Happy First Day of Spring! :)

Happy First Day of SPRING! :)

Are you doing anything fun and spring-ish to celebrate the turn into a new season? We are itching for flowers and garden produce around here! I’m a little behind on housework though so we’re not going too crazy just yet (listening to The Briefing while cleaning…interesting news and commentary from the president at Southern Seminary). ;-)



I think we may still be in for some snow in West Virginia (though Kaya has officially stopped praying for snow, for which I am soooo grateful), but I am starting to feel optimistic about the eventual arrival of some truly lovely weather. And the further possibility of…


Spring crafts…


Daffodils & fresh decor…


… starting a little kitchen herb garden on the porch…

…and maybe my kids all deciding they’re into afternoon nap time again?

Happy Spring to you & yours ~

Hope you enjoy this Christina Rosetti poem for the occasion…;-)

I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
If wintry birds are dreaming of a mate,
If frozen snowdrops feel as yet the sun
And crocus fires are kindling one by one:
Sing, robin, sing;
I still am sore in doubt concerning Spring.

I wonder if the springtide of this year
Will bring another Spring both lost and dear;
If heart and spirit will find out their Spring,
Or if the world alone will bud and sing:
Sing, hope, to me;
Sweet notes, my hope, soft notes for memory.

The sap will surely quicken soon or late,
The tardiest bird will twitter to a mate;
So Spring must dawn again with warmth and
Or in this world, or in the world to come:
Sing, voice of Spring,
Till I too blossom and rejoice and sing.

- the First Spring Day



holding on for spring & miracles











“…Let me say something about the word: miracle. For too long it’s been used to characterize things or events that, though pleasant, are entirely normal. Peeping chicks at Easter time, spring generally, a clear sunrise after an overcast week – a miracle, people say, as if they’ve been educated from greeting cards. I’m sorry, but nope. Such things are worth our notice every day of the week, but to call them miracles evaporates the strength of the word.

Real miracles bother people, like strange sudden pains unknown in medical literature. It’s true: They rebut every rule all we good citizens take comfort in. Lazarus obeying orders and climbing up out of the grace – now there’s a miracle, and you can bet it upset a lot of folks who were standing around at the time. When a person dies, the earth is generally unwilling to cough him back up. A miracle contradicts the will of earth.

My sister, Swede…offered this: People fear miracles because they fear being changed – though ignoring them will change you also. Swede said another thing too, and it rang in me like a bell: No miracle happens without a witness. Someone to declare, Here’s what I saw. Here’s how it went. Make of it what you will…

…as a witness, let me say that a miracle is no cute thing but more like a swing of a sword.

{from Peace Like A River by Leif Enger}

may your life, friend, be ‘more like a swing of a sword’…

<3 jc

Robes of Glory

Savoring the last of summer…

“…When Summer gathers up her robes of glory,
  And like a dream of beauty glides away…”


“…Till the slant sunbeams through their fringes raining
  Bathe all the hills in melancholy gold….”



{sarah helen whitman – a still day in autumn}



a little color, a little spring.

I promise, Part 6 to “Our Story” is really coming. We’ve just been distracted this week – unexpected visits with friends, new neighbors, drill weekend, an interview, work things, my finals week and paper-writing…we’re almost finished though, so stay with us! :)

I’ve had these pretty pictures sitting on my computer for a couple of days and wanted to share them with you…

I love sitting on my back porch.

Sometimes while the babies are napping. Sometimes while they’re out playing, and 8 neighbor kiddos gather round for tee-ball and all the girls want to hold Baby Hudson.

Flowers are good company.

They’re quiet. Thankful for both the sunny days and rainy ones.

Lately I’ve been studying for finals and reading books and writing papers out on the back patio (we’ve had such perfect weather!). It hardly seems laborious when surrounded by such colors and smells.

I wonder if these blossoms know the danger they’re in? One 2 year old princess lives here and she fancies herself a queen with a flower tucked behind her ear.

Oh! The promise of big balls of pink hydrangea! And tall vibrant lilies and gladiolas shooting up out of the black soil.

All of it cheers the soul, comforts the heart and turns my attention to that Masterful Artist…

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – from Matthew 6, ESV

{the poor man’s apothecary}

It’s nothing grand.

