I made a goal for 2019 to post here twice a month. Here’s to beginnings! When other bloggers I follow post the intimates about their daily life, that’s what I love to read. Intimacy is my jam. So, let’s get our cuppas, with whatever they’re filled with, and chat!
The Biggest Things
As most of you know, we moved about 5 miles from a rental to an owned house last month. We’ve been here just a few weeks, and it already feels like ages since we were in our old house! We spent the fall in escrow (escrow in NY state is 3 months, which feels like a million years when you are used to 30 days!). Then, we rushed to get all of our stuff in the new house and minimally set up in the four days before Christmas. Now we’re here and I thought we’d just unpack and live! But, we have a few snags. There’s a fix that needs doing in the basement before I can fully set up the kid’s area down there. Right now a corner of the basement is their own space and they seriously love it. But, there is a ton of boxes, shelves, chairs, etc that are waiting to be set up. Not being able to get that done is bugging me, but no one else cares. lol! We also have a wood stove taking up far too much of our dining room (that I’m so excited to move to the living room), a few walls I’d like to take out compartmentalizing the living space downstairs and a few other things that will change how we use some of the space, just sitting on the waiting list.
Waiting is just hard! I want the house that’s in my head to be the one I am living in, right now! #impatientmuch
The real star of our new house is the yard though. It’s 1/3 of an acre, which is a far cry from the 2 acres we had in CA – but there are trees, wildlife, a creek and right now snow! The kids are absolutely loving it. Especially my oldest, who misses her big California desert yard so, so much.
Dealing With Clouds
Moving from the south west desert to the north east forest I anticipated the cold, the rain, the snow. I didn’t realize how dark it is. For days, and days, just so cloudy – in early fall we had rain for something like 35 out of 38 days in a row! We’re also much further north, and winter shaves off an extra hour or two of daylight here compared to living in the south west. In CA, we had a 20 foot navy wall in our living room and kitchen area. In a place with 330ish days of sunlight a year, it didn’t feel dark. In our rental house here in NY the landlord had all the walls painted light grey. It was amazing in a rental, that can have hideous dated colors. But the monotony of grey walls, grey couch, grey area rugs, grey days just ended up too dark. The plan for this house is bright, bright, and more bright. I’ve decided on coral for the living room walls. I’m excited about it, my husband is super on board, my 5 little men though, are thinking that won’t be their favorite room. But, we’ll see! I’m also doing lots of blue in the kitchen, which the little boys love. We talk lovingly about the huge bay window we are planning to add in the dining room, to bring in more light and a view of the wooded and creek side of the yard. It’s way down at the bottom of our renovation priority list, but it’s on there!
Also, have any of you tried lights that mimic the sun for winter blues? I’m thinking of adding some of these somewhere in the house. Not sure where, but it’d do us all some good I think.
Reaping and Sowing
One of my goals for 2019 is to doing a bedtime devotion with one kid each night. I have done one with all 6 every night, but ten mins with each one turns into an hour and I just wasn’t able to sustain that. It was a beautiful time though, and they’re hearts are so open in that special hour before bed, but I’m struggling with how to honor that without getting overwhelmed.
Last week my husband was out of town, and leaving 5 of them alone to have one on one time before bed was just not going to end well. I ended up having them all get into their beds and doing a little routine with them. I said the Israelite blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 over them, gave them a big hug, said I love you, sprayed them with essential oil “Sleep Potion” and gave them oils for whatever little issues/complaints/needs they have. It was SOOO special and my biggest bedtime trouble maker was an angel every night. It was a miracle! Side note: Mommy or Daddy reads to them every night, like every single night for ten years unless they fall asleep in the car or we’re having a late night movie or something. And that still happens, tucking in routine or not.
The other night though, my husband had a late work night and I was just so, so grumpy. Like yelling grumpy. And I absolutely did not want to do the new night time routine. I wanted to grumpily sit in my rocking chair outside their bedrooms and read out loud, hoping they would just fall asleep without a sound, and I could be done.
But, my one trouble maker. My one super needy bedtime guy would have made me lose my temper again, probably at least 3 times before he fell asleep if I didn’t do the routine. So I made myself do it.
It was amazing. Seriously. We all needed that few minutes of calm and connection more that night than any other! And that calm and love carried all of them off to dream land in record time!
I’m learning the lessons of sowing and reaping, again. I had a print on my kitchen wall for a few years, before it got splattered with something kitchen related and ended up in the trash. It was a woman holding sheaves of wheat. And I had the lyrics to Bringing In The Sheaves next to it. Whatever you sow, or plant, or do, that’s what comes back. It’s God’s reality of what karma tries to explain. In those moments I am sealing our day with love and care, even when I am soooo done with life. My one-on-one time goal is going to morph into keeping this tucking in routine up all year. It’s amazing.
Also – shout out to essential oils! I ask the kids are you sick, sad, scared, excited, sore, itchy, happy… and they tell me little snippets of their day and then I find an oil for that. It’s such a powerful way to connect without them feeling like I’m prying into their thoughts. I think it’s also training them to ask themselves one day, what do I need? Something men, especially, have a really hard time even noticing about themselves, let alone articulating. My little dudes are still small enough to articulate their needs well, and I love oils as a tool to continue to foster that!
I’m currently sailing through Finding My Way Home by Henri Nouwen. I have inhaled every book I’ve picked up of his. He’s pretty much my absolute favorite right now. The book begins with an introduction from a friend of his, and tells a little story about walking the city streets with him. Every time Henri came across a homeless person, he would look into their eyes, listen to them with great dignity, hug them, help them if he could. Ugh, those are my people.
Story time: this one day, before I knew Christ, or maybe very, very shortly after I met him, I ended up with a few hours to kill at the beach. A man, clearly drunk, 50 something, very dirty sat down next to me and began telling me his whole life story. And I listened and talked with him, while he cried and shared about his life, his memories for two or three hours. I went home and wrote down everything I remembered. That day felt so, so big to me. It meant something. Here we are 14ish years later and I still don’t know what it means. But my heart beats for those broken people and Nouwen’s experiences with the hard to love speak to that place.
That book isn’t about ministering to the fringe people in our society. It’s about Jesus, and the sort of internal dialog with Him that moves you to want to do something. Which is what makes Nouwen my favorite: a deep contemplation of God that works itself out into serving.
I also just finished reading Call It Courage to the kids – Growing up sailing the 28 miles across the sea to Santa Catalina with my parents, books about sailing, the ocean and islands are super high on my love list. This one also had the underdog element, which is always amazing. Also, the writing was like a dream! In Angela’s Ashes, the main character is a poor boy who ends up sick in a children’s ward with lots of books, he said reading Shakespeare out loud was like having rubies in his mouth – this book felt that way for me. I just loved it. Also, I think I need more well written literature in my life! Christian self help stuff is what makes up most of my to-do list, but I clearly need more rubies. Any suggestions?
Via Con Dios, Friends!
Well dudes, this coffee date got long! For any of you who have had real coffee dates with me, you know this is TOTALLY normal. My instagram profile includes “glutton of heart conversations” – it’s so true! Absolutely gluttonous! I’ll tear myself away though, it’s time 🙂
How are YOU doing?! Is life feeling on hold for you, too? Or busy, stressful, joyful, restful…? What is God teaching you right now? Is it a sowing time, a reaping time or a winter time for you? Or is it something else entirely? And I’m dying to know what you’re reading!
Love you, friends! See you soon 🙂