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Every Yes To Something Is A No To Something Else

Snow Sledding Teenager

My Juliette

We had a beautiful Christmas this year. I am so grateful to God for the gift of motherhood. I’m so glad I get to spend my life taking care of Sullivan, Bridgette and Juliette. They have made me so incredibly happy. It pains me sometimes to look back on pictures of all of them when they were little. I tried to make the most of it, but I am left with a heavy coat of knowledge. I know there was more I could have done. I could have played more and mothered less. Mothering is such a great excuse for not playing. I could have lived a simpler life, which would have allowed me to work less.

Boy catching snowflakes with his mouth

My Sullivan

But, all-in-all, I’m at peace with myself and my children. My past failures fuel my ongoing ambition to give my children a firm foundation, a happy childhood.

Finger Puppets

My Bridgette

When I was little my cousins had a little red playhouse in their backyard. They lived down the street from us and I loved to visit their home. But, they were older than me and had long outgrown the playhouse. It was overgrown with weeds and there were hornets nests under the eaves. I was so disappointed that I never got to play inside it.

American Girl Tea Party

Tea Party with the American Girl Doll Kit and a real American girl Bridgy.

I knew one day I would have a little girl and she would have a playhouse and I would never let it become overgrown. But, I never managed to get either of my girls a playhouse or Sullivan a tree house. Now, they are too old. Some days, this weighs heavier on me than others. Having been a child, I know full well how fast it all goes.

Man throwing snowball

My Robert

Most days, I am full of wanderlust. I want to escape the city and move to the country. I want a big tall tree in a pasture under which I can sit with my children. Juliette can paint and Bridgette can act and Sullivan can play his flute. The boy is musical, folks. For Christmas he got a teak wood flute carved to look like a fish. He is constantly playing it or our new Casio keyboard. Yea!

We make our own Easy Bake Oven recipes. Yum. Tiny Cakes.

We make our own Easy Bake Oven recipes. Yum. Tiny Cakes.

Every Yes To Something Is A No To Something Else

Cities are such ghastly places to raise kids. I want wide open fields where my kids can run and play for hours. That place exists on Seward Road in Logan County, Oklahoma, but neither Robert nor I can bear the commute. We’d each be on the road two hours a day and what would the point of all that be? We’d have even less time with our kids. That reminds me of something I heard recently: Every YES to something is a NO to something else.

Family of Five in Snow

My Family

So, we say NO to the country so we can say YES to more time with our kids.

Marionette Puppet

Our New Marionette. She doesn’t say much.

I am contemplating what I will say yes and no to in 2015. What about you? Is there something that deserves your yes or something that needs your no?

Forget Your Perfect Offering


Our Street and Snowfall

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
–Leonard Cohen

My friend Sara shared a link on Facebook to Merry Broken Christmas, a blog post by a Canadian writer named Juanita. It was shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook, but in case you missed it, I wanted to share it with you. I love this line:

All I want for Christmas is to be broken enough to be the stable and not the Inn.”

Thomas Merton Jeans

Thomas Merton

My friend Tony shared a blog post from On Being with Krista Tippett that featured one of Thomas Merton’s prayers that “anyone can pray.” Merton was a Trappist monk and Catholic writer who died in 1968. Here is the prayer:

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Heather

    Two parts of this resonate so much! First, the link to Merry Broken Christmas. This past Christmas I had a similar call. A dear friend facing divorce just before the holidays. Helping her move out of her home two weeks before Christmas. Witnessing her cry and ask for prayer and wondering where God was in all of it. Being with her made me really remember that Christmas is about love and the ultimate gift, not about gifts and parties and lights. I even wrote my own post about how Christmas just wasn’t merry this time around but that was ok, because Christ did not arrive in a merry, festive state. He arrived in a stable, with animals and dirt and straw! Second, having been an “unintentional homemaker” for several years due to my career going out the window with the changes in technology, I love the prayer you posted. I have no idea where I am going, but I pray that what I do each day is in the direction God is steering me, hopefully. So my hope for 2015 is that I can “hear” and “see” more clearly, God’s direction. Thank you for sharing that wonderful prayer!

  2. Jennifer Jilks

    I’m not sure I agree that cities are bad for kids! I grew up in downtown Toronto and turned out OK!
    Hubby, with cancer, and I simply live in the present. No regrets. No horribilising, no ‘what if’-ing.
    We laugh whilst sitting at the hospital waiting for CT Scan. It’s too easy to go back and 2nd guess, you just have to put it out of your mind.


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