Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making Love a Routine

I don’t know about you, but I live for routine. An established routine ensures that I get my sleep, eat properly, work efficiently, nourish my soul and play with abandon. The minute something disrupts my daily routine, everything suffers. My health, my work, my faith, and my family.

Now that I am a mother, the desire for a daily routine has become an absolute necessity. As any parenting expert will tell you, children flourish under a solid schedule. Not only does a daily routine ensure that their basic needs are met, but an established “order” gives them peace of mind and security. Children, and adults alike, thrive on routine.

The same can be said for a marriage and family. In this case the routine I’m referring to isn’t so much about a written schedule, as it is an intentional focus on what some might call traditions or rituals. Just as important as the day to day routine for overall harmony in a marriage or family, being intentional about rituals such as family game nights, date nights and prayer, provides the couple and/or family with the opportunity to grow, learn and laugh together. This is where love grows. 

God calls us to a routine of sorts in Deuteronomy 6. 

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

When a ritual of loving God with all our hearts, souls and minds is lived out before the world, impressed on the minds of our children, and written on the walls of our home, love for God and one another becomes a routine from which the family thrives and God is made famous. 

Commit to making love a routine in your home this year. Doing so will fill your heart, nourish your soul, empower your children and impact the world. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Listing Moments

If you are weary, your arms pained by the burden you carry... make a list.
If your eyes are reddened, and your face tear stained... make a list. 
If all that life hands you leaves you sour and forlorn... make a list.
For in this list, of the gifts He's given you, you will find
strength to carry the burden
joy to dry your tears
and a sweetness that gives way to joy.

... steaming mugs of coffee cupped in dishpan hands
... mountains peeking through clouds
... the snoring sounds of loved ones deep on slumber
... little arms wrapped tight around my neck
... chubby fingers that play with my hair
... vanilla and lavender
... the anticipation of something new
... gusts of wind and swaying trees
... moments, stolen moments, treasured
... silly games and animal noises
... days off


Not long ago I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Ann Voskamp's first book: One Thousand Gifts. Check out this preview/introduction, and learn how powerful and transforming the gift of gratitude can be:

Sunday, January 16, 2011


My eyes are heavy. My mind full. Anxiety knocks, and foolishly I answer. I am at my end. No where else to turn. 

Then, like a glimmer of sun through the clouds, I hear that still, strong voice. "Rest." And I am reminded... "my souls finds rest in God alone."

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Friday, January 07, 2011

In the Stillness

There are moments in my day that warm my heart, move me and fill my soul. One of those precious moments is in the stillness of a home at rest, when everyone is tucked safely in their beds and for a moment I savour the silence and gaze upon those I love as they sleep.

My friend, Julie, a gifted writer, fellow MK, and kindred spirit in this journey of motherhood, published this on her blog yesterday. It's beautiful and describes exactly what I feel in those quiet moments:

SweetPeanuts: The beautiful rise and fall: "I am walking through the rooms of my home in the hushed, lonely moments of night. This day has wound up and wound down, and though I am tire..."

I captured once such moment when Abbie was napping one afternoon. I treasure this image and savour it in my memory during tantrums, whining and outright defiance.


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Daring to be Disturbed

Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves.
When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to shore.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land
We shall find stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us in the future
In strength, courage, hope and love.
~Sir Francis Drake, December 1577

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Resolve to Give Life

As the new year begins, people all over the globe make resolutions for 2011. My husband and I have made only one: to give life.

Not long ago, on a morning when my husband was home caring for our two-year-old, he was challenged by the reality that the decisions we make either give or take life. After ensuring that our daughter’s basic needs were met, he busied himself with some tasks he wanted to accomplish ignoring her attempts to get his attention with her toys, etc. With each attempt she made to engage him, conviction grew in his heart. 

Knowing that the things he was doing could wait, he acknowledged his own selfishness and turned his full attention to her. Doing so led to some quality time between father and daughter, rejuvenating them both and deepening their bond. It was in that moment that my husband realized that the choice he made gave them both life. 

With that realization, we have chosen to do things that give life to our family and to those around us this year. Whether it be something that extends our life (choosing an apple rather than a bag of chips), or the choice to spend more time building memories as  a family rather than doing our own thing or watching TV, we are seeking the Lord’s wisdom in giving rather than taking from the lives around us. 
What are you resolving to do this year?