On Stewardship

There’s a big wooden barrel outside our front door filled with flowers and vines, spilling out around the sides and down to the ground.  Our neighbor filled it with beautiful plants over the summer that we’ve been able to enjoy since she moved out and we moved in.

Those beautiful plants aren’t so beautiful anymore, however; they haven’t been for a month or two.  Every time I’ve walked by or looked out the window I see them and make a mental note to pull them out.  Again, and again, and again…  It’s been on my to-do list, along with mopping the floors and washing the windows and coiling up loose cords.

This morning after I put Levi down for a nap I grabbed my garden gloves, put on my boots, and told myself I was going to pull those plants out whether I felt like it or not.  It was raining and chilly but hey, no time like the present.  Out they came.

The past few days God has been gently reminding me to care for our home.  Sounds obvious, to me at least; clean the kitchen, sweep the floors, make sure the bed is made.  Those are everyday things and the house looks presentable!  Yet He’s not only concerned with present-ability.

Perfectionism won’t get us anywhere.  But what does matter is that we’re faithful with the little things.  God has given us this place to live, and He cares that we’re good stewards of it.  Take care of the details; pull out the plants, mop the floors, wash the windows, coil the cords.  An attitude of procrastination or laziness, or the mentality that “eh, it doesn’t really matter anymore” — these aren’t ways of stewarding well.  (Gulp.)

There will be times I can’t get to the house right away, for one legitimate reason or another.  But stewarding my time and taking care of the things He’s given us are more important than I’ve realized.

So, my plants are out.  They’re in buckets waiting to be taken to the woods, since Levi was stirring in his crib — but they’ll be taken to the woods as soon as I’m able to do so.  My windows are washed, and I’ll get to the floors and the cords soon too.

I want to be a good steward, and learn how that looks in God’s eyes.  I hope you do too.  (And I’ll let Levi tell you how those floors are looking when he writes his next entry.  ;))

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Dear Diary

Well, I was going to write yesterday but I had to go to bed.  In the morning real early Mommy took me outside to see this white stuff.  Usually there’s grass out there but then there was white stuff on the grass… I’m not sure why she wanted me to see it though.

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She sat me down and wanted me to play with it but it was kinda cold and didn’t look fun.  But when we were going inside she let me hit the stuff off the bushes, and that was fun.

We went out again a little time later and it wasn’t as cold but it was really windy.  The air got in my face a lot.  We went to the swingset and got the mail — getting the mail is one of my favorite things.  It’s so exciting!  I think we’ll do that today too.

But for now I’m playing with a water bottle in my crib.  I can reach the changing table from my bed and play with the bottles on the shelf.  Mommy says that’s how she knows I’m awake.  Well, that and I talk a lot.  I’m a-pposed to be sleeping right now but I already did that and I’m done.

Mommy should come get me soon.  Or maybe I’ll find a way to stand up.

Sincerely,

Me

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“I think the world today is upside-down.  Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on.  There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life.  We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other.  In the home begins the disruption of the peace in the world.  If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

Mother Teresa

 

This quote got me thinking, and I hope it gets you thinking too.  :)

Dear Diary

I got a new toy!  It’s called a turtle.  It’s big and green and has all these things on it, and it opens up so I can sit in it.  There are a lot of balls inside too, and they’re my favorite part.  Mommy and I played with it this morning and the balls rolled away… then Mommy didn’t give them back till she washed them cuz they got fuzzy.  I think the fuzz would taste cool but Mommy says no.

But anyways, the turtle is a lot of fun.  I got it from my great grandmum a couple days ago.  She let me open the box and everything — it had this crunchy paper on it and then I got to play in the box too.  My cousins played with me and I played with the dogs and the kitty.  It was a busy time!  I got tired.

And I guess I drool a lot, cuz my cousin kept telling me I was drooling and he didn’t know what to do with me.  He thought it was yucky but I don’t know why.  Doesn’t he drool?  He said he liked me a lot too so maybe he can get used to the drool.  Oh well, I liked him a lot too.

We played and played and ate a lot of food.  Mommy and Daddy and my uncle gave me food from their plates and I liked it!  Big people food is yummy.

I’m going to go play again now.  And eat, I hope!

Sincerely,

Me

An Unexpected Package

This morning I prayed a prayer I’ve prayed many times before.  It’s one of my favorite things to talk with God about — it never gets old or mundane.  I asked Him to do more amazing things in my life; to provide in ways only He could, to make things happen or not happen that could only result in me acknowledging Him and thanking Him.  He is so good at doing these things!  I’m sure you’ve heard stories… there are many here on my blog from over the years.

