Saturday, October 30, 2010


a homeless man just came to our door.

how do i know he was homeless?

he was dirty, his clothes ill fitting. he had the marks of drug abuse. the drawn skin, toothless, gaunt face. hollow cheeks. malnourished.

all the signs were there.

"Ma'am? Could I rake your yard for a dollar? I'm awfully hungry."

"No, thank you," I say.

he turns to go. i can see the disappointment on his face.

in one hand is a rake that has seen better days. it is missing several tines and my guess is that he pulled it from someone's trash with one goal in mind: earn some money.

in the other hand is a plastic grocery bag filled with odds and ends. i can see a margarine container, other plastics and some paper goods.

"But can I get you something to eat?" I ask gently.

in one arm i am holding my 6 month old. He smiles at the baby and says, "Yes, Ma'am."

"Wait here, I will be right back."

i scramble around the kitchen looking for things to put in a plastic grocery bag. we are nearing our regular trip to the grocery store, so the pickin's are slim.

but not as slim as his.

i grab two pieces of fruit, granola bars, cereal bars, a plastic spoon and the last can of soup with a pull top lid. i know he will have to eat it cold, but somehow, i don't think he will mind. i want to give him more, but somehow i am not sure what else to put in, and i am afraid he will leave without it if i take too long.

"Mommy, why are you putting that food in a bag?" my oldest asks.

"Mommy, who is that man on the porch? Why is he so dirty?" the 5 year old asks.

i go to the door and open it, he is still standing there.

i hand him the bag. "It isn't much." I say, apologetically.

"That's OK, Ma'am. Thank you."

and then he gives me a blessing of sorts. it is his way of paying me for the food.

"May you always have money to buy food. May your children do well in school. May they grow up to make lots of money so they can take care of you. May you always have enough money to pay the bills. May you always have good health."

"God bless you" I say. tears are now in my eyes.

He shuffles off the porch.

I cry.

in his blessing was his story. at least a piece of it. he ran out of money to pay bills. perhaps that is how he became homeless. maybe he lost his job first. he doesn't have money to buy food and so he has to go house to house begging for work and a dollar here and there.

if he was scamming me, i don't care. he was obviously hungry, and so i did for him what i could. in my mind i knew i wasn't going to give him money. but i could give him food.

and now i can pray for this nameless man who came to our door. and i can explain to my children just a small piece of how good we have it. and how bad it is for others.

i wish i could have taken his picture for you.

i wonder if he will come back.

i am starting a list of items i could get and have ready if the opportunity ever presents itself again.

and i am humbled by humanity.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

(a day late, again...)

outside my window...
the leaves are falling fast and furious. the wind the last two days is stripping off the leaves at a rapid rate. my children are begging for a leaf pile to jump in :)

i am thinking...
this morning is going to be crazy as we play 'catch up.' work is wreaking havoc on our daily routines.

i am thankful for...
well, lots of things. this morning, i am especially grateful for the time i was able to spend with each child last night as i tucked them in. another area work affects.

from the learning room...
i am just grateful we are managing to get any school done at all!! still rowing Mike Mulligan.

from the kitchen...
crockpot macaroni and cheese. perfect for this fall weather :)

i am wearing...
grey lounge pants and a white long sleeve shirt. for the first time in a LONG time i had to wear socks to bed!

i am creating...
not a whole lot. we are going to try to create some steam powered boats this weekend to round out the school week.

i am going...
absolutely nowhere, and loving it!! tomorrow is going to be crazy with bible study and work.

i am reading...
the book of Daniel. i have to finish my lesson today in prep for tomorrow and help my 7 year old finish his study as well.

i am hoping and praying...
that i can figure out how to manage our home and school and work without going completely nuts

i am hearing...
the sound of Down Gilead Lane as the kids listen and eat their breakfast.

around the house...
um, still waiting for the couch to come in from the garage! our 'help' fell through last week, so it is still in plastic! also are two piles of laundry...sigh

one of my favorite things...
the sweet nuzzling of my baby boy as he wakes up in the morning. i love how he immediately goes from upset to thrilled when he sees me.

a few plans for the rest of the week...
bible study tomorrow morning. work tomorrow and friday night. sleep on saturday morning, the pumpkin decorating. church on sunday with a new members' class in the afternoon. trick or treating at a local nursing home sunday evening (the only way my kids can go out for candy!)

