Custom Power Poem for All Us Mamas


I am blown away. WP_20170928_003

This beautiful poem from a dear grandma lady, who is in our community, arrived in the mail today. I called Karen Beltz to thank her, and to ask if I could post it here. She wrote it for me. I just know that it’s for all of us.

Read it and enjoy. (I believe if you click on it, you can then zoom in to see better each page).


I, for one, am still digesting it. I think I will read it every day.

Blessings to you and yours,

Mary Clare



Frumpy Friday Summary

Door county welcomed us magnificently last week. Can you spot the moon? It appeared triple in size, so the photo doesn’t translate fully, but is still lovely, I feel. Honey lost his job the day before we took this planned vacation (his new company appears to be trimming after a merger). I am weighing supporting the family and serving the Lord (at least a little bit), by doing some work outside the home. Apparently, women for centuries and in cultures all over the world have contributed to economic needs. Whether this is God’s will for our specific family at this specific time is a major question. It would be so much easier if I had planted a bigger garden! Then, I would be canning veggies right now, and BOOM, economic contribution would be in the bag, er, jar. ūüėČ

Little man explores his newly-lengthened pj’s. I found a relatively simple, DIY way to extend the life of footy pajamas by cutting them near the feet and inserting a new swatch of fabric. It’s something of a hack job, and when I accidentally put the first couple of seams on the outside instead of in, it became more so. : D Oh,well! The net effect is the same, and so much better than spending an abominable amount of time with a seam ripper.

The art on the wall is cut cardboard and paint. Wow! So simple, so effective. It did a lot for the medical waiting room that we were in a few days back. Again, the picture doesn’t do it justice.

We did plant a few rows of carrots. Not only did these two come up white, but check out the one on the right! The weave of the stems was intricate and lovely, just like our Lord’s quiet plan for us. I know he holds us in the inner palm of his hand, and so why, then, shall I worry about money?

God love you,


The Danger of {over} Psychologizing, Part 1

wp_20160902_013So, the thing is, we are human. (Just call me Captain Obvious!) We are physical, emotional, psychological beings who have loves, tastes, capabilities, weaknesses, and commitments. We also have work and accomplishments (the work of our hands), bodies, a thought life, homes, relationships, and a million other things that make up our selves and our days. Oh, and then there’s God. We have a heavenly Father who sent his Son as a human, just like us (I mean, as us. As in, he’s really a human. A real one. Who gets earthy and gross and has a definable personality. But, I digress), to ¬†do a big work and to get us loving and working with him through the power of the Holy Spirit.¬†wp_20160826_009When someone asks me “how are you”, I blubber around, trying to find a way to express a cohesive answer. I rarely want to express¬†how I am right now, or even how I’ve been over a long period. It’s like I think the answer requires¬†computation: take an average, starting from when I last saw them, until now, of “how I’ve been“. Then, boil it down into either “fine”, “great!”, or “bad”. Huh? Hence, the blubbering.

It seems to me that it is most often asked in order to get at my psychological state. ¬†And, don’t get me wrong, psychology matters. But you know, I’m pretty sure it’s not the only thing that matters. When I see a dear friend who hasn’t been¬†with me all day (ie: most of you, and my husband), what they really want to know is the state of me, as a Spirit filled human, and this encompasses much more than my psychological state of “ok”,”well”, “bad”, “annoyed”, “bitter-over-the-past”, “frazzled”, “angry-that-naps were-sub-par”, etc.¬†wp_20160909_007

When Honey comes home from work and everything and everyone is a big, huge, tired mess, and dinner isn’t ready, I can honestly answer the question “How are you?” with, “HORRIBLE!” In the moment (actually, I admit, for at least an hour), it’s my psychological reality. I feel horrible. But that’s not all of reality! I mean, come on! Let’s look at the whole picture. We haven’t seen each other all day. I could mention an interesting thought that I had in prayer that morning. I could share an adorable video that I took of the kids. Heck, this would be awesome: I could simply hug the guy. And here’s the other end of the spectrum: I could reach way back in memory and say that 3 hours ago, I cleaned the toilet and was tickled pink over the accomplishment. I could thank him for taking out¬†the trash without being asked. I could ask him how they are solving that one problem at work. Sometimes, I say something like “I don’t know how¬†I¬†am, but are we free on Saturday morning to help the Smiths¬†move?”


In conclusion, I want to say that I am currently quite frazzled, have almost cried 4 times today, and feeling very over committed. However, what I scheduled for this time is to de-clutter the basement, and, if possible, clean the bathroom. So, THAT is how I am doing. Right now. How I am doing is what I am doing.


