Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Glory Pursues

Day by day life rolls along.
A lilting song.
A shout of laughter.
A child's cry.
A near disaster.

This loud learning process never ends.
Or it ends only to begin again. Immediately.

In the fall, the glory pursues me.
The loveliness grabs me aggressively and I lean into it, lover-like.

In the arms of this radiance,
I realize afresh how far I am from where I want to be.
But I see also, how far I've come and how I'm covered in grace.

My life is a song that I am desperately trying to sing
before the words wrinkle into silence.

In the silence, I can hear the leaves fall.
And they sound like the footsteps of glory,

Monday, September 19, 2016


The good news is I'm not walking into walls anymore when I try to go upstairs in the dark.

We are still moving in. Who knew it would take 6 months and many bruises? Not this little optimistic Eskimo. I thought I could do it in a week. Or so.

Dave started to help me put pictures up last weekend. You would think that after having 6 months to ponder where those pictures should go we'd be able to slap them up in a jiffy. I have made some bad calls.

Take the Lady of Shallot for instance. I love her. I thought I would love her in my bathroom.

But it kind of looks like she's trying to peek.

I'm not Lancelot and don't find this flattering. Or comfortable.

In other news...I went to pick the kids up at camp in July and came home with a puppy. Some women impulse buy shoes, I bring home pets. Pets that will someday be LARGE.

 But she's not large right now. She is the yummiest bear of a baby and her name is Pearl. The way I babble at her and cuddle her is proof that I should have had more children.

Two weeks ago we went peach picking. It was highly romantic. Almost as romantic as having the Lady of Shallot watch you take a bath.

Of course we couldn't eat the entire 26 pounds of peaches that we picked so we mixed them up with blackberries and made fruit leather.

Here is the peach/blackberry fruit leather before it went into the dryer. Doesn't it look like a big hearted swan??? I found this extraordinary and very romantic. Also possibly prophetic although I haven't figured out how.

Last week we went on our last summer outing as a family. We explored Fort Vancouver. It seemed symbolic (I think symbolism is romantic) that we step into the past before we step into the future.

Our future is this: Avonlea is a Senior and graduates this June. Grant started public high school. Rowan and Rose keep me busy as 4th and 5th graders at opposite ends of the education spectrum. Rowan wants to know everything because he wants to be President of the United States as soon as he turns 30. He eats up everything I can feed him mentally and asks questions that keep Google and I tight. Rose on the other hand has no ambition except to be a ballerina missionary. When questioned further she will tell you she wants to dance for Africans. But in general it's best NOT to question her further.

(She wrote a poem the other night that said "the moon is sining, all the stars sin together". She meant shine. She asked me if I wanted her to illustrate the poem. NO. No thank you dear, go practice your ballet.)

Dave and I's future is always together....for the romantic moments and the not-so-romantic moments. For the puppies and the starry nights (whether sinning or not)  and the morning fog. For the four lives that bind us so closely to each other and our God. For pumpkin patches and huckleberry picking and laughter.

A future built on a mountain of memories and a foundation of love.
So we welcome fall, I have a tingly feeling that it is going to be very romantic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

When Jesus Comes To Your House

First, thank you my friends for your texts, emails, and comments over the past few days.

We had an incredibly sensitive and difficult situation to deal with concerning family trauma. Everyone is okay, still on our knees, but okay. Mom and I battled together for spiritual victory in the life of someone dear to us. Many of you joined in the prayers and we are so thankful for you.

Yesterday, I told Dave I would hire a landscaper if he just gave me some names to call.

Today I got a text from Dave that said, "Call Jesus." Followed by a number. Even though I knew that probably wasn't how he pronounced his name, I had to smile.

I thought, that's what I've been doing all week, calling Jesus.

I called Jesus. He didn't answer so I left a message. Again I smiled, I've left many very important messages this week for another Jesus.

I started to text Dave back when Jesus called. He was kind and told me he could come tonight by 6pm. Jesus called back, and he made me a priority.

At 5pm Jesus pulled up, I wasn't ready for him and was caught off guard. When I went out to meet him, he introduced himself as Jesus and then the man who was with him introduced himself as Jesus also saying, "He's the father, I'm the son." I did a quick glance around for the Holy Spirit.

I left them in the yard measuring for bark dust and I had a good laugh. Somehow...through a Craigslist landscaper....God reassured me that He hears, that He shows up, that He always exceeds my expectations. That He's full of surprises.

Jesus made me laugh.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


This world is so beautiful.
This world is so ugly.
Once in a while, the beauty juxtaposes itself over the ugly in a way that brings me up short.
An eclipse of sorts.

As a home school mom, summer is essential to my well being. I have to rest in summer to recharge for the next labor intensive year.

This summer was the first time in 3 years that I had all four children at home together. My plan was to go to the cottage and enjoy my children. But there was company coming. Then family wanted Rowan for a visit. Then company came. Then Grant left for three days with Dave. Then three of us flew to Alaska to see Page and her family. Then company came. Then we went to the beach. Then company came.

