And the Lord
will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail. Isaiah 58:11

Praise the Savior, ye who know Him!
Who can tell how much we owe Him?
Gladly let us render to Him
All we are and have. ~Thomas Kelly

Before I start my day today (which means: clean my kitchen. again.) I sit here in my room with you, my dearest bloggy friends, and a cup of rapidly cooling coffee, my latest scrapbook, and one small female Samantha cat behind me on the narrow shelf top of my bed’s headboard.

Wanting to say hello. Wanting to connect. Wanting to pray for you. Wanting to love.

Rich woke me up out a sound sleep this morning and we all know what happens when the Queen is awakened by a magical kiss…….she wakes up and doesn’t go back to sleep. With the extra two hours, in which every one else is asleep but Seth, I shall sit my Queenly self on my throne (bed) and tippety tap on the ol’ keyboard, to you, my friends. (The King is in the garage, hard at work).

I was considering hearts.

And how once I was blind, but now I can see.

Seth turning around and looking at me while eating homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, “Thank you, Mom,” he says. There is the briefest of pauses as he looks into my eyes and sees my smile before he also smiles and turns back to his breakfast.

Ethan helping his sister clean the kitchen without saying a word or being asked.

Jacob “fathering” his youngest brother so patiently through learning a new game.

David giving me the best hug after I asked him for one (yes, I did have to ask twice). “I give the best hugs, that’s what the girls all say.”

Rich bringing me coffee in bed.

Brittnee wanting to be close and already like a daughter to me.

Grace and her friendship, we are so alike, we understand each other without any effort.

Caleb waking up one morning and walking right into my arms for a hug. He’s taller and bigger than I am now, but “I had the worst dream,” he says, and I think, “I am the listener of dreams.”

And then, Sarah.

I let her be carefree as much as possible, and I find her singing to herself as she plays alone with her toys, or curled up with a book, or sometimes I am not even sure where she is……..

But yet, I remembered again that the smallest of ways to gather her little heart to mine are so easy, so effortless, that I don’t even realize it’s happening until I see the evidence lasting for days…….I was on the couch one evening, it was just the two of us, she was sitting three feet away and I motioned her close to my side and pulled her into my arm for snuggles and the most wonderful movie; “Kedi” on amazon prime (I bought it a few years ago) it’s all about cats in Istanbul, and so lovely with music, little stories, and charming cats galore, just right for comforting TV time and blankets, for mother and daughter both.

And Samantha even watched, too.

And then, when it was over, we simply had to go out to look at the beautiful bright moon.

We were together, just the two of us, and we felt like we were getting away with something, going outside at night instead of straight to bed!

She was as bright and full of light as the moon itself. She laughed. She shivered. She said she was freezing. I laughed and said, “Oh stop, you’re fine!” just to make her giggle again.

In that moment, I felt it deep within me. This isn’t just fun, this is deeper than that. It’s hearts.

We said goodnight to the moon and each other.

And the next morning, while I was in bed in my nightgown drinking coffee, the first thing she did when she woke up was come to me and get back close to mama. These days are different, all of us gloriously at home and honestly, 98% of the time it is party-atmosphere, we get along so well, but then we might miss out on the one on one time, and I relearned this as I saw how Sarah warmed right up to me in this way after spending time with just me.

She got a cookbook and went through recipes as I read my own book, and she picked out a cake to make together later on……..

Then Seth came and got on the other side of me and my coffee spilled.

Somehow it was funny.

Everything was funny yesterday.

Isn’t it interesting the variety of days? One day we are exhausted, so we spend most of it being as “lazy” as possible, and then the next day our energy is back in full swing and we do allllllllll the things and everything is fun and good again.

I wonder what today will be like.

I know I’m homeschooling again. Remembering my old tricks. Thank goodness I only have to oversee Seth and Sarah; Rich is in charge of David and Caleb. Grace is a HUGE help, and I involve everyone in this household, I ask for help and they always come through for me. Can’t life always be this way? Can’t Rich always work from home? Can’t the older ones stay forever? Why must we separate? I don’t want to go back to being alone during the day again. I’m liking this too much. We have our own small community here, with a population of ten.

“I acknowledge with great gratitude the peace and contentment we can find for ourselves in the spiritual cocoon of our homes………”
~James Faust

If I can be content now, I can surely be content with, too, children flying the nest. Yes, I know, I know, all is well, and all will be well. Now is now, let us focus on the day.

I like to stick things in my ponytail while walking….it’s such fun! I’ve even been known to add small branches to it! LOL.

Please enjoy these old mashed potatoes, my fine-feathered friends.

Thank you, dear son! Please fold everything, including the underwear and socks! (he often doesn’t go that far in his laundry service)

Jacob is our resident grocery store shopper. And oh how I appreciate him and his thoughtful, good work here. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to have him do this for me.

Homemade biscuits baked in cast iron, makes a world of difference.

I made them for sausage gravy but later on for a snack I had one with jam and sour cream.

I was torn by the end of the ordering process. Should I pick “free shipping and who knows WHEN it will arrive?” Or five-dollar shipping guaranteed to come within the week?

Free it was, and it still arrived in less than a week. VERY PLEASED WITH YOU, ANTHROPOLOGIE. Well done.

And I LOVE the overalls so so so so much.

Rich is in the background, working. This is the room in the upstairs of the garage which is mostly a home-gym but then there is also a desk by the windows for him to work. He is so thankful for this area away from the busyness of the household. He is still working full days and keeping busy. I go over to visit a few times a day, stomping up the stairs in a dramatic fashion (Mt. Everest of stairs!) and falling in a heap at the top from the exertion.

Those are Seth’s crocs.

My phone case was clear so I added a piece of pink scrapbook paper to beautify it.