i am rejoicing!
in the long awaited birth of a third little boy for a dear friend. praising God for His goodness in bringing this family the joy in his birth and not sorrow. grateful for the peace and joy his mommy is feeling as she gets to know her new little man :)

here is a picture thought
this is a tree from the side of our house a few days ago. i love how brilliant it is!! this picture doesn't do it justice.

to participate in A Simple Woman's Daybook, go here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the Simple Woman's Daybook

to participate in the simple woman's daybook, please visit here

Outside my window...trees filled with orange and yellow leaves... a delight to my eyes after a few years of autumn-less living.
I am thinking...on how to foster love between the 5 year old and 3 year old sibs
I am thankful for... a husband determined to make his business work
From the learning rooms...we are focusing on steam power this week as we row Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
From the kitchen... tuna melt roll (really, really good!!)
I am jeans and a blue shirt that i won't wear out in public because it is not a very pleasing shade.
I am in my head... not fit for public consumption
I am going... to unpack at least one box today if it kills me!
I am reading... the book of Daniel
I am hoping... that my husband secures at least two new clients before the end of the month
I am 5 yr old playing with the 6 month old as he explores the floor
Around the still a mess... but today, we get our couch! yippee!! something other than the floor to sit on :)
One of my favorite things... this delicious coffee i am sipping while the kids are engaged in BOB time (books on bed, created by a FIAR mom, Julie.)
A few plans for the rest of the week: make freezer meals for the family to eat while i work this weekend.
Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Monday, October 4, 2010

a genuine hug

holy experience

i have been hugged lots of ways.

when saying good-bye to good friends you aren't sure you will see again this side of eternity, the hugs tend to be firm, long and even mingled with tears.

when hugging my KISA after a fight, they tend to be long, with strokes on the back that say 'i am truly sorry.'

when hugging my children good-night, i usually give a 'squeezy hug' accompanied by a sneaky tickle under the arms.

but most of my hugs are probably on the lighter side. i would hate to make someone feel uncomfortable by intruding into their personal space.

well, yesterday, i was on the receiving end of one of the best hugs ever.

let me 'splain. no, let me sum up...

we all went to church yesterday morning. the littler kids go to the nursery or sunday school class, and the older 2 stay with dad or go to kids worship (their choice).

church falls right about little jd's lunchtime. so i took him to the nursing mommy area and took care of him, then took him to the nursery so that i might hear the message. i dropped him off, he seemed fine, and then i headed back to the bathroom (too much coffee) and then headed to the sanctuary. and then i heard him.

not a little cry, but a screaming cry. the kind that tugs at your heart and makes you want to lay eyes on your child immediately.

and i was in the foyer, quite a good distance from the nursery.

so i headed back over with the intent to barge in and take my child back from the offender. (of course, there wasn't any offender, just a crying baby).

alicia met me at the door. it is one of those split ones. she said to me : we can handle it. he is fine. he just needs to settle down.

me: but, alicia, i haven't been with him all week! i cannot stand to hear him cry like that!

alicia: i know (and here comes the hug)

she wrapped me up in her arms, held me so tight i wasn't gonna go anywhere, and said quietly in my ear : if you want to come in here and hold him, of course you can. but i want you to know that we can take care of him and that he will settle down soon. i remember what it was like to have to work and not see your children for long periods of time. i had to do it for a season, too. it is ok.

and she held me until i was able to stop my tears and jd's stopped, too. then, and only then, did she let me go.

and i headed back to the sanctuary (after another trip to the bathroom to fix my face) and enjoyed the service with my husband and 5 year old and even got to take communion.

it was a real HUG. one that didn't think about my personal space, one that didn't think about whether or not i am a hugger, one that showed me alicia truly cared about my emotional state right then and there.

a much needed hug.

i went back to work this past week and had to spend three long days away from my home, my children and my husband. every week i will be spending 3 long days away from them. the first time i have had to work full-time since having tic tac almost 8 years ago.

it is a hard adjustment for me. alicia knew that. and she hugged me.

that simple act was exactly what i needed to get through that moment, and it even carried me through the rest of the day.

i haven't been counting too many blessings lately, cuz things are still so hectic being in boxes and such. but i hope to take a few moments and write some of them down soon. because i know that perspective will help in the midst of this new season of my life.

for now, i just list one gift:

#109. a hug from alicia

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