And to be honest, connecting these dots, was not usually rest, but a preparation for the next thing coming (which in retrospect, should have included rest).

The cottage is almost a personality that I feel waiting for us. Puzzled perhaps, at why it sits still and empty in the summer sun. I sense the vegetation growing over the trails we forged. I am aware that I need to go rest and be at peace. It is as if I am very thirsty and the cottage is the sound of running water.

And then when I feel most empty and vulnerable I am confronted by the ugliness. I know ugliness and I've fought it before, in myself and in battle on behalf of others. But this. This stark fear and misery and torment. I have not confronted this before. Pain so deep it cannot be spoken. I feel my small reserves being sucked away in an instant and the despair tugging at my very soul, like I'm on the edge of a spiritual whirlpool.
All the beauty that I use to fight, nature and wise words and laughter are bottles empty, and I have nothing to pour on this fire.

But then, my mother speaks. Her words are not her own, she quotes His Words. She speaks God's truth to the pain and tears pour. Mom leaves for some water and I make eye contact with suffering and I too speak His Words. They come as mercy. With His Words comes His Heart into mine. A Heart of Love and Compassion. A Heart full of Living Water.

For four hours we sat in the tension of the eclipse. We sat in the mysterious beauty of the eclipse.
Then we went home.

I still am not rested. I still hear the cottage calling in the wind. But I do not fear that I will not be able to face the school year, for God has shown me the most powerful weapons I possess have nothing to do with location or even state of mind. My most powerful weapons are God's Love and God's Word. I must stay close to those two things, and maybe, when I hear the cottage and the mountain and the orchard calling, that is what I really want, God's Love and God's Word.
But His Spring is located everywhere,
even the center of tragedy.
And it never runs dry.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Heritage and Hope

Our new house in the country has precipitated an overhaul of my habits. I've always enjoyed staying in bed for as long as possible in the morning. Since we've moved I've woken up at 5:30 am almost every morning. Did everyone catch that (all 5 of my relations who read this)....5:30 AM...It's like this, the morning sun rises red and the gleam of it crimsons the walls of my bedroom. I try to will myself back to sleep, but I know, that outside there's a gauzy mist over the marsh. I know that all the birds are going crazy for sheer joy. I know that bunnies are hopping around on the lawn. I know that a fawn may creep up to nibble on my bushes and if I'm in bed...I'll miss it all!

So up I get. I spend a half hour reading the Bible in front of the windows. I marvel at the light, the leaves, the song of the morning while I pursue truth. Then I go out into it. Just for a short walk before another day needs to be opened.

Recently, while reading in the Old Testament I came upon a list of leaders. They were the division leaders of the army, there were 12 of them, one division for each month of the year.

"The third army commander, for third month, was Benaiah son of Johoiada the priest. He was chief and there were 24,000 men in his division. This was the Benaiah who was a mighty man among the Thirty and was over the Thirty. His son Ammizabad was in charge of his division." (I Chron. 27:5-6)

I noticed as I read the list of commanders that I recognized names. These, like Benaiah, were men I've read about before, men that stood out for their bravery and courage. And now their sons were being identified by the names of their brave fathers. This short passage showed the grandfather who was a priest, the father a mighty man, and the son in charge of his division.
Uncle Jon and Aunt Sandy, who serve God and our Country faithfully with joy and wisdom
Last week was VBC at our church. Avonlea and Grant worked with me in first grade. Rowan attended the camp and Rose stayed home with Ma Glo to save herself for her ballet recital. I was standing in the foyer with Rowan after VBC one day when a woman walked up to me and said, "Your son is so sweet and polite. I had to look at his name tag to find out who he belonged to. I saw it and said, "Oh your a K---!" She said our last name, said it like it fit in a sentence with the words "sweet and polite". She recognized Rowan by his heritage, his family name. Something stirred within me as we walked away.
Uncle Mike....a man of courage and faith.
We bought Avonlea a concert harp several weeks ago. Her teacher tried to explain to me what to look for in a harp. She said, "You don't want it to be too old since the nature of harps are to self destruct. The pegs pull the strings taut one way and the wood pulls them another way. At some point it falls apart and you use the pieces to make a lamp or something."

Sometimes I think this is the nature of family as well. The world pulls hard against our children. Their own inclinations, peer pressure, and a constant stream of other people's thoughts, ideas, and morals join in. And as a mother, a father, we pull the other way. We teach them to follow Jesus, to love selflessly, to give generously. In this tension, they play their song and live their life.

The "sweet and polite" ness that Rowan possesses is a taut string that sometimes breaks under the pressure. But as parents, we don't let up, because we know for certain the world never will. So we train and we pray and we teach again, and again, and again, because we can see the grandfather a priest, the father a mighty man, and the son in charge of his division. We know these things are passed down and passed along and built up through the ages.