Love, MMC


I AM a Good Mum (and so are you)!


Mums! Top of the morning to you!

My absences from the blog have been very, very long. I am indeed sorry for them. But I am also certain that this trend will not be changing in the near future. Rest assured that I think of you often as I keep up with the posts that my fellow mama-bloggers are writing Рand most importantly that I take to heart the things that are being written. I am delighted to have the taking-of-things-to-heart in common with you.

I have been trying to focus and narrow what I want to write about…and to (maybe!) possibly…perhaps try and write a shorter¬†post for once. Maybe. ¬†So I tried to look past the moments and experiences and all that we have had going on in life to find the common thread that is weaving through all these things. I found it! It’s mercy. Continue reading

A lawn mower, a random play date, and hangry-ness.


Feeling quite discouraged about not being a light to my neighbors, I hurried to church with our almost two year old. (Ask me sometime about the beached whale style dive I made into my car instead of introducing myself to the new family on the block. And other graceful stories.) Back to the current story: we walk the block and a half to get there, and we are always late. He stopped to check out a lawnmower on the sidewalk, and as he fascinates over it the owner comes up, apologizes, asks if we are going to church (yes), asks what I think of it (I like it. They have a cry room, and they are welcoming), and says he’s been getting an itch to maybe start going back. Turns out he was a lifelong, faithful churchgoer until his dad died.

I felt encouraged that I was there to talk with the guy. As a friend put it, “I think the Lord meets us where we are at.” Continue reading

We Made Cupcakes

Author’s note

Let me tell you  I have just  written  my first blog post  using  the WordPress app  and the voice to text feature  on my phone . I wrote this blog post while nursing a baby. Have mercy on me and ignore all typos

It was a morning that was not very typical for me. I decided not to go somewhere outside the house this particular morning. Instead I decided to have the baby take a good nap in his crib. The baby went down after two tries. I was pretty happy with this and then realized I had a decision to make at that moment. My three-year-old son I was anxiously awaiting me to return to the downstairs after putting his brother to sleep. I was tempted to immediately begin some housework. There was plenty to do. My options were endless. Dishes laundry cleaning picking up Etc. But I took a moment and realized this may be one of the Limited moments during the day when I can with him one-on-one. Instead of jumping in to the chores ¬†the first thing that popped into my mind was to ask him a simple question. Do you want to play with me? Yes! He answered and said that he wanted to play trains. Just be honest with you I don’t like playing trains. So I made another suggestion let’s bake together. And so we did. We made yellow cake mix cupcakes cupcakes with pink frosting and some with green frosting. He loved it. And the funny thing was it seems like I got more chores done yesterday because I found ways for him to be involved. He sat on my bed and played while I folded clothes. I put away dishes while he ate lunch and he was very understanding. I managed to sneak in a load of laundry between nursing the baby. It was a fine day. Of course not perfect. But I won’t get into that part. My point is that all too many times I am so focused on what I have to get done that I miss what’s really going on in front of me. Theres 2 little brown haired boys who need me to be present to them today. I still remember my mother-in-law’s advice when I was expecting my first baby. She said number one ¬†sleep when the baby sleeps and number 2 chores can wait. Unfortunately with two kids now I can’t sleep when the baby sleeps if my toddler isn’t sleeping too but the second one always applies. Chores¬†can wait.

If You Do Just One Thing Today

“If you do just one thing…” It’s a phrase I’ve taken great comfort in ever since reading the marvelous column about this in Real Simple magazine, back in the day when I was a devotee of the mag. At the time, it just really helped me to focus my swirling mental list of stuff that I was stressed about accomplishing, whether it be in the apartment, my social/family life, or at work, and usually, all of the above at once. I could grab one task out of the chaos, focus on it, finish it, and move on to the next one.

It was quite a transition to go from working woman to mother, and a stay at home mom, at that, especially because it happened quite suddenly in my case. Two and a half months after getting hitched, we learned that we were expecting. And within¬†2 weeks of that, I was on bed rest until our little honey was full term. Given my pre-term labor, all I could do was “nothing”. Except, that is, cerebrally prepare for motherhood. But for whatever reason, I seemed incapable of even mentally preparing for a¬†baby, much less adapting gracefully to¬†this sudden new stage in our life. I didn’t have¬†that 7-9 month¬†transition period¬†to bid farewell to the working world, ease into¬†marriage,¬†and work out the logistics of welcoming new life. When a discerning friend later¬†empathized, “you didn’t have the mental energy. You were exhausted even as you lay there.” I¬†was greatly comforted because then suddenly what seemed like 7 months of slovenly-ness was clarified into a very simple state of letting my body rest so that we could have a healthy baby. Nothing more, but also nothing less. Continue reading

