Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gratitude #843-861

843. The J is gone for four days and once again am face to face, face to heart with the desperate darkness of me, my sin, my failure, and therefore, all the more desperate for Jesus, his help, his changing power.
844. These three little girls, treasures, strong and willful and fun and hilarious who make the days pass quickly.
845. Sweet 13 year old B, incredibly mature and incredibly gracious to come play with my kids today so I could get a break. 2 whole hours!
846. The Psalms that nourished and met me here.
847. Free delivery services (grocery, diaper, water, etc.)
848. Our version of Amazon brought "Charlotte's Web" and "When We Were Very Young"
849. Fresh produce!
850. Online recipes
851. Ada babbling her songs and sentences to me
852. A gracious friend who drove us all to Annie's ballet class yesterday so she didn't have to miss it!
853. My Hindi teacher who is making house calls this week
854. That I LOVE my Hindi teacher.
855. The new frock my friend stitched for Ada (in 20 minutes!) Super adorable
856. Jonathan is with a friend while he teaches and not alone. Iron sharpening iron.
857. This same friend's insight and wisdom
858. Ada trying so hard to crawl, rocking, and army crawling, but not quite full-on crawling. I think it's the hard tile.
859. The hard tile that makes it hard for Ada to actually crawl.
860. A dear friend who listened and encouraged me today while I cried about what a terrible mother I am.
861. Grace.

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Vacation in Photos...

...and perhaps a few captions.

sisters in Japanese leg warmers


dog pile

All the fish in the fish pond were dead (not surprising).
Annie kept walking by the pond, exclaiming,
"Mom! These fish are STILL sleeping! They must be some sleepy fish."
We didn't tell her they were dead.

morning sunrise

paddle boats on the lake.
Jonathan did ALL of the paddling, servant-hearted fellow that he is.

we all had sun-kissed cheeks after that hour on the lake.

sweet Annie

sunset over the mountains

sunburnt Lily

the view from our villa retreat

checking out the fog.

family photo effort
playground: fail!
kissing the mahatma
windows and walls
Annie's reflection

Holy Nap Time!

All 3 of my beauties are sleeping at oncely! I am overwhelmed by the number of things I could do with this time, so, of course, I will blog. It's been rather neglected, lately.

We planned a little vacation two weeks back. We planned to take an overnight bus at 9 pm on Friday down to a little hill station about 6-9 hours away, depending on roads and traffic. INSTEAD, we hired a car, because Lily got the tummy bug Wed afternoon and I fell prey to it Wed night. I was not ready to get on a bus without a potty by Friday night, so Jonathan graciously sucked up the extra charge and hired a car to take us.
Albeit, vacation had a rough start, but as my dear friend Julie would say, it was blissful, and worth all the planning and pain to spend three days together in a beautiful, clean, cool place with no responsibilities, except for the norm (i.e. keep children alive). We stayed in a beautiful little B&B type cottage built into the side of a mountain. Every morning we watched the sun rise over the mountain and Annie would run and jump into our bed yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! Look at how beautiful the lovely sun is coming up over the mountains!" Jonathan took the girls horseback riding and we all went on paddle boats and got sunburned and ate ice cream. We walked through gorgeous botanical gardens and up and down the streets of this mountain town, that felt a bit like a steeper Black Mountain-Asheville. It was so cold at night they built fires in the dining room. We found handicraft shops and a precious little pottery shop and I bought a blue tea pot. And the flowers in bloom and the sunsets were a beautiful declaration that "God made this! He is here! He pours his grace into this country every day, over and over, without failing." Jonathan did not answer a single email the entire time and gave us all of his attention and we returned refreshed and happy and ready to start the next long haul of life.

At the SAME time, even though I was refreshed and happy, I was disappointed to return from vacation and find I am still me. I am still too-often impatient and discontent. And while vacation was amazing, I am reminded of this:
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. ps 62:1-2.
So that led to some soul searching, a realization, a confrontation with a 13 year old in an elevator (oh this was one of my SHINING moments. I am mortified, still.) and reconciliation.
More on this to come.
Praise him for providing rest, for revealing the reality of my sinful heart that needs him, still, and for giving forgiveness when I don't deserve it.

They're still asleep!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Annie, running in breathless from the back of the house: Mommy! Hurry! Quick! We have to hide because there are 5 pounds of wolves chasing us!!
Me: Annie, that sounds really scary! But 5 pounds isn't very much.
Annie: How much is 5 pounds?
Me: Well, it's less than Ada weighs.
Annie looks concerned and thinks for a moment. Then...
Annie: Hmmm. Maybe it's 6 pounds of wolves.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This morning, Jonathan and I were happily chatting in a rare moment of quiet when we heard a high scream and then little footsteps running into our bedroom. Sigh.

Annie: Daaaad! Lily tried to take this marker from me and THEN she PINCHED me!!
Jonathan: Annie, please tell Lily to come here right now. Mommy and Daddy want to see her.
Annie: (running to fetch her naughty sister) Liiiiiiiiillllllllyyyyyyyy! MOM AND DAD WANT TO SEE YOU!!!
Lily walks in slowly stark naked, with head bowed.
Jonathan: Lily. Did you pinch your sister?
Lily: yes.
Jonathan: Why did you do that?
Lily:(head pops up and smiles) Becaaause! I thought she was a tomato!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Gratitude #831-842

831. beautiful s. asian sunrise, misty blues with golden skyline.
832. gratitude has been on my heart all morning
833. Lily who ran into my room this morning to tell me: "den I waked up and den I looked out da window and den I saw da buhds (birds) of de ayer (air) and dey were sooooo petty."
835. reading good books with the girls
836. Indira who sweeps and mops the dust from the previous day off the floors and who washes last night's and this morning's dishes and makes the load feel so much lighter
837. Practicing Hindi with Indira
838. Today she is teaching me to make chai
839. Project Chai: February 2012, the quest to make the perfect cup.
840. मेरी अद्य्यापिक, रुथ
841. An old draft email to my college roommate that sat unsent for months, finally found, sent with profuse apologies, with immediate reply this morning and sweet reconnection!
842. no more time this morning to write out gratitude, because breakfast is ready, and Jonathan made it.

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Me: Girls. I'm so sorry. I really lost my temper and I was not a very nice mommy.
Annie: Mmm hmm.
Me: Do you forgive me?
Annie: yes.
Lily: ya
Annie: Mom, I wish I could be Mary and Laura*
Me: I know, Annie. I wish I could be as patient as Ma
Lily: I wish I could be Pa.

*characters from Little House on the Prairie, obviously