Even though it has a major flaw (loss of handle) I still love my seamist mug. In fact, way back when it still had it’s handle, it was featured in a blog post. search “seamist mug” it should come up.

Daffy in apricot, apple-scented geranium, and a sink full of dishes.

I went for a ramble in the woods yesterday and came home with these things. A twiggy nest, a round hallow ball fallen from a tree (see gall-dwellers) , lichen (such a beautiful light green almost like my mug) and a sheet of white birch (I put my houseplants on them to protect the table).

And, yes, we made the cake. Two just like this one, from the recipe which Sarah picked out from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the red plaid cover. Strawberry shortcake, all homemade, using real butter split, filled, and topped with freshly whipped cream, and sweetened sliced strawberries.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” 
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

15 thoughts on “heart-work

  1. Hard for me to believe that you can wear “Little Seth’s” crocs. Except, I have been seeing that he isn’t little Seth anymore! No more little boys!! Good to see pictures of your family, food, activities. I think I am finding my rhythm here. It helps that baby Eliya (eh-LEE-uh) is starting to be happier and coo and smile more. 7 weeks old. So chubby and sweet-smelling. Sarah

  2. Loved it all! The quote at the bottom says it all! Theses days are making wonderful memories for all of you, and no one will forget the love of the family. You are so blessed to have such a family! May we all have eyes to see with love. The heart sees. Even in the craziness of it all, even then the love is known. May we all be grateful for the everyday things,for its then ,when we look back,those were the big things. Perspective.
    Sending love,and blessings your way,

  3. Your blog posts are always a feast for the eyes and soul. Thank you for this glimpse into your life. I can’t even put into words what they do for me. As I’ve said before…it’s like reading a good book, yet, a little more personal.

    The overalls are really cute on you….still amazed that you can just choose something and it fits….still jealous, too.

    The biscuits and shortcake look amazing. You should write a book on how to rear most-excellent children, because you’ve got them. I love how you appreciate and love each one of their unique qualities that God gifted them with. It’s so special…if you’ve not had it, you wouldn’t understand why I think this is so special.

    Then, you can write a book about how to appreciate life and write a heart-melting blog post about it. 🙂 Wow. You’ve got it, lady.

    And then…chickens. A blog post cannot be bad as long as it includes chickens.

    I was just writing in my journal this morning about how I feel so ‘out of control’ with how I might feel one day…bursting with creativity, ideas, joy…even the chicken poop is beautiful on those days…with a mile-long list of goals…so many, it will keep me busy for 10 years. Then waking up the next morning in pain, and struggling to even wash the dishes and find something positive in the day, even though I try. Some days I wake up wishing the day was already over and the sun isn’t even up yet. Then, the next day, BOOM. Ms. Creativity, Ultra-supreme Wife and Homemaker appears. It sounds as if this is what you are describing.

    At any rate, I’m glad this is a good day for you, and I pray this one shows up for many days in a row…but I’ll take whatever shows up here. I just love hearing from you. Thank you for sharing and adding a bit of joy for the rest of us out here in blog-land.

    • your notes to me on here are so thoughtful and sweet I often don’t even know what to say! But please know I soak your life-giving words up lie a sponge. You are so dear.

      • No worries. 🙂 Some of my best conversations have been sitting in silence, with neither of us having to say anything, but just ‘knowing’ and being completely at ease.

        …but I appreciate your  kind words. Thank you for letting me know. 🙂

  4. Hi friend, I signed up to receive your blog posts and I do get them, but I can’t remember what My password is to see the pics. It sounds like you are thriving in this pandemic. Some days we thrive And some days we survive. Thanks, ~Donna


  5. I have never baked biscuits in a cast iron pan before. I will try it soon. I really miss having people to cook for. Cooking for one is not much fun. I used to have different ones in the family for meals at least once a week. Now I can’t even do that. That’s OK. I’ll just have to make up for it when this is done. I’m just thankful we’re all healthy and trying to stay safe.

  6. Yes, you are so right about a day of exhaustion, followed by a day of getting-it-done. Today I had two revelations which I shared with my family at dinner. Due to my exhaustion today, we ordered pizza and the first revelation was there are not too many things that smell as wonderful as a pizza shop. Mmmm. The second revelation is the architecture of a bird’s nest. We’ve had crazy wind here in PA today, and yet the HUGE hawk’s nest high up in the leaf-less tree stays nice and secure. Our Creator is amazing. Just thought you’d enjoy 🙂 And a cast iron pan is on my Mother’s Day wish list.

    • I love what you shared about the hawk’s nest. Yes, our Creator is amazing. So often that is the sense I have as I walk back inside after a nice nature tromp…..and yes to pizza!!!! You will love using cast iron. My mom says it actually adds iron to your diet, I’m not sure if that’s true, but if mom says so!!! 🙂

  7. I have had my eye on some bibs, too. Not from Anthropologie…but from Runnings. That store suits this area. Besides, I need to do a try on before purchasing. Loved this post. So newsy. Easter was…..different for us. So quiet. No fam other than our J who lives in the dawdihaus in the back. Thankful she is here. We did our weekly trek to town this AM for groceries. I had made a couple of masks to use for shopping, but hate them. Oh, I loved making them, but hate the wearing. I am ready to make one from a t-shirt. Saw a DYI on YT. I honestly do not think it matters much, but it is a mental game to wear one when going into certain stores. This morning early early, I was up making some birthday cards for my “babies” who turn 36 years old on Saturday. Sheesh!!!!! How did they get to be so old…and how in the world did I get to be this age? Older than dirt! Ha! Enjoy your family there during this time. Memories are being made. I am rambling. You have a good one, girl. Thinking of you. Need any more journaling stuff?? Say the word and I will send. 🙂

  8. What a fun post to read! I love love love those cute overalls and the thought of you so dramatically falling on the landing!

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