Why so many pictures? Because regardless of their quality (which is amateur, no doubt), I keep seeing pretty things - in the greens of April, in our sweet friend's white blonde halo hair, in Asher wrestling with his dad - and wanting to pause it, hold it up to the light, then hold it up to you, and say, "Look! Pretty!" That's why there have been so many pictures lately. I'm not a photographer. I mostly don't want to be, though if I knew more about what I was doing I could better capture what I see. But I do love beauty.
It's almost planting time. The nights are warming up, evening out. I'm scheming berries and peppers alongside the tomatoes and herbs this year. The gardenias in the front yard are struggling so mightily I'm tempted to uproot them and make a garden out of the front flower bed, but that's risky. If my thumb is especially black this year, my failures would be on display for anyone who crosses our front stoop to see. Am I really comfortable with that level of public leafy vulnerability?
Lately I've been praying for wisdom in our home. So many decisions in front of us - finances and education and discipline and time management - that just need wisdom. If I knew the right path for our family, I could do it with confidence. As it is, I'm spending too much time second-guessing. I need wisdom.
As I'm writing this, my little boy is sleeping again in the blue chair. The stillness of sleeping boys stands is such stark contrast to the rest of their days.
So. Since I'm clearly not focusing this afternoon, why don't I direct you to others who are?
Safe Miracles is a good post. Timely, too, since her theological points about the Catholic church specifically are exactly the ones being discussed in my circle right now. But in a larger sense, her thoughts on God and suffering are worth reading.
Steady Mom is my new favorite "1,483 ways to improve your life" blog. Many of her values overlap with my own - focus, rhythm, intentionality in parenting. If you're a mom, add it to your Google Reader. You will almost never skip over it.
I have also found another blog I love recently. Three (maybe four?) generations of a family, spread across the East Coast. The tag is, "Because it's important to maintain the collective memory." Amen. So they share whatever they are working on, in a surprisingly coherent way (if my mom and I were to attempt a shared blog, it would be entitled, "Which Way Did They Go? - Adventures in A.D.D." because, friends, our phone conversations are not coherent to the outsider. They are half-finished sentences and rounding back to the conversation before. Then again, we could edit a blog, so maybe we could pull it off. Ha! The whole idea makes me smile. My mom and I share poetry and coffee. But if I need a recipe, I call my dad. That's how the collective memory works in my family. But man, did I digress. The blog is good). I especially liked how they approached discipline. It was the first time I've ever read anything about disciplining children that said, "You and your husband, go read these verses. Pray about them for a few days. Then sit down and talk about what it means for your family." That is parenting advice I will gladly accept.
And who could forget that Kendra just had babies?! If you haven't done so yet, go stick your head in the door and say a word of encouragement. Kendra had one baby the old fashioned way, followed by one emergency c-section. Now she's at home, recovering, with two teeniny little newborn twins. The word "exhausted" comes to mind. Followed closely by "overwhelmed." Hang in there Kendra. It only gets better from here. One day they'll be three and sleeping (or not) in the blue chair across the room. I know that seems impossible, but it really is true. Or walking talking toddlers, and climbing into strangers' high chairs at Chick-fi1-A because they are ready to eat, already. I'm not wishing away their newborn days for you, and I know you aren't either. But it only gets better from here.