"... it was homemaking that mattered. Every home was a brick in the great wall of decent living that men erected over and over again as a bulwark against the perpetual flooding in of evil. But women made the bricks, and the durableness of each civilization depended upon their quality, and it was no good weakening oneself for the brick-making by thinking too much about the flood." (Elizabeth Goudge)

So I wake up early to rosy red light and I spend my time in the Word, because the older my children get, the clearer I see the battle that rages for their souls. I see the tension of the times in which they live pulling against the timeless truth that we have taught and I listen in awe to the music that the tension is creating. I try to express to them the heritage they have been given. Your grandfather is a man of courage, your father is a man of integrity....

...and you my have a song that this world desperately needs to hear.

When I start to despair, when the actions of my children overwhelm me, I remember who else is pulling on our side.
The One whose hands caress the stings and ease the tension into beauty.
He is the reason the red sun rises and the reason the harp doesn't self destruct.

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Col 1:17)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Welcome Home

We spent 3 grueling days moving all our belongings from one town to another.
Actually, we had movers, and I can only imagine how exhausted they must have been after our move because I was exhausted and I didn't actually lift anything.
When I told them Dave decided not to take the pool, one of the movers actually thanked Mary.

Avonlea played for the movers as they worked.
Mom showed the movers how to blow the Shofar. She told them scornfully, "THIS is what you are going to hear when Jesus comes back NOT trumpets."
I'm glad she set them straight on that point. Hopefully it made the back breaking 3 day move worth it to know what musical instrument to be listening for.

Day after day we unpacked. How in the world had we accumulated so much stuff! A third of it was re-gifted to the antique store or the thrift store. The other two thirds (which consisted heavily of books) was slowly distributed through our new home. I have a bathroom cupboard filled with books. However, there are still 9 boxes of them up in the hall that stick their tongues out at me when I go past.

I had noticed this house for sale in the fall. I noticed it particularly because it had a garage apartment and we needed a place for mom. I had told my realtor that we were interested in going to the open house on a blustery Saturday in December. Then we prayed. "God guide, please."

This is Ma Glo's house above the garage. She makes everything lovely.

When we walked into the house out of the storm, an agent we had never seen before, greeted us with these words, "Hello Dave and Annie. Welcome home."

We stood there dripping in the entryway with our mouths hanging open like fools. Apparently our realtor had told this agent that we might be coming by and they took a gamble and called us by name.

 The first room we walked into, when we recovered from our surprise, was the office. I looked around and then I looked at Dave and said, "This is the room I've always dreamed of." It was smallish but beautiful, with cherry bookcases and a built in desk. There was a fireplace surrounded by green marble. Cherry wood is my favorite type of wood and green marble my favorite stone.

After that initial viewing there were two months of praying and talking and debating before we made an offer. Over and over we prayed, "God we want what you want. If this is it, please show us." And He did. And we are still a little stunned. It's such a good gift and we are so undeserving. But He's a good Father and He knows that if His gifts were based on our merits we'd have nothing.

So all we can really do is say "thank you" in our words and actions and thoughts.
We can say thank you by standing in the entryway and opening the door, by calling people in out of the storm, by calling people by name. And mom can teach them how to blow the shofar.

Welcome Home!

Monday, March 28, 2016


As my kids have grown older, my life has changed.
There are the usual changes: wrinkles, random gray hair, decreased metabolism.
And then there are other changes. A reaching for prose before poetry. Laughter that takes more work to come. Talks with teenagers that exceed my bedtime.

When we moved into this house almost 14 years ago, we said we would never move.
We loved it and it was home.
We walked to the park almost daily. We walked to story time at the library. We walked to swimming lessons at the pool. We held ballet lessons in the basement. Spanish classes as well. There were recitals under the trees and on the patio. Pony rides in the yard on birthdays. Blazing fires on winter nights with hot chocolate and books. Always a piano playing. Or a violin. Or both. Children playing dress up in the basement. Cookies in the oven. Kids sleeping in the tree house.

A never ending round of friends and family. Ma Glo walking up from next door. Natalie stopping by to pick up her milk and stay for tea. Julianna, Sarah, and I eating cherries on the porch. Tobi coming at the moment I happened to be delivering kittens. Dayna teaching me to can peaches in the kitchen. Jim and Nancy helping great grandma and grandpa up the steps to come in for dinner.

This house has been more than a house, it's been a home.

It will be hard to leave.

We have one more week in our home and then we move.

It is good. We are moving to a house that is close to everything I do with the kids. I will no longer have to spend half my life in my car. This is a huge blessing.

The house itself is lovely. Symmetrical. Solid. Well planned and lovingly maintained.

Ma Glo is moving with us. There is an apartment above the garage where she will perch. We couldn't do without her.

Ma Glo at her surprise birthday party that she almost slept through.

As my kids have grown older, my life has changed.
Some of these changes have caught me off guard.

But not one of them has caught God off His guard. He has led very obviously and we are so thankful for His clear direction.

So we are leaving our house, but we're taking our home with us.
Because our God, this family, these friends, they're coming, too.

And only God knows what other surprises are in store....


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