great professors and sat in a lot of great classes in college. The one that I never saw offered? That I probably would get the most use out of? How to weave with a toddler on your lap.

Maybe it’s a graduate level course.


It doesn’t make for the tidiest edges. But once you get the hang of it it’s awfully sweet to work the treadles with little feet dangling off of your lap.



Dickens belongs to winter. Just as much as knitting and wood stoves and hot licorice root tea.

I almost can’t read anything else from November to February.


This winter belongs to Bleak House. And in my reading last night was this perfectly Dickensian character description.

“Mr. Vohles put his dead glove, which scarcely seemed to have any hand in it, on my fingers, and then on my guardian’s fingers, and took his long thin shadow away. I thought of it on the outside of the coach, passing over all the sunny landscape between us and London, chilling the seed in the ground as it glided along.”

Don’t worry, the season for Dickens passes with winter. Come March I am ready to pick up some light-hearted Austen-ish romance.


The Best Wishes

We found this Christmas card from “The Milk Man” in our milk cooler last week. It was sopping wet. It looks like he wrote it while sitting at a red light.

And yet, it’s hanging on my fridge beside all of the other Christmas greetings  because it makes me giggle just to see it.

I mean, how many people get a Christmas card signed “The Milk Man”??


A Pox Upon My Household

Here’s a word problem for today.

If the baby comes down with chicken pox on a Tuesday, and chicken pox has a 10-21 day incubation period, and none of the baby’s siblings have had the chicken pox, how many days will it take 5 children to catch and recover from the pox?

I’ll have to get back to you on the answer.


Join Us??

Every Christmas our family chooses a “birthday gift for Jesus” to put under the tree. This year, we’re sponsoring a refugee family. It takes 5 sponsorships at $30 a month to fully sponsor a family, and we’re just the first drop in the bucket.

If making a donation is something that’s on your heart this season, or if helping these refugees in your thoughts, would you consider joining us in sponsoring this family?

Click here to help us sponsor the Tahsin Faisil Khalaf Family.


Other helpful links:

The Refuge Initiative who is helping us sponsor this family.
We Welcome Refugees for how (and why) Christians can help refugees.