Raking Leaves

Once a week I watch my elderly neighbor rake leaves from his yard and driveway, and the sidewalk in front of his house.  I always scoff a bit, wondering why he wastes his time. All those leaves he rakes, out into the street, out of his yard. Surely he must know that his effort is in vain?  I mean, one fast car passes by and all those leaves, wet and dirty, fly right back into his yard. Not to mention the gargantuan maple tree that hovers over, leaning from the neighbors yard, just waiting to give a good shiver and send hundreds of leaves to the clean yard below.  So as I sit here on the stool by a window and nose my way into his life from the warmth and security of my home, I wonder: why? ( I didn't mention that he does all this in socks and sandals - in the 50 degree wet weather.)

Although I'm not sure why, I think the answer might be a simple one. The way that old man is hunched over his rake every Sunday is the way we should live our lives. We should constantly be raking out the old leaves. Cleaning up our yards. Our minds, our hearts, our lives. Jesus doesn't want us to be stagnant. He doesn't want us to sit by and let the dirty old leaves pile up just because, in a few minutes, more leaves will come drifting down. The sin, the garbage that piles up, what would happen if we just let it be, for fear we'd just have to clean it up again in a few days?  It would over take us and begin to hide who we really are, God's lights. How can our light shine if its hidden by piles of leaves?  Not to mention how the slimy leaves would start to kill the grass and make a lovely home for all sorts of bugs.

So my question is to you (and me): have you raked your yard today?


A Monday to be Thankful

The past couple weeks have been challenging.  Who am I kidding - the past couple months have been challenging.  Let's just say my entire life has been one big challenge.

I'm not saying that for pity, it's just a fact.  I'm not quite sure why.  I've had everything I've ever needed: loving parents and siblings, the opportunity for education, a caring and supportive husband, a sweet and pretty-well-behaved child, employment, true friends, a church home, and the list goes on....

....for some reason I struggle.  I fight against all those good things.  Why?  Is it because I haven't succumbed to the realization that Jesus died for me while I was still a sinner?  That somehow I still don't get that his love for me is unconditional, and that I can't do anything to gain it or lose it?  Do I still feel that unworthy?

It's something that I need to get over.  I wish it was that simple.  Wren, get over it.  It's not.  It will take a lifetime of working through all the failures in my past and present, and knowing that being forgiven means that I have permission to move on from those things.  To forget them.

One way to help move on is to be thankful for all I've been given, and all the lessons that have been learned.  So here goes:

  • Chilly fall mornings
  • My smart phone
  • Family that is truly always there
  • Slippers
  • A working washer and dryer
  • Hot chai tea
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hard lessons in God's word
  • Mercies that are new every morning
  • Friends who don't mind picking up where we left off
  • Forgiveness
  • Napping children
  • The way Isaac pulls me toward what he wants
What are you thankful for today?


A Monday to be Thankful

Isaac and I made our way to Natural Choices Health Clinic early this morning.  Isaac had food sensitivity testing.  It turns out that he's not sensitive to dairy like we thought he might be.  He is, however, sensitive to gluten and peanuts!

We had kind of a rough time.  He was fussy, irritated, sleepy, hungry, and just plain bored.  It last about 45 minutes.  The doctor was amazing.  I liked her a lot!  She handled Isaac's quirkiness quite well.  She was very comfortable with him.

When we were done, we went to the car and I attempted to change a poopy diaper in the back seat.  Isaac squirmed and wiggled....he managed to get poop everywhere.  It was not a fun experience and he wasn't the cleanest when it was all said and done - but it got done!

We visited a good friend on a break in between her classes, and he walked all around the park, finding and jumping in mud puddles.

On the way home he cried for about a minute before falling asleep and staying that way the rest of the way home.

All this got me thinking.  I have so much.  I'm well cared for in so many ways.  I'd like to share some of the things I'm thankful for today:

  • Naturopathic Doctors
  • a reliable vehicle 
  • the drive thru
  • chilly fall days
  • not falling on slippery sidewalk leaves
  • friends who take time out to play in the park
  • diet soda
  • a baby who lets me sleep past 7
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • movies that entertain little ears and eyes
  • Isaac's high little voice
  • a hard working husband
What are you thankful for today?


always waking up tired

Everyday that Isaac is not with his grandma, he's with me.  4 days a week.  He sleeps in until sometime between 7:30-8.  Therefore, he's not tired until around 11am.  At this point he's been taking only about an hour long nap. That would be fine if he wanted to take another one, but he doesn't.  So, our afternoons are filled with this weird, "are you tired, not tired, do you want to try to take a nap," dance that he and I do.  I wouldn't mind if he went down to one nap, in fact I'd like it!  More availability for us to do other things.

When he goes to grandma's, he gets up at 6:45.  He takes a morning nap and then an afternoon nap as well (although I'm told those naps are getting shorter.)  It's hard to keep a schedule with him when his days aren't consistent.  I long for the days when I can stay home with him and his (possibly) future siblings (s).

In the meantime, I thank God that I have a job to help provide for my family.  I'm thankful that he gets to stay with his grandma who provides loving care for him.  I'm thankful that my job is less than 10 minutes from where I live, and that I work just 3 days a week.  I'm thankful that I get to spend the majority of my time being a mom.

If we could only get these kinks out of the nap schedule......
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