It’s been a stressful last few months, for one reason or another.  Having a baby who grows and grows is wonderful and challenging; growth requires new clothing, and I’m finding I don’t notice the need as soon as I should.  When I finally get him in the next size, I discover he’s been ready for it much longer than I thought… good thing clothes stretch.  :)

When finances are tight, everything stretches.  Maybe you know firsthand?  The food is made to last longer, the toothpaste goes on the brush in smaller amounts, the paper towels are ripped in half instead of full sheets.  (And really, these aren’t bad practices to have anyways!)

Part of my prayer this morning certainly involved finances.  God always, always, always provides for us; He always has, and He always will.  I prefer not to be so tight, but as I told Him that and asked for more flexibility He reminded me to trust.  This season is for trusting Him, even if it is paycheck-to-paycheck and uncomfortably close.  As I look back, I see it — an unexpected expense has come, and so has the money.  Just enough to cover the expense, and sometimes more than enough that we can then designate some elsewhere (even to savings).

He always provides.

I put Levi down for a nap this afternoon and opened up the front door to let the light in.  There was a package outside, and I got excited wondering which item it would be since I’d ordered presents for Josh’s birthday.  But the label was handwritten and addressed to me, from an address I didn’t recognize.

It was full of baby clothes, in exactly the size Levi is wearing now.  A few outfits, a bib, a heavy sweatshirt, and a teether.  The card was signed from some of my grandparents’ friends, whom I don’t know.

I teared up (and am tearing up writing this) — God provides.  He knew I was hoping to find a sweatshirt at Walmart this morning.  He knew what a blessing that entire box would be, how much it would mean.

Though I don’t know this couple, and they may not have Internet to see this post, I’m so grateful.  To them, their gift was late.  But really, it was perfect timing.

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He always provides.

 

(In case you’re wondering, I’m not relying on the chance of them seeing this to give a thank-you.  I’ll be sending one of my notecards via snail mail very soon.  :))

After the Election

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I’m thankful to live in a country where we can have a say in what goes on. We won’t all agree on everything – maybe especially not today – but we can have our voices heard, and that’s a blessing.

Today, we can choose to treat each other respectfully and care for each other. We have a great nation; let’s keep it that way.

 

Originally written on Instagram

Dear Diary

What is happening?  I don’t know what time it is.  Usually I get up and eat and nap and do everything at a time but I don’t know what time it is.  Mommy and Daddy made me stay awake a long time last night and then I woke up but I think maybe it was too early because it took Mommy a long time to get me.  I had to talk and talk and then she came.  And then after she gave me food she didn’t let me go play like I always do.

In fact, she made me go back to sleep when I didn’t want to.  So I slept for a long time and now I’m awake and I don’t know what time it is.  Daddy isn’t here anymore and I don’t get to play while he reads and eats.  But Mommy gave me more food — she calls the things bananas — oh, and puffs — I love food.  Now I don’t want any more and I’m playing.  I have a book that’s a lot of fun and I get to stand in my thing (saucer) and play with it.

I think today will be fun and I’ll maybe get to crawl down the hallway.  I tried that the other day cuz Daddy put me on the floor but then Mommy said she didn’t want me to clean the floor, she wanted to do it herself.  I don’t know why I couldn’t help her but oh well.

I just threw my duck and now I can’t reach it.  Hmm.

Here’s my book again…

Oh,

Sincerely,

Me

From My Journal

Below is an excerpt from my journal, written as a prayer this afternoon. 

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Lord, thank You for Levi.  Thank You for the sweet miracle and blessing he is.  I still can’t believe I have a son — I grew and birthed a baby?! — yet I can’t imagine life without him.

Thank You, thank You, thank You for him.  For giving him to us, and for giving him to us now.  He is so precious.  I saw photos earlier today of a couple and their daughter, born and passed at what, 34 weeks?  Oh God.  It makes my eyes water.  To nurture and feel that living baby for so long, go through all of it — to have her swept up to Heaven before you could watch her smile.  See her breathe.  Watch her eyes and limbs move.  Father, I don’t understand.  I trust You, but I don’t understand.  Continue to comfort and strengthen that family, Lord.  Thank You for giving them faith and hope.

Father, thank You for our little (huge) blessing of a boy.  I adore him.  I love how big his eyes are, how he gets a sheepish grin when he sees me, how he screams and shouts and gets all happy at any point in the day.  I love his little o-face, how he watches everything.  I love how much he loves life and doesn’t want to miss any of it.  He’s the sweetest thing, Lord.

You didn’t have to give him to us.  But You chose us to be his parents, and I trust You to equip us.  We can’t do it without You.  Help us to savor every moment, to remember as much as we can.  And Lord, help us to love him unconditionally and recklessly.  Thank You, Father.  You are so good.