cultivate faithfulness

This Mary Engelbreit illustration has been the theme of my day. It could make you cry, but it could make you laugh, too, right? Come on — with crazy red hair like that, at least the rest of the world is laughing!

This morning I made a list of to-do’s. Sometimes I do this, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes it keeps me on track, sometimes it just beats me over the head. It’s a toss up. But this morning I jotted a bunch of seemingly-ambitious tasks down and hoped for the best.

Well, little William took 3.5 hours to eat his granola this morning, and since I pretty much had to stay within line-of-sight, wouldn’t you know I banged out that list of chores in no time. Granola made — check. Easter put away — check. School with Jameson — check. Clean the fridge before the Health Department comes and takes it away — check.

And all well before noon.

(Which is when I finally cleaned up the final breakfast dish — check.)

The funny thing is that even though I got way more done in one morning than I often do, it didn’t feel productive. By the time I rinsed that granola bowl and was at last free to go take a shower and get dressed, I was thinking, “What a waste of a day. (big sigh)” Isn’t that silly?

If you’re like me, you feel much better about yourself and life in general when you feel productive. But the truth is, life is just so daily. The tests aren’t how well we survive mountain tops and valleys as much as they are what we do in the middle.

Feeling abandoned? Feeling like life is just droning on? Feeling like you’re living with a bunch of sheep on the back side of a mountain? Well, God is on His way. And when He comes, let Him find you doing what you’re supposed to be doing: cultivating faithfulness.

All sorts of days come and go — they go, that’s the best of them. Don’t let the dull days pass without giving you what only dullness ever can give. It isn’t the days of high tension that try us most, and so give us most; it’s the days that seem all grey and dull. They test the quality of the gold. –Amy Carmichael, on Grey Days

beatrice, and a bit of amy

I realized that I haven’t written much about Beatrice. Beatrice, who confounds and delights me daily. The fact that I can lay her on the couch, and she quietly stares at the ceiling fan and then finally dozes off for a 2+ hour nap is simply a marvel to me. I loved my boys, yes I did, and didn’t begrudge them any of the hours we spent nursing to sleep (only to wake up 15 minutes after being laid down.) Babies are meant to be cared for, whatever that may mean. But this Baby Beatrice — she is definitely easier! She loves to suck her thumb, and with the free hand she either squeezes her own chubby cheek or plays with her ear. She loves to laugh and smiles freely at anyone who will simply look her in the eye. In the late evening, she breaks into a stream of babble that is quite delightful. And her brothers can’t get enough of her — or of her girly wardrobe with ruffles and rosettes and ballet socks!

She’s growing so much. I realized the poor thing has rather been denied in the arena of toys and such, as I still have it in my head that she’s far too young for such things. Not true! Time to replenish the baby toy stash. Maybe her Christmas stocking won’t be so empty after all.

I absolutely love this little doll of mine.


This letter, written by Amy Carmichael, has been often read these last two weeks:

I have been thinking of you as you begin work today. The story of the man who said, “I have nothing to set before him”, has been helping me this morning (not for the first time). It says so exactly what I so often feel. “A friend of mine in his journey has come to me and I have nothing to set before him” — no, not even a crumb.

I expect you also often feel like that. I can well understand how the devil will make you feel like that poor man who had nothing to give and went in the night to borrow three loaves. But the end of the story is very comforting, “He will rise and give him as many as he needs.” As much as you need to do His will and help others, these travellers in life’s difficult journey, will be given to you to give. There will be no shortage from the heavenly point of view. So meet the devil’s depressing whisper, as I pray this morning that I may, with that dear word, “as many as he needs”, and be at peace.