ending the year

the blessing of viewing an exquisite performance of
The Nutcracker
at The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

homemade Christmas cards

the poinsettias were drawn by Ella 
with me painting and assembling the final product

There is nothing so SECULAR that it cannot be SACRED, 
and that is one of the DEEPEST messages of the INCARNATION.
Madeleine L'Engle

a couple inches of snow and Roone 
was determined to create a snowman

What a sweet holiday break this has been. Full of music, creating, giving, time with friends and family, a few sweets (York brownies with homemade ice cream!) thrown in there along with quiet time and movie watching (my personal indulgence has been the two Pride and Prejudice movies, 1995 and 2005).

As a full-time homemaker and homeschooling mother, it's always a challenge to find my rhythm, my balance to take care of my responsibilities while enjoying my life too. Now, more than ever I feel like I have a handle on providing nourishing meals for my family, scheduling our life so that we enjoy out-of-the-home activities and opportunities but maintain most of the time for at-home learning and growing, gathering excellent resources and books and having moments to create and rest myself.

I become nostalgic at the end of December, because 11 years ago at this time I was expecting my first baby come January. This time always makes me reminisce on the beginnings of this life full-time at home. I dreamed of the sweet life it would provide for my husband and I, had no idea of the hard work it would entail, and it has become more goodness that I could have ever imagined in a simple, faithful life.

This month has been a flurry of activities with lots of driving. I joked with Ella that when she turns 16 she'll be able to drive herself to activities! Really, I don't mind driving, but I do know that as she has grown these past 11 years, gaining in knowledge and responsibility that one day she will have parts of life separate from me (ie, driving on her own!), and that that is a good thing..when it's the right time. It's easy to let culture, any culture, determine the right time and place for growth, learning, accomplishment. I'm so glad Jesse and I weren't fearful all those years ago (even before making the decision to homeschool) to take a look at the needs of our family and make decisions that best fit our health, personalities, gifts, and even weaknesses.

Life can sweep along like a swift current, but I'm attempting to consciously choose the calmer waters and live life there. Attentive, intentional with joy.