The Holy Spirit Inspires Us to Greater Elephants


We are on day 3 of pacifier detox!!!!! And it is totally the Lord. I mean, man, do I ever get a surprise every time we attempt this. I didn’t learn the first time that my ways are not His ways, so naturally I was hemming and hawing and stressing and guilting over still letting our son have a nuk for naps and at night. The plotting and scheming for the Great Detoxification Event can only be described as a category 10 mental furry. ¬†The deadline of having to go in for his 18 month appointment – and face the doctor’s questions – has only made me more anxious, because we are going in 1.5 months¬†late, and at his 15 month appointment we were already¬†supposed to have weaned him of it, apparently, which means I am even more of a lazy looser.¬†I was convinced it would be supremely difficult for our first, and then I was¬†convinced it would be astronomically more difficult than¬†that,¬†for little man, for many reasons that were very logical and based in objective observation.

Then there’s this elephant (see above). This darn elephant has been my faithful companion for over 3 years. I have kept it in the diaper bag for use at a moment’s notice. I have found it hidden in the diaper bag and dutifully repatriated¬†it for my little teething honeys. I have coaxed, encouraged, ordered them to use the darn thing. And they act like it doesn’t exist. Both the little stinkers. Despite my best efforts. Until a couple days ago. We were in the basement (miracle #1, since I dislike basements), and all the sudden little man is gnawing on that blessed elephant as if his life depends on it. It looked to me like “the beginning of a lifelong romance” (name that movie!), but I decided not to get my hopes up. It went to bed with him, and him without his pacifier, but he howled for over 15 minutes, and we caved because Daddy was feeling sick and I was feeling crazy.

But we tried again yesterday, when things were more calm for all. He had no paci, he had that darn elephant. And he only woke once. I found his new friend, and he went right back down to sleep!

…[just a little more saga here, folks! I do have a point. Hang in there!]…

This morning was tough on all of us, mostly because my temper flares so easily over the slightest issue, and our friends, due to visit, were an eternity away from rescuing me. But as I put little man down for his nap, I couldn’t help but note that he was being so very dear, giving me hugs and acting like I was doing him a big favor by letting him sleep. And I couldn’t help but flash my camera at him to capture the moment of blessed pacifier freedom, now so ingrained as habit that I am calling it a success.

And I saw the Holy Spirit. He reminded me how truly easy this process has been. He suggested that maybe he was involved from the beginning, inspiring Joshy to find the thing in the basement, and finally take to the thing! He thereby comforted and calmed me from the tornadoes of the past few days. I thought, “well, it isn’t all bad”, and “I haven’t totally screwed up¬†everything“. “See? He’s successfully weaned from his paci. Thank you Lord!”

And then he wailed again. No way?! WAY! I thought from the sound of the cries that he was probably not, after all, ready to give up the paci. Luckily, having just experienced the above, I had the presence of mind to look at my watch so that I could time it and figure out what to do Рlater Рbased on scientific measurements of length of wailing. And in the meantime I decided to make peace with my daughter, and offered that we read together. And while we were reading together, at some point, the wailing ceased. They are now both, blessedly, slumbering, and I am again claiming full nuk detox.

Thank the Lord. He cares about paci detox!  And the Holy Spirit knows about neglected elephants who are well qualified for the job! Can I get an Amen?




Of Pludgey Tummies and Sludgy Thoughts

We’re attending a family wedding soon (which I am super excited about!), but¬†I had the sudden realization last week that I have¬†nothing to wear.¬†Here, I’ll prove it.¬†“Let’s do the numbers”, as they say on the radio: after 7 years of trying to loose weight, 4 years of marriage, 2 pregnancies, 2 twelve-ish¬†month periods of nursing a wee babe, 3ish diets, 1 gym membership, 562 bad clothing purchases, 24 excellent shoe purchases (because any shoe purchase is, by definition, good), 5 bins of clothing that may never fit again, 1 walk-in closet of clothing that fits poorly, and, and, and, … and 3 “ands” worth of not even knowing what to say or how to act or what to wear for 5 years, I have concluded that loosing weight is a myth. Furthermore, it’s a disease of our minds whose symptoms include vain hopes and 3 years of buying poor quality,”temporary” clothing until “I loose weight again and can get back to the clothes I wore when I was 25, which was 10 years ago but not in MC years. In MC years that’s, like, 2 months. So it’s totally worth it to wait to wear real clothing until then.” Continue reading