Friday, December 19, 2008

view from my porch

I think the picture says it all. I could stay happily locked in this frosty white cocoon forever ...


Saturday, December 13, 2008

ma ingalls

When the power goes out, lowering a dark canopy of silence over our thirteen acres, Ma Ingalls stirs within me. She lifts a hand to strike a match and draws faltering light from a stubbed and blackened candlewick. She pours a fresh supply of oil into the hurricane lamps and spreads light from room to room. She feeds her people, and draws them close, and blankets them in flannel. She chases earth's silence with the sounds of story.

When the power returns, and the rumbling of the refrigerator competes with Ma's voice, and the harshness of canned lights overshadows the flickering of candle flame, she withdraws to await the next storm.

Come back soon, Caroline.



Saturday, December 06, 2008

consider this

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I'd like to offer a suggestion. Instead of asking for socks, Starbucks cards, perfume, clothes ... the usual stuff ... why not ask that someone make a donation in your name to Gospel for Asia?

You'd be amazed at what a $11 contribution can do. For $11, you can buy a pair of chickens or rabbits for an impoverished family in India and help them start a cottage industry. Blankets can be had for just $5; Bibles for $3. Or if you want to help a woman feed her children, you can provide a treadle sewing machine for $85. The list--and the needs--are endless.

Here's the link to the Gospel For Asia donation site: Donation - Gospel for Asia

Once there, you can browse through the different categories and find something that tugs at you. Better yet, get your children involved. This is an opportunity to open their eyes to the world around them, teach them about giving, and perhaps even lessen some of the materialism that they (and us) have allowed to creep in.

Last year, this is what I asked for when my husband asked what I wanted. And when he gave me a printed sheet of all the things he'd bought at the site, it made me cry. I can't remember the last time a gift made me cry.

Do this once and you won't want to stop. I promise.

Labels: ,


Thursday, December 04, 2008


Note: I'm rerunning this post about my new site because we're offering a giveaway for all who register at Twig and Feather by December 10th. The winner of the drawing will receive a copy of A Whisper in Winter, an ornament from Pottery Barn, a mug, candle, and assorted cocoas. If you missed the first post about the site, here it is again. We've been having a great time sharing recipes, holiday tips, and homemaking ideas. Please consider joining us!

About a year ago, I got an idea for a site that would help organize your home in fun, practical, innovative ways. I can't tell you those ways--not yet anyway. Our software developer is working on it. But we--and that "we" includes my two partners, Andy and Nichelle Isaacson--have taken the first step toward making that site a reality.

Please consider yourself invited to join our Twig and Feather community. Why Twig and Feather? Because I couldn't shake the image of a nest. To me, it encompasses all the emotion I feel as a wife, mother, and homemaker. My home is our nest. And like any nest, it's comprised of practical structure--twigs, if you will--like budgeting, menu planning, cleaning, and all those other not-fun-but-very-necessary components. But it's also comprised of "feathers"--the soft side of nesting, things like candles and music and fluffy pillows. Every nest needs both twigs and feathers. Our site aims to share and solicit ideas for all these areas, and encourage you to make your home a warm, welcoming refuge in a world that is anything but warm and welcoming.

For right now, we're offering a forum. This will be the nuts and bolts of the site until we can launch the bigger features. We hope you'll consider joining our T & F community. More than that, we hope you'll inundate us with all your ideas.

Here's the link. I hope to see you there.


Monday, December 01, 2008

sunday snapshot

Here's what I saw when no one knew I looked, when the noise kept swirling and circulating and my silence slipped by without notice:

--A dozen men who gathered around Ed, laid hands on him, and prayed for all the expected things before surgery--peace, a settling of heartbeats, precision, clear eyes, fast recovery.

--Elaina greeting Katrisha with a hug just before both turned their hearts back toward worship.

--Laughing toddlers.

--Scotty claiming a quiet space in the crowd so that he could turn his eyes and his smile toward his infant nephew.

--Brothers shaking awkwardness after a clash of iron against iron, remembering grace, and Jesus, and the need for a fresh start.

--A cluster of women bubbling over with fondness for one another.

--A head bowed over an open Bible.




I am so grateful that I don't walk this path alone, but have the gift of this big, lovely, loving family to walk with. Just one more gift that draws my eyes upward and "thank You" from my lips.

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. ~Acts 2:44-47 (NASB)

And let us be moving one another at all times to love and good works; not giving up our meetings, as is the way of some, but keeping one another strong in faith; and all the more because you see the day coming near. ~Hebrews 10:24-25 (BEB)

Labels: ,