We’ve no expertise or perfection to share!
But what we do have is a happy little patio and some tight-spaces turned garden-plots.

 A neighbor before me planted this rhododendron (?) and I get to enjoy the benefits…:)

It’s fast becoming a favorite hobby – this watching things grow, learning their names, tending them here and there.

Only God could take a little tiny seed and make it grow into something useful, beautiful…

…but I am happy to work alongside Him and celebrate His handiwork too.

Front left – tomato, front right – cherry tomato, back – raspberry.

I think you’ll find us out here working or just sitting a lot this summer…:)

“The garden is the poor man’s apothecary.”  ~ German Proverb

<3 jc

My Favorite Days

Lately I find myself a bit surprised…

Could it be I am enjoying the tasks God has called me to? The home He has given me? The life I didn’t choose?

My favorite days are ones that feel full and blessed, and I am happy and fulfilled (mostly…I still have my pregnancy mood-swings and achey days!). Surprisingly, to me at least, these aren’t the busiest days or the out-and-about days. They aren’t the days that are full of activity and friends and events. Those days are good too, and have their place. But I am finding that my favorite days are the simple ones, the normal ones.

It sounds funny, but it’s taken me until after my 2nd wedding anniversary and my baby being 15 months old for me to feel like I’ve fallen into a rhythm at home. Of course it is constantly being adjusted based on schedule changes, little girl’s changing needs and my own trimester changes. But I’m starting to wake up earlier and actually enjoying it. I’d like to get up even earlier, Proverbs 31-style (vs. 15), to enjoy the quiet of the home, have breakfast ready, and spend my own time in devotions before anyone else is requiring my attention – waking up and looking well to the ways of my household, not eating the bread of idleness. Mornings are so wonderful! Depending on the day, we often have a few moments to bring Kaya into our room to cuddle and say good morning. We have breakfast together, sometimes read Scripture or a devotion from Spurgeon, and then both Kaya and I kiss Nels as he leaves for work. Then Kaya and I have a little time to water the plants in the garden or read some of her books together. She’ll have a bath and get dressed, and then she’ll play for a bit while I clean up the kitchen. When she goes down for a nap it’s my turn to read my Bible and get the laundry started or clean up and take a shower…and usually to clean up whatever crazy mess Kaya made before her nap time! I make lunch and dinner plans and sometimes start some dough in the bread machine. I love working to tidy or clean the house – to have it looking and smelling fresh when Nels comes home for lunch. Most of the time, but not always, I have some kind of lunch ready – sometimes a hot meal, more often a turkey sandwich and fresh fruit. Having him home at noon breaks up the day so nicely and when he doesn’t have lunch off the day feels so much longer…

And you know what’s really crazy? I’m starting to enjoy housework. Okay, not always…laundry must be excluded from this…and you probably wouldn’t be able to tell I enjoy it by looking at my house tonight! But I really do. When I’m not too busy, when the mess hasn’t totally “gotten away from me”…I enjoy it. Often I listen to Alistair Begg, Woodrow Kroll or John MacArthur sermons (accessed via iTunes podcasts or here) while I clean and the time passes quickly and feels rich and blessed. I am really happy to create a beautiful home environment for Nels and Kaya, plus our baby on the way and any visitors who walk through our door. A lot of times that beautiful environment is not a spotless or pristine one, but I hope that it will be orderly, encouraging, welcoming, fresh-smelling, lived-in and spirit-filled.

It’s strange that I am enjoying being home so much. I never expected it…I’ve always been a “go-er”. I am realizing the more time I have at home with Kaya, the happier we both are and the more well-behaved she is. The more I stay home during the day, the happier my evenings with Nels are. I have so much to learn, but I am loving the homemaking life God has given me. I often feel pulled in many directions all at once – but God has made my husband and baby my top priority and I am happiest when I keep that straight.

Lately I have been studying Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 to glean from God’s Word more about His plan for me as a Christ-following woman. More thoughts on that later…but tonight I am just amazed that such a simple life could feel so rich and blessed right now! I know that this is where God wants me to be – our home is the center of our family, the “headquarters” of our life and ministry, and it is no insignificant task to be the manager at home. I don’t know why I thought it would be…

I pray God’s richest blessings on you and your home today!

<3 jc